Blog Archives

The Most Ticklish Turtle in Town

Thomas was a red-eared slider turtle.  He was called a red-eared slider, because he was able to slide off of rocks easily in the pond, and there were small red stripes around his ears.  Sometimes he put a claw in each ear hole and made faces at himself in the bathroom mirror.  He also liked to admire his red stripes.

One day when he had his eyes closed and was reaching for a towel to dry his face after washing it, his sister walked up behind him and grabbed his sides – the squishy part of his body underneath his hard shell.

Thomas let out a loud cry and jumped a foot off the floor.  His sister laughed, “Ha, ha!  Gotcha!”

He turned to her with angry eyes and yelled, “Don’t do that, Tamara!  I don’t like to be tickled by surprise!”  He finished wiping his face and hung up the towel.

“Why?”

“I don’t know.  It makes me feel funny.”

She snickered, “Well, it’s supposed to!  Tickling is supposed to make you laugh, and laughing is funny.  Besides, everyone knows you’re the most ticklish turtle in town.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t like being surprised like that.  I hate being grabbed in the sides.  So please don’t do it anymore, okay, Tamara?”

Tamara hung her head and slunk away muttering quietly, “Okay, Thomas.  I’m sorry.”  (But she thought to herself, “until next time!”)

Thomas went to his bedroom, put on his favorite baseball cap and jersey, picked up his mitt, and ran out the door without saying good-bye to Tamara.

He walked down to the baseball diamond at the park to look for Garrett.  They were supposed to meet there to toss the baseball around after lunch.  When he reached the dugout where they usually sat after playing, no one was there.  He still felt angry at Tamara, but he decided to look down in the dirt for money which he and Garrett sometimes found lying there.  Just as he spotted a shiny quarter and bent down to pick it up, someone grabbed his sides and tickled him.  Not only did it scare him, but he lost his balance and fell over on his back.  He wobbled around on the back of his shell and stretched his neck and front legs out so he could flip himself over when he heard a familiar laugh.  Then someone grabbed his front leg and pulled him up which brought him face-to-face with Garrett.

Garrett’s laughter was met with Thomas yelling, “Why did you do that?”

Garrett said, “Sorry, buddy.  I was just playing around.  Besides, everyone knows you’re the most ticklish turtle in town.”

“Yeah, yeah.  I’m so tired of being called that!  You would think by now everyone would realize how much I hate being sneaked up on and tickled!”

Garrett looked at the ground and said, “Sorry, Thomas.  I just came by to tell you I can’t play today.”

“What?  Why not?”  Thomas felt even more frustrated at the disappointing news.

“My mom has to take me to the shell doctor.”  He turned around and showed Thomas a big crack in the side of his shell.

“How’d you do that Garrett?”

“I fell off the wall in front of our house.”

“What?  How’d you get up there?  It has to be two feet off the ground!”

“There was a wide board leaning up against it so I walked up it towards the wall.  Then my back foot got caught in a big hole in the wood.  I sort of did a twist, and as I fell, I heard my shell crack against the edge of the board.”

Thomas hesitated, then asked, “Did it hurt?”

“Yeah.  When I fell…..”

Thomas interrupted and said, “Good!  I get hurt somehow almost every time someone tickles me by surprise!  You deserve it, Garrett!”

Garrett scowled.  “Hey!  I said I was sorry, Thomas.  I won’t tickle you anymore, okay?”

“Whatever.  I’m leaving.  I’m glad you can’t play.  I don’t feel like it now anyway!”  Thomas turned and ran away.

Garrett yelled, “Fine!  I don’t think I’ll meet you here tomorrow either then.”

Garrett’s feelings were hurt.  He really hadn’t meant to make Thomas angry.  Then he thought about all the times Thomas had asked him not to walk up behind him and tickle him like that.  He felt badly, but when he looked up, Thomas was already gone.

Thomas decided to wander over to the pond.  He saw his friend, Maya, which already made him feel better.  She was the nicest friend he knew.  Maya was a painted turtle so her shell was flatter than Thomas’s, and a deep olive green color.  She had bright yellow stripes on her face.  Thomas thought she was beautiful.  He had known her since they were two years old.  They had both had their 12th birthdays that year.

She crawled out of the cool water just as Thomas ran down the hill and jumped off a rock making a huge splash.

Maya laughed and yelled, “Good one, Thomas!”

Maya ran up the hill, turned around, and yelled, “Watch out, here I come.”  Then she came barreling down the hill, but at the edge of the pond she spread out all her legs, went flying through the air, suddenly pulling all her legs in and did a cannonball and splashing Thomas.

When she came out of the water, Thomas was grinning widely, but she was coughing and sputtering water.   “Wow, Maya!  That was a great jump.   Are you okay?”

“Sure.  I never get hurt doing that, but I always get water up my nose and sometimes swallow some.  She smiled and said, “But it’s just so fun.”

She swam over to him giggling and asked, “So how’s the most ticklish turtle in town doing today?”

Thomas burst into tears and said, “Don’t call me that, Maya.”

She crawled out onto the bank of grass and sat beside him.  “Whoa, what’s the matter Thomas?  I didn’t think that nickname bothered you that much.  I’m sorry.”

He cried for a minute and then said, “Well, it does.  It isn’t the nickname so much.  I probably am the most ticklish turtle in town.  What I hate is when others come up behind me and tickle my sides by surprise.  I really don’t like it at all.  It scares me and then I feel embarrassed.  Both my sister and Garrett did it to me just this morning!  I was so mad, I yelled at both of them.”

“Oh, that’s too bad, but they need to stop doing that.  I know what you mean by it scaring and embarrassing you, too.  My brother tickles my feet all the time.  I don’t like it either.  Sometimes he gets a hold of me and won’t stop, and I accidentally pee myself!  That is really embarrassing.  Then I cry.  Tickling is only fun when I’m letting someone do it at the same time that I’m tickling them.  Then I have more fun, because I know what’s coming and laughing feels good then.”

“I know.  I keep trying to tell my sister and my friend, Garrett that, but they just won’t listen!”

“I try to tell my brother, too, but he just gets mad and calls me a baby.  That hurts my feelings.  I am not a baby just because I tell him to stop doing something I don’t like.”

“What are we going to do about it, Maya?  I am so tired of this.”

“I don’t know if there is anything we can do.  It’s really annoying when others won’t listen to us when we tell them to stop doing something that makes us feel uncomfortable.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes thinking about how to solve their problem.  Maya’s face brightened suddenly.

Thomas asked, “Did you think of something?”  She grinned, and he said, “You did think of something didn’t you?”

“Yeah.  I think I did.”  She smirked and nodded her head, then leaned over and began to tell Thomas her plan.

——————

        The next morning Thomas was in the kitchen getting his breakfast.  He didn’t hear his sister sneak up behind him, because he had his earbuds in listening to his music.  He felt little nudges on his sides and turned to see Tamara rubbing her front feet together.  She started to cry.  Thomas felt a little bad but he took one earbud out and asked, “What’s the matter, Tamara?”

She cried, “What is that under your shell?  I tried to tickle you, but my feet feel like I got stabbed by something!  It hurts!  What do you have under there?”

Thomas grinned and said, “You mean ‘who’ is under there?”

Tamara’s eye’s widened.  “What?”

Then Thomas bent over to one side and then the other.  Sitting underneath the sides of his shell were his baby twin porcupine friends, Patty and Paulie.  They pulled in their heads to hide when they saw Tamara’s angry and confused face.

She said to them, “Your quills are sharp!”

In unison they said, “Sorry!”

“How come they aren’t hurting your sides, Thomas?”

“I stuck some padding to my sides before I let them sit there.”

Patty snickered and said, “Thomas gave us some yummy pineapple and said he would give us more if we hid under his shell.  He didn’t tell us why, and we didn’t ask.  We just wanted the pineapple!”

Tamara laughed, “Well, it did hurt, but…”  Then peering at Thomas with a look of shame she said, “I deserved it.  I guess I wasn’t listening all the times you told me to stop tickling you.  I’m sorry, Thomas.  I will never do it again.  I promise.”

The baby porcupines smiled as Thomas bent down so they could crawl out of his shell.  He handed them a big pineapple and opened the kitchen door for them.  The pineapple was so large that they had to carry it together.  They waddled away yelling, “Thank you, Thomas!”

He laughed and hollered back, “You’re welcome!”  Then he asked Tamara if she wanted to go play a game.  She happily said yes.

Later that day his friend Garrett came over. He had called Thomas the night before to apologize again so Thomas forgave him.  Garrett hadn’t promised not to tickle Thomas anymore, though, but Thomas wasn’t worried.

After Garrett arrived, Thomas reached up to get his baseball mitt off the shelf and expected Garrett to try and tickle him.  He waited a moment, but nothing happened.  He turned around and said, “Hey, why didn’t you try to tickle the most ticklish turtle in town, Garrett?”

Garrett shook his head and exclaimed, “Are you kidding?  Tamara told me about the little prickly friends you have hiding under there.”

Thomas laughed and showed his sides to Garrett.  He said, “Nope!  No one’s under there now.  But I hope you guys learned your lesson.  I hate being tickled by surprise!”

Garrett held up both his front feet and backed up a little saying, “Buddy, you got it!  I promise I will never tickle you again.  I’m really sorry, too.”

“Thanks, Garrett.  I’m sorry I said you deserved to get hurt.  I didn’t really mean that.  Let’s go play some baseball now, okay?”

“Okay!”

When they walked by the pond on their way to the park, Maya was sitting on a rock sunning herself.  She and Thomas winked at each other as he and Garrett walked by.

Then Thomas became known as the trickiest turtle in town.”

The End

© Patsy H. Parker

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Jane Yolen, Picture Book Author

Hello Friends,

I have not posted in a while because I honestly have not had the energy!  My daughter left to go visit a friend in Missouri for Spring Break!  I hope she has a wonderful time.

In the meantime, I am doing a lot of reading.  I began reading “Animal Farm” which is pretty great. Both of my kids read it for school, and my husband read it years ago.  I think it is amazing and insightful already, and I am only 28 pages in!

I also began painting my drawings for my picture book, Larry the Lonely Leatherback Sea Turtle.  I am going to try to take pictures of them and put the text with them, then upload it on WordPress and try to make a “book” that can be looked through like it would appear if it was printed on paper.

In the meantime, here are some encouraging words from Jane Yolen.  I have yet to check out any of her books from the library, though, because I just learned about her the other day.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

http://www.juliehedlund.com/jane-yolens-20-rules-of-writing

Child Ballerina #2

Here is the child ballerina re-done. I like the way this one turned out much better especially the skin tone. What do you think?

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug.

Ballerina 2 (2)

Ballerina 2 Close-up

Pointillism….Wow! This takes lots of patience!!!

This is one of the most amazing things I’ve watched. It is time lapsed, but can you imagine how long this must have taken to do? This person and all artists who like to do this form of artwork really amaze me. I used to have a friend many years ago who did this type of art. At the time I thought she was a little cuckoo! BUT after I took art history and learned about Georges Seurat many years ago I was really taken aback. If you’re interested, you can read about him here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Seurat. But then……..

Check out this video of Maddie Weyman drawing Audrey Hepburn (who I love, by the way.) Maddie is pretty incredible. She has a nice relaxing song to go with it, too.

Art is Therapy

Art is Therapy

Hello my blogging friends. I am sure you recognize this painting since it’s the background of my blog. It is the best example I have of what I will be talking about. I did this painting one day last year to 1) Experiment with color and 2) For mental therapy at the time!

In the last few days I started reading a couple of different books. One is called “Understanding Color” by Marcia Moses. I am constantly learning and re-learning about color in painting and drawing. Watercolors present such a unique challenge in the area of mixing color. I have a few books about color, but this one has given me some fresh things to think about.

One thing I like is how she defines certain terms that have always kind of confused me, such as tone, tint, and shade. These are basic things, but I honestly don’t think about them much while I’m painting. I like how she shows examples of each in the book

Another interesting thing is how she shows how to make colorful grays even sharing how she got rid of the color Payne’s gray from her palette. This surprised me, and I don’t think I’m going to do it as of yet, but I am planning to experiment with making different colorful shades of gray and even shades of black. I for one have never liked the way the different colors of black look right out of the tube. So I am looking forward to experimenting with making different blacks also.

I have never really created a color palette and stuck to it for all I paint. I realize there are many different combinations one can make for creating a color palette. However, I have never created any conciously and kept them. I do a lot of experimenting as I work on a painting to get the colors I want for that particular image. As you can tell in my previous child ballerina painting, I could not get what I wanted, because I am still learning about what colors to use for mixing skin tones.

This brings me to one point that Marcia makes in her book. She says that artists, even art instructors, should never feel that they have reached a point when they think they know it all about art, color, etc. I so agree. I apply this thought to everything in my life. I never think of myself as having “arrived” as an artist or writer or even spiritually. There is always something more to learn and room to grow. New challenges is what drives me in my life.

The other book I am reading is called “The Art Therapy Sourcebook” by Cathy A. Malchiodi, ATR, LPCC. She explains what art therapy is and how it can help even non-artists to deal with painful feelings. She talks about creativity, being spontaneous, and mental illness. I am not very far into it, but one thing I already read that stood out to me is when she said in Chapter One, What is Art Therapy? on page 14,

“Art therapy can also be helpful in releasing emotions. In psychological terms, this experience is referred to as catharsis. Catharsis literally means “cleansing” or “purging”; in therapy it refers to the expression and discharge of strong emotions for relief.” Then in the next paragraph she says, “For example, it is known that creative activity can actually increase brain levels of seratonin, the chemical linked to depression.”

I know art therapy is not for everyone, but I just want to say if you are struggling with depression or something hard in your life, just draw or paint and see what happens. You don’t have to have an art therapist to “interpret” your drawings; just try it for fun! Releasing pent-up depression or anger is healthy for us mentally. And life is so much more enjoyable when we learn how to deal with feelings and express them in a healthy way.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂 (Even that is healthy in and of itself!)

Ballerina – Older Child

I really liked the way this girl turned out, especially her dress. I like her skin tone much more also; it looked as if she is actually wearing pink tights with the dress, but I also noticed that her skin tone is too close to the color I made the dress. In the photo her dress is more of a cream color that blends in a lot with her surroundings, but I wanted it to stand out a little more. She is also in a lot of shadow, but I didn’t want to paint her that way. I think the background is much too light. I sharpened it up a lot in photoshop in the third picture here, but that is not how it looks. I am not sure what color to try and add into the background to bring her out more.

Any suggestions??? I need lots of help with this one!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug. 🙂

Ballerina - Older Child 2

Ballerina - Close-up of Older Child

Ballerina - Older Child Close

Ballerina – Small Child

Ballerina Small Child

This girl’s expression didn’t turn out anything like I wanted it to. I wanted it to be much softer. I couldn’t get her skin tone right either. The photo has her in a lot of shadow, but I have so much to learn about painting people obviously! Anyway….

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

WORKING ON BALLERINAS, ETC.

Grace Swinging

DSCN0394

Hello my blogging friends! Here’s a couple of very old photos of my crazy kids.

I think I am done with “Wacky Wednesdays” and “Flower Fridays.” I thank you for the support of those two features on my blog in the last couple of months. However, as I have said before, I am not really an abstract artist, so the Wacky Wednesdays were just for some crazy fun. However, I do have some abstract ideas to do from some photos I took recently, so you’ll still see some in the future, just not the very near future.

One of my goals is to become better at portrait painting even though I have no live models to work from. I don’t have time to take a class, but I am just trying to work from photos. So I am currently working on the ballerinas I have found in books. However, I am changing their expressions and the backgrounds so they are not exact copies of the photos. I also found some photos from when my children were toddlers. I don’t know how they will feel about it if I feature them on here from way back when, but I really don’t think they’ll care. I ran across some of the cutest pictures of them recently that brought back a flood of memories from the years that were the most fun for me as their mom. Those were the years before they talked back, had huge temper tantrums, etc. as all kids do when they are growing up. Not to say as toddlers they didn’t have temper tantrums. But I never said they were going through the “terrible twos.” I despise that expresssion. I think two was one of my favorite ages for both of them. In fact I used to call them the “terriffic twos.”

Turning two is when most children are discovering so many new things all at once. Some are already talking like my son was, in full sentences, but my daughter was barely talking at all then. It wasn’t because she couldn’t; she just didn’t want to! She was somewhat shy which was fine, but only around strangers. She was an observer of all that was going on around her. She still is a great observer of her surroundings, and she is cautious in making friends. That’s why she has found a faithful few instead of trying to just have tons of so-called friends like some kids do. I think in this day and age people have many, many more acquaintances than true friends, but that’s a topic for another day.

My son, on the other hand, was just always talking up a storm. Even now when he is excited about something, we hear about it! He has a real gift for writing fiction which I hope will be what he is successful at someday. I enjoy them both so much now. My daughter is 16 and my son is 18. It is sometimes so hard to think of him as a young man, but he is. He has his own thoughts and ways of doing things as we all do.

So as you can see I am dealing with the years leading up to the “empty nest.” Frankly, I am more ready now than I was a year ago. I know he wants to get out on his own, but there’s lots of things he still has to do to prepare for that. I have no idea how long it will take, but I will say I already have plans for his empty room when he’s gone. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. What mother doesn’t make plans for an upcoming spare room in her imagination?

When I moved out the first time, my mom left my room the way it was, because she had a feeling I would be back in less than a year. Well, she was right. I would do the same with him, but I have a feeling with his determination, he will make sure he never has to move back home. I hope his determination takes him far in his life, too. It is one of his best qualities.

Anyway, as you may be able to see, I didn’t really have this blog post PLANNED. It is “off the cuff” as they say, but here it is. This is where I am at in my life. I haven’t been writing lately, because I just don’t have the energy. The last quarter of the school year always feels a little crazy to me, so…I do my art, 1) because I enjoy it, and 2) to stay sane.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Flower Friday

Here’s a photo I took in the spring of last year of the thistles that grow around our fish hatchery. I have not drawn or painted it yet, but plan to eventually. So that is all for today, no drawing or painting.

Thistle

Also, I am thinking of my parents today. I believe it would have been their 63rd anniversary if they were still here. Rest in peace Mama and Daddy. I love you and miss you.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Seagull By the River – Acrylic Painting

Seagull by the River

Here’s a little 3×5 acrylic I did yesterday.

www.inspyromance.com/

Inspy Romance—Fall in Love With a Good Book

The Change

6 Powerful Steps

Wendy L. Macdonald

My faith is not shallow because I've been rescued from the deep.

Vultureşti

Auf einmal ist alles relativ

charles french words reading and writing

An exploration of writing and reading

%d bloggers like this: