2018 Air Show

Every year Jay and I attend the air show. It’s something that we look forward to every year. In fact, in the 7 years that we’ve been together we’ve only missed one show, 2013, and that was because they cancelled it due to government budget cuts.

This year we had Leland with us. It was his first air show.

My Cute Uncle Is Single

Uncle Eric was trying to work every angle that he could as evidenced by Leland’s shirt that reads, “My cute uncle is single. (Wanna be my new aunt?)”

We weren’t sure how Leland was going to enjoy the show as he is only 4, but he was more attentive than I expected. It probably helped that the air show tries to keep everybody entertained in various ways.

For instance, they had the Twin Tiger Aerobatic Team.

Acrobatic Team

These guys were flying Yak 55’s painted up like orange tigers.

They did all sorts of aerobatic maneuvers.

Twin Tiger Team

And just when you thought that the kids were losing interest we heard a ‘ba-boom’ and saw a puff of black smoke start to waft upwards.

Catching Smoke Rings

They were making smoke rings and competing to see who could either cut through, or fly through, the most.

Tigers Smoke Ring

I have to admit that instead of really paying attention to what the planes were doing, I was trying to figure out the physics of making these perfect smoke rings. And what do you have to do on the ground to make sure they are going to open up so beautifully? Unfortunately, I’m scientifically challenged so if I really want to know the answer I’ll have to ask Jay.

Cutting the Smoke Ring

With the little bit that I know about flying RC airplanes, I know that some of these tricks are very difficult to pull off. So when I saw this:

I was really impressed. They were flying at almost a 90 degree angle to each other, in a ‘V’ shape. They weren’t wobbly or anything, either. They kept their planes steady the entire length of the runway. It was impressive.

Of course, when you have a Jet Truck and an Aerobatic team, you have to have a race.

Jet Truck Racing Acrobatic Team

I believe the jet truck won.

Along with the zippy little fun planes, you also have your vintage models.

Placid Lassie

This is “Placid Lassie”, a WWII C-47.

I have to include a picture of this one:

A-10 Warthog

It’s not the best picture, but it’s my favorite modern jet. The A-10 Warthog. Isn’t she a beautiful sight?? They did a ‘tactical’ demonstration with the Warthog where they set off pyrotechnics as if it was actually firing the gun. I would love to hear “BRRRRRRRRPT” from the good side of things. Probably the only time Jay would have to worry about me leaving him is if I happen to meet an A-10 pilot. 😉

To cool down a little, we’ll take a gander at this big brute:

C-130 Demo

If you aren’t familiar, this is a C-130. Leland was pretty excited about this plane because they lowered the ramp and four ATV’s came flying out. I mean, technically speaking they came rolling out and they were driven by actual men, so it’s not like they were autonomous or anything. But it was neat to watch.

You have probably noticed that some of my pictures are nice and crisp, while others are not so crisp. That’s because I’m using a point-and-shoot camera to take these pictures. And most of the time I’m just pointing and shooting, while hoping that I managed to get at least a couple nice shots. I don’t have the big telescopic lens or super-fancy shutter speed camera. That’s why I’m happy if I get at least one kind-of neat shot.

F-16 Viper

I consider this picture of an F-16 to be one of those shots. Also, this shot of an F-18 from last year’s air show:

F-18 Turning

And finally, we have the real draw of the entire air show.

(the song “The Boys Are Back In Town” begins to play)

Blue Angel Parade

Folks, please give a VERY warm welcome to the Blue Angels!!

Yes, I know that I’m a bit biased. I make no apologies.

Angel Tails

Blue Angels

When they are flying I typically take a lot of pictures at the beginning of their show, then halfway through I stop taking pictures and just enjoy what I’m seeing. Again, once in a while I get a few good shots.

Blue Angel Pass

Blue Angels - Seeing Double

I think they should use that last picture for vision tests. “Let me know when you only see two jets…” I would enjoy that a lot more than the dumb hot air balloon that they currently use.

