Art in the Garden show ready!

Are you ready? Am I ready?

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So you all probably already know that I save plants from the bulldozer around the hood and plonk them into my garden. Sometimes they work out and look brilliantly, sometimes they sulk and look miserably for a year or so, but they get saved and that’s all that matters to me. Some of the saved plants have slowly come into their own this year and I’m so happy about that. (Some I have to still baby along…like the peonies I saved last summer, they’re sulking)

Yesterday evening, as I was watering the garden for probably the last time before this weekend’s Art in the Garden show, I took a good look around, put away the tools and declared the garden as ready as it’s ever going to be.

Come have a walk around the garden with me and help me pull up a last weed or two. πŸ˜€

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First up: Peonies. I’m so happy they’ve lasted till this weekend for people to see. I’ve removed the leaves from the autumn blooming crocuses and Morgan is loving her little, fragrant cave.

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Let’s walk past the roses next. Just a few of the roses in the garden are, clockwise from top left: Cloud Ten, Lemon Fizz, Julia Child, Amadeus. The roses are spectacular this year.

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Here’s the entrance to the shade garden on the west side. I love how the white fox gloves just happened this year. The pink rambling rose, the honeysuckle and the violet clematis I nicknamed “Bad Hair Day” are also really lush and fragrant. Our resident hummingbirds are very happy.

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Here’s a look down the shade garden. This area needs a lot of water because of the two big maples and three rhodos. I watered with some Miracle Grow here this year to give the shade plants a bit of a boost.

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Some of us are remarkably calm! (Milo, pull up that grass while you’re there)

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The irises are almost all gone now, but I’m happy that some are still blooming for the weekend. That glorious yellow iris I’ve had for several years, a gift from a elderly friend who sold her home and moved to an apartment, but it’s never bloomed till this year! Well done little Goldilocks.

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The veggie and fruit gardens are coming along nicely.

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There’s a ton of garlic plants, tomatoes, potatoes, leeks, all sorts of herbs, peas, two sorts of kale and celery root.

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And on the other side of the path are strawberries, blueberries and crazy huge raspberries. The raspberries are so tall that they’ve grown into the apple tree! Our little girls will be thrilled when they come over in a couple weeks. They love the berries from the garden.

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The silly circle at the back of the garden, which we are sure is meant for twirling on…you never know when you feel like twirling in the garden…has some Canterbury bells growing between the bricks. They’re not bothering anyone there and so if you feel like twirling, you’ll have some lovely blue bells for partners. πŸ˜€

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Oh, and I have to show you my collection of sedums on the “Tower of Power”, (blame my friend Tom from Southlands Nursery, he named it that), I just love sedums and am so proud for these three pots I’ve planted up, more so because I’ve “imported” the sedums mostly as babies from all over the place (eg: San Francisco).

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Like I’ve said, some of us are remarkably calm!

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Oh I just love the two huge patio pots. This year I went with bronze and purple and a splash of chartreuse to bring out the bronze in the pot glazes. This might be my favourite combination in this crazy, saved garden.

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And, since this is MY garden, and you all know me by now, there are a couple of pots of saved trees destined for the cabin, and a waterfall on the patio.

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On the patio table are some of the indoor plants, including this magnificent Medinilla (Philippine orchid) which decided to bloom just in time!

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So there we are, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour around. As usual, loads more photos coming over the weekend and a special art surprise project which I hope will turn out to be spectacular.

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Some of us are going to drag our tired selves out for a little sushi, because we can’t even begin to think of cooking something for supper.

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And then we’ll come home and some of us will paint.
Ok, one last photo of the most glorious saved rose from my aunt’s (now destroyed) garden. The fragrance is overwhelming!

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Wish me luck! πŸ˜€ Here we go!

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Doing everything right

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Today was one of those do everything right days.
Do you have those days? Do you know what I mean?
It’s one of those days you imagine having in your mind, you know, those kinds of days you know that you should strive to have every day in order to be healthy, productive, in love, successful, (fill in the blanks)… etc.

Today I made time to be with R on our daily phone calls. Really be with him, listen Β to him, joke, sympathise, be there; really tried to take care of my love and build our relationship.

Today I treated my art seriously. I went to work in the morning. I went to work and I worked! Started a large map. Decided on the map, decided on kestrels, composed them, drew them, started to paint.

Today I took a lunch break, away from the computer, away form the studio, away from work. Took a lunch break and played with Morgan, did a little gardening, walked around my garden read a little, and then went back to work.

(Morgan gave me the death stare when I picked her up.)

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Today I stopped work and went to my yoga class.

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I got there a early, took 20 minutes of meditation and then got into the class. I connected with my body, flowed thru every pose in the most graceful way I could, thought about every muscle, breathed into every tightness, released, let go.

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Today I finished a nourishing soup from a bone broth base and served it for supper. After my winter (with that nonsense we will not talk about), I was instructed to make bone broths to rebuild collagen and muscle tissue. For me, this generally involves boiling the left over roast Sunday diner organic chicken carcass with some organic beef bones for 24-36 hours in a slow cooker, then I strain out the bones and use the broth for soups. To this I added tons of organic vegetables: kale, carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, onions, celery…basically what ever I have on hand, plus a good cup of mixed beans and lentils and herbs from the garden.

Knowing that everything I eat is healthy and working to make me strong and to prevent any future nonsense is so important to me. Even though some days it’s just too easy to pop that frozen pizza into the oven and be done with dinner, taking that extra effort, and actually making a pizza from scratch, better yet, making that pizza with a cauliflower crust, is such a good way for me to say, “I love you body, and I’ll take good care of you.”

Thank goodness I brought my children up with really good nutritious foods, so C loves the kale rich bone broth soups.

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Today is a shining example of what I strive for every day.

Will tomorrow look like today? I doubt it. A 12:45pm dentist appointment x town will seriously cut into my day and will make me feel like a poor baby, so I can pretty well guarantee I’ll be more stressed with Robbie, want to stop at Sbux for a green tea lemonade, and try to skip out of yoga class…although I’ll probably go.

But for today I feel I should celebrate. Pat myself on my back and say well done.

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I met C when she came home from a day out rollerblading with Bryson and having tea with her friend Kat, and the first thing she said was, “nice Pippi Longstocking braids mom!” And I say, “What? Braids are over at 13? I don’t think so!”

So go out there and strive to live your best life, day after day. Try to do your best and forgive yourself when you don’t. I will, and you can join me. We can rock it together.

And for all those about to rock, I salute you. πŸ˜€

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Hello from Sunday night…before everyone heads their separate ways

Well, it’s been a wonderful extra long weekend round here. We lived it up to the max and enjoyed every minute.

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Not only did I get to spend oodles of time with my granddaughters, but Kerstin’s good friend Na’ama came over with her brand new baby and her three year old son for a play date. Kerstie and Na’ama have known each other since they were children, and so it was lovely for them to catch up.

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children and doll house

Binky and Bunny, having had enough of babies and boys, snuck up to the studio to be with C and me.
I brought out the doll’s house and the girls had a great time rearranging the furniture in the rooms.

Later, when everyone left to visit Adam’s family, C and I felt a bit exhausted. Kind of like Morgan.

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There are still toys all over the house waiting to be put back into the huge steamer trunk where they belong.

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But in the garden, the first tree peonies are starting to open…

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…and so are the first roses.

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Plus, something wonderful happened today. All my children and my mother managed to find a couple hours to have lunch together. It might have been the full moon, but, with everyone’s schedules, four generations together for lunch is pretty rare.

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We all met at a local Milestones restaurant on the patio.
Everything was happy and fine, till Bunny found out she wasn’t sitting next to Auntie Chloe!
Cuddles and hugs made everything better.

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Ziggy is at that stage where she just wants to walk around. The trouble is that she picks everything up and puts it in her mouth, so a restaurant patio isn’t the best place to let an almost one year old loose. We played pass the baby around for two hours.

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Binky and Bunny’s water glasses came to the table with those cute plastic animals and only one mermaid! The lovely hostess was sent back for a second mermaid. Another small disaster averted! In the end, all the animals and the mermaids went swimming.

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Jonathan drew something inappropriate in the children’s sketch pad. That’s very Jonathan. Kerstie gave him a LOOK and drew something else over it.

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This was a wonderful moment for me…for us all. Looking forward to the next chance time when we all can get together. πŸ˜€

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Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend. Sharing with JudithJudith and the mosaic bunch. πŸ˜€

A soft morning

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Boy oh boy it takes a lot to get us going in the morning. Not only is there breakfast to eat and teeth to brush and ponytails to make, there’s Tupperware to explore, blanket and couch forts to build, beds to jump on make, and moisturiser make up to put on. And only then are we ready for our Sbux run! Evidence of Sbux run on my instagram. πŸ˜€

Our little girls are here

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How lovely is it round here? My daughter Kerstin brought our little girls for a super long weekend visit. Last night we had a lovely talk and a lovely play, read a few books, built an airport, made some masks, cuddled the baby dolls, and everyone went to sleep way past their bedtime, tired out and happy.

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Well then!
I’m feeling terrifically accomplished and successful and even am getting this post up on Sunday night! πŸ˜€ …although I’m hopelessly behind on commenting, visiting and replying to my comments. Boy, blogging is hard work. And to think that today I told Robbie that he really has to have his own website to showcase his brilliant designs. (What a rotten girl I am making more work for him!)
He said his YouTube and his forums were enough for now…unless I want to write his blog posts! 😯

But it’s been a wonderful weekend round here for us. C and I went climbing on Friday, instead of our usual Wednesday, and I was very pleased that I got to the top of two of the easier routes. (And to think I was doing this on cliffs 30 years ago. Oh well, I’ll work up to it again.)

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Saturday I stopped at my favourite nursery, Southlands, and had to take a photo of these brilliant signs Thomas put out. Yes, that’s my cart, those are my beautiful plants…hands off you pleb! LOL

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There was a plan to go to Costco. You know, that soulless, breathless, black hole of a box store, but neither C nor I could face it and so, citing hunger as our excuse, we drove past it to Ikea…OK, another soulless, breathless, black hole of a box store, but much more fun!

We had a little lunch and then walked thru it sitting on all the furniture, testing it for comfort and exploring all the rooms…(you know you love doing that)…

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…and having a general gigglefest. At one point, we made a video of C riding one of those huge shopping carts and bumping into the stacks of prefab boxes and sent it to R. Made him laugh.

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And then, we drove in exactly the opposite direction from Costco and ended up at the George Reifel bird sanctuary!

I’ve been worried about the world’s bees these past few years, and was so pleased to see the hawthorns, and all other blooms, buzzing with bees.

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We were so happy to see babies at the Reifel! Can you resist the yellow, baby bums? I can’t. So far one pair of Canada geese have three chicks and one pair of wood ducks have five. The breeding cranes lost their first egg clutch to a bastard mink, but they are sitting on a second egg. Fingers crossed.

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While I was up in the observation tower, I heard a strange bird call. No idea what it was, so decided to go investigate. The marsh is wet and boggy and no way to get off the paths, but I met a birder, an older gentleman, who told me it was probably a Virginia Rail. Then, on the way back, we met the sanctuary biologist, (who took a shine to C), who sang the call back to us and told us that the Virginia Rail chicks are much cutter than the Canada geese chicks. Impossible we said. He said, “take the goslings, multiply that by cuteness X 100% and make them a ball of grey-black fluff and give them legs which are miles too long for them.” Oh man! Now I want to find one!

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And then for something completely different! By 4pm, Costco was out of the equation, but groceries still had to be bought, so we had to stop at the store and I found this sexy thing! I took some photos for Robbie and put one up on Instagram. My son commented, “Eewwwww…Plymouth Prowler…C’mon mom!” and tagged me on a “real” rat racer! πŸ˜€ I’m like “what?” πŸ˜€ And had to tag him back on some brilliant photos I took of some rat racer earlier in the year. “Better” he said. πŸ˜€

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Saturday night C and I heard fireworks and ran upstairs to the studio and watched a lovely display on the downtown waterfront. Lucky us!

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Sunday morning I had a decision to make. I stopped at an antique shop on Saturday and found a beautiful journal. Someone who had a laundry business in 1949, then pasted pay stubs over the laundry lists in 1960. I love that waste not want not mentality and thought some of these pages would be wonderful as a canvas for some paintings. So I could paint. On the other hand, there were all the seedlings I still had to plant waiting on the porch…and a whole week of rain ahead and a garden show to get ready for.

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So planting it was, and gardening, and then, because one thing leads to another, then cleaning out the garage and organising the silversmithing bench.

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I had an inspiration.

Last week, I asked my friend Margot, (who has two horses), if I could have some straw for my strawberries. She told me that she has a whole hay bale that her boys won’t touch and I can have it. We made a date for today and I drove over to the stables.

My biggest mistake was bringing C along who immediately ran up to General for a nuzzle.

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And then to Levy. Last time she saw them was in Princeton.

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Margot and I moved all the hay bales off the one General and Levy didn’t want and put it into the back of my Highlander, and I looked around for C.
Where was she? At the end of the paddock making friends with the Clydesdale!

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Oh boy there’s a lot of hay in a bale! But I spread it around my strawberries, arround the raspberries and blueberries…

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…and then around the garlic, kale, peas and potatoes too.

I’ve never gardened with hay but figure it can go two ways, either horribly wrong or brilliantly successful, (or somewhere between). There’s only one way to find out. πŸ˜€

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While I was cleaning out the garage, C came by and found her professional fire hula hoop, (which will never be lit again), and gave it a whirl and left it outside. After spreading out the hay, I had a go with the hula hoop. WHAT FUN!
OK, now I want to hula hoop every day. Very surprised that I can keep it going for longer than two seconds together!

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And as a brilliant finish to this lovely weekend, at the end of the garden, past the strawberries and blueberries, under the Japanese anemones, I found a lovely display of lily of the valley. I collected a small handful and had a search for the perfect vase.

Really, what else could you ever put in this little vintage treasure?

Now on my bedside table for sweet dreams. πŸ˜€

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Sharing with Judith and the mosaic Monday bunch.

Round here, and a little gardening

Oh boy, I’m really having to THINK to pick up my camera these days. But I’m trying to get my garden in some sort of order to look lovely and welcoming for the Art in the Garden show at the end of May.

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The tulips are on their last hurrah, but haven’t they been spectacular this year? I’m so glad for happenstance. Last fall I had to return over 40 blighted red tulips, but all the nursery had in exchange were white ones, so I had them, and planted them all over the garden. They turned out to be so beautiful. I love white flowers and think old Vita definitely was onto a thing or two.

Robert has been sending me photos of the tulips I planted last Sept at our garden at West Cottage, and they look so lovely and colourful. I deliberately chose the brightest colours because R loves big bold and bright flowers. I miss my English garden. I hope your tulips are spectacular where ever you are in the spring-time parts of the old globe.

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Chloe has been promoted from art teacher/in charge of social media to art teacher/course writer/social media maven/branding expert/personal assistant/coffer purchaser, and still is pursuing her own interest, like designing a set of graphics for t-shirts for two upcoming music festivals and is pretty busy round the clock. We all miss her company and some of us in the household have taken to sleeping beside her to get in on some C attention.

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And I’ve hit the garden with vengeance. Just like last year, I figure and hour or two per day should get me to show garden status in the next month.

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But it’s not all work. Our lovely friend Katie came for a visit and a chat. And we spent a lovely couple of hours catching up. Also, I did a little bit of plant buying. The autumn crocuses and spring bulbs, which are in full force just now, will die down in the next month and leave bare patches, so a few annuals are in order. On this year’s plant list are lovely things such as calendula, bee balm, pinks, nicotiana, asters and rocket snapdragons.

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Morgan loves to be in on all the gardening and conversation.

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It’s evening now and the sun is beginning to fade. Rain is forecast and it’s a good thing too, the garden can use it. Chloe is still working and Milo is doing his longest cat in the world impression in a bid to get fed early. My friend Julie asked me about the windows. “How do they stay clean?” she asked. Oh boy, they so don’t, and you should see the nose prints!

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All is calm and lovely round here, and, as the sun sets, I’m looking forward to a couple of hours of climbing with the Clover tomorrow.

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A random roundup for Friday

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There are times when I see something and it’s just so lovely that I have to take a photo. These things are usually everyday ordinary things, like this little escapee/volunteer pansy up against the blue pot, but the everyday things are magic to me…you know, that common magic I sometimes go on about.

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Speaking of magic, who can resist sunlight dried towels and sheets. Oh it’s the best, isn’t it? That fresh smell. I never use fabric softeners or dryer sheets, too toxic, but I always marvel at how companies try to mimic what is easily done freely…and non-toxicly.

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I opened all the windows to air the house out, including the windows in my studio. Downtown looked sparkly across the water.

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Morgan immediately jumped out onto the roof and walked around to the skylight and jumped in thru the skylight onto my drawing desk. Milo ran around like a mad cat in thru the front door and out the back door ad infinitum.

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And on my drawing desk are birds! Birds and more birds. I was so happy that my FB friend Diana suggested I draw a Mockingbird and then Melodye asked to use it to illustrate her writing. Morgan comes around and jumps up for a cuddle and I can’t paint! She knows it and sniggers.

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The other day I found a brand new pair of retro climbing shoes at the thrift for $6! Chloe urged me to buy them. I had a second thought about that because that meant that I was probably committing to climbing! Oh, what the heck, we’re only young….er…as long as we feel like it. πŸ˜€

I’m nowhere near this spider monkey child of mine, but I was pleased with being able to reach the top of the easier routes and very pleased with my muscles!

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I cleaned up the patio table. Time for an alfresco…something!

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In the morning I usually have a couple bed-ferrets invade my bedroom.

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I love it. πŸ˜€

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Hello from Sunday night

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I’m feeling particularly happy this evening and I think it’s got to do with three things.

Thing one: Lilacs!!!

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Unfortunately, these are not mine. They are in a local park and so I can only bury my face in them but not walk away with armfuls.

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In my next life, you know, that organic farm of mine, I’m having absolute hedges of lilacs. White, deep purple and even the lilac ones. Single, double, every variety available.

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Thing two: Beverly the seal!
Oh my goodness! I just bought this signed beauty for an absolute minuscule fraction of the expected two or three grand that an original, signed Inuit soapstone carving should cost.

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Bev, (named after the kind lady who saved it for me at the end of a huge flea market), joins wrestling bears, beluga whale, Jade bear, Nunavut bear, bird, owl, and the iron water dragons, under my stained glass lamp, (which I made years ago), on the dresser in my bedroom, where I can look at them every day. It’s a very private little collections and I can’t believe how lucky I am to own these amazing, original works of art.

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And thing three: my art on ephemera
Loving the cowboy songs and the birds are coming freely and easily these days. There’s so much satisfaction in the work for me.

This is the newest one, an Eastern kingbird mother and young. The Western kingbird is up on FB and Instagram, but i couldn’t get my act together this evening to post a image of him, so just pop over to one of those if you’d like to see the Western beauty. Hopefully kingbird prints in the shop tomorrow.

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Hope your weekend was lovely and restful and you’re all ready for a fabulous week ahead. πŸ˜€

Happy birthday Clover! Our girl turns 23.

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breakfast

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Chloe’s last day of 22, she said, “Mom, I don’t think I want to be 23.” I told her to shut up.

And then it was morning, and my child is no longer 22. πŸ˜€ She had a lovely day. Breakfast with Bryson, a nice walk, off to teach her art class and a surprise cupcake birthday party from her boss and her students, then a shopping trip for her funky new shoes, (a prezzy from me), and her favourite supper she always asks for: my bacon and leek pasta.

Then she went off climbing with Bryson and her friends, while I finished the blackbird on Mendelssohn.

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