24 December 2011

Christmas Greetings!!

Hello everyone!  As I write this the sun that didn't make a peep all day is working it's way down.  I know 'cause the drear is getting drearier.  My husband is asleep on the couch and has been there all day.  Being sick will do that to you, so I'm trying to stay fairly quiet so he can rest.

Earlier I was cooking for our family get-together next week and the smells that to me were heavenly almost sent him into orbit!  So, since our family can't all be together for Christmas until next week, I decided to forgo some of the cooking 'till he's feeling a little better. 

It's a simple case of "the crud" that has been making it's way through just about everyone's family here.  It is apparently short, but quite miserable 'till it runs it's course.  How I've escaped so far, I'll never know, but I'm surely not complaining!!


Let me take this moment to wish all of you a Merry Christmas!!  I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, but I do wish you the opportunity to know the love and healing of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, the creator of the universe.

I've been doing a lot of research about origins of holidays and such and realize that Jesus likely was not born at this time of year. From what I have been able to discover he probably was born closer to the first week of September, but apparently, due to some influence centuries ago, we celebrate in late December. But, regardless of when we celebrate, the meaning for me is the same--May the joy of His birth be real and meaningful to you and yours.

This is a cross stitch I designed as a Christmas greeting.  Hope you enjoy it. 


I haven't done a lot of cross stitch lately.  Unfortunately, I'm one of those cyclical types.  I'll do drawing for awhile, cross stitch a few months, then a round of watercolor (which could last a LONG time), throw in a little crochet in the winter, intersperse it with my soapmaking and music next thing I know, I'm meeting myself coming back and don't get anything accomplished.

How many of you are also like that?  I KNOW there must be some of you just like me!  Does it make you as crazy as it makes me?  I've wished so many times I could just settle on ONE thing, just ONE thing that I'm so passionate about, I want to do nothing else. 

But, I can't.  I've lightened the load a lot and ridded myself of many projects and activities the last few years, but I just don't want to get rid of anything else and I don't have time to do real justice to the things I want to keep. 

If anyone has come up with a way to get it all done, please let me in on it!!  (BTW:  I've tried scheduling all this and that was a disaster! 
I'm a bit like this butterfly and tend to flit around too much!)

We haven't gotten any snow yet this year.  The western part of the county did, but not us.  There's an old way of predicting that using a persimmon.  If you cut open a persimmon and it shows the profile of a fork, it means a mild winter.  A spoon means LOT'S of snow and a knife means ice (YUCK).  Well, quite a few people I know have cut open persimmons and they've all had spoons in them.  So, we keep the Jeep gassed up, the larder packed
and the propane tank full.


My son can't be home till Monday, so my two grown children and their families will come Tuesday night for our family Christmas.
My brother and sister along with our children, their children and our mom will gather Thursday night, but tomorrow, my husband and I (hopefully he's feeling better by then) will have Christmas morning together.  It will be as it was 33 years ago as we celebrated our first Christmas.  I'll make a simple
 breakfast and we'll exchange our gifts to each other. 
This year he's getting a military service ring.
He is a veteran of active duty Air Force, active duty Army and retired from the Arkansas Air Guard.  I am so proud of him and his willingness to serve. 
 I wouldn't trade anything for those precious years. 

 Well, the hubby just stirred and crawled off the couch.  He walked around a bit and is now sitting up, so maybe he's making a turn for the better!!  It'll be a very busy week next week (we're going to be getting a llama and some goats as well as a pair of turkeys and some more laying hens along with all the family stuff) so I may not see you 'till 2012....if not, may the joy of the season be yours and may your family prosper in love and peace in the new year!

'till next time-

19 December 2011

Zentangled Color

Happy Monday everyone!  No?!  Not happy it's Monday?  Well, I didn't see my obit this morning, so I'll keep going with Happy Monday.  My daughter-in-law was just lamenting the fact that the kiddos are out of school and they wake up at 6:30!  All I could think was PAYBACKS!!

Yesterday's church service was so inspiring.  The choir did a great job glorifying our Lord,  Pastor had a God-breathed sermon and we topped it off with a beautiful little girl singing "Happy Birthday Jesus".  It didn't hurt that she was my 6 year old granddaughter....

