Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hi!

Good morning!  I hope this finds you happy and healthy where ever you are in cyberspace today!  I just downloaded my final for my art history class.  We are supposed to turn in two essays...one we select from a choice of three, and the other is mandatory for everyone.  I am glad we are given these enough ahead of time that we have time to think.  Although it will be due next week when the class is over.  Kind of amazing we are going to be done with this class by then.
Today we start into modernism I think.  That sounds like it is today, but it is not.  It started with Realism and ended after WWII.  Then it was post modernism:)
Well, I haven't any wonderful tales to tell.  Just wanted to poke my head in and say hi!  Take care and HAVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reality

Good evening!  Today at school was really an adventure!  We studied the landscapes of the Romantic era.  I really enjoyed it, but then we started in to Realism.  This started with the advent of the camera and fixed images....kind of a reaction to it.  Some of the art is interesting and some not so much.  I am sad we sped so quickly through the 1800's.  And that some of my more favorite artists were not even covered.  I guess I will have to study some of this on my own.  What we viewed of landscapes was really gorgeous, but not enough!
After class I got Joy and we swam for about an hour.  I think my endurance is picking up, even if my strength is not.  I told Joy we may have to get more serious about this as we get better at it.  You know...actually swim with goggles and a cap....like the Olympics:)  I am enjoying watching the games each evening.  I am so impressed with the many abilities of the athletes.
Well, I guess I will read my textbook and get ready for tomorrow.  Have a wonderful evening!  TTTT  Melody

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Shalom!

Good evening!  Last night we watched a very special production with my granddaughter Hailey in it.  She stole the show!  Such a cute girl!  Anyway, I thought I would put a few of the pictures of her with Mel, because I know she reads my blog and would probably like to see them.
On stage

With Grandpa

Mutual Admiration
Today in church we had a very special lesson on Joseph Smith, and the speaker brought these reproductions of the death masks of the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith, who were martyred in Carthage, Illinois in 1844.  I thought it was fascinating to see these and thought you might like seeing them too, so I took a picture.
Hyrum is on the left and Joseph on the right.
Anyway,  not much to tell of today.  Just wanted to send friendly wishes out into cyberspace!  Take care and HAVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Saturday, July 28, 2012

August is so near!

Good morning!  Time seems to be rushing by again.  I cannot believe it is almost August.  August used to mean vacation time when I was growing up.  My parents both taught school, and my dad taught summer school in June and July.  So August was free from work.  We almost always went camping in Yosemite or up to my grandparents cabin in Hayfork, outside of Redding.  We didn't just go for a couple of days....we would go for a month:) It was a nice way to bond as a family.  Every so often we would take a trek for the month.  One time we drove up the coast through the redwoods and on up to visit my great aunt and uncle in Portland and then on up to Seattle to the World's Fair.  That was really fun!  Another trip I really remember, we went to Yellowstone and then on up to Glacier National Park and then on further into Canada.  We had to go on several ferries across lakes.  It was really fun.  Then we headed west to Vancouver and on down the coast.  I was about 13 when we took that trip.  I remember distinctly fishing off the fishing bridge in Yellowstone.  Everyone was catching their limit, so that night people were giving away their fish for dinner.  Camping was friendly like that back then.  I don't know if it still is.  I remember all of the bears!  I remember in Glacier that the traffic was backed up because of the bears begging for food and people stopping to give it to them!  Of course now they have done away with the garbage dumps and the bears no longer wander looking for handouts.  It's probably much safer that way!  But it is a rare thing to see a bear anymore.  The other thing I remember about that trip is my mom's broken arm.  She broke her arm in a car accident and so she had a cast that went all the way up her arm.  It got really cold at night camping in a tent, so my dad would heat up rocks in the campfire to warm the cast!  I don't think it worked real well.  I also remember she had knitting needles she used to reach the places that were itchy inside of her cast:)...funny memories.  She was a trooper!  It never even occurred to me how hard it must have been to go camping for a month with a cast on your arm.  I don't remember her complaining at all!  I think she and my dad had such a special relationship.  I don't ever remember them being upset with each other....I'm sure they must have been occasionally, but I don't remember it.  They really were very much in love with each other, and they valued each other enough that they were able to work out things without any meanness.   Their example has been a wonderful one for my own marriage.
Well, I guess I had better get on with laundry....and bill paying.  I keep putting these things off, and I really shouldn't.  Then tonight we are going to watch Amy and her daughter in the melodrama in Glenn's Ferry.  I love to hiss and boo at the villain, and cheer the hero on! Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!  And have a most wonderful and fun filled day!!!  Melody

Friday, July 27, 2012

Date Night

Good evening!  We just finished watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with Taylor.  That was a fun date night!  He is having a slumber party here tonight...just him and Mel and I.  We are having a great time.  He just told me that he found one of my hairs and he was sure it was mine because it was gray!  :)
I had a good day today.  Now I am going to sleep!  I love to sleep!  I just hope I can.  Good night!  Me

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Symbols

Hi!  Things have gone well here today.  I took my quiz and aced it on the second attempt.  It is still weird to me that I can take it more than one time.  The questions change, but essentially it is the same.  I do think I have learned a lot this week....Baroque, Rococo, and Neo-Classicism.  And today we started the Romantic period.  These images of Goya are his attempts to show the world as he knew it.  The little boy is his grandson.  The other painting is a political statement about Napoleon and broken promises.  It is actually quite violent.  There is a lot of symbolism...the main thing being that the man about to be shot is a Christ figure.  I like studying symbols and hidden meanings.  You might notice the cathedral in the darkness in the background.
Goya


