The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Was it this morning or last night that my husband recommended shoe shopping therapy? I had a color in mind - magenta, or maybe blue violet. Tonight I tried on a blue pair and I even said out loud, "I'll take those ... and maybe try on these" ... "How much are these?" I asked ... I intended to talk myself out of them ... two pair of shoes in one day ... for no real reason, would just be silly, wrong ... . I began to walk around in the black ones, making several passes by the blue violet ones ... I almost bought that one last year in grey I remembered ... I must really like that silhouette ... I could bust my butt in these shoes ... "I'll take these and not those." Guess I just really like black shoes.

Today, I took (and passed of course) the FAA written. Today was a day for a congratulatory something frivolous. I'm going to wear them out to dinner after I pass my checkride - the last hurdle.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I woke up this morning, texted my husband in the middle of his night: Is Sammy okay? A very sweet message came back: Do you need me to get up and check? Then he called ... I was teary ... I had dreamed that my dog was dead and it seemed so real. "No, he's fine," husband very patiently reassured, "He puts his paws up on the (kitchen) window every morning and looks inside for you." We have a ritual ... I start the coffee and then I go out on the back porch to visit with my dog ... if he's on his toes he gets a scoobytreat.

I got out early enough to go to Starbucks for breakfast. It was a nice treat, but I was unable to study there. The people here are interesting to look at ... I need to lock on to my notes/books for now. So I decided to drive over to the airport. I thought I could read in my car until everyone started getting there ... but it was still too dark to read so something very lovely happened:

This little guy had the best seat in the house. He was there looking for breakfast, but everyonce in a while he stopped to watch the sunrise.

We worked in the classroom until lunch. I had a grilled cheese sandwich today. Then we flew. I was the observer for the first part of the flight. I really don't love being in the back seat. When it was my turn to fly, I flew very well. I am still figuring out VFR at a towered airport, but ... it's gonna happen. I asked him for a debrief and all he had to say was what he flew with me was ready (for the ride). Good news ... not too rusty. Now to start working on teaching them as I demonstrate. Today we did commercial maneuvers and some Xwind TO/Lndgs. The winds were 08007G17 for landings on 11 at Gainsville. My pattern work looked good ... navy (talkin' performance) departed out on the parrallel runway just ahead of us - wow.
Here's the sock at Gainsville - required a fairly aggressive crab angle, but the airplane didn't struggle with it at all. It's been a good day - my first week here is done. Things are on track.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We'll start out this post with a proof of "joy" photo. I go to bed every night totally exhausted ... I try to unwind a bit with some pleasurable reading ... some sweet dream material. I am very happy to have the opportunity to do a bit of training outside my own school. There are many different ways to approach some of these ideas and it is interesting and informative to get a slightly different perspective. The guy who teaches the class has obviously spent some time developing what he believes is the way to present say airspace for example. I am impressed.
I've been waking up ready to go each morning - of course - just way too tired by the evening.

Last night I blew the candles out at around 9 local I believe. My husband reminded me that I tend to worry when I get tired ... stressed. I sorta gave myself the night off and went to sleep early. When I woke up a few times due to whatever it is that wakes me up. I just read a little from something not school. I told myself to relax and sleep as much as possible. Today, I wasn't as exhausted as I have been being. I hit Starbucks on the way back to the room and I think I am in for the night. I'm going to get in bed and review for the written in a few minutes. No flying today and none anticipated tomorrow. I am wondering how rusty my maneuvers will be ... we'll just have to see ... in my head the are still quite lovely!

Monday, September 27, 2010

B.o.B - Airplanes ft. Hayley Williams of Paramore [Official Music Video]

I heard this on the radio on the way back to the hotel today - and I like it.
Monday evening - day five?
A cell with hail - little marble size hail - just moved through. I looked at the AV Weather - it wasn't that big a deal but I was glad to be in rather than out. Tonight I wanted something hot for dinner and the in house bistro had some very convincing chicken and rice soup. Jesse, the waiter, commented that I seemed to be ordering comfort food. I may look forlorn. This here and then there and very little up in the air is a bit of a bite. I flew yesterday. For just an hour and it was my first flight in about three months (where I flew). It was good. I thought my short field was a bit of a drop in, but the IP really liked it. These kids are all about PTS and no finesse ... I said short fields are routinely soft also. so plunking it down isn't anything to pop the champagne over! Yeah, I was relieved that I could still coax the Cutlass in to a few performance landings. My only power off 180 was genius.
I need to do a little homework and then sleep - these eight hour lectures are a grind. Two more day and we'll be through the manuals and on to ... well, on to a more indepth look at what's in the manuals!
I am finding that I look forward to hot baths, good hot coffee, and if it weren't too weird I'd wear the same sweater everyday. I'm still starting every morning happy for this adventure ... it's the end of the day that feels not quite right. Being away from home is difficult (even though I really really like no electronic noise - the quiet doesn't bother me at all, it's the hugs I miss!).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

this is all I have time for right now


FTY departure/weather

Six Flags on crosswind leg

VANS - bc my boots didn't like these rudder pedals - weird

view from room - see white where blue is supposed to be

food - not too bad - not Sunday deliciousness though!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Looking towards 096 degrees as I roll in to the parking lot each morning I am greeted by this spectacular sunrise.

Behind me the full moon is sighing a goodbye. We worked hard today - another full day of ground. I am impressed with the instructor. It's been very interesting to see a slightly different way of presenting some of the material. I always enjoy observing people who take pride and pleasure in their work - as this instructor does.
On a different note, I can't remember when my body has felt so tired. I thought I would walk around the mall some tonight, but now I am back in the room and can't imagine being tempted out ... the curtains are drawn and for all I know it's the middle off the night, or maybe even the next day. My watch tells me ... sleep first. Tomorrow we may fly. Tomorrow TS forecast. If we fly I want a good block of shut eye, if not I'd like to press on a bit. Weather is so screwy I can't take the chance of not being mentally sharp for the first look at the unfamiliar airspace. I flown in here before - IFR to drop off and pick up pax - why does this seem any different? Because I like positive control and don't quite get VFR in controlled AS? Because I like to worry?! No, that couldn't be it!
It's almost six o'clock local - nap time. That I do know!

