Tuesday, March 07, 2017

When the bough breaks

I love trees. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve trees. My grandmother had giant one with a swing that I was on every Sunday that weather allowed. I'm always a little sad when a big old tree has to come down. Today, two such trees fell.
My church meets in one of those small southern town churches that has been there forever. To be exact, 182 years (the building, not the specific congregation). It is right in the middle of downtown on Church Street. At the center of the church campus is a very old chapel. That chapel is flanked by two very large oak trees. I don't think it was anyone's first choice that these trees should come down today, but they were dying. 


I went up to watch them come down, and see if maybe I could save a little of the wood for my dad. I have never seen sick trees come down before. When the top most part came off it was so rotten that it turned into this as it hit the ground.


There were holes and cracks.


Then, at the heart of one of the trees, was this beautiful color. 


It amazing how something so dead on the outside can have such beauty inside. The tree company was very accommodating. They cut just the right sized pieces out of the sections I wanted to try to save. They are now in my garage, in black bags, protected and waiting on my dad to put them on a lathe. 


Now we wait. The logs have to dry out in the right way. It will probably be a good six months before we know what will become of this wood. It may crack and split and refuse to be turned. On the other hand, it could turn out beautiful pieces. There is really no way to know. Our hope is that we can make a good number of ink pens from it.
Whatever comes out, my dad will be giving it back to the church where the items will be sold to fund church mission projects. I am hopeful that we will be able to give people a chance to have a piece of these magnificent trees that stood in front of the church where their parents were married, they were baptized, or their children were dedicated. 

As a bonus for making it to the end of my ramble about trees, here is a quick clip of the second one coming down.
TIMBER!


    

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The crazy, possibly dumb, kind of awesome thing I am trying

I wasn't going to tell people. It was going to be my little secret. Then I got so excited that I had to tell a few people, but I kept it mostly quiet. I was afraid I would fail and completely embarrass myself. Then something happened, and I realized that this is something I want to share. Even if I do give out, just trying is an accomplishment. So here goes.

As some of you may know, I started taking an adult ballet technique class a few years ago. I did it for exercise and to fulfill that childhood dream of wearing ballet shoes. I love it. It is the only exercise I have been consistent with, ever. This year, I was invited to join the teenagers in their weekly tech class. I dismissed it because this is a class Nix takes. Much to my surprise, she insisted that I take it. It was our only chance to take class together before she goes to college. So, I did it for her. It has strengthened me and improved my form by leaps. Literal and metaphorical ones. This has lead to my new adventure.


Yep. That is me. Me in my very first pair of pointe shoes.
Pointe work is different. It is slow. I have been at it for a couple of months, and today was the first time I was able to let go of the barre. It will be months more before I let go while moving because I do not want to break myself. For the time being, my victories come in the form of things like trying not to look like a newborn deer when I peel up en pointe.
You might have a couple of questions. A few of them I might can guess.
Yes, they do hurt, but probably not in the way you might think. I am not getting blistered or bruised. I am just getting muscle sore. It takes all the teeny tiny muscles in your foot that you don't know you have until they are all sore the next day.
No, I will not be performing. I am learning technical things and not dances. Although all the things I am learning could be combined into a dance, it is not in my plans.
I don't know how long I will keep it up, or where I am going with this.
No, I do not wear a tutu. There are tights involved though.
Did I miss anything?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Where Have I Been?!

Through an odd route that I won't bore you with, I recently ended up looking at my own public facebook profile with a critical eye. The point was to answer the question, "If a stranger looked at your public profile, what would they know about you?" Three big things stood out.
1. I do not like, what I perceive to be, injustice, and want others to be equally outraged and moved to action. 
2. I value what I can make myself. 
3. I use to write (past tense). 
Where have I been? Why did I stop? Have I stopped making things and having silly things happen? 
It has taken me a couple of weeks to come up with an answer.  It has really bothered me. We have been through, and continue to go through the most tumultuous political period of my lifetime, and I haven't blogged a word. Have I suddenly lost conviction in what I believe, or worse yet, lost the nerve to state my beliefs? That's not it. So, what is it? 
The internet, and the country in general, has been flooded with people not just stating their opinions, but shouting them. The "other side" is in a bubble, and just don't know what you know. That side is evil. This side is ignorant. Those people are naive. The others are racist, bigot, homophobic, atheistic, murdering, terroristic, and on and on and on. 
Everyone is yelling. No one is listening. So, that is where I have been. I have been listening. What I have determined from all the listening is that everyone needs to calm down. Take a deep breath. Spend the day making an effort to not be angry, outraged, offended, or defensive.
I'm going to try to get back to writing. I actually have projects stored up to post about. I will try to keep it craft based because I think we need more normal and simple popping up in our feeds again. 
My latest thing is trying out wood burning. My dad loaned me a really nice burner, and I'm working on combining my slight obsession with fonts and typography with pyrography. My first project seems to fit this post nicely.