Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Decorations Have Arrived At Last


It just never feels right to put my fall decorations out when the rest of the world gets ready for fall. We don’t experience “fall” here until around December. Sometimes it surprises everyone by arriving in late November. But that’s during a good year.


Rumor has it that the temperature dropped below ninety degrees this week. I don’t believe it for a second because I was gone for work.

Just like I don’t believe that we ever get rain here in Arizona, because it only rains when I am gone for work.


Because it is almost November, I thought that it was high time that some fall decorations get some lovin’ from me. They have been out for a few weeks now, and I’ve really been enjoying them.


Even if it is still one-hundred degrees outside…who says that the inside of my house can’t feel like fall?


Inside my house, with pumpkins and leaves and yummy-smelling candles aglow, I can almost forget that I live in the scorching desert where fall simply doesn’t exist.

Almost forget.


It was actually a lot of fun getting decorations out this year. After the fall season last year, I scored a bunch of cute pumpkins and vase filler for pennies on post-holiday clearance. And then I forgot all about them until I opened the storage bin this year.

I was able to score lots of these tiny little pumpkins, which make me oh so happy!


And tiny gourds, of course. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word on this blog. This day will go down in history!


I really love this floral arrangement, which only comes out once a year because it is so color-specific. Do you recognize it?

It’s my wedding bouquet! What a fun way to remember that four years ago this month, I got hitched to my sweetie pie.


I also scored some bigger pumpkins on clearance last year. Who says that I’m not patient?! I spray-painted some of them white, but you should not be surprised about that. I tend to spray paint a lot of things around my house.

Sometimes for no good reason.

Just kidding. It’s always a good reason when spray paint is involved.


I love how festive the dining room is. This is my favorite tablecloth in my vast (read…three) collection of tablecloths. I scored it last year at Dillard’s clearance. The price tag said $89 for this quilted, thick beauty. I paid $8. And then I ran out of the store before they could change their minds.


Here are more of those cute little pumpkins! Really, they were about twenty cents a piece last year on clearance. Yes, of course I remember how much they were!

As much as I love the holidays, I am also anticipating some shopping after the fact. My Christmas decoration supply is not nearly to capacity yet…


For even more nature going on in this room, I put out our wicker placemats. I love these braided guys…and they make the entire table feel that much homier. Is that even a word?! (It didn’t spell-check, so I’m going to say yes)!


For some unknown reason, I have never thought to move a pretty vase of flowers to the side of the buffet. But oh my heck, I love it. These will stay forever!

Or at least until Christmas season comes around…then the sticks go in all the vases throughout the house. It’s as wintery as we can get in Phoenix, Arizona, after all.

Dead sticks.


Oooooo, so natural and harvesty!


Not much fall happening here, except the spray-painted pumpkin. And the leaves on the mantel.


Wow, these photos make this section of the house look super bright. I guess it is…but I like it like that!


More small pumpkins along the mantel. I really want to give this whole wall a facelift soon…maybe this winter if we get the back yard finished! It’s too stinkin’ hot to work outside in the summer time, so we will have our work cut out for us over the next several months. We are gutting and starting the entire yard from scratch. And I’m feeling just a teensy weensy overwhelmed at the whole idea!

For this wall…maybe some whitewashed pallets halfway up? Then a simple white mantel above them spanning the entire brick wall? A dark teal painted on the wall above the horizontally laid pallet boards? And a giant ceramic moose head hanging over it all. Because that just makes sense in my little brain.

Side note: I went into a Z Gallerie yesterday for the first time. I’m a little slow to this game, folks, but I get it now. And, seeing the moose in person only confirms that someday he will live in our house.

IMG_4356   IMG_4358

This blue glass vase recently moved to this location after I realized that its ceramic twin looked so nice against the buffet. I love the see-through look of the glass up on the mantel. And, of course, I love that it’s blue.

And the yellow burst of colorful flowers just makes me happy. As do random orange pumpkins by random candle lanterns.


We actually do eat dinner here when I’m home, and I love it. It feels so festive when eating off of a quilt!


The reflection in the mirror is kind of nifty. It makes it look like there is a crazy amount of color in every single section of this room! Maybe there is…but it serves as a great reading nook as a result!


This is the not-so-fall view from the kitchen/dining room. I wish pillows weren’t so dang expensive, or that I knew how to sew. Then I could have pillows for every season! Maybe that’s what I can look for on clearance in a few weeks…


I really love spending time in our home, which is a good thing. I’m in here a lot during the summer, which is (thankfully) finally coming to an end.


When I first bought these mirrors, I was so afraid that it would look like the side of a ship with portholes! Luckily, I don’t think that feeling comes through at all…

And my sister helped me paint this dresser, which was a long and laborious labor of love. This entire home has been a piece-by-piece project. But that’s what makes it so fun!


