Saturday, December 24, 2011


My Grandmother Ollie quilted. In the winter, she sat in her rocking chair located by the blazing, wood stove. There, she cut out or stitched many quilt blocks. I also have fond memories of her and her quilting bee meeting in the one-room school house that my father attended. For warmth, there was a pot-bellied wood stove burning brightly through its window.

My Grandmother made me, as well as her other grandchildren, a beautiful quilt for my "hope chest."

Today, I completed six lap-quilts for my grandchildren. I started the project last year. My quilts are not as detailed as my grandmother's, but they contain just as much love.

I enjoyed making these personal gifts for my grandchildren. Tomorrow, I will enjoy their smiling faces.

Merry Christmas & Many Blessings, L.B.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Stop and/or wait are the most difficult actions for me. My motor runs on do, do, do or go, go, go. The last few days have been a refresher course in the former actions.

In my ignoring those commands, I thought I had ruined two paintings. They are in no way complete, but they do have promise.

Last night, I sat and looked at my walls, which display many completed pieces. As I gazed upon each one, I remembered their awkward beginnings or middles. With each canvas, I had to wait for inspiration, which arrived in God's time.

Trying to complete a painting, or any of life's projects, before the path has been revealed is about as successful as pushing rocks or water up hill.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This morning I was feeling considerable angst over a business situation. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to fix it, as if I could. I was caught up in my ego and the illusions of the world.

Finally, I knew, if I was to have any peace today, I must sit quietly, pray and listen. I was directed to the book shelf where my copy of Yogananda's In the Sanctuary of the Soul resides. Upon locating the book, I settled into my comfort chair.

I opened the book to its concluding pages, 115-124. Yogananda speaks of the "inner temple of silence" and said, "When tigers of worries, sickness and death are chasing you, your only sanctuary is the inner temple of silence." Within that temple, "receive God with your awakened intuition ... God is in the heart of soul of every being. And when you open within yourself the secret temple in your heart, then with the all-knowing intuition of the soul you shall read the book of life. Then, and only then, will you contact the living God. And you will feel Him as the very essence of your being."

On closing the book, I went into my temple. As I sat in blissful silence, I knew to the depth of my being worldly objects and thoughts were of no value. I can live without them, but I do not want to live without God's peace.

Monday, December 19, 2011


My Divine Guides are attempting to teach me when to stop. I am given very clear inner directions in my painting. Yesterday, I knew I was to use bright-red paint on a 16x20 canvas. Initially, I thought I knew where I was going. All of a sudden the painting made a turn. My original idea was abandoned, and I began loading the canvas with another 16 ounces of paint.

(A friend of mine said that I do "paint sculptures.")

As I moved the luscious color with a brush, gorgeous patterns began to emerge. Suddenly, an exquisite design presented itself, and my inner voice directed me to "Stop." I hesitated, but thought I could improve it by one more stroke. Wrong. The vision now only exists in my mind.

With one stroke, it was gone. I worked the paint for another hour. Finally, exhausted, I came to what I considered a quasi acceptable form. My spirit guide said, "Don't analyze. Leave it."

The painting will dry in about a week. Then, I'll have a better idea of its form.

Today, I had a similar situation. I have worked on one piece for two months. I have applied layer after layer, with intervening drying time. The painting was coming into focus. I thought I was almost there. I was again instructed to stop, but I continued. At one point, I became so frustrated I started to smear paint all over the canvas and obliterate the design, which had come to me in a vision. I was into it a bit. Then, I heard, "Now that you have had your tantrum, clean it off and do it again."

With many warm, wet clothes, I removed the paint and resurrected the dry undercoat and began again. Believe me, the next time I was told to stop, I listened.

Obviously, it is very difficult for me to stop in the middle of a project. Especially, when I think, "If I work just a little bit longer, it will be the way I want it." You see where that philosophy took me the last two days.

Sometimes, I think I know where I am going, so I want everyone to move out of my way and let me "get'er done," as Larry the Cable Guy would say.

The truth is I don't know where God is taking me. So, when instructed, I must stop, rest and wait for guidance.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Yesterday, I traversed my 65th birthday. Yes. Medicare.

I received two wonderful cards. I'll lay some of their wisdom on you.

One began with, "On your birthday let's analyze your mind with this fun test! The answer will reveal your mental attitude?"

"Which of the following would you prefer to receive?"
A. a cake
B. a present
C. money
D. a card

With retirement in mind, I choose money.

The test results were printed inside the card. If you choose -

A. (a cake)It means you are practical. You are satisfied with the barest essentials of life.

B. (a present) It means you are optimistic and you enjoy surprises.

C. (money) Indicates you are highly imaginative. You believe in the impossible(like opening this card and finding money in it).

D. (a card) This shows you are a realist. You don't expect too much, and in this case, you were not disappointed.

A good laugh was had by all, especially me.

I'll share the second card later.

Many Blessings L.B

Monday, December 12, 2011


Old, flannel nightgowns are like old shoes and old friends, priceless.

A few minutes ago, I pulled my tried and true, favorite gown from the dryer. I felt a moment of panic, when I spied its frayed neck and cuffs. Immediately, I thought, "How am I going to survive the winter without its warmth and comfort?"

Then, I relaxed a bit. I remembered the catalog from which it was purchased. I recalled recently having seen the same gown in the company's current book. Whew, thank you God, a reprieve. That was a close one. Unlike friends and sometimes old shoes, I can order a new flannel nightgown. However, to honor my red friend, I'll order a blue one this time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Last night saw the first exhibition of any of my work, which consisted of two paintings. What was special for me was another exhibiting artist, Michael, raved about one of my pieces, "Roll With It," and complimented me by saying, "I wish I had painted it."

My art teacher, Patti, also said, "I've never seen anyone do the things with paint that you do."

Truly, the only thing I can claim as my own is hard work and perseverance. My emotional and spiritual healing opened the channels within me through which the Divine energy flows onto canvas. The visions and inner voice issues from the collective conscious of all that is and ever shall be. I feel blessed to be their recipient.

May each of you receive the Universe's blessings. L.B.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Not too long ago, I visited my nephew, Rick, and his two daughters, Evelyn, age 7, and Mary, age 2, on their cattle ranch.

During calving season, Rick keeps the expectant cows near the house, where they can be seen from the yard.

As we prepared for an outing, Rick spied a baby calf. Promptly, he straddled a 4-wheeler, put Mary on behind him and off they went into the herd.

From the yard, Evelyn and I watched.

Rick captured the calf, hoisted it onto a set of scales mounted behind the vehicle and recorded its weight and its mother's ear-tag number. Then, he tagged the calf's ear with its own number.

(The tags and record keeping process details the breeding line of the calf's mother, its sire and is followed by the calf's developmental history.)

Afterward, the four of us piled into Rick's truck and headed out. While driving, Rick put on a Garth Brook's CD, That Girl is a Cowboy, and Mary and Evelyn sang along. They particularly punched home the phrase, "Sometimes the best cowboys aren't cowboys at all."

On our return to the ranch, Rick spied another new calf. From the back seat, Mary piped up about needing to tag the calf. Then, she started talking about "balls."

I was puzzled.

Then, Rick said, "Mary, what do we do with rubber bands?"

Mary promptly replied, "Put them around the calf's balls."

I was stunned and delighted.

(Rick later explained that the calf's testicles would fall off in about 10 days, changing the critter from a bull to a steer.)

Everyone dismounted the truck, and Mary and Rick rode off to weigh and tag the calf. However, on another 4-wheeler, Evelyn and I followed in hot pursuit.

You haven't lived until you have ridden behind a 7-year-old driver. She knew no fear. I was looking for something to hold on to, but Evelyn insisted that I hold on to her, because it made her feel better.

Soon, Evelyn discovered that I didn't like driving over cow piles, so she delighted in hitting every wet one. Finally, Evelyn rolled the machine to a stop, turned around and looked at me and said, "You have something on your cheek." She immediately flicked it off with her hand and matter-of-factly said, "cow manure."

At this juncture, Evelyn demonstrated, for my edification, the proper etiquette of spitting. She leaned out over the machine and spit on the ground.

Then, Evelyn proceeded to show me how to blow my nose. Resuming her same posture for spitting, she held one nostril with her finger and honked out through the other. Then, she reversed sides.

I was appropriately impressed.

Evelyn then revved up the engine and took off at high speed to find more, fresh, cow piles.

Rick later told me that Evelyn has ridden horses for years and, in the local 4-H Club, she practiced barrel racing and tying goats, which I suspect is a prelude to calf roping.

To say the least, Evelyn and Mary are cowgirls to be reckoned with, and woe be to any cowboy who attempts to stand in their way.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Are you wondering what to buy for someone who has everything he or she needs, plus some? For the child who has a myriad of toys, are you tired of throwing money down the drain? I am certainly tired of buying presents for folks that don't need anything.

I have struck upon the perfect solution, Heifer International, ( For less than you would spend on an unneeded item, you can change a family's future.

For the past few years, I have given my adult children and their spouses a llama ($150), sheep ($120) or goat ($120). I have stayed on the practical side with my six
grandchildren, clothes. Each one of them also receives a flock of chicks, ducks or geese ($20), honeybees ($30) or trio of rabbits ($60). For those of you who are more affluent, consider a water buffalo ($250), heifer ($500) or camel ($850).

Included in their Christmas card, which states their gift to another, I include a sheet on how that particular animal or group of animals can create a new life for those who live in great need. My grandchildren enjoy reading about how their gifthelps someone else.

Last year, a friend of mine gave her husband a goat. She thought it matched his personality. He laughed.

Purchasing any one of these gifts can help nourish and create an income for a family. With the money, children can receive an education. As their animals multiply, part of recipient's obligation is to pass on a portion of their offspring to others in their community. Make a difference with your money. Help others.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Sixty-five is the magic number. I have a Medicare card. Yes. I have been without insurance for 17 years. I consider insurance companies another form of organized crime. Therefore, I have refused to give them any of my money. I have paid for my medical needs, which included a major surgery and the spin-off from a broken back, and I am way ahead of the economic game.

There are those who are attempting to cut back on "entitlements." Certainly, I believe our health-care needs can be provided with simple, basic, good medicine, without all the expensive toys. MRIs and CAT scans have their place but not with the frequency they are currently used.

I am one of the 99 percent. I have paid into Medicare for forty-seven years, and I will continue to pay into it. If the government had put a lock on Medicare and Social Security revenues, as President Clinton suggested, our nation's finances would have a different complexion.

The last President Bush drained our nation's funds into the pockets of the wealthy and gave them tax deductions galore. In the name of "terrorism," this president began two wars and created a staggering national debt, in the neighborhood of $14-to-17 trillion.

Now the wealthy 1 percent want to keep their "entitlements," lower taxes, and cut Social Security benefits. I hope everyone realizes that $4.6 trillion of the national debt is owed to Social Security.

I support the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. It is time to level the playing field, and I celebrate being 65 and having Medicare.

Friday, December 2, 2011


For several days, I was abducted by paint brushes, beautiful colors and canvas. During such periods, I am fairly silent and non-verbal. Having surfaced for a few hours, I thought I'd catch up with my fledgling audience, whomever you might be. I recently made the leap from three to four followers. God bless you.

I often wonder, "What is the point of all this writing?" Then, something, like a new follower, helps me feel this blog might be useful to a very small sector of humanity.

I have been writing for fifteen years, resulting in five, adult works of non-fiction and six children's books. My investment, in time, emotions and dollars, has been enormous. My book sales have been negligible. This time of the year, I often become discouraged about these facts. However, after the slump passes, I pick up and go again. I write because I must write. The Universe will determine if any words that issue through me merit reading.

The good news is two of my books, Red Earth Woman and Red Earth Wisdom, are, or soon will be, in Amazon's e-book library. Carol and Edna will follow. Next, my newest book, Ivey Hayes: The Art of Living, will join its sibling's ranks. Then, my 2006 book, Renaissance Woman will join them.

I wish many blessings to all who wander into this blog. May you live in peace.