Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Good morning!  It is cold here!  And still dark.  And I just woke up from a terrible nightmare.  And the worst part of it was I was older than I already am in the dream.  Sigh!  I guess I have got to get used to this being older thing.  Anyway it is good to finally be awake and sooo much younger:)  But I feel tired already and the day is just beginning.  And it's New Year's Eve so I will be up late!  Sounds like a day for a good power nap.  The trouble is I have a house full of people, so I doubt that will even be possible.  So do I sound like I am whining yet?  Sorry:)
We watched "It's Complicated" last night with Julie and Randy.  They have a clear-play machine which edits out all of the bad words and scenes.  Funny thing is that many of the scenes were just deleted a few muffled words into them.  I guess when a movie is rated R that the theme is too.  It was one of those where I found myself laughing at other people's tragic lives.  I guess the divorce theme isn't too funny to me in real life.
Wow, I sound really down there don't I?  Sorry, I am feeling really fine.  I am still waking up I guess.  We had a lovely day yesterday with grandchildren here.  I like listening to all of the talk...."dude" is still so surprising to hear from young lips.  And even little Matthew who will be turning 2 next month (!) is starting to talk and has a whole lot to say that I don't understand.  Julie is pretty good at deciphering it all.  He is a happy little guy.  He smiles constantly and seems to entertain himself very well.  That will come in handy as he grows up.
Today we are planning to be lazy:)  Well, Julie and Randy and Kim and I.  Mel will probably work some.  He always has stuff calling to him and it is just so close in the shop.  But hopefully he can pull himself away for a while to celebrate the New Year.  I can't believe this one will be in the past tomorrow.  It has gone by on a jet stream it seems.  Certainly a lot has happened.  But don't ask me what... just read my blog:)  I am so glad I am writing things down.  I doubt I would remember much otherwise.  And hopefully it will delay Alzheimer's.  I remember my mom frantically doing crosswords and writing in her journal every day hoping to avoid it altogether.  But eventually she couldn't do the cross words and her journal became gibberish.  I hope I don't have to experience that, but que sera sera!
So on a lighter note, which I can't seem to maintain for very long this morning...I am planning to retire to my art studio for some drawing time today.  Kim has work off and she and Julie can watch their own kids, so I should be able to draw a little.  I hope so, I miss it.  The last thing I painted was a painting for Diane the day before Christmas Eve.  I know ...that was cutting it a little close.  I think I work better under pressure though.
Well, I hope the pressure is not too terrible for you today.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  Remember  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  Keep smiling!  And HAVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seize the Day!

Good morning!  The sun isn't up yet here, but soon will be I suspect....or maybe that is expect.  Anyway, I am still waking up this morning.  I am feeling better today.  Whatever virus I was avoiding seems gone, so hopefully I can stay well.  We have a house full of people today, but not for long.  Kim is off to work soon and Julie and family will be off to their house in Wilder.  They rent the house and the last renters left quite a mess.  So they will be cleaning that and hopefully renting it out again.  I suppose I will be helping out by watching kids.  It is probably the best way I can help.
Yesterday I went to my Apple class.  I learned a few things about my computer that I wasn't certain of before.  But mostly I realized I knew quite a bit already.  It is an easy computer to understand.  I am trying to figure out the movie maker and I got a few tips, but I am going back next week for another class on that. Other than that I have little to report.  And I am sure that is totally uninteresting.  Sorry.
Today I think I will be watching kids and cleaning up after them.  Last night after Julie came we were sitting in the dining room talking while the kids played else where....that was the first mistake.  Soon I noticed one of the kids going into the bathroom for a cup of water.  I didn't think too much of it until I noticed he was soaking wet.  So he was questioned and we discovered they were having a water fight in my kitchen:)  Not just a few splashes of water, but the whole kitchen floor was covered in water....along with several counters and even into the great room.  Apparently a couple of the littler kids had grabbed paper cups and were filling them from the fridge and throwing them at each other!  They were also soaked.  Of course none of the kids sitting right next to all of this even noticed:)  Sooooo funny!  I'm glad it was only water.  We quickly got it all cleaned up and put boys in their pajamas.  I guess you can't expect 7 little boys to be 7 little angels without some supervision:)  My main concern was that we used up all of the clean towels wiping up the water....Mel has the mop in the shop and he had the key and was at the temple.  But I suppose that it is all fine.   Crazy!
Well, I hope your day is fine and fun and full of family.  Have a wonderful day out there in cyberspace.  And keep smiling!  I will do the same.  TTTL  Melody

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdQ304iiCOA  Hi again!  Yes, I am bored.  The kids are watching ET, they've never seen it before....but I guess I have seen it enough.  Anyway, I found this link for James Taylor's performance at the Kennedy Center.   It is kind of special I think.  But I can't get it to work like a link on here so you will have to copy it and put it in your address bar.  Good luck.  It is kind of emotional to me seeing Paul McCartney with tears in his eyes listening to his own song.
Well, just thought I would share.  Me

P.S.  Here's another cool link to get a guitar lesson from James Taylor.   http://www.jamestaylor.com/guitarlessons/

P.P.S.  Yes, I will get to the art work:)  I just can't with busy boys right now.

I Can Do Hard Things!!!!

Good morning!  I can hear wind and rain out my window this morning.  Most of the snow is gone.  But the temperature is supposed to drop tomorrow and we may get some snow today.  I am grateful for a heater and a pellet stove!  And for family!  They should be dropping back in today.  I had forgotten how lonely it gets when you are tied to children at home.  I miss having an adult to talk to.  Hence....blogging.  And later today my daughter Julie and her sweet husband and six boys!  More children, and more work.  That's the other part I always forget....children equal more work.  But they are worth it.  I am just feeling tired and a little under the weather this morning.  Aaron threw up last night and my stomach has felt unsettled ever since.  Sigh!  I need an art project!  I have been toying with the idea of copying some of Carl Bloch's work...for learning and practice.  I love his depiction of Christ in the rich young man painting.  So maybe I will try to paint that.  I know...it is a lot to try.   But why not?  I can only fail....and most undoubtedly will.  But I think I will learn a little trying.
And there is the lesson for today.  I must keep trying.  Even when I don't anticipate success.  It is what success is made of....innumerable tries and failures until you get it right.  Well, not always of course.  Which is what makes it hard.  I always hope I will be fabulous the first time and not make mistakes.  Not just in painting, but in life.  And I am always so disappointed when I fail at something.  I do sound a little down.  Sorry.  I am really fine.  Just a little nauseated:)
So today I have a class scheduled at the Apple store.  But with the wind and weather and little children I may have to postpone it.  That's not hard to do.  I just would rather go:)  So I will wait to make the decision for a couple of hours.  I really have little else scheduled.  The house is reasonably clean, the laundry is done...maybe it is time for a good movie.  I haven't watched a good one for a while.  The boys like Star Wars:)  Hmmmm.  Decisions, decisions.  I really should do something more productive.  This is stream of consciousness writing  you know:)
Well, I am being extremely silly.  I could write a comic book today I think....but it might be rather dark....like little bunny foo foo and his huge mallet.  So I will read my scriptures and take a short walk to get the newspaper and try to brighten my mood.  It shouldn't be too hard.  Maybe breakfast will solve it all.  Pancakes with maple syrup sound especially good this morning.  I hope your day is going well.  Keep smiling.  I really am on my side...just whining a little too.  Take care and HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hooks and Needles

