Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Leaving


Good morning! We are leaving this beautiful place today. I am a little nervous as we are headed toward snow packed mountains. All of the weather reports say severe winter weather:) It makes it doubly hard to leave the ocean. It is beautiful and sunny here today. Of course the clouds off the coast are dark and foreboding. But it is really beautiful nonetheless. I guess there was a tsunami here in 1964, so it is not exactly paradise. But it is really nice just the same. I am sad to leave.

So off we go to our "free" breakfast. Wish me luck....I may need it today. Along with fervent prayer...and I am not joking. I will stop and turn around if it gets too scary though, so don't worry. Keep smiling. I am certainly a good example of that the last few days! And....HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

P.S.

Just a post script. I have loaded several more little clips to youtube. We crossed over to the lighthouse tonight when the tide was low and I took a couple of little clips of that too. I think it is kind of fun to take these moving snapshots. I hope they are as fun to watch. Well, night all. Melody

Redwoods and Lighthouses and Sunshine!

Waves by the lighthouse
The barricade

Lighthouse...you can see the road that goes into the sea on the left.


Close up of the lighthouse.



Redwoods




Really old growth:)






Older still:)







Greetings earthlings!





The bridge over









Back to the motel:) I like the clouds in this one.
Great afternoon! I am having such a nice vacation. This morning we drove to the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park and drove along a dirt rode to the Stout Redwood Grove. It is next to the Smith River and is absolutely gorgeous. We hiked along the trail through the grove and on a ways along the river. The kids loved it and Kim and I are still talking about how amazing and beautiful it is. Weather wise we had rain, hail, and then sunshine! Amazing! After our hike we went to Subway and grabbed some lunch and took it to eat by the Lighthouse. You can't actually get to the lighthouse. There is a big bay and I guess it is too high of tides right now to go on the road. And one of the natives here said it is so windy once you do get over there....I wouldn't mind. It is quite picturesque. I really want to sketch it. But I will probably have to settle for a nice photo. It is hard to find quiet time at the moment. But we are all having fun. We just finished swimming and playing in the hot tub and sauna here at our motel. We would really like to find some beach where it is safe to look for shells. The one here has lots of drift wood, but there are so many rocks I think the shells would all be smashed. And even low tide is kind of high here. Maybe we can find a good seashell shop.
I really like it here. I think I could settle in here and be quite content. There are lots of cute homes along the river....and a few for sale:) But it would be hard for Mel to move his business. Maybe some day....or not. It is fun to dream...but usually the reality is we need to keep our nose to the grindstone. But I think the grindstone might be kinda nice here.
Well, I am going to upload some more of Kim's photos. She has a much better camera than I do, and she can upload to her laptop...which I am using. The only problem is moving the photos around. It doesn't work so well without a mouse. So I will attempt to label them as I did yesterday.
Well, I hope your day is great. Keep smiling and HAGW! Melody

Monday, March 29, 2010

Waves and Trees!

Hi! I am having a hard time moving the pictures around on here so I will try to put labels on them. This was one of the several places we stopped just to take a snapshot of the fabulous rocks and waves.
This one is out our window here in Crescent City.

This is the Japanese garden at Shore Acres.


This is me and Elle. I am wearing my frizzy coastal style hairdo:)



Me at the entrance to the gardens.




This was at seal rock. It looks a lot like a sea serpent with the rocks going quite a ways down the shoreline.





This is from the acquarium.






Me in a deep sea diving mask.







More gorgeous coastline.









Kim and her kids.








Me with Dad and Barb.










The grand bebes and me.
Good rainy-by-the-beautiful ocean evening! It is so beautiful here. We are here in Crescent City, CA. We drove down here today stopping at all of the most gorgeous places on the face of the earth. It has been a spectacular day. I love the Oregon coast....and the California coast. I will put in some pictures that Kim took yesterday and today, and if you go to melodyweyer1 on youtube you can see some of my videos. They are labeled sunset bay, more surfers, shore acres garden, ocean waves, etc. They are all pretty short.It really has been an experience. The ocean really was roiling....(I looked it up to make sure it was really a word.) We stopped several places that each looked better than the one before. When we were at the gift shop in Sunset Bay we asked the lady about how far it was to the Redwoods and when she told us three hours we decided to go for it. The last time I was here was in the middle of the night, and I didn't really get to see the trees. So we are making it a priority this time. Kim and the kids will love it too I am sure. We are just relaxing tonight, and then tomorrow we will visit the redwood state park. I can hardly wait!
Well, I hope you are having a great day and evening. Take care. I'll check in with more pictures I hope tomorrow. HAGW! Melody

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In the Beginning.......

Good Sabbath Morning! I am a little disappointed this morning. The nearest LDS church is back through the winding mountain pass.....and 80 miles away. So I guess we will listen to the Mormon channel app. There is always good stuff on there. I especially like when they interview members of the twelve. It is so interesting.
Today we are planning to drive south along the coast. The waves are really acting up with the rain storm that is here. I love it when the waves are wild. They are white and high and just gorgeous. But I am glad it is Sunday....we won't be tempted to get tooooo close. I get just a little paranoid with small grandchildren to keep track of. There is an acquarium here in Newport. But I doubt they will be open on a Sunday. There is a bay here that is old and quaint. And a very large bridge that crosses over. It is pretty spectacular.
I have always thought I would like to live near the ocean. But talking to a man at the motel night before last, he said the rainfall was 200 something inches. That might get a little depressing. Still I would like to live closer than we do. I've always thought I would move back to the bay area someday. But maybe not in this lifetime.
Well, I hope your day is peaceful, happy and inspired...as is best for Sunday. I love that there are Sundays. I always think of the Lord resting on the seventh day. He must have felt so pleased at how beautiful the earth was. It is still a beautiful place. I am grateful to be here. I am smiling just thinking of how blessed I am. Keep smiling out there! HAGW! Melody

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Arrival

Good evening! We have arrived...in Newport, Oregon. We have had a gorgeous sunshiney day at the beach. It is so beautiful here. I am thoroughly enjoying it. We decided to come here and meet my dad and Barb here. We've had such a lovely day, we decided to spend the night:) We just hate to leave. I got some good photos, but I'm using Kim's laptop, so I'm not sure I can figure it out on here. I'll save them and post them when I get home on Friday. Driving through the mountains this morning we saw deer and a bald eagle. And the moss on the trees is unreal. I can see why natives are referred to as moss backs. It grows everywhere on everything! But it sure is green and lush. I really like it.
We had a scrumptious dinner...recommended by an app I have.... called urban spoon. It is a great app for finding good dining. I had a wonderful crab Louie salad. I love fresh crab! It was a beautiful work of art. I took a picture:) I wish I could post it.
We heard a report on the news today that a man and his daughter had been rescued by the coast guard after being hit by a rogue wave. They said that was the fourth incident of rogue wave rescues in the last 48 hours along the Oregon coast. It made us extra cautious. But we were fine. There were lots of people on the beach. It really was a sunny wonderful day.
Oh, I wanted to record something for posterity. Before we left, I was watching Gabe and he said something wonderful. We were discussing the flat tire on his mom's car. He said that we had to get a new tire from Big O Tire. I said, "No, it was Les Schwabb." He said, "No Grandma, the only place is Big Ol' Tire." That made me chuckle.
Well I hope whatever you are up to you are having a wonderful day. Take care. Keep smiling! Melody

Friday, March 26, 2010

Departure

Good morning! Well, the rain has subsided here. I hope it is not too bad going across Oregon today. It will be an adventure at any rate. We aren't leaving until after the kid's are out of school. Luckily they only have a half day. But it will give us a late start so we will only drive to beautiful Bend, Oregon. It is a pretty little town on this side of the mountains that separate the high desert plain from coastal green. I like stopping there.
Last night I was the only clarinetist again for orchestra. In fact I was one of the few instrumentalists that showed up. We had a couple of flutes, a bass, a couple of violins, and a viola...and me. And the choir. Still it was fun. I kind of like being the only clarinet when there's no audience. We practiced "A Wintry Day" quite a bit. It is one of the harder songs we play. And it is in a couple of difficult keys. It is pretty though. One of my favorite hymns. We also are doing "Amazing Grace" which is also beautiful. There is a wonderful soprano soloist that sounds amazing.
Well, I have just finished synching my iphone. I wanted to make sure to have a couple of "Car Talk" podcasts. I also like "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me". I thought about downloading a movie for the kids.....but I am too protective of my phone to do that I think.
I guess I've got to get going. Hope your day is inspired! HAGW! Melody

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anticipation

Good morning! I have had an early morning today. My first assignment was to drive Liz's boyfriend to work. They live a half an hour from here. His work is a half an hour from where they live. He had to be there by 7:30 this morning. I'll leave the math to you. Mel had planned to take him, but I was awake anyway and Mel is feeling sick. He has quite a head cold plus aches and pains. It could be the flu. I hope not. But he isn't feeling very well. I on the other hand am feeling quite chipper (does that really mean something? One of those odd expressions I guess) Anyway I have already been upstairs to sort toys and make beds. I have been putting that off for a week or so now. And I took out the garbage. I still missed the garbage man though. He comes so early, and we don't dare put it out the night before or the tortilla scattering dog that lives across the street will make a big mess. At least we have garbage service. And with just the two of us, we don't have as much as we used to.
Today I am watching my grandson Gabe while Liz goes to school. We should have fun together. The trick is to play games together. He loves to be actively involved in a good game. Then I am going to pack! I am leaving tomorrow with my daughter Kim and her three little munchkins to the Oregon coast for a visit with my dad and Barb. I am excited for the trip, but a little apprehensive of the weather. We do go over some big mountains on the way. But I will put some chains in just in case. I do have four wheel drive if I need it. And the prospect of the ocean is a really big pull for me. I am going to take my painting supplies and my new portable easel. It would be a great way to break it in.....painting by the beach. But if it rains I will just sketch by the beach from the inside of the car:) I love the beach in any weather. And the Oregon coast is very picturesque. The only disturbing thing to me are all the signs telling you about the tsunami evacuation route. That is totally new to me.
So I hope you are well and doing fine:) Take care out there in cyberspace. Remember I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together! Keep smiling! And I will do the same. Melody

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Memories

I just had a memory come back to me that I have not thought of in years and I don't want to lose it. So here goes. It is a poignant memory of my son Tommy. I was just on the phone with my grandson Gabe who was very sad because he wanted to come over and they had a flat tire and so cannot come. Instead Mel is on his way over there to fix the tire and then hurry back before it is time to leave for the temple. Anyway I was trying to help Gabe feel happier, so I said, "Just remember, I love you, I love you, I love you!" And it cheered him a little I think. But it jogged a memory for me. The day before Tommy died he had a brain hemmorhage. He yelled at me from his bedroom and I went tearing in there, and he looked at me kind of funny and then started having a seizure. So I held him close and he said, "I ....love .....you ....I ....love....you....I ....love....you" struggling to say the words and breathing with great effort. Then the seizure got too bad and he couldn't say anymore. Those were the last words he said to me. It was so sweet. Of course at the time I was panicked and running to the phone to call the doctor who came to the house and gave him valium to stop the seizure. But he was in a coma after that until he passed away the next day. I know this is a little close and personal, but I am saving these blogs for my family, and I don't want this memory to be lost. It was so very special.
So here is a bittersweet memory of my sweet little boy whom I love so much still, and I trust is in a better place. I look forward to that sweet reunion we will have on the other side someday. I love you too, Tommy! Mom

Bunnies and Lions and Boys! Oh My!

Good morning! Things are especially nice here this morning. I went to Meridian and picked up my grandson, Sebastian. And he is a delight! We are having such a nice morning together. First he showed me his wonderful "lion and the bunny" mask which he made at preschool. Then he showed me his pocketful of pennies. So it was only fair that I took him upstairs and showed him the new grandkids' playroom that I am still working on. He played up there for a while. But he found the skeleton's head from a lego set and he is busy scaring every imaginary creature throughout the house. He is lots of fun!









So today I have him until just before we go to the temple. I like having another person in the house...especially one so full of delightful imagination. He hasn't learned the "bored" word yet. He just peeked around the corner of my room and said, "Woo hooo!" Then "Woooo toooo!" I guess he wants me to come and play, and how can I resist? Now he is hiding in my closet! I guess we will play "hide and seek".
I am posting a picture of my orange rolls from Sunday. I always get rave reviews on these. They are a little like a cinnamon roll, but instead of cinnamon and sugar it is orange zest and sugar and lots of butter. Very fattening! They never last. And lately I get them out of here so Mel and I don't eat them. We took this batch to a family that moved out of our area last Sunday.





So I will have to post a more informative post at a later time. I hope your day is great. I'm smiling and I hope you are too! TTTL Melody

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

For the Beauty of the Earth

Buenos Dias! It is a gorgeous day here. I walked around on our little canal road with my neighbors this morning, and it really is already most beautiful and glorious! I remember when I was small I made a cross stitch sampler for my primary class in church. One of the things it said was "Greet the day with a song." I love that. I would add, "Greet the day with a song of gratitude for this beautiful earth we have been given!"
Well, I had an interesting painting class last night. I really didn't do very well. But I have no excuses. Sometimes it just doesn't work. I hope I have some time today to work on it a little. My teacher did like my painting of the beach. Perhaps I prefer beach scenes:)
Today is laundry day...which I like to refer to as the never ending story. It really is one of life's constants....like dishes. It used to be when I had seven small children I always had a large pile of clothes to wash and another of clothes to fold and every day was laundry day. I still have the pile of clothes to wash, but it is not nearly so large. And I can keep up with the folding now. I do think I have learned a few tricks over the years to keep up with the laundry. But I also think it helps to have only the two of us to wash and fold for now.
Yesterday, when I was still feeling fairly optimistic about my artistic abilities, I thought I would like to develop a series of children's books illustrated by myself. I still think it is something I will pursue, but after last night's class I think the publishing date will have to extend out to a few more years from now. But I do have some good solid ideas which I will pursue in this area. It is fun to be feeling inspired again.
Well, I hope your day is going well. Keep smiling and I will do the same! HAGW! Melody

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Morning and Smiling Still!

Good morning! I am still yawning and trying to wake up this old body. It looks a little rainy and cold out this morning. So I'm not sure my neighbor ladies will be out walking this morning. I hope so, I don't mind the wet weather too much, and I can always bundle up.
We had a nice visit with the missionaries yesterday. It is always fun to get to know people better, and I am impressed with their good natures and willingness to dedicate their lives to a good cause. I am glad that these two young men are assigned to this area. We will have to feed them often.
Today looks busy already. I am glad to be busy though. It helps to keep me from feeling so lonely in this big and empty house. I hope I get used to this eventually. I guess it's a lot to ask a mother of seven to adjust to the quiet. I miss the happy and even not so happy voices. I guess I will have to start having weekly or at least monthly family dinners. I used to wonder why grandmas did that.... now I know!
I have already been painting today. My dad made a comment about my painting...that the dog looked more like a cat....so I had to fix that. I had botched the tail..but figured no one else would notice. So I fixed it this morning. Of course fixing a painting is like telling a lie:) So I hope no one else can see the fib.
Well, I hope you have a great day! Now that spring is really here there is a whole new area of responsibility open to all of us......the yard! I am actually excited with the prospect. Keep smiling...we're all in this together! Melody

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Smiling!

Good Sabbath morning to you! I am taking a break. I have missionaries coming for dinner after church this evening, so I have been busy already getting food cooking. So far I have a roast in the crockpot with veggies and orange rolls busy mixing in the bread maker. I am so lucky to have appliances that help me keep the Sabbath day holy and still be able to cook a nice dinner for the missionaries. One of the elders is from France and the other from the states...I think the midwest somewhere. I'll know better after dinner. A funny thing happened though. The French missionary called last night to remind me I had signed up to feed them. But with his thick accent I thought I was supposed to feed them last night, and it made me feel terrible. But with more miscommunication I thought they still had not eaten dinner at 9:15 last night, and I really was feeling bad. I invited him over before he realized I had misundeerstood, and then we both had a good laugh. I'm not sure what I could have come up with last night so late, maybe pizza from the freezer...or Marie Callender's pot pies:) I'm glad they had already eaten. I have to get better about using my calendar on my iphone. It is very convenient, I just forget I have it.
I had several bad dreams last night. I usually do when I am over tired....which I was. And I have been reading the latest book club book.."Breathless" by Dean Koonz. I have ambivalent feelings about this book. It is interesting, but it has a very evil character in it, and it is disturbing. Every chapter he is in I skim quickly...just to get the story line. But I wish we could find better books. I really don't have a lot of influence on what other people pick though. And lately I have not been reading quite a few of the books, so I feel like I have to give this one a try. I did mention that I thought we had been reading a lot of depressing books lately, and I would sure like it if we could stick to more uplifting things. When we first started this book club 20 or so years ago, I was one of the founders. And I suggested then that we keep the reading up beat and positive. But alas! I guess I will just have to keep stating my opinion and hope that eventually I get heard. And it will be my selective reading book club in the mean time.
I am glad it is Sunday. It is a good day to reorganize my spiritual agenda. I need to review my goals and call a few of my kids I haven't heard from this week. I should also call both of my sisters and my brother. It is so easy to lose contact with people if you let too much time go by! Well, I hope your day is a great one. Enjoy the beautiful weather....Spring is officially here! Keep smiling! It will all be worth it! TTTL Melody

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sky and water

Guten Abend! I have had a very nice day. Mel and I drove up to Donelly today, in the mountains. There is a lovely hot springs there that we wanted to try. It was lots of fun, but perhaps rather a long drive for one day. But the scenery is beautiful, and it was fun to spend the day together. I took a picture of the river. It is a favorite spot we like to stop. It is also the subject of a couple of my paintings. I like the photo better.
When we got home I had a call from my dad so I am posting a couple of paintings just for you dad, in case you check here before facebook.


