Our Creative Family

I’M CURRENTLY CREATING A WEBSITE EXCLUSIVELY FOR MY ART.

The domain name is http://www.carolyneardleyart.com. I’m hoping it will be ready by Jan.1st, 2018. I do have some of my art here on the Art page. Check the menu in the upper right corner to give you an idea. Thank you for your patience during this transition.

There is also a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/carolyneardleyart

 

Front yard at Sunflower house in early summer

By Granny Eardley March 13, 2017

Oh grands what a beautiful spring we are having!! It should get up to 70 degrees tomorrow. I’m excited for the yard in our new home to begin looking like our Sunflower house (see above). There is a common area in the back of our property and many children and neighbors walking their dogs are out and about. I’m so enjoying having all of us live together. There haven’t been any issues and it’s great to see you in the morning and after you get home from school. Lately it seems like there are many accomplishments and recognitions you are receiving. I’m going to put them in this post, not to embarrass you, but to keep a memory for you later on down the road. What a wonderful creative family we have!!

Jaidyn, you have the honor of receiving the Presidential Scholarship and if you decide to attend the College of Idaho, you will receive a large amount in tuition for all four years. You also are one of the finalists for the Merit  Scholarship. You have worked very hard to keep your GPA up and stay busy with acts of service for others. Bless your heart, you don’t share these happenings with many because you stay humble. You deserve the recognition you receive and I as your granny can brag for you😊.

Caleb, you were inducted into the honor society last week. You also have the ability to use your mind and stay focused when doing your work. You enjoy playing the guitar, sax, and often play the piano, and this week you also started playing the flute. You seem to enjoy music and I enjoy hearing you play the music and sing.

Kelsee, my oh my,  a letter came for you this week saying you were going to receive a writing award. There were over 2000 students who submitted poetry for the event “Stories of Transformation” and your work will be published in a collection called “Our Gender Revolution”!! We are looking forward to seeing you being presented with your award. There will be a gathering at the Linen Building in April, and it should be fun and special to see all of the youth receive their awards. Plus, there is a little money included. How special is that?

Only 13 when she wrote this and yet able to put words together in a creative manner…..precious……by Kelsee Eardley I must say it gave me tears

Choices lead to change
She grew up
Knowing the cops
She grew up fearing her dad
She grew up with a family
Full of abuse
and anger

she could have carried on that life
like so many others,
chose to hurt
instead of heal
To harm
Instead of help

She had a son
she made a choice
She chose to change
she chose to love

a choice so simple
Yet so noble
the choice
That changed
my family

Sienna, you are the scientist in the family. I enjoy watching you use your mind and create tasty recipes. For being only 10 you like to make dishes completely homemade. And you like to use your creativity in changing recipes to see how to make them different.  Science and experiments make your brain kick into gear. Right now you enjoy making a variety of Slime, homemade with different ingredients. When you want me to open my mouth and taste something, I’m a little nervous about what new thing you have created.😍  You also love doing flips and back bends. I just want you to stay safe!!

I am so proud of all of you. Not a false pride, but a genuine feeling of gratitude seeing you make good choices and not repeat the choices I made as an adolescent. It’s hard to put into words to express these feelings adequately, but my heart just bursts for the love I have for all of you and your mom and dad included. I wish for you many more great moments in life. Realistically, I know there may be some struggles for you in the future. I only hope they are few.

 

February Thaw

By Granny Eardley..February 28, 2017

"Oxytocin Rising" 24 x24 acrylic/mixed media on canvas
“Oxytocin Rising”
24 x24 acrylic/mixed media on canvas

Wow grands, this has been one long winter! It snowed some in November, then it melted. The first week of December brought more snow, then during your Christmas break we had so much snow you were not even able to return to school for another week. Almost 3 weeks off for Christmas. Usually you would think this was great, but all of you became bored and looked forward to school starting again. It’s one thing to have time off when you are able to have fun, but there was so much snow we couldn’t even leave the house some days. Our street was covered with deep, deep snow until the city finally got out here to plow the roads. We could play games for a while and then we all needed a change.

Christmas was a little different due to Kelsee visiting relatives in Guam. She had a blast though so missing her was worth it. The best part about this Christmas was waking up and walking out of our room into the living room to watch you open your presents. When we still lived in our place, we would wake around 3:00 a. m. drive to your house. Being so close was much more convenient. And I know you all love convenience.

I’m still learning about painting. I love it so much and just feel the need to create. The blog from last time with the elephants was accepted by the Nampa Art Collective to be shown at the Nampa Civic Center. I submitted 5 and 3 were accepted. I was so surprised, and to think I almost called them to cancel my submissions because I was nervous about the rejection. See grands, when you get the chance to step outside your comfort zone take that chance!!! The painting above is my newest painting. It was in honor of all the young women and teens who allowed me to assist them during their pregnancies. I have submitted it to another juried show so we’ll see if it is accepted.

I know you don’t pay attention frequently to things I am doing, and I do repeat many of my stories as you like to point out. But I hope I’m also teaching you getting older is not so bad after all. We are always young enough to learn new things. And when we can find another passion later in life, grab a hold of that passion and live life to the fullest. Creating art heals my soul and heart. I feel alive after I have spent a few hours painting. Painting trees, shrubs, flowers, rivers and streams, and insects and animals…anything from the natural world inspires me. We need to protect our environment. It is important for you and your children’s children. The current political leaders want to reduce the EPA. They removed a law protecting waterways from pollution of dumping. I want my art to inspire many to act and protect. I hope you see it, enjoy it, and protect it. Love you grands!!!

Where Does The Time Go

img_1471By Granny Eardley Dec. 4, 2016

Well, here we are again, another 2 months have gone by and barely a whisper from me. I started to write in here a couple of times and then became sidetracked. I think moving caused my brain to go a bit fuzzy. Actually, I think the last 2 months with everything happening caused my brain to go a bit numb.

We are all under one roof now. It is rather amazing when you stop to think about it. But it shouldn’t be. Other cultures often have different generations living together, but for some reason ours does not do that as often. I think house sharing is great for all the generations. Not just Grandpa and me as we become elderly down the road, but even for all of you. Your parents are still the main caregivers for you, but we are available to help if they get overwhelmed by their jobs or have too many duties. Gramps has taken two of you to school, will joke with you even if you don’t find it funny. I have  tried to cook a couple of meals to help out your mom. I know you like her cooking best, but you all have been very gracious eating what I fix.

It has been a bit sad for me to move from my house. We have lived in it for more than 22 years and created and nice landscape that was maturing and finally providing shade. And all the memories that come with staying at one place for so long. Many many of those memories include you when you were all so small. We have spent so much time with you we figure it won’t be too different living together. But I know it will. I still hope we play games, and keep on laughing as much as we have done in the past. I will miss those times if they don’t happen now.

Here is something funny about moving into the new house. As gramps and I continued to pack things up our house became disorganized and cluttered so I was doing my painting at the end of the kitchen table. Painting is messy and after a few weeks the table looked terrible. As the building of the new house progressed a couple of you mentioned to me that I could put my art supplies inside the closet of the multipurpose room. After your dad mentioned to me we could get a cabinet to store my things in I finally picked up on the fact you all had seen my table and was hoping I would not make the new house look like the table. When I asked if he was having those thoughts he said, “yep, that’s pretty much how it went down”. So I am saying now I will not leave it looking like my table. 😜😜

I purchased a strong cart with 3 shelves, and I’m pretty sure it won’t break. The supplies I use frequently like acrylic paint, mediums, and stencils, will be there.  I plan to store the other supplies in the closet and also store my mosaic tiles in our closet on a bookshelf. We are downsizing and getting rid of junk so I don’t want the new place to look cluttered. It will be fun to work on our art together now. And just hang out around you. Please know as the weeks and months go by we love you all very much and if we become a little irritating or strange just talk to us about it. Communication is the key. Love you. Oh and the picture above is my latest painting. Hope you like it.

 

 

September is here

My favorite time of year

By Granny Eardley Sept. 11,  2016

Well grandkids I realize again I have neglected my writing in this blog. I have been focused on painting and learning more about that medium. I am getting better each week. And I have started writing again in my personal journal. I think recent events have caused me to reflect more and I would like to keep this more current.

I have been reflecting also about us all living together. The house is getting closer to being finished and in the next couple of months that time will be here. I become a little apprehensive because we have always been so close and I don’t want anything to happen to make that change. The positive reflections I have include seeing you everyday. Seeing you in the mornings before you leave for school, seeing you when you come home from school, and just hanging out with you creating art, reading to you at night, and helping to fix some dinners. But then I also reflect on some negatives. When we say something we think is funny, and yet you don’t think it is so funny, I hope you will let both of us know if it bothers you.

I am also excited to continue to be around you and watch you grow and develop. I want to know who you are and what you think about life as you mature. I don’t only want to know you as a child. This election year has been so different and we have had some laughs about my opinions and thoughts. You know what I think about Mr. Trump. He is not worthy of leading this country. I worry about your future and the future of your children if you have any. But I then remember each generation often will have these same worries, and yet we figure it out.

Well Grands, I love you dearly stay safe

July 2016

 

 

By Granny Eardley July 9, 2016

Well grand kids this has been a different summer. We have not taken you out for the one day each week. First we had doc appts, then it got way to hot, then we went to Pendleton to do the final closing on gramma Barb’s house. We did take Sienna with us for her special trip and had some laughs with her. I miss those times with all of you. The photos above are of our front yard. See how beautiful having a natural landscape can be? Our yard was certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a backyard habitat about 20 years ago. Birds, bees, and butterflies love to visit our yard. So special.

There is another issue that is preventing me from taking you on a great adventure, and that is my knees have been getting worse. I know I need to have the surgery for the replacement but I want to lose about 50 lbs so the surgery will be more successful. I’m thinking after the first of next year would be a better time. We will be moved into the new house by then. Plus, since I need to have both knees done we thought it would be better on our budget to have both in the same year.

I also have been having a difficult time swearing lately. Mostly while I am in the car, but it still is not appropriate to swear around you. Grandpa came up with the idea of paying you each a dollar if I swear around you. That can add up fast but mostly I just don’t want you to remember me being a “potty mouth”. I really want to be better before we move in together so you don’t have to hear that much.

I have been  busy this summer learning how to paint. I have posted some paintings in previous blogs and wanted to share with you some of my additional paintings. I’m having lots of fun learning and I can see some improvement in the 6 months I have tried. I’m a little self conscious about posting so anyone can see, but I want to encourage any others to take a chance and create some art. It has been therapeutic for me and during this time of limited mobility I have needed somethin new to stimulate my brain. They are posted in order of most recent down to the earlier ones. Kinda backwards maybe but easier for me to add. Love you all and thanks for inspiring me.

 

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This is another painting I did. My first one on canvas.

Im loving all the learning I’m doing and I hope I set an example that no matter the age we can all start something new in life.

Love you all

Granny

Sadness for Orlando and Turkey

By Granny Eardley June 30, 2016

Healing Grief
Healing Grief

Dear dear grands, what kind of world are we leaving to you? A couple of weeks ago there was a shooting at a club in Orlando and many people were killed. Then just this week another shooting and bombing at an airport in Turkey. You may not even know this happened because you are busy and don’t often pay attention to the news.

I often believe we are living in more violent times, and then I stop to realize each generation has violent times. The dance club the shooter entered was a club where LGBT people could go and have fun and dance. Most were very young in their twenties, just starting out their lives. I think of all four of you and how you will want to have fun with your friends as you go through adulthood. I so hope all of you never have to experience serious hurt or abuse. I pray you will be safe.

Right now I know you don’t drink alcohol or use drugs, and I hope you continue to not use substances that alter your brain. But it is also important for you to pay attention to your surroundings. I know we often make jokes about how I like to get someplace early so I can find a good seat. Mostly that is because I like to sit where I can see the door, or with my back towards the wall. That way I am able to see who is entering. I can also keep an eye on what is going on in the room. If I can give you any advice about situations like this, it would be to stay aware of your environment. Not to be paranoid but to be safe. Most people in this world are good people. Unfortunately, it seems like only a few sick people can cause fear.

I was so sad watching the news reports about Orlando. I decided to create a piece of art to help me process my grief and sadness. As a clinical social worker I understand the importance of allowing those feelings to come out in some manner. This time I chose to use painting. In the past I would use writing. I would also like to encourage you to allow your feelings to come forward. Try not to be ashamed of your emotions. There is a difference between feeling and thinking, and throughout your life it is important to share your grief as well as your joy. Being aware of your emotions is the beginning, and expressing those emotions will help them not get stuck.

I also have created some other pieces of art. We have often been creative when you visit, but usually I would watch you and not participate. Now that I am creating I can’t seem to stop. 😍😍😍 I want to practice every day. So I am adding my recent paintings to this post to share with you what I have done. There is some improvement from when I began painting and how I am painting now. Someone even asked me if I would like to exchange some of my art for jewelry she makes, and we are thinking about sharing a booth at a farmers market or an art fair next summer.

I’m not quite confident enough to put my paintings on canvas and sell them yet, but as I continue to practice and learn I will get better. Expressing the creative side of my personality is so fun and helps me with my pain. I hope you will try to learn new things throughout your lives. It will be exciting to see the adults you become. I love you dearly.

Summer time is here

By Granny Eardley June 1, 2016

Well grands school is out for the summer. This will be the first summer both grandpa and I have it off and can spend time with you. For the last 3 summers I have had Wednesday’s off and would come pick you up and we would have adventures. Some were very simple like going to the park on a picnic. Some were more daring going hiking up to Table Rock or Camels Back park.

We both love spending time with all of you. It is a little bittersweet as you all are getting older. Jaidyn turns 18 this year and will graduate next spring. She may have plans with friends this summer and may not go on our adventures as often. Hopefully, she will be able to join us once in a while.

The one bad thing this year is my knee has become so much worse. I will have the surgery in the next 6-8 months, but for now I just hobble with a cane. So I am not able to hike Table Rock, or even hardly walk. But we manage to still have some fun. When we are at our house we often will create art (picture above is my first canvas). Sometimes we play games, or watch a couple of funny TV shows. All of you seem to like Modern Family and we laugh a lot usually.

All of you still like to come for sleep-overs. That is special and we have done then since you were all very small. After you got a little older we would bring you one at a time. That way you were able to have a break from your siblings and receive one on one attention from us. Even Jaidyn still likes coming for sleep overs. Another idea I have had since you were small was to write you a letter each year on your birthday. I plan to give them to you when you graduate high school. I did this for your dad and it was a nice tradition.

Well grands enjoy the first few days of summer and I hope you make lots of fun memories. One day in another post I will share some of my memories of summer.

Living life fully

By Granny Eardley May 23, 2016

Well grands everything is finally moving forward in the right direction in regards to the new house being built. Your dad and mom and grandpa and I looked over the final plans and approved everything, so now they send it to the county to get the permit. Once they have the permit they will start the foundation. Then it should only take about 3-4 months. It will be so fun on Christmas morning not to have to drive to your house at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. We will already be there.

Eventually we will have a nice area in back with a hot tub to help our sore bones. And inside a great ER room for our art. I am so excited about that. We have about 4 or 5 windows in that room and plenty of space for all of us to create.

One of the areas of my life I am most proud is changing the cycle of abuse that had been in our family for generations. I made some mistakes but I was able to protect your daddy when he was little. I made the effort beginning in my pregnancy to learn new ways to discipline a child. The biggest thing I learned was discipline does not mean punishment. It is about education, not hurting. And young children should never experience bad touching. Children should only receive hugs and loving touch from their parents. Boundaries and personal space regarding our bodies is important. So please when the time comes you start having children, take the time to learn the best for your family.

I used to write poetry when I was young and I may begin again. Once my knees have been fixed and we can travel, I may not create quite as many pages, but I will have supplies with me and create some. I can’t seem to stop. Every day I just NEED to do this. Mostly just having fun getting messy and seeing what happens on the page. I highly encourage anyone who may be reading this to think about creating an ART JOURNAL. It is tons of fun!!!!!!

Messing up with blog

By Granny Eardley May 17, 2016

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Oh my goodness. I had not written in this blog for quite a few weeks, and then when I did write a post I put it under the pages section. For the life of me I couldn’t find it for a while. I became so frustrated, I just decided to stay away for a bit. I’m baaaack.

Grandkids I know you will think I am just so slow when it comes to tech stuff. And you are right. I should take a class and I just may do that one of these days. Right now though I am busy learning how to paint. Yes, that’s right, your granny is learning something new. Remember in a previous post I said we are never too old to learn new things? So this granny, who is 60, is beginning to learn how to paint. Right now with acrylics and soon with watercolors. Keeping an art journal helps me draw frequently. I will post 3 or 4 of my more recent pics. Most I like but one not so much.

The reason I started the art journal was because I was struggling with writing in my regular journal. Recently, when I would begin an entry in my writing journal, I would be finished after only 2-3 sentences. I was not in the mood. After writing one for 45 years this had me confused. When I had the counseling business I would often encourage some of my therapy clients to keep an art journal so I started keeping one myself. Oh what a change.

I am sleeping better, I have lost 6.5 lbs in the last 3 weeks. My knees even hurt a little less. With all of these positive changes, I will definitely continue the art journal. And once I get my knees fixed next year, I plan to attend an art retreat. I want to meet others who enjoy being creative. Between making mosaics, learning about colors and paint, I am staying busy in my new life of retirement. And my mind is being stimulated.

See grandkids it is never too late to learn new things. I plan to be a lifetime student and learn as many new things as possible. What a grand retirement it will be

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The Big Red Barn

Grandpa's barn has long been torn down, this one was similar.
Grandpa’s barn has long been torn down, but this one was similar. My cousin Lee Ann and I have many memories in grandpa’s barn.

By Granny Eardley Jan 15, 2016

One of the special activities our grandchildren enjoy when they visit, and may remember when they’re grown, is picking the berries on the Serviceberry shrubs. Each year as the berries plump and ripen, and go from green to red to almost purple, they would rush to pick the berries before the birds ate them all. Seeing them excited to be in the yard, watching them enjoy the natural environment, will often cause me to reflect on being in my grandpa and grandma’s yard.

My grandma was sixty seven when I was born, older than I am now. We spent a lot of time with her and grandpa while we were growing up. When I was six we lived with them for over a year during mom and dad’s divorce. Their little plot of land was the main place I could have fun, and use my imagination. They had a few acres with a pasture that held horses, and a few cows grandpa would raise, then sell to the butcher for meat. One of the best memories I have of their land was the huge red barn. It gave me a place to play, and a place to learn about the natural world. A place to dream. Most of all that big red barn gave me a place to feel safe.

The barn was located at the end of a long dirt driveway. There weren’t any trees planted near the barn, but the smell of fresh grass,  flowers, and moist dirt, would help me feel happy. As I headed towards the barn, I would usually pass by the shed to the right. It needed to be inspected for anyone inside who may follow me into the barn.  Standing on my toes, peeking inside the dirty window, I could see if any others were close. My siblings, cousins, and I would often play in the barn together, but I also enjoyed the times I could be alone. Sometimes I just didn’t want any of them following me, especially my siblings. The solitude I felt during these times gave me the opportunity to dream of the future.

Once I knew the coast was clear, I moved on towards the large double front doors of the barn. Walking through the front doors would send me into near darkness. It usually would take a few moments for my eyes to adjust to the change in light. My lungs would expand and I would breathe in deeply that fresh scent of hay. Just inside the door was a wooden shelf where grandpa would store some of his tack and saddle. While I loved the smell of hay, I also loved the smell of old leather.  The older the better.

Mixed in among the tack and saddle was a lot of dust and spider webs. I didn’t mind. I didn’t enjoy running into a large web, but I do remember I loved watching a spider spin it’s web. I was curious how the spider could have that much web inside. Where did it come from? Would it ever run out of web? I didn’t know what it was called back then. I guess you could say that spider taught me patience, and patience was a virtue I had been told I needed to learn on more than one occasion. With everything that old big red barn gave to me, the most treasured memory, is the feeling of safety it provided. It was my “Safe Haven”. There was no hitting, no yelling, no abuse in that barn. Those old, sometimes broken walls, let me know everything would be alright.

After walking past the tack and spider web, going further into the barn, would bring me to it’s center. At this point, I could frequently see a few rays of the sun slipping through some of the slats of the wood siding. In the light from the sun I could see dust particles flickering about, pretending they were magic sparkles of light. Light that would grant me my wishes. To the left were horse stalls, and to the right the ladder to the loft.

The ladder consisted of rungs being attached to two posts going from the floor to the ceiling. Stepping up to the first rung was difficult for the small body of a six year old. As I moved to place my foot on that rung, my knee would come up almost to my chest. My arms would stretch high above my head for the next rung and pull me up. I would climb each rung carefully, and once reaching the top, fall backwards into the hay and straw.

Oh how I loved the straw. Even though at times it was scratchy against my skin, it was also soft and fluffy and would encircle my little body. I could almost disappear. I could hide. Laying in the straw, being still, I would look up at the ceiling of the barn and listen to the crickets. I would pay attention to my body. My heart would begin to slow down, my muscles would relax, and I would embrace that feeling of calm. My mind would wander, dreaming of  my future. Would I get married? How many babies would I have? Would I live in a mansion? Would I have a pony? The dreams of a little girl.

Now, here I am at sixty, again asking questions about my future.  How should I live the remainder of my life? How long will I even live? Should I leave a secure job I don’t enjoy to pursue another dream? With more practice, could I make it as a writer? In some small way have I already made an impact? Did I avoid many regrets?

See grandchildren, life really is that journey I kept talking about. It isn’t only the destination. We are never too old to question. Never too old to change directions. Never too old… Period!

And grandchildren, I have many more stories about that old big red barn and their land. I hope they don’t bore you, but instead give you a sense of connection to your history.