Good morning!  It snowed just a little last night and the ground is dusted with the white stuff.  It's kind of pretty out my window today.  And I feel like my prayers have been answered once again.  It's amazing how that happens so quietly without any fuss...kind of like the snow.  And I am grateful!
So today we are starting to move our daughter Kim back home.  She has been on her own since her divorce a couple of years ago, but she is needing to be here and we are happy to have her.  I guess she will be attending the college here in Nampa to be trained as a phlebotomist.  She needs a better job and she is interested in that.  Right now she works as a teller at a credit union.  Not a bad job, but not much future.  The world is not an easy place is it?  Especially for a single mom.  So we are more than happy to help where we are able.  And I can delay being an empty nester again for a while.  I guess I will get to do that in fits and starts.  I don't mind, since I really can't stand all of the quiet!
Yesterday Elle (my 10 year old granddaughter) and I worked on a knitting loom.  It was fun.  She is fun, and I am glad for some time with her.  I may have to get out my crochet hooks and start to teach her what little I know about crocheting.  I used to do a lot of that, back in the day.  I crocheted little booties and sweaters and hats.  I even crocheted a vest for myself.  It was a long time ago.  I am really better with embroidery.  I did a whole lot of that too.  My grandma used to embroider everything...tablecloths and towels and pillow cases.  I liked to feel that I was a little like her.  So maybe I can pass that on down to my granddaughter.  It has been a good thing in my life.  I hope it can be in hers.
So what else is interesting in my life?  Did I tell you I like to swim?  How about badminton?  Did you know I was a marvelous badminton player in college?  I took a class for PE in it.  Hmmmm!  I guess I really am running out of good topics.  So I guess I will say sayonari calamari!   Take care out there.  And remember I am still pulling for you!  HAVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, December 27, 2010

Little Bunnies

Good morning!  I am  up early and feeling pretty rested.  But today will be busy with Kim's kids who are coming over today to play while their mom is at work.  I was worried yesterday about who was going to eat all of the leftover food that is here...pies and candy mostly.  All of the rolls are gone!  I made six dozen and they are all eaten!  That surprises me.  I only made three pies and a cheesecake and parts of them are still around calling to me to eat them.  So hopefully three hungry children will devour it all this week and take temptation away from me.  They are going to be here most every day I think.  We will have fun.
Julie and her family will be back on Wednesday until New Year's Day.   They are at Randy's parents until then.  Kim's son Aaron is getting baptized on Saturday so that will make it an especially nice New Year's Day.  This year seem's so much better than last year.  All of the problems that made life seem unbearable have gotten somewhat better, and I can see that the Lord's hand has been there helping to solve things.  Why is that so amazing to me?  I should trust more in the power of God.  I think it is because I am still amazed that He notices me and my problems with so many millions of people and all of their problems....so many that are so much more troublesome than mine.  I am grateful for a God of miracles.  And I choose to keep the faith!!!
Well, I have been thinking what funny stories I can tell you from the last few days.  I guess they mostly involve Mel.  He is pretty funny:)  We were driving along the long road into town about a week ago, and he said, "How do you get a song out of your head?  I can't make this one leave?"  I said, "You sing another song."  Then I sang a verse of something.  But he used the tune I was singing and sang, "Little Bunny Foo Foo".  It was very funny as he made up verses about the lovely good fairy in her silky gown.  He makes all of the nonsense rhyme.  I told him I will have to make illustrations to go along with it all.  Anyway, he has had little bunny foo foo on the brain ever since.  At breakfast on Christmas morning he broke out into song with another verse of his favorite bunny.  It kept all of us very entertained.  The kids especially love it when he sings to them of all of the field mice who get bopped on the head.  Poor little mice:)
I found this and it made me laugh.  It is perhaps a little too scary.

 I guess I will have to get his version down on paper and do illustrations and start on a Christmas book for next year.  It might be fun.
I have finally gotten into the actual autobiography of Mark Twain.  The introduction goes on forever!  I finally just skimmed it all and searched in my Kindle until I came to the real stuff.  But even in that there are explanations from the compilers.  I guess they want it all to be most accurate.  But I love reading his words, and it is annoying when they insert their little stuff about who published what when.  Ah well.  I will get into it eventually.  I love Kindle, but I miss the ability to flip through a book and really look at it. I may have to buy a real copy of it so I can do that.
Well, I suppose I have written enough gibberish for one morning.  I hope your day goes well.   Take care out there in cyberspace.  Remember to keep your stick on the ice!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  And HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Still Singing!

Guten Abend!  It does seem like it is the end of a very long day.  I feel like I could use a long winter night's sleep.  I don't remember being this tired after Christmas before.  I suppose I have just forgotten.  It is quite a work out!  Not as bad as moving, but up there in energy expended.
My lesson went well.  We had a lesson on creating an uplifting environment....so we watched President Faust's talk to the priesthood from 2006 conference.  I think the girl's listened to most of it.  Then I talked to them a little about how I feel about it all and we watched my baby video:) If you want to see it here is the link...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIgZ2VULnjI.  I think they got a kick out of seeing me as a baby, and I got to explain to them how I wanted to keep that enthusiasm for life that I had when I was 2.  And that the most important thing for  them to learn to keep their environment uplifting is to keep it fit for a visit from the Savior...to make Him the center of their life so that when they meet Him they won't have to hide from Him, but can greet Him as a friend.  They seemed to understand.   And then we had a little time to plan for next month's activities.  They thought we should have a video sharing night where we all shared our videos from our childhoods.  They are so cute!  I think it will be fun.
We have "The Sound of Music" on and Maria just burst out into song again.  I love it!  I think life should be like that....filled with lots of singing.  We sure heard a lot of it this weekend.
Well, I suppose I will retire from this long day.  I am hoping your day has gone well.  Take care out there in cyberspace!   Remember I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Feliz Navidad!

Mel with Diane
Michelle
Merry Christmas!  We have had a wonderful Christmas celebration!  I was a little worried that 38 people for dinner might be a little much.  But it all went smoothly and I think a good time was had by all.  There was even enough food!   All five of my daughters and their families came, and my sister Diane and her family also came.  So it was a good mix and felt very warm and cozy.  It's a good thing, because the wind has been howling and very cold.  We are expecting a little less wind tomorrow I hope.  It has been so loud!  It is a little hard to hear anything else.  And I am so used to it that I hardly hear it any more.
Jamie and Clara with Mel in background
So  that tells you it is pretty noisy.
After our dinner my daughters sat me down for a surprise.  They used to sing together all of the time, but because of distances it isn't too easy to do anymore.  But they all sang a song just for me...."I Heard Him Come."  It is one of my favorites.  I guess their goal was to make me cry...and they reached their goal!

Gary
Another highlight of the evening was a Wii game....Experiencing Michael Jackson.  It was really fun.  We all tried dancing like Michael Jackson...the kids really did it best.  It seems like good exercise.  We got pretty worn out, but I think we will be talking about that for some time to come.
My sister and her family left before it got too late and so I gave her family a painting I did just for them of the Boise temple.  I think they liked it:)  Liz and her family also left with all of their gifts from us...including my moth drawing.  I guess that was my version this year  of homemade gifts.  This morning I passed out the rest of the paintings
Hunter

Shelese
to our overnighters that I had framed for them.  Everyone seemed pleased.  It is still a little surprising to me that they like them.  Julie even cried:)  So I got her back for making me cry earlier:)  She had wanted one of the beach, so I gave her one I especially enjoyed doing of a beach with lots of birds and a grandma and her grandson walking along the shore.  Maybe a little symbolism there. At any rate it felt good to give a little bit of myself away to my kids.
Me and Liz

Julie and Amy being silly
Well, I have had a lovely Christmas with my beautiful family:)  I hope yours was wonder filled and full of lots of fun.  It is so nice to get together and be one big happy family again.  I found myself just looking into their happy faces and smiling inside myself.  Family is a wonderful blessing!
One of the funny conversations we had was about how women seem to like to break out into song in our family.  Mel thought it would be funny if men started doing it, so he and Randy and Gary kept breaking out into song all day today.  It was funny to hear music to, "Please pass the potatoes."  And "Alyssa, would you please come and help your mother?"  We do have fun just being around each other, and Mel always adds a little funny something.  Lately he has been singing and telling the kids the story of "Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest."  He is a wonderful story teller and entertaining for all of us.  He certainly keeps me
Caleb
laughing!
Eric and Jacob
Well, I guess I had better get back to preparing my lesson for tomorrow.  I hope I can get one together.  It is a lot to ask, but I am not whining:)  Well, maybe I am.  I am pretty tired. We have company til tomorrow night.  Then we have a breather for a couple of days before some return.  I love having them, I just wish I had better stamina.  In the meantime I will see what I can do for this lesson.  Have a wonderful night.  And a lovely Sabbath tomorrow.  Keep smiling!  Melody
Kim with Dan

William and Tommy

Cassie

Alyssa

Nigel and Randy

Gabe nibbling the gingerbread house

Liz , Julie and Amy

Me and Liz

In the middle of the party

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the morning before Christmas!

Happy, merry Christmas Eve!  And good morning to you!  I just love that you can go to bed exhausted and wake up the next morning feeling energetic and excited for the day.  It is truly one of the miracles of life!  I feel like I can make a couple of pies this morning.  Last night I wasn't so sure:)  And I love waking up knowing that my daughter and son-in-love and their 6 wonderful children are here.  I think we will have a fun day today as more of my children and their families arrive.  I do love Christmas time!
So besides pie I have a shrimp salad to make, potatoes to peel, a roast to roast and gravy to make.  I need to set all of the tables and make sure everything is all ready for the big feast:)  And I need to finish wrapping presents.  I think that is it.  I want to try a gluten free recipe for pie crust for my daughter Kim who has celiac, and I think I will make a few gf muffins too.  I'd better get cracking!
So I hope you have a wonderful, fun-filled day.  I will have to save the funny stories 'til tomorrow when I have a few.  Keep smiling and I will do the same.  Remember we're all in this together.  Keep your stick on the ice!  And HAVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hiding Out

Hi!  I am hiding out in my bedroom for a few minutes.  I have been going full steam all day and I figured I needed a breather.  So I am blogging and taking a few deep breaths.  It helps.  I still have quite a bit left to do tonight and tomorrow.  Michelle and family are here and we have been visiting while we are making rolls and cheesecake.  But the cheesecake is a long process.  It has to cook for an hour and a half, then cool 30 minutes in the oven.  Then it cools on the counter for a couple of hours before I wrap it and stick it in the fridge over night.  Since it won't be done until after 11, I will be up for a while.  I will probably wrap some more gifts.  I am about an eighth of the way done with that.  I didn't get any pies made today so that will be a job for tomorrow.  But I can do that in the morning.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and  I think it is Christmas!  I am feeling very good about that.
I had some more nice compliments on my painting today.  I was told that I was an artist at least three times:)  It is kind of weird, but nice.  I am beginning to feel like maybe I will be one eventually.  And I like that idea.  I really like painting and drawing.  It is work, but fun work.  And very satisfying as my skills are improving.  I think I will like being an artist in my later years:)  Oh wait...these are my later years I think.  If the next twenty go as fast as the last twenty I will be 80 before I know it.  That is just too weird to think about.
Well, I guess I'd better get back to it.  I hope you have a lovely evening...er..night.  Sweet dreams and all of that!  Melody

I'm the Happy Elf!

Good morning!  The moon is full out my window this morning.  The sun hasn't made it up over the mountains yet.  It is still a pretty pink in the eastern horizon.  It will be up too soon, and my day will be in full swing.  I have lots to do today.  I hope I can get it all done.  It is mostly wrapping and baking.  But I also need to clean before company arrives tonight.  Luckily it is my daughter and her family.  So if I don't finish I can give them a few assignments:)  I am excited for them to be here.  Once they arrive it will really be Christmas for me.  And their arrival marks the beginning of the other arrivals for our Christmas celebration.
I have all of the presents to wrap today.  And I am planning to make a raspberry cheesecake (my personal favorite), 3 pies, and a couple of batches of orange rolls.  I would like to make enough today that tomorrow is not hurried.  And so that I can enjoy the grandkids!  I love to be able to visit and not feel too rushed.  I got a big roast, so that will be easy.  The hardest part tomorrow will be the mashed potatoes I think.  The kids are all bringing things and that makes it easier too.
So, I have been thinking a lot about Mary, the mother of Jesus, the last week.  I keep thinking of her as a young woman...in my MIA maid class:)   I think she was about that age from what I have read.  They are so innocent and sweet, and I am certain she was too.  I think of her so young, and probably a little frightened, and then having to have her first baby in a barn.  It would have been very scary to me.  I am grateful to her and Joseph for raising a son that was so full of love and goodness.  I know He came that way, but I think they encouraged Him and made His example a center of their lives.   I am trying to do the same...to center my life in Him and His example.  I am not always very good at it.  And sometimes I forget and lose my cool.  But I keep trying.  It is my life long quest.  I think my favorite words in any song are, "He knows I will follow Him, give all my life to Him!  I feel my Savior's love, the love He freely gives me."  I hope I can keep those words foremost in my mind today and throughout this holiday season.
Well, here I go.  On with my day!  I hope your day is full of family and friends and good feelings for our Savior!  Remember, He loves you and knows you.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pullin' for ya!  Keep smiling!  We're all in this together!   HAVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Up on the Rooftop!

Buenos Dias!  I hope your day is going well!  Mine is just beginning.  I slept in a little today.  I think I was exhausted from yesterday:)  Mel and I did our Christmas shopping!  It was fun, but we were at it from noon until 7 last night.  We had several stores to visit, and he needed a haircut.  We also made a delivery for his business.  It was just fun to spend a day together.  Most of our gifts are hand made, but we wanted to get a few more things for the grandkids.  That was mostly done at the dollar store.  And it was crowded!  We had fun picking out stuff though.  We filled the basket!
Bay Window

Front porch, gazebo, and my side of the roof

The gazebo

Mel's side of the roof
Then last night we had KFC and then we worked on the gingerbread house together.  That was fun.  I don't know if Mel has ever done that before...but he is an excellent roofer.  My side of the roof is a little haphazard, but his is done with precision!  He used to roof houses when we were first married to earn extra money.  I guess it is something he learned from his dad.  I will include some photos of our little candy house.  It looks lots better than my photo from yesterday!  I think the kids will all have fun with it.  We like to quote the witch from Hansel and Gretel, "Nibble, nibble like a mouse.  Who's that nibbling on my house?"  And the kids nibble on it all evening.  Then we devour it on Christmas day.  But it is not all that good.  It is mostly fun to look at!  And it is one more tradition.
Today I am going to be finishing up a few paintings, baking pies, and doing laundry.  That laundry just keeps on going.  But with just Mel and I there isn't much.  I just want to make sure everything is clean for Christmas!  I think it is funny, because as soon as all of the kids arrive it will be chaotic!  But fun!  I think it is a little like starting with a clean sheet of paper.  It makes it all seem possible.
Well, I am hoping your day is going well.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Remember that Christmas is all about love and service and our dear Savior.  I feel Him close this year.  Keep smiling!  I am still pulling for ya!  Remember we're all in this together!  And HAVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gingerbread Houses and Other Disasters

Good snowy morning!  The snow is just right here...a beautiful fluffy blanket on the lawns and gardens, but clear roads, so you can still shop!  And I need to!  I counted yesterday and there will be 37 of us for Christmas eve!  And that is without Kenny and Cindy who are not venturing out after all.  Kenny is working Christmas day.  It's too bad, but I guess there will be some planes up in the air, and it is his job to make sure they are safe and don't run into each other.  But he will be missed!
And it is my job to make sure we have enough food in the house to feed everyone, so I will be taking a trip to the grocery store today.  But first I need to clean out the old food in the fridge and all of that.  I also am working on gifts today....and maybe the gingerbread house:)  Taylor and I got it together finally, but it is kind of a fancy one, and it has been hard to finish decorating.  At one point I was truthfully ready to throw it all in the garbage.  But Taylor talked me out of it:)  And it finally is hanging together.  It has a front porch with a gazebo and a bay window!  Yep, we should have just kept to a plain and simple house.  That is what I have always done in the past.  But I thought it would be fun to do a Victorian style house.  I was wrong!  I learned a lot though, and if I ever attempt it again I will give myself much more time and not invite children to assist until the structure is up and solid.  We knocked in the bay window several times, and the gazebo is still kind of hanging in there.  The worst part was the tools we were using.  I know a poor workman blames his tools, but the frosting kept leaking out of our frosting bags, and then we ran out of white and had to use the pink....it was a true disaster!

Ha, ha.  I know it really wasn't but it is fun to write about.  So a picture is worth a thousand words.  I hope this one gives you some idea.  I will take another picture once I have covered it in candy.  It really will make it look much better....I hope:)  I didn't mention that the windows are melted Jolly Ranchers!  They are very cool, but I don't think you can tell from the photo.  They look like stained glass.
I find I am really missing my school work.  I think I like all of the challenge of drawing with exactness. I wasn't feeling up to going to my watercolor class  last night.  Mel and I went to the Olive Garden instead.  It was what I needed after the gingerbread house disaster:)
Well, you have wasted another perfectly good minute reading this.    I thank you!  And I hope your day goes super well.  Keep smiling and I will do the same. Take care out there in cyberspace.  Remember I'm still pullin' for ya!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yikes!!!

Good morning!  It is still dark here.  One more day and then the days will start lengthening again.  I guess we are in the bleak, midwinter for sure.  I love that song!  I have a recording of James Taylor singing it and I listen to it a lot right now.
Well, my lesson went well yesterday, I think.  I was thrown a little when the TV I had reserved went to the Elder's.  I ended up with one that wouldn't play DVD's.  But after I got over the shock of that, with a nice prayer from one of my sweet young women, we had a lovely lesson and they each shared their feelings about Christmas.  The Nativity video went well too.  Luckily it was VHS.  It was a good lesson to me that things work out fine when you trust in the Lord.
The Women at the Well posters were up in the church.  They have been done well, and make my painting look pretty nice.  The colors all look nice together and the printing is done well.  I did feel a little funny as a few people came up to me with kind comments.  The best one was from one of my young women.  She said, "Sister Weyerman, your painting looks beautiful!  It doesn't look at all like a kindergartner did it!"  I have told them I felt like it wasn't much better than what a kindergartner would do:)  I guess I want it to look like a Carl Bloch painting....or at least Simon Dewey.  But I have a lot to learn before I get there.  In the meantime I will be happy with how things turned out.  I know I got a lot of help with it.  I just need to learn to be gracious now.  I have never been good at accepting compliments!
I have gingerbread dough in the fridge and by 10 am we should be able to roll out the dough and cook the remaining pieces.  Taylor is still asleep.  He was very tired last night so I think I will let him sleep as long as he will.  He has been such a delight!  He was cute at church...excited to see his old friends and sang in sacrament meeting with them.  He likes to go into the Bishop's office after church and get a piece of candy.  I think our Bishop is smart to have candy for the kids.  Taylor likes him a lot.  It warms my heart to have him in church with us.
Well, I have a bit to do this week.  Michelle and family will be here Thursday evening, Julie and her family on Friday.  So I need to be done with all of my gifts Thursday.  That gives me today, tomorrow and Wednesday....YIKES!  So much to do!  No I am not panicking....yet:)  At least the house is clean and decorated!  Now I just have to remember where I hid those presents I bought in July!  Luckily not many.
So I hope your day is going well.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  Remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  Keep smiling and HAVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Do Feel My Savior's Love!

