Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Snowing again...

I've noticed I'm a lot more enthused about February and March snow, when going skiing is an option.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

From Writer's Almanac - americanpublicmedia.org:

Today's the birthday of Pierre-Auguste Renoir , born in Limoges, France (1841). He was born into a family of artisans, and might have spent his life decorating plates with bouquets of flowers, but he decided early on that he wanted to be a real painter. He began taking some evening art classes, and it was there that he met a man named Claude Monet, and they began to travel out into the countryside with their canvases, where they were among the first professional painters in the world to paint directly from nature. Since there was no time to sketch out their pictures, they painted directly on the canvas. The result was that their paintings weren't as realistic as previous works. They looked like somewhat blurry memories of the scene rather than the scene itself.

The first exhibition of these Impressionist paintings came in 1874, and they created a stir in the art world, but many art critics thought they were ugly and amateurish. Renoir was one of the first of the painters to get some respect, in part because he preferred painting people to landscapes. He got orders for portraits, which helped him make a living. Renoir ultimately gave up some of the techniques of the Impressionists. His paintings became more solid and less blurry in their effects, and he started using black paint again, which the Impressionists had given up.

In the last period of his life, he began to suffer from rheumatism, which ultimately confined him to a wheel chair. But he never stopped painting. Even after he lost the ability to move his fingers, he just bound the paintbrush to his hands. His late paintings all consist of the people and things around him: portraits of his wife, his children, his maid, and still life paintings of the flowers and fruit from his own garden.

Renoir's painting was always beautiful and optimistic! So was his view of life and his painful condition. " The pain passes, but the beauty remains" were his words. Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world." (www.renoir.org)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

February Beauty

I have to cheat this month. These aren't my own photos, but are photos I found from an image search so that I could still show you some of my February beauty. I saw my owl on the very top of a utility pole as we zoomed by in the car, but I imagine him looking as noble as the one in this picture.
The ground fog we drove through one evening from the valley up to our town on the hill was both amazingly eerie and beautiful.

I spotted the sundog yesterday and it looked very similar to this except our sky wasn't as blue (but maybe with a filter it would have been.) Sundogs are so cool!

More February beauty:
  • My sister in my kitchen making her own rendition of goulash for us and baking cookies for us to have as a valentine treat.
  • My husband doing my grocery shopping for me on his days off. (He does tons of other things for me, too, but his willingness to do this chore, week after week, strikes me today as something very beautiful.)
  • Sound is beauty as well, and the laughter of eight teen guys and gals bouncing through the walls of our house last Friday night was pure delight.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tuesday News

  • We are heading a few hours west tonight for tests and treatments tomorrow. We haven't had these particular tests for a couple of years, so it will be good to see what has or hasn't changed. We'll drive back tomorrow evening.
  • Our whole family made it to morning worship this past Sunday! It has been months since that happened. I remember all of us being there on Father's Day last summer, and there might have been one other time. JOY!
  • We are hoping to be able to take part in our choir concert, "Messiah," coming up on March 3rd. It is a long concert and even if we could sing the first half of it, we'd be thrilled. We'd appreciate specific prayers that we'd be able to sing some or all of Handel's glorifying and edifying music with the rest of the choristers that evening.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Time to read

"You know the people," said Pamela, "who say, 'Of Course, I love reading, but I've not time, alas!' as if every one who loves reading doesn't make time."

Penny Plain by O. Douglas

Thursday, February 08, 2007

On a sign I passed yesterday:

If at first you don't succeed,
skydiving is not for you.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Saving you postage :- )

My Valentinr - sherryk
Get your own valentinr

Send me some cheer! These can't be opened until the 14th, so they will be a true Valentine treat. If you've never commented before, do not let that stop you, these are private. I am the only one that will read them.

We haven't seen any progress in gaining good health. The low pressure systems in our weather,lately, have made us feel even worse. That's the bad news. Here's the good news: Erin has been able to do some e-mail interviews with authors, one of whom just won a Newbery Honor for her latest book. Brady just received payment for designing his first business logo that will be on real estate signs all over town very soon. My youngest sister is coming to visit us (i.e. help me clean house,bake, and cook) for a long weekend, in a couple of days. Yippee!