Remembering our Veteran

How can a person say “Happy” Memorial Day when the memories can be so bittersweet? For some of us the memory is still quite raw. My family lost our Veteran just last August.


He had been a quadriplegic since his accident in 1974 I believe. May have been 1973. I was there when we got the call. I was there a bit later when he came home. I have no photo to share of him strapped into a wheelchair, a Stryker frame drilled into his skull, and that also strapped to the wheelchair. He was jaundiced quite badly, emaciated. His neck and every bone downward had been broken. His spinal cord had been mostly severed. Yet he was determined to walk. And he did!

It wasn’t until several years later that I married him. We had an unusual life but good all the same. 12 years later, though, I was frustrated and stupid, and took our daughter and handed him a divorce. Even so, we remained friends. He still loved me. Truth be told, I still loved him too. He was a constant part of our lives for the next 17 years. We had talked to length and I was helping him to try and get a handicap equipped house. I was once again going to be his personal care giver.  After all those years, though, our government resources had failed him. He was struggling, looking quite emaciated once again. And then He got to celebrate the second greatest thing to ever happen in his life. (The birth of our daughter was the first 🙂  Our daughter had her first baby, our very first grandchild!


One month later, shortly after coming to visit, he was killed, along with two other people in the other car that hit him head on.

Those memories of that day are ones that EVERY lover of veterans lost will know quite well. I can scarce share even now.


The salutes from the local VFW chapter touched me deeply. He was so proud to have been a Soldier.


Then the tears of seeing his Urn at the grave sight.  I never wanted to steal something and run as badly as I did at this moment.


The twenty one gun salute. There were only 7 men available for this service so they fired 3 times each together. It was loud and amazing all at the same time. I was in a dream.


And then our daughter was handed the flag that stood beside him throughout the funeral. Our son-in-law and His mother sit beside, with his mother holding our grandchild. His favorite hat lay in our girl’s lap. Some of His veteran friends can be seen standing at ease in the background. The Marine with the beard was to die just nine months later. The last thing the friend told his wife was that he was going to go see our Veteran.   😥

I personally took these photos. If they are blurred it is because they are seen through tears.

I am crying still.

Please, remember your Veteran this Memorial Day.

~  Bonnie





Painting in the Park


Howdy Ya’ll!

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in South Eastern Illinois. I got stir crazy to get away from the apartment so this is what I decided to do. I took my dog and some painting projects to the conservation area north of where I live. As it turned out I was the only one there all day! I love being away from the hub-bub of the apartment and the “city”. Birds and frogs sang to me all afternoon.   🙂


This conservation area is quite large, several hundred acres I believe. There are a few lakes and ponds for fishing and plenty of hunting. This area I settled into is the “park” area where there’s an easy access lake, the one shelter building, plenty of frisbie throwing space, and a couple of out houses. Yep, they still exist in my part of the world.    🙂     Since this is a primitive area I had to pack my own water. I’ll have to remember to bring more for the next time. Too bad there’s no camping allowed here. I could have stay for a couple days.


My companion dog, Daisy, loves having the space to sniff and mosey. She tucked her tail in this pic because I had called for her and she thought she was in trouble. She never gets very far away from me. When she does she is always sure to keep me in her sight. Poor thing is 13 years old and doesn’t see as well now.  It’s nice here when nobody is around because I can let her off the leash. Of course, I seldom ever need to use the leash.


Until the next time….enjoy your life! It’s the only one you have on this side of Jordan.   🙂



DIY-Dea…Picture Hanging

Howdy Ya’ll!

It dawned on me earlier today that I have failed to share my quirky DIY-deas for all of you that enjoy DIY. The old adage goes “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. Believe me when I tell you that I am nearly an expert at this when it comes to my crafting and artwork. I can never seem to find what I need at the store. Even the simplest of items evade me! Soooo, I am always stuck having to “invent” or completely make my own items. Through much frustration and trial and error I thought I should share this one 🙂

I had been fussing on how to hang this jewelry/bow keeper that I’ve been working on for nearly two weeks. At first I had thought to rob an old sawtooth hanger from one of my many frames stash. Nope. They had all been pulled or the frames had the screw eyes and wire hanging option. (I always wonder WHY art galleries want this particular style of hanger when there’s so many more creative options!).

Then I thought, pooh, I’ll just go to the store. Huh. They only had huge ones or the type that you tap in with a hammer. Too big and not strong enough. THEN I thought fine, I’ll just buy a cheep frame and steel the hanger from that. Well, couldn’t find a small frame that had a sawtooth hanger! They were all either stand up frames or had those little triangle tags to hang by. Not good. I gave up for that day.

Then, this morning, inspiration hit when my eyes fell on a vintage purse I had hanging in the bathroom (yeah, stupid place for a purse to hang…).  The purse has a chain handle. I thought “what if I used chain to hang my art piece?”.  So I set out to scour through still more of my stash. This is what I found and confiscated for the greater good:


It was a beast getting the other half of the chain off of it! Oh, I should tell you that this was a cheap bracelet I had previously either bought or somebody gave me. I am always picking up old jewelry to work with.   🙂

Then I went hunting for some screws. Before the kids moved me several years ago I could have found my stash in no time flat. Not so now. I have no idea where my jar of hardware has gone. Instead, I ravaged through junk drawers until I found screws that weren’t too long and that were “do-able”. Go figure….they wouldn’t fit through the chain! Sooo, back to the junk drawer. I finally settled for this:


Doesn’t nearly everybody have some of these in the back of a junk drawer? The nails look huge in this photo…trust me, though, they aren’t that big. Perfect for my frame after checking to make sure they weren’t so long that they would poke out the front. They fit through the chain perfect and the head of the nail was just right for securing the chain without the chain pulling off. YAY!

So here is what it looks like. I did remember to make sure the chain had some give to it. Almost didn’t though. That would have been a tragedy!  My apologies for it being slightly out of focus….I think you can still see what I did with the chain.


Are you curious to see what my finished piece looks like?  When it had it’s photo shoot I completely forgot to put a bow on   🙂 

I think you can fill in the blank. You are that creative with your mind, right? After all, we ARE DIY-er’s.

Here is the grand reveal:


I will be listing this in my Etsy shop later. I sure hope you have enjoyed travelling with me through this DIY share.

Find me on Etsy here:


Until the next time….guard your fingers from the hammer!



My wonderful friend Julianne make some incredible rugs! Read about her newest accomplishments and be sure to give her a shout out! Don’t forget to tell her that Bonnie sent you 🙂


Chatting with Julianne Boyle from Aussie Shout-outs

(aka Hook and Linen)


Have you seen Aussie Shout-outs on Google+?

CaptureWe’re often told

build relationships because people buy from people they know, like and trust.
Give first, before you receive.
Ask how you can help others without worrying how they can help you.
All great advice but I often feel that people implement it with the underlying motive of “If I do this, I’ll get something out of it at the end” rather than from a place of genuine connection.

Not so with Aussie Shout-outs…….. read more here

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Happy Mother’s Day in the USA!

Happy Mother’s Day to all! If you assist in the raising of children, whether male or female, my sincerest wishes go out to you!

On Saturday I was blessed to spend my entire day with both of my daughters and granddaughter. My eldest and I tag-teamed caring for the baby while my youngest cooked apples for her. Later we all changed clothes and my youngest did our hair and makeup. When her husband got off work he joined us as our photographer and baby carrier!   🙂   We had a “Mother’s Day” photo shoot!  Here are a few pix:


He’s so wonderful! He’s even holding my little purse!  🙂


Me and my girls! I feel like the older I get, the more American Indian I can see in my face. I see it in my eldest girl too!


If you look close you can see that the entire field is CLOVER….Looky at what we found:


The one in the center of the pic had even been mowed over! My youngest managed to find that one.

Onward. Today, Sunday, Mother’s Day, I was blessed to attend worship service with the family in the morning. Then, about mid afternoon, I embarked on a treasure hunt of sorts. Let me explain.

For many years I lived alone with my girls. We never had money for spending on some of the simplest of things, like buying flowers. So, we got creative and found a way around it! We went digging for flowers! As a family we would embark on our quest with a shovel (sometimes a broken one and other times just a hand held garden version), a few trash bags, maybe a box or a bucket, and our wits. I usually packed along drinks in their sip cups and a few snacks. We would hunt for flowers along roadsides, by abandoned houses or properties in the country, near old forgotten cemeteries, even in cow pastures! A few times we found flowers near the river bottoms along farm levees too. We’ve had some beautiful gardens that loved us back every year! I always hated leaving them behind when we had to move again. But that always gave us cause to go flower hunting again 🙂

So today, remembering my girls and some irises we had previously spotted, I borrowed my youngest’ shovel and a big garden fork. As it worked out I never even had to use the shovel! Here’s a picture of the sad, sad shape of how I found the irises:


Hard to see them through all the poison ivy! Hope I don’t get infected with that horrible stuff!

And finally, here is my newest treasure:


The orange hint of something seen in the bucket is a brick I found that was marked as made in St. Louis, Missouri. That is an added bonus for me! I love treasuring hunting this way!

I will be keeping these in the bucket for a little while. I don’t have my own yard yet. Soon…..And when it happens I will be documenting EVERYTHING, including the planting of these irises that I found for free.

Hey! Have any of you ever done something like this? Drop me a comment! I look forward to sharing with ya’ll  🙂

Until next time….

Hug your Mom!



Winner at The Art Show!

Howdy ya’ll!

It has been a great weekend. I know it’s Tuesday but it still feels like weekend to me! Just now getting the chance to post! Nearly everyone has heard the saying “A day late and a dollar short”.  Well, I may be a day late but I’m twenty dollars ahead! Doesn’t sound like much but it means the world to me! I got a third place ribbon at the Fife Opera House 26th Annual Art Show!!!


There weren’t as many artist’ on display this year. I was told that many art shows across the USA are down in participation. Too bad because we have some outstanding artists here in the Midwest! Take a peek:


Did you see my Cat’s Catch bottle sculpture?   🙂


This is Steve Meadows’ grand prize winner. He comes up with some truly unusual pieces!

Here he is receiving one of his many awards from Karla Ries. She is the visual arts chair person for Crawford County Arts. The kilted gentleman in the background is another artist, Mr. Stephen O. Griffith. He makes mixed media paintings.



Here I am talking with the 2014 Show Judge, Mr. Michael Schuetz. He is the Assistant Director at the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University located in Champaign Illinois. The man has numerous degrees in Art and is well acclaimed. Far too much information for me to list in a blog.   🙂   Another gifted artist is seen in the background, Mr. David Pigg. He is a pencil artist and has won numerous awards as well.


Me with my award   🙂

Last but most definitely not least I can now share with you the WONDERFUL final display from my friend and colleague, David Dooley. Sadly, this is his final show. He lost his life in a horrific auto accident less than a month ago. His wife was kind to bring his entries for display post mortem.


His works are all colored pencil. It is not difficult to see why he was a Master. Sadly missed now that he is gone.

I hope you have enjoyed taking a peek in my little corner of the Midwest. Life in the Whole is definitely good and I am blessed!

Until next time…..enjoy the life you have. You only get to live it once.
















Spring Art Show at the Fyfe!

Howdy neighbors!

I wanted to share a bit with ya’ll about the wonderful Art Show I have entered this year. It is held at The Fyfe Opera House in Palestine, Illinois, USA. This wonderful old opera house is on the National Registry of Historic Buildings! Take a look:

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If you would like to see more photos of the marvelous interior or are interested in the history of Palestine you can Google it  🙂

 Today I delivered my limit of three items for this show. Here is the first one:


Sorry about the picture quality. It was a bit dark but using my flash kept glaring off the glaze! This piece is titled “Beagle Dreams” and is a 3D collage. I made this from an assortment of boxes. The ball in front is also 3D. Took a while to make that sucker! The fire hydrant was also assembled as were the trees. The entire work is on a wooden picture frame. A person could still insert a photo from the back with glass if they desire. I try to keep my artwork “workable” for the buyer.

Here’s the next piece:

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This one is titled “Cat’s Catch”.  As you can see, the “catch of the day” is moveable. This is a recycle plastic piece made from approximately 9 two liter bottles, a plastic Easter egg, a milk jug, paint, glass, and zip tie. This was hard getting together but I loved every minute of it! You can’t see the tail very well in these pix. It is a spiral of plastic so it “bobs” 🙂  What fun!

And here is the final piece:

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This one is titled “Hatter’s Centerpiece”. It is a Utilitarian piece. The hat is made from tin cans, paper, plastic, and various embellishments. It can be removed from the glass that is seen underneath. THAT glass is permanently attached to the painted brass candle stand. The jam jar and the Red Queen’s Pitcher are also removable. Also, the chain with spoon is removable for cleaning as is the crown on the pitcher. The crown is made from a ribbon spool, bridal lace, pearls, and embellishments. It ties on with satin ribbon.

I am SOOOO excited about this show! I missed it last year due to illness. On a sad note, this year we will be missing one of our BEST artists. David Dooley was a teacher, a colleague, and a friend of mine. A Master at colored pencils. He was quite well known. Sadly he lost his life in a tragic accident less than a month ago. But, his memory is with us as will be his wife, my friend, Debra, at the artist’ reception Saturday evening. I look forward to that. I would share some pix of David but in respect to the family I shall refrain at this time. You can, however, Google Image him under David Dooley colored pencil artist. 🙂 

Another world renowned artist that I have the pleasure of hob-knobbing with is Steve Meadows. He is known for his quirky folk art! Here’s a picture of him with just a couple of his pieces:


He can be found on Facebook here:

Be sure to look at some of his WONDERFUL folk art!

I am SOOO blessed to be a simple artist in the company of many Artist’s that are so very well known in America. And to be able to talk to them like I am talking to ya’ll here is an experience that nobody can ever take away from me. Today I am relishing living my Life in the Whole….

Blessings ~