A wonderful thing about winter

I gripe a lot about getting snowed or iced in during the winter, but one thing I really LOVE about winter is getting to see all the cardinal couples who live around here, but only show themselves when the weather makes it hard for them to find food and they’re forced to visit the feeders on our deck.

Sometimes we see FOUR couples at once!  What a glorious gift!

One winter around Christmas we had a big snow (for Arkansas) and everything was deeply covered in a beautiful, fluffy snow. All of a sudden it was like one of our evergreen tree was a white flocked Christmas tree,covered crown to toe with beautiful red cardinals!

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think the male cardinals are stunningly beautiful. I love to enjoy the much more subtle beauty of the females.

And, in addition to being pretty, I’ve noticed that the cardinal males wait while the females check out the feeders first, and THEN they fly down to eat.

Gutsy and pretty – let’s hear it for the females!

 

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Arkansas, Christmas Decorations, Favorite Things, Greenwood, Holiday Goodies, Mother Nature, Quality of Life, The Joys of Geezerhood

Fritz the Cat on Mailbox

fritzonmailbox

 

We’ve actually had Fritz up on the mailbox for a few days now. We put it up between snow storms, and I took this picture with my phone.

We were particularly pleased that one of our neighbors, who lives about a quarter of a mile down the road, called us, saying she loved Fritz!

Since this is one of my husband’s all-time favorite cartoon characters, I’m really happy he likes the way it turned out, too.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations

Meet the Patchwork Popadoo!

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This is the latest in our collection of metal yard art. We are calling him the Patchwork Popadoo, since he’s a bird that never was and never will be. AND he’s wearing a patchwork vest, since he’s a well-dressed bird.

 

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This is a close-up of his patchwork vest. (Sewing has never been one of my strengths.)

 

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He’s made of scrap metal.  His body is an old propane tank. Our friends, the  Taylors, gave us his legs, feet, and top knot they found. His wings and tail were fan blades. His neck was an old pipe plus weird pipe fittings.

 

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Here is a close-up of the front of his head. If you look closely, you can see the orange marbles that are his eyes.

 

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And here you can see his face from an angle.

We’re planning to put him somewhere to one side or the other of the driveway, looking at people as they drive up. We’ll probably have to wait to put him up, though, because it’s raining now, and is supposed to turn to ice, snow, and flying hairballs tonight and all day tomorrow.

I’ll take pics again when he’s found his spot.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Lewis Art

Feeling Stupid

credit - whykay.svbtle.com

credit -
whykay.svbtle.com

This has been a long frustrating day for me. I tried to get photos off my camera. I did that, but couldn’t manage to move them into the images file that I can actually access, so no blog posts using those photos.

I tried to create a new blog header. Usually, on my old computer, I could choose pictures from Creative Artworks, size them, move them into a program, put them into the header, and then move them to the blog. Today, no dice.

Finally my son was available. He showed me how to get my photos to the right place and I made notes. I’ll transcribe the notes carefully, retracing the steps involved, and then try it again.

On the blog header, when he saw what I was trying to do (most of the day) he asked, ‘Would you like me to write a program that does this almost automatically?” Three guesses as to my answer! :0)

So, I’m resting awhile, talking to myself to restore my confidence, and feeling VERY lucky to have a son who is so thoughtful, smart, and wonderful.

Tomorrow will hopefully be a more successful day.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement, Making Your Life Easier

March 2015 Contest on Creative Artworks

"Geranium" Long Scarf by Sandi Myers

“Geranium” Long Scarf by Sandi Myers

Just in time for a mood raiser during this trying winter of 2015, Creative Artworks offers this CUTE colorful hand-crocheted long scarf by Sandi Myers as the prize for March!

It’ll lift your spirits as we finish this LONG, challenging winter, and you’ll enjoy it for years to come.

Wear this wonderful striped scarf around your neck or around your waist. This beautiful, hand crocheted scarf by Sandi Myers is versatile as well as stylish. Made with Patons Soy Wool yarn in the Geranium color. The yarn makes itself into stripes – which gives the scarf a distinctive pattern. The scarf is 4″ wide, with the ends slightly larger to give it a nice drape and 82″ long.

This scarf can be washed on the gentle cycle in cool water. And dried on low. HOWEVER, Sandi recommends handwashing and laying flat to dry. This will help to keep that NEW look!

To enter the contest, email linda@creativeartworks.cc with

  • your full name,
  • full shipping address, and
  • phone number (optional).

Winner will be chosen March 31st. Good luck!

Sandi offers other hand-crocheted items. including hats, shawls, cowls, and wonderfully creative felted bowls. She also offers ACEOs (small photo images to collect or trade with others. CLICK HERE to see Sandi’s work on Creative Artworks!

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Filed under Creative Artworks Contests, Don't Miss These Products!, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gift Ideas, Lifting Your Spirits, Seasons

February 2015 Creative Artworks Contest Winner

Monogrammed Shamrock Wine Glass by Rebecca Kelman

Monogrammed Shamrock Wine Glass by Rebecca Kelman

The winner of the February 2015 Creative Artworks Contest for the Monogrammed Shamrocks Wine Glass by Rebecca Kelman is TRACEY from GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA! Congratulations, Tracey!

I received an email from Tracey today, saying she wanted to present this to her husband as a gift. Isn’t that NICE?

We hope her husband loves the monogrammed glass.

Rebecca Kelman can paint almost anything on a glass, I think, and she continues to be a wellspring of new ideas. Take a few minutes and look at the designs she has to offer. You can see them HERE

If you would like for Rebecca to create a custom design for you, please email me at linda@creativeartworks.cc and we’ll talk to her! :0)

 

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Filed under Creative Artworks Contests, Don't Miss These Products!, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gift Ideas, Special Holidays

afternoon

credit - email from Bill Lites

credit – email from Bill Lites

We just moved my new computer to the countertop in our office where my old computer was.  We moved one monitor and the keyboard from the old computer farther over on the counter, but still hooked up in case we need to get something off of there. Now the new keyboard is at a better height for typing, but it’s different AGAIN – so I’m having to correct a lot of mistakes again. I WILL learn this!

Because I shut down the new computer in order to move it, I spent a lot of time logging in to all my regular websites and getting things to work again. This gave me a lot of practice with the MAC version of Password Safe. I think I have everything working now.

Yesterday I prevailed, writing, uploading and sending out my Artists’ Summary Newsletter and starting a new contest for March. I’m using a new database, so each step is a challenge. My son has been invaluable about showing me how to do things and cheering me on in my clumsy efforts.

Things are getting a bit easier each day, but I really get exhausted by all the effort everything takes. It’s a wonderful thing to be making this change from Microsoft Windows 7 to iMAC OS 10 THIS year, because my brain is fried. I’m not sure I’ll be ABLE to do this large a change again.

One example – My new mouse looks like a very fancy metal square with a scrolled part on one end. Instead of right and left clicking, you use one, two, or three fingers.  My son caught me this morning moving my fingers correctly, but on the pad of PAPER next to my computer instead of my mouse! Hahahahahaha!

I’m going to take a break now and see if my guys want some lunch.

I hope your day is going well.

 

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Quality of Life

More Snow? Oh, Joy.

credit - smileonparenting.com

credit -
smileonparenting.com

I just melted into a puddle when I found this picture. Isn’t she cute?

I’m about to give up any hope of spring this year. We can’t tell where our driveway pad begins or ends, or where the driveway is for sure right now. The forecast is grim – 70% chance of more snow today, then ‘wintery mix’ through about Wednesday of next week, I think. Oh, joy.

We wanted to put up Fritz the Cat on the mailbox, but I don’t think we’ll even try to drive down – and back up – the ‘ski slope’ today. I’M not driving down today, though my husband might – just to prove he can.

I’m working again on figuring out how to do the stuff I need to do on the new computer. This is really a challenge for this old broad. Things I used to do very easily are now a half-day’s project, figuring out how it is done NOW.

