Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A lazy, though hectic, day...

Day off! Always something to celebrate!

I've been doing a lot of sitting and computing and reading. Here's a little bit of something I sketched and painted. It's the only thing I've done for a while, so I thought I'd better post it. It will look good on my blog thumbnail!

I've been eating my pre-made meals this week. It's nice to be able to grab a container out of the freezer, plop it in my lunch bucket and be pretty much ready to go.

This is the "Dirty Rice" I cooked up. It contains ground turkey, brown rice and some veggies, plus some seasonings.

These are some of the veggies that went into it with the addition of cilantro. It called for all kinds of spices, but I mainly used salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder and maybe that was it. I may have overdone something because I tend to get a bit of a stomach upset from it. But I WILL eat all of it, lol!
I also cooked up some carrots and a random turnip that was in the fridge.

Then I baked up some sweet potatoes. I later mashed them. They're my favorite!
I cooked up some broccoli and some spinach, all  of which will be sides to the turkey and rice. I can also switch to fish or chicken and use the premade veggies to throw together different combinations. I'm still figuring out the logistics, but I'm liking the idea. I may make a little less of everything and just keep it in the fridge to use for the week. I think it would still be okay and would have no negative effects from freezing. (The carrots get a little spongey.)

As for the hectic part, my car battery was dead today. I have it plugged in to a block heater, but still it didn't want to run. I'll have Adam come over in the morning to give it a boost and then I'll drop it off at the Ford dealer for a check up. I'm pretty sure I'll need a new battery. Oh well, time for an oil change anyway!

Micah called this morning to see if I could watch the girls. She is 6 months pregnant and felt that the baby has already dropped and the girl at the clinic said she should come in. That's why I tried to start my car! (Adam was able to get off work and go home, so that worked out.) As it turns out the baby has turned head down and dropped. Everything is fine, but Micah will begin doing doctor visits every two weeks. Thank you, Lord!

THEN, I had some confusion over my bank account and thought I had really messed up, but a quick online chat with a gal at the bank set me straight, and things are fine.

I also have to fill out my yearly form for my student loan, which I planned to do today. I decided I'd had enough excitement for one day! I'm glad it isn't due for another month.

I think I'll make some supper and read some more of the Beth Moore book I'm working on. God is in control! :)

Shalom to you all, and Happy New Year if I don't get back before then!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Writing Sheds...

Have you ever wondered where famous writers did their work? I came across an interesting website while perusing Pinterest. The heading was "Famous Writer's Small Writing Sheds and Off-the-Grid Huts".  I LOVE to peek inside people's creative spaces.
The link below the picture will take you to the article. There are lots of rabbit trails to follow from there. I find this fascinating! I could live in a place like this! Thoreau's cabin is a perfect tiny house. I hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I did.


Friday, December 26, 2014

A holly, jolly for spring! :)

A good time was had by all! Christmas breakfast and lunch was hosted by daughter Micah and family. There's nothing quite as fun as watching two little munchkins open gifts. :)

This was a favorite gift. Both girls got Teenage Mutant Ninja costumes.

Micah took photos, but hasn't posted any of the Audrey pics yet, so this is all I have. Maybe later!

Here are Starry and Nathan saying, "Merry Christmas, Grandma!" or so their daddy told me.

Everyone's getting so grown up!

It's kind of nice to get back to "ordinary life".  I think I'm going to begin having more "springy" headers on my blog. Let's start working our way toward spring!

Son Jordan's church made a video which they ran over and over on Thursday. There was no church service, but they filmed all the staff members answering such questions as "What is your favorite Christmas story", or "your favorite Christmas memory", etc. I watched it several times just to see my boy. (His answer to the first question: Elf) There was a lot of good natured fun and some serious answers. It was a lot of fun to watch.

I just got home from work, so I'm looking forward to some quiet, crafty time.

Hope you're enjoying a little relaxation after the busy holidays!

Shalom in your new year! :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A disaster in yarn...

Okay, okay. I didn't say it would be beautiful, I just told myself I had to finish it! Ladies and gentleman, my arm knitted scarf/cowl.
It looks even worse when I put it on! The drawback to learning things via video is that you can't ask questions, like, does it matter whether you put your arm through the front or back of each loop. And how do you tell which IS the front or back of the loop. So, I just did it both ways. Maybe I could use it for catching fish in the Sea of Galilee?
It was an interesting experience, but I think my next attempt at craftiness will be with a crochet hook. Something more "regular".
Other than arm knitting I watched a great movie today. If you haven't seen... really should! Well, maybe it's more of a chick flick than some guys would appreciate, but I loved the story and the French architecture. A real feel good movie. Last night I watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I enjoyed it a lot, but thought some scenes were longer than they needed to be. I got tired of watching Smaug chase them around. Now I'm ready for the third part, which I hear is actually going to have two parts? Let's string it out folks! LOTR didn't have that many parts and it covered three books! Oh well. They are pretty gorgeous movies, don't you think?
I'm going movie crazy this weekend. I still have Maleficent to watch tomorrow!
I joined son Jordan's church in Burleson, TX via their live streaming webcast this evening. They did a Christmas concert with the church band and a few guests. They will do it again tomorrow and I may watch again. Love to see my boy however I can!
And here's little Hazel Jane making a candy cane ornament out of pipe cleaners and beads. She is reported to have said, "I made a thnake! Thhh-thhh!"  (That's pretty dexterous for a two year old if you ask me!)
I think I'll fit in a viewing of The Nativity movie this weekend. It's one of my favorite versions of the story, if I remember correctly.

Thanks for dropping by and may you have a blessed Christmas! Shalom!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Pirate Princess...

Do you like Hazel's tutu and tiara?  All day long she's been saying "Aye, aye, Captain!" when Micah talks to her. She's a real character. ;)

Audrey is modeling one of the wreaths made of paper cut out in the shape of her hands. Micah is doing a craft with Audrey and Hazel every day for the 12 days of Christmas. She's a creative mom!

I'm excited that I not only have this weekend off, but I also get Christmas Eve and Christmas day off! Woo hoo!

I'm exploring the world of crocheting/knitting. I've got yarn and a crochet hook. I've found what looks like a good video series to help me. We'll see what develops. I'll post a couple of videos below so you can see what I'm attempting. I know I'm WAAAAAY behind most of you with this, and I don't imagine I'll be as devoted as some, but it looks like fun. :)

Shalom, y'all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Whatever strikes my fancy...

That's the kind of day it's been. Just putzing and doing a little of this and that.

Got my presents wrapped. Almost ready for Christmas with the kids.

I'll probably do some baking on Christmas eve. Keeping it simple. Kringle and sugar cookies. I'm going to make a tray of these along with some candy to take to the kids on Christmas.

It was a good day to make a pot of stew. I'll be eating stew for a week! Makes it easy to decide what to pack for lunch! :)

Otherwise, listening to a lot of Christmas music via YouTube. I also did a little drawing, but nothing I want to show, particularly! (Imagine cross-hatching gone terribly wrong.) I'll probably do more in a minute.

Just wanted to peek in on you all. Hope you've had a good day.

Joy and peace to everyone! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Short and sweet...

It seems like my evenings after work just disappear before I can do much except eat dinner and check my email! I'm so tired I often fall asleep in my chair and then feel like I've wasted my evening. Ah well, what are you going to do? :)

I finished up my Christmas cards this evening and will mail them tomorrow. Something accomplished!

My little brother, Mark, whom I haven't heard from for a couple of decades, called the other day. What a wonderful Christmas gift! He felt the need to reconnect with family and I'm so glad he did. He lives in Texas, just a couple of hours from my son Jordan. He hasn't met any of my children, so we have a lot of catching up to do. Aren't we cute?

I removed an old picture from a frame I wanted to use the other day. Look what I found behind it!
I think it's beautiful and plan to mount it on wood and give it a protective finish. It's something my mother-in-law saved many years ago.

I've been having a hard time getting around to drawing and "doing" art lately. So, I brought out a sketch book and just began doodling. I'm hoping if I make it convenient enough, I might just keep up the doodling habit. I think one of the things that discourages me is that I need new glasses so I can see details better. I'll have to look into that. (No pun intended!)

I guess I had monster hedgehogs on my mind!

Time to go to bed...again! Looking forward to Tuesday off! :)

I hope you're all enjoying the Christmas season at your house.

Shalom and joy to all!

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Innocently, I checked the "fresh pins" from my Pinterest email. I'm loving the illustrated dictionary pages! There are bazillions of examples if you follow the link below. I don't really care for the big word label on each piece. It looks out of place. If you need to put "Teacup" on your painting, maybe you need to draw better? (lol!) Or maybe it would look better in hand-lettering?

I'm thinking these would be cute framed. ;)
This morning, as I walked from my kitchen to the living room, I saw a pileated woodpecker perched on my porch rail! (The one closest to the window.)
He took a couple of tentative pecks at the wood, looked around and flew off. If only I could have gotten to my camera! I considered it a little gift from the Lord. He knows how much I love PW's! :D
Resting up from a hard work week. Lots of chicken frying and a closing. Both hard on the body. Hmmm... I may just try my hand at baking some scones! Photos later if I succeed.
It's later! The scones didn't work out. Since my chiropractor told me too lay off dairy for a couple of weeks I forgot I don't have any milk in the house! SO, I made this little pouch of multi-berry muffins. Only 1/2 a cup of water needed!
 Good thing it only makes 6 muffins. :)
 Oh, and this is my recently completed log cabin restoration project. These little salt and pepper shakers were losing all their paint, so I Mod Podged them to hang on to what little original paint they had.
 Hope you're all enjoying your Christmas preparations.
 Shalom, for now and Feliz Navidad! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends and family!
I'll be baking a pumpkin pie early tomorrow morning and then Micah, Adam, Audrey and Hazel (and little baby Gumdrop who will hitchhike along in Micah's tummy) will join me for the evening meal. They're going to Adam's grandma's house for lunch. It will be a relaxing evening of visiting and playing cards.
Right now I'm going to watch some more Hallmark Christmas movies and maybe do some reading. I have half a mind to get out the Christmas ornaments. No tree this year, just lots of little groupings here and there.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, everyone, as we count our many blessings!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Test driving the deodorant! ;)

I mixed up my natural deodorant yesterday. The instructions said that this could be done without melting the coconut oil. What I got was a mealy mixture reminiscent of pie dough before you add the water. Crumbly and dry. Not deodorant-like. My solution...

It worked like a charm! I left the dry, crumbly mixture on the heat register; went away and did a few things and when I returned the coconut oil had melted. I stirred the mixture and poured it into...

It's now hardened and I can just rub some onto my fingers and apply. I haven't noticed any irritation. Only time will tell if it really works. I certainly like the idea of using something like this that is so natural. The recipe is 4 Tbsp of baking soda, 4 Tbsp of corn starch (or arrowroot), and 6 Tbsp of coconut oil. Pom Pom suggested adding essential oils, which the recipe does actually suggest, but since I have fairly sensitive skin I didn't want to take any chances with irritation. :)

Now to find a cute little jar to keep it in! All of my glass jars were too deep. Here's to healthy underarms! :)

Goodnight and shalom to all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Natural deodorant...a topic whose time has come...

Really. I switched to Tom's of Maine deodorant quite a while ago, wanting to eliminate the absorption of aluminum into my system. For some reason I read all of the ingredients in his deodorant today and found among them sunflower seed oil. My chiropractor had pointed out that sunflower seeds were something that my body didn't like. I'm not ordinarily a sunflower eater, so I wasn't too concerned about it. But after seeing this in my deodorant I'm wondering if I can do better than to use this. So, I'm checking out natural deodorant recipes. (A heckuvalot cheaper than old Tom's too, I bet.)

Photo from the Wellness Mama blog.
If you're interested in putting less bad stuff on your skin, check out the Wellness Mama blog and give this a try! :)

Don't forget to check out my previous post today for some gorgeous Christmas music!


My daughter shared this video on Facebook and it blessed my socks off. Hope you enjoy it!

Then someone posted this version of "Mary Did You Know". I almost didn't listen to it because I love Mark Lowry's rendition so much, I was afraid that these folks would "mess with it". I'm so glad I listened to it. This is AWESOME!

Hoping the real Spirit of Christmas is filling your heart with good things! :) Shalom...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Yucky stuff and Christmas cards...

This is a week of getting through some yucky tasting treatments prescribed by my chiropractor. I've just completed day three of taking these...

Five times a day I have to take some of these in various combinations. The goal is to clean parasites out of my intestines and prepare me for a gallbladder flush this coming weekend. But these taste SO bad, I hope I can make it! After 7 days of taking these supplements I have a weekend of taking some other pills, drinking lemon juice and then olive oil. Over Saturday night the cleansing process works, and who knows what all happens Sunday morning! My doctor says that my gallbladder isn't processing fats as it should, which may be contributing to my "foggy brain" (as I put it). Our brain feeds on fat, so that makes sense. Prayers appreciated so I have no ill effects. (I'm a little queasy at the moment, though I haven't been most of the time.)
Do you like my Christmas cards? I saw these at the store and had to get them!
And, lastly, a frosty picture of the old log house next door where we used to live. It will always represent home to me because it's where we raised our kids for so many years. It was very rustic, but we had a lot of good memories there.
It's bedtime (or a little past!) so I'll say good-night for now! Shalom to all! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More cuteness!

I'll be 58 years old in about 5 minutes! (What am I doing up at this hour?) Well, I fell asleep in my recliner at about 7:30 and woke up about 10:30. My son, Josh, saw me make a comment on Facebook, so he knew I was up and around and he called to wish me an early happy birthday! The best gift! I also received a little package from him and wife Jess today containing a book and drawings from Nathan and Starry. The kids had posted some cute photos recently, so I thought I'd share! :)

I love Nathan and Starry's choice of Halloween costumes!

Here they're enjoying the last of the warm weather at the park. They live in Kentucky. These old- school teeter totters are a rare breed these days! (When I commented on this my son replied with, "We were at a special park from the 50s with no safety considerations. Even a merry go round where children can reach through the spinning bars and grab the not spinning center for an exhilarating broken arm.") Yikes! I see he's cautiously supervising.

 Nathan is becoming a little man. :)

This is a recent photo of my son Jordan, who lives in Texas. Notice how both of my boys are enjoying beardedness, lol. I think it's just a phase. ;)
I suppose I should get to bed. After that long nap I'm not sure I can sleep! It's a good thing tomorrow is a day off.

Shalom and God bless all!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I'm wondering how I measure up against other folks who live alone. (How self-involved can you get?!?)

Do other lone people talk to themselves?

I'm convinced that most do. In fact, I've overheard more than one person doing this at work in the midst of people.

But, do they talk to themselves in an English accent? (Assuming they aren't English...) Guilty. Of course, I have just listened to the latest installment of Michael Nobbs' podcast, One Thing Today. I am an Anglophile and will watch a movie just to hear that accent (and the other atmospherics of an English movie). As a child growing up, my siblings and I would lapse into an English or Spanish accent when trying to be funny, so I think it's partly an outgrowth of that. (I may have passed that weird trait on to my kids.)

Do they laugh at their own inner thoughts? I just did.

If they don't do either of the above, do they just sit around with a blank look on their face?

If so, I prefer my way of doing things, lol!
I prefer to think that talking to oneself is perfectly natural. There are so many types of talk...
...and when there's nobody else around to talk to, you don't want your vocal chords to grow flaccid, right? I was amazed at the images that came up when I Googled "talking to yourself images". Some folks are just downright nasty! Many implying that prayer is equivalent to talking to yourself. Well, I guess the world is full of all types.

I've always thought of eccentricity as a positive thing. Who wants to be just like the rest of the herd?
I'm thinking that most of us bloggers fit into this category. Our minds race and wander ceaselessly with vivid images and labyrinthine thoughts. It would be impossible to put those thoughts down on paper. One could never keep up; though a word processor helps!

I've just ordered a book for my Kindle called "New Slow City" by William Powers. I watched an interview with him and he looks like a nice young fellow. I have a bad habit of mentioning books before I've read them, and sometimes wish I hadn't! This is for a Slow Reading Group (I think it's called) at the Sustainably Creative website, which is run by the aforementioned Michael Nobbs. The idea is to slowly read the book together and discuss it. The book has to do, generally, with living more simply and slowing down our hectic pace. William has also written a couple of other books that sound interesting, so I've added them to my "someday" list.

It's the first day of deer hunting season, so I may go and visit my daughter and grands since they'll be sitting home awaiting news of her hubby's hunting progress. I apologize for this blog full of Google images. It's kind of tacky, but just something I was thinking about. And maybe I'm actually talking to some other people instead of just myself! Either way, it's interesting. :)

I'll end with an original photo taken yesterday. Would you call these clouds mare's tails?

Love and shalom to all!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Owl ATC's

I'm thinking these may be the last ATC's for a while, but I wanted to post them just for the record.

I'd like to escape the tiny format of ATC's and try some bigger pieces. I haven't been doing as much art lately. Mostly working on my reading stacks! But winter is a good time to do some painting.

If I'm smart I'll get to bed soon, but since House Hunters International is on, the chances are slim! :) Hope you're having a great day!

Shalom, friends!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Is it any wonder that I'm sipping a cup of hot tea and watching my second Hallmark Christmas movie tonight? I drove home in wet, sloppy snow, tromped through the snow some more to feed the kittens and then made myself some dinner and settled down to watch Christmas movies. It just feels right! I hope it's not too slippery on my way to work tomorrow. :0

I'm finally beginning this little project. I'm painting two frames. I think I'll add some pink to them and maybe some stickers and then top it off with Mod Podge.

They're to frame these two pretty pictures I got from Pom Pom! They'll look nice on my granddaughters' wall, which is painted pink!
 I threw some stale bread out my back door the other day to see if anyone was interested. One of the usual suspects took the bait. I watched this guy (or was it one of his friends?) fly away with a big piece. Of course, some of it fell back to earth. Oh well. Someone will find it. :)
 The gobblers are getting bigger.
Well, back to my movies. Hope you're all having a cozy evening!

Shalom, to all!