Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Around here ...

In my quest to become an artist, I jump at any chance to use a paint brush. My darling husband carved this block of wood to resemble a snow man (including his hat!) and I spent a few evenings painting him. I've got these cheap acrylic paints I picked up from Pearl last year, before they closed, so, I gave them a try. It took four coats of the white to get the smooth white effect of snow, and it took 5 coats of black to get the hat to look like I wanted. His nose was also created by dh and painted orange by me. The little green scarf was a quick crochet!

In my job, I follow a script to talk to fourth and fifth grade students about living in the Everglades and about water management. There's not much room for changes, but this year has been challenging. I haven't figured out (yet) how our program meets the new "Common Core Standards," but I'm working on it. My motto? As long as the teachers are happy, I'm happy!

Still working with my darling daughter, the entrepreneur, and creating some fun things for use on social media. A lot of folks in my generation pooh-pooh social media, but, I think it's here to stay. As a user, I think it's a lot of fun and a great way to stay in touch with family and friends.

Many of the elementary schools I visit have butterfly gardens. The past ten years has seen a  huge, countywide movement to restore habitats for Florida's wildlife. Recently, I discovered a caterpillar that looks like a pile of bird poop on a tree branch. It's a swallowtail  caterpillar and, had it not been pointed out to me, I would never have seen it, much less recognized it! Once again, Mother Nature has an amazing way to keep the planet going!

Only 7 shopping days left until Christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Catching up ...

There's something about that phrase, "Catching up ..." that I find very appealing. How do you do it? Do you ever achieve your goal? Whatever time you take to "catch up" is time you cannot spend doing something else, so aren't you, then, always behind? After all, you cannot spend a minute (or a dollar) twice. Would the linguists call this a conundrum? gives three definitions for the phrase when used as a noun:
1.  an effort to reach or pass a norm, especially after a period of delay.
2.  an effort to catch up with or surpass a competitor, as in a sports contest.
3.  an instance of catching up.

I'm thinking number one fits my thinking best. There has been a great period of delay in keeping up with my blog here, so I feel like I need to "catch up." But, do I really? Can I just tell you what I've been doing that I didn't have time to write?

Okay, then. I went to the Integrity Toys Convention in Orlando at the beginning of November.

I had an absolutely wonderful time! Three glorious days and nights hanging out with 499 other doll people. A doll collector can't ask for more than that! I was lucky that some of my best doll friends were there to share the experience and we made lots of wonderful memories. We also bought and received gifts of dolls, dolls, dolls! It was simply heaven!

I had a terrific time when I got home, too! So many dolls to debox, including these here! I am particularly thrilled with the Poppy Parker dolls offered at the convention. The table centerpiece doll was a gift for the table hosts (like me!). The gift doll is adorable. And, I bought the two convention dolls. (I almost didn't buy "Wild Thing," then had a change of heart. Now, I am super glad I got her!)

When I returned, I spent a lot of time doing stuff around the house. My darling husband has a new hobby (you can read a little about it here), so I've been trying to maintain our humble abode while he's doing his thing. Lord knows he's picked up the slack for me often enough; it's such a little thing to try to help him find more time for this new passion of his. He's really good at it, too!

Work. Oh. My. Yes. I have often written the drafts for my blog late in the day at the office, then finished them at home in the evening before publishing. But, November was a very busy month for me, so there wasn't much time for writing! I was visiting fourth and fifth grade students almost every day, talking about the Everglades and trying to inspire the next generation to conserve and preserve our fragile environment. However, it didn't leave me much time for anything else, so I was running to keep up until Thanksgiving.

Here it is, December 5, and I haven't put the Thanksgiving decorations away yet, much less, put up a Christmas tree. I think I'll be catching up on that this weekend.

So, back to "catching up" ... I don't think you can. I think you have to live in the moment and enjoy what you have when you have it. We hear about folks losing everything to fire and flood and other catastrophic acts of Mother Nature, and any one of us could be the next in line. I say screw catching up. I'm here now, and, that's all that really counts.

It's 20 days until Christmas and there's lots to do.

I better get busy.

Now that I'm caught up ...

hahahaahaa hahahaa haa!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hubby has a new hobby!

 My darling husband loves woodworking. He built our kitchen cabinets, the island in the office with cubbies for paper and books and such, and a shed for our generator, just in case we're hit by a hurricane and have no power. Recently, he found something new to do with wood and it's been a delight to watch the artist in him unfold, like a butterfly from a chrysalis. It began with blocks of wood and YouTube videos.

He bought some serious looking tools. I never saw tools like these and I had no idea what he could do with them!
This is the first wine stopper dh made. The wood block in the pic is how it looked like before he turned it! Very impressive if you ask me! Now, when I get home from work, he's usually in his shop, turning wood. And, the weekends? Right after he drinks his morning cup of joe, he disappears to his shop. I finally went out there with my camera to find out what the attraction was. And, he was happy to show me! :)

There is something hypnotic about the wood turning on the lathe and watching the shavings peel away as he guides the tool. I think I understand why he's addicted to it. It's like crocheting ... there's a rhythm to it and it pulls you in and you just want to keep doing it.

He made  a candlestick which I like very much. It sits by the front door now, ready to hold a Christmas candle! And, I've put in a request for a pepper mill. He's been watching the YouTube videos about turning bowls, and I'm excited that he would attempt something so ambitious. Please stay tuned for more projects!

When my darling husband is in his shop turning wood, Miss Minka Kitty keeps me company. She oversees life around the house from her perch by the fireplace. Unless I go into the Barbie room. Then she wants to hang out with the dolls!

What a life, huh?