Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall in Kansas

Capturing the brilliant foliage between all our rain has been tricky...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Learning from Van Gogh

One of my favorite things to do when I need some creative inspiration is to look through a book about one of my favorite artists. "Van Gogh: The Complete Paintings" is treasured on my bookshelf. Two things have stuck with me from this book.

1. Vincent Van Gogh created a complete painting every single day towards the end of his life. Great big, bold, Van Gogh brushstroke, too.

2. While that proliferation is commendable, he did not hesitate to repeat a subject. In fact he did it over and over again: people, landscapes, and still-life paintings. One of them, Sunflowers, broke sale records back in the 1980s.

Try this - Look through the 4 paintings from the above mentioned book. Red and green predominate in all of them (Van Gogh loved to use contrasting colors), but see how many things you can count that are different. Let me know what number you come up with. I see roughly 6 differences in each picture.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Kanza Lodge

Today I'm feeling thankful for the wonderful Kanza Lodge we have just 20 minutes away. I've enjoyed going on virtual field trips with other bloggers, so today I'll share one of ours.

This Kanza lodge is located at Deanna Rose farmstead, which is a free educational gold mine sponsored by the city of Overland Park and donations. They have a nature walk, a fishing pond, petting zoo animals, Master Gardens, and old-fashioned buildings. My favorite section is the Native American niche with the Kanza lodge and tepees. The tepees have stiched inside the tepee flap which I find hilarious!

Seriously though, there is something about stepping into a earth lodge that just takes my breath away. The replica lodge used to be fenced off and you were only able to look in, but now you can actually go in - sit, walk around, and touch certain items.

I included some of the written markers because I love to read those, especially the one about the bison. The lodge is a poetic reminder of the value in using what you have on hand. Practical and useful. BTW, the inside of the lodge was quite comfortable on this hot Kansas day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An Electronic Daily Devotional

Starting each day with a daily devotional helps me center myself. In the past, I've had subscriptions to little magazines, and I've also owned many books of daily devotions.
(Haven't we all had some of those on our shelves?)

Since I begin my day at the computer, checking email, I thought an online devotional would be a great way to take advantage of our new cyber world. After much searching I've reset my internet home to "The Word Among Us" - a Catholic devotional. This works for me, cause I'm Catholic ;-) There are other ones out there though, you just have to google and explore. I really enjoy having one come up automatically for my home page - I highly recommend it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Breath of Life

Sometimes we forget to give thanks for the simplest things - like breathing. The foundation of our own creation. My middle son has asthma, and a recent cold has aggravated it this week. I thought we were on top of things, we went in to the doctor on Tuesday and he was doing better, but last night his nebulizer treatment wasn't working. I always wondered if I would know when to call 911 - and in the end I can't say I "knew" to call 911, but I did know that he needed help in our home right away. Thankfully he was stabilized on the ambulance drive to the hospital. We were in the ER for several hours while they monitored him, but luckily there was no pneumonia. He's doing better today as we continue to follow the discharge instructions.

Everyday creativity and inspiration is based on our everyday blessings. Right now I just humbly give thinks for life, for me and my loved ones. In the photo above, ds is holding daisy-like flowers he found in the field behind our house. We identified this weed/flower as white heather aster. Huh, I never knew till this week.