I am grateful for time spent painting this morning.

I am grateful for time spent building the treehouse with Cooper. I’m really glad I got the materials for that when I did; it’s been nice to have a project in these doldrums.

I am grateful for the last 1 hour instalment of the Lord of the RIngs movies that we screened tonight. I really enjoyed seeing those movies again. Last time was in the theatre during the theatrical releases. They hold up well. Looking forward to the Hobbit, but maybe not for a few days.

I am grateful for my brother’s suggestion that I read some Ray Bradbury short science fiction to my kiddos. We did that tonight at bedtime. We read “The Sound of Thunder”. It was a bit dark, but we all enjoyed it.

I am grateful for time spent watching some telly with Julie after the kids were in bed.


I am grateful for news that someone I know has started writing a few things they are grateful for down every night. I think it improves life a bit. So do they, I gather.

I am grateful for a lazy morning, and a chat on the phone with my folks.

I am grateful for time spent sorting out a few things in the garage. It’s a never ending project that ebbs and flows, but there is nothing like s little garage tidying to instil a sense of accomplishment.

I am grateful for a productive afternoon and evening of errands and suite showings. Not the most glamorous work, but nice to have it done and behind us.


I am grateful for laundromats. They are just the thing when your washer is in a state of warranty purgatory, and you have a family of 4, and you want to get a week’s worth of laundry washed in an hour or so. Also: grateful for the sun and a clothesline, making the drying part after we take home buckets of clean wet laundry easier.

I am grateful for Coop and Farl, who are helpful assets with all this laundry business.

I am grateful for a bunch of crappy canvases and craft acrylic paint we had around, so we could spend part of the afternoon painting together. In situations like this I try to do something I’m not used to painting so I asked what kind of animal I should paint. “Plankton!” was his reply, so I painted plankton.

I am grateful for dinner together this evening.

I am grateful for time spent with Julie in the hillbilly hot tub this evening.

My absence, explained

There’s been some radio silence on this blog for the last while. My folks called me to ask if anything is wrong. Nothing is, but perhaps I should explain.

I was 21 in 1993, when I first heard about and started using the internet. I was enthused. I subscribed to Wired and Mondo 2000. The promise of a globally connected world was hard to fathom, and expectations were high. I made a career out of it. For a good long while, the internet was great for me. In so many ways, it still is.

But now it’s everywhere. And with this phone, it’s always nearby. And while being connected can be great, it has its downsides. The endless scroll of social media endlessly beckons. At some point, I stopped reading books. Boredom is a thing of the past with the latest news at my fingertips, but the news is rarely good.

I miss the noticing and wondering about real world things that often comes right after the sense of boredom sets in. This used to happen everywhere and all the time. Waiting for a bus, or a ride, or an appointment, or a lunch order.

Being connected is great, but it also means being ‘on’. Even when I don’t intend or need to be available, if I am checking my emaiil, I am ‘on’.

It’s good to know what’s happening in current events, and we have a responsibility to be informed members of the electorate. I wonder though: how many casual connections with strangers in my community have I missed, because I look occupied while I thumb-type, or because I don’t have to ask for directions anymore?

I’ve taken steps. I purchased a flip phone, and use it when I feel I am getting too involved with my iPhone on a day to day basis. More recently, I’ve tried keeping the smartphone out of my bedroom, too. I don’t want it to be the last thing I look at every night, and the first thing I look at every morning.

And that’s why I haven’t been blogging about gratitude every day. My ritual used to be to compose that post on my phone, and it would be the last thing I’d do in a day before switching out the light. Truth is, I just haven’t found another place for that in my routine now that my phone doesn’t reside within arm’s reach while I sleep.

I miss the gratitude post though. I think that was a big reason for my career change to become an artist. That’s another story. I would like to work a daily gratitude practise into my routine again, so if you are wondering what I am up to, stay tuned.

Or, if I may be so bold, call me and ask me how I’m doing. Don’t text, call. I’d love to hear from you, and you don’t have to worry about waking me up.


I am grateful for a healthy amount of contact with other humans in my life. In particular, today, the ones that aren’t my close family or near and dears; I’m thinking of the people I see around when I paint at the studio, or parents of my kids friends that I only know in passing, or people that I always see in the same place at the same time at local businesses I frequent. In this day and age of online everything, I find navigating my life through this crowd of actual living people, exchanging pleasantries and common courtesies, and  just being a human being in the company of other human beings keeps me grounded, and where I need to be, here in my community.

I am grateful for a conclusion to Cooper’s birthday party sleepover extravaganza. That gang had a ball this morning. They consumed crepes as fast as I could make them. To my surprise and delight, all they wanted to do was go outside and run around in a park after breakfast, albeit with a laser tag set. Fun was had by all, and then they went home.

And I am grateful that after all that I was able to relax for a while and paint at the studio.

And after that I am grateful that Julie and I were in agreement about not cooking, and we had a great dinner out with Farl while Cooper attended ANOTHER birthday party.

And now we’re all at home, dog-tired and settling down, and I am grateful for my cozy little house.  


Durrance Lake, from my walk on Saturday morning

I am grateful for time spent working and in the studio today. I’m starting to feel a bit more like myself.

I am grateful this cast isn’t permanent. It cramps my style here and there, It forces me to be slow when I paint – I am more deliberate, but less able to get into the flow of it.

I am grateful for a walk around Mt. Tolmie with Cooper and the Cub pack tonight. The weather was perfect, and the sunset from the top with its 360 degree view was incredible.


I am grateful for this blog. I was lost in the archives for a while last night, I don’t look at old posts that often, but it’s a trip whenever I do.

I am grateful for a productive day in the garagenous zone.

I am grateful for family fun night: Farley’s pick. We went out for hamburgers, then to Mr. Tubb’s for ice cream and ticket redemption games. Farley won enough tickets for a styrofoam glider, 2 plastic army guys, and a glow-in-the-dark bug.

Coop won a bunch too, and saved the credits for a later date. That kid has a talent for saving that can’t have come from me. At the rate he is going, I think he might purchase his first car by redeeming Mr. Tubb’s tickets,


I am grateful to have been part of the Valentine’s Day card delivery ritual at Farley’s kindergarten class this morning.

I am grateful for an honest day’s work.

I am grateful for an evening out. We painted at the studio and then chit chatted while eating drive thru junk food atop Mount Tolmie. It was sublime.