Thursday, September 30, 2010

Birds and Flowers

Still Flowers (What else could they be?)
Good evening!  I thought I would share a bouquet of flowers:)  I think this one turned out better than the one I did a year or so ago.  But I would still like a lesson on painting flowers!  I had a fun afternoon painting with Natalie.  And Jodell joined us, so it was even more fun.  And Bob kept asking me if I wouldn't like to take a puppy home:)  Of course I would, but I had to decline to keep Mel happy.  Still just visiting the puppy was fun.  And it was another gorgeous day today.  I am thankful for all of the sunshine. 
This evening I worked on my bird.  I have decided he must be a red-winged blackbird.  I wish I could add a little red.   But I am enjoying drawing him with charcoal.  It is just a little messy!  I think I may have ruined a pair of pants.  When I stood up I had charcoal dust just covering them.  I had wondered where all of the dust was going when I blew it away:)  Anyway, this time I made the bird about twice as big as before.  So it should be better.  Did I mention that the teacher kept walking by and talking about "if you drew the bird too small".  Each time she would mention not doing something I had already done.  "You won't want to put any dark objects in the background."  Oops!   "You probably should keep the background objects large or it will be too busy if your bird is small."  Anyway, I knew in class that I would have to draw it over or get a bad grade.  So I have been working on it all evening.  I like it though.  Now I just have to figure out what to put in the background.  It should be interesting!
Well, I am off to bed.  I hope you have a restful night.  Me too.  I hate restless nights!  Take care!  Talk to ya manana.  Melody

Some Children See Him

Good morning!  I have gotten off to kind of a late start today.  But it looks like a good one anyway.  We have one more sister to visit this morning, and then I am going to paint with Natalie:)  She is Jodell's youngest daughter, and a real sweetheart.  And we kind of connect.  I have always enjoyed teenagers and young adults, and she is a special young woman.  I think she is extremely talented in many areas.  She sings beautifully, she paints wonderfully, she is beautiful and sweet and I think she is one of those choice ones.  So I am looking forward to that.
And I am feeling good today....none of that sad stuff hangin' around.  Yesterday kind of worried me.  I really don't want to feel yucky again.  So I am glad to be feeling good.  I have started walking with my neighbor and we walked a good long while yesterday.  If we do that everyday I think we will both be more fit.  And she is lots of fun and it gives us an opportunity to visit.  We live right next door to each other and hardly even see each other.  I guess that is the disadvantage of living on acreage.  Subdivisions are much chummier.
So, I have been thinking alot about the woman at the, what do Samaritans look like?  Are they darker skinned?  Do they tend to be short or thin or tall or heavy?  Mel thinks we may have to go on location to meet some Samaritans to do this painting right:)  The other dilemna is how to paint the Savior.  Of course to everyone he has a different face.  I have a favorite Christmas song about that by James Taylor.  It's called "Some Children See Him".  It's on  "A Christmas Album" produced by Hallmark.
"Some children see Him lily white, the baby Jesus born this night.  Some children see Him lily white with tresses soft and fair. 
Some children see him bronzed and brown.  The Lord of Heaven to earth come down.  Some children see Him bronzed and brown with dark and heavy hair. 
Some children see Him almond eyed, the Savior whom we kneel beside.  Some children see Him almond eyed with skin of golden hue. 
Some children see Him dark as they, sweet Mary's son to whom we pray.  Some children see Him dark as they and oh, they love Him too. 
The children in each different place will see the baby Jesus' face like theirs, but bright with Heavenly grace and filled with Holy light.  Oh lay aside each earthly thing and give thy heart this offering.  Come worship now the infant king.  'Tis love that's born tonight."
That was fun to listen to.  I wish I knew how to upload it.  It's so beautiful and reminds me that the real Savior is known through the Sprit and that I must paint with the Spirit to get it right.  So...
Well, I hope your day is great.  Keep smiling!  Life if wonderful and such a miracle.  I am grateful for that witness.  I'd better go tackle the day ahead.  TTTL  Melody

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Talking to Myself

Good afternoon!  Okay, so maybe I have been a little optimistic in the last few blogs.  But I am back in reality now.  I got my portfolio back with a grade on it....a B.  A good solid B, and a comment from my teacher that I had done an excellent job on the cross hatching:)  So I should be happy, right?  If this was organic chemistry I would be ecstatic.  And today I went around the classroom as did all of the class to see other people's work, and I feel grateful for the B.  I will have to learn and work very hard and then some to get any better I think.  One of the guys, Matthew, is particularly gifted.  But he did say something nice about my not only gifted, but gracious.  That's a nice combo.  So I got through my first graded assignment.  And I will be fine:)   I am a little down about my current drawing.  I am starting it again.  I liked the composition except that I drew the bird too small.  And I was having a hard time making it seem like it was the center of interest.  So...what's that saying?  Ah yes, back to the drawing board!
Oh, here's a funny from the downtown sign.  I laughed right out loud!  "Literally----the way cats have babies."  Pretty cute huh?  I had a nice lunch with one of our visiting teaching ladies and a couple of other ladies.  It was fun.  But....there's that but again....I was feeling kinda down and I had a hard time pretending I was fine.  But it was worth the effort I think.  I just have to keep working at it I guess.  I have been trying to figure out why I am feeling like this and I think it is because I am so worried about that woman at the well painting.  I feel pretty discouraged and I haven't even attempted it.  I think I have to remind myself that I am not Carl Bloch, or even Simon Dewey, and I will just have to do my best and not worry about the rest.  Sounds like a good mantra.
Well, I hope your day is going disappointments of any nature, and lots of smiling.  I am smiling just thinking about it.  I think I need to take my own advice from this morning.  It will all work out.  I just need to trust in the Lord with all my might.  I can do that.  So here I go....back to the drawing board:)  HAVGW!!!  Melody

How Can I Keep from Blogging?

Good morning!  I have a very few minutes after all and wanted to say that this morning's song in my head is, "How Can I Keep from Singing?"  I love that song and it really sums up how I feel today.  It is so nice to wake up with faith and joy in my heart.  I am really grateful for that!
Anyway, I really do have to get going.  I just wanted to greet the day with a song and say I hope your day goes well.  Keep smiling!  It will all work out.  The Lord's plan is perfect!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sing a Song of Blackbirds

Sunset Colored Cloud

Good Evening!  I thought I might jot a little on here before bed because I will be up early and home late tomorrow and I probably won't have time to blog 'til later.  And I wanted to share this beautiful cloud.  I snapped this photo Sunday night as we were driving Taylor back home.  I thought it was extra beautiful and reminded me of a phrase from a song..."He'll find a Way"  by Dallyn Bayles.  I think I had a really special day today...although it was really not what I had planned, and I can see the Lord working overtime for my family.  It made me feel very grateful and blessed.  Grateful that other people listen to the spirit's promptings, and blessed that it was for my family.  Enough said.

Bird in Progress

This afternoon, after my walk (Yay!) I worked on my bird drawing for a few hours.  Then I realized it was 7 and I hadn't looked up even to think about dinner!  Thank goodness for frozen pizza!  Anyway I thought I would share my progress.  This bird has a lot of feathers!  And figuring out what to draw around him is not easy.  I don't think you can see from this photo, but it is all lightly sketched in now.  I just need to charcoal in the different values and make the shapes come alive:)   It is harder than it sounds...especially since I am a little clumsy still with charcoal.  I have discovered a charcoal pencil.....that helps.  But there are areas that I have to use a stick and it is challenging.  I know...I am whining.  Sorry.  We are working on this for class tomorrow, so I should make a lot of progress.  And she has lots of examples from other students, so I can get some ideas.
Well, nighty night!  Don't let those bed bugs bite.  Did you see on the news that they are returning in some parts of the country?  Kinda creepy!  Anyway I hope you have a restful night and a great day tomorrow.  I probably will write some more after school and visiting teaching tomorrow.  Yes, life gets a little busy at times.  Take care out there and remember to keep the faith!  TTTL  Melody

Singing and Painting!

Good morning!  This morning's song in my head was, "Earth with her 10,000 flowers..."  I think it may be because I was thinking about doing some gardening today.  When I was at Costco last week I bought a bag of bulbs...hyacinths, tulips and daffodils I think.  Anyway I wanted to plant them around the house and yard before the bad weather sets in.  Trouble is I need to weed first.  I guess the thing I have given up for my art is gardening:)  But I don't really intend to give it up.  I really love flowers and pretty yards.  So I will begin today to do something in the yard each day...if only for fifteen minutes.  I think I can manage that.  I will make it a priority....along with the other 10,000 priorities:)
Somewhere in New Mexico I think
I had kind of a dismal failure of a painting last night in my watercolor class.  We did a desert scene....not to be confused with a dessert scene.  I probably would have done better with a chocolate fudge sundae:)  I was doing well with the mesas in the distance, but then Bob showed us a technique for splattering on sage brush.  I should have practiced it before I splattered my painting.  I ended up with sagebrush splatters in the sky and also on my shirt!  Anyway, I salvaged what I could by wiping up the sky and darkening the desert, but I think I will try that one again.  In the drawing portion of our class we did the same scene in charcoal.  I also worked on my charcoal of my self portrait.  I don't think it looks like me, but I kind of like it.  It is fun to do eyes:)
Charcoal self
Today is laundry and gardening and working on a rather interesting bird drawing I started in my BSU class yesterday.  We are drawing a bird, but then using parts and shapes from the bird, around the bird to fill in the negative space.  I am having fun with that.  Then later this afternoon I am walking with my next door neighbor, Melodee.  She and I used to walk but she had knee surgery and hasn't been out for a while.  I am excited to have a partner.  It will keep me motivated to keep at it.  It is always so much fun to walk and talk.  And I like that I have a neighbor with the same name...even if she does spell it wrong:)
 Well, I hope you are happy and doing well.   I am still pullin for ya!  Remember we're all in this together!  Keep smiling and HAGW!!!  Melody

Monday, September 27, 2010

A New Dawn

Good morning!  I am feeling a little excited today....and like I have started a new chapter in my book of life.  Yesterday I was given my first painting assignment in the church:)  It's not a really big assignment...just a small painting for a stake Relief Society production of "The Women at the Well".  But it is my first, and I am a little nervous.  I have a month or so to accomplish it, so that is good.  I think they want something similar to the famous ones of the woman at the well with Jesus.  So it should be interesting.  I may dip into acrylics for this one...I am still praying about it and puzzling it out in my mind.  I feel so honored they would even ask me,  but inadequate to the assignment.  I guess I can only try.  I told them that they had to promise me that if they didn't like it they would tell me:)
Today is also my portfolio due date for my BSU drawing class.  I have it all ready and I think it looks pretty good.  I just hope my teacher thinks so too.  But if not, at least I am learning and progressing, which is all any of us can do.  I would like a good grade though:)  It would bolster my confidence a little.
I neglected to say I saw pelicans flying over the lake on Saturday...four of them soaring together.  I was on my way to pick up Taylor, so I stopped the car and just watched them soar for a few minutes.  They were amazing and beautiful and reminded me once more how much the Savior loves each of us.  And it made me reflect on how I have been so blessed and comforted this last year, and I feel grateful.  I like the phrase from one of my favorite songs, "Lay it all down, take a good look around....His love can be seen in all directions!"  It really can and I am still awed by His love and grace.
Well, I guess I'd better scoot.  I hope you are doing well out there in cyberspace!  Life is beautiful!  Keep smiling and remember I'm pullin for ya!  And HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Tooth to Lose

Good morning!  I woke up with the song, "I Believe in Christ" in my head this morning:)  I have been listening to the Eclipse CD as I walk lately and I guess it has made permanent residence in my head.  It is nice to wake up to good music!
I have had Taylor here since yesterday morning.  He wanted to spend the night and go with us to church today.  That pleases me.  He is already up and showered and dressed to doesn't start til 2.   What a cutie!  And he has been following me everywhere...talking a mile a minute!  I think he maybe misses me as much as I miss him.  We have a great friendship, and it is nice to be together for a couple of days.  I hope we can always be so close.  I love all of my grandchildren and they are each so special and wonderful.  I guess if I was to say what is the most wonderful part of this stage of my life it would be my grandchildren!
Taylor's loose tooth
He has a front tooth that is really loose, and he wanted me to record it in here with a picture. 
Last night was kind of fun here.  I had DVR'd the Women's conference so I wouldn't miss it and so we watched the first exciting part of the BSU game together while we ate dinner.  Then Mel watched the football game in the front room, while Taylor and I watched Women's Conference in the bedroom.  It was sure good!  I loved President Monson's talk on Charity Never Faileth.  He is an amazing man, and a wonderful speaker even now in his advanced age.  Although 80's don't seem nearly as advanced as they used to.  I guess it is all relative.
Well, I hope your day is cheery.  I saw a cute sign I will share.  It said, "Abalone-Shellfish Nonsense".  I don't know where they come up with their jokes, but they change the sign once a week, and have a joke on each side.  It is nice to get a smile each way as you travel back and forth.  Take care and keep smiling!  Happy Sabbath!   Melody

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Buenos Dias!  I am learning to like that phrase.  It is nice to have something that covers the whole day.  I have been over at the church cleaning again this morning.  It was a little frustrating because we worked so hard to clean the windows and they didn't seem to come clean.  Oh well.
It is a gorgeous day here today.  It's the kind of a day where you could just spend the whole day outside.  I may do that.  There are lots of outside chores to do.  Or there is a history festival near the Zoo in Boise.  I am kind of leaning toward the festival:)  Taylor wanted to come over and spend the day with Grandma, so maybe we could do that together.  I am not sure if I can talk Mel into going.  He has always got more work to do.  But all work and no play....we'll see.
We went out with friends last night and ended up at their house to play cards.  And they have puppies!  Little Schnauzers...they are adorable. One fell in their pond while we were playing cards and was so cold and whiney.  Jodell wrapped her up in a towel but she was still shaking, so Jodell got a rice baby and warmed it up in the microwave and put it in the towel for the puppy who really liked the warmth of that.   I really wanted to bring her home, but Mel said he doesn't need two dogs following him around and getting under foot.  It's funny that the dogs always like him the best.  I try so hard to bond with them, but they just take to him.  It must be his alpha personality or something:)  It's not that the dogs don't like me....they just adore him and follow him everywhere.  My mom was the same.  She really didn't like our dogs much, but they really liked her...maybe because she fed them.
Well, I suppose that I will have to decide something soon before the day is completely gone.  I hope you are having a lovely sunny day too, with family and friends close and lots of smiling.  Life should be happy.  Take care out there!  Keep your stick on the ice.  Remember I'm pullin' for ya.  We're all in this together.   HAGW!!!  Melody

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Little Tap Dance

Just got back from a long walk:) and saw this on Facebook.  Thought I would share.  I think this link will take you there.  HAGW!!!  Me

Musical Memories

Good morning!  I woke up with a song in my head this morning...from Eclipse...full harmonies going.  It is "Open Thou Mine Eyes".
"Open thou mine eyes, and I shall see
Incline my heart, and I shall desire
Order my steps and I shall walk
In the ways of thy commandments."
Dad Playing Saxophone at Hoberg's Resort (16 years old)
I really like those words, and I love the timing.  It's a little different so I think that is why it sticks in my head.  I have always been very influenced by music.  I like to think it is because of my name.  But it may be because I grew up in a home with lots of musical dad being a professional musician and all.  He played in a dance band for a lot of years when I was very small.  One of my earliest memories is being in the bathroom with him and watching him shave with a soft brush and razor while he sang "Mac the Knife".  He was practicing.  I was small enough that the sink was eye level.  I don't know that he sang too much with the group.  He played saxophone mostly I think.  When I was older I used to go with him to high school concerts where he was the teacher.  I guess my mom had been to so many and had home duties, and so I was elected to go along.  I loved that.  Looking back I think I was very privileged to be able to accompany him.  I learned to love music...and chilled apples:)  They had a machine at Arroyo High School that had chilled apples for a nickel.  I liked eating my apple first and working my way around the apple 'til I had skinned the whole thing.  Then I would take big, juicy, skinless bites.  Yum!  Fun memories!
When I was in high school I was in the acapella choir, madrigals, band and orchestra.  I wonder now how I fit it all in.  I can remember at concerts being a little embarassed to have to switch from one group to another.  But I loved singing and playing my clarinet.  I especially loved playing the bass clarinet, although I didn't do that too much.  My dad would borrow one from his school for me to practice on, and then I played with the orchestra at Hayward High.  I don't remember doing that at Amador High.  I probably didn't tell Mr. Campana that I knew how to play the bass clarinet.
I am standing next to my Dad on the top row
Well, I suppose I had better get on with my day.  But it's been fun reminiscing:)  I hope your day goes well.  I will try to upload a picture of my dad with his saxophone and another one of us in a musical class from Bancroft Junior High's fine arts summer school.  Adios!  HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Blog Day!

Amazing Plant
Okay, so maybe this is ridiculous....three blogs in one day.  But this is just to say, "Hooo-ray!!!  I did it!  I finished that silly plant drawing and I can put it away!!!  Yay!!!"  Whew!  I will probably tweak it a little, but I think it is pretty much done and it feels really good.  Trouble is, there is no one here to tell that to, so you're it:)  Hope you're having a gut wan!  TTTL Melody


So remember I said I was going to redo the plant drawing?  Well, it ended badly.  I had such cheap paper I couldn't erase anything on it and I finally decided to bag it and try on my last piece of cheap paper, and as I was cutting it down to size it ripped.  So I had to drive all the way across town to get another piece of paper.  But that was a good thing, because on the way there I saw a funny said, "Falsehood-someone who is faking at being a gangster."  That made me laugh, and then I thought, "What else can make me laugh?"  So I called my sweet daughter Julie.  She has a good sense of humor and cheered me right up.  And not only that she had lots of good news.  They are getting two little girls after all, and it may be as soon as February!  So that is wonderful news.  She is also moving....again.  I think they have moved almost as much as we did at their age.  And that's alot.  But Randy has been transferred to Ogden.  So we will have to go visit their new house in a few weeks.  I think it will be a good move for them.
Oh, one more thing....I got better paper this time (three sheets) and I have already drawn in the sketch of the plant.  It erases great and I like the thickness much better too.  And I just feel better.  Now I have to remember...sit, draw, smile, draw some more, smile, giggle, relax.  I hope your day is not so frustrating.  I probably need another power nap....but I just have to get a little more of that negative space charcoaled in.  Take care!  Thanks for listening!!!   TTTL  Melody

Settling and Silly

Guten morgen!  I got up at 5:30 this morning:)  So I guess I am on Eastern time or something.  Anyway I was able to finish my cross hatch bottle drawing, and start another plant drawing.  It was bugging me that I didn't have a good composition so I finally decided, "What the hey!" and started a new one.  I guess this is fine for this semester when I only have one class, but I am a little concerned that this may become a habit and I can't redraw everything when I have a bunch of classes.  So I guess I am going to have to change my nature...or get it right and perfect the first time around...or settle.  That's a weird word!  I haven't used it for awhile I guess.  Settle, settle, settle.  It almost looks like Seattle.  Can you tell I am in a silly mood?  I definitely am.  It is from too little sleep I suppose.  My hip has been hurting a lot the last few days and it won't let me sleep.  Oh well.
Today is Thursday.  When I had a whole passle of kids at home it used to mean shopping and errand day.  I had a day for everything.  Monday was dust and clean.  Tuesday was laundry.  Wednesday was clean one room really well.  Thurday was shopping and errands.  Friday was a free day (not really, but I liked to think of it like that).  Saturday was family day.  And Sunday was church.  I think I spent a lot of time cleaning up after everyone else.  Now I only clean up after me and Mel.  It's a lot easier!!!  But I kind of miss the noise, and I definitely miss the kids.  I am still adjusting to the quiet and empty house.  I kind of like it.  I definitely like the feeling that my time is my own.  But I am really glad I am going to school.  I think I would be quite bored if I wasn't.
So, back to my schedule.  I am drawing today:)  Then I think I will go to the temple.  I haven't been for a few weeks, and I miss it.  I should do some visiting teaching too.  OK, I guess there is already not enough time.  The time seems to speed on by these days.  I get tired more easily too.  And I wonder about things I didn't used to worry about at all. am I going to die?  Will it be painful?  Will I go before Mel?  Do other 60 plus people think about these kinds of things?  I guess the trick is not to dwell on them.  I can remember before I had teenagers I used to worry about how hard it might be to have teenagers.  Looking back I think we had it pretty easy.  I loved our kids as teenagers for the most part.  It was busy but fun.  So maybe it is silly to anticipate the next stages of life.  It doesn't change anything, and it doesn't make them any easier or harder....unless you take better care of yourself and exercise.  But then you could fall off of a roof on your head, like a man in our stake did, and end up in a wheelchair with all kinds of problems you never anticipated.  So I guess the best thing is to do like the scriptures say and take each day at a time, because "sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof."
Well, I hope you are having a less silly and philosophical day than mine.  Keep your stick on the ice.  I am trying to do that here.  I guess the important thing is to keep smiling and...HAGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plants and Tiaras

Plant :)
Buenos Dias!  I am having a great day!  But I only feel half here when I don't blog.  I tried to blog at school during our 10 minute break, but I didn't have good reception in the art building.  I would have written, "Gasp!  I am coming up for air!"  It was a really intense drawing session.  We are working on our last drawing before we turn in all of our work on Monday.  I almost finished, but not quite.  I have to finish detailing leaves and figure out what to do with the left side of the picture.  I am a little worried about the composition.  I tried to make it interesting, but I may have put in too many leaves in the left corner.  Oh well.  I will just do my best....and hope for an A:)
So I have mutual tonight and we are having a carnival.  I am bringing 4 dozen cupcakes (that just came out of the oven) for the cupcake walk.  I am also supposed to bring squares with the numbers 1 through 10 on them.  I am not sure yet how I am going to do that.  I will have to dig around in my art room and see what paper I can come up with.  I do have some poster board, and some mat board.  Then I need to decide how fancy to make it.  That will probably depend upon how much energy and time I have.  Right now I feel a power nap coming on.  I kept waking up last night, so I didn't sleep too well.  And I had really vivid dreams...also a sign that I didn't sleep real well.
Mel said something funny yesterday.  He asked me if I would like a tiara.  I said, "Only if it has real diamonds in it."  Then I added, "I would have to find someplace to wear it."  And Mel quipped, "No, you'd have to find someplace safe to hide it!"  He's pretty funny.  I don't know what got him thinking about tiaras.  Maybe a half time ad or something.  He is liking all of the football on TV right now.  It sure makes the rest of television uninteresting.  Not that I have much time for TV.  But I kind of like to watch it for an hour or so before bed...just to relax.  I watched something about Paris that was kind of interesting on PBS.  They talked alot about Picasso as a struggling artist.  It made me feel better....not that I am struggling in that way.  I guess I am just struggling to be an artist:)
Well, I guess I'd better get on with things.  I hope you are having a good a great day!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm sure to be pullin' for ya!  Remember we're all in this together!  And keep smiling!  It's good for you!  TTTL  Melody

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Mighty Payette:)

Last night's painting

Well, here it is.  I am still trying to figure out why Bob F. had us paint a boat into this scene.  He really does like boats.  I guess it is good practice, but it doesn't seem to fit in here....maybe a kayak or a raft:)  Well, onward and upward.  I have to get another plant drawing going.  This one is on gray paper, so we are using white charcoal as well as black.  Should be challenging.  Hope your day is going well.  Me

Riding and Drawing Bicycles

The Greenbelt
Amy and her sweetie little look alike
Good morning!  Do you love these last warm days before the storms start rolling in?  I love the crispy cold in the morning and the warm sunny afternoons.  I love to sit somewhere beautiful and just soak in the sun.  So yesterday I did.  I met my daughter Amy and her little sweetie pie and we all sat in the beautiful sunshine on the back patio of our favorite restaurant.   It is kind of a pricey little place so we shared one meal between the three of us.  But it was worth it!  The food was scrumptious, the company was superb and we all enjoyed the beauty of the Boise river and the lovely garden planted for our benefit.  There is even a large rock waterfall!  Afterward we took a bike ride on the greenbelt that winds along the river.  Unfortunately....I had borrowed my dad's bike and the seat was way too low....Amy had her bike but the seat kept slipping back.  I think next time we will bring some tools to adjust things.  But we still had a nice ride.  We rode over the bridge to a little park with swings and slides so that Amy's little girl could enjoy the day too.  And by the time we finished it was already time to rush back for my art classes.  I was late for the drawing class, but it isn't graded:)  Thank goodness!  And I really enjoyed the painting class afterwards.  We painted a portion of the Payette River that I am familiar with, and I enjoyed painting with color and large brush strokes.  I have been drawing with teeny little hatch marks for the last week for my college class, and it felt wonderful to take big long brush strokes and to paint with feeling:)  I didn't finish the painting, but I will post it when I do.
Scribbled negative space
I did finish this bicycle drawing.  It was also a little tedious, but satisfying.  I think it turned out the way we were supposed to do it.  I hope so anyway.  I sort of feel lost sometimes in there.  I think it is a little like walking into a college chem class without any high school chemistry in your background.  I am still learning the lingo:)  But it is lots of fun and I am slowly learning and feeling less like the newby.
Well, today is laundry day.  And bathrooms!  Exciting stuff.  I could probably teach a few classes in how to clean a bathroom:)
I hope your day goes well.  I will be pushing and pulling from my side.  Take care!  And HAGW!!  Melody

Monday, September 20, 2010

Smiling and Laughing! (And giggling, I can't help it!)

Good morning!  Today should be fun.  I am really awake!  I had one of those dreams where I woke up and I was late for school because of extenuating circumstances.  First I had to pick up my daughter.  Then I lost my way.  Then it began to rain.  I never did reach my destination.  It was very frustrating!  I am hoping that I have no problems getting to school this morning.  But even if I do, it should not be as bad as that dream!
I have almost finished my bicycle drawing.  I left a small part undone because we are supposed to work on it in class for the first part today.  But I like what I have done so far.  I will have to look around me and see what other students have done.  But that is a little dangerous, because they are all so good.
Well, I hope your day goes well.  I need to get going so I am not late:)  Take care out there in cyberspace land.  I will keep pullin' for you!  Remember to be 100 per cent!  And smile!  The world needs another happy face!   HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sabbath Day Thoughts

Good morning!  I feel like I should share something that really lifted my spirits today.  It is a quote from Elder Robert D. Hales from a talk he recently gave.  I just needed to be reassured one more time that the Lord is conscious of our trials.  Maybe it will help you too.  
"It is by using one's agency to make right choices today, tomorrow and for the rest of an individuals time on earth that they are able to follow the Savior and return to his presence."
"This development always takes time and testing and faith. We will all be tested, often to our limit. Yet all of us are assured that we will never be tested more than we can endure. And the greatest blessings will be based on how well we endure our test."
"Whatever challenges or hardships an individual may experience in life are provided for a reason - to help individuals become and accomplish what they were specifically sent to the earth to be and do. Heavenly Father has unique plans for every individual that are more glorious than anything an individual could imagine or arrange for themselves. "
Elder Hales further said that individuals must listen to the Spirit rather than the opinions of men in order to make correct decisions. "
"All of us should carefully consider what Heavenly Father wants us to do, and how he may be preparing us."  
I know looking back that the Lord has been there in my life, helping and reassuring me of His presence.  And it is comforting to see.  It is not always easy looking forward to see the same thing, but I have faith that He loves me and is aware of my struggles and those of my loved ones.  We are so blessed to have a Savior who intercedes for us and helps us through the toughest things in our lives.  I hope that I can always keep that in mind as I look forward with faith.
Today is going to be great!  We are singing in the stake choir for conference today.  I love the songs and it is fun to hear our stake leaders talk.  It should be wonderful.
I hope your Sabbath day is full of good things.  Take care out there!  Remember the Savior!  And be 100 percent today!  And HAVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cool Designs

Hi!  I am back from cleaning the church.  Kind of a funny thing...I have been teaching in a room that has a very dirty blackboard.  So I made it my personal mission to clean that board super clean.  I think it is kind of funny... now I can start with a clean slate:)  Although I don't have to teach tomorrow, it is stake conference.
I am still working on my bicycle today.  I suppose I will work on it most of the day after I pay bills and clean a little and start the laundry.  I saw a cool design last night after the movie.  We saw "Cairo Time".  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  It wasn't outstanding.  But I liked the Egyptian scenery.  It was kind of slow moving and not much of a plot.  Anyway, we went to get a slice of cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory and they had a really cool design in a lighted board on the wall.  So I took a picture:)  I thought I might be able to use it in my design.  I will experiment with it.  It is kind of fun to be more aware of all of the artwork around in my world that I was mostly oblivious to before.  I am always looking at shapes and colors and values now.  I didn't totally ignore them before, but it is like it has all been turned on brighter.
I guess I will get on with my day.  I had thought I would write more about yesterday, but have decided against it.  It was one of "those days".  I think I am doing fine, but I still have a day once in a while that seems extra hard.  I can tell I am doing really well because I can get through it and still feel good about life and my life in particular.  So that is progress.  This probably makes no sense:)  But I am recording this for my own benefit.
Well, I hope you have a wonderful day.  Keep smiling, and just remember....something...oh yeah...I'm pullin' for ya.   We're all in this together!!!   HAGW!!!  Melody

Hi Ho! It's off to clean I go!

Good morning!  I hope you are having a good day so far.  I am going to have to write later as we are leaving to go clean the church building:)  But I wanted to say good morning!  Take care!!  Melody

Friday, September 17, 2010

Picturing Gramma

Gabe with his pocket pal

Hi again!  Gabe is over again and brought his pocket pal.  So I got him to pose with it.  Funny what a little piece of material can accomplish.  He really loves it!  HAVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Pocket Pals

Good mornin', good mornin'! Here's a link to the original song.  It is kind of fun.  I am feeling silly already today...probably because it is Friday.  There is something kind of wonderful about weekends.  I think it is the anticipation of no work or school for a couple of days.  But of course, that is really just a carry over feeling from childhood.  There is usually work...and now home work.  I don't mind.  I am really enjoying school and the challenge of new things.  I think the other kids in my class (and they are all kids) have a lot more experience drawing.  They seem to get it first time around, while I usually come home and redraw things and work at them for a while.  But I figure I am doing catch up here, trying to gain experience as quickly as I know how, and to practice.  I really need the practice.  I know it helps when I am playing my clarinet.  I think of it as a roadway in my brain that has got a few potholes, and by practicing I smooth over the potholes and make the pathway more sure.  I guess it is a funny image, but it works for me:)
So I had a nice experience yesterday with little Gabriel.  He has been having a few struggles with school.  He has a hard time checking his enthusiasm, and it is kind of getting in his way.  Anyway, I made him a little "pocket pal".  It's just a little furry piece of cloth that I sewed into an image of me:)  Just a circle with some beads for eyes and an embroidered smile and a bit of lace on top to look like hair.  I should have taken a picture:)  I told him he could keep it in his pocket and whenever he needed to he could touch it and remember that his grandma loved him.  He was very excited about it.  I hope it helps.  He seems a little insecure about a lot of things right now.  I think we had a really nice day yesterday.  I sure love each of my wonderful grandchildren.  They are each special and unique in their own ways.  I just wish they were all closer.  But I must admit I like that none of them are living here full time anymore.  I can be so much more rested and cheerful when I get a break from the constant busy-ness that is children.  I just miss it:)  I guess it is one more area where I am never quite satisfied.  Ah well!
Well, I guess I will start my day.  I plan to draw my bicycle today.  I have drawn it a few times, but I am ready for the real deal now.  Then I have to come up with some creative way to fill in the dark negative spaces.  I think it is challenging.  But I can do this!  And of course there are a plethora of other things I should be doing...laundry is a constant, and housework and yard work.  Plenty to keep an old lady very busy...and me too:)  I hope your day is going well.   Take care out there and remember I'm pullin' for ya!  We're all in this together!  HAGW!!!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Good afternoon!  I just finished this hatching picture...I hope!  I know it's not perfect, but I think it will do.  And I feel pretty good about it.  So I thought I should share.  I like sharing:)  Sorry the photo isn't more clear. 
Gabe has been here today with me.  Liz wasn't feeling good, so she sent him here with Adrian (who worked for Mel today.)  He has been so cute!  He has played with legos most of the afternoon.  He is very good at putting amazing things together...designed by himself of course.  I think he could be some sort of engineer.  He is so creative though....maybe a sculptor:)
Well, I just wanted to share.  It is good to look at in a photo.  Then I can see more clearly all of the little goofs I have made.  Hope your day is going well.  Take care!  Melody


Good morning!  It is another gorgeous day here!  I hope it is where you are in the world.  I do get readers from all around the globe, and I wonder how life is treating you.  I hope well!  I am always surprised to see that someone from Brazil or Tonga or England has read my blog.  Best wishes to you where ever you are.
Today I am planning on hatching a little more and then I am going to work on my charcoal piece.  I am also anticipating Liz and family coming over sometime today.  That should be fun to see everyone.
I had a most unusual dream last night.  I dreamt that I lost a finger while I was sleeping.  I don't think I have ever lost a digit in my dreams before....lots of teeth, but no appendages.  It was one of those dreams where you spend the whole dream looking for something and can't find it (my finger).  But then I had a new twist to that scenario.  The finger suddenly appeared back on my hand...only it wasn't on straight.  So I was twisting it trying to center it.  I wonder if this has to do with drawing.  I am constantly correcting for placement and especially on that bottle picture trying to get things to look correct.  Anyway, it was a strange dream.  At one point I "woke up"...but not really.  I hate that.  I used to dream that I had woken up like that when I was afraid I would be late for something.  But I wasn't worried about that today.  Oh well.  The sub conscious is a strange and mysterious place!  I read an article once about common dreams people have....mostly about fears I think.  But my favorite is flying.  It usually happens that I am in a situation where I need to escape quickly and I suddenly remember that I can fly.  It is a whole lot of fun.  It is kind of like swimming in the air.  Funny!
Well I really have very little to report today.  I hope you have a great day out there in cyberspace.  I plan on it here.  Take care and HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Old-Fashioned Grandchildren

This just arrived this afternoon.  I guess I really do like hand-written stamped letters...especially when they come with a message like this one.  I guess we are going to go for a trip to see Rachel very soon!  What a cutie!!!  Just had to share a special moment.  Being a grandma is so rewarding at times!  Melody

All Bottled Up:)

The Big Picture (Unfinished)

Good afternoon!  I have had a wonderful day so is gorgeous here!  Perfect weather I think.  And of course today I had my drawing class.  I have included a photo of my drawing of the bottles that I have been working on.  It isn't finished, but I am feeling much better about it.  I have lots more little lines to put in, but I can see it taking shape and I am actually enjoying the process.
Today we worked in charcoal on negative shapes.  I am still working on getting the composition to look good.  But I am almost there.  The teacher wants us to "do something" with the negative shapes.  She had a couple of examples of what she meant by that.  I hope I can come up with something.  It was kind of fun though.  She had an old bicycle...probably from the 50's.  It looked kind of mangled, but still interesting.  It is kind of fun to draw.  I really like concentrating so hard on the shapes.  It is good practice.
So I hope you are having a great day too.  I have mutual with my young women tonight.  I guess we are planning for a Halloween party.  I am supposed to come up with something original...a recipe or a decoration.  I am not sure yet what to do:)  I think I probably have a cookie recipe or something.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  And HAGW!!!!    Melody

