Monthly Archives: January 2014

Appreciating Art


I grew up thumbing through the Saturday Evening Post, as I’m sure some of you have as well. My grandma still has a few old copies put away on a bookshelf. The cover is usually what everyone remembers; the beautiful artwork done by the gifted artist Norman Rockwell.

This semester in college I’m having to take an Intro into Visual Arts class. It’s one of those class I have to take in order to receive my Associates degree. Though I have taken a few art classes in high school and middle school, I have never really taken a class to study about actual art pieces and their artist. I have always had an appreciation for art. I do enjoy the beauty and the craft, but have never serious stared at a painting and truly see what the artist is trying to say in his work.

This class is actually teaching me a few things about art and the artist behind their work. My instructor would show slides of certain pieces and talk about the artist, then talk about the artwork he’s showing on his slide. We’ve looked at quite a few Norman Rockwell paintings, that I’ve found a new likeness for the artist and his work that I didn’t have before. Sure, I have respect for Rockwell and love his work. He’s truly gifted. But, after really looking at certain pieces, I can actually see that his work is actually telling a story. There’s symbology in his work, as there is in all artist work, you just have to look for it and I’ve never really done that. Since Rockwell is a Christian and a family, who also loves his country, he’ll always show one, if not all of those traits in his work.

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Image found on Google images

One of the Rockwell pieces is that of Rosie the Riveter. It’s actually one of my favorites as it represents a time in history where women were allowed to show that they too can do things other than teach and sew and keep house. The year was 1943, WWII had started and most of the men went off to war. This left the women back at home to take up jobs usually done by men. Posters were made up, showing the women that it was okay to do a man’s job, who else was going to do it? 

Rockwell’s painting shows patriotism. It shows that women can do a man’s job and still hold their femininity. He also placed a halo above Rosie’s head, showing that he appreciates what they did for their country. With her feet placed on top of a book by Hitler shows that they aren’t scared of him and that they can defeat him. Those are just a few symbols in the painting that we talked about.

I’ve actually learned how to really look at a painting. Not just by staring at it and enjoying the beauty of it, but by really looking at some of the things that the artist drew or painted. What did he/she mean by putting this or that in the painting? Those certain items explain the actual meaning behind the piece of work and the reason why the artist painted it, or drew it. 

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My Visit to the Art Gallery


A very interesting sculpture catches my eye…

Found In Arkansas

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I visited the Arkansas Art Gallery in Little Rock. Though I knew of its location as I have been to the MacArthur museum next door, it was the first time I had visited the gallery itself. Before I made the trip, I checked their website online to see if I might find a particular artist that I may want to see. According to their website I would find Picasso, Renoir, and Van Gogh amongst their artwork, which had me excited and more willing to go to this particular art gallery.

As I walked through their doors, it felt inviting with its spacious entrance. To my left was a set of doors, leading to the sketched portraits. Next to it, a set of doors, standing open, leading to their gift shop and diner. I continued to walk straight, stopping at the desk to pick up a few brochures, then continued walking…

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Must try baked chicken recipe


I’m always looking for recipes to try and change things up. It gets boring making the same thing over and over. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, pinning things to try. Some recipes are a hit, while some recipes aren’t worth a second try.

Not too long ago I found a recipe for baked chicken that I wanted to try. I had most of the ingredients at home, but made a run to the store for the things I didn’t have – wasn’t too expensive really. After I got home, I mixed up the ingredients and put the chicken in the oven. let me just say, the recipe was a hit and so I placed it in my little cookbook that I use quite often. The only thing that I would change is placing aluminum foil down to cover the bottom as the ingredients stuck to the dish, making it hard to come off, even with scrubbing. It says that the recipe is for 6 chicken breast, I had used up all the ingredients on just 3 thin pieces.

Now I can’t take all the credit for the recipe of course, so click here. She has a wonderful blog of fun activities, crafts, and other wonderful recipes you may like to try.

Brown Sugar Baked Chicken

2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp garlic salt

Mix ingredients and cover chicken breast thoroughly. Bake at 425F, for 20-22 minutes.

The day I brought home a giraffe


One day I went to pick my daughter up from daycare. I walked into the room, searching for my little girl, but I didn’t see her smiling face anywhere. One of her teachers pointed towards one of the tables and said, “She’s right there.” But I didn’t see her, nor her recognizable blonde hair. Instead I saw a fuzzy creature with its back towards me, playing with toy animals.

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I walked up to where her teacher pointed, to get a better view. When I came face to face with the fuzzy thing, I smiled and began to laugh. There stood my daughter, wearing a giraffe costume, smiling so big and bright at me. “Mommy!” she cries out with excitement.

“Aren’t you just the cutest giraffe I’ve ever seen, ” I say back. “May I take you home with me?”

“Yes,” she says. Though she wasn’t going to take the costume off, she wanted to wear it home. I was told it okay that I let her continue to wear it, and I promised that I would wash it and return it on Monday.

When we walked into the door at home, I called for Grams to come look at what I brought home. Grams comes into the living room and smiles at my little girl, then says, “You’re so cute, what are you supposed to be?”

“I’m a giraffe,” my little girl says proudly.

The day continued to go on as normal, but the giraffe costume had no chances in coming off. I continued to watch a giraffe eat dinner at the kitchen table, then walk around the house, then watch cartoons with me in the living room. Then it was time to go to bed. With a little sweet talk and a promise she could where the costume tomorrow, she finally took the costume off before she crawled into bed.

The next day, after her bath and breakfast, I turned to see the giraffe standing in the kitchen. I smiled and laughed. She’s just too cute, I thought to myself. She then asked for some milk. “Do giraffe’s drink milk?” I asked her curiously.

“Yes,” she says smiling. Why wouldn’t they?

“Ok, if you’re sure.” I gave her one of her small cups, poured milk in it, and put one of her bendy straws in it and watched the little giraffe drink every drop. “I guess giraffe’s do drink milk.”

She hands me her empty cup, then takes off to her room to play. I watch her run in a galloping way that makes me think of how a giraffe runs. She takes being a giraffe seriously.

She continued to wear the giraffe costume all weekend, but took it off each night, before bedtime. Sunday night I had it washed and ready to return, as promised, to the daycare the following day. It was a fun an interesting weekend, when I brought home a giraffe.

How I published my children’s book


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Image found on Google images

I’m often asked, “How did you get published?”, “What all do you do to get published?”, “Did you do the illustrations in your children’s book yourself?”, “Do I have to do my own illustrations?”.

About a year ago I wrote a blog post on how I got published, the steps I took, and the process I went through (click here). I thought I would share it again with everyone as it seems to have helped those I shared it with and answer quite a few questions.

Publishing your book can be a lengthy process, but worth the wait. Also, never give up on getting published. Just because you continue to receive rejection letters, doesn’t mean you should stop sending in your work, it just means they weren’t the publishing company for you. Stephen King was rejected several times before his first book Carrie was accepted.

I found another blog by Jane Friedman on some interesting, yet very helpful tips on how to get published.

Check out those links and see if those are helpful to you. I wish you the best of luck in all your writing endeavors!

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Image found on Google images

To show, or not to show…


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Image found on Wikipedia

Not only am I an awesome mom, I am also a writer/ author. I’m not a professional…yet, just a budding author. I have taken a few classes to help me learn the right and wrongs of writing. I am still learning new things as I go. One of the important things that I have learned, and this is coming from the professionals, is that you are either a writer, or you’re not. You can’t be a writer and call yourself ‘an aspiring writer’ or ‘an aspiring author’. To aspire means to want. In other words, what you’re saying is, you want to be a writer, but you don’t write. Either you are a writer/ author, or you’re not.

In one of my creative writing classes, I’ve learned the writing process of ‘show, don’t tell’. At first, I was clueless. What does that mean? Someone had to explain it to me. When telling a story, you have to show people your story, not just tell it. You already know what your story is about, what your characters look like, what the scenery looks like, your readers don’t. You have to show those details in your writing, so when someone is reading it, they can get the visual of what your story is about and what it looks like.

I had also learned the saying, ‘gun on the mantel piece’. Which means if you explain everything in your story, such as items in the room, like the gun on the mantel piece, you better use it in your story somewhere. This is a such thing as too much detail.

There are some instances where you have to tell and not show. I found a blog where she explains it perfectly, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window


Around here, windows are our favorite thing. It’s a looking glass to the world outside. It seems that my daughter and one of her furry friends spends a lot of time looking out the window. This weeks photo challenge is about windows.

Here are two of my favorites that has to do with windows. The first picture is of my daughter and my parents cat, Eight Ball, both sitting next to one another, looking at the window. When I first snapped the picture it was a time my daughter was making a break through with her autism. She was terrified of most animals, still is, but not as bad as she was before.

After several sessions with hippotherapy, she has shed this fear of animals and starts to move in closer and closer, sometimes close enough to touch, but only for a few seconds or more. This picture was the first time she sat so close to a cat. Eight loves to come up to her to be petted and will sit next to her until she gets up and leaves.

The second picture is of Eight Ball. I just love the double image. He is such a wonderful, loving cat.

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Since becoming a parent, I never thought I would have to say…


Since my daughter’s Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder diagnoses, I have been spending a lot of time researching information on the two. I spend some time reading up about each one on Facebook groups specified for both disorders. Each child with Autism are different from one another, though they do have a few similarities. Spinning, meltdowns, self-hitting, rocking, hand flapping, to name a few that many Autistic children share with one another. That is why there’s a spectrum. One child can have a few autistic behaviors, but is still diagnosed as Autism, he/she is then put on one end of the autism spectrum. While another child has every one of the autistic behaviors, he/she is then put on the opposite spectrum as the other child.

I have learned that there are two sides to Sensory Processing Disorder, the either/or. Either they don’t like to be touched, or they can’t get enough of it. Either they can’t work puzzles or ride a bike, or they excel at it. Either they will only eat certain foods and very little of them (picky eaters), or they will eat everything in sight. Though both sides of SPD has similarities, doesn’t like loud noises, crowded places, won’t take naps or have a hard time going to sleep at night. They’re also excessive risk takers, such as jumping off of something and at times landing on the knees.

One thing that I have noticed from reading the support groups on FB, is that children with SPD has an odd behavior where they lick everything. At first I thought my daughter was the only one with this behavior. But after a post that was written stating ‘the one thing they never thought they would have to say to their child as a parent’. Many parents answered mostly the same thing, having to tell their child to stop licking this or that. We all found something our children have in common. Some parents commented that they thought their child was the only one that licked everything in sight. But after reading each comment, it was easy to see our child wasn’t alone in this behavior.

It’s at least fifty times a day I would have to tell my daughter to stop licking something, especially if we’re out and about. She will lick chairs, the grocery buggy, her TV, the table, her toys, the couch, just to name a few. She’ll even walk up and lick me. She also has to lap up the bathwater. I know what you’re thinking, “Ew gross!” I have the same reaction, especially when it comes to the grocery buggy and bathwater. I carry wipes to clean the buggy, though that sometimes doesn’t help as she’s gotten sick a few times from them. I do keep an eye on her and catch her in time. I carry suckers or candy with me for her to pop in her mouth, rather than the alternative.

Even though my daughter has a disorder, she is still a child. There’s quite a list of things I tell her to stop doing or not do that parents tell their children without disabilities or disorders, such as,  ‘stop jumping on your bed’, ‘stop jumping on the couch’, ‘stop running in the house’, ‘no throwing things in the house, you’ll break something’. Children with ASD and/or SPD are like any other child, just with a few extra things us parents have to tend to or look out for.

OMG! The weatherman said it’s going to snow!


How does everyone react where you live, when the weatherman/woman says the forecast is calling for snow? Here in central Arkansas it’s like an Apocalypse is coming. Everyone rushes out to the store to clear the shelves of bread and milk.

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This was taken today at Walmart here in Bryant, Arkansas. This is suppose to be the bread aisle, but as you can see, the bread has been wiped out.

A few days ago, our very own weatherman said it was supposed to snow today – it didn’t. Though that didn’t stop everyone from clearing the shelves at the local grocery store. I just happened to go to the store myself, but it was for a few items my grandmother needed for a recipe. I also ran out of grape jelly and my daughter was almost out of her cereal. I usually don’t pay much attention to the forecast, unless it calls for several inches of snow and/ or that it’s going to snow for a few days straight. So when I got to the store this morning I found it crowded on the grocery side of the store and most of the shelves were either empty or looking a little bare.

Last year, around Christmas, we actually received a lot of snow, as well as ice. The trees became top heavy and limbs began snapping, falling on power-lines and across roadways. Many were without power for days, some without power for weeks. My family and I were actually stuck in our house as our giant Magnolia tree in our front yard split. One giant limb fell across the driveway, then another fell across the yard and on part of the wheelchair ramp (was built for my grandfather years ago), blocking us in completely. There was also a limb that fell against the house, pulling one of the wires out of the wall, knocking our electric out. We had trouble getting the power company to come out here to look at it, as they wanted us to have an electrician check it first.

I called an electrician and was put on a long waiting list. Some electrician’s were without electricity themselves, so those they did have electricity, found themselves busy busy. After a few days someone showed up and said we were good to go. Now the wait for the power company to come turn the power back on. That in turn took a few more days. All the while the house was almost as cold inside, as it was outside. We all bundled up under a huge pile of blankets in the living room, sealing off the rest of the house. After about eight days we finally got our power turned on. It was like this across most of the state.

The weatherman did call for several inches of snow and some ice. I had stocked up on food, but what I didn’t expect was the power to go out. Everything here is electric. Now we are better prepared; I have a little camping stove, bottled water, lanterns, and batteries.

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Our giant magnolia tree

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Correcting An Misinterpreted Post


About a month ago I had written a post called, ‘What is Mithraism’. The reason for my writing about it, was the fact that we were talking about religion in my Sociology class. One of the topics we were discussing was Sun Worship. It sent a light bulb off as I have heard of this before, yes, from watching TV. Yes, I love watching History and the like on TV, who doesn’t. But I am by no means a gullible person. It is easy to see that the said TV show I was watching, “America Unearthed”, is for entertainment purposes only.

Every week for class we were to turn in a ‘Response Paper’. In that response paper we were to write about what was discussed in class and/or write about other things that pertain to the chapter(s) we were discussing.

I didn’t know what I had written would be brought to others attention and also go on to say that I was ignorant and gullible and that I believed what I was watching on TV. After going back over my blog post, I can see how someone can easily misinterpret what I wrote. I didn’t state whether I was correcting inaccurate information, nor did I leave a link to the scholarly source that I used to retrieve my information in my research. I did however, use the link to my response paper, as it is required. But, I did not say that I believed in what Scott Wolter stated in his show.  A forensic geologist does not have any business going around the world as an archeology, stating that the really interesting ‘stories’ he hears is in fact true, just from looking at a rock someone found with markings on them.

What I wanted to correct on my misinterpreted post, was that I used Wolter episode on Mithraism called a Deadly Sacrifice, for my paper, but I corrected the inaccuracies and replaced them with fact. Wolter said that Mithraism came from an Egyptian Apis bull, that is incorrect. Mithraism came from Rome, and is after the Persian Sun god who slayed bulls named Mithra.

Just goes to prove how editing before posting is crucial.