Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Annual Weekend with my Friends

If you remember, I was ready to go two weeks ago only to learn it was the wrong weekend. Oops.

We went to Ruidoso, New Mexico this year. It was wonderful. Cool, even chilly at times, little to no humidity, and did I say cool? I am ready to move there. I left here Wednesday morning, picked up a friend about an hour away and we drove another five hours to our hometown where we both spent the night with our respective parents. The next morning, I picked up both her and another friend who lives there, and we hit the road for New Mexico. We met another friend about two hours away, shifted around so there were two of us in each car, and continued on our way.

We wanted to eat lunch in Portales so we plugged a BBQ place into the GPS. It finally said we were arriving at our destination, and we saw a lot of cars in a parking lot so turned at the corner, only to find out that it was a hardware store. We looked around and didn't see anything, so we pulled up in front of a dilapidated old house so we could study the map. Our friends pulled up beside us and I rolled down the window to tell them what we were doing, but they didn't look over at me. We could see them gathering up their purses and the friend with me wondered if they thought we would really take them to eat at a dilapidated old house. I suggested we just wait and see where they went, and they got out of their car and stood there looking at the old house. We started laughing so hard that tears were rolling down my face, and finally they looked at us. By then, both of us were laughing so much that neither of us could speak. That was just the beginning of a long weekend of laughing and crying. Like when we were talking about names of students (several of us are/were teachers) that we'd rather not have to say, and one friend said "Dick" is always a touchy name. Without thinking (not that I ever do), I said that it wasn't a common name anymore and I had never had a Dick. Took awhile for those naughty girls to quit laughing, and yes, they were laughing at me!

There were six of us this year and we rented a house in the hills outside Ruidoso. When I say hills, I don't mean the gently sloping hills like we have here. These were fairly steep, rugged, and covered with trees. My GPS found the address and we drove up the sloping driveway, got out of the car, and craned our necks to look up at the house, and the steep wooden stairs going up to it. We counted. Forty-three steps and then another thirteen steps up to the bedrooms. With luggage. At an altitude of 7000 feet, we were all breathing heavily enough to make crank phone calls by the time we got to the front door.

This was our view from the house, and one of the few pictures I took. I was having so much fun I forgot to take pictures! (click to enlarge)


I thought we'd see a lot of wild animals, but other than this deer sitting outside our window, we didn't see much.



Other than the daily involuntary aerobic exercise, we enjoyed a little shopping, a lot of eating, and a day at the races. Ruidoso Downs was so much fun, although I think we were actually the only people who went there to have fun. One of my friends spent the night before studying racing forms and made her picks. She had to go home the next day and couldn't go to the races with us so she played through us. I think the others took their cues from her picks or picked the favorite listed on the program. My method was looking at the horses when they were led out and again when they were ridden to the gate. My favorites are grays, but I also like tall ones. I like the ones who look like they know what they are doing, not those ADD ones who are too busy watching what the other horses are doing. Hey, don't laugh. I picked five winners out of eight and my friend who studied for three hours picked six out of nine (we got there right before the second race so I didn't have time to look for a winner). Now if I had bet more than $2 each time, I might have won some big money, but as it was, I didn't break even. But what else can give an afternoon of fun for $5.80? One of my friends picked by the odds and didn't have a winner all afternoon. She finally decided one of her picks should have been named "Gotta Be Limping".

At first the people around us were soberly watching their tickets, groaning when they lost, and seriously discussing who they should pick in the next race. After listening to us for awhile, they began to join in the bantering, moved closer to us, and a couple of them even waited until I picked my "winner" and then they bet on it too. I guess they figured they'd have some fun even if it didn't win. When we won we all cheered, and when we lost we all renamed the loser with a more appropriate name like "Stuck in the Gate", "PMS Filly" etc.

If you haven't kept up with your high school or college buddies, I seriously suggest you get on Facebook, find them, and plan a weekend with them. It might turn into an annual weekend, or even an annual week. It is something my group of friends looks forward to every year. It is a break from the stresses of our lives and we renew our spirits as well as our friendships.

Until next time, may you have blessings and enduring friendships,
Marti

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Turf War

I want to be organic, I really do. But I also value my hide (and Hubby's), and I have reached the end of my rope. We have already spread sulphur once, but unless we douse ourselves with bug spray, we are eaten alive by chiggars, and it's getting hard to walk or sleep with those big, itchy bites in all the wrong places.

It's a balmy 88 degrees outside and I am trapped inside when I should be outside gathering tomatoes, pulling weeds, and watering. But I know they are out there. Watching. And waiting. Saliva dripping off their fangs as they hover at the edge of the deck, waiting for someone to step off into their dominion. Well it's not going to be me!

If anyone has a better solution, I'm all ears eyes. But make it quick because I have company coming tomorrow and I don't want to make them line up against the wall while I spray them down like the prisoners.

Until next time, may you have blessings and only friendly insects,
Marti

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Girls' Weekend

Every year I get to go on a weekend trip with friends I have known for years, some as far back as first grade. I have my projects done, yard mowed, garden watered, clothes washed, kitchen..., ok, forget the kitchen. My suitcase is out and I have everything laid out to put in it, and new clothes just waiting to be worn.

I'm even wearing shorts this year instead of suffering in the heat wearing jeans like I usually do. To make sure my lily white legs don't draw attention, I've used sunless tanning cream religiously the last few days so they are a healthy brorange. I am sooooo ready to get away for awhile.

I just found out I have my dates wrong, it's not this weekend. Waaaaa! Guess I'll go clean the kitchen.

Until next time, may you have blessings and an accurate calendar,
Marti

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ugly Headboard to Funky Bench Makeover


I bought this twin headboard at a garage sale for a couple of bucks several years ago with the plan of making it into a garden bench. I was going to paint it a bright blue or green. But I guess I didn't look at it carefully enough, because under the grime was a really bad paint job with runs, globs and cracks, and a road rash on each end. Since I really didn't want to spend hours sanding it, I decided to camouflage it with pattern instead.



To do it, I had to buy two 2x4's to connect the headboard and footboard. I used a jig saw to cut a curve in three boards for a comfortable seat, and four 1x3's which I cut in half to make the slats for the seat.


Then, I bought three gallons of mistinted exterior paint for $1 each, and a quart of custom mixed black exterior. I also used some off white exterior paint left over from painting our house. The only other thing I bought was some painter's tape. It was a little pricey but boy was it worth it. I'll tell more about that later. I determined the size of the Harlequin pattern by measuring the square on near the top of the posts. Just to make it interesting, I made them a little taller than they are wide.

I used tape on the straight lines and freehand on the curves (and some of the straight lines that won't show much). I just don't have a steady hand for straight lines. Then I used a tip from Manuela at The Pleasure of Homemakingfor transferring lettering and put a Bible verse across the top.




I have absolutely no patience, and didn't wait for the paint to cure well before tracing the letters and just the pressure of my hand on the paper smeared the graphite into the paint and I had to start over. So if you do this, let your painted base get completely dry before you trace your letters on it.

This is today (not quite finished, but good enough for a picture).


All together, it cost me about $55.00, and I have tape and paint left over.

It's another Metamorphosis Monday and I am linking to Between Naps on the Porch. Love to see all the neat transformations people have posted there. Thanks Susan!


I'm also linking to DIY Linky Party at Fine Craft Guild .com Thanks for the invite Rose!

Oh, one more thing. I have to rave about this new paint tape I found. Maybe you are already using this, but if you aren't, and you are the impatient type, like me, try it. It is made by Frogtape, but it's a sensitive tape for delicate surfaces and fresh paint. It really works! As soon as the paint is dry enough to touch without sticking to your finger, you can put the tape on and it won't stick! At least most of the time. The black paint I bought has so much colorant in it that it was extremely slow drying and sticking to the headboard (which I didn't sand or prime first), and the tape pulled a little of it off. Could have been something on the headboard under the paint because it was only in one area.


Anyway, I don't work for them, get paid by them (I wish), or have any connection with the company. I just love this tape.

Until next time, may you have blessings and a steady hand,
Marti

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Am Soooo Easily Amused

I admit it doesn't take much to tickle my funny bone, but these are some things I've seen recently that forced me to circle around and take another picture.


This sign is not working. Repeat. Not working.



If you crossed a cow and a pig.....



Ever heard that ol' sayin' "Big hat, no cattle"?



Got a car dealership billboard next to your house? Sell used cars in your front yard!




Even professional landscape designers sometimes forget that trees keep growing.




Until next time, may you have blessings and silly sights around you,
Marti

Monday, June 7, 2010

Storm Chasing

I guess it's not really storm chasing when the storm is between a person and their destination. I was beginning to dread going through it, when I finally reached my turnoff before coming to it. Then, I was parallel to it for awhile and took these pictures. Every time I stopped, it got ahead of me and rain started pelting the windshield, so I drove until I was ahead of it again and stopped to take more pictures. I thought it was too interesting to pass up.

These pictures were taken east of Groom, Tx.









Luckily, I turned off the highway and went the opposite direction of the storm.

Marti

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'll be Out for Awhile

Probably.

Mom is having knee surgery so I am going to stay with her and the horrible hounds for a few days until she is back on her feet.

Wish me luck and speedy recovery for her. I have been giving myself a stern talking to and I WILL be positive if it kills me. I'll take my laptop but I may not be able to hook it up to her internet service. I'm sure I'll need to vent or knock myself in the head with a hammer by Wednesday night. Hopefully it will be a short trip so it doesn't come to that. Oh yes, positive. I will be positive.

Until next time, may you have blessings and efficaciousness,
Marti

p.s. Didn't get the bench finished, hopefully will get to it again next weekend.