Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Heart to Heart

Guten morgen! It is a beautiful sunny day here today...only supposed to reach 75. My idea of perfect weather! I think I like autumn the best of all of the seasons. And it feels like autumn to me today. Of course it won't officially be here for another couple of weeks. I think I associate it with new beginnings...I used to love when school would begin again. I liked it as a child going to school, and as a mom when my kids went to school. And I like it now because of the anticipation of learning new things in my new school.
Yesterday we did blind drawings...which means you draw without looking:) It was kind of fun and I liked a couple of the portraits I did of my classmates. I emailed them to myself and now I can't figure out how to turn them right side. Sorry! This one is of my "partner" Matthew. He is really much better looking than this:) This other one is of the young woman who sits in front of me. I don't know her name yet. But she is very nice. She had really interesting earrings...I don't think I quite captured them though:)

I also worked on my still life a little more. It is beginning to look a little better I think. I just hope we turn these all in soon. It is hard to not work on it all of the time:)

Today is laundry day! I have quite a bit to catch up on. And I am hoping to paint today. I haven't painted for a while. We didn't have our painting class last night....just drawing. I am making progress, but slowly. There is a lady in my Monday night class that is very good at drawing. But she has been doing it for lots of years. I guess there is no substitute for experience. I know that, but I wish there was a way to speed it along a little:)

So I had a wonderful experience yesterday. A friend called who is a realtor and said he had some people that wanted to see Mel's business and did we mind. No of course not. Anyway, I went to lie down and a few minutes later the door bell rang. I was thinking, "Why don't they just go to the shop?" But I went to the door anyway and opened it...and there stood Jan and Don Larson from Pleasanton! I hadn't seen them for about 6 years and it was so surprising to see them there on my doorstep! Such sweet and dear friends! They came in with our friend Doug who had somehow figured out we knew them as he was showing them houses in our area. We had a really fun visit and found out they are here already living with a son looking for their own house. I am so excited to have friends move here from home! It reminded me of the song we used to sing in camp..."Make new friends...but keep the old...one is silver and the other is gold!" It really is wonderful to have friends you have known for a long time! But also wonderful to have new friends! And best of all is to have friends that you connect with heart to heart.

Well, I am hoping your day is going pleasantly. Take care out there. Remember to keep your stick on the ice! Keep smiling! And HAVGW!!! Melody

Monday, August 30, 2010


Good morning! I am up early today. I guess I am excited to be going to school again today. And a little nervous. I redid my charcoal rendering and I am hoping it is good enough. But it is or it isn't, and I shall learn with all of the mistakes...just as in painting. I don't know why I have such a need to excel. But I suppose it is a good thing as long as I am patient with myself in getting there.
We had a wonderful long weekend for our 40th anniversary. If I had been able to blog yesterday, which I wasn't because of church meetings and motel check out, I would have titled it "Forty Years Wandering in the Wilderness". Not that we haven't had a wonderful life together, but we have certainly grown up together and learned many lessons of life that haven't been easy. I suppose it is that way for most couples. You get married young and innocent and totally unaware of the dangers lurking ahead. And then you hold onto each other trying to get through them together and in one piece. I am glad for the experiences for the most part. I suppose I will be glad for them all eventually. But some are still painful. I am referring to our son Tommy's death of course. I still miss him and I will until we are together once more in the next life. As we were coming home yesterday, we decided to go the "scenic route" through the little town of ....the name escapes me:) Anyway it is an old town that is very quaint and still unpaved for the most part. Mel thought it would be fun to stop and wander around in the cemetery there. It is somewhat of a pioneer cemetery and quite beautiful and peaceful. I was enjoying myself until I happened upon the gravestone of a young 9 year old boy. The inscription read, "Our darling Boy". I felt so sad for those parents. Of course they are all gone now...the date was 1886. But I think one of the things that has been hard for me this last year is realizing all of the sadness and pain that people experience here in this life. And then to think that the Savior took all of that on Himself is amazing....truly amazing grace. I cannot express the deep gratitude I feel for that. I cannot imagine if that pain lasted for eternity. That truly would be Hell.
Well, I didn't mean to get so serious. I usually try to keep this light and fun....or at least entertaining. I have included some of my photos from our trip for your entertainment pleasure. I hope you enjoy them. Perhaps some explanations are in order.
This is the cemetery. It really is a beautiful setting with the trees. This is a little fox we saw as we were driving around. He was kind of cute....but then he wasn't eating my chickens:) This is a famous painting that was in the lobby of the motel. I liked the bear:) This osprey nest we saw as we were boating. The sailboats were out on the lake when we were and I wanted a closer shot, so Mel got kind of close:) This is Mel at the restaurant. And again by the Payette River on our way home. I took this one for the colors. I want to paint something with that color in it. And then this last is us....forty years and counting:)
Well, I hope your day is wonderful....filled with joy and smiles. I am planning on a very "gut wan" here:) Take care!!!! And HAGW!!! Melody

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hangin' In There

Good afternoon! It is much cooler here today and I am sick:( Literally! I guess I caught what the grandkids had this last week. I think it is kind of silly to wait forty years for an anniversary and then get sick. But it may be appropriate. When Mel asked me to marry him I also got sick:) I guess I was so nervous about making such a big decision that I got ill. It wasn't too reassuring to Mel at the time. But he was very considerate...as he is now.
We did have a fun day yesterday. We rented a ski boat and rode around Payette Lake a few times. It was lots of fun. It was sunny and gorgeous. I would include pictures but the internet connection here is very slow and spotty. The forest around the lake is so beautiful! And we saw lots of Ospreys. We took a short break and ate lunch in the Fogglifter Cafe. It is a cute little shop with big sunny windows. I would go there for lunch today if I felt better. For dinner we ate at the Italian Restaurant that has a deck out by the lake. It is a beautiful spot and it was fun to sit there. I did get a little cold though.
This morning we went to the farmer's market and got some chokecherry jam. Mel's mom used to make the best chokecherry jam. Then we drove around looking at the beautiful homes along the lake. So many of them are for sale! I guess the recession is here too. Prices are as low as I've ever seen them We saw a lot for sale for $20,000. That is kind of unheard of here.
Well I think I am going to take a nap and try to feel better. I have been really looking forward to dinner at Shore Lodge tonight. So I am going to really try to get better fast! I hope things are great in your neck of the woods. Take care out there! Remember I'm pullin' for ya! TTTL Melody

Friday, August 27, 2010

Smokin' :)

Good morning! We are in the lovely lake town of McCall. It is really beautiful here, but a little smoky. We stopped on the way here and watched the forest fire near Donelly. It was kind of fantastic! You could see trees catching fire, even though it was across the Cascade lake. As we were going to our room here at the motel last night we rode the elevator with one of the firefighters. He said that he was a crew chief and that he had been working all day in a helicopter fighting the flames. They had to quit because the pilots were all topped out on their hours. He looked so exhausted! I felt sorry for him working so hard to save our forest. He was not happy about the wind. The weather forecast had said it would be worse, but it didn't seem to get any worse during the night.
Well, we are headed to the boat rental shop this morning. We are going to get a ski boat for the day....I think. I called and reserved one. We are just debating over a boat or jet skiis. I am not into fast as much as when I was younger. But I could be persuaded:)
Well, I hope you have a great and gut wan! Keep smiling! TTTL Melody

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Charcoal and other stuff

Good morning! I've been working on my "homework" this morning. I redrew the still life...in pencil this time so as not to smudge it so badly. I am a little nervous to put charcoal on it:) But I will get brave here in a minute or two. My visiting teacher came while I was cleaning up from breakfast. She is a fun lady and I always enjoy visiting with her. She and her husband own a ranch up in Cascade that we have visited a few times. It is so beautiful up there. But there is a fire across the lake from their ranch right now, and people are worried that it could turn into a big one. There is a windstorm coming in this evening that could fan the flames. I hope the firefighters can keep it from spreading. It is very forested and also very dry, so it may be a hard assignment.
We are leaving after lunch to go up to McCall! Can you tell I am excited? I really do love it up there. And there are lots of nice memories of our family taking vacations up there. The weather is supposed to change tonight though. It is supposed to be in the 90's up there today and then cool down to the 60's tomorrow! Such extreme weather! I suppose this is part of global warming, but it sure is crazy! So we will pack warm coats and mittens:) I am kind of looking forward to the cool! And Italian food....and huckleberry pancakes! I didn't get huckleberries this year, so I am missing their unique flavor. I found a package in the freezer when I was cleaning it out the other day and I was sooooo excited! Can you tell I don't get too much excitement in my life?
Well, I haven't any stories of my own grandkids to tell, but I have one from a friend's child. It was her first day of kindergarten, so her mom said that she would take her to school....this is her mom's account...."Her first "real" day and she doesn't want me to take her. She said to me, "I've waited my WHOLE LIFE to ride the bus to school, so you can't take me, it would ruin it!" :(" So funny! Her daughter is always coming up with fun and original stuff.
Well, I guess I'd better go try some charcoal. I really have to get over my fear of doing things incorrectly. Here I go....any minute now.....:) I hope your day is at least an A+! Take care and HAGW!!!!! Melody

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Picture Perfect:)

Good evening! I have had a really nice day today, but I sure am tired! I hope my stamina picks up with my new schedule. Young people walk.....fast!!!!! I usually just mosey along, but those college students are in a hurry. It is fun to walk among them though. I think I am a little invisible to most of them and so I think people say things around me, thinking I don't hear. It used to be that way when I would substitute at the high school. It is kind of fun. Young people talk with so much enthusiasm and things are always a bit charged. It is energizing. And revealing. Today I overheard some young men talking about a friend. "He wouldn't budge! He just laid there like a dead fish." I guess someone overslept!
My drawing class is really fun....and challenging! The teacher is very exacting and so I am going to have to do this study again before I turn it in. I have so little experience with charcoal, but I have a feeling I may get very adept in this medium. I really like how expressive it is, but I am not fond of the messy fingers that smear on everything. I am sure there must be tricks I don't know. Matthew, the young man who sat next to me, didn't seem to have so much trouble. But I suspect he is not new to the medium. And so it begins....I am already looking around comparing myself to the rest of the class. I promised myself I wouldn't do that. I only need to compete with myself....I only need to compete with myself....I only..... I do think this is helping already with my perception of things. And I came home and I appreciate much more all that Bob Fagan has taught me in a less formal way. I even like my painting from Monday night more, and I think I can see a little more what Bob means when he is talking about values:) Not the moral kind, but the shaded kind. This is the unfinished painting from Monday. I can see where I need to add dark more easily now. I am excited to be learning from another vantage point. And it really does make me think I can still progress.
Tonight is "P" night for the young women....Personal Progress and anything else that starts with the letter P. I guess they are all coming in pajamas with a pillow:) I suppose I should be a good sport and follow suit. Then we are having pie, popcorn, pretzels, Pringles, etc. It should be a fun night of getting to know everyone. But I must admit I was sad when Mel left for his temple assignment without me. I know I will miss working there every week. But for now it is probably the best thing. They told me I can come back anytime, but I decided to wait until I get into the swing of my new calling and school.
I finally got some laundry in the machine! We are leaving for McCall tomorrow for our 40th wedding anniversary! I am glad. It is supposed to be 100 tomorrow:) So the mountains will be cooler, and I am hoping to rent a boat for a while and cruise around a little.
Well, I hope your evening is going well! I'd better scoot. Take care! Melody

Great Day in the Morning

Good morning! I woke up at 5:30 this morning. I guess I am worried about being late for school:) And I slept pretty well up until that time, so I am feeling great. And I read a nice little gem that definitely cheered me this morning by Elder Neil Andersen.
“If a child is not listening, don’t despair. Time and truth are on your side. At the right moment, your words will return as if from heaven itself. Your testimony will never leave your children. “As you reverently speak about the Savior—in the car, on the bus, at the dinner table, as you kneel in prayer, during scripture study, or in late-night conversations—the Spirit of the Lord will accompany your words.”
I guess I'd better get going. I hope your day is Grrrrreat! Just a word from old Tony. We sure grew up in a fun era. Take care! And HAGW!!!! Melody

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kudos- I should have made it a theme....maybe next post!

