Distraction Produces Less Than The Best

We sat around the table reminiscing about childhood school experiences. And as you would guess, there was a mixture of laughter and shock as my daughters shared their memories. During a rare break in the chatter, daughter Number 3 said, “This is crazy, but one of the biggest lessons I learned in school was in […]

Read More

The Sky IS Spilling Over

Joining up with Five Minute Friday this week on the prompt:  rain Those 4 letters were once just a common word in my vocabulary that described the weather.  The word was neither good nor bad.  It just was.  It rained.  Or it didn’t rain.  I never gave it much thought. And then my husband became […]

Read More

I Listen Because I Call Them My Own

I caught myself sending up a prayer yesterday, “God….” I say “caught” because when I heard my voice, after that one word, I stopped.  Seriously?  Was I going to talk to God that way? I thought about that prayer the rest of the day.  Mind you, there is nothing wrong with addressing God by using […]

Read More

Finding Their Creativity at 85 years-old

As I placed the watercolor paint pots on the table, I heard a few moans from around the table.  “Where are our markers?” was the question of the day. Earlier in the summer, trying to save myself some prep time for each class, I searched for a way to get my pictures onto the canvas […]

Read More

Blessed To Do Art With My Favorite People

“Those paintings look so different,” my sister said when I showed her a recent photo from a Cookies & Canvas session.  That made me laugh because although Cookies & Canvas is indeed a “step by step, follow the leader” type of paint class, everyone’s finished picture is unique.  I tend to follow the rules and […]

Read More

Sacrifice, Surrender and Survival

Recently I discovered a wonderful new blog, The Perennial Gen.  The creators of this blog hope to reach out to women in mid-life and beyond.  I copied part of their mission statement and  placed it below because I wanted you to understand why I was drawn to these women, and why I wanted to write […]

Read More

The Wonder Years by Leslie Leyand Fields – Book Giveaway!

  I attended a conference recently where I had the privilege of listening to a dozen women recite the essay they contributed to Leslie Leyland Fields’ newest book, The Wonder Years.  It was such a fun evening, as women talked on aging, faith, beauty, strength — and training bras! In three thematic sections – -Firsts, […]

Read More

5 Reasons Why I Love To Paint With My Mother

If you are following my blog, by now you know I’ve fallen in love with this simple painting class I facilitate at my mother’s assisted living home.   I didn’t want to do it.  I did it for her.  But the joke is on me because  I’m crazy about this class — and these women.  I […]

Read More

Painting Atomic Age Art Stirs Memories For Seniors

During the last class in February, as I was setting up the art supplies, the administrator asked if she could talk with me for a minute.  As I laid the last of the paints on the table, I followed her into the hallway, assuming she wanted to talk in private about something concerning my mother.  […]

Read More

Living Between the Summits

A few years back, we visited my daughter and her fiancé in Colorado Springs.   It had been a few years since we had seen Pike’s Peak, and we decided to experience it up close and venture to the summit.  And why not take the train?  We drove the short distance to the railway, and purchased […]

Read More

Assisted Living Residents Color Valentines for Their Sweethearts

The forecast for Friday was daunting.  The news was calling for a winter storm with 14 inches of snow threatening our area.  I texted my husband on Thursday afternoon, saying, “I think I’m just going to cancel class.”  His reply was almost instantaneous, “just wait until morning.”  I think he gets just as excited about […]

Read More

Snowmen, Firesides, and Bookmarks — Assisted Living Art

A Snowman picture just seemed appropriate for the first art class in January at my mom’s assisted living facility.  The roads were snow-covered and the trees glistened with ice.  Brrr.  I think we should have had some hot chocolate as well.  As Loraine took her seat, she told me her daughter had taken down most […]

Read More

Assisted Living Residents Paint My Life With Joy

As I was setting up for our first art class since the holidays, Phyllis came into the room, saying, “Connie, I want you to see something.”  As she got closer, she opened up her walker seat, and pulled out the coloring book I had given her for Christmas.  “Look!  I’ve been working on these pictures.  […]

Read More

God Is Choosing You

I am an Old Testament girl. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to live under the law!  I’m all about God’s amazing grace, but oh, how I love that older book.  I can get lost in the stories (and drama) in the lives of those men and women. I identify with Moses, and his […]

Read More

Senior Artists Accept Whimsical Turkey Challenge

  There were only a few moans of apprehension when my class of assisted living artists saw my example of a whimsical turkey.  “You want us to paint that”?  But once I set the canvas down in front of them, each person took a large paint brush and began to paint the background.  That’s how […]

Read More

Seniors Embrace Art Classes

“I turned down a birthday party invitation because I didn’t want to miss art class.”  That’s what Phyllis said as she took her seat at the table.  “Oh, Phyllis, I’m sorry you’re missing a party!  I hope it wasn’t a family member.”  “No, just a good friend.”  Oh my…. I am happy that the residents […]

Read More

This Series Was For Me

When attending a writer’s workshop, I heard an author say, ‘writing a book is like birthing a baby.’  And now, even after just  17,000 words, I get that.  I have had some labor pains as I’ve worked on this series, a few sleepless nights even.  It’s bittersweet that today is my last post for Do You […]

Read More

We Should Be Better Prepared

As I sit here at my keys, thinking about the last couple of posts I need to write for this 31 Days series, my fingers are silent.  I promised to close out this month with a personal story about my journey of searching to belong.  And even though I’ve tried to be transparent as I’ve […]

Read More

I Am Like Them and They Are Like Me

Today is Day #28 in this Write 31 Day challenge, Do You Belong, and I’ve invited a friend to speak in my place.  I first met Elizabeth Murphy two years ago at a writer’s conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Elizabeth is an enthusiastic encourager of women, a gifted storyteller, and an accomplished public speaker.  Elizabeth […]

Read More