Monday, October 29, 2012


The trailer for the new James Bond movie had an interesting word in it. The villain asks 007 what his hobby is and he answers resurrection.
Resurrection is a very religious word in my head, thoughts of Christianity and beliefs come to mind.
Renaissance, rebirth, renewal are synonyms.

Some evenings when I go to bed , I am so glad the day is done. I am happy to go to sleep and be finished with that day and look forward to a new day. Kind of a resurrection, isn't it?

The day misspent, 
the love misplaced,
has inside it
the seed of redemption.
Nothing is exempt
from resurrection. 

Kay Ryan

I have always loved the age of renaissance, the art, the time in history, the rebirth of ideas.
Not always easy in everyday life to think of rebirth of ideas. I struggle with questions like: What on earth should I make for dinner? I try to ask Arnfinn now and then of he has ideas or wishes, but he usually throws the ball back in my courtyard.

What to make today? I have no idea yet, but I hope it will come to me soon so that I can be prepared when I go Monday shopping with my girls.

Hector is very good at resurrection. Every morning he is just as energetic. Me today - (breathing out) - very tired from a busy weekend. Could need some energy rebirth today, then maybe get tickets for the new James Bond movie.

Today's water color is called "Black Swan".

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Truth about Ghosts

In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves.
Laurie Halse Anderson

Ghosts . . . something scary, something we don't know or understand enough about.
I believe we can create our own ghost, like this author above explains. And I don't mean cutting out funny ghost-like creatures with smiley faces for Halloween. I have done that and been criticized for demonic decorations with evil design.

But not being kind to ourselves, putting ourselves down, telling ourselves we are of little worth and don't amount to much in this wonderful world - now that's haunting ourselves. I believe many of us have been there, some of us will continue to be in that place from time to time - when a day is grayer than it's supposed to be and it seems like the sun will never again emerge from behind the thick clouds.

I believe in truth. I believe in speaking the truth with love.

St. Augustine, (born 354) a philosopher, theologian and one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all times said:
The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.

How can we be honest and speak the truth to ourselves? The truth is that we are children of God, loved by Him. We have been given talents to use, talents to bring joy to others and ourselves. We have been given the ability to love, to grow, to learn.

I will still hang up my funny ghosts this Halloween. They are not scary, but a reminder of fun celebrations and making memories that brighten those gray days.

After all - the truth is, I'm not that serious.

Art History: St Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne painted 1645-1650.
My Lamb and Lion - oil on canvas.
My Daniel in the Lion's Den - oil on canvas

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mimmi and Bestefar are open.

Anya came by with the children Saturday morning. I invited them over for eggs and bacon - a hearty breakfast - though Anya called it lunch since Scott had been up since 04:30 am. It's hard that transition from taking naps during the day to lasting until evening without falling asleep in the car on the way home from the grocery store or dipping a sleepy head onto the dinner plate. Scott had fallen asleep much too early the day before.

I think he was worried that he had to go to preschool, because when they approached our house he firmly told his mother: "Preschool is closed. Mimmi (grandma) and Bestefar (grandpa) are open!"

I am so happy that he considers us, his grandparents, open. I would like the Duck and Cherry to always be open to these wonderful grandchildren. More than that I want our hearts to always be open to them. They are our sunbeams and joy.

My parents had an open house and open hearts, always welcoming people to come and visit and stay for a day or a month or more. They fed their visitors, listened and cared. They were always open.

In our lives there are things we open up to and others that we close the door for. I tend to shut out people I do not trust. Life is too short to spend on occasions and people that are out to get you. Choose the  good part. Choose the uplifting and positive.

Today's water color shows a little girl in an open door.

Monday, October 15, 2012


 ReviewI remember reading the book Pollyanna by Eleanore H. Porter when I was a young girl.

The orphan Pollyanna is sent to live with her austere and pessimistic aunt, who hopes that putting the little girl in a barren attic room will not disrupt the quiet everyday routines of her household.

But the happy and cheerful girl will do much more than disrupt her aunt schedule. She will not only turn her aunt's world upside down, but have an influence on the whole town as well.

Pollyanna plays the glad game - and she is good at it.

The story has had such an effect on people that a syndrome called the Pollyanna Principle or Pollyanaism was created in 1978 and describes the infectious optimism and tendency to agree with positivism. The classic book about the resourceful and courageous Pollyanna has been rated five stars and is well loved.

"Oh, but Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, you haven't left me any time at all just to—to live."
"To live, child! What do you mean? As if you weren't living all the time!"
"Oh, of course I'd be BREATHING all the time I was doing those things, Aunt Polly, but I wouldn't be living. You breathe all the time you're asleep, but you aren't living. I mean living—doing the things you want to do: playing outdoors, reading (to myself, of course), climbing hills, talking to Mr. Tom in the garden, and Nancy, and finding out all about the houses and the people and everything everywhere all through the perfectly lovely streets I came through yesterday. That's what I call living, Aunt Polly. Just breathing isn't living!"
(Quote from "Pollyanna" by Eleanor H. Porter) 

Sometimes I long for my childhood, having my parents there, being under their loving care, and reading fun books like Pollyanna. But I can still read those books. And better yet, I have read good books to my children as they were growing up and now I can read to my grandchildren.

Today's photo is a Pollyanna book cover and a water color called "Shelter Before the Storm".

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Bookmarks. I like bookmarks. Is that a little strange?
Me drooling over pretty bookmarks at the store - Linnea says, "Mamma, you don't need another bookmark."
But I do.
I like to have a bookmark that matches the book I read. (That sentence just gave away that I have more than one or two bookmarks.) I love to read and different bookmarks are an added little pleasure when I open the book.

So to have a variety, I make my own. I bought a laminating machine a few years ago. What a fun thing. I laminate many things, including bookmarks.

One day I laminated 80-some bookmarks for a women's convention. Arnfinn shakes his head. He would never have come up with that idea....He is a little worried I might laminate him one day.

I still like to buy a pretty bookmark in a store and love it when I get one as a gift.

This Saturday morning Arnfinn wakes me up to say he's ready to go.
Me, my usual sleepy-confused in the morning, "Where are you going?"
He patient, knowing I actually know, but too tired to register, "I'm off to the car wash to get it ready for polishing today."
Hector jumps on my bed and I know sleepy time is over.

Oh, that's right. Today we polish car.
I get up and Arnfinn has a lovely fire going in the fireplace in the living room. What a sweetheart.

Maybe I can get in a few minutes of reading before he returns from the car wash.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In an autumn tree

I brought the grandchildren and Abigail Thompson out for a walk yesterday. The lovely autumn sunshine was golden and gently warmed the crisp air.

Who is Abigail Thompson? Look at the picture and see if you can find her. She lives here at The Duck and Cherry with all her many witch friends.

Abigail Thompson gets to have her photo on my cell phone and as we only had a summer photo where she stands between the herbs in the garden, it was time for a photo session among the colorful leaves.

Scott got to sit on a branch of a tree and was very proud of himself.

When my mother was little she would climb trees to suntan.
"Why did you do that?" I asked her.
"So that I would be closer to the sun," was her reply.

Scott was just excited to sit in a tree. He has just been on vacation to "Macalocca" and did not feel the need for any more suntanning for a while.

Blog about Abigail Thompson and her friends will be coming shortly.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Calendar Pursuit

I have a thing for calendars.

When my children were little and finally snoozed off in their beds, I got out my calendar and could sit for the longest time looking at days and dates, planning and dreaming of things to do.

Today I ordered three. Three calendars? How much planning am I intending to do over the next few months?

This is it. I have a kitchen calendar for all my everyday planning, then another one goes in the office, then the third was just a pretty one that I thought would be inspirational throughout the next year. I am not even sure where to hang that one yet.

But besides all the inspirational and pretty stuff, a calendar is very useful. I have one on my cell phone too - but it's practical - a word that sounds dull to me.

Every Monday evening Arnfinn and I get out our calendars and plan the week. He sits with his laptop. I go and get my pretty kitchen calendar, which this year is The Warmth of Home by Deb Strain.

I have gone through many calendar over the years with paintings of Swedish artist Carl Larsson, American Folk Artist Will Moses, Donald Zolan, and many more. Some pictures I have used after the end of the year, and the calendars with all the appointments and activities throughout the year are great for referring to when updating my personal journal.

I often say: "If it's not on my calendar, it will not get done!" I'm dependant on a helpmate in remembering all the week's fun things to do. We all have a system for how we function in everyday life. A small book in my purse is not for me. Everything on my laptop is still not enough. I want it to be pretty as well, and will continue scribbling on my beautiful and inspirational kitchen calendar.

It's storming and raining outside. Proper autumn weather. Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, has gone into his cage voluntarily and is resting on his warm blanket. I have put 17th of November on my kitchen calendar for the next art exhibition. I will present new fairies, lighthouses, and much more then.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn's Splendor

Autumn was my dear mother's favorite season. I understand her. Once I give in and admit that summer is passé, I get into the fall mode and thoroughly enjoy the crisp air, the colors, and the beauty of nature.

Arnfinn and I spent a few days at our cabin last week. We brought work there and spent a few hours working each day and a few hours for lovely walks in the amazing autumn splendor.

I would like to share a few of the photos from our trip.

Hector was his usual mud-loving dog and turned into the not so wheaten-colored Terrier. Fortunately, he was smart enough (or obedient enough to our commands) to take a bath afterwards in a small mountain lake. I was reminded that we love hearts more than the outside of both people and animals.

My immediate reaction was: "Arnfinn, that dog is sleeping in your bed tonight!" Even though Hector gets really dirty when he decides to lie down in puddles of mud on our walks, we have to laugh at him. He's such a mud-puppy. Anyway, it washes off.

I wish all people on the earth could experience a walk in the mountains at any season of the year. God's nature seems to unfold up there and feelings of thankfulness and joy come easily.

For some reason, I always feel more creative in the fall. Is it the colors, the leaves swirling around, the darker evenings and cooler weather, the candlelight and hot chocolate? I'm not sure. It's just observations of how it is.