Happy Halloween!

Gary Magnum PI

Gary “Magnum” P.I. would like to wish you a very Happy Halloween!

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Spring Cross Update – 10-17-18

At the end of August I had finished the top half of the cross:

Spring Cross 8-23-18

In the last few months I have been making sure that I get my stitching time in the morning. Even though Jay is working 2nd shift I have been getting up at his 1st shift time. This gives me anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour to sit and stitch before getting ready for work. It is definitely paying off. This is where I was as of October 9th:

Spring Cross 10-9-18

The full stitches are complete! There are no more full cross stitches to be made on this piece. All that’s left to do are the background words and the back stitching. Do you want to see how it looks altogether?

Spring Cross - Full- 10-9-18

Isn’t it pretty?! I have started to think about framing and what I want to do for this piece. The first thought is a regular medium oak frame. Since it’s a Spring cross I want it to be somewhat light. And actually, I might get a frame custom made for it at Hobby Lobby. It’s getting more and more difficult to find a frame with the correct backing. I’m going to keep thinking about it as I work on the words.

On October 17th I finished the words on the right side of the cross:

Spring Cross 10-18-18

As I was stitching the words on the left side last night I said to Jay, “Spelling backwards is difficult!” I almost spelled ‘compassion’ like ‘comassion’… I completely forgot the ‘P’! Luckily I realized this in time and was able to fix it. The words should be done by the end of the week. How exciting!!

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Down on the Farm with Gary

The Barn 11-4-05

A few weeks ago Jay and I went up to my parents’ house in order to help my dad. He’s going to retire in a few months so he’s trying to get his work shop put together so that he has room to move. His current work shop is crammed to the gills with stuff. Last summer he built onto his barn so that he can move the equipment there that he was storing in the end of the garage. Now that the end of the garage is empty he wants to pour a concrete floor and enclose it for a roomier work shop.

Gary with Tina

Gary overheard us talking about heading up there and asked if he could go with us. After all, he’s never been to a farm. We said that would be fine, but he would have to make sure he was wearing clothes that he could work in.

Gary's Work Clothes

The hoodie and sweat pants were fine. When I raised my eyebrows at his footwear he became defensive, “You said to wear work boots. These ARE my work boots!” I couldn’t really argue that one with him. Besides, he remembered to bring safety glasses. After all, it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye.

Supervisor Gary

Gary turned out to be a very good supervisor. He stood quietly in the corner and let us do all of the work. Once in a while he would nod approvingly.

At one point, though, he noticed the lawn mower and wanted to sit on it.

Gary on the Mower

If he sat on the seat his legs were too short to reach the pedals, and if he stood up on the deck he was too short to see over the steering wheel. Poor Gary!

After we were done prepping the garage for concrete I told my dad that we would help him do some wood. This means stacking and splitting the logs that he cuts. This is what my sister and I would do every weekend when we lived at home.

Fun With Father

It’s one of the reasons that I don’t like the Fall. The crisp autumn air makes me shudder because it used to mean spending all weekend either out in the woods cutting up tops, or out in the mud cutting up logs. Then stacking the wood in the wood shed. Two loads per day. Both Saturday and Sunday. Every. Single. Year.

Gary was intrigued. He’d never done any kind of work like this so he wanted to get a closer look.

Gary On the Wagon

He climbed into the front of the wagon. “That is a LOT of wood!”

I mentioned that this was just one load among many that would be needed.

Gary Checking Out the Wood

“But there’s already so much wood right here!”

We flopped the sides of the wagon down and commenced to stacking.

Gary Helps with Wood

At this point Gary was pretty sure that he wouldn’t really want to try living the farm life. It was too exhausting. Until he spied the tractor…

Gary On the Loader

“Stacking the wood by hand is for the birds. Let’s use this instead!”

Gary Drives the Tractor

As Jay and I finished stacking the wood we could hear Gary making tractor sounds as he continued to play on the seat. Luckily his legs were too short to reach these pedals, too, so I didn’t have to worry about him accidentally putting it in gear.

We began to set up the equipment needed to cut another load with my dad. I looked around, but I couldn’t find Gary. Where did he go? I started to panic when a glimpse of white caught my eye.

