January 21st, 2020 We had a beautiful snow here in the valley and I love the quiet stillness when the woods are full of snow.
Chad, Joey and Kyle are all students that I have trained and know I love spectacular pics and send them to me. We had freezing fog after the snow and it was amazing!
We have had multiple cold fronts moving through lately and the weather has been a challenge as I try to train my students. One day an older gentleman sent this pic and said NO WAY to cancel his flying lesson with me. Made me laugh!
Got to fly with Chad and Joey and break in their new engine in the 182. What a beautiful smooth afternoon and evening to fly. I am so grateful for the relationships in my life and the people I have met in aviation and beyond.
We had high winds last week and the neighbors roof ended up on our lane as I came home. I had to fold it over and get it out of the way.
I have been working on painting our "new" garage doors that came from a friend who upgraded to new doors. It is a long process and around 4-5 coats of primer and paint. They are almost done and I look forward to having Tony help install them.
Wintergreen resort has lots of snow all over the mountain.
Make today a blessing for someone else. Write a note of encouragement, give a hug, smile or take a friend to lunch. Pastor Paul gave a sermon on how to be an encourager. Thanks to all of you who encourage me each day. Pass it on, have the eyes to see ways to help and bless others and may you give thanks for a sunset that spreads across the sky.
January 4th, 2020- We are off to a new year and I am grateful for many things in my life such as the relationships that enrich each day, a healthy body and endless opportunities in the days ahead. What are the things you are grateful for each day? Hug your loved ones and tell them because we never know how long we have with them.
I love beautiful sunrises and sunsets so let's start with a few of them. How do folks zoom around and miss the beauty that is all around.
Tony and I went up to Massanutten for a few days. We had to reserve an entire week for the photographers for the wedding for our pastor's son who was getting married. They only needed Thurs thru Sat so we stayed Mon thru Wed. Josh and Carrie Collins live in Florida and it was great to see all the family who came in for the wedding.
I have 2 students in high school that I am training and one of them had their solo flight Dec 12th. My 1st 16-year old that I have signed off completed his 3 takeoffs and landings by himself. What an exciting milestone. He doesn't even have a driver's license yet. The DC-3 from Dynamic was flying around at the same time and produced some excitement and nervous moments for my student and me.
Ashley and I flew down to Roanoke and met at Valissa's house for the 99's Christmas party. It was fun to tie in flying, fellowship and fun with fellow aviators.
I flew over the new Sportsplex north of Harrisonburg. Click on the green name to check it out. It is so big and the turf soccer field caught my eye while flying with a student. Had no idea this place existed. Right up my alley and I can't wait to go see it on the ground.
I have been cutting firewood and taking down the ash trees that are sadly dying on our property. Beautiful wood and you can see the bark on the trees that are destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer.
Walter has discovered a new spot in a chair and it looks like he is in jail.
It has been cold at times and I have to deice the planes before we fly. Then I usually have to fight with the plane to get it started. Once the 1st start of the day is done we are good to go.
Stayed at my folks for a few days over Christmas and enjoyed the time with mom and pop. We watched the movie "Overcomer" and I highly recommend it. Click on the green title to see the trailer. Fantastic movie! Great example of the Lord's redemption in our lives and the relationships we build along the way. I am so grateful for each person who has invested so much in my life! I want to make you proud and honor the Lord with everything I say and do.
I decided to walk the video back to the rental place Christmas morning while mom and pop were sleeping. I had walked 2 miles around their neighborhood and instead of going again I grabbed the video and walked the mile to Rt. 250 and 1 mile back before all the cars starting zooming down the street. Saw lots of geese flying overhead in the V formation and honking at each other. I always find that so fascinating! On the way home I saw where they were all meeting- at the pond down by the end of the street. I saw more geese on the water than I saw surface of the water. Probably 100-150 geese out there.
I got pop off the couch and we played wii bowling. So much fun, we laughed and he has even continued playing since I left. I am very competitive in everything I do and kicked his rear one game. My highest game ever in a video game or real bowling.
I tried to fly Tony up to PA to see his folks, but it was too foggy and freezing fog which is even worse. We finally made it up and I picked him up in Winchester and drove him to southwestern PA. Flying is the preferred method of going up there, but there are limitations.
As we start the year 2020, may we keep our eyes on the Lord and His plans for us. I have no idea what the days ahead hold for me and I am asked each week by various folks what I will do. Not sure..... I keep working and doing my best, growing each day, building hours and seeking His wisdom for the best path for me. Keep praying for me that I can continue to be a light to others, serve and love my parents, minister to my students and teach them as they reach their goals and continue to press on towards the goals for my own life. The sunrise at the airport was absolutely stunning this week. I was running around crazy helping everyone and fixing everything so I was grateful for this beauty and helping me to keep a good attitude.
December 17th, 2019- If we take the time to evaluate our hearts we might find we are content with some things and unsettled in other areas. I decided to read The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer this week. Had it on the shelf and did it years ago and felt a prompt to dive in again. The book is from the creators of the Fireproof movie and Courageous.
There are so many areas of my life that I am very content and yet each week I get asked by someone "what is your next move" or some version of that question. I see the jets flying into the airport and I yearn to fly them! I want to be content with what I have and where I am and also want to be right in the middle of the Lord's purpose for my life. Learning to trust, be still (I don't do this one very well!) and follow His leading are areas I try to work on each day.
Here are the pages I read today and I am letting the truth resonate in my heart. I love the students I work with and I am so thankful to be at SHD and Blue Ridge Aviation. Do any of these words speak to your heart?
Go forth today and give thanks for all your many blessings, good health, family, friends and the lives we get to live each day.
December 11th, 2019- Thanksgiving is a day set aside to give thanks for our many blessings. We should always have a thankful heart and rejoice each day! I am so grateful for the breath in my lungs, vision in my eyes, the beat of my heart and a healthy body to move, serve and love those around me each day.
Tony and I cooked dinner for the celebration at my folks house this year. I offered to cook everything but the bird. They are so disgusting as raw meat and it gags me! So...Tony made the bird and I did everything else. We invited one of my students who is from Egypt and Diane joined us too. What a wonderful relaxing day and mom was blessed by our presence and our cooking.
Ashley and I flew home from Blackstone and had quite the sunset to enjoy.
During the winter we have to fill the furnace each day and cut firewood. One morning the smoke was hanging in the air and what a beautiful accent to our cabin in the woods.
Years ago I was a big sister in the Big Brother Big Sisters program. Tyler was my little brother when he was 9 and was the ring bearer in our wedding. Haven't seen him for years and he is now 30. Tony was driving home from work and stopped to get gas and coffee. A guy inside the store saw his uniform and asked where he worked because he had a friend whose husband worked in DC on 9-11. Tony didn't recognize the man and asked "What's his name?" The man said "Tony Ferek". Too funny! It was Tyler and neither one knew the other person. Tony sent a pic and said "Recognize me?" Great to see his picture and I look forward to catching up sometime soon. What a blessing to see the positive influence I was able to have on his life.
One of the students I trained flew his plane down to the Bahamas over the Thanksgiving holiday. I have enjoyed experiencing the privilege and joy of aviation thru my students as they utilize their skills to do things many of us never get to experience.
Some friends invited us over to their house for a delicious meal. I have heard how wonderful his cooking is and I would have to agree! Wow what a wonderful time of food and fellowship. We are blessed by some amazing people in our lives.
George brought a friend so he could fly with us during his lesson.
Weather is a weak area and a struggle for many students. I love studying the weather, fronts, etc and have been doing it for years since so much of my life revolves around being outside. Even when I was coaching and teaching physical education I would study the weather. Been working on a bulletin board for the flight school to help give students a visual depiction of prog charts. Finally finished it!
We had several cold fronts pass through recently and it was VERY bumpy during our flights. Even had a signet oscar which is for severe turbulence. Only the 2nd time I have seen that one. Sigmets and airmets warn pilots of dangers in the sky before they ever get into the air. The red box includes our area.
Find ways to be a blessing to someone today and have an attitude of gratitude for this day we have been given.
November 25th, 2019- 19 years ago today Tony and I got married and united our lives together before the Lord. I am so thankful for the lives we have built together and for the ministry we have serving the Lord. Continue to pray for us as we grow individually and as one in the days and years to come. We want to be good stewards of all that He has given us including our time, resources and our talents. May we bring honor to the Lord each day of our lives. Thank you Tony for the beautiful roses and for being the best husband.
My days have been busy with flying and I have enjoyed the stunning sunrises and sunsets lately. Fall is the most spectacular time of year and gives us the most stable weather. The crisp cool mornings and evenings cause me to stand in awe of the beauty around us. Thank you Lord!
The song for this week is The God Who Stays by Matthew West. I love the lyrics and the truth in this song. Click on the title if you are interested in hearing the song.
Here are the last few trees with beautiful leaves in the valley. The trees going down to Blue Ridge Community College are a nice entrance to the campus.
Walter has been quite the snuggler lately and likes to curl up in the blanket.
I want to thank Ashley and her family for inviting me to go along for the tour of Dynamic Aviation and getting to see the original Air Force One that flew President Eisenhowser and his wife. They are restoring the Columbine and we got to go through it. Incredible! I remember the day this plane flew into Bridgewater. I was running around the campus at Turner Ashby to see it flying in the air before it landed at Dynamic. I enjoy this type of history instead of just handing me a book to read. What a great springboard for lessons and then you grab the attention of students and people like myself. Now I can read about that part of history and have something to connect it with since I saw the actual airplane.
One of my students has a Bonanza and we flew down to southwestern Va last week to collect some stamps and get him ready for his trip to the Bahamas. Mom is from this area and it is some rugged country! They even had snow several days before so the mountains were beautiful. I asked who lives at the end of the runway at the Lonesome Pine Airport because there was a HUGE house and a hanger beside it.
Thank you Ashley for the incredible gift bag you gave me last week. You are such a special, talented and thoughtful young lady! What a privilege to be your instructor. There is a puzzle of the one and only flight with my folks. What a special memory and I look forward to doing the puzzle with my folks this week.
We had an Osprey fly through last week. The F-35 and Osprey are 2 of my favorite planes to watch. The Osprey had the props vertical on the 1st pass and forward on the 2nd pass.
We had some freezing fog this week. No flying during that morning! Fog layers hanging in the valley and it is below freezing. You fly through it and you instantly become an icicle.
I love studying weather, looking at clouds and seeing the various weather fronts move in and out of the valley. The line of clouds is the cold front that passed last week. When it is windy, the front is passing through and it may be a cold or a warm front.
Here is the new engine for the 182 I landed recently. I look forward to breaking in this new engine and flying with the guys again.
Ellie and Larry took us out to the horse farm in Cross Keys to show us their horses. I remember visiting this farm years ago with a TA student. What a beautiful day and the farm is located on a 5 mile final into Shenandoah so I got to see several jets fly into Weyers Cave. Talk about sensory overload- horses and planes! I was loving it!
Give thanks to the Lord for our many blessings! I love you all and appreciate you being in my life. Time to fly today.
November 5th, 2019- Tony surprised me and got tickets for him and his pop to go to the Friday World Series game in DC. His pop could not go so I was invited. Quite the experience even though I am not a baseball fan. The Nats forgot to bring their offense that night and eventually went on to win the series down in Houston. We parked at a firehouse and walked over a mile to the stadium so we could beat the rush after the game. Thanks to Erin for letting us stay at her place in the city. We rolled in at 1:30 am. My prime hours!
We went to the Museum of the Bible the next day and what an experience. I highly recommend going!
6 floors and it is amazing. Very interactive exhibit. Click here to review.
The leaves have been ok this year and I enjoyed a few glimpses of color splashed across the valley.
Joel and I went flying early morning and it was spectacular and clear. My favorite time of day!
I have been staining logs at the house. Forgot about this one and saw it running last week. Getting too cold to paint outside.
2 does and a buck came passing thru as I was staining. So much fun to watch them and they walked down my trail.
Please pray for Tony as it has been a tough week for the DC firefighters. One guy was 43 and was standing with a paramedic and collapsed with a ruptured aorta. Died 2 days later. A deputy battalion chief's 25 year old son was diagnosed with aggressive leukemia and another firefighter lost his life. Tony looks handsome all dressed up, but this uniform only comes out when there is a funeral or trial board (you are in trouble and fighting for your job).
Bentley is my little buddy and I enjoy petting him when I get home each day. Lives next door in the cabin with Diane.
Flew into Tangier Island yesterday (KTGI) and it was quite an experience! Pretty interesting flying out over the water and knowing there is a tiny runway out there. 460 people live there full time. I asked the lady if the water freezes and she said yes. Last winter they were out there for 2 weeks and the ice cutter came over. An entirely different way of life on the island. Don't know that I would want to live there! Maybe a visit and that is it.
Hanging out at the airport today we had a United States of America helicopter land. The crew came in and had a female pilot. The guy carrying a big gun was intimidating! Thank you to the Marines who serve our country!
Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the glow in the leaves, sky, etc and the crisp clear air. Get outside and enjoy the amazing creation that surrounds us each day. Thank you Lord!
Rory Feek in concert, stunning sunset, podcast with Dean Showalter, staining the deck, playing golf and cutting firewood
October 20th, 2019 - I want to give a huge shout out to my pop for his 78th birthday yesterday! I love you and hope you are having a blast with mom down in Tennessee with her sister.
One evening last week I was leaving the airport and the sunset was getting more colorful by the minute. I pulled over, shut the car off and took in the stunning beauty splashed across the sky. Thank you Lord for your beauty and that we have the eyes to see it! You will see the progression of the sunset from the time I landed until I left- around 30 min. There are times in our lives that we have to be patient, be still and trust him to do His work. If we will let Him, the masterpiece is far better than if we go zooming thru life and miss out on what He wants to do thru us, show us, etc.
I was talking to mom during this sunset and the airport police officer even pulled up beside me and said "Doesn't get old does it?" and I replied "No it does not!"
A friend from Turner Ashby invited us to church last week to see Rory Feek perform and for the concert at Polyface farms in a hoop house. What an experience! Click on the green names to go to their websites.
Rory was funny and said he had never performed in a hoop house before, although the Grand Ole Opry stage was pretty nice! I had to look up what a hoop house was because I never hear that term before.
I wanted to spend time with Will and his family (I did his instrument training) so I asked if they would like to join us at the farm. We had a wonderful potluck dinner with all the guests and I brought 2 of the 6 pumpkin rolls I made the previous day for our contribution. Whole wheat flour, half the sugar, half the butter and full of the delicious flavor you would want in a pumpkin roll. Should be healthy and not just a dessert!
We drove mom back home and followed the HUGE full moon in the crystal clear sky. Wow! Amazing ending to the evening. I learned about Polyface farms and how Rory discovered a book through his wife Joey and her desire for them to homestead at their farm in Nashville. Read about Rory's life if you don't know about it. Quite a testimony and the Lord continues to use him in mighty ways. They were recording an episode for RFD-TV and the new video blog he will be working on. Click here to read more.
I was captivated by their story and lives when I was in training last year. What a treat to see Indy with Rory last week and see how he is continuing to serve the Lord even after losing the love of his life, Joey to breast cancer. The Lord is never done writing our story!
Last week we had a fancy jet fly in for the weekend. It was sweet looking and caught the eye of my 15-year old student I was teaching that evening. We slipped over after the lesson for a pic. What a beautiful color combination and I would LOVE to fly something like that one day! Full moon in the background was pretty nice too.
I continue to paint the deck, doors, windows, etc. when I have a chunk of time at home. Looks so nice when it is done, but gobbles up hours of time as I brush the paint on with each stroke. I find it incredibly relaxing to paint.
Winter is coming and we fired up the furnace last week. We go through quite a bit of wood and continuously cut throughout the winter. We got a huge jump on our wood supply before we need it and it feels good to be ahead.
