Friday, November 27, 2009

As The World Spins.....

As my world spins more and more out of control, or so it seems, we seem to be approaching the holidays...zooming past one on the light speed.  I swear it was just a few months ago that we did all this stuff, and that I should have lots more time.  I need more time!!

Foolishly, I got on Facebook....sigh....and the hubby talked me into playing some of the farm games.  Now mind you I am an addictive personality....I know I am....that is why I don't play very many computer games....I really do know better!!  I really I am being sucked down the blackhole of trying to game, blog, paint, and take care of the house and my son....staying up until 3 or 4....wanting to sleep past noon....and then wondering where the day went?  Duh!

I believe part of the problem is LOG flu....newest flu on the scene, I think; it hits really hard when it hits you. I have had it for a month or so now, and not sure if I ever will shake it....sigh.

It keeps me from doing all kinds of things I should. You better hope it does not spread very fast! They have done alot of research on it from what I hear....and were surprised to find it's worst outbreaks seem to correspond to Election Campaign years...maybe all the traveling and hand-shaking, and baby-kissing....who knows. If you have not heard of it, LOG is an acronym standing for Lack Of Give-a-damn flu.

I have known there was a holiday show in December, since July or August....but did I start to get ready then? got it...last night....tonight....and this weekend is all I have.

It has not been as entirely fruitless month...I sold one; got caught up in an internet fraud, where I THOUGHT I had sold 4 more; I finished two (I hope)....

changed one...

should be close on another....

and then did one last night,  just for the fun of it.... 

No great skills involved....just cuteness!

Well, if I don't get off the pc and over to my easel....I won't have anything new at all!!  Thanks for listening!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Guess my "Give a Darn" is Busted!

Sometimes real life gets in the way, sometimes people get in the way, but lately I just have not cared...about anything. Don't recall ever feeling this way for this long. I have such great plans to blog every day, so in case anyone actually reads this, they would not have to wait weeks to hear from me. I get so caught up in painting, and such, that I never seem to have the time. I need to become a better manager of my time! I need to add excersise to the art, and quit staying up to paint until 2-3 am. Not gonna say that I will succeed, but I do know I have to try!
The card and poem were a hit with my dad...Yay!!! Finally got some points at birthday!

Had a show two weekends ago...the weather had been so rainy, that we did not have a great turnout. I finally got a tent...which is really gonna help...for sure!! I did not sell anything...but I did meet alot of interesting people.

Here are some of the ones I did earlier this year, and some new ones, I did in time for the show...

Rebirth (St. Peters Episcopal church in Oxford) 20x30

Autumm 10x20

All Tuckered Out...saw this little one in the local park, and could not resist painting it. 16x20

Practice Makes Perfect (Eli Manning warming up for a college game) 16x20

The Skateboard Park (in Oxford, MS) 20x30

Junior (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) 10x10

Smoke (Tony Stewart) 10x10

The Garden Bridge 10x10

I did sell the last one, the week before to one of my son's caseworkers....made me very happy!! She liked the flowers and the texturing...

I am having so much fun with using is fun, and gives each piece more depth, and also a nice tactile feel.

Well, that is all for today....I hope to see you soon!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Since he does not get online, I can post this now.  No one can say that I did not have this done before his birthday!! I am embarassed to say, but for some insane reason, I forget his birthday.  When we were young, we celebrated he and my grandma's together....his was the second of September, and hers was the third.  Some how, at some point...I put them together, and thought his was the 23rd of September.  The harder I try to remember, the more confused I seem to stay.  Then when you add senior moments to the equation...well....I have been a flop....too many years to count!

Did not know what to do for his birthday this year...he is not easy to buy for.  They have almost everything they need, and with the move to a senior's apartment...they are downsizing.  So I did an unusual thing...I asked him.  He asked for one of my special cards....which is just a homemad card....where I morph photos, or copy one of my paintings onto card stock, add a poem, and thanks to the digital age....I have a personal card.

So, I chose a ref photo, my brother had sent a copy of to me....a photo of my great-grandfather's old mule that he used to plow with every year, taken sometime about 1924.  When I enlarged it, I was amazed to realize that there was a shadow on the mule's side...and it was my great-grandfather and his old hat.  So I painted it onto some acrylic paper.

Then I had to decide what to do for the inside...and I remembered the papers I had 'found' when looking for something was a poem that my grandfather, my dad's father, had written in 1977, right before he passed away.  He had never quite finished it., though his ideas and thoughts were there.  So I took a deep breath, and finished it for him, and for my dad.

Hopefully this will be a present that he will be glad to recieve!!


Most every year, there comes the urge
To sort your files and give closets a purge,
To toss un-needed stuff away,
Put things you keep, in good array.
But a year will come, as it has for me,
When you know such sorting, no longer need be,
You know darned well, as you think and discover
You won’t need the items your search will uncover.

As I check my hunting clothes, on the rack,
I feel I should carefully hang some back;
But why not be honest, “You silly old goat,
There’s no use in keep that old hunting coat”.
"Ditch it, or sell it, or give it away,
No sense to keep it another day”…
You know darned well, from the health you’re in
You never can go hunting again.

You bid thing adieu, without remorse,
Sorry to part with some, of course;
But you count the pleasures they brought in the past
And are happy for memories that still last.
Tax forms, audits and such, all in files,
Travel bags, folders and maps showing miles…
You know darned well, as you check them through,
They will never again be of use to you.

Fishing poles and equipment, bobbers and flies,
Shop tools of all sorts, but no projects, no tries,
Gardening tools, fertilizers and such,
The flowers live on, but not with your touch,
You look at the pictures, you’ve taken a lot
Remembering those still with you, those not…
You know darned well you’re not “finished” yet
There are more years to do things, I bet!

Aims, wants, desires, keep changing each year,
And as they pass by, new methods appear
To help to fulfill joys, pleasures or work,
They invent a new gizmo, tactic or quirk;
Less action, more quiet, thoughts of the past
More snoozing through TV, dreams of the past…
You know darned well your descendants and kin,
Will also be living these same dreams again

Switch to other activities, of course
Those things have served their good purpose
Read books, write a letter, and give some advice
Watching the children of children is nice;
Making joys for self and others can
Fill the rest of your life, old man
You know darned well, life will make sense
Maybe be bette, because of your experience.

And when you are gone, your spirit will live
Many lives richer for these things you give
Children grown, with children of their own
Will sit and watch as the grass is mown
Watching grandchildren and knowing
That their short lives are also going
You know darned well, because you’re clever
Not even the Sun stays hot forever.

Written by S.E. Ackley, July 1977,  but unfinished;
With a humble attempt at completion,
by S.J.Richards in August 2009.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!! I hope and pray you have many more! Just as I will always be your little will always be my dad!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some thoughts to remember....

With the start of school, and all the little ones going off for the first time to kindergarden, I started thinking and remembering.  I sent my three off, with 3 different sets of feelings...some traumatic, some cheerful, with pride and sadness.  Most seemed dependant on how many children I had. 

I also thought about how funny it is, with the first child, we cannot wait for them to walk and talk, and get  older, and with each one, or so it seems to me, we wish they would progress more slowly and even stay small forever. Some I think, is keep them young and away from pain (except an occasional fall or spanking), to keep that "joie de vivre " and innocence. Yet, some I think also, is knowing all the work and worry that come after the first crawl, and step, and climb....the questions that go on forever, after that first word.  And yet, once it is all over....and they start to grow, you wish for all those things to happen again, because you miss it.

I so miss a baby to hold, sometimes, with that special smell of baby powder and warmth; a toddler to watch try everything the world has to offer, with a newness we can never get back....catching that first snowflake on their tongue...wishing on the first falling star...catching their first lightening bug....drawing their first picture....tossing their first ball and the joy and pride on their face the first time they catch it.

I have also, enjoyed the first date, the first prom, the first many interesting stages of life. Watching your first grandchild be born (if you are lucky), bonding with them in a different way than your child...telling them stories of when their parent was young. I know there is much I don't miss...and I know you all know the kinds of things I mean (diapers, 2 am feedings, colick, etc).

It just seems ironic that as we get older, we miss all the things we used to take for granted or wish away. How often we wished they would just be quiet for a little bit, or not get up so early; we wished the day was over, so we could go to bed.  How many days at work, that I wished were over. Oh, for all that time we wished away in our would be nice to have some of it back. Now time passes so quickly, there seems to be so little left to do all that we haven't done.

I ache sometimes when I look at Bubba and see all the firsts he will never have, and all those he has missed.  Though even without them, he is still happy, and does not know what he has missed.  Part of that, is his lack of time him it is always today....there is no yesterday to regret, and no tomorrow to stress over; he lives totally in the present.   I also think part of it, is the love he has, that surrounds him.

Perhaps there is a lesson in there cherish all that we have, while we have it, to let life get in the way a bit less, and let love get in the way more? 

Remember that song, about time in a bottle?  I wish I had that bottle.

One way I have, is the paintings I do...and those I plan to do...this is my middle daughter...daring me to punish her....which she did alot...I'll never forget that look!

This is my great grandpa's mule....with his shadow reflected on the front of the mule....which I hope to paint soon...
This is my son, on an elephant....I also want to paint it!
These are my daughters and their cousins, at a family reunion...not sure how clean they got...but they certainly had alot of fun!
Memories...cherish them, and hold them close to your heart....their time is so short, and none of us ever knows how much time we have!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time flies when you are having fun....

And it disappears completely, when you are painting!! I have been working on the horse I started, trying to get his shoulder I can start another.
I also started one with a few donkeys or is not done yet by any means.

When not painting, I have been dozing at the computer, since I am still working on getting my son to sleep at night and not in the daytime.

 I have managed to spend some time with my family, also...novel idea, huh?  I also, 'somewhat' insanely, joined Facebook...takes way, way, way too much time to try and keep up with that!!  I heard it was good for networking, and increasing sales, but I am not so sure....yet.  (I thought that Blogger had a spell checker....but I don't see it...I hate totally relying on this brain of forgets things too much anymore.  I will promise to do my best!)

While taking a class on trees, on Wet Canvas, we decided to do another exchange...5x7 flowering are mine.  Glad everyone finally got theirs, so that I can show them!!

These went to Canada, New York, Florida, England, Michigan, Ireland, Pennsylvania, and Germany. It was alot of fun!!!  And I recieved some beautiful paintings in return!  Which I might show you at a later date!  In keeping with my trying to go to bed earlier (than 2 or 3am.), I am going to sign off for now.  Hope everyone sleeps well!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


A number of my friends have lost their pets lately, and it started me remembering. Over the years I have had a number of pets....some were what I call successful, or a good match...some were not. An aside: If you don't know it, the worst time to buy a cute little puppy or fuzzy little kitty, is while you are pregnant...unless you have had LOTS of pets before. Your maternal instincts are in high gear...and you need something to hold and cuddle and love...while you wait for the baby. The problem arises after the baby is born, when you would rather hold the baby and the pet tends to get shoved to the side, if it is lucky. I learned that the hard way...and sad to say so did the puppy I had gotten.

I had a bird once, since living in an apartment usually limits you on pets. He was the meanest parakeet I ever met. He bit me all the time, and attacked me if I let him out of the cage. But when he passed, I cried buckets...because he had been a part of my life.

The best remember pet, was the dog I had as a child...he was the typical stray that followed us home...and amazingly my parents let us keep him! He looked like a fox to me...but then I had never really seen a fox up close. We named him Frisky, because he loved to play.

This is the only picture that I have of him...tho' my parents may have more. He was a beautiful reddish gold color, with highlights that just seemed to glow at times.

I was not a particularly popular child, and we lived in a neighborhood of mostly I became a tomboy; I think I would have anyway, I never did really like girl-type games or dolls. Frisky became my confidant and best friend during a time when my social skills were lacking, and it felt like no one cared. We went for long walks...or I rode my bike and he ran along side. When ever my heart felt like it was breaking, he would curl up with me, and lick away my tears. He filled a void that was deep inside; the only problem was that he could not talk, and tell me what to do or how to cope.

I remember, as a child, we would go back the lane from where we lived, and climb this one high hill...and lay up there and watch the clouds. Of course the best time was when the Blue Angels would come for the air shows...there turning point was right over this hill...and they would come in so low we just knew they saw us!! Frisky would jump and bark...not really understanding our excitement, but participating anyway.

As I grew up, I needed him a little less, my brother moved away, and then I graduated from high school, and went to college for two years. Sad to say, I cannot remember the year he left us. I know that as we kids grew up and became involved with other things, he became my dad's dog. Now they went for walks, and Frisky would watch him garden. As he grew older, he had a lot of arthritis, and once my dad and a neighbor had to dig him out of a culvert that ran under our drive...he had chased after something and gotten caught. No one knows quite how long he had been trapped, and he was never really the same after that. He always slept in the basement, just in case of accidents. I remember once I begged my mom to let him sleep in my room, and for some reason only mothers know, she said yes. He had to be coaxed in, as he was not really allowed in the house, except for the kitchen and basement. As soon as I got back in bed, he snuck out; I tried 5 or 6 times, and realized that he was just not soon as we opened the cellar door, he happily ran downstairs.

As he grew older, and less able to move, my dad had to carry him in and out, and he knew how much pain he was in. My dad said he was his dog, his friend, and his responsibility, and no one was putting him down but him; so they went for their last walk out into the thicket behind our house, with daddy carrying his gun, and a blanket and shovel. He did it all, my dad, bore the burden and the sadness. I wish I had been able to say goodbye. I am not sure that I would have had that strength.

We may heal, but we never forget those we lose. It doesn't matter if they are your human friends and family, or your canine or feline ones. I am not sure the love is any less...or the pain of loss. I know there is a debate over whether there is heaven for animals....but it surely is a comforting thought that somewhere Frisky is still playing; that my mean old bird, flies free; that the burros I worked with in the summers and the jug-headed, ugly gray horse that gave me the very best ride of my entire life, are running thru' green fields; and that one day, those I knew, people and animals, will be there to greet me when it is my time to take that last walk.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Should I have a Blue Light Special???

Another late night, and not much really accomplished tho'...painting when you are tired is not a good thing sometimes. Tho' once in awhile, if your head shuts down, and your 'soul' takes over you can get some really good things.

It has been slow here with no shows, and Dunn's restaurant closed I had about 40+ paintings hung there. So far my online sights have produced alot of compliments, but few sales. Thought about putting this up and having a 20% off sale Maybe people would be drawn to the I used to be. Nothing like a sale to make me happy!! I have been known to buy things that I don't use or eat...if the price was really good.

What do you think? Do you think it would work, or is that psychology all played out? If anyone is reading I will let you choose
As I said, last night was not too productive...but sometimes when you 'just paint' you get some good stuff. We have a weekend challenge at Wet Canvas...with a technical time limit. I took it literally when I first started trying some...
Here are a few that were quick, and just seemed to flow...most were done in a few hours, with very few tweaks.

This one was for a weekend event at Wet Canvas, where you try to see what you can get done in 2 hrs....8x10 acrylics on canvas board.

This was in a composition class....I still need to work on the curve of the river/stream...but I am pretty happy with how it turned out. 8x10 acrylics on paper

Another one that truly palette....8x10 acrylics on paper...sold before it was dry.

Another from the weekend challenge--12x12 acrylics on paper...sold at Christmas.

This one was an experiment with black artboard and some new colors of paint. 11x14 acrylics on artboard.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A day with no results....

In two afternoons, I dismantled most of the 'imitation' (no splitting, just logs)rail fence that I put up a couple years ago. I learned that the settlers must have used hardwook, not southern pine, because it rots...sigh. Oh well, it looked nice for awhile; even tho' it was a pain to try and mow around. Now I will have an easier time mowing. That I also did, and learned that with the new mower, you could actually mow everything in one day. I did about 3/4's of it in 5-6 hours, but in all but about 3 acres, the 'grass' (green weeds look like grass if you don't look about 3-4 ft. high, which took a bit longer.

I did get most of it done before the rain. It seems like the rain this summer has been on any day my husband was home, or whenever I had time. So it has been pretty hit and miss. Of course having 2 mowers break down, AGAIN, did not help. They were two old rebuilt riding mowers, that just are too tired to work any more...and too expensive to keep fixing 2-3 times a year. So we rented one from Aaron's. So far it works pretty good!

I learned something else...after a year of mostly inactivity, other than painting, and housekeeping, my body did not tolerate what I did as well as it could have. By last night I could barely move, and was pretty tired. So, I went to be early and slept late.

I had some plans for today...but most of them fell thru'. I was going to mail the 9 paintings for an exchange some friends of mine are doing....but I misplaced one of the painting. I had almost all of them packaged, and ready to go, when I realized one was missing...I looked all over the post office, ran out to the truck and looked but could not find it. By this time, it was 10 minutes past closing, and I was out of time. I figured I had somehow put two in one or left it at home. When I went back out to the truck, where poor, impatient Bubba was waiting...I found it had slid off the seat and into the compartment on the door (I forgot to look there...sigh). So now I will have to run to the post office again in the morning. There will be 9 disappointed least they are good friends and will understand!

I would have been at the Post office in time to get everything ready, if I had thought about unhooking the trailer yesterday. I had laid the tailgate down because some of the logs were 17-19 feet long, and rested them in the bed of the pickup, and the trailer. So there I am, nice skirt and top...pulling and breaking rotten logs till we could get the tailgate up and unhook the trailer. That only took about 30 minutes...sigh. Of course, all the makeup had sweated off by then, my hair, well, it was soaked.

So nothing really got done. We went to Sonic and came home, and in just a little bit we are going to bed! I am wiped out. I just did not want to go another day with no post...since I promised to be better about posting.

I still have not decided about the watermelon festival...hard to decide with the price of a booth, and the probablity of over 105+ degree heat to deal with...and no guarantee of selling anything.

But here are some of the paintings I did for last year...which I did not attend do to my son's wedding. I did not want to just do paintings of watermelons....I wanted to be a bit different...hope you enjoy them....

The Kitties Picnic.....8x10 wrapped canvas....multiple references

Loading the Boxcar.....8x10 wrapped canvas....From a photo in the early 1900's when Water Valley was a switchinig center for the Illinois Central Railroad...they hired "small" children (based on weight) to put authenticity stickers on the watermelons that met the standards; they had to be light because they stacked the watermelon only 3 deep cushioned with hayso they would not break or bruise, an adult's weight also might bruise the melons. They made about 50¢ a day...which for some families was a lifesaver. These watermelon were sought as far away as New York City, where some restaurants would only serve watermelon from Water Valley, MS.

The Watermelon Truck.....8x10 wrapped canvas....from my imagination

Loading the Train.....8x10 wrapped canvas....Another photo from the early 1900's showing how the trucks would line up at the boxcars to be handed into the car, just out of sight would have been a scale to weigh them...but rarely did the man at the door need that to know if it was acceptable...most knew as soon as the melon was in their hands. Children would hang out, waiting for a reject, or the rare dropped melon which was then fair game.

Baby's Watermelon.......8x10 canvas paper

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The weekend brought joy...

I’ve often written in my poetry, about the little girl inside, of me, of all of us, in a sense. Well, I feel as tho’ she has stopped crying for now…she found the person who had always made her feel safe this weekend. The adult had already found someone to care for her, after many empty years; but it seems as tho’ the inner child, the one who was always so afraid, and was so hurt, had needed this other person. I re-connected with an old and dear friend, after 40+ years….amazing, I am not sure how or why it happened, but it has made me very happy, and filled something inside of me that has been empty for a long, long time.

I also met another important someone, but that I will save for later….I want to savor it for awhile!!

For whatever reasons, I have spent the last year or so, remembering things, I thought I had forgotten. So many memories…I am guessing it is all that has happened with my parents….but who knows. All I know is, to paraphrase Luke 15…” for this one was dead to me, and is alive again, he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” Seminary aside (yes, to the astonished, I went to seminary, but before women went on to be ordained), I do know what the original meaning was/is; but it seemed an appropriate thought.

The world is filled with double meanings, and things that can be taken different ways, depending on how you shine the light on them. Perhaps, that is my artistic side, interpreting what I see…when I can see so many different ways to see thingsl Today is a day to leave you with a poem….and a picture….some would see it as depressing…..some as hopeful. I will leave the interpretation to you.


Maybe I need too much, for comforting,
and have too many tears to be dried;
maybe I am too empty, for satisfying,
too filled with holes to be patched again;
maybe I was not meant to be happy, or
I suppose I should have never tried to be;
maybe I ask too much, for anyone to give,
and have needs that no one could ever meet;
maybe I am too broken to ever be fixed,
too far gone for life to return to;
maybe I have been alone too long,
entombed in life, maybe I am dead;
maybe I was hurt too much to find the way,
bleeding out my soul's worth in pain;
maybe I have been silent, so very long,
that I will never have a voice to speak.
I hate that I am not whole for You, yet
I find that is even worse, for me to know,
for I find myself sliding back down
into the hell where I was before.
It is not fair to ask You to hold me,
when I can never be held enough;
it is not fair to look to You for love,
when there is no way for me to receive it;
it is not fair that You make me laugh,
when I cannot find any joy inside of me;
it is not fair that You should give to me,
when I am too selfish to give in return;
it is not fair to make You responsible,
to fix the things that others destroyed;
it is not fair to expect Your company,
when I do not know how to be with You;
it is not fair to ask for comforting,
for the child within who cries out in need;
it is not fair for me to try and talk to You,
of things that I do not know how to say.
I hate that I cannot be what You need, yet
I have no way to be what I need me to be;
for I fear that I am becoming the past,
with no chance to ever find a new future.
I thought that I had a second chance at life,
instead I find another way to mess things up;
I thought I had the strength to be strong,
yet I feel weaker than before I tried;
I thought I had the knowledge to fight,
that knowing would be enough to overcome,
and I find myself on my knees in pain;
I thought that love would be enough to
conquer all, yet I am the one who is beaten.
I thought I had dealt with all the nightmares,
and laid their ugly heads to rest forever;
I thought that I was free to be Yours for life,
and instead I seem to be Your ball and chain;
I thought that I had found enough joy to last
for a whole lifetime, but where is it now;
I thought we would become as one, united,
and instead I drive You further away every day.
I was found, but now I am lost, and the hell
of it is, I do not know where I am anymore;
I cannot ask for directions or even call for help;
unless You find me again, I fear that I am done.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm up, which is a start...

For some reason I have been having alot of trouble sleeping, and making myself go to bed at a decent hour. There have been way too many nights of 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 am bedtimes...which is making it increasingly difficult to get as much rest as I need. I thought that if I could just get Bubba back to sleeping nights, instead of wandering, that I would just go back to my routine. I spent so many nights in a half-sleep, listening for him, trying to make sure he was not up and getting into things....or escaping from the house. There must have just been too many nights of staying up till he went to sleep, that my rhythms got as messed up as his had been. Now he is sleeping the night thru', even if he takes a daytime nap, and I am the one who stays up all night...sigh! The problem with that is that I cannot take naps like he does. I am really going to have to work at this!!

I was looking back, and trying to see what paintings I had shown you, and which ones, I had not. I have been painting....and doing new things with texture. Am looking forward to buying some more different mediums so I can experiment more! Lots of amazing effects that you can get!!

One thing I have done, over the last 6 some trading. First a group of us in the acrylics forum, decided to do ATC's which is Artist Trading Cards....just like baseball cards, only they are paintings....tiny little paintings. You can trade them with other artists, some people use them for business cards, some put them in mailings....their uses are endless. There are people who actually sell them as tiny originals. They are a bit bigger than some miniatures...which are an amazing type of painting!!! People do them small enough for doll houses, and others consider anything smaller than 5x7 to be a miniature; part of the definition lies in painting something 6 times smaller than it would normally be painted.

The following ones are those that I did...

The last two are copies of masters, that I had always wanted to do, and since I am not selling but giving....I could do them.

They were alot of fun to do....but I sure had to use a magifying glass on alot of the detail. I have decided tho' that it is easier to paint very small, like these, or large. I used to paint alot of 8x10's, but now find I like painting large.

Tomorrow, I will show you some of my larger works. Until then, I hope all of you have a wonderful day!!