Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!!

Good morning!  Today is the last day here in Arizona :(  And the last day of 2011!  Sure seems strange to think it will be 2012 tomorrow.  I guess I never expected to live this long.  Not sure why, but I always thought I would die young.  I guess that opportunity has slipped on by:)  Not that I mind.  I really do like living here on earth.  It has been quite an experience.  And I hope it continues for some time!
The wedding reception last night was rather spectacular.  It was held at the bride's parents' home...and what a home it is!  And I don't think I have ever seen more decorations!  They even decorated the swimming pool, which was quite beautiful.  They had large candles lined up all around the pool with fancy glass coverings on each one.  All lit they looked a little other worldly.  The whole backyard was decorated with lights and Japanese paper lanterns and hanging crystal strings.  The tables were plentiful and then there were outside standing heaters that were welcome as the temperature began to cool.  I would post a picture, but I don't have a connection cord for that.  But it was very beautiful.  The only thing they were missing was a live band:)  Did I tell you that for my wedding reception, my dad's friend Tom Hart put together a jazz band and played for free?  It was amazing and wonderful I thought.
Well, I guess I had better get on with the day.  I hope all is well out there in cyberspace!  Take care and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Friday, December 30, 2011

Short note

Buenos Dias! I am sitting in the backyard at Norms house. It is so nice...70 degrees here in the shade. This really feels like a vacation! The wedding was beautiful. I love temple weddings, and it was especially nice. Now we are just waiting for the reception this evening. So no pressure for us. I feel for the bride's family. I remember how stressful it can be.
It's funny...everyone out here, Mel, Dad, and Rob and I all have iPhones and we were all texting or blogging for a while. So funny.
Well not much to report. Hope all is well out in cyberspace today. Take care. HAGW! Melody

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Checking In

Well, here we are in sunny Arizona!  It is so warm and pleasant.  And we are having a lovely time...if you discount the fact that we arrived here minus our luggage.  But we spent the morning figuring that all out and now we are here with our luggage.  Tangarines are in season right now, and Norm has lots in his backyard, so we are enjoying the fresh squeezed juice.  Yummy!
Last night as we were flying we had a real light show!  We flew to SF and then on down the coast.  It was so beautiful with the ocean so black and the lights so bright.  Mel kept saying how much energy it must take to light up the earth like that.  And it made me think about all of the thousands of lives being lived down below us.  It is amazing!
I could tell you about the couple of guys sitting next to us on the plane that were so drunk, but I will spare you the details.  Just know we did not get any rest.  So today we are a little exhausted.  But despite all of the problems we still enjoyed the short trip....especially when the plane turned a little and I saw all of the stars so brilliant in the very dark sky.  I think that was the highlight for me.  I know...I really do like stars:)
Well, I hope things are good where ever you may be in the earth today.  Take care and keep smiling!  And HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Taking a Breather:)

Good afternoon!  I am excited today!  We are taking off for Mesa to see my brother.  We are flying, which makes me a little nervous.  But should be fine.  I am in the middle of packing right now....but thought I would take a short break and say, "Howdy!"  I still have dishes to do, and a load of towels:)  But other than that I am feeling pretty prepared to leave.  Oh, and taking Max to the kennel.  I almost forgot!
Hope your day goes well.  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today's Adventure

Hi again!  I think I need to blog because I am feeling a little discouraged tonight.  Not too bad, I just can't paint!  No, I just can't paint a beautiful watercolor of the Mesa temple.  And even that is probably not true.  But tonight I can't!  And it feels sooooooo.....bleh!  There:)  That feels better.
I have really had a pretty wonderful day today.  I should have just come home and relaxed in front of the TV or something.  But I really wanted to try to paint, so I guess it is good.  I will try it again later.  Maybe after I have gone and sat and sketched the Mesa temple.  It is hard to paint from other people's photos off of the internet:)
Earlier today I was really missing Tommy.  So I went and got Taylor.  And we had a marvelous day together.  First I took him with me to the mall to find a top for me to wear to the wedding.  Of course next we had to go to Build a Bear.  It is Taylor's birthday next week, so I figured that was a good excuse.  He picked out a puppy to stuff.  He would really like to have a real dog of his own.  I thought it was cute he named the puppy, Max.  So after that we went for lunch.  He is great company.  He loves to talk!  And he is full of information.  He told me all about the latest video game that he loves; his adventures for Christmas at all of his other grandparents; what he likes about everything; and he even read the kids' meal bag to me:)  We had great fun.  I asked him if he would like to go to a movie.  He said, "Yes, Alvin and the Chipmunks!"
 I kind of cringed at that and then I said, "How about 'Tin, Tin"?  He said that that was OK.  So we went to see it.  It was not as wonderful as I expected, but Taylor loved it.  I certainly loved parts of it.  I really liked the beginning animation introducing the credits.  And I was amazed at the graphics used to make the rest of the movie look so real.  But it seemed kind of long and boring in parts:)  However Taylor did not get bored at all.  He sat in rapt attention throughout the whole thing.  And he loved the 3D!  So it was worth it for him.
On the way out of the theater we went to one of those yogurt shops where you take a cup and dish up your own flavors and toppings.  That was probably a mistake.  I got about 6 ounces....Taylor had 15!!!!  I couldn't believe all that he had piled on his.  The man at the cash register thought it was really funny.  Of course it was good business for him.  I made Taylor take it home to eat it because I was afraid it was too close to dinner and I didn't want to upset Liz.  Pretty funny, huh?  I always think Mel gets a lot when his weighs 9 or 10, sigh!
Well, I am feeling better.  I really don't want to feel like I can't paint.  That doesn't help at all.  So I will just chalk up tonight's disaster as a practice session and go forward!  I have to remind myself that failure is the natural path to success.  You have to keep trying....so I will.  And maybe I will not be so hard on myself...at least I will try.  Have a great night! Thanks for listening:)  I am going to go and relax in front of the TV now:)
Melody

Guten Tag!

Good morning!  It is snowing a little here this morning!  That should make our farming neighbors happy.  They are very worried about no rain or snow for too long.  I on the other hand worry about driving around in it today.  But it is supposed to warm up and just be rainy.  I like rain much better than snow:)
And why am I driving around in it?  Well, I have a wedding gift to find, and I think I need a few things for our trip.  I am excited to go to Arizona.  It is supposed to be 70 there!  That will be a nice change.  And I haven't seen my brother and Cindy for way too long.  We share so many fun memories!  My favorites are: a water fight with enema syringes that Cindy got from her job at the ER; sliding down the snow hill near the elementary school with plastic dish pans because we didn't have sleds:); sneaking off for breakfast together at Lake Tahoe on our family reunion; watching Monty Python together and watching Norm roll on the floor with laughter:); traveling on the bus in Mexico and talking to the natives (Norm did the talking and translating).  The list goes on, but we have had some fun memories.  I wish we were staying longer, but Mel needs to be back for work.
Yesterday we went to the craft store so that I could get some watercolor masking fluid.  Mel dropped me off in front of the store because my knee was hurting, so I was in the store alone....dangerous!  I found the masking fluid, and then I thought that I probably should grab a cheap brush for applying it so I didn't ruin a nice brush.  While looking through all of the brushes, I found a really nice brush I have been wishing for....nice, flat, broad and good quality.  So I took it along to the checkout, not really noticing the price.  It ended up being a $40 brush!  I guess it is my Christmas present to me this year:)  Anyway, I am kind of anxious to use it.  I think it will do washes incredibly well:)  I hope so anyway.  It is good incentive to paint today.  I really do want to do that if I can find some time.
Well, I am flabbering again.  I am sorry.  I will work on finding something more interesting to write about.  I hope your day goes well out there in cyberspace today!!!  Take care and keep smiling!  I am definitely smiling!  HAVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, December 26, 2011

Whew! I did it!

Good morning!  The guys are off playing basketball at the church, so my day hasn't really started yet.  It's kind of nice being lazy this morning, but I will soon be fixing breakfast and then doing dishes....and laundry.  And I will be enjoying this last day of company.  Then it will be back to a more normal routine.
So looking back on this holiday the best things were: having so many of my children and grandchildren here together; watching the church videos about the birth of Christ, here's the link; relaxing and enjoying each other's company; and just feeling so well and happy.  I am truly blessed!
I was going to include a jib jab link, but I think the internet is too slow at the moment.  It is a funny ecard sight that you put your pictures in for a funny animated ecard.
Well, here I go...off to the kitchen.  I hope you have a wonderful day today!  Keep smiling, keep your stick on the ice, look both ways before crossing, and remember I am still pulling for you!!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!! Melody

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Present

OK, I know you must be bored if you're reading this.....sooooo, here is a Kid History link to the newest version.  I think it might make you laugh, just a little:)  My present to you out there in cyberspace:) Kid History 7  Merry Christmas!!  Melody

Son of God! Love's Pure Light!

Joyeux Noel! How fortunate that my two favorite days are the same today....Christmas and Sunday!  And it was especially nice starting the day out with a song....at church.  We sang Silent Night of course!  My favorite I think.  I especially like the verse that says, "Son of God. Love's pure light."  It is how I feel about the Savior.  I am so grateful for His birth!  And for His life!  He is the real reason for all of this celebration!!!
It was fun to sing to an audience that included two of my daughters and their beautiful families!  Afterwards we came back home to a yummy breakfast and lots of visiting before Julie and her family went to Randy's family's Christmas celebration.
So now things are much quieter.  Michelle and her family are still here, so it is not totally quiet.  I am glad.  It is always such a hard adjustment to go from noise and fun to complete silence!   She and Gary are staying til tomorrow night.  Then I will have to hustle to get everything done before we leave for Arizona.  I am hoping to paint on Tuesday.  I am feeling like I will lose all I have learned if I don't draw something. And I will take along my handy, dandy sketchbook.  I like drawing little sketches of people mostly.  So I think I will just try and do it more often.
So I am going to show off a couple more photos from yesterday.  Same people, just different expressions:)
Merry Christmas!!!!!!  I'm still pulling for you!!!
Melody


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!!!!!

The Women
Merry Christmas Eve!  What a fun and full day we have had here.  I persuaded everyone to pose for a picture.  But not everyone all together.  It was just tooooo hard.  But we thought we definitely needed a picture of the women.  It's not too often that we get to be all together...me and my five daughters.  And then the kids.  We had 22 here today.  We were only missing 5 of the grandchildren.  They are the grown up ones....and Gabe, who went to see his dad.  So quite a turn out.  And of course that left the men.  I had fun getting them to pose:)  What a wonderful group!  And it feels so good to have my family home.  The only one who couldn't make it was Kenny.  But he came for Thanksgiving.  He had to work today and tomorrow.  I guess someone has to keep those planes up in the air!  (He is an air traffic controller)
So we have all eaten our fill and most have gone on home.  Julie and her family are still here.  And Michelle and Gary too.  They are all coming to church with us in the morning.  That will be fun!!!!!
Well,  I am hoping this finds you well and happy and celebrating the most important birth in the history of our world.  I can tell you that we are here.   May you always have His spirit to guide you!!!  And HAVVVMC!!!  Melody
The Children (22 in this picture!)

The Men

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry, Merry, Merry!!!!!

Good morning!  It is still morning, isn't it?  I got up early and have been running ever since, but I just can't stay away from blogging.  I gotta say, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!"  It finally feels like it is going to really happen.  I saw this picture by Greg Olsen on Facebook and thought I would share it here.  It is very sweet I think.  And I like the way Mr. Olsen paints.  I hope I can learn to paint as well.  I really like how he treats light.
So here is the final link to the doggy days. Day 12  I think it is funny how those dogs look so calm and unruffled.  Even the mom:)  I am trying!:)
In other news: today is the birthday of Joseph Smith.  He was the prophet who restored the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ back to the earth.  Here is a link to find out more about him if you are interested.  Joseph Smith  He was an amazing man.
Well, I hope you have a most wonderful day out there in cyberspace!!!  I'm still pulling for you!  Take care!!!  Keep smiling!  We're all in this together!!!  Melody

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Breaktime!

So here is day 11 of the puppies!  Day 11  I love this because it is what I feel like!  Everything done so quickly!  But I am almost done.....yay!!!  Just taking a break.
What do I have left to do?  Well...I need to wrap presents, shop for a nice ham....or maybe a prime rib.  (I always do this to myself at the last minute.  I start changing my mind about things.  I think I'd better stick with ham:)  Then I should probably make some pie... and a cheesecake.  I love cheesecake when it is homemade.  And it wouldn't hurt to make a nice list of all of these things, because it is making me BONKERS!
So today when Mel came in for lunch he was talking about how he had to take turns with Adrian running a mold.  They have a mold running right now that is particularly tedious.  You have to open and shut the machine and pull out the core for each part....I am not going to try to explain that.  Anyway, yesterday Adrian didn't come in so Mel had to do that all day long and was exhausted by 7, when he finally called it quits.  I said, "I know that is hard, but at least today you can spell each other."  Mel replied, "E-A-C-H-O-T-H-E-R."  I didn't get it for a minute.  I guess my mind is not so quick as his:)
It is hard to come up with funny things.  Here is a link I found and like that might make you laugh. Frogger
Well, I better get that list made.  I hope you enjoyed the break.  I did:)  Melody

Still Smiling!!!

Buon Natale!  It is getting close!  And I am happy it is.  I feel much better since I got the shopping done.  I am almost through with decorating, but for some reason it is harder this year.  Oh well.  It is coming along. I am feeling less overwhelmed with everything...which is good.
This morning as I was sitting here at my computer I saw a reflection that looked for a second like Santa's sleigh flying by.  But then I realized it was a flock of geese.  That is a more common occurrence here, but just as welcome.  I love all of the wildlife we get out here.  We see so many birds!  There is a field down the road where a couple of herons like to be.  And in the same field there are a couple of really large hawks.  They kind of mingle with the cows.  It is strange to see.  Living out here I sometimes take for granted all of the beauty that we witness every day.  But we are very blessed to be where nature is still allowed to flourish.  I think it must have been a more beautiful world before the industrial age.  But I know that sickness was much worse...especially before the invention of antibiotics!  I took a class some years ago about grieving, and there was a funeral director that was also taking the class.  He said that most deaths before the invention of antibiotics were children.  That made me so sad thinking of all of the children and their sad families. But enough of the sad!!  I think I have been fighting it a little since I painted my Tommy painting.  I still miss him so much, and especially at Christmas time!
I guess I'd better get back to the decorations.  There isn't much left to do.  I am hoping I have a little time to paint today.  I think I need the therapy:)  Well, here's hoping you have a wonderful day out there in cyberspace!!!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  And I will keep smiling if you will:)  Take care!!!  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eeeeeeek! (Not kidding!)

Breath of Heaven  This is to keep us all on the right page:)
Good morning!  I finally have a Christmas tree up...and all of the lights work!  So now I am rearranging furniture to accommodate 41 people for dinner on Christmas Eve.  Eeeek!  How did we get to be so many?
I am not complaining, I just wish I had more room!
Today I am decorating, and buying presents, and....I think that is plenty!  Here is a link to the dogs...Day 10.  They are ahead of me.  They are wrapping presents!
Well, I can see I have nothing much to share.  So I hope your day goes well...lots of fun and inspiration and family and neighbors dropping by with gifts of love.  Take care and HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tooting my own Horn!

Good evening!
A- in Printmaking!  So maybe I will be on the Dean's list again:)  Boy, I sure love getting good grades.  It feels like high school again.  And an affirmation that I am doing what I should.
So, nothing more to report.  Have a nice evening!  Merry Christmas!!!!!  Melody

Aaaaack!!!! (Just Kidding!)

Hey there, hi there, ho, ho, ho there!  I have been a little busy today.  It all started with a school program that started early...8:45!  It was for Taylor and Gabe and very cute.  Santa Claus came!  And the fifth graders did a flashlight accompaniment to some very jazzy Christmas music.  I think they do that every year.  I enjoyed it, and Mel came too which was extra fun.



And then we came home to my still undecorated house:)  I know I said I was going to do everything yesterday, but instead I spent the time with my lovely daughter Kim...shopping.  I didn't get much bought, but she did, so that was good.  And we had a nice lunch and fun girl time.  I thought I would put up the tree last night, but then I remembered I had to fetch my paintings from school, so we spent the evening doing that...oh, and watching the movie, "The Help".  It was an excellent movie.
So today I was going to decorate, but I decided things were just too dirty.  Sooooo....Mel helped me and we shampooed carpets:)  That makes me feel tons better, because I don't like to decorate over the top of dirt.  So now I won't have to.  I think it has been a few years since we cleaned the carpets, and they were more than beginning to bug me.  We are only cleaning the main rooms today.  Maybe tomorrow I will tackle the bedrooms...but I seriously doubt it:)  Anyway, this can't be too interesting.
So....what is interesting?  I got two A's!!!  And a B...which I was expecting in oil painting.  The A's were in illustration and photography.  I still haven't gotten my grade for printmaking.  And I don't have any idea whether I will get an A or a B.  I am kind of on the border of the grade in that class.  So that was thrilling, eh?  What else?  Oh, here is the link to William Wegman's 9th day of Christmas...Day 9  I don't know about you, but I love these little funnies starring doggies:)
Well, that just about wraps it up (Ha, ha, ha!)  I hope you are having a lovely holiday season.  I am even though I am so terribly behind schedule.  I just keep thinking I may not have a whole lot more of these things....or I may have tons.  There is just no way to know I guess.  But I still love the season!  Just remember - keep your stick on the ice, keep smiling, and I'm still pulling for you!!!  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody
Gabe, Alexander, Taylor and their Grandma:)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Day of the Tree!

Good morning!  Today is the day of the tree...well, the fake Christmas tree.  I think it is supposed to be a Noble Fir of some kind or another.  I used to hate all of the artificial trees, but I am really liking mine these days.  It already has all of the lights on it, and snow, and it is perfectly balanced.  I remember my dad drilling holes into the trunk of the tree to stick branches in so that the tree would be perfectly balanced.  Of course those branches were always a bit fragile.  It did smell nice though.  I will have to get a Scentsy candle or something that smells like pine.
So besides cleaning and decorating I am also going visiting teaching this morning.  I have three ladies that I visit each month with a gospel message, some goodies, and lots of love and friendship.  I really enjoy this church calling.  And I love when my own visiting teachers come.  It is a little like the olden days when people actually visited one another instead of texting and tweeting.  I guess in the really olden days they visited even more, although when they found time for that with all of the other duties and chores is a mystery to me.  Maybe it is just in old Victorian age books that they do all of that visiting.
Sometime today I also need to come up with a brilliant idea for homemade gifts for the grandchildren.  I think between my artistic ideas and Mel's nifty CNC mill we should be able to come up with something special.  Although it feels a little like my brain is mush today.  Somehow we will come up with something.  Actually one of the best Christmases we ever had was when we were totally broke.  So we went to the lumber yard and picked out old scraps of lumber.  Then we went to Mel's work and used the machinery there to make Barbie furniture and also a doll house. I remember decorating the house with carpet scraps and wallpaper samples.  It was lots of fun.  The girls loved it.  And maybe Kenny and Tommy were little enough that they loved it too.  I think I got them Ken dolls so that they could be part of the group.  I remember sewing clothes for all of the dolls out of scraps of material.  The kids still remember that Christmas and talk about it fondly.
Well, I better get to it.  I hope your day is filled with the spirit of Christmas...or in other words the Spirit of Christ!  Take care and keep smiling!  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Balloons

Today has been a lovely Sabbath day.  I am still feeling so blessed!  I keep thinking of all of our sweet grandchildren and how very blessed I am to be a grandmother.  The speaker today in church was really good.  He talked about integrity and the importance of being honest with ourselves and of repentance.  It was an excellent talk, and made me think how I can improve.  But there was one thing he said that I have been thinking of since.  He said we all have situations where we find ourselves that we never imagined we would be.  I think he was talking of negative situations, but it made me think of a positive one. As a young person I never imagined myself as a grandmother of 27 grandchildren.  It really is an amazing and sobering thing.  And it makes me think I need to take more seriously the example I set.  I hope that I can be an example of goodness and courage and taking the road less traveled.  I know that I have many weaknesses, but I will keep trying to do better.

Yesterday we were all sitting in Michelle's front room watching the children play with balloons.  Naia was especially delighted with them.  We think she has probably never seen one before.  At any rate she was batting the balloons up into the air and laughing and chasing them.  Then she started batting the balloons in my direction.  I squealed to emphasize how much fun we were having.  So she squealed back and we batted the balloon back and forth a few times.  Then she wanted to be on my lap, and I was delighted because she has been a little withdrawn and not too anxious to be held.  Then as she climbed down off of my lap, she smiled and called me, "Grandma!" and threw the balloons back at me.  I don't know that I have ever loved being called grandma more than at that moment.  It is an English term and she is just learning English.  So it was very special, and I wanted to be sure to record it here so I won't forget.
Another thing that has occurred to me in the last few days is that I am recording things, not just for the internet, but for me too.  It is so nice to be able to read back and remember what happened when and all of the circumstances.  It will help when my memories fade even more than they are now.  So, one more reason to keep blogging.
Well, I just wanted to jot down a few important memories.  I hope life is treating you well.  HAGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wonder Land

Good evening!  It has been a wonder filled day here in my world.  We had a marvelous experience in the beautiful Twin Falls temple.  And I feel like my bucket was filled to overflowing today....or in other words, my cup runneth over!  Here are some of the pictures we took of the day's events after Josephine and Naia were sealed to their new mom and dad...Julie and Randy.
The Family
It is late, and I am headed for bed.  Just wanted to share a little of my joy today!   Melody

Naia with Julie


Sweet Josephine

Matthew:)




Michelle with two of her daughters

Friday, December 16, 2011

Number Two and Counting!

Good afternoon!  It is time for a break.  I just watched the seventh day of Christmas from William Wegman's sight.  Here it is if you haven't seen it yet.  Day 7  I love how the dogs seem to be inspecting the popcorn, when they are really just tasting the popcorn.  Pretty funny.  Of course I am easily amused!
So the sign on the other way from town...."Sarcasm - barbed ire".  That's a pretty funny one too.
I have finished writing my Christmas letter.  Why does this part of Christmas make me sad?  I know it shouldn't, but it always does.  I guess I would like to send a Christmas card to all of the people in the spirit world...and get one back of course.
So I am going to go finish addressing envelopes.  This feels like a three blog day!  Maybe I can find a good movie or something to distract me.  Take care!  Melody

Christmas is Coming!

Good morning!  I am excited today!  Julie and Randy are taking their sweet new daughters to the temple tomorrow to have them sealed to their family!  Their temple is closed in Ogden, and ours is in Boise, so they are taking them to the Twin Falls temple.  We are all going to meet there tomorrow and I am very pleased and happy for them...and us!  What a joyful thing it is to have a family sealed together for all eternity!  It is what gets me through the gloomy days when I miss Tommy too much.  I remember that he is sealed to us and that we will all be together again.  What a comfort that is to me.
This morning I have been working on a Christmas letter.  I am having fun with it, but I am also a little frustrated with it.  I guess it is that thing where I don't like to write about how fantastic everyone is.  It just doesn't seem that gracious to do.  And not always too honest either.  But I know that many of our relations and friends do not have any clue about how our family is doing, so I feel obligated to tell them at least a little.  Sigh!  I guess I just wish they would read my blog:)
After I finish with the letter my goal is to get them all mailed.  If I do nothing else today it will be OK....although I am hoping to get lots more done today.  We shall see how it all stacks up.  Deep breaths!!!
Well, this is mostly to wish you a happy day and keep smiling!  So have a happy day...and keep smiling:)  It is a glorious day here today...sunny and chilling!!  It was 16 degrees this morning when I woke up.  Oh well, I really have a nice, warm house.  Yesterday we had the repairman out to fix the pellet stove and it is wonderfully warm now.  I think we always have some appliance that needs repairing right before Christmas.  It kind of puts the damper on buying too many gifts.  Maybe that is a good thing.  Take care!!!  And HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, December 15, 2011

After

Good evening!  I have a few funnies for you tonight.  The first is the sign downtown.  Are you ready? "Wind - like air...only pushier!"  Pretty funny, huh?  The next is William Wegman's 6th Day of Christmas.  I love when Batty is frosting the cookies!  Day 6
My day has gone well today.  The photography critique was OK.  I find in that class that I am outclassed!  There are about five students in there that are FANTASTIC photographers.  But it makes the critiques fun because their work is so outstanding.  So once my pictures were out of the way, I sat back and really enjoyed seeing what others had done.  One of my favorites was a series of photos taken right out here by our lake.  The scenes almost looked painted, they were that beautiful!  Another had done beautiful pictures of a chair:)  One chair done in lots of different settings.  Sounds a little cliche I know, but she is a genius with light and color.  She has her MFA from University of Arizona, and I guess she is living here now so she is getting a photography degree from BSU.  Another student does photography for the university paper, and he always takes beautiful stuff.  He had been to Las Vegas and taken a series of pictures inside a new casino there and then of a creek out in the desert.  The photos were amazing, but he also presented them in a layered way that was very interesting.  I guess I am always impressed at what others can do with the same teacher and tons more experience:)
After the critique I helped clean the printmaking rooms.  It was actually kind of fun.  A lot of people showed up so we were done in a couple of hours.  Then on my way out to my car I saw my painting teacher for next semester.  We always smile and nod at each other in the hall...I'm in that building all of the time and so nod and smile at most everyone in there.  Anyway he said something like, "Enjoy the break."  So I told him I would be seeing him next semester as I would be in his painting class.  And he answered, "How wonderful!"  So that made me feel good.
Mel and I just watched the Republican candidate debates....again.  It seems like there have been more than the usual amount.  But that is good I guess.  I sure like Mitt!  But I found a lot that was said was very interesting.  I was a little concerned with the threat of drug cartels from the south.  That scared me when we were in Mexico.  But enough of that!  This is not a political blog!
I did get Christmas cards today.  I picked up a couple of grandsons to help me:)  They were so cute. We went to Costco and they had a ball!  First we looked at the available Christmas cards.  Gabe picked out some with a puppy on the front:)  Then we looked at all of the toys, and I let them pick out one each of the cheaper ones.  Then I took them both to the barber...a grandma's prerogative at times.  They looked so handsome!  We all had fun!  I am excited to have a whole month with no school.  I think I will try to spend more time with Taylor and Gabe...and Elle, Aaron and Sebastian too.  I guess I am feeling a little grandmother deprived lately.
Well, I guess I just had to report my day.  I hope your day has gone well out there in cyberspace.  It is certainly speeding on by.  Take care and keep your stick on the ice!!!  Melody

Last Day

Good morning!  Today is my last day of finals.  Well, final.  I have my photography critique today.  And it is my photos of grandkids....Hailey, Taylor, Gabe, and baby Alex.  I feel pretty good about them...the kids and the photos:)  Here are the best four.

I am hoping my teacher likes them too:)
Then after that critique I have a three hour session in the printmaking lab....cleaning up.  I hope everyone else shows up.  I think it might be voluntary from the way the teacher talked, which may mean only a few of us do all of the work.  It's been a pretty good class though, so I suppose most people will show up.
And then after that....it's Christmas!  I will stop and pick up Christmas cards on the way home.  That will give me a project for this evening.  Then tomorrow I will pull down all of the boxes containing the Christmas decorations.  I am kind of excited!  I love Christmas!  But I have really been largely ignoring it because of school.  So it will be a rush....literally!!  I still have all of the presents to buy.  And wrap.  And dinner to plan, and buy, and cook:)
So that is my day...and week I guess.  How are things at your house?  Fun and exciting I hope.  So take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together after all.  Keep up the grinning.  I am definitely grinning from this side of the internet!  HAVVVGW!  Melody

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Friends

Good evening! I received this from a friend today and thought I would pass it along. I thought it was beautiful! And it is how I feel about my friends, too.

FRIENDS 

By 
Arthur James Hayden 

If nobody smiled, and nobody cared, 
And nobody helped us along; 
If every fellow looked out for himself, 
And the good things all went to the strong; 
If nobody cared just a little for you, 
And nobody thought about me, 
And we stood all alone in the battle of life, 
What a dreary old world this would be! 

Life is sweet because of the friends we love, 
And the things that in common we share; 
And we want to live on, not because of ourselves, 
But because of the people who care. 
It’s giving and doing for somebody else---- 
On that all of life’s splendor depends; 
And the joy in this world, when you’ve summed it all up, 
Is found in the love of our friends.

Have a wonderful night!  Melody

The Afternoon of a Melody:)

Hi again!  I am home and it feels very good!  The critique went well.  I had a friend in the class read my paper so I wouldn't cry again.  It's so ridiculous that I still get so emotional.  I could feel myself shaking even as she read the paper.  So my guess is that it is probably good therapy...it always kind of hurts to talk about painful experiences out loud.  My teacher talked about the good process I went through to paint the painting.  He thought I should have indicated a stronger light source on the hands, but thought I did well in rendering the sinews, etc.  He laughed out loud and said the statement that it was not cliche was directed at him....and yes, it was:)  So all in all it went pretty well.  The other paintings were remarkable.  The critique for the whole class went from 8 am to 12:10, so I was late for the book club luncheon.  But I was still able to visit with my friends, and to see the retirement home that my widowed friend Joann has moved into.  It made me a little sad for her.  She says she still feels like that 18 year old is still inside, even though her body is probably 80 something now.  But she is making the best of it all.  She is a bit feisty and I think that will work in her favor.
So I am home.  How lucky I am to have a home.  I do feel very blessed.  And I hope for all of the world to have a home.  It is so sad to think of children rooting through garbage to find a bit of a meal, and I know that they do in many places in the world.
But I am not going there today.  I have already had a rather emotional day.  I will just say that I am glad to be done with that class, and after tomorrow's final, with this semester.  Yay!  It feels very good.  So....I think I am going to go be lazy for a couple of hours.  And then I will get back into the routine:)  I hope your day is going well.  It's a wonderful life!  Take care.  I got a note from my cousin, Steven today.  He is the astro-physicist.  His final comment was..."Every day is a miracle for each and every one of us."  I HEARTILY agree!!!  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody
P.S.  Don't forget to watch the 12 Days of Christmas on William Wegman's Facebook page!!Day 5

A Good Merry Day to You!

Good morning!  I am rushing off to go to my oil painting critique.  I am not looking forward to this.  But if I endure it well, there is book club afterwards...unless the critique goes for too long.  I hope it doesn't!  I haven't seen these wonderful friends for too long!  The meetings are always on Wednesday mornings, and I always have a class on Wednesday mornings.  But today it doesn't start until 11, and then a luncheon afterwards.  They are not discussing a book...but reading Christmas stories.  They are always so inspirational that I hope I don't miss it.  The critique starts at 8.  Three hours ought to be enough time to discuss a class full of paintings.
Well, just dropping in to wish you a wonderful, merry, inspired day!  Keep your stick on the ice!!!  I'm pulling for you!!!!!  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Artistic Statement - It's Required:(

Hi again! I have been writing my artist critique for my "Tommy" painting and decided I should probably share it with the world of cyberspace, since I have already shared the painting. Anyway, here it is in it's entirety. You don't have to read this, but it might help if you are trying to figure out why in the world I have painted what I have painted.

I will include the image just in case this is your first time on this sight:) "When I started this painting I thought I would paint something about global warming and the need for cleaner power. I had an article about how shipping routes could be cleaned up and be a source of cleaner emissions if they would use a cleaner burning fuel. But as I thought about ships and shipping routes it brought back a memory I had when my son, Tommy, was in the hospital at UCSF. He was in intensive care and we were only allowed in his room for about 15 minutes every couple of hours. So we spent a lot of time in the hallway waiting for the opportunity to visit with him. And while we waited we watched the ships coming into the San Francisco harbor. The ships were huge and the waves went over the whole vessel as it fought its way into the harbor through the rough patch of waves. It was beautiful, and was a memory I had tucked away neatly within the painful memories that surrounded it. Thinking of the ships then made me think of Tommy and I thought it was probably time to face those memories in a constructive way.
So I went through the box I have kept of Tommy’s things and pulled out a few of his drawings, an old calendar, an article I had published in the National Candlelighters Newsletter of how I coped with his death, and a few books that were his favorites, and made copies and pasted them onto the canvas. I also wanted to carry on the theme from my last painting in some way. My last painting was of two hands clasping from fire and ice. It represented how friendship can pull a person out of depression into warmth and light. Anyway, I thought with this painting I would have a couple looking at ships coming in from the sea, but thought that it was not a very clear way of conveying my meaning. So I thought about it some more and decided I would use hands to represent the relationship of marriage and how it strengthened and helped me through the hardest experience of my life. I do not think this image is cliche. I know few married couples who have endured what we have endured and stayed together. And marriage seems to be down played in our society and undervalued in this generation. I want to convey how important it has been in my experience.
In describing the content of the rest of the painting I will tell what I was thinking when I painted them. The large C painted on Tommy’s stomach he painted in his self portrait and it meant “cancer”. He painted it on his stomach because that is where he had a large tumor. I accented it with orange oil paint. The sign that starts, “No N” was a memory of a sign he painted for his hospital door. It read, “No Nasty People”. It was meant to keep all of the nurses and student doctors out of his room. He was tired of all of the poking and prodding. Tic Tac Toe was a game we spent a lot of hours playing in the hospital. The map of the continents is loosely representative of the carbon dioxide emissions from shipping throughout the world and is a reference to the declining condition of our atmosphere and pollution in general which I believe contributes to cancer. It also represents the mapping of my own experiences in the world.
In painting the images I have used transparent methods, and opaque methods on the hands and sleeves, with hints of impasto in small amounts. Since my painting is about marriage and its strength I wanted to make the wedding ring stand out and so I used white and yellow paint and impasto technique on the stone. The colors I used are primary and secondary colors. I also used black and white to contrast and become a predominant part of the painting. I used bolder highlights in the storybook pictures and Tommy’s self portrait.
In conclusion I think I have accomplished what I intended, which was to represent the bond of love and strength that I share with my husband, our son’s fight with a terrible disease and my own survival….something I was not sure I could do. I hope that this gives some insight into what I was thinking as I painted this artifact.
I hope I haven't bored you too much:) Take care! Life is challenging! But it is worth it!!! Sweet Dreams! Melody

Unto Us a Son is Given

Good morning!  I, I, I.  Sorry.  I should write about other things, huh?  Like the terrible calamities throughout the world, or the level of CO2 that is building up in the atmosphere, or the rise in crime.  But alas, I can't.  It would send me into a very deep depression, and I have learned that that is definitely no fun.  So I will continue to write about my rather plain and boring existence:)  Well, maybe not that plain and boring.  For instance, last night I finished Frank!  Can you believe it?  Neither can I.  But it is true, and I emailed him off to my professor, with the explanation that he really does look best as a dog, so I made a very slight adjustment in the painting.  Can you see it?
That's right....I photoshopped in a head band thing to hold the antlers on. It seemed like the best solution.  I tried drawing him again and again, and he just lost all personality the closer he looked to a reindeer.  And besides, I think a children's story about a dog who wanted to be a reindeer has some precedence...."The Ugly Duckling" comes to mind.  And more recently, "Shrek".  So I hope my professor agrees.  He has a good sense of humor, so maybe he will see the fun in this version.
And that gives me my life back.  Yay! I have everything done now for finals. I added a few shadows and highlights to my "Tommy" painting earlier this morning.  And I think it is as good as I can make it.
My prints are done for my printmaking class today.  My photos are all done for Thursday.  My final in there was postponed because my teacher got sick.  So I am done, done, done!!!  WooooHoooo!  I feel good!
I think I will just enjoy the day until my printmaking class starts at 3:30.  I can do dishes, and laundry, and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle choir sing the Messiah.  I love that!  Especially the song, "For Unto Us a Child is Born".  That is my absolute favorite, for many reasons.  Probably the main one is that I realize what a sacrifice was made for us by our Father in Heaven.  He gave us His most beloved son.  I know what it is to watch a son suffer, and I can say I would not want to do that voluntarily.  Yet He did, knowing it was the only way to provide us with a way back to Him.  I cannot comprehend.  But I am eternally grateful to Him for that.
This painting of Mary with the babe is an especially beautiful one.  And the model was a girl whose mother is in our ward.  Such a small world.  I love it!
Well, I guess I had better get to the work that has been piling up around here.  Maybe I will even get the Christmas stuff out....nah, I think I will wait til Friday when finals are really over.  I hope your day is wonderful out there in cyberspace.  I am definitely still pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together, and I don't even hear the drums beating today:)  Take care and keep smiling!  There is hope shining brightly before us today!!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Monday Night again!

