Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I plan to stay home; safe and warm.
Hope you have a safe and wonderful New Year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Two birds finished...

I finished painting these two for the Bird swap...

 ...and made a greeting card for Jody in Montana.

It's babysittin' day! So, I'm packing my bag and getting prepared.

Shalom and stay warm!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Beautiful kiddos...

I just came across this photo on Facebook. It's my granddaughter, Tori, and her little boy Ollie. They live in Oklahoma. Her caption made me smile...

"After our first attempt at seeing Santa failed, we acquired a minion to help us through this tough time." 

Merry Christmas!

Shalom on earth; goodwill to all men!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Pause in Advent #4

My first Christmas in 33 years without Bob. It's only been a month since he graduated to heaven, but with our new family configuration it's necessary to make new traditions. We had Christmas early (yesterday) because of conflicting schedules on Christmas day.

My dear daughter, Micah, wanted to play hostess this year, so I packed up my car with presents and some baked goods and drove over to their house!

I made the pumpkin pie...

...and kringla (shown here in three stages)! M.K. asked what kringla is. Well, it's a sweet pastry that my Norwegian relatives make at holiday time. When researching the term I found more than one definition. So, it's kind of mysterious! :)

 Unfortunately, we're all fighting off colds, but it was still fun to watch the girls open their presents!
Christmas pj's!
Test drive!

Unspillable bowls for everyone, yay!

This is a fun little Bingo game. (Glad I bought it for her!)

 They both liked Hazel's bead rollercoaster thingy.

I got slippers and a ceramic coffee cup/thermos with a hand crocheted (by Micah) wrap. Both things I really needed! I also bought myself a few gifts. This fat, pink 400 page journal was my favorite thing. (I started writing in it at 4:30 this morning!) I also got a selection of colored Sharpies and pens and a 3-pack of 11"x14" canvas panels which I plan to do some acrylic painting on.  Woo hoo!
Today has been a lazy day of napping, reading books, and reading blogs. I went to the clinic yesterday morning because of this cold that's hanging on. My lungs felt so congested. She did prescribe an antibiotic to fend off the possibility of pneumonia. So, hopefully things will clear up soon!

God bless all of you as you celebrate God coming to earth to provide salvation for us all! Thank you, Lord!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Working on those swaps.

I've completed my Big Bad Bugs cards and one of my bird cards, so I thought I'd post what I have so far. Seems like it's been a while since I've posted any art!

I'm a pretty unimaginative collage-r...

Blue jay on a snowy branch...

A Hoopoe! (The national bird of Israel, I hear.)

One of my favorite backwoods birds-the Pileated Woodpecker.

A pic of Hazel last time I babysat. I especially wanted to capture her little feet!

Here she is without the pizza sauce. She cleans up pretty well, don't you think?

And I'm off! Shalom everyone!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Pause in Advent #3...

"If you do not cut the moorings, God will have to break them by a storm and send you out. Launch all on God, go out on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and you will get your eyes open. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the smooth waters just inside the harbour bar, full of delight, but always moored; you have to get out through the harbor bar into the great deeps of God and begin to know for yourself, begin to have spiritual discernment.
"When you know you should do a thing, and do it, immediately you know more. Revise where you have become stodgy spiritually, and you will find it goes back to a point where there was something you knew you should do, but you did not do it because there seemed no immediate call to, and now you have no perception, no discernment; at a time of crisis you are spiritually distracted instead of spiritually self-possessed. It is a dangerous thing to refuse to go on knowing." ~ Oswald Chambers ~

I was very challenged by this quote I found on Thistle Cove Farm's blog this morning! Turn off the distractions (TV, etc.) and tune into God. Being alone, I do have plenty of time to sit and contemplate, but it's still difficult to turn everything off and spend time in the Word and listening to God. It gets a little too quiet around here sometimes and TV seems like company. Human voices. That's why my Bob had it turned on all the time. So he wouldn't feel alone when I wasn't home. But that's an excuse, not a good reason. To be truthful, it's easier to fill our days with activity and noise than to listen and perhaps even hear God tell us to do something we're uncomfortable doing. Lord make my heart willing! In Jesus' name.

Shalom, friends!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas cheer delivered this morning!

I got a phone call yesterday from Faith Force Seniors at my church. The nice lady on the phone said she had been to my house to deliver a package of Christmas goodies, but nobody was home. So we arranged for her to come by this morning. This is a sweet (pardon the pun) ministry, indeed!

Homemade cookies, popcorn, candy, tea and cocoa mix (at least I think that's what Snowman Soup Mix is)! I'll share some of these goodies with Audrey and Hazel whom I'm babysitting this afternoon!
It's snowing again! I hope my snowplow man's truck is in working order. (That's son-in-law Adam or his dad.)
I've taken this photo more than once over the years. See the little streetlight in the upper right corner? It always reminds me of the lamppost in "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"!
I've been doing a lot of learning about insurance (health, car, life) lately and other paperwork that I now am responsible for. Feeling a little weary of that sort of thing, so I've decided to keep mixing in a little art time as I'm able. I'm working on three ATC swaps. One is sunflowers, so I'm inspired to make more like the one in my header! Another is birds, which I love to paint, and the last is Big Bad Bugs, which I may do in collage instead of drawing/painting. I haven't officially committed to any of them, and won't until I finish the cards. That takes the pressure off so if I don't get them completed in time I can always use the cards in another swap later. (They tend to repeat themselves.)
Well, I'm off to make breakfast and do some putzing before my babysitting assignment later on.
Blessings and shalom to all!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Pause in Advent #2

Joining others in a Pause in Advent (link on sidebar).
This has been a slightly trying day, but I praise God that most of the trying part has been resolved!
As you can see from my candles, I haven't been doing a good job of candlelighting and reading this week. (Confession is good for the soul!)

Last Sunday I went to light my first candle and, would you believe it, I didn't have a single flammable item in the house with which to ignite it? I tried the electric stove element which resulted in a small paraffin explosion, then waited until I could get to Walmart and purchase a lighter. I will try to get back on track!

How do you like my Bible? Copyright 1978, and that's probably about when I bought it. I have other Bibles, but I seem to gravitate back to this one. The print is a good size and I like the NIV version. But it's beginning to really fall apart. I'll do some reading in this tonight.

I've also been reading "Facing East", as I mentioned before. I read it some years back, but I'm reading it more slowly this time and really enjoying her inside look at Orthodoxy. The author's husband is an Orthodox priest and their family had only converted to Orthodoxy three years before she wrote the book, so she's still learning. I love her writing style. Reminds me of a certain Pom Pom person I know...

My jaw dropped when I read this excerpt from the book. As I said, it's been several years since I read this book, but those of you who look at the grandchildren photos on my sidebar may know that I have a grandson named Nathan Aslan! I want to write and tell her! Hee hee!  I didn't remember this being in the book because Nathan hadn't been born yet when I read it the first time!

This was my lunch. It was so good! (Wish I'd photographed it in a prettier bowl...) It was Heart Healthy...until I added extra salt.

And this is what's left of my Charlie Brown Christmas tree! The poor little thing was so dried out, it was dropping needles like crazy. So, it now sits on the back deck. Oh well, the ornaments are still pretty!
The trying part of my day involved my car, which didn't want to start after two -30 days sitting in the driveway. My son-in-law, Adam, came and showed me how to hook it up to the charger and I watched impatiently and tried to start it a few times, but nothing. I called my son in Colorado and we thought I might have to have it towed into town if the battery was shot. I gave it one more try and it started! Relief! I still may take it in and have a block heater installed so this experience won't be repeated. It's kind of stressful trying to figure things out without my man around. He worked so hard to keep everything working! Who knows, maybe some year I'll move south...but not unless I can take daughter Micah and family with me! That will take lots of planning...but our brains are working on it!
A joyful Advent to all!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

We got snow...

I stood by the sliding glass door this morning debating whether or not to go to work. I had heard that we were going to get a LOT of snow, but then The Weather Channel was reporting only 1-2 inches. I decided to believe them and went to work. It's surprising what a difference winter weather makes when you don't have your reliable backup (Bob) who will spring into action to drive you to work or pick you up if the weather gets threatening! SO, I got to work without too much trouble, but about 1:00 we got reports of it snowing like crazy outside and my manager suggested I go home early since I have a longish drive. Then we got reports that Hwy 34 might be closed. My only road home! By the time I wrapped things up and got ready to go the word was that the roads were plowed and passable. Whew! I just wanted to get HOME and settle in for four days off! The roads were snowy, but passable until half a block from home when I have to drive up a steep hill. I couldn't make it. So I backed up and drove back through my little town to approach from the opposite direction. Success! My drive is kind of long and had 6 inches of snow on it (it was plowed when I left this morning), but I drove slowly and steadily and MADE IT! Thank you, Lord!

The menagerie was waiting for their supper. Yes, that is a chicken. She is the last of her kind left here and I made a little shelter for her. I wouldn't be surprised if the barn cats join her at night!

I found this little note that Bob had scribbled down. I laminated it for a bookmark. He's encouraging me even now!

Everyone stay warm!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Pause in Advent #1

I'm so glad to join in on A Pause in Advent this year! This will be my first Christmas without my husband, Bob, who went to be with Jesus on November 19. We all miss his company, but we know he's in the presence of his Lord; something we can only imagine. This will be a very special Christmas for him!
Bob was raised Lutheran and would have been more familiar with the tradition of Advent than I am. For many years we've attended non-denominational churches, but lately I've been drawn to learn more about the traditions of the more liturgical churches. I think we've missed out on some of the beauty and majesty of many of these traditions. So, when an Anglican friend posted a link to a guide showing how to celebrate Advent I was ready to learn!
Every couple of years I have a hankering to go out in the woods and cut myself a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. This little guy was the candidate this year. Since I have one and two-year old granddaughters, I decided to have a countertop tree that can be admired without too many disastrous results.
The Charley Brown Tree


Two creches and my advent candles. (I later moved the pink candle one place to the right so it would be in the right order from this side of the counter.) *grin* The larger creche to the left is a music box.

A closeup of my tiny creche. (Bought at Ben Franklin's. So cute!)

The bedecked tree. I know, it still looks scroungy. I'll just pile on more tinsel! I had the bright idea to put the tree in a large vase. Then I had to figure out how to make it stand up straight! I packed it full of bubble wrap and taped everything in place, lol!

Southwest Santa (a gift from my mama) has a place of honor on the mantle. Of course, he won't stay there for long. Audrey and Hazel will want to set him on the floor where they can listen to him sing and tap his plastic boot on the floor!

A quick breakfast before joining my dear daughter and granddaughters for church.
Tonight I will light my first advent candle and meditate on the scripture reading for the day. During this season of being alone in my home I hope to develop a habit of spending more quiet time meditating on the scriptures.
I'm currently reading "Facing East" by Frederica Mathewes-Green (this is my second reading) and am enjoying learning about the liturgical year through her eyes.
Shalom to all!