Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I know it's only September, but October is one week away. The city of Lee's Summit decided to welcome the autumn season in with an Oktoberfest celebration.

Although I am not a beer drinker, the festivities were not lost on me. My husband and I took the kids to the street fair, looked at the vendors, and of course ate some fair food. (Once again, the food pics were blurry.)

James - Enjoying a Funnel Cake

It seems the entire town had the same idea.

There were the usual jewelry and clothing vendors. I saw some very talented people. We came across a unique booth with an interesting tool that I bet you never knew you needed.
Can you figure out what it's for?? It's a paint can shaker. All you do is attach a standard drill to the back. It was the funniest thing I ever did see.

I also took a moment to snap some pics of the kids down at the old train depot.

Along the way I snapped some various points of interest and unique architecture.
 Window at the United Methodist Church
 Detail of the above capital
 The front door of a local catering hall
This caught my eye. That's one big spur.

Next weekend I think I will be back in Texas and the following weekend we will definitely be in North Carolina celebrating at my brother's wedding!! There will be a lot of driving in my future.

Fall is probably my favorite time of year because of weather and the clothes that I will get to wear. What is your favorite time year?

Today's Music Note: Playlist is currently running Lawrence Welk's "Champagne Polka." The Lawrence Welk Show could be seen on our tv each week. I don't think we missed a single episode. I see the show on sometimes and wonder why I liked it so much but times were different. You might want to click on over to the Mixpod player which has at the top of the playlist the "Oktoberfest Beer Drinking Song."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Fun Friday

Well it was.

The day started with an early tailgate party at my son's school. Let me preface this with a step back to the beginning. Everyday my son brings home a pile of papers. Some are graded papers, some are notes about upcoming events. It's hard to keep up with everything, but I am pretty good at filing things to check out later. (When I say "file" I mean stick in a pile on the buffet.) I do read them from time to time to make sure I am not missing something important. However, I NEVER saw a note home requesting we send in items for a Tailgate Party. Every time I saw "tailgate party" on the calendar I thought they were referring to the Fall Carnival which is next week. Then I get a note from the teacher on Friday saying, "Don't forget the Tailgate Party next Friday. Please send in what you agreed to donate." Now I am really confused. Monday morning I went into the school and asked James' teacher what she was talking about. Come to find out, I missed some important paper a couple of weeks ago. Don't ask me how with my "organized" method of filing. Regardless, I did, but she reassured me that she had all the supplies she needed and that I could just come help at the party. So help I did. And it was fun.

The kids had hot dogs and goodies. After which, they were able to go around to different games like beanbag toss and relay races, face painting and dance party, or even tug o' war. There were first graders running all over the place. I met some nice parents and even got some phone numbers for walking partners.

After the Tailgate Party that went on for what seemed like for ever, I walked home and rested before the evening's football game. When I got there, Gary was already waiting. What a surprise since it was only 1:30. Caitlin got home about an hour later and told me that all of her hair had to be put up on her head so it could not be seen under her marching hat. Let me remind you how short her hair is now (not conducive to putting up):

Thirty minutes later I managed to get it all the little pieces put up in a way that didn't look like her hair had been in the food processor. (Even at 14 she still whines when I French braid her hair.)

Her band director expects timeliness and requires the players to be at the school in their spots two hours before the game. As mentioned in another post, we don't live near the school so we try to combine trips. This time after we dropped her off, I took Gary to a store that Caitlin really likes so he could take her shopping for more winter clothes. After the diversion we went to the stadium and staked our claim on what we thought was some prime stadium "real estate." We got to watch the football players warm up, listen to the cheerleaders and people watch. Gary happened to sit next to a retired couple who talked his ear off the entire pregame period about his years in the Air Force. I think he actually enjoyed it. Then the time we were waiting for came. The marching band came in to the stadium. This was their first time wearing their brand new uniforms and they looked marvelous. (Unfortunately, the sun and the stadium lights were not cooperating so you will have to squint at most of the pics.)

 Have you ever seen bigger plumes?? Cait says they are very heavy.

 You can see now why they wouldn't want to wear them in the rain.

Today Caitlin is at a band clinic working on improving the show before their next competition. Then we are headed off to the local Oktoberfest. (I know it isn't Oktober yet.) The art show is supposed to be a juried one so I hope to see some good local artists.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Today's Music Note: Redo - My first music choice wouldn't work. :-( Instead I will share with you a fun story from the actor Andy Griffith. His voice makes me smile. To my non"Southern American" speaking friends, I am sorry I don't have a "Standard English" translation for you. :-) Oh and Peggy, you will have to turn the volume up really loud on the Mixpod because the only version they would allow me to play is poor quality.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On the Same Vein as Yesterday

I didn't find this on my own. Amanda at Kind Over Matter shared it and it spoke to me. Enjoy AND don't forget to go over and visit their site. It is quite inspirational. [Oh and don't forget to turn off the playlist if you are going to watch this. :-) ]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's In A Name?

They call me:
Facebook Addict
Online Gamer
TV Watcher
and I am sure a lot more, but the one thing I can't bring myself to call myself is an Artist. For some reason there is a formality that comes to mind when I hear the word "artist." It seems that it is what you call people whose work hangs in art galleries. All of my work stays in my journals.

Don't get me wrong, I love art. I go to lots of art shows, but I don't have anything that I would call a work of art. Everything always just seems like practice. The question is, what will it take to get my work out of a book and onto a canvas or some other concrete object worth displaying or sharing. I feel comfortable sharing with my Sketchbook and Blogger friends, but beyond that corner of my world I do not stray.

How does one come to the point where she say, my work is worth sharing with world? How do I come to believe that my work has more value than just the materials I put into it? This is not a call for compliments or strokes. I am truly curious. How do I break out of my little world?

Today's Music Note: You are listening to "That's Not My Name" by the Ting Tings. It makes me think of my friend Peggy who used to take my dog Zoey for a walk with my son. They would come back - cheeks red from the summer heat - singing "They call me Sta-Cey." It makes me smile. The other reason I like this song is it reminds me of my dad. He named me after his mother. Only at home did people call me nicknames. My first year at school, some teacher called me Maryann or Rosemarie. (I don't remember which because for years after that I was called some form of Anne and Mary or Marie.) Mom said, "That's not your name." I said, "I knew who she meant." It wasn't until 7th grade when my band director listed me as "Annie" on a concert program that I realized that it mattered, especially to my dad. He came up to me after the concert asking me why it listed me as Annie. I told him that was what Mr. Sulak called me. Dad told me, "That's not your name. You tell Mr. Sulak, that your name is Annemarie." The next day, I nervously approached him and said, "Mr. Sulak, my daddy said my name isn't Annie. It's Annemarie. Please don't call me Annie." He said fine and that was the end of that. From that point on I have always made sure that people call be my full name. It's a mouthful, but that is my name. What do people call you?

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Have an Inkling

or two.

There is a new inkblot prompt. I saw two different images in the inkblot.

The first is a strange little renaissance man. There is a local faire going on. If we ever make it there maybe we will meet him.
The next is an old fashioned kind of girl. I imagine that she spends her afternoons sipping tea with her cat Princess hoping her beau will drop in for a visit.

Head on over to see the inkblot creations and maybe make one of your own.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Things We Do...

...for our children.

Today is the Blue Springs Fall Festival. Caitlin's band marched in the parade. It didn't start until 10, but she had to be at the high school, in her place by 8 a.m. So on a Saturday morning, I woke up at 6:45 to make sure she was fed, dressed and out the door by 7:30.

Gas is not cheap. Caitlin's school is over 10 miles away. Parking at festivals and parades is in short supply. With these givens, it was decided that the entire family would load up into the car and drive together and stay in Blue Springs (we don't live in Blue Springs) until the parade started. This meant hanging around for 2 hours. Normally this would not be a bad thing. You can wander around, look at booths, admire the town and do a little exploring. Unfortunately, this morning it was 45F and misty. What does one do when she is from a warmer clime and ill prepared clothing-wise? You sit in the car for two hours.

The time was not wasted, however. We ate breakfast. We listened to the radio. We did reconnaissance. We found the perfect parking space.We found the ideal place to stand during the parade. By the time the parade started, we were set. Then...James had to use the restroom.*rolling my eyes.* Fortunately, Gary was with us. I would have been beside myself. Okay, so NOW we are ready.

The parade started with the mandatory presenting of the colors. However in this parade, they had three different color guards. The first one was the American Legion and the JrROTC groups from both high schools.

Next came the floats, vintage cars and tractors.


The high school bands were mixed in between the other entrants.

 Blue Springs High School

 Blue Springs South High School

Then it began raining but the parade marched on. We jumped into the car which was parked streetside so we could still watch the parade.

When the parade was over, we went straight home a little saddened because we couldn't go to the festival, but the day was not over. Caitlin's band had volunteered to work as runners at the bingo fundraiser. (They are going to Disney World.) Her job was to go to bingo players who didn't want to leave their cards and take their snack orders and either go to the snack stand in the tent or run down the midway to get whatever food the players wanted. She was working for tips. For her 2.5 hours of work she got $6. Meanwhile, I didn't want to do the driving back and forth thing between the two towns so I got 2.5 hours of walking in. Okay...I sat for 20 minutes, and looked in some stores along the way, but I did walk the entire midway (all of Main Street) at least two times if not more.

The best part of the day was when the sun came out.

The rest of weekend is forecast for more rain. We will have to see if the sun can win a little time or not. If not, it's back to the sketchbook and water colors. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Today's Music Note: You are listening to Barbara Streisand singing "Don't Rain on My Parade" from the movie Funny Girl. It is appropriate not only because the subject matter but because of this fab $1 find I acquired while shopping in an estate sale store today. It's the album "Butterfly." It caught my eye because on the front it had a stick of butter with a fly on it. I thought it was strange. Then I noticed it just said "Barbara" on the left corner. I flipped it over and it had this beautiful image. I don't know if I will frame it the way it is or be as bold as Michelle and use it for an art journal. We will see. It is definitely inspirational.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inkblot Challenge and Other Silliness

I found something new to do. It's the Inkblot Challenge. They gave the following inkblot as an inspiration. Readers of the blog then draw an image based on the inkblot.
Here is what I came up with:
While I had the black pens out I drew some cute little characters.

Earlier this month, I divided the back of my calendar journal into 30 squares. I decided to draw one letter of the alphabet in each square. Then I turned each letter into an object that begins with that letter (i.e. A-angel, B-butterfly.) Some letters were really hard to think of a picture, but I finally finished it. It was a joint effort between my daughter and myself. After drawing the object, I got out the water colors and worked on a few letters a day. It is finally done.

You might notice that my alphabet goes "L,M,O,P" It wasn't until near the end of drawing that I realized I had left out "N."

I have been busy drawing and painting and living. I will be back soon to share some of the other things I have going on.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Unfurling My Ideas

Time to eliminate the things that are holding me back.

Let's start on the artistic front. I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day. I was telling him about my creative endeavours. He asked if I would send him a sample of what I have been doing. I laughed because my friend is interested in clean lines, modern Scandinavian furniture and somewhat masculine art. The only curves you will really find are of nudes hanging on his wall. I explained that I have only been drawing flowers and cutesy things. He agreed that cutesy was not his thing. But the conversation got me to thinking. Why can't I draw other subjects?

So I got out a notepad and started drawing curved lines. (I hate drawing really bad work in my sketchbook.) I tried several times and then realized I needed to switch from pen to pencil if I was going to get the effect I wanted. After a little experimenting, I felt confident enough to pull out my pocket sketchbook. Here is the final result.

Much different from this work.

Just more note card/stationery ideas.

What do you do when you find you are doing the same thing over and over? How do you get out of the rut whether in your creativity or in life choices?

Today's Music Note: You are listening to The Style Council's "Ever Changing Mood." I don't know how I came across the song for the first time, but I remember participating in a music swap with some ladies I met at SISTV dot com which is no longer. Each of us was to compile a CD full of our favorite music to scrap to. This song made the cut. It's upbeat and definitely keeps me going. I use the CD now on long road trips.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inspired By

So this month at Sketchbook Challenge the theme is Unfurled. When I first read it, all that came to mind were flags unfurling. I couldn't get my mind unwrapped from that idea. Then it hit me -- FLOWERS.

So here are my latest in my flower series. They are sort of "tulipy."

When I finished the three, I was then inspired to start a line of flower fairies based on those flowers. Here is the first one.

She is just a trial. There are things I don't like, but that is my self critic. It just means that I have to make more opportunities to make her better.

When you work on a project, whether it be art, or written, or whatever, how long do fiddle with it? When do you leave well enough alone?

Today's Music Note: You are listening to DANCE OF THE SUGARPLUM FAIRY from the Nutcracker. The Nutcracker is my all time favorite ballet. I loved when band directors would chose selections from The Nutcracker's score. It is usually associated with the Christmas season, but I couldn't find many other songs that were about fairies or flowers that had any significance. I have closed today's selection of music with a good ole Foundations' tune and threw Seal for good measure. Enjoy!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meet Me at the Fair

Today was Labor Day. It was supposed be the day we drove back from Texas after fixing up the house to sell it. Unfortunately, my husband said he had to work today so we didn't make the trip at all. I began the morning sitting around pouting and then put on my big girl panties and got on the internet to find something to do. That's when I found the SantaCaliGon Days Fair in Independence MO.Little Man didn't want to go. He decided to stay home with the daddy who DIDN'T go to work. :-( So Cait and I took off for an outing on a beautiful not quite fall day. I had Googled how to get there but didn't write it down so there was a lot of "is it this street? No" action going on but we made it there with few detours. The biggest problem when we arrived was the parking situation. All of the public parking was taken and people were selling out their driveways and private parking lots for $5. (Normally, this not a big deal, but to the unemployed, $5 is not desirable.) So Caitlin and I began stalking people leaving the fair.

It began by finding the courthouse parking lot. I then made one go around just in case there was an empty space. That didn't work of course, so I scouted for a family leaving and it wasn't long before one was spotted. I slowly followed them. I don't think the grandmother was too pleased but I didn't care. They unlocked the car and I signaled my intent. People began coming around from all directions thinking they were getting my prize, but they were denied. I waved at one onlooker to let her know that I was going to be the victor in this hunt and she dejectedly drove away. I waited patiently for the family to pull out and then grabbed my spot without incident. The rest of the parking lot pack crawled away with their tails between their legs. And that's how I became the leader of the pack. Heehee.

My Prey

My Competition

I Am Victorious

The streets of Independence were jam packed full of fair goers. There were booths as far as the eye could see. Vendors were selling dresses, hats, vinyl siding, purses, feathers for hair. No, you didn't hear me wrong, there were all sorts of home improvement folks there selling siding, gazebos, sun rooms and the like. But of course we cannot forget the fair food. Unfortunately, the pictures I took of the food didn't come out this time. :-( But there were plenty of people to watch while we were there.
Do you see them?

Do you see them now?

One of the best parts of the day was stumbling across this store while heading to the ice cream eating contest. It was full of all sorts of goodies, and I would love to spend some time in it without fair goers. The owner has had this store for soon to be 25 years.

Before going home, Caitlin and I headed to the stage area where the various bands were playing. That is where people were gathering to help break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest group assembled to dance the Macarena. Yep, the Macarena. Caitlin decided to participate and I tried to photo and video tape her doing it, but the sun in my LCD view screen prevented me from seeing if I caught her, but I did manage to snap the back of her head a few times. :-)
(White shirt brown hair right in the middle.)

How did you spend your weekend?

(Today's Music Note: You are listening to Judy Garland singing "Meet Me in St. Louis, Louie" from the musical with the same title. When I listen to the beginning lyrics, they are quite similar to today's situation. LOL. [Sorry, Peg, there wasn't one for your player.] It has been a long time since I saw that movie at the Paramount movie theater in Abilene, TX. I hope you enjoy today's sing along.)
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