Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A lazy day off...

Despite my boastings to a co-worker yesterday that I was going to mow my lawn didn't happen! :) I figured it wasn't worth pushing myself when I'm already tired. The lawn will still be here this weekend.

Instead, I puttered around the house organizing art materials and doing a couple of small art projects. My various sketchbooks, pads of watercolor/Bristol/sketching paper, brushes, paints, ad nauseum, were scattered between two bedrooms and the living/dining room areas. The living and dining areas are still strewn with things I'm actually using, but I finally got the things I'm not using situated in one area. This is a nice desk that my step-dad built years ago. Thanks, Glenn!

 Besides pads of paper and some art utensils I also have all of my sketchbooks and my son's sketchbooks from their homeschooling years. It's nice to have everything in one place.
This is a vintage piece of luggage I inherited from my son when he moved. It's so cool! I've stored my acrylics, some brushes and a can of fixative in it. I rarely use acrylics, but I'm thinking it's about time I did!
My dear son, Josh, has a birthday on Saturday. He'll be 30!
He's seen here modeling the supper his little wife made. (She is taking photos of what she is thankful for, for 365 days!)
So, I made him a handmade card. I decided I wanted to paint by my big living room window, so I set up my little painting spot here. The computer is so I can look at a photo I took.
 The remote controller is holding my Windsor & Newton paintbox in place. It likes to tip, which is very inconvenient.
 Here is the painting. The view may be familiar to those of you who look at my photos often. This is in the pasture to the north of my house. I thought Josh would recognize it and it's one of my favorite scenes.
 Here's the finished card. I considered using some pen, but I kind of liked the misty look. I enjoyed composing a note inside telling him what a delight he is! This has been sealed and posted. I made the card this weird shape so it would fit in a regular business envelope.
 I may have shown this ATC that I'm working on. I bought a little pile of old frames at a flea market a while back and this picture was in one of the frames! So, I decided to use her on an ATC. I guess I'd feel kind of odd if I knew some stranger used my daughter's photo in a collage 80 years from now. But it's such a wonderful picture, I didn't want it to just sit in a box. The finished ATC is shown below.

 I also finally got around to putting my ATC's in a larger notebook. I've actually outgrown my first album!
Besides all of this artsy goodness I've been reading "Rembrandt" by Gladys Schmitt. I'm only on page 47 of 657 (Hey, I've got three books going at once!) but I'm really loving the author's insights into human nature. You can feel the character's feelings. I know it's just her interpretation of what Rembrandt might have been thinking, saying and feeling (it's a novel) but I'm hoping there are some good insights on what made him tick. Good book, so far.

I also watched a movie today (I've been busy sitting!) called "Jakob the Liar" starring Robin Williams. It was good, if you enjoy WWII movies based on stories of the Jewish ghettos of Poland. Well, enjoy wouldn't be the correct term. Anyway, the ending is very unexpected...bizarre. Almost makes you feel like everything turned out okay. But, of course, there was much tragedy. Anyway, a good movie in my estimation.

So, as the call of the loon is heard over my house, I think I should prepare for bed. Up at 5 a.m. tomorrow. I've been fighting taking a nap all day. It feels so nice at the time, but then I can't sleep later!

God bless all who stop by and may the shalom of the Lord rest in your hearts. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Harvest meal...

Ah, home! After a hard day's work it's nice to roll into my driveway and anticipate an evening of pleasant activities. The first thing that crossed my mind was checking on my summer squash. They had been tiny  a couple of days ago. Have they grown? After changing into some more comfortable clothing, I went outside to forage. A nice little harvest!
These little veggies have been fending for themselves for the most part. My garden hose didn't make it through the winter, so these guys have only had whatever rain falls upon them, plus a few buckets of water I hauled to the vegetable patch one day. If we don't get rain soon I'll have to break down and buy a hose! I decided to make a chicken stir fry. (Not a lot of color contrast, but it was tasty!)
I had some cherries that were getting soft, so I decided to try making a cherry cobbler. I think my baking powder has lost its oomph. I should have gone for a crisp instead. :-/

And now some outdoorsy shots. This was a couple of days ago. Hard to see the little beads of dew.
The little morning glories are showing off again!
 Purple petunias!
 The sky yesterday evening clouded up and looked very threatening...

After the clouds passed over the evening sun spilled over the countryside. I love it when it does this!

I tried to post these yesterday but either Blogger or my computer weren't cooperating. Anyway, we had a cool evening and the breeze was so fresh and cool I had to close my windows!

It was a hectic day at work, so I think I'll just veg out a bit. Hope you all had a great Sunday!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

The God of second chances...

Even for silly people like me, who use Deep Woods Off to repel deer from baby box elder trees, there is a second chance. ;)

Oh yeah, I tried that! I figured it would taste or smell bad enough to keep them away. It also killed all the leaves. I was super bummed out. I had so looked forward to those nice, round, full trees filling up that area of the lawn, giving more privacy from the walkers on the trail. So, what do I see yesterday while mowing the lawn? Well, just look!

New growth! Signs of life! Yay! So, I will let God handle the deer situation. I'll just leave well enough alone. If I happen to still be here 5 years down the road, these will be nice sized shade trees. If I'm not, someone else can enjoy them...or curse the person who would purposely plant the dreaded box elders. You just can't satisfy some folks.

Speaking of new growth. Remember those sunflowers that got nipped off? I almost uprooted all of those sticks, but then I saw THIS today. Go little guy! You have some catching up to do! Peter Rabbit was sitting next to my car when I went outside, so these plants will need all the prayers they can get.

The tiny orange morning glories are still twining. So tell me; where are my blue morning glories? All foliage, no flowers. Do they show up in the fall?
 Squash blossoms and signs of a predatory rabbit...
 A pea blossom and LOTS of neighborly weeds...
 To the left of the large blossom you will see the beginnings of a squash!
 Mullein thrives here on my sandy hilltop...
 Hubby and I planted these three trees three years ago. They sure are slow growers!
 The tomatoes would like some staking... I'm sure you've guessed I'm not much of a gardener. I was many years ago, but really don't want all that work now on top of my job. So, I'm not really that worried about the rabbits and deer. If I get a few good salads out of this deal I'm happy.
 I love to just enjoy an impromptu project like this bookmark now and then. I was reading "Rembrandt" and realized I needed a bookmark for it. Still trying to use my quilt scraps, I cut out a piece of cardstock and started Mod Podging.
 This is how it looks so far. I may add some embellishments later, but... does the job just fine!
 Do you like my weed bouquet?
 Daisies, mullein, wormwood (?), grass and a thistle for good measure.
 This is last night's sunset...
 ...and yesterday's harvest of lettuce.
 And this is a moon from several nights ago. I was amazed that my little camera got it!
I'm not real great with electronic gadgets, but I sure am thankful for my little camera and computer. Don't we have fun with them? It's so nice to share our lives in some small way. (I'm also glad for my Kindle, though I once thought they were only for traitors. ;) I still read mostly real books, but my store of e-books is there when I need it.)

I think I'll go eat one of those salads I mentioned then hit the hay. Up early for work. (Try to have a good attitude, Lisa!) It's supposed to hit 103 degrees tomorrow. I'm thankful I'll be in an air conditioned building. Praying that dear daughter's AC works well!

Shalom, all!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Book sale and other life topics...

Library book sale!
I'm in the process of culling and downsizing my library, but I couldn't resist going to the sale for an hour to see if anyone had overlooked  a real treasure. Things were pretty well picked over by the time I got off work, but I did find several biographies. I started reading this one last night.

The author, Gladys Schmitt, has a very dense writing style. It is slow, but very interesting, reading, with lots of historical detail woven in. It's about 650 pages long, so I think I'll be reading it for a LONG time if it holds my interest. I managed to escape the sale with only a handful of books compared to my usual 5 or 6 bags full. Good for me!

Has anyone seen this version of Pride and Prejudice?

I think the Colin Firth version will always be my favorite, but I'm going to keep an open mind. I just recently watched the one with Keiren Knightley (sp?), and though some of the "atmospherics" were probably superior to the previously mentioned version, the acting left something to be desired. And the shortened length gave them very little time to develop characters. Very surfacey, in my opinion. (Update: Never mind, never mind! This version, in my humble awful! Yikes! I only watched the first 10 minutes or so.)
My USDA loan fell through. They suddenly realized that I live in a manufactured home and they don't refinance those! So, for the moment things are iffy. I'll be looking at the housing options in the area, but some miracle may yet intervene. My kids are going to help with the mortgage payment, perhaps as long as next spring. We'll put the house on the market with the hope of selling at a profit to give me a little nest egg. But it's in God's hands. I wouldn't die from moving, but I think the younger three kids who grew up here, and myself, would like to keep the place if at all possible. So, we're not going to give up too quickly.
Prayers for little Hazel Jane (granddaughter-see sidebar pics) who got poked in the eye this morning. The doctor gave her mommy some drops to prevent infection, but it will be quite a trick to get them into her eye!
Y'all stay cool and be at peace with God. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A few favorite people...

I mentioned, a couple of posts ago, reading Letters of C.S. Lewis.
I highly recommend it to those of you who love this man's writings. He is such a kindred spirit! My particular copy was given to me by my mom some years ago, and is all the more precious because of her margin  notes. I've just begun re-reading it and he is only 18 years old when he writes the first letters. Here's an example showing his thoughts on religion at that age, along with two short comments from my mom.

And this one, on the next page, I thought was adorable. Can you imagine an 18 year old boy having the courage to admit these kinds of feelings? That's one of the things I find so appealing about him.
In another passage he talks about the joy of finding a parcel on the hall table and unwrapping it to find a long anticipated book. There are many discussions about good books, walks in the country, the importance of tea time, spiritual things, and humorous exchanges between Lewis and his brother and friends. It's the sort of book you can read in short bits here and there.
Here's one more passage, skipping five years down the road, to whet your appetite for more. You'll probably need to click on the photo to get the larger version so you can read it.

I think he loved many of the same things that I, and many of my blogging buddies, love.
He led a fascinating life, and I think this is one of the most interesting ways to learn more about him. Thanks, Mom!

Two more of my favorite people, Audrey and Hazel, are always doing fun and fascinating things. The other day while visiting, I referred to A & H as "you guys". Audrey looked at me quizzically and said, "Grandma, we're not GUYS; we're GIRLS! We're GIRLS; we're not BOYS!" I considered trying to explain myself, but then I could only smile. She was right, after all.

That very evening Audrey and Hazel's dad and grandpa went blueberry picking in Grandpa Doug's woods. Daddy Adam came home after everyone was in bed for the night, so he left the bowl of blueberries on the kitchen counter with a note, "Be sure to inspect and wash before eating." Well, Miss Audrey was the first one up in the morning and when Mommy Micah found her she was standing by Hazel's crib sharing the almost empty bowl of blueberries with her little sister. Hazel had both fists full of blueberries and they were really enjoying themselves. Who needs television with this kind of entertainment?

I'm off to eat breakfast and then to work. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Shalom to you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

An action packed day off!

What I imagine will be a restful day off sometimes has a way of getting out of hand!

I knew I would have to make the 12 mile trip into town to copy some documents and put them in the mail. House loan stuff that can't be avoided. So, I decided to take advantage of the trip and do some other errands.

My To-Do List:

*Drop off a box of donations at the thrift store. (They support a good cause.)
*Go to the dump. (A politically incorrect term, but much easier to remember than...whatever.)
*Stop at a grocery store with a cheap printer.
*Go to Post Office and mail documents.
*Stop at McDonald's for a Sausage-Egg McMuffin. (Fortifying myself.)
*Drive to Walmart. Eat McMuffin in car.
*Buy birthday gifts for Audrey and Hazel. (Well, you can't expect Hazel to just watch Audrey open gifts!)
*Buy items for Project Christmas Child boxes. (So much fun!)
*Buy a blouse and some capri slacks. (I rarely buy clothes and everything is getting ratty.)
*Stop at the flea market on the way home and buy lots of books and children's toys.
*Get home and put stuff away.
*Mow some lawn and hoe some garden.
*Pick lettuce.
*Eat salad. Yay!

Which brings us up to date. :) NOW I'm relaxing.

And now, photos of what I brought home.

A couple of pretty dishes for my tea and crumpets...

 I don't know. I couldn't resist. I like rooster things.
 Lots of cute children's books.
 Something for my son-in-law and his dad. They do this sort of thing.
 I'm not sure if I've read this Miss Read book. The names are all so similar! The other two looked interesting. I like Jim Arnosky's art work and the Neil Postman book I had wanted to read.
 I snapped up this Tasha Tudor book in an instant! I love to study her paintings. I think I'll try copying some of her flower borders. I'm not really a romance novel reader, so if I don't finish Wild Mountain Thyme I won't be surprised. It does take place in Scotland, which is what piqued my interest!
 I found several brightly colored plastic toys for the grandgirl corner of my living room. Do any of these bring back memories?
 And here are the remains of my homegrown salad. Note the two pieces of grass at the top of my plate. Lol!
 I recently dug out two of my C.S. Lewis books to skim through. I love his letters to people. What would he think of us all snooping through them? I'm going to hug him when I get to heaven. :)
I didn't take pics of the birthday gifts or Christmas box gifts. Sorry.
So, now it's about 6:30. I'm off to do some reading and enjoying of my evening.

God bless you, every one!