B-17 – The Flying Fortress

What a weekend for us to remember.  We were blessed to get to a chance to fly in this plane along the beautiful coast of So Cal on Saturday afternoon.

The forward fuselage and the # 3 engine.

We were really looking forward to taking flight in this Flying Fortress.

The “Nine O Nine”

Quite a crowd gathered to watch the planes.

Here she is racing down the runway for takeoff!

We arrived a couple of hours before our flight such that we could watch the mighty  take flight.

Here’s the P-51 Mustang AKA “Betty Jane” speeding for takeoff!

Hey Betty Jane!  Nice of you to flyby!

I had the privilege of visiting with this retired pilot of the B-24.  He was stationed in Africa, then England and flying the B-24 at the early age of 22.  His daughter brought him out to watch his baby fly.  This warmed my heart.

Note:  This is the only restored flying B-24 in the world.

The B-24

B – 24 – The “Big Guns”

B-24 – Heading for the runway!

Look OUT!  Incoming B – 17!

Here we are (hubby and his buddy from work) getting ready to board!  There were a total of 8 passengers on our flight.

Fasten those seat-belts!  We’re in for the ride of our lives!

All set.

I’m ready as ever.

Earplugs going in.  Thanks to hubby’s buddy for bringing some for us too.

The crew “up front” giving the hand-signal that it’s time to get up off the floor and explore!  Woo Hoo, let’s go!

The Port Waist Gun – My seat (on the floor) was just below this terminator.

Starboard Waist Gun

My hubby on “The Catwalk”

Our Pilot and Co-Pilot at the Controls

We crawled down below the pilots and into the Nose Turret!  That’s the Bombadier’s Seat.  This was the place to be!  I even got a kiss in here.  🙂

I tried to imagine what it must have been like to be in one of these planes fighting for freedom and our lives.

Nose Turret, Gun and Ammo

Nose Turret Ammo

The view was simply amazing up here!

Hubby sitting in the Bombadier’s Seat


Horizontal Bombs in vertical racks – I don’t want a piece of you!

Having the Best Bad Hair Day of my life!  In the Upper Turret.

Hubby has the Starboard Waist Gun under control!

His buddy gives hubby a rest.

Got Ammo?

Ammo, got ya covered!

Port Waist Gun – Heading back to the airport.

What a treat!

We truly had the time of our lives.

A silhouette of hubby taking a picture of the B-17 after we landed.

What an amazing day, a day we will never forget.

There aren’t enough words or pictures to express the high we were all on long after this flight.   Let’s just say, we hope to do this again one day.

Blessings – Debbie

It's Friday

Good afternoon!  I hope your day is moving along in a nice direction.

We had an amazing morning.  Of course we don’t remember much about it as we got to sleep in.  It’s the sleep that was so good for us and I can’t think of a better way to wake up, than being fully rested.

Hubby ended up having to go into work for a few hours.  So I filled in the time by giving myself a pedicure.

Last evening was when I stripped the old polish and prepared my toes for a fresh polish today.

This is the polish I picked up at the grocery store yesterday.  I’ve had such a desire for this kind of green lately.  Only it looked prettier in the bottle.

Is it growing on me?  Do I need a little shade darker?  For whatever reason, it really is starting to grow on me.  A friend suggested a pretty white flower on the big toe.  I think that would make everything better.

After I finished polishing, I ran over to the grocery to redeem a $10 coupon before it expires this weekend.

And in a few min, I’ll be firing up the grill as we have another chicken prepared for the rotisserie.  I have dinner on the brain and I can’t wait!

Cheers to Friday!

Blessings – Debbie

My Very Own Personal Trainer

Top o the morning to you!  It’s such a pretty day and I’m looking forward to a lot of fun this weekend with the hubs.

Today is my day to do the finishing touches on the house, laundry and food shopping, as tomorrow is hubby’s Friday off.  I could go for these nice long weekends every week, but I gladly take these every other Friday off work weeks.

This gives a good idea of what we were up to last evening.  And many thanks to hubby for nailing this amazing set on Craigslist for a steal.

He was set on rubber ends and he didn’t stop until he found just what he was looking for.  I also love that the set came with this dandy double-decker 5′ long rack.  He’s looking to add heavier weights for himself in the future.

This set came from a gym that went under.  *sad*  But we’re happy to take over this commercial gym equipment.  🙂

The adjustable seated incline bench was a major bonus as we went to pick up the dumbbells and there was a bench too!

I’m happy as a clam following hubby’s instructions.  I don’t think this line-up was part of the instruction for today.  But who doesn’t like a line-up?

So last evening, he had me lifting in sets of 20 with the 3 pound weights.  He showed me several ways to lift for all the different arm and shoulder muscles.

He’s well aware of how my upper body could be out of commission for days if I were to hit it hard.  I love the way my baby rolls, always looking out for me.

So today I woke and didn’t so much as feel a teensy muscle ache.

He bumped it up for me today, but just a little.

I’m so in love my trainer!  He’s the BEST!

Blessings – Debbie

What I Consider a VIP

Good afternoon!  It’s that kind of afternoon when all feels right with the world.  Birds are chirping, it’s such a pretty day and after the pool man leaves, I may go soak in the sunshine (with my 30 sunblock) for a spell.

These pictures have nothing to do with this post, but they were taken during my stroll in the garden this morning.

It’s also an exciting day because hubby and I are looking to pick up a dumbbell set complete with a rack this evening.  I wonder how sore my arms will feel in the morning?

We’ve come such a long way in the last 9 months and it’s only getting better on the health front.

Although, Pinterest is killing me with all the things I find that need pinning.  Truth be told, most of the sweet/not so healthy things I pin, I think about using around the holidays or special parties/events.

Speaking of holidays, I’m happy to report that we haven’t baked anything since last Christmas.  I’m pretty impressed.

That’s not to say we haven’t had our sweet tooth taken care of every now and then.  And there is no shame allowed when we agree to a sweet treat/unhealthy meal fix.  In doing those things, we’ve found that our bodies are so forgiving after the splurge.  And we find that sometimes it’s just good for the soul to get it out of the system.

To celebrate every pound down as a (VIP) Very Important Pound, is huge.  Each pound down is a victory, worthy of celebration!

Blessings – Debbie

My Kind of Shopping

So a girl walks into Bloomingdale’s.  Ok, I walk into Bloomingdale’s; it’s where I parked at the far end of the mall.  It’s a place I don’t recall spending much time.

Clearly I don’t spend much time there as I was completely clueless when I took note of the cutest little summer dress begging me to take it home.  The next thing I checked was the price tag dangling innocently from the sleeve.  The price = $280!  Why, I could nearly buy a whole wardrobe for the price of one dress.  Well I do believe my heart did skip a beat.  Then every bit of cuteness turned out to be, not so cute on that little number.  As they say, beauty is only skin deep.  And there was no desire to frolic thru the clearance rack.  None…zero…zilch!

As I clutched my purse a little tighter, I made my way thru the stiff air and maze of perfume, cosmetics and shoes until I could finally see the opening that lead to the mall.  Finally, a sense of serenity enveloped me as I felt in a place I belonged.

Soon I found myself at ease as I found new and wonderful things to bring home from Forever 21 and H & M.

This is the little summer dress I brought home.

I found it at H & M.

At this price, there’s no need to wait for a sale to pick it up.

For that matter, I don’t believe I could afford to make the dress.  SOLD!

It’s the everyday prices I can live with.  The clothes are too cute and totally disposable when they go out of style.  That’s my kind of shopping.

Blessings – Debbie

Monday to Monday

Good Monday afternoon!  Where are the days of spring going?  That’s what I want to know.

Gone are the days and weeks that seem to take forever to move forward.  And welcome to the months that seem to turn the daily pages of time at record speeds.

Last week this time I was admiring these guys that came in for a little visit.

Last week this time I was shopping for more clothes.  I didn’t find a thing last week.

Last week I admired how far some of our fruit and flowers have come along this spring.

Last Friday, I was thankful for the sunshine burning off the haze.  And very thankful I turned away the candy bowl at our auto mechanics.

On Saturday I was thankful for a pretty day in the backyard.  A day we were looking forward to.  A day where we had planned out our evening meal a week ahead of time.

Our meal – From a 24 hour citrus brine (all citrus and rosemary handpicked from the garden) to the dinner table, our meal Saturday evening was so yummy!  I think the hardest part was allowing it to rest for 15 min at the end.

Hubby and I were also able to firm up summer vacation plans.  Airline tickets were purchased, hotels were booked, rental cars were reserved and fun things were planned.

And here I am, back to Monday.  In true Monday fashion (like last week) I went back for more at the shopping mall.  Unlike last week, today I came home with 4 brand new outfits.  One being a dress I need for a wedding this summer.  It feels so good to have this behind me and on to the next thing on the agenda.

I’m thankful for a day well spent.  Now I’m considering a little afternoon siesta before hubby gets home from work.

‘Til next time,

Blessings – Debbie

At The Beach

When friends talk of going to the beach for a little fun and a picnic lunch, we take things serious.

My little tote held my packed lunch on the inside complete with ice to keep things chilled.  And the pocket on the front held my sunscreen, phone and everything else I needed.

I arrived a bit earlier than my friend.  The sun was working hard on the coast to burn off the haze.  It was so crazy as it was beautiful sunny skies just miles from here.

This is the spot where I landed.

Dominique is his name, we became really good buddies.  He came up to me saying “off”.  He wanted help taking off his little jacket.  He was such a little cutie pie.

Soon my friend arrived and we were in the full swing of beach mode.  Our little picnic lunch was enjoyed around 11:30.  There was a little catching up to be done, mags to look at and visits in-between.  I think the pounding of the surf was one of our favorite things about today.  It was soothing, which made for one of those nice relaxing kind of days.

What not to do at the beach.  Do not leave your belongings and food hanging out unattended.  These guys will rob you before you have a chance to shoo them away.  In the end, the girls had no food left and their drinks were all knocked over.  At least they came back to this spot laughing at the mess left behind.

Yup – he’s looking pretty guilty to me.  We even saw one of these guys take a sandwich that was in a ziplock bag from a couple who were right there with their belongings.  They were not paying attention and the little rascal reached right into their beach bag and stole the whole sandwich.  The guy was too slow, but he did get to witness the birds feast on his lunch.  Oh, he did yell too, but by then, it was a little too late.  And I don’t think he hurt the birds feelings either.

Before we knew it, it was 3 o’clock, the time for us to wrap it up and call it a day.  It was one of those moments where we just wanted to hit the snooze button on the time and hunker there a little longer.

What makes it all better, is the fact that we’ve already scheduled our next day at the beach.

Blessings – Debbie

Down Another Size in the Fitting Room

As hubby stated this morning “April showers bring May flowers” and that is exactly how our night and day turned out to be.

I dodged the rain to take a couple of shots before starting the day.

Coffee and yogurt were at the top of my list this morning and so was something else.  It just seemed like a perfect day to be at the mall.

So the mall it was.  I started an early search for a dress to wear to a wedding in a couple of months.

I would love to find something on the long side, with a little swing in it for dancing with hubby.  But I didn’t come up with anything today.

However, I did snag a swimsuit and that makes me happy!

Cheers to summer fun, weight loss and getting into smaller sizes in the fitting room.  Sizes I haven’t seen in a very long time.  And for the first time out shopping, I had no clue what size I was and didn’t know where to begin.  It soon became fact that I had indeed gone down more than I expected.  Look out size 6, I’m coming for you!

I just hit the goal my Registered Dietician wanted me to reach.  A goal she thought would be reasonable to maintain for life.  I didn’t know how I would feel about this number until I arrived.  Now that I’m here, I still feel the need to press on for another 20 pounds.  We’ll see how it goes.

One thing I do know, I want good health every day, for the rest of my life.

Blessings – Debbie

Root Beer

It’s one of those drinks I love but rarely have.

In fact this last week is the first I’ve had one since the summer of 2009.  Yes, I remember, It was when I was invited to our neighbors home in NY.  And I was served my absolute favorite brand of Root Beer.  Stewart’s Root Beer to be exact.   Wish they sold them out here.

Then last week while food shopping, it was as though the IBC Root Beer couldn’t get into my cart fast enough.

So last week became my official Root Beer week.  While visiting my girlfriend, she served up a Shasta and then just the other day my Facebook friend in Germany mentioned having the treat of a Root Beer.  Just the words Root Beer sent me to the kitchen to pop the top of a fresh bottle.


This morning, I was down to my very last bottle.  And popped the top just because it seemed the thing to have on this beautiful Monday.

There was even a day over the weekend when I searched online the top brand names of Root Beer.  I had no idea there were so many highly rated brands.

A&W was what we had at home back when I was a kid.  Not often, but enough for me to remember exactly what all was involved in making our floats.  I don’t dare go down that float path, it could be very dangerous.

And today, Mug’s Root Beer made its way into our home.  I asked the question on Facebook “what’s your favorite Root Beer”?  I got a lot of IBC replies.  But one of my friends said “Mug’s”.  So Mug’s it is this time around.

This week alone, I’ve tried the IBC, Shasta and today Mug Root Beer.  And I have no clue which one is at the top.  Perhaps it’s time for a line of Root Beer shots.  Then again, after this next round, I think I’ll call it a day and let the Root Beer go away for a while.  But I’m sure enjoying it while it lasts.

Blessings – Debbie

Worlds Apart and We Meet Again

Last evening, hubby and I had the privilege of seeing our friend from Seoul South Korea.  For dinner we dined at a Brazilian Restaurant just outside of LA.

We are still in awe of the odds of ever seeing him again after all these years.  WOW!

An after dinner shot of the boys.

An after dinner shot of the three of us outside the restaurant.

When it came time to talk about our sweet tooth, Coldstone was mentioned.  Little did we know that Coldstone is popular in South Korea nowadays.  So we all agreed that it was the perfect place to go.  We’re on our way.

Decisions, oh the decisions we must make.

But it didn’t take long for us figure out.

I ordered a small, I did.  And I liked to have a fit seeing how huge it turned out to be.  It was so big that it had to go into the next size cup.  I was able to down just over 1/2 the thing and the rest had to go in the trash.

Our evening outdoors was so much fun.

And I still have to pinch myself to think we literally live worlds apart, while trying to fathom that our paths could even cross again.

There was discussion that he’s doing business in the LA area and will more than likely return.  We sure hope to see him again one day.

As we parted and drove away, I wondered how long it would be ’til we meet again.  Or will we ever see each other again?  Will we ever make it back there for a visit, like we would like to do one day?  How many of our old friends from there will we be able to see again?  I close with so many fond memories and my wish is that we are able to cross paths time and time again.

We feel so blessed to have had this opportunity.

Blessings – Debbie

The Car gets Beautified

I did a whole lot of sitting while having my car all done up nice and pretty for our date this evening.

The car was washed and the tires are all nice and shiny.  The oil was changed.  Actually, the change was a little overdue and I figured today was as good a day as any to go ahead and get that done.

But you know what always gets me?  It always gets me that the guys changing the oil always try to rake me over the coals.  ALWAYS!  Never fails.  They always find some sort of filter that is dirty and needs changing.  It’s always something.  And I hate the word always but in this case, it never fails.

So today, before they even opened the hood, I mean right off the bat when the guy wrote down the mileage, he told me something or other that I needed to have done.  My response “My husband only wants the $24.00 oil change this time.”  So away he went to get down to business.

As if I didn’t already make myself clear, in he came with two more things that needed to be done.  He said “miss, I know your husband is trying to save on the cost of the oil change, but you really need ___________ and ___________ done.”  I can’t even remember what he said, totally over my head.  But I could have predicted that.  My kind reply  “If you would sir, please make a note of everything on the bill so that I can have my husband look into it.”  Man I’m getting good.  That was easy and I don’t have to sit there making one excuse after another.  And now I have his remarks on the bill so hubby can really check into it.  There is no way on earth I would remember everything they try to shove down my throat.  Not a chance.

The best part of the whole thing is this.  I got to share on the blog the thing that gets me every time at the oil place.  Now I feel I’ve been to group therapy and didn’t have to pay a dime.  I feel better already.

And now my friends, the car is all nice and pretty with a fresh oil change and a full tank of gas.  This means we’re ready to go on a fun date tonight!  Now it’s time for me to think about getting myself ready for a fun night on the town.

Blessings – Debbie

A Play Day

It’s what my girlfriend and I needed.  A nice play day.

This was a pic taken just before I left for our date.  Then of course I had to change into some short sleeves thinking this would be too hot.  I was so glad I did.

I keep thinking I should do a full shot to show off my weight loss.  One day soon, I’ll have to post.

Plans were made to visit the beach.  But our high of 68 and the fact that it is spring break sort of put a damper on our beach plans.  So off to San Diego we went as we decided on a little gallery shopping.

We made it into one gallery, but the sad part was that most shops didn’t open ’til 11AM.  Impatience won and we decided to follow our nose (in the car) until we found the perfect place to stop for lunch.

It wasn’t happening in the area we were in, so my girlfriend suggested we drive out to Shelter Island.  She recommended Bali Hai, a place to savor Hawaiian cuisine with a tropical ambiance.  It was just what the Dr. ordered.

