. . . so, it isn’t the end . . . and other things . . .

Well, I’ve a fair bit to share today, so no Wednesday Word again. Maybe next week . . .

Stacy left me a comment that included this:

Did you ever see the Marigold Hotel movie? I love that movie – they say “All will be well in then end. If all is not well, then it’s not the end.” ๐Ÿ™‚

I told her I was stealing part of it for my blogtitle. So now you know what that is all about . . . or you will further down . . .

Meantime, lots has been going on here; first, the weather continues unabated. Clear or nearly so skies in the early part of the day; mild clouding in the mid-afternoon; strong winds bringing hail, lightning and thunder, as well as deluges in the evening or the middle of the night. This is the hail from two or three days ago (the day I was caught in the first go-round; this was a second set a couple of hours later) Note that the railing in the picture is only the reflection; I loved how it came out all wavery and I think where the paint is peeling makes a very pretty pattern:


We heard on the six o’clock news tonight that another bunch of thunderstorms was heading our way. I went out to look, but there was nothing in sight then. It’s now 9:30ish and the sun has a half hour or so to go yet. At 9:00 the skyย  was looking like this (the photos range from slightly south-west to north-north-west, but are not in order):

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While I was typing, the storm arrived, with enough wind that I had to get up and close the windows and sliding doors. It sounded like hail or else very large and heavy rain.ย I got a couple more photos (sorry about the screening; Iย was looking through it and forgot the camera sees everything!):

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The lightning and thunder have been going on for a while now, but the rain has slackened. I can hear the tires shushing along the street that runs in front of the building. I just looked out the window again and there is another set on the way! So I suspect Mum and I will be sitting up for the third time, watching the lightshow from the living room.

The ‘plain’ garter stitch shawl continues to grow in size:


I have been thinking about Christi and the BO’s slaughtered Cornish hens since I read her posts on Farmlet. Then I remembered an organic rancher whom I very much admire for his humane approach to raising animals for meat. His company is First Nature Farmsย and if you have time, it’s worth checking out his site. He and his wife, along with their two children, raise all sorts of stock, from bison to beef to turkeys (the wild variety, not the white ones), chickens, and more. They have large rolling meadows in which to graze their birds, so their solution won’t work for everyone. What he did, though, was to design huge cages on wheels, with netted tops to keep the hawks, etc., from an easy feast. Every day, he takes the tractor and moves the pens a length or so, which means the happy birds have fresh forage, grubs and all that yummy stuff to enjoy. I remember when he told me that he had wanted to reduce the levels of adrenalin and other toxins in the meat he raised; everything was fine on the ranch, but the ride in an unfamiliar vehicle to the slaughterhouse stressed the birds. So what Jerry did was to record the sounds the birds make when they are first moved to fresh pasture. “Happy Turkey Songs” I called them, as it was turkeys he was speaking of a the time. They had stripped an old school bus to use for transporting the birds. Jerry plays the “Happy Turkey Songs” all the way to the slaughterhouse. This keeps the birds happier and more relaxed, which results in healthier, tastier meat.

I don’t know if a movable pen would protect against weasels, anyway, now that I have given it further thought; no doubt they would just duck under the side netting. Of course if there were a way to have a second,ย  outer layer of mesh and then electrify it a bit . . .

A knitted doll my Mum made a few years ago:


I’ve spent some time thinking about Kriscinda’s neighbours, and Narf7’s, and those of others who left comments. And now I have my own semi-equivalent! Today we had two pieces of paper thrust under the door; one was a notice that the water will be off tomorrow from 9:30 am to whenever some necessary repairs are done. The other was a thunderbolt that really threw me for a loop: An official notice from the condo board, whom seem more and more Nazi-like in their approach to dealing with tenants as we go along.

This is the same board that took from early January 2012 to late September the same year to finish the repairs to the suite I lived in until the flood (early January) from a suite several floors above me damaged at least 15 suites. I was staying at my Mum’s place when the flood happened (she was away on the coast), so continued to stay there (but was still paying rent, as my landlord-owner is a great guy). When I lost my job in mid-May, I moved the remaining items into a storage unit until I could find work and rent another suite. By then it was obvious that my Aunty needed some support, so that’s when I began the current regime of staying with her for 8 nights and at Mum’s for 6.

What this translates to, for two older women, both of whom have collections from well-lived lives and who both do nearly every craft known to woman (and have the supplies to prove it! This includes several floor looms that are in pieces, a small one that is set up, two warping mills, etc. we won’t mention the yarn and fabric stashes, nor the paints, dyes, fibres, stamps, and much, much more . . . ) is that we live in a two bedroom suite that is crammed with supplies and also with the things we love from our various lives. Mum has pottery she’s made, a few pieces of family china and more. I have a Hoosier cupboard that my Dad refinished and books in boxes.

The upshot is that a lot of what we have is wrapped in plastic and living on the balcony (we are on the ninth floor). We were bringing things indoors and going through them in an attempt to downsize without giving up all our joy in those things. Then we heard that after the building’s roof was repaired, all the ceilings which had water damage from leaking over the past few years would be scraped, re-textured and painted. And that the painters wanted the rooms empty or nearly so. This was a few months back. We’ve had two estimators come, but not heard anything more. But we stopped bringing things in and began planning to put more out.

You can imagine how we felt when we read the notice today, stating that from now on, balconies were to be considered ‘common property’ and all that would be allowed on them are bicycles, lawn furniture and barbecues. None of which we have or plan to have. The notice said that there is an inspector coming to check that the balconies are safe to use and the railings all secure. This is a real issue, as apparently a couple of units have railings that are no longer attached to the concrete and which could conceivably detach if anyone were to lean against them.

The scary part: if there is anything not on the “allowed” list still out on the balcony when the inspector arrives, the condo board will have the items removed at the tenants’ expense . . . Iย  presume that means that our things would be thrown in the Dumpster.

I doodled this at Christmastime; my sweet little hobbity hole . . . wish I were there now!

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My first reaction was that I would simply move out and take my things with me, but in the end what I think I will end up doing is this: move almost all of my things into another storage unit, except for a few necessities like clothing LOL. Then we can bring Mum’s things into the suite. I can still stay with my Aunty during alternate weeks. In between, I could sleep at Mum’s as I do now, so as to be available to both of them when needed. My cousins have been paying me for the help I give their mother, so I should be able to manage this. But it’s a setback to my long-range plans. I currently have managed to get a month ahead on all my bills and have been saving to make a lump payment on my bank loan in December. (thanks to Mrs. Saving For Travel and her challenges). I’ve even been able to set a wee bit aside to help here and there, as when the Living Waters Quilt raffle was on.

It’s doable, for sure, just another huge inconvenience imposed with no thought for the happiness, comfort or needs of tenants who don’t fit into the tiny ‘approved’ box. It’s painful to be constantly reminded that there is one ‘right’ way to live and that is not our way. I believe in accepting people as they are and am always shocked at the rigidity in some others; I know it comes from fear, and I’ve certainly dealt with lots of that in my own life, so can empathise, but I don’t understand how that translates into trying to force others into one’s own mould.

I wonder what they would think if I had the power to make rules that required them to learn a variety of crafts and amass the tools and materials with which to practise those crafts? What if I demanded that they cook from scratch and quit watching TV? Read books! Go green and walk or bike; get rid of the extra car? Oh, and wear clothes that I approve of . . .ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ย ย . .ย . you get the idea . . .

The world could use a few more hippies, I think . . .

I’ll leave on a lighter note now . . . the first picture here is a scan of a photocopy of a drawing I did some years ago. I based the wings on a photo of an owl’s wings and the angel on a photo of a model holding a large ball. The second is a watercolour I began from that drawing back when I was in my own suite. I got to this point and liked it so much I was afraid to do more in case I botched it entirely. So I started another watercolour, which was also turning out well. Then came the flood, the packing and moving, so that one is not completed, either.

One day, though . . . . it’s nice to have things to look forward to, isn’t it?

Have a great week, all of you!

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19 thoughts on “. . . so, it isn’t the end . . . and other things . . .

    • Yeah, I don’t need more on my plate just now, but it’ll work out.

      As to ‘talented’, I’m not really, Kymmie; I just have always liked creating; anything, really. Practise helps, but I’ve never worked consistently at one thing. A little instruction can make a big difference, too, and I’ve been lucky to find some good books and a few short classes.

      Truly, if you can write your name, you can draw; the big thing is learning to actually ‘see’ what we look at.

      I’ve seen several people go from ‘happy face’ type drawings to saleable portraits in twelve weeks, following the program in Betty Edwards’ book, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. I have the book and it’s excellent. Still haven’t done the twelve week course in it, though . . . but it’s on my list . . .

      If you’d like to draw, see if your library has a copy. If not, I’d bet some of the online second-hand booksellers would have it. If they have two, and the price is good, get them both and donate one to your library . . . ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Yes, I agree! The world could use more hippies!!!!!! I also love the quote you shared about it all working out in the end! I know it will, the best part about rough patches is that you know they gotta end sometime! Hugs me fellow hippy at heart! Xxxooo

    • I think the latest wave of hippies is already here; they are learning, growing, working and spreading the news in many ways, all over the globe. The best thing about the ‘net is how it puts like-minded people in touch with each other; mutual support and encouragement means a much better outcome for us all. Hugs, back; it’s nice to have another hippie here . . . <3<3<3 ~ Linne

  2. Ah, thanks for your thoughts and help on our weasel wipeout, Linne. You really have a wonderfully broad worldview and I appreciate your wisdom. As well as your limitless creativity. You are a fine artist, my dear!

    As to the balcony, I completely agree with you, choose your battles wisely, as they say. When we first moved to this mile long dirt road in 2007, the Great Paving War was going on — a group was trying to impose liens on neighbors to pay for paving the road! What is improvement? Progress? HOAs etc. are trouble. I agree with Ralph W. Emerson who said he preferred neighborhoods to communes. lol

    Your thunderstorms are so dramatic! As you know, we get nothing like that here…solid gray skies. Thunder and lightning are RARE indeed, and scare us witless. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s easy to be philosophical when the loss belongs to someone else, remember! You should have seen me one day at the old log house we lived in for about five years. Behind it was a sort of curved hill topped with old evergreens; the house always looked as though it was safe in loving arms. Then one day we came home from town. I got out of the van and looked up as I always did, to rest my eyes on those trees . . . and most of them were GONE! I burst into tears . . . (I’m not good with surprises, especially nasty ones); the owner hadn’t bothered to let us know it was going to be logged (why should he? to him, it was money; he had no idea what it meant to me and would likely have laughed if I’d ever said it out loud). I cherished that sight. The only good thing about it was it made it easier when we had to leave not too long after that. I wasn’t philosophical at all that day, or for a long time after . . .

      As to art, I do love it and I love creating, but haven’t put in the time it deserves. I am full of ideas, images and impulse, but for now no space to work (physical, mental or emotional), so I create in my mind and plan for the future . . . but thanks fot the kind words.

      I used to think communes were the answer, but I think small villages work best if you are born into an ongoing one or if there is a strong shared set of values that carries people through the inevitable differences. Findhorn comes to mind . . . I begin to think I’d love a small island and a boat to take me to larger places at times. But I’m not getting younger, so I don’t think that’s going to be very practical.

      Yes, I grew to love the grey skies. Seattle is in what one writer I like calls the ‘rinse cycle’ LOL

      but I still love lightning and thunder. ~ Linne

  3. Hey at least WE all understand :). Love your artwork and the slideshows are coming along nicely. Sorry about the hassles with the board, that’s usually what happens when you live in appartments, someone, somewhere has something to say that is neither useful or conducive to happiness. I have lived in my fair share of large buildings and know the pack drill. I guess the real test of life is knowing when to pick your fights, this would seem a fight not worth picking up to me. Save your energy for a fight you are more likely to win. Anyhoo, those storms look amazing. No storms here, just cold (icy) and a bit of rain on the odd occasion.

    • Thanks, Narfie7. This is why I prefer to live in the country, as far out as possible . . . I used to think there were at least some advantages to living in a city; cultural stuff and all that, but now it’s getting worse and more scary. Two days ago an 86 yr old man was in his back yard gardening when two or three teens came down the side yard, robbed him and beat him brutally, all in front of his 80-something wife. I see a couple of big dogs in my future . . .

      You’re right about this fight; we won’t win. So we’ll adapt (again) and take comfort in knowing that the conformos will sleep easier, thinking they have won . . . ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The storms ARE impressive, aren’t they? If it weren’t so noisy/polluted, We’d have sat out on the balcony and watched the lightshow move in. We could have played “Ride of the Valkyries” LOL

      If we get more rain, I’ll nudge it in your direction . . . with warm thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

      • My dad was a bolshie old bollocks and when the church next door would let kids ring the church bells and they would go on for a bit longer than they possibly should have he would wait till everyone was inside, would listen for the first hymn and would play Wagner as LOUD as he could. When he died, at the funeral (just over the fence), Steve snuck back and as they were lowering him into his grave he stuck the 1812 overture on as loud as dad’s old record player (he was a self confessed luddite so no CD player here!) would go. He would have loved it ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • There’s a lot about your dad to admire! They are lucky it was Wagner; could have been heavy metal (sorry, Kriscinda!!) ๐Ÿ˜‰
        What a great tribute from Steve! It’s good to have humour at a funeral, unless the person themselves were humourless, I suppose . . .

      • My father had an amazing sense of humour. He was quick, vibrantly intelligent, he read copious quantities of books voraciously. He had the propensity to be the life and soul of the part when he had a few drinks but he was also incredibly selfish, narcissistic, and you just couldn’t please the man no matter what you did. I realised that I was never going to be the kind of daughter that he wanted a long time before he died. I made my peace with our “relationship” such as it was and learned to live within it’s parameters. One thing I did learn was “honour your parents” whether you respected them or not, they brought you into the world and gave you your chance at life. What we choose to do with our lives is up to us after a certain amount of time. When we are adults we are more than aware of what is “right” and what is “wrong” and whatever kind of childhood we had, we can break free of our parents shortcomings, indeed, it’s a rite of passage to do so. Often a difficult relationship with your parents sets you up for being able to cope with other difficult people more easily…there is always a good side to everything, you just have to look for it ;). At the end of the day, whether my dad and I got on or not, he left us Serendipity Farm so all is forgiven ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I wonder if some of the not being able to please him was a part of his generation; my parents seemed like that, too. I asked my Dad once when I had a high mark in math and he questioned why I’d lost the few others, why he never praised us, no matter how well we did. He said he didn’t want us to get ‘swelled heads’. He was brought up in a very strict Mennonite family and I’m sure he was never praised, either. It was much the same in my Mum’s family, too, although they were Lutheran.

        Like you, I made my peace with it before my Dad died and the last four months, when I was living here with them, healed much, although we didn’t verbalize any of it. I very much agree with your outlook on honouring our parents and I still do my best to do that. I am able to see the flaws (they are human, after all) and also see the intentions. Being a parent myself, I know very well how easy it is to have high ideals and still fall short, only to be judged by your children. It does improve with time, thank heavens.

        I agree there is good in everything, too. Sometimes it takes me a bit to go looking for it (easier to rant and whinge LOL), but on a couple of occasions I was able to face a dire situation with gratitude (not knowing what good there would be) and amazing things came out of having that attitude.

        It’s true, too, that we can only blame our parents for part of our lives (if we’re inclined to blame); the rest really is up to us!

    • Thanks, Wendy. I’ve decided to focus on making things work for Mum. Time enough for me later. I rarely posted weather photos in the early stages of the blog, but these storms have such lovely shapes and colours . . .

      I love drawing, but haven’t done as much as I’d like. That angel took me a few days ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m thinking I’ll keep a drawing book out when I pack up.

      • Well, I’m pretty old-world in many things and I grew up when caring for elders was taken for granted. My paternal grandfather lived with us for a time, but he made things so difficult for Mum that he ended up with a different son for a while. Eventually he had dementia and was put in a home. But I was long gone by then. I wouldn’t have been able to manage caring for him, either.

        I feel I’m lucky to have this time with my Mum and with my Aunty; I was far from family (in many ways) for much of my life; now I have the chance to connect and I’m old enough to manage the differences better. Besides, what goes around comes around, I feel.

      • Yep I agree. I cared for my father when he had dementia, he came and lived with us. Don’t know that I would rush in to do it again but I figured our parents did their best for us under difficult circumstances….we should be able to step up and return that back. Good on you.

      • It’s harder than we expect, isn’t it? I don’t regret caring for my BIL’s aunt, but it was stressful much of the time. It’s easier with my Aunty, likely because we already had a connection; also, she has a lot in common with both my Mum and me, so that helps.

        I don’t know that family care is always the best thing; depends on all parties involved. Physical disability is less wearing than dementia, but personalities play a big part, too. Some people make it very hard to help them.

        I’ve always been a carer in some way, but am planning to do other things in future.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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