Sharing My World 76


Somewhere north of Lake Superior on our road trip heading home taken through the car windshield en route because yes I am exactly that lazy.

Well look what I just retrieved from various places in the drafts folder.  Proof of my good intentions.  And other not so admirable traits.

Share Your World – August 14, 2017

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time?

When I’m home alone there are a lot of lights on everywhere, upstairs and down.  Probably because there’s no one following me around turning them off.  So I guess that answers that question.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500?

Because of some unexpected expenses this year, the unnecessary expenditures have been put on hold.  And those are always the most enjoyable kind, aren’t they?  Three people in the last little while have asked me, while browsing through my “library”, if I have any new books on my shelves.  It feels a little alarming to me to have to say that I don’t.  Buying real honest to goodness in your hand page turning books is the best way I know to spend time and money.  Because omg, look what you bring home.  Hours and hours of awesomeness.

I’m still doing lots of reading.  Every day I download one or two free e-books from Amazon.  There have been some real doozies but there have also been a few gems.  I wonder if I’ve missed my calling as a fiction editor.  I like the idea of someone else doing all the thinking and then I just improve the way the story is told.  I do a lot of skipping over the dreadful parts.

Complete this sentence: My favorite thing to do on my cell phone is…

Well first off I have to find the damned thing.  If I’ve left the sound turned on it makes that part easier.  I check for missed calls and text messages, making a mental note of how long ago they happened.  Sometimes I’m so on the ball answering a text it must truly startle the recipient, since my normal response is hours later.  I’m working on this, I promise, trying to carry my phone around with me from room to room, but doing that is also the reason I misplace it so often.  It could be anywhere.  It’s rarely used for phone calls because we still cling to our land line.  And I never use it for game playing because the screen is too small.  It’s always with me when I leave home, even for a walk, because what if I broke my ankle or got lost or needed to take a picture of the inside of my pocket?  Best to be prepared for these things.

Share Your World – October 9, 2017

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

Once upon a time it was rich, dark, chocolate ice cream with drizzled chocolate syrup. Then unfortunately I grew up.

The perfect food for me now that I am old and boring is low in carbs, low in sugar, high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals and fibre and all that other good stuff, tastes fantastic, and a small portion completely satisfies my hunger. If you have any idea what that food is, please let me (and the rest of the world) know so we can all feel less despondent about leaving chocolate ice cream behind.

Meanwhile I will continue to struggle with my choices. However, I have to tell you I’m astounded lately by my consistently low glucose readings so I must be doing something right. Even though I continue to periodically give in to a craving for salty crap like potato chips.

Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

Today, this moment in time. Well that would be ideal, wouldn’t it? Never dwelling on the past, never fretting about the future. Never craving potato chips.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

My great-great-great grandparents on my dad’s side of the family were probably messing about somewhere in Scotland in the late 1700’s. Pure conjecture on my part since I’ve never researched anyone so far back. They could have come from anywhere and changed their identities for all I know. Since they are all dead I think I might be inclined to ask them what they’re up to now.  Or perhaps more realistically, what they were up to then.

What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

My lack of participation in the big world of blogging should be your first clue that I have been largely uninspired lately by anything at all.


Okay, so that ended on a bit of a low note! Must have been a bad news week.  Ever leave something in your draft files so long (because it’s not good enough to publish) that when you finally get around to cleaning them up, some of it really doesn’t sound as blah as you thought it did originally?  But as for the rest of it, the “delete” button is your friend?  I’m down to seven drafts, so on a desperate day any one of them could surface.  Apologizing in advance.



Sharing My World 47


Sunrise this morning in the neighbors back yard, from my back door.


What one thing are you really glad you did yesterday?

I am glad I actually did more than one thing yesterday so I have a choice to make here.  I finished a piece of art, I replied to comments (both in the virtual and the real world), finished a book (more on that another day) and watched a few more episodes of Midsomer Murders.  That’s not all I did, but I guess the other things were relatively insignificant. Yes, my life is exactly that wild.  W considers all my Netflix watching to be a colossal waste of time when I could be doing more productive things like baking banana bread and using up some of the 500 bananas socked away in our freezer.  If I had somehow persuaded him to stop buying so many bananas and letting them go brown and shown him how to bake his own damned banana bread, that would have been my greatest accomplishment yesterday.  I’m sure the opportunity will come up again sometime.

I do have an answer for this question.  Sorry for the banana rant.  I choose to be really glad I watched another murder mystery get solved and learned a couple of brilliant insults in the process.   “You’ve got a few of your pages stuck together”  and “You are three tomatoes short of a salad”.  Waste of time?  I think not.

Are you generally focused on today or tomorrow?

There really is no point being focussed on tomorrow if it means you’re going to miss today.  While we ate breakfast Carole King was singing “Will you still love me tomorrow?” Does she really want an answer to that?  Because nobody knows.  The power of NOW, people!  Don’t miss today’s pleasure worrying that it might not last.  Of course it won’t.  That’s why you make the most of it now.

Wow, I am rather preachy today.  Maybe some of my pages are stuck together.

Would you want to have a guardian angel/mentor? What would they tell you right now?

I have spirit guides.  They are invisible, and possibly imaginary. They tell me to calm the F down.  Mostly I listen to them and take deep breaths and accept what is.  Then I determine what changes I might be able to make if I don’t like what is.  Then I watch Netflix.

Would you rather live in a cave house or a dome house made of glass? 

Can you imagine the nightmare of trying to hang curtains in a dome-shaped glass house?  Can’t exactly nail rods up, can you?  I think I would feel too exposed for comfort surrounded by glass.  And just think of the endless ‘window’ cleaning.  A cave house sounds more cozy and snug.  Plus you could do cave drawings on the walls.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Since I cannot change the past or predict the future I will simply tell you how ecstatically happy and grateful I am that today is the 25th of January!  Might be the one a day posts which have made this month fly by, or simply the fact that I am a year older than I was last January and time in general keeps speeding up at an alarming rate.

The weather outside is gorgeous, sunny, plus 1 C.  The washing machine is churning away, the dishwasher is humming, the light is streaming in to my little art nook and my spirit guides are gently suggesting I get off my iPad and my ass and do something creative before I’m arthritic and blind and three tomatoes short.

Life is good.


Art du Jour 56



Test results for a quiz I took on Facebook this morning told me I’m flexibly focused.

I complete these things because I like to answer questions and make choices as if the outcome might be illuminating.  I mean who would not want to know what Greek God they are, or which type of pie they most resemble, right?  Most of the time I don’t share the final analysis because it’s pretty stupid.  But this one sounds interesting.

“Structured free time is your favorite. You enjoy having freedom in your life, but can appreciate the stability a good routine provides.”

Of course I can appreciate routine , but that doesn’t mean I have one.

This little piece of art took me five days to finish.  It started off looking like this.

imageA few days later it had morphed into this.
Finally this morning I coloured in the mushrooms and messed about with the rest of the picture until there was no canvas left to mess about with.  And that’s it for my flexible mushroom focus.  I don’t even like mushrooms.

Other things I have been focused on this first week of the summer living on my own include watching the final season of Fringe and the first season of Schitt’s Creek.  They are both strange television shows, but at opposite ends of the bizarre spectrum.

I have been staying up too late and getting up too early and forgetting to finish things, like laundry and dishes.  And paintings.  A structured routine would be helpful, but I’m so adverse to rules that I don’t even follow my own.  Assuming of course I happen to make any.

I did learn a few things this week though.  Gelatos are wonderful to work with, but next time I will buy a few non-metallic non-shiny ones.  When I look at this picture from the side it is almost glittery.  The best time to buy stretched canvas is when it’s 40% off and you also have a coupon for 20% off your entire purchase including sale items.  WOOT!!  It always rains on the May long weekend.  (I already knew this, but campers always forget).  Good weather for growing mushrooms.  If you leave your paint brush in dirty paint water for two days it kind of ruins it.  Yeah, I knew that too, but gave it another test just to be sure.

Here’s to magic mushrooms and rainy days and bad TV!  And having a flexibly focused weekend without any rules.

Good News for Coffee People


Kaffe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whoever wrote these brilliant and profound words is my hero:

Drinking coffee can make you mentally alert, increase your concentration, allow you to focus more, speed up your reactions, and alleviate minor aches and pains.

I don’t even care if this is wrong information.  I like it, and I’m going to carry on drinking coffee and give up nothing but the guilt.

How To Stay Focused


This morning I tried to stay focused on this question and get it answered, but I ran out of time and had to go to work and once I got there I promptly forgot all about it.

I think that adequately sums up my focusing powers. If something is fun to do, staying engrossed in the task is easy. If it becomes tedious and boring and too much like work, it just may never get done.

I have a spouse with a sleep disorder (my description, not his.) If he gets tired in the early evening he fights to stay awake until his chosen ‘bedtime’. If he wakes up in the middle of the night he tosses and turns and tries to go back to sleep. I’ve suggested that he sleep when he’s tired and get up and do something else when he’s not. So what if he falls asleep at seven-thirty and gets up and eats breakfast at 4:00 a.m.? Who cares?

When our kids were first in school we discovered that our son had amazing abilities of contemplation and concentration. He would become so absorbed in whatever he was doing that it was like breaking a trance to try to get his attention.

Our daughter had the attention span of a gnat. She rarely ever finished an in-school assignment. However, she could tell you who was in the classroom, what they were wearing, what every person said and did, and fifty more details about what was going on around her that you wouldn’t even think to ask.

So we were advised to push one to focus, and to try to get the other one to be less intense.

I don’t know why we try so hard to change things, and why we can’t be more accepting of our own natures. Who’s to say being one way is better than some other way? Be who you are, do what you want, sleep when you feel like it.

So yeah. I AM trying to justify my own lack of focus. Maybe I LIKE being a scatter brained mess. If things get done, that’s great. If they don’t, well, whatever. Tomorrow is another day.

I hope these tips were helpful. And if you missed them, well shame on you for not paying closer attention.

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The Portrait Sitting

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingress had arrived at last, and although I wanted desperately to fly down the staircase and burst into the sitting room to breathlessly gaze upon his dear face once more, I willed myself to practice restraint. That would be unseemly behaviour for a princess such as I had so recently become.

Instead I glided into the room, chin up, face turned slightly to the side, as he had painstakingly instructed me from the beginning. I did not look directly at him as I took my place on the backless chair and resumed the pose. Nonetheless, I felt the blush in my cheeks as we greeted each other.

“Joséphine-Eléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn” he murmured, with a slight bow of his head. That he always recited my entire name each time we met thrilled me, although I strongly suspected it was merely meant to tease.

“Monsieur,” I demurred, “please call me Princess, seulement.” It had become our small private jest, from our first encounter when he had found ‘Princess Albert de Broglie’ too stuffy and formal for our ‘intimate’ sittings. But he did not call me Princess, of course, and strangely enough that fact made me feel even more of a princess in his presence.

He remarked that the afternoon light was perfection. I straightened my back and looked at his left elbow, the place we had agreed I should direct my focus. Chosing a spot in the distance had been dismissed when he found it difficult not to portray me as staring vacantly into space. I was happier to be able to regard him so well in my periphery. My serious face had too closely resembled a frown, and my artiste did not want to preserve for future generations a princess with a scowl. I remembered to relax and to breathe.

Impossible for me to glower in his presence. Impossible. He chattered aimlessly about my unique beauty and traits and mannerisms that he was so diligently attempting to record. This was to be the culmination of his numerous observations, the tiring but never tedious consecutive hours and days of posing, the capturing of my very soul on canvas.

Would he also capture the small sadness I felt today, knowing this would be the last time we met like this? Did he know that I had fallen a little in love with him, my very handsome gentle portrait painter? How I would miss the preparation, the donning of the blue satin dress, the bracelets, the hair just so.

As before, the hours went by, the afternoon light faded, and the session ended. Too soon, too soon. He gathered up his paints and his brushes with a satisfied sigh. The rest he would finish in his studio, and the portrait would be delivered tout de suite. I was not allowed to see it until it was finally complete.

If, when we unveil the finished portrait, I should sense a wistfulness in my pictured expression, a petite ennui, then I will know that he saw it there. And perhaps, sweet foolish dream of something that can never be, I will know that he felt it too.

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