Thursday, February 20, 2014

Coping With February

Last week, when my husband asked if I wanted to go visit friends in Cold Lake, AB., a 7 plus hour drive, the answer was, “I really don’t think so.” I couldn’t picture myself wanting to go anywhere in this weather.  But here we are, it is -26C outside.  All the back windows of the car are completely frosted up, and we’ve been on the road for over 2 hours already.  It’s only 8am.
A drive by picture, about 1/2 hour from Cold Lake, AB
We plan to arrive at our destination at about 2pm, 1pm AB time.  It’s great when the time change works in your favor.  Although, I doubt I’ll feel that way around 10pm tonight.
Anyway, back to my point of not wanting to go anywhere.  I would have chosen to stay home, and continue on with the depression I’ve been stuck in for about 6 weeks now.  I think most people would describe my state of mind as ‘light depression’.  But my husband, poor dear, gets the brunt of it, and he has been the one to help me see that I’ve been down in the dumps.  I suppress my anger, until he walks in the room, and then he had better not shake water off his hands all over my newly cleaned countertops.  It can be very difficult to see you are over-reacting when nothing seems to be going your way.
So, after telling him that I wasn’t in the mood for a road trip, he said, “Think of your friends, and what it would mean to them.” I called up one of them, and she got so excited.  This winter has been very hard for her too, and this gave her something to look forward to and plan for.  Her excitement over my company, made me feel instantly better, and I quickly changed my mind.
Having something to imminently look forward to, is important.  Spring just seems too far away to get excited about it.  Besides, always looking forward, especially too far forward leaves you with nothing to do in the moment.  Instead of looking at what the potential of winter holds, I have been spending most of my time remembering grass and dirt, flowers and leaves.  When I look outside at all the snow and the colder than cold temperatures, I start daydreaming about other places in the world I might be living.  I’ve even looked at properties.  All of this is futile behaviour that makes me feel trapped.
I’m able to talk about this now, because I’ve recently seen the light, so to speak, and have once again been making the most of where I live.  I’ve gone out with friends, took up snow shoeing, and most importantly, planning this road trip has made me think of someone other than myself.
I should skip forward a year in my calendar, put up a red flag, and ask myself a few questions.  Questions such as, “Have you been getting outside?”; “Have you been in touch with friends?”; “Have you been at least trying to be a bit creative?”. It is simply amazing to me how the simple things I have always done naturally do not occur to me when I’m feeling down.
The other really important thing that kept this bout with depression on the light side has been my blog friends.  Writing for myself helps, but I have really enjoyed keeping up with everyone else.  Reading about your daily ups and downs has helped me keep perspective.  So a big Thank-you to all of you who so trustingly share your feelings and lives with everyone.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I Have A Winner!

The party is on-going, and I am still meeting many wonderful bloggers.  A huge thank-you goes out again to Vicki from 2 Bags Full... .  Running this party has not been an easy task, I'm sure.  With 600 blogs participating, it has been a success, but a tiring one.  I can assure you Vicki that your efforts are much appreciated by us all.
On to the winner of the bookmark.  I used a random number generator, my daughter, and am so pleased to announce that an avid reader is getting a very suitable gift.  As a matter of fact, her last blog post was about one of her favorite authors.  Congratulations to Linda from Crafty Gardener!  I've been to your blog several times since I met you shortly after this party began, and I have enjoyed every post.  I can not wait to see what you start posting in the Spring!

I received a notification that I am also a winner this morning!  So excited about this!  I won a copper etched pendant from Deborah Read.  Take a moment to check out her jewelry.  It is just so beautiful, and I can't wait to see this piece in person.  I'll be blogging all about that moment.  Thank-you so much Deb!!!

Deb's beautiful creation!

And thank-you to all of the people who are running beautiful, friendly blogs out there!  To all the people who have not only stopped by, but are now coming by on a regular basis, thank-you for your time.  I understand how precious our time is on this planet, and I'm so glad you are able to share a little bit of it with me.

How lucky can I be?  I've won another giveaway!  This time from Kathy, I will receive a selection of her hand-dyed fabrics!  Just look at the color!  I can't wait to see them in person and figure out what to do with them.  Thank-you so much Kathy for the generous giveaway!

Hand-dyed fabric from Kathy!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Gifts From Oman

If you are looking for the 'Grow Your Blog', and you may want to, as it contains a giveaway, you will find it here.

My husband's co-worker spent his holidays with his family in Oman.  When my guy heard about the trip, he asked his friend to pick up a few 'touristy' things for his wife.  The wife was not disappointed.  I received a surprise, late, exotic gift, how could I not be excited?
For those of you that don't know, and I didn't, Oman is an Arab state in southwest Asia.  It is ethnically diverse with at least 12 different languages being native to the Omanis who live there.  And of course, it is warm there, so jealous of the warmth... .  It is actually very interesting to read about if you have the time.
Onto the gifts!  The gorgeous embroidered cloth is actually a turban.  I intend to use it as a table cloth.  The ornate silver thingy is an incense burner.  Along with that goes the frankincense and coal.  The coal comes in bars, and you break off a little, hold a flame to it until it starts to glow red, place it in the burner, and top it with a piece of the frankincense.  It burns the resin and gives off the most wonderful smelling smoke.  
I was a little too successful on my first attempt, and our entire house was a haze of smoke.  But it smelled terrific!  Just rubbing a little piece of the resin in your hands gives off a wonderful scent, and it stays on a long time.  There were also dates, which I couldn't enjoy because I couldn't chew properly after having my wisdom teeth out.

In the spring, I'm going to take the burner and frankincense out to the greenhouse with me.  With the new season, the feel of dirt in my hands, and the smoke from this holy incense, I should be enlightened in no time!

A big thank-you to my husband's co-worker, (I'm so sorry, I have no idea how to spell your name) for taking the time out to do this favor for Todd.  It is greatly appreciated! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Watercolor Dreams

There are so many talented artists out there, and with the internet at our fingertips we can browse old and new art images any time we feel like it.  Of course, there is nothing like seeing an original piece in person, there is so much more 'life' in that experience.  I have purchased pieces online, and when I receive them, they are so much better than I originally thought.  But even though it can not portray the colors perfectly or give a good idea of the texture and depth a piece has, the internet, with all its variety is so much better than having nothing at all new to look at. 
This morning, I was browsing Etsy's many artists for watercolors, and I came across a few that left me wishing I had their talent.  I can only imagine how they must feel when they step back from their work and realize that they just gave birth to this wonderful piece of art.

My Soul Fly does many beautiful portraits of women, but it was her cityscapes that drew me in.

I love the choice of colors in this one and the way you get the sense of movement from the people on the bridge.
I also really like the bold shadowing contrast with very bright sky.
This piece makes me feel like packing my bags.

Love the stand-out red in an otherwise beautiful but grey and rather dreary background.

The next two pieces are by Amber Alexander.  This artist has an amazing eye for detail.  I also love the space she leaves around her work.  I think it makes the detail stand out all the more.

The detail in this one astounds me.  The veins in the petals and the 'fuzz' on the stem are wonderful!
Again, just look at the detail!  The eye makes me feel as though I'm looking at a photo.  Perfect!

Lastly is an artist I've been following on Facebook for several years, and she never fails to impress me.  Brazen Design Studio puts out beautiful piece after beautiful piece.  I've yet to own some of her stunning work and if I ever do decide to treat myself to something from her studio, I know I won't be disappointed.

I love the sense of mystery this one conjures.

I just love the contrast in this one, and I find myself wanting to make a wish.