Archive | April 2012

Off the Grid

My wife and I have made a big decision…we have decided that we want to eventually live off the grid in the Canadian backwoods.  I know, it sounds like I`ve taken this whole bohemian thing a little too far.  We are going to wait until our youngest is out on her own…this gives us almost a decade to save, buy, and build, our retreat.  It also gives us time to practice living off what we grow and preserve…see if we can live without things like television…can we really live without indoor plumbing?…not to sure about that one, it can go down to -30 farenheit around here. 

My wife, Kathleen, has put her foot down about the one thing she can not live without, a warm shower.  My thing that I can not do without, is the internet…I feel that I will have to be able to know how my children are doing, even though they will be adults. I will always have to sell my art… I know that I can practice my art anywhere…I will need communication with the outside world to run my business.  It is not that one ever retires from being an artist… it is who I am, not what I do.

I like to have goals whether they be daily, monthly, yearly, or by the decade.  I find that when I know where I am going, I am much more likely to get there.  I love the book, “The Follow-through Factor,”  by Gene C. Hayden.  It has wonderful motivational thoughts, and helps you to organize your thought…getting you from just dreaming to completing your goals.  I definitely recommend it.

God Bless



Sick as a Dog

So I learned a lesson yesterday…do not write your blog when you are really sick.  It seems that I made a plethora of spelling and grammar mistakes and did not even bother to do a spell check.  All I can say is I had a fever and obviously put something together without much thought.  I can hear all those readers that are anal about spelling and grammar going on and on about the death of the english language.  I promise that I usually take more care, and I have gone back to correct the gaffes.  You would think that someone who has two children with learning disabilities, that make their spelling terrible, would know to press spell check. Oh well, there are worse things

God Bless



Time to introduce my step-children.  The oldest of our five children is Joseph.  He has a habit of sort of disappearing for a few weeks at a time and then he will show up on our doorstep with a big smile and hugs.  I think Joe is the most sensitive of all our sons…I’ve seen him brought to tears..I  haven’t seen the other two shed even one tear since the beginning of puberty.  When he makes a mistake…as we all do…it seems to take him a little longer to get his bearings and move on. 

I wonder sometimes if it because when my wife divorced, the judge decided that it would be a good idea to give one son to the father the other to their mother.  Until then the two boys had been together with their mother…who takes a twelve-year-old boy away from the only home he as ever known!  From that moment on he has suffered from terrible bouts of depression.

My prayer for him is that he will be able to develop a stronger sence of self as he goes through his twenties.  I pray that he will be able to get to know his son, William, even better.  He has been estranged from him through little fault of his own.  I worry about him more than the other boys…the other two would be able to cross the Sahara with nothing but a toothpick and an elastic band, ultimate survivors is what I call them.  then again maybe Joseph is the survivor having withstood the challenges life has brought him.

God Bless


Happy Birthday to Me

Happy birthday to me…I turn forty-eight today.  I haven’t had a birthday bother me since I turned thirty…still don’t know why that one stood out.  In the genetic roulette wheel of life I hit the jackpot inheriting my mother’s skin…of course it all balances out because I also inherited my father’s hair, grey at twenty-five…the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  I remember when I was sixteen, and I thought my sister, who was getting married, was so old…she was twenty-four.  Now that I am twice her age, twenty-four seems REALLY young.

My wife and daughter baked me a beautiful chocolate cake, and gave me a copy of ,”How to Cook Everything Vegetarian,”… I guess they did know that I am not serving them meat.  I .appreciate their support and love.  Have a great day everyone.

God Bless


Bleeping Snow

I know I live in northern Alberta, Canada, but seriously,  SNOW on April 27th?  Makes a person want to go back to bed and pull the covers over their head.  How am I suppose to garden with an inch of snow on the ground?…shovel and plant, shovel and plant…I don’t think so!  Makes everyone in the house ornary…you find yourself pushing them out the door…”I don’t care if your bus doesn’t come for another half hour, build a snowman.”  I’m kidding, no child abuse this morning…I thought about it though.  Hope everyone else is having a better start to the day…I’m going back to bed.

God Bless


Over the Rainbow

If you know anyone who is part of the LGBTQ community…lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transexual, and queer…then you know what the rainbow symbol means to this community.  If not, I’ll explain…a rainbow colored flag was first used in 1978 to represent the gay community at a pride parade.  Since then, the rainbow has been the visual symbol of the LGBTQ community.  Most of my friends would tell you that they have a love/hate relationship with the rainbow…some are really OVER the rainbow.  Love or hate it, at least it is an international symbol that transcends culture and language to represent people all over the world.

This being said…I have been invited to sell my art work at the pride festivities this year in my city.  I have tried selling my work to my community before and have shied away from using the rainbow…all I got for my efforts were quizzical looks and the question, “don’t you have anything with rainbows?” So I have set to work making jewelry and other glass items with rainbows all over them…this better work because purple glass is REALLY expensive.

My family looks forward to Pride Week all year.  We are always in the parade as my wife and I are active members of several organizations that cater to the gay community.  Our daughter every year takes weeks to plan her outfit for the parade…being a princess, and 10 years old, she thinks the parade is about dressing up and wearing tons of bling…she will figure it out soon enough.


OK…I admit it…I’m afraid of tofu.  As a little girl my family did not even eat tomatoes or rice…apparently they were too, out there, for my mom.  Needless to say it takes some courage on my part to try new foods.  I of course eat tomatoes and rice now that I am an adult, but there is still a lingering cautiousness when I stare down a new food.  I want my children to grow up with a more varied and healthy diet…not just the meat and potatoes of my childhood. I find that trying a new dish at a friend’s house, or somewhere it would be rude to not try it, is the best way for me to try something new.  This does not mean that I have not slipped some half eaten morsel into my purse while no one was watching…well I hope.

I once went to the wedding of some close friends of mine that were being married in a Sikh temple.  Near the end of the ceremony a few people went around passing out something that we were suppose to eat…I equated it with christian communion…so, of course, I had to partake.  An enormous…well it seemed huge at the time…ball of some glutinous substance was plotted into my hand, I smile and nodded thanks…my heart and stomach were already in my throat.  I was the only,”white girl,” in the room besides the bride, so all eyes were on me to see what I was going to do.  I smile and began to eat…it was all I could do not to retch…the taste, the texture…I had nothing in my experience to compare it to.  So I slipped my hand into my purse…it was stuck to my hand!…quickly I said a prayer…’Please God release this stuff from my hand before I die of embarrassment.”  A little shake and the mound was released from my hand…Thank you God…yes, the purse went into the garbage, hideous food and all.

So it goes without saying that I am going to have some trouble getting tofu into our diet.  I have no doubt that there will be more interesting experiences in front of me.  The trick is to find the humourous side of the situation, and not let yourself be scared off of trying new foods.  I let you know how things are going…

God Bless

Julia (the meat and potatoes girl)