Gut evening! I decided I would write a little this evening so that I won't feel so pushed in the morning. But it feels all wrong. I really enjoy writing in the morning with a whole day of possibilities in front of me. At night it is looking back and evaluating and I give myself only a C today. Not that I did anything terrible. But I didn't get the laundry even started and that was my main objective for today. Instead I rode back and forth to Boise....first to get Kim's kids, and then to go with Mel to take parts to Micron and then to take kids back....and then a little jaunt to pick up last minute stuff for class tomorrow and a few groceries for Liz and now I am sooo tired and all I've gotten accomplished today is zip. Well, I did have fun with Bass and Aaron. And I found kudos at Costco! I thought they had stopped making them:) And I made $306 today! Funny huh? I had decided I would see what I could get for some old jewelry and watches....and I got $306! So I guess that cheers me up a little. Of course it will go so fast....but it makes me feel just a little entrepeneurial:) There's that manure word again. (Mel thinks it sounds like manure.)
Anyway, I really have nothing to write. I just keep thinking of a song I know...it goes "I've got a dollar, dollar, dollar! I've got a dollar hey, hey, hey, hey!" I'm feeling kinda silly. I am sort of tired. I haven't been sleeping at night again. I hope I can sleep tonight.
Well, I hope your day was higher than a C. B+ is good! A is the best of course....reserved for really special occasions. Sleep well. I am going to give it the old college try:) Remember I'm still pullin' for ya! HAGE!!! Melody

The Agony and the Ecstacy

Good morning! I am looking forward to another beautiful day here in our neck of the woods. Right now the weather for me is perfect...mid 70's and gorgeous sunshine. It reminds me of perfect summer days when I was young I think. Anyway I hope it lasts for a while.
So my first day at school yesterday was exciting and disappointing. Exciting because the drawing class I am definitely in, looks wonderful. The teacher is a woman about my age and very talented. She was encouraging to me when I stayed after to ask a few questions. And I liked the art work she had displayed that we are going to learn....sort of a progression from very loose to very tight detail in still life.
The disappointing thing was I went to my photography class and found that I was too far down on the wait list to get in. Same with my foundational art class. I was so excited to be taking a camera class...and I really liked the teacher....but she said there was no possibility of getting in this semester. Perhaps it is just as well. This way I can kind of get my toe in the water and gradually take on a new work load. I had sort of forgotten how teachers think that their class is the only one you're taking. I arrived about 5 minutes late because of commute traffic on the freeway and realized from the teacher's opening remarks that that could count against my grade! Hopefully she will not be so strict for the first day of classes. I will have to leave earlier and give myself plenty of wiggle room. She also wants our work to be smudge free on the edges with charcoal! I know that will be challenging! And the other thing is I am definitely the oldster in the class....the next oldest was probably 22:) I hope that doesn't count against me.
I also watched Kim's kids for a while yesterday while she went to see her doctor. And then my local art classes in the evening. We did a scene from a Greek village last night and I think I made some headway, but it's not finished. I'll post it when I finish it.
Well today I am watching Kim's kids most of the day....and seeing my own doctor. Just my regular check up. And then laundry...the never ending story! It should be really exciting! Take care out there!!!! Have a great and gut wan!!!! Remember I'm pullin' for ya! We're all in this together! TTTL Melody

Monday, August 23, 2010


Well, here I go! My first day of classes! Wish me luck. Mel said that he is so excited. I asked why and he answered..."Because the next time I see you, you will be soooo much smarter!" One can only hope! HAGW! Melody

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Loving Life

Good morning! It is a cooler day today here and I am glad. I think summer is winding down. It was completely dark last night by 9:30 when we finally headed home after a fun day at the fair and then a couple of rounds of "Hand and Foot", a card game that Jodell and I won hands down! Anyway I took some cute photos that I will share.
The first two are bunnies. The stuffed one is almost as cute as the real thing. Then I had to take a couple of the beautiful smocking:) And this quilt really caught my eye! I love the cartooney barnyard animals!
This morning I am preparing my MIA maid lesson for the girls. It is on the sanctity of life. I am glad to be teaching this lesson, and glad for the topic. I am definitely PRO life. I got a pin at the fair that is the replica of two tiny little feet of a ten week old fetus. I think the girls will be impressed. I was.
Well, I guess I'd better get on with handouts and good pictures and the like. I am so much less nervous teaching these girls. I am happy for that. I hope your day is peace filled and happy. Take care out there! I'm pulling for you! And HAVGW!!!! Melody

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Fair Day

Good morning! I have been up and running for a while now. So much to do...so little time! And to complicate things and make them more delightful we are going to the state fair today. That will be lots of fun. We are going with some friends here in Nampa and we always have a good time with them. I haven't been for a few years. It isn't Mel's favorite thing to do. I used to take the kids and go. I love wandering around the exhibits, and I love to see all of the animals. We always used to go to fairs and carnivals when I was little. They were a favorite thing for my mom. We went to the world's fair in Seattle in '63 or '64. I have movies:) I like to get cotton candy and wander around the place looking goofy in a feathered hat I guess, because that's what I do in the movie. I think it is part of the Phillips' Fun Vacations on youtube.
A friend of mine passed away yesterday...Terry Hinch. I knew him in Castro Valley. He was so full of life! We reconnected last year on facebook. It is weird to think he has passed on to the other side. I imagine he is still lots of fun and keeping everyone in stitches there as well. He was always a joker. He was 60...same as me.
We went to see "Eat Pray Love" last night. I have been reading the book and wanted to see what they did with it. It is an interesting story of a pretty self-centered person trying to find happiness. I thought it was done pretty well. I cried a lot when he was saying good bye to his son. But I cry easily anymore. I guess I would give it 4 stars....out of 5. I didn't agree with alot of the morality. But it is hard to find anything with good morals anymore....
Well, I've got to keep moving. I want to look not quite sixty and it takes some time to accomplish that these days. I hope you're having a fun day! Take care and HAGW!!!!! Melody

Friday, August 20, 2010

A New Day

Buenos Dias! I actually slept in this morning! The dog woke me up when Mel came back from playing basketball. It is so quiet here this morning. Liz and hubby and my two sweet grandchildren slept in their new apartment last night. They were so excited to be gone that they slept on the floor without furniture:) They signed a year lease yesterday afternoon. I know this is a great and good thing, but I am already missing the boys. Silly old grandma! I will adjust I am sure, and perhaps I can be a better grandma...calmer and less tired. And Liz and her husband can be their own family, which I think is so important. And my tongue may heal:)
I guess I will be cleaning today....all of the dusting and uncluttering that has been impossible to accomplish with an extra family in the house. I need to pace myself though. I have that feeling of wanting to scrub and paint and refurnish:) I am thinking this is good timing. My school classes start Monday, so that is about enough time to get major things accomplished before I have real homework and studying. I am very nervous about the studying. I have been reading one of the textbooks and remembering how much memorizing there is in college. All of the terms and dates! I used to be good at that. I think I will struggle more with that now. But I will have experience on my side...maybe:) I have been looking at my son Kenny's artwork on the walls and realizing how much he learned about art in high school. I didn't take any art in high school. So I hope college art is not like college chemistry. The first day in my chem class I knew I was in deep water when they started talking about stoichiometry. I had never heard of it before and the rest of the class had. We also started using calculus which I was taking concurrently. It's no wonder I switched majors. But back then I had a quick, sharp mind. It feels now like it has areas of batting:)
I keep wondering what is next. You know that feeling? I hope I get a little rest before any more major catastrophes hit. I think that comes from so many years of worrying about little Tommy and then the sadness that followed his death. When things go well I wonder what new trial is waiting around the corner. I suppose it will be associated with kids and grand kids and old age. I think I can handle it with faith. I like that scripture that says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I will keep that in mind and then try to be as optimistic as I was at 18:)
Well, once again you have wasted a perfectly good minute reading my self-centered blog. I hope you have a lovely day out there in cyberspace! I am planning on it here in this silent, empty house:) Keep smiling! And I will too! HAVGW!!! Melody

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Good morning! It's another beautiful day in the neighborhood here. And it's a special day...my mom's birthday:) If she was still alive she would be 87. This is her at fifteen, and again with my dad when they were married at 19. I think of her all of the time still, but she has seemed especially close to me this last year. And I miss her!!! I could always go to her and talk over things that were worrying me or ask for advice and receive such good counsel! She was truly one of my closest friends. As I am going through this time in my life I appreciate her more and feel bad that I was not more understanding of this time of her life. I think it is a hard transition for a woman to go from being a full time care giver for her own children to taking on more of an advisory role and taking a few steps back and redefining her role in life. I had no idea back then. I wish I could hug her and tell her how well she did and what a wonderful and powerful influence she has been in my life. Of course I do tell her that in my mind and heart...but I would like to tell her face to face. So I will anticipate that with the other greetings I am planning when I leave this frail existence:)
It is also my brother's birthday today. And he is in Hawaii celebrating with his wife. Poor Norm:) Happy Birthday, Bro! I won't tell anyone that you are turning 64 today!!
Well, today will be fun. I go visiting teaching today or in other words I go visit some of my good friends in the church today...I love this. We are also going to a lunch together with a few other friends. And I love going to lunch with friends. I even had a dream about that last night! We are celebrating the beginning of the school year I guess.....any excuse!
Well, I hope you are well and happy out there in cyberspace. Take care and keep smiling! Remember I'm pulling for you!!!!! And HAVGW!!!!! Melody

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Trail Mix to You

Good morning! It is beautiful here today. Gentle breezes blowing out my window make it seem like it will be cooler. I hope so. Yesterday coming home from Boise I got stuck in traffic behind an accident on the freeway. It was quite a pile up and so the traffic just stood still for about 45 minutes or so. My car thermometer said it was 104! My air conditioning did not stay cold just idling there, so it got very uncomfortable. Luckily I had my trusty iphone to keep me distracted and fairly calm. I had my sketch book in the back of the car and if I had known how long we would be sitting there I would have gotten out and brought it up to the front seat, but I didn't want to get caught out of my car if the traffic started moving. I am going to have to pick up a smaller sketch book to keep in my purse:) I did get caught up on the news though and read facebook and my blog:)
This morning has already been quite busy. Gabe came into my room about 3 am this morning. I was already awake, but it woke me up all the way...and Mel too. Gabe is quite the night wanderer. He often doesn't sleep well and wanders around. When he was very small he had a tent that went over the top of his crib to keep him safe, so it is not a new phenomenon, just an annoying one. Although I did plan a new painting while I was lying there trying to fall back asleep. I have been reading the text book for an art class that I am waiting to get into and it gave me some new ideas. I am really excited for school to start. Almost as excited as Taylor who came into snuggle about 7. We thought they would be starting school today so we got up and I fixed French toast as a special breakfast for the occasion. But Liz called their new school across town and they don't start until next week. All the kids in our neighborhood have already left on the bus for the school here. We will have to find some fun things to do today to combat disappointment I think. Maybe a trip to the store to get trail mix ingredients. Taylor wanted to make trail mix yesterday but I didn't have M&M's or peanuts:)
He is sure a delight. He told me today that the activity calendar says to make a movie, and he was really excited about that. Yesterday suggested making the trail mix:)
Well, I'd better get going. I think it is my last day working in the temple today. I have to talk it over with the temple president, but it seems logical with Wednesday committed and school starting. We shall see.
I hope you have a wunderbar tag and that all goes well out there in cyberspace! Keep smiling! And have a great and gut wan!!!! Melody

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Good afternoon! I heard some kind of funny things from grandkids today. The funniest was from Sebastian. I was driving he and his mom and brother and sister home when my dad called to tell me he had found an article in the paper about an art show coming up and he had cut it out for me. His house is on the way to Kim's so I told him I would drop by on the way to her house. We had already done quite a bit of driving and so the kids were tired. Elle complained that she wanted to go to her house first and Kim answered her with, "Grandma is holding us hostage!" Then from the back of the car where Sebastian was came, "You mean sausage mommy!" I guess that was the closest meaning he had for hostage. It was cute and we laughed for quite a while.
I meant to include something funny my dad had said when we were sitting around this last weekend waiting for a customer to come by for a painting. I had priced the boat painting very high because I did not want to sell it. My daughter Kim really wanted it and I decided I would give it to her for her birthday. Anyway my dad saw the price I had posted and said, "For that much you could buy a real boat!" We all laughed at that one too. Just wanted to share a little humor. HAGE! Melody

Moving Experiences

Good morning! It is supposed to be a scorcher today! And it will be a busy day I think. I have a lot of running around to do...plus laundry and the usual. Liz is up early...very excited. She and Adrian found a townhouse apartment on the other side of Nampa that they think they can afford, so they are up and planning to go first thing to put in their deposit. I hope it works out for them.
It reminded me of an incident in my own life:) Mel and I moved to Provo so he could work with his brother in his floundering little business (that was the first mistake). It was not really enough business for two families, but his other brother also moved there and so it was supposed to support three families. I can't believe now we were so naive to just hop in hoping to all survive. I can remember my folks being concerned. I feel bad now we gave them so much worry. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my fourth baby (Tommy) and not in the most advantageous condition for moving. But we moved all the way to Provo, Utah from Pleasanton, California and just expected other people to help us move in I guess. I wasn't much help as I recall. I remember one lady from our new ward helping to move in boxes when she tripped on a step and fell and sprained her ankle. She became one of my best friends there. She had a gift for photography and I admired her talent a great deal. She also had a litter of new Scottie puppies that I fell in love with. They were so cute! Of course I could not afford one, but I used to go over to her house just to play with them:) I loved that neighborhood! Michelle, our oldest, went to kindergarten there. I can still see her trudging through the snow to attend the Wasatch Elementary school just down the hill from our house. She was soooo little, and the snow was soooo deep! I remember being tearful watching her strike out on her own for the first time...all bundled up in snow suit and boots...she was quite a picture! It was a very scary time in our young lives. We were very broke, very inexperienced, and very optimistic. We stuck it out there for a year or so until we finally decided that we needed a real job and moved on to Salt Lake where Mel got a job in a plastic company. Those were hard years financially, but we learned a lot of lessons, and grew closer from the experiences. Looking back I can see how we were carefully watched over by a loving Heavenly Father and caring earthly parents. We were allowed the experiences, without being thrown off of the cliff:) I am so grateful for parents who cared and helped in unobtrusive ways. I am trying to follow their example, but it's not as easy as it looked.
Well, I guess I'd better get on with things. I hope your day is great and inspired and happy out there in cyberspace! Keep smiling! And HAVGW!!!! Melody

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sailing Away!

Hi again! I thought I would share this painting from tonight. It is not perfect, but I really like that it is a picture of a boat in the San Francisco Bay....I would love to be on that boat!!! I think the only boats I've been on there were a mine sweeper with Steve Ferguson (who was in the coast guard I think) for some kind of friends and relatives day, and a powerboat or two going to different islands and across the bay. I did get to take a sailboat ride in Seattle one time with my Uncle Kenny. That was thrilling! And Mel and I have taken a little sailboat out at Lake Tahoe in Meeks Bay. So there you have it...my sailing history! I hope you enjoy the painting:) Sweet Dreams! Melody

Monday Morning

Good morning! I have some good news and some sad news. First the sad news. My daughter Julie is not going to be able to adopt her two girls from Ghana. The chief in the village has halted all adoptions from his village. So Julie is quite sad. She felt so bonded to those sweet girls. I'm sure something will open up somewhere in the world for her, but it has been a hard experience I think. I'm sure she would have been a wonderful influence in their lives. I am sad for her too. I hope things change.
The good news....I have a new church calling. I am the new advisor to the 14 and 15 year old girls in our congregation. I am a little surprised at the calling. I have taught this age group several times in the past, but I really felt like I probably was too old for it anymore. So I am excited and pleased. I will miss teaching the women once a month, but that was very nervous for me. I will be a little less nervous teaching the young women I think. It means we will have to change our temple shift time. The girls have an activity night on Wednesday that I am expected to attend. So we will work all of that out. Life is always changing. That is something you can definitely count on:)
Well, I am watching grandkids today...that doesn't seem to change much:) Although my school starts next Monday and I think it may change things a bit. I hope all is well out there for you in cyberspace. Remember to keep your stick on the ice:) I'm pullin' for ya! We're all in this together!!! And HAGW!!!! Melody

