Monday, October 27, 2008

Blue stripey feathers

I kept finding feathers all summer. I didn't have to even leave my yard to find them. I'd be sitting at my patio and feathers would swirl around my feet. Everywhere I'd go for walks, I'd find feathers. I found the above feathers on my walks. You might think I found them all in one place on the same day, but you'd be wrong. That is what I found so amazing about these blue stripey feathers--I found them all in different locations (park, along the river trail, and over at the CitiPlex Towers) on different days (all within a two week period). Every other feather I found was white or gray or white with black. I figured God was speaking to me through feathers, but I really couldn't figure out what he was trying to say.

I just googled feathers and here is what I came across:

"When you find feathers upon your path it could be taken to mean that you are on a higher spiritual path (whether you accept it or not), and it may be a sign of encouragement as you philosophically travel on this path.

Finding feathers on your path is also symbolic of having a lighter outlook on life or a particulary situation. When we see feathers in our midst it is considered a message that we need to lighten up, not take things too seriously, and try to find the joy in our situation."

This all makes sense to me, but I'd still really like to know what God was saying to me specifically with these blue stripey feathers. If anyone has any insight, please share!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sorry, peeps!

Sorry, peeps, for not posting on here for a little over a week. I am normally able to post a little more regularly but these art/craft fairs have worn me out. We finished the last one yesterday and I am physically and mentally tired. I have to say that for the most part, they weren't quite the success I had hoped and we are definitely not doing some of them again next year. My house is a mess because I have paid little attention to it while I was frantically doing crafts in the hopes that I could at least sell my crafts if not my art. Due to all of that and now needing to focus on my house and for the sheer amount of posts I now owe you, I'm not sure how quickly I'll get around to posting. But hang in there and I'll be back to posting regularly before you know it!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Making her mark on our world

Here she is making her mark on our world. She's already left her little footprints on my heart.

Contemplating the vastness of nature. She really loves to be outside as do I. Like mother, like dog-ter.

Nails in front of our driveway

One morning in August, Pooker had already left for work when Brownie and I went outside to go for our walk. I get to the end of our driveway and I look around and there are nails scattered all over in the street in front of our driveway and scattered onto the bottom part of our driveway. I couldn't believe it. It was like who is out to puncture our tires? I couldn't think of anyone. We went ahead and went for our walk, then when we got back I went outside with a Ziplock bag to pick them all up. I picked up over 60 nails out of the street. Sure, they were mainly concentrated in front of our house, but there were some back the street a little bit in front of our neighbors (but not near as many as in front of ours). I decided what had happened was someone had these nails in the back of their pickup and for whatever reason, they tumbled out and scattered. The reason I put them in a Ziplock was so I could sell them in our garage sale. Yes, a bag of used nails will sell at a garage sale. When you've seen a broken, rusty shovel head sell and a rusty falling apart wheelbarrow minus a wheel sell, you know anything will sell. Unfortunately, when I showed Pooker the bag of nails he decided he wanted them. I sighed and put the bag with his other nails.

Honey Bee and reception at Miss Jackson's

I was sitting outside yesterday because it was so nice. I like to eat out there as much as I can (I have a tall patio table, chairs, and umbrella). In the past few weeks when I've taken my can of Coke out there, I've had a honey bee flying around me buzzing my coke can and "drinking" from it. Sure enough, he showed up and I tried to cover the can with my hand to keep him out (I don't mind if he "drinks" when I'm done with it, but not while I'm still drinking). I put my can down after a while and forgot about it. I sat down cross-legged on the ground and petted Brownie for a while. After she wandered off, I reached up and grabbed my Coke. I put the can to my lips and took a really big drink. I had a lot of Coke in my mouth and was still sucking it in before I swallowed when all of a sudden I felt something small and solid in my mouth. I immediately reversed the sucking to spitting and I blew quite a bit of Coke out all over my jeans and the cement. I looked around me for whatever it was I'd had in my mouth besides Coke, but didn't see anything. I brought the can up to peer in the opening and there was that honey bee floating in the last bit of Coke. He wasn't moving, so I thought maybe he wasn't alive anymore. I put the can aside and took it in later. When I went to dump the rest of the Coke in the sink before I threw the can away, I poured it onto my lunch plate because I had it in the bottom of the sink waiting to be rinsed and put in the dishwasher. As I poured, that honey bee came out and landed on the plate. He started moving! I grabbed a measuring cup by the sink (also waiting to be rinsed and put in the dishwasher) and scooped him up. I put him outside in one of my pots (with a tiny tree that did not make it this year) so Brownie couldn't chase him around (she loves to catch flies, bees, etc.). I checked on him later because I didn't know how his wings would fare having been dunked in sticky Coke, but I think the dump in the plate with a little standing water in it may have rinsed him because he was no longer there. At that point, I was able to think how gross it was that I had had a live honey bee in my mouth.

We went to an artist's reception at Miss Jackson's last night in preparation for the show tomorrow at Utica Square. I knew Miss Jackson's was an upscale place that sold some jewelry, but having never peered in any of their other windows, I didn't know what else they had in there. They had closed the shop for the reception and you had to go in the only set of doors they had unlocked and sign in. The shop was very nice as were the people in it. They had the hors devours (that was how I knew it was going to be classy, along with the word "reception" on the invitation) in the middle of the store on a display. They had shrimp cocktail, little mini-sandwiches (only able to determine one plate of them were cheese/cream cheese sandwiches, not sure what the ones that had a touch of pink were and I didn't ask), an assortment of cheeses, and a nice fruit tray with melons, strawberries, and fresh pineapple chunks. That was in the middle of the store. Towards the front, they had several trays of cookies and fancy brownies. In another part of the store, they had a mini-bar set up and I think they were serving wine, but Pooker and I had little cans of Coke (when we asked for Coke, they gave us the ice cold little cans). I told Pooker this is the type of life he can expect being married to an artist--you know, the finer things in life. He smiled. The food was good, two employees we visited with (Ron and Katie) were really nice and made me feel welcome, and even though I only knew two other people there and didn't visit with them long, I had a very lovely time. They made an announcement while we were there about how much advertising they had been doing for this event and told us to be sure to sign in at the information booth before 10 am and get your goodie bag. She said she was really impressed that some of the stores really stepped up for this goodie bag. I don't know what that means, but I am excited to pick up my goodie bag. I'm sort of imagining the swag bags at the Oscar's, but even if it were some coupons and a few samples, I'd still love it. "Goodie" just implies goodies and I do like goodies. I've got to tell you, I'm really impressed with the organizers of this event. This will be my first time to be at this one and I'm pretty excited about it. With the reception and the warm attitudes, they made me really feel welcome and special even. That's always nice because that doesn't happen often. Ron looked at my map and told me what shops my location was by (I'm not really familiar with all the shops in the Square) and he told me it was a really good location to have. I wouldn't have known that. We left the reception (the people at the door told us thanks for coming and hoped we were successful on Saturday--Nice!) and went to look at the area I'd be in so I could get an idea of what it looked like and how I want to set up. The spot did turn out to be nice and was packed, even at 7:30 at night! I think I even have room for my canopy. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, not because I'm hoping to sell to people, but so I can be out with my art on a nice day, meet some nice people, and just be. If I sell something, bonus, if not, more beautiful paintings for me! (Not that I'm not biased or anything, but I do like my own work! And I'm okay with my art being something I do for myself, my family, and friends.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Flower in the shifting sand

I'm trying to get everything posted that I wanted to before I download all those pictures I've taken lately. I thought about not posting this one because the sand seems to be moving slightly and the flower itself seems like it was airbrushed into the photo later. But there is something about it that I really like, something about the flower which seems to be in focus with the light shining on it and with the sand shifting, it seems to be speaking to me and telling me no matter what is shifting around in my life I'm okay. God sees me, his light is shining on me, and everything will be okay.

Beautiful Fall Leaves

The leaves have really been catching my eye with their bright, happy colors. It's harder now to pick out ones to take pictures of because the ground is covered with them, but I manage!

It is nice to be able to go on our walks without sweating a whole lot. It has been cooler here lately, maybe mid-60's to mid-70's when we go out and it is so refreshing. I try not to think of what I need to do during the day while we walk. I like to let my mind wander and think of things, maybe get ideas or think something through. I like to think and as long as there aren't many other dogs out, this is where I do the majority of my free thinking. There's just something about thinking outside, in the wide open, that makes it seem like anything is possible. I like possibilities.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grandad's rehab update

Just wanted to give you an update on Grandad. He has been in rehab since the end of last week. His body is gaining strength, but his mind isn't quite back to 100% yet. He has been pretty stubborn and if he doesn't want to do something, he doesn't do it. Sometimes he gets agitated and they have to give him medication to calm him down. He just really wants to go home. They are releasing him on Friday. (If you have someone who is un-cooperative, there is only so much you can do.)

So, please pray for grace and strength for Grandma. Keep praying healing for Grandad's body, but also for complete healing to his mind. We think that it will help his mind immensely to be home and to continue therapy and heal from there. And we believe that Grandad will be restored completely in mind and body. I'll keep you posted.

Brownie likes eating pears!

About a month and a half ago, our neighbor gave us a bag of pears that he had picked off the pear tree in his back yard. I was outside, so Pooker brought the bag to me to show me. Brownie crowded around our legs because she wanted to see what was in the bag. Pooker put it down lower so she could see in it and she got really excited. She thought it was a bag filled with balls for her! He had given us so many I thought it couldn't hurt to let her have one of them, so we gave her the whole pear. She carried it around and played with it a while, rolling around with it and tossing it a little bit. She was picking it up to move it and her teeth bit into it. She kind of stopped and tilted her head like "What was that?" She sat down and took it between her two front paws and tried biting into it again. She must have liked it because she started taking bites out of it and eating it (except every once in a while, she'd spit some of the skin out). She ate all but a small piece of that pear and she really enjoyed it. For the next several days, whenever I'd eat a pear she would want some of it. I'd cut her off a slice and hand it to her and keep giving her slices until she stopped asking for more. I figured if she wants to eat fruit, I'll let her eat as much of it as she wants!

Mushrooms, mushrooms everywhere

Mushrooms, mushrooms everywhere! These mushrooms are all growing within five feet of each other. The first one looks like it has crushed chocolate candy dusted along the top of it. The second one is beautifully flower-like. The third looks like a delicate bow (one of those made out of raffia) that should go on top of a gift. These fourth two kind of look like they belong in a fairy tale (like some of the toadstools in Alice in Wonderland only lacking the Cheshire cat sitting on top of them).

Fuzzy caterpillar

I really enjoy it when I run across a fuzzy caterpillar. I like to watch them crawl. If I'd have had time, I would have picked him up and petted him for a minute before putting him down and sending him on his way.

Upside down at a dead end

No, I did not stage this shopping cart! We found it like this on our walk. This is what happens to carts that lose their way.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Brownie at Sonic

Going through the drive-thru at Sonic.

Geese in my barren park

These geese (and many more than I've shown here) have lived in my barren park all summer. When Buppa and I go to walk down by the river, we walk along the edge of this park to reach it. I've been dodging poo from these geese for months. It is all over the place and all shades of green--from sage to forrest. While I like watching the geese, I do not like dodging the poo.

We just got done with having a booth at the Indie Emporium. I'll post about that later when I've recovered a little more. I'm a little behind from working so hard on all the crafts, which I have taken pictures of but have yet to download off my camera along with our second trip to the Fair, a birthday party for my niece and nephews, Indie, and lots more nature shots I've taken on our walks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Graffitti by the River

We see this graffitti when we walk down by the river. I'm not normally into graffitti, but I like the colors on here and it is kind of soothing and peaceful. My eyes are drawn to it every time we go by.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Flowers are still in bloom!

I like taking pictures of flowers. I find them so beautiful with their vivid colors and sizes and shapes. I love it, too, that there are still wild flowers blooming for me to see on our walks.

Brownie and I cuddling

My sweet Brownie dog is a cuddler. I asked Pooker to go get the camera and geta picture of us because I don't have too many pictures of her and I snuggling.

I'm sorry I haven't been posting as regularly as I had been. I promise I'll get back to regular posting soon. I've been really focusing on making crafts for this show (of which, I'll take pictures of them today and post them when I can so you can see what I've been making). I haven't spoken with Grandma yet this week, but I know that Grandad went to rehab over the weekend and they were evaluating him then to come up with a plan to get him back up and on his feet. I'll let you know how rehab is going as soon as I find out.

Large mushroom in our yard

This large mushroom was growing in our yard after the rains we got from Hurricane Ike. I know the pictures aren't the best, but this mushroom was in our front yard and I was trying to snap the pictures as Brownie and I were on our way for a walk. I didn't really want to be hunched over in our yard very long as Brownie was really ready to get to walking and I didn't want anyone to see me and wonder what suspicious thing I was doing crouched down by my neighbor's driveway (they were nearer to theirs than ours). It's one thing to take leisurely pictures of mushrooms in my backyard, quite another in the front. Can't say this one is beautiful, but kind of interesting.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Interesting things we've seen our our walks

I think these little things are neat. I love the purple stem and the bright green berries that go to a deep purple when they are ripe (whatever they are).

I'm not sure what this is, either. This is quite a closeup of it as it is actually a little larger than the size of a golfball. Their color just catches my eye and I liked how this one had the light reflecting off it.

These massive pods fall from some tree (3/4" the size of a regular banana) and these are the seeds it contains (the seeds are larger than a nickel, but smaller than a quarter). I just thought it was interesting.

I know I've shown you a picture of these grape like things when they were bright green, but here they have moved beyond bright green to what I would call the color of harvest gold (not actually the color of wheat at harvest, but what they called the color of yellow appliances, etc. they made in the 70's). They are still very eye catching when you walk past them.

I liked these little conjoined acorns, so I had to share them with you. (We have quite a few trees nearby that have acorns in them which explains why so many squirrels thrive in this area.)

Now, I'm not much of a fan of insects, but really thought this fellow's colors were amazing.

This was an egg someone had thrown in the park (definitely would not have shown it if it were the egg of some hapless bird). It's been in the sun so long it cooked what was left of the yolk inside and ants are crawling around in it getting their breakfast. A little gross, but also interesting.

I've also shown you these before, but when they were green. They've moved on to brown (these pods are not to be confused with the large pod/seeds in the picture fourth from the top--different pods altogether--evidently, we've got lots of pods as well as mushrooms).

I'm still working on my crafts and probably won't get pictures taken of them until next week, but don't worry, I'll get around to showing them to you. Please keep praying over Grandad's mind because he still seems a little fuzzy. They are going to send him to rehab soon because his body is healing extremely well and he needs to get up and around. The sooner he starts walking, the sooner he comes home. Side note: They discovered he had thrush in his throat today. They kept harping on him needing to eat, and he does need to eat, but no one thought to check for a reason he was refusing to eat. He was too fuzzy to tell them, but he wasn't eating because it hurt too much to swallow. Good lord. My Grandma is the one who figured that out. She asked him why he couldn't eat more and he said his throat hurt. They looked in it, and he had gotten thrush from the tube down his throat. It took seven days and my Grandma to figure that out? It kind of seems like they don't care too much about their patients in the hospital, just doing what they have to do and ignoring everything else. Thank God Grandma is with him.

Family Fun at the Fair last Saturday

I think it is safe to say we all love a good Fair! We grew up going to the small, local Fair so it is very exciting to go to a fairly large Fair!

I just caught the last couple of rides because Pooker, Mom, and I hadn't quite finished eating before they left to go ride (and you can imagine how important food is at the Fair--one of the main attractions for us). Then, we finished our search for the Watkins Vanilla man before we looked for them "beside the carousel." We could not find them. Wouldn't you know they'd have TWO carousels and sure enough, they were by the second one. They liked riding this slide so much, they went on it twice.

After extensive walking through all the main buildings (and finding the Watkins Vanilla man for my Vanilla roll-on cologne and seeing the man at the toe ring tent for my annual fitted toe ring), we ended up with enough time to eat a few last items and catch an act, which we enjoyed.

It was a fast, quick trip around the Fair, which is why Pooker and I will be going back tomorrow. I saw some seals I hope to get a picture of, not to mention the animals in the petting zoo, getting some fudge for Mom because she didn't have time to get any, getting some Daddy Hinkle's meat marinade, and I'd like a closer look at all the fine art exhibits. (Not to mention one last taste of Fair food for another year--YUM!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grandad's better

I wanted to give you an update on Grandad. They (finally) stopped giving him the morphine on Monday and switched it to a different pain medication. He is still not quite himself (as the morphine hasn't all left his body yet), but isn't quite so aggressive/paranoid They now have him in a regular room. His body is healing, but he is still in some pain. He needs to be able to walk before they'll let him go, so please pray that his body regains strength so he can get around, that the fog lifts from him and he once again has a sound mind, and that his recovery goes well and quickly.

I spoke to him briefly last night and asked how he was and told him how much I love him. He told me he was still in some pain, that he loved me too, and he said he felt my prayers when he was in the shower. That really touched me as I didn't mention anything to him about how I was praying for him (had told him before the surgery I'd be praying, but not since). That let me know how powerful prayers really are (sometimes, it's easy to forget) and I'm grateful to God for watching over my Grandad.

Sorry about not posting for a few days. I need to blog about the Fair over the weekend, I've got more mushrooms, and I'll show you pictures of the crafts I'm working on for the show next weekend (already have enough art, but needed some crafts in the hopes of being able to sell something--my theory is the more options you give people, the greater the chance of having something that appeals to a wider variety of people. Plus, our booth is in the craft section!). I won't tell you what crafts I'm making because I'd like to surprise you with my craftiness. That will give you something to look forward to.

I'm off to Wal-Mart for groceries (and perhaps some lunch).