Friday, March 26, 2010

Golf Anyone?

I went to the Greendale Golf League meeting and played with them for the first time.  What a treat!  It was a much larger group than I had anticiipated.  I have about 40 new friends, some very nice and interesting women to play golf with during the week.   A good mixture ranging from the very serious rule obsessed golfers to a few older women limping around who are partially disabled and ride in a "handicap" cart!   Mostly it seemed to be people about like me.

We played 18 holes.  Alex had trained me well ;-).  No stepping on lines, must put down the marker before picking up ball, closest to pin tends the flag, first in the hole packs up and starts moving to next tee, etc etc.  There are an abundance of rules, thank goodness I know the little annoying ones, I just have to learn the ones about hazards and penalties and so forth!!

And what a LUCKY day I had - I pared all the par 3s!   So they got the impression that I was a decent player - haha.

At the meeting/breakfast - the "giveaways" were so funny, door prizes, and the new people got goodie bags.  It's a mixture of ages, and as you might expect in a group of 40 older women, the crafty types had to make something for everyone!   Someone made each of us a "pocket" to wear with pants that have no pocket (why would anyone wear pants without pockets to play golf?) .  And there were ceramic easter bunnies at each place setting which we were to take home with us!!  It was pretty funny.  The goodie bag included important stuff like laminated rules to put in your golf bag, and useful stuff like tees, a Titlelist ball and a sample scorecard.

Saturday - short game lessons begin!  YAY - hoping to shave down my score a bit this season.   April 2nd have a fitting scheduled followed by demo day to try out various clubs.   New clubs coming soon and I desperately need a new bag too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Before and After

It took me two days to clean out my linen closet, something I never had the time to do before I retired. Check it out!! Have many more situations like this coming... all my closets are getting organized!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guatemala Treasures

I truly am not much of a shopper, but while in Guatemala I went a little nuts! Shopping there was so much fun, things were so inexpensive and I found original art and hand woven goods everywhere. I painted my living room earlier this year and had been looking for something to hang over my piano. I found an oil rubbing of mythical Myan rowers on cloth, copied from an old Myan carving. It was perfect!!!

The challenge was framing it, I needed a weird size frame, at least 40" wide and no more than about 20" tall! I bought a $39 picture at Home Goods and ripped out the ugly picture and used the frame - it fit perfectly. I stretched and mounted the canvass on a foam board, pushing straight pins into the edge of the foam board all the way around it. It worked great. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

I also bought a small oil painting of Antigua, the town we spent 3 nights in, I think i paid $3 for it. The 8x10 canvas was nailed over a wooden frame. I detached the canvass from the wooden frame and mounted the painting on a foam board. Used a matt and frame I already had.

Hand woven pillow covers were everywhere in all colors and I found two that would go well on my couch downstairs. It turned it out they fit perfectly over my existing pillows so I didn't even have to buy pillow forms!

Table linens were everywhere and so tempting. My niece would have gone nuts - they were so inexpensive but I didn't have much room to bring back much more! I bought hand woven placemats and table runner. They turned out to be a perfect match for my dishes. I love them.

This is a beautiful hand embroidered table runner. I had no idea where I would use it but thought I would be able to find a place. It dresses up this old table nicely! Wish I could go back to Antigua!! Maybe one day I WILL! HA!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vacation with a purpose!

On January 30th I traveled to Guatemala to work with Habitat for Humanity and help build a four room cinder block home for a family in desperate need of decent shelter. I wanted to do something after I retired in which I could make a difference in the life of others, but I also simply looked forward to getting down and dirty and to working outside and soaking up some sunshine. And of course I hoped to have fun and make new friends who enjoy doing similar things.

14 people from across the U.S. met at the Guatemala City airport and became fast friends. We traveled together to Antigua, then on to the town of San Juan to Hotel Chi-ya. We worked together, ate together and goofed off together. Everyday we traveled up and down the mountain to two separate work sites where we laid cinder block, filled cracks, made rebar. We gave hope to at least ten children and two Guatemalan famillies as we constructed the home of their dreams.

We bought school supplies to donate and delivered them to the local school. We also visited a weaving cooperative of 8 women who owned Habitat homes and decided to make money for their families by opening a shop to sell their goods. Over the middle weekend we took a boat across the lake to some other small towns where beautiful handmade textiles were sold.

The families who were the new homeowners worked along side us and we got to know them and their children. After a few days of sharing our lunch with the children, lunchtime drew a larger crowd of hungry children from the surrounding area. The well mannered, polite and delightful children helped us work on the house and reminded us that the interaction with them was also an important aspect of our presence.

On the next to the last day the woman who was to be the new owner gave us bracelets as a gift of appreciation. She made an emotional presentation and talked about how grateful she was for our help, making it all worth while!

And the friends, oh the wonderful friends I made from all over the U.S., some of whom I am sure I will see again. It was quite an intensive two weeks, working on a house, soaking up a new culture, each day a new adventure, and all the while getting to know 13 new people. I loved every minute of it and I'm still absorbing all that I saw and did.

I can't wait to do another vacation with the process of determining where.....coming soon!