Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Wintry Day

Good morning! We have a little snow today.

So I went out to take a few photos and decided I really don't like the cold that comes with the beautiful scenery. Brrr! It really is pretty though. I guess I will put up with the cold. Of course I will be wearing boots to church. I don't know why, but I really don't like that. So I've got to get a better attitude. Maybe snowshoes would work well:)

At any rate, it will be a cold and snowy day today. I wonder if we will sing about it in church...."A Wintry Day". I love that song, but I suppose it is a New Year's song. I wish we sang it more. I guess the tune is a little complicated. Perhaps challenging for the organist.

Yesterday was a nice day. We visited with Amy, after we mailed tax forms and distributed a couple of W-2s. I am glad to be done with that. Amy was having fun. She was painting her kitchen. And Aaron was redoing a bathroom. They are remodeling their house in anticipation of a move to Las Vegas. They are going to move there to be closer to her boys who are moving to St. George in March. Their dad is transferring there. I suppose people are moving throughout the country in search of employment. It is a sad time for our country's economy. I guess it is the consequences of greedy people being allowed to be greedy. I hope it is fixable.

Well, I have been reading a book on watercolor technique that is intriguing to me. It is so interesting how many different ways there are to paint. This is a very detailed method....but I like it a lot. I'm not sure I can do it though. I think I kind of like loose painting. But I want to try it and see. This is an example from the book.

The artist is Ray Hendershot. I really like the tree with the moon behind. And the lights on in the house. I will work at some of the techniques to see if I can paint like this.

Well, I hope your day is going well. And that the cold weather is manageable. And to warm you, here is a link to the Mormon Tab Choir singing one of my favorites..."God Be With You". It speaks to me on so many levels. I think of all the missionary farewells, and funerals, but especially I think of my son Tommy. I miss him a lot. I really like the verse about "when life's perils thick confound you...put His arms unfailing round you." It is very comforting I think. Well, I hope your Sunday is calm and meaningful. Take care! And HAGW! Melody

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Short Note

Good morning! I am off to Glenn's Ferry today to visit Amy. We are going to try to upload dvd's to Bob Fagan's website. I hope we can be successful at this. I am anxious to get things rolling! I think we may also paint a little. We were going to go to a hot springs but have decided against it. I may throw some swim suits in the car anyway:)
I hope your day is great! HAGW! Melody

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nose musings or just plain nosey

Good morning! Or as they say in Indonesia...Selamat pagi! I hope it is for you! I am planning on it being a good one here. I uploaded a picture of the painting I did yesterday. The perspective is a little off. I think I don't sketch or paint well with other people around. I had fun of course, but I guess I really need to focus and concentrate to do my best. So much for a painting career on TV! I did enjoy this different technique of painting with colors that sing:) That really was the name of the book we used to paint from. It was pretty interesting. She talked about how different colors can set off other colors. It reminded me of the quilting class I took. We used different colors of fabric to do the same thing. This painting was supposed to use different grays to make the primary color sing. I guess I didn't quite do it right. I may try it again....alone this time:)

Last night I almost forgot it was orchestra. I was enjoying just being home. Then it hit I grabbed my instrument and a couple of nose whistles :) and raced to get there on time. I was only a couple of measures late. I gave the other clarinetist a nose whistle that was still in the wrapper. She was happy to get it, but had a hard time getting it to make any noise. I told her to take it out of the wrapper and then I demonstrated how to make a tune (very quietly) during song changes. She promised to practice so we could play them next week. It should be fun. I had a hard time concentrating on the music last night. I think I get too tired and then I can't focus too well. It's mostly counting rests for the clarinets this year. I looked for an app on my iphone to count for me. I did find a metronome and a tuner. But no measure counter. Some one should invent that! I get a little silly when I am so tired. I am glad Brother Rummler hasn't fired me yet:) I suppose he probably has thought of it on occassion. He is always so nice.

Well, today Max goes to the vet to have his staples taken out. I hope he gets a clean bill of health. He was limping on the other foot yesterday. I told Mel I think he needs to finish the gates in the fence. He did close up one, but he has been busy and hasn't gotten to the other two openings. But Max is getting to be older and probably should be confined. Also it is the law in the county to confine your dog. Nobody does around here, but I would feel better if we did. He ususally stays home anyway. He likes being indoors especially.

Well, I am rambling. I hope your day is great. Spring is coming! And gardening....and flowers. I miss having flowers! And warmth in the air. My dad said it was 75 in Hawaii when I talked to him yesterday. No I am not envious. Well, maybe just a little. Aloha! Melody

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Science Thursday

Good morning! I am excited for today. I am going visiting teaching this morning. That is always fun. Then after lunch my friends Jodell and Kathy are coming over to.....paint! I am happy they want to come, and glad for the company. Jodell grew up in the midst of painting and Kathy minored in it at school. So I will have some new viewpoints. I think that should be fun. And besides that they are really both lots of fun just to talk to. Then tonight is orchestra. Once a month we meet with the choir to record. Brother Rummler has an online business where he sells his arrangements. So he likes to record each number for his website. I like playing with the choir. It makes the music make more sense. And I usually sing along during all of the clarinet rests. Not too loudly though, as I sit right near a microphone:) I thought I might bring nose whistles....but I don't want to be too rowdy. So I will wait and bring them next week:)
Have I mentioned how cute my grandsons are? I have a lot of them and each one is unique and wonderful. I always wished I had had a few more sons when I was raising kids, so it is like an answer to prayer to have 15 grandsons. Of course the two I live with I see the most. And laugh with the most. Yesterday Gabriel who is only 4, told me all about anphibies and how they metamorphisize into frogs. He was really excited about it. Then he talked about butterflies and how they do it too! He is so funny, and soooo full of energy. He has an active mind, but he is still trying to keep that body of his under control. He really does try, but he is definitely challenged. He came and climbed into bed with us at 4 this morning. Mel promptly took him back to his own bed:)
Taylor, my six year old grandson has already left for school. His bus comes pretty early. He was very excited to go today. The fourth graders are selling beef jerky to raise funds for a special field day they have each year. And Taylor had a dollar from his savings all ready to take, and knew exactly which little girl he was buying jerky from:) It sure starts early!
Well, I guess I'd better get going. I hope you have a cheery day. Watch out for all of those anphibies out there! OAO :) Melody

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Swampy painting

Good morning! The sun is out here today. I really like that. I am going to have to work on the wind though. It is pretty breezy and cold. Of course that is probably why the sun is out. Today is temple day. I am very happy about that. And I think I will paint some this morning. I have been watching some of Bob Fagan's PBS tapes. They are really good. He gave me some for Amy to upload onto his website. She is going to make them available to download from there (for a fee). I hope that he gets some takers. They are really filmed so beautifully and it is fun and so informative to watch him paint on location. Last night I watched one where he painted a mangrove swamp. It was pretty funny seeing him just a little nervous about snakes and alligators. But the painting was great and I learned a little more just watching him. I want to try some of what I learned. Of course Gabriel is running free at the moment, so I doubt I can do this until Liz is up and functioning. Sigh!
I mentioned that Mel got a new computer yesterday. It sounds so simple to just replace the old with the new. But it's not. (Reminds me of a joke from the fourth grade). Anyway, he has been trying to load all of his info from the old hard drive to the new. What a job. And to top it off none of the programs will recognize the new computer, so he is having to call each company and get through all of their recordings to get to a real person, ....blah, blah, blah! He is currently trying to get onto the internet, so I will have to cut this short.
I hope all is well. Hang in there and keep that stick firmly planted on the ice! I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together!!!! HAGW! Melody

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wishing for warmer places!

Hi there! I thought I would share last night's painting. I like this one. Although I suppose it could be better if I just knew how! But I like the warm weather feel and I can almost feel the way it feels to be there in Florida...on the island of Sanibelle or somewhere. I would like to be somewhere warm. I may just climb under the covers. I am feeling so tired. I drove my dad and Barb to the airport early this morning. They are off for a 10 day trip to Hawaii. No, of course I do not envy them. Then I went with Mel to breakfast, then came home to be visit taught, then drove with Mel to replace his computer (it broke and his business depends upon it working) then I drove Sebastian back to his mommy...I guess I forgot to mention I watched him today. So now I am home and finally able to blog. So then I guess it must be power nap time:) I am supposed to go to an extra rehearsal tonight for orchestra, but I told the director I could not come. So now I am debating about whether I should go, since it turns out I can. I have to be out tomorrow night and Thursday night, and I would like one evening home......I think I will stay here. I hope that is OK. I really do try to please everyone, but I think I need to rest a little before I push myself right over the edge. I feel like I am kind of close to it today.
Julie had this picture of Mel and I on her blog so I thought I would put it in here. It's from Wahooz! That really was a fun noisy place! And I like the picture.
Well, I guess I will sign off. I hope all is well with you and yours. Take care out there in cyberspace. I will try to do the same here. HAGE!!!! Melody

Das Boot

Guten morgen! I am feeling a little Deutsch this morning. I am so sick of this boat painting! I have drawn and painted it three times! I think I like the second dark and moody version the best. So what do you think? Jodell likes the first version. Kim likes the second. And Mel is not fond of any of them:) But he is not real fond of any of my art I think. He is a tool and die guy after all, and this is not exact enough I think. He might like acrylics or oils better. We shall see sometime in the future. I hope I get some good pointers tonight in class. I get frustrated with the detail. And Mr. Fagan is good at it.
Well, I have a fun day planned. First I get to go to my counselor. Then visit with Kim. And then my painting class. So it should be a good day. I guess this must sound so boring. I wish I could think of some interesting thing to write about. But alas, I am not really too full of ideas today. I hope you have a great wan! Melody

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Post Script

Well, church is certainly a good thing. I feel so much better! And my orange rolls were a hit with the choir. So that is good. I was relieved when they finally raised:)
So I just was confirming that I am feeling pretty good again. Mel is home so it is much nicer here now:) He has so much clerk work that it keeps him very occupied on Sunday mornings. I guess there is no way to avoid that, but I am glad he is home. I hope your day has been good too. I hope you get some shut eye. I am planning on it tonight!! And tomorrow is sure to be a bright and happy day. I hope yours is also. HAGE! Melody

Positive :)

