Art du Jour 78

Sketch of a little dog I never met.

Sketch of a little dog I never met.

My life lately has been one big series of breaks. I’m running out of reasons (excuses) to take them. Maybe I’m just resting up for non stop November blogging from hell. (That’s not exactly what it’s called, but close.)

A couple of weeks ago I flew/drove/crossed a river by boat to spend several days on our little island in gorgeous fall weather. My sister and brother-in-law drove from the other direction and all of us helped W close up camp for the winter. It’s a two-day drive for both of us to get home. And then straight away I drove 5 hours north to spend some time with 4 of my grandchildren. Not sure how useful I’m being, but I’m here for a couple more days. Number one grandson turns 14 tomorrow.

W is busy at home preparing himself with appointments and paperwork for his hip replacement surgery. We are hoping it will be scheduled for early next month if not sooner. I will be his chief post surgery care giver. How scary is that? Not for me, for him. I’ve got my own scary stuff going on with two ultrasounds and a mammogram booked for next Friday. October is health month at our house. Flu shots are coming up too.

For the next three months I’m on a diabetic medication because blood work revealed that my blood sugar levels are all out of whack. I hardly ever eat sugary things, but I guess sitting on my retired ass for a year has messed up my metabolism or something. There’s always something. So yeah. Working on that.

So that’s my missing-in-action excuse list for now. The sketch is from a photo. I will get back to working in my “art studio” soon, and back to reading your blogs. I miss those things.

I have all the paraphernalia at home to check my blood sugar levels.  It involves sharp things and a bio-hazardous waste receptacle, so when I work up the nerve to start using all that, I will share the experience with you.  Self inflicted pain coming up.  Woohoo.

Have an awesome October weekend!


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.


Sharing My World 27



What are your favorite spices?

When I was growing up the number of spices in our house was kept to a minimum.  And what was there was mostly put into pies.  I suppose by some standards our food was pretty bland but there’s something to be said for enjoying natural flavours.  When I started cooking on my own and following recipes, the phrase “season to taste” drove me mad.  What does that even MEAN??  A friend told me it usually indicates that you should add salt and pepper, so I was able to deal with that and stay reasonably sane.

I still don’t like things that are excessively spicy, and except for cinnamon and chili pepper I tend to depend on the people who make the spices to mix them up for me.  I buy those little bottles that say pork, chicken, steak, poultry or vegetable seasoning and hope for the best.

I put cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric in my smoothies every day because they’re all supposed to be good for me.  There’s so much other stuff in there, I can’t even taste them.

What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?

I’m trying to remember what I did before I started taking my I-Pad with me everywhere.  Used someone else’s computer, or called home on someone else’s land line.  Or sent a postcard.  My watch is something I never wear at home, but like to have with me when I’m away.  Never mind the time, it tells me what day it is.  And I never leave home for any length of time without carting along double the amount of prescription medication I’ll need, because you never know if the plane might crash on a desert island and I don’t want to be the first one to die because I didn’t have enough Synthroid with me.

What is one thing you love about being an adult?

I love everything about being an adult, except maybe for having to pay all the bills.  And figure out what spices to add to things.  Everything else is easy once you get those two things sorted out.

What item, that you don’t have already, would you most like to own?

I would most like to own a mansion full of servants.  Or a helicopter.  Since both of these are unlikely to materialize in my life, I’d settle for a big art studio in the Caribbean.

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

Well, here’s something I’m grateful for today!  There has been snow falling all around us, but somehow it missed depositing itself in our little town.  We’ve even seen some sunshine on an otherwise grey and overcast day.

I’m looking forward to casting my vote in the provincial election on the 5th of May.  Even though nothing is likely to change very much.  The PC’s have been in power since 1971.  That’s longer than my children have been alive.

As always, I’m grateful for my little art studio which is not in the Caribbean, and I’m happy to have lots of time to spend in it.  I’m grateful that I snuck this world sharing post in just under the wire before the next one is suddenly upon us.  One of the perks of being an adult is sauntering along to the beat of your own drum.


Sharing My World 11


My world sharing got put on hold for a while and I’m not sure what I missed, but no one has been beating down my door to find out, so I’m just going to carry on.

Share Your World 2014 Week 48.

What is your favorite toppings on pizza?

In my ongoing quest to cut things out of my diet, I have given up pizza crust.  The gluten-free pizza crusts are okay, but I have also been experimenting with burned cheese crusts.  So far I have been unsuccessful at actually burning them!  I know, I can’t believe it either.  I’ve also experimented with zucchini as a base, baked with pizza toppings.  Yes, my life is just one bizarre experiment after another.

I like a pizza that’s loaded with lots of stuff – pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, onions, green peppers, fresh tomatoes, ham, bacon.  Double cheese.  I haven’t cut dairy out of my diet because if I find out I’m allergic to cheese I’ll cry.

I want to learn more about …

I used to think I’d be good at watercolor painting, but that was a delusion.  Everything I try is a disaster.  Best to stick with acrylics and develop my basic skills with that medium I guess.  Improving my drawing should also improve my painting.  This is a strange time in life to be finding myself in art, but now I  have the time to do it and I’m learning new things every day.

What are three places you’ve enjoyed visiting?

If it wasn’t for my sister I would probably never have gone anywhere interesting ever,  except to her house.  We went to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) together, then with our spouses to Canada’s east coast (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland), and this May to Greece (Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Crete) with our sister-in-law, nephew and two nieces.  All wonderful trips, and I’m happy to have been to every one of those places.  However, when it comes to planning a trip on my own, or having a burning desire to go somewhere new, it’s not likely to happen.  I missed the travel gene, or bug, or whatever it is that a wandering gypsy has that I don’t.

Do you prefer eating the frosting of the cake or the cupcake first?

I would eat both of them together last, although I would prefer to be too full of other nutritious things to want to, and pass them up altogether.  Sweet things don’t tempt me, but anything salty is another story.

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 for a quiet week of nothing much and looking forward to another one like it.  It’s hard to keep up with me, hey?   I don’t know how I ever learned anything interesting before we had Pinterest and YouTube, and I am grateful for a seemingly unending wealth of information about things I had no idea I needed to know in the first place.  There is Christmas shopping coming up soon (I am procrastinating because there’s nothing that has to be mailed) and Christmas cards to write.  And fudge to make because apparently W can’t have a proper Christmas without it.



Junk and Treasures

Before bed she watches her grandma scurry about the house making preparations for tomorrow, putting what appears to be worthless junk on the kitchen table, although she knows her mother considers these things priceless family treasures and will be thrilled to have them.

In the  morning she is still disoriented and exhausted after her long flight across the ocean, the drive to the farm and her restless night in yet another strange bed, with nothing better to look forward to now than a two-day road trip on her long journey home.

With a defeated sigh, she throws her things back in to her travel-worn bag, wishing she could stuff her bad mood and all her worries in there right along with them.

Once she gets everything downstairs she simply can’t stop laughing at the sight of her funny little grandma, giant fork under one arm and enormous spoon under the other, declaring herself all set and ready to go.

And just like that, all the irritation disappears.

Five Sentence Fiction  is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. This week’s word: IRRITATION

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Six Things and Then Some

The highway going north, except this trip it wasn't that green.

The highway going north, except this trip it wasn’t that green.

Three things about the road trip last Sunday:

1.  Dry, bare roads in the sunshine encourage me to drive faster than the speed limit.  I used to have a little four-cylinder car that wanted to die going up the hills.  Now I have a car that wants to pass everything.  Twinned highways are the best.

2.  There are spots along this route where there is no phone service and no radio reception.

3.  I have favourite bathroom stops along the way.  Because I’m not fond of surprises.

The highway heading home, except not that bad because there was no drifting snow.

The highway heading home, except not that bad because there was no drifting snow. This time.

Three things about the road trip yesterday:

1.  There were scary sections where slushy ruts had frozen solid.  Black ice was a definite possibility.

2.  There are a lot of big truck operators who do not observe Remembrance Day as a holiday.

3.  I seem to be honing my skills for missing turns on arrival anywhere, including home.  I drove by the turn off I should have taken, took the next one, and drove into a maze of new residential developments which I then had to find my way out of.  Once I knew where I was, I took yet another TWO wrong turns.  Talk about your scenic route.

Six things that will make me read a blog. (A Nano Poblano Random Prompt)

1.  Lists and random photos.  (So, is this working for you??)

2.  Likes.  I like how Word Press suggests taking a look at the likers posts.  I like to do that.

3.  Common interests.  Or completely uncommon interests.  This is a wondrous place.  I especially like to read blog posts by people who have answered the same prompt.  Or by people who have tackled the same subject.  Or by people who have written about subjects of which I have no knowledge whatsoever.

4.  Recommendations by people whose blogs I already follow.  If I like you, chances are very good that I will also like whoever you like.

5.  Comments.  If someone new takes the time to comment on something I write, I will make a supreme effort to check out their blog.  My supreme efforts sometimes fall short, but I am trying to bump up the supreme part of that and get better at doing it.

6.  Reading the comments on other blogs often prompts me to click on the commenter to see what else they have to say.  I am really nosey.  I have found a lot of incredible blogs that way.

What makes you read a blog and decide to follow it?  Are you still reading this, or did your mind wander before making it through to the end of the first list?  Do you think I should start using the direction finder thing on my phone???

Have a great Wednesday!  I’m off to sign some important business papers.  Supposing I don’t get lost.


Art du Jour 8

Today is a six-hour travel day for me.  I will be visiting 4/5 of my grandchildren for a week.  That’s not counting dogs, the count for them being 1/2.

In lieu of writing something interesting and worthwhile I am giving you this serious little person with wonky eyebrows and one large ear to look at.  It’s difficult to take a photo of a sketch, (especially at midnight under artificial light when you should be packing) and not have the reflections on the eyeballs do funny things.  Daylight works better.

And speaking of daylight, our clocks were turned back an hour on Saturday.  Spring ahead, fall back.  End up with exactly the same amount of light you’d have if you left the clocks the hell alone.  So I’m not sure who we’re fooling with this.  A better idea would be to extend October, a month that everyone likes, by a week;  and then transfer the last week of November into December, because that month is never long enough.  Isn’t that a great idea?  Except maybe not so much for all the November novel writers who would have to type a lot faster.

My great expectations for my week away include answering some of the excellent Nano Poblano prompts and learning how to draw a realistic ear.

Enjoy your Sunday (1/5 of the total number of Sundays for this November).  If you need anything else put into fractions, just ask.