Month: July 2015

Clay Pots

Clay Pots

While getting my art degree, I took some ceramic classes.  Although I did not pursue being a potter, it has become a valuable skill to have.  I have made artifacts for my archaeology units.  I have made items for my Bible museum.  I have made 

Second Chances

Second Chances

I am always experimenting with different painting techniques.  Sometime I like the outcome, sometimes I don’t.   This was one of my discarded paintings I gave a second chance.  Working in some pointillism gave the picture some new life, which it desperately needed.  Sometimes my finished 

Sally the Cow

Sally the Cow

My husband was a music teacher for many years.  One day a student came to him and said, “Mr. Adams, everyone says you will buy anything.  Is that true?”

“Well, I might.  What have you got for sale?”

The student shared that their mom and dad was making them sell their pet calf which was now a two year old cow.
That evening we drove out to their farm.  Their mom and dad came out to greet us.  My husband explained why we were there.

We soon learned that the kids had begged for a pet.  Their dad finally agreed they could raise a calf.  As the calf grew it was getting harder to be a pet.  One stormy evening their mom and dad had went out for the evening and left the kids at home.  The kids decided the calf would be scared in the rain and storm.  They brought the calf in the house.  When their parents returned the kids and calf were lying on the living room floor watching tv and eating popcorn.  That was the day their parents said it was time to sell the calf.

We bought Sally and brought her home.  She was a most unique cow.  We became quite attached to Sally.  There are many fun stories to tell about her.   I am planning on Sally being the main character in my next book for children.

The Ozark Hills

The Ozark Hills

For a number of years we lived in the Osceola area.  We first moved to my husband’s family farm near Rockville, Missouri. The old two story farmhouse was still there, but it looked a bit like a haunted house; very run down, ragged curtains hanging 

The Big Catch

The Big Catch

I guess I have shared a few fishing stories, but this is one of my favorite.  We had a big pond on our farm.  Daddy had put some catfish in it a few years earlier, but we had been raising turkeys and everyone was always 

The Old Rain Barrel

The Old Rain Barrel

We are so accustomed to the modern conveniences of indoor plumbing, speedy transportation and now communication in the blink of an eye.  When we look at the timeline of history, we could say we’ve only had them  a few short days.

During most of my grandparents lives they did not have any of those things.  Transportation was horse and buggy.  Communication was  the postal service and running water was at the creek.

Many families kept a rain barrel out to catch rain water.  I still remember the old rain tub that used to sit by grandpa and grandma’s house.  We were not to play in it and waste the water.  The rainwater was soft and could be useful in many ways.

My grandmother was 18 inches around the waist when she got married.  She was a very tiny woman.  She always had beautiful long black hair.  Most of the time she braided it and wrapped the braids around her head.  She would use the rain water to wash her hair.  It made her hair really soft.  We didn’t often see her hair since she wore it up all the time.  Occasionally we would get to spend the night. She would take out the braids before bedtime.   I loved to feel her long, soft, thick black hair and watch her comb it out.  it had beautiful waves from being in braids all day.   Even as it began to gray it was still long soft and thick.  And she still wore it in long braids wrapped around her head.

Candy for the Orphans

Candy for the Orphans

This painting is another illustration from my children’s book, “The Shiny New Red Accordion.”  My husband served in the Vietnam War.  One of the things that impacted him most was the orphans living in a small town outside Long Binh.  Even today, he cannot share 

The Hayride

The Hayride

The fall of the year is so beautiful.   One of the beauties of living in this area is the beautiful color palette of the hillsides.  When I was little,  I remember always being worried when the leaves fell off.  I thought they might not grow 

Milking Days

Milking Days

During the late 40s many small farms had some milk cows.  My grandpa had several on his farm.   To my suprise, they were herfords.  His best milk cow was Old Helen.  When she had a calf, Helen could feed her calf and still leave about a gallon of milk for grandpa.

Mother and daddy also had milk cows.  They had some Guernsey and some Jerseys.  They sold milk to the milk plant located in Warsaw, Missouri.  The milkman came everyday.  Daddy would have one or two cream cans full of milk.   The milkman would load daddy’s milk in his truck and leave him one or two new cream cans for the next day’s milk.  There was no refrigeration so I’m sure daddy had to milk just before the milk truck came.

We didn’t sell milk when I was growing up, but we did always have a milk cow for our own milk.  Sugar Babe was the milk cow we all learned how to milk on.  She was very gentle and easy to milk.  But she was a bit persnickety.    You had to get on just the right side to milk her.  You could anticipate getting swished by her tail a few times while you were milking her.  And you needed to keep one eye on her hind leg, knowing that at any moment, sometimes reasons unknown, her hind leg would fly up and kick your milk bucket over.   Oh, also she wouldn’t stand still unless her feed bucket had plenty of good stuff in it to eat.

I’m sure many of you who are reading this story have at one time or another milked a cow and could share your own personal account of the experience.  Cows do pretty much have their own personalities and their own little quirks, thus making everyone’s experience unique.

Grandma’s Piano

Grandma’s Piano

I am sure if you have been viewing my paintings you have also seen the children’s books I have published.  I decided to share a few of the paintings that make up the illustrations in the stories.  This picture is from “The Little Red Accordion”.  

Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

Summertime is my favorite season, but each season has its own beauty and with it special memories.  The fall of the year often brought relief from the hot summer days and with it new activities. As the chill hit the air and the fall winds 

To Grandmother’s House We Go

To Grandmother’s House We Go

Going to  grandpa and grandma’s house was always fun.  I loved the drive there.  They lived on Kolb Hollow Road.  It ran between Climax Springs and Macks Creek.  It was a gravel road, more like a wide path.  The huge trees on each side spread their branches across the road making a living tunnel.   When you reached their drive it opened into a grassy hillside with a little lane that led to their door.   Grandma would often be at the door waving to us.  I’m sure she had heard us coming.  The guineas never let anyone drive up without announcing their arrival.

The little kitchen was not very modern.  There was no indoor plumbing.  The water bucket sat on the counter with a big dipper in it.  We all used the same dipper to drink from.  In the middle of the living room sat the old wood heating stove.  Around the room was a sofa and two big chairs.  One chair was grandpa’s.  We all knew that was grandpa’s chair.  Beside it sat his spittoon.  On the table near his chair was an old radio.  It usually wasn’t on while we were there, but I’m sure grandpa had a regular time each day he listened to it.

We spent most of our time outside playing under the huge trees in the yard or swinging on the front porch.  The reflection of such a peacful and beautiful setting warms my heart and reminds me how blessed I have been.  As I stand at the door waving and welcoming my grandchildren I hope their memories of visiting our house will one day warm their hearts.

This painting is not a picture of my grandparents place.  But it so reminds me of the landscape down Kolb Hollow Road.  It is an oil on stretched canvas.  It is an 11″X 14″.

Nehemiah’s Prayer

Nehemiah’s Prayer

A couple of years ago I designed a curriculum for our VBS.  It was a reenactment of the book of Nehemiah, a book I have come to love.  What an amazing man Nehemiah was!  The students acted out the whole story; building the wall, putting 

God’s Perfect Peace

God’s Perfect Peace

Recently my father and I drove around the area of Climax Springs, Missouri.  He pointed out a number of places where memorable events had taken place.  Some I had heard mother and he talk about before.  Others were new stories. They had many good friends 

The Fishing Hole

The Fishing Hole

This painting hangs at my father’s house.  It is one of the paintings I did when I got out of college.  It was inspired by a photograph I had seen.  I was teaching at Macks Creek at the time and it reminded me of some of the areas around there.

I love the streams that flow near Climax Springs and Macks Creek.  They were the swimming holes and baptismal places all the years I was growing up.  We enjoyed swim parties and family picnics along their banks.

I love the clear gravel bottom of these streams.  You can see all the rocks and critters in the water.  My favorite thing to do is go fishing there.

After I got married, John and I would go fishing in these streams.  We would clip our stringer and bait case to our pants.  Then we would walk down the center of the stream casting our line to the side.  We could catch a good mess of fish in no time.   Most of the stream were less than waist deep so it was easy to wade through.  And of course we enjoyed a delicious meal that evening.  Great memories!

Going to the State Fair

Going to the State Fair

I found a photograph of this picture in the family picture box.  I loved it and painted the picture.  Later I asked my father about it.  The story was as much fun as the picture.  Mr. Wisman owned a feed store in Climax Springs.  In 

Sisters

Sisters

When we were little my sister and I were very close.  We played dolls together, giggled a lot and anything she did I thought I could do too.  As we got older our interest seem to stray in different directions.  It didn’t help that she 

Farm Chores

Farm Chores

There was always plenty to do on the farm.  During the school year there was morning chores and evening chores.  During the summer there was often all day chores.  Cutting and stacking wood for the heating stove was a priority.  That would be our only source of heat for the winter.  We also cut sprouts to help keep the pastures cleared.  I remember I had just gotten my new glasses, which I really didn’t want to have to wear glasses.  I felt like everyone would laugh at me.  I hoped they would just go away.    I was helping my brothers chop sprouts when a sprout flew back and knocked my glasses off.  We couldn’t find them anywhere.  Now I really wanted them.  I was afraid they were lost and broken.  I felt bad I had not wanted to have to wear glasses.  We finally found them.  I was so relieved.

Gardening was another important summer responsibility.    Daddy would plow out the garden spot in early spring.  To no ones surprise, dozens of rocks had grown over the winter.  It happened every year.  Of course it was our job to pick them up in preparation for planting.  Daddy always said it was time for us to practice some good P.R.  That would referenced “picking up rocks.”  We did get lots of good P.R.  It was probably some of the best training we got.  Some patience, endurance, physical strength and team work came from our effort.

So glad we were able to raise our sons on a farm where they could get some of that good P.R. training.  This painting was inspired from a picture of my sons helping their dad gather our winter wood.

Home-canned Delivery

Home-canned Delivery

I am not sure why, but I like painting old cars.  I was facinated with the story connected to this one.  My parents were always active in their church.  During the late 40s their pastor responded to the need for food at the Baptist Old 

Cousin Camp

Cousin Camp

So much of my life has been dedicated to working with children.  As a young mom I looked for ways to enrich the lives of my own children.  Not just with extracurricular activities, but with activities that would teach and develop good character.  With the 

Life’s Journey

Life’s Journey

We have taken several vacations over the years, but my favorites were those at the beach.  I loved the splashing waves, the ocean breezes, the beautiful views and the warm sunshine.

We would say, all of the places we go and the things we do make up our life’s journey.  And every journey should be journaled.  As I journal each day I have a heightened sense of why I do things and how I do them.   I have come to understand that our journey is not the places we go or the things we do.  It is the character of our life,  the contibutions of our lives and the communications of our lives that make up our journey.

Weathering the Storms

Weathering the Storms

Painting a picture does not come easy for me.  I don’t seem to have that natural talent of the masters.  I don’t even seem to have a specific style.   But I have a real passion to paint and create.  The inspiration for this painting came