This morning I skipped the hotel breakfast and rerouted for Starbucks stop. I get it.
The cutest little single cup coffee maker you've ever seen sits across the room. I stared at it bleary-eyed this morning from my bed ... the bed with my pillows and my duvet comforter ... the little feathered nest I have created away from home. I thought to double bag ... they provide two so ... why not? This is why not: Cutestlittlesinglecupcoffeemaker, like so many adorable little things, wants to have it her way ... and pitched a messy little fit (no room in the basket for excess grounds and water). It was then that I had the Starbucks epiphany ... Starbucks provides a consistent product - hot bold jolts. At home or out and about - doesn't matter. I know what to expect ... I won't be disappointed. This morning I reached for the cup with one hand while presenting the card with the other ... a perfect transaction to start the day! ... now for that nap.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Evening day 2: It already seems like I've been here a long time. I have developed a sort of routine ... it was actually developed for me! I set the alarm for 6. If I wake up before that I read a little and make a quick note for you guys who are following. I shower and dress and repack the books I want to take with me to class, then I go downstairs for breakfast. The buffet is the usual hotel buffet fare - the grits were as good as Five's but the coffee was undrinkable! I hop in the car for the drive over nlt 7:30. I like the traffic. It's great to see everyone on their way. The airport is about 15 minutes away in traffic. We work pretty much straight through til 11:30. I put Mountain Dew in their refrigerator (and an apple!). I decided to permit myself unlimited Dew while I am here - some of the guys are sipping on those tiny caffeine bombs. I am thinking about trying one of those, but we start flying on Monday and I don't really want to be jacked up! There is an okay restaurant on the field - I eat there and watch the planes come and go. They have bizjets, small twins, helicopters, a yellow bi-plane ... pretty much all kinds of small singles. I haven't seen anyone waiting to depart, but the flow is pretty constant. They guys who I have lunch with are busy comparing notes and chest bumping. It's easy for me to just sit and relax ... I smile and nod every once in a while or I might say, "That's total Bullshit...", just so they know I'm listenning and holding up my end. Besides airplane stuff they like to talk about their trucks...factory lift...that sort of thing. It's almost like background music ... airport music, punctuated by the glee of climbing engines. We have an hour. Then back to the class room for more discussion/test prep. I am feeling good about that side of things. We are dismissed at a little after five. I prefer to come back and eat in the room. Today I took a hot bath with bubbles! Now I'm tapping this out and thinking about what I will work on tonight. The FAA written is my next event. I think I will do that on Sunday. When I get really tired I fall asleep with my books on the bed and my phone under my pillow (as usual). I miss my family, but I feel good about this opportunity. I am really hoping they will get a checkride set up for me before I head home! We'll just have to see how that goes because the FAA may want more notice to schedule me.
Quickly - this morning I read to think about - John 2 ... where Jesus turns the water in to wine at a wedding (also His first public miracle). I noticed that the servants filled the vessels to the brim - to my thinking they gave the task their all. Twenty to thirty gallons in a clay pot must have been pretty heavy ... where did the water come from? ... how carefully did they carry their load back to the Master? However that happened, they managed to pour themselves in to a task that wasn't easy and probably brought them no joy other then setting the burden down (and a job well done). And then, the ingredients for a miracle were in place.

For me - day two begins.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday evening - end of class day one.

I came back to the room and filled up the ice bucket. Cool drinks seem to be priority one. Ice water is so good. We were given an hour lunch break and everyone opted to eat at one of the on field restaurants. I wished that I didn't have to make small talk - fortunately, one of the guys felt like sharing his life story. One of the guys is vegetarian - I ordered a veggie burger just before he ordered his, and became an instant best friend. "Are you vegetarian?" he asked leaning in towards me so the others wouldn't hear. I thought of that medium rare steak that disappeared from my plate on Sunday. "Not really (more like not at all)." I said ... will he feel snookered when he sees how bi-dietary I really am? Maybe I'll wear yoga pants to soften the blow. The two weekness of this program seems to be pretty permeable. I have a sense that two of my classmates kinda float in and out of this program. I thought this was the first time this class had been offered, but I learned today that this is actually the 36th time. So five of us today. The old-timers in the room are talking about someone who will be joining us next week. He wears a gun (all the time) and I think they said he works as a border patrol agent. The idea of a gun is very exciting to these young men. I was recently somewhere where I was asked "Are you carrying weapons?" "Only my lipstick." I replied. I think most pilots should carry weapons ....

So, I returned to the room and put together this dinner. I am glad I brought a couple of bowls. It's nice to have some familiar things around. I really don't know how airline pilots do it ... or any of the pilots who are away from home alot. It seems like the lifestyle would be tremendously stressful. I am still at that point where the silence is - well, kinda great. I rode the elevator down this morning and then back up this evening with the same older gentleman. His curiousity got the best of him and he asked me and I told him why I'm here. I knew he was a salesman - well, I thought I knew and he is. He's here once a week ... "Tomorrow I'm taking my wife out to dinner in Chicago." he told me. "Ah! Taking her somewhere great I hope." Casual conversations in the elevator with strangers. He's tired. I could see the lines around his eyes. How often is he away from the life he's working for? Is he home enough to make all the away - okay?

Now I'm going to take a nap until I wake up - and then I will study a bit. I am that kind of tired that makes your shoulders ache ... but I am smiling.

Notes from home: Four's replacement device in and well received - Mom is currently tolerable. Five has decided that it is time to begin shaving her legs - Mom sent detailed instructions making it sound like a lovely experience - Mom is missed. One sent encouraging note. Two sent I love you this moring bright and early (actually it was still dark). No word from Three - he'll hug me when he sees me kinda guy. L is asking "Is it what you were hoping it would be?" I think it's going to be what I make it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well - here I am - first night of my - what shall I call this? For now, adventure. The room is nice, and I am getting used to the different sounds. There is a vibration in the air-conditioning duct that I bet just a bit of tape would remedy. I heard an airplane climb out just a few minutes ago. I liked it. Earlier today, a very big blue bellied airplane flew a departure right over me ... up up and away ... boy, do those climb!

The drive over was pleasant, listening to Phil Collins made the time fly by (even without speeding). It's almost time for my new car - L is teasing me with a 500hp manual transmission ... practicing my best restraint today. I always feel at home in a big city. I also talked to both of my best girlfriends. I'm fortunate to have people in my life who really know me and really love me (in spite of that).

Tomorrow is an orientation day - we begin at eight. I'm interested to see how they run their program. My goal is to get the ride before I head home. Wouldn't it be awesome to complete this certificate?