Lake Tahoe
This is Albert Bierstadt's Lake Tahoe.  I have seen a lot of his paintings of landscapes in the West.  He was a prolific painter.  We actually haven't gotten to his time yet....maybe on Monday.  But most of the stuff we looked at today for romanticism was not really fit for my blog:)  So I figured landscapes are safe.  I do find the ideas of this time period very compelling.  I think I am a bit of a romanticist.  I like nature and I definitely feel the awe and at the same time the power and majesty of it all.  I guess that is captured pretty well in this landscape.  Even though it really doesn't look much like the actual landscape.  Still, I like this idealized version.  I especially like how he plays with light.  And it makes me want to paint again!  Now if I can just find the time.  I feel pretty busy at present.  But I feel like I am doing good things.  I really like this class and I really like swimming.  But I feel like I spend a lot of time driving, and it makes me kind of tired.  Luckily I have no school tomorrow.   But I do have a couple of other things on my list....like finishing my visiting teaching....and swimming:)
Well, I think I am headed for bed.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Keep your stick on the ice!!!!  I'm still pulling for you!   Keep smiling:)  Melody


Counting Sheep

Good morning!  I am not sleeping well....or actually I was sleeping well until I woke up:)  A fine distinction I know.  I switched medication for my knees and this one is not as strong, so I am kinda bothered by the pain.  The other one made my heart race and a bunch of other stuff that wasn't so good.  I think this one will catch up with the pain eventually, I just went without anything for a few days so it will probably take a few days to catch up.
So on to brighter topics.  We studied Rococo yesterday....definitely not my favorite painting!  But interesting.  We then discussed neo-classism which I like a little more.  Next we will be looking at Romanticism.....and then a quiz.  I am enjoying this trip through the past.  It is a little fascinating that the whole western world was revolting in the same period of the world's history.  I knew about the US and France, but not so much about the rest of Western society.  Our teacher made a map of all of the countries that had some sort of revolt during the 1700's and it was really kind of amazing.  I didn't used to like history, so I have not studied it much.  Now I find it fascinating.  I guess it has to do with maturity, and maybe no dates to memorize.
I had a fun trip to Costco yesterday with Taylor.  He was glad to be with grandma, and I was so glad to be able to have a helper.  He was cute lifting heavy things into the basket....dog and cat food especially.  I was not sure he was strong enough for that, but he actually is and did pretty well.  He liked picking out a few things for himself....jello, cookies, ice cream, and candy:)  Oh, and pears.  I thought that last one was a healthy choice.  And he talked and talked!  At one point he said that he was sorry he was explaining so much to me.  And I told him I loved hearing him explain things!  I really do.  He is a delight.
I found out on facebook that one of my old friends died.  He and his wife are so good, and have a lovely family.  I was kind of shocked as I didn't realize he was sick.  He is only a couple of years older than me, so that also made me feel a little weird.  They were in our ward when we lived in Boise and we used to play cards occasionally.  He used to call me "Shark" at church...meaning card shark I guess.  We have moved and so we don't see many of our old friends anymore.  I feel sad about this, and sorry for his wife.
Well, I am tired again.  I hope you are enjoying life and family times and creating wonderful memories. It is so nice to have warm and fond memories on cold winter days!  Take care and keep smiling!  I am still pulling for you!!!!!  We're all in this together.  HAVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!   Melody


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Contrast

Good morning!  I woke up this morning thinking, "Tennebrism".  It is a vocabulary word for my art history class.  It is a technique of creating very high contrast scenes and it was used in the baroque period....and still is today I guess.  But I think I dreamt art history all night long.  I think it is kind of good.  To me it means I am really absorbing this into my subconscious as well as my conscious....is that right?  Anyway it is all good.  Today we are moving on to Roccoco.  Ha!  That is even fun to say.  I may have spelled it wrong though.  Yeah, I am eating and sleeping and thinking art history these days.  I hope it improves my own art making.  I think I have hit a block in that area.   I know you can do that with writing, but I guess I am surprised I have done it with drawing and painting.  I just can't get past the first initial stuff of actually beginning something new.  And each day I think I will just begin, but things are so busy and I just can't seem to find the energy.  Yesterday and the day before I didn't even get home til almost 7.  I have been doing a lot with my dad and sister I guess.
So today....I think I can say today is going to be busy too.  I need to do my visiting teaching after class and swimming.  But if I finish at a decent time, perhaps I can at least do a preliminary sketch.
Well, gotta scoot.  Take care out there in cyberspace today.  And enjoy the moments!  I'm still pulling for you!  Life is grand!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Coming Across the Prairie

