Monday, December 28, 2015

A little New Years reflection via Calvin and Hobbes

From left to right it's reads like this:

Calvin: It's a new year...a new beginning! New possibilities!
Calvin: This snowman represents the spirit of the new year.
Calvin: Looking ahead he strides forward with confidence and determination!
Calvin: He challenges! He imagines! He invents! He calls forth the best qualities of human drive and ingenuity.
Hobbes: Very inspiring.
Calvin: Thank you.
Hobbes: And over here is the REAL world?
Calvin: Right. This is why we're always glad when the old year is over.

Happy New year everyone!!
May your 2016 be full of imagination!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

When our hearing goes to sh*t.

It's happening. Has been for some time now. Like these reindeer, I can't hear for sh*t.  And yep...this makes for some good belly laughing around our house. The repetitious ..."what?" and the occasional...confusion such as "did you say, 'I have a big gash on my blouse?'  No, I said, "will you please take the trash out of the house."

Yesterday I chuckled even more when ordering through a drive-thru speaker and the cashier clearly wasn't hearing what I was requesting and I turned to Chris sitting next to me and seriously asked, "Am I mumbling?" She confirmed for me, "no" and then after a bunch of clarification the cashier got our order right. So maybe it's not just me with this hearing thing?'s to a happy healthy and good hearing Christmas holiday season!

When nature whispers to our souls.

You ever feel the urge to do something and until you do whatever that is...the whispers won't go away? (I think this is really some sort of inner wisdom talking to us...telling us what we need in a particular time in our lives).

This is what walking in the woods and absorbing the abundance of nature does for me.  I get this urge to get outside and "play" and until I just won't let up.

So here's the results of my recent romp-through-the-woods-experience. (I brought the dogs along too, since they too needed a good romp in the woods.)

I ended up on a trail that runs along the north side of the Maumee River between Grand Rapids and Waterville, OH and is flanked by the remaining portion of the Miami-Erie Canal. The Maumee river bluff trail is part of the Providence Metropark system and stretches for 9 miles...although I walked about 2 miles of it this time around.

There's some pretty cool history wrapped up in this area because of the Miami and Erie Canal. Home to a one-mile stretch of canal with a functioning reproduction of a mule-drawn canal boat, the Isaac Ludwig Mill (a working water-powered saw and gristmill) and lock number 44.  If you visit this area from May to October you'll see the park staff dressed in period attire welcoming visitors to a time gone by.

You can read up on this history and what all this entails here at the Toledo Metroparks website.

Watch a youtube video about the Canal experience at Providence Metropark.

While none of the canal boat activities were actively going on (since it's December) it is still so peaceful to walk along flowing water and to listen to the wind blow through the trees and watch the squirrels flit about gathering last minute nuts for their winter stash.  There are very few songbirds left in the area right now because most have migrated south for the winter...although I have seen bluejays and the red-bellied woodpecker and of course sparrows.

I've found in the past few years it's hard for me to walk in the woods now and not reach out and touch the trees that line the trail I'm walking along.  I can't explain it. Just something about touching trees and saying hi. As if you're sharing in their life's wisdom somehow. I don't know what it is...but a comforting exchange occurs.  While I seriously doubt I do much for the trees...they do a LOT for me.

There were some HUGE trees stretching high into the sky in this area (I think they are black walnut trees but I'm not really a tree identity I'm not sure).  The one in this picture probably would take 4-5 people standing hand to hand to reach around it's trunk.  A magnificent tree!

I often wonder if these trees could talk (like treebeard in Lord of the Rings-The Two Towers) what would they tell us?  Oh the stories they could tell, I'm sure!!  Maybe this is actually why I feel the need to touch an effort to glean some of their years and years of wisdom.

What's your latest adventures?  Life is full of them if we seek them out.

More to come....

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Another art evening that's a wrap!

Well, last night's Holiday Evening of Expression sponsored by the Black Swamp Art Council (BSAC) and hosted by "The Blue" restaurant in Archbold, a wrap.

Folks came, shopped, admired and wandered the aisles of the 14 featured artists scattered throughout "The Blue's" cleared out dining room space. And an abbreviated menu was also offered as well as a full bar with a portion of those proceeds benefiting BSAC sponsored programs.

So here we are in all our glory last night. In the above photo, that's me on the left...Isabella in the middle and Chris on the right. Here we are on the right chillin in a different order...waiting for our order of the sexiest flatbread we've ever eaten!!

For four and a half hours...there was much-a-do-about-art in downtown Archbold!  Was fun to hobnob amongst area artists!

We even picked up a new FABULOUS painting for our own collection...and found some gifts for others too! I an artists...and Chris now being an appreciator of orginal art...we love to collect originals together!

Special thanks to the Black Swamp Arts Council for making this night happen...and for the opportunity to participate.

I met some pretty cool folks.

Onward and upward for the arts!!

Until next time...


Monday, December 7, 2015

#58 Put Art in Your Life!

I was reading through some blog posts from back in my Dickson Gallery days and came across this gem. Definitely worth re-posting here!  Put art in your life!  Thank you Tom Peters!

"I'm a HUGE Tom Peter's fan. In fact, when it comes to business progressive thought...this is the guy I turn to for information. He's a business-info guru! And at the same time, he's not touting rhetoric that we've all heard over and over and over. He understands staying "ahead of the pack" in how one runs they're business, department and even themselves.
So...every now and then, I go to his website to see what the latest greatest mind-blowing thoughts are...low and behold I found a .pdf titled "Tom Peter's 100 Ways to Succeed/Make Money" -item #51-75. So I clicked there and low and behold I smiled when I read #58!!!! Here's a guy who studies all facets of business everyday. Talks to hundreds of fortune 500 CEO's and Execs...travels all over the world speaking to thousands upon thousands weekly...and yet...READ what he rights as NUMBER FIFTY EIGHT!!
Click here to download the .pdf and see for yourself. (scroll down to see #58) I love it when I find business people whom I respect...and they validate my own ideas. LOVE THAT!!!
So I'll go ahead and say it here...if you don't have art in your place of work, where you live, and where you're missing the boat. We ALL need inspiration around us to keep us pushing towards that person we're working to become!! Let it be ART!
happy inspiration! ...oh and check out and be prepared to be inspired!"

Want to read the original posting of this from January 2008?
click here

Onward and upward for the arts!!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It's showtime!

Got plans Monday night? It's showtime!

Come on out to "The Blue" in Archbold, Ohio Monday, December 7 from 4:00p-8:30p for a perusal of some super cool local artwork thanks to the Black Swamp Arts Guild. Time to add art to your Christmas list!

Basically a Holiday Arts open house...come on by and wander through the space looking at original art by area artists.

I'll be there! If nothing else...come on by and say "hey" to me!  Here's my artwork for sale and on display shown above.

The Blue restaurant is located on Main Street smack in the middle of downtown Archbold. Never been to Archbold? worries. It's not really a big super easy to find your way around.

The Blue restaurant is a brick building on main street just north of the railroad tracks.

See you there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas tree time!

Well, just so was the day Chris and I ventured out to our favorite local Christmas tree farm in Swanton, OH (on County Rd 1-2) and picked out our 2015 tree. Let the holiday festivities begin!!

This year...a blue spruce made the final vote. Might be our new favorite! (is shown in the photo right over Chris' left shoulder)

Jinx (one of our two cats) showed a special interest once we brought it into the house. One never knows the outcome of our animals interests? Guess time will tell.

We also found the coolest medium sized potted Christmas tree which we are adding to our holiday family tradition. Kill a tree...plant a tree. Sounds like good mojo to me!

Onward to the decorating!