Imagination Monday

Look again at today’s header photo. It’s the pepper shaker from one of Pioneer Woman’s collections. I love her dishes, they’re so pretty. For the first time in a long time, I looked closer at it. Check out the look on the bigger yellow dog. What would you call it? Use your imagination!

I’m going to pretend it’s a male. Oh, I know! He’s the Dad, the smaller one is the Mom. They may have just had “words,” (or woofs) over one of the adolescent pups. Or maybe Dad let the pup go out howling all night. Mom doesn’t approve. Or maybe Dad knows Mom’s right, but he hates to admit it. Kind of like human parents.

OR

Maybe they just had a hard day on the Drummond Ranch, helping with the Cattle in the pasture. They’re tired, but boy did they eat good. They earn their keep as working animals. They get to sleep in the house if they want, and they get along with the other family dogs who do their share as well. They’re discussing the giant dogs (horses) and how they get special treatment. And they’re glad THEY don’t have to wear saddles and bridles. Where do those ranchers get their ideas?

Maybe he’s listening patiently while the Mrs. goes on and on about everything and anything. She listens for him as well. That’s what excellent partners and friends do for each other. Venting is normal for everyone!

As the other photos show, there are quite a few details on this set of salt and pepper shakers. There is Charlie the Ranch Dog, (a Basset Hound who has his own series of books. The obligatory rain barrel on one side and the hay on another. These are adorable books if you have little children to read to.

The quilt I displayed them on is a small wall quilt I made when I was just beginning my quest to learn to quilt. I learned an important lesson about color value. I should have remembered about that from high school art class, that you need light, medium, and dark together to make things pop. This one did not have a pop to it, but I love the sunflower boarder and the hand quilting I did. Even though the criteria for value failed, there are still parts about this quilt that are right and rest well with me. And it’s an important lesson in how much I’ve learned since then. The star in the middle needs variations in the colors, not all of them to be the same. I won’t do this mistake again. Value matters a lot.

One reason I started blogging was how much I enjoyed three other blogs; Pioneer Woman’s, Quilt Along With Pat Sloan, and Quiltville by Bonnie Hunter. I’m a self-taught quilter. I started watching an old Alex Anderson quilting show on HGTV over twenty years ago. I bought books (too many), patterns, joined two guilds, and practiced. It’s like writing. It takes years to be experienced at it, and you still can improve. I subscribed to magazines and learned from all the greats. There were always new things to learn. It does wonders for my creative mind. I love to conquer the hard things.

And now, I’m a blogger and author. I had this crazy idea this morning about the story behind these two dogs. And we had fun with it, I believe. I’m always looking at things or people of animals and wondering about their stories. We all have them. What’s yours? Mine is developing. Yes. So is yours. If you’re not happy with your own, you have permission to change it. You need to put in the work; you need to be responsible for yourself, and fulfill any obligations you have raising children, preparing them for the world, then handing the baton over to them. It’s not yours to hold forever. Let them fly. Encourage them to. And encourage yourself as well.

Thanks for going on a creative journey with me today. Do you have any photo, your own or a stock photo you’d like me to write a brief story about? Or a topic you’d like to read? Let me know in the comments below. I look forward to your ideas. We can have some fun with that. Let’s enjoy this beautiful day and get outside! See you tomorrow.

Ideas Explosion

Either it’s the pleasant weather or something is happening in my brain right now. We’re involved with events coming to the VFW Post in the next couple months and beyond, and my writing is waiting, along with my setting out the kids’ book, and I decided I need to make an extensive list. I need to write everything that occurs to me in this flurry of creative ideas. I need to listen to my brain, as it’s speaking what’s in my heart right now. It’s helping to define what I want to do with my life at this point. I love it. I will not question it, just let it flow and simmer.

It was too chilly to sit on the deck in our new chairs last night. Hopefully, we’ll catch some new chair time today. Yes, we’ll make it happen. Today is also another Carol Gino Zoom meeting which I’m going to watch. No title yet, but it’s a series about finding your soul’s purpose. I’m going to take a stab at writing books to help people, kids and adults, deal with life’s hard situations.

The header photo today is the beautiful glass blown work of Dale Chihuly. He is an American sculptor and has a similar display at Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum. I love the color, the light, and everything with it. I could stare at it for a long time. It gives me joy. I wear bright colors most of the time, because they’re happy. I want to spend my life that way. Yes, I have had many losses, grave situations, and a host of terrible events in life. I cannot let them weigh my soul down. God’s been too good to me to not thank him every day for the blessings. To share a friendly attitude with the world. I think my brain, with all of its ideas this week, may even reflect this beautiful photo. I can only hope. Of course I’ll share. We’ll figure it out together.

We had a brief break on the sunny deck in our new rocking chairs. While rocking, my mind went back many, many years. 1971, 1975, and 1979, and rocking my babies. I loved doing that. In the middle of the night, I recall holding them after they were asleep, just listening to them breathe. That is truly a sacred time, between a Mother and child. To think of everything they both go through during pregnancy and childbirth, it’s amazing what God has created. I haven’t had a rocker for years. I plan to spend many hours rocking, reading, doing crafts, and enjoying the scenery. It feels like a vacation when we sit there. God has been so good to us. Yes, we both have done a lifetime of hard work, and we are nothing but grateful.

Enjoy the rest of your day. Get outside if possible. Look at the sky, the wonder of the earth, and feel the sun on your face. We’re lucky to have such a beautiful planet. Full of possibilities. And full of goodness, despite all the bad things that go on. You have to look for it. And create more of it. Create your own. Make it a wonderful world. Thank you for reading, I’m headed to the patio. See you tomorrow!

Winning Wednesday

So much to create, so little time. Do you feel this way? Not just about writing, but crafting and creating together. Unfortunately, I have interest in a lot of creative endeavors. I sewed my own clothes for many years. To dress like the job I wanted, I tailored my own suits for nearly my entire working career. As I progressed in salary, I did purchase them, but still sewed for myself. I’ve probably also made about 40 bridesmaids dresses, and two wedding dresses. I loved doing it all.

Then, after I could no longer work at the age of 48 due to my wacky spine condition, I went on Medicare at age 50. And straight into depression. I felt washed up and useless. I was used to being very physically active, and just couldn’t anymore. Over the next 18 years, I had breast cancer, two foot surgeries, a badly broken ankle (all on the left foot!), and been through the Babe’s extensive visits/procedures thanks to the US Government’s use of Agent Orange during his tropical visit to Vietnam, and thanked God every single thing has eventually turned out well.

The new passion I had for quilting and creating ended the depression, I needed the creative outlet to feel like I was worth something. It worked. And even now, when I start to feel less than great for a period of time, all I need to do is make a quilt, a wall hanging, something, to bring me joy again. There is a sense of accomplishment I receive from that. It’s cheaper than meds or therapy and does the trick. The quilters I’ve met both in person and in Facebook Groups are the best people I know outside of longtime friends I have. Generous, creative, supportive, sharing, and willing to teach and learn. Good stuff.

So, I signed up to make this cute little picture for my laundry room. It needs something on the walls. If anyone would like to sign up, go to the above FB posting. It’s $10. Three one hour sessions teach the techniques. It runs August 2, 4, and 6 and the time zones are posted worldwide. 6:30 p.m., CDT. The project is called “Laundry Day.” The Website is: and it appears there is a waitlist for the class now. The project I’m making is pictured on the right side of the website page.

No, I don’t need more to do. I have plenty to do. I just want something to spark my creativity. So, something different is in order. The idea is to use vintage patterns, fabric, trims, buttons, etc., and you’ll recall some memories and good people from your treasures. I need to do this. A scrap of lace trim my Grandma Bobell crocheted or tatted, a button from Aunt Lois’s sewing treasures, and some fabric that was used long ago. It’ll make me smile, and enhance creativity, too. And calm my restlessness.

Any minute now, the Babe will return home with Gavin. We’re having sliders for lunch today, it should be good. After that, I’ll work a little on my quilt, and more on my additional characters for Katie to deal with in “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons,” my novel. Little bits, and I’ll accomplish a lot.

Thank you for reading today. I hope you are well. I just found out today my COVID test is negative. That’s great news. I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Be careful out there.