Friday, March 29, 2013

Capote is not Kaput


Hubby has been spending the past several months doing projects with his Scouts to prep them for their Mountain Man Rendezvous.

Doesn’t that sound like fun? A bunch of grown men with beards, and a bunch of teenage boys…with no beards? Running around in the forest pretending it’s the 1800s?


One project that took a few weeks to complete was helping the boys sew their own wool capote mountain man coats for the cold weekend in the hills. Hubby did everything from ordering the blankets to devising the best way for them to trace the pattern outline with chalk!


He even enlisted some local gals in our church to help each boy…kind of the buddy system. She didn’t sew it for the kid but instead taught him how and supervised his work to make sure that he didn’t get three arms and no hole for the head.

Hubby is always looking for ways to teach them to fish, and not just to hand them dinner. Know what I mean?


But he was so busy helping the boys get ready that he didn’t have time to sew his own capote. And a man without a capote at this shindig? Well, that certainly wouldn’t do!

My bestest friend, Ann, even volunteered to come supervise his evening of domestic labor!


Deep down, I think that Hubby was really hoping that Ann would just show up and do the hard work for him. But, just like he wouldn’t let her with the boys, she didn’t hand him anything!

She simply showed him how to do it and then watched to prevent any mistakes.

So far, so good! We need some arms, though!


Ann is a super-experienced sewing extraordinaire. I am…well, not. I can’t even hem pants. Sheesh, it’s pathetic. So I’m really glad that she offered to bring her sewing machine and expertise to help Hubby prepare for the camping trip.


We even set up a temporary sewing site for Hubby to work. After measurements for his arms were taken, the pins were added to hold things in place while the sewing happened.

I learned a thing or two tonight as well, just from watching!


While they worked, I made some dinner. This was Day Two of my healthy transformation, and actually the very day that I hired Lindsey to help me meet my weight-loss goals!

So salad for dinner it was!


I’m wondering if these pictures can be used for blackmailing purposes some day. It’s not very often that a wife gets to admire her husband hard at work on a sewing machine, huh?


But I was proud of him for sticking with it. Sometimes, when Ann and I got distracted with some nice visiting, Hubby patiently waited until we could give attention back to him when he was ready for the next step.

He is The World’s Most Patient Man, after all.

One arm done! Looking good!


It was time to decide where to hem the cuff to give him enough warmth without being in the way. Ann knew all of these measurements and even how to mark them! Fascinating! I don’t know nuthin’!

Did I mention that Hubby sewed this entire thing himself?! So impressive!


Lookin’ good, Babe! Isn’t he a handsome man? Even when wearing a homemade wool coat, he looks handsome.

That’s hard to pull off for most guys.


Meanwhile, the marinated chicken had been grilled and was ready for consumption atop some beautiful mixed greens!


Hubby is such a supportive champ. He will eat anything that I make. Isn’t that crazy how much power I have over our diet and what we eat?!

Eating healthy has been so nice. I found this saying that I totally agree with: Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

So true!

Nice capote, Hubby. You look all back-woodsy now!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ohio to Arizona in High-Flying Style


After an unexpected stop in Columbus, and then finding out that we didn’t have to return to JFK to pick up some passengers, we leisurely grabbed some lunch before getting on our way.

El Capitan wanted to eat at some Indian restaurant, so I had him drop me off at one of my favorites on his way.

I love Panera Bread! Why aren’t they in Phoenix?!


Have you had their freshly-squeezed lemonade? It’s pretty good. I usually get it without ice since it is cold already. Who needs ice to water things down?

This was my last unhealthy trip for work. I don’t drink my calories now!


And I won’t even give this the credit of being mentioned, except by photo.

I used to really love cookies with M&Ms, though. If you must know.


I think my brain was leaning towards trying to be healthier, because I ordered a salad for lunch. It had grilled chicken and avocado, which we all know makes everything better.

Holy smokes, I love avocado.

My side dish was the complete opposite of healthy! But their mac and cheese is to die for.


It’s must be a white cheddar macaroni and cheese. judging from the flavor and color. This stuff is just pure heaven. I crave it when I can’t get it.

At least…I used to crave it! I’m sure it tastes nasty now!


I love how they include a piece of chewy-in-the-middle bread with a crunchy top.

My love for bread hasn’t changed. I still really enjoy the stuff. But I’m making better decisions in that arena, too.