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

100 Per Cent

Good morning!  I promised an explanation of being 100 per cent here goes.  In my meeting Friday night, one of the visiting authorities said that we should all strive to be 100 per cent in four areas...saying prayers morning and night, reading our scriptures at least 5 minutes a day, smiling, and serving others.  So I challenged my young women's class to be 100 percent with me.  I hope we can all be 100 per cent!
Today is a nice day.  It's a little cooler than yesterday.  And I don't have to do any trips into Boise today.  I am glad for a break.  But I need to draw today.  We are starting on a new drawing tomorrow and I haven't finished the bottles yet.  I stopped and got some more pencils yesterday at the art store on my way home.  So that should help to have many varied thicknesses of graphite.  But mostly it is just doing it.  It is a little labor intensive.
Sort of Me:)
Last night's painting class was fun.  We did self portraits.  I had lots of fun doing this, although I don't think it looks too much like me.  But I like the way we used the paint.  I am going to do it again though.  I always feel such pressure to perform in class, and I don't think I do my best work.  Also I didn't like the photo Bob took of me.  It was way too serious.  Do I sound like I am making excuses?  Sorry.  I just don't want you to think I think it looks like me.  And my technique was off...I kept forgetting to let the paint dry before adding more.  Still it was lots of fun.
Well, I guess I'd better stop writing and get doing.  I hope all is well out there with you.  Take care and HAGW!!!!  Melody

Monday, September 13, 2010

Feeling Great!

So good afternoon!  I was on facebook checking out Eclipse's announcement that they had sung in Nampa, Idaho and I went to their latest youtube video....and one of my young women was on there with them!  How cool is that?  Here is the link.  I think Ally has put Nampa on the map!
Now I know why I was up early today.  I must have had an intuitive thing going.  I got on the freeway and sat...for an hour!  So since it takes me 45 minutes to get to school I was almost an hour late for class:(  That is not good.  First of all any tardies are counted against us.  But second of all :) I missed an hour of instruction and drawing time.  The drawing time I can make up, but I needed more instruction!  I am really struggling with the hatching and cross-hatching.  Oh well.  I will just keep at it.  I am hoping I can find more about it online or in a book or something.  And I will ask Bob F. tonight in class.  It looks pretty straightforward until I look at the examples my teacher put up today...and they are very detailed and teeny, tiny little hatch marks.  So I guess I will be spending a lot of time hatching:)
 I just had a yummy piece of fresh peach pie.  I guess I fell off of the wagon.  Better than a bike!!!  It was worth it though!  Yummy!!! So I may not eat for a couple of days to make up for it.  Just kidding.  I hope you are finding yummy stuff to eat!  Isn't life great?  It is perfect outside right now...75 and bright sunshine.  I just love this weather.  Hope you are having a wonderful day in your neck of the woods.  Take care!  Remember I'm pullin' for ya! Oh, and I'm 100 per cent!  I'll  explain later.  TTTL Melody

Art Monday

Good morning!  I am up pretty early...a little nervous about school I think.  I don't know why.  But oh well.  Yesterday's lesson went well.  I think the girls are all amazing.  I am always so impressed at how much more mature they are than I was at their age.  I find that's true with my grandkids too.  They seem to have insights that I might have missed at their ages.  Not to say they are perfect or anything...but they are impressive.
Last night we had a stake choir practice.  It is the last one before stake conference so it went rather long...2 1/2 hours!  But we are singing some beautiful songs.  I think my favorite is "I Feel My Savior's Love", but we are also singing "Battle Hymn of the Republic", "Did You Think to Pray", "I Need Thee Every Hour" and a few more I forget.  But I sure love singing in a good choir.  It's lots of fun, and then I have those songs in my head.  I like that.
I also bought a CD from the Eclipse Concert Saturday night.  It is called "Grateful Praise" and it is beautiful!  I used one of the songs for my lesson yesterday and the girls really liked it.  It is called, "Let the Words".  Not a real catchy title, but the words are beautiful and went so well with my lesson.  And I like to hear male harmonies...they are really beautiful.
Well, I guess I will have another "Art Monday".  I feel glad to be pursuing this talent.  And I feel so blessed to have talents.  I am glad we all have different gifts to share.  It makes the world a better place.  Take care out there.  I hope your day is filled with gifts and talents!  And lots of smiles!!!  HAVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Serving Our Country

Kurt Pancheri - The other leader from our ward...

Picking Up Garbage
Searching for Junk
Piling On My Explorer
The Snake River

There is a wonderful feeling that comes with service...especially when done in a beautiful place with wonderful friends.  Yesterday was full of good feelings as I went with the young women from our ward to join a six stake service project to clean up the Snake River.  We had lots of fun!  And I think the area looked much cleaner when we were through.  Afterward the stakes provided a dinner and wonderful concert by "Eclipse" acapella men's group that is fantastic.  I had heard them a year and a half ago at Women's Conference, and I was excited to hear them again.  Mel and I put in our appearance at the ward dinner, and then we hurried over to the stake center to join the kids and listen to the fun concert.  It was a nice conclusion to a very busy day for me.
We also went to the Art in the Park fair in Boise in the afternoon with my folks.  That was interesting!  I am not sure I would want to participate.  It was certainly well attended, but .... it was sooooo busy!  Anyway, I did get lots of good ideas for presenting artwork.  And I realized I am probably good enough:)  There was lots of amazing things...but not really all that much painting.  And what there was of that was really varied, from outstanding to mediocre.  I did notice that people were not buying all that much.  Lots of looking going on, but not much purchasing.
So this morning I am preparing the last bits of my lesson for Young Women.  It is on wise choices, and choosing light over darkness.  I really like the lesson, but I am struggling with how to present it so that it is meaningful to the girls.  I remember being their age, and how life was so centered on me:)  Or at least it seemed to be.  And so I was so centered on how I appeared to others that I was constantly looking inward...instead of out where other people existed and needed friendship and help.  Of course not everyone is that focused inwardly as a teenager, but I would say the majority are.  And reaching in far enough to touch one of these young women takes more than just an ordinary lesson.  So far I have great and handouts...and even cream puffs:)  But what I will actually say...I hope I get lots of help from the Spirit today!
Well, I had better get to it.  I hope you are having a lovely Sabbath Day.  Take care!  HAGW!!!!  Melody

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pie, Pie, Me oh My!

Good morning!  I don't have time to write much this morning, but I feel so much better in my head when I do.  I am going to help with trash pickup.  Then Mel and I are meeting my dad and Barb for "Art in the Park".  That should be fun!  Then we are headed back here for a ward dinner that the High Priests are putting on.  I am supposed to bring a pie:)  But there is no time to bake today, so I guess we will pick up something at Marie Callender's.  I love pie...seems like there is a song about that:)  Of course there is a song about everything I think.
Well, I hope you have a very fantastic day out there in cyberspace.  It sure is a great and gut wan here.  Take care!  TTTL  Melody

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bike Tales

Hi again!  I can't believe it....I have done the leaf drawing one last and final time.  I kept thinking about the dark border on the bottom of the picture where I had kind of goofed and how it might cost me a good grade.  And so I did it once more.   I guess that definitely makes me OCD.  And I hope headed for a better grade:)  This isn't really anything new.  I have always sought for approval.  And in school the best way was to get good grades.  So it is merely a continuation of the past:)  It kind of reminds me of one of my favorite movies..."One Fine Day".   The female lead is trying to get her model  creation into her boss without any mess ups when she trips on her son's toy, and wrecks the model.  So she has to do her best to make it work.  I identify so strongly with that!
Today I did go biking...I called Jodell and she agreed to go with me.  She needed to drop by some flyers to a few neighbors on our way though.  So we stopped at the first house and all went well.  The second house also went well.  I was beginning to feel more confident about the stopping and starting, so the third house I got all the way off of the bike and walked closer to the door.  All was fine until I went to get back on my bike.  As I was getting on I lost my balance and fell backward...kind of a repeat of past performances.  I didn't hurt myself except for a little scrape on my elbow and a rather sore back, but I sure did feel silly.  I hate falling down!  (Yes, HATE)  But I do it every so often.  I think it is to keep me humble.  So it was good to have Jodell along just in case I needed an ambulance or something:)  The rest of our ride was great...beautiful sunshine, cool breezes and little traffic.  We rode about 6 miles on country roads I think.  And they weren't all flat!  We left a little after 11 and weren't back until 1.  We stopped to visit a family in our ward for about 15 minutes or so.  It was great, but I kind of wore myself out.  I am going to have to take it a little slower next time.  Still, I feel like I made a giant step for Melody today.  And it feels good! I'm sure I produced plenty of endorphins!!!!
That is probably why I came home and decided to draw those leaves one more time...I was pumped:)  Now I am psyching myself up to go to a meeting I really don't want to go to.  I am glad Mel has agreed to come.  Maybe we can sit in the back and whisper:)  Just kidding of course.  I am feeling a little silly.  Most likely I will have a hard time staying awake.  But I will try.  Then I get to go pick up trash at a local park in the morning with the young women.  I think that starts at 8!  But I am excited because we get to go to the "Art in the Park" in Boise tomorrow.  That will be interesting.  I am casing the joint...just in case I decide to enter next year:)
Well, I hope your day is great!  Take care and....:)  TTTL  Melody

Flash Cards

The Bottles!

Good morning!  I am contemplating bottles this morning.  I am a little timid about doing the hatching and cross hatching on my drawing.  I took this photo before leaving class so I could study the subject and figure out what to do.  But so far I haven't come up with much.  I did a practice run last night, but I am not fond of it.  I will have to keep practicing this method until I get it down.  It does not come naturally.  But I can learn hard things.  Taylor was over yesterday and we were both sharing our school experiences.  His was worse than mine!  He got called into the principal's office for not cooperating with his teacher and he was feeling kind of bad.  I asked him what he liked best about school.  His reply was lunch and recess:)  A standard reply.  I said that wasn't a good enough answer.  He said, "But grandma, math is soooo hard.  You have to learn multiplication!"  I remember feeling that way.  I told him we would practice it together, and that we would make flash cards.  He had never heard of flash cards!  But it is good for us both to realize we can learn hard just takes practice!
So for those of you who may be interested....I was down a whole pound this morning:)  That makes me feel good.  I just have to keep the trend in the right direction.  I don't expect to ever be high school weight again, but I would like to at least keep jumping!  I still can by the way:)  So today I am going to go cycling....somewhere.  My left foot is giving me problems lately and walking is out for the time being.  But I love biking anyway.  I just wish my sister Joy still lived nearby, she likes it almost as much as I do.  I may have to go it alone or ride my stationary bike...which does not hold the same appeal.  I love the free feeling of riding with the wind blowing past and the scenery whizzing on by.  It really is fun.  The greenbelt along the river here is ideal.  It is beautiful and fairly even.  (I have almost talked myself into it.)  The one thing that scares me is riding alone and having a problem.  But I can take my trusty cell phone and call Mel if I really get in a jam.
Well I don't have a lot to write today.  I am planning on drawing, painting, cleaning (always), and then going to a meeting tonight for Young Women.  I guess we have a training meeting with people sent from SLC.  I think it is weird that they are doing it on date night!  But Mel said he would come with me.  What a guy! 
I hope you have a wonderful day and that you find reason to smile and feel glad.  Life is pretty amazing.  I keep thinking of that Galaxy song by Monty Python.  It has become one of my favorites.  Well, take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm pullin' as hard as I know how!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Guacamole in Kuna

Okay...I admit it.  I did have guacamole after all:)  Mel and I went over to Micron to deliver parts and decided to stop at this little Mexican place in Kuna ( a little town near our house).  Anyway....they advertised that they made guacamole at your how could we resist?  It really was made very fresh and healthy...only veggies, no sour cream or mayo.  And it was soooooo good!  We had thought we would bring any extra on home.  There was no extra!  It's a good thing I was eating so sparingly all day.  I skipped the rice and beans (pat myself on the back) but I did indulge in a seafood chimichanga.  I think it was the best I have ever tasted.  I don't think this place is a is called El Galla Giro.  It is not as expensive as the place in Tiburon, and it is a heck of a lot closer.  Oh well:)
Tonight is kind of boring television wise...unless you love football as much as Mel.  So I have been cleaning:)  I finished cleaning out and organizing the pantry and it has kind of got me jazzed!  I love clean and orderly.  I keep walking in the pantry and looking around and smiling.  It just feels so good.  I also vacuumed Liz's old bedroom in preparation of moving furniture back in there.  I think I will have Mel put the stationary bike in there along with a bed.  That way I would be more likely to ride it.  I know I should climb the stairs and ride it up there, but I usually don't.  So much for climbing stairs!  I used to love to work out on the stairclimber.  I just don't have the same energy I used to anymore.  But that will change!
I have also been reading the literature on our Vita-Mix machine.  We bought it a couple of weeks ago at the fair.  It is a great machine, but we haven't used it much so far.  I plan to change that.  I think it would be good to make green drinks and whole grain breads.  We don't eat nearly enough veggies or whole grains.  So that would help.  And be delicious!
There sure are a lot of fires, have you noticed?  The latest is near the San Francisco airport.  I can watch the news again, did I mention that?  I think it is progress.  For a while about a year ago I got so depressed that I couldn't watch anymore sad.  I think it was because I felt so sad already inside of myself.  It was not a pleasant experience and I have a whole lot more empathy for people who suffer with depression.  I had not felt that way for many years...since my son had died in "83.  I guess I had a succession of unexpected events happen in my life that I was not prepared for and they all kind of hit at once.  I held up for a while, but then crashed.  I think it has been a learning experience for me.  And an incentive to fill my life with meaningful things.  I had sort of let my own life go on hold while I raised kids, and somehow forgot to pay any attention to my needs.  Anyway, that is the simple explanation.   I guess I let things get out of balance.  It was a hard thing to pull out of, but I think I have done it, and for the most part I feel great. 
Well, I hope you are all feeling great too.  And that you know I am still pullin' for ya!  I hope you have a great night!  HAGW!!!!!  Melody

