It feels like a bit of a blur with the months of preparation for our move . ( We are now living in a rental home while our actual home is gutted and renovated for this year . It should be completed by mid November .)
But once we had finally moved in the last box and unpacked all of it ( the rest being in our basement storage here) we took off for Mexico . I was going to write…” Yay !” but it wasn’t really a trip to shout in joy about. I proceeded to be attacked by the flu, then a brutal cough/cold, then Montezuma’s Revenge. The ‘all inclusive ” included construction sounds from morning to night and by the time I slipped in some water and fell on my right side I was certainly ready to fly home for some rest…ha ha.
Although we sat in the ‘baby section from hell’ ..ha ha again…we were home in 5 1/2 hours and ready to rest by getting back to work.
Then : I fell again. This time on some black ice off our our back porch. Oh man !
So I am learning to walk with crutches and my left knee and ankle are sprained.
But : the great news is that nothing is broken. I also had some incredible visits from old and new friends ….who brought me yummy meals and excellent conversations.
I have just been commissioned by a new connection to illustrate another children’s book and with my down time was able to start painting some sample artworks.
Lastly, I wrote a new song ! Working title : I Heard Your Voice.
I am healing. I have friends. I am able to create. I am blessed.
Although it takes me 45 minutes to drive to Sherwood Park I must say that the folks at Inspirations Book and Coffee shop make me feel like I’ve arrived home when I show up.
And although my musical partner, Jim, wasn’t feeling well and went home before the concert I had a wonderful time singing my tunes from 7 – 8:30 p.m. . The sound system was set up to perfection by ‘ Elvis’ and the owner, Stan, was always near by to give me a helping hand in setting up, a cup of hot tea and a treat at break …..and even applause ! Stan even purchased 6 CDs ( 3 of Waiting and 3 of Hope Is) so I feel very taken care of at the store.
A lovely night where I got to meet new folks and share my newest material.
For months now my husband and I have been choosing every little thing imaginable as we prepare for our first big renovation. Our home is about 60 years old.
For weeks now we have been sorting, giving, selling, and packing packing packing our beloved things.
Somehow I have found peace amidst the Christmas rush, family times and the big Christmas decorating take down. I attribute it to my prayers and the prayers I have received from others. Thank you !
Also , I have found a window to create here and there. I have written TWO new songs in the last couple of weeks and am almost finished a new still life. It feels SO good to have this balance in my life.
Only one more week until we move out ! ( into a small, rental home for the year) . Life is so interesting !
I wish you an incredible 2015 ! The world news already has SO many upsetting stories. Let’s try and stay connected to each other through prayer and spreading love …even if it’s just through a daily smile.
Terry and I had another wonderful time at Inspirations Coffee/gift Shop in Sherwood Park. Stan is THE nicest man , wonderful setting up our sound and the most generous man. ( I just love that every penny they make in their shop and store is given to the poor.)
Although it is so close to Christmas I feel blessed to be able to say that I have a sense of calm and delight that leads me to be able to sing ( in another city!) and not feel stressed about ‘all I have to do’ at home.
We enjoyed the shoppers who dropped by to listen for awhile and enjoyed our conversations with the owner, Stan. We sipped a warm apple cider , played warm tunes and were treated to the usual warm reception by all at Inspirations.
Merry Christmas , friends ! And may your new year bring you peace , hope, and much love.
It was SO nice to see Jason again yesterday for a wee Christmas visit. Jason was in great spirits ( as he always is) and I had the pleasure of meeting his caregiver, Yolee ( who celebrates a birthday tomorrow…happy birthday !) Jason and I got to catch up with life now and what life purports to look like in 2015. Lots of changes on my end ( renovating, newly retired husband, grandkids on the way….) and Jason is excited about penning a new song ( Elvis inspired!) in the new year. Here is a reminder of Jason and my work together this year on his lyrics….FREEDOM !
P.S. A special thank you to Jason’s mom for helping him pick out lovely presents . I am saving the big box for Christmas.
I loved singing carols and some of my originals at Inspirations bookstore today. I was happily surprised when my friend, Jim, joined me and added some fun percussion sounds…djembé , bells, penny whistles and some lovely vocals too.
Meanwhile, my husband, Terry, was in the adjoining room ( he was in the store while we were in the coffee shop) signing copies of the 5th printing of …” ORDINARY GUY – EXTRAORDINARY MARRIAGE “.
It was a great day for both of us…we met nice people, enjoyed warm drinks and Terry managed to sell 16 books! I also sold some CDs so that is always nice as I am still trying to pay off my debt in creating them..ha ha.
I hope to perform more Christmas and original tunes again one more time before Christmas if I can but this time with Terry Ropchan. We’ll see if we can make that happen.
I’ve just discovered this little gem of a place in Sherwood Park called Inspirations. The gift shop proceeds are 100 % donated to charity and their selection is wonderful for …well, inspirational gifts.
I was asked to perform there this afternoon and the shop has a lovely little stage and new sound system. So my husband and bass player, Terry, and I set up and played my originals from WAITING and HOPE IS for a couple of hours . It was so cozy in the room , coffees and hot chocolates at the ready and a nice selection of sweets to choose from while you escape the snow and fall into the music.
Looking forward to playing there again with my friend, Jim, on Dec. 13th while Terry has his book signing for ” Ordinary Guy – Extraordinary Marriage ” . I hope you can join us !
Let’s just say that now that I am home from the HOPE IS TOUR I have had some lovely down time writing music and creating art.
With Christmas coming this might be a good time to think about giving someone you love a truly extraordinary gift : the gift of original art. I have been just loving my Friday painting days ( when I am home! ) and have managed to create about 8 new paintings since my return to Edmonton. Most of these are acrylic on canvas but I managed to complete a couple of new watercolours too. These are moderately priced and if you are seriously interested but worried about the cost I am happy to receive instalments.
So speaking of ART I have had a couple of neat things happen recently in connection with my work.
When we lived in Calgary 14 years ago we loved visiting ( and purchasing from…) Junktiques owned by David and Marie Kaufman. David is such a talented carpenter and I also thought he would make an excellent subject for a painting so one day I bombarded their shop so I could take some photographs for a future portrait . I did a watercolour in 1993 of David hard at work and put it in my portfolio for future framing. Jump ahead to 2014 and my husband and I finally reconnect with Dave and Marie to inquire about having some ‘junktiques’ built for our soon-to-be renovated home. We had been saying for years that the four of us should get together when we’re in town but we never did make it happen as is so often the case.
Well, finally , we all decided to choose a date for dinner as we would be visiting Calgary again soon. I remembered that long ago painting ( that we never could afford to frame at the time) and I decided to gift it to David and Marie at dinner. I felt very honoured to see the tears of joy that Dave and Marie shed and I am so glad that I was able to give them this gift.
My next story is that I have decided to use FaceBook as a means of sharing my latest paintings. ( I don’t know why I never thought of this before !) But no sooner had I posted my latest acrylic on canvas painting of an autumn prairie scene ( ” Making Hay ” ) but a friend asked me if it could be purchased. I was thrilled to send it out to Ontario to my new friend, Wendy, and she has allowed me to share her reflections on the feelings the painting evoked :
” Dear Laura,
When I first saw the painting of the prairies , I couldn’t stop looking ( and re-looking) at it – it called to me.
It so reminds me of my Dad – a prairie farmer ( for many years, and always at heart ) . And so comes many memories of riding the tractor/combine with him, and of his stories….
The sky and clouds, and the colours just make my heart sing. So thank you – for this gift of memories and sunshine. ”
P.S. He went to ” prairie heaven ” – 25 years ago !