Monday, January 31, 2011

Staying Positive

Good morning!  I have a busy day ahead.  Sort of sounds like a ship, "There are icebergs ahead!"  But I am excited for my day.  In my photography class we are finally putting in film and shooting pictures!  I am so glad for that...but a little nervous too.  I want to take wonderful, amazing photos that my teacher will find incredible.  But of course, that will take some time and practice and a good eye.  I know I have the good eye:)  So I just need to learn the skills, right?  I keep telling myself I am learning skills.  I can learn skills.  But then my hand shakes as I am drawing a line and I think that perhaps I won't be able to do it right.  I am such a self doubter, and I am trying hard to push that far from me.  It feels so right to be in it is the place I need to be at this point in my life.  And I am excited to learn new skills, so I must stay positive.
I am loving my drawing class.  I feel pushed and challenged in there, which is what I need.  I have been working on a still life all weekend for that class.  It is a line drawing with no shadows or hatches or cross hatches or any hint of anything like unto it.  I set up a scene with an old jelly colander that I inherited from Mel's mom.  It has a cool pestle and stand that were really interesting to draw.  I put a couple of jars of two different sizes in front and a bag of sugar in the back.  I will post a photo of the scene, but the drawing itself doesn't show up well enough.
Well, I had best get on with my day.  I hope yours is wonderful.  Take care out there in cyberspace:)  Remember I am still pulling for you.  We're all in this together!  HAVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sweet Is the Peace the Gospel Brings

GOOD MORNING!  Ha, ha!  I forgot I had the caps lock on.  I've been working on my lesson for today..."Preparing to Become an Eternal Companion".  It's a good lesson, but perhaps a little over simplified.  Mel had some good suggestions to add.  And I have found a few things on the internet to help with the lesson.  I hope it all goes well.  I am less nervous teaching young women, but I still worry that I will do a good job.  I guess it comes from not ever feeling quite good enough.  I always over prepare everything I do.  Maybe it is more that I want to strive for excellence.  I hope it is the latter.
I finally got all of my homework done last night...late.  But it feels good.  I still have a couple of extra credit things to do, but I think I can do them tomorrow after school.  They are both due Tuesday, but they should not take too much time.
Yes, I realize I am really absorbed in school work.  And no, I am not ignoring the more important grandchildren.  In fact I went and got Taylor yesterday.  He called to say he missed me and could he come over and go with us to church:)  So he is here this morning.  I am afraid I woke him up though.  He couldn't fall asleep with his cousins, so he slept in here last night.  Mel gets up at 5:30 for meetings at 6:30, so it got a bit noisy.  Then I needed to run off a few copies for my lesson....I thought I was being quiet:)  So he is up and all dressed for church.  What a cutie!  He just told me that today was a good day for bacon and eggs!  He is always scheming!  We will probably have pancakes so that we go easy on the eggs.  They seem to disappear quickly now that we have a house full of people.
Well, I hope you have a relaxing day, filled with wonderful insight and blessings.  Take care.  HAVGW!!! Melody

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homework...not the same as Housework!

Good morning!  I hope this day is a wonderful one for  you:)  I am planning to do more homework today.  I spent most of the day yesterday on one drawing.  I am hoping for an A, but of course that would take a miracle.  So I am just doing my best.
Today I have a bunch of little things to do for my oil painting class.  Three color wheels and a couple of tonal scales and some bios on different artists.  None of it is too hard, but it takes a while to dry.  We are using a Walnut alkyd to help it dry faster, but it is still kind of messy with kids around.  So I will probably have to lock myself away in my padded, art studio, which is just fine.  It is a cheery little room, just gets kind of quiet.  I will have to listen to music or something....maybe the click and clack brothers.
So the art exhibits last night were really interesting.  One was an exhibit of one artist's work.  It was all charcoal on artboard, and all arms and legs and one ear, except for one that was two people.  The theme was "The Space Between" so each artifact was about that.  It was well done.  I think I learned a little looking at her work.
The other exhibit was a judged exhibit of new and upcoming artists from Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, etc.  The quality wasn't as good as I had thought it would be.  But one painting was very interesting of a bridge burning.  The first place winner's painting was odd.  It was a bunch of colored stripes with a cartooned fifties woman holding her child and a radio transmitter and pointing to a bluebird with a bomb in his beak drawn in the opposite corner.  I am surprised it took first place.  It was disturbing, does that make it outstanding?  It didn't strike me as being particularly well done.  Oh well, I guess I am still a newbie.  I will have to learn why anyone would think that was worth a first prize.  The others who won prizes did seem like they had worked a little harder to create something of quality.
Well, I did not mean to become critical this morning.  I did enjoy the exhibits.  It made me think "I can do this."  It may take some more practice and learning, but I think I can...I think I can....I think I can.  This is an exercise in self hypnosis:)  I am in a kind of silly mood today.  I really think it is a day I should be taking a ride in the mountains.  But alas...homework!  This must be how Mel feels all of the time trying to keep up with customers.  I am gaining empathy!
Well, here's hoping your day is filled with lots of warmth and good wishes.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  Smile!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thinking of Still Lifes...or Lives? What is the Plural?

Good morning!  It is Friday and I have no classes today.   So I will be watching Sebastian, doing laundry, cleaning up a little around here, and homework.  I have homework for three of my classes.  I am most nervous about a line drawing I have to do.  We will be graded on composition, perspective, and use of line to emphasize and deemphasize parts of the drawing and to suggest atmospheric depth. Unfortunately we cannot do any hatching or cross hatching or shading.  So it is a little harder I think.  Mel has been so helpful!  As we were laying in bed talking about the day ahead this morning, he had some very good suggestions of subject matter.  He suggested I use some of the old kitchen tools I have collected from his mom and my grandmother.  I think that would be different and interesting.  I am kind of excited to set it up.  I also have to work on my figure ground project and do some oil painting.  So I suppose this will be a busy day...and weekend.  One cool thing...tonight we are going to an art exhibit:)  It is extra credit for one of my classes to go and write up a review/critique.  It will be fun I think, and much different from a movie.  We are always trying to do something for our date night that uses a little imagination.
Well, I had better get on with my day.  I hope yours is wonderful!  Keep smiling, and keep your stick on the ice.  It is bound to be a good day here.  HAVGW!!  Melody
P.S. Another link....I liked this thinking how fun to do!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sittin on the corner watching all the Shoppers go by

Good Evening! I am sitting out in front of Costco...waiting for Mel! I stopped here to pick up a few groceries and gasoline. But when I was putting the groceries in the car I locked myself out. Oh well. I will probably have to wait quite a while too because Mel has the truck and the kids. And they don't all fit in the truck. I can probably go back in the store if I tell someone in charge what happened. And I was making such good time. Sigh! So I might as well blog. Today has been fun. We worked on our ground figure project some more. It should be great. Then at lunch I took a walk along the river. It was sunny today and very beautiful. I took a picture of some friendly geese. It was a nice break. Then I went to my oil painting class. We tried a glazing technique. I really liked it. My painting is turning out nice I think. I will take a photo next week. She also has us studying other artist's. It really helps to look at what other people have done. I really liked Thiebold's stuff. I think that is his name. He paints food-cake and pie. I guess I should try that! He was born into a Mormon family. There was one artist we read about that seemed way over the top. I don't remember her name but I really hated her work.
Well Mel just called and he is on his way. That should take about 20 more minutes. I am starting to feel cold:).
Well I hope your day is going well. Don't lock your keys in the car! We are all in this together, but I wouldn't recommend this;). HAGE!!! Melody
P. S.  I am home and safe and warm!  I love home!  Oh and I heard two funny things today.  First the sign downtown....Eternity- the last two minutes of a football game.  And then something one of Kim's co-workers said today.  I guess he likes to play with people's names.  Anyway the guys came who deliver the phone books to the bank, and he said to them,"Are you sure those are books?  They look kind of phony!"  I thought that was cute.
Well, once again I will sign off.  I hope you are feeling gr-r-r-reat!  Take care out there!  Melody


Good morning!  I am all ready for school, except for eating breakfast so I thought I would send a "HI!"  I hope you have a good day.  I am excited still to be going to school, although I am realizing I need to keep on the homework thing.  I am not behind yet, but it could happen easily with all of the assignments and then real life kicking in.  Anyway, HAGW!  I will post a real post later this evening after all of my adventures of the day:)  Take care!  Melody

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Here is a link to read an interview of my nephew Seth Orza.  He is a pretty wonderful ballet dancer up in the Seattle area.  Enjoy

Snowflakes or Chinese Dragons?

Good afternoon!  Want to see some more of my work?  I'll think about it.  I feel like I am not doing my best work just now...except in my foundational art class.  I really like that class.  Today I have been working on a ground and figure piece.   I think it is very interesting.  I will post what I have done so far.  In my drawing class today we worked on composition.  I think I learned a little bit more about planning a drawing.  I have been pretty clueless about this and mostly just go with what I think looks good.  But my teacher had me draw a few thumbnail sketches of a subject and then pick one from that.  He showed me how to abstract things so that I could see it more clearly.  I really think this is helping me to see more clearly to plan a painting...or a drawing.  It is good.  It doesn't photograph well though.  So I won't post it.  Sorry:(
In my photography class we took a tour of the dark room and finishing labs.  That was fun.  It makes me feel a little apprehensive about developing my own film though.  It will certainly be a new experience.  And of course today we were told all of the things NOT to do.  I guess that is so nobody has a water or developer fight in the lab.  Yuk!  It reminds me of food fights.  There was one at Cannon Center when I was at BYU.  I really didn't see much of it though.  Mel and I had a butter fight once.  I have probably already written about that though.  Anyway, it was a good tour and a good day at school.  I just feel so tired!  It is tough being old.  Oh I just remembered something funny.  The lady was telling us about who could be in the dark room and lab and said not to bring children, old people, or pregnant people, because the chemicals could be more dangerous for them.  I asked, "Does that mean I can't use it?"  She looked a little puzzled and then embarrassed and said, "Well, you may want to use a little caution."  Whatever that means.  I guess I will hold my breath while I am in there:)
This is the piece I made for the ground and figure piece.

Then you copy several and make a pattern

It's supposed to jump back and forth between black and white.
I haven't decided on either pattern yet...maybe a third one.
Then we will glue it down and turn it in.
Well, I hope your day has been exciting and fun.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!  And I hope you're having a very gut wan!!!  Melody

Gloppy Paint and Policeman

Good morning!  I am rushing to get out the door this morning.  It's supposed to be another foggy day with ice and bad traffic.  So instead of an hour early I am leaving an hour and a half early.  If I get there too soon I can always go in the painting room and prep my painting for tomorrow.  But I have a hard time getting to this photography class on Mondays and Wednesdays.  It is a long walk from where I park the car...but that is good, right?  And yesterday I parked on the third floor of the garage and walked the stairs.  I figure this can only help.
I had a really real dream this morning when I finally fell back asleep.  I dreamt that I woke up and I was in a speeding car with one of the grandkids, and we were both in the back seat.  I commented that I always dream about this, so I tried really hard to wake up, but I couldn't so I figured I wasn't dreaming.  Anyway I reached up over the seat to steer the car and narrowly missed a group of policeman standing in a village square, I turned sharply to the right and it went up a driveway into someone's flower garden and the car stopped.  I was relieved we weren't hurt.  I got out and those policeman came and arrested me for reckless driving.  I told them I must be dreaming.  They assured me I was not and pointed to all the detail in the scenery.  It was so weird:)  Anyway, I told them if I wasn't dreaming I must have had a psychotic episode because I don't know how I got into the car.  They went on about how I would get a DUI.  That really upset me so I told them I don't drink, never have, I'm a Mormon, etc.  It was a funny dream and one that I was glad to wake up from.  I also dreamt about painting....big gloppy strokes on a huge canvas in bright garish colors.  I think sometimes dreams are over rated!
Well, I'd better go.  I hope your day is fun and happy.  Take care out there.  Keep smiling.  It will all be worth it in the end:)  Melody

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Impasto, Impasto, Impasto, Impasto....I'm committing this to memory

Good Evening!  I love writing that because in my head I hear Boris Karloff:)  So it has been a long day.  It started early!  And it hasn't ended yet.  I had an interesting drive into school today.  It was foggy and 26 degrees.  The roads were very icy and slick.  It took me more than an hour to get to school with traffic at a crawl on the freeway.  I was about 20 minutes late for my class.  My teacher was very understanding though. So it was all good.  We critiqued our blind contour drawings.  I would post mine, but I had to turn them in:)  I actually liked them.  So I guess that is some improvement from last semester.  I think this teacher is good at explaining things too.  He really takes the time it takes to really teach.
At lunchtime I had a break so I got some linseed oil and General's chicken:)  The oil was for my painting class of course.  And the chicken for my lunch.  I love Chinese food when it is done right....yum.  Then I went to my painting class with my still wet paintings.  I got a good critique so I guess I did it right.  Then we had to try a technique of painting called "Impasto".  I wasn't sure I was doing it right, but the teacher came by and said, "Good.  Very good!"  So that kind of made my day:)  I love when I do things right.  And I love this style of painting...I think.  It feels good to glob on the paint, and that is kind of what this is about.  My teacher said it was like eating ice cream, you keep going back for more paint each brush stroke, like licking an ice cream cone I guess.  She is a nice lady, and I am beginning to understand her better.  She is the one from New Zealand.
Tonight I have been working on a project for class on Thursday.   Something about figure and ground.  It is interesting.  Then I have a drawing I need to work on for tomorrow.  It is starting to feel kind of busy.  But I am still really enjoying school.  I love learning new things.
Well, I hope your day has gone well.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling from my side.  And peddling to keep up!  TTTL  Melody

Monday, January 24, 2011

Long Day's Journey Into Night

The original
The copy-not finished.  I am going to change the angle

White-it didn't photograph well
Hi again!  I am taking a break!  I have been working on a "black and white" study for my painting class that is due tomorrow.  I am not sure I am even doing it right, but oh well.  I am going to have to ask more questions in there.  She assumes we know things that I don't know.

Messy pallette

Today's classes went well.  I am exhausted though.  It is a long time to sit...2 1/2 hours each class with only a short break.  I think I am already learning things though.  Today I learned how to draw an ellipse. Although I didn't do so well with the cup and oils:)   I really like my drawing teacher.  He let us pick anything we wanted to draw and then he came around and gave us an individual critique.  I told him I was struggling with the elliptical shape I was drawing and asked if there was a trick to it.  He said there was!  So he sat down and demonstrated it for me.  Then he went through my drawing of a spot lamp that was in the class room and showed me how to break it down into basic shapes.  This is the kind of instruction I need.  It really helped me to draw better.  I am excited to take another baby step forward.
My photography class is going to be a little expensive.  I found out today a roll of black and white film cost a little over $5.  That seems high.  I am going to see if I can find a better deal online.  We watched the most beautiful film in that class today.  It was a production by the Monterey Historical Museum about Monterey and the surrounding area and all about the famous photographers that have taken pictures there.  It was filmed beautifully and narrated by Jack Lemmon.  I learned a lot of new information (to me) about photography as an art form.  There was a lot about Ansel Adams, but also a lot about several others that I was not aware of.  I think this is going to be my favorite class if he keeps showing films of places near my home:)
Well, I'd better get back to painting.  I will post a few pictures if I can get this to upload.  Hope you are having a nice evening!  Melody

Monday Hi!

Good morning!  My alarm just went off, but I have already been up for a while.  I am excited for school and I guess it makes me wake up early in anticipation:)  But I slept pretty well for a change.   I feel rested.  Today in my drawing class we are going to do a line drawing.  The teacher said the first couple of weeks would be a review of stuff from the last drawing class.  So that is probably a good thing.   I also have photography today.  I think we are still going over equipment and the reading assignment.  Wednesday we will actually start shooting pictures.  There is a film development lab that we will be using and one of the days this week we will have a tour of that.  So it should be a good day today, if I can remember to listen and not to say random things!  It makes me wonder about myself.  You know, when you discover something about yourself that maybe you hadn't noticed before.  Like in high school, I remember wondering if my nose was too big.  I worried about it for a year or two until I finally asked someone what they thought and they told me my nose was normal.  Anyway I will be watching my tongue for a while!
Well, I need to get going.  Just wanted to send a hi out there into cyberspace.  I hope things are going well and that life is good for you.  Take care.  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  Keep smiling! And HAVGW!  Melody

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blah, blah, blah!

