Sunday, April 30, 2017

When it Rains...

It started out to be a pretty relaxing Saturday.  We sat on the back porch and enjoyed watching the rain.

But the rain kept falling...
... and falling...
         ... and falling...
He'd been out there in the lightning pushing piles of leaves to let the water get across and over the road.

Then we just watched...

That's my garden. At this point the border has kept the water out.

** Spoiler alert... It gets completely covered.
When the neighbor's pond across the highway overflowed, our ditch became a river.
The Girls were my companions. I'm like the Pied Piper, they just follow me where ever I go.

That whole area is supposed to be green, and that line in the back left is has a road under it.  
The hill on the right is actually our pond... which has never overflowed... until yesterday...
Meanwhile, on the other side... that's a little scary.

What a helpless feeling...

The foundation is pretty high, so it didn't get inside at all... so thankful!
 If this was just a picture of a river, it would be really pretty.
But considering I was standing beside our garage...

That's Ron's little shed. It's plastic and just has lawn mowers and stuff like that.  It's okay.
During the afternoon we had a break in the rain and lightning for about two hours when there was only a light sprinkle.  The water left the front yard, and the chickens had a worm feast!

Ron went back out got rid of downed branches and limbs that were impeding the flow, cleared the gutters, and just looked around.

When the water comes over the top of your rain boots, there's not much point.

Then the rains returned... all... night... long...
No cable, no internet... just the phones telling us that we were under a flash flood watch... ummm.. got that message pretty clearly...
I heard we got 12 inches of rain.  
That's an awful lot of water.
Today the sun was shining.  It was a gorgeous day.  All is good.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hen on the Hay

In my class we've recently finished our unit of poetry.  We read poetry. We talked about poetry. We thought about poetry.  We wrote poetry. 
Humor poems... classic poems... poems with rhyme and rhythm... free verse poems... narrative poems... odd poems... poems that made us wonder why they were poems...
This was one of the first poems that we read that made the kids go... huh?

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

          - William Carlos Williams

But, then I introduced a strategy for close reading called I Wonder statements.  Once the kids started, they never stopped!

I wonder why he wrote that poem.
I wonder why he left it out in the rain.
I wonder what was in the wheel barrow.
I wonder how many chickens there were.
I wonder why he didn't capitalize his first word.
I wonder why the chickens stay beside the wheel barrow.
I wonder what depends on the wheel barrow.
I wonder if it will rust.
I wonder ...

Of all the odd poems for them (both classes) to fixate on!  When we began writing innovations or poems inspired by famous poems, they often came back to this one with their own versions.

so much depends

a warm

glazed with brown

beside the white


so much depends

a blonde Barbie

dressed in a ball

beside the white
teddy bear


so much depends 

the red tractor

covered with 

beside the pink

If I read 5 of these, I read 50 of them!
So, here's one from me.

The Straw Hay Bale
(Inspired by William Carlos Williams)

so much depends

a straw hay

glistening in sun

beneath the red

Thanks to Jackie from Welcome Home Retreat.  This is her gorgeous hen!

Original Oil Painting on 14"x 18" Wrapped Canvas
Click Hen on the Hay if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sunflower Mural on Fence #2

This is the backyard of my sister, Karen. 
What a fun project!  Since it was my second time around, I felt pretty confident and carefree with the sunflowers.  Of course the best part was figuring out how to hide the names of her grandchildren.
Her (real) flowers are always fabulous, so I can't wait to see this view again after they all begin to bloom in front of the fence.

It was kind of tricky painting over all the cross boards since this was on the back side of the fence. But, it didn't take long to learn to ignore them.

Can you find Gentry's hidden name?  

*** Hint - It's in the third flower.  Look at the white part of the petals.

There's also a little blue dragon fly  on this panel.

Did you find Annabelle's hidden name on this one?

*** Hint - It's in the fourth flower.  Look at the yellow part of the petals.

There's also a little red ladybug  on a leaf of her flower.

T.J.'s name is a little different. 

*** Hint - It's in the stalks and leaves fifth and sixth flowers. You'll also find his monogram in the center of one of his flowers.

And there's a little pink and purple caterpillar on the last flower's leaf.

Nothing hidden on this one, just a little blue butterfly that makes Karen smile.

Nothing hidden on these two. But there are a couple of lady bugs and a K.J. + T.J. heart just for fun.
I'm thinking fence painter might be my next career! 
Wouldn't that be different!

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I helped my niece with her first painting a year ago, and we were long overdue to do it again. She's just finished her masters thesis on To Kill a Mockingbird and wanted to try painting a mockingbird to celebrate.... Ta-Da!!    We did have a good time, and her mockingbird is beautiful.

Am I the only one who can forget an entire movie plot line but remember every detail of a one minute scene?  How can a few seconds of a movie stick forever in your brain? ... Dumb and Dumber... riding in that silly dog-van with the bad guy in between them... MOCK... yeah... ING... yeah... BIRD... yeah... YEAH... yeah...

My memory is often the subject of family discussion. I can remember vivid details from childhood, specific things from random life events, facts from information presented. I've got kind of an amazing memory... but... but... I... can... not... remember... lyrics... to... songs...
None... Ever...
I love music! I try! I sing along! But I generally don't make it to the second line before I've substituted a word or phrase... ugh!  And half the time the words don't even make sense... sigh... 

Anyway, I could write a series of blog posts about all the lyrics I've misunderstood, mis-memorized, and messed up.

So I just make up words.

This was the special song that I sang to my little girl to put her to sleep. I probably sang it a thousand times... yeah... I know the words are wrong, but they worked for us.

Hush little baby, don't say a word.
Momma's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Momma's gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Momma's gonna buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass should break.
Momma's gonna bake your a chocolate cake.
An if that chocolate cake is dry, 
Momma's gonna make you a lemon pie.
And if that lemon pie's too sour,
Momma's going to pick you a big red flower.
An if that big red flower should wilt,
Momma's going to get you a nice warm quilt.
And if that quilt should rip or tear,
Momma's gonna give you a teddy bear
To hug and hold and love
All these things come from above.

Original Oil Painting on 8"x 8" Wrapped Canvas


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sunflower Fence Mural - Hidden Surprises

The sunflower fun began last summer with my dad's sunflower field then the whole sunflower harvest adventure that followed.
I mentioned in the last post that I'd hidden some surprises in the mural.  My goal was to make them unnoticeable, yet once discovered, impossible to miss. What fun!

Zoom in...
Can you find them?
Need a hint?

The mural was Sheila's idea. It hides the pool equipment at Welcome Home Retreat.  

I think she loved the surprise... having her grandkids' names in the flowers.

See if this helps.
Oh, my goodness!
What fun it was for me to see these little ones searching for their names!

I think they were pretty proud.

And another little surprise in the grass of the other side.

I hope the guests at Welcome Home Retreat enjoy it too.