Saturday, October 31, 2009

Santa Cruz at Sunset

My Uncle Ken's painting.
My first attempt.

My second attempt.

Hi! I hope you are having a happy and productive day. I have had such a nice day so far. I cleaned all morning, and then decided to reward myself with painting. So I set out my Uncle Kenny's painting in front of me and tried to copy it. I tried it twice, and learned a lot each time. I think I really have a ways to go, but I figure he's been painting all of his life and he is older than my dad, so that's a lot of experience. I still had so much fun! I like how much attention it demands to draw and paint. I'd forgotten how satisfying that is. Anyway I will try to upload all three paintings so you can see my progress. Here goes. Wow it worked. I will try to put labels on them. They are in order starting with my Uncle Ken's, then my first attempt, then my second. In the first I thought the clouds were a blurred pine tree so I was trying to make it look like that. In the second I realized it must be clouds and fog. The scene is Santa Cruz. I sort of stole it from my dad. After my mom died, he said to come over and take the paintings we wanted. So I did. But then he had second thoughts and wanted them back, so I took them all back but this one. I asked him if he minded, and he said he missed it, but that it was OK. I guess I am really selfish, because I have kept it. Maybe I'll take it back now....not. I really love his painting, and it is the only one I have:) I have not mastered the wet in wet technique which I think he used for the sunset and mountain. I think I will take it Monday night and ask my teacher how to do that better.
Well, Mel is waiting for me to go home teaching. Last day of the month and all that:) Hope you are having a gut wan. Happy Halloween! Melody

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Eve Day:)

Good morning! I am up kinda early so I thought I would write a little before I leave. I am going with my daughter Amy today to pick up her boys for Halloween! She is happy and so am I. And of course the boys will be happy too. They are so sweet.
Well, I've got to tell you a little more about our piggy. I went and picked up the meat from the butcher...Two large boxes full of ham, bacon, sausage, chops, steaks, roast, etc. I was really excited. So I took them home and started filling the freezer.....and ran out of room! I had already cleared the old stuff from our freezer, but it wouldn't all fit. So Mel suggested we probably should go purchase a freezer. I was afraid this might happen, so I have been pricing them. We got a pretty nice freezer from Costco for not a whole lot of money. And everything fit into this one. Our old freezer is really old and on its last leg. We actually got it for free when we moved out here from someone who was moving and didn't want to pack it. So it was a good thing. Just not timely. Oh well. Luckily Mel's business is still going strong. I hope it continues!!!
Well, I probably should have waited to write today as I really don't have much to say. Just hi and hope you are having a wonderful day. Keep your stick on the ice! HAGW! Melody

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hog Disclaimer

I am writing a little disclaimer to the last post. Seriously....I did not read today's strip until after I had published my blog. Isn't that weird? All those hog references were just random, and the title is from Barbara Kingsolver's book. I thought it was appropriate for the blog. Anyway, just had to set the record straight for future generations and the great unknown cyberspace out there. TTTL Melody

Pigs in Heaven?

Good afternoon! I hope you are having a gut wan! Happy Trails to you! I've been singing that song in my head since I read facebook for some unknown reason:) Maybe because I am headed off to the meat packers! That's right, we've bought ourselves a whole hog. (Funny phrase, huh?) At any rate my friends Kristen and Nate raised ten little piggies and then sold them. So we are buying one and it is time to go pick it up from the butcher. "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again jiggity jig." We've never bought a whole hog before (there's that funny phrase again). I have no idea how much meat we'll get, but I figure with our extended clan there's always plenty of mouths to feed. And we love sausage and bacon and ham and all of those yummy things that raise your cholesterol sky high! Darn! Why did we have to get so educated about diet anyway? Life was a whole lot more fun when people just ate what tasted good. Sigh! Did you see the movie "Babe"? I remind myself of the farmer's wife who is so excited to have ham for Christmas. She seems a little macabre in the movie, but in real life I really identify with her!
I probably won't actually get to share in the pork for a while though. I started back on my low calorie diet yesterday and pork is definitely banned, along with everything else tasty and tempting. It will be worth it though if I can lose another 20 pounds or so. And it's a good season to be doing some pulling back with all of the holidays approaching....not the least of which is my 60th birthday...Aack! I didn't think this birthday would bother me that much, but I can definitely say it is. Nov. 23rd is fast approaching and I just want to skip the day altogether. Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away!
Well, I guess I'd better go get that little piggy. I hope you are having a great day with lots of smiling going on. HAGW! Melody

