My husband brought me a surprise from his Boy Scout excursion to Gettysburg, PA.
He brought me. Bottle of Monkees Banana Nut Soda!!
Am I a believer? You bet I am!
I LOVED the Monkees when I was a little girl! While other girls were playing house, my friends I were playing Monkees. I always wanted to play Mike. I loved Mike! He seemed so deep. He was quiet and the calming influence of the quartet. Not always, but sometimes.
I always went for the quiet ones. With the Beatles, I loved George!
Of the bubblegum pop, when everyone else was screaming over David Cassidy and Donny Osmond, I was home mooning over Bobby Sherman.
On the TV show, “Here Come The Brides” Bobby Sherman was so quiet and shy he stuttered! I found out years later that he actually suffers from Agoraphobia.
But I digress. I now listen to a pod cast called “The Many Moods Of Ben Vaughn” that sometimes features Mike Nesmith singing songs that aren’t Monkees. Did you know he wrote, “Different Drum?” One of Linda Ronstadt’s first hits. And his song, “Some of Shelly’s Blues” is a great song I can really get into.
He had a very folkrock aesthetic and the first song that was released was a folk song. Too bad it tanked! He was great! The song, not so much.
Remember that green hat with the four white buttons? Did you think it had some deep seated meaning? Was it an homage to someone who wore a similar hat? Did he wear it for religious or political reason?
Nope! The day he had his audition to become a Monkee he rode his motorcycle
He rode his motorcycle to the audition and wore the hat to keep his hair out of his eyes. He wore it into the audition for some reason the producers liked it and told him to wear during recordings.
Mike also had his own record label, Countryside Records and Countryside Studios.
He passed away recently. I know many people thought he was snob. I just really liked him. But, then, I always go for the silent, deep kind.
Who was your favorite Monkee? Why?
Do you remember bubblegum pop? Who was your favorite singer or band?
Tom was driving his scouts home from Gettysburg this morning. My daughter and son in law were meeting me at church.
By the time I left for “Church in the Park” it was raining lightly so I brought along a sturdy poncho. All of the fifteen minute drive was the same slow steady rain.
When I got to the park it was raining slightly heavier and I was glad I had the poncho. There were several canopies set up in front of the covered stage and Bill was praying for communion. Pastor Jen was standing in the paved area in front of the stage with her rain jacket and her full worship on. As the second worship song began to play she stubbornly stood her ground and let the rain pelt her. She was not going to let a little rain stop her! But by the time the second worship song had begun we could all hear the thunder rolling in and I began to pray for protection.
I was sharing Jimmy and Taffy’s canopy and I leaned over and whispered in Taffy’s ear, “Remember the Iron Dome over Israel? We have an Iron Dome here.” “That’s good to hear!” She answered.
Taffy, Jimmy and I, with several others from Shore Life Church, had traveled to Israel in 2016. We learned that there’s an all weather air defense system designed to identify and destroy all incoming short range rockets. That’s the Iron Dome.
Soon the thunder was right over head and we could see the lightning flashing all around. Then, suddenly, GIANT hand came out of the clouds and pushed all our canopies over! (Well, not a giant hand per se, but it sure felt and looked like it!) People started jumping up and hanging onto the canopy poles but Mark was yelling, “Don’t hold onto the canopy poles!” as the thunder and lightning intensified.
And then… someone unzipped the sky and it rained SO HARD that nobody stayed dry! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it rain harder than that! I was so relieved to have that poncho as. I was other struggle with being soggy! I think Pastor Jen and I were the only women to escape with dry hair!
Mark’s announcement from the stage was, “Church is over! We can’t go on with this wind and rain. Please drive carefully.” And just like that, we all bolted for our cars!
By this time everyone, under a canopy or not, was drenched to the bone! And I could not get my chair to fold up so I grabbed a corner of it and dragged it to the Jeep that was parked waaaaaay too far away!
So much for wearing the pretty dress I’d embroidered! It was so heavy on me! And although I was wearing that poncho, my full length dress, to the knees was dripping wet and even up to the neckline was wet!
I spent meany years going to summer Christian festivals in PA and Va and knew all about sitting in the rain in an open field. My first festival, Jesus ’75 was a slippery, muddy quagmire almost from beginning to end! So I didn’t mind the rain. I kinda saw it as an adventure. You know, it’s so important to have a sense of humor!
I'm always looking for ways to serve God better. And every time I step up and submit to Him my whole body cries out, “NO!! Don’t go there! It’s new! It’s scary! You won’t be able to do it! It’s too hard! You’re gunna fail!
But I do it anyway.
Stepping out in faith. Climbing out on that limb. Jumping in with both feet. It’s becoming a pattern with me. And although it’s a scary pattern sometimes, it’s also intensively beautiful, deep in rich colors and gorgeous in design.
Since 2004, when Jesus was finally able to break through my walls of self protection and show me how He loves me, how He sees me, how He has His best set aside for me, I have been full and wanting to share with others. My capacity for joy seems endless!
During the pandemic of 2020 I started an online Art Mastery course. It changed my life in ways it would take me hours to tell! I stepped out on that limb. I was rewarded!
So, now that my life as a professional artist is established, what next?
I saw an ad on Facebook for an online course for becoming a “Destination Retreat Leader” Since my reawakening in 2004 I have wanted to find a way to share what the Lord has taught me about myself and Him and the relationship that we share that no one else shares.
So I jumped in with both feet and I’m learning how to find really, really nice locations to offer retreats on How to build “Intimacy with Jesus Through Prophetic Art”
I think this is the scariest thing I’ve ever done! I know that it’s a whole lot more work than I’ve ever done! I’ve been at it since March 2023 and I’m taking my time, to make sure I get every nugget and understand every point.
Little did I know that leading a retreat meant building a clientele. I have to have an email list of people who are willing learn to trust me even if they don’t know me personally. (Even if they do!) So now I have the beginnings of an email list, (14 at last count) and a newsletter and my website with this blog on it and the sales page that is already made and waiting for people to look at and salivate over!
https://www.judygoddardart.com/intimacy-with-jesus.html I also will beginning to add Youtube videos. All of this is intended to give prospective retreat attenders a chance to know me, to see for themselves that I mean what I say; that my objective is to help them see themselves in a different light and delve deeper into an intimate relationship with Jesus, deeper than they’ve ever known before, deeper than they knew they could!
My dream location is Skyland Lodge in Shenandoah National Park, in Virginia. It’s a place I know very well and long to share with others. I can’t wait to show them all the places I have loved there.
So, even if I sometimes hear myself screaming in my head that this is scary and I should stop RIGHT NOW, I’ll continue to build my retreat.
The farther into the process I go the less I feel like,
“NO!! Don’t go there! It’s new! It’s scary! You won’t be able to do it! It’s too hard! You’re gunna fail!
It’s gunna be a blast! And I’m going have such a good time! And I’ll get to help people with the knowledge and wisdom the Lord has given me!
Have you ever "Jumped in with both feet?" Have you done something daring and scary and were glad you did? Tell me about it! I'd love to hear!
I bought two dresses a couple of years ago. Two plain sleeveless dresses, one blue and one green.
Since I bought them, I’ve been meaning to embroider the tops around the neckline. I even picked out a couple of pretty patterns that I’ve stored on my computer.
This year I gave myself a break from knitting to pick up an embroidery needle.
I’m so glad I did! I have rediscovered how pleasant it is to paint with cotton floss! The colors are so pleasing and the motion of putting the needle through the cloth and then pulling it out again.
It’s rhythmic and soothing and it delights my eyes and my spirit.
As you can see, this dress will be wearing a yoke of blossoms. I fancy that they’re impatiens.
The green dress will be adorned with bluebirds.
There’s a new craft shop in town. In Toms River, where I live, there are two craft stores, across the highway from each other, waaaay… over on the other side of town. I’ve been praying for a craft shop on my side of the “universe” and in May my prayer was answered.
I’ll have to do some more cotton floss painting when these two are done.
I sold at an art show in Montclair, NJ this past weekend.
The weather was perfect except tor one brief downpour on Saturday, near closing time.
I’m content with the sales I made. But let me tell you about some of the conversations I had!
There was Linda, a lovely woman around my age, who noticed that I was wearing a pendant with Hebrew letters on it. Her eyes got wide as she realized what she looking at and stuttered as she said, “That’s Hebrew! That’s Hebrew writing on your necklace!
“Yes!” I responded. It’s the Hebrew word for “song” and symbolizes singing praises to God!”
She told me that Jewish Boys are named “Shir.”
She was amazed to see such a thing worn on a gentile woman. I told her about my dear friend, Deborah Potash Brodie who creates beautiful “Hidden Message” jewelry. And maybe she’ll make a sale from our exchange of words. I wrote down Deborah’s name and she’ll be looking into into buying a piece for her friend. It was cute as they argued back in forth about who would buy for who, she or her friend, until I chimed in and said, “Buy for each other, but a year apart.” That seemed to settle the problem and they wandered off together.
Then were was Edy. She was a sweet older lady who commented on my work and then sharing with me about her thoughts on life and living. When the topic of gender came up I didn’t know how to respond so I told her that, beside painting, my greatest job is to love the person standing in front me, and that meant I loved her! She really liked that!
Sharon has a rubber chicken. She takes it with her on journeys all over the world. She’s taken photos of it wherever she’s gone. She showed me picture of the rubber chicken in front of the Leaning Tower of Pizza! She said she’d really like to put all the photos into a book. I said to go for it! I hope she does!
Eileen is an elderly lady who has a master’s degree in psychology. She told me she was the by far the oldest person in her class. She gave me tips on how to market my picture books to publish schools. Such a wealth of information!
It seemed as if everyone I smiled at stopped to say hello. Maybe not, but there were many, many conversations. I smiled all day long, remembering that Jesus was right there with me and included in every conversation, even if I didn't mention His name.
I had a really good weekend. I’ll do this show again next year.
We were driving from New Jersey to Dover, NH, on the first leg of a journey to visit family in NH, western Maine, Down East Maine and Upstate NY.
As we drove up Rte 84, suffering from the fourth traffic jam that would make us an hour late, I noticed a little black jumping spider crawling up the inside of the windshield.
Now, I am not particularly bothered by bugs. Living in the woods means l’ve gotten used to them. But a spider in a car? Whenever I see a spider in the car I stop breathing!
“There’s a spider.” I said. “There’s A Spider! THERE’S A SPIDER!!” I made Tom pull over to the side of the road and squushed myself into my seat as he came around the front of the car and tried to reach it from where I was sitting. Then I got out of the car so he try harder. He was not successful. It scurried over to the driver’s side of the windshield and disappeared under the gasket that holds the windshield in place.
I started breathing again and jokingly told Tom that he was a cute little guy. I kept an eye out for him and watched him stick his little furry feet out from under the gasket again. Later that evening, while at our friend’s home in NH, he told me it had been running up and down his leg!
The next day, while on our way to Madrid, ME, I was dozing and just about to close my eyes. I had a bandana and a pair of sunglasses on. Just as I was closing my eyes, he slipped down from of my bandanna and the top of my sunglasses and nearly scared me to death! I flung the sunglasses onto the dashboard and watched him scurry off to the safety of the windshield gasket yet again. It’s amazing how a little quarter inch spider can look enormous when it’s crawling down your glasses!
Segue into Tuesday afternoon, on our way to see my other sister, I was driving and suddenly, there he was, perched on lip of the door where the window goes up and down. Gleefully and with trepidation I rolled down the window and whisked him into the wind. Tom thought he landed in the car driving next to us on the highway.
I don’t really care where he went. If it was into the next car I hope they treat him well. He really was a cute little black jumping spider!
This is a lazy Susan that I've been hired to paint.
It's 21 inches in diameter and made of bamboo. It was ordered from Amazon and delivered to my door.
It's intended to be a gift to a dearly loved daughter and her large family. The outer ring will be painted pale orange and painted with the daughter's family's names and hearts.
The very center will be filled with white apple blossoms.
I spent 10+ years as a decorative painter, mostly painting walking sticks. It's nice to have skills that I can apply to other forms.
I've never painted a lazy Susan before and I'm really enjoying it.
So, d'ja ever start a project that you were really excited about but when you got half way done, you decided you hated it? It happens to me more than I'd like to admit.
I got so excited when I decided that make a painting of McCarter Pond in Fair Haven NJ. Fair Haven is the town I grew up in and McCarter Pond was our neighborhood spot to go ice skating when the weather was right.
I had the picture all figured out in my head and I made what I thought was a really source image and started right in.
About halfway through the process I looked and thought, "Meh." At first I couldn't figure out where I'd gone wrong. I took a photo of it and looked at that and saw right away that everything in the painting seemed static to me. There was no "flow."
So, I got my source out again and realized that the painting I had made didn't look much like the source at all! In the painting none of the figures touched each other. (Well almost none.) That made everything look very far from everything else. Since each person or group of people were isolated there was no reason to keep my eyes moving through the painting in the way I wanted. Each group was a vignette, but not a part of the whole.
So, I started over. Because the figures overlap in places there's a greater sense of motion and connectedness about the painting. The color in the new painting is more muted but will be fully colorful when the painting is done.
The Second painting
Like I said, this is a problem I deal with all too often. But although I've painting as an educated artist for two years now, I have to remember that I've ONLY been painting for two years now. Every time I start a new picture I have to remember to take stock of how I want the finished painting to look and make corrections before I get very involved. So much of my time is wasted in going back and fixing blunders. But I will continue to learn and very soon now I think I'll be past the part of the process that makes me second guess myself. I'll be able to see the source and faithfully execute it in oils.
I feel confident in this.
Last November I attended a three day show that I paid an embarrassing amount of money for. In those three days I sold embarrassingly little art. One man walked into my space and told me he was an art professor at a University. He said he really liked my art and he said to keep going. "Keep going and you'll get even better. You're on the right track". And I choose to believe him.
That was one of the things that made my effort worth the trip. Another was meeting the owner of "Wild Birds Unlimited", in Middletown, NJ. It's a niche shop that specializes in bird seed and bird feeders. They also carry lots of other things that might appeal to a person who loves birds and feeding them. He was very interested in both of my books, My Navesink and When You Live in the Woods. The silly thing was I forgot to give a copy of each book before he walked away! So, after that weekend I mailed him one of each with a letter saying how nice it was to meet him and I hoped he was still interested in carrying my books and offering to set up a book signing.
The reason he was interested in My Navesink is that Middletown sits on the banks of the Navesink River. Those who know the river and love her like I do, will be able to purchase copies at Wild Birds Unlimited at 844 NJ-35, Middletown Township, NJ 07748. Or you can call them at : (732) 671-3155.
Painting the illustrations for My Navesink was one of the most joyful experiences of my life! Writing the lyrics and music more than 20 years ago was as great a joy back then!
He was also interested in my picture book, When You Live in the Woods, with illustrations and poems by me. All of the paintings and poems are true stories about my experiences with the wildlife I live with on my 16 acre farm in the woods. For 25 years we've been stewards of the land, maintaining a healthy habitat for the animals that live around us and sometimes even get into our house! Many of our encounters have been with wild birds.
I think it's a perfect fit for "Wild Birds Unlimited!"
Yesterday, after I got back from the studio, the sky got really black and wind whipped up. Then came the thunder! And then came the hail! Pretty unusual for winter in New Jersey!
I spent most of the afternoon working on the new painting, "McCarter Pond" I laid down the background and penciled in most of. the figures. I'm using acrylics to lay in the first layer and finishing it in oils. It's gunna be a great painting! And the memories it's bringing back are so f friendly. I hope it's ready for the Red Bank Street Fair on April 16!
I wasn't able to keep the sliding door open today like I did yesterday but I didn't need to turn the heater on either. This has been the strangest winter!
On the way back from the studio I encountered a pair of Canada geese. in the field next to the house. They were not happy to see me. I"m sure they were looking for a nesting site. They were looking at place really quite far from the creek that runs behind our house. But I'm pretty sure it's the same pair that roosted in the woods at the. front of the house last year. They'll either have to get used to me walking by every day or find someplace to lay their eggs.
So many people wish the geese would just go away. There are so many of them just about everywhere you look! Not enough predators I guess and they don't fly south for the winter anymore. But Tom and I just love them! They set up their territories during February and have their babies by the end of March. Then, from then until sometime in the summer our backyard is sprinkled with downy, fluffy yellow puff balls that turn into gangly teenager geese and finally, so grown up that we can't tell them from their parents.
Last year we had a lone goose. Sometime during the spring he/she lost her mate and spent weeks swimming up and down the creek and calling a mournful way, over and over again. So sad! Here's hoping that there are no lone geese this year.
Here's an image of the babies from the book I published last year.