Category Archives: Uncategorized

Unwinding in the garden

This past week I was trying to get back into work along with getting everything put away from the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival. This weekend I finally got to spend some quality time in my gardens with no deadlines, no worries and no pressure. Unfortunately there were lily beetles, mildew and aphids so that kept me busy!

I also took the time to take some photos since I have not been making the time to do much of that this summer.



yellow and red

blanket flowers



burgundy lily

A new spring-time visitor this year

We live in a subdivision but it’s kind of out in the country. Our backyard backs onto a farmer’s field so we’re not strangers to wildlife….however we’ve had a few interesting visitors over the past couple of years.

Last spring we had a porcupine come and make himself at home in our pine tree. My husband named him “Charlie” which made a little difficult to try to get rid of him! It took my brother-in-law with his live trap to finally relocate him waaaaaay far away from here.

Yesterday, we saw this little guy in our backyard. Turns out he’s a possum! I didn’t think we had them in this area but apparently they have made themselves quite at home in Southern Ontario. The cat wasn’t terribly impressed with him and on further investigation it looks like he might be making himself at home under our deck. John has put our brother-in-law Rob on alert that we may require his trap and expertise once again. Sigh.




possum and cat

Recovering? Day 258

I took the day off work and spent most of the day sleeping. I had a full-blown migraine (which may have been weather related) and still felt very dizzy and off balance this morning.

I did end up feeling a little better this afternoon. I took my dose of Cymbalta today so I’m not sure if that’s the reason or not. I’m taking it every 3rd day now and I’m hoping to be off of it completely in the next week or so. I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and the great advice and suggestions I’ve received. You guys are great! I’m so lucky to have so many caring people in my life!

Although I was moving very slowly today I wasn’t as shaky as I have been and I was able to get some painting done. I worked on the trillium painting in 10 – 15 minute intervals throughout the afternoon and evening. I’m pleased with how it’s looking!


I’m in withdrawal. Literally. Day 257

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I suffer from migraines. I’ve also been dealing with a neck/shoulder issue for over a year now and no one seems to know what the problem is.

I’m a big believer in ‘alternative’ medicine so I’ve been seeing a cranial-sacral chiropractor regularly. His treatments have made a difference in the neck and shoulder but nothing seems to help the migraines. I’ve had them since I was 12 and although some things have provided temporary relief, nothing has helped me for any length of time.

I went to see my family doctor and he referred me to a sports rehab doctor for the neck/shoulder problem. After waiting months for the appointment I went to see him in the spring of this year. He looked at my x-rays and MRI’s and told me he had no idea why I was in pain and there wasn’t anything physical that he could see that was causing it.

He prescribed Cymbalta for me – an anti-depressant that helps with nerve pain. It was only one pill a day and for the first couple of months I felt better. He told me it wasn’t addictive and had virtually no side effects. Unfortunately, the pain in my neck and shoulder came back and I still had vicious migraines when the weather shifted. Since it didn’t seem to be helping any more I thought it was time to stop taking it….and this is where the problems started.

I saw my family doctor last week and he agreed that I should be off of the Cymbalta. I’ve been on the lowest dose (30mg) for only 4 months but he said I needed to get off of it gradually so to take a pill every other day for a week and then stretch it to every 3rd day for another week before stopping altogether.

If only it were that easy! The withdrawal symptoms from this drug are absolutely brutal and after doing a Google search I realized that I wasn’t alone. Since I’ve cut back on the drug I’ve had a permanent headache and I’ve been so dizzy and disoriented it’s scary. Had I known that this would happen I never would have taken Cymbalta in the first place!

I’ve managed to paint each day and get through work but it has been a real struggle. According to what I’ve read online, people who have been getting off this drug suffer from ‘brain zaps’. These happen when you move your eyes to the side at any time…it feels like an electrical charge to the brain. Nasty!

Needless to say my productivity has not been high, however I’ve been rolling a number of ideas around in my head that I hope to put on canvas or board or paper or iPad soon. At least there’s a bit of a silver lining to all of this!


Helping out a good cause – Day 243

This morning I managed to get up a little earlier so I had more time to spend on the little fall landscape painting. I’m still working on the rocks in the foreground but they’re starting to take shape.

I went to work for a few hours before heading out to the Lindsay Golf & Country Club for the annual Emergency Services Golf Tournament. I’ve been on the committee for 4 or 5 years and the tournament is a fundraiser for the Kawartha Lakes Food Source.

Every year I help with registration and sell 50/50 tickets. This year we added a putting contest so I ran that. I hung out on the putting green waiting for teams to come by, sitting in the sun and enjoying the day. $5 bought 3 balls to putt at the contest board. If the ball went through one of the holes they got the score for that hole – the highest score for the day won half the money from the contest. It ended up in a three-way tie so we had a putt off and the winner walked away with $265.

Overall the day raised in excess of $7000 for the Food Source and I was glad to do my part! Here’s the view from where I was.




An amazing underwater gallery – Day 222

I’m still working on the portrait I can’t show you……and it’s killing me! I’d love to be able to share my progress with you but it’s a surprise gift so I can’t. I’m trying to remember to take some photos as I go so I can show you how it developed when it’s finally done.

I found this video of an underwater art exhibit by Andreas Frankes that I just found fascinating and I had to share. Who would’ve thought of creating an art exhibit underwater on an old shipwreck?

“One Year after Andreas Frankes visit to the Vandenberg his images of the wreck were filled with charming stories and now it is high time to exhibit them. No better place as the place where the project began.
Since August 4th 2011 divers can benefit from a very special experience and find a package of 12 images placed on the hulk of the artificial reef General Hoyt S. Vandenberg located 100 feet below sealevel and approximately seven miles south of Key West.

Divers at the Vandenberg Exhibition Andreas Franke’s exhibition contains twelve pictures showing every day scenes from past times. The stage of those scenes is the place the pictures are exhibited now, the Vandenberg.
The images are encased between sheets of Plexiglas with a stainless steel frame. A silicone seal keeps out the water. The images are attached to the ship by strong magnets which grants a damage free removing after the end of the exhibition.
Andreas about the images “Mystified scenes of the past that play in a fictional space. Dreamworlds, where you can get lost or you can identify with. This makes a new and unexpected atmosphere.”

Our new pond is done! Day 180

Our new pond is done and it looks fantastic! A while ago my husband John decided we needed a larger pond. We put in a small pond a few years ago and the garden had grown up around it so it was hard to see. Fish also didn’t do well in it since the water temperature got warm so quickly.

Last Friday, my brother-in-law Rob came over with his Kubota and started digging the hole. It was a lot of rock and clay so it was pretty tough going. When I came home from work I was surprised at how large the ‘pond’ was going to be! It’s approximately 12′ by 9′ although the shape is irregular. It’s almost 4′ deep which will give a lot of room for fish.

Yesterday we put down the underlay and the liner and today we landscaped around it. I placed rocks around the pond, moved some plants and split some others and put in a few new perennials. We kept the small pond and are using it as a filtering pond. The pump takes water from the bottom of the large pond up to a spillway which leads into the small pond. We have filtering plants – irises and water hyacinths – which should filter the water and keep things clean. Gravity takes the water from the small pond over the little waterfall into the large pond. Next weekend we’ll be adding some koi.

So now that the heavy work is done, we’re going to sit on our deck and enjoy the pond for the rest of our holiday!

The small pond


And the new pond!





It’s a good thing I painted this morning – Day 123

Well, I’m drunk. It’s 6:30pm and I am working on sobering up!

Today I helped the Kawartha Lakes Police Service with their breathalyzer testing. They had breath techs from all over the province come and train on the Intoxilyzer 8000C so they needed willing subjects to test.

I was invited, along with members of the media, off duty officers, and a local businessman, to help out. We had to drink as much as we could in one hour and then we were tested over the next three hours. There were 6 of us in all – 3 ladies, 3 men.

The Police Chief had said it was a maximum of 5 drinks in an hour and I thought I wouldn’t be able to do that. Turns out I can actually drink 7 glasses of white wine in an hour. Scary, huh? They have a scientist who monitors who drinks how much and keeps an eye out so you don’t get crazy drunk. They don’t have a blanket limit….it’s just when they feel you’ve hit the wall!

I had the high score on the breathalyzer for the day – I blew 1.62 at one point which was the highest of everyone. This is twice the legal limit of .80. My test scores went up and down throughout the afternoon, I was tested a total of 16 times: 1.49; 1.54; 1.51; 1.61; 1.61; 1.53; 1.58; 1.60; 1.43; 1.53; 1.61; 1.57; 1.54; 1.55; 1.62; 1.55.

Perhaps I’ll let the pictures tell the tale!

Police cruiser

My ride to the police station.

Police Cruise back seat

I sat in the back seat…Barb was in the front. No cuffs though!


I had 7 glasses of white wine in an hour. I surprised myself!

Me after drinking

Apparently I talk with my hands a lot….

Intoxilyzer 8000C

This is the Intoxilyzer 8000C, which measured my blood alcohol level.

Breath Techs

These are the Breath Techs that got both my high scores – 1.61 and 1.62.


At 1.62 I was definitely bombed!

Phil and Barb

Phil from HB Cycle and Barb from Kawartha Lakes This Week are comfy in the back seat of the cruiser on the way home.

Getting cuffed

They put the cuffs on me….just a joke though. Harry made sure I made it safely home!

Wonky weather is wreaking havoc – Day 108

The weather in southern Ontario has been like a roller coaster lately. Yesterday it was 26C and today it only got up to 5C. We had some incredible winds yesterday as well, with gusts up to 95km/h. Luckily, nothing around our place was damaged but I’ve heard of trees and fences down and lawn furniture that ended up down the road. Today it almost felt like winter again. Sigh.

My head doesn’t like big changes in weather and I got hit with a migraine this afternoon. It’s a good thing I worked on the split rail fence painting this morning because I certainly wouldn’t be up to it tonight.

I made sure I watered the reseeded front lawn and I took some photos of the tulips that blooming in the garden. We just planted these ones last fall so this is the first year we’ve had bulbs in that garden. I love the colour.

Now it’s time for bed and hopefully when I get up this migraine will be gone!