Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sore fingers and achey shoulders...

Whew...I can really tell my age this morning. After playing my new dulcimer for the past four days...I'm getting sore fingers and achey shoulders...but I'm taking my naproxen...and coating my fingers with superglue...and "keeping on playing".

After we retire, we need to keep our minds and bodies very active...well, my body's not that active...I just can't seem to "enjoy" exercising.'s hard for me to believe that people really enjoy "stressing their bodies" to the point of exhaustion and "pure downright sweat"...well, that's what it seems like to me...even when I do a little bit, I end up "huffing and puffing"...guess that tells how long it's been since I've done very much in the way of "exercising"...or "working out"...guess that's the proper name now. do people keep up the pace of all that working out???? ...better do they get their bodies to the point where they can actually STAND it for any length of time?

But anyhow...I do exercise a bit...and I do mean just "a bit"...and I have to call it exercise...'cause it sure ain't "working out"...LOL! But...learning the dulcimer will definitely keep those brain cells active. But learning to play the dulcimer is only "one" of the things I do for pleasure and enjoyment...and keeping my brain cells working!

I also like working those Sudoku puzzles...hmmm, anyone else enjoy them???? Every time anybody comes around while I'm working them...I just have to share my secrets of how to solve them easily...'cause at first, I was wearing out my pencils and especially...the erasers.

Friday, December 29, 2006

My Christmas gift to ME!

Back in October, I went to visit my sister who lives in the foothills of the North Carolina mountains. While I was there, I ordered a dulcimer to be made for me...for my own Christmas gift. arrived this week...finally!
I've never played a stringed instrument before...and right off the bat, I could not figure out how to tune it...and all the people I know that could help me...are on vacation this week. I had purchased a digital electronic tuner...but couldn't hardly figure it out either. So...I kept reading...and playing around with it, until I figured it out enough to play.
I've joined a local dulcimer club that meets once a I will get plenty of help...just not right now.
When I retired from teaching art a year and a half thing I said I wanted to do...was to learn to play an instrument.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ben's Christmas Gift

My grandson, Ben, is only 9 months old...but I painted him a stool for Christmas...and plan to also paint a rocker and toy box to match. I chose to paint the stool with primary colors...hopefully, to help teach him the color to start him out young learning about creating art.

Painted Boxes for Christmas

These are the boxes I painted for the girls and loaded them with things you always need in an emergency...but never can seem to find around your house. They loved the boxes...especially the dot designs. Painting these boxes really got me into the Christmas spirit this year...I enjoyed working on them. They were given with lots of love!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Schedules and TOO much to do!

Well...I now have five working days left before Christmas...with all the family coming...and I've got gifts waiting to be wrapped and I've got gifts waiting to be finished...meaning I still have to get them painted...darn! where has the time gone. And I don't work...I'm I plan too much or am I getting "s-l-o-w-e-r"...or do I play too much or procrastinate too much?

Come to think of it...I only have FOUR days left before they get here because some are coming Christmas eve...see how the time just flies away...

Maybe...I'm not doing good at scheduling my days...although I am a "list maker"...and I find that keeps me "on task" better than NO list. In fact, I've always been a list maker. While reading some blogs this morning...I found one that's interesting. Violette's Folk Art She shows an example of her schedule and how she "color codes" it. I think I'll try it and see how it works for me.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sisters are Forever!

While sitting here this morning, reading the paper and drinking my coffee, I got to thinking about Christmases gone by...and remembering the good times when my sisters and I brought our families and gathered at our parent's home for the holidays.

While growing up, I often dreamed of moving away and traveling to faraway places...and settling down somewhere other than the town where we lived. ended up that my two sisters were the ones to move away and I was the one who stayed close to home. My Mom was my best friend...I called her every day and we shopped was so much fun doing things with my Mom.

My Mom loved Christmas and loved to decorate her house. Most years she had a small tree in our den where they spent most of their time...and a larger tree in the living room where we all gathered when we went there for the holidays.

