Day 110: Easter Dinner at Jon and Ashley’s House


This is certainly not the first time my extended family has come together for an Easter Dinner. In the past, when this gathering has taken place, it has been at my mom’s house. This year, for the first time, my niece, Ashley, and her husband, Jon, hosted our lively and boisterous group at their home in Broken Arrow, OK.

What a joy to celebrate together in Jon and Ashley’s new home! And by new, I mean, brand new. Ashley and Jon recently moved into a house that they had built. It’s a big, attractive home, made beautiful and enchanting by those who inhabit it and use it as a backdrop for their creativity and passion for life. My sister, Debbie, lives with her daughter and son-in-law and their two adorable sons, Ethan and Kaleb. Debbie has her own suite at the top of the house, with her own mail basket and even her own doorbell! I love the way this little family shares space, living and playing together under one roof.

Today, this sweet couple opened wide their arms and the door to their home, and welcomed in 10 other members of the family. While each of us brought something to share for the dinner, Ashley and Jon did the majority of the food prep and cooking, working as a team. As they put the finishing touches on the meal, the rest of us pulled up chairs around the kitchen island, munching on veggies and a venison sausage roll while we chatted and laughed. One of the things I love most about my family is that when we gather, we share our stories, the good, the bad, the sad, the hilarious. My mom, as the matriarch of this bunch, presided over us all. It was a special treat for her today to NOT be cooking the meal. She did bring her famous chocolate meringue pies.

Jon joined two dining tables together so that we could all eat in the same room. The two youngest members of the family present today shared a little table nearby. But soon, they had joined us, sitting side by side at the head of the larger table. We felt a little like the Walton Family as we passed around the wonderful food. Everything was delicious and Ashley made sure there was something for everyone, even those of us limiting our sugar intake. Conversation flowed around the table along with the homemade noodles and mashed potatoes.

It was a great Easter day, spent with amazing people. We missed those who couldn’t be there, because of work or other commitments. Everyone in our family knows there is always a place saved for them and they join in as they are able to. Erica Lorraine Scheidt says, “It doesn’t matter what story we are telling, we’re telling the story of family.” As our family grows, the stories shift to include the spouses, the children that are loved as completely as those born into family, and of course, the new babies. The stories are links to the past, and build bridges to the future.  And at the heart of all the tales, and this family, abides loyalty and strength and a deep, sustaining love.


Kaleb and Weston

Day 109: Chocolate Nut Cake Recipe from Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook


I’ve been on Dr. Hyman’s Detox Diet for 54 days now. I’ve eliminated sugar, gluten, flour and dairy from my diet during this time. I continue to feel great! I have more and more energy and stamina, sleep better, and joint pain in my knees and fingers is almost entirely gone with flexibility continuing to improve weekly. I don’t have headaches, except an occasional sinus headache, and haven’t had indigestion or acid reflux since I eliminated sugar. And, I’m now 20 pounds lighter than when I started this change in eating.

I’ve discovered what I can eat, and haven’t found it difficult to eat healthily and well. I purchased Dr. Hyman’s Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook, which contains 175 great recipes. At this point, I’m beginning to transition. I’ll rarely include sugar or processed white flour in my diet from this point forward. I’ve become a believer in the harm both do to the body and the inflammation that they cause leads to most of the diseases that plague us. The same with gluten. I used to love bread. Now it will be something I have as a rare treat, if at all. I’ll also continue to limit dairy products, which can cause the body to create too much mucus. (Ewww!) Dr. Hyman suggests trying gluten or dairy sparingly, one at a time, and see how your body reacts. If there is a return of inflammation in the body, continue to avoid it or limit its use. This is a lifestyle change for me, not just a diet.

This time of year, candy is everywhere! I haven’t eaten a lot of candy, in the past, but around Easter time, I  would enjoy a marshmallow Peep or two! Or perhaps a peanut butter chocolate egg. I’m happy that I bought treats for the kids and grandkids, without indulging in the goodies myself. For my first today, I decided to try one of the dessert recipes in my new cookbook, Chocolate Nut Cake. This treat does not contain any sugar, flour, gluten or dairy products. It was simple and quick to make and doesn’t require baking.

Mix together in a blender or food processor (I think a food processor works best), 10 pitted dates, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil, ¼ cup almond butter, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Blend until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Spread mixture into a greased mini loaf pan and place in freezer for 30 minutes. When cold, slice into 6 pieces.

A healthy, anti-inflammatory dessert will be an occasional treat for me, rather than a daily snack. I love Dr. Hyman’s philosophy concerning desserts. He says, “The most important advice I can give you is this: stay present in the act of enjoying your treats when you have them. Savor them in small amounts. After all, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, holidays and rituals are the traditions that make life truly sweet! I want you to live to eat, not the other way around.” I love that. Stay present with your food and the act of enjoying what you eat. I’ve been a mindless consumer of food for far too long. I love the ritual of preparing something healthy and eating it in a very mindful way. Food then, and the preparation of it, becomes an art and a spiritual practice.

And the chocolate nut cake? Rich, velvety and luscious. I savored every bite.

Day 108: Dinner with a New Friend


One of the most amazing things about this year of firsts has been meeting new people. It is so easy to get too comfortable with hanging out with the same group of people or worse, not getting out at all socially. I have done both. Some evenings, after busy days working with clients, delightful as they can be, I just want alone time. Nothing wrong with that except I can get into isolation mode and even begin to avoid people. And while I enjoy the great friends that I have, it is always good to make new connections.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of meeting my new friend, Catherine, for dinner at Ichiban Sushi Restaurant. We met a couple of months ago, via our mutual friend, Garen. We hit it off right away, finding it easy to chat. Recently we met again to take a watercolor class at Local Color Art Gallery and had a fun afternoon dabbling in paint. It was during that creative afternoon that we made plans to meet for dinner and a leisurely chat.

The first thing I discovered about my new friend this evening is that she would prefer to be called Cate! I loved that she shared that with me. I think names are so important, and it is equally as important to call people by the name that they prefer. So Cate she is, and henceforth will be! We both decided to try something new for dinner. So not only did I get to have dinner with Cate, as a first, but we also moved away from what each of us always orders in a sushi restaurant and tried something different! I had the High Roller and Cate had the House Roll. Both were excellent!

Cate moved to Joplin after the May 22, 2011 tornado. She is the co-creator of Greensburg Green Town, a charitable nonprofit organization working in Greensburg, Kansas to rebuild the town following the devastating tornado in May of 2007. The town has since made a remarkable comeback, reinventing itself as a model for sustainable building and green living, now recognized around the world. GreenTown works to make green building and living easily understood, appealing and accessible to all. Bringing her incredible knowledge and compassion for community and green living to Joplin, Cate now operates Green Town Joplin as a non-profit. Its vision is to help Joplin recover as sustainably as possible and serve as a model to other communities. This is one remarkable, brilliant woman, and I am so glad to have met her!

Cate and I had a pleasant, long dinner, chatting, sharing our stories, laughing and getting to know each other better. We have much in common, including similar views on life and the world we inhabit, and we see some collaborative projects in our future. She has been so encouraging to me while I am on this adventure of moving Beyond. And she offered to teach me how to make paper! That will be a wonderful and fun first. I am grateful to have Cate as a traveling companion on this journey called Life and I look forward to a long and happy friendship!

Day 107: Repurpose Boutique


For today’s first, I had the opportunity to visit a shop in Carthage, MO, that I found via Facebook. I loved what I could see online. Today I visited the shop in person, and discovered it was as great in reality as its online presence.

Repurpose Boutique is located at 530 W. Fir Road, Suite D, in Carthage, MO. They are open Tues – Sat, 10:00 to 6:00 and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00. It is a great little shop featuring a “charming eclectic variety of fashions for ‘your look, your home, your life.” The more you look, the more you see here! There are trendy designer fashions for everyone, both new and gently worn, and designer shoes, purses and jewelry. Plus Repurpose Boutique is home to many creations by local artists and designers.

I did a quick tour around the store first. There was a section for school spirit, featuring clothing, jewelry and other items in the appropriate colors for all the local schools. I also noted lots of hand crafted jewelry, creatively displayed in old tackle boxes. Repurposed furniture was available throughout the store, along with signs and pillows and other great vintage or handmade pieces. And this shop carries a wonderful selection of unique clothing. After my initial perusal, that’s the section I settled into today. I had spied a great fitting room, fashioned from four old wooden doors. I was looking forward to trying clothes on in that creatively repurposed space.

As I have moved more and more into being fully who I am, becoming the person I was created to be, my taste in clothing has shifted too. And as my body becomes more healthy and fit, I’m rediscovering how enjoyable clothes shopping can be. I’ll admit it. I’m a free spirit and I like an eclectic mix of clothes, favoring casual fun clothing over formal attire. Repurpose Boutique is my kind of store! I enjoyed browsing through all the tops, dresses, pants and shoes available. And it was fun to try on my selections in the wooden door fitting room. After trying on about a dozen tops, I narrowed my picks down to three. Since two of the three shirts were on sale, I bought all three!

Repurpose Boutique is a fun shop, full of all kinds of treasures and trendy clothes. They offer clothing and gifts that are beyond the ordinary, and that suits me just fine! Following them on Facebook and via texts through their VIP Club, I can stay informed about sales and specials and also see pictures of the new product arriving daily. Carthage is only 15 minutes away, and I love an excuse to drop by to see Nate, my son, Megan and their lovely family. I’m sure I’ll be a frequent shopper at this charming and delightful boutique.


Day 106: Make Magic String Eggs


Today’s first was another creative project, making magic eggs to give to the grandchildren in the family. My mom graciously invited my sister and me to her house to make a mess there! I gathered the materials and mom provided the space, scissors, clothespins, hangers and an old tablecloth. Linda found the idea online and suggested it as a first, and even after a long day at work, agreed to join in and have fun.

This is a novel idea, and a great little gift for kids. The egg, made out of string, holds a piece of candy inside. The instructions looked easy enough. Put a piece of candy inside a water balloon, inflate it to the size of an egg and tie it off. Mix together glue and water, in equal parts, and dredge long pieces of crochet string through the mixture. Wrap the damp strings around the balloon, covering the surface well enough that the piece of candy can’t fall through. When the string has dried and hardened, break the balloon inside and remove it, leaving the candy inside the string egg. I figured we could make enough eggs so that each child had one, in about an hour.

Well that was a funny thought! While we were waiting for Linda to get there, Mom and I prepared the table by covering it with an old plastic tablecloth. We laid out the supplies and I made up two bowls of glue-water mixture. Then the fun started. It doesn’t look difficult to get pieces of candy inside a teeny, tiny balloon. IT IS! We laughed and laughed as we struggled to get even one foil wrapped chocolate egg inside a balloon. Perseverance paid off though with success. After that it was simple enough to inflate each balloon to roughly the size of an egg and tie them off. Well, ONE of us could tie off balloons. One of us, I won’t say who, couldn’t quite get those balloons knotted. We got a system going and by the time Linda arrived, we were ready to dip colored string into the glue mixture and wrap it around the balloons.

We did really well with wrapping! The next mishap came when I attempted to hang the first two finished balloons outside to dry. Using clothespins and a hanging metal frame for a flower pot seemed like a great idea. I felt a sense of satisfaction as I secured my first balloon, and mom’s, to the metal frame and stepped back to admire our work. I was therefore looking right at the balloons as they came unclipped and fell to the concrete patio. Mom’s balloon popped immediately and mine slowly deflated. I felt bad I ruined the first two! It was back to the table to start again. I vowed to hang only my balloons after that! Mom came up with the idea of using metal clothes hangers to secure the balloons and that worked great!

In spite of a couple of challenges, we really did have fun, chatting and making a mess, and watching our string eggs accumulate. We will let them dry thoroughly overnight and then deflate the balloons and remove them. At least, I hope that’s what happens! I’ll post an update. If they don’t quite work, we at least had a great time trying and made an awesome memory. And if they work as they should, that’s wonderful! The kids in the family can enjoy them and figure out how to get the chocolate candy out!


What I hope our eggs look like tomorrow!

Day 105: Magician Joseph Tran


Tonight’s first, watching magician Joseph Tran at Missouri Southern State University, was a special event! Not only did my mom and sister accompany me, but my five year old granddaughter, Aubrey, saw her first magic show as well. And my son, Nate, and his sweetheart, Megan, were able to attend also. Four generations of my family shared a first along with plenty of laughs and raised eyebrows.

I’m seeing a pattern with MSSU entertainment. Or perhaps I should say, with the college circuit. All the performers that we’ve seen so far are very skilled in their craft AND wonderful comedians. Tonight was no exception. Joseph Tran had us laughing before he astounded us with his sleight of hand.

Joseph is touted as one of the youngest and best regarded Southern California magicians today. He was recently chosen among his peers as the Magician of the Year in association with the Magic Castle Young Magician’s Program, the most prestigious academy of magic in the world. He has been performing professionally since his early teens and began practicing magic tricks at the age of five. Incorporating humor, illusion and cutting edge technology into his routine has made him one of the most sought after entertainers in the Los Angeles area. He now tours universities across the US and performs on international cruise lines.

He was entertaining, playing off his Asian heritage and inviting the audience to laugh with him at the stereotypical portrayal of Asians in films. Joseph hails from Southern California but for the first few minutes of his routine, he cleverly led the audience to believe he recently came to the US and learned to speak English. Moving in and out of an Asian accent he charmed and amused us. I’ve always loved good illusions and magic tricks. My son has had a lifelong fascination with illusions and magic as well and grew up watching greats like David Copperfield and David Blaine. He became quite skilled at performing magic routines and I hope tonight’s show will renew his interest.

Joseph primarily does close up sleight of hand magic on his university tours, using decks of cards to amaze his audience. He’s the first illusionist I’ve ever seen who used twitter as part of a card trick. He encouraged those of us with twitter accounts to pull out our cell phones and witness that 31 minutes before the start of the show, he revealed the four cards that four random members of the audience drew from a deck of cards that they passed around. And I’m still pondering over his final trick, which involved a volunteer from the audience coloring in a drawing of “super hero” Joseph, who then removed his shirt and slacks to reveal the super hero costume underneath in the exact same colors that young Precious had just used as she colored.

We had a fun evening. And although I laughed and cheered and clapped for Joseph, along with everyone else, I really enjoyed watching Nate and Megan smile and whisper together after each trick. Most of all, I cherished having Aubrey perched on my lap, watching attentively, holding up her little hand each time Joseph asked for a volunteer. I loved seeing the spark of interest in her eyes as she practiced moving her hands the way Joseph moved his and made the show program “disappear”. She’s already a magical child. I suspect her daddy will be dusting off his book of illusions and teaching his young daughter her first magic trick. I can’t wait for the daddy-daughter duo to perform their first show together!

magic show 3e

Day 104: Dye Eggs Naturally


I always loved dying eggs this time of year. As children, the older my sisters and I got, the more creative we became. The same was true with my own kids. We started with egg dying kits from the store and moved to being more and more artsy, using wax crayons and tape to make designs and dipping the eggs in multiple colors. It was too simple to dunk the egg in a single cup of dye and let it just sit there. However, at this stage of my life, a return to simplicity is very appealing to me! My first for today was to dye store bought white eggs naturally, using onion skins and an assortment of herbs and dried flowers.

I haven’t dyed eggs since my grandson was a toddler. So I was excited to try this new experience. Assembling my spring vignette recently reminded me that I had always wanted  to use onion skins to dye eggs. This year is the perfect year to move from wanting to, to doing it. With unseasonably cold temps and even a bit of snow, today was a great day for an indoor first.

This truly was an easy and satisfying project. I bought white eggs and eight yellow onions. As I began to prepare the eggs for dying I decided to see what would happen with a second batch of eggs, using dried green and white sage, loose green tea, dried lavender and dried jasmine. For the first group of five eggs, I separated the dry paper-like skins from the yellow onions and let them soak for a few minutes in a bowl of lukewarm water to make them pliable. I soaked the eggs too. Then each egg was wrapped loosely in pieces of onion skin, covering the surface completely. I found that the onion skins curled when wet and conformed perfectly to the eggs. The wrapped eggs were then placed in a pan and covered with enough water to be completely submerged. The water was brought to a boil and then the pan covered and removed from heat.

In the second pan, I covered five eggs with water and added the dried herbs, green tea and flowers. After coming to a boil, this pan was also covered and removed from heat. I set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and resisted the urge to peek while the eggs cooked and were dyed. When the timer dinged it was time to see the results! I rinsed the eggs with cold water, removing the onion skins. How beautiful! The eggs have a vintage look with their delicately marbled surfaces, in shades of brown and gold. I love them! The eggs in the herbal bath are not marbled but they came out a light, soft brown with a hint of green. Although I have to say I like the onion skin dyed eggs the best, one of the benefits of boiling the eggs with the dried herbs and flowers is that a wonderful aroma filled the house.

This was so fun and so simple that I think I’ll try another batch of eggs later in the week using red onion skins. Although I won’t count it as a first, I’ll be sure to post pics showing the results of that experiment!

Day 103: Nebraska


I decided this week to move Best Picture nominated movie night from Monday night to Sunday evening. I’ve struggled the last few weeks to finish work, watch the movie and get the blog posted before midnight! Last week, it was way past that before I got the blog up and even later when I crawled into bed. Sunday evening works better! And tonight, I finally made it back to the movie Nebraska, number five out of nine nominated movies.

Nebraska stars Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, and Stacy Keach and was directed by Alexander Payne.  It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Dern, Best Supporting Actress for Squibb, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Screenplay. Bruce Dern won an Oscar for his portrayal of Woody Grant. The film is rated R and has a run time of 1 hour and 54 minutes.

With the threat of severe weather this afternoon, I hoped electricity would stay on and I’d be able to watch this movie that I first attempted to watch March 24. I was beginning to wonder if I wasn’t supposed to see this movie! I’m very glad I did. Shot in black and white and using a cast mostly made up of little known actors, this film is called a comedy drama road movie. I found Nebraska to be a poignant, touching look at family relationships in the Midwest.

Dern’s character, Woody Grant, is a tired, aging man who never has been known for saying much. He receives a sweepstakes letter in the mail stating he has won a million dollars. He just needs to show his winning number to claim his prize. Woody refuses to trust the postal system with a million dollars, and when no one in his family will drive him to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim his prize, he sets off on foot. Several times. Kate, his sharp tongued wife of many years, berates him for foolishly believing he’s won a million dollars and threatens to have him put into a nursing home. Played by June Squibb, Kate is a woman seemingly at the end of her patience with her often confused, taciturn husband who finds solace in alcohol.

Woody’s son David, played by Will Forte, offers to drive his father to Nebraska. He doesn’t believe his father has won a prize either, but hopes to use the road trip as an opportunity to spend time with his father and ease his confusion. When a fall during the trip sidelines Woody for a couple of days, the pair spends the weekend in Hawthorne, Nebraska, Woody’s hometown. He still has brothers and old friends living in this tiny town. And David begins to learn who his father really is from local townspeople, friends and foes, and an old flame.

I expected this to be a sad film, especially with it being shot in black and white. The simplicity of that choice heightened the starkness of Woody’s life, the quiet pain in his eyes. The character actors and extras in the film came across as ordinary people right off the streets of Smalltown, USA. I could almost believe I was watching a home movie at times, of the Grant family. When Kate rants at her son about the craziness of his father’s belief that he’s won money, and asks why, David’s answer touches the heart of the movie. “He just needs something to live for.” It becomes apparent, in this movie, that that statement is true for each character. They’re all caught in one small story after another, searching for something, anything, to live for.

David comes to see his father differently. And that changes the way he feels about his dad. I found myself hoping, as the pair finally arrives in Lincoln, Nebraska, that Woody really did win that million dollars. He’s been ridiculed and subjected to greed from his immediate and extended family, and most of the tired residents of his hometown. And he’s revealed to his son the real reason he wants the million dollars: he wants to be able to replace an air compressor that was stolen from him years ago and he wants a new truck….something nice to leave to his two sons when he dies.

I won’t tell you whether he won or not. I will tell you, the love of a son for his father overcomes all the trials, all the heartaches of the trip. When Woody drives his new truck slowly, and with quiet dignity, down the main street of Hawthorne, for all the town folk to see, I smiled, through tears, along with David. Nebraska isn’t just a sad movie, it is a triumph. And it isn’t just about a road trip to claim a prize. It’s about going home, and going within, and finding something larger to believe in and live for. It’s about love within the family, even an atypical family. Because, what does a normal family look like anyway?


Day 102: Missouri State DI Competition


On March 1, Day 60 for me, I attended the Carl Junction Destination Imagination (DI) competition. My grandson, Dayan, and his team competed and won 2nd place in their category, qualifying them for the state competition. Today, for my first, I attended the MO State DI Competition, conveniently held in Joplin this year, to watch Dayan’s team compete at a high level.

The last 6 weeks have been challenging for this group of teens, most of whom are freshmen in high school. They have school, homework, extracurricular activities and lives to enjoy with families and friends. And yet, they dedicated themselves to spending a great deal of time preparing for the state competition, staying late after school and conferring with each other via texts and phone calls when they were away from school.

Their skit, “Live and Let Fly”, dealt with the challenge they were given for DI: EXTREMES. Their points of interest were to explore an extreme environment, present a story in which the characters must survive in an extreme environment, design and create extreme gear that is demonstrated, and design and create a depiction of the extreme environment. As I noted in the earlier blog post, the kids create and write the skit, develop the characters, create the backdrops and props and put together the costumes, all without adult help. At the local competition I was amazed at their creativity and ingenuity.

For the state competition, this energetic group decided to improve on their skit and focus more on the extreme environment they had decided to explore, Venus. This was not an easy task when you have a team of seven, with seven different opinions and ideas. However, two of the important skills learned during Destination Imagination are compromise and learning to work as a team, giving each member a voice. They worked diligently on creating the best skit they could, that met the challenge they had been given.

I was a bit nervous this morning, as I took my seat in MSSU’s Phelps Theater. I loved their original skit. How could they improve on that? Dayan’s group was the first team to perform. As they set up their backdrops and assembled before the judges, I had a moment of panic. I couldn’t find Dayan! Surely they wouldn’t start the skit without him! Then my eyes came to rest on the tall, slender figure in the long black cape. With the hood pulled up and a mask over his lower face, only his bright, dark eyes were showing. There he was. The costumes had changed slightly. My grandson had been trying to get my attention and I had almost missed him.

I was, once again, amazed by their performance. Humorous, scientific, technology based and relevant to the challenge of surviving in an extreme environment, the skit was spot on. This is one talented group of young adults. The judges asked questions after the skit and thanked them for starting their day, and the competition, in such a great way. I loved their performance, and apparently, so did the judges. They took 3rd place at State. I’m so proud of Dayan and so proud of the team for their creativity, persistence and teamwork. Way to go! And now, enjoy some of the free time you’ll hopefully have back, after weeks of hard work!


Judges, in the bright costumes, ask the team questions after the skit.

Day 101: Paint at RSVPaint


I’m loving all the opportunities for creative expression that I’m discovering in Joplin. Tonight, my mom, sister Linda and I painted together at RSVPaint, located at 420 S. Main Street. Linda and I visited this place during Third Thursday last month and signed up for a class. Mom decided to join us and I’m so glad she did.

RSVPaint started in Springfield, MO, and offers a place for budding or experienced artists to relax, sip, visit and paint. In two hours, one can create a work of art to take home. A glass of wine is offered beforehand, to remove all fear and inhibitions! Encouraged by their success in Springfield, RSVPaint branched out to Joplin and has been open here for a month. Classes are offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. A nominal fee covers the class, all supplies and materials, and a glass of wine.

We had such a relaxing and enjoyable evening. Our instructor, Coleman, was fun, engaging and a great teacher. He painted with us, staying a step ahead of us so we could follow along. Tonight’s painting was “Cherry Blossoms”. Six of us sat in front of our easels with blank canvases ready for our artistic touch. I have to admit, the glass of wine did do a great job of relaxing everyone! Conversation flowed easily among us and laughter rang out often. There is something about a fresh, blank canvas that invites creativity and gets ideas flowing. That sense of flow and energy is transmitted to the brush as soon as I pick it up.

Coleman made painting easy. He was patient and offered help when we needed it. I liked that we had a sample painting to look at, and could watch him as he created the painting with us. He also encouraged us to express ourselves and use different colors for the background if we wanted. Half of us did so. Although we all admired each other’s work, no one compared one piece of art to another. This was a very supportive environment to express ourselves in.

At the end of two hours, we all had a completed painting to take home and a great shared experience. We had so much fun chatting and creating and getting to know Coleman and each other. There are upcoming classes that will provide opportunities for more fun and more creative expression. We intend to participate again and allow our inner artists out more often!