Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Holiday Offerings

Hi everyone, Happy Holidays!
I just want to let you know that I have artwork and art products available in several online venues. You can find some of my original watercolors in my Etsy Store. I also have prints and some other products available on my FineArtAmerica & Pixels.com stores.  I've also updated my Redbubble store with a new Southwest calendar added to my 2 other most popular tropical calendars. You can also find a smaller format calendar here in my Zazzle store..

Take a look and let me know if you have any questions or have any special requests. 


PS, whether its me or other artists, craftsmen and small businesses. I hope you will decide to shop from independents like us as much as possible for your gift giving needs this year.

Tips for the Holiday Season (with smiles)

Its always a good idea to start the Holidays off with the right attitude. enjoy

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat.

Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Most Important Tip of all: Have a great Holiday Season! - Michele

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Thursday, November 9, 2017


Note: I wrote this in 2009 for Memorial Day and it received national syndication. I'm sharing it again on Veterans' Day this year - my feelings haven't changed. Read the whole thing and let me know your thoughts. © 2009-2017 Michele A Ross

"I was thinking early this morning about this and actually got a little emotional.

First of all, I'm married to a veteran. My husband Bob was in the US Navy for 7 years during Vietnam, and was there during the evacuation of Saigon. And I'm also the daughter of one. My father was a career Army Officer in the US Army and a veteran of 3 wars, WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam.

Even if I don't agree with all the circumstances of each of these wars, there's something wonderful about someone who will hold a post and put himself or herself in harm's way to protect their group. Someone who will stand there and hold the line and say "I'm going to follow orders and get the job done for my god and my country- my group and my beliefs!" There's something above the crowd about doing that-.

When I was a child in Hawaii, we were stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu. One of my most poignant memories of that era was looking at the drill field covered in coffins and knowing those boxes were filled with men who had died for their country and that their bodies were on their way back to families who were grief stricken and in pain. That was the 60's and there were a lot of conflicting viewpoints about that mess over in southeast Asia. Yes, there was a lot of waste in that endeavor, but that was never any reason to dishonor those who did their job, held their posts correctly and held the line for the rest of us.

I know just a very little about what my husband and my father went through. My father spent time behind enemy lines in China and Korea and he was in Hanoi during negotiations. My husband Bob was there at the evacuation of Saigon. I can't pretend to know what emotions they felt in such environments nor what nonsense they had to weed through and put up with from both the enemy as well as lousy commanders, unethical comrades and being asked to do things that I'm sure pushed them violently up against the wall of their own integrity. I'm sure there are things that have plagued them both from time to time and still......, there's something about a guy (or girl) who is willing to take up arms, stand a post, and hold a line for their group because right or wrong at times its still their group....... I just know that while I was playing on the beaches at Waikiki, Waianae, and the North Shore, there were others who were elsewhere in the jungles of Viet Nam trying to get that job done against incredible odds from all sides. And as Memorial Day, and my childhood memories testify, many, many were lost in those efforts. Many, many warriors lost. Yes, I've walked through Arlington National Cemetery in DC, and seen the full ship salutes to the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor- and I dare you to do so without shedding at least one tear.

War is not the answer and I've always known that- however, what would I do to defend my group, my home and my country? What would you do? We can't handle lack of accord and understanding when the communications have become bullets and missiles, however in the right context I don't think I'd personally hesitate to use such means. Yes, I'd take up arms and hold a post if necessary..

We still need our warriors, and in today's times, we must all step up to the line. Today's greatest and most urgent battles are for our own personal freedoms, our minds, our self-determinism, our bodies, our religions and the state of our immortal being. The battlefields are sometimes intentionally confused and hidden behind big media's disinformation, big Pharma, Big Chemical, unethical legislation and leaders, and destructive technologies who run a constant campaign to make us think they are there to help and that their particular brand of bullets aren't really bullets at all. They are lying through their teeth! The corpses from those campaigns are hidden behind advertising, legislation and propaganda campaigns- but like those coffins on the fields at Schofield Barracks Hawaii, they are there and they are just as real.

So, on this day I honor ALL the fallen warriors, those who have fought and died, and those who have served and lost a part of themselves in the effort whether it be in body, mind or spirit.

I also honor all the warriors still in there slugging on in today's battlefields both physical, mental, social, spiritual and ethical. Those who ARE holding a post, taking a stand, holding the line and forging ahead for their group, their beliefs, and their integrity against incredible opposition and suppression.