I have been walking through the woods with a spray can and marking all the dead trees without leaves BEFORE all leaves fall off. Some trees are obviously dead with peeling bark, but others are hard to determine and they all look alike in the dead of winter without leaves. It is sad to see ALL the ash trees on the top of our property (20+ trees) that have died because of the Emerald Ash Borer.
Our tomatoes are in full bloom and I have enjoyed eating several fresh tomatoes each morning. The frost and freeze are coming soon so I savor each bite!
A physical education friend came into town this week to stay at Massanutten and gave me ring. So excited to see Terry and spend the afternoon playing golf at Lakeview. Only my 2nd time playing this summer and haven't seen her in probably 5 years. I am SO blessed to have so many friends and contacts all around the country and in the world of physical education and aviation. It was a spectacular day and the views on the course are amazing. Nice to carve out some fun because I tend to just work all the time.
Dean Showalter is a talented mechanic here on the field at the Weyers Cave airport and works for Classic Aviation. He wanted to interview me about the engine failure I had recently. What a blessing to spend time with someone who has a gentle heart, loves the Lord and is a gifted teacher. Click here to listen to his podcast episode #125. Thank you Dean for sharing your time and expertise with us. I am so blessed by the people I have met in aviation and you are one of them.
Here is one of the Cessna 172's we fly each day as a part of the flight school. Come join us for an intro flight sometime at Blue Ridge Aviation!
One song this week that I want to share is Unstoppable God by Sanctus Reel. Click here to listen to the video. One of the lines says, "I'm claiming victory 'cause I know who is fighting for me!" Amen- love that truth! Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD!
Another song is Up Again by Dan Bremnes. The video about Jay Denning will challenge you to get up today, make a difference and don't let anything stop you! Click here to watch Jay in action.
Have a blessed week! Keep your eyes open as you see the sunrises, sunsets and unexpected treasures sprinkled along your path each day. Thank you Lord for loving us!
October 6th, 2019- October 1st was a year ago that I left for Appleton, Wisconsin to earn my type rating in the CRJ 200 jet and my ATP (the highest rating the FAA offers). I am thankful to report that on Thurs, I passed the oral portion of the ATP check ride and then went outside in the 95 degree heat to fly in the Twin Commanche at the Shenandoah Regional Airport in Weyers Cave, VA. I did 4 approaches under the hood (had on goggles and could not see outside of the plane) and even had to take off with the foggles on. What a relief to pass this test after coming home so disappointed. I did not earn the type rating and will have to get that specific one for a certain jet, but the satisfaction of earning my ATP is incredible. I give to everyone around me all the time and this was something I did for me. Thank you Lord for the perseverance needed to complete it and to everyone who supported and encouraged me along the way.
I am not sure what my next step will be and I am in no rush to make a move. Waiting for the Lord to show me what He wants me to do.
Driving to church each week, I pass a cute pumpkin patch with a welcome pumpkin by the road. Decided to stop and take a pic of it today.
I spent all day Saturday staining the deck and painting the trim on the exterior windows and doors. Trying to get some things done before winter.
We had some deer stop by for a visit while we were eating dinner out on the deck.
I have a lighter schedule this week and looking forward to a mental and physical break. Found out about my check ride at 4 pm the night before the test when I was debriefing with the examiner. My student passed his instrument rating check ride after we trained the last 2 months. Nice to have another pass on my teaching record. I welcome the break and no studying for now.
Here are a few pics of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets we have been enjoying lately.
One of my students gave me the book Fly Girls and I finished it today. The ladies who flew in the 30's were bold and daring as they faced many crashes and a resentment from folks who thought they shouldn't be in the cockpit.
Continue to pray for me as I seek the Lord's wisdom for my time, talents, resources, skills, etc. I want to be right in the center of His will and not go after what I want.
September 22nd, 2019- We returned from Colorado and I have been slammed at work each week pulling 13 hour days Mon thru Fri. Teaching from 6 am to 7 or 8 pm at night each day wears on you! My boss told me I was working too hard and needed to take a break so I don't get burned out. Some of the 99's (female pilots) from the eastern shore invited me down for a Women Can Fly Event this weekend down at VA42 which is a 5000' grass strip in Chesapeake, VA. I was granted access to a plane for the weekend and flew down Friday afternoon.
We had 137 ladies go up in various types of aircraft and I helped out on the ground. I appreciate Nick and Connie (a Hampton 99) who opened up their home to me this weekend and took me to dinner. The people I have met in the 99's have been amazing and I am so grateful.
I looked up on Sat and saw Travis one of our line guys, police officers, tug operator when I have an engine failure (more about that later), fuel truck operator, etc. They work hard and take good care of me. He came down to Chesapeake for the weekend to see the Oceana air show and to fly in the yellow Stearman. He said "What are you doing here?" I chuckled and asked if he was following me. There was a Waco and Spitfire that flew around this weekend. We got a short glimpse of the Blue Angels as they passed over one time. I LOVE the roar of those jets!
Here is a recap of the last month. My computer filled up so I couldn't download any pics, videos, etc. I switched to another computer to create this post. I need to dump files when I have the time to sit down and do it.
Thanks to Paige, Ann, Mary Helen and Graham for the amazing tomatoes. I was able to can tomatoes this year because of your generosity. Thanks to Bill and Colleen for the cucumbers and I made bread and butter pickles with those.
We went to the Casting Crowns concert at the Shenandoah County fair with Bill and Colleen. What a great show, night of worship and beautiful evening!
I sang the song "Nobody" and I enjoyed hearing those around me sing it to. I LOVE that song! Click here to sing this great song.
We needed to replace some rotten logs on our home so we chopped down some trees that were strategically picked for the size, cut them, stripped them, dried them, removed the rotten section and attached the new longs. Several weeks ago I stained them to get it done before the impending winter setting in. I was pleased with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd coat. I put a clear coat on the rest of the logs on that side to blend them in.
I was flying with Joey one day and we did 6 takeoffs and landings in the pattern which is a box in the air around the runway. I turned downwind for runway 23and heard loud metal and bang, bang, bang! I immediately pulled the throttle to idle, looked and saw the runway 5 number beside me and made a hard hook back to land on runway 5. The winds were calm and nobody was flying in the pattern. Pulling the throttle stopped the banging so I left the engine running at a low rpm because bad power is still power if would have needed it. Dumped all the flaps so I wouldn't overshoot the runway and set the Cessna 182 down halfway down the runway. The landing was firmer than I like, but still good, safe and we were on the ground. I pulled into the grass to get off the runway and immediately shut down the engine to preserve what I could. Called up Unicom (people inside) and said I had engine trouble and pulled into the grass to shut down.
Broken rocker arm- no wonder we heard banging metal! Expensive fix and new engine. Yikes!
I will add the cloud and flying pics sometime this week. There are some beautiful pics. It is getting late and I need to rest up for a busy week.
August 19th, 2019- When we came to the cabin 6 years ago, Rich and Janice took us horseback riding at the Platte Ranch down the road. We had so much fun that we did it again. So painful, yet amazing! I got to ride Copper and Tony rode Butch. I was laughing so hard because Butch wanted to be one place yesterday and that was in the front! Tony tried to override Butch and eventually just let go of the reins and let him do whatever he wanted. It was hilarious! 2 hard heads going at it and Butch won.
After the ride, we went back to the cabin to pack up and give our last hugs to everyone. We drove to Denver since we have a 6 am flight back to Dulles and then a connecting flight to Shenandoah. We had a wonderful time and Tony even took some pics so I know he enjoyed it too! Thank you Lord for the time together and time away.
Still asking the Lord what is next for me and I will await His direction. I have a full schedule of lessons the rest of the week and so thankful for a job that I enjoy and students who are wonderful to work with each day. Thank you for praying for me and loving me.
Lift up my mom in prayer as she awaits biopsy results. I will go see her on Wednesday and wrap my loving arms around her. You are in control Lord!