Friday, February 15, 2013

Cutting a Capote


Hubby is taking his Scouts to a Mountain Man Rendezvous in March. In fact, he will be gone a few of the three whole days that I’m home that month!

Isn’t it ironic?


One of the many things that Hubby has been working on with his five Scouts is their homemade capote jackets made from wool blankets. He decided to do a trial run on his own blanket the other day before he got the Scouts ready to cut out their patterns.

Neither of us sews, so you can imagine how much fun this was.


In fact, other than giant letters (which I can recognize, thank you very much), this all looks like gibberish to me! Hubby lucked out and used a lifeline. Our neighbor attends this event every year and has made many a capote in his day. One simple phone call was all it took for him to come over to help.

I swear…men will do anything for the promise of homemade baked goods.


But Hubby was ready for him. The blanket was spread out in the living room. And he even had chalk to trace the outline on the blanket before removing it to cut with sharp scissors. This guy thinks of everything!


He was worried that the blanket wasn’t going to be long enough, but I think that they got it all figured out together. The boys cut out their patterns last night without incident, so things must have worked out!

Of course it did. It’s Hubby!


What on earth is a capote, anyway?

I know, I had to ask the same question.

A capote is the heavy coat used in the olden days by mountain men living in cold places. Places that I wouldn’t last long at all, in fact.

When asked if he was going to do the fringe trim, Hubby simply said, “Of course.”


Hubby is so careful and patient with every project undertaken. I really admire his willingness to make sure that this was right before he got to cutting.

Who does that?! Certainly not the gal he married.


When our neighbor came over to help, I disappeared down the hallway to give them their guy time. And I had some Young Women stuff to work on, so it made everything fair.

I really hate working on projects when Hubby is home. I try to get everything done before his work day is over so that I can spend quality time with him when he’s home.

It doesn’t always work that way, but I do try.


Hubby lives the old-fashioned saying of “Measure twice, cut once.”

I’m guessing that it works, right?


He did measure twice and cut once. The evening was a success!

I wish that I would have taken a picture of his final product…a pile of cut pieces ready to be sewed. Hubby has enlisted several volunteer gals from church who are going to pair up with each boy to help them sew their capotes.

I wasn’t asked to help, for obvious reasons.

How do you thread a needle, anyway?!

He has been having lots of fun getting the boys ready for this trip to the mountains. They even made elk horn knives from scratch a few weeks ago! Hubby’s greatest dilemma has been if he should carve the name into his knife, or burn it in. These are tough choices indeed.

And, yes…he’s naming his knife.

The boys are lucky to have Hubby as their leader, that’s for dang sure.

Nope, not prejudice in the least!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Backyard Dreamscapes


More tilling?


I promise that these aren’t the same pictures from a few weeks ago. You are simply witnessing Hubby’s work clothes in all of their glorified glory.



We’ve had a lot of rain lately, so Hubby headed outside to do another round of tilling. We are trying to get the backyard even closer to being ready for some sprinklers and sod.


Hubby’s Dad already helped with one layer of tilling, and now it’s Hubby’s turn to do some detail work.


And yes, heaven does shine down on this man when he is tilling up a storm.

Isn’t he handsome?

Work clothes aside?


This borrowed tiller has been a lifesaver. I can’t imagine doing this all by hand. It will make digging trenches for the new sprinklers so much easier with our hard clay already turned over!

Hopefully that will be a project during March so that we can get the concrete edging installed before laying sod in May. Hubby has researched it, and that is the best time to lay sod in our part of the country.


I’m really excited. And not just so I can get rid of these work tools from our back patio.

But I probably won’t miss those, either.


Hubby was using a giant 50-gallon barrel to help level and compact things in back. We make things up all the time! But it works!


It’s fun today, because I get some wider shots of the entire backyard. These little pavers in front (the ones trying to keep the pea gravel inside this “relaxation area”), will be goners. We were originally thinking of just doing a concrete border here as well, but I’ve started to wonder if we should just pour a concrete pad to replace all of that gravel.

What do you think?


I think they used to have a hot tub here, which is not even an option for us. Yuck.

You think that I hate pools? Don’t get me started on hot tubs!

We are thinking of filling in this gravel area with a new concrete pad. It would extend the patio and make the whole entertaining area nicer and bigger.

IMG_7772 Hammock

Aaaaaaaand…this is what I am thinking about putting on that concrete pad, if we do it.

If you must know.


The rusted pool gate is coming down all around. When we have little ones, we will put up a new one. For now, I am loving the openness!

I tried to take down the rest of the fence panels last week while I was home for a few days, but I am too weak-sauce and needed some man muscle to finish the project.

cough cough wimp cough


To the left will be the new concrete pad for my hammock. To the right will be the dirt area for Hubby’s garden boxes.

Everybody wins, right?


This is the plan with some concrete edging. We will trap the dirt on one side for the garden boxes and the grass on the other with a simple concrete border. It will be the same border that we carry around these two walls in the yard to create pretty planter boxes.

Won’t that look nice?

Man, I wish that I could just wiggle my nose and have it done!


Wouldn’t a hammock look nice here? I think that I would live in it for half the year!

“Where’s Micah? Oh, she’s out back…swinging in her hammock".”

OK, a hammock would really be a dream-come-true. May I please explain?

When I was fourteen, my Dad took us to the Florida Keys for a wonderful family vacation. It was incredible, but my most memorable day was the one spent on the private island owned by Hilton. We were toted over in a small boat (and I didn’t throw up!). I spent the day in a hammock with virgin drinks coming my way every time I so much as lifted my head towards the cabana boy. There was a slight breeze with a warm sun, and the palm trees were whispering high above me.

Basically, it was heaven. And I have wanted to own a hammock ever since.

Shallow, I know. Can you hear those palm trees swaying?


I’ve stacked the garden boxes on the far side of the yard for now. We still don’t know what to do on that strip of yard yet. Ideas?

The garden boxes will go to the left above the pool. It would be protected inside the future pool fence when we put that up again in a few years. Kids and gardens don’t mix, either, right?

At least soccer balls and gardens don’t mix well…


Man, I can’t wait to get those river rock boulders gone. Since we don’t have anywhere else for them to go, we are storing them underneath our bedroom window. It means that we will have to move them twice (argh!), but we don’t know what else to do for now. I moved some rocks around to make room for more to join them.

At least you can’t see them from anywhere in the yard. They are tucked away in a corner.

Just like Baby.


This place has been so neglected while we have been working on the backyard. I can’t wait to get the yard finished so that we can start using this space again! Come on, Garden Dinner Parties!

And a hammock just past the table probably wouldn’t be a bad thing, either…

Can I get some written support here, folks?


I like our backyard and think that it will be a nice space. I’m just excited to get it done sooner rather than later!

I am literally home four days in the next two months, too, so working on the yard to get it done will be that much trickier for me.

Luckily, I married a rock star worker. (That’s not a hint at all, Hubby. But good luck…).


Once this pool fence is down, this whole area will feel so much more spacious and open. I can’t wait!

I wish that I had muscles! I was worried about stripping the screws, so I decided to wait for the manly man of our marriage to get home from work.


We have oodles of gravel piles around these parts. What on earth is a girl to do with so much unwanted gravel?!

So that’s it for now. Someday, we’ll look back on these pictures and giggle like school girls that it looks so nice now. I wish that now was now, but I can wait! Maybe it will be completely done in just a few months!

Hint hint hint.

Any outdoor projects going on in your neck of the woods? I guess mostly everyone else is buried in snow…

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Few Shots of a Short Flight Home


It was a great few days in Van Nuys for work. It just felt good to be back on the road. I always feel better when I’m doing something productive, you know?

I got excited to take lots of pictures of lots of airplanes on the ramp last Wednesday when we arrived back at Hoover’s Hangars. However, something happened that has never happened before…

My camera battery was dead. For some reason, I had forgotten to check its charge before I left for this trip, and now it was time to face my forgetfulness.

Wha? No pictures of our flight home?!


So I tried something new…taking pictures with my phone. They aren’t the best pictures ever seen, but at least I grabbed a few shots to remember such a fun flight.

What am I saying? Every flight is fun!

This Beechjet was on the ramp today. I recognized it immediately because it used to be based at Cutter Aviation when I was based at Cutter Aviation six years ago. We saw and knew the crew this afternoon and chatted them up for a while, too.

I don’t miss the Beechjet. I am so happy flying a big, beautiful Phenom 300!

And I certainly don’t miss being based at Cutter Aviation, either!


Obviously, not my usual forty-bazillion pictures took place today. But I managed to grab this shot of the hazy mountains as we made our departure from Van Nuys Airport.

It often looks like this, but it always makes me think of scenes from The Lord of the Rings!


Soon we were back on the ground at home. It was such a pretty day! Blue skies, puffy clouds, and a gorgeous control tower! Seventy-two degrees…ahhhhhh.

Hi, Home!


There were even some big boys being moved around the ramp at our home hangar. This guy is headed out for a trip, so they moved us out of the way after our passengers were gone. Then the Dassault Falcon 7X moved past us, and we were tugged again inside the hangar for our few days home.

This is the biggest airplane that is based at our hangar. I always drool over it. So big and pretty!


I finished my post-flight check and loaded up Pearl to drive home. Even with the time difference, we made it back to the hangar by 2:30 PM today! Our passengers had arrived in California early, so we made great time on our flight home.

I had a few days off before our next trip (today!). This next two months is going to be so busy! I have three trips over the next ten days that take me away from home every day (and eight nights). I think that I will be home long enough to do some laundry, and that’s about it!

And…I can’t wait! Come along for the busy chaos that is my beloved job!

Here’s a question for you: if I joined instagram and posted pictures of my travels in a more timely manner, in addition to more detailed posts here, would that interest anybody? Or are things A-OK just the way they are?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good Grub in Northern Los Angeles


It was a few short days here in Van Nuys. I stayed at “the usual,” my Holiday Inn Express in Woodland Hills. It is about a twenty-minute drive from where we park Gladys at the airport, but I’m not about to pay $140 for a hotel just to be closer to her.

I’m stingy, you know? Sorry, Gladys.

It’s a beautiful hotel. In fact, I’ll be staying there again tomorrow!


After waiting for the shuttle for a few hours, I was ready to grab a bite for lunch after I quickly left my bag in the hotel room. I knew that I wanted to try this place just a few blocks away.

Can you see the sign for Leo & Lily?


It is indeed a cute little eatery that has my name written all over it. And, despite it being about two o’clock in the afternoon, it’s a busy little cafĂ©! Let’s do this!


I had asked the hotel gal if she had ever tried eating here. She said not, but that she had heard that their breakfast was amazing.

So I was tickled when I discovered that they were still serving breakfast this afternoon!


I love reading menus, so I took a few pictures to share. As you can see, everything sounded delicious to an empty tummy! And rightfully so!


I decided to try this Left Coast Breakfast Sandwich because it had avocado, though the Americano Breakfast Sandwich was my other possible contender.


After I ordered, I enjoyed the patio seating outside. It was only about sixty-eight degrees today, but it felt so warm compared to the cold snap that I had left behind at home!

It was a lovely day to sit outside and enjoy delicious food!


Their presentation of silverware in a Mason jar was really cute, too. They thought to put some cork on the bottom so nothing broke. Brilliant!

And cute!


But then this arrived. And I forgot all about cute things. I was enveloped in the bounteous smells of breakfast. And I could hardly wait to dig in!


Believe it or not, I actually think that this meal was fairly healthy! It had turkey bacon and avocado with a well-fried egg and tomato, all piled onto ciabatta bread. The smoked gouda wasn’t the main flavor, but it hinted in every bite.

It was scrumptious!


No, I promise that I’m not eating again so soon after a great lunch at Leo & Lily! This is almost twenty-four hours later when I was searching for a place to grab my second lunch for this trip!

I decided to walk in the opposite direction of my usual exploring to see what other offerings were near my hotel. About 0.6 miles away, I found Hugo’s Tacos.

I’ve been known to like tacos, so I felt that this was very promising indeed.


Unfortunately, I paid over $9 for these tiny street tacos. They were only about three inches long each. The pork carnitas meat was good, but everything else kind of tasted funny to me. And, to make matters worse, the place was not clean at all.

I wouldn’t go back. But I’m glad to know that there aren’t a whole lot of eatery options up the road towards the west from my hotel!

For that kind of money, they could have at least given me some beans and rice, right?!


Ha! Once again, it looks like I’m eating immediately after lunch! This was dinner near my hotel at The Habit Burger Grill. I try not to eat at places that I could get at home, but this was oh-so close to my Holiday Inn Express.

And you know what? A burger sounded really good!


I never order a burger from those big chains like BK and McDonald’s. But a few places, like In-n-Out, Five Guys, and now The Habit, I will happily eat a made-to-order heavenly burger.

But I just discovered that The Habit is now in the Valley in which I live. Sounds like I need to take Hubby there, huh?


Their hamburgers are $2.89. Not too shabby!

Of course, I added some Swiss cheese. But the caramelized onions, one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world, came for free. Holy smokes, this was delicious tonight!

And the fries were so hot and fresh that I had to let them cool down. I love this place!


And every bite was heavenly. If you are near a Habit, give their burgers a try!

They also make chocolate shakes from scratch. Not that I know from personal experience or anything…

I would say that my few short days in Van Nuys for work were very successful ones. Especially since I based that judgment on how great my food was! Now you know why I love this trip so much!

And just a few of the million reasons of why I am so in love with my job!

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