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Creative Mom – December 2017

Creative Mom – December 2017

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I am most definitely in end of the year mode, reflecting on 2017 and planning things for 2018. Each new year breathes fresh inspiration into my creative side. I am a planner by nature so imagining the possibilities for the up-coming year makes me excited about a fresh start.

I have been working on my new planner and writing in goals and aspirations as reminders amid the month’s pages. I purchased a new set of gel pens to use, making it possible to create a color theme for each month’s writing. What is it about color that makes things more interesting?

Hoping to revamp my Harmony Fine Arts website is a priority this year, cleaning up some of the pages and organizing the content even better is also in the works. I have so many years of writing that is buried in the archives. Much of it can be eliminated and the rest needs to be updated to make it more useful.  Just taking a few minutes to read things from the past has made me remember the joy of being creative and making art and music appreciation something that I can enjoy every day.

Video from youtube – Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli and Perfect

I organized my CD collection and put my favorites into a case to put in the car. I spend a lot of time driving so having them to listen to has been uplifting. My current composer that is delighting my drive time is Joseph Haydn. Not strictly sticking to classical music,  I’m also delving into a little popular music and the video from Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli above is one of my favorite all time pieces of music….going on my play list!

Fondue

Creativity finds its way into my kitchen this month as well. I have continued my baking spree with loads of cookies and biscuits and slow cooker recipes. I am currently reading all about the Scandanavian idea of hygge which includes lots of comfort foods and cozy drinks by the fireside. I am on the hunt for the perfect cheese fondue recipe right now…one that tastes like the amazing fondue we had a restaurant a few weeks ago. I think it will be a perfect way to add some hygge to our long cold winter evenings.

Planning, reflecting, listening, and tasting are all a part of this Creative Mom’s month (and life!)

What are you up to this month? What are your creative plans for 2018?

I will be sharing my new creative adventures next time….involves painting!

 

Mother’s Journal – April

harmony-art-mom-mothers-journal-april-2017Mother’s Journal

April 2017

This has been a month of contemplation regarding the up-coming changes in our family. It seems as if we are navigating the transition to empty nesters by doing a complete change ourselves and jumping out of the nest as well.

Every corner of this house has memories that come up at the odd moment. For instance, a few weeks ago I was standing in our front driveway with our son who was just getting ready to leave for another trip to Guyana. I was sitting on the block wall in the sunshine and it popped into my mind how many times I had sat in just that spot watching the boys as they scootered up and down the driveway or they dribbled the basketball. It was a sweet memory but also a little bittersweet as I realized that my son and I were experiencing the very LAST time we would be in that driveway together. My husband and I will be moving to Oregon before he comes back. This was one of the last days he would be living in the house on Hilltop Drive. It made me cry. I hadn’t even anticipated feeling so sad or sentimental about this move because I am very excited about our new home.

It’s hard to pull up roots that run deep…over 30 years deep. All four of our children consider this their childhood home because my oldest was just a year old when we moved in. This is the house I brought all three boys home to when they were born. As homeschoolers, this has been the center of our universe.

We have for many years worked hard to give our children a solid foundation; roots upon which they could grow and flourish. As they grew older and matured in our homeschool, we also strived to give them wings to fly.

Charlotte Mason Gave Our Homeschool Wings

For the first time ever, my husband and I are going to fly. We are ready to fly from this nest and make a new one together. In Oregon, we hope to send down some new roots.

Can I just say I love using these metaphors?

My husband is ready to fly. He will be retiring from an almost 30 year career in public service, 25 of those years as a wildland firefighter (the other years at the USPS). I have a feeling he will struggle for a while with his identity since he has lived and breathed the fire service and loved it. He is a respected person by all who work with him and so many have expressed that things will not be the same this summer without him around to be consulted. Our children have at times been sad that their dad wasn’t home during fire season as much as they would have wished. But, the flexibility of homeschooling allowed us to take family vacations during all seasons so we just had to learn to be adaptable.

I am ready to fly. I have long wished to have a new place to explore. It’s not that I have learned everything there is to learn here in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Far from it! I’m just itching to experience another way of living. My roots are here in California so transplanting my life to Oregon is going to take some time and adjustment.  My family (parents and siblings) is all in Northern California within about 150 miles. It has caused quite a stir that I am moving out of the state and 450 miles away. My friends are all sad but supportive. I keep emphasizing that they will now have a new place to visit! The wonderful thing about working online is that I can have some continuity with my business…things should just chug along as normal in that respect. Moving our home to a completely new habitat will be something that stimulates my thinking and my writing which is a win-win for my loyal readers and customers.

Three of our children are going to help us physically move to Oregon so it will be a family time of reconnecting. Hopefully after spending a little time in the new house they will start to feel some new family roots growing, a new place to call home (or at least home base). Next month I will update how it all turns out for the McCoy family and the BIG move.

You may also be interested in reading this entry:

Take a Chance Homeschool Mom

“Maybe you are thinking about taking a chance on changing your homeschool in some way or trying a new direction in your life..it is scary to make decisions and changes. But, it may just be the best decision you ever made.

Risking nothing is safe but you will never know what experiences you can have and where it will lead until you just take the chance.”

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Harmony Art Mom – Creative Month April

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First of all, thank you to my many followers, here and on Instagram, who have sent your well wishes for my up-coming move to Oregon. This business of selling a house is such a roller coaster ride, even from one minute to the next.

Leading up to listing our home for sale, I spent a lot of time decluttering, cleaning, and staging the home to help potential buyers see our cozy, bright, and inviting home at its best. We have lived in this house for over 30 years, so going through every nook and cranny was emotional and exhausting.  I parted with many items by giving to friends, selling at a garage sale, and gifting to our local hospice thrift shop. I tried to be practical and used many of the ideas found online for making decisions about whether to keep something or let it go. Sigh. The process is draining but now that I am living in a more minimalistic space, I see the wisdom in going through this exercise more often than once every 30 years.

Depersonalizing our home was not an easy task. I have lots of family photos decorating our walls and bookshelves. Once I cleared them away there were huge expanses of blank walls. My daughter and I used Pinterest to find fresh ideas that would make the house still look inviting and far less like a hotel.

In the end, creating a new living space was very satisfying and many of the ideas we implemented will be carried over to our new home. Here are a few of the areas we spruced up.

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We added some small potted plants, arranged interesting books, and created an inviting dining table.

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My daughter picked out some artwork that complemented things we already had in the house to fill up the large blank walls.

I took a quick trip to our local Big Lots and found a few items to give the bar area a little island appeal. I had the basics, but found the wall art and trays to pull it all together.

Other than revamping our house, my most creative activities this month have been scrapbooking and working in my nature journal.

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My sister plans a scrapbook retreat once or twice a year and this time I worked on our family vacation album almost the whole time. I was behind quite a bit and I made a great dent in creating a keepsake album of our travel to the Oregon Coast.

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I was able to keep up my once a week nature journal goal this month which makes me happy; not only that the pages are getting done but that I have made time to actually get outside to find things to journal about that are interesting.

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My husband and I had the opportunity to spend the day with our two oldest sons hiking in Southern California. It was timed perfectly to see the “super bloom” of wildflowers with hills covered in masses of coreopsis, lupine, yarrow, mustard, Mariposa lilies, poppies, blue dicks, Indian paintbrush, and more.

All of our hard work has paid off and we had an offer within a week of listing the house. Unfortunately, that deal fell through. We turned around and relisted the house and that afternoon we had another offer! See what I mean, roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

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I am dreaming of the day that all this will be behind me and I will be living in my new Central Oregon home. Buying a new home was such an emotional experience. But, I knew the minute I walked into the door of the house we purchased that it was my heart home…a place that our family now can make new memories in as time goes on.

 

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