Well, here it is.  Looks like I have a few little places to still fix hands, but I think the rest is finished.  And that feels good.  And it leaves me a little time tomorrow morning to work on Frank once again:)  The trouble I am having is that daylight hours are so few!  Mel needed to go to get his ladder and his vacuum from my dad's house and it took from noon until four!  Of course we had lunch, and stopped to help a daughter, oh, and we got spark plugs for the Explorer.  And I went shopping for a few things:)  But it is hard to paint in artificial light.  It just isn't the same.  I guess my wish list would include a nice, well lighted drafting table and a really comfortable chair:)  I know that my uncle Kenny has a really good set up.  I should visit him and check it out....or just go look and see what is available.
Well, I don't have much to say.  Just wanted to share.  I hope your day is going well out there in cyberspace!  Arrivederci!   HAGFHE!   Melody

A New Week! And it's finals{:0+

Good morning!  It is a bright, sunny, freezing cold day today.  I am glad to be inside!  And my assignment for today (should I decide to accept this mission) is to paint, paint, and paint some more.  I think it will be a good day if I can just stay positive.  That is always the challenge of course, but I think I can today.  I have come up with a few new solutions to my shipping lanes that I am hoping will work and still be artful and add to the total composition.  And I am going to concentrate on hands...color, shading and shapes.  So I feel challenged and ready.
Other than that I am going to listen to Christmas music.  It should help to keep me thinking in a positive way...if I just don't think about all of the people I still need to shop for:)  Or the Christmas cards I haven't even gotten yet.  Oh well.  It will all be good, and it will soon be over!  How quickly it all speeds by these days.
So here's a wish for you.  May your days be merry and bright!  And may all your Christmases be....light!!!  I love the lights at temple square!  I wish I could take a trip there this year!  Instead we will be visiting Mesa.  My nephew is getting married in the temple there.  It will be fun to see!  I was sealed to my parents in that temple, so it is especially meaningful to me.  Maybe they have a Christmas light display also.  I hope so.  We will be able to spend New Year's with my brother!  That will be fun.
So keep smiling.  I definitely am:)  Take care.  And remember I'm still pulling for you!
HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sabbath Day Singing

Shalom!  I am enjoying this lovely Sabbath day.  Church was great, but started early with a choir practice at 7:45.  Our chorister works nights, so she gets off work and comes straight to church.  To have a practice after all the meetings would do her in I think.  So we comply and sing happily early in the morning.
I think how nice it is to be in a ward where people know you and are kind.  Sweet Brother Pancheri always greets me with, "Hello, young lady."  It makes me feel good.  I suppose I am young to him.  Brother Brenneman always says, "Hi there, you young thing."  He is my dad's age.  I love the older people in our ward.  I guess I am beginning to fit more in that group.  I don't really think of myself as being older until I look in a mirror...or try to play hopscotch:)  I still feel like the little girl I was a very long time ago...a little timid and unsure of myself...hoping to have a friend or two.  I have learned many lessons along the way, but basically I am still me.  Somehow I thought I would be much wiser by now.  Maybe I am and I just don't know it:)
Right now I am making dinner...spaghetti and homemade bread and salad.  I am trying out the express feature on my breadmaker.  I have never tried it before, but it seems to be working.  The bread is almost done...in 57 minutes!  That's remarkable, huh?  I think my grandmothers and their mothers would have loved this feature.  I look around in my kitchen and feel very spoiled.  Microwave, electric stove and oven, toaster oven, electric skillet, timed pressure cooker, and the list goes on.  My favorite appliance though is my milk shake maker.  It is as old as I am, but it still works like a charm, and makes milkshakes that taste like memories.
Which brings me to another thought.  I heard a writer on NPR the other day talking about how to gather memories from your life.  He said if you would think of places where you have lived and even visited that memories would come from each place....and if you are lucky they will be accompanied by the smells, sounds, and feelings of the experiences.  I think he is right.  I have been trying to do that as I gather my memories and it seems to help.  I think of Village school in San Lorenzo and I can see the playground, and some of my teachers.  I can even see the crossing guard!  Amazing.  I suppose that I have stored millions of memories in my brain.
Well, I think the bread is done.  I hope you have a wonderful Sabbath day.  I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Oh, Ho, Ho!

Howdy!  It is that time of the night again when I can wash out my brushes and think about heading for bed.  It has been a good day.  We had fun trying to get home my 4x4 painting in the truck.  The Explorer was acting up...running rough, so we couldn't take that and the painting won't fit in the Civic.  We couldn't go too fast or the wind would start to pick it up.  Fun, fun, fun!
Anyway, the painting is home and I have been working on it all evening.  Mostly adjusting the hands and painting shipping routes.  I am not so sure about the colors of the shipping stuff.  I guess it is CO2 emissions that are in the chart I am referencing.  And I am not sure it is adding to the painting, or just making a big mess.  I really don't like this part of the painting.  I am painting to please my teacher instead of painting what I think would look good.  I keep wondering why I do that.  At some point I am going to have to get brave and paint what I want to paint....whatever that is:)  I guess that is the problem.  I keep trying to please other people.  Or maybe I am just trying to learn what they have to teach me.  At any rate I am glad it is Sunday tomorrow and I won't be able to work on it.  I do sound a little frustrated:)
So, I guess I should post what I have.  I am not sure I want to, but it does help, so here goes.
I can see I have a lot of work to do.  And I really only have Monday and then Tuesday morning to work on it.  Oh well.  It will have to do.
So, I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods.  Take care!  Sleep tight!  Melody

Reindeer Pause:)

Good morning!  I think today is going to be a good day.  It is sunny here, although the air quality is poor.  But out here by the lake it is still not too bad.  It is when you get into Boise that it really starts to invert:)
I am planning to have a relaxing Saturday.  That was a pretty good one liner, eh?  I am going to get my large painting from school and work on it at home.  That will give me a little latitude of when I can paint.  I don't have a class in there until the final critique on Wednesday.  It is all I really have to do.  I want to do the reindeer painting, but if I don't I will probably still get a good grade in that class.  There is no hope of an A in my oil painting class.  I have a good solid B going.  But that's OK.  Some teachers are hard like I expect.  Some are hard, but then give liberal grades, like I like.  It doesn't really matter in the long range of things, it is just my obsessive personality that thinks grades should all be A's.
In other news...the ward party was last night.  They had a fabulous dinner.  And a good turnout.  But what happened after I really don't know, as Mel and I cut out after the dessert.  I don't think we have ever done that before, but we both are getting old and tired!  So it was nice to just come home and watch TV.  I suppose that is a terrible thing to admit.  We watched "Cowboys and Aliens."  I guess I would have to give it a mixed review.  I loved all of the old cowboy stuff...dynamite, horses, grouchy tough guys, etc.  But it was a little too silly to take seriously.   The premise wasn't too bad, but...  Oh well.  I guess I long for the Lone Ranger:)
Well, I'd better get going.  I hope your day is wonderful out there in cyberspace.  Take care and HAVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Friday, December 9, 2011

Some Art

Good evening!  I thought I would share a Christmas greeting.  This is the print I made from the linoleum plate that I carved.  I printed and painted 18, and now I am really done.
I also worked on Frank the reindeer some more.  But I am a little frustrated with him at present.  I also spent a few hours off at school painting on my "Tommy" painting.  I have quite a bit to do on that one, and not really sure where to go with it at present.  Maybe I should share my progress.  It always seems to help to show things on here.  I get a much better perspective.  So here goes....don't laugh:)
It actually looks better than I thought.  I am struggling a little with colors for the hands....the right shades and shadows.  But I still love the process.  It is frustrating though to go to paint and they are out of supplies.  No paper towels, or Gamsol, which is what we use to thin the paint.  Luckily I have my own supply, but it is running low.
Oh well.  Good thing I am filthy rich...Mel's line.  I think it is funny.
Well, I hope your day has gone well out there in cyberspace.  I'm definitely still pulling for you.  We're all in this together.  Those drums are starting to beat again:)  I guess I feel that way when I am stressed.  Take care and HAVVVVGE!!!  Melody