Both of my sisters would come for Christmas with their families. It was a great time for our children to spend time together. We have always been a close knit family...and we've always had lots of fun together. I love my sisters! Sisters are forever and I'm so glad they're mine!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mama's birthday

Today would be my Mama's birthday...I miss my Mom! Mama loved Christmas...that was her holiday. Every year around Thanksgiving she'd put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house. Mama would get so excited over all of her presents...and many times, she'd poke and probe and shake the package...and sometimes she would even stick her finger through the box to see if she could figure out what was inside. You had to really be sharp to "trick her"...
One year when I was in high school, I got a job at a local dress store to make some extra money for the holidays. One of my jobs at the small shop was to keep the merchandise straightened up...and one of the tables had a display of ladies underwear. Well...there was some panties there that were so HUGE, I could not imagine anyone but my Granny wearing them. I kept looking at those oversized panties and I decided it might be fun to wrap them up for Mama in a BIG box as a joke. Well I did...and inside the box I added some rocks. I wrapped it early, secured the box with lots of tape so she could not poke a hole in it...and placed it under the tree. Try as she might, she could not figure out what was inside.
On Christmas morning, when she opened that box...we were all ROTFLOAO! Mama was a good sport about it...and she laughed with us. Little did I know what she had in mind.
When July rolled around and it was my birthday, Mama gave me a birthday party and all of my friends were invited. Now, remember, I was in high school and at that did NOT want to be embarrassed in front of your friends. Well, all went well...and I began to open my gifts. After I finished, Mama pointed out a small box over to the side. I unwrapped it and saw a box supposedly containing a nice bottle of Avon lotion...BUT...when I opened the box...there was that pair of underwear stuffed inside...that I had given her for Christmas. I tried to close it quickly, but everyone was in on the secret...and they held me down and put those "Granny panties" on me over my clothes...and they all had a good laugh. I ended up laughing, too.
Needless to say, that pair of underwear would mysteriously appear at the oddest times in our family get togethers...and provided us with many laughs.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

New stove smells

Our old kitchen stove was on it's last "leg"...oops, I mean burner...earlier this year so we decided it was definitely time for a new stove...although keeping the old stove with only one working burner...meant I didn't have to do a lot of cooking...LOL! But I guess I'd rather cook... after looking at the beautiful stove we bought...hmmm, can you call a stove "beautiful" ...yeah, I guess you could...especially after looking at the old one we had. But anyhow...when I picked out the new one, I decided to get a black stove...with the smooth ceramic cooking top rather than one with burners that are hard to keep clean. I was thinking how easy it would be to just "wipe it off" to keep it shining and clean. And to top it off, the one I chose even had an "auto clean" cycle for the oven...hmm, how "lucky" I was to find this stove.
Well...I found out that the stove DOES look great...but the ceramic top is NOT that easy to keep can't just wipe it also needs a bit of polishing...but anyhow, I do make sure I clean it every time we use it...and it is still all shiny looking like new.
We have used the oven several times and it is beginning to look like "it" needs a bit of thought I'd try out the "auto clean" today. I've been wanting to see how that works! took me a while, but I finally figured out how to get it turned on. Naturally, the model stove that I bought is a bit different than all the ones in the book. After turning on the "auto clean", I took Chloe, my little dachshund, out in the yard for a little while. About a half hour later, we went back in and when I opened the door, I could hardly breathe...the whole house smelled like melted metal and wires burning...yuck! I set up a fan and opened two doors, hoping the odor would dissipate, but it would not go away. I finally figured out how to turn the oven off. I'll just have to use a bit of oven cleaner.
I can't believe that it's safe for humans or pets to be in the house when the "auto cleaner" is on. If I decide to use it again, I'll turn it on and stay out of the house all afternoon. No more of that!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ben in a bag!

I took some photos of my grandson, Ben, last week while his mama was swinging him in a shopping bag...he was laughing and having fun. I created a Christmas wreath using Photoshop Elements and PaintShop Pro...added one of the photos of Ben (in the bag) in the middle of the wreath. ..and then added a red bow! I love the way the top of the bag forms a star shape.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Santa doggie

My Chloe is a dachshund...but this is not my Chloe...but I wish she'd wear pretty costumes like this nice little doggie is wearing. But when I dress Chloe up...she comes out of them quicker than I put them on her! I bought her a cute little halloween costume, but she said it was NOT her style!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Textured Foil

Want to have some fun... Take a piece of Tooling Foil...probably about 38 gauge...lay on a stack of newspapers...and draw design using dull pencil. I did the drawing on this one and then turned it over so the design would stand out.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Early Morning on the Water

Oh, what a wonderous sight to see early in the morning...seeing the sun come up over the water...absolutely beautiful. I'm down on the North Carolina coast this week visiting with my son, his wife and my grandson, Ben...what fun!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Starry Night

I've always been inspired by the paintings of Van Gogh and it shows in my paintings...but I wanted some of my jewelry to reflect the swirls and curves of Starry, Starry Night by Van Gogh.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Grandson, Ben

Here's my precious grandson, Ben...can't wait until he's old enough to start dabbling in some paint.

First Day

Wow...I can't believe I've done this...I've been wanting to start a blog for here goes!