Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas already

the day before Christmas
all in a scurry
still trying to breathe
and find quiet moments 
to take in the glory

a celebration is near
i will be of good cheer
look after myself
and those who are near me

so tired i feel
yet grateful each day
for the strength from within
and the faith which keeps me going

may your days also be blessed
with strength, courage and joy
plus the spirit of the season

"I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.  There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see.  And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home."

                                                                Fra Giovanni, 1513

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

autumn ramblings 11

this is a post i wrote weeks ago. since then much has changed. there has been very little time to create. someday i will get back to it with a renewed energy. for now i will share this.

 rolling through these days trying to get some sense of Christmas approaching ~ feeling discomfort at times.
and so I continue to create.

to this stage in time there was very little creating with this piece. I had acquired the original very dark pastel creation probably from my daughter. I believe she got it many years ago from a visiting pastel artist at her school. I had found it rolled up in the basement in a piece of craft paper. hastily one evening as I was preparing for a visitor I hung it on a wall in one of my basement creative spaces. then I realized how dark the piece was, how very abstract. not really what I wanted hanging on my walls. besides, there were so many possibilities. and so I began. the above pictured is with a number of layers of white chalk added.

another evening I chose to grab a piece of charcoal and sketch this face. the portrait was created using a reference from Misty Mawn's Open Studio class. I find my art being greatly influenced by her teachings even after eleven months. truly I have not had nearly as much time in this past year to be creating as what I had hoped. but the lessons will remain with me. and a great dream I have would be to one day participate in Misty's class in Orvieto. a dream ~ but I do believe that dreams can come true. as a dear friend strongly believes "If you can dream it ~ you can do it."  Walt Disney

so with pieces of charcoal flying as the piece was hung on the wall ~ the lovely lady appeared. 

I gave the piece more depth and feeling with darker lines. now she appears on my wall, yet another piece totally inspired by Misty, but with very much my own twist.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

autumn ramblings 10 ~ more stages of creativity

a blue vignette just cause this is a rambling and the image is looking ugly very scary at this point.

As you have probably noticed ~ something went totally awry after the fourth picture. By that time I was getting pretty frustrated. I was nearly ready to paint over and start from new. But thankfully I let her rest for a while. I moved on to a couple of other creations. Not certain why I was panicking stressing. I suppose those nasty life challenges were getting the best of me. Finally I came back to my drawing book inside cover page. Answers came to me. 

I am now calling this page complete. There is probably much more I could do but after all ~ only  a journal page.

"I will always remember
I am strong."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

autumn ramblings 9

or "taking a creative interlude"

As you could realize from my latest ramblings ~ sometimes the rambling is a bit hard to take. As I began the ramblings, I believe I had mentioned that what was flowing through onto these pages was very much the way things are within me. Confusing. Making no sense. Never ending. I suspect you have been getting numerous indications of that particularly recently. You might pause to wonder how anyone could survive a continuous, ongoing thought process as that. That is at times what boggles my mind - how to get away from it. How to unwind the tightly wound knob on my back so that the thought process might slow down. 

I am so grateful for a creative soul. So grateful for an awareness of nature and the need to "be still". So grateful for music. So grateful for tools and imagination and eyes that "see beyond".

Truly I have tried to remain creative. Here is one of my more recent creations shown in steps from earlier beginnings of a sketch to looking very gaunt, to looking like a sophisticated young lady very worthy of framing. I often begin sketches on whatever happens to be handy as I prepare to talk with my Momma on the telephone. Those beginning sketches are sometimes "way off" but I have been reminded time and time again to practice. That is another part of what keeps me going in this creative journey.

 Created with graphite, soft pastels, pastel pencils.  

I know. She looks pretty scary above. She would have been very appropriate for Halloween or some very scary movie. Funny. I trusted myself and carried on. I have learned that a very bad, nearly frightening look is typical at some stage in most paintings. Trust in oneself. And I realize now that creating brings about trust. Ah, I think I learned that a long time ago. It was just a lesson forgotten, a lesson which I should allow to be at the forefront much more often, in creating, as in life.  

"You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself."
                                                             Diana Ross                                     

Angel blessings my friends.

Monday, November 5, 2012

autumn ramblings 8

a time when ~

i have found myself wondering about the numbers assigned to these ramblings. the number 8 appeared next in line as i was planning this ramble. i would not have previously thought of the number having significance but i am pretty certain i would have been eight years of age when i first encountered a very difficult year with my diabetes. maybe i should not say "very difficult". i am totally beyond the point of knowing what is important or an emergency or something to get really excited about. over the past few years with our daughter there have been so many occurrences, incidents, as i said ~ beyond knowing what is something major.

a "very difficult" year ~ perhaps it was. i do not remember the details. i do recall spending days on end in the hospital only for them to determine if a newer ~ for that time ~ insulin could be less problematic for my injection sites. i was not really ill you understand. but more kind of like a guinea pig. whatever. i was again hospitalized a few months later with a serious stomach flu and again at the end of June following the last day of school and being found during the night with an extremely low blood sugar, i cannot remember, maybe i had actually passed out.


i will try to get to bed earlier.
i will continue to get outdoors in the mornings even though it is cloudy, always, it seems
and colder and more dreary.
i will try.
i will leave her in God's hands even though it is so scary.
i will try.
i will remind myself there is nothing more i can do.
i will try.
i will try to be positive and cheery
and act as though everything is fine.
i will try.
i will try. 


nearly a month ago. i gave myself a huge largish scare. the glass landed on the floor. having shattered. no, not so much a psychological thing, well perhaps. i was in stocking feet. somehow i was on the balls of my feet. it was not so comfortable. mostly there was fear. there was no one else in the house. i had stepped on a piece of glass years ago. our daughter, quite capably for her age, telephoned her Dad who proceeded to come home from work and help with removing the piece of glass from my foot.
now you realize, or maybe you are not aware that i have had diabetes for 51 and 1/2 years. my feet - some might think i am paranoid about them. perhaps so. but the doctors tell me that is a good thing because of the diabetes. i am familiar with those who have needed amputation. at a youngish age. in the summer time. or maybe it was spring i was told i definitely have diabetic neuropathy. my past education and career choice of nursing enabled allowed me to see the long term effects of diabetes complications. too many young people. too much blindness. too much kidney dialysis. too many deaths. young people. diabetes. yes maybe i am paranoid. i say rightly so.


concerned about the weather
rain, rain go away.
come again some other day.
when the temperature is not hovering around zero.

there is already enough sadness from the weather
our own mistakes
because of Sandy
because of inferiority
huge change coming
huge change happening
some day
every day
around us
within us.


that star key
that number eight
meant to fit together?
a difficult year.

i hope you are still with me.
i am here
i am strong.
i am able to smile.
i am able to dance.
i am able to laugh.
i am ok.
i hope you are ok.
no, everything is NOT ok
but i am ok and i sincerely hope you are ok.


that day the glass fell, shattered, scared me.
Greg was just outside, cleaning the step, sweeping. 
through one thin pane of glass. i called. 
he was there, quickly. i breathed, relief. i was safe.
my brother soon entered as well. 


paranoid. perhaps.
so much being reminded, though,
of orange. so many reminders, insisting
i must achieve better control, my diabetes.
only two. doctors. this time.
but so many from my past. so many still there to haunt me.
only if i allow them.
i will choose not to allow them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday mingle

"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend."
                                                                                                                             Albert Camus

From a few of my friends ~

"A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world."
                                                                                    Leo Buscaglia

Friday, October 19, 2012

autumn ramblings 7

a time when ~

i am ever grateful for the choice of spending time outdoors creating, if only for a brief time
while our summer weather was magical
early autumn 

i am happy to have shared my desire with my beloved to sit outside, read
while i did some creating.
so rare for him to do.
on our spectacular last weekend of september, saturday.

for then the weather changed.

the snow capped the roof of the garage viewed through the window.
the pumpkins.

the one misplaced favourite mitten needed to be found
"now" before venturing outdoors.
consideration given a number of times those evenings to the need for ice grippers
to keep safe from falling
as happened number of times that year
how long ago?

yet the delphinium stands, two
and the chives
between the garage wall and the cement path stones
ever beautifully
reminding me of how strong i am
how i can stand beautifully too
sometimes through the most difficult conditions.


seven stars for ramblings seven 
my mind strays 
wondering if what i have to say here merits the wonderful number.
loving the number seven.


"indian summer" waltzes in
amazing me, others
once again everyone outdoors
smells of barbecuing meat
knowledge it may very quickly go out 
with the west wind blowing
big grin with every breath
not caring of our longing for yet another warm day
brilliant sunlight bringing autumn richness
knowing of our need for change of the seasons
yet such angst within as the mood swings 
with every touch of winter approaching
winter approaching.

i am amazed at the honking of the geese to the east
gathering geese
hundreds if not more honking
flying in groups silhouetted
in the distance.

i wonder as i make the road trip to city alone
yet with guides, many.
forecast for cloud filled day.
sunlight peeking, beaming through for me
most of my lone way.
i return home
at that golden hour of light perfect.
again wondering at how the light seems for me alone
as the forecast still says cloud prevails.
i offer words of praise, thanksgiving
observing more silhouettes, ducks, yet more ducks.
water sparkling as the wheels take me by.

i mimic the chickadees high above in the trees
as once again i try to snatch moments outdoors
often with warm jacket about me as i waited too long those days 
to honour myself.

morning walks are about donning cabled gray tights
sage green cords, warm sweaters, denimy blue "barn" jacket, also in cord
blundstone boots, those favourite stripey mittens, lost one found, though not by me
and red soft hat. not usually my colour but being brave these days.
besides, it was handy.

as the wind continues
so i continue to wonder
wishing for more wandering through nature, mindfulness, creating.
some day some time.

 angel blessings dear ones.

Monday, October 8, 2012

autumn ramblings 6

a time when ~

first one
many more blue birds playing
with me, with each other
as i departed on that day to visit my Mom.

thinking first it was my Dad, perhaps
then two angels
certainly many angels.
i found her then, to first remind me so much of Dad as she woke
then took a moment, moments more
to orientate self.

never quite certain if she recognizes
certainly not caring, i,
if she does.
only grateful once again for the time
with her, whom i love dearly.
reminded once again of the extra time with her
the near losing her that many months ago, six now.

realizing later, how she seemed more alert this recent visit.
wanting also to pour her own milk from carton into glass.
doing it splendidly
knowing when i ask her if wants to try
that the juice will have to be poured
doing that splendidly also, more able probably than i with my essential tremor.
she has it too,
but her movements guided by some extra unseen helping hand, also perhaps

“The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them
to the impossible. “
                                                                                             Arthur C. Clarke

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

autumn ramblings 5

a time when ~
tears seem so at the ready
often at the most inopportune of times.
i know i need to cry and let this grief
this sadness
go through me.

yet i am only allowed a moment.
i long for more time.
even but a few more moments.

in the meantime i will remember how grateful i am 
for the deeply rooted knowledge that art saves.

for the awareness of the meaning of feathers spotted.
the tiny, though sometimes larger, very brief flashes of light, typically blue
though sometimes purple
or white
even red
in my peripheral vision.
i say a tiny prayer of thanks
as taught.

for the receiving of stories
around feathers
bringing joyful tears 
with the knowledge that others are also aware of these feather angels.


the tears ~

tears for my father
who moved to the greatest of all homes in February.

tears for the struggles and challenges of our daughter
as she tries to make her way in a world that often does not want to see
how sensory issues
how differences
can create ~
can create what?
for the joy of being her parents
the knowledge of where she might be if we had not been her parents.
for the beautiful being she is
even though.

