Art, drawing class – tapping into our inner artist

FEAF1040-3ADC-4C9C-AA23-31734AD893B6When I was young, drawing and painting were not encouraged. My parents didn’t go to College, they wanted “better” for their children. Anything to do with art was frivolous, would get us “no where.” Focus on studying to get a “real job,” they said. We had to support ourselves. It’s a tough world out there. Sound familiar?

Fast forward, zillions of years later…

I decided — it’s time to have fun! Treat myself to an illustration class, see what it is all about. Is it true that I have no artistic abilities? I needed to find out.

I was AFRAID, none of us want to embarrass ourselves with the worst drawing ever.

What have I learned? First, drawing can be done anywhere and it is fun! Artists practice, a lot. The more you practice, the better you become. I had no idea. This sounds silly, I know, but I thought being an artist was EASY. It’s actually hard work! Second, being an artist takes determination and dedication. To be good at anything, we need to be passionate and put the time in to practice.

I’m sharing some of my sketches with you.

Last year, I was on the train in Italy. I noticed a woman writing in her journal the entire hour. I thought how dedicated she was. When I got up to leave, I walked by her. Guess what, she wasn’t writing, she was sketching a portrait of a man on the train — unknown to him. It looked beautiful.

Yes, practice makes perfect. My instructor said, “Everyday, you must sketch. As you sketch, you become faster at sketching anything (draw the perfect circle, the perfectly straight line, arms, hands, cars, houses, etc.). Through practice and mistakes, a head that seems too large, might turn out to be your nutty professor.

That is the beauty of art, what seems like a mistake, might be your next masterpiece!

Next, painting with watercolors.

Art, any form of it, does make us HAPPY!

This is the just the beginning…

Tiger Woods – Golf -> Ultimate Victory

Tiger Woods win in the Masters yesterday was a real victory for him and for us. It shows us that life gives us set backs (personal, physical, etc.), but through perseverance, hard work, constant belief in our goals that victory can be obtained. His last win was in 2005, this is quite a come back.

Champions never give up believing, Tiger Woods proved that!

Wonderful to see him hugging his son, his mother…

By the way, there is a story out there that says when you win the green jacket, you only get to keep it at your home for a year, then you need to give it back. WHAT? Also, that the green jacket they put on him was his old jacket, not a new one. WHAT AGAIN? I’m not a golfing fan, need to read more about this. Surprised, of course.

Congratulations!

Comedy, as writing inspiration, get rid of writer’s block…

As a writer, we get “writer’s block.” Life becomes overwhelming, ideas are not flowing freely. We need to find a way to open the channels of our creativity.

Comedy – I decided I needed to laugh.

By chance, I found a TV show called, “Miracle Workers,” I gave the first episode a shot, it was SO FUNNY! It just came out 2019. I laughed, because they show God in a corporate office in Heaven, sitting on a sofa switching through TV Channels to see what is happening on Earth. He’s so disappointed with what he sees… like us, God is tired of his job and decides he will just blow up Earth and start a new project.

I laughed AGAIN, because in Heaven there is a department called, “Unanswered Prayers.” They show only two people in charge of that department with piles and piles of requests, they can’t possibly help everyone.

So, that explains it, my “unanswered prayer” has been sitting in God’s slush pile for 7 years collecting dust.

If you take a look at this Youtube trailer for the show, you’ll understand why this comedy is so hilarious. Silly sure, but just what a writer needs to laugh a little and be reminded that God gets tired too and that sometimes we just have to do it ourselves!

Basically, this is a humorous way of comparing Heaven to normal life in a corporation.

Show is based on the novel What’s in God’s Name by Simon Rich.

Coffee… Breakfast…Tradition… making blueberry scones at home

CB353366-48C2-4D65-9550-E232D8E8D880Have you noticed that going out for a coffee and a danish, which used to be a “treat,” has become so expensive that it is not enjoyable anymore?

When I was young, because we had four children in the family, we rarely went out to eat; it was too expensive. In those days, if we did go out, it was for pizza, once a quarter. When the waitress came to take our order, she would ask what the “children” were drinking. My father in a loud bellowing voice would say, “WATER for them, a beer for me.”

My mother did not believe in soda. Growing up in Italy, they did not drink soft drinks or fruit juices. As a treat, on Sunday, they went to the park and had a gelato she would say.

This will make you smile… when I started dating, and the waitress came to take our order, I was too afraid to order ice tea or a soda, I was conditioned to order water. It wasn’t until one date asked, “WHY are you only having water? You can order a drink. Please, have a soda or ice tea, whatever you’d like.”

FUNNY, I thought to myself, “Yeah, I’m on my own now, why am I still drinking water?!”

This past weekend I was in the mood for scones. A friend of mine sent me a recipe and it was time to try it out. Scones are usually triangular, I made hearts, see photo.

My goal was to entice my daughters, so they would say, “Mama, those are adorable, we want some!”

seattle tea potGood news — my hearts were a BIG HIT.  Just need to add tea.

HEART SCONES on Sunday.  A new tradition!

Once children grow up, we need to entice the “little birdies” back to the nest.

Being robbed on the train…hide cell phones

C38C7E42-4E6F-43DD-9CB6-00E51BE9A347A few weeks ago I was on the train. A young woman was sitting across from me, when a man came asking for money. The woman and I looked at each other, we spoke through our eyes… we would like to help, but he was a stranger, we did not know where that would lead, so we did not give any money.

Once the man left, the woman said, “I’m afraid to help people now.”

”What do you mean,” I said.

She told me that a few days before she was on the train at 1:30 pm. She had a seat close to the exit, where the doors open. There were probably 10 people on board. She was on her phone texting. A young man got up to exit, when the doors opened, he quickly grabbed her phone out of her hands and was gone!

She was startled, scared, in horror… all the motions we go through when we have just been robbed.

We discussed the fact that when we are on our phones, we are oblivious to our surroundings. We also talked about the sadness in having to live in a world where we feel we need to be invisible, i.e. to not bring attention to ourselves, dress plainly and so on.

This picture from Pixabay.com illustrates how easy it is for someone to pull the phone out of our hands.

I share this story today as a reminder to be aware of your surroundings. We never know when something like this might happen to us. I’ve been passing the word along to fellow passengers myself.

Tell your friends/family, even holding your phone, so it cannot be grabbed out of your hands would be a deterrent. We need to help each other.

On a happier note, we are having Spring weather. It’s beautiful.

GUESS WHAT – snow flurries predicted for Thursday!? We don’t believe it!

“Afghan Cycles” – A documentary about Afghani women learning to cycle for independence and freedom…

Afghan Cycles movie poster

Photo courtesy of “Afghan Cycles,” http://www.afghancycles.com

A few years ago, I heard about a group of women in Afghanistan who were learning to cycle. They were starting a documentary about this, but it was going to take time to produce. Good news, last year the movie Afghan Cycles, produced by Let Media made it’s debut. I want to spread the word about it.

The Bicycle Story wrote an article, “Shannon Galpin: Riding to Revolution in Afghanistan” back in 2014 to share the start of this story. Shannon Galpin is from Colorado. She is the founder and President of Mountain2Mountain, which is a non-profit focused on global women’s rights.

Galpin’s focus on Afghani women and bikes started in 2009 when she brought her mountain bike to Afghanistan. As she rode around on her bike, it sparked conversation and interest from women about riding. In 2013, she started working and training with the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team, as well as bike clubs that had started. On her website (Shannon Galpin), she has pictures of this journey and the women cyclists!

Afghan Cycles 4

Photo courtesy of “Afghan Cycles,” http://www.afghancycles.com

Sarah Menzies, Let Media, is a Producer, Editor, Filmmaker and brilliant story teller. It has taken her five years to produce this film with many rounds of fundraising, research, and trips to Afghanistan involved. You can see this documentary was long coming. I hope you will take a moment to read their story and view the film!

Let Media is asking us to spread the word. They welcome people to contact them to set up a screening of the film in their cities.

Here is how you can watch the film:

Available On Demand

The film is available for purchase on the following platforms:
US: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon.
Canada: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play
UK: iTunes, Amazon Microsoft, Google Play
Ireland: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play

MY FINAL THOUGHTS…

When I was young and learned to ride a bike… IT’S TRUE, it gave me confidence, after I fell a zillion times, of course! A few scraped knees and elbows never stopped me. I had freedom and independence to go where I wanted in our neighborhood. I had a newspaper route where I made money, riding the bike also taught discipline and respect for my vehicle. How many times did I learn to put the chain back on, oil the chain, put the bell and basket on my bike and fix a flat tire (too many to count).

I loved the feel of the “fresh air” (spring, summer & fall) as I rode along Lake Michigan. Riding a bike was, and is, a powerful feeling. I can understand woman around the world wanting the same freedom and independence that I had.

If any of you (male or female) have had these same feelings of bike riding than you can understand how important this documentary is, so please… don’t be shy… share with others!