Sunday, May 31, 2009

100 in 100 Days

While visiting Rowena's blog (via Leah's Everyday Creative), I was blown away by her challenge.

She is beginning a 100 Day Challenge to be creative everyday. Amanda at Persistent Green has taken up the challenge as well.

The end of school is only 4 weeks away and then 2 months of choosing what I want to do beckons! It seemed the perfect time for this challenge to be taken up! Talk about synchronicity! Leah has just spoken about it on Creative Every Day, as has Collage Diva at True North!

When I created this blog in March my goal was to be more creative. Teaching does take a lot of my time, but I knew that I was missing something. The loss of my Mom really shook me and even though I have a supportive, loving husband, a wonderful family, a career I enjoy, I was "blue". The blog has helped, as has becoming part of 101 Things in 1001 Days has helped by giving me goals.

I have begun to take part in ATC swaps and art challenges, and following Creative Every Day. This additional challenge will be a good way to move me forward.

Thanks Rowena and Amanda.

100 Days starts tomorrow!

My goal for these days will to carve out at least an hour a day to be creative in some way - whether it is creating art (art journal, collage, photography, etc) or writing, or both!

I will continue to blog at least once a week, more as I feel the need.
Join us on the journey - it should be a fun one.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

They've Flown the Nest!

I couldn't believe my eyes this morning when I looked out at our robin's nest and there were two plump babies overflowing their nest! I had to grab my camera and I got a few photos before they actually flew (and hopped) away.

One, though, flew to our storage container by the shed and in hopping, fell behind it. I was terrified for it and wanted to help. But reason pervailed and I let it make its way out. I kept Fluffy (alias Killer Cat) in the house, as I was afraid she would make a meal out of it before it got the hang of flying.

I feel like an empty nester again! lol I have gotten so used to seeing the progress of these two little birds and their parents, that I actually miss them. My hubby says we'll most likely see one of them again next year, as they really do seem to favour our ladder.

Besides the birds though, there have been so many vivid sights around. Nature is lush in colour and variety (Don't forget that Nature is the theme at Creative Every Day for the month of May - only one week left to explore this theme!).

Here are a few of the sights in our gardens.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baby birds

This morning the chirping was loud and drew me to the porch. There were 2 little necks stretched up, beaks open and waiting. I grabbed my camera and quietly opened the sliding door to observe mom and dad bring worms to their babies. In the beginning mom and dad flew away as soon as we opened the door. Now they are used to us.

I watched and photographed as time after time, mom and dad took turns bringing food for their little ones. They are all beak and neck, like a little flower open to the sun.

What a lovely way to start this holiday Monday!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Sent along by Mel....and in keeping with the theme on Bliss....I am to list 6 things that make me happy and then tag 6 other bloggers to do the same -

as always, No Obligations.

Here are my six - the first six that came to me. (I am still building my 50+ for the 101 in 1001 days).

1. Getting so lost in a book that I am closed off to the rest of the world.
This happened this weekend as I read and finished "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Socity". Loved it.

2. Dancing - either by myself or with my husband.

3. Curled up on the couch, our cat Fluffy purring on my lap, my husband beside me.

4. My family. We have a blended family as we married late (7 years this July) - a regular Brady Bunch! My 2 sons and a daughter and my husband's 2 daugtherss and a son and their 5 children.

5. Standing by the water's edge, especially with waves crashing on shore.

(Visiting Vancouver Island last year really filled my Bliss bucket!)

6. Watching fireworks.

So...moving on...again no-one need feel that they must participate at all, or perhaps partial participating would suit you. Whatever.

The ~love~ flows, either way..

Here are 6 special women I have tagged. Be sure to visit their awesome blogs:

1. Angie 4. Leone

2. Elizabeth 5. Mary Beth

3. Genie Sea 6. Tamara

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Victoria Day Weekend!

There is something about fireworks that fills you with awe. The colour, noise, unexpected designs in the sky - one explosion after another, and with hundreds of people all around - even with cold and rain. I used to love it so much as a child. The best display I ever saw was held July 1st on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Fireworks this weekend are a bit tamer, but still enjoyable.
I had hoped to have more time to create this week, but so many things seem to take precedence. I did do some reading though. For Mother's Day my dear husband got me "Showing Up For Life" by Bill Gates Sr. I thoroughly enjoyed it - and was deeply struck by the lessons we can all learn. From "Just Showing Up" to "Celebrating Life" to being "A Master Citizen" Bill Gates offers much wisdom. It was written in short chapters full of anecdotes from the Gates' lives.
I have also started another book, which is the next book for a book club I belong to (although I have been a rather absent member this year). When I read the reviews and recommendations, I knew I had to read it. So far "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows has not disappointed.
I don't tend to read too many books through the school year, because when I start one I am drawn to it and just want to keep reading. Magazines tend to fill the bill through the school year. But I seem to be finding books lately that I just can't put off til the summer!
I am working on my map for the Challenge set by Collage Diva at True North. Time is marching by - the challenge finishes May 22. I still have a couple of days of this long weekend to work! My goal is to get it done by Monday.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all.

This is now a day that will be so very different from all that have come before. For this is the first Mother's Day without my Mom. Last Mother's Day she was still with us, although in the hospital. I still find it difficult. I will go to phone her, which I did almost every day for years, and then realize I can't. Some days are harder than others. I am sure there are others who experience the same emotions.

I found a book shortly after her death that has helped: "Finding Your Way After Your Parent Dies", by Richard Gilbert. One of the exercises was to start compiling a list of "Things I want to Remember About Mom". I am still adding to that list!

I just found another book at a book sale - "Motherless Daughters" by Hope Edelman. I haven't started reading seriously but it looks like it will be a healing book.

One description of the book on the back cover really says it all: "How to understand grief: not as a passage, but as an ongoing journey." An apt description. It is really not something you recover from, but something you move through.

But Mother's Day is also a time to celebrate our ownselves as mothers. I am proud of my children and step-children. Our grandchildren now add to that expanding circle of love. Seeing them, watching them grow is a blessing.

I wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day. May love fill your day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Colour, Nature, Danger, Making Art

A new month, a new challenge through Creative Every Day has already got me involved. Our gardens are already showing colour.

Danger lurks in the outdoors! I love to go out and take pictures. Our cat Fluffy is 17 (!) and I was hoping to capture a few shots of her. While taking a picture of her I backed up and ended up flipping over the chain along our walkway (you can see the shadow). I saved the camera (very important) but have a several bruises and scrapes to show for the event. I'm glad America's Funniest Home Videos wasn't around! And to top it off, I didn't even get a good shot of our cat.
Moral of the story - always be on the alert!

The shot below is the best I could get of the robin pair who have built a nest atop the ladder on our back enclosed porch. This is the second year they have done this. Soon we will have a nest of little ones chirping away. Right now we have the parents scolding the cat when she dares to lay under the nest!

Following is a mandala I created tonight - inspired by Cheryl of Mandala Oasis and Michelle of My Life on the XYZ List. This was my first, but it was meant to be fun and relaxing, which it was.
So as May begins, I hope I am making a start with art, nature and colour. I will leave the danger behind I hope! lol

Please checkout my last post for the Pay it Forward challenge. I really am looking forward to taking part - but I need you!