Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Christmas Lights and New Year's message

Every Christmas Eve Wally and I make an excursion into the surrounding area to view the Christmas lights.  I imagine giving anonymous prizes. Wouldn't that be fun...

This little house on the way to Wolfville always delights me.
Over 2 years here and we still go to see the houses we once thought we'd buy.
The one on this street in Port Williams was lit up and they were having a party. This is not it, but the house at the corner whose massive tree I adore, absolutely adore.

A huge wreath on the house next door

This sweet little property down the road a ways, with a lit up tree on the porch.
Wally took a detour into farmland where we found this beauty.
By now it was quite dark with a fine mist falling.
These were jolly big trees.  Do you see the Santa on the roof?
There he is!
Here was a sweet little house on a short side road worth stopping for, full of pizzazz.
The house next door just as full of pizzazz.

And up the long driveway just beside them, a fabulous display, like stationary fireworks.
(Don't mind those spots of mist; I lost so many more photos totally wiped out by the mist.)
a pretty house simply embellished with a spotlight and a wreath
and home again to our humble display, still cheery on this misty Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day was magical in a new way for us. No Snow. Just hurricane force winds... and rain.
At one point the rain was blown sideways in huge white gusts over the back field, so that we thought our walk in the amazingly warm 17 degrees C. would have to be postponed. But, as luck would have it, the wind died down and we headed over to the Bird Sanctuary to walk the trails. We were tickled to have the whole place to ourselves except for the ducks and the cardinals and chickadees in the warm fine rain. The wild bright red rose hips hung in vast sprays, each one decorated with a hanging drop of crystal water like ice on holly, surprisingly Christmasy.  Alas, no pictures.
Boxing Day we headed out for round 2 of our Christmas Lights tour.
I quickly grabbed a shot of our neighbour's funky display.
I get the feeling this little tree next to our house is just for us.  So sweet.
Downtown Kentville under the moon.
A little house with a vast display.
A couple of...
favourites in Berwick.
So that wraps up 2014.
How pleased I am to be starting a new year. Of course, I know it's all arbitrary, this idea of starting.
We measure our lives in so many ways: by the calendar, the clock, birthdays, events, milestones.
I am happy for any excuse that wakens me up to the beauty of the moment and the opportunity to be excited about change, positive change. I've made a few promises to myself, recommitting to my self, my values; resolutions if you will. They aren't the rigid kind, so hopefully they'll "stick".
And this is my New Year's Eve wish for you, for us all:
  •  that we live in kindness to ourselves that we can truly understand compassion towards others
  •  that we honour our health that we may feel vital in terms of our value and our energy.
  • that we welcome joy into our lives like the true friend that it is
Happy New Times
peace on earth

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

an eve of gratitude

A big thank you for visiting my blog and helping me to stay the course of my creative commitment.
Not much makes sense without the love and support of others.
We must start with the love and support of ourselves in order to be able to receive it.
Be kind and gentle toward that self as we make our way.
Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward all sentient creatures.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

a short morning surprise

We're still hoping for a White Christmas. It's been rainy and dreary..

though I must say I appreciate this morning's bit of sun and a temperate 7 degrees C.

"and the dawn came up like thunder"
a little research, and I learn that, though I first heard this from the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, he was, in fact, quoting it from Rudyard Kipling's poem, Mandalay.

my Hot Pop Queen of Hearts
in prismacolor pencil crayons
have a lovely advent to the holidays, snow or not, Christmas or not, holidays or not,
it's all the same really; it's life, precious life
be grateful and you will find what lays beneath the surface

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

greetings from mid December

Hello again.  I see some of you have visited and found my December posts wanting. It's been an interesting month so far.
We seem to be over the hump as Wally's cold has subsided and we now have a new air source heat pump which will hopefully save on our oil bill as it is so well suited to this kind of cold that rarely goes below freezing. As well we have a new hot water tank to replace the sudden demise of our old oil heated tank, which Wally installed himself while he was ill. He worked so hard through his illness, dear man.

The snow of a few weeks back left fairly soon afterwards, and we've had none since.
In fact it's been almost springlike some days.  The cold out here is rather damp and makes for fog the day after a warm day.  One can barely see an outline of the trees on the other side of the field beyond Forget-Me-Not Cabin.

The cats and I amuse ourselves between episodes of life.
Here Muji is wanting some love.
He wonders why I'm so close but not patting him.

And here his inbred modus operandi: the reach for my attention

Meanwhile Babu is playing at my feet, chasing his tail or a crumpled paper I toss him hence the slightly demented look.  At a year and a half, he is still very much like a big kitten.
Finally some shots of him not moving where I can get some definition in his blackness.
And now he jumps for the camera strap. Isn't this the weirdest picture of him yet?
He's really a good little cat, really quite happy here, almost smiling.
Later I catch my boys napping. It's rare that Babu doesn't wake and move before I can capture the funny positions I find them in, very often doing a yin/yang.
Even with his eye "ajar" he is completely passed out from a busy day trying to provoke Muji to romp with him. He has been so good for Muji's damaged shoulder, getting lazy Muji to chase him and exercise it, so that now Muji doesn't hop, but limps, a big improvement.

How wicked my gentle loving Muji looks when he yawns.
I have many telephone doodles such as this that I'm planning to use in a collage, that new turn I was planning to take last month, diverted from my artwork by the work on the house and such.

Today I am gently easing back into creating.
These are the tricky days that precede the holidays.
Let us remember to be present in this intrinsically miraculous moment.
Gratitude is the key.

Friday, 28 November 2014

november drawing

Welcome back. I guess to me too. Sorry to have been away so long.
The weather has been a dominant character around these parts. Between hurricane force winds and a day this week that was like a balmy summer day, perfect for some yard work and hanging the laundry, the snow has only just dusted us this morning. It promises to be a sunny weekend.

 With all my good intentions I haven't that new piece of work I've been meaning to show you.
Instead, this coloured pencil - Prismacolor- drawing that I've been layering up when I've had time.

As usual, the colour is a bit off. The pleasure in these works I share with you really is in the doing.
There is a great comfort in handling colour and making combination choices.
Muji in the morning.
The energy of Christmas is in the air. I wonder if any of you are in the Toronto area and can go see my sister at the One of a Kind show where she has a booth- C57- with her wonderful work .
Have a lovely weekend, our last days of November to savour.

Friday, 14 November 2014

the evening of what's snew

Couldn't resist an update as it snowed all day and is still.

Now that's different

We were forecast 1-3 centimeters; that's about an inch.
The back hedge, that we never had time to trim, has bowed obligingly for us.
To think that I had our laundry drying in the sunshine on our line yesterday
our pretty little makeshift Christmas tree.
Wally is just home from work, a little late with the slower traffic which is a good thing when driving conditions are poor.  Supper is just about ready. Lima beans in the crockpot are done and the red jasmine rice is cooking. I'll add kale and carrots and such with a tahini and lemon dressing.
A cozy weekend in store for us in northern climes.
A pleasant one to all.

What's snew? It's snow!

How ironic to think, only this morning, how our weather here in the Annapolis Valley is about a month behind what we used to get in Muskoka,
and then:
it snows!
Though not much at this juncture on Friday morning
it's enough to lift my heart.
One never knows how long the snow fall will last or if it will even stay on the ground
 as our temperature is hovering just above 0 degrees Centigrade.
But within 45 minutes we have this!

the hydrangeas and our garden beyond
I may have to get my skis out

Wally's already strung Christmas lights around our Japanese Maple tepee poles.
and another 45 minutes later our ash sentry is cloaked. How utterly beautiful.
I hope you can get as much pleasure out of snow as I do.
If not, I hope you are taking joy in something special to you at this moment,
all so rare and fleeting.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

catching the last light

It's evening now, midweek. The day started with a gloomy fog, and when the fog left, it didn't take the gloomy with it. So gloomy it stayed all day.

But yesterday...
As usual we waited late in the day for our country drive. Wally had the day off.
And as usual, he stopped for me to commune with cows.
These gentle beasts were concerned for a mate of theirs who mooed from a barn across the road.

They were only mildly curious about me.
Their concern was palpable, and occasionally one would moo back.
Eventually this girl with the curled down horns came to join us.
She had her eye on some bit of stuff on the ground.
But this shy one who hid behind another wanted its mate to know they were there and cared.
As the dark began to fall, Wally headed back to town for us to walk around
the Bird Sanctuary pond. I spied this lovely milkweed that monarch butterflies love so well when they bloom in the summer.
The light was getting quite low and a damp cold was moving in.
Wally posed for me at the entrance bridge.

I brightened the photos but lost some saturation here. It was a glorious rosy pink sky.

We could see the community that lays along the shore of this pond, fed by a tributary of the Cornwallis River

The ducks floated safely in the middle
sending a tranquil ripple through the pink water
so sweet

We began our march around the pond, here at the northwest corner
when I had to stop again in the fading light

to capture these rose hips against the pond

as festive as holly

You can just see the bridge from whence we came at the top of the picture.
By now my camera is really struggling to catch the exposure of the fading light.
We were home again by 5:20pm, amazed that it was still quite early,
 but glad to leave the ducks in their cold, darkening pond. Brrr.
Grateful for creature comforts even if the days are already so short, or perhaps because they are.