Friday, May 31, 2013

...and a partridge in a Funtry Friday pear tree!

Just in case all you critter lovers out there were seeking some great Bird TV, I welcome you to our country version...
Wow! LOOK at THAT!
Yes. I am Awesome. Totally Awesome.
*nom*nom*nom*food is more awesomer*nom*nom*nom*
Whoa! Can we have it? Can we chase it? Can we play with it?
Have what? Chase? That sounds like work...

*shhhhh... I am not here. I don't see anything and you do not see me.*
We are just waiting for big wings so we can fly to the pear cottonwood tree.
Well, that is the Tall and the short of Bird TV out in our neck of the woods! Hope you are getting good reception where you are, too!
*happy birding*
Kathy and zoo

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday... almost.

1940s Paache airbrushes that belonged to my uncle...

Uncle Dunbar did quite a bit of photography including aerial photography for the Army during WWII.

These airbrushes were in a box that also contained most of his camera equipment and lots of photographs from when he was stationed in Hawaii during WWII.

In all of his photographs, I didn't find any that had been hand colored or airbrushed. I did find photographs of an art studio on the base in Hawaii, though.

You just never know what you will find in an old box of "stuff"!

*off to quietly peruse some more family photos*

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day

I wanted to write a blog post to express my feelings...
to honor all of those who have served our country...
to put into words what I am thinking this weekend...

But my daughter said it all and said it much better than I could ever say it.

Thank you, Cynthia.

Be blessed.
Cultivated Graftings: A Memorial

God bless you all,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Funtry Friday Feathers, Flowers, and Fiery Skies

The Blogging Business Artisans Challenge for May is flowers.

May- BeadedTail - April showers brought May flowers so let's see them!
 Create something with flowers and let your imagination bloom!
I am hoping to create some paintings soon because I have been able to get some lovely photographs of some of my favorite flowers.
Like this iris - the originals were planted by my dad about 55 years ago. He took them with us whenever we moved and I have kept on doing that, too.
I love photographing those iris, but then I got sidetracked with some other photography fun. I found out why the killdeer look so plain until they start thrashing around like crazy. Here is one side of a tail feather - with lots of bright colors.
However... the other side looks quite different. Voila - they hide their colors until they want to be seen.
Easily distracted person that I am, I paused between feather photos when I saw this lovely little - and I do mean little! - flower.
So perfect and so pretty! I wonder how many people really see a flower this small...
                    ...and how many people are fascinated by feathers.
When you look at the guinea fowl, you don't always see their spots. Their feathers really do show their true colors, though.
And speaking of true colors, the sun shining on these delicate flower petals will made a very fun painting. I see lots of different colors in here - not just white.
But for truly amazing colors, just turn your eyes on to one of our fiery sunsets.
Looks like the Evening Primroses are really loving it.
Hope you enjoyed your Funtry Friday bouquet!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Ever feel like you are walking around with a bullseye painted on you? Target practice for every bummer happening?

Want to ramp that up? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

In some places, it’s hard not to be a bullseye. All you have to do is be a Christian. Like American Pastor Saeed Abedini in Evin prison, Pakistan.
Their freedoms are gone. They inched away right out from underneath their very footsteps. Oh... do you hear that? it's our freedoms slipping away here and there, too.
Bullseye. Yep.

Right before God says to “stand firm” He tells us to "take up" His armor. There's a reason.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist
in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Ephesians 6:13

When you are walking around with a big bullseye (and probably an arrow pointing at it!), you need a little protection. No, you need a LOT of protection - so grab your armor, Christians, and stand firm to protect our freedoms.

Not so much into that religious stuff? Just a little word of caution for you. If religious freedoms fall in our country, other freedoms will follow.  Doubt that is true? Take a look at the world and ask yourself *really* how free are the nations that restrict religious freedom.

We may not agree on anything except that the freedoms we have are worth protecting - so let's get ready and "stand firm" together.

Praying for our nation and our world,


Friday, May 17, 2013

Walking on water and blooming at night - Funtry Friday happenings!

Have you ever tried to rescue a water bug... Ummmm - doesn't work if you are trying to move them off water...  just sayin'

It was really cool to watch this bug walk on water, though!

It was also really cool to watch this little Killdeer. There must be a nest nearby...

They nest on the ground and when a predator arrives, the adult will flop all over the ground squawking the whole time.

Apparently I qualify as a predator. I am so easily entertained! LOL

Feeding time is always entertaining, too...

One of these days, Hershey is going to get whapped with the door regardless of how careful I am. He just wants to make sure I am doing everything right.

And Billie Jane wants to make sure that she doesn't miss any of her goodies that I might have left behind...

Seriously, girlie, you are not missing anything.

I will miss these lovely flowers, though, if I don't cruise around looking for them early in the morning. I don't know what they are really called, but we call them Moon Flowers because they bloom at night. (I didn't know what they were called, but Karin of  Remembrances did know that this is an Oenothera deltoids, also known as Evening Primrose. Thank you, Karin!)

These don't look like any of the "Moon Flowers" that came up in my internet search. They do bloom at night and close up during the day. I love that they have four heart shaped petals. I'm thinking that I will sort through my bazillion photographs of them (I did say that I liked them, you know...) and do a painting. Ahem. That will somewhat justify the time spent taking the bazillion photographs...

Hope your Funtry Friday is a splendid jumping off place for your weekend!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A little nudge and a jump start!

I love the way a book will get your creative juices flowing. Recently I won The Complete Decorated Journal by Gwen Diehn when I entered a giveaway on Judy Nolan's blog, The Creative Journey. Oh, am I going to have some fun!

This book has so many creative ideas that I don't know which one to try first. Gwen features all kinds of journals and every technique you can imagine. If that wasn't enough, she also shows you how to make a variety of handmade journals.

Like I said, I am going to have a ton of fun with this book!

My thanks to Judy Nolan for this wonderful gift from her giveaway. Check out her latest giveaway for Clover Flower Frill Templates, and visit her Etsy shops for more fun.

J N Originals

Mr. Pen Quin

Happy Creating!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day isn't a "prop the feet up in bed and be waited on kind of day" around here, but that is fine with me. I had a few nostalgic moments before my day really got started.

Yes. That would be me and my darling daughter... one or two years ago!

Then I did a few chores...

A little bit of laundry needed doing...
and I thought about a country where there are no washing machines...

A few dishes needed to be cleaned up since I was lazy last night...
and I thought of a continent where most of the population does not have access to clean water...

I had a luscious breakfast with the biggest strawberries I have seen in ages. Chocolate was included on my menu...
and I thought about the mamas who cry because there is no food - they don't cry because they are hungry (though they are), they cry because their children are hungry...

I was grateful and sad. But life is like that. So many of the things that touch us deeply, bring just a touch of sadness, too.

Like being a mama.

The baby grew up. She has the baby toy for her babies now! And the baby blanket is still around somewhere...

Mark Harris Find Your Wings music video from mark-harris on GodTube.

And then finding that your grown up daughter is all that you hoped she would be and is now dreaming dreams for her children.

Let Them Dream God-Sized Dreams

What is wonderful about those grateful/sad moments is that you can change them to grateful/sad/grateful moments by taking a little time to invest in the lives of others.

Call your daughter. (Joking - she called me first, but I was outside. haha)
Plant a seed of hope with an encouraging word to a young mom.
Drop off some food at your local food bank.
Give a couple of hours of undivided attention to a child.
Take time to let an elderly relative know that they are loved.
Sponsor a child through World Vision.
Buy a well.

Okay. So I still have a few big dreams.  How about you?

Looking back and looking forward,

Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.
Proverbs 31:29 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ah, the mind of a horse... Funtry Friday!

Hmmm... this looks interesting...

Wonder what's up there...

Well, I think I'll go take a look.

All this exercise is making me hungry.

I think I'll go look for...

...ah, there she is!

What? No, it's time to put away the shiny picture toy and feed me!


Now you have the right idea!

Happy horsing around on Funtry Friday!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday art - not quite on my table...

My homemade light box lamp wasn't quite bright enough...


... so I had to use the window.
The sunshine is bright enough - as long as I remember to work during the day when the clouds are not gathering! I have been working on transferring drawings on tracing paper to watercolor paper. The watercolor paper was a bit thick for my lamp to shine through, so I thought I would try this. It has worked great!
Now... off to put a few finishing touches on the drawings and begin painting!
Happy creating!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

When you don't know what to say...

I know it is hard for you to believe, but there have been a few times in my life when I have been
absolutely speechless.  Sometimes it was joy that tangled my tongue in knots. Occasionally shock has (fortunately) sealed my lips.

But sometimes, it has been a sorrow that someone shared with me - a sorrow that touched deeply. Words seem inadequate at that time - because they are inadequate. Silence speaks much more eloquently.

This busy world wants us to fill every silent moment with words, television, radio, computer chat... something! Silently being with someone is not encouraged - in fact, it is discouraged - and the litany of "reasons" fills the empty places in our minds.

"They just need some time alone."
"I don't know what to do."
"It takes time to heal."  
"I get too upset when I talk to them."
"I'll call in a week or two."

 And on and on it goes.  It is tough to be there when someone is hurting and we don't know what to do. The truth is, most of the time "doing" isn't what is needed. "Being" is what is needed. Don't be afraid to be silent with someone - embrace it. The "being" can be healing for both of you.

Many years ago, I had a friend who showed me what it means to "be there" for someone. After her friend's son had died at the tender age of around seven years old, she went to her friend's home and silently stood in her friend's kitchen. She did this for weeks before her friend began to speak to her.

Being there takes time and it isn't easy or window-dressing-pretty. But it is beautiful.


"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
Matthew 18:20

Friday, May 3, 2013

And what would you expect to see on Funtry Friday?

Surprise! Yes we do have some water around here. Our Spring weather was great for this sail boat and the kayaks on Watson Lake.

And, yes, this is probably a pretty common sight for a lot of people - but out here, some of the kids have a long walk home.

Lots of parents are waiting to drive their kids home, too. The buses will only travel on paved roads, which means that lots of places don't get "up close" bus service. Hmmm... and I thought my daughter had to walk a long way home where we used to live...

Does this make you feel a bit like Little House on the Prairie?

Well, except for the trucks...The circus came to Paulden! There are lots of small traveling circuses that go to little towns across the country. I haven't been to one in ages, but we did enjoy a couple of them when we lived in Chino Valley. For kids who have never seen a circus, this is pretty exciting stuff!

Hey - what else would be happening on Funtry Friday? Why, Spring babies, of course!

Don't climb the fence and mess with the babies, now - mama has a set of horns on her and she knows how to use them!  These mamas are babysitting the calves while the rest of the herd grazes nearby.

More critters, you say?  Well, how about a disgruntled goat. Again.

Yes, she is seriously sticking out her tongue. And, no, goats do not eat everything. Hey, in all fairness to me, I thought she would like the Hollyhocks. The horses love them. The chickens devoured them. In all fairness to her, she did *try* to try them. She, however, being a goat of discerning taste, spit out the little leaf bit she got in her mouth. They are still sitting in her pen waiting for me to toss them out for the horses. She was quite confused as to why I fed her something so disgusting.

Speaking of things you don't want to see...

Yes, the other side of Spring. Warmer weather welcomes back the slithery side of the animal kingdom. This bull snake is about four feet long, thank you very much. The pictures you don't get to see (sorry, I was a little busy) are of me trying to decide if I needed to rescue the dogs from the snake or the snake from the dogs. I opted for a shovel and a rake and much yelling at the (I am pretty sure deaf) dogs. I have to say, I didn't know that I could throw a shovel, rake, and snake that far.

Then I went to get the camera.

And then I cut down all the Hollyhocks and weed whacked the yard flat. Oy. And I thought I was going to do nothing but rest. So much for that thought!

But the dogs (yes they are both in the photo above) thanked me for the flat grass. All the better to roll in, they said.

Lova says she can show you the best spots to roll. My advice? Just let her point them out... her tastes are not always quite as discerning as Bethie's are...

The zoo and I hope you enjoyed wandering around here on Funtry Friday - have a wonderful weekend in your neck of the woods!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On the art table this week...

Care to take a peek in my studio and see what I have been working on this week?

This little sunflower in a pot is a work in progress - still so much "in progress" that it doesn't even have a title. Any ideas?  I love to paint sunflowers because they are a favorite of mine, but if I name one more painting "Sunflower"... well, let's just say it should have some other name!

What do you think?


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