Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pardon the dust!

Sorry the blog looks like crap right now - I'm trying my damnedest (that must be correct, the red zigzag didn't appear!) to add share buttons and no matter what I try, they're not showing up.  I removed all customizations from the blog and everything - hence the generic look right now.

Checking the box on the blogger template didn't work and neither has adding in the html code from the addthis website.  I have an email in to them right now.  I even got suggestions from a nice lady on Twitter! (hi, @xxdinlo88!)

I know this shouldn't be this difficult, but if anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to throw them this way!

Ugh!  Even my signature is gone!

Z is for Babe Didriksen Zaharias

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Babe Didriksen Zaharias
( 1911 - 1956 )

Babe Didriksen was a fantastic all-around athlete.  She claims to have played everything - except dolls. 

The post would be a mile long if I listed all the tournaments and such that she won! 

Her life revolved around athletics.  She excelled in every sport she tried. Basketball, track, golf, baseball, tennis, swimming, diving, boxing, volleyball, handball, bowling, billiards, skating and cycling. 

In 1932, she qualified for five Olympic events in Los Angeles, however, women were only allowed to compete in three. She won the first women's Olympic javelin and set a world record in winning the first Olympic 80-meter hurdles. In the high jump, she tied the world record at 5-foot-5.

In 1949, she helped to found the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

The Associated Press voted her the Greatest Female Athlete of the first half of the 20th century.

She passed away in 1956 from cancer in her lymph nodes. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Malala Yousafzai

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Malala Yousafzai
( 1997 - )

Ms. Yousafzai is a Pakistani girl who was shot in the head at close range by the Taliban for being too outspoken about education for women.  Since her recovery, she has become a spokesman for education, human rights and women's rights.  In 2014, she won a Nobel Peace Prize.

It amazes me how incredible this young girl is. Knowing that she has such a drive to improve children's lives all over and the fact that she is only 2 months older than my own daughter. makes me in awe of her even more.  I can see her doing even more good in the future.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for Lou Xiaoying

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Lou Xiaoying
(1924 - ?? )

Lou (when the article was written in 2012 - I wasn't able to find any recent info about her so I believe she succumbed to the kidney failure they mentioned) was 88 years old and had rescued over 30 babies from the trash!  She found the first in 1972 and raised her as her own.  Others she gave to friends or family to raise.

Someone who had little herself, by way of money or influence, has made a HUGE impact on at least 30 people - the infants she saved from certain death.

I love the photo above, because she looks like the loving, caring person she obviously was.  That's beautiful in my opinion!


Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for Cathay Williams

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Cathay Williams
(1844 - 1892)

Enlisting as William Cathay, she was the first African American woman to enlist in the Army.  The source seems slightly confusing, saying she was examined by a Army surgeon in order to enlist and also hospitalized at least five times, but no one knew she was female.  Doesn't say much for the medical staff back then!

wiki page

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught

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Brigadier General Wilma Vaught
(1930 - )

Brig.Gen. Vaught (a fellow Michigander) is the first female to reach the rank of Brigadier General in her field in the US Air Force.   She served in the Air Force from 1957 until retiring in 1985.  Following an illustrious career, Brig Gen Vaught was the leader for the Women in Military Service to American (WIMSA, which I'm a part of) and pushed to have a memorial built at Arlington National Cemetery so the contributions of women in all services don't go unnoticed.

In 2000, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and in 2010, inducted into the Army Women's Foundation Hall of Fame.

wiki page

Friday, April 24, 2015


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I will expand this topic slightly to include the guys - today's inspiring person is YOU !!!!!

All the wonderful things you've done, all the love you've given to your family, all the awesome things you'll do in the future.

YOU are someone to look up to and be admired!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Jr. Lt. Valentina Tereshkova

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Junior Lieutenant Valentina Tereshkova
(1937 - )

Ms. Tereshkova was the first woman in space!

"Valya" was born in Russia and was raised by her mother along with her sister and brother after her father died when she was 2.  Due to helping her mother, she didn't start school until she was 10.

In 1959, she joined the Yaroslavl Air Sports Club and was a skilled amateur parachutist.  She volunteered for the Soviet Space Program where her 126 parachute jumps earned her the rank of Cosmonaut.

After much rigorous training and the usual political BS, on June 16, 1963, Valya was launched into space.  Using callign "Chaika" she reported "I see the horizon. A light blue, a beautiful band. This is the Earth. How beautiful it is! All goes well."  She orbited Earth 48 times over almost 3 days.

photo source

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

...just keep swimming

Welp, I've posted a loss for the last 3 weeks!  Its looking highly unlikely that I'll make the 12.5 lbs I want to lose by Miss Angela's graduation, but at least I'm headed in the right direction. I can always extend my goal to her grad party in August. I KNOW I'll have it gone by then!

I missed tracking on Saturday, but did decent the rest of the week. And activity was OK.  22 APs. Pretty soon Angel will have her driver's license so I won't have to be the dance shuttle anymore!  That is the biggest time suck of my day.  20 minutes each way and she's there 4 days a week, at least 3-4 hours so I'm not going to stay there!  I can't wait to be able to stay home while she drives herself!
I'm trying to figure out why last Wednesday was so high.  Not complaining, but it's odd. I went to work.  Took the kid to dance.  Went to my WW meeting.  Nothing out of the ordinary. But when I look at the detail of the day it's showing registering a reading from 6am Tuesday, which would be normal, but also all of Tuesday night and Wednesday night up til Midnight.  So I don't know who was wearing my Activelink after I went to bed!  I usually leave it clipped on my bra when I take it off and lay it on the dresser.  So no idea why it was reading anything!

Tonight's meeting topic was supposed to be about turning "why" into "how".  But of course our Fearless Leader always goes off her own way!  She talked about anchors.  Not the things on ships, but "a process of creating cues and triggers to remind yourself of your goals".  

She has things listed like "Fitversary" or your anniversary of joining WW.  Awards.  An event.  Special clothing. 
So I guess I have 2 anchors.  The event of Angel's graduation (or party) and awards.  I proudly wear my WW bling on my purse.  I took it apart to clean the washers, so I used the opportunity to take a pic.  
The keychain was for my 10%.  The silver washer is for 25lbs.  The gold washer for 50lbs.  Those are the good ones.  I consider the others geedunk bling.  The umbrella for the April attendance challenge.  The snowflake for some winter challenge.  The running dude for exercising so many days per week for a month.  The square & 2 sets of clapping hands are for 4 months / 16 weeks on program.  If they'd actually given me all those (and I knew where they were), I'd have......close to 20 of them!  

The plan is to go grocery shopping tomorrow night.  I'm going to make up a better plan of what I'm going to be eating.  During the week days is pretty predictable, but the evenings & weekends are the problem.  And for the next 2 weekends, Miss Angela has dance competitions so I'll be at the mercy of the Dancers Only buffet table.  I'll be sure to grab some 100 calorie packs of almonds or something to keep in my purse so I can avoid the table somewhat and still not starve to death.  All the parents sign up to bring food to share, so I signed up for bananas and fruit like that. 

Wish me luck and wish the kids luck, too! 

S is for Sarah Rector

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Sarah Rector
(1902 - 1967)

Sarah Rector became a millionaire at a very young age!

Ms. Rector and her family had Creek Indian heritage and all received land grants from the Dawes Allotment Act shortly before Oklahoma became a state.  Sarah got 160 acres that her father leased to the Devonian Oil Company in order to raised money to pay the $30 annual tax bill.   Oil was struck and what started out as $300 a month income from the oil, became over $11,000 a month!!
By age 18, Ms. Rector owned stocks & bonds, a boarding house, a bakery, a cafe, and 2000 acres of good land.

As with anyone who comes into a lot of money there was misinformation, legal and financial struggle and of course the moochers.

While the Rector's were well-educated, lived in a modern home and owned an automobile, some claimed they were ignorant and wore rags and her estate was being mis-managed and squandered.
 Ms. Rector married twice and had 3 sons.  She passed away at age 65.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Ruby Bridges

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Ruby Bridges
(1954 -  )

Ms. Bridges was the first African-American girl to attend public school in the south.

As seen in this iconic photo, this adorable little girl had to be escorted to 1st grade by her mother and US Marshals to protect her against violent mobs.  She spent her first day at school in the principal's office because no other students showed up.  The parents kept them all home.  Only one teacher offered to teach Ms. Bridges and Mrs. Henry only had Ruby as a student due to other parents protesting.  She never got to leave the classroom for lunch or recess, and if she had to use the restroom, the federal agents walked her down the hall.  One of the federal agents remembers her showing so much courage, "marching along like a little soldier".

Things seemed to be a bit better once she started 2nd grade.  Ms. Bridges went on to graduate from an integrated high school, studied travel and tourism and worked as a travel agent.  She married and has 4 sons.

In 1999, she founded the Ruby Bridges Foundation in New Orleans to promote tolerance, respect and appreciation for all.

I could go on and on - so click the "source" links below and read all about her.  Ms. Bridges is a true inspiration.

photo source

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Eve Queler

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Eve Rabin Queler
(1936 - )

Jumping away from my mostly military themed topics for a moment!

Maestro Eve Queler is one of the few female musical conductors in the world. She has conducted many orchestras, operas and symphonies.

In 2010, she received the National Endowment for the Arts Lifetime Achievement in Opera award to recognize her accomplished career and distinguished work. 

Maestro Queler organized the Opera Orchestra of New York in 1967 to give herself experience and to offer opportunists to singers and orchestra / symphony players who never would have gotten a chance at the larger companies. 

website #AtoZChallenge

Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Major Heather Penney

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Maj. Heather "Lucky" Penney

Major Penney is one of 2 USAF F-16 pilots who was given orders on a fateful day back in September 2001 to bring down a certain United Airlines flight 93 by whatever means necessary.

Stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, she and Col. Marc Sasseville were the first to respond to ensure flight 93 did not reach Washington DC airspace.  They had just come from training in Nevada and both planes were still loaded with dummy rounds.  Due to the chaotic nature of the day, there was no time to actually arm the F-16s with live ammo.  They knew they would have to ram the airliner with their own jets.

Fortunately for them, the passengers in Flight 93 took matters into their own hands and the plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania.

I think most people (I know I did), no matter which branch of the military, get a quick pang in the chest when they raise their right hand and repeat that oath - suddenly realizing that maybe they just might be called on to do exactly what Maj. Penney & Col. Sasseville almost had to do.  When you swear to support and defend the Constitution of US against all enemies, foreign and domestic - it could possibly mean sacrificing yourself for the good of others.


Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Odette Sansom

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Odette Sansom
(1912 - 1995)

Ms. Sansom was a spy born in France and moved to England later in life.  In 19412 she provided photos of France to the War Office and was recruited into the Special Operations Executive and worked as a radio operator in France, one of the most dangerous jobs due to the Gestapo being able to pick up radio signals.

She was betrayed by a double agent and taken to Fresnes Prision in Paris and onto Ravensbruck Concentration camp in Germany.  Despite horrible torture and long period of solitary conifinement, she refused to spill any information about other SOE members and maintained she was the boss of them all.

Ms. Sansom eventually won her freedom and went on to work for various charities attempting to lessen the pain of war.  Almost against her will, she was awarded the George Cross - the second highest award for valor in the UK.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for the Night Witches

The Night Witches

This is a kick ass bunch of ladies! The 588th Night Bomber Regiment was the mostly highly decorated all-female unit of the Soviet Air Forces. Over the course of 4 years, they flew over 30,000 missions and dropping a total of 23,000 tons of bombs on the invading Germans.

These ladies flew at night, with no radar and no parachutes, idling their engines as they approached targets and gliding to where they released their bombs. Their plywood and canvas cropduster planes made minimal noise - just a soft whoooosh as they went by, reminding the Germans of a witch flying by on her broomstick. Thus they earned the name Nachthexen, or Night Witches.

The Witches had to fly multiple missions per night. Due to the weight of the bombs, their little planes could only carry 2 at a time, plus the pilot & navigator.

The Atlantic says "The Night Bomber Regiment was one of three female fighter pilot units created by Stalin at the urging of Marina Raskova -- an aviation celebrity who was, essentially, "the Soviet Amelia Earhart." Raskova trained her recruits as pilots and navigators, and also as members of maintenance and ground crews. She also prepared them for an environment that preferred to treat women as bombshells rather than bombers. One general, male, initially complained about being sent a "a bunch of girlies" instead of soldiers. But the women and their flimsy little crop-dusters and their ill-fitting uniforms and their 23,000 tons of ammunition soon proved him wrong. And they did all that while decorating their planes with flowers and using their navigation pencils as lipcolor."



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Adm. Michelle Howard

Admiral Michelle Howard, USN
(1960 - )

Adm. Howard is the US Navy's first female 4-star admiral. This is not the first of her extremely impressive achievements. She was also the first African-American female as a 3 star ranking officer and the first to have command of a ship.

Adm. Howard also led Task Force 151, rescuing the captain of a cargo ship after it was attacked by Somali pirates in 2009.

A bit of humor at the ceremony, Adm. Howard told the spectators when she placed the order for her new fancy shoulder boards for her dress uniforms, (items like this for a female uniform are generally smaller than a male's would be) she was told they didn't exist and needed to be specially made! So she proudly showed them off to all assembled, as being the first set ever.

Both the Army & Air Force have had 4 star ranking female officers counted among their ranks. Army General Ann Dunwoody was the first and she just retired in 2012.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Linda Finch

Linda Finch
(1951 - )

Ms. Finch is best known being the pilot who completed the route that Amelia Earhart planned and never finished.

Ms. Finch restored a vintage 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E, the same make and model aircraft as Amelia was flying when she disappeared. It is one of only 15 in existence and just like the original that Amelia flew, it was uncomfortable, noisy and only cruised at 90 mph. However, she did use computers and a much better navigation and communication system.

Ms. Finch left on March 19, 1997, 60 years to the day after Ameila's attempt. Ms. Finch took 10 weeks to complete, trying to follow Ameila's route as closely as possible. However, she did not land at Howland Island - the stop that Amelia never made it to. The small runway was in bad shape and not safe to use, so Ms. Finch dropped a wreath over the island in honor of Ameila Earhart.

photo source

Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Julie Krone

Julie Krone
(1963 - )

Ms. Krone is the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown horse race, when she rode Colonial Affair in the 1993 Belmont Stakes. In 2000, she was the first woman inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In 2013 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.  She has been inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, is a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame (she was born in Benton Harbor), was listed by USA Today as one of the 10 Toughest Athletes and she has been honored with the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award by the Women's Sports Foundation.

Over 22 years, Ms. Krone rode in more than 21,000 races, of which she won 3,704.  And of course, that much time around horses, there are bound to be injuries.  She had several bad ones and has been diagnosed with PTSD from them.

She retired from racing in 2004 and now concentrates on her family, working as a racing broadcaster, motivational speaker, and an instructor of natural horsemanship.

Video of the 1993 Belmont Stakes.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Jacqueline Cochran

Jacqueline Cochran
(unknown - 1980)

Ms. Cochran, in 1953, was the first female to break the sound barrier (approximately 768 mph!) In 1971, she was the first woman honored at the Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, OH.

She earned her pilots license in 1932 and over the course of her career won MANY records and set MANY records.  Even today, she still holds more international speed, distance and altitude records than any other male or female pilot

After first being rejected by General Hap Arnold, in 1941 she was the first woman to pilot a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean. There she organized a group of 25 American female pilots to fly for Great Britain.  In 1942 she was appointed Director of Woman‘s Flying Training for the United States.  In 1943, she was appointed to the General Staff of the U.S. Army Air Forces to direct all phases of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program at 120 air bases all over America.

In 1945 Ms. Cochran received the U.S. Distinguished Service Medal, and had the opportunity to see in person General Yamashita’s surrender in the Philippines and was the first woman to enter Japan after WWII.


Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan
(c.1877 - 1927)

Ms. Duncan is known as the "Mother of Modern Dance". She was raised by her mother who had a great appreciation of the arts. By 6 years old, she was teaching 'movement' to other children in the neighborhood. She studied Greek mythology with her brother and from that she developed her style of movement. 

Ms. Duncan was invited to dance in the homes of the wealthy, barefoot and wearing flowing draperies inspired by Greek and Italian Renaissance paintings. She danced her own choreography and became a huge success in Hungary - with a run of sold-out shows in 1902.

Her approach to dance emphasized natural movement and the female form, which was controversial as ballet at the time was considered proper and conventional.

I wonder if Ms. Duncan would appreciate today's offerings of contemporary and lyrical dance styles? I think she would. 


Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Lt. Kara Spear Hultgreen

Lt. Kara Spears Hultgreen, USN
(1965 - 1994)

Lt. Spears was the first female fighter pilot to qualify in carrier operations - to launch and recover jets on an aircraft carrier.   Sadly, she was also the first female fighter pilot killed when one of the engines of her F-14 (the same kind of plane from Top Gun) stalled, causing it to roll, while attempting to land on the USS Abraham Lincoln CVN72 - the same ship I reported to 2 months later.

There was a lot of to-do about whether or not females had been trained well enough to actually be qualified to fly fighter jets.  Some felt the female pilots had been qualified prematurely and incompletely trained, for political reasons.  The other female pilots felt this was a smear campaign, to keep women from competing for pilot positions.

Today there are female fighter pilots, but not as many as you'd expect.  They are still fighting for their place amongst men who still will not consider them their peers.

Amazon link

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Weigh In & stuff

I was pleasantly surprised with a 0.6 lb loss at my WW meeting tonight! Seeing as how I ate everything in sight while at my sister's for Easter, I was expecting the results to be really ugly...and my leader is the one who weighed me in! Talk about pressure! 

I did earn a much higher than usual amount of activity points this week - 39!! We went for a walk Saturday, Laurie & I went horseback riding Sunday and last night I spent 2 hours raking the front lawn. Once my hands & body stop hurting, I'll be ready to work on the back yard! 

I didn't track for crap, tho. So I'll count this week as a fluke and try my damnedness not to repeat this week in that way!

I really like my leader, Dez. Tonight she talked about attitude adjustment and I came to realize I really don't have any specific goals in mind when it comes to my weight loss journey. Other than to reach lifetime. Hell, I've been on this journey since August of '08 and have been within the same 4 lbs for the past year, just sort of drifting along aimlessly. 

Soooooo. I am at 212.5 lbs right now. Miss Angela's graduation from high school is June 6. I'd like to shoot for Onederland by then. That would give me 8 weigh-ins to drop 12.5 lbs. Or approximately 1.5 lbs per week. That's pretty ambitious but it gives me something to shoot for. 

Wish me luck!!

Selfie with Captain

G is for RAdm Grace Hopper

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, USN
(1906 - 1992)

Admiral Hopper was a mathematician and one of the inventors of the COBOL computer language. She was ahead of her time in regards to using computers in the US Navy. She was also the first female to hold the rank of Rear Admiral.

She was in the Navy from 1943 - 1986, working mainly as the Director, Navy Programming Languages Group. In her work with computers, she felt computers should be available to anyone who needed them.  I'd say she succeeded!

Coincidentally, if I had stayed in the Navy any longer than I did, my next command would have been the USS Hopper.  A guided missile destroyer named in Admiral Hopper's honor.

USS Hopper DDG 60

ship photo source