Friday, August 31, 2012

A Merry Morning to You!

Good morning!  I am doing pretty well today, although I am grateful for no school for a few days.  I am planning on getting lots of rest.  And reading.  I have lots of good art books that I have only skimmed through because of being busy and then sick.  My fuzzy head is clearing now, so I think I will enjoy having a chance to read.
This morning I have been catching up on some of the instructional videos on Muddy Colors and Gurney's Journey.  I learn a lot of tips and tricks from other artists... watching them.  I like how each artist is so unique in their approach and subject matter.  And yet how some things are constant....like value and contrast.  Art is a fascinating thing, and I think I will never be able to learn all I need to know.  But I am trying!
The hardest assignment I have for school right now is deciding what I want to work on in illustration for this semester.  I guess I would really like to illustrate like Greg Manchess and Donato Giancola.  I love their oil work and the beautiful paintings of stories.  But I also know that they have spent decades learning their craft, and I am not sure what I can do in a semester or two to approach that.  I have to come up with some kind of draft by the 10th of September of what I want to do.  So I will keep thinking.  And I am not sure what my teacher is expecting.  So I will probably need to email him with my dilemma.  He said he would like to hear from us.
Well, I really have little to report today.  I am going to spend today quietly here at home.  I still have some healing from the surgery to get through in the next few days.  But it is so much easier than I expected!  I hope you have a most inspiring and wonderful day out in cyberspace today!  Keep your stick on the ice!  I'm still pulling for you!!!  Melody

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Still Here:)

Good Day!  I am home and feeling pretty good for having a large, full carat stone removed:)  The doctor showed it to me....no wonder it was hurting!  I am resting now and already feeling tons....yes, tons,.... better!
And I have until Tuesday to rest up before there is school again.  My Friday teacher changed his class to Monday morning...but this Monday is a holiday.  So I really got lucky on that one!  I think by Tuesday I will be feeling pretty normal again.
Well, just wanted to reassure cyberspace that I am still alive and kicking!  Keep smiling!  HAVVVGE!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Good Wishes!

Good afternoon!  Today is my 42nd anniversary!  Wow!  I don't feel that old.  We are celebrating when I am all done with surgery.
Today at school was really fun....and tiring!  I am sooo exhausted.  But I finally drew something today. True, I won't be able to share my drawings from this live model class, but it still felt good to draw and to realize I can do it!!!  My teacher even came by and complimented me on my drawing!  So that is good.
In illustration I am supposed to come up with a draft of what I want to do this semester.  My instructor said he wants us to start doing what we really want to do in the future.  So I guess I will somehow start illustrating children's stories:)  I have a week to think about it.   I will try to come up with something I really want to do.
Now I am home and ready for a nap....not a twenty minute power nap....I want a nice long siesta!  So off I go.  I hope this is the last day I feel this tired!  I think when I am in good working order again I will get some of my energy back.  At least I hope so.  I hope things are going well for you out in cyberspace.  Take care and be sure to have a very, very, very, very grrrrrrreat wan!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Evening Update

Good evening!  I have not been posting very well on here the last couple of weeks.  Mostly because I have been feeling pretty awful.  Last night it all hit again.  I stayed in bed while Mel went to the neighborhood progressive dinner.  My doctor phoned in some stronger medicine and today I am feeling OK again.  But I am really looking forward to surgery on Thursday.  I hope it stops this cycle.
Today I crawled to my classes...ha, ha!  Actually I felt pretty good this morning, so I went to my drawing class.  It is impressive.  The teacher is really competent and I think I am going to learn a whole lot about drawing.  I am very excited about this!
After the morning class I went to my ceramics class.  I am really excited about this class too.  I love ceramics, and I am excited to learn how to do this.  This teacher seems like she is also very competent.  I am not feeling quite as overwhelmed as I did yesterday.  Although, I definitely feel challenged.  That is a good thing though.  And when I am feeling well, it will be fun to be learning.
Tomorrow I have my illustration class.  I am really looking forward to this class, but also a little scared. He is an excellent teacher...but he pushes us to our outer limits!  I really have to stretch to keep up.  But I feel reassured from a blessing I received last night that it will all be fine.  So I will go forward in faith.
Tonight I am resting and watching the exciting Republican convention.  I just cannot feel quite as enthused.  But probably nothing would get me too excited tonight.  I am really tired.
Well, I hope life is treating you well.  I am still pulling for you.  And I have not lost my enthusiasm for life....just my energy.  But I am confident it will be flooding back soon.  HAVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Monday Night the World Around!

Good afternoon!  Or maybe it is verging on evening.  At any rate it has been an eventful day.  I spent the morning at the doctor's office.  He thinks Thursday is a good day for surgery...because he has an opening:)  So Thursday it is.  The surgery is simple, and out patient he says.  Although it is general anesthesia.  But after hearing what the procedure is, I am glad of that.  And it should take care of the stone that is making me so ill.  So that is good.  And I should be as good as new in a week or so.  And yes, I have heard that one before too.  But it is all good.  And I refuse to complain.
My first day of class was great.  I am in a class of people that I have mostly met before.  And I like them.  I am still the oldest by far....well, there is one gentleman who may be close in age.  It gets hard to tell.  But it doesn't really matter as we will all be learning how to draw human anatomy, and I think it is a first for us all.  We are diving right in.  We will have our first model on Wednesday.  So I am excited...and a bit nervous.  I am still shaky and not at my best yet.  But oh well.  I will try to do well, and if my lines are a bit shaky, it might be a good thing.  You never know!
Tonight we are having a neighborhood progressive dinner.  I am in charge of desserts....thank you Costco!  I picked up a Red Velvet Cake and a Key Lime Pie.  I assume they are the same at all Costco's.  And they are yummy!  Too bad, I really am not a very good eater anymore.  But maybe that will change.  I hope so.  I guess:)  It is sure easy to stay low cal with no appetite!
Well, I guess that is all that I have to report tonight.  I am pretty exhausted!  Take care and I hope all is well in your neck of the woods!  HAVVVVGFHE!!!!  Melody

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Good Sunday Viewing:)

Hi!  I saw this on another blog and thought I would share.  I actually may have already.  At any rate it is a beautiful video of one of my favorite places.  Enjoy!  Me
Yosemite HD

Shalom!

