Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Continuing Adventures of F.O.W. (Forgetful Old Woman)!

Good afternoon...or evening:)   I am home from school.  It feels good again to be here.  I did another old lady thing today.  And I didn't even realize I had until I was caught in the act!  I went to my oil painting class, this time with my palette and paints of the right hue, got all set up and started in on my gray study.  The teacher came by a few times with nice comments.  Then he stopped to paint a section to show me his method of going from warm gray to cool gray, when he picked up my paint tube and said, "Ohhhh!  That's why!"  I didn't know what he meant.  He said, "You have raw umber....not burnt umber."  I couldn't believe it.  It probably sounds like a little thing....but it wasn't.  I can't believe I didn't get the right color....especially since I left class to get it.  I told my teacher I had been doing a lot of old lady things this week.  He laughed, and told me it was something else...organizational something.  (I don't remember!)  But I have to get more sleep!  It is getting embarrassing!  I haven't been sleeping well at all lately and I think it is affecting my memory big time!
The painting however is going well.  I do love painting!  We are doing a still life, and I like it.  But you know me...I would rather be painting a landscape or a portrait or some biblical scene:)  But it is good to be doing a value study.  I am not very good at that, so I am excited to be learning new stuff.  I think my teacher is excellent.  That is a good thing!
I love my digital photography class.  I took some photos last night that I like quite well, so I will include a couple.  They are back lit to fill the assignment.  It is not a high stress class.  We come in with our photos and spend the class period on photoshop.  So it is great.  I am learning more and more.  I love learning!!!
I hope your day is going well. Take care out there!  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody






Sweet Taylor!




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Counting Blessings along with the Trials!

Good afternoon!  Today has been another day where I have felt unorganized....even though I thought I was when I left the house this morning.  But it is all fine...I am home and it sure feels good!
In my illustration class my teacher spent a whole lot of time talking about sketchbooks.  Then the rest of the class he talked about processes.....how do we come up with a finished product.  It was interesting.  I think I already do what he said, I just didn't realize it.  And I didn't have to turn in my lame thumbnails!  We get to do that next class.  We got out early, so I went to the store to get what I needed for my printmaking class and then met Kim for lunch.  We were going to go over to the hospital, but Liz is coming home today so we thought maybe we would let her rest.  And besides we ran out of time:)  Kim's class is near mine so she helped me lug my supplies for printmaking into the art building.  I was about 5 minutes early, so I figured all was good...until I couldn't find the paper I had written.  In a panic I trundled back to the car....well, a hurried limp anyway....and couldn't find it.  I searched everywhere in the car...under the seats, in the trunk, behind the steering wheel:) Then I thought I must have overlooked it in my backpack.  So I hurried as fast as my sore knee would allow back to class....about 5 minutes late.  The teacher was already lecturing.  It was embarrassing and she had already collected the papers.  So I looked in my backpack one more time and sure enough...there it was way down in the bottom in a black folder that kind of matched the inside fabric of the pack.  So even though I had written it last week, it looked like I had turned it in late.  Drat!!  I hope my teacher saw that I had left my backpack there at my desk.  There was no time to offer excuses, but it kind of felt icky all class.  Also she had us come into the lab and watch her do some printing....all standing around, which kills my knee to do.  The demonstration went on for about 45 minutes!  So I was trying hard to not seem too uncomfortable, even though I was in total pain.  What a day!  And to top it off my first print looked awful!!  Oh well.  Such are the adventures in a silly old woman's day.  I am so glad to be home, where I can just be me....and also where I can put my leg up and put lots of ice on it!
Does it sound like I am complaining?  Yeah, I guess I am a little.  So to turn the tables a little I will show some of these beautiful pictures of my 25th grandchild!  He is such a sweet little guy.  I feel very blessed!  I hope you're finding the blessings in your life today!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody
He looks a little exhausted in this one!



Mom and Baby





One for my foot series:)


Monday, August 29, 2011

He's here!

Alexander and I

Big brother Taylor with Alexander
Well, the perfect end to a very full day!  Alexander Glenn Britt was born this afternoon at 3:45 p.m.  And he is a cutie.  I'll post more tomorrow.  But tonight....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!  Sweet dreams!  Melody

California Dreamin'

Good afternoon!  I am playing catch up today!  A lot is happening for just one day.  First, it's our anniversary!  Forty-one years!!! We have been pretty happy...at least with each other!  I am kind of pleased about that!  Then, Liz is in the hospital having her baby today, so Taylor is here...Gabe is with his dad.  Then Kim's kids are here too because she had school today and they don't start school 'til tomorrow.  So we have a house full of little people....which of course I love.
School was interesting.  I got to my oil class and realized I had forgotten my palette.  That's not good.  Then my teacher announced we were painting with ultramarine and burnt umber today.  I didn't have burnt umber.  Also I had forgotten my sketch book.  I felt totally unprepared and just a little scattered.  My teacher gave me permission to go to the bookstore, so I went over there and got what I needed.  But it wasted about 45 minutes.  He had us do a gray palette....neutral grays, then light warm gray to dark cool gray and light cool gray to dark warm gray.  I got it done, but I felt rushed and out of my element.  I hate when I get a bad start.  I had to keep telling myself it was all OK and taking deep breaths...you know the routine ...
My photo class was better.  I uploaded my pictures and then realized out of 50 or more pictures that only 3 or 4 would work.  Luckily we have a week.  I will have to keep taking pictures until I get some I love. Photoshop is fun, but I am totally inexperienced with it.  I will have to go in and practice....lots!
Tonight I will have to do some thumbnails of my quiet knife illustration for tomorrow.  I have some kind of lame ideas:)  Oh well.  I will treat it like it was a job that I am making lots of money from.  No, that is not really motivation enough for me.  Hmmm!  Maybe I will reward myself with a new iPhone app or something.  I did get my paper written for my printmaking class, so at least that is done.
Well, I probably sound discouraged....but I am not!  I am loving school.  I just have this little knee problem and by this time of the day it is talking to me....no, yelling is more accurate.  So I guess I will sit with my leg propped up and lots of ice.  This is getting to be a routine that I can count on anymore.  Sigh!
So I hope your day is going swimmingly.  That sounds rather nice!  I would love to be in a cold lake right now...in Yosemite!  With wildflowers all around, and a tall glass of something very cold to drink.  Yum!  I guess I got a little carried away with the imagery.  Hope all is well with you!  I'm still pulling for you, of course!  I hope you are still pushing from your side!  Take care!!  Melody
P.S.  My photo class started a blog today.  It is called fourteen plus one.  It is here on blogger if you want to take a look.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Glimpse of my Amazing and Wonderful Weekend

Washes
Shalom!  I have been having fun just loading these pictures!  Such an amazing weekend I have had....and I'm going to tell you all about it, so if you don't want to know....exit now!
These first three are from my watercolor workshop with Al Rounds.  They are a little out of focus because my lens is not that great:)  At least that is my excuse.  The first two are the same painting with different exposure.  This is my "Melody/Al" painting.  I did all of the washes except for the final one of the shoreline.  Al did that one.  So it is kind of special I think.  I learned all about preparing paper, wetting
The same thing in a different light
and stretching it.  I have never learned that before!  So it was great to finally learn an effective method.
He explained that all of water color is different washes.  He demonstrated and then let us practice.  It was great.  That part took about three hours.  Then as I was packing up, thinking that our time was up, he said, "Do you have to leave?  I had really wanted to teach you how to do windows."  So of course I stayed and he showed us how to do this cool little excerpt from a brick house.
So then I thought it was time to leave and he said, "If you don't have
The window
Old feet, tired feet!
to rush away I would like to help you put some finishing touches on your painting."  So that is when he showed me how to put in a shoreline and uncover the reflective washes underneath.  It was really cool.  So our three hour workshop went for four hours.  I think he would have spent more time with me, but I was beginning to feel like I was imposing on his personal time so Mel and I left.  Mel came in the last hour and watched.  He was quite impressed with his work.  It really is beautiful.  He had a Jordan temple painting that he explained his methods on to us.  It is a beautiful fall colored painting.
She posed for this one!
And then she showed me her nails!
Can you tell it was a wonderful experience for me?
This next series of photos are the ones I am taking for the "breaking the rules" assignment in my photo class.  My favorite one is of the Pom with the orange toenails.  I had seen her in her "stroller" and asked her owner if I could take a picture...she agreed.  Then as I was snapping a bunch of pictures she said, "Do you want to see her nails?"  I was delighted when she propped her up and there were her very bright orange nails! And since I was taking so many feet pictures, it seemed to fit into the theme!


Nick as Pirate

Lots of cute feet

A closer view
Nicholas came out to greet me as this very cool pirate, so I had to get a shot of him.  And then I had to take more feet:) And then as we were leaving today I thought it was an excellent opportunity to get a picture of Julie and her boys all dressed up and looking great.  She has such a nice family!  But you can kind of see why she might be anxious for a girl or two!
Julie, Randy and their boys
 Then the last couple of photos are another rule breaker...shooting into the sun.  But it looks pretty cool with the clouds I think.  So maybe I have enough for my class tomorrow.
Church was especially nice in Julie's ward this morning.  Her ward is a downtown ward and is very diverse.  I like hearing from different people in a lesson.  It makes it so interesting.  We talked about President Uchtdorf's talk on the Road to Damascus.  Then in Sunday School we talked about Corinthians.  So it all kind of connected.
And now I am certain that what they say is true..."There's no place like home."  It sure feels good to be back in our own place and I feel ready for school tomorrow.....and Liz's baby!  She is going to get induced tomorrow!!!  So I suppose I will have a baby to visit by the time my morning classes are through.  We shall see.
I hope things are wonderful in your neck of the woods.  I am feeling very encouraged and excited about life.  I know that the Lord is answering my prayers and it feels terrific!  I hope (and know) he is mindful of you too!  Take care!!!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  (That image of the cannibals is fading!!!!)  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody
A picture of the sun

Another one...that's all:)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thrilled!

I just had the best watercolor class I have ever had! I learned more in 4 hours with Al Rounds than I learned in a year and a half. And it was lots of fun besides. I think this will spur me on to better painting.
Well I will write more later and post a picture when I get a real computer to write on. I hope your day is wonderful. HAGE!!! Melody

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ah the Mysteries of Life!

Good morning!  I am singing today...Mac the knife:)  Yeah I am trying to come up with some kind of idea for a quiet knife for my illustration class.  We are supposed to draw three panels....5 1/2" by 5 1/2".  The first one is just of the object....a knife in black and white.  The second is supposed to be the knife plus the adjective in black and white and one color.  The third is a mixed media, also black and white and one color.  It is supposed to help us think out of the box.  This teacher is the one I was so excited about because he is a BYU grad.  Unhappily for me he announced the first day of class how he used to be a good Mormon boy, but that now he wasn't.  I admit I was sad to hear that.  I would rather he had never been one than that he is now turning his back on it all.  I guess that is why I have been pondering integrity.  When you make promises...and break them....is that a loss of integrity?  Or is it a loss of faith?  Are they connected?  I do not want to judge this man...it is more a judgement of myself.  When do I lose my integrity....or is it possible to even have complete integrity?  I know I try to have it, but then I will get angry on the freeway or ignore a friend or lose my temper....the list goes on.  I cannot seem to get through one whole day without doing something that goes against the laws of love and obedience.  I keep trying, but I constantly fall short.  I am grateful for repentance.  We recently had a lesson about Saul/Paul and how he had been one of the worst of sinners, but that he was forgiven and became a great leader in the early church.  It was an example of how much the Lord can forgive.  So I will keep trying and maybe someday I will master this integrity thing.  In the meantime...how did I get off on this tangent?  Oh yeah, a quiet knife.
I am pretty excited today to be packing to go to SLC.  I have my watercolor workshop with Al Rounds tomorrow.  And it is Mel and my 41st anniversary on Monday, so we will celebrate in Utah.  I guess we will visit somewhere we won't have to do too much walking.  I usually like to go to temple square and walk around.  Maybe we can ride a gondola up a mountainside or something.  I will see how this knee is doing.  It is still pretty sore, but I think it is getting a little better.  It will be good to have a weekend that I am mostly sitting.
This morning I will also try to write my paper about printmaking methods and history.  It is due Tuesday so I have a little time.  Same with the quiet knfe.  The photography needs to be ready Monday.  I think I will photograph Max (my dog) with a pioneer bonnet and a clarinet:)  Or something like.  I am still thinking about it.  I think the hardest part about art is coming up with ideas.  Usually the drawing and painting and photographing goes pretty well if I have a great idea.
Well, I am flabbering along and I really should be doing stuff.  I hope your day goes well...full of good ideas and happy thoughts!  I thought it was funny this morning when Mel was taking the clothes out of the dryer.  He tried to empty the lint catcher screen and instead the lint went down the hole into the dryer duct.  I guess I hadn't emptied it in a while:)  He had a long wire coat hangar stretched straight to try and get the big ball of lint.  He couldn't get it and was really kinda frustrated.  Where does the lint go when it falls through the trap?  Ah the mysteries of life!  Maybe the socks and the lint have a party in the ducting somewhere!  I should write a book about that!  Or not!!!!   HAVVVGW!!!  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I love ICE!!!

