Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lots of Cards

I haven't been up in my studio in over two weeks now since I went to Texas for a week immediately followed by a trip to Fort Knox, Kentucky. Lilly and I are finally back in our little apartment, I'm completely worn out. I think Lilly is too. I've never seen her sleep with all four legs up in the air before. I finally checked my mailbox as well only to find one little orange key sitting in there. Turns out it led me to another bigger locker stuffed full of birthday cards and Rolodex swaps. You guys are THE best! I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to post each one of the yummy goodies right here in the next coming days. I think it's time for some celebratory blog candy as well. What are your thoughts?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day. I also hope you are remembering the reason for this holiday turned vacation time with your family and most of all your children. Here are some great ways to celebrate and observe Memorial Day:
  • visit cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes
  • visit memorials
  • fly the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon
  • fly the 'POW/MIA Flag' as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act)
  • participate in a "National Moment of Remembrance" at 3 pm to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day
  • play or listen to Taps
  • aid the widows, widowers and orphans of our fallen Service members, and to aide the disabled veterans
  • say a prayer

P.S. Here's a fun quiz too: Military Myths Quiz

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Old Photos

One of the things I love about coming home is seeing all the old photographs my mother and grandmother have collected over time. We don't have too many keepsakes anymore since our home burned down in 2002, but that makes the ones we do have all the more special. Here are a few of my favorites:

I was our school mascot... a duck named Waddles.

This is from a musical I did in college.

Golf was my sport of choice in high school.

This is my sister and me climbing a tree in our great aunt and uncle's backyard.

This photo always makes me laugh. It's my mom, sister, and me. This one was for our Christmas card one year. This was in EMT school before I became a "real" firefighter.

It's strange to think I graduated high school six years ago now. I remember taking this photo on the playground in elementary school. I'm the kid laughing with hot pink shoes and crazy socks. This one is from a movie that was originally titled "Square Dance", but I think they changed the name after production was through. Rob Lowe was in it, but other than that I don't know. My parents used to work avidly in the movie business until a couple of babies tied them down. My nose will never change. Another movie set, but I don't know which one.
I played basketball one year, but I was rather horrible at it. I was great at stealing the ball, but I never scored once. This one is my high school freshman photo. I grew up mostly on the farm playing in cotton trailers and cattle stalls. My sister and I were cute once.
I remember this like it was yesterday. It's from a field exercise I did in combat medic school. Here I am tying up a ladder in the fire academy. My sister and I took dance from 1st grade all the way up until middle school, but neither of us can dance at all. This one is from family day the day before I graduated from Basic Training. Don't you love those glasses? They're called "BCG's" or birth control glasses. I never knew I ever had an outtie belly button!
These were two of my drill sergeants in basic training. They were MEAN!I never was good at taking regular "cheese" pictures, so this is what normally comes out. Well, I hope you enjoyed browsing some old pictures as much as I did. I really need to get some sleep. I plan on starting my journey back up to Fort Campbell, Kentucky tomorrow sometime. I have to head back out again on Monday for Fort Knox, so I want to be well rested and reorganized for another road trip. Bye for now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pillow Wrinkles

Ack! It's here. I'm now officially 24! I woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw wrinkles. I freaked out, but I was quickly relieved to find out they were just from sleeping on my face. Whew! Pillow wrinkles can be scary sometimes!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ladies Night

Last night I took seven of my favorite gals out to ladies night at The Melting Pot for fondue and lots of fun. This picture is of me and two of my cousins.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Road Trip

Guess what?! I have nine days off from work... YES! I really didn't expect to have the time off, so there's not time to get a plane ticket. I'd have to take Lilly to the vet for records and shots verification to get her a plane ticket or kennel stay, so I just decided to take a road trip instead. The trip isn't too bad with all the stops I like to take. Between Lilly and I we need to take breaks of some sort every 2-3 hours. I left from Tennessee Sunday morning and arrived here in Texas around 2330 (11:30 pm for you civilians). I really enjoyed the trip. It's the first time I've really taken a long car trip alone. Well, I did drive down to Fort Benning, Georgia last year for Officer Candidate School, but it wasn't a terribly long trip like this one. I forgot how nice it is just to be away and alone sometimes. I still had to call about a dozen different people at every stop to check in, but it was still worth it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rock Climbing

So, I did it. I went rock climbing like I wanted to. I actually went twice already, and I'm getting a tad bit addicted. It's not my first time doing this, but it's been a super long time since I have. I started climbing and rappelling in the fire academy a few years ago. We were all certified in rope rescue during the five month long course. I loved it then, and apparently I still love it. I hope I can meet some other people there too. You can't rappel on your own after all. You have to have someone at the bottom on belay (to stop you from falling). I can't wait to go back again and again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Summer Schedule

We're officially headed into our summer schedule here at the school house. This means the days are even hotter and longer. We also start traveling quite a bit too. I already have two trips to Fort Knox and three to West Point on the books. Most of the instructors took off on up to Fort Knox around 0630 this morning. We're teaching 200 college ROTC students up there. There's not really a whole lot that I do in the middle of the course, so "Sergeant D" (my boss) and I are taking turns. He's doing the first half, and I'm going up for the second half. Neither of us will be there in the middle. It's only two hours away, so it's easy enough to just drive back and forth without having to hitch an air ride. He's got a whole brood of kiddies plus one on the way, so I don't blame him for lacking travel interests lately. Being that we're a mobile course in the summers also means it's quite boring around here when I'm left behind. I suppose there's less excuse for not blogging now. I like to write my blogs in my email server before I post them over to Blogger. It seems so unreliable at times. I never know when the links are going to stop working or when it just decides it doesn't feel like playing with me anymore. It's a pain sometimes, but at least it's free! You can't beat that deal, right? Anyhow, I found this fun-looking indoor rock climbing place in Nashville (50 minutes away). It's called Climb Nashville. I've already emailed the point of contact to get some more information. I'm dying to be a member already. I just hope I have enough time to get there at least once a week or so. I learned how to climb and rappel in the fire academy back about 5 years ago, and I totally loved it. I just hope I get that same thrill again. I'm not a terribly athletic or sporty girl in general, so it's rare I find a sport that I take interest in. There's just something that doesn't spark my interest about running in circles or on a treadmill like a hamster. I don't like things being thrown at me either, so that eliminates most of the ball-sports. I did play on the golf team in high school and college, but my old clubs are still back home. My golf coach gave them to me after our home burned down my senior year of high school. They're definitely way past their prime, but they still managed to help me earn 3rd place at state. I've been eying a new set from Callaway though. They're the Cadillac of golf equipment, and I've ALWAYS wanted a set. Perhaps it's a good gift to give myself for my birthday. I hope I'm not the only one out there who buys themselves a present. I don't have to worry about keeping gift receipts after all.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Don't Ask Me Why...

I did it. It was on a random whim. There was no forethought to it whatsoever. I signed up for the dating site again! I'm already regretting it. I don't know why I'm sitting in remorse over it either. I'm not sure if I should be proactive or sit on my bum about the whole thing. Perhaps I should have taken that hundred bucks for a measly six-month subscription to love and spent the night shakin' my booty at a club. Mr. Right just might be a rump-shaker...Not! I sure hope my MR isn't a bar-scene kinda dude. Beer guzzling and butt gawking aren't exactly on the checklist for my McDreamy. I wonder if they have any of that weird speed dating stuff around here. I'm interested to try it out. I have complete and profound doubts about it, but at this point I may as well start collecting the rest of my dating memoirs, tearful woes, and silly stories for the book that seems to be well on it's way to creation. Even the stuff in Cosmo doesn't give me the same gag or giggle that my own formerly boring life does. (P.S. 9 more days 'til I'm 24!)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Tears

Wow! I'm overwhelmed at the sweetness that comes from total strangers. I really feel like I know many of you even more so than some of my own family members. You're awesome! You got me to thinking too... is anyone interested in doing a Rolodex swap of sorts for birthday information (name, address, email, website, and birthday)? I just want to make sure to send birthday cards to all of you, but there's no way I can remember them all without a little help. I won't open this up as a traditional swap, but if you'd like to send me your information as an altered index card, Rolodex card, ATC or by whatever means you keep track of birthdays I'll be sure to return the favor as well. I've already started crackin' on some cute little Rolodex cards and ATCs for you. I hope you'll come play with me! (P.S. 12 more days 'til I'm 24!)
Laura Barefoot
PO Box 323
Fort Campbell, KY 42223

Thursday, May 8, 2008

One of Those Days

Do you ever have a day when the smallest seeming thing just sends you into tears? Well, I'm having one of those days. I really think it's an accumulation of so many things, but you know what they say about the camel's back... Although there are a couple other females that work here somewhere at the school with me, I mostly interact with men. Let me remind you that I am in the Army, so we can't flirt or dress cute or do anything that the average workforce would consider socially acceptable or just plain normal. You can't tell someone "You look nice today!", or you'd be accused of sexual harassment. The military is very strict on these things. I don't know how any female could begin to look "nice" in a man's uniform anyhow. My clothes are so baggy and bulky. Even my knees rub together when I'm wearing my fitness uniform. Who's crotch hangs that low, really?! I think someone was thinking entirely too generously when they designed those things. Since we aren't allowed to say most compliments and pleasant things to each other, they instead dish out rude elementary verbal slaps. Keep in mind though that around here we can only say something disrespectful to someone whom we don't out-rank. I'm on the bottom of the totem pole here, so that means I'm the target for all of the jerks here. I'm the butt of every joke it seems. Sometimes I can laugh with them, but other times they're just plain mean. Anytime there's a screw-up with paperwork it somehow ends up being my fault too. The top guy blames the guy under him and the guy under him and the guy under him... all the way until it crashes down onto me. I guess today it just got to me a little. The weight was just too much for a second. I cracked. I shed one tear in the privacy of a community latrine. You're not supposed to do that here either though. You can't be weak. At least you wouldn't dare let them find out. Who wants the enemy to have more ammo?! Not me! I think being a single Soldier is another issue that I have a difficult time dealing with. I'm the only single Soldier at this unit. I don't mind being single in the general aspect, but little things like not hearing my own name. I'm "SGT Barefoot" here. I just want to be "Laura" every once in a while. And what about being able to vent? I can't talk to people here about personal matters, and really there is no one to talk to at work that would actually listen without laughing. This blog does help to an extent, but I'm not allowed to say so many things I would rather scream than type. I can't even remember the last time I had a hug. My birthday is just a couple of weeks away too. I bought a box of butter pecan cake mix and cream cheese frosting to make cupcakes as normally do. Baking cupcakes has been my main celebratory event since I've been stationed away from home. My birthday happens to fall on a Wednesday this year. I can't ask off a day in the middle of the week. It doesn't work that way. So instead, I'll be sitting at my desk knowing the whole time that today I am 24. I'm one year away from being able to rent a car on my own without any extra insurance, waivers, or signatures, I'm officially in my mid-twenties, and other than the annual phone call from my mom reminding me that today I made her a mother no one will say anything to me regarding my special day otherwise. I just hope it's one of those rare days that I make it safely under the radar and perhaps manage to get home early enough to see any bit of remaining sunlight.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I was tagged by Marie a couple days ago. It's been a while since I played along, so here we go... What was I doing 10 years ago? Well, I was a couple weeks shy of being 14 years old. (My birthday is May 21st.) I guess that means I was in 8th grade. That was a scary time. I was just a few weeks away from leaving middle school and heading off to the treacherous HIGH SCHOOL! I was in the choir, on the basketball team, and I was also the school mascot, a DUCK! What was I doing 1 year ago? I was down at Fort Benning, Georgia going to Officer Candidate School. I HATED it! 5 favorite snacks? Just five, huh? Let's see... Nilla Wafers, homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, peaches, plums, and Blue Belle Homemade Vanilla ice cream with bananas and pecans! 5 things I would do if I was a millionaire? I'd pay off all of my debts, pay off my family's debts, start a college fund for my future children, start my retirement savings, and buy a new set of golf clubs. 5 things I like doing? I love to take naps with Lilly Belle, laugh at Brad's silly faces, find new places within driving distance that are "undiscovered" to me, play with paper and ribbons, but mostly I love being a Soldier. 5 things I will never wear again? Short skirts, short shorts, anything neon, bikinis, and CULOTTES! Arg! Do you remember those? They're a funky fusion of shorts and a skirt. They're just so wrong! 5 favorite toys? I love my laptop, any craft supplies, roller skates, my camera, and boys! 5 people I am going to tag: Debbie, Danielle, Estivalia, Roree, Anabelle.