Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Time Wanderings

Last week the Army sent me for some new equipment training to a Reserve center in Ogden, Utah. I had been simultaneously dreading and looking forward to this trip. I had never been to Utah before and I had never spent any serious time in the Rockies, so that was exciting to me. What I was dreading was flying. I do not get air sick in the traditional sense, but I do get quite uncomfortable during take-off, landing and if there is turbulence, so flying holds little appeal to me. And since there is no way the Army was going to pay me for three days of driving at both ends...I had to fly.

I flew into Salt Lake City and I had no idea what I was in for when I arrived. It was dusk and the skyline was beautifully lit up with the colors of sunset. I unfortunately did not deplane in time to catch the stark beauty of a sunset in the mountains.

After some frustration at the rental counter I went to find my car in the lot. Now, you must understand, in my travels for the Army I have driven some great, some mediocre and some down right embarrassing cars (the white 2-door Yaris "egg" incident of 2009 comes immediately to mind). So, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that my "compact" rental was in fact a 2011 Ford Explorer...a very saawweeet ride!

My next surprise, after finally finding my hotel, was to find that the Hampton Inn of Ogden is a beautiful old building with smallish (compared to new construction) beautifully appointed rooms, a gorgeous lobby and a view of both the city and the mountains that made me want to relocate permanently. The staff were very friendly, which after a rough day of travel is extremely welcome, and the house keeper even left a Christmas card in my room.

After one of the best nights sleep in a hotel I have ever had I drove to the Reserve Center where the training was to be held and saw this...

This almost immediately made me want to start looking for a job here. I am serious, if I don't live here before then, I plan to retire in this town!

My first evening I decided to walk around the downtown area to see what was happening. I was amazed to see that almost a whole city block was dedicated to a Christmas light display. There were carolers from a local school singing, a bevy of various light displays, even a full nativity.

This town takes the celebration of the Christmas season seriously...

On my last day there I was not able to get a flight out early so I took the opportunity to explore the mountains a bit and what I saw settled my conviction to move to Utah in the future...

This was a small horse farm just after I came through a pass in the mountains...stunning!

And after I turned around to head back to the hotel, I noticed a scenic over look (and biffed my knee climbing the hill to get this shot, worth it!) I saw to convince a certain man that we need to live here!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


On October 23rd, 2000, I raised my right hand and spoke the following words; I do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God. 

In marking the 10th anniversary of that day, I reflect upon the words I spoke that day. I made a solemn oath to protect and defend this country and the citizens thereof. I also pledged to uphold the ideals on which this country was founded. The belief that all men are equal and are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that those rights are granted by God, not by man.

I am proud to be an American, and proud to serve my country as a Soldier. I stand firm in the knowledge that I live in and serve the greatest nation on earth. I can be firm in that knowledge, because I know what this country was founded upon. 

Five years ago, I was serving in Iraq, in an unpopular war. I was doing my part to help bring democracy to a nation oppressed by a theocratic dictatorship. I knew that what my comrades and I were doing was right and good. That we were fighting for the Iraqi people to have what we as Americans had taken for granted. I remember seeing pure joy and jubilation as the once oppressed were returning from their first free elections. It was a blessing to be a part of their new lives.

I am also blessed by my family and friends, who have supported me for the last decade and as I move into my second. I know that without the love and support you have given me, and the sacrifices you have made, I would not be able to serve. A Soldier is only as strong as their support system, thank you for being my support system.

All of this makes me reflect on where I have been, where I am now, and what the future holds. I know that God has a plan for me; I can see His hand in my life as I look back. And, I trust in Him to guide my path for the future. 

That is all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Speaking of random observations...

As promised here is some randomness.

I realize that without proper female direction and guidance a majority of men would wear whatever they liked. Comfort over style, plaids and stripes, who cares! I can almost understand that. I am surrounded by guys who, (again not all of them) if the Army didn't give them clothes, would be lost in the sauce.

What I want to know is why a man would wear black knee socks and black dress shoes with faded, super casual, khaki shorts? And, why the woman, I am assuming his wife, accompanying him let him do it!?! Granted, it is not the atrocity of socks and sandals, but dress shoes with cargo shorts...REALLY!?!?!?!?

I need chocolate after trying to wrap my brain around that one!

I just don't get it...I hope I never do!

Off to find a brownie,
Army Chick

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome to my random observations!

If you are reading this, I thank you in advance for putting up with my supreme randomness. 

Here is a little bit about me;
I come from a very blended family that includes my mom, dad, step-mom, half-brother, three step-sibs and their spouses. Even though I come from what appears to be a large family, my viewpoint has been skewed by growing up as an only child with a single parent (mom). I was blessed to truly have my sibs join my life just after my tour in Iraq.

Yes, I really am in the Army (Reserves). I enlisted in 2000, when Mr. Clinton was still President, I was agnostic, and I was still a Democrat. Man has a lot changed in 10 years...Mr. Obama is now president, I am a Christian, and I am a Republican. I may be a Soldier, but I am still the strange blend of tomboy/girly-girl that I have always been. I will do my best to out do the "boys" all while looking fabulous!

About Iraq and the war...I will more than likely post my opinions about Iraq, Afghanistan, the War on Terror, and war in general. I welcome your comments and opinions, as long as they are intelligent and courteous.

I am not sure what I have planned for this blog, since my interests vary greatly as do my observations of life. I can guarantee that I wil talk about food, fashion, food, music, books, food, and whatever else pops into my head.

Thank you for reading,