Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine.

Do you feel it?
Are you excited about all the possibilities the day may hold?

All the opportunites to make it special?
All the reasons to wake up?

Rise and shine
and cherish the moments!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Every time I hear or read or say the words, “Rise and Shine,” I think of Grandma

As a teenager, I loved to sleep in late – much like most teenagers – right?  I vividly remember hiding under the covers to keep from seeing the sun streaming in the bedroom and hearing Grandma  cheerfully holler from the bottom of the stairs on a weekend or summer morning, “Rise and Shine!”  She was always so excited and ready to start a new day.  I smile remembering that hope and excitement in her voice.  She didn’t work.  She didn’t even have a license to drive.  Her days were mostly spent at home working hard – inside and out – making it a haven for anyone who visited or lived there.  And yet she woke up so cheerfully each morning excited for what the day might hold. 

I have to admit – I love the early mornings these days – especially on  weekends and days I get to stay home.  I love thinking about having the whole day ahead of me. 

I baked Grandma’s Apricot Nut Bread yesterday.  It is a recipe I have shared here before.  And it truly really begins to feel like Christmas when I smell this bread come out of the oven.  The memories just come flooding back of Christmases past at Grandma’s house and the joy that radiated from her in everything she did.  

So rise and shine and cherish the possibilities this day will hold!

Golden Beauty

Our Neighbor’s Yard – Mars, PA – November 4, 2018

Golden Beauty.

Most all the trees are bare with
their leaves now carpeting the ground.

Except this golden beauty
who decides each Autumn to make a statement.

It’s a standout amidst the others
in their stripped bare dormant state.

It’s like the late bloomer
who was awkward as a child

But is now the greatest beauty
as its come into its own.

It’s like the last crop
of buttery golden sweet corn

that bursts with the most intense flavor
as if it knows it will be the taste that lingers until the next season comes.

It’s like the brightest sunshine
lighting up the Autumn day

that knows the days are growing shorter,
so it must glow brilliantly while it can.

It’s like the golden rings
worn by the elderly couple

that represent the long-lasting commitment
through richer and poorer, sickness and health, good times and bad.

Thank you golden beauty
for reminding me once more

that hanging on or being last
is sometimes worth the wait.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Dog Days of Autumn – A Charlie Guest Post

Charlie relaxing in the Dog Days of Autumn – October, 2018 – Mars, PA

The Dog Days of Autumn – A Charlie Guest Post.

Who says dogs like summer best?
I say hold your horses…
The dog days of summer
are for the birds!

Maybe it is the elephant in the room,
or maybe you consider me pig-headed,
but I’m going to let the cat out of the bag
and tell you Fall is the cat’s meow!

It just makes me mad as a hornet
and really gets my goat
when folks don’t realize the lion’s share of enjoyment
weasels out in the crisp breeze of Autumn.

Are you like a fish out of water when the leaves start to turn?
I promise Autumn is not a one trick pony.
You’ve got to believe me – I wouldn’t hurt a fly
Fish or cut bait, and enjoy the beauty.

So when summer’s gone to the dogs
and I get ants in my pants,
I watch like a hawk
for the smoldering heat and humidity to quit cold turkey

And I head out on a wild goose chase
and let sleeping dogs lie
for the red herring is truly
the Dog Days of Autumn!

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: thecreativelifeinbetween.com.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Red Lantern in Snowy Woodland

Red Lantern in Snowy Woodland Watercolor 11×14

Red Lantern  in Snowy Woodland Watercolor.

When it is 109 days until Christmas….  (woohoo!)
and  105  days until the first day of Winter….  (while I paint in shorts in air conditioning)
and 72 days until the Mars Fall/Holiday Craft Show…. (the biggest, greatest craft show in our area!)

I can’t help but get a teensy bit excited for snow…
and Christmas…
and holiday decorating.

And I had so much fun painting this wintery scene
while early September temperature hovered in the 90s,
but Autumn sunsets and breezes tantalized and teased.

And I dreamed of the warm glow
and frosty blanketed beauty
of a White Christmas.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

McKinneyX2Designs

MarsFallCraft Show

Crimson and Coral

Crimson Flowers Watercolor 11×14

Crimson and Coral.

Coral Flowers Watercolor 11×14

Painting Fluid Florals.

Watercolor on the Weekend
makes me happy…
makes me feel fine.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  I’ve been known to have random songs pop in my head for almost anything – and then break into tune (or out of tune as it most often turns out) when they do.  Can you guess the two songs running through my head when writing this post?

Links here if you can’t guess:
Song One
Song Two

These original paintings, prints and cards are available at McKinneyX2Designs.

The Other Side of the Door

Garden Gate Door Watercolor 11×14

The Other Side of the Door.

What lies behind
the other side of the door?

Do we dare open?
Or do we just imagine?

Do we take a chance?
Or are we too afraid?

Are we content to simply embrace the beauty on this side?
Or do we take the chance to experience even more?

Do we…

Open our mind?
Open our heart?
Open our eyes?
Open our souls?

To what lies behind
the other side of the door.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi