December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert

and have a wonderful holiday season!!! we took a trip last weekend to see some more of Arizona, and these pics are just the start...
"The White Dove of the Desert"
San Xavier Del Bac Mission, just 9 miles south of Tucson on the Tohono O'odham Indian reservation-it was completed in the year 1797.
The interior of the mission- it is still a working Catholic church, but also open to the public. There are well over 50 (?) statues and carvings of saints, angels, and apostles inside, and wonderful folk art paintings on most of the flat surfaces.
Our Lady of Guadalupe a view of the exterior gardens

December 11, 2008

the gift of friendship...

The importance of friendship and relationships are things I’ve been thinking about more lately, and these comic strips struck a chord when I saw them in my e-mail recently (click photo to enlarge):

I know they’re related to Thanksgiving, but I thought they were particularly fitting now, since we’re in the midst of the Christmas holiday season and friendship is totally in keeping with the holiday spirit… It’s difficult sometimes, when the hustle and bustle of “the daily grind” gets in the way, to focus on the good things instead of the guy who just cut me off in traffic, but I do try to be positive most of the time. Someone suggested recently to fit “gratitude” into my daily life: every day, think of three things you’re grateful for- no matter how small they are, or how bad of a day you’re having, they’re there, if you think about it.

So, lately, I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am for the gift of friendship…

I’m grateful to have found an extended network of artists and creative people (both on the internet through the wonderful world of blogging, and in the "real" world by attending Art Unraveled the past two years) and to continue expanding those relationships. Over the course of the summer, I’ve become part of a group of artists who meet once a month to work on projects, teach and learn new techniques, and socialize. Early on there were times that I couldn’t attend, but I now make every effort to fit it into my schedule because I’ve realized how important this creative community camaraderie and companionship (how's that for alliteration?!?) is to my “inner artist”.

Plus, it’s just plain fun to hang around with a group of like-minded people! People who get just as excited as I do about vintage photos of strangers, a beat-up old textbook, or a “new-to-you” back issue of an art magazine, because we have a different mindset about the “untapped possibility” inherent in these things that other people sometimes can’t quite grasp.

I’m also fortunate that Tom understands how much this aspect of my personality means to me, and that he does what he can to accommodate it. He's even gone so far as to arrange his out-of-town business travel to be home when these meetings are scheduled (if at all possible) so I can be away from home and the dogs in the evening. (Having dogs is just like having kids, you know, when it comes to scheduling things- the only difference with dogs is they never ask to borrow the car keys!)

Tom and I have been through a lot in the (almost) five years we’ve known each other (including moving across the country, and the passing on of my two beloved kitties) but that’s a post for another time, because there’s way too much to say about the last five years for this post- for now, I’ll just say that I’m continually grateful that I share my life with my best and closest friend.

So, if you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with me!! And think about what you’re grateful for today, or maybe call up an old (or new) friend and let them know how important their friendship is to you.

December 03, 2008

for beautiful photos...

of Autumn in Illinois click here: I've already added this gorgeous blog to my list, and will go back to browse more photos later, but I wanted to put the link out there. (Mom, I think you would looove all the bird and wildlife photos!!) more later...