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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I used to read a lot. Different kinds of books ... classics, sci-fi, best sellers, Clancey and Clavell, those charming books by Jan Karon, Lewis ... and books on philosophy ... favorite quotes ...The Message ... NIV ... the Apocrypha ... I used to have two or three books going at the same time. Then I started needing that time to get my ground lessons in shape ... then my CFI notebooks. I find myself at a loss for what to read! I am on break. Today I lounged and read just what I knew would make me smile ... some reliably favorite stuff. I drank my martini after lunch and when my husband had to make a run to Home Depot he offered his ... hmmm, ice crystals still floating ... two will be too many I thought ... briefly. It has been a lazy day.

My son, One, reads. I have looked at a couple of books at his request during this last few years. He has given me a book. "I'm up to page 53," he said handing it to me, "Let's read it together and discuss it when we're finished. Exactly how I like to read a book ... with a buddy.

The Haidmaid's Tale. Creepy. Compelling. Chilling. By Margaret Atwood. It seems to have a post feminist vibe. I wouldn't have picked it up on my own ... I can wait to get back to it!

"To want is to have a weakness.
(a separate idea:)... It's this weakness, whatever it is, that entices me. ... I want to know what he wants." pg 136.
"He doesn't mind this. (This= the main character lost her job, her bank acct was transferred to her husband, and she was unable to make purchases on her own accord.) He doesn't mind it at all. Maybe he even likes it. We are not each other's, anymore. Instead, I am his." pg 182

The main character has lost the life she knows ... her ability to make choices is severely limited. Set in a dystopia, she is valued only for her ability to produce a child. I have a feeling it will not end well.

Next, I might read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Or Stones to Schools,by Greg Mortenson. Or one of those Oprah Magazines stacked up and still glossy. I don't have anything on the side table that looks really interesting ... . It's hard to compete with the Naval Aviator. Suggestions?

Starting to think towards the coast ...

This is the Southern Living Home at Cinnamon Shores - pretty much the perfect house. But - this house is full of perfect comfy furnishing ... I still think it may be all about the furnishings and palette.







http://http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/idea-houses/southern-living-texas-idea-house-port-aransas-00400000048570/
This home by Max Levy is one of my favorites. The furnishing are too austere for my taste, but I like the clean lines and tidiness of the architecture. I like the references to some of the great American architects. I like this over all aesthetic for a home at the beach ... that sleepy little fishing village. This house is designed for the lake ... five acres at the lake. I bet this architect would enjoy designing a home that fit the constraints and open vistas afforded by the Texas coastline. Most of the building going on there looks very Southern Living and it is beautiful too -











http://http//www.nikiomahe.com/home-design/house-at-wind-point-hunt-county-texas/

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I have been busy with flying this last couple of years.

Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.
~Henry David Thoreau


After a several year hiatus, I was able to unearth that bone. The actual work of it was really good. For non-aviators, there is so much basic background information ... it's unbelievable how much there is to know ... how varied the knowledge base must be and how constantly pilots study to retain and enhance their understanding of their equipment, and the variables that flight operations take place in. I teach a class in basic - first stop on the way to becoming a pilot - private ground. I've taught this class for several years now. Every time I teach the class ... I learn something. There is a lot of meat on this bone.

Last week I did the post check ride debrief with the instructor who I did all my right seat training with. I wanted to thank him for the investment he has made in me. It was fun to discuss the experience with him, because he has collaborated with me on the flight training part of this. He knows where my strengths are and more potentially amusing for him, he knows where my weakness have been and, as an aviator, may be exposed. He was interested in specific aspects of the check ride ... the very places where he has welded reinforcing material to strengthen me ... "Did it hold ... was it enough ... " he must have wondered. Flight instruction is a delicate operation.

I told him that I want a job. He's the go to guy for that. He leaned back in his chair and started talking to me about something I think I know all about. He doesn't think I understand how complicated my life will become when I work fulltime or even parttime. The bottom line is this - he doesn't think my husband will want me to be distracted from what I've been primarily doing for the last thirty years. He can't come right out and say that, because it would be politically incorrect. My children are growing up, I told him ... of course he knows that. He also knows that I have by sheer determination moved metal while pushing back domestic concerns. He doesn't know my specifics, because we don't talk about personal stuff, but you don't sit beside someone in a small space and not know some of their stuff ... it's in the air. I don't know what that is he told me, but get it handled. I think that stuff is straightened out now. He doesn't - I can tell. "Who is going to cook dinner?" Yeah, he actually asked me that ... and he was smiling. His wife became a doctor after their family was grown. He may be going home to sardines and saltines for all I know ... he obviously thinks he knows something that I don't. And he very likely does. I have seen this routine from him many times before ... it happens right before I either step in or almost step in a proverbial pile of stink. He's picking up something on the radar. I probably have some sort of nonverbal ... firming of the jawline ... hand flex ... something that asserts my determination ... I said something and he moved away from the are you sure you know what you're getting in to track to prodding a different area ... . The last eight out of ten instructors we've hired have their double II ... are you going to get that done? I will after I've taught a year I told him ... I have bills to pay on this thing ... I need to move the numbers in the opposite direction. I've already got an offer over there and they are paying big bucks up the road (two different places) I said. He said he already knew about that - on the first, he said if I want to instruct for them, it wouldn't preclude me from a job here as well. I respectfully disagreed because I see every private pilot that comes through this program, and a competitive option will eventually become an issue there ... maybe, he allowed ... if you do that get the issues ironed out first. As for this other, he said, you and I both know you're not going to drive back and forth to teach ... now it is my turn to level a smile at him ... my smile clearly says I might be thinking about it. They are offering about twice what is paid here, plus medical, plus multi engine time ... it's all true and he knows it. I tell him that I will do the double II as soon as I can afford it ... and the G1000 ... there is no reason why I shouldn't do the MEI as well I said ... the FAA guy said I'm not too old to put those to good use. I never said you were, he said ... and he hasn't. Again he smiled ... it's not really a smile ... more like an okay I hear you.
Okay, set up an appointment with the chief he tells me... I expect we'll be needing someone in December, "Hell", he says, "We could lose this one, that one and that one any day now". Are there any promises out in front of me I ask ... by that I mean, is the next opening already promised to someone else? He tells me there are no promises out.

I look at my watch. We're already in the lunch hour. My phone has beeped three times. All three are requests from my children for me to do something nice for them. I call my husband ... he is already heading back to his office. I can see that I dropped the ball. Yesterday it bounced back and surprised me ... I was late for or missed the third lunch this week (counting the road trip day). I'm going to have to figure out how to put a hard line around that lunch hour.

Today - pretty much absorbed by homecoming festivities and housework. My husband is already gone for the day ... professional obligations. I realise that there are adjustments to be made.

One other note because I think it is funny:
On the way out of FI's office I asked,"Do you know what Coach bags are?" His immediate response was, "You should get you a few of those, they'll look really good with your BMW!" He's needling me ... . "Do you know that those things are upwards of 500 bucks?" I ask. I just haven't quite wrapped my head around this yet ... I understand how women know about Coach ... does everyone know ... am I the only person outside Coaches advertising circle? "How well I know..." He says, "...that is what outlet shopping is all about!" Oh, he's good.

Friday, October 29, 2010


... On the table today - in honor of Two's birthday.
Yesterday I did accomplish everything on my check list ...paper work for ground school wasn't completed, but I did get to that place. Twenty five more pieces were generated last night so here in a few minutes I'll go out to the flight school and move towards caught up.

Today will be a fun day. I'm going to be sous chef for Two as she creates cupcakes for Four's homecoming shindig. I do not bake. I cook ... and mix drinks with a bit of a heavy hand, which seems to be a crowd pleaser, but not for this particular event. Four developed an interest in baking at a very young age, and she totally rocks it now. She told me that she wants to save baking/chef school for later like I did with aviation. I told her to go for it now, but she said she loves what she's pursuing now for now and that for later. She knows what she wants and how to make it happen, and that is what I hoped for for her. Then she showed me this site: http://www.jimspancakes.com/gallery/ . Wow. Who knew? My idea of an amazing breakfast is huevos rancheros ... or just lately banana walnut bread, but that is another story.

Okay, so dish washing and measuring for Four. Townhouse admiring is also on tap, because One and Two have decided to be roommates and I am liking that. I'm making Jambalaya for lunch and boneless (of course - I know who is laughing about that!) pork chop with apples and onion and garlicky butter sauce (it's going to be genius) with crispy sweet potato chips on the side, for dinner. Then a movie tonight - The new Clint Eastwood movie with Matt Damon - Hereafter. I want to see it.

Now that I have some time I have three projects that have been on hold and are now on my mind. One, is a drawing of a little Cessna at the hold short line, but ready to depart ... I'll draw that from an overhead way up perspective ... with very restrained colors ...maybe even pen and ink or just my black and grey prisma pencils. I am itching to do that ... I can feel the excitement crinkling my eyes! Next, we have several really good photos from the coast. I am going to select and move them into the ten large frames that hang in the dining room - the room where I have quiet time every morning. I want to start the day at the coast as the seasons change outside. I want to see those colors and remember the sound of the waves. Then, someone has generously shared a collection of aviation photos. I want to print those in a matte finish 4x6 format and spray mount them on heavy black hole punched paper. Some of them are perfect illustrations for student aviators some of them are just perfect. I used to ask myself, "How does God stand all the horrors of this world?" I am glad I have come to this other place in my life ... this place where I recognize that God painted the sky with stars ... this place where I wonder how He can hold all the beauty that is available to behold.



Five commented my hair looked super shiney this morning while I sat with her ... maybe there's something to that heated masque ... .

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Okay - just to be clear, because my husband does occassionally glance at True North - I do not want a Coach bag at this time. I know that I have said,"I do not want that." when in fact I did want that ... this is not one of those times. : ) I'm sure.

Break time is over. I have ground school paperwork to catch up on, vermouth to procure, laundry to pick up, a den to dust and vacuum ... and I think it is time to start getting a job helping people learn how to fly airplanes.



It was fun listening to women complain about being massaged a little too enthusiastically ... you wouldn't believe all the nail colors there were to choose from ... my hair is in shock that there is such a thing as a "normal hair" masque (and I am expecting it to thank me today for sitting under a dryer in the salon yesterday in an effort to make it even more normal) ... the water walls were really pretty, and I had a nice time with two of my favorite people. (Missed you, DLMJ.) H says she will send me a picture to document our day (she is a real photographer and is working on some photo magic - and maybe a tan for yours truly).

PS - more Starbucks research ... findings coming soon!
http://www.coach.com/online/handbags/-handbags_silhouettes_shoulder-10551-10051-5000000000000015034-en?t1Id=62&t2Id=5000000000000015034&tier=2&LOC=LN

These are Coach bags.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Girl day ... I may be the only girl I know who does not own a coach bag. Hmmm. What kind of day must it have been for me to arrive at the end of it with that one of the take away thoughts? ... pretty sure I don't want one ...

I really enjoyed time with H and Two. Two has the best iTunes library ever ... old stuff, new stuff ... seriously, she has Disco Inferno (Yes I remember the words and my feet seemed to remember something as well) ... she has Bert and Ernie (I still like paperclips) and Beethoven ... old Enya, new Enya ... Dido. It was alot of fun to roadtrip with her in charge of the music.

We finished our spa things and had to make a trip to GAP. Apparently they are not the same in every location - who knew? We walked in through Macy's. I sprayed Channel on my neck and my daughter gasped, "Mom, what if you don't like that?" My life began when she started watching! "Baby, this is the first fragrance I ever sprayed in the air ... I've known this scent practically all my life!" I told her. My mother wore Channel. I wonder if there is still such a thing as dusting powder.

Loved rocketing down the road in and out of fog. I love to drive as fast as I think is safe ... from speeding tickets, deer hopping out of the woods and other hazards...too fast is still a little bit too much fun. My brother called and I slowed down enough to take his call. Our mother continues to neglect to collect her biopsy test reports. He is really upset about this on top of that. She'll do as she wants, she always has. My brother is a bit of a hero ... he needs all the available info to map out the best course of action for her ... 'cept she is unable to cooperate right now. He's is worried about me. I have unresolved business with our mother. I talked with him about that . I think he can see that I'm gonna be okay with unresolved. He can't fix everything ... it's tough to be a good man. I was fortunate to have really the best brothers in the whole world ... she gave me that. I've learned that too much time is wasted on looking at the negatives when it's likely that they come wrapped in joy.

I am a baseball fan ... especially when Texas is playing in the World Series.

I've had a couple of instructor invites ... I'm thinking about cleaning my house some and working in the yard a bit, before I make a decision. Today I decided to have pink toenails.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What feels better then setting a goal that seems ... almost out of reach ... at least difficult ...and then accomplishing it? How many times during the past year did I think the cost of this is too high? How many times did I walk past something that I might have done in favor of completing this?

