New Days Ahead

Isn’t it a most intriguing time? So what are you all doing while staying at home?

My husband and I go for walks when the weather permits. I have baked so much that I don’t want to anymore, the freezer is full. My favorite part of this quarantine is to reflect on my life. This feels like an opportune time to reflect and have a remake. Not a new hair cut or a new wardrobe, although the wardrobe part is enticing, an attitude adjustment, or maybe a reflecting time of my life. What do I want to do now and what will life look like when this is over?

Well, for one thing, I have been continuing my painting journey and actually sent off a painting that will end up in Norway and am painting two more for local people. That was a nice surprise for me to sell my paintings. I will now stop saying I’m not an artist.

I have “chatted” and video called friends from around the world. I love technology. We do live in an amazing time. We may never fully understand this worldwide virus invasion but I really encourage all of us not to waste the time waiting for it to end. Take this time to reach out to others or relatives and friends that you have lost touch with. There is so much more of a fuller life right at our fingertips and all we have to do is set aside our grievances and unforgiveness and most of all our pride and reach out. Be the one who makes the first move. Life is precious and we have no idea when our life or others will end on this earth.

In my lifetime there has never been such a worldwide event as this virus. Nothing compares to this time. Let’s glean from it and come out winners. I am truly sorry for anyone who has lost a loved one to this sickness or who are waiting and hoping for someone to overcome it. But there is hope, and I believe a living God who sees the full picture.

Hang in there, good readers, and please let me know how you are coping. Let’s keep it light and encouraging. The good news is the best news.

Enjoy!

My latest painting

Cate B

Could I Have a Do-Over?

Well, this New Year started off a wee bit off-kilter for me. I came down with a cough and a little congestion right before the clock struck twelve. Great timing. Since I filled myself with immune builders it could have been a lot worse. Instead, it dragged slowly on and I shared it with my husband. A mild depression set in because I hate being sick. What a baby I am.

A week and one day later I am feeling really good. It’s funny, but a phone call to a dear friend about a dream I had, boosted my spirit immensely. I even reached out to someone I would like to get to know – this may seem like an easy thing for some of you but for me, a temptation to be a recluse has a strong pull on me. But I would be a lousy recluse. I like people.

So today I got inspired. I painted. The beauty of painting is that when you use two canvasses and create some pretty ugly stuff, you can paint over them. So I did. I usually do not name my paintings because I want the eye of the beholder to name them what they feel or see. But this first one I had to call “A Glimpse of Heaven”.

The other is left to the interpreter. Orange – I love the colour of orange.

As you look may you be touched with Hope. That is all I ask for as I create anything. May Heaven come down with the Hope you are looking and asking for.

Enjoy!

Cate B

 

The End of Another Year

I’m sitting here, typing, and listening to Surfing USA by the Beach Boys, in the middle of my country. You just can’t take the beach out of a Jersey Shore Girl.

While contemplating the beginning of another year I must reflect on the last year. There. Done. Now on with the new. We had our two granddaughters with us for two nights after Christmas. We always have a blast. We had plans to meet up with their dad at the church where he works and attend their service. Saturday night I told the girls to pick out what they wanted to wear to church and set them in a chair so they can put them on in the morning. Done.

I thought the outfit that the eight-year-old put on was a bit off, but she is creative and extremely confident in herself. When we arrived at the church and they ran into daddy’s arms, my son turned to me and said, “She is wearing pajama pants”. Gulp. No wonder the outfit looked off, well, it looked great for Walmart!  I love that girl.

We then deposited the girls in their Kids Group and we sat down to enjoy the service in the main sanctuary. This particular denomination was foreign to me but since our son has been working here we attend a service once in a while. I have to say it is so good to break your normal routine or preferences and see how “they” do it. A different perspective on the God we love and serve. Coming from the persuasion of Christianity that I do, we tend to think we are all that and more. I imagine most groups do. But there is more, much more out there that I thoroughly enjoy meeting. I’ve always loved diversity in many aspects, so meeting others that are not like me is enjoyable to me. I feel more balanced when I experience others and the way they think. There is so much out of my four walls to be experienced. These things will expand my horizons and help me accept and love others.