Hi again!  I need to blog.  I must be tired:)  I just took the boys home.  I will miss them, but Kim's kids will be back tonight so I will have enough noise to keep me from going into a funk.  And school is back in session tomorrow morning bright and early!
Church was good today.  Gabe and Taylor both enjoyed it.  After church Taylor said, ""Grandma, I sure love church!"  I thought that was very sweet, so I told Mel when he got home from his meetings.  He said, "Well, of course he does.  The bishop hands out candy!"  I suppose that is part of it, but I think he feels the spirit there too.  In the middle of sacrament meeting Gabe climbed up on my lap and said, "Grandma, I want to stay at your house every night."  I thought, "How sweet."  Then he added, "Then I could play the Wii all of the time!"  That made me chuckle.  Kim has a Wii upstairs and she let them play it while they were here.  I guess I had sort of thought they liked visiting me;)
Mel has gone back to the church for more meetings.  He has a priesthood meeting tonight and has to have all of the reports done for the bishop.  He is a good clerk!
So my lesson went well.  Those girls are so incredible.  I really do love them a lot.  I handed out a work sheet that we worked on together, and I am so amazed at how insightful they are already at 14 and 15.  I am sure I was not at their age.  I like hearing what they think about things...their families, friends, school experiences, etc.  Our class president is turning 16 in a couple of weeks and she will be leaving our class.  I moved to Dublin when I was about her age and I don't think I was nearly as wise.  She seems to already have such a strong testimony and is so grounded.  I was still trying to figure things out...and I was soooo naive and insecure.  I think it is good that kids have more knowledge about things today.  Of course, I suppose they know too much of the sordid side of life too, but I wish I could go back and talk to myself at that age and give myself some good advice:0)  I think there was a movie like that.  Sounds like an interesting plot, huh?
Well,  I am sounding silly, but I feel better.  Blogging does that for me.  Drawing does too, but I think I will not do any homework on Sunday.  I do have a couple of paintings I am supposed to have done by Tuesday afternoon.  I haven't done them yet because I need to buy linseed oil...and the only place that has it is in Boise.  So I will get some tomorrow.  Right now I think I am going to take a nice warm and cozy nap.  Or at least get under the warm covers and pretend to sleep.  Hope your day is going well.  Melody

Good Sabbath!

‎"Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light."
Good morning!  It is nice to be up early for Sunday.  I have Taylor and Gabe over for the weekend.  I merely meant to take them with us to the Primary Day Activity, but Taylor really begged to stay overnight and go with us to church.  And then of course Gabe did too.  They have been on their best behavior.  I told them if they did any fighting or were not cooperative I would take them home:)  Such a mean grandma, but I think it has helped to keep the Wah.  Of course I want them with me in church, and I don't think I would have really taken them home:)  They love primary!  They had such a great time at the activity yesterday.  And Mel made a cute Lehi in his bathrobe and tablecloth over his head:)  I think I was not so cute as Sariah.  But I did complain a little to make her character more authentic:)  Actually I think she probably didn't complain all that much.  She just needed reassurance from her husband that he was really following the spirit I think.
Today my lesson for young women is Living the Gospel Daily.  It is a wonderful lesson, and I am so grateful for the internet.  It helps to be able to pull a worksheet or an illustration off for my lesson. is especially helpful.  And I hope I am prepared enough.  I usually am so over prepared, and today I feel a little scattered.  I hope I can pull it all together.
I have been debating whether to go to choir practice this morning.  It starts at 7:45.  I am not sure I can get us all ready in time for that....or if it is a great idea.  I just know how discouraging it can be to try to get people to choir.  Mel was the choir director for a while in our other ward and it was so hard to get people there.  I haven't ever led the choir for the ward.  Seems funny, I have led orchestra back in school, and a school choir after Tommy kind of pull out of the depression.  I have been primary and R.S. choir director...and ward music director.  It's funny.
Well, I hope you have a most wonderful day out there in cyberspace.  I need to put two little boys in a bathtub!  Take care and have a glorious day!  Melody

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rain rain go away!

Good morning!  It is foggy out my window this morning, but I can see a bit of sunshine poking through.  So I am hoping the sun wins today.  It has been kind of gray the last couple of days with a lot of rain in the last week; you might say it has been raining cats and dogs!  Our poor kitties have been looking a little rain soaked and they rush to sit on the hood of the car every time I drive it into the garage.  We are headed over to Boise to help Kim clean out her trailer this morning and move it all to a storage unit so that she can sell her trailer.  We have been trying to do this for a while, but things keep interfering.  Even today Mel and I are supposed to be Lehi and Sariah for a Primary activity at 1:00.  We got a plastic liahona from Deseret Book and will have to come up with something fun for the kids before then.  I'm afraid we have procrastinated this one for too long.  I did see a cute "Chews the Right" idea on the internet with gum.  I just hate to pass out gum to primary aged kids.  It could be a problem.  So I spent a good deal of the night worrying about what we will do:)  I really do have to figure out where the sleep button is.  I have spent the last three nights struggling to get enough rest.
We went to some friends' house last night for a game of "Oh Shaw".  It was fun to be with friends.  One of the couples we normally play cards with has gone on a mission to Indiana.  They will be wonderful missionaries.  I wish we could go on a mission, but it will be a while before we can go.  Mel plans to sell his business at some point, but with the economy suffering it looks like it may be a few more years....or decades:)  I hope not too long.  I have looked forward to a mission for a lot of years.
Well, I hope today is full of fun for you.  I hope all is well out there in cyberspace!  Take care and watch out for the animals falling from the sky!  Melody

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Pause that Refreshes!

Hi!  I passed by the sign downtown both ways today.  One way said, "Europe--- the next in line to bat."  Going the other way it said, "Avoidable----what every bull fighter hopes to do:)"  I am glad for the sign downtown.  It always brings a smile to my face.  I guess I like to chuckle over small things.  And today I have been going out of my way to chuckle.  I spent a little time on watching old Saturday Night sketches.  There is one I particularly like with Will Ferrell.  It is soooo funny.  I am not a big fan of his, but this one is a hoot.  If you want to laugh...the link is....
It is a parody of the Lawrence Welk show.  We used to watch that on Sunday evenings when we went to visit my grandparents house.  They always had it on.  I can remember seeing Elvis singing and my grandparents commenting about him.  We also saw the Beatles on there.  Was that really so long ago?  My parents liked it too, although I can remember them making fun of the bubbles and the accordion music.  One time we were in Disneyland when a couple that used to dance on there were dancing in front of the Pepsi Saloon.  At least I think they were dancing.  Maybe they were just recognized standing in line.  My memory is a little fuzzy on that one.
Well, I will get back to watching the grandkids.  Just thought I would take a little break.  I hope your day is going well.  TTTL  Melody

The Shadows Flee!

Good morning!  I am feeling so alive this morning.  It is a good feeling.  I think it is stimulating to go back to school.  At the moment I am printing off the manual for my dad's nice camera.  It is a "free" download.  Of course with 79 pages of ink that is probably not free, but it is important for my class to have a manual, and besides it is kind of fun to read about.
The kids are all eating breakfast...waffles and ice cream.  I know it is a little over the top, but hey what are grandmas for if not to break the rules just a little in favor of fun and yumminess? In my defense, it was Sebastian's idea.  He wanted a waffle ice cream sandwich.  Besides all of that they are going to visit their dad this weekend, so it is part of my overall plan to spoil them a little before they leave.  I want them to remember me with fondness:)
So today I have visiting teachers coming at 9.  They are not lazy!  One of them is a farmer's wife and I think she is up every morning by 5 or so.  I was up at 5:30, does that count?  The one morning I might have slept in just a little and I was up early.  But that is good.  There is always so much to accomplish and especially now with homework.  I had forgotten how much reading there is with school.  And textbooks are not generally written for your pleasure and entertainment.  Although I am really enjoying my photography book.  It is full of beautiful illustrations, and it has instruction for digital as well as film cameras.  I like that!   I use digital so much and never feel like I know what I am doing.  Did I mention that I am really excited to be taking a photography class?  Boy, you would think I had never gone to school before.  But it is wonderful.
So I have been trying to think of something interesting to write about today.  And I haven't thought of anything.  Ellen is fun to live with.  At ten years old she is a fountain of interesting information.  And she is developing a good sense of humor.  She is lots of fun to talk with...and especially to listen to.
Well, I'd better scoot.  The bus will soon be here and I would feel bad if they missed it because I was blogging:)  Take care out there.  I hope your day is wonderful and inspired!  I am still pulling for you...much stronger today than yesterday.  Keep smiling!  We are all in this together!  Melody

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pump You Up!

I'm home!  I won't return to school until Monday.  And I am glad.  No, I am not tired of school, just tired. And I have a bit of homework to do.  I am supposed to do some blind contour drawings for my 107 class and some oil sketches for my painting class.  I am really loving my 107 know, the one I was so worried about.  It is wonderful!  I think my teacher really teaches!  So refreshing!  Today we went through all of the new terminology that we are supposed to learn.  I had read the chapters in the book, but I was still unclear about what it all meant.  He went through and explained it all in English:)  I told him I really appreciated it.  He is a nice young man.  I am lucky to have him for this class and my photography class as well.
My painting class is a bit frustrating because it is all so new.  And my equipment is new and unbroken-in.  I painted with stiff brushes...not great quality, but what the teacher recommended.  And my painting today was stiff and so amateur looking!  But I resisted the urge to paint over it all.  We are doing different stages of painting right now to learn what they are, and to gain some experience.  It is really interesting.  I thought of taking a picture of my painting, but I resisted.  Actually I was too busy cleaning up to do so.  But I will next week because I want to have a record of my progress.  I hope I can progress in this medium quickly.  It is frustrating to paint with a heavy hand.  It felt so heavy and awkward.  And the easel was not in the right position.  It is old and stiff and hard to adjust.   And then I had to lug a huge portfolio and a very large supply box up four flights of stairs to my car....well, actually I took an elevator:)  But it was still a long walk with lots of heavy equipment.  I think I can count this as weight lifting!  My shoulders hurt!  And my biceps and triceps!  So that is good.  And I am definitely walking and moving more than normal.  Now if I can just eat better!  I went to Baja Fresh today....yummy shrimp and steak grilled with yummy rice and veggies.  It seemed healthy:)  I hope I can lose a little weight.
I read my horoscope each day in the paper.  And it is usually as funny as the comics!  Today was no exception.  It talked about how I needed to remember when my day got hard how easy I have it compared to my ancestors:)  That is some ways.  I am so grateful for electricity and the conveniences it provides.  And I am also glad for technology and the way it speeds things up.  But it also adds expectations that were not present in my ancestors' lives.  And I guess it all boils down to this....every generation has plenty to deal with.  I don't think it is possible to compare one to the apples and oranges ...or maybe pomegranates:)
Well, I guess I have recorded enough so that I remember this day's events.  I hope your day went well.  I am still pulling for you!  And I expect when I get these muscles all pumped up I will be pulling even better!  Reminds me of Arnold Swarzeneggar and SNL with Dana Carvey.   Do you remember those?  I will try to find a link for your entertainment.
Take care!  Melody

Fretting...I have it down to a Science!

Guten morgen!  I hope today is a good day.  I keep thinking about yesterday.  It ended on a good note, despite my very cruel joke about losers...I still can't believe I said that!  I certainly wasn't thinking that.  Maybe it is more Alzheimer's stuff poking through.  I sure hope not.  Sigh!
Last night was the "Women at the Well" production.  It was beautiful!  The ladies all sang wonderfully, and the Laurels all came up from the stake and joined in at the end...that brought tears to my eyes.  They are such wonderful young women, and afterwards I went up to tell some of them I thought so.  They graciously turned it back to me and said how much they liked my painting which was on display.  I thanked them and then a bunch of friends also made nice comments.  When it got too embarrassing I left for home:)  I need to learn to say thank you without turning 7 shades of red!
So today, I am going to paint!  My painting teacher promised!  She is the one with the Australian accent though, so I am not sure I did the assignment quite right.  She said we were to prepare our paper with 3 coats of this white gluey stuff, and then a final coat of acrylic...burnt sienna with a touch of red.   I hope I didn't make it too bright.  This is one of those things I have never done before.  I got it painted on and thought it was way too dark, so I wiped it with a paper towel trying to get it lighter.  It looked good...except for one I went back in with the paper towel, only it had set up and so the surface looked rather I tried to fix it.  I hope it is OK.  I didn't have the time to do three more coats and a top coat since it requires an hour in between each one.  I know we are using this as a background, so maybe it will be OK.
Well, I have some reading to do before I leave.  I hope your day goes well.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  Keep smiling and HAVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

P.S. Yeah, I can't stop Blogging

OK, here is one to tickle your funny bone:)

Blonde paint job 

A blonde, wanting to earn some money, decided to hire herself out as a handyman-type and started canvassing a wealthy neighborhood. She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any jobs for her to do.

"Well, you can paint my porch. How much will you charge?" The blonde said, "How about 50 dollars?" The man agreed and told her that the paint and ladders that she might need were in the garage. The man's wife, inside the house, heard the conversation and said to her husband, "Does she realize that the porch goes all the way around the house?" The man replied, "She should. She was standing on the porch."

A short time later, the blonde came to the door to collect her money. "You're finished already?" he asked. "Yes," the blonde answered, "and I had paint left over, so I gave it two coats. "Impressed, the man reached in his pocket for the $50. "And by the way," the blonde added, "that's not a Porch, it's a Ferrari."

Choking Around

So I am writing my first impressions of school, so that in a month I can look back and know how excited I was to do this.  I know it is going to be a lot of work, but it is work I want to do and I really feel like a door has opened for me that I need to walk through.  Today in my photography class I realized how blessed I am to be doing this.  Not everyone can just drop everything and go back to school.  But I have that opportunity and I am so very grateful.
The work load for my photo class looks like it will be manageable.  We are first learning about basics and I think I already know some of that.   And it should be fun to learn what I don't know yet.  My teacher went to an Oakland art school, I'm not sure which one.  I keep looking at him and thinking my Tommy would be almost his age.  He would be turning 34 in February.  And that is very strange to realize.  I always think of him as being 6...the age he was when he died.  So I am going to have to be careful to not treat my teacher like he is a son.  It shouldn't be too difficult.
My other class...Drawing...should be interesting.  It seems like the teacher there is maybe 25.  He seems very personable, and I like him, but he seems also to be very idealistic...not well acquainted with life.  So I think he is going to be hard.  That is good, since I really want to learn to draw better.  I just hope I can keep a good grade.  I have to keep a B average in my major to graduate.  He went through the syllabus and what he expects and then joked if anyone wanted to drop the class.  I raised my hand.  He asked why, and I said because I had so little experience, and I was worried about that.  He said,"Are you afraid to work?"  I said, "No, I am a hard worker, and I love drawing.  But I feel like everyone else in here has lots of years of drawing."  The rest of the class started in with "I don't have much experience either" statements.  I said that made me feel better.  He said, "You have a lot of supporters here."  I laughed and said, "Yeah, a bunch of losers."  As soon as I said it I realized it had come out wrong.  I felt very bad and said that I was joking.  What I meant to say was that a lot of us were in the same boat...but that maybe the boat was leaking.  Oh well, I hope no one takes offense.  I need to just keep my mouth shut sometimes!  Maybe a whole lot of the time.
Well, what other embarrassing thing have I done?  Oh I know.  I had a new top on yesterday.  It is black and white and warm.  I like it a lot.  Anyway I was sitting at the table last night and Kim noticed it still had a tag on it....the sticky kind that runs down the length of the fabric with the size on it.  I was surprised I had gotten through a whole day with no one mentioning it.  Perhaps it blended in since it was also black print on clear tape:)  Woe is me!
Well, I guess I have established that I am human.  I still say and do stupid things.  Sigh!  I wish I didn't.  I hope your day has been happy so far.  Take care.  You can laugh at me a little if you need to.

Funny Tale

Good morning!  I have such a funny story to tell:)  Well, maybe it won't seem that funny to most of you...unless you play in an orchestra.  Last night we were playing along and the cellos sounded really bad....and it is hard for a cello to sound bad, it is a nice sounding instrument.  So the conductor stopped the orchestra and asked if they were at letter B.  They said yes and then we started again at letter B.  Still awful!  So then the cellist said, "Is B at measure 37?"  The conductor said, "no, it is at measure 39".  Oh, well that is a problem.  So we started once again, only this time it sounded even worse.  The conductor said, a little more exasperated, "measure 39!  Do you have it?"  The cellist said "yes", we started once again and no improvement in sound.  So the cellist got up and took her music up to the conductor to compare with the score...and then started laughing!  She was on a different song!  Somehow she had thought we had moved on to the next song and so of course the key and notes were different.  We all had a good laugh.  Our conductor is especially nice.  I have had some in the past that would not have laughed.  I appreciate his good humor.
I actually had a great time last night at orchestra, even as tired as I was.  And I did have a good talk with the conductor and explained more fully the situation with classes.  He was very supportive and just said to come when I can....which I will.  I really do enjoy playing hymns!  Although we had several written with 5 sharps last night.  I won't get by without practicing.  The other clarinetist was quite nice and he isn't competitive, so that is nice.  I have a hard time when someone is always trying to show how much better they are or whatever.  That only happened once though, a few years back.
Well, I am excited to go to class again today.  I have everything ready, just need to eat and curl my bushy crazy hair.  It is worse some days.  It is rainy and supposed to be icy today.  The humidity is what makes it so curly.
Hope you have a lovely day!  Remember I'm still pulling for ya!  We're all in this together!  Keep smiling.  I am smiling a little too much I think.  I really do love being in school!  HAVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Taught by the Tune of a Hickory Stick

Wow!  I am going to have an amazing and very busy semester!  But I am soooo excited.  My teacher for the 107 class seems so nice.  And he is funny!  He sort of talks in a stream of consciousness and it is pretty fun to listen to.  I don't think I will get bored in there.  And my painting class is kind of fun too because we will be doing oil painting.  The sort of down side is that the teacher seems like she is really into abstract art. And I really want to learn to do realism.  Still, the techniques are the same and I am sure to learn a lot.  And who knows?  Maybe I will convert....nah, I don't think so.
After listening to all of their counsel about which materials we needed, I took a couple of to the bookstore and then on to the art store.  I spent a lot of money!  But it is still a deal.  I got everything half price at the art store for their back to school special.  And I bought the coolest book for my photography class!  Never mind that it was $140....well, it really is a beautiful book and I liked having an excuse to buy it.  I can tell I am doing what I love, because even the boring stuff is interesting to me.  I loved hearing and reading about the art terms.  I just hope I can remember it all.  And I am not sure there is enough time in the day to keep up with everything.  I may have to be more firm with the orchestra leader!  I go there tonight. Sigh!  I hate to disappoint people.  If he would just let me come once a month I am sure I could work it out, but two nights a week is too much of a commitment right now.
So I met an interesting lady today.  One of the first students that is near my age.  Her name is Katrina and she is from the Philippines.  She is majoring in Psychology, but is taking the painting class to get credits to graduate.  Anyway, I liked her a lot.  There were four people in that class that were over forty!  That is kind of nice.  One man, Randy somebody has worked in the film industry back in Chicago.  He sounded very interesting.  He has a master's already in graphic art I think.  And most of the people in my painting class seemed really nice.  The teacher is from New Zealand, and although she has been here for a while, she has a very strong accent.  I had a hard time understanding a lot of what she said.   I thought at first it was my difficulty hearing, but decided when she called "lids", leads, that maybe it was her pronunciation.  She really is fun though, and I think I will like her.
Tomorrow morning is my photography class, followed by a drawing class.  I am excited about both, but especially the photography class.  I will have the same teacher for that as I do for my 107 class...Matthew is what he wants to be called.  He says his grandfather is Mr. Brunicardi and he would rather be called by his first name.  He is only 34.  I think I didn't like being addressed as Mrs. Weyerman when I was 34 either.  Anyway, his passion is photography, so I think it may be that I learn a lot from that class.
Well, I had better get dinner on.  I hope your day has been full and fun.  Take care out there.  Keep smiling.  I am grinning from ear to ear.  I love least for today:)  TTTL  Melody

School Daze:)

Good Morning!  I am really going to school today.  And I must admit I am very excited...I could hardly sleep.  I guess I am a tad nervous about it all.  I hope it all goes well.  And I wonder if I will see anyone in my classes closer to my own age.  It's a possibility, but not a probability.  Although, if seniors knew what a deal it was there would be more I am sure!
I think I will write more later since I have no funny stories or great insights this morning.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blue Skies and Swanee River:)

Good morning!  It is so nice to wake up to the sounds of ....children running up and down the stairs:)  I am beginning to adjust to everything and it is nice.  And I had a pretty good laugh at the breakfast table and beyond today.  Mel was defending his need to work in the shop on a holiday, and he started singing to the tune of "Camp Down Races"..."I need to work in the shop today...doo da, doo da!"    So I sang back to the tune of Swanee River, "My husband likes to work in his shop....far, far away!"  We both laughed at that.  In "The King's Speech" he sang when it was hard to speak:)  So Ellen wondered what songs those were, and I sang the real songs to her.  Then I started singing other songs I had been required to learn in elementary school..."I've got a Mule and her name is Sal...fifteen miles on the Eerie Canal."  I suppose we had to learn those songs as a part of American history or something, but they seem funny now.  I have a lot of them stored away in my brain...probably taking up good usable space!  I then started singing jump rope songs to Elle.  "Not last night  but the night before....24 robbers came a knocking at my door"  and "California Oranges, put me in a sack".  It is amazing how many songs I have stored away...and so many of them like that...songs I don't really like too much.  But they do bring back some interesting memories.  I can see the school yard and the other children and even the teacher.  I am glad for that.  I have always had an easy time memorizing music.  I tried to learn German vocabulary that way.  I wasn't so successful in that area.
Last night I got on the computer to see what...if any...books I need to get for my classes tomorrow.  And I was delighted to find out I need an oil painting book for my painting class.  I was not sure what we would be doing in there, only that it is a lab and it would be some kind of painting.  So I am excited that we will be doing least it looks that way.  I have painting tomorrow and also Art 107 which is a class on terms and theory I think.  I have to take the 107 and 108 courses to be able to take upper division art.  It is the class that scares me the most because I am sure I will have to memorize terms.  Maybe "Camp Down Races" will come in handy:)
Today I am washing some clothes, doing zumba here at home with Kim, and then delivering parts with Mel.  The sun is finally out!  I am very glad to see it!  Blue Skies....smiling at me:)  It is wonderful!  My good and happy self is more gloomy feelings.  It feels so nice...but it makes me frustrated to be so dependent on the environment to be happy.  I will keep working on that.  I really prefer happiness to sadness:)
Well, I best get on with my day.  I hope yours is happy and bright....with lots of sunshine and blue skies smiling down on you!  Remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!!  Keep smiling and HAVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sing Some Happy Song!

Good Sabbath morning to you!  I am feeling back to my old self again today.  I think I needed sleep:)  Anyway it feels good to be alive today.  Last night Mel took me to the movies and a quick trip through Wendy's, so we had a date night:)  I think I needed a get away.  We saw "The King's Speech" which was excellent, despite the very short trip into expletives of an offensive nature.  I guess it was a way to cure stammering.  Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Such a sweet study of the power of friendship.
Today we are off to my nephew's missionary farewell.  He is going to Nashville.  It should be a good mission for him.  He is a sweet young man.
I found out yesterday that my dad's sweet wife, Barb is in the hospital.  She has a case of pneumonia.  She also has a very serious chronic lung disease.  But when I talked to her yesterday she was feeling much better and hoping to come home today.  They are in Oregon right now visiting her family.  So I am a little worried about her.  I hope she recovers quickly!
Well I hope your day is calm and happy, and that all is well out there in cyberspace.  I watched the Red Green show last night and smiled as he said, "Remember I'm pulling for ya!  We're all in this together!"  I had sort of forgotten who I had stolen that from:)  Take care and keep smiling!  And HAVGW!!!!  Melody

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Things are looking Better!

OK, so here is a wonderful link.   This is a talk by Elder Christofferson from the website.  It really helped me this morning.  Now I am going on a walk with my dear daughter Kim.  I also got a call from my dear daughter Amy to go for a walk.  Sorry I sounded so gloomy.  I am sure this is just a lack of enough sleep, hormones, and whatever.  I need to go walking!  Melody,AAAAmBrDwtE~,_58lK-P1xvJ5WTHbRnmdONkYkAiPKoal&lang=eng

Good Day

Good morning!  I am trying to stay positive today.  It is so gloomy out though.  There is lots of fog, and Mel has to work, and I am here alone as Kim and kids went to the Y so she could teach a zumba class.  I was invited, but I need to get some clothes to exercise in.  I sent everything to DI on a more optimistic day and now I need stretchy pants and an old T shirt.  Oh well.  I need to build up to it anyway.  I don't want to zumba into a heart attack.
On the bright side....I got my syllabus for my drawing class and it sounds like we will be doing cool drawings using charcoal of course, but also watercolor pencils, and colored papers.  In his statement of class objectives the teacher said he is trying to teach many different medias of expression.  That sounds good to me.  I have so little experience with all of it.  I think it will be fun...although it also sounds like he expects a lot of work!  So I will be pushed...which is good for me I think.  Speaking of which the orchestra leader called and did not like that I had begged out of orchestra this year.  He wants me to come when I can.  I have such a hard time telling people no, and he is a persistent person.  So I guess I will try to go to orchestra when it is feasible.  I told him once a month for his recordings.  He said he needed me to practice more.  I told him I didn't think I could come more than that.  Luckily he has another clarinetist that can take the lead parts.  I will just be the harmony.  We shall see.  I am not sacrificing my art degree for a volunteer orchestra.  Boy, I do sound a little ornery this morning!
Last night we stayed home and had spaghetti and watched old movies on TV.  We watched an old Western with Gregory Peck..."The Stalking Moon". It was fun to watch!  Especially all of the old stereotypical stuff that was in every Western.  I loved when the Indian "doubled back".  And how out of shape and much older Gregory P was supposed to be this amazing scout and could track anything.  And all of the scenes with horses!  The thing I missed were the horses going out of control on a stage coach and someone climbing up to the driver's box and saving the whole stage.  They had at least one of those kind of scenes every month on The Lone Ranger or Hop Along Cassidy!   I guess I am still missing the "old days" a little.  I wish I could take a drive over to the coast and just watch waves today.  I am kind of in a wave watching mood.  I have been trying to convince myself that the fog outside is from the ocean.  I miss the ocean again.  And being young.  And the certainty that I have a long time here still.  I think the gray days are beginning to get to me again.  I will try to be kind to myself today and exercise on my stationary bike.  I definitely need some endorphins!
Well, I hope I am not spreading my melancholy.  Life really is wonderful.  And I know that.  Just some days it is hard to feel cheery and bright.  I hope your day is full of cheer and good thoughts and lots of wonderful family.  Take care and remember we're all in this together.  Keep smiling and I will do the same.  HAGW!!!  Melody

