Friday, March 30, 2012

Going shopping again

Caryn and I revisited a fun place in Santa Clara, Utah 
that sells Mexican or Southwestern crafts.

 We didn't buy anything but enjoyed looking around.

The colors and variety are amazing.

Something about Southwestern decor resonates with me.

I especially love the big pots with creative things in them.

Such fun shapes and textures everywhere.

Ah candles, pots and handwoven rugs-so fun!

 This guy is huge and expensive, about $500-made of wood

 Fancy headboards and wall decor everywhere.

Just too cool!

Cactus speaks to me of space and freedom!

Don't forget the mountains nearby and trees.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Decorations

I visited my friend Caryn again. She is always doing something 
creative and especially for the upcoming holidays.

 Cute bunny and daffodil at her front door greet you

Her latest idea dying eggs with old silk ties

An unboiled egg is wrapped in used pure silk ties with pattern inside

 Secured at both ends with a rubber band, then wrapped in an old sock
soaked and boiled in vinegar water for 15 minutes, the results are beautiful

The rust colored eggs were boiled in onion skins with tiny
flowers or leaves first tied around the egg with thread-unusual!

She has quite a collection of birds for her spring decor 
gathered from garage sales and thrift stores

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Beginnings

A quote from my friend Caryn: 
We can never go back to the beginning and make a new start...
but we can start again today to make a new ending.

Time for some spring replanting of flowers that didn't survive winter.

Our dry creek bed needed some spring care so hubby volunteered.

I watched and was a cheerleader and photographer then...
I did some cleanup in our strawberry bed and anniversary garden.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cactus Blooms

Unfortunately spring is almost over and the snowbirds are heading home
which means Caryn is returning to her nest. Hopefully we'll get together in summer.

She told me about this beautiful cactus flowers that only bloom for a day or so.

So luscious and yet fragile

Prolific and resilient even if they only last a short time.

We thought we had missed them, then they bloomed again-hurrah!


Watch out for those spines.

Beauty is in the details sometimes, up close and personal.

Some are wilting already, but we captured them this year.

Busy Weekend

What a busy weekend. Sure glad my husband came along as chauffeur so I could sleep on the long drive up and back. I taught two classes at the American Fork Arts Council's poetry workshop on Clustering and Publishing or Sharing your Poetry. It went well and was held in the historic City Hall built in 1903. In the evenings we had time to visit with family and share a pizza one night and Mexican food another night. Everyone is busy so eating and visiting together worked well. Even were able to spend some quality time at grand daughter Lorien's home after dinner.

 The art work created based on my poem Sudden Storm

 Meeting room upstairs in the historic American Fork City Hall

 Reading my poem at the evening gala, then it was made into a song.
How cool is that? I took a home movie of part of the song below.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Visiting Family

 Aunt Ethel now 92 in front of her dramatic photo

Couldn't believe this was my aunt Ethel, but it is...

 Getting reacquainted with Lorien

 Lorien and Heather waiting for our food to be served,
not shown Emilee, Rachel and Jeff-Lorien's parents

 James loves to play games with grandma

 Playing games with grandson Nathan
He likes to do puzzles too, my favorite activity!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What is POETRY?

I'm working on a short INTRO to POETRY program for my YOUTH POETRY CONTEST coming up April 7th at Tuacahn Saturday Market. TCM co-sponsors the competition with the Utah State Poetry Society of which I am co-president this year. The theme this year is WHAT IF... Last year we had 106 students participate from our local Washington County school district. Prizes were awarded from participating merchants in the area. The youth read their winning entries on stage for parents and other winners at Tuacahn's Saturday Market on the pre-stage show. It was a fun activity that I started last year and continued this year with the support of the Utah State Poetry Society-Dixie Chapter of which I am the president.

Trying to help youth find their VOICE is something I feel is important in this crazy world of non-communication, depression and so many youth suicides. Poetry is truly a labor of love for me, self expression and a way to help others find their voice.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

POETRY Workshop

This Saturday I'm doing a POETRY WORKSHOP in American Fork at the Arts Council. Going to teach two classes: one on Clustering and the other on Publishing Ideas for Poetry. Should be fun. I love to teach. Can't believe how fast this month as gone and SPRING is definitely here. Here's your opportunity to write a spring poem and publish it in a comment by following my easy instructions below as I hope my audience will next Saturday. I'm making a powerpoint presentation for my publishing class-it's a challenge!

CLUSTERING is about RIGHT BRAIN VS. LEFT BRAIN WRITING- I like to call my RIGHT BRAIN my creative child and my LEFT BRAIN by careful critic. Both are needed for the final product called poetry. If you start out with the careful critic-you won’t get far but will get bogged down in analyzing punctuation, rhythms, and other details until you may lose the inspiration that started the whole effort to write a poem. A better way is to take your original idea and let your creative child PLAY with words using CLUSTERING.

A. THE PROCESS-it’s a lot like brainstorming or hunting for new ideas. First of all, write in your large center circle-the subject of your poem. Say SPRING, then quickly write in some words that come to mind as you contemplate this subject: beginnings, regrowth, starting over, repentance, possibilities are some words that come to my mind. Don’t judge any of these words (this is your RIGHT BRAIN trying to take over) just let the process come freely (using the LEFT BRAIN as a creative child would) and continue until you can’t think of any more words or you get the idea of how to start writing your poem.

B. NEXT STEP-considering the words you came up with begin writing some phrases or more developed ideas down without judging. i.e. Spring is a new beginning/Growing again happens naturally/a time of starting over/ looking at life through new eyes/repenting of old destructive ways/exploring new possibilities are some thoughts that came to me.

C. NOW you can let the LEFT BRAIN take over and do some EDITING if you feel you’ve finished with your clustering and organizing thoughts. At this point you can determine what form you want your finished thoughts to take: free verse, rhymed or some traditional form like sonnet, haiku, etc. I think I’ll try TANKA which is similar to HAIKU but with 5,7,5,7,7 syllables.

spring, new beginnings
growing comes naturally
starting over time
repent of destructive ways
explore possibilities

Now it's your turn to try this process, then leave your poem as a comment. You can do it. Celebrate SPRING!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Article #190 Creativity

Everyone has the opportunity to live a more creative life. The dictionary defines creativity as making imaginative use of the limited resources available or using new ideas or things. Many think of this word as only related to artistic pursuits, but you can be a more creative cook, fisherman, homemaker, accountant, etc. It just takes thinking outside the box in whatever situation you find yourself. Life always presents new challenges and problems to solve that could use new creative solutions. If easy to get stuck in a rut but if your way of dealing with a challenge doesn’t help, try something NEW.

When presented with an obstacle, I like to brainstorm or list possible answers to solve my dilemma. Say it’s a grandkids visit. What are possible activities we could be involved in that would be enjoyable, educational and lead to closer family bonding? Watching video games doesn’t rank up there, but perhaps a visit to the local dinosaur museum or a hike up Anasazi Ridge to see petroglyphs or visiting some of the great museums in town would make memories of their time with grandma memorable. Just planning these activities won’t make them successful, but networking with their parents can help. Perhaps setting down some guidelines-no electronic gadgets for part of the day or during meals so we can actually talk and visit?

Why not involve the grandkids in the planning or invite them if they are old enough to come visit without their parents? Then setting about doing some fun activities that would be unique for them, perhaps making craft projects, going fishing or just talking one on one. What a unique or creative idea––just visiting.

It’s too easy to look at situations or conflicts with a negative attitude, such as well that problem isn’t solvable. With some creative exploration, it could be resolved if you communicate with the individuals involved with care and love. Try something new, change your viewpoint or paradigm. Sometime just an attitude change on your part is enough to open up other ideas to start flowing. See the situation from others’ viewpoints.

Life is a challenge, it’s true. No matter our age or situation. Grandparents or aunts and uncles can make time to truly listen and be an influence for good on their posterity as they try new creative ideas for communicating and solving problems more effectively.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Think IRISH!

Happy St. Patrick's day today-it's a good day to wear green and think SPRING! It's coming. I wondered who Saint Patrick was so checked out at wikipedia of course. It's where I found an image of him used below.

Saint Patrick's Day (The Festival of Patrick) is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general.

The day is generally characterized by the attendance of church services, wearing of green attire and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating, and drinking alcohol, which is often proscribed during the rest of the season.
Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, among others. Today, St. Patrick's Day is probably the most widely celebrated saint's day in the world.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Memories of Iceland

As a participant in Snorri Plus in Aug 2011, I can say it fulfilled a life long dream of mine as a genealogist for over 50 years to walk on the land where some of my ancestors lived. (Above photo of me eating a delicious lamb hot dog and luscious mustard in Reykjavik!)

A special part of the program was getting in touch with Icelandic cousins who shared the same heritage I do. It was like a giant family reunion in Rekjavik and in the Westman Islands.

I learned so much of the history and culture of my ancestors plus touring and walking in the diverse landscape helped me to appreciate the land of fire and ice. Meeting and visiting with the Pres of Iceland was a special treat. (Above land of reindeer and beautiful wool sweaters.)

I would recommend anyone interested in Iceland to check out Snorri Plus-it's well worth the time and money. Traveling alone from the United States to Iceland as a 71 year old, I became part of another family at Snorri Plus as our small group of participants bonded after spending two weeks together in classes, touring and partying. (Above not to mention the great tasty food, sandwich with lamb meat.) It was so fun; now I have over 2000 photos of this beautiful land to share with my family here. Thanks for a memorable experience.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Article #189 Problem Solving

Most individuals grow up thinking life will be easy, not filled with problem after problem to overcome. I call this the happy ever after or fairy tale syndrome. Then reality hits. About the time you begin elementary school, you find out that there will be opposition in your way. You will have weaknesses and insecurities to overcome plus stumbling blocks that can completely stop you or can be used as stepping stones to better understand YOU-the unique person you are discovering.

Learning to look at life as series of problems to solve and using all your creative energies can be a major step in becoming a stronger happier individual. Unfortunately it takes time and many varied problems to overcome in order to change and improve. This is where families can help giving support, encouragement and understanding to each other. Time and experience are useful teachers, and loving friends who can support you in your journey. Networking again.

Physical or health challenges are some of the learning experiences you face as you grow older. The process of overcoming challenges can make you more sympathetic to others that face the same challenges. One of life’s common struggles is learning to live alone either because of never marrying, divorce or death of a spouse. Having a strong faith can give you comfort in living alone. Having a hope of reuniting with a lost loved one or finding another companion at some point in your life can assist you to get through this difficult time. Reaching out to others in the same situation can ease the heartache. You can do this now with your children and grandchildren. Be a listening ear and compassionate heart. Help them explore all possibilities for solving their problems or conflicts. Model for them how you do this as you age and continue to accept and overcome problems.

When I went through my divorce many years ago, I was helped by reaching out for advice and support from other family members who had faced the same situation in their lives. (Photo on left is my cousin Marion who got divorced the same year I did.) Now I find I can do that for those family members and friends struggling to overcome the effects of divorce and the many adjustments and self-doubt that come. Having been a single parent trying to raise my children, there are insights I gained that I can also share. My empathy is certainly higher. Although I haven’t lost a spouse to death, I have experienced loss.