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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Flower Pedal

My first welding project. I've dubbed it "Flower Pedal" and it is soon to be on it's way to the art show. Hubby and I will drive down in just a bit to drop it off. I'm nervous. Will it stack up against the other artwork? Will someone like it enough to buy it? I'm determined to just go with the flow and whatever happens happens. For my first piece, it's not all bad. I learned a lot. I became really comfortable with handling the welding rod, and I overcame my fear of the sparks flying. Lots of positives came from creating this piece.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Beautiful August Sunday

I know I've written several times this summer about what a wonderful summer I've been having, and with today being the last day of no worries, sitting on the deck in the early morning sunshine, reading, picking tomatoes from my garden, and generally just doing whatever strikes my fancy, I'm still enjoying all things that are summer. The weather couldn't be more perfect--low 70's with a slight breeze. The zinnias around the deck--magenta, orange, yellow, and pink--add so much color. In fact, our entire yard is so colorful that people stopping at our yard sale the last two days commented on how pretty everything is. A friend recently told me she loves how I've surrounded my family in beauty, and as I sit here watching the goldfinches feast on the sunflowers, these little things definitely add beauty to enjoy every moment of every day.

Along with all the gardening this summer, we've done a lot of cleaning and throwing away. Too much throwing away. I started in the downstairs closet and went from there, getting rid of things we didn't use, didn't want, forgot we even had. We ended our cleaning this past week with giving our attention to the abomination that is our garage. This morning, as we hung the last bike in such a way as to allow for better, easier use of the treadmill and the weight bench, we stood back and admired our work. Angel Baby came in when we were finishing up and said, "Wow, I didn't know we had this much space in the garage." While I love all the neatness that has happened from our cleaning, I don't love seeing all the stuff we've thrown away. Such a waste. The upside is we did take a lot to Goodwill, and we were able to sell quite a bit in the yard sale, but from now on, I will think long and hard before buying anything.

Tomorrow I return to work. I've decided to take it one day at a time and try to find the pleasure in teaching that I once had. I know it's still a part of me; I just need to allow myself to feel it, cultivate it, and share it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Old Painter's Ladder

Monday evenings is put trash on the curb evenings in our city. And because I'm a fan of treasure hunting, I either walk the streets (sounds racy, doesn't it), ride my bike, or have Hubby drive me around to see what treasures await me finding them and bringing them home. This week, Hubby and I went out, going to an older neighborhood to drive the streets. Unfortunately, we came up with zip. We returned home, and I started out for what I was hoping to be a six mile walk. Less than a mile in, I spied a pile of junk on a side street, so I veered that way to inspect. As I approached, I saw what I knew was the top step of a ladder. A wooden ladder. I'd been searching for a wooden ladder for months, wanting one to put in the garden for the pole beans (which turned out to be bush beans) to climb. The ladders I found in antique stores were marked well over $100, and I wasn't about to pay that. Online, the ladders went anywhere from $50 up to $200. Me being the cheapskate that I am, was holding out. Lo and behold, my holding out paid off. There in front of me was the ladder I'd been dreaming of finding, underneath two lamps with tattered gold lampshades. I pulled the ladder out, my excitement growing with each detail I noticed--metal rods underneath each step, the wooden center handle, and some original bolts still holding the steps in place. A few bolts had been replaced, but the replacements had aged and suited the ladder. The paint splatter all over the ladder made me smile, and I wondered who had used it, what rooms had been painted with this ladder's help. My amusement over the ladder was short-lived, however, when I realized I was too far from home to carry the ladder back, and I didn't have my phone on me to call Hubby. And other trash pickers were out, searching for the very same treasures I was; I'd seen them pass by when I'd started my walk. My only option was to bury the ladder beneath as much trash as I could, walk home, and return with Hubby. So that's what I did. I took the two lamps and some other trash and covered the ladder, being sure to hide the top step which had caught my attention in the first place. Then I raced home, all the while fearing the other trash pickers would realize my attempt to hide this beautiful find and take it before I returned. When I ran into the living room and told Hubby we had to go, come on, quick before the treasure is taken, he laughed and followed me out to the truck. Thankfully, he understood the magnitude of the situation and punched the gas pedal, getting us moving quickly down our quiet street. We arrived back at the scene of the treasure ladder to find it still tucked nicely under the lamps and other household trash. I carefully removed the lamps and lifted the ladder, placing it in the back of the truck.

The ladder now graces a spot in my garden where next summer the pole beans will wind their way all over the lovely, paint-splattered steps.

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Slow Life Movement

For the last month I've been asking Mother Nature to grace us with a beautiful day for our garden harvest party evening. That day came yesterday, and we couldn't have had a more lovely evening to sit outside and visit with friends. I was so thankful for the sunshine and even more thankful for the cool temps. Though I was happy Mother Nature spread her arms wide and did her magic, I was somewhat sad that so many of my friends and family didn't join us. And as we sat there, eating and talking, I listened to several say, "I can't stay long. I have to do _____________." Unfortunately, the ripple effect took place and as soon as one person left, others followed suit. It was almost a fast-food event.

What happened to slowing down, truly slowing down and enjoying just being? Why is there a need to overlap activities, making it impossible to relax and give one's full attention to just the one event?

I did enjoy all the work leading up to the garden harvest party--the painted chairs and the table we made from the pallets, the jams and relish, and the gardens themselves. Having the garden harvest party allowed me to be creative and productive. And seeing someone walking past the house look over, see all the color, and smile as they continue on their way makes me smile.

Now, with the garden harvest party over and having to return to work just a week away, I'm going to slow down even more to soak up the last remnants of what has been one of the best summers I've ever had.