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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's raining here ... lightning flashed and I enjoyed it during the night ... honestly I kind of love it ... the science of natural energy ... you don't get to see that everyday.  I wasn't asleep.  I was awake, thinking. It was after twelve when I pulled the covers up and slept briefly.  Life is ... very interesting.  I actual like that it ... life ... isn't easy. How we negoiate difficult choices refines us.  Is it like a refiner's fire ... the fires we chose?  Or do they chose us? 

Two's friend was sitting here with me last week.  He said something truly wonderful, and I have been thinking about it ever since.  Was it an original thought ... idk ... he is certainly capable of formulating this concept... asked Two to query him on origin of that idea ... hope it's in the info pool somewhere, because I know I will under express it ... but here goes:
A man throws a baseball ... the velocity along the path to a mitt is known ... atmospheric numbers etc are known ... everything knowable is known.  Physics make it possible to "see" the location of the ball at each nano-second of the trajectory
I can accept that premise without reservations. Here's the idea ... God can see our trajectory ... just like that.  Kinda cool actually ... and I am really enjoying the idea. Obviously, the ball can be interfered with ... the Ump might knock the catcher over or what ever silliness we want to imagine.  Divine intervention becomes pretty interesting in this analogy too ... well, enough of that for now.

Now, my brother has called ... by happy coincidence he has purchased a new truck.  We like to talk trucks with each other (though I have never owned one, and won't unless it's that Chevy I toy with working on ... hmmm, do I really want a project sitting in my garage somewhere ... idk ... it's all about hanging with my brother, because I would never be qualified to restore an old POS)  He was pretty excited about it - 5.7 hemi ... 1500 Dodge Crew cab (so he can haul his grandkids around) Lone Star edition ... of course I get the whole story ... he is pretty excited and I finally ask him if he's going to need a private moment before we get to the paint and upholstery.  Men and their toys!  The other part of the story is this ... my son, One, is moving back to Texas for law school ... next month.  The baby birds are flying away.  My brother has already said they will come over for a visit then drive home and help get my boy settled on that end.  This morning he told me his truck will pull anything that needs to head that way.  That is my brother.

Hmmm ... was supposed to rain all day.  Turns out my dog may be a meteorologist ... he is "paws up" on the window looking in at me like, this is our window of opportunity ... let's go for a walk.  Yeah, I could do that. It's Wednesday and I am caught up on everything with no commitments looming today ... .
Just a note here ... I did talk to the only commercial type operator ... I use that very loosely iow; not the Regs def! ... told him I'd fly some no charge flights for them if they could use any help ... he told me he'd sure keep that in mind.  Pilot talk for get in line sister.   His info also says big changes in store for the local flight school ... .  Until then, I may need to get that little model RC airplane out and finish building it!
Springbreak at Panama City Beach

The big sliding glass door stayed open all night welcoming the sounds of the surf and the cool night air. What a perfect night. Orion and I watched an airplane making it's way through the indigo velvet sky. A shooting star ... .  Later, a salty mist blanketed the coast and I wrapped myself up tight in that green blanket/shawl that I drag around ... over fifty and suddenly partial to a green ba ba ... when I slept, I slept well, when not, I sat on the balcony listening ... relaxing ... soaking it all in. I've been tired lately ... lately meaning this year. I feel rung out, but in a good way, like empty, but now serenely awaiting whatever comes next. I have enjoyed getting older ... I love the process of living. 
A 30% chance of rain was forecast for today, and an early morning walk saw this rainbow shimmering over the water ... a  welcome to what has become a pretty day. We decided at the last minute to make this trip to the coast ... my husband decided. I am used to going with the flow. Until very recently it hasn't occured to me that I could pack up a couple of the kids and head to the beach without him. It would seem weird to leave him at home, working, while we head out to play. I am dreading these next two years. He will retire after these next two years ... not retire; he constantly corrects me on that ... he'll finish his retirement at his present job and is already making preparations for what (work) he'll do next. That is how he organizes his life. We've been married for thirty years ... I can't imagine a life with a man who doesn't work, specifically on his work, almost continuously. I drove to the beach while he did paperwork ... he will walk with me up and down the shoreline and all the way out on the fishing pier as many times as I want to (probably) ... he'll shop with the girls (our grown up sons didn't make this trip with us) and keep them safe while they play in the water. He'll watch a little of the news on the tsunami ... take calls ... respond to texts and mail ... read ... sleep as much as possible and go back and hit the ground running ... two more years ... he wants them to be 2/3 of his top three. Yesterday, I asked him how he feels about me sailing around in the boat his retirement money will buy after he works himself to death. He laughed. He doesn't really like the idea of sailing anyway.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Today has been a really nice day. It started out so well that I decided to tackle the closet under the stairs ... Almost complete ... Already awesome!

Something has happened to re-cycle my circuits, so to speak. I feel great! I didn't realize that I didn't feel great most of the time already. I've heard that we have a seven year cycle or a five year or whatever they say it is ... I do not know, but I do know I feel better about everything kind of all of a sudden. I can't put my finger on it ... I would really like to, but ... I'm willing to just go with it. It's feels sort of like I just trust that things are as they should be. Love that!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


"The future is not a result of choices among alternate paths offered by the present, but a place that is created ... created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination." - Richard Bach

A provocative idea is offered here ... . I'm thinking about this idea.  I am more familiar with the idea of the road less taken.  I have embraced the idea of this or that.  Was it a high school track coach who trained me towards this idea ... paraphrased - I have seen the direct quote ... when a choice presents itself  identify what is the more difficult path and choose that one ... it will take you to excellence ... where chosing the less strenuous path will take you down hill.  Intuitively obvious.  The Bach quote presents another ... entirely different perspective.  Rather then standing here looking at the divergent paths ... streams ... whatever ... . The decision of the choice is styled from a different place ... the place where your objective is met ... there.  This quote is so interesting as a carrier of an idea because it is the converse of my working philosophy ... backwards ... and more likely to get me to where I want to go right?

I'm thinking about this ... I want to be there.  Let's label that at the beach ... I see that place now.  None of the paths that I see before me will take me to that place ... yeah, I see that I could cut a path, but ... that interferes with other critical objectives.  I can not get to there from here.  I can not see the way, and I know the distance is too far for even my prodigious will.  Can I create a place ... there ... in my mind and will, and then intentionally  do those activities that will create more options ... can I create a path to there that is acceptable?  I do not know, but it is worth thinking about. 

Richard Bach ... Jonathan Livingston Seagull ... haven't read or thought of the book since the early 1970s.  Now it is time to walk Samson.  He has been very patient and I have neglected him these last few days. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

"One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes ... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility." - Victor Frankl

"There are always two choices. Two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it's easy." - Richard Bach

"The future is not a result of choices among alternate paths offered by the present, but a place that is created ... created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination." - Richard Bach
I realised this in the darkest part of the middle of the night ... Looking forward to dawn's earliest light. I am awake. Wide awake with a single thought: I'd so much rather have this hand full of ashes then an empty hand. I know in my heart that it's good when one has a dream, to reach your hand out blindly, as though through a cloud, in the direction of that dream. ... Ashes are good ... ashes remain after a fire runs its course.

Tomorrow, which is aka later today, I am going to refresh my memory ... The phoenix rose out of the ashes ... ?

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I didn't sleep well last night ... I've almost forgotten the bout of insomnia that plagued me last year ... fretting.  I haven't been fretful 'til just here lately.  It's probably the pine pollen blowing everywhere dusting everything with a fine layer of yellow ... if crayola crayon had that color in it's box it would surely be named allergic yellow.  I ended up not flying the other day ... winds were impossible for the little C172 to negotiate ... most favorable runway would have put us at 25 degrees worth of gusting crosswind ... 10 beyond max demonstrated and consequently not.  I was disappointed ... I needed to fly a little and I was looking forward to seeing the pollen from above where it looks like gold dust dancing wantonly with the birds and the bees.

This was to be a introductory flight for one of the passengers.  He would have loved it.  We did sit in the airplane ... it was a lot of fun to answer questions, good thing it was tied down or we woulda had a little blow and go going on, on the south ramp.  He enjoyed just sitting in the plane - I know the feeling.

The pollen was blowing today too ... here on the ground it was pretty rough. I think ... I feel ... that today was surely the worse day of the season.  I did something I never do.  I took a nap and I prayed I wouldn't dream.  I just need to rest. An excellent plan: when the going gets rough, the tough take a nap ... isn't that the expression?  I actually woke up feeling a lot better.  This afternoon was a bit of a treat ... I drove my daughter and her friend to Atlanta.  He was catching a plane back to California.  I've been looking at that route lately and made a very impressive guestimate when asked about how long a flight to LAX would probably take.
It was a nice treat to see the big planes ... I am amazed at the size of them ... I know what makes them fly and still I am amazed by their size ... that's a lot of metal ... their engines delight me ... silly girl!
The best part of the day was the drive home with my girl. I just don't get enough one on one time with my loves. She overheard the conversation I had with my husband this morning ... which included a jab about this blog. "Please continue to write your journal" she said. Sweet. She said it gives them an opportunity to see me as a person rather then only as their mom. I hadn't really thought of this like that. I can see the personality of the people who write the few blogs that I read, but I hadn't really thought about the truth of how the words we choose and the stories we tell tell the story of who we think we are.

It's very late now. My husband is off for a few days in search of Ellicot. I will go to bed and sleep tight tonight.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” ~Antoine De Saint Exupery

I like this quote. It seems to express a sentiment that resonates for me. Inspire ... be inspired ... look for what might be.  The potential for amazing abounds.

In my experience, I really like to identify an objective or outcome and then navigate to it, enjoying the journey as much as possible, appreciating the complexity, challenges/adventure, the joy, sometimes rare shimmering moments of majesty.  Unfortunately, part of every journey is fraught with perils ... pitfalls ... pain.  It seems interesting to me that pain really only expresses itself where things matter.  And it might be a bit circuitous ... I'll think about that ...  Do we discover what really matters by imaginging it lost or damaged.  What are we willing to sacrifice for that.  It is certain that the potential for pain, one way or another, is a guide dog in our blind (rash ... impetuous ... selfish ... bunches of great descriptive words here!) perhaps, impassioned, stumblings.

I'm thinking about that sniper show, where the shooter disengages from the idea of killing a person and instead perceives that trigger squeeze as a means of limiting the target's ability to cause pain (ie killhisbuddies) ... the enemies life doesn't matter, the objectives of the team matter ... the sniper can be a lot more effective if he doesn't sweat the objectives (surely someone at a higher level has a moral compass on this thing). Or ... these drugged out suicide warriors ... not warriors, pawns ... taken to a place where life just doesn't really matter. With an eternal view life  certainly could become less significant.  My point is ... things which matter inform us of what we value, those things truly define who we really are.  Who we really are is defined by what we value.  What we value is identified by what we do ... our actions. Humans believe what is seen over what is heard ... it's the whole "walk the walk or don't talk the talk" kind of thing.

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." I Corinthians 13:11  Hmmm, when I went looking for this verse I landed on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_Corinthians_13   I Corinthians 13 is extremely significant to me. I would never tattoo myself, but I have been asked the if you would what/where would it be so many times that I have developed an idea of what I would chose tattoo-wise: So tiny and light in the delicate skin where my wrist meets my palm ... right there where I see the little blue veins  ... would read this : protects trusts hopes perseveres ~ loves  I need to be informed by  that verse especially.

I'm thinking about this quote ... it seems fairly easy to get "jacked up" on the grandeur of the endless immensity of the sea.  I have recently longed for something.  Wow.  I saw the sea ... it is immensely alluring.
Here's the ironic subset of the idea expressed by this quote ... I am unable to go very far in to the waters without some type of ship.  The vessel that houses me  (... my soul ...), simply cannot navigate in to the endless immensity of the sea.  The body wants to ... the soul is unable.

It would be childish of me to believe otherwise ... childish talk that an adult can't walk.  The offspring of my choices make choices. Which is to say; I made some choices which preclude othe choices.  What's that quote I like? "Master your choices, or become the slave of their consequences."~Michael Rawls and this; "We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them."~Kahlil Gibran  The Prophet seems to get it.

...Now my brother has called and I stepped away from this post to talk with him.  Sure is good to have a brother ... my brother.  One of my neighbors was killed in a car wreck this week, which I told him about, because he is understanding of the shawdows that fall on me there ... he told me that he almost t-boned someone on the way home last night ... I shudder to think of what that would do to him ... he brushes it off saying he would just be eating airbag.  My brother.  I've lost track of my rambling here and have also used up my spare time. 
My husband resents the time I spend writing and thinking here ... this doesn't contribute to his life and so must be a waste of my time ... I've been cutting back and will most likely continue to do so ... we'll see.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude." - Denis Waitley

"Be kinder than necessary, for everone you meet is fighting some kind of a battle ..." (unknown or James M Berrie)
"As smoking is to the lungs, so is resentment to the soul; even one puff is bad for you." ~Elizabeth Gilbert

Something truly amazing just happened ... I know before I even try to capture it here that I will be unable to. But I know it is important to try ... silly as it may seem to a reader, it makes perfect sense to me ... perfect sense on a day when so many other things do not (but only for now ... this point in time when I can not process this because I am focusing on that. Sometimes you just gotta fly on up before you trouble shoot your troubles). Okay, so here it is:

I am one headset short today ... both pax are non pilots and I have only two headsets, so I called a buddy to borrow. I thought to drive my jeep ... a fun car ... it reminds me a bit of a little airplane, you feel everything in a jeep wrangler and I am all about good clean fun and loading up on more immediate inputs to a mind that needs altitude.

Some sneaky naughty someone left a cigarette and a bic lighter in the jeep. I light that little bad boy up and smoked it. Hahaha, I do not smoke. I did. I smoked routinely back in the days of my mis-spent youth. Now, until this one little indulgence, I have not smoked in probably 20 years. Smoking is a poor choice no matter what angle you may come at it from ... I know that. I remember how it was for me when I quit ... I didn't want to quit. I don't allow myself the opportunity to do many obviously wrong things. I think it is stupid to self destruct. I wasn't thinking about smoking like that when I first became addicted to nicotine. I was thinking mostly about my bad self ... and the rush. Today, I wondered if I might feel just a freaking tiny little buzz ... . I remembered how I used to hide in the bathroom to smoke ... hahaha, too funny, because that little hidden pleasure soaked through my clothes, all the way through my hair, and down in to the pores of my skin. That little hidden pleasure was apparent to everyone close to me ... I stunk, and I made the bathroom stink too. I slowly became a casual smoker, lighting up when ever and where ever I wanted to. I used to be some one who pretty much did what she wanted to ... sure, I was brand loyal, but that was the only constraint I adhered to (on the smoking thing). I would wake up thinking about a cigarette ... and go to bed after the last one of the day.
I didn't want to quit ... and saw absolutely no reason to do so ... this was my naughty thing. And then ... I saw the message that me smoking would send to my kids. I was addicted and it was sheer hell to quit ... they say it is more difficult to quit smoking then it is to get off heroin ... I don't know about stuff like that, thank God. I quit. Quitting gave me a tangible gift ... it made me think I could probably do anything ... maybe even fly.

But today opportunity hooked up with need ... serendipitously. What do you think happened? My fingers remembered how to hold the cigarette, and it felt really good. I put it to my lips wondering if I would remember how to flick the bic so to speak ... yep, like a pro. Tiny little inhale and I shift in to third ... look at this ... no hands. It's the small things when you don't get out much like I don't!
"Well, it tastes like shit"
('cuse the language ... that's what I thought) I think to myself, but it's just not my brand ... I know where to get them though ... . Another puff ... bigger ... and another ... I'm wondering when the buzz is going to kick in.
It didn't.
I tried ... but it just wasn't what I was thinking it might be ... I see smokers ... the smoke around them smells really good to me ... it looks like fun.
I thought I was going to throw up! Seriously, my auto cool circuit flashed. I tossed it out the window ... the jeep doesn't even have an ashtray! How can I think I might be able to drive around smoking ... when I don't even have a place to responsibly dispose of the ashes? (Oh yeah ... minor problem) I felt the yuk from that cigarette all the way down to the bottom of my lovely clean lungs ... it burned as the gunk coated. I came straight home to scour my teeth ... ugh ... not naughty ... nasty ... not the fun kind of nasty ... nasty nasty. It's in my hair still ... I have to go take care of that little mess.

Lesson learned. Amazing.
Today, I will fly. Today I will fly, and I will also see to the needs of my family ... I already have an impossibly long list of things to do, and blogging is cutting into that precious commodity - time. Pilots know all about time ... we live with a counter ... keeper account of "er" strapped to our wrists and embedded in our minds ... it is a standing joke in my family that I may not remember what I wore yesterday, but can pull time related parlor tricks out of thin air. Sometimes there just is no time ... other times it may not be the right time ... sometimes come and go too fast ... or not at all. Time, lusty and blithe.



I did make it back from the beach ... wish I could just stay there. At the beach I don't need ... anything. The salt air soothes. At the beach time can stand still ... well, almost. Back here in the real world, I continue to explore the meaning of wait. Time waits for no man ... but we do wait for our time, don't we? Now it is supposed to be there o'clock.

Time to head out to where promises are kept ... and there are so many of them to keep.

Friday, March 18, 2011

C
I remember a day at the beach a long time ago ... had to be in the mid sixties. My mom was and still is petrified of the water ... she'd never learned how to swim. My brothers and I sure did. I was thinking about this the other day because I thought maybe she would like to learn, maybe it's not too late ... but it is ... it has been. I don't know where my mom was this day, but she must not have been nearby because my Dad let us ride the waves out much farther then we would have been allowed to otherwise. I saw a bottle bobbing up and down and started kicking as hard as I could to get to it before my big brother saw it ... he was a stronger swimmer then I, and I wanted the prize! I'm sure I must have been looking back at him flush with the victory and so proud of my finese ... it wasn't often that I bested him when he shouted,"Don't touch that!" Too late, the bottle dissolved into a stinging mess. My note in a bottle, probably thrown from a pirates vessel, revealed itself as a Portuguese Man of War. Boy did it smart! My hand felt like it was on fire as my brother pulled me out of the water. My dad must have figured it out pretty quick because he scooped me up and took off at a sprint to the nearby beachshop ... they had beer on ice out on their front porch and Daddy popped the cap off of first one then several more of those  washing my hand in the icey coldness. The proprietor came out with some household amonia ... I developed what has turned out to be a life long adversion to the smell of both that day!
It's kinda cool that I saw that movie - Message in a Bottle - just the other day and it reminded me of this incident. And then, yesterday, walking on the beach, this little thing(s) washed ashore. A man was trying to provide assistance, but it just kept on washing back up. He showed me how to pick it up ... gently ... by the sail (pneumatophore), careful of those nasty tentacles, which weren't very well developed on this one. It was beautiful ... delicately tinted with the prettiest colors. I can see why it is commonly referred to as a "bluebottle" ... . I held it. I wish the photo could capture the way it felt.
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/portuguese-man-of-war/

I remember my Dad talking to me as he removed that slime ... Don't let this make you afraid of the water ... and be mindful of what you are actually reaching for ... and he probably said something nice about icey cold beers that day too.  

Today is the anniversary of my Dad's death ... the folks around here refer to it as passing.  Isn't it lovely that one might still hear the love ... encouragement ...  gentle admonitions ... floating ... delicately tinted through time and washing over on this shore in a blue bottle.
came across this ... lots of blue bottles added Feb. 2012

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patrick's Day

Just so happens to be St. Patrick's Day ... notably wings night ... I saw green beer, and laughed with people who were drinking it.

“…before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World test everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. It’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’” -Paulo

Note added on 22 July 2011 ... Trust. Such a sweet and bizarre story. I think I got to learn a huge lesson on trusting God with some stuff that really really mattered to me. I'm still processing the chain of events that lead me towards ... trusting God, and actually seeing myself trust God. Interestingly, healing around trust related areas was my dream ... A wish ... I thought I was too broken to "fix", but, I wanted to move towards that. I thought it was critical to an authentic relationship with ... God ... The holy Father. So, a dream came true here. As far as mastery of the lessons ... Yeah ... Maybe ... Seems to be an on going process ... What a wonderful visual ... A place to plant a flag "I remember when I saw myself really really trust ... I remember how exhilarating that felt". Every moment can not be that moment, but it is gratifying to find oneself capable ... Awesomely, shockingly, wildly so. I'm really glad I didn't die of thirst ... Hiking that I'm doing now is teaching me to refill my water when I see an appropriate water source. I'm glad I didn't wear out, or give up on myself and this worthy lesson ... Or dream ... Whatever it may be best held as. This morning, I walked with H. We talked about how difficult trust really is ... Because of the unknowns ... About how fragile things are while at the same time not ... Like a bone easily, but rarely broken ... Well ... I am out of time here, but just wanted to see what I wrote this day and where this day led me. It was a wonderful day ... .

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” ~Antoine De Saint Exupery

“Adversity is just change that we haven’t adapted ourselves to yet.” -Aimee Mullins

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving.” - Katharine Hepburn

”We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead; it can only serve” -Albert Einstein

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson


... 22 July ... What an interesting, amazing ... Random jumble of quotes ... Really wow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Driving in and out through thick patches of fog this morning I had a thought.
That word, my word, determined, I've earned the right to choose a new word. Determined has so many other words attached to it ... Determined has brought me to here, and this is a good place, but maybe I can set determined aside. Thinking about "wait" was liberating. I think maybe words do carry more meaning then I'd realized. Can I choose my own word, or do I just identify which best me leads the way for the next while? Does what I'm writing make sense ... ?
I'm safely back at the waters edge. Tonight I'll sleep with the doors open. I need to hear the waves rolling in and so sweetly retreating.
I'm thinking about a different word. A word that doesn't have to work so hard at holding all the pieces so carefully ... Braiding the pieces so sure and so strong. Working at thisandthat always wondering is this whats best? Determined was good. Determined was awesome. Now maybe I can relax a little. Maybe even soar a little.
I'm smiling at myself, because I don't think I can choose a new word ... I've indentified with determined for a longlong time. I think I understand determined. At the same time ... Surely I've been at it long enough to reap whatever the entire harvest is for that perspective on life ... The positives and the maybe not so positives.
I'm sitting out on the balcony ... way up here at about 200'agl ... looking up.
Orion is directly over the gulf, amazing, isn't it. Mentioned in the Old Testament ... How many humans have sat looking up at those ancient lights? How many stories have been told as they sparkle overhead?

Amazing.

 ... Amazed ... What a wonder full word.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday night Thankful:
Great fun watching airplanes streak through the sky today ... Always special.

Yes!  Something happened and I just stopped stressing about the CFI job ... I think it was getting a grip on what wait means.  I can wait ... I am good at waiting ... well, I'm going to say that, I think I am (maybe sorta ... getting better)  One of the guys called last night and it's always really great to talk with people who know you and know the situation. He's no longer in the area, and hearing some pretty good scuttle out and about.  All indications point to some changes. We'll see.  It's been nice knowing that the guys who were most recently hired out from here are doing okay ... I probably felt more affinity for the this CFI batch then the newer students ... it takes awhile for people to grow on me (and probably even longer for visaversa).  I'm thinking only five are still here from about a year ago, which shows a healthier hiring environment.  Great for them.

I've finished all my books which are specifically on Yeager ... what an impressive individual.  Next up Doolittle. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I wanted to see a movie and I happened upon "A Message in a Bottle" ... And it may be my new favorite movie. I don't know yet, I've not seen it all. But I have searched a song on iTunes from it ... And it's there.
much later ...
No,it will not become a new favorite ... .  I do like several of the songs ... and I loved the sailing ... but.
I am just trying to find a handle for a way of thinking about the Earthquake(s) which recently devastated Japan, and the subsequent tsunami.  I don't watch the on line footage ... even just reading the facts, as they are available is so difficult.  I remember the line from Milton, "...that man may know he dwells not alone..." and it swirls through me like a prayer.

This morning my husband told me about some footage he saw coming out of Japan.  He is in engineer mode.  He analyses ... I just wonder.  I wonder if we were able to see behind a veil would all those souls be walking beside calm waters as I will be ... at the beach, in a couple of days. My husband said the waves that moved ashore in California were only about eight feet tall ... he said Californians will take that in stride, viewing it as I would a tornado ... no big deal. I just don't experience it that way ... to me it feels like their pain undulating across the expanse, the overwhelming energy of it washing out while the remnants of the waves wash up in distant lands, where the loses might be mourned ... over here where it feels calmer ... over here away from the visual horror that must be the aftermath of an events like those. So many lives were lost ... and I wonder what did they take with them?  Not their stuff ... who they became.  I am interested in what comes after life as we know it.

Events like this remind me to try to consciously live as though each day is a gift ... as though each day matters. Not like scrambling to cram in every bit of this and that of who I think I want to become, but exactly like living these days down at the level of the moments as they present themselves on a breathe ... in and out ... undulating as a wave, moving me through time towards eternity.

 I have thought about how it might seem to me to be safe in an airplane and possibly see those waves coming ashore. And what did it look like to God?  (noted earlier ... published today)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's like

Spring Break is next week. We have a nice place all set up and those of my family who are going are very excited. "Just a few more days!" they say smiling. Pretty sweet. Pretty sweet life.
I, who have been doing a great job of compartmentalizing "everything" over the years, am having trouble with mood management. This isn't physiological. Yes, walking the dog for hours on end helps, but it's been raining here. He's on the back porch barking at who knows what ...I'm inside doing pretty much the same thing.  I could go help teach English today - turns out they need help every Thursday and Friday. I wouldn't be good company today though ... today I don't feel like smiling encouragingly at foreigners. Today I'm wondering why this country is being over run by people who can't speak the language. The irony is that they are here chasing their dreams ... You'd really think that I would "get" that.
I seem to be back to the only possibility of work ... the kind of work I want to do ... being at just the one place. 'Cept that place isn't hiring. Not just not hiring me, not hiring anyone. People are matriculating out, but there seems to be an unstated hiring freeze. Leadership is in flux. I was seated beside someone up the food chain at one of L's events this week. Everybody thinks it's remarkable that a woman like me has accomplished this unusual feat. This guy was subtly telling me that changes are underway. I already knew that. I've already heard that from a couple of others who are definitely in position to know. No one can say what the changes are, my impression is that while some decisions have been made and have a ticking timer on them, other, more important decisions have not been made yet. This guy said there is a huge push to make things better for the CFIs (the question of what that means exactly was left unasked by me).  The decision makers are collecting recommendations ... there's grease on the wheels.
It makes me feel better to think about that.
I have been working my way through that box of books on aviators. I had hoped to find a woman aviator in the bunch whom I could relate to. Chuck Yeager's wife is by far my favorite female and maybe favorite person of the bunch so far. She shows a lot if resilience and just plain old common sense ... I don't think he undervalued her role in his ability to get out there and get his job done.
In some ways I am very proud of myself for how I've handled this job thing. My husband is incorrect about accomplishing my objective. The objective never was to acquire another certificate. If I just wanted a challenge, I would have diversified. The objective was to work as a flight instructor ... full time. This feels like all dressed up in the prettiest dress but shut out at the door to the dance. I hear the music ... they're playing my favorite song.
A few days ago I read about a fighter pilot who fired his guns, outran the bullets, and shot himself down. I've done a good job of not shooting my mouth off. I fuss here some, but the truth is I recognize that "a person" is not responsible for blocking me from instructing. If I believed one guy stood at that door I would have already found a way. As I read back, and think back, I can see that guy who blocked the way for me completing "in house", but I also see that trip to a different environment as "all good", as very affirming. I wanted my sign off from FI - that was sacrificed, but it's just ink. (It was a honor to work with him ... I've worked with and beside some truly great instructors.)  I'm proud that my little ticket was issued via the ATL FSDO. It was cut and dry and no one can credibly say otherwise. Let him, that guy, piss in the storm that's blowing ... I'm not going to get wet either way.
This week I'm going to tuck in here at home. I never did clean that closet under the stairs ... I really will get a couple of good head bumps in there, and I've put them off in favor of other tasks around the house.  There is plenty to do here today and some of it is even rewarding. Then we go to the beach. At the beach I am going to think about what the best things I can do while I wait are ... Then I'm going to do them.  Keeping up with the material is important. I haven't opened the PHAK much in the past five months ... same thing with the 2011 regs ... here we are at the end of the first quarter and I haven't broken the paperback spine on it yet. When I do get my interview I want to look sharp. ... Not all whiny and stressed out like I feel just now.

And now I'm going to crank up some tunes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just notes ... not organized notes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Levitin
Just a few notes here from the talk I heard yesterday given by Dr.Levitin.

the talk kinda started with Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven snippet ... either I wasn't tuned in yet or there was quick re-route, because I had time to smile at an old favorite song,but no reference was heard as to why that ... I don't like the beginnings of lectures anyway, with the crowd of silent strangers the room still feels awkward to me.

What an excellent speaker though - really wow.

Musical expertise
Musical preferences
Neuro connections
magisteria
Sapolsky - the guy (okay smart guy - whose work I admire) I mentioned bc of Primate research ... stress loads.
Woody Phillips - toolbox classic
exquisitely sensitive - howperfectisthat?!
Musical expertise may be encoded, carried on, a gene with other primary purpose
 This is what I understood, but definitely needs verification ... a gene ... I will randomly name a gene -  the sociability gene ... named so without knowledge of  "in fact ... yes  ... there is a social gene" .  A gene may also carry code predisposing one to "like" music.  Stated - 10% of population does not like music - discovered in blind polling.  My husband does not like music ... he was unable to attend this lecture (though he wanted to) ... when I caught up with him afterwards I told him there is some developing support for the idea that a percentage of the population does not like music ... he loves it when I use math words ... I told him those same people are typically antisocial  preferring to view "The Big Bang Theory" alone lest they laugh out loud, and may develop hair on their backs late in life ... he laughed.
People who are successful in their areas have these traits in common:
Memory (superior memory in their domain)
Attention
Willpower                 { will power and belief in self have a genetic underpinning (thanks Dad)}
Belief  in Self
Multiple Failures
Flow State is a feature of expertise ... briefly cited Outliers - the book  both Husband  and One are recommending ... maybe I'll read it on Spring Break.
Dr.L made this observation, I paraphrase:  their (successful people) stories are about their failures, and they fail often ... seeing failure as an opportunity to learn, rather then personal defeat. different attitude.
Next a little on the neuroanatomy of music by now we are running out of time I suspect. I'm interested enough and will likely prefer reading about it.  He has ... looks like three books ... several ... tons of papers ... as I said in an earlier post , a couple of documentaries and next road trip, I'll look for some podcast, just not right now.
Music engages more areas of the brain then any other activity.  This may explain why I find music so comforting in ... times when comfort helps.  This is one of my favorite ideas from this lecture:
Emotions are jumbled ...
Words have trouble untangling them ...where music gets it very fast.
I think that is part of the answer to why some people do, and some people don't, like music.  People ave very different tolerance levels for emotion.  I tell my kids to make an extended road trip with people they think might become important to them relationship wise ... maybe it is just a matter of sitting in a room together with Pandora ... ah, if life were only so simple! 
on his own track, he says something like this - fortunate to know which questions to ask ...what is empirically interesting ... important to advance some theory.
Impromptu musicality = deactivation of the editor part of their brain. I'm thinking about flow again here.  That is how I sing the old hymns at church ... certain I have more then the prerequisite 10000 of  intentional vocalizing.
Music as a metaphor ... music as a reflection of self image.  Why do we like what we like? (Beats me, and I do wonder ... and maybe even feel a little weird to enthusiastically enjoy so many different genre)
Unknown, but emerging; maybe music and color preferences go together. (Hmmm)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wait

13 March ... Two more of my guys have moved on ... Up their trajectory. Excellent! One has a biz jet interview tomorrow, hittgrapevine. That leaves just four of the guys I particulary care about - also heard some CFI raised gear on the roll before liftoff and dinged the tail (prop fine)... Ergo all commercial and CFI candidates currently twiddling thumbs. I do especially care about several of those kiddos too.




These are the eyes I am used to seeing when I look in the mirror ... I am unfamiliar with the "look" coming out of them though. These eyes look weary to me.

I picked up the camera and snapped this picture while my husband was talking to me. I had just said, "I feel like a failure." I was just getting ready to go to the empty class room where I thought a few would be pilots would show up for ground school. I knew no body had registered, and was going up there as a courtesy to the people hosting this opportunity. My husband was saying these words to me when I snapped this picture, "How can you feel a failure when you have successfully completed your objective? Put the camera down and listen to me..." My hands like to fiddle with stuff when I say words I don't like to hear.

This morning as I picked up a book, "1984" ... around my house we're buzzing on the fact that Four refuses to actually read the books that are assigned by her Lit. teachers, I thought of something. Four doesn't like to read. She never has ... and ... and this is a big AND because it is unheard of among our other children ... AND we have been to several parent/teacher conferences over the years as wonderful teachers try to light a fire under this kid. She always has an A on her report card, but she is diligently skirting the lesson here. I tell her these books are the foundation of cultural literacy ... she tells me she doesn't care about a stupid book about talking animals ... I tell her that is a different book ... she tells me she knew that on the test day. We go round and round about this ... this is our biggest problem. Why can't she just do what the teacher asks her to do ... why does she feign disinterest and exasperate the teachers ... she tells me her lack of interest is genuine and she doesn't mean to be disrespectful. "I have a A in there ... what do y'all want ... ?" I want her to read the book. I want her to learn how to discipline herself towards the given expectations. Instead she watches the movie ... or reads the Cliff Notes or the Internet "helps" ... she asks her older siblings ... she finds a way to the A and calls it done. As are good, but beside the point here. We are all hoping she will learn something ... and find strength there.

My husband is reminding me that I said something about a couple of dreams about waiting. My husband doesn't dream (he does, we all do, but he says he doesn't because he never remembers that he has dreamed). My husband is interested in my dreams ... when he has time to be. I told him about those two waiting dreams and now he keeps on telling me to remember them ... he thinks they are significant. He thinks I maybe should be using this time ... to wait. I do not know how to wait. I don't do wait ... . Wait feels inherently wrong to me. Wait feels like quit. Instead of wait (that ugliest of four letter words) I want to find another way.
"Dammit! I want my A!"
Wait
Webster: transitive verb
1: to stay in place in expectation of : await wait your turn>
2: to delay serving (a meal)
intransitive verb
1a : to remain stationary in readiness or expectation b : to pause for another to catch up —usually used with up
2a : to look forward expectantly b : to hold back expectantly
4a : to be ready and available b : to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized
These definitions shed a new light on the matter of waiting. This begins to feel more like just plain old good manners. Good manners I can do. I can wait my turn.

It's true that I prefer the urban dictionary version: A sentence-enhancing phrase, used to illustrate the epicness of an object/situation/event. As in wait for it ...

Maybe that is the lesson here:
Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. ~Isaiah 40:31

Monday, March 7, 2011

Quick note ... just 'visited" w/ bff. She asked something interesting:

"If you can't trust someone with your heart, what can you trust them with?"

I'm going to think about that because, of course she is right, but ... .

Well, I had a few shoot from the hip. quick draw answers. For one thing ... you gotta guard your heart. If you're a woman you already know that. If you're a man, you may not have one ... hearts aren't always standard issue, and even if a guy starts out with one, he may not spend any time picking up the pieces once it is broken. 'Least that's what I think I've noticed. guys get duty ... and honor, though honor seems to be in short supply in all quadrants.

Another thing I said (and regret to think is true) is ... just because you think you can trust in one area, doesn't mean you can trust in others and certainly not all. Trust can't be tossed out there like a picnic blanket.

"I trust the guys who mow the lawn (to do a good job), that doesn't mean I can invite them in for lunch." And this, "I trust the banker to hold my money, but I know I have to check interest rates if I'm looking for a loan."

She's talking about close relationships ... intimacy. This is what I think ... this thought originated in a place that should just feel but now it thinks first. Intimacy is like an oasis in the dessert ... maybe they exist ... lots of times they turn out to be a mirage ... me? I'm going to carry my own water. That may sound a little bitter here in black and white ... I don't think it is ... I think it is just practical.

Not sure my buddygirl feels better after our little chittychat.

playlist


I added two new songs to the play list - both country. I am certain that my oldest bestest friend will be glad that I seem to be getting some sense back! She lives in the part of Texas where only C/W music is played ... a place where everybody drives their pickup truck too fast on the back roads throwing up a cloud of dust that announces their movements throughout the day ... they don't need to "tweet" each other over there, the flat farming land has the dirt do a lot of the talking. I haven't lived there since the mid nineteen seventies, but as I sit here several million minutes away, I still remember that this is about the time of year that the orange trees bloom. Nothing, not even jet engine exhaust, smells sweeter.

Back to the play list. I like music, and have for quite some time. I like that I can load things here and tune it up for listening in the house ... if I still like it a week or so later I'll save up for a visit to the iTunes store. I was buying albums when I really would have been happier with just one or two of the songs. And, I like the memory of some of the old tunes better then the old tunes. So this is a nice place to try songs on. All that to say - the play list at the bottom of this page ... you can pick where you come in. I like that.

The two new songs are by Steel Magnolia. I heard one of the songs in the movie "Adjustment Bureau". I love the shazam app.

That's it for now ... it's Monday morning and I have to assess the damages that the weekend has wrought to the pantry and the rest of the house ... I understand that toilet paper is suddenly in short supply around here, but there's no telling what else needs seen to. That's what I do. And when I get a handle on some of that, I can start removing old fabric from that chair. I am smiling, because that chair has a secret. Every piece of furniture that I have reupholstered has a small brass heart hanging inside of it. I wasn't thinking of this when I hung it there more then ten years ago, I wasn't thinking I would re-upholster this pieces and find its charm, but I am glad I get to.

Sunday, March 6, 2011



There are two of these chairs, one is still in the garage. I bought them in College Station and I was so happy with them. I took them to reupholstery class and the pair of them were the first project I did after the basic pillow that we all made just to teach us how to operate the sewing machine. There is not more then 24 inches worth of sewing in this chair if you exclude the "piping". I think I will use black cord this time ... black will look better with this fabric then cord made from the fabric would. When I find some tomorrow I'll decide.
The chairs are the project I am working on inside the house. Outside it's got to be the flower bed along the driveway.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One thing about spending most of my life minding my own business is that it makes me virtually unfit for life in the real world. Another thing is that it makes me think the real world is a nicer place then it actually is. I may be having a better life here in the bubble then I realized. I think I have observed this before "I am like a home-schooled kid ... except I am an adult. I know important things that other people my age haven't thought about yet (because they are busy making a living), on the other hand, I am naive to the inane ways of the world (and therefore a dufus in the marketplace).

This has been a week that several of my pilot buds have called to catch up. I love that pilots are such great gossipers ... really, so much better then a coffee klatch. Everyone is wondering what's going on around here and it is pretty much true that I don't know. It's almost true that I don't care. Time does soothe wounds.
One of the guys told me what the scuttle is on why the DPE doesn't feel comfortable with me. I think it is worth noting here so I can think about it.

One thing is, as I suspected, because I did a little flight training with a guy who ended up at the FSDO. I flew with him enough to know that he is a decent person. He has never asked me anything about the flight school. On the other hand, I did delivered a request that he pay attention to the fact that the Chief spot was open. He told me to leave him out of it and I told him that I didn't initiate the idea, but that I'd pass it back. Pretty straight forward ... no fouls.
Another thing I was told this week came as a huge surprise. Apparently I stepped in it without really noticing this, but it makes sense now. When the guys from the FSDO came down to announce that a large group of our students would be given 709 rides I was leaning against the back wall beside a couple of the inspectors taking a few notes and doodling. None of that would have any impact on me, and I wasn't energized about it except from the perspective of the interpersonal dynamics at play. I wondered if the guy they sent down seemed like a good guy (to me) or not ... like did it matter to him how important this might be in the lives of the students. I knew the students would be asking me if everything was going to be okay or not - I wanted to form an opinion. I didn't need notes for that though, the notes were for the FI who was unable to attend the meeting and asked me to outline the specifics of the meeting for him. That was pretty black and white, just the names of the speakers and the gist of what they said ... he didn't ask for my impressions. I asked one of the inspectors how he thought this would go for the students. He said given the quality of instruction at this flight school he expected that it would go well. He said something like the only people who might not do well would be people who hadn't flown in a while and just blew-off getting up to speed. He made a disparaging crack about the other inspector - like pilots do - and we all laughed about it. It was a joke.
I remember taking some notes. I remember the DFE asking me for a copy of the notes. I remember not going to the trouble of giving him the notes ... I thought it was strange for him to ask me for my notes, but I wasn't trying to hide them from him. I just neglected to give them to him.
During that time the flight program was taking some bad press in the local newspaper. A gear up landing is a big news day here locally ... they rolled the firetrucks ... and ... an eye catching photo of a bent prop was front page worthy.
The DFE stopped me in the parking lot telling me in hushed tones that we have a mole in the operation. I sensed that he thought that might be me. I thought it was ridiculous. Stupid talk. I'm sure my expression said what I didn't when I asked him who he thought that might be.
My buddy told me that the DFE was unsure of my loyalties. Wow. I remember him dinging me when I did my CFI check ride ... he said it was ... hmmm, I've forgotten his words ... oh, that's it ... a sweetheart deal with the FSDO (different FSDO but apparently I am so charming that all the FSDOs want to enable me to provide flight instruction ... huge part of the PTS standards). It went right over my head that he was implying that was my reward for all the great intell.
See, the deal is this, I didn't realize that there was an us against them thing going on. I saw the inspectors as decent people just trying to do their jobs ... maybe that is naive ... I still see it that way long after the process is complete. The flight school turned in a very acceptable pass rate ... I think only one guy ending up losing his instrument rating ... he opted not to retest or whatever it is officially called. The inspector who took up the kid's ticket asked me to sit in on the debrief ... I did and saw nothing but compassion. After the kid stepped out the inspector told me that he hoped the kid would brush up a bit and hit it again asap ... I could tell that he took no pleasure in the process. I don't care who you work for, a pilot doesn't want to tell another pilot "I'm gonna need to hold on to your certificate for now" It shook both the student and the inspector up - that's what I saw. I know he asked me to sit in because someone was going to need to hug the kid ... which I did.

Well, I digress. I am glad that the mud on this has settled. I am glad to know what it was about me that made me a target. I had stopped thinking about that ... the truth is it has stopped mattering. The real irony is that I probably would have been helpful with this guys image management ... I am good at seeing the best face most of the time. The guys talk pretty bad about this guy and I have felt compelled to point out that he is their boss and as such deserves some respect. For some reason I feel strongly that you shouldn't bad-mouth your employer.

It's almost Spring Break ... this year I'm going to be able to float with no worries.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thoreau quotes


Men talk about Bible miracles because there is no miracle in their lives. Cease to gnaw that crust. There is ripe fruit over your head.

To reget deeply is to live afresh.

The world is but a canvas to the imagination

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.

I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
My friend who stopped blogging because of a threatening commenter ... that is on my mind.
She writes about her "kumbaya-life" as she calls it, life with her young child and her husband ... when she mentions either of them, her eyes sparkle. It wasn't always like that for her ... she is a young woman with a painful past, and now she can't believe her good fortune. She can't believe the difference God has made since she let him in her life ... her blog was an open window to the joy that her faith was expressing. Then someone pointed out that she is vulnerable ... not just her, but everyone she holds dear. For now, at least, she has shut her window. She has snapped the lock in to place. She has closed the drapes. And she is in the process of building a fence around the house. What's next? I wonder. Motion actuated lighting? A guard dog? A gun ... maybe under her pillow?

"Kumbayah" (Gullah, "Come By Here" — "Kum ba yah") — is an African-American spiritual song from the 1930s. The song was originally associated with human and spiritual unity, closeness and compassion, and it still is in many places around the world. ~wikipedia (lol)


If there are still young men with idealistic ideas about who or what they are fighting to protect ... this kumbaya life of hers is it.

I call her friend ... frankly, she is one of two women who I call friend, and I consider myself extremely lucky ... blessed ... to have two true friends. H is more then 20 years younger then me. I am old enough to be her mother, and we are routinely mistaken for mother and daughter, when we get to hang out together. We look a lot a like. If it were possible to see us from the heart out ... through the psyche ... we would look even more alike. Those cracks on our soul ... pretty much in the same places.
I will say this ... it makes me sad to see her building fences. I understand why she has to. I understand, I really do. But, does she understand that fences don't really keep bad things out? Does she understand that fences are better for keeping things in.
Many years ago I started building fences ... then they became walls.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kilo Alpha salsa recipes

My friend who encouraged me to start this blog, a friend of my heart, that kind of friend, has stopped blogging because someone, a stranger, left a hate filled comment. Not just mean ... scary.
Some people say no one should accept anonymous readers ... I almost never think of anyone reading this blog and yet the counter at the bottom does continue to roll over.

I haven't given much thought to that. This is what I do think about sometimes:

The stuff I write about here is really just stuff I am trying to sort out. Stuff I'm just thinking. I think its important to make up my own mind, and that takes some thinking time.
For example, I said it is easier to trust God with something specific then to just trust God in general. That's just what I think ... never been to seminary ... sometimes I zone out during church. As I put the finishing touches on dinner that day I mentioned that idea to my husband ... he immediately disagreed ...implying that it was errant theology ... what it was (in my opinion) was an opinion ... my opinion, that's it ... no big deal, just what I think or am thinking about right now. That's really what I am writing about here. When you're married to an academic you have to expect to site support for your conclusions. If I tell a story here, it is just one side of the story. If I express an opinion ... that's all it is, my opinion.
I would be very hard pressed to describe what this blog is about ... to me it seems a bit like a journal. I am definitely not an expert on anything ... except maybe salsa (in my opinion).

Here is my salsa recipe ... it is probably the best salsa recipe in the world. Well, I think I better do both of my basic salsa type recipes since they are both world class and so different ... anything else you find here, take it with a grain of salt, because this blog is mostly one-sided and only about 2/3s of the way towards refining the idea ... a strainer so to speak.

Salsa:
Let's call it Locolicious salsa

one red, two white, three green

RED:one can of petite tomatoes (yes better then fresh idk why, but this has been exhaustively researched)
WHITE:one onion + clove of garlic(cloves - I use more then one bc I like garlic - don't skip the garlic all together and don't use anything but fresh garlic - it is what lights up the peppers)
GREEN: fresh fresh fresh cilantro (the stems are okay only if the whole recipe is pureed ... in general stems are not optimal, but I am the only person I know who will cut each little leaf off individually for salsa ... keep the stems to a minimum) + jalapeno peppers and Serrano peppers (just cut the stem off and use the rest of the pepper seeds and all) + key lime juice (or Mexico limes - they are small and round. Key lime is a little sweeter then regular lime juice - here's a picture of the bottle. I came across it when I asked about a recipe for Key Lime Pie at a restaurant in the Keys ... on the back of this bottle is an authentic recipe for Key Lime Pie)

The red and green components should be roughly balanced (visually). If you don't like hot, cut back on the peppers, or remove the seeds ... some jalapenos are hotter then other jalapenos. My son, Three, has actually bought peppers from different places via the Internet and we notice that climate, soil, freshness, all kinds of things come in to play on the hotness of a pepper (and pepper hotness is rated - japs aren't that hot in my opinion)

You can cut this by hand I usually do. If so finely grate the garlic and salt the grater afterwards to collect the garlic oil - add that to your salsa.Use scissors to cut the cilantro - the crisper edge keeps the leaves from wilting - also it's just easier to cut with scissors. The onions are cut smaller then the tomatoes ... little bites carry better flavor I think. I usually start with a tablespoon full of lime juice - tweak to taste ... Salt to taste as well. It'll need some salt.
The whole thing can be tossed into the blender too - pulse to chop or puree - just whatever you prefer.

The other recipe is not a salsa per say. I developed it as a marinade for broiled fish, but we like it so much that it is always in the refrigerator - everyone who tastes it asks for the recipe. I started making it when I was learning about Cuban cuisine.
Super easy:

HOT habie/lime sauce:

large glass jar with a screw on lid
3 cups habanero peppers (Scottish bonnets will do as well)
Half a box of table salt (really)
Nellie and Joe's famous Key West Lime Juice

carefully pluck the stems from the peppers (If I need my fingers for my contacts I use latex gloves ... plan on having some hot on your fingers if you don't - and I do mean hot)
toss whole peppers in the blender with about half a bottle of lime juice - blend to very fine ... careful taking the lid off the blender the fumes are impressive (HOT)and will sear your eyelashes off (not really).

Pour salt into the jar up to about 1/3 full. Now pour the pureed peppers and lime juice into the jar - you may want more lime juice added now, but leave some room in the jar for shaking the contents up.
Place it in the refrigerator for two weeks before you start using it. You'll need to stir or shake the contents up every few days while the salt cooks the peppers. You can add lime juice anytime after the two weeks - sometimes it's too hot, and sometimes we just add juice to get all the yummy out of the already cooked peppers. We don't use the salt very often. It's a great sauce for cooking with, or just dipping chips ... . The broiled fish recipe is this plus a little olive oil or butter to glaze fish. We use this stuff in a lot of different ways. Sometimes I grate lime peel into it just because it's pretty with the orange peppers.

That's it. Salsa. Salsa is the only thing I am absolutely certain about.