It's been a good day. Tonight, I am very sleepy.
Wow - good luck on making your phone insurance work for you if/when you need it! I have several layers of patience ... and when I shed those layers, my skin is patient ... patience has seeped deep in to my pores. I am patient to my detriment ... aggressively patient on occasion. Last month we worked a claim on one of the kids phones. It was an aggravating mess, but that five bucks every month for the past several, did finally net a refurbished Blackberry. Now another one is fritzing out. I really thought I would breeze through the process. Wow. Wrong. Wrongwrongwrong! They start you out with a loop recording espousing the ease of claiming on their website. Uh huh, even my fifteen year old (the very one whose phone is jibberishtexting) is unable to navigate it! Okay - so back to redial and get in line ... this one couldn't help me because we were default routed to T Mobile but AT&T customers ...transfer ... uh oh ... now it's in Spanish ... oops, back to for verysuperduperfast service try our website ... this went on for an hour. I spoke with several real people. I was pleasant. They were pleasant. We were playing electronic Chutes and Ladders. I was also steam ironing (which I enjoy). ...eventually we got to the point where I said, "Now you'll say this...blahblahblah...I'll say this...blahblah...then... . "Let's cut through it," I suggested, "please expedite me to a problem solver." I was cheerfully tossed back to hold ... then the called was dropped. I am going to put an empty coffee bean bag in the pantry ... every month every phone in the house will contribute five bucks ... we're going to self insure. But in the mean while ... here I go to

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jerrod Niemann - Lover, Lover

Turns out I need to leave tomorrow. I'm making a real list and a mental list of what needs to be done before ... pick up laundry, drop off roll and key to computer cabinet, get bangs trimmed ... . FI thinks hotel is in a shady area. He was talking about sketchy neighborhoods, cockroaches (and bedbugs!) and outside entry. I may be wondering about the wrong things...I am wondering about thread count and shower heads...I am wondering about a treadmill because I'm sure I won't be walking around by myself. He said if it even smells wrong spend the extra money for something better. It looks okay in the picture. I assured both FI and husband that I will make other arrangements if I need to. Now I am wondering if I should make the reservations for the whole time or not.

Top priority today: Order new phone for Four.

ps.+++Hair cut ... check (and she would really like for me to stop trimming my own bangs... and I would if she'd just show up at my house every morning)
+++++ Hotel reservations made ... FI cracked me up by google earthing the area and pointing out third world aspects ... "Come on," he said, "they had to give you another option or two." And yes, they did. So I have made reservations at not the most cost effective place and doubled my per night rate even with the school deal.
+++++Substitute teacher has everything he needs to handle my class ... I had to loan him my picture ID pass key to swipe himself into my room ... the picture is pretty horrible ...which he pointed out (laughing like a jackass if they laugh). He said he was going to get post-it notes printed up with that photo on it and post them everywhere. "I've already been dinged on that picture." I told him ... "so and so pranked it a few semesters ago" ... hey can I help it that I am not photogenic!?
+++++I guess I just need to get the oil changed and finish packing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just a few to think about today...

I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now. ~Thoreau

Thoreau must have been a really cool person - he said so many interesting things. What a great way to express this idea. Someone was talking about the negatives that come with what they do ... how they spend a big part of their only life. Yeah - I've noticed that everything comes with that stuff ... the stuff that is just about too much on some (lots of) days.
Several years ago we visited the reproduction models of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria (now in dry dock in Corpus Christi, Texas). They were tiny. The cabin was stiflingly small. Wow - what an idea - on the deck of the world, for there I could best see.... And see what?
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." ~Thoreau again. Sometimes it may be the moonlight amid the mountains ... every once in a while. Sometimes the darkness blankets the view and it's as if one has no choice but cabin passage. And then maybe there are other wonderful things to see. Maybe one might see the reflection of who they are becoming ...
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
~William Ernest Henley

... responsible as, accountable as the master of my fate ... the captain of my soul.

That's kind of what I've been struggling with. The cabin is too small, but it's known and relatively safe ... . Or ... I can take my chances out in the open air. I bet those sailors would wish for a little of both. Shelter and adventure.

Looking at those little boats and the conditions ... they didn't use GPS ... and yet the same stars sparkled overhead. I wondered that they could make it safely (scarred and stinky ... half starved) to the other shore.

“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.” ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." ~ T.S. Eliot

"Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try," which is Yoda from "The Empire Strikes Back"

I'm a little bit scared ... afraid ... as I set out. Two weeks towards the next shore (and I hear the hotel provides those white goose down comforters that I like) on this little journey. Very exciting ... very cool! Dangit - I'm running late!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Night Thankful

Tonight I am just thankful for the opportunity to finish the work on my CFI certificate. I appreciate the way things have come together to make a way for me to complete this - this is important to me. I haven't been anywhere by myself in 16 years ... well yes, the grocery store ... I'm talking about a spend the night away kind of anywhere. It's kinda silly and sweet at the same time. How many times have I packed everything we could possibly need for a family vacation ... or whatever state meet, business trip or adventure I was facilitating. Now it's just me. Do I take my own pillows ... my coffee mug? I know I'll need my books and my flight bag. I have a stack of black t-shirts ... and a stack of white t-shirts ... and blue jeans. And my soap. My logbook is at the flight school - I need to pick that up.

I leave on Wednesday. Pretty exciting stuff.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

While I'm here ... one of the guys said he'd cover my class. I am getting everything (mostly myself) ready to go. My comfort zone has held me here to finish the certificate. Now the scales are leaning in a different direction. My only regret is that I had hoped to finish this with the instructor I want to work with. I felt that way working with one of the commercial instructor too - not the first and not the last ... hmmm ... first, favorite and last were all Navy guys ... seems like the Navy produces some pretty high end instructors. The instructor I work with now is in a class of his own. I've enjoyed and benefited from working with him. He's been pretty rough on me a few times and surprisingly sensitive, or intuitive may be the word, on occassion. I like to present a very consistent picture of myself ... some days the shadow of that silhouette might show a woman who is carrying way too much baggage ... somehow he can see that and he's said, "Whatever that is, you need to get that handled ... ." I like it that he doesn't try to get in my business. Well - all that to say, I am adjusting to the idea that I'll be working (and learning no doubt) from another instructor or more - idk. It's all good. On Monday I'll reserve my spot and make hotel arrangements. I'm a little nervous.
I'm sometimes willing to sip a tiny taste of cold beer - you know, just to confirm that I still do not like it. Today ... I liked it. This is the label just so I can remember ... .

