The Artichoke experiment

I love to cook, and I am pretty good at it. I always took pride in the fact that my family ate food that was made from scratch completely and home made versus processed. I cooked great food for the soul but not so great for the body. I am now facing a new challenge to learn a new way of cooking. From scratch is great but healthy and lean from scratch is even better. In my attempt for healthy meals I made some immediate adjustments, I bought a new cookbook, switched from vegetable oil to olive oil, I bought only white meats such as fish and chicken as well as turkey and I began a search for meals that include more veggies. In my new veggie search I decided to tackle the Artichoke.
I never ever made anything with an artichoke, fresh or otherwise. So I did some research called on the wisdom of some of my friends and tackled  the vegetable. After cutting some of the leaf tips off I steamed it and then I cut it open. Yikes the thing had hair, I was forewarned by my friend so I was king of prepared. I cut up the cleaned artichoke
I cut up some fresh chicken breasts and cooked the in 1 tbs of olive oil just until slightly browned.
After my chicken was cooked I added brown rice broth and the cut up artichoke. I let the whole thing simmer covered for about 40 minutes, to make sure my rice was cooked and that the artichokes were soft.

After sprinkling the meal with low fat Parmesan cheese we dug it. It was ok, I was not thrilled with the flavor or the texture. It was just ok. I guess I am excited that I managed the artichoke ok. I am still on a lookout for new recipes that are healthy and yummy. It might be tougher than I though.

My father in law sent this to me - VERY VERY FUNNY

A Pilot Father's Tough Love...

Most people today think it improper to discipline children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have had one of 'those moments.'

Since I'm a pilot, one method that I have found very effective is for me to just take the child for a short flight during which I say nothing and give the child the opportunity to reflect on his or her behavior.

I don't know whether it's the steady vibration from the engines, or just the time away from any distractions such as TV, video games, computer, iPod, etc.

Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our flight together. I believe that eye to eye contact during these sessions is an important element in achieving the desired results.

I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique...

Should work with your grandkids also.

Baby quilt

Week 25 is here and after looking at the calendar with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas so very close to my due date we decided that it is time to do the nursery. I chose my colors, they are lilac purple and light green. Mr Right is in the process of painting the nursery and I worked on the little ladies quilt today.
I started off with 5 fabrics, a little flannel for the bottom sheet four quilting fabrics for the top sheet and batting. All the fabrics cost a little over $60.00 which is not too bad since I will refinish two valances, a bumper, make a quilt and hope to have enough left to make a crib skirt.
I searched on  YouTube different tutorials on how to make a quilt. My biggest concern was that this was my very 1st time quilting and I really wanted the quilt to turn out nice. I was scared that if I just made it the traditional way and made the top sheet and then tried to combine the fabrics it would get bunched up and not turn out so well. In my search I came across this awesome video on quilting as you go. Check it out this lady is great and she made it so easy.
I went ahead and remeasured and cut all my fabric swatches.
2 squares in 3 fabrics (total 6 squares) 12.5 inches
for the boarder I cut 6 sections 12.5 inches by 5.5 inches
for the tops of the boarder I cut 2 sections 34.5 inches

After I had my fabricks all cut I sewed the two squares and two boarder pieces (one on each side) into three strips. I ironed my strips to make sure that when I line them up they are perfect. And then I began assembling my quilt.

 I laied out the bottom flannel sheet, then the batting and then the 1st boarder strip. Because I wanted the edge to be a part of the bottom I left a little extra and folded the bottom sheet over the boarder strip to get a nice edge. I pined it all together and ran it through my sewing machine.

I lined up and pined the next layer

 and sewed it on. After I sewed it on I went ahead and ironed it to make sure that all of my seams look good. I repeated the process until all three strips and the boarder were sewen on.


After I had the entire quilt assembled I trimmed off the access batting and flannel, leaving enough flannel to fold over for a nice edge and pined it in place. I sewed the edge on and here is my completed quilt.

The entire project took about four hours and I love how it turned out. I can't wait to finish the nursery so that I can see how it all comes together. Stay tuned for more pictures. I am doing the nursery on a budget so I will share as we go how much we spent on what.

Why I have not had much to say

It has been very difficult to write when my days and nights have been preoccupied with caring a baby.  It has been a rough 22 weeks during which I struggled with a lot. I am very excited to be pregnant, I am even more excited to have made it the 22 weeks. The 1st trimester has been very rough, plagued with fears of miscarriage that drove me to insomnia which was compounded by a nonstop morning sickness. I counted minutes, hours and days to the moment that we were out of the woods which came about 6 weeks ago. I struggled very much and still do with enjoying this pregnancy, experiencing a miscarriage once let alone twice definitely takes a toll on the innocence of never having that experience. When I was pregnant with my son I feared a little and I worried but not to this extent, I didn’t truly comprehend the hell that going through a miscarriage is. 
Cont. In the life of the Whirly Wife

A neat film about aviation

A friend of mine's husband participated in a competition to put together a short film of why he became a pilot. Not only is this a really neat over view of history of aviation but it shows his family members traveling through time as aviation grew and developed. I hope you enjoy the film and share it. If you like it hit like, if he wins by obtaining the most likes he will be able to have a diner with the CEO of his company. Pretty cool opportunity.

