Thursday, May 29, 2014


Today, I finished my month-long introductory meditation course.  It was a fantastic experience, enriching, stimulating and calming, all at the same time.

I learned so many things that my mind is fairly full to brimming with a simmering soup of spiritual ingredients: Buddha, mandala, affirmations, gratitude, freedom and harmony to name but a few.

I have re-discovered the pleasure of coloring.  Got myself a 60 pack of Prismacolor crayons that I've been using to color mandalas, doing mandala meditations. 


Monday, May 26, 2014

House Painting and Meditation

Yoga watercolor print via
Over the last three weeks, I have been spending a fair amount of time house painting.  My five gallons for this year are almost done. As painting a cedar house is a lot of work, I've divided the task into two five-gallon summers. I'm done painting all the surfaces I promised myself I would do but alas, there is almost a gallon left... I can't let it go, so I guess I may just have to get rid of the bottom of the 5 gallon container by starting on the lower half of  "The Big Wall". The big wall is the west side of our house that is two stories high.

Over the last three weeks, I've also been taking a meditation course every Tuesday and Thursday night.  Why talk about painting and meditation in the same post?  Well, painting has become a kind of meditation for me and it's been really good.

When you are painting a house outdoors you are well, spending time outdoors and the repetitive motion of covering thirsty wood with paint, getting it right, not painting over the lines is a meditative activity for me.  My mind is free of mundane details and monkey brain type of thinking.  Thus, I have relaxed and liberated myself from a lot burdensome useless thoughts not to mention, inhabited my body in a way that I haven't done in years.

Saturday, I was on the roof painting the chimney and various vents...

Next, I have to inserts slats into an 125 foot fence.  I hope this will feel meditative too, as opposed to  well, dull and boring.

Talk to you later.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I've been working outside since the mild weather came, painting the exterior of the house.  My five gallon pail is nearing its end which means that I'm almost done.  I'm doing half the house this year and the other half next year.  Sounds weird to stop midway,  but since there's a natural break caused by the Virginia Creeper covered south wall, it's hardly noticeable.

I can't post before pictures because my computer is indeed fried.  The good news is that I am getting a brand new Mac Book Pro, identical to my 16 month old fried computer for a very modest sum.  (Apple has been very generous in offering me compensation for the multiple visits to the Apple Store). V. had the foresight to back up all my files on a hard drive, but I don't want to download these on his computer.  He has been very good sharing his with me...

The front landscaping has been done but the dumpster is still on our driveway (the company is now one week late picking it up). The sod is greening and the plants are starting to feel at home.  Once the trim is painted, the front will be all done.
New interlocking brick

Paint: chimney is old blue and chocolate brown. Front: Grey Seas

Tuteur, made by my sister and her husband as a gift for Christmas

I am enjoying the hours spent every day painting and cleaning and sprucing up.  I have never enjoyed yard work this much.  The difference is, I have the time and energy to do it.  It most often feels like a gift: working out the kinks in my joints, strengthening my muscles and feeling the sun on my body are just the side effects, seeing our yard heave a sigh of relief after years of benign neglect is the most gratifying.

After the painting is done, we start work cleaning the garage and putting the slats into the new back fence.

I tell you, I am feeling muscles that I forgot were there.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

4 Phase Home Exterior Enhancement Project.

We have been living in our present home, our one and only, since 1983.  Over the years, with summer travel, we had neglected the general exterior of our home.  We are in our second year of our yard enhancement project as we began last summer with the construction of new decks in the back yard.

The house itself needs a paint job, garage needs deep cleaning and re-organizing and... the landscaping is looking very sad indeed.

Enter Eric and his landscaping team.  They have been stripping, digging, grading and tamping for the last three days and today, they are starting the interlocking brick pavements.

I've almost finished painting the front of the house and have half of the garage done.  I am doing 5 gallons of paint and two gallons of trim this summer and will see where that takes me. 

We've bought a couple of tall cedars to continue the back yard enhancement and purchased a new barbecue which was baptized last night making V. a happy boy.

Phases three and four will see us completing the house exterior paint and back yard landscaping.  This will be the last major outdoor enhancement project for us with this home.  We intend to stay put for another while and then will probably opt for a smaller, more easily manageable property.

Here is a photo of our new home in 1983. I'm in the middle with my in-laws. Notice the spruce baby.

Here is a more recent photo from Google Maps. I can't seem to locate a recent picture of the house... strange.  You can't see it, but the spruce is now 45 feet tall!

Here is our son D. breaking up the concrete at the bottom of the front steps. It's end of April but really cold, hence the toque.

Will show some after photos soon!