Going through some of the old pictures, I loved remembering these times.
This picture today is a thoroughbred horse I painted for practice. I have painted a lot of horses in the last 60 years and it has always been a pleasure. People treasure their horses, there is a special bond between them. Ranchers use quarter horses in Texas, I painted a quarter horse for someone who was giving it to her husband for Christmas one year. She gave me a photograph to go by, mesquite tree, calache road and their recognizable ranch land in the background. This was going to be an easy one. I loved doing it, but I did ‘doctor up’ it up just a little, you know, a little more muscle, longer legs, what I thought would enhance it. I showed it to Jim Cawley ~a horse expert and friend~ to have him critique it before I delivered it . His comment was, “Dang, that is a fine horse but that is NOT Bob’s horse!”, so I started over from scratch and painted Bob’s real horse. Jim taught me a lot about horses, I have had to remove the perfectly painted whiskers in a horse portrait, re-work the eyes (moon eyes are not acceptable) and every horse has to be the exact color. Horses have four legs, sometimes I would have liked to have painted them standing in tall grass, the legs are no fun.
It is official, I have declared war on the coons. No more whining and getting all stressed, they have to go. When I was seeing so many green apricots under my big tree, I though it was the wind. Then one morning I went out to find all the apricots off the tree and half eaten ones covering the ground. It was coons! I set the live trap and had caught a big coon by the next morning. It was Sunday and I decided that was too much to handle and then go to church so I turned him loose. Then on Monday I found another coon in the trap and I tried my .22 but it only clicked, it didn’t fire. I was losing my courage but sat down and tried to figure out what was wrong with the gun. I could see two bullets jammed in the barrel. Not good. So I got the smaller .22 that Austin had loaned me but could not find the trick to loading it.. It was a strange little gun and it had been a while since he had showed me how shoot it. I put water and food in the live trap and a burlap sack over the top to shade the coon while and studied the gun situation. Finally around 3:00 in the afternoon, I figured it out, I pushed a lever and it dropped down and there was a little hole where I could put in the shell. I shot the coon. I hauled him off to the pasture. As I was checking my other new fruit trees, I found my 3 year old Loren peach tree (I had lovingly nurtured from a seed) with it’s 12 peaches gone and tender young branches broken and hanging. I had put 6 ft. wire cages around all my new fruit trees but a coon can climb right over the top. Last night I set the live trap and found it on it’s side this morning, the door wasn’t even snapped. No coon and no can of Special Dinner cat food. I won’t give up until I get them, this is war~
It was such a shock, Mother tried to tell us how big the water was but I kept thinking of the river at Christoval and with some trees standing out in the middle of the water. There were no trees in this water! As far as you could see, nothing but water. The waves were white with foam as they rolled up on the sandy beach. It was magical. We went to the coast many times after that but it could never compare to that first time.
I painted animal pictures from when I was in Kenya, and found some wonderful tableware on Amazon. When the workers went home in the evenings, I would run out and set things up to see how everything looked.
The six double windows are large and insulated, Frank Cranik came and installed a vent from the heating and cooling unit so it is perfect winter and summer, it is a dream room. Tomorrow I will show you the new sun room all finished.
A project that has been in the works since last summer came to an exciting conclusion during this Christmas visit to Kitale, Kenya at the Children’s Rescue Centre. This summer Paul and Lisa made the trip to work six weeks at the orphanage on projects and teach the children about Jesus. (He was also there to visit with Elizabeth, our missionary/nurse). They found that new mattresses were desperately needed. The children were sleeping on molding and foul smelling foam pads. When they came back home, Lisa Dees talked to different Baptist Churches in her area and they, as well as other individuals made the funds available to buy the new beds for the children. What a blessing! Then a six months wait until a group could make the trip back to Kenya during Christmas and buy everything. Almost as soon as we arrived in Kitale, Lisa, Benton, Paul and Abbie went to town and found everything they needed. The mattresses were good ‘memory foam type’ and the prices were right. There was enough money to also buy Mattress covers, sheets, and blankets. They were delivered to the orphanage that same day on a pickup. Not exactly like a furniture truck delivery, there was a trick loading over twenty mattresses in the bed of the pickup. When they got there with them, the kids pulled their old beds out of their rooms and piled them some place to be hauled off, then unloaded the new ones.
Those who were big enough made their own beds up and then helped the younger kids with theirs.
With real sheets and blankets, everyone was wanting me to come and take their pictures with their new beds. There were two sets of bunk beds in each room.
What a wonderful time! A few days later, the team went to a hardware/paint store in town and bought pretty aqua and pale pink paint (Benton and Abbie chose the colors) and all the rooms were covered in fresh new paint. The painting was going to my job and Abbie’s but men from Eagle Vision Jesus Praise Centre volunteered to do it. What a thrill it was to see this dark drab place turned into something fresh and pretty. A huge ‘thank you’ to all who supported this effort, your prayers, love and gifts have made a difference, what a blessing~