Monday, May 23, 2016

New Hobby #2 - Painting For Kids

Technically, it is not a "new" hobby.  I took up painting about a year ago.  Having never had a painting lesson, I can't really identify my style.  I paint what appeals to me.  And recently, I've been painting what appeals to my grandsons.

I have one grandson who is a nut about animals, and his younger brother is learning to talk and verbally identify pictures of animals.  So I guess it is no surprise that I've been painting animals.

I am not sure how I came up with this process, but I first sketch the animal on card stock and then outline it with a Sharpie.  Next I paint it with acrylics.  When it dries, I cut it to fit a canvas board which I have spray painted with a complementary color.  Next I modge podge the painting to the board, and top it with two additional coats of modge podge.  For the final step, I spray it with an acrylic coating.

I am retired and therefore I am not looking at painting as an occupation or career, but as an avocation.    My collection of these paintings is growing.  My daughter has informed me that her animal loving son has more than enough paintings.  And my husband, although he says nothing, would not choose to decorate our home with these pieces.  So I'm looking for ideas on where to sell, market or donate these pieces.  I am not looking to make money, other than to pay for supplies, and really, I would like to find some place to donate my work.  Maybe a women's shelter or to foster families.  If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Sending you all blessings for a beautiful day!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spiritual Sunday - What You Think Of Me none of my business.

Oh Lord, I have had trouble with this concept forever!  I want to be well respected.  I want to be liked.  I want to be known for my kindness and my integrity.  So how can what you think of me NOT be of concern?

I have been a student/fan of Emmet Fox for a long time.  I'm probably on my tenth year of reading "Around The Year With Emmet Fox: A Book Of Daily Readings."  This means that I have read the following passage at least ten times, but today it seems to have taken hold.

"It is unquestionable that the spiritualization of thought does undoubtedly lead the student to simplify his mode of life, for so many things that previously seemed important are now found to be unimportant and uninteresting.  It is unquestionable too, that he gradually finds himself meeting different people, reading different books, spending his time differently; and that his conversation naturally changes its quality.  These things follow upon the change of heart; never can they precede it.

Now we see how vain is the foolish attempt to cultivate the good opinion of other people under the impression that such a thing can be of any real advantage to us.....The applause that follows upon outer acts is the only reward they ever bring, and that results worthwhile are only to be obtained in the Secret Place of consciousness."

Whether you like/admire/respect me is a matter of ego (or fear based thinking).  Whether I AM happy with myself, my values, my morals, my behavior, my thoughts, etc., is what truly matters.

When we feel drawn to new experiences, new relationships, new interests, we shouldn't let the opinions of others (what they think of us) sway our actions.  On some level, a lesson has been learned and it is time to move forward in your expanded thinking and spiritual awareness.  Journey on!

Wishing you blessings for a beautiful day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My New Hobby - Photography

I'm not sure "new" is the right word.  I've always been interested in photography, primarily landscape and nature, and of course my kids and grandkids.  I had a SRL camera years ago, back in the olden days when film was used.  It was too complicated for me at that time.  The hobby was put on the back burner.

The age of digital photography has been a god-send for me.  I recently bought a Nikon D3300, and I am still in the beginning stages of getting acquainted with the "how to" of it all.  Right now, I'm just shooting random shots and hoping I get a good picture.  It is so nice to be able to delete those crappy shots without having to pay to have them printed.

Yesterday, my husband and I took one of our grandsons to North Creek Park in the Mill Creek/Bothell area of Snohomish County, WA. I got a couple of good shots of birds as we walked along the boardwalk.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

American Robin with worm

And a few shots of birds I've taken elsewhere.

Downy Woodpecker

Spotted Towhee

American Crow

SeaGull (I believe it is a Ringed Bill Gull)

Ducks (the one is definitely a male mallard and the one photobombing on the right I believe is a female mallard - the white billed one with the black head is possibly an American Coot)

Northern Flicker


Any birders out there?  It's been through reading other blogs (mostly RV travel blogs) that got me interested in bird watching, although my paternal grandfather was a big birdwatcher.

Blessings to you all for a beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Empties - Chobani Greek Yogurt Flips

I stumbled upon a blog by a woman named Beth called E. Lizard Breath Speaks - Let's Travel  In her blog, she shares some wonderful pictures and videos she has taken of her travels.  While looking at her blog, I found a link to a You Tube Video Log she did called "Empties".  Basically it is a review of products she has used and she has the empty bottles/containers to prove it.

I always thought that was a great idea.  My problem is that if I don't like something right away, I'm certainly not going to use it until it is empty.  I toss it and start all over with something else.  When I find something I really like, I tend to stick with it.  So I am a bit puzzled as to why I decided to jump in a try some of the new flavors of Chobani Greek Yogurt Flips, but I did.  And so here is my version of Empties.

These two flavors are my absolute favorites to date.  I give the Almond Coco Loco a 5 star rating!  I eat this for breakfast probably 20 days out of the month!  My second favorite is the Key Lime Crumble.  It earns a 4 ½ star rating.  I absolutely love coconut and dark chocolate, which is the only reason the Almond Coco Loco scores slightly higher.  There are 12 grams of protein in each serving.  There are 240 calories in the Almond Coco Loco and 200 calories in the Key Lim Crumble.

These three flavors are my example of trying something new.  These are the newer flavors recently introduced by Chobani.  And they are something that I normally would not have tried.  To stores and marketers, yes, shoppers will try new things that they would not have usually purchased when the price is right.

I scored these three flavors with 3 stars each.  They were good, but not quite as tasty to me.  I would buy them again if the two I mentioned above were not available. The Chipotle Pineapple was surprisingly good.  I've never been attracted to the sound of pineapple yogurt but my daughter really likes it so I decided to give it a try.  The chipotle gave it a bit of a kick.  I added 1 tablespoon of white chocolate chips and that bumped the flavor up to 4 stars.  The Sriracha Mango was also a surprise.  The Sriracha was too strong for me, so I added 1 tablespoon of white chocolate chips and that toned it down a bit.  I would still give it 3 stars.  Peanut Butter Dream was a stretch for me.  Peanut Butter and yogurt?  Not appealing to my tastes.  But I threw caution to the wind.  It was surprisingly okay, made better by 1 tablespoon of dark chocolate chips.  In each of these, the chips added about 70 calories to each serving.  Each flavor is a little different calorically, but it works out to 12 grams of protein and approximately 300 calories.

In the past, I have tried Coffee Break Bliss, Chocolate Haze Craze and Salted Carmel Crunch, none of which I liked or even tolerated enough to consider purchasing again. In fact, I never finished the servings and ended up tossing them out.

As far as other flavors that I haven't tried - Tropical Escape and Peachy Pistachio are possibilities.  Under the heading of "Ain't No Way" will be PB&J and Nutty For 'Nana.  I'm not a jelly person and if I can smell banana, it's already too ripe for me to eat.

Do you have favorite yogurts?

Wishing you blessings for a beautiful day!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Being Inspired

I follow a blog called Travel Bug.  I knew from the first time I read it, that I would become a frequent follower.  We have much in common.  She and her husband Bob enjoy the RV lifestyle, as do Kim and I.  They have a 5th wheel trailer; unfortunately we are currently without one, but we are working on it.  Susan is from Oregon; we are from Washington.  People from the Pacific Northwest share a kinship regarding our rainy weather and beautiful green states.  Susan is actively involved in Volksmarching; I think about become involved in volksmarching - LOL.  I love the pictures she shares of her various walks.  And Susan likes to blog.  I do, too.
She is more consistent in her blogging than I am, and thus the topic for this particular entry.

It started with Susan's post on Why I Blog and a quote I read the same day.  The quote was "A single sentence spoken at the right time could change someone's life forever."  I've told the story many times about how a casual comment made by what I considered at the time to be a "butt-in-ski" ultimately changed my outlook on life.  While my goal is not to butt in to someone's conversation, my goal is to possibly say or write something that changes someone's life for the good.

Unfortunately, not every day am I inspired to write something wise.  Sometimes I just want to bitch about something, share a recipe or share a moment in my life.  I pepper these posts with occasional insights and words of wisdom that must be channeled from a Higher Source/Higher Power, because I know when I go back to read those words again, I'm stunned that I actually wrote them.

Anyway, all that was to say "Thank you Susan for inspiring to start blogging again." I don't know if I will have anything of interest to say, but I will be sharing photos I've taken with my new Nikon D3300, some pictures I've been painting, some recipes, our process in downsizing and getting ready to full time (or at least half time) in a new RV, and of course the antics of our grandsons.  Hopefully some words of wisdom will find their way into my posts as well.

Wishing you all blessings for a wonderful day!