Skip to main content


Just Checking In~

Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm spending lots of time in the art studio now that school has started!

Good afternoon, My Lovelies!  I have missed y'all so much, but I have been one busy mom!

First of all, I want to thank you for all of your kind comments and emails.  They have meant so much to me!  Y'all are all so kind.  I couldn't reposed to everyone but I did read each and every single one, and I appreciate them more than you will ever know.

I want to update you on what we've been doing since I last posted here.

We've started school, and we're getting into a nice routine.  Shelley loves her art classes at the Red Dot Gallery, and she's also enjoying her art extension classes at Auburn University.  Her IEA team looks like it's going to be fierce this year, and she's looking forward to another season of competition.

Shelley's first day of school

Team practice

Finlay likes to attend school.  He's waiting for me to come upstairs and begin the school day.

Shaney Belle is back in school, too, and she's a senior!  So hard to believe…..
She is on year-round j-board for Alabama's Panhellenic, and she was privileged to have helped a lovely young woman with CP navigate sorority recruitment last month.

Shanley during 2014 recruitment, front row, right.

New KD pledge class

Shanley and Becca in golf cart

Shanley and Becca @ KD House.  Welcome home, Becca!

We've been spending time at Lake Martin, and our backyard is FAR FROM BEING FINISHED.  Truly, it's getting on my very last nerve.  I'll post photos once there is something not involving mud and dirt to post.  :/

For those of you who follow me on social media, you'll notice that I haven't been very active with the exception of Pinterest.  I've been a pinning fiend, but mostly I've been pinning to garden, landscaping, and patio-related boards.  I'm trying to decide what we want, and I think the boards will help the hardscape and landscape designers.   Here are a few of my favorite pins:

We're still in summertime mode around here due to the heat, so I'm still decorating for late summer and back to school.  I know when the weather cools some I'll be interested in fluffing the nest for autumn.

Although I have been reading a whole lot lately, I've completely neglected my Goodreads account.  When I post books over there, I'll update my blog with links.  In the meantime, I highly recommend this book:

I know this will make my best-of list this year!

I'm also LOVING this one, too.  It's a collection of short stories that are incredibly well-written and creative.  Beth, you must read it, although I might have gotten this recommendation from you….

I've been painting a little, and I was able to show three paintings in Red Dot Gallery's Tenth Anniversary Show.

The show will be up until the end of October.

Here is my most recent painting, but I didn't finish it in time for the show:

 photo f251b8ce-da4d-4be9-a516-bfeabf92bbbc.jpg

Peonies in a Mercury Glass Vase
9" X 12"
oil on canvas

I would love to hear from you!  I'm going to try and get back into blogging in a few weeks, once we're a bit more settled into our routine and our backyard is finished.  If you've posted something you know I'd love to read (most of you know what I like) please email me with a link because I don't want to miss out!

Until next time…

Ricki Jill


  1. Hi!!!
    I've really missed you!
    Glad to hear that your girls are doing great.
    Wow that painting is incredible !!! You're awesome.
    I'm going to read Pretty Monsters!!!
    Love your recommendations.
    I've started Haunted Humpday if you want to stop by for a visit:)

    Big hugs!

  2. So lovely that you posted and things seem to be settling down for you. Anxious to see your back yard.

  3. Sounds like you and the girls have been keeping busy. Glad things are going well. Gorgeous painting!

  4. So good to see an update from you. You are busy! Beautiful girls, RJ. I know you are extremely proud of both of them. Love the new painting. Good luck with your garden project.

  5. Hey there!!!!! Welcome back. I loved the Rosie Project too. Paint that Mr Finley!!!

  6. I didn't realize what was going on and that you were home schooling! I know that that is a challenge you will master with gusto! :) I'm glad to hear that everything is going well.

    Gorgeous painting!

  7. Hi there! Nice to see you again. I love your painting -- you are truly gifted.

  8. Hey, Ricki Jill, wow you have been one busy lady! The girls are thriving with such a wonderful mama. Your painting is sooo beautiful, I love it! Hope you enter it next time, it's a treasure.
    Great hearing from you, thanks for the reading list.
    Big hugs,

  9. Hi RJ, great to hear from you and so glad things are going well for you and your family! Gorgeous painting!!!

  10. I have missed your post and I am so thrilled everything is going well with home life. :) It just makes me happy. I love the painting.

  11. Glad to see a little update. I've missed your blog!

  12. Looks like you are enjoying summer's end and teaching again. The girls look so happy. Love the new painting. Come visit when u can, you are so missed RJ!

  13. Miss you RJ. The girls look so happy an I know you are happy teaching again. Love the new painting. Come visit when you can. Hugs

  14. For some reason, you popped into my mind yesterday and I thought I would send you a message to see how things were going. And then this morning I see that you posted yesterday. I am glad you are doing some art and that school is going well.

  15. I have missed you!! I want to tell you that you are responsible for my summer addiction that is feeding into a fall addiction......OUTLANDER!!! I am hooked!! It is so sad because I feel like I am ignoring everything else in my life. My family are tired of seeing another book come out of the collection and land in my hands as I head for the best reading spot according to the weather! ;)
    SEriously though, loving it. thanks for getting me hooked.

  16. Welcome back (a bit)! Thanks for the book recommendation....that one didn't come from me (or, at least, I haven't read it yet) so it's going on my list. Both are! Thank you! :D

  17. So glad that I checked in--I've really missed your blog. The Rosie Project was the first book I read this year, and I loved it. He's got a sequel to it coming out at the end of the year.

    Have you been watching Outlander? I'll be sad when it's done for the season!
    Carole (Stapes)

  18. I've missed you too! Nice to read your post. I think of you when I write my happy lists. So glad everything is going well for you. Love your painting.

  19. I'm so glad to hear things are going well! Congrats on school and your gallery showing. How wonderful!

  20. I seriously miss your face, glad to hear you're okay! You're girls are soooo pretty, and I think I'll add that book to my TBR list too! :D

  21. It's nice to hear from you! I've missed you my friend. I hopped on here to search something on your blog. I was really wanting to find a Daphne's Diary magazine so I'm going to search and see if you've told where you found time! Hugs, Diane

  22. So good to see you on here with updates. Don't have much time to get on here, but always check on you. The girls are growing up so fast. It's hard to believe. Sending love and hugs. Take care.

  23. Your newest painting is gorgeous RJ! I loved reading this post and see what has been happening with you and your family. Your girls are so darling...just like their mom :))))) It sounds to me like they love the activities that they are in and are making lasting connections that will be with them their whole lives.
    sending hugs...


Comments are friendly!


I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

Follow me on Instagram