Once the actual air show is over we usually stroll along and look at the static displays. This helps to pass the time while we are waiting for the traffic to thin out a bit. There’s only one problem with this, at least for me. You see, this is at the end of the day when Jay has had a bit to drink and he starts checking out the jets. He points out how things function and what certain levers do when you pull or push on them.

Jay and Eric Go Under

When Eric and Jay start to crawl INTO areas, that’s usually when I walk away. It makes Jay laugh, but I figure that if security is going to haul them away from the airplanes then I don’t want to be anywhere around. To be fair, Jay used to attend air shows when he was in the Navy and he says that the pilots just expect that people are going to touch EVERYTHING. Maybe. I’m not taking any chances.

Just like this guy. Obviously, he wants to make sure that nobody forgets about him if something happens:

Rescue Me

And with that, another air show is in the books.

Me and Jay 9-3-11

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Dresses for Missions #38

Last weekend I made Dress #38:

Dress #38 9-8-18

I had to give a talk at church about our ministry, Dresses for Missions, and figured that I needed an example to show. My friend Jamie had sent me this really fun material and I couldn’t wait to use it. Since it was so busy I knew that I was going to use the solid pink for the ruffle. The hardest part was choosing the trim to go around the top of the ruffle.

Dress #38 Hem Detail

I settled for this blue because sometimes less is more. And that was definitely true in this case. Aren’t the cats cute?? Many people thought that this was adorable and they said that my talk was very inspiring. They could tell that it came from the heart. So I guess that I did my job!

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Only One ‘Keet

Do you remember this picture that I teased:

Cedar Bird Bath 4

I had asked if you could figure out what it was that Jay was making for me. I know, it could be anything! Here’s another clue… I sprayed it with waterproofing deck spray:

Cedar Bird Bath 6

I wish that I could show you another picture of the finished product, but technically it’s not fully finished. You see, it’s a bird bath! A very extravagant bird bath. Here’s the story behind it…

This is our current bird bath:

Bird Bath Fountain 7-16-17

It’s not very large, but it gets a lot of use! Well, on July 4th we were having quite a hot and humid day. As I walked through the living room I looked out and noticed a mourning dove LOUNGING in this bird bath. He took up about a quarter of it. The sparrows were a bit upset because they couldn’t enjoy the water with him hogging up the space.

Cedar Bird Bath 5

I told Jay that we needed a multi-tiered bird bath so that more than just a handful of birds could enjoy it at one time. I came up with the three tiers, each one being a different depth for the different sizes of birds.

You can see the holes where Jay is going to put the copper tubing that will allow the water to spill from one tier to another. This water movement will be aided by a pump (which is one of the pieces we are waiting for) so that the water will be constantly moving and tempt the birds to enjoy it.

Cedar Bird Bath 2

I even had Jay add a little door where I will be able to easily access the lines so that I can quickly drain it when I have to clean it.

I bought some garden pond liner to line it as I was worried about using any other kind of vinyl liner that wasn’t animal friendly. The last thing that I want is to be responsible for the death of every mourning dove within a six block radius!

To get it out of our way we have moved it outside, though not in its permanent location, and I’ve been keeping it filled with clean water. As I was looking out at the birds two weeks ago I caught sight of something under the feeders. It was a bright blue bird! I couldn’t quickly call to mind a brightly-colored bird that would be in this region. And then I got a closer look…

Parakeet at Feeder

One of these things is not like the others… and I’m not talking about the squirrel.

Do you see it there between the mourning doves? Can you tell what it is? Let me give you a different angle…


It’s a stinkin’ parakeet! (Just one, though… not sure why they call them a Pair of Keets…)

I have no idea where it came from and I haven’t seen it since, but he was having the time of his life with all of that seed out there. When Jay got home from work I showed him the pictures. In his swinging bachelor days Jay had a cockatiel so he wouldn’t mind having another bird. This was the conversation that we had:

“Why didn’t you catch it?!” Jay asked.

“What am I supposed to do with a parakeet if I catch it??”

“You put it in a cage,” he answered as if that should have been obvious.

Pointing at Chester and Bob, “That would just be a very large Chinese Puzzle box to these two.” Can you imagine what they would do to a bird in a cage??

I told Jay that if he could catch it then he could keep it. We haven’t seen it since so I’m hoping it flew back to where it came from as he definitely won’t make it living in the wild once winter hits. He’s more of a warm weather bird, so our freezing cold and snow won’t be good for his health.

I think it’s going to be a long while before I find anything as shocking under my bird feeders!

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Project Linus Blanket #13

Blanket #13:

Project Linus Blanket #13 - Branch


I actually named this after the troll, Branch, on the movie Trolls. Justin Timberlake is the voice of Branch and throughout much of the movie he’s a grayish-blue troll. As I was crocheting this he’s what I thought of the most. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. I enjoy it very much.

This was the blanket that I took with me to work on when I went on vacation. So it’s a very well-traveled blanket. Hopefully the little boy who receives it will love it.

One thing that I noticed when I was washing and bagging this blanket and #12 was the feel of the yarn. I typically use Red Heart because there are a bazillion colors to choose from and it’s relatively inexpensive. Considering I give these blankets away I really don’t want to pay $5 per 5 oz skein of yarn.

This blanket was made with Red Heart:

Project Linus Blanket #13 - Detail

And this one was made with A.C. Moore’s brand of yarn:

Project Linus Blanket #12 - Detail

Both of them are 100% acrylic, but there’s such a difference in the feel of these yarns! The red one was so much softer. The blue one was a bit scratchy.

This direct comparison made me really think. I LOVE the A.C. Moore brand (Nicole brand) and Hobby Lobby’s brand (I Love This Yarn!). Both of these yarns are soft and 100% acrylic. They each are about $1 more per skein than Red Heart, and the Nicole is not offered in the same color range as Red Heart. I Love This Yarn! has a much larger color pallet, but it’s still a bit pricier. I use anywhere from 5 – 8 skeins of yarn per blanket. That starts to add up quickly. Is it worth spending an extra $5-8 per blanket? Food for thought…

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Spring Cross Update – 8-23-18

Before the insanity of August set in this is where I was on the Spring Cross:

Spring Cross 7-24-18

All of the full stitches and background words had been stitched. It was time to start the back stitching. It took me almost one month exactly:

Spring Cross 8-23-18

How pretty is that?!

I think this will actually be done in time for spring. I’m excited that I’m halfway done, but also sad that this series is almost at an end for me.

While looking for a pattern for my sister a few weeks ago I was able to look at a few possibilities for the next project. We’ll have to see which one rises to the top.

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An Amusing Day of Vacation

While on vacation we did more than just relax in/by the pool.

Gary Sunbathing

Jay loves roller coasters so we headed to Carowinds for a day of fun.

What roller coaster did Jay have to ride?

Fury - Carowinds

Fury 325

According to wikipedia, it reaches a height of 325 feet (gee… did you see that one coming?) which makes it the “tallest and fastest Giga coaster in the world.”

Fury - First Drop

This is the first rise that takes you up 325 ft before dumping you over the peak. Apparently it’s the world’s tallest chain lift coaster. Wikipedia says that the total ride time is 3 minutes and 25 seconds. Again… did you see that one coming?

Fury - Waiting in Line

We went on a Wednesday and I was surprised that there wasn’t much of a line. I timed it and they stood in line for only about 10 minutes before they were climbing onto the coaster. Yes, “they”. I’m not a big fan of roller coasters so I held the bags while Jay, Raven (my sister’s stepdaughter) and Raven’s friend went on the ride.

Fury - In Line

Jay is in the white shirt in the middle of the above picture.

Fury - First Climb

Apparently Carowinds had to receive permission from the FAA to build this coaster since the park is so close to Charlotte’s airport. It was actually interesting to watch all of the jets coming and going as you are riding the rides.

Fury - Fun

You can’t see Jay’s face in this picture because Raven’s friend’s hand is in the way, but can you feel the pure joy emanating from him?

Here’s an interesting tidbit for you… the first time we went to Carowinds we rode the Intimidator. I didn’t mind this ride, but I really prefer to have my eyes closed while on them as I don’t want to see where we are going. Well, when we got off the ride they have the screens where you can see the pictures that were taken during your ride. The picture was taken on the first drop of the ride and I wish I would have purchased it as it shows Jay as you would imagine he would be on a ride: giant smile on his face, leaning into the drop/turn with anticipation.

I did end up riding Fury once, but that was it. I saw the picture from that one… Jay was happily smiling and completely enjoying himself, and I looked like I had just smelled something horribly nasty with my eyes shut. To be fair, I was having sinus issues and it was very painful for me to ride with the pressure being placed on my head during the loops and turns.

Carolina Cyclone - Drop

So I held the bags while the others went on more rides. The crowds really were not very big, so the waits were decent.

At one point Jay and Raven decided they wanted to ride this:

Electro Spin

When I saw this I thought that either it was some kind of torture device, or else a relic from the Apollo training missions. I think that I’m right on both accounts.

Electro Spin - Twirl

First it starts to spin you, rotating around the center point of the ‘fan’. You can see Jay’s head in the very outside seat of the purple section.

But then…!!!….!!!!

Electro Spin - Raising Up

It raises up and spins you around just like a fan. Seriously!! I mean, who in their right mind looks at that and think it looks like fun??!

But then… !!!!….!!!!….!!!!

Electro Spin - Fan Blade

Electro Spin - V

The seats rotate, too!! It’s insane! Who voluntarily gets on that thing??

Jay Dressed Up

I think that Jay would have one of those in our back yard if we had the room.

All-in-all, it was a good time. We spent some time with Raven and enjoyed a day out in public. That quickly changed by the time we got back to my sister’s, though. It was pool time again.

Gary Supervised

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Two Small Sewing Projects

I haven’t done a lot of sewing because my sewing room is so stifling hot in the summer. I had two projects, though, that just wouldn’t leave my brain until I had made them into a reality. I felt better once they were done.

Project #1 – Steering Wheel Cover

Steering Wheel Cover 2

My car’s steering wheel is black with a leather-like cover that gets VERY hot in the sun. I have very delicate hands, so I was tired of almost burning my fingerprints off every day after work. I took some cotton fabric out of my mom’s stash and made this:

Steering Wheel Cover 1

It doesn’t look like much, does it? I used a pattern that I had for a grime guard for Qsnaps (my cross stitch hoop). I measured my steering wheel, cut the fabric, sewed it up and added the elastic. This is how it ended up:

Steering Wheel Cover 3

Not bad! I could have purchased something, I guess, but I couldn’t find anything that I really liked. I loved this fabric, though.

Steering Wheel Cover 4

Jay was a bit surprised because he thought it was too ‘loud’ for me. I offered to make one for him, but he declined. If I were to make this again I might try adding something on the inside to actually grip the steering wheel. Sometimes when you turn the cover slips and causes your turn to be a bit jerky. Other than that, it really does the trick!

Project #2 – Crochet Tote Bag

Using the pattern that I have for the car trash bag holders I made myself a nice little tote bag:

Crochet Tote Bag

Why did I need a tote bag this size? Because it perfectly holds my ongoing For Me crochet project:

Crochet Tote Bag 2

I will reveal that in another post. In the meantime this bag works perfectly to keep everything together and the cats out of it. I can’t even imagine the mess that would be created if they discovered what was hidden inside!

Crochet Tote Bag 8-1-18

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