Monday, June 28, 2010

Just a note so I don't forget!

Hi! I just had to share this one. Taylor just said to me, "Grandma, I really like summer because you get to play in water for free!" He sure comes up with original ideas. I had a good painting class, but I don't have time to share. I will post pictures of painting and camp on Friday when I get back. I hope you have a great week! TTTL Melody

Great Expectations

Good morning! It's another beautiful day in our neighborhood today. And it's supposed to continue through the week. I am grateful for that! I will be up at girl's camp in the Oregon mountains nearby. So a pleasant week would be nice. I can remember a couple of girl's camps with heavy rain. It is hard to keep girls happy with too much rain. We had one once though where the temps got up around 110 and that was hard too. We had girls passing out and getting sick. It was a camp without any stream or lake and the girls weren't drinking enough water. They sent us all home a day early from that one. The temps where we are going are predicted to be around 70 this week. It sounds ideal to me. I am going to be an assistant cook for our ward. I told a friend at church yesterday I was going and she said, "Isn't there an age limit for girl's camp?" I suppose there must be. But hopefully I won't reach it for a while. I started going when I was 11. I have always loved it. I suppose it is because I love the forest...and camping. Although I will be taking our trailer and that is hardly the same as camping. It will help me to stay pleasant:) I can get kind of crotchety when I hurt.
One of my favorite memories is of hiking in the Sierras. For some reason Trudy Woods and I were leading a hike up there one year for camp. She was kind of my idol. She was three years older and liked by everyone. I think she sort of tolerated me, and allowed me to be her friend even though we had an age difference. Anyway we got a group of girls up there and decided we were lost. We couldn't find any trace of a trail. We would always look for the i trees. Because of the deep snow in the winter, the trail would often be washed away and so they marked the trees by carving an i into them. So we were all looking for an i tree with no success. Finally one of the girls suggested we have a prayer. So we did. I remember feeling quite scared and worried. I felt a little responsible for all of these girls. After our prayer we all fanned out again and quickly found an i tree. It was one of those times of faith rewarded. I am glad for those times when I find myself lost now. I remember that the Lord does listen and hear our prayers. He doesn't always answer the way I expect, but I know I am heard and it is reassuring.
Today is a busy day. I have the trailer to pack, twelve pounds of hamburger to cook (we are precooking the meat for tomorrow night's dinner), counseling, lunch for a friend's birthday, visiting teaching, and my art class. I am excited for my art class! Since I missed last week I feel a little disconnected with my painting. I like to take in what I have done during the week and get help with it. So I will have a few things to share this time. I am feeling much better about my paintings though. I always hate them at first. And then I grow to like them a little better as time goes on and I forget the frustration of painting them. Maybe some day I will like them as I am painting them. I am enjoying it more and more, but I can't really say that I enjoy the process yet. I think it is because I realize about half way through that it isn't perfect. I guess I am going to have to realize it won't be perfect...and that's OK.
Well, I hope I have not bored you too badly with my musings. Have a wonderful day out there in cyberspace...and a wonderful week. I'm sure I won't be able to blog for a few days. But I'll still be pullin' for ya. Remember we're all in this together. Keep smiling! TTTL Melody

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Day of Peace and Rest

Shalom! I just looked up shalom in wikipedia. Besides peace it also means wholeness, paid in full, and something else. I forget:) But I've always liked that word. And it seems appropriate for the Sabbath.
I enjoyed "Into the Woods" last night. It was pretty well done, and the costumes and sets were amazingly well done. I enjoyed the music for the most part, although some of it did seem a little repetitive. I think my favorite song was "Misery and Agony" that the princes sang. Pretty funny stuff. The only song I recognized was the one about being careful about what you say and do because children listen and see. I loved the ending. They brought lots of cute little children on stage and there was one very tiny little girl that was soooo cute. And one of the littlest kids was singing along with the cast and seemed to know all of the words. We had fun. But we were up too late:) The play wasn't over until nearly 11! It was midnight by the time we got home.
Today will be busy with meetings. My first is at 10. Mel has already left for his. His last one is at 5. So for him a whole day of meetings. It makes me think of the 14th article of faith.
Yesterday Mel said something I thought was funny. We were delivering parts to Micron in the afternoon. It is a long drive and he was tired and so he was trying to stay awake and was jabbering away about something. I wasn't really listening when he said, "You know you could jump into this conversation anytime." It made me laugh. Then he said, "It's just me and Julio by the school yard." Then I asked if he was sleepy. He said yes, so I suggested we tell knock knock jokes....just make them up. He said that he'd never thought knock knock jokes were funny. I said what about the one where you answer banana? He said naw. Then he said,"Wouldn't it be weird if your mind just slipped into different languages?" I said, "What?" He said, "You know, like all of a sudden all I could talk was Chinese." Then he told a knock knock fake Chinese. It really had me laughing. He can be so silly at times. But I like it.
Well, I'd better get on with my day. I hope you have a lovely Sabbath day. It is a promise of peace. Take care and HAGW!!!! Melody

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wishing for Sand and Surf

Hi again! I have been avoiding cleaning this morning:) I did clean up Taylor's mess from yesterday and the kitchen and my room and I started the laundry. But I would so much rather be at the beach. So I decided to paint it! I took a photo I had and combined it with a painting I did earlier. I put lots of indiscriminate birds in the picture....but in my mind they are pelicans:) This painting is twice as large as I usually do. I thought it might be fun to make it bigger.
I have been searching this morning for a quilt square. That probably sounds funny, but it was one I did when Tommy was really sick. Only a few months before he died. I was taking a class from a quilter that was voted Diablo Valley College artist of the year. She knew a lot about quilting and a whole lot about color. I learned a lot from her. When I did this particular square I just put together my favorite colors. But in class we had to explain why we did what we did. I had no idea, but I just started talking and amazed myself. I had picked the pattern "Tree of Life". It had lots of triangles and squares. There was kind of a center I had done in burnt sienna. I had put all of the bright green triangles pointing up and the teal blue pointing down. I explained that the colors were my favorite....burnt sienna represented the soil in the mountains that is full of iron. The greens...forest and spring were the colors in the trees and the teal blue was the lake colors. I said that the green pointing up represented my hope that my son would live and be well. The teal was the reality of how serious his illness was and how worried I felt. The tree of life was my hope that whatever the outcome, we would all live together again after this life. I hadn't planned it. I didn't even know why I had put it together that way until I started talking about it. My teacher told me I was a real artist. I think that was the first time anyone ever told me that. I have a lot of feelings for that little square of materials put together in a hopeful way. I hope I haven't lost it. I get so frustrated when I know I would never throw something away, but I sure cannot find it. Ugh!
Well, I guess I really ought to fold towels:) I have been interrupted a couple of times writing this. The time will probably be off on the posting. It is almost 2! Yay! I wish Mel didn't have to work so much. I keep telling him we should just sell the house and live in something cheaper. But I suppose the time for selling is not right now. I feel bad he works so hard. But he always has. I suppose I should be used to it. I can truthfully say I am not. Oh well. Such is life. At least I have him talked into going out tonight. That way he can't work:) Poor guy. Well, I hope your day is going well. I will try to keep my stick on the ice....or my brush in the paint....or whatever. And I will keep smiling...if I have to....I guess:) HAGAfternoon!!!! Melody


Good morning! I am reporting in:) Things are good here this morning. I have already cleaned up poop from a certain little doggy, and Mel is currently trying to fix a sprinkler that won't shut off. Just the normal stuff.
Last night we had a fun date night though. We met my dad and Barb and ate at the Macaroni Grill. We had fun, although it was hard getting a smile for pictures. Right after I took this one of my dad and Barb I handed the camera over to Barb so she could take a picture of us. But she wasn't sure how it worked and dropped the iphone trying to take it. I think that may account for Mel's serious mug.
And right after this picture was taken he accidentally knocked his drink over...almost in my lap, but I am getting quicker now as things plummet towards me and I dodged just in the nick of time. I am not sure what magnetic attraction I have for things, but it seems to have begun when a certain tree fell on me in Yosemite. Since then I seem to attract it:)
We had a nice visit with the folks and then headed on back home. I commented to Mel that we were probably going to get a beautiful sunset because the clouds were already amazing. And I was right. We drove all over trying to get the best view. These photos are not nearly as brilliantly colored as the sky was. The pinks and oranges were very deep and beautiful. But you get a bit of an idea.
Well, today is a cleaning day for me. And Mel is working on molds. He is a bit discouraged at present as the time is squeezing him and the molds are proving difficult. I wish I could help. But alas, I know nothing of tool and die. I wish we did have some help for him. He will probably call around today and see if his buddies in the tool and die world are all as busy or if someone needs a little work.
We are meeting friends tonight to go see the play "Into the Woods". I think a local company is putting it on. It should be fun and interesting. I have only seen short bits of this one. I am excited to see the whole thing.
Take care out there in cyberspace. Remember to keep smiling! And HAGW!!!!! Melody

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sorting Stuff

Good Friday mornin'! It's warm and mildly overcast here today. I am deciding what I want to do for a couple of hours before the grandkids come over. Well, three of them anyway. Taylor is already here since he is a resident. Maybe he and I can walk. He is a good walker and usually likes to walk with me. And it is a great opportunity to listen. He talks a lot these days. He is so full of information! And so much of it is only partially accurate:) I think he likes having someone hear him. I know I do.
I think I will do the library field trip today. The only trouble with that is that the grandkids invariably lose a book or two. The library loves that I think. More fines! But I think kids don't visit the library enough and it is such a treasure house for them. Lots of wonderful stories and adventure! And it keeps them doing something besides xbox:) I really am grateful for video games....but summer should be spent in active pursuit of life and liberty! And the hose and sandbox! And imaginary games that someone doesn't dictate how you should play. One of my favorite things is to eavesdrop when the kids are playing. I love lines like, "Now you say...." I can remember playing like that. And it was so much fun. In kindergarten I had two friends that I still remember vividly...Carole Price and David DeBernardi. We played in the pretend kitchen a lot. We would switch roles, dad, baby. It was good practice:)
The other thing I should do is organize. I have accumulated so much piles. Some of it I know I don't need because I haven't been through the pile in over a year. But I can't just throw useful stuff away:) I have to sort it first. You know, a box for another room, a box for charity, a box for the neighborhood garage sale, and finally a box for garbage. Then if I don't quickly take the boxes away they become another pile....of boxes. Those usually end up in the garage....for years!!! Maybe not everyone has such a hard time with stuff. But I think it is a legacy of my family. We all like to collect stuff. And we are soooo good at it. When my great aunt died we had a cleaning party to sort her stuff. Instead of just chucking it all we sorted it into piles for the junk man and for the neighborhood and then several piles we had to hang onto for ourselves. We filled a Ryder truck with stuff to bring back home:) I am not joking. Some of it has been useful, but the majority I have in boxes:) Oh well. When I die someone can sort my stuff. That should be some incentive to get rid of it.
Well, I guess I'd better get sorting. Take care out there in cyberspace. Remember I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together! Keep smiling!!!! And HAGW!!!! Melody

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Choking Around

Well, here it is:) Disappointing to me, but ...... I think I kind of enjoyed the process. Not really. I flaked out about half way through the painting and took Taylor on a field Costco:) We both got the hot dog special and tried all of the samples. Taylor really had fun and I got away from the picture for a couple of hours. I will take it to class on Monday and get some pointers. I think I got too anxious with the lake and it went down hill from there. But at the very least I got my brushes wet and practiced some more.
Well, I hope your day is more fruitful than mine. I did study a little about art today. I looked up Bill Watterson on Wikipedia and read about him. I didn't realize he was such a recluse. Maybe he is just smart:) I sure like Calvin and Hobbes. My favorite strip of his had Calvin sitting on a "throne" and talking about being a "kink" who "loft and loft" at all of the funny "chokes". Very clever stuff.
Well enough silliness. I'd better get on with life in the real world, whatever that means. HAGW!!! Melody

Substance of Things Hoped For

Good morning! Each day as I write that I hope it is:) Not just for me, but for you too. Life is challenging and some days are definitely harder than others. But it is all passing so quickly anymore! There is some comfort in that.
I am excited for a day of painting. I have a sketch done that I started up at Cascade Lake. I think it will be a nice water scene with the lake and boats and a few of my friends on the dock. We shall see. I am always afraid I will blow it before I even start. Sad! I need to have faith and then hang on to that faith as I am painting so that whatever happens in my painting I can see it through to the end. It reminds me of life and trials. I think the element of faith is always present. I am trying very hard to hang on to trust the Lord and His promises. I am so grateful for the temple. I receive so much strength from attending the temple. Last night was very busy and I hardly had time to look up from all of the work we had going. But it feels so good to be happily engaged in a good work. It makes me realize that my work here at home is also a part of that work and I am glad.
Next week is girl's camp:) I do smile when I think of it. I love to be in the mountains! We are going to a camp I have never been to before. It is in Oregon, north of Baker City. The mountains around there are very pretty. Mel and I took a trip up there to Phillips Reservoir and had a lot of fun a year or so ago. We rode our bikes around in the rain and explored different campsites...that were all closed. We went too early in the season:) So it will be fun to see what it is like when the weather is warmer. I am going as an assistant cook for our ward. The girls will really do most of the cooking, but I am there to guide and help.
Well, I guess I'd better get on with my day. I hope you have a gut wan! Keep smiling! I may post a painting later if I am happy with it. TTTL Melody

