100 Day Project 2021

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Summer Colors

I've been wanting to visit Garvan Woodland Garden this summer. It's always so hot in the summertime that I rarely visit. But, a few days ago the weather cooperated with upper 70's and breezes.  Although that's still too warm for me, it was better than the upper 90's! 

The paths around the Great Lawn were edged with different varieties of coleus and caladiums. The Great Lawn is planted with beautiful zoysia grass and surrounded by nearly 10,000 square feet of mixed flowers known as the Flowering Border. 

I've been to the garden so many times and although every season brings totally different flowers, I decided not to walk the whole garden. There were a couple of new areas I wanted to explore. One area was fairly small with a large, lovely bowl filled with moving water. Huge rocks create the pathway in, around the bowl, and then out. I read that on hot afternoons the fountain in the bowl is turned on and it creates a fine mist to walk through. 

The sensory garden was also new to me. It definitely appealed to my senses. It is a large circular area with several flower beds and a rock wall on one side. The sights, the sounds, and the smells of this summer garden were amazing. It was hard to take in everything around me; the colors and smells of the flowers, the multitude of butterflies, the buzzing of the bees, and the birds singing. It was alive with motion and beauty. Most, if not all the flowers in the Sensory Garden reseed themselves. I think by looking at the maturity of the garden, you can tell it's not new, I've just never seen it since I rarely go in the summer.

Lovely benches are scattered throughout the garden, but I rarely sit down on one. I'm always anxious to go find the next picture! Since I was pretty warm after being out in the sunshine at the Sensory Garden, I decided to take advantage of one and enjoy the view as I drank some water and cooled off.

I then wandered into the cool shade of The Garden of the Pine Wind, a four-acre rock and stream Asian garden.

The Sunrise Bridge takes you into this quiet, beautiful garden. I found a low rock wall near the water and spend most of my time there. I did a little journaling, a little people-watching (especially the children down the hill from me near the Koi Pond) and I did a lot of relaxing. I sat there for over an hour which is the longest I've ever been still in the garden. I realized how much I had missed in the past, by strolling and not sitting, watching, and listening.

It was a different kind of day for me, more resting than walking, but it was what I needed. I came away with a calm feeling and a peaceful heart. As I crossed the parking lot, I spotted something else that made me smile, the Oscar Meyer Weiner mobile! How fun is that!

I hope you're enjoying the last of this summer's colors. My yard doesn't have much color left. The lantana is blooming. It is so hardy and thrives in the heat and humidity. I also have a begonia in a hanging pot that still has beautiful red blooms. Without daily watering, it would not have survied the heat and humidity.

Today is the last day of summer.  I'm looking forward to the cooler days to come. Then, I'll be heading back to Garvan Gardens to see the fall colors! Are you as anxious as I am for Autumn?


Friday, August 27, 2021

A Summer Full Of Books

This hot, humid summer has kept me at home more than usual. My excursions have been put on hold until cooler weather. Staying home has given me extra time to read. I've always had a schedule for reading; my Bible and a devotional book right after breakfast, children's books at lunch, mid-afternoon short read, and novels before bed.

I read children's books at lunch because they are short and I don't sit there nibbling until I reach the end of a chapter. I'm reading through my collection of Little Golden Books. I have enough to keep me reading for a while. So far, I've read 106 and I haven't read all the ones on the top shelf. There is another full shelf below it. Can you guess I love them? I will admit the story line in a lot of them is not so good. Of course, there are great ones especially everything written by Margaret Wise Brown. So, you ask "why do you collect them? It's the illustrations. Little Golden books have amazingly, talented illustrators.

For my mid-afternoon short read I'm reading Caldecott winners and honorees. The Caldecott Medal, named in honor of nineteenth-century English Illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott, was first given in 1937. It is awarded annually to illustrators and artists who have created the most distinguished picture books for children.

Do you see a pattern in my reading? Illustrations! I'm a big, big fan of beautifully illustrated children's picture books.

One of my favorite author/illustrators is Beatrix Potter. Her tiny books with realistic animals who have incredible names,  cute clothes, and cozy little homes just make me happy. The illustrations in these books are based on the area where Potter lived, her homes, and her friends. And then there's the added bonus that those animals all talk! I've read all twenty-four of her tiny books, beginning with The Tale of Peter Rabbit and ending with "A Tale of Little Pig Robinson.