I love these chairs. We use them all the time. They are comfortable and beautiful and perfect. I’m so glad that we finally got furniture in this room! It was worth the months of saving and of having an empty room when we first moved in just over two years ago!


This is the fall view from the front door looking in towards the kitchen/dining area. As much as I love these colors (and love that I can leave these decorations up for a few months of holidays), we all know that my one true love of an event is right around the corner.

You can chant it with me: Christmas. Christmas. Christmas!

Happy Weekend! I’m in California today…third trip this week, and I’m beat!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A (Longer Than Expected) Weekend in LA – Part Three


After a wonderful day spent at Manhattan Beach, it was time to grab the trolley back to the Marriott Courtyard to eat some dinner and get my luggage. Isn’t LAX beautiful at sunset?


The hotel had a little café, so I grabbed a quick bite for dinner before I left for the airport. I had a chicken pesto grilled sandwich on ciabata bread. Yummy!


I stayed just across the street from this iconic airport sign. This was my view from the FBO shuttle back to the airport tonight.


Since we weren’t leaving until midnight, I didn’t arrive at the FBO until about 8:30 PM. I got Gladys ready for our hour-long flight home (are there enough sodas on ice?), then sat in the lobby to read a book.


I loved the view out of the giant windows. I got to watch airplanes at the busy LAX airport while I read a good book. Can it get any better than this?!


Gladys was parked next to the private MD-80 in the number-two staging spot. We were in the number-one spot. I love when we are so close to the door. It makes it easy for my passengers to get on and go!


We don’t get to fly at night very often, so I went a little overboard with some night pictures this evening. Hey, I thought that I was going home in a few hours! Who knew how wrong that I was…


Have I mentioned that I am rather partial to this airplane? What beautiful lines and a swanky paint job! I am so in love with my job. It’s a little bit alarming.


I loved being so close to this big guy.


OK. So you probably noticed that we went from late-night pictures to midday pictures…all while still being on the ramp at Los Angeles International Airport. I’ve alluded to it over the past few days…but we obviously didn’t leave last night as planned.

Gladys broke.


Gladys has a gust lock control pin that is inserted into the control yoke. This is a mechanical pin that sends an electrical signal to an actuator in the tail of the airplane. The actuator extends a pin into the rudder to lock it in place, which prevents the rudder from being affected from wind gusts while parked on the ground.

On this particular evening when trying to fly home at midnight with five passengers…the gust lock pin wouldn’t electrically release when we took it out. To make it simple…we had no rudder. And you can’t fly without a rudder.

Despite some calls at midnight to maintenance back home, we couldn’t get any help until morning.


What a terrible feeling buying tickets for my passengers on an airliner home early the next morning. We stayed behind with the airplane until it got fixed, not knowing how long that would take.


Miraculously, the quick-and-easy fix was simply to remove the actuator in the tail that was locking the rudder in place. Two mechanics worked on it all Sunday morning to remove the actuator. We then got a Letter of Authorization to fly home without it. Maintenance will get to replace it when we arrive home later today.


We were in the air by around 5:00 PM, but it was a day later than our passengers needed. It was so frustrating to not get them home when they wanted to be home. They were very understanding and didn’t yell at us, like my former boss would have done. But I was bummed that we couldn’t fly them home because of a tiny pin not releasing in the tail.


Catalina Island was pretty on our flight home this afternoon.


And this was about as exciting as the weather got for us, thank goodness. I couldn’t stand anything else to go wrong for our weekend!


The southern California desert is really pretty. But it probably would have been prettier the night before around midnight.


Instead of having five fun passengers in back for the flight home, we were empty. It was way too quiet back there. Crickets, I tell you.


This is the control yoke on the copilot side of the cockpit. The culprit gust lock pin goes into the Captain’s yoke. Needless to say, we don’t use it any more.


OK, so there was one good thing about not leaving the night before. With no passengers in back for our flight home, I decided to wear shorts to work today.



This city coming into view never felt so good. I had missed being in church the past four weeks because of multiple weekend trips. I almost switched someone for my lesson last week to today, but something kept me from doing it. Maybe I’m psychic!

Maybe I just knew that we were going to break down in Los Angeles, and that I wouldn’t be home in time to teach in church!


Some pretty sun rays came down on me for our landing at home. It feels great to be here at last.


Cleared to land, Runway 21.


I was a little upset at Gladys for breaking down on us, but she is probably glad to be home, too.


At least I had air conditioning in Pearl for my drive home after work. This was my first time coming home to her waiting for me in the parking lot. At least that put a smile on my face! Breaking down in LA certainly didn’t!

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