Sunday, 31 December 2017

a new year soon upon us

"a blog is an excellent way to help see the beauty, passion and interconnection all around us."                          

And so it is.
Welcome to my 100th post this year, the most I've made in one year since starting this blog in 2010.

As many of you know...

 I can get quite carried away with a post. Not one or two pictures for me.

Babu Big Eyes

Those big pleading Muji eyes, "It's an emergency!"

"Mo- OM"

"I ask you to consider the evidence. I'm a cat in need of love."

Sometimes I wander down a path that quite surprises me, something I never would have dreamed of doing initially, but this format is pretty wide for the wandering mind. For instance, barring multi country automated bots that have played havoc with my statistics, I happen to know that my most popular post of all time, that has drawn real viewers from all over the world, is:

This pleases me for the story, though not mine, is worth repeating.

So you can see how this blog has given me a focus when my own was skewed or off altogether. I have reconnected with my creativity in ways I couldn't imagine until they were made manifest, with the impetus of a viewing audience with whom to share. There were days when I felt quite alone and felt all the better for knowing someone out there cared to see what I was up to, and even comment encouragingly. What surprised me even more is that I made friends.

As a parting gesture of thanks for this truly remarkable year I am introducing collections of my works over the last 3 years to save you searching through my densely populated posts. You may see them in a new section I'm introducing in the section below the title banner. To return to the main page, simply tap on Home.

I thank you most humbly for your kindness throughout these years. It has surprised me with the depth of sincerity that I didn't think possible on the internet.

I took a chance, and there you were!

Blessings dear friends and viewers for a 





Wednesday, 27 December 2017

betwixt Christmas and New Year's

Christmas Eve. Does it seem a little dusty already?
Such an unusual phenomenon this anticipation, the Day itself, followed by the all-too-soon but inevitable return to reality. We don't seem to have as many crescendos in our lives these days as when we were young, but I remember this feeling of ho-hum all too well. Wally is back at work, the wicked wind has died down and the snow that came on Christmas Day has settled in with temperatures around this morning -12C ( 11F ). My friend in Saskatchewan reported temperatures of -28C. Is that even possible!?!?!

Around the internet, people are "setting their intentions", making their resolutions, planning for a wonderful new year to come. One youtube series I watch regularly is Sixty and Me hosted by Margaret Manning. Recently she talked about picking a word to set the tone for the new year:


Does this inspire you? Do you have a word you would like to share? 

On Christmas Eve we did our yearly cruise through various neighbourhoods to view the Christmas Lights. 

This one particularly captured my imagination for its elegant simplicity.
It helps that the architecture is so pretty.

This mid-century modern home is not shown to advantage at night, but it's pretty spectacular.
That's one massive wreath they hung in the middle, spotlighting it and the house.

There was a lot of use of spotlights this year,

and these horrible whirling projections on houses

Many houses ran the usual string of lights along the eaves or the front porch.

Some had colour themes and were lucky if they had a Christmas shaped fir to string some lights on.

This snake of lights cracked me up, similar to our neighbour's style of lighting-
just fling the string of lights up as high as it will go and trail what you've got left.  

A spotlit nativity scene is a nice change.

This glorious bit of business was carefully considered.

More spotlights, but nicely balanced with white lights and wreaths. 

This one takes the cake for extravagance. Seen from a sub highway,
it takes up a small parkette at the end of dead end road.

we joined many others in finding our way into the little cul de sac, lit up for all to see. 
Neighbours peeked from their windows to watch us rubberneckers
Do you see the mannequins on the porch dressed as old time choir singers?
Wally told me that the lore is that the original owner who started this display died and the new owners took up his mantle and continued to add on each year.  

This is the pretty house across the street is decked out with wreaths in every window, the big one on top and the one in the door spotlighted

More themed colours with wreaths in the windows and spotlights.

And again with the spotlights. I'm guessing this is more common to the wealthier neighbourhoods.

Approaching this building from the side, I was confused as to how an apartment building would make it into this upper class neighbourhood, but Wally assured me it was a house and sure enough,

it is. And a spectacular piece of modern architecture at that. 

Somewhat like a public building, I appreciate it for its individuality and grand statements like that front door and the two Christmas trees in the windows.

Finally, a more humble little home, again with themed lighting and spotlights,
all sorts of wreaths and doesn't the tree add a nice balance.

Many houses this year had those simple candelabras with their orangey vermillion bulbs in the windows.  Many more houses remained dark as if they didn't want any trick-or-treaters coming to the door. I always wonder how folks are managing at this highly emotional time of the year. It's easy to succumb to sad memories or failed dreams or just plain fear which is usually bound up with one's feelings about the future. But that's what this moment, this PRESENT, is for:  to draw us up into what really IS. Invariably there is a gem waiting inside of it, the miracle, the light

I think if I had one word to choose, it probably would be 
followed immediately by

We need to be gentle on ourselves, on our limitations of ourselves and others. We live in a flawed world. And yet every little change affects something else. That is called "the butterfly effect". Staying present to what we can do in our little sphere has enormous consequences. If we owe anybody anything it is to keep our consciousness of our value intact. You are an important player in this game of life.
Be kind, be gentle, be present.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas tidings

Well, that was fun.
Wally and I enjoyed a quiet Christmas.

I can't believe how much we ate and ...

I hope your holiday was just as sweetly spent.

One thing I've noticed is how important it is to unearth oneself from the mundane "everyday"
to create the rituals that matter.

for me, it's the beauty and quiet and relationships, and of course,

With a bad back this month and a cold that seemed to come on like a shadow,leaving me quite weary, I let a lot slide this year.

Fortunately, Wally picked up the slack and between the two of us, we pulled together a festive holiday for two.

Wherever you are in the world, in your life, I hope you remember that there is always someone who cares, even if you haven't met them yet. I don't mean a sweetheart per se, but just someone who really gets you and knows your true heart and loves you just the way you are. Along the way, we learn that being that someone is often how we create that reality for ourselves.

Now take Muji for example, or, as I sometimes call him,  "nudje-y" (noodge is Yiddish for pestering)

Muji can be the most charming of cats,

loving to a fault, he is SO sweet, that I've often wondered how he would ever make it in the "real world", the one where he'd have to fend for himself.

"Fend for myself??"
Well, in many ways, I identify with his confusion.

And so this sweet little misfit who needs love and affection despite his 
ENORMOUS hairiness ( my goodness, I have to wear a special apron to hold him)

has found a place in our hearts

and so we've learned to endure the gravelly nagging "song of his people"

and love him just the same.

By the way, that isn't Muji's cigar case on the table, nor is it Wally's, but a co-worker of Wally's who is saving them for him ( for me ) for art projects.

I have some more pictures to share of how we spent our holidays coming up.
"stay tuned"
(Geez, I suppose only my generation knows what that means, LOL. It's like translating another language just to talk the way I always have. Part of the slide into redundancy I suppose. Did I ever tell you about the time I made a reference to Katherine Hepburn to a bright looking young woman? She said she didn't know her- as if she was a local woman. Oh please don't tell me you don't either. Well, that's what I mean about redundancy. sigh )

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Christmas decorations and cats

With Christmas almost upon us, I thought I 'd share some of our decorations for the holiday.

This is the beat up lid of an old Blue Bird Toffee Tin from England that I found several years ago that I find so charming with its red thatched roofed cottages and blacksmith scene.

A cousin of mine gave me first dibs on a blind pick from a bag of gifts she'd brought to one of our family parties. I picked this old embroidered lion that is probably from India I think.
And yes, we decided to get an artificial tree a few years ago.

Every year there is always something that captures my imagination. Last year it was this tin house...

and this one.

Oh, and I also got a set of paper ornaments from India.
This old glass ornament was a secondhand store coup.

This red glass ornament came in the same package as the blue one.
And there's another tin ornament, shaped like a tag, that I got last year, inscribed with an old Deco style script that I love so much.

Quite a while back I found this glass Santa Bear ornament.

There's Muji at my feet watching every move that I make.

This is the only ornament I was tempted to get this year.
It actually does say Reindeer food. Very Cute.

Another of the old glass ornaments. I was tickled to get the original packaging too.

Two Cats and a Shoe.
Babu and Muji awake in the morning. A rare sight.
I must pass a gauntlet of cats to colour correct these photos.

Keeping it light.
Remembering the Peace, Love and Joy that is the Christmas message
today and all days.