Monday, November 28, 2005


A wonder anything can get done! Then again, on days like today when I spend hours trying to get Frankenputer to revive and I can barely sit up straight, this kind of comedy is just what's needed.
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Happily I did manage to finish all the crocheting of this afghan I had intended to when the swarming started, and as you can see, Frankenputer lives!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fun and ...

Can you read this??

Olny srmat poelpe can.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!if you can raed tihs psas it on !!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Twilighting with Camera

Standing out on the balcony gazing at a distant eagle crossing the sky. I grabbed my camera, but snapping away I did not once capture the eagle. Nothing lost, however, as the ever changing twilighting mesmerised me.

I had a need for a pint of milk, so using that as the excuse and jumping out with camera in hand, I made it my mission to share this wonderful night-sky with you. I can't walk very fast so taking the two blocks to the store recorded the sky over a one half hour period.

This might give you some idea of what a wonderful place Vancouver is geographically. Though winter is expressed many places by heavy snowfall, ours are confined to the ski slopes nearby. We haven't yet had a frosty night.
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This very inexpensive camera I bought with my Christmas money several years ago never ceases to delight me with reliable quality, without a doubt it is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I was in such pain and feeling heavily nauseated, then came this sunset and for a time it was all suspended, truly, art therapy with a vengeance. Now I am going to do some serious warming up in my electric blanket with a toastie (grilled cheese). Life is good.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


When I came to know
The truth of love
I searched no more
For it was freely given

When at times I was afraid
I held friends tight
Their voices I heard
Their wise counsel
I recalled

To say that one
is born again
I can't believe
I come but once to earth

But finding a soul
So deeply deeply buried
Is this not a joy
That this one life has given me?

And through all those I love
I see more clearly
the stars, the sun, the moon and you
For I am the one who can hold me again
I treasure myself for this life,
of contentment.

Lois (Muse of the Sea) 25/11/05


no reason -- it just 'fell out'


When I was young, and afraid of death,
And time a bag of golden coins --
I thought to spend some moments with you,
And maybe get some change.

But the coins ran out -- the wind blew in,
And I never got to know thee;
And I'm poorer now from having lost
Treasures you freely gave me.

When I was old, and afraid to live
And time a star out of reach --
I thought to wallow in memories,
And hold you to me again.

But the coins ran out -- the wind blew in,
And I never got to know thee;
And I'm poorer now from having lost
Treasures you freely gave me.

When I was born, given life once more
And know time by faith alone --
I thought of our love most selflessly,
And we came to be as one.

For coins shower in -- the breeze a kiss,
And I will ever know thee --
I am richer now for having found
Treasures life gladly gave me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


This milky haze pulls together the discordant vision of the trees and the transformer towers in such a hauntingly beautiful way.
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One can almost forget that the towers are not organic, but one will not forget which is the Creator's work.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Gone Green?

On my way to vote today I spotted this marvel not a few blocks away. Taking this "going green" thing a spot too far?

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Bridget Kavanagh's Guinness Cake and Pudding

Guinness Christmas Cake and Pudding


2 lbs mixed dried fruit; 2 7 oz bottles Guinness; 12 oz butter; 12 oz brown sugar; 6 large eggs; 2 cups self raising flour; 2 teaspoons each cinnamon, mixed spice; one teaspoon nutmeg; grated rind and zest one lemon and one orange.

Empty the fruit into a large mixing bowl and pour the contents of the Guinness bottles over the fruit. Let it soak overnight in the fridge.

The next day, Warm the butter and sugar until both melt (but do not allow to overheat or you will have toffee!) Beat the six eggs while the sugar and butter mxcture cools. Stir eggs, and butter and sugar into fruit mixture. Sift flour and stir in spices. Stir flour into fruit mixture, add zest and rind of lemon and orange. At this point you can also stir in coins or charms.

Put half of mixture into lined and greased cake tin, and the other half into a boiling cloth or greased pudding bowl. Bake the cake at 180 degrees for 1 1/2-2 hours. It is done when a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Boil the pudding for 1 1/2-2 hours, making sure you replenish the water. Let the cake and pudding mature for at least four weeks before eating.

I'm preparing some cake and pudding to deliver to Tea, Tree and Quills over Christmas, if Luna has no objection. This is one of the Kavanagh family's favourite recipes. I am starting the Christmas celebrations at and everyone is welcome to visit.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hats, Bunnies and Obligations

Happily, I've managed, if nothing else this week, to make a dent in the mountain of things needing to be done. The enormous pile of obligations and tasks have kept growing especially during those days I can do little more than flounder. By flounder, I mean that motionless lying down, immobilised except for the one eye kept on goings on, as best you can with a ragng headache, and no energy whatever. Some of the stress of having to fight for the barest of existence has let up a little lately. I can now afford to eat twice a day at least, and it is making some difference.

On a really good day, I think I might even get better one day. Polly-Anna optimism or knee-deep in denial, can't tell you which. I've learned to make a point of doing some actual living each and every day. It is very important to experience moments of joy, even if otherwise existence is painful or just plain dull. The human spirit craves experience and moments of feeling good about being alive can go a long way to bringing pain levels down and the spirit more willing to work up the desire to fight on and wake up the next day and the next.

In that spirit, other than getting caught up on some basic housekeeping and reading correspondence, I've managed to spend some time with my sister and with her little 3 year old daughter played with hats in a local boutique while my sister was trying on some clothes. I forgot what fun that can be, just the dressing up and playing it out depending on the hat you are wearing. I even laughed out loud with her. One hat she could not bear to part with and she was given that hat from the both of us. I should have brought a camera, darn. My sister bought me a rather extravagant pin for my bunny coat.

What is a bunny coat, well, political correctness aside for the moment, it is a coat made of the hides of wee bunnies. I bet they were tasty too. No, I'm not even a little vegan, though I was raised as one when I was a child. Broke nearly every bone in my body by age 16, started eating meat, not in great amounts but here and there, and haven't broken a bone since. I don't think that says anything about either life style but it does say a little something about fanaticism.

I came by the bunny coat via my daughter who presented me with it a couple of winters ago. she knows how miserably cold I get, and there is nothing warmer in the entire world than and animal pelt. Sorry folks but synthetics don't cut it even a little. Maybe that's why so many older women cling to their minks not wanting to give them up. Purely from a touchy feely perspective there are some animals I think are wrong to wear. The more sentient the animal the less I want to wear them, that incudes wolves, foxes and certainly cats and endangered species. Mind you mink is nothing more than a weasel (I can just hear ferret owners seething). Pet chinchillas are adorable but if I'm going to freeze to death or wear their pelts guess what, touchy feely don't keep you warm. I've had several pet bunnies and I was incredibly fond of all of them, and I loved each and every chicken my grandmother had running round in her back yard when I was little. It took a little getting used to you favourite hen becoming soup for the weekend.

The coat had previously been owned by another lady and was inherited by my daughter, I honour both her memory and that of the little bunnies whose pelts keep me so warm. I don't see a need in owning a second fur coat of any kind, it really is just terribly nice to be so warm for a change. I can't think it would honour the furry animals to be unappreciated. We do no favours to animal kind and the ecosystem by manufacturing synthetics either, never mind they are never going to be as warm and light. Manufacturing uses vile sludges of chemistry with effluent that is disposed of in some cases fairly indiscriminately here, but most especially in the third world where ethics and well-intended "rules" simply do not apply. So I'm fine and happy with the bunny coat.

Feeling better but not motivated to paint or be terribly creative I've spent more time crocheting hats than sketching, painting of sculpting. Rapid robot movement keeps my hands warm and does not require much thought, the brain needs some rest. This afternoon I was playing with two of my recently crocheted hats (both done in the last 48 hours) and my camera and put together the animated picture below. The backgrounds are from other photos taken other days, and I did not leave my chair to take any of them. Just a little fun with hats, and you can se the bunny coat and if you look the green coloured extravagant pin.

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The pile of things undone is getting smaller day by day, as long as this level of functioning holds I just might be able to see over the top of it soon. I can make more hats, paint some, sculpt some and write a few stories..

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

For Aletta's dad

SEED: "Life is too short for instant coffee"

Last time I saw Gramps,
shrunken some in a nursing home --
he offered me a cup of coffee.
"Sure," I said, instantly taken back
to a farm house kitchen --
scents and sounds of Grandma
always cooking something,
and coffee we couldn't have,
being kids and all.

"I'm not allowed a cooking ring,"
he mumbled while moving to the TV.
From its innards he removed a pot,
slightly warm from chaffing dialogue
on soap operas never really watched --
some noise for company, you understand.

This pot nestled quickly into a close remembered spot
atop a lamp he had rigged, just because he could;
and received an eye-measured dollop
of instant coffee crystals,
with no apologies,
but a sigh scarce held back.

"It'll take a while to perk," he said,
carefully cleaning up such evidence
that might catch a "keeper's" eye;
so we chatted a bit of useless things,
and then of childhood adventures,
and observations on life
without judgment or regret.

It took about an hour -- maybe more
for the coffee to prepare just right --
strained though a sieve like there were grounds
for such concerns and patient care --
into fragile china cups
that had been Her favorites.

"Adele used to always have a fresh cup ready
about this time every afternoon," he mused;
and I stayed until he dozed off
in a spot of afternoon sun --
just because I could.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Not New

Probably seen by you'all before ...


The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.""The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.""The sand is everything else---the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.""Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grand-parents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad! you asked.""It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

November Afternoon

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The city is looking much colder, stern and unforgiving. gone the careful more cheering days of summer. I can scarcely wait for spring. Please no-one tell me about the number of shopping days until Christmas. I'd sooner keep track of the number of days until spring.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

gift of the sea


Friday, November 11, 2005

Candlelight Fairies

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On the bus on the way to my doctors I found myself sketching out these two fairies one floating on a lily pad with a small lantern on her hand. Decided to have a bit of fun and animate in the colour. I think I'm happy with it, certainly I passed the time well on the bus.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Among Anemones

Sometime magic just happens, in a garden or in a box of pencils.
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Friday, November 04, 2005

The desert revisited

Stripping away

Takes time.



Cactus survives


Pouring rain.

Flash floods.

Tempered by

The sun.

Beloved desert.

Illuminate my spirit.