If you have been following along here, you know that I have slowly been working my way towards being crafty. For years I have said that I was missing my "woman" gene. I'm not good at cooking, cleaning or sewing and I was not really interested in the crafty/decorating side of things.
But things change and I have slowly been exploring these sides, some with success and some with failure. When I saw this tutorial on one of the blogs I follow, I thought it would be a great thing to make for my mother for mother's day. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do it with my limited experience, especially since it would need a modification, but I decided to give it a try.
24 gauge craft wire
One of the hardest decisions was color choices. Many of the tutorials online have different colored beads and wire, but I liked the idea of the more natural look. My mother is active in the nature community (birds, gardening, master naturalist) so natural colors seemed best. I found these beads at Michael's that looked like speckled eggs and I chose a wire that was closest to tree branch color.
I actually bought several different colors of beads and wire to make a practice run first. I'm glad I did because I had to buy a different pin back. The first one I purchased was too big and peeked out at the ends of the nest.
You can follow the instructions on the linked tutorial. To attach the pin I just wrapped the wire in and out of the holes and around the bar to secure it to the nest. It's not exactly pretty but I'm pretty sure it is secure. The most important part is that my mom liked it. Yay for completing my first project. Crafting is fun.
20 minutes to your destination.
My friend had texted me that bad weather was expected on my journey to Austin but the whole trip had been extremely smooth sailing.
I tried using my Google Maps app instead of my regular GPS and it brought me a new way, with new sights to see, including the devastation near Bastrop from the wildfires of 2011. For some one like me who hates the driving part of road trips, this one was going extremely well.
20 minutes to your destination.
Google was guiding me towards the 45 toll road to take me up to Round Rock. As I got closer I could see the weather but it was off into the distance and off to my left. It looked far away.
As I merged onto the toll road, it gently curved and now what was off to the side was directly in front of me. This sight stopped my heart and "oh my god" poured out of my mouth over and over. I looked at the Google Maps indicator: 20 minutes to your destination.
I had no choice but to drive straight ahead. The toll road appears fairly new and there were few exits and no where to go if I did exit. The rain began. That's when I passed my first speed limit sign. 80 miles an hour. I thought of my friend's text message "be careful" and hoped that the other drivers would be smart instead of stupid. The rain intensified and hail began hitting my car. Driving began to slow and other drivers put on their hazard lights. Brilliant. I turned on my hazards and I slowed some more. As I neared one of the few exits there was a line of cars pulled over. The rain poured even harder and I could barely see out of my window. It was black as night. I pulled into the next spot in line, and shut off my engine.
The rain was blowing sideways and the sound in my car was deafening. I tried pulling up the Weather Channel radar map to see exactly how big the storm was but it wasn't working. I called The Boyfriend and talked for a few minutes. I didn't really think anything would happen to me but nonetheless I signed off our conversation with "so long and thanks for all the fish."
I stayed there until the rain eased slightly. It was still pouring and looked like night but at least I could see out my window. Google said I was now 15 minutes away. So close. I slowly pulled out and began the drive. I was five miles from my next exit and that was one of the slowest five miles I have ever taken. The rain continued to pour but thankfully there were few other cars and the ones that were there were being cautious.
I was gradually moving towards the north of the weather as it continued to move south. My next exit curved me gently out of the pouring rain and I could finally feel what a jangle my nerves had been. It was still raining but I could actually see buildings and markers in the distance. I exhaled. As I tried to regain my calm, I saw a light off in the distance. At first I thought it was a spotlight but I couldn't figure out what it was shining on. Then it hit me. It was the sun. It was shrouded in clouds and giving off an eerie glow as it hung above the horizon, but it was definitely the sun. I couldn't believe the sun was still up. I thought back to when I was parked on the road. It might as well have been midnight, it was so dark outside. The sun! What a glorious, yet surreal sight.
I turned onto IH 35, greeted by bright lights, zooming traffic and a light rain. Everyone was going about their merry way, yet I felt like I was returning from hell.
But I did return.
Not exactly all to myself, but pretty darn close. The weather was cold and breezy this day and I'm sure when the weather is hot it will not be this deserted, but it sure was lovely to walk a mostly empty beach.
Make sure to click on the photo to enter Lightbox.
I looked up from my inspection of the cookie case to confirm my identity to the Paulie's staff member.
"You popped up on the iPad. Here is your pizza."
I decided to add some cookies to the order. A few taps of the screen by the staffer and I walked out with my food. No cash exchanged, no credit cards swiped, no signing anything.
This is the near future and I love it. The app is called Wallet and with it I can pay for things with my phone. In fact I didn't even have to take my phone out of my pocket. When I go to a place that uses Wallet, I tap a button in the app that lets me pay at that business. The restaurant will see a pop up with my name, and even better, my picture. I complete my transaction and I can add a tip at that time or later.
Right now some forward thinking restaurants and mobile food trucks are taking advantage of Wallet. I look forward to the near future becoming the present; when I can pay for things just by walking into the store and showing my face.
We are living in such an exciting time. I can't wait to see what is next.