Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lots of Lasts

Last day of work.
Last restaurant meal in Marble Falls.
Last evening to visit with new friends.
Last day to wash clothes for free.
Last time to grocery shop in a big HEB.

We hit the road in the morning.  We've got 4 weeks to get to our next volunteer assignment.  I think Mark has 12-15 disc golf courses he wants to play on the way to Idaho.

We'll be following Spring.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Still De-Stashing

We've got less than two weeks before we hit the road.  I'm still trying to finish as many afghans as I can and get them to my mother-in-law for her to take to the next Linus meeting.

This is my latest:


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

We are starting to see a lot of bluebonnets along the roadsides.
Spring is on the way!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Whole NineYards

Teri and I visited the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Burnet on a recent cold and dreary day. The group is dedicated to preserving and restoring WWII aircraft to flying condition. While their main headquarters is in Midland, Texas, the "Highland Lakes Squadron" maintains this small museum on the grounds of the Burnet airport.

One of the museum displays is a .50 caliber machine gun from the nose turret of a B-24 bomber. Since allied fighters didn't have the long range of bombers, the big bombers were on their own while over their targets. Their only defense was their machine guns, mounted in various places on the aircraft.
.50 Caliber Machine Gun Turret
The gunner entered the turret through a back door and couldn't leave the turret until a crew member unlocked and opened the door.  The gunner was mostly outside of the aircraft, in the -30 degree temperatures! They wore electrically heated suits and oxygen masks to survive.
Machine Gun Turret Entry Door
I had to give the turret a try, and I barely fit into the seat. I'm not sure that they could have gotten the door closed with me in there.  The docent noted that the average size of a man in the mid-40's was about 5'-6" and 135 pounds. I don't come anywhere close to either of those numbers!
Mark in Turret. Tight fit!
The ammunition belt for each machine gun was 27 feet long. If the gunner shot the entire belt at an enemy aircraft, he gave them "The Whole Nine Yards".  So now you know where that saying came from!
Ammunition Belt - Nine Yards Long!
They had a few operable airplanes at the museum. One was a T-6 "Texan" trainer.  You can buy a 20 minute ride in this baby for just $200.
T-6 Texan
Their largest plane was this Douglas C-47, which is the military version of the DC-3.  This was a cargo workhorse for the military, and is still used to this day as a cargo and passenger plane in various parts of the world.
Douglas C-47
The CAF uses this plane for parachute drops and also rents out rides for $150 per person, with a 4 person minimum.  They've christened this plane "Bluebonnet Belle" and decorated her with this nose art.
Bluebonnet Belle
We enjoy finding these little museums in the various places that we visit.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring is in the Air!

As Teri and I enjoyed a sunny 70 degree day here in the park, we heard a familiar sound overhead. We looked up to see a large group of Sandhill Cranes circling over the lake.  They seemed to be undecided about sitting down for the evening or continuing their journey north.

Sandhill Cranes
With the warmer weather, the change to daylight savings time, and Spring Break getting underway, we realize that we are just a few short weeks from moving north ourselves.

We are looking forward to a summer at Farrugut State Park, just north of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. So stay tuned for more details on that...


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Not All Problems Are Bad

One of the “problems” with crocheting as much as I do is that I end up with lots of partial skeins and bits and pieces of yarn: 
A solution to this problem is to crochet what is called a Scrap Afghan.  I had a couple of bags full of yarn bits and pieces that were unknown brands, colors and amounts.  So, I decided it was time to get a Scrap Afghan started. 

My first scrap afghan, which is still a “work in progress” (WIP) is using the Apache Tears pattern.   Each row is a different color yarn.   I, without looking, pull a ball of yarn out of the scrap bag and start crocheting with it.  So, the color pattern is not planned out, it is random.  This afghan does not use very much yarn in a row and is very slow to complete.

Here is my WIP Apache Tears afghan:
 Close-up view:
After working on this afghan off and on for several weeks it didn’t seem like my scrap bag was getting any less full.  Since the RV is sort of busting at the seams with yarn (don’t tell Mark!), I needed to find a pattern that used more yarn and worked up quickly.  My thought was that the more of these partial skeins of yarn I used up, the more new yarn I could buy (oops, I mean the more room we would have in the RV).

This is my second scrap afghan.  There isn’t a name for this pattern it is pretty much just using 4 different crochet stitches.  The colors are also random with the “avocado” green yarn used more often in the pattern and all around the boarder to pull it all together.  To show you how old this yarn is, “avocado” is now called “guacamole”.  It even sounds more modern!

I haven’t had much to blog about lately.  On our days off, if the weather is decent, we are out playing disc golf (Mark plays, I walk around enjoying being outside) or Mark flys his RC plane (radio controled) at the club field that he joined.  When the weather is unpleasant (which has been a lot of days this winter), I spend a lot of time crocheting and reading and Mark spends his time reading and flying his RC plane computer simulator.

Our time here is flying by and we are planning our route to our summer volunteer destination.

Stay tuned!