My daughter Willow having some fun with Little Orange. I need to keep reminding her to be gentle, gentle, to pat the cat gently as she grabs handfuls of Oranges hair. Good thing he is good natured. Willow will be 9 months old on the 26th.
I feel a little stunned and the back of my eyes and head hurt while my heart aches. Missy would have turned 17 years old this Summer which is 84 years old in human years.
She was a happy cat, a trooper, and travelled and lived from one coast of Canada to the other with me. She saw me through two major surgeries, marriage, divorce, addiction, and too many parties and both good and bad times to count. She always purred when you patted her and rolled onto her back for you to rub her belly. Missy loved when I whistled The Andy Grifith tune to her. She used to spend hours outside on decks and rooftops, catching moths at dusk or licking dew off of leaves in the garden. She was a great furry companion.
She is survived by Little Orange, her adoptive son, and Skulley, her stepsister and predeceased by Cat McGandy.
I miss her so much right now. It was agonizing taking her to the veterinary clinic this afternoon to euthanize. She lost the ability to walk this morning and would not eat or drink anymore. Her heart was failing and I couldn’t bear to watch her suffer any longer.
I love you Missy. You are truly missed and will never far from my thoughts.
Applecheeks is clebrating for 25 days of 25,000 Applecheeks fans on their Facebook page and I am sponsoring their 20th day…
Today on the Applecheeks blog you can enter to win two beautiful fine art prints of mine, With Child and ABC valued at $60. Both are limited edition fine art prints. They are numbered, signed and titled and will arrive with certificates of authenticity. This contest closes at midnight tonight.
And from today, March 20 to March 27 I am offering 25% off all purchases in my Etsy Shop. Simply use the code APPLECHEEKS during checkout.
I’ve been using Applecheeks cloth diapers on my daughter since she was very tiny weighing in at about 7lbs. She was too tiny to use them at first as she arrived early and only weighed 5lbs 5oz. She weighs over 17lbs and is fitting into their size 2 diapers now. I couldn’t imagine using disposables. I have about 24 diapers in total. Here Willow is at about 8 lbs in both photos with her Applecheeks.
And you don’t know where you’ll end up until you take that leap of faith.
Last July life got a whole lot busier for me. I began working more at the City Market producing and selling art at the stall and Chris became a full-time parent overnight. Our lives changed instantly as Chris scrambled to find a way to look after his son while he was at work full-time. His son turned 12 shortly after and was then able to spend a few hours alone here and there so that helped.
It hit me hard. Chris went from sharing custody 50/50 with his ex to having his son full-time with no extra money, support or anything. It took a toll on our five month old relationship but it also opened it in another way and I got to see how wonderful this man really was. I also got to know his son better and saw how great of a kid he was.
While dating and single from 2007 to 2012, before Chris and I got together, I swore up and down not to date a man with children because of the experiences I had with them. These men were completely absent in their children’s lives or kept me a secret from their kids and/or their ex or were dating multiple women and lying about it. These things didn’t bode well for me as I wanted to someday have a child of my own and very much wanted an involved father in that child’s life.
So I began dating men without kids and usually these men were kids themselves who were more interested in their boats, bikes and pensions than in finding common ground to walk on together. I managed quite well to attract men who wanted no commitment.
I’ve known Chris a long time… since I was 19… so 20 years… long… time. We grew up in the same neighborhood. He went out with a good friend of mine as a teenager. He was also a mutual friend of my ex-husband and I. I can remember sitting on the couch talking with Chris while my ex was engrossed in video games. I was never just Jessica. I was Andy’s girlfriend then wife… then ex. This all seems so long ago. A lifetime ago.
We all attended college together and Chris hung out with my ex at our apartment. We partied together but mostly I stayed home as I was sick a lot during college with Chron’s disease and physically could not handle the late nights and party’s. We all studied Graphic Design, surface design and illustration.
After Fredericton we both went our separate ways. Chris spent some time in Toronto and then had his son here in Saint John. He married and raised his two step-children and his own child. All the while I divorced and partied my ass off for five years in Saint John, Fredericton and Vancouver, perhaps making up for losing most of my twenties to severe illness and for marrying a man who didn’t share the same values and morals as I did. And there is no fault in that, it’s just the way the cards played out.
And now, 20 years later Chris and I find ourselves expecting a baby, dealing with extensive child custody and divorce issues, managing two homes, three cats and simply doing our best to keep healthy organic food on the table, the bills paid up-to-date and all the while we both are doing it sober.
Our life may seem mundane to some but it’s our life and the one we are choosing to live. Chris partied lots during his teens and early twenties while I got the partying out of my system in my late twenties and early thirties. And while I miss the parties on occasion, it’s a rather nostalgic feeling of been there done that, had fun and moving on now to the next stage of my life kind of feeling.
And I’m so grateful and lucky to have this man to share this stage of life with.
I love you Chris.
When you haven’t written in so long it’s easier to keep on not writing. But, in the back of your mind, the words and letters keep churning and jumbling up and into empty space until you get them written down in a tangible form. While I have been drawing pictures, it’s the words that weren’t making sense to me and therefore I did not write.
These last six months have been nothing but life changing. I haven’t found God or anything like that but I have found the courage to live more honestly and to trust in those people whom, let me, into their lives. You can’t help but wonder how you could have lived the way you did for such a long time repeating gesture after gesture after ever after.
There is solace in repetitive movement and even in the the state of inaction… the ticks, the drinks, the inhalations, the thoughts, the running, the drawing, the writing, the eating, the frantic screaming, it all soothes anxiety and mends the hearts of troubled souls irregardless of how temporary or destructive in nature this self-soothing may be. We can only go on circling for so long in a state of chaos before spinning out.
So, last night I made some chunky orange lemon marmelade from scratch. That sums up my everything.
The Marmelade recipe I adapted from the Mad Scientist and home Cooking. Also, I used an extra amount or orange peelings that I have been freezing over the last few months. If you are going to make marmalade DO USE certified organic citrus fruit as the peelings are not sprayed or died.
It’s been a long time since I felt confident enough to say I love what I do. Selling at the City Market over the last few weeks has been a blessing. I worked hard to find full-time work outside of the home yet almost every door I knocked on stayed closed for the last seven years. So, I’ve always returned to creating my own work.
Not everyone is meant to work a 9 to 5 job and this time around I accept that. Just as I’m not supposed to drink or smoke. It’s been over five months since I had my last drink and while it’s occasionally hard, it’s getting easier to focus on life without donning the rosé coloured glasses.
And it’s very strange to begin seeing clearly the reasons you drank, used drugs or smoked.
I “used”, to dull emotions, senses and stimuli. I would then use to heighten them when I didn’t have enough energy.
I feel more high sober than I did high so to speak. I’m accepting the strong emotions and insane bursts of energy and focus as they come on and the people closest to me accept them too. I let those people know what’s going on and don’t bottle the sh!t up nor spend too much time alone except when working here in the studio or when resting after work.
And I’m working lots these days. The pictures in this post are scenes from the Saint John City Market, the monthly outdoor Queen Square Market, a new owl limited edition print and of the mantle in my living room. That piece sold and is on route to Indiana at the time of this writing. But, you can get your own limited edition Sassy Sea Urchin here to frame and hang on your wall form the shop.
And the boyfriend has been a positive influence on me for sticking to a routine especially when getting to bed and getting up in the morning. We drink tea and talk, go for long walks, cook meals, spend time with family, play games, explore, laugh and enjoy the present. We have much in common and enough self interests to keep things interesting and moving forward. Most of all our core values, beliefs and morals are in line with one and other.
I didn’t know that life could be this way. And I didn’t know that by saying “no” to things that didn’t feel right that eventually the right stuff would make it’s way into my life.
BTW… i’ll be at the Saint John City Market on June 30th and again on July 1st in my regular stall down by Pete’s Frootique. Drop in to say hi! I’ve got many new framed pieces to choose from, new prints and the locket sets too.
This past weekend I spent Mother’s Day at my folk’s place helping outside in the garden.
We planted organic seed potatoes and complained about the creeping charlie and talked about how well the strawberry rhubarb is growing this season.
It was a peaceful day.
Somewhere in between determination, heart palpitations, lethargy and giddiness I stopped smoking cigarettes eleven days ago. Oddly enough I feel more level headed than I’ve felt in a long time, albeit a sleepy time.
I slept 16 hours per day during the first three days of the quit and sporadically puffed on a Nicorette Inhaler and on a nicotine-free electronic cigarette. I also thought about bookmarking a national directory of treatment centers on my browser in case I needed further help quitting.
The constant dizziness from quitting didn’t subside until day four and it’s still lingering today. And I can’t beleive the manufacturers of the Nicorette inhaler want you to use 12 cartridges per day! I’ve been using one per day since my quit and puffing on an electronic cigarette five to six times per day. And now, eleven days in, I’m weaning off both the Nicorette and the e-cig.
I’m not really sure what prompted me to stop smoking on November 19th, and can’t really say why I feel good or how come I haven’t gone crazy or regressed back into smoking again. I guess when the time is right you just do it and say frack off to everyone and everything else that gets in your way of completing the task at hand.