Tag Archives: weather

Seasonal Kaleidoscopes or Why I Like Winter

Each Winter I seem to migrate no hibernate into my dreams, put paint brush to hand and begin painting floral and embellished little artworks. Stroke after stroke I load the paintbrush and simply paint. I think it dawned on me that much of my recent angst was due to not letting my mind flow freely and for me that means creating sometimes anything.

While living in Vancouver I dearly missed Winter and the quietness it brought about. The seasons their blend into each other with Winter being but a blip of minor cold and incessant rain in December and January. There is no distinct separation of Fall to Winter and then Winter to Spring. And this really affected my psyche, as for 30 years I was acclimatized to distinct seasonal separations and time lapses. That first year I remember thinking when does Winter start or end for that matter? And when does Spring arrive? Yes, the Magnolia’s and Cherry tree blossom’s bloomed but the grass was green in February when I arrived, and it was 11º Celsius when I a stepped off the plane in a bulky Winter coat thinking I’ve arrived in paradise. Is this really Canada? Continue reading

The shoveling of Snow and housekeeping of home

On Sunday, Saint John received it’s first snowfall. And with that comes the task of clearing of said snow from walkways, stairs, driveways and decks. I was pooped after shoveling, only to have to clean up the house afterwords.

Each Sunday, I strip the tenants beds, wash linens and towels, vacuum, clean the bathrooms and basically restock toilet paper, hand towels and other common goods that are included with the rent. I’ve got it down to a science, after doing this for the last four months and it takes me about four hours from beginning to end to do the housekeeping chores. I look it at as my part-time job. I claim the income from the rentals and pay much extra for residential insurance as opposed to regular home insurance which will not cover you when you rent to more than one person within your own home. And I rent to up to three people at times. At the moment, I have two tenants; one long-term and one short-term and am hoping to have another tenant by mid-next week who is coming to Saint John from Montreal for a work contract.

By doing it by the book, I am able to claim a percentage of all cleaning supplies, toilet paper, heating, power, cable, internet, furniture, bedding etc that the tenants use. On top of that, because I run and operate a business within this home I needed additional business insurance and therefore can claim all related utilities, basically a 1/4 of the main floor of the house. I can claim about 4/5 of my home as business due to the rental and art business combined, and do pay dearly for the insurance of both. The paperwork of running two businesses is a another job unto itself!

I raised the rents from $125 per week to $150 per week as the expenses were a bit more than I initially calculated. However, when compared to other room rentals available within the city my rooms are on the higher end of renting but they are legal, clean, bright, spacious and well maintained.

And I guess, that is what matters.

Needless to say, come late Sunday night I was exhausted after shoveling snow for two and half hours and then cleaning house for four hours, as both are very labour intensive. I definitely do not need a gym membership.

Begin RANT – I was just today declined for life insurance. Don’t ever get Crohn’s disease and/or mental health or addiction issues as you will be declined if you are self-employed and single in Canada. This is frustrating. I can’t get health insurance and now life insurance to, unless I am employed by a company who offers group insurance or am married and under my partners plan. Thank god I live in Canada where at least health care is free. We do need to pay for dental, eye care and prescription drugs (which would be covered if you had insurance) but anything else is free. BUT STILL I’ve been in remission from Crohn’s for 12 freaking years and clean of addiction for four years! End RANT

Fermenting Canadian Ice Wine

I think I miss the point completely on occasion and float away into my own little world forgetting that which exists and already surrounds me. Then I get to thinking about that point and why it has to be tipped and pointy and why is can’t be round, soft and interchangeable with beams of light infused with grape juice.

And then again if beams of light were infused with grape juice they would ferment as they travelled to earth at the speed of light and once here we’d all be drunk on clear burgundy sun drops.

Except here in Canada those infused beams of light would freeze and ice wine would fall from the air.

It’s -28ºC / -18ºF here in Saint John, New Brunswick!

Wooden, 8×8 inch /20,3cm by20,3cm plate distressed and painted by me

Day Dreams

Deep guttural industrial clanks and crashes escape the fog of night traveling upwards into the residential neighborhood where I reside, from the shipyard, refinery and paper mill lining the coast.

Day Dreams

The fog is thick.

It is near impossible to see across the street at night. The only light that pierces is those yellow and orange ones that dot the city streets. Many years ago the city of Saint John adopted a new orange hued lighting system on it’s main thoroughfares as white street lights didn’t cut it in one of the foggiest cities on earth. Never drive here with your high beams on in the fog for you will be blind.

I have yet to decide if 57 days of rain in the Winter or 57 days of fog in the Summer is worse. Rain in Vancouver or fog in Saint John. Saint John has sunny Winters but it can have foggy cold Summers. All one has do is drive 20 minutes in any direction away from Saint John and you’ll most likely be met with gorgeous blue skies. And to narrow that drive down drive anywhere outside of the East Side of Saint John and be met with glorious sunshine.

We had one sunny day last week. Other than that one blissful day it has been down right cold, raining and miserable. And I was sick on that day. Dammit!

Funny thing with fog is that only deep noise penetrates it. A baritone’s voice would do well in such conditions while a soprano not so good.

The foghorn was invented here. A man named Robert Foulis happened to be walking one very foggy night in the 1800’s and heard piano keys tapping. He soon realized that only the deep keys traversed the fog while the higher notes were inaudible. And so the story goes that lighthouses soon after had a foghorn installed within. Funny that Wikipedia doesn’t mention the piano keys. Maybe it’s just locally known or an urban myth we were taught in elementary school.

Lucky me.

It’s a good to day to dream in Photoshop.

Day Dreams - original ink drawing

Above is the original ink drawing before I played with it in photoshop. The original sold back in March 2008 and belongs to an art collector in the United States.

Archival prints of Day Dreams are available in the art shop.

Barefoot and picking carrots in the snow

01_snow_feet_jessicad.jpgThe world surrounding me is white, fluffy and icy. The trees are insulated against the approaching cold now. The ground had been warm before the snowstorm, causing ice sheets to form beneath the blanketed Lower Mainland. I have been laughing for two days strait, at the onslaught of a winter with snow. So fine to see the snow. This approaching February will mark four years since my arrival here from Saint John. I haven’t seen a snow-storm or crazy crazy weather like what we used receive back-east, until this past month of November began in Vancouver. I walked around outside in my bare-feet a few times this weekend picking *carrots to cook with supper. The 11 day long boil order for drinking water was lifted Sunday.

03_snow_deck_jessicad.jpg04_snow_deck_jessicad.jpgIt has been fun. I love Mother Nature. I get all excited when their is a storm to the point, where I can do nothing but stare at it, hypnotized by sound, movement and visual. The night sky was grey-violet, umber-orange with hints of a tarnished green reflected from electric man-made light.

The land is white and black with only a few shades of brown, a most-mossy green and cool grey in between, connecting three of four primal elements; air, water and earth. The element of fire could be the man-made light or life… or both?

Last night, I watched the news. I couldn’t believe it myself. I loath TV news broadcasts. More importantly, **Global News BC broadcast the how-to of living through a snow storm. It was a rather desperate production on their part, for they have forgotten perhaps, a quarter of the lower mainland originates from a more northerly climate and that we find this snow-fear hysterical. Seriously you will all.be.ok. It’s snow – Not falling polished spheres of white granite stones. I can’t believe there was such a mix-up in school closures and openings. OMG people. HAHA ha! Continue reading

Magna Mater

jessica_doyle_untitledSM.jpgIt is Sunday. I have just woken from a nap. Earlier in the morning Eric drove from the Eastside to Downtown Vancouver to pick my Mom and I up from the hotel. It was 5:30AM then. It was raining then. The first rain Vancouver has seen since the arrival of my mom. My mom is the air now over Canada making her way back to her home in New Brunswick. And I already miss her. We had some breakfast at the airport. It was good. My head was hurting and my mom’s throat was sore. My nose has not stopped running since Tuesday. And yesterday my mom’s nose began running. I was sick with flu or a cold last week. Today it is beginning to end. My mom’s flu or cold is just beginning and now travelling across the country. She caught my Vancouver cold. Between my mom and I we ingested almost a whole bottle of tylenol extra strength this week. The mornings and late evenings were the roughest. The mucous just did not stop. A cough has set in now, telling me it’s almost over. The hot fevers of cold sweat are gone. The joint stiffness is gone.

And my mom is gone. And I miss her.

The sun is shining now. The clouds are dispersed, white and fluffy. The tears we shed are dissapating.

In awe, I am, with the kindred maternal weather system…

Magna Mater

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