Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paint, Bread and Dr.Seuss

Oh my...I'm going through withdrawal. My computer has been down for awhile and I'm in need of a stroll in my Ruby Red Shoes. School is well underway, with writing assignments, math blocks and library books decorating the dinning room again. I'll have to write another blog about some of my great school finds this season...there are so many good things out there.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share some of the things I've been enjoying lately. Especially one...PAINTING CLASS! Real, live, professional instruction...right across the road from my house...not kidding...across the road...like steps away. God knew I wouldn't go out of my way to do something like this, so He got in my face, took away all of my excuses and said "You are going to do this". I did NOT kick and scream. I stood, jaw dropped and thankful that I can have such a pleasure without feeling guilty or selfish at this busy time in life. Great time, great location and great price and absolutely great teacher...Diane Davis...from Browns Flat. I'll have to find some of her work to show off. AMAZING...just what I like. SO glad it's not a Picasso type painter instructing me...I don't need more asymmetry in my life. Realistic Impressionism...much more desirable and pleasing to my eye. I'm still messing around with flowers however, so here are the latest attempts:







...and if you like this:

...then you might like this:

...I'm not thrilled with this one...strange perspective on the flowers.

I'm also enjoying this:

Not so much making them, but having them and eating them is wonderful. I'm not enamored with the sticky, detailed, timely process of canning...but do it anyway.

...and this!!!

I got tired of the price of bread for 6 people...and the lack of nutrition in the affordable loaves. So with this baby, I can make 6 loaves in about 3-4 hours! Yummy, stone ground wheat bread, fresh from the oven! Even though my new convertible (top comes off) was pricey, it's still cheaper in the long run.

Check out the horsepower in this little sweetheart:


...it's a bit of my Dad coming out in me :) Funny how "Bosch" and "Porsche" sound similar.
I am the "Bosch" in this kitchen ;)

And the last thing I'll share with you is this:


The younger ragamuffins and I are completely back into Dr.Seuss lately. Such a fun way to start the school year off. Actually, my second oldest boy, who sometimes displays Jim Carey moments...to my great distress...has been listening to us read Suessy stories and can spontaneously create his own. Pretty good ones too. Some gifts we don't ask for, but try to find the light in them and just smile.

So now I've updated you a bit...so no one thinks I've been in a coma or kidnapped or anything. Just painting, gardening, reading and cruising in my Bosch. I have a love affair with homemade bread. I can thank my Mom for that...she is the real Bosch of bread making :)



Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Passion of Red

Not that I would ever wear shoes with heels as high as the ones in my blog picture. I swore off these death traps when I almost fell, dropping my newborn baby on concrete...it was one of those, "What am I thinking?" moments. I still look longingly at beautiful, high heeled shoes at times, but I prefer to look at them than to wear them. My happy feet and back smile as I enjoy glances at the adorned feet and awkward gates of women still true to fashion.

I love shoe stores. I love trying them on with my little girl in Valu Village, but I seldom buy anything but Birks, Clarkes, Earth Shoes, New Balance or Dr Sholls. My shoe closet's pallet contains shades of brown and black...with the exception of one pair of dark RED...for those crazy days when I need to feel a bit extreme. Red is a passionate color and so, I'd be lying if I never showed that side of my personality in my wardrobe. Once in awhile, I have to let off some energy. I have to express the excitement, the joy and sometimes the concerns that build up in my little, curly head. This blog kind of does that...it is my red shoes...my moment of expression.

Red is also:

...the color of the blood that flowed
Down the face of Someone Who loved us so...

Petra

.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Given to Change

I was getting very tired of my blog title...not sitting right with me...so I decided to get a little more creative and try a different one. It reflects my life's work, where my heart is and...well...I do love the color red...and shoes. Like Dorothy, I have realized that there is nothing better than being at and working from home, after chasing other means of fulfillment. Home is definitely where my heart is. Since I really can't rearrange my furniture at this time, my blog will have to be my outlet for visual change. Don't expect it to stay this way for long...but for awhile...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hugo and Irene...Starcrossed Lovers

The Sky Lodge...Clinton, PEI


Sometimes, the best experiences are unplanned, surprises from God. My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this past month and wanted to do something special. Cruises, jewelry and being far from home don't excite either of us too much, so what do two Fuddy Duddies do on such an occasion?? Going to a movie and dinner is just lame for a 20 year mark.

We spent our honeymoon on PEI for 4 days. Four days on a beautiful island, during hurricane Hugo...and we were both very sick. Not your ideal dream vacation. I had always thought about having a "do over" honeymoon there someday, so that seemed like a good idea for the Fuddie Duddies. It just so happened that we met a lovely, musical Christian family early in the summer who run a lodge on the Island and welcomed us to come anytime and stay with them. Ok...the plan is coming together.

Neither of us is very good at sitting on the beach and walking around site seeing for a very long time either, so we kind of wanted something to do too. Well..it just so happened that a very well known author/speaker we both enjoy was scheduled to speak in Charlottetown that month...good! Something special to do too! My plan is REALLY coming together now.

I don't know if we had a moment of insanity or if we are just suckers for punishment, but after realizing that the conference speaker, Joshua Harris, is someone our kids really enjoy too, we decided to take our two teenagers along with us...on our second honeymoon...on our romantic Island getaway...early dementia is definitely here. So, the four of us headed off into he sunset, rap music blaring from our little Civic, skateboards in tow. We just can't seem to get this getaway thing right. I know...it's our own fault.

The next three days were the most delightful days we have had for a long time. The weather was perfect, the Island beautiful, the conference inspiring, the time and conversation with the boys was unforgettable and the Lodge...well I just can't say enough about the Lodge. You just have to see it to appreciate it. Not just the place itself, but the people we have come to know there are, in the words of Anne Shirley herself, kindred spirits. We have found another home away from home...in a wonderful vacation spot.

We were a bit stunned at the blessings poured out on us this particular weekend...mostly spiritually speaking, but physically too. We really needed the peaceful retreat of the unfamiliar countryside, the joyful music of the conference band, the wise guidance of a respected speaker...and lobster...we really needed lobster. After driving around several red backroads, we finally found a REASONABLE price to enjoy our traditional anniversary meal. Honestly, you would think these scavengers held the "pearl within" for the price they charge to have one. My conscience just couldn't pay it. But God, in his graciousness, performed a miracle and prevented us from having to endure one more Big Mac by candlelight...and I slept fine that night relieved from fiscal irresponsibility. It was entertaining to watch my two big boys eating with bibs again :)

There was a sense of romance to the weekend too. Our friends at the Lodge just would not hear of the 4 of us sharing a room on this occasion, so they arranged a room for our boys, two floors below us...we had the honeymoon suite...lovingly arranged with all the romantic features we seemed to miss out on 20 years ago. Fortunately, the boys are of the age that we can dump them and take off occasionally...so we did that too. They were chomping at the bit to skateboard. They enjoyed a couple of hours at the town skatepark, while we strolled along the shoreline, then downtown Charlottetown, with it's quaint shops and bistros. We enjoyed gourmet Greek nachos at one such yuppie hangout, as we analyzed our fuddie duddieness with snickers of contentment.

I cannot tell you how unnecessary, but completely welcome romantic moments like this are. This date reminded me of how complete I am in my relationship with my "Guy", how everything we have been through together has shaped and defined who we are now and how I have absolute faith in God's design for marriage. I really didn't when I was younger, but His faithfulness has proved His wisdom and we are reaping the joy of following Him.

God knows what you need and when you need it. We couldn't have planned this weekend any better than He did. I wasn't your prescribed treatment plan for romance and relaxation, but it was exactly what we needed. Having the boys with us and the unique conversations we had with them were like reminders of what our long term love was producing. They expressed their appreciation to us for including them in this getaway, and we had no idea of the impact it had on them. They really are deeper than the comic books they read.

We returned home just before hurricane Irene hit the Maritimes. There was NO WAY I was going to share another weekend on that beautiful Island with another torrent like Hugo. They were not invited to our party 20 years ago, nor this time. Our boys were welcome, but not the storms.

I've been surprised by this truth. Romance is overrated, but love is not.