Reading those delightful tales led me to another series of books I read by Susan Wittig Albert. Albert brings Beatrix Potter to life in her adult fiction books. I enjoyed all eight in the series which began with The Tale of Hill Top Farm and ended with The Tale of Castle Cottage. Her books, though fiction, are based on facts and take you through the adult life of Beatrix Potter. They were such enjoyable reading. One of the most delightful parts was that the animals talk just like in the Peter Rabbit books!

As I read Potter's little books and looked at her illustrations, I began to really admire her and wanted to read more about her life. She was an amazing person. You know that random question occasionally asked "If you could spend a day with a famous person who would it be?" My answer is Beatrix Potter! I would love to spend the day with her at Hill Top Farm or Castle Cottage. Beatrix Potter called herself a part of "children that never grow up" an illusion to another children's hero, Peter Pan. I think she and I would have been kindred spirits.


I even honored her in a couple of my "junk journal" pages. The one on the left has a picture of Hill Top Farms. The right page has one of her delightful bunny illustrations. Ignore the Mr. Goodbar candy wrapper. These pages were made using prompts, the candy wrapper being one. 

Some novels I've read this summer:

The Book Charmer and A Cup of Silver Lining
by Karen Hawkins
They were both whimsical and easy to read books, yet they were insightful into family and small-town relationships. I probably should mention that there just might be talking books and magic teas in them, but who doesn't need a little fantasy now and then! After all, we all loved pumpkins changing into coaches, fairies living under toadstools, and talking magic dragons! Didn't we? 

I also read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. This was not an easy read. It is a deep and sometimes heartbreaking story of a family during the great depression.

My latest read was Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy. I've always been a fan of Anne of Green Gables. This book takes us back to Marilla's life before Anne arrived. It was an easy, enjoyable read. I especially enjoyed her wonderful descriptions of nature. 

Things I don't like to read are

mystery series where the person solves numerous murders in the same small town. Seriously? How many murders can one town have?

books with bad language. I do not want my heroes and heroines speaking such words. Surely there's better words to describe feelings than curse words. (just my opinion)

biographies and autobiographies. I find them boring or bragging.

I'll quit clicking these computer keys now. I think I've already been way to long! I wasn't going to write so much this time, but I did it anyway!  To me my blog is a type of journal and the words just flow out! Thank you for sticking with me to the end!

I'll leave you with these words from
A Cup of Silver Linings by Karen Hawkins

"Books are warriors.
If you let them,
they'll fight off
even loneliness."

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Paint it on a Wall

In the last few years murals have been popping up around Little Rock. Most of them are downtown close to Main Street, but there are a few in different neighborhoods. For a long time I've wanted to find them and take pictures. That is not an easy thing to accomplish with the difficulties in parking downtown. There are approximately 30 murals, some close together and some spread apart. Parking the car in a parking deck doesn't work, it's too far to walk in the summer heat. Parking close to the murals means putting money in several parking meters. I'm not ready to put that much money in meters just to jump out and take a picture or two. Jerry solved the problem for me. He volunteered to be my chauffeur. We went on a weekend when meter parking was free. When I found a mural, he'd park or if that wasn't availble he would drop me off at a corner, circle the block and pick me up. All very safely, of course!! Another advantage of Jerry driving, he kept the car cool!

Butterflies by Youri Cansell

This mural is part of the ARkanvas project, an initiative installing twelve pieces of public art across the state. The butterflies and moths are all native to The Natural State.

Woman With Dog by Steven Otis
A perfect mural to be on the side of Esse Purse Museum.

Yes We Can by Steven Otis

On the opposite side of the Purse Museum is a long mural.  I'm only showing a section because there were so many cars parked in front of it.  It's singing and dancing fruit may be the happiest mural in Little Rock.

Playtime by Jason Jones

This is one of my favorites. I mean who doesn't love a BIG red wagon? The wagon contains landmarks of downtown Little Rock; buildings, the railroad walking bridge, the Clinton Presidential Library, the State Capitol, the River Market district, and a streetcar. It encourages everyone to come downtown and play.

Eat Local Eat Often by Casey Siegel

There are several murals on the side of this parking deck by various artists. If you know me, you'll know I took the top one because of that bright pink donut! The ground between the parking deck and another building is covered with artificial turf and has picnic tables. This would be a great spot to eat lunch if you worked downtown and wanted to eat outside.

Talk With Your Hands
by Arkansas School for the Deaf Students

This amazing mural covers a block-long concrete wall. My favorite section is painted with the deaf sign for "I love you." Beginning as babies, we taught our grandchildren to form this hand sign. That way anywhere we were, we could quietly and secretly say I love you.

Mr. Rogers 143 by Levi Agee

This mural surprised me! I had no idea Mr. Rogers was downtown. The portrait on a door represents the idea of being kind to one another. The numbers 143 mean two things. In Pennsylvania, the birthplace of Mr. Rogers, the 143rd day of the year is a day of kindness in honor of the state's beloved kindness patron and promoter. The number also had a special meaning to Mr. Rogers, it reflected the number of letters in his favorite phrase, "I love you."

Edgar by Jaquite Bell

With a black crow whose name is Edgar, one automatically thinks of Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven. I'm guessing on this one, but I'm pretty sure that's what it represents. Also notice how the left wall, table, and chair have been painted. I like that a lot!

Covid-19 by Guy Bell

This is another long mural that I'm only showing part of. I didn't realize when I saw it what it represented, nor did I know the name of it. The tree men look like they are trying to get rid of Covid, which is massive. To me it looks like a citizen, a medical worker, and a first responder. Also, notice the couple watching TV as they are isolated together. There's also an ambulance in the right corner. I wondered why such an intricate painting is on a temporary wall. Maybe that's significant too. Maybe it's in hope that Covid will one day be gone.

Peace by Jose Hernandez and other various artists

The first mural painted on the concrete walls of this underpass was painted by Jose Hernandez. Other artist joined him in painting sections. Although the theme is peace, they are not all peaceful. Some are angry and disturbing to me. 

Welcome to Stifft's Station by Matt McLeod

Another favorite of mine. I love the bright colors and I love old streetcars. Stifft's Station is a former streetcar stop for The Heights neighborhood. The streetcar ran from 1904 until 1947.

Chanel by Kristin McCaslin

This delightful mural is painted on the side of Fashion Exchange, an upscale ladies' consignment boutique.

There have been murals on walls throughout the history of the world. People scratched them, carved them, etched them and painted them. I'm glad Little Rock decided to beautify the city and also teach through murals. As I scrolled back through my pictures, I realized the different emotions they brought to me. Some impressed me with their beauty, some made me smile and giggle, some made me think, some brought feelings of nostalgia, and some made me remember. 

Once again let me mention that this project would not have been possible without Jerry's help. Thank you, dear!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The Return to the Stone Saga


I'm sitting in a rocker/recliner underneath a warm lap quilt my mom made. That sounds crazy considering we have just been placed under the first heat advisory of this summer. The quilt is more for comfort than anything. The title of this post refers back to the Stone Saga post from January of this year. Once again, I'm recovering from a lithotripsy procedure. I had two procedures on my right kidney in January and February. This time it's my left kidney. I have another rather large stone 14mm, so I've been told two procedures will probably be needed this time, too. I seem to like to do things the hard way!

Trying very hard not to whine, I'll bring you up to date. A few weeks ago, I had a kidney stone episode that sent me to the doctor. I was told the rather large stone was in a lower pool of my kidney which makes it harder to treat.  When the stone is in the lower pool, lithotripsy is not very successful; invasive surgery is usually required. Come back and see me in three months, he said. Fast forward to the next visit and surprisingly the stone had moved up into the middle pool of the kidney. I don't think that is too common. I was scheduled for a lithotripsy pretty quickly. I guess he didn't want the chance of it moving back down. I'm grateful, really, I am, that a lithotripsy was possible. 

As with any procedure there is a downside. Pain, kidney spasms, and nausea followed me home from the hospital. After three days, I'm only dealing with nausea from the very strong antibiotics I'm taking. I'm not sure what I would have done without goldfish crackers the first day. That was all I could eat. I have graduated to soup and an apple today. Maybe I'll try a baked potato for dinner.

I was pretty bored yesterday and wanted to use my camera, so I took twenty pictures without getting up from my chair. Most of them were of things I've enjoyed or needed while I recuperate. I'll not post all twenty, just a few! Of course, I have to have pen and paper. What color ink do you write with. I write with blue. I don't know why; I just like it!

I made sure I had plenty of books to read. I do have an eReader, but I'd rather hold a book!

I have my notebooks beside me on the floor. A binder holding material from a class I'm taking this year, my journal, my book of lists, and my bullet journal.

This is a close-up design on the binder. It reminds me of the sun and makes me smile.

I dug out my coloring book and colored pencils. I'll try anything to distract me from the nausea. 

Since Jerry works, I'm alone most of the day and need someone to talk to and someone to sympathize with me. My trusty bears are there any time I need a hug!

I only have two more days of antibiotics. I think then I'll be able to once again get outside for longer than a few minutes. I really do want to sit in my swing, but that's not such a good idea right now. Back and forth motion . . . not so good.

Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you're have a wonderful weekend,
 staying cool, and staying safe from Covid!!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Cool Globes

Little Rock is beginning to reopen after months of Covid shut down. Although the Clinton Presidential Library had not reopened at the time I took these pictures, an art exhibit was installed on the library grounds. My sister and I decided to go check out the new exhibit. I don't have a problem with outside activities, but still remain very cautious of being indoors with groups of people. 

"Cool Globes: Hot ideas for a Cooler Planet" is art with a purpose. It features 5-foot diameter globes that present solutions to climate change. Founder Wendy Abrams announced the "Cool Globes" project during the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in 2003. The exhibit premiered in Chicago in 2006 with 120 globes. Since then, it has traveled to many cities throughout the country and around the world. Not all the globes are seen at each location. 

I'll warn you in advance that this post is photo heavy and I didn't even include all the globes, just my favorites! I'm saving the best globe for last, so you'll at least need to scroll all the way through. Mean of me?? No, it was just a good way to end the post!

"Carpool" (Artist: Cheryl Stiger) was the first globe we saw. Its theme is sharing a ride when you can which would result in saving millions of gallons of gasoline and millions of pounds of carbon dioxide each day.

I happened to see our reflection in the windows of a nearby building. That's me on the right; Judith on the left.

"Green Investing" (Artist: Oliver Bernex) encourages investing in green technology and environmentally friendly products for protecting the beauty of the earth.

"First We Scream, Then We Act" (Artist: Nancy L. Steinmeyer) The artist Edward Munch's famous painting "The Scream" might represent the planet calling out for help and the iconic "I Want You" poster was designed to inspire us to act. 

"Earth the Nectar of Life" (Arkansas Artist: Lakresha Diaz) is a favorite of mine. The honeycomb that is painted on the continents and the beautiful flowers illustrate how bees work together to create honey and that we must all work together on solutions to save our future.

"Tree of Life" (Artist: Kim C. Massey) depicting all four seasons was beautifully painted. It encourages long-term conservation of our country's landscape including 37-million-acres of Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, National Conservation Areas, National Monuments, Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Scenic and Historic Trails.

I was so impressed with the "Cool Globes' exhibit that I took my two of my grandsons and their mom, to see them. I knew this exhibit would be something they would enjoy and appreciate. My other grandsons live a little too far away to join us that day.

They spotted this dragonfly on one of the globes.

"Non-Electric Play" (Artist: Francis W. Parker School students and faculty) features wonderful ideas for outside play and non-electric indoor play such as board games, cooking, reading, and craft projects. This one brought back many childhood memories.

"Drawing a Line on climate Change" (Artist: Thom Cicchelli) was a fun globe with its suggestion to use less energy while doing laundry.  The clothes used are representative of the area they cover. For instance, across North America there is a pair of denim overalls, Africa is covered in a safari print, and the ocean has a bathing suit.

I told you I was saving the best for last. This globe was my absolute favorite. The painting on it is simple stunning! "Souvenir" (Artist: Constance Mallinson) illustrates Earth's beauty as well as it's delicate ecosystems and the animals that inhabit them, all of which is worth remembering. The word "souvenir" comes from the French word "to remember."

My favorite section of the globe was, of course, the eagle flying over North America. It was a little hard to get this picture since it was near the top of the globe which was taller than me and full sun was shining it. I stood on my tiptoes and held the camera above my head. It took several tries to even get the eagle in the picture!

The idea of Cool Globes was to display "sculptures on the sidewalk, each depicting a solution to climate change, forcing people to confront the issue, but in a non-threatening manner."(Cool Globes.org) You can't wander among the globes without realizing that we all need to do what we can to conserve energy and protect our world. I'm trying to be more conscious and change things like laundry habits, not leaving the water on when I brush my teeth, and turning off the lamp in the living room that used to stay on all day. Doing small things doesn't make a massive difference, but even small things help.

If you happen to be in the Little Rock area, I urge to to visit the exhibit. As the Chicago Tribune said "Cool Globes teaches while it delights." It was a delightful exhibit. If you're not in the area visit the Cool Globe website for information and images. Information I used to describe the globes was taken from plaques attached to the globe base.

Sorry this was long, but I do hope you enjoyed it! Thank you so much if you stuck with me to the end!