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Small Towns

Good morning! I am all ready for church and it is about 4 hours from now! Mel is at meetings and Liz and family are off camping. So I have been looking at facebook and my daughter had this post from youtube that I thought I would share. It is really a good reminder for women....and the men who love them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65yTMqBX9xw
I have been thinking of small towns this morning. I have always thought I liked small towns. But of course I have never actually lived in one. Staying in Glenns Ferry the last couple of days I have enjoyed some of the things about a small town. First thing I noticed is that people wanted to know where I was from, because they did not recognize me. I kind of like that. And they did seem more friendly and at ease with talking to a stranger. I learned a lot about a lot of people that just wanted to visit. So many people confided that they also did artwork...but not watercolors...they were too hard! One older gentleman in particular was anxious to tell me all about his family and how proud he was of each of them. He had moved to G.F. about six years ago and I think still felt like a newcomer. He said he loved to paint too and shared with me about a project he was working on. I enjoyed hearing about other people's attempts at painting.
Another thing I noticed were the trains. The first day we were set up right in front of the train track. By noon we had counted 5 trains that went by. Later in the day they seemed to increase in number and frequency. It is such a small town that you could not live far enough away not to hear those train whistles. Amy says you get used to that. I guess that is so, but it would take quite a while for me I think.
I also liked the little cafe we ate in for dinner last night. It was an odd combination of a candy and ice cream shop and a diner. Their sign reads, "Fudge Shoppe and Grill". The chicken fried steak was very tasty and their potato salad was excellent. And of course the service was excellent and very friendly. When we were buying fudge after dinner, Amy said we should try their carmels, but both of the waitresses quickly hushed her with, "No, no! It's not a good batch. The cook made us put it out, but you really shouldn't buy it!" I laughed at their honesty. It really was funny.
Another thing that struck me was how people are struggling financially. The recession has hurt this little town greatly. One lady that was selling her beautiful handcrafted wooden bowls next to us said she had made $1600 at a fair in one weekend last summer and it had gotten them through the winter! I was shocked that anyone could make it through a whole winter on such a small amount of money.
Well, I do ramble on. I hope you have a lovely Sabbath day. Keep smiling. And HAGW!!! Melody

Yesterday's News

Good morning! I will post a couple of blogs I did the last couple of days....for your reading enjoyment:)
8/13/2010 9:30 p.m.
Good evening! I don’t have an internet connection on my computer here in Glenns Ferry, so I am just going to write this and copy it onto my blog later. I don’t want to forget the experiences of today. It has really been everything Friday the Thirteenth is cracked up to be. It started out last night with Max (our dog) breaking the glass on one of the pictures. We left him in the trailer alone for just a little bit while we visited with Amy and her family. When we came back out to the trailer he had made havoc inside….bent window blinds and dog hair everywhere and broken glass in one of the paintings. So after I calmed down :) Mel and Aaron cut a new piece of glass and fixed it like new…almost. The glass is kind of old but it isn’t too bad. Anyway, I worried most the night about how everything would go. I woke up feeling kind of worn out. We were told we had to be set up by 9 am…before the big parade. But there was no parade! In fact there were hardly any people all day long. Amy sold a few of her little bracelets, but I sold nothing. And several of the vendors also sold nothing. I was a little disappointed. But the people who did come by….mostly other vendors …really liked my work. So at least I didn’t have any negative feedback. I give myself enough of that!
We set up our umbrella and realized it wasn’t very stable, so we propped it up as best we could. While I was across the street getting something at the hardware store the umbrella fell over and crashed into two of my paintings. Luckily it only damaged one of the frames instead of both. But it really did wreck one of the frames. So we were extra careful after that. Then later in the afternoon the wind picked up and blew over one of my other paintings and the glass shattered on that one!
So what have I learned so far? Well, first of all…inside is better than outside! I have no control over the weather! And maybe I will only mat pictures. Frames are expensive and so breakable! And it might have been better to go to something that was better attended. Tomorrow is supposed to be better in that regard. And we have seen all kinds of people pulling into the park here tonight. I am still concerned that people are not really coming to buy art….they seem very interested in crafts…At least the 9 or 10 that attended today:)
On the positive side Mel and I did have a very nice evening. We went over to the restaurant at the winery and ate with the hummingbirds out on the deck. There were about 7 little hummers all trying to drink out of one feeder. It was very entertaining. And the food was good too! So now we are resting up and planning how we will do things differently tomorrow. I hope it is better. Life is not always what you plan for it to be. I am glad Mel and Amy are here to keep me company through this new and interesting adventure. I will write more tomorrow. Take care! Melody
August 14, 2010 6:50 pm.
Well, I guess I am officially a professional painter! (haha) I sold my first two paintings today! And what’s more…I received lots of nice compliments on my work. One lady even said something like…“Hey Henry, look it’s our Winslow Homer!” as she was pointing to the boat painting…I kid you not! It made me chuckle! I guess I will have to see if I copied old Winslow without realizing it. It was a painting we did in class that I took home and redid a few times until I liked what I had done. We painted from a photograph of a boat. I had several people interested in that one, but I didn’t price it very well I guess cuz no one seemed to want to pay what I asked. I had one lady say that she would be back for it, but she never came back. And another lady said she really liked three paintings, and to please hold them for her, but she never came back either. Today was a little better attended than yesterday, but not much. Many of the people were people who had been in the parade. Yes, there was a parade:) The parade was fun…a real small town variety complete with Belgians pulling a buck wagon. There were some very fancy dancing horses ridden by Mexican Caballeros that were my favorite. Although there was also a surrey pulled by a little pony that was very cute. My dad and Barb came and cheered me on and brought snacks:) That was lots of fun. Even though I didn’t sell much I don’t feel too discouraged. I think in the right place I might not do too badly….probably an art show would be better. Boise has an art in the park show. And Nampa does also. I don’t know how well attended they are, but it might be worth a try. I am feeling much better having attempted this. I guess it has been a good experience.
Now I am experiencing air conditioning! And this yummy fudge that a little shop in town makes…it is incredible…carmel and nuts on a vanilla fudge! Yum!!!
Well, take care out there in cyberspace. I will post this tomorrow. TTTL Melody

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hi again! This wouldn't upload before. So here it is. I am leaving for Glenns Ferry and the Great River Crossing Festival! TTTL Melody


Guten Tag! It is a clear and sunny day here today. All of the thunder has boomed its way on through and it is looking like the hot weather is headed back. It was nice to have a cool day yesterday though. At noon it was only 58. I don't know why I always have to report on the weather:)
So I have a little boy in my bedroom this morning. He thinks it would be a good idea for he and I to go to McDonald's together....just the two of us:) He told me that in a rather conspiratorial tone of voice. That's my five year old grandson, and he is always plotting. He wants ice cream cones now. He says there are ice cream cones in the pantry and ice cream in the fridge. See what I mean? But he is so curious! He makes Curious George seem like a boring monkey.
Well, this morning I have to pack the trailer with all my art, and the table and umbrella. Also I want to paint one last little painting. I did another hummingbird last night that I like. So I may do one more.
Well, I really have nothing to write about. I just had to check in to focus and plan:) It really does help. I hope all is well out there in cyberspace! Take care and HAGW!!! Melody

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

All Gussied Up

Good Afternoon!! I thought I would share a few of the paintings I have been dressing up today. I thought I would put these in here in case I sell them this weekend...you know for posterity's sake. I feel a little like I am selling my children:) I know that's weird, but a little bit of me goes into each painting...maybe a whole lot of me. They do look better all matted and framed...sounds like a police action:) I am feeling very silly! Anyway...enjoy! I'm going to take a nap! I've been up since 5 a.m. I think, and I am exhausted! TTTL! Oh, and the one of the meadow with the bear is one of the rejects I painted for Rhonda. I have a nicer one for her:)

Hummingbirds and Humming Gramma

Good morning! It is much cooler today...only supposed to get up in the 70's today, and the sky is pretty threatening with thunder storms on the horizon. I love it! Of course it could make the river crossing festival a wash out...but Oh well!
Today my third daughter has a birthday! And tomorrow my oldest daughter has a birthday! Kim will be 36 and Michelle will be 39! It is so hard to believe!!!! I guess this is how my mom felt.....old! But it is all good. I am thrilled for them. I really enjoyed my forties and they are fast approaching them:) I hope I can say I really enjoyed my sixties:) So far they aren't too bad. I think the best things so far have been reconnecting with old friends, learning to paint, and going back to school (which hasn't happened quite yet). I am learning to cope with this new stage in my life and I think I am stronger for it. My counselor says I need to read Eric Ericsson. I guess he wrote about developmental stages and I am in a new one where you look back over your life and evaluate. And I think she's right. I definitely have been looking back the last while. I feel pretty good about most things. And my kids are all struggling now the way we did at their ages....although their problems seem harder than ours. Well, not really. We had hard problems, they were just very different. I think it is hard as a parent to watch your kids struggle. I feel like I should be able to fix it all for them. I suppose then they wouldn't learn the lessons that they came here to learn.
Today I am planning to tie up all the loose ends for this weekend's festivities. I still need to do a thousand little things and paint another twenty pictures:) I am certain I will not get it all done. I did paint a little hummingbird picture last night I kind of like. I used a wet on wet technique I just learned....but haven't perfected. I think it looks better in real life than photos, but thought I would share. I may do a few more of these....different poses and paint colors. I like the strong colors though. Kim and family are coming over this morning. Mel wants to look at her car to see if it can be fixed. So I'd better get baking...and painting! I hope you have a wonderful, happy, cooler day. Take care out there in cyberspace! Keep that smile goin'! And HAGW!!! Melody

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Good morning! I woke up from another interesting dream today. And I learned something...I don't dream in accents:) I was talking to a friend of mine from the temple (in my dream) who is from Australia. We were on a tram going to Disneyland and I couldn't figure out how I was going to get in because I didn't have my purse. She said over and over, "Just use your passport!" But she didn't have her accent. I think it is because I can't imitate an Australian accent...even in my head...very well:) I also realized one more time how literal my subconscious is. I think my subconscious thinks a passport to Disneyland is the same as an international passport. She kept waving her passport in my face and it was the official kind. Pretty funny!
So today I am going to look at computers. One of Mel's customers can't pay him in cash and so since he owns a computer store he told Mel to pick out a computer model he likes and he will order one for him. But Mel already has a new computer, so I get to pick one out. I am thinking of getting an Apple computer, but I have no idea what model is best, or what capabilities they have. I will get a desktop so that I can store all of my pictures and paintings without clogging it up. Then maybe this little laptop will run better too, since I won't be storing too much on it. And Liz has a bunch of programs for art on her Apple that I could probably use too. I am a little excited about this prospect. But it is like a bird in the bush right now. This customer owes us quite a bit, but whether he really comes through or not remains to be seen. Still, I think anticipation is kind of fun:)
I am also planning to pick up a few frames today for some of my paintings. What I am discovering is that paintings I think are flawed are not to other people....or at least they are too nice to say so. A friend called yeterday to say she wants a copy of that temple painting and that she thinks I should try to market it through our local book store:) Anyway, I am going to try to sell some of my larger paintings at the festival this weekend and see how it goes. And there is a craft store in Meridian that sells frames pretty cheap. And it helps me right now to stay busy. I am so worried about everything and being busy helps.
Well, I hope your day goes swimmingly! It's a nice hot day here again. Liz and boys are planning to come with me so I think we will plan some time at the water park in Meridian so the boys can have some fun. Take care out there:) I'll be pullin' for ya! And remember ...HAVGW!!!! Melody

