Wednesday, 25 June 2008


In my early days of blogging I created a gratitude list in my side-bar which I have added to nearly every post. Most of the things I am grateful for are constants - family & friends, the pets I have the pleasure of caring for (even Phoebe the difficult cat!), things like the roof over my head, my spectacles (even though I dislike the frames I have chosen!) morning walks, the opportunity to paint and then all the many, many little things. Practicing gratitude is like doing a stocktake of your life, discovering just how much you actually have.

The science tells us that we are happier when we practice gratitude and I would extend that to telling others how grateful we are for the things they have done for us. Not just a quick 'thanks', but really getting the message across that they have made a difference to your life. Take a look at Christine Kane's blog post on being present in a state of gratitude.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Home Baking

In all the books I have read on creating a Vegie garden, the advice has been that I should observe the site to see where the sun falls, locate the direction of the wind and become familiar with the fall of the land. Despite being very keen to start, I held myself back from digging and took their advice. Just observe. Sadly, the site gets a lot of shade in winter and I don't believe that this is the best place to plant. We have a sunny patio tho, so vegies in tubs will be the way to go. Back to my planning again.

I have been very busy in the kitchen lately, baking apple & banana muffins and another cheesy version. It is wonderful to smell the aromas wafting through the house while the rain falls outside. Very cosy.

If you're interested in vegie gardens and baking down to earth is a fantastic blog by an Australian who is living the life I would love to have. To get there takes many small steps. I have taken a few baby ones but have a long way to go. Rhonda talks about sustainability, frugality, baking and just living a slow and grateful life where every little thing becomes special. Her bread is so good to see. Soon I believe we will all be returning to this kind of life out of necessity and the tips and experience that Rhonda provides are so valuable.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Walk With Me

The Problem: Lately I have been having difficulty sleeping, often laying in bed awake until 3.30am, only to be woken up after a blissful 2 hour sleep at 5.30am by the alarm clock. This makes for a day where you could easily fall asleep in the washing machine tub, the kitchen sink or at the dinner table! I have been reminding myself of my son when he was small, falling asleep into his dinner face down, while sitting in his high chair :) It was funny at the time!

The Remedy:
I already walk for half an hour each day and my clever husband suggested that what I needed was a longer walk, more like an hour, to make myself tired enough to sleep well.

The Action: We took his advice and Jess and I now take ourselves down to the bay which is a five minute drive away from our home and walk and walk. It is so peaceful here and if I was a painter of 'scapes' this would be a perfect place to set up an easel.

The long road winds its way alongside the houses that edge the water and this old house on the high side of the street begged to be photographed. It could probably use some tender loving care though. I always think that big houses look great until you have to clean them and fix the roof!

Many gardens of the houses along this street are lovely and this Australian native grevillea has such beautiful colour.

There are many private and public piers extending out from the houses that sit alongside the water. Jess and I walked out on this one while she sniffed at all the watery, muddy mangrove smells.

An hour later this gorgeous girl and I were ready for a rest.

The Result: I slept more soundly than I have in years.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Smile at Someone Today

Have you ever been either a victim or perpetrator of the
fundamental attribution error ? I can say yes to both. I guess it's just the way the world is. Or rather, how people are and the shortcuts we use to navigate people and situations. Unfair but true. more here on FAE.

An example is the child who paints entirely in black paint and it is assumed that he must be disturbed and depressed, when in actual fact it's just that he is polite and allows the other kids to beat him to the red, green and yellow paint and all that remains is black.

Or we think little of a person who does not perform well at work and assume that they are just not trying, when in actual fact they spent the night awake caring for a baby and are dog tired the next day. In actual fact they were doing their best.

The person with the dark mood on their face may not be an unpleasant person, but have just lost someone they loved. Or maybe it's the other way round and the happy go lucky person is actually depressed and lonely.

Smile at the people you meet today however they may seem, and cut them a little slack. They might be struggling too.

'A Still Life' luscious acrylic colour on canvas!

Monday, 2 June 2008

I am in the middle of a cat painting which is coming along nicely. I have not had the chance to paint for a couple of days and used to think having breaks in between while creating an artwork was annoying. I felt it broke into the meditation. But I have learned that sometimes it is a good thing to walk away and think about it some more for a day or two. Paint in my head first. If you were to draw me as a cartoon character, you would see a bubble over my head as I walked around, with a canvas inside and lots of changing colours and re-positioning. Digi artists do this on their computer, I use the bubble. Now I know where Bill Gates got the idea for windows!

For now though, 'Lucy's Swing'. And in another bubble, a still life for my dining room wall.