As we approach Valentine’s Day I thought the meaning of love would be a good subject to discuss. In Webster’s New World Dictionary the word love is defined as follows: 1) strong affection or liking for someone or something 2) a passionate affection of one person for another 3) the object of such affection; a sweetheart or lover. Now taking that in consideration, in the Bible there are two and a half PAGES of references to the word Love.
As a child if you were raised in a good home you were shown love and taught love. As a teenager and young adult you were seeking the romantic love. As an older adult when the children have left home you begin to search for spiritual love.
Love is not something you can buy! While the Valentine goodies and flowers are nice they cannot come close to the value of love. While it seems at times to be a daily search to find the perfect way to show our love, we fail to simply acknowledge it.
The love of a child is so precious. We give so much of ourselves to show our children we love them and it pains us so much when we have to discipline them. It is funny that we can love our children instantly and unconditionally.
Love however between adults is not as simple. Physical attraction may be what brings two people together, but that is not the glue that keeps them together. Finding common ground and interests begins to build a connection. As a relationship grows you find you begin to give more of yourself. When you can give up enough of yourself to unite you as one then you can say you have found love.
Lastly but most importantly, there is spiritual love. This I really should have put first as the love of God should always be first in your life. God is the giver of life and love. As we all have to sacrifice for love, God gave the ultimate sacrifice when he sent his son to be crucified on the cross.
While we are living in a time of evil, ultimately the power of love and the love of God is the only thing that will see us through this painful period of life. Even on your darkest days, REJOICE because God is that much closer to you!
While my husband and I have been married 34 years, we have had our share of challenges but we still love each other and support each other.
I typically don’t do abstract but today it just kind of fit my mood. Just because I have a type A brain I guess, when I finish a painting session I don’t waste the paint but throw it on another canvas and “see what sticks”!
It doesn’t really represent anything but free movement. In some ways this is the most relaxing mode of painting. There are no lines to be defined or faces to create.
Ironically abstract is kind of the way I feel these days. I want to be able to create that perfect painting but am satisfied with the simple flowing lines and gentle movement.
I guess the lesson in this is I should paint more based on how I am feeling than on replicating something I won’t be satisfied with.
I am very much an advocate for free speech. After all, social media platforms would have never formed or been so successful if there had been censorship before now. The same Big Tech guys like Mark Zukenburg and Bill Gates that made billions on these platforms have failed to recognize this point and yet they still keep doing it.
The First Amendment as we know it was adopted on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. This later became a part of the Constitution! Why would any company suddenly think they had the right to strip our country of one of our most important rights. They don’t!
It apparently is okay for the Media to exercise their right to free speech regardless of how vicious it is, but the person of the street that voices his/her opinion is suddenly inappropriate! That person and/or our President’s words are wiped off of social media platforms for no reason. It is just a vicious attack that hits right to the core of most people.
Call me mad, crazy or whatever you want but I will continue to support free speech. What these platforms don’t realize is once you put anything on the internet and in particularly on a social media platform it becomes written evidence! I have actually sat in on a court case where conversation between people on a social media site was used as evidence. My point being, not only are you held accountable for what you say so is the site that hosts the platform. While if you threaten someone directly or insight a crime directly on social media they still do not have the right to remove that information because it is evidence! These Big Tech guys are getting themselves in deep water daily because of their vengeful tactics and for what reason….just because they don’t like Donald Trump? They are in so deep they don’t even see their own stock dropping daily! That would certainly make me stop any further action because I hate losing money…not these guys!
Anyway, this is not about politics this is about remaining faithful and standing up for our basic rights. It not only affects social media but our future publishing rights and our right to speak publicly.
I have done like a lot of people and made some changes to steer away from the Big Tech guys so that maybe their pocketbook WILL get a little smaller, their client base a lot smaller to more attractive sites that do not restrict free speech.
In fact I have set out on a new venture. Free speech in all forms is important. I have just self-published a novella and it is on the Barnes & Noble website and you can get to it here:
Well….I was in a mood today to get back to the canvas!
I can just hear the comments now…”Looks like kindergarten stuff”. Not to worry. .will post again when its finished.
This painting was inspired from a photo of an actual old store with vintage gas pumps…
Considering the times we are in now….I much prefer the times when this old store was built. I remember walking a quarter mile as a child to a little country store much like the one above to buy a 2 cent sugar cookie and an RC Cola! We didn’t mind the walk. The old store was heated by a large old wood stove. Those were the good old days. As kids we didn’t realize then how much we would come to appreciate those days.
Guess I am old fashioned as far as needlework goes because I love cross stitch. Not so much the printed kind but the kind you work to create pictures.
I either will use a photograph or draft a drawing like this one and then upload it to a cross stitch program (I use KB-Chart which is a free program but you can convert to a profession version if you get really good at it) to convert to a cross stitch pattern. If by now you still don’t know what I am talking about here is what cross stitch is:
You use embroidery thread, preferably DMC brand, and cross stitch fabric (my preference is Aida 14 count because it is easier to see) and cross stitch needles.
Cross stitch on Aida 14 image.
If you can blow the above image up, you will see in the fabric little blocks. Each little block has a hole at each corner. To make the cross you pull your thread to start (I work left to right typically but you can do in either direction) leaving a small lenght and do not knot. Pull your thread up from the bottom and up and across to the right corner and down. Then carry your thread from the back right corner to the left top corner and up and across the top and to the bottom right corner. You have now completed your first cross. Before you begin to work the pattern you will determine your design size and allow at least an 1 inch or more on all sides depending on what you want your frame size to be. Once you have cut your fabric to your determined frame size, find the center of your fabric and then the center of you pattern which is usually parked at the top and left size with a character like a triangle.
Mark the center with a straight pin until you are ready to begin. Looking at the pattern see which character is at the center (this will determine your starting color). Now go to the key (which is the last page of your pattern that list all the different threads by character) and find the character that matches up with the center character of the pattern…across from it is the DMC floss number that you will use. There are six threads to the floss. I typically only use 2 but go by whatever your pattern calls for, separate and thread your needle.
Begin with the stitch instructions above and stitch one color at a time following your pattern.
If you need further instructions or have questions about cross stitching, feel free to email me at email@example.com
I am not a garden expert by no means but this is my first garden post. I guess it has been about a week now and look what I have.
These are seeds that were left over from the last planting season. The soil is Miracle Grow Garden Mix which was also a left over. The pan they are in was also a freebie…when I bought a package of those tin pans at Christmas…this plastic tray proved to be a nice little greenhouse.
I just uncovered them yesterday and they have grown more.
I have struggled for days to find the right words. One of my favorite songs is “Independence Day” as recorded by Martina McBride. In the song are the words “let freedom ring”. While the song is about domestic violence those words are about so much more!
As a child I didn’t realize how many freedoms we did have or at least were supposed to have. As I grew into an adult I watched as those freedoms and the strong values this country was founded on slowly fell by the wayside.
The last four years have been refreshing as I have seen a glimpse of those once cherished freedoms and values. Our economy was stronger and as an aging adult for the first time in many years this country had hope. On January 20 that hope was all but destroyed!
It is becoming abundantly clear that this country is in serious trouble.
Over the last year it was enough to deal with COVID. Now I question whether even that was real….or just another strain of the flu. I and a friend of mine both had it. On friday night in a discussion with her on the subject she casually mentioned that she had not heard of even one person that had the flu this year. I kind of scratched my head and then I realized she was right. What if COVID, like everything else, was fake. We lost our freedom of identity, our freedom to move about freely and most recently our freedom of speech.
There are a lot of theories about what is going on in this country and sooner or later the truth will come out. In the meantime we have an imposter spouting out orders that will paralyze what is left of this country. What are we supposed to do?
We are supposed to be strong in faith. We,the people, can still establish a more perfect union. Getting the country back on track will take time but it begins with each one of us. Your voice is the strongest instrument you have! If someone tries to silence you….shout it from the roof top.
NEVER use force or violence to make your point….that just sends the wrong message. Walk softly and peacefully but cary a big voice.
I challenge you to do your part to rebuild America. Voice your concerns to those who will listen. Make sure you are living a life with values and not just existing.
My ancestors fought in both the American Revolution and the Civil War. I speak for them!
Not to worry this is not really about politics. The title stems from an old western movie but one I have used on occasion. It is not hard to define who the bad are! The ugly of course refers to our current situation. Now that we have gotten those two out of the way lets look at the good that we should be focusing on.
Good – Putting God first! Regardless of your faith or even the lack of… it is time to put God first. Our forefathers in their infinite wisdom did that very thing regardless of how devout their religion was. Their intent was to build this country on a solid rock! It was important after war to start this nation in a positive way.
Good – Family. Most of us have one. While I don’t support some of the family units in this country, it really boils down to unity. It goes back to creation, God did not want Adam to be alone in the world so he created Eve and you know the rest of the story. The point being this world began with a family unit. And yes, there is good, bad and even ugly in most families. It is not something that most people want to talk about but it exists. More important than anything is how we keep the family unit together. That goes back to Putting God First!
Good – Country – And there again I am not talking about our situation I am referring to the land itself. We are blessed to live in the most varied and beautiful land in the world. We have not done a very good job of taking care of it but it still exists. As a photographer and avid camper I can tell you I have been in some breathtaking places in this country like this:
Don’t focus on the negatives but drive yourselves to the positive. We still have our families, the land and more importantly God!