Featured

What works for me

Any day can be a fairly good day

What works for me, might work for you, as well. It just depends on what type of person you are. The global media invents some days when one supposedly has to feel really bad, and then, which days are going to be better. Really? What a nonsense. Lots of people do not like winter, the unpleasant winter – with strong, chilling winds, snow piling up to the window sills, sleet, ice, freezing rain and bitter cold. No, there’s nothing adorable about all of that. I am in Southern Ontario which is sort of across the lake from New York.

Winter snow shoveling

The Ontario Lake is what can cause all kinds of troubles or bring relief. Thankfully, we didn’t have any snow all January. That’s up to the last days. I’ve been shoveling for about 4 hours a day in average this week. And snow keeps coming, and I keep shoveling. One might see that as a disaster. I agree, there are better ways to spend our time. But then again – all the exercise I get and all the fresh air which enriches the blood stream with oxygen? The rejuvenating effect of movement, clean air and great mood?

For mood and soul

That’s what we get from doing something useful not only for ourselves, but everything and everybody else. Plants will thank me in the spring for care I took preventing them from freezing out. Everybody who arrives in the huge backyard, is happy they don’t have to get wet feet walking through high snow drifts. I am happy because of all the great views which, no, I won’t paint.

Immersing oneself in colors

Painting works for me in many different ways. During cold and snowy months, I paint spring, flowers, rivers, creeks and forest where the spring flowers come up. I think I was born as an artist and gardener. Everything else sort of lines up around these two main passions of me. I love green color. I adore blue color, and there’s nothing better than bright pink flowers. I create this uplifting reality in my art.

Reading for pure pleasure

The other things to take mind off, are books. I only read at night something thrilling, absolutely consuming. I do research and learning during the day, therefore, the relaxing reading involves authors which can do that: write something realistic enough, but with feeling of mystery, thrilling and suspenseful. The range of writers is huge; however, I do prefer male writers. Their perception of events and the ways they resolve crime stories and display personalities resonates with me better. I do read female authors, as well, but frequently some books leave me disappointed. I feel like, I was promised so much, but didn’t receive it.

The green air purifiers

Room plants are next in line of life improving things. I do not have enough space, and my potted plants simply cannot do gorgeously without enough light, but they still grow and make me happy. I stuffed some in the basement at two tiny windows, the rest is in the art room. As you know, some plants can live well enough with hardly any light. They purify and moisten air. They also require little attention, just some watering. Green onions are doing nicely in a small cup. Many Canadian houses are like that: no place for doing something and no place for plants. I should know since I’ve been moving so many times and living in so many houses. Small windows, low ceiling, a place to eat, sleep, watch TV and shower. A place for people who prefer doing nothing.

Cooking from scratch

Finally, I’m a very good cook, but I don’t usually make complex meals. I go Latvian style: few ingredients, preparation requires little time and effort. I see sometimes recipes which need like twenty or more ingredients. Definitely not for me. We also do not use ready-made, half-cooked, etc. stuff. It makes more sense to do everything from scratch. We love soups and vegetable salads in all kinds of combinations. Not the common things, but specifically ours, like beet, carrot, leak, bean, etc. We love layered herring salad with potatoes, carrots, onions, beets and egg.

Simple is good

I am Latvian, and I stick to my own recipes. Therefore, we do not have heartburn, stomach issues or digestion problems. We are pension age, but slim and energetic. The fewer and more natural ingredients, the better for digestion. We do not snack. We have 3 meals a day and don’t eat anything in between. I suppose, any adult can do that. I believe that lots of people gain excess weight due to snacking, consuming fancy drinks, adding all kinds of things to tea and coffee. There’s nothing wrong with black and strong coffee. To be honest, our digestive system needs longer breaks, like 12 hours and then 3-4 hours between the 3 meals. And nothing more.

It’s doable

Winter will end. Spring will come with its own chores. I’ve suffered so much from seasonal affective disorder all my life that I decided to just put an end to it. I changed my view at it. I made myself not feel sad and upset. I literally push myself outdoors and once I have the shovel in hands, I won’t stop until everything is clean. I sometimes have to make myself want to paint or teach an art class. However, after the reluctant start it all happens. The resistance is huge, but I am able to overcome it. At the end of the day, I list in my mind all the good things I have done. They can be small things, but I have managed to stay on top of them. Big achievement.

Many years ago, I wrote numerous good articles which make a lot of sense today.

Wishing you pleasant winter experience and thanks for reading!

Featured

Opening the door to the new year

The door to a better future is not that far away. We just have to find it and courageously step in. Do we dare refuse from unnecessary buying things that get thrown out after a few days or weeks? Consumption is killing our planet, our health and is decreasing the odds for survival with just every passing year.

In our very materialistic world, there’s little space left for art and creativity, imagination and dreaming. Due to degradation of values, we are pretty much a society which has returned to bread and entertainment. Capitalism is most likely the wrong way to be. The more we produce and consume, the more we damage and destroy the nature and climate gets worse and less predictable. The nature fights back, and it’s about time we review what we do and don’t. However, is it possible to convince the consumer society that we don’t need lots of that we’ve put in our shopping cart?

The local Walmart and grocery chains have implemented practice of not giving customers any plastic shopping bags. Canada is discontinuing import and manufacture of plastic straws, utensils, plates and similar items. But look at the shelves. Everything is packed in plastic. Every smallest pack contains some or a lot of plastic. Look around in Walmart. There are so many plastic items, that discontinuing shopping bags isn’t even a drop in the ocean of plastic products and contamination of nature.

Here in Ontario, the Christmas season was very messy, numerous flights cancelled, even train couldn’t take, fallen trees stopped rail traffic. People stayed at the airport for days, not hours. We feel very happy we didn’t intend to travel this year. Well, we haven’t travelled for quite many years now. Nothing bad has happened because of that. Stay at home, enjoy cozy lights and tasty meals, silence at night, sparse winter light during the day. And it’s really fine.

We are lucky to live in a detached house surrounded by old majestic trees, lots of wild plants and grasses and there’s so much space outdoors that I can take a walk not even leaving my house. At the same time, it’s a town with everything close by. It’s great to live in a huge city, but then again living high up from the ground causes health problems. Add the air pollution and traffic jams, and it becomes quite tough way of living.

The landscape of my surroundings is quite eternal. Majestic trees disappearing in the distance by moonlight, by sunlight.  By late evening, the sunset colors them pink and orange. Summer dresses everything up in fantastic greens and flowers have all colors of the rainbow. Nothing to complain about if you like I do, feel trees breathing and grasses whispering. Flowers just sing in soft voices. The fall comes, and every leaf burns with bright orange and red flames.

While we have more or fewer choices, it sometimes doesn’t work out in our favor. Well, I quite like this place, although, it has numerous shortages, and great things as well. Every year when we have to move is not a good year. Packing, moving and unpacking takes not only a few days. For me, it usually takes rather months. I am better organized now than I was in spring, but there are still unpacked boxes, naturally so.

The door to a better future and life is not that far away. It’s still within our reach, or so we believe. We’ve got to stop admiring those with thousand pairs of shoes, but start rather figuring out how everything can be recycled, refurbished, repurposed and reused. It’s also so that one can sleep only in one bed at a time, eat one meal and wear one outfit at one particular moment. The essence of our existence has been so far – grab more, get more, stack up more, have more of anything. Will it be possible to turn the reality around and make people try living with what’s necessary? That might take decades if at all.

I hope you have nature around you or at least, access to it. It’s a great cure for all kinds of illnesses. Fresh air, home-grown produce, trees for shade, path for walking. I see this world as an endless painting. I choose not to notice what doesn’t fit in it. Just for now, for a few days, let it be a flawless world with picturesque views and beauty which lives in every smallest detail of natural surroundings.

I wish everybody a saturated, successful and pleasant year! Thanks very much to all of you who commented, liked and re-blogged. All the best to each of you and everybody who reads!

Featured

October

October is full of mysteries, secrets and wisdom. The October wisdom comes from centuries surviving the unpleasant silence of nature, from always winning the light back in spring. October is a month of poets and philosophers – what else can make us think so deeply about things which go away, but return again and again?  In the Northern hemisphere, October becomes our sunlight preserve, the last colorful warmth before we wake up with November chill.

October walk

We could be walking endlessly
In peaceful sunlight
Submerging ourselves
In the sparkling gold of falling leaves,
Breathing fall fragrance and colorful air.
We could be walking endlessly
In this stunning brightness
Under the transparent, distant sky.
Shadow obediently marching behind.
If it wasn’t for darkness and freezing nights.
If it wasn’t this place where we are now.

What about the garden?

It is going to sleep. Blooming plants are stuffed indoors, not that there’s enough space, but they will survive. About half a year is all it takes, but they’re resilient just like we must be. I still have tomatoes, parsley, dill, kale, green onions, chives, last sweet peppers and basil. When the temperature drops below zero Celsius, only parsley and kale will be available for a while. Nature needs a break, plants are done for now, and hopefully, the winter is mild.

What about us?

We wrap ourselves up and hide indoors, too. Thankfully, there are soothing days when the sun sends us warming rays. We pray there’s peace on the Earth. Is it likely? Probably not soon, but at some point, we must come to our senses. Even those who misuse power. The weather has become quite unpredictable, but we cannot complain too much. Most storms passed us so far. Candle time is coming, more self-exploration, more art creation, although, the light is not sufficient.

Balance

All is good enough for now. It can always be better; it can always be worse. It’s nice to be in the middle of the neutral grey, not giving in into black, not being obsessed with only white. Balance is about that: the neutral middle. Let’s hope we get more sunlight this October here, in the small town in Ontario. Frosts are ahead, but the colors will last for a while yet.

Thanks for reading if you did!

Featured

Time is a river

Time is a river, but once one is over 60, it feels like a waterfall. At least I experience time like that. Maybe it’s because everything takes longer to get done, maybe it’s because the flow of time has accelerated over the last years, but I’m very sure it feels as if the week consists of just a few hours. It was Monday, and all of a sudden – it’s already weekend. I was absent from this blog for quite a while.

Love the leaves and blooms!

I’m simply too busy catching up. The world has also changed with all major events rushing over us. The seasons have changed. We have fall season here in Ontario already, and I jumped over the summer completely. Half of the summer I was suffering from bad pain due to an accident and so I couldn’t do anything else, but read. As you know, I read only real books since I would love to spend no time online and no time staring at screens. I’m not addicted to devices and I use them only if absolutely necessary.

Cucumber blooms, delicate shape, beautiful color!

Nothing much has happened also during the last 3 months. I’m still just at home here, haven’t seen anybody, haven’t been anywhere. The garden I started in spring was doing ok, but we basically had no rain, none whatsoever all summer. Well, there were too many cucumbers and I have too many tomatoes at the moment. I don’t feel like making preserves this year and I also don’t have jars.

Summer colors

The internet and everything being online has made life extremely complicated. Dealing with paperwork isn’t easy and I plain and simple hate paperwork, just like many other people. However, I don’t think there are many people who didn’t get married because of paperwork. I managed that, back in Europe, and I was actually very happy later that I didn’t get married. It’s because the distance of time revealed the true face of that person.

Black-eyed beauties

The other thing I absolutely cannot take is meetings. It’s supposed to be great attending meetings, but I just dislike them so much that if you want to never see me again, just invite me to some meeting. This is because during the soviet times, up to 1991 while Latvia was in the USSR, we were always in meetings, preparing pointless and useless reports, plans and schedules. The paperwork was overwhelming and, I have to admit I have missed probably a lot of good opportunities since they required plenty of paperwork. I simply do not apply to shows, art associations, exhibitions and so on.

Middle of summer

Living is tight for most people nowadays. My ability to do numerous things on my own helps. Being a good cook helps, too. However, it’s been so much cooking while staying only at home that I’ve lost the spark for doing that. Thankfully, I’ve never changed my size or weight after 21, therefore, I have a wide choice of outfits. I am wearing pants I had sewn in 2004 when I just arrived in Canada, jackets and skirts from 90-s. I have sewn them myself, therefore, the fabric is excellent and doesn’t wear out or lose color like the readymade clothes.

More of flowers, more color

While I am on some social media sites, I really cannot stand them. Facebook is a necessity for art classes and other art events, but the most I can spend there is about 5 minutes a week. I just look at Facebook, and it takes no time at all to become nauseated. I think I was already too old when social media became a must for whatever we want to promote and put out there, so I never felt social media as an organic part of me. I lack that chatty style and I’m way too realistic and honest to spread lies shamelessly. I never engage in small talk either, also in real life. Or give out fake compliments. Or watch weird videos.

Hibiscus bloom

Nothing of that makes my life better, therefore, as I mentioned before, I rather read real books. Or some blogs, or my own blogs. The problem is that most people don’t have time to even look at the actual post. They click on “like” from Reader and then leave a comment – please, visit my site. While I have quite many followers, I know well those few who read my posts. I hope I will stay in touch and be more present during the upcoming months, but my art site and art blog definitely take priority since art is what I do, and I want it to stay that way. Making income with art is very tricky. It’s also time- and resource-consuming business. Well, time will show how I survive doing what most people would say is a futile effort.

Start and finish in bright yellow, it sure is going to brighten somebody’s day!

Meanwhile, I’d like to remind that time is a river, and it never gives us back anything. Float, swim or fight the flow – that’s up to each one of us. As long as we are above the water, we can do lots.

Have a decent fall season!

Featured

Blooms of life

The early spring, blooming spring, rainy days and sunny days: they all have passed by so swiftly that it’s almost the first day of June. I stretched the non-publishing time for so long, I’m practically annoyed how I couldn’t find any free hour to quickly post something. Well, I’m somebody who needs to think everything over, and then I just type.

Wildflower fields in my park
And garden flowers

Every season carries something admirable and worth experiencing, but the blooms of spring, they are like a fresh breath from another world: quiet and peaceful world where nothing makes us think of wars and storms, approaching troubles and old age. Blooms of spring and blooms of life, they are the mysterious messengers of the view behind the bend and life beyond the visible and perceptible world. Colors? Absolutely breathtaking, pure, clean, bright.

A bit earlier in May
This view was from just a few days ago

When we moved over to this old house, we didn’t even suspect how big is the parkland which surrounds it and how many old trees are growing here. I have wildflower fields on my own for the time I will spend at this place, and even quite a few wild strawberry patches. Moving isn’t the best part of life, but then again –  every single day I’m discovering here something.

I also violets, all over the place

While park, plants, blooms and trees belong rather to a fairyland, life hasn’t been that easy. One task rushes the other, and the evening comes up with a total exhaustion. Getting fresh air isn’t bad and working in the garden or rather, digging soil daily to create a garden, assures I have lots of physical exercise. Too much at times. However, the seeds I not that long ago have put in the soil have started result in neat tiny seedlings and some have become almost teen plants.

Wild strawberries in front yard and deeper in the park

I couldn’t help myself again, it’s that Latvian urge to always have a garden, always plant and harvest something. I was well aware how tough it will be to dig a forest practically. Yet, the visible results are very promising and encouraging. I have also many private classes this season, therefore it happens so that I’m too tired to write down a line. I am adding a few pictures, but most are left out because the post would become too huge. These are the blooms of my current life. Nothing extreme, but certainly endlessly beautiful.

Pansies in fantastic blue
Pansies in fantastic blue color
And purple irises which I found under leaves when raking

I hope you are looking forward to a good summer. I know I am.

It’s not my regular posting time, but I know that I won’t have time during the day.

All the best and thanks for reading if you did!

Our new place – charming house with private park

It’s been 2 weeks since most of our belongings were moved over to the current location in Pickering Village. It is an interesting area which definitely stands out with old, attractive buildings. It has the flair of an historic village and there are numerous centuries-old trees. While the house we moved to features lovely living room which I am using for art purposes since it’s big, much bigger than my previous studio, it is a compact place. The woodwork has been preserved, and that gives extra character to staircase, doors and tiny-pane windows. What the place lacks in comfort, it has in abundance when it comes to uniqueness and character.

We have moved numerous times, too many to count actually. This by far was the absolutely worst and most difficult move. It stretched over 2 weeks or 6 days when the actual truck loading and unloading took place. Moving my belongings is a very complex matter. Hundreds of paintings need to be packed very safely and separately and so they must travel also. Paintings accounted for a full truckload. Moving to a smaller or noticeably smaller place is also an issue. All of a sudden, there is no place for anything. Add to that hired help who pack up all garbage and puts in one box socks and computer parts.

All room plants were responsible for one more truckload. There is absolutely no comfortable place for them at the moment, but I did my best. My hope is that over the spring and summer I can come up with solution. I just might. As it appears, thanks to my sewing skills, I have plenty of clothes – countless coats, sweaters, jackets, dresses and everything else. My husband also loves good quality outfits, so moving that all is always problematic. I have abnormally many books. While packing, I got so tired that I simply gave away about 120 of them, the ones which I don’t intend to read again. I have 3 monitors with 2 computers, husband has 3 monitors with his desktop. Imagine the piles of cords, connectors and wires? Although I had labeled everything so that I recognize it right away, no helpers did that. Somebody labeled frozen food box: pasta. It went bad.

It was about 16 truckloads of which almost one full load went back into garbage. That’s how great our help was.

But it’s over! The absolutely worst part when one has no clue where what is (thanks to guys throwing everything in a pile with no regard to where these things go) is a history. Kitchen is set up, our bedrooms are almost set up, music room needs organizing and art studio requires more work, too. However, I got my art supplies and I can start painting soon.

There is no garden to speak of, except it looks like a few flowers at the back door. The rest is like forest. I call it my private park because it’s huge. If I want to take a stroll outdoors, I just walk in my own park. I can see there a few huge, ancient oaks, a few tall maples, couple of firs, not sure what other trees are.

I was very sick during the moving adventures. I got sick 2 times actually, not with COVID, but I am sensitive to lots of things. I’m not sure yet if I can make here any garden, like I said, it’s mostly a forest-type of outdoors. There must be roots all over. The front part looks more promising, but it will require lots of extra soil. We moved out when there was snow on the ground and even snowstorm one day. I might get my rare plants from the previous place, and I might not. That I don’t know yet, even though the agreement says I can when the soil thaws. We will see when it is warmer. I have wildflowers here, and right now snowdrops have come up. White tiny snowdrops currently make up all my outdoor garden. It will take some time to get used living here. I cannot wait when the weather becomes warm. Until then, still lots to do. I have chronic exhaustion at the moment. Slowly, my energy will come back. The sunnier days, the better I will be.

I wasn’t having internet for about 2 weeks, no computer. TI never use phone for blogging, so that explains why I disappeared for a while. But you knew that, I’m sure you did that I won’t be blogging because of this move-of-the-century.

Have a great spring and thanks for reading!

Holding my breath and looking forward to better times

In the small while between my previous post and now, the whole world has changed. Just a month ago, nobody would believe the abnormal tragedies which are happening right now. Such disrespect for human life, such absolute disregard for the rest of the world! CNN news told: nobody expected this Russian invasion to happen. Wrong: people, who have experienced Russian invasion before, were certainly convinced that it doesn’t stop with demonstration of power and capabilities of armed forces. Who were they kidding with announcements of military exercises while drawing immense numbers of troops around Ukraine? Not me, I can say that much.

The warfare also takes place close to Latvia, Latvia has a 214 km long border with Russia and approximately 173 km long border with Belarus. It runs partly along the Daugava river. It was announced that Belarus has “de facto” given up its border with Russia, meaning, willingly and “de facto” joined Russia which was to expect. The current situation isn’t about Ukraine alone. Playing with the fire is probably a good description of this moment. When you are dealing with a power-driven aggressor, who seems to pretty much lost his mind and is ready to sacrifice not only lives of other nations, but also Russians, many of whom are against the war, against totalitarianism and unfair invasions, the threat becomes global. At this point, it feels like the world has to be on one side or the other: if you are not with, you are against.

I keep exchanging information with my family in Latvia daily. They see sooner what’s happening in Ukraine and they know people who are involved directly in fighting the Russian army over there. Can one be cautiously and moderately opposing an insane powerful aggressor like Putin? Absolutely not. The input should have been faster, more urgent and more decisive. It’s too late to discuss the delays now. It is remarkable, though, how much financial restrictions can do. Cutting off the finances will have an impact, also inside Russia.

Prayers are great, but you beat power with more power since they don’t understand other language. Let’s see how the talks between Russia and Ukraine end and what happens in the next days. I’ve been thinking how 10 bucks helps a lot more than simply wishing somebody well.

We all deserve blue sky and peace

My blog is not about politics. It has never been. I became abhorred to politics during more than half of century while Latvia was occupied by Russia and within the Soviet Union. We hoped the freedom will be never again threatened by superpowers.

Back to Ontario, Canada. If you read my art blog, you know that I am packing and preparing to move my art studio and house again. That’s what happens in a greed-driven economy. Huge number of houses will be for sale this spring. Statistics show that housing prices have gone up 10 times between 1996 and now. The houses themselves are not any better, at least in this particular, previously very industrial area: bad drywall design with small windows, low ceiling and tiny rooms which honestly should be just one decent size room. We are moving to an older building which lacks some conveniences, but has character and huge backyard. It is also a commercially zoned property.

The most recent painting, and most supplies are in boxes now

It will be very problematic to find a place for everything. The biggest room goes to the art studio, and there’s hardly anything left for all other necessities. We might be suffering during the hot and humid summer days and we might feel restricted because of extremely tight space, but for now, this is the best solution in a bad situation. It takes me about 1 month to sort through and pack everything and about as long to re-arrange and unpack everything. We intend to be in the new place by mid-March, and I should be ready to start art classes in the first weeks of April.

I don’t have much time for social media or advertising, straight the opposite, in fact, but it would have been great to sell a few paintings. As you know, any moving comes with big expenses. It’s been 3 years without much interaction in the art studio. Who can see my art online? Very limited number of people. Among them, almost everybody paints and sells art. Do the math.

I live for the spring, for the moment when nature wakes up

The globe is divided. Stay on the right side! I wish for a clear spring sky over any place, any country. Will that come true? Time will show. For now, we are all in this: supporting the honest fight, supporting the freedom and future from bad intentions and actions. History has shown that the good guys frequently win at the end. The price they have to pay for that is another matter. It’s not enough to hope and pray now. This situation requires active involvement. Far as you may be, nowadays weapons and cyberattacks have immense reach. Most of us, will get through this unscathed. Ukraine is a different story, and we will stay on their side as much as possible. Great to see the support, donations, all kinds of aid.

Meanwhile, I’m going through my personal issues. Winter always makes me sick, quite literally. Therefore, I’m trying to make use of any day which allows staying pain-free or almost pain-free. It would be strange to hope that pain goes away completely after breaking and crashing practically all major bones which are in the body. I do celebrate my second birth around this time because it was quite a miracle to survive the injuries, although it’s already 30 years since that happened. I do remember mom as it’s been 3 years since her passing. Last day of February: I’m happy it’s over. I never liked winter and always lived for the wakeup in March and April.

Never without flowers, they inspire the best in us

Be well wherever you are! Thanks for reading if you did!

Emotions and feelings in winter colors

We’ve been frequently mentioning how important it is to stay calm, relaxed and keep our mind clear. When things go our way and nothing bad shatters our daily routine, everybody is fine. Yet, life is always a mix of all kinds of events. That means, time to time, crisis is inevitable. Usually, the scale of crisis differs: it can range from personal and individual to global, as it has been for the last 2 years.

One good indicator of mental health is staying well and managing your life properly in good times and in bad times. All generations get to experience a crisis, whether personal, local, country-wide or global. There are no exceptions, however, severity of crisis might be at distinct levels. Severity of crisis is a mental assessment we create for ourselves. Therefore, our reaction could range from panic and feeling of being destructed to quiet planning of preventive measures and execution of them.

Older people generally would take on events in a calmer manner because of their previous experiences. When we are past 60, we’ve seen, heard and experienced a lot. We know that the world owes us nothing, this is us, who act, react and decide. Statistically, we could have an average person in every group of temperament and personal features, but in reality – reactions are as many as there are people on Earth.

Our thoughts are slower than our emotions hence emotions take their roots in subconscious experience and depth of brain and body system interactions. It’s quite impossible to calculate the exact chemical brain processes and the precise amounts of all countless neurotransmitters which accompany one or another emotion and do that for an exact level. As humans, we are either upset, depressed, exhausted or happy, satisfied and altogether fine.

Passion and engagement play a big role when it comes to turning our desires into reality. We use to say: to the bottom of my heart. That’s exactly what matters. If you wish for something just because you were told that repeating some affirmations is what takes you closer to achieving whatever you want, it’s unlikely to happen. This depends on the degree of your passion and whether you feel it, whether your emotional state is an exact match in intensity.

Curses and wishes come true not because of the words, they come true because the involved emotions hit sky-high intensity. Bad emotions, like rage, envy, anger, hate or good emotions like admiration, excitement, joy and elation, they all matter more than words. The deeper and stronger the emotion, the more impact on our life. The more we reside in one emotional state, the more it is going to affect us. Change is good, even when it doesn’t feel right and being the best one.

So, who is feeling better about the pandemic and who manages its impact better: a person who is in a total rage and hates masks and lockdowns to the bottom of their heart, or a person who believes it’s way easier for everybody to just increase their immune reaction via vaccines and stay out of social gatherings for the common good? Some people find it nothing extremely unpleasant or difficult, some – as the highest sacrifice. Sure, the frontline workers face the worst, but there are millions of personal situations, and everybody of us individually always has a choice. We make it for better, or for worse, but, indeed, there’s is a choice. If you say, you don’t have any, I don’t believe you. Depending on situation, we have less or more choices, but in the worst case – at least one.

My personal world has shrunk a lot during these more than two years. I haven’t been too active, and usually during the winter, I am not. It’s not even pandemic, it’s just me. It is my choice because I could have been doing a lot more, yet, my energetic storage feels empty and my motivation is at a low point at the moment. This all changes over the year and reaches the top during warm and sunny months. It’s a good time to contemplate, plan ahead, and here and there, take a few steps towards executing my plans.

To raise the energy levels, we really need to be outdoors more – get some clean and healing air, watch birds in sunny days, enjoy squirrels working and playing unstoppably. We had a bad storm last weekend, and the weather is very chilly, it reaches minus 20 Celsius. I hear kids screaming and playing outdoors, and this sounds very pleasant to me. As soon as the air temperature raises a bit, I will resume the outdoor walks.

The room plants are doing great this winter. Well, they have my full attention. It’s a pleasure too look at them, and I never stop admiring the winter blooms, the bright green of leaves and their wonderful, gracious shapes. Room plants feel like a great green oasis in almost every room. They certainly help with air and mood, as well.

Altogether, I think emotions affect life more than our thoughts and words. For observant people, that shouldn’t be any news. We do mask emotions often because nobody wants to appear harmful and destructive to others. However, in everybody’s life, we can see also moments when their emotions come through and they reveal their true nature. I hope you know people who simply make you feel good without saying a word. I hope you have met somebody whose closeness doesn’t require you to speak to feel comfortable and safe.

Whether we know it or not, the emotional aura walks ahead of us and signals to others who we are. It’s good if you are a magnet to good people and push away the dishonest and evil ones. On subconscious level, we do not make choices with our mind, but with who we are. The true selves. Thankfully, being honest and genuine is always rewarded. One can pretend behind a screen, hide under their online image, create absolutely stunning internet personality, but time comes and the true colors become visible. That’s the power of emotions. They break through the protective layers and reveal the truth.

Last night I got news, that we have to move again. So, it’s been moving and moving, and now – once more. I hope for April, but that remains to be seen.

All the best until I decide to write more!

Featured

Late November

The rusty gold of leaves and rushing winds

Majestic clouds race in the brilliant blue.

Late November. Still sparkling, but

The winter will erase the colors.

The human nature –

It wants to hold, to keep, stick tight,

To grab, to hug and have it safe

And never say good-bye or part.

Yet, by design it all is

Loosing, letting go, releasing,

Forgetting, giving up and separating,

And making space.

Late November. I’m picking up one leaf.

All glory of the fading colors in just one maple leaf.

I place it in a book. I am so human.

I know I can’t, but I am trying to preserve the beauty.

Maple leaves

My Life School blog was never only about gardening, green living and growing our own food. I actually started it to publish my writing, life philosophy and stories about surviving aging in a great way, for instance, never gaining extra weight, maintaining bright and good memory and doing things in spite of some health conditions which crawl upon us after 60.

I paint beautiful and light-filled art because my life has been very difficult and painful at some stages back in Europe. That’s to keep everything in balance.

I write thought-provoking and visually-perceivable poems and reminiscent stories since I’ve spent almost 50 years in Europe and the recent 17 years in Canada. Life was very different back in Europe from what it is here in Canada. My articles frequently compare many sensitive areas of both lifestyles.

Red leaves

I dealt with medical research for 4 decades, and these discoveries, too, find their way into this blog. Finally, my strength is visual art and I’m trying to always publish great photos. You can find all of these specific areas if you look at the menu and choose one particular item.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a good transition into late fall and winter.

Life in grey scale with fall colors on mind

Most days of our lives do not have the lovely sparkle of happiness, and, luckily, they are not spent in the dark gloom of troubles and desperation either. Most of us go on, catching up with the ever-changing world and local developments. Neutral is good because it spares you stresses and saves from extremes. However, we sort of do not want to admit it and do not want to be there, yet, we are. It says, no news is fine, as long as there is no bad news.

The daily duties, the daily chores: it would be so much easier not to do the same over and over again. Last year around this time, it felt even more upsetting because we have some resolution of the pandemic coming our way now. Hopefully.

Red maple leaves

My motivation is low these days when it comes to blogging. I noticed how my old blogger friends post also not that frequently. The article we post gets some attention one or two days, and then nobody cares any longer. It feels like if it isn’t posted straight this moment, it’s not interesting, it’s lost importance or any actuality. That’s not true at all since good articles are meaningful and worth re-reading any time.

I have run in big website issues with people trying to harm it. Therefore, after getting in huge trouble two times when I thought I’d just follow back somebody who followed my sites, I don’t do that now. Especially, that refers to sites which want to post links and as if invite you to check out their site. The addresses looked ok, and, yes, they were on WordPress platform. For how long? Who knows, maybe just long enough to catch more trusting people.

So, I’m sticking with these bloggers who I have known for more than a decade since I started blogging. I’ve never had any great success with this or the other blog because I could never push publishing to the point of posting every second day. As you know, I have two blogs to attend, and the art blog definitely takes priority. It’s not that I have made much money off it, but it still gives me visibility in the broad and extensive art scene, especially the local one. To create new content for art blog takes me about two weeks, sometimes longer since I’m trying to always post new images and updated content.

Last fall blooms

Life is very fast moving ahead. We have fewer and fewer moments to just sit back and enjoy the day’s accomplishments. I still get done a lot because I’m not hooked on scrolling through the internet for hours or checking the very boring social media sites. Ever since they started adjusted the content to what one liked before and what gets most attention, it became almost intolerably one-sided story. There are by any means better ways to stay in touch with people who are physically far away.

This brings me to masses and public engagement. I’ve never been the one to like what some million of others have already liked. I will rather leave my comment under something good which hasn’t got any attention. I do that because good content slips through cracks thanks to engagement-based display of everything on any site. It makes me upset to no end sometimes.

The only print-on-demand site where I have my art is Fine Art America. I joined about a decade or so ago. The first art I posted certainly has gotten more views, but the sad part is that because of engagement rating, no new paintings and art get seen, only the old ones.

Autumn trees

I also do not know why there are viral posts or images, I’ve never seen one. It’s probably because I intentionally skip whatever is thrown at me and definitely don’t join the massive numbers of followers.

I’d love everything to be unique. Unique as our finger prints, DNA and iris of the eye. Unique as pattern of veins on a leaf or every single bloom. I’d love that individual and one-of-a-kind remain the most important. I’d love that we can stay who we are without being flown down the pipe with numerous others who is called “everybody”. It’s never true that everybody does this or that, watches the same, consumes and wears the same and enjoys it, too. But it is the main approach.

Late autumn leaves

Well, we have a choice. Always.

Good weather, bad weather, great outcome or none at all, it really matters very little if we have our own life assessment system and our self-worth doesn’t depend on the opinion of others. In case of things we cannot change, – we are able to change the way we view them. We are in the driver’s seat when deciding what’s of great importance to us.

The images show late fall colors in Ontario. Bright beauty before it all becomes the past. Enjoy while you can! Thanks for reading.