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Looking Back

OK, I am posting a few more pictures from our weekend trip, because I would still like to be there. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I especially enjoyed our drive up the Lick Creek Road. The other photos are of the little town of Roseberry, which is a Finnish town I guess. It was founded by Finnish people anyway, and they have such quaint old buildings. The last is a photo of a frozen waterfall I thought was especially beautiful.
Well this post is looking strange from the composing side. Instead of pictures there are just coded numbers and letters. We'll see if this works. Hope your day is going swell. I need a nap! I am already anticipating getting up so early tomorrow. I didn't sleep well at all again last night. Soooo ridiculous! Oh well, sigh. Hope you are having a gut wan! Melody P.S. I'm posting a link, I think, to the website Amy and I have been working on for my art teacher. Check it out! I think it is pretty cool! Ooops! That didn't work. So here is the URL. (I hope you like it.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't argue!

Well, I am learning that you really can't argue with watercolors. And when you feel like you are you should stop. This first photo is what I painted last night in class.

This second photo is after my argument with this painting.

This third photo is my second attempt. I like it better. I still had a hard time putting a mast on the boat, but I just left what I had instead of trying to fix it. And it isn't all that bad. I wish you could see the real colors, but my camera, or blogger loses something in the interpretation.

The last two pictures are of my grandson, S... He is really a cutie and not too bad of a distraction. He painted right along side of me for a while. He's pretty cute.

Well, it is time to take him back to his mommy so I've got to go. I really like the new logo. Gut wan! Hope you are having a great day. ATB Melody

Monday, October 26, 2009

Windy Beaches

I had another great painting class tonight. I think I am starting to get the hang of it. Anyway, it is fun learning new things each time. Tonight we did a windy beach scene. I am much slower than the rest of the class. But that's OK. It gives me something to work on all the rest of the week. And I think I am his newest student. A lot of the people are regulars and have been taking his class for a while. So they know some of the techniques already. I'll post a picture of my picture tomorrow.
I am sitting here eating my rather late dinner of marinated salmon (yum!), baked potato, and fresh raspberries. It sure tastes good. I think I was shaking a little in class because I waited too long to eat. But today got a little hectic running S back to his mommy in Boise. I am watching him again tomorrow too. I guess I will always have some little munchkin to be responsible for. But I really don't mind. I have always had a special place in my heart for little children. I just get more tired than I used to get. I guess it comes with the territory.
Well, I hope you are having a good Monday night. Happy FHE! TTTT

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Relaxing AND Beautiful!

We had such a nice weekend!

The place we stayed was terrific. It is called Bear Creek Lodge, and is spacious and beautiful. We had such a nice room...actually a little cabin. It had a gas fireplace and a jetted tub, and a deck with a really beautiful view.

Saturday we rode our bikes all around McCall and then had lunch at a great little shop called the Fogglifter. I guess it is a coffee shop, but they had wonderful lunch. And the best little table in the corner with big sunny windows! I really liked sitting there, so we did for quite a while and just talked and enjoyed the sunshine. We were kind of afraid we would get wet weather like we had in Yellow Pine, but it only rained a little on Friday evening and on through the night. Then Saturday it cleared up and was beautiful, although a little chilly.

We drove up the Lick Creek Road out of McCall towards Yellow Pine and took lots of pictures for my art class. I am trying to get some good shots to paint. I think I got a few really good ones. We hiked around too. It was fun and we felt like we got lots of exercise. I couldn't resist the sign about where the heck is Yellow Pine. You have to drive that road to appreciate the sign.
Then we came back to the lodge and watched a couple of movies. Have you ever seen "So I Married an Axe Murderer"? It was pretty funny, with a few chocolate chips of course. It has Mike Myers, so that is a given I guess. But funny. Then we watched "Matchstick Men" with Nicolas Cage. That was pretty good.
This morning we drove up to Goose Lake and then almost to Hazard Lake. But it was too far and we didn't want to miss church, so we turned around and made it for sacrament meeting. We really enjoyed the ward in McCall. Then we drove around in the valley and found a little Finnish town. They had lots of antique stuff...buildings, cars, etc. Even a carriage. I think the name of the place was Roseberry. Anyway, pretty interesting.

All in all it was a great weekend. No worries, phones, TV's or computers. I really did have an enjoyable time. And now I guess I can put my nose back to the grindstone. It was a nose to the grindstone, right? I forget.

Hope your weekend was good, and you didn't feel too confined:) It's too bad everyone couldn't have such a wonderful weekend, not that I am trying to rub it in or anything:) But I really did have a great time. Here's wishing you and yours all the best! TTTL Melody

Friday, October 23, 2009

Opposite World

OK, I admit, I am ignoring the dishes, but they'll wait right? And this may not, since I may forget it if I wait too long.
I took Taylor for a bike ride around our little cul-de-sac on the tandem extension hooked on to my bike. He really likes it; it gets him away from the X-Box, and I get a little exercise. And Max likes it too, as he can run free in the neighborhood alongside the bike:) About the sixth time around I heard a clunk. So I stopped the bike and Taylor said the peddle had fallen off. So we stopped to fix it. I was screwing it back in and Taylor said I was turning it the wrong way, so I explained how it has to turn around opposite of the way you peddle or it would unscrew all of the time. So we started riding around again and he started in with his imagination. "You know Grandma, there is an opposite world, and it's where you go if God sends you. Everything there is opposite of what it is here. If you come to a red light you just go right on through. And if you come to a green light you have to stop. And the people there are opposite too." And he went on. But then he said, "You know I am an opposite person. But God sent me here instead. But I am still the opposite of everyone else." I thought it was kind of funny, and maybe a little sad. I guess we all feel a little opposite sometimes. I just thought I would share. Thanks for sharing too. I always enjoy your comments:) TTTL
Hi! I thought I would write a little more before we leave for McCall. We aren't going to leave til Mel is through working for the day. He hired a new man this week...Bro. Breshears from our ward. He is a great guy and should really be a help to Mel. Maybe in a month or so he will be able to leave, and have someone working while he is away. That would sure be great.
I think we will take our bikes up with us. I would sure like to ride around up there. Of course the weather is much chillier so it may not be possible. But there are lots of biking trails. And as long as we don't attempt the impossible like that mountain biker we met on the way to Goose Falls we should be OK.
So this morning I had a doctor appointment and my blood work was OK. I guess I don't have to check in with him again til January. Although I see him every week at church:)
Well, I hope your Friday is a good one. I probably won't blog for a day or two. HAGW or two! Melody

Thursday, October 22, 2009

McCall Getaway

Yes, I admit, this does look like a brochure for a motel in McCall. I am excited to be going here for the weekend though. I really love McCall, and this place looks really nice. It is on the other side of town and located out of the hubub of the city. We are staying in our own little cabin, so it should be a great getaway-from-it-all kind of a weekend.
I thought this gazebo shot was kind of cool, with the mist and the mountains in the background.

And I like this picture too of the lodge.

I am hoping to get some painting in, or at least some photos. And maybe some hiking or biking if it isn't too cold. Today it was 50. Brrrr! But there is supposed to be a nice hot tub and also each room has a fireplace. Can you tell I am excited to go?
Today has been a good day for a Thursday:) The temple was nice of course. But I am not so tired as I often am. I got a good amount of sleep last night. Yay! That is always good. I hope I am over the insomnia phase of this year:) I hope it is only a phase. I don't remember a worse year for sleeping.
Well, I hope you are also having a great Thursday! Remember, we're all in this together! Keep your stick on the ice. I'm pullin' for you! HAGW! Melody

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Third Time is a Charm?!

So I promised I would post the third attempt at the boat/river scene. You can see I have been busy working at the dining room table. I have paints and brushes scattered everywhere.
I try to be neat and clean, but you can see my pallette is not!

The first photo is probably most true to color. I think the second one is kind of bright from the flash on the camera.

I am happier with this painting than the last two. I just wish I knew how to make it look finished! Or at least to feel finished!

Hope your day is going well. Wishing you ATB! Melody


Good morning! It's still dark here at 7 am, and I've been up for a while. I never can get used to shorter days. You'd think I grew up at the equator instead of the Bay Area! I really like the warmer and longer days of summer though. I guess I will have to invest in some brighter light bulbs:)
I woke up this morning thinking of Yellow Pine. What a funny little town that is. I don't know how people survive in a little place like that. I guess not many do. Isn't the population 40 or something? Still it was fun to visit. Kind of hard on vehicles though:) I was thinking of the the Burma Shave slow down. So funny! But that memory came back so clear, like I was sitting in the truck again on that bumpy dirt road. I love those clear memories! I'm glad I have them, and of course I hope I can keep all my memories. Someone told me the other day that her son, who is a doctor, said they have come up with a new medicine that may halt Alzheimer's. They have tested it in petrie dishes and on lab animals and have gotten good results. And now they are trying to get FDA approval to test it on humans. I hope that it is true and that it works. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was no Alzheimmer's disease? I really like all of my memories and I really don't want to lose them....not even for pretend:)
Well, I painted a new version of the boat scene yesterday, but I'm not even going to post it since I still didn't get it right. But I sketched it one more time and I will work on painting it today and post it later if it turns out OK. I'd better get going though. I have more laundry to do today, and tomorrow is temple day again so I can't put it off. I hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday! If I can upload it I will try to include a video of H making the sound of a horsie. It is hilarious! Be sure to HAGW! P.S. I can't get it to upload so I published it on my youtube account. I'll try again later today.
Yes!!!! I did it! I love when things work. I feel just a little less computer illiterate!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Boats and other puzzles

Well I thought I was going to sleep better last night, but first I had to draw a boat. Just a little row boat for my latest painting. I am still puzzling over it. I guess for me painting is a little like Sudoko is for Mel....a puzzle I have to figure out before I can sleep. Then I woke up about 4 am trying to figure out another puzzle that probably isn't solvable. So I woke up too early after going to bed too late. Aack! I am so tired of sleep deprivation. Luckily I do not feel depressed....just tired. I will try to get a nap today, but I am watching a grandson so we'll see. Maybe he will want to sleep too:)

Painting class was good last night. I am learning things each time. Last night I learned I need to get over trying to fix everything, and to stand back and walk away! It sounds like what I need to do in my own personal life. I am always trying to fix things for everyone else. I guess it wouldn't hurt to back up a little and let people have a little space to fix things for themselves. I tend to hover over my kids and grandkids. So I have learned a life lesson once again. I wish I could remember them all. I also learned I need to take a little time for me once in a while to rejuvenate myself. I learned that long ago when I was going nuts raising 7 kids. I am learning it again as I am going nuts trying to fix all of their problems. I have resolved to take time for me again. When I was thirty something I took horseback riding lessons. Now I am taking art classes and riding my bike and walking. Oh, and writing too, of course.

Well, today should be busy enough with laundry and cleaning, but I am going to fit a little time in for painting too. I will upload a picture of last night's painting including the badly drawn boat. It isn't finished, but I kind of like it anyway. Hope you are having a wonderful day! TTTL

Monday, October 19, 2009

Well, this is the best I could do without starting over. I have reworked a few areas until the paper is rough. But Oh well! I am practicing and that is good. Also the therapy is great! I really do love doing this. This one I never saw a photograph. I really think I do much better when I see what I am painting in "real life". Otherwise I start guessing about what it should look like, and I am often wrong. I also got this photo a little blurred I think. Anyway, I have a ways to go before I make it to the Louvre!
Today has been a good day. I have made a delivery for our business, painted, cleaned, written, and visited with daughters and grandchildren. So that is a lot and I feel like it's been a worthwhile day so far. Tonight is my watercolor class. That should also be fun. I think Mel is coming, so we can both enjoy the fun.
Well, I certainly hope your day is going well. Isn't life great? HAGW! Melody

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Last night at the high priest party, we were sitting around playing cards (I know:) and talking and someone said. "Look at the sky! Wouldn't that make a beautiful painting?" So I went outside and took this picture.
And this one.
And this one.
Then I went around the garage to see what the sunset looked like, and was blown away by how gorgeous it was. Then I thought how life is like that. Sometimes you have to look a little harder to see the beauties of life.

Sunday is such a wonderful day, don't you think? I always look forward to a day of rest. I don't have to feel guilty about letting work slide...just for a day. And I can think on the real beauties of, friends, and the earth as God intended. I hope you are having a wonderful Sabbath day and that you can enjoy with me the paintings that Heavenly Father creates for us in the heavens! HAGW! Melody

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tricky Telephone Wires

OK, so it isn't Rembrandt, but I am getting better I think. I am just having trouble putting in the telephone wires. I have blotted them out now about three times. And you can hardly even see them in the photo. But I will persist. It isn't easy though. Especially since my eye can see what it should be like, but my shaky hands just don't quite get it. I really think I prefer painting light to dark. And of course I like oils even better:) They can be painted over. But I am still thinking this is fun, mostly because it is so absorbing. Today is kind of weird for me. I still think on Saturday we should do something fun. Growing up my family always (or almost always) took a day trip on Saturday. Since my folks both taught school, it worked pretty well to take Saturday holidays. But with Mel owning his own business we often stay home so he can work. And I still have that childhood expectation to go to the beach or the mountains or the city. So I am glad I can paint. Tonight we have a High Priest party. I am making potato salad. It is at Jodell's so it should be lots of fun. And it will make Saturday more fun like it should be! Well, hope you are having a great day! Keep your stick on the ice! HAGW! Melody

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Post Script

This is a photo story of lunch at the Cheesecake Factory today:) You may get a kick out of this. I did!
This first one is of Amy and her little kermudgen. She is such a cutie, and of course Amy is too. But H is still learning table manners. Here she is visiting with the next table:)
This is me across the table with Kim's little guy. He had fun watching H across the table.

Here's another of beautiful Amy.

And this is H after a few bites of lunch. She was so funny I had to get a photo.

And then another.
It's a good thing to eat with grandkids. It certainly keeps you humble. And entertained! Well, that's all I've got to say. I'm enjoying today! Hope you are too! TTTL

Keeping Perspective

I worked on my painting a little this morning. I think it is coming along. Maybe not where I had originally planned to go, but that's the fun, right? I've got to go now and make a grandson pickup. Then I am meeting Amy for lunch. Should be a good day. The weather is beautiful. We had a day of rain and cold. But the beautiful weather is back for a bit. Hope your day is going well. Keep smiling! I will add some more later today. I am feeling much more rested and things are back in their proper order. No ifs, ands, or buts about it:) HAGW!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Well, I am exhausted again! I woke up at 12:30 am and couldn't fall back asleep. Of course Thursday morning is temple, so the alarm went off at 3:30 am, right on schedule. It didn't wake me up as I was already awake. So now I am feeling pretty tired. I wish I could control my sleep better. The doc gave me something that is supposed to help, but it sure didn't work last night. Sigh! I really don't like being tired, because then I start feeling sorry for myself. And I would rather stay cheery and bright. I'm working on it, but it's such an effort today. I did enjoy a comic strip or two today. I am grateful that someone out there keeps thinking up funny things to brighten my day! Thank you!!! I have really enjoyed them this week:)
Well, I really can't think of much to write. I painted today for a couple of hours. That cheers me, but I have to squint and stand back for it to look good at this stage. I am painting the scene from my last post. That is how Bob Fagan teaches. He paints it in stages and we copy what he does. But I was late on Monday night and missed a lot of the instruction. He was teaching us a dark to light technique for watercolor, and it was fun to watch. Not so easy to do. He always makes it look so easy. But I am learning. I just need a lot more practice. This is a picture of what I've done so far.
Well, I am going to try to get to bed early. But first I have to help get the two boys to bed. Liz is at school. She should be getting an associates degree before too long. I am sooo happy about that. I'm not sure she will pursue a full degree, but I think even an associates will help with finding good work. We'll see. I hope your day has gone well. Sweet dreams:) Melody

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Busy Day

Wow, today has been a great day! I spent the morning with my book club friends and we had so much fun talking about Elna Shimfissle. Then I went to the art store and picked up a couple of colors I needed and some mat board. Then I came home to work on the page Amy is creating for my art teacher Bob Fagan. He is an excellent artist and does a wonderful job of painting. Especially watercolor which is so hard. I have been taking pictures of the art I have of his. This is a picture of one that he already sold. It is hard to photograph a painting and do it justice. But I think I finally got it right. Then I tried to cut a mat. Unfortunately I did not check to see if my razor blade was sharp enough and it wasn't! So I ruined a mat. I guess I can still use it if I recut it larger. I will just have to paint a bigger picture to fit the mat. Not exactly the way it is supposed to work. But oh well. Live and motto of late:) If you want to get a sneak peek of Bob Fagan's website you can find it at It is still in the making, but I think it will be a good one. Amy said it already has a ranking of 6. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I think it is good:)
I am going to have Amy make a website for me when I get good enough. Right now I don't think I could sell anything. But I am getting better each class. Maybe in a few months ....or years...or decades:) I do love painting though. If I never get that good, I will have enjoyed it anyhow. It is real therapy for me. I had really forgotten how much I love to draw and paint. I think I like it better than writing. And I do love to write. Why else would I put so much in a silly blog that isn't even read much? I just need to write, and now I need to paint. I am glad I have gotten in touch with my muse.
Well, I am supposed to be fixing dinner and watching two little grandsons at the present time. I hope your day is going well. I wish you all the best! HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Old Barns

Every time we drive through Smithfield, Utah, I am amazed at all the wonderful old barns. I always take a picture or two as we drive down the main street. These really looked interesting to me. It is something I have always liked....old barns. Maybe someday I'll get a barn of my own:) But I kind of doubt it.

Today has been pretty fun. I spent the morning drying plums from our tree. They are really sweet, so drying them should make for a tasty treat. Then I went bicycling with some friends. We went in the rain! It was lots of fun. It made me feel like a kid again. I have always enjoyed riding bikes, but I haven't ridden in the rain for a very long time. I realized it was really raining when the rain started dripping from my nose:) When I was young I don't think I paid much attention to the weather. Maybe I pay too much attention to it now.
I am reading a really funny book. It is called, "Can't Wait to Get to Heaven." The author is Fannie Flagg. She also wrote "Fried Green Tomatoes". I am really enjoying her characters, especially Elner Shimfissle. I find myself laughing out loud almost every page. It is a real fun read. I need to get it finished before book club tomorrow. It should be a fun book club with such a great book to discuss.
Well, I better get back to real life and things as they really are. I do enjoy blogging though. It is fun to write a little something about my day. Hope all is well with you and yours. HAGW!! Melody