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More elephants in the mix

Guten morgen! I....seems so egotistical. Every day I start out with I..... But I guess it's OK since it's a blog about me. If I was to get political I would talk about the oil spill. I have a nephew in law that is a helicopter pilot. He flies people back and forth to the oil rigs. What I didn't realize is that he is only one of about fifteen hundred pilots. That's quite a lot. Makes you get a picture of just how big the oil drilling operation is down there. Yesterday a judge lifted the moratorium or they would all be out of work. Not just the pilots, but all the people who work on the rigs. There is so much going on down there that we are unaware of. But I don't think I will comment any more about it. Just know that I do think about other things besides my own little bag of rocks.
But back to my little world. I am excited! I was able to register for a couple of classes yesterday. Well, I am really just on the wait lists. I am number 2 on the list for foundation drawing, but I am number 27 on the list for creative photography. So at least I have my foot in the door. I think I need the drawing class. I have never had one and I would love to learn all about perspective and the like. And photography has always been a love of mine. This one would be black and white only and we learn to process and develop our own film! Sort of cool I think. I think we will learn all about the stops and stuff too. So that will be really fun. I have a little Cannon camera that I would really like to learn to use better! So I hope that I can get into that class.
Last night I had a weird dream. When I was in college I used to have this dream that I had forgotten about a class I had registered for and now it was finals and I had to take the test or lose total credit! I usually run around in the dream looking for the class. I guess it is a classic dream. But last night I dreamt that I was in the dorms and starting classes....and all of a sudden I remembered I had a baby and left it at home. The rest of the dream I was searching for this baby I knew had died from neglect. It was upsetting and I woke up so relieved that it was only a dream. But immediately I realized I am worrying about leaving my "babies" to go back to school. And I think even more I am feeling so responsible for my grandkids that it is hard to live my own life. Quite a realization! I guess I have bonded a little closely with the two that live here. I realize logically that they have a mom and that they are mostly fine. But I guess my emotional elephant is playing havoc with my subconscious. I suppose I don't need to share all this...:) Just kind of an epiphany.
I am having a difficult time blogging this morning! I had to pick up Kim's kids in Boise at 8:30 this morning. It's a 45 minute drive, so I had to leave here at 7:45 and didn't get my blog finished. Then I got back home and things are already going full steam ahead. While trying to finish this I have gotten several phone calls, done the breakfast dishes, put the dinner in the oven, helped kids with various things and planned our Friday night with my Dad and Barb. And it's already after 11. So I guess I'd better call it quits with blogging. I haven't got a lot to say anyway. Just checking in.
I hope your day is wonder filled, happy and productive. Mine will be with watching kids for the morning and temple in the afternoon. I hope I can squeeze in a power nap. I still am not sleeping terrifically at night. But oh well. HAGW!!!! Keep smiling:) Melody

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fiddlin' Around

Good morning! I am hoping to include a video. I will write while it is uploading and hopefully you will get to catch the last of the cutest little boys fiddlin' away at the Fiddler Contest in Weiser last night. We decided to go with some friends at the last minute. Weiser is about an hour from here. It was soooo fun! The musicians were top notch and lots of fun stompin' and clapping along. But these two brothers (with their dad accompanying them) were the hit of the evening. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good clear picture of them as we were sitting in the dark and they were in bright lights. But you can hear them and the audience going wild.

I did have to miss my art class to attend the fiddler's contest:( But I will practice painting and try to improve anyway. I did have a very discouraging experience trying to register for classes at BSU yesterday. Every single class is full and each has a long waiting list. Sooooo...... I guess I will just attend the classes I want and hope I can persuade the teacher to let me in. I know I need to do this, so hopefully I can get another little miracle or two to help me pursue this venue.

Today I will be watching Kim's kids and doing laundry. It is already warm here this morning! So it should be a fun day for kids to play outside:) Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video! Keep smiling! HAGW!!!!! Melody

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm Walkin' on Sunshine

Good Monday morning! I am feeling very good this morning. I invited the missionaries over for dinner last night....I felt impressed to do that in sacrament meeting. Kim has a friend that is very curious about the church and she brought him to our Father's Day dinner. He is a really good man and he has been in the Coast Guard 19 years as a rescue swimmer. He has lots of interesting stories to tell about his experiences. He is a recruiter here in Idaho. Anyway, we had a really nice dinner and all sat around and visited. Then all of the family left but Kim and company and the missionaries....Elders Hunt and Fischer. We sat and talked about the gospel and Kim's friend asked questions about what things are different in our church that he has noticed. The feeling was warm and sweet, and both of the missionaries shared their testimonies. Mel and I also shared ours. It was such a nice experience. I hope we have more like that. I love to share my love for the gospel.
My lesson went well also I think. The video of the Savior's life was received well and the timing went well. I love that video. It is called "Finding Faith in Christ". I heard the director of that film talk at Women's Conference a few years ago. I was impressed with how sincere his desire was to portray the life of Christ.
Well I am planning to walk with friends this morning. It is a little nippy out:) This weather has been very strange. We have warm sun then cold rains...back and forth. Yesterday was clear and sunny, then stormy and cold. Our electricity went out while everyone was here for dinner. It's a good thing I had already prepared the food ahead of time. Did I say we had 20 for dinner? I was afraid we wouldn't have enough food, but we had plenty. Reminded me of the loaves and fishes.
Well, I hope your day goes well. I have art class to look forward to this evening. It should keep me smiling. I hope you have lots of smiles and sunshine! HAGW!!!!! Melody

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Happy Father's Day morning! This morning I have been preparing for my lesson and dinner afterwards. I have rolls almost done, the meat and carrots in the crockpot, and the jello made. I still have a cake to throw together and potatoes to peel:) It will be nice to be done with my lesson and have dinner all ready and the family gathered around this evening for Father's Day.
So what wonderful Father's Day story can I tell? I can't really think of one that happened on Father's Day. But when I think of my father I can think of lots of good and happy times together....growing up and family vacations. But the most special time for me was an unplanned trip we took back to the Oakland Bay Area. It was the fall after my mom died. My dad had been invited as a former bishop to our old stake's reunion. But he got the dates wrong and so we were flying out 10 days early. Mel couldn't take that much time off of work, so it was just my dad and I. We had a glorious time! We went to all of the places I had lived as a child. But then we also visited the places my mom and dad had grown up in Oakland. And I got to hear for the first time how my dad had walked and taken a bus just to take my mom home from school. They met in high school when they were just 15. My dad never dated anyone else. He was smitten. My mom did some dating, but she was never serious about anyone else but my dad. We visited a little shop that they used to go for a malt after school. We found their first house up near the Oakland temple. They bought it for a song. I think it was $8000. Now it would be $500,000! Even with the bad economy! We saw the houses that my grandpa Duffin had built, and the tile that my grandpa Phillips had helped to make. We had a lovely walk down memory lane, and I had my Dad all to myself. It was really fun! We took one day and went to Half Moon Bay with my cousin in her little sporty car with the hood down. Then we took a couple of days and drove down the coast to Carmel where my folks loved to travel, and where Mel and I had honeymooned. We took our time and walked around town and visited all of the little shops. We really did have a very special trip. I think the highlight for my dad was visiting the car museum in Black Hawk near Danville. And Mel joined us there. We then all went to the stake reunion and saw lots of old friends. I know it was a sad time for my father, but he really felt reconnected to his past. And it was a wonderful experience for me. I will always treasure the special time we had together.
So, I know that many people don't have an amazing and wonderful father. And I feel for you. I am so grateful for mine. And I applaud all fathers who love and cherish their family. I hope you have a wonderful day of well deserved hugs and good wishes. I am going to give my dad lots of hugs and hold him close in my heart always! And now for a little reminder of Sunday....Remember....the Father of us all loves you too! He sent His only son to die for all of us! And because of that we can learn and grow after we have made mistakes. Amazing and wonderful!!!! I am so grateful! Melody

