Friday, October 26, 2012

A Day Trip To Tucson


Last Monday was the beginning of a very busy week at work. We had three trips scheduled in five days. I was so excited! Today’s trip didn’t start until the late afternoon. I arrived at the airport around 4:00 PM for our evening departure to Tucson.

Yes, Tucson is very close. But when you have plans to attend something until midnight, the last thing that you want to do it drive home three hours. And taking a private airplane is way cooler, anyway.


I was also excited because I don’t always get to take pictures at night. You will see later how I need the night-photography practice!


Like he often does, this little biplane was busy doing pattern practice. It was fun to watch him takeoff and land several times while preparing Gladys for our flight today.


Another great thing about flying during this time of day is the lighting…late afternoon is the best time to take pictures! Well, and early morning, too, but who wants to get up for that when we have a perfectly-wonderful late afternoon just around the corner?!


Gladys is vacuumed and ready for two passengers this evening. She always smells good after I wipe her down with some yummy cleaner.


What a pretty girl! We’re both excited for our trip tonight!


Wow. And then a Challenger takes off unto the sunset. Talk about a beautiful machine!


See how he is bringing up his landing gear? That’s part of the checklist that we do at four-hundred feet, when it’s considered a safe height above the runway.

I always wonder where these airplanes are going! Where are you off to tonight, pretty guy?


Man, I’ve really got to stop talking to airplanes that can’t hear me.

Here is Gladys’ left wing, which has a red LED navigation light on the tip (the other side is green). I love these LED lights, even though we actually had one burn out a few months ago! Gladys isn’t even three years old yet! Luckily, everything is still covered under warranty…including lights that should never die.


The desert colors just come to life in the evening light. I love how pretty this view is. I really love living in the desert. I know that I complained all summer about wanting to leave. But I think that’s normal when it’s 120 degrees outside!

October is my favorite month for weather, so now I’m back to being very happy that we live here.


There are lots of corporate airplanes based here on the field, since this is the number-one corporate airport in the Valley. In fact, lots of companies even have their own hangars to park their fleet of pretty airplanes.

I’m really glad that we have all of the privacy without having to worry about maintaining the facility on our own. We have the perfect situation being based at our hangar with many others!


Goodbye, Phoenix! Next time I see you, it will be early morning. And I have another flight out early tomorrow! Eek!

Love the sunburst circles…


When I was a kid, I saw painted pictures of the desert with very distinct layers of color representing a sunset. I thought it was fake, until I moved here and saw the layers for myself. Look how you can see every little color in this gorgeous sunset!


This is probably my favorite picture from the entire trip.


There isn’t much to see on the short flight from home to Tucson. It only took about half an hour to fly here tonight. But I’ve never landed here before, so it was another fun adventure to anticipate!


Before long, the lights of the city came into view. I know that I just said that I’m happy at home again, but I would move to Tucson in a heartbeat.

There. I said it.

I’ve been here just a few times before, but each time has been lovely. The last time that I visited was exactly two years ago when Hubby and I came down for a weekend in Tucson to celebrate our anniversary. It was two years then. Yesterday meant four years! Wowsers!


We were cleared to land and were soon aligned with the runway. I was grateful for a little remaining daylight to help us navigate on the ground once we were landed and trying to find the FBO.


Man oh man, Tucson is beautiful. Did you know that they have stars?! Phoenix is so lit up that I rarely get to enjoy a crystal-clear, star-studded night sky. But down here? Holy smokes. It was breathtaking!


It was rather difficult to find the FBO tonight, even though the Ground Controller was a champ and gave us progressive taxi instructions. We found it, but it would have been a lot easier had their sign been lit up!


After getting my passengers loaded up into their awaiting car, I enjoyed the wonderful facilities of the Million Air FBO at Tucson. We love visiting Million Airs… they are always so nice!


They even have a hot chocolate machine. What more could a girl possibly want while waiting five hours for passengers to return?


You’re right. I could want dinner. And I got some after borrowing their fancy-schmancy Mercedes crew car. They usually have BMW, but I was fine to try a different luxury vehicle tonight.

None of them are as awesome as Pearl, though. Just sayin’.


When in Tucson, I’m pretty sure that it’s required to eat Mexican food. And I was so happy to follow that unwritten rule! We drove a few miles from the airport to enjoy an authentico dinner at El Merendero.


Having the menu in Spanish is always a good sign. Luckily, they did subtitles for me to understand. Sometimes, I simply don’t know what “Chuletas de Puerco a la Parrilla/Ranchera” means in my language, you know?

Man, I need to learn Spanish. It would really come in handy, considering where I live.


I got a combination platter with all sorts of goodness, knowing that I could take my leftovers home to Hubby. This was a cheese enchilada, shredded beef tacos, and a chicken tostada. I ate the tostada, which was heavenly, and saved the rest for my man at home.

Maybe it’s all of the cheese that made this so good? I love freshly-shredded cheese all over the place when considering Mexican food.


Oh sure…now their sign is lit! Thanks, guys, but you’re a few hours too late! I’m glad that they turned it on after we asked them about it. Supposedly, it’s normally on a timer to turn on, but the timer was broken. I’ll buy that story!


I watched an old movie on how-did-I-ever-live-without-it Amazon Prime, and soon it was time to head home.

We got back in Gladys and flew home around midnight, landing at home around 12:30. I crawled into bed around 1:15 AM and got up just a few short hours later for another trip…this time to Atlanta!

Our short-but-lovely flight to Tucson was a dream. What a beautiful city!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Zig Zag All Up In Here


I love love love opening my front door and finding a box there waiting for me. Of course, I knew that it was coming today. I track those things religiously and then try to be home when delivery takes place.


So I brought it inside. I knew what it was, which made it even more difficult to hurry with the scissors to open this guy up!


Any ideas yet? It is certainly yellow, but I promise that I did it on purpose.


Still no ideas? It’s a rug! And it’s going in the reading nook by the fireplace. I’ve been searching high and low for a rug for months. But I just couldn’t justify the seemingly-common knowledge that hundreds of dollars would have to be spent for a rug the size that I needed.


In case you’re wondering, this is the naked floor which will soon be covered by yellow happy gladness! See how bare it is? I bet it feels pretty awkward with me taking pictures of it in such a naked state.


I found this guy at Urban Outfitters. It’s a 5’x7’ rug, which was the perfect size for this space. Free two-day shipping. Did I mention that it was crazy affordable?!


It came all the way from India, which means it also brought some interesting smells for a few days. Those have since gone away, and now the rug is perfect.


You know, because there certainly wasn’t enough color already happening in this little corner…


But I’m really tickled with it. I love how bright and fun it is. It really livens up the space while still keeping with the theme of our home. I can honestly say that I want to sit here and read books more often because of this rug!


It ties in well with what is already going on down in this nook.

I’m so excited that my little pea brain finally decided what to do with this fireplace wall, too, to make it a feature in the room! Hopefully we can get that project done this winter while working on the backyard, too.


You probably didn’t know that I let my pea brain do the thinking around here. Usually, it doesn’t steer me wrong. I just had to wait for inspiration to hit, which took way too long this time around. But don’t tell Pea Brain that I said so.


Isn’t the rug pattern awesome? I really dig it. I knew that I would know the perfect rug when I finally found it, and that is exactly what happened here. In fact, I didn’t even hesitate when ordering, like I normally do. It just felt right, so I proceeded without guilt!


It has been out for a few weeks already, and the folds are starting to disappear.

I want people to feel welcome and comfortable in our home, and I hope that this bright, fun, happy rug helps with that overall goal.


And I love how it peeks out even from other rooms. You can still see the yellow from the kitchen and living room. It just belongs in here, and I’m so glad that I finally found it.


Wow, two house posts in two days! I must have had a week at home, huh? I guess being on the road is good because I don’t spend as much money! : )

I am really happy with this little rug joining our family. One piece at a time, this place is happily coming together!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brass Be Gone – Improved Lighting Situations


We’ve come quite a ways in our kitchen since we bought our home just over two years ago. Can you believe that it used to look like this?


But we’ve still had this little guy hanging out over the sink. In all of its brass glory. And you probably have figured out by now how I feel about brass. Remember when we un-brassed the closet doors because I thought that they were so lovely?


I’m kind of embarrassed that we’ve lived so long with this guy, actually. I recently found a beautiful pendant light at Lowes and knew that the time had come to make the switch. I had been looking online for something industrial, but not too industrial.

I was learning the hard way that to have the cool Edison bulb look would be expensive. Like, around $100 expensive. Light bulb not included. And just one light bulb was going for $15 on Amazon!


And then I scored it. The perfect light at Lowes for $52, and the Edison bulb was snuggly packed inside the box. Double-bonus? I really liked the light!


It had a cool glass shade that would allow the extremely over-priced Edison bulb to be seen in all of its goodness. It would be a shame to pay a small fortune for something and then hide it away.


This is it! I guess a picture of the box would have been helpful, but I was too busy turning off circuit breakers to get this started before dark. It’s very difficult to switch out a light in the dark…

Do you like it? Kind of farm, kind of industrial, but not screaming too loudly about anything. I love it! Let’s put it up!


Just like everything that we’ve discovered in this house so far, the wiring had been done incorrectly on the previous light. How hard is it to use the grounding wire, people?! So Hubby made sure that everything was right before replacing the brass with this goodness.

IMG_4402  IMG_4403

Getting there! The final touches are made. Let’s see if it can hang…and it can! Ta da!


Well, I love it. I was surprised at how low the lighting level was, since all of the reviews online said to buy an even dimmer bulb because this guy puts out so much light. I guess we’re going more for ambience in here now.


And we decided last night that we will be just fine with a normal bulb in here when Edison finally dies. It will give the extra light to which we’ve grown accustomed in here. But for now, it’s working great for us.


I really like it. I love the look and the height from the sink. It’s perfect, really. Lowes lighting section scores again! That’s where I got our new bathroom light a few months ago, too!


The Edison bulb is pretty nifty. I guess the glass shade is supposed to look a little aged and dirty, because I’ve scrubbed it and it still looks like this. Oh well. It’s for ambience, right?


I realize that it is almost the same color as the cabinets. Originally, I was thinking something yellow and bright and fun and happy in here. It was pretty easy to hang, so I can always change my mind about spray-painting it later. This kitchen just needs more color!

I’ve been wanting to do a green glass tile backsplash but was hoping to replace the countertops first. Since our big project this fall is redoing our back yard, my kitchen color may just have to wait.


But I really love the change. It’s the first thing that I notice when I come through the garage door.


It’s warm and inviting. And Hubby was a rock star to help me figure out the perfect height for it. I probably could have changed this out without his help, but what fun is that?


Brass be gone, and I couldn’t be happier about that executive decision.


Now, when we’re doing dishes in here, it feels like we’ve gone back in time a hundred years. Luckily, it doesn’t hum. I don’t think that Edison would last long if that was the case. I’m really happy with how it looks and how little money was taken out of my purse to achieve such a neat solution for us.


What bright ideas have you had lately? Any easy changes that made you wonder, “Why didn’t I do this forever ago?!”

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