Sad and True: This post was started in mid-January:
WHOOP! It has been a couple of weeks now,and I'm still reorganizing and sorting as much as I can (that would be the keeping and the tossing portion of our program). Progress is, of course, a LOT slower with the whole full-time job back on and all (but some progress is still better than none, right?) I would love to be able to get some things done outside; maybe play with the horses a bit (now there's an idea ;o) Unfortunately, the weather continues to be grossly uncooperative. I shouldn't complain really, since we're not buried in snow and ice around here, but with frequent heavy rains followed by sudden freezing temperatures? Well, I just can't stay out there long enough to do anything beyond the feeding (and that part's rough enough).
Sometimes I thinkthere's nothing more wrong than a cold, nasty, wet weekend followed by three gorgeous, sunny days in a row. You know, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: the days you are AT WORK?!? Grrr. Does that happen to you? Isn't it just the most frustrating thing sometimes? The pile of things to be toted outside and painted (most just with clear polyurethane for protection from the elements and to prevent fading) is growing at an alarming rate. Between the weather and my work schedule, I just can't seem to make it happen. I started painting pine cones last November for a Thanksgiving table decoration and only managed to get a coat or two on, before the rainy weather shut it down. If it's not raining, it's freezing. Same with the partially done sink (this post), trash can, half finished homemade shutters, partially finished chairs (this post), along with all the other stuff for the visitor area. All of it is sitting around in various stages of incompletion. Sitting. Waiting. Sitting some more. I think it might be staring. Definitely staring.
My right eye has now started twitching every time I walk out the back door. Oy.
One really good thing so far this year? My brother Geoff and his family (wife Julia, and their two boys) came for a visit. I don't get to see them much at all, since they live in Oregon (that rather large state which sits at the opposite end of the country :o\ Even better? They stayed at our house this time, instead of at my parents' house. I was ecstatic as I'd only met my nephews once, and that was three years ago. We had a wonderful visit all the way around! My nephews had a great time with Kimby's boys (we were able to arrange a "play date"). To top it off, we were blessed with some really nice weather during their visit. We were even able to squeeze in some [supersize] "pony" rides on one of the days. I think the two-legged boys enjoyed themselves, don't you? Shadow, on the other hand, was clearly less than thrilled to be "saddled with" (ha) pony ride status. His mortification at being relegated to such a demeaning task, however, was easily overcome by a handful of his favorite treats.
Photo note: It's not shown in the shot, but there were grownups that came with the horses. (Didn't want you to worry ;o)
One thing that has bothered me for a long time was that I barely knew my sister-in-law, Julia. Though she and I have been together a few times - about three, if you count their wedding - it has always been somewhere we couldn't really talk. I love my parents, but they tend to um.... dominate any kind of family gathering/event (is there a nice way to call someone overbearing?) so she and I have never really had a chance to get to know each other. One thing I already knew? She is an absolutely brilliant artist; I can honestly say that God has gifted her with a tremendous talent. If I can find out where she has her work posted (if she does), maybe she'll let me share some of it with you. My brother and I got to catch up as well, and I had all kinds of fun with the boys. Thankfully, Kimby's three boys keep me current with important "guy stuff". Sure do wish they lived on this side of the country though. *sniffle* Right before their visit, I stumbled across a "chalkboard tablecloth" in the clearance aisle at Walmart. Would you believe it was marked down to $1.96? Now there's a monetary risk I'm willing to take (since I wasn't too sure how well it would work). Turned out to be a lot of fun; we drew and played tic-tac-toe all over the dining room table ;o)
Happily, both my brother and his family love to poke around antique/thrift/junk stores as much as I, so we all piled in the car on Saturday morning and went to Sadies. One of my favorite things about visiting the flea market are the unexpected surprises. You just never know what you'll find from one visit to the next. Kind of like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates analogy, I suppose. Remember that heinous "Hollywood" chair? (this post). It was gone (and I can't help but wonder if someone actually bought that $750 monstrosity *laugh*). Anyway... this time I stumbled across the neatest thing; painted rocks. I'm guessing that sounds rather unexciting, but these particular rocks were both colorful and clever. Although it was the bright colors and pretty patterns that caught my eye initially, it just so happened that there was a rock with the word "Family" on it that perfectly matched the colors in our family room. What fun! When I got home, I set it down on top of the media unit, but after a day or so I realized it wasn't as visible as I'd like. Happily, this was easily resolved by putting to good use a small and inexpensive plate holder I had tucked in a drawer. I couldn't believe how perfectly it went with the existing decor; from my electronics "catch all" box to the wood carving done by my great grandfather. (interestingly enough, the photo on the wall was taken at my brother's wedding ;o) What do you think? Fun, right?
Meticulously hand painted, the rocks are finished with a nice heavy layer of sealant. I stopped to chat with the girl manning the booth, and it turned out she runs her own Etsy shop, called Carol's Mandala Rocks. Carol has all kinds of different designs in her shop (three of which are pictured below). She also has some very pretty heart shaped wooden magnets and she accepts custom orders (wouldn't a colorful rock with their name on it be a fun kid present?) You can visit Carol's shop here.
This was as far as I got (sans photos and edits) with my post. And then?
It all came to a screeching halt (like my sound effect? *laugh*).
I think I'll end this post here; it's more than long enough already. Stay tuned for the explanatory whys and wherefores that will (I hope I hope!) be posted soon. In the meantime, thank you so much for reading this far and have a blessed week. Oh, and have a hug, too ('cause I missed ya! ;o)