Good morning! I am trying to make it one. I woke up sort of blue today. There is just no rhyme or reason to this. But I am going to stay positive. I am positive:) There! I keep thinking of my mom saying, "I'm just not going to feel this way any more." She really worked at it. I guess I didn't have any empathy for that back then. But I do now. My sweet mother! How I miss her!
Well, Sunday is certainly different with church not starting until 2. I started a batch of orange rolls to hand out to choir members, but the yeast is too old and they are not rising very well. I guess it serves me right for baking on Sunday:) But I promised I would make some if some of the men who never come would come.... and they did. I will roll them out and hope they rise better than the first rising.
Oh! I was just startled by Max! He was snoring. I guess I am a little blue being alone in this house too. I miss Mel and the grandkids. Mel is at bishopric meeting and the grandkids are with Liz somewhere...I hope I can adjust to being a stay at empty-home grandma. I do like painting, it just seems like I shouldn't do that either on Sunday. I did read some conference talks. I really like those. I guess I sound like I am complaining....sorry. I really am not. Logically I know how wonderful life is for me. I feel so sad for the earthquake victims. It must be such a hard existence in Haiti anyway. But I think that is part of my sadness...the world is such a very sad place for so many people. And I wish I could fix it for them.
Well, I can see I am not gaining ground this morning with my silly blogging. I do hope your day is great. And I will probably add a happy post script to this later...Happy Sabbath to you! BBTL Melody

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thinking Spring!

Good morning, Guten Morgen, Buenos Dias and Dobre rano! I love the translator app! I am feeling more talkative today. I got so busy yesterday I didn't even get near my computer except to dust it off and straighten my desk. But I didn't get much sleep last night so I am ready to blog. I told Mel I was feeling a little bloggish this morning:)
Yesterday was fun, but it started early....7:15 at the hairdresser's. Then I came home to clean some more for our last night's company, but I had to leave to go to a luncheon with my dad, Barb, and my old high school principal's daughter. We had fun. The little restaurant was inside a big plant warehouse/greenhouse type building. It was really beautiful and the food was good and nutritious too. The company was the best of all though. I enjoy getting to know people. I think it is one of my favorite things, to hear other people's life stories and I am always amazed how much everyone's experiences teach them so many of the same things I have learned from mine. I guess I thought everyone had such different experiences, and I am just beginning to realize how similar it makes us in the end.
Last night's party with our temple friends was fun too. Mel and I are not great card players, but we are learning. Last night we played two card games.....Oh, Shaw! and No Peeky. Funny names for funny games. I think I was the loster (Sebastian's word) in both games, although I played a couple of really good hands in No Peeky. But I don't think it is proper etiquette for the hostess to win all of the games anyway, so that is a good thing. We had so much fun, and good food, and it was just nice to have friends! I guess we have sort of dropped the ball in that area with all of the family busy-ness of the last few years. And moving way out here has kind of isolated us from our old friends. So it was especially nice to socialize last night. The only bad thing is we stayed up way too late....1:30! I haven't stayed up that late for fun reasons for a very long time. But we slept in all the way til 8 this morning! So I am good to go.
Today I think I will tackle that boat one more time using smoother paper, and not talking on the phone while I am attempting to add color. I hope your day is great! I think there is a hint of spring in the air. At least I keep thinking gardening thoughts. I even found some tulips and some purple status at Costco. So here is a spring bouquet. Think warm thoughts! HAGW! Melody

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Smiling Brightly:)

Buenos dias. Espero que hayas dormido bien. Dormi muy bien, gracias! And I did, which is not the usual for me. Usual is a very weird word. It's surprising to me how many weird words there are in the English language.
This morning I am cleaning, doing laundry and recovering our kitchen chairs. When we first moved here eight and a half years ago, we bought a new kitchen table and 6 chairs. There are only 4 chairs now as the others have been broken by rough housing grandkids:) Actually the wood is very brittle in them and I think the kids have only had to knock them over to break them. I have recovered them twice in that time and now am recovering them for the third and hopefully last time. This time I will not put plastic on them as I think the grandkids that live here are pretty good about keeping spills to the minimum. But with company coming, I would like to have clean looking chairs:)
So I guess I have not much to write about this morning. I usually am trying to limit what I write, but I guess when I have gotten enough sleep I am surprisingly dull:) I hope your day goes well. I am hoping the sun is out where you are as it is here, and that you have lots of chances to smile and feel happy! HAGW!!! Melody

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nightingales's Song

Good morning! Here is your daily dose of bad art:) Sorry, but I am having a hard time with this silly boat. This is the resketch. I will do it another time, but I'm not sure when. It was looking pretty good, but the phone kept ringing and I didn't put the brush down when I should have, and then I tried to fix something and started an argument with the painting, and it just got worse and worse. Oh well. I suppose I could hit it with a stick, but it seems very stubborn. Bob Fagan really likes boats. I like sailing and floating in them, but painting them is hard. Today I have the temple in the afternoon. I also need to start a thorough clean of the house, as we have invited a few friends over for Friday night games. Friday afternoon I am going with my dad and Barb to have lunch with my old Hayward high school's principal's daughter. His name was Don Oakes. He and my dad were very good friends. He passed away this last year, but his daughter lives in Boise and we thought it might be nice to meet her. Well, I guess I had better scoot. I have lots to accomplish today before we leave. Today I even have a state unemployment insurance form due. I hate all of the paper work that goes along with owning your own business. I wish we were really filthy rich and could pay someone else to do it all. I am not very good with it all. Well, actually I am pretty good at it, I just would rather be painting, or riding a bike, or swimming, or any other fun activity. See, I am not such a turtle as I seem. I like Julie's suggestion of a nightingale....ready to fly off to some fun adventure at a moment's notice, but willing to stick around and sing to someone who might be sick or sad:) I hope you are feeling great! If, la, la, la, laaaaaa:) HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Well, here they are. I hope you enjoy. I still have to do the last one over (the boat) and a little more on the colored river scene too. But I do think I am learning and improving. The hard part is going to be when I have to do this without an instructor. And of course, I probably will have to get a little more creative. I don't know if I can, but I will certainly try.
HAGW!!!! Melody