BTW - the Keylime sauce is a genius base for blueberry or mango or papaya salsas, just use it instead of peppers and the fruit instead of tomatoes ... heavy on the fresh cilantro and red onion and you've got something really yummy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Went to sleep last night thinking as far as this flight instruction gig goes ... I got nothin' ... spool up the platitudes. Woke up this morning thinking ... So what? I've been here before with a lot less to work with ... yeah, I'm feeling okay about everything.

Three is home, having already passed all his mandated graduation exams he is off the hook for school today until 11:00. I am used to cranking the music up after everyone is out of the house for the morning ... it helps me scoot through the daily chores. He just came downstairs and asked me to "Please turn the music down." I couldn't hear him but his eyes and counter clockwise hand gesture spoiled the fun. I can see that I have failed miserably with parts of their education ... ah well, momma tried.

Two asked me what I was listening to yesterday when we were in the car together ... my habit is to have one ear on iTunes whenever it doesn't seem impolite. I handed her the other ear piece and said, "Rock and Roll baby." After listening for a second she said, something like "The Beatles permeated that whole quarter century didn't they?" Hmmm ... I don't know quite how to take that remark ... I will have to think about that ... I follow up with, "What are you listening to Miss Smartypants?" She is quick to pull up an Amanda Blank video on You-Tube ... Yes, the music is kinda interesting ... I am appalled at how smutty the lyrics are though, and say so. "Oh, I chose this one because it is so tame. Some of her stuff is pretty out there." My eyebrows shoot up as my head tilts slightly forward. "Mom," she's laughing at me now ... on the inside ... "It's not Rock and Roll with no cuss words." ... everybody knows that! Of course, top "sit down" priority this morning was checking out the Amanda Blank vids on you tube ... I am old ... not just old school, old, really old ... the old-fashioned kind of old. (Thankfully, Three is in the shower during this little period of enlightenment) In a minute I am going to send Two a text. It will say I bet her (Amanda Blank) momma begged her not to use her real family name in the promotion of her career ... . If they would just take the words out, this might make some decent elevator music twenty years from now ... wonder what elevators will be like then?

In the meantime, I am trying to decide who I will invite to join me for the lecture; "This Is Your Brain on Music" given by Daniel Levitin next Tuesday. He is a professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience in Montreal with a couple of books and two award winning documentaries, "The Music Instinct" (2009, PBS) and "The Musical Brain" (2009,CTV/National Geographic Television). I am looking forward to this very much ... the question of why music affects us so powerfully is very interesting to me ... I am hoping for some insights in to why some of us don't enjoy music of any genre.

Well ... I am a bit behind on my schedule this morning ... due to the you tube based research ... Sammy was a mess yesterday looking for every opportunity to pull his lead and possibly break free to chase squirrels ... I think the storm the night before fried some of his circuits ... so we are back to some basics on walking together at my discretion ... he almost pulled us into a yard with a couple of black labs yesterday. They were inviting him to step over their invisible dog fence for a little scratch and sniff. I was very surprised when he challenged my NO! His adventures were cut short albeit a mile from home ... and he is looking at me mournfully this morning. Yes, breakfast dishes first then a walk.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

YEAGER by General Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos
Notes:
...ready to believe the X-1 could punch it's way through the pearly gates and make it back covered with angel's feathers
Larry Bell
Bob Hoover, backup
Jack Ridley, FE

1947

"during the late fifties at Edwards, a test pilot, diving in a Mach 2 fighter, actually outraced the shells from his cannons and shot himself down.". Really - pg 176.

Totally reminds me of shooting your mouth off in the general direction which you plan to travel. Best not to.

A Yeagerism -> "ughknown"

The sky was a brilliant blue ... parrot blue this morning ... after the blowing rain last night. As I was looking at this tree and thinking how cloud-like it might seem if I could just lay in the grass under it and look up at the sky ... you can't see it in this photo, there's not contrail, and I couldn't hear it either, but one of the very large passenger jets flew right through this picture ... it made me smile. All these fruit trees blooming probably bring cotton to mind from way up there looking down. It's that very pretty time of year here.
I'm already one cup of coffee, bacon and grits dishes done, two loads of laundry folded- towels dried overnight, photo of the day posted, tennies on, phone charged ready for that hour and a half companionable walk with my dog. Yesterday I bought ELO's "Strange Magic - The Best of Electric Light Orchestra" from iTunes ...Sammy isn't disturbed by the old rock and roll tunes.

I am waiting to call Parks and Rec to see if anyone has signed up for the ground school class. Up until just here ... wow, I did not know I had an underline feature! Which genius finger pointed that out?! I will have to wait for one of my children to come home and tutor me on that. Up until just recently, I've been pretty optimistic about a good group for that class. I like that about myself ... I'm optimistic ... maybe because I'm paying more attention to the way things go because I make notes here, or maybe I'm just getting old and cranky ... idk ... I haven't become less optimistic, rather I sense another me (if you will) standing near by shaking her head and asking, not unkindly, "Will you never learn?"

Sunday evening we watched our next Netflex CD ... Planet Earth. I saw Angel Falls and Devil's something where the falls terminate (I'll look it up in a minute) for the first time. Amazingly beautiful, what a sight ... I would love to see with my own eyes. Later in the program were salmon swimming upstream ... with bears wading in for easy pickings ... such is the way of life. Seven more minutes and I'll make the call ... .

My quasi-partner has been in Africa taking care of some Guard duties ... so far no keys to the plane to match up with no students. I'm unwilling to tell people I can work with them until I meet the owner, see the keys, and fly the plane. In the mean time Q-P has begun researching the possibility of buying a local flight school. I have never been less interested in anything aviation related ... it could work, but I'm not gonna bet the beach house on it.

Today is the anniversary of motherhood for yours truly. Aka, my oldest son's birthday ... family celebration slated for Sunday. I still remember how scared I was of the delivery ... all the unknowns. I was almost thirty when he was born ... I smile as I remember seeing him for the first time. I should have been less concerned about birthing and more concerned about parenting ... birthing came with a partywagon full of drugs ... parenting doesn't.

Okay ... no one has signed up for the class (should I say yet? ... the other me is shaking her head no to that). Okay, say nobody does sign up. The good news is I won't have to read up on sport pilot regs ... . The other good news is probably something better is brewing. Yesterday during my long walk the clouds were really moving along ... it was windy on the ground too ... later I looked at the weather and saw the longest continuous squall line I've ever seen. It was thin but stretched across several states ... fast moving red and pink ... blew right through here at dinner time. I will go walk now ... I started a book last night that was rejected in the third chapter ... I do not know whose first hand account it is, but he is more interested in creating an image of himself as a love'em and leave 'em "fighter pilot turned racer pilot" ... lotsa stick not much rudder kinda guy ... the title caught my eye and the table of contents was promising ... but. Now I am reading about Yeager ... hillbilly rock star ... normally I read only at night, but I am going to make an exception to that today ... it's a good book. I hadn't realized where retired major general Charles Yeager came from. Impressive isn't a big enough word.

http://http://gosouthamerica.about.com/cs/southamerica/a/VenAngelFalls.htm

Angel Falls (for aviator Jimmy Angel) drops 2648' into Devil's canyon.