Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After Christmas Cheer

SOMEONE had a nice Christmas!
Fat, full and fire warmth.

My Christmas / Birthday present! Totally unexpected! As you can see it has 10X zoom, which is what I wanted for taking bird photos. So here are some test shots:

Mom and Pop House finch, taken from the kitchen window.

The Jade plant is beginning to flower. Such beautiful star-like flowers, a delicate pink and quite tiny, but the macro works well.

Grass shadows. I've said before that I like grasses, well these are against the back of our house. Can you tell the real from the shadows? Sorry about the date, I thought I had turned it off. Have to go back and check.

"But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" James 1:22
The world is full of people who love to say what's right and what's wrong. In our complex world, so full of different opinions and beliefs, how can we know what is right and what is wrong? For me, there is only one place I can go to find the truth, -- the Bible. Jesus says, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life". I go to Him for what is truth, and since He is the Word, -- the Bible, His Word, is where I find truth, peace and comfort for these troublesome times. Then I try to be a 'doer' of the Word so that I can make some difference to someone or something while I am here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

In the Midst of Rejoicing, there is Grief

Even as we are preparing for a joyful Christmas season, we have received news this evening from one of our best blogging friends, Jose,  from "Joe Cool" and "Arizona -  but its a Dry Heat", blogs.  His beautiful wife of 28 years passed away unexpectedly, early Wednesday morning, from a heart attack.   Those who visit my blog and are committed Christians, I do ask you to pray for him and his lovely family.  I feel so sad for them all, but we as Christians know there are much better things to come.  In the mean time, Jose needs us to surround him with prayer to get through this very difficult time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Christmas!

I'm sure Mary and Joseph must have asked , "Why?" many times during those early years.  Like them, we so often ask "Why?" during difficult times. But God knows the end from the beginning and there is always a reason.  We are not alone in wanting to know why.  Those who hold onto their faith in the Lord will one day know why, and for now, we know peace, because God is in control.
May you have a blessed, happy and meaningful Christmas. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Unthinkable and the Imaginative

 The Imaginative....

Sheep in the Valley

I did this almost entirely from imagination.  The sheep I must confess I looked at a birthday card that came to me this week.  This was begun as an experiment because I made up the composition of it as I went along.  It is probably based on somewhere in Wales, because of the mountains and sheep.  It turned out better than I expected and I did it entirely by brush and water colors.  It is approx 5 X 5 inches -- a little larger than I usually do.

.....the Unthinkable

Bailey has a pet door from the inside of the house into the garage to get to his kitti-litter.  It is usually available to him at all times.  But once in a while if we have to have the big garage door open, we have a door that slides in to cover his hole.  Today we had to let a delivery man into our garage, so we put the cat door in its slot "just for a minute", because Bailey is an indoor cat.  (We have coyotes looking for an easy meal not far away).  That was at 2:15 p.m.  It was 8:15 this evening that we remembered!!!  Oh no!!! Panic.  He must have gone somewhere in all that time!  Because Bailey is a very polite cat and rarely demands anything, we were definitely worried.  He could have just as quietly gone away and thought, "Oh, they don't want me in there any more," and performed elsewhere of his choosing.  However, we have scoured and sniffed every nook and cranny in the house -- almost -- and found nothing.  So we are keeping our fingers crossed that Bailey kept his paws crossed!  The really scary thought is that this might be all it takes to make this cat change his kitti-litter habits.  He is so unpredictable as to what he wants to do, where and when.  Never had a cat quite like this one before.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Part of My Day


 I finished this up today. I copied it from a photograph I took when I was up in Boise last Easter.  He was very cute. The  reflecting blue sky  with  the branches  in the window was a true blue. (ATC 3 1/2 x 2 1/2")

"Aren't you going to feed me, Mom?"

We have one cat who is seriously hooked on tuna juice!  He is doing much better, but is still sneezing a lot.  He seems to have this permanently worried look on his face whenever I make a move to go into the kitchen. (Note the empty dish!) All the work we went to, to get him to lose five pounds last year is quickly going down the drain --  and we still have another 5 days of medication!

Romans 5:8 God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died on behalf of us.
President Obama said it in Copenhagen this week: "There is evil in the world".
Other presidents have openly acknowledged that fact. To take this statement even further, we have to say that behind the evil is mankind.  That is not at all popular to say today, but the fact is that it is man who has caused the evils that exist in our world.  In spite of our good intentions, our determination to be tolerant, our decisions to make this world a better place, we continue to do evil.  We may not be terrorists or murderers, but in our own way and in our weakest times, we as individuals do evil -- all of us. 
            There is no solution to it but to start over. It starts with you and I letting God make us over. When the time of this world is over, God will make a New World and finally we will be able to say that mankind is good.   We 'made over' sinners will occupy the New Earth that God is preparing for us and once again everything will be good in His sight -- and ours too.

I did intend to continue my Wednesday's Words regularly, but with going away, the days slipped by.  So now we are back on track again.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Shout Out to Nicky


This is just to give a 'shout out' toNicky of mykiwiuklifeinphotos.blogspot.com 

who has just recently moved from New Zealand to Flamborough Head,Yorkshire U.K. which those of you who visit me frequently will know is my most favorite place in the world.
Above is the end of the headland, showing my house far right on the edge of the cliff (no longer there). The field of barley lower far left was washed out in 1953 by waves which broke over the cliffs in a famous nor'easter.

Below is one of me on a breezy day at North Landing  --tide out --taken a couple of years ago.(Mid-summer by the way!)


This is the High Street in the village.  Couple of good fish and chip shops along there.  Note the original white limestone wall.  These are rapidly disappearing because the chalk limestone does not wear well.

This is Little Thornwick Bay. Kind of difficult to get down to but a very nice sheltered spot for a picnic, if you're young enough to climb down. Big Thornwick Bay is the other side of the right hand cliffs.  Another good place for a picnic.

An arch carved by the North Sea at  the lighthouse, called Green Stacks I think.  Puffins to be found there.

A typical North Landing scene, especially in winter.  Robin Lythe's Cave on the right.  Sixty foot high once you get inside.  Villagers have been known to hold meetings in there at low tide years ago..  Robin Lythe is a legendary pirate.

Welcome Nicky!  I hope you get plenty of visitors redirected from my blog to yours. And I hope your life on Flamborough Head is as happy as mine was!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This is kind of interesting, I think.  A couple of months ago, I was experimenting in my painting on portraying trees.  Then I saw a beautiful picture of some bushes fully in bloom.  So I decided to try painting them using the same technique in a picture about 8 x 6".  But afterwards I didn't like what I had done so I put some birds in the picture picking at seed on the ground.  I still didn't like it so I put a cat in the picture.  See below.

I still didn't like it,  so I put in a border of flowers, blue lobelia and white alyssum. It still wasn't rightI trimmed out all the blossom trees, and made it into an ATC (3 1/2 x 2 1/2") because the cat was out of proportion to the bushes and the sparrows. 
In the end, it sat on my painting table as is, with all it's trimmings around it and I never posted it. It was never just right.

Then today, I happened to glance over the table with a view to getting rid of some of the clutter and my eye caught one of the fair-sized cuttings from the original above.  I thought -- my goodness!  I can see a cat in there!

I left it on the table for a couple of hours and went back to look at it a few times to see if I really could see a cat among the blooms and branches.  Sure enough there was one there!  So I took my pencil and just lightly outlined him using only the bushes and branches as my guide -- and there he was!  I touched him up just a little and gave him blue eyes, trimmed the cutting to an ATC size  and -- voila!

So I call it "My Cat in Camouflage

In fact if you line up the two ATC's one above the other you can see that they exactly fit together.

Just interesting, I think!
BAILEY is improving. He still has nasty fits of coughing, but he is eating everything I put in front of him, including the pills. Today he even chased The White Cat, who was trespassing, from the kitchen window to the den window.  We have to take him back to the vet on Saturday.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


To those of you who have expressed concern, ( I commented on a couple of blogs that Bailey was not doing well), thank you so much, I do appreciate your comments.  When we picked him up Thursday from the kennels (a very good one I might add), we noticed that Bailey had a cough. By Saturday he was having trouble breathing.  We took him to the vet today and sure enough he has quite a bad upper respiratory infection.  So it's antibiotic pill-pushing for ten days, and sessions in the bathroom with a vaporizer going.  I crushed up his pills very finely, mixed them with a fair amount of food, (fortunately he has not lost his appetite, though for a while there we were concerned because he wouldn't eat because he couldn't breathe), then dribbled some tuna juice (water, not oil) over his food and -- presto, he ate it all!  This is a cat who has always turned up his nose at any people food, so I was very happy to see this.  Now we shall see how long I can fool him with the tuna juice.  I think he will perk up quite nicely with all the TLC.









Please respect my copyright on these paintings (31/2 x 21/2")
They are original water colors and Prisma Colors based on my original photos.
Thank you

Friday, December 4, 2009

So Nice to be Home!

The furnace was not working! But being the world travelers that we are, and used to privations, we put another comforter on the bed and slept through the night.
We put on extra jackets and continued through the next day until the furnace man came tonight.  Just a simple thing -- but it worked.  Keeping our fingers' crossed, we now have a happy furnace and a happy family.

