Hello First Monday in October

Ha! Just showing you I figured out what day it is.

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Watercolor inspired by a Pinterest pin, so not exactly original. Okay, not original at all, but it is my painting and my photo. Let’s just call it “bird with killer eyelashes” and file it under P for practice.

This morning I looked at my calendar, located Monday, and marvelled that it was already the 8th of October.  Except that it’s not.  Time stands still when you neglect to flip your calendar.  Yep, STILL stuck on September.

So that’s been rectified.  Yay me.  We’ve had guests this past week, including this lovely lady.  october 004She’s not that spooky in real life.

On the weekend we removed a very old hide-a-bed from our spare room and replaced it with a queen Ikea bed.  It was either that or risk inflicting back problems and insomnia on everyone concerned.  I suppose we could have opted for something more expensive and comfortable (although even a straw mattress on the floor would probably have been an improvement) but this way no one will be tempted to over stay their welcome, right?   Come to think of it, my cooking might have that problem covered already.

Also this morning, on the 6th, not the 8th, I donned my  long neglected running shoes (which I had to rummage around in the closet to find) and went for a walk.  No one is more surprised by this than me.  It’s a gorgeous fall day!  Sunny and windy and warm.

october 019october 008I saw a lot of trees.  But not one of those painted birds.  A chickadee flew right past my head into a spruce tree and refused to come out and strike a pose for me.  Nevertheless,  the wind and the sun and the fresh air and sunshine blew the cobwebs out of my blogging brain and this mish-mash of a post is the result.

It includes everything but the kitchen sink and a recipe.  I’ll fix the recipe part of that by giving you a list of smoothie ingredients:

  • blueberries
  • fennel
  • cucumber
  • spinach
  • kale
  • apple
  • lemon
  • banana
  • avocado
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • coconut water

Yes, I drank that, and yes, I am still alive.  It tasted great, even with the cucumber, which normally I find remarkably yech and try to avoid,  but mixed up with all the other stuff it’s barely discernible.  The only good cucumber is a pickled one.  (Pickles in a smoothie??  Huh.  Maybe not.)

And on that note, adieu for today.  Tomorrow I might be more focused, but I’m not making any promises.

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I call this “Dead Grass and New Growth in the Autumn Sunshine Along a White Picket Fence”. Anything can be art as long as you give it a long enough name.

 

Scene From A Park

Photo Credit James Lee

Photo Credit James Lee

Writing 101:  Point of View

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry.  Write this scene.  Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

We went for a stroll one afternoon in the park. I thought it might be our last outing of the season before the snow came, or even the last for the year until spring, supposing I survived the winter. Possibly the last park stroll of my life. I didn’t know. There were no birds to feed, the geese had all gone south. Leaves were falling and skittering across our path in the brisk wind and there was a faint smell of burning in the autumn air. Cold enough for a jacket buttoned up and for noses and cheeks to tingle. So I was surprised when we came across the old woman sitting alone on her bench, bare hands on cold steel needles. She looked up but the little clicking sounds the needles made as she worked bright red yarn around them never faltered. Her steely grey eyes peered straight through me as if I wasn’t even there. I let go of Sally’s hand and roughly brushed the tears I couldn’t control from my cold cheeks. What the hell? I never used to cry. But my emotions had gone haywire lately. I wanted immediately to lash out at a perfect stranger, shake my fist, yell at her wrinkled old face. Look at me, I’M STILL HERE! I’m not gone yet. And it won’t be today. Today is NOT a good day to die. I looked away, wiped my palms on my jeans, and grabbed Sally’s hand. And then we just kept walking.

There was such a sadness in Sam that last fall we spent together. And so much anger. I honestly don’t know how I’d handle a similar diagnosis, but when he got the bad news, I decided the right thing for him to do was to keep on living. No giving up, no wallowing. I wanted him to be grateful for every single day he had left and happy to live all of them. But his moods were just all over the place. Of course I understood why, but still it was hard for me to cope with the intensity and the fierceness of his feelings. The funniest things would set him off. Like the day we went for a walk in the park. Everything was so beautiful and colourful and crisp. I’ve always loved Indian summer. There was a little old grandma sitting on one of the park benches busily knitting a child’s bright red sweater. She glanced up at us as we approached and I returned her sweet smile. It vanished though, when she looked at Sam. Because he was crying. Deep wrenching sobs, although later he’d claim it was just a few tears from the cold air and some pent-up emotion and naturally he didn’t want to talk about it. He dug his fists into his eyes, and then he grabbed my hand again and almost wrenched my shoulder out of its socket pulling me away. That poor old grandma, I’m sure he must have given her a crazy scare. And poor me. But mostly, poor, poor, dear Sam.

I was never one to sit at home by myself with nobody to talk to and nothing new to see, so as long as the weather stayed decent and my legs were willing, I’d pack up whatever I was working on and shuffle my old bones over to the park across the way. The bench I liked the best was under a big old red maple tree, and that fall it was just gorgeous. Red as the little sweater I had decided to knit for the dog I didn’t have. Once in a while the odd curious person would take the time to stop and chat. I lived for that. I used to tell fortunes and predict the future in my younger days, but those skills must fade away with age and lack of practice, because I got pretty rusty. Still, I liked to give it a whirl whenever I had the chance. Mostly I’d come up with nothing much to write home about. So when that young couple walked up the path it was like I’d been struck by psychic lightning. Her sadness mixed up with bewildered confusion, his rage manifested in clenched fists and choked back tears. Their combined unhappiness almost bowled me over. There was so much I wanted to say to them about hope and faith and nothing written in stone,  but they didn’t stop. Maybe it’s just as well. They were both already resigned to a future they believed they were powerless to change.  Too bad no one likes a little old lady who interferes.

Good Morning Sunshine

The latest incarnation of the paint room aka art studio, in which I have spent hours moving things around and minutes actually working on stuff.

The latest incarnation of the paint room aka art studio, in which I have spent hours moving things around and minutes actually working on stuff.

There isn’t a lot of sunshine yet today, but that’s okay.  We’re having gorgeous autumn weather into the last ten days of September.  Six work shifts to go.  I know countdowns are bad, and a form of wishing your life away while you wait for something to end or begin or happen but I’m doing it anyway.  Anticipation is half the fun, right?

On my second last working Wednesday, all alone between six and eight with no appointments and no customers and no real ambition, I decided to write down all the things I will miss about work when I’m finally done with it on the last day of this month.  I took a sheet of paper out of the printer, got one of my three erasable pens out of my pocket (there must always be three) and sat down to write a list.  Things I will miss.  Ten minutes crawled by.  Everything I thought of was something I actually wouldn’t miss at all.  In fact I knew I would be beside myself with relief and happiness to never have to deal with that shit again.  So then I divided the paper in two and on the second half started a list of things I will NOT miss.  I filled up that side and the entire back with such a pile of work related crap it put me in a totally pissy mood.  I should not be left alone on Wednesday nights.  I’ve always said that, but no one listens.

While this process was all very cathartic, I won’t be sharing my list of negativity from hell.  Going over it once was enough.  Indisputable proof that it’s time to walk away.

W is coming home today.  He’s been in Ontario at the island closing things up for the winter.  He’s bringing my water-color paint supplies home with him.  I can’t remember why I thought it was a good idea to leave them there, but now I’ll have fewer excuses for stifling my creative urges as I amass all my tools and gather ideas and look up art classes.  Plan projects, get organized, have another cup of coffee, read some blogs, play some candy crush, make a pot of soup…..

Is it a little sad that procrastination is my favourite thing in the world?   (Except for reading for hours and watching bizarre things on Netflix.  I never put those things off.)   If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I’ve been headed in that direction forever.  I do entire blog posts in my head in the middle of the night on my brilliant blog where I discuss brilliant things.  Then dawn breaks and work looms and Netflix sends me a notice that some dumb thing I’ve been watching has new episodes.  So the brilliance is put on hold.  Or forgotten.

Well, it’s an interesting theory/excuse, hey?

No, I’m not really buying it either.  But my point is (YES!  I have a POINT!) work will no longer loom.  Huge chunks of stress will dissolve right before my eyes.  I will have to find something completely different to get all pissy about.  I will answer more prompts and accept more challenges.  Or at the very least, drum up the courage to share my artistic creative genius.  You people are all really nice and will humor me on that one, right?  Thank you, I knew I could count on you.

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Ten days.  Six shifts.  Gorgeous fall weather.  Paint supplies en route to home.  Oh yeah, and W too.

Life is good and about to get better.

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“There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.”

(Bliss Carman)

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Good for you if you never out-grow the inclination to jump gleefully into a pile of autumn leaves. It’s a magnificent way to feel.