Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Mother’s Pride

Being a parent is full of life changing moments; sometimes for our children and sometimes for us. Our lives are never quite the same after our first child takes their first step or all our children are in school full time.

There are the milestones that most of us recognise:
  • The first day of school
  • Turning thirteen
  • Graduating from high school
  • Learning to drive
  • Turning eighteen

Then there are the proms and first girlfriends/boyfriends, the first broken heart, maybe a first car in there too. Some of these vary from family to family or culture to culture but we all have them and we all expect them and celebrate or mark them in some way.

Sometimes life changing moments are planned months in advance and sometimes they happen completely out of the blue. Either way they’re special and leave us different than before they happened.

Isn’t it one of the joys of parenting to able to witness and participate in all the things that happen in our children’s lives?

I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the years with my boys. They are both great guys. We’ve had our share of academic and sports awards, we’ve had many happy firsts and a few broken hearts too and I’m always amazed at how they handle themselves and how they are out in the world. I feel privileged to have been a part of many of my children’s big moments.

Last Friday evening was one of those big moments for my son Bradley. He’s always been interested in music and lately he’s been producing some of his own with the intention of becoming a deejay. Last Friday evening he deejayed his high school’s semi formal dance. Hours and hours of preparation went into the evening and with our nerves on edge he took to the stage and the music started promptly at seven.

He was amazing! Jon and I were there as parental chaperones because of the teachers strike and it was one of the best nights of my life (and his too).

I can’t even describe how perfect it feels to watch your child do something he was meant to do.

The feeling of fate – or destiny was palpable on the stage. We knew it and most importantly so did he. Last Friday evening was the beginning of something life changing for Bradley. We don’t know yet where music will take him in the future but we do know now that it’s in him and that he has to get it out and share it and that he’s damn good at it!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

What a Weekend!

Jon spent the weekend starting work on our woodstove hearth. It’s hard to tell by looking at these pictures though. The weekend wasn’t long enough for him to get everything done....it’s always the way. L

What a mess!
The first bit coming up - with Astro supervising.

When you live in an old house like ours one job is never only one job and the work is never done.

Our old living room floor has to come up first so the concrete hearth can be poured in place.

Jon's moving so fast he's blurry!

I love (really love) old wood and I wasn’t sure what to expect when Jon pulled up our old shitty hardwood. When he got some of the floor ripped up and I could see the boards underneath I got very excited, but try as I might – and I did try (A LOT!), Jon wouldn’t lift them too.

Just looking at the old pine I can see beautiful furniture. I can picture a big harvest table for our kitchen and maybe a bench for the garden. Jon was not interested in my fantasies and covered the old boards with plywood as fast as he could. He’s more interested in getting the work done than adding furniture making to his to-do list.

Absolutely beautiful....can you see a harvest table? 
Damn plywood.
Jon tells me we can buy reclaimed wood when the time comes – I ask him why we’d buy it when we have it here. You know how every marriage has its permanent disagreements? Well this is ours – keep all the old wood we come across for future projects (me) and NO (him). I guess if that’s all we disagree on we’re doing alright! J

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Creative Chaos

I’ve been a little cranky about my tiny creative space lately and I decided it was time to do something about it. I’ve been not so patiently waiting for something to change. I’m not sure what I was waiting for – maybe just a little gumption (don’t you love that word?!)

Well I found some! I actually found a ton of it!

I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands; well mostly my own hands. I sold my couch and love seat combination and I’m going to buy a new/smaller couch and we’re moving our living room into the front porch. Which means the gym has to move (if anyone is looking for a multi-station gym or awesome treadmill I currently have them for sale).

Here’s the plan:

The living room is moving into the front porch (where the gym currently is)
The gym is moving upstairs into the spare room (where my studio currently is)


My studio is moving to where our living room currently is.

I am taking over the prime real estate in my house and I’m feeling pretty good about it! J

Nothing ever happens in my house that doesn’t involve books and this plan requires a lot of rearranging and moving of books and assorted shelves....here are some pictures of the mess.

My coffee table
My side table
Another side table
The top of the uninstalled woodstove
The main table in my studio - notice Bradley's helmet, you never
know where inspiration may come from!

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

P.S. My assistant got tired and took to her bed!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas at the Craft Store

I went into Michaels one evening last week to buy a specific item for a Christmas gift and I had to wander and poke around while I was there. Is there a more fun store anywhere?

The possibilities are endless.

So is the fun!

I love everything about Michaels....even the way it smells. This time of year as soon as the doors open you can smell Christmas. It’s a wonderful combination of cinnamon and apple pie. I think they must burn scented candles when the store is closed, lol!

My favourite section is the painting one – all the paints hanging and the brushes standing tall. It’s a rare day when I leave Michaels without a bag full of goodies.

I was tempted by the Christmas ornaments this visit; especially since they were on sale, but Jon and I have WAY more ornaments than we know what to do with already so I managed to pull myself away with only a couple of pictures. 

I can’t wait to get back and since I have Michaels gift cards on my Christmas wish list I’m hopeful it’ll be soon – right in time for boxing day sales maybe!! Yay!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Walk and Roll

I’ve been struggling lately to find joy in simple things like I normally do. I don’t know if it’s the time change, the coming winter or if maybe I’m just depleted from spending every waking minute of every day for three weeks on my novel.

Whatever it is it’s starting to bug me – a lot. So yesterday afternoon I decided to drag my lazy ass outside to enjoy the end of the afternoon with the girls. All four of us had a nice walk around the yard and we played for a few minutes and then I decided to get my camera and see if I could find anything inspiring. I put Hunter and Astro inside so Meg and I could have some uninterrupted time together and I walked and she (mostly) rolled.

I never (ever) shoot at dusk so I had no idea what I was doing but I still got a few shots I think are ok (you can see them here if you’re interested), but mostly it was just nice to get out and get some fresh air and some play time in with the girls. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Creative Circus - A Follow Up (but not the follow up)

Last week I wrote about my trip to the fabric store in Creative Circus and how much I enjoyed myself. I got several comments (and calls) about what a great husband I have because he went there with me.

Here is Jon’s equivalent of the fabric store....the scrap yard. I spend part of Saturday morning in the scrap yard because Jon wants a cab for our tractor so he doesn’t freeze while doing snow. A new cab for our tractor is about $5000 and he figures he can rig something up for about $1000, which meant a tour through the scrap yard looking for something appropriate.

This is what he's come up with.
The spider webs are included :)
What a pile of crap..I mean scrap ;)
And a little more.

I think Jon had more fun at the fabric store than I did at the scrap yard – although it’s hard to tell from this picture. J

Seriously - he looked happier
at the fabric store!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Creative Circus

I’m in the process of re-upholstering a chair that has been in my family for years and years. I painted it and I’ve been undecided about whether or not to antique the finish so I thought I’d go to the fabric store to see what I could find in the way of fabric that I like.

I figure my fabric choice will help me to decide on the final finish for the chair.

I haven’t been to a fabric store in years and years. I forgot how much I love them! They’re like a creative circus...there is soooo much to choose from. It’s hard to know where to start.

Seriously - how much fun is this?!
The chair used to be a dark mahogany colour with an ugly rose coloured velvet seat and I painted it pure white with Annie Sloan chalk paint, which you can by in town now at Malenka Originals. It didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped so I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it.

I thought maybe a bold zebra print might make it fun, but I want to put it in the bedroom and Jon didn’t like that idea so I decided to drag him to the fabric store with me to help decide on the look.

And more choices
This is what happened, too many choices and an almost crazed husband. FYI, your husband and the fabric store – not a great idea!!

A crazed hubby
I haven’t figured out which fabric I like the best; but here are my favourites so far....

It's hard to tell but this is actually purple!

Not quite the original zebra that I was thinking of, but still awesome.
Although, that said, I also like this one....

It's just beautiful!

I will show you how it turns out once I get it done.

If you have any thoughts or opinions - let me hear them!J

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's a Lazy Day

It’s one of those days.

You know the ones.

It’s the kind of day that whispers relax, take it easy, and maybe even snuggle back under the covers. The weather is miserable and overcast still. Without the leaves on the trees it’s hard to ignore the impending winter.

These kind of days always make me feel quiet and extra lazy. As I sit here trying to write my mind keeps wandering off to nowhere in particular.

Yes...definitely one of those days. I think I’ll follow my mind and saunter off to nowhere in particular. I have a big pile of books sitting on my bedside table calling my name so I think maybe I will snuggle back under the covers and catch up on my reading.

It’s the perfect day for it.

Here’s what I’m currently reading.... 

What about you - anyone reading anything worth recommending?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Indian Summer

Is there anything more soul soothing than a beautiful Indian summer day? I mean really? Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous; probably since it’s very likely the last beautiful warm day until next spring.

I sent the afternoon out wandering the fields with the girls and my camera. The light and shadows were just perfect so I shot about 150 pics.

Here are a few to see. If you’d like to see more I posted a few more at Awen Studio.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Everybody knows how much I love flowers. I love them all, but there are a few I love more than others. I can’t even express my feelings for daisies!! I just love them like crazy. I think every garden needs lots of daisies...they’re so cheery and happy. You can’t look at them and feel cranky or blue.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bloom Where You’re Planted

I’m finally on the mend after being sick for a month. What a month it’s been...several weeks of the past month I could barely get out of bed. I can’t remember being this sick for this long in years. There is one thing that you just can’t get away from while you’re laying in bed – thinking. As I tend to think too much on a good day when I’m laying in bed for a week at a time you can imagine I’m sure the amount of thinking/over thinking I had the opportunity to do.

Over the month I’ve come to the realization that my life isn’t exactly how I’d like it to be. Now I say that being unsure exactly what it is that’s missing or not right, but it’s a vague sense of unease. I think it’s as simple as being stuck in a rut and just a little off track, but in the bigger picture, especially at mid-life (which I find myself unable to ignore any longer) a little off track feels like a big deal.

I’ve said it many times here – I’m very familiar with what brings me joy and how grateful I am to be aware of most of those things. I think that maybe what’s missing is a bigger sense of contribution to my family, my community and the world. I’ve always believed that we all come here for a purpose and I think mine’s nagging at me in a way I can’t quite understand right now.

Have you heard the expression ‘bloom where you’re planted’? It’s been showing up in my life over the last couple of weeks and it’s been stuck in my head enough that it’s driving me a little nuts. This morning when I was outside watering my seedlings I noticed a random poppy that’s growing in the dried out mud path between the garage and the side of the yard that we all use to get from the side yard to the end of the garage. Hardly anything grows there because the dogs use it as their main path as does Jon with construction materials for the house but there’s a single random poppy that’s well outside the garden and growing in the dried mud. I saw it and I can’t miss the sign – bloom where you’re planted it’s telling me.

And so I will. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rainbows and Hope

I’m going on my third week of being sick and it’s starting to get me down. I feel fortunate that I don’t get sick very often but right now I think I’m making up for it. Every evening I go to bed hoping to feel better in the morning and every morning I wake up feeling almost as crappy as the day before.

I haven’t even managed to get any of my garden planted so I’m losing plants almost daily now, I can’t remember when the last time I did any housework was and yesterday I had to drag my ass to the grocery store so my family didn’t starve. L

Yesterday felt like fall all day with the wind and the rain and it really didn’t help with my mood until last evening when Jon told me to look outside and there was the most amazing rainbow I’ve ever seen. I haven’t even held my camera in weeks but I dashed in to get it and managed to snap a couple of shots....

Seriously the most beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen. We could see both ends of it from our yard. The shots really don’t do it any justice, I didn’t take any time to make sure they were good, I just snapped away so I wouldn’t miss it (and I’m glad I did, rainbows never last as long as you’d like them to).

Seeing the rainbow brought something up in me that I’ve been missing for a few weeks now....hope. For the first time in ages I felt like maybe, just maybe I’m going to feel good again soon. I thought I’d check out my handy dandy symbols book for the heck of it and see what it had to say about rainbows. According to “The Secret Language of Signs”, by Denise Linn seeing a rainbow means:

“Throughout the world the rainbow is one of the most universal signs of blessing. A rainbow blesses your ventures, your relations and yourself. It is a message from spirit to you that you are going in the right direction and that your path is blessed and guided. It is a very powerful sign signifying joy, celebration and completion. If you have been involved in a difficulty, this is a sign of a completion and new hope. It signals the end of despair and difficulty.”

I’ll take it! Here’s to blessings and the end of difficulty. I’m going to assume it means I’m on the mend and hope for the best!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Caught in the Act!

I love birds and I have several feeders around the house. I find it so relaxing to watch the birds and their antics. Lately one of my feeders seems to be perpetually empty and at first I thought it was just because it has a different type of seed in it than the others. I assumed the birds preferred the black sunflower seeds over the regular all purpose seed.

I was wrong!

Yesterday I discovered what’s really going on....

Uh oh..I think she sees me.
I'm just going to make a run for it.
It's a long way down but here I gooooo!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pre-empting Regular Scheduled Programming

Barefoot Friday will return next week. J

It’s been a long time coming – today’s the day! We’ve had an addition to our family.

This is one happy guy!!

After months of deliberation and visits to every fucking tractor dealership a couple of dealers in our area Jon we decided on a Kubota. Isn’t she cute?

This is my contribution to the decision making.....

I really wanted a back hoe for all my big garden plans. I/we managed to talk ourselves out of it a few times but ultimately we decided that if we were spending the money to get a tractor we might as well get exactly what we wanted.

P.S. Now my lawn can finally be mowed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It’s a Celebration!

I’ve been blogging since July of last year and today marks my 150th post. Wow!! I’ve never been very good at acknowledging when good things happen to me so today I decided that I would do just that.

This is a big pat on my own back. Over 150 posts I’ve written approximately 60,000 words and that’s the equivalent of a small book. YAY!!! Good for me!

Although there are about 1.2 million blogs in the blogosphere only a very small percent of them are active and most bloggers never make it past 30 posts so I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’m going to celebrate by posting a few of my favourite pictures from over these last 150 posts. 

Thanks for joining me here...I very much appreciate that you do. Onwards and upwards. I’m hoping to grow my readership over the next 150 posts so if you see something you like or read something that resonates I’d love it if you’d tell your friends and share. J