She was such a trooper.  On the second verse, she mixed up a couple of words, grinned and kept right on going.  That's my girl!!

It's quite overcast here on The Hill.  I thought yesterday was going to be beautiful and sunny.  Alas, there's a reason I'm not a weatherman.  But, wait, maybe that's what I should be.  I totally missed a correct forecast too!

Traveling today about 2 1/2 hours away to go with hubby to the VA hospital.  Nothing major.  Just an eye exam.  Hopefully, it will lead to some good sketches.  I like this new attitude of "seeking out" things to draw.  Maybe...just maybe...I'm learning to think like an artist.  Proof that as long as there's breath, there's opportunity to learn!

I know a lot of you love Zentangles.  I do too.   (Check out this link if you'd like to know more about them.  http://www.zentangle.com/)

Well, I've found a fabulous website and this gal so inspires me to create.  Here's her link:  http://www.milliande.com/ .  She does zentangle in the round with adding hand outlines.  I've been working on one for each member of my family. 

This is my daughter-in-laws hand I'm just getting started on.

This is my hand that I've gotten quite a bit done.

This is the first one I did of my hand with some watercolor added.  I love the look of black and white, but just couldn't resist adding color!

This is the one above with washes added around the border.

What I really love about these is, you can doodle just about anywhere!  They are so portable and you can put just about any pattern you want in them and think about it...patterns are EVERYWHERE!!!
Nature provides us with an endless supply and
then there's man-made shapes and designs
EVERYWHERE you look!

Try it yourself and just have FUN!!!

'till next time-

18 December 2011

It's early Sunday morning and I realize it's been a few days since I've connected with all of you.

The sun is just starting to seep a bit of glow from the east and the roosters have been trying to jar me out of bed for the last two hours.  I have stubbornly refused to cooperate up till now!  But, even though it's Sunday, there's still much to do and since I'm usually a night person, I thought I'd get up and see what a "leisurely" morning  is like.

Being a night person, mornings are rather difficult.  Not that I don't do them.  I often HAVE to do them, but they are usually rushed and I don't seem to take the time to notice how the sun starts to bathe the day in it's glow.  (and here lately, it's been so  gray and cloudy there's been no glow!)

But there is this morning and it's nice. I don't think I'll enjoy it from outside as it's 35 degrees, but it's great through the window. (This pic is from a couple of winters ago-we haven't had a good snow on my side of the mountains yet)

 I just wish I enjoyed coffee!  I love those commercials of waking up to the smell of fresh coffee. Mmmmmm..... If coffee tasted as good as it smells, I'd go through the day with a coffee iv.  But, I'm one of those who adds a little coffe to my milk and sugar.  NOT a really good thing.  Might as well drink hot cocoa made with whole milk!

I've been doing a bit of sketching although I'm trying to study for my final test in medical terminology.  Got all my abbreviation tests done (just so you'll know Teri!!), but the final test is 12 pages long and comprehensive, so I've got a LOT of stuydying to do!  I'd like to be sketching, but there is a part of me that loves the structured work of typing.  Crazy, huh?!  Sometimes I feel like two different people.  Mostly creative, but I still have that partly structured side that I have to satisfy.  Medical transcription should take care of that and then I can support my creative side!! 

The following sketches were done when my mother was in the hospital in November.

Three trips to emergency and two hospital stays in a week and a half.  The rooms seem to get so small you even sketch the iv bags!

Our little hospital has strips between the different wings with gardens.  This was the area out my mother's window.  It was dreary and rainy, but at least it wasn't a brick wall.

She slept a lot, which was good.

Just felt like splashing color since she got to come home!

She's been doing pretty good since then. 
At least, no more trips to the hospital or e.r.!


Well, the sun is up and it looks like the day will be bright and beautiful!
Our choir is presenting our Christmas cantata this morning and our director has been sick.  Hope he is feeling much better this morning, but I know God will bless it as we give Him the glory for the birth of Jesus!!!

Praise the Lord!

'till next time-

13 December 2011

A Little of This, Some of That

It's been a long day, but the older I get, the more thankful I am for long days!!  It never ceases to amaze me how time barely moves when you're young.  Five years at the age of 10 is so long.   Then it's  the length of a breath when you're over 50!

