Looking back on Mother’s Day I’m saddened by the fact that I lost my mother at a young age. She was only 61 and I was 40, a mother myself with young children at the time of her passing. The following Mother’s Days in years to come were strange to me because I had no mother to buy presents for or send cards to.
My mother never considered herself beautiful. I think that comes from having a glamorous older sister. In our eyes, however, we saw her as beautiful and looking back at her early photographs she had a grace and inner beauty that shone through. Her friends always told her she looked like the Canadian gold medalist Elizabeth Manley.
Outer beauty is a gift. Inner beauty is an accomplishment. Randi G. Fine
This is my Mom on her wedding day with her sister on the left.
One of my favourite photos of my Mom is this one, probably one year after we arrived in Canada. I’m 3 and my sister is 1 and our youngest sister won’t arrive for another three years. Mom would have been 24 in this photo. The next photo was taken in 1962.
Twenty five years later the last of the three daughters is married and later that year Mom and Dad take a cruise through the Caribbean with a group of friends…..one of many holidays that they took every year and continued to take until her sudden death in 1993.
“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole but true beauty in a Woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.”
Pam Garrison was a guest artist recently on Carla Sonheim’s Year Long Class and treated us to a lesson using random splashes of watercolour to create an art piece. Once the paint dried we had to look for shapes and bring them out with outlines of black ink.
In this piece I saw mostly flowers and some birds.
I’ve always enjoyed sharing my art on this blog but several weeks ago I had a very upsetting and unfortunate experience with an internet troll. For a few posts I was getting long and horrible comments from an unknown person. I was told that my work was crap, that I shouldn’t call myself an artist and that I should give up on art. I blocked this person but they came back under a different name and started to insult my husband’s art as well. In both cases I blocked the comment and reported it as spam but the damage to my ego was profound.
Many friends told me to let it go and I did continue to make art. For awhile I only posted on group sites on Facebook and on Instagram. One of the first pieces that I posted after the negative comments was a very simple mediative exercise where I was instructed to make small circles all over my paper with watercolour. When I was done I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the outcome so I started to add details with black ink.
After posting it on the art group page that I belonged to I was shocked by the positive comments and the number of likes. The last time I looked on the page I had 714 likes and 60 positive comments. This was certainly a boost to my ego and inspired me to continue making art.
Here is the piece that brought me back from the doldrums.
Yesterday my husband and I did a short road trip to the Grimsby Beach Village. This area next to Lake Ontario was originally a Methodist Camp in the 1800s and people came from all over Ontario and New York to spend part of their summers here.
In the early 1900s the tents were replaced with cabins and a couple of hotels were built to accommodate the growing number of tourists.
Today the homes are all privately owned but the community has decided to continue painting and decorating their houses in bright colours.
….on our walk this past week we came across this colourful collection hanging from the trees along the edge of the creek
Early into our walk I notice a flash of colour up ahead and as we got closer we noticed dozens of brightly painted birdhouses hanging from some of the smaller trees next to the creek. You could tell that a few were done by adults but the majority had to be done by children. I figured that some enterprising class from one of the neighbourhood schools did this as a spring project to beautify the neighbourhood and provide nesting areas for some of the smaller birds.
I was so impressed with these tiny feeders and birdhouses that I promptly went to the dollar store to buy some for my granddaughter. I also bought some small clear containers which I filled with craft paint and a variety of paint brushes. At home I put a prime coat of white paint on two of the houses and then packed everything into a gift bag. On Saturday we did a drive by visit in Hamilton to drop off our Easter candy and this special bag. Winnie was so excited that she wanted to start painting right away. When we got home her mom sent us photos of the ‘finished’ projects. I’m not sure if she’s going to add more detail but she’s pretty pleased with the way they’ve turned out.
Another trip to a conservation area with a waterfall.
Last week we took a drive to Halton Hills. We had to make a reservation and we were quite surprised at how many cars were in the parking lot for a Wednesday afternoon. The hike started with a steep climb up a rugged path but this was the most difficult part of the hike. After that the paths were wide and relatively smooth.
It didn’t take too long before we heard the sound of rushing water.
As the sound got louder the we noticed that the water moved quickly and before too long we found ourselves at the top of Hilton Falls. This waterfall is 10 metres high and at the base are the ruins of a 19th century sawmill.
The conservation area also has great picnic sites right by the falls and when COVID is over the fire pit will probably be open to the public again.
After our lunch we headed back on the path that we came on but there was a fork in the road and we headed toward the reservoir.
All in all we had a wonderful day. On the way home we took a side road instead of the highway and were impressed with the beautiful countryside so close to the city.
The Dufferin Islands are just up the road from the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls. It is a sanctuary for walkers and birds alike and is probably largely unknown to most tourists. The walk takes you over a series of bridges and ponds where marsh birds love to hang out. It is truly a hidden gem that is right under your nose if you take the time to look and explore.