Currently :: November 2019

Hello, friends – and happy November!

October was an incredibly busy month for work. First there was the big AUSA convention and all the associated engagements, and then I spoke at the MITRE CDO Summit and ATARC’s Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Summit on ethics in AI {a subject on which I am by no means an expert but have done a lot of research on thanks to the advanced programs I’ve had to write governance policy for}.

Finally, when a dear mentor retired, she asked me to stand in for her and manage a program we had both worked to establish until her replacement could be hired. She was a significant number of grades above me and now I feel like a little kid invited to sit at the adults table for the first time at family holidays, hoping I don’t screw it up.

In spite of all of that, I’ve found an incredible amount of time this month for family. My weekends have blessedly remained my own, and we have taken family trips to the pumpkin patch, gone on hikes, gone to see a dear friend get promoted and celebrate with her and her family, gotten our family photos done, and really made the effort to spend some quality time together as a family.

All in all, life is good. And in the meantime, here’s what else is happening…


Cooking… this past month, it’s been all about fall ingredients and flavors! Butter and maple and cinnamon, cornbread and acorn squash and delicata squash. This month, it’s all prep for the Super Bowl of the foodie world – Thanksgiving! I’ll be sharing some of my favorite mains and sides and a cocktail or two along with a dream menu. Yum!

Exploring… we went out to Great Country Farms in Bluemont for little man’s first experience at a pumpkin patch! It was a bit different than our last adventure, which was all about apple picking and cider and wine tasting. This time, with Marcus, we enjoyed the pumpkin patch, the slide, the cow train, and looking at all the animals. He was so excited about everything, it was a joy.

Tasting… we’re still all about home cooking this month! Except for our friend’s promotion at Maggiano’s and a surprise birthday party Scott threw for me with a dozen of our good friends at Firebirds Grill, we’ve been all about the home cooked meals!

Learning… I’m trying to set aside a little bit of time every day to play the piano. My baby grand piano, once my grandfather’s, has been one of my joys forever, and I would love to get it restored and be able to play it well. And it looks like I’ll need to get lessons for little man as well. He loves to play!

Training… So…I definitely skipped the Army Ten Miler this year. I’m sad about it. It’s the first year we’ve lived here that I haven’t run it. But I just didn’t train, and I came down with a rotten miserable cold right before hand that still has me hacking my lungs up. It just wouldn’t have been smart. I managed to get in some training for my fitness test, and while it paid off, I’m not going to let myself slow down now. I’m actually starting to feel that rush and that need for exercise again, and I don’t want to lose that.

Sipping… Current favorite wine? Casillero del Diablo’s malbec. I’m always a fan of a good malbec and we’ve loved several of the wines under this label, but the malbec is an especially smooth and mellow one.

Loving… All things fall – and running through the leaves. My afternoon run is often the only time during the weekdays I get to be outside in the sunshine, and the bright colors and leaves crunching underfoot and the rush of exercise just make it magical.

Food featured in pictures in this post: Turkey stuffed acorn squash, mulled apple cider.

So what are you guys up to, currently?

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