Monday, September 26, 2011

happy fall, ya'll!

It's here!  My absolute favorite time of the year!  If allergies would permit me I would just pitch a tent and live outside in the lovely cool weather.  Of course, by cool I mean, high 70s to low 80s.  After weeks of enduring ridiculous amounts of humidity and 100 degree weather, even the 90s are a breath of fresh air.  It's amazing how much the weather can affect the mood.  I usually become something of a hermit throughout the summer months.  I detest hot weather, so I lose all motivation to do anything that involves going outside, even if it's just to get in the car, because it means that I'm going to get hot and sticky and extremely uncomfortable.  Yes, I know it's pathetic, but it's true.  Summer and I have a difficult relationship. 

And then, there's fall, or autumn, whichever you prefer to call it.  After a miserable, swealtering summer, fall breezes in, clears away some of the humidity, and refreshes the spirit.  Colors change into beautiful red and yellow hues.  Candles scented with holiday spices are placed on store shelves.  We suddenly remember things like apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes.  (Oh that sounds good!)  Fashion changes as we start layering on the clothes, shaking the dust from our sweaters, and pulling on those thick stockings.  We start decorating the house to give it a more festive and homie (or is it homy?) atmosphere.  At my house, we're already making Christmas lists.  I spent most of this morning browsing through store coupons trying to find the best deals on fabric, floral stems, etc.  We get excited about the holidays!


Anyway.  This weekend we were working in Chattanooga.  (For those of you who are wondering, yes, it is the Chattanooga from the song "Chattanooga Choo Choo", and yes, there is such a thing as the Chattanooga Choo Choo.)  It really was a great weekend.  Our cousin Heather came out and helped us on Saturday.  We really had a lot of fun with her.  She laughs at absolutely everything!  At one point we were all having a little competition to see who could get her to laugh the loudest.  It was a lot of fun. 

The past several years that we have worked this particular event there has either been a threat of rain, or it actually rained.  Being in a tent, makes rain, well, not fun.  Also, the crowd was reduced because people were afraid of being caught in it.  But this year, the weather was perfect.  (Of course it was!  It's fall!)  The people were coming in by the bus loads.  On Saturday, Sarah and I left the tent to go scout out some lunch and we were slightly terrified by the mob of people!  You couldn't even see the vendor's tents for the people.  Oh, and don't even think about walking against the crowd unless you want some kind of bodily harm to come to you!  It was craziness!  People think that all southerners are polite and friendly.  Not these people!  They all had the matador look that said, "I will plow you down if you get in my way."  I guess they were all hungry.

As a whole, the weekend was a success.  We had the trailer loaded by 8:30 and I was actually in bed at a decent hour!  Happiness!  Now I just have to finish chiseling all of the grease off my glasses...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

farewell, dear friend...

This is a very sad day for me.  Words cannot express the emotion welling up in my heart at this moment.  After a very brief relationship, 9 months to be exact, a very dear friend of mine is slipping away.  This friend has been with me or another member of my family every day since Christmas of last year.  Needless to say, we will be lost without this friend in our lives.

Who is this friend you ask?  I will tell you, even though it is very difficult for me.  This my very special...shiny red camera.  There! I said it.  My precious camera is dying and I don't know what to do.  All the pictures come out pink and orange and fuzzy.  I managed to fix it a couple of times (I have no idea what I did, but it worked!), but now I think it's going to stay pink and fuzzy.  I've pushed all the buttons I know to push and nothing changes.

What makes the situation even worse is that it's the only camera my family has.  Have you ever experienced what it is like to be utterly cameraless????  It's a horrible empty, helpless feeling.  You reach into your bag during a perfect Kodak moment and your hand finds, not a camera case, but something else that has taken its place.  It's rather difficult to capture a moment with a manicure kit.

So, for now I have no means of taking pictures to upload.  I'm trying to talk the family into pooling our money to buy a really nice camera.  We all love photography, so I don't think it will be too difficult.  But, we shall see.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

time flies...

Three months.  Yes, it has been three months.  I would love to offer an excuse, but really, I've just been lazy.  That and the fact that I managed to forget that I even had a blog.  Oops!  Anyway, I'm back now.  I'm not promising that I'll post regularly (although, I like to imagine that I shall), but I am back.

It would be impossible for me to fill in a three month blank, so I'll abbreviate:
-  As of July, I have officially emerged from "teenagehood".  I made it!  It was a long, tumultuous, and hormonal journey, but I am a survivor. 
-  My days as a nanny came to an end at the beginning of August.  I am grateful for the experience.  It certainly gave me the opportunity to learn some things about myself, some of which I would have liked to have done without!  But, as I said, I'm grateful for the opportunity.  However, I don't think I'll be doing it again.  You really miss out on a lot when you're on the other side of the county 10 hours a day.
-  Piano lessons are now in session.  It's nice to be back on my normal schedule again.
-  With my nanny job, I wasn't able to get to the art studio all summer.  However, I was able to complete one painting at home:

Would you believe that the hardest part was the mane?  I couldn't believe it!  I thought that would be the easy part!  I'm still not completely happy with it.  The hairs aren't as crisp as I would like them to be, but I was able to capture the general effect.  If you don't stand to close it doesn't look quite as fuzzy.
I also recently finished the one that I started in the shop back in the spring:

This one was a bit of a beast.  Of course, I only worked on it for a couple of hours at a time, one day a week.  So, everytime I came back to it I would always find something that needed to be fixed.  I finally had to just throw the brushes down and decide once and for all that I was done.  Now that it's been sprayed down with a finishing coat and there's nothing more I can do, I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  I started another one in the shop last week.  I'm looking forward to posting pictures of it!
-  I have been officially introduced to Contra Dancing.  I love it!!!!  It's so easy and loads of fun!  It's even more fun when you get a partner who actually knows what he's doing!  I'm hoping to get some pictures next time.
-  Fair season is under way.  We spent a very long weekend here in Cleveland at the Foothills Fair.  It was the busiest event we've ever had.  This of course is good for business, but very bad for stamina.  Sunday, I think we were all working on auto pilot.  When we finally got home, I was so tired that I just collapsed on the couch.  Dragging myself up the stairs and getting ready for bed was out of the question.  I think we are finally starting to catch up on sleep and the aches and pains are beginning to lessen.  By the time we are fully recovered, it'll be time to get at it again.  This past weekend was the first of a 6 week run.  One down, 5 to go!  Here's a couple of pictures that Sarah took when she had a few minutes free:

 My big brother, Jimmy.
 Me taking a break from the chaos. :)
Every day we managed to miscalculate how many boxes of potatoes we would need.  This was after one of Mom's mad dashes to the store.  Thankfully, Grammy and Uncle Gene dropped by just in time to help us wash approximately 150 potatoes!
-  A lady from our church had a small booth set up across from us.  She was selling crocheted hats.  At one point she brought over a huge bag full of yarn that she didn't want and just gave it to me.  I love it when people do that!  There were all kinds of cute yarns in there.

 So far, the only things I've managed to create with them are a couple of dishcloths, but I'm trying to find some cute crochet patterns.

Anyway, these are just the highlights of what's been going on around here while I've been away from the blogging world.  Stay tuned!