Sunday, October 28, 2007

Arches & Art at RiverWalk

This weekend in Tulsa was b-e-a-UUUUU-tiful!! Saturday I went to the ArtWalk at RiverWalk to enjoy other artists' work. Had to take my camera. Here's a few shots.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rhythmic Speech

I had a pre-production meeting today with the elementary music teacher. She described one of the children's songs as 'rhythmic speech.' This is going to sound corny, but I was struck at that moment with a twinge of wonder. Wonder over rhythmic speech? For some reason, I had a nanosecond amazement over how many ways we humans communicate; words, voice inflections, singing, rhythmic speech, our hands, eyes and body posture. Our pets communicate but their ability is limited. Psalms 139:14 says we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and when you take a moment to think about it, we really are!We write: words become stories and songs. We paint: color meets canvas and the artist's thoughts find expression. We photograph: moments are captured and preserved to enjoy again. We dance: an infinite combination of movements convey joy, love, sorrow, passion, praise, worship.
Imagine if we only used this miraculous gift of communication for good. Words of affirmation that build up the soul. Stories that make your spirit soar. Songs that make your heart sing. Art that fills you with wonder in its beauty. Imagine.

Here's Psalm 139 again in The Message version:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

In Praise of Fall

Weather is such an event here. The seasons don't casually blend one into another. There's no subtlety. It's more like someone slams a book shut & loudly opens another one. WHAM! it's summer! BOOM! it's fall! SMACK! it's winter! Oh, but then...then there's a time of teasing. A warm day, two warm days, a whole week!!! Could it be spring? Dare we hope? WHAP! it's a blizzard!

Last week some days were so perfect they could almost be described as holy. But today we were smacked in the face with a cold, windy rain. I think fall has dropped in. Literally.

But that's ok. I LOVE fall. It's my favorite time of year. Usually it doesn't rain too much here. The mornings are crisp; the days are sunny with those wonderful fall-y shadows. And the full moon hangs low in the sky and glows like a candlelit pumpkin. (Today was not such a good start to this particular picture I'm painting, but I know it will come.)

Fall is an old fashioned, wooden bushel basket full of good memories. Small town football games, marching band, crisp air & big bonfires. Going to away games on the band bus (a chance to sit & snuggle with my future hubby). On Friday nights, mom would have her yummy chili ready when we got home from school. I would scarf down a bowl, change into my pommarette uniform (complete with white boots with those huge yarn pom-poms on them) and take off for the game.

More memories from my basket: October 12 1972, Joe & I started 'going steady.' We were married four years later on a picture-perfect October 12, 1974. I remember us as newlyweds making pumpkin pie from scratch - from a real pumpkin, not out of the can! We burned up the blender, but the pie was delish. A few years later, we were taking our toddler son to the pumpkin patch. Halloween was a special time, too. He always wanted to be a Transformer robot, but our church encouraged the kids to dress as bible characters. I was a genius - I rigged a robot costume out of the usual foil, boxes & paper towel tubes - but we called it a futuristic armor of God. The sword of the spirit would be a phaser in the future, right??

Fall means comfort food; baked bread, chili, soup, brownies, pie. It's cozy evenings with the fireplace lit, reading, watching tv, doing crafts and not feeling guilty about not being outside.

Fall seems like more of a fresh start to me than the new year or even spring. Maybe it's that 'new school year' habit, but it just seems like a great time to try something new, take a class, try again.
It also means the holidays are around the corner. While I don't like the pressure of gift buying, I do like the Thanksgiving-Christmas ambience.

Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. ~Samuel Butler

A perfect quote to sum up fall and transist to the subject I want to talk about next time. Until then, Happy Fall, everyone!

Friday, October 19, 2007


BFF is text-speak for Best Friends Forever. I'm pretty sure it's roots are in the high school yearbooks back in the day, when we would sign each other's books with promises to be BFF's and other assorted acronyms.

The reality of life is that not all friendships last. We move away, we move on, we move apart. There's lots of different reasons - poignant, practical, painful.

I have three dear friends out of the country right now. An odd coincidence that they're all gone at the same time. One is in China on business; one is in Malaysia visiting her daughter; the other is in Mongolia on a mission trip. I've been praying for each of them and look forward to seeing them again. Technology is amazing - I've exchanged emails almost every day with my friend in China. When I check my email at night, she is just starting her day. She & her husband are able to talk every day because of the wonders of technology; in fact, they can actually see each other over the computer.

D. & I email almost every day and we haven't missed a beat just because she's on the other side of the world. It's not even deep and important information - just a quick note, a little update on our day, a touch base that says "you're important to me."

My friend who is in Malaysia - we met on a mission trip to Israel. We were assigned to be roomates because we shared a common interest in banner-making. That was 1992. We've kept in contact ever since. Not daily, sometimes not even monthly. But we stay in touch because we care about each other.

The friend who is on a mission trip - we met when she was teaching a tambourine workshop that I attended. I instantly felt a kinship with her. It was like we were long-lost sisters reunited.

There is another friend who lives in Chicago.(Blu's grandma) We email frequently and occasionally talk on the phone. It's the kind of friendship where you can go for months, even years and almost lose contact. Then you pick up the phone and a long, laughter filled conversation ensues as we just pick up where we left off. I love that about her. It's such a joyful, simple relationship - no complexities.

I have another friend who is in her 70's. She lives in Arizona and stays in touch with me and all her friends by writing a monthly newsletter. I love receiving it. It's full of humor, warmth and wisdom. Her October newsletter came today (yes, a real honest-to-goodness paper letter that arrived in the mailbox). Included was this quote that is perfect for tonight: "Good friends are like don't always see them, but you know they are always there."

Five dear friends in different parts of the world tonight. We share different interests, we're different ages. There are many ways we're alike and probably more where we're not alike. It doesn't matter. I love them. Girlfriends are a gift from God.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blu Time

Posting a couple of Blu2 pix tonight for the fans. Here he is at 9 months. It's so hard to believe he was ever this little! Afghans are kinda dorky as pups.

And here he is at 2 years! Almost at full regality. I think they reach it around 4 yrs. When I saved this in Photoshop, I titled it "Angelic Blu". I can just hear hubby laughing! Blu is anything but angelic. A more appropriate name would have been Hamas or Taliban, but I didn't want to shout that outside. This is Oklahoma - the neighbors might start shooting.

Monday, October 15, 2007

This Title Left Intentionally Blank

What does this picture say to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Actually, I'd like to read your thoughts. Under the photo it says 'comments'. Just click on that and it'll open another window where you can post your own gypsy musing. Or just say hi!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Insomnia and Chocolate Cake

It's 3:15 AM & I can't sleep! Aagh, I hate it when this happens. I even tried digitizing an embroidery pattern - that usually makes me sleepy when I work on it late. The problem is we had dinner with friends and she served chocolate cake for dessert. Coffee goes so naturally with chocolate cake that I didn't even think about the ramifications. And yowza, it was strong. 1-1/2 cups and the eyeballs go "BOING!" Hubby is sleeping like a baby. Coffee makes him sleep. We suspect the effect is similar to ritilan. Which has led us to wonder if he might be mildly ADD. Certainly hasn't hindered him in life - he's very creative and gets stuff done.
Time to make a list.
10 random things I like:

  • brand new socks - they're so soft
  • a brand new bar of soap
  • clean sheets & a fluffy comforter
  • crisp mornings
  • Chai Latte, no water, very hot
  • hot black tea, 2 Splendas, & milk - especially good when hubby makes it for me
  • going to Barnes & Noble, having a latte of some kind, good conversation, then browsing the magazines
  • a beautifully set table - linens & pretty china
  • road trips
  • watching Blu2 run
I'm still not sleepy.

10 things that annoy me:

  • not being able to sleep. I really enjoy a good sleep.
  • having my legs tangled in the sheets, pinned, or any kind of weight on them
  • Big-a$$ Suburbans or other large SUVs- especially when driven by women talking on cell phones
  • screaming kids at WalMart
  • loud people in the library
  • the weird sounding, mean bark our neighbor's dog has. Plus, it's an ugly dog.
  • extremism of any kind: from weather to religious beliefs
  • being scared. i.e. when hubby jumps from a hiding place. That really does make me very mad and he thinks it's hilarious. I know you're reading this. AND probably laughing!!
  • mechanical things that don't work. I have no patience with that.
  • items that come in ridiculous packaging. Like where you have to search the house for scissors, stab the cardboard backing and still wrestle with the stupid plastic part to where you end up breaking a nail or otherwise hurting yourself or throwing the item.
  • searching the house for scissors. oops, that's 11
Still not sleepy, but making progress. Getting cranky too, because I could add another 5 things to the second list! Better say night-night.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Color My World

It's a blur. Life that is. Our life, specifically. I mean, thirty-three years - how did it fly by so quickly? Thank goodness it's not over yet! We're still fairly young. There's so much we still want to do. It took a long time & a lot of work just to get this far. I feel so sorry for people who did not choose wisely (as the old knight in Indiana Jones said.) I hate feeling regretful and the thought of looking back on a life of misery because you married the wrong person would make me nuts.

We had just turned 20. Depending on how you view things, we were either dumb-lucky or God-blessed. I know we've been blessed, but I also knew deep in my soul that he was the one for me. Can't explain how, I just knew it.

Happy Anniversary, Love
~ forever & always,
p.s. Color My World was the bridal march I chose for our wedding....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

FIve Things

We watched a new tv show tonight called Decision House. We didn't plan to watch, just flippin' around & it caught our attention. The premise is that people stay in this house for 2 days to make a major decision. Tonight it was a couple married 26 years, on the verge of divorce. The wife was a pack rat. This was an issue in the marriage, but a very small one all things considered. (Without going into long detail) one of the exercises she had to do was choose five things to keep from a pile of stuff her husband brought from home - in 30 seconds. She cried because she couldn't choose. All the stuff was filling the empty spot in her heart where he was supposed to be.

Happy ending - they decided to save their marriage. But it made us ask each other, what 5 things in our house mean the most to us. This came up during the Hurricane Katrina crisis and our answer was the same this time. We don't have anything but our photo albums & dogs that we couldn't part with. We're blessed with a comfortable home, nice things, enjoyable hobbies - but nothing really valuable or irreplaceable. We've always believed in traveling light through this life.
Speaking of marriage - our anniversay is this Friday and we'll be married 33 years. Things are still pretty hot around here.....

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hope Springs Eternal......In The Gym

I went to the gym after work. I make this pilgramage...say, every six months. For me, working out is another one of those activities where all the conditions have to be right before I can do it on a consistant basis. And it never is. When we moved here, I belonged to a girls-only gym. It was feminine, elegant, the machines were all hydraulic. It had a separate room for aerobics classes and of course all the spa extras. The instructors all wore black leotards with a dancer's wrap skirt. Very high class. If they had stayed in business, I'm pretty sure I would be in great shape today. (no smirking). But nooooooo. They closed and we had to join another gym. Ugh. It does not meet my conditions or align with my planets. First of all it's co-ed. And I hate that it's so open. You can't hear your own ipod because the aerobics class music is blasting for everyone's enjoyment. And the instructors wear headphone mics so they can bellow over the music and we all hear "and 4, and 3, and 2, shake it out!" Some of the machines I like are right in front of the treadmills & bikes - SIDEWAYS!! Like I want the treadmillers to see my side body profile on these machines! There's no place to do warmups unless you want to get stepped on. Yet, I keep trying.

There is one thing I'm thankful for: the days of fitness fashion are over. Remember those? Fancy leotards & leg warmers with matching headbands. I remember a group of women who would show up for aerobics in full makeup, hair done up, headband in place, wearing the latest fashionable leotard. It was very competitive to see who could look the best while perspiring. Yay for sweats & t-shirts.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Self-Expression or Self-Important?

So, the rants about people who talk loudly on their cell phone in public is pretty common. Don't really need to go there; we all agree on that one. Oh heck, let me complain a littlebit.

