Friday, December 28, 2012

How Beer Saved The World and Other Holiday Tidbits

Christmas is not entirely about gift giving, I know.
Like many, our family has cut back considerably this year.
Although the message should be about opening our hearts more
than presents, gift giving still continues to be a part of our tradition.


Because it's their first Christmas and they have been
exceptionally good this year, the kittens received
an extra special gift from Santa Claws!



Opie loves his high vantage point by the window.
Both kittens are thrilled with it and I am hoping
they'll start putting the scratching part to good use!



I have been taking a ten week online
lettering workshop with accomplished illustrator
and instructor, Val WebbInteracting and sharing
with members of the class has been fun and inspiring.
One of Jerry's presents from me is this Celtic style painting
with his initials. (Cutie Pye makes sure it meets with her approval.)
Jerry is happy with it. I'm relieved. Sometimes he is hard to please.
You can see a couple of my other lettering class projects here.


From Jerry, I got this sleek, shiny, new respirator for when
I'm chopping Rudy's hay with the paper cutter.
The cutting creates a lot of dust, so this
is a much appreciated, practical (and stylish) gift!
Don't you just love the black with purple filter accents?




I also got several cases of really good beer!
I am all set for quite a while now!

This humorous documentary will enlighten, entertain
and engage your respect for my favorite beverage.
Learn about beer's very long, interesting history and
see how it really did shape life as we know it today!
Now, whenever Jerry sees me with a beer, he says, 
"So, I see you are trying to save the world again!"

Wouldn't it be nice if it was that easy?

I hope your Christmas day was as pleasant as ours was
and that the rest of your holidays are happy and bright.

X ♥  O

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing You a Joyous Heart



True holiday spirit is about inner peace, love and kindness. It's ours for the asking. Take time now to reach out to friends and family. A simple compliment, caring dead or a kind touch can do wonders for setting the stage.

By embracing the meaning of the season, we can awaken our inner child and add considerable enjoyment to the holidays. Slow down and savor the sights of lights twinkling in the dark, the taste of various treats, the smell of spice and evergreens, the sound of music and laughter.

Christmas spirit is alive in the joyous heart and can be spread anywhere you want it to be.
~~~~~~~~

"May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!"~ Unknown

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." ~ ~ ~~ Charles Dickens


"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air." ~ W.T. Ellis

Thank You for your friendship and your comments!
As Always, Wishing You Many Blessings and a Joyous Heart!

X ♥ O
WITH LOVE 














Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Joy To Your World!

With all the tragedy and negativity in the news lately,
I have been retreating into my own world more and more.
And it's a very GOOD world too!

I refuse to let circumstances that don't effect my world
and that are way beyond my control, get me down.

Continuing to look for the positive in life, I strive
to enjoy each day to the fullest.


The best way I know of doing this, is to count my blessings
and be truly THANKFUL as often as possible.

Please don't let senseless acts of insanity and negativity
in this world pollute your mind and hinder your resurrection
to a higher plane of love, happiness and spiritual evolution. 

Thanks to all of you for looking at my images,
reading my thoughts and offering your friendship here.

Wishing You Happiness and Appreciation for Your Blessings,
Now, During the Holiday Season
And Always,
X ♥  O

"Saying thank you is more than good manners.
It is good spirituality." 
~ Alfred Painter


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday E-Card

2012 FB Holiday Header

As I said in my last post, there are so many things happening in Sandy Land right now. The only reason I have a moment to post here is that I'm sitting at my laptop while supervising the cloning of the hard drive on my iMac. I recently got an email from Apple regarding the possible failure of certain iMacs, including the one I own. Needless to say, I have to get a new hard drive installed in my computer, el pronto. It's already starting to act a bit suspicious and I don't want to wait until it fails to do something... Yikes! With the help of Carbon Copy Cloner software, I think I'll be able to make a bootable external hard drive with everything intact which I can then transfer to my new iMac hard drive. Cross your fingers for me!

Since some of you do not use Facebook, I thought I'd share my FB holiday cover photo here with you today. Hope everything's going well with you!

Until next time, I hope your days are Merry and Bright!

Thanks for reading and especially for commenting if you do.
X♥O



Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Gift Offer

I am pleased to announce a print giveaway at My Etsy Shop.



No Special Codes or Coupons Required.
Get A Free Print With Every Purchase!

++++++++++++++++++++

There are so many things happening here in Sandy Land right now. I hope to find the time to post some of my news here in more details soon. It's all good, from animal adventures, an online lettering course, watercolor commissions, photography excursions, holiday preparations, birthday celebrations and a new horseback trail riding friend!

Until next time, I hope your days are busy, bright and filled with joy!

Thanks for reading and especially for commenting if you do.
X♥O


Sunday, November 25, 2012

'Twas a Month Before Christmas


'Twas a month before Christmas and all through the house,




Kittens break stuff belonging to me and my spouse.




They look like such angels, this shouldn't be the case,



Observe the innocence of each little face.

So instead of adorning with greenery and glass,
I've decided to refrain and not be an ass.


This season's ornaments will be meagerly sparse,
To do otherwise would be a big farce.

A reminder that material possessions are not the important part,
What really matters most is what comes from the heart.



Wishing You Many Blessings, 

X♥O

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wishing You a Grateful Heart on Thanksgiving


On this Thanksgiving Day, my goal is simply to be a kinder person and to express my sincere gratitude more often. I will start here with all of you that have come into my life or have reconnected through the internet. A heartfelt thank you to all of you who read my posts. Whether you visit regularly or occasionally, you and your feedback have helped shape my path. Just knowing you are out there, keeps me from feeling so alone and isolated. It really is inspiring and energizing being connected to a global sisterhood / brotherhood of like minded beings!


I am so grateful for each and every one of you! You who have offered me your friendship in good times and in bad; have celebrated, sympathized, advised and supported me. In truth, your kindness has made a lasting mark. Connected by fate, in one way or another, big or small, I carry a little bit of each of you with me always.


Thank you all, thank you very very much!

Here's a few quotes by people who say it so much better than I can.:

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."  ~ G.B. Stern


"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice."
~ Meister Eckhart

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart".  ~ Jean Baptiste Massieu


"It is not what we say about our blessings,
but how we use them,  that is the true measure of our thanksgiving." 
~ W.T. Purkiser

Wishing You Many Blessings Always
and a Very Grateful Heart,

X♥O

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Back in the Saddle


I'm BACK, back, back in the saddle again!


Custom riding boots made by E. Voel

Here's an update on the ankle situation for any of you that might be interested.


I just got my (re-customized) custom riding boots back from E.Vogel Riding Boots  yesterday and they look awesome! Their craftsmen do such fabulous work. With zippers installed,  I can now get my poor, fat, hardware laden ankle into them! I immediately tried them out on a half hour trail ride with Rudy.


Front view of the hardware in ankle.

The tall boots felt a bit stiff and somewhat irritating, but gave the ankle lots more support than my short zippered paddock boots. It was our third ride since the accident on April first.


 32 years young TB Paint, Rudy.

The hardest part of the ride is getting off my 16 hand horse without jumping down onto my (not quite healed) ankle. It's a long way down!


New mounting/dismounting block.

I needed a higher and bigger platform than my small mounting block provided. So far, I've been using the tailgate of the pickup truck to gently dismount. Last night, my handy hubby, Jerry, came up with this idea of using an old tub. If it works out well, I'll spray paint it green to match the mounting block.

22 years young TB Oldenburg, Rita.

I will try it out with my big, sometimes rambunctious, 17 hand Rita soon.

Wish me luck!
X♥O


Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving is a word of Action


"He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart."
~J.A. Shedd


"The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies;
but let the thankful heart sweep through the day
and just as the magnet finds the iron,
so it will find, in every hour, some divine blessings!"
~Henry Ward Beecher


"We can only be said to be truly alive
in those moments when
our hearts are conscious of our treasures." 
~ Thornton Wilder


I am truly thankful for so many things, including you.
Thank you so much for your friendship!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a very thankful heart.

X ♥ O
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Moore Girls Picturing Poe

Moore College of Art - Illustration Major Classmates
L/R - Nan, Sandy, Carmella

On Sunday morning, a mini college reunion took place.


Picturing Poe:

Illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe's Stories and Poems

at the Brandywine River Museum

Our get together was just the spark needed for we three, ever searching middle aged creative friends. Even now, well into our fifties, we are all still trying to evolve and reinvent ourselves as artists. What will be our next new interest, project or direction? We talked about college, old times, teachers, art, artists, creativity, jobs, family, growth, expression, creativity, style, blogs, ruts and goals. We got absorbed in the art of more than two dozen artists featured in the exhibit, including some of my favorites; Ă‰douard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Aubrey Beardsley, Howard Pyle and Arthur Rackham. We also went through the N.C. Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth exhibits. It was all very exhilarating. After a delicious lunch at the museum cafe, we strolled by the river and enjoyed the beautiful warm sunny autumn day.


Watercolor Sketch of Edgar Allan Poe

Thank you Nan, thank you Carmella, thank you Edgar;
for a most memorable and enjoyable day! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Whooo Doesn't Love Halloween?




Night Hawk
Northern Spotted Owl
5.5" x 7.5" original watercolor on Yupo paper, matted - $85.
acid free, white core mat with a foam core backing in an acetate sleeve
ready to fit into a standard 8" x 10" frame.
SO, Whooo  doesn't love Halloween?

Because of Hurricane Sandy, today is "officially" Halloween here in NJ, according to our governor.



My car is still decorated.






I took all this stuff, plus costumes, down to Virginia with me for our Sandy Family Reunion.
(More about that to come.)

We put up the many decorations in our condo right away, but because of Superstorm Sandy, my sister, Denise, and I had to leave a day early, without having our full blown Halloween Pirate Party.

ARRRRRRRRRRR!!


To me, (and the whole Sandy family), Halloween just isn't a whole lot of fun without costumes! Our family has had some really GREAT Halloween masquerade parties over the years! They continue to be topics of conversation at many of our gatherings.




So, all ya landlubbin, scallywag scoundrels got 'til next year an' ye better be ready! 

Talkin' the talk be dandy, but ye better be walkin' the walk too!! Or ye'll all be visitin' me plank, beggin' fer me mercy. Listen up wenches; don't be actin' phony, like scurvy bilge rat dogs, ya hear?!

ERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Day of the Dead and Extended Halloween

As part of a modern, global community, we are exposed to many traditions from varied cultures. With a festive attitude, many folks are embracing some of today's more unique celebrations. For two consecutive days just after Halloween, "Day Of The Dead" from Mexico, is a well received pagan holiday which is rapidly gaining recognition and popularity in this country and beyond.




===================

Some quotes on "Culture" :


"Culture is the passion for sweetness and light, and what is more, the passion for making them prevail." (Matthew Arnold)


"All art is an individual's expression of a culture. Cultures differ, so art looks different." (Henry Glassie)


"I am sure that only art will bring together all the peoples of the world." (Ousmane Dia)



Here in NJ, because of HURRICANE SANDY, Halloween has been moved to Monday, Nov. 5th. It seems strange and of course there's a lot of confusion and contradiction about it. Anyway, in my opinion, any time Halloween is extended, it's a good thing. I am thankful that my namesake, HURRICANE SANDY was very kind to us. We never even lost our electricity. Storm damage was minimal here in Sandy Land. Since we just got our cable (internet, TV and phone) service restored last night, we've been out of the media loop. Thanks to everyone for your concern. I hope SANDY was kind to you as well.  My heart goes out to the many who are struggling with the aftermath of this powerful mega storm.



Monday, October 29, 2012

Chased Home By Hurricane Sandy

We got chased home from our SANDY Family Reunion in Virginia a day early by Hurricane SandyQuite ironic since the whole "Al SANDY Family" planned a Birthday / Halloween / Site Seeing /Reunion this past weekend in Williamsburg Virginia! It was the first time we were all together since 2008. Even though our trip was cut short, I am glad to be back safely in New Jersey! Many of the roads we traveled from Virginia last night are now closed. I just heard they are experiencing snow and blizzard conditions in North Carolina and Ohio. It's just crazy!
 


Jerry got everything secured on the home front over the weekend.






Rudy thinks it's great. He loves the rain.

I had to call him in at lunch time.



He is warm and dry under his waterproof blankie.
If it gets too nasty, I'll have to lock him in.



Jerry's making sure the paddocks are draining as well as possible.



No need to close the other horse  in!

Princess Rita remains high and dry in her stall.



We sprung a leak in the barn, but so far Hurricane Sandy has been very kind to us.

Emergency conditions prevail in our area and all along the Eastern and now central part of the U.S. We have heard from the township, cable company and the electric company to expect outages. I am trying to get this out as fast as possible. It is blowing and raining like a bear!
Wanted you all to know we are fine and I hope you all are too! I never thought I'd be living through a major hurricane named SANDY!

Stay safe! 
X ♥ O