Hello, and, where the hell have I been this November?

December 5, 2017

Hi everybody,
well, this is a fine mess, isn’t it?

I haven’t written for ages.
Halloween came and went, November came and went, and radio silence from me.

Actually, things are happening around me and I’m part of that world but I’m walking thru it in my usual fog of melancholy and depression; except that some days that fog turns supernova.

It’s taken November for the supernova to burn out. Nobody can do a supernova of depression like me!

So here is a little look back at November on my last morning in Vancouver. Later today I’m off to the UK.

November started with Hollywood North right in my front yard.
We had streets and streets of movie trucks block up the hood for a week.

They were shooting The Dog’s Way Home in the park on the corner and constructed an entire derelict cabin complete with long grass and chainlink fencing.
Apart from the no parking zone in front of my house, it was fun watching the movie being made. OMG that’s some serious money and equipment and days and hours of prep and filming for one 20 minute section of film. No wonder movies cost so many millions to produce.

I taught two therapy journal sessions.

I’m really grateful for the time I get to work with all sorts of incredible people who are looking to find a way back to being able to express themselves when things look dark in their life. And I’m so happy to learn that my course is the most requested and most popular wellness course right now.

It was Kerstin and Adam’s wedding anniversary, so they dropped our little girls off with us and headed down to Seattle for a nice long weekend.
The girls were excited to be with us but the little Ziglet got a bit upset to see her parents leave,

so we made smoothies to make things better.

And then we got the ancient marionettes and had a puppet show.

Other times we just hung out and let the girls have their video games.

We did spend a lot of time in the studio drawing,

and, because their playroom in right beside my studio, I thought I might fit in a bit of drawing.

Nope, the girls and the toys won me over each time.

We didn’t spend all weekend at home though. We had Sbux picnics and stopped at my friend Dalyce’s bookstore, Booklovers, for armloads of books.

And we took them to the climbing gym.
This first photo I took of Chloe and Bryson explaining to the girls the rules of climbing is hilarious. The girls look so unsure! Like, “you want us to do what?”

But as soon as we took them into the practice cave, they were off! Spider monkeys all three of them.

And they loved watching auntie Chloe climb more difficult routes.

Within the hour, Ever was reaching the top of the easier routes. Isla was a little unsure about going higher than our hands could reach, but still managed to touch the top hold, and little Zoe most favourite thing in the world was squishing the chalk bag and putting white handprints on my black leggings.

I had some art success this month. I was accepted for one solo show but turned down for three others.
That’s always so crushing to me. So I asked a renowned art consultant for help.
She advised me to completely change my subject and style.
I know she’s right, but it didn’t help the supernova to burn itself out.

So I went out and bought a bunch of lilies and peonies and drew and drew and drew.

I did get somewhere and that helped a lot. It’s been ages since I just drew for hours just for the pleasure of drawing.

In the middle of November Chloe and I found ourselves with a week without appointments or anything pressing, and so we drove to Kelowna to visit Kers and have a mini-vacation.
It actually was the best decision.

We arrived int he evening and, after supper and putting the girls to bed, guitars and ukuleles came out and we projected notes from an app on the TV and played and sung some favourite tunes.

This is Kerstie and Adam’s dog Ruby. She’s a redbone coonhound puppy and slightly difficult to manage right now. She’s the sweetest thing in the world and we all love her, but untrained hounds, whose habit it is to lead by their nose, are impossible to recall until they decide to come back hours and hours later, so she must stay on a leash for the moment.
But that’s just fine with me. I drove her out to my kid’s property for the day.

The plan was for Chloe to finish laying the floor in her airstream and I would hike Ruby a couple of times around the 22 acres.

Kerstie and Adam’s property is so beautiful that it’s easy to hike there for hours.

And the views over Lake Okanagan and spectacular.

This can be bear and cougar country, so eventually Ruby will have an important role to play protecting her family.

Here is the view at the very top of the 22 acres.

I gathered some seedpods and twigs and grasses as subjects for drawing.

I found some deer antlers and a deer skeleton while I was hiking around…

…and so brought the children up to see them.
They’re great hikers and loved seeing the bones. Isla found the spot where the deer died and found a bunch of deer fur. So in the interest of science, we gathered some deer fur in our pockets to put on the science table…and promptly forgot about it.

We hiked down and found that Chloe had finished all she could of the floor for now. Those are the antlers I found.

A last few looks around, time to lock up the airstream, and head back to town.

Supper is almost ready, so naturally everyone has to swing.

So we said goodbye to my family and drove back to Vancouver to deal with a hectic week.
Health checks and tests, a plumbing emergency at mom’s house which has now required insurance and massive restorations, an emergency middle of the night visit to the hospital with Chloe. (She’s alright but more health complications.) A new roof on my garage! Oh boy. The pits of real life.

But at least the sun is shining after months and months of rain (marginal exaggeration).

And that was my November guys.
I’m off for Christmas in OXON with Robbie and a bit of a break from real life in Vancouver.
Mind you I just ger real life in the UK.
At least the supernova has burnt itself out into a little dull and flickering flame.

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