Missing Blogland

We have been back from Hawaii and visiting our kids in Seattle for a month now.  John and I had such a special time in my parents Condo.  The first week was grieving them gone, especially Mom so recent.  But the time we spent made me feel so close to both of them.   We really needed the time to regroup as a couple and renew our health, especially me. I have been diagnosed with yet  another auto immune disease and have been dealing with all that comes with that.

 We enjoyed such beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  It rained all of three days in the 31 we were there.

                        The foliage was so pretty though not as many blooms as in mid winter.

 Beautiful scenery was in abundance.  God has truly blessed us with such a beautiful world.

When we arrived in Kona,  we found out that the following week they were hosting the  annual
World Ironman competition for over 2500 world athletes. The medical team was full so we volunteered to help at the finish line for three hours then finished at the medal/tshirt table.

             We didn't want to spend all of our time selfishly and felt like giving back to others.                    

 I was so humbled by the athletes we met and helped.  Men and women of all ages.  They had to place first in their age groups anywhere in the world to qualify for Hawaii.

The men and women in the age brackets 60 -84 (the oldest) were the most inspiring. They swam 2.4 miles, biked 119 miles and ran 26.4 miles.  They prove every day that any one can do anything they set their minds to.

Healing from grief is a slow process.  But God put so many wonderful people in our lives we were blessed beyond measure.

We decided to take  a boat trip to where the lava from Volcano Kileauea was flowing into the ocean.
(We were drenched with ocean water minutes into the ride. So much for blow drying my hair and I love this picture of my sweetie.)

That had to be the most amazing natural wonder we have ever experienced.  It took our breaths away.
We were actually about 15 feet from it a lot of the time.

I am busy putting Christmas decorations up, wrapping gifts, back with my weekly art kids here and some days are very difficult.  I sometimes seem to just be spinning my wheels but every day is another day of healing and another day to remember my roots and my parents.  I am determined to find the miracles in this holiday season and wish the same for all of you.


Good Bye Momma

The last five months have been dedicated to taking care of my Mother, Helen.  John and I brought her home to live with us with the care of Hospice.
  Drs. gave her 6-8 weeks to live following 30 days in the hospital with not much improvement.  I stayed nights with her in the hospital and my siblings rotated during the day.

My Mom lived five whole months after she came to stay with us.  I like to think that it is was a combination of her courage and the love and attention we gave her every day.  She was so sick, yet every day no matter what, she got up and insisted on getting dressed and out of bed.

She had fortitude and gratitude and never ever complained or whined about anything.  She did complain a few times about what I was serving for dinner. HA  I am so glad she did.  Often we ran to fast food joints or restaurants for something she was craving that moment.  We didn't care.  Time was short. She deserved to be pampered.

 Here I am with two of our daughters and five of 6 granddaughters---she has 8 children, 16 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.  Everyone is alive and well.  We are so blessed. Mom's summer was spent with our kids/kidlets staying for days and weeks and running in and out giving her hugs and attention and receiving hugs and attention in return.  She regaled them with her stories of her youth and life with the great grandpa they never got to know.  My siblings and their families and cousins showed up constantly.

One neighbor said'  That is not fair to your Mom she is sick and you are tired.'  Neither my Mom nor myself saw it that way.  She deserved to be surrounded by her family and she rejoiced in it.  We were all making memories to hold in our heart forever.

Here are five of my siblings  two brothers are missing.

This is Mom with some of her kids grands great grands nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews at our last family reunion in July. This was her very best day. She raved for weeks how wonderful it was to see everyone.  She was the baby of nine children and my father was the baby of ten.  Mom was the very last one of her generation.
Our hearts are filled with such sorrow but also with love and admiration for this beautiful woman.

We celebrated her life and put her to rest a few weeks ago.  Such a difficult thing to do but we made it as loving and beautiful as possible.
John and I left a week later and are now resting and recuperating and grieving for a month in her(our shared with siblings) condo in Hawaii.  She is at every turn and her condo is filled with constant reminders of her presence and her long life here every year for half the year.  Walking down the street in the village she lived in brings so many memories of our times spent her in the past.

I miss you Momma with all of my heart.  Mahalo  


Fill in the Blanks

So the past four months I have been very busy taking care of my Mom with the help of Hospice. I am delighted to say she has improved remarkably, thought her diagnosis remains the same. We are relishing in the good days while we have them.

I have been confined to home as well and have been trying to stay creative.  This past month all of our children and grandchildren were here for most of that time.  Our youngest and her family have relocated to Taipei Taiwan and everyone was home  'celebrating family and saying bon voyage', until next summer.

Whenever our grandchildren are here or we visit them it is always "Oma what is our art project?"

Did I have a surprise for them.

Our trex deck is old and a mess with stains and just "blahness"  I have been looking at it all spring/summer and decided it had to change.

I washed it down, let it dry and then primed it with a Kilz exterior primer.  I then drew some designs on it.

I bought Valspar exterior paint in order to find the bright cheerful colors that replicate the colors in our backyard and around the pool. Each of the grand daughters donned a paint shirt grabbed a brush and picked their designs.

I was so excited to see the colors show up.

I only had to clean up a few spots and added some highlights to a few  designs.

I took  Behr exterior house paint in Black and applied two coats and was so happy with the results.  The black background makes the colors pop and everyone who sees it loves it. It does show dusty foot prints but it is sooooo much nicer than the old deck top I don't mind.

The most special part is that the grandchildren helped to create it and will always feel proud to make Oma and Opa's deck beautiful.


Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap 2016

For the past four years  I have participated in Kat Slomas Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap.  Artists are asked to photograph their art in any medium and turn them into Postcards. Kat's swap encourages artists to share their work with others around the world and to bring Happy Mail to all participants.

My participation has encouraged me to try new media, to look with a new eye at whatever I want to photograph and to gain confidence in putting my art work out there.

The past three months has been very difficult for myself and my family.  Our Mother has been very ill and finally came home to my house with Hospice care a week ago.  Many long hours were spent at the hospital and coming home to find such inspiring art in the mail was a perfect gift. Thank you each of you.

This photo of well used and loved paint brushes was sent from Deanie Houghtaling from Paris France.  Deanie this reminds me of my own brushes I look at every day I am in my studio.  I now want to see what they paint! The inspiring words on the back are:  "I dream of painting, then I paint my dreams." Vincent Van Gogh

This postcard hails from Therese Misner of Oregon.  Therese does modern contemporary original paintings.  I love the colors in these. Her inspiration is: Art is meant to be shared. Thank you Therese.

I fell in love with the simplicity of this black and white photo. The few highlights of blue just draw your eye in and make this sing.  Sue from Corvallis Oregon sent this with this quote: Inhale  Possibility, Exhale creativity by Laura Jaworski.

This photograph is mixed media collage done by artist Susan Brown.  This is from her "Birth of Humanism Cycle of Life Series."  She hails from sunny Florida.  I keep picking this card up and looking again and again to find something new.

This very intricate and original zentangle was drawn by artist Danielle DeRome who has studied art all over the world.  I have not tried this art form but find it very intriguing.  You can see more of Danielle's art at www.certifiablyzendoodly.com

This is from Kat Sloma  the creator of the swap and an original photographer from Eugene Oregon. Kat's photography always has this ethereal element that I find fascinating.

Theses last postcards are my original photography  taken in my back yard and house with the exception of the vintage truck full of flowers.  I took that at a nephew's wedding on Whidbey Island, Washington.

To view the rest of the post card art click here

I hope this art inspires you in some way to explore your art medium even more and build the confidence to put it out into the world for others to enjoy.


Saying Good bye

This is our dear Great Aunt Irma.  In Sept we were able to spend her  107th Birthday with her.
Two years ago her only direct relative moved her across the state away from all of her daily friends and great and great great  and great great great nieces and nephews who saw her several times a week.

We were only able to visit every few months which broke our hearts as well as hers.  Her direct relative did not show up for her birthday and hadn't been seen since the previous year when he did attend her 106th birthday.  Sadly he lives 20  mins from her.

Aunt Irma loved us all as we loved her.  She especially cherished her great great and great great great nieces and nephews and when at home always wanted to 'have a tea party'.


Our youngest grand daughter and great great great aunt Irma had birthdays exactly 100 yrs apart.
Amazing when you think about it.

Shortly before Christmas Sweet beautiful Irma went home to the Lord and all of her beautiful sisters and one brother.  She leaves behind an awesome legacy.  Her favorite line was "Come sit down and I will tell you a yarn."

She regaled us with stories of growing up in a large family on a farm, having 3 children, 2 tragically died at young ages,  raising 32 foster children with her husband of 54 years.

One foster daughter is still living and calls her Mama.

Irma witnessed so many wonderful and tragic events in her life time.  She never flew in a plane but rode in a horse and buggy.  She was simple and humble and lived her life accordingly.

Her one vanity was to wear high heel 'pumps' from a young age.  She wore them to work, to church, on picnics, climbing a ladder, roofing the barn, hoeing in her garden.  She never wore flat shoes until recent years and her feet were badly misshapen.

Irma was a talented artist and loved oil painting.  She taught art students for years and finally had to quit 5 years ago at the age of 102 when her eye sight was failing and she had a difficult time getting up and down her steep basement stairs to her painting area.

The last visit with her, our youngest daughter recorded her telling stories and had sent them to us just days before Irma died.  We have yet to listen to them. Our hearts are heavy but we know she would not want us to weep and grieve.  She lived a beautiful giving, honest life and deserved to go to her final rest.



Liberate Your Art Swap 2016

It is that time of year again!  Kat Sloma from Kat Eye Studios is once again hosting her annual 'Liberate Your Art' postcard swap.

Do you like photography?  Make art and take pictures of it?  Then this is the perfect swap for you!

This is my fourth year participating and it is so fun.  Every spring post cards start coming in from various artists all over the world.  Put on your big girl panties and put your art out there for all to enjoy and sign up.