Tuesday, December 4, 2018

On Art and Gratitude with (Pictures)

In this season of Thanksgiving and Giving – I am compelled to reflect on the multitude of people in my life that support and encourage me on this, my journey.  Their love and positivity is nourishing, motivating and so greatly appreciated.  To all of you, family and friends, I give you my love and gratitude.  I give you my “Thank You!”

In this post, I want to give a special shout out to my friend Margo whose simple gesture of encouragement at the JLG GMM last month meant more to me than she may realize.  “Thank you, Margo!”  And here is the picture of my artwork on that Balalaika!  And “Thank You!” to Joanna Bright, another much appreciated art supporter and cheerleader who so generously donated her Balalaika and loved my artwork enough and had faith enough in me to ask me to “do something beautiful” with it.  Her instrument, my artwork, combined and contributed to the Greensboro Symphony Guild’s Notable Night Gala!  Collaboration. Contribution. Raising money for a worthy cause. Contentment!

I am so grateful for being noticed and noted as a local artist.  I am grateful that my services are sought after and I am so thankful that I am able to use my talents to contribute to some very amazing and deserving local organizations.  I love being part of the Arts Community and I am so appreciative that Life has brought me here to Greensboro.

As this year is winding down, my heart is excited about all of the opportunities in this next year to come.  I know I will be sharing this joy with many of you.  Thanks to you all and “Thanks again, Margo” for your support and reminding me that people care about my artful endeavors.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Goats in the Kitchen

What a way to wind down the summer and enter into fall...with a couple of bottle babies bonding, playing, growing in our kitchen! It has been a crazy but fun couple of weeks.

I have put together a little video that I hope will make you smile!  Look for more information about GOAT YOGA SESSIONS coming up in the near future. Hope you get to meet our two little guys soon!



Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Happier Side

Luckily life goes on and a new day brings new hope.  It seems that our official new chick count is only three.  Something must have went wrong with the eggs during the final hatching out process.  After we removed the first four chicks from the incubator, none of the remaining 13 eggs continued to hatch.  I'm sad.  And the 4th chick to hatch was quite weak and did not make it through it's first night.  I buried it in our backyard in Libby's Garden, where we buried our dog Libby 4 years ago.

Death is never easy to deal with, but it is an inevitable part of living and especially living on a farm, even a small, urban, hobby farm. We all know that losing a pet is difficult, but for me, even losing a semi-pet chicken can be very hard.

The good news is that we are blessed to have a wonderful menagerie of sweet, friendly, entertaining animals at our grange.  I hope you all will get a chance to meet them sometime.  Until then...Here is something to make you smile.

Love and Peace,


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Rest of the Story...Goodbye Mr. Roo, Hello Babies!

It's a boy! It's a girl!  It's a....well it's our new baby chicks and we don't know for sure what they are right now, except cute little fluffballs, the last link to our infamous Mr. Roo.

Tribute to a Rooster

Mr. Roo started off as a cute little fluffball himself a few years ago, but became known for trapping people in our garden, chasing innocent helpers who were just trying to feed him and his girls and repeated tempted ambushes which were successfully, thankfully thwarted by our loyal protector and his greatest foe, our Aussie/Pyrenees dog Margeaux.

But enough is enough and one lovely summer evening just a couple of weeks ago, as I was finishing washing up our dinner dishes, I looked up in surprise as my husband stormed through the door and announced, "I killed the rooster!"

That rooster was pretty mean and getting meaner it seemed, so much so that we had not even let our girls out in the yard to free range because along comes the rooster....no peace.

Now it is quiet. No more early morning crows. No more cocky announcements of " Here's the food girls!" throughout the day.  The energy on our farm is calmer now.  I was sad at the loss of our Mr. Roo.  He was a very beautiful boy, a tough boy, just doing his job too well.  But, I am thankful for the peace returned.  I am thankful for the bravery and the heart of my husband who was able to take care of a difficult situation.

We have three new chicks brooding in our basement.  We are hoping one of them is a rooster.  We will make sure to love them thoroughly and handle them gently, often.  We hope to have some cuddly chickens, and maybe even a loveable new rooster that can fill the shoes of his father, yet be a better leader of his girls, strength through peace.

This is my tribute to our snarky, feisty, beloved, behated rooster, the Boss Chicken as he was affectionately called by some; to me he was always, Mr. Roo.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

We're Having Babies!...Chicks!!!

It has been a busy day but I wanted to share our exciting news with everyone.  The eggs that we have been incubating for a few weeks are not just eggs anymore!!

This morning while I was gathering feed for our goats I paused for a moment when I heard the distinct sounds of "PEEP,PEEP, PEEP coming from inside the incubator!

 I peeked inside and saw two wet baby chicks that had safely emerged from their shells.  I quickly sat down the buckets of goat feed and ran inside the house to tell my husband that "WE HAVE BABIES!!!"  He jumped out of bed like a father who's wife has just gone into labor."  We both were so excited!

But, just as I realized that I had not packed my overnight bag for the hospital when my water broke and I went into labor with my son, I had not prepared the brooder boxes for the baby chicks to move into after we take them out of the incubator.  (I had it on my TO DO list yesterday, but...I thought they would not start coming until tomorrow.  But just like my beloved little boy, these two darlings were a little early in coming into the world.  Just too much fun stuff to do, I guess!!

In the end we got everything done to settle them into their next little nursery.  Both babies seem very happy and relaxed.  They perk up and run towards my voice every time I say "Hello Little Peeps!"  Very, very sweet!  Margeaux is very excited to meet them too!

There are more chicks to come, and THE REST OF THE STORY, as to how we came about incubating these eggs in the first place...but for now, enjoy the first pictures of our exciting and precious new additions to our home farm!



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Word's How Much is a Video Worth?

See My New Video Below
Typing up the title of this blog makes me think of the tongue-twister, "How much wood, would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? "  Returning to my blogging reminds me that doing things (like blogging, and art, and building fences and volunteering) can be really hard.

"Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly." 
                                                                                     - JKF

Life get's very busy and there is always a lot of doing that needs to be done everywhere.  What a blessed person I am to have something to keep me busy all of the time.  I am never bored, never. And I am not a quitter.  So, today I come back for a little chat with you and offer to share with you my revised set of goals for this year.

1. I will not quit.
2. I will dare to do things badly.
3. I will persist at a slow and steady pace.
4. I will be flexible.
5. I will enjoy the journey.

And I am here to reveal to you a new skill that I have acquired. (I made a video. It took awhile. I had a little bit of a learning curve again.) I hope you enjoy!
I am thankful for you being here!


Accomplishments and Gratitudes

Success is not final
Failure is not fatal
It is the courage to continue that counts.
 - Winston Churchill

Monday, May 21, 2018

One Life - Live It!

One Life. Live It. - Yes, I am...Thank you.

The last couple of months have been packed with doing and preparing and wrapping things up.  Projects around the "farm" must be coming along, right? Yes, they are, but it seems oh so slowly. Still so much to do!

Sorry I have not been here, sharing every step of the way in some sort of video log of gate building and goat wrangling and weed pulling and fence finishing.  But alas, traveling to visit loved ones, taking care of my family, fulfilling the commitments of my volunteering responsibilities, Symphony Guild, Opera Board, Family Services, home caring, e-book writing, weddings, birthdays and new babies (goats) have kept me from it.  I did manage to snap a few pictures here and there, of an emerging spring around Zinnia'a Way, of my encounters from place to place, and of our accomplishments that we can sit back and be happy with.
From snow covered and leafless to a forest of dense green, here we are in May. Summer is on it's way for sure.  With it you will notice some new things around the blog, some new things around the farm and heaven willing, GOAT YOGA!!

Thanks for being here! And to leave you with some words of encouragement from Epictetus (as interpreted by Sharon Lebell):

"Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. Once you have determined the spiritual principles you wish to exemplify, abide by these rules as if they were laws. Put your principles into practice - now! The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life!"

This is your One Life. Live it! I AM...Thank You!


Welcoming Twin Girls
Toffee and Carmel

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Week In Review or...Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

Headed back from Big, Fun Art in Dowell, MD.


This show was a lot of fun to experience and I am very grateful to be a part of something that is striving to bring more happiness and joy into our world!

As I was writing my art goals a couple of weeks ago, I might have forgotten to include:  I will easily create vibrant, inspiring works of art that uplift spirits and make people smile. As a extension of my artwork, I am crafting and creating this physical and virtual happy space that I call Zinnia's Way.  This past week, beautiful weather ensued and allowed me to stain, stain and stain some more boards which Chis and I were able to install this weekend.  Our chicken fence is so near completion.  We just need a few more warmish and beautiful days to stain some more and complete the final installation.  Then there will be landscaping to do and baby goats to buy and temporary goat fencing to install and goat shelters to move and mangers to build and laundry and dinner and Junior League and Symphony Guild and Family Service Guild and gratitude and thankfulness for the full and meaningful life I am fortunate enough to live!

In fulfilment of my commitment to you, today I am posting my 2018 Yoga Goals.  This will give you a glimpse into the plans for the upcoming goat yoga that will be starting at Zinnia's way in April 2018.  My 2018 Yoga Goals

I am also working on a 16 Day Yoga Challenge to share with you, my faithful friends. My plan is to have it ready to launch by March 1, 2018. We can then complete the 16 Day Yoga Challenge together. The how's and why's will all be explained when I post the 16 Day Yoga Challenge and we can achieve and believe and find some more happiness together!

It was also a great and busy week of Greensboro Opera (Board Meeting), Greensboro Symphony Guild ( Luncheon), Family Service Guild (GMM), Coffee with a new friend and JLG colleague, all of which means fellowship and collaboration with inspired, engaged and dedicated women of the greater Greensboro community. 

But balance is a key to health and happiness and time at home is an unequivocal priority in my life and loving my family and connecting and communicating and cooking dinner and getting haircuts and being a coffee roasting cheerleader and lunching and road trips and spending time together just hanging out and watching an evening movie or attending a Greensboro Symphony Chamber Concert is precious time well spent indeed.  So that is also what I did this week along with working on Frederick Douglass in my art studio, building chicken fences, pruning roses and planting cool weather crop seeds in our raised garden beds...and feeding goats, and cats, and ducks and chickens.

Here's to welcoming a new week, looking forward to sun and moving forward in happiness day by day by day.

Peace and sunshine to you!


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Goals, Balance, Commitment and Taking Time to Smell the Croci?

Margeaux and our first crocuses of the season
Yesterday, our first crocuses of the season (or some might call them croci, according to the internet either term is correct) popped up to welcome us into a joyous, love filled Valentine's Day. I grabbed my phone to capture their beauty and to have a photo to post on my blog.  Then Margeaux ran up and stepped on them, luckily not crushing them too much. So, after some fluffing of the croci, Margeaux laid down and I was able to get this picture.  Yay!  Right?  Of course.

But then, my Samsung decided that it didn't want to allow me to import any of the pictures or videos that I had taken on my phone that morning onto my computer.  Samsung or Microsoft or somebody, decided to challenge me. I'm not sure who, but I had to work hard (actually my husband did the work) to get this picture to share with you today.

So I set to work getting my goals typed up so that I could post them as well.  But I am, not really an overachiever but, a very high goal setter.  And I have a lot, a lot of goals, and  I'm not a super fast, super accurate wpm typer, and well, I only got one category of goals typed up and ready to post for you (because I did make a promise to share my goals with you on Valentine's Day and I want to stay true to my word).  

But it was Valentine's Day and my husband so sweetly and kindly made reservations at a posh Greensboro restaurant and I had to get ready to go, but first I had to head downtown to the Cultural Arts Center for a meeting and squeeze in a visit to the Symphony office to get new tickets for the concerts I subscribed to earlier in the year because I think I must have thrown away the tickets that they would have mailed out to me months ago. Breathe...

Then I swung by Earthfare to pick up yogurt culture and Bulgarian yogurt and milk because my husband so devotedly makes homemade yogurt and his culture seems to be getting too sour and of course it's Valentine's Day so I need to pick up some goodies for my honeys waiting for me at home and it really was one of the quickest trips into Earthfare that I have ever made in my entire life and it was wonderful!

Got home in time to share a beer before heading to the restaurant for our 7:30 reservation.  Gave hugs and goodies and spent time with Sam and left hand in hand with my Chris Love for our dinner date.

Arrived at the parking lot, a VERY full parking lot.  A space please?  Yes, here is one for you after I finish kissing my beautiful date goodnight...Oops, didn't know you were watching, waiting...Thank you very much sir!  But wow, so many cars.  Walked to the door.  Open. Walk in.  SO MANY PEOPLE...but we have 7:30 reservations (it's only 7:25), no problem, right?  HA, HA!  Finally, after some wine and discussion and watching couples get seated at an alarmingly slow rate, except for a few young posh looking couples that arrived after us that somehow got seated before us, which caused a little bit of a heated lecture to occur with the hostess and my hubby and another sulking woman's husband (I was just smiling, I figured it was a spiritual test of some kind), at 8:45 PM Chris and I we are seated. It was nearly 10 PM before we received our third course entree' (which came out before our second course appetizer that was supposed to follow our postage stamp size first course) and it was delicious and we were so hungry and I know everyone was doing the best that they could to give us good service by that point and we got our dessert for free and it was also DELICIOUS and we left the restaurant LAUGHING and by the time we got home near 11PM I was exhausted and happy and I did not finish posting my goals to you, my dedicated readers, on Valentines Day.

But here they are. My goals!  Happy Day!  One day late, but better late than never, right?  Still only one page of My 2018 Art Goals.  Probably enough for anyone to digest in one sitting anyway.

I did not get my other goals typed up today, but I did get into my art studio for a good 4 hours and I started a new collage of Frederick Douglas.  Pictures are below.  You can follow my progress as I continue working.  I am hoping to get him completed before the end of February.  Send me good vibes please!

The work in progress!
And tomorrow, it's off to Maryland to visit my Purple Cow!  So goodnight for now!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy Birthday Abe!

Happy Birthday Abe!

Remembering Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of our great nation, born on this day in 1809.

Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, paved the way for the abolition of slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy. ( from Wikipedia)

I have created this collage as part of my Reverence and Power series. I was fascinated by Lincoln and loved reading stories and biographies about him when I was growing up. Living in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln might have had something to do with that. I loved visiting Springfield and New Salem where Lincoln lived before becoming our president. He was an inspiration to me in a very simple 10 year old growing up in a log cabin kind of way. Today I can appreciate different qualities and attributes that I may not have comprehended back in 1977. One of those qualities being his sense of humor another, his wisdom.

Some quotes attributed to Abe Lincoln 

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.”

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”

“There are no bad pictures; that's just how your face looks sometimes.”

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

I hope you all have enjoyed this February 12th. As you relax and celebrate your day, give a toast to Abe and give thanks for the freedoms that we enjoy in this great country.

And remember - "The best way to predict your future is to create it.” (Abraham Lincoln)



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Blogs, Boxes and Bubble Wrap

Blogs, Boxes and Bubble Wrap
Oh My!

Wow!  Can you even believe that it took me several days with multiple attempts and a couple of few hours to create this darling "Shatter 3" collage above!! Whew!  My learning curve is continuous and is forced to zigzag through technology like my Jeep on a drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains!  But hey, learning new things is great neurobic exercise for my brain and I am definitely getting stronger every day!

I am excited to say that I successfully got my Purple Cow packed and shipped off to Annemarie Sculpture Garden and Art Gallery.  Before I sent her off, I gently cleaned her and protected her with a couple more coats of sealer.

After allowing her to dry for several days, I packed her.  It was a hack pack, using what bubble wrap I had left from packing a previous piece of artwork that was sent off to a show.  I also had to fill the gap in the back of the canvas (about 1 inch deep) with odds and ends of bubble wrap that I had saved from various mail order goodies.  I then put the whole bubble wrapped pic into a large plastic bag that had once been used to protect a piece of art that was framed and brought home from Hobby Lobby some time ago. Then I packed the carefully swaddled Purple Cow snuggly into a large mirror box leftover from our move to Greensboro from Plano, TX.  Thankful to have that box. Thankful to have all of that bubble wrap and plastic.  Happy to have Office Depot with a Fed Ex shipping center only a few miles from my home.

What I would love for packing - These Deluxe Artwork shippers. 
Deluxe Artwork Shippers

They are quite an investment, however, at $195 each. But worth it, I think.  I am hoping my ventures in Art, and at Zinnnia's Way and my blog itself will be able to help me earn money to reinvest in my art, yoga and lifestyle business. More information will be coming as soon as I learn how to make it work.  Again, another learning curve, hooray!  Hooray for opportunities!  Hooray for technology!  Hooray for another day!

Be sure to make yours count!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Welcoming February!

We are still masters of our fate.

We are still captains of our souls.

This morning as I was going about my Monday morning routine of doing laundry and folding and putting away what seemed like a mountain of clothes, I tried to make the very best use of my time, as most women do, by multi-tasking.  I watched/listened to a video by Stephan James at Project Life Mastery entitled Goal Setting Workshop - The 100 Day ChallengeSee Stephan's video here I took notes while I listened and surprisingly stayed on track with my laundry goals. (This is Tuesday, by the way.) 

Why do I mention that?  I mentioned that because I am off target for my goal of doing laundry on Mondays.  Why am I off target? Because other obligations came up.  Good obligations, meaningful obligations, but offsetting obligations none the less.  I say this, because in the past, if I failed at some goal, my normal response/reaction would be to get lazy and let it slide.  I would likely allow it to creep over into many other areas of my life. I would unknowingly lose confidence in myself and my ability to achieve, and in my darkest moments I would feel my life was meaningless and allow myself to wallow in self-pity and become depressed. My life has been a rollercoaster of big dreams and big ideas, little successes but seemingly many more deserted dreams and many failures.  Don't get me wrong, my life is overall VERY HAPPY, but I have always felt that, paraphrasing Dr.Wayne Dyer, "I had music within me that I was letting die."  I had more potential than I was using on a daily basis.

And to think all of those roller coasters could have started from a few undone loads of laundry, or a few days/weeks/months of not working out, or one bag of barbeque Krunchers after a stressful day of work at the Psychiatric Unit at Christian NE Hospital, knowing that I had been procrastinating on doing assignments that were due for my classes at SIUE.

If you let your goals slide for 1 day, it's not so bad, but it can have a cumulative effect if you allow it to happen for a week or a month or a year.  Although I know that I have achieved many things throughout my life, I still feel as though I have let my big goals and understanding the real importance of my goals and the mastering of how to set and achieve my goals, slip through my fingers for the past 33 years. (Some of you might not have known or guessed I was that old!  Thank You!) So at 50 years old, I am not giving up on mastering my fate and directing my soul toward bigger and better days and fostering in me the increasing ability to give to and to serve others in meaningful and enriching ways.

Today I am continuing to work on my Goals for 2018.  Yes, I have some but I don't feel that they are SMART enough.  See how to set SMART Goals here I have made sure to have written goals for the past five years.  These goals that I had set to the best of my ability definitely helped me get to where I am today.  They have helped keep me on track and propel me (and my husband, much to his chagrin at times) forward. Of course we still have a ways to go, but truly, we always will if we continue to challenge ourselves to grow and dream and create. That is the JOURNEY!  That is LIFE!  What a very happy prospect there is in that!

I sincerely THANK YOU all who have read this far!  I know your time is precious and I do so appreciate you being here.  To you I commit to post my 2018 SMART Goals on February 14, 2018, an idea I got from a recent Forbes article.  

Now I bid you adieu. I must go put the whites in the dryer and get back to learning how to edit on my Paint Shop Pro 9x photo editing program.  I am still working on getting some images ready to post to fill you in on the travel status of my Pastoral Cow. I will plan on posting that tomorrow (Wednesday).  And then you'll want to stay tuned for The Other Obligations.  It could be very exciting!

So adios, adieu, au revoir and peace out...till next time, Wishing  you happiness always,


Saturday, January 20, 2018

My Purple Cow is Going to Maryland!

I am so excited to announce that my Purple Cow (Pastoral Cow, 2014) is making a trip to Maryland for the Big Fun Art Show at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Dowell. You can see the details below.
Pastoral Cow, 2014

Feb 16 2018 - Sep 23 2018

Let’s take a break from the news of global doom and gloom and celebrate BIG FUN ART!  Bright colors, bold scales, and a playful spirit are just what we need to distract us from the worries of the day.  Inspired by the likes of Yayoi Kusama, and the recent addition to Annmarie Sculpture Garden of a work by Taiwanese artist, Hung Yi, BIG FUN ART! has a jovial and exuberant spirit. There may be a profound subtext, but on the surface this exhibit is all about works that have a boldness in color, an exaggeration in scale, abundance in repetition, dynamic in pattern, or playful in subject. It's all about the joy!

Exhibit Juror:
Jennifer Brundage
National Outreach Manager
Smithsonian Affiliations

Annmarie After Hours: Friday, February 16, 2018, 5-8pm

Contributing Artist(s): 
Julie Allinson, Joe Boddy, Clifford Buckley, Manon Casimir, Don Cooper, Benjamin Entner, Cathy Fields, Lenore Fiore Mills, Oki Fukunaga, Judy Giuliani, Miqueala Hernandez, Cara Heslip, Frank Hoeffler, Rachel Horner, Gene Hracho, Emily Hracho, James Hsieh, Sharman Johnson, Elena Kalman, Tracy Lambros, Cissy Langley, SeungTack Lim, Stacy Lovejoy, Michael Malizia, Philomena Marano, Michael A. McCullough, Sharon Pierce McCullough, Abigail Morris, Harmony Murray, Karen Musgrave, Laurie Nelson, Ann Preston, Patricia Sabree, Jill Scott, Samantha Shelton, Ronda Szymanski, Sandra Trumpfheller, Peter Tucker, Chuck von Schmidt, Toni Wolf

I invite you all to come along with me on this journey to Maryland by becoming a follower of my Zinnia's Way blog.  It will be a thrilling yet frightening new adventure for me as a blogger.  (You might think I was preparing to go skydiving or bungee jumping or something like that.) So skydiving, bungee jumping, talking about myself and my art, it all feels pretty daring to me!

I look forward to sharing pictures, processes, parties, packing and postage experiences with you all.  If this does not sound exciting enough, consider this... in order to accomplish this magnificent feat, I must learn to master a mountain of new technology like tripods and cameras and a fancy new video editing program.

We'll take a closer look together at the details of Pastoral Cow, the piece I created back in 2014. We'll appreciate her and say a little goodbye before I ship her off to the great state of Maryland. She is for sale, and if she suffers the fate of my Peaceful Sheep that went to the VMRC Art Show in Harrisonburg, VA, she won't be coming back.  Peaceful Sheep found a happy new home in New Mexico.  I am happy for her, but I still miss her a little bit at times.   

If this sounds like BIG FUN (ART) for you, click the blue button on the left hand side of this page and   Follow  my blog today! You can find out more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center by clicking on the link below.

Annmarie Sculpture Gardens and Art Center

Help me celebrate this success by having a beautiful BIG FUN day!