Friday, January 31, 2014

Change of Plans

Good evening!  I forgot to mention that Randy got two job offers in Oklahoma City. So they plan to move the 1st of March. I am happy for them. But sad for me. It has been nice to have them close. I will not miss their dogs though;). Four dogs in the house is too many!  
I didn't do any painting today after all. I got all set up and realized I had left my painting medium at school. They use gamsol at the school with walnut alkyd. And the only place to get gamsol in town is in my classroom or at the schools bookstore. So I took a trip over to my classroom at school and got some gamsol. I will paint tomorrow or Monday. It was a little disappointing.  But I liked having lunch with Mel. I picked him up on the way over to school. So we had a nice unexpected lunchdate. 
Tonight we are watching the Butler on TV. It is playing as I type. So I'd better sign off. Take care and HAGN!  Melody

Ready, Set......Go Paint!

Good morning!  It is another sunny day here.  I am loving seeing the sky again.  It makes me feel warm and sunshiney inside.
So today I have homework....a still life imprimevera.  It should be fun and interesting.  Yesterday my teacher was talking about how he always has to clean something in his studio before he can start painting.  It orders his mind somehow.  And I thought... well, I do that.  But blogging does it much more thoroughly.  Somehow by writing things down, it orders my mind so I can think more clearly.   So this morning I have cleaned the kitchen thoroughly so that that part of my brain is not nagging me.  And now I am blogging, so that I can think and paint more clearly.
I took a picture of my painting from yesterday to share.  It is the beginning of the dead palette layer...which is painting the lights with an earth palette.  It is far from done, but you can kind of get an idea of what we are doing.
I am enjoying the process.  Although I must admit I stink at it.  But I will keep working at it.  It is tons of fun.  And I think I am not doing any worse than the rest of the class.  We are all trying hard to be fantastic:)  I am still struggling with mixing colors.  But I think I am getting better at it with each attempt.  And I have a new palette that is so ordered!  Well, as ordered as I can make it.  I tend to be a little messy with paint.  But I am learning to be more thoughtful and to place my paint intentionally.  I do have to fight myself a little on this, because I have some bad habits.
Well, I guess my mind is in order now.  I will set up my still life and get painting.  Have a most wonderful day today in cyberspace!!!  I'm still pulling for you!!!!  We're all in this together!  Melody

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blue Skies Smiling!

The big news here toda was the sunshine!  It is a real mood changer. Everywhere I went today it was the main topic. Class was great. I am still learning so much. We tried a "dead" palette over our imprimatura painting. It is hard but fun. 
After class I went swimming !  Then I met Mel at the temple. So it's been a busy day. Now I am headed for bed. I hope all is well in cyberspace!  Gute Nacht!  Melody 
 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hanging out in my Studio

Good evening!!!!!!   I am definitely hiding out!  I am in my art studio.  I just finished a bit of homework for my painting class.  I had to make a painting chart for mixing paint.  I am excited to start this.  It is going to be super helpful when I am looking for what color I need.  And just making it will be very educational.  I think I am finally going to get smart about mixing paint!  Today I just made the chart outline.  We will actually put paint on it over the whole semester.
The other thing I have been hiding out doing is bills.  I pay most of them online.  But I am somewhat of a control freak, so I have to push the buttons for myself.  Probably because I signed up for bill pay with our bank some years back and they paid my bills late.  They apologized....they were kind of new to the whole idea.  But it has made me a little distrustful.  Maybe I will come around one of these days.  Stranger things have happened!  But in the meantime I like to pay each bill myself and check to make sure it is all done right.
I guess the other reason I am hiding out is because it is a way to get a little quiet, alone time.  It is hard to get here these days.  It is not ideal, because the walls are not too thick.  But it is helpful to be able to close the door and concentrate.
So that is my rather simple day.  I hope all is going well in cyberspace.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGE!!!!!!  Melody
P.S.  Have you seen this?  Dad Life

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On endorphins I think:)

Hola!  I thought I should report the wonderful class time I enjoyed today.  I did manage to get all of my supplies into class.  But even so I borrowed a brush from my teacher when he offered.  It was a really amazing brush too!  An Utrecht scenic fitch brush..1 1/2 inches.  It was so thick and held the paint so great for the initial coat of paint for my imprimatura painting, which is fantastically fun.  I think I may adopt this method for all of my paintings.  Of course, it is just a start right now.  But I really like it.  We are supposed to do a still life for homework, so I will post it when I get it started.
I do love this class!  It is what I took art for....to learn to paint....really paint.  And I am learning that...finally!!!!  Today I think I learned about 5 or 6 new things.  I was going to list them, but I think it might bore you...and you'd realize how little I know!  I feel a little like a beginner in there.  I guess in all truth I still am a beginner.  But that is fine, if I can learn how to become better at painting.  I am so happy and grateful to be taking this class.
After class I went swimming.  I am going to report that along with everything else.  I think it will be an incentive to keep at it if I know I have to report in:)  I always am so surprised how much I love swimming.  I guess it was my family's main recreational activity growing up.  Sadly, Mel does not like swimming very much.  He almost drowned as a youngster, so even though he is a good swimmer, he feels insecure in the water.  Too bad because it is really such a relaxing way to exercise.  And as I mentioned before I love sitting in the hot tub afterwards.   It is a good way to feel like I am warm.  It is so cold here this winter with the inversion.  I will be glad for some sunshine.  It is forecast for the end of the week.
Well, I am flabbering again.  I better head for bed.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I'm still pulling for you!!!  Sweet Dreams!!!!!  Melody

Fretting

Good merry morning!  There's not much of it left here.  And when it is almost finished I will leave for school.  I want to get there a little early so I can run a few errands....like picking up my parking permit.  Right now I only have a receipt that I place on my dashboard so that they won't ticket me.  But it is only good until Friday.  I also want to visit the administration building and inquire about my diploma.  I still haven't received it!  Perhaps they are correcting the major I graduated in.  I mentioned that I was listed in the program as a geo sciences major, didn't I?  It still makes me smile.  But I worked hard for that little piece of paper and I want to make sure I get it!!!
I have a ton of stuff to lug to class today.  I am a little worried it will be impossible to carry it all in the building in one trip.  They do have a loading zone, so I may use that.  I feel like I am a little over prepared.  I hope I am not forgetting anything essential!
Yes, I am fretting.  It is a bad habit.  I have been working on changing it to a good habit for about 40 years I think.  Instead of fretting I prepare!  But in this case I have prepared until I have nothing else to do!  I suppose this will be something I have to answer for in heaven...."Melody, do you fret?"  "Why yes, but I am very prepared!!!  And I hardly ever murmur:)"  Sorry, I suppose I shouldn't joke about it.  But it is kinda funny!
Well, I mostly just wanted to send some cheer your way.  I hope the day is good.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Monday, January 27, 2014

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Hi!  Today is my laundry day again.  So I have been watching TV while I fold the clothes...and watching youtube, too.  I watched Sherlock,, which I think is one of the best series on TV.  You can watch the first two series on Netflix, and then the third series just started.  Here is a link if you don't get it where you live.  PBS /Sherlock  There are links to watch the first two in series three.  Then I watched this cute kid snippet about Antiques Roadshow.  You might get a kick out of it, but I will warn you that I am a little silly today.  Antique Roadshow  I think I am tired.  The weekends kind of do that to me.
Tomorrow is my painting class again.  I am so anxious to begin a painting.  Silly me.  I know I will get totally frustrated at some point while I am painting.  This usually happens because I can't paint as well as I can imagine and see.  But hopefully the joy of pushing a brush around on a piece of paper will cure the frustrations.  It really is a pretty fun process.  And I am thinking I will like learning.  I have my painting box restocked, and new brushes because my old ones are pretty ruined:(  I hadn't checked on them since my last painting, and apparently I didn't wash them well enough, because the bristles had become stiff.  This is especially sad because I had some very nice brushes.  Oh well.  Live and learn as they say.  I don't know how to rescue them once that happens.  Maybe I can find something on youtube or the internet.
What else can I report?  Mugsy is a cute dog, but he has started barking...a lot.  So I am going to have to figure out how to minimize that.  I know they have those bark collars.  Which brings to mind a funny story.  Several years ago I took a dog training class with a dog that Liz brought home from her work.  There was a box of puppies left in the parking lot and so she had to have one!  He grew very large, very fast, and was totally unruly.  We figured he was part razorback and pit bull and back hoe.  I figured I could learn how to train him right, if  I enrolled in this class offered through the city.  The trainer was really funny.  He was a no-nonsense kind of guy....dogs should be well-mannered!  No exceptions.  This big dog I took was not!  And his neck was huge, and he was really strong.  He kind of pulled me all over the place, even with the mean, spikey, chain, training collar the trainer told me to get.  Anyway, every lesson was a battle, and the trainer would take my dog to teach him whatever, when I could not.  He told me at some point, "This is not the dog for you!  He is too strong.  You need a littler dog!"  Anyway, the part I was getting to was when he was teaching us how to get our dogs not to bark.  He said that he would not do anything to a dog that he had not tried on himself.  Apparently he had bought a large bark collar....that zaps with a bit of electricity...and tried it on himself:)  Yeah, I couldn't believe it either.  He said it really gave him quite a jolt!!!   I can't remember now if he thought it was a good piece of training equipment or not.  But I kind of think not, because I remember him saying the trouble with the collar was that dogs quit barking altogether, and that you wanted them to bark sometimes.  Like when a stranger comes to your door.  Sorry, it was just such a funny experience.  I grew to really love that dog, but he never could be trusted around little kids.  So when our grandkids were visiting we had to lock him away.  And then one of our daughters moved home with her family for a while and we had to give him away to keep everyone safe.  We took him to the pound.  I hope that someone without children found him.  He knew how to heel and sit and come, just not how to stay and not knock over children!  I think he could have been better trained with a stronger owner too.  Sigh!  I still feel bad about that.
Well, I hope life is treating you well.  I feel pretty good, except for my knees bothering me, and my chest hurting occasionally:)  It really isn't bad.  I suppose it might be if I had to hike across the country or something, but I mostly stay home.  Even at school I don't walk far.  I do swim though.  That is lots of fun....especially the nice hot tub we sit in after we have done our laps.  Life is good!  Take care and keep smiling.  And have a wonderful Family Home Evening!!!!   Melody

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Night News

Shalom!   It has been a good Sabbath day.  Taylor came with us to church again.  He is 11 now.  It is hard to believe he has gotten so old.  And he really enjoys going to church.  So he has been coming over on Saturday so that he can go with us on Sunday.  Of course, I think there is the added bonus of several cousins here:)
Julie gave the Relief Society lesson on President Monson's talk from Relief Society's conference in October.  Here's a link to the talk.  We Never Walk Alone  She did really well.  I know she was nervous, but I couldn't tell.  She seemed to be very calm.  And it felt good to be her mom:)  I am glad she is such a sweetheart.
Choir was interesting.  Only two men and five women.  I guess I am going to have to bake orange rolls again, it seems to lure in the young people....and men.  It is kind of at a bad time....two hours after church ends.  People go home and want to stay there. I am going to have to figure out how to have it before church I think.  The trouble is there is no room at the church then.  I will think on it.
Tonight is a new episode of Sherlock!  It is my favorite of PBS's masterpiece mysteries.  I like the character of Sherlock that Benedict Cumberbatch portrays.  It is fun.
Well, that is all the news of today.  This is me speeding along!  HAVVVVVVVGN!   Melody

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Speeding Along!

Hi!  I just put the last coat of a mixture of matte and glossy medium on a couple of sheets of printing paper I had here in the studio.  It is going to be my canvas for the next couple of paintings.  It is way cheaper than canvas, and while we are learning, the teacher suggested we do this.  I am getting anxious to begin.  But of course it will be hard and frustrating and all of the above at first.  It's funny, most of my art teachers have a statement about that in their syllabus.  I guess it is for those temperamental artist types.  I don't usually throw things, but I guess there are those that do, because we always get a lecture at the beginning of the semester about unacceptable behavior.
We went to the temple again this morning.  We are trying to be more consistent with this.  So that is good.  It wasn't so crowded this morning.  And it was nice to escape to somewhere so peaceful and orderly:)  It is actually pretty quiet here at the moment.  Everyone has gone off for the day except for Mel and I.  It almost feels too quiet:)
So the sign downtown...."Microwave - a tiny greeting".  I always wonder where they get the material to put on their sign.  It is pretty consistently amusing.  I am not even sure which store does it though, so I think it is not particularly good advertising.
And so it goes.  The continuum of life.  I saw an old friend in the temple....Jan Larson.  She is from Pleasanton.  They moved here about a year or so ago.  It was fun to see her.  We used to be very good friends back when our kids were small.  She has a daughter that is Amy's age.  They used to play together when they were about 4.  Amy is forty-one, so it has been a while ago.  It felt good to visit with her a little.  She has 4 or 5 boys too I think.  They are all grown of course with kids of their own.  It makes me wonder where all of the time went.  It has all gone so quickly!
Well, I hope time is passing a little slower for you out in cyberspace, and that all is well and happy.  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!  We're all in this speedy vehicle together!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVGreatEvening!  Melody

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Air Apparent- Yep it's still foggy here!

