Wednesday, January 28, 2015

bring help

My sisters visit me every fall. The heat of summer has mellowed by then into brisk morning air and golden afternoons. Golden, lazy afternoons when the whole world breaths more slowly.
On a September afternoon, as they sat drowsily surveying the kingdom, they noticed a squirrel hasten out of the tangle of garden and head straight for the pumpkins.
Squirrels are everywhere in the fall, gathering things and burying things.
Not pumpkins though.

Not unless they think it is really a giant nut.
A giant golden nut.
The mother lode of all mother lodes.
Sure enough, the squirrel put both paws on the pumpkin.
Couldn't roll it.
It put both front paws and then both feet on the pumpkin, spread out like a furry little starfish.
Couldn't lift it.
That pumpkin wouldn't budge.
Not even a smidge.
Why in the world would a squirrel think it could lift a pumpkin, the size of a beach ball?
It gave it a try though.
Maybe next time it'll bring help.

cool eh?

You'll NEVER guess what I saw in town yesterday!.
Right on the sidewalk as though it had just been to the pharmacy.
I'll give you some clues to see if you can guess.
It was an animal all brown and wild and famous for its teeth, or maybe its tail.
Think Canadian nickel.
It was a beaver.
A genuine Canadian beaver.

Even in the middle of town, it really wasn't far to the tangled bottom of a creek bed.
Just a few shuffles and it could slip off the sidewalk and into a maze of fallen trees and branches.
Back to water and back to work.
Pretty cool eh?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


A part of me craves routine and a part of me rebels at the mere thought of it.
The routine I crave is really the small rituals of daily life that add meaning.
I remember my in-laws when I think of this.
They always set the table a certain way.
A slow, methodically wondrous way.
They were seniors by the time I knew them.
Perhaps the slow and steady wisdom of age was partly responsible.
I loved it though.
The woven basket with slices of brown bread AND fruit bread.
The pale blue, milk glass sugar bowl, its rim worn thin by the passage of time and spoon handles.
I imagine my life is made up of similarly small ritual and routine but I just don't notice it because I'm part of the story.
It makes me think of something I read once.
A girl was complaining, "We don't have any Christmas traditions. We just do everything the same way every year."
While there is a certain comfort and even wisdom in routine and ritual, there is an equal joy and even benefit to flying by the seat of your pants, to spontaneity.
It's the balance of the two that is so individual.
Have you ever noticed that you only truly feel at home?
It doesn't mean that home couldn't be more serenely ordered, or more joyously filled with creative comforts because there is always room for change.
Change is good.
Routine is wonderful but change is good.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

solid ground

Our car stalled in traffic, our truck wouldn't start and our dishwasher spewed water onto the kitchen floor.
Oh, and our throats are scratchy too.
Trouble tends to run in packs doesn't it?

My sister is my Crisis Line.
A conversation with her brings me back from the brink.
Puts my feet on solid ground.
Sends me back into the game.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Sunrise is a limited time offer.
Watching the light climb the grand staircase of clouds is exhilarating.
A blush of apricot.
A silvered jet stream.
Trees, darkly etched against the morning sky.

Cars pull out of driveways.
A seagull sails by on arched brow wings.
And in the distance, crows fill the sky like paper blowing in the wind.

A wavering line of geese, and another.
Somewhere, the world lies frozen in winter and somewhere else, the hot hand of summer touches all.
But here in January we try to cling to all the seasons.
At the same time.
We revel in the sunlight and boast of sweater days.
We dream of snow and fly our kites above the grassy fields.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

sky aflame

Sunrise in the winter is at such a respectable time of day.
I sat before the window this morning and reveled in the changing sky. It was better than fireworks.
Distant mountains, denim blue.
Lavender clouds, edged in molten orange.
And then a great swath of orange.
Orange all above.
All around.
A sky on fire.
And on the morning breeze, a crow, and another, wheeling against the sky aflame.

want to

My last post was originally much longer.
But it didn't really say what I was feeling.
So I saved just a fragment.
It has been accusing me ever since.
It's still not right.
Not the whole truth.
The whole truth is that I'm not so sure about focus.
Sometimes my life feels like a book, and I'm at the part readers skim over.
There ARE magical things to try and I love that.
I'm grateful for that and inspired by that.
It's just that I have this feeling...

Life rushes along.
It dips and turns and bends.
Sometimes I am just hanging on for dear life.
Did I miss my corner somewhere along the journey?
Was there a signpost I didn't see?
When I was young, I always felt that something great was just within my grasp.
That my vision would clear and I would know just what I should be doing with my life.
And as I got older the feeling changed.
It felt more like compressed energy.
Like being at the starting line, waiting with every muscle tensed.....
Its not that I crave success in the traditional sense of the word.
But I want to live a life of passion.
And effort.
And focus.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I heard once that you become a master of whatever you focus on.
Whatever you focus on.
That is harder than it sounds.
There are so many magical things to try.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

wondrous whale

A wondrous denim whale is swimming about on the internet.
Its creator is a wondrously talented woman who lives in Finland. How thankful I am that she blogged about it. She generously snapped pictures of her work in progress and gave a list of tips for construction. No pattern was included because she is a creator who designs as she goes, tweaking here and snipping there. I like that.
Inspired, I rushed to the cupboard for a pair of old jeans and snipped here and tweaked there myself.

I'm going to try again. That's fine though because whales swim in pods.

My granddaughter has already suggested a beluga.

I've lost track of how many times I've thanked my mother for teaching me to sew.

P.S. Whales can't take selfies so I propped this one up on antique glass fishing floats. Just laying it on the couch made it look like a beached whale.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

to the left

I've talked about my grandfather's picture taking before. He was clicking selfies a hundred years before anyone else thought of it.
Took a bit of engineering.
He would position the camera at just the right angle, and attach a string that could be pulled once everyone had achieved the perfect pose.
His elusive dream was to capture his family gazing fondly in exactly the right direction, which meant of course, the same direction. ( AKA, the direction they had been instructed to gaze in)

I couldn't figure out what was wrong with this picture at first.
Something just seemed odd.
And that's when I noticed it.
The string is in my grandmother's hand.
She was the picture taker.
Yes, Grandma held the power.
Grandpa is gazing thoughtfully to the left.
Such a natural unposed pose.
His two little darlings are doing likewise, just as instructed.
That alone is an amazing accomplishment.
Too bad Grandma was so delighted that she forgot to look to the left too.
Her gaze, directly into the soul of the camera is so warm and happy.
It's one of my favourite pictures of her I think.

Monday, January 5, 2015

something good

I have no idea who snapped this long ago photo but I can tell we're related.
Poor thing. Blurry is my specialty too.
A combination of earnestness and speed are my undoing.
Do they make tripods on wheels?

This photo keeps drawing me back for another look....
I love it enough that I have considered painting it.
I love the angles, and the shadows, and the slendor, 1920's silhouettes.
I even love the person hunkered down in middle of the canoe in a vain effort to alter the center of gravity in their favor.
This photo is an endangered species though.
It is just the sort of picture that is overlooked when the family album is composed.
The sort of photo that would end up in the deleted file.

It was hastily snapped on a warm summer day nearly one hundred years ago.
I bet earnestness and speed were factors.
Still, I couldn't love this picture more if it were as clear as a mirror.
It tells me a story which is the hallmark of a successful photo.
It makes me FEEL something.
Something good.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

honey dew

My grandson asked for a bowl of 'honey I do' melon. Isn't that a much better name?

save the drama

Save the drama for Mama!
I laughed when I heard that line for the first time last year.
But what if Mama IS the drama?
I'm not referring to my Mama.
She has lived an exemplary life of steadfastness. Never weepy. Never moody. Never anything but sensible and calm.
Even when she was a teenager for goodness sake.
Who can measure up to that?
Well, not me, that's for sure.
My DNA has predisposed me to a certain amount of drama.
Personal drama mostly thank goodness but still more exhilarating than it needs to be.
Kind of reminds me of bike riding.
My bike is a smidge too big for me.
The frame and my own are at odds.
It's fine as long as I'm rolling along.
As long as I am balanced.
But if I need to stop in a hurry, if I need to get a foot on solid ground, perilous times ensue.
I have to hop to a stop.
I feel my life flash before my eyes.
That is never a good feeling.
That wild eyed, out of control feeling.
I felt that way as 2014 rolled up to the finish line this year.
Balance eluded me.
I felt afraid.
And wild eyed.
I did a bit of hopping and wobbling but I'm rolling along again and picking up speed.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

hot off the press

I bought a roll of Heat and Bond once. If I had taken the time to peruse the label, I would have noted that sewing over it was not recommended. In fact, dire warnings followed.
I didn't read the warnings though. Instead, I waded right in.
My poor sewing machine. It was like giving chewing gum to a puppy. When they said, No Sew, they meant it as a command.

It seemed a pity not to bond something with that roll though.
Something fabric-y.
Turned out to be perfect for card making.
Here is a little line-up of hot off the press cards.
My blithe and bonnie daughter and I started the New Year aright by creating cards together.
A grand beginning to 2015.

dance on

A little ballerina for a little ballerina.
Notice the bling?
And the pinkness?
Dance on little ballerina.