Good morning!  I hope it is for you!  I am feeling much more rested and at peace today.  Yesterday turned into kind of a stress filled day.  It started when I didn't have shortening for the gingerbread recipe and I had to drive into town.  Then it continued as I realized I hadn't done anything special for my lesson today. I have been a little frustrated with it.  So I went online and got a few ideas and then drove one more time to the bookstore.  But they didn't have what I wanted.  So I went to DI to check out their books, and found quite a few for 50 cents....but none for my lesson.  In between all of this I was baking gingerbread and that sounds a ton easier than it really was.  Finally in desperation last night I had Mel go with me to the church library (he has keys) and we looked around until we found what I needed.  But when we came back home we found Max had eaten one of the gingerbread house roof pieces.  I had left it too close to the edge of the counter I guess.  So we couldn't put it together and decorate as we had planned.  Taylor liked that because now he can stay over tonight too and we will finish it tomorrow.  Sigh!  I feel like I have so little time to finish everything I had planned for Christmas.  I guess this is where I take a deep breath and tell myself one more time that Christmas is about our Savior and not my Hallmark/Currier and Ives/ Norman Rockwell ideas of one.  I always like everything to look perfect and all of the presents to be just fabulous and all of the rest.  But it won't be perfect if I am a frazzled, babbling, ball of nerves, so I will just have to do each thing well and not worry about what doesn't happen.



Wow!  It's gorgeous here!  The snow has done its magic in the night and everything is dusted in white.  So I guess I like a white Christmas after all.

Taylor
 I don't know if it will last until then.  It keeps raining in the daytime.  The roads are slick and scary.  On the way into town yesterday I saw three slide offs.  One looked really bad with the car turned onto it's side in a ditch.  Mel was a little worried about me driving in it, so he said he will come back for me for church today.  He is already at bishopric meetings.
So for my lesson today I am going to try something a little different.  First we are going to watch the video of the Nativity as we listen to "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant.  They go together perfectly.  And I love the thoughts of that song.  Then we are going to listen to some of the testimonies of the apostles and prophets.  Then I am going to bear my testimony of the Savior.  I may play a video here from when I was a baby that I put to "I Feel My Savior's Love".  I'm not sure about that.  And then I am going to let the girls share testimony.  I don't know if that will work.  So if I need to, I have a story to share.  I hope it all comes together.  It has been on my mind all week and I have prayed about things.  I just feel so responsible to these girls.  I want them to feel how much Jesus loves each of them.  It is the thing that gets me through those hard times in life.  I don't think I could do it without that knowledge.
Well, I have a bit to do before church.  I hope your day goes well, and that you know that the Savior loves you.  I have such a testimony of that!  Have a wonderful Sabbath day!  Melody  (and Taylor!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

White and Wonderful

Good blizzardish morning to you!  It is windy and white out my window this morning!  I knew it was coming, but it is still a little shocking.  I don't think I mentioned that I planted my spring bulbs (finally) last week in the warmer weather.  It was quite a stroke of luck that I could still get them in the ground.  I didn't plant them all though, so I will have to put some in pots when Christmas is past.  I love to have tulips and hyacinths in pots around the house when the winter wears on and on.
Geese

Taylor in the crowd excited to see us
Taylor waving
Last week when it was so spring like for a couple of days the birds at the lake were going crazy.  One evening in particular the sky was filled with thousands of geese all flying north from the Snake River towards the lake and the Boise River.  It was a little spectacular.  I tried to catch it on film, but didn't quite.  I will include a photo, but you will have to imagine the waves and waves of geese.
Yesterday's Christmas program went well for Taylor.  He was also happy to see his mom and I at his concert. He is spending the weekend here again.  We are making a gingerbread house today if all goes as planned.  It's a good day for it with the wind howling around the house.  It should be lots of fun.
Well, I hope all is going well in your neck of the woods.  I wish you well.  And I hope you can keep that smile going!  Take care.  Remember we're all in this together!   And HAVGW!!!  Melody

Aaron- trying not to look at us on Thursday



Friday, December 17, 2010

Fantastic Friday

Good morning!  I am up and at 'em, Atom Ant!  Remember that one?  I think it was a Saturday morning cartoon when my kids were growing up.  The ones I remember would date me I am sure...Rags the Tiger and Crusader rabbit comes to mind.  I think that was a Sunday morning cartoon show.   Maybe it was sponsored by a local church.  Speaking of cartoons, the sign downtown made me laugh out loud yesterday...cartoonist- an auto mechanic.  I suppose it is not new, but it was new to me and tickled my funny bone.
So this morning is another Christmas program...this time for Taylor.  It is a Christmas sing along and starts @ 8:45.  That seems early for a program to me, but I am glad because it won't be right in the middle of everything else.  And it will be fun to see another grandchild singing away.  Yesterday Aaron was soooo cute.  He didn't know we would be coming and through the first few songs he was very serious and concentrating on the songs.  But then he saw his mom and I and his whole expression changed.  First he was grinning, then he turned a little red.  Then he was trying hard not to grin, but he couldn't help it.  He was trying hard not to look at us, but you could tell it was so hard for him not to.  It made me glad to have made the effort to travel the hour to get to his school.  That was definitely a highlight for me this Christmas.
 He will be with his dad during our Christmas celebration here.  I think that is one of the harder parts of divorce...kids going back and forth between parents.
Well, I had better get going.  I just wanted to write a little to get my head on straight.  I hope your day is wunderbar!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Snowy Forecast

Buenos Dias!  It is a gorgeous day again!  I am getting excited to go walking again.  Yesterday I walked a little further and if there hadn't been deep mud I might have gone the whole distance on the canal.  As it is I just turned around and probably did the same distance....just no hill.  I think I need the hill:)  But the forecast is not promising with snow and rain in the next week right up until Christmas.  I guess that means we will have a white Christmas, so I should be happy about that.  Except I kind of prefer balmy skies and a trip to the beach:)  Ah well.  It is all good.  I will decide now to just enjoy it all.  And I will walk at the mall if the weather gets bad.   I have shopping to do anyway:)
This 
Or This
So last night waiting for Mel to come home I watched an interesting program about art history.  It made me think how fickle the world's opinion is of what makes good art.  And I decided I will just have to stick to what I love and not worry about what is in vogue, or even what other people think.  I guess I have been struggling just a bit with how much I love detail and accurate work.  And perhaps I have to master that before I can even pretend to be impressionistic or cubist or dada:)  Not that I like the last two.  But it was interesting to see how close the world of literature and art are.  I had not realized that before this program.
Another interesting thing I had not realized before that had nothing to do with that program, was how Handel had a stroke and struggled afterwards to write any music.  He wrote a few things that failed miserably and was very discouraged.  But then he wrote "The Messiah".  It made me think how important it is to keep keeping on.  Sometimes I feel so discouraged with art....like I need several lifetimes to be able to paint well.  But at the temple the thought occurred to me that the millennium is just around the corner.  It made me feel a little less discouraged.  I might be able to learn enough in a thousand years:)
So today I am addressing and mailing all of my Christmas cards.  I finally got the letter done to stuff inside of them.  I also will bake if I get that done.  I didn't ever get to that yesterday.  I had to run to the store and bank and ran out of time before mutual.
Today I am going to a school program for one of my grandkids.  I love to do that.  And maybe this year I can keep it together.  Last year I bawled through a couple of them.  I think I felt so bad for my grandkids having to go through their parents' divorce.  But things look so much brighter this year.  And they are all doing remarkably well, despite the bad turn of events.  I am glad for a brighter outlook on life this year!
Well, I hope your day is a wonderful, bright and cheery one!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Remember we're all in this together.  And keep that stick in the ice!  Remember I'm pulling for you!  HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Very Good Day to You!

Guten morgen!  Clear skies today for a wonderful change!  The horizon out my window which faces west is pink and gorgeous!  I am so grateful for a clear day after all of the rain and fog and even snow.
Well, I have a bit to do today, but I anticipate it will all go smoothly.  I had a very nice session at the temple last night.  It was very calming and reassuring.  Our ward had a chapel meeting beforehand and it felt like the things said there were just for me.  It was very special.  I would share but I feel like they were very sacred.   And it has made my outlook much brighter.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing and wonderful and I am so grateful for my Savior who makes even impossible seeming things possible.  The most wonderful of which is resurrection and eternal life.
So I am determined to finish my Christmas letter:), make Christmas cookies for the neighbors and families we visit, and make gingerbread for the gingerbread house Taylor and I plan to make this weekend.  It will go more smoothly if the gingerbread has a chance to harden before we put it together and decorate it.
Closeup
The whole thing
So I promised a photo of my moth drawing.  So here it is.  It is two moths and three push pins!  The pins look so real in the photo, but they are not!  I am just getting good!  Hahahahah!  Despite my teacher's former comment about the background being too dark, I got an A- on my portfolio.  So that feels very good.  Mel wanted to know what the minus was for.  So I told him she grades this way...A means distinguished and exceptional, B means very good, C is average and so forth.  I am so glad to have reached the A category even with a minus!
Sorry I am so slow to get this published this morning!  My visiting teacher dropped by.  She is such a nice person and has become one of my good friends.  She is so conscientious.   I think I can learn a lot from her!  She said her Christmas stuff is all done!  How would that be?  Sigh!  Maybe some day I will be telling people that.  But not in the near future!
 I am also including a sweet photo of Max.  He is such a good dog!  He loves to go on walks....and so do I which is what I am going to do now!  I hope your day is going well!  Keep smiling!  Remember I am pulling hard for you!  We are definitely all in this together!  HAVGW!!!   Melody

Max-the wonder dog!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wishing for Spring!

Our little chicks from last year 
Good morning!  Or maybe good day.  I am at this a little late today.  I have been working on loading all of my photos into my new computer.  It is a job I didn't anticipate yesterday.  But as I was writing our Christmas letter I realized most of my photos were on disks and not organized in any way.  So I have been loading and sorting.  I am almost done:) Then I can do things well.
I am including some spring pictures today.  It is still gray and gloomy here, although the sky is peeking through just a little.  I went on a nice long walk yesterday though and it really did help to dispel that sense of winter closing in.  I took Max and my iphone and it was really enjoyable.  For the first time I tried all of the songs shuffled.  It did feel like
Taylor throwing rocks into the canal last Spring
the songs that came up were being hand selected.  It was fun to guess what might come up next.  It kept me walking faster too I think.  And smiling!  I have so many songs now and I like them all and some really do make me laugh right out loud.
Today is the day I find out what grade I got for my drawing class.  I have some deliveries to make for Mel over in Boise so I will swing by the college and pick up my portfolio.  I am a little nervous about that.
Last night in my watercolor class I didn't do very well again.  We worked on Christmas cards....and I already have mine:)  So it seemed a little pointless.  And I was tired.  Tired from the day and not enough sleep the night before.  How do artists keep

Spring lambs from last year
going when they really don't want to draw or paint what they are assigned to do?  I don't know if I have the perseverance for that.  So it is good I probably won't have to work at this in that way.  But life is strange in its twists and turns.  I may end up working at some point, and I think I would like a job in art....unless I didn't like the subject matter:)
I still sound a little tired I guess.  I am feeling much better than yesterday.  I was a little frustrated in the morning trying to get things accomplished on the phone.  I hate how it is so hard to get to a real person anymore.  All I wanted was to get Qwest to explain to me how to set up our phone answering machine.  I finally did get a person and then it went
Spring blossoms
 very quickly.  The other thing I was trying to figure out was if I could get back the songs I had downloaded to my iphone from itunes.  When I was synching last time I lost several and I have watched their tutorials and read them and I still have no clue if I have to pay for them again.  It would be so nice to be able to call a person and just ask how to do things.  I guess I will go to the apple store and take a lesson today if I can.  At least there is a person to talk to there.
Well, I am talking nonsense and boring you to death I am sure.  As I am writing this I think I need another long walk!  I am feeling a little  down and pushed with all I have to do.  So I need to take a walk, look at my list and take lots of deep breaths as I tackle each thing.  I can do this!  I do it every year!  Sorry I have dumped, but hey, what's a blog for?
I hope your day is going well.  It can only get better here.  Keep smiling and I will do the same.  Remember we're all in this together!  HAVGW!!!  Melody
Dandelions-they'll be back!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What Shall We Give?

I really love this video.  It made me think "I want to share this with everyone!"  I hope you take a moment to watch this if you haven't already!  I thought it was a good reminder of what we can give...so much!  Be sure to turn off the playlist so you can hear the beautiful choir music!  TTTL  Melody

Merry Monday!

Good morning!  It's still dark out my window so I am hoping it is not so foggy.  You know how I said the sun was shining yesterday?  Well that didn't last long.  By the time church began in the afternoon we were socked in again.  The forecast calls for rain today and tomorrow turning to snow on Wednesday.  So I guess the fog will go away, but not the gray skies.  It is definitely winter here.  I guess I need to paint some green landscape.  Tonight is watercolor class, so maybe I can do that tonight.
Today I need to get a few things accomplished around here....my Christmas letter being the main thing.  I have it started, but it needs some time and attention from my day today.  I think I will make that my first goal.  I would really like to get that done.  Then I need to start on Christmas gifts...well not start.  I have some of them done.  But I wanted to give homemade gifts this year.  They always seem more meaningful to me, like giving a part of yourself.  My trouble is that I get a little too ambitious and think I can accomplish more than I really am able to finish.  So I have to pace myself.  Good luck with that!  My day is usually interrupted in unexpected ways.  Is everyone's like that?  I am not complaining, it's just hard to plan.
So I have to tell you a funny incident from yesterday.  I got my lesson all prepared and realized I had no hand out or treat and I had no time to bake.  So I went to the pantry to see what I could possibly hand out and the only thing I had was a container of Biscotti from Costco that I had bought a couple of weeks ago.  I was not thrilled to use them but I figured it was better than being empty handed so I brought them.  Well the girls were thrilled!  They thought it was an extra special treat.  Funny, huh?  I just think of them as dried biscuits suitable only for dipping in hot chocolate.  I suppose that is why they were still around after a couple of weeks.  I'm glad they were such a hit.  And I am grateful for such a sweet group of girls.  They are amazing!
Well, I hope your day is full of fun and that the sun is shining where you are.  If not, just keep smiling.  I realize more and more how that is almost as good!  I have yet to see a smile I didn't like!  And they are so contagious...better than a yawn!  So keep your smile going, your stick on the ice, and remember I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!!  HAVGW!  Melody

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Merry Little Sunday

The cozy part
Good morning!  The sun is shining here today!  It has been foggy and overcast for quite a while, so the sunshine is wonderful!!!   And I am feeling good.  I love Sunday, even when I have a lesson that is not quite ready.  I know that it will be soon, and I can be at peace with that.   Today it is on financial responsibility.  I am a little surprised.  I am sure I never had a lesson about money when I was in mutual.  Except on tithing, but even that was very simplified.  I think it is good to teach some basic principles to young people.  I had to figure it all out after I left home, and I have never been really terrific with money.  I tend to be a little compulsive and I rationalize well.  But this lesson is for me too.  I am sure it will be a good one.
I am also feeling good that the house is finally clean and decorated.  It feels so cozy and festive and I enjoy just sitting in the front room and enjoying the ambience:)
.
The garland



Our naughty or nice elf

Lenox from my mom
I found some old shiny garlands that I inherited from my mom.  They are from the sixties and Mel wasn't sure we should use them.  They are gold and glittery and a little over the top.  But I love them.  They bring back memories of my mom.  She always loved Christmas, and each year she would purchase one or two more things to make it a little more special. I remember that these shiny garlands were a big deal when she bought them...new and different and expensive.  And I can see her expression of delight when she put them on our tree.  So for me the garlands are an expression of my mom and I look at the tree and see her here.  I miss her soooo much.  So it is nice to feel her a little closer.  I also have a few of the figures from her Lenox manger scene.  I am planning to add more when I can afford it.  The little Christmas tree salt and pepper shakers are from our son Tommy...his last Christmas present to us...and more valuable to me than any Lenox or even gold!
The tree
Well, I had best get on with things here.  I hope that your day is merry and bright!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Remember I'm still pulling for you!  And HAVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Rush

Good morning!  I am running today!  It started early when I woke up at 3 and couldn't fall back asleep.  So I read for a couple of hours until I felt tired again.  But unfortunately I got up late...8:15...remembering suddenly that we had choir practice this morning.  So we hurried off to choir and sang our little hearts out!  I love Christmas music!   We just got back a little while ago and finally had breakfast.  I was not that hungry this morning.  Now we have a list of things to accomplish before we have friends arriving this evening for a little get together.  Busy, busy.  It's definitely Christmas time.
Last night's clarinet piece went pretty well.  My friend Jodell accompanied me on the piano and it sounded fun and jazzy I hope.  Anyway it is over.  I used to be sad that they didn't allow clarinets in sacrament meeting.  Now I am a little relieved.  It is a nervous thing to play in front of people!
Well, I need to get going.  I hope your day is wonderful out there in cyberspace!  Take care and keep your stick on the ice!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Friday, December 10, 2010

Remembering....some more!

Good morning!  There's a storm blowing in today.  The forecast said mixed rain and snow here in the valley.  But snow in the mountains.  That should make the skiers happy.  I think they are having a good year.  And I am having a good morning so far.  And yesterday was a wonderful day.  I didn't get the decorations up, but I cleaned really well, so I am ready to decorate today.  There is just one minor problem.  Last night when we went for tithing settlement we noticed that they were decorating for the ward party, so we stopped in to talk to the people in charge and see how it was going.  The lady in charge looked soooo tired and she said she hadn't gotten enough people to decorate the tables and she had several undecorated.  So I told her I would bring some more decorations and table cloths, which I did.  Mel helped and we decorated a few tables.  But there were still more to do, so we pulled out everything I had brought (just in case).  We got all of the tables decorated and beautiful.  It really felt good.  But now I am going to have to wait 'til after the ward party tonight to decorate my own house:)  Pretty funny, but no big deal really.  I did keep the tree ornaments here...and the tree, so I can work on that today.  And Max (the dog) has a hair appointment today, so I will be running him back and forth.  And I need to work on our Christmas letter and start addressing cards.  But I am enjoying all of this.  And I am excited for Christmas eve.  I think all of my kids will be coming home...and I think they are all planning to spend the night on Christmas eve.  I am not sure where everyone will sleep, but we will figure it out.  It will be so much fun to all be under the same roof again....and to all wake up on Christmas morning together.  Last Christmas it was just Mel and I and it felt so strange!  I prefer a house full of family.
So here is another tradition we have.  On Christmas eve we have a program...kids and grand kids share talents, we reenact the nativity and read from Luke.  Then Mel reads "The Polar Express"...I love that story!  Then we all gather in a circle and hold hands and agree that we will always believe...not just in Santa, but in the Savior and His great gift to us all.  Then we pass out jingle bells tied on a ribbon for everyone...to wear as a necklace and help us remember.  It is fun to hear the bells jingling around the house.  I love this tradition, so I am happy to be able to do it again this year.  I got the idea of the story from Sister Ardeth Kapp.  It was in the Ensign one year I think.  
Christmas is a wonderful time, but it can also be a hard time.  I hope it is a good time for you this year.  I know that the best Christmases we have had were not the ones with lots of stuff under the tree, but they were the ones with lots of giving on our part.  The best tradition we started about ten years ago or so.  We write everyone in our family a love note.  I think it has been the best thing we have done to cement those relationships between family members.  It is not always easy to get done with the rush of everything else.  But it helps to emphasize how much we care for each other. And it is wonderful to have those letters to read and reread throughout the year.
Well, I had best get going.  I hope your day is wonderful and full of inspiration and mirth:)  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Remember I'm pullin' for ya!  We're all in this together!!!!  HAGW!!  Melody

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Laughter

Hola!  I am excited to have a day without any pressure to get anything done:)  I hope that happens in my lifetime!  I think I had a lot of them when I was little.  I am grateful for that.  I remember quite a few summer days with nothing else to do but hunt for blue bellied lizards.  Today I have a house to clean and decorate, a clarinet to practice for tomorrow night's ward party, laundry, and tithing settlement.  It should be busy but fun.  I love to decorate for Christmas.  I miss having kids to help though.  One of our fun traditions that we started when grandkids lived here was an elf that would hide in a different place each night.  Taylor loved looking for him each morning.  He was one of Santa's elves and was on the look out for good and kind children.  He noticed hugs and smiles and children getting along with each other.  Then Christmas eve he disappeared to go and report to Santa.  We had lots of fun with him.  I will put him on a high shelf, just in case any grandkids come to visit.
This morning I had a dream I was trying to start the lawn mower.  And I was planting a vegetable garden.  I guess I am already anxious for spring.  Yesterday Mel made a comment about how you could already see spring popping out all over.  He was joking of course.  Everything is rather bleak looking.  It is not fluffy white anymore.  The rain has melted most of the snow and it is just kind of brownish....with fog this morning.  I am glad I don't have to drive in it.  And I am grateful for a warm house with plenty of food and heat!  And electricity!  What a blessing that is!  I think our little episode yesterday morning has made me determined to take an inventory of things around here.  I need to refill all of the water containers, and check to make sure we have candles, and lamps and plenty of matches...easily available.  We spent about five or ten minutes just locating things in the dark.  The candles were all in a high cupboard that I had to use a step stool to reach.  That's not very good planning.  I think we have flashlights somewhere too, but we never did locate any except for the cell phones.  It might be good to have one on my nightstand.
I am over my cold!  That's wonderful.  I still have a little tickle in my throat, but other than that I feel grrreat!  So I think I will turn on some Christmas music and get going.  I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  Keep smiling and remember the real meaning of Christmas.  I am so grateful to have taken our quick little trip to see the Bloch paintings!  I think of them all of the time.  And the lights on temple square! And my sweet grandchildren.  I laugh every time I remember Nick thinking the bell tower was a guillotine.  Children keep you laughing!  I hope your day is filled with laughter!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Living in the Grid

Good afternoon!  I have had a few lessons today.  The first one had to do with being prepared.  I woke up at 3 and couldn't fall back asleep, so I worked on my moth still life until about 5:30.  That was a good thing because about 6 our power went out.  I had thought I might just go in late to class and finish the still life, but I had no light to work, so that wouldn't have worked.  I felt grateful to have it mostly finished.  But getting ready for school was a chore.  I am grateful for cell phones...especially the flashlight application.  It was a lifesaver!  At least I could see a little to get ready, but without power we have no pump to the well.  So we have little water...just what is already in the water heater and pipes.  So no shower and no electric curling iron...no hot breakfast...a lost contact that I finally found when Mel brought in the hurricane lamp.  I think my makeup went on a little crooked too.  I wore a hat to cover my awful bushy hair, put on a heavy coat and drove to school.  At least the car has lights and I could see my way to school:)
The second lesson was: fixing a drawing is like telling a lie...it just seems to get worse and worse.  I tried to lighten the background in my latest still life because of a comment my teacher made.  I should have just left it alone because it seemed to get worse and worse as I tried to lighten it and then smooth it out.  The moths still look great, so hopefully I won't get a terrible grade on it.  And the teacher liked my other two drawings. So we shall see.  Darn, I was really hoping to pull my grade up with this last portfolio.  I forgot to take a picture of the moths, so I will when I get it back next week.
The third lesson of the day was that friends are wonderful!  I went to my bookclub's Christmas party...at least the last hour of it.  It was so good to see these friends I have known over the last 25 years.  They are dear and kind and expressed their gladness that I made it there.  It was so fun to hear their Christmas stories and to look into their sweet faces and think,"I do have wonderful friends!"  I am grateful for good friends!
And I guess the best lesson was joining my daughter for lunch and realizing I have a wonderful family!  And isn't that what life is about?  Loving family and friends who support us and keep us going even on a less than perfect day.  Thank you one and all!
So now I guess I will be on Christmas mode.  It feels very good to have school over for a few weeks.  And a little weird.  I have been drawing most of my free time for the last few months.  I suppose I could keep at it, but we shall see.  I have a very long shopping list!  And a house I still haven't decorated.  And I need to take a shower!!!!!  {;0)  I hope your day is going well out there in the world of cyberspace.  Keep smiling! Think of all of the funny stories we will have to share when this life is over!  Amazing!  And in the meantime I will continue to share a few of mine!  HAGW!  Melody

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rubyish Tuesday

Good morning!  It is still foggy and cold here today.  I guess we have a bit of an inversion.  It is not as bad as when we lived in Manteca, CA.  The fog and smog would get so socked in and not leave for weeks.  Here the longest has been a couple of weeks, and usually it is only a few days before a new system blows it away.  The fun thing to do during an inversion is to drive up to the ski resort and enjoy the sunshine while looking down at the top of the inversion.  It looks a little like an ocean of clouds.  Or I love to drive to Garden Valley and swim in the hot pool up there...it usually does not share in our inversions.  And it is fun to swim in a warm pool and look out at the pine trees in the snow.
I have no time for either of those today though.  I have a board meeting for YW this morning.  And it was promised to be a lengthy one.  Then I need to draw some more.  This still life is challenging to me.  The moths are large and complicated, and then there is all of the shadowing.  I wouldn't want to forget that!  I wish I was quicker at this, but I suppose that comes with experience.  I was still sketching things in, while the young girls next to me had started with the harder stuff.  I know, I shouldn't compare myself.  But I do hope eventually I can work a little more confidently.  It would really have helped yesterday to have a right angle.  It took me forever to draw in the rectangle and square of the background.  Our teacher wanted them to be exact of course.  I will miss her as a teacher.  I hope my teachers next semester can help me as much as she has.  I have learned exactness and the importance of shapes and detail from her.  And I have gained some confidence in my ability to do things.  And I am beginning to believe I can draw anything again.  I lost that talent when I buried it in the laundry and dishes I think.  But it is coming back and I am so thrilled. I hope I can learn the skills that go with painting, and then I will be able to paint the things of my heart.  Maybe never as well as Carl Bloch, but as well as Melody is able in the years left here on earth.
Well, I'd better get going.  I hope your day is joyful and filled with goodness today.  Remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAVGW!!!  Melody