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lazy Day

Good morning!  Slick!  That's the word for this morning.  It is slick outside.  It warmed up enough to rain last night and this morning it is all frozen to the roads.  I am grateful school hasn't started for me yet.  I wouldn't want to drive in it.  But my car could handle it I suppose.  It's just me that gets nervous and worried that I will slide through an intersection full of cars going the other way:)  I did that once and I guess it has made me very cautious approaching intersections when the road is iced over.
Well, today should be fun.  I have done most of the work I planned to do this week, so it is a play day for me.  I have Sebastian here today, so maybe the two of us can find some fun things to do.  I may go into Boise when it warms up a little or Kuna.  Kuna is a little farm town south of Boise and I like their library.  They have lots of movies and church books.  I have a few I would really like to read, so I may just drive on over.  In the booming metropolis of Boise there is also a very nice library, an art museum, a black history museum, a zoo, and most important to me right now, a university.  I need to go to the bookstore there and check to see if I need anything for my classes.  Last time I checked there was nothing listed, but that was a couple of weeks ago, and things change:)  Besides, it is kind of fun to walk by the river near campus.  If the weather clears I would love to do that.  I used to like to go to the animal shelter and look at the puppies when my kids were little.  They enjoyed that.  Now it just makes me kind of sad to see all of the animals without homes...especially knowing that so many of them will be put down.  I don't think there are too many animal activist groups here in Idaho.  I haven't heard of one at any rate.  For a while I did foster care for the animal shelter.  But that didn't last very long.  The lady in charge of the program was so extreme.  She didn't want to hear that any of the animals would not make good pets.   We got a cat with kittens once. The kittens were still quite small, so they needed to be cared for and nursed by the mommy cat.  She did that job very well.  But she was not very tame, and wouldn't allow anyone near herself or the kittens.  One day we were outside with the garage door open.  The cat with kittens had a box in the garage.  A big black lab came sauntering by the front yard, and that cat raced out to meet him and jumped him with all her claws extended, screeching at him like a banshee!  It was funny to watch!  Mel couldn't believe this little cat would take on a seemingly harmless, but rather large canine.  We didn't see that dog again!  After the kittens were all adopted out, I told the animal shelter lady about the incident, and how the cat was not tame, and probably wouldn't make a good pet.  She didn't believe me, but took the cat back to the shelter when I insisted.  About a week later she called to say I was right.  I guess no one at the shelter could handle her either.
Well, I hope your day goes well out there in cyberspace!  Watch out for ice and screeching cats!  Remember to smile!  HAVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Smiling and Grinning!

Good morning!  It is beautiful and cold here....nothing new.  I walked the kids out to the bus this morning(yay!) and the sun was coming up on the horizon...a gorgeous orangey pink...very brilliant.  I love to see the sunrise!  And it was so nice to put the kids on the bus!  No more morning rides with quarreling kids.  They have gotten a little better.  And I suppose they would eventually stop all of the fighting, but it is so nice not to have to be the disciplinarian!  Yesterday afternoon I kind of lost it.  I had to fight with Aaron to get him into the car to go to the church to decorate.  Then when I got there, the other leader with the key wasn't there.  So I drove to KFC and got the kids some food, went back to the church....still no leader.  There was a car there, but I thought it was the high priest in charge of the building and I didn't feel comfortable being there alone with him, so I finally went home and worked on the refreshments.  I got a call about an hour later from the YW president.  It had been her car and she thought I was coming to help.  Oops!  Oh well, I hadn't been told.  It all came off without a hitch though last night.  I was just a stressed old lady by the time it did.  I don't have the same non deplume (sp?) I used to have as a younger mother.  I remember not being phased by kids or their antics.  Now it really gets to me.  I remember thinking my mom sure got bugged with the kids.  Now I understand a little better.  I think I am missing some key calming hormone or something!
I saw a couple of eagles in the last few days.  Yesterday as I was driving across the bridge in Eagle a beautiful bald eagle flew in front of me following the river.  It was so nice to see!  Then, here by the lake I saw a whole family of eagles flying high and circling each other.  I love the wildlife out here.  That is one thing I find very calming.  I would love to go for a walk today, but everything is iced over.  I did bring my stationary bike into the bedroom though, so I can ride it for awhile.  I need to do something active.  It seems like I am always in the car or sitting somewhere in the house.  I resolve (one more time!) to be active every day.  It will help to be in school.  At least there I have to walk from one classroom to another:)
Well, I guess I had better get going.  It is already light outside and I haven't done much.  Well, except for getting the kids ready for school, fixing breakfast and walking them out to the bus:)  I hope I can get a bunch done today.  I just can't remember what.  Oh well, it will come to me.  I hope your day is going well!  Have a happy day out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  Melody

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is it still daylight?

Hallooooo!   I have been going strong all day.  But it has been a good day, even if somewhat busy.  I started the day out with waffles...not only that...gluten free waffles.  But Kim was too rushed to even stop for breakfast, so I could have made them glutenous.  Anyway, then I had to bus the kids to school and travel on over to Meridian to Book Club.  I am so glad I went!  What a wonderful group of friends I have there!  It is so fun to visit and to hear how everyone is doing and how their kids are all faring.  It seems like they all share the same concerns and worries that I have for my own kids, and there is some comfort in that.  We decided we had all been wonderful mothers :) and that any problems our kids were having was because of the strange and scary times in which we live.  No more mother's guilt for us!  They are really good women and it was fun to talk and laugh and discuss a book we all pretended to have read.  I think most of them did get it read.  But no one seemed too enthused about it.  The lady who picked it was even disappointed in much of it.  But she was excited to share her adventures in Kenya and her feelings about the Masai tribe they visited.  She had lots of pictures and it was really interesting.  Then after it was over I spent quite a bit of time talking to an artist in the group.  She does sculpture mostly, but had a lot of good advice on classes and lots of encouragement for me.  I really enjoyed hearing her thoughts on the different classes and teachers.  So I felt it was certainly worth the trip into Boise.
Afterwards I went to the art store for a few things, and then on over to my dad's house.  He told me I could borrow his nice camera for my photography class.  I am excited to do that.  It may be what I need to get a good grade.  It is a really good camera.  It won't take a bad picture!  That is from my dad:)  And he was glad for me to use it since with the arrival of digital cameras he hardly uses it anymore.
So then I got home and tried to put a back on my WATW painting.  I finally figured out something I think looks OK.  I will have to take a class in framing pictures one of these days.  I really could use some help there I think.  But now I can hand it over to the lady in charge and be done with it for a while.  Although my book club friends all want to see it and I promised I would bring it next time I am able to make it to book club....not for a while I think.
Tonight is our New Beginnings and I am in charge of refreshments and decorations along with the other MIA maid leader.  I will have to bring the kids along to decorate in about an hour.  That will be interesting.  I hope they cooperate!
Well, I hope your day is going well.  I hope all is well out there in cyberspace!  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you.  We're still in this together!  And today it looks like it will all be fine in the end. I'm hoping so anyway!  I am still smiling!  Melody

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Staying Calm... or Maybe Getting Calm!

Guten morgen!  I am off and running already today.  The bus is still not picking up the kids, although we watch it go by each day:)  Hopefully tomorrow.  In the meantime I am on bus duty.  And today I am watching Sebastian, since his kindergarten is only 2 1/2 days a week.  I guess next week he will go to daycare at the local recreation center.  They have a nice program for all of these misplaced kindergartners.  It makes me a little sad.  I remember kindergarten days as a kindergartner and as a mom of one.  When I was in kindergarten the whole program was fun....milk and graham crackers, recess, painting, playing house with my two best friends at the time, and nap time.  I didn't ever do too well with nap time back then though.  I spent a lot of time under the teacher's desk for talking too much.  I may have been a little ADD or even ADHD.  Although I don't remember being especially daring.  I do remember being very distracted at times.  But I think school was not too hard for me, so I could catch up when I needed to.
Yesterday after school I was helping kids with homework.  Ellen is going to be challenged in math I think.  Her class is ahead of her in math.  I had a dickens of a time trying to explain common denominators to her.  I understand it myself, but I couldn't figure out a way to teach it to her so that she would grasp the concept.  And then it was subtraction and borrowing from the whole number of the fraction.  Again, I didn't know how to make it interesting for her.  She has already decided she hates math.  It is something I have always loved, except for a brief time in geometry.  And then again in stoichiometry:)  At any rate, it is my current week's goal to teach her to love it.  I think I may have a song or two hidden away somewhere that would help her learn her multiplication tables, and I am sure there are games on the internet for fractions.  I will do a search today.
So my list today includes...putting a backing on the frame of my WATW painting.  I guess it will go on display this weekend and next week for the performance.   I watched a how-to online.  I hope it works:)  I also need to read all the reviews I can find on "The White Masai" for book club tomorrow.  I wasn't able to read the book, but from the reviews I have read so far it is just as well.  I may not even go tomorrow.  There is a lot I could be doing here at home.  I just like to see my friends.  The book is always kind of secondary to that.  One of the members just got back from Africa, so it would be fun to hear of her adventures there.  And who knows?  I may be taking a trip there this Spring if the adoption goes through and Mel's business takes off again.  It has hit a bit of a slow spot again.  Not as bad as a couple of years ago, but it feels tight.
I also need to find a red blouse, or sweater or something.  Our New Beginnings is Wednesday night and the theme is every day.  In this case the scriptures.  They are doing it in Primary also.  The kids all get red wristbands to wear that say something about Are You RED?  It's a cute idea.  I think it will help kids to read their scriptures more.  It was cute yesterday.  The Primary president came by to meet the kids and explain the program and give them their wristbands.  And Elle said, "We already do that with Grandma and Grandpa now!"  It made me feel good, like we are doing one thing right.  I have been feeling so overwhelmed with them here, and my cool often leaves and all of the positive parenting classes fly out the window as I am trying to get them to stop fighting!  I laugh a little now as I am writing this.  Why is it so hard not to join in and Yell, "Stop fighting!"?  I guess I will get this one of these days. I keep telling myself to be calm.  And I am until they all start screaming at each other in the car.  I am trying to set up a reward system so that they get rewarded for good behavior in the car.  It worked this morning driving them to school.  They were quiet little angels anticipating computer time.  I told them they would get 5 minutes if they could ride quietly to school.  I hope it works on the way home.
Well, I suppose I should get going.  I have laundry to get started and a dishwasher to load.  And a sweet little 5 year old to keep busy.  He drew me a baby chihuahua ninja that is really cute, but I still haven't figured out how to make the scanner on my printer work with this new computer.  Oh well.   I hope your day is going well.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  I'm still pulling from my side of things!  Maybe yanking:)   HAGW!!!  Melody

Monday, January 10, 2011


Yay!  The kids all went to school!  They were so cute as they each went off with their new teacher.  Ellen got a man...Frank something.  He looked nice. Elle is in the fifth grade, so a man might be nice for all of those rowdy hooligan types:)  Sebastian's kindergarten teacher was so warm and cute with him.  I think he will be happy with her today.  And Aaron's teacher, Mrs. Weiskircher, invited me along to see the classroom and to help him get situated.  She said she thought my name looked hard to pronounce, but I would say hers was spelled in that crazy Germanic way also.  She seemed very nice and I feel good about Aaron in her class.  And I finally have time for me!  I sure am getting to be a selfish old lady!  I read Elder Uchtdorf's talk yesterday about priorities, and I hope I have mine in the right place.  I do feel a little selfish pursuing my own interests.  But he talked about four relationships, and one of them was with yourself, so I guess it is OK to take a bit of time for me after 40 years of raising children of my own and foster kids and my own grandkids.  Do I sound like I am justifying?  I am I think.  And I know I would give it all up if I thought it was important.  But I do want to learn to draw and paint so that I can uplift other people.  My motives are mostly pure:)
Well, I had better get back to it.  I guess I just didn't want anyone out there worrying about me.  I am fine, happy, and motivated!  And I feel so blessed!  Hope your day is going well.  Melody


Good morning!  Monday morning again!  How do they come so quickly?  It seems so strange to have weeks just whizzing by...faster and faster!  I sometimes wonder if the rotation of the earth has changed:)  But I suppose it is just my perception of time that has changed.
I woke up from a dream this morning where I was trying to get a shower and get ready for the day, but all of these grandchildren and nieces and nephews kept walking in and made it impossible.  I would just get all of them out and another would pop in my bedroom.  I often have frustrating dreams like that and I wonder why or what they mean.  I guess I am worried I will sleep in too long or something.  I'm not sure.
So today I am supposed to bring the kids to the school at see if they can start school today.  No assurances that they can.  I am not sure why this is taking so much time and trouble.  I sure hope they start today though.  I have a lot I need to accomplish before I start school next week.  I want to feel ahead of things...not behind.  So I have a list in my head.  I suppose I'd better put it to paper before I forget it all.  My main goal today is to get my adjustable old fashioned non-digital camera in shape.  It needs a battery and I also need to purchase some black and white film.  And I need to remind Kim to get her developing equipment from her storage trailer.  She took this class a few years ago, so she has already purchased a lot of the stuff.
Then I would like to spend a little time painting.  I am really missing it, and I just can't seem to get to it.  I hope this all changes with the kids in school:)  I am sooo excited to start my school next week.  But Martin Luther King Day is Monday so I will not start until Tuesday.  I am sure most of the other students are dreading classes starting again.  I hope I can maintain my enthusiasm through the whole semester.  I am quite concerned about going all day for four days in a row each week.  I hope I can.  I suppose I have a week or two to see how I do.  If it is too hard I will drop a class.  It used to be that I would take as many semester hours as I could...back in the day.  But I suppose there is no real hurry.  I am just anxious to learn all that I can.
Well, I guess I had better get that shower!  I hope this finds you happy and well.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  Remember to keep your stick on the ice. And keep smiling! I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!    HAGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning

Guten Tag!  It is still dark out my window this morning.  I guess I have to wait a few months before it is light out my window at this time of the morning.  I like waking up to light, but it is also fun to see the sun rise.  It is not usually as spectacular as the sun setting, but it is still beautiful.
Last night as Mel and I were driving over to Walmart from here, we hit a deer.  We see them all of the time out here, but have managed to dodge them for the last 9 1/2 years.  This one came from my side of the road and ran so quickly Mel couldn't avoid it.  Luckily we were not going very fast and the deer didn't seem too injured.  He rolled over and got up and trotted away.  Our car didn't have any damage either.  So I guess we were all lucky, and blessed.  But it left me feeling kind of weird.  I guess it made me think how quickly things can happen to change the course of your life.  I am always a little stunned when things happen so quickly.  I am so grateful that it was not a serious accident.  I feel very blessed.
Today is church of course.  I will be glad when I have given my lesson and I can rest today.  I think I need this day to rest and ponder.  I love Sundays.    I always feel so renewed and able to go on with life.  I think how wise our Father was to give us a day to rest from all of our labors.  I love to read and just take it easy for the day.  I don't usually cook much...usually we eat simply.  I am grateful for a day when I don't have to feel guilty about not cleaning:)
So I hope your day goes well too.  Watch out for deer!   Keep your face in a smiling mode, and stay happy.  Remember I'm still pulling for you.  We're all in this together!  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, January 8, 2011


The Man in the Moon is Smiling
Good morning!  I have been working on my YW lesson for tomorrow.  It is a good one, "Coming to Know the Savior".  And I will have enough material to make it interesting for the girls I think.  It is my favorite topic.  I had a dream though that I slept in and missed church.  We are meeting at nine now, and I guess my subconscious doesn't want me to forget that.  It was a good reminder that I won't have any time tomorrow morning to put things together so I thought I'd better get what I could get done this morning.  I am glad for dreams:)
Last night as Mel and I were coming home, the moon was smiling at us.  I love when the moon is waning...or waxing, and it gets to look like a smile in the sky.  It reminds me of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland.  But I also always remember the Harry Connick, jr. song....The Man in the Moon Is Smiling...Cuz he's in love with the girl in the world.  I think it is really called "Heavenly."  It is one of my favorite songs of his, and it is especially nice because it is done acapella.  I love that sound!
So besides my lesson today, I will finish organizing my bedroom.  I made great headway yesterday.  I found a whole drawer full of old checks that I can just shred and throw out.  So that clears up a lot of space for hiding other things:)  I tend to do that I think.  I can't decide whether I should throw something out, so I hide it in a drawer or cupboard until I can decide.  The trouble is I forget that I hid it and then when I discover it again years later it is something I should have thrown out in the first place!  Ah well.  When I get my bedroom organized I am going to work on my art studio.  It isn't so bad, but I do need to figure out what to do with bits and pieces of paper and mat board, old paintings that I don't like, etc.  I kind of hate to throw things out.  I think I have adopted the habits of my  grandparents and great aunts and uncles who could never throw anything away.  I always feel very wasteful when I do.  So I try to sort out what someone else may use and take it to a charity.  But then while I am at the charity, I usually find something I think is cool and so I buy it and bring it home.  Last time I found an old art box...full of pastels and watercolors and paints and pencils.  It really is cool, but I know I will never use it.  I thought I would give it to one of the grandkids for a birthday present.  I did try, but my granddaughter said she already had a nicer one:)  I guess I will have to give it to someone younger who hasn't already gotten one yet.  It is kind of antique looking though, so I hate for it to get ruined.  Are you seeing my problem?  I guess I am a hoarder:)  That sounds so awful!  I don't really think I am.
So I am sure this is getting boring.  Sorry.  I guess the things I need to write about today are more private than I am willing to share.  So I will journal:)  I really am enjoying writing these days.  Even when I know it bores others, I enjoy reading what I write.  I think I like seeing that I am doing OK.  And remembering the things I have already forgotten.
Well, I hope your day is wonderful out there in cyberspace!  Take care!  Keep smiling!  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Friday, January 7, 2011

Post Script

I just found an old notebook I had and was going to throw it away when I came across a cute little thing that Taylor had said.  And I didn't want to forget it.  He is quickly growing past the age of innocence.  Anyway, he said, "Grandma, our fruit trees have fruit...but they're not locally grown yet."  It makes me smile to write it.  How quickly childhood passes!  He would know now that he was still learning the meaning of words when he said that...only last summer or possibly the one before I think. SIGH!!!!  It goes so fast anymore.  I just can't keep up.  Oh well. That's life.  I tried to spell that in French, but failed.  C'est la vie.  Thank you translator app!  HAGW!!!  Melody

Thank Goodness for Friday!

Good morning!  I am dressed and ready for the day.  No the kids are not in school yet.  The secretary called and said they hope they will have everything ready for them to go to school on Monday.  It seems so strange to me....I think they are stalling:)  But what ever the reasons, I guess we have another day of fun and adventure.  Yesterday we made flowers...and cookies.  The boys were more interested in watching Ice Age than making airplanes.  Elle seemed more interested in playing games on her mom's computer than anything.  I am a little worried about that.  I just watched a program on pbs about computer addiction in kids.  So I naturally am wary and trying to think of ways to keep her off of there today.  At her age I used to play horses and roller skate and ride my bike all over Castro Valley and Hayward.  Growing up in California I think was an advantage because the weather was usually OK enough to play outside.  We had a creek down the hill where we lived there and I used to hunt for frogs and pollywogs.  And I broke my arm playing a spy game down in the vacant lot.   I don't think I was aware of fashion.  I certainly was unaware of the bigger world out there.  The world has changed for young people.  I feel sorry for them growing up so fast.  I loved my imaginary world and I am glad it was not destroyed by electronics.  When I am very down I like to think of life as a child.  It felt safe and fun and just wonderful.  Of course I have probably forgotten a lot.  That is the nice thing about memories.  You can pick and choose the things that you want to remember...most of the time.  I guess there are those pesky memories of the things you would like to forget and can't seem to do so.  But I suppose those are there to keep you from repeating things you would rather forget:)
Well, I am off on a tangent already this morning!  I hope I can stay focused today.  There is a lot I need to accomplish around here.  Mostly I need to have fun with the grandkids.  But my bedroom and my art studio both are beginning to look like someone can't decide how to organize.  I have piles everywhere!  In my bedroom it is piles of papers and mutual stuff and many books.  I keep telling Mel I need a book shelf near my bed.  I may just have to go find one today.  Something cheap...maybe at a used furniture store.  And my art studio is piled with frames and old paintings....and more books!  Did I mention I like to read?  The trouble is I read lots of books at the same time.  Right now I am supposed to be reading a book for book club that I haven't started yet.  I guess I will read it this weekend.  It is called the "White Massai".  I am not sure of the spelling.  One of our members went to Africa recently and she thinks we should all read this book.  It is about a white person who joined a Massai tribe and his experience.  It sounds good.  And since book club is next Wednesday I can go.  My school doesn't start until the 18th.
Well, I best be goin'.  I wanted to fix a nice breakfast to get the day started right.  I hope your day is going well.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  Remember I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  And have a most glorious and great wan!!!  Melody

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Feeling Grounded (In a good way)

Good morning!  And it is:)  I am feeling so normal lately...almost back to my old self again.  I am so grateful for that!  And grateful for all of the support and love and generosity of my family and friends.  Thank you!  Life feels good again.  I still have challenges, and there will be times I feel blue.  But I think the "great sadness" is gone.  And that feels soooo wonderful.  I have gained a new perspective through all of this.  I think I am more aware of mental illness and how devastating it can be.  And I have more empathy for those who are fighting depression.  It is not easy, and can feel so physical.  I'm grateful for my counselor.  She has really helped me to keep perspective and to push back the feelings of helplessness.  I think that may have been the hardest part.  It felt like I had fallen down a big hole and it was so hard to climb out!  So thank you for the hands outstretched to grab onto.  It has really helped!
Well, today I am watching my grandchildren again.  The school said they need time to get them into their classes:)  Whatever, I am fine with it.  We will have a fun day today.  I will keep them here at home to play and have fun.  Our mutual activity went well last night, making flowers, so I may teach that to Elle today.  She might get a kick out of it.  I am not sure what to do to keep the boys busy.  Maybe paper airplanes!  The cub scouts always enjoyed that.  I taught cubs for a few years.  I have always enjoyed boys that age.  They can be so fun.
I had a nice thought last night at mutual.  They were talking about replacing some of the pictures in the YW room.  There is one that is very nice of Christ with some young women.  I told the other advisor I thought it would be nice to attempt that....only use our girls as models.  Some of the girls heard that and started volunteering to model:)  They are all so positive about my talents.  It feels good.  I read something yesterday about how if you act like you already are what you want to be that amazing things will happen.  So I thought maybe I need to act like I already am an artist.  My counselor is always telling me I already am.  And I always argue that I am still learning the skills.  And she says that is the easy part:)  I guess it is something I am still learning.  But I hope she is right.  I have always wanted to be an artist.  I just didn't think I was good enough.  Perhaps I needed to give myself permission.  It is funny the games we play with ourselves and not even realize it.
Well, I am getting a little philosophical.  I guess I do that a lot.  I like to spend time thinking out loud on here.  I found a funny Monty Python song about Alzheimer's yesterday and put it on my playlist.  If you haven't heard it, I suggest you listen.  I think it is good to laugh about the things that scare you.
So I hope you have a lovely day out there in cyberspace.  I plan to here.  Take care and be sure to keep your stick on the ice....or your brush in the paint.  Remember I'm still pulling for you!  And Have a Very Great Wan!!!  Melody

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More M and C

Ha, ha!  The sign in town has me laughing!  Today it said..."Boy- a noise with dirt on it."   I can really identify with that one today.  The school would not take the kids today.  We have to have forms filled out and notarized!  I don't know if a public school can legally do that...but apparently they can and did!  Whatever happened to free education?  And a state's obligation to educate its citizens?  So I have the kids since Kim has to work.  I kinda walked into that one I guess.
So that is all I have to write.  More moaning and complaining!  I am glad I have somewhere to dump all of this:)  TTTL   Melody

Imagination is Funny!

Good morning!  I hope it is today.  I am feeling like it should be.  But I must admit that I kind of dread Wednesdays anymore.  I think it is because Mel goes off to the temple and comes home so late. I am glad he works at the temple...don't misunderstand.   I think it will help that Kim and kids are here.  I really don't enjoy being home alone much.
So today we are registering the kids in the school here.  We still have some bugs to work out though.  Sebastian is in kindergarten, and that means he only goes to school Mondays and Wednesdays and every other Friday.  Gone are half days because of the school's budget.  I guess transportation became an issue.  In some ways it is good, but we are not sure how to work out Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I will be in school late on those days, and Kim's job keeps her til 6 ish.  Mel could watch him....not.  So it is either day care, Kim switches jobs, or?  Anciently I would have sacrificed whatever I was doing.  But I just can't do that this time.  I need to take care of my I stay sane.  So.... a dilemma.  I hope it all works out.  I will make it a matter of prayer, and remember that my God is a God of miracles!  It may take one for this!
Boy I am beginning to feel like a chronic discloser!  But it really does help to complain and moan on here.  Then I am pretty normal in real life.  And you really don't have to read it if it bothers you, you know:)
So yesterday as I was driving around here and there, I noticed cute little cat paw prints on my windshield.  Most of the time I guess the car isn't so clean that it is that obvious, but I just went through a car wash a couple of days ago, so that the prints were very clear.  They looked a little like miniature handprints and it made me smile thinking of what kind of a creature might create such a print.  I pictured some kind of a little fairy with wings and the whole thing.  Maybe this is the beginning of Alzheimer's:)  I do seem to picture things more vividly than I used to.  Or maybe it is the artist in me seeing possibilities in everything around me.  I hope it is the latter.
Well, obviously I am babbling on.  I guess I had better get on with my day.  I hope yours is full of fun and great imagination:)  Take care out there in cyberspace.  I'm still pullin' for ya!  We're all in this together!  Keep smiling!  HAVGW!!!  Melody