That’s it…three sessions of scrubbing down my sanded furniture and I’m ready to apply the primer.  I thought I’d capture a photo of the living breathing wood before I seal its pores again with paint.


After some discussion with daughter #2, I’ve decided to free-form the pieces for my bedroom to capture the feeling of autumn.  So…forget Marc Chagall.  Onward and outward, Kathleen Moors!

I used this furniture for healing.  It took me a long time to recognize that…but it is so!  Alzheimer’s disease steals layers of memory so incredibly slow.  My heart goes out to every reader who has had to find strength through years of watching your dearest loved ones make this journey…and I pray with everything in me for families who have just received a diagnosis and who need to find creative and accepting ways of taking this same walk.  I came to discover as I peeled back the layers of paint over so many nights and weekend afternoons that GRACE is what helped me…GRACE is what healed me and the quiet of hours picking away at paint in the warm light of my studio.  Mom, you remain, with all of your memories, inside of me always.


I picked up the green vanity on September 12 of 2011 and the other pieces August 22, 2013. The fronts and backs of every piece were totally suffocated in multiple layers of paint.  I will not be removing paint from furnishings again…let it be known!

Vanity Headboard Stripping Paint




Gorilla House LIVE ART: November 20, 2013

I began writing this post at 3:33.  Cool.

I heated up a bowl of cream of mushroom soup for lunch.  It was prepared the way Mom used to do it (apart from the addition of a can of water) when we were just wee things.  I sat at the large feast table by myself and pretty much ruminated the soup away, with thoughts of Mom and her love and care of me.

P11401590019_###After that, I spent the afternoon on my kitchen floor, working on a painting of a soldier and his daughter.  It should be finished this weekend.  Max and I took off for the off leash park and while my lashes froze during that one, I enjoyed getting up and moving after the intensity of my afternoon work-out. Painting is a huge work-out, the way I look at it.

I hesitated to go down to the Gorilla House because of the cold.  In the end, I made the trip out of commitment to myself and my friends who also attend every week.  It has something to do with the practice…the community…and the brain gym.

All of the driving concepts had to do with Mathematics… Game Theory and Deformation Theory (something to do with P).  HUH?    Math was a struggle for me in school…a struggle last night as well.  In the end, I thought simply of the relationship of a mother to her child.  Is that in any way mathematical?  Thanks to Rich for picking this one up at auction.  I was glad to see you, Angie. Be better. Thanks, Bruce, for the beverage.  Congratulations, Jess, on getting those cards done!

P1140177I finished writing this at 4:03…and that, with a consoling conversation with daughter.  I love you, Erin.

A Few Minutes in the Garden: Mary’s Lilies Bloom

I have been spending time on two missions in the garden recently…trying to disband a wasps’ nest that is tucked in between my Cremona flat stone and the tomato planter and trying to identify what sort of creature is digging holes exuberantly at my veggie garden boxes.

There is such evidence that the evening temperatures are cooler and autumn is around the corner.  The catoni asters have some red leaves in places.  The columbine have their second growth.  The mayday tree is providing the birds with plenty of berries to supplement their diet at the feeder.

Mary appeared at my house on my birthday a few years ago and gave me the gift of some beautiful lilies.  Their blooms are spectacular and I always consider them a remarkable way to end things in the gardens.  The sunflowers are now seven feet tall.  I wonder lately, if they will ever bloom.  I feel a little like ‘Jack’, if you know what I mean.  There are some rust spots on the leaves, but otherwise the tomato plants are producing generous amounts of fruit.  I have enjoyed being home this summer, watching things change.  I enjoy my back yard so much.

In fact, I am going to head out there shortly and dependent on the cloud cover, I might have the chance to witness the Perseid Meteor shower that will come to its climax tonight and in the wee hours of the morning.  Unfortunately, I do believe that our weather is going to be uncooperative.  I encourage my readers to go and take a look, wherever you may be.

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Creating Heaven

Sister-Friend: Breath In

Sometimes we aren’t very gentle with ourselves.  We think we need to be ‘busy’ to define ourselves.  I use this term loosely because these days I realize I don’t know what ‘busy’ means, not really.  I used to think ‘busy’ was about being wound up and productive, creating something huge and important for the world. (I dragged my children around, metaphorically-speaking, as well, making them ‘busy’ too!) Now I really wished that I had been less ‘busy’ and more in the moment, present.  If I had stopped more often I would have noticed just how much I was being blessed along the way.  It’s our choice to create heaven.  We might knock at the door and find that it is opened to us.  We might seek and because we did, find.  Today, I did that.

