Share Your World – March 20, 2017

Happy Spring! It’s showing up here in small ways – the daffodils are growing upwards, some with buds but a long time yet to bloom, my early peonies have little red sprouts popping, and the grass, now free of the snow covering, is greening nicely. We’ve had rain, enough to wet the ground too much to be out raking and weeding and prepping, so instead I sit inside trying to chase my spring allergy reactions away. Obviously, a good time to play with Cee.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I dunno, maybe 40 or 50? Or thereabouts. Mentally, at least. My body says “who you trying to kid?”

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house? I know where my umbrellas are. Because there is one in the utility room near the back door, right where it belongs, and at least two in the car. Wait – I may have lied to you. There might be another one somewhere else around here. Somewhere safe. But I do know where some of them are. I have this thing about having an umbrella available but do I always use it? Ha! I’m not sweet enough to melt, I tell myself.

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending with quiet time alone? I recharge by spending quiet time alone, although I think I may be doing a little too much recharging lately. It’s comfortable, this time alone, doing what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it. As soon as the sun beings to shine more often and the yard dries up a bit, there will be much less of that, so I rationalize that I should enjoy it while I can.

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend to have in common. Hmmm. My kids and I, who are my very good friends, both need that time alone for recharging. We have that in common. We like to travel, but we also like to come home. My daughter and I need to have pets around. Life is not complete without furry kids. I’ve just given you the easy answers, but there are many things my other friends and I have in common too.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful that gradually my-sinus-inciting-allergies are fading. I am grateful that each day there are more signs of spring. I am grateful that I wake up every day, am able to get out of my bed unaided, have books to read, inks to play with, naps to take. I am looking forward to more of the same.

I finally, finally finished Zoey – the commissioned project from a very good friend. I had so much trouble capturing her, getting her personality, for some reason. But here she is, and soon she will be on her way to her mom’s house.

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I Wonder, Why Why Why

Today I read a news article stating that #45, DT, has ordered drastic cuts by the State Department, which cuts would have a major effect on funding to the United Nations. The article did not specify why these cuts are to be made – ostensibly they would help to balance the budget – to enable an increase in funds for military defense spending, perhaps to fund THE WALL. After reading what I view as additional disturbing news, as if we needed additional disturbing news, what started buzzing around in my head were lyrics from the song Runaway: “I wonder, I wah-wah-wah-wah-wonder, Why, Why, why, why, why, why” – which, of course, relates not at all to the article other than that it started me wondering – again.

We like to represent ourselves as a Christian nation – yet, my concept of the teachings of Jesus were forgiveness, understanding, helping, acceptance – providing aid to those who need it. Loving everyone as our brothers. Caring. Caring. Caring. I am wondering, why, why, why, and how, how, how – spending money on a wall to keep out “bad dudes” (do all “bad dudes” come from places other than the U.S.?) and build up our ability to go to war relate to being a Christian nation? How can we defend cutting funds for humanitarian aid so that we can build weapons to kill? How can we battle a woman’s right to choose an abortion if she feels that is her answer, but applaud building more weapons of war? Please note that I am not condoning abortion, but neither will I condemn the right to choose it. We should not, cannot, judge unless we are walking in those shoes. But I digress.

I am watching a not-so-gradual loss of human rights, denial of the reality of climate change, ignorance of what it is like to be in the lower percentage of income earners, complete disdain for the “common person”. I am wondering why, why, why? We delude ourselves when we applaud the actions of our government, when we feel the need to continue to support a man who respects no one and nothing but the holy dollar, who cares not at all for the commoners – those who put him in office, to whom he promised the world. It is hard to admit having placed faith in the wrong person. It is hard to admit that maybe, just maybe, we were wrong. But he who promised much is and will continue to take much, will continue to care more about being bigger and better, than about we common folk.

There is increasingly little to enable us to honestly say we are the greatest country in the world. We were – we could be again – but the path we are on is not a path to greatness. It is a path to wholesale destruction of those things which have always been important to us – the willingness to help where and when help is needed, whether it be within our own country or those countries undergoing hardships greater than ours.

Look at the eyes of this little girl, a little girl from one of those starving nations, and tell me it’s okay to cut humanitarian aid. Look at these eyes and tell me weapons and walls are more important. Look. And ask why.

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Share Your World – March 13, 2017

Another Monday, a sunny warmish one this time, showing signs of spring. A wonderful gift, this sunshine and warmth! There is also, of course, Cee’s weekly gift, the opportunity to share of bit of ourselves with all of you.

Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? There are not a lot of elevators in places I go, but I usually only push the button once. Unless it’s taking an inordinately long time and I don’t see the arrow showing the floor it’s on moving, then I might push it again. It’s kind of like clicking on a link on the computer but nothing is happening – or reminding a child that he’s supposed to be doing what you told him to but he’s not moving very quickly. The need to nag, I guess.

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?) I am a planner, and like to have plans made as far in advance as possible. It’s kind of like priming myself to get going, I think. However, on a trip to some place new, the plans I’ve made may fall to the side if something else intrigues me.

Describe yourself in at least four uplifting words. Oh Cee, this is hard! I was raised not to blow myself up or praise myself – to the opposite extreme perhaps, but still that’s ingrained. I believe I am creative. I believe I am fair. I believe I am organized, or relatively so. I believe I am loyal.

If you had a choice which would be your preference salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert? Salt water beach, for sure! Although a fresh water lake would be a good second. Although my astrological sign is a fire sign, I am definitely a water person. Ocean cruise is good too – a great way to get a taste of places you might like to explore more at some time. Ski resort? Maybe in the lodge, in front of a fire, sipping a hot toddy of some kind. Never, never, out there in the cold snow, slip-sliding on two skinny little boards risking life and limb and too close contact with a tree. Desert – for brief periods only.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for signs of spring – the return of the tree swallows and western bluebirds, a first sighting for this year of an American Goldfinch – daffodils popping up through the soil – my resident jackrabbit loping across the yard this morning. Sunshine, warmer temperatures than we’ve had for a long time. I am looking forward to more of the same. I am looking forward to whatever this sinusy, making-me-tired thing I’ve got being gone so I can get out into the sunshine and start doing some of the spring yard work.

Playing yesterday with the inks – because every now and then I need to not be serious with them and just let go. This one turned into my version of a campfire.

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Sunny Days

Won’t you visit my Ink Arts blog? I’ve added a couple of new items.

Ink Arts by Carol

This is the second day in a row that we’ve had sunshine, with no snow showers! One could think that March is going to be good to us – except – I checked the forecast this morning. We’d better enjoy this sunshine while we can, because there is a winter storm watch that begins tomorrow evening, and calls for 2′ to 3′ of snow in the mountains. That’s to be followed by several days that all show snowflakes in the icons. Oh well.

I guess the good news is that the weather will encourage more time for painting. I’ve been working on a commissioned piece, a portrait of a beloved pet, that has been a challenge for me, but it’s getting there. This project has kept me busy and I haven’t had time to do much other painting, but I have added something new to both the Individual Tiles and…

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Share Your World – February 27, 2017

Since Cee first posted this challenge, we have moved into a new month. I cannot say I’m sorry to see February go, but I wish the cold and remaining snow would follow on its heels. In less than two weeks, we will start Daylight Savings time – doesn’t that mean daffodils will be blooming too? Hope springs eternal.

Ever ran out of gas in your vehicle? I’ve been thinking about this since I first read Cee’s challenge – I honestly don’t remember if I have or not. I have a mania about not getting below 1/4 tank, and if it goes below that, panic sets in – but I don’t know if I’ve always been that way or if I ran out of gas once and the mania began afterwards. I’ve had a flat tire – after the first one, I immediately joined AAA.

Which are better: black or green olives? My kids like olives of all kinds. I am not a fan of olives, black, green, or otherwise. I will eat sliced black olives on a pizza, but if some fall off, I do not rush to scoop them up and shove them into my mouth. They do not make me drool, desire, or any of those other “I love you, food” things.

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore? Someone said they’d explore their mind, but I’m not sure I want to go there. Actually, I did a whole lot of that in my younger years, and I still question it sometimes. That, however, does not answer this question. I’m sitting here looking at the scratch-off World Map my Kat got me, and I see a lot of areas not scratched off, so there is much left for me to explore. I would not want to limit myself by selecting just one place.

Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes? Oh gosh, like I can even remember. I know I use “What goes around, comes around” a lot, but is that a quote? I remember one that went something like – just a second, I want to Google this – oh yes. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been” – that’s a Mark Twain quote. I do like Mark Twain quotes. Another of his that I really like is “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus”.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful that I got through a week that had many days of snow showers without complete loss of my mind. Winter and politics are going to be my undoing, I often think. I am grateful for the return of the red-wing blackbirds, those greedy winged creatures that like to empty bird feeders far too quickly, but that also offer a signal that spring cannot be far behind. What am I looking forward to? Would you guess maybe spring? Yep.

I have no new painting to share with you this week, no photos of real interest, but I do have a tiny bit of whimsy – a photo taken at a recent birthday celebration.

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You Say Potato

I say potahtoe. It’s the same with any belief, isn’t it? You have yours, I have mine, and neither of us will be quick to change.

In this new, for me frightening, political administration, some see progress. Some see removing regulations as a step forward, to encourage businesses, to promote job growth. Our job growth is actually doing just fine now, from what I’ve read, but promises were made, and promises will be kept, whether or not they are wise or needed. So some see promise and hope – I see loss of protection for consumers, for the environment – I see air quality, water quality, therefore quality of life, going down, down, down.

Some see a wall between our country and Mexico as a good thing, saving us from those “bad dudes”. Some see it as necessary. I see it as a colossal waste of money, a major increase to the deficit, and a quick trip to increasing food prices. There is talk of a tax on goods coming from Mexico – which means the price of the produce we import will go up. And, the wall will reduce the supply of field workers for the farmers in the U.S. – which means less produce will be picked or it will cost more to have it picked. Prices will go up. Who does that hurt? Not the top 1%, those who are now in charge of making decisions for us. You and I – those of us on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, are the ones that will be most affected. Eating healthier will be that much more expensive. But promises were made, and promises will be kept.

The so-called temporary ban on travel from countries that are Muslim majority – those countries where some of our top tech specialists have come from. The people who have played a large part in advancing our technological knowledge. We have had very few real terrorist attacks in this country – using what’s happening in Europe seems to me to be comparing apples and oranges. We have what has proven to be a good system of vetting immigrants before they come into this country. Why are we “fixing” what wasn’t broken? Rumors, alternative facts, say the Muslims are trying to take over this country – just like our forefathers, those British, Italian, Irish, Scandinavian, German immigrants were trying to take over this country? Because promises were made – whether rational or not, promises will be kept.

Reducing regulations on industrial emissions – some will say that’s good, that will encourage businesses to stay in this country. And when our water supply and air quality are completely trashed? What will they say then? Pushing for more coal mining – which would result in more coal burning, I would assume – there goes more air quality. Allowing waste from those mines to be dumped into rivers – there goes water quality. Yes, the miners need work, but has anyone thought about retraining? Wasn’t something like that done during FDR’s days? Couldn’t we maybe resurrect that instead? But promises were made, and promises will be kept.

And while we’re at it, let’s just see how many foreign entities we can provoke with careless talk. That’ll help relations a lot. Yes, DT, you are the president of the U.S., not a global president, but this is a global world now, and we all rely on one another. Cooperation is a good thing. Teamwork is a good thing. Diplomacy is a good thing.

You say potato – I say potahtoe. Could we just, all of us, open our eyes, our ears, be objective, use our intelligence? Could we think things through rather than just react? Please? Could we give respect, and demand respect? Could we not blindly play follow the leader?

Promises are not always meant to be kept.


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Share Your World – February 20, 2017

February in my neck of the woods is a gray month. Oh, we get bits and pieces of sunshine now and then, and occasionally it will manage to last for nearly a whole day, but those days seem to be few in number. That adds to the cabin fever that visits me in February every year – although I think this year it arrived in January. One of the ways I escape the gray, if only for a little while, is to immerse myself in the computer, and sharing with Cee is a good way to do that.

When you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)? I don’t think so. I tried to test this yesterday, but I was so aware of what I was doing, I’m not sure I got an accurate reading. I can tell you that I hold my mouth open when I put mascara on though.

Do you chew your pens and pencils? No – I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I don’t chew my nails either, but I do pick at them a lot.

Are you a collector of anything? If so what? I think I’m a collector of way too much. I have a collection of cat figurines, for a long while I collected clown figurines (those are all gone now), then there was the time I collected small pewter figurines. And hobbies – I collect hobbies. When I move on to a new hobby, which happens every couple of years I think, you can tell by looking around my house what I’m into now. Currently, it’s alcohol ink painting. It’s just everywhere.

What size is your bed? My bed is a queen size, which is a good size. Now. When husband was still alive and Bailey could still get up on the bed, it was way too small. Bailey is a black lab/border collie mix and always sleeps on her side, legs stretched out. In the middle of the bed. Which meant we each had a small space on the edges of the bed. Plus, we always had a cat that would be sharing my space with me. Then Bailey’s old hips wouldn’t let her get on the bed, but we had gotten Shasta, who also likes the middle of the bed, although she sleeps more curled. And likes to snuggle up right against me.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for having a hobby to keep me occupied during these gray February days. I am grateful for the one afternoon when the temperature was pretty nice and the sun was shining, and I went outside and swept pine needles off the front deck, which I could finally do because the warmer temperatures and rainy days had melted the snow off it. I am looking forward to being one week closer to spring.

Yesterday, I decided to paint this tile with a little tree frog on the flower stem – I found the reference photo on Pixabay. As usual, when I first finished it I was not happy with it, but today I like it better. That’s pretty normal for me.
Followed by a shameless pitch for my other blog: I’d love to have you visit!

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