The Panera Bread was located in an awesome outdoor shopping mall in a nice area of Columbus near the airport.

Why they decided to make an outdoor shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio is beyond me! It was late February and freezing cold!

But the Pottery Barn was fun. For some reason, they had a bunch of Spring stuff out. It felt a little early for that…especially when I stepped back outside into the cold wind.


We got a Brio gift card for Christmas, and someday, when I’m home from work, we’ll get to use it! Seeing this Brio reminded me that we need to go out.

You hear that, Ann? We need to go use that card that you and Ted gave us!


Can you believe that I didn’t eat at The Cheesecake Factory?

I wandered through that Crate and Barrel next door. It was one of the nicest (and biggest!) that I’ve ever visited. And I’ve seen my fair share, since it’s one of my favorite stores in the whole wide world!


The old-fashioned telephone booth is pretty cool, too.

But so is everything else about Columbus. If it wasn’t so dang north (and, consequently, cold), I would consider living in this town!


With a full and cheesy belly, it’s time to head back to the airport to head home!

It feels so weird just taking our own sweet time and leaving whenever we wanted. Is this what it feels like to own your own airplane?

Ooooooooo…Guy like. Who’s Guy? Click this link. You will like it.


This King Air had the number-one spot for departure today. We were placed next to him. I was glad, since it was rather chilly and I didn’t want to be any further from the door!

What a cry baby. But it is in the seventies at home, so twenty degrees just isn’t sitting well with me at all.


This sign cracked me up. This isn’t the first-class that I usually think of when flying! Don’t you love local advertising?

Speaking of local mega companies based here, Columbus is home to NetJets, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, and The Ohio State University.

They get really funny if you don’t emphasize the “The.” Believe me, I know from experience.

I came here for a few days back in college when I was president of the UND’s Mortar Board Honor Society. I came to Columbus for training, and the locals let me know pretty quickly the proper way to address them. In fact, they got pretty offended of my ignorance in such pronunciation matters.

Funny, huh?


Anyway, we were empty in back and ready to leave. Let’s get somewhere that has palm trees!


We passed lots of snowy fields on our way back to Arizona. After such a cold few days in JFK and Columbus, I was ready to thaw out for the weekend!


we crossed over these plains of the Midwest as we got closer to home. Soon, we started to see some giant mountains outside the windows.


We haven’t done this arrival in Phoenix for quite a while. With how our shortcuts worked out, we flew just south of Hubby’s hometown! So I waved at his folks and took a picture for him.

Just fifteen minutes later, we were landing in Mesa. It takes almost three hours to drive the same trip! Yuck!


We weren’t officially heading home today but to Mesa Gateway for some maintenance. We know that we will not be flying for a week, so it was perfect timing to take Gladys in for some fixes that had become available from the Embraer Service Center.

That’s something with such a new airplane…they are still designing ways to debug what we pilots find!


The city came into sight, and the beautiful Superstition Mountains were in the distance. Willy Gateway is on the far southeast side of the Valley. My car is still about an hour drive away after we land!


Willy Gateway used to be Williams Air Force Base. They did lots of bomber training here for World War II. The runways are huge as a result. The “short” one is 10,000 feet long!

Can you see the runways? There are three of them. We were cleared for the visual approach by Phoenix Approach Control to the right runway, but I asked Tower for clearance to land on the left side since it would reduce our taxi time quite a bit.

Normally, they can do it with no problems. Not today! We were swapped to land 30C and received long-rollout approval to exit the runway near our service center. Fine by me!


I was so excited to be here today, because they were prepping for a static air display of some neat WWII airplanes.

This is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber…the one with the giant “A” on the tail. This type of airplane is most famous for being the one that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. Of course, we all know that particular first airplane was named the Enola Gay after pilot Paul Tibbetts’ mother.

How do you think she felt about having an airplane named after her that would forever go down in history?

Anyway, this B-29 Bomber is the only one still flying. I heart it! And it’s huge!


After a long drive back to my home airport in rush hour traffic, I picked up Pearl and headed home. After three crazy busy weeks on the road, I’m looking forward to a few days at home with Hubby!

Hi, Pearl!

What a great overnight trip to JFK and Columbus. I love how exciting my job can be!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An Italian Dinner and an Unexpected Stop


Our passengers had already left, and we were still in JFK Airport! Yesterday’s flight was incredible and not as nerve-wracking as I had expected.