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
Henry David Thoreau
How many times did I recalculate the costs? At what point did the cost of not finishing become a factor?

This is what I do know: It feels really good.

My husband says this is an orienting event. He encourages me to capture how this feels ... he doesn't say feels ... he wants me to enjoy what this means to me ... this accomplishment. This is a great feeling.

Tomorrow Two and I are joining H for a spa day. I am getting maybe 6 inches of hair cut ... no one will even notice because my hair is too long. I've been over due on some of that stuff. Spa day - yee haw! And lunch somewhere nice.

Tonight ... class was almost too much fun. I taught on weights and balances. I love to see them figuring it out. They are so proud of themselves when they answer correctly ... too heavy means ... what? They love getting the right answers.

So - play day tomorrow ... weight shift and Time Speed Distance on Thursday night. I know ... I really like this stuff. It is so much better then Bakram Yoga!
This time last year I was making a couple of flights a week. We flew the Navajo low, in the mid 10,000s and could see the trees changing colors. I enjoyed those flights. I liked that type of flying. And the scenery below could almost compete with the vista out ... and up.

A lot has changed with this year. Good stuff. As a person I have gotten stronger ... and calmer. Not more laid back, because that wouldn't have been possible - lol - I would fall over were I anymore laid back. Calmer in the sense of not worrying about things I cannot affect ... or maybe shouldn't try to.

My big dog is a Great Pyrenese. I believe they were bred to herd and help tend sheep. Several of my children run - sometimes together - and I would like the dog to get that kind of work out occassionally. He's in great shape, but he just doesn't get it ... he wants to put the runners back with the walkers ... he wants to keep the flock together. It's his instinct. He is not a distance runner. He looks around at me like what should I do? Let them go I say.

I have five children - four of them adult - if you can think of a fifteen year old as an adult (pretty close most days). I am totally good with them running their own races. My husband has sounded the starting gun several times now! I like it that they are the kind of people I enjoy sharing time with. I like them quite a bit. I am feeling like they can venture in to their own fields without the big bad wolf getting them ... I worry about them less ... I couldn't love them even just a bit more! This morning Three left without a lunch. He is 6'4" - 220 pounds of running out the front door. If he doesn't think a sack lunch is important enough to see to himself ... he may be right.

I didn't want to spend what comes next for me ... a full time mom/homemaker ... as I have seen many of the women around me do. I wanted a challenge ... something I've always dreamed of and set aside in favor of the people I love ... and now it is possible for me to accomodate both ... or all. My husband and I have built some runners ... I'm starting to remember how much fun it was to discover a new trail myself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I did switch gears on the drive home on Friday.
Momma.
Why is that such a complicated relationship? Complicated but really quite simple, cliched really. Some mothers and daughters have circled around each other warily for all of known history. Some of them. Not all. I don't want to go into any of the details of my relationship with my mother. The mother of my brothers. How she became who she is ... I do not know. She is mercurial, multi- faceted, predictable in her unhappiness ... Unpredictable in how that may be acted out. As a child I felt responsible ... If I tried just a little harder ... Smiled better, walked slower, smelled sweeter ... All the good "ers". I tried. I really think I did. And then I gave up. I call her once a month. It is enough for her ... it's all she wants from me. She talks about whatever she thinks of and I say uh huh ... yes mam ... little sounds that let her know someone is on the other end of the line. She sometimes asks me about my children whose names she either doesn't remember, or doesn't like ... she asks me questions about them that have nothing to do with their interests and she never fails to comment on how fast they have grown up and how little she has seen of them ... left unsaid, but understood, that is my fault. "Why do you always blame me Momma?" I asked her twenty years ago. She surprised me by answering ... "Because you are here." In that moment, my childhood began to make sense.
I am grateful that my one living brother totally "gets" her. He is firm yet tender towards her. She listens to him as she has never been able to listen to anyone else. He can calm her with a raised eyebrow. A shh. A slow shake of his head. Whatever that is, I am so glad for her sake.
"How's Momma?" I asked. He was waiting to hear about the biopsies. She says she is fine he told me and she pretends or maybe is unaware that there may be more to this. We may have the results on Monday ... or it may be later. She usually seems sharp, argumentative, abrasive, when I talk to her. He gets the vague and unsure version. She seems almost childlike - as she always has. He has decided that it is time to move her closer to where he lives. We have talked about this for years. Now it's time.
I feel sad. I really feel like I have failed and time for anything different has run out ... at the same time I feel that what I would see as a successful connection is simply not possible and I am happy that it is possible for me to just make the connection that works for her without ruining it hoping for more. I wasn't the daughter she dreamed of. She is not the mother I would wish for. There is no animosity, it is what it is. That's the best I can hope for. I can help my brother ... that's the best way I can show my love for her.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


What a wonderful carefree day. I really look forward to Sunday lunches, but today was just exceptional. I haven't unpacked my books yet. I've pulled just a few items out of my suitcase. Slept late ... no make up today. I haven't been out of the house ... if the step out on to the back porch doesn't count ... my dog came in looking for me. Believe it or not, I feel younger. Really! Talked to my oldest friend on the drive home from ATL. I told her that I am so relieved to have this completed ... this is the last big project for me I said ... make me promise! She just laughed. After lunch today everybody scattered and I went to my room to take a nap. Sunday afternoon quiet time for mom has been one of my favorite long-standing traditions. I laid in bed and dozed and read pretty much all afternoon. I rubbed the soles of my feet back and forth across my sheets. My feet like that almost as much as they like walking along the beach in and out of the saltwater. I am thinking about that Aveda day ... I'll call them tomorrow to see when we can schedule. I've been saying I would relearn Spanish. I already have the app! Maybe it's time for me to try to rebuild up to that five miles a day that I did for so long before I broke my ankle ... maybe start by starting! My refrigerator is out of sorts with stuff pushed to the back and several bottles of orange juice in different stages of empty ... but not a stick of butter to be found. There is dust on the lamp bases in the den. I don't have to look the other way on that tomorrow ... I can spray and wipe my way to domestic nirvana. I'm going to do some ironing now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Photo of bowls being rinsed out in hotel sink as I worked towards the checkride. I liked the bowl colors with the grass and sky colors in the following picture ... Plus I am a big fan of round or curving lines.

Woke up with a big smile! Today ... nothing is pressing ... ! Three is already out with his Dad en route for a ACT testing site ... he very sweetly asked me to help him with his baseball uniform ... it's a bit of a red dirt and blood mess. It will be my pleasure to get that ready for the game today. Four, my kitty girl, has one of her homecoming events tonight. Did she order the boutonniere? Wow, what a big word for such a small thing. I bet she did. I bet it will be perfect too. She may want the full on Mom treatment today or she may have made plans to get her make up and hair done with a friend ... we'll see ... today anything is possible.

