Friday, December 31, 2010

Nope, not reindeer tracks...

So, we had a little snow...  Now, compared to all those huge storms that have drifted across the country, this was not that bad.  However, Lova and Cookie only had one thing to say...


...a resounding "NO!" followed by "Make it go away."  They are not demanding dogs at all.  That is how they got the nicknames of 'no' and 'no-no'...  I made them stay outside.

Not one to make my animals suffer what I will not suffer myself, I donned my snow tramping gear and, looking like an inflated snowman, I waddled out the back door to see what was up in the great white world.  No, actually, I waddled out there to feed my larger fourple footed friends.  Nothing else could have enticed me out of the house on a cold day like this!

Whoa!  What do my wondering eyes behold?


Tracks?  Ummm.... those are not guinea tracks.  Not dog tracks... rabbit?  No.  Ummm....  Where are they going?



Now, why do I think this is not a good thing...  Mystery tracks leading up to, er, rather under my little shed.  I think I need to hang out a 'Critter Motel' sign here.  It's got to be getting crowded in there because, as far as I know, the bees are still in there...  Yeah, bees... What once was in a tree, has moved...

Well, let's take a closer look at the tracks.  It could be a cat, you know...  maybe...


Oh.  I really want these to be cat tracks.  I really do.  I could feed a feral cat and be okay about that...  Cat! can't they look like cat tracks???  Sort of... in a way...

Well, I suppose only if I hollered 'kitty - kitty' and expected a little black and white kitty with a big, bushy striped tail.

Nice.

Going to get the Critter Motel sign for sure.

Maybe if Bailey stops chasing her stick in the snow, she'll help me out here!


Naw.  The words 'Bailey' and 'stop chasing stick' are never on the same continent. 

Ahem.  Guess I will do a little research on how to discourage resident skunks...  And remove dormant bees...  Gosh, life in the country is never boring, is it?!

Well, this is how my old year is ending and how my new year is beginning!  How is your old year ending?  And how is the New Year shaping up for you?

Happy New Year!
Blessings,
Kathy

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Etsy Blogger Blogger of the Month! Pruitt Handcrafts!

If you haven't taken a tour through Linda Pruitt's Etsy shops, you have missed some wonderful treats!  Take a stroll over there and check out these delightful items ~

pruitthandcrafts
Now is the time to send out those thank you notes!  Why not make them extra special just like the lovely gifts that you received!  These are so creative - what a lovely thank you gift for those favorite people you know!


PruittDesign
 Linda is closing her jewelry shop, so right now (until January 15th) she is having a HUGE sale!  Check out her main shop page and get her coupon code to save 50% on gorgeous designs like this one!


PruittSupply
Check out her supply shop where she has buttons, charms, lace, and lots of little extras like this darling Made With Love charm!  What a wonderful little trinket to attach to that delightful gift you just made! 

To keep up with what's new in Linda's corner of the world, check out her blog, Pruitt Handcrafts.  Be sure to look for pictures of her new darling little grandbaby!  What a double cutie!  Linda is the grandmother of 24 + little (and not so little) kiddos.  She is also a breast cancer survivor and all around cool person to know.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know Linda a little bit better and seeing some of the delightful creations this very talented lady has in her shops!  

Blessings,
Kathy

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!


Thank you all for visiting my blog, leaving such wonderful comments, and sharing your thoughts and ideas!  I appreciate everyone of you and hope that you have a very blessed Christmas Day, full of the peace and joy of Him who came as a baby in a manger.

God bless and Merry Christmas!
Kathy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Countdown ~ time to de-stress!


Let's see... December 22nd...  then the 23rd, then Christmas Eve!  And then, Christmas Day!!!

Are you looking forward to Christmas?  or are you looking forward to Christmas being over?

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year - probably my favorite time.  It's the time when I pause and think about the the birth of Jesus and all that He means to me.  There are also many family traditions that we will enjoy and maybe some other celebrations around town.  I have even known several people who were not Christians and yet they enjoyed and participated in the fun and traditions that surround Christmas.

There is one thing that I refuse to participate in, though - Christmas Stress.  Nope, no Spirit of Christmas Stress is going to visit me!  And, here's how I make that unwelcome visitor vamoose ~
  • I keep a list and I check it twice - well, maybe more than twice.  A list helps me to prioritize the days activities and to be more productive.  Each day I go through my list and I update it.
  • The only items I put on my list are the ones that need to be done.  I don't want a list so long that I can't accomplish everything.  Also, I don't want to spend time doing things that I may want to do when I should be doing what I need to do.
  • I keep gift giving simple.  I am fortunate to be part of a family that agrees that gifts are tokens of our love.  Many of our gifts are handmade treasures or simple purchases with special meaning behind them.  In some cases, items are even re-gifted, including the gifting of family 'heirlooms' complete with the history behind them.  Gifts do not have to be expensive to express love!
  • I keep decorating simple.  I will set up the Nativity that my mother painted when the church choir members painted them and sold them to raise money for choir robes.  I will set up my tree with antique ornaments from Grandmother, handmade ones from family and friends, and special creations by my darling granddaughters.  I have the wreath that my parents used hanging in my window.  That's all I do any more.  Not a lot of lights and glitter, but a lot of treasures and memories.
  • I keep cooking simple.  Keep stress at bay by preparing simple things that you have made before.  Running out of time?  Pick up something from the store that is all ready to serve.
  • I have learned to be flexible.  In that flexibility, I have discovered some wonderful new Christmas traditions were created.  Not being flexible will lead to disappointment and stress, so relax and enjoy some surprises!
  • I listen to Christmas music and I watch fun movies.  Currently playing while I write this ~ "A Christmas Carol" with Reginald Owen ~ a great 1938 movie!  I avoid Scrooge, wherever he may lurk.  I won't listen to snarky DJs on the radio, read sad stories, or hang around with people who enjoy being grumpy.  Bye-bye, Scrooge.
  • I take time to slow down.  When I make that list, I plan time to slow down and enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas.  There is nothing quite like just sitting and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate while you admire your Christmas tree.
Hope you are enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas and enjoying your traditions, both new and old.  If you stroll around Arizona, you might just see some Christmas lights on cactus plants and palm trees ~ one of our local traditions!

Merry Christmas!
Blessings,
Kathy

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Now about those reindeer and that sleigh...

I saw a funny thing recently about how the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh had to be all girls – hence, they knew the way ;-) Upon doing a little checking I found out that, yes, both male and female reindeer do have antlers. However, it was misstated in the little ‘tongue in cheek’ humor, because I found out that males do not shed their antlers in November, rather they shed them in late December. Which means, of course, if Santa’s reindeer were all boys, they would not have naked little heads while pulling the sleigh. So, right down to Rudolf, who knows if they were girls or boys!


Of course, we are missing the main point here – reindeer don’t fly.

There are a few other points about Christmas that get missed in the fun, joy and glitter of this last week of holiday preparation, too. This week is a good time to stop and focus on what is really important about Christmas.

• It’s not about the gifts I will receive – it’s about the people who care about me and love me.

• It’s not about all the decorations and lights – but about how thankful I am that I have a comfortable home.

• It’s not about all the cookies and fruitcake that are in the oven – it’s about being thankful that I have not missed a meal because there is no food.

• It’s not about the shopping frenzy to find the perfect gift – but about the time to gather together with those I love.

And about that guy in the red suit at the manger? Nope, didn’t happen. However, St. Nicholas probably would have been there. And we should all make a point to stop by and check out that baby that changed the whole world.

Have a Blessed Christmas week!

Kathy

PS Many times food banks run out of food at this time of year. How about picking up a couple of extra cans of hearty soup or stew next time you are at the store. Drop it off at your local food bank and help someone out this Christmas!

Do you have other ideas of how to help someone? Share them in the comments and let’s see what we can do to make a difference this Christmas week!

Friday, December 17, 2010

If the weather gives you ice - have fun with it! Funtry Friday Fun!


Don't be a sagging winter Scrooge!  Life isn't all blue skies and sunny days.

Oh, wait - the blue sky and sunny day might be part of this guy's problem...

Well, anyway - there is a lot of country fun to be had in the ice and snow.  Work with me, here, okay!  I know it's cold, but icy cold weather can be... well, um... cool!  And cool things happen, like this...



The horse tank froze and there was about a half inch of ice on top of it.  This chunk has a really neat pattern of bubbles around a piece of hay that is now frozen inside the ice.  It also has a reflection of a crazy woman who takes pictures of ice with hay frozen in it.

This is so cool that it is cold!



A perfect heart!  And where, you might ask, is that perfect heart?  And how did it get there?



Chicken water.  The hose had a slow leak that dripped in one spot.  In the morning, the water was frozen except for where the water had dripped and formed a perfect heart shape!

I told you that ice could be really cool!  So can snow -


- especially with a dose of Mr. Random Dude!  Who is he?  Find out in my Etsy shop - tapestry316!

Hope you enjoyed your little icy Funtry Friday!  Are you staying warm or out sledding in the snow?

Happy Funtry Friday!
Blessings,
Kathy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bright lights and good ideas!

I have never seen the aurora borealis, but that light show sounds like a fantastic one!  The current ACEO Challenge on our challenge blog is for 'northern lights' so I had to go take a look at some photographs to see what they look like.  Oh, my!  After looking at those images, I came up with these two little paintings - and the idea that the 'northern lights' are really God's fireworks!

"God's Fireworks - Northern Lights" - 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches - ACEO - original watercolor, ink and gouache on 140 pound archival watercolor paper

Lights (or a light bulb) are also the symbol of a good idea.  Since there are lots of lights shining on this blog post, I thought I would share a good idea, too.


