Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year?

Happy New Year?  God, I hope so! This year, especially the last few months, has been extremely hard on me ....

2015, I'm looking forward to greeting you!

I think  ....

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Snoring Cats

It's almost 3am as I write this.  Despite the Lorazepam, Percocet, and Gravol bedtime combo I'm having the worst case of insomnia I've had in years.

My two cats are both cuddling up beside me, snoring gently. Hopefully the sound will soothe me to sleep soon.

Good night.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Painting=Stress Relief

Too much stress today.  I'm going to start a new painting and focus simply on the act of creating ....

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Highs and Lows and PAIN

I had an excellent day at the market ... well, up to a point.

People were friendly and chatty, and they seemed to really like my artwork.  One guy said he would email me and give me instructions on which type of painting he wants me to do for him. Another person told me with great excitement that he was taking the package of cards he'd just bought from me to France, Brazil, and Scotland.

I was feeling happy and pleased with how the day had unfolded.   It wasn't until I stopped to talk to my friend Andrea (she sells soap, salt, etc) and told me some bad news.  She, and some other people, had received an email stating that starting April 1st there would be no more cart vendors.

Like Andrea, I'm both extremely upset and angry!  How can they play with people's lives like this?

I'd write more, but this stress I'm under is making my back pain 100% times worse.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Experimentation Part III

Well, this Christmas sure was different this year.  And, that's not a bad thing at all.

I went to two family get-togethers before Christmas; it was nice to see everyone again.

On Christmas Eve, my friends Lucy and Meaghan had dinner with me at Hot House.  That was fun!  We chatted and laughed, opened up presents and gawked at how much our waitter looked so much like John Oliver.

The food at Hot House was delicious, but "The Imitation Game" at Yonge and Dundas showed a much hotter and yummier dish on screen. Sigh... I love Benedict Cumberbach! I think I converted Motria and Lucy, too. Now they both want to see "Sherlock".

The plot was gripping, too, mostly because it was based on a true story about mathematician and code breaker Alan Turing. I won't give anything away, except to say: "People, what a bunch of bastards!"

Well anyway, during these past couple of days, I took some shrooms in the evening, at home so I wouldn't embarrass myself. Sure, it was fun and I got high and giggly. And yet, I felt kind of disappointed because I expected a "revelation" which would help me figure out how to deal with my grief. I even got a bit depressed, which is counter-productive - I want to get rid of my depression, not add to it!

All day I've actually felt better because like McLuhan's quote, "The media is the message," for me, the shrooms were the message. What I mean is, maybe what the shrooms were telling me is that to cope and understand my grief, I need to do it on my own. It's a personal journey, and I've learned a lot about myself.

Or maybe the shrooms were telling me I need to take more...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Highs and Lows of Christmas

Pictures now, explanations tomorrow ....

Christmas cracker & Porter chocolate Stout yesterday at Hot House

Our waiter.  Doesn't he look like John Oliver?

My place, Christmas Day

Christmas breakfast
Christmas Rascal

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Experimentation Part II

I didn't mean to end my post so abruptly last night, but I was so tired.

When I said Experimentation, I didn't mean simply trying to heal my grieving soul by consuming shrooms.  Sure, that's one thing I want to experiment with, but there are other things I want to try as well.

I used to like writing poetry years ago; maybe I should try my hand at that again.  Besides my art and this blog, poetry would give me another mode of self-expression.

I was telling my friend Alana that I was having this internal debate about where to go next year for a holiday: Baltimore; Britain; or, Berlin. I love Britain so much, I feel like I belong there, but I cry every time I talk about going back.  Rob and Sarah and I had the best time there six years ago.  So, maybe Britain in 2016 instead of 2015 (unless things change emotionally for me).  And ... I don't know ... I think maybe I'm over with Baltimore, at least for now. So, Berlin in 2015 - woo-hoo!

Stay tuned for Experimentation Part III!

(I'm heading out for dinner now.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


These are pictures from the Sunday and yesterday:

From my aunt's place --

Aunt Joyce
Uncle George

Bored Thomas

Sweet Michelle

Yesterday evening -

Jen & Nic visit

Cool new socks from Brittainy
It's been brilliant seeing family and friends during these past few days!  And, the fun is going to continue for a couple of more days.  Tomorrow, I'm going out to dinner with friends at Hot House, and then on Christmas Day I'm going to see The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch.

Sometime during this time, I'm going to try mushrooms.

Should be interesting ....

Monday, December 22, 2014

No Time to Post Part II

No time to post!  Nic and Jen came all the way from London, Ont., to have a pre-Christmas get-together with me.

Post at you tomorrow... hopefully.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

No Time to Post

No time to post!  I'm out all day at a family Christmas get-together.

Post at you tomorrow ....

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happily Busy at the Market

I'm exhausted but happy.  I was very busy at the market today.  Advertising my deals on select items worked well for me.  I sold about half of my Christmas stock.  Plus, I was commissioned by a man to paint his wife's two cats.

Much to my surprise and delight, my cousin Brandon dropped by with a present for me: a bottle of Bailey's!  Thank you, Brandon!

But the best present I received today was the limited edition Sherlock DVD package!  Thank you so much, Bruce; Michelle; and, Thomas!!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Market Deals!

Tomorrow is the last day I can sell my wares before Christmas.  So, I'm going to make the most of it by having a lot of new Market Deals!

Large Seasonal/Holiday/Winter Themed/(oh, let me just say it!) Christmas cards will be $10 instead of the regular package for $15!

Smaller packages of Christmas cards, regularly $10, will be $7 or two for $15!

Plus, there are a lot of other goodies to make your Christmas shopping fun and easy!

I hope to see you there, everybody!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Day of Communication and Healing Part II

For a few hours yesterday afternoon, I was completely alone with my thoughts and feelings.  I listened to my favourite songs, worked a little, and shed a few tears.

 As I said in another post, this holiday season has been harder on me than expected.  I feel pretty much as I did five years ago when I had to deal with Rob's death.  I cry at songs that remind me of Rob and Mom or at the things I see that I would have bought for them.

I'm not a Scrooge, but 75% of me hates Christmas - especially this one!  I'm not only grieving for Rob and Mom, but for a simpler past, for myself (where is that spunky kid who believed that everything would turn out ok no matter what?) and for a friendship I've either lost or I'm losing.

When depression has me in its dark, vice-like grip, I listen to Ed Sheeran's Drunk and think to myself, Yeah., I want to get drunk!  I want to get WASTED!  I want to numb the pain a little.  Unfortunately/fortunately, it never happens, I never get "wasted".  After one or two drinks I get very sleepy and have to stop or go to bed.

Lately, when I need to cheer myself up, I listen to Elton John's I'm Still Standing or Queen's Don't Stop Me Now!  Both are uplifting and empowering songs, and they make me smile.

Sometimes when songs only soothe my tattered nerves, I hang out with my friends.  We talk about a wide variety of things, laugh a lot, and pat my cats excessively.

It is during these times that I wonder if that spunky, optimistic kid still living within me.  Perhaps I could coax her out with a peppermint mocha frappuccino ....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Day of Communication and Healing

Like a lot of mornings, I suddenly jerked awake and mentally scolded myself for not emailing/texting/calling people I knew I should be contacting.

I got through maybe 75% of the people on my mental list: friends, family, my financial advisor, dentist, doctor.  I'll do the other 25% tomorrow ....

The cards I'd received in the post yesterday were all folded, labeled, and packaged up today.  I have to be ready for the Saturday Christmas rush at the market!

For a few hours in the late afternoon, I was completely alone with my thoughts and feelings ....

To be continued at a later time ....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cat Painting Completed

Yay, I'm finished the cat painting!

This painting was interesting for two reasons:  1) I found a picture of this cat on Instagram and liked it (and the composition) so much that I had to capture it onto canvas.  And, 2) I painted the cat backwards, from tail to head.  I did this because I thought it might be easier to block it out on the canvas and make sure that the whole body would fit.

I was going to say more, but I took a Percocet to ease my muscle pains and now I'm feeling nauseous.

Bloody hell.

Monday, December 15, 2014


I'm determined to finish the painting of the fluffy cat tonight.

I'll talk to you tomorrow ....

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas is TERRIFYING!

The morning was work, work, work for me.  I did the payroll and uploaded it to my bookkeeper.  I edited some card designs and ordered more merchandise.  (Saturday is the last chance for me to sell my Christmas stock.)  And, I had my laundry and floors washed.  Plus, I booked a trip with Wheel Trans to go visit my Aunt Joyce on Sunday.

In the evening, Motria and Laura came over for dinner.  We ate macaroni and cheese and salad; drank white wine; and watched funny/cute animals on YouTube.  All in all, it was a fun evening. I hadn't seen either Motria or Laura in ages! 

I always want to take pictures whenever they come over.  Motria and Laura weren't thrilled about having their pictures taken this time, though, but they came around when it was decided that we should fake being scared - scared of Christmas!

With Christmas being only eleven days away and so much still to do, it is a scary thought ....

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Beautiful December Day

I wore my brightest, most cheerful clothes today.  The clothes didn't exactly match mood.  I was so tired that I kept dozing off at the market.  However, I had so many customers that I didn't get very much rest - which definitely is not a complaint!  People seemed jovial and filled with the holiday spirit.  I kind of flirted with one customer because he was hot and I liked his German accent.

The weather mirrored my clothes: warm, bright, and beautiful.

I, on the other hand, remain so tired.

Hopefully, my cats and my over-active mind will behave themselves tonight ....

Friday, December 12, 2014

Technical Difficulties AGAIN!

Sorry, but I'm facing technical difficulties AGAIN!  I need to delete some files before my computer decides to go on strike and shuts down completely.

Maybe I should offer it more coffee breaks ....

Thursday, December 11, 2014

One of Those Days

It's been one of those days.

The falling snow made me groan inwardly and feel sad.

I laughed out loud when Hershey sat on the clothes I had planned on wearing and refused to move off of them.

I feel happy and content as I paint now.  Hopefully, I'll finish it tonight.

Nothing more than that happened today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cat Painting and Shrooms

I'm almost finished the painting of the fluffy cat. That's good! Actually, the whole day has been very good and positive. I mean, sure, I woke up feeling extremely depressed like I've been doing for over a month, but talking to my counsellor and getting it all out made me feel better.

I think what really made me happy, though, was the reaction of my counsellor to my announcement was that I wanted to try doing mushrooms during the Christmas holidays. I explained to her that I had heard shrooms were very helpful in very helpful in dealing with grief. Much to my amazement, she was very cool and supportive about my idea. I think I would have felt very different and disappointed in my counsellor if she had reacted negatively.

In previous posts I've said how I always try to expose myself to the very core, whether in my art or blog. And recently I've been slacking off at least with my blog, either because of time restrictions or because the emotions are too tangled for me to relay here. However, in the future I will try to be more open about what's going on in my head.

Right now, though, I am going to try to finish my cat painting.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Painting is on My Mind

I have a lot of things on my mind ... some aren't great ... so, I'm dealing with it all by painting.

Painting soothes my ravaged soul.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Presents and Continued Painting

By now, if you're familiar with my posts, you know that I'm a worrier.  Last night, I kept jerking awake thinking Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!  Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming!  I don't have very many more days to buy presents and wrap them!

So, after I mailed a package at the post office in Shoppers Drug Mart I went Christmas shopping.  When I got home, I wrapped the presents all up.

I bought a present for myself, too - this magazine with Johnny Depp on the cover!

I think that this brilliant find and my relief at getting 95% of my Christmas shopping completed will allow me to sleep like a baby tonight.

Right now, however, I'm going to continue work on my newest painting ....

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Flowers and a Pain in the Neck

"Vibrant Flowers on a Gloomy Day"
Apart from putting this painting up on Etsy, I did a lot of things today!  I'd tell you about them all, too, but my neck is KILLING me!

Oh, my kingdom for a Percocet!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tired but Happy Today

I'm tired but happy as I write this.

I had a good day at the market today.  Not only did I make over $100.00, but Sarah was my assistant during the morning shift.  I hadn't seen Sarah in over a month, so it was good to catch up with her!

And when I got home, I checked my email and saw that somebody had purchased one of my paintings on Etsy.

This makes me so happy!  Maybe one day, if I work hard enough, Etsy could be a bigger part of how I make my income.

And, speaking of work, although I'm very tired I need to work on the employees' schedule and upload a couple more pictures to Etsy before I go to bed.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hard Work Pays Off

Hard work does pay off sometimes.  Last night, I posted more of my work onto the Etsy website.

Meowy Christmas!

Two Dogs in a Stroller

And, this morning I got an email saying that I had sold some of my cards.  I'm so happy!  Sure, it was only a set of two packages, but still it's something!

To reward myself, I enjoyed an osteopath treatment from Anita and had a 45 minute cat nap with my cats.

The boys  had their five minutes of pats from Anita and are still sleeping.

I, on the other hand, am back to painting my ass off again!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Feeling Better ... Sort of

I'm feeling better in that I don't have a cold - thanks to vitamin C and oil of oregano!  However, now I have an upset stomach.

I had a busy and fun day, and this is part of why, I'm sure, my stomach got upset. 

First, I picked up my self-portrait from the photo place, where I'd asked them to crop the canvas for me.

I like it, don't you?

After that, I went to the health food store for herbal medicine, had a snack at Starbucks, and bought a couple more Christmas presents. I also bought two new dresses for myself as well.  Why not, right?  Christmas depresses the hell out of me, and retail therapy always helps a bit.

I had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.  I ordered the Ultamate Long Island Iced Tea, Twisted Mac and Cheese.  And, for dessert - the most decadent chocolate mousse on earth!

When I came home, I had left-over frappuccino and double chocolate brownie from Starbucks.

God, I hope the Gravol kicks in soon!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Feeling Iffy

I'm feeling iffy.  You know, like I might be coming down with a cold or something.

Bleah ....

I'm going to eat Swiss Chalet, watch Rectify, paint a little, and then head to bed.  Hopefully, I'll feel better tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Busy and Productive Monday

A lot of people don't like Mondays - but I do! I get so much done on Mondays.

Today I went to the post office, not only to mail letters but to set up rental on a P.O. Box.  I got so fed up with U.P.S. sending back my packages, and this seemed like a good solution to the problem.

I also bought gifts for Christmas (it is December 1st, after all), uploaded more artwork onto Etsy, and then, after dinner, started working on a new painting.

Yay Mondays!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sleepy Sunday

I just woke up from a thirty minute nap feeling refreshed, happy, and pleased with everything I accomplished this afternoon.

The floors were mopped, laundry washed, payroll finished, emails answered, and 2015 calendars posted.

2015 Art Calendar on Etsy

I was happy and optimistic upon awakening - until I read the news on Facebook about the pipeline spill!  (It's funny how much important news I do get from Facebook and other social media than from actual newspapers.)  I logged onto The Star's website afterwards and found no headlines at all about the 60,000 litre #oilspill.  When I did find an article about this disasterous story, it was very short, and it assured us that no wildlife was affected.  Unless they mean "wildlife" as in people who just live to party it up, I seriously doubt this latter claim.

I'm going to bed now.  Wake me up when people are more concerned about the health of this poor planet than sports, finance, and gossip ....

Saturday, November 29, 2014

So Far So Good!

It's early morning at the market and I've already had three customers.  Three really nice, decent customers. What do I mean by this? They were respectful of both myself and my artwork. They were enthusiastic about my work and chatted amiably -  and directly - with me.

They were not ableist shmucks.

Indeed, one customer was pretty damn cute, and wants to commission me to paint his dog Bobby.

I hope the day continues in this uplifting, profitable way.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Better Day!

Modes of communication are all open and working. Thank god!  I get kind of panicstricken when one (or all) of my devices aren't in working order.

And, speaking of communication, I'll be more communicative tomorrow.

I'm pooped ....

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Can Almost Taste it!

I'm so close to finishing this painting -  I can almost taste it!  I did a bit more work on it last night ... and I don't hate it anymore.  Maybe I'll even end up loving it!  Maybe it'll be one of  my favourite paintings. Who knows ....

 I'll try to finish it either tomorrow or Friday, but no guarantees. Hershey needs to go to the vet tomorrow for a check-up; and, I need to post some of my artwork on Etsy, update my finances. and finish the payroll.

If I get overwhelmed by everything I need to do, I'll take a deep breath; swallow a Lorazepam; and tell myself that in the grander scheme of things getting all of these completed in a timely manner doesn't really matter all that much.

Hopefully, I'll listen to myself and give myself a break.  I don't know, though.  Already part of me is rebelling, telling me to push myself harder and sleep less.

After all, December 1st is on Monday (how the fuck did that happen?) and I need all my ducks in a row for the Christmas season.