Why I became a pilot - VIDEO

His is the 1st video 1:15 minues long.

Picknic at Discovery Green in Houston

Today we had an appointment down town and we decided to stop by the Discovery Green on the way home and have a little picnic. It is a really pretty area with seating, water features, and wide open spaces for play, there are even little in closed yards for your doggies. Even though it was a hot day the park was comfortable in the shade and the kids that took part in the water play really enjoyed the splash pad and the water feature - there was a lot of squealing and laughter. I can definitely see it as a great place for fairs and events or just a little escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Very cute place to visit.

Why I want to be a pilot

Kids have the most idealistic points of view. This little article is funny. Enjoy.

When life hands you lemons get a puppy

2012 has been crappy to say the least. We have lost three grandparents and an aunt in a span of 6 months and Mr. Right has been sick and out of commission for a while now. Staying positive has been a challenge to say the least. Yet it is in human nature to look for the good not just at the bad.

I try to focus on the good things that are coming, when they will get here I don’t know but I know that there are things in the works for us and we just need to be patient. While we wait it is very hard to stay focused on the good.  I keep listing in my mind all the wonderful things in our lives like the fact that we have a beautiful healthy son who is just the best, we have a gorgeous house, we have genuine, caring friends and a loving supportive family. Sometimes those pep talks are just not enough, and the bad overshadows the good. The mood is sour and it is hard to place a smile on even though I know that that is exactly what my family needs from me.
Cont. In the life of the Whirly Wife

Children - Survey - *NEW

Being a parent is the most interesting, stressful, and rewarding job I have ever had. It is a job where you get paid with hugs and kisses and you feel your way through it, hoping that the report card or evaluation you receive in 20 years is a good one.  It is a harder job yet when you have a nutty schedule. There have been many books written about children, and their behaviors many suggest that kids thrive on routine, and that lack of routine can lead to some behavioral issues. Since I don’t have a child psychology degree I will not venture into the theories on routine and behavior, I can share with you what some of the wives including myself noticed in our children. A very wise girlfriend that I have, and value said to me before my son was born: “Aggie, every child is different and you as a parent will know what works for your child and your family, no one else can tell you how to raise him or what he needs because no one lives in your house and knows what your family needs. As long as you do things that are best for him and your family as a whole you will be fine”. She is a very smart woman and one I hold dear to my heart, five years into being a mom I can tell you that her advice was priceless. Keep this advice in mind when you read this take what you can use and leave the rest.
Look in Survey for the remainder of the post under section Children marked *NEW

Chicken Pot Pie

Sometimes comfot food is what the soul needs, so I made a chicken pot pie een tough its summer it is a feel good meal in our home. Check out the recepe in Meals for Two.

Veggie soup

I was craving some good healthy veggie soup. It turned out so great that hubby sang its praises and he is not a big veggie fan. Here is the recipe it is easy and yummy and makes alot so you can freeze some for later. Meals for Two

“It’s not how the dream is supposed to end..”

We lost a pilot this week in a fatal offshore accident. The information about the accident that has been released is very limited and the pilot’s identity was not made public. I was torn and still am if I should write about his death. After thinking on it for few days I decided that taking few minutes to reflect upon his death and sharing the emotions that rip through the company pilots and wives alike are worth sharing.

When an accident takes place especially one as horrific as this one, when a man gives the ultimate sacrifice and loses his life while doing his job it leaves everyone shaken. There is not much speculation of why he died. Sure we want to know if it was mechanical or pilot error, but we all know that either way it was an accident, because no man gets up in the morning planning on making a mistake or having his aircraft fail and not fighting for survival until his last breath. So we don’t look to place blame or even hear that it was a mechanical failure. What we all are doing is quietly and anonymously praying and hurting for his lost life and those who were close to him and now are left behind.

Knowing my husband’s company they are doing all they can to help the family, be it a wife with children or parents or siblings to manage somehow through this time.  To pick up the shattered pieces of their life and try to forge forward with his memory in place. He will remain alive in the hearts of those who knew him and loved him and in the hearts and minds of those who only met him in passing.

 I know that there is not much we can do as a community right now to help, we can only stay tuned and mourn the loss of one of our own. Our sadness and the hallo feeling surly does not compare to the feeling his family is experiencing. We only share in a little bit of the sadness and have the what if it was me, what if it was my husband, hovering in our minds. We still see our husbands we still talk to them daily, this man’s family lost that forever. There is nothing that can be said or done to take the feelings of grief away and make it all better, we can’t bring him back, we can only find some comfort in knowing that in his life he got to do what he loved the most.

 One of my husband’s friends said “It’s not how the dream is supposed to end..”

Treasure Hunt

Do you remember those days when you were a kid and the day was just sooo boring. Son had one of those days today. He just could not get it together in the area of entertainment.  The TV was boring, cars were boring, reading was boring, it was sooo boring. So Mr. Right came up with the idea of a treasure hunt.

We drew a map and burned the edges then crumpled it and soaked it in water with tea, then set it out in the sun to dry. In the meantime Mr. Right ran over to the store and for few dollars bought a set of hot wheels cars and went to the spot we agreed on and buried said set of cars, marking the spot with a paper X.  Cont. in  Hanger Rats

Just the two of us

Last month as a gift to each other Mr. Right and I decided to take a cruise to the Western Caribbean. The cruise was our birthday present and it was a four day mini vacation for he and I, son went to stay with Grandma and Pappie. Sometimes when you are married to a pilot it is mighty difficult to carve out time to relax and just be together. When he is flying you clearly are not together and when he comes home daily life takes over and there are things to do activities to attend, and the family as a whole stays busy busy, leaving no time for alone time or romance. so we decided to make time for just us.  Continued in Relationships

Seafood Feast from the Gulf to the table

Yesterday my parents in law and son myself took a trip to Galveston Beach for a day in the sun and relaxation. There is a little market off the port pear called Katie's Seafood Market and I just love it. I shop there every time we go to Galveston and buy fresh flounder and shrimp or other fish. Yesterday we grilled the flounder and some of the shrimp, we made shrimp coctail with the rest of the shrimp. Check out meals for two for the recipes. Yumm yumm.

Adjustment after pilot has been gone also know and 1st day home jitters (Survey)

I wrote about this few times (First day back jitters and Theanti……….cipation as well as He is coming home) and the topic comes up often in the different groups I belong to. How to cope with the jitters?  How to seamlessly slip back into the routine? In the survey I asked how others do it. Is there a secret to having a successful home coming every time?
Continued in Survey

Positives and Chellenges of the pilot lifestyle (survey)

The views are definitly a plus

Why are pilots pilots? There are numerous reasons why people choose their profession and I know that for us my husband loves to fly, with that choice comes a unique lifestyle that allows for travel and presents many opportunities as well as challenges  -so I asked the wives and girlfriends to list the positive and challenging things about this lifestyle. Here is a summary of their take on the pluses and minuses of the lifestyle and job, listed in order of most often mentioned to less often. 
For the entire survey reults please go to Survey and the section has *NEW next to the title

A perfect break

Once in a while you get blessed with a perfect break. The last 7 days were amazing. With this schedule of days or weeks away from home sometimes the home coming is sweet and sometimes it is not as smooth as one would hope. I wrote many times about the preparations that go into Mr. Right coming home in “He is coming home!!!”, I also wrote about the struggle to find a balance in “Folks we are experiencing turbulence due to colliding fronts” and in “Unclear try a different freq.”.  But what does it take to have a perfect break, what is the formula for a perfect week?
Cont in Relationships

Daddy pilot and his Lofty project


Mr. Right loves projects he always is thinking about the next home improvement or yard design. As our boy has been getting more into racing and less into the child's play that included Thomas the Tank Engine we decided that it maybe time to redo his room. Continued in the Hanger Rats including pictures of after.

Spring has Sprung

I have been MIA for a while now and it is not for lack of desire to write but for lack of time. I had a pretty bad infection at the beginning of February and that knocked me out for almost two weeks. Just as I recovered we had a death in our family and thus I took an impromptu trip to PA. Now after being away for almost two weeks I have been home trying to get my bearings and re-enter the routine. Get my bearings ya know. Cont In the life of the Whirly Wife (there is lots and lots of pictures)

Parenting roles

Since I have been on my own for couple of days I have had a lot of time to think. I always try to reflect on my life and my roles to asses if I am where I want to be and if I need to change direction of where my life is going as a mom, wife and professionally. I am not a person who sits down and allows life to float her however it chooses. I make very conscious choices with Mr. Right about where we are headed next as individuals and as a family. Of course sometimes our plans get spoiled and then we reassess the situation, make a new plan. Maybe I am a  control freak, maybe I just want to look back when I am old and know that I have lived my life without regrets – neither is a guarantee and I know that things change thus I reflect upon life often. It may seem like I go back and forth about things at times and I am undecided but I think that is natural.

Pappy and Grandma to the rescue …

So as my previous post suggests I have not been a star mother for the last few days. With Mr. Right gone and me fighting this crap my little man was left to do much of his own entertaining which in turn entertained mommy. By day 3 he was feeling cabin fever and had just about enough of putting on shows for mommy. We managed ok with meals and a bath and all that but it was not fun for the little man. Cont In the Life of the Whirly Wife

It’s not that bad … except for at night

I have been very sick and I will get better but it is hard, pilot is gone for a week and I am on my own. I draw tremendous strength from how sweet he has been even from afar. He texts whenever he is in between flights just to check in on us and calls every night. He talks to me about his day since mine is limited to the couch and our bed as my strength is just not there yet to go prancing around.

Cont In the Life of the Whirly Wife

Helicopter Pilot Poster

So these have been circulating on Facebook form stay at home moms, doctors, home schooling etc. So Mr. Right and I thought that it would be fun to make one for Helicopter Pilots. Here is what we cam up with. Images are courtesy of Google Image.

Easy broccoli soup

 My mother -in-law makes this soup. It is easy and yet so so yummy and healthy too. See the recipe in Meals for Two

Creating fog

This picture was shared by one of the pilots who works for the same company as Mr. Right. These are beach front condos off of the coast of Florida and the fog is coming off of the Gulf of Mexico water. It is amazing to have such a clear visual of how when you get the perfect air temperature and movement mixed with just the right amount of moisture you may see fog forming. Whoever took this picture thank you.

The Scarlett O’Hara approach

Being a mom is the most rewarding, challenging and heart touching job I have ever had, but even from the most amazing job you need a day off now and again.
As a stay at home mom I am the go to person for son and Mr. Right for a lot of things and let’s be honest here I love it. I love the fact that I cook meals and they just can’t get enough of my food. I love cleaning the house and doing laundry (especially now in my fancy shmancy new washer). I love giving hugs and reading stories, kissing booboos and my favorite pass time is cuddles. Those are just few of the things that moms are all about we are nurturers and developers, teachers and moral supporters we are cheerleaders and disciplinarians and sometimes we are just plain human and need a break. Continued In the life of the Whirly Wife

Like off of the set of Twister and a new washer.


So you all probably heard in one way or another that last week Texas had a big bad storm come through. My husband once again has gotten stuck on the oil platform where he works – I wrote about getting stuck in It’seasier when it’s by choice. It was crazy foggy where he was so our high hopes for him coming home were fogged up (he he).

So Tuesday was not such a great day since I was told no go on the coming home, also while doing laundry my washer of 11 years, that has served me very well took a crap when the belt burned out (it never fails things break when they are gone- always). It was kind of a blessing because I am one of those people that will wear a t-shirt until it has holes in it, drive my car until it leaves me stranded on the side of the road multiple times and finally refuses to run all together (the washer actually outlived my Ford Escape truck – sad) anyway so this poor washer was loud and at the end I could only do medium size loads because if I filled it all the way it leaked a lot a little.
 Continued It the life of the whirly wife

Chicken Risotto Alla Aggie

My friend and I were talking about food today and nice easy meals. One of my all time favorites came up and that is the Chicken Risotto alla Aggie. Would you not know it that I do not have a single picture of a meal I make often. I posted the recipe anyway and I will add a picture when I make it next time until then check out the recipe in Meals for Two

Heli Expo 2012

From the Heli Expo website

Heli Expo is coming to Dallas in February
Check out the details if you are interested in attending. We have never been but those of our friends who have say these events are awesome networking opportunities.

Building confidence through outastanding practices

Photo by Sam D. "Clouds"
Mr. Right has been with his current company for four and a half years.  I have visited the corporate site multiple times in the past, yet I have never gone inside prior to yesterday. My verdict is impressed beyond words.

We knew that they were a leader in safety, that is why we chose this particular Gulf company as our number one pick for Mr. Right to fly for and were very excited to receive an offer over four years ago. Another draw was that this company operates in the Gulf of Mexico in oil and gas as well as in EMS and has bases all over the world so growth opportunities are countless. My husband flies one of their small ships and as you have probably gathered from previous posts stays offshore on an oil rig during his hitch. It was time for his recurrence training and since I have a dear friend who lives in Louisiana I decided to tag along to get more time with husband and to sneak in few hours of girl time with my friend. Cont In the life of the Whirly Wife

Going back before we go foreward

It has been a bit busy around here with the holidays and all. We took little man in mid December to do the Polar Express ride and I would highly recommend it. It was great family fun and an awesome way to meet Santa.

Christmas was a bit unconventional since Mr. Right was away and thus we did it twice. We enjoyed Christmas Eve semi traditional with fish for supper and some of my usual fixings and then on Christmas day the family and I wend Christmas Story style with a Chinese take out for diner. It was great fun and just what we all needed. Followed two days latter by a real Christmas diner with turkey and all the fixings when Mr. Right came in from work.
We welcomed New Years with a big bang with a party with family and friends. Now we are making exciting plans for 2012 and are looking forward to a year full of learning experiences and family fun. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday as well.