Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A lazy day off...

It's a perfect summer day here. Partly cloudy, the sun peeking out and then hiding briefly, the wind wooshing through the treetops, a crow cawing in the distance. I've been mostly reading, drawing and painting.

My latest ATC swap is called Medieval Animals. That means any kind of animal as long as there is a medieval object of some sort in the picture. Here are my first two attempts:

The host of the swap admitted that she was no expert on history (nor am I), so if either of these don't qualify as medieval remember, it's all in fun. ;)

 I bought ingredients to make tostados yesterday, so I may just go build one of those. I had planned to have one last night, but dear daughter Micah bought me a cheeseburger after I helped her out with the girls. She was parked next to my car when I came out of work and she asked if I would sit in the van with the girls while she did a couple of quick errands. I do that now and then so she doesn't have to unload all three of them just to run in and do something, especially if she has several stops. I was glad to do it and got supper as well! At one point Audrey (3 yrs. old) had to go to the bathroom. After she and Mom returned we were pulling out of the parking spot when we heard a tremulous little voice from the back seat of the van saying, "But I'm not buckled iiiiin!" I'm so glad Audrey made us aware! Micah is known as The Car Seat Lady amongst her friends because she's a trained baby car seat technician (certified and everything) and so she doesn't slip up often. Thanks for the heads up, Audrey!

Some of you who did the Wind in the Willow Tour might remember my ancient swamp willows. They now belong to someone else, but I can still look at them. I just noticed yesterday that this poor little leaning over tree is sprouting a brand new swamp willow from its base. Is that cool or what? I hope the new owners will leave it there to grow.
 And this is the view from my chair. The wind keeps blasting through the window and scattering papers on the floor, but I don't care. I love the wind!

Well, I'm trying not to spend the entire day on the computer. We'll see how that goes!

Have a glorious day, stay cool, and shalom!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I cannot tell a lie...

I hijacked these lilacs from my old lilac bush next door, which no longer belongs to me. I figure nobody lives there to enjoy them, so I would borrow a few. (Everyone in town borrowed them when the bush belonged to us!)  Anyway, I put them in the window so the breeze could waft the fragrance around the house. The lilacs are late blooming around here!

I finished the ATC's for the In a Bottle or Jar swap. I showed the owl one a while back, but I'll put them all here just for the record.

No, I didn't draw the Jabberwocky. I cheated with a little collage. Well, it's not cheating, really. Collage is acceptable in most swaps. Anyway! :)

I took a huge leap of faith today. I put in my application for a job at the library! I've always wanted to work there, but jobs don't become available very often. I figure if I get the job I'll still have to work at the deli two days a week, but it would be so much better than working there ALL the time. And in the fall of 2016 I could drop the deli job for good. My boss wasn't thrilled, but she seemed to accept the possibility of my moving on. And I won't be totally gone, IF this goes well. I've put it in God's hands since He's the only one who knows what's down the road. But it's nice to feel like there are new possibilities!

Time to dig up some supper. Blessings and shalom to all of my friends and family out there!

Saturday, May 23, 2015


It's getting dark out and I've been watching two foxes trotting around in my back pasture. Too dark for a photo. As I type this there is another fox south of the house on the hiking trail. It's making that unique fox sound known as The Vixen Scream. Listen to an example on this video. I haven't heard any foxes around for a year or so, so this is something special!

I've been watching a lot of a BBC show called Escape to the Country. It's the UK's version of House Hunters. I'm enjoying it immensely because this is what I wait to see on House Hunters International, only that show is usually on too late at night. Maybe you'll get hooked like me?

It's been a lovely, peaceful Saturday. I'm so glad I have Memorial Day weekend off. Yesterday I worked a 10 hour day because someone called in sick, so I was pretty exhausted. I slept in this morning, which is unusual for me. I had to MAKE myself stay in bed until I fell asleep again. Otherwise, I would have been up at 5 a.m. Force of habit.

I finished up my lawn mowing because rain is possible tomorrow. I also finished up some ATC's. Mostly I just rested and drank tea...and snacked a lot. It's that time  of night when the sky is deep blue and the trees are black silhouettes against the horizon. The birds are twittering as they settle in for the night. It's pretty peaceful except for some cars roaring in the distance. These tourists can be noisy! I've seen lots of walkers out and about and can hear bikers talking as they ride by on the trail. I'm thankful to be home rather than in town. :)

I hope you're all having a splendid weekend! God bless all and shalom!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Hey! I think this is the first day that I've heard crickets! I was thinking a few days ago that it must still be too cold for them to be hatching out. Now they are chirping outside my window. :) I love to listen to them as I go to sleep, but it's still too cool at night to leave my window open. Oh well, all in good time.

I've just begun reading The Lessons of St. Francis by John Michael Talbot. It's been sitting on my coffee table for a long time, but I keep picking up something  else to read. I think I'll stick with it this time. I love bios, and I think this will be interesting.
Quite a day at work. The guys doing road repairs just outside the store said they would have to shut off our water for a few hours. Running a deli without running water is not really possible. We have a guy who comes and inspects the store periodically to let us know where we need to improve as far as cleanliness and meeting Health Dept. standards. He just happened to come today. He said if the health inspector had dropped in today he would have shut us down. If the water is off for more than four hours we're supposed to close the deli down. Well, yeah! There was lots of lecturing about how we could all lose our jobs if we didn't improve in certain areas. Somehow this doesn't scare me. I'm just looking for a sign from God that it's time to move on! ;) But I'll hang on for the present. I wouldn't want to do anything irresponsible. Anyway, I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and that helps!

After work I did a little lawn mowing. Yesterday I began the mowing and I plan to do a little each day until it's all done. I can finish up on the weekend and hopefully won't have to just start all over again immediately.

I think I'll check in on Jordan's Wednesday night church service at Open Door Church online. Talk to you all later!


Monday, May 18, 2015

ATC update and throwback...Monday?

My latest ATC swap is called "State" Your Landmark. The idea is to include art about something you feel symbolizes your state. It doesn't have to be a "landmark" per se. Just something representative of your state.

Here is my town's claim to fame... ;)

Can't get enough of our state bird!
A cute vintage map. (I was looking for something quick to do for my fourth card!)
And now...drum roll...MY LEAST FAVORITE! (Shoulda used a finer tipped pen for one thing.)

The Paul Bunyan above is about 30 miles from us in Bemidji. We have a much better one (below) just five miles down the road. He will be starring in my Sketchbook Project book.
I also got candid shots of two of my backwoodsy neighbors.
! ! ! ! !
Somewhere I mentioned having sung with a trio many years ago. We called ourselves Grace Trio and we sang mostly at church, but did sing a few other places such as this Bible camp. Is this the '80's or what? (I'm on the right.)
I'm having a relaxing evening leading up to my mid-week day off. I just enjoyed watching "Mr. Holland's Opus". Thanks, Glenn! It was quite a trip down memory lane and a good movie to boot!
Our weather has been pretty funky today. A high of 39* and big sloppy snowflakes falling as I drove home from work. I think it will be more spring-like for the rest of the week. And hopefully it will continue that trend!
Have an awesome week! Shalom everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Peace be with you...

Just a favorite scripture from the Wednesday night service at Open Door Church in Burleson, TX. :)

God is good. If we stay close to Him we can have peace even though the world is in chaos. Trust Him always!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The summer rollercoaster continues...

I was just reading over my last couple of posts. I mentioned two new gals who had started at the deli. Well, they've both quit already! We're down to 11 people to cover 14 hours/day, 7 days/wk. It doesn't work very well. Most of us who are left are the core people who have been there 11+ years. It's been so stressful trying to do the work of 18 or more people, but the good days are the ones where we just relax, do what we can, and say to heck with what we can't get done. If the deli loses money...well, we did our best. Not gonna kill ourselves. We are trying, but we can't do the impossible. You have to just let some things go. It's not our fault. Etc, etc.