Today, I also ask myself and you too- What kind of warrior am I? What post am I holding?- what post are you? What do I stand for?, what do you? What arms am I taking up for the survival of my group, my beliefs, my spirit, my religion, my honor and my integrity? And in fact for ALL of humanity?

As the old saying goes- "The man who won't take a stand, stands for nothing".

I love true warriors!
Our own neck is only as precious as our fellow group member's is.

Find your cause, Take a stand, Hold a post,
Be constantly vigilant, Hold the line
Push ahead for a better world no matter the odds.

Be a warrior on your chosen battlefield and don't let the line be broken under any circumstances.

And on Memorial Day, & Veterans Day, honor all those who have served in battle, their chosen ones or not, and who held their post, did their job and have fallen before us.

Thank you veterans of all wars! Personally, I thank you very much."
- Michele Ross -"Mikala"

P.S., Miss you Dad

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Wee hummingbird in the olive tree

We have this olive tree over our patio right near the feeders. The hummingbirds like to hang out up there. I used an older digital point and shoot to get this video. I enjoy these little birds, and we're lucky to have them year round here.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Our trip to Bodie Ghost Town June 22 2017-slideshow

Great drive, great weather that day with stunning views of the mountains. I'm so glad we made the time to go.
I have wanted to go up to Bodie for decades, as much to see the dramatic views back to the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, as to see the historic town itself. Here are some of the vistas we saw on the road up to the top of the Bodie hills, and some shots from around the town. Bodie itself sits at an elevation of 8,379 feet (2554m) with the surrounding summits being almost 10,000 feet. The dry terrain and lack of trees gives the perfect platform for viewing the higher Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west. In the distance are Eagle Peak, Twin Peaks, Mt. Dana etc., and beyond them the Yosemite National Park high country. The Bodie Hills are in both California and Nevada, but all of this area is in California.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Tiare Lei - Watercolor (Sold)
May 1st is Lei Day in Hawaii....

First Lei Day Celebration
Don Blanding, writing the story in Hula Moons, explained the origins of Lei Day:
"Along in the latter part of 1927 I had an idea; not that that gave me a headache, but it seemed such a good one that I had to tell some one about it, so I told the editors of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the paper on which I worked. They agreed that it was a good idea and that we ought to present it to the public, which we proceeded to do. It took hold at once and resulted in something decidedly beautiful.

. . . The custom of weaving and wearing flower leis originated with the Hawaiians so long ago that they have no record of its beginning. . . . When tourists discovered Hawaii, they loved the charming gesture and they spread the word of it until the lei became known around the world.

. . . Hawai`i observed all of the mainland holidays as well as those of a number of the immigrant nationalities in the Islands. But there was no day that was peculiarly and completely Hawaii's own; that is none that included all of the polyglot population there.

So, the bright idea that I presented was, "Why not have a Lei Day?" Let everyone wear a lei and give a lei. Let it be a day of general rejoicing over the fact that one lived in a Paradise. Let it be a day for remembering old friends, renewing neglected contacts, with the slogan "Aloha," allowing that flexible word to mean friendliness on that day."

Lei Day became an official holiday in 1929. Lei Day celebrations continue today, marking May First with lei-making competitions, concerts, and the giving and receiving of lei among friends and family.

Source: HawaiiHistory.Org

Self Portrait.
I've been playing around with some different techniques and affects.  So I thought I'd start with a selfie, aka self portrait.  "Re-emergence"

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Wild West, watercolors

This is a short slideshow of some of my paintings of scenes and wildlife in the US West. These are  watercolors, and I wanted to show what they look like framed. Shop prints with frames and mats here . For originals, check Etsy or contact me directly.

Tropical Flowers in Watercolor

This is a short slideshow of some of my paintings of tropical flowers, mostly  in Hawaii. These are  watercolors, and I wanted to show what they look like framed. Shop prints with frames and mats here . For originals, check Etsy or contact me directly.

Hawaiian Faces and Places -Watercolors and Oils

This is a short slideshow of some of my paintings of people and places in Hawaii.  These are mostly watercolors with just a few oils, and I wanted to show what they look like framed. Shop prints with frames and mats here . For originals, check Etsy or contact me directly.

Sunrise from Casa Ross

Something different. I compiled a few of my sunrise photos taken from our house into a youtube slideshow so I could share them. We get such lovely skyscapes here. Enjoy.