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My Secret Labryinth

Berkley Hills

Berkley Hills

Its believed labyrinths were invented by the Greek’s to hold the Minotaur. Now a days labyrinths are used for meditation and reflection. I found my hidden labyrinth in the volcanic hills near Berkley California.

labyrinth

Life is hard for anyone. Sometimes you may struggle with decisions that you have made or no matter how hard you have worked life gives you irony that is hard to swallow. That is why this labyrinth was so important to me. It cleared my mind and got my in touch with moving on.

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My labyrinth was hidden down a rocky steep path decorated with Buddhist prayer flags.  I was alone and isolated. As the sunset I entered my labyrinth.  You enter the labyrinth with the goal to reach the center.  As you slowly walk the maze you clear your mind.

You have faith the path will lead you to the center but at times it bends and curves. You end up getting further away from the center doubting your path is on the right direction and thinking you have made a mistake, just like in life.

The center (the goal) is always insight.

The center (the goal) is always insight.

Just as you begin doubting what path you are on the trail brings you back towards the center of the labyrinth restoring your faith in the goal and the decisions you have made.

Finally I reach the center, content that I finally made it! In the center people have shared important things, left notes of deep reflection. Most importantly they left their fears behind and their goals in the center.

The center

The center

It’s important to remember that life is like the labyrinth.  Sometimes we may not understand where the path in life is leading us but it is important to have faith that the path will always be part of our journey, leading us back to the center.

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Categories: adventure, art, labryinth, life, meditation, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Bangkok

We arrived!! The first day in Bangkok we dragged ourselves out of bed and headed to the famous Chaturek weekend market. With over 8000 vendors its the largest market of its kind.

Let me advise you to not get there late. Its seriously the hottest most busiest place ever. You’ll get dizzy in it if you don’t get there early enough!

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Drunk Crafting and the world is your oyster

You should always Craft.  You should and shouldn’t do it drunk depending on how sharp your crafting tools are to the tequila shot ratio! Mas Importante!

Have you seen drunk cooking on youtube?  Well she rocks and I can relate!

Please relate yourself by selecting the link. Jar-garita anyone?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT46FV64dr8&list=TLqZZmMMgDhipajffeAcJNEwwuEoRr6dYe

Back to myself!  I was kindly crafting my pottery barn tile I purchased for $1.87, when out of the blue I was stricken with unfortunate news.  It went something like this:

” Hello this is scheduling and we are going to mess with your life. You thought you were going home Friday but due to some unknown circumstance you will be going home Saturday.”

Oh forget me, I have no life.  Don’t worry about me, I have been on reserve for 8 years and expect this crap by now.

For example:

Scheduling :  “I’m sorry Captain you can’t have Friday off for your own wedding”

ME :               “But, I have been planning this for almost a year!
Scheduling :     “Are you refusing to fly?”

ME:                 “Are you kidding me? Oh My God you’re not!”

That’s been my life for 8 years. It’s been awesome! Go become a pilot kids!

So back to the real story.

THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER: I don’t know what it means, but I love the idea.

Something so gross can either mean your life has the chance of becoming a pearl or becoming dashed with cocktail sauce and horseradish slippery and raw consumed in one swallow.

Whatever it means I want it hanging in my house.  The United States use to represent hard work and you could achieve anything.  Now, its like this quote.  It’s and 80 percent chance my hard work will equate to being eaten with horseradish in a slurp the 20 percent chance is it may bring me a pearl.

I’m still hanging onto the 20 percent chance that it becomes a pearl and I will never give that up.  I will work harder to fix that. I will educate and strengthen my resume to get out of my position. I will sacrifice!

Oh so I was crafting:

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My $1.87 score from pottery barn.. This was $70.

I bought a paint pen and straight acrylic paint for the fabric.   I enlarged the words and traced them onto my canvas, then filling it in with paint.

Filing in the outline

Filing in the outline

Somewhere around here I got the call from scheduling, and I decide to commit to drunk crafting.  Things were going great

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Great?

Maybe a little too great.

yeah looking good

yeah looking good

NOT SO GOOD

Fail

Fail

Okay things got a little squirrelly at the end… Oh well:

                                                               The World is My Oyster!

Categories: adventure, craft, crashpad, don't becom an airline pilot, don't become a pilot, homemade presents, survival, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Robbing Memphis of it’s good.

Let me not sugar coat this for anyone   I don’t like Memphis!

It’s not the worse place that I have lived (I have lived in more places than any 32 year has lived).  However Memphis does take the number two spot.

A few reedeming qualities so I am not  so doom and gloom.

#1 I like running in the Shelby Farm dog park.

#2 My gym is awesome and cost $15 a month

#3 There is an amazing  Asian Grocery store by my gym. (Why does Charlotte have the scariest Asian stores!?)

#4 You can see the sun here. I lived in Dayton Ohio for 8 months and saw the sun once.  I’m not making this up.

#5  IM ROBBING MEMPHIS BLIND

I’m not sure if it’s because FedEx ships here and Amazon has a shipping center here but I have discovered the store called the Bargain Hunt. It’s essentially a clearing house for returned goods from Amazon, overstock, macy’s, and some other places.  We have currently gutted and are renovating our house from the 1950’s.

So I need to brag. I found this chandelier that was $899 for $79.

My win

My win

I also have found these pendants that are $80 bucks in home depot for $18.  We are saving some serious cash here.

Pendant

Pendant

Then while shopping at Habitat for Humanity, I found some store called dirt cheap.  It is a clearing house for gap, target, Neiman Marcus and some high end designers for the UK.  Case and point is my $1.50 hand bag from Oscar de La Renta.

Oscar De La Renta

Oscar De La Renta

Pottery Barn outlet check. We have that.  Maybe I’m cheap or just down to earth. But purchasing what was a $700 living room table for $500’s is still crazy.  However the other day I found what was a $70 push pin tile, for $1.87.  I plan on painting and decorating this.

So yeah, Memphis you still suck but thank you for having cheap stuff.

I saw my third or fourth highway  fatality on my way to work at 3am. This is the second time I have called 911 to report these type of accidents. I’ve definitely learned people drive dangerously crazy here. The speed limit is 45mph on the freeway. I have to drive at 65mph so I don’t get killed, I’m in the slow lane.  People are driving at 90mph in the 45.

I also learned that if you get in an accident, no one is going to pull over and help you.  With the construction and how fast everyone goes it’s nearly impossible.  The second accident I saw I really wanted to pull over and back up the 1/2 mile.  I saw someone crawling on the side of the rode as I drove by, I was horrified.  I called 911.  My co-workers told me not to ever stop in Memphis and help someone…it’s too dangerous.  Did I mention how Memphis is the third most dangerous city in the USA. Tennessee also just got ranked the most dangerous state.  I hate this place.

 

Categories: adventure, crashpad, crime rate, memphis, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

I’ve been seriously MIA

So, I’m bored and apparently that’s why I started this blog. So in theory I should have lots more post.  I’ll do a quick picture catch up to show you where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.

My 87 year old, fire cracker Grandmother came to Baltimore with my Brother. We drove up to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.

Deleware- Longwood is Amazing!

Longwood is Amazing!

I went to something called Memphis in May.  I found the second largest BBQ cook off going on.  Due to lack of food handling permits by the contestants you can only eat the food if you are a guest of the contestant.  I was lucky to make friends with some people from Charlotte who invited me in for free BBQ and beer!

Pig Sculptures

Pig Sculptures

A person being Judged.  This is very serious

A person being Judged. This is very serious

SnoutKast- Team names are important

SnoutKast- Team names are important

Work has been continuing on our house. It’s been so much work, it’s crazy. We finally moved in but it hasn’t been easy.

kitchen in progress

kitchen in progress

We didn't have countertops or any sinks when we moved in. So washing dishes outside

We didn’t have countertops or any sinks when we moved

in. So washing dishes outside

It realy sucked not having countertops when we moved in. My husband did an amazing job on the hallway bathroom. Of course we don’t have pics 😦

We matched the original hardwood floors, sanded, and then restained them to match. This really sucked.

We matched the floor to the original,

We matched the floor to the original,

I entered in some crazy diet contest. I took 13 place overall out of around 3500 entries.  My life became focused on Protein and exercise.

Killing the competition

Killing the competition and moving the same day

This is me cooking eggs on the road, and yes I hauled a frying pan and mini burner with me as I traveled. There was some serious dedication that went on.

Eggs

Eggs

And of course I’ve been doing a little bit of flying. The best part of my job is flying to all these amazing small cities out West.  Even if that means waking up at 2 am to do it.  After living on the East Coast for more than 16 years.,you loose perspective about how big the world is. I love the fact I can run 20 minutes outside of downtown Boise and be so isolated from everyone.  You can breath and take it all in.  Out west is God’s country!

Somewhere in Wyoming

Somewhere in Wyoming

I’m really falling in love with Montana and Idaho.  I feel so at home when I’m there!

Mountain biking in Montana.

Mountain biking in Montana.

My grandfather was born and raised in Idaho, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Boise. Man do I love running the mountain trails here!

Running in Idaho

Running in Idaho

Another ridiculous beautiful day in Montana!  I saw two Rainbow trout get caught bare handed by some kids.  Did I mention my Mountain Bike rental was free that day too!

Bog Sky Montana

Big Sky Montana

Last week was the Delta Fair (like Mississippi Delta).  Which was conveniently down the street from my crashpad!

Goats

Goats

Now, I have wanted a pet goat FOREVER.  I almost want one more than I want a dog or a baby.  But sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your job and apparently mine was to give up having a pet.  Had I known that I couldn’t ever have a dog or a pet goat with this job, I would have never in a million years become a pilot.  These are things, kids should be told before they decide they want to become a pilot.  Do you notice how much these goats love me in the picture!

Wheel of Death

Wheel of Death

I also learned at the Delta Fair that you shouldn’t volunteer for the Wheel of Death, unless you have good health insurance.  I saw another kid that was 8 years old throw knifes at his 6 year old sister during an act.  I’m not sure where child protective services was but then I realized I was on the Tennessee/Mississippi border and that this is probably normal.

Is this legal?

Is this legal?

I really wanted to ride the Ferris wheel.  I was really looking forward to that alone time at the top where I could take the views and breath some fresh air.  Seeming how it was noon on a Tuesday (school day) and no one was there it was looking good. As I sat down in the Ferris wheel some dude that worked their sat down with me. What the HECK!?!?

Uh so trying to be nice and make things less akward I said hello, and asked him what the best ride at the fair was?  He didn’t answer back, I think he didn’t speak English. I wonder if maybe the fair has a policy that single riders that look pathetically alone at a fair are required to have a chaperone. You know just in case that lonely person decides to jump or something.  So here is picture at the top.

Ferris Wheel gone wrong

Ferris Wheel gone wrong

I actually took lots of pictures up here.  Because it was really weird sitting on an totally empty Ferriswheel with some strange guy that works there, that doesn’t speak English, that was suppose to be my chaperon because I looked totally pathetic at a fair by myself.  Yeah it was that awkward and that pathetic.  Oh well, did I mention being a pilot is a great job.  A lot of alone time.

In closing I’m going to promise to be less bored and put the crafting blogging thingy to use!

Can I hear an AMEN!

Categories: adventure, animal, bbq, being a pilot sucks, city, crashpad, don't becom an airline pilot, don't become a pilot, fair, ferris wheel, fitness, flying, idaho, memphis, montana, pet goat, remodeling, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living in the Bible Belt

I legit, live in the infamous never officially mapped Bible Belt of the South (until now).

