Wednesday, 14 August 2013

a monster fub

Sometimes I wake up and am an unrecognizable person.

I may go through the motions, but even wearing my clothes and using my toothbrush doesn't fool anybody.

Ben will see and recognize at once that there is something amuck.

He will take action.  He will send me back to bed.  I will grumble but he will insist.

I will emerge an hour later recognizable once more as me.

I haven't been feeling like me lately.  I have had a hard summer.  I might even say that I have had a hard 5 years.  It's been five years where I have not felt like myself and have struggled to find my identity while being inundated by new and challenging responsibilities.  I've had moments of joy and clarity, but a lot of the time I feel as if I am struggling in the dark.
I am a lucky and blessed woman, and I know it.  But sometimes I struggle. I suppose everyone does, though. I shouldn't complain.  But sometimes life weighs on a person.
There are two things in life that keep me goin' and one's named Owen and the other's named Angus.  Or 'Beef' as his uncle calls him.

Also, I wouldn't trade the hard times for easy times. I like what my struggles have made me.

Today I am taking Owen to his therapy riding lesson. Fingers crossed that it helps him progress..!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

in a nutshell

This is what my life's been like the past while:

laundry: mountains of it.  (and none of it put away).
thunderstorms.  sooo many of em. Trying to teach my kids about thunder and lightning.  The other day Angus and I stood and watched the storm with the door open.  he was so dear and fascinated.

making food. trying to think of new ways to tempt my children to eat vegetables.

workouts! There is a guy here who does free fitness camps, and he gave me a list of exercises to do each day.
Ben has been working soo much, what with his window washing business and his job at the mine, and I find myself feeling like Bilbo Baggins sometimes (like butter spread over too much bread).  But this next weekend I have something to look forward to, 'cause mudsy and pops and my sister labee are coming for stampede weekend!! LOVE STAMPEDE WEEKEND.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

post vacay blues

Ben and I had been planning a trip to Edmonton/Lethbridge for a long time. Finally, two weeks and a bit ago, we went.  It was really fun. Two weeks of fun and exciting things, with nary a chore in sight.


well, now it's time to face up to them.  I have been home for 4 days now while Ben's been at work, and the chores have been nudging me irritatingly in the ribs.  I feel rebellious about it all.

But it's no use.  Somebody has to do it.  Owen's cache of clean underwear will be depleted by tomorrow.
I am not cut out for housecleaning.  I did NOT get my mom's gene.  When I am rich, I am getting a maid! yeah.

Also, I've got two commissions that need to be finished, like yesterday.  I quite like the one I'm working on right now. I'll hopefully finish it tonight (gulp) and then I'll take some pics.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

To a Mudsy

I know this mothers day post is a couple days late. But I wanted to write one so bad ever since I did one for I figured, late is better than nothing.

twinfub and I at an early age--5 or so-- came up with the name 'mudsy' for Mom, and it somehow stuck.  She is Mudsy.

The term 'Mudsy' has come to embody certain things to all us children of hers.  Mudsy likes to wear blue plaid, over-sized shirts and has any number of them in her closet.  Mudsy also likes to wear huge, soft, pink sweaters that engulf her neck. (I cannot wear anything soft and pink without feeling as if I have suddenly morphed into my mom).  Mudsy has been known to shuffle around the house in giant husky slippers that barked.

Mudsy is an incorrigible fumfurrer.  (That word probably means exactly what you think it means).  She fumfurs unapologetically day and night, puttering around finding more and more things to do while others wait  with amused impatience.

Mudsy's eyes will fill with tears at the smallest sign of anything heartwarming. Mudsy's heart is so warm and soft that anything that can touch it, will.

When Amytwin and I were little, Mom would occasionally lose patience with us. (although as the last two out of 12 children, we got the considerably more patient mom, I imagine).  Anyways, it was such a rare occurence for our soft-spoken mother to raise her voice, that we were usually shocked right out of our bones.

We would actually be quite scared, but the shock of it usually had the backward effect of making us burst into laughter.

By this time we'd be rolling on the floor, each feeding off of the other's energy.

Mudsy could not keep a straight face.  Her stern look would melt away and to her consternation, I'm sure, she would invariably join in.  Mom has such a bubbly, delightful laugh.  It would just make us laugh harder.  She said we wouldn't let her stay mad at us.

Mudsy thinks of Amy and I as her babies, still.  She stands up to our defense at the most funny, endearing times.  Like when we are being teased by our brothers and sisters, and are totally and completely fine--probably even enjoying it a little--Mudsy will stand up for us, worried that our feelings might be hurt.
Mudsy taught me how to be a Mom.  She came and stayed with me two weeks after I had Owen.  She fumfurred around and kept my house clean, helped me give him his first bath and showed me how to burp him and change him.  When the day came for her to leave I sobbed and sobbed, alone in my room.  Mom came and found me in the dark and hugged me.   "I can't do this without you," I wailed.  She told me I could.  She made me feel like I was a good mother.  The next day, I found a 4 page letter on my pillow.  It was full of love and advice.  Some of the advice I still think about daily--4 years later. I keep that letter in a special place and read it when I need encouragement.  I am so grateful for my mom.

I remember after I dropped out of massage therapy school, and made the decision to take some creative writing classes at the local university.  Dad blundered about, disappointed that I'd quit the schooling that would have prepared me for an actual cut-and-dried career. (I understand his disappointment and don't blame him in the least--I kinda wish I'd stuck it out now too).  But anyways, it stung. I hated thinking Dad was disappointed in me.  Mom found me in the sewing room, and, fighting back tears, I expressed all this to her.
"Well you know that I'm proud of you, right?" she said.
"Yeah," I'd shrugged, because I did, somehow, always know that.
"Well that's all that matters," Mudsy'd said complacently.

Mudsy taught me a few other things too--not by preaching but by just being her:
-She never once spoke bad about Dad.  Whenever I would come to her with complaints, she would never encourage me.  She always supported him.  They were (are) a real team. ( Dad was the same way--he didn't let any of us speak badly about mom).
-She was always aware of other's feelings...she never wanted to hurt anyone.
-She stood strong and bold throughout my demon teenage years, refusing to take offense at my uncivilized behaviour.  She knew it wasn't really me.  She met my angst with love and so bearded lion--or the fub--in it's den so to say.
-she taught me that being whimsical and charming can be better than being perfect.
-she taught me how to be creative.

And a million other things that I could tell you.  Mudsy is truly a gem of mudsies. She is quiet and a trifle reserved--once people get to know her they are always surprised at how wonderful and amazing she is.  I know I was raised by an exceptional mom.

love you mudsy!!

Friday, 26 April 2013

old family re-hyoonion drawings

For a while there we thought our computer might have died. but it is still alive.

But I am tired of writing about my computer.  Instead, here are some unpublished scribblings from last summer's family re-hyune (that is how ppl in my family inexplicably pronounce it). These didn't make the cut at the time because, frankly, they're not that in'neresting.  But I am desperate at the moment, what with all the hullaballoo with my computer lately.  So take it and enjoy it!  You got that?

Here we have Amy, Laura and myself snuggled under a thin blanket on the hard cold ground looking at stars.  side note: When Laura farts she calls it 'popping a bubbly'.  She shouldn't call it that. But she delights in it.

Oh.  And campfire singing. 'Hey Lottie' is a classic that usually turns into ingenious hilarity.

And this is Sarah patiently torturing my thick bush of hair into two neat french braids.  She braided everyone's hair.  Thanks Stott!

Looking at these makes me miss summer.  Especially last summer--so fun.  But a new summer is coming up fast! All day yesterday I had the windows open in the living room.  LOVE fresh breezes.  Nothing lifts a fub's spirits more.

Anyways, chew on these old illustrations while I work on a real post!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Hipster Baby vs Trucker Baby

I decided to just go ahead and write a post today, despite my GIMP woes and slow comp.  GIMP still runs, only with small files though.  It is liable to shut down without warning.  But I was able to pop out these two illustrations of my two chubbies:

The theme of today's drawings is: why do I yearn to dress Owen like a trendy hipster, but with Angus I only feel right dressing him in sweats like a trucker on his day off?


Isn't it interesting?  Aren't you riveted? I know.

This is a special day.  It is the anniversary of my birth (and other fub's), as well as that of my very first Chubby, Owen.  I didn't really do much, since Ben's working.  we plan on celebrating with family on Sunday.

Speaking of 'fub, she came and visited me the first week of April.  I want to--no, I AM going to write a post about it!!  So stay tuned.

Have a good week!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

good news/bad news

The bad news is my gimp program has stopped working on my computer and I am unable to download a new one for various and sundry boring reasons.  This is why I haven't been posting.  This blog is primarily a cartoon blog.  And now I can't make cartoons.

We're just going to have to bite the bullet and buy a new computer.  *sigh*.

The GOOD news is I finally just did it--after years of wanting to, I went ahead and ordered all the supplies I need to start block printing.  !!!

And one night while the kids were asleep, I took them out and began to experiment.

These are the first shapes I carved out--little rustic woodsy trees.  And some blobby bunnies.

Practicing on an old pillow case...

More practicing...

Getting a little better.  Except that the bunnies look nothing like bunnies, not bad huh? (if you ignore the uneven inkyness) (and the diagonal pine tree trunk)

By this time it was so late so I had to stop and go to bed.

I plan on printing curtains, pillow cases, duvet covers, and canvas totes!!

So excited.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

New Couch!

We bought a new couch with our tax return money!!  Isn't it beautiful??

Before anyone mentions the impracticability of having such a couch with toddlers about, let me put your mind at ease.  We talked to a saleslady who has a microfiber couch and she has 3 kids, and she uses a spray.  A very special spray for a very special couch.  It makes it so it doesn't absorb stains so you can wipe em right off.

