Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Birthday Trip

I was painting this morning and getting frustrated so I thought I would walk away for a bit and come and tell you about our weekend, or at least our Saturday.
The 18th was my daughters 14th birthday. Where does the time go?!
She wanted to go up to Glen Lake for the day with her BFF and since it doesn't take much for me to say yes to going there, I was happy to grant her birthday wish.
So my daughter, her BFF and her mom, which is also my friend, climbed in the Jeep and off we went!

It was a cloudy day and around 55-60 degrees, not too bad.  It is about a 2 1/2-3 hour trip but beautiful all the way up.
We stopped at a lighthouse in  Benzie County called Point Betsie. It is the oldest standing structure in that county and was built in 1858.  
As of today it is managed by a group of volunteers that make sure that this beautiful historic lighthouse is kept up and cared for.

After our stop there we made it to Glen Lake and had some lunch and then ventured off to a few beaches along Lake Michigan where the girls looked for treasures in the shore.
(my daughter is in the blue sweatshirt)

We then made our way up to Leeland.
It was really cold there so we didn't stay too long.

We even stopped to photograph a local. :)

All in all the trip was fun and the girls and myself and my friend enjoyed getting away for the day.
I can't wait until the summer when I can go park my buns on the dock there and just relax in the sun by the water. :)

Have a wonderful week!!


Sunday, March 25, 2012


I wanted to thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers for my BIL.
He is still in the hospital but getting better.  They have started to try to get him of the ventilator and hopefully he can come home some time this week.
I don't know if I have shared much about my BIL with you and his situation.
16 years ago he was in a car accident that left him what they call an incomplete quadriplegic.  He has no feeling from about mid chest down and he can only move his arms some, his right more than his left, and  has limited movement in his wrists and fingers. 
 Basically he has no fine motor skills.
He has adapted to life very well, works on a computer, NOOK operates his chair and so on. He is the most patient guy I have ever met and has taken all of this with great attitude and determination.

Anyway, when he gets a cold that you and I can just take medicine for, it is a bit more complicated for him.  It usually turns into pneumonia and a hospital stay is normally in his near future.  He has had so much done to him over the years, it breaks my heart.  It seems like being in the hospital sometimes causes more issues and things can snowball pretty quickly.
Anyway, this stay brought on some new issues and we just weren't quite sure what was going on for a while.  My MIL does not leave his side and takes care of him like no other could.  She is amazing!
I would love to tell you more about him, maybe in another post one day.
But please know that your prayers meant so much and they are being answered.
Thank you.

I tried to keep busy last week and it was nice that the weather here was summer-like so we were able to go outside and do a bit of gardening, sit on the deck and just play in the grass.
Things are green around here and it feels so good!
We had a few days where the clouds were amazing!
Distant storms and beautiful sunsets that casts amazing colors on them.
Below is a shot that I took coming home from the hospital one night. 
I actually captured a lightening bolt with my Iphone!

I also found myself painting quite a bit, it relaxes me and keeps my mind busy.
I finished the painting that I shared my frustrations with earlier,

and I also started and finished another painting.

This one was fun with the splatter painting, although I am still finding paint all over. :)

The splash over the rock took me a few tries but I got a chance to learn how to use some different brushes and see which ones that I like the most.

I started yet another painting on Friday, but I just started the sky so I will share that one later.
(These are all paintings from the step by step book I am still working from by Jacqualine Penney)

I am sorry that I haven't shared any home projects with you, I honestly haven't done any.
I hope to paint my entry way soon and now that it is nice out we have turned our attention to the yard and garden.
I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and the week ahead is beautiful for you.
I miss visiting and hopefully this week I can have some time to come see you. :)



Sunday, March 18, 2012


Hello everyone.
I am just stopping in to say that I will taking a bit of a break from blogging.
My brother-in-law is in the hospital, has been for about a week now.
We are not sure what is going on so I am just taking some time to be with my family.
Hopefully we will know some more tonight after they run more tests and they can get him feeling better and get him home.

Thank you all so much for your friendship, it means the world to me.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


This past weekend it was beautiful here in Michigan and it is supposed to get up to 73 on Wednesday!
We took advantage of the weather and headed out Saturday late afternoon/evening for a little drive to visit the beaches so I could do some "homework" for my paintings.
It was still really windy  (hubby is still doing well, no repercussions from the run-in with the downed tree) and it was a perfect time to take some photos of the waves out in the lake, how they roll up on shore, how the light hits them and just their overall movement.

It was interesting because in the town that I live, which is about 20 miles south from where the photos above were taken, the waves were not as big.  
However, that did not stop the surfers from trying to catch a few waves.
Mind you the water temp is still in the 30's. 

(the kids thought it was cool that they could jump over the fence)

Monday was rainy and humid and some severe weather came rolling through late afternoon.  
We actually had to leave my daughters basketball game due to a tornado watch, school policy for the area.  We haven't had a tornado in our town in a LONG time but better safe than sorry. 
After the storms passed my daughter and I went out to the lake to do some more "homework".  
I wanted sunset pictures and to see how the sun displays its colors on the clouds and water while setting.  
Here is what we got.

I love these and may have to attempt a painting in the future.

It was interesting to see how the colors changed from different angles and depending how much I zoomed in and out as well as when the sun was sinking lower.
I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful area.
My goal for myself for painting, after I become more confident in my abilities, is to go up and down our coastline and paint the places that I love so much here in Michigan.
My friend Ral, an artist that I featured a while back, mentioned in one of our conversations that she could paint one stretch of beach there in Hawaii and never get the same picture.  
She is so right!  
The beach, water and sky are ever changing and seem more and more beautiful and inspiring every time I look.

Sorry this is such a long post, I got really excited and inspired.
So I thank you again for letting me share this with you.



Friday, March 9, 2012

Back to the Drawing Board

How are you?
Good I hope. :)

We are starting to get better around here, thank you so much for all the well-wishes, and it looks like the weather is hopefully going to be a bit more consistent in the next weeks....perhaps Spring is Springing?   

This last week has been interesting.   It started off pretty mundane and then Wednesday night shook me a bit.  My hubby, who had to run into work with his boss at 11:00 pm phoned me and proceeded to tell me that they are ok.  I was sleeping and it took me a minute to figure out what was going on but then it hit me.
Well, it has been extremely windy here the last few days and as they were driving down the road they came across a tree that had fallen over the road from all the wind.  Unfortunately they didn't see it until they were right up on it and hit it.  The air bags went off and thank God they just "jumped" over it and landed on the other side....although not good for his bosses car.   No one was hurt but I was shaking so bad at the thought of what could have happened.  

This morning our wonderful washing machine decided to leak AGAIN so I spent the morning cleaning up water AGAIN and trying to figure out why it was leaking AGAIN.  I have a front loader and will never ever get another one.  They are great for some things but they smell and they get plugged really easily, at least mine does.  I use all the right soaps and try not to wash anything weird, I do have two children so I can't guarantee that weird things don't go in from time to time but this machine has done this about 8 times in the last two years.  I am not happy about that.  
Does anyone else have issues with their machine?

I have also started volunteering for an organization that my dear SIL is director of.  It is the Down's Syndrome Association of West Michigan.  I am their new Volunteer Coordinator.  It is not a paying job but that's ok, I love helping and it gives me a chance to do something for others.  This week I spent some hours trying to figure things out and setting things up, sending out emails and other little things.  I still have a ways to go to get in a groove but I think I am headed in the right direction.

I also had a few hours to try to paint.
Here is what is going on in that world.

This is what I am trying to paint.

This is what I ended with today, didn't even finish it, and decided to start over.

I am having the worst time with this area with the grasses and shadows,
I just can't get them to look right.

This was the first attempt....

 and second attempt.

 The second attempt was better but not what I had in mind.
I need to practice my grasses as well as techniques.  I still have to get over some things like the feeling that I am wasting paint and learning more about mixing colors.  
I will not give up and if anyone has any great books to go from I am all ears and eyes.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and please forgive me if I am a bit absent in the near future, I have some things coming up that will be taking some of my time.



Sunday, March 4, 2012

If I had a Beach House.... wouldn't be too ginormous.
I would want something where I can enjoy each room and make the most of those rooms.
Something with character and charm.
Where the beach was my front and back yard.

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

Where tall beach grass swayed in the sea breezes.

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

I could either sit in the sun and soak up its warmth

or under a porch to nap or be sheltered as I

Source: via Noelle on Pinterest

watch an incoming storm

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

or the moon rise over the sea.

I would have stairs that lead down to the beach and then

to a dock where I could sip my morning chai and watch the sun rise.
(of course a Starbucks would be walking distance away :) )

The inside would have rooms with character as well.
Planked walls and ceilings

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

with floors covered by old wood that squeaked when you walked on them, telling a story of
a time before.

Windows would have sheers billowing in the sea breezes.

(my photo)

I would have a place to retreat to

to soak my cares away.

Romantic rooms with views and fireplaces to cozy up to on a cold night.

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

A room that feel like you are outside yet sheltered.

Every room with a view of the sea.

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

A place to hid and paint.

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

A bedroom that starts and ends my day with the most beautiful view.

I would surround myself with treasures from the sea

I would want to be close to a town where I could stroll along the docks

and little stores on a wharf.

Small town charm.

Is there such a place?

Honestly I would love to live in Cape Cod or Nantucket, that would be my dream. 
If I could just convince my family and friends to move with me that would be perfect!
oh yeah, and win the lotto. :)

Thank you for letting me dream a bit, I had fun looking at all the gorgeous beach houses and rooms.
Maybe one day it will happen, until then
thank God for Pinterest and blogs!!! :)

I will taking a little break this week, I am behind on things and I am still under the weather and pretty convinced that I will be sick until summer.
I did see a Robin the other day which, in Michigan, means that Spring is not too far away.
Let's hope. :)

I wish you a happy and healthy week!




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