Tag Archives: cats

Almost Spring

Almost Spring


March 3 and it was almost spring when you left us. You spent your last moments until the vet arrived, rolling in the grass as the sun light danced across your fur. I know now you could not see it, only feel the warmth on your body and the ground beneath you. The day was a fortunate unseasonably warm day for your departure.

The weather provided the perfect send off for you who loved the outdoors more than anything else. Later that day, and in your honor, I went to a country road and watched the sunset letting the fading rays soothe my freshly broken heart.

Through you I learned black cats are very unique. Underfoot many times, you were always the one who greeted me at the door. A kind-hearted friendly cat, one who was obsessively curious, busy and always with me. You would nudge me, then springboard off my legs to let me know what you wanted. It was the very same move you had used in the shelter when you chose me.

I thought we might have another summer together but it was not in the cards. The birds are safe now.   Despite curbing your hunting, to my dismay you would occasionally capture an unsuspecting bird in the yard. Part of me does not believe you are gone. I feel you brush past my legs just like when you were always half of a step away.

Studio Muse


Bijou, my studio muse, who liked to drink the water from the paint well when I was not mindful enough to cover it. Such a precious gift in my life I will never forget.

Planting yourself on the piano keys while I was playing, becoming indignant when I reached the higher notes and came a little too close to your tail.

One of your favorite spots was in my guitar case, and I would leave it open for you, despite you having used the exterior as a scratching post at times. Marks from your needle sharp claws are one reminder of you.


Your personality was deep and rich, body so tiny and agile, with a huge presence and strong will. With eyes so expressive like deep pools of emotion, I always knew what you were saying to me. You never complained. Because you had always been so healthy, when you took ill I was off-balance. You were a trooper until the end. Now there is a large space to fill that you once occupied. I do not imagine ever attaining such a feat.

Life after you left

cat-autumn garden Your housemate Autumn is missing you too. She did not know how lucky she was until you were gone. She is gorgeous, like you were, yet knows it all too well. Her function is more that of a figurine.

Since you have been gone, she has moments of shallow breathing and I have seen her in the coveted spot by the window, not sitting proud and triumphant like before, but instead slightly slumped over, eyes blinking and facing downwards.

Your heart was generous, letting her have her own way most of the time. I imagine she has some regrets about bullying you. She has been sleeping mostly and only eats about half of what she used to. In time her appetite will improve or maybe it will not.

sisters-looking-out The truth is we can never feel the same again. I look for ways to fill the space within and nothing works.

Hushed quiet resides here now and I have more time to do my work without you climbing all over the back of my chair, the computer and desk. You are not here stepping on the off button of the computer, nor are you here to scan and print documents.

But I am thankful for the 15 years we had together. Nothing stays the same forever and now a new chapter begins with you always in my heart. You ran hard and fast while you could, for as long as you could. Now you are free.  Goodnight sweet love.

May Daze

Flow in CompassionMy paintings are safely back home, minus the one which was sold. This is one of my faves, as I really enjoyed painting this.

My plan is now to regroup. I will paint, without the pressure of an upcoming show, and rethink my art business plan.

Gale force winds are pummeling us for the second time in a week complete with a rain-snow mix.

Still the temperatures have not plummeted, so I suppose this still qualifies as an early spring.

The magpies had to take refuge in the lower branches. The nest they built in the top of one of my trees was not serving them well in this wind.

My yard was sculpted by the arborists, readying the palette for gardening. And my bathroom was redone, which will allow for pleasurable soaks after playing in the dirt. Dreaming of sunny days! My kitty is recovering from a terrible abscess, and she was ill for over a month. I am so relieved to see her on the mend and we are thanking our lucky stars for homoeopathic remedies, l-lysine, and calendula infusion.

gallery-spaceOur artist run centre, ARTPOINT, is in the news presently. You can read about it HERE! Since the city doubled our rent to 64,000 per year, our resources have been drained. We have a motion to restore our rent to the previous amount, retroactively.

The building is slated for demolition, and really is not up to standard for any other use. A strong possibility exists that the building would sit empty, if we were not utilizing it. We are one of the largest artist run centres in North America. Makes you wonder, if we cannot make it, how will anyone else. Our organization has an excellent history of fiscal responsibility, and interactions with many other arts groups in the city including Theatre Calgary, Alberta Printmakers. We house the Heritage Weavers and Spinners Guild, and host the Unseen Artshow, which supports emerging artists, to name a few.

Calgary Art Blog gives a clear interpretation of the issue, and the surrounding climate. This is not just about ArtPoint. It is about buildings slated for demolition, that could be affordable for use by arts groups to sustain culture in the community. We could certainly use your support. Community Support is ESSENTIAL!

If you are in Calgary, the best way you can help is to contact your alderman before the vote on May 11, 2010. Or you could attend the meeting on Tuesday, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. in a committee room at City Hall. IF you can attend this meeting, this would be extremely helpful. It’s hard to say no to a gallery full of interested supporters!


Red Sky Morning

“Red sky in the morning … sailor take warning!”

This was the sunrise the other morning. Sure enough we had hail later in the day. I had one foot out the door on my way to the folk festival on Princes Island Park a couple of weeks ago when the rain hit. Thinking the storm may be short-lived I came back in and checked the forecast to find a severe thunderstorm watch.

Had a nap, when I awoke it was still going on, and it went on all night. Needless to say, my youthful adventuresome spirit did not endure, and I stayed home and strummed away on my own guitar as an alternative to strolling around muddied grounds, anticipating no where dry to sit. The weather has been strange this year.

Red Bee BalmHere is some red bee balm from my garden. The purple is done already, preferred by bees. I have heard the hummingbirds like the red though I haven’t seen any.

One of my cats has been exhibiting bizarre behaviour. The black Siamese has begun taking off from the yard. Neither have really done this up until now.

In my search for her Friday night, my flashlight came upon her in the churchyard grass stretched out like a beauty queen.

Lo and behold she was being courted by a black manx. I realized it was as though she were in heat, but she is fixed. Once I penetrated the zone she was in, I sent her flying down the sidewalk, the manx chasing her into our yard.

My other cat chased him out. Howls akin to a catfight ensued. My tortie spent the next while hissing at me, and hissing at her sister presumably for dragging home a stray. I kept them in for two days-grounded! As soon as I let them out on the third day-the black one took off looking for her boyfriend. In speaking with other people no one had heard of this type of behavior in a fixed female. Have you?

We also have a cat bylaw-they are not to be running loose, which is why I patiently trained them to stay in the yard. But then cats will be cats and that is that.

Bijou Beauty

Thanks to all who found time to watch my music video and to comment. More interesting projects are shaping up. You never know what it will be next. Even I can’t imagine sometimes!

For the Birds

OspreyNear the Bow river we have Ospreys nesting. I swung by there today to see if I would be lucky enough to see them. This one was waiting for me, and stretched his wings, as I pulled out the camera.

They prefer the tall power poles, which gives then an excellent vantage point near the river. A chain link fence prevented me from getting any closer.

Northern Flicker N RobinLast week, sharing the birdbath with a robin, was this Northern Flicker-a type of woodpecker. I had a smaller downy woodpecker in the yard last week too, but didn’t have my camera with me.


Cat Remorse


This black cat of mine, Bijou, is not exactly a proud hunter. She arrived at the back door, with two baby birds in her mouth.

Fancy footwork was required to maneuver myself to the back door before she could take them into the house.

Instead she deposited them on the back deck. The other cat, Autumn, appears to be scolding her for raiding the nest in the cedars.  Apparently I was not the only one saddened by her actions, though I know it is her instinct.

Deer CrossingA friend and I drove to Bragg Creek last weekend, and laid on the sand on the riverbank of the Elbow River.

Although much ice was still on the river, the sun was warm for a time. It was our good fortune to see these deer crossing the newly opened water, undisturbed by our presence.

This has been one of the longest springs I can remember. A few sprigs of green adorn the otherwise desolate looking gardens. Since these shots were taken, I have shoveled yet more snow. Things will look up as the week wears on, evident in the changeable skies.

My energy has been subdued, leaving me in resting mode. Yes I am reading your blogs, haven’t had the energy to comment, but will soon. Cleaning my studio, while trying to decide what to paint next, is one of the few things I have accomplished over the last few days.

Rare Beauty

Water LeavesScarcely possible to believe it is Nov.  Snow has melted. I am enjoying the reprieve, although it may be short lived.

My yard was an unusually popular attraction the other day for several cats, one of whom I think was homeless. A long haired beauty, chocolate brownish black, my heart strings got a work out. At one point it was resting on the pile of mulch by the peonies.

I thought they were up to something-mine were inside and not happy about it. Now I threw out the last bit of the never ending pot of chili, and low and behold-those cats had quite a feed-and what a mess! More visitors have appeared since we got the new fence-too much space between the fence and the ground-so they can get in under-I will fill that with soil, but probably not until spring.

These are the details for a lovely book I found in the thrift shop yesterday. Of course the mural work, has spurred an interest in the history of decorative art, and this book is a lovely reference.

OSBORNE, HAROLD, ED., An Illustrated Companion to the Decorative Arts … Ware, Wordsworth Editions, 1989. xiv, 865p., numerous b/w illus., quarto format, dj. USD 65.00

It appears to be out of print, and hard to find, and I got it for three dollars. On my way to pay a woman let out a cry, “Oh there’s my book! I went back for it and it was gone.” Not willing to part with it, on my way out the door I said, “Sorry about the book.” She was toting a book about teas. Timing is everything!

Handpainted Wrought Iron

Here is my first Tromp L’Oeil (trick the eye) wrought iron, painted by hand-no stencil used here. I really enjoyed it, though freehand is quite challenging, on the first attempt anyway. This is about eight feet wide. The background was done with a French wash first. For some much more astonishing examples check out this Wiki Article.

