Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An Early Autumn Morning ........

This is a journal entry from 10-16-07.

As I leave my in-laws home this morning to go for a walk, I wonder momentarily if I look silly in a headband and fleece jacket. The thought evaporates quickly as I spot two women jogging; one bundled up just like me.

The air isn't as cool as I'd hoped, but cool enough to keep my ears covered. I love an early walk on a brisk Autumn morning, when all is quiet except the whisper of the breeze and the skittering of dried leaves as they scatter across the street. I see the evidences of neighbors who are remodeling, and improving their properties. A welcome change from the eye sores these places were before. There's a grey cat peeking out from between living room curtains, surely longing to be outside. Up ahead I see the pink and peach of the sunrise that glows over the mountains. Layers of slate grey and lavender clouds are moving in; the front runners of a fore casted storm. The hills are draped in the soft folds of a russet, camel, sage and gold patchwork of foliage. As I pass my favorite home, I peek through the trees surrounding it, trying to imagine what the view from their picture window is like. I would have a home that faced the mountains too, if I lived here.

On my way back down the hill I see that the clouds are sporting Santa like beards as their moisture trails across the sky. I spy a pile of crispy golden leaves down on the other side of the street so I cross in order to crunch through them, kicking and scuffling as I go. I'm thinking that when I get back to my in-laws, I want to rake a huge pile of the leaves in their yard and play with them. My father-in-law beat me to it though because he is already outside and has half of them raked up. My mother-in-law is watching him from the window, afraid I think, that Dad will have another heart attack. I'm torn between helping him so she won't worry, and letting him do this, as he needs to feel like he can still do something. I help for a little bit, by sweeping leaves on the sidewalk, a compromise so Dad can still get a little exercise. Mom can't see me though as she is almost blind, so she comes out on the pretense of checking the mail, and dressed in her slacks and pumps starts putting leaves in the trash can for Dad. It's a sweet sight, as I've never seen her help him outside before. They always do dishes together, but she stays indoors while he is out. All in all, it's been a wonderful morning.
We will be heading to Arizona for a few days to see my new grandson. When I get back I hope to have lots of photos, and I will have a few new creations to post. Have a great week!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A Mothers Influence.....

This weekend was a time to reflect on the importance of women, especially those who are mothers. We celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday, along with watching the LDS church semi-annual conference. The over-riding theme besides God and family was a mother's influence. The importance of the role of a woman in the home, and how she can build a strong family and community by fulfilling her role as a mother was greatly stressed. I know that today the worlds views of motherhood are in conflict with the past. A stay at home mom is considered old fashioned. I am grateful that my mom was there to teach me those things that made me a better mom and artist. She taught me to love God, nature, people, good music, art, literature and a lovely home. She got on the floor and colored with me, teaching me shading, contouring and how to create shape and depth. She taught me the basics of sketching people so that while she was good at landscapes, I surpassed her in drawing people. We would cook together, rarely using recipes for our sauces, but with heads together, we would season our concoctions with a pinch of this and a dash of that until we had the taste we desired. Cake baking always meant licking the beaters, and using the extra frosting to make graham cracker sandwiches. Baking pies meant making cookies dredged in cinnamon sugar from the leftover pie crust. One of my childhood friends recently relayed to me that she appreciated the time mom took to show us how to can peaches or make jams, and other heavenly delights; something her working mom never had time for. She said she was glad mom was there, and that she enjoyed how we would talk an laugh. Mom taught me to value honesty, modesty, and showing love to others. Her methods were sometimes subtle but she knew each one of us well, and how best to handle us. Take for instance the time I let a classmate talk me into taking a pair of sunglasses from the local drugstore. We would go down there each day during school lunch time for a hotdog and soda. My "friend" had a habit of shoplifting. Well about a week after I took the glasses mom had taken us to the city park for a picnic. As we sat there on the blanket she shared with me that the lady behind the counter at the drugstore said I was the most polite, nice, and sweet teenager she had ever met and she appreciated me. Well mom knew that I never wanted to do anything to make her or the family look bad or dissapoint my Heavenly Father so she appealed to my concience through this story. I suspect that she and the clerk talked about this and figured this was the best way to keep me from becoming a habitual thief like "Debbie". She was right....I felt so awful I never took anything again.

Mom has been gone for 34 years but her influence is still strong in my life. Now that I have more time to devote to my art I hope I can share my values and beliefs through my creativity. As I do this I hope that my mothers love can shine through as well. I hope that you can be uplifted, and find a bit of gladness as you stop by and see what is happening in my world. Feel free to comment and share....

Above are a couple of pictures of mom...the second picture is with my younger sister and I. I'm the curly top moppet standing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

You never can tell......

I woke up at 3AM this morning and never really got back to sleep. I ended up getting up at 4:30 to work on a design for a Folk Art angel I want to create for my yearly Christmas Card design and ornament for our AHAO group. I mulled over the design as I lay there unable to sleep; thinking I was going to go in one direction but you never can tell how these things will end up.
As it was, I got called in to work as a sub in P.E., but after a couple of hours they cancelled that to pull me into a regular classroom to take the place of a teacher whose baby is ill. During my break times I continued to work on the angel design and by the end of the day it was quite a bit different.
I have also been mulling over whether to take a job at hubby's school or re-up my license to work where I am right now and I think that decision was made for me today. I would have to go to Reno to take the tests and we don't have the money for me to go 360 miles, (one way), stay in a hotel, and pay to take tests for a license.
So today has been one of those ....you never can tell days, where everything ended up quite a bit different than I thought.
I will be finishing the angel design on Friday and will post pictures hopefully soon. I'm working tomorrow, chasing 1st graders around, and getting lots of hugs while trying to read, teach them Math, how to spell, and not whine. It's a blast, no matter what age level you work with. One of the neat things about working with children is that you can view the world through different eyes and there again....you never can tell what they will say or do.....

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fragmented Day....

Too many ideas, and demands on my time lately; which really showed up today. This time of year I'm always excited......the leaves are changing color, the air is cooler, harvesting is almost done. I love to create anything with a Christmas theme, but this year Halloween has been haunting me too....lol. I also have 2 schools calling me to sub, and 2 different sets of tests to study for that relate to working at one of the 4 schools in our area. My husband is principal of one and would like me to work up at his school. I love the freedom of subbing though, because I can create when I want rather than be on someone else's schedule. The house needs to be squared away before winter hits, and the garden needs to be put to bed for the year. So excitement over the ideas running through my mind of creations I want to bring to fruition, household chores, phone calls and emails, studying.....church stuff....yipes! These are all happy situations, well okay maybe not the cleaning part, but even that can bring peace of mind. So....I'm off to clean and make time for creating!