Sunday, May 31, 2009

Finally...2 ATC's for trade!

My time is short for art lately but I managed to mess around yesterday and get these two done. The crowns are silver glittery stickers but they always scan yellow. The King is up top (to be traded with Deepartz), the Queen, below. Up for trade girls!
The Queen will be going to Renee in Winnipeg because Ms. K J pulled some strings ;)
I guess I'd better get busy and become as prolific as the rest of you! You just wait until I get settled in my new home, I'll be cranking them out ;)

My uncle arrives from Ottawa tomorrow so I'll be tied up all week entertaining him. No time for art I'm afraid. I'll see you soon though!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Illustration Friday: Adapt

"I am one who wants to put down roots near the bones of my ancestors. The trees will keep me company, calling my name when the wind rustles the leaves. I will adapt to my surroundings. I will be home."

It's amazing to me that I had another SoulCollage card in my box that worked for this week's word. Another sign perhaps that I knew I'd be making this journey one day, and in my heart it would feel right.

The words were written today, and they also feel right.

Skywatch Friday: Prayers in the wind

This photo was taken in Carmel Valley on the back deck of my friend's house.

There was just the slightest breeze that day. Just enough to carry prayers to their destinations.

For more Skywatch Friday photos click here. It's quite a show!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Speechless

When I first did a Thankful Thursday post I had no idea it would become a weekly deal, but my mailbox has been brimming every week with unexpected gifts that I just have to tell you about. I have the most generous bunch of thoughtful friends, really!
Today's gifts are all from pretty far away. The first gift is from Renee in Winnipeg, Canada. She sent me this adorable card and tiny wooden trinket out of the blue just to tell me she loves me. Thank you! I love you too, Raven Sister!

This next surprise is from Marianne in the Netherlands. The photo isn't too clear, but it's a watercolor Moleskin journal for my trip back home, one of her wonderful mandala stickers, and a very touching ATC card that has an "Inutshuk" on it. The back of the card says "You're on the right path" and goes on to wish me a safe journey and many sunsets and sunrises. Bless you, Marianne! You are so, so dear to me.

Last, but not least for this week's post is a crosstitch from Soulbrush, one of my dearest friends on the blogs.

The amazing thing about this gift is that she did this twenty years ago and has been saving it for "that special someone." I'm just so blown away by this gesture of love and friendship. I'll find a special place in my new home for this and will think of her always when I admire it.

Thank you SB, you're that 'special someone' to me as well!

Thank you ladies. My heart is filled with gratitude!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Double Header

I know this is a stretch! I took these pics a couple of months ago when I was down at Lover's Point shooting Skywatch photos.
This two-headed swanboat was the first one to be used in The Feast of Lanterns celebration. ( I find the event a bit hokey.)
Now it's behind a protective chain enjoying its retirement.

Happy Animal Wednesday and safe boating everyone!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cactus Monday: Desert Rose

A rose is a rose is a rose...unless it's on a cactus!

Squeaked another one out fast and dirty today! ATC available for trade :)

Happy Cactus Monday!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In A Fog

One of the reasons I won't mind moving away from this beautiful place is the FOG that blankets us for the summer. Call me crazy, but to me summer is supposed to mean warm temperatures and lots of sunshine! It's so chilly here that I have to wear this big old winter pullover on most mornings when I walk the dog, who by the way hates to get out of bed in this weather. Look at her!
When I move back to New England though I'm sure there will be days of humidity that will be unbearable and I'll be praying to the fog Gods.

The grass always seems greener, doesn't it?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Illustration Friday: Cracked

I'm setting out on an inner journey as well as a physical one.

It's as if the skies cracked open to show me the way home.

It appears the 'new leaf' I needed to turn over was back there where I left it.

This is a SoulCollage I did some time last year that seems so fitting now.

Skywatch Friday: The Fog Arrives

One of the reasons we don't need air conditioning here in the Monterey Bay is because the fog always comes in after a warm day, like putting a wet blanet on a fire. The fog visits a little too often for my liking in the summer though.

Check out these skies from around the world to see how the other half lives!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Taking a Break To Smile

I was literally standing in the middle of the living room whining about how I'll never manage to get everything done in time to move when Brian walked in with todays mail.
"Something for you from 'Stella' and 'Cohen" he says. He just gives me the last names.

"Really?" I replied? "Gimme!"

"Who are they?" he inquired.

"Two of my girls. Lemme see!"

Opening the surprises in the envelope made me realize how lucky I am to have such thoughtful people in my life, and it also reminded me to post my Thankful Thursday which I meant to do this morning to show off my ATC's from Teri.

Now I won't have to revise this post and I can show my beautiful gifts all together.

These are the colorful and wonderful ATC's from Teri. She surprised me with two and I only sent her one. She did a crow for me because she knows how much I love them. And look, it brought me a daisy! Thanks so much Teri!!

Okay, so Mim recently asked me for my address because she wanted to send me a little something. A little something?? Look at all this stuff! It's a beautiful pear drawing by Mim on card stock with a nice note on the back. (Mim, did you know that I have a HUGE pear collection?) Then there's an ATC of Jimi Hendrix ( I think) with a sombrero and the word "air" on the card. I'm taking it as a reminder to breathe. And a Ms. Em ATC in a sweet little Ms. Em envelope!!How could I not smile after opening this package?Mim, you made my day a lot brighter!! Thank you!

And then there was this total surprise from Lynn. One of her lovely photo cards with one of her amazing quilted ATC's with a Chinese coin. No matter what way I hold the card it is a tiny masterpiece! Bless you Lynn. I love it!!

Please click on the images to enlarge the beauty of my talented friends.

Thank you ladies! We really have formed some wonderful friendships out there.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Kitty Dreams

This is a collage I did with my greeting card program one day when I was messing around. I love the peacefulness of the image. This is where I'd like to be right now, so perhaps what I'll do when I take a break from packing, sorting and letting things go I'll let my mind travel to this magical place and just chill out with the cat.

Happy Animal Wednesday and pleasant dreams, my friends!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cactus Monday: A is for Agave

Here's my first ABC atc card which will go to Lynn.

"A" is for agave. Hey, I killed two birds with one stone, Cactus Monday and ABC atc's seeing as I was coerced by the group! Sneaky, sneaky girls ;)

HCM my loyal friends!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Skywatch Friday: A Few More Sunsets

As my time nears the end of living near Asilomar Beach I'm going to take in as many sunsets as I can and share them with all of you.

Each setting sun shows us that we never know what's going to be on the horizon.

Happy Skywatch Friday, and remember to go here to see more skies in different parts of the world.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Gifts From Afar

Sometimes all it takes is a trip to the mailbox to lift me out of a funk.

Handwritten letters from friends near and far have been showing up and all of them have had handmade treasures enclosed. Let me show you what I mean.

Here's a beautiful photo card of one of Lynn's quilts and it had a stunning fabric ATC inside that I was lusting over! The photo doesn't do it justice. I love this!

Thank you Lynn!

That very same day I saw this beautiful heart zentangle on an envelope and I knew right away who it was from! I was so surprised to see three of Margarets ATC designs all for me!! Again, photos don't do them justice. Her work is so delicate and colorful. I'll treasure these surprises alway! Bless you, Peg!

And yesterday this adorable little framed mandala came to me from Marianne in the Netherlands! I totally forgot about the "Pay it Forward" post she did. And I didn't keep up my end of the bargain either :(

Just look at the sweet little mandala in my favorite colors. I took a larger picture so you could see the scale of it.

Thank you Marianne!! This made me smile big. I love it and you :)

I hope all of your mailboxes hold special treasures too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Sun Therapy

As long as I find something in my archives I can take a few minutes to post something. I'm having withdrawl!

This is a painting I did when we first moved to California. This is Biff, one of the three boys that drove out with us. He was a typical sun worshipper, just like his mom. I took him from his previous owners when he was a year old. He had malnutrition and pneumonia. He lived on a dairy farm and they didn't believe in feeding him because they thought he wouldn't be a good mouser unless he was hungry. They never gave him vaccines and the result of that was upper respiratory infection that went into pneumonia.

I took him to the vet hospital where I worked. He was negative for leukemia, thank goodness, so we treated his pneumonia, fattened him up and when he was better we neutered him. He was nearly seventeen when he died.

He had the biggest crush on me, honestly it was a hoot! I dearly miss him.

Now that we're moving back, it seems appropriate to post something that I did shortly after our arrival.

Happy Animal Wednesday!! And yes, I'm still packing like crazy ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blooming Tuesday Debut

Hello there! I'm taking a short break from my self-imposed hiatus to post this artichoke blossom my husband brought home for me one day last year. I plunked it in the vase and sat right down and painted it on canvas. Normally, I don't paint many still lifes but I did enjoy the 'complicated simplicity' of this one.

I'm taking lots of deep breaths, packing little by little but getting it done.

I already miss everyone though so I felt like posting something!

Happy Blooming Tuesday!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Needing a Break

To all my friends in blogland, I hereby announce that I need a huge break and therefore I won't be posting much unless the muse hits me.

I'm overwhelmed with losing patients, leaving clients and packing up sixteen years in a place I love. I had a mini-meltdown last night so I'm going to listen to my body and do some inner-work. Long walks, meditation, boozing it up...just kidding about that one! I just need to quiet my mind and be kind to myself.

I'll still visit you all. I'm just taking the pressure of myself to have to post.

Hopefully these smokestacks will simmer down soon.

I knew you'd understand ;) Please feel free to stop by and talk to me. I don't want you to forget me!


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Bend Over....

...let me see you shake a tail feather!!! Remember that song?

I got the sweetest note from Debra Kay last week (with some tail feathers from Oliver) and I think it arrived the same day Oliver got his ATC from me. I love karmic synchronicity!
Debra Kay said that Oliver wanted to send me a piece of his heart but his ass mails better!! Oh, they kill me. What a pair!

Thanks you two. You're a sunny spot in my day too ;)

I also got these beautiful roses from Mimi a few days ago. She has the most beautiful garden. She'll scatter some of Casey's ashes there among the rose bushes and lavender. Thank you Mimi. My cat Bliss and I love them!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Mimi's Soulmate

I got a frantic phone message one day from an elderly gentleman asking me if I could help him get his dog in the car because he needs to take him to a vet right away and he and his wife were unable to lift him. I called the gentleman back within five minutes, but by then a neighbor helped load the dog and off they went. He did appreciate my call however, and would be sure to keep my number in case he needed me in the future.

The future was two hours later. They had taken the dog to the vet who had painted a grim picture without much advice or hope or compassion. I agreed to meet them and their dog right away and to assess the situation. They said the dog was a Corgi and he was around 10.

I walked in the door and greeted Mimi and Ed. And then I saw Casey and my heart sank. He was nearly twice his normal weight. He had a mouth so rotten you could smell it from across the room. The only thing their vet said was that 'he has kidney disease and that's to be expected for a dog his age and there's nothing we can do except hospitalize him for a few days and give him fluids.' He said it so matter-of-factly but he failed at one of the most important things. He never looked into Mimi's eyes to see the connection between owner and dog. He stayed purely clinical and didn't show patience or respect to these sweet, elderly people who clearly loved their dog. The only thing Mimi and Ed feel that vet did right was to give them my name and number.

Here's what the next ten months meant to Casey.

First and foremost, I made an appointment with my veterinarian. It would be more than a week before we could see her and they were impatient and desperate. They scoured the phone book for other vets who could see him right away, but I convinced them that my giving fluids at home (provided by the other vet) would keep him going until he saw my vet. "She's worth the wait, I promise!" They've thanked me every day for being so insistent.

The first course of action was to treat Casey's kidney disease with a proper, low protien dog food diet. No more croissants in the morning. No sharing dinners with him. We established his age was 14+ years from looking at his records, not 10. Within 5 months we took 13 pounds off of him. I went over every single day to give him fluids under the skin to help keep his kidneys flushed, and to monitor his feedings and his progress. We all went to the vet appointments together. We got his bloodwork in good enough shape to clean up his mouth and he began enjoying his food. He would run around the long table several times a day just because he felt so good to be alive! And as much as a transformation as there was in Casey, so it was with Mimi. I'd walk in the door each day and look at her first because she was my barometer for how he was doing. They were so connected.

Things eventually began to decline a couple of weeks ago. Casey wasn't enjoying his food (which greatly upsets Mimi) and he began to walk funny. He seemed more vague to me as if he left the room but his body stayed. A recent ultrasound showed a couple of masses and funny cysts on his kidneys. And now he was dropping too much weight too fast. They could do MRI's and all sorts of extensive and expensive tests far from home but we all knew his age and other factors would probably go against any treatment.

Yesterday when I saw him we made an appointement for today to have his hind end checked out because of a new swelling. But by last night they called in a panic. Casey couldn't move his back end at all. I went over and spent a couple of hours sitting on the floor and checking Casey, but mostly letting them talk. I gave my honest opinion as I always promised I would. I felt it was time to let him go because he had nothing left to give. Mimi wanted to hold out hope for the appointment and I told her hope is a good thing.

I carried Casey to the car knowing full well that this was the last time we'd all be together. Mimi was singing to Casey in the back seat, mostly about what a sweet puppy he is. Ed was sitting in the front with me, discreetly wiping an errant tear. The doctor came in and examined him and agreed letting him go would be the kindest and bravest thing they could do. He was given a large dose of anesthesia so he'd sleep. The doctor and I let Mimi and Ed have some personal time with him and then we were all there for the final injection.

Casey was a gentle dog. An old soul in a short package. You could tell that he was grateful for the help he was getting. He never, ever complained until last night. That was the first whimper I ever heard from him in ten months.

He adored his family and he savored time in the garden with Mimi.

He lived his life with gratitude and he left us feeling more grateful for small blessings. Like Ed said when it was over, "Imagine that, we gave him 300 more days of a good life."

We sure did Ed. We sure did. And it was my great pleasure to be a part of it.
(This is a stock photo of a Welsh Corgi. Casey was camera shy.)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Cactus Monday: They're Here!

Remember the new residents that moved in last week?

There goes my peace and quiet!

HCM everyone!!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Illustration Friday: Hierarchy

She's top dog at our house. The little boss. All twelve pounds of her.

Never underestimate the tenacity of a Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix in a Pit Bull suit. Ever.

Happy weekend everyone!
acrylic paint, Prismacolor pencils on patterned paper.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Misty Morning

The first of May and the morning sky is inviting. The mist is rising off the water as the surfers get ready to start their days. Aaaaah, life is good!

Happy Skywatch Friday everyone! Don't forget to look at that glorious canvas over your head. To see other sky shots, run on over to this place!