Thursday, January 31, 2013

Misty, Water-Colored Memories

Good morning!  I was thinking this morning how much I would like to go for a long, happy hike....like to Vernal Falls or somewhere beautiful.  Of course it is the wrong time of year for that.  And my knees wouldn't cooperate just now.
Mel and I and 4 kids hiked up to Vernal Falls a long time ago.  I was pregnant with Kenny at the time...in the first trimester.  It was a tough hike!

Large, wet rocks seemed insurmountable as we neared the falls.  It was beautiful though, and we picked our way through.  I think Mel had Tommy on his back and Kim firmly in hand (2 and 5 years old), while I helped Michelle and Amy (9 and 7)  climb the large rocks and keep from falling into the roaring water.   It was an exhilarating experience.  I am glad for the memories of rock and water and beautiful views.  I almost miscarried Kenny though.  I was in bed for a couple of days afterwards with painful contractions.  So I have ambivalent feelings about that experience.  I think I learned then that life was a little more fragile than I had supposed, and that caution would probably be something I should practice.  I had a couple of other similar experiences.  We went hiking down to Val Halla, Tahoe when I was a few months along with somebody (we hitched a ride out with a park ranger that time).

Then there was the time we went to the beach and stayed too long and discovered that the ocean had come in around behind us and there was only a narrow bit of sand to hike out on in the dark.  I can still remember how fearful I was as we hiked out with three little girls to carry and the sand giving away to the ocean around us.
And this morning I am grateful to still be here to write about my experiences.  I hope I have learned from them.  I love remembering them, and reliving parts of them.  I can hear and smell in my memories still.  I hope I never lose that ability.  I am not sure how it works, but when I think of the ocean, or the redwoods, or the mountains, if I concentrate just a little I can remember the sounds and smells....and even tastes sometimes.  What a marvel our minds and bodies are!!  Perhaps I think like this because I am aging.  It seems to me I appreciate things more than I did as a younger person.  And I am glad for that!  It makes life lots more interesting.
Today I think I am going to do laundry and homework.  Then there is an art exhibit that is opening this evening.  It is by a friend of mine...Luma.  She is from Iraq and has been through three wars!  She was a professional graphic artist in Iraq for 10 years before her family decided to leave and come to the states.  She wants to be a painter.  She said it was not a choice in Iraq.  Anyway, I am excited to see her paintings.  She is quite good.
Well, I hope your day goes swimmingly out in cyberspace today.  That reminds me that NASA has a facebook page.  It is fun to see all that they post on there.  It is called space.com if you are interested in celestial things.  Remember I am pulling for you!!!  Keep your stick on the ice!  And have a wonder-filled, marvelous day!  Melody

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tired!

Good evening!  I got through my day without any problems.  I am supposed to be "more specific" in my contract for illustration.  But he gave us another week to finalize things.  So that was a relief.  And in art history I am finding it is very interesting.  I guess I enjoy studying about the past.  I sure didn't like it in high school.  But I really do enjoy it now.
I am studying tonight....sort of.  I have been reading while I watch the news and a program that I have to watch for my Renaissance class.  I will probably have to reread, but I would anyway.  Yeah, I am making excuses.  It is a good thing I have mostly had classes that I have had to draw and paint in.  It seems I tire easily when I have to read very much.  I just don't seem to have the stamina of my younger days, and by this time of night I just want to veg...which I may do.
Well, just popping in to say hello.  I hope all is well in cyberspace tonight!  HAGrrrreat Evening!  Melody

Greetings! And Salutations!

Good morning!  I really hope it is!  I am a little nervous about school today, so I thought I would blog a few sentences before leaving.  I am hoping I can get some approval and feedback for my illustration contract or it might be a very long semester!  I did get my reading done for my Renaissance class, but I still have about thirty more pages for my 18th century art class.  I should be able to complete that though, as I have an hour or two of free time before that class.
Well, I hope your day goes well out in cyberspace today.  I am still pulling from this side!!!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

For the Beauty of the Sky!

Howdy!  I cannot believe how quickly the day is vanishing, and I still have miles to go before I sleep!  I have lots of reading for art history and a contract to make up for illustration.  And a few more life sketches before class at 9 tomorrow morning.  I keep forgetting to bring my sketchbook with me.  I did remember to bring it into the doctor's today so I got a few people sketched there, but it was early and there weren't many people to sketch.  I did get good news today while there....three more pounds gone since last week!  I really wasn't expecting that!!!  In fact I thought I had gained a pound.  So I was delightfully surprised.  My doctor was so nice, she is pleased with my progress, and she is very supportive in my efforts to get healthier.  It helps to have a cheerleader!!  And she said my blood counts are improving.  This is such a nice change from things the way they were before.  I think there is a lot to be said for positivity!  I had to fill out a questionnaire for the medical exam which asked how many years I had been married.  I answered 42 1/2!  The doctor thought that was wonderful!  Me too!  I am sure grateful for my sweet Morley Jones!!!
I saw another bald eagle today.  It was flying up above the neighborhood as I was driving in Boise.  They are such magnificent birds.  Maybe this weather has them hunting for food.  I don't usually see them in town.  I also saw a ferruginous hawk and another burnt sienna color of hawk or eagle.  It was large.  I love all of the wildlife here!

I went to visit my dad and take Barb a birthday gift.  She turned 89!  She's not far behind my dad.  I brought her some watercolor paints and watercolor pencils and paper and she was delighted!  She used to teach art in school, so I think she misses it a little.  I am glad I found her something she likes.  Now I just have to figure out something for my dad.  They are sure fun.  I love to hear their stories about "the old days".  I guess I have my own stories now about the old days, so it is fun to compare notes!  I really should take notes!  They said something so funny, but I can't remember it now.  Sigh!
Well, I had better start reading!  I have about thirty pages for one class and at least that much for the other.  Have a wonderful evening!  I am still pulling for you!!!  HAVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, January 28, 2013

Nightfall....crash, bang!!!

Gute Nacht!  It has been a long, enjoyable day.  I am sitting here with a hot cup of....almond/coconut milk....my new favorite!  I have missed having a hot cup of cocoa on these cold winter evenings and this fits the bill.  I tried plain almond milk, and plain coconut milk but this combo is very good and satisfies that need I have for warm milk at night.  When I was very small my grandma used to give all of us kids a glass of warm milk before bed....to calm us.  I guess this is a bit of a carryover, modified now to stick with a plant based food.  Anyway, it works.
I had my first seminar class today.  It was interesting.  I guess we will be studying post modernism and all that it entails.  I think it will be interesting as the students take turns teaching different subjects.  I get to teach post colonialism....although not for a couple of months.  I hope I can do well in here.  I don't think we have much to memorize.  It is more of a participation kind of a class.  So that is good, since I will have lots and lots to memorize for my art history classes...which are quite interesting.  I just worry about keeping facts straight and time periods in order.  There is sure a lot to learn!
Tonight we had a birthday party for two of Julie's children....Matthew and Naia.  They were so cute.  They both turned 4 and were sooooooooo excited!  I can just barely remember being excited about my own birthdays....I think the last one I was excited about was 21........or maybe 30.  Sigh!
Well, I am super tired.  I hope things are well in your world.  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!  And Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet Dreams!  Melody

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mental Reflections

Good Sabbath!  I have been looking back at some of my blogs today.  I am so glad that I blog!  I forget sometimes why I do this and wonder if I should just stop it.  But when I go back and read older posts, I am so glad I have recorded what was happening at the time.  I mostly forget the past, except for a few traumatic events:)  So it is nice to remember the everyday little events.
And I guess that is mostly why I wonder if I should keep this up.  Other people blog about religion or politics, recipes or fabulous photography.  And so my little blog seems insignificant and a little silly.  But I guess for me it is an invaluable record of my life....or at least some of it.  And mostly it is a record of my feelings and keeps me sane.  Funny to say, but completely true.
This morning I have been thinking a lot about a dream I had last night.  I dreamt that I went to church and it looked more like a football stadium.  And there was trash and picnic items all over the bleachers. I remembered at some point that I had a choir practice scheduled.  So I was trying to get the choir members together to practice, but they wouldn't come up on the stand.  And when I finally got them up there they didn't want to practice the song we are supposed to sing today.  So huffily I told them they would just have to sing it anyway, whether they knew it or not!  Ha, ha!  I was soooooo angry!!!  And then I yelled at my pianist because I couldn't get her to look at me, and she wasn't playing at the tempo I wanted!!!  So funny!  I guess I am a little worried about the choir singing in Sacrament meeting today.  I told Mel about my dream and he thought it was pretty funny.  But not very true to life.  Thank heavens for that!!!  We really have a wonderful choir, and the pianist is one of my best friends in the ward...Jodell.  So I would never yell at her, and she is really very good at following my lead.  But I do worry that no one will show up and I will have no one to conduct in choir.  That fear probably stems from years ago when I was the Relief Society chorister and the bishop asked us to sing in Sacrament meeting, and nobody showed up for practices.  I think we solved it by practicing in Relief Society.  I don't remember now.
The other thing I have been thinking about is how grateful I am for the restored church.  I have been watching a TV series my art history teacher recommended about the Italian renaissance and particularly about the catholic church at the time.  I am sure it is fictionalized....nobody could be this bad!!!  But it does make me think how corrupt the church became...buying away sins and such.  I am glad that Joseph Smith went into the woods to pray and find out which church to join.  He must have been so surprised when the Lord told him to join none of them and that "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me".  I am grateful he listened and helped to bring back truth and authority to the earth again.  It is comforting to know that the authority and inspiration from God are protected and alive and well in His church today.  I am so grateful for a testimony of the Savior as the Son of God.  I feel inadequate and small in my abilities to live a more Christlike life.  But I am trying each day to do better, to love as He loved and to be an example for good in the world.  I am so grateful for Sunday...a day to be apart from the world and to worship according to the dictates of my own conscience.  Anyway, that is what I have been thinking today.
Well, I had better get on with my morning.  I hope all is well in cyberspace today.  Keep smiling and remember I am definitely still pulling for you!!!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGrrrrrrrrreat Wan!!!  Melody


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Not a Lazy Day!!!

Good morning!  Today is a study day!  I have so much to read, it is a little overwhelming.  I just hope I can retain it long enough to pass my classes:)  I did get a notification that I am on the dean's list again.  Which basically means I am getting good grades.  I am grateful for that.  Talking to other students, who for some reason love to find out what other people got for grades last semester, I realize I am very blessed!  Sometimes I wonder if teachers are giving me such generous evaluations because they realize how much harder it is to remember stuff when you are old:)  Or maybe it is an advantage to be this old because I am not distracted by raging hormones or apartment feuds!
Well, I learned to play Settlers of Catan last night with some of our friends who came over.  They all loved the sweet potato burritos...or at least they said they did.  They tasted great to me, but I am sure my taste buds are changing with less refined foods in my diet.  At any rate we had fun visiting and playing games.  They stayed til 12:30 at which time we had to slide them to their cars.  It rained and then froze on our walks during their time here so that it was extremely slippery!  We are sure having crazy weather here!
Well, I just wanted to say howdy.  I hope things are happy and well in your neck of the woods.  Keep smiling!!!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sweet!.....Potatoes!

Good morning!  The weather has changed here over night.  It's much warmer...and much more dangerous!  It's currently 21 degrees, which is considerably warmer than -4, which is what I drove to school in yesterday.  But overnight we have had a considerable amount of freezing rain, which has closed the freeway between Boise and Glenns Ferry....about 60 miles of roadway!  And schools are closed today because of the treacherous road conditions...except for BSU which issued a statement to "be careful" coming to school today.  I am glad I don't have any classes to get to today.  I have quite a bit of reading to do for art history before Monday, so I guess being stuck at home will give me a chance to keep up with the reading assignments.
I really liked all of my classes yesterday.  In illustration I have to come up with an idea of what to do for the semester.  I thought last night that perhaps I could pursue a character development of "Little Willy". That was Mel's nickname as a child,  and with five older brothers he has lots of adventure stories, that I thought might be fun to write up and illustrate.  Even if I couldn't get it published, I have thought it would make a good series of stories for the grandkids....family history and all of that.  So I may work on that for the semester.  Of course the catch is, that the teacher has to like the idea.  So I should have a few more ideas up my sleeve!
In all of my classes I saw lots of people that have become good friends over the last couple of years.  It sure makes school more fun when you know people!  One of the girls in my Italian Renaissance class I have seen in the halls and painting rooms, and gotten to know her a little.  She is LDS and has 5 kids ranging from 17 to 5 years old.  I have admired her for coming to school, when it must be so busy right now in her family.  Anyway, when they called her name for the roll, I recognized her last name as the married name of my niece.  It turns out she is my niece's sister-in-law!  Such a small world!!!  It never ceases to amaze me.
I think my art history classes will be really interesting.  The teacher is approximately my age, seems well organized, and is interesting.  I think she will be hard, but good.  So I think I can do this!!!  At least I will give it the old college try!  Yesterday we already talked a little bit about Bernini architecture.  My teacher has been to Italy several times, and knew a lot about the buildings.  She is fond of architecture, so I think we will get to study a lot about that, which is something I have always loved.
Well, I have the laundry started and the dishes done.  I want to do a little cooking and organizing today.  We have a few friends coming tomorrow night for dinner and games.  I hope the weather allows that!  Anyway, it will be the first meatless and dairy free meal I have served to guests.  I think we will have sweet potato burritos:)  I know it sounds awful, but it is really yummy!  I got the recipe off of the internet after Julie told me they had tried it and loved it.  Here's a link.  Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos
I don't think I mentioned that my visit with the doctor and health coach was really good.  My health coach told me I am her favorite client....because I do what she suggests!  And my doctor said I am doing great and was very impressed with my weight loss.  So I think I will continue with this health regimen.  I am feeling so much better!  Mel too!  I am surprised he is so supportive in this, but grateful he is.  It would be hard to do alone.
Well, I hope this day finds you well and happy and full of inspiration!  Take care!  Remember I am pulling for you!!  We're all in this together!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Realistic Wednesday

Guten Tag!  I am at the photo lab at school.  I wanted to make sure they will let me use the lab when it is not in use for a class.  It is nice in here....and I can print pictures which is terrific.
My illustration class was good this morning.  I have to decide what I am going to do for the semester by next week.  It is pretty much a self guided class.  I just don't know what will help my progress the most.  I am leaning towards character development.  But we can do whatever...posters, cartoons, concept art, etc.  I am not really sure what is best.  I went to a Barnes and Noble store and looked around at the illustrated children's books.  Most of the illustrations are very stylized.  But the ones I like are more realistic...like Jumanji, or Peter Rabbit.  And I think my skills are more in realism.  So we shall see.
Next I have my art history classes.  I heard from someone this morning that I have picked the hardest teacher!  I guess that is good if she teaches well.  I don't mind working hard.
Well, I have got to go.  Just wanted to send a hearty hello into cyberspace!!!  Hope all is well.  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVVVGW!  Melody

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Toos Day

Hola!   I am all ready to go to school today...not for classes...just an appointment at the health clinic.  But I must be excited because I am rarely ready early.  Usually I am rushing to keep on time.  That's a weird sentence!  Sometimes when I write like I talk, I notice strange word order.  It makes me wonder if I sound strange talking too:)
So, a thought for the day.  I have been thinking of a song I would like the choir to sing.  "I'm trying to be like Jesus".  I love that song!  But one I like even more is "I feel my Savior's love".  So we may sing both.  Unless all of the choir members rebel and walk out on me!  I had the feeling this last Sunday they might....a few of them anyway.  We are singing "For the beauty of the earth", and admittedly the version we are singing....John Rutter's... is hard!  Very hard!!!  But slowly they are getting it, and to me it is promising.  I think we can sing it in church this next Sunday as scheduled.  But I had a few of the outspoken people in choir tell me we "just aren't ready!"  I think I will be the judge of that, because I am "the decider":)  And to me it sounds pretty good.  Of course we don't sound like the tabernacle choir, but I think that is OK.  It is the spirit of the music after all that I am concerned about. Yes, admittedly I am a little stubborn.  I may pick a simpler song just in case I agree with the minority next Sunday.  Our stake choir is currently practicing for a special stake meeting we are having on Feb. 3rd.  Elder Christoffersen is coming and so the choir is well attended!  Everyone wants to get good seats I think.  Funny!  But it is great because the choir sounds amazing!!!  I think it might be fun to be the stake choir leader.  Ours is very knowledgeable about music.  She is quite picky too.  I guess that it makes for a good sound.  But I still think the main thing is that people sing to the Lord, in sincere praise.  It comes across!!!!  So I am climbing down from my soapbox.....
Well, what else can I tell you?  The propane tank says it is empty this morning...again!!  It is something we can't seem to keep up with....especially with this ridiculously cold weather.  So hopefully Mel can persuade them to come out today.  If we have to wait for our regularly scheduled day it may get kinda chilly!  In good news the water seems to be fine again.  It's funny to report on our heating and plumbing, huh?  Oh well, it gives you an idea of how little happens around here when school is not in session.
I hope everything is wonderful and well in cyberspace today!!  I'm still pulling for you!!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Merry Good Morning..... to You!!!

Good merry morning to you!  I have been searching the internet for text books this morning.  I am taking Italian Renaissance Art History and 18th Century Art History...starting Wednesday!  I am kind of excited...kind of nervous about taking two art history classes.  They both look really interesting though, and I need two upper division classes in art history to graduate.  So....I will try it.  If it gets to be too much for this old brain I will switch one out for a painting class or something:)  Maybe photography.  Although I think I will just stick with the plan.
So this is my last day of freedom.  Tomorrow I have a doctor appointment on campus....and an appointment with my health coach.  Surprisingly I am excited about both.  I know my doctor will be pleased with my progress, and I have some questions for my health coach...like...?  I'd better write them down or I will draw a blank there too.
I must admit I feel a little panicky that school is starting again.  There are a few ladies in my ward, and also my sister and daughter who are also starting back this week.  I think we are sharing the same anxious, excited, crazy feelings about school.  At least my major is something I love.  I feel sorry for my friend who is majoring in chemical engineering.  She is recently divorced and wanting to maintain her current lifestyle.  But math and science would hurt my brain I think.  She is younger by a decade or so, but still.....
Well, I am doing dishes and laundry.  It is a bit weird though.  We have something going on with the water.  We had lots of air in the line yesterday.  I had a spit shower yesterday morning before church.  Literally, the shower was spitting air and water at me.  And there is sediment in the water.  So we are not drinking it, and using it sparingly.  It has improved somewhat today.  Mel said he will call the repairman in tomorrow if it hasn't improved.  I suspect something froze, but we can find no evidence of that.  So.... we'll see.  In the meantime I am spacing the washing cycles of various machines around here.  And so far things seem to be working.  The temps here are still single digit.  So it may have something to do with that.
I hope things are going well in cyberspace today.  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together (Have you noticed Obama has been saying that lately?  Does he read my blog????)  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Good Sabbath!!!

Good Sabbath Eve!  It has been a good day here.  Except for the cold!!  Brrrrr!  And the water pump is acting up.  I guess we will have a repairman in tomorrow.  Never a dull moment and all of that!!!  Well, not much to share.  I hope all is well in cyberspace tonight!!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday Adventures

Howdy!  As I mentioned before, I love Saturday!  Especially when I can get out into the wildness of Idaho and snap a few photos!!!  I was especially lucky today.  I told Mel there was a certain tree I had been wanting to take some quality photos of...meaning of course I wanted to use my DSL camera and get some high pixel resolution.  So we did our errands and then drove over to this tree.  And you won't believe who else thought this was a wonderful tree!  I took a picture while he watched me.
Can you believe it?  This tree is only a few blocks from my house!  So I am not exaggerating when I say I live in the wild!  He flew away after I took this, and I got a few shots of him leaving.

Anyway, I wished so much I had a better lens!  I keep thinking I should get a good telephoto lens...or whatever they are called so that I can take better closeups.  So now are you wondering if I got a good shot of the tree?  Yes, I think so.  And you can see another big bird in the branches.  Probably another bald eagle...but younger.  They don't get the white feathers until they are mature.  He is off to the right on the top of the tree.

 
Ice cycles hanging from the phone lines.  Frosted!  They're grrrrreat!
Well, I just wanted to share some Saturday adventures.  I hope all is well in cyberspace!!!  Take care and keep smiling!  And have a Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat day!!!!  Melody

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Foggy Day

Good morning!  It is still cold here.  And still beautiful.  I may have to get out my nice camera and take some good photos of trees covered in frost.  I really like how amazing the ice is, crystallized on the trees and bushes.  It is a study in some kind of science I am sure...perhaps also a study in the golden mean:)
I am making bread and cleaning up around here.  Then I am going to pick up some work at the shop to bring home.  Kim and I worked on the parts yesterday...here.  It is cold in the shop!  They have heaters going, but this cold is hard to combat.  Even here with the pellet stove it feels cold.   I hope the weather changes before too long!
I am thinking of doing a little painting today.  I promised a friend a painting of a magpie some time ago, so I may try it in acrylics, just to practice and get something done before school starts again.  My first class for the semester is next Wednesday morning....advanced illustration.  I am looking forward to being back in school.  Not that there isn't plenty around here to keep me occupied, but I get feeling so alone.  I miss having kids at home!  Yesterday I got to have Taylor and Gabe here for a few hours while their folks went to a parenting class.  It was so fun to have them here!  I picked them up from school, so they had some homework to do, and then we watched Gabe's favorite TV show....Mythbusters.  He is growing up fast.  But there is still some remnants of a child in him.  He found my back scratcher and found all kinds of uses for it...like using it as a sword, and a pointer, and just scratching his back whenever I asked if maybe it was time to put it away.  He is a sweet boy, but so strong, and still able to leap buildings (and coffee tables) in a single bound.  He is lots of energy all stuffed into a little kid's body.  Taylor at ten is a couple of years older, and growing into a teenager faster than I like.  He is very interested in reading and art.  I think he is a good student.  He reads so well, and I think that gives kids an advantage.  I like to think I helped with that, as we read a lot together when he was younger.
Well, I had better get on with my day.  I hope all is going well in cyberspace today!  Take care and keep smiling!  And remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thurs' Day

Good morning!  It is a beautiful morning here....foggy and freezing, but it makes it a little like an imaginary world outside.  I took a few photos so you might see what I mean.
Looking out my front window
I also thought I would include a couple of photos of Julie's horses.  These were taken on a sunnier day.  They must be cold in this weather!  They do have thick winter coats.  I just worry about animals in the cold.  We had a cat that froze here one winter.  Yeah, I don't have the greatest history with cats.  I keep my cat inside now.  Anyway, here are the horsie photos.
I think I may go and work at Mel's shop this morning.  It gets kinda lonely here...especially when I feel penned in with the snow.  He has a job that is kind of a rush order, so he could use the help.  It's not my favorite kind of work, but if it helps I guess I can stand the tedious boredom of assembling parts:)
I hope all is good and fine in your neck of the woods.  Keep smiling and have a most wonderful day!!! Melody
Midnight

Buttercup with her filly

Our little redbud tree and the neighbor's barn

Looking out back up the hill

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Narrow Escape

Good morning!  My dad is home from the hospital.  I am feeling a great deal of relief this morning!  I went and practiced music with my friend and choir pianist, Jodell.  We had fun going through the music of "For the Beauty of the Earth"...John Rutter's version.  It is on the "Consider the Lilies" album by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I am playing it now as I blog:)  It doesn't seem hard until you are trying to teach 25 or so people their parts.  I am so pleased we are getting such a nice sized group for choir now. I had quite a few people tell me that they had missed the last practice because they didn't get my email.  So we should have even more people for our next rehearsal.  Did I mention how much I love leading music?  It is kind of my dream calling in the church.  It is challenging of course, but it is thrilling when you are standing in front of a group of people who are singing from their hearts in praise of the Lord.  I cannot think of too many things I like more...maybe painting a picture of the Lord.  I need to do that again.  I haven't even attempted it since the Woman at the Well painting.  Mostly because I felt like I had so much more to learn before I could do it justice.
I narrowly escaped a potential accident this morning coming out of Jodell's neighborhood.  I couldn't get the car to stop at the stop sign that is right before you turn onto the highway.  There was a very slick patch of snow and ice and the tires wouldn't grab.  It really scared me as I had my foot to the floor and the car was still moving onto the highway.  It finally stopped just inches from a car that went speeding by at about 70 mph.  I wondered why he hadn't given me a couple more inches when I saw the huge semi speeding from the other direction.  I feel very blessed and watched over....and not anxious to get out on the road again.  I am glad to be alive!
I took some pictures of the frost at Jodell's house.  It is so pretty this morning coating all of the trees.  I just wish it wouldn't coat the roads!


Still here!

Well, other than that I have no news.  I hope all is well and happy in cyberspace today.  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One More Day

Good morning!  I hope it is for you.  My dad is in the hospital again...another UTI.  They did a CT scan yesterday to see if there's some hidden problem.  We're waiting for the results.  He is feeling pretty good....fever's gone and he's on a strong antibiotic.  It's just a little scary for someone his age.  So I will probably be spending at least part of the day at the hospital again.
Our empty nester's family night was very nice.  We had a good group...about 16 people.  So it was about right for discussion and sharing.  I like all of these people very much, and it was fun to have them in our home discussing gospel topics.  Mel passed out topics to each one of them and then challenged them to find an object in the room to use as an object lesson.  I was surprised at how well it turned out.  We also watched that super cool video from youtube of the song, "Look at the World" that I had a link to on Sunday's blog.  They were all impressed with how beautiful the photography is.
Well, I had best get on my way over to Boise.  I hope things are good in your neck of the woods!  I'm still pulling for you!   Take care and keep smiling!!!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, January 14, 2013

Greetings and Salutations!!!