Mundane Musings

Good morning!  I have started my morning off right by eating my wonderfully flavored powdered soy eggs.  I am motivated!  I have all of the powdered diet food in the pantry.  It tastes...not too terrible.  And it is good for my blood sugars...have I mentioned that I have type 2 diabetes?  You know it's the kind you give yourself from eating too much.  It's odd to live in a time when people can eat too much...and other people on the planet are starving.  Something is definitely wrong with this picture!  At any rate I am commiting myself to doing better.  Enough said:)  (...except I am using you as my support group)
I have been reading this morning about hatching and cross hatching:)  No, it has nothing to do with chickens.  It is a way of shading in a line drawing.  I have seen it before, but never done it.  Our latest assignment is to draw a group of bottles and use this method.  I am glad we are only drawing bottles.  The illustrations in the book are not so neutral.  But that's art.  I am becoming less shocked all of the time:)
Today I am going to tackle the pantry.  I have been putting it off for quite a while.  It needs sorting and organizing.  The rest of the closets and drawers need that too.  It is time to toss!  So I guess today will be a tossing day.  It sounds sort of fun!  I am looking forward to it.  And if you believe that....but it is necessary so I will keep at it.  I am glad I have art in my life.  It makes the mundane things seem less so.  I reward myself with art now.  I say, "Self, if you clean the pantry, you can draw for a couple of hours."  And it works.  I really do enjoy drawing.  But I like painting even more.  So today I will spend a little time in the colors.  I would kind of like to do a painting of that silly old plant.  I think it might be fun.  And it would look good on somebody's wall:)
Well, I guess I'd better get to it.  I hope you have a wunderbar tag!  I am definitely planning on it.  And yes, I do love the Red Green Show, which is why I am always telling you to keep your stick on the ice.  I think my favorite line though is, "If women don't find you handsome, at least they should find you handy!"  It just isn't a very good sign off.  So, remember I'm pullin' for ya!  And HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blooming Where I am Planted

Good afternoon!  I thought I would show the final product:)  I have drawn this silly plant enough times now to feel very acquainted with it.  I know it doesn't look exactly like the actual plant.  But that is artistic license.  I have added a leaf and rearranged things a little, trying to fill space and make the composition interesting.  And then we were supposed to darken one area, but it is hard to see with this bad photo.  I darkened the leaf in the right background....hoping to call attention away from the foreground.  But I am done.  I hoped to not make any smudges, but the teacher said today that a very small smudge was OK.  I hope mine are very small:)
We had a fun class today.  My teacher has an Hispanic heritage, and so she took us over to the Education Building today to see her mural of Hispanic Education.  It was really interesting.  She talked to us about her feelings as she had painted the mural.  It was so interesting.  She had painted several different people she felt were significant in her culture.  And then she included her grandparents and her daughter.  I liked that!  I found out she is only 53!  So I am the oldest one in the class.  That is kind of weird for me.  I was always the youngest one in the class growing up.  My birthday was a week before the cut off date.  I always hated that growing up.  I got teased alot and I always felt like I didn't quite fit in.  I often had friends in the grade below me.  It seems silly now, but hopefully I have learned how little age has to do with anything....except how stiff I feel in the morning...or how tired at night.
I thought I would have to spend the evening alone tonight as Mel is at the temple.  But happily Liz and Taylor came to do wash:)  So I have company!  Of course, Max is here.  I really would get lonely without my trusty doggie.
Oh, I saw a funny sign today I thought I would share.  It said, "A fad goes in one era and out the other."  Then I don't think I told you what Mel said as we were going down on the elevator the other day.  He turned to me and got his teasing look and said, "Do you ever get that sinking feeling?"  It made me chuckle.  Then one last one that Jodell and I saw embroidered into a wall hanging at the fair, "If a man treats his wife like a thoroughbred he'll never be hitched to a nag."  I probably already put that one in here.  So much for my memory.  Anyway, it makes for a little fun.
So I guess I have a little climbing to do:)  I have noticed that going to school I am walking more.  And all of the drawing keeps me occupied so that I forget to eat.  That's got to be a good thing.  I just have to stop taking trips.  We always eat way too much:)  And then I also take two medications that are supposed to cause weight gain.  I just can't win!  But I am recommitted to exercise and sensible eating.
Well, I hope your day is going well.  Mine is feeling pretty good.  I really do feel that I am learning so much in my drawing class, and it makes me feel so good.  I have wanted to take a drawing class now for about forty years or so.  It feels so good to finally be doing it.  And I think I may have made another breakthrough in my thought processes for a children's book.  So that is wonderful.  I think I have been cooking this one for a long time.  Also I may try a publisher I found out about in Tiburon.  If they like my work, I may have to go there:)  I love Tiburon....there's the best Mexican restaurant there:)  Oh yeah!  No guacamole for me!  Ha,ha!  So I hope you can keep your stick on the ice!  Remember we're all in this together!  I'm pullin' for ya!  And HAVGE!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Good evening!  I decided to try to post a few pictures on here from our trip.  I think I have got it all sorted now.  The first couple are of Cove Fort.  That was really interesting with the really old buildings and trees.  The inside was fun too with old furniture and clothing.  The next couple are of us hiking in the Grand Canyon.  I was not real happy with the photos of me.  But I like them of the kids.  The last is of the St. George Temple.  My great great grandpa helped to build this I think.  I will have to look up the facts.  The last is of Tommy...beaming...with his grandpa. 

This one I thought was funny.  My little sister Joy and I used to pretend that there was a goodoo...the space between the bed and the wall.  We used to be pretty frightened of getting stuck in there.  I had never heard of a hoodoo before.  So I snapped a picture.
Amy with her little cutie.  Hailey staying entertained in the car.  I am having a hard time placing these photos with words.  I have downloaded a new editor and it is not the same.  Sorry.  I hope you can figure this out.
Well, I am going to sleep!  I have school early tomorrow.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Sweet dreams!  And HAVGN!!!  Melody

Home Sweet Home!

Good morning!  It is so much cooler here than St. George!  It feels so refreshing.  I had planned to upload pictures this morning from our trip. But I will do that later.  First I have to clear all of the old pictures....there are tons.  Mel put all of the pictures on CD's to clear up the memory on the computer, but apparantly we haven't been erasing them off the camera.  It asks would I like to upload all 1296 pictures?  So I will erase the old ones from the camera and then upload the latest here later on.  It may take a while:)
So today is catch up day.  I guess we have been playing too much.  I have laundry and vacuuming and dusting....all of the usual.  And then I need to redo that plant drawing.  Then I suppose I should begin preparing my lesson for Young Women's.  I know I need to visit the bank...and the store.  It should be busy.
I am feeling tired already!  But glad to be home.  We do have a lovely place to come home to.  With all of the economic upheaval I feel very blessed to have a home.  Mel's business continues to thrive.  He was up super early trying to get a head start.  He has lots of parts to make this week and he is already behind I guess.  But I think he enjoyed the break too.
Well, I hope your day is filled with sunshine and smiles.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pullin' for ya!  HAVGW!!!!!  Melody