Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Monday Night the World Around!

Good Family Home Evening!  We are getting ready to leave for the Muppet movie with Taylor.  I took him swimming this afternoon, and he thought it might be fun to have FHE with us.  We invited the rest of the family but they had other plans.  I am kind of excited to go to a movie.  And I love the muppets.
I met with a nurse from the diabetic clinic here in town today.  It was so helpful.  I think I needed a little pep talk about my health and well being.  And she had some good suggestions for my diet.  So I am feeling pretty good about things.  Now if I can just do what I need to do.
And tomorrow class begins again.  I keep looking at my homework and wondering what else to do.  I may take it into class and ask the teacher...but then I would have to follow through:)  We shall see.
So I hope life is good today in cyberspace.  I am pulling for you!!!!  We're all in this together!!!  Happy family night!!!  Melody

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Peace and Good Will!

Good morning world!  I think today will be a good day.  It is Sunday after all, and that is always an advantage.  I love Sundays...probably because I get to be home with Mel part of the day.  But also because I love church and our friends there.  Lately Liz and her boys have been coming and that is especially nice.  But they are sick today, so it will be just Mel and I.  I have gotten kind of used to being a row of people what with Julie and then Liz and their families.  It will seem a little strange with just the two of us.
I loved the Women's Conference last night.  I especially liked a video they had of how to serve our sisters and families.  There was one scene where an older woman was with her loving husband, and then the next scene she was at his funeral with her family all about her.  It was so touching.  The temple was in the background.  It made me think how our families are eternal and I am so grateful for that fact. I just hope I can be worthy of those temple blessings.  I try hard to live as I should, to be a good wife and mother, grandmother, sister and daughter, aunt and friend.  I am not perfect at any of it, but I keep trying.  I hope I can become like my elder brother, Jesus Christ.
He is my perfect example and inspiration.  I am so grateful for his constant love and concern for me and my loved ones.  I am grateful for the faith that I have been blessed with and all of the strength that I receive from that faith.  I am a witness that God lives and loves each one of us!
And that seems like a good place to end.  I hope life is good to you today!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Done, done, done!!!

My computer just announced it was 1 o'clock.  I can't believe how fast the time goes when I am painting.  I sat down just a few minutes ago to paint....I think it was 9 o'clock.  I guess I have been in the zone!  Anyway, I think this is almost finished.  I will give it a couple of days to set and then see.



Tonight is the Relief Society's Women's meeting.  If you want to watch it on the computer, here is the link.  Women's Meeting  It is probably the largest formal gathering of women in the world.  And it is so interesting and enlightening.  I look forward to this yearly meeting with great anticipation!  You can watch it live or watch a recording of it later.
So for the rest of today I am going to clean!  If I can keep the energy going.  I usually kind of poop out after an hour or so.  But I can do a lot in an hour!!!!!
I hope all is well in cyberspace!  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVGreat Saturday!!!!  Melody

Friday, March 28, 2014

Blue Bird

Guten Tag!  I am having a better day today.  I think it helps to paint in the morning...and also to decide ahead of time that it is okay to paint the bird blue.  Yesterday I argued with myself all through the painting about that.  So here it is so far.

 I think I have made good progress.  I can see I need to work on the shadows on the top of the back of the bird.  This is hard!   I am not sure how to do the snail on the wall.  I wish now I had taken a photo when we were in Oregon of all of the snails crawling down the wall at the motel.  Oh well.
So now I am going to take a break from painting for the rest of today and just enjoy the last of my spring break.  I may read...or watch netflix.  Or....  Tonight we are going out to dinner with our friends, Jodell and Bob.  That should be fun.  I really want to see that Monuments Men movie, but we'll see.  I am not the decider in this group:)
Well, I hope your Friday is good out in cyberspace.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!
Melody

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Cup of Progress:)

So does it count that I had a pretty good day...until I painted for a couple of hours?  I guess I am not on my game today.  Is that even the right expression?  Oh well, it is good practice.  I worked on the bird for most of the time, and then I wiped it out.  It just wasn't looking right.  It was pretty...but not right.  So I will work on it again tomorrow.  I think.  I am so tired these days that it is hard to keep going all day long.  This morning was great....I had lots of energy.  I did bills, and I mailed them, and I took Mel for some lunch.  Then I did some shopping.  I think that is where my energy went.  Oh well.
So I keep driving by the sign downtown and laughing.  It's a good one....ready?  "Gardens - weed 'em and reap!"  I love it.  I don't know where they get their lines, but every once in a while it is really good. So here is a photo of my cup progress.  And I must add that the picture is not as good as the real thing.  It really doesn't capture all of the subtleties of color.  And that is my story and I'm sticking to it.
It does look a bit rough in real life too.  I was just going to order a new brush:)  Not that that will solve anything.  Yeah, I am being a little hard on myself.  I think I need a power nap!
So....take care and HAVVVVVVGE!!!!!  Melody

Sweet is the Work

Good morning!  Spring break is almost over!  It has been nice to rest. I have painted a little. Not sure this is progress though. I have mostly been painting the cup. 
I will work on the bird and snail today. This is hard not only because we are supposed to imagine everything but the cup, but also because I don't know what I am doing. I'm not kidding. My teacher keeps saying don't make hard lines. But I don't know how to do that. Sigh!
I am also going to swim today. I haven't for a few days and I am missing it!
Last night we went to the temple for a ward temple night. It is also the shift we worked for a while. It was nice to see people we knew. I love the temple!  It is so peaceful there!!!!
So have a great day out there in cyberspace. Melody

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Good Day, Sunshine!!!!! And Rain:)

Good morning!  It is a lovely day here.  I am looking forward to some more painting after I go swimming.  I may take Taylor and Gabe with me.  I haven't gotten anyone to answer the phone over there:)  Anyway, just sending out a cheery note!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy

Good morning!  I hope it is for you.  Today is our day of reckoning....with the accountant.  I think we have everything in order.  It will be nice to get this done.  Our original appointment was in February, but that is just too early.  Mel has a bookkeeper that had to get everything for the business in order.  My part was mostly personal data.  And it's pretty easy any more...what with Quicken and Quickbooks.  I remember the olden days of searching for old receipts and making a tornado of the financial records.  This is such an improvement!
Then I am going to paint.  I can hardly wait.  I have been going over this painting in my mind for a while now...and even in my dreams:)  Last night I woke up realizing I had been mixing paint colors in my sleep.  And there was some unusual consequence, but I forget now what it was.  I found out from my teacher that I need to set up the scene a little further from the light source, as it was making odd shadows.  So I hope I can do that without too much trouble.  This studio/bedroom is a little limited in space.  So I may have to go out to the other room to paint...we'll see.
I suppose this isn't exactly gripping content.  Sorry.   I am actually glad it isn't.  I found out last night about a friend of mine that is living in that mode.  I feel so bad for her.  She went to the hospital in Ogden to get a surgery for her back, which went well.  But she caught a staph infection in the hospital and has been really ill.  The worst part for me is that I didn't even know about it.  I had pictured her well and happy and recovering quickly.  And life is like that I think.  It can be wonderful for one person, and miserable for another at the very same moment.  And you can be totally ignorant of another's suffering.  So I am trying to figure out how to be a better friend, and a better person in general.
I hope today finds you happy and well in whatever part of the world you may be in.  And in closing I think I will leave a good thought from the Book of Mormon.  (I had intended to do this more often, so I am beginning again.)
“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)
Have a most wonderful day!  Melody

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tumbling Tumbleweeds!

Good day!  It is here.  And I have my visiting teaching done, so that is good.  And I was able to help Liz get things sorted out for apartment hunting and applications.  And now I need a nap.  I am a little discouraged with how tired I seem to get with so little energy put forth.  Sigh!
I am grateful for this lovely home where I can take a rest from things.  One of the ladies I visit teach has such a large home and a large studio/craft room over her garage.  Just sitting there makes me think how much vacuuming she must have to do, and I get tired thinking about it:)  I guess I have gotten used to my relatively small home, and I like that I can keep it fairly clean without too much work.  The outside is another story however!  There is always yard work.  I mentioned that Mel and Taylor burned weeds the other day....and there are still more to burn.  They didn't even get to the front yard!  I would take a picture but it is a little embarrassing.  Although I could borrow a picture from my neighbor's FB page so you could get an idea.  They get the tumbleweeds about as much as we do!
My neighbor's front yard from a week ago
 When we first moved out here we couldn't believe the wind.  And then we built a fence...and we couldn't believe the tumbleweeds.  Our front porch is pretty protected, so we don't get the weeds quite as bad as our neighbor....but almost!
Well, I am running out of brain power.  I feel like I need a power nap.  So HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  I'm still pulling for you!  Melody

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Is It Morning Yet?

Hola!  I just woke up:)  I got so tired I went to lie down for a few minutes and woke up a couple of hours later.   It's a little weird to do that, because now it feels like I should be up for a while, and Taylor and Mel are headed for bed.  Well, Mel is already asleep.  He was exhausted too I think.  Taylor likes to read before sleeping.  So he is reading a comic strip book.  Light reading before bed.  I can hear him laughing in the next room.  And every once in a while he comes in here to show me one that he thinks is extra funny.  He's such a sweet boy.  I really enjoy having him for a couple of days.
I guess I was tired because of riding in the car so much today.  We went to pick up a car that my sister no longer needs.  Mel is going to fix it if he can.  We don't need a third car, but someone else will.  And then Mel and Taylor burned weeds in the back.  It made me so tired watching them:)  And then I went shopping for a few things for dinner tomorrow and that made me even tireder.   I think I am tired from the exercise this week.  But that's good.  I will keep at it.  I kind of feel like it is an uphill battle, but it's worth the struggle if I can gain back some stamina.
Well, as you can tell I have very little to write about this evening.  I had thought earlier I would tell of a conversation between Mel and Taylor that had me laughing.  But I can't remember what they said:)  I can see their faces clearly though, as they were both laughing and loving the banter back and forth.  It is nice to see Mel as a grandpa.  He is pretty sweet with our grandchildren, and I appreciate that.
So good night out there in cyberspace.  Life keeps moving forward at an amazing rate.  I hope I can keep up!  Melody

Friday, March 21, 2014

Success!!!!! !!

So I did it!  One whole half (?) of a mile.  And I didn't have any problem except for the normal soreness in my knees.  I was afraid I would get half way and have my knee go out or something.  So this is real progress!  And besides the kids had a great time.  Alex found a duck egg too!  Then we started noticing there were eggs all over the place!  We found 4.  So it won't be long before there are little ducklings.  Taylor had fun feeding the ducks.  He told me he had never been so close to a duck before.  That isn't true, since he has been there before.  But it did register how very much fun he was having.  He made a trail of bread for the ducks to follow...like Hansel I guess.  He had a really fun time.
Taylor coaxing the ducks to come closer

One of the eggs we found

I love this little path that goes along the creek


Alex looking for ducks to follow
Now he is here at my house keeping me company for the weekend.  We stopped at Costco for a few things on the way back here, and he was in free sample heaven!  He loves the free samples there.
I am feeling tired, but not totally exhausted, so I really am feeling good about the exercise.  Now if I can stick with a low calorie diet.  I am not sure I can.  But it is worth a try.  My blood sugars are way down since I started the insulin yesterday.  I feel like I made a good decision there.
Well, now I just have to relax and enjoy the evening with Taylor and Mel.  I think it will be a good weekend:)  I hope it is for you wherever you are in the world tonight!  HAVVVVGFN!!!  Melody

Ducks!

Good morning!  I am being really brave today.  I am going for a walk!  I do a little walking every day...especially at school.  But I really avoid it because of my knees.  But they seem stronger with all the swimming, and so today I am walking...with Liz and Taylor and Alex....by the river...by the ducks! Yep we are taking some stale bread and feeding the ducks.  I suppose that is bad for the ducks, but I am not really too concerned for them.  I like my grandchildren to have that Lake Merritt experience of feeding the ducks, that I had as a child.  I can remember the thrill of it all...hoping to get close enough to actually touch a duck.  And having them peck at my fingers as I held out the bread.  It was something I really looked forward to.  We often went over to Oakland to Lake Merritt and would play on the swings and slide, and feed the ducks.  We sometimes went into Fairyland, but that was expensive, so not too often.
And today I am starting on my self imposed diet.  I think I have the right mind set and I really should drop some weight.  So I am being accountable here on my cloud support group:)  And here is a picture of me this morning.
 I hope it looks thinner each time I post it....maybe once a month?  I know this is silly, but I am determined to be more healthy.  And I know this will keep me at it.
I am also hoping to paint today, but we shall see.  I always have more on my list than I can possibly do.  So I will tackle each thing today as it comes.
I hope things are happy and well in cyberspace today!  I'm pulling for you!!!  We're all in this together!!!!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Cloud

Good morning!  It is beautiful and sunshiny here today.  In fact it is about perfect.  Yes, exercising does cause an increase in my endorphin level.  And I am beginning to look forward to swimming instead of dreading it...the wet, the cold, the changing of the clothes.  Now I think the splish, the splash, the feeling of weightlessness!  I love that feeling!
This morning I am going into school early to see the doctor.  I am switching from my oral meds for Diabetes to injectable insulin.  I have mixed feelings about this.  But I am looking forward to no side effects.  I have talked long and hard with my doctor, my dad, my sister and spent hours on the internet figuring this all out.  My blood sugars are so out of whack lately, and I think this is probably a necessary step.  Sorry, I am flabbering on about old lady things I guess.  But it is helpful...like a support group in the clouds!
Does it amaze you that there is a cloud...so to speak....that holds all this information?  It is so amazing.  Mel and I were talking this morning about how we've had to learn a whole new vocabulary and mind set with all of the new technology.  And I am a step behind at least.  I don't twitter much....except to keep track of things not reported in the normal news.   I am glad there is a cloud, it saves memory on my phone and ipad, but I really don't know how that works.  I suppose I will find out something I should or shouldn't have done about it way too late.  And I am still amazed that my iMac has not run out of memory or had any fatal viruses or worms.  It is an absolutely amazing machine.  I also have an Adobe Creative cloud hovering somewhere nearby.  I guess I have all of this creative stuff available, but I am still trying to figure it all out...in my spare time, which there seems to be less and less of all of the time.  Oh well, I will soon be done with this class and then I will be searching for enough things to do.  I really don't like boredom.
Well, I hope today finds you happy and well.  Life seems wonderful for the time being.  I just have to keep reminding myself of the waves in Oregon.  It is so soothing to think of them so constant and amazing.  I also was reminded of that song about the Universe this morning.  I think of that a lot and smile.  Take care and have a most wonderful day!!!  Melody

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Buoyancy

It's been a good day!  Liz and Taylor had great fun swimming and Alex cried when he had to leave the nursery drop in.  So we are going to do this again on Friday...if I recover:)  I think it will be good to exercise more.  And it is a chance to see Liz and help her a little.  She has no car and gets feeling pretty homebound!  And Taylor loves swimming!  He was so cute.  He learned to swim much better.  He floats best on his back.  He is awfully thin and doesn't float real great...unlike me who is very buoyant...sigh!  I did get a lot of exercise and was pretty tired for most of the afternoon.  So that was good.  I only had laundry today, so not much work to do.  Next week is spring break for school, so there isn't too much homework...just the next step of my tea cup painting.
So just reporting my swimming.  I think it keeps me accountable to write it in my blog.  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGN!  Melody

Win-Win

Good morning!  I just did a spider check and couldn't see any.  Oooo, it makes my skin all crawly and weird thinking one may jump on me.  I hope I scared it more than it scared me....I am a little bigger.
So I am off to go swimming...for the second day in a row!  I know!  That's so good, huh?  Yesterday I met Joy at the school, and today I am taking Liz and boys to the Y.  I figure she needs the break, and I need the exercise.  So it's a win-win.  The first time I heard win-win was from Steven Covey.  He was a good speaker....very motivational.  And he helped me to figure out the purpose of life....to become like the Savior.  I had sort of known that, but he said it clearly for me for the first time, right after Tommy died, and I was feeling like...what was the point of all of this?  I think he helped me to avoid major depression at the time:)  He's also the one who said when the ounce of prevention doesn't work, you have to try the pound of cure...speaking of helping your kids.  He was a wise man.
So I guess I am off.  I hope things are happy and well in cyberspace today.  I am pulling for you!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!   Melody

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Miss Muffet here again!

Good merry morning!  I hope it is for you!  Today is class again.  It seems like it has been too long since the last class, and it was only a week ago.  I am glad to be busy with art.  I keep thinking that I would like to keep at it for the rest of my life.  It's a good pastime I think.  Especially if I am painting what I want.  Maybe it will be landscapes....with people:)  I like painting people.
Well, not much new here today.  I am spending a lot of time on Zillow.  Liz and Adrian need a new place to live.  Their rent is going up and they can't afford it, so... move.  We are also thinking about moving.  Not far, just closer into town and less property to take care of.  Mel can never seem to get to the yard work, and we probably should be moving now while we still can manage it.  Also it would be good to be nearer things like stores and hospitals....not that we ever need those things:)  The problem is that we love it here by the lake.  It is beautiful most of the time.  But I suppose it would be a place to take a drive to once in a while.  I must admit that I would rather do that than drive everywhere else the rest of the time.
Ooo, I just spied a huge spider on my wall.  I went to swat it and it jumped!  Down to the floor where it is behind my desk.  I don't like spiders much!
So, here I go...signing off one more time.  Take care and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Bit o' the Irish in My Veins

Happy St. Patty's Day!
I think this is a great holiday...mostly cuz I love Irish blessings.  And because I have been working on my painting for class tomorrow.  I actually have two that are due.  This one is one we have been working on in class.  But he let us bring it home to finish.


I am pretty happy with it, except I had a really hard time with the reflection in the mirror.  But oh well.  I really don't understand what he wants in the reflection...a different color scheme.  And mine is pretty purple:)  I just keep reminding myself that I haven't done this before and I can practice until I get better at it.
I am going to spend the rest of today working on my still life...imprimatura and dead palette.  That is our homework.  It is tons easier since it is a cup and a made up bird and snail...and not a person.  I think people are hardest to paint.  But I love the challenge of all the different skin tones and subtle changes.  And the challenge of making it painterly...not photographerly.  I guess that is probably my biggest challenge.  I like when it looks more real.  But not really.  Ha, ha!  I love painters who have taken reality and pumped it up a little.  Like Cezanne and Turner.  And even Picasso.  Yeah, I have really been influenced by these guys.
So I hope St. Patrick is kind to you.  Here are a few of those blessings I like so well.  Have a most wonderful day!  I will try not to get blown away!!  The wind is pretty fierce here today!!!!!!  Melody


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday

Today has been a good day.  My daughter Liz came with Taylor and Alex to church.  Luckily I anticipated them and brought cereal snacks and some little people toys...the manger scene.  Alex loved playing with the little people and was pretty good for a two year old.  I think it was a great meeting.  First a member of the bishopric talked....Bro. Andrews.  He is an orthopedic surgeon...and really a good speaker.  He talked about love, humility and meekness.  It was a good talk.  I think I learned a lot.  And it helped me to have a more optimistic outlook.  The second speaker was a high counselor...Bro. Gomez.  His talk was very entertaining.  He told of a skiing experience where he got lost on the other side of the mountain.  His story was quite interesting and then he related it to our own journey through life....and how in all of the parables of people or sheep who get lost...they are always found.  I thought that was reassuring!
The 11 year old boys were quite a challenge!  There were 10 of them...and me:)  Mel had said he would come and help, but he had to do some clerking for the bishop, so I ended up on my own.  I had fun.  They are full of energy, but each one a real gem.  I am glad Taylor is in that class for now.  They are good boys and very accepting of others.  I think Taylor is beginning to feel pretty comfortable with them all.  And they are all friendly and cute to him.  The lesson was about Abraham and Lot and how kind Abraham was to his nephew.  And how we should be accepting and kind to others.  It was a good topic.
Our home teachers came today.  I am grateful we have such faithful home teachers.  They bring a good spirit with them.  And then Liz and her husband and kids came for dinner.  So it has been a good Sabbath day.  Life seems good, and I am glad to still be alive.  I think about that a lot I guess.  I think it is finally sinking in how really close I came to leaving this life.  Our former bishop stopped me in the hall to ask how my health was, whether I was listening to my doctor, and taking my medicine.  He is sweet.  He was the bishop when I went to the hospital last October, so I think he feels a little responsible for me even though he isn't the bishop now.
Well, I have written a lot for one day.  I really thought I would stop blogging, but I do get a lot of satisfaction from writing a little each day.  So I guess I will keep at it for the time being.  And that is all.  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tis eventide

It's been a pretty good day.  I didn't get to paint, but instead I helped Taylor with his schoolwork.  I guess that is most fun for me.  I really enjoy his company.  He is full of information about everything in his world and it brightens mine:). He is the sunshine in my life today!
Tomorrow I get to sub the 11 year old boys primary class.  Taylor will be in it, so it will be fun.  I just hope I have enough energy.  I tire so easily anymore.  I feel like I have entered the final frontier in so many ways.
Well, I just had to blog a little.  It helps to write a note and send it out to cyberspace.  It is funny that it helps me to calm my worries.  Good Night!  Melody

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dead Palette :)























Hi again!  I worked on this again today.  This is the "dead palette" part where you use a limited palette to paint just the light part of the painting.  I will probably work on this some more before the third step...where I get to use all of the colors I want.  I really do enjoy this kind of painting.  It helps me to see value and temperature more....things I still struggle to get right.  Anyway, I am enjoying this homework.  And that is not a lamp shade:)  It is a reflection with a snail crawling down the wall.  I hope that clears up when I can use all the colors!
Things have gone well today.  I am feeling pretty good.  I am glad for the weekend.  Hope yours is good out there in cyberspace!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody

Imprimatura

Good morning!  I thought I would share my progress on my painting so far.  This is the first step...imprimatura.  I think this looks cool at this stage.  We had to pick a cup and then two drawings and then change the drawings.  So I chose a bird and a snail.  I decided to change the snail so that it is sliding down the wall.  We saw that in Oregon.  I never see snails around here.  Or any insects except bees and spiders and giant beetles.  I think it may be because of the farmland around.  They are always spraying with insecticides.  It makes me wonder how healthy that is for our food.
Alex is here this morning.  He is a fun grandson, and my youngest!  He is two and quite curious.  His mom and Taylor went to meet the other home schoolers for a field trip this morning.  Taylor is liking home school.
Well, I hope today is a good day.  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!
Melody
P.S.  The doctor appointment went well.  I guess I will be on blood thinners for the time being.  I am glad.  And so far I can stay on the one I am on.  No coumedin yet.  Phew!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Good morning!

No class today...it was cancelled because of a teacher workshop.  I have a doctor's appointment instead.  Yippee!!  Not.  I have been avoiding this for a while.  I was supposed to go in January.  Naughty me.  I have a neighbor that is having a triple bypass surgery this morning.  I think that may have motivated me to make the appointment.  Anyway, it is time.  I will go and see what the news is for this body.  
I am also painting this morning.  That should be good.  It is the zone I like to be in.  I don't worry or fret over anything, and I feel at peace with the universe.  It is a good place to be today.  Anyway, I had better get to it.  Take care out there in cyberspace!  I am pulling for you!  Melody

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getting motivated!

Hola!  I am feeling a little lazy today!  It's hard to get going.  But I have a color chart to work on and a homework assignment to begin of an imprimatura still life.  This seems challenging.  So I am putting it off....maybe writing that will motivate me to actually start on it.  I have until Tuesday to do the first step, which is painting the initial layer.  We have a cup and a few pictures to work with.  It looks very challenging!  I hope I can do this well.
So here I go!  Wish me luck!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Day Older

Today was a good painting day. I am kind of figuring out what direct painting is. It's not what I thought. It is sort of direct, but indirect too.  I think I can't explain it very well.  I tried but then realized it made little sense.  But it's hard!  So I feel good that I am making some progress.
I had a nice lunch with my daughter Kim today.  We went to a new place "The salad man."  It was interesting.  It reminded me of "the soup nazi" from Seinfeld.  The food is amazing, but the owner tells each customer where they can sit and when they can pay.  I guess because it is such a small place and there are so many people.  It was fun and interesting.
After class I went swimming with my sister Joy.  We are getting good.  We swam for an hour...back and forth, back and forth.  It would get boring but we talk the whole time.  It is fun.
So that is all.  Time to call it quits for today.  Melody

Monday, March 10, 2014

Home, Sweet Home!

We're back home.  It is late, and I need to get some sleep.  I just wanted to say how much I love my dear home, and the husband that lives here with me.  We have had such a lovely few days together.  I am grateful for him!  And grateful for all of life's blessings!   Sweet dreams!!!  Melody

Ocean View



Good morning!  This is the view this morning.  The fog is gone and it is beautiful.  Although here is the difference in about a half an hour.
The first was while the sun was coming up.  I keep thinking how I wish I could paint this.  I love all the subtlety of color.  I think it would be fun to figure it all out.  Yeah, I am hooked.  I guess I look at everything now as if I was going to paint it.
I hope life is good today out there in cyberspace.  I am enjoying it here!  HAVVVGW!!!  Melody

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Evening Post

Good evening!  I have enjoyed the day today.  We went to the ward in Waldport...actually a branch. It seems where ever we go to church we meet interesting people.  Mel met a farmer from Wendell, Idaho, who was also visiting.  He owns a boat here and comes regularly to do a little deep sea fishing.  He invited us to come this summer and he would let Mel come fishing too!  People are so nice.  I met a lady who told me she was a widow.  Her husband died from...ready for this?  A pulmonary embolism!  He died about 12 years ago and she had to raise her children on her own.  She seemed so nice.  I really felt sorry for her.  I told her I had a PE last October and she had lots of info for me.  Mostly she kept telling me how lucky I was to be alive....which I realize more and more.
After church we drove to Depoe Bay and had dinner at the Tidal Rave...which has great food and fantastic views.
This was the view from the window by our table.  I would have liked to stay in Depoe Bay, but the explorer in us beckoned us on to see more ocean towns.  We drove to Netarts Bay, then on to Rockaway Beach where we found a motel on the beach.  
So tomorrow we will head back to Portland airport to fly back to Idaho.  We may get a storm to blow us towards Boise.  We have a good wind blowing here tonight!  Mel made sure where the tsunami escape route was.  Rockaway is about level with the ocean.  We never even thought about such things when I was little.  Another sign of the times!
It has certainly been raining here.  They are expecting thunder storms tonight.  They say it is over 3 .5 inches for March already.  Anyway, that's the evening report.  Take care out there in cyberspace.  And HAVVVVGE!!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Relaxing

Good evening!  We are happily settled in a motel in Yachats, Oregon. It is a nice place right near the ocean. We spent today at Sunset Bay, Shore acres, and driving north along the coast. We had a fun late lunch in Charlston at a good seafood cafe. The fish and chips were outstanding!  I love good fish!  We will probably stay here in Yachats til Monday when we fly from Portland back home. We are going to try to find church here. The internet isn't terrific though. Hard to find info. It might have something to do with the wind. I heard it is supposed to be gusting up to 70 mph this evening. :). The surf is beautiful. I took this earlier today down south.  I'll add more tomorrow if the connection improves. I am enjoying this short respite!!!  Melody

Friday, March 7, 2014

Night post

Good evening!  We're 40 miles from my dad's house in Oregon. I am tired. But glad we're almost there. We would have made it sooner but we stopped in Portland and got buried in traffic. It was kind of my fault...let's try going this way. iPhone says it's quicker. Oops!  Didn't know there'd be a crash on the freeway that made the quick way the long way. We're having fun anyway. We picked up a rental car in Portland so we have a way back to the airport. It's a Nissan ultima. I like it. I kind of like trying out different cars. This one is very comfortable, black, and shiny!  And it has a key that isn't a key. You push a button to start it. Kinda fun. 
The other fun thing is I figured out how to watch netflix on my phone!  I can't get over what a versatile little machine my iPhone is. An app for most everything;)
Well I guess I have written all I need for one day. Take care. Good night!  Melody

