Gramma’s Treasured Time

I had a couple of weeks where I had a chance to spend the days with my grandson and don’t want to be remiss in acknowledging that time.  I look back on those days with a warm and happy heart.  He is changing so fast and so much and he is just such a funny person.  I love to talk with him.  I treasure every moment.  A collection of images for our times shared will be included here…but first…

All of the poems I read on the internet…poems for grandsons…were stupid.  The intentions were lovely and they were very very sweet.  But, none of them suited my grandson.  ‘Perhaps one day I will try to write a poem for you, my wonderful magical Steven.’  For now, the poem that best suited our little boy who loves ants and lady bugs and spiders is this one, written by William Carlos Williams, for his grandson.  It is titled, The Turtle.  I apologize that these bits are unclear.

I love you, Steven.

 

Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area…Getting a Taste

Last evening, before my pond walk with Max, I headed west and south to the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area.  We will be taking our grade threes on a field trip to the location and in order to be fully prepared, a session is required for all instructors.  I attended with friends and colleagues, Jenn and Emily.  Lots of laughs and beautiful sunshine were shared.  Having a brand new camera meant that my head was sometimes out of range once we were outdoors.  But certainly I learned a lot about the conservation area from Maureen, the presenting educator, while we were inside.  (I have to say that the three yellow finches at the feeder located right outside the classroom were a little bit of a distraction.) From their website, this.

“Sandy Cross is the son of A.E. Cross (one of the Calgary Stampede’s “Big Four”) and Helen Rothney Macleod.  Sandy started purchasing land south of Calgary in 1945 for what would become Rothney Farm and eventually the Cross Conservation Area. In 1987, Sandy and his wife Ann donated nearly 2,000 acres of their land to the Province of Alberta. At the time, it was the largest private land donation in Canadian history and was operated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.”

The land is spectacular and the approach that is taken in regards the sustaining the ecosystems is, by my standard, fabulous.  What a beautiful start to Thursday evening!

Kath's Canon May 21 2015 040 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 039 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 038 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 036 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 035 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 033 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 032 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 030 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 029 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 026 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 022 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 021 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 018 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 015 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 013 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 005 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 004 Kath's Canon May 21 2015 003Cookies, juice, friendship and nature…it never gets better than that!

From the Conservation Area, I swung home and picked up Max.  The sun was beginning to set and the birds seemed to be very active at Frank’s Flats.  I played a little with my camera and while they certainly aren’t perfectly focused, I will never forget my encounter with the male Black-crowned Night Heron and his mate.  Beautiful call…huge wing span…and a circle on the blue sky before alighting onto the brush below.  I also had a visit with the osprey…trying to capture the front of the male, but shooting into sunshine.

Kath's Canon May 21 2015 048Kath's Canon May 21 2015 074

This far away.  Mrs. Kept low in the nest at the neighbouring platform....but, as I drove passed on 22X coming home, I saw her tending her eggs and sorting things out.

This far away. Mrs. kept low in the nest at the neighbouring platform….but, as I drove past on 22X, I saw her tending her eggs and sorting things out.

Kath's Canon May 21 2015 095

Mrs. eye-balling me.

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Max-man, my forever-friend…smelling like a post-winter pond….but, very very happy.

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April 22, 2015: Beautiful Rumblings

No grand stories this morning about the Rumble House experience, just that Bana and I car-pooled from the south end and intend to do that from now on.  It was just so fun chatting away on the trip to the core.  We’re hoping that our friend, Louise, will be joining us soon in our vehicle.

While the wind seemed to pick up ‘like a hurricane’, as described by Frank, everything was calm in the cozy studio-gallery-extravaganza space.  Zach did an awesome job as M.C. and we enjoyed some excellent readings at the microphone, performed by Matt…one from Alexander Eliot (so bang on) and the others from Morgan’s book, Break From Reality.

I completed another glam-girl painting and have decided I really want to take a class or two in portrait painting.  I love exploring the face so much, but want to create more mass and structure.  In the meantime, I’ll keep on pushing through.  I was so happy painting with one of my art besties, Jenn on the left and then Bana, on the right.  There was a beautiful calm spill over the place last night, like a bucket full of light blue paint.  Thanks, Zack, for purchasing my piece at auction.

Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 020 Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 019 Happy Earth Day, every one!Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 014 Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 013 Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 012 YES!  We have fun at the auctions!Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 010 Cell April 22, 2015 Rumble 004

Loretta

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The elevator repair has gone on a tad longer than expected.  Wendy Lees and her band of creatives from create! at the Golden Age Club, have spent some time relocated to another space while renovations and such were taking place, but…now, back at home in the Golden Age Venue, the elevator is still not fixed.  “Soon”, everyone hopes.

Sometimes when I read what people struggle with or what they take issue with, I have a tricky time feeling empathy.  Sometimes we are each ‘devastated’ by such benign issues and so in order to withhold judgment of ourselves and the other, it is important to consider each issue as it relates to current conditions/variables.  An example: We can celebrate that Target closing down can be a problem for someone because this means…their health is good…they live in a warm home…they have the food and water they require and they likely have family and friends for company and support.  They ALSO have the cash in their pockets to go shopping.  But let’s simply look at the very first…GOOD HEALTH.

Loretta told me that she didn’t mind me telling her story. I explained that she’s just so inspired me this week, that I wanted to try to capture that inspiration in a post!  Loretta is a woman who has such a positive attitude about her life and is willing to do almost anything in order to express her creativity, whatever form that might take. All is done with a sense of humour.  Over time, Loretta has suffered six different strokes, but the fact that this has impeded movement and function on her right hand side, has not stopped her from being a dancer with MoMo Dance Theatre or making paintings, mosaics and recently, papier mache! (That’s Loretta on the left.)

MoMoOn Tuesday, I was witness to Loretta’s climb of the stairs to arrive at our papier mache experience and I have to say that her determination caused something more than awe in me.  I guess that’s why I’m writing.

?????????? ??????????She began her bowl project, with enthusiasm…and with the use of her left hand only. By the time that the class had ended, she had applied three layers of Handel’s Messiah, in strips, to her form and with some assistance from me, applied a pedestal stand as well.  We all gave one another hugs good-bye after our clean-up and one last cookie. :0)

As the story continues, Loretta came into the Golden Age Club yesterday, thinking that it was art day…looked at the stairs…and said to herself, “I just can’t do it.”  She went home, she said, and had a good cry (at this point in the story, we embraced) because she really really wanted to paint her bowl.

Well…if she didn’t run into Michael at some point in the afternoon and she told him that she couldn’t get up to create!  He gave her the news that, in fact, it was scheduled for Friday…TODAY!!   Loretta made it up those stairs again, to her waiting project and created spectacular transparent layers of paint!

I cherish my friends at Create! and every one of us also has a story.  Each participant (I include myself here) in the experience is vulnerable in their own way, but we carry on, especially cherishing good health and creative experiences that find us sharing positivity, good laughs, support and friendship.  Thank you to Georgie, Michael, Brian, Marian, Patruch (can’t say it…can’t spell it…and he knows it!), Tony, Joanne, Patrick, Leslie, Nicole, Margaret and Loretta…and our other Loretta.   Charcoal sketching with Gary next week!

??????????DSC_1931 DSC_1930 ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????We missed you, Wendy…but you reveal yourself even when you’re not in the room with us.  See you soon! ?????????? ?????????? DSC_1912 ?????????? ?????????? ??????????

 

Loving the Bogners

It’s a beautiful thing to have friends who journey the years with you…while not WITH you exactly, they are in your heart. Everything I’m about to write comes from the rewriting of memory.  It’s interesting that when Randy Bogner sits down and recalls a story or two, it seems to me, that those stories can be completely different from the ones that I recall.  But, such is life and its richness.  In telling stories, people can create something new each time…you know what I mean?  If you don’t share a zillion years then you don’t get to discover how this works.  One must laugh and enjoy these experiences.  They are the blessings of lives well-lived.

I met Randy what seems THAT zillion years ago.  It was through those years when I had a beautiful and young circle of friends early 70s, in Lethbridge, Alberta.  I was blessed to be able to meet and live with my dear friend, to this day, Gloria. These were the years of EOF projects, Employment Opportunities For Youth and several of our group were employed teaching drawing, clay and painting in tucked away places, like the Civic Skating Rink.  I remember listening to one teacher-friend reciting poetry while sitting on a table and at the same time, braiding a bracelet.  I remember riding my bike every where.

Given that my family had moved east again, as was my father’s military obligation, I found myself plunked into a world that was strange and unfamiliar to me.  So, along with the new, that same bike would regularly be parked up against the outside wall of a variety of churches, finally resting up against the brick wall of St. Patrick’s parish and so began my journey toward becoming a Catholic.

These were the days of hippie earth children, long hair and the White Album.  Randy’s hair was admired by everyone, given that it extended the full length of his back.  And he was/is a tall drink of water, so that’s saying something.  Cabarets were also big and while I didn’t drink, I enjoyed the lively music and dancing late into the night. Hmmm….a good time to inject some music. S’alright…you needn’t listen to the entire album, but you might set it to play while you’re reading this nostalgia.

These were the years of back yard visiting, Yukka Flux and communal foot washing/rubbing rituals.  It was a different time.

I remember, as well, that Randy played classical guitar so beautifully and during gatherings there would be this amazing sound going on while our friends talked over it.  These were the days when we had it ALL FIGURED OUT and we were going to change the world.

Glo was/is the one who I must give credit to making sure that, over the years, we all stuck together…stayed in touch…were informed on births, deaths, marriages and she is a blessing to us all!  For example, she created this collage of photographs, some distant past and others from 2000.  Her card…I save them all…is dated August 25, 2001.

Glo Collage

Gloria's WedingI lost touch with Randy for a chunk of years as he disappeared into the Slocan Valley…lived with a family of wonderful brothers and sisters and created pottery.  This, from the outside, appeared to be a spiritual quest for Randy and contributed to his forever-formation as a Christian, I’m certain.  We joke about the only visit I made out to Slocan, along with my daughter and a then-boyfriend.  The ‘Shack’ seemed to be so tucked away in the trees of the valley, that from the bottom of a dirt road, I started calling out to the trees…”Randy!  Randy!  Are you there, Randy?”  It turned out to be a beautiful visit, however other-worldly.

A few photographs, snappled up without permission, to illustrate Randy of those days…late 70s-early 80s.

Kiln Opening Randy Bogner Hobo Late 70s or early 80s Hobo the dog Slocan Valley Randy Bogner 1983I am blessed in that I have been the recipient of a couple of pieces of pottery created by Randy.

What happened after that…I don’t know.  Years passed. Gloria, again, became the reason I reunited with Randy and his beautiful wife, Jane, and their girls.  A lot had transpired for the Bogners before this meeting.  But…not my story to share.  It was such a blessing to meet Jane and now to know her as a true Ya Ya.  Wonderfully warm and generous of spirit, I can now say that I’ve had opportunity, along with Glo, to share much home made bread, soup and pastries with Jane’s family. Another family that loves dogs as much as I do!  Jane is a wealth of knowledge, especially around book recommendations and always has the right question to ask to inspire and to provoke thought. I admire Jane’s ability to cook, and especially delight in her baked goods, but I’ve also had opportunity to look at her art portfolio and I still look forward to a paint-out opportunity. We share many laughs when we are visiting the Bogners and I’m so grateful for these times.

The last huge body of work I painted was an exhibit titled The Places I Have Been, hosted by the Wallace Art Galleries and the Bogner family, Glo and several of her friends came out to support me.  I don’t know what I’d do without friends like these.  That collection of landscapes somehow represented, also, the landscape of these friendships and what they have come to mean over time.

Oil Paintings 2

2010 Visiting the Bogners

2010 Visiting the Bogners

2010 Bogners

There’s That Warm Bread!

2010 Bogners 5

There’s That Home Made Soup!

 

2013 Visit With the Bogners and Meeting Juno

2013 Visit With the Bogners and Meeting Juno

House Concerts

House Concerts

Room for Dessert?  YOU BET!

Room for Dessert? YOU BET!

Quiche, Home Made Bread, Salad and the Glo's Gift of an Orchid

Quiche, Home Made Bread, Salad and the Glo’s Gift of an Orchid

2014 Visit With the Bogners

2014 Visit With the Bogners

I could go on and on with photographs and anecdotes, but suffice it to say today, Sunday, I’m grateful to the friends in my life.  I’ve appreciated your support, your humour and your genuine love all of these years.  Let’s remember always what these years have meant.

Calgary Folk Festival: Jumbled Musings With Iron and Wine

Initially, I thought that I would search out alternative music to place over top of this short film, taken at the closing of the festival last night, but in listening to the shared-experience with my daughter, I found bits of it to be so endearing…I know that I will treasure this account forever.  Love you, dear girl of mine!

The Trapeze Swinger by Iron and Wine

Please remember me, happily
By the rosebush laughing
With bruises on my chin, the time when
We counted every black car passing

Your house beneath the hill and up until
Someone caught us in the kitchen
With maps, a mountain range, a piggy bank
A vision too removed to mention

But please remember me, fondly
I heard from someone you’re still pretty
And then they went on to say that the Pearly Gates
Had such eloquent graffiti

Like ‘We’ll meet again’ and ‘Fuck the man’
And ‘Tell my mother not to worry’
And angels with their great handshakes
But always done in such a hurry

And please remember me, at Halloween
Making fools of all the neighbors
Our faces painted white, by midnight
We’d forgotten one another

And when the morning came I was ashamed
Only now it seems so silly
That season left the world and then returned
And now you’re lit up by the city

So please remember me, mistakenly
In the window of the tallest tower
Call, then pass us by but much too high
To see the empty road at happy hour

Gleam and resonate just like the gates
Around the Holy Kingdom
With words like, ‘Lost and found’ and ‘Don’t look down’
And ‘Someone save temptation’

And please remember me as in the dream
We had as rug burned babies
Among the fallen trees and fast asleep
Beside the lions and the ladies

That called you what you like and even might
Give a gift for your behavior
A fleeting chance to see a trapeze
Swinger high as any savior

But please remember me, my misery
And how it lost me all I wanted
Those dogs that love the rain and chasing trains
The colored birds above their running

In circles round the well and where it spells
On the wall behind St. Peter
So bright on cinder gray in spray paint
‘Who the hell can see forever?’

And please remember me, seldomly
In the car behind the carnival
My hand between your knees, you turn from me
And said the trapeze act was wonderful

But never meant to last, the clowns that passed
Saw me just come up with anger
When it filled with circus dogs, the parking lot
Had an element of danger

So please remember me, finally
And all my uphill clawing
My dear, but if I make the Pearly Gates
I’ll do my best to make a drawing

Of God and Lucifer, a boy and girl
An angel kissin’ on a sinner
A monkey and a man, a marching band
All around the frightened trapeze swinger