Friday, July 31, 2009

Q27

This tag was a real labor of love. I've been thinking a lot about what I'm finding. For awhile I was finding all kinds of money but the last month or so it's been feathers. Up north I found a beautiful one which looks to be from a woodpecker - black with white polka dots. So I took the feather theme and interpreted it telling me that it's time to take flight. I wasn't sure whether to just build the tag around feathers and flying or to get deeper and write about the less tangible things I have "found". I like the result although I may re-do the "Q27" part in the magnifying glass once I get more of photoshop under my belt. The wings are attached with brads which means I can fold them down too.


Time for art this last month has been almost non-existent so the last few days I have set my alarm for 5:00 a.m. and have managed to get 2 to 2 1/2 hours in the studio first thing in the morning. It's been great, I feel fresh and I am very much alone, at the least for the first hour or so. The journaling reads:

"Lately I have been finding all kinds of feathers! Take flight Kimmer! I have also found: Most days I really do the best that I can - There is so much more to discover - I feel just the same inside as I did when I was a kid - My sense of wonder is unfathomable - Guidance has become an intricate and undeniable part of my existence - Love really is the answer"

Happy weekend to all. I am off to the cottage for a few days.

August Calendar Page

I really love having this calendar I made at the end of last year. I'm always surprised when I turn the month over to see what was my choice of photo for that month, the reasons always come flooding back at me. I must make the time to make another one for 2010. This is a shot of a mushroom taken at my cottage. We get some humdingers there, you can imagine a whole tribe of leprechauns living under them.


My quotes for the month:

"Don't be distracted by criticism. The only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you." from Zig Ziglar. And, "You achieve much once you stop telling yourself you can't do things." by Elizabeth Kadetsky

The second quote is very much along one of the themes of the Patti Digh/David Robinson class I am taking - about listening to the stories you tell yourself about yourself and how it is possible to consciously change "your story". It also smacks of Eckhart Tolle who is the first person I read who addressed the whole idea separating what my ego is telling me about myself versus what I hear as guidance and/or intuition. It's all very rich material.

Friday Haiku

It is possible
to lose myself on Craig's list
It could change my life

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Swimmer!

Today Riley earned his swimmers badge. I didn't think he was going to get it as the criteria are pretty tough, I'm not even sure I would get one. Treading water for two minutes and two pool lengths with only a two second break in between, good form front crawl, breast stroke or back crawl (or combined). He is really proud of himself, as am I of him. This means now that he can go in the deep end and off the diving board outside of class time. Woot!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

H is for Hormones

My hormones have taken over my brain. WTF? Why does this have to be such a long, drawn-out process? You would think that after decades - nay, centuries - the remarkable female body would have found a more efficient way to ovulate or not ovulate, as the case may be. Not even pounds of chocolate, the sprouting of the traditional monthly twig-like chin hair or the tantrums of impatience can hurry this event along. Menopause? I'm going to embrace it with open arms, throw a huge and very elaborate party and burn my leftover tampons in a great ceremonial fire and dance on the ashes.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What's Been Going On In My House

This is too funny not to share, but then again - he's mine, so everything he does is either funny, adorable, sweet, etc. The new Wii sports disc was scored (as was a Canon Power Shot for me!), here's Riley playing the fencing game:


video

A Case Against Vegetarianism

Last weekend my sister and her significant other came to visit us at the cottage. Both of them vegetarians, bordering at times on vegan. I hate to diss a lifestyle but it's very hard to cook for a vegan. I have, at different stages over my last thirty years, been vegetarian. I have almost always eaten fish, always eaten eggs and dairy. Now I also eat poultry, in moderation. And if someone has gone to great lengths to prepare another kind of meat with love and tender care for me, I will eat a moderate amount of it as well as I believe a meal as such prepared in that way is much better for the body than a vegan meal prepared with frustration and ill feeling. So with two carnivores (iMan and Riley) and three vegetarians, the morning after a feast, the vegetarians blasted the heck out of the carnivores. We have the luxury of two bathrooms (well, one bathroom and one water closet) at the cottage and both were hard pressed to service us. My sympathies rested with my dog who took most of the blame, lying down.

Too much information?

Confession: I have flip-flop toe. It's not a pretty site and besides the aesthetics, it's a bit painful. But that has never stopped me yet from sharing.

It's cause: flip-flops. The only time I get it other than flip-flop season is in the winter when I'm thinking of wearing my flip-flops. It's also hereditary because Riley has it too only we call his Croc toe.

It's raining this morning with promise of thunderstorms. We are off to do some shopping, hoping to find my magazines in Chapters and perhaps even a slim point and shoot which I've been saving up for. The boys are out for the new Wii sports game disc coming out. Selfishly I'm hoping they get it so that it frees up my afternoon for playing in the studio. Happy Sunday everyone, whether or not you suffer from flip-flop toe. I bet Brenda is wearing her flip-flops and sunscreen today.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Phlox

My phlox has the pox and my mushrooms have mushrooms growing on them. The phlox is no great loss - it came with the house and other than it flowering late in the season when many others have petered out, it has a nasty smell to it. I've tolerated it. The mushroom kind of freaks me out, though. Something a little unnatural about it. We have had a small reprieve the last two days. Yesterday was supposed to be rainy with thunderstorms but it was hazy and we made it to both the park and the pool. Today it cleared by noon and was a nice kind of high cloud day. Have I bored you all to tears yet? In response to my quip about Australian winter in my Friday haiku, Brenda at The Crafty Chook informed me it was sunny and 17 degrees in her wintry neck of the woods. Good thing she wasn't closer geographically to me because I think that was our high temperature the same day - in S - U - M - M - E - R in Canada, I might have been forced to do her harm.



Friday, July 24, 2009

Three Books



My last library trip had me bringing home the mother lode. I picked up "Sing Them Home," by Stephanie Kallos at the suggestion of Beth. I loved it, all 500 or so pages of it. The story line is improbable but took me right in, the characters are quirky but lovable and despite its length it read quickly. Sherry Lee has reviewed Kallos, "Broken For You," and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.


From there I read Edeet Ravel's, "Wall of Light", which I also loved. It takes place largely in Israel with the story line being told partly through someone's diary, another person's letters and directly by the protagonist. It flowed so well without real interruption, the only thing that disappointed me was I found the ending to be a little weak. But I am a big fan of Ravel and can't say enough good things about her other books I've read.


I waited to post this after I read Elizabeth Berg's, "Home Safe," because I usually get through her books pretty quickly. She is prolific but I don't find all her work to be outstanding. This is no, "Talk Before Sleep," or "Range of Motion," two of my favorites of hers (not counting, "Writing Down the Bones"). The real meat of the book comes only in the last thirty or so pages where she offers some perspective on relationships kids and their parents have with each other. I've just started another Jodi Picoult, I'm on fire for fiction these days.

It is to laugh

One of Riley's favorite sayings lately is Daffy Duck's, "Hardy, har, har, it is to laugh". And that phrase was running around in my mind this week when I did yet another brainless thing. My story:

This is mint:




This is not:


I like my tea and coffee cold and I have a pitcher in the fridge at all times of one of each. As soon as the mint is up in the garden in May I start putting it in my tea. Early one morning this week as I was drinking my tea I thought it tasted funny. A hint of mint but something else that wasn't, that something else was much more green. I fished around in the pitcher and dug out all the stems, examined them and realized I had pulled a nasty weed, washed it carefully to remove all the bugs and spider webs and popped it in my pitcher! I'm just glad I didn't poison myself.

Haiku Friday

Is it summer yet?
Winter in Australia
Cold and wet again

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Q 26 and 26 Qs

Since Riley got out of school I have had precious little time for art and I am so far behind on *e*'s weekly questions. Today I caught up with question number 26 (now I'm just three behind), which isn't exactly a question, but what the heck. "On my walls I would write...":

I could have found many more things I would have written on my walls, could have inundated the tag with quotes but I did feel it was finished as is. I was pretty casual with the decorations, taking my inspiration from folk art. My journalling is, "It's All Good Baby!", "Love Is The Answer," and one I saw lately that I particularly liked (I think it was over at Kind Over Matter), "Be The Bomb!" - Scrapbook paper, ink, scrapbook embellishments and Letraset - I read somewhere that they don't make Letraset anymore - EGADS! - I have a small stock left over from art school so I will use it sparingly unless I can find someone else's old stock on eBay.

And this I saw over at someone else's Flickr site. Since it is question 26, that makes it half the year, so here is my "spread":

This Is Not What It Looks Like

With all due respect to people who have them, this is not a goiter:


It is one lone blackfly bite. Nasty little buggers, aren't they?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mystery

I did not plant this white hollyhock. I love hollyhocks but I planted a deep pink one and the seeds for a purpley-black one. The seeds I took from a friend's garden so I'm sure of their origin. It's been about three years I've tried to seed the black ones but they never seem to take so this year when I saw one coming up where I had seeded I was ecstatic. It now stands taller than my 5 foot 5 inch frame but when I came home from the cabin today I saw white blooms. Could I have blanched them with the language I often use in the garden?


Over the weekend I went with my sister to the annual 1001 Pots exhibit in Val-David, an outdoor pottery show that is really extraordinary. Despite the torrential rains I found some new friends - a bobble head and a birdbath.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Haiku Friday

Cottage bound again
Asking, "will the phone be fixed?"
Hoping for the best

I'm hoping as well
That July will soon arrive
Sun, heat - where are you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

One of the many things I've signed up for this month is the Unravelling course over at Ink on my Fingers. The first assignment is feet. Here are a couple of shots I rather like, even if they are of my own feet.


Having one subject to concentrate on let me experiment with odd angles. I can tell already that it is going to be not only a fabulous, introspective class but something I really need, regardless of how much busyness I've set myself up for.

And something that was like a clonk on the head today as I was watching the class video and reading the notes was a similar theme to the Patti Digh/Richard Robinson - telecoaching class I'm taking part in. This segment's homework for that is to "locate" yourself - where you put yourself in a room, in the public, in the grocery store, in your world. That coupled with the instructions from Susannah Conway to see where you are in the world made me alter my focus a little more, a little deeper.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wreck, Week 6

More damage ensued. Involve a small child and the invitation to destruction, what could go wrong? Here's a photo of the front/back now after some heavy duty winging, dragging and dropping:

And it wouldn't be complete without some videos, one very out of focus one wherein Riley throws it off of the balcony and the second of him taking it for a walk down our dirt road at the cabin (with an extra 15 seconds of video at the end with the lens cap on!). Art at its finest! I even managed to wreck the video, what a sense of freedom and creation! I haven't gotten to comment on much yet this week as I was telephone-less and internet-less for four or five days, but I'll catch up.


video video

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Few Things I've Learned the Last Four Days

After going up to our cabin and discovering that we only had intermittent telephone service and not even dial-up internet, I did some soul searching and here are a few things I've learned over the last few days:

1) despite my extensive efforts to prove otherwise, having more than 2 vodka shots a day just doesn't agree with me;

2) I can survive without email and internet connection, although life if much more fun with them;

3) you need a barrage of supplies to entertain a six year old by day three of rainy weather;

4) you can count on getting wet when you sit near a six year old and a fifty-three-going-on-six year old who have an arsenal of water toys;

5) I do not want to live in a climate where it is 52 degrees in the morning in July;

6) you shouldn't eat food that has been in the cupboard for more than two years;

7) it is entirely possible to insert the blade in my old Gillette Sensor razor upside down; the blade is completely ineffectual in that position.

Today we had every kind of weather except for snow and hurricanes. Oh, and locusts if that qualifies as "weather" we missed out on that too. It was sunny. It rained. It poured. It thundered. It rained sideways. It rained straight down in buckets. And it hailed. Let's not forget the hail. A couple of shots outside my window:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Come A Little Closer...



.... said the spider to the fly. I seem to have plenty of spiders and flies in my neck of the woods. As long as they stay outside.

Professional Help

This is either funny or an indication I need to seek professional help. I just hung out this long line of wash and realized at the end that I forgot to put soap in the machine. (nervous laughter) I have been suffering some serious metal fogs, which I put down to peri-menopausal brain vacations. I'm going for funny. Hear me laughing? All you yung'uns are probably shaking your heads saying, "nope - definitely professional help" but just you wait another ten years...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

'Tis The Season

July is here, yay! And so is the potential for skin cancer. My mother was diagnosed with a stage 4 melanoma five years ago, she had beaten incredible odds, waiting every six months for the results of her fully body CT scan to detect malignancies. Last July I had surgery to remove a basal cell carcinoma (a much less lethal form of skin cancer) from my eyebrow, more extensive surgery than I realized going into it. I am no stranger to the havoc fun in the sun can wreck. I have been very careful with Riley and the application of sunscreen. He has never had a sunburn in his six + years. The naturopath in me cringes inwardly while we slap on the chemicals in sunscreen, one of the many voices in my head tells me to just suck it up and do it, stop worrying about the other unknown hazards behind those. I am always on the look out for something more "natural". Last summer a friend suggested a kids one made by Alba simply called "Sun". It has a nice fragrance and the texture is OK. It claims to be water resistant. I don't mind it, it claims to be "natural" as well although it does have the dreaded ingredient of "oxybenzone". As well, I was reading all kinds of acclaim last summer for a kids sunscreen made by the company called "Badger" but it wasn't on the shelves and all online sources had it sold out. I found some a few weeks ago and tried it this morning. It's horrible - sticky, oily, doesn't absorb but leaves a while film over the skin. Blech. My favorite so far is likely far from "natural". It's Coppertone made for kids in a pump bottle (no aerosol so it's fully recyclable), it's light, absorbs quickly and doesn't leave you feeling as if you are wearing an extra layer of skin. And I can guarantee it is fully waterPROOF for the six hours it claims on the bottle. Oh yeah, another bonus is it doesn't make me break out although this year I tried Clinique's City Block which is also very nice. But more pricey so I use it just on my face. This isn't an advertisement for any one brand, but I'm throwing the question out there - does anyone have a brand they like and would recommend?

P.S.The option of living in the shade is neither rational nor feasible. We have to be outdoors some of the time and there isn't always shade. Swimming is part of our family culture, it's good exercise and it's a lot healthier than staying indoors on a sunny day. I believe in kids spending time outside in an old fashioned way even though there seems to be nothing old fashioned about the holes in the ozone.

The Resilience of Nature

I am constantly amazed at how tough nature is. Here is one lone morning glory seed that planted itself under a rubber mat on the walkway in my backyard. After an nine-month winter and much walking on, it has sprouted and is inching its way to the trellis. Incredible.



And...am I the only one who sees the endless possibilities for these lovely cardboard fruit baskets, even saturated with the nectar of the fruits?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wreck This Journal, Weeks 4 & 5

Another vlog, it's so much quicker than photos and commentary...


video


Here's Riley gearing up for the tongue painting page, chew, chew, chew, chew, chew - is this enough Mom?






















Happy Day!


To all our American friends, happy independence day! Beyond the BBQ-ing and the fireworks, this day celebrates your freedom, something so many are striving for. Wave your flags and shout it from your rooftops!

It Must Be All This Rain...

At times I feel like I lose my sense of humor. It might be nothing that triggers it, it might be hormonal. OK, there is something definitely related with hormones but I’m not talking about that kind of loss here. There are other times, cycles I might call them, when I also feel largely uninspired. I’m coming to understand that these cycles bring other things to me and I create differently during these cycles. But I don’t like it one bit. As part of a cycle it has to be a necessary part of when I do feel inspired, witty, and satisfied with my status quo. I tell myself to not be such a baby, put my best face forward, find the things I am grateful for. But there is no denying the feeling is there and so I go into a waiting pattern or a limbo. In my head I know that this too shall pass and I will once again feel that tug of excitement about everything, it's my heart that hasn't yet caught up with the notion.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Strange Collection of Thoughts

It was such a strange weather day. All day it alternated between hot and sunny and rainy and stormy. We had about three deluges and we were lucky to have just made it back in the house after walking the dogs (two of the deluges) and a brief interlude at the pool (one deluge). With all this rain, and my car stuck at the garage until Monday, it was time to pull out the rainy day crafts. When in Florida we bought the Kids Concoctions Gooey Gunk kit and I have been pestered at regular intervals to put it together. I resisted, knowing I was waiting for "The Day" to arrive. Naturally, I mucked up the instructions the first time and put in 4 TABLESPOONS of borax instead of 4 TEASPOONS and had to scramble save the batch. But it was successful and Riley played all day with the gunk, for lack of a better word. Here he is with one of his gunky pets on his shoulder, surprisingly enough this one didn't get a name:

He also joined me in various renditions of wrecking my journal. I finally breached one of my barriers and did a page I thought I would never do (more on this tomorrow). Riley was screeching and throwing the book around, having a grand time. I had to impress on him that all the usual rules applied to ALL OF OUR OTHER BOOKS AND OTHER PEOPLES BOOKS as far as being gentle with them and treating them respectfully and that this was a special book meant for ripping and rending. He got it but now wants his own wrecking book. I'm hoping to burn him out with mine.

The latest book I read came from my last library run. "Simple Recipes," by Madeleine Thien is a short story book and usually short stories don't appeal that much to me but the cover pulled me in and just something indefinable made me bring it home. It was a lovely collection of stories, all a little dark but I would read an entire novel about any of the characters she created. She has since written two novels from what I can find at Amazon so I'll be on the look out at the library for those.

Haiku Friday

He has a new look
A part of growing up but
It still makes me weep

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July Calendar Page

Here is my July calendar page. It is going to be a very, very busy month because I've gone and done yet another foolish thing - signing up for all kinds of goodies that begin this month. I have signed up for the free (!) photo editing course over at Jessica Sprauge, but I am sure I will wait until later in August to even get started there. I am also in the next Unravelling class (oh yeah, can't WAIT for that) and after much dithering and emails back and forth with the Queen of Arts, I have signed up for the six month telecoaching class with Patti Digh and David Robinson based on her book, Life is A Verb (which really made me sit up and take notice of my life). Of course the journal wrecking class is still in full swing...so yeah, I might have overbooked myself but it's all good baby! So, based on my self-immersion, I took both my calendar quotes from the Patti Digh book. The first one by Rumi: If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished? And the second one by David Hollies: Being lost only has meaning when contrasted with knowing where you are.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings

I forget where I first saw this, perhaps Sara at Locuasia, and I thought it was neat. It's free association, the first thing that pops into your head when you see a word. Here is the link if you want to join in. I believe new word prompts are given each week.

  1. Guest : house
  2. Impact : car
  3. Unplanned : pregnancy
  4. Tactic : crafty
  5. Delayed : annoyed
  6. Bombastic : explosive
  7. Comfort : bed
  8. Trumpet : ta-da!
  9. Joe : blow
  10. Budget : yuck


I knew I couldn't stay wordless on a Wednesday that was a day off for me. Thanks to all my American friends who acknowledged Canada's birthday.

On a totally unrelated subject, I am positively giddy that I have so much good stuff to read. From the library I still have two books, the S. Kallos, "Sing Them Home," (which I started in the tub last night) and an Edeet Ravel (title escapes me at the moment). For my non-fiction book I have started (I think this is what it's called), "Mindful Parenting" by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. And when I was in the second hand bookstore this week I found Meg Wolitzer's, "The Ten Year Nap". I almost bought it two weeks ago at Chapters, but decided to wait to see if the library had it. I've read a number of her books, loved them all, the one that stands out is, "This is Your Life," which was made into a movie with Julie Kavner. Has anyone read The Ten Year Nap? I got it as vacation reading, if we decided to travel somewhere this summer, since it's a paperback and big enough for a week or ten day trip, but not so big it's onerous to carry. Love, love, love books and having so much good stuff in my pile!

Wordless Wednesday