Category Archives: What I've been doing

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving….yes I’m at that place.   I am singing His praises.    Life has been very good to me(us) this year.

Starting January 3, I  made a habit of jotting down, almost daily, a few things I was thankful for.  Today, I am on #768.   First page, first entry:

1.  Jeff…!!!!!

than onward…thankful for tiny moments and some great big huge moments…but always knowing there was a loving, giving, caring God above from whom all these good things come .  Here are some of my favorites…page by page, moment by moment, aiming for 100, couldn’t stop until 113.

2.  Tea with my daughter, Stephanie

3.  Morning walks with  daughter, Jackie

4.  Kindness, wisdom, energy and passion of my friends

4.  A lively conversation with my husband on a Saturday afternoon.

5,6..  Purring, snuggling kitten, Missy Bibby, then the next moment…wild cat

7, 8,9..  Marlo…her sleepy breathing, her circle dance, her guilty look

10.  Aroma of bacon on a Saturday morning

11.  My darling niece, Erin….and my other nieces and nephews.  I am proud of you all!

12.  Encouraging words of a  friend….how will I ever repay you Leann.

13.  A good conversation with Patt, by cell, during my morning walk.

14. Saying no, and knowing it was the right thing to do.

15.  Church bells at 6PM

16.  Beautiful baby girl…..”She”…..Codi Lynn

17.  Lovely mother, healthy and happy after baby born…Amber

18.   My son, TJ….loving, proud father and husband.

19.  Sunshine in winter

20.  Comfort, my blue couch

21.  Medical advances that can change lives!

22, 23.  My mother and father, I still have them here.

24, 25.  The legacy my sister left….her sons, Ron and Ryan

26.   A speck of hope, to grab on to.

27.  A restful night after a difficult day

28.  The respite of working on my artwork.

29.  Skype, connecting in the early morning, with Lisa.

30.  Fog, laying low, changing everything.

31.  Grace to keep my mouth shut!

32.  My diamond  friends, the Baguettes, celebrating 10 years.

33.  Confidence

34.  The skills I have.

35.  Taste….sweet, salty, savory

36.  Blueberries

37, 38.  Black-capped chickadees, and cardinal pairs

39.  Dreaming vividly of TIGERS!

40.  Deer herd in my backyard

41.  Time with my mother during her illness, and successful surgery.

42.  Stock market record set.

43.  A satisfying, productive day

44.  Daffodils

45.  Colton’s delight at the funny squirrel

46.  Smell of baking bread

47.  Chicken swarma sandwich, with garlic

48.  Worshipping as part of a Christian community.

49.  Eating strawberries with my grandson.

50.  Smiles from baby Codi

51.  Stephanie’s pregnant!

52.  Witnessing the happiness of my daughter and her husband.

53.    Courage to speak, and bring things into the light.

54.  A lesson on what I don’t need, what I can do without.

55.  An apology received, imperfect but accepted.

56.  News of twins!

57.  Rain

58.  Grass getting greener, daily

59.  Hearing 2 heartbeats.

60.  Reconnecting with my up north friend, Kathie…several times this year!

61.  My niece’s generous offer to use her house for a party.

62.  Wisdom gained from studying the Bible.

63.  Bright green of new leaves

64  Planting a garden with Jackie

65.  Faith, given to me generously.

66.  Success at our art show, work completed, well attended, good feedback and sales.

67.  Goldfish in pond, active, splashing, sparkling.

68.  Ferns unfurling

69.  Lake Michigan

70.  Coffee with prunes in the morning…try it, you might like it!

71.  Sunday solitude

72,  Codi Lynn and the watermelon…that girl is bound to be a foodie!

73.  Cottonwood snow

74.  My friend Kat’s humor and upbeat personality.

75.  Lunches, and solving the world’s problems,  with Kelly

76.  70 degree days

77.  Epidural shots for Jeff!

78.  Twin fawns

79.  Greek salads

80.  Friends, who volunteered their help for Steph’s shower.

81.  Protection, tragedies avoided or at least made manageable.

82.  Getting into the dentist the day I really needed it!

83.  Words, spoken gently, received well.

84, 85, 86.  Watercolor discovered, shared with mom, meeting the talented ladies in her group,

87.  Gail, her generous spirit, and all around ability to be there for her friends and family.

88.  Beautiful shower for Steph

89.  Desire to strive to be all You want me to be.

90.  Diligence

91.  37 years married to a gentle, kind, energetic, loving man with a great sense of humor.

92.  Ritter’s ice cream

93.  Getaway with friends at Kat’s cottage.

94.  Medical bills mostly paid by insurance,

95.  My daughter’s boyfriend, Kevin, kind and curious.

96.  Help in keeping my life simple.

97.  My father’s example of not complaining, when he could complain a lot!

98.  My bicycle

99.  My friends healthy little granddaughters’ born

100.  Stamina and strength

101  Gut busting laughter with my friends.

102.  Salmon running upstream to spawn

103.  Fall colors, glowing.

104.  Homemade, chunky applesauce

105.  Sewing time with Steph

106.  Jackie’s love of Tucker, and her cats.

107.  Crunch of leaves underfoot.

108.  Friend Nan’s successful surgery, and Aunt Nan’s successful hip replacement.

109.   Two chimes heard in the labor and delivery waiting room.

110, 111.  Aubree and Dylan!

112, 113.  Steph’s sweet calm, Derek’s smitten with his babies.

I have omitted many good peoples and experiences.   But enough already, thanks for sticking it out!

There goes almost a year spent recording the GOOD things in this life, each moment burned into my memory because I wrote it.  I cannot help but think that this was a very very fortunate year.  There were storms to weather, but they were mild.  Whatever the next year brings, clouds, storms, or maybe even a hurricane….I hope I can continue to find something to celebrate and be thankful for every day, once again.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

To Saugatuck and back

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With mom and the watercolor ladies of Botsford Senior Community:

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We stayed in a lovely beach house with a view to paint:

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and paths to follow:

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We strolled downtown, and it reminded me of other places I’ve been…or dreamed about:

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These ladies have a zest for living, laughing and telling a good story….not to mention are expressive watercolor artists:

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i was so happy to be included in their trip, and treasured the time with Mom….

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Whadda weekend!

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A weekend that will always be remembered as outstanding, awesome, joyful, filled with love. 

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The reception for Windows 2.013 was Friday evening.    Yes, it was a success in so many ways! The night just sparkled with happiness and joy as old friends and family arrived.  The biggest surprise of the evening was Lisa flying in all the way from Virginia.  I was so surprised, and happy to see my dear SIL along with so many others that I hadn’t seen in a long time.  My nephew Ben drove across the state to attend, Erin and Charlie brought baby Lia.  Friends, neighbors and many new friends came too.  And my family..they were all there, including my littles…Colton and Codi Lynn.  That meant so much to me.

I sold several pieces too!

Here’s my good buddies Patrice, Lisa, (me), and Kelly. 

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Jeff and Kevin–

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Jackie’s good friends, Alicia and Alison attended. 

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We had a coralled  corner of little ones towards the end of the evening:

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As our friend Charlene said…seeing all the happy, beautiful mom’s, grandmother’s, aunts and babies was the best artwork of all.  I agree, along with the father’s and grandfathers, and uncles that were there too!   Nothing could have made me happier than having my family’s support! 

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And there is our support team for the evening, enjoying a moment’s break:  Meaghan, Gaines, Margie and Holly along with artist Stacey Harper.  The food and refreshments were generously supplied by 212, and were delicious!  One support person missing is Kat, she helped me in so many ways…encouraging, planning, hanging, baking brownies, to name a just a few. 

The only sad thing about the evening is lack of photos of people!  I forgot to ask Derek and Kevin to be my photographers for the evening.  Maybe Lisa will dig up a few more I can share.  But I do have photos of the art work that I will share with you over the next week or so. 

Have some catching up on the blob to do…Mother’s Day, the garden, and the art photos.  Thanks for stopping in….

Why not a list

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Kelly often uses the list as a tool to make order out of the details in her brain…to much success and entertainment.   So here I go…..

-I apologize for being absent from the blob for so long. 

-Its spring, and I have been doing those springy kind of things…cleaning up the outdoor furniture:

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-Planting:

9 window boxes, put new soil in all of them this year.    I try to do that every other year.  How about you,  do you start fresh or reuse the soil? 

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I filled most of the window boxes with my most favorite, easy and dependable plant….red dragonwing begonias, and vinca vine….for hangy down interest.  They have already filled out quite a bit.

-The garden is lush with new growth, I can’t help but stare and take photos:

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-Jackie is working on her new house, and Jeff and I are helping.  Jeff is replumbing (his favorite job, ha!).  And I am wielding a paint brush.  All her closets were hunter green, deep fuschia, or chartreuse.  Why would anyone paint a small closet these dark colors?  They are now white.  I don’t think they have been painted since the late 40’s. 

– You should see my sewing room.  Stacks of stuff, boxes, furniture piled in front of other furniture, all awaiting Jackie’s move.  No wonder I have not wanted to come in here and use the computer.

-I went to Home Depot with Jackie to help pick out wall colors.  They had a large display of “Favorite Colors of Empty Nesters”!  That would be us.  But no, I do not want any of those colors. 

-I do understand the feeling of wanting to feather the Empty Nest!  I have some plans to shuffle, and reorganize and tweak our living space. 

-Back to gardening:  After a failed attempt at a wisteria given to me by a friend, I purchased one.  It’s a native plant, an american wisteria, with slightly shorter blooms.  So excited to watch what it does.  Yes, I am easily entertained. 

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-The requisite photos of the viburnum in its blooming splendor:

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-We have the second robin nest of the season on the climbing hydragnea…there are three babies about ready to fly on their own.  I have enjoyed watching them.  But have no way of getting a good photo. 

-The Japanese peony had a record number of blooms this year…for the short week it bloomed, quite lovely:

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-The spring peepers have come and gone in our pond.  But there was a new danger for them….waiting on the warm rocks.   This particular one was caught in the netting we use to hinder the heron.  Luckily, we rescued him and no others got tangled:

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We have since come across a couple in the the plantings and grass.    I am have never seen them around before, and am glad they are there…but they can surprise me when I’m poking around pulling weeds!

Hope you have a great day….

What’s the doings…catch up

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Picking up glass nippers again….

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And setting out to finish projects started last fall. Also fulfilling a promise of participation in a charity event:

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Jeff convinced me to temporarily move “out of the closet”-mosaic closet that is. We set up a table on the porch, so I can work on some larger pieces (like the vintage window, below) that just would not fit in my little closet workspace.  It’s not feng shui (phooey), but it sure makes for a pleasant working environment.  Thank you Jeff for knowing me so well, and suggesting something that what would get me out of the slump I’ve probably been complaining about way too much. 

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Tip of the iceberg of getting back to making stuff?  Hope so…..

Abstract

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In one of the groups I belong to (212 Fiber Artists), the challenge was issued to create a piece of art using a limited color palette.  And within that palette use 70 percent of one color, 30 percent of another, and 10 percent using any of the remaining colors.  In addition the piece had to be attached to a painted canvas.   Inspiration struck this weekend…and I finished my challenge piece.  IMG_1138

Although it was a lot of fun playing with color and shapes and balance and repetition, I found myself sitting back and asking what this abstraction says to me… deriving some meaning and connection to it after it was finished.   I decided to title it, “Listen”.  And then, I found this quote:

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. When we really listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us….Brenda Ueland

 

 

Catch up week

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I’ve been goofing off…..you know, laundry….cooking…..taxes…..cleaning…..all that fun stuff! 

Another thing I’ve accomplished is finishing mosaics, getting them ready to hang at  Art Is In Market.  This always takes more time than I think it should.  Edging the mosaics, attaching hangers, inventory taking. 

I hope that next week is “the calm before the storm”.  With the storm being my parents’ move into their new condo.  But, storms serve a purpose and are a good thing, just difficult to handle.      During the calm, I would like to finish up a quilt, and a mosaic or two.  Sounds like a good plan. 

I’m still thinking about our weekend in Virginia……

4-5-10 031 This is Lis’ and the big, bodacious, bruised and bitten bully boy……Brutus.  He loves his Lisa, but not the other neighborhood cats so much.  Here is his story.

Cam and Miracle have a daily meet at the fence….Miracle has Cam trained well, he always has carrots:

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Wishing you a good Saturday…..