tears for my mother
though in a place with many people
many wonderful care givers
a place that is safe
she will be alone on Thanksgiving.
tomorrow i will see her.
i will hug her.
not just one of our pretend hugs
that which we share every time i speak with her on the phone.
i will reassure
that this is where she lives now.
that she has been here for nearly a year now.
the departing on the elevator is always 
i suppose a look to what comes next
gratitude for the time shared
gratitude that she is still with us and as able as she is.

tears for all the gifts we have been given.

tears for my family.
though this Thanksgiving there will be only three
i am ever rejoicing for family
just as through the past 
we six, round the dining room table for Thanksgiving,
mentioned "family" as that being one of the things we were most grateful for.
for so many wonderful gifts.
we have been richly blessed.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." 
                                                             Melody Beattie

Friday, October 5, 2012

autumn ramblings 4

a time when ~
the full moon went flowing by with the stream pulling behind chill, chilly temperatures
grey skies to try ~ pull us down
plus winds to nearly knock the breath from even the strongest creatures among us. 
not to mention many of the leaves from the trees.

a time when ~
the robins visit, nearly en masse  
moving from one tree to another in our yard, 
and many others, as i walk in daylight hours.
sadly the light tricking ~ frequent thuds heard as the robins bump,
one after another, into the windows.
my heart does a little skip for them. typically they are strong.
not so the numerous wings and stilled bodies i glimpse on the pavement, probably fallen victim to neighbours cat.
i sigh, remembering with some sadness 
the way of nature.
wondering how on african safaris "the chase" seems to draw the attention of many travellers.
not me.
i preferred the humungous yawns 
as they napped. 
we could be still,
standing in our safari vehicle at a safe distance.
grateful the others with us, also intrigued by those same yawns.

a white feather captures my attention
so very apparent midst the darkness fallen leaves at curb's edge.

a veil of tiny richness coloured leaves 
from the flatbed trailer at lunch time departure 
from their spot parked beneath the trees of the park beside.

"Besides the autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze."
                                          Emily Dickinson 

Friday, September 28, 2012

autumn ramblings 3

yesterday was about a drive to the city. it was about more than that, but i have only this much time to ramble today. what an absolutely gorgeous day for a drive. many years our frost comes early and the big winds follow, leaving much missed regarding autumn leaves. not the case this year. the sunlight, the warmth, the more recent gentle winds, have allowed for a wonderful display of autumn richness. i sometimes long for that desire to snap, snap, snap photos and still more photos. sadly the energy is not there. the muse wants to take me just that close to inspiration and then leave me straggling.

yet the most important thing is ~ i am not rushing by. 

the most important thing is ~ i am not agonizing 
about the camera 
being far from the ready. 

the most important thing is ~ i am ready to rejoice 
at the beautiful sun kissed leaves, 
the rich tapestry of trees, with sparkling waters 
holding just the right amount of glimmer.

the most important thing is ~ i am able to feel 
the excitement of another's joy 
as she observes first time 
the white shining hue of snow geese 
as they gather and lift, 
just above the road on which we travel. 

the most important thing is ~ 
my eyes and head allow me 
to glimpse the majesty of the eagle 
as he sits on an otherwise bare tree 
at waters edge.

Monday, September 24, 2012

autumn rambling 2

This year, ahhh, this year has been so different. I typically observe the changing of the seasons. I feel changes with some angst. Particularly autumn. If you know me very well you realize I have this  love/hate relationship with autumn. I believe the hate part of it is largely due to my Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD. However there is something more to this. Many people react in a similiar fashion to the arrival of spring as well, something to do with air pressure changes, major changes of any sort. 
But I ramble. I feel the need to apologize for the ramble, take it or leave it. My thoughts have been filled with rambling it seems. And I have chosen not to share. There seem to be trends in art blogs. I do not know if you have noticed. I certainly have. 
When I started blogging, I tried to share much of my anxiety, my fears, my concerns. I believed I might help other people going through similiar situations. I still believe I found some very good life time friends because of that sharing. In the last few years the trend seemed to change to holding all your personal "stuff" inside. Kind of like "don't worry ~ be happy", especially with the face you showed to the world. I went along with it even though I was uncertain about it. I was not as inclined to post. I began to get behind with sharing my photos and art. I was not sure what was all right to say and what not. At the time I was going through some very heavy duty challenges. Probably sharing would have been beneficial. I chose not to share. That was easier than trying to decide what to say, what not to say. Sigh. And then there were the times when I had perhaps said too much. I felt guilt. That was not good.
Ahhh, the rambling.
This past year has been very tough. This past year I have been very strong. 
Remember ~ "I am strong. I am free. I have the right to be me." Those words were a wonderful mantra. I go back to them often. Sometimes I forget though. I must try to remind myself.

ramble, ramble 
Once again a return to sharing experiences, feelings, hardships, challenges, joys. Once again I think I too may feel more comfortable about choosing the right moments, pieces to share.

Angels be with you my friends.

"Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully." ~ Norton Juster

Sunday, September 23, 2012

autumn ramblings 1

the second day of autumn. 
usually this time of year is about the autumn dance. alas i find my thoughts, my moods, my actions, to be quite rambling these days, this year. 
and so the decision, instead of my autumn dance, to share ramblings.

our summer has been so filled with sunshine. still the sunshine continues. as i love the light, so need the light, i will not complain. i will attempt to spend time outdoors to enjoy. i will attempt to sit in the light and see if i can slow these random thoughts and actions. i will attempt to remember to breathe deeply, to let the ongoing stress release. some days i am more successful.

today we took advantage of the sunshine, the west wind, the heat. we went to a favourite place, closer by, to do a short afternoon hike. was going to call it a stroll, but quite hilly, quite wild. and i wore my boots. blundstone.
 so much more like a hike. even Billy got tired. 
we are getting older. yet we still love to hike. i also continue to love doing photos of the autumn season.


Finding the following words, compliments of the quotation loving Kitty Ackerman Armstrong, to bring me to a place where I can try to move from the ramble jumble into a more meditative landscape.

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you - beyond that next turning of the canyon walls." ~ Edward Abbey

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday mingle

week 14

Yes, I am still visiting my computer and trying to share occasionally. One of these days I will surprise you and start more regular posts, maybe. That will not be happening today though, probably not tomorrow either. In the mean time, take a look at these sites which are the online homes of some of my favourite magazines. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday mingle

Week 13

I was not intending to take such a long break. AND, it is definitely not Monday. Let's pretend. I am OK with it.
While working on more detailed posts I will share some links for fabulous fall fashion as some of the things I especially love about the soon to be here, but feeling like it's already here, season of autumn, are the patterns, textures, and rich colours. Some great places for shopping and window shopping ~

Find more of my fashion dreaming here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

fun with the flowers

"some days I feel like dancing with the flowers
some days I do"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"filled was the air"

Continuing with August Break

"to see the summer sky
is poetry, though never in a book it lie -
true poems flee."
                                                     ~Emily Dickinson

"then followed that beautiful season... 
filled was the air 
with a dreamy and magical light; 
and the landscape lay
 as if new created 
in all the freshness of childhood."
                                              ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Thursday, August 9, 2012

of neighbours

and friends

"How I hope that they discover the joy that they bring
And I hope they remember this bond we have together
Oh, they love to sing, they sure love to sing

Maybe I needed this time to be reminded for myself
Maybe I needed this time to be reminded for myself
How I love to sing.

                                   Rosie Thomas

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Exhibition 36: A Gallery Of Mixed-Media InspirationOne Week In DecemberWhat Matters MostCloud NineSafe HarbourFollow the Stars Home

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