Wednesday, June 30, 2010

lost paths

so there i was at one of my favorite places yesterday looking for a parking place but it was packed. so i had to mosey around back to turn around and look who i came upon...

isn't she adorable? she was foraging for something however was all alone, looking kind of forlorne. no friends to be found in the vicinity to help her either. she'd clearly lost her way.

do you ever feel like that? lost your way? wandering around? don't know where to go, what to do, what direction to turn? you feel alone; like no one's around to help or no one cares? you're left all on your own to figure things out?

let me tell you i sure have. during those times, i pray. and then pray some more. i also have a scripture that helps me and one i thought of when i saw this precious creature. "trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." proverbs 3:5-6 i love these verses because they point out how the lord will always make our paths straight if we acknowledge him and trust him. how cool is that? it's not up to me. i don't have to rely on me so no wandering necessary. yay! that's why i pray, so i can help myself be reminded to lean on him.

seeing this deer was a wonderful visual for me: to rely on what god will do for me every day if i will allow him to. he does care...always, and uses little things to bring it to the forefront of my mind.

happy day.....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

more discover earth i admit i'm on a "discover earth" kick. i can't help it. i keep finding these really cool clips about our planet, needing to then share them with you. this one is no different you'll agree. it's about frazil ice. have you heard of it? i hadn't either. it is a phenomenon at yosemite national park....and no i've never been there either, darn it! but now i must go to experience this wonder.

according to the video most tourists show up at the park during the summer months and are missing out on really fabulous nature explorations at off times. well, let's face it. typically summer time is when kids are out of school hence vacations are taken then. however if you can swing it, it would sound like february and march can provide even more wonderful highlights. yay... i'm all for that. who cares if it's cold. let's take a look:

so? can you believe the awesomeness of frazil ice? does it not make you want to plan your very next adventure trip right now for yosemite? march 2011! see you there?

happy day.....

Friday, June 25, 2010

carving watermelon

on a hot summer night, what sounds good? watermelon! yummy, juicy, running down your mouth, sweet as can be watermelon. love it!

the other thing i love about watermelon is the fabulous things that can be done with it. you can spit watermelon seeds. remember doing that as a kid? we used to have contests to see who could spit the farthest. you can put salt on it to make it sweeter. you can mix it with other melons. you can freeze it, add mint to it, put it in drinks. i'm salivating just writing about it.

during summer breaks from college, i used to be a salad girl and we'd make all kinds of interesting containers out of melons. i always thought that was fun. but i never had near the talent demonstrated here. this is the serious stuff... watch through to the end. you won't be disappointed.

happy day.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

root bowls

this is no ordinary bowl... no ordinary wood either. i had never heard of root bowls until i received this one as a gift. i thought it was really unusual. here is its story.

this is the inside. i was really intrigued since you can see the rings of the tree. i found that the bowls are made from the shan mu tree, native to central china. they've been used for furniture and construction for over 5,000 years. in keeping with asian tradition, the entire tree is used including the stump and root hence the making of the root bowl. isn't that cool? and very earth friendly, too.

the stump and the root typically remain in the ground for a year to cure before they are carved into bowls and plates. knots, holes and cracks are left. usually, the roots of the shan mu are free for anyone who wants to dig them up. however, the loggers in the forests tend to bring the roots into the carving villages so various companies can bid on them and the process of making the bowls, plates and such then begins.

those who spend their time cleaning, processing and carving use a variety of steps to achieve a finely polished product.

after power washing, the carver saws off specific sized pieces to begin working on with his tools. a chain saw is utilized for rough carving then hand shaping is done with chisels until the shan mu is in its final shape. it is then dried in a steam chamber and finally coated with a fine spraying of shellac. it then looks like this...

ready to be shipped for the giving as a gift or to be kept by oneself. it is amazing to me the process that these roots undergo and that the bowls are considered literally works of art. as i did this research, i found that as such these bowls are on display in the chicago museum of art. can you believe that? i guess if the trees are thousands of years old, such time is taken to form the root into the bowl as a work of art is, it makes sense. when you see them in person, they are quite remarkable. much more so than a picture does them justice.

happy day.....

Monday, June 21, 2010

kitty hot flashes

i believe my kitty is suffering from kitty hot flashes. i'm serious. she's at that age after all... i think... well, maybe... or beyond...

you know how they say dogs age at the equivalent of 1 dog year for every 7 human years? so how does that work for cats? is it the same as for dogs? do you know? i don't. but i do know that gracie just turned 15 years old. so that could mean something for her, right? plus it's been really hot, hot, hot here lately.

take a look at how gracie was trying to cool down the other day.

it appears that she was waiting for the water to come pouring down out of the faucet doesn't it? usually cats don't like water so i find it funny that she was even in the tub to begin with.

then grace decided to just get ready to camp out. she laid in there for a good 10 minutes or so swishing her tail back and forth, purring loudly. this has now become a nightly ritual over the last couple of nights. not a bad trick since she can't open the freezer door to cool down. one smart kitty to find a solution to the problem. that's my girl...

happy day.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

dad's day

this is my dad. i thought he'd be around forever. but we always think that about our dad's, don't we? or our parents in general? we believe they're invincible? they'll always be there for us just because? at least that's what i thought. i never imagined my life without him.

growing up i was the youngest of six and thought i was a princess. i don't think i ever told anyone that...i just thought it in my head. and because of it, therefore, believed i was daddy's little girl. grew up practically breathing the mantra of "i'm daddy's little girl." i remember dad reading to me, sitting on his lap - him teaching me to tell time with this little paper clock, smelling his old spice aftershave. ahhhhhh.....those were the days. i will never forget.

i remember dad teaching me to ride my bike and the moment he let go; i was on my own coasting down the road with him cheering me on. when i skidded to a fall, he was there to pick me up. while dad was throwing footballs and baseballs with my brothers, he didn't hesitate to take me to my first dance. it was at the american legion - the father daughter dance. we did that every year. he always made me feel so special even though he was a man of few words. i will never forget.

as i grew up, dad taught me to enjoy golf of all things. i found if i wanted to spend time with him, i needed to soak up those things he liked and golf was one. he would spend sunday afternoons watching the game so i settled in and started learning. we bonded during those times and then later after i moved, it was always a point of conversation for us because i'd watch the tournaments to see what was going on. same with football and baseball. go figure. dad was also the one i turned to with car trouble when i didn't know what to do. i could always count on him to answer those questions that puzzled me. with all these things, i will never forget.

i remember saying after daddy was taken so unexpectedly, "i will never be a daddy's girl again." i realize now that is not true. i will always be daddy's little girl. that doesn't go away just because my daddy is no longer on this earth. just as i have dad's memory with me all the things that comprised my being his little girl are still there.

on this father's day, i remember fondly all the many loving acts dad exhibited during his time with me and our family. i will treasure those moments forever. although i miss him every day, i also realize how blessed we are to have had him for as long as we did. i will never forget.

happy day.....

Friday, June 18, 2010

plant growth

as i managed to kill off two herb plants...finding out that i'd probably been too nice to them... well, let me just insert here that i didn't realize you could be "too nice" to plants. i always thought you had to baby them, talk to them and treat them well. this i have done consistently with all of my plants and have had nothing but success... success to the point of wanting to toss some plants sometimes because they can grow like weeds if you know what i mean. it's not that i'm a green thumb by any stretch either. i think it's just because some plants are very easy care and respond well to the love.

apparently, though, herbs are different. i had posted on facebook that i was growing herbs and no one mentioned i should "ignore" them... let them get dry and essentially underwater them... put them in poor soil and then leave them alone. if i'd only known. but alas, i did not so they got the kiss of death. and i am left with feelings of guilt and shame. dare i try again? i may... because i am not a quitter and now i believe i have the secret key.

so then... the other day, an african violet i've had for many years, just out of the blue, was looking very grim. it, too now, has suffered the very same "kiss." sigh... but this one...

sweet, yes? i received this pretty thing as a gift not long ago and although the flowers are all gone now, it seems to be healthy. i am not ignoring it. it gets my utmost attention and by all appearances is responding well to me.

i am reassured in my ability with plants.

happy day.....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

planet earth

when you hear "planet earth," what do you think? do your thoughts turn to the magical wonders of beauty and amazement, colors and breathtaking sights you never knew existed? places and vistas you've always wanted to visit but never had the chance to see? or maybe you think of the destruction we humans are wreaking every day on the planet with our carelessness. the way we take our environment for granted. how we believe it will be here forever for us regardless of how we treat it.

would you say you have a passion for the planet? do you get wired up with what earth has to offer us? are you pleased to live here? do you treat earth well or abuse it? are you kind and gentle with it realizing it needs to last for generations to come or do you really never give it thought?

this video is sort of like a planet discovery. it highlights amazing footage of the earth and is astounding in its scope. i hope it captures you... taking you on a journey, and makes you pause for a moment. a moment where you feel passion and appreciation for the incredible home god has given to us... and maybe want to take some action to protect it, treat it well and so enjoy it for years to come.

happy day.....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

creative artwork

aren't these amazing pictures? a sunset & a teacup! the colors blend so well, the movement of the grasses, the setting of the sun... flowers balancing in a teacup... they are so alive... when i saw them, i had to have them. isn't that how it is with shopping?

the fun thing is that i know the artist. he is a childhood friend of mine, rob thomas. how cool is that? isn't he fabulous?

an incredible fact is that both pieces were completed without using a paint brush. because they are not paintings, per se. that's right... not a drop of paint was used. wanna know what was? scraps of magazines. you read that right. magazines. paper. surprised?

although it's hard to tell from here, every color is comprised of a different word. so all the shading that has been used is from rob spending hours finding just the right words that will fit, the colors that will match and be right for the pictures.

how does he do it? i don't quite know. i tend to believe it's probably a bit more difficult than painting itself... maybe?

i do know rob's been at it - playing around with the artistic side - since about 7th grade. he always was creative and adventurous, willing to try new things and be different. he's still like that today. good thing, too, so we can enjoy his work and wonderful genius.

when i got these pieces framed, the gallery had never seen anything like them and were astonished at the work, intrigued with the time commitment by the artist and joked they'd have to bribe the framer not to read the whole thing to get the job done on time for me. yay....i'd say i have some winners in hand.

happy day.....

Monday, June 14, 2010

b & w

i think i mentioned that i found a couple new apps for my phone that were supposed to simulate vintage black & white photos. since then i've been playing around a bit. the kitties are always good subjects but i thought i'd try some stills as well. what do you think? it's hard to know what the lighting is going to do.

i find myself browsing around checking out other blogs and websites with photos. i am intrigued with the layouts, colors, placements and techniques others use. the ability they have to capture and convey a message. i don't know that i have that same kind of ability or artistic eye. i just like to play around, experiment, push buttons and get the moment if i can.

happy day.....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

naked lady

i am fascinated by art. art of all kinds. it is not limited to only one discipline.

when i was in africa, i was intrigued by the various galleries that housed many forms of weaving called kente handmade usually by women sitting on the ground working on looms. it is amazing and i am privileged to have several pieces.

i walked into one gallery where i laid eyes on this "naked lady" and knew she had to be mine. she was the beginning of my art collection and i value the simplicity the artist used when painting her. i see different things each time i look at her. she is sitting on what is typically known in ghana as a chief's stool. isn't she lovely?

happy day.....

Friday, June 11, 2010

red roses, too

flowers make me smile... make me happy... when they're in my own yard, for my own enjoyment and pleasure every day, i do the dance of joy.

knowing i get to wake up to wonderful fragrance, bright color, new buds opening.

i took lots of pics and couldn't limit to posting only 1 or 2. when it comes to flowers, the more the better, yes?

happy day.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010


by the way: you probably noticed....i've got a new look for the blog.

a little brighter... a bit funkier... colors are a tad sharper... not so subdued...

i think it probably represents me more than the old look did. we'll see how it works out. i may change it up again in a while just to keep it fresh.

so what do you think? any input?

happy day.....

white roses

finally! the roses are in bloom. these are the whites. i experimented with color, black & white, single, some buds, some blooms... i think i like thinking i'm somewhat of a pro which is too funny because i'm just using my iphone.

go ahead and laugh. i do. all things considered, the shots don't turn out all that bad. at least in my mind. and the nice thing is that there's no one to tell me any different so i can go around believing i've taken some fabulous pics. then i share them with you. ha!

happy day.....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

peach fuzz

ahhhhh.... summer fruit. don't you simply live for it? blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, watermelon, cantaloupe and the very best...peaches! of course, there are many more - these are just a handful.

there is a wonderful peach tree in the backyard and it has peaches on it. yay! doing the dance of joy because for the past 2 years, it has been somewhat dormant. we've not been sure why. perhaps the weather. maybe it's the way of peach trees and how they bear fruit.

i first learned how to can off of this peach tree. i had never canned before and had no idea what lay in store for me. i thought it sounded like fun and went after it wholeheartedly.

i found peach jam, butter and salsa recipes and went to work. once the peaches were ripe enough, the harvest began and washing, peeling, measuring, mixing, cooking, stirring and jarring ensued. then putting the jars in steam baths and finally waiting for the little pops to go off signaling the process was a success.

whew... this is what they did in days of old? to survive through winter? and not just with fruit but with vegetables, too. day in and day out the women canned product for their families. i was doing it for pleasure and to give away to others. mine was a choice. theirs was not. what a hard life. no wonder when we look at pictures from back when, those faces are all lined...craggy...and they look so very tired. i admire what they did after my experiences and it makes me appreciate my efforts all the more.

i am looking forward to seeing what kind of harvest the peach tree gives this year. the juice of the fruit running down my arm as i bite into its flesh and enjoy the sweetness. yum.... nothing like it.

i am excited at producing salsa and butter and jam. to be able to share some bounty with others. to say, "this came from my backyard tree" and see amazement in their eyes that there's a peach tree there, hanging out.

happy day.....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

40 years

meet greg & denyse. they have been married 40 years today! isn't that truly amazing? how many couples do you know who have been married that long? it is a testament to their love for each other and their enduring commitment to service for the lord that has kept them together. they have a wonderful family of two daughters, one son and 9 far.

but their "family" is much larger than that. it has grown around the world with the missionary work they have devoted their lives to and the connections with all the various people they have touched over the years. and it continues to this day. they are a extraordinary and remarkable couple. to know them is a blessing for they have enriched many lives during their 40 years together.

in all they do, they set a wonderfully refreshing example: how to serve, how to communicate, how to interact, how to live with integrity, how to pray with strength and conviction, how to walk in the word, and how to do it all by being real, humble and personable at the same time.

i am honored to call them friends and be able to tell you about them today. i pray that all of you can have friends like them in your lives, too.

happy anniversary greg & denyse... hugs & love!

happy day.....


here we're getting ready for a garage sale this weekend. whew... what an incredible amount of work they are!

have you had a garage or yard sale? how do you feel about them? do you enjoy them? look forward to them? do you have them every year or only when you absolutely must? need to clear your calendar for a couple of days for the actual "sale." then you sort, decide what you really don't need anymore, clean, price, organize everything for best advantage, make signs, advertise, tell people, get what you think is going to be plenty of change for purchases, hope for good weather, open for business and then wait for the people to come.

and sometimes they do... in droves... all once. and then nothing. you think the advertising hasn't paid off.

there are those people who show up looking for something specific. if it's not don't have it, they walk away.

then there are those who look and say, "this just spoke to me." they seem pleased with their find. there are those who purchase their item without question. they take what it's been marked, give you the money and they're on their way, grinnin' with a "have a nice day."

and then there are the individuals who enjoy a good, old fashioned barter. isn't that what garage sales are made for anyway? it's part of the fun of the hunt after all, although there are some who might like to have their purchase for free. we did have a good laugh over some particular incidents because there was a "free" box that only one person took advantage of. too funny...

finally, the drive-by's were encountered. these were the individuals who didn't even stop to check out our garage sale at all. they either just pulled up to the driveway for a split second to "glance" at what was set out - thus missing what had been placed into the back yard - and then would go peeling away faster than a speeding bullet because there were better garage sales they had to check out; or they didn't even bother to really pull over... they'd just sort of barely slow down to do a "lookie-lou" and keep on going like they never even were looking in the first place. we decided these people were not quality people if they couldn't have the time of day to stop since we had quality product out for sale. of course, everyone believes that of their own garage sales, don't they?

all in all, it was a successful two days. bigger ticket items sold that we hoped would sell and all the rest was icing on the cake.

now that doesn't have to be done again for another seven years...yay!

happy day.....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

a song

sometimes it's nice to find a song... a simple song that is pure with voices and sound made from only what god has given us. this is such a song.

it begins with a human-made storm and goes from there. it is an a capella version of the toto song "africa."

turn up the volume, sit back and listen...

happy day.....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

toe pleasures

summer time means shorts, tee shirts, flirty dresses, skirts, peep toe shoes, sandals and flip flops. it also means going bare foot and exposing your toes for the whole world to see.

time to take care of those little digits that have been hiding in shoes and socks and hose and tights all winter long! yikes!

pedicure here i come. soaking in bubbles and salts, soothing creams, minty rubs, exfoliating lotions and oils. bring it all on. whatever it takes to make my feet smooth and supple i will endure. filing, poking, primping, picking, clipping, snipping, buffing, painting, shining. it's all worth it.

the colors that are now available are stupendous. i've worn everything from "champagne toast" to "i'm not really a waitress" to "grunge" to this one below, "silver purple." how fun is that?

doesn't it give you an urge to take care of your toes this summer? have a little fun with color?

go... go now... what are you waiting for?

happy day.....