Trick or Treat Trot

I had a busy weekend spending time with friends and family. A highlight of my weekend was definitely  the Halloween 5K that was held by our local YMCA. It was a ‘team’ challenge for my Project Pounds Away weight loss team.

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We could dress up and they even gave prizes for the best costumes.  The morning’s schedule looked like this:

7:45 – 8:15 AM – Kids costume judging

8:30 AM – Monster Mile (1K)

8:30-9:00 AM – Adult costume judging

9:15 AM – Trick or Trot 5K Run/Walk

10:00 AM – Award Ceremony

I did dress up, but I had to wear my red team shirt, so devil horns it was! A headband was easy to run in and I didn’t want anything that would hinder my running. It was freezing Saturday morning though! I should have planned for a warmer costume.

The race started in a cemetery (which was super cool so close to Halloween), lead through a park, and then ended in the cemetery. There was a monster hill at the end of course, but I promised myself that I just wouldn’t stop running. So, that’s what I did. I just didn’t stop. Our team coach was at the top of the hill and encouraged us a bit. After that hill, we certainly needed the encouragement!

I ran the race with my sister, Ashley.  She’s a bit faster than me, but she was there cheering me on at the end! You couldn’t see the finish line over the hill, so I didn’t know how much more I had to run. Thankfully, she was there telling me to sprint, so I knew I didn’t have much left.

I finished the 5K in 31 minutes. Although this isn’t my best time ever, it’s my best time in a while. My goal was 33 minutes and I beat that goal.

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Projects! Projects! Projects!

So, as you know I’ve been on a bit of a break. Actually it’s only really been a break from blogging. I’ve still been busy taking old objects and giving them new life. I’ve ventured out of just gardening and I am extending into home decor. There are just some things that are too beautiful to let sit outside. So, here’s what I’ve been working on. The “How-to’s” will come soon, but unfortunately I haven’t been taking ‘in progress pictures’ so that’ll have to wait.

Here is my first coat rack or jewelry holder:

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Another coat rack made of door knobs and a cabinet (I love the red paint underneath):

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A towel rack. Maybe? I didn’t really like the paint on this one but I was just experimenting:

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I’ve also been working on plate flowers for my garden. The one below is my favorite. I just have to add a spoon to the back and buy copper pipe. I also want to make a copper leaf somehow… I still have to think about how I’ll make that happen. But here it is so far:

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Here are a few things I picked up at the auction on Saturday, but you’ll have to stay tuned… I’m starting them this week for my mother-in-law! They don’t look like much now, but you just wait! 🙂

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I also picked up some old frames on Saturday. They are pretty rough and an older couple there wanted to know what I could possibly do with them. Oh, I’ll find something! Chalkboards? Signs? Garden glove holder with sign? Who knows? But I’m sure I’ll find something!

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I’m also working on projects for the garden to make with glass insulators. I’ve been collecting them for a few weeks now.

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I’m also pretty excited I found handmade nails! I picked them up at the auction Saturday. They were in a box of stuff that most people would think is junk. I can’t wait to work those into a few projects too!

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So, that was just SOME of what I’ve been working on lately. I also been taking quite few more pictures. My husband got a new macro lens for my camera, so here’s a picture with it! 🙂 I’m sure I could have captured more detail with the lens but this was my first picture with it. I just love the colors!

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Coming soon: More projects and “how to” directions 🙂

Lessons Learned at a Real Estate Auction

I’ve been attending many flea markets, antique shops, and yard sales to find new project materials. Aside from mud sales, today was the first time I’ve ever attended and participated in a real estate auction.

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I did learn quite a few lessons today.. Here are a few tips.

  1. Arrive Early
    The auction started at 10:00 and we arrived at 9:15. This was plenty of time to get a number,  to look at all of the things being auctioned, and do some research, which brings me to my next point.
  2. Use your smart phone to look up prices.
    Esty and Ebay are just a click away. This will help you avoid paying too much for objects like many of the people at the auction. Of course I looked like I wasn’t paying attention (on my phone the whole time) but at least I didn’t over pay.
  3. Bring a chair
    It would have been nice to have a chair. Some people didn’t, but we did end up standing for a few hours.
  4. On October days, wear thick socks, bring gloves, and wear a hat.
    I didn’t dress warm enough. It didn’t really feel that cold, but when you are standing outside for hours it gets a bit chilly.
  5. Choose a spot wisely
    All of the auctioneer helpers were in our way. It was difficult to get a good look at the items being sold.
  6. It’s okay to ask questions, even while the auction is happening. 
    Many people were doing this and I was confused. Auctions are so fast-paced, but surprisingly they did stop for questions.
  7. Have thick skin 
    I talk to everyone, but I was a little surprised when people ignored me.  Don’t be surprised if no one wants to talk to you until AFTER the auction. Many people kept their poker faces on the entire time. Then the auction ended and it was like we were all friends. This caught me off guard. Auctions are VERY important to some people. I just didn’t know.
  8. Even if things aren’t being auctioned, if you see something you’d pay for, ask!
    We ended up getting an entire truckload of old wood for $5.00. Oh, the possibilities!
  9. If real estate is being auctioned, know everything you can about the house.
    Why? Because you just never know. You should know taxes, property lines, and house features. It’s important to talk to the attorney and the homeowner if you can. I’m glad we didn’t skip this step because… well read the next tip.
  10. Don’t bring your husband when there is a house for sale and you have money in the bank. 
    I almost went to an auction to spend a few bucks on craft materials and walked away with a $100,00 house. Thank goodness for a recess!

Let me explain #10 a little more. We are not looking for a house, but when an old farm house is about to go for $65,000 and there is only one other bidder… you have to bid. Well, I didn’t bid, my husband did. I was shocked, but he kept bidding. My husband and I always talked about owning an old farm house with a barn. I just love the character, so although shocked, I wasn’t mad. Finally, we had it at $100,000 and instead of saying “SOLD!” they said “Recess!” They had to talk to the seller because that price didn’t meet the reserve. We waited about 30-40 minutes. In the meantime two other interested bidders showed up and bid the house up to $186,000.

The auctioneer apologized (yeah right.. what’s commission on another $86,000?) We did not buy a house today, but certainly I will think twice before making my husband go to a real estate auction with me!

Those are just a few things that I learned today. I wish someone would have shared those tips with me. 🙂 If you have any other tips, feel free to share!

Not enough hours in a day…

I know I haven’t blogged lately (over two and a half months). I’m actually surprised that people are still viewing my blog.  So I guess it’s about time that I start blogging again. After a wonderful lunch on Friday with two of my retired friends, I decided that since I do enjoy blogging I should make my way back to it. I have not stopped gardening or creating projects, which is why I’ve just been too busy to blog.

As you know, if you’ve been following this blog, I quit teaching. Actually I retired; I won’t go back. Not that I didn’t love working with children and it wasn’t incredibly rewarding, it just became too much. I certainly have other reasons too that I’ll share with you someday.

This was my first time not starting school since I can remember.  I was excited for more time to focus on me.  My sister-in-law did invite me to the beach the first week of school to help ease the transition. What better way to kick off the new school year than with a trip to the beach? As it turned out, I even got the chance to witness sea turtles being excavated on what would have been my first day with students at the EXACT time students would have been arriving.  That truly was amazing!

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After I got back from the beach, I had high expectations for my time. I thought I would have all the time in the world to blog and garden. As it turns out, I just don’t. I am not sure how I keep finding things to do or people to visit, but I still find there are not enough hours in a day. I’ve just been filling my days with stuff I love to do. This is happiness.

What am I most proud of? The time that I now have to dedicate to working out and taking care of myself. I started a challenge at my local gym called “Project Pounds Away.” It’s similar to “The Biggest Loser.” We train twice a week as a team, have team challenges, and ‘homework’. I also started Yoga and Zumba!  I’m not crazy about the Total Body class I take on Tuesdays or The Mixx class I take on Thursdays, but I do them anyway.

Anyone that knows me knows this is beyond my comfort zone and that’s why I’m proud. I usually don’t sign up for group things with people I don’t know. I usually don’t take group classes like Zumba and Yoga, let alone by myself. This post by Pink Runner certainly helped a bit. However, I’ve learned something about myself in recent months- I’ve learned that I love meeting new people and most things aren’t worth worrying about. I’ve let go of just about all the negativity in my life and I’ve been going by the quote: “Sometimes, you just have to show up.” So, that’s what I’ve been doing and so far it’s been working out great.

Hopefully that catches you up a bit on what I’ve been doing. So, even though there are not enough hours in the day, I’m hoping to blog more. 🙂

~ Sondra