For example, on my website I’m ending the contest for February and starting the one for March. My website data base is not ‘live’ yet, so I’m working around that while my guru son gets it going. The Word program I have here is very, very different. If I can do my newsletter, I need to figure out how to make it into a PDF and how I upload it, then send it out. The one today is for my subscribers. The one for tomorrow is for my artists. They MAY be late this month…

The happy thing is that we could be trapped up here for a month or more and I wouldn’t get bored. We have lots of mailbox decorations, plus the “Patchwork Popadoo” (metal yard art bird) waiting in the shop for me to paint. My husband is looking at other scrap metal plus a shovel to see if any ideas occur as to another shovel bird.

UPDATE – It’s now about two hours later. My husband decided that we should drive down to see if we could get our mail, put up the Fritz mailbox decoration, and make a run to town to get food, since the forecast is so grim.

We did all that and just finished lunch. Our driveway was the worst part of the trip, though there were many patches of ice on the road between here and town.

Stay safe and warm, everyone.

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Favorite Photographs, Favorite Pictures, Mother Nature, The Joys of Geezerhood

Message to Winter

credit - k-lovemorningshowviaannabell

credit -
k-lovemorningshowviaannabell

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Arkansas, Attitude, Challenges, Favorite Quotes, Funny Signs, Greenwood, Humor

Beautiful Custom Earrings!

Earrings by Irene

Earrings by Irene

I just had the nicest shopping experience and wanted to share it with you.

I met Irene when she started following my blog. I looked at her profile and visited her Etsy shop IreneDesign2011.  I love earrings, and I really liked a LOT of what she displays there.

There was one small problem – I love really long earrings and Irene makes ones that are too short for me. My hair covers my ears. Unless my earrings are long, no one sees them.

I saw in one of my visits that Irene offers to do custom earrings! I found a design I really liked and asked her if she could make them longer. She agreed quickly, asking how long I would like. We settled at 2.5″. She made them within a very short amount of time and then sent me a picture to make sure that I liked what she had created. When I told her I loved them, she created an invoice so I could send payment via Paypal.

They came amazingly quickly from Spain. I received them this morning and I’m thrilled. The photo doesn’t really do them justice, but the silver is quite sparkly, and then the beads at the bottom are deep purple – my favorite color in all the world. I can’t wait to show them off!

If you love jewelry, do yourself a favor and browse through Irene’s work. You’ll find wonderful things for yourself and gifts for others. AND, if you’d like to get a piece you like made longer, or have other ideas, Irene will work with you to create the perfect piece.

IreneDesign2011

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Filed under Creativity, Don't Miss These Products!, Favorite Things, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gift Ideas, I'm Glad I Found....

Patchwork Popadoo Progress

Say THAT three times fast!

patchwork_popadoo1

I took these pictures before I finished painting the second coat on this critter. He’s about 3-1/2 feet tall and about 2 feet wide at the wings.

 

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I’m going to do some finishing accent painting tomorrow to finish up his ‘vest,’ and we’re planning to glue in marbles for eyes. We like Googly Eyes, but they get discolored quickly and the plastic doesn’t last well outdoors. Since this guy will stand beside the driveway somewhere, we’re hoping he doesn’t have to have a lot of maintenance.

I’ll plan to post more pictures when he’s finished, and then when we figure out where he’ll live along the driveway.

Meanwhile, Mother Nature is showing her nasty sense of humor by snowing on us again. The driveway was finally clear enough this morning that the mailman was able to drive up for the first time this week. Hahahahahahahhah – right. Really funny.

credit - masm32.com

credit -
masm32.com

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Filed under Childlike Fun, Decorating Ideas, Lewis Art, Mother Nature, The Joys of Geezerhood

One talented lady!

DiVoran Lites of Creative Artworks

DiVoran Lites of Creative Artworks

DiVoran Lites exudes talent and creativity from every pore. She’s a very talented artist and has written several novels, as well!

Click this link to see her “Spring” trilogy on Amazon!

She’s in the middle of writing a 4th novel, titled “Go West.” She and some friends decided it would be fun to release this novel in serial form HERE  at RebekahLynBooks.com, along with a painting for each chapter! Share the fun of watching the novel unfold!

Here is one of the paintings for the new novel –

credit - "Mountains" by DiVoran Lites

credit -
“Mountains” by DiVoran Lites

There is another one to go with the new novel, so far, and DiVoran is allowing me to put them on Creative Artworks in the form of sets of note cards that can be personalized at no extra charge, and also 8-1/2 x 11 posters! We’ll be adding new images as DiVoran writes another chapter of the novel and adds a new painting. You can see them HERE. 

DiVoran has also created some brand new posters in a series called, “Promise” in which she has paraphrased scriptures of encouragement with a sketch, painting, or drawing. These are comforting for you or to send to a friend or relative.

Here is one of the new posters –

Credit - "God Hears" by DiVoran Lites

Credit -
“God Hears” by DiVoran Lites

These fit perfectly in a document frame, or you can have a custom frame made for them.

See all of DiVoran’s designs for note cards HERE.

The posters are HERE

Original paintings HERE

Enjoy browsing and choosing the ones to make your own or encourage others!

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Filed under Don't Miss These Products!, Encouragement, Meet One of Our Artists!, New Products!

Surrounded by a sea of white…

The streets are clear, but our driveway still has a couple of bad patches of ice. Since the driveway is 650 feet and steep, this makes it impossible for most others to come up here. Thankfully, we can get down – and up again with our Honda Ridgeline truck with 4-wheel-drive-as-necessary and Blizzak snow tires.

We were having a fairly good winter here in Arkansas, with only a couple of ice storms and none that caused a lot of damage. This happy winter changed with the start of February, though, and seems to be prepared to continue the ‘wintery mix,’ flying hairballs, ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain, ice pellets, and fleezing dizzle until spring at the rate we’re going.

It’s unusual for it to snow on my birthday in March, but this seems to be a year for the unusual…

credit - KFSM Fort Smith/Fayetteville AR

credit -
KFSM Fort Smith/Fayetteville AR

The temperatures won’t be bad, but we’re right on the borderline for all the bad stuff.  I wish whoever teed off Mother Nature would sincerely ask her forgiveness and get us to spring on time. I’m itching to play in the dirt – but not when there’s a wind chill in the teens and snow on the ground….

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Filed under Mother Nature, Seasons

Patchwork Popadoo

patchworkpopadoo1

Meet the “Patchwork Popadoo” the latest metal critter. He’s about 3 feet tall and about 2-1/2 feet wide, counting his wing span.  He’s made from an old propane tank, some weird farm implement parts, old fan blades, and other scrap metal.

My husband welded him together and then painted him with white primer paint.

 

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This is a side view.

 

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This is the view looking at him straight on. We’re planning to put him out by the driveway, maybe halfway down, so he’ll be seen from the side. I’m not sure if he’ll be going up the driveway or going down.

 

patchworkpopadoo4

 

This is the back view.

We put him on the painting table today, putting large clamps holding his feet tightly to the table. I’m painting a vest on him, hence the moniker “Patchwork.”

I’ll post pics when he’s finished.

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Filed under Lewis Art, The Joys of Geezerhood

We will prevail!

credit - uscoachways.com

credit -
uscoachways.com

The public schools are closed today. The police marked off a large section of Main Street as ‘impassable’ this morning, due to the ice. Our driveway looks like a ski slope. We called off our good friends coming to visit tomorrow night because there is no way in the world they’ll be able to drive up our driveway. Same for my wonderful, much-anticipated massage Thursday morning.  :0(

On the good side, we outfitted our Honda Ridgeline truck with Blizzak snow tires mounted on an extra set of wheels. We have four wheel drive, when needed, as well. There is mostly snow on our driveway, so WE can drive down, carefully do some errands, and come back up! We’ll do this later today, and then either work out in the shop some more, or ‘hole up’ inside our warm, dry home with a nice fire.

I hope that you’re having a good, safe day today. I’m seriously thinking of starting a petition that throws the groundhog out and starts spring early!

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Well, It’s a Pretty Snow…

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It snowed most of the day today. The odd thing was that, even though the temperature was well below freezing, snow didn’t cover our driveway pad or our sidewalks. Everything else – including our driveway – 650 feet and steep – was covered.  As we slogged out to the shop, my husband and I remarked that this is the prettiest snow we’ve had in many years here.

 

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The snow is white and fluffy, piling up on each branch 0r the gloves of the robot on the left.