A Doggy Day

OK, here is a link....you HAVE to watch this.  OK, you really don't but it is pretty cute.  Makes me want a Weinereimer!  Day 1  And here is the second day. Day 2  Enjoy!  Melody

Flabbering Away Again

Good morning!  Today has been nice so far.  I didn't get up until seven.  Then I got ready for the day and made Mel and I some French toast.  Mel joked that it was really Albanian toast.  He is always kidding around.
So today I am spending the morning at home.  I am going to figure out how to paint holly berries onto my prints, then I am going to repaint Frank.  So I will be busy all morning.  Then I am heading over to the school to work on my oil painting.  And tonight is the ward party.  Luckily I don't have to sing or do anything special for that.  But I have a full day.
I am beginning to feel the Christmas spirit just a little.  Last night I put some Christmas songs on this blog...just a few of my favorites.  I haven't really listened to much of it this year being so busy with school, and also avoiding the inevitable panic as the holiday draws nearer and I feel totally unprepared.  But it is all good.  I will get to it next Friday when school is really over.  And I may even listen to some of my Christmas albums while I am home this morning.
I am kind of excited for next semester.  I know that sounds odd, but I have heard only good things about all of the classes I am taking....except for sculpture.  I heard the teacher was hard in there.  But illustration will be about half as many people because all of the graphic design majors drop out.  My oil painting teacher is supposed to be the best in the department.  And my drawing teacher is also supposed to be very good.  So I am really looking forward to it.  And I can see my skills as an artist mostly improving.  I still have to remind myself about composition and light sources, but I am slowly learning.  Color is something I still feel very unskilled about, but that is coming too.  So maybe in a few millennia I will really become an artist.  And if not, I have had fun trying.
Well I am flabbering and I should be painting.  Have a lovely day!  Melody

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Latest Edition

Good evening!  I am feeling very good this evening!  I finished printing my last set of prints....18 of them!  We are trading prints in that class, so we will each have one of each other's prints.  I am excited for that.  There are so many people in there who really do nice work.  I would post a picture, but I am going to paint some red holly berries first:)
My critique in printmaking went well.  It made me feel very good.  That is the last graded assignment.  It was of acorns and oak trees.  I should have taken a picture...now it is in the teacher's office to be graded.  I feel no pressure now for that class.
But....I have three classes next week...two of them finals.  And my reindeer painting to work on.  I am kind of excited about that one now.  I took some reference photos, trying to reproduce the light sources.  I think it will help.  It is hard to draw completely from your imagination:)
I was shocked to hear of the shootings back east today.  It made me so sad.  We had an incident last week on campus...some people with loaded weapons near campus that had robbed a house across the street.  I received about 6 emails, as many phone calls, and Mel even got one here at home.  They are supposed to keep you alerted in case of an emergency.  It was kind of weird though.  I wondered what we were supposed to do.  Not much has been said about how they lock things down or anything.  I just hope we never really need to know.
On a lighter note...that really does bring up funny images in my head...I was in the print lab after class, and one of the other students said that there was no music playing.  Usually one of the younger students plugs an ipod into the stereo.  So I volunteered my music...warning that there might be a lot of Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick, jr. on there.  The first song that came on?  The Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah:)  It made me laugh, but also I felt a little glad that we had beautiful music to listen to for a change.  Usually it isn't too bad...but not what I would choose.   So I guess I got my choice today.  Thank you iphone!
Well, I am off to beddy bye.  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Mid morning break

I got through the critique, but not with flying colors. Well, maybe not too terrible.  My painting was picked second.  It was not the best thing up there though.  There is a lot of talent in that class.  But... we have until Wenesday of next week to revise things....kind of a cruel joke I think.  I was hoping to be done with this, but now I need to perfect things.  I did learn alot from the critique though, so hopefully I can correct things...like the light and the setting.  I am actually glad for a chance to make it all better.  The funny part was the teacher thought my reindeer looked like a dog:)  Remember I had said I thought he looked like a dog?  But I decided to ignore that fact and I guess I shouldn't have.  Oh well.I am a little frustrated at present.  I have prints to print and a painting to paint, but both of those rooms are being used by other classes.  And I guess to me that is the most frustrating part of those classes.  I will come back tomorrow and maybe Saturday and try to finish everything up for next week.  I don't have any finals on Monday either, so I could also work that day.  I am so ready for this semester to end!
So on the lighter side...hee, hee, that makes me laugh because I think of light and shadow so much now, that certain phrases don't mean the same as they used to.  Anyway, I have been going to pass along the humor from the sign downtown for a few days now.  I thought this was cute..."Spice - the plural for spouse."  I always like when a word is used in a new way.  Perhaps that is why I like illustration.  It is like using words in a new way.
Well, I am going to leave this crazy campus and go on to lunch with Kim.  It should be a nice break.  But first I am going to find a book on painting of hands.  Do they have a book like that?  I will see.  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Frank and Final

Well, here is what it looks like now:)  I am off to school to try to make Frank seem like an A when he is probably only a B.  I wish I had some more time to revise and also to study light sources and outside versus inside.  But I think it was a good attempt.  I will keep trying and practicing and hopefully I will become an illustrator!
So here's hoping your day goes well.  Keep smiling....don't be a Frank! :)
HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Photo Check

Good evening!  I am finally finished...hahahahahaha:)  But probably as finished as I'm going to be for tomorrow.  This is Frank....the forgotten.  I feel bad for him, don't you?  Especially stuck in that awful colored room.  I may stay up a while and darken that.  But I have had fun painting this....most of today.  Except for the part where I went to oil painting class and photography and the hair dresser's.  Oh well.  It is what it is.  I do think I will take a blue or a gray wash over the orange....what color would that make?  Gray?  That would be perfect.
Well, I had better get to it.  I just wanted to wish you well...and check my picture.  Hope all is going well in your neck of the woods today!  Nighty night!!!  Melody

Happy

Good morning!  I am laughing!  But also hurrying.  Gotta get to school!   HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Silver Pipes

Hi!  I am doing much better:)  On my way home from school I remembered that I had not used all of my photos and I figured I could figure out a way to mount the photos with my trusty iron...which I just finished doing.  It turned out a little crooked, but oh well.  It is a picture.  So I am ready for tomorrow's critique.  It is funny I have a critique tomorrow and Thursday, and it is supposed to be "dead week" where there are no exams or any extra work.  It sure has made this week crazy, but I suppose it is better to get things over with...good theory anyway.
I started painting Frank this morning.  I am having a difficult time making a reindeer look sad.  I guess the mistake I made was trying to make him look like a real reindeer.  He actually looks more like a dog.  I would post it, but it is too embarrassing.  Maybe after a couple more hours of work.
Well, I am off to sing at the Relief Society Christmas dinner.  I am in a group called the "Ringy Dingies".  Clever title, eh?  We are all playing bells...or rather pipes cut in different lengths that we hit with a kitchen knife to sound different notes.  It is kind of fun.  But I must admit that I am so tired I would rather just crawl into bed.  Oh well...no rest til later tonight.
So long!  Take care!  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVGE!!!  Melody

HELP! I feel like I am drowning....not really, but it made a good title:)

Hi!  I am in the photo lab trying not to freak out.  I had done almost all of my photos, and then I put in one that got too hot and it blistered the picture.  Not a real huge deal I thought, except that I don't have anymore paper with me and the lab tech is on a break so I can't buy any and I have a class in twenty minutes.  I am feeling rather pushed, and time is running out.  EEEEEEK!  Oh well, the worst that can happen is I will not get the one picture mounted.  Breathe deeply!!!
So how is your day going?  I hope well.  Thanks for the break from reality.  I needed that!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Monday, December 5, 2011

Breaktime!

Hi!  I'm taking a break.  I came home a couple of hours ago because the room where they have all of the mat cutting stuff was so crowded....and I thought, "I can cut mats at home with my handy dandy mat cutter."  It is nice to be here, but I finished cutting the mats and now I need one of those cool ironing machines that glues the photo to the mat.  I don't have one of those.
I am sharing what you must remember is an in progress painting today.  But the good news is my teacher really likes it and had lots of good process type pointers.  And a couple more of the students in my class wanted to talk about Tommy and their own losses.  Mel thinks that whether the painting is any good or not, that the therapy is:)
Anyway, here it is...
I am still working on the arms and hands, but I think I am getting the size right and the shapes almost right.  Remember this is a four foot square canvas...and it is pretty big.  It is good for me to post it like this because I can see where I need to adjust things.....everywhere! :)   But at least I am making some progress on this.
It's funny...I went into the bank today and there is a picture in there that I just love....it is of a mountain meadow and it is done in such beautiful colors.  And I noticed today that it is 4 feet square.  So I think if this painting doesn't work, I will try a mountain meadow:)  It's a thought.  I guess what I like best about my painting is that it gives me the opportunity to talk about Tommy and our experiences, and I think it gives people an opportunity to think of more serious things.
Well, I think I need to keep working.  I am drawing "Frank".  I have been stewing about him long enough and I just need to go forward with it.  I am going to make him into a forgotten reindeer...sick in bed with Santa and his sleigh and the tiny 8 reindeer flying by outside his window.  I hope it all comes together!
I also have a linoleum plate I am working on for printmaking class.  I have about another hour and a half of work on that.  And tonight we have our empty nester's family home evening:)  Whew!  I am exhausted just thinking about it.
Well, I hope you get a break now and then.  Take care and keep smiling!  I am smiling...see?  Did you get a clear mental picture of that?  Ha, ha!  Isn't the internet fun?  HAVVVGFHE!!!!  Melody

The Final Lap

Good morning!  I guess I don't need to tell you how busy things are here.  I have been doing that for weeks now:)  But I can see the finish line and it is looking soooooo good!
I thought I would include a link this morning to the Bible videos that the church has offered as a gift to the world.  They are so beautiful and touching!  They make me remember why I love Christmas.  So here is the video.
Well, I am off to finish my four final projects.  Two are due this week, and two next week.  I hope you have a most glorious morning!  And that your day is filled with joy!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Testimony

Buenos Dias!  Isn't it a great day today?  Of course!  It's Sunday:)  I love Sunday!!!
Okay, so do you do this?  Someone came up to me today and asked me what word I had used in my testimony.  The word was "cliche", but for the life of me I could not think of the word, even though I knew it was in my mind somewhere.  It seems to happen more and more...or is that just my imagination?  No, I really do seem to be forgetting words that I thought were just on the tip of my recall.  And it is getting a little embarrassing.  So now I need to come up with a game plan...something I can do so that no one else has a clue that I am really that forgetful....kind of like what my dad does when he can't hear you.  He just nods and says, "Mmmmm".  Actually I find I am doing that one too.  Sigh, I am getting old.  It's inevitable I guess.  I wonder if there is something I can do so that no one notices that:)
So church was good today.  We had testimony bearing, which is a first Sunday of the month regular.  I felt like I needed to get up and share my testimony of the Savior.  I do it enough that it probably is not news to anyone, but I had that feeling I should, so I did.  And then one of my MIA maid girls who I used to worry about got up and bore her testimony.  Her little sister has a disease that is expected to be fatal, but she bore her testimony of her belief in miracles.  It warmed my heart to hear her, and maybe I gave her enough courage to do it by going first.  I don't know.  Anyway, it was a wonderful meeting, and it made me think how we strengthen each other by sharing our testimonies.  So I thought I would bear my testimony here so if you need some strength you might find some.
I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and I love Him and I am so grateful for His love.  I feel His love everyday as I go about my life.  It is a little hard to explain, but I get a warm feeling inside when I think about Him, and when I am discouraged I can feel Him close, cheering me on.  Every morning on my way to school I say a prayer as I am driving out through the countryside, thanking my Heavenly Father for this beautiful earth, and for His wonderful Son who has been an example to me by the perfect life He lived.
Today in Sunday School class we talked about John in the New Testament....about how God is love, and what that means.  To me it means that I will see my son again.  I am as sure of that as I am about anything.  I have that assurance because of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  He died that we all might live again....a gift freely given to all mankind.  It is an amazing gift, and I am forever grateful to Him for it.  I can say that I know these things because I have had a confirmation of them through the feelings in my heart, and also from other experiences too sacred to share over the internet.  But I know that you can know these things too.  It takes sincere prayer and faith, but you can have the assurance from the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ is your Savior.  It is true!!!  Here is a link if you want to know more and to read or hear or see other people's testimonies:)
LDS church
Well, I hope your day is wonderful, inspired and full of faith.  Take care out there!  I'm still pulling for you.  It's a wonderful life!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Checking out:)

It's been a long day, and I didn't finish all that I intended.  But it has been a good day nevertheless.  I am still not sure who Frank will be, but I got a lot of the carving done on my relief plate for printmaking.  We visited Kim who had a hard morning with her toilet overflowing into the kitchen.  Then we went to my dad's and Mel and Dad cut down a crabapple tree that was starting to push the roof up on my dad's house.    And we both enjoyed the BSU game...although, I enjoyed it from the distance of the kitchen table where I was carving the linoleum plate.  So all in all it has been busy and productive and we were able to spend a day together which is always a good thing.
Anyway, I hope your day went well.  Take care and sweet dreams!  Melody

Frank

Good morning!  I am wasting time this morning...avoiding the work ahead I guess.  I have been playing around with the idea of "Frank" in my head most of the waking hours from late last night to early this morning.  I made a sketch.  Wanna see?  OK.  I've got to make several more and settle on an idea.
He's not much yet:)  I have been thinking of maybe a reindeer who caught the flu and so couldn't go with Santa...or a moose who wants to be a reindeer...or a hippo with a hearing loss:)  It's fun to think about, but I also keep thinking how quickly Thursday is coming...and every day I have something else to do too.  For some reason our ward has crammed everything into this next week.  Monday night is the empty nester's Christmas party.  Tuesday is the Relief Society dinner and party.  Wednesday is my hair appointment:)  Thursday is when this is due.  Friday is the ward Christmas party.  So I just need to work, work, work, work, work....sigh.   This afternoon Mel promised my dad to finish trimming trees and bushes.  I thought maybe while he is doing that I could be carving linoleum for my final relief print plate for my printmaking class.  We have to do 18 prints to pass out to the whole class.  I think that is kind of cool though, since then we will have a print from everyone in class.
I am not too lazy though.  While I am doing this blog, I am also doing the laundry!  I think how blessed I am to have a machine that washes our clothes.  My grandma and her sisters had to wash all of the clothes by hand in a washtub, hang them out to dry, and then iron them.  And they did this for a hotel too....all of the sheets and towels and stuff.  They worked hard!
Well, I had better start working hard.  I hope you have a lovely day out in cyberspace today.  I am still pulling for you!  Take care!!  And HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody