Tag Archives: summer

Nature’s Night Lights

Random fact #0613: Mel sleeps with a nightlight. Two actually. One in my main room off on the side left wall and another in the bathroom which I can see from my bed. I am not afraid of the dark–I just don’t like the dark due to bad balance. My night lights serve as a safety purpose, without them, I fall.

I will leave you to imagine how I look when I walk in the dark. Darkness is the reason why I do not especially care for winter months. In the summer, I can still be outside around 9pm and be fine. When it finally gets dark, it is best that I have assistance…usually an arm from a person walking beside me or if I go out on the back patio to feed Muffy his bed-time snack, I initially hold on to the rail by the door to balance then take it slow to a chair (plus the patio lights are on and I stay in the lighted area).

I find it is easiest to wait for Muffy to finish eating by just sitting. Thus, I sat last night with no thoughts–just staring into the darkness ahead of me. Then it happened…Fireflies!!! I have been waiting for this moment since the start of Spring! In my mind, it is now the official start of Summer!!

I remember fireflies when we lived in Toledo until I was six. After the move to Colorado, our days of seeing fireflies were limited to when we took family vacations back out east to visit family and friends. Once when visiting friends near Chicago, we were taking a walk and fireflies came out. All of a sudden, gleeful cries and the pursuit of catching them took place…never mind the fact that we were teenagers. I still find it fun to catch fireflies and last night in my excitement, I banged on the window and yelled, “I just saw a firefly!!” I even held up my arms like a victory field goal, which probably looked and sounded more like George Bailey wishing Mr. Potter a “Merry Christmas” in It’s a Wonderful Life.

Although Colorado does not have fireflies, I don’t think that it ever bugged me. (Bugged: haha, Mel humor!!) I know this because God provided a different form of fireflies: nature’s fireflies. Best part was that I did not have to wait for certain seasons to see them. From our backyard, in complete darkness, the vastness of the evening sky and the twinkling of unfathomable numbers of stars was far greater than trying to catch fireflies.

A few months ago at dinner, I told my mom that I was having a hard time reading Holley Gerth’s blog posts, because all this talk about having God-sized dreams left me feeling like I was sitting in a closet with the lights turned off. “I don’t have any God-sized dreams,” I said. Truth…I still don’t–at least I do not recognize them at the time. Not only my Mom, but countless others have kindly reminded me that I don’t have to do big things to be used by God. Even the tiniest star in the sky is still visible, just because it shines–and it shines even brighter when surrounded by others doing the same.

“Shine like stars across the land.” Philippians 2:15b (The Voice)


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Funny Stories, Muffy, Paintings, Uncategorized

Possibilities Endless

Possibilities. It is what makes you stop and marvel at the tiny flowers emerging from the cracks in the sidewalk. How is it that they grow?


Today was a day of possibilities. Two more doors opened this summer for my paintings. They are set for late summer, but it gives me time to work on the bigger canvases. (And big as in 48×36 sizes!!) My paintings will also be in Beans-n-Cream the month of June. That sounds far off, but considering that tomorrow is May 1st, it only gives me the rest of the month to finish my fresh batch of canvases. 🙂

Similar to coming out of a long winter…the ideas for what to paint have just been frozen in my mind. A few weeks ago, I looked at last year’s art show pictures and wondered how it was that I had so many ideas. I remember them just flowing and I would go from one painting to the next. Then I just experienced this lull. This writer’s block in art form.

Now that possibilities have begun to open, the ideas for paintings are beginning to blossom through the cracks in the sidewalk. They are small, but they are rooted in thankfulness for yet more opportunities to share my passion and my paintings. Best part is, I get to paint…all summer long.

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” ~Mr. Rogers


Filed under Paintings

Start of Summer

I am sure you all have heard of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18. It starts with, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” I have a hard time understanding Shakespeare, but besides that point…here is my (unquote) Shall I tell thee of Mel’s summer days?! (unquote). 🙂

Wednesday was the first day of summer. Although the day was full of fatigue, a bloody ear and headache, work and a nap…it ended with sunshine, helping my mom pick greens from her garden and then watching Lord of the Rings: A Fellowship of the Ring (disk one). Pretty pleasant day indeed. 🙂

Yesterday started out early. I did not have to rush drinking my coffee, actually had time to put on all my makeup and leave on time for work. My mom surprised me by saying “hello” at work during the busiest hour. And when I got off work, we went to Pier 1 and found a cute little patio table that is decorated on the top with tiles of mosaic colors/patterns. Topped it off with grilled chicken and green peppers for dinner (delicious!!!). Not a bad summer day! But the best part of the day was seeing the new baby blue birds in the bird house. I stood on a chair and used a flashlight to peek inside. My mom thinks there are three baby birds, but I think I just saw the tiny head of one in the back. Talk about bed head!! 😉 The blue birds here are beautiful! The males are a vibrant color! I also enjoy seeing the Golden Finches too…but they are yellow. 😉

Speaking of trees, it is now time for our answer to the “What am I?” game I posted about a week ago. I know your eager minds must be anticipating the results (LOL)…so let’s give it up for Cynthia and Marilyn who answered correctly! [Applause] I asked, “What am I?” to this picture:

Answer: Aspen trees!!!

I love Aspen trees! They are tall, thin trees with bark like chalk. It gets your hands and clothes white if you lean up against it. But they are beautiful trees! Each has their own personality. We saw some funny ones in Creede. Thanks to my mom for the pictures. Mine did not turn out as detailed.

Four eyes (literally)

Sad cyclops.


A jolly fellow winking.

 Nature’s mascara

See what I mean? No two trees are alike. In the fall, Aspen trees turn a bright yellow. The mountains just light up! I feel this will be especially true of this year, because most of the pines are being destroyed by the beetles. We drove over Wolfe Creek Pass and most pine trees are dead. Sad. Here is a picture I took on a horse back ride my senior year of high school. Not bad for a film camera. 🙂

 See the yellow trees? Such a pretty sight!!! What is your favorite tree?


Filed under Books and Movies, Family Times

Chickpea Nibble Recipe

I think the Disney movie, Ratatouille, made a great point: “Anyone can cook.” Although there are some such as myself who stretch the line a bit, it is a great motto for any persons new in the kitchen. In the movie, Remy (a rat) helps the new garbage boy, Linguini (sounds like a pasta, lol), to create wonderful recipes while in secret working from under Linguini’s toque. I always laugh when Linguini runs around the kitchen holding up spices to his hat so Remy can smell them. HAHA. 😀 Although I cannot run around the kitchen and smell things, I did decide to try a recipe I found in an old Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Ready for more name humor? The recipe is called “Chickpea Nibble.” 🙂 I just found that so funny, I actually took time to read the small paragraph of the recipe. It seemed so simple, so I put it to the test. They turned out EXCELLENT! So delicious! Here is the recipe:


19 oz can of chickpeas [I used two 15 oz cans and it worked just fine!]

2 Tbs of extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp of salt

A pinch of ground pepper [but I added a good-sized amount because I love pepper!]

1/2 tsp of your favorite dried herb or spice [I chose oregano]


Drain, rinse and pat dry the chickpeas.

Toss in a bowl with the other ingredients listed above.

Spread them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. [I had put down parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, which was so genius!]

Cook at 300 degrees and stir occasionally until they have browned and begin to crisp. [The recipe says it would be around 50 minutes but mine took a little over an hour. Just keep checking them and taste testing. There is a difference when they start crisping.]

That’s it!!!! So easy and SO GOOD! Healthy too. 🙂 I like to eat them plain, but tonight we are going to finish them with salads!! Big salads of different greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and I hope the big red pepper I just noticed in the refrigerator!!! Yum!!!

I guess I will end with a little reversion of what I remember Martha Stewart saying on her tv show (back before the new show…I am talking the OLD show! I thought they were so cool to watch!) I am going to quote this, just because it is my own version, so don’t take it as one of her real quotes. 😀

“With summer sneaking in with longer days of sunshine and green grass, the days of barbeques out on the patio served with potato salads and all sorts of goodies–remember this delicious and simple recipe. These chickpeas are sure to bring delight to all your guests whether served in a small dish or on the salad. It’s a good thing!!” 😀

*Martha Stewart Living Magazine. “Chickpea Nibble.” March 2007, page 72.

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Filed under Books and Movies, Family Times, Random