Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taking an art class AND creating a piece of art to hang in my house

On Tuesday, I went to Uptown Art Uncorked with a few friends so I could accomplish two of my 50 goals: take an art class and create a piece of art to hang in my house.  I was originally supposed to be going with Erin who has a slight obsession with owls, so we chose the night where the painting was "Sunset Owl."  Erin ended up bailing on us (something about taking care of her kid or some similar nonsense), but we stuck with the sunset owl anyway.  I'm not really going to describe my painting step-by-step because that sounds really boring, but you can check out the pictures below to see the progression from plain white canvas to sunset owl.  You may notice that one of my members of our party didn't exactly follow the same directions as the rest of us.
All the necessary supplies for painting (well, except for paint)

I texted this to James and told him I was finished.  He guessed it was a blue buffalo and told me it was great.  I have such a supportive husband!
The cool kids from SES

The less cool kids from KES

The sky

All of our clouds

My clouds

Laura P. dries her canvas after phase 1

Branch and sun

This definitely looks like floating glasses.  Eventually, these turned into his eyes

Starting to look like sunset owls

Proof that I really did paint this

Christina kind of took her painting in a different directions

My finished piece!

All of the owls (assuming Christina's is still an owl)

Laura A. shows off her chubby owl

All done!
My painting was hung up within 15 minutes of me getting home....I think it looks great!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Project 365

Day 36: With my new best friend Petey

Day 37: Allyson helps with the weed problem at her house

Day 38: Delicious desserts from Jamie's shower

Day 39: Happy anniversary to me and my wonderful husband

Day 40: I'm an artist!

Day 41: Who knew kids still played marbles these days?

Day 42: One of my sweet third graders brought me a flower to add to my bouquet

Day 43: My weekend visitors


Last Friday, the UGA Bloc and Bridle Club hosted the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo here in Athens.  I've never been to a rodeo before, and I really had absolutely no idea what to expect.

First, Erin and Ashley came over to my house for dinner.  We had plans to go out to dinner Tuesday before we went painting, so I was trying to save us money by just eating dinner at home. Both those lame-os cancelled on dinner and painting, so they got stuck with my cooking anyway.  From there, we headed over to the UGA livestock arenas over off Milledge.  As soon as we got in, we of course bought matching t-shirts.
We're cool and we know it
We ended up meeting up with Laura P. and her husband, Gretchen (whose husband was participating in the rodeo), and Lauren Carter and her family..
SES was totally reppin' at the rodeo
The events started with some horse stuff, like roping and barrel racing.  Gretchen said that she never participates in this rodeo because the ground is terrible for barrel racing (her event) and that the night before 6 horses had slipped.  No horses slipped on Friday night, but Gretchen said we need to go to a "real rodeo" some other time because the barrel racing at this one was way slow.

I can' t say Erin and I really enjoyed the roping events.  It was slightly sad to watch the little cow get tied up, picked up, slammed to the ground, and hog-tied (I guess he was cow-tied).  We started cheering for the cows and keeping a tally of how many of the cows made it out the other side.
One of the other events was team roping, where two guys go out together to try to rope the cow.  This is the event that Gretchen's husband, Casey Hilley, does.  He and his partner were the only team on Friday night to successfully rope their cow.  Go Casey!

The last event was the bull riding.  I'm going to be honest, this is the only event I knew about prior to actually going to the rodeo.  That stuff is crazy!  A couple of the guys made it the whole 8 seconds, which is pretty cool to watch.  Definitely not a sport I care to participate in!

After the rodeo, we stuck around to wait for traffic to clear and to hang out with Gretchen while she waited for Casey.  We got to sneak behind the scenes (thanks to our celebrity connection) and go see Petey, the miniature horse.  He was adorable and Erin tried to horse-nap him to take home to her son.

The rodeo turned out to be a lot of fun.  I'm actually looking forward to going to another one!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Project 365... Lots of days!

Day 28: Milo seems confused about what going for a walk means

Day 29: Even Mac sleeps on the bed when we stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house

Day 30: A picnic and stroll with my parents (and four dogs)

Day 31: My new bed for the guest bedroom

Day 32: Father/daughter hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail

Day 33: I finally gave in to the gray and yellow trend
Day 34: My three best friends right now

Day 35: Hanging out with Tamara and Anderson at the jumpy-jump place

I hiked the Appalachian Trail!

My dad and I set out for our Appalachian Trail adventure Monday morning.  After a stop at Dunkin Donuts (of course), the Post Office (to send some goodies to my husband), and Wal-Mart (for the ever important Almond Joy), we wound our way past Dahlonega to the start of our hike. 

Before we started
Notice the sun is still shining at this point
We started at Neel's Gap around 11 and planned a two-ish mile hike up to Blood Mountain, the highest point of the AT in Georgia.  The climb there was completely uphill, with a combination of trail switchbacks, gentle (and not so gentle) inclines, and stone steps.
See that incline??

The white mark to prove we're still on the AT

An action shot up the stone steps
My dad is a good sport, so we stopped for lots of photo opportunities along the way.

Almost to the top of Blood Mountain
When my dad first checked the forecast, Monday was supposed to be sunny with a 0% chance of rain.  By Monday morning, the forecast called for afternoon showers.  By the time we were on the trail, the forecast became "Gray skies with off-and-on rain all morning."  We got showered on a little bit, but fortunately it was while we were still warm.
It had stopped raining at this point, but there were still heavy gray clouds above
We reached Blood Mountain in about an hour and a half.  It gets surprisingly chilly and windy as you close to the top, and I was glad my dad had insisted I bring a long-sleeve shirt.  Fortunately, the CCC built a hiker's shelter back in the 1930's at the peak, so we were able to warm up a little bit.  We stopped there for a picnic lunch (expertly packed by my dad!).  There were a few other hikers up there, but they seemed to be thru-hikers just stopping for a rest, not day-hikers like us.
The stone shelter

Our delicious picnic lunch
After a quick stop by the bear-proof privy, we were ready for our climb back down.  The whole time up, I was looking forward to some downhill hiking. However, my thoughts on that quickly changed when I realized the ENTIRE hike back down was at a downward slope, and our knees were none too happy about that.  We took several "knee breaks" on our way back down to prevent serious injury.  I definitely got my knees from my dad!

We made it back down and stopped at the Walasi-Yi Interpretive Center, which is a hostel and outfitter. Hikers frequently will purchase new hiking boots at the Center and leave their old boots hanging from the tree out front.  It was a pretty neat sight to see!

We did NOT add our shoes to the collection
  Overall, we had a great hike.  Our total distance was around 4.5 miles there and back with about an 1800 foot elevation change from Neel's Gap to Blood Mountain.  We were both exhausted when we finished (turns out we're not in great hiking shape!), but I'm looking forward to hopefully doing another hike with my dad sometime or checking some more of the AT.