Three Years & Three Months Later

I love coming home, every single time. Especially when someone else has cleared the lane…..and it’s too cold for the Box Elder bugs to be out.

It is AMAZING how Life has gotten in the way of writing blog posts – yup, it gets in the way of everything.

I left the east end of Ottawa, bought a “fixer upper” in the country, did seasonal help at Lee Valley Tools (bucket list), did a stint at Carp Fair (also bucket list), dealt with flooding basements and sump pumps, buried my black Lab, learned to live with box elder bugs, became an (almost) enemy of the City over the storm drain in my yard, got a nice lengthy contract, left that contract, went to the Bahamas for my sister’s wedding, learned to cut 1/3 of an acre with a push mower, found out I can shovel a 75 m laneway, found out I can hate a 75 m laneway, had exactly one lesson on a tractor/snowblower (apparently my clutch skills leave a little to be desired), flew to Florida on a whim (thanks AirMiles) to go on a road trip home (ALLIGATORS), motorbiked a lot – all over from PEI to Pembroke (passenger so far, licence this year), drove through a tornado, fundraised for my hometown of Dunrobin, nursed my mother through dementia, cancer and strokes with my siblings…and soooooo much more.

Edith Carol (Dion) Spicer 1936-2018

I began 2019 writing a eulogy for my mother. She was….well, she was my mum. She worked and played and raised 4 kids pretty much on her own; to this day I don’t know how she pulled it off. She was smart, got shit done, and had a sneaky sense of humour. That sense of humour, and her optimistic outlook stayed in place even as her mind and body failed and hurt.

Throughout this time, I have been loved and supported by Thing 1 and Thing 2. The continue to grow, and amaze me with their strength, perseverence, and yes….even wisdom. I am in awe. Also, I love them a bit.

Thing 2, Me, and Thing 1 (drawing by Thing 1)

I have a renewed determination to make life good (gooder? It’s already pretty good, just takes lot of shovelling sometimes). I have been reminded about what’s important, (maybe more importantly) – what isn’t. I have learned that I am good at a LOT of things, and love to learn even more. To that end, I am beginning this year comitted to making more room for creativity in my life, alongside the usual worklife. I am happiest with a pencil in my hand, and a camera close by…and some time left over to spend in my workshop. I hope to post samples of what I’m up to every now and then – stay tuned.

I Have A Lot To Do So I Am Reading McSweeney’s And Laughing

My McSweeney’s Internet Tendency addiction is in control this morning. Some days you should not get at it. You should sit and read short articles until you are kind of crying from the laughing, and wishing someone would bring you more coffee and not point out your runny nose.

Today after a few other columns, I re-read I’M COMIC SANS, ASSHOLE. By Mike Lacher. You should read it too.

Annual Cyclelogik Christmas Show

This year’s theme was BLUE, and was entirely open to interpretation. I completed one work just for the show, and brought another I had on hand. Both works will remain up until the end of December and would make LOVELY CHRISTMAS GIFTS. Visit Cyclelogik at 1111 Wellington Street.


“Rayleigh Scattering” Graphite and pencil crayon on bristol. (Framed 340.00)

Blue Room: Graphite, pencil crayon, and conte drawing on vellum, layered over photograph - canon chromalife inks on Moab Entrada Rag paper. (Framed 450.00)

Blue Room: Graphite, pencil crayon, and conte drawing on vellum, layered over photograph – canon chromalife inks on Moab Entrada Rag paper. (Framed 450.00)

I can’t leave this alone

Godmanchester TracksI am becoming somewhat obsessed with roads and tracks and shoot them frequently while driving or walking.
I love driving, especially out in the middle of nowhere; it is both relaxing, and a time for thought. I can mull things over, make decisions, rage at the world, cry for no reason ( or numerous good ones), or sing really loudly to music that I like. Or, just watch fields stretch away to the sides.

Jessie and I were in Godmanchester, Quebec, driving around in circles trying to get out of Godmanchester, Quebec. We had gone by these tracks once and the light was spectacular so we went back. I stuck my arm out the window and stopped the car to take a picture with my phone as we went over the tracks….

I am fascinated by how it came out. The light I was after is not there, but I would not change a thing…and this image is beginning to appear to me as some kind of metaphor for my life at the moment. I may just save it for the cover photo of my autobiography.

*NB Jessie pointed out that we were being watched by a police car (not very well, apparently) so I whipped the phone back into the car before the shot finished. I think.

From the marymary archives….breathe.

On the road in Newfoundland…Trepassey. I got up early and started wandering with my coffee. Found this spot, and spent the better part of the morning by myself, staring at the water. Breathing.

Trepassey, Newfoundland, August 2011.


On the Lower Coast, Trepassey, Newfoundland, August 2011.

Today’s shot from the marymary archives

Wild fire, near Lytton, B.C. June 17, 2015

Wild fire, near Lytton, B.C. June 17, 2015

Driving through the Fraser Canyon, we could see this fire coming for miles…it was a surreal drive in so many ways, then we came up to the actual fire and could not stop watching – it was so beautiful, and so awful. We were struck by what seemed to be the hopelessness of these tiny dumps of water on a fire that was spreading for miles.

Return of the amazing disappearing website. I think.

Starting again… I am just so whimsical. Time to clean up the ashes of the old site and rebuild.

During this period, there may be frequent and annoying changes to the site, so beware (see “MAD” on the ABOUT page.)

(Photo: marymary archives, the crawlspace and cellar at High Lonesome (Pakenham), now buried under post-fire rubble.  Autumn 2013.)