Good morning!  Today should be a good day.  I am gathering painting supplies...from my studio and from the store.  I am kind of excited to renew my paint supplies.  I have a real fondness for good brushes and fresh paint.  I have most of the colors I need, except for about 4 that my teacher wants us to have in our palette.  My brushes are not at all like what he wants us to have though.  Most of mine are too small.  I hope I can paint with larger brushes.  It will be fun trying.  I am super excited to try  the indirect method of painting.  It really is beautiful....at least it is when you know what you're doing.  The first step, imprimatura is especially beautiful I think.  Here is an example of that.
So I plan to really learn the method and practice, practice, practice!  After we do this method for a few weeks we will do direct painting.  It is so challenging to learn new things at my age!  But I love trying.  It certainly makes life interesting and fun.
On the home front...I am enjoying all of the noise and confusion of a large family.  Every once in a while the herd of dogs running through the middle of everything kind of gets to me.  But they are even becoming part of the normal.  Although I will hope that warmer weather comes soon, and they can run around in the backyard more.  Mugsy is turning out to be a really sweet little dog.  He trains pretty easily for a small animal.  Perhaps it is because of all of the other dogs that he is learning the potty routine so fast.  I am glad.  He is a real sweet personality...eager to please, sensitive, and playful.  I feel lucky to have him.
And that is about it.  Life continues to surprise us with its twists and turns.  But we are hanging on and trying to enjoy the ride.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am pulling for you!  We are definitely all in this together!  Have a most wonderful day!  Melody

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Late post

Good evening!  It has been a good day. My art class was wonderful again. We are learning how
 to paint indirectly. There are three stages to the painting and our teacher demonstrated each stage. I love watching him paint. He is very careful to mix the colors correctly.  I am learning a lot just watching.
Well that's all I have time for. It's late. Sweet dreams!  Melody

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Good News!

Good evening!  Just thought I would share a little drama, and explain my screaming dream.  Last week, Kenny's girlfriend's father was kidnapped in his native African country.  I don't want to say too much about this, except that we were asked by Kenny to pray for his safe recovery.  And I just received word from Kenny that he was returned home safely today.  I am soooooo grateful.  It has been a little stressful for us all, especially since there was so little we could do or say...except to pray.  Once again I am humbled to know that my Father in Heaven hears my prayers...and all of our prayers.  He loves us each so much.  And I am glad to know that.
It is true that life seems to have much in the way of trial and grief.  I have had my share, and expect to have more.  I am very convinced that it is important to our growth and maturity to experience the things we can only experience here in mortality.  But I am always hopeful for a happy ending...  And I am glad we have had a couple this week!  And of course, I believe in the eternities we will all have happy endings.  So with that I will sign off.  I hope all of your life stories have happy endings!  Melody

Screaming!

Good morning!  I am glad it is daylight!  I had a weird night last night...I woke up screaming...very loud.
The scream from Psycho :)
 I scared myself and Mel....and Jacob and Josie and Julie and Randy!  I guess they all heard me screaming.  I hate to admit it, but it's not the first time I have woken up screaming.  This time I think I was dreaming that I was being kidnapped.  I could see this man's face even after I woke up.  It was so scary...and so embarrassing!  I hate realizing I have shared my dream with the whole household!  Oh well.  I suppose it is just one of those idiosyncratic things about me.  Mel says it is always surprising to him.  And he is never quite sure what to do.  Until I am fully awake I usually think he is part of the dream.  Usually I dream nightmares about spiders, and I don't scream so loud.  In this dream I remember thinking that I needed to scream as loud as I could so that someone would hear me.  It worked!  And this morning my throat is still sore:)  Kind of funny now that the sun is up.
So speaking of scary things...Kim is doing much better since her MRI came back normal.  They couldn't see anything that might be causing her headaches and dizziness.  No extra vein!  So she is very relieved and I think that has helped a lot.  Her chiropractor said he might be able to help.  He is pretty smart.  He's the one who wanted her to get the MRI before he worked on her.  I hope she can get some relief from the dizzy head!
In other news, my class is wonderful!!!!  I have already learned a ton that I didn't know before....about gesso, and gloss and matte mediums, and oil paint transparency and opacity.  He talked about mixing colors and how different kinds of paint can make the value change, so if you are clueless (like me) you might change the value without realizing it.  I am sure that it will help to be aware of things like that.  Usually the first class of a semester is short...teacher hands out syllabus and you leave.  His class took the whole 2 1/2 hours.  He spent the whole class giving great instruction.  Like I have said before, he is a marvelous teacher.  I guess I have not really ever learned the basics of oil painting.  It has always been assumed that everyone already knew everything.  And some of the students do.  But most of us are pretty inexperienced, and we need to know:)
I am beginning to sound like a TV commercial, so it is time to get on with my day.  I am going to Glenn's Ferry today to visit Amy.  It should be fun.  I hope all is well in cyberspace today!!!  Take care and remember....:)  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Let there be peace on earth!

Good morning!  More fog and gray weather here today.  But I am not feeling foggy and gray.  In fact I feel very happy to be starting another class today.  The class is officially called "Life presence-Painting".  I think I will learn a lot about how to paint people, which is especially challenging to me.  I have a hard time finding good paint combinations for shadow and light.  So I am hoping to get some real instruction with this.  And it is nice to have a good instructor.  If he was not teaching this class I wouldn't take it.  So all is good.
The other thing I am starting back up today is swimming.  Joy is going to meet me at the pool after class every Tuesday and Thursday.  That will make it fun to exercise.  We love to visit, and it makes the time go so quickly!  And I do need to get back into some kind of routine.  If I get two days out of the way, then I will only have one more, so I figure Mel and I can do something together on Saturdays.  We shall see.  I am trying to walk more but my knees still complain rather loudly when I do.  But bicycling might work if we started out slow.  My knee doctor suggested I use the stationary bike and adjust it so the seat was up higher.  Unfortunately the stationary bike is in the very crowded shop out back...with Julie and Randy's earthly possessions.  I suppose we could bring it back in the house, but I am not sure where to put it.  Maybe in our bedroom.
Well, I guess I am just flabbering some more today.  I think I should come up with some meaningful thing to say, but not much comes to mind.  I guess mostly I wish the world would sing in perfect harmony!
Wouldn't it be great if people practiced kindness and good will?  I think the media might be a little bored though with nothing bad to report.  Maybe it would change and they would start reporting the good in the world.  Wouldn't that be amazing?  I suppose it could happen.  But only with a whole lot of repentance.  I remember a song that we sang at my high school baccalaureate...."Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."  Wise words I think.  So I will work on my small part today.  Maybe it will help someone else to have peace.  One can only hope:)  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!  Melody

Monday, January 20, 2014

Good in the World

Good morning!  It is another day of foggy inversion here.  Up here on our hill it is not too bad, but when you go into town it is pretty dense.  It is my last day of no school. My class starts tomorrow.  I am kind of excited, kind of not.  But it is only one class so I should be able to do this.
Yesterday was a good day...but busy!  Mel's talk went well.  He really does know how to speak.  And his talk was quite an emotional one, using quotes from the general authorities about our family members who have strayed and the hope and comfort promised to parents of wayward children.  At one point I noticed all of the bishopric pulling out their handkerchiefs and wiping their eyes:)
My presentation went OK for Sunday School.  I did bring the real painting after all.  It made me very nervous...I shook most of the class before and after I had to share.  But my family says I made sense.  I wasn't sure I had because I was so nervous!  Liz and Taylor and little Alex came to our ward yesterday, along with Julie's family, so we had quite a good showing of family.
The rest of the day was choir and then dinner and visiting.  I felt very good but very tired by the end of the day.  How very blessed I feel to have family and friends so dear!
Today is my day for laundry.  With so many bodies in our house right now, it is hard to get near the washing machine!  The other machine that gets a lot of use is the dishwasher!!!!  How very grateful I am for modern machinery that makes my work so easy.  I grew up hearing tales of the olden days, when my grandma and her sisters used to wash and iron sheets for the hotel that their family owned.  It must have been quite a lot of work!
Well, I hope all is happy and well in cyberspace today.  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Evening Post....volume 2000:)

Good evening!  It has been a day.  We are nervous about Kim.  She had her MRI this morning and the procedure made her head hurt more than usual.  So she is resting and taking it easy.  We will know more on Monday I guess.  Sometimes waiting can be the hardest part.
Mel is giving a talk tomorrow in Sacrament meeting.  He is a wonderful speaker.  Speech was his major in school....speech and drama:)  It makes me smile to write it.  He is a great actor too.  But he is a tool and die maker now.  Funny how life turns out.  Anyway, he will do fine, but it has him a little anxious. I don't think it is easy for anyone to speak in church.  I get way more nervous, but I don't do as well.  I am glad it is him speaking, and not me.  Although I will be doing a small bit in Sunday school gospel doctrine class.  The teacher wants me to talk about my "Whispers" painting.  I don't mind, but I wish it was a better painting.  I am taking a small print, so maybe it will be harder to see:)  I would take the real thing, but it is large...and I already gave it to Julie and Randy.
So I guess things are good.  It feels a little weird today.  I cannot help but worry.  I do wish there was a button to push and turn it off.  I know that the worrying will help though....right?  The more I worry the better the outcome:)
Well, I should get back to life in the real world.  I hope things are well and happy in cyberspace tonight.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGreatEvening!!!  Melody

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Night

Good evening!  Things have been hopping around here.  I have kept pretty busy with a new puppy and all of the "normal for now" activities of my life.  Today I spent with Kim.  She has been under the weather this past month, and it has only grown worse.  But I have tried to be helpful to her, driving her where she has to go, keeping her company, and just being a mom.  I just wish I had more energy!
My new little puppy, Mugsy, is a sweet little companion.  He sleeps by my feet where ever I happen to sit.  He loves to go for car rides.  And he is so darn sweet!  It is nice to have a devoted friend.  I am enjoying him immensely.  When I got Max I had hoped he would like to ride with me in the car, but unfortunately he gets car sick...not fun.  So it is especially nice that Mugsy likes to accompany me on my many trips about the valley.  He and Julie's dog, Cookie are getting to be very good friends.  It's kind of cute to watch.
I think they were kissing:)
The grandkids are watching each other tonight as Julie and Randy have gone to the temple.  Mel and I went last night.  We are all trying to be better about attending the temple on a more regular basis.  It is hard to fit it in, but we just will.  I love how peaceful it is there, and how good I feel.
I think we will stay home tonight with the kids.  They do OK with the watching of each other, but it won't hurt if Grandma and Grandpa are around.  And I am exhausted.  It sounds nice just to relax here at home.
So I hope things are good in cyberspace this evening!  Is it foggy where you are?  It has been so foggy here.  I guess we are having an inversion.  I will be glad for sunshine again....soooooon!!!!  Have a grrrrrrrrreeeaaaatttt night!!!!!!!!  Melody

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Evening Note

Good evening!  I thought I would write a little of my day.  It was full of funny stuff said by my grandson, Matthew.  Julie and I and Matthew were sitting at the breakfast table.   Julie was telling me about some family happening and Matthew asked, "Was I there?"  And Julie answered, "No, it was before you were born."  And then he said, "Oh right.  I was waiting in the graveyard!"  That cracked us up.  Julie told him he was in heaven, and then he wanted to know what heaven was.  So cute.  It reminded me of the other day when Naia was asking about Max and whether he was going to die soon.  I said I didn't know, but that he was getting old.  But if he died he would be fine because he would go to heaven.  And she said, "Oh heaven.  That's far away...like Africa."  I thought that was pretty cute.  Even though it has been two years ago, she still remembers the long plane ride from Africa!  They are both 4 years old and starting into that fun time of interesting communication.  I will take notes!
The other funny thing was when Matthew was talking.  I think he said,  "Mom, you know about ear ned?"  And she said, "What's an ear ned?  Do you mean led or....?"  He said, more slowly, "Ear Ned!" She said, "I don't know what you mean!"  And he answered, "You know.  An ear ned...like Daddy has in his ear."  We both laughed as we understood that what he was saying was "hearing aid".  Randy does have a hearing aid.  Pretty funny!
The other thing I wanted to mention is that I am loving my book, "The Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver.  I didn't realize when I started reading it that it would be about a young man who was a servant/friend of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and consequently Trotsky.  It is very interesting, and so well written.  She has such a great vocabulary and interesting way of telling a story.  I am thoroughly enjoying the part I am in now where her main character is writing letters to Frida.  They are really entertaining.  Of course it is fiction, but I find myself wondering what parts are fact mixed in with the fiction.  Anyway, that is my book review so far.  I am only about half way through the book I think.
And that is all.  Well, not quite.  I brought home Kim's Yorkie, Mugsie, today.  He is a sweetheart...but not house trained I am afraid.  So I guess I will be training one more animal that we don't use the rugs as a toilet.  Not my favorite activity, but I can do this.  He is so cute that I can be patient:)
Right now I am in my studio with Taylor.  He is going to sleep here tonight, in my studio.  He is pretty privileged as I don't allow many small people in here.  But we needed another sleeping spot, and this is it:)  Good thing we got it dejunkified!
Well, I guess that is all for now.  I hope all is happy and well out in cyberspace.  Sleep well!  I will, now that I have discovered Zzzzquil.  Good night!!!  Melody

Rested and Rarin' to Go!

Good merry morning to you!  I am feeling so rested!!!  I took some Zzzzquil....and it worked!  Thank you!!!   I did wake up once, but I fell back asleep until I heard Mel texting on his iphone this morning.  (I have since turned off the sound for his keyboard:)  I am usually laying there waiting for the day to begin, so it was nice to not be the first person awake.  I am feeling very good.
So today I had planned to paint with Jodell.  But instead I think I will spend time with my daughters again.  I like spending time with them, and painting can wait.  And also I think I need to watch my watercolor instructional videos again.  I have forgotten so much.  It is not the medium I usually use anymore.  Or if I do, it is more close detailed work, not the free handed lovely way of painting with watercolors that I love.  And these videos I have are fun.  The artist is Joseph Zbukvic.  He is so skilled and gives some good ideas on painting.  Here is a link to his work.  Zbukvic  And here are some of my favorite paintings of his.  He does give workshops.  So maybe someday.
I love how he uses the paint to give atmosphere
My visiting teachers came this morning already.  It was fun to visit with them.  I showed them my organized studio and they were impressed.  It does feel good to come in here now.  It is really a retreat from the rest of my chaotic life:)
So I will get to it.  I hope your day is calm and happy.  Take care, be safe and enjoy the sunshine!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Take a Good Look Around

Good afternoon!  It is sunny and bright here in this part of the world.  And I have had a most enjoyable day so far.  I went with my sisters, Joy and Diane, to breakfast this morning.  Joy turned 60 today.  And that seems strange.  I guess because I always think of her as my "little" sister.  And yes, she is younger than me, but wow!  That makes me really old!!! :)  We had lots of fun eating and talking.  We went to the restaurant that serves French toast croissants.  They are unbelievably good!  But I was good and only ate half.  That seems to be the only way I can diet anymore...just eat less.  It seems to work, but not nearly as fast as I would like.
After visiting all morning with my sisters, I went and picked up my daughter Kim.  She is having some problems with her head....not really vertigo.  She says it is more like she feels when she is in a plane taking off.  The world doesn't spin, she just feels dizzy inside her head....and nauseated.  The doctors are a little puzzled.  The ear, nose and throat specialist tested her hearing and inner ear and a few other tests and couldn't find anything wrong at all.  So next they will test the nerve that goes from her ear to her head.  And then she will go to a neurologist.  It is worrisome, and very hard for her.  She makes her living teaching Zumba, a kind of dance aerobics, while she is in school getting her degree in theater design.  (Her husband works for Mel.)  But she has had to stop teaching...and even driving.  So she is feeling a little blue.  I took her to the new "Village" that has the musical fountain and we had lunch at Kona Grill.  We sat by the windows where we could talk and watch the fountain.
This is a picture from the web of the fountain
The fountain at night
I had a really relaxing time, and I think it was fun for Kim to get out of the house.  It is hard to be anxious about your health...not knowing what is wrong.  You can imagine all sorts of things, and make yourself sicker worrying!  But hopefully they will get this figured out soon.  Then we will all sleep better at night:)
I am becoming something of an insomniac I think.  I probably should just go with it and find some hobby to do at night.  Last night I read for about an hour between 2 and 3.   But I still didn't fall asleep until about 5.  I think this is not uncommon for older people, but it is frustrating...and tiring too.
So that is it for today.  I think I will go take a lie down.  I hope all is going well in cyberspace.  Remember I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday After Noon

Good afternoon!  I am feeling quite good.  Julie and I (mostly Julie) cleaned my studio today.  The DEEP kind of clean.  I have a rather large pile of stuff to go to the dumps....mostly old papers and class paintings that are dreadful and other such clutter.  It feels so good to have a work space again!  And just in time since my class starts next Tuesday!
Junk
I think together we might tackle my bedroom closet next.  I think we may need a pickup truck to haul off the junk that's in there.  I guess I am a collector. I hate to throw stuff away.  But I am really making an effort to simplify.  There is too much stuff!!!!!  And it really helps to have Julie there to give me permission to throw it away.
So tonight is Randy's birthday.  I think we are tagging along to a Thai Restaurant that they love.  It should be fun.  I love good food.
And so it goes.  Not a lot to report.  I suppose that is a good thing.  Life is wonderful ....except for the not sleeping part.  I think it has to do with not taking Celebrex.  I was told I can take it (for arthritis) but it would be safer not to since I am on a blood thinner.  So I think instead of going cold turkey I may have to take it when the pain keeps me up at night.  Yes, that is me complaining.  It is hard getting old.  Things don't work quite as well.  But....oh well.
So take care and HAVVVVVVVVGFHE!!!!!!
Melody

Room on the shelves!

My new and improved painting area

This is where I write....and sometimes draw.  I suppose
I should get a more up to date calendar:)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Singing as the Days Go By

Good evening!  It has been a good Sunday.  Church was great as usual, so many kind friends...and now family!  It is fun to have Julie and Randy and all of their kids at church with us.  I find myself trying to get Julie and Randy acquainted with all of our wonderful friends.  We really do have some amazing people in our ward.  It is fun to see them each week.  But I really can't expect Julie or Randy to be able to remember everyone:)
Tomorrow is Randy's birthday, so they went to his parents house for a party.  I guess we will have one for him tomorrow.  It has seemed awfully quiet.  Mel also had a leadership meeting so I was here alone.  He is back now, but sleeping.  He gets so tired with morning meetings and then afternoon meetings too!  At least his bishopric meetings have moved to 8 instead of 6:30.  But it is a long day for him.
I am tired too.  I didn't sleep well last night.  I keep wondering what I am worrying about.  Nothing and everything I guess.  I did get up for a while.  That sometimes helps, and it did last night.  I finally fell asleep around 5.  The alarm went off at 7:)  I hope I can sleep tonight.
I keep thinking about art.  There is an art show at school that my teacher wants me to enter.  The deadline is the 30th.  It has to be art that I have done within the last year.  Unfortunately most of that is from my live model class, and although some of it is beautiful, it goes against what kind of art I want to be known for, so I will probably just not enter anything.  I guess I could paint something in a couple of weeks, but I am thinking that I want to present my best work, not my hurried work.  There is one painting/charcoal drawing that I like that I think I could draw a gown on.  I don't know if it would be distracting or not.  Such decisions!!!  Of course, there will be more art things in the future.  I would really like to enter some of the bigger competitions, but I am not sure I could get in yet.  Certainly not until I get a body of work that I am proud of.  It will just take time.  And I think in the meantime I may start giving art lessons.  I have had a couple of people approach me at church wondering if I would teach their kids.  I think I might enjoy that.  At least it gives me something to think on while I am lying awake at night:)
So I guess I should confess right now that I am looking forward to Downton Abbey tonight.  They are replaying last week's episode right now, but the second episode comes on at 9.  I really like this drama. I love the costumes, and the interesting sets, the acting, and most of all the ridiculous plot twists.  It reminds me a little of the terrible endings I used to give our family made-up stories.  We love to take turns making up stories as we drive along in the car.  And I love to give them tragic endings!  Mostly because at first it was funny.  And now everyone expects me to....and then they wait for Mel to resurrect everyone somehow.  It is lots of fun.  And perhaps that is what I like about Downton Abbey.  They continually make such awful choices and then have to figure a way out of the messes they've created....a sign of a good writer:)
Well, I guess I have once more succeeded in diverting you from the important things of life, to read a little bit of nonsense.  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Eating at the Great Wall

Hello out there!  I have a movie review for you again:)  We went to see Saving Mr. Banks last night for date night, and I would give it 10 stars and several thumbs up!  It was so enjoyable.  I am amazed at Emma Thompson's acting ability.  She was great!  And of course, Tom Hanks made a great Walt Disney.  It was such a touching story too.  It brought big crocodile tears to my eyes, though I tried to hide them.  At least I didn't leave the theater sobbing like when I watched Beaches for the first time:)
So I would highly recommend this movie.  It's nice to have seen two very good movies in such a short time.
Today we had a nice lazy day.  We did venture out to buy dog food.  We took Hunter with us.  His mouth is pretty much healed and he was excited to come and pick out some ice cream for his lunch.  He is such a cute boy!
Then this evening we drove into Boise and met with our daughters Amy, Kim and Julie and their families at The Great Wall (of China).  It is a Chinese buffet, and it was perfect for taking a big bunch of kids.  We had 17 children and 7 adults.  They gave us a banquet room, which made it easier with so many kids.  They were actually pretty well behaved.  I took a couple of pictures:)  We had good food, and lots of fun!

 So that is about it.  Have a lovely evening and Sabbath Day tomorrow.  Melody



Friday, January 10, 2014

It's Friday!!!!

Good afternoon!  It's been an interesting day so far.  I went visiting teaching to one of my favorite ladies this morning.  Beverley was born in Berkeley about 1925 I think.  She is 89 years old and a really sweet lady.  Best of all she likes to talk about the old days.  Her "old days" were at the beginning of WWII.  She told us today of how she met her husband and a little of her romance with him.  They wrote letters for two years every day while he was over in the South Pacific.  That seems especially sweet to me.  I could tell as she was telling us the story how it was still present for her.  Those memories are strong and dear.  Like I said, it is fun to visit with her.
After visiting I went and picked up Mel and we had lunch at Costa Vida's.  They just opened a new one in Nampa, so it is not so far to go.  I love the food there.  And it was fun to have lunch with Mel.  I miss him not working from his shop here at home.
I also have negotiated a new puppy:)  Yes, I am a little crazy.  But Kim has a little Yorkie that is not working out for their family.  So I agreed to purchase him from her if they will keep him until Julie and Randy move.  Julie and Randy have two dogs so with Max it is three....and it is plenty!  But I know I will need a little companionship when they do move out, and Max will probably need a little company too.  So it will be fun to get Mugsy here.  Here's Mugsy's mugshot:)
Yeah, he's adorable!
Oh, while I remember....the sign downtown.  It may be a repeat, but it is a funny one.  Ready?  "Fog - the air apparent."  I love that!  There should be a sequel about "Smog".
Well, I guess that is all for today.  I am going to go take a short nap while Julie and her crew are gone.  She went to pick up kids from school.  So I have about an hour.  Good snooze time!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGreat Friday!  Melody

Thursday, January 9, 2014

More Lazy Days

Good afternoon/evening!  It is that time of day when it is not really afternoon anymore, but not quite evening either.  It is a hard time of the day for me generally.  I often just go to bed:)  I am pretty worn out and just need a speedy nap.  But the little voice inside of me, the one that is kind of naggy, says I shouldn't waste time....I have so little left.   Yeah, I don't like that voice much either.
I did have a great morning!  I watched Julie's two youngest kids (both 4 years old) while she took her six year old Hunter to the dentist.  He had four (ouch) teeth pulled!  They are baby teeth...his front top ones.  I guess they were pretty decayed and they would be falling out anyway....but poor Hunter!  We are all feeling so sorry for his sensitive little mouth.
Julie got him a fuzzy little lion that seems to be helping with his loss:) I am sure he will be back to his usual mischievous self very soon.  He has had more than his fair share of dental work though.  Julie says he has weak enamel.
While I was watching kids, after dishes, I watched a couple of movies on TV...."The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Love Actually".  They are edited by the TV, but  I must be pretty bored to be doing that!!!!  I will admit however, it was kind of nice to just sit and watch TV.  I haven't done that for a while.....at least not during the day light hours.  I have been reading my book a lot though.  I kind of enjoy this lazy stuff.  But I had better stop it before too long or that naggy voice will get louder:)  I am planning to get organized and begin drawing and painting again.  I really liked doing that yesterday, and it kind of calms my inner voices.
Oh, we actually had some traffic news today.  46 vehicles all crashed on the freeway this morning.  Mel was going the opposite way, but came upon it right after it happened.  Miraculously no one was killed and all of those hurt were expected to survive.  I am glad for that!

 Well, I am hoping things are wonderful in your neck of the woods today.  I am pulling for you!!!!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGreatEvening!!
Melody

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Little Hope of Spring!

Good afternoon!  I have had a fun day so far.  I started out the day by sliding into town on the snow that fell during the night.  It was an adventure, but not too bad since I took the Explorer.  It makes me feel a little safer.  I was only a half an hour late for book club in Boise.  There were two people who arrived after I did, and they both live a lot closer.  I love book club.  It was worth the risky ride through the ice covered freeway.  The women are some of my best friends.  We have kind of a hard time sticking to just talking about the book.  We all want to know how everyone is surviving "the final phase"!  A friend asked how I was doing and I replied, "Fine, but I am on a blood thinner."  She said, "Oh well, we're all on something!" which is probably true.  The youngest in our group is 10 years younger than me, and the oldest is about 20 years older.  I asked her how she was liking her new apartment in assisted living.  She said she loved it.  I said,  "Well that is good to know.  I have to start looking towards the future."  She said, "Oh no!  Don't do that until you are living it.  Enjoy the time you are in now!"  I think she is right.  She is also the one who told me to leave "Mother's guilt" behind.  She said "It is so easy to feel guilty over your children's mistakes.  You have enough guilt of your own...let them worry about their mistakes and problems!"  It sounds good in theory!
We had lots of fun talking about everyone's children and grandchildren, the problems of the world, and the book too, of course.  The hostess today is also an artist.  It was fun to see her paintings and sculpture.  She is very excited that I have graduated, and loves to talk about teachers we both know.  She is a fun friend.
After book club I came home and took the medicine I had forgotten in my rush to leave this morning.  Then I went over to Jodell's for lunch and painting.  It was fun, though we are both very rusty with watercolors.  She wants to meet every Wednesday to paint, so we shall see.  It sounds fun, but it may not work with my school class.  That teacher gives tons of homework.  Here's my painting:)  Don't laugh!!!!!
I decided to paint a little hope of Spring.  I really need to practice my watercolor painting!  But it was fun to dive into for a couple of hours.
So now I am home and thinking I should probably help Julie fix pizza for dinner.  Or we could have leftovers.  That would be the smartest.  I hope all is well in cyberspace this almost evening!  Take care and have a good rest of today!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hiding Out

Hi!  My headache is gone....almost.  I am pretty sure it is a sinus thing.  That is a relief.  I was afraid it might be the blood thinner I am taking because it can be a side effect and when I first started taking it I had headaches, but they went away.  So I am glad that this is also going away...along with the cough and tired stuff.  I really hadn't intended this blog to be a health log, so that is all.
On to better things...which is the book I am reading for book club.  It is called, "My name used to be Mohammed."  It is a fascinating account of a Nigerian Islamic man who converts to Christianity.  And the most amazing part is....it is Mormonism:)  Of course his life is not easy and right now he is in jail in the part where I am reading....1999 I think.  I am almost through the book and I only started it last night, so that should be some indication of how interesting it is.  I am glad it is such a good read since book club is in the morning....at 9 am.  I hope I can get up on time:)  I have been sleeping in a lot this vacation.
I am also planning on going over to Jodell's tomorrow.  She invited me over to paint.  I feel kind of excited for that, as I haven't been painting at all this break and I am afraid I will forget how!  So we should have fun.  She has so many beautiful paintings at her house from her dad and brothers and sisters.  It is fun just to see what she has.  I will ask her if I can take a few photos for my blog:)
Well, I hope things are fun and fascinating in cyberspace today.  Sorry I don't have more to write.  I could tell you about the fun time being had by all as they watch a Wii dance video out in the great room:)  It is a little noisy out there right now, which might explain why I am hiding out in here:)  Take care and remember I am pulling for you!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVWonderfulNight!!!!!  Melody

Monday, January 6, 2014

Just an Ordinary Day

Hola!  I hope all is well.  I have had a pretty good day so far.  Can you guess what I am doing?  Laundry....and dishes too of course.  I had planned to do a deep clean of one room today, but I just couldn't stick with it.  I am still fighting a headache.  I am not sure if it is sinus related or a side effect of medication.  I suspect the latter, but I am hoping the former.  It is better this evening.  But it made it hard to concentrate on much.  I did read for a while, but that made it worse.  I am in a good book...."The Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver.  She is one of my favorite authors.  And it is fun to finally feel like I have time for books again.  I should be reading a book for book club...it is Wednesday.  So I will probably order that for my Kindle if it is on kindle books.  At least I could skim through it.
I met Mel for lunch and took him a sandwich so we could go sit at the park.  It is fun to watch the ducks there.  It is so cold, and yet they seem fine in the water swimming around.  I told Mel that it is a fine feat of engineering that could design a body so light that it can fly, yet have enough insulation to survive our cold days and nights.  How anyone could believe that this amazing earth came from some loud bang eons ago is beyond me.  There is certainly a designer!
I have been thinking today how I need to get into a better exercise program.  I enjoy swimming, so I am thinking of rejoining the rec center here in town and going there a few times a week.  Kim said she would go with me....and Joy said the same.  It is just getting started I think.  I will look into what classes are offered.  Maybe I would stick with it if I felt a commitment of some kind.
I am also beginning to look forward to my painting class coming up in a couple of weeks.  I am hoping I can learn enough to become more skilled with oils.  I really am not very good at mixing colors, so I hope I can learn to do that better.  And also I would like to learn to be a little more daring with changing colors.  I am kind of afraid of making mistakes.  One of my teachers said I just needed to make some big mistakes:)  He is probably right, although I have certainly already done that!
Tonight is FHE, or family home evening.  I am thinking of taking Mel and having our own away from home:)  If he isn't too tired.  He gets kind of worn out on Mondays, because he plays basketball in the morning rather early.  I think they start at 5:30.  He has been doing this for years, but he says it is much harder now that he is older.  I am kind of amazed he can still play.
Well, I hope all is well in cyberspace.  Things seem pretty good here.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGFHE!!!!  Melody

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Gentle Savior, Thou wilt guide us!

Guten Abend!  It has been a great day today.  It did feel as if we had the spirit of the Lord in our home.  Hunter (6) came into my room this morning to talk.  I think he has just learned about fasting and had decided he would fast this morning.  He wanted to make sure I was too.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that I can't with my medication.  But I listened to his six year old reasoning about prayer and fasting.  He told me that when you fast it means that you don't eat breakfast or lunch.  And that whatever you ask for will come true...like a wish.  I asked him what he was fasting for but he wasn't quite sure.  Then he told me that prayers were different.  You didn't always get your wish:)  I talked to him about how Heavenly Father sometimes says no...just like his daddy.  And I told him about the time I had prayed that all of the drinking fountains at school would have lemonade....and what did he think Heavenly Father had answered for that one?  It's funny though.  I can't really remember anymore if I really prayed for that, or if someone else told me that story.  This memory thing is getting serious!
I was talking to my dad on the phone tonight.  He called to wish me a Happy New Year.  He said he couldn't remember if he already had or not, but he was being careful to make sure he hadn't forgotten.  Then he said something like..."This ol' brain has so much stuff in it from over 90 years, that there doesn't seem to be much room for anything new."  I laughed, but I know just what he means.  It feels like my head is stuffed with so much that I am not sure what is fact or fiction up there anymore.  Kinda weird.  So many memories are kind of half there.  And others are clear as if they had just happened.  And some are so clear I can feel like I am back in the moment.
In church today, Julie and Randy and their seven kids sat with us.  Randy was released from his position in the bishopric in his old ward last week, so they can come to our ward now.  It should make things lots easier for them not having to travel back and forth to Wilder.  We sat behind a few families with very small children.  The one right in front of us had a two year old who had brought his cars and trucks....probably a bad idea.  He kept crashing them on the bench...really loud!  And then he put them all in the book holder and stirred them up.  It was kind of funny, but also very loud.  I could see that his parents were trying so hard to be patient, but by the end of sacrament his dad pulled him out...kicking and screaming.  It was good in a way.  I think it made Julie and Randy feel like they were really in control of their relatively quiet bunch.  And it made me sooooooo grateful to be a grandma...no longer the primary caretaker of these little yahoos!
After church we had a dinner with Amy and her family, Kim and part of her family, and of course Julie and her family.  It was nice to have three of my daughters here, and especially nice to see Amy's boys who are visiting for Christmas break.  They live with their dad in Sparks, so we don't see them much.  They have gotten so tall and handsome!  I was glad I had invested in this huge roast I bought at Costco.  I wasn't going to buy it because it was pretty expensive.  But I was standing next to a lady and her husband that were also looking at the big roasts.  I overheard her say to him, "But this is lots cheaper than if we took them all out to eat!"  I loved her logic and put this huge 15 pound top sirloin into my basket.  It was soooo delicious!  I haven't had a good roast like that for some time!  And everyone else really enjoyed it too.  And there was plenty...an important fact when you are feeding teen age boys!!!
I also should mention that the five year old's primary class went well too.  Mel and Julie both came in with me, so that I didn't have to do all of the teaching alone.  One of the little boys, Max, is quite gregarious. He might overwhelm one teacher.  I was glad for the help.  And dare I add...glad that I am not their permanent teacher.  It takes so much energy!
Well, that was my Sabbath Day....very full of good family feelings.  Good friend feelings too.  We had a few couples come up to us and offer their home as a retreat for Mel and I if we should need it.  And they were serious!  :)  So I hope all is well and happy in cyberspace tonight.  I am pulling for you!  We're all in this together!!!  Have a great night!!!!!!  Melody

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Dolphins on my Mind

Good evening!  I am wondering what to write about.  This has been a kind of uneventful day.  I slept in!  That was probably the best part!  And I took a nap...the second best part:)  And in between I shopped at Costco, read my current book, and cooked lunch and dinner....and did dishes.  They aren't too bad.  I keep buying paper plates and bowls and cups to cut down on having to do so many.  I usually end up doing them all, so it is just me watching out for myself.  Mel helps with the pans if I ask.  So I have learned to ask:)
Julie and Randy are off at the temple.  So it is just Mel and I with the kids.  They are pretty cute when they are well fed.  I made homemade tomato soup, toasted cheese sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, so they are all pretty happy now.  It is one of those simple meals that kids seem to enjoy.  Now it is my time.
I have been dreaming of the ocean today.  I think it has to do with seeing a video this morning of dolphins....hundreds of them.  It was really cool.  Here's a link to one of the videos...there are a few.  Dolphins  We saw a couple of dolphins one time when we were sitting on a beach near Santa Cruz.  I remember it was quite thrilling.  I always love seeing wild animals!  Did I mention I saw a coyote a few days ago?  It was just standing in a field down by the lake.  I always feel a little privileged to see animals in the wild.  I see quite a few living here next to a wilderness area.
I guess the other reason I have been thinking of the ocean is that I miss it.  I get sort of grounded when I  stand on the shore and watch the waves.  I am not sure why, but it is a really good feeling.  I think I need that again.  I am hoping we can take a trip to see my dad soon and swing by the coast when we do.  Then I will be good again for awhile.  I guess it has something to do with growing up so close to the ocean.  We went there very often when I was little.  I love the smell and the breeze and the sounds.  I have a picture on my computer wallpaper that I took when we were by the coast.  It is one of my favorites....not just because Mel is in it, but I like the fishing boat in the background on the left...and all of the subtle changes in color in the water.  It looks good in a larger size:)
Tomorrow I get to teach the 5 year olds in primary.  I guess the teacher is sick.  Mel said he would come in with me, so it shouldn't be too hard.
Well, I am hoping things are lovely in cyberspace this evening.  I think I get to watch a muppet movie now:)  Take care!  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Friday, January 3, 2014

Birthdays

Hola! Today I spent doing normal things...laundry and dishes.  But then for a change, Julie and I planned a birthday party for Taylor.  He always gets kind of gipped because his birthday is so close to holidays, and everyone is kind of tired of parties and presents.  So we went to the dollar store and got lots of fun decorations, then on to Albertson's for a fancy cake.  We found this rather large hamburger, with fries and ketchup, for Taylor's birthday party.  It would be hard to tell it's a cake without the candles!  He loved it.  The fries are made from the edges of the cake, and the ketchup is frosting...as is the lettuce and mustard.  Mel complained that the mayo was too sweet:)  Had we substituted Miracle Whip for the Best Foods?  He always manages to make us laugh!  It turned out to be a pretty fun party.  I think Taylor enjoyed the attention, and the rest of us enjoyed the cake!  (And ice cream!)
Now things have settled down somewhat.  Taylor and family went home and the house is much quieter...well sort of.  There is always someone yelling in the four year old range.  Or just the usual noise of children...yelling to each other across the house....not "Good night, Jon-boy", more like "Look at what I can do!"  Or "That's mine!"  Or "Hey, give that back!"  Or the best of all...."I had it first!"  Some things don't change do they?  It makes me smile just a little, but more often I escape to the quiet of my studio where kids are NOT allowed....unless they are invited in.  I do that sometimes, but right now I am escaping to the quiet.  It is nice, when the men are watching football, and the kids are all kind of loud and demanding.  What do grandmas do that don't have a place to escape?  I guess my mom used to go upstairs to her bedroom.  I do that too, although it is on the main floor:)
Well, I hope your day has been wonder filled and full of fun.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am definitely still pulling for you.  We're all in this together!!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGN!!!  Melody






Thursday, January 2, 2014

Icy Sparkles

Happy Day to you!  It is for me in many ways.  Today is Taylor's 11th birthday.  I went by there this morning and took him and his mommy and littlest brother out for breakfast.  Then we did some Costco shopping and he picked out a couple of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books for his birthday.  He loves to read.  He is a fabulous reader.  His sweet baby brother Alex(2) was lots of fun also.  He likes to pick out an object and say its name....over and over and over.  So he will say, "Flower!"  Then, "Flower!"  He always says it like a question with the last syllable raised.  It is really cute.  We have fun getting him to say stuff.  His funniest today was, "I'm stuck!"  He got into a sort of soft chair and couldn't get out.  It took me a minute to figure out what he was saying.  So cute!  Earlier when I was riding in the car with Taylor and family, we witnessed a really special thing.  It had been very foggy...in fact you could see the sun as a gray sort of moon for awhile.  But then the sun started warming up the fog and it slowly disappeared as the sun grew brighter.  But it left tiny little sparkles of ice in the air.  It looked rather magical....like a fairy story or something.  We all loved watching it as we ate our breakfast from McD's in the parking lot.  Kind of funny to watch such an amazing show from the car!
Now I am home again.  I just finished writing bills.  Julie is making delicious gingerbread cookies.  I know because I stole a bite of dough....yummy!  It is kind of hard to stick to any kind of a diet around here:)  I am feeling healthier today though.  Not as much coughing!  I do have a sinus headache still.  But I am in an exceptionally good mood.
Well, I hope things are happy and sparkly in your neck of the woods today.  I wish you all of the best that life has to offer....happy family, loyal friends, and good, sparkly weather!!!!  HAVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Enjoying the New Year

Hola!  It's a fine day here.  Julie and family left to go ice skating... so the house is quiet.  And yes, I am liking the quiet.  That is weird I know, but I guess I have really made the transition to being an old grandma.  I am sure of it every time I pass a mirror.  But not sad about it for the most part.  I am enjoying being the old person....ha, ha, ha!  That'll be the day!!!  I wished so much I could hop in the car and go ice skating too!  I used to be a great skater!!!  We used to skate a lot when I was young.  My favorite place was in San Francisco.  They used to have an ice skating rink next to the Cliff House.
This is how it looks now...
Joy and I climbed along this wall a few years back.
Of course it is all changed now.  Just like me.  Even if I could skate I wouldn't.  It would be a "risky" activity with blood thinners....as you probably are aware:(  But I am enjoying the day here with Mel.  He showed me all of the youtube videos he likes right now...mostly of people singing "Les Miserables".  They have the 10th anniversary on there.  And then he got sidetracked by the Susan Boyle rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream", and that led to America's Got Talent.  There are a bunch of good ones on there.  It was fun to watch.  Now he is watching the Stanford game.  I watched it a little while, but decided I should probably blog a little while the internet is working.  I think part of the problem with the internet is all the kids here have access to ipads and iphones and laptops and xboxes, and there is just not enough to go around.  Kinda funny I guess.
So, what else is happening here?  Not too much really.  I am still sick...coughing and headache and generally feeling lousy.  But I usually get a winter cold, so I guess this is just life as normal.  I think it is weird that the year has changed to 2014 already.  I am happy to be alive.  It is weird to think I came so close to crossing over:)  I still don't believe it.  Some days I think it might have been nice....no more worries.  But then I am not sure if we don't worry on the other side, so I guess I would rather stay here where I am familiar with the territory for now:)  And maybe there will be less to worry about in 2014!
I hope this New Year's day is finding you well and happy and full of great hope for the future.  I think this year my goal will be to enter the church's art contest....I am still figuring it all out.  The theme is "Stories of Jesus".  That sounds rather challenging, but interesting too.  And of course to continue learning all that I can about drawing and painting.  I hope you have a wonderful year...and evening!  HAVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody