Getty Museum Art Challenge

During this time of social distancing, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California has challenged the art world to recreate famous works of art with objects found around their house.  Take a look at these!    I loved seeing all of their ideas!

This upcoming week our school art teacher is going to issue this challenge to our 4th and 5th graders as their art assignment.  She invited the teachers to participate so I asked myself why not?!  It was really fun!  The first set of photos are examples from our art teacher.  Didn’t she do a great job???

The one below is mine.

I can’t wait to see what the students recreate!

Simple Joy

I was inspired by this story posted in the blog  Picture Retirement.  Suzanne has shared some beautiful photos and I encourage you to take a look – they are very impressive.

She wrote, “What lifted my spirits and made me smile this week is the realization that doing what we love doesn’t have to be put on hold. Our ability to adapt, be creative and find ways to breath new life into old hobbies and habits can turn a gloomy day into one filled with beauty.”  

I have been getting very restless spending so much time at home. M. is still getting up every morning and going to work so I am by myself.  Even though I am still online teaching my third graders until the end of May, it is not nearly the same rigor and pace as before the coronavirus left us no choice but to close our schools until next August.  I am the type of person who enjoys keeping busy.  Too much time on my hands + cabin fever = an unhappy me. Suzanne’s post encouraged me to look beyond, so I ventured outside to walk around my yard on this glorious spring day.  As I looked around, I was reminded of just how much I actually love being in my home and especially spending time outside in my yard.  I began to recognize all of the the simple things (that sometimes go unnoticed or taken for granted) which bring much joy to my days.

I love the time we spend around this table. Many laughs and much food has been shared from spring all the way through fall between M. and I, with family members, and with friends. The evening temps are still a little cold for us to start eating our dinners outside (which we absolutely love to do); but here lately, I make sure to eat lunch at this table or on the deck of our shed every single weather-permitting day!

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The furniture on the deck of our shed is so old and is getting rusty, but perfect for a quick lunch or a place to sit while M. cooks up something yummy on the grill.

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Some of the lovely flowers I spotted growing in my yard.

The Dogwood tree is full of blooms:

IMG_1110About three years ago, we found a pad of a cactus that someone had broken off.  M. picked it up, brought it home and planted it. Every year the plant gets bigger and bigger. Can you see the tiny lady bug on top?

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M. has a green thumb and can grow anything.  I, however, quote the plea in the photo below regarding anything I plant.

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I really needed this dose of slowing down and appreciating the very simple-beauty in my own back yard. Praise God for the simple joys!

Drive-by and Drop-off

In compliance with social distancing it will just be the two of us celebrating Easter. We will miss our traditional meetup with family, but look forward to spending the day together. We plan to watch our morning Easter church service on TV, and later in the day M. and I plan to cook a small dinner together. We actually have a good time when we cook together, so we are both looking forward to this event!

We still wanted to do a little something special for our grandchildren. Since we have three grandchildren that actually live somewhat near us (the other 11 live in two different states) we decided to do what I like to call a “drive-by and drop-off.” This means we drove by their home, threw kisses, chit-chatted from a distance and dropped off some goodies.

This past Thursday I decided to make a pre-Easter treat –  Bird Nest No Bake cookies as well as some Flower Cookies minus the stems. Both treats were very easy and quick to make.

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Of course I forgot to take photos of the final products, but here is what they (pretty much) looked like:

I packed them up in cute little Easter bags to be delivered later that afternoon. The drive by was a success – granddaughter T. happily pointed to her mouth showing us an empty space where she lost her very first tooth – we couldn’t really see it from where we were but she was super excited!  Big brother R. showed off some of the moves he is learning in Dojo class and we later received this photo in a text of little brother S. sampling one of the cookies.

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Happy Easter!

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“I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe the best does.”      

The title of my post is a quote from L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables and it reflects my mindset going forward.

So much bad news lately – the Coronavirus and its heartbreaking consequences, the stock market plunge, and the day to day updates on new limitations within my community.  It can be difficult to stay focused and remain positive. In fact, some days it can be almost unbearable if I think too much about everything  – such as the impact it is having not only on a personal level, but in my community, our nation, and in our world.

How about you? Are you choosing to spend this time complaining, criticizing our authorities, or trembling in fear? Or are you allowing yourself to find gratitude, purpose and even some beauty during this trial? I am choosing the latter.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”  – Nelson Mandela

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This past Friday M. and I walked around Gibbs Gardens. The facility has done a wonderful job with the whole social distancing and made sure things were handled with much care and caution.  M. and I went pretty early so not many people were there plus the grounds are so vast (220 acres of gardens space) we hardly saw anyone.  Look at these beautiful tulips along the path,

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the azalea’s are just starting to bloom throughout the garden, and

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one of the peaceful streams.

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I found these lovely spots, this place, to be soothing to my soul.

No matter what your are facing right now please know I am praying for you, for our country and for our world.  Pope Francis, during his address on coronavirus and Jesus calming the storm, concluded with the following:

“Why are you afraid?  Have you no faith?”  (Mk. 4:40) “Dear brothers and sisters….I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord…May God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace.  Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort to our hearts.  You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful.  But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm.  Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt28:5).”