Thursday, April 30, 2009

So What Did We Sisters Do?

We visited the Flower Fields...

and pronounced them gorgeous!

This is an even better photo from my friend Brenda. The tractor takes you around the fields.


We visited my son's house which is mostly done in low maintenance Mexican style. It's looking great! This tree in his front yard beside the house was fabulous.

He has just bought this old wagon to add some atmosphere. That's my son and my sister in the background admiring the stand of bamboo he planted last year.

Then we went to the harbor. Always beautiful. This pelican was on the look out for some fish, as the vessel he is perching on just came in from a fishing trip.

Oceanside Harbor! The best kept secret south of Camp Pendleton.

No that's not us, but I watched them get in that kayak. They didn't look too safe, so I kept my camera on them in case there was an incident. It's paddled with the feet. But nothing happened. Don't know if I should be glad or not. It would have been a great photo op.

A few more photos to come. Come back soon to see food, bluebirds and the lagoon.

Visit my sister's blog at
to see more photos of Carlsbad -- really good ones!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Latest Art Work

This is the original. It is taken from the mast-head of my sister's blog, A Patchwork Quilt Made by Design

(Do visit her blog, she is a much better photographer than I -- though we have decided the camera has something to do with it!)

This is my copy.

This is a little out of season. I have had the photograph for months but kept doing only a little bit at a time. It was very hard to do. This is the original:

This is my attempt to copy.

My copy of the Logan Memorial Church on Chuuk, Micronesia, is still pending. I am about half way through, but need several hours at a time of great concentration, so I decided to wait until my sister leaves before I finish it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Copyright Nuala O'Rourke

Our youngest son's birthday today --41 years old. I couldn't resist this card. Just look at that face!

Owen is in much better shape than this, believe me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

To Honor J Andrew -- my Poetry Attempts

J. Andrew has such great haiku and similar poems on his blog Past Tense. Over the past months I came up with these, my first attempts. Don't think I've posted them before.


Out in the garden,

Feathered speeding bullets

whizz past my head.

It's the blitz again.

Evening With Crows

Black feathered brooms

Sweep the sky clean

So that it will be ready

for morning.

Sunshine and Sadness

Our depression lies,

Hoping to make us despair.

God shines through it all


Setting sun

On rippling ocean.

October orange

Sunday, April 19, 2009


and everyone makes for the beach!
Temps in the high 70's yesterday 80's today!.

The surfers were out in abundance but I didn't like to take their photos. There were more of them than there were of me!

Of course the dogs and their owners were all enjoying the walk along the cliffs.
This is a Canadian Labrador. (Larger than the other kind.) He was beautiful.

"All creatures great and small."
I wanted the two dogs side by side but the chiauau was a little bit intimidated.

A quick glimpse of the flower fields on the fly, through the car window. Probably get more photos of these as my sister is down from Canada and we will be getting a closer look for her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This is a photo of Logan Memorial Church on the island of Chuuk (formerly Truk of Truk Lagoon, diving fame), in Micronesia.

I have been asked by the islanders to do a painting of this church from this picture,(though I have been there several times and seen it for myself.) It was built some time after World War II. I have been unable to find the exact date of its foundation. I'm going to work on that as records of activities on the island are few and far between and need to kept as part of their history. Unfortunately, the church was taken down this past month because it was in need of more repairs than it was worth. The tropics are very hard on buildings. Three hundred inches of rain a year and constant high humidity with temperatures in the nineties most of the year, took its toll. So a new church is now being built.

But of course the old building held many, many significant memories for the people of the island. Logan was one of the first missionaries to the island of Chuuk. He arrived in 1884 when the island was still the home of fierce warriors who spent much of their time at war with one another.

The people of Chuuk are today wonderfully happy and peaceful people. Last summer Steoshe and his wife Diana, members of this church, visited us here in Carlsbad. They saw some of my paintings and asked me if I would do one of their church, knowing that it would soon be demolished. Of course I agreed but didn't think any more about it -- until two weeks ago when they asked me again and sent this photo of the church for me to copy from.

At first I thought it wouldn't be too difficult and I agreed to do a painting quite a bit larger than those I usually do. (This is not a business arrangement. It is my gift to the people of Chuuk. ) I agreed to do it in my style of water colors, which is more like most people use acrylics. However, if you click on this photo and see it enlarged you will see that there is a lot of intricate decoration on the church building. So sad that it could not be preserved but that's the way of things over there. The plan is to hang the painting in the entrance of the new church. That is if I can do it justice!
So this is my challenge!!


Fortunately I have just recently started doing more in water colors than I have for over a year, and that was a good thing! I completed the painting below about two weeks ago.

I call this one "Fisherman's Cottage" and based it on several photographs from which I took bits and pieces and then put together to make this picture. I like it because of the subject, but I'm a little bit unhappy with it because it has a couple of things wrong with it. For instance, the cottage is tipping backwards and somehow I just couldn't make it stand up straight. Now I have posted it, I see that the problem is because the window and door are tilted and I set the edge of the house parallel to the door and window. Notice the lighthouse and the fisherman. This painting is 5"X7".

When I have finished the Logan Memorial Church I will post it so you can see how it came out. In the mean time, my sister arrives tomorrow, retreating from the snowy wilds of Canada. She will be here for two weeks and I have actually persuaded her to try her hand at painting and drawing while she is here. We are going to have fun!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cats and Squirrels Plus One

Left over photos from our Boise trip. Some of these are certainly not good quality, but when you've only got three days, photos are not a high priority.

Boise squirrels are red squirrels and are more acrobatic than ours. We have gray squirrels and are mostly on the ground, hence the name 'ground squirrels' I suppose. Ours climb if they want bird seed from a feeder! See previous posts.

This was kind of a nice shot with the blue sky and trees reflected in the window behind.

This is Lavender, a very pretty miss, with green eyes.

Meet Cody. Getting along in life, but he has discovered something new: (See below)

Awful quality -- the flash didn't work. But this is the something new Cody discovered. He may not look very comfortable but he wasn't about to move. He loves to have his tummy scratched!
And he didn't know it until now.
This is Lovie. Sweet little thing, but very old, -- can't see and can't hear. So she doesn't leave her Mom's side very often. But she is quite happy to go out for a short walk on a leash a couple of times a day and does like to roam around the back yard (being carefully watched over.)

Here is our youngest son, Owen. Took this photo as a last minute thought at the airport. He has recently made a major career change, from computer engineer to property management! He likes it very much, even though he doesn't make as much money, but his business is building fast.

Sadly we didn't get a photo of Vicki that would do her justice. Great gal! Very talented, with lots of energy to do all her wonderful projects. Maybe next time.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


"The Tomb is Still Empty".

Jesus our Lord is still "the resurrection and the life".

His shed blood still has the power to cleanse every sin.

Our Sovereign God is still on His throne.

The Holy Spirit is still our guide and comforter.

The Holy Bible is still the very Word of God.

God still answers prayer.

In these things we can be confident, though heaven and earth pass away God's eternal purposes still stand.

"The Tomb is Still Empty". Jesus our Saviour is alive and because He lives we shall live also!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Back From Boise

Had a great four days with our son and his girl friend in Boise, Idaho. On Thursday it rained, on Friday it snowed, but on Saturday and Sunday it was gorgeous. Warm enough to sit out on the patio for several hours. Spring has not quite arrived yet, although the daffodils and crocuses were in abundance. Usually when we go at this time of the year, all the trees are in full bloom. But this year we were a week or so earlier and their spring was about two weeks late.

How would you like this house across the street from yours??? Some do and some don't. I think it is quite an attraction. It is owned by a dyed-in-the-wool Boise State university Broncos fan. And of course the colors are the Bronco's colors. He is in the midst of turning his front yard into a football field. Obviously, quite a fan.

We were actually quite fortunate with the weather, because the weekend before, there had been howling winds of 55mph. In one part of town there was much more damage than else where. Here you can see a tree has come down on top of a trailer and across the street a beautiful large Garden Center where we had visited last year was pretty much wiped out. I'm inclined to think a mini tornado must have gone through here because this kind of really bad damage was confined to a small area.

PALM SUNDAY and we chose to go to a church that had pews and a choir! (By request of Owen's girl friend). We attended the United Methodist Church, Cathedral of the Pacific. They had two children's choirs as well as a very fine adult choir. All the choirs processed in carrying palm branches. It was absolutely beautiful inside, as well as outside. The message was thoroughly biblical, which was good for us. Altogether a very good experience.

This was the front door. My photo doesn't do it justice because I was rushing. People were approaching to go inside. But notice the writing in the wrought iron bars. Very unusual and very beautiful.

This was taken outside the REI store. (Camping, hiking, caving gear) An outdoor equipment shop. They were having an annual sale. People had camped out outside the store,-- overnight temps in the 20's! I counted 12 or 13 tents. Owen used to work in this store, but now he gives lectures there on various aspects of outdoor hiking, about twice a year.

One man had brought his dogs. Photo rather over-exposed. But beautiful dogs.

Tomorrow I'll post some more photos taken in Boise. This will include some cats -- just for equal time purposes! Had a good time but always glad to be home.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cheeky Squirrel!

Would you believe it??? This cheeky squirrel shimmying up the thin bird feeder pole! I'm happy to say he didn't make it. He lost his grip a couple of seconds after I took this photo. Really didn't have time to post, but couldn't resist this. Be back later.