Saturday, October 16, 2010

Paint Your Art Out

I made a new friend recently, a wonderful artist named Judy Breymeyer, and she told me about a studio in Edmond named "Paint Your Art Out".  Judy was teaching a session this morning and those of us in attendance would paint our interpretation of one of her beautiful oil paintings, Ozarks in Autumn.  I had asked her if I could come, since I had never painted and she assured me that I should come and have fun.  So I did.  We all had a blast.  We painted with acrylics.  Of course, my poor painting did not look anything like hers, but I still learned alot and had alot of fun.  I think when things settle down, I will try to paint some more.  
How about you.  What do you do for fun?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Pebble Beach and Birthday Bunch

A bunch of us meet at a local fast food place for lunch on Sundays after church.  We celebrate birthdays within the group and the staff at the fast food place lets us bring in cakes.  Tomorrow we are celebrating the birthday of my friend's husband.  I don't know him very well, so I asked her what he liked, and she said he liked to golf, so I dug up a photo I had taken in September 2004 on a trip to Monterey, took an oval out of another photo and made an overlay, and decreased the opacity of the overlay, so that you could partially see through it.  I am putting the photo on the front of the card.  If my memory serves me correctly, I think it is of the 18th hole.   Thought I would share. 
  How do you celebrate friend's birthdays?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Importance of Doing Nothing

This layout was in response to a challenge on Jessica Sprague's website. 
I had taken these photos in January 2007 on a trip to Amelia Island, Florida.
If you click on the layout, you can see it larger.  How about you, do you think it is important to spend time "doing nothing"?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Missouri Botanical Garden

  I wanted to share these photos I took last month at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.  We spent time just strolling and looking at the flowers.  Not in any hurry, just enjoying the beauty of the gardens.  Many of the flowers had past their time of blooming for the year, so I will have to go back a little earlier in the summer next year. 
  How about you, do you have a favorite garden spot?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Celebration of My Father's Life

My father died on August 15, 2010 of Alzheimer's Disease.   He had passed into the last stage of Alzheimer's and could not swallow or recognize my mother.  I am glad, for his sake, that the last stage passed fairly quickly, as his body was present, but he was not.  He was a WWII veteran, and it was the first funeral I had been to where the officers fold the flag, and present it to the surviving wife.   My mother also arranged to have doves released at the conclusion of the graveside ceremony.  I am sharing a page I put together of the folding of the flag.  My son took the photos, so I could just sit with my mother.   (the digital template is from Splendid Fiins)

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I have been trying to learn to draw and watercolor from blogs and tutorials on the web.  There are alot of really good ones out there, but it is difficult when it is the last thing on
my to do list.  OK, I'll quit whining.  I will take any advice.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just Outside my Door

I was inspired by Carol of Created Reflections blog fame to post about my flowers.  Especially since they are still alive and I am known for forgetting to water my flowers until they finally die.  So I am very happy that these plants have been tolerant of my forgetfulness.  And it brightens my day to see them.  This has been an unusual summer with more rain than usual and then very hot in the last week or so.  It is amazing to see the grass still green when it is generally already brown by late July.  
How about there anything just outside your door that makes you smile?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Taking Our Country Back Tour

Well, on the spur of the moment last Saturday, I decided to be spontaneous and I splurged for the ticket price and went to the Ford Center for the Taking Our Country Back Tour.  I was so glad I did.  I learned alot.  After Glen Beck spoke, they had a tribute to Oklahoma soldiers who had lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then their families came out on stage, many with large photos of their loved ones.  It was very moving, and the entire audience was on its feet.  My photos are not very good as I was not close and the lighting was not advantageous for taking a photo from so far away. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Survive 'N' Thrive by Arise Ministries

  June 11th and 12th, I was blessed to experience the Survive 'N' Thrive Statewide Single Mothers' Conference.  It was held this year at Crossings Community Church.   Arise Ministries was started by Pam Kanaly and Shelley Pulliam and you can tell that it is truly a ministry to both of them. 
  Pam gave two wonderful sessions, called Surviving Tidbits.    Bear with me, this is somewhat rambling...but here are just some of the things she told us to do: About Face and cast your burden on God (my paraphrase, your difficulties and struggles do not define you.  As you give your broken pieces to God, He will sustain you, you will draw closer to Him, you will persevere and it will build your character);   Be season oriented (if your children are still at home, make this time count, be intentional with your parenting, according to God's Word.)   Chase after Godly control.  You need to understand what you are healing from.  Learn how to be single.   Two pitfalls of single moms:  looking for rescue with another man and not seeing yourself as precious to God.    When it is time, if God allows, learn to date God's way.   Establish who is in control of your life - is it you or God?   
  I also went to 3 wonderful breakout sessions: one was by Cindy Beall on Choosing Forgiveness over Bitterness (if you don't know her story, see her blog);

another was on learning to hear God by Alice Richardson; and the third was on using your time wisely by Beth Cox-Brown and she had great information on communication styles so that you communicate appropriately, spiritual gifts, the 5 love languages, David Isaac's Key Human Virtues, Age Appropriate Chores and so much more.  
  And I had a great time bonding with girlfriends.  Who could ask for a better or more enriching weekend?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Demonstration by Mitsuno Reedy