Home again with my knee elevated and iced.  I had a good day, but I am feeling a little discouraged with the knee.  Oh well.
I am supposed to come up with an illustration for Tuesday of a "quiet knife".  This is thinking "outside the box."  I guess I will come up with something.  I can't animate the knife at all, just the surroundings.  I am glad to have a weekend to travel and think and sketch....and take my watercolor lesson!  I also have a paper to write on printmaking, and the photographs of "wrong".  Wish me luck!!!  I think I will need it.  Well, I guess I'd better get back to the ice!
Hope your day has been grrrreat!  Melody

Anticipation

Good morning! 5 minutes til class begins. There is a buzz of conversation in the room. A kind of happy anticipation. I love being in school! HAGW! TTTL. Melody
P.S. The sign downtown....Income tax-capital punishment!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Day in the Life of an Old Woman

Good morning! (Oops!  I started this in the morning but didn't get back to it til much later.  Now I am correcting things so it is later still:)  I was late to school this morning. Liz still hasn't had her baby but it was her boys' first day of school so I took them into their classes.  But that is such a little part of the story.  Mel and I took them to get school supplies and some clothes to start their first day.  What an adventure that was!!  I could write a whole essay on the strange and costly ritual of public school beginnings!  Oh well.  We got it done and they got to school on time.  But I did not.  When I finally reached it, the freeway was backed up. It took another 15 minutes more than normal to get to school!  Then when I finally got to my class there was a sign on the door that they had moved it across campus...not so good for my very lame knee. Yes, I am looking for pity!  But even with the sore knee, the late start and the poor attitude (yes, I admit it), I still had a great day!  I learned about painters I had never heard of this morning in my painting class.  And my teacher was so kind...said I should have just stayed with my daughter:)  I explained that she wasn't actually in the hospital yet.  He thought I was way too casual I could tell.  Probably he has no idea this is number 25:)  After his class I called Liz to check up on her and she said her contractions had stopped completely.  So I didn't feel like I had to rush home to watch boys.  So I stayed for my digital photography class.  We will be working on computers in there with the newest version of photoshop.  It is pretty amazing!  I hope I can take good pictures for my first assignment.  We are supposed to "break the rules" and create something worthy of it.  Some of the rules are....don't take sunsets, or beaches, or pets or boyfriends.  Don't shoot into the sun.  Don't take pictures in bathrooms.  I hadn't learned these rules, so I hope I can come up with something interesting and unique.  I will just keep shooting pictures I guess and see what I come up with.  He did mention that he liked humor in photography, so I may try to come up with something funny:)  Sigh!  After class I was walking back to my car when I met a young man from Kuwait who is going to BSU.  He just walked up and asked me if I knew where a certain building was.  I guess I look approachable:)  Anyway it was fun to get to know him a little better.  His name was Abdul.  I would guess he is 19.  He really did brighten my day.  I guess I had several people brighten my day today.  I am grateful for that.  I like being on campus and interacting with other people.  I am getting to know quite a few students.  They are friendly and courteous to this rather worn out old lady.  I am amazed at their energy and goodness.  So except for the lame and very sore knee I am doing swell!  I will just have to start on homework.  I have assignments in three of my classes now.  It sure does add up fast!
So gratitude....I am grateful for:
39. Foreign exchange students!
40. Students in general!
41. My grandson who isn't born yet!
42. All of my grandsons who are!
43. All of my granddaughters too!
44. People who have integrity!  I can't explain this one just now...but maybe after I have processed this one a while.
45.  Mel...once again.  He is so supportive of my adventures!
46. The kindness of friends...internet as well as the ones I meet in my every day world.  You're all great!!
So I hope you are having a great day out there in cyberspace land.  I am going to ice my knee!  TTTL  Melody

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Lot of Corn!

So here is a couple of photos I took trying to figure out how my camera works. This is our field of corn:)  It's pretty good!  And it makes a nice picture.   I really like the clarity!
Today has been a hard day.  I went to classes and then picked up Liz's boys. She may have her baby tonight!  But I have re-injured my knee apparently.  I am hobbling around like I used to right after the surgery.  That combined with my sore back is really making me hurt.  I am hoping a good night's sleep will mend  it enough to walk around on campus tomorrow.  I guess I overdid on the exercise bike yesterday.  I only was trying to strengthen my knee:(  This old age stuff is not fun some days
but I will carry on.  Hopefully it will heal again without too much fuss.
Well, I hope your day has been good.  Take care out there!  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Off Again:)

Good morning!  I am off to school again.  Today it is Illustration I and Printmaking.  I feel like it is my stretch day as I have no idea what I am in for in either class.  But it will be great!  And if not then I will know that I need to change my major to painting instead of illustration:)
So a wonderful thing....I got my new camera!  I am still figuring it out, but so far it is really a nice machine.  I will have to get over my fear of using it though.  It is just so nice and new right now.  Hopefully my pictures will be clearer though, and as I learn how to use it maybe I can really take some great photos.  We shall see.
Well, I don't have time to fiddle with getting the photos on here.  I will post later to see how they look.  Take care and HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody


Monday, August 22, 2011

School Report

I am home after an enjoyable day at school.  I am anxious to get started.  The first day is always kind of slow....the teacher gives an overview of the class and hands out a syllabus.  But my painting class sounds like it will be really fun.  And so does my photography class.  Both teachers seem like they know their stuff!  My painting teacher is the head of the art department.  He actually offered me a job today:)  Kind of funny.  I was in the office getting a locker when he walked in.  He chatted a little and then asked if I would be interested in working in the office as a receptionist!  I suppose he wants a mature individual in there.  But I said no, I really need my time for studying and keeping up!  But it made me feel good to have a job offer in the art department....even if I wouldn't be doing art:)
My photography teacher studied in Boston with the Museum of Modern Art.  I guess they have a program connected with the university there.  He has a website for his photos, but I didn't write down the address.  I have heard through other art teachers that he is really good.
Well, I hope your day is going well....lots of insight and inspiration and good vibes.  I guess I forgot to mention that I pulled a muscle in my back last Friday when I was getting out of the boat.  The boat moved and threw me off balance.  Anyway I have been limping around again!  Sigh!  Today was not too bad though.  I think it will just get better with time.  I hope so anyway!  HAGFHE!  Melody

More School Daze

Yay!  It's school today!  I hope I still feel that way in a month!  This morning I have Painting II and Digital Photography.  I am very excited to be taking these classes!  I hope I can keep up with all of the youngsters:)
Just wanted to wish you a happy day!  Hope all is going well for you and yours!  And to continue my gratitude list:
38. I am grateful for school!  And the marvelous opportunity I have to return to it and take the major I always wished I had taken:)
HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Evidence

Well, here it is....the photos from our iphones of the family reunion.  There are a lot....and more to come from my daughter Kim.  We sure had fun!  I guess we will start planning the next one now:)  Hope your day is a happy one!  Melody
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2266709834777.2130071.1459470548

With Songs of Praise

Good Sabbath!  It is going to be another hot summer day.  It makes me glad to have air conditioning!  I don't have a lot of time this morning, but I wanted to write of a sweet experience that happened yesterday at our family reunion while it is still clear in my mind.
If you know me at all you know that I love birds.  And pelicans in particular.  What you may not know is that the American bald eagle is my favorite bird.  I never saw one except at the zoo before we moved to Idaho.  They are still not common here though.  We have seen them only a few times, but I have felt so privileged when we have.
Yesterday we were packing up camp, and then we planned to gather for family pictures before everyone headed back for home.  It was kind of a job getting everyone to come together with so many kids running this way and that, but we finally got everyone in one spot, and as we were all gathered together we spotted two bald eagles circling over our camp...close enough to really see them....beautiful in their grace and skill. We watched them circle for about 5 minutes and we all commented how really special that was to be all together and to witness such an amazing sight.  And in my own mind I praised the Lord thanking Him for all that had transpired this weekend.  It was the perfect end to our camping experience!  And more special even than pelicans!
Afterwards we came here to my house to have a farewell dinner and to see Liz and Adrian.  Liz said she was glad she had stayed home as she had been having contractions the whole time!  They are still not close enough to produce a baby, but she is getting so close!  We all visited and had a fun time and then one by one they all left, except for Kenny and Cindy.  They will leave this morning:(  After most everyone had left last night I wanted Kenny and Cindy to see the Kid History video on Youtube so Mel got it on his iphone and they sat and watched it....laughing so hard!  I got a picture to share.  If you haven''t watched it, you're missing a really cute and funny video!
I mostly wanted a picture to remember how much fun we all had together!  I have more but I will have to load them later.
So... more things to be grateful for!
36. Bald Eagles soaring above us!
37. A Happy Family!
Hope your Sabbath is a peace filled one!  Melody

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Das Boat

Good morning! It's another gorgeous day here in the mountains. And our reunion with our children and grandchildren is still going strong. The boat was lots of fun. It broke down about noon though. So we had a couple of hours of downtime while they came and fixed it. But everyone was pretty patient and all in all we had lots of fun.
Today we will have fun here in camp. Then we'll head back home for our farewell dinner with Liz. I hate for it to end. It has been wonderful to be all together. I am kind of tired though.
Well hope things are great in your neck of the woods. So what am I grateful for today?
32. Our comfortable little trailer!
33. Pine trees that smell so good!
34. Grown children who are so helpful and considerate of their aging parents!
35. Grandchildren- each and every one!
HAVVVGW!! Melody

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Day!

Good morning! Today is jet boat day. I am sitting in the truck waiting for Mel to get the paper work done:). I ave Gabriel here with me figuring out all the buttons on the dashboard. Such curiosity! But he is having a great time. We all are. Everyone got here safely and seem to be very glad to all be together again. And of course this is heaven to me. I love having everyone so close. I have always thought we should live together in a hacienda. Not too practical of course, but fun to think about.
Cascade is beautiful still. My dad and Barb are loving Ashley Inn. I guess they hadn't been here before. I love it here!
Well it is hard to write on my iPhone so I will sign off. I am grateful for:
28. Lakes
29. Mountains
30. Blue skies
31. Smart phones!
HAGW! Melody

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Joy! Joy! Joy!

Good merry morning to you!  I am feeling very smiley and happy this morning!  I guess I needed to see Kenny...and Cindy too of course.  I didn't realize how much worry I had been worrying for them.  Last night we shared testimonies and favorite songs, art and lots of laughter.  And I can feel my soul healing in a way I didn't realize fully that it needed to heal.  How good it feels to know that the things you cherish and value most are also cherished and valued by your own children.  And to top it off we are headed up to the mountains for our family reunion.  So glad!  The only dim spot is that Liz and Adrian won't be coming up, but we have a gathering all together planned for Saturday afternoon.  So for a moment or two we will all be together.  How joyful that feels!!!
Well, I have to get going.  We are meeting up at my dad's at 11.  I hope I can stay inside my body today:)  I feel so full of good feelings!!!!
So to add to what I am grateful for...
27.  TODAY!!!!!!   :)
Hope you have a wonderful day today too!  Melody

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sweet Dreams!

Hi again.  I am feeling like life is wonderful again.  We spent the evening with Kenny and Cindy and had such a wonderful visit.  I have missed him more than I have admitted even to myself.  But to see him so happily married and so very excited about the gospel has been very good.  I think I will sleep soundly tonight.
More gratitude:
26.  Seeing my son Kenny again with his sweet wife Cindy.  I think I can smile for real now:)
So just had to write this down as one of the best nights in a very long time.  Pleasant dreams!  Melody

Continuing On

Good morning!  I am waiting for the installer this morning.  I have a beautiful, new dishwasher sitting in a box in my kitchen.  The installer is supposed to come between 8 and 10 this morning.  The suspense is killing me!!!  Well, maybe not killing me.  But I am excited to have a dishwasher again.  I have only been without one for a little while, but it really adds more work to my already crazy load.  At least it is crazy when I am in school.  That starts next Monday.  So it will be good to have a machine that helps me in the kitchen.  Mel has been pretty good about helping when he can, but he is pretty busy filling orders right now and he has been working long hours.  He is up and in the shop by about 5:45 every morning!  And he often works past 8.  Poor guy.  He works hard for the money!  (Yeah, I'm singing that song in my head now:)
So I have a small tale to tell.  It begins in a faraway country where the warm breezes blow....not really.  But I have been thinking of warm breezes lately.  Anyway, I went to see my dad yesterday and his sweet wife Barbara.  They are both 88 and I guess it is catching up with them.  I wanted to make sure that they were coming up to our family reunion and to make sure they knew I had a room reserved for them.  Anyway, my dad seemed completely surprised we were having a reunion at all even though I have talked to him several times about it.  So I explained it all to him again.  And he was sooooo excited!  It made me happy... and sad.  Happy that it is something he wants to come to and sad that he thought I hadn't even invited him.  And it made me realize how brief life is.  So I am more determined than ever to spend more quality time with him and Barb.  And also to make the rest of my time here productive and meaningful.  I am so grateful to be in school.  It really does keep me focused and excited about life.  And I am grateful for the relationships I have here with family and friends.  I am going to work harder at those!  And I want to be the best person I can in every way:)  Of course that is not new.  It just hits me every once in a while and I realize how much more I have to do.  Great Expectations and all of that.
Well, I guess I had better go.  The installation guys are here (yay!!!).  But first...a continuation of my gratitude list.  So...I am grateful for:
13. School and the homework that goes along with it that tries my brain and hopefully keeps it working!
14. Family reunions....they are a lot of work but worth it!
15. Watercolors:)
16. Oils even more!
17. Photography!!  No I didn't get the camera....yet:)
18. Flowers
19. Trees
20. Books!  (My sweet little son Tommy used to pray that he was thankful for trees and books!  We laughed of course, but now it seems like deep wisdom)
21. Clean water
22. Dishwashers!!!
23. Comics!  Especially Peanuts and Pickles ...and good humor and smiling!
24. Neighbors who grow corn!  It is soooo delicious!
25. Good clean fun!  As opposed to the other kind:)
Well, I hope your day is wonderful out there.  I'm still pulling for you!  TTTL  Melody

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Counting My Blessings!

