Rocket Man

And all this science, I don’t understand. It’s just my job five days a week …And I think it’s gonna be a long long time. ‘Till touch down brings me round again to find. I’m not the man they think I am at home. Oh no no no I’m a rocket man.

—   Rocket Man, Elton John

This week, I had an experience of a lifetime with a behind- the-scenes visit to the Kennedy Space Center. There was a big celebration of the arrival of the European Service Module for the Orion Spacecraft. Orion is the exploration vehicle that will take astronauts farther than we’ve every gone before – back to the moon and then beyond to Mars. It was interesting in a NASA video played at the event, it made the point of saying we’re going for more than just a flag and footsteps on the moon. WOW!  Do you remember where you were when Neil Armstrong first stepped out on the moon and they planted the American flag on July 20, 1969? I do…

My new company – Jacobs – is NASA’s largest professional and technical services provider. While I was visiting, I learned that we are responsible for the development and operations of flight vehicle components of the Exploration Ground Systems including integration, processing, testing, launch and recovery. Who knew?

Before starting the trip though, I had to make a photo of where I parked at DFW Airport. I can’t even imagine space exploration when I could barely find Port Canaveral, and my GPS took me on the most round about voyage know to mankind. But I finally made it about an hour longer than was needed.

A small group of my colleagues and I had an up close view of the Vehicle Assembly Building and advanced research happening at the International Space Station Processing Facility as well as several other Jacobs’ efforts at NASA like thermal protection support. It was truly amazing for an English major and a girl from Garland, Texas to be so close to such state-of-the-art technology and innovation.

An interesting story I learned was about the NASA Launch Control Center. There are four launch control rooms at Kennedy, and each one has these wooden plaques for each mission all across the walls of the room. The plaques have the two little white bars hanging down with the day of the launch and the day of the landing/return. Except in Launch Room 3, which is where both the Challenger and the Columbia launched … on those plaques there is only one white tag hanging. I have to say that was a very emotional part of the tour.

I did get to catch an amazing sunrise from my hotel room before the main event – the celebration of the European Service Module. I actually had a nice reunion with an old colleague from Raytheon who now works at AirBus, a major player in the delivery of the service model.

Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

This was a special bonus to the visit, totally unplanned and unexpected. I had the opportunity to see the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This was totally random, but great timing. Again, something I never dreamed I would witness in my lifetime.


With all the wonderful experiences in Florida – except for my Florida hair that grows x 3 its normal volume – it is always good to be headed home.


Sunset over Dallas from the airplane.

What did Dorothy say, “There is no place like home!”



Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

While Mona Lisas and mad hatters, sons of bankers, sons of lawyers, turn around and say good morning to the night…

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Elton John

What is your passion? What would you do if you could do anything in the world – and not have to worry about money? For me, there are lots of things I love to do, but at the root of it all is creating beautiful things – whether that’s sewing, knitting, painting, writing. One thing in particular that I would love to do is own a small hat shop and create hats. Actually, this is how CoCo Chanel started – designing and making hats.

Of course, in the U.S., we don’t really wear hats anymore. That’s why I think my soul belongs in the U.K. – London specifically. When you watch the Royal Wedding or the Royal Ascot or even the Kentucky Derby, hats of all shapes and sizes take center stage.

I’ve always loved hats and have a collection of retro hats from the 50s and 60s displayed in my closet. This passion carried through with my daughter’s wedding. I made her veil, hand beading it with a bird cage veil and feather barrette. She was able to take off the veil part keeping the feathers barrette for the reception and let her hair down to party. If you know Mallory, she is definitely the Dancing Queen of our family.

Their wedding date was 9-10-11, and the bridesmaids wore fascinators as well.

Girls in Fascinators

A couple of summers ago, I convinced my sister-in-law and nieces to take a millinery class with me in Colorado.

It’s quite an interesting process taking felt or straw and steam, and  ending with a beautiful original creation. This doesn’t happen much anymore in our mass produced, fast fashion environment.

Maybe some day, hats will be back in vogue. I’m ready …




Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me


Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see. I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free, but losing everything is like the sun going down on me.

 — Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Elton John

I have an obsession with collections.

Currently, I am obsessed with sunglasses (and readers).

Here’s a quick view of my collection…


Chanel, RayBan, Chloe, Oakley, Michael Kors, TopShop, Cat Eyes, Aviators

I think I need a new storage bin.


Here’s the only person I know that probably has more sunglasses than me…

Charlene “The Boss” Wheeless

And yes, I wear my sunglasses at night…