Good morning!  I hope it is for you too.  Since it is Pioneer Day today, I have been puzzling over a story....I can't remember if I have written about it on here, I have looked for it and can't find it.  So please forgive me if I am retelling it.  And especially if I have changed the more minute details:) A couple of weeks ago I had Taylor with me in the car.  And he said, "Hey, Grandma!"  And I said, "Hey, Taylor!"  He almost always says,"Hey, Grandma!" when he is addressing me....???? Yeah, I don't know why.  But anyway, next he queried, "When you and grandpa were driving in your wagon, did you have big horses or little horses?"  I said, "What?  We never drove a wagon."  He said, "Yeah, you told me a story about when you and grandpa were in a wagon and he said, "Stop it or not!" to the kids in the back.  That made me smile, and I realized...."Oh, you mean the station wagon."  "Yeah, did you have horses?"  And so I explained that a station wagon was not really a wagon, but a car.  It was just such a funny thing, I didn't want to omit it from here.  I guess the part I am not sure of is whether he asked about horses.  It's funny how my memory works.  When I can't remember something all of the way, it fills in the blanks:)  It is a fairly new phenomenon for me.  I think I used to remember all of the details....but I may not be right about that either:)  In fact that is another thing I am noticing....I can't trust my memory like I used to be able to do.  I was always quite sure of it when I was younger.  Now I don't have that confidence to be sure if it is accurate or just filling in the blanks.  Sometimes I will just come up with an answer to a question without thinking hard about it at all.  Those are the times I doubt myself the most.  It is kind of weird.  And not real helpful in school:)
Speaking of which I had better get going.  I am picking up my sister today before hand so I need to leave a little earlier.  I hope your day is wondrous and great out there in cyberspace.  Did I mention I have been called to be the choir leader for our ward?  I am kind of excited about this, but I find I am thinking of hymns all of the time now.  And no, I haven't been released from my other callings.  It will be interesting how I fit all of the Relief Society lessons, Singles shepherding assignments and visiting teaching in too.  But it is all good.  I would rather be busy than not.  Take care, and smile!!!!  Life is wonderful, even when it is not:)  I think each day we are here is a miracle!!!  TTTL  Melody

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baroque....or is it Brrrroke!

Hi again!  I have had a most interesting day!  I went to class, and then I picked up my sister Joy, and Barb's daughter Beth (who is visiting), and we all went back to the University....Joy and I to swim and Beth to walk along the greenbelt on campus.  She didn't bring a swim suit.  I would have walked with her, but I really can't do that at present.  I am planning to change all that of course.  Anyway, a good time was had by all, and then we went to pick up the car we bought online:)  This was an act of faith!!! Joy needs a car, but not car payments.  And so we bid on a car in the state auction...sight unseen because we missed the four hour window to do that!!  It is a 94 Ford Tempo.  They said the miles were 51,000, but that may be because the odometer has already turned over once:)... although it is hard to tell.  We bid very low...$500 was the minimum... but no one else bid on it, so we got it!  Anyway we went to look at it and it really isn't too bad.  It needs tires....the ones on there are studded for winter.  And the turn signal is broken off.  And the air conditioning doesn't get cold.  But other than that it runs great.  The engine seems sound, the transmission too.  It needs a good upholstery cleaning and maybe a seat cover....I am still laughing inside at how amazing this is.  And the song that keeps going through my head is, "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform..."
Well, I just had to share a bit of our adventure today.  I had a great day at school too.  We studied the Italian, Spanish and Flemish Baroque movements.  The art is beautiful I think.  I especially like the still lifes from the Flemish painters.  I must admit I did not enjoy the Spanish depictions of all the martyrs.  It is so dark and sad.  But I did like the portraits.
Well, that is all I have to share of this day.  I hope things are fun and relaxing in your part of cyberspace today.  I am still pulling for you!!!  HAVVVVGE!!!  Melody

P.S.

OK, here is a cute little kid history snippet.....Accident.  Now I am really leaving!  Me

Hola!

Good morning!  Another day of fun and frolic:)  I am all ready to take notes for art history.  My teacher puts all of the pictures up for the next day's lecture on Blackboard.  It really helps with studying later if you take good notes next to the picture.  I am amazed at how much work she puts into her lectures.  She is so prepared.  I am lucky to have such a great teacher!
And I am bringing my swim suit.  I am beginning to feel the need to swim each day.  I think that is a good sign.  I enjoy getting in shape this way.  And it helps that the pool is almost empty:)  It is kind of amazing to me that it isn't used more.  They have classes of course, but not too many people use it just to exercise on their own.
Well, I had better scoooooooot!  Have a wonderful day out there in cyberspace!  Keep smiling!!!  Melody

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shalom!


Hi! I have had such a nice Sabbath day today. Michelle and Gary and their family have been here for the weekend so that they could come to Nigel's reception. It was so nice to have them here, and especially to all go to church together.
We had an inspiring church meeting today. I really liked Relief Society where our lesson was a review of Elder Quentin Cook's talk about being "In Tune with the Music of Faith". Here is the link...Elder Cook I really do enjoy his messages at Conference and this one is especially good. It really is insightful about how to have faith and how to strengthen it, and how to help others who may be searching for truth. I especially liked his reference to 2 Nephi 25:26 "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." It is a good explanation of our belief in the Savior of the World.
I have a testimony of the Savior. I know He loves me....and I am so grateful for that knowledge.  It helps me to get through each day's challenges.  
Well, I haven't much else to write about today.  But do remember I am still pulling for you!  We are all in this together.  HAVVVVVGS!!!!  Melody

Saturday, July 21, 2012

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning!

Good morning!  I should be asleep, but I actually fell asleep last evening at 7:30 and slept soundly for a couple of hours.  Now I can't seem to fall back asleep.  Oh well, I have been catching up on here....changing my password because it got compromised....if you got anything weird from me, it wasn't really from me!......erasing pictures on picassa web so it will allow me to put more on.  I hope it works.  I will try it and see.
Oh good, it did.  This is a photo that my niece took of my siblings and my dad and I.  I can see such a genetic body type going on between us.  And I love Norm's attempt to hide it:)  I guess it is what it is.  My dad looks pretty good for being almost ninety, huh?  And yes, he runs circles around us all!  :)
So, what to write about that will capture your imagination.  Hmmmm.....  Oh well, I will write about what I am thinking.  And I guess that would be how painful it is to go back and look at some of the beginnings of my artwork that I actually posted!  I found it all as I was erasing photos on the picassa site.  But it is a good record of my progress, so I shouldn't be so embarrassed by it, right?   It is amazing that I had the courage to put it on the internet!  And yes, I am blushing:)
Hmmmmm....I am also thinking that weddings are an amazing amount of work!  I have been observing my little sister as she is preparing for her reception tomorrow for her son, and it brings back so many memories!  We had a lot of weddings for a while.  And it was a whole lot of work!  I am glad most of that is behind me.  I guess I haven't mentioned that Kenny and Cindy are divorcing.  It is a sad thing.  And that is all I will say about it publicly:) Except that I am sad about it and blogging helps somehow.  There seems to be so much sadness in the world anymore.  I am feeling especially sad for the families of those who were killed in Colorado....such a very senseless thing.  I feel especially sorrowful for the family of the man who did this.  I am expecting he had a mental illness, and I know how helpless a family can feel when dealing with serious mental problems.
What else?  I feel like I am writing my letter to the world each day.  I don't think blogs are really intended for that, but it is how I feel.  Kind of like I am reporting in to a higher authority or something.  I know....I am a little weird.  Some days I think I should keep this all in a private journal, but there is part of me that wants to share everything....hoping that somehow my experiences might help someone else.
OK, you're right....I need some more sleep.  And I am beginning to feel a little tired....so nighty night...or mourny morning:)  I hope you are reading this after a long and restful night's sleep!  Take care out there in cyberspace and keep smiling!  I am smiling from this side of things! And yawning!   TTTL  Melody


Friday, July 20, 2012

Rushing

Good morning!  I just got back from the colorist:)  It is kind of fun to have my gray hair turned brown and blonde again.  It's funny to me how this makes me feel younger....even though I am not of course.  And I am quite certain I am fooling no one!  But then the person I am trying to fool is me, and perhaps I am successful to some degree.
I haven't come up with any interesting topic for today.  I think because I am feeling a little rushed.  My sister Diane is holding a reception for her son's wedding of a couple of weeks ago in her backyard tomorrow night, so I am going over today to help with things.  Before I leave I need to pay bills, wash clothes and clean bathrooms....some of those things I cannot let slide for too long.  I am done with some of the other things calling out to me.....or at least I have shut them up temporarily:)
I have been a little anxious of late, and not able to figure it out.  And last night, or rather early this morning, I went online to see if it could be any of my medications.....and I found out it could be.  It is somewhat of a relief, but a worry too.  This is tricky business to try and be well.  I wonder how people did this 100 years ago....before all of the modern chemistry of medicinal wonders.  I suppose that people didn't know any different so they just put up with whatever ailments they had to deal with.
Well, I am not making a lot of headway here.  I guess I will just wish you a very merry day out there in cyberspace today.  Take care and HAVVVVVGW!!!!  Me

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Passed!

I took my quiz....missed 2 questions.  So I took it again....got them all right!!!!!  I love this method of testing.  It kind of teaches you while you are taking it.  The hardest part is that it is timed.  I still can't believe that you get the best of your scores.  I feel like I am cheating too, but I am not since it is open book.  But I like this lower stress way of learning.  I do think I am learning things so as not to forget them....at least I hope so.
Well, that is the end of school for this week.  It feels very nice to have a couple of days to relax.  But this class is kind of fun.  I am really enjoying the subject.  Am I boring you yet?  Sorry.  I am going to end now.  Maybe I can find a topic for tomorrow that is not about me:)  Take care.    Me:)

Thursday....Quiz Day

Good morning!  I am up early so that I can read some more chapters in my textbook for art history.  I really enjoy reading it.  It is kind of hard to put down.  But I am still behind and I have the second quiz today.  It is hard to believe this second week has whizzed on by....only three more before I am done with this class.  I still wonder if this is a good way to take a class, and I wouldn't have if I didn't really need it I think.  It is hard to remember how bored I was feeling at the beginning of summer.  Things have picked up dramatically with Julie and her family back, and my sister Joy back.  Joy may stay.  She is looking for work.  And it would help my dad quite a bit if she can.  She is living at his house at present.
Well, I had best be moving on with my morning.  Just wanted to send a big and cheery haloooooo!  Take care and HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Linking

Hi!  I found a link that I like.  It gives a little illustration of watercolor in a sketchbook.  Gurney sketch  I found it on Gurney's Journey.  If you are interested in art and illustration this is an especially good site.  I read it most every day.
Things went well in my class today.  I am even making a couple of friends...not easy in a big impersonal class.  We studied the high Renaissance in northern Europe today....not in northern Europe, (I wish!) but about northern Europe.  Tomorrow we will hit Spain and England I think.  And maybe a few other countries of importance.  We are moving very rapidly!
Well, just wanted to share a link.  I also thought the sign downtown was good today....."A Clone is a person two!"  Ha!  It still makes me smile.  Hope you are still smiling!  Take care and HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Intervention

Good morning!  I am glad it is finally morning.  Ever felt that way?  I had the most terrible dream!  I dreamt I was working for Mel in his shop, and I couldn't figure out how to do things, and I was such a whiner!  It felt good to wake up and realize it was not true!  I don't think I could be a tool and die maker!
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had made different decisions?  I was thinking about that yesterday.  I was supposed to go to UC Davis instead of BYU.  I had been accepted there at Davis.  My cousin was going there and I had even spent a weekend there to see what it was like.  I had done all of the preliminary stuff, like you do....lining up housing and stuff.  But then, kind of miraculously, I got a scholarship to BYU.  I was invited to a fireside where they had a speaker who talked about the advantages of going to BYU.  He was recruiting:)  I don't think they do this anymore.  But he said to come and get his card if you didn't have a scholarship, and send it in....which I did.  It's amazing one little speech at a fireside could change the course of my life.  I am grateful for small interventions:)
Well, I had better get on with my day.  I hope things are happy and amazing for you today out in cyberspace!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Hundred Years in One Day!

Good evening!  It has been a long day and I am tired!  But I did want to post a little something so that I don't forget.  I went with my dad to the doctor today.  And he said he was getting better, although not all of the way yet.  My dad is such a trooper.  He insisted on driving to his doctor's appointment!  I don't know how much longer he can do this, so I humor him.  He actually does very well.  I hope he can continue to maintain his independence.  I just keep thinking how he fights so hard to stay on his own.  It is inspiring!!
Today in class we had a lecture on the Northern European Renaissance...1400 to 1500.  It is what was going on in every other part of Europe but Italy.  We covered the first hundred years!  Tomorrow we will cover the second hundred.  I feel like I am whirling with information.  I hope I can absorb enough of it to help with my other studies.  I do feel somewhat inspired by the beautiful, intricate paintings we are studying right now.  There is such attention to detail in the oils done by some of these artists.  I am amazed.  I cannot say I really liked any of the paintings we looked at today.  They look rather stilted.  But I expect things will get better tomorrow.
Well, I am headed for bed!  I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods!  Take care!  Me

Merry Morning!

Good morning!  I am alone at home, and guess what?  I am enjoying it!  That is a first.  I think I have gotten filled up with family close, and so it doesn't feel so lonely to be alone, and that is a good thing.  The last few days have been especially nice as I have spent much of them at my dad's sitting on his deck.  Sunday was especially nice as a storm front was coming in and the trees were blowing and the wind was warm, but cooling after the heat wave we had last week.  I love to sit on his deck!  It looks out over the northwest end of Boise and into Meridian and Nampa.  It is a great view, and his backyard is overgrown with plants and backs up to the canal that is overgrown with cottonwoods on the bank.  It smells so good too!  Just thinking of it makes me feel good inside.
So a report on my progress with diet and exercise....I am doing great!  I started going swimming every day at the gym at school, and luckily got into a deep water aerobics class on Mondays and Wednesdays.  It is free and filled with older ladies like me, and so it is perfect!  The instructor is quite good....very encouraging.  And I found out this goes on all year, so I am hoping I can fit it into my schedule in the Fall too.  And I think it is helping with the weight loss, because the scale has started downwards again!  Of course I think my new meds also help, because I just don't feel so hungry.  And my blood sugars are also in check.  So I am feeling better about these worrisome things.  It is nice when it all works!  Now if I can avoid the scary side effects listed on all of the medications I am presently on!!!  I guess I didn't realize when I was younger how nice it is to be healthy.  I just took it for granted that I always would be I guess.
Today I am going to school, swimming and then going to the doctor with my dad.  He doesn't hear very well, so it is good to go along and hear for him.  Then he doesn't miss anything important.  So how is your day?  I hope good.  Take care.  I am definitely still pulling for you!  And remember to keep your kite in the sky!!!  Ha!  I just made that one up.  It sounds better than sticks on ice in the summertime!  Keep smiling!  Melody

Monday, July 16, 2012

One Lonely Photo

Diane, Me, Joy, Norm and Dad seated
Hi!  I was only able to upload one picture.  Apparently I have reached the quota for what my picassa web album can hold.  I didn't know there was a limit.  So now I guess I have to pay for it.  Kinda weird, and I'm not sure I will.  I will have to look into this.  There must be a way to delete stuff, but I haven't figured that out yet.
Today has been fun.  My class was really interesting.  We talked about the four great artists of the high Renaissance....DaVinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian.  They sure did beautiful stuff.  But apparently DaVinci didn't finish his commissions a lot of the time, and most of the paintings, drawings, etc. are from his sketchbooks.  Did you know that the Mona Lisa was found with him when he died?  The speculation is that he either didn't finish it or loved it too much to part with it.  Also, the Mona Lisa didn't become famous until the Victorian Age.  Another interesting fact...Michelangelo hated painting!  At least that is what we learned today.  He thought of himself as a sculptor and Pope Julius II had to send guards to escort him to the Sistene chapel, because he didn't want to do it:)  I love it!!!  One of the greatest painters of all time and he didn't enjoy it.  I can't believe how quickly we are going through the material though.  Tomorrow we start on the northern European Renaissance!  I need to read this evening to stay caught up.
Well, Taylor is here right now.   Liz seemed exhausted when I went by to pick up some of my stuff she had borrowed.  So I hope she is napping.  She has a little guy, Alex, who was down for a nap.  So maybe she can get a power nap.
Well, I may do the same.  Taylor is always pretty happy and easy to keep entertained here.  I suppose because he is on his best behavior.  I suppose we all have our best and not so great behavior.  I do better with enough sleep!!!!   Take care out there and have a wonderful FHE!!!  Melody

A New Day!

Good morning!  Things have been so busy around here with my sister Joy and my brother Norm visiting.  I have had a nice week except for the scare of my dad in the hospital.  But it's off to school I go today.  I am more organized for the week today and feeling pretty good.  I hope things are going well for you in cyberspace!!!  Take care and keep smiling!  I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody   I have pictures I will upload later:)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Evening Post :)

Hi!  My dad's home from the hospital.  That feels very good.  He seems to be doing really well.  It's hard to believe I was worried about losing him just a couple of days ago.  He is an amazing 89 year old.  Well, I am very tired from a long week of activity.  So I'm headed for bed....yay!!!!!  Sweet Dreams!  Me

Top o' the mornin' to you!

