Spring Has Arrived!

Yesterday was the first chance that I really had to get out and work in my flower gardens. I only managed to weed one bed, but it was nice just playing in the dirt again. The last few weeks when it’s been beautiful outside I’ve been inside cleaning the house. First I threw a birthday gathering for Jay and then I had to clean in order to prepare for our Small Faith Group meeting. When I did have free time it was either raining or too cold.

I love Spring. Some people dislike it because there’s lots of mud. For me, though, Spring reminds me that Summer is on the way and there will be good things to come! Being out in the sun and pulling weeds made me think about my childhood.

I was raised on a beef farm so winter meant that we were stuck indoors most of the time. We did sled on the hill in the pasture, but most of our time was spent inside.

But when Spring came around and the temperature warmed up again we spent a lot of time outside. You can see the tire swing that our grandpa made for us and hung in the backyard. Our play area was fenced in so that when we were younger we couldn’t wander off and get hurt. Between the electric fence, the cattle, the creek across the road and numerous other things it would be easy to get hurt.

Once the last frost was pretty much done we would plant the garden. We had a big one out behind the barn where we grew broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas, tomatoes, and I can’t even recall what else we planted. My mom would either freeze or can most of what came out of there.

Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money because my dad worked either 2nd or 3rd shift at a factory and spent the rest of his time farming. My mom didn’t work during the school year, but in the summer she worked in a beauty shop since she was a licensed beautician. None of those occupations rake in the dough.

This meant that if my parents needed our help we were expected to do it. Just because we were girls didn’t mean that we got out of doing things that needed to be done. For my part I did manage to get out of any kind of chores that dealt with hay because of my allergies.

As soon as I could reach the clutch I was recruited to drive the tractor when my dad was putting up fence around the meadow in the summer.

I only drove my dad’s Allis, but I did that from the time that I was about 6 years old. That’s Jorma sitting on the Allis. He was a Swedish millionaire who was dating my mom’s youngest sister. He wasn’t used to being on such a high-quality piece of equipment. 😉

So whether I was driving tractor…

or acting as a piece of the equipment, I was involved. It meant that I spent a lot of time in the pasture, fields, and woods.

Living on a farm wasn’t all work. Most of the time we had run of the area around the house. Summers were spent in the creek across the road or exploring the area of the pasture where the cattle weren’t currently occupying.

As soon as the cows calved in the spring we had to make sure we stayed far away from them. A mama cow does not take kindly to anybody messing with her baby. The only way we were allowed to get this close was if we were walking in the pasture with my dad.

If you were wondering, yes we had a pony. Despite the fact that I’m riding Flicka I really didn’t care about horses one way or the other. I was never one of those girls who was crazy about horses.

I was crazy about cats.

Frank was my second cat ever and I loved him so much. By the way, my dad named him. I had started calling him by the very unoriginal name of ‘Snowball’, but for whatever reason my dad started calling him Frank.

The same thing happened with Schwartz (my Baby Zhu-Zhu). His mother had him and his siblings in our barn, but he was really sick and we managed to catch him. He was the runt of the litter so I started calling him Squirt. I was babysitting that summer and the older kid couldn’t say “Squirt” and it came out kind of like “Squartz”. My dad latched onto that and wondered why the boy was calling him Schwartz. The rest, as they say, is history.

And even today, though I no longer live on the farm, I haven’t really changed a whole lot. I will take farm land and hills any day over a beach. And I’m still a Crazy Cat Lady.

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Egads! It’s A Spad! Part 15

(Before I get started on this post I need to set the mood. You know how in the Chick Flicks there’s usually some kind of sappy music going on during the montage where the lead girl is undergoing her Ugly Duckling to Swan change? They remove her glasses, give her better fitting clothes and add some makeup? Well, imagine that kind of music playing in the background as you continue to read…)

So there sat Chad in the buff. If his rudder had been attached it would have been wagging all over the place due to his anticipation of getting to finally get dressed up.

First he got his layer of underwear. He was worried that it was too shiny.