Gary Climbs A Tree

He had somehow managed to climb a tree! He was so happy, too. He mentioned that when he’d been on Endor he hadn’t had time to climb a tree. He had enjoyed his time in the woods of Endor, for the most part, but it was so much better to enjoy time in the tree without somebody trying to kill him.

Gary in the Tree

Gary remained in the tree until we had cut a load of wood. Then he wanted to check out the cows. So off to the barn we went.

Gary Looks at the herd

When you walk into the barn the cattle all think that they are going to be fed. They aren’t very bright. Although, they didn’t want to get very close to Gary. I think his gun scared them.

“I come in peace!”

Gary in the Barn

“They are a lot bigger than I expected,” he said in surprise. I told him that these ones aren’t quite full grown. They’ll get even bigger. At that point he decided that he’d seen enough of them. “Don’t you have any smaller ones?” he asked my dad.

Gary and the Calves

“Whatcho lookin’ at?” Gary asked in his best NYC accent. The calves were wondering the same thing. These ones were still a bit big, though. “You don’t have any cows that are more my size?” he asked.

Gary and the Calf

“Now this is what I’m talking about! Where’s a rope? I want to rope me a steer!” Silly Gary! We knew that if we gave him a rope he would have himself all wrapped up before we knew it. Nope. Better safe than sorry.

I was chatting with Jay and my dad when  I realized that Gary had, once again, wandered off. Where was he now??

Gary in the Pickup

“Gary, why are you in the back of the truck?” I asked once I found him. “I’ve heard about people riding around in the back of pick-ups and I wanted to see what it was like.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the truck wasn’t going to be moving for a while.

Gary Rides in Back

I let him play for a while longer and then it was time to head home. He fell asleep on the way home. It had been a big day for him!

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Milling A Steam Engine – Part 2

In case you have forgotten, this is what Jay was milling:

Website Picture

Now, I had left it up to Jay to take pictures of his progress so that I could post them here. However, when I saw what he had taken none of them really made sense to me. For instance, here is the next progress picture:

Steam Engine 12

And so we have parts. Let’s take a closer look.

Steam Engine 13

Oh yes. Very beautiful!

Aren’t you impressed? Then, of course, we have this:

Steam Engine 14

It is a bar that was colored black. For most of this post you can imagine me looking at these and nodding in approval, but I really have no clue what I’m looking at.

Steam Engine 15

Then there is this beautifully milled connector. It’s absolutely breath-taking!

Steam Engine 16

Ah ha! The plot thickens! The bar is now marked and possibly cut. What will become of this poor little part??

Steam Engine 17

We don’t know because suddenly we find ourselves looking at the lathe. With another part… hmmm… maybe the next picture will give us a little more detail.

Steam Engine 18

Well, that didn’t work. It’s nice and shiny, but I don’t think that’s what we’re supposed to notice. This is why a girl shouldn’t post about these things.

Steam Engine 19

It looks like we’ve milled a hole through the center of the block and are possibly cutting layers off of the hammer’s shaft.

Steam Engine 20

Maybe the hammer thing is actually a piston thing? It looks like it will be moving up and down in a fashion that will end up turning the fly wheel.

Steam Engine 21

This is a little better. You can see that the hammer head has now been milled and turned into what kind-of looks like a saddle stirrup.

Steam Engine 22

All of those pieces put together gives us this much of the steam engine.

Now, because Jay is too involved in his hobby and not worried about taking pictures of his progress we are going to skip to the end.

Voila! A completed steam engine!

Steam Engine 23

I placed the beer next to it so that you can get an idea of the size. It’s really just a little guy.

Steam Engine 24

This picture isn’t the greatest, but you can kind of see the detail. When he finished the engine Jay was using this air compressor to run it. That only placated him for a little while. Then this showed up:

Boiler 3

This is the boiler for the steam engine.

There are no progress pictures of this because he was much too excited to put it together.

Boiler 1

He hand-riveted it and everything.

Steam Engine and Boiler

I believe that Jay has already burned through all of the bricks that came with the kit.

He is already making a list of other engines he would like for Christmas.

In the meantime, he has built a platform on which to display these two pieces:

Steam Engine Display Base

Quite pretty, isn’t it?

So, there you have the steam engine.

Nice job, Jay!

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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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