Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!

On Dec 21st, twenty-one brave souls gathered in our 12 x 20' living room to celebrate the Proulx/Allison/Barnes Christmas!  There was much noise...much fun...and great food!  How wonderful to see my family all together!

Our family grew by one in 2013...  We welcomed a little boy into our flock in June, and next June we will welcome another grand baby bringing the count to nine!!

2013 was fraught with challenges, but less than most have to deal with, for sure.  All in all, I feel fortunate.

Below is the gang...posing (without much argument) for the compulsory family picture.  Hubby insists, and at times it is challenging to get everyone to cooperate, but I'm so glad to have these memories to look back upon.


I have been searching for a word to use as my focus in 2014.  I debated on several but I have chosen "simplify."  What does that word mean to you?  To me, "simplifying" involves "purging and prioritizing".  What will be your focus this year?

I want to thank all my blogging friends as I leave 2013 behind.  We have never met in person, but you occupy a very special place in my heart!

I also would like to thank three special people who read my blog and often comment privately.  Mary, Susan S, and dad...  I am your biggest fan!

Happy New Year everyone!  Best wishes for Good health, Happiness and a Peaceful heart in 2014!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Missing Someone?


Make this your own...  Substitute "mother" for whatever comforting word you need.  Is it  "Father" "Wife" or "husband?"  You know what you need....  

Virtual hugs for all those who are missing someone this Christmas....

Your Mother is always with you.
She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.
She's the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and
perfume that she wore.
She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well.
She's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a
rainbow. She is Christmas morning.
Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
She's crystallized in every teardrop.
A mother shows every emotion .......... happiness, sadness, fear,
jealousy, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy, 
sorrow... and all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good
feelings in life. She's the place you came from, your first home, and she's 
the map you follow with every step you take.
She's your first love; your first friend, even your first enemy, but
nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space...not 
even death!

 Author: unknown

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I have been busy!

I hope the Littles like them!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I really REALLY have been trying NOT to hate this winter.  I have listened to my dad hate winter FOREVER.  I haven't...up until now.  What changed??

It might be that I am feeling the cold more.  I've moved my chair to the stove where the floor is warm, but this house has many cold spots.  Our bedroom has windows that seem to breathe warm air out and cold air in.  As someone who lIkes to sleep with one hand under my face, that can present challenges when the air is frosty.  I can't sleep when...try as I might...I can't take my mind off that cold thing on my cheek. I have woken wondering if I have passed on when I realize, that that cold appendage is mine!  

Do you remember licking a cold fence post dead winter and how your tongue stuck to the metal?  We'll...I have news, folks.  It works in the same way when drool meets frozen hair.

Yes.  We do have electric baseboards in our room, and yes, I have recently caved.  I wouldn't turn the baseboards on because I did not want to heat Brechin...but I WON'T be cold.

Perhaps I am exaggerating a little.  Perhaps the November blues don't know it is December.  Perhaps once the days start getting longer I might give my attitude a shake...but (wah! wah!) it's hard spending 90% of my waking hours in darkness.  I come home from work in the dark, and I go to work when it is dark.  HOW do they do this is the far north???

Anyway, I have much to be thankful for...a husband that religiously drives me to work each and every shift....my pellet stove....indoor hobbies and thermal underwear....baseboard heaters...my pellet stove.

I have to admit though....the snow is really pretty....



Friday, December 6, 2013

RIP Mandiba

"Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished."

"Do not judge me by my successes.  Judge me by how many times I fell down and got up again."

"I learnt that courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it."

"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy.  Then he becomes your partner."

"Social equality is the only basis of human happiness."

"While poverty persists,there is no true freedom."

"For to be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way the respects and enhances the freedom of others."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Morning Glory Seeds

Morning Glory Seeds

I ventured outside for a moment.  I wanted to collect what remained of my Morning Glory seeds.  I was startled to find so many!  Surely there wasn't as many blooms?  Or was there? 

Our summer passed so quickly.  From the moment my son became ill, it seemed that we were in a state of panic..on heightened alert...doing damage control and then...thank Goodness...recovery mode.  

My days are so full.  Work occupies so much of my time, but it is a necessary evil right now.  What leisure time I have seems to be filled so quickly.

I don't remember seeing more than one bloom, and I saw it in passing.

I looked at my son the other day.  He is 37 years old.  I vaguely remember the years between 4 to 37.

I guess William H. Davies says it best in the following...

Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


Someone suggested that my priorities would become clear when I retired.  I cannot imagine that they will become any more clear than they are right now...family...friends...work...art...flowers...but soon work will not factor into the equation.

How can I make time to stop and stare?  Housework!  I can stop making my bed, doing dishes and sweeping the floor!  I can sit by our river, take more boat rides and gaze over the fence at the neighbors sheep and horses.  I can walk for a short period every day, and I can count my Morning Glory blooms.

And do you take time to smell your roses?  How do you find time to do so?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Good News/Bad News


Just when you think that it could not get any worse, you switch on the news. 

CTV news in Barrie has just announced the cracking of a huge child porn operation.  As many as 340 children have been victimized.   

Some of the perpetrators are teachers, medical professionals, and priests.  Many live in Ontario.  Some reside out of province.  Many are from The States and overseas.

Our children are not safe with anyone other than a trusted family member, it seems.

One might argue that this sort of thing has always existed.  Perhaps it has, but the Internet has provided the means to spread this plague.

Surely there must be a way to hold the internet provider responsible for its client's business when using its service in a manner that is unlawful? 

Should our schools be teaching virtues and morals from a young age onward?  Obviously a sense of decency is more valuable than any education...

Keep your babies close, parents.  Watch them like hawks.  Listen to your gut feelings.  Know who is caring for them.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

I was going to blog yesterday, about the conflicting feelings that arise on thie 7th of November.  I chose to wait until today when I had a joyous occasion to celebrate.  You see, today is my daughter's birthday...and yesterday was the anniversary of her father's death.

Ray and I were married for 13 tumultuous years.  During that time we welcomed two little boys, and a little girl into our lives.  Those births were a time of great joy...but we struggled.  Ray was born to two alcoholic parents, and he had many demons that he wrestled with.  

He also wrestled with anger issues, and the children and I received the brunt of that.  I stayed in the marriage as long as I could.  I was the primary income earner for most of our marriage, and while I was happy to contribute, I was disappointed that I could not stay home with my babies.

I really did love Ray.  He was such a handsome guy.  When we moved to Muskoka onto 54 acres, I couldn't have been happier.  That changed quickly.  Our neighbor was a drinker and he and Ray became buddies..and his alcohol and substance abuse worsened.  Finally, after many failed offers to arrange counseling, I left.  I feared for the well being of my children.

I'm not certain that it was the best decision.  Because when I removed myself from his life, he removed himself from our children's lives.  Christmas and birthdays were never acknowledged.  Such pain was inflicted on my children...

There was no reason to not see the kids.  He had open visiting privileges.  I forgave him child support twic.  His anger at me was so all consuming that he could not be near me or anyone who had a connection to me.  I was the sole reason for his unhappiness.

Before the ink had dried on our divorce papers, Ray found himself another family.  He was loved, and for that I am very thankful.

Two months before he died he called his children to him.  He admitted that he had been wrong...that it was not their fault...and that he was sorry.  I am forever grateful for that.

My children are doing okay.  They have forgiven...however, one struggles with depression.  The other two are just sad.  They are good people.  My middle son travelled to his fathers home yesterday to tend his garden and comfort his grieving widow....the same lady who he rarely saw growing up.

The insurance policy that they should have been the recipients of was cashed out the year before Ray died.  Momentoes were left to them, of a man that they never got to know.

So while I still feel bitter, I also feel a great sadness.  I miss the man I loved...the man I married.  I miss the father of my children and I also miss the hope that he will develop a relationship with his children.

I have not felt his presence since he continued his travels, but my children have.  That is more important to me...that they finally feel his presence in their lives.

Enough said...  Today I will celebrate the birth of one of the greates gifts that Ray left me...a daughter., who along with the her brothers, is the best part of Ray.

Rest peacefully Ray.  I forgive you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Time Flies!

Where do our summer go?  And Fall?  If this isn't a lesson in living every day to the fullest then I don't know what is!

I have taken on full time employment at our nursing home.  12 hour shifts go remarkably fast.  I really do love it, and because time flies!  In no time at all, my seven shifts are complete, and I have a nice pay cheque!

On my days off, I sleep.  And when I don't need to sleep, I paint....and I dream of retirement...and traveling...and painting.

I am taking lessons from one of the best oil painting artists that I know of.  I don't know how to attach a link from the site, but Google "Suzanne Berry artist".  I am sure you will find her work magnificent!

Our pellet stove is on every day now.  It throws off a wonderful heat AND a lot of dust!  It costs 6 dollars a day to heat this home.  We don't have to run it every day yet.

I'm sorry that I have been so tardy in posting but I do read your blogs and am enjoying all of your adventures.  I promise to do better.

This fellow continues to visit often.  I wonder where he goes in the winter?

Off to work now!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Pretty in Pink"

I just can't seem to get an accurate picture, but I am pleased with the finished product...whether or not I should be.

I put the last coat on yesterday.  She's ready to go to her "forever" home.  

The recipient is my hero.  She stood by my son when he became very ill this summer.  I know many who would have headed for the nearest exit.  I know many who do...with less excuse.  It seems that this gal took her vows seriously and I don't think this family would have remained intact without her help.

So under her tree this year will be this painting.  I am pleased that it will be appreciated...cause she is just that type of gal....




Monday, October 21, 2013

Celiac Disease

I thought I would share some interesting health news.  I have just come from a Naturopath who told me some interesting news...but first.. let me backtrack.

When I was four years of age I was diagnosed with Celiac disease.  I had been complaining of abdominal pain and had spent many a morning in the school nurse's office doubled up with cramps.  Finally, my mother called our doctor...who did house calls...and he came and examined me during an episode of excruciating pain.  He immediately diagnosed me as having Celiac Disease, based on the rigidity of my stomach, and the bloating and frothy BMs I was having.

What followed was an eight year gluten free diet.  It was horrible.  There were not the substitutes that are available today.  Birthday parties were nothing to look forward to.  I could not eat the traditional fare of hot dogs and cake.  I am sure that perplexed many a mom who was hosting a party, and I distinctly remember one mom who, after she had offered me everything she had, proceeded to throw up her hands and exclaim, "Well!  What CAN you eat then?"

My birthday present in my 12th year was a graduation to the usual diet of a teenager.  I never looked back, although there were periods in my life when I again found myself doubled up with abdominal pain...and then, there were the rashes on my hands which plagued me unmercylessly.

 I occasionally thought about Celiac Disease and wondered if it had returned, but there was NO way I would voluntarily put myself on THAT diet ever again....besides which, I had put on weight, and I thought, incorrectly that all Celiacs were skinny.  Not so.  

I never mentioned my health history to my children until my daughter started having many of the same symptoms as I had when I was four.  She developed a very bad rash on her hands which made her consider that she might have an allergy to something she was ingesting and after being tested with lab work, and a biopsy it was determined that she does have Celiac disease.

I have chosen not to undergo a biopsy.  If there is damage done, it is damage that has occurred over the past 50 years and the only thing that will right that is a gluten free diet.  

For the past three years I have had excruciating pain in my left foot, fourth toe.  I have been through every test known to man and the closest I have come to having it diagnosed was at the Foot Clinic where it was strongly felt the pain was nerve related.  Lately, both calves have been "achey."

Today I took the alternative route and went to see a Naturopath.  After a thorough examination, and health history, this doctor concurred that the pain was most likely nerve pain.  She also said it was most likely damage caused by an untreated Celiac condition, and a nutrition deficiency as a result of this.

I have been advised to follow a strict gluten free diet for three months, and take supplements which she has prescribed.

For the fist time in three years, I feel hopeful.

Celiac Disease is nothing to scoff at.  Untreated Celiac Disease can lead to Cancer...Diabetes...arthritis.
Google Celiac Disease for more information.

Consider a Doctor of Naturopathy.  You will find that they look at the whole picture rather than focusing on the symptom, and prescribing chemicals that can be toxic.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thanksgiving on the River!


This Saturday we hosted 16 people, and eight of them were children!  Dinner was the usual fare except this year the children picked carrots from the garden, and these were served with potatoes that nana and papa grew.

The weather was gorgeous, and there was one last boat trip on the river.


Owen was captain and steered the craft through calm waters....


...while Mandi and her nephew ( who is 10) compared their heights....


Halen's turn!

We ate outside, and afterward, the children removed the corn cobs from the stalk.  What secrets that were hidden, waiting to be revealed when the husks were removed!


The last hoorah was when Uncle B. hung a pumpkin PiƱata!  Great fun!!

All in all, it was a wonderful celebration...my favorite!  There is NOTHING like family time, and our family is growing!  My heart swells when I see how well my children get along.  They care for each other, and look after each other.  What more could a mom ask?

I will remember this particular Thanksgivng for a long time to come....then...next year there will be new memories to make!

I am certainly Thankful for my family.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Both Sides Now


Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way...

I saw this incredible sky as I came out of work one morning.  It was a take-your-breath-away moment...a brilliant pink candy floss cloud greeted me, and I could not help but sing the lyrics to Joni's song on the way home.

I've seen pink skies...but never before a sole pink cloud.  Brilliant!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

In Our Backyard....

Hubs and I try to get out on the river as often as we can.  All too soon the locks will be closed for the season, and soon after, the water levels will be dropped, and boating will be done for the year.

Every trip on the river is a different adventure.  Recently we discovered an apple tree hanging over the water, and we tasted the sweetest fruit from that tree.

This evening we took advantage of the warmer weather.  We postponed supper and off we went.

How lucky are we to live where we do!  I never tire of our little home, and the sights we see!  

Enjoy!





Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy Campers!

Hubs and I dug up our potatoes this afternoon, and I think we did very well!  The carrots are coming along but I think I'll leave them a few more weeks...weather permitting!

We've learned a lot...  Next year we will definitely plant spuds again..and carrots....but the biggest lesson learned is that we need to plant earlier, and condition the soil.  

How did your garden do?  What produced well?


Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Really Busy Day!

The photo is blurry but you get the drift!...  I have prepared and am dehydrated six trays of peach slices.  I wish I had ordered oxygen absorbers earlier, but I'm sure the slices will be fine until they arrive this week.  Besides, it will take at least a day and a half to dehydrate.  Lots of work but the reward is great at the end!

I have my eyes on the Excalibur Dehydrator.  Oh how I'd love to have it on my counter...  Nine trays....temperature control.  Serious stuff...but...I've got to show Hubs I am serious about dehydrating before I broach the subject.  Perhaps if I make him some beef jerky he might cave in and surprise me with one under the tree.

Peaches today...plums tomorrow?  We'll see!



Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome Fall!

This long weekend heralds the end of summer, a return to school, and the beginning of our autumn.  I used to, when I was younger, hate Labour Day weekend.  As cottagers packed their cars for the return to the city, the beach felt deserted, and lonely.

Things have changed.  I welcome Fall this year.  Summer was a very stressful time for this family.  Things have settled down now, but I am still licking my wounds, and occasionally feeling as if I want to pull the covers over my head.

Welcome September with your cooler nights, and cozy sweater days.  I am excited about the changing  colours that are now becoming more visible.  I am anxious to harvest carrots and potatoes from our garden, and prepare those beds for a better crop next summer.  

Have I mentioned that Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year?  It's right around the corner, and as we did this weekend, we will welcome family...for a celebration of family...and the last gathering before snow flies.  

It's a cool night.  It's easy to think about Harvest on nights such as this.  For me, the harvest I most value is not what is on the table...rather, it is those that gather around the table.

I look around that table every year with great pride.  My children are doing well. They are hard workers and all are employed.  They all are good friends, and look after each other.  All are married and are loving spouses and parents.  We welcomed our eighth grandchild this spring.  Our tiny house will be filled to overflowing this Thanksgiving.

My heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude everyday...for all our Littles...for all our Bigs...for a loving husband and Dad.

Goodbye Summer.  Welcome Fall!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Special Day...

Happy Birthday, Dad!  

You are my hero!  How lucky am I to be your daughter!  

Have you counted your admirers?....2 children and their spouses....10 grandchildren and their spouses...and....11 great grandchildren!!  I'd say that is pretty impressive! 

I hope today is a great day for you.  (Even if it isn't your day off!,). Relax, smile, and enjoy!  You are loved!!

So excited !

Have any of you seen the works of Ona Kingdom?  She is a marvelous, talented artist...and she is going to give me online lessons!!!  Am I excited??  Oh!  You bet!

Check out her link below and drool!


I am terribly behind on my "Pink Lady."   There never seems to be enough hours in the day, I'm afraid...but lucky for me, this art class can be done at my leisure.  My focus will be portraiture, and this weekend I will have LOTS of subject matter when the "Littles" visit for our end of summer get-together.

What have you planned for this, the last weekend of summer?




Monday, August 12, 2013

A Farmer I Am Not...

Well...my little garden is not doing so well.  My squash are small plants still, have the odd blossom, but no evidence of fruit.  The one and only pumpkin plant is larger than my squash, but nary a teeny pumpkin to be found. 

I had two!  TWO! Peppers from 6 plants.  

I do have tomatoes, and we have enjoyed them in salads over the past week.

Our kale is doing well and we have made kale chips twice.

Grapes we have!  They aren't ready yet, but they hold great promise if they taste as good as they look.

I believe that we will not get corn this year.  The plants are strong and tall, but devoid of cobs.

At this point in time I wonder whether I want to bother with a garden next year.  If I had to feed my family from this garden we'd starve.

I suppose, however, that birthing a garden, is like birthing a child...painful...a lot of work..messy...we all promise to never do it again.  Time passes.  We forget the agony.  Our families grow.  We plant gardens every spring.

I guess that this is a reminder to be thankful for what I have rather than mourning what I don't have.

I think I may be visiting the farmer's market this week.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What we are up to.....

I haven't visited my blog lately but I continue to visit yours! I've been feeling a little bit overwhelmed since starting to work full time night shift... Time seems in such short supply. I generally do nothing but sleep on my first day off. Today is my second day off and I am claiming it as my own!

I thought I would post pictures of my not-so-tidy garden. The first photo is what I see when I step out my door in he morning... Morning Glory! My favorite!

The next photo is where our Hummingbirds like to hang out! Fuchsia! I was given two plants on Mother's Day, and have carefully tended them since. Beautiful!

The third photo is of Glass Gem corn, planted this spring. This corn is a seed I acquired through a Native Seed organization. Once dried, the corn can be ground or popped right on the cob.

Our grape vines are loaded! I think this is what excites me most!

The tomatoes and peppers are doing well. Potatoes also seem to be doing ok if you can judge by the green foliage.

The next photo is of Kale. I will be throwing a few leaves in my smoothie this morning!

Lastly, I have included a picture of the place Papa and I love to hang out most. This, by far, has been our best purchase this summer...especially appreciated when temperatures climbed to the mid 30's! We've shared with our grandchildren when they have visited, but have yet to convince Poppy that he should give it a "go".

Well.... I' m off to do a little sketching...or painting.

Do you ever take a day just for yourself? Do you find it hard to claim a day that is solely yours?


















Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day!!



Today we saw many examples of patriotism!

The first picture is of a very brave soul who allowed me to snap her photo as she entered the grocery store.

This boat adorned with Canadian flags cruised by our home on its way to Lake Simcoe.

Elsewhere...Canada Day celebrations were underway in several small towns near us, and later this evening, the skies will be lit up with fireworks.

Closer to our front door...these Canadian Geese made their presence known to us.

We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!

Happy Birthday, Canada! We love you!





Sunday, June 23, 2013

A little on the Topic of gardening, perfection, and waste...

Has anyone heard of Ruth Stout and her garden? Google it...please.

The lady in the film must be close to 85 years. She was still gardening...her way...when this film was made. It made me cringe with shame to hear that she hadn't shopped in a grocery store in years....and with that....I went out to my garden and threw a few potatoes that were destined for the compost or garbage....into the ground.

When we first bought our home, hubby's first purchase was a rototiller. He chopped up a thousand weeds which became a thousand more, and I seriously considered never gardening again. That thought lasted until I read an article about lasagna gardening. I layered cardboard on that messy plot and was pleased that I had few weeds last year. The garden did well too!

This year I ordered Triple Mix and paid a pretty penny for it. The weeds are back, and the garden needs a tonic.

Enter Ruth Stout and her garden. She has stopped plowing.. She mulches. She produces enough food to feed two people all year long...and she uses no chemicals.

For the past several weeks I have pleaded for a potato tower. After watching her film, I went out to my garden...dug a trench...and Ruth and I planted all the potatoes. If I get a handfull of healthy, chemical free spuds this year, I will be one happy gal.

I will be mulching with gusto this year. Thanks, Ruth, you are an inspiration!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's Happening?

I haven't blogged in such a long time... We have been busy!

We welcomed another grandchild into the world yesterday. He weighed in at a hefty 9 pounds and 12 ounces! So far his mommy and daddy have not decided on a name, but we expect to hear soon!

We now have an orchard! Hubby planted two apple trees, two pear trees, and three peach trees! I am so excited! Can you tell!?

Our gardens are planted and I am...literally...watching them grow.

In the pictures below, you will see garlic which was planted last fall, and successfully sprouted this spring.

The little garden on the table has been planted by hubby. It is our kitchen garden.

In the the other brick garden there are marigolds and poppies visible, but hidden behind are carrots...and...Glass Gem corn! This corn is just too pretty to eat, but its kernels can be popped, or ground for flour.

The two largest gardens have been planted with kale, celery, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, squash, melons, and the "world's biggest pumpkin!"

So...my garden and my family have been my priority. I still visit your blogs, and will blog as often as time allows...but I confess, I just need some time to get things done.

Will hopefully be back soon...but until then...take care!














Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day, Mom...

Oh how I miss you.... You were my artistic inspiration....my cheerleader...my hero. You were my Port in any storm...my soft place to land when I needed it the most.

I dream of you often. You are running on two legs...young...happy.

Your grandchildren remind me of you....your brown eyes....your lovely skin...your sense of humour...

Dad is doing a great job of being there for my brother and I so you can rest peacefully. I know you aren't far...

Love you "big lots....."



Friday, May 10, 2013

T. H. I. N. K.

Before you speak...THINK.

T- is it TRUE?

H- is it HELPFUL?

I- is it INSPIRING?

N- is it NECESSARY?

K- is it KIND?

In this not-so-kind world, it is imperative that we practice kindness...kindness toward our neighbor...toward our work associates...toward strangers...toward friends. More than anything, we need to practice kindness at home, and we need to practice it on our family members.

"Home"...whether it be a physical structure, or the feeling that you get when you are near a loved one, should be a safe haven...a place where you and your loved ones retreat to peace, and security...and the confidence of knowing that they are appreciated and loved and valued.

It should be that place where their integrity is never questioned.

As defined by Dictionary.com..

A microcosm is...
1.
a little world; a world in miniature ( opposed to macrocosm ).
2.
anything that is regarded as a world in miniature.
3.
human beings, humanity, society, or the like, viewed as an epitome or miniature of the world or universe.

A family unit can be defined as a microcosm. There are many different personalities who reside in a family. Often dealing with these personalities can present challenges, and concerns.

So...be kind. Think the best of your family member. T.H.I.N.K. Behave in such a manner that you have no regrets.

Life is fragile. Be kind.

I

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"The Launch"

I have entered this painting into the non juried 2013 Women's Art Show in Orillia. The theme of this year's show is "Reflections."

Halen and I spent a day together at the beach last summer. I took his photograph, and was drawn to his expression... He was so deep in thought.

Watching him play in the sand at the water's edge reminded me of summers spent at Grimsby Beach, and in this scene, I saw the reflection of myself as young child, playing at the water's edge under the careful supervision of MY nana.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Meet our neighbor!

Do Llamas hibernate? I haven't seen this fellow all winter! Isn't he a fine specimen? He has one character flaw... He spits! (Or so I'm told... I don't have to be told twice!)

Have I told you how much I love this time so year?? I've just ordered Triple mix for my garden, and my two beds have been prepared for its arrival.

I had had great luck with the "lasagna method" of gardening. I layer cardboard, leaves, soil, veggie mix (sometimes) and now...Triple mix! The weeds are few, and both gardens produce well.

Every year I dream of a bigger garden, but really, I am fortunate to have the gardens I have. I just need to learn to focus on what I need to grow, and what I will use. We have added four trees to our property...two pears...and two apple.

I haven't painted in a while. I guess you'd say I am in a slump of sorts. I'm keeping busy though, using up wool, making dishcloths, and ...yes...working.

So say hello to our nameless neighbor. Don't get too close though! He spits!