Good morning! I am excited today...second day in a row with sunshine. It rained during the night and is supposed to snow tonight, but sunshine in the morning! It reminds me of the song about Camelot. I used to think that living in the Bay Area was a little like living in Camelot. I love temperate weather. I suppose I have mentioned that before. But I can stand the cold if the sun comes out. I really like sunshine:)
Well, last night I got great praise for my monochromatic painting. I also did it in color and my teacher liked that one also. So that felt good. But then I started painting last night's subject....a row boat, and I felt like a beginner again. I am going to work on a better sketch and then I'll paint it one more time. It seems to me I repeat this process every week, but I guess that is good. I am still learning. I just wish I could remember to remember the previous lessons. Sigh!
I will post all the paintings later. I am watching little boys this morning.
I hope you have a wonderful day! And keep smiling! TTTL Melody

Monday, January 18, 2010

Brother Gency

Good morning! And I hope it is. The sun is out this morning, but we are promised a storm later today. I guess it is the same one that started in the Bay Area, dumped in the Sierras last night and today and is headed our way. Right now however it is 41 degrees and looks so promising. Without a weather forecast one would think Spring had arrived.
Mel reminded me that I haven't included a funny that happened on Saturday. We were swimming in the pool and all of a sudden Mel started laughing. I asked him what was so funny and he said I just figured out what that meant. I asked what. And he said the lettering on that life-saving ring hanging on the side of the fence. It had a rope that was covering up some of the lettering. He said he was trying to understand what "EMER" meant. And then he was looking at the bottom lettering trying to figure out what "GENCY" meant. Then he finally figured out it was one word. We laughed as he joked about who Emer Gency was. And how Bro. Gency had some rules for the pool. Just then an older couple was leaving the pool area and Mel said, "Bye, Brother Gency." It was pretty funny and kind of went along with my weird words. I found a really good picture of the pool. But I couldn't get it to copy and paste, so I will include a link. It is definitely worth the trouble to look at. It is such a wonderful setting. Just imagine the pool with snow around and steam rising off of the surface:) And be sure and look for the life saving ring hanging on the fence:)
I had a fun snuggle with Gabe (my four year old grandson) this morning. He told me he wanted to be big. I said that he would be. He said, "NO, I want to be as big as the clouds." Then he said, "I can grow for 98 minutes. Then I will be really tall!" He is just starting to understand measurements, and I guess 98 is a big number to him. Then he said, "Grandma, it is 25 until it is day." So I said, "25 what?" And he said, "25 until it is day." It was still dark, so I guess he was frustrated that it wasn't daylight yet, when he is allowed (by his mom) to be up. Such a cute boy, and I can tell he is a deep thinker already.
Well, tonight is my painting class, and I am excited for that. I sketched my monochromatic painting again, and if I have time I would like to paint it in color before class tonight. It has helped to realize a little about tones, and I would like to see if I can translate that into color. I think about it a little obsessively, which is kind of nice. I like having something I am really interested in. Mel asked me what my five year goal was, and I told him I would like to be painting well enough to be selling my work. He said there is some guy that said if you devote two hours a day to something for five years you will be at the top of your field. I don't know if that is true, but certainly I will have gotten much better than I am now.
Well, I have a crowd to fix breakfast for this morning. Julie and Randy and kids will be leaving later today. I am sad to see them go. We have had such a nice visit. I hope you have a good day. Take care and HAGW!!!! Melody

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Greetings from Idaho

Happy Sabbath Morning! I hope it is a good day for you. I think it will be here. Things are pretty quiet. Julie and family are at the other in-laws for last night and today. So I got a little rest.
Friday night was pretty wild with Matthew's first birthday. Lots of kids running every which way. But sweet little Matthew seemed totally unaware of the crowd. This is Matthew eating cake:)
Mel and I went up to Crouch in the mountains north of here. It is a pretty place. And they have a hot springs swimming pool that is quite nice. So we drove up intending to swim, but the place was packed (and 38 degrees outside!). So we drove around in the mountains looking at cabins for sale. We found one we really thought was cute by the river. So we got out and looked around. It was vacant and unlocked! I am always surprised at how trusting people are in Idaho. Anyway, being the snoop that I am we looked inside. We found papers on the table about cabin rentals. I guess this cabin rents out. Perhaps the last renters left it unlocked. I am not certain.

After our drive we decided to swim. By then the crowd had cleared and there were only a couple of other people in the pool. It was so warm and nice. I love that pool. As you swim around you can view the forest that surrounds the area. It reminds me a little of a place we used to swim in the Santa Cruz mountains. And as we were swimming in the very warm water, the rain was falling and kind of cold as it hit our faces. It was an interesting experience. We swam for about an hour and then decided to have dinner in the little lodge that is next to the pool. We had a pretty nice dinner, but we had to wait a long time for it. Apparantly they were short a cook and a waiter so things were quite slow. We had a nice talk though and it was fun to just sit and relax. We sat at the table for an hour at least between salad and main course. So then it was kinda late and we just headed back home. It was a very nice day. I wish we could just travel and visit together all of the time. But alas! Life is not usually like that. And I know Mel would get restless without his work. And I suppose eventually I would too.
Well, today is kind of a lazy day for me. Church doesn't start until 2. I tried a new recipe for cinnamon rolls that definitely flopped. Now the whole house smells like burnt cinnamon. Sigh. I don't usually make such a mess.

Well, I hope you are doing OK. Keep your tongue on the ice:) And remember we're pullin' for ya! HAGW!!!!! Melody (and Mel)

Friday, January 15, 2010


Good day! I hope it is for you. I am having a fun but busy day. Julie and her family arrived last night and it has quickened the pace around here. It is nice because I like having all of these wonderful family members here at home. But it is also sobering realizing my capacity to entertain and keep things in order is diminishing. I guess I realize that in little ways all of the time, but it really is apparant when I am cooking and cleaning for a house full of people. And to top it all off our microwave broke. It made a horrible loud noise and a weird light came from the inside. So we unplugged it to keep everyone safe. But I hadn't realized how much I really depend on this modern machine. I keep going to do soften the butter or the ice cream and then realize...oh yeah. Even something as simple as thawing out the takes so much time without a microwave! Of course I didn't have one until the late 80's, so I just have to switch back to old-fashioned mode. (Sounding like an old timer again!)
Julie, Randy and 5 boys have gone for the rest of the afternoon. They are running around doing stuff for their kids. So now it is fairly quiet. Only three little boys left...Liz's two and Kim's little guy. They are happily playing and watching a "Spy Kids" episode. It is nice when cousins all get along so well. And when Julie's 5 are in the bunch they play even more happily. I think maybe that isn't always true, but it seems to be true here. They do make a mess though. I will probably be in decluttering mode all weekend.
Yesterday I did paint for a couple of hours, but nothing new...just tweaking the old. I may paint some today. Then we are all going to "Wahooz". It is a play place in Meridian where they have lots of things to do...miniature golf, bumper boats, video arcade, climbing tubes, etc. I think the kids will have fun. We are having a birthday celebration for Randy who is turning 34. Remember when that seemed so old? Mel and I were sitting at an intersection earlier today and a bunch of jr. high kids were crossing the street. Mel said that they sure looked young. Then he said, "They are probably thinking that we sure look old!" I guess he's right. Sure is funny to be this old and still feel like you did so much younger.
Well, I guess I will say SYLA! Hope you have a gut.... errr.. great wan! Melody

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Good morning! I hope you are doing well. I am excited for a day of painting today. No kids to watch and all kinds of enthusiasm for a new approach. My teacher said that this last exercise in monochromatic tones would be helpful and I think I am beginning to see why. I want to go back and use what I have learned to fix and even redo some of my older paintings. And maybe even start a new one of my own. So I hope it works.
I think one of the things I like about watercolor is that it goes pretty quickly. It's also what I am frustrated with. And it made me think how many things in life are like that. I guess it must have to do with opposition in all things.
I really enjoyed being in the temple yesterday. I was priveledged to be a patron for some of the time because we were training. So I was a recipient of the blessings, and it really felt good and helped me to feel like I can trust in the Lord and His plans. Sometimes I think I get discouraged because I can't see the whole plan. This morning I feel very encouraged knowing that He does see everything.
Well, I will get on with my day. I hope your day is great. And don't get discouraged. There really is a plan of happiness:) TTTL Melody

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Forward with Faith

Good afternoon! I am all ready to leave for the temple, but I have a few more minutes so I thought I would write a little.
Last night's orchestra practice was entertaining! I am pleased that the other clarinetist from last year has returned again. She is a fine clarinetist, and so it makes my job easier since I am not. At least I wasn't very good last night. But we still had fun. We have a new violinist who is also excellent and it sure makes for beautiful music. We have a bunch of new songs that Bro. Rummler has arranged, so that is also great.
This morning was book club and we reviewed "Travels with Charley" by Steinbeck. It was fun to talk about such a fun book. I enjoyed reading it again and remembering why I had liked it in the first place. It makes me think maybe I will read "Cannery Row" and "Sweet Thursday" again. I really like the way he puts words together and it is such a joy to read. And I like the humorous works of his much more than the tradgedies these days. One of the things quoted today was Steinbeck quoting Mark Twain. "Women are lovely creatures with a backache." And a woman is a "goddess with cold feet." Pretty funny and in my case almost always true. We had a new member today who is an artist. She has done lots of painting and sculpture. I haven't seen any of her work, but we will meet at her house in March. That will be fun. She seems like she knows a lot and I took right to her.
Well, I hope all is well with you. I am trying to stay positive on this end. My counselor told me some funny stuff about personalities. I guess one theory is there are five types: the eagle (over all and in control), the turtle (steady and moving forward), the otter (always looking at the fun side of life-not a great planner), the tiger(aggressive and go get 'em) and the chamelion (changing opinions to please and fit in). She told me she thought I was a turtle...a steady Eddy type. It's interesting to see what others think of you. I would have thought I was an Otter before this last year, Mel thinks I am more of an Eagle. I guess it's all just for fun anyway. I am really just me and I am unique in all the world, as is each one of us. Hope you have a great day! Take care!!!! Melody

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blue Teeth

OK, here's the new and improved version. I'm sure you don't need to see this, but I do. I get too close to the subject matter and I can't tell how I'm doing. Taking a picture, posting it and viewing it on my iphone gives me a whole new perspective.
I also thought of something I have been going to blog about for a couple of weeks now, and I keep forgetting. When I got my iphone, I also got a "bluetooth" headset. Mel thought it would be safer when talking on the phone in the car. I think he's right except for one little aspect. As I am driving along with this little earpiece, I forget that I have it on. I'll be driving along peacefully, when all of a sudden a loud voice shouts in my ear, "You have a call on phone one." I always jump like I have been really spooked, even when I tell myself that I need to be prepared for this scenario. I haven't figured out if there is a way to turn down the volume, but I think then I wouldn't be able to hear whoever is calling. It is kind of a funny, odd, and unexpected aspect of the new bluetooth technology. The other weird thing has been talked and joked about on TV alot. That is when you are in a public place talking with this little earpiece and you seem to be talking to yourself. I try not to do that too much.
Well, gotta go take Sebastian to his mom. I hope your day is going well. Take care!!! Melody

Monochromatic...Now There's a Weird Word!

Good morning! I hope it is for you too! As you can see I had a discouraging painting night last night. We did a monochromatic study, and I didn't start with a good sketch and things just went from bad to worse. My teacher kept telling me that I was doing OK, and that I would learn tones this way and ....but I still felt bad.
So last night when I woke up at midnight and couldn't go back to sleep, I snuck out into the kitchen and redid my picture on the back of this one. And I feel much better about it. First I did a good sketch. That makes so much difference! And then I masked the whitest areas. And then I carefully and slowly did the rest. I like it much better. I hope you do too.

I still have some work to do. I have too dark of a spot by the rock in the river, and I think I need to darken some of the white areas. But at least now I can tell what the painting is about.

Today I am going over to Boise to pick up 4 year old Bassie (Sebastian) and then I guess we will just have a fun day together. Then tonight is orchestra. I haven't practiced for about 8 months. So it may be another discouraging evening. Wait....I'm sure I will do fine. But I know I won't be playing my best until I start exercising those mouth muscles:)
Well, gotta go! Hope your day is full of encouragement and smiles! HAGW! Melody

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wake Up Polly!

Good morning! I woke up to a beautiful sunrise this morning! But now it is overcast and kind of gray. Oh well, warmer temperatures come with this grayness. I am feeling very good this morning, despite the gray. I feel like I gave a good lesson yesterday and now I just have fun things to look forward to this week. Tonight is my painting class, tomorrow night is orchestra (we are starting up again), Wednesday is book club and we are discussing "Travels with Charlie" per my suggestion. So that should be fun. I like the feeling of a good week stretching out in front of me. I am working hard at seeing the positive things instead of the negative. There are always plenty of those, but I am just going to face them each as I need to and not fret.
Well, I guess I will just say I hope you have a good week too. And just in case you are struggling with that here is a good youtube link to keep you happy. Enjoy! I love the parrot sketch! HAGW! Melody

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Loving Fathers

Good morning! I am working on the last little bits of my lesson and trying to stay calm. I love the subject matter...."Our Heavenly Father". I have always felt I had some advantage feeling how much I am loved by my Heavenly parents, because I always felt so loved by my own earthly parents. I grew up thinking everyone had that experience. Of course, life has taught me how very, very fortunate I was. And how easy parts of the gospel are for me, because I felt so loved. I really did and do have wonderful, loving parents. Brigham Young said, "When you . . . see our Father, you will see a being with whom you have long been acquainted, and He will receive you into His arms, and you will be ready to fall into His embrace and kiss Him. . . . You will be so glad and joyful. . . . When you are qualified and purified, . . . you can endure the glory of eternity." [JD 4:54–55] I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I hope I can qualify some day to be in His presence again. And I really hope I can give this lesson today without being so nervous!!!! Our church is on the late schedule this year, so I have until 4:15 or so before I actually give this lesson. Oh, and I forgot to get chocolate....which I usually hand out for the lesson. It's a kind of a tradition in this ward. so I will be breaking tradition. Oh well.....I will have some other kind of handout.....maybe a quote from the lesson to tape on their fridge:)
Well, I am just nervousing. I don't know why writing all this in a blog helps, but it does. So I will stop worrying about it and just get on with my day. I hope yours is great! Take care! Happy Sabbath!!! Melody

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Road Less Traveled (for good reason!)

Well, today we went for a little ride in the mountains:) It started out as just a little look see. Let's go look and see what is up this road. And with some encouragement from our roadmate app we kept climbing. And climbing. And the road got snowier and steeper. Mel put the Explorer in 4 wheel drive and assured me that he was in good control of the car.

And I had no reason to doubt that was true, until the road started getting slippery and scary. So then we had to decide what to do. For a while the gps was lost so that was not a help. But then it kicked back in and we looked at all of the options and decided to turn around and go back the way we had come. I am glad we are home and not some story about an old couple who got lost in the snow on their way to Owyhee Lake. That is where the road eventually might have taken us. We will have to go again when the weather is nicer. The views were beautiful, but the road was not paved. We also went to the little town of Adrian, Oregon. It didn't have much....just a little market. It was fun to see, but I'm glad we don't live there! Little towns must really be struggling with the terrible economy.

We didn't feel the earthquake. I guess it was centered near Eureka, but they said it was felt in central Oregon. I guess we were still in very eastern Oregon.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the drive! It was a fun afternoon once I knew we were safe!

I really liked seeing the road with less snow on it!!! Take care! Melody

Keeping my Stick on the Ice

Good morning! I hope it is for you, and I am confident it will be for me. We still have not gotten our snow, but it looks promising out my window this morning. Gray clouds and grayer on the horizon.
We had fun playing games at the Slades' last night. We played Rummikub, which I had never played before, and a "speed Scrabble" game and a card game...."Five Crowns" or something. They were all fun games. And I enjoyed getting to know these sweet people a little better.
Today I am going to go for a walk, prepare the rest of my lesson, and maybe paint. Mel is going to work on filling in the gate holes in the fence so that Max cannot escape. And of course he always has stuff to do in the shop. And I always have stuff to do here in the house. Lately I have been sorting. I tend to make little piles of stuff, and then I have to sort through and get rid of the piles. It brings to mind a little ditty one of the grandkids made up only it was "swording". I don't remember the tune anymore, but the whole song was just saying, "Swording" over and over and swinging their arm like they were swinging a sword. Funny the things that pop into my head anymore.
Well, I am rambling I guess. I hope your day is great! Remember, we're all in this together! I'm pullin' for ya! Melody

Friday, January 8, 2010

Staying Positive

Good afternoon! I think we have a new weather system headed our way, because the sun is sliding behind the clouds and it is supposed to warm up a little and snow:) That always sounds so funny to me, that it has to warm up to snow.
Max is doing well. He seems a little perkier and is anxious to run around outside. The vet said to keep him inside for a couple of weeks. I hope I can. He is definitely happier when he can run free. Mel is going to close up the fence tomorrow so it should make my job a little easier. At least he would stay in our backyard.
I am feeling a little under the weather today. I went back to bed for a little while this morning, and I feel kind of tired and a little nauseated. But I will try to stay positive, I am happy and well:) I teach Relief Society this Sunday, so maybe it is just anticipatory nerves kicking in. I do get nervous. I like the lesson though. It is on the Existence of God. I hope I can present the lesson well. I like the new manual. It is so direct and easy to understand. I think things will be fine.
We are going over to some friends from the old shift tonight to play games and visit. I am looking forward to that. It should help to warm this cold and snowy winter.
Well, I am supposed to go with Mel to pick up some parts...and I think we are going to eat lunch out. I like that! I hope you are fine and doing well. Take care and HAGW!!! Melody

Thursday, January 7, 2010

More Surgery for Max

Poor Max! I took him back in this afternoon to the vet to have them check on his surgical wound, and the vet decided to do a second surgery. The original was not good enough. Lots of the skin was dead and dying and so they had to go back in and clean it up. So Max is not feeling too great and we are no longer "filthy rich":) That's Mel's phrase, not mine...meant as a joke of course. Anyway it has been a hard week for our poor doggy and our poor check book. I guess we will just have to budget a little more strictly this month and probably next. And Max will have to stay inside, which he hates.
I have been practicing painting techniques today. Lots of lines and colors on page after page, and a little discouraging. Things that look easy are NOT! But I have some hope that I am learning anyway. At least I am learning what doesn't work. That should come in handy once I figure out what does. I am finding that color is very critical, as well as which brush and how much water and blah, blah, blah!
I guess I am sounding tired. It has been a long day. I don't like when animals or people are suffering.
Well, I hope your day went well. Keep your stick on the ice....or your tongue....whichever is easier. Have a good night! Melody (and Max)

Forgetful Rats or Rats! I'm Sooo Forgetful!

Good morning! I hope it is sunny and bright out your window as it is out of mine. I love the sunshine. It makes things seem less dismal, even when they are seeming very dismal. that a word? It suddenly looks very strange. I do that sometimes with words. They will all of a sudden look strange and foreign. And then I wonder if I spelled it wrong, or if my mind is just doing one of it's crazy things.
Did you hear on npr yesterday that the magnetic waves from cell phones cured Alzheimer's in mice (or maybe it was rats)? Forgetful rats!? How do they know that rats are forgetful? I like the idea that talking on my cell phone helps to prevent Alzheimer's. Of course it isn't really that simple. The rats are so much smaller, the scientist said it would take at least a decade of cell phone talking to replicate. But I'm sure I've been using a cell phone at least that long. Replicate is another one of those weird words. Weird....that's another:) I would wonder if this was Alzheimer's except I have been doing the weird word thing most of my adult life.
Today it is very quiet here. All of the grandchildren are gone or in school and Liz is asleep. Mel is working in the shop of course, and I am twiddling my thumbs in this rather large and spacious house. I could paint, and I probably will as soon as I clear away dishes and empty the garbage and make the beds. I wish I could garden. I may start a square foot garden inside. I have a grow light and lots of growing might be fun to grow some flowers to make the winter go by more quickly. I always think I would like winter better if I knew how to ski. But I don't know if that is really true. I would probably wish for more money to go skiiing then. And the thing I really don't like about the snow is how cold it is. I met a lady in my painting class that was raised in San Francisco, and she agrees with me about the cold. But I think her attitude is much better than mine. She said her most favorite place in the world is Yosemite. I like that. I don't know if it is my most favorite place, but it is close to it. I think the thing I liked about living in California was how close it was to go to some wonderful place....the beach, the mountains, a fabulous state park or even Disneyland. I really miss being able to hop in the car and drive to Half Moon Bay or Santa Cruz. I suppose it wouldn't be the same anymore with so much traffic and everything being over crowded. But the last time I was there (maybe 5 years ago) I drove to Half Moon Bay and I even enjoyed being in heavy traffic as we drove by the pumpkin fields very slowly. It was still so much fun to anticipate seeing the ocean. I really miss those crashing waves. I read an article yesterday by Jeffrey Holland about looking forward with faith. Sounds like I need to work on that:)
Well, I hope things are going well for you. Take care!! And HAGW! Melody

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Buenos Dias! And I hope it is. I am feeling like it will be. Today is temple day and that is always a good day for me. And I like that I am not leaving to get there at 4:20 in the morning any more. I think I like sleeping in til 6. I almost always wake up around 6 each morning. Sometimes I can fall back asleep, but usually not.
I have a new singing artist I like, thanks to Julie. He is Jason Mratz. I don't like everything he sings, but I like the lighter songs, "Lucky", and "I'm Yours". I really like his accompaniest on the bongo drum and cymbal. He's very fun to watch on youtube.
Last night Mel figured how to connect our TV to our laptop. It was kind of cool. We watched a little of Danny Kaye on youtube, then tried downloading a movie from Netflix. Our connection is a little too slow for the latter, but we had fun trying. I suppose if you had a cable connection it would be pretty cool.
Well, I am not writing much of any importance. I just felt like I should write something. I hope your day is good and even great! Take care! HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Good morning! This morning I woke up with a song in my head. And I have been humming it all morning. It is a good song to hum and keep calm and happy. It is from a scripture.
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have Everlasting Life. For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17 I love those words. It is what I believe with all my heart. And that is a good thing. I am so glad someone put it to beautiful music and that the Lord planted it in my heart this morning.
Last night was my watercolor class. And I really did enjoy it once more. And I feel like I am learning new things each class. If the picture looks better, it is because I got a little help sketching it from my teacher. Actually a whole lot of help. I am going to sketch it another time and probably paint it again, so I can learn a little better the lessons taught.
Today I have Sebastian here while his mom is at work. He is pretty cute. I think I will have a nice day.
Oh, I wanted to pass on a little funny something that Mel said. At least it made me chuckle. He is always talking about wants vs. needs. It's a real thing with him. I guess I can see his point, but I was not raised with that value as he was. Anyway, when we were in Salt Lake, I told him I really needed to see the lights on temple square. And he said, "No, you really want to see the lights on temple square." Then he got a funny look and said, "Oh, I see. Your wants are my needs." I just thought that was funny.
Well, I keep thinking of all of these profound things I should write about in my blog, but then when I sit down to write, my mind goes blank. So I guess if I think of something I need to write, I will add some more later:) There's no rule against that I guess. I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful, happy day. Don't worry, be happy now :) I'd sing a bar or two if this would allow. HAGW!!!! Melody

Monday, January 4, 2010

Glad to Be Back....I think

Good morning! I hope your day is going well. We are home and safe in Idaho. But we had lots of fun in Utah. Saturday we went to a place in Ogden called Fat Cats. It was lots of fun for the kids. We watched people flying in a wind tunnel, called IFlyUtah. You can look it up on the web to see people flying. It really looked fun. We also watched people surfing on a fake wave. That didn't look like as much fun, unless you were male and twenty something. We bowled about half of a game.....five little boys tired after about 6 rounds. And we generally had a fun time. To top it off we stopped at Farr's Ice Cream parlor. That was an adventure unto itself. In the middle of all of this fun, I got a phone call from Liz that there was something wrong with Max, our dog. Apparantly he had gotten hurt fighting with a neighbor's dog. So he had surgery Saturday evening. Poor Max. He is not feeling too great.
Well, I had better get going and begin my day. I hope yours is fun and full of smiles. Take care and HAGW! Melody

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Buffalo Girl and Her Boys

The Christus

Mel and some of the boys by the conference center.

Julie and the Tutanka
Good morning! I am feeling pretty good today, and it is fun to have a day without much planned. I think we will just hang out with Julie and her boys and play Wii resort. We haven't played this one yet, but I am pretty sure that is part of today's agenda. Those little boys are pretty cute and it is fun to have time to be with them and get to know them a little better.
Have I mentioned that I love being a grandma? It is pretty great, most of the time. Except when you would like to be in two places at once. Today is Tay's birthday and so I am missing it and wishing I could be there and here. Sounds like a song:)
We were not able to see the lights on Temple Square last least most of them. They did have a few still on. They had advertised on the internet they would be on til today, but apparantly someone did not get the word. We still had fun. I love all the humanitarian exhibits on the basement floor of the visitor's center. And we enjoyed the Joseph Smith movie. That is a really good one I think.
I included a few photos for your viewing entertainment. The buffalo was in Maddox's restaurant. We ate too much there on New Year's Eve. Then we ate too much for lunch and dinner yesterday. And I suppose we will probably eat too much today, although I will try not to. Weight Watchers's here I come.
Well, I hope your day goes well. Take care and watch out for the Tutankii. HAGW! Melody

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lights that Twinkle and Shine

Happy New Year! I am in the lovely little town of Brigham City. You would think this would be a quiet little place, but last night there were people (young people!) running up and down the halls and blowing noisemakers at midnight. We did stay up past midnight so we didn't mind too much.
This morning we have a swimming date with our daughter and her five little boys. I am looking forward to that:) Then we are planning to drive to Salt Lake and visit temple square and stay for the lights. We haven't been to see the lights on temple square for a few years, and it is always so beautiful...even a little magical. There is something very special about twinkling lights that I have always enjoyed. We may also see what's happening at the conference center.
Well, I hope you are having a great new year. HAGW!!!! Melody