During these long hot and dry summer days I often feel as if time moves very slowly, or I move slowly as if through molasses. Yet, suddenly it is mid-August. We’ve had very busy days all summer with much family coming and going and moving out too. At last we had some decent rain to water the garden, giving me a break from dragging hoses and heavy watering cans. There were the first signs of condensation yesterday morning as you can see in the photos above, taken about 6 a.m.

Over breakfast this morning with some of our family including our granddaughters, the conversation included noting how adept and creative these young ones are with their iPads. For example, the almost 8-year-old one has composed many musical pieces using Garage Band (a music and sound editing program for Macs). Us adults show our ages when we say computers and iPads weren’t even around in our youth!

This made me recall my single attempt with Garage Band years ago (with help from youngest daughter!) when working on a collaboration for qarrtsiluni’s ekphrasis issue. Later I enjoyed revisiting it here and hence thought I’d share the links for some of my newer readers. Those were the days when blogging was still so new and exciting.


noxious wild mustard prevalent in the Thompson River Valley

As some of you know, my blog has been blocked for a week due to supposed malware. It’s been a long and frustrating wait to have it cleared. Thanks to my technical support J for putting up with my near daily complaints and to the server hosts for their work. Warm thanks also to the many concerned readers who emailed me. I am deeply relieved to have my sites back and hope that all will be fine now for a long time!

Note the noxious rating for this very wide-spread plant which we helped weed out of our daughter’s garden and which covers huge areas of farm and ranchland in southern BC. (see the top photo here). Each plant produces 2,000 – 3,500 seeds that may remain viable in the soil for decades and is poisonous to grazing horses and cattle. Noxious is what these evil doers on the internet are – may they choke on their own poison.

UPDATE: Note that commenters are now required to answer a simple question. This is to keep out robots. I hope that it does not deter friendly visitors but should you have a problem with this, please contact me.



a charming scene of Canada Geese parents and their six downy yellow goslings
spotted on a sightseeing tour for my Finnish cousin and friend a couple of days ago

(a note of apology to my dear readers for turning off commenting due to a massive onslaught of shoes, bags, drugs, and unmentionables… hope only for a few days)

Added 25th May: Unable to send a comment, Tom has so very kindly responded via a post on his blog Gwynt. I love his tale of an unforgettable face to face meeting with a swan.



Here she is ‘dressed to the nines‘ for her ninth blog anniversary today, with a wish to extend warmest thank yous to all readers for your visits, comments, conversations and friendship over these years. Though I post less frequently I am still rather fond of this strange online combination of artist’s diary, sketchbook, photo album, scrapbook and catch-all of impressions and inspirations found on the net. Most of all I value the human connections this medium has opened up, for it would not be as much fun to write to the void, would it? I sometimes wonder how long this blog and blogs in general will continue with technology changing so fast.

Also, can you believe it is already February? I once wrote:
February was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification…” and
“In Finnish, the month is called helmikuu, meaning “month of the pearl”; when snow melts on tree branches, it forms droplets, and as these freeze again, they are like pearls of ice.”

There are no pearls of ice here right now but we do have little white buds of snowdrops peeping up above the dark damp soil in the garden. The days are getting longer. Spring cannot be far away. This cycle of the seasons is familiar and natural, a counterpoint to all this communication technology.

Added February 2nd: Speaking of pearls of ice, you must see these gorgeous photos by superb Finnish photographer Iines.

Fragments in qarrtsiluni

detail of Fragments VI

I’m delighted that two of my Fragments prints are up in the fabulous online literary and art journal Qarrtsiluni. My thanks to guest editors Olivia Dresher and Catherine Ednie for including my work in this issue, called Fragments (!). Also congratulations to Dave Bonta, one of the founding editors, for the success of Q. as it is about to have its 7th anniversary. He tells me this is my 17th appearance in qarrtsiluni.

coffee & cake


Yesterday, we had friends Marianna and Terry come for a visit. The time flew as we talked and talked over coffee and cake in the European tradition, as Marianna wrote, so common to Germans, Swiss, Finns and others. Soon we realized it was nearing dinnertime, and talk was still flowing, so instead of their rushing back to Terry’s cousin’s place over town, we went out to a local Greek taverna for dinner.


Some exciting entertainment was provided by a sudden extreme downpour, thundering like hail but not, and coming down the sloping glass skylights like a waterfall. Have a look at the photos at Marianna’s blog too!

This has been the third get-together for Marianna and I, thanks to meeting via our blogs. Last year the husbands joined us and we’ve cemented a nice friendship. Thanks for the visit, Marianna and Terry, and may we meet again soon!

Oh! and a Happy July 4th to all our American friends and family!

Canada Day weekend


Hope Canadians had a great Canada Day yesterday! It was thankfully a dry, warm and sometimes sunny day around Vancouver for those out to see parades and fireworks or going to backyard pool and BBQ gatherings with family annd friends. Today has been back to cold and wet. I feel sorry for those camping on this long weekend which started with an unusual and beautifully atmospheric fog on Friday evening and overnight – I wish I had captured photos.

We continue to be busy with home projects, especially husband who is also helping youngest daughter fix up her apartment before moving in (and moving out). Work never ends it seems when one is a homeowner yet we take deep pleasure in our home. The garden is a washout though…

We are looking forward to a visit tomorrow from friends whom we have made (and met before) through blogging. I will be baking a cake! More later, must remember to take photos.

a reminder


Dear friends and readers, this is just a gentle reminder to register as a commenter as I explained a little while ago, in case you missed it. If you have any trouble doing so, please contact me. I am missing a number of you and hope to hear from you soon!

a change


As regular readers know, we are still adjusting and fine tuning aspects of this new blog redesign. The latest thing, which I have reluctantly agreed to because of the spam volumes, is that now commenters will need to register. I hope it won’t be too difficult for anyone (took me a bit to figure out**), but once it is done, you will not need to do it again. Hopefully this will work better for me and block the unfriendly visitors but not the friendly ones, including yours truly who kept being sent to the spam bin! Please let me know if you have any problems.

This gave me the perfect excuse to put up another drawing, this one a loner amongst the human figures and faces. A change of scenery if you will.

I must add my thanks again and always to both my son-in-law J for all the hours of work he does on the technical side behind the blog, and has done from the day he started me blogging, and to daughter Elisa for this beautiful redesign. Both have busy careers, so I am grateful they take such good care of mom’s blog!

** A tip for those having trouble registering, do go to “Not a member? Sign Up!”. That’s what I missed initially, such a dodo with online forms.

revisiting the past


I wonder how many bloggers go back over their archives and get lost rereading old posts? I’ve been doing that a lot since the blog redesign went up for I’ve had to check for certain funky things going on, such as with the formatting of the text. Of course, I end up reading everything, quite self-absorbed creature that I seem to be! With eight years of archives, I’ve only touched on a fraction, and it’s distracting me from ‘real’ work. They are a mixed bag with a few little treasures for me personally, rather like delving into old diaries and photo albums.

One of these is the above photo of my five-year-old self previously published here. It’s probably the best picture of me in my longish life, I think, so I’ve decided to place it here in honour of my birthday yesterday. As I get older, birthdays do seem to trigger some revisiting of the past, of remembering family and friends now gone or with whom we have lost touch. And feeling blessed by those who are still near and dear to us.