Friday, May 28, 2010

Lest you think I've been slacking

take a look at my blog heartsdelight
in between the weeding, decluttering (most of which consists of moving piles to less conspicuous places), working out at the gym and reading fabulous books, i've managed to tap into some of my creativity.

self-help at it's best

I can't say enough good things about this book.
From just taking the next right step (instead of being overwhelmed by the whole big picture) to learning that you are the CEO of your joy, Regina Brett has hit the mark on how to live life to the fullest.

So far I've purchased 4 books to share with family/friends, but have to have my own copy to reread again and again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What a beautiful essay from one of my former students

CHARACTER COUNTS by Patrice Nguyen, 5th grade, St. James Academy

Imagine that you are in a department store shopping for clothes. As you shop around, you notice some jeans that fell off the racks. What would you do?

Would you pick up the jeans and place them back on the racks, or would you pass by them like you never saw it? Imagine another situation. You went food shopping and your cart is full. You checked-out and paid for all your items. You leave the food store and had quite a long walk to your car. As you were loading your car with the goods you bought, you notice a box of sodas under your cart worth $5.00. The cashier forgot to charge you for it. Would you go back and pay for it, or would you take it and leave? These are simple situations that I think can judge one’s character. Well, I know someone with good character, my mother. She would pick up those jeans and yes, no matter how far her car is parked, she would go back to the store and let the cashier know of the unpaid item and pay for it. Another thing about her, if I am in an argument with someone and I am wrong, don’t expect her to side me just because I am her daughter, she will always side the person who is right, with an explanation.

Character matters a lot. Your character is WHO YOU ARE. It is how you think, feel, and act. If you have good character, you will earn the respect of people around you and certainly get God’s attention. My mother would say, “Good character is the ticket to heaven.” I think it is hard to have all the character traits. Some of these traits are: honesty, caring, trustworthy, responsibility, citizenship and cooperation. We should try to obtain if not all, some of these traits. I think people who care for small things definitely care for bigger things. Having good character also means doing good things to others and showing you care about what’s around you. In turn, good things will happen to you. To have good character is to have good morals and ethics. If only every person in this world tries to follow the character traits, there would be absolute peace in this world. So, the next time you see clothes fall off the rack, pick it up and put them back. If your in a big or small situation, CARE! Always remember what Mr. Micheal Josephson, a radio commentator, says, “Character Counts.”

NOTE: For her hard work and thoughtfulness, Patrice was awarded first place in an essay writing contest sponsored by the University of San Diego.

From my own personal experience, Cathleen Nguyen embodies good character for all of us and I've been privileged to have been the recipient of her generosity many many times.
Patrice is a gifted student, accomplished pianist, so talented artist and now prize winning author. Congratulations to the whole Nguyen Family!

Look what I've been missing!

I've been so busy lately, doing who knows what, and seldom take time to read my favorite blogs.

I also am behind in reading favorite magazines, some of which I actually purposefully put off reading because I like them so much and I don't want to not have one available in case of emergency.

So I grabbed one in the wings, this morning as I headed into the gym. I didn't think I could read while on the bike, but I can.
The one I grabbed was the March April issue of ClothPaperScissors

There were so many articles that required too much attention, even tearing out of the magazine, so I headed to the back to read
Loretta Benedetto Marvel's column, an Artist's Journey, where I knew I'd find humor, and affirmation.
Not only did I find those pleasures, I also had an aha moment. I know why I like her so much. She's a perfect Erma Bombeck.
For those of you youngun's Erma was the epitome of motherhood to me. She wrote about being a mother/housewife with such honesty and humor.
Loretta does the same,only with the added perspective of being an artist/attorney.

Her article in this issue focuses on the quantity of materials a mixed media artist much collect and trying to explain same to her husband. It's really a treasure!
If you don't have the magazine at least you can check in on her blog pomegranatesandpaper to savor her down to earthness.

behind the curve

I suppose everyone else knows about 10x10 but me.

I found out about it in this book:

It was listed under the category of "12 websites you (meaning old fogies) should know".

10x10 consists of a 10x10 grid of thumbnail sketches and 100 words lined up by the grid.
They give an hourly update of stories garnered from news sources around the world. It's pretty user friendly, but decidedly frightening to be able to summon so much information and then be able to disseminate it so succinctly and so quickly.

I also learned from reading the above mentioned book that young people don't email and don't read newspapers (they also don't wear watches, but tell time from their phones- and I just got that cool watch from Rod for my b'day that reads my heart rate and tells me how far I've walked) and those of us that do are really dating ourselves! I guess I should have figured as much. I'm only on #32 out of 185 ways to not act old, and wait with much anticipation to find out what else I need to learn, well maybe not so much learn, as be aware of. Watch out, here I come!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A funny discovery

I never got on the DWTS, American Idol bandwagons, mostly because I don't watch TV, but I often feel very out of it when so very often the conversation among my friends turns to the latest contestants, either being voted off or making the cut.

Well I'm looking for someone to get in on my newest discovery, HoSprings, a serialized novel with outlandish characters and locales, i.e. a racetrack, a diner, a spa, a strip club.
I'm quite far behind, as the author is up to #50 and I'm only at chapter 12, but I'm off to visit "a little spa town near the gates of hell" as we speak.


If you're a burger lover keep reading!

What a fun experience, building a custom burger at TheCounter in The Forum in Carlsbad.

I chose 1/3 beef, way larger than I would have liked, medium well, in a bun, with gruyere cheese, grilled onions, market greens, dried cranberries, and aioli sauce. Every bite was a mouthwatering experience. My esteemed colleagues voted the sweet potato fries the best. I myself thought the onion strings delectable.

I'm guessing none of the choices support my diet so it will be a while till I return, but the happy memory will linger!
Go ahead and splurge!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

weeds - a bane of my existence

how timely of Davi to send me this email from Brave Girls Daily Truth BraveGirlsClub, since I've been complaining about the weeds in my yard. Now is the time to deal with them and I thank her for this encouraging message to deal with inside weeds too.

Sorry for the cut off. It won't fit in my two column
I so envy my gardening friends, but can never get
past the weeds to enjoy the beauty of gardening.
Maybe this time.

Also timely is finding this image on my
Mary Engelbreit daily calendar:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sage advice from the Squeen of Silly

It's now May and I can look back on the life changing events in April with different eyes.
On the 1 to 10 scale, Larkin's easy birth and the joy of spending time with Lila who continually makes me laugh with glee was a 10. Rod's fall on the other end of the scale was a 1. So sad that with a little thought on my part it would never have happened.
Now he's put in the position of being disabled for 6 months. The bright spot is feeling the support of his sister Kathleen, who drove over from AZ to be nurse extraordinaire, the professional advice of another sister, Rosie, and the numerous friends who immediately reached out. Willie, the ice machine was a god-send. Neil, Diane, Pam, Paula, Rose, your food sustained the soul, as well as the body. Dennis and Derek, your books provided much needed escape. Countless cards from others broke the monotony of the days.

Because of these events I put on hold the online class, The Art of Silliness, I had signed up for.

Taught by Carla Sonheim snowballjournals it was meant to be an exercise to free the inner child in you and make drawing fun. It began on April Fool's Day and
each succeeding day in April Carla sent an email with lots of funny jokes, sayings and a drawing assignment that encouraged sillyness.
I think I completed day 1, then got caught up in babies and knees. I have each one downloaded and am so looking forward to silly days in May.

Carla concluded with some sage advice which I would like to share.

A week or so ago fellow silleur Louise D. emailed me with a question, and I asked her if I could share our exchange with you. She graciously agreed. Thank you Louise!!!

From Louise
Miss Squeen...I have a wee frustration on one of my silly assignments. It's the one about drawing a picture about the poem with the granny apple. Well, my imagination worked FINE when I figured out what I wanted to do, but when I tried to draw what was in my imagination, that' when things got ugly!!! My Eiffel tower didn't look like anything remotely close to an Eiffel tower and I tried to put little silly people all over the place, but they don't look like people at all because I don't know how to draw a face in profile. I couldn't make them dance because I couldn't figure out how to draw people from different angles....and everyone's hands look like scribbles. I believe I was doing better at drawing a picture such as this when I was in 2nd grade!!! I feel frustrated because it doesn't look like my imagination was doesn't look silly and nothing resembles what it should. Do you want to see? Can you give me some advice? Thank you, oh royal Squeen bee. Louise

From Carla
I would love to see it... can you email me a copy?

I'm pretty sure I can speak to your frustrations even without looking at it, though! I think it might be a case of expecting too much from yourself!!

But send me the drawing and I will be able to speak more intelligently.

(Louise sends drawing the next day, and you can go to the Sillyblog and see it there)

I got it... I'm "down" today with allergies and so not up to responding intelligently... however, at first glance, your drawing is delightfully "childlike" -- in that wonderful, good way Picasso talks about.

From Louise
Child-like yes, but out of whack too because I can't figure out how to do more realistic hands, profiles, a group of dancing fruit people, etc. It would be great if I wanted it that way...I guess the problem arises when that's the BEST I CAN do... it's rather embarrassing actually :)

From Carla
egarding your drawing and frustration with it... I totally hear what you're saying and hope that I can help in some way....

I'm assuming that you did this drawing completely from your imagination, correct? In other words, you didn't have a photo of the Eiffel Tower in front of you? Or a person in profile?

For some reason with drawing many of us assume that we "should" be able to draw these things completely from our heads. The truth is, all these are very complicated shapes and forms, and until we've drawn the Eiffel Tower or a human face in profile (or dancing people or hands) many many times, even the "best" artists need a reminder of how these things actually look (and would go online or to the library to get photo references). (PS... I think your hands are WONDERFUL just how they are!)

I wonder a lot about how and why we have such high expectations for ourselves when it comes to drawing. It could be a generational thing.... many of us who are older than 40 were "taught" that only those who could draw like Norman Rockwell, for example, were "artists." Then many of us stopped drawing at all in 3rd or 4th grade and labeled ourselves as someone who "can't draw."

The truth is, drawing is a journey, a process, and a skill to be developed and enjoyed over time... Try to think of it like learning a language... you start taking a Spanish class, for example, and learn a few words or phrases. You struggle with the accent. Every once in awhile you come out with a sentence that is both grammatically correct AND the proper accent... yay! But if you've only been trying to learn Spanish for a few weeks, you would hardly expect yourself to be fluent... it's the same with drawing... it is totally like learning a language.... think of the Eiffel Tower as a "word" or the profile of a human face as another "word." Pretty soon, when you have said it/drawn it enough times, it will start to be part of your "vocabulary" and will flow out more effortlessly. In the beginning, though, you have to keep looking it up in the dictionary!!

If you can think of your drawing here as a "sketch" or a "note" just to jot down your (fabulous) ideas, you might not be so hard on yourself!


Please, PLEASE don't be so hard on yourself with your drawing! Like anything, the more you do it, the "better" you will get.

But also, like anything -- playing tennis, learning a language, learning to dance the salsa, etc. -- you will have "good days" and "bad days." No matter how proficient you get at any of these things, some days you just won't have the energy or patience to do them very well. But it's okay!! It's all part of the bigger picture that is life. (Good and bad... pretty and not-so-pretty... happy and sad...)

Thank you again!

Carla Sonheim

I'm especially looking forward to Carla's book being released in July

and just discovered she illustrated another book, which looks like it's right up my God/dog alley.

Thank you, Carla!!!

and on another note, have no idea how that photobucket square arrived, nor do i know how to get rid of it... any suggestions would be much appreciated.