Good morning!   I am smiling again!  I hope this finds you smiling too.  I have lots to smile about.  Mostly it is gratitude.  I am grateful for so many things.  A blogger friend of mine makes a list of the things she is grateful for and numbers them.  So I think I might start doing that....as my new sign off...instead of boiling in a pot of soup:)
Today is sunny here.  And it is also smokey.  There are quite a few fires burning and several are near my daughter in Glenns Ferry.  She is not in imminent danger, but many of the farmers' farms are.  I am saying a prayer for them this morning, that the fire will pass them by.  Out there it is range fire mostly, and it travels fast!  We went to watch one once when we first moved to Idaho.  I had never seen one, and didn't know what all the fuss was about.  They can be very scary!  The flames are hot and high and move with the wind.  A couple of years ago there was one on the eastern edge of Boise.  The dry grass and sagebrush caught fire and moved into a subdivision of homes within a few minutes and burned several homes down within a half an hour or so.  It was especially scary to us because we knew people there.  It was the same subdivision we had lived in when we first moved to Idaho.  Out here where we live now there is also fire danger.  About 5 or 6 years ago our neighbor across the street was burning weeds and the wind picked up and blew the fire into the field next to his house!  We heard the sirens and went out to watch.  The fire was just across the street.  Luckily the wind was not blowing towards us.  Instead it blew up the hill and scorched about 20 acres before it was put out.  Fire is a dangerous reality here.
So today I am going to do some of the things I didn't finish doing yesterday....shopping, packing, laundry, etc.  But I am also hoping to purchase a new SLR digital camera.  I have been looking online at the different models.  I have to have one by next week when school starts again as I am taking a digital camera class.  There is a very nice one that Canon makes that is reasonably priced.  It is a rebel EOS T2I/EOS 550D.  It takes 18 megapixels, is very fast, and I am in love with this camera:)  It also takes very nice video.  So we shall see.  It is kind of dependent on our customers paying us today.  They are usually on time, so I am crossing my fingers!  If I didn't love painting so much I think I would major in photography!  I think I like technology a lot, and taking pictures ranks up there with one of the things I enjoy doing.
So I hope you have a lovely day today...full of sunshine and smiles!  Take care.  And here goes my gratitude list.  I am grateful for:
1.  My Savior, Jesus Christ and the atonement!!!
2.  My sweet and kind husband, Morley (Mel)!!!
3.  My children....all seven of them!
4.  My children's spouses!
5.  All of my grandchildren!  Each one is so special and dear to me.
6.  My parents who raised me with love and kept me so sheltered from the evils of the world.
7.  My brother and two sisters and their wonderful families.
8.  My grandparents!!!
9.  All of my other relatives...cousins, aunts, uncles, second cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, etc.  I think that covers the relatives.
10.  My friends.  You make my life joyful!
11.  My home.
12.  Max, my dog:)
To Be Continued:)
I am so blessed!  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, August 15, 2011

Whenever You're in Trouble

Hi again!  I wasn't going to write again, but a friend sent me this link and I thought you might enjoy it too.
  http://www.donny.com/video/all/whenever-youre-in-trouble
I have spent today with a daughter who needed me today, and I think I share the sentiments of this song.  I think as a parent I do want to be there for my children...always.  It makes me think that most parents feel this way....and I think those feelings don't end when we have passed to the other side of the veil.  I often feel the sweet presence of my mom and grandmas, grandpas and great aunts and uncles when I am facing difficult things.  Anyway, I like this song!  I hope you enjoy it.
And no, I didn't get the things done I had planned to do today.  I think instead I got the things done that the Lord wanted me to do today:)  I feel like He is answering my prayers in marvelous ways, and I am truly grateful!  Hope you are feeling His love and blessings also!  HAGFHE!!!  Melody

Flabbering as a Verb

Good morning!  I am smiling again.  And the day looks good.  No school this week, so I slept in until 7:30.  My visiting teacher came at 8:)  I asked her to come early....she is a farmer's wife and up with the sun.  And I think she prefers to get it done so she can get on with her day.  She is such a sweet friend!  Her message was from Joseph Smith to the women of the church....to be meek and loving and pure.  And with those three virtues that the angels could not be constrained from being our companions.  I believe that is true.  I am working on it.  I am very blessed to have her come.  Her visiting teaching companion is also wonderful, but she is out of town this month.  She and her husband run a donut concession stand that follows the fair circuit.  I think that would get tiring.  But they seem to enjoy it.
Today I am getting ready for our family reunion.  I need to pack the trailer with things that don't spoil from heat.  I will pack the perishables on Thursday morning before we leave.  I love to pack the trailer!  It always means that there is a good time planned!  I also need to plan a couple of dinner menus and shop for food.  It shouldn't be too difficult.  I figured with everyone traveling I would handle the two dinners up there.  At least I will bring the ingredients.  Everyone will be sure to pitch in with the preparation.  There is a nice big kitchen there with a big grill.  So we can have simple things...like burgers and hot dogs....maybe some baked chicken:)  We have a boat rented for Friday.  And there is plenty to do the rest of the time.  I think all of my children will be there....with the possible exception of Liz.  She is not too excited about traveling and being pregnant.  I wish I had known back in November when I reserved this place that she was having a baby in September.  Oh well.  We will have a farewell dinner with everyone here on Saturday so that she can visit.  Not quite the same, but it will have to do I guess.
Well, what else is happening?  Oh yeah, my dad and Barb are back in town.  So I am planning to go over there this afternoon for a visit.  I have missed them both!  I hope they have the energy to come up for a day or two to the reunion.  My kids would love that!  And there is that nice Ashley Inn very close by that they could stay in.
So I guess I am flabbering.  Sorry.  I don't suppose the boring little details of my day are that interesting.  But I can't think of anything fantastic to write about today.  And it really does help to organize my mind to flabber on a while:)  So I will sign off and let you get on with your day.  I hope things are well with you out in cyberspace.  Take care!!  And have a most glorious, joy-filled day!  Melody

