Tag Archives: libraries

New from the easel next door

Jes is busy working on pieces for The Light of Nebraska series. The framed landscape is a warm up piece. When you switch gears from one style of painting to another you also change palettes (the colors you paint with) . So it’s nice to do a warm up piece to get your color theory organized for the style of painting and the subject. I like to take a creative break- Jes calls it yummy baked goods. 😉 Stay on the Awiya side of life my creatives!




Mindful living & doing now!

Here in the last week we’ve seen exaggerated cases of abuse of power. The Penn State Coach and the bus aid getting bullied are both clear examples of power and influence being abused. Everyday I read through the news and day after day its more examples of abuse of power and violence against each other. Once in awhile I find a beautiful little gem of hope that we haven’t lost our humanity & compassion for each other, which of course I am all to happy to twitter it @awiya & blog it Finding the Hidden Gems: Dig it!. We need all the inspiration we can get.

However, inspiration alone isn’t enough. Being mindful and aware about what we see happening in our communities isn’t enough. We need to be doing! Doing something to stop the cycles of abuse of power, bullying, and violence in our communities. STAND UP! SPEAK UP ! GET DOING! Holding those responsible for their abuse of power is just one step. WE need to take a few more steps forward and become active in changing our community influences & experiences we offer. WE are the community after all.

What are you using your personal power & influence for?

I cannot answer for all of you out there in our human community, but I can answer for myself. I am utilizing my talent & ability of painting and donating the works to help others in crisis & donating paintings to community spaces to not only inspire hope, but to improve the image of the space, draw attention to community services such as libraries and community centers that offer a wide variety of community services & programs that instill & advocate community & personal responsibility, compassion, and unity. I am utilizing my personal power as a parent & continue to teach my children about volunteerism as they volunteer at the library reading to young children, summer reading programs & at a local pet shelter. It is our mindful living & doing NOW!

One of my biggest inspirations was having the pleasure to know & love a beautiful woman named Jenny. Great Grand Mother to my eldest son. She was a 1st generation born to scottish immigrants and lived a life of family, community & selfless giving. She knitted & donated hats, booties & blankets for premature babies at a local Nebraska hospital for over 30 yrs. She hand quilted blankets & donated them to local raffles & fundraisers. She volunteered within her community her entire adult life. She had a heart so loving & generous that anyone who met her could not help but be touched & inspired. Her smile was infectious & her presence of life strong. My son told me a story of the day he realized something he could do for his beloved Grandma Jenny when she reached into her 90’s, had suffered a stroke. He was about 4 years old and wanted his Grandma Jenny to read him a book. Whenever he would bring her a book she said no and distracted him with other activities. As time passed along and he grew older he held the belief that his Grandma Jenny didn’t want to read to him. It wasn’t until Grandma Jenny had her first stroke that he learned that Grandma Jenny didn’t know how to read. She spend a life time giving to others, but never once asked for help to learn to read. Inspired by Grandma Jenny’s love of giving & his love for his Great Grandma, my son spent many afternoons reading to his beloved Grandma Jenny. Grandma Jenny had several more strokes and passed within the year. This experience has profoundly shaped the person my son has grown to be.

What experiences can a community provide to our youngest of members?

Check out the programs offered in your towns, community libraries and community centers. Participate, volunteer, donate to local direct impact projects. WE are the community. If we don’t like what is happening in our communities, then its ALL OUR RESPONSIBILITY to change it!