Day tripping

Hola!  I am sitting in the back seat of my dad's car. Mel is driving and he and my dad are enjoying the view.  I am sitting in the back so I can put my feet up and keep my leg from swelling.  We will stop every couple of hours so I can walk around. Such is life as we know it at present. 
The weather here is beautiful..clear blue skies and already almost 60. We are lucky to have good traveling weather.  Dad is very excited to be going back to his home with Barbara. I like that he is happy and well. He is remarkably well for a 91 year old!
So today will be a car day. I am grateful for a smartphone that keeps me in touch with the internet. It certainly helps to pass the time.  I am thinking I may turn my phone into a hotspot so I can also use my iPad on the road. I'm thinking it might be nice. 
I took Max & Mugsy to the groomer before I left. It occurs to me that it sounds like I am talking about a couple of  thugs;).  They are so funny!  Max knew what it meant and seemed sad. Mugsy was super excited to go somewhere new. He was really cute and happy.  It made it easier to leave them. 
So have a great day. I am pulling for you. Life seems great!  Melody

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Scriptures!

Good evening!  I am done!!!!  Done with my painting class til Tuesday.  It is so soooo hard right now.  I thought I was doing pretty well, making sure to mix the colors to what I was seeing.  Then at break my teacher said I wasn't using enough color!  He is painting along with us, so I looked at his....which is beautiful.  But it is definitely not the colors I am seeing.  So I am totally confused.  And that is frustrating to me I guess.  Because I just want a break from bad painting!!!!
Sorry, I had to vent.  Phew!  Now back to real life.
I remembered what the third thing was that our stake president wanted us to do!!! I know...amazing!  I did get a little help from Mel....."Mel do you remember what the third thing the stake president wanted us to do?"  "Yep, read scriptures!"  Ha, ha!  When he said it I remembered.  Does that count?  Anyway, our speaker at our empty nester's FHE said that President Joseph F. Smith said that the book we should all study is the Doctrine and Covenants, and he gave several examples about why, and it was really good.  Of course we still should be reading the Book of Mormon, but in our spare time we can study other books:)  Anyway.....
Tonight we are packing to go to Oregon again to take my dad back.  He is missing Barbara...naturally.  So I am kind of excited.  One more look at the ocean!  I need that about now.  I am feeling a little down.  It may be this painting stuff.  I have a hard time learning new things.  But I think it has more to do with Julie moving away with all the kids, and just general "I am sooooo tired of winter!!!!"  It is not supposed to be great weather, but better than our last visit!  And our day at the beach was spectacular then, even with the storm.  I am kind of exhausted though, so I hope I can do this without too much suffering:)  We are flying back, so the trip home will be quick.  I just hope I can stay awake and alert all the way there.
Well, I guess that is about it.  I hope all is well in cyberspace.  Take care!  I am still pulling for you!!!  Melody

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hallelujah!

Good morning!  I promised an explanation for my hallelujah shout yesterday.  Monday night our stake patriarch and former general authority of the church (a seventy I think), gave his thoughts in an empty nester's family home evening.  He was so inspiring!  I love his kindness and have admired him for many years.  And I love to listen to him speak.  He began by reminding us of a testimony given in stake conference by a young girl from the Congo.  She has been adopted here and her mother here decided to join the LDS church.  She wasn't happy about this at first, but as she went to young women's activities she began to see the reason her mother had wanted to join.  She was so enthusiastic in her testimony that she was a daughter of God, and how that had changed everything for her and given her a feeling of belonging to God's family.  I remember thinking how hard it is for young people being adopted at an older age to really feel like they are a part of their new family.  I was impressed by her enthusiasm.  President Washburn (he also used to be a president of something...stake?) said it made him want to shout, "Hallelujah!" to hear her sweet and sincere conviction that she was a daughter of God.  Then he talked about how he felt we had been instructed in three ways by our stake president.
1. We needed to pray in our families for the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  He felt that most of us don't have that companionship because we fail to ask for it, not because we are unworthy.
2. We needed to attend the temple as often as we are able....an acceptable offering of time to the Lord.  He said we should go to the temple and ask the Lord what an acceptable offering of time meant to Him in our particular circumstance.  He said for him, a widower and retired older man, that he went Tuesday through Friday...most of the day I think.  I know when I worked at the temple I almost always saw him there.  He told us we would be endowed with power...sufficient to bless the lives of those we are concerned for in our families.  He quoted D & C 109: 22 "And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them."
I thought that was really inspired.  And it helps me as I worry about different things.  I just need to stay calm and go to the temple:)  I have been trying to remember what the third thing was.  Sorry, but I guess it has gone to that special place in my memory where the synapses have been corrupted.  So I may remember later...or not.  Sigh!
Well, I guess I am off to get Taylor for an afternoon with Grandma.  I love being with him, so I am looking forward to that.  Hope all is well in cyberspace!  I am still pulling for you!!!!  HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Quick Note - La, la,la,la, laaaaa!

Hi again!  Sorry I haven't written an explanation of the Hallelujah.  I don't have time to do it now and give it the time it deserves.  So I will wait til tomorrow.  I had an interesting ultrasound this morning.  The technician says my veins don't look so great, they are damaged from the blood clots.  So I am assuming I will probably be staying on blood thinners.  Bummer!  I won't know for sure til I see the doctor.  I have to make an appointment I guess.
Class was really hard today.  We started a direct painting....and I stink at it.  There were three different colored lights shining on the model.  It was really hard to get the paint the right color.  I guess I will keep practicing!
Well, I hope things are good in cyberspace.  Take care!!!  Melody

Good Day!

Good morning!  I am rushing this morning to get to a doctor's appointment, but before I leave I wanted to send out a shout of ....happy day!!!  And hallelujah!  I'll explain that second shout later!...I hope you have a gut...no great..wan!!!!  Melody

Monday, March 3, 2014

Guinea Pigs Galore!

Guten Tag!  I am having a good day so far.  I went to the art store and bought a new canvas.  I couldn't get to sleep last night thinking about the one we had stretched and gessoed.  It is so huge!!!!  I kept thinking how my teacher says that every inch of a painting should count...which means a whole lot of inches on that 3' by 6' canvas.  So I promised myself if I would go right to sleep I would go first thing in the morning and get a more reasonable size.  So I did.  It is only 24" by 30".  It seems much more reasonable.  I had to buy one, rather than make another, because there wasn't time to do three coats of gesso before tomorrow.  I did put one coat on the smaller one...my teacher says that is necessary.  It should be good and dry by tomorrow.  And I am feeling much better about our upcoming painting.
It's funny the things that bother me as I am falling asleep.  But what's funnier is the dreams I dream while I am asleep.  Last night I dreamt we had a basement.  And unfortunately it was full of giant guinea pigs.
Somehow we had forgotten about them down there and they had multiplied and become really big and wild!  My neighbors came over to complain because they were escaping out the basement windows!  I went down to see how bad it was and then I got trampled by all of them.  I remember thinking I would never be able to clean up the mess!!!  It makes me chuckle now, but while I was dreaming it all seemed very real and terrifying!  I guess waking up and realizing it was all a dream was the best part.  I did take some Zzzquil last night.  I wonder if that had anything to do with it:)  Or maybe it is because I have been feeling like I need to clean things up around here.  I am having fun cleaning.  I am taking it bit by bit.  It is amazing.  I clean something and it stays clean.  I love it!!!  I guess I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed with 7 kids disorganizing things all around me.  I am not sure why children are not naturally organized and tidy.  But even my most meticulous daughter did not come that way!  They have all had to be trained.  Admittedly some were easier to train than others:)
Well, I am beginning to sound a little silly.  Life feels good today.  I hope all is happy and well in cyberspace today.  Take care and remember I am still pulling for you!!!  Melody

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sabbath Day

Good day!  I love Sunday, and today and yesterday we had stake conference...so it is like Sunday for two days.  We had a great evening meeting last night.  It is usually just for adults, but last night they invited all of the youth 12 years old and older.  And mostly the meeting was for them.  I liked seeing them all there.  They asked them to stand at one point in the meeting, and Mel said, "We should stand up too!"  Such a kidder.
Today's meeting was also very good.  At both meetings we listened to speakers who talked about "the hastening".  It is a phrase that means the hastening of the Lord's work before the second coming.  It is rather exciting to think about. Mostly they talked about family history and missionary work.  I need to get involved in family history again.  I love it, and it has a great promise given in October of 2012's conference by Elder Richard G. Scott.  "Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple to stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As you grow older, you will be able to participate in receiving the other ordinances as well. I can think of no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life."  That is quite a blessing.  I want to have that more in my own life.
Today the phrase that most caught my attention was "Don't take counsel from your fears."  I have heard that before, but it really hit me today.  Probably because as I am growing older, and life is changing in so many ways, I have a lot of fears.  So I like that I shouldn't listen to those fears.  Instead we are supposed to take counsel from the prophets.  I like that.  I listen to them a lot and I do try to take their counsel.
I like to include pictures in my blog.  So here is one of my little dog, Mugsy.  He is usually by my side, or at my feet.  He is a sweet little dog.
I think he is due for a haircut!!!
My daughter Julie, her husband Randy and all seven of their children, 2 dogs, and a cat, arrived safely last night in Oklahoma City.  We got a text from her today saying, "Have you ever seen lightning in a snow storm?  I have!"  I guess the weather is already interesting there.  I am glad they are safe in their new home.
Well, I hope all is safe and well in cyberspace today. Take care, and HAVVVVVVVVVVVVVGW!!!  Melody