Tag Archives: winter

New Traditions

Wintery trees in Pink

Do you decorate?

I’ve always adored holiday decorations. Or, at least, I used to, before I had adult responsibilities and recognized that I was short on space. (Clutter didn’t bother me as much as a child.) Even the holiday decorations in stores made me giddy, and I dreamed of which “style” I would put up if I were grown up and had my own home.

Now I am, and I do, but I’m not very interested in decorating. Which makes me sad.

In fact, I’ve become less interested in decorations the bigger my home has gotten. I put more effort into decorating when I was 21 – and squished into a small apartment with 3 other people – than I do now. I don’t know why.

Well, yes I do. Now my priorities are different. My business is my focus. My studio has expanded exponentially with each move we’ve made, thereby rendering any “bigger space” irrelevant. I also grew to hate clutter, in part because I spend all my time in a messy studio. It doesn’t help that I try to be all minimalist and Zen. It’s hard to fit multicolored lights and reindeer into that. Continue reading

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

A New Brunswick Diary

Dear Diary,

Aug 12 – Moved to our new home in New Brunswick. It is so beautiful here. The northern woods are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see snow. I love it here.

Oct 14 – New Brunswick is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have turned colors – shades of red and orange. Went for a ride through the country and saw some deer. They are so graceful…certainly they are the most beautiful animal on earth. I really love it here.

Nov 11 – Deer season will start soon. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it will snow soon. What a beautiful place.

Dec 12 – Snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard! We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight (I won), and when the snow plow came by, we got to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place – I love New Brunswick.

Dec 14 – More snow last night. I love it. The snow plow did his trick to the driveway again. It’s so great here.

Dec19 – More snow last night. Couldn’t get out of the driveway to get to work. I am exhausted from shoveling. Fucking snow plow.

Dec 22 – More of that white shit fell last night. I have blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snow plow hides around the corner and waits until I’m done shoveling the driveway. ASSHOLE!

Dec 25 – Merry Fucking Christmas! More friggen snow. If I ever get my hands on that son‐of‐a‐bitch who drives that snow plow, I swear I’ll kill the bastard. Don’t know why they don’t use more salt on the road to melt the bloody ice?

Dec 27 – More white shit last night. Been inside for 3 days – except for shoveling the driveway after that snow plow goes through. Can’t go anywhere – the cars stuck in a mountain of the white shit. The weatherman says to expect another 10” of this crap again tonight. Do you know how many shovels of snow 10″ is?

Dec 28 – The fucking weatherman was wrong. We got 34” of that white shit this time. At this rate, it won’t melt before next summer. The snow plow got stuck up the road and that bastard came to the door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him I had broken six shovels already shoveling all the shit he pushed into the driveway. I broke my last shovel over his bloody head.

Jan 4 – Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back a damned deer ran in front of my car and I hit it. Did about $3,000 damage to the car. Those fucking beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed all of them last November.

May 3 – Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusting out from all the fucking salt they put all over the road?

May 10 – Moved to Georgia. I can’t imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever live in that God‐forsaken province of NEW BRUNSWICK.

author unknown…

My Dad handed this joke to me last night, typed on three worn sheets of paper. After reading it I couldn’t help but publish it to the blog! Haha! I did find many other adaptations of this joke that take place in other northern US and Canadian locals but could not find the original author of this joke. The photo above is the front of my house… enough said…

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

The clouds broke open lighting the trees on fire

While the sun was setting over the city, it’s beams shone through the cloud cover lighting the backyard tress on fire. With camera in hand taking pictures of the many glistening trees facing West I was mesmerized by the red’s, oranges and yellows on this grey winter’s day. It turned the sky an awesome deep hued ultramarine blue.

Continue reading

Winter

Ever wonder what a tree would look like without leaves on one side. The dieing foliage on this tree faces the other way, giving good reason to believe the grass IS greener on the other side. Or in this behind the seasons look, winter IS colder on the other side.

haha!

Winter was created using Faber Castell Pitt artist pens, Micron pens and Windsor and Newton Watercolor on Arches watercolor paper.

Size – 8″ by 8″

The original illustration has since sold to an avid art collector in Canada but beautiful archival prints are listed in the shop or each season in both 8×8 inch and 5×5 inch size.

Three Psycho Snowmen or How to Identify Which Drug Your Snowman is Taking

The Opiate Addict

The Opiate Addict

He has very tiny pupils. His snow is dirty yet he appears to be happy. He chooses to dress in overly bright decorative scarves that have been out of style for 15 years.

The Amphetamines Addict

The Amphetamines Addict

Notice how happy, bright and shiny this snowman is! Look closely at his dilated pupils and dryed out mouth. He even sports his own hand made wooden pipe.

…and The Alcoholic

The Alcaholic

This snowman is depressed. His snow is dirty, his eyes are dull and his nose has gin blossomed. His clothes are clean but faded and old.

Three Psycho Snowmen

I come from a family of crafters and labourers who have what some may call a peculiar sense of humor. When you are couped up inside month after month during winter you need to do something to bide your time.

After living on Vancouver’s Eastside for four years I couldn’t help but laugh at these snowmen my folks made. All three do resemble mentally impaired folk art style candle holding drug addicts.

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank