The world is but a canvas to the imagination...
Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Tree

Sometimes, little moments of unexpected beauty can make you breathless. At first glance, this may seem like a naked cottonwood. That glance would be correct. :-) At second glance, it turns into a living painting. One that looks too painfully beautiful to be real. The color of the Montana sky, a blue so intense and so crisp I wish I could break a piece off to store away for a rainy day. Next, I see the delicate feathery branches, supporting the sky, twigs, so fragile looking, but strong enough to hook the heavens with its tendrils and link itself to the earth down to the roots. I love to look at those branches against the sky. They are so different from sunrise to dusk. In the morning they are lit with a light that reminds me of honey dripping off of a spoon. Lazy, golden and sweet. At night each branch is in stark relief against the sunset. Inky black against layers of color ~ so defined and deliberate, reminding me of a Chinese brush painting. I have tried and tried to catch "The Tree" against this rich backdrop only to fail miserably. Looking down from the branches you reach the trunk. Huge. Rough. Myriad shades of cinnamon, chocolate, sienna, buff, grey. Visual depth that makes me itch to draw it. "The Tree" is at the top of a hill I travel several times everyday completing the tasks that make up my day. Each time I start to drive up the hill I look eagerly for my friend. Those little bits of beauty shore up my soul. I know that a God who chose to create a simple tree as a masterpiece, is an amazing Creator indeed. I wonder how people can doubt that God is real when there is so much attention to detail and beauty in our lives. Each time I "shore up" my soul it feeds my testimony just a little bit more and I am so grateful for my life. "The Tree", a friend indeed.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Down with the "MAN"! Protest Baby! Peace!

As much as I love my children and love to have pictures of them...can we say 600+ from Disney alone? There is one type of photo that drives me insane. The school photo. Now, that being said, I absolutely love to get them from my don't be offended, bombard me with emails and hurt feelings and cross my name off of the photo-sending list forever! Take a if everyone is calm I will continue. With four kids, finding the right photo package is very difficult. I don't want one that has 1 8x10, 1 5x7 2 3x5's 42 wallet sizes and a bonus of one billion little photo stickers of themselves that my children will stick everywhere. The right package does not exist. Luckily for me, there is the option of add-ons. For the price of a small country, 1/2 of a college tuition and a leg (volunteers anyone?) we can create a package that fills the needs of every one's photo frame. Of course, you still have all of the leftovers.

When we moved I discovered roughly 5 million packets of half used school pictures~which was interesting since my children have only been in school a combination of 26 years. I chose to paint a mural in our new living room, but had I been moved by the muse in another direction, I could have easily papered the walls with my children in various stiff poses, cheesy grins, glassy looks and usually one of them in an outfit that I did NOT approve for the "picture day" (imagine grim muzak here) Lets not forget the ones where they decided to restyle their hair with the new black picture day comb which they are given before they get their picture taken. Now really, whoever thought that one up was NOT a mother!

We are well conditioned by society to get these pictures, so as fall brightly colored our lives and summer drifted to the ground I prepared for the inevitable picture day. Until an flyer came home and I discovered that the prices had risen AGAIN! There was only one answer. I may look like a soccer mom on the surface, but on that day, my hippie roots reared their tie-dyed banners and said BOYCOTT!

An organized protest crossed my mind, but seemed a little extreme for the circumstances, so we just decided to take our own in the backyard. Here are the most updated photos of the kids. Alex (14), Joey (12) {He opted for his serious look} Lissie (11) and Toby (8). Enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Seriously! What is wrong with people? I recently read an article in the Telegraph from the UK that made me shake my head. (And shake in my boots! I am so scared of snakes. I don't even like earth worms, they are too snake like!)

By Urmee Khan Last Updated: 6:57AM BST 22 Oct 2008

The treatment consists of six non-venomous snakes massaging the client's aching muscles and joints.
Ada Barak's snake spa, in Talmei Elazar, northern Israel, uses California and Florida king snakes, corn snakes and milk snakes for the massages, which cost £40 ($70).
Miss Barak believes that physical contact with the reptiles can be a relaxing experience. She says that she was inspired by her belief that once people get over any initial misgivings, they find physical contact with the snakes to be stress relieving.
"Some people said that holding the snakes made them feel better, relaxed," she said "One old lady said it was soothing, like a cold compress."
The size of the snakes depends on the type of massage - the larger ones are said to alleviate deeper muscle tensions and the smaller ones create a 'fluttering' effect. All are the snakes used are non-venomous.
Miss Barak began offering the service at the Talmey El'Azar tourist attraction in 2006 and now most of her income comes from exhibiting plants at her carnivorous plant farm, which eat everything from insects to small mammals.
She appeared on Tyra Banks Show, an American chat show, in April for an episode entitled "Beauty Tips Around the World".

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Antiques Show

With four kids it is sometimes hard to make time for just one of them. This time is was easy. It all started when Alex won tickets on the radio to the Huff's Antique Show.
We took off on a sunny day to have a good time. We both love picking through piles at second hand stores, antique stores and garage sales.

There were some amazing things there. One of them was this toy circus. It was huge, covering a whole table top. The animals were all jointed and hand carved. Each of the tiny flags were hand painted.
I like to try and imagine the children that played with this. Some of the animals look really loved. I wonder if they all had names?
Crap! Run for your lives!!! There are really freaky scary evil clowns taking over the circus! Don't be fooled by the fancy piano playing...he wants your soul! (I hate clowns!)

I loved the vintage Halloween items. The clapper was amazing. She was called the "Beautiful Witch". The candy basket and the owl were pressed out of paper. The cat looks like it wants to eat the plastic turkey cake topper. Don't look now, but there is another scary this time to try and blend in with Santa.

Alex and I loved this Santa and sleigh. We loved how the whole things was painted with such attention to detail...until you got to his mustache. You can't see it very well from this picture, but his mustache is just a dotted outline. Not painted in or anything. I wonder, did the artist get bored or was it a protest against Santa's luxurious facial hair?
Confession time. Alex has a wild side. Playing the antique slot machines. We loved the painting on the drums.

What a fantastic day. I love hanging out with Alex. He is so much fun and not only puts up with me taking pictures to blog and scrapbook but comes up with ideas for them and poses! I know that in just under 5 years he is off on a mission, so I'll store up all of these dates that I can. Next year we are looking forward to going back!