Monday, October 31, 2011

Too Many Tricks …

All I have to say is yeah it’s Monday! This past weekend was all tricks with a couple of treats. When I woke up Friday morning and saw the weather forecast all I could do was shake my head. We had not even had a frost yet and the weather man was calling for 6 to 12 inches of snow. Snow? Snow? Most of my trees were still green and full of leaves and my flowers were still blooming. I was completely shocked.

Noah and I were headed for the mountains Friday night for a camp out with the cub scouts and a Saturday of fun at Adventure Camp. Friday night was fun. We cooked dinner on a camp fire, sang songs, played games and heard stories, Noah had a blast. It was a lot of fun; unfortunately that is when the fun ended. We woke up in our warm cabin to the sound of rain and while we were eating breakfast it started to change to snow. By the time we checked in for Adventure Day it was snowing hard but there seemed little concern about travel or the severity of the weather that was coming. I called home which was about forty five minutes away and heard the roads were fine not thinking home is in a valley and I am in the mountains, my first mistake of many. We followed our guide and went on a nature hike, the kids had time to play in the snow, and they went to archery and the shooting range. By this time there was about 4 to 6 inches of snow on the ground and I had a cold, wet, and tired little boy. He wanted to go home and so did I. Camp was still going on as planned but Noah and I had enough. We walked through the woods to the car, cleaned it off started it up and got stuck, for a second. I was so relieved I just wanted to get Noah home. Little did I know that the worst part of the day just begun.

We slowly drove out of the camp talking about snuggling on the couch and dummy me had no clue what we were in for. When we got to the road it was covered in snow and ice. We turned and started up the first hill slipping and sliding and not going very fast. We got a quarter way up the hill and stopped behind a bunch of cars stuck on the road. I couldn’t move I backed down and tried again, nope no luck, I tried again couldn’t do it. I decided to go back to the camp but when I got to the entrance I got stuck. Another car was stuck there too. The man helped push my minivan and I went to get help for him. I spotted one of Noah’s friends and we asked for a ride I just knew we would not be getting the van up the hill. We loaded up and got back to the main road, by this time there were a line of cars stuck on the hill and no way to get around them. Someone from the camp came up to the car and said they opened another road out of the camp that was passable and that it took you to the main highway and that that road was cleared. We went back to the camp and Noah and I climbed back in the van, my second mistake, and followed his friend’s dad out of the camp. We slid a few times but made it up the road. We got to the main highway that took you over the mountain and started up. Well we did not get far. It was an icy mess and before I knew it we halted to a stop. I turned around drove down and lucky for us a plow and a salt truck was heading up the mountain so I turned around to follow. Once again we could not make it up. I decided to try another route that I heard one of the instructors talking about that was a flat path and took you to a place that went through the mountain not over it.

We headed in the other direction went up over a smaller hill and when we started down there was a line of cars stopped ahead and a police car. I put my foot on the brake and I had nothing, my foot went to the floor and I could not stop. Instead of rear ending the truck in front of me I turned the wheel and ended up in a ditch, we were stuck. I got out, went over to the cop and asked what I should do, he said he would call for a tow and he would be back that there was accident on the mountain.

That is when I got scared, we were stuck, we had no cell reception, and I had a tired, wet scared little boy waiting in the back. I told him to wrap up in one of the blankets we had along and try to stay calm. We were lucky if we got stuck there for a while, we had sleeping bags, blankets, water, snacks, and extra clothes but I just wanted to get my little guy home. We were not there long when a young guy with a jeep and a chain comes up and asks if we need help. I wanted to run out and give him a huge hug. We were stuck pretty well and his first attempt failed. Then lucky for us one of his friends drove by and helped him get the chain around another part of the van so he could pull us out. This time it worked! So many people drove by us and no one stopped to see if we needed anything and then you have these two young guys who went out of their way to help a stranger. All I had was a few bucks on me and I gave it to him, I wish I had more to give. When we drove away I told Noah that I hope I am raising him to be considerate and helpful to others like those young men are.

We were finally on our way. The roads were horrible but passable. The newest problem was I did not have brakes we were 20 miles from home and we had no front brakes. I had to pump the peddle to stop so I drove slow and stayed back from other cars. The closer we got to home the better the roads got and three hours after we left camp we pulled in the drive way. I was so happy to be safe and home. I never want to get in that kind of situation again with one of my children with me. Looking back on the day I made a million mistakes that made it worse. I am walking away from our adventure day Saturday with the knowledge of what to do and not to do. And if I am ever in the mountains again and it starts to snow I am leaving before the first snowflake hits the ground.

Sunday the fun did not stop. We received about 6 inches of wet heavy snow. A lot of my trees and bushes are damaged. My big curly willow got hit the hardest. Twelve foot branches cracked off and it lost at least a quarter of its big branches. I went out yesterday and tried to saw off cracked limbs and remove some of the snow. I am so upset about the state of this beautiful tree. My backyard is a disaster and there is a lot of clean up. We are lucky in a lot of ways we made it home, we are safe, and we have power which many do not.

Today the kids have a snow day and it’s Halloween. I do not need any adventures for awhile.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Colorful Family ...

I wanted to share my newest painting, a fun commission piece I created for one of my fabulous customers.

A colorful family walking through a meadow of dandelions.

Dad Rooster,

Mother Hen,

and the little chicks.

Three rolling hills, one covered in bright white daisies, another in prickly purple thistles, and a vibrant hill decorated with poppies.

Can you find the heart hiding in the flowers?

Thank you for visiting this fun family!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Glimpses of Fall ...

I love this time of year everywhere I look there are so many inspiring colors.

Life is a little busy, there are Halloween costumes to create, spooky treats to bake, and a very special custom painting I am finishing up for one of my fabulous customers.

I hope to finish creating Abbeys costume tomorrow and my customer's fun family painting.

Wednesday is a Halloween parade and then I have to start making Noah's scary costume.

I think sleep might be optional towards the end of the week.

Next week is going to be all about creating new art, I can't wait!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Purrrrfect ...

I wanted to share a fun little piece that I created earlier in the week.

Two Smiling, Quirky, Colorful cats!

Say Cheese!

I hope everyone has a happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

They Grow Up So Fast…

Well it is official my 4 year old daughter has a boyfriend. Is it possible to have a boyfriend at 4? It is really cute and all in fun but it is one of the craziest things she has pulled yet and I know the older she gets the more wrinkles I will get and the grayer I will become.

The other day we were talking about her day at school and she said she played on the playground with her "boyfriend". This is the little boy she was tossing her hair at and giggling with at soccer a few weeks ago. He went from the curly hair boy, to his actual name, and now he is just her boyfriend.

She had a class trip to the pumpkin patch and she had to make sure she was sitting by him on the hayride. She actually got up and moved to be closer to him. His mom asked if she could have my number to set up a play date and now that is all Abigail can talk about. We haven’t made any plans but it is on the top of her to do list.

Today they had soccer again and of course when she wasn’t playing she was standing next to her “boyfriend”. She was one of the first kids to finish a drill so she was sitting with another boy. This boy is always giving her a hard time. He is a little male chauvinist. Always making comments about how girls can’t play soccer and how he doesn’t want girls on his team. So her little friend sits next to her and this boy is still tormenting her and her “boyfriend” turns to him and says, “stop giving her a hard time.”And the other boy says, “Why?” And her boyfriend says, “because she is my friend.” It was the cutest thing. I couldn’t help but start to laugh. His mother and grandmother were there and I guess he walks around calling her his girlfriend; my daughter is way too much.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My New Favorite Song ...

Creating art without listening to music is like Halloween without pumpkins, it just doesn’t work.

