Running in the Circles of Life

Dear friends,
Our lives are often spent running in circles navigating around the circle of life.
Before 2015’s ball drops, let us stop our spinning wheels a moment and give thanks, hopes, dreams and thoughts for this new beginning.
Let a shiny twelve months of renewed resolutions ring true.
Let this set of 365 roll in with songs of peace, words of wisdom and acts of compassion.
Let a fresh solstice bring the gentle moon nearer to our souls.
Let this year open balled fists across the planet into clasping hands held on earth.
Let this latest revolution around the sun remind mankind –
we are but humble guardians in the circle of life.
Circles of Life

I wish for you a joyous New Year. Let 2015 be – Mr. Magoo said it best, “…more glorious than grand!”
And as the ball drops, let the dreams rise 🙂
AnnMarie
New Year's Ball Circles of Life art created yesterday playing with Christmas markers from giant husband. New Year’s Ball photo taken yesterday too. Originally a Disco Ball (found this terrific idea on internet/broken CDs glued to styrofoam orb – made this for delicate daughter’s strobe-light 2007 birthday party) will now double as a New Year’s Ball for party!  Thanks to the big son for playing pedestal. 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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And Happy Knew Here…

Dear Friends,
There is a tale I’d like to share with you for gentle thoughts heading into 2015. It is a story of life’s fabric wearing thin but the threads holding true. It is the rich tale of a poor farmer. His name was Happy.

And Happy Knew Here

Happy received his name upon reaching his fifth birthday. Until then, he hadn’t a name. His parents didn’t want to name him until they knew him. Happy’s family was poor. They survived by toil and love. The only gift Happy had ever received was a long, blue coat. It was made from a wealthy chef’s discarded blankets. The handmade coat wasn’t intended as a birthday gift, it just happened to be finished on Happy’s fifth birthday.

Each night after their son was fast asleep, Happy’s mother and father worked on the coat. Happy’y father patiently braided together dog hair, crow feathers and wheat stalks to make coarse thread. His mother then painstakingly sewed the pieces of broken blankets together. It was a long and arduous process. When they finally gave the coat to their son, he smiled. He was jubilant. He was Happy.

Happy’s mother and father’s lives were spent harvesting, selling and preparing crops for the long, cold winter months. The only rest they ever allowed themselves was a few moments each day when they’d sing to Happy beneath the shade of a magical Weeping Cherry. Now the tree wasn’t really magical, but Happy believed it was. The Weeping Cherry’s fragrant pink and white blossoms sparkled like starlight. The tree’s long limbs sheltered the family like a warm embrace.

Time and toil eventually took Happy’s parents to a place of everlasting rest. Happy continued working in his family’s field and finding rest beneath the starlight of the Cherry Blossom. His old blue coat, now a waistcoat, had survived many, many harsh winters. One day while Happy rested beneath the Cherry Blossom, his coat rolled up like a pillow beneath his tired head, he heard his mother and father singing. Happy’s life had been hard. Happy’s life had been long. And though he lived a solitary existence, he never knew loneliness. Happy’s blue coat had protected him. The Cherry Blossom’s limbs had embraced him. His parents’ love had filled his heart with peace and joy.

And Happy knew here, beneath the magical Cherry Blossom tree…he’d lived a rich full life.
Robin's TreeThank you. I hoped you liked my little story of a man named Happy. May you dream of peace within a warm embrace.

Happiest of joy in the New Year…

Robin’s Tree painted on request several years ago as are all requests for dear friends. 

A Gift for You

Dear Friends,
May you celebrate peace within a wondrous season of joy…
Warmest winter wishes…
Christmas GiftHave a grand dream, maybe two…

Peace to you all,
AnnMarie 🙂
Will return in a few days if my brain and fingers haven’t become too cookie-inebriated 😉

Hear the Bells

Dear Friends,
A Christmas song that remains near to my heart, like the satin chime of a throaty bell is the tune, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. The passionate words were written on December 25, 1864 by a master of American poetry, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Wadsworth’s prose were polished into a shimmering melody by John Baptiste Calkin in 1872.
Though Wadsworth penned this song beneath the onus of war, I like to imagine it represents worldwide peace arrived at nonviolently…
Christmas BellsI love playing “Bells,” on my piano (albeit badly). I don’t practice as much as a should. Hmm, is there a New Year’s Resolution ringing in my ears? 🙂
my pianoThank you. May you fall asleep to the sweet lullaby of magical bells…
Galeen’s Bell Song rendered a week ago after plinking the ivories awhile. I couldn’t get Rocky the Shepherd or Mojo the Dachshund to pose, so Snoopy signed on for a very reasonable rate. 🙂 

Christmas Creatures

Dear Friends,
I love my monsters and was thinking I’d like to create more after the holiday season. Then I thought, well maybe there is a wise dragon or two out there, or a toothy beast living a solitary life in a dark forest, who’d like to share our season of goodwill…

If these shy beasts sense true peace floating out from humanity, they sometimes surface – so be on the look out, my friends, for all manner of awkward, smiling Christmas creature.
Christmas CreatureThank you. May you dream of sweet creatures with cool breath and warm hearts…

Christmas Creature just finished five minutes ago – 9 PM

Earth’s Angel

Dear Friends,
As glorious as this time of year can be for some, for others it can be quite sad and horrific. Dreaming of peace on earth is juvenile. Hoping that mankind can protect every child is naive. But asking each one of us to help someone in need – adult or child – in some small way is possible.

Earth AngelThank you. Dream like a child this night…
And never stop believing in dreams or hope…

Earth’s Angel created this afternoon.
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Of Giant Husbands and Little Trees

Dear Friends,
The giant husband is in the ‘green’ business. He knows quite a bit about plants, trees and Latin roots. Every year he works six days a week then for six glorious weeks, beginning Christmas Eve, the nursery closes. He gets a well-earned rest though Rocky the Shepherd, and Mojo the Dachshund usually fail to read the memo.

A few months ago I wrote a story about the giant husband. If you’d oblige, I’d like to share an edited version of it again. Because as the saying goes, “Behind every married woman who blogs, is a giant husband.” –

Back in 2000, after giving birth to the big son son I had some complications. For five days and nights after the big son came into the world, I was hooked up to tubes, monitors and I believe there were a few pots and pans (this is where I lost my dinner preparation zest). I liken the experience to an exotic vacation minus fresh air, warm sun, bright sea or anything else pleasant. Each night when the hospital room grew dark (despite bells, whistles, alarms and flashing lights) there was the giant husband, ‘sleeping’ at the foot of my hospital bed atop two small chairs smooshed together.

Though the giant husband makes things around him appear smaller, he makes anyone around him feel grand. My Christmas gift every year is having him home for the holidays.
BP finalThank you. May you dream of someone who makes you feel grand…
Giant Husband, Delicate Daughter, Tiny Tree rendered today while listening to, It’s a Wonderful Life

A note: The other day I had the amazing fortune of talking to a selfless father and fellow blogger, Simon Tocclo of Liberian Me. The reason I bring this up here is when there are complications during birth, mothers (in the poorer areas of Africa) don’t survive. So when you dream, please dream of hope for those in need around the world…thank you.

 

If I Was Eight Again…

Dear Friends,
I didn’t save my childhood Christmas lists, but for some reason my 1971 Santa letter has followed me ’round from house to house. Below is the Santa letter I penned at eight-years-old. I remember my mom giving us these adorable cards to write our Christmas wish lists on.
8 Year Old Xmas List - front( My penmanship was neatest at 8 years of age) –
8 Years Old Xmas-writtenI’ve read the list above many times since 1971 always thinking what if…
My 2014 Santa list (written by my eight-year-old, inner-child) would look like this-
2014 Xmas FrontMy 1971 Santa list, with a few 2014 inner-child edits-
8 Years Old Xmas 2014Thank you. May you dream of peace on earth and in every heart…
2014 Inner-child Christmas Card rendered today after shopping and before giving art lessons.

My 1971 Santa list resulted in a pink stuffed dog named Charlie, a small zither and no rabbit. Our German Shepherd would have eaten it. 🙂
I still smiled wide every Christmas…my parents made Christmas wonderful whether we got our list or not.

Of Peppermint Pigs and Promises

Dear Friends,
Sixteen years ago I learned about a 134 year-old Christmas tradition. The giant husband and I had been dining with friends during the Christmas holiday when one of the wives took out a small satchel. From the satchel fell a little hard candy, pink pig. My friend explained that the candy pig was broken and eaten for good luck in the new year. She told me breaking a Peppermint Pig was a longtime tradition. I was quite amazed and stunned that a Christmas enthusiast such as myself had never heard of a Peppermint Pig. The following year I learned about the Christmas Pickle…who knew…
Here’s a link to The New York TImes article, if you’d like to read about the Peppermint Pig’s sweet history.
Peppermint PigsNow there’s another reason for this post. A few weeks back I promised a wonderful blogging friend I’d show her how to draw a pig. So Deb, as promised, please see sketch below. It’s all about seeing the basic shapes and once you can see the shapes you will become a pig master 🙂
How to PigI don’t own pigs and Rocky the Shepherd refused to wear pink, so I used a few reference photos. (I just googled pig and picked a couple: animalia-life.com, all-creatures.org, greenprophet.com)

Thank you. May you dream of good fortune and delicious Peppermint Pigs.
And in the words of Turbo Man, “Always keep your promises if you want to keep your friends.” (Jingle All the Way – Holiday Comedy starring the cinematic giant himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger)
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Turquoise Eyes

Dear Friends,

She howled through the blackest part of night
Her turquoise eyes inhaled the moon as her voice pealed across the universe
Her ivory-silver fur molded the shape of her song
Her turquoise eyes cried out for harmony as her language floated across the wind
She beckoned to the deepest part of light
The light of all living things

Turquoise EyesThank you. May you dream that all creatures live in harmony. GEEZ, I just corrected my typo PEALED – for bells, PEELED for yummy fruits and veggies 😉

Turquoise Wolf Eyes created 2008 while chasing the kiddies around the trees…
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