Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

I have been growing my hair for a LONG time!  Other than just a tiny trim once a year it has been many years since I had a substantial haircut. I have been wanting/needing to do something different for a long time but was also kind of scared too! 

I have always heard about the organization “Locks of Love” but I have never donated my hair before.  After checking out their website I realized that this was what I needed to do.  I needed to cut my hair and donate the rest of it.  According to the Locks of Love website “Locks of Love” is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers.”

Losing your hair can be scary for anyone but I imagine it is particularly scary for a child who may not fully understand their medical condition and Locks of Love just seemed perfect.  Their minimum requirement was 10″ and I was able to donate 15″! 

Because I am always the one behind the camera and I didn’t think enough in advance to get a before picture.  The following is the best example I have of how long my hair was.  When not in a ponytail or barrette it actually came down to my waist.  It’s not really visible but hopefully you will get the idea.

Here is a picture of me after cutting my hair!

If you would like to donate your hair to Locks of Love follow this link for more information!

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Unless you have been accused of a crime I think most people enjoy seeing themselves in the paper. I have been in the paper quite a few times in my life.  My birth announcement was probably the first time, then as a small child I appeared in the paper trying to choose between two Easter dresses.  In high school I was in the paper several times for band, soccer and musicals.  I even was in the paper after I received a Rotary Club award.  Two summers ago I was filmed for the HGTV show That’s Clever.  The show still hasn’t aired but I was still interviewed by the local paper and had a nice article written.  My highlight of celebrity in the news was the year my picture appeared in TIME magazine! YUP!  That was REALLY cool.  But this summer my picture made the paper twice! I thought I would share these.

Here I am at the Farmers Market in Searcy.  During the summer I helped out at the CAFM booth every Wednesday.  Now that school is back in session I cant anymore and I miss it terribly! (I’m the one in the pink Certified Farmgirl t-shirt!)

This picture appeared in the Statewide paper on Thursday.

I am the one in the Blue Dress.  The Chesapeake Energy Company along with the Thea Foundation donated $1500 worth of art supplies to 19 high schools in our area.  This is the second year my school has received a donation from Chesapeake.  Working in a small rural school district makes adequate art supplies hard to come buy.  The annual art budget is very small and I often end up spending much of my own money to purchase things for my students because many of them cant afford to buy it themselves.  This donation will help minimize that need this year so I am extremely thankful.

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I didn’t forget! I swear! Yesterday and Today have been bizarre days to say the least.  My project for yesterday was another food project but I didn’t get started on it until after 8:00 last night.

Richie and I decided to go to Little Rock yesterday to do some clothes shopping for the upcoming school year.  Monday was our first “teacher day” of the year.  We don’t have to go back again until next Tuesday but when we do we are in it for the long haul so Monday was a stark reminder of why we look forward to summer break and that it was once again coming to an end!

So after hitting the gym we hit a few highly-overpriced boutique stores and then the mall.  We grabbed lunch at BlueCoast Burrito where I DEVOURED a Veggie Burrito! YUM!  I had to pick up something at Micheal’s for my day 5 bit of creativity and then we stopped at Sam’s Club.  We also needed to stop by Walmart to pick up a tube for my bicycle tire and some canning jars.  We finally made it home around 5.

Did I mention that after a summer of unseasonably cold temperatures(80’s) and amounts of rain for Arkansas that we finally hit upper 90’s with typical high humidity? Well it was a scorcher and I was ready for the pool when we got home.  I spent about an hour floating around before it was time to get out and take care of my farm chores and fix my bike.

Well it turns out the problem with my bike is the actual tire and not the tube so that project is tabled until I can get to a bike shop!  It was just after 8 when I finally went inside to relax.  And then I remembered 30 Days of Creativity/Trying something new and realized I had yet to do anything for the day.

I wracked my brain and all I could come up with was Zucchini Bread.  I know, LAME!  But I have 4 HUGE Zucchini left over from the farmer’s market that I need to use.  So I perused the internet and found a suitable recipe for two loaves which called for TWO CUPS of grated Zucchini.  I thought “GREAT, this’ll get rid of my Zucchini!” HA! Think again!  My huge zucchini are so huge that ONE alone yielded 3CUPS OF SHREDS!!!! Yeah!  So now what?

Well I made the bread and threw in the extra cup of shreds which proved to be fine.  The bread is delicious.  I ate a piece last night and one for breakfast.  I froze the extra loaf.  But now the dilemma is what to do with the 3 remaining gigantic zucchini!

But my night didn’t end there.  I’m finally relaxing on the couch and there is NOTHING on TV!  Finally Richie puts it on the WE network which is airing some bizarro show about Mail Order Brides.  The show end and a new episode comes on this time about “Free Love”.  TOTALLY WACKO!  Had to be the weirdest thing I have ever watched!

Anyway, 12:00 rolled around and it seemed like going to sleep was the thing to do.  Only when I got in bed I couldn’t sleep.  The moon was full and right outside my window and even with the shade down it was seemingly light enough to read a book.  After tossing and turning for and hour I went into the living room to sleep on the couch.  I watched a rerun of Friends and two reruns of That 70’s Show only it was the dumb ones after Eric leaves.  Finally around 2:30 I got back into bed.

5 seconds after I fell asleep I was awoken by my dog Lily nudging at my feet.  Now here is the thing about Lily.  She HATES thunderstorms.  But as long as she is inside and not out in the storm she is content UNLESS there happens to be a Tornado Warning.  She is like our own personal Doppler radar unit!  Seriously, every time I wake up with her nudging my feet there is a warning. 

The satellite was already on the fritz from the torrential rain so I pulled up the Weather Channel App on Richies iPhone and discover that there where TWO Tornado Warnings piggybacking our area until 4 AM! SO, I am back out of bed, gathering pillows and blankets to put in the bathroom, consoling, the dogs and cats, looking for shoes and flashlights, and trying to convince my husband to get out of bed and come “cuddle/huddle” in the tiny bathroom with me.  He opts to stay in bed stating that he should have time to make it to the bathroom if he starts to hear the ROAR! MEN!  So I “cuddle/huddle” with the cat and play games on Richies iPhone until just after 4 when the storm finally slows down.  I crawl into bed now realizing that it is Farmers Market day and I have to get up at 5:50!

At 5 am I am awoken once again to torrential rains and thunder.  Lily isnt at the foot of the bed so I figure I am okay so I toss and turn until the alarm goes off at 5:50.  I shut it off and decide to lay in bed for two more minutes.  Well as you can imagine that didnt happen and I didnt wake up again until 10:54!

I’ve missed the market, I slept horrible and I cant breath.  I decide to go blog about day 4 when I come in to find that DSL is down due to widespread power outages in most of the state.  So instead I veg on the couch for a few hours.

And that brings me to now! I know I live such a sad pitiful life!  My camera battery is dead so I have no pictures yet of the Zucchini Bread (day 4) or of my wine glass charms which are the project for day 5. 

I knew all of you mysterious people out there in cyberland were just dying to know what happened to me.  I have reported and HOPEFULLY later I will be back with pictures!

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Today my bit of creativity included drawing.  Drawing is probably my most favorite art method, particularly using pen and ink. I have also always been fond of doodles.  Last spring I came across an art technique called Zentangle.  Basically you draw a random shape and fill in the spaces created by the random shape with a variety of doodles. You can even get a whole Zentangle making kit over at zentangle.com. Zentangles are meditative in nature, hence the whole “zen” thing.  Just do a google image search for zentangles and you will find hundreds of glorious examples.  So for today’s little bit of creativity I created three zentangles of my own.  Enjoy!


These images are copyrighted to Julie Kohl. Please do not use, copy  or link directly to these images without my permission.

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I have decided that for my 30 day challenge I will do something creative or something new everyday.  I like that this leaves me open to a WIDE possibility of topics and subjects.  I already have some ideas brewing in my mind.  I will be incorporating some ideas Sarah and Melanie gave me in their comments on my last post as well! 

For day one of my 30 Days of Creativity I decided to learn a new technique using the Photoshop Elements program I got for my birthday last year.  I decided to alter a photo of my nephew.  I learned how to use the adjustment layers to change and enhance coloring.  First I took this SOOC (straight out of camera) picture I took of my nephew Silas.

I think this is an adorable picture!  I love the way the color of his shirts compliments the bluish gray color of his eyes!  I decided to alter this picture by changing it to black and white but enhance the blue of his shirt and of his eyes to make them stand out a little more.  Here is what I came up with!

The change is not overwhelming but it definitely draws you more into his beautiful eyes! Juju love you, Silas!

Here they are side by side.


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Thirty Days of Blank

So I was surfing the internet like a mad-woman while my husband sits engrossed in a video game in the other room.  I came across this site, after clicking a link I found on this site, which I found from clicking a link I found on this site!  Got that????  Anyway the idea of doing “30 Days of Blank” was a little intriguing. 

I am currently wrapped up in the book Julie&Julia so I can watch the movie when it comes out. (I absolutely abhor watching a movie based on a book sans having read the book.)  The idea behind the Julie/Julia Project is strikingly similar to the “30 Days of Blank”.  Basically in “30 Days of Blank” you choose to do something everyday for thirty days in order to make it a habit or, if you will,  to better yourself.  In Julie Powell’s book she cooks all of the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in  the course of a year in effort to discover herself.

So when I came across Room 704where the challenge of the “30 days of Blank” was posed I began to ponder what exactly I could do for thirty days.  Choosing what you are going to do for 30 days is sort of like choosing a New Years resolution.  They are all sort of cliche and while you start out with good intentions there is this obstacle and that obstacle and you ultimately end up with a million excuses as to why you couldn’t and you are no closer to your ultimate goal.

As I ran through the list in my mind I decided to throw out all the ideas that were cliche.

Exercise – I already go to the gym three times a week, don’t see myself going anymore than that and I’m too lazy to stick an exercise video into the DVD player.

Eat Healthier – Isn’t that the million dollar topic these days!  What is healthier anyway?  For me my biggest issue is portion control not the healthiness of the foods I consume.  The reality of the situation is that dwelling on my portion size for thirty days is something I am already trying to do so is this really worthy of blogging about for thirty days?

Clean More – Okay my mother, my sister, my husband, my bunk-mates from summer camp can all tell you that when it comes to cleaning I am NOT your girl.  Mind you I don’t like filth but I also don’t mind that “lived in” feeling.  I’m not gonna dust every day, I’m not gonna clean the bathroom more than once a week so is cleaning more really worth it?  I’m the kind of girl that builds Stonehenge out of Capri Sun packages after-all!

The list of cliche topics goes on and on.  I want to do “30 days of SOMETHING DIFFERENT”!  BUT WHAT????  I feel that this decision is strikingly similar to what it feels like to choose the name you will give your first child! (Says the girl with no children!)  The “30 Days of Blank” starts today.  I only have 9 hours left in this day to choose what I will do (or not do) for 30 days.  OH, the pressure is daunting!

So I will keep you posted!  If  you have any brilliant, non-cliche, ideas please leave a comment!

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My mom and dad own the Orchard House Bed & Breakfastin Lovingston, VA.  We went to visit them a few weeks ago.  The even closed down for a few days while we were there so we could do some sightseeing and hang out with the place to ourselves.  Mom and dad live in such a great area.  There are always some really neat things to do it is always a fun trip.  Every summer it seems to go by so fast though.  Mom and Dad will be hosting Christmas at their place this year though so it wont be too long til we go back.  Plus my sister and her family will be coming down too!

Here are some pictures from around my parents place.

My  mom and her cat Cali.

A view of my parents house from their vineyard.

My parents dog Lacy.

My Dad – showing of his grapes!  They are growing Petit Manseng grapes which will be bottled at the Lovingston Winery.

A view of the Apple Blossom FarmHouse from the vineyard.

Richie (You can also see my mom relaxing in the chair in the upper right hand corner of the picture)

If you want to learn more about the Orchard House you can visit their website http://www.orchardhousebb.comor visit their blog at http://orchardhousebb.wordpress.com.

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