28 April 2012

Building A Green House

City Slickers

We are down south at the moment, visiting with my aunt, and Lola is in heaven. Yesterday was the Best Day Ever! Why? Well, my horse-crazy girl had her very first horse back riding lesson. I promised her last fall she could take lessons this summer when her ballet classes were done but the first lesson happened sooner than expected.

Behind my aunt's house is a small farm with horses. Chickens too, and they frequently jump the fence to dig holes in my aunt's garden. While chasing the chickens back to their own yard, Lola and her cousin Z. struck up a conversation with the owner. And before long, both girls were brushing horses, saddling them up, and learning the basics of horse back riding.

Mr. Balderdash, the pony Lola rode on
Waiting to mount
They are doing it, riding all by themselves
With a little guidance from the instructor
Lola was a little disappointed she couldn't ride the big horse yet
Balance exercises
Horse talk, I'm sure
City Slickers

24 April 2012

Basket Case

When I go grocery shopping, I almost always bring my own bags. I have a cute little basket my mom bought for me the last time she was here. In it are a few more bags because the basket doesn't hold that much.

I am known for my basket and bags in out town. The enviro sax especially. They are a tad pricy (mine were a gift) but totally worth it. They hold a ton of groceries. Plus all the cool celebs are using them nowadays, which makes me feel super trendy. Because that is so important up here.

The other day I was grocery shopping at the local Piggly Wiggly in the next town over, when I went to check out. As always I put my basket on the grocery belt first, followed by the contents of my shopping cart. The lady at the cash register picked up my basket, looked with a puzzled face at the man bagging the groceries and said: "I don't know what to make of this?" I told them it was a basket to hold my groceries. It blew their minds. That someone would come in with their own grocery carrier.

18 April 2012

A Week Of Festivities - Part II

Last Friday was Lola's very first ballet recital. It was held in the auditorium of her school. Four groups of girls from the Anne Renier Dance Academy danced their hearts out. Each group showed off their talents twice with a ballet performance and a tap dance performance. Unfortunately the stage at Lola's school is carpeted and the tapping was mostly muffled. It's been so long since I have been to a dance recital, I can barely remember it. I am fairly certain I didn't cry at that one though. It was a little embarrassing, to be honest.

Today was a reprise of the recital during All Arts Day at Lola's school. And Miss Anne announced at the end that they will be performing again at the Fourth of July Parade right here in town. Some grandparents will be mighty pleased to hear this. Others will have to do with the video footage I shot today. If you're reading this in an email or a reader, you'll have to come over to the blog to play the videos.

(Ryan taped Friday's performance which is of a much better quality and will be made available on DVD for those interested. However, if you have to wait until I figure out how to edit that footage and upload it, DVD players will be obsolete. My crappy camera work will have to do for now.

Lola starts both dances in the back left corner. She is also the one you hear over everyone else in "High Hopes.")

Cute, huh? I am so proud of Lola.

16 April 2012

A Week Of Festivities - Part I

It's nasty outside. Rain, wind, dark skies, even a little snow is predicted. The kind of weather that makes you happy you don't have to go out today. Unfortunately I do. There's mail to pick up, groceries to shop, and library books to return. I am waiting until Lola comes home from school. She loves going to the library.

In the meantime I have downloaded a few dozen pictures from my camera. We have just ended a week filled with festivities. Easter on Sunday, Lola's fifth birthday on Tuesday, her first ballet recital on Friday, and finally her friends birthday party on Saturday.

Easter morning was lovely. The Easter Bunny surprised Lola with a beautiful dress, a handmade basket, a blue play silk, and fifteen colorful eggs scattered about in the yard. (I am fairly certain I supplied the Easter Bunny with sixteen eggs though. I wonder when we will find the last one...)

While Lola played with her new treasures, Ryan painted the first of our living room walls and I worked on opening my Etsy shop Dutch Girl Originals. It was important to me to open it on Easter and even though I had only one finished product to sell, I made my deadline. Every now and then I interrupted my work to search for eggs that Lola had hidden for me or hide some for her.

Lola's fifth birthday started early. Very early. Ryan had to leave for work no later than 5:30 AM and we didn't want to tantalize Lola with a big pile of gifts that she couldn't open until he came home again. When I was setting up the breakfast table the night before, hanging streamers, and arranging presents, I felt a little sad. The nearly five feet tall pile of boxes that had come in the mail for her was awesome of course, but there would be no people to celebrate with her. Just her parents.

I never had a stack of presents like hers but every single birthday my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and local friends would be there. That is not possible for Lola, simply because of distance. I know Lola doesn't know any different and was mighty pleased with her gifts, but I remember from my past the visitors, and not the gifts (with exception of the red bicycle I received for my sixth birthday). I wonder what Lola will remember about her birthdays forty years from now.

Lola had no school on her birthday so we played with her presents all day long. She was happiest with the horses my dad and his wife sent her and the little toy broom she got from us. The internet was down which made for a very peaceful Tuesday once I got passed the initial withdrawal symptoms. Lola requested pizza for dinner and a strawberry birthday cake for dessert. She got both. Happy Birthday, my lovely Lola! I am more in love with you every day.

06 April 2012

Spring Green

I brought some lilac branches inside. They had succumbed to the snow last month. Rather than throwing them in the bonfire, I clipped them and set the smaller ones in a vase. The larger branches are our Easter tree. They look very cheerful in the hallway filled with eggs and bunnies.

I don't really expect the lilacs to flower, but the green is nice. The daffodils have grown since I took this picture. It feels good to have flowers in the house again. Especially since we don't have much popping up in our yard. We'll have to remedy that next year.