Yesterday I woke up and got dressed in a hurry. The post-it note on the mirror called for a nlt 6:00 departure. Everything had been repacked the night before except my clothes which were hanging ironed ... lint swiped ... waiting for today to begin. I wore my favorite pullover sweater (for comfort like a blankie) Khaki slacks and those black slip on Vans that like the pedals in the RG.

I arrived early at PDK where the plane was waiting in the dark. Weather and a final check. Three bags and full pockets on the Northface jacket ... if I don't have it here ... I don't have it. The guy who signed me off help me lug everything out to the plane. "Are you comfortable departing out of here in the dark?" he asked. I said "Come on now - you saw all those night landings (on the 8710). He thought the number was excessive for my total time. I like flying at night. While he sprayed foam cleaner on the windshield, I did my preflight ... very thoughtful. He said he'd be praying for me and I could tell he would have hugged me if we knew each other better (I kept his flashlight ... will send it back in a few days with a nice note).

NBAA jets were still parked everywhere at PDK. No gawking allowed I told myself. I asked for a departure to the N needing to climb to 3600MSL before a turn to the W ... "no problem" the controller said ... "cleared for take off 2R". The people who own the airplane have a rule ... leave the gear down for all single pilot ops ... the gear dragging out there significantly deteriorates ROC. The Baron behind me is twiddling his thumbs and wondering what I am doing with mine no doubt. I need 4500MSL to transition over airspace near by (to the West). I enjoyed the flight over to CCO. I was thinking about that little girl who flew over this way while working on her instrument rating ... everything seemed a lot more complicated back then. C130s on the ground ... my very first flight instructor took that track to the airlines ...


I'll call him with the good news later today I thought.

The oral was ... not too rough. He started out with small talk and while I was not exactly relaxed, I thought he would be reasonable/professional. I was curious about his background, but thought better of asking about it.

(I found out later that the sun thickened skin on his left arm was compliments of the Coast Guard and later the airlines. He flew his student pattern quite wide - like King Air wide I thought - he was a pretty stubborn student at times during the ride. He laughed out loud at how delighted I was with his ability to hold altitude ... what?! I asked ... altitude is a big deal for new guys! "It's been so long since anyone commented on my altitude control." he replied smiling. Just a guy I thought, yeah, FAA, but still a guy behind all that. )

His first real question was "What qualifies you to be here?" I went to the regs while he checked my paperwork. We talked about a lot of stuff ... what makes an airplane fly ... and on we went through the PTS checklist. Suddenly he was ready to fly and I thought ... really? but said, "Yes sir, I'll go get the airplane ready." The flight was fun. He role played a student once he was satisfied with my events. After flying at his level for as long as he has, I think it was pretty unnatural for him to play the typical pre-solo student! Seems like he made the last landing and gave me the controls once clear. I looked at him and he pointed towards the FBO. Now to get the thing shut down without clipping a wingtip I thought. Lots of paperwork afterwards it seemed. I was pretty happy when I saw that pad of blank temporaries come out. I left the room to get him a cup of coffee and fired off a couple of txt msgs.

The flight back to PDK was uneventful. I enjoyed monitoring ATL ... it offset my displeasure at flying around with the gear down. The airport was hopping when I made the call ... first she put me on a right base for 20L, then a full downwind for 20L, then how bout over the top for a left down wind for 20L ... extending the down wind for a base call and finally another half mile and turn left base cleared to land (with about a 5 mile final and plenty of time to set up for a very lovely landing). The tower thanked me for working with them, and she actually said good job. I smiled and tapped the mike. The airplane touched down exactly where, at precisely the airspeed I wanted, and let her roll just a bit before braking intending to help them out with the possibility of an early taxi off. Suddenly, quite unexpectedly I was looking at grass coming at me ... never seen that before! I had almost no braking available in the right main ... crap ... . Instinct kicked in. (I must have been remembering a day in 1977 when I allowed my car to bump in to some one's garage door as I turned around in their driveway. My dad wasn't too pleased with my recklessness and I protested, saying I was going slow ... the brakes just went all the way to the floor and gave me nothing. "If that ever happens again," he said, "pump them!") I released, then slowly reapplied brakes, gingerly pumping them, applying opposite rudder, and hoping for the best ... it was enough to keep me on the runway albeit embarrassingly close to the left edge paint with directions to turn right, and slightly befuddled. I was able to limp off by playing with the power and cajoling what was left of the hydraulic fluid. Fortunately, all subsequent turns were towards the good brake! When I stepped out after the final shutdown for the day, I saw a wet wheel with a puddle under it. Thanks for waiting on that naughtiness! I thought. This morning I re-read BRAKE SYSTEM. ..."pumping the pedals should build braking pressure"... Love it when
shoulds turn out to be wills! Maybe Daddy was watching today.

I really like the inspector. He gave me many bits of excellent advice. I would have liked to work with my own FSDO - building a relationship locally but it didn't go that way. Instead I had the honor of working with a person who I feel fortunate to have met. Everything you'd hope an FAA inspector might be

So - that part of my journey is over ... and I am going to take my girls out to lunch and think about planting some pansies this next week.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Two hour oral, 1.5 flight. Prettiest temporary certificate I've ever seen! This was a good day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

3000MSL under Bravo about 20 miles West of ATL "listenning and looking" as we transition CCO (Newnan) to PDK. The inspector has requested that I meet him at Newnan - as early as possible. I wanted toget a look at the area, and there are nice areas nearby.

The picture - pretty hazy. Big city hazy. The guy I was flying with said he sure hopes it's atleast this clear for my ride. Just before he said that, I was thinking how not clear it was! Spoiled by clean air.





As far as getting everything ready for the oral ... there is some good coming together here! Just this minute I feel really good about everything. I flew well today and I think this will go well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010



Here I am back in Atlanta. I flew today - it wasn't quite as lovely as I want it to be. The ride along pilot said I need to slow down. I think he may be on to something. I'll fly some tomorrow and then on to the check ride on Friday morning.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Test for my ground school guys tonight.One student stayed late to talk. The material is coming at him too fast. He's up at 5:30 every morning. I can see that he is exhausted by time he gets to me. He's putting himself through school. He is unable to keep up with the reading for this class ... there's got to be another way for a kid like that. I think he works hard. I think he has the capacity for this. He flys on Sunday - he said he never has a day off to just catch up. He is sliding behind. I want him to do well. I want all of them to do well.