Good Sabbath!  It is another smoky day here in Idaho.  And it should reach the mid 90's.  I'm not complaining...just reporting.  If I was to complain, it would be about the wasted money spent on the campaign.  Every time they report how many millions of dollars have been raised or spent, I think of how that money might have been used to dig a well so that a village might have fresh, clean water, or how food might have been brought in, or seeds planted.  It seems to me that this has gotten waaaaay out of hand.  And so that is my complaint for today.  I think there should be a spending cap!
In other news, I am still not well.  I sleep way too much, eat not nearly enough, and I feel very weak and not me.  I will be glad to see the doctor tomorrow.  I didn't realize how sick one little ball of crystallized minerals could make me.
I have been thinking of Jesus.  In fact I had a dream about Him.  I just can't remember what happened in the dream.  I wish I could.  I have been thinking how amazing it would have been to have met Him here on earth.  I think of Mary and Martha entertaining Him in their home.  They must have known He was someone special.  Perhaps that is why Martha became so concerned about the dinner chores.  She wanted things to be done well, and to please Him.  How surprised she must have been when He told her that Mary had chosen the better part.  And what a lesson He taught for all women.  Especially at that time, when women were not given much recognition, and were pretty much second class citizens.
I was surprised to be reminded that women have only had the vote here in our country for less than 100 years.  I know that in some states it was much longer than that.  But even in those states it has not been for a very long time....less than 200 years.  And it is amazing to me that women were treated as people who did not have a say in government for so many hundreds of years.  I cannot imagine my life like that.  And it makes me very glad to live here, now.  Of course when you think on it, most people did not have a say in government...what with kings, and magistrates, and potentates.  Weird!
Well, I am off on another tangent.  And I really should get on with the task of getting to church.  I am going to sacrament meeting.  Then I will come back home...to rest.  It seems to be what I am best at these days.
Take care out in cyberspace today.  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Staying On Top

Hi again!  I am feeling much better this afternoon than I did this morning.   I have cleaned the frig and freezer and finished all of the laundry.  I am going forward like school is beginning on Monday...which it is.  My first class is Human Presence Drawing.  It will be interesting.  It doesn't start until noon, and it is my only Monday class.  Tuesday I have a different drawing class and ceramics.  Then Wednesday I have illustration and my human presence drawing class.  Thursday is a repeat of Tuesday.  Friday will only be my illustration class.  It seems like a good schedule.  And I think I can fit swimming in between classes.  So I am getting excited!  And anxious.  But that is normal for me.  When did I become such a worrier?  It must have happened sometime in my forties:)
Well, I am going to make a list for the grocery store.  Mel said he would pick up some things if I made a list.  So I think I will let him.  Other than that, things are peachy!  I hope life is rosy and grand from your vantage point today!  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody



Cold and Shaky!

Good morning!  Life continues on and I am just trying to keep up.  I am still soooo sleepy.  I also can't seem to stay at an even temperature.  I keep getting chilled...and it is still hot here.  Last night I made hot chocolate:)  Kinda weird.  And I shake a lot.  I hope this is better before I have to draw anything!  I have been reading Muddy Colors.  The last few posts have been really informative.  Greg Manchess did one on how to compose a good picture.  I think I have heard it all before, but it is good to read it once again.  And I made a copy to put up on my bulletin board so I can refer to it.  I like his posts.  He had one a few weeks ago about tracing and how it improves your drawing skills.  It was interesting...and reassuring that someone so talented used this to get better.
Well, I am rambling.  I need to go eat something....oatmeal this morning.  That is the other weird thing. It is hard to eat.  That is not usually a problem for me.  But I am down a few more pounds, so there is a silver lining:)
Have a most wonderful Saturday.  I am still pulling for you!  And keep smiling!  TTTL  Melody

Friday, August 24, 2012

Up and At 'Em

Good morning!  I am feeling a little better today.  I see the specialist on Monday.  So things are looking up:)
So far I have cleaned my pantry and started the laundry.  Pretty good, huh?  I think so.  For the last week I have only done the very minimum around here and spent the rest of the day in bed....or watching dumb stuff on TV.  I am sooooo glad for school...and good health most of the time!
So today my sister Joy is coming over and we are going to figure out her classes:)  Yep, she is going to go to school too.  So I will have a compatriot.  If we can find her some classes.  She applied kinda late so many of the classes are already full.  But we should be able to figure out something.
I can't really think of any more newsy stuff.  I am just glad I am functioning today.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, August 23, 2012

News flash :)

Good morning!  So the latest on the ongoing health saga.  I have a kidney stone.  Not too terrible, except that it is too large, and not passing.  So I see a specialist when they can fit me in:) And I may have to have surgery.  In fact the doctor said "probably".  So I am hoping it is an out patient thing so I don't miss any school:)  I know, I know.  Some things are more important than school.  And it would be nice to feel well.
In the meantime.... I am hanging out here at home.  Mostly asleep.  I can't believe how tired I am!  But I am also quite relieved, as I was worried they might find other things on the CT scan.   The nurse said that they hadn't.  So that is good!!
And now I am headed back to bed.  What a wuss....how do you spell that anyway?  :)  Hope you have a most wonderful day out in cyberspace today!  Me

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scanning

Good morning!  I guess:)  I am still feeling very weird.  The doctor's nurse called back this morning with lab results.  Not too good, as I could have pancreatitis and a kidney stone!  That would sure explain why I am feeling so great.  Anyway I have a CT scan this afternoon.  I guess it is good we are getting this all figured out before school starts on Monday.
And it occurs to me I must be old.  Because only old people take delight in discussing all of their ailments.  I think it goes along with the territory.  I notice when we get together with other couples we talk about our ailments almost as much as our kids and grandkids.  Funny, huh?  When we were newly weds we talked about how expensive everything was.  Then as new parents we talked about birth and all of the fun stuff that toddlers do.  And then with school age children we talked about how smart our kids were.  Teenagers it seemed we were so busy we didn't talk much to anyone!  Then we got to the stage where our kids were marrying off, and that took a lot of talking....even with a counselor! :)  So I guess this is a new stage, and I will try to limit my complaining.  Actually I have been.  But I guess I don't get a CT scan very often, and it scares me just a little.  Probably because that is when we knew for sure that Tommy had cancer.  Until the CT scan he was only a little constipated.  And of course that wasn't really true, but you can see why I might not associate this with good stuff.  But maybe if I worry a lot about it, it will be nothing at all:)  At least I am hoping so.
Admittedly I got nothing done yesterday....except the dishes and laundry:)  I think the medication I am on for my knees might make me sleepy because I slept most of the day!  And then I slept all night.  That is definitely not like me.  And yes, I am complaining some more.  Sorry!  I will get this out of my system and then I will go back to writing about fabulous vacations and amazing art!  Ha!  Anyway, I am feeling a little more at ease.  I probably should erase all of this, but...nope.  I need to write my letter to the world this morning.  It seems to help.
Take care out there.  I'm still pulling from my side of things!  And HAVVVVGW!!  Melody


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Five Weeks....and Counting!

Good morning!  Well, I guess we are having a wedding....here....in five weeks!  Kim and her fiance, Sean,  have decided to have a simple wedding for family only.  And then in a year when they go to the temple they will have a bigger celebration.  I am so happy for them.  They are making good decisions, and it is wonderful to see.  But I must admit....5 weeks will go by awfully fast!  I hope I can keep up!  I went to see my doctor yesterday.  I am still not feeling well, and I guess I had hoped I would just get better.  Anyway, he took a lot of blood, so we should be getting results before too long and then we can solve the mystery of why I am still feeling so yucky.  At least I hope so.  He did switch some of my medication thinking it might be side effects.
So today I am staying home and cleaning!!!  I suppose I have incentive now for getting the blinds and mop boards clean.  I hate cleaning both of those, so I put them off for as long as I can get away with it.   I will make a list.  School starts on Monday, so the more I can do before then the better.
I hope today is a good one out there in cyberspace today.  I am counting on it being a good one here.  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  And the temperature is comfortable in this big pot today:)  Keep smiling...and I will do the same!  And HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh, that I were an Angle:) 45 or 90 degrees?

Good morning!  I woke up today spelling:)  I had seen the word angel in a post, but they had spelled it angle.  And yeah, it bothered me.
The title of a good book:)
But I didn't expect to wake up spelling it in my head.  Perhaps I did because of a show we watched on TV last night.  We turned on the closed captioning because it was a BBC production and the accents were quite strong.  But it was funny, because whoever had done it had not gotten the words right, and so if you only read it, you would get the opposite meaning of what was being said.  Mel and I were laughing at it.  And it made me think some more about communication.  It can be frustrating!  I did a sort of silly art project about it last semester.  Words do not always communicate what you mean....and often communicate what you don't mean.  I think it would be much easier if we could communicate heart to heart, so that people could feel our intentions.  Perhaps the world would be a better place....and maybe not:)
Last evening we went to a stake choir rehearsal for the up coming stake conference in September.  The music was beautiful!  It is so fun to sit in the middle of a wonderful bunch of singers, all singing together in praise of the Lord!  I am not such a great singer anymore.  But I felt like I was sitting among others who were.  And it made me think how amazing music is.  It is a way to communicate feelings with more than words.  As we were singing, "How Great Thou Art", I could feel the feelings of the composer and how he really felt those words.  The music swelled to forte and the harmonies were complex and then resolved to a grand feeling of worshipfulness....:)  See?  It is hard to describe with just words.  But it was amazing!  I am grateful for music...and art of many kinds.  I think they are an enhancement to communication, and perhaps that is why I want to be an artist....so that I can communicate better.
So today I am waiting for my visiting teachers.  They should be here soon.  They are good women, and I am looking forward to visiting with them.  I think we often communicate with the Spirit and of course that is the best way to enhance communication.
Well, I hope your day is marvelous and full of inspiration!  Take care out there in cyberspace.  I am still pulling for you:)  I hope all of your communications are clear and insightful!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kindness Begins with Me

Good Sabbath!  And happy birthday to my mom and my brother, Norm.  Yep, my mom had her first baby on her birthday.  Pretty great birthday present, huh?  Norm is 66 today!  That really makes me feel old!  But probably makes him feel even older!  If you are reading this Norm....that was a jab:)  Love you!
I watched the celebration of President Thomas S. Monson's birthday last night.  It was really nice I thought.  He is the president and prophet of my church....The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He turned 85 years old.  If you want to watch it here is a link.   birthday  It was so nice!  He loves music, and so there was a lot of his favorite songs and hymns performed.  And they even featured Dallyn Bayles, who is one of my favorite singers.  It was very entertaining.  I told Mel he could throw me a party like that some time:)  He laughed and said that he would get on the phone with Steve Young right away.   He was one of the narrators.
I have been impressed with the stories of service that President Monson has shared over the years.  He was especially kind to widows, and one of my favorite stories is of a widow that had canaries. He took the time to visit and care about her.  And when she died she left him one of the canaries.  Here is an excerpt from that story:
'Some thirty-seven years ago, I was called as a young man to serve as the bishop of a large ward in Salt Lake City. The magnitude of the calling was overwhelming and the responsibility frightening. My inadequacy humbled me. But my Heavenly Father did not leave me to wander in darkness and in silence, uninstructed or uninspired. In his own way, he revealed the lessons he would have me learn.
One evening, at a late hour, my telephone rang. I heard a voice say, “Bishop Monson, this is the hospital calling. Kathleen McKee, a member of your congregation, has just passed away. Our records reveal that she had no next of kin, but your name is listed as the one to be notified in the event of her death. Could you come to the hospital right away?”
Upon arriving there, I was presented with a sealed envelope which contained a key to the modest apartment in which Kathleen McKee had lived. A childless widow seventy-three years of age, she had enjoyed few of life’s luxuries and possessed scarcely sufficient of its necessities. In the twilight of her life, she had become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Being a quiet and reserved person, she revealed little about her life.
That same night I entered her tidy basement apartment, turned the light switch, and in a moment discovered a letter written ever so meticulously in Kathleen McKee’s own hand. It rested face up on a small table and read:
“Bishop Monson,
“I think I shall not return from the hospital. In the dresser drawer is a small insurance policy which will cover funeral expenses. The furniture may be given to my neighbors.
“In the kitchen are my three precious canaries. Two of them are beautiful, yellow-gold in color and are perfectly marked. On their cages I have noted the names of friends to whom they are to be given. In the third cage is ‘Billie.’ He is my favorite. Billie looks a bit scrubby, and his yellow hue is marred by gray on his wings. Will you and your family make a home for him? He isn’t the prettiest, but his song is the best.”
In the days that followed, I learned much more about Kathleen McKee. She had befriended many neighbors in need. She had given cheer and comfort almost daily to a cripple who lived down the street. Indeed, she had brightened each life she touched. Kathleen McKee was much like “Billie,” her prized yellow canary with gray on its wings. She was not blessed with beauty, gifted with poise, nor honored by posterity. Yet her song helped others to more willingly bear their burdens and more ably shoulder their tasks. She lived the message of the verse:
Go visit the lonely, the dreary;
Go comfort the weeping, the weary.
Oh, scatter kind deeds on your way
And make the world brighter today.'
There is more to the talk.  Here is the link if you would like to read the whole thing.  story
Well, I just wanted to wish you a wonderful, peaceful Sabbath Day.  I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  Take care and keep smiling!  And HAVVVVVVGS!!!  Melody

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mom

Hi!  Today I have been thinking of my mom...a lot!  Her birthday is tomorrow, and if she was still here she would be 89.  She was a huge influence in my life, and I miss her.  I have been thinking of some of the things I remember about her that I would want my own kids to know...some of the funny and silly stuff that gets lost in story telling.
One of the stories I like best about her is when she decided she would sing with the dance band my dad was playing saxophone in.  I believe this was when she was about 16.  She had a good singing voice and the band was happy for her to sing.  So she got up on stage and stood in front of the mike, but she couldn't sing a note....she got terrible stage fright!  So her career as a big band singer ended right there:)
Too bad, because she never forgot the words to a song!  She and my dad used to sing together on our family vacations.  I can see them in my mind, laughing and singing with each other as the miles clicked on by.  It seems now like a wonderful dream, but it really happened.  Of course, my brother and sisters and I were in the back seat squabbling over silly stuff....or playing annoying games:) I asked my mom once how she and dad stayed so calm and happy on our vacations.  She said that she and dad would make a pact before the trip that they would stay happy with each other no matter what!!!  I love that!  It sure made for good childhood memories.
I have a distinct memory of walking along a trail down to the beach.  My mom was in her bathing suit walking with my little sisters, while my Dad and I and Norm were trailing behind.  And my dad started singing a jazz tune...."Must be jelly, cuz jam don't shake like that!"  It makes me giggle just a little as I think of it now.  He did not mean it in a derogatory sense.  I think he was enjoying the walk behind.  And I remember my mom laughing and scolding him.  Growing up I always knew they shared a special fondness for each other.  It was a good thing to know, and I feel sorry for children who grow up wondering if their parents cared for each other.
My mom grew up during the depression.  She always had a job, from the time she was quite small.  And she felt that it had not been a good thing.  So she was very anxious for us kids not to get a job too soon:)  I can remember being a little frustrated by that.  I wanted to have a summer job when I was 15 or so, but she would say, "No, enjoy the time you have as a young person!  It will pass all too quickly."  And it certainly did!
I used to think my mom was my best friend when I was growing up.  I know I talked to her about everything.  I miss that now.  There are times when I wish I could call her and ask for her opinion about something.  She really had good answers...about everything.  She was smart and fun and I will be glad to see her again when this life is over.
Well, enough of memory lane.  I will get back to the laundry....it's almost done!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Friday, August 17, 2012

Plenty of Smoke!

Good morning!  We are back home.  We drove up to Grandjean, fixed the trailer, and then drove on up to Stanley and Redfish Lake.  The smoke was so bad up there!  And the fire was on the ridgeline, and Mel thought the smoke would only get worse, so we thought it best to head back home....after dining at Redfish Lake Lodge:)  So it was quite dark as we were coming back by the fires.  It was eerie....a red glow in the sky all along the ridge, and one or two very fiery hot places....glowing red and orange from the distance that we were.  One of the flaming fires looked really high....probably a half an inch from my vantage point in the car....but that would translate into maybe forty or fifty feet of flames engulfing the trees.  The forest up there is particularly dry and infested with beetle, so it makes for good fuel.  It is sad to me, but I suppose it is nature's way of cleaning things up.
First view of fire
 So today I am tired!  We got back home about 1:30 this morning.  I think I will just rest today....and do laundry and dishes.  I really should can peaches, but I am thinking next week will be soon enough!
So here's wishing you and yours a very happy day out there in cyberspace!  Keep smiling!  I am definitely still pulling for you!!!!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody



More of a panoramic view

The right side of the panorama

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On Top of Old Smokey

Good morning!  I am waiting for Mel:)  He is off at the church orchard picking peaches. I wish I could have gone with him, but I would not be much help.  The orchard is on a hill side....blah, blah, blah.  Just take my word for it, I am no good on the ladders!  Or even standing for very long.  I would slow everyone down and be an object of pity:)  I like that the church has orchards though.  I guess this year they will not be selling any of the peaches.  Usually they have an abundance and sell what they don't need to people who help pick.  But this year with all of the disasters world wide they will use every one of those beautiful peaches to can and then send worldwide to those who are in need.  They are really quite beautiful....big, red globe peaches.  I have enjoyed picking them in the past....and eating them!  We have a few of that variety in our backyard.
When Mel gets back around lunchtime we are going for a ride up to the fires.  I am not kidding.  Mel's brother is up there having a family reunion.  They borrowed our trailer and called yesterday to say the batteries are dead.  So kind Mel is planning on going up with some new ones to rescue them.  And they are not really in the fires....just nearby.  I hope it is not smokey!  I suppose it will be though.  They are camping at Grande Jean.  It is a beautiful campground off of highway 21.  You can see the backs of the Sawtooth Mountains from the campground.  I am actually excited to go up to the mountains.  I think I will take along an overnight bag for us, just in case I can talk Mel into staying over night.  And our swimsuits!  There are a lot of hot springs up that way, and it is cooler up in the mountains.  Sounds really fun!
So, not much to report.....except that I finally heard from my art history instructor!  Yay!  She is not even counting our essays in our final grade!  She wrote to say it was her fault that we couldn't submit them on blackboard, so that is good.  I have been sooooo worried about this.  It is that old lady thing of not feeling really confident with the new technology, so I was afraid it would count against me.  Whew!!!  I am glad it doesn't.  I should get a good grade:)
Well, I had better go pack a bag...just in case:)  I hope your day goes swimmingly!!!!  (That's a good thing!)  HAVVVVVGrrrrreat Day!!!!!!  Melody
P.S.  I just couldn't resist this link:)  The Meaning of Life  Don't worry the trailer is not rated R like the movie and it is good for a laugh!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Evening Update

Hi again!  I drove by the sign downtown and this time I made more than a mental note, since those seem to disappear so quickly any more.  So are you ready?  "Praise - Letting off esteem" :)  I like that one.  I am smiling as I write it and think about it.  Aren't words amazing?  So many pictures come to mind with certain words....and even more with a combination of words.  Sometimes they can really speak to your heart...but not always.  There are times when words are not enough, and the feelings I feel are inexpressible.  Painting seems to help with those feelings.  But then a teacher will want an artist statement, or some such silly thing.  My illustration teacher is a painter in his own right, and one time I asked him what one of his paintings meant.  He told me, "I never explain my paintings!"  Perhaps that is the right attitude.  But unfortunately when you are a student it doesn't work!
Mel is off doing a service project with the young men in our church.  There is a lady he visits each month who needed help with weeds.  They are overwhelming around here.  They grow up overnight from very small to quite monstrous.  And then when the wind blows they tumble around like they are joyful for the ride.  Anyway, he is off doing good.  And I am home alone:)  I don't think I will ever enjoy this alone stuff.  Oh well!  He should be back soon.
Firefighter near Julian, CA in San Diego county
The smoke is a little better this evening, but not expected to stay better.  I heard on the news that out here between Oregon, Idaho, California, and Nevada there is enough fire to fill the state of Rhode Island.  Does that seem possible?  Maybe I heard it wrong.
Well, I will sign off.  I hope things are grrrrrrreat out in cyberspace this evening!  Take care and HAVVVVVGE!!!!  Melody

Ah-Chooo!

Good morning!  Another day so soon!  It sure seems to be going quickly.  I am still amazed at this.  The weather is supposed to stay in the 90's today, so it won't be triple digits at least.  But the smoke is still bad.  I feel like I am living in the "sneeze zone".  It is beginning to get to me.  I am just glad that my dad and Barb went to Oregon.  This would not be good for either one of them, but especially Barb on her oxygen.
I am having kind of a weird day.  I woke up from a bad dream and I can't seem to shake the feelings.  It is good I am going to my swim class this morning.  It really does help to get moving around in the water.  Yesterday I went to the rec center because it is close by here.  It made me very grateful for the university pool.  First it was expensive....and not very clean....and crowded.  The pool at the university is sparkling clean, as well as the dressing rooms, and there is hardly anyone there.  I still don't understand it, since it is waaaaay cheaper than anything else.  I figured it was 50 cents a day for a non-student pass.  Pretty incredible!  I think it is one of those undiscovered gems in Idaho:)
Well, I don't really have anything amazing and wonderful to share today.  Just wanted to send a cheery greeting out to cyberspace.  I hope all is happy and well in your neck of the woods!  Take care and keep smiling!  I am smiling from my side!  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Swimmingly

Good morning!  I just got back from swimming laps!  I am feeling like I am making headway, as I felt I couldn't get through my day without a bout in the pool!  Funny how that is.  We fight doing things that are good for us, but when we start doing them we feel so good that it is hard not to do them!
Today is a day with my daughter Julie and her wonderful children.  I think the assignment is to find backpacks for school for everyone.  Then we are going to go to Carl's Junior and the kids can play on the slides while Julie and I visit.  It sounds fun.  The air quality here is still terrible, so we can't go to a park.  But it will be fun just to be together.  She is a busy lady these days.  I will welcome the chance to have a few minutes with her.
Well, I have no words of wisdom to share....unless you like the sign downtown.  Today it says, "?"  Ha, ha!  I just had it in my mind and now it is gone!  Sorry about that.  I know you were anxious to know the latest.  It is a definition of praise, but I can't remember the funny punch line:)
I have been reading a really good art book....Design Basics by Lauer and Pentak.  My painting teacher said it was the best book on design out there, so I thought I should read it.  It is really interesting, although probably just basic stuff that I should already know....and don't.  Did I mention that I still haven't heard from my art history teacher?  I am a little concerned as I never did figure out how to load my essays onto blackboard.  There were several in the class who also didn't.  I emailed them in an attachment to my teacher, but I haven't heard anything.  It sort of makes me nervous as it was 30% of our grade!  Sigh!!!  I hope it all works out OK.  If not, there is not much I can do about it.  It is all so computerized.  I did try to call the department head, but only was able to talk to a student:)
So.......I guess that is it.  I hope you are having a most wonderful day!  Keep smiling!  I am still pulling for you....and laughing:)  Take care and HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody


Monday, August 13, 2012

Motivation?

Good morning!   I am trying to be motivated today:)  It seems that there are so many things to do that I would rather just think about it for a while.  I think the next thing after my blog will be to get myself over to the pool and exercise.  Maybe that will get me going!  I hope so.
I have a two week countdown before the next session of school begins.  Maybe that is why I would rather just climb back in bed.  I am tired and still a little sick.  I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow.  So maybe that will help too.  I just don't feel like I am running on all six cylinders:)  That is an automobile analogy:)  It kind of makes me giggle, since I know so little about cars.  I do know enough that by now I would have to say I am running on four cylinders....and have been for a while.  Sigh!  And flat tires...and the brakes are going too!  :)  Oh dear, I think I need to draw and paint and immerse myself in good books!
Is it smokey where you are in cyberspace?  It is really bad here.  I guess we have fires all around us in the mountains, and the smoke is making it quite hazy.  Yesterday it smelled like a campfire all day long.  It's funny, because Idaho is kind of known for clean air.....go figure!  We need cooler weather and maybe some rain.  But the forecast for today is 103 degrees.  I am beginning to miss the coast again!
Well, this is a lot of gibberish.  Just trying to get myself going today.  I hope things are good where ever you may be in this wonderful world today.  Take care!   I am still pulling for you!!!!  We're all in this together (and yes, I am hearing drums in the distance:)  HAVVVVGW!!!  Melody



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gentle Healer

Good Sabbath!  This morning I am putting the final touches on my lesson.  I am always nervous, but today especially so.  I think because I am still not feeling all the way well.  But well enough I suppose.  Anyway, the lesson is on "Advancing the Work of the Lord" and I am tempering it with a recent talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard, "O, Be Wise".  Here is the link for that...Talk.  It is a good talk and I think Elder Ballard helps to bring it all back to the intent of the lesson, which is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is about loving and serving others.  I think it is easy in implementing programs to lose sight of that.  I suppose it is human nature to want to control others.  But it is not what the Savior taught.
I especially like....the whole talk actually, but my favorite is when he talks about eliminating guilt.  He says,"eliminate guilt. I hope it goes without saying that guilt is not a proper motivational technique for leaders and teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must always motivate through love and sincere appreciation, not by creating guilt. I like the thought 'Catch others doing something right.'"  Isn't that mature and insightful?  I think I should have done that more in my parenting  Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.
"Gentle Healer"  by Greg Olsen
He goes on to say, "Beyond that we need to remember that Christ came to remove guilt by forgiving those who repent (see Alma 24:10). He came to bring peace to the troubled soul. “Peace I leave with you,” He said. “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).  And further, "As the power of the Atonement begins to work in our lives, we come to understand that the Savior has already born the burden of our guilt. O that we may be wise enough to understand, to repent as necessary, and to let go of our guilt."  I love that!  And I know it is true.  I love the Savior and His amazing plan of happiness.  I know that He loves me, and I am grateful that He does.  It gives my whole life purpose and meaning.
Well, I suppose I have preached enough:)  And I'd better get back to getting prepared.  Take care out there.  I watched the Red Green Show last night, so I suppose I should give credit once again for my sign off to the originator!  Thanks Red, for saying, " I'm still pulling for you!  We're all in this together!"  I do believe it is true!!!!  HAVVVVVGS!!!!  Melody

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Party On!

Good morning!  I am feeling almost well today:)  And I've dropped a few pounds with the illness....whatever it was.  I have never experienced kidney pain or pancreas pain or whatever it was before.  I hope I never do again.
So today is a celebration day.  Kim's birthday is today and Michelle's is tomorrow.  So we are celebrating them both today.  We were not allowed to combine them when they were small....they each wanted their own party.  But I guess just having an excuse to get together is enough of a party for both of them now.  It is hard to believe I have daughters turning 41 and 38!  Until I look in the mirror, and then it seems quite possible:)
Well, I best get going.  I hope you have a lovely day out in cyberspace today!  Take care!  I am still pulling for you!!!!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Joyful Note

Good afternoon!  I am feeling lots better.  I am even eating again...bland food and lots of water.  And so far so good...no sharp pains in my back...or front:)  And in the scholastic news... the whole class was not able to submit their essays.  So hopefully that will get straightened out soon.  I don't know why I worry so much.
On the home front things are sure quiet:)  It's good school begins again in a couple of weeks.  Maybe I can enjoy the quiet for a short time.  Here's hoping!  Keep smiling!  Me

A Little Cheese with That?

OK, today I am going to whine!!!!  But I probably shouldn't.  I am doing much better.  And I have completed my quiz and my essays for the final.  But (here's the whine) I can't figure out how to get them onto Blackboard!  It is making me crazy!!!  Usually when I am patient with myself I can figure these things out.  But today it is not working.  Oh wait.  I just got an email from another student who is having the same problem.  Perhaps it will all work out soon!
So, that said, I have nothing more today.  I am done!  With school at least.  I will feel better soon, and then maybe I will write a bit more.  Take care!  Me

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Greeting Cyberspace with a Smile:)

Hi!  I am done with my class.  I still have to take the test and also turn in my essays.  I haven't finished the second one yet.  I may study some more before I do this as I have until Sunday at midnight.  I think I have to make that Saturday at midnight though, since I don't want to do any school work on Sunday.
I got a very cool book today.  It is "Telling Stories....Norman Rockwell".  I saw it was on sale so I got it.  It is normally $65, but it was only $10 when I ordered it.  Here is the address if you are interested.  Book  It is a beautiful book with lots of good illustrations and also lots about Rockwell.  He is definitely one of my favorite illustrators.  I love the way his paintings tell a story without much in the way of dialogue.
Well, just thought I would check in.  I am actually feeling kind of sick today.  I am either passing a kidney stone or I have pancreantitis.  It is one of those ridiculous possible side effects of my diabetes medication.  So I guess one more medication bites the dust!  I will have to see my doctor next week for a new plan.  And in the mean time I am laying low and hoping it all stops hurting soon!  I don't want to take any trips to the clinic today if I can help it.
Well, enough about me.  How is life in the fast lane?  I hope things are great out in cyberspace.  Take care!  I will do the same.  TTTL  Melody

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

P. S. One for Feeling Good!


    Hi again!  I found this on a blog that I regularly read.  Renee is a good friend of mine.  So good in fact she wrote a story about me and how I lost my temper at my kids.  It's a little book with the intriguing title, "Don't Come in Here, Mom's Throwing Spaghetti."  Anyway, this is a better article.  I hope you enjoy it.    Have a good evening!!!  Melody


A Grandparent's Beatitudes
by Renee Hawkley
Blessed are those who smile, for the wrinkles at the corners of their mouths turn up.
Blessed are those with more than one chin, for their chins jiggle when they laugh.
Blessed are those with gray hair, for they have built-in halos.
Blessed are those who wear glasses, for their eyes twinkle.
Blessed are those who are hard of hearing, for they listen with their hearts.
Blessed are those who steps are measured, for they are headed in the right direction.
Blessed are those whose breath is short, for their patience in the journey is long.
Blessed are those who cannot understand today's music, for they sing the old songs.
Blessed are those with bent and clumsy fingers, for their touch is gentle.
Blessed are those with voices as course as gravel, for their words are smooth as sand.
Blessed are those who no longer run races, for their applause is loudest.
Blessed are those whose brains are slow to remember, for they are fast to forgive.
Blessed are those who are going through their second childhood, for they understand those who are going through their first.
Bless are the poor in worldly goods, for they share treasures of character.
Blessed are those who keep silent about their pain, for they shall not be one.
Blessed are those whose bodies are wearing out, for their spirits are wearing in.
Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is the reward of those who embrace a second chance to influence a child by being...
                if not the perfect parent of one's dream...at least a "grand" parent.

Half Way There!

Yay!  I got one of my essays written....or at least mostly written.  I will have to go back over it and correct sentence structure and information:)  But for the most part it is done.  So now I just have one more to write.  That feels sooooooo good!
Today has been a kind of ordinary day, except that I noticed in my swimming class that I am getting stronger!  I guess that is to be expected, but it is still kind of surprising to me.  And I think I can continue this swimming class in the Fall.  I can at least do the Tuesday and Thursday deep water aerobics which is enough if I also swim laps the other days.  So it is working good.  And it makes me feel like I am not ignoring my physical health.  Am I fooling myself?  I don't think so.  I really work hard in the water, and it is not so hard on my joints.  Now if I can just continue to lose weight.  That is the hardest part for me.
I have been looking over the art we have gone over this semester for my essay.  I think I will include a few of my favorites for your viewing enjoyment:) I like these especially for the implied narrative...or the story behind the picture.  It is what I hope to do someday...maybe sooner than later.   Take care!  I am still pulling for you!!!!  Melody
Ophelia by John Everett Millais
This one is so fantasized that it begs for a story teller!
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
I can see his anguish and worry in this one
Looking Down Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt
This looks like my childhood in many ways...ideal and peaceful
The Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves
One of the more antique storybooks
The Love Letter by Jan Vermeer
I like to make up stories about this one:)

Trivia

Good morning!  I am sending a big hello out into cyberspace today.  I keep writing sentences and erasing them.  But I need to blog, so get prepared for trivia:)
The heat here is already in full swing.  Yesterday it reached 106!  It matched a previous record for this day.  Today it is only supposed to get 100:)  A real cool spell.  I am soooo grateful for air conditioning....and cars!  I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to hook up the horses to the carriage and ride into town.  I guess if you knew nothing else it wouldn't be quite as bad.
Well, I am writing nonsense, so I will get on with the job of getting prepared for school....only two more days!  I am soooo much smarter:)  I hope you have a most wonderful day!!!  Me

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hysterical History

Good evening!  I have had a few unexpected things happen today....like Taylor and Alex coming over for a little visit while their mom took a short break.  We had fun.  I bought an exercise ball to help my back, and Taylor had lots of fun with that.  He likes to balance on the top of it:)  Isn't it amazing how agile a little boy can be?  And Alex took the decorative balls from the coffee table and rolled them all around on the floor.  I should have taken pictures.
Now I am trying to get the energy to write some more on my essays.  I have a good start on one of them, and a brief outline of the other.  It would be nice to have them done by Thursday, but realistically I will probably spend most of Friday writing them when the pressure is on.  I seem to work better under pressure...not really, but I probably will have a better idea by Friday of what I want to write.  We are still learning about art history from 1945 until now.  And to me it is the most interesting....not because I like it the most, but because there are so many ideas presented in the time period....and I lived through most of it.  I had to laugh today at my teacher trying to explain the fifties and sixties to this group of younger people.  It is so easy to try to put it in a little box, but as you know it was much more complicated than that.  I think trying to distill an age into one line or even a paragraph is kind of silly.  And so then I think perhaps all of history is like that....a few gathered facts, missing most of the real happenings of the time, condensed into something people can grasp and label.  It is kind of funny that we even try to do that.  But I guess it does help to see the development of art over time...and to guess at why it has changed.  But then in my mind I think that "good" art really hasn't changed that much.  Yes, I suppose I will hold onto my notions that I love representational art, done well with naturalistic colors.  And so it is probably why I will love illustration because it seems to stay true to the truth in the world around us.  Is this a bias?  Definitely!!!!
Well, I am just checking in to say hi and have a good evening!  I am going to see what more I can add to these essays, and maybe watch a gymnast or two....or a swimmer!  I loved the diving last night!!!  I used to do a little diving....nothing great, but enough to know how hard it is.  It is fun to watch the precision and skill.  Hope springs from a diving board!!!!   Take care and HAVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Unexpected

Good morning!  I feel good today....ready to face school and all that the day holds.  That is a funny expression, huh?  Like the day is a card player and has a hand of cards just waiting to surprise you with throughout the day.  Some days it does feel that way as unexpected things happen.
Today I am not expecting much...school, swimming, lunch, and home to work on my essays some more.  And read my text book.  I am also preparing my lesson for this Sunday.  Not too much that is super exciting.
I did have one little thrill this morning!  I didn't have my glasses on yet, and I was walking through the house when I spotted something strange on the dining room rug.  With two animals in the house I expected the worst, but as I got closer I discovered it was a third animal....a little mouse, dead from the poison Mel put out this last weekend I guess.  It was so small!  And I felt sorry for it.  I guess I don't like anything dying anymore.  Too much death in the world already!!!!
Well, I guess that is all for now.  I hope you have a most lovely day out there in cyberspace today!  Take care!!!  I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, August 6, 2012

Compare and Contrast

Good afternoon!  It is really hot here today.  I think it feels extra hot because of the dust that blew in yesterday.  I had decided last evening, I needed a little respite on the back patio, and as I was sitting there a really dark, brownish gray cloud came blowing in.  It was a little weird, so I asked Mel what he thought of it.  At first we both speculated it was smoke, but then we decided it must be dirt and dust by the way it smelled.  It was a little strange the way it covered a beautiful blue sky and filled the atmosphere with dust.  The visibility became really poor.  I was intrigued.
Today they said it was the result of a thunderstorm over in Rome, Oregon...about a hundred miles away!  Kind of interesting huh?  Mel said, "It just goes to show you how much of an influence a little, dark, rain cloud can have!"  :)
Class was fun today.  We had a discussion comparing two paintings.  The teacher asked us to compare and contrast them.  One was of a train station in France, by Monet.  The other was called "Morning Sun" by Hopper.  It was fun to hear other people's comments, but it was especially nice when the teacher told me that my comment was just what she was looking for:)  I guess I will never get over that feeling of wanting to be a good student.  It felt good!  Here are the paintings:
Morning Sun
Saint Lazare Train Station
I think it is fun to compare different artists and their paintings.  I hope I can do it well for my final essay!  I am supposed to compare and contrast three artists and their work, and also the difference in how art and the role of the artist was viewed in each time period.  Yeah, it sounds hard to me too!
Mel just brought in a peach from one of our peach trees.  YUM!  I don't think we have too many because of the strange weather, and our trees are still small.  But that is such a wonderful taste!  So much better than a peach bought at the store!!!!
So, what else?  I hope this little blog isn't too boring.  I have been thinking I probably should write less in here....but I think it keeps me mentally well.  Strange I know. But then I am not surprised by much anymore.  I think life can be rather challenging, and writing something each day keeps my perspective clear....I hope!  Anyway, thanks for being a patient reader.  I suspect it is not an easy task:)  Take care out there in cyberspace!!!  I am smiling!  I hope you are too!!!  Melody

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Finding Joy in the Small Things

Good Sabbath!  I have been thinking of the song, "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?"  I love the lyrics....
"Have I Done Any Good?
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
[Chorus]
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love."

I especially like the line, "Doing good is a pleasure....a joy beyond measure"  I find that is really true.  I think one of the  greatest joys in life is to serve other people.  Of course, it is not so fun if it is not your idea.  And I think of Christ and how He said in Matthew 5:41 " And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain."   In other words, the first mile you are compelled to go, but the second is yours, given freely, and it is what gives you joy....a gift freely given.  It is a mighty concept, and one that works for me.
I can remember how as a young wife I really did not like housework.  It was a drudgery to me.  But then I read something that suggested if I would do more than was required I would find joy in it.  So I tried it.  Instead of just cleaning up from a meal, I would try to find some way to make it more, like putting a vase with some picked flowers in it on a fresh table cloth.   I really got a little carried away with the flowers for a while.  I loved having them in the house.  And it was kind of fun to make the house pretty instead of just clean. 
Another example is when the kids were all very small and I was a little overwhelmed with being the mom.  I decided I would find joy in that too, by doing a little more.  So I would take the kids on field trips....something I had loved as a child, and something the schools did not do much of because of lack of funds.  I would take all of the kids out of school and we would go to educational things....one time it was the zoo in San Francisco where they had a panda bear exhibit.  Another time we went to the museum for an exhibit on Native Americans.  When we moved to Idaho there was a limit on how much you could take your kids out of school, so it was not so easy, but I still did it occasionally.  And I found it made me feel like I was a better mom, and the kids loved it!
Well, I guess these are kind of silly little stories.  I think life is full of such experiences, though.  I have lived the Savior's teachings in small and simple ways, and for the most part it has helped my life tremendously.  And it reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures....Doctrine and Covenants 64:33
"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."  I know this has reference to missionary work, but it also applies to family work.  I know that it is true.  "Out of small things, proceedeth that which is great!"
Well, I guess I had best get on with the small things.  I hope this day finds you happy and well, and inspired by the good word of God!  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAVVVVVGS!!!  Melody

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Too much....and not much:)

Good morning!  Today is a good day!  I have already met a daughter in Caldwell, and gone shopping.  Besides a little housework I plan to write a couple of essays for the rest of the day.  Oh, and probably make some guacamole:)  I have a bunch of avocados from Costco that are getting too ripe.  That is the trouble with shopping there...I always get more than we really need.  I pawn it off on my kids sometimes, but often I don't realize things are going bad until they already are.  Sigh!  I just like the fun things to buy there, and the quality is good.
So that is all.  I mostly just wanted to send a cheery hellooooooo into cyberspace.  Oh wait....I did see a family of quail this morning!  That is certainly worth mentioning.  The chicks were so tiny!  I was surprised at that this late in the summer.  I love living out where we see things like that.
Looked a little like these:)
So......HAVVVVVVGW!!!  Me

Friday, August 3, 2012

A box or a throne?

Hi!   I am laughing.   I just got this little item for the cat:
It is a kitty litter box that is supposed to keep the litter inside the box...along with the smells.  I was looking for an image online, and there must be hundreds of cat litter boxes of all description and inventive ideas.  I guess I am not the only one that would like no mess and no smell:)  Anyway, I thought it was funny.
And now I am going back to watching Olympics....or maybe I will find something on netflix.  I am kind of tired of all of this excellence! :)
Take care and HAVVVGE!!!  Me

A Sign

Hi again!  As promised...the sign downtown:)  "Depth - Height turned upside down"  and the funny one...."Theory - a hunch with a college degree".  I love that last one.  It is so true!
Well, just takin' a break from the mundane, everyday, realist, common person stuff.  Hope all is well!  Me

Looking Forward

Good morning!  I hope it is for you today.  I am enjoying my Friday when I have no class.  In the Fall I will be losing that as I will have an illustration class on Friday.  I think I am going to have to rethink my schedule if it gets to be too much.  I am taking...illustration, two drawing classes and a ceramics class.  One of the drawing classes is a repeat.  I got an A in it the first time, but the teacher I am taking it from the second time was recommended to me by my painting teacher from last semester.  He thought I would benefit from taking a class from her.  Actually what he said was that he wished he could take a class from her.  The other drawing class will be with live models...yeah, I am not too excited about that....but I am really excited to be learning to draw the human form.  I just wish they would put underwear on the models....or a leotard.  Oh well, I will view it as an anatomy class and pretend they are cadavers:)  Other students have told me they are very professional and it isn't weird.  I hope that is true.
Today I am going to clean my kitchen, do bills, and start on my essays for my art history final.  I keep thinking I will draw a little something, too, so I think I will practice from my art methods book.  At least that way I will be able to say I drew something.  I don't know why this has been such a challenge.  Perhaps I just needed a break.  I am wondering how bad it will be when I start these classes next semester and I am feeling so rusty.  Squeeeeek!
I know, I sound silly.  I am feeling a little silly today.  And a bit discouraged.  No reason to feel that way really.  But I think I am worried....kids, grandkids, father, etc.  I probably should go swim...since I can't walk very far.  Maybe that is bothering me just a little today.  I miss my younger, more agile body!  But if I really think on it, it is a miracle to have a body at all.  So I am trying to turn my attitude around and be grateful! :)
Well, I had better get on with things.  I am smiling now.  It always helps to blog!  Take care and HAVVVVVGW!!!!  TTTL Melody

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dada...and more silliness

Hi again!  I am feeling pretty good at present.  I finished my quiz and got 100% the first time!  It's funny because the girl sitting next to me in class today asked if I thought we should tell the teacher her quizzes were easy.  I told her no, because the teacher had said they were easy from the beginning, and so I think she knows they are.  But also, I think I learn a lot from taking them.  And the final is two essays, which will not be easy!
My little kitty is licking my toes right now:)  She is such a funny cat!  Where ever I go she follows...like a little puppy.  And whenever I sit down she immediately looks for my toes:)  Isn't that funny?  I suppose this will end when cold weather sets in and I abandon my sandals.  But for now it is kind of amusing.
I am feeling better this afternoon than I did yesterday.  I must have had a virus, because I felt horrible!  I ached and I just wanted to climb in bed....which I did with my Art History book.  I really enjoy reading this book.  I am learning so much!  For instance...did you know that Dada-ism was a reaction to the atrocities of World War I?  It makes a lot of sense when you realize that.  Artists were saying...."Forget the artistic portrayal of nobleness in war! " And so a lot that was done was silly....like DuChamps' "Fountain."  I guess I had never looked at it from the perspective of what was going on in the world at the time.  It is a little more complicated than that of course, but it makes a whole lot more sense to me now.   I like learning!
Well, I am feeling like I haven't reported on the sign downtown for quite a while....mostly because it hasn't been funny.  But today it made me laugh:)  But funnier than that is....I can't remember what it said!  Pretty sad, I know.  I will make a note of it tomorrow so I don't forget.  In the meantime....keep your stick on the ice!  Or maybe better to say....Keep your feet in the water!  Have you been watching the Olympics?  I especially enjoy the swimming....and the diving....and the gymnastics!  It is all so amazing.  I hope you enjoy your evening!  HAVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Vincent

Good morning!  I have been thinking of Vincent this morning....you know...van Gogh.  We talked about him yesterday in class and to me he is extremely interesting.  Perhaps because he is supposed to have had bi polar disorder, and that seems to run pretty strongly in my family.  But more I think because I love his paintings, and have since I was quite young.  An exhibit of his work came through San Francisco and my family all went to see his marvelous work.  I still remember seeing the people and scenes he painted....the rich color and thick paint.  I was so impressed and decided if I ever painted, I wanted to try to paint like that!  I saw another exhibit more recently in Boston of his work.  And it did not disappoint.  Again, his unusual use of color and brush strokes stayed with me.  I still see the yellow and green in the whites of the eyes of one of his self portraits.  So it is completely amazing to me that he only sold one painting...I think to his brother.  It seems that the world did not appreciate his genius.  Amazing!
Well, I am off to school again.   Today and then next week and then it is over for a couple of weeks.  Time flies on by as I go on with my days.  It seems to me I am very slow, limping along as I do right now.  But even so the time still whips on past.  I do not understand how that is possible.
I guess I am in a little bit of a mood this morning!  So I will paste my smile back on and head for class.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  Life is puzzling and wonderful!  HAVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Spotted Horses

Good morning!  I am all ready for school and have a few moments, so I thought I would say hello to the world!  As I was sitting in the DMV yesterday waiting for my number to be called, I looked around and thought I know nobody here.  And most places I go, except for school, I don't know the people around me.  And then I thought how vast the world is, and how few people I am acquainted with in comparison to the population of the world.  And it made me grateful for my blog.  At least here in some small way I can share a thought or two with people I have never met, and feel a little closer to humanity.  Is that strange?  I don't think so.  I think of the painted horses drawn on the caves in France thousands of years ago, and the small handprints that were painted beside them, and I think it must be a human desire to reach out somehow and say, "I was here!"  At least that is my theory and I am sticking to it.
Well, that's all I have to say today.  Not much I know, but I have to scoot.  Have a most wonderful day out in cyberspace today!  I am still pulling for you!  We are all in this together!  TTTL  Melody