Monday, August 15, 2011

Make Time for the Hummingbirds

"And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still."
Robert Frost, A Prayer in Spring

Getting things done is fine, but sometimes you have to make time for the hummingbirds. After dinner Friday night at our friends' home, we sat on their deck watching the petite birds drink from the feeder. It took several tries, but I managed to get a descent photograph of one darting bird

Here in the mountains most people keep a feeder near their house to attract the tiny creatures. Unfortunately, the sugary liquid in these feeders attracts bears too, so conscientious residents, such as our friends, take the feeders in at night. 

Hummingbirds fly at approximately 25 mph and flap their wings 60-80 times per second. (Yes, you read that right. 60-80 times per second.) They've been clocked at speeds in excess of 50 mph during courtship dives. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "falling in love."

Even with time out for the hummingbirds, we still completed several projects here at the Reinke Homestead this past week:

When we designed our kitchen, we made room for a wall mounted pot rack. The one I had my eye on retails for $60 -$90. I found the exact one I wanted on Craigslist for $20, hooks included. It was a gray color that didn't really work with our oil rubbed bronze hardware, so I spray painted it with RustOleum ORB. It looks great and saved us at least $40 (spray paint included). . .

The money I saved on the pot rack paid for the kitchen cabinet pulls and knobs Dennis installed. . .

Several months ago I ran across a very cool DIY project at the Serendipity Chic Design blog. Lisa had made nightstands from an antique vanity she found at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. They were tall and narrow, just what I needed for our tall bed and small bedroom. One day I wandered into Furniture Connections, our little used furniture store here in Estes Park, where I found a small 1940's vanity for $25. It looked similar to this one. . .

I bought the vanity, took it home and stored it in the barn. While we were moving things around in the barn a couple of weeks ago, we came across my find. I knew I had to do something with it, so I asked Dennis to help me take it apart. He graciously obliged and I went to work. First I lightly sanded the pieces. Then I mixed up some colors from the miscellaneous leftover paint we have, ending up with a pretty close match to the buttercream and pink in our bedspread. Several coats of paint later, my nightstands were ready for their new home. Since there's no room for a nightstand on Dennis's side of the bed, I placed both nightstands next to each other on my side. Each one is only 12" wide, so there was plenty of room. I think they turned out pretty cute, and I like the extra drawer space I have now. . .

The Plein Air Rockies 2011 event has begun and Dennis is once again participating. I can't wait to see what he paints this year.

"Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the LORD has commanded" Ex 35:10


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