Friday, May 31, 2013

Art School (Illustrations to Follow:)

Good morning!  I went to my blogger dashboard just now.  How appropriate is that name?  I always feel like I am dashing...even when I am not.  It must have to do with the culture all around us.  Things have to be done quickly!  I really fight that!  I feel like things need to be done well.  And so that does not always allow for quick.  Although I do like things that can be done well...quickly! :)
This morning I am gearing up for the first ever Weyerman art school...out here on the Weyerman (2 acre) ranch.  So far I have had two daughters flake out on me.  Kim's kids are in school still.  Today is their last day, so they will come next week.  And Liz decided it was more important to work on unpacking boxes today while Adrian is home to help her.  So that leaves my daughter Julie, my sister Joy and my friend, Jodell.  Julie is bringing 7 students (my grandchildren), Joy is bringing her granddaughter, and Jodell is bringing a few of her grandchildren...I'm not sure how many.  It is probably good that we are starting out with only a small number.  Next week will be twice as many, because everyone that was supposed to come today will come, plus Amy and her four.  So this is kind of like a dress rehearsal.  I hope we have fun!  And that I can enjoy it too.  I am pretty sure the kids will have a good time.  They just like getting together.
After our school is out, we will be headed for Twin Falls.  My granddaughter, Madeline, will be graduating from high school this evening.  She is a sweet girl.  She is planning on attending the LDS business college in SLC in the fall.
Well, I wish I had something more interesting to write about today.  Maybe the sign downtown?  Here goes...."Nose - the scenter of your face."  It deserves a small chuckle.  I have been watching a series on Netflix that I am kind of enjoying because it makes me laugh...Arrested Development.  I have watched the first 6 episodes.   But last night I decided it wasn't all that funny anymore....and was descending to crude.  I hate when that happens!  So I searched around netflix for something else...and found a Red Skelton show.  But I only watched that for about 20 minutes before I was bored.  OK, right here I should have gotten out a good book, but instead I watched Midsommer Murders on the pbs station.  I am not sure why I love a good murder mystery.  Maybe it is the puzzle aspect of it.
I had better get going.  I hope that things are wonderful and inspired out in cyberspace today.  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Organizing my creative scattered self!

Good morning!  I think today is the beginning of a warming trend here in southwestern Idaho.  That is a good thing for me, but maybe not so welcome to the farmers here.  They are on a water ration this year as the snow pack was not up to snuff this winter.  In Idaho it seems they plan ahead, warning the farmers so that they get their crops in early before the water is shut off earlier.  It makes it hard for them of course.  And we are all praying for rain...interspersed with very lovely warm weather of course:)
And today I am feeling more directed.  I have a list for today of all the things I need to accomplish.  And a very long list it is too.  So I am sure to keep busy.  Oh, and yesterday when I was cleaning my little art room, I found a design book I have been hunting for!  I am excited for that because it was recommended by a good teacher, and I want to study it before next semester.  I read the first chapter this morning.  It is really good.
I also think I will start walking.  It is a little counter intuitive I think, but I am also discouraged with losing weight.  And swimming, although fun, does not seem to be doing the trick.  So I think I will take short ten minute walks, maybe three a day.  And see how I do.  I think some of this knee pain might be psychosomatic...scared that it might hurt.  So I will try it and see.  I do like that nice breath of fresh air in the morning!!!  We have such a nice view too.  I will try it.
And I think I have got to do a schedule for drawing.  I keep putting it off for other things, and I never seem to get to it.  It will help to have my little art school starting tomorrow, but I think like anything else I have to schedule a time for it.  I heard an interesting thing on npr yesterday about creative thinking...from a cartoonist.  Linda Barry teaches at the University of Wisconsin.  She said she teaches classes and gives her students a six minute writing assignment.  She felt that even such a short time was good for your creative mind.  It was an interesting interview.  Here's the link. Linda Barry  Towards the end of the interview she said this, "So it's like when you start to think of the arts as not this thing that is going to get you somewhere in terms of becoming an artist or becoming famous or whatever it is that people do, but rather a way of making... being in the world not just bearable, but fascinating, then it starts to get interesting again." I really liked that. And I thought I need to start thinking of art like that again. I think because of school and grades and such, I have lost a little of what art really is for me. So I think I am going to try to capture that again.  Does this make sense?  It does to me.
Well, I had better get on with things.  I really do enjoy just writing.  I always wish I had some way to illustrate things as I write though.  I could make it so much clearer:)  Take care out there in cyberspace! I am pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together!!!!   HAVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Smiling and Sighing:)

Good morning!  It feels like I live in Oregon today....gray and cool like the ocean is close by.  But of course that would be fantastic.  Then I would hop in my little car and drive over to look at the waves for a while.  I guess I could hop in my car and drive over to the lake and watch....the seagulls:)  Or I could hop in my little car and go watch the machinery run at the shop.  Or I could hop in my little car and go to the art store!  I think I might do that last one because I found that I have very little charcoal...for drawing.  I used to have boxes and boxes, but yesterday when I was going through stuff I found that most of those boxes are empty.  Yes, I still have the boxes!  I really am not good at throwing stuff away.  But I will do that as soon as I have other boxes to replace them with.  I hate to feel like I am out of things I guess.  Must be a mental crutch.  I know that I will keep things in the fridge for the same reason.  I don't like to empty it until I have gone shopping.  I know...it makes no sense at all.  No logical sense anyway.
I have to admit that I am struggling to find enough to do here at home.  I worry about that since I really cannot go to school for the rest of my life.  I just hate how quiet and lonely it is here.  I can stand it for a few hours if I am busy.  But then it kind of makes me crazy!!!  Maybe I will have to make this art school thing a daily thing.......no, that really would make me crazy.  But I will have to solve this problem somehow.  Max is no company for me.  He waits for Mel all day long....either inside or out.  He really is a one man dog I guess.  I keep threatening Mel that I am going to get another dog.  We certainly have the room for it.  And I need the company I think.   Hmmmmmm.....maybe I will swing by the animal shelter later.  I did see a cute little chihuahua there last time I visited.  But I don't want to make him angry.  He is not fond of my animals generally.  We shall see.....maybe a talking parrot:)
Well, I am being silly.  I hope things are happy and well in cyberspace today.  I am smiling on this side of things.  Take care and smile...it looks great on you!!!  Melody

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rocking Away!

Today was a successful day.  Not because I did all of the things I need to do, or even the things that I want to do.  But today I got to hold and rock my littlest grandson, Alex.  It seems like I used to rock kids everyday for one reason or another....then they got older.  Lots of years went by without that lovely rocking.  I can remember catching myself rocking without a baby in my arms a time or two, and I would feel so silly.  Then I became a grandma, and the rocking returned....for lots of years.  And then those grandchildren grew older.  Even Alex is almost two and probably won't want grandma rocking him for many more years.  So today, knowing that, I held him close and rocked him until he was satisfied.  He was frightened by the big swimming pool at the YMCA where Liz and her boys and I went this afternoon.  He had never been in a swimming pool before and he screamed and would not be consoled, and Liz was frustrated, wanting to swim and play with her older boys.  So luckily grandma was along, and Alex and I went to the side of the pool, away from the scary water!  I wrapped him in warm, dry towels and rocked him.  At first he hugged me close and would not let go, but then his grip relaxed and he seemed to find some courage.  Then he was off of my lap, exploring the edge of the pool....laughing and looking back at me for encouragement.  For me, I think it was the highlight of the month of May.  It even beat my hard earned A's from school.  Of course Alex will not remember it.  But I will.  And when I am older and stuck in an old folks home, if you happen to come by and see me off in a corner rocking all by myself...you know what I will be thinking of!  All of those hours I spent rocking children and grandchildren!  Some of my best hours by far!!!  HAVVVVGE!!!  Melody

Dreaming about Doing

Hola! Today I am determined to make progress in some area of my life:)  I just have to narrow it down to something do able.  It seems that I have a lot of areas in which to progress.  Just to name a few...housework....I kind of get stuck there.  It seems there is always a lot of housework to get done.  And mostly because I have accumulated too much stuff.  So I am thinking I will begin to pare things down around here.  Only keep what is necessary, or at least attractive.  That makes me laugh a little.  I think I am a bit of a hoarder.  I can't ever seem to throw stuff away.  I might need it someday.  But I think I will have to get over that fast.  I did clean the pantry yesterday while Mel worked on his mold design.  It is great!  I can actually walk into the pantry!  And I can see that I have food that is usable.  I threw away a lot of outdated stuff.  It made me think I have to buy perishable things in smaller quantities.  I still tend to buy stuff like we are feeding nine people...instead of just the two of us.  I had a 25 pound bag of brown rice, which was at least two years old, probably more like three or four.  I also had lots of other foods that were way past their date, and at least a million plastic grocery bags!  I still have to dump some bottled fruit, but I ran out of steam yesterday.
So I suppose I will do a little housework, then I need to join the rec center so that I can start swimming every day.  It is a long ways into BSU, and so I don't get my exercise.  Walking is kind of out, I can do it, but then I hurt all night and don't sleep.  Riding my stationary bike is a possibility, but it is also hard on my knees.  Swimming is great, just not too convenient.  A friend at church was telling me they have a video for old people, where you just sit and do exercises.  I will have to look for that, but I hate to admit I need an old people's exercise video.
I should also go into the shop and help Mel with the books.  It is not my favorite thing to do, but it is a necessity it seems.  I think I might enjoy it if I knew what I was doing, but I always have to interrupt Mel in his work and ask all kinds of questions.  I am thinking a business class would be a good idea:)
Well, I do have plenty to keep me busy.  I also should spend an hour or two drawing today.  I always have the best intentions, but somehow I don't get it done.  And I have an idea I am kind of excited about developing for a painting.  So there's no good excuse!
I hope things are happy and well in cyberspace today.  And no, we haven't planted our orchard yet.  It seems more expensive than we have funds for this summer, so we may just plant pumpkins:)  Or let the weeds grow back.  They have a good start!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, May 27, 2013

Greetings and Salutations!

Good morning and happy memorial day!  I am enjoying the fact that I have no where to be this morning!  It really is very nice.  And the bonus is that Mel's business is closed for today, so he is home also.  I suppose he will probably work on his designs for some of the day, but I have subversive plans to steal him away!
I am trying to stay positive today.  I am kind of exhausted because I didn't sleep very well.  So I suppose I will have to plan a nap for later.  If I was full of energy....I would clean out my bedroom closet, and the garage!  I could also plant a garden and put new sand in the kid's sandbox.  There are so many choices of projects to do around here:)  Most likely I will do dishes, laundry, and maybe a movie?  I have heard that Star Trek is very good.  We shall see.
Well, I hope all is well and happy and energetic in your part of cyberspace today!  Take care, keep smiling and stay safe!!!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Warm Sabbath Wishes

Good merry Sabbath Day!  I am kind of excited this morning.  I found a site for the church that has all of their films.  This is one of my favorites, about the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the Mormons, or my church:)  Life of Joseph Smith
I love that it states it is true...not partially, or based on a true story.  I love the acting in this film too.  The lady that plays Joseph's mother, spoke at Women's Conference a few years ago.  She was an impressive speaker, and I loved that she took the time afterwards to talk to me and my daughter Kim, who would like to be an actress someday I think.  She talked about the inspiration she received for different roles.  I was glad that someone who portrayed roles in religious movies would have inspiration on how to portray the characters.
Today the choir is singing in church.  We are singing, "Look at the World".  I was able to persuade a few of our younger choir members...ages 8 to 18, to sing the children's parts.  It sounds really good.  I think I learned from this that when a composer as good as John Rutter says that a part should be sung by a certain group (like children) that I should pay attention.  I had kind of fought it, thinking it would be too hard.  But miraculously it just all came together last week.  There were a couple of families with younger children that had come early for other things.  I asked them if they would mind singing with us...the children's part.  They all readily agreed and came up on the stand and practiced with us.  Sometimes I think that I get the help I need to do the best that is possible.  I don't know why I am always surprised by this.  It happens so many times, in so many ways.  I used to notice it constantly in the temple when I worked there.  I know that the Lord wants His work to go forward, and He opens the way that it might.  It is up to us to recognize His hand in our lives, and to do the work that we can do for Him.
I am getting rather excited about my little art class that is forming...mostly for my own grandchildren right now.  Mel and I went and got a sheet of MVF (oops maybe it is MDF...or MVP) board to cut into drawing boards.  It wasn't easy.  We had to go to three different lumber stores before we found the thickness (1/4") that was right.  Home Depot and Lowe's both only had very thick or way too thin.  But our little local lumber yard had the thickness we needed.  I believe it cost twice as much, but it was so nice to find the right size that I didn't mind.  I have a roll of drawing paper from one of my drawing classes, and lots of newsprint also. So I think I am set.  I just need a lesson plan:)  I will probably start with blind contour drawing.  I think the kids will think it is fun, and it is a good practice in observation.  I also want to feature one artist each class time.  I think it was looking at other people's art that first got me interested in art.  Yes, I am kind of having fun planning.
Well, I guess I had better get to the activities of the day.  I hope you have a most joyous and inspired day out in cyberspace today.  How fun to be in cyberspace!  Enjoy it, smile wide, and stay happy and well!  I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!!  Melody

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday....a Special Day!!!!!!!

Good bright and sunny morning to you!  I suppose it is not morning in many places any more.  One of the reasons I love Saturday is that we usually sleep in.  This morning I woke up about 4 with art on my mind.  I have been planning what to do for all of my grandchildren that are coming for an art lesson next Friday.  A few other grandchildren of friends will be coming too.  I think I will have between 15 and 20 students:)  Yeah, it makes me happy to think about.   But also a little nervous.  And worried about facilities.  We do have a 1500 square foot shop...but a pipe froze in there in February sometime when the temps were so very low, and it ruined some of the sheet rocking.  So until that is fixed, we are outside or in the house.  Outside seems like a safer place for charcoal!  I think I am going to have Mel cut a big sheet of masonite or MF whatever board for drawing boards.  That way we can be most anywhere and the kids can sit on the ground to draw.  I suppose we could make drawing horses:)  No, I think that is overkill.   But easels would be nice...eventually.  One baby step at a time.  Right now it sounds like fun.  I hope I still think so when I am actually doing this.
The funny thing is that we may do an art school.  My sister Joy is very good at teaching dance...as are Kim and Julie.  Also we could teach music.  Just sayin'!  It could grow into more than anyone can control!!!  But most likely it will start with a bang...and end with a whimper.  We shall see.  I do have a tendency to be very excited about things until there is actual work involved:)
Well, just wanted to send a friendly greeting and a word of encouragement out to cyberspace this morning!!!!   I am pulling for you big time!!!!  Have a most wonderful day!!!!!!  Enjoy!!!!!  Melody

Friday, May 24, 2013

Best of good wishes!!!

