Happy Mother’s Day To The Mom I Strive To Be

Today is Mother’s Day. Today I am celebrated by my children and today I celebrate the woman that made me the person, the mother, the artist I am today; my mom. I’ve always felt very lucky, as far back as I can remember I felt so very lucky to be raised by the woman I call Mom. 

All day today as I celebrated Mother’s Day with my kids I thought about my own mom, she was never far from my mind and I realized this is how I spend everyday. She is always close in my thoughts, when I’m feeling down I don’t even need to talk to her in person, I just need to think about her and I feel loved and supported. I think even when I was very little I understood that my mom was and always will be my very best friend in the whole world. I have laughed the hardest with her, she has held me when I’ve cried, held me through the toughest times in my life and in doing so has given me the strength to carry on. When I accomplish something that makes me feel proud it is my mom I first want to tell, she has always nourished my creativity and supported my dreams. I know if it hadn’t been for my mom, my wonderful, beautiful, supportive mom, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. My greatest wish is that I can be at least half the mother she is then I will have raised kids that know what it’s like to be truly and completely loved.

Thank you mom, for raising me, for supporting me, for allowing me to thrive in a creative and artistic world, you have set the bar high and everyday I strive to be just like you. Happy Mother’s Day!!Image


Birthday Wishes From A Nine Year Old

Today is my birthday. Today I turned 42. In the past few years, the days leading up to my birthday bring a tiny bit of sadness. I don’t like that I am getting older, especially when I still feel so young. I see a few wrinkles now and dread someday not recognizing myself in the mirror.

This morning my nine year old son woke me up with hugs and birthday wishes. I left the bed he was snuggled into to use the bathroom. When I came back he said to me “you’re beautiful”. It made me laugh. So he says, “you are, you still have that makeup on from last night, your hair is all over the place and big and there’s that little curl hanging down, you look beautiful”. Right there, the best birthday present EVER. Little did he know how much his words meant, today of all days.


Kid’s Art, Messiness and A Beautiful I Love You

My youngest daughter loves all things art. If I turn my back for too long she will scam my paintbrushes, pencils, markers, and paper, anything she can get her little fingers on. One day I was really busy with commissions and packaging, I left my paints out on the table to be put away later. She decided to help herself and took a little piece of canvas I had laying there and made a painting. A six-year-old painting can be quite a mess as I am sure you can imagine. She had paint on the floor, the table, the tea towel from the kitchen (in her misguided attempt to clean it all up) the paintbrushes tossed aside, paint tubes knocked over and dripping. So basically a complete disaster. When I came across this I just about lost my mind, as I went to call her down from her room to ask her what she was thinking getting into my stuff, (there have been enough warnings over the years) I saw a white envelope sitting on my desk. Inside the envelope I found this painting. 


Keeping Your Children Safe and Out Of Trouble – An Artist and Mother’s Account

If you have read any of my blog you will notice that my favourite subjects to write about are my art and my children. With four kids of my own and two step kids it does lead to a lot of writing material. The current ages of my kids run from a 6 year old up to a 19 year old. So there have been a lot of different issues to contend with as a mom.


So far I have been lucky in that my children have not screwed up too much, except for one incident which we will get too in due time. I managed to keep my oldest in line enough that he made it to adulthood relatively unharmed and somewhat balanced. I only ever received two phone calls from a principal, one because he bullied a boy on the bus in the misguided effort to impress a girl he had a crush on. The other because he got the brilliant idea to give the middle finger to a police cruiser from the school bus window. He was pretty shocked when the cruiser pulled the bus over and had “words” both with my son and his friend, the second culprit. But aside from those two incidences he has been a relatively good boy.

 My youngest son however, who just turned 9 seems to live at the principals office. He has done everything from telling his teacher she wasn’t the boss of him, that only mom was the boss, to giving his principal the middle finger, to drawing happy faces on the walls of the school bathroom in permanent marker, to an outburst during an assembly that centered around the topic of Respect. At the end of this assembly the speaker asked the kids “so, did we learn anything here today?” To which my son blurted out, loudly of course “nope, nothing at all.” Apparently he thinks he’s a comedian, but his comedic ways have landed him in the principal’s office like it’s his second home. He’s actually a funny kid who seems to hold no fear for anyone in charge, which scares me and causes many, many sleepless nights. But his stories, of which there are many can be saved for another day.

 No, today’s story centers on the first time any of my children have truly shocked me. You see we have two teenage girls, my daughter who just turned 16 and my stepdaughter who will be 16 this summer.

When they were 14 they had a sleep over with my stepdaughters friend from the city. They approached me the next morning to ask if they could go hang out in the small town we live near. Of course I said no, what would be the point in going and hanging out except to get into trouble. There just seemed no reason, they had no money to spend, it was too cold to go play at the park so what else would there be for them to do but “hang out”. So instead they asked if they could go for a walk around our little neighborhood. We live in the country in a small village that is surrounded by farms. So to this I said yes, of course you can go for a walk. Here is where I failed as a parent; there was a barn up the road from our house that apparently was frequented by the local kids as a “hang out”. I had no idea they spent their time up there, when they said, “go for a walk” I took it at face value. These are kids that have never gotten into any real trouble you see, in fact I will go so far as to brag and tell you they care about school, their marks and their future. So they decided this day to go hang out at the barn up the road. They climbed up into the rafters and talked and laughed and joked around. However while they were talking they also took out two lighters and proceeded to light little pieces of straw on fire and then throw them out the window down into the snow covered ground below. I’m guessing you can imagine what happened next? And you would be right.

One of the pieces of straw went unnoticed, landing below them in a stack of hay where it lay smoldering. This barn was all but abandoned and had been filled to the rafters with old hay. Hay that had been left untouched for years. It was the friend that noticed the flames, as they all had their backs to it. The barn was actually on fire! They jumped down and attempted to put out the fire with snow first, then by stomping their feet into the flames. But for each little fire that got smothered another one would flare up. When it started really spreading they decided to go for help. As soon as they ran out of the barn into the road the whole thing went up in flames. I cannot tell you how lucky we are that this didn’t end in worse tragedy for this dried up barn all but exploded with them just a few feet out of harms way.

This has been by far the worst thing we have had to deal with as parents. It has left these girls with a huge burden; they feel guilt towards the farmer, who didn’t press charges. Only asked that they help in the clean up of the debris. Guilt towards the homeowners who’s siding got melted from the heat of the flames. Guilt towards my husband and I because our insurance premiums rose due to the pay out for the melted siding.  They have had no social life to speak of since the incident, no cell phones, no computers (except for the use of mine for homework). Their life consists of doing homework and going on excursions as a family. It’s a harsh lesson I wouldn’t wish on any kid or parent. Even the kids you think won’t screw up have the potential to truly shock you and you really can’t take your eyes off of them at any age.

Did any good come out of this? I doubt any of my kids will ever play with fire again; this was a traumatic event for the whole family, right down to the littlest one. I also think my teen girls have lost that “it could never happen to me” mentality that most teens have which may save them in the future.  They also don’t seem to take things for granted anymore and have since learned the true value of money. This incident threatened to ruin us financially, if it weren’t for the good hearted nature of that farmer who wanted no money, no charges laid and was satisfied with their sincere and tearful apology.

I just hope my girls pay it forward if they ever find themselves in a position where forgiveness is needed. That they will never forget that farmer’s big heart and forgiving nature as they grow up and move through their own lives. And that they never take their eyes off their own children. 


Super Pussy At Play – Trust Me It’s Not What You’re Thinking

236440880I always worry about my kids corrupting other children when they play. That sounds like an awful thing to say about your own kids but if you spent a day in this house you would understand. Their dad has no edit button. Some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth, while hilarious really shouldn’t be said in front of a kid. Especially our kids, who are like little sponges, and sadly it’s most often the bad words and inappropriate stuff that catches their attention.

He’s the kind of dad who thinks it’s funny to tell the kids in public, at say our local grocery store, “stop touching that or I’ll rip your arm off and beat you with the bloody stump” The kids will giggle of course but inevitably there will be some stranger, mouth gaping, shaking her head and then setting her wrinkled mouth into a grim line of disapproval.

So when my kids are playing with the neighbors I listen with dread to their idle chit chat, hoping to catch them before they repeat something that they thought was funny but when filtered though a little ones lips sounds, well, just awful.

One of these play days my youngest son was playing super heroes with the neighbor, she’s a cute kid, a year older then my son. They have known each other since they were babies.  I was on my porch, spying on them, listening in, when I hear him ask her, “I’ll be Spiderman what are you going to be?” Well she blurts out, fairly loudly I might add, “I’ll be Super Pussy.” OMG I spit my drink out. My son just looked at her, dead stare, shrugged his little shoulders and started running across the lawn none the wiser.

Sunshine, Flowers and Screaming Kids At Play – A Typical Sunny Day

Finally the sun is out, after days of gloomy clouds, relentless rain and winds that hissed in protest; finally we have sun. I see blue skies and colorful flowers in bloom, my cat lying on the porch basking or baking in the sun and in the distance, piercing through this peaceful, glorious day is the unfortunate shrieking of my kids as they play. They sound as if they are being attacked, like a mangled dog has bared it’s teeth and is now chasing them through thorn bushes, snapping at their heals. They sound like they could raise the dead with their shrieks of horror. What game could cause this much mayhem you ask? They are playing a game of tag. OH and add in the fly that landed on my youngest daughter causing her to practically lose her lungs, screaming from the sheer horror of it. Oh what a peaceful day…..