Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Year in Review

Always a favorite: a review of the year.  Looking over photographs, here is my summary of 2015 alphabetically and by blog category.

Wall Panels (gifted) link here

(August Fence art link here)

Brush & Palette

I won Ten Bucks: link here

Path to Writing (started another blog) link here

(A Party in July with "Path to Writing" students and teacher)


February Tournament in Tempe (link here)


Julie and Jack's house

Boarding the AeroJet going back to Colorado from SC, May

Electric Assist Chair, June

Julie and Cindy and Charley in December



Ollie the Owl came to live with us for a while in Feb.

We grew a few vegetables and herbs in August


Completed a few needlepoint pieces in Jan. and Feb.

Path to Writing Workshop in January in Redstone, CO

Yarn Bowl

Painting at the Manor

Started an Art Group on Wednesday mornings at the Manor


Fabric Bowls

Eggs with Nail Polish

Dyeing Australian Wool with Natural Dyes

RCIA (Immaculate Heart of Mary)

Gene and I attend RCIA sessions and I became Catholic in December, 2015 with first communion.  Gene and I had our marriage convalidated by the Church on December 19 at a morning Mass.
Those Lost to Death

We are reminded of who we lost during the year.  CBS Sunday Morning always puts the Rich and Famous on their last television show of the year.  It reminds me of close ones whom I lost this year.

Jack Heniford York, SC) (1947-2015)
Lynn Pillman, Helena, MT (1950-2015) link to photos here

Gone but never forgotten.

Hope your year was good, and that 2016 is even better!  God Bless You, Every One!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Year of the PIG!

Julie opens up a present.  Her laughter is priceless.

She said she wanted a pig for a pet when she returned to Colorado after Jack's death.  A live, breathing, eating, oinking pig: impossible. Substitutions were made in the pet category. Christmas presents of two stuffed pigs, Olivia the Pig pillowcases and a pink blanket with a pig emblazoned on the front account for 2015: Julie's Year of the Pig.

The robotic pig in the video has been dubbed "Wilbur." He snores, talks in his sleep and kicks his hind leg, all while his piggy belly heaves in deep breathing exercises while sleeping. The whole routine takes about a minute and is amazing.  The entire nursing home staff is enchanted with Wilbur, as is Julie.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Nearing Christmas at Winter Solstice

It arrived at Stonehenge and here, too.  The light is mighty short.

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. God then made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made also the stars. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to shine upon the earth. And to rule in the day, and in the night, and to separate the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day."
~ Genesis 1:14-19; 1599 Geneva Bible ~

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Party at the Manor-2015

Short Testament

A Short Testament
by Anne Porter

Whatever harm I may have done
In all my life in all your wide creation
If I cannot repair it
I beg you to repair it,

And then there are all the wounded
The poor the deaf the lonely and the old
Whom I have roughly dismissed
As if I were not one of them.
Where I have wronged them by it
And cannot make amends
I ask you
To comfort them to overflowing,

And where there are lives I may have withered around me,
Or lives of strangers far or near
That I’ve destroyed in blind complicity,
And if I cannot find them
Or have no way to serve them,

Remember them. I beg you to remember them

When winter is over
And all your unimaginable promises
Burst into song on death’s bare branches.

Photo Credit: Mike Sewell

"A Short Testament" by Anne Porter from Living Things, Zoland Books, 2006.

Friday, December 18, 2015

December Meeting of B&P

Twenty-One entries were displayed at the December meeting of the Brush & Palette organization. Methinks that we all were a bit embarrassed to show off some of our work, but then again, it behooves the B&P to have participation, whatever the enthusiasm level of the artists. All present voted on six of their favorite pictures from the group. The top five pieces receiving the most votes were awarded $10 each and three people had the same number of votes for sixth place and were awarded $5 each.

 Judging took place from 1:00 pm until about 1:30 pm as we milled around and ate pizza, salad, relishes and luscious desserts provided by the B&P Board members. President Elise Lind handed out copies of an article titled "How To Judge Art" both in anticipation of the judging and as an aid to a following critique of member art.

Member suggestions for paintings shown by brave souls were provided by the talented membership; several people showed their paintings.

Trudy Ungaro put forth her drawing in watercolor of Santa,with a tree in the background adorned with rhinestones for festive decoration.

Linda Dembitsky with a mixed media piece. She incorporated musical scores in her piece; great effect!

After eating pizza and refreshments, Elise tallied the votes and named the top point achievers. $10 award winners were Maggie Cook, Nancy McCarroll, Emmi Starks, Laegan McGee, and Elise Lind.
Ten Bucks in My Hot Hand

Three people tied for sixth place and were awarded $5 each. They were: Trudy Ungaro, Russell Mendelson, and Victoria Bianchi.