My brother called just before I went in to my class. Our mother had surgery today. They removed a third of her colon and her gall bladder because they found cancer. I haven't had time to process this yet. My mother has always been a major health ... good nutrition has been her hobby. I am stunned that she had cancer in her body. I'll put it away for a few days and think about it on Saturday. This can keep for a few days. I'm really glad my brother is with her. That's the best case under any circumstances.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Today: spent a little time with FI. He wants me to be sure to pick up flight following for ride under Bravo. He is, as always, very concerned about collision avoidance. The school I did finish up work with did not avail themselves of flight following. I promised him that I would. He reviewed some of the landmarks over there. We talked about the inspector I have been assigned to. He told me who to ask about him. I said I didn't want to know anything about - supposedly about - the inspector before hand. It is what it is, I said. I told him the hotel was just fine. I didn't mention that they double billed my card and getting that straightened out would be my next order of business. It was so much better then the less expensive option offered by the school. I wanted him to know I appreciated his direction in that selection. He had surgery last week and I told him laying around doing nothing while he recuperated seemed to agree with him. His Dr. said no heavy lifting ... He said he'd need to stop carrying these 18 year old flight students for awhile. I gave him some very fancy olives that have been marinating with lemons slices and cinnamon sticks. Like everything else of late they have pits in them I said. He usually stays in his office for lunch so those'll be a nice treat.

I've been reviewing FOI stuff and the Regs. I am looking forward to working with students one on one and using the info learned in the FOI. It makes a lot of sense. Some of the info is not as useful in a large group - like the scenario based training. A lot of private ground is just basic building block type lecture ... Fundamentals. I guess that's why I like the performance stuff and the Wt/Balance work ... The students get to sharpen their pencils. It's going to be tricky to teach 25 people how to use an E6B. It's really a one at a time sort of thing ... They'll find just the wind side tricky at first. I always wish I had about twice as much time for weather, the regs ( which I've learned to thread in through out the lectures) and all of this stage three material - cross country planning essentially.

Shopping today with two youngest children. Five is shooting up and needed clothes for this cooler weather. She was fun to shop with. My little one stop buddy. Four has plans for two different HS homecoming events. Two dresses ... She has been easier to shop with then she might have been. Her big sister loves to shop and fortunately was available to help out. Boys are so much easier! Her dresses are perfect - she modeled them tonight and I can't believe how fast she has grown up!

I am supposed to be trying to get plenty of sleep this week. I hear that the oral plus the ride may take all day on Friday. I am working at getting the oral prep notes in uber order ... it'll make the process move faster and if I were the examiner I would appreciate anything that smoothed things out. I take some comfort in knowing that while this is a huge big deal to me, to him it's just another day at the office.

Two has a broken knee cap and needs me to see the Dr. with her on Tuesday. She is living back with us for awhile as she mends. Blue dye in the toilets wasn't the only surprise waiting for me! My mother is having surgery today ... I'm grateful that my brother is seeing to that.

... it's time to start thinking about pansies again ... .

Friday.
I'm looking forward to getting this done.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today ... well this afternoon ... was one of those days that I enjoy so much. We sat down to a lovely meal. Four of our five children were there. Three refused to try the brussels sprouts. He was eventually persuaded and he observed that they taste almost exactly like broccoli. He is right. It was a lot of fun to laugh with every one. Three also opened the wine today - it was the first bottle of wine he has ever opened and he did a great job. One showed him how and explained that only champagne "pops". I like having adult children. One said "grace" at his Dads request ... he was teasing his little sister who was fussy about the seating arrangements ... they both had their eyes open the whole time ... she stuck out her tongue at him. My husband and the two other children had their eyes shut ... not everyone prays with their eyes shut. My dog was pretty happy with the scrapes and steak bones.



Remember that chef who wanted to trade a flight for a cooking lesson? He was also "talking" to my daughter ... now they are not. And the cooking lesson would be a bit awkward. So this ... brussle sprouts in burre noir and capers ... cost about 100 bucks and I have decided to share it with y'all. We like it.



Slowly "burn" the butter. Really. It will acquire a nutty taste.



The sprouts are cut from the stalk, trimmed, and placed in boiling water. The yuckiness of brussle spouts will cookout. Really.



When they are tender, dunk them in an ice water bath. That stops the cooking process and keeps them from becoming mushy ... aka yucky.



Finally, seive the ice water off of the brussel sprouts and toss them in the butter with capers and caper brine. If you don't have capers on hand, substitute olive brine.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I am fresh from a steaming hot bubble bath and some fun reading. Today is Saturday. I have spent the day stressing about the ride coming up next Friday. I am annoyed with myself for that indulgence ... and others ... indulgences that is.

The ride will be in a cutlas RG. I flew one about 10 hours about 15 months ago, and while I was in Atlanta last week for about 7 more hours. The airplane is basically a POS with a retractable gear ... or frequently not, but whatever, I can easily pump it down and it feels a little gritty - unlike the newer airplanes. I shouldn't be trash talkin' this baby who has been very decent towards me. I just hope I don't falter on how much fuel she holds (66 US gallons @ 6 pounds per gallon) or the range of prop settings Cessna says she'll attain (12 to 26.5 degrees) ... at 12"MP the aural warning actuates ... sweat is popping up in the inside bend of my elbows (that place where they draw blood ... for donations ... when did I last contribute? ... pilots must allow time before their next flight or risk (hypemic)hypoxia ... that's what my AME says) as I try to remember all the numbers. (I used to be a blood donor ... now being ready to fly is more important ... that doesn't sound as nice as I like to think I am. I might have been a nicer person before I began serious flying.)

Slow flight ... what are her numbers I wonder ... come on DeAnn, I scold myself ... they are similar to a freaking landing configuration ... then add power as the airspeed decays. Do what it takes to make the airplane do what you want it to do! I can do that. I really know I can. But will it be good enough on Friday to look like I can teach it while I demonstrate it? Who will show up to fly that day? A commercial pilot, or an instructor? And what about the examiner? He's new to this FSDO. Does he need to make a name for himself? And that is exactly what is ridiculous with my thinking today ... This is called borrowing trouble. This is about worrying little worse case items which I have no control over. He sounded like an okay person on the phone. He wants to start as early as possible. Start early, finish early. Why am I stressing over things beyond my control? I know I can potentially rock this. The me that's not stressed out can. The stressed out me talks mean.

Minimum controllable airspeed ... defined as the airspeed at which any further reduction in power, any further increase in load, or angle of attack will cause the airplane to stall. Is that correct? Let me look it up. Essentially, yes. Exactly: An airspeed at which any further increase in AOA, increase in load factor, or reduction in power, would result in an immediate stall.*FAA-H-8083-3A

I am obviously flying my earth suit and the accompanying soul/command center at what is comparable to MCA. Wings level/nose on the horizon/full power! I know I should not indulge myself when operating in the area of reverse command. I know how aggravated stalls can get when the equipment is not coordinated. This past year has been ... difficult. My airspeed is low, I'm max load (even for a person who likes the G's), my AOA is high - just to hold altitude. I know that is a recipe for disastrous outcomes.


The guy I like to train with has a cute saying ... he calls it the BB theory: Every time you (I) open up the gun to add another BB, several will fall out. Yeah. I had a BB gun just like that. Another of his expressions, "I like that you are able to slap yourself in the face and hold it together when it really matters." I hope he is right. That seems to be where I find myself just now.


I think I will make some notes on Physiological factors ... that requires very little capacity.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Last night I finished the stage two material in ground. Weather was graciously taught for me while I was away for a couple of weeks ... I like weather and enjoy teaching it. The students said it was boring ... what do they expect? I told them that we would revisit boring after we finish a couple of nights on the regs. I told them that they need to arm themselves with the knowledge to protect these careers they are beginning to invest in. "What kind of car will $50,000.00 buy?" I asked. That is an approximation of what they will spend through their commercial certificate ... it's realistic, not high! I told them that not knowing how to protect themselves is as bad as knowing and just not doing ... . Enough of that. Pilots do a lot of things they may rather not for the privilege of flying ... the costs can be staggering.

I spent four hours this morning organizing and preparing certification sheets and homework for the 25 I have in ground this semester. They have a stage test coming up on Tuesday and I will be away again on Thursday. I really hope the guy who is kindly subbing in for me is as enthusiastic about performance stuff as I am. It's probably my favorite lecture of the semester. They bring their nice new (clean) PIMs in and for the very first time start looking at section five. Lights come on.



Corney - I know. This is a picture of a beautiful huge hand blown light bulb.

Tonight I am going to see RED - the movie. I have been looking forward to it. It's time for me to start getting things ready for my check ride next week. I'm looking forward to having this stack of books off the dining room table. As much as I love them ... yeah, I do ... they are creating a bigger mess then they should.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

That song ... Paint the Sky with Stars ... what a wonderful song. I wish it were easy to set it as the default song for a while. I just came in to listen to it.
I am getting myself tensed up. Why do I do that? I need to cut that out!

Next Wednesday I will drive back over to Atlanta. On Friday I meet with the Inspector. This should go well. I am hearing horror stories from the guys about how they failed because of missing a taxi brief ... or short on a gustly power off 180 ... AGRRR! This is what I can do ... I can do my best ... my best for that moment, then. That's it. I really think it will be good.

So I am sitting mostly in my dining room thinking about how I would like to answer the questions posed in the PTS.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Tuesday. Tonight I teach. That requires some time at the airport today. I'll probably meet the new chief.
I am back to doing those things that a homemaker does. My family is appreciative of the good meals ... something is wrong with my dishwasher ... and there is blue dye in our toilets (which I do not like). Otherwise, I am spending time in the PTS walking through the "Areas of Operation" one by one. How do I keep that ready to roll patina on? I'm not going to waste a lot of energy on wishing that I could have done this last Friday ... I'm not even sure that I would wish that were wishes more than just wishful thinking.

So ... today. I will do what today brings. I do like working in my own space.

Friday, October 8, 2010

At 6:30 local I called the Inspector. He scheduled me for 22 October, Two weeks from today. I'll go back over there and fly a couple of little flights prior to the checkride - that's how it goes.

It is very nice to be back at home. There is no place like home.

#18 Boom Boom Pow

I kept on waking up during the night ... it's still night ... thinking the airplane thing would work out ... and then (just because I want it to) the inspector thing would also work out. I like that about me ... optimistic, resilient, tenacious ... ha ha what a girl!

The drapes are drawn. I like the drapes. I open them right when I wake up and I watch the dark being infused with light. When I get back in the room each evening I've drawn the layers closed ... the wall of glass blanketed by heavy fabric on one side and the continuous hum of the AC on the other ... me in the middle, working away or sleeping. It's been a good room for this task. The draperies have kept the outside ... away. When I open them today, what will I see?

My books are boxed up ... ready to go. My clothes are next. I think I'm going to wear those bodacious cowboy boots of mine today. They remind me that just because I want to kick something doesn't mean I have to ... or even should. I'll have everything ready to go down to my car shortly.

6:30 seems like a long time from now. The best case scenario I can see from here is that the Inspector gives me the name of a couple of Designated Pilot Examiners. He won't though. I already know that. He has me for two weeks before that happens. Frankly, I would rather do it with the FSDO. Some people think the DPEs are easier ... I doubt it. Some people already think it'll be easier for me simply because I am a woman. I don't think it has been ... but being a woman is my only perspective. I heard an ugly word used to refer to women who like to fly, day before yesterday. I felt the pain of it ... even though in this particular context it wasn't even directly applied to me ...The guy was just saying some people may think that of me (just because I am a woman who likes to fly). Whatever.

Today. I've never checked out of a hotel before. I had never walked down the hall to the ice machine before this trip. But I have been the one who gets up and opens the drapes ... and the doors if we're at the coast. This hasn't been a vacation exactly ... in the sense of being away from what is my normal life it has been a vacation. I've been okay - good. This has been good for me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just to quickly update - because I am ... What? I'm not exactly tired ... no, I am tired. I'm tired of doing everything I possibly can and then stuff just not working out. This is an excellent time for me to remember how truly fortunate I am. I'm in a pretty nice room with a bag full of Lindt LINDOR TRUFFLES.
I have all my endorsements in order - the logbook is ready to go. I could tweak a couple of subcategories with in the areas of operation ... but, that's just me, I'm big on polishing.

1:00 local - I request the instructor put in a call to scheduling at the FSDO (he's getting married this weekend and maybe just a tad off task) ... he did so, and lo and behold they have an inspector for me! Great!! I am so happy. The inspector calls and we make a plan for when and where. I am really on my way now! Then, I learn that the part to the airplane ... which later becomes two parts ... did not make it in on the normal overnight mail drop off. They are always here by now I'm told. You better call your inspector and give him a head's up I'm told. I call him ... he is a little annoyed, and I explain to him, that this is the first I knew of a possibility of not having an airplane. Those pictures I posted the other day with the prop au natural ... that's my plane ... I just didn't know it. So - we need a spinner and a shroud for the carb manifold. I know where there's an RG that might loan a part ... or two. I make that call ... but it turns into a no go. At 3:00 I call the inspector back per his request ... that's his time frame for pulling the plug on this. I have a suggestion ... How about if he comes over here and we do the oral here while the new guy is doing his oral in a different room with a different inspector ... (he has priority on the plane that works...that's what the discussion outside was about when my oral prep was cut short ... and let me say here - no hard feelings, he came back to do his ride) ... then whoever finishes first does their ride while the others plow on, or maybe go to lunch. "Oh - no way." he says, very nicely, very firmly. He tells me that he will make other plans for tomorrow, but I should call him at 6:30 local to re-schedule when he has his calendar available ... maybe the 22nd. If the plane is ready, may I try to schedule with a different inspector I ask. He very nicely explains to me that, that will not do. I am here from out of State I tell him ... . He doesn't want to commit to anything I can tell and I thank him and say, yessir, I will call you tomorrow morning. I am not very happy.
At 3;30 local the guy in brown comes in with a very large package. It looks big enough for a spinner. It is a spinner ... and yes! A shroud. The mechanic scoops it up with a smile and heads for the hanger. I am very happy. I call the Inspector. He does not answer his phone. I leave a message: The parts are in and the mechanic says the airplane will be ready to roll early tomorrow morning. I'll call you at 6:30 to see if you can schedule my practical. I go back to finishing the hours on my 8710. At 5:00 local I start heading back for the hotel. Maybe he will release me to a DPE I think. I am feeling the weight of total immersion ... I am tired. The fizzle is out of my focus just this minute. I'm line up and wait.
I told myself this morning that this was all going to work out just fine ... that was before I knew about the equipment issues or I might have spent the night worrying about that. On the drive back to the room I began to "fret" ... and I decided to just not. I'm tired, but I don't have to fret. Maybe it will all work out. I picked up Chick-fil-a soup. I talked to my husband. He was supportive. He told me to get a good nights sleep - that I have done all I can. I told him that I was going to make these notes for the day and then maybe try to figure out how to work the TV remote - that's a joke, because I almost never touch the remote at home. When I was about half way through this post, the flight school called ... bad news. The line to the tachometer is broken. The plane is grounded.
I said, "Okay, thank you for letting me know. I'll try to get the inspector to flip me to a DPE for Saturday or Sunday."
It's going to be okay. I may have to go home without it this time. I really hope not. It's in God's hands ... whether I know it or not it is.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday night. I did the mock oral today with minimum brain freeze. I was missing a couple of books that might have made things smoother because I left them back in the hotel room. We didn't get very far into the PTS, the instructor was distracted by the arrival of the new guy. New guy seems very much like a regular guy. They stepped out to do some mysterious male bonding ritual and I went to Moe's - where everyone is always welcome. Lunch was a pick up and return to the airport sort of deal, but we never resumed my oral test prep. I think it'll be okay - I get the picture of how it will go. I've sat in similar seats before as I've worked my way through the process. My husband reminded me that I've been working towards this for many many years now. We flew this afternoon - 2.7. PDK over to FTY then up to VPC before returning back to PDK. The controller put me on a right downwind for 34 - to follow an experimental. We looked and looked but didn't see it. As I was turning base and still looking the controller directed me to extend my downwind ... to accommodate traffic working ... yeah, I see the biz jet on final to a intersecting runway. She calls my base and clears me to land behind the experimental four mile final. Hmmm. Really big hmmmm. Uh, tower there is no one between 123ME and 34. Then I see them. They are perpendicular to the runway, blasting through my glide path at a 90 degree angle teed up on some inexplicable entry to an entirely different runway ... the one that that little jet is probably clearing just about now. I watch them incredulous that they are now overshooting a very tight final to 2R when I hear tower clear them to land and tell me to prepare to go-round. No kidding, or something like that, I think. I'm watchin' them ... "come on get off my runway ... there's still time if they'll just not daddle" I'm thinking as I prepare to be elsewhere. They actually turned off their (amended) runway and began to taxi on my freaking runway. Full throttle. Tower says 12YOU go around and make left traffic for 34. It was a long day. Tonight I had just enough energy to finish the other half (H's half) of that cheesecake while I adjusted the hot water level in the bath with my foot and read some fun stuff. I fell asleep.
As I type this up, I've polished off one of those Green Goodness fruit smoothies from Bolthouse Farms - w a y more delicious than green drinks are supposed to be! Tonight, I am tired. I have a few little things to tend to, but they will wait for tomorrow. Tonight I am going to sleep. Tomorrow I will organize my notebooks and my paperwork and fly some unusual attitudes and basic instrument whohah. Friday I need to pick up something that belongs to me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

yes, I am eating
yes, I'm glad I have my own pillows

yes, I am drinking too much coffee

raptor wings

I was looking at this (before it was this bad ) from the back seat. I didn't like it very much.


RG prop

Prop governor


My presentation points on Steep Turns

What I am doing right now.
ps ... I did intend to eat the whole thing, but was unable ... I told the waiter at CCF to put an obscene amount of whipped cream on it, and he did. (For H ~ caramel macadamia rocks)

Monday, October 4, 2010

number 45 on my playlist

Paint the Sky With Stars ~ ENYA
Suddenly before my eyes
Hues of indigo arise
With them how my spirit sighs
Paint the sky with stars

Only night will ever know
Why the heavens never show
All the dreams there are to know
Paint the sky with stars

Who has paced the midnight sky?
So a spirit has to fly
As the heavens seem so far
Now who will paint the midnight star?
Night has brought to those who sleep
Only dreams they cannot keep
I have legends in the deep
Paint the sky with stars

Who has paced the midnight sky?
So a spirit has to fly
As the heavens seem so far
Now who will paint the midnight star?
Place a name upon the night
One to set your heart alight
And to make the darkness bright
Paint the sky with stars.
Today. I have a lot of paper floating around as I put together "the notebook(s)". You guys who know me, know I like to be organized. I'm not getting that warm fuzzy ... I mean, I'm not in total chaos, but it's not going to be every bit as lovely as I would like by this Friday. The guys at the flight school are saying the FAA isn't booked up yet for this Friday. We get our mock orals on Wednesday, and then the mock ride on Thursday. I am telling myself to be cool ... sometimes the paint isn't to your liking when you first move in to the house ... it takes time to get everything just right.