The second one I did this evening, concentrating on the sky and ocean and down playing the lighthouse. Just a try at something different. I painted this before and liked the lighthouse and not the rest. This time I like the sky and the ocean, and not the lighthouse:) Sigh! But I think I am turning a corner. I feel like I can do sky pretty well. And water. Now I just have to come up with how to do the rest. Well, I hope you have a nice night. Take care out there in cyberspace. Nighty night! Melody


Spring Dreaming- not cleaning:)

Buenos Dias! I think maybe I've come upon an idea of why in Spanish they only say good day instead of good morning. Just a hunch, but the culture is so warm and loving, and I think they want your whole day to be good...not just the morning:)
Well, to fill you in on the daily happenings of my rather ordinary life....Last night we went to see Avatar. We have avoided seeing it because....I don't know why. It has gotten so many good reviews. But somehow we just weren't too interested. We both thoroughly enjoyed it though. And it was a nice time to see it because there were only two other couples in the theater...so no audience interference. And we went to the theater in Meridian which is pretty new and so the sound is great. I really liked all of the unique and interesting creatures they came up with for the movie. And I thought the story line, though predictible, was entertaining. And I like when a movie is long enough to really get into it. So I would give it a 2 thumb's up.
Today is beautiful again here. I am hoping we can take a drive and maybe go up to the mountains. Or at least the green belt along the river. I love to ride my bike there. It really is beautiful. You usually can see great blue herons, ducks, and we've even seen a beaver or three. And if they are through hibernating there are turtles. People have even spotted cougars there, but that is an animal I would rather not greet.
Well, I hope things are warm and beautiful in your neck of the woods. Have a wonderful day. Melody

Friday, March 19, 2010

Afternoon ramblings

Hi again! I repainted my Zbukvic copy:) So even though I am not super pleased with it....here it is. The photo itself is kind of dark. The painting looks better:) And I really like the sky this time. I learned a little more how he does his sky by watching his video again....and again...and again. And I like the added details of all the birds. We didn't do that in class. But I like it.
I went with Mel to a business meeting this morning. It was interesting. One of his customers is trying to get funding for a project and needed input. I was just a tag along, but it was pretty interesting. I have a hard time not seeing everyone as children anymore though. Even the old guys just seem like little boys trying to be grown up. It's a weird thing I have had most of my adult life. I guess it is a way I have of looking through people's facades. It probably sounds crazy. And it probably is crazy. Oh well. It makes meeting people a whole lot more fun. I don't usually feel intimidated by people. It's kind of nice.
It's my turn to pick our activity for date night tonight. The movies don't look too promising. So maybe pee wee golf:) If it was warm enough I would suggest a bike ride. But it is only 54.
Dinner is out. I am dieting and we already had lunch out. So that's no fun. Maybe we'll just stay home and practice our card games. We are both so bad at cards! We just never had much occasion to play cards, and Mel came from a background where they weren't allowed. Of course I am an old card shark....not! I am much better at scrabble...or monopoly:) Here's a link to my movie of my family playing cards in Yosemite in case you missed it. It's pretty funny!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCrD9HAhdiY
Well, I am rambling. It is nice to have a place I can come and ramble. I hope you are having a nice day! Melody



Happy Trails

Good morning! I am still getting used to waking up before the sun is up. But I think I am adjusting to the change in time finally. From my window the sky is beginning to turn a little lighter, and the sky looks pretty clear, so I am hoping the storm they predicted has passed us by. It often does.
I have been watching my new video of Joseph Zbukvic. It is really good! I am surprised at how much actual painting he does on the video. I plan to watch it a lot. I hope I can learn some of his methods of painting. He really paints fast, which seems to be important with watercolor....especially if you are painting on location with wind and weather to contend with. There is a funny part where he is painting in Venice and the canal is rising with the tide coming in and he is painting madly to finish before he is flooded out. I doubt I will ever have to contend with that. But maybe beach tides. I sure love painting ocean scenes! It would be fun to be on location there and painting. I think I would like painting river scenes too. There are many beautiful locations here in our neck of the woods. I think we are fortunate to have so much wilderness left. It is not unusual here to see wildlife. I have seen bears and deer frequently. And herons and cranes and even a couple of bald eagles up close. Once Mel and I were hiking near the river and stumbled upon a family of skunks. We backed out of there as quickly and quietly as possible. We've also seen badgers, racoons, and lots of rabbits. Oh, and foxes, and coyotes, and moose, and the list goes on. I think we are lucky to live in such a beautiful place on the earth. And I am so grateful for the freedoms we still enjoy! I hope my children and grandchildren are also able to enjoy that.
Well, I am planning a day of painting. I never did get to it yesterday or the day before. So I am feeling very anxious to start in again. I'll post anything I get done.....provided I like it myself....or maybe even if I don't. I hope your day is great! Remember we're all in this together! I'm still pullin' for ya! Keep smiling! Melody

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Calm and Happy in the Wind

Guten Tag! I am having such a nice day today I thought I would share. My visiting teachers and I and another lady in our ward went to the temple this morning. It was especially nice because we were there to see all of my old friends from the Thursday morning shift. I really do miss these good people, so it was great to see them all. And it was a good session. I do love the temple. Afterwards we went to lunch and visited for quite a while. I really had fun.
Last night was also great at the temple. We worked in the baptistry and I am loving that. I think the highlight of the evening for me was when a sweet little girl....maybe 12 years old....asked if it was OK for her to read her scriptures. How neat that the desire she had there was to read the scriptures. I don't know if I was so acquainted with the scriptures at her age. I am impressed with the spiritual strength of these kids. I think I will learn alot from them.
I am looking out my window wishing for a calmer day. The wind is really blowing. And it seems to be cooling off again. I guess that March has come in like a lion. But I see plants growing again and the trees down by the lake are starting to bud. I love this time of year when the earth wakes back up and the promise of warm days is so tangible. I do need to prune my roses, but I think I will wait for a calmer day. I am excited about gardening this year. I hope I can accomplish some of the plans I have for a beautiful yard. It is kind of dependent on water. We still haven't got sprinklers covering everywhere on our two acres yet. But it wouldn't take too much effort to finish it up.
Well, I am exhausted! I really want to paint, but I think I may take a speed nap first. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Take care! And HAGW! Melody

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bunnies!


Happy St. Patty's Day! Are you wearing green? I hate getting pinched:) I've already had a rather brisk walk today, and saw two adorable little bunnies sitting on a neighbor's lawn. Another sign of spring! My neighbor said that a fox was seen on her lawn this morning. Watch out little bunnies! Those foxes are hungry. It's been a long winter. I am so glad that spring is really here. Although we have a storm blowing in this afternoon. The winds are supposed to get up to 40 mph. That isn't too unusual here though. But when the forecast says 40 mph it may get worse here. The forecast is for Boise where they are more protected from the fierce winds.
I am feeling excited today. I ordered a French box easel, which is portable, for painting on location....and it arrived today! So now I can take my painting out and about with me and stop to paint. It sounds fun! I hope I can do this soon. I will have to wait for less windy weather though. The easel seems sturdy enough, but I might blow away!
Last night was orchestra rehearsal. It was fun. I was the only clarinetist again. So I got to play all of the little solo parts. There is a really pretty one in "Love at Home". I usually let the other clarinetist take the solos. She is a better clarinetist and plays all of the time. I used to be as good, but I don't play as often as I should, and I tend to let other people take the lead if they want. But it is fun to play out when there isn't a huge audience. We did have about 5 or 6 people that came in and sat and listened for a while. That is about the right size for an audience in my opinion:) I really like the arrangements we are playing for "A Wintry Day" and "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing". I like those songs anyway, but it is fun to play on my clarinet. And the songs stay in my head for quite a few days which I also like.
Yesterday I solidified the plans for four of my daughters and I to go to Utah at the end of April for Women's Conference. I am excited! We should have so much fun. We usually manage to get together for this each year. One year all five of my daughters came and that was really fun. I hope we can figure out something this summer so we can get the whole family together. My dad was talking about a bigger reunion in Fort Hood at the WAAM museum. That would be fun!
Well, today is my temple day again. I am excited to go and feel the wonderful spirit that is there. I always feel so comforted there. Then I think of Pres. Hinckley's words that things will all work out fine....or something to that effect. And I believe he is right!
Well, take care! Enjoy the springtime! And HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Walk in the Sand

Good morning! I woke up early again...and painted:) So I am posting it here. Last night in class we copied (sort of) Zbukvic's seascape. I kind of like my results.
I love painting ocean scenes. I got some plumes in the sky where I added blue to pink. It happened to everyone though, so I guess it may be the colors I used. I think I will do this one again, only I want to use a photo I have from Half Moon Bay. It is similar, but different enough I could call it my own. I like putting people in my paintings. They are just shapes, but my mind tells me stories about them. Like this one with the man and his dog. I think he is pensive...working out problems in his head. Must be I would like to be doing the same. I think the ocean is the best place for doing that....besides on your knees.
Well, I made a new friend last night. And it felt good. When I was giving my lesson on Sunday a lady left and I worried I had said something to offend her. So yesterday I made some orange rolls as a peace offering and took them over for Family Home evening last night. It was a special visit and I found out she was not offended. I also had a chance to get to know her better. So it felt very good. Orange rolls are miracle workers:) and my speciality. I guess if you find me on your doorstep with orange rolls it is because I want to be your friend:)
Today is laundry day....in a major way. I do a load or two most every day, but Tuesdays are dedicated to the task. I also think I will be able to steal some more time to paint. I really like having a room dedicated to that. I can just run in there for a few minutes, or I can spend a couple of hours before breakfast. Either way is wonderful! And my art teacher told me last night that I just needed to hang in there and I would really be able to paint someday. He said it nicer than that of course, but it made me feel good. I really think it is something I am supposed to do. Like a calling or something. So I will persist. I hope I can learn the craft and then be able to express in pictures what I find so hard to express merely in words. Although I love words too. But somehow having an illustration of what you are trying to say makes all of the difference.
So I am hoping your day is sunny and bright and full of smiles. Take care out there in cyberspace! Remember I'm pullin' for ya! Melody

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saving Daylight

Good early morning! I always have such a time with the daylight savings switch. It is still dark out at 7 and I have been awake since 4:30! I kept thinking I could go back to sleep, but no such luck. I guess I am still wound up from my lesson yesterday.
This morning I am feeling like I need to walk. So I hope my lady friends are too. It would be nice to walk off some of this nervous energy I am feeling. I also plan to paint. I have been studying some techniques from a book I got from the library that look very promising. And also I have class tonight, so it would be nice to work on my painting from last week.
And then there is still housework. I am excited to have a couple of closets back, so I will use them to organize my genealogy and family pictures. I have been going to do this since we moved out here, but we have had company since we moved here:) I hope I can organize things to make them serviceable. I am very excited to get into the new family history website. I have been on a couple of times and it is fascinating. But I still need some instruction I think. And I need to be able to access what I already have in an easy manner. And then there is the sewing. I used to sew a lot. Lots of prom dresses! But I need to organize that also. I just have lots of boxes with lots of stuff! And then I need to toss! We somehow manage to accumulate the most interesting useless stuff. It is usually so hard to part with too, that I just hide it away in my closet. So I suppose I have plenty to do for eons to come.
Well, I'd better get going! I hope you have a great wan. And that you are smiling along the way! Take care!!! Melody

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day of Prayer

Good Sabbath! I am having a great morning. I love Sunday. And we have switched to the very late schedule so my morning feels very laid back. I am getting used to an empty house (sort of) and I keep walking over and looking at my new "art studio". I suppose I should put in a picture or two. It is a very bright little room. It is all I can do not to run in there and paint this morning. But Sunday is a day of rest...so I am preparing my lesson for Relief Society and getting more nervous. The lesson is on the Fall of Adam and Eve. I like the material, but I am not sure what to put on the table for a decoration. Mel thought apples would be good. I suppose I will come up with something. I have a few pictures, but I really would like to display choices somehow. I know the most important thing is not how the table looks, but it helps to calm me if I feel like all my bases are covered.
Yesterday went well. Mel and I helped Liz get all of her stuff over to her new place. Well, almost all. There are a few things still to get over there, but I feel better knowing she has her things around her. And it was so good to see her boys. They had fun with Kim's kids for a couple of hours too, and I love cousin bonding.
Well, I certainly hope you have a wonderful Sabbath day. This next week looks like warm, fair weather. Spring must be here! So keep your eyes peeled for more signs of spring. It snowed in Boise yesterday, but not here:) I think my positive attitude is warming things (Ha, ha) Take care and HAGW!! Melody

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday is a Special Day!

Good Saturday morning! I feel pretty excited today. We have moved the bunkbeds!!!! Yay! And Mel figured out how to use the old desk from upstairs so that I have a desk and a working table. So now all I am lacking is a flat file to store paper and paintings. But for now I can just stack them in the closet. So before the end of today I should finally have my own space. I can't tell you how great that feels.
I thought I would include a couple of pictures from our walk by the river on Thursday. They make me happy. The first one is my grandaughter, and the second is just of the river, and the third is of Amy with her little cutie.





Today I am also watching Kim's kids. They are pretty good, but they are easily bored. I will have to do grandma magic here before too long and find them things to do. But I was giving them a little space first to see if they could come up with their own games. I can never remember being bored as a child. I don't think I knew that word. But maybe I just had such an imagination, and also if we couldn't find things to do, my mom would find work for us to do.
FYI....I found the best app on iphone. It is the Mormon channel. It is free I think. It is the official station of the LDS church. There is a live radio broadcast, but there is also a wonderful library of complete conferences, all of the church magazines, and the scriptures. Everything is read to you, so it is perfect to listen to when you have to drive a while, or walk or whatever. I have found it really gives me a lift. The live broadcast has BYU devotionals, talks, and other programs that are really interesting. Today, driving the kids here from Boise, I found a Friend magazine and let them listen to that as we drove home. It kept them pretty happy and all of the usual quarreling stopped. Amazing!!! So there is my daily app plug:)
Tomorrow is my lesson for Relief Society. I am still struggling with how to present it. But I think I will get the inspiration I need. I always do. It is amazing how you can count on the Lord's assistance when you are doing His work.
Well, I wish I could think of a funny story to amuse you. Hmmmm! There was the time.....nope, nothing! Sorry:) I'll think on it for a while. Maybe I'll think of something later today. In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful day. I love Saturday! Take care. Keep smiling! And HAGW!!! Melody P.S. I am posting this picture so you can see I am smiling! Maybe that will help:) I have deleted it a couple of times, but decided to leave it. I can't get over how old I am getting. But the alternative I'm not ready for just yet. Sigh! Mortality is sure interesting!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Singin' and Dancin' in the Rain

Good morning! I am feeling encouraged this morning:) I think I will try to set up my art room today. The bunk beds are still in there, but I think I can solve that with some persuasion. I got a nice box table easel that works pretty well. And I am ordering a French box easel that will allow me to be portable to paint on location. I read that you have to paint everyday to really become good at it, so having a permanent setup should help. I may put a practice corner in for my clarinet too. I think I would practice that more if I didn't have to always set it up and then put it away afterwards. Imagine....a room for two of my favorite things....art and music. Literature is already everywhere....books on the shelves, and by my bed and on my iphone. And lately in my head. I do think writing this blog every day is sharpening my skills of observation. I am always trying to think of interesting things to write about. Unfortunately, I don't always come up with too much. But stories keep coming to mind that I may start to write. I am still working on the plots though. Still, it may be important just to write and worry about the plot as I go along.
I am going to visit teach today. That should be fun. And I have my Relief Society lesson to finish. And I also need to do a little bookkeeping for our business. And then there is the housework. Sigh! That never ends! But if it did we would be dead I suppose....or at least in a rest home:) I will just have to do my flylady thing and be systematic about it. Baby steps!
I realized that I haven't mentioned Max for a while. He had that scrape with the coyotes (we think). Anyway, he was badly hurt and had two surgeries. But I am happy to report he is well and doing fine. He is starting to show a little age. He is 9 years old this year...so 63 in dog years. When I first got him I was amazed at how new he was. Now a short 9 years later and he has caught up with me. Dogs have it tough. He is a wonderful little dog though. He is a dog that aims to please. He is so obedient and loving. He is like the ideal pet. Except that he barks and snarls at people when they come to the door:) But that is probably a good thing being out here in the country. He's never bitten anyone I know of...well, he's nipped a grandchild that pushed too hard. But I would have nipped them too:) I mean if I was a dog. Anyway, I really think he is a great companion....for Mel. He follows him around in complete and utter admiration. It's really sweet. He tolerates me. I guess he likes me. Actually he likes anyone that pays the least amount of attention to him:)
Well, I hope your day is great. We have a storm headed our way so the wind has picked up. It should be a good day though. The weatherman is predicting warm weather (60's) for the beginning of next week. I am looking forward to that! So hang in there. I'm still pullin' for ya! Remember we're all in this together! Smile!!!! And sing too of course:) Melody

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday...the day before Friday:)

Good morning! I think it is going to be another beautiful day plus wind:) Of course it is always windy on our little hill, or almost anyway. Just a report on yesterday....book club was wonderful! As always. We had fun talking and catching up on each other. Then we had a fascinating report on Amish culture and religion, with lots of beautiful pictures. Our hostess was very knowledgeable having lived in that area for awhile. And of course lots of research never hurts. I mentioned she was an artist, and she really is. She had made a set of Amish clothes for us to handle and see and even had one of their hats. It was fascinating. She does a lot of sculpture work that was very nice, and several paintings that looked good also. I really enjoyed it. The temple was wonderful also, as we are being trained to be baptistry coordinators. I know I will enjoy this.
Today is looking like a great day. I am meeting two of my daughters in Boise today for a day of fun and visiting. It's a good thing, because later today I meet with the accountant for our business. We always owe taxes, and I guess I never like facing that. But it's a necessary thing.
Well, I am not writing anything interesting, and I really need to scoot. I hope your day is great, good , fun, exciting and .....entrepeneurial (ha, ha!) Keep your stick on the ice and keep smiling. Melody

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Day

Good morning! This morning is book club! We read "The Shunning". Not to be confused with The Shining.....a totally different story! It was a good book, although not my favorite, but readable and not filled with awful violent scenes. We have read too many in the last few months about holocaust and man's inhumanity to man. So I was relieved to read a pleasant story. We are going to a new member's house today. She is an artist and I am excited to see her home. It should be interesting. I love to see what other people paint and draw and sculpt. I think you can see into people a little and sometimes a lot. And I like when we get new people in our little club. It always adds a fresh view. We have been meeting for 20 years or so. It's wonderful I think. We have been through a lot together....since reading a book is really just a cover for getting together and sharing experiences.
Later today is the temple. Mel and I have a new assignment there, but I'm not supposed to say what until we are sustained today. So suspense..... But I am excited for the challenge of learning something new. I will have to by pass my walk with the ladies today, as I have to leave soon. But I will walk later between things. I guess I'd better get going. I hope your day is great! Take care and HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brrrr!

Good morning! I went walking this morning..minus the other ladies. They thought it was too windy and cold. And I think they were right. Brrrrr! I took a few snapshots of the scenery, but about froze my hands off holding the iphone up without my gloves on, because it won't take the picture without the warmth of a bare finger. The wind is really strong, and biting cold. I couldn't find any robins, but I found a bovine food line. They are so thick skinned, the cold did not seem to phase them. But you can kind of see the waves on the lake from the wind if you look real close. I also saw some sheep with a couple of little lambs. They belong to our neighbor Hans. He also owns the llama. But wisely the llama was not out visiting this morning.

I also took a snapshot of the little farm down the hill. It seems so picturesque to me. I don't know the people that live there.

I am going to paint and try to finish a painting I started last night. But I may not get to it til later. I have some grocery shopping to do and also I should pay bills and probably clean up a little around here. I think I have given up housecleaning for painting:) But I suppose I can't neglect it forever. Darn! I had a bit of a disappointment yesterday. I have been haunting Joseph Zbukvic's website...I love his painting. And I had noticed on Sunday that there was an opening in his workshop in Vancouver, Canada, this April. I was excited for that, because it had been sold out. I really would like to go. But yesterday when I went to check again the spot had been filled. So, I guess I will sign up for it for 2011. I suppose by then I might be more able to learn anyway. I am still such a beginner. But I really would like to learn how he does what he does. He has a few videos out, so I guess I will have to be content to order those. I would love to learn how to paint so impressionistically. I think it is amazing, and it speaks to my soul somehow. I can't really put it into words.

Well, you've wasted another perfectly good minute reading this:) I hope your day is wonderful. Keep your stick on the ice (yes, it's back) and keep smiling. Remember, we're all in this together. I'm pullin' for ya! Melody

Monday, March 8, 2010

Robins!!

Good morning! I just got back from a wonderful walk by the lake. One of the ladies I walk with had knee surgery and this was her first day back so we walked in her neighborhood...which has such a nice view of the lake. I took a couple of pictures so you could enjoy it too.








I like how you can see the little farms down below before the wilderness area. Although our lake is man made, they have conformed to some federal regulations that qualify it as a wilderness area. And it is nice for us because it is home to lots of wild critters. In fact it is one of these little homes that a cougar was on top of....at least according to local legend. On our walk we saw robins this morning! Not just one, but several. So I guess that is a sure sign that spring is here....although the forecast says we will get snow and freezing temps tonight. At least Spring is making an attempt. I appreciate that!
Today I am watching Gabe. He is already here. When I came back from my walk he said, "Oh Grandma, it is so good to see you!" Such a cutey! No wonder I miss him. I guess what I miss the most is his hugs and snuggles when he would climb in bed with us each morning. He was already talking a mile a minute, but it was better than any alarm clock. Today is a busy day for me. I meet with my counselor in about an hour. Then I have a hair appointment. And my art class is this evening. So I should stay busy. I am going to post this rather bad painting I did. I tried a new technique for the tree in the foreground that I need to practice quite a bit more. And I really don't like all of the scribbled looking painting of the trees. But I decided I need to be brave and post the good, the bad, and the ugly. And by doing that it will force me to improve....out of sheer embarrassment! If the scene looks familiar...it is. My teacher thought it would be good to repeat the scene with a new approach. I'm not sure I agree.
I feel like I would like to keep at this painting, but then I think why push a bad product?
Well I'd better get going. I hope you have a great day! Keep smiling and I will do the same:) Take care! Melody

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just a Note

Just a note to say I am feeling much better. Testimony meetings are so uplifting, and I bore mine today. You are supposed to be forgiven of your sins if you bare your testimony, and I have a hard time just sitting there when my heart starts pounding and I feel impressed to share. So two good excuses. We also had a wonderful Sunday school lesson. It was on faith. I generally go to the gospel essentials class. It is smaller and I like to visit with the new converts. I guess I got in the habit of going there when I was a ward missionary. Anyway, it is a great class, and I feel very close to the others in the class. Relief Society was also good about being self sufficient. So I feel well fed. And the funniest thing...this friend of mine came up and said that she had very good eyesight and she wasn't telling stories, but that I looked 35 standing up in front baring my testimony. I told her she sure knew how to make a person feel good:) Now I just have to figure how much to pay her so she keeps telling me things like that:) That compliment should get me through for at least a week (ha, ha)
Well, I have been very strict with myself on my diet and I have lost 15 pounds! I am very excited about this. But I have alot more to lose. I figure if I can be diligent in this I may reach my goal by next Christmas. I think I will feel younger not having to lug the extra weight around. And I need to lose this to control my diabetes. This diet is pretty good though. My blood sugars got so low I had to go off of my medication! So that is good news.
I hope you've had a great day. I just didn't want to leave the impression I was sad. I am feeling really pretty good. Take care! Melody

Home Alone

Good morning! It is still beautiful here. Tomorrow we are expecting a storm though. That means the wind will pick up on our little hill. The newscast said it will reach 65 tomorrow and 45 on Tuesday! That's Idaho for you. Or maybe it's just global warming. "Just"...it makes me a little sad to think we have polluted our beautiful earth so much. I watched a concert with John Denver on PBS yesterday. It was a concert he gave trying to raise people's awareness of the danger to our planet. He sure could sing. I wonder if he is still singing for people in the spirit world. The interview was interesting. He talked about how he had been given a gift of singing and song writing. I believe we are all given gifts. Discovering what they are is a fun thing. Living up to our potential is a challenge. And being patient with ourselves while we progress is even more challenging. I did paint yesterday. And I am enjoying the process, but not the results. I was going to post the results and have decided not to until I try it again. I have a ways to go before I am happy with my painting. But I do think I am making some improvement with each attempt. And I am grateful for this gift I have been given. It is a wonderful distraction from the worries of life.
I am feeling a little sad today. And there is not really any good reason. I think it is just missing my two little grandsons, and noise in the house. Mel went early to do his clerking before bishopric meeting and it is too quiet. Max is off on his morning rounds. So I am here alone. There are a few stinky cats in the yard:) I am a little upset with them this morning. They discovered my newly cleared garden boxes and have been busy claiming them as their newest litter box. I guess I will have to put up the chicken wire barriers again. Sigh! Silly cats!
I am glad it is Sunday. I will turn on the broadcast from temple square and I know it will cheer me right up. And church is always great. I feel like I have so many kind friends there. Well, I hope your Sabbath is bright and cheery and filled with happy, warm thoughts. Take care and HAGW! Melody

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Spring is in the Air

Good morning! Have you been innoculated? If not, you'd better hurry. Spring fever is definitely in the air. The sky is clear, the wind is calm, and the garden is calling! I have a stiff back today to prove it! I spent a couple of hours outside in my raised garden beds clearing out the old plants and getting things ready for the new plants and seeds. I am excited to be adding some new boxes this year. I love square foot gardening. It allows me to grow things minus the weeds. And when combined with drip irrigation it presents very little work. Of course the set up is a little time consuming and somewhat costly, but worth it all in the harvest. Here is a link if you're curious. http://www.squarefootgardening.com/ We also have a traditional garden, but it is so much harder! Lots of weeds and constant effort to stay ahead of them. Eventually I would like to purchase a really good rototiller to help with that...or maybe a tractor. It would help with the plowing, planting and weeding.
Last night we spent with some of our friends from the temple. It is sure fun to get together with these wonderful friends, but we sure stayed up late! We didn't get home til after 1! Mel said we are just starved for social interaction. And maybe he is right. All of those years of raising kids, and we've kind of lost track of our own social agenda. I guess we are on track for fixing that though. And I am glad for that.
So I am hoping to paint today. I am excited to try some new techniques I've only observed so far. And I want to practice some that I need to perfect. Have I mentioned I am working at getting my own painting room? I have boxed up everything in there to move out today. I am going to have to buy a few things to go in there...table, shelves, etc. It should be fun. I am very excited! But first the bunkbeds have to go upstairs, along with the dressers:) So I am hoping for manpower to help with that.
I also have a Relief Society lesson to prepare for the 14th. It is a good one. I really enjoy teaching out of the gospel principles manual...except that I get so nervous:) But it is getting a little less intimidating I think. At least I will pretend it is. It makes it easier to prepare.
Well, I guess I will get on with my day. I hope yours is happy and full of inspiration! Take care and keep smiling! And HAGW! Melody

Friday, March 5, 2010

Baa, Baa Black Sheep

Good morning! I hope your sunshine is a bright as mine today. It is just gorgeous! I just got back from a lovely walk along the canal that runs by my house. It is still a bit nippy, but not too bad. I love these first sunny days promising many more as Spring approaches.
Well, I thought I would share a few of the cutest signs of spring around here. These little guys just live across the road. And they are so lively and cute. I could hardly get pictures....they kept moving:) I tried to tell them it wasn't a moving picture, but they weren't too interested.


These two little fellas seemed to pay attention for a moment or two. I wish I had a better zoom on my iphone. Actually I did, but it kept messing with the phone. It kept shutting down. So I deleted that application and I have one that is not as good, but it doesn't shut my phone down completely.
I think it is interesting how these sheep start out as black sheep, but turn white as their fleece grows in.











Well, except for this guy in the foreground. He is a brown sheep.
I wanted to include a link to an article I really enjoyed. http://www.ldsmag.com/churchupdate/100303chile.html#_begart This is the account by Sister Laycock of the Chilean earthquake. Her husband is the mission president there in Santiago. It is an inspiring account. And it emphasizes how important it is to listen to that still small voice.
Well, I know I should be getting on with my day. Keep smiling! And HAGW! Melody