Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Gratitude for Today: Shoes!

I love shoes!  I gave up wearing high heels some time ago, so at this point in my life, I like comfort.  One of my favorite shoe brands is Clark's Shoes.  I gave myself this pair of Clark's shoes for my birthday.  They are soft, cushioned, and oh, so comfortable.  I am grateful for my shoes, and I confess that I have a lot of shoes.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Art Class

One of the great luxuries of being semi-retired is having the time to take an art class during the day.   I am also very grateful to have the Des Moines Art Center, which makes this both affordable and accessible.  Last fall I signed up for a class called Art for the Curious.  Each week we tried a different art form, drawing, acrylic painting, ceramics, mixed media, wire sculptures, and jewelry making.  

Ready to begin.

Currently I am taking Beginning Drawing.  I have learned so much already, and it is very gratifying to be trying new things and growing in my skills.  This week we learned about hatching, cross-hatching, and stippling to add value to our work.  Value is the lightness or darkness of an object.  I really enjoyed doing this.  

I am very grateful for my teacher, Alyssa Tauber, who guides us and nudges us to stretch are skills.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Church

I am so grateful for my church.  I have been a member of Urbandale United Church of Christ for about twenty years. That includes most of the past 7 years when I was absent, with the exception of a few Christmas Eve services.  I had gotten selfish with my time and drifted away, until this past summer when I began attending again.  I was feeling a void in my life, and the inspiring messages of Pastor Dave and our members have certainly filled that.

I was raised as a Disciple of Christ, and attended Highland Park Christian Church for many years.  It was my daughter, Lisa, who led me to Urbandale UCC.  She began attending after she graduated from college.  My son, Michael, and I would join her on Sundays that she was participating in presenting part of the service.  I remember her suggesting that I transfer my membership, and I remember my response, "I don't think so!"

Within a year, I did join.  I love this church because it is a thinking church.  I love this church because it is an open and affirming church.  I love this church because it is made up of people who believe in kindness and love.  I love this church because it is open to anyone who wants to be part of it.

In these troubled times, I am thankful to listen to a sermon that reminds me that there is hope and love in this world.  I am thankful to be reminded that Jesus never said it would be easy, but we must stand up for what is right.  Thank you Pastor David Sickelka!  Thank you, fellow members of United Church of Christ!  I am thankful to be back, and I am very grateful to be part of this congregation.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Cozy Saturday at Home

Gratitude for Today:

After a busy week, I am so grateful to be stretched out in my cozy recliner with my little dog, watching Celtic Women on Public Television. Okay, Chloe is not really watching, but I am.  I love the variety that Iowa Public Television has to offer.  In fact, I really don't watch much on network television.  I am so thankful to have Public Television to turn to.  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Snow Dogs

Gratitude for Today:

Just two days ago, I was walking at Copper Creek in 73 degree temperatures.  Today it is 27 and snowing.  These are my little snow dogs, who are anxious to come back in the house.  I spent the day subbing in third grade today.  I am so grateful to come home to these two little dogs and my cozy home.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Gratitude for Today: Yarn Love

I love yarn!  I love the colors.  I love the textures.  I love the things I can make with it.  If you have someone in your life who loves to crochet or knit, then you know we are always yearning for more yarn.  We can never have too much.  Yarn should be posted on the list of addictive substances.  I started with the cheap stuff, Red Heart.  From there I moved to Vanna, then on to Encore.  Now I'm buying Madeline Tosh and Malabrigo.  As the yarn becomes more luxurious, the price escalates.  But to a yarnaholic, it is worth it.  The better yarns are so nice to touch and work with, and the colors are gorgeous.

I am so grateful for beautiful yarn, and the things I am learning to make with it.  For the past four months I have been taking a crochet class to make a sampler crocheted afghan.  Every two weeks we learn a new pattern, which we use to make two more squares.  These are just some of my squares.  By the way, this yarn is an acrylic called Uptown Worsted.  It is incredibly soft, and I love the bold colors.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Walking at Copper Creek

I have been listening to the book Making Life Easy:  A Simple Guide to a Divinely Inspired Life by Dr. Christiane Northrup.  I love listening to books on Audible, because I can do other things at the same time I "read".   Dr. Northrup mentioned keeping a gratitude journal, which I have tried in the past.  She mentioned a woman who did this by taking a photo each day of something that she was grateful for.  I really liked this idea, so I decided to give it a try.

Today was an absolutely glorious day.  The sun was shining, and the temperature reached 73 degrees.  This is particularly incredible for Iowa in February.  My sister met me at Copper Creek and we walked around the lake twice.  It was fabulous!  I am so grateful for the beautiful day, a wonderful place to walk that is close to home, and sister time!

Everyone was hanging out at Copper Creek.  It was even social hour for the geese.