Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Friday, October 29, 2010

To Do !

Lot's to attempt to accomplish during the upcoming weekend. Haircut. Art Supply Store. Finish packaging prints for upcoming art show events. Get started on a couple of Christmas gift projects. Finally declutter the dining room ..... after cleaning out the linen closet to empty a shelf to house the clutter in the dining room. [deep breath]. Clean up my studio. Laundry. Grocery store. Health food store. Sam's to pick up stuff for Lindsay's 18th birthday party/cookout/ football game! Clean up my closet, after tying myself to a safety harness first! Flea drops on the dogs and the cats. Fabric store for buttons. Finish replacing broken buttons on TK's shirts. There! That oughta do it! But, first, I'll kick off the weekend by joining some girlfriends for an early dinner to celebrate one of their birthdays!

Am I being a little unrealistic? I always am! I tend to shoot for the moon and only reach the outter layer of Earth's atmosphere. One thing's for sure, even though I might often let myself down with my high aspirations, I won't let anyone else down. I try desperately not to do that. My aunt taught me that. She told me to think long and hard before making a commitment cause you can't take it back when someone else is depending on you. So, that's what I do. You will always know if I say I'm gonna do it, I will. Unfortunately, the older I get, the less I commit. I have more self-imposed limits than I used to. Perhaps I'm a little wiser knowing how far I can stretch my resources of time, money and energy level! I guess I've always know that.

I think a lot of the reasons I overextended myself for years was cause I was always afraid that if I didn't do what was asked I would lose the love of the person asking. I think I confused things a bit growing up when I was told I did things for others because they love you and you love them. I suppose the "because they love you" got a little twisted into 'if you don't do things for others, they won't love you' and I was afraid of losing that relationship if I said 'no'. So I always said 'yes' to teachers, to co-employees, to family members, etc. I finally told myself it was time to finish the 'Nancy Reagan Correspondence School of Just Say No' and slow down. It took some time and it was painful at times, but I finally stopped agreeing and volunteering. You know what? Things still got done! And the friendships remained intact. Amazing!

Now, if I could just tell myself 'no' more often! Where's that to-do list? Thing I'll scratch a couple of things off!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sittin' Pretty

Sweet kitty! This is a watercolor commission I did for a dear friend at the request of her daughter. Now that the birthday surprise has passed, I thought I'd share it on my blog. I didn't get a great picture before framing it so this one is a little pixelated, but you can get a great idea of how cute it was!

Lettuce Pray . . .

The raised bed garden is full of weeds from the summer so I decided to do some back porch gardening this fall. The only thing that interested me was the lettuces. I brought home Butter-crunch, Romaine and that old standby, Iceberg. Hope to get some spinach too. I also adopted a new rosemary since my transplanted monster rosemary didn't survive. This one can graduate up from pot to pot on my back porch. Isn't that where they are supposed to thrive anyway? At the back door? I went to the garden center looking for crotons for a huge golden yellow pot my husband bought this summer for his container garden, which was the overflow from the raised bed. I found a pretty potted mum too which I thought would go well with the bright colored pot and crotons. I think it all came together nicely and brightens up the porch. I already miss my big mosaic pot but this punch of color is a pretty good substitute for now! All that's left is to pray the Gardening Angels whisper "Grow! Grow!".
Except for the Hibiscus and Spirea, the back yard is barren of flowers and flowering shrubs after ripping everything out this past summer. We lost so many plants to a mysterious disease. All the Knock-Out Roses and the Indian Hawthorne died. The vegetable garden didn't thrive either. That was the first disappointing harvest we've ever had. I think we will sterilize the bed over the fall/winter by putting a tarp over it and letting the sun heat it up. I'll have to read up on that process again and get it started this upcoming weekend. Tony asked me to pick up a Farmer's Almanac. Maybe next spring we will plant on time!

I need to spend some time updating my garden journal. It's stuffed with seed packets and plant identification pokies and ideas. What? What's a pokie? You know! Those little white things the nursery pokes down into the plant to let you know what it is and where to plant it!

Happy Fall gardening!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fast and Slow Down.

I always find comfort and joy in images of angels. I've spent a good bit of time in prayer for a sick friend and for an ever looming albatross which for better words, in the old religious text, an unspoken prayer need. I took a fasting hiatus from Facebook and colas. Don't laugh! I gave up two things that were a constant companion. I always do something similar during Lent just because I believe the nature of Lent is more about sacrificing for the greater good of self. I don't mean that in a bad way and perhaps some might think it a bad choice of words. But, I'm not catholic so it's my own interpretation ... how I feel personally. I just think it's a good opportunity to purge yourself personally of whatever has a stronghold on your life or your physical being; the jumping off point, if you will, of finally giving up a bad habit. On the other hand, to me, fasting is more about a personal sacrifice for the other person or for yourself where there is a need or for clarification. You know, that 'be still and know' scripture? Often that scripture reminds me to slow down as well. The hectic pace I often keep requires me to do that more frequently these days. Just slow down. Be still. Be quiet.

Currently, my friend is in need of physical healing. This constant state of a prayerful spirit has taken me down many unexpected paths. I'm grateful. I have another week of the same ahead and contemplate entering the Thanksgiving season truly thankful.

Love it, Duh!

 Several years ago I made my first trip to Duh! in Pensacola and fell in love with, well, duh, EVERYTHING! I brought home this beautiful mosaic pot. Just look at all the color and patterns dancing around it! The pot has sat on my back porch welcoming visitors ever since. I've always wanted to do a mosaic with old dishes and never got around to it. This was such a beauty and reminded me of my grandmother's old plates. It just kept saying 'take me home, take me home' !! Hoping that one day it will inspire me to smash a few things and do my own piece. I've been saving an old card table to try it on ... one day!

 Last spring I noticed a huge crack down both sides and learned that the lengthy freezing temps we had last winter likely caused the pot to do whatever pottery does with extreme temperature changes. My husband helped me take the plant out of it and I cleaned it up and brought it inside. I'm gonna try to repair it with epoxy. Adding that to my to-do list for next week.

I haven't made it back to the store since that trip, but goody for me, Duh! sets up at the Festival of Flowers every year too! Right here in Mobile! Can't wait! Every year I come home with something fabulous from their tent as well as other tents! BTW, I'll be setting up a tent at the FOF next year with my artwork. You can preview at my website . My daughter Jennifer and a couple other artists will join me. Jen does some fabulous photography! Check out Jennifer's work on Facebook and at .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tis the season ...... sorta!

A few weeks back I started painting one night a week with a girlfriend from high school. It's been a nice change of pace from so much commission work and preparing for upcoming shows. We all need a change now and then. Though when I really need to relax I read or sit outside or paint! My work is also a form of relaxing .... the painting part, that is!
The second busiest season of the year [for me] is fast approaching. The holidays. Beginning with Halloween and not ending til after Mardi Gras. Non-stop. I tossed a couple of spring art shows in there for good measure! The most busy season is spring cause that's when I do the outdoor shows almost every weekend. Lots of printing, packaging and packin up....followed by setting up tents, hanging artwork on the walls and setting up shop in the open air! Love that part of my business the most .... meeting the people who buy my art!
Hope to see ya at one next spring!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Almost Trick or Treat time!!

B O O !
I am ever-so-slowly creeping into Halloween! Started out by making my granbaby girl an outfit for the season! It turned out adorable!! Now to decide whether to monogram or applique. Decisions! Decisions! I also made a collage, filled the candy dish and hung my wreath on the front door!
Check out "The House Next Door" painting on my art blog! You'll love it! Do you know those people? :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Re-Thinking the "Wouldn't Change a Thing" Thoughts

Often I have said "I wouldn't change a thing" about my past. I'd re-live every moment. Every moment of joy, pain, learning experience and lazy moments. These are, afterall, what made me who I am today and I'm fond of that woman. However, after reaching fifty this year and having experienced so much physical pain the last ten years or so ... moreso recently, I am re-visiting those thoughts.

The only thing I would do differently is take better care of myself. I'd make the time to take better care of myself. I'd use the knowledge I'd gained over the years relative to health. That said, I'm gonna try to make up for lost time.

Afterall, today is the first day of the rest of my life! Right?

I'm about to take a walk outside. The first in two years. The first since the right foot went south on me. The first since I began pain medication for my back. There is always a first. This is gonna be among many firsts to come. Today I also started an anti-inflammatory, low-carb eating style. Not gonna use the D word here!

My goals are not weight loss, per se. My goals are to minimize the medications my doctor predicts I will be taking along with the current Mobic and quarterly prednisone, not to mention his determination that neck surgery is in my near future. Anti-inflammatories are a daily companion now. Being kind to myself and resting my back and legs are paramount to enjoying life these days. Surely the anticipated side effect of weight loss will help that a little. But there's not a lot to do about herniated discs w/spinal cord involvment, nerve pain from B12 Pernicious anemia and it's fatigue, not to mention Iron Deficient anemia as well. And, of course, there is the hypothyroid and hiatal hernia and gallbladder issues that tag along.

I can't imagine eliminating sugar, processed foods, simple carbs and the other inflammatory foods (peppers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant) aren't gonna help with some of this.

I still have a lot of life to live and a lot of love to give. I'll soon be chasing my granbaby girl as she toddles around. I'm enjoying my art business and all the friends and venues involved. I love family, my home and my garden and want to enjoy caring for all of these things without the dreaded pain.

Crossing my fingers and praying and breathing one day at a time! It's time to take a more active role in enabling my body to work at peak performance so I can continue taking life as it comes!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bless Your Sweet Potato Soul!

My neighbor brought over two sacks of sweet potatos /from his garden this weekend. Oh Boy! My thoughts instantly went to Sweet Potato Butter! Yum! I bought a jar years ago and devoured it within a week - cream cheese and sweet potato butter on an english muffin ... Heaven!! I baked all of them in the oven this morning while I searched the web for a recipe. I also received several recipes on Facebook. I found this recipe and many more delish things at

Sweet Potato Butter
3 large sweet potates (3 cups mashed)
2 c apple cider (unsweetened)
1 c sugar
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 t allspice

Bake sweet potatoes one hour until soft at 400 degrees. Cool. Peel and put into large pot. Mash. Add cider and sugar. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add spices. Reduce heat and simimer for two hours, stirring from time to time. The mixture will thicken to a thick mashed-potato like texture as the liquid cooks out. Use an immersion blender or mixer to smooth out the lumps. Makes about three cups. Store in refrigerator.... Share with your neighbors!

Obviously I had much more than three sweet potatoes! I altered the recipe according to how many cups of mashed sweet potatoes I ended up with.