The official bible belt map!

The official bible belt map!

In the mile leading up to my crashpad there has to be at least 6 HUGE churches. It seems to be a question that comes up a lot here. So what church do you go to? HMMMMM?!?

I’ve committed myself to visiting every church leading up to my place in an effort to answer that.

My first church I’ve decided to visit is a MEGA new age Christian church called the Stirring. Church service is promptly at 5:30pm on Sundays. I’ve had a few experience at these “type” of church’s.

Spirtual Mime

Spirtual Mime

Case and point here is a picture of a spirtiual Mime.  Yeah I can’t make this stuff up, the Bible belt has some crazy churches.

No, thanks!

I’ll pass on this church. No, thanks!

Apparently Tennessee also has lots of Pentecostal snake churches too.

Well, you know the church where people start dancing in the aisles and put their arms up in the air talking with God ? Frankly these churches scare the crap out of me and make me feel terribly uncomfortable.

I guess this isn't a normal church

I guess this isn’t a normal church

Walking inside the church has me confused. I feel like I’m at Bike Week in Daytona Beach again.  Inside is two huge coffee bars set up.  Coffee, hot chocolate, sweet iced tea (southerners will perish without this).

The place is huge!

The place is huge!

Hundreds gather outside until 5 minutes prior when the doors are open.

The church seats 5000

The church seats 5000

I initially sat near the exit hoping for an easy quick get away if things got to freaky for me. However, I made myself get up and move to the front and center so I couldn’t leave.  Church after all is about being part of  a community and I’m pretty committed to visiting every church here with out escaping.

As the lights dim they have a spirtual painter on stage (yeah I’m not sure about the painter thing) and a band.  I think some of the most talented artist in Memphis sing here.  I’m in awe and shocked. This isn’t church but a rockabilly country concert!

church or concert?

church or concert?

This has to be the coolest church I’ve ever been to.  I’m more than presently surprised. The pastor has long hair and wears cowboy boots and his sermons are more how to live our life with moral standards then anything.   How to be a better friend, wife, and mother type things.

More concert with a great message!

More concert with a great message!

I’ve got to admit I’ve gone back several times to this church!  One of the girls that sings here occasionally, was on the Voice last week (She’s on team Blake Shelton).  In fact  I think all the singers here should be signed music artist.  If this is what church is then I’m in!

Categories: adventure, bible belt, heart & soul, memphis, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday

Another one of my husbands birthday slipped by with me absent. I’m thankful I have someone in my life who can understand the chaotic life style I guess we signed up for.

So I decided to make a Birthday Cake card that I saw on Pinterest in his honor.  Link is here

Yes you can even mail these!

Yes you can even mail these!

First you need to get a sponge. I found a carwash sponge at Home Depot.  I had a really hard time slicing the sponge in half using a serrated knife (we don’t have sharp knifes here).  I wet the sponge and froze it to get a better cut and used a regular knife.  I also cut one end of the rounded sponge so the cake could stand up on it’s own.  I learned this from trial and error and had to go back and re-spray paint after everything was done.  Skill level was high on that.

Cut the sponge

Note: The upper sponge was cut with the serrated knife and left it lumpy. No bueno

Then use an exacto knife to cut a small strip of the sponge out so you can put the frosting in it.

Making room for frosting :)

Making room for frosting 🙂

Is the fact I have a tiny bit of nail polish on my thumb driving you crazy yet?  Yeah it’s been this way for 2 weeks now. Yes, I don’t want to splurge and spend the 99 cents at Walgreen’s to buy nail polish remover.  Any ways here comes my next favorite step.  SPRAY PAINT!!

I usually end up spraying painting my hand 8 out of 10 times

I usually end up spraying painting my hand 8 out of 10 times

I then used card stock and traced my sponge on it cutting it out.  I used spray adhesive 3M  77 and adhered the card to the back side of the sponge. I bought colored brown caulk from the store ( I used acrylic latex caulk FYI) and applied it directly to the sponge using a caulk gun as a piping tool.

hmm chocolate

Yummy poisnous chocolate icing

I didn’t take a picture but apply the caulk the same way to the top and side.  Then using a toothpick or a small paint brush swirl the caulk to make the caulk resemble icing. I also used it to smooth out the icing in the middle.

Painted the icing on.

Paint the icing on.

Let dry for a few hours and walla!  The website I stole this from actually sent these out in the mail, and they were sucessfully delivered.

Yum Yum

Yum Yum

Now for a quick Pilot gripe. FACT: pilots love complaining

Hindsight is always 20/20.   I became a pilot because I loved flying, wanted to succeed as a female (women power), and see the world.  But it has all come at a  huge cost.

Missed tons of  family and friends wedding. I’m not there as a spouse when I need to be. I’ve spent every major holiday alone on the road for the last 10 years. Did I mention becoming a mother and having a dog in this job is nearly impossible.  All for what???

The moral to the story is don’t let your loved ones become a pilot.  This wasn’t what I thought it would be.

Happy Birthday babe!  I’m sorry I missed yet another day.

Categories: address stamp, art, birthday cake, craft, crashpad, diy, flying, food, memphis, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Today is dedicated to the letter “K”

So Easter came and flew by.  I was able to craft on the road and made some semi sacri-religious cards to mail out to the family.

Easter Cards DIY

Easter Cards DIY

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I’ve been hauling an empty cardboard wine box I picked up a long time ago from Philadelphia to make craft projects in my car.  I finally got motivated and started to get crafty with it.

Armed with cheap yarn and a new glue gun I started my letter project.

First take the cardboard insert inside the wine box out. I found this is the best thing to use for this project because it’s already cut to the correct size.  I just make a rough cut with scissors down the center of each one to make them more narrow.

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Then I cut the pieces in half and connected them together to form a letter.  I chose “L” the other day as a trial run for no reason other than it’s an easy letter.  So today I went big and chose the letter “K”

using a hot glue gun to fasten together

using a hot glue gun to fasten together

I had this epiphany the other day that I never buy anything unless it’s on sale. Anybody else have that problem?  So I found some cheap yarn at Michael’s that I wrapped the “K” with.

The completed naked "k"

The completed naked “k”

After a little mid-day drinking and some Netflix-ing of the series “Weed” I present to you an hour into the project… What the heck!?!

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A tad bit more tedious the letter “K” is!

Well the letter “K” is a little tricky because you can’t wrap it care freely like the letter “L” so there was a lot more cutting of the yarn and gluing going on here.

After what seemed like a waste of an afternoon and like seven episodes of Weed later, I present the final project.

20130411_163054

K to the L… Maybe someday I will finish my last name.

I know you are asking what would I do with this crap.  KaBam! I got you covered.

Awesome, blends in

Awesome, blends in so well with your decor

Categories: craft, crashpad, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to trust a town that doesn’t have Jeopardy

bebiberland

I was there, but now I’m here. Deep, very deep!

As some of you may not know, I have resigned from crafting in Philadelphia and moved on to crafting in Memphis.  As with my move to Philadelphia (I was not excited) Memphis doesn’t have the best rep.  However within  a week of being here I saw the nice parts of Memphis  and I’ve been warming up to it.

Here are some shocking fact about Memphis:

#1 No Jeopardy,  what the F%^$!  

I judge a city on when they play Jeopardy.  If they play the Wheel of Fortune before Jeopardy I usually think less of the town.  Well, I don’t have that problem in Memphis.   Memphis plays Jeopardy at 3:30pm!  The same time Maury is telling some raging whore that her sixth paternity test is negative.  WTF  Memphis, are you guys not educated enough to watch an Emmy award-winning quiz show?  Get your shit together, I’m sure Mississippi has it on at 6:30 pm before Wheel of Fortune.  Okay that got a little violent, sorry I had to vent.

#2 Memphis doesn’t have a full-time NPR station!   

National Public Radio is the best news and entertainment station in the world!   Oh how I miss hearing Michele Norris tell me the world news.  I cry for not hearing Wait Wait Don’t tell Me (this is better than John Stewart show) missing Rosetto Casper on Splendid Table, talk her way through food subjects.  I have to tune into a Mississippi radio station to hear 1 hour extra of programming when I drive.  That’s right Mississippi has more NPR than Memphis.

#3 Expect to get robbed at gun point

Everyone I work with keeps telling  me stories of fellow co-workers and family members getting robbed at gun point.  I just moved here from Philadelphia and I found this comical.

For the record:

Memphis has 17.9 murders per 100,000 people

Philadelphia has 21.2 murders per 100,000 people

With this being said, I never was told by any of my co-workers in Philadelphia that their loved ones had been mugged.  I gather that the Memphis folks just have guns and want your money but are polite enough not to kill you.  Will just call it Southern hospitality.

So, aside from the mugging, no  jeopardy, and NPR I’m learning to embrace Memphis.  This means going to Church (we are in the bible belt) and eating BBQ.

Categories: adventure, bbq, bible belt, craft, crashpad, crime rate, jeopardy, maps, memphis, mugging, npr, philadelphia, safety, survival, survival skills, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cake Flour

When you live in a crashpad it’s not recommended that you borrow (steal) your roommates food or beer.  I however decided I was exempt from this rule with disastorous results.I knew there was flour and sugar hanging out in a big tub underneath the counter.  Having eyed my roommates for any hint of baking skills I quickly wrote them off as ever using the flour.

I went to the grocery store and purchased my cheddar cheese, rosemary, and lemon zest for my bread passing on purchasing flour.

As I mixed the ingredients I had this bad feeling that I was not actually cooking with all purpose flour  but with a cake flour.   I pressed  on cutting the rosemary and zesting lemons into the mix.  The recipe calls for 12-18 hours of proofing (that’s baking talk for letting the yeast rise), during this time I managed to play two games of laser tag, visit the gym, and sleep.

This morning I was pissed.  My bread dough feels like really dry cake and didn’t rise.  I still threw it in the oven, just in case I invented the next bagel or something.

This doesn't resemble bread at all.

This doesn’t resemble bread at all.

So, I have moved on to batch #2.  Not learning from my mistakes I found a bag of expired flour (2008 was the expiration) that doesn’t belong to me.  I mixed my ingredients back together. I’m a little mad that this batch will not have lemon zest (I ran out).

Batch #2 with expired flour.

Batch #2 with expired flour.

Cake Flour  VS. All Purpose Flour

Let’s learn about the difference between cake flour and regular flour while I’m waiting another 12-18 hours for the bread to rise.

Cake flour lacks some of the protein (think gluten) that regular flour has.  Gluten as we all know is apparently the devil to 80% of America right now.  I enjoy gluten, and can’t imagine life without.   Gluten is the protein that binds the bread together, the stickiness that helps it rise.  Cake flour feels lighter to me almost silky like a mix of corn starch with the flour.

Batch #1

Batch #1

So this is batch #1 after being baked. Notice how lumpy and un-bread like this is. Cake Flour being finer and having less protein can’t rise like regular dough.

Batch #2

Batch #2

Batch #2 turned out a little flat.  But that was only due to the fact that I let it rise in a large pot.  Had I kept it in a smaller pan it would have been more dense.  Still this was very easy and the recipe I used had various ingredients you could add.    For example: Cranberry orange, almond bread and Guyere cheese lemon rosemary bread. Yummy

Here is the link if you get bored.

http://www.simplysogood.com/2010/03/crusty-bread.html

Categories: bread, cake flour, cranberry orange almond, crashpad, expired flour, gluten, homemade presents, proofing, survival skills, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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