Come and join us in 2016 at the first B&P demonstration and meeting on January 21 at 1:00 PM at the Art Center. Cheri Isgreen will show us, teach us, inform us about poured watercolor techniques. Don't miss it!  More information here about B&P.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

From Jesse's Root

The blog header above was painted by Ansgar Holmberg. Unabashedly, I am referring to GretchenJoanna who wrote this here: (be sure to read her entire post)
All the roots and trees passing by my eyes and through my mind this week bring me around to the Incarnation, the birth of Christ which we are celebrating. That’s because the most persistent and enduring life system, if you will, is the Root of Jesse, and the Branch that sprouted, mentioned in Isaiah 11. Iconographers have painted this flowing of our salvation history, and it is the inspiration for many other types of illustrations, like this dramatic interpretation by Ansgar Holmberg
What a marvelous depiction!  If you want more information about Sister Holmberg, who is contemporary and paints in a folksy and colorful style, here are a few websites in which she is written about and where her art can be found: (be warned that a few have quite negative reviews of her work)

Good Ground Press Store sells her art (cards are $1.50 each)

on Pinterest (also here) on many boards

Monday, December 14, 2015

Speakeasy review

Mike Morrell, founder of Speakeasy, says here:
Speakeasy is a way to spread and discuss compelling ideas – author to bloggers to readers. It’s like a funnel of literary goodness, precise and deliberate at the entryway (we’re selective in what author and publisher submissions we accept) and wide-open at the end (when a campaign takes off, we get ‘everybody’ talking).

My second book to review for Speakeasy is Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Charles Marsh.

This book was detailed and gave more information about Bonhoeffer than I knew existed.  It was thoroughly researched and in looking at the extensive footnotes, the number of pages of references was about 20% of the entire book.  Many details of his childhood and early life showed him to have come from a privileged background.  It was written in a pedantic style, obvious since Marsh is a professor and scholar. 

It took over a month for me to get through the first half of the book; not an easy read.  But for one who wants to know minutia of this Lutheran icon who served the Lord as a martyr, this is the book for you.  Otherwise, if you want a brief overview of the life on Bonhoeffer, Widipedia would do.  This is not to diminish the work of Marsh, but it was written in dissertation style, not for the average reader of biography.

Review ends here.
The following hymn was written by Bonhoeffer in the concentration camp, shortly before his death.

By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
And confidently waiting come what may,
we know that God is with us night and morning,
and never fails to greet us each new day.

Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
Still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
Oh, give our frightened souls the sure salvation
for which, O Lord, You taught us to prepare.

And when this cup You give is filled to brimming
With bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.

Yet when again in this same world You give us
The joy we had, the brightness of Your Sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be Yours alone.
This hymn appears in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal (695)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dog Biscuits

Julie suggested that The Manor House give dog biscuits to our local no-kill animal shelter for a Christmas gift.

Here is the recipe I forwarded to the activity director where today some of the residents will make these treats.  I found my old dog bone cookie cutter we will use, tucked away in a plastic bag that has housed cutters since time began; the plastic looks a bit worse for wear but the old cutter is still sharp. My thick notebook of recipes is kept mostly for nostalgic purposes, but it came in handy on this occasion.

 Cindy, Activity Director at the Manor, in Christmas attire!
Charley rolling dough

Nancy and Connie tasting the dough

 Julie's Big Idea to make dog biscuits!

Can you believe these herbs are still alive in mid December?  They are watered faithfully, and they keep on giving.

Last evening I finished 2/3 of the knitting required to make up the Promenade Shawl.  It was begun in July, so I have been fairly slow in the needle process. Each row must have a thousand stitches, and there are too many rows to count.  Add those stitches to changing colors, and it is mind boggling for knitting.

On another note, here is a present for Julie I have saved up for Christmas: another When In Scotland shawl.

Hoping your weekend is a good one!

We are Getting Married

Next week, on December 19 at the 8:00 AM Mass, the husband and I will have our marriage convalidated, and I will become a Roman Catholic after having been a member of the Lutheran Church for 25 years. How about that? And thank you, brother, for all the paperwork you sent in for this process to occur.  Our parish is in Grand Junction at Immaculate Heart of Mary.

From here:
Catholics who have married outside of the Catholic Church are encouraged to have their civil marriage recognized by the Church. We call this a convalidation. These couples, who were no doubt well intentioned and sincere in professing their vows outside of the Catholic Church, are not considered validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church because Church law requires baptized Roman Catholics to marry before a bishop, priest, or deacon and two witnesses. If a couple finds themselves in this situation but want to have the Church officially recognize their marriage, then they should contact a priest in order to begin the process of convalidating their union. This process is usually not very difficult and often helps the couple live their faith more fully.
I told the husband I was expecting jewelry as this will be just as meaningful, if not more so, than our first marriage.  I'll let you know if he comes through.

Our 26th legally recognized marriage will occur on January 6, 2016, also known as the 12th Day of Christmas, and Epiphany. That date was prayerfully chosen back in 1989 so it would fall on the Day of Epiphany. You can figure out the significance.