Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Year in Review...Creatively Speaking

One of the advantages to having a chronic illness, and the fatigue that goes along with it, is the amount of ‘down’ time. I spend hours spent at home, juggling periods of activity with periods of rest. I don’t sleep well, so I have many hours to fill each day, and I choose to do it creatively.

As I look back on the year, I am amazed at how productive I have been.

Immediately after Christmas last year I decided that the family crochet gift for 2015 (hats in 2013, slippers in 2014) would be mitts and matching hats. I started into the project using yarn I had on hand and donations to my stash. Some of these sets were earmarked for specific family members and some were to be for donation. By spring I had about 10 sets completed.

I also started a sweater for one of the grandkids but it is still incomplete. I hate leaving projects unfinished, it is so hard to go back and get motivated once you step away. I did finish two afghans and have two more on the go, but set aside.

The book I started in the fall of 2014 was completed, has been through some editing and is out for others to read, for feedback. I have been slack on getting back to it. Started a new book, and got momentarily waylaid with another story idea. Both have been neglected since my daughter decided to get married, and from the spring planned for a September wedding. I went into full craft mode, did the wedding bouquet, the ones for the two attendants and the two daughters. Also did some table flowers, corsages and boutonnieres for wedding party and family members.

Summer is not a good time for me, as hot weather and MS are a bad mix. Since I was home and inside, I decided to clean out and organize my craft stuff, a great deal of which had not been touched since I move two years ago. First thing I did was complete the scrapbooks I had started for the grandchildren. That gave me a lot of new space, using up the paper and photos I’d stored and then I moved everything (about 12 scrapbooks) from my place to the kids’ place.

Funny isn’t it, how the stuff one person cleans out of their place finds its way to another’s, only to be cleaned up and out once again. I found craft supplies given to me, kept because I figured I might use them, but was vicious in cleaning it out this time round.

I turned to art to fill some time. I was an artist before I became a writer, and realized I had not done any painting in a couple of years. I pulled out the bin of art papers and sorted through what had seemed, when I packed to move, impossible to part with.

I also found projects that I began many years ago. One of these was a series of art work based on the Native Phases of the Moon. I recreated this series, using some of the old, some of my amassed papers and some paint. I felt better to have this old project finished, and now I was on art mode. Here’s what I’ve accomplished since then.
1.      Mixed Media Collage about family for my daughter.
2.      Three other mixed media canvases.
3.      Three paintings on wooden canvases, two in a series.
4.      One acrylic landscape of a beach scene (not my usual thing) for my daughter.
5.      One acrylic landscape of trees for my son.
6.      A mixed media triptych for my daughter’s new home, for over the sofa.
7.      Series of three for my granddaughter’s new bedroom.
8.      A collage in a deep frame of a fancy dress (lace, ribbon, bling and paper) with a decoupaged initial for another granddaughter.
9.      Two sports frames, one hockey and one lacrosse for the grandsons.
10.  Photos of each of the kids’ families, framed.
11.  A mixed media collage about fishing for my son.
12.  And if there’s more, I can’t remember.

That used up a lot of my accumulated stuff, and I purged and reorganized as I went along. The downfall is I have no decent work space, but use the kitchen counter. Things got kind of messy and I had to choose, cook or paint, and paint won, so it was goodbye to all the effort I had made to lose some weight.

Alone time can be good. I’m trying to make my place friendlier, for someone with MS and a bad back. I’m making better use of space, have rearranged some stuff to make it more accessible.

I went gung ho in the month before Christmas, crocheting more mitts and hats (13 sets for family alone), replacement slippers for the ones my daughter wore out and a few new pairs for friends. Then there were the 14 cowl scarves for a friend’s daughter’s hockey team. That was fun. Oh yeah, and the 3 joke gifts I made for my daughter.

Is it any wonder I had to buy some pain relief patches for my hands?

I’m sure there’s more, but that is all I can think of at this sitting. All in all, I’m feeling good, productive. Now that winter has finally arrived, I hope to burrow in and get some writing done. That doesn’t take up any space in the kitchen, so I’m determined to get back to healthy eating.

I don’t think I maintained any of the resolutions I made last New Year’s, which is why I keep it a mental list. I hope to do better this year, with a big dose of creativity thrown in. After all, I’m on a roll.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Don't Forget...Free Book Offer

Don't forget, free copies of my book "Hidden Gems" are available in E format for Kindle, through amazon.

don't have a Kindle Reader? There's a free app on Amazon to allow you to download the book to your computer.

Hope you take advantage of this offer, available Dec 29th and 30th,

Losers Weepers

I live alone.

My place is very small.

So how is it that I’m losing things? I have searched and searched and some items have seemed to vanish. For example:

I have a heat bag filled with grain that can be put in the microwave and heated, to offer a few minutes of blessed relief from headaches, muscle and joint pain. Mine is long and narrow, perfect to place around my neck, or drape over my knee. It’s always close, but for a couple of weeks now, lost.

I remember going out the door last month, checking the mail, and saw it was the phone bill. I took it inside, set it down...somewhere, and went on my way. I have never seen it since, and believe me I’ve looked. I paid on line and all is well, the new one arrived the other day.

I planned to make binders for the grandkids, for their Lego instruction sheets. I bought the binders, filled them with plastic sleeves and then looked for all the Lego stuff I had cut out to make a collage for the front covers. (I seem to make everything more complicated). Can’t find those papers anywhere.

Today, I couldn’t find my charger, the one I use for my Kindle. All my chargers and electronic stuff, and my camera, are stored in a basket on the bookcase. Obviously, I didn’t put it back where it belonged. If I don’t find it, it would be just my luck to have it quit when I’m just about to find out ‘who-done-it’ in the book I’m reading.

I hate “misplacing” things which is why I try to be organized. I have twenty some odd photo boxes stacked on the shelf in my storage closet with all (OK, to be honest, only some) of my craft supplies. Things like glass paint, fabric paint, colored pencils, ribbon x3, collage stuff, get the idea.

I also have one of those plastic towers with nine drawers. I had never seen a tall one like this, bought mine at Staples many years ago. Each drawer is labeled, and I am usually very good at putting stuff away. From the top: Tape, glue, glue guns, staplers, scissors, other cutting tools, rulers and measuring tapes, tools and one for assorted junk (everybody needs a junk drawer).

I have a couple of other ones, not as tall, with fewer and deeper drawers that keep all my art supplies. As I do mixed media collage, the supplies run from stencils to things that make texture like cheese cloth, bubble wrap, sea sponges and tissue paper.

I’ve been cleaning out, using up supplies, feeling good about making something creative out of the stuff, honest again, the stuff I’ve been hoarding. And as much as it pains me, I’m not amassing more, being more cautious in what I keep for that one moment, that ‘just in case I need it’ scenario.

Now that the holidays are winding down, I’ll get back into a routine, and purge some more. I badly need to clean, and always seem to approach it like spring cleaning. Too often I get waylaid by some new project using something uncovered that inspires me to create.

What can I say, that’s always been my way. Though my place has never reached the spotless stage, I have created some works of art I’m proud of.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Free Book Offer

My book "Hidden Gems" is being offered free on December 29th and 30th.

It's in E format for Kindle, available through Amazon. If you don't have a Kindle reader there is an Amazon app that allows you to download to your computer.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. All the best for the New Year.

Here's the link.

Sunday, 27 December 2015


The holidays always leave me confused as to the day and date. Christmas felt like a Saturday, so Boxing Day was a Sunday and today I got up thinking it had to be Monday, garbage day. Wrong.

This confusion made me think of words from a song, "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered".

Thought I'd share the Rod Stewart and Cher version. The song is from about 1940, and has been sung by many greats, like Ella Fitzgerald, over the years. It's a soft, quiet bit of music to give me a moment's peace until I can get my head around to what day it is.

Same thing will happen over New Year's. I should just grab my books and burrow down in the comfort of my bed until all is normal again. But is it ever normal, anymore?

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Feels Good to be Needed

I received an early morning call today that caught me awake but not up and active.

"What are you doing calling me so early?" I asked.

She needed advice, some turkey talk.

I haven't done the official holiday meal in at least fifteen years. You know what I mean, the turkey, stuffing and all the works. My kids have taken over the meal plan for the holidays, and I am assigned to dessert detail.

Today's question was whether she could cook the turkey early, carve it and still keep the meat moist and warm to eat later in the day. Of course, whatever makes the day easier and stress free.

Those of us who are the older generation, remember the Norman Rockwell painting of the father at the head of the table carving the turkey. I have never seen that done, carving was always done in the kitchen and a platter of turkey brought to the table.

Doing some of this ahead of time makes the rest of the meal preparation easier, and some of the cleanup.

More time to visit, which is what the holiday is all about.

But it was so nice to be asked for help, to be the Mom whose advice the kids still need. There, I had one of my Christmas presents already.

Here are a couple of modern remakes, for a laugh.

Out on the Town

I know that many women, when they are getting ready to go out, put on makeup, and do their hair.

I have a collection of make up, from years past, but I never bother with it much anymore. I dragged out my stuff as today is an important gathering for the holiday.

I guess the reason I let the makeup go is my "get ready" routine is a little different. I put the heat patch on my lower back, the Voltaren ointment on my knee, and the smaller heat patches on my hands and wrists under my arthritic glove, depending on how bad my hands are.

Not glamorous, but still a Feeling Good kind of thing.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Ornaments on a Tree

A few years ago I had this brilliant idea, not to say that it was the only ‘brilliant’ I’ve ever had, more implying, in my own sarcastic way, that it might not have been all that bright of an idea.

I have this fixation on leaving my grandchildren something more tangible than just memories. I remembered how, when my kids were small, I started to buy them a Christmas ornament every year, a start for their tree once they left home. It was a late start, so their collection was not that extensive.

When the grandchildren count was up to four, I decided to do the same for them. This time though, I was going to make the ornaments, to make them more of a keepsake.

I went back to the beginning, to my first grandchild, and made an ornament for each of her first three years. Each one was dated, some had pictures. A second granddaughter was born and now I was making two each year, for the next three years. Another granddaughter followed, then a grandson the year after and the count was four.

This lasted another three years and then, surprise, surprise, another granddaughter and grandson, born a month apart and the count is up to six.

Four years ago I had some health issues and never made another ornament, until this year. I have managed to create the ornaments for 2011, 2012, and 2013. One more set and I’m up to date. I’ve decoupaged, painted and sewed. And then there were the glass balls I bought for last year and never used, filled with goodies from my beads and baubles stash.

By the time I stopped (for a spell) in 2010, I had created 42 ornaments. This month it was six ornaments times three, and then by seven as I gained a new granddaughter through marriage.

It’s cutting it close, but I may still get the ornaments done for 2015.

I realize now I should have planned this whole thing out better. First I would have set a deadline, like maybe ten each, but then how do I stop for one when I’m still doing for another. Better to just decide on a year, and that’s it, over and done.

I also wish I had picked a theme, and made all the ornaments of the same style, like rustic or country, which suits my family more than anything like Victorian. But it’s too late now; they have a mish-mash of ornaments, theirs to do with as they wish.

Odds are good they’ll remember me for doing this, at least once a year. I can hear them now. “What the hell was she thinking, making all these weird ornaments?”

Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.

Merry Christmas, kids. Love you all.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

House Work

I'll admit I'm not the best housekeeper. I have good intentions but...some creative effort always gets in the way.

I try to make Mondays a 'for sure' house work day. That is mainly because I start the day by putting the garbage out, and it just makes sense to continue the cleanup.

Good intentions, right? It's time to think about New Year's Resolutions, and again, housework will be on my list.

I'm a great one for what I call Make Work Projects. Like last week, when I had a couple of the grandkids here. I printed off some coloring pages, then printed off more for them to color as a gift to their parents. Then it was how we could use those pages and next thing I know, I'm going to the dollar store and back home to spend the rest of the day, finalizing 'their' gift. Like I said, make work.

So when I saw this handy household hint, I had to share. Like I don't have enough work to do, now I'm supposed to wash my crochet hooks?

Sticky hooks will have to wait, if I don't soon get the laundry done I'll be in tough times. Prioritizing, that's the key.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Inked Out

I should have known something strange was going to happen when I saw the eerie color of the sky late that afternoon. There was this otherworldly feeling, more than the glow of a setting sun. The sky was dark, and if it hadn’t been so mild I wouldn’t have been surprised to wake the next morning to a blanket of snow.

Hours after the sun left us in the dark of night, strange things began to happen. I was wrapping presents and as I wrote the gift tag, my pen ran out of ink. I grabbed another sitting by my laptop, and it too ran empty. (2)

I remember, and it must have been a fore warning, that my beautiful Cross pen, a gift from a friend, had run out of ink the night before (3) as I was writing my lists and notes, catching up with my Christmas journal. I couldn’t find another pen that worked among the three pens in my bedside table. (6)

I had made a holder that drapes over the side of my chair, to hold the remotes...and a small pencil case. Three pens and a Sharpie in the case didn’t work. (10) What is going on here?

I love pens, have been known to pick up freebie pens whenever I can to add to my stash. And I have pens everywhere, for you never know when inspiration will strike and you need to write something down. Since most of my usual pen places were letting me down, I went to the cupboard where I have a mug from my old desk, filled with pens and pencils. Three promos and a Bic, all out of ink, or not working at any rate. Now the count is (14).

I finally found a neon green promo pen from Durham College that would write. I also found a Papermate and two cheapies from the dollar store that worked.

I could go to bed, feeling safe and secure that if inspiration struck in the middle of the night I would actually have a pen to make notes.

The next day I replenished my stock. The pencil case is full of new pens, as is the bedside table, and the table with my laptop is similarly equipped.

A little OCD you might think, and I’d agree. But every writer I know loves paper, and loves pens. The fear is always to come up with the perfect word, the perfect phrase...and not be able to write it down.

Just in case, I think I’ll add some pencils, and a sharpener, to my pen stashes. You just never know, and if inspiration strikes, I want to be prepared.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Message on a Mug

It is so nice to have a friend who truly understands you. I had lunch with such a friend yesterday.

We worked together for almost a decade, then lost contact when I left the job, left the city. A few years ago we reconnected on Facebook. Now, when we can, we meet for lunch at a designated spot, a half way point between where we each live.

We met yesterday and exchanged Christmas gifts, and hers to me was perfect. It made me laugh and gave me a good feeling that someone knows me so well...and likes me anyway.

Aside from our nursing career, we have writing in common. We often spend our time together discussing our various projects and the problems we might be having with our writing. Amazing the plot twists that can be worked out once verbalized and bantered back and forth.

A few years ago, she was writing a crime story, complete with a detective, a serial killer and a bit of witchcraft. I was working on a novel about a woman who discovers she was adopted, after the death of her adoptive parents. We were both using the library for research, and laughed about what the librarians must have thought about the books we signed out.

Her librarian might have feared she was going to go on a killing spree, and my librarian might have figured I was looking for a child I had given up, or I was searching for my birthparents.

I do most of my research on the internet, and will admit I have an extremely diverse browsing history. Everything from World War II battles and adoptions, to how to do a choke hold. And then there is PTSD and the care and housing of homing pigeons. Like I said, diverse.

You just never know where a story will take you, which is why I love the gift my friend gave me and will give it a place of honor on my Keurig coffee maker, ready to inspire, to make me laugh and to fill with my next cup of brew.

Thank you, Connie

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Blame it on Genetics

My son’s two children were here for awhile this afternoon so their parents could do some ‘kid-free’ Christmas shopping.

I know this ten year old boy is a country music fan, and I admit, I like it too, but my taste runs is more for the older stuff from 10 years or so ago. I have quite a collection of Brooks and Dunn, Faith Hill, Reba and Tim McGraw. Those are the most well known names, the ones he recognized, as he likes this ‘older’ country, too. (Older country for me was always Patsy Cline, so for the music I like to be old is too funny).

I never play music at home; my background noise has always been the television. I bought a new DVD player, hoping to change this but it sits on the shelf collecting dust, as does my collection of CDs. I change them around, in the car, as that’s the only place I listen, where I can jack the sound up real loud.

So before he left today I went through the CDs and gave him a selection, told him he could keep them, and he was thrilled.

His Dad asked what was going on and his son showed him the CDs. “Country?” he exclaimed, looking at his son as if he’d grown two heads. Shaking his own head he looked at me and said “he likes country, I don’t get it.”

I have to laugh as I did the same with my son in his younger days, but my questions were “Heavy Metal? Hard Rock?”

Maybe it’s a genetic trait, and my grandson and I are the norm, my son the odd man out.

Here’s one country song for a father and son I think he'll appreciate.

This one didn't seem to open, so I found another.

And this is why the kid likes Brad Paisley.

Size Does Matter

People say that size doesn’t matter, but we all know it does, depending on what one is measuring. There’s an old joke about big feet, big...naughty, naughty, naughty, not what I was referring to at all. I was thinking more of the following examples.

In money amounts: the dollar amount in your bank account, the amount owing on your credit card. Then there’s your hourly wage earned or outstanding mortgage, or even cash in your pocket.

Then there’s appearance: weight for women is always an issue, just as height is for a man. Some things never change.

How about the weather? Amount of predicted rain or snow, and let’s not forget the scales used to measure the force of a tornado or hurricane.

Funny, what inspired this whole thought process was the cap on my bottle of water. I find the cap hard to open as it is so narrow, barely 5/16ths of an inch. Not usual for many products is the fact that the bottle is filled right to the top, and the plastic used is so very thin. Every time I struggle to open the bottle I squeeze it and once the cap is off I splash myself with water.

I go through this every morning with the bottle of water I keep at my bedside, and use to take my morning pills. I have to find a new system.

Back to things where size matters, how could I forget the fishermen? In any good fisherman’s tale it was always the big one that got away.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Quality of Television

I know I don’t have the classiest taste in television shows, not a lot of History Channel or National Geographic in my viewing. But this morning, while lazing in bed (I seem to do a lot of that) I was flipping through the channels and was amazed at the number of shows offered that are, well, in my lowly opinion, crap.

And I realize that sounds strange from this admitted crime show junkie. I have the television on for background noise, and watch/listen to crime shows one after another. And as I write murder stories, maybe I’m the strange one.

I just don’t get some of these reality shows as they seem to highlight the worst of our society. I know my crime shows are too often based in reality, but they are made up, make believe, a well-crafted story.

I suppose you could say the same for the reality shows as there are many made up parts, for the drama, for the ratings.

There was this show I saw on the listing today, ‘Lauren Lake’s Paternity’. It was about a man demanding a paternity test for the child he has with his fiancĂ©e, as he felt she’d cheated on him and he wanted his ring back. Much the same kind of show as Jerry Springer, Maury, and the Steves...Wilkos and Harvey.

Then there are the court comes the judge. Judge  Mathis, Judge Judy and Justice with Judge Mablean.

Self help, there’s Doctor Oz and Doctor Phil.

And the talk shows...The View, The Chat, The Talk and The Social. Also the ones with one headliner like Ellen Degeneres, Meredith Vierra and Wendy Williams, not to forget the most famous of all Oprah.

If I don’t stick with my crime shows I go to a happier place like the Food Network for all that cooking or HGTV for home and decorating.

I suppose all these reality shows are examples for people to grab their five minutes of fame, but does it have to come because they lie, and cheat and aim to win all cost.

But, I get it. Sex sells. Why else would there be a show called ‘Naked Dating’?

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


With the 29 views today, my blog has reached a new level, 10,000 page views.

The number one viewing country is by far the United States, followed by Canada, Russia, Germany and France.

I have made 438 posts, 439 now with today. Thank you to everyone for reading, it means a lot.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Painted Rocks

My grandchildren are very fortunate to have a babysitter who spends time with them doing crafts, encouraging their creativity. Their efforts are frequently posted on Facebook for all to see.

One day they did painted rocks, and though the stones were very colourful, they were very simple. When the kids visited me the next time I showed them the painted rocks I had found on Pinterest. They immediately asked if I would paint rocks for them, but unfortunately, the rocks we found were not good for painting.

I was playing on Pinterest today and found this picture of rocks painted to look like dogs. I loved the caption where the person wanted to make some, and leave them on the path where she walks, imagining the result when another walker finds them.

This reminded me of the time I painted pavers with my granddaughter. I had a supply of the odd shaped pavers as the patio at my apartment building had been torn up to make space for a new deck. We painted them to look like snowmen and I made toques and a scarf for them.

For the next few years the snowman I made was in the lobby of my building as a doorstop. My granddaughter made a snowman too, and one to look like her Dad, dressed in camo, his favorite color. It sits by the wood stove all these years later.

I feel the urge to paint rocks. It will have to wait until after Christmas, and if I plan to do it I had better take a quick turn along the beach boardwalk, for too soon my chance of finding rocks will be lost under ice and snow.

Just what I need, another project. But, if it makes the grandkids happy, I’m all for it.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Laundry and the Lint

Off kilter of late, I didn’t post at all last week, seemed to be a bit on the brain dead side. Then I went and did my laundry.

There is one common laundry room for my complex, so you never know who you might meet in the laundry room, or what you might find. Last night I met a neighbour I’d never seen before.

We were pulling our clothes out of the washers at the same time, tossing everything in the dryers. She checked the lint screens before starting the dryer. That’s something I usually do after, not before. I guess I’m more trusting that the person before has been responsible enough to do it. When she found both of the lint screens full in the dryers she was using, I checked mine and found we were 3 out of 4 dryers where the screens had not been cleaned.

As she was leaving she commented that it must have been one of the men. I had to laugh as that had been my thought too, but I hadn’t said it. I don’t mean to be disparaging about men and their ability to do laundry, what has through the ages been thought of as “woman’s work”. I know the men in my family do laundry, dishes, and windows and floors.

I’m not a very good housekeeper, something I learned from my mother. Sorry, Mom. We both had the belief that creativity came before neatness. After all, it’s sometimes hard to be creative and neat at the same time.

My place is a mess, and as this is garbage day, my day to clean up. I have made a start, and then sat to enjoy my coffee. I’ll get back to it, as I’ve put the painting on the back burner until after the holidays. I have too many Christmas projects to finish.

Thinking about my Mom, and laundry, I remembered a funny story. My Mom was living in Florida at the time, and her laundry room was in a small room off the carport, separate from the house. She was having trouble with the dryer; found it wasn’t drying very well.

I was visiting and checked it out. When I pulled the lint screen out, which was very inconveniently located at the back of the machine (out of sight, out of mind) I found the screen full of fluff, matted into layers more than an inch thick.
I had to figure she’s never checked the lint screen in all the time she’d been there, as a woman living alone, she didn’t have that much laundry. How she’s never had a fire I’ll never know.

So, it’s not a gender issue at all. And I apologize for thinking it had to be a man who was negligent in cleaning the lint screens.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Christmas Comes Earlier Every Year

I’m not really a Bah Humbug, Scrooge kind of person, but my Christmas spirit is annoyed.

Why? Because a good portion of my regularly scheduled television shows have been preempted for Christmas movies since November 1st. No sooner was the last Trick or Treat called out then we had a complete switch from orange and black to red and green.

I like to see a bit of a break between holidays, and personally don’t think of any holiday activities like decorating the house and tree, until after the American Thanksgiving. Then the month of December is wide open for any and all celebrations.

None of my usual Christmas movies will be on until closer to the holiday. The old favorites, like White Christmas, The Bells of St Mary’s and Holiday Inn are losing favor in place of Home Alone, Elf and The Grinch.

My Dad’s favorite holiday movie was an old black and white starring Bing Crosby called Going My Way. It was our family tradition. I haven’t seen it in years, and should see if I can find it in a DVD sale bin.

Funny, as I was thinking about this I thought about how different the times were. When I was a kid, in those olden days, there was no way to ‘own’ a copy of your favorite movie. If it didn’t come on TV, you were out of luck.

As I’m the kind of person who likes to watch my favorites over and over again, I’m fortunate to be able to take advantage of DVDs and my DVR.

I may have my presents wrapped, for the most part, but that is only to keep me organized and gave me an opportunity to see what I’ve purchased and to check all the cupboards for what I had hidden.

I’ll wait a few more weeks to go to the mall, to see the decorations, listen to the carols and finish that last minute shopping. Meanwhile my DVR is getting a workout replacing those movies with my favorite shows. I’m just not in the mood yet for all that peace, love and goodwill.

On a scale of 1 to 10 on the Scrooge ‘O Meter, I’m at an eight.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Dream Speak

I woke up early this morning, looked outside, saw another cold and rainy day and decided to go back to bed. I turned the television on and snuggled in, and fell sound asleep.

I sometimes have these weird dreams, confusing because there is a touch of reality mixed in with the unreality of the dream. That happened this morning.

I was dreaming I was in a laundry room. Go figure.

At any rate, I was doing my laundry, stuffing clothes into a second machine. I’m searching for laundry soap, feeling some pressure to add it before the cycle starts. The detergent is on the first machine which belongs to my Mom, and I sort through all the bottles looking for the right one.
My Mom has been gone a long time, and I figure she had a role in this dream because her attitude to laundry was the same as mine. Do it when you run out of clothes. (Thanks for visiting Mom, love you, miss you).
Back to the dream, I add the soap and go to a third machine. In that machine, smaller than the others, I stuff a comforter. Don’t know what color it is as I seem to dream in black and white.

I drop the lid on that third machine and go back to the second, as I left the lid up and there seems to be a problem. That’s when things get really weird. The washing machine spoke to me.

“What do you want to do about it?”

The machine was talking to me, and I look in the tub, trying to find out where the voice is coming from. What the hell is going on? There’s more conversation but I can’t remember as I suddenly wake up.

The conversation was on the television. I’m relieved that my dreams are not totally out of whack. The laundry bit I understand, as that was one of my last thoughts going to bed, that I needed to get the wash done. The laundry basket is sitting on my floor yet to be done, reminding me.

So, today is laundry day. I think my Mom was telling me to get my ass out of bed and get my chores done.

It started my day with a laugh and a loving memory, can’t ask for more than that.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

On the Highway of Heroes

On this Remembrance Day, I want to share something I wrote a few years ago.

The Highway of Heroes, you really had to experience it first hand to fully understand the impact, I'm glad I was fortunate to have the opportunity to pay my respects.


            I went and stood on a bridge one night.
I stood, one person, part of a crowd and yet alone. All of us watching the ebb and flow of traffic from a Highway 401 overpass. We were facing east, the sky a summer blue becoming more pink and gold as day faded to evening. No one interested in the panorama of nature’s beauty behind us.
            I stood alone and waited, listening to the sounds about me. Some people spoke in quiet conversation, some stood silent and serious, alone with their feelings.
            I could hear the traffic as it passed beneath the bridge. Drivers on the highway acknowledged those standing on the bridge by flashing their lights and honking their horns. Those standing vigilance on the bridge are there to recognize the fallen soldiers and are in turn recognized by the drivers as they motored on their way.
            The 172 kilometer stretch of the 401 Highway in Ontario, from CFB Trenton to Toronto, has officially been renamed the Highway of Heroes in remembrance of Canada’s fallen soldiers. In their long and final journey home the bodies of soldiers killed in the line of duty are expatriated to CFB Trenton and then transferred to the Toronto Centre for Forensic Sciences.  Each and every one of these soldiers, killed in Afghanistan since Canada’s mission began there in 2002, have traveled along that same route, along that same highway.
            This has created a unique opportunity for those of us who live along that route, along that
highway. The opportunity to show our support for the troops and to pay our respects to the soldiers who lost their lives in service to their country. It is an opportunity and a responsibility, for it’s as if those of us who live in this small portion of Ontario are standing for all Canadians, from all corners of the country.
            Residents, police officials and firefighters gather on 401 overpasses along the route, as the motorcade carrying the bodies of the soldiers killed in Afghanistan, makes its way to the coroner’s office in Toronto.
            I don’t know how long we stood in wait that day but suddenly I could sense a change in the mood of the crowd. There was no further conversation as the highway seemed to empty. All I could see was a long line of headlights led by Ontario Police vehicles, their lights flashing but their sirens silent until they reached the overpass. The motorcade drove on in eerie silence. As it passed we all turned to watch it continue on its way west until it disappeared into the setting sun.
            The crowd silently dispersed, heading north and south off the bridge, to cars parked along the road. As I walked the distance to my car I noticed the number of license plates with the red poppy veteran’s insignia. Soldiers from a different time, survivors from a different war, come to pay their respects to fallen soldiers from this time and this battle.
            I fight back tears, as did many, in the walk from the bridge, thinking of the families of these brave soldiers. I wonder if they can feel the outpouring of respect and support from all the people lined up, bridge after bridge along the highway. I hope they feel some sense of comfort from these strangers and hope they feel a little less alone along their journey.
            I have stood on that bridge in a winter storm when the air was so cold, the wind so harsh that I could no longer feel my hands or feet. The repatriation ceremony was delayed and our wait became painfully long but no one left the bridge, no one gave up to seek shelter and warmth because we had not yet done what we had come there to do.
            I have stood on that bridge and cried, the procession passing under the overpass, as a piper played Amazing Grace.
            I stood on that bridge and watched as a military vehicle, traveling east to CFB Trenton, pulled off the highway and three soldiers made their way up to the bridge. They shook the hand of every person, thanking us on behalf of all the military personnel.
            I have stood on that bridge with the mother, sister and friends of soldiers stationed overseas, all of them there to pay their respects…and hoping never to see the view of the bridge from a military motorcade.
            And on one cold winter day I stood and watched as the procession approached, and saw a hand, covered in a red mitten,  extend out the window of the limousine to wave in acknowledgment to those of us on the bridge.
            There is always some small occurrence to make each time on the bridge unique and yet the feelings of sadness, of respect and of pride are always the same.

Monday, 2 November 2015

By Male Design

I think there are certain things in this world that men design, for their personal pleasure or without thought for others.

Take stiletto heels. Only a man could design such a thing. And why, because they like how the heels make a woman’s legs look, and how they make her ass jiggle when she walks. I didn’t think of that by myself, but read it in some work of fiction, and thought it fit.

There is this other thing that I believe had to be designed by a man, that would look and function so much different...if a man had to routinely clean it. Of course, I mean the toilet.

Who would design such a thing and make it so hard to clean? Why has no one ever looked at this and made it easier. Vacuums have undergone a lot of design changes to make cleaning floors easier, why not toilets? Maybe we should ask that Dyson guy to turn his attention to toilets.

I come at this rant because I got hurt cleaning my toilet. I usually make do with a simple sweep, but the other day I needed to do better. I don’t do this as often as I should because getting down on my hands and knees is difficult with my bad back and wrecked knee. But I tried.

I got down on my knees, leaned down to clean at that space under the tank, and smashed my head into the corner of the cabinet door. Goose egg, bruise and cut. And I hadn’t even gotten to the floor yet.

I hate housework, I hate housework, I hate housework.

And apparently housework is dangerous to my well being.

Friday, 30 October 2015

When an Actor Dies, so Does his Character

Here it is, October, 2015. Last night I watched an episode of the television show Rizzoli and Isles where one of their squad had died and they suffer the loss of one of their own.

This was not the case of a character being ‘killed off’, as often happens given story lines or actors who want to move on from a certain role. The actor, in this role, died suddenly. This is shocking, and affects the actors in the show both personally and professionally.


I’m sure many of you remember when John Ritter died so suddenly in 2003,while starring in his hit television sitcom. It changed everything about that show, as he was in the pivotal role.

Ralph Waite
Strangely enough, Sasha Alexander, who plays the part of Maura Isles, was once a character on NCIS named Kate Todd She was killed by a terrorist wanting to cause Gibbs pain and torment by killing his team of investigators. I remember the episode as I had not heard any chatter that this character was being written out, and the death was shocking with the surprise.

They also suffered a real loss on that show, when Ralph Waite, the actor, died. He played Gibbs father in a recurring role. I liked that they waited until the final show that season to say goodbye and ended with his funeral. It was tastefully done, and was a fitting goodbye, to the man many of us remember as being the father from Walton’s Mountain.

Back to Rizzoli and Isles. It is very sad that the 29 year old actor, Lee Thompson Young, committed suicide in August 2013. He played Detective Barry Frost in this very successful television drama.

As the show airs on TNT, what I watch is always a year out of date. So Season 4 ended with his character off on vacation, and his character was not dealt with until the first 2 episodes of Season 5. It gets very confusing as a new 6th season aired on TNT in June and the come-from-behind 5th season on regular television this fall. And then there are all the episodes in syndication.

I have found it disconcerting to watch episodes with this young actor, knowing he is no longer with us, and knowing he hid his troubles and felt so despondent that he ended his own life.

His character, while off on vacation, was fatally killed in a car accident. The episode I just watched showed the squad reeling from the loss, and planning his funeral. I was getting some of the dates and such from various web sites and read some comments on this show. There was some discussion that the by having the character die in this manner, the show lost an opportunity to deal with the issue of suicide.

That may be correct, but as the show was airing after a time lag, it would have lost some of the impact. If they wanted to address the pain of suicide, it might better be done with a different story line, and not one of the regular cast.

The grief the actors portrayed would have been real, and I can’t imagine the strength it required to 'act out' their loss. For myself, I’m glad it’s now out in the open, so to speak. I hated watching each episode, waiting to see when it would be written it and over.

But it will never be over. Suicide leaves the survivors with too many questions, never to be answered, and a lifetime of guilt and regret.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

An Autumn Storm

I went to bed early last night, the news warning of a storm to hit this morning. I was lazy, stayed in bed late, still tired, but content to lie and listen to the rain.

When I heard the creak of my mailbox, which meant I had mail, I left the warmth of my bed, dressed and checked to see what was happening with the world.

The rain had let off, for the moment, but the wind had not. The sound of it was like the roar of a train, the trees moving, not in any gentle sway, but more as if in battle. I picked up my mail, another bill, and felt concern for my friend who is also my mailperson. She’s tough, and as fit as can be, but I’m glad it’s not me walking house to house in this weather.

As I write this I can hear the storm pick up, the rain beating down, and the skies so grey it feels like twilight rather than middle of the morning.

As much as I love fall, I dread the change of this season, because winter has no choice but to follow.

When I was in the store the other day I saw these cleat things that strap on your shoes, to give you traction on the ice and snow, and had a sense of dread.

This year I’m going to weather the weather better. I’m going to give myself a project, once the holiday season is over, and keep myself busy and productive. It’s a plus for me that I have many creative pursuits so I never feel bored, it’s more that I don’t have enough time for all that I want to do.

If someone picks me up for grocery shopping and the occasional trip to Walmart, I’ll make it through the winter. Today it feels closer, like those beautiful fall days are over and November will be a test of the months to come.

But then I read a blurb that stated this winter might be the warmest in the last 18 years.

My mind works in a strange way, words of an old Girl Guide song came to mind as I was about to write about the unpredictability of the weather. I’ll leave you with the first verse. (None of that second verse, same as the first stuff. Boy, my mind is back at camp, but it makes me laugh on a rainy day.)

As we trek along together,
As we trek along,
Let us sing this song together,
Let us sing this song.
Love, life, laughter, sorrow
Who knows what comes tomorrow,
Who knows and who cares,

As we trek along.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Car Window Decals

 Decals for the back windows of cars have become a popular thing, not my thing, but to each their own. They can be kind of amusing. When I find myself behind a decorated car, I always look to see what makes up that particular family. There’s usually a Mom and Dad, and an assortment of kids in various genders and ages, plus the family pets.

Some people obviously find these stickers annoying, but this is going too far.

Some decals are very funny, and if I were to get one, this would be it.

But the one I love the most, and that is both heartwarming and very honest, is the following.

You see and hear a lot about Rescue Animals, and if I could, I’d rescue one myself. My brother was a Cat Socializer at the Humane Society, and became a Cat Rescuer when he took Vinny home to his forever home.

It was a good thing, for everyone concerned.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Rumor About Goodwill

There was a posting on Facebook last week warning people about the charities they might be donating to. It listed about five of these so-called charities, and gave the annual income of their CEOs. Some of these people make an incredible salary, for what are supposed to be non-profit organizations.

The problem with social media is that anyone can write something up and post it. We read it and believe the information to be true. I was curious about this list of charities. I collected for Unicef as a child, as did my children. Another one, the March of Dimes is well known. The United Way is big in my community with numerous fund raisers throughout the year.

What caught my eye on the list was Goodwill. That organization has been around for a long time. The post on Facebook stated it was privately owned by a Mark Curran, and he makes something like 2.5 billion dollars a year by selling donated items and paying his employees less than minimum wage.

I knew that could not be correct, that Goodwill could not possibly be run as a for-profit business. So I did some research. There were many references to this posting, including one that said Mark Curran is the Sheriff of Lake County, Illinois and has no association with Goodwill.

Goodwill Industries Int. Inc. is an American non-profit 501 organization that provides job training, employment placement services and other community based programs for people with disabilities. It was founded in 1902, by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and an early social innovator.

Rev. Helms implemented the idea of collecting used household goods and clothing from wealthier area, then trained and hired those who were poor or disabled to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold.

The system worked and the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out’ was born. Yes, the organization is worth billions, but it is a non-profit charitable organization. Their mission remains creating jobs, providing work opportunities and training for people, helping them to realize their potential.

There are 165 community based agencies in the U.S. and Canada, with affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill channels 82% of its revenue directly into its programs and services.

I don’t know where this kind of disinformation comes from, or why someone would wish to spread such lies. Is the purpose to create unrest among the population, to make us doubt those agencies that do good work?

It makes me reluctant to ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ anything I see unless I knew it to be true. Rumors can be a hurtful thing whether they are spread about one person, a group or, in this case, an organization.

And so ends today’s lecture.

An Eye Catching Memory

After my Dad died, before she moved to Florida, my Mom and I spent a lot of time together. Something that happened to me last night reminded me of one of those times.

We were watching the Grey Cup, for sentimental reasons, on my part. It’s not that she wasn’t also sentimental about it, but she might actually have liked the game, I did not.

The sentiment comes in because my father played in a number of Grey Cup finals, winning at least one, as a member of the Toronto Argonauts Football Team.

That day, we watched a good portion of the game on the television in the ER waiting room.

My Mom had beautiful hands, and most often had long nails, polished in red. That day she had scratched at her eye, and unwittingly scratched the eyeball, causing some bleeding in the white part of the eye.

We only knew it happened when she turned to me and I saw this scary red eyeball. Concerned she might have scratched the cornea, we went to the ER. I remember she had drops and an eye patch for a few days after.

This morning I was up, in and out of the bathroom without turning on the light, or looking in the mirror. I got the garbage out, fiddled around and worked on the painting that is my current project.

When I went to the bathroom, still without turning the light on, (I live alone and leave the light off as I leave the door open), I did a quick glance in the mirror and saw this dark spot on my face. I assumed it was paint. On closer look, I saw my left eye was puffy, and the underside purple, like a black eye. What the hell?

I vaguely remember my eye bothering me last night, when I was in bed, reading, and I must have rubbed it, harder than I thought. My eye still feels funny, so I may have to have it checked if it’s not better tomorrow. But I enjoyed the memory of my Mom, and miss her as much as ever.

Maybe I’ll watch the Grey Cup this year, just being sentimental, you know. 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Too Funny

This is just too funny not to share.

My daughter and I were sitting in my car, and somehow, not sure why because I don’t follow this kind of thing, were indulging in a moment of celebrity gossip. The topic was Lamar Odom, and his unfortunate bad luck to collapse, and let’s be honest here, in a whore house.

We hear a voice from the back seat...oops...forgot younger ears were in the vicinity. She had obviously been listening, and had a question. “Was it at the Fantasy Farm?”

“What?” her mother returned. She was wondering what her daughter knew about the ‘ranch’ where the Odom incident occurred.

“Was it at the Fantasy Farm?”

“What?” we asked again. We were still in a bit of shock, denial?

“The Horror House. Was it at the Fantasy Farm?” the kid repeated, her brow furrowed, wondering at the sanity of this older generation.

“Oh, horror,” we laughed. “No, it was at a different one, someplace else, not at the Fantasy Farm.”

Saved once again.

Friday, 16 October 2015

October Art

I’ve been in this art mood for awhile now, and want to do a large canvas, want to try something...big...and loose...and sort of free.

So I invested in two larger canvases and have been staring at them for days. I might be better going back to oils, as acrylics dry so fast. A plus in many ways, but a negative when trying to blend colors on the canvas.

I am an abstract painter, more into mixed media. This means I use paint, acrylics again, with paper, stencils, photos and whatever strikes the mood. Not a lot of drawing, and nothing realistic. I tend to textures and a variety of paper. This works perfect for the medium size canvases I use, but I wanted to try something different.

You’d think, being an abstract artist that my work would be free, in the moment, and in a way it is. What I wanted to do was some large, swing that paintbrush, slap on the paint, wild kind of thing. But I think it’s just not me.

I tried the recipe for homemade Gesso, and applied it to the larger of the new canvases, but that’s was as far as I’d progressed...until last night.

I find the gesso gives the canvas a rough feel, not really textured, but enough of a coating that it grabbed the paint, and I had very little slip and slide. I usually start by covering most of the canvas in paper, and when using matte medium, the paint moves around differently. So far, I’m not impressed, with me, not the gesso.

Thought I’d share my efforts for the last month, until I get to the really big one.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

When Artists Meet

Whenever I’m in the dollar store, I feel compelled to check out the craft section, not that I’m in need of anything, but because you never know what you might find.

As I walked down the aisle, I saw a young boy, about seven or eight years old, sorting through the stack of artist canvases. Not something you’d expect, not when there’s another aisle dedicated to toys.

“Are you doing some painting,” I asked.

He picked up a 16x20 inch canvas and tucked it under his arm. “I’m doing a painting for Halloween,” he informed me. “I’ve done eight already.”

“What kind of paint are you using?” I asked.

He stepped to the side and pointed to the paint displayed on the wall, to the paint that came in tubes, in a multipack. His preferred choice, though he indicated that he had used some of the others available. He showed me what brushes were best, went on to indicate the plastic palette and told me how it was used.

His mother came and he quickly picked up a couple more canvases, and they moved on.

I have to say, it made my day. I enjoyed those few minutes of art talk as much as I have an adult conversation in Curry’s Art Store. This special little boy was so serious about his art work, and so willing to talk with another artist about his choice of supplies.

I wish I could see his work, and commend his mother for nurturing his interest and for supporting his drive, at such a young age, to create.

For him, I feel it’s just the beginning.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Envy or Jealousy?

I started to write a blog about my brother and his wife’s anniversary. They celebrated by taking a weekend away, touring the area, taking in new sights and new experiences. On their roundabout way home they visited a few of my favorite places, and did a Studio Tour.

What better way to spend a fall day, I thought. I was envious, and as I had that thought my mind went off on a different it so often does...and I got caught up in words and their meanings.

I wrote jealous initially, and crossed it out (writing longhand), changed it to envious. Jealousy always seems to have a bit of mean attached to it, in my mind, where envy is...sadder?

Was I envious, or was I jealous? Time for some research, to learn and understand the meaning of these words.

ENVY denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another.

JEALOUSY denotes a feeling of resentment that another has gained something that one feels they more rightfully deserve.

But then I found a different explanation, that stated both envy and jealousy make you feel inadequate.

Envy is when you want what someone else has and jealousy is being worried that someone is trying to take what you want away from you.

The article went on to say envy requires two parties. For example, you might envy your neighbour their bright and shiny new car. You wish it was your car and you driving around in it.

Jealousy requires three parties. Take that same neighbour with the new car. You not only wish you had it, but worry your husband is going to ride off in that new car, with the neighbour.

Interesting, in books, jealousy is often represented by the lover’s triangle.

I’m not jealous. I might feel some envy, wish I had my brother’s kind of loving and long term relationship, but life is what it is. For better or worse (not to make fun of those wedding vows) things happen, some we can control, some we can’t, and the test is how we respond to make the best of it.

Happy Anniversary guys, you deserve every moment of happiness.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Three Kids in a Car

I drive a van. (Don’t ask me why because it’s a long convoluted story and does not give a good representation of my mental health and good decision making. It was an emotional decision, made at a bad time in my life. Enough said). But I digress.

My son borrowed my van, otherwise known as Velma, to take his family for a weekend away. He has three kids, and as the van has quad seats and a full third row bench, it was more comfortable for a trip requiring hours in the car.

The kids would have had their iPods, their tablets and such to keep them occupied. It made me think back to those 7 hour trips we made as kids to see the grandparents in Ohio.

The only car I remember was a station wagon. I’m old, so that would have been before the law requiring seat belts. I recollect early morning starts where sleepy kids were allowed to sleep part of the way, in a make-shift bed in the back of the station wagon.

But what did we do to entertain ourselves for all those hours? How many times did we ask, “Are we there, yet?”

My daughter has a newer van, with a built in DVD player and multiple charging sites for all those gadgets. All this is the norm for this younger generation.

One day, as I was walking to my van with my grandson, he rushed ahead and pulled on the door, found it locked and looked to me to open it. “Hold on,” I said. “You need a key, and you’ll have to wait until I get there.” He looked surprised and I showed him the key, a real key, not an electronic thing. I explained the van was old, like me, and didn’t have keyless entry.

No electronic locks, no DVD, and no charging port. What a relic. A dinosaur.

I went through the same thing with my granddaughter when she looked for a charging cord for her phone. In her mother’s van the cord is always there and ready. “I don’t have one,” I explained. “Don’t need one as I don’t have a cell phone.”

Shock, horrors, dismay!

I’m feeling my age and out of touch with the times, like my van, I’m a relic from another time.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

TV Commercials

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am a crime show junkie. I watch old syndicated shows all day long. More to the truth, I maybe watch, maybe listen. It’s more background noise and a change of focus for the eyes.

I never, ever, just watch TV. I am either crafting, painting, reading or writing. Oh, and very rarely, housecleaning.

For me to watch commercials they have to be memorable, like with cute little animals, catchy music, or some kind of visual that gets my attention.

There’s a current ad where a farmer is driving his dog around in his truck to do his fence checks, or to herd his sheep. Not watching the ad in its entirety, I only saw him carry the dog to the vehicle and figured the dog was old, one of those situations where the spirit is willing but the body weak. Not in this situation...the dog has a broken leg, with a blue cast on it. I don’t know how many times I saw that ad before I saw the beginning.

There is one ad that makes me laugh, but I don’t think that is the purpose of the commercial. I laugh, but don’t know the name of the product, so if that’s the intent of the ad, and I assume it is, it’s a dismal failure, for me at least.

The product is a home pregnancy test. The woman in the ad states, “Imagine knowing you’re pregnant, the moment it happens.” I laugh because all different scenarios come to mind.

How would you know? Does it hit you like (hopefully) a repeat of the orgasmic event? Or do you get up and feel the earth move ( sorry, seem to have orgasms on the mind) like there’s been a seismic event. Maybe you just feel that inner glow.

I know none of that is true; they are selling a product after all, and to know means you take their test. But the idea is just ridiculous...the moment it happens? Give me a break.

I like the other commercial for a pregnancy test, where a woman informs her friend that she is pregnant. The friend asks if she’s been to a doctor and is told she did a self test, good after two weeks. Much more reasonable, though I don’t remember the product name. Not something I’m in the market for.

Some ads are so appealing. I like the Joe Fresh ones for the clothes, especially for the holidays with the music and the dancing. Or there’s the Keurig coffee machine commercial with the different genres of music with matching coffee mugs, very representative of each cup being individual choice.

The new shows are starting; the old ones back for another season. Hopefully the commercials will be new and improved, too.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Mixed Media Card Inspiration

I use Pinterest and the internet to keep up with what other artists are doing, what new mediums are available and how to use them. Like the Gelli pad I have on my wish list.

There are so many different techniques, like the effects gained using salt or plastic wrap with watercolor. I use acrylics more than watercolor, and the possibilities there are just as endless.

I found this demonstration on Youtube, by an artist who has created a deck of cards, each giving a different direction to take in a piece of art work. In the video she uses eleven of them. The directions are varied, from adding paint with something other than a paintbrush to using a stencil.

You get the idea.

It's a very interesting way to go about it and adds a touch of serendipity to your work.

Watch, enjoy, and be inspired.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Creative ADD

I sometimes feel I have a case of ADD...Attention Deficit Disorder. I can’t seem to keep my mind on any one thing at a time, but bounce from one thing to another.

One aspect of this is the thinking, the planning, of one project while I’m doing another. Pinterest is somewhat to blame because it constantly throws new ideas in front of me, and I’m helpless to resist. It’s an addiction, for sure.

Last year I wanted to do an art piece in wood. I found a four foot long, four inch wide piece of pine and brought it home...where it sat, as I waited for inspiration to strike. I finally decided I wanted to do a tree, and my first thought was to do it in nails, all different sizes, colors, maybe some screws for texture. My son gave me a container of old nails to get me started.

But then my mind went to wood burning, or maybe Sharpies in a Zentangle style. I couldn’t make my mind up, so I did nothing.

After a time I went back to the nail idea, thought I would do the tree in cast off pieces of metal, in a sort of Steampunk style, and started to gather bits and pieces. I got so far as to draw the design on the wood, and that was it. I got involved in other projects and sort of forgot about my tree. It was winter and hard to get out and about looking for bits of metal.

Then the summer was hot and humid, and I stayed home and out of the heat. Some days I accomplished nothing but searching the internet, which, of course, included Pinterest. I would do a search for some craft or art form, and collect ideas.

One day, after searching jewellery and polymer clay sites, I noticed that wire had been used very creatively, and it made me think. Wire? Made into specific shapes and designs?

Now my head is full of ideas for my tree again. Filling the whole tree with nails seemed a bit too much, in nails, noise and hammering. But what if I used a specific number of nails to form an outline, and joined them with wire? I could string the wire around the nails and fill in the space with wire shapes. Kind of like a wire Zentangle design.

Here’s where the ADD comes in. When I had this thought I was working on a series of 12 paintings for the Native phases of the moon. I have another painting started, but it needed some more thought and planning before I proceeded.

I have 2 afghans on the go, and a sweater almost completed. I was also making some simple crochet items for Christmas and played with making jewellery. And that doesn’t take into consideration the lanyards I made for my son and his hunting buddies, or the silk bouquets I made for my daughter’s wedding.

I went to the closet for something, can’t remember for what, and found my stash of different wires. Immediately all else was forgotten and I was right back thinking about my tree. I gathered the wire and sat. But there was no available space to set the wire down, so obviously, no place to work on it. I looked around.

Paintings in various stages on the kitchen counter, crochet bag with sweater under the table to my left, a bag of Christmas crochet on my right, and almost every surface covered with a project in some stage or another.

I got up and put the wire back in the closet. I need a To Do List, in plain sight, where I can be reminded of what I’m doing. I need the sense of accomplishment of taking these projects through to completion. As I write this I’ve finished the series of 12, and the Christmas crochet.

So that’s a start, right? At least with the arts and crafts. I won’t even go into the three novels I’ve started, two abandoned and one current, but temporarily set aside. Winter’s coming, and I’ll get back to it.

Go with the flow, seems to be my mantra. I go wherever that creativity takes me and can’t wait to see what happens.