Memorial Day

I cannot adequately  express my gratitude for the men and women that stand between us and danger, evil and the powers that destroy.

Last October we stood on Omaha Beach in France, the site of one of the D-Day landings.

In its current tranquility, it’s hard to image the carnage that took place on June 6, 1944 when the liberation of Europe began.  In the conflict 100 German soldiers killed 2499 Americans and 1915 of their allies.

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The Battle of Normandy lasted from June through August 1944 with over 425,000 Allied and German troops killed, wounded or missing. Even the son of President Teddy Roosevelt was not exempt, General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. died of a heart attack after fighting and is buried in Normandy next to his brother Quentin who died in WWI.

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83,045 of the casualties were from 21st Army Group: British, Canadian and Polish ground forces.  125,847 from the US ground forces. About 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded. The Allies also captured 200,000 prisoners of war (not included in the 425,000). During the fighting around the Falaise in August 1944, the Germans suffered losses of around 90,000, including prisoners.  This was the beginning of the liberation of Europe.

One battle of one war of far too many. War is hell; some march bravely into the valley of the shadow of death never to return.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 Holy Bible, KJV 

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175,200 Hours: Happy Mother’s Day

I say it every year, but I am so very grateful for my wonderful mother. She inspired my creativity, love of family, good grammar and every lovely thing in my world.


The following is an art installation I created that lists just a few of the things Moms (and Dads) do for their children.

175,200 hours

175,200 is the number of hours parents are on duty
for the first 20 years of a child’s life.They are responsible for 21,900 mealsand 52,000 pieces of clean clothing and accoutrements,
plus 6,378.5 diapers.A parent will offer 51,100 prayers for a child,send them to 2,340 days of K-12 educationand spend approximately
$241,080.00 to rear each child.
Here are 552,927 reasons to call home on Mother’s Day.
A Tribute to Mother
“Mother I love you so,” said the child.
“I love you more than I know.”
She laid her head on her mother’s arm
And the love between them kept them warm.”

by Margaret Florence Smith

Happy Mother’s Day to
Sister and
 precious women
Who give life,
and give joy.
Who bled
and fed
and hid Easter eggs,
and wrapped gifts
and dyed Halloween costumes.
Who took me to the zoo
and Disneyland,
and grew pumpkins,
and taught me to play chess
and feed my babies.
Who taught me to write thank you notes
And have good manners
and remember birthdays
and ancestors
(and love them).
And gave me crayons
and dolls
and retainers
and fishnet nylons
and a radio to take to the beach.
Who took me to visit my grandparents
and on road trips
and swimming
and had a barbecue.
Who taught me to pray
and love
and find joy
and set a beautiful table.
And to watch out for little ones,
and spell correctly,
 and feed stray kittens,
and read books.
And to try,
and fail,
and try again.
Who found our great grandfathers were kings
and great grandmothers were queens.
Who took pictures,
and listened as I learned to read,
and filled a piñata.
And eat Thanksgiving at the beach like Pilgrims,
and go on bike rides,
and read Luke on Christmas Eve,
and sing carols,
and find treats in my stocking.
To share with those in need,
and love art and beauty,
and wear bows in my hair
and shoes that fit,
and remember God and go to church.
Who sewed clothes,
and prayed for soldiers,
and firemen,
and missionaries,
and me.
Who baked cakes
and arranged flowers,
and made 20,000 meals,
and made me brush my teeth.
And bought sugar sticks,
and made drawings,
and bread,
and Beef Stroganoff.
And soothed wounded hearts,
and took us to movies,
and to the woods,
and the sea.
And played
and prayed
and gave time and love and life.
I love you.
Thank you.
I cannot say enough about how grateful I am for my Mom and the wonderful women I have had in my life. I love you all.
My Mom Nixon Irene Roberts Layton
The little sweater dress was a baby gift made for Mom over 80 years ago.
My husband’s great grandmother made the quilt and my daughter Heather sent me the beautiful flowers. The teacups belonged to my Mom’s Mother Thelma Lisman.  Here is the recipe for a delicious brunch blintz souffle that is wonderful for Mother’s Day, baby showers and other festive occasions.  the cherry or strawberry sauce are amazing but if you are short on time, Bonne Mamman lemon curd is to die for!
BLINTZ SOUFFLE  Serves 8 – 10
Blintz Soufflé Batter
In a blender or 11 cup capacity food processor*, blend
6 eggs
1 ½ C. light sour cream
½ C. orange juice
zest of 1 orange
1/3 C. sugar
1 C. butter, room temperature
2 tsp. baking powder
            Add and whirl until smooth
1 C. all-purpose flour
            Pour half the batter into buttered 9 x 13 casserole, bake at
            350 degrees for 10 minutes, reserve remaining batter.
*If you have a 7 cup food processor, divide the ingredients and
make the batter in two batches.


           Mix together and spread over soufflé batter in casserole
 2 –  8 oz. pkg. light cream cheese, softened
1 C. light cottage cheese
1 egg
1 TBSP. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
            Pour over remaining batter. May be refrigerated up to 8
            hours before baking.  Bake uncovered in a 350 oven until
            puffed in center and golden brown about 45 – 55 min. Serve
            immediately with strawberry or cherry sauce or
lemon curd. Garnish with strawberries cut into hearts.
Strawberry or Cherry Sauce
In a 3 quart saucepan, stir together
6 TBSP sugar
3 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp lemon juice
3/4 C water
4 1/2 C strawberries or pitted sweet cherries
         Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce
         is clear and thickened.
Strawberry Hearts
Cut a v-shaped notch at the top of each strawberry to create a
         heart and remove the hull.
 If you are working on making a house a home, check out this website for great furniture deals

Fine Art

McMurtry Creative Media is hosting a fine art sale of handmade paintings and drawings by artist Pam Layton McMurtry. These works of art have been featured on design websites  such as Behance and Dribble. Pam’s A Harvest and Halloween Handbook won a “Hot New Picks in Design award” on

Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.” John Lubbock (1834-1913).

Buy affordable art from an emerging artist and enjoy supporting the arts and creative minds. Enjoy this original fine art in your home, workplace, classroom or gallery with free shipping.


This 14″ x 11″ watercolor on paper was inspired the pastoral art of French artist William Bouguereau. Over a dozen watercolor techniques were employed in the creation of this painting.

Price $75



This colorful collaboration by 2 artists depicts a still life positioned in front of a mirror. 16″ x 20″, it is an oil painting on canvas.

Price $300


A graceful Japanese Noh mask is draped with pearls and nestled in chiffon in this 19.5″ x 25.5″ pencil and Conte crayon drawing on gray paper.

Price $75


The Attic

A collection of vintage items are artfully arranged in the 24″ x 20″ oil painting on canvas.

Price $300


Vintage Toys


Old-school favorites are affectionately remembered in this 24″ x 19″ charcoal drawing on paper. Stuffed Raggedy Ann and Andy are poised for adventure on a vintage wooden rocking duck.

Price $45


Peppers by pammcmurtry

This cheerful still life would look amazing in a Tuscan-inspired kitchen. A 24″ x 18″ oil painting on canvas was one of the first paintings by the artist.

Price $350


Old Ugly

This charcoal drawing on paper features an antique chair affectionately known as “Old Ugly.” The sketch is 23.5″ x 18″.

Price $35

Here are just a few pieces, there is plenty of fresh art where these came from! Check out my gallery on Deviantart and email me for prices and availability. Free “regular” shipping available; rush orders have a premium added.

Thank you for supporting the arts!

P.S. Here is a fun little summer story for the mermaid-lovers in your family. It is an ebook available on Amazon and