Saturday, May 30, 2009

In My Garden

When the weather finally cleared this afternoon Riley and I got out into the garden to do a little heavy lifting. We finally planted what I hope will be those heavenly blue morning glories and none too soon because they were starting to look a little peaked. We were chopping wood and carrying water and listening to a lot of cheep-cheep-cheeping. I was thinking that lately we had birds in the belfry or something then all of a sudden these little faces appeared out of the porthole of the birdhouse I put up in the spring:

Of course I grabbed the camera and the ladder and dealt with my fear of heights (even two rungs on a ladder can send me spinning), snapping away and watching those hungry little beaks crying out. I was going to ask Snap what they might be because really, all baby bird faces look the same to me but later in the day we saw a mother (or father) sparrow fluttering at the opening and feeding. So, so amazing. We were ridiculously excited.

The whole garden is full and I took probably a hundred or more shots of the flowers which I will selfishly save for Wordless Wednesdays and/or some other projects but here is a shot of my neighbor's incredibly fragrant bush - someone once called it spirea but I have a feeling it's something else, I would love to know for sure if anyone does know:

As Northerners, we get pretty excited about our flowers and gardens, every day is a photo-op at this time of year.

I am hoping for a better night tonight, for the last 24 hours my 14 year-old English Setter has had Extreme Diarrhea. She takes diarrhea to new heights, that dog. It happens every so often, and mostly at this time of year but I was up a lot during the night cleaning up the snarf-blatts. I had no idea she could hold so much. I do feel bad for her, even though she brings it on herself with her scavenging ways. All she has in her tonight is a bowl of boiled white rice but with her, you never know. Fingers crossed.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Another Give-Away!

My friend and fellow blogger, Snap down at Twisty Lane, has a blogoversary and birthday coming up and she is hosting a give-away. She has put together a bag that represents all that is near and dear to her heart (except for Mr. Dragon, who is not part of the give-away). She is particularly passionate about animals and invites you to have a look at the Proyecto Titi site that talks about the current dangers for cotton-top tamarins. But hurry because the drawing is on June 3rd. Here's what she is giving-away, the more full description is over on her blog.


*E*'s 20th question is, "What is your latest obsession?" I was a little stuck with this one, thinking I haven't really obsessed in a while but since I'm late with it, I had two long weeks to cogitate. I realized I have bought a ridiculous number of shoes, sandals and slippers lately. You know how sometimes you find something you're not even looking for? Well it's kind of been that way with me and the shoes, except for the slippers - I was on the look-out for slippers for a couple of months after Riley told me my old ones smelled. They were about four years old and the insides were all torn so they really didn't owe me anything but I wasn't ready to let them go. I finally found some new ones online at Planet Shoes dot com, the very same pair I had tried on four years ago but opted for the other (now-smelly) ones instead. Nah, I'm not much obsessed with shoes. Acrylic, collage, ink, graphite, markers.

I'm glad I was able to get in my studio for a little time this afternoon. This week has found me a little irritable and meeting up with equally irritable people. I've been trying to put a more positive spin on things but I'll turn around and be met by someone else in turmoil. Is my energy attracting like energy? The good news is that Mercury goes direct tomorrow (but not Return until around June 18). That should tweak things a bit.

Haiku Friday

The dandelions
A peanut-like obsession
You can't pull just one

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I got mail this week, from Sara at Locuasia. She was one of my OWOH winners back in February and I made this little piece for her:

popped it in the mail, but it never arrived. That was two months ago and it drives me nuts that original art got lost in the mail. Anyway, to make a short story really long, I wanted to send her something else even though I could never reproduce the original. We corresponded back and forth a bit and although it seems small in comparison I sent her some ribbon for her ATCs and inchies and other projects she has on the go. She, in turn, sent me some things for my mixed media - such ordinary day-to-day things perhaps but they are from another country and I find them inspiring. Some lotto tickets, bus tickets, pages from an old book, calendar pages, a few little cards that remind me a bit of some tarot and even a toy for Riley. How great is that?! I will put it all to good use.

One of the amazing things about this medium is meeting people who are kind and generous and sharing. My week seems to be full of this and I'm grateful.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless, in it's own way

Sherry Lee first made me stand up and take notice of this blog. And although it's wordless wednesday over here in Montreal, I had to share this post. I apologized to Mary for laughing so hard I peed my pants, all at her expense, but I dare you to read it and not weep. Go ahead.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Creature Comforts

Ah, well. That was a trip and a half. So much fun and so glad to be home. Friday night I got to spend time with not only my sister and her better half but also my niece and nephew and their better halfs (halves?). Saturday we got a lovely tour of Guelph, got fully aired out on a nature trail and fed my artistic side at a few galleries. Sunday was a visit to "the farm" - what will one day be my sister's new home in the woods, deep in the heart of blackfly country. Here is a shot of Riley in what will be her pond - I think it is more swimming pool size:

You can only see a fraction of it but you get an idea from how small Riley looks in what you do see.

Monday night we got to see the Leonard Cohen Unified Heart concert at the National Arts Centre, a real treat but it meant going to bed very, very late on a day after a long train ride. And as if that wasn't fantastic enough, I got to putter around a Michael's and Wallach's art supplies store in Ottawa, picking up a few goodies of course, including a handful of Caran d'Ache neocolor IIs - hand picked colors (ones I imagine you only find in the mega set). I have bought a few on the internet but nothing compares to being able to look with the naked eye at the colors, pick them up and feel them. Ah, pure pleasure. And now we're back, the dogs have been retrieved and we are scrambling (I should say I am scrambling) to prepare for work and school tomorrow. So happy to have my slippers on, preparing to slide under my own sheets. I call these my laughing slippers because to me, that's what they look like they are doing.

Lots of blog reading to do and catching up. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


So much to report today, especially since tomorrow morning we are off on our train trip to Toronto for the weekend, then to Ottawa to meet up with iMan then home Tuesday night. I will be computer-less and most likely not checking email at all until then. An electronic hiatus. Today I received this delightful package in the mail (from Carolyn at Magpie-Pixie), I knew it was coming but was still an incredible surprise and made my heart open wide. Looky, looky (wrapped in gold tissue paper and with a beautiful laced tag):

I also whipped off another tag. Last week's question (Q19) was What Gives Me Hope? Here's mine, I didn't even include a question mark this time since it meant more to me to have it a statement. I found some time this week to fiddle around in Photoshop and I found some fun and interesting tools. I started by photographing a part of one of the new scrapbooking papers I bought over the weekend, adjusted the color, "sphered" it and then distorted it to make it fit the size of the tag. The question itself was inked in different colors but wasn't prominent enough so I re-inked with black distress ink over the color. I like the effect. For the back I chose a simple pure white rice paper (with texture) to emphasize the feeling behind my answer.

See you all next week.

Sticky Fingers

I was standing in line at the pharmacy today and, like I will do, took a moment to sense out the person in line in front of me. I am trying to not sound racist with this comment so here goes. The woman was middle aged, likely Muslim with head scarf and full dress to the floor. She was buying something small with a debit card. I had a flash in my mind, wondering if her pocket money was limited, how much she might have to account for what she was buying - I admit I thought that because of the way she was dressed. As she made her way to the door, two plain clothes men came swiftly to her side, asking her if she had put anything unpaid for in her pocket. She readily admitted to having a lipstick in her pocket and a small conversation followed as to whether it was new. She was taken in the back and I guess the police were called. I was torn between feeling frightened for the woman, having to face authorities and later her husband. But then I thought, not knowing the whole story, maybe she shoplifts for other reasons. Except for a little daring period when I was around 10 or 11, I am scrupulous about conscious theft, believing that money is an energy that can easily be abused. I like having money though, and work hard for what I earn. How honest are you?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am sometimes surprised at the level of anger that surges out of me and the quickness with which it rises. Those days it seems that I have been holding, quelling, dissipating, reasoning away this emotion for so long and then the fuse just burns out. I am immediately able to check myself, rein it all in but it's always a shock to realize that all "that" was just under the surface, invisible to my soul's eye. Scary stuff.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vanity and Lurking

Yesterday while I was semi-comatose I sat in front of the computer and fiddled. I went to my "stats counter" homepage and looked at the graphs and other details, something I had never done or even thought of doing before. Originally I had put the stats counter up just out of curiosity, to see if anyone else in the world wanted to hear what I had to say. I thought it would give me a giggle or two. But the tracking by the stats counter company is interesting, to say the least. I can see that I've had visitors from Thailand, Pakistan, Belgium, Norway and Japan, just to name some of the more obscure countries. Visitors who came, saw and left without a comment. Recently Sherry Lee gave them the moniker of lurkers. I try to leave a comment when I drop in at other blogs, even if it's just a "howdy". But when we blog, it's out there for all to see. And obviously there are a lot of visitors who feel like they can't or don't want to leave a comment. It's sad, in a way, I would love to have heard from some of those lurkers.

Times Like These

It's times like these, when I'm feeling not so up to par that it's easy to be grateful. I'm grateful we're not seriously ill, just your run of the mill colds that will likely find us up and running again by next weekend. Grateful that we had this virus manifest this weekend and not next when we have a lot of traveling and visiting to do. It's strange - the last few days when I worsened Riley improved and vise-versa. He actually slept for 2 hours on the couch yesterday - unheard of - then begged to go to bed by 6:30. He had a low grade fever which had him moaning and whimpering every hour or so. We're moving today, feeling around 60%. And I'm grateful the weather has been kind of crappy because I haven't felt like we've really missed out on any fun and I don't feel guilty for not working the garden. See, it's easy to be grateful, times like these.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Toast Soldiers

We've been up and down, again. *sigh* It's the middle of May and we're still getting viruses. And at the risk of sounding adolescent, it sucks. I've always felt that being sick is such a waste of time. But here we are, sick again. In all the wallowing and self-pity, this made me laugh. Riley hates the crusts of bread and when I made him a piece of toast, cut into fingers, he ate it all but the crusts. To help me out (as I lay moaning on the couch) he brought his plate into the kitchen when he was finished, and this is what I saw. I may feel like rat dung but he can still make me laugh. Yeah, I'm definitely going to keep him.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sharing the Love, If Not the Bed

When Riley is sick, either a little bit or a lot, I like to put him in with me at night so I can keep an eye and a close ear on him. Last night, even though he was quite a bit better than the night before and the morning, I tucked him in my bed then went to have my own bath (with newly chosen book from my pile). This is what I saw when I came out and was ready to hit the sheets:

How does one small-for-his-age six year-old manage to occupy a queen size bed? Easily, it seems. But I love him.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Down, But Not Out

It was a weird day, jam-packed too. I brought Riley into school late this morning, chose to not set the alarm and get up when we were ready. I waited to see if he could keep a piece of toast down. Then we set off. He seemed a little wonky but wasn't feverish or vomiting, and he was running around the house with energy to burn so off to the salt mines he went. Then it was the garden centre for a few flats and pots of flowers, top soil etc., last stop the vet. The studio was calling but I took myself by the hand outside and started weeding. I can't believe how fast everything is going, it's crazy. I worked fast for about two hours and made some headway and I must admit it looks a darned site better than when I started. At the garden centre I bought a couple of my favorite morning glories - the heavenly blues - which are an incredible shade of blue, one you rarely see in flowers. Actually, they were marked heavenly blue but the photo on the tag is more purplish and not at all like the heavenly blues I know, love and covet. So I'm feeling a little sceptical and suspicious because in past years I've bought other morning glories that the seller swore up and down the flag pole were heavenly blue but they weren't.

This is what they should look like if they are the real thing (taken last year in my garden):

And a shot of one lone tulip - I don't know how it got there, probably courtesy of a squirrel but I might look for more in the fall to plant because they are quite pretty and an unusual shape:

After school we headed down to the lake with some friends and burned up a little more energy on our bikes. Heart of my heart:

And he isn't the only one who was pensive today. I had a mini-revelation, something to build my Friday haiku around. After my weeding marathon and before I met the school bus I had just enough time to sit and admire my handiwork and look over the suggested reading at the back of "Life is a Verb". I started another soul-help book, one that I have mentioned here briefly, but have had such trouble getting into it, finding it very clinical and hard to relate to. I found myself avoiding reading because once I start a book I try very hard to finish it. But I've been struggling. Looking at Patti Digh's suggested reading and how passionate she is about some of the books made me realize that life is too short to be forcing myself to get through something I just can't relate to. So I've put it aside, and feel such relief. There are so many books I do want to read and I'm not going to "stick it out" if it's just not speaking to me at all. So I've filled out the book request forms for the Used Book Circle (an internet service linked with certain second hand shops in various Canadian cities) for a few of Digh's suggestions, hoping that I might find one or two there first. And since we will be finding ourselves in both Toronto and Ottawa over the next ten days, I filled out the request forms for those cities too. What fun, new books! Or, new-to-me books! Love books!

Haiku Friday

I gave it a go
Realized it wasn't for me
Right now anyway

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What is on Your To-Do List?

*e*'s question for last week was "What is on your to-do list this week?" I ended up doing this tag twice. Late this afternoon I realized I needed to re-do it as the first version had a great concept but the way I had spaced things out was horrible and un-fixable so I did it quickly the second time around. I rather like it and it is very different than any other tag I've done. Last week and this week I've had h-u-g-e- to-do lists full of appointments to make. All that annual stuff and the kind of stuff you don't rush to the phone to do because it's frustrating, time-consuming and ultimately half of it will have to be re-done which leaves me with a feeling of futility.

I did manage to get a hold of my lawn guy today and he has promised to come and mow tomorrow. It's a jungle out there! Everything is about a month ahead of itself. The tulips are almost finished, the peonies, lilies, columbines, irises, geraniums - everything has exploded. This coming weekend is our traditional planting of annuals and I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed with the amount of yard and garden work to do. I haven't even pulled my hose out yet for heaven's sake. When I had the time a couple of weeks ago I was hesitant because we still can have frosts at night.

Riley came home from school today not feeling well at all. I was told he had thrown up twice at lunch time. What I don't understand is why the school didn't call me at lunch because I would have brought him home. Tomorrow, which was to be my last day to myself until June 1, is now likely going to be an at-home day for Riley so I'll have to work around that. I'm also toying with the idea of going up to our cottage. We closed it up early October and I really should pay a visit to see if any wildlife moved in over the winter and that before the black flies make their appearance and make the whole next month unlivable there. Last year it was squirrels, the year before was mice and termites. I just don't know if I can face it though. There is just so darn much to do here in the city. And we have a five-day trip coming up at the end of next week which always calls for more preparation. Did I mention that this coming Tuesday is also a ped day? Juggle, juggle, juggle - can you see all my balls in the air?!

And speaking of *e*, this week she has listed the seven rules of the toddler and although Riley is well past that stage it made me laugh out loud. So true, so funny, I invite you to go and have a look


The Universe is raining buckets of gold down on me lately. It appears that yesterday I won Carolyn's giveaway and that this lovely is on it's way to me:

Thank you, Carolyn. I am looking forward to it. I'm speechless.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Story Behind the Shoes

What is it with women and shoes? I was out buying rubber boots for someone else yesterday - someone who wasn't with me, so it was kind of odd to the salesman when I picked out a few pairs of boots and asked him if he would see if he had any in a size 10. That in itself wasn't odd, but when he came back with all his size 10's, I then asked him for those shoes in a 6 1/2. He looked at me kind of funny, but I like to mess with people some times so I just smiled. I loved them on the shelf but loved them more when I put them on. "These are $500 shoes," the salesman said. "I know," I said, thinking, "I know because my foot has never been in a $500 shoe and this feels like butter". They were stupid cheap - I do not have $500 in my budget for ONE paid of shoes. I put them on around 7:00 this morning, thinking I would wear them around the house a bit before going to work, just to see where they might rub or pinch, where I would need to put band-aids on for blisters. I noticed around 10:00 at work that I had forgotten to take them off at home. I wore them until I got home at 5:30 with nary a blister or red spot. So that's what it's like to live on the other side of the tracks.

Post Script/Clarification - The shoes were on sale, about 80% off.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 11, 2009

Of Life Spans, Milestones and Cherry Blossoms

First off, let say this day was the day of the incessant telephone and doorbell. I was out most of the morning but from the time I stepped foot in the door, something was ringing. It got to the point where I actually yelled as I answered the phone. I was just trying to get things done, have a little studio time. But when you have a small child out of the house, well, you just can't let it ring. Anyway...I was wondering this morning what the average life span of a cotton shirt should be. I have a favorite long sleeve t-shirt. It's an LLBean, an ultrasoft seafoam colored lovely. I bought it on a bit of a spree about a year and a half ago when my last job position was moved to the company's Toronto address, knowing I would be spending a lot of time at home and soon wouldn't have much extra money for clothes for me. And I've worn it plenty - at first it was probably once a week - when it was clean! Then after the novelty wore off it was probably every other week. Yesterday when I put it on it was suddenly shapeless, stretched and although still comfortable, it has now been relegated to the pile of things to wear when I am not going past the garden gate. I guess I expected more from it, since it was LL Bean and not that cheap. I like to buy quality over quantity as much as I can. Maybe I'm in mourning or denial but I am kind of ticked that's the end of that, like the old song, "is that all there that all there is...if that's all there is my friend, then let's keep dancing, bring out the booze and have a ball". I always liked that song and, despite popular belief to the contrary, it really has nothing to do with the invitation to go on a bender.

Riley past a milestone today and I was without my camera. At the park after school he got on the swing, started pumping and got up and swinging high without a push. *sigh* I was so happy for him, he has struggled with that talent since last summer and it finally all came together. And then he started jumping off, mid air. *groan*

And the cherry blossoms are out, really out there now. Testimony to that fact is my allergy to those beauties. Check it out:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Give-Away and Over-Indulged

I meant to post this yesterday, but got caught up in my own maudlin obsessing. I found a give-away link over at Sherry Lee's and it's a dandy. It's Magpie Pixie's site (Click here), - you won't regret it but do it soon because time's a wastin'.

I over-indulged today in just about everything, all kinds of goodies, and plenty of emotions. Here are a couple of shots of Riley during his quest to make my breakfast (complete with chef's hat):

We had minimal whining today and no nagging at supper time. He often acts more mature than I do. So proud of him.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother Guilt

I'm feeling just a wee bit guilty and wondering if there has been a little too much hype about mother's day in my son's life this year. Coming out of music class this morning he said he wished his dad was around. I told him that next time he comes home that he'll be here for a long time, the whole summer even. To which he said, "yeah but I wish he was around to help me with tomorrow". I think he's got all kinds of things planned because he keeps bringing up Mother's Day and yes, I might deserve all of it, but I just wish he didn't feel the stress. He brought something home from school on Thursday in a big bag and has hidden it behind this little barricade.

See that piece of green paper taped up on the right side? On it there is a drawing of me, with a line through it from corner to corner - meaning "Mom's not allowed behind the barricade".

His father called tonight and he went off in a corner to whisper into the phone, listening to some prompts, I'm sure. And all day he kept saying to me that tomorrow I get to do whatever I want. I'm afraid he's scared he's going to be left - left behind, left out. I'm not sure what. Why is it so hard for me to accept the adulation, too? Good questions. It amazes me how he can make me laugh so hard and still weep with sadness over the very same subject.

Apology accepted?

We haven't been able to buy one full rainy day here since - probably the beginning of April. I'm not complaining but I have to apologize to everyone who lives in my geographical vicinity. This morning when I woke the sun was shining and it was humid. During my morning ablutions I carefully applied sunscreen to every centimetre of my face. I then did a load of laundry, hung it on the clothesline and left the house for a couple of hours. Naturally all of the above invited the rain goddesses, who were sitting up in the ether, to start poking each other and laughing. I didn't re-wash everything but I did put it through a rinse-and-spin cycle. Sorry neighbors and friends.

Yesterday I got a much needed haircut. I have slow growing hair so I don't really think much about regular cuts until I hit that hormonal week and it becomes oh-so obvious. My bangs were getting pretty long and when I told my hairdresser (lord, that sounds like something out of the 50's) that they were getting kind of long, she said they were no longer bangs, just hair. ha! ha! I was having one of those after lunch snoozes while I was sitting in the chair, I closed my eyes as she was doing the bangs. I thought I was dreaming or had an odd perspective of time because I was almost dropping off but it seemed she was spending an awful lot of time up there and the snip-snip-snip seemed to go on forever. Yeah well, I wasn't sleeping because when I opened my eyes the bangs were short. Real short. This short. I mean, what is a 48-year old woman supposed to do with this?

They look somewhere between a cross of what they looked like when I was four years old and took the scissors to my own head and what I did when I was twenty-four and tackled them one night when I was drunk and tired of them falling in my eyes. Stunning memories. Thank heavens they were cut on the full moon, my hair always grows faster when it's cut then. But until then...

While I'm on wild and varying subjects, it's time to give Patti Digh's, "Life is a Verb" its proper due. This was a book I bought at the same time as three other "self help" books or, as the Queen of Arts calls them, "soul help" books. Out of all the books of that genre I had to choose from (and I flipped through them all, reading bits and pieces here and there), this was the one that stood out. I was partly drawn to it because the author and I are the same age (perhaps a year apart) and we both had a small child about the same age and I'm always curious to see how someone else is coping with all that. But it's a beautiful book. The pages are a nice weight, there are worthy quotes throughout and the art is beautiful. Take a look at a shot of the top of the book, you can see how beautiful it is just from this angle.

One of my favorite things about it is the idea that you can take one small aspect, and try to re-make your habits one at a time over 37 days. The author doesn't imagine that in 37 days you will be a totally new person, her perspective is quite clear that you should try just one thing for 37 days and see. She has many suggested "focus free writes" which I found have been enormously helpful (my post-its are marking these) . I have been using this exercise before I head into the studio and find it can clear up some of the gunk that keeps me procrastinating or slightly blocked. I would say it's an exercise that is similar to Julia Cameron's morning pages. I found the book offers an opportunity for immediacy in moving forward, assuming you're willing to do the grunt work. It's worth it. And she's funny.

Friday, May 8, 2009


What a week! I am exhausted, but am more than satisfied with what I've accomplished. A huge to-do list, enough of it crossed off. Oddly enough, *e*'s question this week was, "What is on your to-do list". I haven't started that tag yet although I am thinking about it. I spent much of today on my secret scrapping project. Made great headway there. Probably one more good day at it and it's done, which is great considering I will only be gifting it in two weeks. But in those next two weeks I only have one day to myself, so I had better use it well. After one of my gruelling days at work this week, I came home to find this waiting for me in the mailbox:

I had almost forgotten about this sweet mixed media piece I had won over at Got Art? for guessing the photo of the cherimoya. My only complaint is that Sherry forgot to sign it.

Because of the excessive and manipulative coverage of the economy and the swine flu virus I have more or less been avoiding the newspaper for the last little while, skipping right to the comics and sudoku but yesterday I happened across an article that made me want to kick myself. I think it was almost two years ago that I discovered a show on the Showcase channel called, "Saving Grace". I watched the first season religiously, even staying up to see the end of it at 11:00 despite having the VCR whirring at the same time. It sucked me in right from the first show. But then after leaving a cliff-hanger as an end of season, I lost track of season two starting up. At any rate the article was about last night being the end of season two. I am hoping they re-run it this summer since I found it incredibly entertaining television. Smart, different than any other show, even if it was a little violent for my usual level of tolerance. I'll need to start scanning the guide to find out if and when it is coming back on. I very rarely watch television; the only shows I watch with regularity are some BritComs, Coronation Street and Desperate Housewives and even with those, I often get weeks behind with the video recorder storing up more and more episodes. So when I take to a show, I tend to take it quite seriously and I'm just a little put out that I've missed the entire season of Saving Grace.

After getting that load off my chest, I am very much looking forward to the alarm not going off t tomorrow morning.

Haiku Friday

The Full Moon calling
I admire it's beauty
But disrupts my sleep

Fun Day

I just know today is going to be a fun day, in a challenging sort of way. This is what I saw in the bathtub as I was taking my morning constitutional:

I'm sure I've just lost one of my three faithful readers (Coriander) but here's the perspective of it's size:

I don't love spiders but I do have a morbid fascination if I see one. So I stepped in the tub thinking it would be a neat shot taken from the other end of the tub looking down toward the drain, raised the camera but that darn spider wasn't in the viewfinder. Camera down, no spider in the tub either. EEEKK! I jumped out, figuring it ran back down the drain from whence it came. I jumped up and down, giving my pajama legs a bit of a shake, you know - just in case....No spider. Ok, breath again. Something tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Shake a little harder". I don't ignore that voice unless it's telling me to do something dangerous so I did, jumped and shook a little harder and out he flew. And so did I, into the next room. Did I mention I am deathly allergic to spider bites? Yes, it's going to be a fun day, in a challenging sort of way.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Where did this day go? I got a lot done, I just wanted to do more. I started a new project which will remain a secret for a little while because it's for someone special's birthday. Here's a shot of my desk with it all stretched out. The "secret" project is coming along nicely and I'm quite pleased with it since I have done very little scrapping. It's going to be hard not talking about this and sharing it as it evolves, at least until it has been gifted. I would love to learn some digital scrapping techniques but that takes an amount of time that, when I have that amount of time, I would rather get right into paint.

And a shot from this morning's shenanigans. We are often at our best first thing.

I found myself with just enough time this morning in between obligations to finish a book I started a couple of weeks ago. I have been reading multiple books, mostly non-fiction, but this one I've been picking away at for about two weeks. Andre Dubus III's "Bluesman", I picked it up years (many years) ago after reading "House of Sand and Fog" and loved it so much I wanted to get my hands on anything else the author had written. This one was very good too. The characters are complex and it really shows how little prepared we all are for adulthood; how it is thrust upon us before we are really ready to assume all the responsibilities and repercussions that come with it. At 18 we are old enough to create another soul, drink alcohol, vote and go to war, but what kind of wisdom do we have at that stage to handle any of those things with any kind of finesse. It made me realize how frightening it all is and yet as a very young adult I just threw myself into life with little regard for more than the present moment. Part of me hopes I am senile by the time Riley is coming of age.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Power of the Nag or, Power Nagging

*e*'s 17th question is "What is my super power?" I did this quickly, for me anyway, squeezing in just a little time this afternoon and this evening. I took a few shots of myself - first time using the automatic timer on my camera. I've noticed lately that there are very few pictures of me, the main reason is that I don't think I am very photogenic and am usually horrified to see the results. Kind of like hearing your own voice on recorded tape - do I really sound like that?! I think, do I really look like that?! So I figured since nobody else would see these shots unless I chose, I did some crazy things. I then went over to and did more crazy things. I started with this shot and befunkied it with the "inkify" button. I think it looks a bit like I Love Lucy. Much later in the day, I asked Riley what he thought my super power was. Oddly enough, he hadn't seen what I had done on the tag so far, I just dropped the question casually into conversation (you can ask that kind of question casually to a six-year old). His answer really fit the front of the tag, I was so surprised. As I've journalled it onto the back of the card, I had asked him on the heels of making him eat a carrot so his answer was, "nagging". He redeemed himself later by saying he thinks my super power is "love". I think I'll keep him.


Morning hair. Love morning hair (on him).

P.S. Found two more pennies today, at separate locations. Something is definitely afoot.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


This afternoon I saw a mouse and I screamed. My best, high-pitched girlie scream. I was sorting the recycling, bring the big bin from inside out to the two bins I keep in a shed. I opened the shed door and - mouse in recycling bin. Unfortunately he looked like he had simply fallen in and couldn't get out. Past tense. As bad as I feel about all that (I'll start storing the blue bins upside down) I'm grateful I didn't have to get him out of there scrambling and scratching. We finally (the royal "we" here) put up a little tent I bought Riley a couple of weeks ago. A Canadian Tire $17 tent that fits him and a friend. I am not a happy camper, but even I managed to get this one up within five minutes.

And a shot from the outside (no shoes allowed) - he put his welcome mat at the door flap to take care of that.
Finally : Confession. My house is a pig sty. When iMan is away, we have a cleaning service in every two weeks to vacuum, dust, do the bathrooms etc. I do the cleaning on the in-between weeks. But this last week I put me first, let a lot of things go, in order to spend time in my studio. I neglected the garden, the windows, the dog hair, the general tidying up, the cleaning out of the fridge of left overs - you get the idea. So today I stopped and came up for air, took a good look around and EGADS! I have another two days before the cleaners come again and I'm horrified. Basically I'm going to have to keep my eyes closed until Tuesday. Still, nice problem to have, I know.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


While I was inspecting the garden today I saw a first - my white bleeding heart, blooming on MAY 2!!! I know it's an early perennial but I never have had a bloom so early. Also, my red and yellow tulips burst out. The reds and yellows aren't my favorite, they were planted by the previous owner, but they are early and colorful after seven months of dreary grey and brown. I have some deep purple and dark pink tulips that will come out in another month and one lone enormous white one - I'm not sure where that came from, probably a squirrel, and it always grows on this incredibly tall stalk, kind of like Jack's magic beans. We've had weird weather - a really hot day followed by a bit of rain followed by a cool day. Then the cycle starts all over again. I think that might be what has got the plants confused.

And here's a little bouquet Riley picked for me (I believe they are weeds - they grow right in amongst the other reeds of grass), he even scotch-taped the three little flowers together and presented it to me. He is a crack up!

I also managed to do yet another tag - Q16 - What is the truth? I have been pondering this question since I finished Q15. Notice it doesn't read, "what is my truth". I started thinking how truth really never is black and white, so I started with just some blobs of white and black acrylic paint which I slathered thickly and randomly all over a sheet of ordinary paper that I had gessoed back a few weeks ago when I was making some of my own collage sheets (as per the Collage Diva). Then I took some of my Tim Holz rubber stamps (gotta love Tim Holz) and pressed those right into the paint blobs, applying some additional paint to the stamps and going over and over the mess until I was more or less satisfied. When it dried I picked a favorite spot and cut the shape of the tag from it. The sheet itself turned out quite delicious - the thickness of the paint gives the paper some real weight and a nice semi-sheen and the stamps lend it texture. I might have to investigate this whole technique again. Here it is, with my rather vague journalling on the back.