On Making Cookies

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These are to pretty to eat…

Cookies, that is what my boys want on Christmas Eve. Not that I could make these beauts  but I am known for my Ribbon Cookies and Raisin Filled Lovelies. Cookies don’t much nourish your body, the dietitians will tell you this, but they do nourish your soul.

Nourishment of the soul comes in many cookie shapes, hugs, a thank you, random gifts of kindness and listening are but a few. Listening, I believe, is one of the best cookies. I learned in my years as a counselor that listening to someone else could feed their souls much better than any other nourishment. People need to be heard otherwise they feel invisible, insignificant, impoverished.

Delivering a plate of cookies and listening to the stories of a shut in senior can nourish your own soul as much as theirs.  This is a difficult time for those who are far away from family, or house bound because of illness.  Let’s all take time to deliver some cookies to those who may need some nourishment.  Hugs, and a patient ear may be all your really need to bake.

Serving up positive-energy through my art and taking time to listen are two of the ways I bring joy and happiness to others.

Reflecting on Thanksgiving

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“Saguaro”  with a private collector

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It brings back so many memories of wonderful times with family and friends.  As a kid, I remember going to my Aunt Lydia’s, I thought she was the most glamorous women I ever knew.  She lived in a brownstone in Detroit, back in the day when Detroit was a prosperous place.  Her dinning table was always set so stunning with golden rimmed plates, a huge floral arrangement and place tags. Of course at my table, where the cousins and I sat, we had plastic plates and little turkey decorations with crayons to draw on the paper tablecloth.  I couldn’t wait to become an adult, and sit at that beautiful table. My uncle John, was a hunter and besides the turkey we would have fresh venison made into meatballs in a sumptuous sauce.  Mincemeat pies, pumpkin deserts and side dishes galore were brought by all the other cooks in the family.  Uncle John would always toast to lasting family and friendships with Champaign in fluted glasses.

Years later I remember traveling to Illinois to visit my brother Rex and his family, he  lived on a horse farm.  Ginny, my sister-in-law, was a tremendous cook and she would put on a feed to beat all feeds.  Fresh from the garden fruits and vegetables and fresh slaughtered turkey and goose.  After the meal we would ride horses, to shake off the tryptophan coma that we were all experiencing.

Next I remember the Thanksgivings that I would host.  My first turkey that took an extra hour to cook, my children and their cousins sitting at the side table while us adults congregated around the dinning room table.  My attempt at trying to mimic all the great memories I had stored in my heart.  Many years we would invite, singles from church or my husbands USAF squadron, when extended family couldn’t be with us.  It was always heartwarming to sit around the fireplace and learn about others lives.

I remember the first years that my grown kids started hosting some of the Thanksgivings, and we would travel from California to Arizona.  The year we had Tofu-turkey when my boys were vegetarian.  The year that my daughter’s oven stopped working and we had to cook the turkey at my son’s home so we watched hours of DVD,s waiting for the turkey to get done.

Now I no longer host Thanksgiving, it has officially passed to the younger generation.  Thanksgiving is hosted by my daughter-in-law. New traditions have changed how we go about things.  No more sitting at one table, it is buffet style, and sit were you want, inside or outside around the swimming pool with roasted  and deep-fried turkey on the menu.  A huge array of wonderful foods still grace the serving table by all the extended relatives and friends,and I marvel at the joy in the room as scads of grandkids run in and out.

Thanksgiving has changed through the years but the love of family and friends has not.  I cherish every moment of the day and feel so blessed for all that God has given our family and friends.  I hope that your Thanksgiving will be all you hope for, and shared with those you love.  Now go grab the grub…

 

 

Listening More… to my America

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“Across The Pond”  30″X 30″ Acrylic on 1 1/2″ gallery wrap canvas

After a week of disappointment, grief and anger I had felt alienated from those I love. Our America divided feels somehow worse than a week ago.  Even with a divisive election campaign I still had felt that the majority of us wanted to see the America that I envisioned.

Now I come to see that my vision my have been tinted by those I never stopped to listen to.  The silent ones that I left behind.  They found their voice in our new president-elect.

I have always felt I was a caring and compassionate person, Christ driven to do my best by others. But now I see that I left some of the others behind.  I had not listened to the disenfranchised poor rural white people,  their privilege was not as white as my priviledge their opportunities where not as high as mine.  My fault has been that I did not listen to their plight as I did to the other disenfranchied; immigrants, people of color, urban poor.

Maybe it was the media, we never saw the other side. Maybe it was me not opening my eyes.

I still feel dishearten that a man such as our new president-elect will lead us the next 4 years. Crude and spewing hate, he became a whole segment of the nation’s mouth piece for those that were angry with my white privilege, my truth and my blindness to their needs.

I will find something good from this learning experience, my eyes are wide open now.  I will become a better listener.  I will continue to fight for the rights of others and be welcoming to all.  I will learn to tolerate our new president-elect, and pray that he finds his footing to lead this great nation.

I will continue to paint Positive-Energy into all my art, for that is one thing that our whole nation needs. We must continue to live positively, knowing that through loving each other, and listening to each other we will work with each other to make a new America inclusive to all people even those I have not heard.

“Across the pond ” the painting above is a vision of my home, my rural experience, my dream of hope, happiness and joy.  I share it with others and pray that all America finds their own vision of hope, happiness and joy.

 

 

Reflecting on November

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“Mesa Sunset”  10″ X 8″ Acrylic on 1 1/12″ gallery wrap canvas

November, my birthday month, is the end of many things; autumn colors, warm weather, summer fun, and long days.  However November is the beginning of many wonderful things also. In our family November kicks off celebration of birthdays, family gatherings and holiday time. It also brings the first flakes of snow.  It is the time that the Valley of the Sun calls me, for that is where my family is.  November is family time…

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, lost to Christmas and sandwiched between Halloween and the Advent season it is almost forgotten by the retailers.  This makes it special, sacred, and heart warming.  A time to be grateful for all the abundance that God has given to me and my family.  Yes, I belive November is my most favorite month of all.  The month that heralds family time.

What is your most favorite month?