Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Art Journaling

I was introduced to art journaling a few years ago while taking a writing class. Art journaling to me is a cross between scrapbooking and keeping a diary.  It’s a place where you write your thoughts, ideas and wishes and then embellish the writing with color.  People who are truly artists tend to experiment with artistic styles and then add a little text to their art work.  The FB group, Daisy Yellow (at has some fantastic contributors. My art journaling is much more simplistic.

Like the new rage, coloring books for adults, art journaling can be stress relieving. I have also tried Zentangles.  As its name implies, one can reach a zen-like state while creating a repetitive pattern. The brain likes repetitive motion, such as knitting or crocheting or doodling, but I found drawing was not really relaxing for me.  Coloring is.

And since I’m a girl who loves words and quotes, my art journals are just that. Words and quotes in living color. I use fine line markers to create the words and colored pencils to finish the work. 

First, I make an oblong “bubble”, and then I plan how many words per line. I decide how many lines I’ll need to get the words in. Then I draw wavy lines for the text to rest on. Finally, I color. Ahh…  Creative and relaxing.

Try it. You’ll like it.  All you need is a piece of paper and something to write with.

Here are a few of my art journal entries.
"Surround yourself with people who make you a better person."

 "Go out and be fishers of men."

 And just for fun:

"It isn't easy being green...
Green is the color of ordinary things."

Never forget:
"One nation under God"
Until next time,

Be Good To Yourself


Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Chairs hold sentimental meaning.  I’m not sure if any other furniture holds the kind of appeal that a chair does. Everybody has a favorite chair or “spot” they like to sit in/on.  On the sitcom Big Bang Theory, Leonard’s room-mate, Sheldon goes off the deep end if anyone sits in his spot.  In the sitcom The Goldbergs, Murry Goldberg drops his pants at the door after work and spends the rest of the evening in his recliner wearing only tightie-whities and a dress shirt. And, in the movie Phenomenon, Robert Duvall’s character questions John Travolta’s character’s commitment to his chair-making girlfriend by asking, (in the way only Robert Duvall can,) “Do you buy her chairs?”

Tim with our first grandbaby
relaxing in the old recliner.

There are several traditions that involve an empty chair at the dinner table.  These empty chairs represent remembrance for someone who has passed away, or remembering a deployed family member who cannot be at the feast, or even the tradition of leaving an open chair for an unexpected guest.

I think chairs are symbols.  Symbols of home, safety, and comfort.  Chairs also signal respect. Men stand up when a particular person enters the room.  People give up their seats on public transportation for those they believe are in more need of a place to sit. The head of the table is reserved for the C.E.O. or Daddy.  Kids get their hynnies out of Dad’s chair and move to a different spot when he’s ready to sit down and relax.

The new recliner awaits...
Today we got a new chair.  The old recliner bit the dust several years ago.  We still used it for a couple years (way) after its prime, before I convinced the family that it was time to let it go.  We went without a recliner for a few years, but realized recently that we needed one again.  So today, we picked up the new chair.  We know it will take a little while to “break in” our new chair, but we’re looking forward to years of laughing, relaxing and sleeping it.
I think I'll go take a nap in the new chair.
Until next time,
Be Good to Yourself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Bucket List

A few years ago the movie Bucket List was released. In that movie two terminally ill men decide they needed to do some things they’ve always wanted to do before they “kicked the bucket”.  From that movie we got the now popular term “Bucket List  

While trying to fulfill your bucket list may sound morbid, it’s really all about remembering to take being alive seriously.  And to NOT take life too seriously.  It’s about being cognizant and taking advantage of the joys our world can offer. It helps us to remember God’s grace is good and that health and time are gifts.

I’ve been lucky enough to have most of my professional bucket list items realized over the years, before bucket list was even a thing. With the help of my husband, I finished my college degree while raising our children. I became a teacher when I was older than the standard age of a first time teacher. I taught in the school district I deemed “the best” and was my target district- as the first (and final) assignment of my public school career.  I taught at a junior college (although not college students). I taught English as a Second Language and I now work at a public library.  Wow! Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself!

Just recently I returned from a trip that was a personal bucket list item for me, and I’ll get to that in a little bit.  First, I want to say that I had planned to write about this topic a couple of weeks ago, before my trip, but another event side tracked this topic. (See my post from January 13, 2016.)  This bit of information is important, because I KNOW that my before-the-trip- post would have been starkly different than this after-the-trip-post. Had I written about my trip being a bucket list item BEFORE the trip, it would have been a sparkly post. But. This is after the trip-- a post trip post, if you will.

What if something on your bucket list doesn’t live up to your expectations? Tim and I went to Key Largo with family and good friends. I’ve always wanted to go to the Florida Keys, especially Key West to walk past Hemmingway’s place. And while we had fun with our family and friends, the trip was a little disappointing because it was cold, rainy, and windy most of the time. We didn’t see or do most of what we had planned.  The weather reminded me of March in Iowa. That Damn Damp Cold we get here in early spring - it seeps into your bones. (Poor baby me. I got cold in Key Largo in February. BooHoo.)  Right. I agree.

But I'm thinking on a more philosophical level right now, so I’ll ask it again: What if something on your bucket list doesn’t live up to your expectations? 
Maybe you’re standards are too high?  Maybe you don’t always get what you want?  Maybe what you think you want is not what God wants.  Maybe weather happens.  I don’t know the answer to this question.

I do know that I’m typically a “glass half full” type of person, so even though I didn’t get to see and do all that I had anticipated, I do realize that I’m lucky to be able to take trips.  I don’t take that for granted.  I love seeing new places.  I’m glad we did have the few good hours of heat and sunlight that we did get, and I’m happy that my friends and family who traveled with us are all doing well.

 Wrapped up in towels and reading at the pool.
(The beach was too windy and cold.)
I doubt that I’ll ever get back to the Florida Keys, and that’s o.k.  I’ve been reminded that events are what you make them… And that Florida can get cold, even for and Iowa girl.

Until next time,

Be good to yourself.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Writing Contest Participant

Writer’s Digest has many writing contests for every kind of writer.  I’ve entered a few short story contests, but have never even gotten so much as an honorable mention.  The short story below was one of my entries.  The guidelines were that the story needed to be 750 words or less and incorporate, in some way, the phrase: Love gets him into more trouble than hate ever could.  I thought for a while about love/hate relationships.  Farming seemed like an obvious choice for an Iowa girl.  I thought maybe the idea love/hate of farming might be a fresh one for those east-coasters.  Apparently not, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. I hope you enjoy my short story.

The Iowa Farmer
By Nadine Roth

They sat in his dad’s gravel-road dusted Ford F-150 looking over the sea of spiky green and gold striped leaves crackle and rattle in the breeze. Strong finger like roots dug deep into the black soil of northwest Iowa, searching for water.  Ninety-two year old Elsie hadn’t missed a Sunday drive out to the homestead since she’d moved into town. Today her grandson, Charlie, had taken her out to see the fields.

“Grandma, it’s too hot for you to be hangin’ your head out the window like Old Duke does,” Charlie said as he pushed buttons on the armrest. Tinted glass windows whisked shut, making the truck’s cab immediately cooler and darker.

“I’m used to a little hot weather, you know, Charlie.”  Cool air blasted from the truck’s air vents. Elsie straightened her wind-blown hair, wrapped her sweater around her sharp shoulders a little tighter, and watched the now silent corn stalks sway.

“I just wish it would rain,” Charlie said almost to himself reaching over to turn the air down a notch.

“The corn doesn’t look too bad, yet, Charlie, leaves are just a little gold tipped, and I think we’re supposed to get rain by mid-week.”

“Grandma Elsie, you’re too optimistic.  The corn’s more’n just a little gold tipped.  It looks more like harvest time out there than prime growing season.  The ground’s so cracked it looks like we tried to grow this stuff in the bottom of an ol’ dried up mud puddle.”

“Charles, your granddad and father have been through this kind of drought and worse. You’ll be fine. We will be fine, young man.” 

“Been thinkin’ about selling some cattle. I got people to pay… What do you think, Grandma?”

“This land hasn’t been in our family for over three generations by good luck, you know. You’ll figure it out.  This is what you’ve worked for your whole life, Charlie. Why, I remember the first time you drove that old 1976 Deere. You were no more than ten years old, and so proud to be tall enough to drive that tractor.  I knew then that you were made for this life.”

“That was twenty years ago. I’m not a kid anymore.”

“But I still see that light in your eyes when you’re working the farm.”

“Sometimes I just hate it, Grandma.  I know you don’t like hearing that. But sometimes I think I should just sell it all and be done.”

“I know, I know. But you won’t Charlie. This work is hard.  The love of the land and farming will get you into more trouble than hating it ever could. But we keep on.  It’s what we do. Now, take me back to the house.  I bet dinner is ready.”

Until next time, be good to yourself.

(P.S. - I tried to schedule this entry to post while I was out of town last Wednesday.  It didn't work. Obviously.  My tech skills are sketchy at best. Sorry friends.)