Tuesday, April 28, 2020


Do you ever think
 how your world will be 
after The Pandemic?

 I wonder 
if I will feel funny hugging anybody, 
I wonder
 if the great little shops in my town 
will survive,
 I wonder 
how it will feel buying my own groceries, and
 I wonder
 if I will ever take anything
 for granted again. 

To all these questions I say,
 I hope not.

While I am 
looking out my kitchen window now,
 I sense a beautiful spring day 
that has the sweet scent of roses 
in the air. 
 That is as it always is 
this time of year,
 but even so,
 we now know
 how swiftly some things
 can change.

 My guess is 
that, no matter,
 how large or small 
those changes may be 
the acceptance 
  will be up to us, 
 as individuals.

Many of you will remember
 I ordered a paint by number kit 
of the Cottage. 
 I painted it rather quickly and
 enjoyed doing it.
  When I saw another
 paint by number company on Pinterest, 
I ordered two others. 
 I was very excited and
 couldn't wait to start on one.
  This was sometime last summer, and 
I did post about it,
 but I was quickly disappointed 
as all the lines and numbers 
were too small for me to see clearly. 
 I did a very small section and 
realized I couldn't stay in the lines,
 so I put it away. 

 I painted the Santa's at Christmas and 
tried my hand at watercolors,
 but I find them frustrating and 
not easily manageable for me. 
 In the meantime 
we acquired a lighted magnifier glass,
 so I decided to tackle 
the paint by numbers kit again.

 During this time
 of quarantine,
 we can't have
 idle hands.

I had painted
 the sunflower
 on my first go-round and
 when I opened the little paints 
I found them to be 
full of thick chunks 
with some even dried up. 
 Now I could see them but 
had no paint. 
 I took each color and 
matched them as closely as I could
 to my acrylic craft paints. 
 They are not a perfect match 
but good enough 
in my estimation.

This is the first sunflower 
using the paints from the kit...

...this is what that same sunflower
 looks like now 
that I painted my own mix over it. 
 A subtle difference and 
I found that the
 acrylics have
 better coverage.

I even took some liberties and 
painted what should have been 
stalks of wheat and 
turned them into 
butterfly bush flowers.

I am looking forward 
to finishing this painting and 
so far
 I'm quite pleased with 
the way it is 
turning out.

This is a screen shot 
that I took off of the company's website.
  This is what the painting 
should look like. 
 I can do a little tweaking 
after it is finished 
to make some parts
 stand out over others, 
but as I see it so far,
 there is a slight difference, 
but is it a 
good difference or a bad difference? 
 I think it is

Under the circumstances, 
I did with it
 the best that I could, and 
that is all 
we can ever do.

 While things may be different
 after this pandemic is all over, 
we can hope that
 we can make the best of
 whatever changes there may be, 
good or bad.

 We go about life 
doing the best that we can and 
if that best is 
a little different at times,
 whether in a painting or a pandemic, 
we will survive.

I will keep you informed 
as to the painting's progress and
 give you all the particulars 
at a later date.

Stay safe and stay well...


When life
 gives you lemons,
 use acrylics

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020


It's just another day...

I found some pretty red camellias
 surviving in a corner 
of the garden.

It's just another day...

 the sun is shining in 
through the windows.

It's just another day...

we were able to eat dinner 
overlooking the 
Secret Garden.

It's just another day...

 I was able to paint 
one more picture 
(which I really did paint - no tracing).

It's just another day...

we could relax, 
by candlelight, 
at the end of it.

It's just another day...

 we made it through and 
now we know 
we can make it through 
another one.

As I usually do,
 I started writing this post
 a couple of days ago.
  Since that time
 there has been talk 
of starting the country back up. 
I know that there are 
a lot of reasons why 
this should happen, 
but as I have stated 
to many of you 
in my personal comments,
 I am afraid that it might 
be coming too soon.
 If this does happen, 
only time will tell the actual outcome.

I stand with my opinions but
 support and respect your opinions also.
 Whatever I say here 
only pertains to my feelings and 
I believe that this
 is a horrible situation 
that could possibly end 
many more lives than it already has.

Of all the essential jobs 
required for 
this situation we find ourselves in,
 I feel this is 
the easiest one.

If my staying home, 
and staying safe and well, 
can help just one person,
  just one already over burdened 
front line worker, 
then I will continue 
to carry on,
as I have been, 
one day at a time.


A wise little Robin once said:

We can always find 
the brightness 
if we look 
for it.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020


as I am trying to figure out 
something interesting to write about,
 it is Easter Sunday.

 I hope
 that you all are enjoying 
the best day that you can.

 What we can enjoy 
is most likely 
something very different from 
what we are used to.

Even though 
I have said that 
I am normally a homebody and 
this situation 
we find ourselves in 
is not hard for me,
 I think the time 
could be near 
where that 
might be changing.

Just a small amount 
at this time,
 but I can tell 
it is coming.
what if it does?  
What will I do
 if my feelings change 
but our circumstances 
remain the same?

The answer to me
 is pretty simple. 

 Think about how 
I am blessed and 
how fortunate I am.

 I, personally, am not sick
 nor is anyone I love and care about. 
 I have not lost
 a loved one out of the blue 
nor do I have to think about 
someone I love
 being alone at a time 
when no one should 
ever be.  

I do not know anyone
 on the front lines
 who are risking their lives
 to support someone I love and 
I do not know anyone 
of those heroes 
who listen to the sounds, 
day in and day out,
 of machines keeping someone alive,
 until it stops.

I am
 a very simple person.

  If I could change 
the circumstances we are living now, personally, 
I would go to Home Goods and 
grab a hamburger at In 'n' Out Burger 
on the way back home.
  For my loved ones 
and for the world, 
I would wish good health and 
freedom from worry.