Good evening!  Today has been a good day.  I met my sister and went swimming over at the university.  It really felt good to really exercise.  I guess I have been avoiding it with school.  But now I have no excuse.  So...I guess I had better get used to being wet!!!
Right now I am watching a movie with Mel...To the Ends of the Earth with Benedict Cumberbatch:)  It is a little corny.  But I like his acting, and anything with ocean in it is always fascinating to me.  So I'd better get back to it.   Have a wonderful night!!!  I am pulling for you!!!!!¡Buena suerte!!!!  Melody

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tender Mercies

Good evening!  Probably night would be more appropriate, but then it sounds like an exclamation:)  I just read of a tender mercy of a friend and thought how I have been shown many tender mercies also.  I should probably do better at recording them.  Just this evening, a friend from the ward called and asked if I had a particular piece of music that she needed for Young Women's.  She wanted me to look in my "music closet" at the church.  That made me chuckle.  There is no music closet.  There used to be, but it was all handed over to the stake a few years back.  Now I just have three boxes of music and a bunch of black binders.  I looked for her music in my boxes and couldn't find what she was looking for.  But then I spied, in the spare bedroom closet, a pile of music I had from when I was in Young Women's, I guess.  I looked through it, and at the very bottom was the piece she was looking for.  It was rather unusual I thought, and I felt like I had received special help.
Then last night, when the family was all here, one of my sweet daughters, who has struggled with her testimony for some time now, came to me and asked if I minded that she took a box I had kept for her for probably 8 years or so.  It is a box with her scriptures, patriarchal blessing, religious books, etc.  She had given them to me and said she never wanted them back, but I told her I would save them for her...just in case.  I am glad I did, and so super happy that she asked for them back.  I know that the Lord answers our prayers. Of course He cannot interfere with free agency, but I can see His hand in all things in my life.  And I know that He is concerned for me and my wonderful family.  He does love each of us, and like the story of President Uchtdorf of the little Forget Me Not, He never forgets us.
I am so grateful for that.  Especially now, when I am concerned for my children and grandchildren in this very troublesome time.  Like I said this morning...Life is constantly changing.  I am praying constantly for my family and friends and the world in general.  I know that prayers are heard.  And I figure we all need all the prayers we can get.  And here is a promise to all that I just read again this evening.  It is from the Book of Mormon, Mormon 9: 21
Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
So with that I will just say, Good night! Sweet dreams! And best wishes for your happiness.  I am keeping the faith!!!! Melody

All the Gifts We Share

Good morning!  It is a bright and shiny day here in my two acre wood.  I love mornings when the sun shines bright!  And it goes along with my theme for today...all the gifts we share!  Yesterday was so nice, having much of my family here.  We had such a lovely time...and the food was fantastic!  Kenny and his friend, Nicky, made us a vegetable salad that was very tasty- mint and avocado.  Julie and her daughter, Josie, made us some wonderful Banku and Tomato Okra soup from Africa.  I made chocolate swirl cake:)  That was Kenny's request.  And Kim made the amazing frosting to go on top.  We had lots of fun visiting, playing nose whistles, and Settlers of Catan, and generally just being a family.  I made an announcement that I will be teaching any interested grandchildren weekly art lessons.  Now, I am wondering how I will do that:)  I think it will be fun.
Today I am going with Mel into work.  He has a morning meeting and I will work on the books.  Then we are going into Boise to pick up my car from the airport.  No one wanted to get up at 4 to take Kenny to the airport I guess, so we let him take my car:)  I have to take some books to the bookstore and mail a package.  Then maybe I will head to the art store for some charcoal and paper to teach an art lesson or two:)  Life seems awfully good today.  Isn't it interesting how life is?  Sometimes it's like a roller coaster, and then other times more like gentle waves, but always changing.
Well, just wanted to send a loud hello out into cyberspace today.  And best wishes!  Have a most wonderful day!!!!  I'm still pulling for you!!!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Anticipation!

Good morning!  I am a little tired.  I stayed up way too late waiting for Mel to come to bed.  He is working on a design for a new mold.  I think he worked on it until 1:30 or so.  Then he was up at 6!  I feel sorry for him having to burn the candle at both ends.  But I wish I could sleep through it:)
Today I am cleaning and cooking...anticipating a crowd of family later today.  It's probably silly to clean before they get here...it's after when it will need it!
I keep thinking of the Cottonwood Grill.  We sat out on the patio yesterday.  It is so peaceful and beautiful out there.  There is a pond with lilies and a huge rock with a fountain spouting out of the top.  That brings a funny picture to mind, huh?   And it is by the river, which I think is Boise's best feature.  I would love to do something like that here on our little two acre patch.  Probably way too expensive, and we are getting too old to do stuff like that ourselves.  Maybe after I sell my paintings...you know, when I am rich and famous:)  Ha, ha!  That is really not an aspiration for me.  Although eventually I would like to paint things worth selling.
I have a plan for the summer...as soon as Kenny leaves.  I am planning to paint at least one painting every week...and draw every day.  I hope I can stay motivated.  I really want to make some progress.  It is hard to stay motivated though.  I guess that is why school is so good...deadlines and finals are very motivating.
Have a happy day out in cyberspace today!  Remember...we're all in this together!  Ain't life grand?  Keep smiling...even when it's not.  I will do the same!!!  And laughing!  Gut wan!  Melody

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Look at the World



I found it again!  My favorite video with the Look at the World Song.  It is so amazing!  But I am not sure how to get it to stay on my hard drive.  I am going to keep working at it.  And I got my grades:)  Yep, I did get my A's, although with one A minus.  But hey, an A is an A right?  That is what I am telling myself anyway.  It was just kind of funny, because it was the class I was counting on getting a straight A in.  I got straight A's in both art history classes and my seminar class.  Yep, it was illustration that I only got an A-.  I guess he didn't like my fish:(
So onward and upward.  We had a lovely dinner with Kenny and Nicky and Kim and Shawn at the Cottonwood Grill:)  Tomorrow most of the rest of the family will show up for dinner.  It is fun to be together!
Well, I had better head for bed.  I am tired!  Take care out in cyberspace tonight!  I am still pulling for you!  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

It's Gonna be a Good Day!!!!

Good morning!  I am dashing off this morning to the hair colorist:)  Gotta get those roots lookin' good:) And then lunch with Kim and then....Kenny will be here!  I am a little excited about that.  So the day is looking good.  I hope your day is full of happy reunions and good feelings!!!!  Take care out there in cyberspace!!!  I am pulling for you big time!!!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!  Melody

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gute Nacht!

Good evening!  I had a pretty good day....not the most up day ever, but not the worst down day either.  I did get the shower cleaned!  And ate brownies!  And watched my favorite version of Sherlock...the one with Benedict Cumberbatch from PBS.  I love that it is set in modern times with cell phones and such.  Anyway it was a good escape...although I cried in parts of it.  Then Mel took me to the Olive Garden for soup and breadsticks.  So I got my comfort foods.  Yeah, it is just an emotional day.  Hopefully tomorrow I will feel normal again.  Kenny is flying in after lunch with his girlfriend.  That should be fun to see them.  Wednesday we will have a big family get together.
Life has a way of just going on and on.  I love that.  It makes life bearable.  Well, I hope all is well and happy in cyberspace tonight.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Counting My Blessings!

Good morning!    It is the 20th of May, and thirty years ago on this day, our sweet six year old son, Tommy, passed on to the next life.
Tommy showing his muscles at 4 yrs. old
I miss him every day, but this day and his birthday seem a little harder.  So it is a good day to remember...

















That the Savior came to bring life, eternal life.






















That I have 6 wonderful children that are still here.
That I have 31 amazing grand children that all seem to love me more than I deserve.
This isn't all, but it's hard to get them all together!
That I have a loyal, sweet companion who supports me in every way.
That my father is still here at 90 years old.
That I have siblings and extended family that love me and are close in spirit if not in distance!
A few of them from my dad's 90th















That I have true and loyal friends!
Ha, ha!  Max is a true friend!  But there are many more of the human
kind:)  Just had to make a joke, it was getting too serious!
And that I can still think and remember all of the blessings that I have been given.
In choir we have been practicing this song by John Rutter.  I have left a link on here before, but that link has expired.  I wish now I had downloaded the video, because it was amazing.  But the words are amazing to think about how much we are blessed by the creation of this world.  Here they are: 
Look at the World by John Rutter 
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. 
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. 
Think of the spring, think of the warmth of summer, bringing the harvest before the winter’s cold. Everything grows, everything has a season, ‘til it is gathered to the Father’s fold. 
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. 
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. 
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. All things come of Thee!

Well, I have cheered myself up realizing all of the many blessings I do have.  Now I just need to keep laughing and smiling!  And doing housework:)  And painting.  I think I will start my summer program today.   I hope things are happy and well in cyberspace today!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Unselfishness

Good Sabbath!  It is cold again this morning.  I guess summer isn't here for another month, but it was trying to be here.  It is quite windy out my window.  And the heater is on along with the pellet stove.  So that is my weather report....cold with wind and heaters:)
Last night we went with some friends to a concert.  Jodell is in a singing group...the treble cleffs I think.  Anyway we went to hear her sing.  The funny thing was that we knew several of the people in the group, and the piano player.  I guess Boise is kind of a small community.  It was fun to see people we know and especially the pianist.  She is a very good friend, her husband is the Bishop that Mel was counselor to for about 6 years.  He was there too.  And the singing was great!  Their little group goes around singing for Christmas and Easter...and they charge a nominal fee.  Then the money they make they donate to a charity.  This year they donated around $2000.00 to a pediatric surgery group... International Children's Surgical Foundation.  The doctors go all over the world and perform surgeries for children, to fix cleft palates mostly, but other deforming things too.  The surgeon that accepted the check, Dr. Williams, said that they had just done 36 surgeries in Viet Nam this last month.  I am glad that there are people doing unselfish things around the world.  The world would be so much better if all people would try to be less selfish.  The Savior said,  "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34)  I love that scripture!  It is an invitation to live and to love as the Savior did.  And it is an invitation to become unselfish.
In my life I have learned that when we serve others it brings happiness and a peace within that is very grounding.  I love to serve others.  I think I need to get better at it!
Right now though, I had better prepare for choir practice and get going around here.  Have a most joyful Sabbath! I am still pulling for you!  We're all in this together.  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGS!!!!!   Melody


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dishes and Laundry AGAIN!!!!

Good morning!  It seems like a good day to do catch up....not ketchup, although that also sounds good, but a day of doing all of the stuff I have been putting off for the last semester.  Unfortunately it is also Saturday.  And I have things I normally do on Saturday that won't go away...like laundry and dishes.
Not really mine:)  I grabbed this off the internet!
That is always kind of a funny line to me.  Laundry and dishes are the two things I can always count on being there.  They never really go away!  I can stick clothes in the washing machine, but even as I am washing them, the ones I am wearing are becoming dirty.  And dishes just are.  Even with just Mel and I here we manage to keep them piling up on the counter.  Dusting stays put...once you dust you can rest for a while, knowing that dust will take a week or so to accumulate.  Vacuuming is also once a week for the most part.  Cleaning ledges?  If you can't see it, then it isn't there!  Bathrooms stay clean for a very long time if you do the daily swish as recommended by Flylady.  But dishes and laundry are a constant.  And maybe I should be grateful.  I always have something I can do to look busy:)
Not mine either.  I love the images on the internet!
Today is the first day that I really don't have school work.  And I must admit it feels very nice.  I am really obsessing about grades though.  I keep checking to see what I got.  So far I have nothing!  My little sister Joy has started back to school also.  She has three grades back...two A+'s and an A-.  And she is majoring in psych!  I think school gets easier when you are older.  There is so much less to distract you, and learning is finally fun!
Well, I had better get back to it, before Mel comes in from mowing the lawns and finds me blogging...again!  Actually, he likes that I blog.  Me too.  It keeps my head straight!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
VVVVVVVVVVVVVV
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
VVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!!!!
 Melody

Friday, May 17, 2013

Guten Tag!

Good afternoon!  I have been thinking about Fra Filippo Lippi all morning and into the afternoon.  Not because I particularly wanted to, but because I got an email from my professor about him.  Or rather about my research paper about him.  She said it was an A paper, except that I didn't include any footnotes about where I got my info.  Weird, cause I thought a bibliography was enough.  But no, apparently you have to include footnotes when you paraphrase someone or thing.  I did not know that...even with a degree in English!  I thought it was only for quotes.  Oh well, it made my day very busy trying to hunt down everything I had watched and read.  Actually I had a list in the bibliography, just not specific page numbers.  So I spent a few hours doing that, sent it back to her via email.  I hope that is enough.  It is really nice of her to give me a second chance.  I hope I get that A!
Now I am getting back to the lazier feeling of this morning.  I did vacuum and dust before my visiting teacher got here.  So I think I may continue reading.  I am reading the new Dan Brown book, "Inferno".  It is fun reading as he is running around in Florence among all of the places I have just studied in art history.  Hope you have a great afternoon!  Oh, the sign downtown...Skeptic...one who doesn't believe "know" when he hears it.  :)  HAGW!  Melody

Avoidance!!!!

Good morning!  I am writing to cheer myself this morning.  I think it hit!  The big wave of whooooosh!  It happens when I have been so stressed and busy, and then all of a sudden I am not.  I am not depressed exactly...but I don't have motivation to do anything!  I just want to veg for a while.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon reading and eating and napping, while all around me the dusting and cleaning were shouting at me, "You have company coming next week!!!!"  I managed to ignore the voices, but today I think I will have to start in on my rather late spring cleaning.  So Flylady, here I come!  If you don't know what flylady is, then I am so sorry:)  It is actually a pretty good site for getting your housework organized. ( Link  in case you are interested)  And it is even a little bit motivational!  But not as motivational as knowing my visiting teachers will be here in an hour and a half, and I'd better at least clean the kitchen and the great room....oh and the porch.  We had a big windstorm that blew in about a foot of dirt into the welcome mat a few days ago:)
So my to do list today includes returning a textbook to Amazon that I rented this semester, returning books to the library, and going to the store for food.  Maybe I can put off some of the cleaning:)  Well, I can tell that I really have nothing too meaningful to share today.  Maybe that is a good thing.  Take care out there in cyberspace today!  I am still pulling for you!!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Really, really done!!!!

 So here they are...my illustrations for the semester.  I just sent them to my instructor.  So I am really done!!!!  Whew!
I think I am going to go take Mel out for lunch to celebrate!!!  HAGrrrrrrrrreat rest of today!!! Melody





Painting

Good morning!  I am ready for a day of painting!  I am going to go over all of my paintings for this semester.  I may use photoshop to correct a few things.  I am using real paint on my fish though.  I really feel like I have made progress with acrylics this semester.  I have a long ways to go, but I kind of figured out how to use them in an interesting way...so that they shine!  I like that!  I think it is one of the things about glazes in oil that I like too.
It is a little weird not having school to look forward to next week.  But instead Kenny is coming...and bringing his new girlfriend...from Nigeria.  She looks like a happy young woman.  She has lived in the states for about 10 years I think.  She went to Purdue...so no dummy either.  I am excited to meet her.
But kind of nervous too.
Today I wish that I was flying to Kansas City.  Why?  Because it is the Spectrum Live show.  It sounds like such a fun event, with so many of the artists I admire, and I hope someday to be able to attend.  In the meantime I will practice and keep trying to learn how to be that fantastic!  It is about fantastic art after all:)  Here is a couple of my favorites.
Donato Giancola "Joan of Arc"
Gregory Manchess "Astronaut, 1920"

Well, I guess I will get on with painting.  I hope you have a most wonderful day out in cyberspace today.  I am pulling for you! HAVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Done, Doni, Donato, Done!!!!!!!!

Guten Tag!  Wie geht es ihnen?  I am feeling amazing!  I finished my last final.  Now I just need to submit all of my illustrations digitally...before Friday.  I think I will work on my little fishy tomorrow...one last time.  Maybe I can lighten him up a bit and put the light in the water with more finesse.  At least I will try.
The final went well, except I got a date wrong.  I knew it was wrong.  I second guessed myself.  I should have left it with my first answer...which was right.  But I kept looking at it thinking I should know that better...so I changed it.  Not good, but probably only worth a point or two.  The rest I am pretty sure I nailed.  The essays...I felt like I did well, but like I have said before...they are so subjective.  I know I can write well, just whether or not I got too wordy, or the teacher wanted this or that.  I kept adding stuff.  But it is over!  Now I just need to breathe deep and relax!!!!
A funny thing though.  The guy that sits in front of me, just before the test said, "We have to know dates?  I didn't study dates!"  What the teacher said was that she would be lenient with dates...in the decade.  I hope he did OK.   He is kind of a young kid, so I suppose his priorities are more on the cute girls that sit near by.  There are about 4 of them...smart, cute and all around 20.  It might be distracting for a young male of his age.
Well, I hope things are going well for you today.  Take care and remember I'm pulling for you!  We're all in this together!  HAGrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat Evening!!!!  Melody

The fifteenth of May

Good morning!  I think this kid snippet is kind of funny.  It reminds me of a video I made a few years back:)  I love his pink vest. Kid Snippet
So I am nervousing this morning.  In some ways I wish my final was this morning so I could just be done with it.  But I am really very glad I have a few more hours to stew over things.  It will probably help.  I do have a good sentence now for that image..."Burn yard, Dito!  Sofa knees...Bah!  Anguish soula!"  I don't know why that is easier to remember, but maybe because I get a very vivid picture in my head.  The problem is there are 50 other images to remember.  I think she will probably only quiz us on 10, though.  Go figure!
Well, I just wanted to wish you a very happy day out in cyberspace!  Happy May 15th!  I will be very glad about 4:30...when my final is over!!!  Keep smiling!  Take care!  And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Almost There!

Good evening!   I am at the end of my day and I have almost memorized all of my cards.  The one that is giving me particular fits is this one...  Yes, it is beautiful, but those Italian names are ridiculous!  Still she is a woman painter.  I should be proud of her!  Instead I am trying to find some word association to remember her by.  So far I have...burn yard in a campy painting son of his Ba-anguished soula.  Ha!  It doesn't quite do it for me.  I'll keep working on it.
Sofonisba Anguissola, Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola
I am also working on an essay that compares Michelangelo and Raphael.  I am using the Sistene Ceiling and the Stanza della Segnatura.  They are both gorgeous.  Here is a picture of each.  First two are the Sistine ceiling by Michelangelo.
The whole ceiling at the Sistene

Detail of Adam and God

The second two are the ceiling in the Stanza della Segnatura, and also The School of Athens by Raphael.  I guess this room was used by the pope to sign important documents.  Anyway, I am learning a lot as I try to cram all of this in my head.  I have watched quite a bit on Smarthistory on youtube.  Also Columbia University has a lot on there and one other that I forget the name.  I think I will get this done, at least I hope so.  I am enjoying it.  I like learning and this is so interesting!  And now I know where to look for interesting shows about art history!
Well, just thought I would check in.  I have miles to go before I sleep!  Take care and keep a smile on.  I'm still pulling for you!!!  Melody
Ceiling representing Philosophy, Poetry, Justice and Theology
School of Athens continuing the theme of philosophy

Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael...Oh My!!!

Good morning!   I am back at it.  I have decided to memorize 10 cards an hour...so I should have them memorized by this afternoon:)  I hope it works.  I also need to prewrite the essay and reread my notes.  And then there are those chapters I didn't read yet:(  I may have to do some super skimming and maybe see what I can find to watch on youtube.  It is surprising what you can find there.  They have college lectures on many topics.  I don't know how I ever studied without an internet.  I must have had to go to the library!
Our activity was fun last night.  The Raymonds talked.  They went to Zimbabwe on their mission.  I think it was a life changer for them.  From the way he talked I don't think they had ever known any black people before.  One of the kind of funny statements he made was that the people there are so marvelous that after you get to know them you don't even think of their skin color.  Yeah, it's Idaho.  I worry a little about my two sweet granddaughters growing up here.  But Julie is their mom, and I don't know anyone who could give more of good feelings and support for whatever you need.  But it worries me that skin color might be an issue.  I hope the world has learned a few lessons from all that has gone on since post colonialism.  I mean there was a whole civil rights movement!
Oh well, the fireside was good.  It was fun to see all of their slides.  I guess elephants roam around...and huge spiders!  And they had quite a few pictures of crocodiles and even a hyena.  They said that most of the big animals were in a park, but that elephants, and monkeys were everywhere:)  I thought, "What an experience!  Would I be willing to go where it might get too warm...or have icky spiders...or poisonous snakes?"  Then I thought, "We have that here!  But I have air conditioning, Raid and a snake bite kit:)"  So I suppose I could go where ever I was needed.  I hope we can go on a mission eventually.  It is something I have always thought we would do.
Well, I had better get on with my studies.  I remembered this morning that after my test tomorrow I still have some illustration stuff to get done and turned in by Friday.  So I guess I won't really be done til it is all turned in.  I can do this!!!
I hope your day goes well out in cyberspace today.  Keep smiling!  And laughing!  I am laughing on this side of things.  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Passed!

Good, good!  I think I passed my first final.  I know I got all of the images right.  The rest was essay so it is very subjective.  But it felt good.  And I also got back my research paper for that class with a big fat lovely A on it!  I am relieved!
So, you ask, were there any trick questions?  Well, yes!  Instead of the outside of the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, she showed an interior photo.  I totally guessed that it must be what the inside looks like.  I got home and looked it up, and I guessed right.  Funny, huh?  It is a beautiful church.  I hope to see it someday!  It has an interesting story.  When the whole of Europe was enfulfed in what is now known as the Black Plague, a priest saw a child crying in the woods.  But when he picked him up he disappeared.  He saw him again a few times I think.  Then when he finally talked with him, the child told him he was there to help with the plague. He and thirteen others.  But they needed a resting place.  So they built this gorgeous church.  At least that is how I think the story goes.  You might want to look it up.  I would but I need to study 50 more images!  Aaaaaaaack!!!!
Well, tonight is empty nester's family night.  I would skip it to study, but it sounds so interesting!  A couple who served their mission in Africa are speaking.  So I will take my flash cards along and study them in the intermission:)
I hope all is well in cyberspace.  One more final and then it is summer break for me!!!!  I am sooo looking forward to this!!!  Have a most lovely evening!  Melody

Finals Week!!!

Good morning!  I am feeling better about taking my exam today.  I have the images memorized, now I just have to remember why they are important in the scheme of things.  I almost have that down.  I have an essay planned but not written.  I want to write it out so that when I write it for the test it makes sense.  All in all I feel pretty prepared.  And that feels good.
And I found out I am getting into a class next semester that I need to graduate.  I contacted the teacher and she said she would be happy to let me in.  I already like her!!!  So now I think I will really graduate with my degree in illustration in December!!!  That is kinda cool!
Well, just wanted to spread a little happy vibes your way.  Take care out there in the far reaches of cyberspace!  I am pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together!!!   And HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy and a little sad

Good morning!  It is supposed to reach 93 degrees today!  I think that is pretty warm for May...even in Idaho.  But I am glad.  I am so tired of cold days, that I will trade them for hot.  Besides, we have air conditioning:)  Oops!  I'd better knock on wood.
So in honor of Mother's Day I thought I would include a few snapshots of my mom.  I miss her so much!!!  It makes this day a little sad, but also happy to have been so blessed with an amazing mother!  She was a lot of fun!  You can maybe see that in her pictures.






Mom was a happy mom...I look a little tired!
I think this was taken during Tommy's illness.

And I am enjoying Mother's day, mostly because of facebook.  I like seeing posts of my mom's picture, and everybody else's mom's pictures!  I especially miss her now when I could use a little wisdom and advice.  She was always so good at listening!  And she did give wonderful advice.  I wonder how she knew what to say.  I never seem to know what to tell my kids....or I say too much.  Oh well.  Maybe by the time I am old...;)
So one of the topics at Women's Conference was "Weary Not".  And the question, "Am I enough?"  And I have been thinking of both of those a lot since the conference.  It is hard not to feel weary...with responsibilities, and callings, and such.  I think the Lord knows that.  And so I am being released from my Relief Society teaching calling.  I do feel some relief, but a little sad too.  I love teaching my sisters in the ward.  They are good women who really are trying hard to weary not.  And I liked the feeling that I was helping them to go forward just a little.  But I never got over feeling nervous and not nearly well enough prepared for each lesson. Although I think chocolate definitely helped there!  I am still the choir leader, which I love!  I don't feel weary in that calling at all.  I love leading the choir.  I think the hardest part is not being able to inspire more people to join us.  But I know how hard it is to come.  There are always so many things pressing us to do this or that.  And choir is one more thing.  But it is thrilling to stand in front of an enthusiastic choir singing their hearts out to the Lord!  I think it is my most favorite calling so far...although primary chorister was pretty fun too.  And there was that calling at BYU as the publicity chairman where I got to make posters!
To the question, "Am I enough?"  I suppose I am never really going to be enough...not when compared to the Lord.  So maybe my job is just to point towards Him.  And by doing that I can be the best me.  Mel and I were talking yesterday about my art. I am admittedly a little discouraged at present.  I guess I know enough now to know how far I have to go to become good.  And it is a long ways.  I haven't given up, but I realize I will have to discipline myself to keep at it for many years to come.  And I wonder if I have the drive to do that.  And maybe in the meantime I can do meaningful things.  I really want to illustrate children's books.  And I really want to write the stories to go with those illustrations.  But I am quite unsure of myself.  And so it goes back to trusting the Lord.  Next semester my main focus will be on a senior exhibition project.  So this summer I plan to get some direction of how to proceed in this.  I have thought that I would like to illustrate President Monson's words, "Kneel down to pray. Step up to serve. Reach out to rescue!" Here's a link to that Talk by Pres. Monson.   If I was a student at BYU this would not be controversial....however I am sure I will meet with resistance at BSU.  Still, I might be able to pull it off.  I figure if someone can make a display of 30 ceramic breasts (no, not kidding) or graphic depictions of same sex attraction (not kidding here either), then why can't I paint something to help lead people out of the mire?  It will take some creativity and fast talking on my end of things.  And then a lot of hard work to pull it off.  And perhaps a lot of practicing in oil this summer.  I guess it is up to me...and the Lord of course.
Well, I have gotten a little serious today.  I have been stewing about this for a while now.  And I may have to compromise to please the staff at BSU.  I will have to muddle in this for a while to figure things out.
I hope things are happy and well in cyberspace today.  I found out yesterday that my grandson Bobby Horner is going to be taking his endowments out in June at the Reno temple.  His family is moving there soon. His dad is already working there as an optometrist, and as soon as school is over they will all join him.  I am having to miss his graduation from high school, and so I don't want to miss this, which seems much more important to me anyway.  Bobby is Amy's oldest son from her first husband.  He is leaving for Puerto Rico on his mission in July.
Well, I'd better go get ready for church and choir practice!  Take care and have a most wonderful Mother's Day.  I am pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together.  HAGrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreatWan!!!!  I am definitely planning on it here!!!  Melody

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Day to You!!!!

Good day to you!  I am taking a short break from reading.  I have read all but one really long essay on David...the painter, not the king.  I am enjoying this reading, but my eyes are getting tired!  I just read a really interesting essay on Goya.  I feel bad for him.  He seems to have lost hope in his lifetime.  I think that is the worst thing to lose!  I think it comes after you lose faith.  Not going there!!!!!
Mel is out mowing the dandelions...and the grass in between:)  It is nice to hear the sound of the mower.  It is a riding mower and so it is kind of loud.  That reminds me of when we made a move from a really large yard to a really small one some years ago.  We had a riding lawn mower for a while til we could afford to buy a smaller one.  It made quick work of the lawn!  But the edges were a little wide where the mower couldn't reach:)  Funny memory.
Well, I just wanted to pop in and wish the world well for today.  I had better get back to reading while I am able.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

One o' clock and all is well!

Good morning!  I am pulling another grave yard shift.  I woke up very wide awake about an hour ago, and I can't seem to fall back asleep.  My head is too full of images from the 18th century I guess:)  I did manage to memorize most of the flash cards I need to for that class.  I recorded all of the info on my voice memo on my phone, and then as I drove into Boise to study with a friend, Michelle, at the school, I played it over and over and over and over:)  I think I have all of the images down, not all of the dates yet.  But I am feeling more confident than I did a day ago.  And when I studied with Michelle, we shared our notes of each image.  That will help because our teacher doesn't just ask for identifying things.  She asks us to write all we know about each image.  So it is good to know why each image is important.  When the sun comes up I will continue reading.  I didn't get all of the reading done that was assigned for this semester...sigh!  There is a lot.  But luckily it is not too hard, and even kind of interesting.  It's funny I know.  You would think all of the reading would be interesting.  But often it is written so poorly....not at all clear, with lots of big words to look up, and obscure meanings.  So it is refreshing to read things that are clear and interesting.  However it did put me to sleep last night.  I suppose I should read some more now:)  I just hate to wake Mel up though.  He is a light sleeper and pretty light sensitive.  That sort of makes me smile, as I can just imagine me turning on the light to read and waking him up.  Why would I smile at that?  I used to have a little book light, but that bothered him.  I can read with my iphone kindle, but my reading for this class is printed off from the internet.  So I will wait for the sun to come up.  And in the meantime I will blog and try to get my head straight.
Have you noticed how easy it is to make acquaintances?  People you see often, but you have no idea about them, except that they are friendly and you are friendly back?  I think it is nice to have those kind of acquaintances.  There is a young man at the parking booth at school that I pay my parking fee to that I see every time I park at school.  He is friendly and recognizes me as a regular.  I thought of him, because yesterday I noticed that he was listening to classical music, so I commented that I thought that was great.  He said yes, he listened to it to feel better.  I told him I listened to it to straighten my brain out.  He knew exactly what I meant...I think.  Like I said, I really know so little about him.  It makes me think how really amazing life is.  We really know only a handful of people...maybe 500 or a thousand in our lifetime, unless you are famous:)  Then I suppose it could reach a bunch more.  Of those only a very few we are friends with.  And of those only a very, very few that we feel close and connected to.  It makes me think I should be especially nice to everyone with whom I come into contact.  I try.  Sometimes I get annoyed with complete strangers though.  Usually they are in a car that just cut me off, or a sales person that was rude, or some other silly annoyance.  I think I've got to be better.
Do I sound tired?  Maybe I should stay off of here when it is so early in the morning.  You can see why I have trouble sleeping though.  These kind of crazy, random thoughts just won't leave me alone!  Sometimes I think I should have a job writing, then I could get paid for all of this nonsense!  Oh well.  I think I am headed back to bed.  I will try to calm the stories in my head and get some sleep.  I hope you are sleeping well out in cyberspace...unless you are on the other side of the world.  In that case I hope you are having a wonderful day in the sunshine!  I plan to do that very soon!  Sweet Dreams!  Melody

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Warm Power of the Son

Good morning!  I have already memorized three flash cards!  Only 80 something more to go!  Aack!!  I think I will sit outside and enjoy the day while I memorize.  I really only have to have 34 memorized for Monday.  I have all the way til Wednesday to get the other 50 down.  Funny though, I was just thinking I need a nice lounge chair to sit in out in the sunshine!  I am awfully good at rationalizing good purchases...and side trips.  I'd better just use the chairs I have and get to it.
I have been thinking a lot about Elder Eyring's talk from April conference...It is titled, "Come Unto Me."  Here's a link. Come Unto Me. I listened to it the day before yesterday.  I love how he talks about the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaeus.  I feel like I was there too.  How wondrous it must have been to walk with the Savior...especially to see Him after He was resurrected.  And then the account in Alma of the people who were baptized in the Waters of Mormon...this is an excerpt from his talk...“And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
“Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
“And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.”  (Mine too!)
"We are under covenant both to lift up those in need and to be witnesses of the Savior as long as we live.  We will be able to do it without fail only as we feel love for the Savior and His love for us. As we are faithful to the promises we have made, we will feel our love for Him. It will increase because we will feel His power and His drawing near to us in His service."

I hope when I finally do see Him I will be able to look Him in the eyes and say honestly that I have done my best.  I am trying!  Some days are harder than others for sure!  At Women's Conference someone, I think it was Sister King, said that a mother is only as happy as her most miserable child!  I thought it was funny, but also kind of true.  So my goal is to help all of my children to live the plan of happiness on the happier side.  This world can seem so dark and depressing.  And I think I have to keep a positive outlook and keep pointing the way. I hope I am up to the challenge!
Well, I'd better go sit in the warm light of the sun, and MEMORIZE.  Such a hateful word!  Oops!  Um, errr...I love that wonderful word.  So glad I still have the capacity to do it!  Ha!  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am definitely still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!!!!!!! Melody

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Comic Relief

Here's a bit of comedy...a comic relief as it were, for all of us moms...and dads, too!  Me
P.S.  I've got 44 flash cards done!!!!  Only 40 left!  :)
Imagine!

Flash...cards...ewe!

Good morning!  I am definitely avoiding schoolwork this morning.  I made a really yummy pancake breakfast...instead of the usual cold cereal or oatmeal.   It was nice to enjoy breakfast with Mel instead of rushing to get to school.  Then I did the dishes.  I actually enjoy doing dishes anymore.  I like the hot soapy water and the way it feels on my hands.  I used to particularly hate this chore.  It's funny that it is something I enjoy now.  Maybe it has to do with the memories of washing dishes with family members over the years...before mechanical dishwashers.  I like to remember how fun it was just to be with my sisters and brother, fighting over who had to wash the pans, or dry the silverware.  Funny memories now.  After the dishes I cleaned the dusty coffee table and end tables.  I haven't really dusted for ages, so I used a wet cloth and then dried them.  I am anxious to only have house work for a while.
But now I need to get back to the chore of flash cards.  I have made 10...so 74 more to go.  It is a good exercise, because as I make the cards I do a lot of memorizing without too much effort.  But when they are done, I will have to start the real drill....ugh!  Tomorrow I am going to meet with a friend from one of my classes to study for a couple of hours.  We can go over concepts together.  That will help.  And maybe I can get some ideas for the essay we have to write for the tests.  I am trying to enjoy the process, but I don't think it is working yet.  I will have to turn on some good music or something.
This morning Mel and I were talking about the lawn.  There is a new lady in our ward.  I was asking Mel if her name was Lala, or Laila.  Mel laughed and said that it was Lana...like the lawn.  So that is why we got onto that topic.  The dandelions have kind of taken over.  Mel only got part of the lawn fertilized, so the rest is full of those beautiful little puffs of weed.  He is kind of upset by it.  He is really pushed for time.  But he hates to hire an expensive lawn service.  So I suggested maybe we could hire an inexpensive teenager.  He then said, "Maybe goats."  Which made me laugh because he hates goats. So then I said "The white house used to use sheep.  They would tie about four of them together and let them roam around the lawns."  Mel then said, "Hey, you on the left, eat faster!"  I puzzled over why he thought that was funny.  Then he said, "You...e-w-e!"  He does have a quick mind.
Well, I guess I have shared a funny moment.  Now for a more serious one....nope.  Nothing.  Maybe later.  Take care.  Have a most wonderful, joyous, happy, inspired day.  Life is filled with wonder!  Keep smiling!  Melody

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Caravaggio, the name says it all!

Howdy, howdy!  I turned in my paper today for seminar.  I must admit it was not the best paper I've ever written.  But I am glad it is turned in.  In illustration class I got a little encouragement on my fish.  Only a little.  He felt I had gone too dark and that the rays of light from the top were too directional.  He's right of course.  I ran out of time yesterday.  And I can't get back to it until next Wednesday.  I did talk him into letting the whole class have until Friday to turn stuff in.  So maybe I can work on it next Thursday.
Tonight Mel has a bishop's meeting.  I will use the time to make more flash cards.  I wish I could get more excited about this.  I just don't think information learned so quickly sticks very long.  I hope I can get it to stick for the final.  I have one on Monday for 18th century art history and Wednesday for Renaissance art history.  So it will soon be over!  I am glad!
Today we talked about Caravaggio in Renaissance.  I love his artwork.  It is so passionate, and of course he had no trouble with light!  He did something called tenebrism, where you make extreme contrasts between light and dark.  He had a very sad life though. He was continually in fights and even killed someone...not sure if it was an accident.  My teacher said they exhumed his bones to test to see if he had been poisoned when he died at only 38.  I guess they found that he may have been, it wasn't conclusive.  But what they did find was that he had lead poisoning...which might explain his violent temper.  He probably got it from the paint!  Kind of sad.  But I still love his paintings!  Here is one or two of my favorites.  Notice how strong the light is in each of these.  It makes me want to get out my oil paints!  Maybe I will when school is over.
The Supper at Emmaeus
Conversion
I am hoping that I can just pass my classes about now.  I suppose that sounds a little silly, but I am not confident about testing anymore.  I used to have a mind like a steel trap!!  Ha!  Maybe that is just folklore.  I remember it that way, but it ain't necessarily so!
I guess that is all I have to tell you this evening.  I am kind of tired...as usual.  I don't like it when I ask my kids how they are and they answer, "Tired".  But that is my answer lately.  I think I might sleep all summer long...like old Rip Van Winkle.  I love that story!  It would be fun to illustrate and draw that really long beard!  It used to be one of my favorite stories as a child.  It was amazing to think someone might fall asleep and not wake up for years!
Have a wonderful evening!  I am still pulling for you.  We're all in this crazy stew together!  Stay happy and well!  Melody

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Long Day's Journey into Night

Good evening!  Here it is....ta...dada...da!!!!!  The FISH!
Here...fishy, fishy, fishy!  
Ha, ha!  It is finally done....?  No, but it is gut enuff!  I really struggled with this little fishy.  So it will just have to do.  It kind of brings to mind that sketch by Ernie and Bert...or as my kids called them...Burney and Urt!  Remember?  They are in a fishing boat and Burt is complaining about how bad the fishing is, so Ernie says something like you're doing it all wrong!  Then he calls..."Here, fishy, fishy, fishy!"  And tons of fish jump into the boat.  It has got to be one of the best sketches on Sesame Street.  Of course, it's probably not on there anymore.  It is sad to me how much they have eliminated.  I used to love all of the wonderful songs and sketches on there.  It was fun to watch it with the kids.
Well, I am all set for tomorrow.  I finished my curatorial essay too.  It feels so good!  Now I just have to memorize flash cards...I think there are 85 total.  I don't know if my head can do this.  But I will give it the old college try!!!
And in the meantime, it is time for this old fisherwoman to hit the sack.  I hope things are wonderful and well in cyberspace this evening.  Take care, keep smiling, and Compromise!!!  Ha,ha!  I'm still pulling for you!  And laughing!  Not the maniacal kind...yet:)  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Feelin' Good!

Good morning!  I am waiting for paint to dry on my sunfish.  I am finishing the water today and it is giving me fits.  But I can do this!  Patience is the key...especially between layers.  I have been painting a layer and then coming in here to make my flash cards for the finals next week.  I don't like painting in here very much.  It is too cramped feeling.  I like painting in the kitchen/great room area.  So I use the kitchen table and sit in the nook by the windows.  It is nice and bright and I can turn on the radio or even TV.  But I find TV a little more distracting.  This morning I have just been painting in silence.  Truthfully it has been kind of nice.  But I may turn on some noise to distract myself a little from the frustration of being a newbie.  Acrylics are so different!  And kind of fun.  I guess I like a challenge!  Certainly I do or I wouldn't be attempting this at all.  Some days I feel a little silly or crazy even attempting this.  And it doesn't help when a teacher says it takes 20 - 30 years to learn it well.  But I have to remember that Del Parsons said it could be done in a few years if you practice hard every day.  I think I like that idea much better.
Besides this painting I need to finish my essay for Seminar.  I am a little stuck on how to make it sound cohesive.  Part of me says, just do it.  The other part of me says, yeah, but do it right!  I think I will try the second suggestion.  It's funny, it makes me think of the angel/ devil on your shoulder thing.  But instead of an angel and a devil, it is me...lazy on one side, over-achiever on the other.  Neither one is probably the best to listen to.  I suppose I should reach a happy compromise and stay sane.
Well, I hope all is well in cyberspace today.  I will post the results of my fish later if I can make it successfully.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, May 6, 2013

Family Night the World Around!

Good evening!  I am glad to be home again.  School was a little hard today.  Not sure why.  It may be that I am a little tired, but I think it is because it is coming to an end.  I turned in both of my research papers.  That felt very, very good.  And I got back some grades for my seminar class.  That may be what has got me down a bit.  I expected to get an A on one of my projects and the grade came back a B+.  It was the one I did on post colonialism with another student in class.  I thought we did rather well, and really expected a higher grade.  But then I think at BYU I would have been ecstatic over a B+.  It is all relative...and so subjective!  So I will pretend it is 40 years ago and smile...wide!!!
On the way home from school I stopped to get a swimming suit.  Mine has gotten so old that I was afraid to be seen in it.  It is not fun shopping for a swimming suit.  It is hard to stand in front of a full length mirror and see the evidence of 63 years on earth.  It is probably another reason why I am feeling a little down.  I used to like looking at myself in a full length mirror:)  But I suppose it has been some time since that was true!
I am trying to think what amazing thing happened today.  And I guess there was one thing.  At women's conference they talked about letting other people know our good feelings about them, so I thanked a young, sweet girl in my class for being my friend.  She is always friendly and smiling and she helped me last week when I was feeling so discombobulated in class.  I had done the power point, and felt so nervous, and I couldn't figure out how to remove my flash drive from the computer.  I was feeling very frustrated, and very old.  I hate feeling stupid about computer technology.  She came up in front where the computer was and patiently showed me how it was done.  I just wanted her to know that it meant a lot to me.  She hugged me and told me how much she liked me, and that I had helped her and the rest of the class survive more than once by speaking up for them all in another class we have together.  It felt good.  I have to add a little note here though.  In seminar class this morning we finished the rest of the power points, and about half of the people could not figure out how to remove the flash drive!  So maybe it was just tricky on that particular machine and I am not as old as I feel in there:)  One can only hope.
Well, I hope all is fun and frolicky in cyberspace this evening.  It is family night after all.  I am hoping Mel will want to watch a nice church movie and pop some popcorn or something fun and relaxing and not at all studious!  Take care out there!  I'm still pulling for you!  And reminding myself that we're all in this together.  I don't suppose you can hear those drums.  They seem to be outside my window whenever I think of two finals next week!!!  Eeeeeeck!
 HAVVVVVVVVVVVVGFHE!!!!  Melody