Sunday, October 31, 2010

You're My Inspiration...

When I have spent time with our children I always, without fail, go home inspired.  All seven of them encourage me to clean off my desk, pull out the projects that have been set aside and follow my heart.  Their lives are an inspiration to me and the little visits I have with each of them just gives me courage and delight in life.  From the oldest to the youngest I see an interest in life that gives me that warm glowy feeling of happiness. 

So I am off to work on a plan...a one year plan, a five year plan and a ten year plan.  This actually had been started before I left home but as I have moved along down the road I have had one little epiphany after another...(epiphany is a good way to say 'Aha moments!!'). 

All this thinking sent me to my quote file:

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.  -Henry Ford

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.  -Eleanor Roosevelt

When Pablo Casals reached 95, a young reporter threw him the following question.  "Mr. Casals, you are 95 and the greatest cellist that ever lived.  Why do you still practise six hours a day?"  Mr. Casals answered, "Because I think I'm making progress."

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.  Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.

The very best advice I have received on this concept:

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that... Don't compare yourself with others."  Galatians 6:4

So, I am wishing you all a blessed new week, full of new thoughts, ideas and plans. 

God bless and keep you all.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Something to Celebrate ...

Some years ago I sat propped up on pillows in the St. Helena Sanitarium and laid my new girl bundle on my knees.  She and I had a long look at one another and thus began the first Mom-Sherilee conversation.

Cameras were not part of my life 42 years ago or I would have lots of pictures to help me remember but I do have good memories in my heart.

The first tree swing in her life...

Entertaining Cousin Greg with her brother, Shelby...

She loves a good thrill and is afraid of nothing...
Sherilee got an early start in the communication business...
She takes her work seriously…

Motherhood came so naturally to her...

And we are so happy to see her happy...

This girl has brought us so much joy and delight. She fills the room with sun and even when clouds threaten she has learned to find the silver somewhere.

And now on the eve of your birthday, Sherilee, your father and I wish you much love, joy and peace.  Happy, Happy Birthday and as you begin a new year we wish you all the blessings you desire. 
Love and hugs, Mama and Pa

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just Messing Around...

Birthdays come but once a year and for that we are thankful since the numbers are getting bigger and bigger and bigger!  Imagine my delight to receive gifts already even though my birthday is 2 weeks away.  Of course, I think my husband was as excited to give as to see me receive.  Just last week our daughter sent us a link to a demonstration of pastels, not the usual pastels, panpastels. 

Yesterday morning I set up the dining room table with all the old sets of pastels I had accumulated over the years and not used and then my pretty new set and we both went to work.  It was a delight.  The panpastels go on so nicely, so smoothly and it is hard not to get a good result.  The set Sherwin purchased for me is called the Landscape Series.  See...

Sherwin used mostly the old sets of hard, soft, oil and grey pastels and went to work:

I, on the other hand, couldn't wait to mess about with the new little pots of color.  So fun:

Since I enjoy sketching this seems a logical extension of that. 
Have a great week.  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sweet Memory

Now, isn't that the sweetest smile you ever did see?  Sherilee's been cooking a long time!  And she always invited good help into the kitchen while she worked!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trafalgar and the Making of the English Hero

October 21 marks the 205th anniversay of the Battle at Trafalgar. British ships engaged the combined French and Spanish fleets to end the day decisively in favor of the British.   Adam Nicolson, author of "Men Of Honour: Trafalgar and the Making of the English Hero", takes us on board these ships describing in detail how war was fought in 1805. He builds a case for this battle being a turning-point in British history.

The book is divided into portions of time starting early in the moring until the final mopping up. Chapters of the book are named for the characteristics that made up the heroes of English history and especially the hero of that particular day, Horatio Nelson.

Nicolson details the men and their lives right down to the the captain's quarters, how they wore their hair, their table manners and more. He draws in words a picture of the men preparing for a day of battle with letters to their loved ones penned just hours and minutes before the noise of battle. He takes us on a quest to discover what made these Men of Honour.

What could produce the fighting spirit that these men showed? Why was the same spirit not present in the French or the Spanish? How did Nelson deal with his sailors and officers to get from them what was necessary to make that battle theirs?

When making up my art journal for this book the background became a faded British flag. On October 21, 1805 the Union Jack was anything but faded; over the past 200 years the might and power of the British Empire has dimmed.

To the right hand of Nelson you will see a fleur de lys, not golden, but tarnished. France was no longer what it once had been. Nelson had the French in range throughout his career meeting them in one battle after another until he pretty much descimated the fleet here at Trafalgar.

To the left of Nelson is a barrel which was the mode of trasport to carry his body home to England where he received a royal burial in St. Paul's.

On the morning of the battle Nelson wrote in his journals and prepared letters to his loved ones at home. Of significance is his morning prayer.

“MAY THE GREAT GOD, whom I worship, grant to my country and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory: and may no misconduct, in anyone, tarnish it: and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British Fleet.  For myself Individually, I commit my life to Him who made me and may His blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my Country faithfully. To Him I resign and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend.  AMEN AMEN AMEN”

Looking for heroes?  This book tells you how to measure for a hero. 

Who is your modern day hero? heroine?  What is it about them that make them above the cut?

Friday, October 1, 2010

On the Occasion of Seth Turning 14

Most months come slowly
They creep softly
Not October.

The Occasion has arrived
Before I even catch my breath
Memories come rushing
Memories are good
From long ago,
If 14 years is long ago,
And all the years between.

Small fellow now grown
With thoughtfulness, purpose
With care and strength
Fond memories of good times past
First joke
Decking trees
Bill Grogan’s goat
Tree house sleeping
Copped copper clappers
And all...

Now looking forward
My heart is fully warmed.

Happy Birthday, Seth!

There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents ... and only one for birthday presents, you know.   - Lewis Carroll

Sing a song of Birthdays
Full of fun and cheer
And may you keep on having them
For many a happy year.

Love...and a million hugs!!!  Grandma and Grandpa
Happy, Happy Day to you.