Watching the Air Change: End of October

I love the smell of the air, although it is now so cold on the cheeks!  The birds and all that surrounds the gardens are softer and the green disappears.



The angel continues to stand vigil…the garden becomes a variety of textures and remains beautiful.


 Northern Flicker and Sparrows dare not solicit.

Northern Flicker




My mind goes somewhere else as I edge the river. sound, but a single chickadee.


This guy flew off with his prey shortly after I tried snapping a photo of him.  Off he went, mouse in his claws!

This guy flew off with his prey as I watched.



Bow River

 The homes on our circle have been transforming gradually.  The crime scene tape is everywhere and there are more bones than bodies!

Bones everywhere!


Studio Visit

Kristen: Grade Nine Self Portrait

Thank you Kristen, for coming by the studio this afternoon!  You are such an amazing young lady and so enthusiastic about what you’re doing at art college.  I’m proud of you and excited for you!  Enjoy creating!  Here’s the self-portrait that you created in grade nine.  I’ll hold onto it for you! ;0)

This Many Years Later!

Dance Who You Are Today

Peggy Baker


Image borrowed from

I was so inspired this morning when my daughter updated her facebook status and these words appeared.  “Dance Who You Are Today!”  There was a remarkable story posted with her updates and so I began to look into this woman’s journey as an artist, especially given that her interview on Q TV took place when she was my own present age, 56. At 11:45-13:25 in this clip…Peggy begins the most amazing description of her body.  This moment in the interview truly spoke to me.  I hope that you will take the time to view this.

Look at her fingers…her hands… at 16:40.  “Put everything into every moment.  Invest yourself in every moment you have.”

I am going to go and dance who I am today.  In keeping with thinking about journals, here is Peggy’s journal.

Apple Butterscotch Pudding

Apple Butterscotch Pudding

My former mother-in-law shared this recipe with me thirty years ago.   It is a wonderful warm dessert to serve with a wee titch of milk over top.  I notice that there are no directions to accompany the ingredients.  The sauce is prepared separately on the stove top.  The batter includes the large slices of apple…all mixed in and then dolloped into a baking dish…big plops of batter that are not smoothed over, flattened or joined.  The sauce is then poured on top.  Bake at 350 until it looks golden.  You will enjoy this!

Reading: Pilgrim and The Indian in the Cupboard

It’s been a little over two weeks and I am still reading, before sleep, Pilgrim by Timothy Findley.  It can’t be qualified as an ‘easy’ read…but beautiful and beautifully written.  The ‘lunatic’, Pilgrim, is a character of so many layers and he is challenging the young Carl Gustov Jung to reconsider everything he thinks he knows.  I am most captivated when Pilgrim moves throughout history, and using his journals as a vehicle,  introduces and develops his connections with such historical figures as St. Teresa of Avila, Leonardo da Vinci and Oscar Wilde.  Findley creates several ‘real’ narratives through the words that Pilgrim has left behind in his journals….a fascinating book!  At the same time, I am appalled by the way that Jung is handling matters in his own life and question sometimes who is the real ‘crazy’ person at times.

Findley’s use of Pilgrim’s journals has also impacted my thoughts about words, their power and their capability to give clarity to the writer’s personal ‘truth’ OR to create an altered reality, or even pure fiction.  The reader is left, in this case,  on page 375 of 485 pages, wondering which it is. 

I took the van in for servicing last night, so, (I don’t know how to properly punctuate the ‘so’….do I place a comma before and after ‘so’, or what?) feeling distanced from my favourite off-leash parks this morning, I picked up another book and my morning coffee and sat on the red couch for a ‘read’.    I chose The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks.  And I’m pleased to say that I have not yet seen the movie.  To this point, having read only the first two chapters, Birthday Presents and The Door is Shut, it feels like an inspiration for the movie, Toy Story.  Is it?

This book, likely intended for students in Grade Four, is one that I missed out on in childhood.  Right up there on the shelf along side Charlotte’s Web,  I’m not really certain how I missed out on this novel.  Sometimes, as adults, we just need to close the circle and catch up on some of the classics.  I’m going to enjoy this book.  It is sentimental, as referenced by grandmother’s jewelry box key and wonderfully descriptive.

“Have you, darling? Which one?” His mother came to look. “Oh that one! How very odd. That was the key to my grandmother’s jewel box, that she got from Florence. It was made of red leather and it fell to bits at last, but she kept the key and gave it to me. She was most terribly poor when she died, poor old sweetie, and kept crying because she had nothing to leave me, so in the end I said I’d rather have this little key than all the jewels in the world. I threaded it on that bit of ribbon—it was much longer then—and hung it around my neck and told her I’d always wear it and remember her. And I did for a long time. But then the ribbon broke and I nearly lost it.”

Reading is a luxury before making beef barley soup with Sunday’s leftover roast and going for another autumn walk.

There is a Chill in the Air

Responding to Writing and Pain

I’ve wanted to comment on this post since it was written.  It was written a few days after this post and just slightly after this post.  Sometimes I read words through this medium that absolutely try to blow me away.  These words did.  Writing a short comment on your blog just didn’t seem ‘enough’.  I’m just glad that you are writing again.

1911 Red Studio by Henri Matisse

Considering; writing, pain, writing the pain and ‘how writing helps us see’,  I revisited something I was thinking about my own writing.  I once wondered if my writing sounds too optimistic, too positive and too ‘grateful’.  At times, I’ve wondered if my life is even believable.  More than once, I’ve written about  ‘audience‘  here and I’ve thought and wondered about the writer’s voice.  This is somehing that CAN be taught. Pain, loss, struggle and challenge are all floating about in my head all of the time and are beneath the surface of my writing, however optimistic. My words are arrows pointing me away from that pain and I am able to see blessings clearly.  To consider something you said…

“When I move, when I walk (because I can no longer run), when I chew the juiciest slice of steak or when I plunge head first into a crashing ocean wave, the pain tugs on the chain and snaps me back to the reality it has configured for me.  Pain grows jealous of any sensation that does not include it, and, like the guest at the party who must always be the center of attention, it screams and drowns out the more pleasant feelings as they politely try to redirect the conversation.”

Conversely, when the pain was so biting that I found myself sitting in front of the t.v. on the red couch more days than can ever be deemed reasonable,  when I tried to lose myself in the pain…not even really watching, but hearing the drone in the background of sitcom and reality t.v. and drama and Criminal Minds…immersing myself in the pain, shifting, sometimes crying…totally caving into its reminding, its nagging, its repeating…there in the midst of the darkness was this life force that shattered all of it.  Optimism, hope, gratitude and faith sucked me out of my warm seat…optimism caused me to pick up a book and read. Hope dragged me to the studio to paint.  Gratitude moved my pen.  Faith led me to pray for every need.  It all goes both ways, doesn’t it?  Better to have the ‘pain’ in the background screaming…than the other.  Sometimes we are fortunate enough to be able to choose one over the other.  I pray for those in our world who do not have the choice.

It’s Been A Good Day

I have recently connected with my Grade nine art teacher, Mr. David F. Carlin.  He was an inspiration when I was a young art student attending Widdifield Secondary School in North Bay, Ontario and it is interesting that over all of these miles and years, I still feel the impact he made upon my life.  I see it in my art.  I saw it in my teaching.  I experience it in the way I view the world.  It is a good day, when serendipity renews a connection that was so strong for so many years ago.  Today I received this message via facebook.

“…just a short line to say that I do remember you very well…I am sooooooo glad to hear from you!!!..I dug out my computer to say hi…I am in the middle of plastering my green room to prepare for more video and I also took advantage of this time to give my arm a rest!!!!!!!!!…looks like we have a lot to catch up on!!!!!!…I move to Havana in a month with no internet for 5 there in an old wooden house for 5 months of the year..!!!Cogeco will be filming here on Thursday so I have stress with you later” 

I feel like this, in itself, made it a good day!  But…look!  It continues!

Last night, late, I received this message from a parent of a former student.  It read like this.

“Saw you on line and wanted to tell you that we just got back from Edmonton where Jenna has a show. Her Masters in Design is complete and the work was amazing. You know you had a hand in steering her towards the arts.”

And in Jenna’s words…

Jenna Hill

MDes candidate in Industrial Design

“It is my intention to examine the interrelation of design and community. I believe design has the ability to influence our actions, determine our attitudes, and meaningfully shape our relationship to the world. This said, I feel that the transition toward more sustainable ways of living will require a re-evaluation of our societal goals, specifically our definitions of well-being. Design will be an important factor in interpreting and realizing this transition. Through my research and thesis project I hope to draw upon the resources and expertise present at the University to deepen my understanding of design methods.”

I’m so very proud of you, Jenna and as always, pray that life is filled with good health and many blessings.

I was able to reconnect this afternoon with two of my former students at the Bee Kingdom open house!  As usual, this event did not disappoint…but the fact that Tim and Elisabeth were together, made it even more ‘magical’. 

I tend to hang on to pieces of art and take good care of them when students don’t pick them up or file them in their portfolios and I treasure opportunities to return these works to their creators.

So, over a glass of wine, and some yummy appetizers, I gave Elisabeth her piece of art.  Tim and Phil will soon be heading for Berlin, so I felt that this open house was a tad bitter-sweet and I did NOT take the glass blowing demonstrations for granted, but really enjoyed them.  I will miss you, Tim and Phil, but wish the Bees healthy hives and everything that is wonderful!

Junior High Art Project: 17 years later!


Three Amazing People!



My Wonderful Daughter and Tim

This has not only been a good day, it has been an exceptional day!  I am grateful!

What Should Be More Important?


A final thought,
a small one
before I cut up chicken
and drop it in my
slow cooker.

e e cummings poem
comes to mind.

love is more thicker than forget

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

I think a person could get carried
away and think,
“I have important things to do.”

in truth,

What can be more important
than a white edge
drawn around a red-gold leaf?