Mitsuno Reedy gave a demonstration this evening at the Edmond Art Association meeting.  She is a portrait painter who paints in both pastels and oils.  She was such a joy, so unassuming.  I got to the meeting a few minutes early and she saw my little sketchbook and showed my hers and all her beautiful drawings.  She did a pastel portrait of Sharon, one of the artists in the EAA.  She answered questions and was even interested in the students from Oklahoma Christian School who were seated at the back of the room.  Please forgive the photos, I took them with my iphone and I could not control the lighting and my tremor was acting up (enough excuses?)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring 2010

Spring has sprung...and so have my allergies!  I am practicing the art of awareness and being grateful for each day, even when I can't talk because of allergies.   As an aside, a male friend told me tonight at our dinner group that some men would say that a woman who couldn't talk was the perfect woman!  Of course, as he winked at his wife, he insisted that he was not one of those men. 
  I could not resist taking a few photos of the flowers that grace the entryway into my apartment complex.  Not having my camera with me, my iphone had to suffice.  I think it served its purpose.  Perhaps being available is more important than being perfect....
What do you think of the flowers?  What is your favorite spring flower?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Happy Easter

  I thought I would share a photo of the pond at Crystal Springs Church Camp in Lincoln County, Tennessee that I used to go to as a child.  It is a Cumberland Presbyterian Church Camp and my grandfather, Robert H. Hall, was a country preacher.  When I was little, we would spend a month in Tennessee every summer, and I was his shadow.  I loved my grandpa.  He even got them to let me stay at the camp for the first time when I was a year under the age limit.  He went into a room to talk to the people in charge.  He came out of the room and said the verdit was that I could stay, and he had agreed to stay as well and run the camp.  What a grandpa!  I had a blast.

  But, this was supposed to be a post about Easter.  I am grateful for Easter.  If it were not for Good Friday and the work of our Savior on the Cross and the Resurrection, Christmas would not matter.  So, I am grateful for Easter.  I am also grateful that I woke up this morning. And that I have the energy to write on this blog.   I am trying to remember to be grateful for the everyday ordinary things that I tend to take for grated. 

  How about you, what are you grateful for?

Black and White Family Photos

Carol posted about old family black and white photos, which got me to thinking I need to find a place of honor for some of my old photos.   This first one is from about 1955 and is of my mother and me.  I am guessing this is an Easter Sunday at our apartment in Alexandria, Virgina.  The second  one is from about 1960 and is of my brother and me with my father and his parents.  They lived in Worcester, Massachussetts and I think this was their only trip to Alexandria, Virginia.  This photo was taken in our front yard.   The third photo is of my dad and I think this is from 1953, in back of the apartment in Washington, D.C.  The last one is in January 1953 of my parents on their wedding day.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Enjoy the Process

I am striving to live in each moment.  To really savor each day, for experience can be a good teacher, if one allows her to be.  Any guesses who this is?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chocolate Torte

I made this Chocolate Torte last Saturday for a dinner party.  I had never made a torte before, and it was worth the wait.  The crust was made from gingersnap cookies that were ground up in the food processor and butter.  The funny looking things on the top are crystallized ginger.  It was so good.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.


I am a firm believer that it is not so much what happens to us in life, but how we react or respond to our circumstances.  I can be grateful for whatever comes my way, or I can respond with bitterness.  I am trying to learn gratitude in everything.  I have had some difficulties in the last few years, and I think that goes along with being human.  I have also had many blessings. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

Just in case there is anyone who has not yet had a chance to see this video of Katrina reading an except from her book, you have got to take a few minutes to watch this.  She has such a way with words, and she has given permission on her blog for her video to be put on other people's blog's and forwarded.   I had to go out and buy her book, and it is next on my list of books to read.   I am so lucky to have found this video on another blog, one about gratitude, and have been reminded of something I try to always remember, that is, to be mindful of the here and now, and enjoy the ordinary days.  Here is her video:

Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Sketching

Another sketch, same subject.  Although I guess this is really a work in progress - as we all are.  I keep telling myself that learning to draw is a skill that is learned with practice.  I do tend to get frustrated that what is in my mind and what comes out on the page do not match.   Comments? Advice? 

Friday, January 29, 2010

More joy

If you look really closely, there is a small red ornament in the middle of this tree.

Ice and Snow

January 29, 2010
Yesterday morning the rain turned to sleet and eventually to snow. Luckily the wind was not as bad as it was during the last snow on Christmas eve. This one however, was primarily ice initially so that when the snow started, it was on top of the ice. Today it is just a light snow. When I went outside my door to take a few photos, the snow made a distinct crunching sound of the ice underneath. It is not worth it to me to venture more than a few steps to take photos. I am definitely not trying to dig my car out from under the blanket of snow and ice. The news crews are showing downed power lines across the interstate. Luckily, I received a phone call and did not have to go to work the last two days. There are many people without power, so I am grateful that I still have power, at least for the time being.
One of the photos is from yesterday, a composite showing snow in front of my door, in order to show the change over two hours.
I have been trying to learn new things in photoshop. I have an older version, so I have to work around some of the instructions that are given online. It took me forever, but I was finally able to make an overlay. I set my camera on a slow speed in order to attempt to capture some of the snowflakes as they were falling. Then I put the overlay I had made (thanks to the instruction video on karenika's blog), and added a sentiment.
Thanks for looking.
Off to enjoy more of the gift of today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010