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More than meets the eye! Just like life, if you zoom in on the eye, you will see that I have line shading with ink. At first you might not notice it, but if you look closer into the painting or at life, there’s more there than originally thought. It’s amazing to me that although 50 years old, I am continually learning daily. Learning from what I have done wrong in the past, what I have done correct, and just flat-out learning things new to my life. I have started giving private art lessons, which is new to me, I am a father of young ladies venturing off into their own life and not just my little girls depending on me, and soon looking at retirement of a job that I have had for 26 years… Life has been and continues to be an adventure. I see things that I want to try, even if I started today doing them all, I’m pretty sure that I would run out of time before completing a lot of them. Where would I even start? Traveling, seeing and doing things in different places, Art, my goodness the creativity that I see now days just makes my head swim with ideas of my own, sports, wood working, archeology digs, repurposing objects into art and furniture, metal detecting, and that’s just a start. Now let’s include hunting, fishing, ocean walks, family, wife, my, daughters and yes, maybe even someday… grandchildren!
A wise old man once said ”Life begins in a moment, and ends even Quicker” Okay an old man did say it, he’s not wise, but the old man knows, because that old man is me!
My advice to young people, never put off things! Whether it’s work, play or family, get up, get out, and just do it, or you will miss out on so much and wished that you had a chance to do it all over someday. I see so much laziness from young and old now days wasting their time watching tv, computers, games, and other items that keeps people from growing. There is a place in this world for all of them, and I do use them daily, but I limit my time on each, and enjoy the outdoors, activities and people so much more than those items. Now get off the computer and find a passion that brings out the creativity, energy, emotion, or the help of others!
7″ x 10″ watercolor with pen and ink eyes and shading
Sisters… who needs them? I do, I do! My family means so much to me, and my sisters are no exception. I painted this painting for my sister that helps me so much with my parents and is there when I need her. Ever since my parents got there divorce when we were really young, all of the siblings have been extremely close and helped each other get thru several very ugly years of divorce. Because of this, we have a special bond that goes beyond most siblings relationships. To all my siblings far and near, thank you for your love and help thru troubled and wonderful times!
I’m not a wine expert or even close, but I do like a glass of dry wine every once in a while. The Biltmore wines (Ashville, N. Carolina) is some of my favorite. If you have never visited the Vanderbilt home known as the Biltmore… It’s a must! This home (Castle) is not only the biggest home in the U.S., but built amazing collection of history, arts, furniture, and grandeur of architecture. First indoor bowling ally, 70,000 gallon indoor heated and lighted pool, instant hot water through out the entire home, which is a 179,000 square foot home… 179,000 square feet. I have been there 4 times and simply amazed every time I go. You can google it, but believe me everything photo found, will not do the actual room, garden, wood working, furnishings, and art pieces justice, it’s a must see in real life to appreciate it.
So take a trip and visit this beautiful home and winery, and have a few taste test glasses for me!
This is one of three Wildlife mom and babe paintings that I will be doing for small notes and prints. I will be using various colors including greens, purples, reds and other colors to bring a little flair to each. These giraffes have purple, reds, orange and blues to make the spots and shading. I have a full schedule of shows and commissions, but I hope to maintain the blog the best that I can.
The parents and babe series came from the realization that my own children our becoming adults and how I miss them and the tender moments when they were little. They are still full of love, but are working, and going to college, so very little time to see us, but when they do, it’s truly a joy. When my parents warned me that time flies by even faster when you get older and I didn’t think that was possible, but I realize now… it’s true!
Had time to play on a few small paintings, and decided to do one from a photo that a friend had sent to me of a tree at a university which held memories for her. The tree is a pen and ink, with watercolor greens and yellows. The other is from a beautiful photo found on paintmyphoto.ning.com. A great place for reference photos and subjects. This painting is all watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper. I hope to have more soon to come if time allows. Thanks and everyone have a great week.
I’m not sure which is older and in worse shape, this old school building or myself! This is a one room school building here in southern Indiana that a friend has located in her backyard. This 5″ x 7″ pen and ink, watercolor painting that I did was painted from a photo that she had taken earlier.
It’s funny to me, when I think of all the brilliant people who was taught in schools similar to this. Abraham Lincoln for one, actually grew up just miles from this school, and that’s not counting the great Philosophers, Engineers, Inventors, Astronomers, Physicist, etc. that we’re taught and excelled in classrooms similar to this. I hold education so important seeing that I wasted mine earlier in my life, but my question to you is why is it that we keep spending more and more money, millions upon billions on improving our schools and yet getting horrible results. A local high school has received millions and looks like the best of any small college in technology, and yet the graduation rate is less than 75% and minority rate is even much lower. Maybe it isn’t the money spent, but what has changed in the areas of discipline (in schools, but more importantly at home), pride of both the child and parents, the respect for elders, parents and teachers from a child, and hard work, and that flat-out means stop being lazy America, whether your a child or an adult. I think it’s time we stop using money as an excuse for our problems and start looking at ourselves for the answers. A new computer can’t teach life lessons to a child, like that of a person who loves them. Time to step-up, be the person that you were meant to be. Yes it’s hard work, time-consuming, and sometimes heart breaking, but like I have always told my daughters, most things that come easy aren’t worth having, and the rewards that are received after so much effort… is worth millions (or something like that).
Everyone have a great weekend, and let’s make a change for ourself and others that we touch this weekend!
This is my watercolor of the French Lick Train that they use for a Polar Express train ride and dinner in French Lick, Indiana. French Lick has a magnificent Inn and the West Baden Hotel that was considered on of the wonders of the world at one time and is absolutely beautiful. I will be at an art show there this weekend. West Baden was once a hotel for the rich and hollywood famous, and after a complete remodel, should still be considered one of the best. I hope to do more private showings soon, and possibly some travels in the near future. Have a great Christmas and Holidays!
8″ x 11″ Image size = $20.00 + SH
11″ x 14″ Premium Suede Matted print = $35.00 + SH
Contact me at email@example.com
Even though I am a warm weathered person, I love the heat, the sun and the oceans, there’s not a lot of things in this world that is more calming and beautiful than a walk through a woods with fresh snow on the ground. It has a refreshing smell of pines and fresh air when you breathe it in, and to see the wildlife flying or running around as though they have a new lease on life. I love the convenience of the city, but the man to earth relationship of the country. I have always been an explorer at heart and the finding of foot prints, nest, bones, shells, and other wonders of the woods, just make it more exciting to wonder. There used to be a tag line on the Indiana license plates that said “Wonder Indiana”, they must have created that by watching my actions. I can start a walk early in the morning and absolutely get lost in time and explore the woods an entire day. I know I have written about walking before, but a walk on concrete and asphalt isn’t what I was talking about. Sure it’s physically healthy to walk on streets, but the walking through nature, especially a woods or around a lake, is both mentally and physically healthy. This is great time of the year in the midwest to do so, the bugs are almost nonexistent and it’s cool and refreshing, just make sure that you where bright orange or go to a park to avoid the deer hunters like myself. As you walk take time to look close at the shape of trees, the formation of the stones and landscape, and stop every once in a while and give time to fool the creators in to thinking that you’re not there and listen to them communicate with song and chatter. I hope you have fun and think of me and this painting while doing so!
Have a great weekend!
Ho Ho Ho, with a frost-bitten toe. His face is red, and he’s been way over fed. But still delivering the goods, whether you live in the city or in the woods. Okay, I know, that’s enough of that, so I’ll stop. But what I was getting to is each year some of us receives gifts for Christmas and I was wondering what have been some of your favorites Christmas gifts in the past. This is my Santa print for 2012 and will be available soon.
Some of my favorites;
1. Red Rider BB gun, that’s right just like in the movie. With red rider on the side and a leather strap hanging from a ring… loved it!
2. My first official nice stereo with high-speed dubbing cassette recording, with speaker past the hips in height… that’s right, the bigger the better in those days.
3. Anything hunting and fishing
What are some of your favorites?
Ryan, painting lace, I know and yes it’s true, of course I wanted to add some camo to it, but fought the urge. This Christmas still life is a 8″ x 11″ watercolor image, framed in a 11″ x 14″ antiqued frame. I know it’s early for Christmas and winter paintings, but I’m actually running late on them for upcoming shows. Prints are yet to come back from the printer and originals still need to be painted. I wanted a lot of lace and white cloth contrasting with the dark background, and most of the color high on the paintings edge. Please leave a comment letting me know what you think or what you would have done different.
Price: Original 8″ x 11″ watercolor, 11″ x 14″ frame $225.00 plus SH
I had this beautiful frame and needed a painting to put in it, and elephants sell so fast I thought the texture would be perfect for it. Sorry for the poor photo, but I had it framed before I could get the picture. The watercolor image is a 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″, the frame outside edge is 11″ square.
With the blowing dirt and dust around his trunk, and by using blues, greens, golds and other colors to the skin, I hoped to bring a little life to such a small painting.
Price: Original watercolor, framed $125.00 plus shipping
Burrrrr! It’s getting a little FROSTY (the other guy) around here in southern Indiana. The temperature has dropped, the leaves are turning golden orange, red and yellow, and yes, winter is just around the corner. This is one of four watercolors that will be made into Giclee prints that can be matted to fit a 11 x 14 frame. The photo is a temporary for my blog only, but will be professionally taken for the prints. I will only have about a 100 prints of each scene, and will cost around $15.00 depending on printing cost. Of course the whites and colors of the painting will be much better when taken professionally. I hope to have them available in a few weeks along with another Santa print, The church steeple and the winter nighttime barn scene. I hope you enjoy Jingle the snowman and will check in soon to purchase for yourself or someone for a gift for the holidays.
Sitting in a clover field searching for a four-leaf clover, burning leaves and small insects with a magnifying glass, making new roadways through the grass and roots for the matchbox or hot wheels, or simply picking a dandelion seeding and waiting on a breeze and gently blowing the seeds into the wind, how sweet was life when this filled your day. Life has been a rush lately, not the rush as in adrenaline but a rush from here to there, do this and that, and an emotional roller coaster. I have been trying to slow it down and spend more time with family and things that I have been wanting to do, but as always, it’s just not working out. This is the time of year in Indiana that makes these days seem worth it. Temperatures are in the 70′s and low 80′s (F), a gentle breeze and flowers are still blooming. So as I’m going to do the next few months, I hope you try to do the same, slow down, take a picnic with someone you care for, and appreciate the things that we have and those loved ones that we have. Have fun, and blow a dandelion in the air for me… if you have one!
This watercolor is a 5″ x 9″ on watercolor 140lb paper, with a salt technic used for parts of the dandelion and air movement behind it.
So many people pray, whether whispered, spoken aloud, or maybe a simple quiet thought. I’m not sure if a prayer was answered or just given to me with-out prayer. We forget as our life passes by, the prayers that have been given with-out being ask for. It was almost eighty years ago, long before I was born, I was graced by God without being prayed for. You see my Mother-in-law was born in a small (really small town) in southern Indiana. Along with her twin brother and several other sisters and brothers, they grew up knowing a simple life, but a Christian life. That young girl as pretty as her middle name (Rose) would eventually marry a man who I admired and loved, and still do even today after his death twenty-three years ago. God graced me, and so many others by allowing us to know, their love and become a part of their family. I have been with the family for thirty-three years, and married to their beautiful gift from God for twenty-seven years.
We lost my father-in-law twenty-three years ago, and now my mother-in-law last week. I’ll miss them both forever, but I find comfort in knowing that they are once again together. I realize now that a gift was given, and with that gift families were given even more gifts. Gifts from the Lord will always be there, we just have to accept them and love each and every one of them.
Thank you Lord
for the Rose that was gifted,
Its beauty and life,
the reason our hearts, will always be lifted.
A rose that brought love and sunshine
with her loving delicate touch,
a love that will never be forgotten,
and always be missed, so very much.
So bring her into heaven,
and please give her a special place,
place her soul in the heaven’s bouquet,
allowing her and Gene to once again embrace.
The beauty in our heaven
has never been so bright,
two souls joined once again,
making a single, loving, brilliant light.
Allow their light to shine downward
upon us who keep them near to our heart,
for someday will be together again,
eternally never to part.
Lord I ask thee,
for this I pray,
keep them near your heart,
until we’re all together again one day.
POW! BANG! BOOM! (old School Batman Lingo) This painting really doesn’t fit any of the sound effects unless he had a really bad landing. This was a 15 minutes Miniature Watercolor, measuring in at 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″. Just doing a little goofing off and thought that a small painting was due. The smallest that I have done was a 1″ x 1″ but lost it…. seriously hard to keep track of the darn things. Anyway I hope you enjoy looking. The reference photo is from Gary Jones at Paint-my-Photo. http://paintmyphoto.ning.com/photo/robin
I’m not sure that there is a more peaceful moment than taking a night-time stroll, while the ground is covered with brilliantly white snow. The really cool thing is, that a flashlight or any other form of light isn’t needed, because the snow and moon creates its own illumination. The only few sounds that are heard, is the crunching of the packing snow under your feet, and the whispers of the wind blowing through the trees. I also think that you feel a little more alive, when you can feel the freshness and the crisp air entering your lung, and the visual of life, when you exhale. I think this is important now days because we seem to be just living life, not appreciating being alive! I have a wonderful friend, with a wonderful family, that just lost a wonderful brother. He was young, but cancer didn’t care, and took his life just this weekend. He found out about his cancer less than a year ago, has battled strongly, but lost that battle Sunday. So the next time that you see your kids, parents, siblings and friends, squeeze a little harder on the hugs, grab their necks and wrap your arm around them a little more, and feel the love between your touch and their heart. And this winter if you are in an area that receives a white winters blanket, breath in and feel life entering your lungs, and breath out and see the air that God has given us, to enjoy the time that we have on the Earth.
This painting is dedicated to the memory of Larry, a brother of a friend, a son, father, husband, outdoorsman and a friend. Prayers for Larry’s family, and prayers for those who are still battling this awful disease.
A splash of Green,
Eat to many,
A bathroom will soon be seen.
Covered with sugar,
surrounded by a crust,
The best way to eat,
an Apple pie is a must.
Just watch out for the seeds,
for those you don’t want to swallow,
for if you do,
a tree inside you will soon follow.
and I’m not much of a poet,
But for those who know me,
already know it!
Have a great weekend! Oh, the painting is a 5″ x 7″ watercolor wash, with ink line work. I’, showing 2 stages of progress together. Just incase you wanted to know.
Here are a few photos taken from my recent trip to Gettysburg PA. These are from the area of Little Round Top and Devil’s Den, where one of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War took place. The sad thing is that this is an amazingly beautiful place, and if not familiar with the area, a person would have no idea that these same grounds was covered with the blood of Americans. I never want to forget what took place just a little over 100 years ago, but I also never want these same lands and others, be bloodied by ignorance and evil again. It’s sad to think that some consider race as a reason for hatred and war, but it also warms my heart knowing that so many men and young boys were willing to give their lives to fight against this evil. I will be reading and studying more on this war because I have failed to do so in the past, and this war should be studied and remember by all in order to keep the same mistakes to happen in the future for us, and our children. People are always willing to show the sad and evil side of our past, but fail to show that some men and women are willing to fight and give up their lives, for the good.
On this week of celebration of our Independence, I want to thank all those whom have fought, and continue to fight, not for just our freedom, but for those around the world.
Feel free to use the photos above for reference for your drawings or paintings, I hope to have a few next week of my own.
It’s a freezing cold night, with the brisk cold air leaking from every crack and seems of both the windows and the floor. The wood furnace cranked up so hot, that the wood stove itself is red hot, and will take the skin right off of you, if touched. But that stove is several rooms away, and although 80 degrees in that room, it’s only 40 in your bedroom. The only thing keeping you from freezing, is being sunk down about 2 feet in a feather bed, with three grandma made quilts on top of you. But that’s when it hits you! All that ice tea that was sweetened with 5 scoops of sugar, is now weighing hard on the old bladder and you need to visit the John, Mrs. Jones, Privy, Outhouse, or for you younger kids… the bathroom or toilet! Now, I’m only 49, but both of my grandparents had an outhouse when I was younger, barely old enough to remember, but I do remember them. You know how hard it is to get up from underneath those warm blankets in the winter now and walk a few feet to a inside, heated bathroom, just think when there was very little heat and the bathroom was outside and a mile away! Okay, maybe not a mile, but it seemed like it. First you would have to determine whether or not you could hold it until the morning, but if not, then you would have determine whether or not you were able to climb out of a mountain of a feather bed around you. Once you have worn yourself out lifting the 100 pounds of quilts off, and climbing over the feather bed, putting all your clothes on, grabbing a flashlight and head out the back door for the long trek to the shack. My grandparents lived in the country, so the night was as dark as you can get, so before entering the shack, you would peak in with your light making sure that there isn’t any wild critters such as raccoons, possums, snakes or wasp (in the summer), rats and spiders or other crawly creatures. Once determined all is clear, you would go in with hopes that all goes well, and you’re out of there quickly. Now, my grandparents were rich… because they had toilet paper awaiting, instead of the Sears catalog or news paper, sorry, not everyone can be so privileged. Now that “the deed is done” as we would say, you would sprint back as fast as possible because of the fear from all the noises that you heard around you while sitting there, and the freezing cold. Running in, throwing your clothes back off and diving back under those wonderfully thick heavy quilts and on top of that wonderfully sinking down two foot deep feather bed! Those were the GOOD OL’DAYS!
or option 2: Use the large metal pot with a lid underneath the bed! Gross!
This is a 10″ x 10″ watercolor that I painted while waiting in a hotel room in West Virginia. My brother and I visited Gettysburg and other battle fields and I hope to post some paintings of those sites later this week or next. Have a safe fourth of July! And thank you all that is fighting now, in the future, and in the past for our freedom!
I know in Florida right now you people are hating me, but here in southern Indiana and several other states… we are as dry as a bone! Seriously, are grass which at this time of the year is vibrant green and alive, not now, it’s like walking on hay, and a single spark, are setting off field fires. So I had a little time today at lunch and thought of my grandma’s house in Illinois, that actually had and used a pump similar to this one. I’m not sure if the ground well would have even had water in it now, or if it would have been just as dry.
This is a 8″ x 8″ watercolor on 140lb cold press paper.
Please check out the gallery at the top of my blog and I hope to update it soon, along with new paintings.
I hope the rain balances out and the south gets a little dryer… and we get a lot wetter!
Well I felt good enough to pretty well finish this painting last night. I’m pretty happy on how it turned out, but i wished that I would have handled the weeds differently, not sure how different but different. We’re heading out this morning to check out colleges for my youngest so I don’t have time to write much, but wanted to at least post the painting. Thanks and everyone have a safe and fun weekend!
Please visit the gallery on top of page for other paintings or scroll down and go to older post.
Just got back from Spring Break, and a break was needed. Between health issues and the craziness of my work place, a little R&R was appreciated. We went with some wonderful friends, which we have been best of friends now for at least ten years. Their kids were in the same classes as ours, so that works out perfectly and their kids (now young adults) have wonderful values and ethics. They are one of only a few couples that I would even consider staying in the same place for that many days. Dr. Frank and myself have a lot in common. He loves to read… I don’t, He’s a doctor… I’m not, O.K. so we have some differences, but he loves the outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking… and so do I. Our wives, well they have talking in common, and they do it well! LOL
This year was our youngest girls high school senior year, so we let them pick on where they wanted to go. A lot of their friends were going to Panama City Beach Florida, so that’s where we went. Being about a 11 hour drive from our house, it wasn’t to bad of a drive, I’m just not sure why Florida hasn’t figured out the direct route idea. We zoom down to Montegomery, Alabama, but then it’s back road and stop lights from there to Panama City. Hello! can anyone say direct interstate or major highway to Panama City! You have hundreds of thousands of northern white legs each year trying to get to Panama City to spend millions of dollars, and you can’t build a direct highway. Anyway, we had a great time and enjoyed every minute of a week of beautiful weather.
I didn’t have a lot of painting time but the watercolor above was one that I painted while laying on the white sands of Florida. I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to visit my Gallery at the top of the blog.
So many near death events in my life… you laugh, but it’s true! How does a kid make it through so many years of stupidity and bad judgement. The unfinished stream above looks fun, cool and wet, but one similar to this one almost killed me, and my grandfather. Well, I decided to list a few, and feel free to list some of yours in a comment.
Here we go!
1. It brings fear back into my mind just to relive this in words. It was a beautiful summer day at Spring Mill Park in Indiana. The heat was beaming down, the humidity was so bad, fish could live out of water, and of course I was barefoot and shirtless. My family was gathered around the stream picnicking, the streams temperature was so cold it would make your feet numb if you stayed in it to long. That’s when this shirtless, shoeless kid decides that the moss, slime covered rocks would be a blast to play on in the stream… Bad Idea! Being about 6 or 7 years old (I think) I started across this death stream with balance and agility, so I thought, with in seconds my feet were in the air above my shoulders, my butt following my feet, and my head and shoulders were where my feet had begun the journey. Bam! Whack! (a little batman lingo) I hit the rocks right between my shoulder blades! Air shot out of my body like a gun, both lungs collapsed, ribs cracking, and death was near! Actually the wind just got knocked out of me, and the embarrassment did more damage than the fall. BUT I COULD HAVE DIED! You ask how this nearly killed my granddad? His air left his body as fast as mine, although he wasn’t in the stream or hit any rocks… it was from laughing so hard! That’s right, my granddad nearly laughed himself to death that day and everyday after that when he often reminded me of that day.
2. Another time, was when I thought that I was Evil Kenevil and decided that it would be a good idea to make a home-made bike ramp… wrong! Back in my days (sounds like my dad) we didn’t have these fancy BMX bikes, we had sting rays, with crouch killing banana seats! And whose idea was it to make the boys bikes with the cross-bar… a woman! I think it was women that decided to pay back men by designing a bike with the man killing bar across the middle. But it wasn’t the bar that got me… at least not this time, it was the amazing, blistering speed that I reached while flying down what seem like a mountain, hit the ramp, and of course just when leaving the ramp, you pull up hard and spring your legs to get more altitude. Sounds cool! But if done just right, your bike leaves the ramp and continues on a circular motion. Now days the pros do this on purpose and continues into a flip… I WASN’T a pro and continue into a flip anyway, and proceeded to once again land on the back of my neck and head… I COULD HAVE DIED! But I didn’t, after my lungs decided to work again, and oxygen was once again reaching vital organs, I sprung up and looked around in fear of someone seeing just how stupid I was.
3. The mini bike, that’s right, a mini bike. These were small motorcycles with a pull string starter and a frame made for war. They weren’t like the pansy scooters now days, these were death traps waiting to happen… and I had one. The seat was a crappy piece of foam with about eight layers of tape wrapped around it for a custom upholstery look. Foolishly we decided to load this mean machine up and take it to my Uncles… bad decision once again. My uncle standing in his front yard, cranked the string and roared the engine and said Ryan jump on and take it for a ride. Now remember as I’m telling the story, that I had already rode it a few times before. I jumped on like the manly, 60 pound, Harley Dude that I was, cranked the accelerator and off I went. Oooooh @#$%! my mind panicked, my brain shut down, and everything that I knew to stop, went blank. Zoom around the house I went… to the side… to the back… to the side… and back to the front yard! My uncle laughing and standing in a defensive basketball stance, ready to grab me as I slowed down. The problem is… I didn’t slow down, I sped up! My eyes were as big as baseballs and my uncle’s got just as big once he realized that there was no stopping me. I flew towards him, he dives out-of-the-way like a stuntman in an action movie, and past him I zoomed. About half way through his corn field, my brain clicked in, and I released the throttle and pulled the brake… that’s all it took! BUT I COULD HAVE DIED! And then there was the Spark Plug from this machine of death zipping past my and my brothers forehead at terminal velocity… Nearly killing us… but that’s another story!
The watercolor and ink above isn’t finished yet but I wanted to post something today. I hope to finish it next monday. Have a great weekend!
A little celebration of what’s hopefully coming soon… Spring! Southern Indiana has had a fairly calm winter but it’s time for it to get out and allow the spring time weather to roll in. This watercolor that I painted yesterday is a 5″ x 7″ on 140lb coldpress paper, 3 color watercolor palette and india inked tree. For some reason I decided to only use the pen and ink on the tree trunk and limbs, and watercolor the leaves… just something different I guess. By keeping the shading down to minimum, I think it gives a more graphic or illustrated look. Instead of shading I either kept a thin white line between items to separate them or just used the contrast in colors for depth. Anyway I have a canvas acrylic almost finished and another larger watercolor about half way finished that I hope to post next week (if time allows). Until then I hope you like this one and thanks for visiting.
Please visit my Gallery at the top of my header to see other paintings of mine.
Also, I apologize to all my good friends of the blog world for my absence visiting your sites, it has been a crazy year so far. I hope to visit more in the coming months, but just always know that I admire all of your talents and friendliness.