Lunch was better than I could imagine and the bread was over the top hot and yummy.

The view looking out to the spectacular San Diego skyline.  We both agreed this was a peaceful place to dine and visit.

We had several thoughts of what to do after lunch.  As it turns out, visiting in my girlfriends condo won, hands down.  This is the amazing view from my seat where we enjoyed a nice visit all afternoon.

When friends come together, it doesn’t matter what we do, it’s the time we share together that means the most.  I look forward to many more play dates in the future.

Grr and grrrr for my cell pix of us not turning out.  Next time, I’m going to make a point of taking a quality pic of the two of us together.

Blessings – Debbie

The Pictures are in the Mail

THE (family and Sr) PICTURES ARE IN THE MAIL!  Yes, I’m yelling!  Would love to yell this from the mountain top, I’m that happy!

I had a number of issues to deal with between Christmas and the 1st of April.  Issues with my computer, issues with running out of space on the computer (I have never done that before) and issues, oh the issues.  We also had a big move somewhere in the middle of all of that.  All the while, hubby continued to bail me out of trouble.

Finally, the pictures that were chosen, were compiled and DVD’s were burned over the weekend.

Hubby gathered the DVD labels and the stomper and suggested I make a nice graphic for them.

The graphics were made.

When it came time to print the labels Sunday evening, we hit yet another issue.  The printer flat-out, broke.  We agreed we would nail a new printer Monday evening and all would be right with the world and the pictures would be in the mail by Tuesday.

Turns out, we did go to buy our new printer, but hubby felt too rushed into making a decision on the spot.

The next plan was to drive back home, log on and e-mail the pix to hubby’s work.  Then drive over and print them out.

So that’s exactly what we did.  Hubby printed them out from work, made the postage purchase online and slapped that on the box of DVD’s.  To top it off, the box was dropped it in the mail Monday night sometime around 10:30 pm.

And that my friends makes me and hubby so very happy.

Blessings – Debbie

Cajun Shrimp Toes

It may not be what it sounds like, but it sure is a pretty color.  Meet my new polish.  My toes are beach ready this week.

The polish this week turns out to be the brand OPI and color “Cajun Shrimp”.

The components used for the Monday morning home pedi.  I think my pumice slid out of the picture.  But it did make a squeak of an appearance there on the far right.

Clearly the star of the show.  Need I say more?

A few do’s and do not’s that I’ve made a note of in times past.

  • Do make sure it’s a beautiful day when painting those toes – Check, lovely sunny 71 degree day = Perfect polish weather.
  • Do polish the toes in the morning – Check
  • Do not polish late afternoon/evening – See below
  • If I do polish in the evening, make sure it’s a night where I will be up all night long.  And if I do go to bed, just know those toes will turn out with sheet lines all over them come morning – Not today!  But I can’t say the same the last time I polished them.
  • Which reminds me, do not wear socks or shoes all day.  Hate it when I do that – No need for socks on this beautiful day.
  • After polishing, make sure you prop up for a little while to give ample drying time – I propped up an hour longer than I intended.  I got caught up on some much-needed blog reading and time slipped away.  Double bonus!  I think this is going to be one of those home success polish stories to go down in the history books, for me.

In other news:  Our weekend was very low-key.

  • Hubby was sick all weekend.  His head was full of a cold and he just didn’t have the energy to do much.
  • I worked on editing pictures and played in Lightroom a lot.
  • Our printer broke – I think we’re getting a new one today.  Yay!
  • And we talked a lot about our summer plans and trips we plan to make this year.  That was a lot of fun.
  • I picked up some graham crackers thinking they would be a fun snack.  Turns out I can’t control them past the just a snack part.  No more grahams in the house when this box is gone!
  • Turns out I’ve opted for grahams instead of breakfast the last two mornings.  They are quick, easy and oh so yummy with my cup of coffee.  Big No-No!
  • Grahams and all, I still managed to stay within my calories every day.  I just hate it that I would substitute my fruit/veggies for a graham.  For shame!  So yeah, no more grahams, for reals.

And now I’ve blinked and it’s 2 pm on this beautiful Monday afternoon.  Where is Monday going?  It’s time I get the rest of the day in gear, run to the grocery and meet up with the hubby (later) for a little printer shopping date.

Blessings – Debbie