Making progress on my "project"!

I just hope it works out as planned.  The cool thing is there's some parts that will lend themselves to some mixed media work.  I'm seeing some journal covers using the little nuts, tubes and circut boards.  Then, the wires would work well to wire together journal pages.

Anxious to work on them, but I have to work my studying in too!  So much to do with so little time.

With six grandkids all living within 12 miles to me or less, there's always times when I'm needed to help out.  But, my daughter-in-law will be done with school 'till next semester, so there will be a short vacation for me to get a lot of study done!!

Looks like we'll be bringing in some new faces around here.  We'll be going this weekend to bring home a llama and three goats.  Two nubians and one pygmy.
We have had Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, but I could no longer milk, so I sold them.  Missed them so much and they did such a good job of keeping the acreage we have fenced cleaned up, it's time to bring home some more.  Even though two of them are nubian, I won't be milking this time.  If you've ever milked, you know how much work that can be!

Makes luscious soap, but I've learned to make it without the goat milk and it's just as good and a lot less labor intensive!!

A few samples of my "Ugly Chunk Lye Soap".

My first attempt at making soap!  Did you know that when lye is poured into water, the temperature goes to over 200 degrees in the blink of an eye?!
Did you also know that on soapmaking day
my house smells heavenly with all the essential oils I use?!


'till next time-

More "Project" Pics

More pics of my latest "project".  I never saw so many wires and soldered connections in all my life.  No wonder fixing it was out of the question!!

'till next time-

10 December 2011

Nutcracker Day!

Good morning!

God has blessed us with a most delicious day weatherwise.  It's cold, clear and still.  Perfect!

It's 27 right now, but I'm sure with all this sunshine , it won't be for long!

Got a lot hoped for today.  Headed to the nearest "big" town (65,000 pop) to see The Nutcracker ballet.  It's about a 1 1/2 hr. drive, but so worth it.  Taking my daughter, daughter-in-law, and oldest granddaughter.  Lunch after that and then try to get a little Christmas shopping done.

My daughter is one of those who buys all year and has it totally done by this time, but I tend to, as usual, fly by the seat of my pants.  So, once again, I'm scrambling!!  But, it's so much fun!!

The photo I stuck up there is my newest project.  It's an old organ someone gave me that I discovered didn't work and would cost a fortune to fix. 

I'll be "re-purposing" it in the next few days and invite you to come along with me to see what it will turn out to be. 

I've decided what I want it to be, but post a few suggestions of what you'd do with it.  We'll see if some of us are thinking along the same path (or if you have an idea I might even like better).  Will post more tomorrow.

'till next time-

09 December 2011

Just had an aweful scare!!  Went to my computer and it was stone cold! 
I had just been using it a couple hours before and it was still on.  It should not be COLD!!  Oh no!!  I'm thinking my computer is now deceased!!

I plugged it in thinking the battery simply needed charging.  Nothing!  Nada!
Over and done with!  All I could think was how glad I was that I had backed up my files last week.  Wouldn't help with all the pictures I took this week, but better than losing EVERYTHING!

Took out the battery.  Put it back in.  Unplugged and plugged up the charger.  NOTHING!
I'm freaking out about this time.  I mean, I must have this computer to do my classes and what would I possibly do without Facebook, e-mail and blogs?!?!?

Then, my husband calmly suggests, "why don't you try a different outlet? May be a thrown breaker."  (Don't 'ya just hate it when they're calm when you know the world is falling apart?)

But, nope......he wasn't right! 

Close enough though. The power strip the charger was plugged into was turned off. Imagine the nerve!!

That's why the first thing listed on troubleshooting electric things is------is it plugged in dweeb?

(This meerkat lives at the Houston zoo and I
couldn't resist the look of disgust on his face!) 

Was babysitting one granddaughter and picked the other one up at school early today.  We promptly went home and made cookies, like somehow, I just really needed cookies to slap across my thighs!

Came up with a new recipe and thought I'd share it here:


1 C butter-softened
1 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 pkg. cream cheese-softened
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
3 C flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
3/4 C cocoa
1 pkg. white chocolate chips
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter, sugars, and cream cheese.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Blend.

In seperate bowl mix well:  flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.

Blend into first mixture.   Add chips.

Drop by FULL TABLESPOON onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 11-12 minutes.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen BIG cookies.  That's why I call 'em cow patties.  That's what they kinda' look like.

But, mmmmmm.....they're good with COLD milk!!  Ask my granddaughters!

'till next time-

07 December 2011

What a Day!

Today was one of those errand days that seems to be full to the rim, but you don't really feel like anything gets done.  We all have 'em and they're a necessary evil, but doesn't make them any more fun.

Checkup at the Dr. was the worst.  What should have been a quick 30-45 minutes turned into 2 1/2 hours.  What a waste of time.  At least my blood pressure is good.  (Amazing after that long wait!)

AND.....I did get a little studying done.  Getting ready for abbreviation test, so I guess it wasn't a total waste.

Next, a quick stop at the pharmacy, over to my brother's for a few and on to church.  Every Wednesday night we serve a community meal and not only is it a good opportunity to serve our area, I don't have to cook!

Now, home, balancing the check book.  Whoopie!

I'm gonna go get a little shut-eye, but I always like to post something visual on each post.  So...get ready to be aaaamazed!  (Well, maybe not)

Yep, that's a triple yolk egg.  Nope, has nothing to do with anything posted here.  Just an odd tidbit to throw in.  I knew when I got the egg out of the nest last spring it had to be a double-yolker, but was proved wrong when three rolled out.  Having never seen anything like that before, I had to document it.  Now you know if it ever comes up in a useless trivia game.  Triple yolk eggs ARE possible!

'till next time-

06 December 2011

Learning Goes On and On!

Well, I went in last night and decided I was going to "personalize" my blog.  I wanted my own photography, change the colors, etc, etc, etc....  Discovered there's a reason I use a template! LOL  It was a disaster! 
This was suppposed to be my background. 

Had words all over the place.  Posts were in places I didn't even know I had!  So, forewarned...if you ever log on and not sure exactly what's up...I'm trying to learn a little more and I've made a mess!

Top Blogger:
Are you keeping up with the Top Blog contest?  It's down to two great blogs and we've really had some good ones to choose from.  Gives me something to aspire to!!  Go to: www.blogguidebook.com to vote.

(Woo-Hoo!  Me cheering them on...)

(Took this pic at the Houston zoo with the intention of painting him and haven't done it yet.  I think I'll give it a whirl today!)

Now...in a different direction...

I've been working for some time now on a medical transcription course.  I've made some progress, but have been way too slow about it.  So...I'm going to start posting my progress on here to keep myself accountable.

For those of you following this...could you do me a HUGE favor?
If you don't see something posted here every day showing some progress, smack me!!  OK?

I've just finished Unit 15 and have a final abbreviation test and my final Medical Terminology test to take.  My plan is to have those finished by Sunday evening.

I'll post everything I do including study time and hope to be working in the field in a few months. 

Thanks everyone!!

Feeding Time:

My littlest granddaughter (she's 1 1/2)and I just finished feeding the dogs, cats, and chickens.  Had to break ice on the water dishes and as we were headed down to feed Molly the beautiful sound of honking pierced the air.  I don't know if these geese overwinter here or they were just momentarily headed the wrong way, but they were going east.  In the last 15 or so years large flocks of them have started just staying here year-round, but it was an amazing sight to see nevertheless.  Hundreds of beautiful birds filled the air and Annlyn was mesmerized by them.  It was a moment of complete enjoyment sharing with her.

'till next time-

05 December 2011

First Snow-Puppet Show

We got our first snow of the season today.  Well, some people did.  None at my house on the east side of the county, but the west and north side got their roads covered.  Needless to say the comments on Facebook ranged from child-like glee to Scrooge personified.

It was very early for snow in our area and it decided to disappear in the twinkling of an eye.  But, hey, when it gets up to 44 degrees, snowflake demise soon follows.  Personally, I like the way it snows here.  We don't get enough of it for it to get old. 

But, we also don't get enough of it for the state to invest in snow removal equipment.  This brings everything to a grinding halt when it makes it's appearance.  Lends an air of excitement at the prospect of it.  Every loaf of bread and every gallon of milk disappear from grocery store shelves and children wake up during the night to see if there's enough white stuff to cancel school.  (I'm just as bad about checking throughout the night!)

Having grown up in south Louisiana, snow is still exciting for me.  I know, I know, if I lived in Michigan I probably wouldn't feel that way, but I so look forward to flinging back the curtains, turning on the Christmas tree lights, getting a cup of hot cocoa (homemade, of course), a good book, and just watching it fall.
Now, if I just had a fireplace....

Saturday night, a group called "Band of Believers" came and brought a puppet show to our church.  It was a lot of fun for young and old alike.

This sketch was done from a pic I took back in the summer.  We had an awful dry spell this past summer.  Pastures burned up, trees died and 100 degree temperatures for weeks at a time.  When we did get fortunate enough to get a small shower it was always localized.  It would drop a little here and a little there.

We have more than made up for it recently.  We've had days and days of rain.  It's overcast and dreary and I'm missing the sun,but it has been so welcome!!!
 Did this sketch waiting for my mother at the doctor's office.  FINALLY learning to take advantage of every chance to sketch.  Starting to fill up sketch books and it's such a blast!! 

'till next time-


03 December 2011

Late Welcome!

Must take care of something I neglected very early on.  Should have already done this!!

I'd like to welcome Teri, Chris, Donna and Elizabeth.  Thanks for joining me!!

Rockin' Christmas Parade

Good morning all! 

Wrote two posts yesterday, but didn't get anything posted.

Well, actually, I wrote one and went to post it and apparently I hit the wrong button.  It disappeared, never to be seen again.  I guess it's floating out there in cyberspace somewhere.  Who knows, it may show up ten years from now on some supertechno-apparatus.  Seriously, do you ever wonder where stuff goes when you can't find it, but you didn't delete it?!

So, I wrote another one, got sidetracked with phone calls about the Christmas float our church is working on and once again, not sure where it went.  Told you from day one I'm not real computer savvy.

Well, I just ran out of time to do another and after coming in from the parade last night, was just too tired to think straight.

Maybe I should have done it then, it would definitely would have been interesting to decipher!! LOL

So, after many hours and much thought; numerous jokes and brainstorming sessions, the float materialized.  Had a glitch at the ninth hour concerning the music.  The system we thought we had fell through and as of 10 a.m. still didn't know what we'd do about it.  But, when you leave things in God's hands, in His time things get done.

Although he thought earlier he wouldn't be able to get to it, my wonderful son came through and using an inverter (to avoid generator noise) and a portable stereo mounted in his truck, we had lot's of "quiet" lights and delightful children's voices singing Silent Night and Away in a Manger.  He did a great job pulling the float too.  Thanks Jacob!!

It was the best parade ever and as we all met in the park afterwards, we were treated to a mini-concert by another church's praise band and that was followed by a spectacular fireworks display and lighting of the park decorations.  It didn't get below 50 degrees and no rain.  A wonderful evening!! And to top it off we won the theme award (which was "the music of Christmas")for the church division.  It was our first time to do a float, but I'm thinking it won't be our last!

'till next time-

02 December 2011

Parade Day

Well, hey!  I found the post I thought I'd lost.  It wasn't in the drafts yesterday, but I just looked and found it there.  Where had it been?!?!  Out there with all those text messages that get sent and arrive two weeks later, I guess...

At any rate:  here's the post that should have come before the last one! 

Christmas Parade day dawned dreary and drizzly.  Plus, due to the fact that my dogs barked at coyotes all night long, it arrived way too soon!  And we worked on the float 'till after 10 last night so, by the time I zonked out, morning wasn't too far away.

At least my alarm is not jarring.  I have my phone set with Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  Nice, gentle way to wake up.  Look it up on You Tube.  Beautiful music!

So, my littlest granddaughter and I are spending the morning together.  We fed and watered dogs, cats and chickens.  Have seven baby chickens that are coming along quite well.

Then, we took the Mule (wheeled, not four-legged) and the dogs and went for a run.  We have an odd assortment of dogs.  A little one that is a mix of Jack Russell, Beagle, and Feist.  She's Lilly Belle.  Then, there's Little Bear, who isn't quite so little anymore.  He's solid black and is a mix of Australian Shepherd and Akita.  Our "old" dog, Muffin, is 14. 

She's a mix of Chow and Catahoula.  Poor thing has very few teeth left and walks very stiff, (she rides a lot!)but she's still plugging along and I don't want to think about the day she leaves us. 

Last, but not least is Molly.  She's a 3 year old Bloodhound and is like a big kid.  I had thought about training her as a search and rescue dog, but because of schedule changes we no longer volunteer with our local fire dept./search and rescue.  Besides, I don't think I could keep up with her rambling these mountains. 

 We do train some though and if you get lost, I can guarantee she could find you!  She tracked my hubby after he drove away in his truck!

Gotta' get busy now, so...

'till next time-

01 December 2011

Happy Thursday


Once again God has smiled down with beautiful weather in our area!!  A nice day for a drive, which was a good thing because where I live it's a drive to almost anything!!

Took my mother for a doctor appointment about 1 1/2 hours from home.  I'm learning to take a sketchbook with me, so I managed to get a sketch of the waiting room.
Got to have an epiphone! (mighty fancy word for ah-ha moment, isn't it?)  I've been drawing since I was a kid and it's always pulled me like bugs to a zapper, but there's also always been something about it I just didn't get.   Learning to SEE!  Really see!  Remembering what you saw and being able to reproduce it. 
I've always been amazed at how an artist could see something once and remember enough details to paint it hours later.  Hopefully, I'm not the only one that has managed to be a complete failure at this.

Well, as I was sitting in that room, I started to notice little things that stood out.  Used to be that a waiting room was a waiting room.  They're all practically the same right?
It's wierd, but I can right now, 5 hours later, remember how the ceiling tiles looked.  The color of the walls and how the light played on them.  The odd little circles in the plastic frosting film on the window wall.  The color of the urn in the corner and how the light made shadows on the simple metal picture frame.

I'm not really good at recording these details yet, but, maybe with time and a lot more sketching that will come along.

I haven't added the color washes because the merry-go-round hasn't slowed enough.   Will likely have to wait 'till tomorrow.  So...

'till next time-


30 November 2011

Perfect Day

Hey!!  I've got followers!  Be careful!   No telling where you'll end up!  Sometimes I don't even know (well, ok, most of the time!)

I'm known for kinda' wandering 'till I end up somewhere.  Creates havoc for people who are extremely organized, but I managed to raise two stable kids and have six grandkids between them.  So, even though they sometimes wondered just what was down that road less traveled they came out ok!

I have discovered in wandering some of the sweetest moments of my life.

This was done using plain, ole BIC markers and a black Sharpie.  Oh, and a white gel pen.  Not too fond of gel pens.  I've since found a white pen I like much better.  It's the Sharpie poster paint pen.  The fine line one is really good for lettering and highlights and doesn't tend to clog up on painted pages as much as other pens do. 

On a different vein...in our neck of the woods the weather was PERFECT today!
Sunshine, quite cool and not a cloud in the sky.  Our church is preparing a float for our annual Christmas parade so the day was spent working on that.  We'll be putting it all together tomorrow night and the parade is Friday night.   The theme this year is Songs of Christmas.  When we get it all put together I'll get a pic posted.

'till next time...

29 November 2011

A New Journey

Welcome to Zion Mountain Studio! 

 When I decided to start a blog, a gazillion ideas about what to write whirled in my head.  I think they flew away with the beautiful things I plan to paint until I see the white paper!!

Seriously, what do I have to say that someone else hasn't already said and probably much more eloquently!  (Big word, huh?!)

You'll find out fairly quickly, I'm not computer savvy.  When I send an e-mail, I'm never really sure it's going where it's supposed to.  I live in amazment when I download a photo to Facebook and it actually goes where I want it to!  So, don't be surprised at what you see here.  Or what gets left out that I thought was put in!

Hopefully, I'll learn more as time goes by and we get better acquainted.

I'll mostly write about art, music and the daily here and there that goes on.  Like you, I stay very busy and with the abundance of new stuff to learn, I rarely get bored.  So, join me on this journey we call life.  

Until next time...