Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cuttin' A Rug

What a terrific Saturday. It was cold, a lot colder than it should have been. But things are getting back to normal, we made it to music class today, did some shopping for some one's birthday coming up this week and made a stop at Build A Bear to spend some Christmas gift cards. This morning we were dancing around, laughing and singing. There was much excitement in the house because tomorrow is the famous postponed birthday party at Funtropolis. Only another 12 or so hours to go, fingers crossed that nothing health-wise will crop up overnight that will mean putting it ahead again. It's such a dicey-touchy time of year. No art today but yesterday I managed to finish one of my OWOH give-aways. At least I think it's finished, I'm going to live with it for a few days or a week and make a final decision. Photo coming as soon as I can pull the camera out on a bright day.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Haiku Friday

Passive agressive
Warm day in February
That's my life today

Early Morning

I love the early morning shot. He has a look about him that he loses pretty quickly, I'd say by the time we are going out the door for school so I have to snap quickly to catch it. Such a sweetheart. He's been invited to his first sleepover tonight but I'm not sure I'm ready to let him go. He would probably go in a heartbeat. But it is four whole blocks away!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Today was really smooth sailing. Even the weather was breezy. I got in and out of the passport office in about 15 minutes. I did some errands and since yesterday brought a little surprise money in the mail (my 2006 family allowance owed to me since 2006 - don't ask) I bought a new(zoom) lens for the camera I got at Christmas as the lens that came with it is only 18-55 mm. I played with it a little when I got home but it is in anticipation of my digital camera course that starts on Monday. And as if that wasn't juicy enough, I got about 2 hours in my studio this afternoon and I got to play a bit with the inks and stamps I received in the mail back in my drek days. Here's a beautiful close up of my favorite subject, you can practically see the peach fuzz on his cheeks (you can see the peach fuzz on his cheeks when it's not on the blog). Such a treat for me.

And I busied myself with all kinds of things, including my Owl Owl piece, my two OWOH pieces and one of *e*'s tags, now I'm just two tags behind. At least I'm consistent. This was a particularly great question for me. Here's a shot, front:

and back:

My first stab at using the distress ink (Broken China color). And hopefully I'll have more to show tomorrow since it will be my first full studio day in a long time (and my last until a week from next Monday).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What a Difference

What a difference a day makes. My day went so much more smoothly than yesterday. This morning a neighbor saw me running for my bus and she drove me to the metro! Then I had a great heart to heart talk with my boss, and I came away with a lot of very useful advice on many levels. I even got the photos for my passport taken at lunch. I almost feel like life is getting back to normal. My stomach has also been repairing itself and I managed to eat more today than I've eaten in total for the previous week. Yowsa. My sweet boy was fun and very patient. We had a nice talk about things today and I learned a few things about him. Here's a shot before the fiasco, otherwise known as his day, started. The calm before the storm.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Do you ever get the feeling the gods and goddesses are testing you? Today I felt like I was being tested for patience and grace at every turn. It was a day of E-V-E-R-Y L-I-T-T-L-E T-H-I-N-G going wonky. And I hate to complain because when I really examine my life it's a blessed one. But some days, let me tell you, are never ending streams of gunk. I mean, the only thing that didn't happen today was that I didn't get hit on the head by a falling anvil from the Acme Anvil Company. On the positive side, Riley went back to school and stayed the whole day. I went back to work and stayed the whole day too. I'm still pretty nauseous, have trouble eating anything and keeping it down. A colossal drag because I do so love to eat. I am a little more clear-headed and am hoping for a better day tomorrow. Here's a shot of my phantom boy. He is looking so pale since he's been sick, I'm happy he's starting to get back out in the fresh air.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Late Mentions

I read Lisa Gabriele's, "Tempting Faith DiNapoli" about a month ago. I saw another of her books in a friend's pile of "to read"s and this was what my library had by her. I had even picked the book of the shelf a number of months ago, but was put off by the cover. I thought it was too coming-of-age or too chick-lit. But I enjoyed it thoroughly. It made me think my life is pretty tame, in comparison to the main character's life and that's always good because after a bad spell of something I am always grateful for those quiet, more mundane parts of my life. The characters are off the wall, but realistic in a crazy way. I recommend it, will even look for other titles by her.

And after three long weeks, I finished Pascal Mercier's "Night Train to Lisbon". The one thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. I like my endings, if not sewn up, at least with a clue as to where they are going. This left me wondering what the whole point of the protagonist's quest was if we aren't offered a hint as to whether he finds his grail. It is beautifully written, definitely literature and not fiction. And a whopping 400+ pages. It is not the type of book I can devour, even though I might put a lot of time into it but I was glad to have read it. Now I've started Jennifer Haigh's, "The Condition" and am loving it. The kind of book where I look forward to the next few moments I can steal to read a few pages here and there. In fact I found it started off poorly and I almost put it down for good. The beginning is stereotypical, trite and what I considered to be predictable but it has proved me wrong. I'm completely sucked in now.


I hate to jinx it, but I think we are finally getting better. The birthday party was postponed for a week but Riley is now showing all the signs that he will be back to school tomorrow. But....I'm going to reserve action until we've passed through the rest of this day and he's had a good night of sleep. The antibiotics seem to be taking their effect, his appetite is back but not stellar. And his cough could wake the dead. I was feeling so optimistic this morning that I booked us a late-March trip to Florida, a week with Grandma. It was only once I had paid for the tickets that I checked my passport and discovered that it expires in September. That's only five and a half months after my return date and apparently I need six months. So in effect, it has already expired. Hopefully I can get my papers filled, signed and the photos done so that I can get them to the passport office on Thursday (my first chance). That will leave me just three weeks until I leave. Can I afford to be optimistic and think it will arrive in time? Last time I applied for a passport I did it by courier and it took two months. Is it just me or should the expiry date on your passport be the actual date it expires and not six months prior? How crazy is that. I think you should be able to travel right up to and including the day before it expires. But that is just me.

This past week, while we were sweating and aching and sneezing and coughing, the mailman brought me some rubber stamps and distress ink I ordered online and these little treasures have been sitting idle in my studio. I haven't had the energy or the inclination to even open the packaging but it is going to be so much fun once these things return. Some sayings really are true, like, "if you have your health, you have everything". I never take our health for granted and I guess we have done pretty well so far this school year. Up until last week, Riley hadn't had one day off sick. Now he's had six in a row! And up until yesterday he had those sick eyes we all get when we are, well, sick. Today for the first time they are looking clear(er). Here's a shot of him making faces for me.

And my apologies to my OWOH winners, I had to suspend all work on your pieces for the last week and now until Friday. But they are progressing, if slowly.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eternal Optimism & Haiku Friday and a Little Sarcasm

They say it always gets darkest just before it gets pitch black. It has been that kind of week for me. After Riley's health (and mine) took a nosedive on Wednesday and after two days of lying around aching, coughing, fevering etc. I took him to the clinic this morning for a diagnosis of (probable) pneumonia. Probable because they don't have an x-ray machine, but from the sound of his chest and his symptoms that's what was written on the ticket. Now his birthday party on Sunday is hanging in the balance, waiting to see how he wakes up tomorrow. He ate a little lunch today, the first thing he's had since Tuesday so it's encouraging. But we are both very weary and sick to death of each other. I wasn't sure I could pull this out of myself today, heck I'm not even sure it's Friday, but I am feeling a wee bit better now, after two days of mega-dosing vitamin C. I guess mine is viral because it's responding.

I'm quite fed up now
Coughing, crying - SOS
Waving the white flag

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Well, that was an interesting couple of days. One fiasco after another. And some downed spirits. Riley came down with a bug, high fever, lethargy followed by gastro. He's bouncing back today but it's meant a lot of lying around on the couch, thermometers and medicines in various orifices. And of course differing opinions. I can not fathom why some people try their darnedest to bring other people down. Maybe I'm just a dweeb, a goody-goody, a fictional character in my own autobiography. My creative time has taken more than a backseat to other things this last week. And I haven't taken many pictures of Riley, I can't bring myself to photograph him when he's feeling so low. But I have a shot of him before the bug, trying out his new scooter - in the house because we still have way too much snow and ice to take it outside.

And another shot from today, once he got up and running and eating a little we did some science experiments in the kitchen.

And here's one of *e*'s tags that I was behind on, you can see how dark my mood has been. This one was very simple, it was more about the journaling than about the imagery. I'm loving these questions and now I'm only behind by two. I also started working on my OWOH giveaways, one piece of collage deteriorated horribly so I'm rethinking that whole piece. These last few days have been a learning experience in so many ways. I feel like I'm coming out of a dark whole.

And one last shot, my boiled eggs from lunch. I loved all the white and the clear plastic. Not art by any twist of the imagination, but I loved how they looked.

Pole question: Is there a time limit on how long you can/should hold your child's birthday party after the actual birthday?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This Morning

I am so excited. This is what I spotted on our bird feeder this morning. The first taker since I hung it just after Christmas. There was also a chickadee but he flew away before I could get the camera. Mrs. Cardinal was quite bold though, she looked right back at me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Haiku Friday

My sweet Valentine
Six years old now, less one tooth
You just rock my world

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Loose Tooth

When we got up this morning Riley declared he had a loose tooth. Such excitement! He wiggled it and wiggled it. When I sent him off to school I was hoping it wouldn't come out while he was there, and it would get lost. I was sort of preparing myself for this first milestone for a while. But he just turned six two days ago, I thought I had a couple of months to get used to the change in his looks. Thursday mornings I do library duty at his school and naturally, its the morning that his class passes through. I asked his teacher if she had heard the "news". And said, "oh yes, Riley has told and shown the whole class his tooth". When he got off the bus this afternoon he was grinning and ridiculously excited AND minus one tooth. Horrors! I thought. His first tooth and I don't have it to cling to, and, less selfishly, that we don't have it to tuck under his pillow. He claimed he had it under his coat. Not in his pocket, but under his coat. At home he proudly displayed it. I can't say enough good things about his teacher. This lady was p-r-e-p-a-r-e-d. Around his neck was a little plastic container in the shape of a tooth, looped onto a string. Inside lay his little lost tooth. How fabulous is this?!

And the hole, because I have a bit of a morbid fascination with it....

And now for something completely different. I tried, lord knows I tried, to get some work in my studio done today. Especially since I have two new projects to make (OWOH winners) as well as all the other pieces I have on the go. All I managed to do was finish up my journal page. But I quite like it. I added some words, not too keen on those instructions from my course, I found myself kind of stilted there. But it was an interesting experiment. Here it is full page and two details. I do like some of the imagery, would like to take it further outside my journal pages onto a canvas or some sturdy paper.

Hot Dog We Got a Weener!

Actually, we have two winners! I ran the numbers through the random generator for my One World One Heart give-away. The first one that came up was number 21 which represents Locuasia. I don't have an email for Locuasia, I did leave you a message on your blog so I hope you get back to me. And then I was thinking that my 100th blog post (which should not go unnoticed in Blogland) was never properly acknowledged. Frequently they are accompanied by give-aways, so I ran the numbers through the generator again and number 48 came up which represents WendyP over at Wendy's Little Corner of the World. I'm firing off a message to you now Wendy!

Isn't this grand?!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I am sending this request out for my friend, Cheryl. On October 3rd of last year, Zoe was born in Montreal. Within hours it was discovered she had a very large cancerous tumor and part of her lung and one rib were removed immediately. Despite all odds, Zoe rebounded and was the objective behind a ski-a-thon last weekend that raised over $70,000 for the neonatal ICU at the Montreal Children's Hospital. Days ago at a monthly check-up, it was discovered that the cancer had returned and a second surgery is scheduled for next week. Zoe is just FOUR MONTHS OLD. If you believe in the power of prayer please include Zoe in your wishes and circles. Send her and her family grace, love, light - whatever words you choose to describe it. Thanks.

Perfect. NOT!

Even though he looks angelic and I can talk a blue streak about my boy, he is not perfect. And yesterday, his birthday, was a prime example. First off, he was quite ticked off at me when I only exposed three or four presents before school. Yeah, I let him open them too. Then after school (his) and work (mine) I piled up the other presents I had stored away. He looked a little disappointed, then after opening them all he was really disappointed. Is that all there is? That summed up his attitude and his words. I am going to be brief and say I didn't necessarily handle it like Donna Reed or Florence Henderson. So I slept fitfully, felt awful all day today while he was at school and I was at work. It was worse because it was shades of my own childhood, those things that both scarred me and contributed to who I am today. But not what I wanted my own child to experience as part of his childhood. Tonight I got the chance to talk to him about it. I apologized for acting like an ass and he apologized for acting like one too. And when it was time for bedtime stories, I chose the children's version of "Feed The Good Wolf". I admitted that yesterday I had been feeding my bad wolf and I was sorry for making him feel rotten on his birthday. He admitted he had done the same. And we kissed and made up. Neither of us is perfect but I am glad we can have an honest dialogue about our feelings. That is something I didn't have growing up. And I know I am doing some things differently, hopefully some things right too.

Eating some Nerds tonight, after bath and with yesterday's "crown". God, I love him.

P.S. I was holding out on one big present, waiting for his father to arrive back in town and have a proper celebration with cake. And maybe that was why I over-reacted, part of me was ticked off that he really knew there was more.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The All Riley Show, All the Time

Happy Birthday my beautiful boy. You are my most favorite person in the world. I am so glad you're here. Today you are six years old. You joke with me that you think I want you to shrink. I would like to freeze-frame you right where you are because you're perfect. But every day as you grow and change I love you more. I know you have to grow up and away from me but right now I am going to enjoy everything about you and try to give you the best of me the way you give the best of yourself to the world. You are smart, kind, gentle and so very funny. I love you into bits.

Last 24 Hours Being Five and a Valentine Idea

Over at Andrea's Fishbowl, she posted a home made valentine template. I thought it was a great idea, and it would keep me from buying those kitchy boxes of Dora or Diego things. And I like to support handmade. So this morning I contacted her to see if she had just the template without the writing as my valentines must be in French. Within an hour she had emailed me back and had redone the template in the French version. A big round of applause to her because she saved me so much time fiddling with the original one and this new one looks much better than what I would have ended up making. All I have to do is print them on card stock, punch a little hole in the center and get Riley to address them. Piece of cake! Thank you so much, Andrea.

And speaking of cake, here is what it looks like to be in your last 24 hours of five-years old.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I am so tired, strangely enough, more tired spending the weekend indoors than having a busy weekend running around. I guess I'm fighting the bugs and germs pervading the house. Deep breath in. Here's a shot of some clowning around, monster teeth and a youtube video I stole off another blogger's site because it made me laugh so hard. 'Night.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Morning

It's kind of cloudy and grey here. "They" are predicting above freezing temperatures today for the first time since Christmas. But "They" are also predicting freezing rain. When Riley came home yesterday he was starting a cold. He finally succumbed. First cold in the house since November. And considering he barely missed the gastro bug that is flying around his school, I guess we've been pretty lucky. He's not horribly sick but when we were lying in bed having our Saturday morning canoodle, I asked him if he felt too sick to go to music class. (He's been in the Music for Young Children program for three years now so it means an hour out of our Saturdays from September to June.) He thought about it for a few minutes and said he would rather not go to music so that he didn't make anyone else there sick. He's always been an empathetic soul. And he knew if we stayed home it meant being quiet all day, no lunch out (as we often do after music class), no shopping (which, go figure, he loves) and no having friends over or going to other friends' houses. A few days ago he was acting strange, saying he didn't want to go to school and immediately my radar started blipping. I questioned him about all kinds of things, especially about bullying to see if the troubles he was having at the beginning of the year had started up again. His answer was that he was just tired of working so hard. So I'm thinking that playing hooky from music class today isn't so bad. The kid needs a break, needs to just be a kid without obligations and have-to-do's. I'm kind of looking forward to a day without obligations too. Playing quietly with Lego.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Day in Pictures

Because I'm feeling kind of too snarly for words.

First. Morning face, morning hair:

Cereal art. Even Riley is getting into creating food art. Made from my Kashi Go Lean cereal (the 21st century's equivalent of Euell Gibbon's Grape Nuts):

Now that I've put the chickens to rest, I've started on Owl Owl. I have much more to do with this. On 10 x 14 acrylic paper. I'm not so happy with the paper, it has a different finish than my last one but it's buckling already. Yikes. I've employed some of Pam Carricker's techniques to start. We'll see how much I can hide.

A shot from my art journal. Darn that flash reflection. Just need to get the words down and I'll be done but I'm really liking it at the moment.

And what I've done so far for *e*'s 52 questions. I still have this week's question but I particularly like how last week's tag turned out.

Haiku Friday

Finding a subject
Not the weather, not Riley
I think I give up

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Something Cool

I had heard about this - - that it was easy to use, especially by the likes of me, someone very technology challenged. Basically you upload a photo and then you choose how to alter it. Here's a shot of, guess who, in Warhol, Sunburst, Charcoal and colored Charcoal. It took me about five minutes to make these four, my first attempt at using the site. I am positively giddy at the possibilities.

But Seriously

After recently exposing the bowels of my bathroom, I feel like I need to reestablish my credibility a little. Today I am guest blogging over at Tara Reid's Innerpreneur website. And I am feeling a little intimidated because over the next two weeks, the other guest bloggers are going to be 1) a psychotherapist and relationship coach; 2) a Man of Mystery; and 3) an e-business owner. It appears I am in rich company, me and my Chicklets. It's a departure from my usual pithy, sarcastic posts here, I barely recognized myself.

Now, to catch up with my 365 day photo project, here's one with the toaster effect. A close-up too close up and a bath shot.

It appears that after about seven weeks we are finally about to get a break in the weather. The forecast is for above zero temperatures both Saturday and Sunday. I think our spirits need the lift, even if it does rain. I've been so cold for so long I've almost gotten used to it (not!).

Oreneta Made Me Do It

This is all Oreneta's idea. She wants us to take a picture of our bathroom cupboards and drawers. It's based on Lulu's idea of taking a picture outside your kitchen window. Now, I have no bathroom drawers so here's one of my linen closet which takes the spill-over and one of my cupboards, this one consisting mostly of hair products. Now that's a slap in the face! It's funny this subject should come up because recently I was rooting around in my linen closet realizing how fossilized it had become. I have started throwing out (read: rinsing out and/or recycling or taking back to the pharmacy if the date is expired) something every day. You can imagine how much crap was in there if I'm still managing to find something to get rid of. In all, it has made me feel quite liberated.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


...not to be confused with knarly. I've discovered that riding public transport on a regular basis brings out the judgmental side of me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Smooth Moves and Teacher Appreciation

I always want to appreciate teachers. Maybe not all of my own, I certainly had a few duds. My sister is an elementary school teacher and I see how much she puts in, of herself, of her time - including nights and weekends. She is, BTW, an excellent teacher. The one you would pull strings to get your child into her class. But yesterday after the field trip I had renewed appreciation for my son's teacher. Here is a note I sent Riley to school with this morning for her because I didn't want to let these thoughts go by without sharing them:

February 3, 2009

Dear Madame Johanne,

Thank you for including me on the field trip to the planetarium. I had a great time and it was special for me to observe Riley in a different situation. I must tell you that my hat is off to all kindergarten teachers as this is a job I would never be capable of doing. It must be a special calling, like the priesthood or Public Defenders. So thank you for doing your job so well and for taking care and helping us raise our children. I really appreciate all you do.

Kind regards,

Riley's mom

And now, the object of my affection, doing his ninja moves with spy glasses on, the star of my show:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Field Trip

I can't say how exhausted I am tonight. It was the kindergarten field trip to the planetarium today. I was one of the parent volunteers to steer and count heads at regular and needed intervals. A busload of 50 5-year olds will suck the energy out of your bones faster than a tornado can whip through Kansas, Dorothy. And if that wasn't enough, we were coerced (I should say I was coerced) into going skating after school. So I'm hanging on by a thread. Here's a shot from the bus ride. At first I thought he was upset at something (maybe my presence or choosing me as a seat partner and then wanting a friend instead), but when I look at the photos, I realize he is just over the moon.

My First Award!

I'm still picking myself up off the floor. Who knew? The amazing Brenda has nominated me for my first blog award. And it's a goodie (as Wall-E would say).

The Marie Antoinette,
Real Person, A Real Award

I love the idea that I'm a real person as I frequently have doubts.

Here are the rules for the award (which I have stolen word for word, or copy and paste, as we say in blog land from the aforementioned Brenda):

1. Put the picture of Marie Antoinette on your blog.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs.
4. Link to those blogs from your blog.
5. Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know you've shared the award with them.

I'm not sure I know seven bloggers worthy of this award, which is not to say they don't exist, only that I don't follow that many. But I'll start and see how many I can ferret out. So, in no order of importance, but in the order that they appear in my bookmarks:

Kal - [i] love life
Karen -
Snap - tales from twisty lane
Oreneta - orenata aground
Beth - books etc.
Garden hoe - eat my yard
Mama tulip - where am I going and why am I in this hand basket

These ladies inspire me, make me laugh, make me feel - well, human. So what better way to honor than to give them this Real Person Award.

(Brenda, I would have put you up there too, but didn't know if it was within the guidelines to re-gift it!)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sam Spade, Incognito

Riley has a fascination with everything spy these days. He was under cover for much of the day, I made him take his gum shoes off to eat but he insisted on keeping the glasses.


I finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows) a few days ago. I can't remember where I first heard about it, it was a little obscure source, it certainly wasn't as if it was an Oprah pick, and then I kept hearing about it from very different people. At my last trip to the library I checked the shelves just in case, and there it was. It is a beautiful novel, the worse I can say is that perhaps it is a little predictable. It's a mix of romance, humor and war. The authors describe some of the atrocities brought by the occupation of the Second World War without wallowing it. We forget how much we have, in the times we live in. Living without flour seems so far from where we are, having your basic rights suspended seems impossible, turning over your possessions to soldiers seems like fiction. Unfortunately it wasn't and it isn't in some parts of the world right now. And I do like a good ending. In this case it was not just the details of the ending, it was the style it was written in, pure pleasure to read.