Friday, April 21, 2006

Alive: altered forever

Easter. It is a time for celebration, a time for families and friends, and most importantly a time for reflection on what this day really means.

The Easter message at Cornwall Church was, “Alive.” Everything hinges on one event. Three men, three nails, three days. Three questions: 1. Is it true? 2. What does it mean? 3. What will you do?

My God he was, My God he is, My God is always gonna be, are the lyrics from a song, “My Savior My God,” by Aaron Shust. Faith is what this song is all about.

My sister Sharron wore a necklace around her neck with a small mustard seed encased in glass. It was a symbol of her faith and a daily reminder. I remember when I was about six and noticed the new necklace and asked what it was. Suzie was nine years older than I was and she explained that the size of a mustard seed was all the faith we needed to believe in Jesus Christ, son of God.

“Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith like a mustard seed, you can move mountains.” Matthew 17:20. My sister had that faith and she lived it every day of her life.

I have not always walked the life of a Christian since I was baptized at age seven. I strayed during my teens because I didn’t really understand what the church and pastors were preaching. I didn’t really rebel, just drifted off and was lured away from my church by someone proclaiming to believe in God but didn’t practice what he said.

The last time I saw my sister, dying in a hospital room, she prayed that I would return to church and my faith and I held that prayer within me. My oldest son began attending church and was baptized before I realized what I had given up. I finally listened to the Holy Spirit (I only recently learned in church what the Holy Spirit is) within me and began a new life for my children and myself.

God does answer prayers even when we think there is no hope. I believe Jesus Christ has the power to give hope for a life everlasting in heaven.

God used my sister’s faith as an example to me. Attending church is not enough; as a follower of Christ I must be an example to others of God’s love.

After church Larry and I finished preparing dinner for family and friends who would arrive to share the meal. Everyone brought dishes to share and we blessed the food God provided, asked that God watch over loved ones who could not be with us, and thanked God for those gathered around the table to celebrate Easter in Jesus’ name.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Humpty Dumpty crashed

Computers!  I can’t live without one and I hate them when they crash, which is exactly what my hard drive did last weekend.

I couldn’t email anyone, couldn’t get to my files for altered art projects, word documents, files that I need to communicate with our Harley Owners Group members, pictures, music, EBay, family, Google, poems, my mom’s cookbook, and the list goes on and on.  My life altered unwillingly.  

My husband Larry let me use his work computer to do some basic communication for email but it was very basic.  I had no address book.  No paper copy.  I couldn’t even call my family because the phone numbers were locked up on a dead drive.  I cried.  I did have a back up drive but when it was connected to my husband’s computer, the address book was overridden.  I quickly shut it down afraid to loose anything else.

The person in India on the help line for Dell kept telling me he understood, but he didn’t.  I had to listen carefully because even though he said all the right words his accent left me saying, “What?” over and over again.  I told him I had a technician look at the computer and the Code 7 meant my hard drive crashed and died.  He kept asking me what the technician did to my computer.  I told him if I knew that I wouldn’t have called a technician, I would have done it myself.  All I wanted was a new hard drive and a Dell authorized technician to install it quickly.  Finally I told him just give me a supervisor to authorize my new hard drive but I was left on hold again.  Thirty minutes later and I had an authorization number and a number for installation.

The contract installer for Dell who arrived with my new drive did the job in minutes, couldn’t imagine why I was told it would take over a week, and was friendly and courteous.  I even tried to recruit her for our Harley Owners Group since her husband owns a Harley.

Part one:  installed.  Now my friend Jeannie will install my software in a few days and her son Shane will try to retrieve information off my old drive.  

Part two:  Shane retrieved all my data off the dead hard drive, copied my files to disc and then wiped my old drive clean; so clean no one will ever be able to retrieve so much as one little letter.

Part three:  Jeannie and her husband Mike came to our home and the guys talked and Jeannie put my humpty dumpty computer back together again.  

My thanks and gratitude to Jeannie and Shane for fixing what I can only imagine goes on inside a computer.  Their knowledge and skill is just amazing.

Part four:  at about 4 AM I personally had my programs loaded, the additional security up and running, and my art files visible and I can go back to work.

Life goes on.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Patriotic Altered Book

I have so many ideas in my head that when I finally settle on a theme for my next altered book it’s not a matter of where to start but when to stop.

I started out with a wonderful garden book with an interesting binding system holding the pages together. Unfortunately with about half the book completed a prospective student handled the book as if it were just another book instead of the work of art it was on its way to becoming.

Well this not only took the wind out of my sails it ripped my sails to pieces. There was no way to repair the pages and reinsert them into the book they came out of. Sleepless nights tossing and turning left me tired and totally lost. On the third or fourth night as I finally drifted off to sleep I remembered a five ring binder book that just might work to repair this art piece.

Sleepless in WA no longer I rummaged in my boxes of books looking for a new life for my art and found what I was looking for. I removed all the inserts from the new book and then used one of the pages as a guide to individually punch five holes in each page of all the work I had completed and all the unfinished pages that were primed with gesso and ready to work on. Now I really could go back to creating. I love finding the right ephemera, clip art, ribbons, trims, and papers so much so that I just want to use them all-- so I keep going.

I currently have one nephew in the Army, one who just retired from the Navy and a step son-in-law in the Army. I wanted to make a book about the USA, Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty, and all things American. There is nowhere else I would rather live than in the “good ole’ USA”. “We” the USA make mistakes, but who doesn’t? Just look how many other countries want what we have and try to emulate us.

Twenty-eight pages, plus the inside front and back covers, the front and back covers and three months of on again, off again, time spent working on my patriotic altered book. I also wrote eight original pieces of poetry for this altered book all pertaining to the patriotic theme.

When I am in my studio
I seem to have another life
The right brain reigns
It’s in control
Another me inside of me
Too many ideas
Too many thoughts
Not enough time
Where do I start?
When is it finished?
When I can walk out?
Can I walk out?
I look around
All alone on the table
It’s finished
A piece of me

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jim - B2V

My son Jim is a police officer with the Sacramento police department. He is a part of one several teams from Sacramento who participated in the “Baker to Vegas” relay also known as the “B2V” on April 1st and 2nd. This is the 20th anniversary of the Challenge Cup Relay starting in Baker, California the gateway to Death Valley. The teams run 120 miles in twenty stages, through the Mojave Desert and mountains to Las Vegas, Nevada. The teams must consist only of law enforcement officers, police, sheriff, judges, etc., and they provide their own support services, logistics, and communications.

Jim ran leg 11 at 1:00 AM on 4-2-06.

Now is he spending a day resting with his friends and coworkers in Las Vegas before returning home and to the job he loves.

He did get to spend a little time with his sister Kelly and she got to meet all his friends.

I am proud of my son Jim for participating and of all his friends for taking part in this event.
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