Friday, December 19, 2003

Holiday and Wings of Gold

Wednesday, December 17th Nathan gets his second chance. He passes with flying colors J! We call the parents and let them know the good news and that we know WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that Nathan will now be winged on January 23rd. The last four flights that he has WILL NOT cause him to not get his wings. Nathan and I are staying in Corprus for Christmas so Nathan was told that he would be flying during Christmas Break. Finally after three months of the roller coaster consistently falling we are on a return ride up the hill.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Hell

The afternoon of December 9th Nathan meets with the Commodore. He is gone for an hour. In the mean time I was home waiting by the door. He gets home and says the Commodore hadn’t made a decision. Another meeting is set up for the following day where the Commodore will have made a decision about Nathan’s fate. But we do know that our options are of one of two choices: get another chance at the program or get kicked out of the Navy. Navy has too many active duty personnel right now so if a student doesn’t make it through the flight program they will be discharged from the Navy. Nathan meets with the Commodore on December 10th at 2pm, 24 hours after the first meeting. Nathan is home ten minutes later. The Commodore tells Nathan that he is impressed with how he handled himself the day before and gives Nathan a second chance. Finally good news!! The agreement is that Nathan will do one simulator and two practice flights before he repeats the check ride that he failed.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Dance Ends

December 1st another month of tuition is due for the Dance Studio. I only pay for one class instead of four. I decide to drop the others because they were working on dance recital routines and I am not sure if we are going to be around till the end of May to perform with them. I thought that would be unfair and I felt uncomfortable. Some of the classes that I was registered in were just too big and knowing that if I were gone that would leave another 5 feet worth of dancing space on the floor that would be appreciated. So I stick with the Hip Hop Performance Team because I really enjoy the class and get along great with everyone.
Saturday, December 6th show up for the normal 2.5 hour practice and thinking that we were going to finish the second routine to perform on the 19th more bad news was about to hit me. The Team is terminated. WHAT??? There will be no more team, no more class and no more performances. The owner, Sandra, has a rule about wanting 8 students in a class in order for the class to be official. Well there were only 6 of us now so she made a “grave” decision to terminate us. NO ONE is happy with this decision. I ask Derek if it is possible to get a refund for the class since I wasn’t going to take any of the other two classes that were offered. I was registered for one of the other two classes and it was too big. I didn’t want to register for the other one because being a part of the team my technique is more advanced than that class. So a refund is given and I bid farewell to Derek. He completely understood. I will miss him!!

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Holiday and Hell Starts

November 24th Nathan doesn’t pass his check ride. This is two mistakes too many for the Navy. Nathan is put on student hold until the Training Review Board has gone over his file. That was going to take two weeks and then Nathan is to meet with the Commodore. In the mean time Thanksgiving fell in this time off. This situation did not add excitement to the Holiday. We spent Thanksgiving alone and enjoyed just being with each other in our new quiet house.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Advanced Cross Country

The weekend of November 7th Nathan left for his cross-country flight to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Third Move

October 14th moving day and the day after being rear-ended. I was weak and sore. I will never let another accident just go like that. That was very stupid! When I really looked at the dent in the car that morning I realized I should have exchanged information so that I could get it fixed. I had whiplash and wasn’t really able to help the movers or Nathan as much as I should have. It took the movers an hour and a half to pack what I hadn’t moved to the new house the week before. Most of that was packing the furniture, books, all the glasses and the washer and dryer.

Monday, October 13, 2003

My First Rear End

On my way to dance class on Monday night I was rear ended at the intersection between two major roads. I was not happy. I freaked out. I pulled out from that intersection and drove into an empty used car parking lot. While I pulled in and waited to see if the truck that hit me was going to pull over I thought about everything that I was taught in Driver’s Ed. When I got out of the car the first thing I do is check on them. The driver of the truck asks if I am ok and checks my rear end fender for me. I was so happy that nothing was wrong with the car, nothing was wrong with me (I walked out of the car with no problems) and there was nothing wrong with the truck or its passengers. I left it at that and headed down the road to dance.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Dance Performance/Competition Teams

The Dance Studio Performance Teams head to Del Mar College for the Dance In The Park performance. Yes, Dance In The Park means dancing in the park. The performance was rescheduled at Del Mar College due to the rain. If it had not rained we would have performed at Cole Park in town. The Hip Hop Team performed last that night and kicked butt. I was very proud of my teammates. Most of them have never performed for anyone other than friends and family.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

My First Job as a Military Wife

Around August 18th I made an appointment with Becky at The Wilson Group. I made the appointment because I was not getting many calls from Allison after the first two weeks. So I thought that I would try another agency. When I made an appointment for an interview with Becky I filled out an application, submitted my resume, took a Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel test, safety regulations rules, and rules and regulations for the company. Two weeks after the appointment I was placed with a temporary job. For the month of September I worked for Sam Hausman Meat Packers as a Human Resources Assistant. For the most part I spent the month of September organizing current employee files and meeting the current government regulations for the files.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

My First Mishap

Yesterday was a very long day. It started out with the typical preparation and brief for my first night contact flight in the C-12. I preflighted the aircraft and specifically remember checking the nose gear. Everything looked fine. The flight began with me in the back and another student and an instructor flying. We went to an outlying field and did the pattern for about 10 touch and goes. The instructor was giving the typical simulated emergencies which require the gear to be raised until landing is assured. On final to one of these landings they put the gear down and the nose gear light failed to illuminate indicating it was not fully extended. The instructor took over and we started to troubleshoot. We flew directly back to Corpus Christi and circled in the overhead pattern. I broke out the NATOPS (aircraft manual) and we went checklist by checklist on how to handle it. Manual extension failed. Porpoising failed. We did a low approach and the tower confirmed the nose gear was only lowered a few inches. We went back up and circled some more. Maintenance, Crash, and the Chain of Command were called. We continued to circle to burn off fuel before attempting to land. After about 4 hours we were ready to come down. I was in the back so I had to remove the emergency escape hatch. A simple pull down over the right wing. It came out easily and was very disquieting to see a large gaping hole in the side of the aircraft while we were flying. The noise and dust was not as bad as I expected. I stowed the hatch along with all of our other gear so it would not turn into a missile hazard. The nacelle (fuel tank) low light came on with 550 pounds in one of the wings. We prepared to land as one of the instructors advised our instructor over the radio that "he should probably take this one" and not the student. We of course told our instructor that they said he should let us take it. I assumed the crash position and the instructor took it down. Once on deck the instructor held the nose up while the student secured both engines. The nose was held up as long as possible under control and the instructor put it down. There was no immediate deceleration. I have no idea how hard the instructor was stomping on the brakes. We rolled to a stop and could smell the melted fiberglass that used to be the lower portion of the nosecone. As briefed I didn't wait around and was out the escape hatch climbing down the wing. I jumped down and walked straight back as the crash crew and ambulances barreled up the runway on both sides. Looking back I saw the other two running. We met up and made sure none of us were hurt. The commanding officer (CO) and flight doctor were first to us and they asked the same. CO informed me he had elected not to call my wife and asked us to call everyone who needed to be called. All 3 of us whipped out our cellphones. The wife knew I had a night flight and it would be late so she had gone to bed. I left a message that I was okay and was in an accident and would be home late. Once the crash crew signaled clear we checked out the plane. The damage was hard to see. The engines had been secured so the propellers had not done much damage to the runway. The nose was resting on the runway about 6 inches from the centerline. Someone took a picture of the three of us infront of the plane. A friend later commented on my smiling saying "the other two look like they have been in plane crash."


We were soon off to the hospital after signing some paperwork for the crash crew that we were not hurt. Off to the hospital we went to fill out a journal of everything we had done for the past 48 hours in 30 minute increments. This from someone who doesn't know what he had for breakfast. After that we got a full work up including blood and urine samples. The flight doc gave us a physical to make sure we were okay and finally I was heading home. Rikki was up when I got home. She had received the message but had not been able to get ahold of me. I explained everything and had to stay up a while before the adrenaline wore off. The squadron was nice enough to give me the next day off.


All this led to a thorough investigation by a mishap board of officers in the squadron. I was impressed with how well everything was taken care of. When we came down that night they had ambulances waiting and a helo medivac standing by. I really believe everything that could be done had been done. The investigation turned up a faulty part and added another 2 bolts to check on preflight inspection up inside the nose gear. These 2 bolts are what caused both the electrical and manual gear to fail. After the accident I remember that while reading the aircraft maintence record before the flight that someone had reversed the gear in transit. This is very bad because it strains the landing gear system. Because of this action special maintenance was required and completed before our flight.

My life did not flash before my eyes and I can't say I was that worried. After 5 hours in the back I was ready to land one way or the other. The thought did cross my mind that a bad landing could turn us into a cartwheeling ball of fire (all those accident videos they show us in training kept coming to mind). I guess if I had to pick a way to go.... at least that one would make the 6 o'clock news.

Accident

September 10th at about 11:45pm Nathan gives me a call to let me know that “Everyone is ok, we had a little bit of an emergency and I will not be home anytime soon.” I freaked out when getting this message. I tried to call him back but did not get an answer. When Nathan got home at 2am I found out that his plane came down with no nose gear. I gave him such a hug and held on. He wanted to know what was wrong and I said, “you left me that message and I was scared.” He didn’t realize that I got the message and tried to call him back.
When he landed he was taken to the flight surgeon for a physical and some testing. He also had to write down what he did in the last 48 hours at half hour intervals. An investigation was underway to try to find out what happened. When sitting down to talk to Nathan about what happened I asked if there was a maintenance log that was kept on the airplanes. There was a problem with the nose gear in a previous flight. A pilot had the nose gear come down and then go back up too quickly. So the assumption became that when maintenance fixed that problem there was a short circuit in that system the night that Nathan flew.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Fifth Hurrican

August 16th Tropical Storm Erika made landfall in the early morning hours over Mexico. Tropical Storm Erika didn’t stop the sun from shining that day. It did however bring in some strong winds to Corpus Christi.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

24th Birthday

My birthday, the big 24! Nathan takes me out to get a birthday cake. I hadn’t had ice cream in a while and felt like an ice-cream cake. We first stop off at Best Buy and pick up a DVD. In the same plaza we stop off at Baskin Robbins and pick up a small sheet cake. When we get home I open presents and then we have the ice-cream cake. After cake we sit down and start to watch the DVD we bought. With the start of movie we realize that the wrong disc was placed in the case. We need to return that.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Fourth Hurricane

On July 14th late in the evening a Category 1 Hurricane Claudette packed some strong winds felt in Galveston, TX. There was a possibility that the base may be evacuated. Nathan and I prepared everything that we could in case we had to leave including filling the vehicles with gas, making a list of things that we would need to wait and pack in the morning and getting directions to the base in San Antonio. An evacuation order was never given so we prepared the house in case of flooding and loss of electricity.
Claudette makes landfall the morning of July 15th north of us in Port O’Connor. Claudette’s impact on Corpus Christi was a very rare cloudy and rainy summer day. The winds were not severe enough to cause major damage or to even interrupt a normal day of events.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Dance

In early July I did some research on local dance studios. There were three that I was interested in. I first thought about location. I didn’t want to drive too far from the base. I want dance to be that stress reliever not a stress factor. I then called the studios and found out information about them. I decided to take summer classes at The Dance Studio. They sent me a brochure in the mail that gave a summer class schedule and general information about the studio. After taking summer classes I felt like the studio best suited my needs and qualifications. So I took home a class schedule for the 2003-2004 year and talked to Nathan about it. I enrolled in Hip Hop I, Tap Plus and Just Dance (a beginner’s jazz class). The studio does not offer ballet for all ages. Ballet is only offered for ages 3-7.

Monday, July 07, 2003

One-Year Anniversary

Our one-year anniversary! I ordered purple paper roses. I had each of the dozen roses personalized with photos of Nathan and I. I e-mailed my digital photos and instructions to the company and filled out the ordered form and mentioned that I sent a personal e-mail with instructions. When the roses came in they were in a vase, placed inside a translucent box and then carefully wrapped inside a box. I opened the package to check and make sure that everything was ok and then sprayed the roses with my favorite body spray.
I cooked one of our favorite meals and set the table with our wedding candle and glasses. I had the Bakery at the Commissary make our cake. Our wedding cake was not preserved very well at my parents’ house. When Nathan and I went to pick it up in May we found it squashed and with freezer burn. I took a close up picture of the wedding cake and asked the commissary to try and decorate it the same way. Having the same cake made wasn’t a problem. However once cutting into the cake it was rather disappointing. It was not what I requested and especially after the bakery called to confrim my order I was surprised. This put a damper on things.
After dinner and dessert we took Angel out on our daily evening walk on the beach. When we got back from the walk Nathan and I sat down and watched a DVD. It was a very nice evening that was uninterrupted by phone calls from SDO or peers looking for homework help.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Settling In

Since class didn’t start until June 12th Nathan and I did a lot of silly little things to help make the transition to the new home a little easier. We raked, mowed, seeded and watered both the back and front yard. We cleaned out the rain gutters and disinfected the house. Talked to the on base post office and had the name changed on the mailbox. We bought items for our hurricane preparedness kit; hurricane preparedness is taken very seriously here. Turned in our inspection sheet of things wrong with the house and became familiar with the base and town.
The movers arrived a week and a half after packing our belongings. This was nice compared to the wait that we had once we arrived in Pensacola. Nathan and I unpacked, organized and cleaned again. I used my washer and dryer for the first time too. It is nice not to have to wait and do laundry all in one day a week. Nice to be able to bleach whites too without worrying I might ruin someone else’s load of laundry. It is a big change going from a one bedroom of 690 sq. ft. to a two bedroom of 1068 sq. ft. There is a lot more storage and closet space. I hope that this does not spoil us!

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Advanced Training

Nathan checked in on June 1st. Once checked in Nathan found that he would not be training in the T-44 but that he would be flying in the TC-12 Huron. He is assigned to Training Wing 4 in Fixed Wing Training Squadron 35 or VT-35. Classes for advanced training are Flight Procedures, Instrument Navigation, Aerodynamics, Federal Rules and Regulations, Systems, Visual Navigation and Meteorology.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Second Move

May 29th Nathan detaches and the movers arrive. When they are done and have everything in the truck we check out of the apartment and head for our new home, our first home in NAS Corpus Christi, TX.

Friday, May 23, 2003

First House Hunting Leave

Monday, the evening of May 19th, we left for a ten-day house hunting leave trip. Nathan called the BOQ, Bachelor Officer’s Quarters, at NAS Corpus Christi for us to stay there for two days. They assigned us to a room at the Navy Lodge. When we arrived at Corpus Christi on the 20th we dropped the puppy off at the Bluff Boarding Kennel. This is a great place to kennel your dog. Angel was very well taken care of and her dish was cleaned everyday. We checked in at the BOQ in the afternoon and then headed to our room to unpack.
We drove over to housing. We were hoping for a list of recommended apartments in the area based off our needs and wants. When stopping off at the housing center, much to our surprise, we found out that there were two houses on base that were available. When checking out the housing website two months prior there was a waiting list of three months. I also made a call to housing and was told the same thing. There was one house that was available for an immediate move in and another would not be available for two more weeks. We went to check out the unit that was available right away and decided we liked it. We went back to fill out all the paperwork: housing application, give a current LES and Page 2. With that all taken care of we were given the address and the number to contact cable. We called Time Warner and made an appointment for them to hook up cable in the house. Then it was off to the Vet on base. Needed to get paperwork filled out for the dog so that she would be registered here on base. We set her up with her first appointment. Then we made an appointment for her spay. This needed to be done at the Humane Society. The vet is not equipped to handle surgery of that nature. We headed off to the NEX Furniture Gallery and purchased our first washer and dryer. Made the appointment for set-up and delivery.
In the evening I called Allison. She is a consultant for L.K. Jordan & Associates. I made an appointment with her later in the afternoon. The appointment was to go in for an interview. When going in for the interview I filled out an application, went over rules and regulations for the company, safety standard video and met with Allison. I wanted to set myself up with a job as soon as possible. I didn’t want to end up sitting on my butt like I did in Pensacola.
The 21st we explored the base and checked out some of the town. On the 22nd we checked out of the BOQ, picked up the puppy from the kennel and headed back to Pensacola. A very productive 2 days!

Monday, May 19, 2003

First Visit Home

May 2nd Nathan received word that his request for leave went through. We made the 24-hour journey back to Vermont on May 5th. We stopped the evening of May 5th in Charlotte, NC. May 6th we made it to my nana and papa’s house for the evening and May 7th we made it to Vermont. Katy, my sister, and her boyfriend Kenny graduate from College, Norwich University on May 11th or Mother’s Day. Katy graduated with a degree in Computer Science and Kenny graduated with a degree in Sports Medicine. We made the return drive back to Pensacola, FL on May 15th. Spent the night of the 15th in Roanoke, Virginia and made it to Pensacola on the afternoon of the 16th.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Pensacola Review

With the ten months that we were in Pensacola I never got a job. I looked in the local newspaper, Pensacola News Journal and online at Monster, Yahoo Hotjobs and Monster FlipDog. I also went for help at Fleet Family and Support. I also should have gone to an employment agency but I thought that I had enough resources at this point and I only thought that we would be in Pensacola for 6 months. I wasn’t expecting to be there for almost a year.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Intermediate Training

Intermediates started March 30th, 2003. The training schedule for intermediate flight is Radio Instruments, Visual Navigation, Night Flights, Simulators and Cross Country Trip. Nathan did his cross-country flight with his on wing instructor. They left on April 24th and got back on the 28th. They stopped off at New Brunswick, ME to check out the P-3 squadron. From there they headed to Burlington, VT to spend time with Nathan’s family in Williamstown, VT. From Williamstown, VT they headed to Eastern Iowa to spend time with his on wings’ friends and family and then back to NAS Whiting Field. Nathan finished with intermediates on April 29th.

Monday, April 28, 2003

First Holidays

Of course there are holidays and time off. Nathan had a couple of days off for Thanksgiving and Easter. We spent Thanksgiving and Easter at the apartment with some of Nathan’s buddies from school. Dinner was great and we had fun. Nathan had two weeks off for Christmas break so we decided to go to Disney World. We bought 5-day park hopper passes from ITT or Information, Tickets and Travel at Corry Station in the Navy Shopping Mall. We had a great time away from studying and spending our first Christmas as husband and wife together. We also spent some time with my uncle and his girlfriend and some time with Nathan’s grandmother and her friend. Both Nathan’s grandmother and my uncle live about an hour from Orlando.

Monday, April 21, 2003

New Addition

A new addition to the family, a 4-month-old, female Jack Russell Terrier. Her name is Angel and Trina & Josh gave her to us. They knew that with their next duty station it would be hard to get into the section of Navy housing that allowed pets. She has been a great companion. She was my guard dog when Nathan was gone on his cross-country flight and she definitely keeps us busy when we are home during the day.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Nathan's B-day

Nathan’s 27th birthday. I ordered a Baskin Robbins Ice-Cream Cake earlier in the week and invited our friends, Trina and Josh, over for dinner. This evening I went and picked up the cake. I prepared one of our favorite meals and waited for the arrival of our friends. After dinner Nathan opened all his presents and then we had cake. It was nice to share an evening with friends and to celebrate another birthday.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Everyone else is doing it! I decided to start my own blog. I have had a livejournal account for some time, but I have not been very happy with the format or speed. It is time to give blogging a try.

I don't like this slow and limited online version of a blog. So I am attempting to setup my own server running movabletype software.

Bye bye blogspot. I bought my own domain name and the server is up and running!

How quickly time flies. Been

How quickly time flies. Been busy finishing up primary flight training. Am now into intermediates and very happy with how things have turned out. I went through selection a few weeks ago and somehow managed to get my first choice. I will be flying the P-3 Orion for the Navy. I decided against jets because I did not want to go back to the ship. Decided against helo's since I didn't want to fly an aircraft that doesn't glide. Needless to say with the War and numerous accidents the entire family was pleased with the results. Many of my friends did not get what they wanted. No one complains though. I don't know where my luck comes from.

Finally caught up on things. My night VNAV (visual navigation) was canceled so I have the weekend off. Tactical formation flights monday. That should be fun. Preparing for my Cross Country flight up to ME & VT. Just stopping home for one day. Have to make the rounds visiting all the family.

Monday, March 31, 2003

Choice

Nathan finished primary March 20th, 2003. He put his choices in for aircraft, E-6B, P-3 and jets. March 27th was selection day and Nathan called with the great news that he got P-3’s. There were no slots open for E-6B. We were very excited!

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Tricare Dental

There were many choices that I had for a TRICARE Dental Program. I asked one of the other navy wives that had lived in the area for a while for a recommendation. She recommended to me Dr. Posch on Davis Highway. She is prior military so she understands how the system works.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Reader's Digest Humor in Uniform Submission

As a student naval aviator in primary flight training I was required to study and prepare for several hours before every flight. This arduous task has become very monotonous. The stack of manuals and publications that are part of the required reading could cure any case of insomnia. I was pleasantly surprised when I read the following definition in my Contact Flight Training Instruction while preparing for my first precision aerobatics flight.

Acrobatics- something that circus performers do while wearing brightly colored tights. NOT to be confused with aerobatics.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Time Flies

Hard to believe things go by so quickly. Finished up my aerobatics and have also completed formation flying. That was a blast. I got a great partner and we enjoyed it. One of my instructors (the only female instructor in the squadron)told me I was unique. She said unlike most people I don't seem to get uncomfortable when I get in close ;-P Parade position for formations is 3 ft between wingtips, 10 ft step-down, and 10 ft nose to tail. I am now back in ground school for radio instruments a break from flying. A week of class, a week of simulators, then back in the plane.

Friday, January 24, 2003

Time to go to the Gym

It was a good day to fly. My instructor pilot for the day was also prior enlisted. Swapped some sea stories. Boosted my spirit because it reminded me how good of a life I really have now. Too bad it takes reminders. Another check-ride and solo tomorrow (if I pass the check-ride).

Quote of the day: From the wife when I picked her up and carried her over to the futon:
"Why is your face getting red?" (she ways 105 lbs. soaking wet) I need to get to the Gym!

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Going Solo

Finally, after 3 weeks of warm-ups and check-rides I completed my solo today. I had a warm-up check-ride this morning then the solo in the afternoon. The standby airport was shutdown when I soloed. Had no idea why until I got home. A civilian helicopter crashed and the pilot was killed there. The wife got upset over it. I forgot to write an entry yesterday. Nothing to report really. The winds were gusting up to 25 knots. Hard freeze warning in effect past 2 days. Actually dropping well below zero. Into the teens. I need sleep badly. The "worst" part of my training should be over. I start aerobatics monday. Looking forward to the more laid-back training atmosphere. At least I hope it gets better.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Another Rainy Day

Solo flight canceled again. This means I have to do a warm-up before I can do the solo. How annoying. Made it to the Gym today while I waited for my flight to be canceled. Read a reader's digest while on the bike then played racquetball by myself, how boring! Need to find a racquetball partner.

Quote of the day: I believe in acts of random kindness.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Solo Cancelled

My morning solo was canceled due to weather. Same for me afternoon aerobatics. If I fail to get my solo in tomorrow I will have to do another check-ride (5 day window between check-ride and solo). I do not want to have to go through another check-ride.

Quote from the wife: "eat my dust bunnies"

A definition from Contact FTI (flight training instruction)
Acrobatics- Something that circus performers do while wearing brightly colored tights. NOT to be confused with aerobatics.