Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A good day was had...

It was a beautiful, sunny, not-too-hot day. It was the first day in a long time that I've actually felt like getting outside and doing something! Yay!

I gathered up my laundry (bedding, thrift store clothing I just bought, and what little I had in the laundry basket) and headed to the laundromat by 9. I read while my laundry was in process. I'm reading Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton. More about that later...if I remember. After the laundry was finished I went for a two mile walk. Longer than I had intended, but you know how it goes. You feel good; then you realize you have to walk all the way back! But, no serious side-effects. I've been so sedentary lately that I wanted to be careful about overdoing. After the walk I went home, had a snack, and then planted some annuals in pots for my deck. That's all the gardening I intend to do this summer. They will beautify my outside spot, and who knows how long I'll be here. The flowerbeds didn't do well last year, so I'll just enjoy my petunias, marigolds and violas! I also worked on some ATCs. So, it was an eventful day for me.
The petunias are called Blueberry Muffin!
It looks like my pictures are still taking forever to load, so this may be a text heavy post!

My step-daughter sent me a little cash gift for Mother's Day, so I decided to do some thrift shopping. I found a pretty rust colored throw with maple leaves on the border, a cute couch pillow, a baby quilt and car seat cover, (We in the north need one of those and Micah is expecting her fifth in December!) and several cute summer tops. And, a couple of vintage puzzles that will be fun to play with.  I'll see if I can upload some photos. Come on uploader!

Nope. Sorry. My internet connection makes me want to pull out my hair sometimes, grrr. I can't figure out why I can get from one website to another, but the uploader doesn't want to work. Hopefully, this problem will go away eventually and I'll try to post some pics of thrift items and book sale booty.

One book I really love is a giant coffee table book called "India". It's packed full of gorgeous pictures and information about India. (Ten pounds of book for 50 cents! Can't beat that!) There was also a Boy Scout Handbook from the '70's that's so much fun to peruse. I got a copy of Mere Christianity, though I already have a copy in The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics. I like to have a stand-alone copy and I can give it away when I finish it.

The May Sarton book was also from the sale. I had heard about it from a homesteading person on YouTube. May Sarton wrote this book, Journal of a Solitude, in the early '70's when she was about the same age I am now. She was an author/poet who lived in Connecticut. Her lifestyle sounds very much like Gladys Taber's, except that she suffered from depression in the extreme.  I'm only about 55 pages into it, but I'm admiring her ability to try and find ways to deal with her depression rather than giving into it. I've struggled with this problem most of my life, though maybe not to the degree she did, so it's interesting to look at her life and read about her thoughts and feelings. And she's very good at putting them into words. I'm still unsure of how deep her walk with God was, though she mentions Him now and then. She mentions listening to Vaughan Williams' Mass and says, "There are days when only religious music will do. Under the light of eternity things, the daily trivia, the daily frustrations, fall away. It is all a matter of getting to the center of the beam." I look forward to reading more. (After reading more I find she has some very "open-minded" ideas about "relationships", so my admiration has been tarnished a bit. But I'll probably read further unless things get worse.)

Some other titles I picked up are:
*Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
*Two picture books about France-Provence and Tuscany
*The Pickwick Papers-Dickens (Anyone read it? Is it worthwhile?)
*Chinese Lessons by John Pomfret (five classmates and the story of the new China)
*100 Bible Stories-nice little one page Bible stories with glorious colored illustrations
*Motiba's Tatoos-Mira Kamdar (a history of an American-born girl's family from India)
*Bible Dictionary
*Eerdman's Family Encyclopedia of the Bible
*A Jan Karon novel
*The Journals of Lewis and Clark
*Treasure Island
*A Shortened History of England-Trevellyan
*A few children's books

A picture sure would be worth a thousand words right about now!

I'll let you rest your eyes now. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're enjoying the great outdoors. We're supposed to get record rains on Thursday and Friday. I guess we don't want things to get too dry, right? That's never a good idea.

Shalom to all!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A good Mothers Day!

Micah posted this photo of Sully yesterday with the caption, "Getting ready to play some sweet jazz."
Her brother, Josh, replied, "Nothing sweet ever came out of a recorder..." LOL. Bad childhood experiences.
My kiddos (Micah and family) took me out for Chinese for my Mother's Day (and Micah's). It was fun and I found several options that I could eat. Afterwards, we took the kids to play at a park and took a little walk.

I got phone calls from all four of my sons and sent lots of greetings via Facebook. All-in-all, it was a great day.

I also spent some time at the library book sale on Thursday, but my computer is uploading pictures SO SLOWLY tonight, I think I'll try again later. Right now, I'm tired! Think I'll be off to bed. I hope you all had a great Mother's Day!

Tomorrow morning is the monthly get together for my old workmates. Yay!

God bless and shalom to all!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Still only 3 walks under my belt, lol...

Not getting in a lot of walks, but I hope that will pick up.

Health-wise, I've taken the simple route (to deal with acid reflux, for any newcomers) and am following a diet that avoids high fat foods, fried foods, acidic foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, caffeine, carbonated beverages, spicy foods and anything irritating like that. After several days I feel pretty normal, stomach-wise. So, I'm going to keep going that way. I've also lost some weight! If I unwisely relax my vigilance and eat something on the no-no list I do feel it, and veer right back onto my course. I don't know if I'll have to do this forever, but it's probably not a bad way to eat. I think I've abused my digestive tract with years of pop consumption.

So, after getting that sorted out, the entire family (me and Micah's family) have come down with bad coughs and fever. I think that's just about run its course as well.

I was feeling guilty for not posting for a while, so I just wanted to drive by and wave, at least.

The only swap I've completed since my last post was called "Invitation to Tea". The subject: teapots.

I just finished reading G.K. Chesterton's Autobiography. I won't say I loved every bit of it. But I do love the man and his witticisms. I would need to have a vast knowledge of English history and politics in order to follow him, but there were many chapters dealing with parts of his life I could understand. I found myself chuckling many times as I read.  Here is one part I really liked. Introverts will understand. ;) (You might want to click on the images to make them bigger. Don't get eye-strain!)

I spent almost 8 hours with Hazel and Adele today. Micah took Audrey to school and then she and Sully went to the last MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting of the year. Adele was still sick and Hazel just didn't want to go. So, we did  a lot of loafing. Well, I did do some dishes and laundry just to help out the little mom, but otherwise we loafed. I got in a little reading and the girls utilized their ipads more than is reasonable, but with Adele being sick, it was the only game in town.

Micah took some photos of the kids the other day. I must have nagged her long enough! Hey, I needed new photos for my sidebar!




Sully aka The Bubba Man
Sully's always checking to be sure his belly button is still there, lol.

I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos of Ravi Zacharias. I admire him so much. He seems to have used the gifts God gave him to the fullest. He's still going strong! He is an excellent apologist for the Christian faith, and I'll probably watch a lot more of his material. I've been watching a lot of this sort of thing lately, but I'm especially impressed with his humility and the loving spirit with which he answers questions from college students. Ravi Zacharias Ministries

A couple of campers have moved into the RV park where I live. Summer must be close!

I'm off to read blogs. 

God bless everyone!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

One walk under my belt!

Yay! I finally took the first walk of the season. I did a big loop around the school and a couple of other blocks in town for a grand total of 1.3 miles. (Measured it with the car afterwards.) I  had plans to go further if I felt like it, but at the halfway point I knew that wasn't going to happen. After all, I've been sitting on the couch all winter. My hips were saying, "What's going on?!?" There's nothing wrong with my hips, mind you. They just hadn't had to MOVE for the last six months! Anyway, it was a very pleasant stroll. Lots of sunshine and a slight breeze. Of course, I didn't remember to take my camera.

Here are some ATCs to break up the text a bit.

This snowy owl was a request from one of the gals. I did paint the eyes yellow, but otherwise a snowy owl doesn't need much painting...

 These were for a Fantasy Horses swap.

 These are for an "Inchie, Twinchie, Moo" swap.
Bird twinchies (2"x2")

These are inchies, as the writing indicates.

And these are the moos. (I'm not sure why they call them that.)

These were for the "Map It!" swap. You just needed to use a map somewhere on the card and then decorate it.
Well, still having a problem with heartburn and reflux. Gretchen was nice enough to suggest an article to read. I'll link it HERE. It's got about six parts, but it presents a whole different viewpoint from what I would have expected. He suggests that we avoid Prilosec and other anti-acid types of medicines because they may be making the problem worse. The problem might be not having ENOUGH stomach acid, which could be caused by a bacterial infection which needs to be treated with antibiotics. This infection can actually suppress the production of stomach acid, which can cause problems with digesting carbs, which then leads to a sort of fermentation in the stomach which causes the reflux. Like I say, it's a long article, so I won't summarize it all here. Basically, I'm going to try a low-carb diet first and see if that helps. If not, then it might be time to test for that infection. The third possibility is that the sphincter at the top of the stomach may be malfunctioning, which would require an operation. Hopefully not that. This is new to me (heartburn) so I'm trying to be positive and expect it to clear up on its own. We'll see!

Otherwise, I'm trying to stay in the Word and prayer, plus doing a lot of other reading between short bursts of artwork.

I hope you're all experiencing spring. I sure hope ours stays!

Shalom for now! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A little more snow...

Someone posted this photo on Facebook today and I thought it was pretty accurate. We still have snow on the ground and people are driving through town towing their huge trailers behind them. Optimists...
I'm feeling pretty good. I went to my new doctor on Tuesday. The only symptoms I had left over were a queasy stomach and some acid reflux sort of stuff. He just recommended a Prilosec generic, which I took yesterday and discontinued today since I'm feeling okay and I don't like to "take stuff". Anyway, hopefully you won't have to listen to my whining on that subject for a while!

I've finished up the ATCs that I had sketched out in my last post. This was a Pick-a-Theme, so everyone asked for a particular subject for their card. A couple of them wanted their designs zentangled.

Otherwise, I've been doing some reading. I just finished The Artisan Soul and began reading G.K. Chesterton's Autobiography. It's challenging. He's verbose, so I do a lot of backtracking to figure out what he's saying, lol. But it's worth it. I loved what he said about his dad. He, apparently, had a vast number of hobbies. His study was full of piles and stacks of the paraphernalia needed for his hobbies. G.K. said his dad sold houses for a living "but filled his own house with his life". G.K. was a great advocate of hobbies as an outlet for expressing our inner life. Time magazine said of Chesterton: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." Oh, so THAT'S why I'm finding it a challenge to read! :) I have the Kindle version and I'm glad I bought it earlier. It looks like it's $9.99 now! I'm sure I probably got it for free or less than a dollar back in the day.

I did this little 5x7 canvas for a gal at the ATC site. She was asking people to make sunflower art for her mom's birthday and she would trade us something back. She's going to make me a couple of ATCs in return. Not the most exciting painting, but I tried! (I really did!)
I just baked up a couple of huge sweet potatoes, so I'll have some for now and freeze some for later. Love them sweet 'taters!

My son-in-law, Adam, and his masonry co-worker, Jordan (not my son), just set out to start their own stone masonry business. It will actually be Jordan's business with Adam working for him. It was a leap of faith, and I've been much in prayer. Now they have several people lined up wanting them to do work. Hallelujah! They're excited to start this new enterprise. They are hard workers and do a great job, so I think they will be much in demand. God is blessing them!

Well, I'm going to make a jaunt to the post office. Thanks for coming by to visit. I hope you are all well, and I'll check up on everyone's blogs when I return.

God bless you all, and shalom!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A bookish post...

A promise of bookish stuff, but first...

Yeah, sick again! I came down with a fever and stomach pain Saturday night. I think I've contracted some sort of food-borne stomach thing. I'm still feeling weakish and my stomach is picky about what I eat. I'm hoping this passes soon. Folks, watch out about buying food at delis and restaurants. I guess we can't live in isolation but many of these places hire whomever they can get to work, and many aren't conscientious about staying home when they're sick or washing their hands, etc. Micah said that Sully has thrown up several times lately after eating potato salad she bought at the deli I used to work at. I told her to be sure to check the dates because I know the new manager isn't good about rotating stock and checking dates. Anyway, sick of being sick!

Also, my old country doctor has been in the news lately and has been implicated (along with another man who actually was murdered!) in a dishonest scheme to have older folks hand over power of attorney to them. Now, I have a hard time believing all of this. I've known my doctor for almost 30 years and he's always been a kind, Christian man. He has patients that have been with him forever and they've become his friends, so who knows where the line should be drawn between a friend helping an aging friend or something else. Anyway, the news has pretty much ruined his reputation whether deserved or not. SO, I guess I'll be hunting for a new doctor. Which means, I'm liable to just not go to a doctor unless things get really bad. Okay. Enough about that! (One of the Fox affiliates did a four-part report on this called Mystery in Menahga.  I linked to it at left in case Glenn and Mark might want to watch. Macabre, but interesting. )

Now, on a MUCH lighter note!

I just wanted to share some beautiful pictures out of two books about Tasha Tudor. I read these books many years ago, and I'm sure many of you have. I was just thinking of how wonderful they would be as photo references for painting! I'm only going to show a few, but there are so many gorgeous photos in these books. For anyone who isn't familiar with Tasha Tudor, she was a children's book illustrator and she lived this old-fashioned  life all of her life. She raised her family like this and her grandchildren also shared in her unique lifestyle when they visited. I'm assuming that her children inherited her pretty little farm. It would be quite a tourist attraction.
Both of these books are a feast for the eyes.

Though it talks about her garden, it also contains lots of indoor pictures.

Sharing the kitchen with a granddaughter (or maybe great-granddaughter).

I thought this little sloppily iced squirrel cookie was pretty charming.

She spun, wove, knitted and did a hundred other handcrafts. This lady kept busy!

Her children played with a large dollhouse peopled with handmade dolls. They had complex lives and sent each other tiny mail! She still had all of these things when the books were made. There are many more pictures in the Heirloom Crafts book.

She made countless dolls and stuffed animals, etc. over the years. She even made some marionettes and collected antique clothing.

Besides goats, she had sheep and spun, dyed and wove on her big loom.

This looks cozy, but I could never paint in that dim light! But it does make a good picture. ;)

She had extensive flower gardens and orchards. This looks like a painting by one of the old masters.

I don't think she had any plumbing or electricity in this house. So, that's a real oil lamp.

Every surface was full of interesting stuff.

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of that. I also purchased a Winnie-the-Pooh storybook which I had seen someone on one of my homesteading videos reading to their children. I love the illustrations and maybe I will do some reading aloud to the grands.

Many of the pages only have small illustrations.
Here are some finished ATCs that I showed in an earlier post.
Goblin shark

Red-lipped bat fish

Sea dragon

I'm not sure this guy's knee looks too stable...

 This was a few days ago. For those of you who are sunning on the beach and want to cool off.
 And pencil sketches of my next batch of ATCs...
Well, that's about it for now. Time for a nibble of food and a nap. Any recommendations for how to handle yourself when you have a stomach virus would be appreciated. I'm thinking just drink liquids and nibble crackers and take naps? I don't suppose a doctor could do anything about it except tell me to let it run its course.

Y'all be good! Spring is coming!