It really is ridiculous how much people are on the phone. What in the world did they do before??? How did they shop, drive, or stand in line w/o a cellular device attached to their head?My mom is a phone-talker - not cell but the old-fashioned kind. Growing up, dad used to complain a lot about how much time she spent on the phone. My little brother was born with a very slightly deformed ear and dad swears to this day it's because of all the time mom spent on the phone. She still loves to spend hours talking on the phone. Me - not so much. I cannot sit and talk on the phone. I only use it as necessary and then I have to be loading the dishwasher, cleaning, something. In fact I don't even have a cell phone. I don't need it in my present circumstances. If that changes, then I could see the benefit. But I will never be one to have it semi-attached to my ear.
But I digress. The other subject I wish to discuss with myself or my readers tonight is blogging. I've known about blogging for years. I've encouraged other people to start blogs, people that I knew had something worthwhile and beneficial to say. But I've only just now started one myself and that was because I wanted to post my photographs somewhere. Knowing they'll never see the inside of a gallery or published work (and believe me, I know they're not of that caliber) it's just really gratifying to be able to put them 'out there' somewhere for someone to see and hopefully, enjoy. At least it makes me feel good. What I didn't realize until now is how many people blog! And people write about the darndest things! It ranges from agonizingly mundane to truly fascinating.

So everyone thinks that what they have to say is something everyone in the world should hear/read. Talking loudly on your phone in public. Writing about the minutae of your life. I guess it's an outlet, creative or otherwise (like helloo - what am I doing here?!) but wow, when did we all get so important?

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Road Goes Ever On

But don't you wish you knew where it was leading? Sometimes the walk of faith is difficult. Especially for someone like me. You have to understand, I'm the person who reads the end of a book first. Then, once I know where we're heading, I can sit back and enjoy the story as it unfolds. So people who think Christians are pansies don't have a clue. This life is not for the cowardly.

Actually, that's not accurate either. Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light. We're the ones who make it difficult. A ministry we support once sent us a timely note. It said, "Stop trying to figure it out!"

Well, all that to say.... I'm having the need-a-vacation-blues. We've been fortunate the last few years to be able to go somewhere at least once, so I'm a little restless right now. These pictures are from our trip to the Smoky Mountains last year. My hubby even let me drag him to Rock City, a favorite childhood memory. Lots of curvy roads, stone bridges and beautiful garden paths. I think they nicely represent the unknown future.

I purposely desaturated these pix. I wanted to play with the color a little and was going for that ethereal, elvish, Rivendell look.

Oh! The blog title is from Lord of the Rings. Today I started reading "Children of Hurin" which is more of the backstory of Middle Earth. So beautifully written.

Have a great weekend everyone, wherever your road takes you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Needle & Thread

Machine embroidery. So many possibilities. Endless creativity. Why, it'll pay for itself as people will want to buy everything your little ADD mind comes up with! Should be simple. How hard can it be? The machine does all the work, right? Ohhh Noooo. It's like some gourmet french recipe. Got to have the right stabilizer to use with the fabric and the correct type of needle in the correct size, a certain weight of thread, the machine tension set just so, the planets aligned, aaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!! That's just on the machine. Then there's hooping. 

Getting your item in the hoop so the machine embroiders where you want it to and not with your name sewn at some weird angle. "Oh by the way dear, no one hoops anymore." WHAT? I didn't get that memo! I've been pulling my hair out for 3 years with the hooping thing. Then the snooty expert at the store says that to me when I asked her advice on a stablilzer. Well, thank the Lord that's over. No more hooping for this girl, lemme tell ya!

Now if you're really the self-destructive type, try to digitize a design yourself. It's so easy. Just buy this little program for many hundred dollars, point & click and it will automatically digitize any design you want. And by cracky, it does. Just look at that. What is it? Oh, well now you have to go in and move around all those little tiny square edit points. And it MIGHT stitch out the way you envisioned. I've been working on something for a couple weeks. I will win. I will not be defeated. I am off to battle now. Wish me luck.