The line guys had never seen a Phenom 300, which isn’t uncommon for us. Often times, we turn heads when pulling onto the ramp. Even the big Gulfstream pilots want to come peek inside our airplane because it is so new and gorgeous and awesome.

So we I stayed until the line guys had fueled us, just in case. I am usually with the airplane when it gets fueled…but especially with people who may not know what they’re doing!


Hi, New York City! I wish that I had time to explore you today!

Man, the irony. As I write this post, I’m prepping to head into New York City from the other side in Teterboro! Am I spoiled or what?!


So the three lines guys (and gal) pulled the truck up and started to fuel using Gladys’ single-point fueling panel. And then they asked how much we needed. And, after doing the math, I guessed around 675 gallons.

And then they got a little quiet. Their truck was almost empty and only had about five-hundred gallons left. Awkward!

They had another truck standing by, but we emptied their first one! Yikes!


After the minor refueling drama, we headed to grab a quick bite for dinner. Our plan for the night was to enjoy a fast dinner, then get in Gladys and fly her as far west as we could. El Capitan had friends to meet in Colorado Springs, so that was the goal.

To be honest, I was dreading such a long flight after such a long day already. But he had friends to meet, so my sleep-deprivation concern wasn’t a concern that we both shared.


I already jinxed us mentioned how easy it was to land at JFK, despite my worries before the flight. But getting off the airport and trying to find our dinner location would have been impossible without GPS!

Honestly, how did I ever survive without it?!

We went to Gino’s, recommended to us by the FBO customer representative. It only took about fifteen minutes to get there from the airport. Rush hour traffic is awful anywhere, but especially just outside of Brooklyn, New York!


This place had an Italian version of chips and salsa by bringing us bruschetta and garlic toast before we ordered. I like this idea and, thus, think that all places should do it!


This was a few days before my healthy transformation had taken place, but you can see that from my dinner selection. Healthy people don’t order fettuccine alfredo!


We got lost a few times trying to get back to the FBO after dinner. There were just too many wrong signs telling us wrong things.

I promise is was the signs and not two pilots who are skilled in the art of navigation.

Soon, we were off. And I enjoyed some gorgeous views of Manhattan as we took to the skies! We flew through some icing clouds and then broke out on top. Obviously not enough to see up there, since I didn’t take any pictures!


If you look closely, you’ll notice that this is not Colorado Springs.

Just kidding. It’s cold and snowy here, too, so how could you possibly know that we didn’t fly over four hours to get there?

About half an hour into our flight, we got a call on the airplane phone. It’s like the Bat Phone, but way cooler.

Our boss was letting us know that plans had possibly changed. The folks that we had just dropped off for a departure out of JFK may need a ride home tomorrow instead. Some of their plans had fallen through, and they were trying to reschedule other items on their trip to avoid going at all.

So he asked us to land fairly close, in case we had to turn around to pick them up tomorrow and bring them home with us. Exciting, huh?

So we checked the map, and not too far in front of us was Columbus, Ohio.

We landed there, surprising everyone and us at the same time. It was drizzly and foggy and nasty weather, but we were soon safely on the ground and wrapping up Gladys for a quick (and unplanned) night on the ramp in Ohio.

I felt so spontaneous!


This guy headed inside while I put some covers on Gladys. She always likes to be warm and protected, too. Because of the forecasted rain/snow, and because we weren’t sure how early we would need to leave the next morning, we had them put her inside the warm hangar for the night.

Have you ever paid for deicing fluid? It’s way cheaper to pay for a night in the hangar instead!


Unfortunately, their deal with the local Hyatt was sold out. That’s what happens at 10:00 PM! But $89 for a night sounded just perfect to me!

Our only option left was this Marriott. I was OK with getting some more Marriott points (especially when a few weeks later those points almost paid for an entire week at Disneyland!), but it was more than I prefer to pay.

However, it did feel awfully nice to be out of the cold rain!


So I crawled into bed, secretly grateful that we weren’t still flying another three hours to Colorado for the night. I was exhausted!


By around eleven the next morning, we had received the news. They were on their way  with their original plans and didn’t need a ride home from us after all! So we headed back to the airport to borrow a crew car to grab some lunch before our four-hour flight home.

I can handle that! Especially after a good night’s sleep!

