I mainly used them for crafts. They made baskets prettier, wreaths more interesting, and when painted to look like funny little santas they were just adorable.
Back when I had time for crafts (HA!), we never had any pine trees near our home. I had be resourceful and rely on other means to get them. Sometimes I would get them from a friend's father who frequently traveled through the Pine Barrens. When that supply got low, I am ashamed to admit that I even bought a few bags from the craft store. The horrors!
Fast forward to our new home in Georgia. When we first came to look at the house, I was greeted by the scent of pine as I stepped out of the car. Just imagine it...lots of lovely pine trees, and they were gently swaying in the breeze on that warm, spring day. It was wonderful! I saw a few pine cones scattered around on the ground and my mind went wild with ideas of creativity. They were mine, all mine!
What a fool I was. Besides dropping those little nuggets of craftiness, pine trees also drop pine needles.
Especially on the driveway. Which happens to be very long.
I would measure it, but it's a pretty long walk. ;)
Here's what the past weekend looked like...
Before you ask, yes, the wheelbarrow is filled to the top with pine cones.
And those piles! Lots of pine needles, and way too much raking and sweeping. I knew all those years of mucking out stalls at the barn would come in handy, but at least I got to hop up on a horse as a reward afterwards!
I think I will be looking into one of those re-chargeable blowers to get rid of all that debris. Just think-it will leave me more time to craft with all those wonderful pine cones.
I will begin by saying that the little Miss has become quite the Broadway aficionado. Mark and I are pretty excited about it, although I've had to start some creative budgeting to afford this new habit!
I'm sure that her love of the stage was born by seeing some pretty fantastic shows at WDW. Although we enjoy everything that Disney World has to offer, their musical shows are just unbelievable. "Finding Nemo" and "Festival of the Lion King" are our favorites, and we are constantly blown away by the incredible talent performing on those stages. Let me tell you, if you haven't stopped to enjoy these shows, please take the time to do so. You won't regret it!
Enough about WDW, and back to our "Wicked" evening!
After taking Renee to see "Annie" and "Cats" at the Fox Theatre here in Atlanta, we knew that she was hooked. Hey-any kid who really 'gets' the whole Jellicle Cat thing just has to be a musical theatre fan!
When our good friends Nick and Danny invited us to join them in seeing "Wicked" down in Ft. Lauderdale, we jumped at the chance. It would mean a road trip down to Florida, but we're always up for that!
Until we walked into the theatre, we weren't sure where our seats were going to be. Nick's lovely friend, Darlene, had arranged to get the tickets for us, and their location would be a surprise for her, too. There is nothing like a surprise, right? It can be so exciting!
SECOND ROW! Second row from the stage! It sounds ridiculous, but I actually started to cry because I was so happy. I am such an emotional sap-LOL! Renee was just in shock-our seats to "Annie" and "Cats" were nothing like these!
The show was just amazing. That's the best way I can think to describe it.
I am so happy that Nick discouraged me from reading the synopsis before we attended. It's nice to really 'know' the show before you see it, but this time was different. We were totally blown away by the ending. I really don't think we would have experienced it in the way we did if we had known the ending ahead of time. I proud to say (because I really should embrace my emotions!) that I found myself extremely choked up.
Please don't judge. I'm a sap. ;)
By the way...we will never look at the "Wizard of Oz" the same way again!
As we gathered our things, Darlene surprised us again with the news of a backstage tour. If you could have only seen Renee's jaw dropping to the ground. She was struck speechless!
If you know Renee, you know that doesn't happen very often. ;)
We loved the tour. The opportunity to see behind the scenes was unbelievable. And for our little theatre buff and natural ham, having the chance to stand on the stage and look out at the 'house' was the thrill of a lifetime for her.
That was until this happened.
That is THE crown on her little head...Glinda's crown! And standing right next to her is Katie Rose Clarke, Miss Glinda herself!
On a side note, when we showed our friend Luerne this photo, she screamed, "Shut up! No, shut up! THE crown? Do you know how many people would LOVE to put THE crown on their head? Shut up!"
LOL! Thanks, Luerne. We still laugh about your response each and every day.
Because cameras weren't allowed during the show, I did a little searching online so that you could see the crown right on Glinda's head. Yes, I know, maybe I'm going a little overkill. I can't help it...there were lots of memories being made that night!
Yup...me thinks the little Miss is a very lucky girl, indeed.
Could the night get any better?
You know Renee and you've met Katie, but let me introduce Carmen Cusack. Carmen was a phenomenal Elphaba. Together, these two women (along with a wonderful cast) kept us laughing and crying for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Incredible.
I found a photo of them together on stage.
Sadly, I never managed to get any photos of our knowledgeable and patient tour guide. I would really like you to meet him too, because he helped to make our evening so special. While searching for photos of Katie and Carmen, I found this photo of him.
Meet Fiyero...I mean Cliffton Hall. Don't be frightened by his gun. He's a super nice guy, and a great tour guide!
Oh, and a sensational Fiyero. He was so debonair...
Psst...don't tell Mark because he is so not ready for the 'boy-thing', but Renee thought Cliffton was also handsome! She adores ZacEfron in the roll of Link Larkin in "Hairspray", but I think 'Zac-y Poo' might have some competition now-LOL!
Thanks to some incredibly giving and gracious people, it was a very special night spent with good friends-old and new.
I guess when you think about it that way, it really wasn't very wicked at all.
After you pick up the part that you need for your ailing weed eater, you have to get out of the store somehow, right? Your journey takes you up the escalator, through the jewelry department, with an unexpected pause to giggle at the jelly shoes that have been popping up everywhere!
Just as you thought you were free from its clutches, Sears puts just onemorething right near the exit. Thisonemorething would be very colorful and very glittery. They do this on purpose...they want you to stop.
But did they plan on a watching a spontaneous fashion show via their security monitors?
First up was this lovely number. The rhinestones gave it some extra glitz, but I don't think the little Miss was digging it.
Next, you'll see our model sporting a gorgeous, purple, froo-froo kind of look. There's a smile peeking out there, so I think she felt a little bit glamorous.
Wow. I'm really not to sure what I should say about this one. Do I really need to say anything?
Last, but not least, was the hat that caught her eye. The photo doesn't do it justice, but we were blinded by its sparkle. Our eyes were burnin'! If you could have only been there to hear the story that was told while wearing this beauty. The expression on her face tells it all...
Now if we only had somewhere to go to wear them all...
So I have been neglecting my blog lately. Let's just say a certain little someone has kept me quite busy.
How about if we get it rolling again with another flashback?
Although more than four years have passed since this photo was taken, a rainy afternoon could inspire some of the same creativity today. Back then, an afternoon with a box of wigs, a container of plastic jewels, and Grammy's glasses could create some really great looks.
Today, however, there could possibly be some make-up (and maybe a bit of mess) involved. Oh, for the olden days...
These are actually the cardinal babies from last Spring. The proud Mama and Papa built their nest in one of the shrubs that flank our front porch, and we learned so much watching them change day by day.
Then one afternoon, I was sitting by the window having lunch and I heard terrible chattering. Lo and behold, the terrible tomcat who roams through our yard (and who Renee calls the 'Mean and Ugly One') had found the nest. Mama and Papa were ticked off and letting him know about it!
Luckily, the babies were big enough at that point to make it away from the nest. Unbeknownst to us, they had started their flying lessons already. Thank goodness!
This spring we found a new nest, and inside are the most beautiful eggs you've ever seen.
Being very clever, Mom and Dad built it on the other side of the porch. I guess they figured it was time for an upgrade.
Oh, and they took that quite literally, as the nest was built much higher in the shrub. Good for the birds, bad for me. It really messed with my springtime pruning plans-LOL!
All that extra greenery also makes it hard to get a good photograph of the nest. Sometime soon, I'll see if I can manage one without disturbing them too much.
Since this blog is all about making memories, I thought that it would be fun to go back in time once a week. Stay tuned...you never know what may show up!
This is one of the first photos that I took with my newly purchased digital camera. I had resisted the pull to buy into the whole 'digital camera craze' for a very long time. After an afternoon of shooting photos, I wondered why I hadn't bought it sooner!
Our little Cheshire Cat in the spring of 2004. She was 4 years old, and very much in possession of all of her teeth!
Meet our little Ohana...Mare, Mark, and Renee. We spend our days attempting to cherish and treasure every single one of life's moments while living, loving, learning, and laughing together. Sometimes, when life allows us, we even visit our favorite place on earth-Walt Disney World.
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."~Dr. Seuss
I’ve seen how disruptive it can be for parents to have specific dreams for their children. My job is to help my kids foster a joy for life and develop the tools to fulfill their own wishes. My wishes for them are very exact and, given that I won’t be there, I want to be clear: Kids, don’t try to figure out what I wanted you to become. I want you to become what you want to become. And I want you to feel as if I am there with you, whatever path you choose. ~Randy Pausch
Real, natural learning is in the living. It's in the observing, the questioning, the examining, the pondering, the analyzing, the watching, the reading, the DO-ing, the living, the breathing, the loving, the JOY. It's in the joy. ~Anne Ohman
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss