Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Finished a few things up...not much, but a few.
I finished the Renoir...Two Girls at the Piano...it was quite a learning experience.

I did a few more tiny tweaks on Thunderhoof...just moved a few clouds mostly to give it a better look...

Let me see where I was in showing you what I have done....

(This was a post I thought I had posted, and finished....obviously that was not the case. Not going to go there...you know those senior moments....lol! So I will just let it stand as is.

Happy days are here again....

The North MS Regional Center called this am...wanted to know if I would like to move Bubba's respite care (where he stays at the center for a few months, to give me a break), up just a bit? They had called last week to say it would be late summer, but they just had a cancellation...so it is tomorrow. It took me about an hour to pack him up...practice makes perfect? Not that I am excited...lol. I had been wondering how to accomplish all that I needed to do over the next few months, from working at an outside short term job, making some Dr. appointments, helping my parents move to assisted living, painting, doing art shows, etc. Nice to have an answer now! My step is already a bit lighter.

I might even have time to blog more...lol. I have such good intentions, but the follow-thru' is not so great.

Well, I need to spend some time with him before tomorrow. Later...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fun with photos....

Just had to show you what I have been doing....I started a number of paintings with the new photos of Water Valley in the late 1800's and early 1900's. This one is my favorite so far....I used a new (to me) technique to do the background...and I like how it is turning out. It is still a work in progress....but I just had to put it up for you. It is 16x20 on canvas board.

I am also working on one where they are loading watermelons into a boxcar.... itis also a work in progress....so much material...so little time...lol. This one is 8x10 on canvas.

Well, it is time for my lazy Saturday morning coffee and visit with my neighbor, so I will close for now. More to tell later!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Graduation time....and memories

As of about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, Bubba graduated!

He seemed to think it was fun, and kept everyone laughing. He and Logan, the other graduate were good friends while attending the Scott Center in Oxford, MS. Hopefully, tho' school is out, he will continue to grow and learn. Tho' I suppose his teacher will have to be me now.

This is a picture of him with his teacher, Ms. Minnie.

When we got home we found out that my dad was back in the hospital with congestive heart failure. He is responding well to the meds, and feeling much better today. They say he may be home as soon as Friday. I think all of this has pushed them towards the decision to accept placement in an assisted living facility. My aunt and some of their friends from church have apartments there, and so they would have family and friends to be near. I am sure it is never an easy decision, to give up your home, and to admit that you need help. There would be such a war of pride and ego I would think. I do not live close enough (13 hrs away) to them to help more, and my brother can only do so much. My sister lives over 2 hours away, so helping out is not something we can share very well. They have always planned to go there, just were hoping to postpone it awhile longer.

It brings to a close a large segment of my life. I know you can never go home again....but now it will be for real....there will be no more old home....it will be sold. Alot of memories will go with it...some good, some bad...but oh so many memories.....


As I was sitting in a restaurant, eating dinner
And listening to a trio playing old songs and new,
I found myself drifting away on a sea of thought;
Nostalgia is usually different for all of us,
Each memory a picture of separate meaning,
Love bound up in divergence and selfishness,
Yet somehow finding a pathway thru’ it all.

I remember so many things, long forgotten….
Mom playing duets with us on an old painted piano;
Her pounding out “Alley Cat” while we danced;
Lullabies sang in the hallway, so all could hear;
Washday with clothespins in her mouth outside in the back;
The smell of sheets hung in the sun to dry while
Dragonflies dodge the clothesline and we the poles.

Working with dad at the Y camp in the summertime;
Dad telling the joke about the suit the tailor made wrong;
Hitting his head on the cellar steps for the millionth time;
Cutting our hair in the basement, sometimes crooked,
While we wound up the record player and listened to
Lavinsky At the Wedding, and other 78’s grown warped,
And he puttered at the workbench or painted something.

Melting tin into soldiers, marathon monopoly games;
Being “locked out” into the fresh air with no book to read;
Picking raspberries till the mumps caught up to me,
Instead of the flies and prickers and wasps and bees;
Sick in the summertime heat and bored till daddy
Comes home and brings me a building kit to make
My very own city, in a fantasy world of my choosing.

Hiding from my sister, or hiding from my brother;
Or maybe just hiding from the neighbors in a game;
But we had to come in when it got dark, and we could
Still hear them calling “allie allie oxen free”, or “you’re it”;
Going to bed when it was still light out after school began;
Indian rug burns, mubletypeg, climbing trees and
Catching minnows in the “pond” in the side yard.

Riding with grandma A in her car that had air-conditioning;
Eating cornflakes before a bedtime later than usual;
Listening to the train whistle late at night which we
Never heard at home….only in town with dad’s folks;
Watching daytime soap operas on a 17-inch TV screen;
Going a movie or getting money to spend at Woolworth’s,
As a special treat on our yearly overnight stay there.

Building tents at grandma W's house, in her cold living room,
And ducking into the dining room to stand on the grate
After grandpa added coal to the furnace, on a winter’s day;
Eating cookies from the cookie jar, playing in the tiny room
Beside the kitchen or upstairs with curtains drying on racks;
Braving the outhouse, or heating water in copper tubs for washday.

Not knowing then that my kids and grandkids would not
Have the same kind of memories as I did with childhoods
So different than mine; no frame of reference for what I recall…
Records with only one side, played on players that wound up;
Getting our first TV with a tiny little screen and only a very few shows
On in black and white, listening to radio broadcast of the Lone Ranger
Amos and Andy, Father Knows Best, popping corn in a big kettle.

Playing army, or cowboys and Indians, with a stick as a gun,
In the “big woods” in back of the house (which was only a thicket
To my mother), and now is less than a few dozen trees; or in the
Forest back the lane where we could wander for hours and never
See anyone or signs of habitation; lying on top of a hillside
While the Blue Angels flew over us on their way to the air show
At the National Guard armory, with our dog barking beside us.

Watching the airport tower lights at night go from green to red to white,
Out my window when I was supposed to be asleep, but couldn’t sleep
Because I wonder what a broken home was that the boy next door
Came from, and if he would leave when they fixed it again, and praying
That he wouldn’t go because I loved him more than any six-year-old
Ever could; seeing who could drink a glass of water without stopping
To breathe once; chewing on dog biscuits in the haymow back the lane.

Once we had a food fight in my mom’s kitchen and she and daddy
Participated; and my sister told jokes from school that she did not
Understand and neither did I, but my parents did and said, “hush, now.”
Waving sparklers on the fourth of July after a picnic with all the
Neighbors gathered together; and late night parties on New Years Eve,
When my mom’s friends would come over and bring the “booze”,
Which was only seven up and coca-cola, but a treat ‘cause we only had milk.

Coming home from school and mom was there baking cookies or cake;
Easter-egg trees in the spring; taking piano lessons every week;
Having dad tell us about snakes and bugs; catching 6 baby skunks
And keeping them in a pen for awhile; catching fish on a cane pole;
Family vacations, and trips to my great grandparent's farms where
We could see cows and pigs, and ride in a boat; drawing lines in the car
So no one took more than their half of the seat or else we’d fight.

Learning to ride a second-hand bike that mom painted special,
With streamers in the handles and sticks in the spokes for noise;
Walking to the local dairy for ice cream with my grandpa and seeing
Where he worked and watching the cows get milked by hand;
Having the jocks in high school marvel at the same grandpa
When they worked on the road crew with him and he out-worked them
With him being an “old man” and them being younger “men”.

Wrestling in the living room with my mom, and she always beat us
Even when we got big because she cheated; growing up innocent;
Not knowing what we had because we were too close to it then, and
Wishing that my kids could have known what it felt like to walk
Barefoot in the grass and mud, without worrying about anything
More than having to wash off with the outside hose before dinner;
I wish we had known then how great we had it, but I do now.


Well it is late, and I need some sleep....I will apologize here too...for only now learning how to respond to comments....begging forgiveness and thanking all who have commented so far. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Late night update...

Things here remain chaotic...dad is back in the hospital,Bubba graduated yesterday, and the great move...well, it moves on. I really wish things would calm down a bit...but then I suppose that would not be real life.
I want to thank Rex from the Deer Camp Blog for his generous praise of my portrait of Thunderfoot. It was a pleasure to go out to the camp and do a plein air painting of this majestic deer while Rex was fishing. This artist's eye saw the majesty of his stance, and the spirit of eternity in his eyes! When I got back to my studio, I did a few tweaks on him, because I truly wanted to capture his beauty. I hope all will forgive any artistic license I took.

Last time I showed you the dogs and kitties....but after doing some animals, I tried some flowers....not sure that florals are the direction I am heading, but I love those that others do, so I had to try my own.

These are not florals, but plantlife.....

Well, it is late, so I will close for now. I hope you are enjoying some of my artwork.

I do have to apologize to anyone whose comments I have not acknowledged, it was not intentional, I just did not understand how to do so. I am still learning how to do this blogging thing, and now I have learned how. Thanks for your comments!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Busy,busy, busy...

Well, things here are busy, been trading offices with hubby so I have more room for my studio. So far things are a bit awkward, mostly because things are in different places than they were, which leaves me reaching the wrong places...lol. It should be great when I get done.

I have been working on paintings for the watermelon festival. And I spent alot of time with the curator of the local museum picking his brain about local history. He loaned me a number of photographs that I can paint. Did not know this tiny little town of around 3000 souls, used to be the big hub of the Illinois Central RR. and at the turn of the century, we had a population of over 10,000! If you went almost anywhere on the railroad, you came thru' Water Valley, MS...I suppose it is similar to flying thru' Atlanta or Chicago to get to other destinations. I loved the photos of the round house...where they changed the cars and engines on the trains...pretty high tech for the late 1800's. I have so much to paint....and it seems like so little time!

In the last post I showed some of the challenge paintings I did. A challenge I set myself was in doing self portraits. I did quite a few...but won't post them all....lol. Most of them people thought looked too old, or too heavy (well, I am a bit of both, to be honest) but this one everyone agreed was the best of what I did. I wanted to learn to catch the look of a person quickly, and since I was always there...I always had a model...lol.

After that I tried to paint a photo my daughter sent of a cat they had rescued....she would only sleep if their dog would lay with her.

Then since that turned out fairly well, I thought I would paint our 3 beasties....what a crew they are....with such different personalities!

This is Bobo, his mom was a cocker spaniel, and I would say from his looks, that daddy must have been a black lab. He is a beautiful dog, that looks like a small lab with a bit longer hair. One morning he found 2 puppies and brought them home to me....they got REALLY big...about twice his size and weight.

This is Lucky, who always looks happy, his markings make him look like he is always smiling....

This is Willie, the serious one, who is a little bit wary of everyone...

Every once in awhile Bobo looks at them as if to say what happened to those little puppies that were smaller than me?

I will try to catch you up more later. Almost current....with what I am painting now....lol.

Been a bit busy...

Hubby had a great idea the other morning, he suggested that since I am painting now, and using my office as a studio as well as office, that maybe I should have the larger room, instead of him. He is on the road most of the time, so he really did not need all that space.

I hesitated, thinking of all the effort to move everything. Yet, after he went into his office and started clearing me space, I felt almost obligated to do it. Not that it was a bad idea, but with the need to do alot of paintings for my next show, I did not know when I would find the time to do both.

Well for the last three days, I have been moving, and moving...and carrying pile of stuff...sorting piles of stuff, and creating a mountain of trash....lol. All the funiture is changed, and except for about 3 more piles, everything has been switched. When they will actually look like rooms again, is anyone's guess. I painted a bit yesterday and this morning for a break, and am getting ready to start sorting again. Don't know where to go with some stuff, that is for sure. This is when I hate being a pack rat.

I am just of a mind that one never knows when one is going to need a small piece of wood, the back to the battery compartment of an old game....some loose puzzle pieces, that I should still have the puzzles for....short pieces of wire come in handy all the time, you know. Maybe I spend to much time making do? Did you ever notice tho' that right after you throw out that ____, you find you could sure use a _____ to fix whatever it is you are fixing? Maybe that is only something that happens here at my house. You know, that place that Murphy lives...he is here every day. I sometimes think he and my son are best friends.

Since, I last posted, my father's sister-in-law passed; she was a neat lady and a fun aunt. I remember thinking she was glamerous when I was young. Things like this always make memories surface, and I had such fun recalling her mother, who considered herself everyones Nanny. She was so much fun, and lived to be well over 100 yrs. old. I remember how my uncle loved to build model planes to fly....he loved most things to do with flying. He spent most of his life working for NASA, and was involved in many of the early space flights. The computers were his "babies", and I remember seeing pics of the huge rooms full of reel to reel recorders and stuff...how far we have come since then.

Well, I have postponed work long enough...time to sort and toss.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sorry it's been so long...

It has been a long time between posts, I know. I apologize, but real life has been interfering. If you are interested in exactly what happened, you can read all about it in Dragonswhispers; it is just too long to tell the whole story again. Let's just say that at the moment, everyone's health is good, my dad is on the road to recovery, all the tornadoes jumped over us or went around us, and I have actually gotten to paint a bit.

One of the fun things that happens at Wet Canvas, are some challenges. Each forum has their own....oils, acrylics, etc...and some are for all media. They make us reach as artists, and often go outside our "comfort zone". Here are some I have done...

For January, this was our challenge photo:

This was my attempt:

For February this was our challenge photo:

This was my attempt:

In March this was our challenge photo:

This was my attempt:

In April, this was the challenge photo:

This was my attempt: This is still not finished since I had several emergencies while I was trying to finish it.

We are also have a two month Old Master's challenge; this month is Renoir. We can either do one of his, or one of ours in his style. I chose Two Girls at a Piano:

This is where I am so far:

Well, it is way past time to be in bed. Hopefully it will not be so long between posts now. Night all!

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I apologize for not posting for such a long time. Since I last posted, alot has happened in real life, which left little or no time for anything else. Shortly after my last post, Bubba's arm got broken. He was throwing rocks, and not at a target, unless you consider me and the windows of my pickup as targets...lol. I tried to make him get up off the ground and come inside the house...he resisted. I tried again from behind, he twisted away, we both fell, and there was an ominous snap. Boy did I (and still do) feel horrible. I know it was an accident, but I still wish it had never happened. That made for a fun 4 hrs in the local ER. The doctor has an autistic son, so he understood and could deal with Bubba, which helped. After his two week checkup, they decided to keep it in the splint rather than put on a hard cast and run the risk of it separating; but I guess he did not agree...yep, he took it off one night, and we got to spend another 5 hrs in the ER, and then ended up redoing it ourselves at home because they put it back on wrong and too tight. I know, that should be the end of the story, but it's not. The next weekend, he was quietly sitting on the back porch steps, waiting for his dad to come home in the big truck...and when he pulled in the drive, Bubba jumped up, caught his foot in the steps and hurt it. You guessed it...another trip to the ER; but thankfully no break, just a severe strain/sprain (no one would ever say which).

Then, just as things were calming down; things were getting back to normal, or as close as it ever gets around here...and my dad ended up in the hospital in Ohio. I was unresolved as to whether to go up right away. They ran tests, and tried to fix some problems when they were doing a heart cath; but the blockage was too bad. So they scheduled him for surgery. I still was unsure about going, because I would have to take Bubba with me. When I called the day before surgery, while we were on the phone, he got dizzy...then he coded. Guess who thru' everything but the kitchen sink in the truck and left for Ohio! My husband's dispatcher got him up to Ohio, almost before I got there, so he could take Bubba with him; and I could stay with my dad.

I can say that the surgery was a success, I wish I could say that the visit was...unfortunately, all of us siblings acted like we were kids again...and acted accordingly...need I say that we were never the best behaved children in the world. I wish I could blame it all on stress, but I can't. All I could do was apologize to my folks, and pray that I could learn to hold my tongue, grow up, and respect them enough to behave. I hope that this is a lesson I don't have to keep learning; because it hurt. I guess none of us likes to look at our true selves...especially when we are not living up to our full potential. Spent alot of time thinking about this, and my faith on the long trip home, and I am continuing to think about it all. Change is not easy, but it can happen.

Here is a poem I wrote once, that still says alot to me:


I wonder if there is ever a time
when we are not touching
the lives of others.....
if there is a time when we are
turned off...if you will...or are we
always affecting?
Do we always have to feel their pain,
to always hurt with them, and bleed?
Is this the part of
that which makes us like God,
in that He is always with us,
and never just one of us...but all,
and has never rested.
I wonder if we will ever see that
our lives do not have to be so
overly complicated;
that we need to lean back,
in the arms that always hold us,
and just relax in them.
For if God wanted us to do it all,
then He would have given us
the power to do so.
Yet since He did not..and will not,
then perhaps we are supposed to
be just like children;
for a child waits upon an adult to
fix those things in his small world,
that are needed to live;
he does not try to cook or clean,
or earn his way or change what is,
he just accepts it all.
When will we remember to listen,
and to heed His advice to us,
to recall the lilies,
for they are clothed in the finest,
and the birds which are fed
by His hand.
We struggle so hard to do things,
and work with all we have to perform,
to no avail;
do you suppose that we are given
talents to make things easier,
not more difficult?
Could it be that we are, perhaps,
created in His image and likeness,
so that others,
may relate, in some way, to us,
and find in their similarity to our lives,
the way to touch God.