How about some macaroni and cheese for lunch? It’s good…I promise!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My First Time to New York’s JFK Airport


The busy fun continues. This flight ended in a new airport for me…the dreaded JFK in New York’s busy airspace!

We fly to that area a lot but usually land in Teterboro in New Jersey, the corporate reliever airport for New York City.


Usually, JFK Airport requires a scheduled slot to arrive there, so it’s really tough to get there on time and secure a slot. Especially when we aren’t scheduled like the airliners. But for the past few months and through this summer, JFK has suspended slot requirements to see how it impacts the number of airplanes that come to the airport.

They want to see if they can hack it without the required slots.


That airport is pretty intimidating, so I don’t see us flying into there very often. Our passengers needed to fly from JFK to elsewhere today, so it was most convenient for them to land at this airport.

But it’s not my first choice of airport there! New York is scary!


We were scheduled to leave at 10:00 AM this morning to get them there on time. Lots of airplanes were safe at home this week. The weather is so nice this time of year…it will certainly empty out over the summer when our temperatures are so awful!

I’m already dreading that. Yuck!


They were moving other airplanes around to get ready for departure after us.


After I called Ground Control to let them know that we were ready to taxi, we were told to follow this guy to the runway.


And I was just fine with that. Look at this gorgeous thing! It’s an old airplane, as seen in the old low-bypass engines. This one has a noise reducer on it to meet Level II noise abatement requirements, which most airports require these days.


Soon, we were climbing above the gorgeous city. Just north of this airport are lots of business complexes. It’s always fun to see them from the sky.


Can you see the runway that we just departed? It’s tucked away inside the city limits.


It’s not all work up here, though. There are several new housing developments, too. Can you see the community golf course and lake? The blue looks so pretty from up here.

But let’s face it…everything looks pretty from up here!


And already, we are at 10,000 feet as we continue our climb towards the east. You can see our departure runway even better in this picture.


Take a deep breath…

Here is the airport diagram for JFK Airport. Yikes!

I have a college buddy who is based here in a commuter airline, so I got all caught up on some local tricks. That really helped me, since going into such a crazy airport was just a teensy weensy bit scary!


If you crane your neck, you can see the edge of Albuquerque down there.

Hi, Susan!

I lived in this pretty city for a year and loved it.


Because of the nature of our destination, we got no shortcuts today. We had to fly our clearance almost point-to-point to give the New York controllers time to make space for us.

This airport is a whole different ballgame, folks.


And here is the clearance! Cleared to JFK via the Scottsdale 7 Departure, Albuquerque transition, Brickyard, Rosewood, Dryer, Jamestown, J-70 to Wilkes-Barre for the Lendy 6 arrival into JFK.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Sorry for the chicken scratch…they read clearances very quickly!


After we descended through some nasty icing clouds, we broke out to see this. We are over the Atlantic heading east as we descend to set up for the ILS to Runway 31L.

Look at those tankers! Isn’t this cool?!


Our first view of land was part of Long Island. Nothing warm about those beaches today! It’s about forty degrees and super windy!


We turned towards final for our runway and started to get sight of civilization. Isn’t that a pretty wing, too?


Cleared to land, Runway 31L. My friend just suggested that I sound confident on the radio and ask for help if I needed it. That’s what I always do, but it worked here, too!

They had no idea that I was a little nervous coming to this big, bad airport today!

Ignorance is bliss, right?


And as we taxied to our ramp at the Sheltair FBO, we could see the city! This is a different view than normal, since we are east of the city instead of the usual west across the Hudson in New Jersey.

Can you see the One World Trade Center? It dwarfs everything else now. It will be incredible to see it finished.


For some reason, they were storing train cars here on the airport as well. There were so many huge airliners coming in and out, but I was too busy making sure that we knew where to go to get any pictures.

Sorry. Pink trains will have to suffice.

You’ll just have to believe me that JFK is for the big boys!


But we landed in cold and windy JFK!

We loaded our passengers and their bags into an awaiting car that took them over to the passenger terminal. We landed around 4:30, which makes it perfect for their 7:50 PM departure.

Being early for commercial flights never hurts. You’ve worked with TSA before, right?

Oh boy.

JFK wasn’t as bad as I was expecting! I was pleasantly surprised! Actually, getting off the airport for dinner proved to be harder for us tonight!

I sure don’t want to go back, if that’s what you’re wondering.

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