Monday, August 9, 2010


Good morning! I am so glad to be awake! I woke up as Mel was leaving for basketball and then fell back asleep...and dreamt I was back in the hospital with Tommy again. And it was one of those dreams that you are trying to meet someone, but other things keep happening so you never do get there! I am so glad to be awake and to realize I am home and safe and I don't have to meet any doctors to hear any more explanations of anything! Although I suppose I would put up with that in a heartbeat if it meant I could see my sweet boy again:)
Well, I have to report that my lesson went well, and even the handouts were well received. I printed about 40 and the last twenty were more of a monochrome....but after my lesson I had several sisters who came up and wanted me to sign their copy:) It makes me smile to think of it. I think I have nice and very supportive friends! And it helps me to be a little less nervous about selling things this weekend. It still seems to be a looming, scary thing at present. But I will keep busy til then trying to paint enough things to have something to sell. And maybe I can relax and enjoy it. I hope so.
Well, today should be a nice day...a day of painting and then art classes in the evening. Of course I have to fit laundry and dishes and dusting and vacuuming in there somewhere:) I can't give up the housework....although I wouldn't mind. But only if someone else did it. I really can't even think when things get too cluttered. I like order, even though I have a whole bookshelf dedicated to books on organization. I was not born organized! But I have learned a lot and I am much better at it than I was forty years ago.
That's right! Forty years ago on the 29th I married Mel! I cannot believe it has really been that long. The years have really zoomed on by. And they continue to zoom. I am so blessed to have a husband that is so kind and good to me and our family. He's a gem!
Well, I hope you have lots of happiness and fun out there today. Take care! Keep smiling! And HAGW!!!!! Melody

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Now We Rest from Every Care (after my lesson is over)

Guten morgen! I am fighting the stress monkey this morning! I had planned to use yesterday to polish my lesson for Relief Society, but instead we ended up chasing around about eye glasses and automobiles out of gas. When we went to meet Kim she was stranded on the side of the road in Eagle, so we picked her and the kids up and took her to work. I took these shots of a family of mules that were curious. I figured I could use them for my pioneer paintings:) Anyway... we went home for a gas can. Then it was time for Mel's eye appointment which took more than an hour. I spent the time looking through Costco, Michael's and World Market for some kind of canopy. I found a really artsy little umbrella at World Market that should keep us in the shade for next week's river crossing. By then it was time for lunch so we went to Costa Vida (YUM). We saw an old friend of Kim's there and chatted for a while. Then we went to get gas in the gas containers and then on to fill up Kim's car. That took until about two. We figured we only had a couple of more hours before we had to meet Kim and it is about an hour and a half to go home and back from there.....so we played at a local park. Actually it was DeMeyer park near our old house in Boise. It is a lovely park with lots of old trees and full of squirrels and a big duck pond and dragon flies. It was hot yesterday, but there was a nice breeze blowing so we had a good time laying in the grass in the shade of a big tree while the kids played. I took a few photos. While I was looking up into the tree I noticed a squirrel up there. He kept throwing bits of acorns down on us. It was funny. That was a lovely respite from the rest of the running around of yesterday. After we got the kids back to their mom it was time to go to a dinner at Mel's brother's. We finally got home around 8:30....exhausted and sooo tired! I worked on my lesson until I just couldn't any more. We watched the Red Green show and then konked out. About then Mel got a call that there was no bishopric meeting this morning:) The counselor who called suggested Mel could make me breakfast in bed:)
Anyway, so I am trying to make a handout to conclude my lesson and I discover that my printer is out of ink:) I am trying to print a temple I sketched this morning and the green trees are turning orange....I can only smile and hope I can get enough of the orange version to hand out to the ladies. If not.....????? Maybe I can offer them only to the women who answer questions (hahahha). I guess life will go on with or without handouts.
Well, I have so much more to write about. Like this morning....Mel said he would have made me breakfast in bed....but he couldn't find a plug close enough to plug the skillet in. And then he said a couple more funny things that I wasn't going to forget....but I have:) Sorry. He does keep me laughing!
Well, I hope your day goes well out there in cyberspace. It should be just fine here. I have so much to be grateful for....so I am counting my blessings and trying to keep stress far away from me. I just keep reminding myself that I am doing so much better and although things continue to be a challenge....I can do hard things!!! Remember I'm pullin' for ya! We're all in this together! HAGW!!!!! Melody

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Half Full or Half Empty?

Hi! I think the morning is almost gone...isn't it? I have been awake since 5 so it feels like it has been a very long day already:) I am watching Kim's kids today. Mel went with me to meet her and pick up her three little yahoos. And they were kind of yahooing this morning so we went to Mickey D's and fed them some more white flour and sugar just to make it good. They like those little cinnamon rolls. We will probably pay for it later in exuberance and high flying circus acts. Right now they have all settled in for a TV fix while I blog and Mel turns on machines. Then we are headed over to Costco for an eye appointment for Mel. I want to look for a tent canopy type thing for our river crossing days, and I can always find something interesting at Costco:) We looked at apartments for you know who on the way home this morning. I guess we have a Sept. 1st deadline coming up fast and we are determined to help them get out on their own....for all of our sanity. So I hope it all works. I worry about everything as you know by now. I didn't used to. I used to assume that everything worked out for the best. Now I see things rather skeptically and I am not surprised when they don't turn out well. It makes me a little sad to think that I think like that. Maybe I really don't. I still hope things turn out well. They always turn out well in the temple. So in an eternal perspective....
Well, I've got to run. Mel says it is time to go. Take care and HAGW!!!! Melody

Friday, August 6, 2010


I'm back:) I thought I would share my mini paintings. I kind of like them. They fit in a 5x7 frame so they really are small. I am working on more, but these are the first ones. I have enjoyed working on them today. It kind of fills my need to paint with detail....without really having to paint much detail. The photos aren't the best, but it gives an idea of what I am doing. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them. Take care out there. Enjoy date night!!! And HAVGE!!!! Melody