I've found a couple of possibilities for future  jobs. Although I've considered quitting my job, I really have a problem with making things harder for my old work-mates. So, I suspect I'll hang in there for the next year and a half or so. But just knowing that there are a couple of jobs I'd be interested in  doing helps me to keep on keeping on. One is the little mom and pop grocery store here in Nevis. I think I would  enjoy learning how to do a little of everything there. They seem to have quite a bit of turn over, so there will probably be openings when I'm ready to do something new. (Fix coffee, stock shelves, fish minnows out of a tank...lots of great stuff!)

Well, enough on that subject! What am I reading? Right now I'm deeply involved in following the life of Annie Dodds in this book...

This lady is a lot more hard core off-grid than I would appreciate, but it's very interesting to see how she survives. Every so often I like to read a book like this. Usually I read about people in the Alaskan bush. This lady is just north of my parents in the Huntsville, TX area. She has a lot of grit!

My break room book is White Goats and Black Bees by Donald Grant. I'm reading this for about the third time. The subtitle tells you what it's about. It's another story of carving out a life in a wild place.

Having no building skills to speak of I like to live vicariously by reading books like these. :)

Tomorrow night I'll be going over to Micah and Adam's place for a Mother's Day pizza party. They were going to take me out to dinner on Sunday but I, being antisocial, asked if they would mind just having a family get together with pizza later in the week. Sorry, but I don't fancy the crowded restaurant scene! Besides, Audrey and Hazel can just eat pizza and run around instead of being harnessed into chairs for a couple of hours. Much more humane. ;)

Well, adios for now. I think I'm going to go visit a few of you and then maybe read a bit before turning in early.

God bless and shalom, friends!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A new lease on life!

Well, I'll get to the "new lease on life" part in a minute. First of all, I'm enjoying a day of reading, watching videos and baking cookies.

Reading: mostly Facebook and articles linked from there.

I've also been doing a little proofreading over at Distributed Proofreaders, which is dedicated to "Preserving history one page at a time." If you love old books you might consider being a volunteer proofreader!

Baking cookies: Peanut butter. Betty Crocker mix. That's complicated enough for a day off. ;)

MK and I have been enjoying this video today. I think this idea is pretty cool! You can find some actual "slow" videos on YouTube.

The swamp willows next door (at our old place) are getting their new foliage and it's a sunny, windy day. My favorite kind!
Earlier I made an appointment for an oil change. That's one item ticked off the list. That will be on Thursday. My car's been telling me I needed one for the last 600 miles! Now maybe it will be quiet! (I checked with my Ford guy earlier and he said it was safe to ignore that warning since my car wasn't due yet.)

Just bought this book for my Kindle. I loved Bill Powers' book New Slow City, and this should be good!

The "new lease on life" moment has to do with finding out about my widow's benefits. (It's weird some of the personal info we share on our blogs, but I think this is encouraging and I don't care who knows!) I've been wondering for quite some time just how widow's benefits work and when I should apply, etc. I had been told to go in 6 weeks before my 60th birthday, which is about 1-1/2 years from now. The nice lady at the SS office took all my info and gave me an estimate of my benefits at age 60 and age 66 (full retirement age). The benefits at 60 are enough that I could semi-retire, find a little job that I enjoy, and that won't exhaust me, and be comfortable. Working at my present job until age 66 isn't an option and there are no other jobs around here that I could do and afford to pay bills. I'm allowed to earn quite a bit on top of the benefits, so I look forward to being able to give more to causes I support. Anyway, it was encouraging to know what's down the road. I'm praising God for His provision!

Now I'm going to spend some time reading MK's book. The suspense is building!

And now I will take my brother Mark's advice. He told me to make the world a better place on my day off. That sounded like a lot of work! But, no. He explained that making the world a better place meant drinking a glass of iced tea on the front porch. Enlightened brother! :)

A good day to all! Shalom, friends and family.