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lakes and Mountains

Good Night! It isn't even evening any more. But it has been a wonderful, fun-filled day. I thought I would post a few pictures of the ward campout. See if you can spot me:) I will give you a hint...I am not a least for about 40 years. I had fun riding around the lake in a friend's boat, sitting on the beach taking photos and sketching, and generally just enjoying the sunshine. I did spot a couple of pelicans and lucky me...I got a very tiny photo of them. I sent Bro. Martin back out on the lake to get a photo with his very nice SLR digital camera, but he couldn't find them:( Oh well. At least I know what kind of camera I want when I can buy a new one. It was warm and wonderful and I am a little sunburnt. But when we drove back to Nampa....more rain!!!! Can you believe it? Of course it was just the thundercloud bursting upon you kind. It did water our garden again though:) I am very grateful for that!! Here's a link to the rest of the photos if you are interested.
I am home again now. I have been editing a video for my lesson tomorrow and planning what to say, and preparing a bit for tomorrow's daddy dinner. I have invited family so it should be great. I am excited to have my own father still here to celebrate. It should be a nice day.
Well, I think it is pretty late, and I still have a few more things to do before Sunday rolls around. I hope you have a good night, and a good morrow. Take care and Happy Father's Day! HAGW!!!!! Melody

Friday, June 18, 2010

Faith is like a little seed...if planted it will grow!

Good morning! It's a beautiful day in our neighborhood....clear blue skies and no wind! I hope we have some warm weather for a few days. But the storms have been nice to water our garden. I don't think I've lost any tomato plants yet. I planted quite a few tomatoes....I think 24...I can't remember now:( But that is one thing we really use. I can them and I would like to try salsa this year. I am always going to do salsa, but so far I haven't canned it. I think the biggest challenge in our garden is always the weeds. One of my friends in my art class says that he lays down old newspapers and puts rocks or boards on top and that that keeps weeds from growing. I may try that. I hate putting chemicals in the garden since we eat the produce. And it is really a big garden to hoe the weeds. That's what we usually do and it is a back killer. So I think I will try the newspaper trick. I just hope the wind doesn't blow them all away:) I do have access to lots of rocks so I hope I can make this work. Mel is so busy again that he doesn't have much time for gardening. When he does, the garden is spectacular; he still is a great farmer:) But I am grateful he has plenty of work. It is usually busy this time of year. He has four molds lined up to finish and no one else to build them but himself. Tool and Die makers are hard to of the reasons he decided to become one. And they charge a lot:) So he is it most of the time. Occasionally he will farm a mold out, but it hasn't proved to be a smart idea. He very often has to go in and fix things when he gets the mold back and we lose most of the profit. So it is a one man show on the molding side of things. He has his brother working the production side of the business. Once he makes the molds then he runs them in a machine that produces the plastic parts....actually a few machines. So it helps him to have his brother running the machines so he can work on the molds.
Presently I am surrounded on both sides by my two sweet grandsons. They are explaining how we need to make waffles....soon. So I guess I've got to go. I am so grateful for these sweet boys! Especially today. Yesterday at the temple I found out that one of our friends had a grandson drown over the weekend. He was three. I keep thinking how sad they must be. Even with the peace that the gospel brings, the death of a child is extremely hard. I don't think you ever really get over just learn to live with the sadness. And sometimes it still is overwhelming. It has been 27 years since our son died and I still miss him terribly. One of the nice things about the temple is I often feel him close to me there. Yesterday I was impressed that he was very happy and busy helping to prepare people and teaching them the gospel. I am glad for that sweet feeling....but I still miss him. So it is especially nice to have these two sweet boys here to love and serve.
Well, I didn't mean to get so serious. But life is pretty serious. I found this quote from a friend's blog, and it kind of sums up what I have been thinking about this!
“Our lives are the only meaningful expression of what we believe and in Whom we believe. And the only real wealth for any of us, lies in our faith.” Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley I love Pres. Hinckley's wisdom! I hope I can be an example of faith and good works! Take care out there in cyberspace and keep smiling. It will all be worth it in the end! HAGW!!!!! Melody

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Horsin' Around Again

Good evening! I am takin' a break. I have been painting this afternoon. I decided to try the horsie painting one more time. And maybe I should have tried something new. I like it better than the first try, but it is still a challenging painting for me. The camera didn't capture it too well though. It is much better than this:) In real life the colors are more interesting. I guess if I am going to get serious about this I will eventually have to get a camera that at least gets the colors right. But first....I probably should learn how to paint!
I am getting better though I think. It is just a slow process. Zbukvic says in his video it takes twenty maybe by the time I am eighty....yikes! That is just not fun to think about.
Well, not much else to write about. I just wanted to share. I hope your day is going great! TTTT Melody

"So Thankful to Be Me" from the Primary Children's Songbook

Good afternoon! I am home from what feels like a spiritual marathon. I love the temple and I have just spent yesterday afternoon and evening and all morning there. I am exhausted, but filled with the spirit of love and hope and peace. I get such strength from the good friends I see there. And I feel so close to those I can no longer see. It feels good. I love the service there so much too. And I love to be in a position where I can give service to others, whether it is in the actual work of the temple, or in listening to the heartaches of another person who just needs to share. I really do love it there. When I am in the temple I know with certainty that Pres. Hinckley was speaking truly when he admonished, "Be believing, be happy, don't get discouraged. Things will work out." They always do in the temple. I see it again and again. So it gives me faith that they will also work out eternally. I can't see it just now, but I have faith that they will.
Book club was fun yesterday too. We met for breakfast at "The Griddle". I asked the waiter if they were a chain and he said they have three restaurants, one in Eagle, one in Meridian and one in Winnemucca. I wondered, because we like to stop at The Griddle in Winnemucca, but I wasn't sure if they were connected. They have wonderful omelets and crepes and quiche, and yum! No, I am not hungry! But I always think breakfast food sounds delicious. And it was fun to be with my friends in book club. Eight of us showed up. (There are four more, but one is the temple matron's assistant, one is on a temple mission in Nauvoo, one was having a wedding this week and one is an international traveler....her husband is big into business construction.) The conversation was lively and fun. It is fun to catch up on other people's lives and to share what I dare of mine:) I sat next to a newer member that is an artist and I shared with her my plans to go back to BSU and she was excited for me and had lots of good advice. She spent six years there in art and knew a lot of the teachers and what classes to take, etc. I told her of my desire to write children's books and she said that there is a wonderful teacher there who has published children's books and would be an invaluable resource. So it was fun to talk with her and get some pointers. She said they are a very liberal school and I may be shocked, but I suppose I expect that. And at this point in my life I may need a little shocking to wake up and smell the flowers....or weeds as the case may be. And it will help to keep in mind Pres. Hickley's advice,
“Give expression to the noble desires that lie in your heart.” I may have to develop a pretty thick skin to do that, but I am willing to give it a try.
Well I am hoping the rest of my day is as great as the morning. I took a short nap and I got the laundry started. We are planning to go with our ward up to Donnelly for a campout this weekend. I hope the weather turns a little warmer. But we do have a heater in our trailer. We won't have to rough it exactly. I think it will be fun to go to the beautiful country close to McCall. Idaho is really a nice place to live. Almost perfect if there was just a coastline to go to near by. But I guess you can't have everything. And I do get a visit at least once a year to the ocean. It's part of my marriage contract I think:)
I am putting in a photo of my dog Max with my granddaughter Madeline. Just a doggy note:) And I think this blog gets kind of dull without a picture now and then!
So I hope your day is going well. Take care! Keep smiling! Remember we're all in this together! I'm pullin' for ya! And one more wonderful quote from Pres. Hinckley, "If Life Gets Too Hard To Stand, Kneel." It really does help! HAGW!!!!! Melody

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chocolate Elephants

Good morning! It is a little cooler here today. It's only supposed to get into the fifties! I wonder if this is normal. Yesterday it was close to 75. I hope the temps get a little more consistent....I guess:) Maybe I like the variations. I just worry about the plants.
I am feeling much more rested today. I did wake up a couple of times in the night, but I was able to fall right back to sleep. Do you need to know this? Probably not, but I like sharing:) I have a busy day club and then the temple. I should have some time in between. I am hoping to paint. I am really trying to get to it each day. It is harder with the boys here. They like to watch me paint....which doesn't work too well. But it is cute because then they want to paint too. That used to happen with my own kids when I would practice my clarinet. I used to encourage them to practice their instruments with no good results. But when I would practice for a little orchestra I was in they would all start practicing their own instruments. I guess it is leading by example. It's the best way I suppose. Which brings me to my lesson for Relief Society. It is on the Savior's life. And I am amazed at how patient He was.....and is. It would be hard to know the answers and not get impatient with other people's inability to understand. And it must be wonderful to have the will to always do what is right. I can resolve to do what I know I should, but then I get sort of a laxadaisical (sp?) attitude. I guess the best example is chocolate. I know I should eat only a little, but..... I guess that is something I haven't really resolved. And maybe that is the trick. I listened to a very interesting talk on npr about the emotional brain versus the logical brain. They compared the emotional brain as a large elephant. And the logical brain as the rider on the elephant. The speaker said that the rider thinks he is in charge until the elephant decides to take the reins. And so the trick is to train the elephant....make him think that he wants to do what you want him to do. It was an interesting talk. But I have not enjoyed thinking of myself as an elephant;)
Well, I think this could get a little silly, so I will sign off and get hopping. I hope you have a lovely day. Remember to keep smiling! I will too! HAGW!!!! Melody

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Be Like a Duck

Good Evening! Why do I think of Boris Karlov when I write that? I am writing this evening to share my duck walk today. It was kind of fun.....kind of a work out. But the pictures are nice. We had fun and Taylor says, "The ducklings are so cute that I wanted to pet them."
He is having trouble transitioning to bed this evening. It is hard when it doesn't even get dark until after 10. I can remember being allowed to play until dark in the summer. But I suppose I was older and the world was so different. All of the kids in the neighborhood would be outside playing too. We used to make roller skating roads on the sidewalk with stop signs and yield signs and curvy roundabouts. I miss that sometimes. We did have fun!
I am feeling much better this evening. I should work on my lesson but I am procrastinating:) I am going to have a busy week. I am subbing in the temple for another friend on Thursday morning....but she has agreed to sub for me the week of girl's camp. So that is great! Tomorrow morning my book club is meeting for breakfast. We do that once a year. It should be lots of fun. I like my book club friends alot. And we are going to a restaurant called "The Griddle". It is a yummy place. They are especially good with crepes:)
Well, I just wanted to share. I hope you're able to "Be Like a Duck". That's what Gabe was saying in this photo. It's one of my favorite songs on Sandra Boynton's CD "Philedelphia Chickens". My favorite line is, "No, no, that's not the way to go. You got to go .... slow!" And "You gotta walk the walk, you gotta talk the talk, and when you wanna fly you gotta take to the sky and cruise....." I know. I have been watching grandkids a lot lately! I have probably memorized every song on that album. But it is better than a lot of other things they could be listening to.
Well, I hope you have a good evening. I am feeling tons better, but very tired. So nighty night all. TTTT Melody


Good morning! I am fighting the sad this morning. I am trying to stay happy, but it keeps pushing in on me. But I know why that is a step in the right direction.
Yesterday was supposed to be the thirtieth birthday of a sweet young friend of my daughter, Anna P. She took her own life last year. I think she was one of the purely sweet young women I have known in my life, and every time I think of her I feel so sad. She had a hard marriage and I think she couldn't figure out any acceptable solutions. I wish she had been living closer and we could have been a better support system. I wish there was no pain and death in the world and I wish that I could hug her again and hear her call me "Sweetie". She called everyone sweetie and honey and she was such a neat young lady. I miss you sweet Anna!
I also had a counseling appointment yesterday and we delved into some stuff I have been ignoring because I have no good solutions. And that is always hard. My counselor said I need to blog some of my feelings and not just write like everything is fine. But that is hard for me to do. I like to paint a rosy picture I guess:)
Luckily it was my art class last night so I was able to paint. I think it is wonderful therapy. This is a scene from a little mountain town called Sweet. And my teacher says I am getting really close to tapping into the real artist inside of me. He said I just need to stop thinking about it so much and over least that is what I think he was saying. I kind of know what he was saying, but I think it is hard for me to really let go with my painting, just like my writing. I suppose it goes back to that feeling of not wanting to be judged...even by myself.
Gabe just brought me a "love note" as he calls it. I am sooo lucky to have sweet boys to console me and help me to stay positive and happy. I think we may go feed the ducks and walk along the river today. I need a good walk!
Mel took these photos last night of the sunset as a real thunderstorm was rolling through. It came with lots of rain, so I think the garden got a good watering. So that is a positive thing. Ummm....I have a beautiful home in a wonderful location near a wilderness area. So that is a positive thing. Ummmm....I have seven wonderful children who I love and adore......I have a husband who adores me and is my very best friend....I still have full use of my body and I can walk and sort of run and even mind is still alert and active and I am able to write and read and sort of paint:) I guess I will keep counting my blessings. It really does help to lighten my spirit.
Well, sorry for the emoting. I will get on with my day. Oh, I have to tell you a little about Chaz first. He is the little dog that Liz brought home. He is kind of growing on me, but I am trying to not be attached. Mel said we cannot keep him. Which is OK with me most of the time. But this morning I kind of like that he wants to sit under my feet and be my friend. I like him most of the time. He is just not very well house broken and it bugs me. If he was my responsibility I am sure I could have him trained in a short time. Ah well. Maybe I will just do it as a favor to Liz:) Just look at those big eyes! He is asking to be loved and understood:)
So I hope you have a wonderful day...full of smiles and good wishes. I am working on it at this end and I am already feeling better having written this. I guess I will get the boys ready to go feed the ducks:) Take care out there! Talk at ya later. Melody

Monday, June 14, 2010

Here Comes the Sun!

Good morning! And Buenos Dias! I am feeling soooo much better this morning than last night. Sorry about the silly post:) I used my back massager and slept relatively well, so I am feeling pretty good. I am planning to walk today too. I have really missed walking. And I think it may help my day to stay positive.
So here are some photos of the baptism. There is Randy and Nicholas in their white clothing. Julie and Randy and their boys. The whole group minus Amy and Hailey who left to get a drink. Sweet Hailey. And clouds...very cool!

It was a good trip, however hurried. It is important to be there for your kids and grandkids! And of course I would not want to have missed it. I will have to send Kay some flowers or something for taking my temple shift on Saturday:) She really did me a wonderful favor....

I took a lot of cloud pictures. I am hoping to paint a little today and see if I can get the clouds in my painting closer to the clouds I saw on this trip.
I did want to say a little about Max...our Sheltie. He is about my age or older now I guess in dog years. He is a wonderful little dog...he aims to please. When we came home yesterday he was the first one out the door to greet us....well, Mel really. But after he said hi to Mel he was right over on my side of the car to say, "Oh, hi! It's good to see you too!" Sort of like I do with my sons in-law. I am trying to do better with that. I think it is so easy to forget to give them the same greeting as my daughters. Especially when there is a whole passel of kids running around. But I want them to know how much I love and appreciate them, so I am trying to do better.
Well, I hope your day is great, and that your smile is going strong. Take care and HAGW!!!!! Melody

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, Fёdor Dostoevskij, Russian for Dostoyesvsky

Good evening! We're home and it feels good to be here. I did enjoy being with Julie's family...and Michelle's and Amy's, but it feels nice to be back in my own place. And while we were gone I think summer came. It is sunny and warm here. It was so rainy and cold in Utah! I took lots of pictures of clouds (pictures tomorrow), but there are no clouds here at all. Such a change, so quickly. I am ready for some warm weather. The forecast calls for rain on Wednesday though. Maybe it will rain just enough to water the garden all summer:)

It is a weird Sunday. We had to get up early to get Amy home and to make it to a meeting for coordinators at the temple by three. It didn't allow us any time for church. So it feels more like Wednesday...our regular temple day. But yesterday felt a lot like Sunday with the baptism and all the family together. I hope I can keep my week straight now with the days confused.

I am really tired tonight and my back is a little whacked. I guess I really am getting old. I am limping around with the other hip sore, and my back feels like it might go out. It went out really bad when I was about 40. I remember I crawled around because I couldn't stand up straight. It was awful. I don't want to go back there again. So I am taking it easy. I think driving in the car doesn't help. I can't remember doing anything to make things so bad, but sometimes the motel bed can do it. And we did stay at a pretty interesting motel Friday night in Tremonton. I woke up Saturday with a weird pain in my back. So that is probably it. I guess I need to get out the heating pad and the ice. Sigh! I just got over the other hip being sore. Is this adding interest and drama to my blog yet? All the pain and agony should help a little.

Oh, I added some button on the top because Amy told me it was a good thing. I hope it is. If not I will remove it in a while. I guess it allows people to have this blog automatically fed to their email. I just do what she says:) She's the computer expert, not me.

I am pretty tired and so I will end this. Nothing much to write about anyway. Oh unless I tell you about the long ride home and all of the cool cheat grass that is turning purple in the middle of the green grasses. There were really interesting cloud formations....I think I saw a vole! And there was a Nintendo playing car driver that narrowly missed us as he passed going 95 or so. I did see some pelicans:) But we couldn't stop because we didn't want to be late for our meeting. Hailey got tired of being in the car around Twin Falls, so we had to stop and let Amy sit next to her. And Mel sat next to Danny who was tired from being in the car too long. Then everyone was giggling and the music was too loud and I was driving. It was just about then that the Nintendo driver came whizzing by. Wow, I think I went full circle with that one. Am I writing in a stream of consciousness yet? Sort of a Dostoyevsky sort of a thing!

I really should sign off. This is sounding ridiculous. I hope you have a great Sunday night and a wonderful week. I am planning on a nice long night of trying to sleep:) I am fishing for some sympathy here if you can't tell. Take care out there! Keep smiling!!! And HAGE!!!! Melody

Saturday, June 12, 2010

To Fulfill the Law

Good evening! Well, we have one more member of the church in our family today:) Nicholas was so cute! He was very excited to be baptized by his daddy. And since he was the only one in his ward, they let us have our own family baptism. It was very special. Julie and Randy gave the talks and they did a fine job. Randy gave a talk using a lint roller as an object lesson. Nicholas really paid attention to that!
Our afternoon went well. Mel and I took Bobby to see his old friends in Kearns and while he was visiting we went to the church distribution center in West Salt Lake. I got a bunch of pictures for my lesson on the Life of Christ next Sunday. Yes, I am already getting nervous. But I can do this. And I love the Savior's life. I keep thinking of the scripture "I am the way, the truth, and the Life". That is really significant. One life that was lived perfectly. And yet he is described as a man of sorrows...acquainted with grief. Nothing is said about Joseph, but he is significantly absent in Jesus' later life. I imagine that he was a good man whom Jesus adored and so it must have been hard for Jesus to lose him. I am speculating of course. But I know it was hard for me to lose my mom, and I anticipate that it will be hard to lose my dad too. Of course, I know they are not really lost. But I sure do miss my mom. And of course our little did I get off on this tangent?
So....Julie's house is full of people! There are both sets of grandparents, two sisters and families and Randy's step dad's son and family. Lots of people! Since we are staying at the local inn we don't have too much responsibility. So I am doing a quick blog. I am beginning to feel a little pressure to quit tthough, and visit. I hope your day is going well out there in cyberspace! Take care and HAGW!!!!! Melody

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mud and Roses

Good rosey mornin' to ya! I thought I would include a picture of the roses out my windows this morning. These yellow roses are what I see out my bedroom window, and the red ones are out my studio window. They are huge this year! I may have mentioned that roses are one of my favorite flowers. I also love gardenias...and snapdragons...and fushias....and camelias....and pansies....and...... I think the roses must love the wet weather. I really haven't done anything this year for them. I need to spray them. But they are really blooming where they are planted....a good example for me. I had a painting dream this morning. I dreamt I painted a little girl...well, toddler really, all dressed up and standing in the mud. I could see all the colors clearly and how to do the brush strokes. I really liked the painting, and when I woke up I sketched it. But I am afraid it has all faded somewhat now in my mind. I may try painting it when I have a moment. It had greens and blues and purples all swirled in her dress and even in her hair I think.
It reminds me of a story. When I was in fourth or fifth grade I walked to school every day. One morning I was late and my mom told me to hurry. So I did. I ran and as I was running, I slipped and fell in a big puddle of mud! I can still see it in my mind. I had on a red checked dress with a white collar. I ran home crying and my mom helped me to change and told me that sometimes people tripped and fell and that the teacher would understand. I walked to school....very late now. But sweet Mrs. Miller did understand and told me it was OK. She was a good teacher. I had her for fourth and fifth grade. I can still hear her voice if I think of her and I remember her kindness. She was a good person. And I think falling in the mud was the first time I remember being embarassed. Luckily I was alone. No witnesses:) Can you imagine sending a little girl off alone now to walk to school? It just isn't done and would probably be considered negligent. The world has certainly changed. I liked it when it was safer. I hope it isn't too much longer before it is safe again.
Well, I am going shopping today. It isn't my favorite activity. I think the lights bother me or something. I have never liked shopping. My mom didn't like to take me because I would always complain and want to leave. I can take it in short doses now. But I still tire quickly. I'd rather be hiking:) Or riding my bike. Or even folding clothes at home. I need to get a few birthday gifts for grandkids though. And I also need to pick up a prescription, get staples for the kitchen, etc. So I can't avoid it. I do have a few stores I can stay in for quite a while....Costco if I'm not hurried....and I like art stores....and art galleries.....and little shops in Carmel:)
So I hope your day goes well. Mine will be great! Take care and HAGW!!! Melody

Thursday, June 10, 2010

That's just too silly!

Yeah, I'm back on here. I have been painting and watching kids this morning, and I am feeling a bit.....frustrated:) I have painted pelicans trying to get the shape simplified so I can paint them in the air, but so far it just isn't working. Anyway, I decided to take a break and worked on Monday night's painting...and I like it much better. I painted over the little dock on the right hand side of the painting and added a little more detail in the rocks, boat, tree, etc. Anyway I am posting it again. It really does help me to see it as a just looks flatter and easier to identify mistakes.
I also thought I would share a joke I saw downtown today. It gave me a chuckle....thought it might give you one too...Mosquito-an insect that makes you like flies more:) Pretty cute huh? Here's something that Taylor said yesterday. We were talking about the birds in the backyard and I asked him if he liked birds. He said, "Grandma, I like birds, but I really like Mother Nature.!" I told you he was a cutie.
Well, back I go to fix us all some grub. Sounds awful huh? It's cuz I am dieting.....again. Sigh. I wish it would get easier to lose the same weight over and over again. Oh well. Such is my metabolism. I think my body was made for hard treks across the country. Or starving in Ireland. Did you know I am part Irish? Sounds like a description of a puppy. HA HA!
Well, I am getting sillier and sillier. I hope your day is at least half as silly as mine. Take care. Melody

Alligators on the Horizon

Good morning! I am looking at more rain clouds out my window this morning. And I am excited! My garden is getting watered! Yay! Now if I could just figure out an easy peasy way of weeding.
Today is another fun filled day:) I am picking up three great children in just a bit. So Taylor is excited to have cousins over, and I am excited to have time with all of them. I may just head on over to the green belt here in Nampa. The kids love to feed the ducks. But we'll see how the weather holds up. It may be more of a dollar theater day.....or a card playing day. The kids really like card games, and I think it is better than xbox. But then you probably have already figured that one out.
I listened to an interview last night on the way home from the temple of Barbara Kingsolver. She won another award for her latest book, Lacuna. She is one of my favorite current authors. I was surprized to hear that she labors hard over her writing. She described it as wrestling with an alligator. Her comments made me feel so much better about my painting. She said that she has some fantastic idea and then about half way through she wonders if she can even do it any more and feels like chucking the whole thing in the river. That is exactly how I feel most every time I paint. I get about half way through and I feel like it is a terrible painting....but I tell myself that I just have to have faith and keep at it. Maybe that is not so unusual as I thought. I hope I can eventually keep faith through the whole process and not have the lapses where I have to walk away and do something else for awhile. I have found that works much better than beating it with a stick:)
Well, I am rambling and I do need to leave in a few minutes, so I will just sign off. I hope you have a most wunderbar tag, and that you feel amazingly inspired and full of faith:) Take care out there in cyberspace. And HAGW!!!! Melody

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Post Script

I just thought I would add a happy post script. I found a friend to take my place at the temple on Saturday. I have called more than 30 people I think and I was feeling like maybe no one likes me....I know that's not true, but you know the feeling of being told no over and over. Anyway a sweet friend of mine from my old ward said she would be happy to sub for me, so I got my miracle:) It is just a small miracle when you compare it to the parting of the Red Sea, but small or great I really needed one today.
Another miracle of today is Taylor. He is so fun right now. We just played a few hands of "No peeky", and I love listening to his constant dialogue. He explained how he doesn't have a bedtime now that it is summer. "I can stay up as long as I want....or I can go to bed at 7 if I want. Early or late, late or early. That is just the summer way of life!" Such a cutie. He is definitely a light in my life. I hope we are always so close.
Well, back I go to real life. Just thought I would share a couple of highlights. It is nice to have a place to share. Take care out there! Remember we're all in this together! I'm pullin' for ya! Melody


Aobpoe yTpo! That is sort of Russian for Good morning! I don't have the right characters to really do it justice. But I just thought it might be fun to say hi to my reader from St. Petersburg:) Amazing, huh? It's a small, small of my favorite rides at Disneyland.
And it is also amazing to me that so much of the world can communicate now with the rest of the world. It would have been hard to even imagine in my high school days.
I read about pelicans in Idaho yesterday. I was trying to find a good photo of the White Pelican. It nests in Idaho and Utah and Nevada, Washington, Montana, the Dakotas and Canada, too. And apparantly it is a threatened species. But Idaho Fish and Game wants to eliminate half of the population here because they are a threat to another threatened species...a trout. They had several articles about it, but I think the Federal government stepped in and halted the extermination order. I am going to read more today when I have some time. I hope that there is not a sad ending to this story. Mel thinks they just need to clean up the carp population here. They ruin the habitat for other fish he says. I don't really know, but I can't imagine a good reason for hurting pelicans....especially with all of the problems in the Gulf. I feel so sad seeing any animal suffering, but especially my beloved pelicans. The white pelican has a wingspan of 9 feet! It weighs 30 pounds and is one of the largest birds in North America. In one article I read it talked about how privileged you are to be able to see a flock soaring in the sky. I would agree with that. I do have a picture and a video:) The video is found on youtube (where else?) and here is the link. It is pretty short and does not do them justice, but to catch them in the air at all is hard....and then they quickly go to amazing heights. Here is the photo.
Now just imagine 50 of those all flying in formation. It really is pretty spectacular.
Well, I suppose I had better get into my day. I hope yours is great, fantastic, wonderful and full of smiles. Take care! HAGW!!!! Melody

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life:)

Good afternoon! I am having a pretty good day if I look on the sunny side. The kids have all had lunch, the dishes are done, the laundry is going, I had time for painting.....but, if I look on the other side...the cookies went flat, I can't get anyone to agree to sub for me on Saturday so I can go to my grandson's baptism, my painting is not very good....but then if I look back on the sunny side the cookies taste wonderful, I have 3 more days to find a sub, and my painting has taught me that I really do need to start with excellent drawing. So see? I am doing good! I can actually feel better by telling myself positive things. When I was really depressed it didn't matter how positive I looked at things, I still felt hurting and sad inside. So I think the worst of it is over. I sure hope so. One thing this has taught me is just how miserable depression is, and I hope I can have more empathy for people who suffer with depression. It can be so physical!
Well, I guess I ought to post this latest painting. I did most of it last night in class. I was going to start again and decided to see what I could do to finish it. It does look better...but like I said it is not great. Mel noticed....never mind:) He did give me some criticism, but it isn't the part I don't like. What I mostly don't like is that the only real focus is the people in the boat, and it is too little to really be a good focus. I did make up a story about the two people in the boat, but I think it is sort of silly. And I would rather not share:) I am a little bit cantankerous I think. But taken in context....6 days with 6 extra grandchildren...I am doing great!
Michelle and Gary come back tonight so I will be off duty for a day or two. I do watch Kim's kids on Thursday, then hopefully we will be leaving for Utah on Saturday morning. I am having a Dickens' of a time finding anyone to sub. What does that mean have a dickens of a time? I know that Dickens had a large family and was often broke....I just don't quite see a connection. I do hope I can find someone to step in for me though. I would feel terrible missing a grandson's baptism. I know...I need to have the faith it takes for a miracle. I sure loved that talk at Women's Conference. It really helps me not to give in to feelings of helplessness....or hopelessness.
Did I tell you my neighbor came and planted 8 more rows of corn in my garden? I had planted most everything, but I still had several empty rows. He came to plant the rows of corn in the middle lot. But he had extra seeds in his planter he said and so I was delighted he wanted to plant more rows for me. I love fresh corn! And we should have enough for everyone ...and their mother! This first picture is of the large lot between us and our neighbor that is planted in corn. The next is of our littler garden:) It does look rather large....because it is! I just hope we can keep it watered.

I was going to end this but decided to include a few pictures of the grandkids. I just took these and felt good about how happy everyone seems:) I think they have had fun here this week. So I hope your day is going well. Take care and remember to keep smiling! It is your best feature! TTTL Melody

Monday, June 7, 2010

Zoom, Zoom!

Good morning! It is windy and rainy here this morning....again. I am glad I have the garden mostly planted. This rain should help. It is supposed to rain most of the week. I am glad for the garden:) It will keep my attitude right for rain. That reminds me of the book I read for Book Club, "The Right Attitude to Rain". I really did not like it. There was some good writing, but the story line was disappointing. So it does not get my recommendation:)
We had a really good Relief Society lesson yesterday. It was based on Elder Holland's devotional talk, "Remember Lot's Wife". It made me think hard about how easy it is right now to look back and to wish for things of the past....and how it is so important to look forward. I am doing it, but it has been hard. I guess it is especially hard to transition from one role in life to another. I really didn't expect it to be so hard this last year, but it certainly has been. Quite a few things have happened that I never anticipated. I suppose that is what is hardest for me. I do better with a little warning time. But life is not always like that. You have to roll with the punches....or get hit in the face....hard! That is a funny image, huh?
Today is Monday and I am excited to have my art class again. We didn't have it last week because of the holiday and I really missed it. I am going to try to sketch some things and ask for help with them.....bears and pelicans:) I will try it on my own, but I think I could use a little coaching on the painting end of things. It is not always the way I think it should be. I am glad I am learning to paint with watercolors first. I think it has helped me to see things more artistically and less photographically:) I like things to look real in paintings, but I am liking the ability the paint has to help with that in an impressionistic manner. I have always loved the impressionist style of painting. When I was a young girl, my family went to a Van Gogh exhibit in San Francisco. I was so impressed with his work. And again when Amy and Kim were living in Boston I went to a visiting impressionist exhibit featuring Van Gogh. It is so different to see art up close. I loved seeing the brush strokes and the many colors! And feeling the emotion of the paintings! It isn't the same in a book. But I am glad for books...and CDs and DVDs.
Last night PBS was fund raising here and they had a James Taylor/Carole King concert. We watched the last two segments and really enjoyed it. I recorded a little of it. Don't we live in an amazing time? I think often that we have seen so many changes. My grandmothers saw the invention of the car and the airplane and the telephone. In my life I have seen the invention of fast! Everything is soooo fast! And small! The smaller the better! I went on a field trip in high school to see the computer at UCSF and it filled a large room. Now I carry an iphone that has easy access to the internet and consequently the world. So amazing! I just wish it was all used for good and not for war and crime. I suppose that is always the dilemna in this world of opposition in all things.
Well, I guess I am rambling ....again! I hope you are well and happy and that you are having a wonderful day out there in cyberspace. Take care and keep smiling! I will do the same! TTTL Melody

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Gabriel!

Good morning! It is raining again, some more:) It sure feels more like Portland than Nampa. And it is kind of looking like it too. Everything is green! I love it. I just miss the sun. I guess I could take a plane ride above the clouds. A friend of mine flies F-15's or 16's or something, and he said it is nice to fly up above the clouds and see the sun when it has been socked in here for a while. It's hard to imagine the sun is still shining when you are down here underneath the cloud cover. One nice thing is that all the seeds we threw into the garden yesterday are getting watered. Did I mention my neighbor planted lots of corn in our empty lot next door? It is coming up now and it is really neat! We should have plenty of corn! Enough for several families I think. My grandkids think we should make a maze after the corn is harvested:) They're always thinking!
Things are going well with all the grandkids here. Well, not all. That really would be a lot. But yesterday most of the day we had that is almost half. For the most part they are happy and cooperative. We planted beans and beets, lettuce and squash....lots of seeds! And they all pitched in....literally. Eric liked driving the lawn mower around and even let Gabe hop on. I took a photo because I thought it was pretty cute cousin bonding. It was Gabe's birthday too, so I think he liked the royal treatment. We worked hard all morning and early afternoon and then we crashed for a bit. Then back to work...Mel digging up the flower garden for planting some irises that we were given by a friend and me making birthday cake and a general pickup of socks, shoes, wrappers and odd toys. The older kids watched "Blind Side" and the younger ones played outside and upstairs. So we had a productive time until Gabe's party. Liz decorated the cake I made ....a train! Gabe loves trains. We got him a scooter and I had worried it might be too hard for him to do. But he was immediately riding it around the hall and kitchen:) He is a very coordinated little guy. Of course it is banned to the outside now, but he was so cute riding it in the house I just let him for the first 5 minutes or so.
Well, today is Sunday, and although it is a day of rest, there is plenty to do. Mel has bishopric meeting at 9 and I have a girl's camp meeting at noon. Church is on the late schedule here this year, so we have until 2 to keep people clean:) I hope I am up to getting everyone and thing ready for Sacrament meeting. Liz and family went to Adrian's mom's, so it is just Michelle's six. I think I can handle it.
Last night I dreamed of beaches! I saw San Gregorio, and China Beach for sure...and several others. Then just before I woke up I saw a waterfall with a man and a huge bear, so I made Mel stop so I could take a picture:) In real life I have been thinking of painting a scene with a bear for a friend of mine. Her son died about twelve years or so ago and they called him "Bear". And she had said she would love to buy a painting of will just give her one. Anyway it was a really good scene. I wish I really had taken a photo of it. But I can probably find a good scene on the internet or somewhere. I also have a request for a pelican scene from my is her birthday at the end of the month:) It is nice that people are starting to like my painting. I just wish I could get to it. I did frame one yesterday.....almost. I need to get a piece of glass and a backing. But even without the glass I like it. Frames really help! You may recognize the painting as the one of the redwoods...with little Aaron standing next to the huge trees. I like painting things that bring back nice memories.
Well.....:) I say that a lot. Sorry. I hope your day is wonderful! Take care and enjoy your family and friends. Keep smiling and HAGW!!!! Melody