Accept and love others, those who do not think as we do or see as we do. So many of us voice our opinions in a way that states that our ways are the only right ways. Really? Our present word is so full of hate and fear right now that perhaps we should sit and evaluate our own beliefs and listen, really listen, to others and actually hear what they are saying. Aren’t we tired of reacting first?

For this New Year, I pray that I can be more grateful for what I have and that I could really listen to others and not judge or hate them because they are not exactly like me. I can only speak for me, but when I react to someone’s words or looks, I know that I am not hearing them. Whether it be my husband or kids or neighbours or “social media friends”. Well, just think of the arguments that will dissipate when we listen and hear rather than react. What a wonderful world this would be.

So I wish you the Happiest of New Years. May your life only get better.  cb

“Have It All” by Jason Mraz

May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to always do your best
May it take no effort in you being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more, nothing less

May you know the meaning of the word “happiness”
May you always lead from the beating in your chest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows, whoa-oh
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow, whoa-oh

Well, here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)

May you be as fascinating as a slap bracelet
May you keep the chaos and the clutter off your desk
May you have unquestionable health and less stress
Having no possessions through immeasurable wealth

May you get a gold star on your next test
May your educated guesses always be correct
And may you win prizes, shining like diamonds
May you really own it each moment to the next

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows, whoa-oh
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow, whoa-oh

Well, here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)

Oh, I want you to have it all
All you can imagine, oh
No matter what your path is
If you believe it then anything can happen

Go go go, raise your glasses
Go go go, you can have it all

I toast you!

Here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it

(All)
Here’s to the good times we gonna have
(I want you to have it all)
Here’s to you always making me laugh
(I want you to have it all)
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
(I want you to have it all)
I want you to have it all

You Want Me To Do What?

It has been a while since I wrote on here. I started this new painting journey and it took me away for a bit. I am back and I am still painting. That has been both fun and scary.

I try to relax when I create, otherwise, it becomes drudgery instead of joy. I want joy. So, recently I took on a project that was foreign to me. A young man commissioned me to paint him some paintings for his apartment based on what I saw already on his walls as his theme. He gave me the freedom to paint as many as I thought I should. I appreciated that because it meant less pressure on me. Artists like freedom.

I like and I want to view my life as not wasted. I want to soak up everything I can from whatever journey I am on at the time. Horses. The guy like horses. The last time I painted/drew an animal, a mountain lion/cougar, it looked like it had down syndrome. No offence toward anyone, please. It was bad. But I decided to learn to draw horses and create two paintings for him. What was I thinking? Why do I always go in deep? Good grief.

Well, It took me a while and I struggled with my lack of ability and nearly quit several times. But I hate to quit! By golly, this old gal will break the horse and he will come out looking good!

What happened was, a lightbulb came on one day and I saw that these paintings were for him. A weight lifted off of me when I realized this. It was then that I was able to draw the horses and finish the commissioned work and saw his smile when he received them.

For me, I found that the extra pressure of creating what someone else wants is my choice. However, doing this one took me into another level of confidence in my creativity. Will I do horses again? Right now I say no. But maybe might be more truthful.

Here is a sneak peek at what is hanging on someone’s wall…

Enjoy Life

Cate B

 

 

A Little Trouble

I haven’t posted in a while and I’ll tell you why.  It’s a bit silly, but I find myself in a quandary.  I was told I used all my media space on this site.  I had no idea there was a limit.  I love to take photos or attach some sort of media to my words.  Now that I have no space to add more I backed off.  Someone told me “no”.

I googled all kinds of articles to remedy this.  For me, there is no easy solution.  Well, I take that back.  I could pay more money for an upgrade and, and what?  I don’t see how much storage that will give me until I pay.  I am a tight-wad.  I do not succumb easily to dishing out the bucks when the powers that be tell me to.

So, I take this as a challenge to let my words, and words alone, do the communicating.  After all, I have read tons of books with no photos, my mind became the motion picture camera, and it was always good.

So, unless there is a very simple way to clean my media library without going back and skimming years of posts to see if the photos in my library were used, I take the challenge of words being my pictures.  You should have seen the young bald eagles I came across recently on a trip back east – picture them……

Thank you all for listening.  And if any of my listeners have an easy, free solution and can tell it to me in plain English, not tech words, I have an open ear.

Enjoy!

Cate B

To All You Writers

I follow this site daily and found this to be one that is to be shared. So to all the poets, the book writers, bloggers, podcasters and the like…….

Pen to Paper – your Lion Bites word for today

God is calling the writers and even those who know that there is a book within them. To you who have put off and put off the challenge of sharing your story, today is the day to start putting pen to paper. He is saying, “It only takes writing one page at a time. I need you to leave a legacy for the next generation. Poets, come forth as well! Lift up your pens!”

Psalm 45:1
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

https://www.propheticscots.com/2019/04/17/pen-to-paper-your-lion-bites-word-for-today/

Enjoy!

Cate B

In The Middle

It’s been ten years now since we moved from the east coast to The Middle. All but the last four and a half years were in the South Kansas City area and the current in a quaint town about an hour outside of KC.

I finally feel at home. The USA is vast, miles wise and cultural wise. I grew up on the east coastThe Jersey Shore – Bruce Springsteen Country – New York City influence. Then I found myself in Southern California, Dude! Then back to the east coast and beach living.

Now let me tell you about The Middle from a Jersey State of Mind. The people are amazing. They are so kind and friendly. They love home cooking and that suits me fine, well, except for the red barbecue sauce, no thank you. I can handle a little but I think they go too far. Being from New Jersey, when you are invited to a barbecue that is exactly what it is. The grills come out and the food goes on. Here…..well, it’s a bit different. Smokers are in and lots of red sauce. I do like smoked meats, I have to say that, and now I will move along.

Sarcasm is different, well it is just plain scarce. If you are born and raised in New Jersey then sarcasm is part of your DNA. I have learned to hold the tongue and move on, well most of the time. I recently watched a certain series on NETFLIX that made me melt and feel all warm and cozy. No, it wasn’t Heartland, it was one that I will not recommend. It was one that made me feel as if I went back to my childhood and the sarcasm was tossed around like piles of fall leaves in the hands of children. It was harsh and rough and I laughed out loud a lot!

Moving along. My husband gets speaking engagements at churches from time to time. They vary in their denominational ties. Yesterday we went to a small mid-western town a fairly short distance from our town. It was a gorgeous spring morning, the hills spotted with cattle and their new offspring. We are in beef country. We have been to this church before but this time it was different for me.

The service began with an elderly gentleman and his electric guitar. They had trouble working the overhead projector and microphone but chuckled their way through it. I was taken back in time. The old-time religion/pentecostal tunes came forth easily for him and the people. Not easy for me but I sat and joined in anyway. I thought of simpler times and Johnny Cash. It was beautiful.

The feeling of a child not knowing much but wanting to learn came over me. I realized that at my ripe age I really knew so little about life. I wanted to sit at the feet of these men and women and hear their stories. The stories of days gone by, of farming hardships and joys and losses and great successes. Of perspectives that are so different and holier than mine.

I just felt these people have watched many sunrises and sunsets on countless disappointments and countless times they rose again wearing garments radiant with hope. What a special place, The Heartland of America. A place where pioneers of yesteryear passed through or settled here perhaps because they just couldn’t go any further. A strong and steadfast people.

I like to think that I am made of some of this grit. After all, it’s been said of New Jersey that “only the strong survive” – I should know, I actually have the T-shirt.

If you haven’t traveled various parts of this country get out and do it. The various cultures in the USA are amazing and all have wonderful stories of their past and new beginnings. And food! Various kinds of food!

Enjoy!

Cate B

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