Better than a Lemonade Stand

17S001 Flint Dakota PrayerDakota Flint Prayer prints available at my art website. Follow me on Facebook.

Jerry Lewis had a Muscular Distrophy telethon every summer and encouraged kids to have a summer carnival in order to raise money for the cause.

Every year right after school ended, the neighborhood kids got together to plan the annual carnival. The planning included lots of arguments and sometimes divided the neighborhood into two factions ending in two separate carnivals, but sometime in August, we would pull it off. Continue reading

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Fried chicken anyone???

Humble Gratitude

Humble Gratitude

This original has been sold. Purchase prints at Fine Art America.

I got straight D’s in Home Ec, back in the days when girls were required  to take cooking and sewing and boys were required to take shop class. Back in my school, girls could not take shop and boys could not take home ec even if they wanted to. The good old days weren’t all that good in that respect.

Anyway, back to the D’s. It wasn’t that I can’t cook (even though it’s not my favorite pasttime), its that I am a visual cook. I can see how much oregano to add to the spaghetti sauce by the color (even then I was the artist.) Besides, I could care less how many teaspoons go into a tablespoon because I have the whole set of measuring spoons. You can buy a set at the dollar store even today, so I imagine measuring spoons were only a few cents back in the day. Continue reading

Lunch Boxes

The first school that I attended had no busflipper, no gymnasium and definitely no cafeteria. The kids that lived close enough went home for lunch, but I lived to far, so I ate my lunch in the classroom, so my lunchbox was an important part of my school day.

I still remember my first lunch box, it was a Flipper (you know, the dolphin). It was metal and had sort of a hook thing on the inside to hold the matching Flipper thermos.

That thermos was quite a feat. It had a plastic cup on the top that screwed off. That was the easy part. The hard part was unscrewing the inside cap which was always screwed on very tightly. You had to be especially careful because the thermos liner was made of glass and it would break if you dropped it. Continue reading

New Shoe Dance

Simply Styled Girl's Kristina Black Mary Jane

Back in the day, this was the time of year for the new shoe dance. Mine was a combination of a tap dance and the twist. This dance was done when I put on my new school shoes.

Just about everyone I knew had 3 pairs of shoes – shoe shoes, play shoes and dress shoes. This time of year was time for new school shoes and since we only usually got one pair per year, we did the new shoe happy dance when we put them on.

Buying shoes back in the day was very different, almost a ritual. Continue reading

As Long as there are Bubbles, the World will be OK

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I will never sell this piece because it is very special to me. It is one of the first portraits I did and it was of my grandson a few years ago.

There are no video games at grandma’s house, but grandma has bubbles. Like fragile dreams that are easily popped, he can continuously breathe life into thousands of bubbles and become mesmerized as they slowly ascend, carrying troubles with them if only for a few brief moments. He and his friends spend hours with grandma’s bubbles, giggling and chasing them through the yard.

This picture hangs next to my television set and I often find myself looking away from the evening news, looking away from stories of mass shootings, ISIS and politics, looking into the innocent eyes of my precious grandson and making a mental note to buy more bubbles and somehow make the world alright.

High Handle Bars Banana Seat

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OK, I’d admit that this wasn’t the smartest way to ride a bike but we all did it…and somehow survived. My grandmother used to say “God takes care of babies, old folks and fools.” Not sure which one we were, but we didn’t have helmets or knee pads in those days. I’m not sure we would have worn them if we had.

But – we had high handlebars, banana seats and (if you were really cool) high sissy bars in the back. My bike was turquoise with streamers on the handlebars, a basket AND a bell. My brothers clipped a clothes pin and a baseball card to the spokes in such a way that it sounded like a motorcycle. Oh, if they had only kept that Roberto Clemente card…

How I Learned to Count Money

Childhood Treasure

Childhood Treasure

Do you remember collecting pop bottles in your radio flyer in order to save up enough money to buy your favorite goodies?

Having your nose pressed against the case filled with Swedish fish, wax lips and pixie sticks; the clerk patiently helping you to calculate the total of “three red shoe laces” and “two jaw breakers?”

Before I started school, I learned to calculate how many candy necklaces and pumpkin seeds I could purchase with the proceeds of a wagon full of pop bottles – years before I knew anything about recycling.

I couldn’t stop smiling as I painted this piece, reminiscing about the little brown paper treasure bag from long ago, filled with the adventures of Bazooka Joe and his gang. Continue reading