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Archive for the ‘Picture Stories’ Category

 

Tom and I received an invitation in the mail today. We will be marking the date for a visit to Christ the King School for Grandparents’ Day on Monday, April 30, 2018 to be with Amy, age 10, in the fourth grade. Well, it was not actually THE invitation. It will follow. It is a SAVE THE DATE heads up.

From firm roots, grow beautiful leaves…

Indeed!  It is winter here in Kentucky, with a cold spell and snow on the ground, but I know we are blessed with firm roots, even though we planted those roots several times in different orchards.

Our first beautiful leaves…

These two awesome leaves gave us our grandchildren leaves.

Devon…first born granddaughter

what a new world opened to us.

 

 

Her brother, Andrew, now a first year Central Michigan University Marching Chippewa in the percussion section…I always knew he would play the drums; this year he clanged the symbols mightily in one of the best college fight songs there is.

 

Their love and talent in music stems from their passionate mother… a CMU marching band alumni, Tekonsha school music director 5th grade through high school, and community theater music director for children and adult performers, and Misdirection Jazz Band founder who books gigs and outings in her area. She has NYC in her sights…

 

Andrew

Lucy and Andrew

 

Cousins

 

So many leaves filling out our tree…such solid roots of love…

And then comes dynamo, Amy Frances Mitchell, who is taking her mother’s energy to a new level…

Amy’s leaf blows cheerfully in the wind as a sports enthusiast, a gifted and joyful pianist, a Minecraft  exquisite designer, a math wizard, and fashionista, just to name a few.

Amy is always watching out for grandma and dziadzia, telling us she is S T R O N G. Here she is helping us replant our roots in our second apartment in Lexington in one year’s time.  I feel our roots deepening here for a strong hold over a long, long time, now feeling another orchard is on the horizon for awhile.

 

Pumpkin girl

Christmas surprise

 

Clownfish

She likes horses and is taking riding lessons. So I gave her a copy of BLACK BEAUTY for Christmas, one of my very favorite books which I was a young girl, oh so very long ago.

A kalaidscope now, all the years running together…our arms threading into the  leaves like branches, not getting to hold them as often. Devon, a college graduate and married to Tyler, a new grandson leaf on our tree, making their way into an “out-of-school” world, and holding promise of future young leaves we will get to share our love with. Andrew, totally engaged in the college scene, with a musical beat and a friendly social presence that promises so much fun. And close-by Amy, who brings light and young energy to her grandparents that feed their souls.

Scrabble

A beautiful Christmas gift made by Devon.

 

Grandparents day 2017

Last Year’s Grandparents’ Day

 

Beautiful leaves from a grateful tree.

 

 

 

 

 

Bride Devon

 

On the Journey

Thank you, God.  We are loving the journey.

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I am playing with art. I am no longer afraid of art or being an artist. I love Oriental Brush Painting. I love watercolor. I love collage. All of it is now fun to me. I write more than I play with art, but that will balance out eventually, once I get my book completed.

I had fun this summer with an on-line course from Carla Sonnheim. It was a course for children and their parents. I will take her next one and hopefully later on join some more teaching courses with her. Color makes me happy.

We shared our art on-line and it was so fun to get up each of the five days to see what others had created.

This is my Chagall rendering of carousel.

 

We created Blob animals from cracks and shapes found in the sidewalk and parking lots. There are lots of blobs out there!

 

We also created lots and lots of herds of corrugated cardboard elephants.

 

 

Asian brush art is a favorite of mine and I am taking up learning it. The soft, fluid energy I see in it lights my soul. There is much to learn and PRACTICE is the centerpiece of learning. It is meditation with ink and paint. I love watching YouTube videos to get me going with it.

And I took two workshops in Berea, a creative center of the arts and writers, from Diane Marra this summer also. That deepened my love for this art. I created two pieces that vibrate with chi and warmth for me.

 

Being genuine.

 

We moved to Lexington in January 2017 and reside in a nice apartment in The BLVD at Hays complex. The new Lexington Senior Center is very close to us. I took up a few water color classes there. Water color is my favorite paint medium. I love what it does on paper with its blends, splatters, and swirls and thin line art. I want to get much better at it and I have time to practice.

 

 

I am Napkinwriter. I write on napkins.

 

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That’s a tall order for the day, I think as I glance at my To Do list and see the words Make Elephant not crossed out on my list.

I like the TO DO pad I found at Office Depot one day. It has two columns: On the left, it says TODAY, and on the right it says, LATER.  I take full advantage of being a retiree, so my list is not two columns. It is just one running across both columns. Those not crossed out at the end of today…you guessed it are the ones that are left for LATER.  Works pretty well.

It seems the Elephant was left for later.

It is the last of 5 daily assignments of Carla Sonheim’s Art Week for Kids 2017. This kid, age 74, really had fun with the art we all made. Besides making the art, and learning a little about famous artists, the best part was a private Facebook page where our Art Gallery existed and so many posted their creative work, it was a blessing to enjoy.  Each of us doing same assignment, all of us doing unique, individual, no-two-alike creations and having fun while doing it. I am going to be a kid again next year and join the others.

First, we went BLOB hunting….finding cracks and shapes and shadows outside that we drew the outline of and then created Blobimals from them.

And then we studied the Durer Rabbit (Hare) and many of us discovered that we loved the oil pastels we made our creations with. Some of us were very surprised that we liked the oils so well. Most of us found that our rabbit shapes came easier to us when we outlined him like a blob and worked from there.  This is mine.

 

Many of us like blue.

Then we went on to the Russian-French painter — Marc Chagall and created paper art in imitation of his Merry-Go-Round with horses and his sense of fun and delight in life.

 

What came next was pretty wild and crazy and most of us could not stop at one. We made more and more and more and became great fans of artist Picasso. We made the Picasso Cat. Mine fell asleep and took a nap in the sun.

 

 

Others were quite active…dancing

Or were quite blue….

 

One more just for fun, because this was F U N…

 

So, last Friday, we came to the elephant.  And for me, life interfered with art (I hate when that happens!)  and I only began to make my elephant. Beginning means that I found a cardboard corragated box and ripped shapes off of it.  These shapes sat next to the dining room table on the floor while I did life and watched all the wonderful animals appear on the Facebook Art feed.

And here is blue again.

There was even a pink one. I have to find her in the herd.

Alina posted pictures on how she made her elephant. After getting her pieces in the shape she wanted for her elephant, she is painting gray onto the elephant. This is going to help me remember how to make mine.

Here she is deciding which shapes to use.

Now, we can see her magnificent elephant. Oh my, he is so awesome.

Each day, artist Carla Sonheim led us in our art with a brief 10 minute happy encouraging “let’s do this” video and a written list of instructions to follow that were simple.  Along with a jumpy little tune, I know I was just like all the other kids and if I had had a mommy by me, I’d be bugging her to “Let’s, go, mommy, let’s go.”

And they did. And I did.  And this weekend I will be piecing and painting and gluing my elephant together. I think he will be silver gray.

Peek into Carla’s world if you are interested in having fun in creating.

http://www.carlasonheim.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I haven’t been able to post new photographs here, so son-in-law Carl, looked into it and seems my seven years of blogging has cramped the space and a new enhancement is needed. I have done that and am now on experimentation ground.

Well, my first photo surely uploaded quickly. Off to a new start.

I have been having some fun playing with art lately. I was so happy to travel to artisan village Berea and take two classes in Asian art that I will follow up on with small group meetings with others who find this type of art appealing and serene.  In the tradition of the Japanese, copying from the Masters is the way of perfection.

Then I also jumped into a week-long kids art class from Carla Sonheim on-line and this has been so joyful. One project a day and so many creations are put up on the Class Facebook page. I would take the class just to be able to see the other paintings (like me, there are some “little-big” kids in the class.)

We have played with Blobs, and blob creatures, rabbits, a Chagall Merry-go-Round with horses and a Picasso cat. How fun, how fun, how fun.

Selections from the class:

 

 

 

One more project left for tomorrow but I think the blobs shall never stop appearing to me and needing to be made into animate objects.

Next week, I return to regular scheduled and steady writing on my book. During the lapse of writing, much has come to me that is going into the writing, so I am grateful for that. I am pretty sure the cover image is changing to the second of my two choices AND I have a top talented graphic artist who will work with my cover design for me which will be M A G N I F I C E N T.

I continue to get great response to the title of the book, as I talk about it more frequently than I have in the past:

“Being Faithful To The Quiet”
Finding the Peace that Frees Your Soul

I don’t know where to find my new tools. I will have to explore some more. But the photos are working nicely again.

 

 

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Fireworks behind statue of liberty

Fireworks behind statue of liberty

 

Almost every one of the last twenty years, we have enjoyed “that old time feeling” of going back in time and celebration at the Marshall Michigan 4th of July kids and pet parade and the community concert, featuring fresh bar-b-q chicken during the concert intermission.

Our daughter, granddaughter and grandson all play in the featured and spirited marches and patriotic music, ending with a tribute to every branch of our United States armed serves. The concert this year will begin in about one-half hour. We will not be there this year as Tom is still recovering from his last skin cancer Mohs operation. But I can hear it —  even from a distance — in my heart and soul, not even needing my ears. I feel blessed to have been there so often.

And there’s always next year to look forward to.

Here is a repost from 2011 to show you what it looks like.

 

Marshall MI 4th of July – Thanks for the Memories

Conductor flanked by redheads Kathleen and Devon

Inserted into a collection of rousing, high-spirited American patriotic marches was a melody of nostalgic tunes including “Thanks For the Memories.” And that’s what I would like to do — thank the Marshall Community Band and the 4th of July Festivity planners for another spirits-raising day at the Fountain Park.

It’s been tradition for us to travel from Kalamazoo to Marshall for this summer treat, followed by goodies shared at the Warriner home. This year, I brought home-made apple crisp. Last year, Kathleen served fresh strawberry shortcake. You can’t beat them for 4th of July desserts.

You have to get there early, that’s a proven fact. Not just to see the kids’ parade, but to set up in a cozy spot protected with shade from the gracious trees that grace the park.

 

The kids’ parade, pets, wagons, bikes, costumes start the fun, and here they come!

Now, we’re ready to hear the music!

The band plays on and on the great American patriotic marches and we love it!  During the break, we enjoy grilled chicken from the Rotary Band Booster Fund Raisers. The concert concludes with a rousing crowd appreciation number honoring all the branches of the Armed Forces and ends each year with the Encore of STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER.

Our spirit is lifted high as we leave the park singing something about being kind to our web-footed friends.

 

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Today's Gift 7-26-15 I complicate things as soon as I get back inside but I do retain the gifts offered by my labyrinth walk this morning. I have been resisting walking and movement lately. I don’t know why. My inner critic ramps up her demands and judgments, but I dig ins with many ways of refusal So today, I decided to combine two of my practices of the quiet and walk our backyard labyrinth while I was saying my Sunday rosary. Sunday’s rosary is dedicated to the goodness and protection of Amy, my youngest grandchild. Each daughter, and their husband and my three grandchildren receive the blessings of Mary and the rosary on their designated weekday. IMG_6859 Upon entering the labyrinth, I am in my second decade of the rosary and I notice very bright fresh yellow and white miniature daisies greeting me. Just one patch It is enough to lighten my mood and willingness to step further along the path. They remind me of the fun times I have with Amy and how proud she was to fix our breakfast yesterday of egg salad, of which she proclaimed she is the best at making. I like the self-confidence and image she has of herself at the tender age of seven.  All of this is gift to me. Circling to the center Soon the circular pattern of the paver bricks lead the way both to the center of the labyrinth and to the calming peace of acceptance of being right where I am on the path.  No hurry. No worry. Just a breathing time for my soul.

The labyrinth Tom and I created a few years ago is daily present for my sight. And even when I gaze upon it from my kitchen window, it reminds me of gratefulness and I don’t know how this happens. It just does. It reminds me of a Oneness, which I might not even be feeling at the time I look upon it, but that is its constant message to me. And grace.

Now, as I walk, I pray. Random thoughts pass through and like in the practice of Centering Prayer, I hold on to none of them. I just notice them and let them pass. This leads to further stillness. Some kind of knowingness arises within as I walk that I am at a loss of words to explain. But then I don’t need to explain this. I only need to walk it. I know I am on my way to the center.  The center represents that elusive thing I seem to “grab for” in my daily life….some kind of certainty, some kind of acceptance.

On the labyrinth this peace comes as I notice the blades of grass, as I listen to the birds, as I feel both the heat of the sun and the breeze, however slight on this day when the temperature and humidity are rising. What drops away?  The plans for the day, a lot of the complexity of what seems to be my makeup — both a blessing and a bit of a curse….they begin to get left behind, perhaps to return once this labyrinth journey is complete, perhaps not if I am lucky.

WestBend Laby4West Bend WI labyrinth I have not walked.

I  have a personal story connected to the labyrinth, having discovered it through Lauren Artress’s book, Walking a Sacred Path. I had no clue that somehow that labyrinth path would lead me to training with her and walking labyrinths in many marvelous places including Chartres France, facilitating retreats, walking with groups, walking alone, and at last partnering with Tom to build our own backyard labyrinth.

Chartres Labyrinth

I think most of my walking experiences are somewhat commonplace. I rarely feel any profound “breakthrough” dramatic experiences while I am on the labyrinth, but I have witnessed it happening to others.  Journaling after a walk is a revealing time when you may not know how the flow of your pen or pencil is going to inform you. Perhaps an image flows onto the paper that you feel you are only co-creating with.  A simple walk to the center and then back out again.  Being present with the present.

Cairn watching over the building

Is it easier to listen on the labyrinth than it is in the rest of your life. One writer, Travis Scholl in his book Walking the Labyrinth, says that “underneath the surface….is a stillness…between everyday’s noise and walking it is finding the voice speaking in whispers underneath the whirlwinds of sound ” (in our lives).

I think that is true for me.  I see a tiny toad (or is it a frog, I don’t know) on the path on the way out.

As soon as I return to the house, I find the noise again…. in my head….in my peace turning to impatience….get my camera, take a photo of the daisies, find Ted Steven’s Animal Speak and see what he says about the meaning of frog,  finish two decades the rosary, blog,  fix left over pizza for lunch, continue your workshop preparation, oh yeah, write two thank you cards, and for goodness sake play with Zentangle today….noise, noise, noise.

Bird on the arch

Maybe I’ll take an evening walk on the labyrinth tonight and see how this day went.

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Dolomites hills and valleys  7-10-13

 

I remember feeling very peaceful in these surroundings on day 9 of my 12 day tour of the Alps with my friend, Martha.

 

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“Peace is the simplicity of spirit, the serenity of conscience, the tranquility of the soul and the bond of love. Peace is order, it is the harmony in each one of us,, it is a continual joy that is born in witnessing a clear conscience, it is the holy joy of a heart wherein God reigns. Peace is the way to perfection, or even better, in peace dwells perfection.” St. Pius of Pietrelcina, an Italian Capuchin. Source: Magnificat, May 2015, Vol 17, No. 3

 

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The year was 2013. The month was July. We arrived via business class luxury air to Munich, Germany and began travel through “the Ultimate Alps”, touching Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Leichenstein, and Italy.  The fortunate touch of long-lasting friendship made this possible for me when Martha asked me to accompany her, all financials taken care of.   I felt the simplicity of spirit in that and the holy bond of love.

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Peace is the way to perfection……we each knew this peace of shared past times as neighbors and the witnessing of friendship shared across the years through each one’s numerous life changes and geographical space.

Dolomites hills and valleys  7-10-13

We still picked up the old-fashioned phone and said, “Hi, how are you? What’s going on?”

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We still started new conversations where long ones had left off many moons prior.  A continual joy, a holy joy of the heart.

I was struck by the concise wording in the first paragraph of today’s meditation, knowing that peace truly is what is written there on all those levels. And that I recognize it as something I am able to experience, not just long for.

For this, I am grateful.

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