  That would make me happy, 
but until that time comes, 
I will continue to
 listen to the news,
 so I can put 
into perspective 
why we need to
 shelter in place 
to keep ourselves and 
our many blessings 

There are very big reasons
 for wanting this 
to be over for all of us but
 we can't lose track
 of the main focus 
once the walls start closing in.

If we and our loved ones
 are not safe, 
nothing else matters.

"Love one another and 
you will be happy.  
It's as simple 
as difficult
 as that."

Michael Leunig

I have been showing you 
some of my many blessings and
 need to tell all of you 
that you are 
among them. 


stay home and, 
stay safe and well,

protect your blessings...

 so we can rise,
 above all this. 


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Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda


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Tuesday, April 7, 2020


"Love recognizes no barriers.
  It jumps hurdles,
 leaps fences,
 penetrates walls
 to arrive at its destination 
full of hope."

Maya Angelou

I'm not the first one to say this but,
 these are hard times.
The experts say that 
the next couple of weeks 
are going to be the worst yet 
in terms of illness and death.

 Somehow, someway,
 we will get through it all 
but not without 
losing a small bit 
of ourselves.

 At times, 
it all seems like a bad dream,
 like we are watching a movie 
from another era and 
sometimes we have to pinch ourselves 
to even imagine
 that it is happening at all.

 But it is, and
 we must watch out 
for one another and
 watch out, especially,
 for ourselves.

When loved ones 
tell us (order us) 
not to  go out of our homes, 
we must listen 
as it is done out of love, and 
it gives them hope 
that we will listen and survive. 
 It is not a dramatic idea,
 it is what is true right now.

  When a neighbor says 
they are going to the store,
 do you need anything,
 we do not pay them in money, 
we just do the same for them 
when it is our turn to go. 
 When a neighbor, 
seen in the street from a far distance, 
says they can't find toilet paper,
 you just leave
 a couple of rolls 
on their front porch 
if you can.  
You don't need to know 
who did a kind deed for you, 
you just need to know 
that you will return one
 when the time is right.

We owe so much to our kids.
  They have gone above and beyond 
for us while doing what they can for others.

  While Tim drove 
3 1/2 hours (and 3 1/2 hours back)
to bring us our groceries this week,
 Tami was helping 
in a homeless shelter in Santa Cruz.
  She works for
 the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter and
 because she is a county employee,
 their hours have been cut back
 to four days a week. 
 They are given the choice 
of donating time to a community cause 
on that day off.  
She chose to help out
 at the Veterans hall,
 as they had given over a room 
in their building,
 to house 20 homeless people 
who would otherwise be 
out on the streets,
 during the pandemic.
  These people, 
suffering from whatever life has dealt them,
 were so appreciative and thankful. 
 She says 
it was the most humbling and rewarding
 experience she has ever had.

We got a 
beautiful, thoughtful, package
 from Jake and Jacenda. 
 They had packed up 
some candy, cookies, men's soap,
 nail polish, hand sanitizer and bubble bath
 and because they know 
I love anything lavender, 
Jacenda painted 
the prettiest card,
 shown above.

We are so blessed 
to have our family 
who love and care about us and,
 in turn, 
all we can do is love and care for them back
 and pay close attention 
to what they want for us,
 which is 
just to be safe.

So far, 
we are not going stir crazy.
  We watch a lot of TV,
 which is really not anything new for us,
 but we have found another show 
that I think, 
although I never did before,
 is really entertaining.
  The Masked Singer is a hoot.
  When it first came on, 
I thought it would be 
the silliest thing and 
didn't plan on watching it. 
 We just happened 
to click on it the other night and 
found that it is really
 a fun filled hour 
to while away the time.
  The talent really is pretty good and
 the judges are characters and 
it is fun to 
guess along with them 
who the masked singer might be. 
I'm glad we started watching it and
 you should try it
 just once.

We also watched
 Joanna Gaines's special,
 In the Kitchen with Joanna Gaines on HGTV. 
 It was good to see Chip and Joanna
 back again even for a little while.
  They have started a new network, 
Magnolia Network, 
that is scheduled to air 
in October of 2020.  
As I was googling 
to see when it would air,
 I saw a person had commented 
that all the other shows 
that try to mimic Fixer Upper 
should just go away 
as they could never be as good. 
 While, in a sense,
 that may be correct.
  It would be very hard 
to find something to top it,
 but there is another show
 that we enjoy called
Home Town...

  ...even though 
it is the same concept as Fixer Upper,
 it is unique and 
as good in its own way.
  The young couple,
 Erin and Ben Napier, 
are charming and 
the setting of their show,
 Laurel, Mississippi, 
is a sweet little southern town.
  Ben is an excellent woodworker and 
Erin does a great job in
 decorating and designing. 
They are very 
personable and likeable.
 as most of us say, 
there can never be another
 Chip and Joanna, 
this show is worth a watch and 
deserves its spot 
on HGTV also. 
 The Gaines's new network 
looks like another smart move
 by the couple and 
they have renovated 
an old gristmill in Waco 
for the show. 
It is a beautiful building
 done in their trademark style and 
I'm sure the new adventure
 will be successful.

I haven't been doing 
any decorating to show off and 
haven't had a fresh flower 
in what seems like months (years!) 
so I have been showing 
some oldies but goodies. 
 Flowers are always 
a pick-me-up 
no matter old or new.

I'm still plugging along
 with my painting. 
 Not a bad pansy,
 but still much room
 for improvement.

My heart goes out 
to all of us and
 hope that our world 
can start healing very soon.

 Be kind to yourself and 
do what you can.
  We all need to know 
that we are here for each other and 
that love and hope
 will pull us through.

A nice way 
to end a cold rainy day.  
Stay well 
stay home.


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