Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving day

I started my day with my walk/run this morning. It was so refreshing out because it had rained all night and cleared just before I walked. I love the silence and stillness that comes with rain and with it being a holiday, there was no one out and no cars driving around in the neighborhood either. Silence.

We hadn't planned anything big for today because Chuck had a medical procedure done on Tuesday and mom, yesterday, so we didn't know how everyone was going to be feeling. So, we all went out to Cracker Barrel for lunch. Chuck was in the middle of a project and he decided to stay home and finish, otherwise, he'd only be with us in body and no fun to be around! So, I took the kids. I tried to document our day with pictures so here are a few. This is when we first arrived at mom's. This is me and my mom! Since it has been raining on and off for two days, I had to go curly today. No way am I taking time to blow dry my hair straight for it to start curling back up in rain! Ugh!
My boys love going to Cracker Barrel if, for no other reason, to play checkers. Why they won't play them together at home, I don't know. Guess it's the novelty of it.
No traditional Thanksgiving food for me this year. I went for country comfort! Turnip greens, beans, okra, and cornbread! And it was delicious!
Here I am with my boys after eating. I had to hold Max's hand to try and keep him from giving me bunny ears! He's such a stinker!
I cropped this photo in a bit so you can see this necklace I am wearing. It's one of my most favorite handmade gifts anyone has ever given me. A fellow artist, Sue Trump (blogless Sue) made this for me. It is knitted and beaded! I swear this little tiny purse was knitted with toothpicks! It's exquisite! I am so honored that she put so much work into such a special gift for me! I will always treasure it!Poor Sam, with his light eyes, he's soooo light sensitive. He just couldn't keep them open!

I really like this picture of mom and my step-dad, Fred. They look so happy here. You can't tell that mom really didn't feel so well. She's a good faker, but I know better. Since Chuck didn't get to join us for lunch, I got him food to go. He ended up coming over to my mom's for a while later in the afternoon so, he didn't totally miss out on the day. In this photo, you can really see the personalities of my two boys coming out loud and clear. Just look at Max trying to hard to get bunny ears on Sam!
PaPa loves to pick on my boys. I love the silliness but it sure get's the boys all fumed up!
This, THIS is one of my most favorite things to do. Kinda' blurry picture but... oh well... My mom and step-dad are big Scrabble players. Here's my winning board:
This is my favorite game to play and unfortunately, my boys usually occupy my mom's time with little break but Fred and I usually go head to head for hours playing one game after another. Today, we only got in two games because I also did haircuts for mom, Fred, and Chuck.
Those of you who didn't know me before kids might not know that was my passion for about 15 years. I retired when I was a month away from giving birth to Sam. Hairdressing was my creative passion for a long time and I still enjoy cutting hair. Just a whole different medium to work with!(Fran, if you are reading this, I'm thinkin' you are due for a cut too, right? I always seem to do all the family and you within the same week!)

Mom taught Sam to play Chinese Checkers, one of her favorite childhood games.Then, it was time to get the boys home and in bed. It's been a fun day. Very relaxing! I hope all of you had a wonderful, relaxing day with those you love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Things I am thankful for, plus a whole lot more:
1. my boys, who are healthy, happy, funny, strong, and loving
2. my husband who loves me no matter what
3. my own family, especially my mom and step-dad
4. my eyes, so I can see beauty all around me
5. my health
6. friends who are willing to stand by me and tell me the truth, even when I'm kicking and screaming that I don't want to hear it.
7. my best friend, Fran, who really gets me
8. renewed friendships
9. internet... my connection to a ton of new friends and key to making my world a whole lot bigger and better.
10. my church, which teaches me how to live by Grace, not multiple sets of rules, and encourages me to be who God made me, individually and uniquely.
11. that I'm an artist. God could have made me totally different but I'm so thankful he made me an artist because it causes me to view the world in a completely different way than I would otherwise. And heck, I get to paint!
12. for my own growth. I am, more and more, understanding the core of who I am and accepting all of me.
13. that I was not born a pioneer woman! I like modern day conveniences like hot water in my bathroom , a clothes washer and dryer, and a dishwasher!
14. my home, that is progressively, more and more a reflection of me
15. for my new kitty who will come to live with me forever in less than 3 weeks!
But mostly, I'm thankful for a God who loves me when I'm completely undeserving and unlovable much of the time. I'm thankful I'm forgiven and treasured by the One who created me, even when I usually don't even fully accept the love and acceptance He is offering me. On my worst day, I am His treasure and I'm thankful He doesn't give up on me or just let me go.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just stuff

Well, the week has flown by. Construction is still consuming my house and I"m ready to bail. The mess is overwhelming as is all the noise... and constant flow of workers. Chuck says it should be finished in about 2 weeks but I think he's underestimating, although this is one time I'd LOVE to be wrong! I want my house back!!!

Yesterday, I worked on cards. I took my black card stock to Office Max and had it cut and then sat at a picnic table in the park for a few hours folding and adhering prints of my photos and artwork to them. I got quite a pile done. But wow, do you know how hard it is to find black envelopes? I have discovered an e-bay store where I purchase them so I have a huge order in route. I plan to sell these and am deciding about putting some in sets and selling some individually. The black card stock REALLY makes them 'pop' and I love the look of them.

My exercise program is still going well. I have not missed a day walking since I started 5 weeks ago. I usually go for a minimum of 45 minutes up to an hour. Some days longer. I also do yoga once a week and would LOVE to do more but the class times just don't work for me. I also recently met with a trainer that put me on a program of a lot of stretches and isolated strengthening exercises using a ball and weights. I'm pleased to be wearing clothes I've not fit into in over two years! I also feel a lot better and have still not had a bite of sugar and no coffee! My two loves! I am still eating pretty low carbs too.

I read in the boys classes this morning and then caught up with my high school girlfriend by phone while I walked this morning. Greta is one of those friends that you just pick up with wherever you left off no matter how much time passed between talks. She's always been a loyal friend to me for almost 30 years!

I promised the boys today that I'd watch "Star Wars: Clone Wars" with them so that will happen at some point this afternoon. I do have some errands to run and should get out the door to do that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Birthday continuation

Well, I got a long, two hour nap this afternoon and then Chuck made me the most AMAZING dinner ever! Filet, with Chuck's special marinade and rub, grilled asparagus, avacado, heirloom tomatoes, and roasted baby carrots and white beets. OMG, was it ever delicious! Our friend, Doug, is in town for the weekend from Cleveland so he came over and had dinner with us. Just look at this yummy food! ( remember we are in the midst of remodeling so forgive clutter stuff in the background!)

Fabulous wine....

And Max lost his first top tooth at bedtime! The other one is ready to pull too. He'll be able to sing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!" I'm giving the other one maybe another week or so before he finally lets me get it out.

Happy Birthday to meeeee!!!

We started our day off going out to breakfast. Max snapped a shot of me and Chuck while we were waiting for our food to come out. Breakfast is my favorite meal to go out. Why? I don't know! I just like morning stuff, I guess! And then.... we drove out for me to meet my new baby!!!!
This is Kenzy! My new baby! His name means "my treasure", and he certainly is! The bummer is he won't be ready to come home with me for another month! It will be a LONG month for this new mommy! For those of you who have been friends or readers of my blog for a while know how hard it has been for me this year after losing my Abyssinian, Minya, after 19 years with her. It's been 11 months since she passed away and I still cry over her. This little guy is my birthday and Christmas rolled into one and what a wonderful gift for me! I can't wait to get him home! It was so fun watching him and his litter mates play! My boys are very excited too! He will be the first male cat I've ever owned so I'm crossing my fingers that he'll be super-sweet. I'll give him lots of lovin' to give him the best shots of being loving back! Isn't he just the cutest thing? Can you tell I'm excited!!!! I couldn't have asked for a better gift!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My birthday

Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll turn 44! And, Wednesday night, I accidentally discovered what Chuck is giving me as my gift! He was so disappointed that I walked in while he had a huge picture of it up on his computer screen. Words cannot begin to describe how excited I am! And while I get to go "see" my gift tomorrow, I can't actually have it for another month. It just won't be ready. And, guess what? I'm not gonna' tell you what it is until tomorrow! hehehe! But I know many of you will be almost as excited about it as I am, especially if you have been an online friend of mine for a long time. Hopefully, I'll get some good pictures of me holding this 'gift' tomorrow and then I'll spill the beans. Let me just say that the next month will be torture for me! Oh, the suspense of the secret reveal is killing me! But I'm using all the will power I have....

Last night we finally had Max's birthday party. We went skating and it was a fun, successful party. All the kids had a blast. I skated for a while but gosh, skates are so narrow and I have a wide foot so I didn't make it long because my feet were in excruciating pain! But it was fun. I'm glad it's over though. Now I have a break for the next year!

Time to do some stretches and exercises and get ready for my walk....The sun will be up in a half hour or so. I woke up with a headache so I'm going to eat a banana so I can take some Excedrin.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Desert Botanical Gardens

Today, Fran and I went to the Desert Botanical Gardens and we had such a nice, relaxing, quiet time together. They are putting in the Chihuly installation and we saw enough to get us really excited about this exhibit. Here's a little taste that will make everyone want to swarm to Phoenix to see these amazing glass pieces!

Here are a few of my favorite photos of the day. I only got one painting done cuz I"m sorta' slow. Fran always does twice as many paintings as I do! But it was fun just being there with my best girlfriend!

Seeing a Cardinal is an extremely rare site here in Phoenix. This is only the third I've ever seen after living here for 25 years, and all three have been within the past year! Maybe they are moving in!
I have no explanation for my fascination with cactus that have died or are dying. I just think they are beautiful with amazing texture.

Fran and I both had yummy burgers minus the buns. They grill them outdoors at the little cafe. We sat and watched the vast number of Quail pecking around for food and fighting the other birds for crumbs. It's so peaceful there.
We had to leave right after we ate so I could be back in time to pick up Max at school. We plan to return again very soon and have already made our reservations for the Chihuly exhibit! I might have to see that several times too!

And here's my only painting done today. I managed one simple journal page!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Look what I got!

My youngest little guy, Max, spent the night with his Granny last night. Today, he came home running to me as fast as he could with these flowers he picked for me! He's always so thoughtful. Aren't they beautiful? And yes, you get to see me on an average day... no make-up, hair pulled back with a baseball cap on.. but I sorta' feel like Miss America here... minus the fancy clothes, make-up, and fancy hairdo... oh, and no wave either. But I am one lucky mom! ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another beautiful sunrise

Can you even believe all of these photos were taken this morning of the sunrise over the course of maybe 15 minutes?! Isn't it amazing? This was certainly worth waking early for.

I took my boys to see the newest Madagascar movie this weekend. We really enjoyed it. They also had a little rummage sale/ pancake breakfast at school so I took them to that for a while.

My house is still under major construction and it's so hard to function in the chaos. I am major in a mood to paint. Thursday, I'm going to the Desert Botanical Gardens with Fran .
I can't wait! My mind has been so cluttered with a lot of emotional stuff. It's so exhausting. A couple of days ago, while I was walking, I was wishing for a way to do stream of conscious writing while walking! My thoughts are all over the place! I'm having a hard time keeping stuff in my life straight and on schedule. And, how my house looks is how I feel so, living in a construction zone pretty much matches what's happening inside me. Ugh! There's like a purging, or unearthing happening in me. It's really difficult, confusing, and painful. However, I have noticed that since I started digging into this purging process, my chronic lower back pain that I've had for YEARS, has almost completely gone away. Go figure....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Paintings in Etsy

I added two of my watercolor pumpkin paintings to my Etsy store should anyone be interested in purchasing them!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new painting

First of all, I have had a whirlwind day. I walked as the sun was coming up, ran home to get kids off to school, left to have blood work done and an x-ray on my shoulder. I got out just in time to make it back to my neighborhood for my yoga class. I got out of that and ran straight to a meeting. I had to end that early to go get Max from school since they have early release every Wednesday. Now, it's time to go get Sam. Maybe I can stay put after that!

In Bible Study these past several weeks, we've been focusing on the passage in Mark telling the story of the woman touching the hem of Jesus' robe and being healed. This woman had suffered bleeding for 12 years! We've done various meditation exercises with this passage, asked some probing questions, and done a lot of journaling. I led the women in the process of non-dominant hand face drawings and painting. I have a larger class this year than i did last with most of them having no art background. So, much of my classroom time was spent doing demonstrations over and over, showing techniques a number of times, and helping those that needed help. To do my demos, I literally just grabbed a page and marker and just quickly drew out a sorta' wonky face. These types of pieces are not meant to be life like. Anyway, I had a couple of pieces in different stages of progress and have been using them to demonstrate different things. So, yesterday was our last day spent on this passage and project. By this point, all of the women were working pretty independently to finish their pieces before we all gathered to share what this process has been like and what they have learned about God or themselves. I decided to sit down and finish up one of the paintings. It was so calming to have a paint brush in my hands, I can't even tell you. As I was painting, my heart was heavy as I was mulling over a lot of painful things going on in my life right now. Suddenly, I noticed the page I had drawn the face on and could read the words through her face. The words "comfort me" jumped out like a flashing red sign. Indeed, this has been my hearts cry to God. Here I thought this piece was just something I was emotionally detached from and just wanted to finish my sample/instructional piece. However, I should know by now that intuitive work never turns out to be "just nothing". There's always a personal message in it. I found it very touching that God revealed this to me while I was painting when I felt so detached. And here she is:

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Well, I've been doing a 45 min-1 hour fast walk daily for 2-1/2 weeks now and taken a couple of yoga classes. I cut carbs almost completely out of my diet along with sugar and stopped drinking coffee (because of the amount of cream I like!). I got took my nekkid weight this morning and I've lost 12 lbs.! I'm only 5 from my original goal but would be happy to drop an additional 5 but we'll see. Anyway, I"m feeling tons better!