31 August, 2011

Coming Home From The Airshow

This is the B-17 Sentimental Journey on the ground at Madras. At 8:30 Sunday morning, in order to fly home, we needed to get some altitude to get above the smoke from all the Warm Springs fires. We circled the airport a couple of times to get above 5500'. There was a temporary flight restriction (TFR) to the immediate west of the airport because of thick smoke. I think we might have been about 4000' off the ground when I snapped this photo. Heading directly north from the airfield I saw a CHI Helicopter at the end of the field - brought over to help fight the fires which are still going today.

The smoke created an interesting light for the camera on the ground.

CAF's B-25

Looking back towards Madras, the smoke clouds appear solid but are really opaque when you look downwards.
We ended up flying about 6500' and as soon as we cleared the TFR, flew directly west between Jefferson and Hood mountains.

28 August, 2011

Going To The Airshow

Central Oregon during the last week in August generally yields some amazing thunderhead build-ups and the subsequent lightening strikes which makes for interesting flying.
Flying East - towards Mt. Hood
You can see scattered thunderheads in thedistance

We like to go to Madras, Oregon at this time of year which gets us over to the warmer part of the state (lol). The flying season is winding down for those of us who fly open-cockpit biplanes so the Central Oregon Airshow is about the next-to-last airshow. It's also filled with hot cars, people who get flying airplanes, amazing hospitality and good weather.
If you squint - that's Mt. St. Helens in the distance - Sandy area below

WHAT is the name of this lake? Lost Lake? on the north side of Hood.

This year, thunderheads did a giant wham-bang over in the Bend-Redmond area sparking numerous small fires. We woke up Friday to our own thunderstorm in the Willamette Valley. The storm started passing and we were able to take off around 8:30am. We usually go NE towards the gorge, flying up to Hood River and then turning nearly straight south to Madras. The gorge was still socked in, thunderheads were still scattered around and we flew just to the north of Mt. Hood.

We only had a few fat drops of rain hit us but a headwind bringing the heat from Central Oregon kept us warm as we climbed to over 6000 feet to get over the mountains.

 We had forgotten to take our aeronautical map with us and our internal radios were fritzin' out on us so a lot of hand-gestures later, we figured out that Madras was to the east of the giant fire plume. Visibilty was still pretty good but when we left Sunday, it had degenerated to about nothing.
Warm Springs Reservation

We had to taxi to the end of the runway (5000') because we didn't have enough brakes to make the first exit off. As we were approaching the end, the voice over the radio said," Stearman? Are you going to be done with the runway soon? The B-17 would like to land."

Taxiing - missed the short taxi.

So - we are taxiing - finally off the runway when the B-17 touches down.
Just as it is going by and I am about to get the world's best photo here -
we taxi past this tied-down airplane. Whatever.

Madras puts on a great night airshow, incorporating some airplane acts before dusk and finishing with a glider gliding gently down with fireworks. This year, they really got all of the  squirrly electronic noise out of the speakers and the music with the glider was phenomenal.
Was it Vivaldi? Very emotional.
CAF B-25 - as we taxi on by

We are parked and I am getting out of my seat and I managed to get this shot of the B-17
taxiing to it's spot on the tarmac.
You can see the smoke behind him.
The B-17 and the B-25 Bombers are part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF)


One of the originating organizers. Ron Och's N3N (not to be confused with a Stearman)

Next blog post: Leaving with no visibility

Central Oregon Airshow & Wildfires

A quick post - we just got back from the Central Oregon Airshow -- which is one of our favorite small airshows where we go to see cool planes, fabulous hot rods, a night airshow and lots of pilot friends.
I will post more about it later but I have to go water my yard now.

 Getting ready for take-off, I think I am fussing with my helmet strap.

Starting to taxi out to the runway. The plane in front of us belongs to a neighbor of ours. It's a Lockheed Electra. Not the one Amelia Earhart flew but it also has an interesting history. It was bought new by the president of Mexico (El Presidente)  who used to stand up inside the cockpit and wave through a sunroof at his admirers.
Between us, in the background, is the Commemorative Airforce's B-17.

And behind all of that is a huge wall of smoke from at least 35 wildfires raging through the Warm Springs Reservation.

21 August, 2011

An Everlasting Day

I had a day yesterday that just worked out. Serendipitously. We were having a family get-together this weekend so the OSU son needed to get back to Canby. His ride fell through, so I offered to pick him up after my work shift Saturday morning. While we were deciding this, my blogging pal from Japan was here visiting her family in Amity and she said her folks were having a garage sale and I should stop by. Which was just off of 99W. Cool, we can do that.
On the way there, my sister called and said they were headed to the new Evergreen Waterpark in McMinnville - which is also just off of 99W (hwy18).
My blogging pal offered up Boersma's fabric store which was having a fabric sale and I confess, my ears really perked up- especially since I was not dressed to swim. At the waterpark, price signs were discreetly tucked away- the old adage - if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. So I left for an hour and spent my waterpark admission at Boersma's instead.

My daughter found two tickets to the Timber's game off of Craig's list and she and my sister went there and I took the boys back home via Champoeg to find dinner in Canbyland and then off to the fair we went.

First up - video of Sinbad:

A very impressive outdoor collection since I was here last.

Everything in the waterpark revolves around a theme: airplanes!

See - no signage regarding "The Price Of Admission"

 TWO STORIES of fabrics. Basement fabric sale through the end of August $1.00 off per yard. Free admission.

And then - on to the Clackamas County Fair.



 A few years back my son and I were the last to board the Octopus, late enough that the operator forgot about us when he unloaded the other passengers. So - we went a second time, around, and around, twirling up & down at the same time. We did not hurl but the college-age kids who also got a second ride - one of them did. A proud moment for us but I haven't been on a carnival ride since. . .

 Until this one. We had enough tickets for four rides. With four of us ( and a desire to stave off long day+sibling rivalry), I agreed to go on the ZERO GRAVITY.
---Just a caution - take your hair clips out first.

Begs the question- if I can't touch them - how old are they?

17 August, 2011

Canby Tomatoes

I have the first ripe tomatoes - nanny nanny boo boo

These are either Early Girl or Oregon Spring
These are my Romas - for stewed tomatoes

We mainly eat these fresh and the rest are canned as stewed tomatoes. I actually cannot eat these in quantity because of my nightshade food sensitivities. But my husband loves them AND  he cooks with them. Stewing them is easy - about the easiest canning you will ever do besides making jam.

You plop them in boiling water for 10 -29 seconds to remove the skin, chop them in quarters, pack tight into a pint-size canning jar, add 1 Tbsp Lemon juice (guarantees your acidity - Ball Blue Book), add a little liquid-if necessary, screw the lids on and process in the boiling water bath canner. That's it. You get a lot of bang for your buck by canning them too. No chemical sprays, no under-ripe fruit (although you don't want to use over-ripe fruit as that messes with your food safety acidity) and no strange chemical preservatives. Seven jars per load and a couple of hours later you will have enough for two people for the next year.

I use pint-size jars as this yields 2 cups and most recipes use two-cup increments for adding tomatoes of any kind. You can get real fancy and spend days concocting some special tomato salsa - but at my house, this super easy way means I can still enjoy the summer.

***nanny nanny boo boo is a particular english technical term
derived from my favorite sewing blog

13 August, 2011

Graduation Milestones

A big congratulatory hug goes to my amazing, smart, and gorgeous daughter.
She is now a Portland State University Alumnus.

Afterwords, we hosted the family at the City State Diner which is my favorite restaurant this year.
Food cooked with flavor, the wait staff is beyond fantastic, and it's only a few blocks from where my Mom grew up.

11 August, 2011

High Flight

A favored poem, found again by my daughter, which includes a little pilot humor.

High Flight, with FAA Supplement

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth(1),
  And danced(2) the skies on laughter silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed(3) and joined the tumbling mirth(4)
  Of sun-split clouds(5) and done a hundred things(6)
You have not dreamed of — Wheeled and soared and swung(7)
  High in the sunlit silence(8). Hov'ring there(9)
I've chased the shouting wind(10) along and flung(11)
  My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious(12), burning blue
  I've topped the wind-swept heights(13) with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle(14) flew;
  And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space(15),
  Put out my hand(16), and touched the face of God.

1. Pilots must insure that all surly bonds have been slipped entirely before aircraft taxi or flight is attempted.
2. During periods of severe sky dancing, crew and passengers must keep seatbelts fastened. Crew should wear shoulderbelts as provided.
3. Sunward climbs must not exceed the maximum permitted aircraft ceiling.
4. Passenger aircraft are prohibited from joining the tumbling mirth.
5. Pilots flying through sun-split clouds under VFR conditions must comply with all applicable minimum clearances.
6. Do not perform these hundred things in front of Federal Aviation Administration inspectors.
7. Wheeling, soaring, and swinging will not be attempted except in aircraft rated for such activities and within utility class weight limits.
8. Be advised that sunlit silence will occur only when a major engine malfunction has occurred.
9. "Hov'ring there" will constitute a highly reliable signal that a flight emergency is imminent.
10. Forecasts of shouting winds are available from the local FSS. Encounters with unexpected shouting winds should be reported by pilots.
11. Pilots flinging eager craft through footless halls of air are reminded that they alone are responsible for maintaining separation from other eager craft.
12. Should any crewmember or passenger experience delirium while in the burning blue, submit an irregularity report upon flight termination.
13. Windswept heights will be topped by a minimum of 1,000 feet to maintain VFR minimum separations.
14. Aircraft engine ingestion of, or impact with, larks or eagles should be reported to the FAA and the appropriate aircraft maintenance facility.
15. Aircraft operating in the high untresspassed sanctity of space must remain in IFR flight regardless of meteorological conditions and visibility.
16. Pilots and passengers are reminded that opening doors or windows in order to touch the face of God may result in loss of cabin pressure.

09 August, 2011

Summer Rag Quilt

Finished sewing - now to snip to make it a rag quilt.
I saw this pattern in a magazine about three years ago, kept it, and in a major visa moment, bought the fabrics two years ago. Oddly enough, it sort of goes with my new-recovered couch and gives the living room a less formal air which the couch was definitely giving off.


Back side - alternating squares of flannel

Quilting details
I finished this last week but have not had a chance to take a daylight photo of my new quilt folded over the couch.
Sigh. . . I am back to leaving in the dark for work.

The quilt is big enough to cover you and keep you toasty while you watch Project Runway - haha - I never watch that on the tv - I prefer to watch it a few days later on my computer - when I have a chance.

Random flower photos from my August garden.

Nicotiana in various pink hues

Coreopsis. I started these plants 20 years ago.