Saturday, 29 April 2017

spring birding

Here I am, intrepid bird photographer that I am with my pocket sized Sony Cybershot, with some more fuzzy pictures from my bathroom window.

I spent a long while trying to get this robin from behind the maples

It spent a long time with it's back to me once it spied an intruder in the valley

The raven has been back for 3 days in a row.

It spends its time rifling through the dead grass for things to eat.

After the rain last night, much needed, the valley is hazy with mist.

Other birds that seemed disturbed by the raven in their midst was this flicker.

The starling didn't seem perturbed at all, and with his back to the raven, ruffled its feathers
on the peak of Forget-Me-Not Cabin.

But this crow was very unhappy and dive bombed the raven who ruffled up so quickly that when I looked up from my camera, it was already back at breakfast.

The disassembled shed was taken away on Thursday evening just as Wally got home from work. Here he is bringing the doors to lay inside the shed roof that's looking a bit like a small barge.

What a fabulous trailer to hold a 9 feet wide shed roof! Thanks again Nick (in the grey t-shirt) for helping Wally drill through the rusted screws and take the old thing apart.

This is our last weekend to assemble whatever we want to get rid of for big pick up day. Wally must break up the old floor of the shed that is much rotted and I must pack up the last of the old roof shingles from the cabin. It's good energy to get rid of junk.

And with that April will be over. Time and our busy lives, not much different from the birds,
busy nesting, making meals, staying safe, ruffling nobody's feathers but our own,

and learning eventually not to do that to ourselves- that latter bit.

peaceful times

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

the view from here

Rain and wind today is greening things up.
And already the displaced shed is revealing bits of nature I never would have seen.

Apologizing in advance for these poor shots through the rain...

This big raven that came down to forage in the hayfield just beyond the crooked birdhouse pole.

From my vantage he appeared to be eating grass

though knowing these scavengers, it could have been some dead thing

I was confused for a while that it might be a crow

but I believe it was originally being chased by a crow, and therefore an intruder.
It's big bill is a give-away, distinctly raven.

As promised last time, a peek at my latest work in progress, in the cheap sketchbook I found at the dollar store ( where the last 2 works I've shown you were done). I decided to dedicate this book to my "whimsical girl" drawings which are inspired by Jane Davenport but not copied. One always aims for one's own style.

I continue to work with Jane Davenport's Inkredible  Pen, a fountain pen that performs with an easy fluid line.  Derwent and Prismacolor coloured pencils for the most part, but the hair was started with Sharpie Paint Pen in copper (more of a rose gold) as I'm really enjoying metallics lately. Clearly unfinished, I'll be curious to see what comes of her as I'm not feeling this piece at the moment. I'll share my progress with you.

happy trails til next time


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

shed be gone

Since my last post, five days had gone by since the first attempt to take the old shed away and

By Friday afternoon, Wally and his friend from work, Nick (whose father will take it away),
had regrouped to dismantle the old shed.

Upon further examination (and a succession of 2 dead screwdriver batteries and 2 hours)
Wally and Nick decided to meet up again after the weekend when Nick would return with his bigger batteried screwdriver

Worried that Wally would be disappointed after investing so much time, I turned and took this picture of my handsome Muji in the evening light and went to dish supper out.

Wally wasn't disappointed in the least. He is very philosophical about the time it takes to do things- especially preparatory work that always bores me to distraction.

When Nick returned last night (Monday) after both he and Wally had put in a full day's work,
they set to drilling through the rusted screws to release them.

Sometimes Wally had to hold a screw from spinning while Nick drilled.
Already the sliding doors are somewhat dismantled.

Determining how to lift the roof,

they decide to remove the doors first.

Then, dislodging the roof,

they raise the roof

and slide it over.

She's Off!

Maybe now is the time to tell you how sentimental I had begun to feel about losing this ugly old shed.
We have the original permit from May 1983. That's 34 years ago less 2 weeks.  Every time we remove a piece of the past I sense the dreams of the past. I will write more about this towards the end.

Nick and Wally move the roof out of the way.
Wally told me afterwards how very heavy it was.

Babu and Muji enjoy their after dinner show (on the one day I didn't make the bed)
I was surprised how relaxed Babu was who is usually terribly shy.
Muji soon lost interest with a full belly.

Next it was time to dismantle the walls.

the last wall to go

stacking it onto the pile with the other 2 walls

What remains, the old oil drum wood stove, the rotting wood floor, and of course

We have a week to remove all the debris if we're to take advantage of Big Pickup Day by the township. My sentiment for the entrenched past quickly dissolves as we get a slice of view that I've so missed, being surrounded by buildings. I think of Carolyn Myss's view:

"The dead past cannot give you life force."

Embracing the life we have today can be brought up short with gratitude.
There is more in place than is not. Let us remember to remember how lucky we are so we do not slide into false concepts. Carolyn Myss suggests that if we were to remove 3 words from our vocabulary they would be:

This is heavy stuff in a world where so many are, or feel they are, victimized. The trick to letting go of all the pain, "wounds" as she calls them is:


This includes forgiving ourselves

I found this video particularly helpful in understanding Why People Don't Heal

thank you as always for caring to drop by.
I will have some artwork to share next time.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

no approval required

My goodness, what a cool dry week it's been; not the Nova Scotia April we've had in our 5 springs here which have resisted letting winter go.

It wasn't quite so cold on the weekend as
Wally worked towards finishing Forget-Me-Not Cabin's roof.

By mid afternoon the help had arrived to take away the old tool shed

but after a conference, they decided the field was too wet to drive the truck and trailer on.
Now Wally must proceed as he originally planned, taking the shed apart before big pick up day.

It was a mild day with a forecast of light showers so I came out to bag the old shingles.

Wally carried on late into the evening, then hauled away the heavy bags I'd filled in a wheelbarrow.
We were both pleased with how much the other had accomplished. 

Yesterday a robin had a rest in the budding maple tree outside our window 

as the evening sun went down on a cold sunny day

This morning we woke to light falling snow, here as I look out on the budding lilac.
The snow had melted by mid morning. 

The Three Sisters that I've pretty much finished,
mostly in coloured pencil with some paint pen embellishments, the blue and pink hair done in glitter paint pen, the outline in black fountain pen. I was unhappy with the intensity of the background that I had worked so laboriously on so I subdued it with gesso that surprisingly dragged a bit of the pink coloured pencil around so I filled in some spaces with more coloured pencil.

and that's it - except for a few thoughts:

April is such a busy time for so many people. We rouse ourselves like budding lilacs or nesting birds with so many plans. We often feel pulled in "a million" ways. We want to please others or we have personal agenda. We are watching the clock, time tables, deadlines. 

Busyness implies a focus on something other than ourselves.  In western society this is considered a good thing as self-focus is considered a betrayal of the tribe, the social group  to which we belong (selfishness).  It's easy to feel torn, sacrificing things or relationships that we genuinely care about because we feel compelled to meet these external demands, possibly demands from the very people we care about. It kinda takes the joy out of living.

Ironically, as John Lennon said,
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

There it is again: busy. Busy doing what? Planning, working, focussing on externals. And, as such, we reap the consequences of our actions.  Sometimes they are not what we wanted, but there it is: the unfolding of a life, such as it is.

Living mindfully, with conscious choice, often requires us to break with our personal self-image as someone who is efficient, always accommodating, not selfish, etc. It becomes necessary to learn how to say no- and to live with those consequences too. But at least they come out of an authenticity that enables one to be, in the end, one's own best friend, and not another victim of unconscious living. There is a certain peace one can take from allowing ourselves to be, connecting with one's own

no one's approval required

p e a c e

Saturday, 15 April 2017

springing into spring

Good Saturday Morning.
Upon asking, " Why Easter and not Wester?" Wally researched some interesting facts for me.

The only written reference is from the 7th to 8th-century English monk, the Venerable Bede, who wrote that the Old English 'Month of Ä’ostre' (translated in Bede's time as Paschal month) was an English month, corresponding to April, which he says "was once called after a goddess of theirs named Ä’ostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month." (Might as well ask how  Ä’ostre got her name, but I found nothing.)

Interesting fact #2: The word Paschal originally denoted the Jewish festival known today as Pesach (Passover), commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. In most of the non-English speaking world, the feast is known by names derived from Greek and Latin Pascha.

Interesting fact #3: The Last Supper, was in fact, the Passover meal, known as Seder (meaning "order" pertaining to the order in which courses of the meal, full of symbolism of the Jewish exile in Egypt, is served.) According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death.  He identified the matzah (unleavened bread) and  the cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood to be shed. 

Interesting fact #4: Within 50 years of the 1st century A.D., Paul, writing from Ephesus to the Christians in Corinth, applied the term Pascha to Christ.  Pascha is also a name by which Jesus is remembered in the Orthodox Church, especially in connection with his resurrection and with the season of its celebration.

Was Ä’ostre the goddess of Spring seeing that her name was given to April?
And if her name was then changed to Paschal month, why change it to the Roman name, April, when the Romans had been in England so many centuries earlier?
Language is clearly linked to history, but I think I'll stop here.

This cardinal was calling his version of April last Sunday.

Later in the week he visited again, here with our pseudo Greek bench. 

He is very shy and usually only shows up in the early morning light

so it's been hard to take a picture of him

but it hasn't stopped me from trying.

Muji waited patiently with me while I was pre-occupied.

Babu wasn't nearly as patient the next day as he circled about me

A funny shot of him elongated til I finally got the message that he wanted to

PLAY!! here with his Santa Bear

He's become quite lazy about it and doesn't jump much these days

so I doctor my shots to look as if he's flying

The "Well?" look

calmer now after a good round of play

Yesterday Wally got up onto the roof of Forget-Me-Not Cabin to take shovel off the old shingles

He hates the height, so he squatted for more security

Babu enjoyed watching Wally take out the old roofing nails with a prybar

A clean job, though Wally is debating whether to take down the chimney and put in a cupola

After lunch, the first layer of water barrier goes on

Wally still wanted to do a little planting so he left the job for the next day (today)
I took this shot to commemorate what may be the last day for our old tool shed as Wally has lined someone up to take it away.

I've always been curious about where these houses are beyond the roofline of the cabin
and across the ravine, but we've yet to find them.

Wally washes up after a good day's work. In our household, Wally has learned my father's expression, "arbeit macht leben zees"
work makes life sweet

drying up, we talk about which kinds of work do that.
I would have to say the Meaningful kind, where one feels or senses the fruits of one's labour.

a pleasant start to spring

wishing you one as well