Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This and that... (Thanks for the title, GM!)

Well, lots of little things have happened since my last post.

My tree nursery job wrapped up last Thursday. Just in time for me to spend Friday babysitting my three older grands. Micah and baby Sully headed to Minneapolis in the early morning Friday and returned late Saturday. This was for the annual MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) leadership conference. Micah looks forward to this each year as a mini-vacation.

Micah had purchased a couple of goats about a week before she went on this trip and since Adam has never milked anything before, I volunteered to come over and milk Friday evening and twice on Saturday. I kind of enjoy it. It brings back pleasant memories of the farm and many years of having goats. :)

Friday went smoothly except one incident in the evening, after I had gone home, when Adele pulled a heavy object off of a shelf and onto her head. This required a trip to the ER. Adam called me Friday evening and asked if I could come over early (I had planned to go over at 8:30 to milk) because Adele was hurt and was bleeding a lot.  I ran over and, by then, he had the bleeding stopped, and she was pretty calm. The ER doctor said she seemed to be okay, but to watch for symptoms like screaming, vomiting or unconsciousness. Yikes! Anyway, she was fine other than a cut and a bump on her forehead. She's a very active two year old and routinely runs into things, falls off of things and generally bashes herself about. She keeps her guardian angels busy!

Here are some photos Micah took in the past week. 
Micah and Sully picking Audrey up from school.

Grocery shopping is always an adventure!

Micah and Sully at the MOPS conference. She goes with a group of moms and they always fit in some pool time. Sully loved it!

My future daughter in law, Brooke. She was planning the flowers for her wedding.

We had planned to take the whole family out for Mother's Day dinner, but Adam decided at the last minute that it might be more fun for Micah and me (along with nursing baby Sully) to have dinner together and have some quiet time to visit. He said they would take the kids out later in the week. We took him up on his offer and went to a favorite Mexican restaurant. His mom and step-dad had come over on Saturday for lunch and a visit. So, kind of untraditional, but you do what works. ;)

This is my 5x7 acrylic canvas for this month's canvas board swap. I tried to copy a painting by Heni Sandoval called "A Murder of Crows". She had just discovered that a flock of crows is called a murder and thought she'd like to capture that in a painting. 

 As I painted I was watching a YouTube video of these three youngsters; also painting. They actually made some videos with the intention of people watching them while they paint. So you feel like you're painting with a group of fellow art enthusiasts. Weird, huh? Ha ha! Actually, it was kind of nice having some conversation going on while I worked. I guess I'M weird. Do you like my fruity tablecloth?

Do you remember my friend who asked me (and some others) to make ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for her to hand out to people in nursing homes?  Well, now she's asked us to make ATCs of creole words so she can put together an ABC book for some Haitian kids to use to learn their sounds. I'm not sure how well this will work, but I've made nine so far.

I just received this gorgeous little jewel of a book in the mail. 
It contains lots of beautiful examples of lettering...
...and lots of nature paintings.

Of course, like everything these days, it's infused with new age thinking, but...
I'll look past that and use it as an art lesson in a book. I love the colors and want to learn how to do the acrylic/gouache techniques of painting color on top of color. I'm just loving these beautiful paintings!
On the subject of gardening, I put in two tomato plants and six little summer squash plants. I hope we don't get any more freezing weather!

The summer squash are hard to see here, but I reckon they'll take up the whole space when they bush out!
 The next two photos show a couple of plants that were in the flowerbed and I wasn't sure what they were. This almost looks like raspberries?
 And I have no idea about this one. Anyone? I didn't want to dig these up until I knew what they were.
 The rest of this part got petunias. There are some day lilies in the distance and just to my left as I was shooting this photo.
I'm not sure why I didn't take photos after I planted the petunias. It's cloudy and dreary out right now, but I'll have to do an update when the sun comes out. 

My sitting spot, and what I can see from my sitting spot. 

You know you live in a resort if...
I covered this 8x10 canvas with one of my favorite colors. This brand of acrylics calls it Key West. I think of it as turquoise. Now I'm a little stumped. What will I paint on it? Maybe I'll steal some ideas out of the book I showed you. :)
I'm going through a period of adjustment with this retirement thing. I find myself feeling guilty for having so much time off. Pom, did you experience this? I know I'm ONLY 60, and I ONLY worked for 13 years outside of the home. That's what a little voice keeps telling me. But those 13 years were hard, physical labor AND I spent 24 years before that being a stay-at-home mom and homeschooled my kids for 19 of those years. We also lived a very rustic, physically demanding life during those years. So, if I'm able to retire (or mostly retire with some seasonal work) on my widow's benefits, I think I should be able to enjoy my retirement. I think this phase will pass. I have all kinds of time to do my creative stuff. I just need to have the courage to go out and find some volunteer work so I can be helping people and so I don't get too self-involved. Micah is my main source of volunteerism right now (babysitting), but I'd like to branch out. Anyway, it is an adjustment!

With the skies threatening rain I may not get out for my walk today. I did 2 miles day before yesterday and I'm still tired from that. If it clears up I may go for a shorter walk.

Let it rain! This is where I'll be curled up! :)

I hope you're all enjoying the coming of summer. I sure am!
Shalom to all!


  1. I always love reading your posts, Lisa. It is like listening to an old friend talk. I felt guilt taking retirement at 62, too, but it has passed. There are still times when I think maybe I should be out earning something but...I do enjoy my retirement, too.

    Loved your whole post. xo Diana

    1. Your comments are music to my ears, Diana! Thanks so much! :)

  2. Things look cozy, Lisa. Did I send you that book? I thought I did, but I forget which books I sent.
    It DID take me a while to adjust to retirement because like you I have always been busy with something. Now I try not to qualify my doings with old standards of productivity. I've never been highly productive though, so that isn't a hard thing!

    1. Ha ha! It's nice to have permission to NOT be productive! Nope, I bought that book off of Amazon, but you did send me a PILE of wonderful books. Maybe I saw this one on your blog and got the idea to order it?

  3. Once my kids were in school I started a home daycare. Did that for 15 years and was able to take care of 3 oldest grands at the same time. Although those days are long past I still can't get over the fact that I can go out any old time and I'm free of obligations. It's great. Being an introvert I do like staying home though.

    How to be a Wildflower... I like those illustrations. Like you I don't care for the New Age stuff that I see in the youngest grand's books and I have to be very careful what I say and how I say it but I think I get the message across. He's a smart cookie and a deep thinker.
    I'm glad you have time to go for walks, read, draw, etc.. Not to mention what a help for Micah and the kids. Poor little Adele. I hope she's all better by now. Take care, GM
    ( You're welcome to use my This and That title any time. )

    1. Adele's doing great! Just looking for more trouble to get into, ha ha! Thanks for the reassuring comment! :)

  4. What a wonderful, lively post with a lot of creative and positive and vital contents! I admire Micah and her job! And now she has some nice funny animals, too! Whoww! Grandma Lisa is always great and the heart of all! beautiful art you make, and your new home is so snug and pilgrim-lie. i also like, that you life downstairs: This is your real style,also always downstairs and not proud, except proud of the LORD and your wonderful family!

    Best greetings from Dori from the Bavarian Forest

  5. What a good grammy you are to take care of children AND milk goats! I like your gardens and sitting spots. So neat that you are making it home by adding beauty in the form of vegetables and flowers.

    I felt a little guilty about my free time when I retired from homeschooling 20+ years. But I still have a part time ranching job. Now I don't let it bother me to have time to read or sew or paint or garden. It's what I remembered dreaming about when I had 5 kids at home. Now I can do many of those things AND help out with my 9 grandkids! It's all good.

    Cool book of inspiration!

  6. now that I am laid up with my broken ankle I read your posts with even more excitement! :) The out doors! art! beauty! that pretty quilt on your couch! :) So I had a really odd thing happen in my life - I am only 40 - so young - I Know - I worked for a librarian in Ottawa for 7 years - and then I got married and for various reasons I am pretty much an 'early retiree' who (well not right now as much but...) tends to the home, helps Husband with things and does projects. It IS a real adjustment and I struggle at times with feeling aimless. I really don't know if I will ever work in a professional capacity again but am hoping to work on my writing and quilting and knitting! And I am painting a bit. I can't wait to see what you put on that big canvas! and those letter cards for the language building are really neat! Good job!! God bless!

    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for your encouraging remarks! It's so nice to know someone is reading my ramblings with some interest. It encourages me to keep on trying!


Thanks for dropping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)