Good morning!  I thought I would take a short break from cleaning and say hi!  I still need to dust and vacuum....everything!  Watch out Max!!!  And Miss Kitty!!!  I am hoping I can get it all done before lunch time so that I can meet Mel for lunch.  And then I can go shopping for a few things that we are out of.  I love this way of eating, but it does require a little more diligence in keeping things fresh.  Kale seems to wilt, and veggies in general are hard to keep fresh.  It would help if we had a few more mouths to feed, but Mel and I alone don't eat fast enough to keep up with entropy!  I can't tell you how much more energetic I feel though, and I love that I am also losing weight.
My daughter Julie and her family have decided to eat this way too.  I guess they had quite a feast yesterday eating Thai food.  Julie found some recipes on line that she healthified.  And it sounded good and tasty.  I will have to try some new things.
Well, I haven't much to tell today.  I just wanted to send a big hello into cyberspace.  I hope your day is wonder filled and amazing!!!  Melody

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Shalom!

This has been a lovely Sabbath day.  I got through choir and gave my lesson in R.S.  Now I just have to get ready for an empty nester's FHE tomorrow night.  How blessed I feel to be busy with good purposeful things!  I love leading the choir!  I couldn't get the music I had hoped for, but found a free copy of "For the Beauty of the Earth" by John Rutter.  So we sang that.  It is difficult, but so worth it.  I think we can learn it well enough by the end of the month.  Also I had a good turn out....which makes me feel good.  It is hard to pull people from their comfort zones for one more meeting!
Well, I don't want to miss "Downton Abbey".  Just wanted to send a happy, cheerful greeting out to cyberspace.  I hope all is well!  Take care and keep smiling!   Melody

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Marvel Every Day!

Hi again!  I found this beautiful music on youtube and thought I would share.  Not only is the music wonderful, but the video is also.  Very inspiring!!!  Anyway, thought I would bring a little cheer and hope into your life today!  HAVVVVVVVVVGW!!  Melody
Look at the World
Lyrics
Look at the world, everything all around us
Look at the world and marvel every day.
Look at the world: so many joys and wonders,
So many miracles along our way
Praise to thee, O lord for all creation.
Give us thankful hearts that we may see
All the gifts we share, and every blessing,
All things come of thee.
Look at the earth bringing forth fruit and flower,
Look at the sky the sunshine and the rain.
Look at the hills, look at the trees and mountains,
Valley and flowing river, field and plain.
Think of the spring, think of the warmth of summer
Bringing the harvest before winter’s cold.
Everything grows, everything has a season,
till it is gathered to the Father's fold:
Every good gift, all that we need and cherish.
Comes from the Lord in token of his love
We are his hands, stewards of all his bounty
His is the earth and his the heavens above

One More Voice

Good morning!  It is a very gorgeous day here today....sunny and bright and....COLD!  But from inside the house it looks beautiful.  I love how the sun sparkles on the snow!  Almost as good as sparkling on water:)  Yeah, I'd rather be by the ocean today.  It is just the way I feel somedays, and it is a little hard to shake.  But it is good for my mind to imagine the ocean in all it's detail.  I like especially to imagine the white foam as it hits rocks!  I'm not sure I would feel the same if I had ever been caught up in a wave like that.  But I like it very much from a distance.
So far today I have arranged with the building coordinator for the choir to meet in the chapel before sacrament meeting, and gone through music that seems to form in piles around the house.  I have said before that I am not a naturally organized person.  I have to remind myself to put things back where they belong or I soon have little piles of stuff everywhere.  It is a major flaw in my character I suppose, but I do work at it diligently!  I read sometime ago that it helps to be a container person.  But oddly all that does for me is create one more thing to hang on to and pile up....boxes, bags, etc.  So today I have gone through the house with a large black plastic garbage bag, tossing everything extraneous into it.  It seems to be the thing that helps me most....the black garbage bag toss and throw!  At least it discourages my need to hang on to senseless stuff.
So the rest of today I am going to work on my lesson for tomorrow, practice a few songs for choir, and just enjoy being home with Mel.  I like Saturdays!!!
Well, I really don't have much to say today.  I hope things are going well for you in cyberspace.  I am definitely pulling for you!!!!  Take care and keep smiling!!!!  Melody

Friday, January 11, 2013

Another Ordinary Day

Good day to you!  I hope it is.  It is kind of cold and snowy here, but I seem to be able to find things to do to stay warm.  My favorite is driving in the car!  I love the heated seats, and I get kind of a trapped feeling when I feel snow bound.  So I drove to Mel's work and took him some lunch.  Then I went to JC Penney's to spend my $25 gift card I got for my birthday.  This is the second attempt.  I went a few weeks ago and didn't have much luck.  Today I went up and down all of the aisles looking at everything.  There was a coat I liked, but I would have had to add quite a bit to the card, so I passed it by.  I looked at dishes, and bedding too.  But really, there was nothing I really needed or wanted.  I thought about getting Mel or the grandkids something, but that wouldn't be quite right since it was a birthday gift.  So I will think about all that I looked at and maybe I will go back again in a few weeks.  It is kind of fun to wander through the store... and it is almost as good as a walk when it is so snowy like this.
Anyway, I stopped at the grocery store and got a few avocados.  I really love guacamole, and so then I came home and made some.  I put a scoop on some black beans with a little brown rice.  It makes a really filling healthy snack.  But now I have jalapeno pepper on my fingers:)  It is hard to wash off.  There must be a trick how to get it all of the way off.  A few weeks ago I forgot that I had cut up a pepper, and I tried to take out my contacts....big mistake.  My eye burned sooooo bad!  I rinsed it with water, but it hurt for a while!  So now I am more cautious.
I was thinking I might put in another recipe, but I really don't want to turn this into a cooking blog:)  So I will refrain.  Although, isn't that how the gal in Julie and Julia got famous?  Hmmmm.  Something to ponder.  Ha!  I can just see it now....thousands of fans waiting for my next recipe:)  I think I prefer the 50 or so people who visit my site each day.  I like to see what countries they are from.  It is amazing to think this little blurb I write each day gets read all over the world.  It makes me feel good....like I have a voice, even if it is a tiny one.
Well, I guess I will get on with fixing dinner and finishing up the laundry....and preparing my lesson for Sunday.  It is a good one on learning by faith.  I like that the lessons for this next year are based on the teachings of Lorenzo Snow.  He seems like he was a kind man.  I hope I can convey that to the ladies that I teach on Sunday!  So Adios!!!  Take care out in cyberspace!  I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  And have a very, very, very, very, very, gut wan!!!!!   Melody

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My plant based diet:)

Hola!  I thought tonight I would list a typical day of food for me for anyone interested in eating this plant based diet.  This is not a strict diet in a portion sense....more what you eat than how much.  Anyway....  For breakfast I usually have a green drink.  I make that with kale, spinach, a banana, frozen blueberries, a carrot, tangerine or orange and maybe a carrot.  It kind of depends on what I have in the fridge.  But I think the kale and spinach are really good for me, so I usually include them. I blend them in our high speed blender (vitamix), but my sister does it in a regular blender.  If I don't feel like a green drink, then I have oatmeal with raisins, and nuts and pour almond milk over.  Almond milk is really yummy if you haven't tried it.  I get unsweetened.  It is creamy!
For lunch I have a couple of slices of whole wheat bread with hummus and veggies....cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, etc.  If I want something sweeter I make a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread.  I have a wonderful recipe for bread.  I will include it at the end.  Sometimes I just have a salad...or leftovers from the night before.
I usually have a snack in the afternoon....almonds and an apple, or peanuts, or something legal...it must be plant based, although my health coach said plain yogurt is good every once in a while...so I will make a fruit smoothie with plain Greek yogurt occasionally and it is really yummy.
Dinner is the hardest because I am still experimenting with different recipes, trying to modify them.  I really like chili w/o any meat.  I add cooked zucchini and carrots to add a little texture.  But I suppose you could just leave your recipe however you like it without meat.   We also enjoy corn or whole wheat tortillas with beans, brown rice, salsa, and guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, etc.  It is really filling and yummy.  Minestrone is also yummy...I use whole wheat noodles and lots of veggies and beans with a vegetable broth.  You can get the broth in the soup section, or save it from boiling your own veggies.  It is especially good with homemade crusty whole grain bread.  Another thing I have tried is a whole wheat cracker bread.  I just used the normal recipe and used whole wheat flour.  If you use vital wheat gluten....about 2 teaspoons for 3-4 cups of flour, the flour rises nice and light and is just as fine a texture as a white bread....but so much tastier and better for you!
When we are hungry at night we pop popcorn, or have another fruit smoothie.  I know it sounds like tons of food, but I have lost about 10 pounds and Mel has lost about 5 this last month.  My health coach says that if you exercise 30 or more minutes a day the weight will really come off fast.  I am working up to that since my knees are kinda sore still.  But they have improved already!  I guess this is also an anti-inflammatory diet, so it is good for arthritis.  I do find I feel more energetic too.  Anyway, this diet is supposed to reverse heart disease and cancer and generally put you in better health....if you are interested, watch "Forks over Knives."
Here is that bread recipe.
Oatmeal Molasses Bread
Boil 3/4 c. oats in 2 cups of almond milk for a few minutes.  Pour into bread maker.  Add 1/2 cup of molasses, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 T. oil.  Cool a bit by adding 1/4 cup of cool water.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes until luke warm ( I think mine is warmer than that.  You just don't want to kill the yeast).  Add 4 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 T. of vital wheat gluten.  Make a well in the middle and add 1 T. of yeast.  Then I set this on the "dough" cycle of my bread machine that kneads it and allows it to rise.  When it is done, I divide this in half and put into two bread pans.  I bake this for 10 minutes at 400 degrees and then turn it down to 375 for 35 to 40 minutes.  I put aluminum foil over the tops so that it doesn't brown too fast.  It is light, slightly sweet and delicious.
I hope this is helpful.  I am not trying to convert anyone to this way of eating.  I just have had a lot of people ask me about it.  And it is soooooo delicious.
I guess that is all.  I haven't done much to report today.  I hope things are going well in cyberspace tonight.  I am definitely still pulling for you!!!  Have a wonderful night!  Melody

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another Day in Paradise

Good evening!  I have had a busy day today.  It started early when I had to drive into Boise for a book club meeting.  I led the discussion on "A Thousand Splendid Suns" which I highly recommend.  But I need to tell you how fun it was.  There were only 5 of us that made it this morning, what with bad weather and just general busy-ness.  But even with just the 5 of us, it took at least a half an hour to talk and catch up with each other's busy lives.  When we finally got to discussing the book, it was hard to stay on topic.  Everyone had some experience or another to add to the story and soon we were discussing politics!  And children.... and grandchildren.  I felt a little rude continually reminding them we were discussing a book:)  But we did have a lively discussion...nearly two hours worth!  I am always so glad to join up with these friends who I have known for the last 20 or so years.  We have lots to share!!!
After book club I picked up my two sisters so that we could visit a couple of restaurants in Boise to see what was available for my dad's 90th birthday party.  We finally decided to hold it at The Cottonwood Grill...my personal favorite.  They had a lovely big fire going in their fireplace, and sat us right next to the heat as we had our lunch.  The views are so beautiful.  It reminded us all a little of the Awahnee Hotel in Yosemite.  We joked about taking a walk to the bridge, or Half Dome, or hiking up to the Falls.  We had such a lovely time, and I was able to find food I could eat from their menu. I am finding that can be difficult....especially fast food!
Anyway, it was a fun afternoon.  And I received a text from my sister in law that she and my brother had watched "Forks over Knives" and that they are starting a plant based diet also.  It really is a very interesting documentary....all about the ill effects of animal products on our bodies.  I think it is a must see.  You can find it on hulu or netflix.
So that is my day.  And now I am home listening to the front blowing in from the mountains.  It is supposed to snow again....and get colder.  I guess it is good I have a few things to plan for, or winter might seem awfully long!
I hope things are going well in cyberspace this evening.  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!!!   Melody

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Lord Bless You!

Good afternoon!  I have had a song in my head since I woke up this morning.  I think I will have the choir sing it this month.  We sing on the fourth Sunday.  Anyway, I love the lyrics and so I thought I would share.
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine upon you
To shine upon you and be gracious
And be gracious unto you
The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you,
The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you
And give you peace, and give you peace;
And give you peace, and give you peace"
     I love the chorus...."And give you peace".  I believe the only true and everlasting peace comes from the Lord.  Here is a link to a youtube recording of the song.  I like the recording by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but I couldn't find it on youtube.  Westminster
I did find this one of "May the good Lord bless and keep you" by the MTC.  It reminds me of an Irish blessing.  Maybe we will sing this one too:)  May the good Lord Bless You!
     I just got back from shopping.  I visited with my health coach yesterday and found out a few more ideas for yummy recipes.  So I wanted to be sure to have the right stuff.  I am especially excited about the tortilla press I found.  I love homemade corn tortillas.  It reminds me of Senor Pico's....a little restaurant we used to visit many years ago.  It is gone now, replaced with a more expensive restaurant.  It was in Ghirardelli Square in SF and the view was fabulous of the Bay and Alcatraz.  They had a little lady that would make handmade tortillas in the middle of the restaurant:)  Kind of funny now that I think about it.  Nothing like the huge tortilla press at Cafe Rio!  Mmmmmm!
     So I am trying to think of any other news.  The snow here was really heavy yesterday.  I fell down going into the health center!  I kind of hurt myself...my hip and wrist are still sore...and my neck.  I am not a good age to be falling down!  Luckily the damage was mostly to my pride.  Other than that I am feeling good...and I was down a couple more pounds this morning!  I still can't believe I can eat so well and still lose weight.  My health coach says I will do even better as I exercise more.  Right now I am not doing much, but I have big plans:)
     Anyway, I just wanted to send a little cheer out to cyberspace and to wish you all the best!  Hang in there!!!  As my cousin Steve told me, "Every day you have on earth is a miracle!"  He is an astro physicist and he meant it literally!  And I definitely agree!  Keep smiling and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday, Monday.....

Good morning!  I am having a hard time getting started this morning.  Maybe it is the weather front moving through, or worrying about things.  Whatever, it woke me up at 2:30 this morning and kept me up for a couple of hours.  So now I am feeling kind of tired:)  Not too surprising!  Anyway, I have laundry and dishes to do of course.  And I see my health coach this afternoon.  Other than that I have a birthday present to deliver to one of my friends, and just general housecleaning.  I think I am having a hard time adjusting to Mel off downtown in his shop.  It was lots nicer when he was just out the back door.
There is an art guild watercolor demo tonight.  The artist is Joyce Green.  I like her work, so we may go for family night, since it is just Mel and I.  Unless we are both just too tired.  He is kind of sick too, with a cold.  So....maybe I am talking myself out of it:)
Well, I suppose I had better get on with things around here.  I hope today is a good day for you out in cyberspace.  I am definitely pulling for you!!!  Take care and keep smiling!!!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day of Peace and Rest

Good day!  I am really enjoying this new time for church!  I will probably adjust to it eventually, but right now it feels like we can take it easy.  Mel has already gone to bishopric meeting and returned!  It will be nice to go to church together.  Usually I just meet him there, but I guess the new time changes that.  It is nice to relax and not feel rushed.
Did I mention I am having a bit of trouble syncing my phone to my computer?  Until I figure it out I don't have new photos to upload.  Maybe I will get it figured out today.  In the meantime, I suppose I can pull things off of the internet to add color and interest.  Something I have kind of enjoyed learning about is this food pyramid.  It is by a doctor Joel Fuhrman, who supports the diet I am on.  Except I don't even have the dairy or fish.  Ready?  It is sure an easy way to eat.  And everything tastes so good!!!  Well, I guess I will get on with preparing the soup I am making for later today.  I hope things are well in cyberspace today!  HAVVVVVVVVGS!!!  Melody

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday Night Late!

Howdy!  I haven't had a chance to get too near this computer today...except when I was helping my grandson Jacob look up cell phones...and cool illustrators.  He is an aspiring young artist.  He is really so interested in art, and he thinks I know something about it.  It is kind of cute.  Today he wanted to see my latest work, and he thought it was really great.  It made me feel special.  I think he will probably be a wonderful artist since he already knows at 11 that that is what he wants to do.  Of course he could change his mind.  But right now we have a special artistic bond.  I like that!
We watched Julie's kids today so she and Randy could go see "Les Miserables".  It was fun to have them here, but it is surprising how quickly we both wear out.  Thank goodness for television, and especially Netflix!  I like that we can just pick out a movie for them, rather than have to run to the store for a rental.  Life has changed a little in that regard.
So the house is quiet again.  Mel is watching a BYU game.  Our church time changes tomorrow.  We don't start until 2 pm.  That should be quite an adjustment for families with small children....and those who like to nap:)  I think I will like not having to rush, but I hope I can still stay ahead of my lessons and choir stuff.  I do tend to procrastinate if given a chance.
Well, I hope cyberspace is comfortable this evening!  Sleep well, and have a most wonderful night!!!  Melody

Friday, January 4, 2013

Undecoration Day!

Good morning!  I am in the middle of making this delicious oatmeal molasses bread.  The first step is to boil oats in milk...I use almond milk...and then wait for it to cool before adding other ingredients.  So while it is cooling I thought I would blog just a little.
Have I mentioned I am excited about the way we are eating?  I guess I thought it would be dull and tasteless.  But it is quite the opposite.  And last night I discovered I can make us a healthy dessert that doesn't raise my blood sugars!  I used a cup of plain Greek yogurt, a couple of cups of frozen Marionberries, and two bananas.  I blended them in our vitamix machine for about a minute and yummy, yummy!  My health coach said I could have plain Greek yogurt once in a while.  I could have just used almond milk I suppose and it would have still been delicious.  It's funny, but I feel like I should start posting recipes because it is all so tasty.  But mostly I feel so much better.  My blood sugars are much better, my weight is going down, and I feel satisfied and full.  It doesn't seem possible that diet can make such a difference.  And the best part is I feel like I am living more closely to the recommendations of the Word of Wisdom.  And that feels good.
So today is undecorate day.  I have all of the boxes back out to load in the Christmas stuff for next year.  It seems like a funny tradition in some ways, but I guess I really do enjoy the pretty ornaments on the tree and the lights and tinsel around the house.  It seems to warm things up in a spiritual way somehow. I guess my favorite decorations are the manger scenes.  I have some from my mom that are quite beautiful and I love having those out.  I may keep them out for a while still.
I am currently reading a book for Book Club that I am enjoying.  It is called "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini.  I also read his first book, "The Kite Runner" which I thought was excellent.  I have to lead the discussion for book club on Wednesday, so I thought I should get it read before then:)  Of course it is about war in Afghanistan and how it affects the daily lives of different people.  This one is more about women and their lives there.  It is interesting to learn about different cultures, and in Afghanistan it is varied and different depending on which race and religion you are.  It makes me very glad to live here in the United States.  And also to work hard to preserve our freedoms.  I worry about that with all of the controversy in the government.  I hope that people will work together to preserve our free nation!
Well, I had better get back to my bread making and undecorating.  I hope things are happy and well in cyberspace today!  I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Aaaahhhhh! Warm again!!!

Good evening!  It is once again a lovely warm home in which I dwell.  Does that sound funny?  I was going to word it differently, but it ended with a preposition (I live in).  Anyway, it is warm again and it feels wonderful!  Being so cold this morning has made me think about how lovely it is that we have things like heaters!  I drove around in my nice, very warm car after the propane man came to fill the tank.  It makes me think how hard it must have been for people to travel anywhere before heated vehicles.  How did they ever do it?  I think of the poor people in the Donner party, freezing and dying and how miserable it all must have been.  I am so glad to be somewhere safe and warm tonight!
In other news, I went back over to Julie's today, and I got a couple of photos of their new horses.  (Unfortunately I cannot get the phone to sync with my computer tonight.  I will try again tomorrow, I don't usually have such a hard time getting this to work.)  I love horses, but I am not a great rider.  I took lessons when I was about 30, but not for very long. So I am really quite a beginner.  And now that I am older I have lost that intense desire I used to have to own a horse.  But I am glad Julie does, because now I can visit without all of the work involved with owning one:)
Well, I just wanted to share the good news of a warm house!  I hope your day has been warm and wonderful.  Take care!!!  Melody

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Well, I am home waiting for the propane truck to arrive.  It is officially 55 degrees inside our house.  So at least it didn't freeze inside.  It is definitely colder outside....10 degrees.  So I am grateful for insulation...and electric heaters.  I have one in my little studio.  It helps a little I guess.  It still is very cold.  I would leave, but someone has to be here to let the propane man test for leaks since we let it run out.  I am not too happy to be here I must admit.  I really don't like being cold.  I have a bunch of layers of clothes on.  I may put on my hat and gloves before too long:)
So good news to report.  I have lost a couple more pounds on this new way of eating.  I hate to call it a diet since I am eating as much as I want.  But only veggies, fruits and whole grains and legumes.  I made the most delicious bread!  I am surprised I am not gaining weight.  I feel very satisfied.  And admittedly I cheat just a little here and there.  Like having corn chips yesterday.  I think I am supposed to avoid processed foods.  I will have to talk some more with my health coach on this.  But I am excited to be getting healthier.  And I already think my knees are feeling better.  Maybe it is just hopeful thinking, but they are not as achy and I can walk a little further.  So there is definitely light shining ahead in this tunnel of mine.
Well, I am feeling the cold, so I guess I will go get my hat and mittens.  I hope you are staying warm in cyberspace today!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Birthdays

Today I spent with Taylor.  He turned 10 today....a big birthday for him.  He is lots of fun to be with and we had fun finding him a few birthday gifts...the main one being a cool pair of shoes with a zip 10 or something so he didn't have to tie his shoes.  He "hates" that.  Anyway, we had lots of time to talk.  He told me he was still deciding about getting resurrected.  I said, "You mean baptized?"  "Oh yeah, I get those two mixed up."  Such a cutie.  His mom is not active in the church and she wants him to wait until he is twelve to decide whether or not to get baptized.  I said that he would have to have the missionaries come and teach him the lessons so he would know what he was deciding about.  He said, "Oh, no.  I already know everything.  My mom has told me, and you have taken me to church.  And I still read my scriptures!"  What a sweetheart he is.
We spent the afternoon at Julie's who has three new horses.  Of course the main attraction was cousins and video games.  It is waaaayyyyy too cold for horses just now.  But Julie took me out to meet them.  I should have taken pictures.  But I am always forgetful that way.  I will try to remember next time I am there.  She has a mare with a filly and a three year old gelding.  They are nice horses, and I imagine they will have quite an adventure with their five boys and two girls.
I just took Taylor back home where his folks had planned a surprise for him....a DSI and two games.  I'm sorry but I really have no idea of what a DSI is, but I think it must be one more way to play video games.  I will look it up when I am not so cold!
Right now the house temp is 64 degrees.  No, we are not conserving energy, but we miscalculated and the propane man doesn't arrive til tomorrow sometime.  And our tank went empty this morning.  In the meantime it is quite chilly.  I have a couple of little heaters that are keeping it from being unbearable.  But I will be glad when they fill the tank tomorrow!  Of course the pellet stove is also broken, the man who came to fix it didn't have the right part and hasn't returned yet.  I hope he makes it out here soon!
So other than a little chilly here I am fine and feeling pretty optimistic still.  I hope I can maintain my optimism for a long while!
So all my best wishes to deep and outer cyberspace!  I hope life is warm and happy where you are this evening.  And that as the years are passing you know I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVGW!  Melody

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013! Aack!!!!!

Happy New Year!
I love new beginnings!  It is interesting to me that we start the year over in the dead of winter, when the earth is cold and the daylight is short.  It is a good time to reflect on the past year and to plan ahead for new life and warm weather ahead.  I am planning a garden this year.  I honestly have not felt at all motivated to do that for several years now.  But this year feels different, and I am excited by the prospect of planting seeds and watching them grow.  Maybe it is this new way of eating a plant based diet that has gotten me enthused.  Mel is also excited about it and I think we are going to try to raise a bumper crop of corn, potatoes, beans, and tomatoes.  Of course we will have the other vegetables, but I think we are going to emphasize good storage items.  And I would like to double our orchard too.  We have plenty of peaches now, and apricots, but we need more cherry, apple and pear trees.  And I think we may plant a walnut tree in the front yard....away from the garden.  Anyway, it sounds fun to me.  But I am not unaware of all of the work involved.  We are going to try a few new ideas to cut down on that.  We have several planter boxes to help with the regular veggies.  And our next door neighbor is very good on larger scale production, so we may have to take some needed advice there.  We would like to plant our vacant lot.
One of the blogs I read suggested to pick a word for the coming year...sort of as inspiration.  I think the word I am choosing is enthusiasm.  I want to have lots of it this year!  Enthusiasm for life and all that it holds.  I am feeling enthusiasm these days.  I think I feel so encouraged and enthused about getting a healthier life style, and it is spreading into all areas of my life.  I am thankful for that.  Last night at the Faris' house we ate dinner with the lady missionaries.  They are such sweet young ladies, and I admire their enthusiasm for the gospel.  I think I can improve in that area too.  It is fun to share truth when people are interested.  I will make a more concerted effort to do that!
Well, I guess I will get on with my day.  I hope this finds you full of enthusiasm and joy for the coming year!  Take care, keep smiling, and remember I am pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVWonderful day!!!!  Melody