Friday, April 20, 2012

A Day To LA


I was at work yesterday. Worrying the entire time that I was going to break an eardrum, mind you. Luckily, all that happened was I couldn’t pop my right ear. Which just meant that I couldn’t hear out of it. Which made for a lovely evening, actually!


We picked the airplane up from maintenance at Williams-Gateway yesterday afternoon. Our airplane was on the ramp and ready to go.


Next to this. Every airplane manufacturer out there provides private versions of their airliners. This is an Embraer 190 converted for private use, called the Lineage 1000. And I want one. Isn’t it beautiful? That would totally fit in a stocking…


Once we finished some paperwork, we were on our way north to pick up some passengers. Then we were on our way to the Los Angeles area to land at Van Nuys Airport.


Luckily, because it was a short flight, we only went up to FL300. Which meant the cabin altitude pressure got all the way up to 3,500 feet. That isn’t so bad, but it was still really hard to keep ahead of my ears on descent. Prayers were answered in that it didn’t hurt…more of an annoyance to not be able to hear anything for a few hours.


Since I was still feeling a little puny, I decided to skip dinner and stay at the FBO. I helped the line guys fuel the airplane and visited with some colorful pilots in the pilot lounge.


If I had to declare one of my favorite places on earth, it would be a pilot lounge. Doesn’t that just sound cool? You know that you’re going to meet interesting people in there…and there is a pretty good chance that they will be obsessed with airplanes. Just like me!


Anyway, fueling went well. It is still a pretty new type airplane and rare, so not many people know how to fuel it properly. There are only about ninety-four Phenom 300s delivered to date, and not all of them stayed for residency in the States. So I always monitor fueling to show the line guys how to fill our single-point fuel tanks. They are so wonderful. I love single-point!


After I paid for fuel (always a good idea if you want to be welcomed back), I took it easy and rested. We were only here for a few hours tonight. After landing around 6:15 PM, we were back in the air again by 9:45 on our way home.


Again, the ears struggled to work properly. I guess I am still pretty sick and plan to take it easy again today to try to shake this gunk once and for all.


How long does it take for antibiotics to kick in, anyway?!


Pentastar Aviation is a wonderful FBO to visit. They people there are extraordinary. And pulling onto the ramp in a beautiful airplane that makes heads turn? Well, that isn’t so bad, either.


We always leave a puddle of water once I open the valve inside to drain our ice bucket. I make sure it’s closed before we enter a hangar, since no one wants Gladys to have an accident indoors. We were here for such a short time tonight that they just spun us around to face the right direction so we could exit the ramp easily.


This beauty was on the ramp. Fancy-pants show-offs with their automatic air stairs. It’s a Gulfstream 200 and is a very nice and pricey option in private aviation.


It also has an APU, or an extra small jet engine in the back that is used to operate the air conditioning and avionics when the engines aren’t yet started. The APU also helps the engines during start so the battery isn’t used excessively.


I think that I like this airplane a little better anyway…


It was a fun day at work and would have been even better enjoyed in perfect health. Like everything else, I don’t realize how wonderful it is to be healthy until it eludes me for a few days weeks.


I’m sure all of this resting will add up eventually, right? It kills me to be home and have a million things on my list to accomplish, yet the only thing I can muster the strength to do is drink hot chocolate and watch crazy birds out the window.


Oh, yes. It’s been that much fun around here lately…

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easy Closet-metic Surgery for Brass Haters


Some may know this by now, but I kinda like spray paint.


It is something that I heartily acknowledge now. Spray paint has made many a thing in our home much better.


We are down to very few brass elements throughout the house. I am not much a fan of brass or gold accents, (though I have been attracted to antique-brass shiny objects lately in stores…intervention, please!), so it was time to refinish the guest room closet doors.


My parents will be staying in this room in about two weeks. Although my Mama is adamant that brass fixtures wouldn’t bother her in the least, I will sleep better knowing that they are sleeping in a brass-free room.


Hubby helped me take the heavy doors off their rollers. Mirrored closet doors are no-doubt frowned upon in the decorating world, but I love how much light bounces off to illuminate the entire room. Remember that I’m coming from a cave dwelling before this present house and still crave tons of light!


Once portable, I moved the doors outside and placed them upon some food storage buckets for some height above the weeds grass. I first covered the buckets in plastic bags to prevent them from spray-over. Although I am now wondering if satin nickel finish food storage buckets would just make food storage that much cooler?


It was then time for tape. I taped off all of the edges to create a clean line. Then I used junk mail that I had been hoarding saving for just this project. With a little more painters tape, all of the mirrors were covered.


Now the fun part! Shake and spray, baby!


I did three light coats to prevent any dripping. Three lights coats is much better than one heavy coat, I’ve found the hard way. I let each coat dry for about an hour before adding the next. I wanted this finish to be super-strong since it was going to be rolling back and forth on a track that is heavily-used.


Patience really shined through when I left them outside overnight to dry. Do you think Hubby’s patience is rubbing off on me?!


Yeah, me neither. Besides, it was probably his idea that they stay outside. My only concern was our dive-bombing feathered friends making their mark on my work. Somehow, they managed to stay away.


With the doors drying outside, it was time to cover and paint the inside tracks. The overspray from the painted walls left a trail on the track. I wasn’t too worried, since I know that spray paint can solve just about any dilemma. We taped off the carpet (very tricky!) and added some drop cloth protection to the walls. After three light coats again, it was ready to be revealed.


The next afternoon, I dragged everything back inside. I was tickled with the results and brass-free look. When Hubby got home, I helped supervised in putting them back on their rollers. They work great! And they look great!


I ended up using a little more paint than I expected. This project took about three cans of my favorite Rustoleum Satin Nickel. Luckily, the Man Cave closet doors can wait for their turn.


Home Depot probably needs time to replenish their spray paint stock after my visit, anyway. So it works for everyone!


Please ignore the gross absence of bed linens in some of these last pictures. We had company over the weekend, and I have yet to feel well enough to wash the sheets and remake the bed. Hopefully by the time we have company in two weeks…

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hard-to-find Intruders


We have four ways to enter our house from the outside. The front door doesn’t get much use since our main point of access is through the garage when we arrive home. The front door is used when I head outside to water our plants (they aren’t dead yet…can you believe it?!)


Each time the front door has been opened over the past few weeks, a flurry of wings and chirps takes place…a little birdie flies way. We’ve tried to find where the little birdie has made its home. All of the attic rafters still seemed to be properly sealed with screen. There wasn’t any indication of a nest on the ledges above the door or window. We were baffled. Where is this guy living?!


And then…we found it. More appropriately, Hubby found it. I need to give credit where credit is due.


We followed a poop trail first. The one that was scattered on my usually-clean front porch. Sorry for the close-up, but you need to recognize that this is, indeed, birdie poop.

Hubby came inside to tell his on-her-death-bed wife that he knew where the birdie was. I followed him outside to see the culprit. By the way, sunlight is very offensive when you’ve been trying to feel better inside a dark house for three days. I’m still in bed!


Instead of one single birdie that likes to chicken out every time we come outside, we found three tiny baby birdies at rest in their bed. Their poop-surrounded bed. I tell you, home pride has taken quite a fall these days. These little birdies just poop wherever, even if it’s just a few centimeters away from their little chicks.


So we oooooed-and-aaahhhhhed. But we didn’t move the nest. Hubby figures they’ll soon be big enough to fly away, like their parents each time we head outside. We can then politely remove their “winter home” and scrub away any remnants of poop.


The ironic thing is that I absolutely love this wreath. Of the four that I own, (one for each season, obviously), this is probably my favorite. I love it mostly because of how real it looks. Apparently, I’m not alone in this sentiment any longer.

The birdies think it looks pretty real, too.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Guest Post…Holy Cow!


So I knew this was coming.

About a month ago I was approached my Michelle at to write a guest post for their website. I had fun coming up with my profile and sent it off to them for approval.

Just this past Friday, I received another email letting me know that it was going live today! How fun! You can read it here. I am tickled!

I’ll sign autographs from this line over here…

Back to Albuquerque


What, you might ask? A return trip? I haven’t been here recently for work, that’s for sure. I only say “Back to Albuquerque” because I used to live here. A whole six years ago. And it was really fun coming back here for work.


Last time I was here for work, we were busy and didn’t even stay a night. I flew in a Beechjet with Big Boss to take delivery of an Eclipse jet used for my former company. It was a neat day, and I got to visit with wonderful people who had been a great help to me over my year working as Customer Care at Eclipse Aviation. But it was all a whirlwind of activity, and before I knew it, we were back on our way home.


This trip, however, meant a longer stay. I left my house around 6:00 AM on Monday morning for a half-hour drive to Williams-Gateway Airport in southeastern Mesa. Our airplane was in the maintenance facility at Embraer for a tire change and a few software updates.


It looked beautiful as I picked it up from the hangar on the west side of the airfield. We then flew it for a whole ten minutes to Scottsdale to pick up some folks for our day’s work.

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Is took just under an hour to arrive at Albuquerque Sunport International. My ears were acting kind of funny and were a little harder to equalize pressure as we descended. Luckily, since Albuquerque is 5,300 feet above sea level, there wasn’t much of a difference from our cabin pressure to the field elevation. My ears were a great indicator of what was coming just a few days later…


We borrowed a free crew car to grab some lunch. Authentic New Mexican food…oh, how I’ve missed you. When we got back to the airport, we decided to get a rental car for the week. We were to be here through Saturday morning, and it didn’t make sense to be without transportation.


Monday night was a lovely evening spent with friends. I know some very cool people in town, and I am tickled that they wanted to eat dinner with me! Though I saw them just four months ago during my visit to ABQ, it was great to catch up with them and their busy lives. We ate at a new Asian kitchen, and I tried some new foods that I wouldn’t normally try. Peer pressure is an incredible thing, isn’t it?! Dinner was delicious, and I feel so very blessed to know such good people.


Tuesday morning, I hit the road on foot. I walked back to Nob Hill from my hotel to see some usual sites. I ate lunch at the historic Frontier Restaurant, right across the street from the University of New Mexico. I purposely grabbed a seat by the window to watch people as they left campus. Verrrrrrry interesting folks in Nob Hill, Albuquerque.


Then I continued my walk down Central Avenue. This street is known for its, um, colorful nightlife. So I made the most of it and grabbed a Cold Stone ice cream. Oh, how I love ice cream. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside. After making me cold and shivery inside, of course.


I hurt my Achilles heel when I was training for my first 5K last fall, and it has given me constant trouble ever since. My heel is what led me to head back to my hotel about three miles away. It was a long walk with pain literally nipping at my heels the entire time. Silly heel.


Wednesday morning, I awoke with a tickle in my throat. I felt sluggish and kinda puny. It didn’t stop me from meeting some friend for a nice lunch. You can’t really go wrong with a Tower of Onion Rings, right?

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Since I had the rental car for the afternoon, I wanted to check out my old hood. I went to my dollar theater to see a movie. It was fun, except my whole body was aching at this point. It was hard to sit for two hours through a movie that wasn’t that great.


Just another mile up the road on Montgomery Boulevard let me to my first encounter with TJ Maxx. This was the very store that changed my life forever. It is still my favorite place to shop, and it all started at this location. Though it was fun to visit the exact store where it all began, I was really starting to feel awful by now. You know I must be sick if even TJ Maxx isn’t fun!


After a quick drive-by (not that kind) of my old apartment, I made the long drive back to my Sheraton Hotel near the airport. Where I wouldn’t leave for the next three days.

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I was one sick kid. There is really nothing worse than being sick on the road. Luckily, I didn’t have to fly until Saturday. And I don’t think I would have gotten out of bed for any other reason.


I was medicated with what I had in my suitcase. Note to self: refill that thing with current meds! And then on Friday, a teddy bear and piece of chocolate pie was delivered to my room from my local friends. If that doesn’t show how awesome they are, nothing does. It made me cry, and also made me feel a little better.

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Saturday morning was really hard for me, since I knew I didn’t feel well enough to get out of bed. I was worried about my ears hurting during the flight, and swallowing with my sore throat was just plain miserable.


The flight was bumpy, thanks to a cold front moving through entire southwest United States. We dropped off some passengers and then flew over Sky Harbor to Williams Gateway again for some scheduled maintenance.


We’ve been gone so much these past two months that even three days spent in maintenance is heaven-sent. They will get lots done before we fly again this week.


Meanwhile, I am still sick.


Sick enough that I went to an Urgent Care facility yesterday. It was a waste of my money with no help given except a prescription gel mouth pain reliever for my sore throat. The only downside is that I can’t get it down to where my throat hurts since it can’t be swallowed!


I woke up crying at 3:00 this morning because my throat was hurting so badly. It’s nice to be home where a loving Hubby can try to help me. Man, I’m blessed. He is so wonderful.


And I am proud to relay that the ice cream IS indeed helping my sore throat. I thought it would…


The week was off to a great start in my old hood, until I got sick and spent the majority of my stay in bed at the hotel. I was able to catch up with friends and miraculously avoided getting any of them sick. I’m just glad to be home for a few days to try to knock this out once and for all.

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