Friday, September 17, 2010

I am back to not sleeping well. Maybe that's just me - maybe waking up every few hours every night with each of my five babies made me a light sleeper. "Is that thunder?" I asked my husband at around five this morning. I could sense that he was also kind of awake ... I must have dozed off and on after about three. "No, some one's showering early." Sometimes I like to imagine living in a house where only two people live ... just every once in awhile.
Saw FI after ground this morning. He was scowling, "Did you ask so and so (to cover the class for me while I am out of pocket)?" "No sir," I was quick to tell him, "They did call yesterday and tell me that they would - and said they'd already spoken to you - I thought you initiated it." We'd already agreed on who I would ask. "I've spoken with dah, dah, and dah ... waiting to hear from dah3 ... still have dah4 as possibility." He wanted to know what reason was given for unable on the first couple of negative responses. "How long you gonna wait" he asked. "I'll have someone for you by early next week or it's a no go", I told him. "Okay, I'll take care of the other ... ." He said.

ps now it is later - didn't hear back from dah3 - called dah4. He said, "Sure, just tell me where you need me to be and when I need to be there and I will do it."
Have message in to FI that it's handled. Now I can start looking towards finishing this up.

My husband was quite unhappy that I would consider honoring my commitment on this class because of how he feels about my experiences out there. I said, if no one will step up to taking this class I will see it through ... and wait on the training opportunity. He says if you do that they will let you - if you tell them see y'all in a few weeks, they will find a replacement ... and if I lose the little job then so what. And I can see his point - he doesn't want his wife treated like this. As he says, a hobby is not worth this much stress. Part of this is though, for me to learn how to deal with this. Yeah - that's the reader's digest version and maybe I am an idiot (not his word) for handling this as I have but - it's what I am comfortable with. I said "I will do this." See, it's really the same thing anywhere to me - you say you'll do something - you do it. I am not a power player - I don't want to finagle (spell check took it). I'm not a strategist. I want to do what I think is right and I think I have to answer to myself for what that is. I would prefer not to be in this spot ... I won't be back in this spot again. Yes, I can see that the current situation is not as it should be, but I feel that it is important for me to do my best (even in the face of them not honoring what they said they'd do). And I think I should be more careful about what I say I'll do in the future ... and I think I should get commitments in writing ... so, I'm a late learner. I feel badly that I have made choices that brought me (and my family) to here - but all I can really do about it is the best I can see from here.

pss - and one other thing - I have the luxury of making a choice towards what I think is best because I have the support of my family. It is an amazing luxury to be as sheltered as I have been - that's the other side of the coin here. I haven't been messed around for so long that I just come out swinging. I have the luxury of looking at this as calmly as I want to. It's not about survival ... .

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I spoke with interim chief this morning (aka FI) about possibility of me arranging for a sub to teach my class while I am away at finish up school. He said okay, but not any of the new guys and who you gonna ask ... I told him my two preferences and asked for his. Now I have spoken with three of the four possibilities takers. My first choice guy is scheduled til 7:30 on those nights anyway. Bluh! I can't just leave them hanging with no instructor. (As I proof this post I see the irony here.) We'll see. I have confidence that this will work out one way or the other ... that is a ridiculous expression, of course it will work out one way or the other ... what I mean to say is I am optimistic that it will work out well. (You'd think I'd learn by now that that is not necessarily true!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Flew this evening with a guy who is working on his Commercial Certif - He was a little befuddled about how he wants to execute. I told him how I do the commercial maneuvers - I think he is relying on the instruments too much and not listenning to the plane. He doesn't choose outside reference points...that's not gonna work. I think he would enjoy more and get better results if he would get outside more. He is able to control the plane pretty well, but he gets behind a bit because he can't see exactly what he wants the plane to do (yet). I walked him through my short field technique - I said just do it like this and let's see what you get. I can see that he doesn't quite either understand, or believe the energy is managed. I don't want to pick it apart ... it was great fun. He was so thrilled with his landing and I said that is about two thousand bucks worth of "do it again". Too bad everyone doesn't get to work with the guys who taught me.
This morning it was my turn to teach in CFI ground - I taught spins. The guys were either sleepy or I did alright because everyone was nodding and taking notes. I like to teach the aerodynamic portion of this myself ... rather then the FOI material. I think the FOI material is important - very important - but that's not something I will stand at a board and teach.

A spin is the result of an uncoordinated stall ... it takes both to spin an airplane. I set up a line drawing of an airplane and drew a turn coordinator with the ball out to the right and went from there to the four stages and the steps to recovery. It was fun. I thought it would be the most difficult maneuver (?) to teach, but I'm starting to think they are all pretty much the same because all the same components are in flux.

Last night my husband said he'd like for me to revisit the idea of going elsewhere to finish this up - rather then wait. Today I am doing that. I'm thinking about that today. I spoke to FI about it this morning. I would prefer to finish this with him. He is an outstanding teacher/mentor. Some of the guys (and I) were asking him about the higher AOA on the lowered wing in a banked,but not turning airplane as it relates to lateral stability specifically in reference to dihedral (but not necessarily sweep back). Later he said why don't you run that down ... he threw down the gauntlet ... I said, I don't know...I'm pretty busy...what's the prize? He said I could have one of his lemonheads and shook the bag. Those things are nasty. I said so. I may have time to sneak an explanation in here though.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yesterday I started dinner early - everyone loves to come home and smell deliciousness in the air. We had a quiet evening and I slipped away to a hot bath and early lounging - lazing around. Somebody I read has posted a picture of a lightweight aircraft that has captured my imagination. It has four counter rotating electric engines - two props per thrust line, counter rotating ... and it just doesn't quite seem right to me so I'm thinking about that. From there I jumped in the very "amusing musings" of a charter pilot and next thing I know the bath water is tepid and my book - The Goal - is still sitting unopened on my bed side table. I am liking the book. It's basically about a production model, but seems applicable outside a factory situation. For example, what is clogging up the production of my CFI certificate ... . And from there, what is the most productive remedy. What is my goal? So, yeah, the vehicle to the goal is via the certificate, but the product is not another really cool piece of green plastic. So - I'm really trying not to kick and flail ... swear (which I'm not really very good at anyway) ... well - it's kind of difficult to explain. I can feel the energy I put towards this sort of heating up ... it seems to vibrate in me. Some part of me smiles at myself and says soothing rational wise things ... another part of me has the finger hovering just above the bitchswitch. All I really need to do is sit tight and let this thing work itself out.

"Hell, there are no rules here- we're trying to accomplish something."~Thomas A Edison
"Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself? - Lao Tzu

... a couple of my favorite quotes - put together here they represent the two horses pulling my wagon - I respect them both, I feed and care for both - I'm just trying to hold the reigns and encourage them to pull together, I'm trying to not get bumped out of the wagon. They gotta learn to run together ... so to speak.

Two other quick notes. My husband observed that I am being watched by my family as I work through this. He says I am doing this not just for myself, but also for them ... they are also served by the intangibles here.
I have a tendency to think of my stuff as compartmentalized ... when they are home, I am their momma ... breakfast, lunches, papers signed, no I haven't seen your shoes did you put them where they belong or ..., then they go do their thing and I open a book or pack a flight bag and do my other stuff. Sometimes they ask me if I flew today but usually we talk about socceer calls or can you take me here, my English teacher is unreasonable, so and so wrecked his car ... you know, important everyday things. On the scanner is a picture of a very little (adorable) girl who is waiting at the airport for what will be her very first flight. Beside her is her big brother, also a preschooler, also very very little (he's 6'4" now). I coulda scooped them both up at the same time back then. Behind them the pilot is preflighting 97883. First flight in a Cessna Skyhawk - for all three of us. She dug that photo out of my huge keepsake box. It means something to her (too). My husband pointed that out.
The other thing:
Little miss came and snuggled me last night before she went to bed. She gave me a butterfly kiss - I used to give them to her because they made her giggle. (A butterfly kiss? You snuggle your closed eye very close to their closed eye and flutter your eyelashes.) "What was that all about?" I asked her smiling. I was surprised she remembered that baby stuff : ). "That is because you had a rough day." she replied with a hug. How do you know I had a rough day?" I asked and she said, "Come on Mom, I'm not a baby. I know things." Pretty sweet.
One of the CFI kids called - they never do that in the evenings - he was just trying to lend a little support. Someone sent a nice note ... someone else said a prayer ... .
I'm getting jostled around in my wagon on the way to this and that, I feel like I'm holding on for dear life (sorta like that Pax landing with me for the first time ... everything was optimal for a super spiffy landing, but he didn't know that ... I can see from that pre-taxi photo he took that he was already pretty jazzed up). I think I've got to hold on, when in fact, everything is most likely just as it should be.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This morning I visited with the Director of Flight Education. I basically recounted my training experience here. I don't really know what the objective of that was ... the FI told me I should and so I did. What do I hope will come out of that time spent? I didn't ask him to do anything any differently then how it is currently being done. I basically told him what had been said to me leading up to this point and that I am on his team and I hope that he will be on my team - the team that it takes to get this certificate done. I was a little emotional. He asked me why is this an emotional conversation for me. I said because the hard part of this is supposed to be the knowledge and flight training portions, not all of these unknowns and unexpected interuptions. I have spent $8,000. (if their acct. is correct - it has had thousand dollar line item errors in the past) on just this certificate - and it's not done ... and I haven't flown with them since my stage checkride in July. When I look at this in black and white I wonder why I continue on this path. I looked at my folder this morning ... A's and B's on the lessons. I've asked my instructor if this is realistic for me - he and our previous chiefs have been supportive. The frustration level is very high. If I weren't me I would have cut bait on this a long time ago. If I weren't so close ... if I hadn't spent so much of my time ... and money ... . If this was just a little less important to me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I'm thinking about something.
What if the lessons I learn here are transferable to there.
And they are. We all know that.
What if the lessons I learn now are foundational for what I am able to learn later.
And they are. We all know that.
What if what I am really working on is this and that.

Some one was talking about a rerack ... re boot ... recycle. One little gremlin running amok held up the whole shebang. How much could one little misthink mess up? Yeah, it depends.

One of the things I love about being older is I have a catalogue of experiences to pull from. I see people around me who could, but don't ... and sometimes I don't either ... transfer learning. My husband who is very smart and probably knows me better than anyone else says I am a "random access brain".

I am trying to finish a project that has significance to me. I know why it is significant. The layer that allows me to flight instruct is superficial - not to say it is unimportant to me because, it is quite important, The other layers are private matters and have nothing to do with sitting in the airplane with someone who is dangerously unskilled ... enthusiastically unaware ... arrogantly inexperienced ... a beginner. Yeah. I'm looking forward to working with those student-pilots, but that is not what I'm learning/building here. It totally is and it's not - not really.

I can see this dangling right out there ... right in front of me. I can smell it ... almost ... almost touch it. That is the frustrating part. That's where I am emotionally exposed in this process. Guess what? I actually fly quite well. My skill set is strong. I can see that I will be an excellent instructor ... in an airplane. These other lessons or learning experiences are for something else - I don't know what. That's the stuff I have learned to trust God with. I think He knows what He's doing. I just wish I could see it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just a little silliness here -
I seem to be out of practice with frozen margaritas. I drank one at lunch today and had a headache for the rest of the day. This summer I drank my first dirty martini - I like martinis. Larry and I drove up to Chicago during the summer of 2007. The jeep was brand new and I thought it would be fun to make a rode trip with the top down. It was fun. He was in Chicago to work, I went along and spent the days wandering. The museum there was fantastic. One day I did the Frank Lloyd Wright bus tour. It was a great time for me. At dinner every night I ordered a martini ... chocotini was my favorite. I haven't been able to recreate that. But I prefer dirty martinis now.
Tonight we saw the American. Neither of us like the movie. I amused myself by sneaking in some dove dark chocolates. I saved the wrappers to read later.
Here they are:
Face up to fear, every challenge is a blessing.
Live from your heart,it will never steer you wrong.
lessons learned ->Dark chocolate good - even with out icy vodka.
I remember sitting on the front row at the movie theater watching the ... pool, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, lots of smoke. My best friend and I sat there smoking Marlboro 100s and pretending that all the smoke was on the screen when the usher came to tell us to cut it out. We thought it was hilarious ... we eventually grew up. Something about movie theaters makes me want to behave inappropriately. That was the Sting.
Ground was fun today. We talked about stability a bit more and spins.
I think I am a little bit afraid of this CFI stuff not working out for me ... it's hard to keep on putting myself out there when I seem unable to make things work ... .
On the way to the movie tonight my husband said something very nice - something about following your dreams and what you feel passionate about. He said it's obvious that I feel passionate about aviation ... and he didn't seem to mind.
Three boxes came from Texas this week. My brother in law is helping his mom shift through her belongings. He sent tokens for each of my children. Boxing gloves and Papas dominoes for One. China for Two which I asked him to store over there and he did. Several pieces of Waterford for Four and Five. Some art glass and Granddad's bible for Three. He sent their grandmothers bible to L and it had several lace hankies tucked in it ... for the girls weddings I said when he showed me. He sent Calvin's air force wings for me. Very thoughtful.
Tonight I am going to read : The Goal ... a gripping fast paced business novel that introduced the theory of constraints... . Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox. We'll see.
Yesterday I visited with FI/acting Chief about the student who just doesn't want to fly. We talked about that kinda just in time because the kid was in someone's sites for a little come to Jesus meeting.
After that we started talking about my flight training. He asked me how I was feeling and I started telling him ... then I started tearing up and I said I had to go and he said hold on a minute just sit right there and he reached for some paper napkins. Then I started crying. I hate that. It was bad yesterday and today I feel ... not better. I went through all three of his paper napkins ... sniffing like a cry baby and blowing my nose loudly. He stood up to go get more tissues saying, sit tight. He was going to the bathroom for some toilet paper. I shook my head and said "I'm out of snot." He laughed.
His advice for me is to just sit tight if I'm not going to finish up elsewhere. He said, "Don't run to trouble." He promised me that as soon as the new chief gets here he'll try to get my training spot opened. (I bet he will be able to do that.) Because we are a university program the students get preferential training slots. In the past, once someone was started they wouldn't be pulled til they finished their certificate. The director of flight education doesn't want to honor that or the other promises that were made to me by the previous chiefs. My FI told me to schedule an appointment with him and tell him what my situation has been. He thinks it will go well for me. My husband is aggravated with my start stop training experience. He thinks I should be a bit more aggressive about this. I told him that would mess up my chances of being hired as a CFI. He's about fed up with this whole deal. I really want to finish here ... do the ride with my FSDO ... and get a job flight instructing. I'd like to teach a few people how to fly. And then I'll be ready to go to the beach if that's what is next.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I taught a make up ground today. The student missed the first few nights because he had enrolled himself in instrument ground. He has given what I think is an erroneous impression of himself. He is the 19 year old son of a fighter pilot who has recently retired from the airlines. His grandfather was a military pilot and as it turns out has a base named after him ... is that true? I don't care enough to spend a moment researching that. The mom has already called a few times trying to get things on track for this kid. With that background, I'm a bit surprised that his ground school material consists of Cessna Learn to Fly CDs ... I'm not familiar with the actual content and maybe it is complete ... idk.
I met him and was immediately put off by his arrogance and something more but I couldn't put my finger on it. I wasn't looking forward to spending time introducing him to the books and syllabus for this class ... . We started at the top of page one. The class meets every T/Th from 6 to 7:30 I told him. He let me know that the class should really be over at 7:15. Yeah, that's the first time for that one ... I smiled at him and said I don't know why you think that and I don't need to know ... what I do want you to understand from the start is class starts at 6 and finishes when I say we are done ... sometimes that will be later than 7:30 but not often, because I will respect your time and you will learn to respect my time as well ... I won't be wasting time telling y'all about my weekend (Some one actually asked me how my weekend was right after I called roll ... I said if the class really wants to hear about my weekend they can stay late and I will tell them ... then they can share if they are so inclined ... I looked around the room ... no takers I asked with the slightest smile ... no? ... okay then let's start with the aerodynamics of slow flight ... . So now they know. ) and I would like for you to understand before we go any farther - I noticed last night that you were wide awake for the entire class and that's a good thing. (I had spoken to him about that after his nap during the first class he made it to). He smiled and nodded. I also noticed that you spent the entire lecture ... texting? ... playing a game? ... surfing the internet? ... it doesn't matter what you were doing, showing up and staying awake doesn't make you present. After a pause I said I'm not willing to lie for you ... when I sign the sheets I am saying that you were exposed to this specific material ... I'm not saying you understand it or will even remember it, but I am saying I believe you heard it. If you're not going to listen, I need you to put more effort in to at least making me think you might be. To make a long story short (er), I would say that this kid has everything he needs to be extremely successful at this - flying - except he doesn't want to.
He doesn't want to fly. He doesn't know how to tell his family that. He knows exactly what he wants to do - he wants to go to the beach. He told me that. He thinks he needs a year off to figure out what he wants to do with his life and he thinks the beach would be the place to figure that out. He doesn't want to spend his parents money on books, because he's pretty sure he's not going to read them. He feels bad about them paying for flight time when he doesn't really want to fly. He doesn't know what he wants to do, but he does know that it's not fly - and he feels really bad about letting everyone down. Honestly, what do you say to that? He thinks he's got a stage check lined up with my flight instructor ... I don't know if I'd hate to see that or if I'd love to see that. I told him to please not embarrass himself by thinking he can swag his way through that. We talked about him dropping this course ... he's already dropped history and needs to keep at least 12 hours going ... he's already ditched his flight hours saying that he prefers weekends ... he tells me that we're finding him a weekend CFI. I told him that he needs to protect his GPA for later - when he figures this thing out. I'm going to loan him a book (PHAK - he's given me his word that he'll return it). Obviously, I'll need to speak with the FI about this - this is above my pay grade.

ps - I know he may be playing me. I can see that he's kinda playing his folks - He wanted an SEC (party) school, they wanted a flight program ... that's why he's here. The weekend only flying constraint that he requested was specifically intended to limit his training. Every kid that sits in private ground has a story. All I expect from any of them is that they respect the rules and understand the consequences .

As I sat there with him hearing his version of his story I thought about my own story - rather the flying aspects. How many young people are there who wouldn't give anything to be in this kid's shoes, and yet this gift is his burden. I am an older person (meaning - no career path ahead because I too want to go to the beach - but after I do this not before - I would trade the beach for this if it made sense on my timeline), I am experiencing a lot of obstacles to completing my training. Yesterday morning I was whimpering under the load. Sitting there with him I could literally feel the difference between doesn't want to and absolutely has to. Today - I'm back at it. I'm improving my lecture notes on stability ... maneuverability ... and controllability.
It's Wednesday morning. I taught last night ... collision avoidance, wind correction while taxi-ing, transfer of airplane control ... safety issues, and less formally, the realities of a very busy uncontrolled field. I finished up aerodynamics in flight and moved to airspace and airport environment. I take pride in putting together a really strong presentation twice a week. When I drove out to the airport to pick up the certification sheets I heard yet another piece of annoying ... aggravating ... just one more thick layer of stink. I getting pretty tired. Weary. Why am I doing this? How much of my life am I willing to trade for this? The syllabus puts me less than ten hours short of finishing the CFI certificate ... . New chief ... number six is on the way. What will he be like? Will he see me pre-flighting and suggest that ... if I'm going to be up and down on an airplane all day the least I could do is wear a dress ... like a previous chief? Will my efforts be marginalized because I'm not a real student? Flight training is expensive. To earn a commercial certificates you gotta expect to pay around $40,000. (250. x 160). An airplane with an instructor bills at 197 bucks here. I'm in pretty deep. I look like a person who does this for fun. That $40,000. might have bought a high performance engine wrapped in some glossy sleekness ... instead we have invested in an unrelenting source of ... what? ... I love flying. I love the challenge of executing well, I love the stretching towards the knowledge requirements, I love the process and the polishing. I just don't see why it's so difficult to hold everything together long enough to give me a shot at my check ride. How much has this break in training cost me? No way of knowing. How many molecules have I ground off my teeth fretting about the FSDOs disposition ... .

I had been sleeping a lot better. Last night I woke up three different times and told myself not to fret. Don't be sad DeAnnie ... every thing's gonna be okay. Something really needs to be okay pretty soon. I am exhausted by this load ... I don't think I can take much more.

Okay - off to ground school. Yippee.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday night Thankful

+A nice long hot bath - hiding out listening to music and reading
+Hot tea-blueberry
+Two walks today
+The most delicious steak ever for lunch
+I made those brussel sprouts in burre noir and capers - the dish was a big success. Everyone was in for lunch today and only V disliked - delicious
+I've been sleeping a lot better
+One of my son's came running up from behind us while we walked and I let Sammy go thinking they might run together...Sammy tried to herd him back to our "pack"... too funny.
Note to self: husband wants CFI certif completed before year end bc of tax deduction. Wouldn't that be nice I think ... Flight training has shaped me in to an active hoper. I'm like an old farmer. I watch the weather and the market place and I play my hand but I know no matter how early I hit it or how late and long I work - it's not really all up to me. If it were I wouldn't have any down time (certainly the past two months worth) and I would have trained exclusively with this last ( please God let it be so) instructor. Double I and MEI don't count. I would totally be driving my BMW. If it were all up to me.

Good news-> we have a chief. ... He'll be here pretty soon. I don't getta help them pack ... . I hear October. I hope.
Spiderwebs are amazing. I am not a big fan of spiders (and snakes...) but I do appreciate the geometry of the web. It is so cool that these guys can create this lacy structure. This one is hanging in a bad place - at about 7 feet, but over the walkway to our front door. It'll have to come down because it says creepy to our visitors ... and it probably means baby spiders inbound but I really enjoy seeing it and tossing a bit of something on it and seeing the spider scurry over to check it out.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This really is the strangest thing. I am not pursuing closure or even thinking about this event anymore, but all of a sudden nice, kinda soothing things are happening.

During the hazardous attitude discussion, someone said, "When someone is angry with me and I don't understand why, it just stays in my head... They can hate me ... Call me a douche (that's how they talk) ... Whatever, but I just have to know why... I just can't let it go". All except one person said "Yep, that's how I am.". The outlier wasn't really paying attention - he just absently said "Yeah that's how women are". Too funny, or ridiculous if you prefer. "Well, there you go ladies!" I laughed and looked around at the room full of men - 'cept me. The poor listenner knows I've been a little like that this past year. He isn't a confidant ... He's not even a friend really ... He's someone I'm there for. I help him and I like him. He knows the situation I've described previously bothered me and he knows I didn't understand what happened ... He knows I tried to make it right. Maybe I cared too much. I'm not sure about that. But I did see that I participated in a situation where hurt happened. And I did want to understand the mess and/or help clean up the mess. I wanted to behave as responsibly and compassionately as possible. He doesn't know the evolution of my soul.
I can still hear the twenty year old me saying, " if it happens in the rear view mirror it's not my problem." Meaning I can drive as recklessly as I wish - no worries if I'm not directly involved ... Even if the problems in my wake were because of my wake. There were years when my best response to something like this would be to callously dismiss it with a shrug and a flip of my hair (or hand) ... on to something else. I just flat out didn't care. I was a long term tenant at that place where the front door mat said "my give a damn's broken".
It's an emotionally seductively place where nothing really matters and no one can hurt you ... because nothing is important. I know the look in the eyes that look out from that place ... the place where one has nothing else to lose because everything they think matters is gone and they don't have the capacity or courage to let things matter again ... I've seen those eyes in my mirror. I've seen them. I've seen those eyes on beggars in Mexico and on people fleeing Katrina, on a man at the first and then second funeral of his children, on a young girl telling me about her abortion, ... You've seen them too. Those eyes are everywhere. Those eyes say I don't care. That look is long gone from my eyes.

I do care. I even prefer to care. I am blessed to have things that matter. I am blessed to be someone who cares.

Today we launched another CFI - out to a slightly better job ... more pay, less stress, no students, a corporate job. I rode over to the Mexican food place where we do our farewells with one of the new hires. I didn't know that we had a flight instructor in common ... he started blasting the guy a bit and I just laughed and said, "I enjoyed working with him right up to the last ground lesson." I told him how it went and he said, "Seriously that was you?!?" He said the guy said I was nagging him (about flying the RG), he hadn't known it was me. I was so happy to hear the other side of this story. I thought I'd never know the other side of the story ... . Funny really ... I figured no one knew about it even though he was screaming at me in the hall of the office building. Of course they talked about it. The guy's students where rescheduled when he left. There were a lot of hard feelings aired. Everybody knew I didn't want to hear it. I was dealing with more important issues and a lot of this just went over my head. I can see it now. I thought I had decided that I would look out for this batch of guys. Now it's so easy to see that they decided to look out for me.

I learned a lot of good things from caring about that ... and sticking with caring about that. I wanted to blow it off, but I didn't. That's a good thing. I felt a pull towards participating in the trash talk and I've been able to steer clear. I think the hardest part for me has been to remain caring. I feel good about that.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

It's been 7 weeks since I flew. Is that possible? I've safety piloted for a few of the guys - I've been a working passenger. It felt good. Everything was exactly how it should be ... I've been worrying that I'd get rusty ... seven weeks didn't show worse for the wear at all. I was being, flying, especially sweet because this was my passenger's first flight in this small a plane. He wanted to see the stadium and another specific landmark - which he saw. I realized that he was just a bit overwhelmed by the experience ... I banked 20 degrees and lined his point of interest off the right wing tip ... he was like holycow or something like that. His follow up comment was,"Don't we lose lift on a steep turn like that?" I shook my head no and said, "You seem to know enough to scare worries" and I gently tapped the altimeter. "Still 2500." I said. We remained level at 2500MSL for the bulk of the flight ... certainly throughout the sightseeing portion. I tried to hold his attention on the altimeter and pointed out the vsi to give him a little assurance. "Now we'll climb up to 3000," I told him, "and trade a little airspeed for the additional altitude." I tapped on the ASI. He wanted to see some of the undeveloped area around here - and there is a lot of it. He asked for a steep turn and I set up for it, but it didn't occur to me that his idea of a steep turn and mine were different. I noted that he thought 20 degrees was steep, but ... well a steep turn is at least 45 degrees angle of bank. "Are you ready/" I asked and he seemed ready. I rolled left and a bit of power... touch of trim ... perfect ... lovely ... man, it's hazy I'm thinking and I roll back to the right ... glance at the instruments ... allow myself the slightest smile ... there's the wake ripple.... there she is I think. He said something that indicated that he wasn't loving every second of this ... "Alright, we'll discontinue the maneuver I tell him." SnL ... I tap him on the knee to make a tiny bit of contact. "You okay?" I ask, smiling encouragingly. "Uhhh yeah ... that's my first G. (45degree steep turn is less than 1.5 Gs) I tell him we'll head back to the airport and do some landings if we have time. And then I ask him a chef question to put him back in his comfort zone. I like that I remembered to tell him exactly what and why for each hand movement I made. I like that I gave him airspeed and altitude instrumentation to look at. I'm glad that I didn't put him through several take offs and landings. I gave him a beautiful take off and a sweet little smooth landing. He did great! What I wish could have been different is I wish I hadn't given him a steep turn ... he didn't know what to expect and that was my oversight. I wish I had heard rather than just listenned when he said a 20 degree bank was steep. I knew the landing might worry him a bit and I talked him through the entry all the way down to clear of 36 ... I sensed him tense ... I saw him hold on to his seat ... "This is good ... perfect ... see the lights (VASI) you were talking about ... we're looking for 65Kts all the way down ... over the gate I'll ease the power out and ... flare ... and ...whah la you're on the ground ... !"

It's very different to fly with a non-pilot. I need to remember that as I begin instructing. Everything is new. As we secured the plane and walked in to the FBO he asked me if the G's bother me ... I said I just don't experience them as anything other than a piece of information about what the airplane is doing. A lot of what you heard and felt is a normal subroutine for me ... like when you cut something ... I never look away from my knife. "Yeah, I get it" he said, "I can smell done ... hey, don't burn my Parmesan...". "Yep that's it ... I haftah set the timer" I told him, and if I do otherwise we know it's ready when the smoke alarm goes off!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We were talking about hazardous attitudes in ground school on Monday morning - as Ive already said. Today we talked about coping strategies. Pilot's are generally good at compartmentalizing. We looked at the info in the Aviation Instructor's Handbook. From those two topics I started talking about my general observations of women - I said women are survivors ... we are hard wired for survival. Young men are hard wired to see themselves as invincible. This is chauvinistic I know, but it's why I think men excel as warriors and women don't. Just an opinion.
They choose Destiny's Child for me...number 176. One guy got "Chillin" by Blaine Larsen ... Got my I don't care ducks in a row. I'll take Survivor. A women intends to walk away ... and if everyone else can - awesome! A man might forget in the moment ... a man might say "watch this here shit." I'll stand by this: No woman's last words will be any thing like watch this... .
My home is quiet,cool,and relatively tidy. I blasted off at 8:00 this morning just in time for ground school. The group of guys I do ground with are really great guys. Today they gave me a song - they said it should be my theme song, but I haven't heard it yet. It should be funny - we'll see.

Oprah - not a huge fan of Oprah the machine, but I do respect what Oprah the person has been able to do with her life. Somebody gifted me with a subscription to O the magazine and I don't get around to reading it as much as I apparently should! July 2010has an article - "How to Solve a Thorny Problem" I quote:

"We're used to living in an either-or world---but when it comes to yes-or-no dilemmas,says MARTHA BECK, the most powerful thing you can ask is:What if both answers are true? "

Genius! Exactly! She goes on to say,"This is the problem with either-or thinking: It leads to an answer that is only half-right."

That is what I am talking about. It's not always, and probably never, that simple.

My private ground guys and the CFI candidates have all recently taken the FAAs Hazardous attitudes profile (AC 60-22 - if you go looking for it, there are two PDFs and both are needed to make sense of it). I took it and was surprised by my results. Well, a little surprised - the not at all surprised part is I score very low on the "resigned" aspects ... I always think there is something I can to to affect a better outcome. Good for a pilot because it means I'm not going to become a passenger when a pilot is called for. Not so great for the average day in a life. By that I mean when something (almost anything important or my business kind of thing), is not right I will try to make it right. Or I have in previous days. An example: I am the fortunate mother of the coolest 15 year old girl on the planet. I mean that. She rocks. Unless she is tired or unhappy. On those days she would like to invite me to make her happy. She does that, because I have (unintentionally) taught her that I will try and try and try until we pull the smile out of my bag of tricks. That is not the message I want to send to her, or anyone I care enough about to want to tend to. I read a little research recently that suggested that Americans are dissatisfied, jaded, blaise, because we have too many choices. Even our pets have too many choices as evidenced by the whole aisle of pet food at the grocery store. Here's the choice I am now offering: Chose to be happy. Chose to not blame ... blaming others is a victims game ... you can only fix the problems you own. Big girls don't need their mommas to coddle them towards a happy place.

I'm rambling! Back to July O Healthwise by Tara Parker-Pope ...

"The State of Your Union" ... As strange as it might sound, one of the clearest signs of marital trouble is a simple and common facial expression: eye rolling."

Eye rolling. I think eye rolling is a little like rolling your RRRRRRsss. I think there may be a genetic predisposition towards it. I am unable to roll my eyes. Well, I can, but it takes conscious effort. My daughter, the 15 year old one, does it all the time ... with me. Wonder what that means! The researchers cited in this article say eye rolling is a sarcastic nonverbal gesture that doesn't clearly state the person's disagreement - making it difficult for the recipient to respond.

I think fifteen year olds are notoriously unhappy (sometimes). This is the forth one I've parented - I'm seeing that more life coaching now. She is at the age where she makes most of her own choices ... many of ... she's choosing well. If being upset with me is part of the pecking out of the shell or flapping out of the nest process I can go there.