Fri, Sep 4th, 2020

Time for new challenges and new normal,

Wow! 2020 has certainly been a year to remember. Sadly, not for anything really good as yet. We have certainly been missing all our friends that we visit at our art shows every year. We can't tell you how much it means to us to see the friends and clients that we have gotten to know over the years and catch up with their lives. It's always so gratifying to hear how my work has cheered them up or given them strength on hard days. That feedback is really what energizes me in my work- so one of my challenges these days has been to keep my creative juices flowing and energy levels up, despite the lack of that feedback and energy from friends who own my work.

     I guess like everyone else, one of my biggest challenges is just finding joy in life. It seems like the national news is all pretty bad, I hate politics( don't get me started on that one!) And not getting to visit friends or be exposed to culture is really hard on me. The good news is having this time has enabled me to explore new techniques, colors, and ideas in my artwork. A few of our old friends have commissioned me to do special pieces for them and I'm really enjoying that as well.

 I guess one of our biggest challenges these days is truly appreciating all our blessings to the fullest. Certainly compared to our friends in Africa, we are so blessed to be safe and have food on the table. We are getting good news from Africa since it appears that the African people have a much stronger immune system than many of the more industrialized, technical nations of the world. For instance Kenya,  which is about the size of the southern part of the United States has only had about 500 deaths from coronavirus so far. Amazing, since every home has an older person in it and they are unable to really stockpile food and supplies. We are so happy to hear that some of the gloomy predictions for Africa have not come true.

      We had to put off our safari with our friends this coming November because of virus concerns, but luckily Jim figured out what was coming early on and moved our reservations from 2020 to 2021. Having standing reservations at all our little secret spots enabled us to easily move our friends from this year to next year. This could've been especially difficult since everyone who had been planning on going in 2020 had to move their plans to 2021. So it sounds like Africa is going to be very crowded next year. We certainly hope that there is a vaccine by then and we will get to see all our friends and the children we work with through ARTS FOR ANIMALS.

 We hear that the local villagers are using our ARTS FOR ANIMALS wildlife Center as a meeting place for medical  services and as a place to develop their creativity even though all the schools are closed. It is so rewarding for us to know that despite the chaos in the world around us, our past work in Africa is continuing to help improve the lives of the local people and wildlife.

 I'll add in a few photographs but our lives have been somewhat boring lately. Jim is getting lots of long-overdue work done around the house and hurricane Laura encouraged us to take the time to get the house ready for high winds, including a new generator. I think everyone has my number so don't hesitate to give me a call or drop me a line if you'd like to visit or catch up.

I would love, love, love, to hear from you.

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I just finished a beautiful Crowned Crane piece  for our old friend Tom lieden
I just finished a beautiful Crowned Crane piece for our old friend Tom lieden
I just finished a beautiful Crowned Crane piece for our old friend Tom lieden
I always have love tigers and this is a large 4' x 6' piece I did recently
I always have love tigers and this is a large 4' x 6' piece I did recently
I always have love tigers and this is a large 4' x 6' piece I did recently
Almost every day we enjoy swimming in our neighbor's pool with our two-year-old puppy,
Almost every day we enjoy swimming in our neighbor's pool with our two-year-old puppy," Kilimanjaro", or" Kili"
Almost every day we enjoy swimming in our neighbor's pool with our two-year-old puppy," Kilimanjaro", or" Kili"
Sadly, we lost our puppies Maya and Stella earlier this year- but this is our new bundle of joy,
Sadly, we lost our puppies Maya and Stella earlier this year- but this is our new bundle of joy," Zanzibar", or "Zanzi"
Sadly, we lost our puppies Maya and Stella earlier this year- but this is our new bundle of joy," Zanzibar", or "Zanzi"
One of the pieces I did based on my work with the wolves at Earthfire Institute in Idaho
One of the pieces I did based on my work with the wolves at Earthfire Institute in Idaho
One of the pieces I did based on my work with the wolves at Earthfire Institute in Idaho
I love this – they have discovered that painting eyes on the back of cows seems to protect them from predators!
I love this – they have discovered that painting eyes on the back of cows seems to protect them from predators!
I love this – they have discovered that painting eyes on the back of cows seems to protect them from predators!