 

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We have two places we store firewood, as well as in the garage, but I thought this was pretty.

 

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This is the shop where we spend a lot of time creating weird scrap metal creatures, stained glass, and our metal mailbox decorations, among other things.  There are two signs on the shop door: “Big Lew’s Shop,” and “Forget about the dog, Beware of the owner!”

 

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This is my square foot garden! Notice how the snow has piled up on each horizontal part of the fence! PLUS you can see the rolled up shade fabric across the left side of the photo. Everything is intact!

Today I finished the painting on Fritz the Cat, our newest mailbox decoration! My husband is pleased with how he turned out.

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He’s making the cutest metal bird out of an empty propane tank, fan blades, farm implements, and other scraps. He got the piece welded and mostly painted with primer paint today. I’ll try to get a picture of him tomorrow before we start trying to figure out what colors we want to use to paint him.

I learned out to do more stuff on my new iMAC computer today. We’re getting close to the point where we’ll move the files from the old one to the new one. I’m excited – yet scared about that part. Once they are moved, the pressure will be on to make things work on the new machine…

I hope you’ve had a fun day.

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Mother Nature, The Joys of Geezerhood

Snowed In

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This is another picture from yesterday. It snowed all night and is still snowing a bit now. The forecast is that we have a 50% chance of sleet/snow for the rest of the day. Oh, joy.

Happily enough, it’s SNOW mostly, rather than ice. Our driveway is truly buried in several inches, but my husband was able to drive down to get our mail and got back up again. I don’t expect anyone else to try it, though.

We plan to go out to the shop in a minute. I’m going to work on Fritz the Cat and my husband is building a metal ‘critter’ out of metal scraps.

We have everything we need, and can stay warm and dry – other than slogging out to the shop and back – so it’s a good day to be snowed in.

I hope you’re having a good day.

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Filed under Mother Nature, The Joys of Geezerhood

Snow – Oh, no!

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I’m sorry to report that, while my husband and I were working in the shop this afternoon, it started to snow, just as the weather forecasters said it would. :0(  We had big, fluffy flakes that looked pretty as we walked back to the house, and I took a few pictures later.

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This is part of our back yard. The photo is taken through the screen on our back porch because I didn’t want to risk falling on my head going out on the deck.

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Two evergreen trees have essentially merged into one over the years in our back yard, making a pretty good home for lots of birds. It isn’t far for them to fly over to the deck for sunflower seeds, small bird seeds, and suet.

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This is our well house with the stupid daffodils trying to bloom.

I’m grateful that so far, this is a snow event, rather than ice pellets, rain, sleet, freezing rain, fleezing dizzle, or snow like they’ve had in the northeast part of the country.

We’re warm, with a fire going in the fireplace. We’re about to settle down and eat dinner and enjoy some TV before bed.

I hope that, wherever you are as you read this, you’re safe and warm and happy.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature

Exploding Head Syndrome

My life the past few days hasn’t been quite this dramatic – just a real strain on my older-than-dirt brain.

Basically, we’ve done three main activities:

  • try to learn how to use my new iMAC computer
  • quickly run errands before the next forecasted winter event occurs
  • try to paint the Fritz the Cat mailbox decoration

The weather has largely been a non-event thus far, and I’m truly hoping the rest of the forecast has been hyped, as well. We were supposed to have ‘ice pellets’ on Friday, thunderstorms on Saturday, and ‘wintery mix’ tonight into Monday. The ice pellets didn’t happen, although there was still ice on the ground from previous weather. Our driveway was finally possible for others on Friday. Yesterday we got rain, but no thunderstorms that we could see. Happily enough, this allowed us to burn our trash. Today is cold, but nothing is happening as far as ‘wintery mix’ yet.

The Fritz the Cat mailbox decoration is coming along, but I have had to move VERY slowly and carefully, checking picture examples, to figure out where eyes, nose, and mouth are, plus what colors are supposed to go in which squiggles. The back of the piece is finished. I’m working on the first of three coats on the front now. A lot of the decorations we do are relaxing and fun to paint. I’ve enjoyed parts of this one, but mostly it has been challenging.

The iMAC is beautiful and I’m going to really like it in the future. Right now, every habit I have is wrong. For example, in order to close a window on my old computer, you click the ‘x’ in the top right hand corner of the window. There IS no ‘x’ in this position on the iMAC. You go to the LEFT hand corner to close it. There IS no right click on the mouse. To right click you tap it with TWO fingers at the same time. THREE fingers at the top of the window allows you to move the window. Command + P on the iMAC = copy a password. If the ALL CAPS button has been pushed, Command + P brings up the print menu.

There is SO much to learn. Everything I’m doing is on a different version of the program that should be familiar, so it looks and works differently. I’m making notes on what program I use now to size pictures, add things to my website, etc. By the end of the day, my head is bursting.

The best way I can handle this is to work at the new computer for awhile, then take a break, getting up, tromping around in the cold outside, or walking out to the shop to do a session on Fritz. The days are going so fast that my head is spinning, as well. I need to check my watch to remember what day we’re having! :0)

Just wanted to tell you what was going on in case you’ve missed my babbling lately. I’ll check in from time to time. Meanwhile, I’ll try to send good weather, strength, and fun in your direction.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Mother Nature, The Joys of Geezerhood

Ice pellets and flying hair balls

7Day_RV_490

credit – KFSM-Fort Smith AR

Though our driveway still has some ice on it, it’s mostly clear finally. The sun is shining and it’s 40 degrees. Hooray!!!

The forecast, though, is for

  • Ice Pellets – Friday
  • Thunderstorms – Saturday
  • Wintery Mix – Sunday into Monday…

Great, huh!

I’m more than ready for spring. I want to play in the dirt, plant veggies and flowers, sit on the deck and read, enjoying the day. Instead, my husband is cleaning out the fireplace and laying a fire for the next time we want to feel cozy. We’re making a grocery list for tomorrow amid the ice pellets (this is new – they’re usually saying “freezing rain,” “sleet,” “fleezing dizzle,” – but this time it’s ‘ice pellets.’ I can’t wait to see the difference. )

We just had lunch with good friends, and then they came up to the house to see the shop, the projects we’re working on, and to see if my husband and son could look at a laptop and see what was needed to get it to connect to the Internet. We had a good time, figured out what our friend needed to do, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

I’m about to head out to the shop to work on Fritz the Cat. The first coat on the back is finally finished. I’m going to see if I can finish up the back today.

I hope you’re having a good day, too!

 

 

 

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Mother Nature

Friends, angels and butterflies

source unknown

source unknown

Yesterday I talked on the phone with one of my own, personal, angels who will be celebrating the end of a series of chemotherapy treatments tomorrow! When her surgery is performed in another month, we can all concentrate on wishing her good, thorough healing and her life getting better and better. To say she means the world to me is a vast understatement. To say she’s a role model for dealing with great difficulty with grace and even a sense of humor would be a second one.

I have another angel who isn’t as far along in her treatments, but is counting the days until she can put them behind her. I’m trying to send her strength and healing vibrations. I really wish I could do more.

I’m very lucky to have a few really good friends in my life. We all change roles from time to time, between supporter and recipient, but the ‘friend’ part is everlasting.

I hope that YOU have people in YOUR life who help you through the hard times and celebrate with you when there are victories.

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Filed under Encouragement, Friendship, Lifting Your Spirits, Quality of Life

Eat and be happy?

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Filed under DIET!, Grin for the Day, Healthy Eating, Humor

Fritz the Cat is coming to life!

fritz_day3paint

 

Here’s the latest progress on the Fritz the Cat mailbox decoration.

The rod going up the back shows more than I would like, but I’m hoping that when all the painting is finished, it will show less. This is the back of the piece, so that’s good.

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations

Surprise 1 and surprise 2

roses

 

 

SURPRISE # 1 –

My husband brought these in to me while I was working on the computer this afternoon! Aren’t they nice?

He ORDERED them to be delivered about a week before Valentine’s Day – he has always gotten me flowers NOT on a holiday or special day for us – because he says he’s known too many guys who give beautiful gifts on special days and then treat their wives poorly the rest of the year. Since I love roses – or any other flowers – ANY time, this works very, very well for us. :0)

The order got scrambled or shuffled or forgotten, though, and my husband had to call and fight with them. Since it was a large flower company, the customer service department was challenged to speak our language well enough to even get the order number, much less answer my husband’s question about why the flowers hadn’t been delivered. He called back several times, hoping to get someone who could actually help. Finally he demanded to speak to a supervisor. After a hugely long wait, a person came on the line who spoke English and could solve the problem to my husband’s satisfaction.

SURPRISE #2 –

credit - zh.wikipedia.org

credit -
zh.wikipedia.org

In 2011 our CPA filed an amended return for 2010 for our son, showing rolled-over stock losses and qualifying our son for a nice refund. We were delighted and I emailed our son. Time passed and all of a sudden we got a letter from the IRS saying it didn’t have the information needed to process this. Our CPA sent it again. This went on an on, with them requiring action within 10 days each time, then they returned a letter saying they hadn’t had time to look at this. On and on until today.

There was a beautiful check for our son for the refund, plus a bit of interest! I sent a copy to our CPA, thanking him profusely for being persistent, playing the game well, and not giving up. To say our son is pleased is the understatement of the year. The timing of this couldn’t have been better.

Happy Day!

 

 

 

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Filed under It's a Wonderful World!

Mr. Natural is on the mailbox!

mrnaturalonmailboxback

The Mr. Natural character was created by Robert Crumb. This is one of my husband’s favorite cartoon characters. This is the back of the piece.

 

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This is the front. He shows up even better today, due to the ice and snow on the ground…

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Filed under Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Quality of Life, The Joys of Geezerhood

Progress is being made!

We just came in from working in the shop. We made some progress and I wanted to share it with you.

My husband got the eagle mounted on the holder that will attach him to the mailbox and then primed him with anti-rust paint. I didn’t get a picture of that, though.

smalleagle_marked

 

The small eagle – that will go on a wall somewhere – is marked on both sides and ready to paint.

 

jack_primed

 

Here is the jack-o-lantern drying from being painted with anti-rust paint.

 

jack_marked

 

And here he is, marked and ready to paint.

 

fritz_paint1

 

Here is the back side of Fritz the Cat after I got started yesterday.

 

fritz_paint2

 

And here he is today after another day of painting.

I hope that you’re enjoying seeing the stages of what we do.  We have a GREAT time deciding what to do next, deciding HOW we’re going to do it, and then the actually process of making our projects come to life!

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, The Joys of Geezerhood

What we’re working on

I thought you might like to see what our metal pieces for the mailbox look like before they have a holder welded to them, before they’re primed with anti-rust paint.

blog_jack

This is our Jack-O-Lantern, although my husband referred to it as ‘the tomato’ yesterday. It now has a holder bar welded to it and is hanging upside down from a hook after being painted with primer.

blog_largereagle

This is the large eagle that will go on the mailbox. My husband will make a holder for him today and probably will get him painted with primer paint today. (He’s standing on his nose in this picture. If you look closely, you can see his head and beak, and his talons are on the right bottom of the piece.)

I marked the smaller eagle yesterday, so it’ll be ready to start painting when I finish Fritz.

I started painting Fritz the Cat yesterday. I’m doing the white paint first, painting only areas I can be sure of, like the backgrounds around the lettering and the outer boundary of the piece. I’m going to have to go really slowly. It’s hard to tell what is the face, where the features are, etc.

We’re about to head out to the shop to do more work.

We got some ice and snow last night, but were able to get down our driveway and to town all right. We wanted to have some chili at the Pizza Barn, but it was closed. We ended up getting a really nice lunch at Lin Garden Chinese – one of our favorite places!

Hope you’re having a great President’s Day!

 

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Quality Television Series, The Joys of Geezerhood

Fleezing Dizzle?

credit - KFSM

credit -
KFSM

I remember one party my parents and I went to a hundred years or so ago. My dad did radio advertising and my mom was his office person. They were invited to a TV celebration get-together of some sort. My function – I was told – was to smile and be silent. :0)

We met a weather man for one of the local stations. The adults started talking about weather reports and my mom started to laugh, relating a story about her ‘favorite’ weather report where the weather man flubbed up, saying we were going to have ‘fleezing dizzle.’ One of the men in the group said, “Oh, Gosh. That was ME!” He was embarrassed, but then felt good when everyone said they thought he did a great job.

Tonight the forecast for us is a wintery mix, starting with rain, changing to freezing rain, sleet, flying hairballs and some snow. The accumulation of snow shouldn’t be anything impressive, but the ICE could be. I’m afraid we’ll have another ice storm that will bring down trees into our driveway again, and generally cause havoc everywhere.  It starts tonight. The temperature won’t be above freezing, so we may be stuck up on our ridge line until toward the end of the week.

We did some errands we had planned for next week early, and we stocked up on groceries earlier today. We have a generator, so we’re okay if if the power goes out. It runs everything except heat or a/c, and we have a wood-burning fireplace with a blower that will keep us nice and warm.

If you don’t here from me, it will mean that our Internet is down. We’ll be fine, other than not being able to communicate.

I hope the weather will be better wherever you are. I’m more than ready to call an end to this winter and celebrate spring!

Be safe, everyone!

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Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Memories, Mother Nature, Seasons

Intimidated

 

I’m trying to get up the nerve to get started painting “Fritz the Cat” for our mailbox. We made a transparency of the design so I could use the overhead projector to try to mark the design on the gray painted metal and holder. The design is done totally in squiggles, so that you have to stand back to see there is a face there. This is the back of the piece. You can see the rod coming up from the bottom. I’ve tried to extend the drawing over the rod so it won’t show as much because the rod is needed to keep the piece stiff enough not to bend in a gusty wind.

 

fritz2

 

It’s now a couple of hours later than when I was typing above. My husband came in and wanted me to join him in the shop. We’ve just come in.

I got started painting, starting with white around the edges and around the words. I’m going to move very slowly on this, hoping I can make sense of things.

Before I started to paint, my husband put the smaller eagle up in front of the projector. I only marked the front of this one, since it will go on a wall.

While I was painting, my husband took the burrs off the back of both the larger eagle and the jack-o-lantern.

deburring2

 

We use a hand-held grinder to run around the edges of the piece on the underside from where the torch cuts on the CNC table. We’re not sure why we get the burrs, but the grinder takes them off so the piece is nice and smooth. He also made a holder that the jack-o-lantern will be attached to, that we can then attach to the mailbox pole when we’re ready to hang it. He then sprayed the whole piece, front and back, with gray primer.

He’ll make the holder piece for the large eagle probably tomorrow, attach it, and prime that piece.

I’ll mark the jack-o-lantern front and back so that it will be ready for painting – assuming I ever even think of finishing Fritz the cat.  (The Fritz piece is so difficult to paint I may take a break at some point, switching to go ahead and paint the jack-o-lantern before finishing Fritz.)

We did a good amount out in the shop today, but we’re ready to rest.

Hope you had a nice day, too!

 

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, The Joys of Geezerhood

My un-birthday presents!

My early birthday presents – from me to me – arrived in today’s mail.

purseandpendant

 

This is the front of the purse. You can see how colorful and happy looking it is. It has a metal charm on it, and part of the strap is painted, as well!  If you look carefully, you can see the 3-D effect of some red suede strapping woven through the front of the purse. The flap closes with a magnetic closer.

 

purseandpendant2

 

This is the back. It has pretty flowers and what could be an underwater scene. The whole purse is handmade with stitches all around the edges. The artist has signed the inside flap with a shamrock (since it’s February) and her name written as if it’s the stem.

If you also look carefully in the pictures, you can see the pendant she enclosed as a gift. It’s hand-painted wood, I think, with a beautifully colorful bird painted on it.

She even enclosed a discount for 10% off my next order!

If you think this is fabulous as I do, please go to YereqnukHandicrafts on Etsy.

“A very merry un-birthday to me, to me…..”

 

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Filed under Birthday Wishes, Creativity, Don't Miss These Products!, Favorite Things, Gift Ideas, I'm Glad I Found....

The ‘Seven Wonders of the World’

credit - sungazing via cathy ruggiero

credit -
sungazing via cathy ruggiero

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Filed under Opportunities!, Philosophy, Quality of Life