Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Don't Poop There

We have a new manager, and he was pissy with me yesterday. He took an already stressful day, which had been piled on from the previous very stressful work-week and made it just that little bit worse. 

Pre-September Lois would have gone home and had a lovely bottle of wine, to drown my sorrows. Post-September Lois went home and binge watched Paranoid on Netflix, and had Husband serve me leftovers and peanut-butter ice-cream.

I don't understand how a person can be so rude, and ignorant to a co-worker. This person has basically shit in his own living-room, and any accommodation that we [office administration] make [above and beyond] our regular tasks - will happen no more.

Why? Because that person reacted in anger and ignorance. Period. And this person will not. This person is reacting with deadly calm, not to be confused with docility. But it didn't have to be like this. 

Makes me sad, when it has to.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thoughts I had while in the tub...

Aging is not terrible. I like how I look. I like my sparkly hair and I am strong, I am fierce. I wear what I like and I break rules.

Sometimes when I see myself on camera - like when my phone does that selfie thing - makes me jump - then I realize that I don't fully look like how I think I do.

Isn't is crazy how our minds are far more gentle than the photo? Even my bathroom mirror is more gentle than an ungraceful photo...

Last week at pottery class someone was wandering around with a camera, and that's fine, I didn't really think anything of it until the other day when on my Instagram - there I was! on the DVSA instagram  feed - glazing my pot - very intent and [sigh] not the vision I imagine I am.

The photo was not horrific. I did not drop my phone and scream. I looked at myself and I thought, ok, that is me. That is now. I am a fierce 54 year old woman.

Actually, I sighed and thought : It could have been worse.

So in the tub I was thinking about how when I was in my teens and 20s how my eyebrows were so thick and heavy - and how I fought to tame them. Plucking and thinning. And now how my brows are light coloured and sometimes don't even show up very well. It is like in your 20s how your body is intense - trying to stand out - look at me - mate with me. Now, all the hair on my body is thinning except the hair on my chin.

I like how I look.

It's better than the alternative.

Paint Party Friday - Another week flies by

Good morning, it was a fast week for sure.

 A photo of a river in Dundas. I was on the bridge walking to class yesterday and took a moment to pause, and breathe.

This lovely little row house, also in Dundas. I am going to fill it tonight.

And the weekend! 
It is nearly here.
Have a creative weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2016

An Announcement from Blogger...


Blogger is telling me I have to tell you they use cookies on the blogs.  

So be well informed about the cookies... 


Friday, November 18, 2016

Paint Party Friday - More Houses

This has been a busy week. Pottery yesterday, dealing with my anxiety about glazing. I can find a reason for anxiety about anything. It is the whole chemistry thing, and so many choices... I am aiming for absolute simplicity - there is a new [yellowish] glaze called Wheatfield, which I think I'll use for all my pots remaining.

This week I filled both pictures that I posted last week, plus I drew and filled a sad old house I wrote about on Wednesday.

So this is what I have worked on this week:

The Main St West House - Hamilton
[Great-grandfather Gallagher's House]

The Lake St House - Stoney Creek
Last night I passed by the Stoney Creek house on my way home from pottery class and on the lawn was a massive pile of beautiful cast iron - there was an old tub, sinks, all sorts of victorian heating vents. I stopped. My heart raced. My hand reached out - to grab a heating vent - I love cast iron - and then I breathed. And I walked away. At my 1950s bungalow - there is no room for Victorian Cast Iron. I'm in a modern house now. That cast iron will have to go home with someone else. I will not fathom the thought that the scrap metal man will be picking it up. Will not entertain that thought... 

The Peter St House - Toronto

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

In Queue to be Bulldozed...

On Saturday Randy and I walked a lot around the Art Gallery neighbourhood, going for lunch and the art supply shop where I picked up some more sepia markers. He showed me this house he drew recently, a heritage home that will most likely be made into condominiums in spite of  heritage status.

Here is a photo from Saturday that I took with my phone.

The house was built in 1871.  A man named Nicholas Flood Davin was the first to own it.

Found a terrible tidbit about Davin - which almost made me happy to see the house go, although he only lived there until 1882.

 "Davin produced the Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-Breeds, otherwise known as The Davin Report (1879), in which he advised John A. Macdonald’s federal government to institute residential schools for Indigenous youth; a recommendation that decimated Canadian Aboriginal families. 
[from Wikipedia]

Not until 1996, was the last residential school closed.

It isn't the fault of the house. 
For the next 120 years 3 generations of the same family owned it, until it was sold in 2009. It has been a rooming house for decades, and I can only imagine how decimated the interior is.


Here is my picture - uncoloured. Tonight I will paint it.

When I look at this house, I can understand why Randy was so drawn to it. 

A proud old Victorian.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mystical Landscapes

I went with my good friend Randy to the Art Gallery in Toronto to see the exhibition : Mystical Landscapes. I did love it, although it was crowded, being a Saturday afternoon.

I liked the ideas around the different ways of expressing "Mystical" with the obvious religious paintings with Christ and cathedrals - to pagans in the forest [my preference]. There were mountains and sunsets and sunrises. Most were about light.

One small painting stood out for me, it was called The Closed Door. I can't find an image, but tomorrow  I'll search for it online - I have the artist's name at home.

After all the landscapes and skies and churches and forests and Christs and angels - it was a simple painting. A closed door. It reminded me of a garden door - from a long ago walled garden - like the secret garden.

After I find an image - I will ponder it a bit more, and might do a picture of my own mystical landscape. It will probably be a door, because I like doors. Maybe my own door.

I am curious why this picture is in the exhibit. I am a bit dense in the art-theory world. I am [I think] a very plain thinker. I would be a good Quaker.

Thinking of doors today.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Paint Party Friday - Houses

These are the pictures that I have been working on this week. 
I love old buildings, and some just ooze energy. 

Both are works in progress, the top one needs to be enhanced and both have to be coloured.

House 1: is my Great-grandfather's house here in Hamilton Ontario. In 1901 it was a rooming house.  When my mother was a child in the 20's it was still a rooming house. A distant cousin of mine and his sister live there now, in an apartment. When we first moved to the city it was badly run down. My mother would be happy to see it now, with cracked steps repaired. It looks rather proud.

House 2 : The Jones House is at the end of my street, easily the oldest house in the area circa 1836. Up until spring it was a haunted, sad house, with horrible additions and no trespassing signs all over the place. Garbage piled high in the back. 

Then the for sale sign went up, and soon it sold. The local newspaper assured the community that the new owners were aware of the heritage status, and they have worked hard to bring this lovely Georgian back to life.

Next project :

Dundas Row Houses.
Love those doors.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Falling Through Time in a Moment

The weekend was incredible. Two glorious balmy November days in a row. We worked in our garden, putting it to bed for the winter and still have more to do. I feel that we are on top of it now.

Our garden is massive compared to the small inner-city lot we had for 10 years. Storage is a challenge here though, because I used to use the space under our deck to store pots and some plants that need a bit of shelter. At this house our deck is low to the ground and the garage is full. Last winter all my pots were new and we just stored them in the basement.

I need a potting shed. I'm pondering where this small shed could live, and wonder if it could be made from pallets, and still look good.

All my geraniums have been potted and are waiting to come in to winter. Most zinnias are finished, but the ones that are still in flower will have another week until I remove them.

We went for a wonderful hike on Sunday afternoon into the Niagara Escarpment.

Less than 20 minutes from our house, we are in the forest. There are many trails to follow, depending on your mood and the time of year. The leaves had covered the ground but they were not slippery so we decided to walk to the lower Punchbowl.

The day was perfect. Our friends were with us, and I did notice Heather struggling with the trail at times, with her balance, with the descents. I was wearing sturdy boots, and think from now on I'll warn people that the trail can be challenging. 

And at the end, the Devil's Punchbowl - water falling through time. The rock layers showing the passage of a millennium.   

I love it afresh each time we visit.

Heather is a 'red flag' friend, having been my wine-drinking buddy for over 10 years... She and her partner have just received a prescription for medical marijuana, and can now go to the marijuana shop and get it whenever they want. She said they got a sample pack of three different types to try.

I'm just happy to be clean and sober - totally sober - and living the days unfiltered. Sleep is still crappy, and anxiety sometimes hits, but living life without a buffer is pretty cool. 

Just being cautious with those trigger-friends for now.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Paint Party Friday

My first Paint Party Friday.
Below is page from my sketch book, 
she is a Hibernating Woman.
Sakura Micron .005 marker with [cheap] watercolour fill.

Hibernation 2

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Art of Relaxation [a course I need to take...]

Halloween was clear and crisp - we had around 50 children which was a nice number. More than last year I think, in spite of our road construction.

In years past, we would shell out on the front porch, me with my witch hat on head and wine glass in hand. I honestly missed wine last night, but in a pondering way, not an anxious way.

Eldest [at 29] is reminding me more of the 18 year old he once was - and how he was hardest on me when life became overwhelming for him. We work together and although he is my son, I have firm expectations of co-worker etiquette and he pissed me off yesterday. That was another factor in my missing wine last night. I used to use wine as a sedative when dealing with work stress. I'd chill with a glass of wine and mellow out. Last night - I sat and I had to force myself to chill. This is all wrapped up in my inability to relax - and that leads to my impatience - and that leads to me forcing the clay on the wheel, resulting in wonky pots.

I know I need to learn how to relax naturally. I think my first journal entry back in September was how suddenly I couldn't sit outside with Husband like I used to - how I was agitated with simply sitting. That is where sketching has become a saving task to keep my fingers busy.

Last night Husband was called out to work - which was unfortunate since he loves shelling out - but Middle Son and I took turns and watched The Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas with a lovely fire in the fireplace.

It's all about creating new traditions.

This morning I talked to Eldest, and I think he's ok. His life is in transition. In eight weeks he will be a Dad. His life will blow up and all the pieces will come floating down in brand new order. You can't tell people how a baby will change your life. You are only a witness.

And today Youngest turned 20.

Changes - changes. Love you David Bowie.