Art du Jour 32

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Charcoal makes such a mess.  I’m not sure what all I used here, because I have my drawing things all over the place and often mixed up, but within easy reach. So I tend to grab something and see what it does, and wonder about it later.

I do know this is on drawing paper, not sketch paper.  And that I almost abandoned it half-finished because it wasn’t going the way I expected.  Or fast enough to suit me.  Because, you know, I’ve got a lot of Netflix to watch.  But I walked away and returned to it later, realizing then that it likely wasn’t such a complete disaster after all.

What else is new?  We had our wireless internet upgraded yesterday.  To me there is no noticeable difference, but our monthly bill will change of course.  And here’s the funny part.  Our internet provider has called us every day for over a week to ask us if we would like to have our service upgraded.  Sometimes they ask to speak to me, and sometimes to W.  Both of us have been telling them every single time they call that we have already arranged to have this done.  They called yesterday and we said it was being done.  Today we told them it has been done for the love of gawd and to please stop calling us.  Do none of these idiots ever talk to each other?  Were they all given the same phone list as a joke?  It’s not all that funny anymore.

Happy rainy day in January everybody!  It’s a good day for sorting out pencils and ignoring the phone.

Gentle

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Snow is gently falling this morning and if there is any wind at all, it is gentle too.

My Saturday morning house is quiet and the January light reflects off the gently rotating hangy-things dangling across the kitchen window.

Yes, there does appear to be a photo in this slide show which doesn’t belong.  It is meant to show that beauty can be found on a cluttered kitchen counter.

I am about to begin session three of my gentle stretching of miscellaneous newly awakened muscles.

There are miles to go before I sleep.

Feel free to take all of this and shape it in to an epic piece of poetry.  My brain is currently tuned to the gentle setting and won’t cooperate.

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Art du Jour 30

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I wonder why I can’t see the things that are wrong with a drawing until I take a photograph of it.  By that point I usually don’t care enough to go back and fix it up.  Some of my fix ups have been disastrous, so I’m trying to learn to just leave well enough alone and try harder next time.

This one is all about the smirk.  Or sucking on ice cubes,  I can’t decide.

It’s still cold here.  But it’s still January, isn’t it?  The daylight is increasing in little leaps but no bounds yet.  Soon the lack of sufficient lengths of it will no longer be a valid excuse for whatever you’re trying to get yourself out of, or merely put off, which in my case is painting something on a canvas.  That’s two very awkward sentences in a row!  Fix them up for me, would you?

It’s getting dark and I’m hungry.  This has been the worst Art commentary ever.  I’ll try harder next time.

Winter Weather Jots

For those of you who don’t already know it, this month is officially Just Jot it January, or JusJoJan.  See, I have the sign to prove it.  You can even click on it for the link.

imageIt is also cold outside, and I have proof of that too because I took a screen shot.

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My new weather network app informed me this clear sunny Sunday morning that the temperature outside was -34 C, feels like -43 C.  So it’s gotten considerably better since then, right?  Except that the early dark always makes me feel colder.

I got rid of my old weather app because it always showed me a pretty rural landscape which appeared to have inclement weather happening somewhere in front of it, or off to the side with little actual effect on the blue sky and green grass.  There was also a big bold and annoying sign hanging in the sky telling me how lovely the premium features of this app would prove to be if only I would decide to purchase the upgrade.  So I deleted it instead.

I live with a weatherman, and the app is just a heads up, so that when he stands in front of me looking out the window to inform me that it’s snowing, I can say I already knew that.  Today of all days he decided he had to get out of the house and do something.  So all by myself I have had to figure out that it’s snowing heavily in B.C. and there is dangerous freezing rain in the Maritime provinces and Newfoundland has some crazy winds going on.

It’s a very good day for all sane Canadians to stay inside and read a good book I think.  This thought brings us all the way back around in a circle to the first prompt theme for JusJoJan which happens to be Reading.  See how I did that?  But, back to the jotting part, the rules state that we can also jot down random thoughts and share them.

Being currently in a very share-y mood and a chronic haver of random thoughts, I decided to go through my list of the puzzling things I have on my notebook phone app.  Little pieces of paper can go missing or be thrown away.  These, on the other hand, tend to accumulate and defy deletion.

1.  dates, rice flour, coconut, espresso powder? (I think the question mark indicates that I feared not being able to find such a thing because it might not exist)

2.  sit in the fridge for 10 minutes (recipe instructions that cracked me up)

3.  4:20 pick up time 23rd (I believe that was about a bus on holidays.  You don’t want to miss a holiday bus.)

4.  Appt at 1, be there 15 min early, allow for traffic and parkade and bicycle accidents (Good advice I guess)

5.  A little mini list of my grandchildren and each of their birthdays.  (I remember doing this one, because I got tired of being asked their ages and having to be vague about it.  Bad grandma.)

6.  Scrubber Vileda (because brand names are hard to remember)

7.  A long and involved recipe for  Lebkuchen  (although I’m not even sure what that is)

8.  Sorry, I was busy expanding my inner bliss in to the universe. (Always put you excuses in writing)

9.  Glop is a valid scrabble word (Who knew?  Probably every scrabble player but me)

10.  De-calcify pineal gland (what?)

There’s  more than ten, but you probably don’t care what my cell phone bill amounts are.  Or the prices of organic produce.  Frankly, neither do I, once the moment has passed.

Well, that’s entirely enough jotting for one day.  There will be a new prompt on the 10th.  I’m sure I will be able to flub my way through that one too.  Or glop.  I could also glop.  Maybe I should jot that down.

Early Morning Yesterday

It was an early morning yesterday, I was up before the dawn

(Supertramp, Goodbye Stranger)

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I wasn’t really up before the dawn and it wasn’t actually yesterday, I think it was the day before, but let’s pretend for the sake of my awesome quote that no one cares about the details.

Every morning when I get out of bed I pull the curtains aside and look out into the backyard to see what the day looks like.  And I guess to see if anything interesting is going on back there.  Nothing ever is, but you never know.  On this particular day the morning sky was absolutely gorgeous, so I grabbed my phone and took a picture through the bedroom window of….. the garage.  Then I woke up a bit more and decided to put a little more effort and some zoom into it and came up with these.

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A normal person might have put some clothes and shoes on and actually ventured outside to take clear pictures, but if I were one of those and had done that I think I might have missed it all.  In the second last shot which was over to the right, the colors were less intense and soon it all started to lighten like that. By the time I had coffee made the sky was back to its regular faded winter ice blue.

I’m so happy I didn’t miss this!  It was amazing.  If you’ve never heard of or seen the color called ‘sky blue pink’ before, there you go.  This is what it looks like.

So How Is 2014 Going For You So Far?

therapy room with joanna cross

photo from Facebook page therapy room with Joanna Cross

This year (well, last year, actually) I downloaded this e-book to Kindle on my I-Pad.

365 Days of Writing Prompts

by The Editors, WordPress.com.

365 writing prompts

Then I promptly forgot about it, until today when I began wondering if I should try once again to do a post a day for a whole year.  I fell short by about twenty posts last year but  I like to set lofty goals for myself and then break the rules.  They’re self-imposed, so no one cares, least of all me.  And if I don’t like the prompt I can just use it as a springboard to talk about something completely unrelated, which is often how my brain works.

I also have a word-a-day calendar to improve my vocabulary, but already, skipping ahead and tempting bad luck,  I’m noticing the words are ones I’ve heard and used before, and that has made me all pouty.  Then I read somewhere that awesome things will happen if I choose not to be a miserable cow.

So here goes.

The first prompt is named “Stroke of Midnight”. 

Where were you last night when 2013 turned into 2014?  Is it where you’d wanted to be?

I was tucked up in my bedroom fast asleep, and yes, it’s exactly how I expected to (not) see in the new year.  If you really need to know, I missed midnight by a good three hours. That’s either very pathetic, or extremely smart on my part.  No hangovers in this house. Is there a bah-humbug phrase for thumbing ones nose at the celebration of another year biting the dust?

But even without a mad drinking party the night before, there are days (and a lot of them happen to come along in January) when I suffer from a severe case of clinomania (an excessive desire to stay in bed.)

There’s our first new word that did not come from my calendar, but from somewhere completely different,  snuck in to the middle of nowhere, and here’s the next one.

 – orenda (n.) a mystical force present in all people that empowers them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives.

I don’t know, I think the New Year Gods are trying to tell me something.  So, look at that!  Post number one done, three hundred and sixty-four to go.  We are on a roll and slowly working our way up to world-changing mode. Hang on to your pointy party hats.

Eff Words

Yesterday was a bright sunshiny day. It was also day 5 of a 6 day work week for me, and about -17 Celsius with a brisk wind.  I looked outside in the morning and said EFF THIS, or words to that effect. This is March for the love of all that’s holy, not January.  It wouldn’t have been so disappointing to get all this snow if we hadn’t been seeing bare roads and snowless walkways and little tiny hints of spring.  Now they’ve disappeared again.

Looking down our driveway.  Wanting to run back inside and sleep for about six weeks.

Looking down our driveway. Wanting to run back inside and sleep for about six weeks.

 

The front of my house.

The front of my house.

My neighbors front lawn.

My neighbors front lawn.

I know I should not be saying bad words, not only because they don’t sound very nice, but also because they have no power to change the weather.

I will blame being tired of working, and maybe also the fact that muttering ‘oh dearie me’ like a proper grandmother just doesn’t cut it sometimes.

So for future reference, I have strung a few Eff words together and tried them out for effect:

Efface yourself you effete efficacious effigy of effusive effluvium!

Nope, it doesn’t make any sense, but neither does the real F word in about 99% of the ways in which it gets used.

So if I can just remember to repeat that little sentence with a lot of feeling, maybe kicking something at the same time, and without having my top front teeth go through my bottom lip, somehow I think the situation will seem ever so much better.  And as an extra bonus, I won’t have to be so careful about what comes out of my mouth when there are small children about.

I want to wear my effing effusively fun spring coat.  Really, is that too much to ask for the middle of March for crying out loud?  I promise I will be in a better mood once I’ve had a couple of effectual days off.  But right now, if it’s spring where you are, I effortlessly don’t like you very much.

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Just the Facts

just the factsAnyone remember Dragnet and Joe Friday?  It was one of the first television shows I ever watched.  This guy was always trying to get people to stop voicing their opinions and making wild assumptions about whatever crime he was investigating, and just stick to the facts.  Week after week he had to keep reminding them.  So just for you Joe, five random facts about my day. (With some opinions and wild assumptions thrown in.  Sorry, it’s human nature.  You should know that by now.)

1.  One of the best mood lifters in the world for me is to go to work leaving my house looking like pigs live in it and come home to find it sparkling clean.  I do pay for this miraculous service and believe me,  it is worth every single penny.

2.  I have been studiously ignoring January and not bothering to hate it.  If it does pop into my head I just make a quiet wish for it to go away.  Look how well this is working for me!  It’s over half gone already!

3. There is no kind and polite way to tell someone her kid is a little shit.  Chances are she suspects it already anyway.  (This particular darling boy had two pairs of mangled glasses that looked like they’d been in a food processor.  On high.)  Mom wanted to know why they were such a mess.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t really want to hear my honest opinion so I kept it to myself.  Her child will probably grow out of the glasses mangling stage at some point in his life.

4.  Someone found my blog by searching for “fish hair“.  For once in my life I am at a loss for words.

5.  The temperature outside is two degrees above freezing.  What month is this again??  Back to normal and 18 below (celsius) by Sunday.  Sometimes normal sucks.  But that’s okay.

WOOHOO!  Tomorrow is FRIDAY, Joe Friday.  And that’s a fact.

Begone You Negative January Thoughts

January 2010 Snow Scene

January 2010 Snow Scene (Photo credit: ς↑r ĴΛϒκ❂)

Yesterday I started to talk about my incredibly boring peaceful first of January work day.  And then I got off on a tangent or two and completely skipped over all the kind and loving things I spent my five hours doing, in the spirit of being a joy to the world rather than a pain in its ass.

Anyone who works in a retail setting will tell you (even if you don’t care or especially if you don’t want to know) that it is not an easy place in which to remain upbeat and positive and helpful all day long.  People are demanding.  They would like their every shopping dream to come true.  Some of them do not deal well with disappointment.  Our optical business is not normally open on a stat holiday, and the Christmas season is our slowest time of year.  Nobody thinks of putting a brand new pair of glasses in a kids stocking.  Unless they really don’t like their kid.  So I was anticipating a few quiet hours alone, and for the most part, that’s exactly what I got.

However.  Always, there will be the almighty ‘however’.  It’s some kind of cosmic rule.  Lights on in an optical shop on a stat holiday when you don’t expect it draws the weirdos out of a crowd.  And I mean “weirdos”  in the nicest possible way of course.  Lovely people who felt sorry for me sitting there all alone doing nothing and were kind enough to think up some bizarre problem with their glasses so that I would have something to fix.  A wobbly temple, a loose screw, the wrong tilt, a pinched nose.  My left ear hurts.  These things keep sliding off my face.  I didn’t have time to clean my glasses this morning, would you mind doing that?  And one thing after another, I didn’t mind.  I booked some appointments.  Sold some contact lenses.  Did some filing.  I told a little guy to grow his nose bigger so his glasses would fit better.  We had a good laugh about that.

January

January (Photo credit: Deadly Tedly)

And then in walked the gruff and scowling disgruntled dad with more than a chip on his shoulder – more like the whole damned wood pile.  Children cowering in his wake.  If I could see auras, I imagine his would be gray.  I listened to his story although I’ve heard many versions of it before and the ending is always the same.  Something has gone wrong, it is causing me considerable distress, you had better be able to fix it because I’m ready to become a confrontational bad ass if you can’t or won’t.

I have a mantra that I started saying in my head awhile ago without any real conscious effort on my part.  It just popped in there one day and it’s been hanging around ever since.  “We are all Gods children….all Gods children….all Gods children…”  Repeat as required.  It helps me to keep my mouth shut.  It helps me to remember that this person is not really upset with me or blaming me personally for all his woes.  Because he surely has more of them than this one small problem with his childs eyewear.  It helps me to keep this one small thing from being the straw that breaks his camels back.

The problem was resolved and his child was visibly relieved.  He seemed a little surprised that it all went so well.  He trudged off with his little entourage to be pissed off at something completely different.

The point I’m trying to make (ha! you thought I didn’t have one didn’t you!) is that there is negative energy in the air and it has the power to make us sick if we let it.  If we add to it, it will grow and get out of control and consume us.  Normally I hate January, but this year I’ve decided I’m not going to hate it.  It’s such a waste of time.  January doesn’t care and just keeps on being January in spite of my intense dislike for it, and there’s nothing I can do about that.  I can’t love it, it’s just not in me to love this God forsaken month.  But I can certainly work myself up to being indifferent about it.  I don’t think you have any idea what a lofty goal that is for me!  Almost like a resolution!  But let’s not get carried away here.

So, whatever, January.  I’m done letting you suck me in to being a despondent idiot waiting for you to go away.  On your very first day I proved to myself that being positive and peaceful for an entire five hours is not beyond my capabilities.  Life is just too short to hate all of your Januarys I always say.  Yeah, it is the first time I’ve ever said that, but now I can see myself saying it a lot more.  There.  How easy was that?  Another negative thing about me bites the dust.  I will probably make it all the way to some kind of sainthood by the end of the year.