Today. We took turns teaching commercial maneuvers. I taught 8s on Pylons. Because it is the only ground reference maneuver specifically "tasked" in area X of the FI/PTS I thought he might ask me to teach it in the oral. I was pleased with how it went. We also went over 91.211 - the supplemental oxygen reg. We spent a pretty good part of the morning looking at the ends and outs of high altitude operations - at altitudes above FL250 - those ops. That degenerated to high altitude potty breaks and had these boys giggling like ... well ... like little girls. They love their bathroom humor. Honestly, I've never heard women talking about that stuff. The photo was the board after a lecture on "pre-flight". These guys love using my markers.

Today is almost over. I'm starting to think about this coming weekend. I put those shoes that want to be worn back in their box and zipped the suit case shut on them. Those shoes were talking way too loud about olives marinading in super cooled vodka. My black Vans know that there is a bit more work to be done ... they are sensible shoes. So, dinner, in the room as usual, is almost over and that means it's time for just a little more effort ... and then a little sleep ... and then, tomorrow.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday evening

Here is some different paint - I'd really like to see this in the air.
This picture was taken yesterday on approach at GVL - there was a dog strolling around - I expected to go 'round.
Spin training today. It was cool ... we got it to spin. It wasn't as exciting as I thought it might be. Recovery was very similar to any power on stall. I liked how happy he (the flight instructor) was about the recover ... I liked getting the actual endorsement in my logbook:

FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR - SPIN TRAINING(i)(1)

So - that's kinda cool.

I like the way they do it here ... this is my fourth flight...each one with a different instructor. It's ideal for me because at the end of the week when I expect (fingers crossed) to get my experience with the FAA it will seem routine to hop in the airplane with a stranger.

Time spent in a room with the same people is getting tiresome. We all have our idiosyncrasies and lack of sleep/total immersion is not bringing out the best in any of us ... especially them (lol isn't that always the case). One of the guys came in today and picked up all his books - cleared his work space. This is day ten - he came to the first two days only. He said he'd been offered a fabulous job (flying) and the CFI stuff regretfully must wait. All of his books are identified with a mailing label 747 pictured with a Captain in front of his name ... just a kid living a large lie. Distressingly sad .... Just in time to refresh the interpersonal dynamics, we have been told to expect a new guy this coming week. I do not know his story. He's coming in to finish up, but they all know him, so he's been here before. I hear he's demanding and abrasive ... it will be nice to have a break from playing that role myself ... he wears a gun at all times (I hear) so I'm thinking he can have it. Hmmm, I think I have mentioned the gun thing previously - the guys buzz on it. I told them if I had time to run by the store I would buy some squirt guns so we can all shoot at one another ... you get kinda silly in a room with no windows... .

I taught "power off stalls" today. The critique was very helpful. I did some things well and some things I can see to improve. I think I'm gonna love teaching.

My husband and Five came in late yesterday, spent the night, enjoyed breakfast and lunch with me today and are now back home. It was nice to see them. Hugs and kisses are good.

videoThis is my first attempt at loading video and I am very surprised that any of that flight was captured - he tried.
Today spin training. This should be good. It seemed like all the flight instructors were trying to get out of this flight. There's an endorsement with spin training - maybe it's a cya thing. I don't know. Maybe they are tired of spinning the airplane. Maybe people hurl I'll have a clearer picture tonight.

Friday, October 1, 2010

When I woke up this morning I realized that right now - this block of right now - is perfectly balanced. I have seen that, that slice of everything even better than you could wish for, many times in my life ... many of those moments are preserved photo memories that I can see and re-cherish. I want to write about this, because I want to remember the gratitude that informs my perspective this morning. I'm just going to jot down some of the streams of thought that converge to provide this perfect pool that I awoke to float in. My intent is to note and I'll edit later - maybe.

I talked to my best friend yesterday - she's known me all my life - I am so very thankful to have a buddygirl who amplifies my joy and bounces it back at me ... she is so unfailingly delighted in my good fortune ... the other side of the wave, she buffers ... absorbing some of the grief that only a very old friend would even understand.

I had been awake for a while before I thought of the smoking hot shoes, re wrapped. re boxed, and waiting. They want to be worn. I may secretly practice walking around in them ... they require nonchalant confidence ... the attitude of a woman who has just succeeded at a big whoop ... yeah, some shoes talk.

My husband put the dog on the phone last night ... ridiculous, I know. Sweet ... you better believe it. He said the dog had been kinda moping and that perked him up. That's not the kind of silliness my husband would normally find himself near, much less instigate, but it sure made me feel better.

I remembered this song...

In the arms of an Angel far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here
. ~Sarah McLachlan

... this morning as I read the latest post on my favorite blog. I know it's a sad song with a lingering melody, but it didn't feel sad this morning. Sigmets blanket the coastal fog that veils the West coast every morning I've noticed, and I wondered, "What does that look like?" Now I know. It looks surreal ... it looks like a lace curtain ... between here (where it's hard to see even what you know is there) and there (where vision is unrestricted). People bump in to each other when they can't see well. Of course I think about that every time I see the numbers and very little else. A foggy morning ... right, every morning ... at LAX seems like a good time to hope for the comfort found in knowing that 700agl is but a couple of breathes away.
I remembered the Nicholas Cage movie - City of Angels - where angels hang out at the library and hop rides on mass trans ... .

Yesterday, I read in John where Jesus healed a man blind from birth. "Was it his sin, or the sin of his parents (which caused the blindness)?" And the answer given, "Neither, but that God might be made known ... revealed ... in the restoration of sight." I probably shouldn't put that in parenthesis because it is heavily paraphrased by yours truly here. I thought of myself - blind, and aware of that fact, wondering what it might be to see. I want to see God. Visibility is restricted, just like in that fog, I move slowly, cautiously, mindful ... thinking sometimes "I've been here before, I know my way" other times reaching a trusting hand out towards the unknown, and other times straining for the promise of an unrestricted view just beyond the veil.

What a luxury it is to wake up early and know that you have three hours to spend just anyway you want ... no one is hoping for the big breakfast or their turn through the facilities ... just the hummm of cool air in to the darkness of this hotel room ... I lit a candle (sage and citrus) ... I stretched and smiled. What a luxury to wake up rested and know that the most important things ... my people ... are fine and well cared for while I take a couple of weeks away. My ten year old pinged me last night ...

I realized this morning that I am on vacation. I feel relaxed, and energized at the same time. I get to spend time doing this - rest and wear myself out with airplane stuff and the corollary - what's the word? - incidental learning - that comes along side.

Now - off to a wonderful day - wow.