Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Taking the Easy Trail on Thanksgiving Day

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “on your/my plate.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

You don’t have to eat everything on your plate in one sitting. You can save some for later. Put it in the fridge. Maybe even the freezer. This has been a weight loss strategy for me. Sometimes it works. I tell myself I can still have the rest of the food or a second helping. I will just have it tomorrow. (Unless I go back and get it at 9pm as a bedtime snack.)

The exception may be Thanksgiving dinner which traditionally has been a time when a lot of us overeat. I certainly ate more sweets on Thursday than usual since I usually don’t eat sweets… much.

There have been plenty of times when I’ve had too much on my plate and not always food. Responsibilities taken on due to interest, a sense of obligation, or not saying no, may need to be put in the frig, the back burner, or prioritized. Delegated maybe.

We packed a lot into Thanksgiving Day in the Appalachian Mountains and drove back home to the coast on Friday. Thursday morning, we went to Linville Falls and took the short, easy trail since my knee has been bothering me. I got a stretchy sleeve to put on my knee which helped a lot, though it falls down after a while which is better than being too tight. I also wore my compression socks to help with my heel spurs. I’m very thankful I was able to hike the half mile or so to the falls and decided not to continue on to the uphill climb to get the view further along the falls. That will be next time. That hike will go in the freezer maybe for next year.

That afternoon, my son cooked practically the whole dinner of mostly vegan food, while I helped my granddaughter with a school project on temperate forests. We ate too much and then went for a walk along the nearby river trail. Then we went back to the house and had pumpkin pie, macaroons, and vegan ice cream sandwiches. Everything was delicious! My granddaughter and I set up the nativity stable made by my father many years ago and then decorated the Christmas tree. Whew! It was a busy day. But not too much. I’m thankful to have been with family in the mountains. Still, it’s good to be home!

Now, to see if I can find the photos….

In the fourth photo, do you see the profile in the rock on the right? It has bushy hair.

~~~

For more SoCS rules and posts, put Linda’s blog on your plate.

She’s our persevering host.


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SoCS: Morning Has Broken, Names, and 30 Days of Thankfulness

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “morning.”

 Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

Morning has broken, but it’s not broken. It still works just fine. I however do not often see the break of day as I am not a morning person unless absolutely necessary. Or meaningful. It takes a lot to get me up at the crack of dawn or to sleep before midnight.

“Morning has Broken” was first written as a hymn in the early 1900s. Then Cat Stevens made it a pop hit in the early 70s. The hymn doesn’t have the exact same notes, but pretty close. Cat added at least two extra notes in the second mention of morning, (mo-or-or-ning) compared to what I’ve seen in the hymnal. Most of us still sing it the Cat Stevens way.

I just stepped out of the stream of consciousness, having been pulled out by the stream of curiosity, to discover from Wikipedia, that Cat Stevens was born Steven Demetre Georgiou in London. He later took the stage name, of Cat Stevens and now goes by Yusuf Islam. I’m not going to research why, though I could guess, as I am back in the stream of consciousness.

Cat Stevens, as I will always think of him, is a pretty cool dude for someone who has had three names. But maybe that’s an okay thing. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could change our names whenever something significant prompted us to do so? A few of you know that my government name is Joanne, but I choose to be JoAnna here on my blog, because I like it better with the a the end. JoAnna of the Forest. In real life, I have a mini forest in my backyard. The neighbors might say the front yard, too, though it’s very mini.

If you could choose your name, what would it be?

Glinda is a nice name. It flows like a bubble. I have forgotten the prompt. Must’ve lost it in the stream. Curiosity made me peek. Morning! Morning Star was one of the first veggie burgers. Now, I like Gardein vegan burgers. The Morning Star “sausages” are pretty good.

Does anyone open presents or go to church on Christmas morning anymore? Maybe people with kids. Seems like most of the Christmas stuff goes on on Christmas Eve. That’s good for a night owl. Then you can sleep in on Christmas morning. But wait! One holiday at a time! We haven’t had Thanksgiving yet!

Here’s a little thing I found on Facebook that I’m doing as the month goes along:

Let me see if I can do this in a SoC way without thinking about it. These are things I’m thankful for:

Person: David, animal: dog (Marley, and all of them!), cozy place: by the fireplace with candles or a campfire. Favorite snack: Skinny popcorn. Place: home. Shoes: Oofos! Scent: honeysuckle, pine, clove. Restaurant: vegan. Blog: hard to pick, but I visit http://derrickjknight.com/ daily. (Before that it was: Natalie Scarberry) Time of day: late afternoon. Tradition: Christmas Eve music and It’s a Wonderful Life. Gadget: blender. Something old: my old body. Something new: My compression nano socks. Experience: scuba diving a long time ago. Recipe: lentil wellington. Store: whole foods for good stuff and dollar general for convenience. Quote: Jeremiah 29:11 (God has a good plan for you.) clothing: stretchy yoga pants. Keepsake: My parents’ photo albums. Disappointment/Fear: I’m now thankful for my divorce and time alone to love me again. Book: The Bible and The Language of Letting Go. and many more. Feeling: Joy. Photo: the polaroid Caroline took of me and David in ’72 which became my book cover. Luxury: TV/movies. Charity: The ones that help animals. Song: “Let it Be.” Gift: Mother Earth. Something at Home: Toilet Paper! Most thankful for: Life.

Whew! That too longer than I thought. Thanks for reading.

Here’s a whimsical video:

~~~

For more streams and SoCS rules,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: In the Elements, Mary Poppins, Wildlife Photos, and Getting Cozy

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “element.” We can use it any way we want. Who knows what will happen?

It’s not so bad being out in the elements if you are dressed for it, and it’s like for 20 minutes. Last evening, I walked Marley in a chilly rain, well it was more like a drizzle. We just went to the park and back. Having run errands earlier, I was tired, but made myself go to an art show since I had entered some of my and my daughter’s photos with encouragement from my friend, Linda who is a photographer. Now, Friday evening, I’m drinking some hot tea called “Calming.” It contains elements of chamomile and licorice root and others I don’t remember.

The element of surprise is not something I care to be subjected to. Elements of peace and joy, those are nice. There is an element of joy in every day. What’s that song? “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP the job’s a game.” How did I end up memorizing those Mary Poppins songs? We must’ve had the album when I was a kid.

Pausing to pet the cat on my lap, I don’t know where to go from here. Feeling thankful to be home and cozy, except I need a blanket on my feet. Next time the cat gets up, I will get the blanket. But my tummy is very warm, with warm tea on the inside and a warm cat on the outside. It’s not even that cold out, just in the upper 50s and rainy. Just enough to make the inside cozy.

Well, must be time for a gallery or something before I start repeating myself more. Maybe I’ll sleep in tomorrow, but I have a dog and a cat to feed by the crack of 9am, or the cat will chastise me for being late with long, loud meows.

“Yes, I will.”

Oh, what a life where sleeping in means 8:30am. I’m glad our host, Linda slept in on prompt day. My older sister’s name was Linda, too. It’s a lovely name.

The gallery shows the photos we put in the show which was about wildlife. The first two are mine, and the second two (Dancing Osprey and Turtle Undercover) were taken by my daughter, Ayla.

Isn’t it amazing how wild animals adapt to the elements? Especially birds. I certainly hope they don’t get as cold as I would.

Speaking of cozy, here’s my go to dinner music of cozy jazz:

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, along with rules,

visit our host, Linda Hill, by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: A Bowl of Cherries

 

This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “bowl.” Use it as a noun or a verb—use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I’ve never liked bowling. It’s noisy, and I’ve never been any good at it. Not interested in the Superbowl. I tried many years ago, but my x boyfriend informed me, “You don’t do yoga during the Superbowl!

So, let’s go with the other bowl.

Life is a bowl of cherries. Some are sweet, some sour, some go bad. And they have seeds, which is okay. That’s how we get cherries. If you eat cherries and almonds at the same time, it tastes a little like coconut.

Life is like a bowl of cherries, or a box of chocolates, depending on who you ask. Before I started typing this, I got curious about where the bowl of cherries analogy comes from. Turns out it’s an old song. My parents probably knew that. Heck, my dad probably sang it since he liked to sing.

The song, “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” is about enjoying life and not being too serious. I’ve had a lot of practice being serious having been serious most of my life, most of the time, with some exceptions. The more we practice anything, the better we get at it, whether it’s being serious, making jokes, or dancing. Where did dancing come from? I don’t dance much. Maybe I should.

Life can be pretty serious, especially if you watch mainstream news. But there are alternatives for balance, like coming here on Tuesdays for Good News Tuesday. Yes, that’s a plug for my weekly post.

I think I’m going to practice enjoying and creating more little moments of joy in spite of the bad stuff going on. Or big moments of joy. But little moments of joy are easy, like seeing butterflies (I don’t care if it’s cliche), playing with the dog, or blowing those bubbles waiting patiently on my back deck.

This Saturday is a busy day for me, so I’m typing this on Friday which has been an easy, stay home day. Saturday, I have a thing at a church that involves coloring. Coloring brings me joy, so I’ll seek and savor those moments. Then, the farmer’s market and the annual Vegfest downtown. I hope they have some vegan food left by the time I get there. That’s more time away from home than I like. Being at home brings me joy. I think I’ll look for cherries.

Here’s the song done by Doris Day who was an animal activist later in life.

The chorus goes something like this:

Life is just a bowl of cherries.
Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go.
So keep repeating it’s the berries,
The strongest oak must fall, (no, they mustn’t! says joannaoftheforest)
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
So live and laugh at it all.

Here are some pictures I’ve taken lately:

~~~

For more SoCS streams and rules,

visit our host, Linda Hill HERE.


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SoCS: Happy Places and Change on Planet Home Sweet Home

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “happy place.” Write the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “happy place.” Have fun!

When someone says, “Go to your happy place,” it could mean a real place, or a place you imagine in your mind. It’s nice if we have a happy place in our home. Mama Cat is sitting on my lap as I type this, watching Return of the Jedi on TNT. I don’t think Mama Cat is really watching, but my lap seems to be her happy place. In the evening, when Marley is in the back bedroom with David, Mama Cat goes between the couch and her catio. It’s her free time to wander the eastern side of the house.

Sometimes, our happy places can change. The ocean used to be one of my happy places, and I still love it, but not quite as much lately. Maybe it was the jelly fish sting from last year or the tiny organisms sometimes called “sea lice” that get caught in my swimsuit and make me itch for days. Still, the ocean is powerfully refreshing – just breathing the ocean air helps.

Here are some ocean photos. The last one is a painting I did many years ago:

Now, my happy place is likely to have a lot of trees. Even if I’m in the house, I want trees around the house, you know, outside. Not necessarily growing IN the house, though that is possible. A tree house would be nice, like the ewoks have, as long as I can build it without hurting the trees….

I went to look at videos of ewok village trees, like in the ending of Jedi, but the ending has fireworks. My happy place does not include fireworks unless they are quiet. Fireflies would definitely make me happy. Fireflies make me want to dance.

Speaking of happy place and sci fi, I read something surprising about William Shatner’s reaction to going into space for real. Stopping the stream to go find it. It came from FB. I hope it’s really true that he said this. FB didn’t sensor it, so maybe it is. If so, I admire his honesty.

Okay, so I started looking this up which took me way out of the stream of consciousness. Let me just mention that I have read elsewhere that he still has hope. I think the quote above came from his new book, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder. Sounds like a great title.

Quotes taken out of context can be misleading. I guess the main point for this post is that your happy place can change. That’s a good thing. If we have plenty of imagination, our happy place can always be with us. Still, I hope we can create more happy places on the real planet Earth. Because right now, there is no planet B. And even if there was, Earth is our home sweet home.

Fireflies still exist somewhere… Next time I see them, I will dance.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness about happy places,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Back to…. (oops! Back of the Frig)

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “back of the fridge.” Write the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the phrase “back of the fridge.” Enjoy!

Back to the future! Maybe one day, in the future, I’ll hire and exterminator for the waterbugs, aka American cockroaches, like I threaten to do often. I have no problem taking spiders, moths, or beetles outside in a cup. Who knows why the waterbugs creep me out so much. Maybe they freaked my mom out and she passed it on to me like her red hair and soft green eyes.

I haven’t hired an exterminator in spite of frequent threats (like the bugs can hear me), because I think the exterminator chemicals will be toxic to more than bugs. I do have termite contract, but that’s different. They don’t spray.

How does this relate to the prompt? I have to keep all food in the refrigerator, unless it’s canned or tightly wrapped. That includes bananas and the butternut squash they’ve been gnawing on. Gross, I know. If I lived in the mountains, it would not be an issue since I don’t leave food out or open for the smaller German cockroaches. But here in the sub-tropical south, the bigger cousins are prolific. Climate change may be a factor in their abundance, too. I found some old diatomaceous earth and spread it around their pathways. Last night, I put some peppermint out on cotton balls (where Marley can’t reach) along with the citrus spray. The cedar oil spray works, but the smell is awfully strong.

We are now approaching the time of year when a few bugs will come in from the cold, but mostly they die back until late spring. What a relief. I’m determined to leave no food available so maybe they will go back outside and stay there.

“Back to the howling old owl in the woods,” as Elton John sang in “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Do owls eat bugs? The song says something about them hunting the toads.

As for the toads and frogs, I hope they make it “Back to the River. Back to the Forest!” as Elliot encouraged them in E.T. I love it when the other kids in the classroom start chanting:

Back to the River. Back to the Forest!

And then there’s Galadriel telling Sauron to go “back to the void from whence you came!” I think that’s what she’s saying. Perhaps I shall tell that to the nameless ones if they come in through the tiny cracks.

Yeah. Galadriel. The ultimate exterminator. No, that was Frodo. And Sam. They all played a part.

(I just realized that I blatantly misread this prompt as back to the frig, but it was supposed to be “back of the fridge,” which makes more sense as a prompt. Oh well. I must have needed a laugh and Galadriel’s power.)

~~~

For more streamy streams and the ruly rules,

visit our SoCS host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: A Lost Covid test, Silent GERD, and the Hacking Cough is Going, Going…

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “me.” Find a word that starts with “me” or use the word “me” as the theme of your post. Have fun!

Meaningful posts should not always be about me, but that’s where my stream of consciousness sometimes goes. How about some meaningful health information that has recently come to my attention?

I’ve had this cough for at least three weeks after the acute phase of whatever virus attacked me during the first week of September. The cough is still with me, but it’s much better due to various medications aimed at loosening phlegm and suppressing the hacking. I never thought I’d be so excited about producing phlegm since the cough was so dry for so long. In googling dry coughs, I had read that acid reflux/aka GERD, could cause this kind of cough. I dismissed this since I have not had any GERD symptoms in quite some time.

I had a covid test on Thursday Sept 22, and they LOST my test! The sample didn’t make it to the lab and apparently went into some kind of black hole. On Tuesday, I went back for another test which turned out to be negative like the one on Sept 5. The cough being persistent, my nurse practitioner told the nurse to tell me to try omeprazole for acid reflux since I have a history of GERD. The nurse told me she had “silent GERD” with no symptoms and the omeprazole has helped her cough and sinus issues. I appreciate helping professionals sharing these kinds of personal experiences. In counselor training we were often cautioned about self-disclosure, but sometimes it is meaningful. I figured I might as well try the GERD/reflux meds being very tired of the annoying cough.

I started the OTC GERD medication on Wednesday and my cough was significantly better that day and today. Maybe it was just time, but maybe the nurse and FNP were right. Maybe “silent GERD” can cause a cough or make it linger. Maybe I’ll keep taking the anti-GERD meds along with keeping my Ricolas on hand for the cough which continues to flare up now and then.

Wherever I go, they go.

Meanwhile, Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ian is making landfall again (as I write this on Friday) and bringing lots of rain and wind to the Carolinas. I’m praying for the folks in Florida and glad Linda’s son is okay as well as our friends and relatives down there.

The oldest part of our fence blew down in the storm. I had it propped up with various pieces of junk. We knew we’d have to replace it soon, which now means tomorrow if we can get the materials. Marley will have to be on leash until it’s fixed.

Old Fence Blew Down

We finally made it to the beach last week. I didn’t swim, but the sea air did me good.

The bird is flying away like my cough…. going…. going….

Last week, I shared a photo of my son with his baby sister. I had completely forgotten to check another photo album and found more:

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and rules,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Staying Home and Watching Christmas Movies

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “home.” Use it as a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. Enjoy!

The first thing I thought of was the song, “Home,” by Cat Stevens, from the album, Numbers. I’ll share that at the end of the post because that’s where it traditionally goes. Not that tradition is the be all and end all of everything. In the episcopal church tradition is one leg of the three-legged stool, along with scripture and reason. That reason part is part of the reason I go to an episcopal church as my home church.

I haven’t been to church in three weeks since I’ve been home sick. I like staying home most of the time, but I do miss singing in church. It will be a while before I can do that because of this nagging, dry cough. I got a new medication for it, so maybe it’s on its way out. Ricola cough drops have come in pretty handy.

Yesterday was the first cool day we’ve had here in a very long time. The high was in the 70s! It was wonderful! I love autumn. I got so excited to put in my orange, glowy, flickering light bulb on the front porch. I think I’ll make soup today. Looking forward to pumpkin or sweet potato pie and feeling well enough to walk Marley to the park. When we come back home, and walk through the gate, I tell him, “GO HOME,” at least twice, so if he ever runs off and someone tells him to GO HOME, he will know what that means.

I wish everyone had a safe home, a place where they feel comfortable, at least a safe, comfortable room or corner. Home really should be safe. If it’s not, get help. Please. Everyone deserves to have a safe place.

It is very possible that I have shared Cat Stevens’ “Home” here and not that long ago. Well, maybe everyone didn’t see it or hear it. I don’t mind listening to it again. Here it is: https://youtu.be/OmnIOc3WN5o

I was checking my photos and had taken some of the TV when I watched the Home Alone movies, 1 and 2. They are two of the many movies I can watch over and over again, along with Elf. When my son was about five or six, people were always saying, “He looks like that kid in the Home Alone movie.” He actually did. Now, not so much.

Here’s a picture of my son, age 7, with his new baby sister in 1993: (That was almost 30 years ago!)

1993 Time flies!

Here’s the feel good ending of Home Alone 2. Kevin is giving a gift to the homeless lady who became his friend and saved him from the bad guys.

~~~

For more homey streams of consciousness, visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Changing Thoughts on Diamond Rings, The Rings of Power, and Home Security, plus the Moonhaven Dance and my Latest Artwork

Today’s prompt for SoCS is, ring.

In my first engagement and marriage, I didn’t get an engagement ring. We were poor and that was okay with me, being a rebellious, nonconformist. I picked my own flowers for the first wedding. Having grown up in the 70s, I did not care about such things as fancy store bought flowers. A friend made my dress. Over the years, there was a shift. Not a big shift, but I loved getting an engagement ring in my second engagement ten years ago. The funny thing is that I don’t wear it a lot. I take it off when I go to the beach or the sanctuary where the roosters peck at it. The single diamond is set high and tends to scratch things. I wear it for dress up and leave it on till I go to the beach or sanctuary. And now, it’s not important to me as I seek simplicity and have my favorite thrift store jewelry for dress up. Though it is important to me that David was able to provide an engagement ring for me.

I got Amazon Prime for a free month to watch The Rings of Power. Being a huge fan of LOTR, I was excited to see the young Galadriel who I’ve learned is obsessed with finding and killing Sauron. I probably would have appreciated that more when I was younger and desired to save the world. After watching two episodes of The Rings, I have discovered that the orcs scare me more than they used to. Maybe it’s because they were living under someone’s house. I’ve decided not to watch any more of The Rings until I am recovered from my mystery virus. There’s still a nagging cough and feeling tired. It had become more important what I put into my body and mind. I want the pretty stuff with the elves. BBC has the first episode of Moonhaven, and I’m enjoying that. It’s not all pretty, but there’s a lot of pretty in the first episode to tickle this old hippie’s fancy.

Home security is something that’s been on my mind more. I’d like to have a camera and motion sensor at the front door at least. Don’t need a big complicated system. Maybe Ring would work. I don’t know. We got a motion sensor light with a battery and put it up over the front door, but it didn’t work, so I returned it. That was several months ago, so I guess it’s not that important. I just won’t think about the orcs. I need to focus on getting better and stronger. Maybe I’ll get a sword. (Just kidding.) Until then, there’s a baseball bat, a fenced yard, and a big dog who is secretly friendly to everyone.

Happy, healing thoughts. That’s what I need. The mysterious dance looks nice. But Moonhaven has plenty of secrets.

Here’s some art I did inspired by a cloud:

“Rising” by Joanna of the Forest

~~~

For more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit out host Linda G. Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Why or why not?

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “start with why.” Begin your post with the word “why.” Have fun!

“Why can’t I ……?”

“Because I said so.”

When I was a kid, I promised myself I would never give that irritating response to my children. “Because I said so,” is no answer for inquiring minds who really want to know the reason. I believe I broke this promise a couple times with my kids, but not often.

Asking why is healthy. It helps us learn more about the world. Unless you’re in a life-or-death situation, like a tornado is coming and we all need to get down in the cellar.

There’s a quote about asking why:

Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream of things that never were and say why not.

Robert Kennedy

Why did he say, “men,” and not people. I guess saying men or man was still the norm back then.

Why do we have to have two main political parties with such polarity and hoopla on each side of the chasm?

Why not try more ranked choice voting which is what got the first native Alaskan elected to the US congress. Mary Peltola defeated Sarah Palin in a ranked choice vote. The way I understand it is that you get to rank your preferences on the ballot – first choice, second choice, etc. This gives a more accurate measure of voter preference with less temptation to vote for someone who is more electable. The person with the lowest number of votes is eliminated and their votes go to the second choice for each voter. I think that’s how it works. I just read about this yesterday. Didn’t even know it was an option. Well, why not?

Wrote all that Friday. Now it’s Saturday morning.

Also, why did my home covid test come back negative yesterday when I feel so damn sick? I guess I should be thankful it’s not covid, which I apparently haven’t had yet, but I was almost sure it would be positive. The symptoms remind me of my reactions to the vaccines: Zero energy, body aches, headache, no appetite, plus foggy brain, and at 2am I had teeth chattering chills and a fever. Ugh. Sure makes me appreciate an average day with just feeling okay.

One good thing is I did some art before I got sick. I was going to share it here, but not sure if I have the energy…. Maybe later.

Okay, here are the two pieces from the acrylic pouring class I took. For the first one, I used a small stick to make the lines in the starbursts. In the second one, the I used a paintbrush to add the dolphin which was totally unplanned. I’d been playing with the still wet paint with my finger (why do we do that?) and messed it up. Eventually, the dolphin emerged.

For more streams and details on SoCS, visit our host, Linda Hill, but clicking HERE.