Grace cracked me up yesterday. Even thinking about it now, I start to giggle.
Kurt came home in his workout gear yesterday, even though he hadn’t had a chance to work out. As soon as he took of his Navy hoodie, Grace decided to appropriate it and threw it on. A few minutes later, Kurt and I were standing in the kitchen, talking about what had gone on that morning and what the plan of the day was, when Grace come streaking through, yammering in some unintelligible language, and flapping the far-too-long sleeves of the hoodie as she ran.
It was like I had my very own E.T.!!!
Today Kurt’s command had a chili cook-off. I had originally planned to make Karyl’s Famous Chili but then looked on MyRecipes.com and found this recipe for Beef, Black Bean, and Chorizo Chili. It took me two hours to make it last night, but oh, my, it was so worth it!! I even had the help of a sous chef in the form of my husband, which is always a good thing.
This morning Kurt took the chili in and heated it in a crockpot at work. I made cornbread muffins since that is the perfect accompaniment to chili. I was thinking it was just a few instructors that were participating in the cook-off in the office, but it was actually a fund-raiser open to all in the building to raise money for the Navy & Marine Corps Relief Fund. If you’re in the military and you need money in an emergency, you can apply to Navy Relief to see if you qualify for assistance. It’s for situations like if your dad has died, and you can’t afford the plane ticket to get home for the funeral.
I think we ended up raising $300, which is a lot of money. I was quite pleased to have been part of it.
I couldn’t try any of the chili, much to my dismay. When I walked into the hallway outside the lounge with all the crockpots set up with the chili, my stomach revolted. I am hugely grateful that I don’t get morning sick when I’m pregnant, but it does get frustrating when you know you like something, but you can’t eat it because the smell makes you want to hide in the bathroom. Kurt tried several of the chilis and said they were really good.
By the time he’d finished eating, I had six votes and I was tied for second place. I was hugely pleased with that!! But then I ended up with enough votes to tie for first place, mainly because some of the guys had found out who was in first (the only female Chief instructor), and they didn’t want her to win because according to them, they would never hear the end of it. That was disappointing, to get votes by default.
If we do win, Kurt will get a three-day pass. So that’s exciting.
UPDATE (5pm): I got third place. Oh well. At least I placed! There were nine chilis in all.
I ended up discussing my chili with the Commanding Officer (CO) because I had mentioned using chipotle chiles. He had used chipotle flavoring in the form of bouillon cubes! I had never heard of such a thing. All of a sudden, the CO says, “Come on up to the office! I’ll show you!”
Holy cow! Being invited up to the CO’s office!! That’s like the President saying, “Oh, just step into the Oval Office for a second!”
People, the CO is a CAPTAIN. Here’s something confusing — the CO of a ship or a shore command is always the Captain of that command, but that doesn’t guarantee his rank is that of a Captain. Kurt’s last CO was a Commander (O-5), yet they still called him Captain.
But the CO of Kurt’s command now is a Captain, a bona fide real Captain (O-6). He’s one step below an Admiral! Sure, he puts his pants on one leg at a time the same as any man, but he’s the highest-ranked person I have ever had a discussion with.
No, wait, that’s not true. My dad knows a Army General; he went to middle school with him. He was a huge big-wig in the Pentagon when I was in college, and my dad took me in to meet him. So Kurt’s CO is the second highest-ranked person I’ve conversed with.
So here I go, trying to keep up with a Captain who keeps yammering away about the chili he’s made for the fundraiser. I kept feeling like I should end every sentence I spoke with “Sir,” but then I realized I’m a civilian. I don’t have to “Sir” or “Ma’am” anyone. We head up to the CO’s office and pass through the door flanked with the US and the Navy flags, through the secretary’s outer office, and into an enormous office decorated with leather chairs and loads of awards from the CO’s career. He pops into another room beyond his office that looks like a miniature auditorium and comes back with a wooden box. Inside is some paper shreds nestling around what almost looked like wrapped square soaps, and two or three chipotle-flavored bouillon cubes. He hands one to me and says, “Here! You can keep it!”
I got a present from the Captain! I tell you, it totally made my day.
I swear, Kurt’s CO isn’t quite right, though. I mean, who keeps bouillon cubes in his office? And when you talk to him, he comes across as the absent-minded professor, and you’re left wondering, “Is he senile?”
He had to do something right to achieve as high a rank as Captain, though.