I told him that a little powder would fix it.

All of his parts received their layer of underwear.

Poor Chad was embarrassed by this picture, but he was kind of like a turtle on its back so he couldn’t wave me off. Look at that cute belly!

His landing gear was even given a little color and polish.

As the flight suit started to be applied Chad was nervous. What if it didn’t look as good as he hoped? What if it accentuated all of his problem parts? What if it made him look fat??

Then he was really nervous when only part of his nose was painted. He didn’t want a blemish on his face!

“I don’t know, guys… does this color make me look like an elephant? Should I have gone with a more slimming color?”

And then it was done and boy, did he look dapper!

“Don’t I look awesome?! Guess what ferocious animal I feel like!” he excitedly blabbered at me. So I guessed…

Like Bob with the white under his chin and accenting his paws??

Chad was disgusted. He actually took offense! How could you be offended by a comparison to an adorable Bobs?

I mean, it’s very hard to get more adorable than this!

“No!” he sputtered. “I’m an A-1 Skyraider. It means that I’m an attack plane! The only thing that Bob attacks is a nap! This is what I think I look like:

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.com

Hmmm… if I squint a little I can see it. To calm Chad down a bit I agreed. Although, I know that he’s cuddly like Bob. But that will be our little secret. Shhh!

Chad was proud to show off the fact that his control surfaces were accented with a different color. He is feeling really stylish.

He even wiggled his ailerons to show me how great they looked with the accent color.

The bad part about Chad having his flight suit on is that now it’s time to get into the more expensive parts… the motor, batteries and other electronic guts. I can hear the bank account crying already.

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Cross Stitched Gettysburg – Framed!

This piece was a kit by Sunset called “Gettysburg.”

It was the first piece that I’ve ever started for myself. Looking at my spreadsheet I started it in April 2003 and finished it October 30, 2007.

Since then I’ve let it just sit. It has moved with me to two different houses and has sat in my sewing room for the last two years. I had to keep moving it so that Chester wouldn’t sleep on it.

One of the reasons why it has taken me so long to get it framed is because this piece is almost square, which means that it’s hard to find a ready-made frame for it. If I were to use a ready-made frame then I would either have more mat space on the top and bottom or the sides. I really didn’t want that, though. I had a very specific image in my head as to what I wanted it to look like when it was finally framed. For this piece nothing less than what I truly wanted was going to work.

For Christmas I had asked Jay for a gift card to Hobby Lobby in order to pay for the custom frame and mats. This is the most that I’ve ever spent on framing a single piece, including my seasonal crosses! This will not happen often, but this was a special circumstance.

I was so happy when the frame was finally read to pick up!

This isn’t the best picture, but you get the idea.

I chose a medium gray inner mat, a blue suede top mat, and an oak frame that reminds me of the butt of an 1861 Springfield rifle.

This picture shows a little more of the detail, though the colors really aren’t accurate. It was really bright when I took this picture.

So then I had to prep my cross stitched piece for framing.

I washed and ironed it, then let it dry. The frame is quite a bit larger than this piece, so I had to sew fabric onto the sides. This allows me to lace the piece around foam core with plenty of material to spare.

I spent Easter afternoon and evening getting this piece perfect. Framing a cross stitched piece is a lot of work. I usually start out being a perfectionist, but by the end I just want to get it done. This is why I don’t frame cross stitched pieces for a living. My framed pieces look good from afar, but don’t get too close because then you’ll see all of the flaws in how I framed my work.

But finally it was done…

Again, not the best picture. I had a hard time finding a spot where I could get it to show up really well without capturing too much reflection in the picture. Believe me, though, it looks good.

And see how nice the colors work together!

Currently the kraft paper that I glue onto the back of my framed pieces is drying. Then we can put the hanging hardware on it and place it on the wall. Yea!

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Egads! It’s A Spad! Part 14

I think that I need to remove the TV from the workshop. It seems that Chad has been watching a lot of TV. At least, I think that’s where he gets his ideas. First I found him getting a chemical peel, and then I walk downstairs to find him looking like this:

He had a sunburn! Chad! There’s just something not right with a Spad having a farmer’s tan.

After a few days the red wasn’t as bad, but he was still pretty sore. I offered to rub some aloe on him, but he didn’t want to admit that he was in pain.

I guess that you have to let them learn their lessons first-hand. At least he had used some sunblock on his tail.

Apparently he just wanted to be ready. Jay was getting close to getting Chad’s flight suit ready and so Chad wanted to make sure that he looked really good. He’s seen Top Gun a few too many times, I think, as he is trying to talk Jay into giving him a mirrored canopy so that it looks like aviator sunglasses.

Jay managed to get the motor mount permanently attached, but it wasn’t easy. Chad is so excited about finally getting dressed! He was in the middle of brushing his teeth when I visited him.

Although, I was glad to smell the minty freshness because initially I thought he had the Phobie! (If you don’t recall, Old Yeller had the phobie in the movie… aka Rabies).

Once the motor mount was on Jay wanted to make sure that it would stay. He didn’t want Chad’s nose falling off in mid-flight.

Once that was dry Chad asked me to take a ‘Before’ picture so that he can see just how good he does look once he gets his flight suit on.

*Chokes back the tears* My little Chad is growing up so fast!

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Pedestals for Church

This is Holy Week at church, which means that we’re just a few days away from Easter! What does this mean? It means that we’re gearing up to celebrate Christ’s rising from death. We’ve just gone through the season of Lent where we keep things kind of low-key and somber. But now we have Christ dying for our sins and being raised to sit at the right hand of the Father. Alleluia!

What this also means is that we have been preparing to decorate the church for Easter, too. How? By getting involved in a large woodworking project, of course! This time, though, it was Dave who was tasked with this project. I almost got out of it, but then being the dummy that I am, I actually volunteered to do the painting for Dave. *sigh*

Dave Working on Pedestals

See how happy he was to be working on this project! He decided to use MDF to build these along with some molding and wood trim.

Dave's Started Pedestals

This is what they looked like in the first stage. Brandon, our fearless Choir Director and Dictator of Church Decorating, wanted three different sizes: 3′, 4′ and 5′.

Dave's Finished Pedestals

They are finished! At least, Dave’s part was finished. There was one little misunderstanding in this project. Dave didn’t realize that Brandon wanted SIX of these… so there was a bit of a scramble at the end to get it all done, but they are DONE!

Pedestals in Basement

Actually, it was a good thing that Dave only made three of these at a time. I didn’t have a whole lot of room (or good light) to paint these at it was. Here they are in the finishing department. Typically when I’m working on things I am standing over my table, which is well-lit. The other side of my table, not so much.

Pedestals - FIrst Coat of Primer

Here they are after the first coat of primer. MDF really sucks up the paint so I knew from the start that it would require at least two coats of primer. There was one factor that I knew about, but I don’t think that anybody else really realized: I suck at painting. Seriously. That’s why I prefer to stain wood projects… it’s much easier to get a nice finish. Painting… nope.

Pedestals - Second Coat of Primer

I had to laugh at myself as I was working on these pedestals. The tallest pedestal is 5′ so I can see the top since I’m 5’10”. It wasn’t until I was applying the first coat of primer that I realized there were some holes that needed to be filled under the top lip. I hadn’t seen it because I hadn’t really bent down to look. I figured that there are enough short people in the world that the underside of this top will definitely be seen. So, I had to fix that before applying the second coat of primer.

After that, though, it was time to add color! There was a bit debate about what color to use. We wanted to go with something light, but not anything that would clash with the white flowers and yellow accents that would be used. I thought I had picked a good color. It was called Fluffy Biscuit:

Pedestals - Fluffy Biscuit Color

In the can it looked like a vanilla latte. I was always very thirsty when painting with this color. I took the smaller pedestal with me to choir practice last week to see how it looked in the sanctuary. YIKES! It suddenly turned into a pedestal made of butter. Seriously. Fluffy Biscuit turned into Creamy Butter. Not Good.

So, the Dictator of Church Decorating ran to the store the next day to pick out another color. He bought two that he thought might work. I had to laugh because the first one was the exact same color that I had picked, but because it was a different brand it had a different name. The second one was called Tea with Cream. That’s the one we went with.

So this past weekend I did a marathon painting session to paint the first set with the new color. Once those were done we switched them out with the last three so that I could get those painted in time to have them at church by Wednesday night. It was close, and I’m not impressed with my painting job, but it’s done. We’ll just keep people from looking at them up close.

Finished Pedestals 4-12-17

See, they don’t look too bad from a distance. Besides, once Easter is over if Brandon wants to repaint them or touch them up he can have at it. Personally, I hope to never have to paint anything like this again unless it’s for myself or I have oodles of time to let my perfectionist personality take its time.

Pedestals - Tea with Cream Color

Happy Easter!

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Dresses for Missions Update – 3-31-17

Dress #36

Dress #36 3-18-17

As pretty as this dress is, I wasn’t at all pleased with it.

First it took me forever to get back to working on it. I had the top part halfway done for about a month. Then the binding that I chose for the straps didn’t really behave.

Then there was the ruffle…

Dress #36 Hem Detail 3-18-17

Usually I only sew two sections together, but for the fun of it I decided to use three. It didn’t end up being very fun, and after I had sewed it on I realized that one of the seams was smack dab in the middle of the front. It also wasn’t cooperating when I was trying to sew the ribbon on. The thread kept breaking!

Dress #36 Neckline 3-18-17

When all is said and done, though, I guess it turned out okay.

I just need something to motivate me more on the next one.

Whenever that happens…

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Egads! It’s a Spad! Part 13

The last time that we checked in with Chad he was starting to get his parts glassed.

I decided to head down to the workshop and see what was going on. As I turned the corner at the bottom of the steps I started to get angry. Jay said that he was working on Chad and what do I find? A surf board! We don’t even live near the ocean!

Ziroli A-1 Fiberglassed Wing

Wait a minute… that’s a weirdly shaped surf board. Hmmm… perhaps I’ve incorrectly identified this object. Let’s get a different perspective on it.

Ziroli A-1 Wing Glassed 3-31-17

Oops! It is the Spad wing! Not a surf board!

I know that you can’t tell from this picture just how long that wing is, but believe me it’s taking up a lot of space!

As you can see Jay has fiber glassed it, squeegeed the bondo onto it, and sanded it off. I think there’s primer on there that was sanded off, too, but don’t quote me. I’m not too sure of the process. All I know is that it stinks. And when the parts are rinsed in my tub it leaves a reddish residue.

I turned and looked toward Chad’s main body

Ziroli A-1 Spad Getting Glassed 3-31-17

Oh no! He’s getting a chemical peel! Chad, I know that some celebrities swear by their chemical peels, but your skin isn’t that bad! Minor flaws just give you character!

Ziroli A-1 Fuselage Glassing 3-31-17

Then I realized that he was getting skin put ON, not taken off! Phew! I thought I might have to sit him down and discuss his self-esteem issues. We are all made in certain ways so we should embrace our imperfections.

Chad really needs to do something about his pores, though. There are imperfections and then there are things that just need to be fixed!

Ziroli A-1 Fiberglass Skin 4-2-17

Glassed parts are every where in the basement.

Ziroli A-1 Misc Glassed Parts 4-2-17

Or else Jay found my Press & Seal wrap…

While I was visiting Chad I had to promise him that I wouldn’t hurt him. Ever since there was a little mishap with his friend Pete the Panther he’s been a little nervous around me. You see, Pete was once a Panther, but now he’s a Bobcat..

Panther Tail Mishap 3-31-17

I accidentally lopped off his tail when I was trying to get at something behind him. A box of balsa tipped and took his tail clean off! I guess that Chad is a little worried that I might accidentally take something off of him, too!

Posted in A-1 Skyraider, EDF, F9F Panther, Jets, RC Planes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment