Sharing My World 61



The new and improved art studio because I was not loving the first version. I like to curl up in a comfy chair to sketch and draw, and the chair was already paint spattered. Win/win.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 37

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

There are likely rocks on our property, below ground, because I’ve never hit one with the lawn mower.  Our neighbour has some little rocks beside his fence that spill on to our side.  Are those mine now?  I let the grass grow around them and am leaving it for W to take care of with the whipper snipper apparatus from hell when he gets home. I hate that thing.  And how far below the surface does ones property actually extend?  I should ask the property tax people.  They probably have boring days which could do with some livening up.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?

The ability to zone out in a crisis.  I don’t know if that’s a strength or a weakness.  I think it could be either one.  Usually I will go into panic mode later when it’s all over.

What makes you feel grounded?

Well that’s a hard one because I’m pretty grounded most of the time.  I feel very ungrounded away from home and familiar things.  What does grounded even mean?  I’m relatively sensible and understand what’s important in life.  I’m not a teenager or an airplane.  If this was an exam question I would have just failed it spectacularly.

Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?

Since I am amazingly lazy in the kitchen, cold food suits me just fine.  Eating stuff right out of the fridge saves a lot of time and energy.  I’d miss hot soup though.

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

W is on his way home today.  He did some galavanting en route, stopping off to visit friends.  “Galavanting” is a word my mother often used to express mild disdain for a person who wasn’t exactly grounded and went off in all directions doing dumb things.  Well, I kind of made that up, I’m not sure exactly what she meant when she talked about someone off galavanting around but it didn’t sound like she found it admirable.  W’s galavanting on the other hand is fine with me.

Anyway, wow, that was a ridiculous way to introduce the fact that I watched the tv show “Galavant” on Netflix.  It’s a musical.  Galavant is a knight.  The main reason I clicked on it was because of the word Galavant. I’m grateful I did because it was quite well done and funny.  You would not believe how crazy this little blurb is driving my spell check. It does not like the Galavant word one little bit.

I’m looking forward to the arrival of my sister and her family!  I have no idea what to feed them because they have various dietary issues!  Maybe they would all like to just eat out of my fridge!!

No, I will get my act together shortly. I have a week. W can help me.  But first he better ooh and ahh about this redecorated house before he starts complaining about where the hell I put all his stuff.


Sharing My World 50

Coffee Wars Front Runner in Action

Coffee Wars Front Runner in Action


What are you a “natural” at doing?

If natural abilities show up in childhood with a minimum of encouragement, perhaps mine was related to music.  I never had much of a singing voice (my sister got all the talent there) but I had an ear for music and perfect pitch and could sight-read pieces and play them on the piano with ease.  In teachers college when I finally showed up to try out for the special music class they asked me what in the world I’d been waiting for.  Not much ever came of all that talent.  I haven’t touched a piano in years.  I get supremely annoyed if someone sings off-key or hits a bad note.  I like to listen to classical music and jazz once in a blue moon, and sometimes switch the sat radio to tunes from the 1940’s  They’re so bad they’re good.

Now I’m a natural at making soup.  It’s a much more useful ability.  My mom must have passed on to me part of her talent for throwing a bunch of stuff together without a measuring cup in sight and ending up with something delicious.  No recipe, difficult to duplicate, always a surprise.  Edible music to warm your soul on a cold winters day.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

The house you need/want/prefer is constantly changing as your life and circumstances change.  As much as I have always loved the idea of living in a six-story castle with turrets and ballrooms, I’m afraid all those stone staircases and drafty halls would kill me now, never mind the responsibility of servants and groundskeepers and film makers wanting to use it for a movie set.  A grand old three-story mansion with an attic would probably do me in as well.  I’m too old for haunted spaces and fireplaces with dead birds stuck in the chimneys and entire rooms made in to dusty old libraries.  I’ve also given up my dream of having a cathedral ceiling with windows everywhere and a cozy artists loft.  Even our three bedroom bungalow is feeling too big for the two of us these days.  I’m ready for something smaller with no stairs anywhere, not even up to the front door.  Flat as a pancake and easy to clean.  Sturdy shelves for my books and a corner for my art supplies and a kitchen almost too small to turn around in, but big enough for soup.

What was your favorite subject in school?

You might expect me to say art, but I didn’t love it because it was so structured then, with too many rules and often disappointing results.  I did love English, or Language Arts, and composition.  I hated how we were made to do book reports though, dissecting everything to death.  It was like explaining a joke until it was no longer funny.  In high school I thoroughly enjoyed Latin.  That was like having a love affair with words.

Complete this sentence: If only the rain..

…..would soak the world with joy and wash away all the pain and hurt and hate.  And maybe sweep some obnoxious mouthy morons down a sewer grate.

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

It is getting easier every day to know what I can and cannot eat to keep my diabetic readings stable.  Last night we dined out.  I had Chicken Parmesan, sweet potato fries and five ounces of Merlot.  Perfect.  Except for the blatant absence of vegetables.  But sometimes I make a meal of nothing but vegetables, so it all evens out.

We have packages of coffee, both beans and ground, that we are trying half heartedly to use up by brewing a pot of coffee in the morning.  It’s coffee brewer vs. Tassimo, and Tassimo is sneaking in a lot of wins.  It’s just so much easier than measuring out water and scoops of coffee and having the coffee sit there and get stale and then poured down the sink and spilling the filter full of wet grounds on its way to the little green compost bin.  Life is just so hard when you have nothing of consequence to do with yourself.

There is this one thing though.  W has asked me to do one of my collage pictures with a fishing theme.  He wants to hang it up at camp, although where exactly is a mystery because the walls are already covered with photo boards and other fishy things.  I said ‘what if you hate it?’ and he said ‘I’ll hang it up anyway’.

I’m grateful he has shown an interest in my work, other than to ask me what the hell I’m planning to do with all this shit.  So that’s my next project.  When we move to our tiny little pancake house we will be having one hell of a garage sale.



Rainy Tuesday

From somewhere on Facebook; mom-isms made in to inspirational posters.

From somewhere on Facebook; mom-isms made in to inspirational posters.

Today is Tuesday and today it rained.  My dad used to answer our pestering-kid questions wanting to know WHEN something was going to happen by telling us “a week from the next rainy Tuesday”.  This answer always made me sigh and roll my eyes and stop asking, but it also made me promise myself that I would keep track of the days of the week and note when it rained and thus be way ahead of the game.  Of course I never did, and if that Tuesday from the last rainy one ever did roll around I would have long forgotten what the question was anyway.  Which was no doubt his intent.

So that’s what I was thinking about this morning when I got up early and went out in the rain and off to the lab for my 8:15 a.m. appointment with the doctors requisition slip for fasting blood work stuffed in my bag.  I had eaten nothing since about 7:00 p.m. the day before.  Unfortunately I had also had almost nothing to drink.  Perhaps somewhere in the back of my little pea sized dehydrated brain I got the prep rules for this mixed up with those for surgery where you can’t even have water.  And because it was earlier than I usually take my meds and I would probably be home in about twenty minutes, I did not take my diuretic.  And I had no coffee.  And the last thing I did before leaving the house was use the bathroom, because mom always made us do that when we were going somewhere, whether we needed to or not.  Obviously my parents were both very influential people.

Can you see where this is going?  I swear there were no check marks at all in the little urinalysis box on that paper, but after I happily gave up three vials of blood the nurse handed me the dreaded styrofoam cup with my name on it.  Saying I didn’t think I’d be able to do it just got me that mom look.  So I asked for some water and headed off to the bathroom.

I was in there for a good twenty minutes.  I drank enough water to drown a horse, until it made me gag.  Then I started to sweat because it was damned hot in that tiny room with my hoodie on, but why take it off when I’m going straight home, right?  Who the hell ever thought peeing in a cup was a good idea?  I couldn’t do it.  I came out with the empty cup in my hand and told them I was going to sit in the waiting room for a bit.  They said they were wondering what happened to my sample, and would I like some water?  Double gag.

Alternately reading emails on my phone and watching the clock from 9:00 to 9:30 with still no urge whatsoever to urinate, I felt like a complete failure.  Asked to do ONE SIMPLE THING and unable to get it done.  Not knowing if giving up was an option.  Would they let me come back later?  Would I have to get another requisition?  What would happen if I smashed the damned cup and told them all they were ridiculous?  I was definitely not living in the moment, and fervently wishing to be somewhere else.

Finally after another fifteen or so minutes of extreme discomfort from all that water and embarrassment for being there so long and senseless frustration with myself I had some small degree of success.  I wonder if that might have been the most minute urine sample ever submitted for testing, but opted not to stick around to find out.

I drove home in the pouring rain, took my medication, drank two cups of coffee and then headed off to the pharmacy to fill my prescriptions and do some shopping and pick up the mail and guess what?  Could not wait to rush back into my house to use the bathroom.

The moral of this story is to always be prepared for whatever is happening being the opposite of what you thought you wanted to happen and have faith that everything will work out exactly right a week from the next rainy Tuesday.  And this Tuesday, even though it is indeed a rainy one,  doesn’t count because the rule is it has to be the NEXT one.

Glad I got that all sorted out.  And you wonder why I don’t like to leave home.

Sharing My World 28

dryden charles street

This used to be my world. A basement apartment in the early seventies complete with wood panelling and posters. And bare feet. And long hair. And strange things dangling from the green tulip pole lamp.


Share Your World 2015 Weeks 17, 18 and 19

Lately, for whatever reasons, I have seriously neglected to share my world.  So today I will share the heck out of it by answering a whopping lucky thirteen questions.  I will try to be brief, but when has that ever happened.

What type of pets do you have or want? Or do you not want pets?

We always had dogs and cats when I was growing up on the farm but I preferred the company of cats. They slobbered less.  The dogs loved my sister, not me.  My husband had a black lab, and then we had two cats for close to 20 years.  After that I killed a Japanese Fighting fish.  It was no match for me.  I like other people’s dogs and cats, but I’m not a great animal care giver, so I don’t think we will have any more pets in our lives.  It’s a big enough challenge looking after each other.

What was or is your favorite cartoon?

I really kind of hate the cartoons we used to watch on tv.  Although maybe hate is too strong a word.  But they always did stress me right out.  Walking off cliffs, getting blown up, having things happen to you that should result in fatal head injuries.  People and animals being insanely rude to each other.  How is any of that funny?

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Bare feet are the happiest feet.  Except when you get dry, rough, cracked heels.  Or drop heavy pieces of furniture on them.  I still think the risks are worth it.

Are you a traveler or a homebody?

I am the biggest homebody that ever lived.  And yet I have gone places.  The things we do to ourselves.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

Coffee brewing while bacon sizzles in the pan.  Tomato plants.  Clean laundry fresh off the clothes line.  The sweet smell of new-mown grass.  Whatever that smell is after it rains.  That one is hard to beat.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

My mom gave me dutch boy haircuts until I begged her to let me grow my hair long enough for a pony tail.  Then I chopped it all off super short, but grew it back long and straight in time for fitting in to the long-haired hippy sixties.  W said when he met me my hair was down around the hem of my mini skirt.  That’s an exaggeration.  Although those skirts were pretty damned short.   I loved my long hair, but there comes a point in your life when all it does is drag your face down with it.  So now it’s short again, and likely to remain that way as long as there are scissors in my bathroom.

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

I go along with whatever someone else has planned.  That way I can blame other people when I don’t have any fun.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Seriously?  Sitting in a lawn chair with my sunglasses on and my eyes closed.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

Multiple levels are ideal when you’re young enough to run up and down all the stair cases without collapsing in a wheezing heap of broken bones.  When we moved in to this house, W took the hand railing off the basement stairs to make it easier to move furniture down there.  He never got around to putting it back, although I have nagged him about it on and off for years.  Late this fall he is going to have hip replacement surgery, and his beloved tv is down those basement stairs.  Stay tuned for further developments.

If you have a TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

Well, speak of the devil.  I like it downstairs where I can’t see or hear it.  Especially when W has the remote control.  But I spend a ridiculous amount of time watching Netflix and other stuff on my I-Pad.  The difference is not having to wear my glasses to read the subtitles, and not having to listen to commercials.  Plus watching any stupid thing I please.

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? Explain your answer.

This is turning into a ‘complain about W’ post and he’s not even here to defend himself.  I turn lights on and he turns them off, so I have to turn them on again.  I especially like to leave the lights on at the back door where the railing-less steps go down to the basement.  If I’m going to fall down there and kill myself I’d like someone to be able to see the results.  But he’s away now, so lights are on in all the normally low-light places.  They will remain on until he comes home.  Or the bulbs burn out, whichever comes first.

What’s your favorite room in your home?

I like all the rooms in my house, but spend most of my time in or around the part of the living/dining room that’s been morphed into a little art studio.  I used to spend a lot of time in the bedroom at my computer, but found myself struggling to do things in the living room on my I-Pad instead, even though it took twice as long.  Then I turned my computer desk away from the wall so that it faces the window.  Now I like it here again.  But not as much as where the art is.

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

I’m grateful that W finally got everything packed up and ready to go and should be reaching his destination in North Western Ontario sometime today.  I am grateful that I can leave all the lights on now, day and night, and cook things for myself that would cause him great anxiety if he thought I wanted him to eat them.  I’m only looking forward to doing my own shopping because I can now buy turnips without being harassed.

Well!  That’s over a thousand sharing words.  What’s new in your world?  Are you wearing shoes?  Be careful on those stairs.


Art du Jour 37

imageThis was time-consuming and labour intensive.  But also fun, except maybe for all the glue and paint and paper scraps everywhere.  Now I have a greater appreciation for artistic people who put these things together.  In case you don’t notice it on your own, I would like to point out that the main part of the house is strips of paper in basket weave.  That’s how it started.

Yes, I do have a lot of time on my hands and I’m trying many new things to make a dent in using up all the massive amounts of paper I purchased having very few clues at the time about what I would ever do with all of them.  When I take pictures of these finished products,  I set them on my easel so they are leaning back slightly, and the upper left hand corner always looks blurry.  Although maybe the fact that I used a lot of water on this board and it warped a bit could be a factor as well.  Life is full of mysteries.

So, bonus day.  Here’s how it looks on my yellow wall.  Beside something equally strange and in different light.  Why does my wall not look yellow??


The paint on my art room walls is called Elephant Grass and in real life is much nicer than this looks.

Before embarking on this project I watched an artist on YouTube put together an art journal page using paint and paper and stencils with a drawing of a partial face looking rather ghostly and emerging from the background.  She had a whole book full of stencils and took half the video choosing the ones she wanted to use.  With all the stopping and starting and talking and pausing and speeding up and waiting for things to dry, it’s a wonder I learned anything, other than knowing I am not ready to make a video of my own any time soon.  Mine would include too much profanity and hand washing.

I’m happy with this result, even though I don’t think it’s something I’d want hanging over my dining room table.  Good thing I don’t have a dining room table.  It might be nice in a kids room.  I don’t have one of those either any more.

Well, for someone who thought she didn’t have anything much to say today, I’ve managed to write a lot of words, as well as post two pictures of the same thing.  This blogging thing is so easy.  And you can do it most days without glue.

Dear House


Ever felt like writing a thank you letter to something you take for granted?  I mean without someone prompting you to do it?  Nope, me neither. (Because, duh, taking it for granted….)

Well this is not how I wanted to start a letter to my house, so let’s begin again.

Just like I don’t understand the need for ridiculous extravagance when you marry somebody, I don’t get it when it comes to building yourself a crazy-ass mansion to live in, with thousands of square feet that you love to look at and admire but rarely use.  There are many people in my life who have gorgeous new homes, or homes that are old but have been renovated to look like gorgeous new homes.  This is obviously important to them and makes them happy and that’s all good.  My house is not new, not renovated, and not gorgeous.  And that’s okay.

Dear House,

Hello.  Just wanted to let you know I love and appreciate you and I’m sorry for taking twenty-eight years to tell you this.

I don’t know how you felt about your builders way back in 1973,  or your first owners or your second.   But I’m pretty sure you loved us when we moved in all those years ago, right?  Because three’s a charm.  We were lucky to find you at a great price, and thankful that you didn’t need too many changes right away.  However, we wasted no time taking down those gawd-awful green drapes in your living room and getting rid of the brown leafy wall paper, a crappy carpet in one of your bedrooms and your ugly kitchen linoleum.  You’re welcome.  Eventually we got around to painting everywhere.  I hope you like the colors.  Or should I just say I hope you love yellow.  We promised you we would finish the unfinished room in the basement and put in another bathroom downstairs.

Yes, I know you’re still waiting.  But your attic needed new insulation, and your roof now has excellent shingles, and there’s the new kitchen counter and the beautiful new floor that looks like real wood and a new furnace to keep us both warm.  We do try to keep you clean and presentable.  Maybe gorgeous just isn’t in the cards for us.

Hey, we could have abandoned you and moved on and let somebody new fix you up properly, and that’s still a possibility for some bright day in the future.   I know I’ve used it as an excuse to delay the things that should be done, saying ‘what’s the point, whoever buys this house will probably change it anyway.’

Did that scare you, hearing me say it all the time?  I’m sure it’s gotten so old and repetitive now that you don’t pay attention to it anymore.

We no longer need the unfinished room to be finished, and the time when we really needed that extra bathroom has come and gone.  I AM promising you a renovated main bathroom before we leave,  because I think both of us are just completely sick and tired of purple in that seventies style.  A few more years and it will be an amazing retro feature – except that bathroom fixtures (even annoyingly durable purple ones) don’t last forever.

And right now you are beautifully functional and you suit us just fine.  Every one of your rooms holds wonderful memories of growth and change.  I look at the little bedrooms and remember who used to occupy them and how those teenagers grew up and left home and came back and left again.  And then how they brought their own little people here so that we needed the unfinished room to morph into a playroom.  And the downstairs bedroom to accommodate two beds and mattresses on the floor and the library to double as a guest room.  One of these days we won’t need all that.  We won’t be able to so easily go up and down your stairs or shovel your driveway or paint your ceilings.  You will be too big for us, and you’ll start longing for another family to fill your rooms with noise and laughter.

Meanwhile, we will continue to love you and look after you in our hap-hazard fashion and appreciate you until the time is right to let you go.  I don’t think there will be any new red walls in your immediate future, and I am trying really hard to stop hanging strange things on the ones you already have.  You may not be gorgeous, but wow, you have character and you are able to hold an amazing amount of junk.   You are warm and cozy in the winter and bright and breezy in the summer.  We are blessed to have you.

Thank you house, for being our very fine house.


Charming Owners Number Three

(who love their home, have dubious interior decorating skills, but very big hearts.)