Bailey was so happy to see me, he was up and at the cage door when he heard my voice before I arrived in the CAT ROOM in the kennels.  He has a little cold and cough, but seems to be eating well and doing everything else well, so we will just keep an eye on him for a few days.  He soon found a warm place to sleep, (hey, the temperature outside was 57 !)  But this cat who in the 6 years we have owned him never climbed up on the furniture before, discovered that it was warmer on the chair than on the floor.

So now it's on to Christmas preparations.  I know, I know, many of you are almost done, but this is my strategy.  In addition, we don't have as much family to prepare for as many of you do.

Soon I will post my newest ATC's done while at the islands, so keep watching.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kauai Views

For my last post from Kauai, I thought I'd post some beautiful views.  Not hard to do on Kauai!  There are several that would have been absolutely typical, but I  have posted most of them in past years.

One of the things we like to do when somewhere new on vacation is to take little side roads to see where they lead and find unusual things off the beaten track.  These two views are the result of this adventuring.  The red, green and yellow
foliage are so bright and beautiful, especially the bright yellow which seemed to radiate sunshine even when there was none.


And the mountains are so tall and steep, often with very high, thin waterfalls spiralling down.

This is one more shot from Gaylords.  If I had been on my old computer at home, I could have cropped this and made it even more beautiful.

This is the waterfall at  the pool at the condos.  I didn't go in the pool this year, mainly because of my dizzyness and balance problems.  In addition the wind was somewhat cool.  It has to be really warm for me to enjoy going in the pool!

The perfect umbrella tree for Kauai's rainy days!

 These red and green shrubs are in many, many places all over the island.

Finally, Hawaii's State Bird, the Nene.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving on Kauai

We woke up Thanksgiving Day morning to the sound of torrential rain, but by mid morning it was all over.  Later we discovered that our area had had six inches of rain overnight and a flash flood warning. It certainly wasn't any problem to us, but Kauai is known for its large amounts of rain.  It was still a bit breezy because the trade winds have been blowing since we arrived.  Anyway we gathered ourselves together and mosied off down to Gaylord's Plantation.  This is a large area of gardens, grass, a museum, some art galleries and gift shops.  More importantly, it has a great restaurant. This is now our third year of having Thanksgiving Dinner there.  Lots of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffing and savory gravy!!  Look at that plateful!  I am sorry to say I could only eat half of it!  Dessert was pumpkin crumble but I passed on that -- not too fond of pumpkin.  But I took home a slice of chocolate lover's delight.  That way I could appreciate it when I ate it later.

The dining area is on a u-shaped covered patio with flowering bushes all around, a nice sized  lawn in the center and a small wall with more flowering bushes and a small waterfall and a lily pond, across the top of the 'u'.  If the wind blows too hard or it starts to rain, they have canvas blinds with windows in them to pull down for your protection.  We did not need the blinds.  It was beautifully warm.

After we had eaten we looked around the art galleries and gift shops and then went to find our friendly cat who for the past two years has always been sleeping on the warm steps in the sunshine,  the same place every year.  Sure enough she was there again.  Her name is April.  I took a couple of photos to go with those from other years.  I am going to try to attempt to up load them on blogger, but since my lap top now refuses to resize any more photos until we buy microsoft word with picture manager, I might not be successful.  So here goes...

That took seven minutes.  Now for one more...

Another seven minutes! 

I have two more photos I would like to post today:

This is the view from our balcony. (Took about two minutes to upload because it is a smaller file size.  I have no idea why it is any different from the size of the others.)  Oh well...

This is what we do many days on the balcony...

Moth is writing an article for the next issue of the WECF magazine or preparing lessons for classes in Micronesia in January, and I do some painting.  I have completed three and a half ATC's and have one more half done.

Well, I won't push my luck trying to post more photos today and will try to post another blog on Monday. 

Hope you didn't spend all your money on the sales!  Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another Lazy Day

We decided to take our books, camera, binoculars etc. to sit by the beach in front of the condo.

This was our view to the left, looking almost into the sun.

This was the view directly infront of us.

This was the view behind us.

Of course we hadn't been there too long before the chickens came to check us out. for food

I love this shot!
Someone asked us, "You know why there are so many chickens on Kauai?"
"No", we answered.
"Because there is only one KFC!"  came the reply.

Of course the real answer is because most of the islanders owned chickens, and then came Hurricane Iniki.  They were all blown all over the island and now roam everwhere, as free as sparrows.


While we were sitting there, along came two islanders ready to do some surf fishing.

First they studied the waves.

Then they cast their nets.

But we didn't see them catch anything.

As they afternoon faded, a few clouds gathered and a beautiful rainbow spread from the mountains to the sea.

A few sprinkles fell and we scuttled inside -- but we were hungry anyway by that time.

A Great day on Kaua!