Better than what...

Better than what... Better than ever... Better than your average bear... Better than I used to be... Better than nothing...
You'll just have to read on and decide for yourself.

About Me

My photo
Springfield, MO, United States
I'm a continual work in progress.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spanish Olive

What happened to this weekend? I had so many plans for things to do sigh... Well I did get one thing accomplished. My Waterfall furniture has been crying out for a new background since I got it. The mood to paint struck me at Walmart this weekend. I'm still annoyed with them for not carrying Kilz interior paint in the satin finish. I loved that stuff and I can't seem to find it anywhere else. Anyway I was going to get the Glidden but they didn't have any more of the base in the satin finish so I ended up trying the Better homes paint. I do love my satin finish. I'm not sure I would get that again. It's very thin which for a messy painter like me is a bad thing. However, I love, love, love this color. Spanish olive is a little outside of my comfort zone with more of a yellowish base than I'm used to. I tend to gravitate more toward cool colors like tourquois and blue greens. My bedroom was purple before this. My furniture says it likes it. So here's the first coat.

Now I have to find curtains - gold maybe? Or I could go radical and put up black curtains. Decisions, decisions. Now I have to find new artwork as well. This is why I don't redecorate often. I can't stop.

It wore the babies out helping. I had the gate up to keep them out while I was painting and Dixie surprised herself and leaped over it. I don't think she realized what she had done until I shooed her back out.

Poor exhausted babies.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Barre

The ballet barre - my enemy, my friend. It supports me in times of need and taunts me with it's seemingly unobtainable goals. I'm coming to ballet late in life. There was one mild flirtation with toe dancing in kindergarten when I was six. I was the some sort of fairy in a pink tutu in a play. I remember liking to be on my toes then. The teacher had to explain to me not to konk the other children in the head with the wand quite so hard.

I've never felt particularly graceful, I started growing before everyone else in the fourth grade and was the tallest one in the class. One of the neighbors called me Jolly Green Giant. I was very awkward and shy. How is this fair, I'm not particularly tall now - just 5'6". I should have ended up model tall to make up for that right?

Anyway when Drury started offering Wellness classes I decided I liked variety and wanted to try different things. That's how I ended up in the ballroom class. After that it was just a matter of time before I was swept up into the fantasy of it all. Who knew I had this inner longing to be all girly and graceful.

So that brought me to adult ballet. Intimidating right. It turns out this may be the best exercise I've ever had to increase my flexibility and balance. There's just this one tiny thing.

There it is folks. The barre. Simple, elegant and oh sooo high. I love exercising at the barre and I am flexibility challenged. Right leg I can get up there and man does it stretch those muscles. Left leg, not so easy. I stand back, I contemplate, I try not to be too obvious. My leg and I we have talks together about why it really should go up there. Some days we have to talk longer than others. See I always wake up stiff and sore in the morning and ballet starts at 11:00. Limber is not my middle name. I continue to soldier on though because each time I get a little closer, a little stretchier.

I get to point my toes and glide across the floor with the other dedicated women in my class in a spirit of camaraderie that is meaningful and true. I may not be a swan but I feel connected to something rich. I feel like a dancer in my heart.

Thanks to my muse Marie who is teaching me what it is to love dance movement of all kinds. I couldn't have a more inspiring coach or a more wonderful group of women to share it with.

Plus, I get to wear the shoes...

Whenever I want!

Rhi's 26th

My baby turned 26 yesterday and it just happened that they were doing some repairs at work and I had the day off. Yesterday was absolutely the most perfect of days. Rhi decided she wanted to go for a drive for her birthday so we hit the road about ten o'clock and went where the wil-o-the wisp took us. The weather was wonderful with just a bit of a cool breeze. Just cool enough that Rhi could wear her Led Zepplin jacket. With the feathers in her hair and her jacket and sunglasses on she looked amazing yesterday. Not just her mother talking I'm telling ya.

We hadn't planned on doing any hiking but we came across a trail head that we'd never been on and had to stop for a few minutes. There were only a few people there so we had most of the trail to ourselves. We sat by the creek and listened to the laughing brook for a bit. Rhi said it sounded like it was chuckling.

I was ahead of Rhi on the trail and a snake slithered off in front of me. Of course I squeeled like a girl. What is this affinity I have for snakes, why do they always find me. Rhi was laughing her head off behind me.

Peaceful surroundings for a girl's birthday.

We could have stayed longer but the road was calling. So we left the trail and took off around the next bend. Finally figured out what that thump, thump, noise we'd been hearing was. It was cars going over the one lane bridge ahead.

An afternoon stop at Hood's truck stop, where we found a jar of the good beef jerkey that you pull out with the tongs for .99 cents, and we were refreshed and ready to continue our outing. Many turns later we found ourselves in Halltown where we discovered the Whitehall Antique Emporium. That may not be the actual name. I know it was Whitehall something or other. Rhi elected to leave the Led Zepplin jacket in the car.

This place is a treasure trove, complete with a creepy feeling attic stuffed with goodies. Milk cans, wooden boxes of various shapes and sizes. We're both itching to go back when we have more money. I found a yellow stoneware bowl for .50 and Rhi found some peacock feather earrings that were a must have.

A few more miles and we were ready to turn back and head for home where we had dinner plans with Grandma. We ran into a bit of school traffic in Republic but that forced us to make another stop. This time we ended up at Cato's where many outfits were tried on. We found a couple of really cute plaid shirts for Rhi. Score!

Our evening ended with a good dinner at Red Lobster for our traditional birthday outing. Of course we all stuffed ourselves silly and had a marvelous time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Struck by the Craft Bug

I had a bit of a crafting attack last week, or was it the week before? I saw some pretty wreaths online and T. was telling me about someone who used pipe wrapping from Lowe's for a wreath form. That stuff was only .97 cents for enough to do two medium size wreaths. I had to try it out! So I gathered some leaves from the front yard at work and here's what I came up with.

This is the completed wreath right after I hung it on my office door. The color has faded on it since I first put it together, but now it has more browns and more of an organic feel which I like.

I also added a leaf flower for a little extra oomph.

We have a three day weekend while they're working on some repair issues at work (woohoo!) and I decided to bring home the little plants that I've been collecting in my office so I could re-pot them. I'd been thinking about all the lovely little hanging gardens I've seen on the web lately so using the stuff I had on hand...

I started off with three plants and I used some empty pots I had on the porch. I decided to put some broken clay pieces for drainage so I had to bust up an old clay pot. I set it in the birdbath and smashed it with a rock. That was fun! I think I've found the perfect use for the bird bath in the winter. I had a little bit of potting soil on the back porch so I got them into their new pots in short order.

The pots I had were different colors, and faded, so I decided to tie them all together with some blue paint I had out in the tent. I didn't want to lose all the character of the pots so I just added stripes to everything so some of it could show through. I had lots of help with this part.

I also had a new package of picture hanging wire that I didn't remember I had. Bonus! So I cut six pieces of wire and nested them around the pots. I also hot glued the wire to the bottom of the pots to hold them in place. Then I put a bead on the wires to pull it together and tied a knot and made a wire loop. That seemed a little loose so I had some decorative cord left over from the wreath that I tied around the pots. I didn't have enough for all three so I used pipe cleaners on one of them and draped a little of the cord on that. You can't tell unless you're up close, so not too noticeable.

I was thinking about how to hang them and I've seem some interesting things with sticks on the web - and man do I have sticks. I went out in the dark to get the stick and kind of found one by the feel. Cleo ran out the door when I was coming back in and I couldn't catch the rotten little monster. I had to go back in and grab my flashlight to search for her. I couldn't find her so I went out front to work on my stick. I had decided to whittle on it. I tried that with R's pocket knife awhile back and it took forever. This time I used a box cutter and man did that go quick. Two things... 1. cut away from the body and 2. don't sit the stick on your leg while you're taking off the bark. Just common sense. I had help with this as well.

Mama kitty just needs someone to love her.

I grabbed some steel wool and smoothed the stick down. I know I've got some sandpaper somewhere, but anyway that seemed to work pretty well. I ended up with a nice smooth stick. I went out back while I did that step and hollered for the cat again but couldn't find her. It was good but I decided to rub it down with gold paint. I took a paper towel and dipped it in the acrylic paint and rubbed it all over the stick. Gave it a little bit of luster.

Petey was keeping an eye on my craft drawer for me.

Then I wrapped my last piece of wire on either end of the stick and tied the pots on with pipe cleaners. I don't know how long it will stay up but I'm pleased with the results.

A new camera is definitely on my Christmas wish list. It really is prettier in person.

and why is this picture blue?

I went to put up my craft supplies and lo and behold...

Petey's mini-me, Cleo is back. Did I mention that I was trying to put my supplies away? The little rat must have snuck back in when I went out to polish my stick.

By the way, what's wrong with these two pictures...


Keep your fingers crossed for me that I don't hear any big crashes in the night.