Good morning!  Things are looking a little brighter around here this morning.  And I am feeling much better after a good night's sleep.  Off to the hospital!!!  Take care out there!!!  Me

Friday, July 13, 2012

Update

Good afternoon!  I am laughing out loud at my earlier mistake...septic instead of sepsis!  I think that may have been a bit of a Freudian slip.  And I am happy to report my dad looks tons better today!!!! And I found out they don't know for certain he has a sepsis infection. It will take four days for the test results to come in.  I think he would continue to be much sicker if it was that.   I am very relieved.  I think 89 years old is getting up there, and it worries me whenever he has a problem.  He is going to come home from the hospital tomorrow and then I think my sister Joy will stay over there with him and Barb for a while til things are steady.
I am feeling a little punky myself, but I am headed for a power nap.  Just wanted to put an update in here.  I hope things are well in your neck of the woods.  I also wanted to share the latest from the sign downtown.  "Germs - the only thing kids share freely!"  Ha!  That is kinda true.  Well, have a great rest of Friday the 13th.  I plan on it!!!  (Pun totally intended!)  Melody

Greetings!

Good morning!  I am off to visit my dad in the hospital.  He has a sepsis infection....not too good, but he seems to be responding well to the antibiotics.  More later.  Me

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Back under

Howdy!  Things have been a little crazy around here the last 24 hours.  I got a call this morning about 5 a.m. that my dad was really sick and in the hospital.  Barbara called me so upset.  Apparently he got up and was so weak he couldn't walk and was trying to crawl back to his bed.  Very scary for her. Thankfully she called 911 and they got him safely to the emergency room.  He has some kind of an infection and he is on medicine now to fix that, but he will be in the hospital for a day or two.  Luckily all of my sisters and my brother were here, so there is lots of help to take care of things.
This afternoon I also became rather ill, but I stopped by the doctor on  my way home from school and got an antibiotic for me.  I kind of think all of the traveling took its toll on me and my dad.  But we are both on the mend.  And luckily I didn't miss school.  I took my quiz and passed it with flying colors.  So now I can just rest for this weekend. (Ha, ha!)
Julie's husband was called into the bishopric this week, so that is good news.  He will be busy, but I think it will be good for their family....extra blessings:)
Well, I just wanted to send a haloooooo out into cyberspace.  I hope things are well for you and yours.  Take care and HAVVVVVGE!!!!!  Melody
P.S.  I plan to write a more interesting blog....soon!!!  :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy!

Good morning!  I am off to slay dragons today:)  I am so much happier being in school.  It is nice to get up with a driving purpose!  Anyway just wanted to say hi and hope you have a great day today out in cyberspace!  Keep your stick on the ice (if you can find any....it is hot!!!!!)  TTTL  Melody

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another Busy Day!

Hi!  I have had a day!  Busy and mostly happy.  But today we found out that sweet Barbara, my Dad's second wife, is declining rapidly.  The doctor recommended that they stop going back and forth and that she should spend her last days where she would like to be...which is in Oregon near her children.  That will be hard I think for my dad to go through the hard steps of losing another spouse.  But I think he has been very blessed to have had a second companion the last 7 years.  We will be visiting a lot I imagine.  They are planning to leave after the Idaho reception for my nephew.
In my class today we finished the Proto Renaissance and started into the Italian Renaissance.  We are going fast and will probably finish the Italian Renaissance this week or next.  I find it very interesting, and I like how we study the philosophy and culture of the time and place and how art was influenced by that.  A fact I had not realized before was that until the last 80 or so years, artists did not generally paint for self expression, but as a commission for some one else.  It doesn't mean there weren't fabulous artists, but rather they did not usually get to paint or sculpt what they wanted.  Also in my mind it explains some of the art of the past....Byzantine for example:)  I like studying this way.  But we sure have a whole lot to remember.  I think we went over about twenty or thirty images today.  Luckily we are not having a slide show test.  We did that in the first class and it was really hard!
I swam again today.  The university has this wonderful facility with a pool and racquetball courts and basketball and everything imaginable.  They even have elliptical machines....torture machines!!!  I wonder if that contributed to my knees being bad.  Oh well.  I am swimming and I think that is really good for them.  And I have always loved to swim anyway.  It doesn't feel like a work out....more like a nice break.  They also have a hot tub and a sauna, which is nice to just sit in.  I have been a little pushed for time the last couple of days, so I haven't had a chance to take advantage of the sauna....but the hot tub was great!
Taylor came home with me.  We stopped at the store and I let him pick out the veggies for dinner...corn, celery, broccoli and tomatoes.  We have a small garden, but no corn and the tomatoes are not ripe yet.  He was cute picking out the veggies and then running them through the self help checkout.  He is growing up fast.  He said to me, "I think when I am twenty you will be gone."  I said, "No, I think I am going to live to one hundred!"  Then he said, "Oh, then I will be forty."  It is a little weird to think of passing on to the next life.  I wonder how Barbara is feeling inside right now.  I hope she is not scared.  She was not raised with religion and I think it is a little scary not to have faith in some belief system.  I have shared with her what I believe, but of course that is not the same as believing it yourself.
Well, I have homework to do.  I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods.  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVVGE!!!!!!  Melody
P.S.  More wedding pics....These are from Sean, my sister Joy's son's, wedding.

My sister Joy

Sean and the minister who is Suzy's grandfather



Joy's son Seth with a bridesmaid

Joy's son Aaron with a bridesmaid

Flower girl





Sean, "I'm married!"

Joy and the happy couple

First dance

Dance with dad

Me:)

Monday, July 9, 2012

History Revisited

Good evening!  I have had a very busy and fun day today.  My sister Joy is visiting and she came with me to school today.  She went to the library while I attended class and then we both went over to the beautiful gym on campus and swam.  I am determined to get back into shape!  So we signed up for a class of deep water exercises.  It should be good for my knee.  And I think Joy had fun too.
I am really glad I made the decision to take my art history class!  It is very interesting!  Today we learned a little about what we will be learning and I am excited to be studying again.  This is the same teacher I had last summer, and she is very thorough, and easy to listen to.  And she is very organized!  She has online notes she has typed up that really help if you don't catch it all.  And this time we are having all of our quizzes online....open book.  So that will help me tremendously.  I will still have to study, but I think it will help to be able to use my notes and flash cards to jog my memory.  The final is two essays though, so that will be a little tougher.  But it is good to be learning again!

  This is one of the images we had today...it is the Pisa Baptistery by Nicola Pisano.  It is near the leaning tower of Pisa.  It is an example of the transition from medieval to Renaissance art.  There are a lot of pagan images mixed in with the religious images.  It is really quite detailed and beautiful.  I hope some day I can go for a visit.


Tying the knot
But enough of that!  I promised some wedding photos!  So I will put on a few a day.  First the wedding for my sister Diane's son, Nigel.  Their wedding was at Sundance Resort in Utah.  It was very beautiful!  I love weddings!
Well, I guess I had better study!  And figure out how to get a digital version of our text book. So have a gut wan!  I am kinda tired:)  Melody
Nigel with Diane

Nigel with Diane and Dad

Me and my dad

Me, Dad, and Nigel

Jiggity Jig

I'm home!!!!  It feels so good!  So tomorrow morning (oops!  This morning!)  I am going to my art history class.  We will be studying the Renaissance through modern art in five weeks.  I guess another speed class through hundreds of years of art.  But I am looking forward to it.  I'd better get some sleep.  Sweet Dreams!  Me

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Verdi:)

Good afternoon. We are in the Sierras at present, headed towards Reno. We are planning to reach home by tonight. I am glad:). I have had enough of long distance driving for a while. But it's been a good trip. My sister Joy is traveling back with us so we are able to visit and I no longer feel out numbered by the men:) I am enjoying the beautiful scenery out my window as we drive along the Truckee River. I wish I could stop to paint. The colors are some of my favorite. Well I hope things are good in cyberspace today. Take care and keep smiling! I am smiling from my side! Melody

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wedding #2

Good evening! No, it is definitely night time. And another nephew is married. It was fancy and fun. The wedding was by the pool and gardens. That was followed by another cocktail party while the photographer took photos. I also took photos. I think I got some good candid shots. It was fun. Then we had a formal dinner up in the canyon. I just kept thinking about how much it all cost. But it was very nice. I think when you have daughters that is a natural reaction. After dinner there was dancing and dessert in the "wine cave". They are still going strong but we are tired and anticipating a long drive tomorrow. It has been a good trip! But it will feel good to be back home. Well I guess that is all for today. I am sooo tired! Nighty night! Melody

Every Passing Day

Good Saturday! I cannot believe it is already Saturday. It has gone too quickly. Today is the wedding for my nephew and then we head back tomorrow. I wish we could stay longer but Mel needs to be back for work and me for school and my dad is missing Barb. Did I mention she stayed at home? Her daughter came to stay with her. She is on oxygen and traveling is difficult for her. Yesterday was so nice. I felt like I was really on a vacation. There is a beautiful pool here that Mel and I swam in and then we just layed in the shade for an hour or so. We also went bowling and played shuffle board. Then there was a cocktail reception for the happy couple in the late evening. I had water of course but it was fun to visit with everyone. I had not seen my ex brother in law for a very long time. So it was fun to visit. We met a couple that were fun to visit with. She was from Michigan, he from New York... About our age. We found we had much in common. I love meeting new people. But the best part is being with family! I hope things are wondrous and great out in cyberspace today! Keep smiling! OAO;). Melody

Friday, July 6, 2012

Singing and Smiling!

Good morning! I am loving it here in Napa, mostly because I am enjoying being with Mel and Kenny and Dad, my favorite men! But I must admit I am not used to being the only female, so it was especially nice when my sister Joy arrived last night. I love being here in the rolling hills with oak trees and vineyards. I think we have been lucky weather wise too. The delta breeze has kept it pretty cool. Last night we enjoyed dinner in an open air restaurant. There was a group playing songs from the sixties. It was very enjoyable. Outside they were having a street fair and it was fun to sit and visit and watch the many people go by. Today should also be fun. We are staying at the Vino Bello resort with my dad's timeshare. It is very nice with lots to do. There is even a bowling alley! My knees are doing pretty well. I guess I limp like an old soldier, but they don't hurt. I hope things are good for you in cyberspace today! Keep smiling! I am still pulling for you! HAVVVVGW!!!!! Melody
A perfect day!! Good night all:)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Auburn

Good sunshiny morning! It is beautiful here on the western side of the Sierras! And today we are headed over to the Bay Area to visit with our son Kenny. I am glad for that. It is hard to have kids that live far away. I have lots to write about but this iPhone seems slow so I will save it for when I have a real keyboard. Meanwhile I hope everything is good in cyberspace today! Keep smiling! I definitely am! HAVVVVGW!!!!! Melody

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Where in the world is....

Had dinner at Applebees in Sparks. Now we are in the Sierras headed for Auburn. I am in California!!!!! Yep I'm smilin'. Me
Winnemucca!

Independence!

Good morning! We are off and running. Headed for Nevada and the long unwinding road! Happy 4th of July! What a wonder full thing freedom is. I hope for freedom for all people. Well I will soon lose the connection to the Internet on my iPhone. Have a very, very, very great wan!!! Melody

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One Done!

Good night! It has been a delightfully long day and I am tired! But my nephew Nigel is married now. There is a fire burning nearby. We watched the fire in Alpine as we were driving up towards the Sundance turnoff where his reception was. Lots of smoke! Tomorrow we head towards California. We'll probably stop in Reno or Truckee and take a couple of days instead of pushing too hard. So we'll probably get to see fireworks in Nevada tomorrow:). It should be fun. Well that's it for now. I am not sure how to upload pictures on my iPhone. So later:). TTTT. Melody

safe:)

Good morning! We are here and safe and having such fun! My brother is here with his wife and my dear friend. I have the sweetest sister in law. And we share many fond and funny memories. I think having my family together for a while is going to be wonderful. Well we are off to breakfast and birthday celebrations for Mel. HAVVVGW!!! Melody

Monday, July 2, 2012

Somewhere on I-15

Hi! We are finally in Utah! We didn't leave until about 4:). But we are having fun traveling. We are almost to Ogden. I think it is cool that I can blog from the backseat of my dad's Honda Odyssey. Did I ever tell you why they got an Odyssey? So that they could sleep in the back:). I still think that is amusing. But it is a really nice car and maybe I will sleep in the back! We should be in Provo by 11 so I can probably stay awake til then. I am enjoying being with Dad. He has lots of good stories. Well just checking in. HAGN!!! Melody

Still Waiting:)

Hi again!  I am signing in again to say we are still here:)  Mel has a "bit" more to do.  So I have us packed, and I mowed the lawn in front, and I went to the post office.  I am doing good!  I am going a little nuts though, so I thought I would blog for a minute and put things into perspective.  It kind of reminds me of a vacation where Mel was fixing the motor on the car before we left....a major overhaul, replacing valves or something.  Anyway, we didn't get started for a day longer than I had planned.  I hope that doesn't happen today!!!  I don't think my dad would forgive me if we missed the wedding:)
But we won't.  Mel said he has one side of the mold completely done, and only a few things to do on the other side.  And I am trying not to pester him.  But it is hard!!!!!
Well, I guess I can go fix us some lunch.  And then maybe I will make some healthy snack to take....like cookies:)  Just kidding.  I hope all is well for you out in cyberspace today!  TTTL  Me

Waiting

Good morning!   We are still here....waiting for Mel:)  He has a mold to finish before we take off, and that is a good thing.  And this gives my dad a chance to sleep in.  He is not an early riser these days.  Barb has decided not to go after all.  She invited a daughter to come up and visit while we go to the weddings.  She tires easily these days as she is on oxygen 24/7, and they just upped her dose.  I hope my dad can still enjoy the trip.  They are very bonded!
I am so glad we are taking a trip.  Tomorrow is Mel's 64th birthday and I think he deserves a break.  Although I heard him tell a friend yesterday that I was making him drive me places for his birthday:)  He is so funny!  In the middle of the meeting yesterday, as he was taking notes (he is the ward clerk), he wrote me a message...."Stadium of Fire!"  He was referring to the BYU stadium where they put on a fabulous, way over the top, 4th of July celebration.  The one I remember they had elephants, dancing girls, the Osmond family, Alabama (the singers, not the state), and sky divers!  And the fireworks were phenomenal!  I don't know if we will stay for them or not.  That is my dad's call.
Well, I guess I will get on with my morning.  I hope yours is swell:)  Take care and keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Testimony

Good evening!  Have you heard this testimony of the prophet, Wilford Woodruff?  I just saw it on facebook and I thought it was really cool that he recorded his testimony in 1897.  He says on it that he was the last living apostle (at that time) to have received his authority from Joseph Smith, jr.  It is quite a testimony.  But it is hard to understand.  There is print on the bottom to read as you are listening that really helps.  Wilford Woodruff
I have had a good Sunday so far.  Our lesson in Relief Society was on "Sweet Power of Prayer" a talk by Elder Nelson.  Here is the link if you want to read it, or listen to it, or even watch it.  Elder Nelson
I have a strong testimony of the power of prayer, having had many instances myself where my prayers have been answered.  I know that you have also had many such instances.  I think it is important to remember those and to write them down for posterity, which I have done in my personal journals.
Well, I need to go with Mel to Boise.  I hope your day is also grrrrreat!  HAVVVVVGE!!!!!  Melody

Stormy Weather

Good morning!  It is a beautiful Sabbath day here.  Although the weather is cloudy and dark.  I guess we have a storm brewing.  I like where we live because we can see the storm fronts as they move in from the Owyhee mountains.  It is really quite beautiful.  And it makes me appreciate painters who painted storms.  I have painted a couple of stormy skies.  I wonder if I saved them....  I found one:)  It is funny how each painting I do has specific memories attached to it.  This one started out as a beautiful sunset painting with a sailboat in the calm ocean.  But I made a mistake in the sky and so I kept adding paint, until it started to look stormy.  And so I started an argument with the painting until it ended up as a stormy sky on a threatening sea.  And as I recall I had a lot of inner turmoil going on at the time that I guess I couldn't keep bottled up inside.  But it did make for a nice storm painting.
Well, I have things to get done before church today.  I am glad it is fast Sunday and I don't have a lesson to prepare or anything.  I hope all is well for you today!  Be safe and keep smiling!  And remember the silver lining and all of that:)  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody