Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Peculiar Day

The dogs were barking,watching out the front windows. I saw nothing, and returned to my tasks. A higher barking frenzy began, so I returned to the windows and a little doggie with harness and lead rope was running straight up to my front door! He ran up my walk and turned to cross in front of my windows. Suddenly a livestock trailer was parked in front of my drive and a truck stopped in the field across the street in front of my yard. Three ranch hands were running through my yard. With the steer in the neighbors yard, I ran for my camera...the batteries were on the charger. That little doggie was running the back fence and I hoped to get a better shot of him when he found some camaraderie with my wonderful horse neighbors.The ranchers were able to direct him into the pasture and down to the barn where they walked him right onto the trailer. Not sure where he belonged...the local steer would not be wearing harnesses with lead ropes. I remember the heart pounding running after loose dogs and trying to direct them to safety...I so wanted to go out and get some close up shots, but my dogs would have gotten out after me and that would have caused more confusion for the poor little lost doggie. He's in the photos in front of the horses. None of the day following seemed normal and the evening ended with a Cheshire cat moon, I'll post up following!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Randell's 21st Birthday

My baby turned 21 today! It's somehow easier than sending him to kinderdgarten. We've come a long way...and he's a beautiful soul growing just a little bit more vibrant and warm each day. Happy Birthday Randell!

Life Tonight with Jordan

I really added extra weight onto her this evening. Not sure why...maybe because all my black pants were too small! Anyway, it was very good to spend the evening sketching.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In Memoriam

"And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfullness of virtue;
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth." Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Service With A Smile!

Donald T. Lein
June 2, 1937~Jan.22, 2009
Larson/Nelson Funeral Home, Plano, IL
Sunday, Jan.25, 2009 4-8 pm
St Mary's Catholic Church, Plano, IL
Monday, Jan.26, 2009 10 am

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Life is life.

I've got all my balls in the air at once and the world keeps whizzing by in my peripheral. Hoped to see the inauguration, glimpses and peeks as live stream wasn't staying up at work and radio feed was interrupted by phone calls. What were people thinking? Why weren't they attending to history. I was so enamored by Obama my senator...I will miss that. His voting record and letters were always a delight. Now we have to share that with the whole country. Will I still get letters?
Donated blood today...actual donation moved fairly quickly but with appointment I walked in on a group of waiting people. Why didn't I bring my book in? The free Kane Co Women's Paper, filled with ads had little reading material but a full page on advice on catching your husband cheating. Is that for real? Wasn't there anything positive going on in Kane County for women to read?
Life this evening...barely home long enough to water the dogs and eat some dinner, but looked forward to drawing. Model forgot. Was grocery shopping when Ronnie called her...but she did arrive for a couple nice poses...I felt they were so Vermeer and I wasn't catching the beauty tonight. Adriene posed for gestures, Ronnie for a couple stretches. I haven't drawn the figure clothed in so felt so foreign. Likely threw off my evenings focus. Bob dropped in to meet Ronnie and see the gallery. Pointed out Laura's piece. Very kind gesture. Thanks Bob!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Now is The Time...

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. "Now is the time..." ~quote of Martin Luther King. Evenings WBN(Womens Business Network) meeting was on networking. New format decided upon for the meeting worked out very nicely. Being a rather extraordinarily introverted artist, I've passed up so very many networking opportunities. That old upbringing of not interupting has left me out of most group conversations. I've had opportrunity to lead many discussions and am able to do it with great diplomacy, but if you don't interupt, you aren't heard at all. That in itself allows for greater opportunity to absorb the sights and sounds and pull meaning into often superficial conversation topics. I simply do better with one on one conversation. So...meeting was full of great reminders of what I need to continue to market myself and life's work. I've not felt as much acceptance as with this group to step over secure boundary lines and challenge myself as needed. Slowly progress is made.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"You see..."

"You see when making a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of the blanket to let the soul out." ~Martha Graham

An unexpected reminder, this quote, of the importance of all things. Especially those not available to the naked eye.

This week I would have to label myself somehow as a survivor. Many have survived the sub-Arctic temperatures and blizzards and drifting snow and still others not so distant had not witnessed the fury of nature this past week. Three times this week, my drive drifted over 18" twice I had help of neighbors tractors to take down the snow. Saturday when farm office next door was closed...I had to shovel it myself. It was a task not understood by city folk. Eighteen inches by 200 feet is some 10,000 calories burned over an intense sweat filled 2 hour project, leaving thigh bruises from shovel leverage and joints asking for the days end when still I had a job to go to. Fortunately not one of my desk positions, or I'd been dozing at work. I was out two jobs a day throughout the -37 wind chills and gratitude that my vehicle continues to start each time. I saw SUV's all over in ditches...apparently four wheel doesn't do ice? Cars stranded at every location I traveled past. Mechanics under broken cars in -36 degrees! A few heroes left out there. People stayed home, that wasn't my luxury and time was lost this week to shoveling out drive to get to work...only to find it had drifted back over during the day. Had it drifted over again last night, I'd have broken to tears.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More of the same.

I do wish it was summer, but the winter pictures are beautiful. I watched them galloping through the deep snow and it was stunning. They are somewhat fortunate horses as they've freedom to enter the barn as they choose. But the mare craves some attention which is why I can't get the distant shot of her!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Horses, Snow and Sunsets

These were taken Wednesday before the -18 degrees without windchill. Fortunately the winds are still light and I haven't needed to shovel more drifting. I set out too early before the sun had gone down and it was far too cold to stay out or attempt another photo session in 15 minutes. The honey mare rushed down to greet me and the chestnut gelding refused to look my way. Maybe next photo session.
From the onset of the day, the weather was taking it's toll on drivers. When I warmed my car I saw and heard firetrucks...I was thinking an electrical fire but when I got to the end of my road, I couldn't pull out as detoured traffic was filing down my road. Finally the officer blocking whatever accident had to get out in maybe -36 below to allow several cars with me out. Seeing SUV's in ditches, apparently four wheel drive is no match for black ice. Another road block before I arrived at work for obviously a separate accident. Would have been great to stay in this evening, but behind at work and needing those hours lost. Gas man came yesterday and looking at cost of another fill of propane is really depressing. And after second job this evening, seeing cars at the grocery with mechanic's underneath and people in broken down cars at every turn. Quite frightening to go back out...needing Saturday's rise in temperatures.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rod Plumley's One Person Art Show

How's that for an art date! All local school functions were canceled due to bitter weather but the Art Show went on...kinda speaks of the resilience of art. I was pleased I received a reminder phone call, as I told Rod I would be there at Christmas. Six students showed there work and after the first two embarrassed mumbling students...who create art...not excelling at social skills...I was nervous and hopeful that it wasn't difficult for Rod to do his presentation. Quite silly of me as Rod is a performer and his group plays at a local restaurant bar every Tuesday. He neither looked embarrassed nor talked to his feet as the other talented artists had. Putting his face on the line and I hope the growth he experienced will pull him through the rest of the semester!
After shoveling out the fluffy soft foot of snow this hours labor...I was an hour late for work as I had no idea we were getting hit by current storm and didn't get up early to shovel. Coming home from work I found the magic tractor had been through again and the huge mounds of snow will certainly last through March. Even yet tonight the drifting has sections blowing closed...thought I might park at the end and hike...but then it would be a hike to warm up the car in the morning. I'll likely need to clean the drifting out again. The exercise that was lacking has found me. Getting way past nap time now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jordan's back!

I wasn't expecting to see Jordan again, but her job in Colorado didn't pan out as she hoped. So she's....back! I'm very grateful for her return. A pleasure to work with. Such a lovely little girl, do I remember being so innocent?
My good neighbor today I am also grateful for. I had worked an hour this morning digging out and was only a fourth of the way through the blizzards drifts...when a neighbor showed with an endloader and cleared me out. I was only fashionably late to work. Am certain had I done it all myself I never would have had the stamina to head out to draw this evening. Nice arrangement of Schubert, Gershwin, and Enya for background. Hope everyone enjoyed it. I had nice comments on Schubert. Touching base with those connections of camraderie for a group of people so effected by the economy. But we will continue to is necessary for the soul.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Before the blizzard

It was a beautiful snow. Watching as blizzard passes bringing sub zero temps back to Illinois. How long will it stick? Today rather than my lunchtime walk, I climbed stairs. It was quite a change of pace and fifteen minutes was certainly enough. I remember when I could run and and down flights of stairs laughing. Wasn't that just yesterday. So many things have been on my mind. All the unresolved resolves, pending losses and previous loss, shortage of time in my days and weeks, throwing my thinking out on a tangent. What I really want and what I really need are not meshing kindly. I went to teacher's meeting this evening...I was given two more classes as I had asked...tightening up my schedule even more. Driving home in the blizzard, grateful to be out of traffic and in the country where it was not so certain as to whether or not I was driving on the road proper. My light is on...hopefully no one gets stuck and needs assistance, but I am here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Winterizing for Your Companion Animal

Winterizing for Your Companion Animal

Frostbite, hypothermia, bone fractures or sprains, footpad bruises or gashes are common when temperatures drop in winter. No dog is invincible to frigid winter temperatures, even tolerant breeds such as Huskies or Malamutes. If your companion spends time outdoors, be certain to increase his time gradually, factoring in wind chill, and keeping check on their tolerance levels. Cold proof the doghouse by waterproofing, elevating and lining with straw, shavings or blankets, attaching a clear flap over entrances to prevent drafts yet allowing for light and vision. Use heated bowls outdoors, checking that water intake is satisfactory. If your pet’s fluid intake is questionable, add some kibble or chicken soup to warm water to aid in hydration. Training your companion not to bolt out the door may prevent slips on ice. Avoid sidewalks treated with salt, magnesium or calcium chloride, which irritate the feet and upset the stomach if ingested. Wash feet off to be safe, keeping towels at the door. Consider a sweater vest for thin-coated breeds, and use booties that are snug but not so tight as to cut off circulation. Reduce baths in winter, brushing frequently to remove dead hair and mats, which increases circulation and improves hair growth. A mini massage will warm joints which stiffen faster in colder climates. Clip tufts of hair between the footpads to prevent ice balls from forming that may bruise or cut the feet. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or aloe on pads before heading out. If ice forms, gently warm the pet, drying and massaging footpads. Apply antiseptic to minor cuts and enlist your veterinarian’s help for persistent bleeding or gashes that may need suturing. When playing outdoors with your pet, watch for fatigue, a common symptom of hypothermia. Watch your pet’s weight, as caloric needs are increased. A teaspoon of vegetable oil added to the diet may prevent dry coats. Keeping humidity levels indoors at 25-30% is beneficial for both man and our companions. Any use of space heaters requires constant supervision with pets as well as children. May you and your companion enjoy a safe and joyous winter season.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Many Directions

I feel very blessed to have friends here following and cheering and guiding. You're all so wonderful. Thank You!
I have been exercising and keeping in with habit forming...feeling a bit stronger each day. Walking resumed with return to work and lunch break. Today, walking through the slush was like an extra workout, fixing myself upright and continuing forward. I was very grateful to see Blue Heron who quite quickly moved from the 50 foot sighting to a more comfortable 200 foot distance. But for a moment we stood still.
I had opened an email earlier today to a wonderful photo of a blue heron and would have certainly missed the sighting had I skipped the walk due to weather conditions. Was there something we were to discuss and share? My shamanism seems to be important of late. The New Year is underway and wow it's already filling where I'd hope extra time to catch up.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Lauren did a wonderful job tonight. Really interesting poses...had to share the gestures also! Didn't have a long pose tonight but it was very refreshing. I had played some rather different music tonight, a few Beethoven pieces, before a dark waltz recital, ending with a much more vibrant Enya track. The evening flew by and I really wasn't ready to much flowing into and out of my pieces. But it's late and I do promise to share my linocut soon. The proof I had done was with very old water base ink. Enough to show the composition but not good detail. It's interesting but not a masterpiece.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I thought I'd accomplish feats yesterday and then I thought it might happen today, but I was wrong. I have gotten back into an exercize mode of life and once the habit is formed, it will stay. But the feats are again looming deadlines and I really am not tackling them as I need to. I'm struggling with the outcome of my latest needs more work and I have to be brave enough to let the whole thing get written off as mistake. Well, it might be saved... but the trepidation is a little paralyzing. Oh, what's a girl to do?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Business Goals

Forgot where I pulled these from...probably bquotes from in my inbox each day. Haven't fully deciphered or prioritized them, but considered all worthy of achieving.
~I begin each day with enthusiasm and joy.
~All my actions are divinely guided.
~Ideas come to me easily and effortlessly.
~I am now attracting all the right people in my life.
~I now desire to better my life and those I care about.
~I awake each day with happy, loving and joyful thoughts.
~I create positive images of a success.
~I act and move toward my goals easily and effortlessly.
~I feel powerful, excited and passionate about today.
~I take positive actions towards my goal.
~My business is divinely guided in all ways.
Now that I look at them again maybe it's from
Well whatever, I took the time to write them down and will add these to my morning pages. Could really use affirmations in the present time.
My resolutions for the New Year include working on 2008 goals, revisiting 2007 unfinished tasks...and being more forgiving to myself for not achieving 2006 goals!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

What's a mind to do?

"The Call" linocut.

I know I shared the pix before, but when I went to Black Iris Gallery to pick up my work from the holiday show there was this nice little white ribbon attached. Judge had liked my work and took third place ribbon. Been awhile since I've received a would be a very confidant judge that would consider a nude for award placement. Tickled.

I've been working diligently at completing some 2008 goals as well as some 2007 goals. I think in 2009 I will kindly give myself credit for accomplishments and quit exacting so much more than humanely possible.

I've got deadlines looming, and if I make them, I make them if not, so be it. But then again, my dreams and desires will keep the ball workload will exact a reality check. More on goal intents tomorrow...after a anticipated Art Jam!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


From: National Geographics Best of 2008 Photos

Aghast I happened across this picture. Isn't it divine?