Monday, March 31, 2008

Quote for the Day

"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." --Danny Kaye

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sweet Paws

The paws of my sweeties. And some love thrown in.
(Licks = Love)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quote for the Day

"Hell is truth seen too late." --H.G. Adams

Inadvertant Snuggling

I know it's been a while since I've blogged. My part-time work has picked up some and between several rounds of baby-sitting and reading (a lot) and trying to keep the house clean, I haven't been doing much else.

We woke up early this morning to go for a walk/jog (Brownie and I walk while Pooker (my husband) jogs and we eventually meet back up). I woke up before the alarm went off and I gradually became aware that I was nicely sandwiched between Pooker and Brownie. Pretty much nearer Pooker's side than my side.

I lay there enjoying the warmth of being between the two hairy's I love and listening to them breathe. Pooker had been tugging at his blankets trying to cover up better, but he couldn't because I was on them. He was still asleep, but I think he knew something wasn't quite right. His alarm went off and he shut it off and again tried to pull his blankets over him and couldn't. This time, I feel movement and hear "What the heck?" and know that he has discovered us snuggling up to him.

While, of course, Pooker doesn't mind a good snuggle, we've just managed to snuggle him right up to the edge, plus tied his blanket up so he couldn't get it where he wanted it. At this point, I could have moved over a little, but I just couldn't. I have no recollection of even moving over by him during the night (I don't usually make it over that far as no one wants to feel as if they are being pushed off their own bed). So I just wanted to lay there and enjoy the warmth and the contentment for as long as I could.

Pooker got up not long after and started throwing on his clothes for our outing. When I got up and started pulling on my clothes, Brownie jumped out of bed and quickly did her stretches and yawned because she knew we were going to go for our walk. She prances around while we get ready and sticks pretty close because she wants to make sure she doesn't get left at home.

We actually had a very nice walk. Brownie was smiling and her eyes were twinkling from the moment we left the house and every moment in between. She really loves it when we are all able to go together. This is the first sunrise I've seen in a long time, but I was too tired to get a picture of it. If we make this a habit (again), maybe I'll get used to getting up early (again) and try to snap some sunrise photos as well. Who knows.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Undulating Peace"

"Undulating Peace" painted 3/5/08

Quote for the Day

"Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts." --Coleman Cox

Our morning walk

What a beautiful morning for a walk! The air was a little cool, despite the warmth of the sun, and it felt good. We saw lots of squirrels this morning. When Brownie sees them, she kind of starts what I call a "sneaking" type of walk. I don't know how she figures she is going to be in stealth mode with me tromping along attached to her, but there you have it. This one heard us coming (of course) and ran up a tree to peer down at us.

I just thought the hill reflected in the water was pretty. A train did go by on the ledge across the river, but I didn't include a picture of that. Or of the robin that I tried to catch a good picture of. Or of a white bird sitting out in the middle of the water that took off right when I snapped the picture. Or of the pigeons we saw. We actually saw a lot of wildlife today, which was nice.

Our walk was really refreshing. We both needed it. I know it was a good one when we get home and Brownie is smiling and her eyes are sparkling.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Quote for the Day

Well, I don't think you really want to hear about the ants in my kitchen (no, I haven't tried taking a picture of them, but maybe I should with the handy-dandy close up shot feature that I have on my camera--could be interesting). Or about the trip to the store this morning to get groceries and ant traps. Or the subsequent cleaning I had to do to rid my kitchen of all the filth that likes to build up while I'm busy doing a hundred other, more important things. Or about the careful placement of my little traps.

Of course, it probably doesn't help that as soon as I see the ants crawling around, I squish them with my finger and rinse them down the sink. I think the traps would work better if I'd let them roam into them and take some of the sweet poison back to share with their little friends. But I can't seem to wait as I'd really like them gone NOW. I don't want to share my kitchen, or my crumbs, with them.

Instead, I thought I'd try to find a suitably inspiring quote from one of the two books of quotes that my Mom gave me. I don't think she gave them to me so I'd find inspiration, but merely she was cleaning out her own things and was getting rid of them. I thought they might be nice to have (especially since I have hopes of having my own library someday--one with floor to ceiling book shelves and several of those ladders on wheels with a nice fireplace and several wingback chairs to sit in and lose yourself for a while).

So, the quote for today is from the book Five Thousand Quotations for all occasions.

"The thought of eternity consoles for the shortness of life." --Malherbe

Monday, March 10, 2008

Our morning walk

Buppa and I went for our walk this morning. What a beautiful day! For whatever reason, the water in the river (what little of it there was) was flowing clear rather than the usual muddy brown.

I love the ripples and the reflections and how interesting it was to watch as we walked.

The bare trees, with their interesting shapes and textures.

The two birds (doves?) I actually managed to take a picture of (probably because they
felt safe as they were pretty high off the ground).

The sky was just such a vivid blue, a lovely contrast between it and the dark, bare branches.

I just really love to be outside, to feel the sun on my face and the light, cool breeze touching my hair with my little brown dog on a red string trotting happily along with me. Nature tells me of the wonderful Creator and I am inspired by the beauty he has placed all around me. Now, I can get on with my day and try to get to all that needs to be taken care of.

Friday, March 7, 2008

"Behind the Veil: Celebration"

"Behind the Veil: Celebration" painted 2/21/08

This is a companion piece to "Behind the Veil" painted 2/20/08. Besides the tulle, I sewed these three things on the canvas: a pearly white button (eternity, heaven), a small burnished gold heart charm (never ending love), and a small crystal bead (party ball or "strobe light" if you will). This one still shows a hint of my sadness, but more of a glimpse of the welcome home celebration that is going on on the other side of the veil.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

5 Pink Dogs

We ran some errands today (Brownie is my little companion). I'd gotten some lovely giftcards for my birthday and some coupons in the mail and I like to use them as soon as I can (no time like the present).

I started off at Victoria's Secret where I had a coupon for a free panty. While in the store, I found out that with any Pink purchase you get a free Pink dog, I, of course, had to make a purchase (I love having birthday money to spend!). So I basically ended up getting two free things, which I like. Incidentally, I now have five of the Pink dogs all lined up in a row on my shelf. This time, they had a blue dog or a yellow dog to choose from as well, but I'll stick with the pink theme (pink is the color of my soul).

I then went to Bath & Body. With a $10 purchase, I could get a free signature item (I got three of their antibacterial foaming handsoaps, which I love, and the mango mandarin body wash). Then, if it wasn't enough to get one thing free, with any purchase today they included a free floral totebag. Nice.

I tooled on over to Barnes & Noble and used my giftcards there to get some of the new books my authors have out this month (yeah!). Then off to Michael's to get a few art supplies (plus use my 40% off one regularly priced item coupon). After that, it was off to the post office to mail some bills and thank you's (for the birthday gifts!), then to the tag agency to renew my license plate (which is not so bad to do during the week, before noon--forget Saturday's and waiting in line for forty minutes).

After I left the tag office, I went to Wal-Mart for Brownie's cookies (you'd think they would have these cookies at all the Wal-Mart's, but only the Super Centers seem to carry them). She gets the Vanilla Woofers and the Peanut Butter Lick-n-Crunch cookies. The Three Dog Bakery makes wonderful products with all natural, human quality ingredients. She loves them and I feel good giving them to her. She reminds me during the day (as if I need a reminder) when it is time for a cookie by staring me down and making a big production of licking her lips. When I say, "Okay, let's go get a cookie" she will run into the house and politely sit and wait for me to give it to her. She's funny, but hey, a girl's gotta have her cookies.

On our way out of the parking lot to go home, I saw that man I saw a few weeks ago who I thought was homeless, but wasn't sure. I'm pretty sure now as he had the same bags I saw last time, but this time he had commandeered a Wal-Mart shopping cart to push his possessions in. I also saw two other men on the way out, one sitting on his duffel bag with a cardboard sign (which I couldn't read) and the other was sitting on the bus stop bench with his pull-cart and possessions. I can't recall seeing so many potentially homeless people in the Wal-Mart parking lot before, especially on this side of town. Most of the people with cardboard signs have them right off the freeway, but what do I know? I sometimes wonder if some of them with the cardboard signs aren't making more than I am in a year. And I pray for the others who truly need help. I can't do anything to help any of them right now anyway, legitimate or not.

And there you have it--my errands for the day. Now I need to clean the house and take care of a few things, but it is so beautiful outside that I may have to take some time to just sit out there and feel the sun on my face and not think about anything for a few minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

"Behind the Veil"

"Behind the Veil" painted 2/20/08

I know I said I'd let you interpret the paintings on your own, and you can, but wanted to give you a little more info on this one. I painted it the day I found out Grandma had passed away. My sister gave me my birthday gift and had it wrapped up in tulle. When I unwrapped my gift, all I could thing about the tulle was "behind the veil." And that made me think of Grandma and her being in heaven. And how Mom was with her when she had one foot here on earth and one foot in heaven. All I could think was the veil between worlds isn't that thick. And Mom got a glimpse behind the veil that separates us.

So, I slapped that tulle on my canvas and squirted paint on and painted over that tulle. I painted about my sadness for our loss and our tiny glimpse behind the veil. I also added on three little things--a button (to represent the circle of life and my acceptance of the circle of life), a tear shaped faux pearl (to represent my tears), and a beautiful, glittery pink and blue bead (to represent the graciousness of God).

Another sunset from the farm

We were so busy helping, that I was only able to catch the sunset this one other night, on February 24th. I had really hoped to be able to catch it every night because I just love sunsets, especially with nothing to obstruct my view.

I'm just glad we were all able to be home together. I'm thankful for family.

Orange Gerber Daisies

My cousin gave me this beautiful orange gerber daisy (the whole plant, not just this one flower). She said when her grandmother had passed away, it was a week before her birthday and she knew how tough it was and she wanted to give me this plant to let me know she loves me and that I'm not alone. I've already got it potted and sitting near the window with my violets in them (the daisy wants bright, indirect sunlight).

While we were home, my sister and I were able to go with my Mom to Grandma's house and help write thank-you's. That was truly a chore as so many people did so much for our family. We were just so glad we were able to be there to help her do things like that and anything else we could to try to make it easier for her.

I do have to say that Grandma's house, even though everything was still in it, really felt empty. That was the one thing that struck me the most while we were there. That really made me sad, but how can I stay sad for a 90-year-old woman who was so ready to go home? She would want me (us) to live. I think the house is going to be sold, so there will be a lot more work involved with that down the road. That's a little sad, too, but it is a part of the circle of life and it is okay.

Beloved Grandma

We went by the funeral home before the funeral to see Grandma. I know some people don't want to go in and look because they would rather remember the person as they were, which of course we all are going to do.

I just wanted to be with Grandma one more time--to tell her I love her, I miss her, and I will see her in heaven. I know her spirit is already there and I'm just talking to her body. I also know she already knows these things. I think I do it for me--to help myself cope and find closure and to have that one more time.

We had a nice lunch together as a family in the cafeteria at the school where she worked for 27 years. It's where I went to school and I was so blessed to be able to see my Grandma at school everyday. I kind of felt sorry for people whose Grandma didn't work at the school because then they didn't get to see their Grandma at lunch. (Side note--she began working at the school at age 50 and retired at age 77. Wow.) We had a nice time of sharing and remembering her before we went over to the church for the funeral.

It was a beautiful service. My mom had written about being with Grandma when she passed away, so that was shared. My mom also wrote the obituary and that was read as well. The obituary was beautiful--it was a wonderful recounting of her life with humorous parts here and there. (I counted and there were five times the congregation laughed during it. That's a good obituary.)

We drove to the cemetary and said prayers and left her there to be lowered into the ground to rest beside Grandpa (who passed away three years ago). They have a gorgeous headstone--black marble with their picture on it. On the back, it has the names of all of their children and a quote from Grandpa "My hair is like heaven, there is no parting there."

I have to say that when I saw the funeral tent here in town when I passed by the cemetary a few weeks ago after dogsitting on that gray, rainy day, I didn't dream that not more than a week and a half later, it would be our turn. Incidentally, the first thing I noticed at the gravesite was the tent and the chairs were blue. But thankfully, our day was bright and clear and sunny. I was grateful.

It was an emotional day, but a beautiful remembering of such a precious lady. She left us such a rich legacy and someday, I'll recount some of it for you.

Brownie and the Cows

Brownie just loves being on the farm. She pretty much stands at the door and waits for us to come out and walk around with her (what fun is it to explore by yourself?). I usually try going on a nice walk with her in the morning and again in the evening (to catch the sunsets) and maybe play a little throughout the day when I can.

We were standing out by the barn and a big dirt pile that the kids were playing on, when I glanced over at Bippa and saw her sniffing the cows. Then I looked a little closer and noticed she was licking their runny noses (which is a little gross) and they were really wanting to lick her, too. I thought what the hey and let her, but I did pray that she wouldn't pick up any yucky bacteria or viruses to bring home with her.

The road home

We headed home on Saturday for the funeral on Sunday. I rode with my sister in her car and my husband and Brownie rode in our car behind us (because we were staying a few days extra after the funeral to help Mom out).

And don't you know as we were driving, it was nearing my favorite time of the day (besides lunch time). So I whipped out my camera and took these pics while we were going 65 mph.

Birthday Flowers

I know it has been over a week since I've blogged, but you know I've been out of town for my Grandma's funeral. I got back into town the latter half of this last week, but was just exhausted and wasn't ready to do anything until I'd relaxed and rested for a few days.

I received these beautiful flowers for my birthday, right before we left to go home for the funeral. I got a knock on the door and when I opened it, a lady stood there with this beautiful bouquet of flowers. I took them in and opened the card. They were from my good friend I have had since childhood. She and her husband just wanted me to know they were thinking of me. Since I was leaving town for the next five days, I took them with me so I could enjoy them.

What a lovely thought and how much I needed a little extra love and beauty in my life during this time.