Sunday, 15 February 2015


Well, I guess the timing couldn't be better: post Valentine's Day, post Saturday night, with a Sunday and a national holiday tomorrow, we finally got a snowstorm worth writing about.

It started early this morning and built quickly.
You can barely see the street beyond our ash tree sentinel, the hedge almost buried.

Wally had to  work this morning though it seemed preposterous for anyone to be out.

He called me from work to let me know he was leaving. I pointed the camera toward the entrance of our driveway to capture his arrival as my anxiety built around the treacherousness of his trip.

Beautiful Muji came to keep me company on the stairs, our best vantage point.

With my camera poised, what to my astonishment appeared but ...

not one surprise visitor

But Four! Four very tired ducks, blown well off course from any waterway

They seemed to make themselves comfortable and I became alarmed that Wally might run right into them. So I called him. He was on the road, worried that he wouldn't make it up the incline of our street.  Hoping he would make it, I warned him about the ducks.

When I returned to my post by the window, they were gone so I called Wally once more to assure him that the coast was clear. About 5 minutes later he came in, stuck halfway out into the street.

So glad to see him home, safe and sound. He came for the shovel.

Opening the door, I couldn't believe how high the snow had drifted, making a perfect mould of our door, reflecting it's lilac colour.

As Wally began to dig the car out, stuck so bad that the wheels spun, I ran to dress for shoveling, throwing on Wally's snow pants as well as his mitts, along with my jacket zipped past my chin and extra socks in my boots.

When Wally freed the car, he moved it onto the street and went to fetch our new snow blower while I stood behind the car waving my red shovel in the air to help make our illegally parked car more visible.  Once Wally carved a space to pull the car back into the driveway, he sent me into the house.

My meager attempt at helping to shovel was pre-empted by ...

Wally's quick work of the ramp.  Now we're even more committed to keeping it.

Back in the house I kept taking pictures, this one of our dear Japaneses Maple buried almost completely with the Christmas lights still wrapped around the tepee of poles that surround it.

On the other side of the house, the arc of snow from our neighbour's snow blower as he makes a path around his almost completely buried car.

After soup, a nap and ripping out the old carpet in the soon-to-be new studio, as well as vacuuming the floor and moving boxes, Wally had a bowl of fruit and kefir and was off again for another hour and a half of snow blowing.

By now the snow had almost completely cover the lower half of the kitchen window.

Wally went to pose by his handiwork...

To give it scale.

It is after 11 at night as I write this. Wally was quite unnerved by the lack of visibility and traction of his morning drive home, but came to enjoy the drama of this quintessential winter storm as much as I.
Apparently we will be getting a week of snow, but nothing like today's.  There's nothing quite like the sense of hunkering down when the world has gone quiet and enchanted.

Let us find this kind of peace and wonder within the magic of our own existence.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Valentine's Day message

Approaching the middle of the month, I'm always surprised by the longer daylight into the evening despite the cold of a winter that seemed to start with daylight savings back in November. Amazingly, we'll be turning the clock ahead in a few short weeks!

Today I finished up another pencil crayon drawing, one that I started yesterday, meaning to compliment/contrast my drawing, "Silent Movie", of a few weeks ago.

I call this "Flower Power", done in my trusty Laurentien coloured pencils.
It is wonderfully uplifting to play with such bright colour on such a dreary day.
It is also very meditative to work so slowly as pencil crayons force one to do.

I've always enjoyed the contrast of disparate items and how they play off one another,
creating a dialogue of sorts. I wanted to contrast flowers with a portrait. I will do this again one day soon.

While I worked on "Flower Power" I kept humming the song, "Love, Your Magic Spell is Everywhere", written for the movie, The Trespasser, in which Gloria Swanson sang on film for the first time back in 1929.  My grandmother used to sing in a similar operatic voice; maybe that is part of the appeal this performance holds for me.  Do you ever find yourself startled by the pertinence of a song you hum absent-mindedly? It can be very telling.  There is always a sub-conscious layer to all things that resonate. I have since learned to hear romantic love songs as a message of self love. 

You can see (and hear) Gloria Swanson sing here

Babu and Muji take a break.

My Valentine's Day message to you:

Love, Your Magic Spell is Everywhere

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


Hello again. Midweek, mid February -or almost- on a cold, sunny afternoon, and I find myself finishing up another coloured pencil drawing with my trusty old childhood Laurentiens.

I call this one Gathering Forget Me Nots
It measures 9x12 inches
Done in my acid free buff-coloured Kraft paper sketchbook
made in Canada of all places!

I don't know who said,"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"
(sounds like something Coco Chanel or Mies Van Der Rohe would say, or even Christ or the Buddha) but that's what I'm focusing on

Let's keep it simple

Friday, 6 February 2015

a snow day

After springlike conditions on Christmas Day, and snowfalls that would melt in rain a few days later,  we're finally in the midst of my beloved winter. These last 10 days have brought us a succession of snowfalls, last night being the fourth.

what a stroke of luck to capture the crow in the sunrise over Forget-Me-Not Cabin

and then these wonderful morning shadows from the deck posts and rails

The snow has all but covered the hydrangeas, some of which stand taller than I

More shadows, this time along the side deck 
(shot through the screen in the vestibule door window, as I cannot open the door yet from the snow packed so high against it )

From the other side of the vestibule, another unshoveled entrance
The massive ash tree is dwarfed by mounds of snow, and the hedge at the front is just about hidden.

Forget-Me-Not cabin around noon today, sleeping til another thaw

When I return, Muji is very demanding for cuddles.

I know not everyone appreciates this time of year. I rarely meet anyone who shares the sense of magic I feel when everything is blanketed in snow.  I'm so grateful Wally does, even though he must do most of the shoveling and blowing. The street is quiet, very quiet for a Friday. That means it's a snow day for many. Snow days always feel like a "free" day.

I hope you manage to carve out some time for yourself. It's so regenerating.

peace my friends

Thursday, 5 February 2015

What Comes of Taking a Chance

The weird thing about creativity is that you don't have to feel well, or even happy to do it.
Yesterday I wasn't well, and rather grumpy as often happens when I'm out of sorts; just not feeling myself. As I surfed through some Pinterest quotes, I read:

                                                       "draw even if you don't feel like it"
so I did. 

"What have I got to lose?" I thought. "Nothing else is going to come of today."
And this is what happened:

Flower Odalesque
mixed media

Begun as a doodle on a small square of white paper, the head and shoulders with the first flower to the right were done in blue ballpoint pen earlier this fall. You can also see little words from teabag tags that I glued onto the brown paper as well. Coloured pencils, paint pens and coloured ballpoint ink pens.

I feel much better today. Must have been something I ate. (Usually is)

Here's not-so-little Babu, who I still think of as little  because he is still the baby in the family.
We had a rare cuddle soon after as he jumped onto my lap while I prepped these images for the computer. 

Have a lovely day, and
 what-the-heck, "Draw even if you don't feel like it"

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Three Big Snows

It's been quite a week for snow. None of that here-today-gone-tomorrow sort of thing. It's all stayed this time, and judging by the cold temperatures, it will stay for quite a while.

 This is a "morning after the first blizzard" shot with a window reflection.   I was still enjoying the beauty even though our snow blower blew a piston the night before.
We tried to stay positive while Wally researched trying to fix it, and then it snowed again the next day.  After hours of shoveling, Wally bought a big scoop, too much shovel for me to use, and even he  couldn't finish the job. That was motivation enough to look for a 2nd hand snow blower. 

I couldn't believe Wally's luck when he found a new snow blower 
for 1/2 price in high season on Sunday.

We all watched him from inside. Here is Babu who suddenly saw something else.

and Muji, very interested.

Since this shot it has snowed again, even deeper, last night.  Wally got off of work early as things were so slow, the roads so treacherous in many places. 
We learned that the banks were closed and who knows what else. The street is very quiet so I imagine a of people didn't even get to work today. 

This is what Forget-Me-Not Cabin looked like this morning after this 3rd blizzard.

and this evening with the long shadows ( and more window reflection...
 I can't get out the back door yet.)

as I turned I found Muji in afternoon repose.

I hope you are lucky enough to enjoy a mellow winter afternoon.