Kathy Peterson

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Associate Editor’s blog – “The Peterson Home”

…..The Final Steps…..

It is with great sadness that I pen this last blog for Still Faith-FULL.
It has been such a pleasure to write to you each week for the past
year or so, sharing with you some things about art, some things
about us, some things about our home, and some things about
my love of interior design. This is what occupies my life at age 72.

But, I am still going through old files of pictures I cut from
design journals and magazines, some as much as 15 years ago, and I find
I still love many of them and they are hard to throw into the waste
basket. I have found some that were inspiration for some of my art,
and some were used for ideas on numerous houses ago. Some I can
part with because they look dated. I am just as passionate about
design for interiors as I have always been, since I was three years old.

Hopefully, my tastes have become a bit more sophisticated than
they were playing on the living room floor with clothespins to make
floor plans at Grandma’s house. But I have never lost my love for
viewing beautiful interiors, or my love for making the best of our
home via my strengths in design, or my love of painting. If some-
thing from my viewpoint, sitting in my comfy reading chair in the
dining room, is just a little askew, I jump up and straighten it by a
1/4″ or more, until I am satisfied with its placement. Bill would call
this “obsessive”, and he is probably right, but I call it “paying
attention to detail.”

He wonders how I can let my study/studio go to helter skelter while
the living room right next door has to be perfect to my eyes. It just
goes with the territory of being a retired designer who can’t go into
clients’ homes anymore and straighten up what they have moved elsewhere!
It is in the blood and the DNA, and so I live my life in
ways that make sense to my eyes. They tell me everything I need to
know about a painting, or placement of furniture, or the curvature
of a leg on a chair-is it a French Louis XV, or is it an English
Hepplewhite or Chippendale? Some of you are likely thinking
by now, “perhaps she is ready for the funny farm at her age!”

Now that you have some insight into the way this designer/artist
thinks, or works in my own home exclusively now, is a good time
to put this blog on the shelf and go take care of all the things in
my own space that drive me nuts, or don’t! Look at the following
pictures of our home and let me know what you think obsesses me,
or gives me great pleasure to arrange, or the colors which excite
me when combined into the whole. You can always reach me at
artistanddesigneratwork@gmail.com, and I would welcome your
input about this blog, how you feel the spaces I have described fit
or don’t fit me, or just tell me you think we are crazy for giving
up this blog. I want to hear from you, at least this one last time
before we “go off the air”. And I always welcome your insights,
your thoughts, your jokes, your words of encouragement in the
next phase of what it is I do or don’t do!

The next phase is most assuredly to continue with our webmaster
to put my book, One Woman’s Journey: From Abuse to Empowerment
into a printed book version which you will be able to purchase
through Amazon. com. Cynthia and I have it about 1/3 done, and
we will be working feverishly to complete the manuscript within the
next few months. I will still look forward to hearing from you after
you have read the book, and tell me what it has meant to you.

So without further hesitation, writing, or just rambling, I wish you
my best, and hope that we can continue our conversations via email
at the above address. I have loved hearing from those of you who
have read and written your thoughts about the blog, and now I will
look forward to how you respond to the book.

Take good care…….

 

Love, Kathy












book

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.


– Associate Editor’s blog for Sunday, December 24, 2017

…..It Is All In The Spirit of Christmas…..

I felt sort of guilty because of my former profession of Interior Design. But I found I was quite content to have just a small tree in our living room this Christmas season.  Well actually, it is just the top of our larger lighted tree that I bought three years ago.  Neither Bill nor I could quite find ourselves in the totally consuming spirit of Christmas because we had lots of other things going on this year.  The thought of decorating an entire tree this year was just more than I wanted to tackle, and it was more than Bill wanted to think about joining all three sections of the lighted tree together in one full, glorious tree.

So we cheated.  And we surprised ourselves at how much we loved this little micro-mini tree performing so well in the place I plopped it, just as a temporary solution to finding a “real home” in our living room this season.  Except that we both fell in love with it, once I plugged it in, and so it became “The Spirit of Christmas” in our living room that seems to have made both of us relieved that we did not have to tackle the entire tree.  But more than that, we agreed that it was just right for this year. And,  that both of us loved its spotlight in the front corner of the living room, made it seem bright and cheerful.

Given that I plopped it in a large outdoor pot, colored a dark purple with a lot of depth and placed inside no less, it needed to look like it belonged there.  So besides the white lights it was strung with when I purchased it, I decided that lavender taffeta bows seemed just about right.  And Voila!  They were, and I was finished in about an hour (while watching the evening news) making the ribbon into miniature bows.  It doesn’t get much easier than that at this time of year.

Now I realize that in this process of plopping, planning, and pretty-fying the tree, I was doing it in the Spirit of Christmas, not with any pre-set dogma that the collection of ornaments that I had collected for years, nor the size of the tree, made one hoot of difference to us.  It was the Spirit in which it was accomplished that made all the difference!  When I turned on the lights for Bill to see, he immediately responded with praise for the tree on its own merit, no matter the size, or the opulence which is so famous in any Christmas catalog you want to name this time of year!  They start  coming to you in August, selling the wares to make your tree the most spectacular tree you have ever placed in your home, for ever and ever!  Amen!  Bah Humbug!

Even for this Interior Designer, I must admit that for this year, simpler really was better, and perhaps that is a lesson we can all learn when it comes to not demanding of ourselves more than we are willing to take on in any one season, be it Christmas, New Years, Birthdays, Anniversaries, or other events that seem to weigh so heavily upon us as to destroy the Spirit of the Season because we wore ourselves out trying to out-perform what we accomplished last year.  Think about it, and think simpler and less dramatic next time you are in the throes of a holiday of whatever type.

Thankful for less hassle, but in the Spirit of the Season,

 

Kathy



 

‘Remembering a Special Friend’ – Associate Editor’s blog for Sunday, December 17, 2017

…..In Memory of Melanee….

 
Melanee Kahler

 

Bill and I had just hopped into the car and were driving to our next errand two days ago, when my cell phone rang.  A dear friend from Michigan was calling to tell me of the death of a woman who I have known all my life, but had not seen for several years.  She was from the town where I grew up, and her younger sister, Lorraine, was my best friend.

Lorraine and I met, I’m sure, through our mothers who belonged to the same church.  But we were just little squirts about age 3 or 4 when we began our life long friendship.  Lorraine and I lived just a half block from each other and so it was easy to connect.  And much of the time when we played together in a little playhouse in her back yard, her older sister, Melanee, was our watchful eye, making sure we were good little girls, and not pestering the neighbors or picking on their dog, Tina.

The little playhouse sat in their back yard under a big evergreen tree.  It was painted white, like most of the houses in my hometown, and it was just right for two little persons to sit in and play with our dolls.  We spent many a summer day setting a table for tea in that little playhouse, always under the watchful eye of Melanee, at least from a distance.

When we wandered into Lorraine’s home on Main Street, there was Melanee or their mother in the kitchen, cooking or baking up good smells of chocolate chip cookies or dinner in the oven.  They were always gracious to ask if I could stay for dinner, which I did on many occasions.  Sitting around the table with the DeWeerd family was truly an honor, and often Lorraine and Melanee’s dad loved to tease me.  I knew I was loved and accepted in that family home.

Melanee was the older sister who was the consummate cook, baker, sewer, typist, you-name-it, and she could whip it up!  Everything she did came with a smile, at least when I was around! She made us laugh with her funny stories about herself, and later when she gained her driver’s license, drove us out to Gun Lake, to Murphy’s Point for a day of swimming, or to the cottage they rented on the lake for a few weeks during the summer.

That cottage was eventually purchased from Mr. Russell, the owner, and Melanee and her husband, Chris, completely remodeled it into a lovely summer home where the DeWeerd and Kahler families spent many an hour, sitting on lawn chairs by the lake, laughing, telling stories, eating great food, watching water skiers, and swimmers diving from a nearby raft, and entertaining friends and lake neighbors.  It was truly a place where I always felt welcomed with open arms, and which I enjoyed immensely because their hospitality was so apparent.

As we grew older, the times with Melanee lessened, when she went away to college, and got married, moved to Hudsonville, MI where she and her husband lived until her death this past week.  But I never forgot her wonderful hospitality toward me, as her mother and father had modeled their lives long.  It was as if a part of me died when I heard a few days ago that Melanee had passed away from a disease that is now known as ALS.  She didn’t deserve to be put through the hell that disease reaps from its victims.  She was too dear for that!

And so it is with great sadness that I say goodbye to Melanee, a wonderful role model for being a mother, a hostess with the most-tess, a friend along the path of life.  Even though she was five years older than I, it was for me a friend who I will not soon forget, and for whom I am so thankful stepped into my life when I most needed older “siblings” who were kind, gracious, and caring.  Here’s to Melanee making Heaven a better place……..

Lovingly,
Kathy
You may access the obituary for Melanee’s blog by clicking below:
If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

Associate Editor’s blog for Sunday December 10, 2017

…. ARTISTS AT WORK…..

Today, I just received a new issue of one of my favorite magazines, Plein Air, and so I have chosen to show you some of the new art that is shown in this particular publication. Plein Air sponsors many ‘paint outs’ for artists all over the world – – – that is, art painted on location wherever there is a group of artists who have come together for that purpose. Many of the artists who they feature, attend these workshops, then enter their paintings in shows during the paint outs, and sell their art to collectors who keep their eyes on new artists’ paintings, and well-known artists’ paintings. So I am keeping my comments brief so that you can enjoy several of the paintings that have been published this month.

 

Enjoy! As I have!

Appreciative art viewing to all of you!

Kathy


“Black Canyon Rainbows”

Oil 2017  by
Len Chmiel

“Miners Creek”

Oil 2017 by Susan McCullough


“Tea Lime”

Artist not Identified
Featured in the ‘Taking Time Out’
series in ‘Best in Salon’


Spring Runoff”

Oil on Canvas
by Carol Novotne

“Magenta Hydrangeas”

Watercolor, 2016
by Georgia Mansur

“Main Street, Monhegan”

Oil, 2017
by Jim Laurina


“Hope”


by Lyn Boyer
Collector’s Choice Award


 Left Photo:

“Grand Canyon”

Best of Show by Elizabeth Black, 2017

_______________

Right Photo:

“Wind, Rain, River”

by John Cogan, 2017

                               

Associate Editor’s blog

…..Transitions…..

 

I was keeping an eye on the “beauty bush” (likely not the real botanical name) in the back yard for the past several weeks. It had been transitioning from a lovely yellow-leafed 8 foot tall bush, to this lush red orange and pink beauty (hence, the name I call it!). For several weeks now, is has been arriving at the stunning color combination it is today as the sun shown through the delicate leaves of autumn. When they will be gone is anyone’s guess in this warm fall climate we have experienced in north central Ohio. As the autumn days have worn on, the bush has become more brilliant in its showmanship, so much so that today I thought I had better photograph it before a cold winter wind, and snow that is predicted, came through and obliterated it’s beauty from its rightful spot by the kitchen nook window.

But yesterday, was another lovely day with bright sunshine, as well, and so I wandered out to the front yard, specifically the front porch, to “prettify” it for the Christmas season, about to explode in lights around the neighborhood like a Fourth of July event on steroids! With wide ribbon from my years’ old collection, and good sharp scissors in hand, I found myself entranced, creating just enough Christmas decor to let people in the neighborhood know someone was home and cared about the season’s greetings. Red and white chair cushions were fetched from the garage shelves, to accent the red and white ribbon on the boughs that Bill had cut for me from one of our trees guarding the screened-in porch. Their miniature pinecones, no larger than your pinky fingernail, made me smile as I gathered them in a bunch to tie at the top with ribbon so seasonal.

For a retired Interior Designer, there is no holiday as special as Christmas for showing a penchant for things of a decorative nature. Monday the indoor tree will be placed in the front window, with lights already attached, and hopefully glowing as they did last year! And this year, I might just use ribbon tied in bows to complete the tree decor without the numerous ornaments I have collected over the years. They need their rest, and will be placed delicately next year on the same lighted tree gracing our living room, or so I am thinking at this Christmas juncture.

So it is with the decorative nature of things-from real beauty bush leaves, to tiny pine cone boughs, to ribbons and bows, to hanging ornaments, every one a symbol of the transition of time. I don’t think that I think any older than I did when I was thirty and the mother of a beautiful young daughter, but now I have transitioned into acting like a grandmother, seventy-two years of age, and with more achy joints in abundance than the antique desk which sits in my bedroom, having belonged to my maternal grandmother.

Memories of how much I miss her hovering over my shoulder, showing me how to draw, or paint, or play with clothespins on her living room floor, making floor plans at age three, pop into my head regularly. One more transition of time, space and continuity coming to the forefront. I cherish those days with her, and my grandpa, always with a ready smile or joke to tell. He was notorious for jokes which my grandmother branded for their “pushing the window” on proper decorum! But my grandparents came as a loving pair, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

And it is my hope that our grandchildren, Mickey and William, will have as fond memories of us as I do of my grandparents who have transitioned to another place and time some forty plus years ago. I miss them every day of my life, and talk with them often in search of answers to questions I have about life and its transitions.

This year, I am helping one of our grandsons with his writing so that he can show his teacher than he is serious about learning more about the art of writing. Nothing could make me happier than helping this young man express in his own words how he feels about his childhood, and about learning to write more prolifically and with greater purpose. Hopefully his teacher will see results when he and I email each other with stories such as this blogspot, and his responses to his grandmother’s writing. Nothing would make me happier than to help him become a better and more creative writer for the road ahead, and to help him transition into adulthood loving the art of writing, as I do.

In transition,
Kathy

Closeup of back yard “Beauty Bush”
Photo taken December 2, 2017 by
K. Parrish Peterson

The Petersons’ Front Porch
Design and Photo by K. Parrish Peterson.
Photo taken by Kathy December 2, 2017

“Red, White and Green”
Closeup of Boughs and Bench,
Photo taken by K. Parrish Peterson,
December 2, 2017


book

 

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

Associate Editor’s blog – “Wood Works”

Kathleen Parrish Peterson is Still Faith-FULL’S
Associate Editor and Art Director. She is a retired
Interior Designer and college instructor of Interior Design.
In addition, she owned her own art and design business for over
45 years. She continues to be an active artist, author, photographer,
and writer for art submissions included in Still Faith-FULL.

. . . Wood Works . . .

The side chair you see in this first photo takes maximum advantage of the beauty of the wood grain. The grain is manipulated by the chair’s designer to show it to its best advantage. Thus the design fits the wood patterning as it comes from the tree, resulting in a pattern where the chair and the grain are sympatico.

 What if this table was in your entry hall? Do you think it would be  a topic of conversation among visitors? In this case the designer is making sure that it will be, assuming that your guests are sufficiently observant to note that the design of the base mirrors pattern of the wood in the table’s top. The wood for the top is sliced relatively thin to show not only the graining pattern, but the bark on the outside of the table’s top. I would put it in a large entry hall so that people could see it when they stepped foot into the space.

The entry door surround is a lovely example of using wood to portray Mother Nature at her best.  It does have limited applications, but is very well done, and shows how natural wood can be used to accent a door that is meant to be closed. I have seen other door surrounds completed in very artistic shapes for other applications, but this one makes use of nature’s gifts to complement the architecture of the home.


I love it when a very accomplished wood furniture builder can take an ordinary coffee table and turn it into a blockbuster piece that many would want in their living room or family room.  You would never have to worry about putting your feet up on the table as it is solid wood. The designer has taken two cuts from the tree trunk and flipped one of them to match the other, going in the opposite direction.

Just last week, our neighbors had a tree removed. A very tall 90′ Pin Oak was impeding their ability to drive in and out of the garage.  We watched as this huge tree came down in chunks just prior to when they came to the final cutting process. A triangular slice was cut into the base of the tree, and then they tied the trunk to a truck.

You can imagine the sound it made as one of the tree cutters used a sledge hammer to hit the opposite side of the trunk from where the wedge was cut out.  The rope to the truck was ready, and when the hammer hit in just the right spot, the truck driver pulled away. Down came the tree trunk with an enormous thud. The home owner caught this dramatic moment on his phone’s camera. I watched as the tree was given the final blow of the sledge hammer, and that old oak came crashing to the ground. These are the kinds of tree trunks that make for good furniture, such as we have seen in these first four pictures, with more to come.


A highly varnished tree trunk and steps, in an ascending  radius, make for a strong spiral design statement , moving people from one floor to the next with great emphasis. Not all staircases are spiral, thank goodness, but this next one is pretty plain by contrast, but receives its energy from the curved and hollowed-out slide that accompanies it.  What fun for kids, and maybe playful adults who have skinny butts!


Pray tell, who could refuse a nice relaxing “tubby” if this was in your spa bathroom?  This is a “statement tub” by all counts. By necessity, this bathtub is a hollowed out trunk of a very large tree, and finished well to make sure that the water stays inside the wood tub!  Ahhhhhh, I could go for one about now!


A game table to beat all game tables follows an Art Nouveau style of
building furniture – very organic, fitting comfortably to the human body, 
using sinuous lines to allow for the function of the game to proceed. The carving becomes part and parcel of the table and chair designs, and accents of sinuous curves are by definition, the modern rendition of French Art Nouveau. Game on!


I am certainly glad the designer of this coffee table base did not use real tortoise shells for the base! That would be as devastating as using cheetah hides for rugs and pillows! The artist carved the animals of wood signifying a certain reaching out to each other to complete the rounded base. A very creative and thoughtful design!


When I was working in design full time, on occasion I saw tables and benches of this type in informal dining areas and kitchens where space permitted. The graining patterns and robust colors of tree trunks is evident, and is played up by the wood worker who accomplished building these pieces.

If you look carefully at the far end of the table top, you can see a head and face. I love finding faces and other objects in wood when no one really intended that they be there. Maybe the tree did, but not mankind, 
but there they are in all their glory!


Out of all the pieces that I have selected for this Associate Editor’s choice, this rocker for Mama and baby is by far my favorite. I love it because it is so practical and so beautifully made.  It appears to have all the comfort a mother might need to sit in the rocker portion while her baby is needing a good nap, and she can nap right along with the child!  That’s a “twofer” as far as I am concerned.  It makes an A+ in my grade book!


And last but not least, is a very substantial wooden chest of drawers,
another statement piece in perhaps a contemporary bedroom setting,
with views out a complete floor to ceiling, wall to wall, glass window,
gazing out onto a forest floor, sometimes in its spring green color, at
other times, the deep green of summer, and in fall, complementing the
trees’ changing leaves.  But in a winter scene, it completes its final
dance against all that is white, allowing the chest to become its
own piece to complement the bedroom in which it resides.


Goodnight all,
 

Kathy


book

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

 

Associate Editor’s blog – Creative Use of Pink, Purple and Orange

Kathleen Parrish Peterson is Still Faith-FULL’S
Associate Editor and Art Director. She is a retired
Interior Designer and college instructor of Interior Design.
In addition, she owned her own art and design business for over
45 years. She continues to be an active artist, author, photographer,
and writer for art submissions included in Still Faith-FULL.


 

Pinks, Purples and Oranges, Oh My!

If you are wondering what some of the new trend setting colors are for the coming year, wonder no longer! They have arrived in all their glory, and though they are decidedly more feminine color choices, they can be used well in all rooms if you know what you are doing. If you know what you are doing, you don’t need to read this blog today, but if you are sort of curious as to why I would choose to “show and tell” about these particular colors, well then, read away…….

Pink, of course, is a lighter version of red, which is used all the time, no matter what the trend year is. Purple is a mysterious mix of blue and red, sometimes dark and somber, sometimes light and airy. And we know where oranges come from—–the grocery store! Orange is a mixture of red and yellow, and is one of the most difficult colors to work with well because it is laden with so many expectations that it should be darker or lighter, or more intense or less intense, according to the viewer’s take on it. Not that pink and purple aren’t, however.

That being said, the pinks have been popping out like the veritable buds from spring flowers, in all shades and depth, some light and delicate, some strong and forceful. Purples are the color of royalty, or have been in the past (I bet our current President imported some purples into the White House when no one was looking! ). And orange, well orange is orange, the color of the 1950’s and ’60’s modern chair cushions, and cupboard doors. Does the word, judicious, come to mind when thinking of how to use orange in your new master bath?

When I am browsing design magazines, journals, and on-line sites, I take pictures of the kinds of rooms which I think have or have not used colors like pink, purple and orange judiciously. I have noticed that many younger designers, just having come out of design schools, have used them without much “editing”, meaning “the more the merrier.” And those who are more experienced in the trade use them well with a certain gift of knowing when to not use them so that they overpower a space. But this week’s examples show what this former design educator consider well placed color choices, likely easy-on-the-eye examples of how new trends can be set by the color arbiters of the design world.

One of the places where I see the most jarring examples of poor color usage is in articles written for shelter magazines showing “decorator” showhouses. Some of them literally make my teeth hurt!!! ( I have used this phrase around my husband when we go past a house or car that has been painted a very strong lime green! Ouch!) And added to that younger designers just getting their feet wet, completing a showhouse (we have all been there, “believe me”) have tipped overboard using their “decorator” skills, rather than the design skills they learned in school.  But I have also seen spaces where older and more experienced designers have gone over the top in their use of every color under the sun in one room or a grouping of rooms in their own houses.

Bad design is bad design no matter how you slice and dice it!

So, without further explanation, here are the examples I have chosen which I feel are using these new colors judiciously and with great success. You may choose to agree or disagree, but in this political climate, I don’t have to give you permission to disagree with me – it will happen of its own accord!

Colorfully,

Kathy


This entrance uses a lovely lavender on the walls,
accented with a darker red purple drapery, and

pink accessories.


This entrance uses a lovely lavender on the walls,
accented with a darker red purple drapery, and

pink accessories.


Pink walls are reflected on mirrored sides of the desk.


Neutral floor and ceiling counter use of ‘melon’

colored walls, ottoman, and accessories elsewhere.


Mother Nature’s Interpretation
of Pink, Purple, and Orange

Lake Michigan September Sunset
Photo by Kathleen Parrish Peterson

Mid Michigan Sunset

Photo by Kathleen Parrish Peterson


book

 

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

Associate Editor’s blog – This is Not Your Average Art Studio

Kathy Peterson

Kathleen Parrish Peterson, Still Faith-FULL’S
Associate Editor and Art Director. Kathy is a retired
Interior Designer and college instructor of Interior Design.
In addition, she owned her own art and design business for over
45 years. She continues to be an active artist, author, photographer,

and writer for art submissions included in Still Faith-FULL.


…..This Is Not Your Average Art Studio!…..

Please don’t come into my house to look at where I paint. Right now, my desk is piled higher and deeper with scraps of paper which have on them very important notes to me regarding where I put the bills for this month. There is also a roll of toilet paper, and please do not ask why! There are unfinished art and textile projects lying about, begging to be finished. I trip over a stack of catalogs every time I want to sit down at my desk. They are on the floor in the pathway from my computer desk to my painting desk. Oh, I just found the stack of bills I was looking for! I guess I was supposed to trip over the catalogs in order to find them! What a concept! My paint brushes are a half block away on the top of another storage area where I keep all kinds of stuff I don’t have room for elsewhere. They rarely even make it to my painting desk. And the beat goes on……..and on……..and on!

This might not be how most people who are of the artistic nature would “arrange” their painting areas, but it is typical of me. I have seen some wonderful art studios, photographed in magazines as indications of how artists work on their masterpieces. They are sometimes large, or sometimes small spaces set aside in an old barn, a tumble down garage, or a basement with good daylight!  <g> I have seen spaces that have your typical northern exposure for the best light for painting. I have seen concepts for art studios that would knock your socks off, using different floors for different kinds of paintings or art applications, and narrow little steps with no railing up to a space where one can go to hide when someone visits and wants to see a “real art studio.” I have seen the “tiny house” concept for an art studio, where the artist has just enough space to paint on a post card.

I have seen huge studios where the artist finds the largest canvas ever known to man or woman, so that she or he can paint, all day, all night, all day and all night, before taking a lunch break. Do any of these sound like the art studios you have seen of late?

Online, the other day, I came across the most wonderful art studio I have ever seen, and it happens to belong to one of my all-time favorite artists, Clyde Aspevig. Mr. Aspevig is a name which likely most artists living today recognize from his magnificent large painting of mountain scapes, rivers in National Parks, dotted with stones that are under water and you can actually tell they were painted that way because that is how he sees them in nature’s landscape. He also is known for smaller paintings of fruit on the tree, florals on the branch, or barns cozied up to out-buildings, and thunder heads moving across the plains. He lives in Montana near mountains and streams, miles of open fields accented by sunsets and sun rises of adventurous color and magnitude. He just had built a brand new art studio where he not only paints, sometimes four paintings at one time, but where he now is able to show his art in a space that is not your average art gallery!

His studio has a full kitchen, a very comfortable seating area, places for sculpture stands, glorious light, and a dining area or conference table where he can sit down with prospective clients to talk about what makes art such a compelling “religion” for him, and what their needs are for artistic expression. I have included a link to pictures of his studio so that you can wild-blue-sky your way to his paintings shown on-line at Clydeaspevig.com. He is also married to a wonderful artist, Carol Guzman, who is a prolific painter like himself, and whose artwork I was familiar with prior to knowing about his paintings.

If you choose to drool over spaces for art production, or just want to see what his new studio includes, scroll down to the link below for a rich and wonderful tour of the current day’s master of landscape painting. His art makes me want to clean up my little “office studio” and get crackin’ over a canvas or two! And when you have seen his work in person, as Bill and I have at Montana State University in Bozeman, you will never forget the feeling of being able to “walk into” his paintings, sit down on a rock, and take a gander at his incredible talent for painting. Can you tell I have enormous respect for this man/artist? He is one of the best in the country, so enjoy!

I have to run now and clear the decks of my desk for painting my next masterpiece!

Kathy


To view a featured article on this studio and the artist,
as well as his artistic spouse, click below:
book

 

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

Associate Editor’s blog – Interior Design Continues Unabated

Interior Design Continues, Unabated……..

 

 

Why is it that some of my favorite web sites with regard to good design,  have become some of my most appalling experiences of late?

For years now, I have visited my favorite art and design web sites almost every day, browsing, debating, oooohing, and ahhhhhing, ad nauseum.  And now, like every other website I have followed, I have become discouraged with the….. 1.) High Prices, 2.)Lack of quality available, 3.) A sense that these sites should have shut down some time ago while they were ahead of the game.

Maybe it is just the cynic in me which, after time, would hope that these “places of worship” would only improve with age, rather than digress into silliness, poor quality, and just plain ridiculous prices for nothing but inflated gobble-d-gook!

My former very favorite one (which I will not name!) has become a sight for sore eyes…..pricing wise, visual pleasantry, and a sense of collections from the designers that put forth their best, hopefully, and becomes nothing more than their worst.

To the buyer, BEWARE!  I was just browsing an art website, which I do often because I love good art.  When I began to browse it, I thought to myself, “Why on earth have they chosen these pieces to be featured, and why on earth are the prices so outrageous?”  It is almost as if the buyers were desperate for “the good stuff” but couldn’t find it, so settled!

I am usually not this negative in my blog on art and design, but maybe the time has arrived to be just that…..to have the eye of the designer/artist who says, “There are better designers and artists out there than what they are showing to me right now!”  Fast forward to one of my favorite magazine/journals, Plein Air.

This journal has the quality of photographing paintings, processes, and artists’ art like no other art journal I have seen recently.  They know who to feature, how to feature the artists, and to give them credit where credit is due.  You may see a painting in progress out in the high desert of Arizona.  You may also see an artist at home in his/her own back yard painting a scene that they have wanted to for many years, but the lighting wasn’t just right, or the colors not as distinctive as he/she has seen them prior to a photography date.

The editors of Plein Air know how to seek high quality color rendition.  They are always “out in the field” (literally or figuratively) making the best of photo opportunities, where outdoor light is so quick to lose its quality, and where the opportunities to paint may be limited when light becomes nil.

So this week I would like to salute the editors and producers of Plein Air Magazine, wherever you are, to keep on producing the kinds of art I love to see because of its quality, the reproduction quality of those who submit their art to your offices, and to the writers and editors who put forth their time and effort into a high quality product which is not only pleasing to the eye of an artist, but to those who have no art background.  Bravo!

Kathy


Examples

What was the designer thinking in using three different
cabinet colors and styles, plus using such varied hardware?
Plus, the colonettes at the bar need to be returned to another
historical style, as they add nothing but clutter.

Once again, what was the designer thinking?
How can one see to prepare a meal in darkness?

 

If there ever was a pleasant landscape, this is one which
soothes the soul via its use of color, style of painting,
and subject matter.

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

Associate Editor’s blog – Autumn on the Western Plateau of the Appalachians

You have to be kidding!  We really live on the Western Plateau of the Appalachian mountains?  According to the history and mapping of Ohio, and that of Richland County where Mansfield is located, we do live on this plateau.  And what does this mean to us in Richland County?

It means we have hills in them thar parts!  Those of you who have driven in some portions of Ohio might think that we live in the land of flat acres of corn and soybeans.  You would be right, to a certain extent.  But in the area around Mansfield and to the east of us, rolling hills constitute an enormous range of good farming acreage.  If the Amish can till the hillsides of Ohio, then surely agri-business including acres and acres of corn and soybeans are plentiful as well.  And they exist as next-door neighbors.

When Bill and I have wandered around the state in the central and eastern portions of Ohio, we have found a lovely land of high rolling hills, horse drawn buggies, and farms tended to in the careful Amish style: white two-story houses, clean-as-a-whistle barns, and Morgan work horses pulling plows.  It has almost made me yearn to pick up the reins of a good team of horses and plow the back 40!  NOT!

The late Autumn that we are experiencing in this part of Ohio this year is partly attributed to global warming through an extended hurricane season south of us.  Our trees are hardly wearing coats of many colors because we have not had very many cool evenings to help the colors come alive in the trees.  Last Autumn was a blaze of color, and quite a bit cooler than the summer-like weather we have experienced in 2017.  I am not complaining that we have been able to enjoy sitting on our screened-in porch since early to mid-April, but knowing the reason why is cause for concern.  That which we are experiencing here in Ohio, has been preceded by the worst hurricane season on record.  We do experience the left-overs of hurricanes by downpours, high winds up to 50 miles per hour, and extended gray skies, as well as the humidity that comes with warmer temperatures and lots of water in the sky system.  We experienced an early spring of warmer than normal temperatures, and now our autumn has been extended past Bill’s birthday (which by the way was yesterday and he turned 75!)

I have chosen to show you in the photos below, the colors of last year, and the colors of this year, in contrast so that you can see that I am not trying to pull your well-worn weather legs!  It is, indeed, a fact of life right now in our beloved country and one I hope will lose some steam in years to come, if only industry comes to its senses and decreases the man-made chemicals that have made this a living nightmare for folks from Houston, Texas to Puerto Rico.  God bless their souls this season for they have experienced far more than their due.  Our hearts go out to them as they struggle for survival and rebuilding of their communities.  There are no easy answers, but there are ways that our present government could be assisting far more equitably, by stepping up to the plate.  God rest our sisters and brothers souls in these ripped up/ torn up places on the globe.

Prayerfully,

Kathy

 

All photos below by Kathleen Parrish Peterson


Above and Below
Autumn 2016 in a Neighbor’s Front Yard



Bushes in Backyard in 2016


Autumn 2015 on a County Road


Peterson Backyard in Autumn 2017


book
If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.


Associate Editor’s blog – Silenced

Silenced

Image of a ‘Bump Stock’
…..SILENCED…..

58 Confirmed Dead. 9 to 11 minutes of mayhem. 527 Injured. Las Vegas, Nevada. October 1, 2017. Families, friends, co-horts, officers.

47 firearms confiscated. 10:08 p.m. Tuesday evening, October 2. Bump stocks = war zone firing speed and range for shooting. Silencers. DO I, A POTENTIAL VICTIM, HAVE ANY SAY in this MADNESS? Our country has run amok with guns!

FOR GOD’S SAKE!!! What has this country come to? Legal and illegal firearms available for the asking. Weak gun control laws made by our representatives in State legislatures, and Congress. The NRA out-of-control spending on their favored Congressional fools. Proven complicity between the NRA and Congressional Senators and Representatives and the most dangerous gun corporations. Money, Money, Money being used as power plays by the NRA and gun manufacturers to get their way with the full cooperation of certain elected Congressional players. Guns which can perform this kind of mayhem. We are not a rationally ruled country! It is TIME to turn this kind of mayhem on it’s head, and vote the screwballs out of office who keep saying that this is not the time to talk about gun controls! IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

You are likely wondering why I am so perturbed by this latest incident of mass killings along with mass injuries of those lying in hospital beds at the time of this writing. Well, because……..I was almost in their shoes, and by the Grace of God, go I.

It was a relatively warm, for December 12, day in Spokane, WA. I was on my way to Costco to do some monthly shopping. I even had my front side windows down in the older Ford Explorer we had brought with us from Indiana when we moved back to the Northwest in 2000. I was in the left lane of a four lane street on Francis Avenue, in northwest Spokane. Something prompted my attention, to look to my right. In that moment, as fast as a brain can comprehend danger, I found myself starring down the barrel of a 9 mm semi-automatic, propped up on its stand, likely sitting on the top of the armrest of a nice looking later model gray two-door sports-like car. Behind the gun, sat two beautiful teenagers, male and female, likely vying for membership in a gang (the Spokane police told me later in my living room). From my viewpoint, I was almost not comprehending what I was seeing because it seemed so bizarre. I had already noticed, right behind me, a dear elderly couple from our church, in traffic, right behind my vehicle. I prayed for their safety as well as mine.

Then, suddenly, a voice from inside my car (not my own voice!): “Take your foot off the brake, and pull forward out of harm’s way!” As if automatically, I did what I was instructed to do. It saved my life! I was able to pull up behind another vehicle, out of harm’s way from that dastardly gun pointed straight at my head! I hoped against hope that our parishioners were not going to pull up where I had just been, and felt so fortunate when they did not. They were not going to be targets, thank the Good Lord, like I had been so close to being, but rather me than them!

After I pulled up out of harm’s way, this young couple in the car where the gun was displaying its power, honked and waved at me to pay attention to them and stay right where I was—-within their firing range. Looking out of the corner of my eyes, I will never forget the looks on their faces when I pulled up so that I was not within their shooting range. As I pulled into the safe zone, my mind then went blank! How I got to Costco to do my shopping is anyone’s guess, but probably because I knew the way by heart, I would repeat that motion, without any memory of how I got there.

As I pulled into the Costco parking lot, I finally breathed a sigh of relief. I was now out of danger. I gathered my purse, and headed straight for the door of Costco, picking up a cart as I went through the doors. Where should I go? What should I do? Who should I talk with? My mind began racing again, along with my heart beat.

All those answers became apparent when I walked over to the Optical Department, and I don’t even know why I ended up there. A man behind the counter, with a kind looking face, said to me, “Are you OK? Can I help?” And the tears came streaming down my face, blocking any comprehension of what I was going to say in the next breath. He kindly took me by the elbow and said, “Let’s go talk with our manager.” On the short distance to his manager’s office, I told him that I had almost been shot by a drive-by shooter. And then a flood of tears and an inability to talk effectively. He ushered me into the manager’s office, who was there to find a chair for me, and to have me tell her what had just happened.

Between the fear I felt, and the sense that I was now near a helping hand, the experience I had just lived through, all came together, rushing down my face as if a waterfall of grace was about to overcome me. I asked the manager to call my husband, first and foremost. She did, and explained to him that I was in her office, but she didn’t know much about what got me there. She handed me the phone, and oh, a familiar voice, one who loved me for all these years of my life, took hold of me while I explained what had just happened. He said, “Stay there, Honey. I will be there as quickly as I can get there.” Whew, another bridge crossed safely.

Next, the manager called 911. The operator wanted to talk with me directly, which only made sense……except that she kept interrupting me as I was trying to tell her the story. The manager was becoming more and more visibly upset with the operator and was reaching for the phone when, finally, to the 911 operator, I blurted out, “Damnit, will you just let me tell my story and stop asking me all these questions!” It worked. I told my story without interruption for the next several minutes. The female manager smiled a big broad smile at me. I had insisted I be listened to in a fair way, and the female manager was right in my corner.

I heard the manager’s office door open, and there stood Bill. I leapt out of the chair, and into his loving arms and then dissolved into a bucket of tears, and fear on his big barrel chest. The thankfulness I felt for his care of me, his spouse, was so enveloping. His presence calmed my terrified spirit. His arms held me strong enough for both of us. I sobbed into his shoulder as if I had never been in this situation, because I hadn’t!

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

If everyone who has experienced being within gun shot distance of a killer on a mission, you know exactly what I am talking about. You know the extreme fear, the dry mouth, what must have been the highest blood pressure reading I have ever experienced in my life. You know the “life passing in front of you” horror, coupled with the fear of the unknown, or worse yet, the known. This is what it feels like to be “under the gun”.

How many of you reading this want to experience this horrific, endless, time/space continuum? If you don’t ever want to be in these circumstances, then get out there and use your political where-with-all to resist your elected Congressional senators and representatives to demand that they stop this nonsense and pass sensible gun-control laws! Do not wait another day. Do not think that you don’t have a voice…..YOU DO HAVE A VOICE……so use it! Contact your local, state, and Congressional members and let them hear your voice, loudly and clearly.

As a disclaimer, I want you to know that I do not want to stand in the way of sincere hunters of water fowl or deer who enjoy the sport. It isn’t my sport, but it doesn’t kill innocent bystanders, people who go to a concert expecting to come home and enjoy a beer. It doesn’t kill those of us who choose to go to a concert for the sheer enjoyment of hearing our favorite music. It doesn’t kill those of us who are in attendance at a venue because we enjoy socializing with others while we listen to music.

But without a doubt, we don’t want to have this be the last concert of our lives; or the last day we attend school; or the last evening with our loved ones; or the last evening of our lives, because some nutcase has decided to do a number on as many as he can get his bullets into. So many of those who take the lives of others in such cheap fashion as the Las Vegas killings, then take the chicken’s way out, and shoot themselves so they don’t have to pay for their sins on this earth by going to prison for the rest of their lives, or die in the electric chair, or by injection that doesn’t always work well.

Make your voice heard in favor of sensible gun control laws. And don’t shut up until it happens in your state. Keep the pressure on your elected representatives that you do not agree with their nonsense about gun laws run amok. Do it for you, for your children, for your grandchildren, for your husband or your wife. JUST DO IT!

Urgently,
Kathy

 

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

 

Associate Editor’s blog – In Memory of Chloe

Chloe

Portrait by Kathleen Parrish Peterson
 

…In Memory of Chloe….

A few months ago, I received some emails from one of our subscribers to Still Faith-Full, asking me to keep them in our prayers as they had just found out that their little Chloe, a miniature Schnauzer, was dying of cancer.  My heart went out to them because we had owned animals over the years who were either hit by cars, or needed in some way to stifle their life’s pain by having them put down.  How very difficult that was for us, and so I knew what they were experiencing as well.

One of the owners of “Ms. Chloe” (I called her that) wrote me, then just a few weeks later, to say that Chloe had died, and would I please paint a portrait of her when she was feeling good in her better days.  I immediately responded that I would love to do just that.  I received the pictures of that darling dog, and started the process of drawing and painting her.  It always takes me longer to accomplish a portrait than I think it will initially.  But I labored on, first painting her ears, then the top of her head, and then I came to the eyes.  To me, the eyes are the most important part to “get it right” because, I believe the eyes are really the windows to their souls, yes, even with animals.

I labored over her left eye, then her muzzle, then her mouth.  Then finally I came to the place where I needed to finish her right eye in order to complete the soul I sensed she might have had.  In fact, I almost felt as though I had come to know this little darling through painting her.  Her owner shared with me that she was a rescue dog for them, and had lived a very hard life for eight years of her life before they found her at the shelter.  She lived with them just a year, but like her owner wrote to me, the last year of her life was her best.  I could almost feel the pain in her eyes for all those years of suffering, and then to be taken in by a couple who truly loved her and wanted only the best for her.  How very special she must have been to them.  And how very special her owners are to me!

So now, I feel so privileged to have been asked to paint this portrait of her.
I have painted other portraits for other pet owners, and each one is so different, and so special.  If, as an artist, I can accomplish what I feel is the essence of their being, then I have accomplished much, all in the name of a labor of love.  May Kathy and Larry be as blessed by this portrait, as I have been blessed painting it for them,……. of Ms. Chloe……..

Sadly, but feeling honored,

Kathy

 

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

Associate Editor’s blog – Life Is Not Fair

Houston – Hurricane Harvey

 

Puerto Rico – Hurricane Irma

 

I knew, as I was sitting at my computer this morning, I was freezing with two layers of clothing wrapped around me, that perhaps Fall had fallen, and I was right on target. Yesterday it was summer here on the Western Slope of the Appalachian Plateau. Today it is time to turn on the heat in the house. But as I turned the thermostat up to a level of comfort that is necessary to warm the arthritic bones of this almost 72 year-old writer, I also realized something else, far more important than me being comfortable in our home.

There are those, after all those horrific hurricanes who have no electricity, next to no drinking water unless it comes from a fire plug, nothing or little to eat, no home, or one that was flooded and mold is growing in it. They have lost all that accompanied their lives to make it necessary to get to work, to feed their families, to save for their futures. Certainly some had insurance, but that is only one-tenth of the population in most cities. And that would be with those whose jobs help them support an insurance policy, hiring someone to come and help them clean up the debris. They might fly to their second homes in the northern cities, to be more comfortable while they work from their computers in a finely appointed luxury condo.

While hundreds of shipping containers full of food and supplies sit on the docks of numerous cities in the south and in Puerto Rico, our President tweets about football players who supposedly disrespect the National Anthem. They have been raked over the coals for “taking a knee” while showing solidarity with one another about how Blacks are discriminated against day after day after day in our own country! Where is the justice in his act of tweeting? Where is the justice in helping those who need our help the most? While Rome burns, Nero fiddles…around!

Because Bill and I have rarely had to survive a disaster, and far smaller ones than what those in Houston, or Florida, or Puerto Rico are suffering, we can think that we live a pretty charmed life. Our lives have not been compromised by the weather or other natural disasters other than the plume of Mt. Saint Helen’s ash raining down on the city of Spokane, or the 135 mph winds that blew down power lines on the Olympic Peninsula when we lived there. We have never lacked for food, drinking water, or a bath, but we invited those who had to use our showers in our home in Aberdeen, WA. We have never had our car float down a street only to crash into others’ cars already floating on flood swelled streets. Our home has never burned to the ground because of fire disasters in the hills of California. Our furniture, along with my grandparent’s antique pieces I inherited, have never seen mold or mildew in the time we have had them in our homes. My mother’s piano still sits in our living room, ready at a second’s notice, to beg me to come run my fingers over the keys. I can become befuddled when my computer won’t work the way I want it to, but I have never been in a situation where I could not contact my friends or little family in case of a real emergency.

Those of us who have not been to hell and back, have a great deal to be thankful for in our nation of plenty. We go about our daily tasks as if the rest of the world will catch up to us……someday! We go to our Kroger store and it will be the same as it was two weeks ago, with shelves stocked neatly from top to bottom with food and items only we know what to do with. We attend our church services because we can drive to the church of our choice to worship God. We have access to so many of life’s “necessities,” and we get to choose who and how we worship.

Let’s face it, America, we have things pretty good here in our neighborhoods where we watch little children ride their bikes to school, or take the big yellow bus. And those of us who believe that our country is rich in attributes and that all is well, need to wake up and smell the coffee burning in the coffee makers of places we rarely visit or have seen at all. All that good only lasts until we elect a President who is clueless, immature, mysogyinistic, and treats women as objects for his enjoyment! His cabinet members and White House staff have been appointed then fired sometimes within weeks of their appointments. Mr. Trump hasn’t ever run a business that is as large as this country, and doesn’t have a clue how to run this country either!

It is time for us to stand up and be counted, and find ourselves helping our neighbors when the government gets bogged down by bureaucracy , rather than thinking of real people out there who need us and we know how to help-one person at a time, one day at a time, one moment at a time. It is time for us to lay our prejudices aside and become people who God can be proud to call us God’s people.

If you are one who is guilty of bigotry, try walking in someone else’s shoes for just one day. If you are guilty of not lifting a finger to help those in need, take a trip to Puerto Rico to find out what it is like to be in their situation. If you are guilty of treating women like they really don’t have brains and are not good for anything other than raising children and satisfying you, walk in their shoes when you receive your female pay check! It doesn’t have as many zeros as a man’s paycheck for doing the same work that you have done over the past 10 years. If you think women are stupid, try walking into a hospital or doctor’s office where there are no other men there but patients sitting in the waiting room waiting to be helped by all those female nurses and doctors. If you deplore the idea of women being in the military, try putting on their uniform and walking in their shoes over miles and miles of terrain, carrying their dogs on their backs. That would make some men weep. If you think that women should be paid less than their male counterparts for the same work, try living on their paycheck for a year. Try feeding a family with six kids, while a spouse or boyfriend sits in jail, waiting to be let go so he/she can get high again on drugs, or beat the daylights out of their spouses, girlfriends, or children.

All it is, really, is attempting to walk in someone else’s shoes who have it far worse than you do. Spend a few nights on a park bench or under an overpass in the winter with no coat or blanket to put over you so you can sleep comfortably. Try to literally walk in shoes which don’t fit, which have holes in the bottoms of them, or which have to be shared with others. Try paying bills when the last pay check went for the rent, and they have nothing left over for, God help us, health insurance! America has lost its way when we have lost our capacity to truly identify with how others must live because they can’t get a job in their neighborhood. Change places with those who really have nothing to share, nothing to eat, nothing to give as a gift to someone else, then see how long it takes you to change your viewpoint on how a large portion of America is forced to live its REAL Life! Makes the likes of a place like Mar-A-Lago look like a laughing stock of the rich and famous.

Go out and DO SOMETHING for others, today!

Find your compassion, and give it away to someone who needs it, desperately!

With deep compassion,

Kathy

 

Associate Editor’s blog – Bittersweet

Kathy Peterson

 

Kathleen Parrish Peterson, Still Faith-FULL’S
Associate Editor and Art Director. Kathy is a retired
Interior Designer and college instructor of Interior Design.
In addition, she owned her own art and design business for over
45 years. She continues to be an active artist, author, photographer,
and writer for art submissions included in Still Faith-FULL.

 

book

 

If you have been reading my blog on art, design, and other topics, I would like to encourage you, or others you may know, to read my book, called “One Woman’s Journey:  From Abuse to Empowerment.”  If you know of any women in your life who have experienced abuse at the hands of others in a family, this is worth a read.  Please feel free to pass it along to others who you feel might benefit from it.  You may read it and/or download it free online at stillfaith-full.com.  Go to ‘Just Kathy’ on the Home page, hover over the drop-down menu, and click on E-Book.  You can read feed back on the website that I have received on it from other readers.  Know that I would appreciate your feedback on it as well.

Kathy


Today’s Associate Editor’s Choice Entry

Photo from the web

 


Bittersweet:
Reflections on Transition and Transformation

(Originally composed by Kathy
on 1/20/2000. Edited on 7/19/14)

 

Bittersweet, the bright orange-berried bush of gray fall skies.
In it’s glory, straggling here and there, sometimes drooping of its own weight.
It comes begging to us who seek it near roadsides and railroad tracks.

“Come amble with me in places I will take you” it calls to our sense of adventure.

 

Living in contrasts, we wander about, dragging our bodies with us.
Then our souls catch up and search the by-ways for meaning,
     The Spirit is found in the most unexpected places.
Bittersweet is our existence in transition.
Daily we trek in the woods seeking bright berries of delight, not quite
     Certain what lies ahead.
Experiencing visions of truth that we can be transformed by the

     Great Spirit’s compassion, understanding, and promise of a new day.

 

What if…..we could not experience the Great Spirit,
What if…..we felt no love from others,
What if…..we didn’t love ourselves?
What if…..we didn’t want to serve others,
What if…..we could not love our neighbors,
What if…..we weren’t allowed to pursue the Great Spirit’s

presence in ways that are meaningful to us?

 

What if…..we began to listen to the Great Spirit,
What if…..we cared deeply for the least of these our brothers and sisters,
What if…..we loved our enemies in spite of themselves and……ourselves?
What if…..we thanked the Great Spirit for each new day,
What if…..we knew in our heart and soul that we were loveable?
What if…..our spirits longed for a life filled with hope,
promise and loving kindness?
What if…..we actually received these gifts?

 

These are the Bittersweet days of transition and transformation.
Our spirit knows we need both to balance the delicate threads of our existence.
The Great Spirit beckons us to “Come amble with me in places only I can take you.”
Walk my trails, search my soul, and I will present you with the wonders of the universe and the magnitude of my blessing.

I will show you the completed transition which you so longingly seek.

 

Follow me in my off-beat manner, wandering in and out of
cities of temptation,to aide you in character building.
Walk beside me in forests of branches filled with soft enclosures of  knowing.

Swim with me in deep waters of rest and renewal.

 

Ask for my identification and I will reveal it to you in
stair steps you have never considered.
For it is with love and compassion that I single you out this day,
to  experience life in its full purpose and dimension.
Come, walk with me, and I will exceed your expectations.
For it is in the giving up of life,
that we find the soul.
Kathy