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06 Jun 2013 07:34 pm

My Mother is the best. I have been so blessed to have her in my life.

22 Sep 2012 12:41 am

Sailors on the Rigging

27 Dec 2011 12:46 pm

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I happily worked on my Christmas tree this year, anticipating the reaction when our family (especially my four grandchildren) arrived for Christmas Eve.

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No matter how hard one works there are always a few last minute things to do. I almost forgot to hang the stockings.

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Almost every room downstairs had some Christmas frippery hanging around. I take “Decking the Halls” literally.

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The Santa tree went back up this year and our dog, Penny treated it with respect. (That means she didn’t use the tree as a chew toy.)

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The tree on the piano was filled with special ornaments given to us by a dear sister-in-law, some in memory of her two lost children.

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The dining room wasn’t left without Christmas touches. This year we hosted the annual Christmas Eve celebration at our house. We had a sit-down Dickens Feast with Turkey, Ham, Scalloped Corn, Baked Apples stuffed with dried fruit and pecans, Glazed Carrots with Pecans, Duchess Potatoes, Salad, Broccoli Cornbread, Rolls, Holiday Mincemeat Pie and Hard Sauce, Kentucky Derby Pie, Rum Cake, Banana Split Cake, Christmas Cookies and Eggnog with Brandy, Rum and Nutmeg. So what that the kitchen was filled with too many cooks? The result was glorious and delicious.

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We have lovely bushes beside our house that have holly-like blooms on them that are at their best on Christmas. These berries added some love to the kitchen. I took time to drink in the moments and the wonder of this Holy time of year. We watched Jesus of Nazareth, which to me is the authoritive Christmas Story. We watched Elf and Love Actually.

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All the attention and work was worth it watching our grandchildrens’ wonder at Christmas.

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Farewell, Christmas, 2011. You were a joyous and hopeful occasion. I look forward to seeing you again next year.

More Christmas Frippery here. I love it!

24 Dec 2011 09:46 am

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This fall has been a busy one for me and I haven’t visited the Wide Awake Cafe for a while. Although I have no time at all today, I want to wish everyone who visits this tiny cafe a Very Merry Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of year and every year I find myself wishing that the whole season lasted longer.

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Christmas means so much more than dressing the house.

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Wishing for snow like we had last year but it’s not in the forecast this year.

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Still, we will have light.

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Merry Christmas!

06 Jan 2011 01:36 am

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It’s a good day today.

No. It’s a great day!

For lo, these many years the American people have been visually assaulted by the image of Queen Nancy Pelosi lording it over the House of Representatives.

The gavel is no longer Nancy Pelosi’s to wield.

04 Jan 2011 12:28 am

Thousands of fish die.

Blackbirds fall from the sky.

The tornado which killed three in Northwest Arkansas last week also struck a graveyard.

Then there were all the chickens.

Benton County didn’t warn the residents. No warning was issued for the residents of Washington County either.

Governor Mike Beebe has remained quiet. In fact, he was born in a tar paper shack in Amagon, Arkansas.

13 Nov 2010 07:14 pm

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Life has been hectic lately. I’m deep into the art competition season and was at the art conference last week which took away some days of preparation for the so-called Reflections competition. This is a national competition sponsored by the National PTA and the art teachers in my district are required to participate. If there were no requirement I would drop this “competition” like the big bag of drudgery it is.

First of all, each year there is a “theme” to which students have to adhere and just as many classroom teachers complain about No Child Left Behind, in many ways, The Reflections Competition is teaching to the test. Worse, creativity is not important unless it is a child’s original portrayal of politically correct art reflecting hackneyed themes.

This year’s theme is Together we can. Oh yes, Together we can. Shades of Yes we can.

I’ve never been one to follow the crowd and I do not think that I am doing my job if I am not encouraging my students to be their own creative selves. Therefore, when we “brainstorm” about the themes of the Reflections Competition I stay away from cliches.

Still, public education has done its bit.

As a result, several of my students have rendered art worthy of a Miss America contestant. “Yes we can go green”, “Yes we can achieve world peace”, “Yes we can recycle” were some of the results.

But happily, other students followed their own unique minds and took a more personal approach to the theme.

Some of the most pleasing art reflected the students’ own personal life. “Yes we can clean our room.” was a funny take on the theme.

“Yes we can win the soccer game”, “Yes we can bake a cake”, “Yes, we can go to church”, “Yes, we can join the Army” were very well done pieces of art reflecting everyday life, which has always been the art that touches hearts.This kind of art fills the art museums of the world,and is more reflective of the cultures of the time. It is doubtful that the political thought that has been enforced throughout K-12 American schools will produce brilliance.

My favorite take on this years’ theme? A sixth grade girl created an artwork depicting girls fighting against nazi zombies. On her statement she wrote, “Yes we can fight the Nazi zombies” The art was clean, crisp, stylish and funny.

(this young lady has an ironic sense of humor, she is not a candidate for the school counselor)

I can’t imagine Vincent Van Gogh collapsing to mediocrity when being confronted with creating to a theme. Perhaps he would have chosen to portray the Potato Eaters (Yes, we can eat potatoes) he painted in his dark early days. Throughout the Renaissance period the greatest artists became great despite the demands of the Pope and Lorenzo de Medici.

I can just imagine Leonardo da Vinci’s reaction to a PTA lady’s demands that he fill out the Reflections entry form which is in itself one of the most excruciating experiences for an art teacher who has no active PTA at his/her school. If he even deemed to respond to it he would have filled it out by writing everything backwards. Nor would he have bothered to fill in the section that requires the particular schools’ PTA digits or the dates the school PTA paid their dues or passed their bylaws.

Oh, and yes, every art teacher entering their one fifth of all the students they teach (about a hundred students) in the Reflections Competition has to list each student who is entered and turn in five copies of five forms.

Funsies.

31 Oct 2010 04:43 pm

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Cell phone photo of my spooky line drawing done on the white board in my art class.

It’s Halloween and in our city the children are observing the actual date on the calendar. It will be a spooky (and fun) evening here in flyover land.

Chills will be running down the spines. Hands will be shaking and twisting in fear. As the night goes up to day what kind of destruction will be left in the wake of the tricksters and treaters?

Oh, I’m not talking about tonight but Tuesday night. November 2nd is Election day in America. Will the witches of the left coast be shrieking in rage at the results or will that spooky “once upon a time witch for a day” be victorious?

We will see.

27 Apr 2010 09:33 pm

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This is the actual sign on the new Arkansas DDS building in Little Rock.

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