Long Breath Outward


Tung Oil

Putting the Oil to the Feast Table


Thanksgiving is coming and the preparations begin for the feast!  I rubbed tung oil into the table today, as a part of the house work that was avoided successfully during the staining of the fence last week!  I also got some other fix-its accomplished and I’m finally, at 4 in the afternoon, ready to do such chores as cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming.  Projects!

Staining: Enjoying the Autumn Heat Wave

Random Decision to Delight in the Sunshine for Four Days

 Truthfully, I haven’t unpacked and sorted quite to my liking as yet because the weather has been so especially beautiful that I decided to do some house maintenance!  I’ve taken a chunk of each morning this week and stained the deck, the outdoor bench and the fence…still about a day’s work left, but OH! How wonderful, it has been!  There is a wonderful rhythm to this kind of work and it is so satisfying to watch that rich surface take hold as the brush does its ‘magic’.

Max and I have taken breaks to go and play frisbee at the local park and I’ve made certain to take time in the back yard to sit back and enjoy my morning coffee.  It’s an awesome thing to mix physical work and good relaxation!  So…the siding has been power washed, the windows cleaned inside and out and the wood is taking on a new glow!

The Season Starts Winding Down


She Makes a Great Egg Salad!

I’m bagged.  I stepped into the house and dropped my school bag and laptop.  I went down to my bedroom, traded my work shirt for a plaid pyjama top.  I went to the fridge and pulled out the bowl of egg salad that my daughter had made at 1:00 a.m.  When I shuffled upstairs in the dark and stepped into the BRIGHT kitchen at 1:00 a.m., I asked her if she would please cut out the noise.  She said, “Sorry, Mom.” And added, “You’ll be glad when you have this egg salad tomorrow!”  At the time, I doubted it.

I toasted the two pieces of frozen bread and then slathered it in egg salad. (I am glad.) I plunked down on the red sofa…oh, wow, did that feel good!  A glass of cold milk.  Mmmmm.  I went over, in my mind, what the week had been all about.  I thought, “Finally, I finished Moby Dick!  An accomplishment….yippee, a new book tonight!”  I was relieved that the art work had all been delivered to the church gathering-area, but sad that I had to cancel my date with sister-friends, to attend tomorrow’s Asparagus Festival in Innisfail.  Yes!  There really IS an Asparagus Festival!  I will have to go to the Church hall instead and actually display the art work tomorrow morning.  I just didn’t have the energy after teaching all week, grading, recording, managing, and then transporting art.

It has been raining steadily for four days here in Calgary.  It’s grey and wet and still, I face that hour-long play time in the wet, in my gum boots, with Max.  I avoid.  It’s so warm in here.

As a way of avoiding, I turn on the computer.  Little beeps…lights come up on the screen.  I don’t know why, but I decide to explore some random sites of interest on WordPress.  I come to Gillian Holding of Leeds.  I know nothing about Gillian Holding.  Do you?  But, a short time later, I’m wandering about from one page to another and falling madly in love with her work.  My shoulders sit back in place…I no longer slouch.  Max, nudges me from behind and brings me several toys, in hopes that I will ‘catch on’.

I log into Skype.  Mom and I have a five o’clock date.  Hmmm….she’s forgotten.  I decide to leave Skype UP and continue to view Gillian’s blog.  I find a common spirit.  I find encouragement.  I feel a spark of motivation to complete a sketch tonight.  This is good.

Thank you for these words, Gillian.  I don’t know you, but your insights are real and generous.  Thank you…and I hope you don’t mind, that before I take Max for his time at the off-leash, I should share your words.

About Gillian Holding

“I am a contemporary visual artist living and working in Leeds trying to juggle family, work and dog walking and often not really getting it right anywhere. Add to this mix the absurdity of the world I live in and observe around me, and it all leaves me with a burning desire to document my experiences and insights (such as they are) by every means possible. Then maybe, just maybe, I can make some sense of it.”

Thanks also, Gillian, for the survey of favourite reds….mine is Cadmium Red Medium…some would call it Bright Red!