Whenever I am down in my studio painting I always have my favorite radio station, blaring from my computer. I dance, sing, and paint all at the same time it’s fabulous, thank god no one can see me. What I particularly love about this radio station is that it plays all of my favorite songs from when I was a spring chicken and it introduces me to amazing new music.

My new favorite song to dance and paint to is, Little Talks, by, Of Monsters And Men. It is upbeat, fun and has a cool sound. Check them out here ….. .

Saturday, October 15, 2011

While I was Waiting for the Laundry …

Today is the perfect fall day! It is cool and breezy, the sun is out and we are going to the pumpkin patch! I love going to the pumpkin patch ! Today we will pick our spooky pumpkins to carve.

Before or day of family fun day could kick off I had to make a quick trip to the laundry mat. I went early so I could get the clothes hung on the line to dry. It is the perfect day to hang laundry out. Yes, I am still trucking our dirty clothes to be washed at the laundry mat. It’s a pain in the ass but if I go when Michael is home I get a whole hour to myself and that part is nice. Today while the clothes were swishing around the washers I went for a walk. I love walking when it is cold and breezy. Your eyes get all teary and the tips of your ears get cold but if you take in a deep breath the cold air seems to soothe your soul. It’s relaxing, refreshing and calming.
I took a few pictures of beautiful things I saw while I was jazzercising.

It was a good week this week. Noah got 100% on his first real science test. I was so proud of him. The essay he wrote was so descriptive and well written. He is so much smarter than I ever was. We studied together for the science test, I love studying with him.

Miss Abigail kicked butt at soccer. I was so proud. She plays soccer once a week at her preschool. It is a mix of boys and girls and it is really cute to watch. They scrimmaged at the end of their practice and my little all-star did not score one goal but three goals. She is so fast and she gets right in there with the boys and shows no fear. One minute she is aggressively going for the ball and the next she is giggling and tossing her hair, she is way too much.

As for me I was busy listing items. I still have a few things to take pictures of. I didn’t get to create anything this week and I am starting to get the shakes. I have two commission pieces to create next week and I am excited to start them.

Have a fabulous weekend with the people you love!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Zoo and a Barred Owl...

Monday was a beautiful day so the kids and I took a trip to the zoo.

There were a couple of peacocks wandering around.

Aren't these two fabulous. Mother Nature is an amazing artist.

Abbey and Noah love feeding the goats...

and the ducks, swans, and fish.

Isn't he beautiful?

This is the first time we ever got to walk through the Kangaroo exhibit. They can come right up to you. When we walked through they were all laying in the sun. It was really neat to get to go so close to them.

I think he was posing.

Snuggling and sunbathing.

We have not had our first frost yet so there are still plenty of beautiful flowers blooming, like this cannon.

Cat's are always worried about their appearance.

I think he has at least 10 ladies who live with him, poor guy.

They have quite a large herd of Bison.

I think he this Snow owl is absolutely gorgeous. Every time we visit the zoo he just sits there and stares at you. It's almost like he is sizing you up.

This time they had three Barn owls instead of two. They had just rescued an owlet and the two older Barn owls were taking care of it.

I love the black swans. I think they are even more eloquent than the White ones. I think I might add black swans to my what I am going to paint next list.




I was really excited when I got to see the Barred owl. I just finished a painting last week featuring a Barred owl. I love the different textures and pattern in their feathers and their coloring is really beautiful. I think he looks like a wise owl, all knowing. He has a confidence in the way he holds himself.

When I created the painting I first created the vibrant sunflower. I wanted the flower to be warm and colorful, because I wanted to keep the owls coloring closer to the actual bird.

When I began the owl I mixed many different grays and warm browns. After I painted a bit I began to feel like I need to add other splashes of color. I added light blue and complimented that with orange and then I started highlighting with yellow and complimenting that with purple. He defiantly has his own look and I am really happy with how the piece came out.

Have a great Wednesday!