Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails.
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil, worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
I trust in Thee.
--Ann Kimmel

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's About to Strike

In a few days I'll be hitting my umpteenth birthday. I'd tell you the exact number but that would require doing some quick math since, at this point, I only keep close track of the major ones--those ending in the digits "0" or "5". It's not one of those; that much I am sure of. Okay, now you've got me curious. Is it going to be 57 or 58 this time? Oh, it's 57! I'm doing better than I thought. Apart from my memory, that is.

When I was a kid, and even into my young adulthood, I had trouble understanding why any older person I queried, "What would you like for your birthday?" would inevitably answer, "Oh, there's nothing I need." But I'm getting it now. By this time in life, most of us have acquired the mainstays of life and a fair share of our wants. We really don't need anything. In fact, I ought to get rid of a truckload of stuff, and that is one of my goals for this month, to do some culling and pruning of things I no longer use or prize, and donate them to a charity thrift store whose work I appreciate.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of lovely useless things in this world that I still admire, though my husband of over 30 years (No! No! Not more math!!) still has trouble figuring out just what those things might be. Years ago I made it easy on him (and saved myself a lot of fuming) by handing him a couple of mail-order catalogs with my favorites circled so he could just choose something from the various suggestions. 

That backfired one year when I used a felt-tip marker to circle the items and he ordered stuff from the backs of the pages where the ink had bled through. I got a few oddities, but they were easily and cheerfully exchanged once I explained the mix-up. And promised not to use a felt-tip again.

Oh, well! Even that time was better than the year he waited to do his Christmas shopping until December 24 and got caught in a snowstorm and had to turn back. He ended up choosing my gifts from the local one-horse, dusty Mom and Pop minute mart which, as I recall, yielded a package of blank cassette tapes and a knife-sharpening gadget. 

That was not the merriest of Christmases.

However, we all live and learn and now my husband does his Christmas shopping in advance. He's also moved up a notch and is learning to navigate my "Favorite Favorites" list on Etsy. And frankly, he knows I'll end up buying myself something anyway, so his gift will just be the sprinkles on the cupcake. We're both happier with this arrangement!

This year I'm treating myself to something I've wanted for a long time. I'm having custom pastel portraits made of both Peppy and Wickham!

Here are the boys, checking out something rustling in the underbrush on the other side of the fence.

There are so many talented pet portrait artists on Etsy that even after I had decided I wanted to pursue this, choosing which artist was a tough decision. I had a portrait of Lollia done by watercolor artist Ron Krajewski a few years ago. You can check out the link below if you'd like to see it out. It's a fantastic portrait!)

But for the guys, I wanted something a little different. I knew I'd found my artist when I came across this lovely image of a kitten:
Little Fluff: Fine Art Print of a Little White Kitty
I couldn't wait to check out the artist's shop and I was captivated and thrilled with her beautiful work! I've got to share some of my favorites with you:

Who Me? Fine Art Print of a Very Cute, Mischievous Tabby Kitten

Gray Schnauzer with Red Bandana Dog Art Print

The Boss: Proud Stallion horse art print

Sweet Red Doxie: I Love You Dog Art Print,

Isn't this artwork amazing? I am in awe of Ms. Baker-Smith's talent.

Well, it took me a while of save up the money for the custom portraits, and even longer to get just the right photos of the guys with the naturalness of expression I wanted to capture, and I finally gave up totally on getting them both looking their best in one photograph. But after a few weeks of annoying them with the camera constantly, and with great advice and input from Julene regarding photo selection, the project is underway and I'm so excited and anxious to see the results! I can hardly wait.

Do check out Julene's shop. These are just a few of her gorgeous prints, and you can get the information you need for having a custom portrait done as well if you're interested. Her prints are very reasonably priced and would make ideal gifts for anyone who loves animals or flowers--she does those, too!


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