Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

In 1953, Thanksgiving Day was sandwiched between "Thanet, Octave" and "Thaumatrope" in the encyclopedia.

In 2013, Thanksgiving Day is sandwiched between "working late" and "Black Friday".

In 1621 the corn harvest brought rejoicing and Governor William Bradford decreed that December 13, 1621, be set aside as a day of feasting and prayer, to show the gratitude of the colonists that they were still alive.

In 2013, people argue over ham vs turkey and white potatoes vs sweet potatoes, between watching a parade and watching sports.

Many days were spent preparing that first feast and 80 guests arrived with gifts. Tables were set up outdoors and all the people sat around them like one large family. Prayers, sermons, and songs of praise were an important part of the celebration. This splendid feast lasted three days.

In 1863, President Lincoln issued a proclamation to set aside the last Thursday of November of that year "as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father." He issued a similar proclamation in 1864. Four seventy-five years, the Presidents of the United States did the same thing. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the day to a week earlier. Congress stepped in, and ruled that the fourth Thursday of November would be observed as Thanksgiving Day beginning in 1941.

"In the United States, Thanksgiving is usually a family day, celebrated with big dinners and joyous reunions. Many persons travel hundreds of miles to spend the day with their parents. The very mention of Thanksgiving often calls up memories of old farmhouse kitchens and pantries crowded with good things to eat. Thanksgiving is also a time for serious religious thinking, church services, and personal prayer."

Now you know what Thanksgiving Day was like 392 years ago, how our nation started celebrating Thanksgiving Day 150 years ago, and what Thanksgiving Day looked like 60 years ago.

It's a lot more important than potatoes and parades, or a day off before a big sale.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A month of Sundays

Nana's conversation was filled with fun expressions. "Fine as hen's teeth", "this world and one more in the bandwagon", "six of one and half a dozen of the other", and many more expressions flowed freely when she spoke. "A month of Sundays", meant that it had been a long, long time. How long? Well, today is officially a "month of Sundays" for November.

November, National Orphan Awareness Month - where those of us close to adoption remember that there are more than 150 million orphans in the world. For those orphans, their whole life is a "month of Sundays".

I started this month with a blog post about adoption and I will end this month of November Sundays with links to other great stories about adoption.
And, one last little thought. A little story of two young women - both about the same age. Let's say around 17 years old.

One is just about ready to go to college - an incredible dream come true.*

The other is a widowed mother of a five year old child. She is the daughter of a widow and she just left her infant at an orphanage to be adopted.

Both stories are true.

Praying for a world with no more broken families,

*You can make this kind of difference in the life of a child through World Vision.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Funtry Friday - here and there

Well, the little birds have mostly all flown away - but some nests are right there!

Brrrr! and ahhhhh! The wood is here - to chase away the cold morning chill.

That is a good thing - because the storm is over there. And over my head.

Lots of gentle rain is falling, and I'm very thankful that the Lord has sent the moisture we need.

As long as Benny Bunny gets his carrot, he doesn't care what the weather is like.

By the way, do you know what most of my photos of Benny look like? This.

Curious little guy - and always hopeful for his snack!

Also, by the way, your weather report today is:  the rabbit is wet.

Apparently, he doesn't care if he is wet - he was still racing to get his snack! I did manage to snap the photo before all I got was nose... Some things never change.

Oh, like Bailey. Rain or shine, it's "toss my stick for me"!

Since I can't get Cookie or Lova to chase anything, I'm glad that Bailey comes over and wants to play.

Hope you have had some play time in your neck of the woods today. Happy Funtry Friday!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Keeping those brushes wet...

Yes, I know you were expecting to see my rose painting all (or almost) finished. Ummm... nope. It looks just the same, but I did get my apple painting finished.

At least I think it is finished. I may darken the background a little bit more, but I am happy with the lace pattern that I added on the table and I do like the shadow now that I lightened it up a bit. Trying all of these new painting ideas is a lot of fun!

Here is my new little painting from my watercolor class with Caroline Linscott. If you are local to the Prescott, Arizona, area - you should contact her about her classes! There are spaces available.

Caroline has a tremendous amount of knowledge about watercolor techniques, and this week we dove into something that I had never done before. Woohoo - another adventure in painting!

Our reference photograph is a Hollyhock, but we are not painting this Hollyhock by mixing reds, pinks, and greens. We are actually building the colors in a value study and mixing them  optically layer by layer.

value study focuses on painting the same color, but adding more paint and less water for the darkest areas and more water and less paint for the lightest areas.

HINT: It was much easier for me to use the black and white photo for the first part of this painting, because I could focus on just the values and not the colors.

The first layer was painted in a bright yellow, the second value study layer was painted in orange (yes, you read that right!), and the next layer was painted in red. The red value layer of paint is painted wherever there is red in the painting. My red value layer isn't quite finished yet, but it is getting there.

Because watercolor is transparent, you now see both the yellow and the orange through the red. The next color I will add will be blue and I will then green. Yes, you heard me right - there will be green right over the top on the darkest values in this painting. If I do it right, you will see all the other colors peeking through. The transparent colors optically mix when they are painted in thin washes of color. I am kind of excited to see how this painting turns out.

So, some artistic hints and a nudge or two:
  • Try something new! Every art form has lots of different approaches - look for a new way to use an old favorite medium.
  • If you are local to Prescott, take a class from Caroline Linscott! If you aren't local, find a great teacher in your area and soak up some new information.
  • And one final great hint... When you photograph your artwork, dust off the dog hairs. Hey, I could have retaken the photo - but I thought it was another good hint. *roflol*
I'm keeping my brushes ane wet learning lots of new things. What are you doing to keep your creative juices flowing? Share your latest artistic adventures in the comments!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Euclidean Geometry

An infinitely beautiful sunset -
posted here so that your brain may rest
between colliding infinitely infinite thoughts.
You're welcome.
Remember pi r square? Remember that whole radius of a circle thing? I have a vague recollection of high school geometry - probably because I had a very cool teacher. Mr. Draper was able to explain math to right brained people - what's not to enjoy about that kind of math teacher?

I (vaguely) remember a discussion about how the radius of a circle determined the size of the circle. Mr. Draper went on to explain that the radius was the same measurement all the way around a circle and that you could find out how big the circle was if you knew how long the radius was.

Being totally right brained even back then, and having brushed up against the concept of infinite distances in space - I blurted out the first thought that came to my mind: "But what if the radius is infinite?"

"Ah," he responded without a pause, "then you would have Euclidean Geometry."

Now, umpty-ump years later I am hear to tell you that today was the first time I ever looked up Euclidean Geometry. To me, it simply meant that there was infinite stuff in math that would make circles (oh - and maybe squares) so big that they could reach out to space and touch that star - way out there.

Today, I know oh so much more. Yeah, well. Ummmm. Well, Euclidean Geometry... has a history. And it means a... *cough* lot of stuff. And all I can recall from what I just read is this little drawing on Wikipedia - but it says a lot about Euclidean Geometry.
In summary:  if "a" is that-a-way and "b" is this-a-way, then eventually they bump into each other.

Math people, I see your eyes rolling back in your head in despair - so with apologies to Euclid, let's just change the subject.

Infinity is something that only God *really* understands because He is the only one Who has always been. And that concept is too big for me to comprehend. I'm really grateful that God knew we would have a bit of trouble with that - so he slipped on human skin and came to earth to explain it to us. *whew* Thank you, Jesus.

Sometimes I feel like that little triangle. There are dotted lines that meet up somewhere - but they aren't always visible to me. So I pray - a lot. I know those lines bump into each other, because God always answers prayer. Always.

Okay - I hear someone saying, "But...", followed by a list of missing blessings.

I stand by what I said. God always answers prayer.
  • He says "yes" and showers the blessings we ask for on us.
  • He says "not yet" and asks us to wait for His timing. Then He pours out His blessings on us.
  • He says "I have something better for you." and then He pours out favor and blessings and surprises that we could not have imagined - or even thought to ask for - all over us!
Step into infinity and give God a chance to do something spectacular for you today. Pray. But don't expect Him to be like the shopping mall Santa who pretends to check things off our list.  Be prepared for Him to know what really will bless your sock right off and send them into (infinite) outer space!

Anticipating some of those incredible blessings,

The earth is the Lord's and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
Psalm 24:1

Friday, November 15, 2013

Brrrr - Funtry Friday!

Well, it may look warm out there - but even the guineas think it is getting colder!

They were all fluffed up this morning and trying to soak up the early morning sunshine. I think this one wanted a warmer sun puddle!

While the guineas were soaking up the warmth, I was thinking about my fun day of running all over the place with my sister. Nope, no photos to post of our travels - but look what I saw on the way home.

Yeah, the photo is a little wonky. I was waving the camera out the window (hey, I was parked on the side of the road!). Since I am such a camera aficionado *cough* this is the only photo I took without a vehicle smack in the middle of it. Apparently I was so fascinated with the moon and the neat clouds, that I neglected to pay attention to the traffic. Well, that's what you get at the end of a long Funtry Friday!

Unless it is this -

Or, if there aren't any clouds, you might get this -

Love the colors in our sunsets around here!

And here's a little bit of color from last summer - just to brighten up your day.

My dad was quite a gardener and he planted these many years ago. They present us with a lovely bouquet every year.

Well, hope you had some warm sun puddles and splashes of color in your neck of the woods. Happy Funtry Friday!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chasing Fall before Winter arrives!

Well, the days are still nice here - but our nights are getting colder. Even though we don't have the dramatic color changes on the leaves out here, Fall still has its lovely moments. You just have to look quick and paint fast!

Two little 2.5 x 3.5 inch ACEOs (Art Cards Editions and Originals)

There are still lots of pumpkins to be had around here, but most of the colorful leaves have slipped off the trees.

We are hanging on to a bit of the summer, too, in my watercolor class. This week we started painting a beautiful red rose.

Note that I said started. This will be red eventually... I am still working on getting richer colors in my first washes. Ahem. It's not the quality of my paint, but rather the way I mix it. You have heard me say over and over - use the best materials you can afford in order to get the best results. These are rich artist grade watercolors, but mixing up a big puddle of color is not as easy as Caroline Linscott makes it look! LOL However, I am enjoying practicing - a lot.

So, what's next? Well...

I still have my little sunflower painting - but now I also have some pretty cool dry Cottonwood leaves, too. And I have a few ideas for some more fun ACEO paintings featuring them.

If you want to see a little bit more of what I am going to try, check out Caroline's book, "Watercolor 1, Learn the basics of watercolor painting". The book is full of great photos, easy to follow directions and lots of her artwork.

So, in honor of the last vestiges of Fall, I am diving into painting (indoors!) some of the splendid colors that are now just a memory around here. Hope you are enjoying the changing seasons wherever you are, too!


Welcome to another great Blogging Business Artisans Challenge! This Blog post features a challenge from Edi at Memories for Life.

 November- Memories for Life - Fall Colors The leaves are changing (or already changed) and the weather is cooling off. Before we head into winter, create one last piece with the beautiful colors of fall! Find inspiration in the nature around you.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


My father and I had a conversation about war. Once. He told me that he enlisted in the Navy in order to protect his widowed mother and his sister from war coming to their front door. Since he enlisted during the war, there was no doubt about the seriousness of the conflict and there was no doubt that he would put his life on the line for his family.

Dad 1946

My dad was that kind of man. He took his family responsibilities very seriously - he took all of his responsibilities very seriously.
Pearl Harbor

His devotion to his family was part of his character not a temporary action during wartime.

His wartime service, and the service of many other dedicated people, guaranteed that I could get up this morning and walk outside to enjoy the glorious sunrise.

The sunrise chased all the shadows of night away and brought light even to the darkest corners.

Dad was like that - he reflected God's character into my life, lighting both the good and the bad and inviting me to grow and change.

Let your light shine before men in such a way
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

When I made mistakes, my father did not refuse to welcome me home regardless of the fact that I didn't lived up to the full potential that he knew I had.

Neither does God. Maybe your earthly relationships have been less than stellar, but your heavenly Father is still waiting to welcome you home.



Friday, November 8, 2013

Windy Funtry Friday

It's been a fun week around here. Fall has definitely arrived in full force and it looks like winter is trying to take over. We are still having some nice days, but the nights are quite cool now. Ice on the smaller water buckets is fairly common in the morning. Most of our birds have headed south, but some others have paused on their way through.

In addition to the Brewer's Blackbirds, we have several of these little birds this year. Bird TV is very popular around here - and all the four footed furries seem quite happy with the new channels.

Me? I am fascinated by the spider webs. It amazes me that a little tiny spider can manage to spin one long delicate line from one porch post to the other. And at face level every time... *ptewie* Good morning, arachnid.

There are some seriously busy spiders around here. Look at this - above eye level, thank you!

The large white streak in the lower right corner is a cloud. All the other white streaks are spider webs blowing in the wind. Yes - blowing in the wind! Check this out - wow, my first ever online video just for you!*

Just in case you aren't quite as mesmerized by spider webs blowing in the wind as I am (or my mad video posting skills), how about a fancy rooster? Love the way the color is just on edge of all the feathers! He was one of the critters at the County Fair.

Well, my day is winding down here. Hope you enjoyed a lovely sunset in your neck of the woods!

Happy Funtry Friday!

*Yes - I spent a long time (not saying how long!) figuring out how to post a 23 second video of spider webs blowing in the wind. I'm special that way.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Well, surprise, surprise! Look what I did!


It's not quite finished yet, but it's pretty close. This was an exercise that I did in Caroline Linscott's watercolor class last week. I am pretty excited with the way this little apple is shaping up. Of course, Caroline was giving hints, helps, and lots of instruction to us along the way while she painted an apple, too.

Feast your eyes on her apple!

Beautiful! Watching her paint while I was painting was really helpful. We took a break from our sunflowers to practice some things with this little apple painting, but those sunflowers have not been forgotten.

Remember this?

Well, now it looks like this!

Okay, never mind a lot of the green dots and dashes in the middle of the painting - just remember those are the masking fluid that I used to reserve the white paper for highlights. However, if you compare the dark green (flat and yucky) leaves to the (lively and fun) leaves at the bottom of the paper, you can see a BIG (thank you, Caroline!) difference. I am really excited about the way this painting is progressing. It is, of course, still a work in progress - but I am looking forward to seeing where this little painting travels.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering what her sunflower painting looks like... Feast your eyes on this little beauty by Caroline Linscott!

"A Bit of Sun" original watercolor by Caroline Linscott
That would be her sunflower painting - wow! Now that's something that will chase away the fall chill.

Caroline Linscott is a local Prescott, Arizona, artist. You can see her work at the Adonai Christian Fine Art Gallery in Sedona and The Frame and I in Prescott. If you are interested in her classes, you can contact her through her website.

And, yes, I highly recommend that you do... just sayin'!

Off to get my brushes wet...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Welcome to National Adoption Month.

Patchwork: 1.  patches sewn together: needlework in which pieces of fabric are sewn together in a decorative way, 2.  mixture: something made up of many different parts
One of my grandmother's patchwork quilts.
Adopt:  to take by choice into a relationship; especially :  to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child

A "mixture: something made up of many different parts" sounds simple, but it can be comfortable or discordant, simple or chaotic, similar or awkward...

Just because the words of the King James Bible are on a modern iPad which is sitting on top of a cotton quilt made in the early 1900s, does not mean that all of these things don't often belong together in the same room at the same time.

Adoption, like patchwork, sounds simple. If you are close, however, you will see some unraveled edges, some threadbare corners, some awkward combinations... Some cries for help. Sometimes it seems like the path is impossible, the shoes are too big, and the patchwork is too threadbare. 
It is true - it is too hard... Unless you cry "Abba, Father!"

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father."
For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children.
Romans 8:15-16

Then "all things are possible" (Philippians 4:13) and "peace beyond comprehension" can be ours (Philippians 4:6-7), because He who "began a good work" will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6)!

Do you know an adoptive family? a foster family? a patchwork family? Maybe it's time to see if you can help with a few unraveled edges.

Talking to Abba about a few people I know.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bird TV and other Funtry Friday Fun!

Bird TV at it's best! Out here, we don't just have the tiny sparrows and swallows we also have the widescreen Bird TV!

Hey, Lova! Get over here or you are going to miss the best part!

Maybe she went to check out Benny Bunny's little large gianormous rabbit hole.

Maybe while she is down there, she can look for his little food bowl which he so conveniently plopped down in the bottom of the cavern...

Or maybe Lova went to check out Kitty TV.

Reception for this Kitty TV show may be a little limited since Smudge is my sister's new kitty.

Well, look at that. We watched all the good channels today and now it's time for a nap before we go to bed.  See - it's sunset-o-clock!

Hope you had a purrrfect Funtry Friday!

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