Wordless Wednesday

The end of a great day, Gettysburg by sunset


Cake and Paint


Pretty proud … my daughter is in her final year of college and her style is so exciting!!

Her latest photoshoot had her being the model as well as the MUA (Makeup Artist) … Let Them Eat Cake!

Originally posted on :

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to not only be makeup artist for photographer Paula Moralez but to also be her model. We’ve been discussing doing a photo shoot with a Marie Antoinette tone, powdered hair included. The photographs below are some of the last that were shot. Left is a behinds the scenes peak and right is an unedited beauty shot. The makeup progressed from a modern take on French Revolution to a more abstract paint job that let me get messy with Aqua Color.

More collaboration to come!


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Day 2: Things go better with a plan

And a few days later ;)

We woke up by 0800 Saturday morning, and the first thing we did after finding coffee was to find a hotel in Gettysburg! We had a destination. Then check the route on Google Maps with what Garmin had in store for us. We had a route! Our plans verified we loaded back into the car to road trip to our next destination.


Sooo do the chickens make the eggs for the egg hunt and their prize is to the be the BBQ?? hmmm

We had three  stops on the way, one for Dunkin Donuts coffee (and yes we did get Donut Holes with that coffee).


Everything goes better with a little DD to start your day

We also found a winery off the 81: Rockridge Winery very worth the detour!


Driving up to the Rockridge Winery, the clouds just gave it an amazing halo!

The man working the tasting bar was extremely friendly and full of interesting tid-bits of knowledge about the wine we tasted, while there is no charge for tasting, I would be very surprised you didn’t find something that struck your fancy, I very much enjoyed 2 of their dry reds and 1 of their dry whites:


Cheers Dahling!

We also HAD to stop at Cracker Barrel, whenever Misha or one of her sisters comes South they always stop, we just had a photo op and checked out the country store before we got back in the car. It was needed, 6 hours in a seated position is a little torturous.

Pulling into Gettysburg we were instantly glad for the advice to skip Harrisburg. I had been to Gettysburg back in 2003 (my Officer Basic Course did a staff ride to the battlefield with a historian as a guide, amazing!) Both of us being from California have an appreciation for history that manages to reach back past the gold rush. Our hotel was a little, hmmm, lets say “retro.” While we may have had a little issue with the lack of ANY upgrades to the place, the location could NOT be beat. We left the car parked, changed out of sandals and capris into warmer wear, and walked across the road to the battlefield.

Gettysburg Sunset

Sunset Reflection

Gettysburg Sunset

It was seriously so beautiful to see the battlefield in this glow!

The wind whipped up the chilly air as we crossed into fields dotted with historical monuments and plaques detailing the accounts of battles in that particular field in front of you. Misha was reading names and feeling the enormity of the battle while I took the “Golden Hours” light to full use. I think having the sun setting added to the feeling of stepping back in time, looking out over the land from the Pennsylvania monument I couldn’t help but think back to when Fletch and I had ridden on horseback through the same fields. imagining what it would be like to be an officer then, sending order from horseback to the troops on line, maintaining control of a company with only your orders being carried around by your Sergeants. Somehow without email and fancy commo gadgets, they managed to keep units together and informed of the next formation.

The end of a great day, Gettysburg by sunset

Four Score and Seven Years Ago …

Gettysburg Sunset

We wandered reading the plaques, snapping photos, and wishing either of us had a better memory of the battle. With the final dip of the sun on the horizon, I packed up my tripod and we used the road to return to town, passing our hotel and walking another block before we came upon Sports bar, the menu posted outside seemed pretty good for a pub so we headed in. A great choice, our waitress was friendly, the food was good, and the beer really tasty.

More Photos on FLICKR!

One more day till my destination (well technically I’m already here but we did still have another day at the time!)

Day 1: Not quite what we planned

I had my graduation ceremony for the Fa53 course. YEA!! And my girlfriend Misha flew in last night to join me on my road trip to NY. Double YEA!! So for Day 1, we figured we would drive up from Augusta to Greensboro, NC (her birthplace).

So there we were reviewing the route on Google Maps at the Cotton Patch when we came up with the brilliant idea to just go to Winston-Salem, after looking on Booking.com we figured we would wing it! It’s a road trip right?


We left Augusta at 1615 and hit the highway. Good tunes, plenty to chat about we were right on time with a fuel for auto and fuel for us stop (thank you Dunkin Donuts)


So as the sunset in the sky, we approached Winston-Salem, in much need of a restroom break I plugged in to Garmin to give me lodging near me. Pulling into the parking lot of the B&B we called from the parking lot. No rooms at the inn. Typing into my iPhone Google Maps, “Hotels near me” resulted in a few more choice, but our next phone call brought about a little known fact to us. Winston-Salem is hosting the “Highpoint Furniture Market” which essentially meant – we were fucked.

So – trusting Garmin (my first mistake) I plugged Harrisburg PA into the Garmin to make a route that would keep us track. Alright we’re good, as we start driving over a bridge and Misha points down “Isn’t that the freeway?” I don’t think we saw it again. Heading off into the dark the road swallowed us and Mister Toads wild adventure began.

No lights, there might have been houses we couldn’t see them. Misha kept going, “Where are we?” Using her phone, trying to fight the car sick nausea from the rolling hills we were on and looking at the tiny glowing face held in her hands. We rolled by the Winstom-Salem Motel. $42 a night! Um – no.


As we kept driving I kept trying to find lodging on the Garmin. Finally settling on the Budget Motel 10 miles up the road. I don’t know that that was right, I think that was straight line distance. We kept driving and it felt like we did a u-turn as the road curved. Our nervousness bubbled into cracks and comments. Small little towns with gas stations and quick markets passed by the window, no hotels in site.

Jennifer and Michele driving down the road – now entering “Nowhere near where you think you are” county.
“Lets just go to this Budget Inn.” – I said clicking it on Garmin and adding it as a Via Point.
They were now entering … the Twilight Zone.

One creepy stop at a Shell station to stop myself from doing the potty dance in my car and we saw it. The Budget Inn, with an Internet Cafe. I wish we had taken pictures, you can’t make this shit up. It was creepy, scary, and all too hilarious by that point. We finally used our iPhones to call hotels near us again, nearly dying in laughter to find that damn Furniture show had filled more of a radius than we thought and finally finding a town Eden that could help us out. “Amber” sweetly told us in a thick southern drawl that she’d keep a room for us and they were right near the Walmart. Finally entering a town with lights down the road and signs of civilization, we breathed a sigh of relief as we pulled into the parking lot of a lovely hotel and knew our night of driving was complete.

We are just now enjoying a much deserved glass of wine and dinner at Ruby Tuesdays – time now? 2230.

We will be planning tomorrow’s adventure a little more thoroughly.

Wordless Wednesday

Savannah GA

Let the Chips Fall …

My best friend always tells me:

Be true to yourself and let the chips fall where they may

I’ve been on a journey for my New Year, and with that I had another friend tell me a series of Rules to Follow. They can apply to many things in life and I’ve found sometimes simply thinking about the rule then applying it to the moment, truly helps the anxiety of the moment move back into a reality check and in the moment perspective.

#1. You can only control YOU. For an OCD chick this is a hard one to swallow but when you start noticing that some of your anxieties are coming from your attempt to either fix someone else or control the way they are behaving it really does diffuse the moment.  I mean – I don’t want to be controlled why do I think someone else would want to – or for that matter? Let me.

Photo from Susannah Tucker Blog

Photo from Susannah Tucker Blog :: Clicking image takes you to her blog.

#2.  Words MEAN something.  Sounds simple right?  Part of my personality trait in communication is that I talk TOO much, well okay, I’m being hard on myself.  I talk to explain how I’m feeling or to describe something, and I tend to feel like when someone is not as descriptive back to me – well they aren’t fully communicating.  This is not accurate.  Others don’t feel the need to communicate as MUCH as I do, so if I replay what a person said, just the simple sentence, I find out that it actually has a lot in it.  And no I don’t mean reading into something that is not there… that’s another topic ;)



Which leads to the next helpful guiding Rule: PEOPLE CANNOT ACT ON INFORMATION THEY DO NOT HAVE (refer to Rule #2) make sure you are clear with people.  With me?  I tend to be passive sometimes on how I say I want something because I don’t want to seem to be the person that is telling you what to do (though NOT necessarily true when I have on my uniform) :) Just throwing that out there …


Do you have a mantra, or something you say to yourself to remind yourself of your intention?
No?  What would your Mantra be if you had one?
Do you have life rules that help you get through those
turbulent times in life, where stress can take over your brain? 



Wordless Wednesday

Vikings Light Torches

December 30, 2011 :: Edinburgh Scotland

Scotland Getaway :: 2011

Yoga Workshop :: Obsessive Thoughts

So Angels topic this Sunday was “Meditation for Obsessive Thoughts,” obsessive?  Who?  ME?  Talk about continuing to hit the mark. :)  Her focus was for us to drop the judgment.  Day in day out we are so hard on ourselves, we focus on Social Media – people always post their A-Game and we only see the good things that happen in their lives, we compare ourselves to airbrushed magazine ads, we rarely like to look at why we obsess over WHAT we obsess over because this might make us look at the ROOT cause.

In the current workshop at Dancing Dogs they are doing a 40 day workshop – its based on Baptiste Yoga.   You can click the link to find out more from their site.   I’m really just a new student at a lot of this and exploring the different options.   So with that said, what she gave us was a set of questions to help guide us through our meditation.

I am so very fortunate, some days when I forget this and I spend my day in sadness or worries, I realize what I have wasted in allowing the worries to take control.

I am so very fortunate, some days when I forget this and I spend my day in sadness or worries, I realize what I have wasted in allowing the worries to take control.


I have found that the answers that come to mind when I read these questions can change based on the time of day or if I’m in my work environment, my private life, if I have just worked out, or if I’ve had TOO much time alone:

Q1: What is my meaningful creation in life?
Q2: What is my most courageous act?
Q3: When do I feel most alive and energized?
Q4: What are the forces in my life that DRAIN me?
Q5: Who do I resent and how is that resentment affecting me?

As much as I love Yoga Meditation, I still find so much clarity after Mile 3

As much as I love Yoga Meditation, I still find so much clarity after Mile 3


My thoughts were ALL over the place as she guided us, and as much as I intended on trying to stay focused on her guidance and voice, I felt myself truly slide into a place that was in between awake and asleep.   This peaceful middle space where my thoughts just could not take root, they could not keep their control on my mind and they could not distract me from feeling heavy yet floating at the same time.

It was so peaceful.   In my attempt to find the answer to the questions she guided us to, I had actually been guided to that silent space I had been searching for.   The space where you do NOT obsess but feel detached and can truly listen. The hour was over way to quickly.


Each morning gives you a new possibility, a reality that has not taken form.

Each morning gives you a new possibility, a reality that has not taken form.

What is my most courageous act?
Sometimes I have found that with these guides it is digging up some “crap”,
but one thing that happened.  As I was running down the canal that Sunday afternoon, a couple stopped to ask me
“How long is the trail?”   I answered – “6.5 Miles to its end”  They smiled and asked several questions about it.
As I said a final farewell, all of a sudden a surge of joy entered me.
I AM a person that’s projection says “I’m approachable” and I LOVE that about me.
My most courageous act?  Is embracing the now, learning to live in the present, and learning to
embrace the reality of NOW – to let go of what has passed and stop worrying about what has not happened.

Test Anxiety and the CISSP

Our class has been in study mode since Holiday break for the CISSP® – Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam.  If you have read in the last month or so you know my being at Ft Gordon has been a 7 month journey.  I’m ready to be done.

It has certainly been a Journey

My fortune cookie from PF Changs, It has certainly been a Journey

During the course of our studies, we have started a list of “Rules” for preparing and taking the exam.  Remember, this is a sanity check! LOL Please don’t take this and say – well Jenny SAID that this is how I pass the exam.  Seriously. ;)

1st Rule of CISSP -  We don’t talk about CISSP (the questions that is) ;) aka: read the ethics. It may actually be one of your questions on the exam, and really you need to know it.

2nd Rule – don’t SECOND guess yourself. That first answer you choose is almost ALWAYS right. But READ the question! Look for the negative (IE: the NOT) or the qualifier in the question. Many questions have a big ol’ paragraph and the question seems like its just nothing to do with much of it, and also you may get the same scenario for multiple questions.

3rd rule – the answer is almost always in the question. Not the same as re-reading. This is looking for a key term that matches a key term in the answer you think is right. The may help you flip the coin on getting the BEST answer.

4th rule – if its about Human Life, Management or Policy they always wins. (If you are studying for this exam, you will understand that.)

All joking aside, if you are preparing to take the (ISC)2 CISSP exam?  PREPARE.  Study group, read more than one source, and always remember that this exam is management level.  Yes you need to understand the technology behind the domains:

Currently, the CISSP certification covers the following ten domains (Links all take you to Trusty ol’ Wiki):

The Army provides an online program called SkillSoft, in order to apply for a voucher you must take the training available at this site.  We had completed that.  Studied from Shon Harris, Eric Conrad, and had sat in 17 days of IA Immersion which flowed through the Domains – I was IMMERSED.  I mentioned our study groups, this is crucial.  I think because each of us had a better grasp on the different domains, it gave us a chance to hear it from a different perspective or use or just plain said that way that gives you an A-HA moment.

Do not be fooled into thinking any brain dump on cram sites will get you through this exam.  (RE-READ that sentence).

You will pass with our ability to apply our knowledge of the domains to questions that ask what is the BEST to do in these scenarios.  So you need to know the  technology and what its strengths, weaknesses, and uses are.  VAGUE?  A little, there is no way to remember exact questions.  I felt sure there was no way I had passed by the time I got to question 170 (Out of 250!).  I got up often for breaks, I had snacks and when I started feeling like just giving up?  I got up and shook it off.  4 hours later…


So yea I think this is what I looked like when I hit submit final exam on my computer screen. Are you sure?!?! NO NO I’m NOT but I can’t take it anymore!

Did I think I passed? NOPE. I walked down the hall already planning my study tactics to take it again in 30 days.  You are tired, your brain is numb and you realize you are starving! When I walked into the office the proctor already had my results. The letter will either say congratulations or thank you. A Thank You sadly tells you how close you were to actually passing. But today? I was told CONGRATULATIONS!

I'd like to thank my people for... lol ... no but I was totally emotional.

I’d like to thank my people for… lol … no but I was totally emotional.

Now begins the final two weeks, a few more classes, outprocessing, and finally? MOVING TO NY. Back with my husband, starting a new job.
Life is never boring.
Have you taken an industry exam that had you completely frayed?

Cork to Kiss the Blarney :: Flashback June 2013

WOW is this WAY delayed.  I found this in my Outlook from Tue 6/25/2013 !

After our dive adventure we stayed the evening in Cork, the Hotel Imperial being an oasis for us both as we dragged in our tired selves.  It would be an early night in so that we could spend the morning at Blarney and make the drive to Dublin.  Our vacation is sadly coming to an end, but a few more sites are hoped to be seen before we depart the Emerald Isle.

Diving Castlegregory

And surprisingly one visit from a college friend before we would leave Cork!  We went to College in California together, and after graduation stayed in touch but we haven’t seen each other in must be 10 years!  Who knew we’d be on vacation at the same time here, she was visiting her family and her and her hubby came in to have breakfast with us at the Hotel before we continued on.  Funny how you have to travel around the globe for a mini-reunion!  It was quite lovely to catch up.

Niamh and Jen

So our first exploration was actually a really interesting “Garden.” Everything in it was poisonous, and it all seems to have been based on poisons from the book “Harry Potter.” Go figure. Quite fun to go through, you made sure you didn’t touch a thing that’s for sure, many of the Mom’s nervously kept their kids close to their side.

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The Blarney Castle is famous of course for the “Blarney Stone” – interestingly this stone is placed in the top of the Castle, at the bottom of an opening.  So in order to give it a “Kiss for Eloquence” you must lie on your back and hold onto two bars as you lower yourself to kiss the stone.  (Don’t think too much about how many others have kissed said stone, if you are a germaphob, I’d say skip this bucket list adventure)  We wandered the Poison Garden before we made our journey up the 100 steps to get to the top and wait with others for our chance.  They have a safety guy who makes sure that you don’t go slipping yourself off the wall down the shoot, I was impressed as Fletch told the story of his own Grandmother coming to Ireland in her retirement years and giving ol’ Blarney a kiss!

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Ireland Adventure (88 of 124).jpg

Regardless of whether I will now have the ability of speaking for the rest of my life, my lips felt quite chilly for a time after our circus act to kiss the stone.

Afterwards we wandered the druid stones and witches gardens before having to look at our watches and know it was time to hit the road.

Ireland Adventure (108 of 124).jpg

Much better than kissing the Blarney Stone.

2.5 hours to Dublin… of course I am hoping to enjoy an evening at Howth – a quaint coastal town with a beautiful lighthouse I would love to capture.  We will see how the evening goes, we should arrive in an hour, just enough time for me to pop the iPad card reader in and go through some photos to share.

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We made it

Ireland Adventure (123 of 124).jpg

You ever go through photos and see the joy you experienced? I have had a wonderful journey so far. Here is to many more.

~~  Note: It has been quite convenient to travel with my iPad, Zagg bluetooth keyboard, and iPad SD Card Reader to copy some pictures to share while we have journeyed.  Just ensure you have plenty of SD cards to use while you travel and offload when you get home for storage!  Any tips on iPad photo editing apps though?  PicStitch feels too limited though it is fun for collages.


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