CREATIVITY is the soul reflected

Master Painter

Master Painter
Prairie Sunrise by Charlie Clark

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I'm back. Spring seems to inspire me to get off the stick and really do things. Actually, I've written several blog entries, but never got around to posting. I am, however, going to add (at the bottom of this) something that I wrote New Year's Day, just because it had a message I want to make note of, for myself anyway.


New growth.

Yesterday I had a creativity escape afternoon. I headed to the nursery, armed with coupons for half off on some plants and more on others. Succulents and African daisies topped the list. Since it's a bit of a drive there, I spent part of the time dreaming about my back flower garden, which is being revamped this year.

To start with, Charlie's helping me dig out some pesky plants to replant on the hillsides of the ditches. Old fashioned Bouncing Bett and Tiger Lilies spread and overpower everything else and I fight them all year. So, they're getting new homes to make way for new plants.

flower garden before
Still a mess

The daisies are light purple and deep purple. The succulents will go in one corner with my existing hen-and-chicks. The dill and cilantro will join the other herbs.

The gardens are off-limits to our two real black labs, but my new lab puppy sculpture will be look cute sitting guard someplace. We also bought a fountain the other day, which Charlie just set up last night.

garden art

My dreaming included plans to paint a couple of my trashy treasures cobalt blue—like the tiny child's or doll's chair and a pot or two.

Ater the nursery I went to my favorite used book store, The Book Grinder. My most exciting find is a beautiful 8 1/2 x 11-inch book entitled Alphabets and Ornaments—Artwork for Scrapbooks and Fabric Transfer.

All beautiful colored vintage images: floral, birds, postcards, music sheets, posters, frames, ledger pages, verse. These can be cut out and used as is—or I can print and size to my heart's content from the bonus CD included. The book appears to be brand-spanking new, never used. In fact, the CD is still sealed in the back.

Alphabet & Ornaments

Alphabet & Ornaments

My mind is racing, and when I awoke at 4:45 this morning, I couldn't go back to sleep.

Continuing with gardening thoughts, yesterday Charlie planted four kinds of potatoes, spinach, Swiss chard, onions, lettuce and radishes. Fresh veggies on their way.

Charlie preparing potatoes

I have to mention one more VERY important thing: I am a grandmother again. Katy Jo Benn Gregory, little sister to Tabitha, was born December 13, 2008. I spent several days with her the end of January—first of February. Needless to say, she's another joy!

Grandma & Katy
Grandma and Katy Jo

Katy & Tabitha
Big Sister Tabitha with Katy Jo

I'll try not to let a year pass again beore continuing this saga. Maybe I can even get some follow-up photos posted.

Edited March 26: Just finished reading one of the books bought last week, After the Rain by Thomas Christopher Greene. I just discovered through his website
and a subsequent e-mail from the author, that this title was published first in the UK and later in the US under the name
I'll Never Be Long Gone. I am so anxious now to read his other books, which are available through Amazon, by the way.


January 1, 2009
Happy New Year!

This seems an appropriate time to post an entry to my blog, which has been neglected for months. I've written several entries, but never followed through with posting them.

I've just been reading Ali Edwards' blog. She is always so inspirational and today is especially so. She has, for some time, been encouraging her readers to focus on a word for a year that embodies a goal, a wish, a dream, a place one might want to be. Do you know how hard that can be? To stay focused for that long? Or, for much time at all. To be honest, I tried it last year and right now, I can't even remember "my word."

So, I'll try again. Contemplating my stage of life, there are two words, actually, that came to me: GRACE and SERENITY.

In much of my reading over the past couple years I've seen references to the 60s as "old age." Well, I do not intend to think of myself as "old"! However, I'm definitely past the diapers and hectic mornings and rushing off to a job filled with deadlines and meetings and busyness. Thankfully. I have finally reached the place in my life when I have more control over my own schedule and actions.

But, even though it doesn't happen as often, I still find myself reacting with the old knee-jerk flight-or-fight syndrome.

(An aside: one doctor has recognized this as one cause of fibromyalgia: a chronic flight-or-fight reaction that has become a never-ending pain syndrome. Since I was diagnosed years ago with FMS, this is the first make-sense thing I've read.)

I still tend to stress over things that—even though I've sometimes chosen them
begin to overwhelm me. Things that aren't according to my liking, my beliefs, my way of wanting something done. Maybe they are moving too fast, even, and I begin to be uptight, feeling out of control. This goes all the way from personal stuff up throughand particularlypolitics and national and international happenings.

I've always admired people who are able to accept life with grace, to be serene in the face of adversity or chaos. There's a lot that goes along with this: tolerance, acceptance, nonjudgmental, positivity, joy.

I suppose I could select any one of those words, too. But I want to be more encompassing. I want to be able to stay calm in a potentially explosive or disturbing situation. I want to not have my blood pressure rise, my muscles tense, my corrosive thoughts take over.

Despite what I said earlier about my stage of life in which I have more control over my circumstances, there is much I still cannot control. I often turn to St. Francis' "Prayer of Serenity":

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I could go into the biblical and spiritual ideas about "grace," but for now, let's keep it simple: I want to live with grace, which I think is to live St. Francis' prayer, to be accepting, to have courage, and to have wisdom.