STAND BACK! I think I'm gonna be sick

Darn those hairballs!

No..... wait..... ahhhhh..... false alarm.
Maybe later ;0)
Well this brings me a little closer to inner peace..... at least for now!
Cat Macro Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


I couldn't resist..... Ebay auction is going on for a L. Douglas Wilder signed 1947 Armstrong High School Yearbook - The RABZA

He signs his name Lawrence Douglas Wilder "DUGO." Also shows his Senior picture. Gonna bid? Ha..... No I am not affiliated with this auction..... just stumbled on it today. I just decided to share it with Richmond, Virginia bloggers. Here is the link to the auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130193805389&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123
Amazing what you can find on Ebay isn't it? It's funny but the only caricature I ever attempted was of Wilder as his face is so interesting. Above I include a detail of it (done in 1990 while he was Governor.) I used a newspaper photo of him for reference..... pretty good likeness I think for a first try ;0) Happy bidding on the yearbook!?
Ink Caricature by Carolyn Hietala http://carolynhietalapaintings.blogspot.com/


Herbie The Love Bug has been spotted in Richmond, Virginia. It appears to be a new improved version as evidenced by this photograph ;0)

This VW Bug has probably gotten a lot of double takes recently. Just this past weekend the movie "Herbie Fully Loaded" (2005) aired on TV.
Spend 30 minutes + and watch the original movie with the family. Nice excuse for popcorn and given the weather here lately..... a nice excuse for a warm cozy glow in the fireplace. Now that sounds like getting a little closer to personal peace ;0)

Photograph Compliments of a Good Friend..... Thanks again!
Carolyn Hietala http://carolynhietalapaintings.blogspot.com/


Father Time - KISS MY BUTT!

Argiope Aurantis also said, "Don't forget to FALL BACK tonight!"

Spring Forward and Fall Back - 30 minutes NO!!!..... it's 1 hour closer to personal peace ;0)
See even more of this Richmond Spider here:
Copyrighted Photo by Carolyn Hietala


Yeaaa.... let it rain, let it rain, let it rain! Well Richmond got enough rain today to overflow the rain barrel but still in deficit ;0(

Aftermath of Downfall

Now Rain Barrel Frog will have a deeper pool in which to lounge. As for myself, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an end to this draught real soon. Just 30 minutes of downfall won't do!

Photo by Carolyn Hietala


Bring back the RAIN BARREL! Lack of rain hasn't dampered this little fellow's spirits

A willow branch placed in the rain barrel to produce roots now becomes a nice resting place for this little pickeral frog. Rain barrels placed under downspouts around your home are a good way to conserve water for watering parched plants. Mosquitos are eliminated by placing Mosquito Dunks (biological mosquito control pellets shaped like doughnuts - bacillus thuringiensis) which are safe for fish, etc. I place mine in those plastic floating frogs that are used in pools to hold chlorine tablets. It keeps them from being washed away during a heavy rain.
Just enjoying rain barrel frogs brings me 30 minutes closer to personal peace ;0)
Image by Carolyn Hietala - More nature pictures here: http://carolynhietalanatureartpaintings.blogspot.com/

UPDATE to this Rain Barrel post.....
due to the many emails from people that are interested in more information..... here is a link to the Clean Virginia Waterways' rain barrel information page from their website: http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/rainbarrels.htm


Have you seen the quaint country cottage INSIDE the Conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens? - Complete with a cottage flower garden!

It's adorable with a thatched roof and that bright yellow door..... don't forget to peek through the window for a look inside ;0) Enjoy 30 minutes of personal peace exploring this beautiful Conservatory located in Richmond, Virginia.


Most Virginians know that the state flower is the Dogwood. The Northern Cardinal is the state bird. So what is the Virginia state INSECT?

This one of course!

What a face ;0)

Almost there!

Want to learn about all the other USA state insects?

Papilio glaucus Linnaeus sipping water.

A delicate colorful beauty indeed..... a vision that certainly brings me
a little bit closer to personal peace ;0)
(click on images to supersize)
Photos by Carolyn Hietala & Friend http://carolynhietalapaintings.blogspot.com/


Want to gain at least 30 Minutes Of Personal Peace a week? If you have both cats & dogs in your household..... listen up!

Ahhhhh...... Science Diet for breakfast!

Greyboy Is STARVED and a messy eater..... as usual!
Has your child graduated to eating at the family table? Recycle that old high chair ;0)

I was having a battle keeping an eye on the cat food bowl as my Min Pin loves stealing their meals..... no more. Now our vintage chair has a new use (other than being stored in the attic) and resides in the kitchen once again. What a pleasure to see ;0)

The cats love sitting up high and the food dish is out of the dog's reach. Now THAT is definitely a gain of at least 30 minutes of inner peace for all.

As you can see..... Greyboy is now obviously STUFFED! Naptime?

Want to get your Miniature Pinscher's immediate attention? - Here's one keyword that does the trick in my home ;0)


Sometimes my "little man" doesn't wish to leave his comfy bed to go out before I have to go somewhere.

Just say "squirrel" and he's already at the door impatiently waiting to be let out.

Who knew just the mention of this grey furry critter could have such power over a Min Pin! Sometimes gaining Personal Peace is just a matter of using the right magic word ;0)

Do you have some that work for you? Share!
Photos by Carolyn Hietala (click on images to enlarge) http://carolynhietalapaintings.blogspot.com/


Flamingos - Metro Richmond Zoo - Dining & Communal Bath

Graceful Beauties!

Remember the flamingo lawn ornament fad?

I'd settle for the real thing on any given day. Spend 30 minutes watching these pink birds displaying their inner peace at this Richmond, Virginia zoo ;0) http://www.metrorichmondzoo.com/AnimalEncounters/PenguinFeeding.html

Photos by a good friend..... thanks so much.
Carolyn Hietala http://carolynhietalapaintings.blogspot.com/


Have you experienced Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden? Passion Flowers - Fall Blossoms - Orchids - Water features & More

You won't be able to spend just 30 minutes here so bring your camera along with your family & friends. Stroll the serenity while gaining hours of personal peace ;0) Located in Richmond, Virginia. http://www.lewisginter.org/

Image by Carolyn Hietala http://carolynhietalapaintings.blogspot.com/


Metro Richmond Zoo - KISS MY BUTT!

Is there a message here? May not want picture taken?

Turn about is fair play ;0)
Spend just 30 minutes here.....
and get you & your family closer to that desired moment of "peace."
Photo supplied by a good friend..... thanks!


Copperhead Snakes - Pickeral Frogs - Daddy Long Legs & More - All found in Chesterfield County backyard!

Even living in a residential area you may be surprised at the diversity of wildlife that resides in your own backyard. See more snake & wildlife photographs taken in my Chesterfield County, Virginia yard here: http://carolynhietalanatureartpaintings.blogspot.com/ ..... then take just 30 minutes to survey the nature you share your outdoors with! You might be tempted to grab a camera too ;0) Hobbies are an excellent way to bring one closer to that "inner peace."
All photos copyrighted by Carolyn Hietala


Swift Creek Reservoir Dog! Stray was living in red clay hole it had dug in an embankment.

Sixty pounds of love with a touch of sadness in her eyes..... that's our Maggie.

While fishing from our canoe we were surprised to find we had a visitor swimming alongside. It was a great big dog effortlessly treading water a few feet away. I assumed she belonged to someone nearby until over the next few months I observed her scavenging the trashcans and begging visiting fishermen for handouts. She had no collar and a badly infected ear. I discovered she had a "home" in a large dugout next to the parking area so I tried to befriend her as did others. A man tried to coax her into his car but couldn't succeed for she kept backing up while barking incessantly at him. For the next week I brought her food morning and night but still couldn't gain her trust. Finally I asked my husband to help me catch her. To my surprise he simply scooped her up in his arms and placed her in the car! And she didn't even mind! Of course I contacted the Chesterfield Humane Society but she hadn't been reported missing. She's ours now ;0) and quite a character with an exceptionally gentle nature. Her favorite treat is a huge raw carrot. She is loved and has been with us for over ten years now. She has a forever home indoors with a soft cushy doggy bed instead of dirt. She's such a happy girl!

Have you ever considered adopting a pound dog? Spend just 30 minutes at your local animal shelter and you might discover that special sad-eyed dog to take home. A loving relationship with a dog can bring such joy..... and get you a little closer to achieving your personal peace ;0)
Carolyn Hietala http://carolynhietalapaintings.blogspot.com/


Share quality time with your pet while having that first cup of coffee for the day.

You might be surprised how contented you both are after watching a sunrise together.... your kitty cat bathes in the morning sun as you clear away the nighttime cobwebs with a cup of java. Now that's a relaxing way to bring yourself and your pet 30 minutes closer to personal peace!
Photograph of Greyboy..... my feline friend.


If you are not an only child you could lose photographic records of your childhood after the death of a parent! Protect your heritage NOW!

Photo albums are a precious record of treasured memories. What would you do if your remaining parent passed away and within a few days you discovered that the family albums containing generations of photographic history have "mysteriously" disappeared? Remembering all the times you reminisced with your parents while snuggling on their sofa looking at them, you are saddened by the immorality of your sibling. Don't let this happen to YOU. Talk with your parents NOW to discuss the fate of your childhood records.
30 minutes of preparation will bring you closer to personal peace. Don't wait until it is too late..... as then they are gone FOREVER.

HAPPY JULY 4th RVA BLOGS! Wishing you fun, fireworks & more!

I say to all you Richmond, Virginia Bloggers out there
(and you know who you are)
straight from my artist studio's easel to you.....
"Have a Great 4th of July 2007!
Celebrate & Enjoy!"


Elder Abuse in Virginia! Can it happen in your family and if so, what could you do about it?

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF.... for example, your jobless baby boomer sibling moved in with your elderly parents? How would you protect them from abuse? Has this ever happened in your family? We hear about this scenario so often. What could you do? Here's what the Virginia Cooperative Extention suggests: http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/gerontology/350-251/350-251.html

In "real life".... all is not peaceful or "a bed of roses." There are some things we cannot ignore. Do get involved. Go see a lawyer that specializes in elder care if you need to. Please act now before it's too late.
How can we truly have inner peace
while ignoring
the plight of our loved ones?


THE CLOSER with Kyra Sedgwick sure brings ME 30 Minutes Closer To Achieving Personal Peace! June 18 2007! Brenda Johnson & that famous black purse!

Enjoy your television favorite as we all need diversion from real life at times...... just for good balance. If this show isn't your cup of tea though...... well that's just plain alright. Guess you know what I'll be watching on June 18th? Well alright then.

Here's a link to the TNT TV site that covers the series quite well. http://www.tnt.tv/series/closer/

It has a Closer trivia challenge that you might find fun. In addition Closer backgrounds are available to download for your desktop & more. Alright then! I have to go paint now..... while watching Season 1 & 2 in preparation for Monday of course ;0)

Update to this original post:
Since so many are interested in searching to find out more information on Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson's BLACK HANDBAG ..... Please let me know where one can be found so I may post the info here!!!!!!! Email me ;0)

Carolyn Hietala http://carolynhietalapaintings.blogspot.com/


Write a poem! Creating poetry is another way toward gaining Inner Peace. Expand creativity by placing your thoughts & feelings on paper.

You CAN write poetry. Just invest 30 minutes here and there to placing your precious thoughts down on paper then compose your poem. What an uplifting experience you too will have.

Here is one of my poems written on a lazy hazy hot summer day. Poetry in motion! Nature is ever changing as are our daily lives. Every new day is an opportunity for us to fulfill our dreams......and to live well.

I dropped a leaf
upon the brook
to watch it ripple by.

The path it took
I did not see
for I had closed my eyes.

As it began
to round the bend
my heart did skip a beat.

Though blind was I
the loss I felt
and for it I did weep.

A poem by Carolyn Hietala and more are here: http://natureartpoetry.blogspot.com/

(copyright held and retained by Carolyn Hietala and cannot be used without my written permission)


Create a miniature paradise by constructing a terrarium using plants from your own backyard. Enjoy!

Make no mistake...... this terrarium is definitely a "work in progress." I have so much to learn about creating a realistic terrain but it already has proven to be an enjoyable experience. A search on the internet to obtain information about terrarium construction has been quite successful. Now I will add to, refine and maintain my little world to suit ME! I purposely did not include the tank container in my photos (ignore water droplets on the glass please ;0) as I wish you to imagine that you might be viewing an actual forest. (Click on photographs to enlarge.) The aquarium I am using is rather large and measures 12"w x 30"l x 19"h which affords plenty of room for a nice woodland scene to grow.
The process of setting up this terrarium has been for me like creating a landscape oil painting...... without the use of paint. A rewarding 30 minutes a week will gladly be spent caring for this labor of love as it is not the destination but the journey!

Carolyn Hietala
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