"Northern Lights" - 2.5 x 3.5 inches - ACEO - original watercolor, gouache and ink on 140 lb archival watercolor paper

These two little ACEO original paintings are going in my Adopt Art Gallery to help Tim and Cynthia with their adoption expenses for Baby E.  Do you see the cool little button on the right side of my blog below my banner?  The one that says 'donate now'?  Did you wonder how I got that there?  Well, here's your good idea of the day!

The button is really simple to install from PayPal.  Check it out, but before you dash off and do that, here are a few of things to keep in mind.
  • Blogger.com does not like people to sell items on their blog.  So installing a shopping cart and selling your creations here is not a good idea.  Check out Wordpress if you want to sell items from your blog.  Check out Blogger 'help' for more details about what they do and do not allow.
  • Raising money by way of donation is okay with Blogger.  Again, check out Blogger 'help' for more details.
  • Make sure you are prepared to keep track of the money you collect and send it to where it needs to go in a timely manner. 
  • Make sure your donation request fits with your blog, your goals, and your ideals.
  • Keep your instructions simple and your explanation clear.
  • Provide a way for people to contact you with any questions they may have.
All ready to find out how easy that little button is to install?  Here goes!
  • Check out this information on PayPal.
  • Choose your button and go through the simple steps that PayPal has on its page.
  • Copy the text (yes, it is html - but don't be scared!) and come over to Blogger.
  • Go into 'design' and edit your blog to add the 'HTML/Java' element to the location you want.
  • Paste the html code that you copied from PayPal in the big box.
  • Give your button a snazzy title in the little title box.
  • Click the save button.
  • Give your changes a little preview and when you are satisfied, remember to save your new design! 
Voila!  You are finished! 

Hope the lights are all shining for you and that you are enjoying your winter.  We are all excited here about our preparations for our Christmas celebration!  Lots of fun things in store - but, that's a story for another day ;-)

Blessings,
Kathy

Friday, December 10, 2010

Funtry Friday - What's in a word?

Just poking a little fun at the English (American?) language...  In this country it is easy to get our verbage cornfussed!


Didn't you hear what I said?  GET UP!
 We polish the Polish furniture.

He could lead if he would get the lead out.

A farm can produce produce.

The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.

The soldier decided to desert in the desert.

The present is a good time to present the present.

At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.

The dove dove into the bushes.

I did not object to the object.

The insurance for the invalid was invalid.

The bandage was wound around the wound.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does funny things when the does are present.

They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.

I shed a tear when I saw the tear in my clothes.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

cybersalt.org/cleanlaugh

Happy weekend!
Blessings,
Kathy

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't starve your creativity!

If you don't eat, you will stave to death. Trust me in this one. Proven medical fact here...

Daphne's Breakfast
Fall is always a busy time of year for me - as it is for most people. I have a tendency to race around and make more plans that I can accomplish. In the midst of that I may remember to eat some munchies, but chances are I will forget to feed my creativity.

And, if I don't feed my creative drive it will starve to death. Feed your creativity, and it will grow. Starve it, and it will just limp along.

But I'm busy! So what can I do?

One thing I do is to look for the things that feed my creative spirit. Then I try to do one thing each day that nurtures that creative part of my brain. Daily attention to creativity really helps - after all, we do tend to eat every day, don't we? We also need to feed our creative side daily, too, especially when life gets very busy and/or stressful.

I bet if I asked you to list ten things that you like to do and that really get your creative juices flowing, you would be able to easily complete that list.

Just for fun - here is my list:

1. Play with paint
2. Look at photographs
3. Take a walk
4. Look at artwork
5. Read an art book
6. Paint with a friend
7. Take a class
8. Try a new technique
9. Try a new art material
10. Buy a new paint color

One minute and 15 seconds. I came up with 10 things that give me a creative charge. Do I do them every day? Nope. And probably for the same reason that you don't. These are classed as 'fun' occupations. Laundry, dishes, yard work, employment, chores, etc., and etc., are classed as 'needed' occupations.

We constantly put the things that feed our creativity on the 'back burner', so to speak, because we don't consider them to be things we 'should' be doing - especially while we are getting ready for all of our holiday festivities. Funny how many of us will still carve out time for TV and computer games even though we won't take time to feed our creativity...

So, today - make your list of ten things that you know feed your creative spirit, and then go do at least one of them right now. A little creative relaxation will nudge the Scrooge right out of you even if you are in the middle of your Christmas rush!

Do you have something that really inspires you and it's not on the list? Add it in the comments - then grab a cup of hot chocolate and carve out a little creative time today!

That's what I am going to do!
Blessings,
Kathy

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Art Splash First Thursday!!!

Time to cruise through Etsy.com for some wonderful fine art!  Search 'all items' for 'artsplash' (one word) and enjoy your virtual gallery.  Here's a tiny little sample ~


SusanHimmelArt "Two Irises"

ImagineStudio "Gathering Fallen Rainbows"

paint1chris "Copper Vase"

ShirleyArt "Visit from an Old Friend"
 
tapestry316 "Summer Rain Drops"
 Have fun cruising through the wonderful artwork!

Blessings,
Kathy
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