There is Always Something to Smile About

There is Always Something to Smile About.

It was REALLY hard getting up for work on Monday!

In our part of the world, we started Daylight Savings Time and lost an hour of sleep Sunday morning when we had to turn the clocks forward.

Since I didn’t have to wake up at any certain time on Sunday, it was not a problem.

But when the alarm went off at 5 am on Monday, I said, “What the whaaaat?!?!

I skipped my morning treadmill routine and went back to sleep until 6 am.

Still didn’t want to get up…. but I did.

The upside to this crazy ritual is that it now stays light later, and Charlie and I were able to walk outside after work.

When Charlie and I go for a walk, we almost always take the same route, so I make it a point to always try to see something new.

It was on our way back that I spied a smiley face painted on this old tree stump that has obviously been there a while.

This was the first time I saw it.

And I smiled.

There is always something to smile about!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

All is Calm

All is Calm – Snowy Winter Watercolor in Blue – 11×14

All is Calm.

We have just begun experiencing frosty mornings
and the flurry and dusting of snowflakes here and there.

It is well past due in our little corner of the world,
and I always look forward to it.

I am dreaming of the beauty of snowy, moonlit winter evenings
curled up with a warm, fuzzy blanket and a crackling fire

When all is calm,
and all is bright.

So I painted this scene in watercolor,
and it takes me to that place and that feeling.

The gift of creating.
The joy of art.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S  This painting, like most all of my paintings, is available in our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop as an original or in prints sized 11×14, 8×10, or 5×7 as well as boxed greeting cards.  It will also be going with me to the Mars Craft Show on Saturday, November 17th!

 

 

 

 

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

Christmas in July

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree in My Little Red Wagon – 11×14 Watercolor

Christmas in July.

Today is July 31, 2018, and it is the last day of #WorldWatercolorMonth 2018.

And even though I’m wearing shorts and the air conditioning is on, I’m starting to think about Christmas.

Just a teensy bit.

Christmas is such a fun time to create art.

I chose to use my little girl character created for this painting (inspired by my first granddaughter) to feature in this first Christmas watercolor for 2018.

My oldest daughter-in-law and I are starting to think about what we are going to create for fall and the holidays for our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop and Berry Vine Gifts and the big Mars Fall Craft Show this year.

I’m looking forward to seeing what we come up with and sharing it here.

I’m looking forward to another Christmas, but with TWO granddaughters in our family this year!!

I’m looking forward to finding time for art.

I’m grateful to Charlie O at Doodlewash for hosting #WorldWaterColorMonth again this year and for honoring me wth the privilege of being a World Watercolor Month Artist Ambassador.  (Today is your last chance to purchase the souvenier pouch that supports the Dreaming Zebra Foundation in giving art supplies to underprivileged children throughout the world!)

I’m grateful for your visit here today.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Each New Day

Early Morning- Mars, PA – July, 2018

Each New Day.
(Early Morning Observations)

Each new day
is another opportunity to
continue building,
add another layer,
strengthen the foundation,
claim your space.

Each new day
is a gift to
live and grow
and simply be
the uniquely wonderful you
you were meant to be.

Shine in the light
of each new day.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Christmas Light Reflections after Braving the Wilderness

Conneaut Lake, PA Christmas Light Tour on the Barbara J

Conneaut Lake, PA Christmas Light Tour on the Barbara J

Christmas Light Reflections after Braving the Wilderness.

This past weekend was a gathering of The Best Book Club Ever, where we talked about one of my newest favorite books, “Braving the Wilderness” by Brene Brown.

So I already told you how much I love this book.  Remember?  

I couldn’t wait for our book club discussion about it, and it did not disappoint.  In fact, it empowered.  It really connected me with a special group of family and friends in a meaningful way.

There is so much I could say about it…

About how I connected right from the start when Brene talked about “not belonging” to her own family.

This paragraph sucked me in:

“Even in the context of suffering—poverty, violence, human rights violations—not belonging in our families is still one of the most dangerous hurts. That’s because it has the power to break our heart, our spirit, and our sense of self-worth. It broke all three for me. And when those things break, there are only three outcomes, something I’ve borne witness to in my life and in my work: 1. You live in constant pain and seek relief by numbing it and/or inflicting it on others; 2. You deny your pain, and your denial ensures that you pass it on to those around you and down to your children; or 3. You find the courage to own the pain and develop a level of empathy and compassion for yourself and others that allows you to spot hurt in the world in a unique way. I certainly tried the first two. Only through sheer grace did I make my way to the third.” 

But there is so much more…

About authenticity, vulnerability…
and dehumanization.

About the paradox of things like love, the NRA, politics and religion (just to name a few).

And though there was and always will be great differences in opinion among the group on these important issues and values, everyone respectfully listened to each other share, and we grew closer for it.

So after three or four hours of powerfully connecting conversation and breakthroughs in belonging, our gang bundled up in parkas, knit hats and woolen mittens and boarded the infamous Barbara J Paddle Wheel Boat on Conneaut Lake to set sail at 10pm and spend an hour touring the lake and the homes surrounding it lit up with Christmas trees and colorful lights.

25 degrees. Snow flurries. Dark night. Bright lights. Even brighter spirits.

These are my Christmas light reflections after Braving the Wilderness.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi