Complaints and confusion

That’s what my life feels like just now. I can’t relate the bits one to another.

In a little over a week I will fly to China to visit my daughter who lives there while she teaches English to Chinese business men. I will stay 10 days in Shanghai, where she moved to just days ago. Before that she was in the south of China in Guang Zhou, an industrial city.

The thought of China is just a tiny bit alarming. I have been reading on the internet about how people bump into you and push ahead when shopping or getting on public transportation. I wonder whether my credit card will work there, and if not how I get cash. My granddaughter, Katy, is going with me. I will be glad to have her along to navigate.

The Memorial Day artists’ tour of Lummi Island is about to happen and I have signed up this time to be on it. I spent a couple of days completely cleaning my studio and rearranging things to get ready.

My studio with exhibited work

I am trying to get my presses in functioning order so that I can do some demonstrating.

My presses

I wonder whether it was worth the effort. In general art does not sell well.

My little rental unit is taken this weekend and next. I am arranging for guests. This weekend I have people coming from Princeton, N. J. It makes me just a tiny bit tense — I worry that it won’t suit them, that my ad on VRBO has made them think it’s better than it really is.

One of my children is having grave problems in his life. I stay awake at night troubled over the situation.

I had the dogs groomed. They look like little shorn black sheep.

After the doggie hairdresser

The groomer scolded me because their fur had grown so long. She said if I let it go that long again she will have to charge me more.

Before the doggie hairdresser

I thought, if I pay a person $80 to spend a couple of hours clipping and washing two tiny dogs I shouldn’t have to be lectured to. I think I will find a new groomer.

Jerry and I have stayed in our Condo several times lately and we have finally had a few chances to walk in the park. There is a beaver in the pond (I saw it) and I saw the eagle’s nest. A man with a telescope told me there is a barred owl nest with babies in it along the path. It’s a lovely park. My country dogs think they must bark fiercely at every city dog they see — and they see a lot of them in that park.

Here’s a short walk through the park — Whatcom Falls Park.

The gravel path

Going uphill

Deeper into the woods

By the pond

Across the bridge

The bridge was a WPA project

The bridge crosses Whatcom Falls

They were looking at the falls

The Creek

Stairs in the woods

Birds in the trees

On Skudder Pond

Reflections on Scudder Pond

I am taking a course in water color figure drawing, and I took a weekend workshop with my friend Lorna Libert whose work I admire. I have 5 unfinished oil paintings.

My knee still hurts and I am waiting impatiently to finalize my teeth implants. I don’t like the gap, and the temporary insert, the “flipper,” is miserably uncomfortable so I don’t wear it much.

It is almost June and we still have to heat the house. All the flowers and vegetables are retarded in their growth because it has been so cold and rainy.

My bird feeders are overrun with starlings, and there are fewer of the bright colored native birds. If I don’t put out food I don’t see any birds at all. What’s to be done?

Somehow I want all this to coalesce into some sort of reasonable pattern. But it stubbornly stays in scattered unrelated threads. The one really big worry, my child‘s distress, colors all the other parts of my life.

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16 Responses to Complaints and confusion

  1. wisewebwoman says:

    Oh I know that feeling of one child in distress overlaying everything else. I do hope it gets sorted, Anne and soon.
    As to the rest of it, your photos are so wonderful.
    And China will be grand, I am glad you are taking your granddaughter.
    As to your studio, oh my, I’d better never ever visit you. I’d have to be pried out with a crowbar!

  2. Worry over a loved one will shrapnelize your brain and your life. I don’t know any way to prevent it. Under the circumstances it’s nice of you to show us all those great pictures. And I recommend taking the scissors to your dogs your own self. It’s cheaper and the results are way more amusing.

  3. Mage B says:

    Sounds like life to me. I really understand. I have one daughter on the brink of something really awful….why write about it when this will make her dramatically angry at me. My art is frozen, my quilting halted, but my sonnets are fractionally better than doggeral. Pop that flipper in and go tell the dentist it doesn’t fit. Then you are off with a new one to China. Have a ball.

  4. Kay Dennison says:

    I understand how you feel and am keeping good thoughts for you. All your glorious photos were/are a mood brightener for me as I try to rest and get ready for my trip!!!!

  5. Tabor says:

    At my end I finally had to turn on the AC. I hate that because it mutes the bird song. So instead of cool weather you could be hot and humid! I love where you can walk. That place is golden!

  6. Annie says:

    They’ve said it all, I second what everyone else is saying! The park pictures are wonderful—what a fabulous getaway. I recently saw a documentary, Winds of Heaven, on the Canadian artist Emily Carr and it was wonderful to soak in all those images of west coast rain forest and native art. A mother’s work is never done, I wish you and your son peace soon.

    The starlings have taken over my birdfeeder too, but I think it is more because all the other birds are otherwise engaged, with nestlings and fresh wild food elsewhere. The baby starlings are out of their nests now, I see them smashing into my windows.

  7. Jean says:

    I’m sure your trip to Shanghai will be memorable and take your mind for a while off all the inevitable pains of life, both large and small. I went there a couple of years ago on a brief, work-related trip. Didn’t particularly look forward to visiting what I knew was a crowded concrete and neon megalopolis. Well, it is, but I found so much to love: the energy and history of the place were ever-present and, even in the considerable heat which you may already encounter at this time of year (I went in May), it was a very exciting and enjoyable trip. I’m sure you won’t miss the fabulous Shanghai Museum or a trip through the flat, watery countryside to one of the nearby small, traditional ‘water towns’ (for contrast with the big city). The Shanghai Municipal History Museum in the basement of the Television Tower was also a highlight for me – historical tableaux of the city, with waxworks; it could have been kitsch and awful, but it’s atmospheric and captivating, excellently done and choc-full of original and fascinating historical costumes, domestic and industrial artefacts. And the wonderful food. And just walking around, seeing and feeling both tangible and intangible traces of the past in the ever-changing present. And so much, much more that you will have more time to see than we did.

  8. Ernestine says:

    You have such a rich life.
    Your trip to China – you will enjoy
    I would like to visit my son in Thailand
    maybe it will happen…
    I understand about how it affects
    our heart when our child is having difficulty
    I have 4 and nothing keeps me awake
    like when this is happening
    Best wishes in all areas sent to you.
    The images are beautiful….

  9. jt says:

    Your visit to China should present you with the opportunity to see some spectacular and unusual animals. For a wonderful preview of China’s wildlife (and much more of the country and the culture than what you will find in Shaghai), watch the DVD “Wild China.” Your public library probably owns a copy, and if not, I am sure you can purchase a copy in town.

    Try to get out of the city if possible. What a wonderful trip to make. Enjoy it, and of course, bring back plenty of snaps!

  10. Pauline says:

    Even in the midst of your angst over your son, you’ve managed to find and share the beauty around you. That’s a good sign. We can do no better thing than to be there for our children, whether they are small or full grown. Somewhere inside him he knows you care and that will be a lode stone for him.

    Enjoy China! Enjoy your granddaughter! Tell us all about it when you return. Good luck too, with the art house tour. I’m with WWW – you’d have to throw me out bodily.

  11. maria says:

    I sure know what it’s like to have a worry over one’s child seep into every other aspect of one’s life. China sounds exotic, hence alarming in some ways, but it’s likely to be such a wonderful adventure. Look forward to hearing about that in your future posts here. Meanwhile, have a great trip!

  12. Betty says:

    Hi Anne – glad your granddaughter will travel with you. I hope worry over your son won’t spoil your visit with your daughter. Your dogs were NOT all that overgrown! What nerve! You remind me to blog about my visit to my vet [ex?] last week. Your photographs are so beautiful and I want your condo walk – please forward as soon as possible! When you return from China maybe the birds will be waiting for you? I have the same problems here and my furnace is also on. This too shall pass. Good luck showing your work. Safe journey – look forward to your photos.

  13. Hattie says:

    A serene old age? When does that happen?

  14. Lucy says:

    Have a good trip. Seems to me you’re creating a lot of pattern.

  15. Betty says:

    thinking of you …

  16. Chris says:

    I would second all that has been said before. I hope you have a wonderful trip and take lots of pictures. Your park pictures are lovely.

    I groom my poodles myself to save money. It’s not an easy job and when the dogs hair is long it is more difficult to do and easier to nick the dogs. Your dogs didn’t look long haired but it really depends on the condition of the hair. You couldn’t pay me enough to do other people’s dogs too.

    Bon voyage!

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