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sharing a Little Experience

Hi again!  I thought I would relay a little event that happened this week in our community here in Idaho.  This year is the 75th anniversary of the LDS church's welfare program, so we are celebrating by reaching out to the community in ways that would extend that welfare.  Our Bishop felt that it would be good to reach out to the First Church of the Nazarene and help them in their efforts to feed the poor and struggling in our community.  They have something like the bishop's storehouse where people can come and get food when they need it.  Apparently it had gone bare...like Mother Hubbard's  cupboard.  So we came together last Thursday night to bring donated food together to help them out.  We had a large work trailer full of food for them before the evening was over....donated by members of our congregation (or ward as we like to call it.)  We took it over on Friday and literally filled their storehouse and an adjacent storage area.  The Nazarenes were so grateful and wanted to know more about our church and its welfare system.  They asked if they could start volunteering at our cannery and orchard and see how it works. Of course they are welcome.   As one man said, "If we could get away from all of this denominational stuff, we could be a strong army for Christ in this community."  I think that is wonderful!  I have many friends in the Nazarene community, and am so impressed by their faith in Christ and their efforts to be good people.  I just thought I would share the small stride we made in living the gospel of Christ.
Church was very special today.  We had a report on this project and then a sister spoke about charity.  It made me think of the wonderful charity I have experienced from special friends.  Thank you.  And I also thought how very blessed I have been throughout my life, and how I hope that I have shown charity to others.  One of the comments she made was that charity was an attitude, a feeling and a way of life.  That is certainly true.  One of my goals is to always have that pure love of Christ in my heart and soul.  I know that I have a long ways to go before I reach that goal, but I am trying.  I do love Jesus Christ, and I am so grateful for His example of charity.  And for His many tender mercies to me.
After the two talks we then had a musical number played by Sister Graham on the piano.  She is much older...probably in her late 80's or early 90's.  But she still plays the piano with amazing accuracy infused with sweet emotion.  It is a wonder to hear and see her play.  She played one of my favorite hymns, "As I Have Loved You."  I had a hard time not crying.  It was really touching.  The last refrain she had the congregation sing the words..."As I have loved you, love one another."  It was quite a meeting.  The last speaker was a young newly wed man who spoke about forgiving one another.  I think it is one of the best sacrament meetings I have been to ...although we have many that are really great.
Well, I hope your day is wonderful too.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Keep the faith!  I'm still pulling for you!!!  And HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Peace and Quiet

Good morning!  Still smiling:)  And singing!  It seems I always have a song in my head.  But that's a good thing.  Last night we went out on a date night, to Olive Garden and then to see a movie.  We didn't know which one to see...so we went to the "Planet of the Apes" one.  I liked it, but Mel not so much.  He didn't think it was all that well written.  I just liked the way it was made.  I love how they can make the computer images seem so life like.  And I loved all of the scenes of San Francisco and Muir Woods!  But it was definitely more action and violence than I prefer for entertainment.  My favorite movies are character studies....and good books made into excellent movies.
So Michelle and family didn't make it here yesterday.  Their youngest daughter got sick.  So it is quiet here this morning.  But it is clean:)  I worked hard to get everything ship shape.  And it feels good for a Sabbath day.
Well, I don't have much to write.  Just that I hope you have a lovely Sabbath day.  Take care and keep smiling!  And remember I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grinning and Grateful!


Good morning! I have that grin on again! And it's going to be a beautiful day here again...I can just feel it! I woke up this morning thinking about watercolor brushes. That's a nice thing to wake up to. I am getting excited and nervous about my class with Bro. Rounds in just two weeks. I guess there will only be five students, which makes it very personal....and scary. I am still such a beginner. But I have to remind myself that it's OK.  I can do hard things! And even if I feel a little or a lot foolish, I can be humble enough to learn.  I have that Relief Society thing coming up in September where I am supposed to teach them how to watercolor a temple. I can't think of a better teacher for that than Bro. Rounds. So it really is a blessing to have this opportunity.
This is the only print that I could find to reproduce of his. All the rest were very protected:)  It is called "My Father's House" and is a depiction of the Jerusalem temple.  I think you can see his attention to detail and light and shadow.  And all in watercolor! He has a lot of work...and a whole series on temples. So I am hoping I can learn at least a little from him.
Last night as I was reading other people's blogs I found a story from one that really impressed me. It is about Helen Keller...one of my heroes. So I thought I would share. It is a little long, but worth the read! It is from the book, "A Place Of Knowing" by Emma Lou Thayne.  "Many years into my adulthood, when asked by a Jewish poet friend why I stay in my Mormonism, I explained it with a story, the details recounted by my mother. It is my mother’s story transposed into an allegory about my believing.
Helen Keller 
When I was a little girl, my father took me to hear Helen Keller in the Tabernacle. I must have been about eight or nine and I’d read about Helen Keller in school, and my mother had told me her story.
I remember sitting in the balcony at the back of that huge domed building that was supposed to have the best acoustics in the world. Helen—everybody called her that—walked in from behind a curtain under the choir seats with her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Helen spoke at the pulpit—without a microphone—but we could hear perfectly, her guttural, slow, heavily pronounced speech. She spoke about her life and her beliefs. Her eyes were closed and when it came time for questions from the audience, she put her fingers on her teacher’s lips and then repeated for us what the question had been. She answered questions about being deaf and blind and learning to read and to type and, of course, to talk. Hearing that voice making words was like hearing words for the first time, as if language had only come into being—into my being at least—that moment.
Someone asked her, “Do you feel colors?”
I’ll never forget her answer, the exact sound of it—“Some-times
. .. . I feel . . . blue.” Her voice went up slightly at the end, which meant she was smiling. The audience didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
After quite a lot of questions, she said, “I would . . .. like to ask . . . a fa-vor of you.” Of course, the audience was all alert. “Is your Mormon prophet here?” she asked. There was a flurry of getting up from the front row, and President Grant walked up the stairs to the stand. She reached out her hand and he took it. All I could think was, “Oh, I wish I were taking pictures of that.” 
President Heber J. Grant
President of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
“I . . . would like . . . ,” she said, “to hear your organ . . . play .. . your fa-mous song—about your pio-neers.  I . . . would like . . . to re-mem-ber hear-ing it here.” All the time she was speaking she was holding his hand he had given her to shake. I liked them together, very much. I remember thinking, “I am only a little girl (probably others know) but how in the world will she hear the organ?” But she turned toward President Grant and he motioned to Alexander Schreiner, the Tabernacle organist who was sitting near the loft. At the same time, President Grant led her up a few steps to the back of the enormous organ—with its five manuals and eight thousand pipes. We were all spellbound. He placed her hand on the grained oak of the console, and she stood all alone facing us in her long, black velvet dress with her right arm extended, leaning slightly forward and touching the organ, with her head bowed.
Brother Schreiner played “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” each verse a different arrangement, the organ pealing and throbbing—the bass pedals like foghorns—as only he could make happen. Helen Keller stood there—hearing through her hand and sobbing.
Probably a lot more than just me—probably lots of us in the audience were mouthing the words to ourselves—
“Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. / Our God will never us forsake; / And soon we’ll have this tale to tell— / All is well! / All is well!” I could see my great-grandparents, converts from England, Wales, France, and Denmark, in that circle of their covered wagons, singing over their fires in the cold nights crossing the plains. Three of them had babies die; my great-grandmother was buried in Wyoming.
“And should we die before our journey’s through, / Happy day! / All is well! / We then are free from toil and sorrow, too; / With the just we shall dwell! / But
if our lives are spared again / To see the Saints their rest obtain, / Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell— / All is well! / All is well!”
So then—that tabernacle, that singing, my ancestors welling in me, my father beside me, that magnificent woman, all combined with the organ and the man who played it and the man who had led her to it—whatever passed between the organ and her passed on to me.
I believed. I believed it all—the seeing without seeing, the hearing without hearing, the going by feel toward something holy, something that could make her cry, something that could move me, alter me, something as unexplainable as a vision or a mystic connection, something entering the pulse of a little girl, something that no matter what would never go away. What it had to do with Joseph Smith or his vision or his gospel I never would really understand—all I know to this day is that I believe."
Emma Lou Thayne wrote Hymn # 129," Where Can I Turn for Peace ..." 
Isn't that a special story?  It made me think, "What is it that keeps me faithful?  There are many things of course...just the splendid and marvelous creations of God.  But I think a picture that sticks in my mind is my grandma...90 years old, in a rest home, suffering from Alzheimer's and crippling arthritis in her knees and hips....kneeling by the side of her bed and praying to her beloved Father in Heaven.  I happened upon the scene one evening when I went to visit her kind of late.  It still inspires me that she had so much faith and fortitude.  I love you, Grandma!!!
Well, I hope this day finds you well and happy and surrounded by loved ones.  I am looking forward to a visit from my oldest daughter and her husband and six children today.   They are planning on staying the night and going with us to church tomorrow.  How fun that I will be able to sit with them and not have to teach anywhere else tomorrow.  I don't suppose this will last long, but I am grateful for the blessing!!!  I have been thinking of the Lord's tender mercies all morning long.  They have been and are very apparent in my life.  And I am humbled and grateful for that.  Take care!  My wishes are always for your happiness and good fortune!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ketchup Day:)

Good morning!  I am smiling!  I have no school today!  But I checked to see if I have gotten any grades reported yet for summer....and I found an A+ for my grade in Art History!!!  I cannot believe they give A+'s in college.  It feels so good!  So I just had to share.  Sorry I suppose that is really uncouth.  Oh well, this is a blog all about me:)  And I wouldn't be honest if I didn't share the highlights.  Right?  And it makes me feel like I am finally in the right major.
I have lots to do today.  First dishes....it feels like I have gone back in time about forty years there.  I used to hate washing dishes.  Now it is just an annoyance before I can get to the things I would rather be doing.  But I do like the way it cleans my nails:) Maybe I will paint them today.  The girl next to me in class, Michelle, always had painted nails.  I guess you can get fingernail paint pens at the dollar store to make squiggly lines and dots and other decorations on your nails.  Also they sell decals for nails.   Funny stuff!
Today would be a good day to try to catch up on the housework.  I haven't vacuumed for a couple of weeks I think.  Dusting is always something I put off....I am not sure why.  It isn't difficult.  Mopping I just don't like doing.  I have a little machine that does it for me, but it isn't working well for some reason and gets water everywhere.  So I will have to take it apart and see if there is a misconnected something somewhere.  And then there is the clutter.  It isn't as bad as it was when we had kids living here, but it still manages to happen somehow.  I think I cause most of it.  I don't always know where to put things, so I make nice, neat little piles here and there.  Then I just plop other things down around them thinking I will get to it.  So today I am going to get to it.  I also need to put money in the bank, pay bills, and exercise:)  Oh, and laundry.  I suppose I should also get school supplies and plan and shop for our family reunion.  And as soon as it isn't too early I will call Michelle and wish her happy birthday......She is my oldest and she turns 40 today!  That feels a little weird.  I don't think I am old enough to have a 40 year old daughter.  Sigh!  They are coming here tomorrow so we will party then!
So I hope your day is going well!  Have fun with your loved ones, and enjoy the moments:)  It is a most marvelous life!   I am still pulling for you.  We're all in this together! (That image of the boiling soup kettle is still there!  I am working on a new sign off!!!)   HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Busy Day!

I have had quite a day!  School was great!  We had such a variety of unusual projects.  I will include photos of some of the highlights.
This is Michelle who sits next to me...she had a shark in a bottle...the razor fin shark.  It had developed razors to protect itself from the giant crustaceans that had formed after the many earthquakes of 2018 that had caused all kinds of havoc in the world:)
This is Sam.  He does construction at the hospital here in Boise and is pretty handy with tools.  His creature was from the old growth forest.  It roamed the land looking to get back at all of the people who had destroyed his habitat:)
 This cute guy was found wandering the hills of Boise in the year 2038.  Quite an intelligent being for a stump!  But transporting back in time left him tongue tied:)
These melons by Jim had hypodermic needles that the plants were using to feed themselves.  Another catastrophe from the future.
This is my teacher, Matthew.  He was fiddling with the metal infused bananas from the future.  No longer an edible fruit.
Connie's idea was my favorite.  She had samples of different grades of pet fur.....used to fuel the future instead of coal and oil:)
You can see we all had fun with this idea.  I didn't get a picture of Arthur's complicated conglomeration of gnomes and octopuses and some sort of metal contraption he had found at the thrift store.  He came in late, so I didn't think to snap a photo.  There were a few others, but the pictures don't do them justice.
After class I went to meet Mel.  He was with some of his business associates looking over a building they are thinking of purchasing.  He would move his business into the building if they decide to do it....more room and more business too.  I wanted to see what they were looking at.  It certainly is bigger.
Then we took Kim out for a birthday lunch at Red Robin.  That was nice, although noisy.  I like places to be a little quieter.  After that we went to Costco.  Then to Best Buy.  Did I mention besides the water pump failing, that the dishwasher broke?  Yep.  We had the service guy come and tell us it couldn't be fixed.  So we purchased a new one today.  Seems like we have had a few extra expenses for quite a while lately.  I hope that is the last of it for now.
Well, I need to get ready for the big ward party we are having this evening.  We are all gathering to bring food to donate to the Nazarene church's food program.  It is part of the LDS church's welfare celebration here.  Then I guess there will be ice cream:)  Like I said, it has been a busy day.    Before I sign off I wanted to share with you the sign downtown!  Here goes...are you ready?
"Impeccable - unable to be eaten by a chicken!"  I love that one!  I hope your day has been fun and fruitful.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  And HAVGE!!!!  Melody

Another Gut Wan!!!

Good morning!  I am grinning once again! And I am feeling rather rested.  Class doesn't start today until 10 am.  It is the last day and my teacher thought it would be nice.  Also I think he was giving us more time to complete our last assignment.  We really were crunched for time on this one.  I feel pretty good about it though.  And it will be fun to see what everyone has come up with in class.
Today is my third daughter, Kim's, birthday.  She was a footling breach baby...10 lbs. and something ounces.  Whew!  Once again I am so glad my child bearing years are done!  But I would do it all again!  I love my children....more than most anything else.....except Mel of course.  And I would have to include grandchildren in that most dear to my heart list.  Isn't it interesting how we love the things we sacrifice for? I guess that must be a law of the universe.
Well, I hope you have a lovely day out there in cyberspace.  I am going to.  Take care and remember I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  (I may have to change that.  I am still seeing the kettle of soup!  And the cannibals!  Must be the stock market!!!)  HAGrrrrrrreatW!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Second Post Script - The Serious Version

Okay here is the second draft.  I kind of like this one.  It almost sounds credible...but makes you stop and wonder:)  There really is a biomechatronics division at MIT that really is doing research on exoskeletons.  And Dr. Herr is in charge of the research.  So...who knows? It could happen.....


Odonata Anisoptera Crella Hopter
Place of Origin - Nampa, Idaho
This specimen found on August 8, 2038, in the wetlands of Nampa, Idaho near the beautiful Lake Lowell wilderness area, is a prime example of the Odonata Anisoptera Crella Hopter.  It is a descendant of the Odonata Anisoptera or common dragonfly so common in the world before the great Nuclear Holocaust of 2025.  Researchers at MIT’s biomechatronics division, trying to save the Odonata Anisoptera after the cataclysmic event, used the latest exoskeleton research to create the amazing insect.  Using its original skeletal structure they created a bio-mechanical exoskeleton, or outer shell to enhance the insect’s resistance to nuclear fall out.  The experiment went better than expected and the insect now is common throughout the North American Continent. The amazing work of Dr. Herr begun in the early part of the century has amazed many scientists.  His groundbreaking research is still the gold standard by which all biomechatronics is measured. The Crella Hopter is able to fly at incredible speeds, and its life span is an amazing 10 years.  The Crella Hopter is an integral part of the military operations here in the U.S., and also in the Middle East. 


Post Script


Here is my museum description so far.  Don't worry, it is supposed to be a little humorous.  We just studied the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles:)  Look it up!

A descendant of the order Odonata Anisoptera, the Odonata Anisoptera Crella Hopta was first discovered in the year 2038 by the famous artist and entomologist, Melody Weyerman.  Ms. Weyerman was said to have heard a voice from her backyard rose bush in Nampa, Idaho where she discovered the highly metamorphised insect.  It’s high intelligence and brilliant paint job immediately drew Ms. Weyerman’s attention.  Speaking with the insect she soon discovered the reason for it’s unusual exoskeleton.  Frank, the insect, told her he had survived the nuclear holocaust in China of 2025.  Over the next 13 years his body had taken on the unusual characteristics that you now see before you.  At first the changes were subtle, but as the years progressed, the changes became more apparent.  Adjusting to his new skeleton has not been easy.  He feels awkward in social situations.  But it does have some advantages.  He can now fly at speeds topping 800 miles per hour.  His vision has increased tremendously and he can recognize things from high in the atmosphere.  He has retained his ability to hover over ponds and streams and still has a steady diet of mosquito and fly larvae.  His amazing life longevity is not easily explained.  It is believed that the physical changes in the atmosphere that killed so many life forms, somehow changed his in a way that makes him immortal.  With so much time on his hands he is currently seeking employment as an aerial acrobat or a secret agent.  

Gut Wan!

Side View

View from the top
Well, I have completed my museum quality exhibition of the Odonata Anisoptera Crella Hopta.  Do you like the scientific name?  I only made up the last part.  I think I am going to tell the story of how the nuclear holocaust of 2018 caused so much damage to the world that insects had to develop a more durable exoskeleton.  And also because they had fewer places with clean water they had to develop a faster, more efficient way of flying.  Or something like that.  I am still working out the bugs.  (Yes, pun intended!)  It is kind of fun to figure out why this dragonfly is attached to an Air Hog helicopter.  And yes, it does fly....although not great with the add ons.  I think my grandsons and daughters (!) will have fun with this one.  I think I will bring it along to the family reunion.
I have two grandsons here again today.  Liz was having a tough day...lots more contractions.  It sure would be nice if she had the baby this week.  But of course babies come when they decide...unless other arrangements are made:)  Julie and Liz both were induced because of Tommy's illness.  Oh how glad I am that I am not the one having the babies now.
Well, I guess I had better pay attention to Gabriel.  He wants to make ice cream sandwiches.  We made the cookies, now we are waiting for them to cool before we put ice cream in the middle.  He is very excited and anxious to be eating them NOW.  Of course most things are not quick enough for him.  They are way too fast for me!  Hope you are having a wonderful day!  Keep smiling!  I am having no trouble with that once again.  Take care!!!  Melody

More Hilarity!

Good morning!  I am laughing out loud!  Soooo funny!!!
So the water here is not clear yet.  And it was more than just a dry well.  Apparently there was a leak in a section of pipe, the pump motor failed, the holding tank was faulty, and a few other things I have forgotten.  Our well is now 200 feet deep!  It may have a little to do with the fact that they put in a huge rotating arm well (I forget what the official name for that is) on the field of corn across the street.  It runs constantly and uses a lot of water.  But I guess the other problem is our pump and well are 10 years old, and with Mel's business they run constantly also.  The guy from the drilling company thought we had done pretty well.  (Pun definitely intended!)
Well (a deep subject) I am going to go get a shower....I hope it isn't a muddy one:)  Take care out there!  I will put in a new installment of the ongoing saga of the dragonfly after school today.  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Second Installment

Well, things never seem to go according to plan...at least not my plan.  I worked on my dragonfly project for a bit...it's going great.  I got the wings glued on and now I have to make up some fantastic story about how I found this specimen 27 years into the future.  I'm still working on that.  In the meantime we had a natural disaster here...our well went dry!  That isn't too good for a plastics business that depends on water to keep machinery cool.  So I have snapped a few photos.  Maybe I can include it somehow in my sci-fi story.
On the bright side....my hydrangeas have started blooming again!  They are so beautiful I thought I would share:)   I hope your natural disasters are as short lived as this one!  Take care out there!  Melody

P.S.  Oh, I almost forgot!  I signed up for a class from Al Rounds....a watercolor class!  I am thrilled!  It will be in his home in South Jordan...only 5 students at a time I think.  I love his work, and I am hoping he will give me a few good pointers on how to improve my watercolor painting.  It is on the 27th...a Saturday and close to our anniversary, so we will have to make a fun trip out of it.  I am super excited!!!  More than usual even:)  It is an answer to prayer in so many ways.