View from Here

View from Here

my office

Many ways to stay warm. Still snowing while the cold snap continues. Woes of February, shortest and cruelest month of the year, if you live in Canada. This is the view from my office. The trees are heavily laden with snow. You cannot see in this photo, but I can see the bird feeders from my desk.


stay warm


No birds around today though. Except the pigeons roosting at my neighbor’s place. Sometimes I hear their cooing soothing sounds in the dead of winter. Signs of surviving life in the otherwise silent snow.



autumn snowy windowCats are feeling cooped up, waiting for birds at the window who never make an appearance. How can I tell the cats spring is just around the corner when I am trying to convince myself?

Truly, we are due to have a Chinook tomorrow. It is amazing the temperature can vary here by twenty to thirty degrees in one day. The rest of the week promises balmy temperatures and sunshine. I feel a bout of spring fever coming on!

Going With the Flow

Going With the Flow

mural blendThe plan was to finish the mural on Monday, however it is not done. As you can see I am doing some glazing and blending of the colours to tie it all together.

More time was spent drinking coffee and eating poppy seed cake in the beginning, so I ran out of time. A good visit, so not all was lost. Sometimes you have to make life a priority.

bush kittiesIf I were to make one recommendation for the week I would say … surround yourself with supportive people in a nurturing environment who will enhance your spirit. We can learn plenty from unconditionally loving creatures like these little fur babies here. I am grateful for the supportive people in my life who are making a difference.
And we are in double digits here at 11C! Whoo hoo! Off to paint.

Beginning Again

Beginning Again

Happy New Year Everyone & Blessings All Around!dove

On New Years Day, I had a vision of myself on a hilltop flying a kite, taking care to mindfully stop the tail from falling into the cracks. I gathered up the string to stop it from tangling as I ran, taking care not to let it dip below the halfway mark between the sky and horizon. It took flight.

A new year holds new hopes, dreams. The old is left behind. Starting with a higher vibration, we welcome a new lightness of being. Beyond the dark days, whose pace has slowed to a heavy drawl. May the people find their power, as global unity and peace transpire.

This year is sure to be one of prosperity. The old standbys will just not fly anymore, breaking away. Something has changed opening new paths for humanity. The energy has shifted. Hold onto that energy keep it in the air. Are you ready?

Xmas Tracys This was the view on Christmas Day, myself with my gracious hosts, on a walk before dinner, before the sunset. The Chinook winds blew through the tops of the giant fur trees, overlooking the mountains from the foothills.
Beautiful food, charming company, gifts and music besides, all of which I am immensely grateful for.

Here I sit, under the full Wolf Moon, reeling from too much socializing over the Yule season. The long nights have brought with them their share of fatigue. Consequently I did not finish all the projects I had planned. Not yet!

Just have to keep chipping away I suppose, and I will get there eventually. Nothing is perfect … except for my purr-fect little fur babes here … well … almost. Don’t they look angelic?

Autumn OutsideBijou & Pussywillows

Cooking up the first pot o’chicken curry this year, which I had planned to do on the first day of the year. Not one for using a recipe, I have never duplicated the same one twice. This one is smelling good, it’s fragrance permeating the air. Going to have a bath, a bite, then head back to the studio and PAINT!

Staying Warm

Staying Warm

warm catsThese cats know how to keep warm. Look at those spoiled little devils! They have the warmest spot in the house. They are laying on their quilts my fabulously talented Mom made for them, monogrammed with their names on them. My friend gets a kick out of seeing them go into the proper beds with their own names on them.

Outside this morning I shoveled snow, with a -39C wind chill. Took me longer to get bundled than it did to shovel! They say this cold snap may give about mid week. I sure hope they are right. People have just given up trying to do anything in this weather. Going out means risking frostbite, transportation is difficult, with accidents everywhere. Used to be we would all rough it. Now if you don’t have to go out, you do not.

I managed to do my domestic engineer routine today. Can’t seem to do much until I finish clearing my space, and my QI energy begins to flow again. Still purging. Maybe soon that will be over too and I will start painting again. I do have the mural mid December so that will be fabulous fun and a kick start as well. I am so far behind, I am bound to be early for next year. Meanwhile, I will try to stay warm.

Knee Deep

Knee Deep

Snow ShadowsIt snowed all day yesterday, a blustery anticipatory snow, touched off by slight gusts of wind. Looks as though winter has arrived, nothing above freezing is predicted all week. I didn’t want to get up, instead wrapped in my two duvets on the feather bed. Despite the time change and an extra hours sleep, I scarcely had the energy to do any more than lounge. I did drum up the energy to put a pot of chicken curry into the oven later on. It is cold when you don’t have to store the butter in the fridge to keep it cool.

cats snow The first big snowfall at first sparks excitement, anticipation, then degenerates into reluctance to take any sort of action. Coming on so suddenly, I realized I had forgotten to empty my rain barrel.

Today the sun is brighter, reflecting the sparkling white. Leaves, still green, sprinkled on the fresh sparkling snow dotted with bird tracks. Wishes and dreams of sunny beaches, & warm sand underfoot.

Regretful reflection, of time lost, & wrong roads taken. I would like to be like Edith Piaf … Je ne regrette rien… regretting nothing … in her waif-like existence. Starting anew, once again. Perhaps this time the outcome will be different. Striving for the lightness of spirit to lift me up on my journey of life.