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Golf Course Sketch Trip

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I ventured out on a sketch trip across the golf course the other day, armed with necessary supplies packed in a little bag. The golf course is a beautiful area to stroll and sketch--an unusual oasis in our arid country--but it can be hard to avoid golfers and find a surreptitious spot. I first found a little bench a half-mile from our house and parked myself there, as it offered a fine view of the course's rolling hills, clubhouse, and local mountain.


(Please ignore the smudging--a little bit of it is an experiment gone wrong, but the rest happened with careless handling.) I definitely want to come back to this spot...the mountain adds a beautiful backdrop and the little hills make lots of interesting layers.

Funny story: As I sat on the bench, a couple golfers drove by and said, "Are you grading us?!" (I only realized later what they said.) I shook my head and was quiet as they teed off (the tee was right next to the bench). Then, as they were packing up, one said, &quo…

Rainy Day

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Today we've had rain for the first time in probably a couple of months...spring has been puny this year for lack of water.

Rainy day clouds always take my breath away here in Arizona.


To quote my Papa, "Arizona is seventy-five percent sky."

Our sky here stretches like a grand tapestry from horizon to horizon, and the sun seems closer than other places. In the summer, monsoon storms chase across the mountains and cumulonimbus clouds tower over the earth like titans of old.

My favorite cloud-scapes are like the one pictured above--where the cloud floor parts and you see the tops all gilded with sunshine and almost lost in the brilliance. (The photo can't do it justice.) It always seems like a scene from a storybook...I can easily lose myself in imagining other worlds and their stories on days like that.

Stories of those imaginary worlds are the principal reason I want to be an illustrator. There are so many pictures in my head--glowing with color and begging to be draw…

Inglenook: Welcome!

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"Inglenook? What's Inglenook? Whose blog is this?"

...is probably what you're asking as you read this. Never fear, it's just me, Laurie, under a new alias. The days of My Heart Shall Rejoice are gone...Inglenook has arrived! Well, The Inglenook Companion, to be exact.

Let me explain myself.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of my first blog, Hoofprints and Roses, begun as an earnest, horse-loving twelve-year-old. Since then my blog has run through many iterations to suit my changing fancies. My Heart Shall Rejoice was actually the longest run, beginning as simply Rejoice! when I was fifteen. It's been 6 years!

Needless to say, my heart and dreams have grown and changed, and it seemed an appropriate time to change my blog identity—shift it to my grown-up tastes and future aims.

"That's all very well," you may say (primly sipping your tea), "But what's an inglenook?"

This. This is an inglenook.


More specifically, that little chi…

Music Thursday: Miserere Mei

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Good morning! Today is Music Thursday...not because of any particular musical association with Thursdays, but because I wanted to share a particular song I like. I'm intentional like that.

That song is Miserere Mei, a falsobordone setting(setting being the setting of a psalm to music, falsobordone being a style of musical recitation in the 15th-18th centuries) of Psalm 51, written by Gregorio Allegri around 1638.

I first heard the piece at a local choral concert with a friend--its strong melodies and haunting harmonies stuck in my mind, and I underlined it in the program to look up when I got home. Although I've since listened to it repeatedly, I never knew anything about it until this morning, when I looked it up to share with you.

 Allegri (1582-1652), an Italian priest and composer, wrote the work "on his own time"--or rather, not for a particular commission. Soon, however, his music caught the ear of Pope Urban VIII, who secured an appointment for him in the choi…

A Penny for My Thoughts

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Well, I haven't been here since Thanksgiving! And I had planned to write at least one post about the new year and "thundering newness" and other esoteric feelings about 2018 (it's probably better I didn't). Happy March, anyway!

I've been thinking about...

...Amazing new opportunities as a graphic designer at our church. I'm actually a ministry "intern" now, and am shortly starting an Assemblies of God Bible school program (which is combined with the internship). I had looked at this program a couple years ago, but it wasn't the time yet. Now, it is! The Lord has pulled me into a group of awesome people that love Him, and I'm excited to start my first real ministry experience with them.

...How much fun it would be to write a travel blog. But first you have to travel. Hmm.

...Having stripped my phone down to the barest essentials of being a "phone." I'm tired of its technological tyranny over my life...so I deleted every app…

A Quiet Thanksgiving Night

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Happy Thanksgiving, friends! It’s a gorgeously clear night out, full of crisp autumn air and starlight from Arizona’s endless sky—a fine benediction on two days of holidaying with family. The last week has been so full of running and doing and talking and dishwashing that I’ve hardly had a chance to actually think about Thanksgiving and what it means. Indeed, I have so much to be thankful for that sometimes it takes my breath away. Here’s a few things that come to mind:
I’m thankful for hot showers, clean clothes, and a soft bed.
I’m thankful for a family that loves me and my multitude of flaws unconditionally—and shows it in practical ways.
I’m thankful for good music that stirs the soul.
I’m thankful for healthy food to strengthen our bodies.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to pursue my chiefest dream of becoming a book illustrator.
I’m thankful for golden sunrises and sparrows picking breakfast off the ground.
I’m thankful for a solid, time-loved house that keeps us warm and dry.

Autumn Days

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Autumn has much the same feeling as New Year’s for me, for whatever reason. There seems to be a fresh start, with new winds blowing and the sun shining brighter (which it actually does), and everything changing with the bright colors and dancing leaves.

This autumn, my family’s had lots of lovely new opportunities for friendships and activities (yay Bible studies—so satisfying) to fill our days with, and I’m training to add some new responsibilities at work. Like I said, new things!

What I’ve been appreciating most this season, though, are the absolutely spectacular mornings. Every day, the sun rises with some measure of gold and glory, and christens the day with such beauty as would make you catch your breath. I’m usually at my quiet time when the sun crests the horizon, and it’s like the Lord’s own benediction on our time together.

As you can see, I gave my blog a little facelift (I can now change the header photo to suit my moods). I’ll keep posting some of my random thoughts and …

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