Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Break flight

Last week was Spring Break for my daughter, so we flew to Indiana to visit my brother, his wife and THE CUTEST BABY IN THE WORLD!  It was fun to play with my nephew and do my best to spoil him rotten.

The flight itself was a nice milestone. This is the first time I flew a long cross-country flight without another pilot next to me. The air was a bit bumpy but I managed it and arranged "VFR flight following" (voice contact with air traffic controllers who watch out for me) nearly the entire 5 hour journey coming and going. Wow, I flew 10.5 hours this week!

Tip to other pilots:  Do NOT fly with a hungry teenager. He/she will hound you to land at the closest airport with a restaurant or fill your cockpit with snack wrappers from the last airport's vending machines.

 Views from the air:

We actually had to delay our return flight one day after waking up to a freak snow shower when a cool front went through.

As for sewing, I returned to working on Celtic Solstice King and found myself needing to take a quick break to finish something---anything!  So I put together a Connecting Threads tote bag kit. I substituted the orangey floral middle section with a soft blue which is my favorite color. The bag is bigger than it looks and has pockets sewn to the lining. See the 2014 Quilts tab for that view.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April Activities

Sometimes you have to take a break and sew some small projects. I made another lunch bag as a gift for my sweet sister-in-law.  I expanded the size a bit and had to wing-it (hah!) with the Soft & Stable and cover. It turned out quite nice, if I do say so myself!

Then I started sewing a small kit from Connecting Threads -- but I can't show it yet because it's gift.

Finally I returned to quilting. The Red Cross quilt is sandwiched and ready for quilting. I also added two and a half rows to Jamestown Landing / Blueberry Hill. Seven and a half more rows to go, then it will be time to work on the blue string border. [Will this ever get finished???]
The weather is improving! Spring has finally arrived! A few hours were dedicated to preparing the raised beds in my garden then planting peas and lettuce. Next week the broccoli and cabbage plants can be added. Another week later it will time to put in more seeds and tomato plants. The rhubarb is already starting to show. We should see some asparagus spears in the next couple weeks, too.

And more importantly...I got in some fun flying time, just a few takeoffs and landing for practice and 'currency'.  I need three takeoffs and landings every 90 days to be deemed proficient enough to carry passengers, but I like to keep the interval to 30 days or less to keep my skills fresh. Plus my airplane engine needs the exercise (or at least a splash of oil across the cylinders). And it puts a big smile on my face and a spring in my step after being up in the air.

This week I had a couple incidents which caused me to reflect a bit on the Vietnam War. At the EAA meeting this week, our guest speaker was a guy who talked about flying helicopters in the war. He had lots of funny stories but also shared the sobering fact that half of his flight class died in the war. He also compared his opinion about why that war was 'lost' and how history seems to be repeating itself in Afghanistan and Iraq. [So true!]  Tonight I read an article in Sport Aviation about a pilot who spent 8 years as a POW. Recalling his vivid description about his captivity, final release and the trepidation he felt in rebuilding his life is still bringing tears to my eyes as I type. He eventually continued his career flying for a major airline and organizing a group of guys to honor fallen or returned soldiers with formation flights. What an amazing man! I wish I could have met him before he passed away recently.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014