Friday, April 6, 2012

Time to Fly Home


After spending my third week in Baton Rouge in four weeks, it was time to once again let Gladys bring us home.


I am still really liking Gladys. She isn’t stuck-up and is nice to all the kids at school. And you know what? Everyone likes Gladys, too.


Friday afternoon, I hitched a ride from the hotel shuttle for a twenty-five minute drive to the Louisiana Aircraft FBO. These guys have been so good to us this past month, and I highly recommend them.


They are avid LSU Tigers fans, but that seems to be rampant all over town and not just at the airport.


Have I mentioned how much I love air stairs? I feel like I’m flying an official airplane now that these huge steps descend to let me inside. It always feels like a spaceship…but in a good way.


Here is Baton Rouge tower next to my dream car, the Lexus GX570. Someday, right? It might be next to impossible to convince Hubby that this is what we will need to tow kids around. A girl can dream. And drool.


I always make sure the airplane is stocked and ready for anything. Funny thing…I had a dream last night that a bunch of kids were on-board and would only drink Coco-Cola (sound familiar, Ted?), but I only had Caffeine-free, Diet Coke. Wow, talk about angry kids…


I bet you know immediately who got to organize all of these drawers…


And here is our ice bin, though I just stick drinks in here to cool them a little, since we have some cold-sensitive peeps who like to come along. I just don’t want them to get boiling water, so this is just enough to get them cool. And, just like a real airplane, it has a drain that can be opened inside to allow the melted water out.


With that old Beechjet I used to fly, I had to wiggle the ice box out and throw the remains outside. I always tried to aim it at people, but I don’t give the stealthiness of some people enough credit sometimes…

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Can you imagine having to manually empty the ice instead of just opening a drain?! (snort)


It took about three and a half hours to arrive home at dusk. Which meant we followed the sunset the entire way. It would have been pretty, except the sun was right in my eyes for the whole flight home. I’m still seeing circles!


After loading up the car with bags and boxes, it was time to prep the airplane for being home. After being gone constantly for five weeks, I had my first week at home! I was thrilled!


Since the air conditioning died in my car last summer, I drove home on the 101 Freeway with the windows down and the radio cranked up.


I always smile thinking about how stinkin’ awesome this new job truly is. I feel so blessed to have it.


But maybe you sense that by now?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fencing Assistance


No, I’m not taking up a new hobby. Though that cool white outfit and mask found on fencers would be a pretty neat addition to my closet, don’t you think?


I need your assistance with a difference type of fencing. The type that supposedly keeps dogs, cats, and homeless people from straying into the backyard.


You can see from this sign, left by the previous owners of the home, that backyard privacy is taken pretty seriously around here. Unfortunately for us, despite the obviously-cat smeared blood and the sign warning of dogs, we have cats-a-plenty in our backyard. Sometimes I scare myself yelling at them. (Susan, please assure Ashley that this is not dog blood).


Anyway…how do I get off topic so easily?! Oh yes. The fence.


Actually, this little guy is a gate. And until this afternoon, I was under the impression that we were replacing this aforementioned gate located at the side of our house. It doesn’t doesn’t get points for attractiveness, doesn’t close properly, is an eyesore, doesn’t move freely, looks awful, sounds awful, and looks like crap.


Other than those few things, I have no opinion on the matter.


Using some of our tax refund, we had discussed getting this guy replaced with a nicer-looking and properly-functioning close twin brother. (One guess who’s idea this was?) We have never-seen-our-house-before family coming to town next month, so I had visions of sugar plumbs and gates dancing in my head to be finished in time for their viewing.


For some reason, when I pulled up to the house today and saw Hubby outside working on the gate, I just knew that my dream of replacement was being tossed out the window.


Because the gate now closes slightly better than it did before, it has been pronounced a done deal. Which means, for now, I just need to make the most of what we have. Which is where your assistance comes in!


I will be replacing some of the boards that are water-damaged beyond repair or broken. Probably about one-third of these slabs will need to be taken out and replaced with new ones. And then the dilemma…what should I do with the wood?

  • Should I stain it dark and then seal it?
  • Should I seal it as a light wood after sanding it down to get rid of the blood unknown splotches?
  • Should I paint the wood to match the lighter color of the house exterior (a light tan)?
  • Or paint it like the darker tan color (best seen on the garage door)?
  • Just for those few “helpful” individuals, I might as well express now that camouflage paint is not an option.

I also will be spray painting the black surround to bring it back to life. Depending on what we decide to do with the wood, I may keep it black or spray it with the same Navajo White found on the front door security screen. You know I like matchy-matchy! Or at least like things were done intentionally!

Speedy ideas are welcome, since I would love to knock this out while I am home for a few short days this week. Who knows when I will be home again! Please share your suggestions. And thanks in advance, all you creative minds, you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Eating and Playing in the South


Since I was in the capitol city of Baton Rouge for my longest stay ever, I am glad my stomach benefited from the five-day trip.


And after moving to the Hyatt Place on Bluebonnet Boulevard, I was overwhelmed with all of the dining choices! Now that is my kind of dilemma, people!


When I arrived at the Mall of Louisiana around lunch time, I had a lovely burrito and fresh limeade at a place called Izzo’s. I love the whole make-your-own burrito idea. For example, Chipotle and CafĂ© Rio are some of my favorite places on earth.


Lunch certainly didn’t disappoint, and I enjoyed some chips and salsa as dessert a few hours later while watching people in the mall. That is an event that never gets old to me, either. People are fascinating!


That evening for dinner, I walked about a mile across the mall and to the other side for a delicious meal at BJs. They now offer small plates, so I accidentally ordered some artichoke hearts. Does it still count as a vegetable if it is fried to death? But wait! perhaps it was fried in vegetable oil?!


Wow, that’s a stretch.


I then ate half of my club sandwich and sweet potato fries. It was yummy. I am really addicted to avocado right now and would love it on just about anything.


Wednesday meant a total splurge for lunch…Chick-fil-A at the food court. Although it was delicious and cheap and I love both of those things, I later regretted eating at a chain that I could get anywhere. When I’m on the road, I love the opportunity to try new places, or at least try new dishes if I am eating somewhere familiar.


This was also the day I attempted to walk to TJ Maxx a few miles away. Until I realized the only point of access was about half a mile on the freeway! So I attempted (and failed) to find some new shorts in the mall. I just have the hardest time paying $50 for a pair of shorts. Maybe I’m relieved that I found nothing?


Thursday was fun because I had promised myself a movie. I ate lunch at Bravo across the street from the theater. First, I enjoyed a small salad. It was so yummy, but I doubt I had any nutritional value remained after the bacon and parmesan cheese on top were taken into consideration. But it was good…


Then the main course came…a flatbread pizza with chicken and spinach. Again, getting some vegetables in me tasted awesome, but they probably don’t count for much in the grand scheme of things.


For the past few years, I’ve only made the effort to see one movie in theaters each year. And the movie is usually about vampires. But I made a special exception for a movie today to see The Hunger Games. Have you heard of it?


It was well-done and closely followed the book. With the huge screen, I sometimes had a problem with the filmography being too-real and up-close. It was hard to see what was happening because they had the camera down in the action to help you feel like a part of the action. It was worth the $7.00 for a matinee. But it was just like the book…kids killing kids. Didn’t read the others and probably won’t. If I can avoid peer pressure, that is.


After my movie, I had to conduct some research for my cupcake business. A store front called Cupcake Couture was at the mall, and I tried a few of their most-popular flavors. This was all in the name of my business, by the way.


In case you’re wondering…my cupcakes are way better.


But I managed to choke down their Wedding Cake and S’Mores mini cupcakes, just to make sure. Yep. Mine are way better.

I had a late lunch, so for dinner I simply got a small order of chips and guacamole at Izzo’s once again. Are you seeing an avocado theme here? Do you think we should do an intervention?


I wandered the mall while enjoying my chips. When it was time to walk across the street to the hotel, I was stuck by a huge thunderstorm that was rolling through. The parking lot had become a swimming pool in a matter of a few minutes. While waiting for the storm to subside, more people-watching took place. Very educational to watch people in the south. Lots of fun.


When the water level was finally below my knees, I walked home to enjoy my last evening at the Hyatt Place.


Friday, for lunch before my flight home, I tried The Cheesecake Bistro. Don’t confuse it for my favorite restaurant ever, though I think they’re trying to fool the locals. It was good and the portions were huge, but I left knowing I would probably never visit again. When leaving my favorite place? I am already planning my next trip!


It was a great visit to Baton Rouge with lots of down time. I saw some neat things and got lots done on my computer. I enjoyed some incredible food and observed some very interesting people. It might sound boring to some, but I enjoyed my week on the road.

Flight Home pictures coming soon!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More Louisiana Than Ever Before


Yep. Back to Baton Rouge. Lots of important meetings take place in Baton Rouge, after all. And we like to be in on all the action.


Last Monday morning, I was up at the crack of dawn to shower and pack for my week-long trip to the deep south once again. I woke up even earlier than Hubby because I needed to be to the Scottsdale FSDO to submit my Certified Flight Instructor renewal papers. It’s official. I’m still an instructor. At least, for another two years!


After they quickly moved my paperwork through and gave me a temporary certificate, I was on my way to the hangar to see Gladys.

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It never fails to take my breath away…seeing this gorgeous hunk of metal sitting on the ramp. It just never gets old. Am I alone in this sentiment?


Our passengers showed up on time for our three-hour flight to Baton Rouge International Airport. It was a great flight, but almost every flight I’ve ever been on has been great. So take that statement with a grain of salt.


Once on the ground, it was time to clean out the trash, empty the ice bin, and install the pitot covers and wheel pins. It doesn’t take long to get this airplane ready for a few days on the ramp.


Then, we borrowed a crew car to eat some lunch. Not much exists near the airport, so we drove about twelve miles to one of my favorite chains, Logan’s Roadhouse. I love steak but rarely get it, so now was my chance.


The best part of traveling to this neck of the woods was discovering a hotel right across the street from the Mall of Louisiana. It was calling my name.


When I got back to the nothing-within-walking-distance Springhill Suites, I did some sleuthing and managed to get a room at the Hyatt Place for the remaining three nights of my stay.


If a girl has to stay in Baton Rouge, she might as well stay near a mall. I’m glad we are all in agreement.


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More pictures of the week to come!

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