Now that I've gotten all defensive about our new couch, I'm going to go now and prepare sharing time for tomorrow.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

the book battle

About once a year I get books out of the library.  I'm always like, 'why don't I do this more often?'

Then I got home and the books are sitting there, in my canvas bag, all inviting.  With a frisson of excitement I pick the first one off the pile.

"You want to go read?" Ben will ask if he catches me doing this.  His voice always sounds a trifle weary.

Probably because he knows that once I get started I can't stop.

It's Ok if he's home from work, but if I have a book I'm in the middle of, and Ben is working, well... :

Oh.  Right.

I literally have to tear myself from a good book. It's so hard!

But the guilt I feel at neglecting my children overrides it.  I have to wait for those precious few moments in the day when they are absorbed in something, like a movie or playing with trains.  Then I crack open the book again for a few stolen moments.  But they always catch me at it.  They do not like it when I read.

Lately Owen has taken to climbing onto my back like a monkey and slinging his skinny arms around my neck.  Then I have no choice but to crawl around my house and pretend to be a horse, with Owen's bony bum sliding around on my back and Angus' heft on my legs.

Some times I stop and wonder at my luckiness. There's no other way I could experience such love from these little hilarious lovable people.  Let's face it, (those who know me)--I suck with kids. At least, kids that aren't my own. I'm so glad I'm a Mom.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

life improvements

So  I'm not dead!  I am alive and well.  As well as somebody who has to wipe up pee several times a day can be.  (I am potty training Owen).  (I started out blithely and naively potty-training both Owen and Angus while I'm sure other veteran mothers snickered behind my back at my cute ideas.  After about a week we switched to just Owen.  Another of my ideals comes toppling down. Oh well).

Anyhow, this has been a time of change.  I've been feeling that urge to better myself, you know that feeling?  And right on cue my twin sister 'fub called me and we decided to be each other's workout buddies, aiding and abetting each other into getting into shape, or 'firming up', as we've put it.

This is me doing a move in t-tapp called 'primary back stretch'.  T-tapp is my workout of choice and I highly recommend it to others who need maximum results and have small amounts of free time.

Anyhow, it's been about a week and a half of regular workouts, and right on the mark other areas of my life come marching obediently into place as well.  This always happens.  With regular exercise it seems all areas of my life improve, or 'get into shape,' if you will, also.  The house is cleaner, I get 3 Xs more stuff done, I tackle projects that I've been putting off.

Look at them come marching sternly back into my life to whip me back into shape.

Somehow they turned out looking quite angry and menacing.

When I am in a phase like this, I always feel a surge of impatience for my other self.  It's so easy, just do it! I shout back in time to the me that spends days lounging around, doing the bare minimum, just existing.

Because without the surge of fresh oxygen and the heart-pumping blood vigorously through my veins, I tend to be somewhat of a slug.

Yes I am a slug in my natural form.

I get in ruts where I do the bare minimum--do the dishes, vacuum our small little rug, throw the clothes in the dirty laundry basket--and then have little-to-no motivation to do anything else.  I will try my best to pay attention to the kids--it is the only thing I have motivation to do--but I don't have the energy to give them what they want.  I end up spending days where I sit on the couch a lot, my body feeling too tired and heavy to move.  I don't want to do anything.

It feels awful, and I can only do it for so long.

These are the insidious fellows that keep me company in this state:

Oh and let's not forget weight-gain:

Although I have to say it is much harder to gain weight on the GAPS diet.  Actually I lost 20 lbs on this diet, with no exercise.  (But I had a lot of baby weight to lose).  But it is still possible to gain weight on this diet--not much, but it can happen!

You can see why I prefer to exercise regularly! The pros far outweigh the cons.  Not only do I look better, my whole life improves.

Speaking of which, I stepped out of the shower the other day, and guess what?  My hair was curly again!!

And it's been curly ever since.

The end.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Wintertime Ruts

I painted this commission before Christmas, and unexpectedly enjoyed putting a tractor on a canvas.  Every day mundane things can be so beautiful and pleasing to the eye.

Meanwhile, I haven't painted much since Christmas.  I finally raised the prices of the portraits I sell in my etsy shop.  It was time.  I was giving myself less than minimum wage for them, because I felt my experience was limited and I was just grateful for the opportunity to gain more of it.  But I feel like I have more confidence now in my ability and I need to put the correct value on the service I am rendering.

Anyhow, the wintertime rut hit me hard after Christmas.  It can be so hard to get motivated.  All you can do sometimes is keep trying.  My twin sister, amyfub, is coming to visit me in Feb.  We are already planning some art projects we are going to do together, so hopefully this will help heft me out of the hole I'm in.

Meanwhile, got some cartoons in my head--working on a few ideas.  Hopefully I'll have something to post tomorrow!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

NYE plus the christmas tree abduction

It's been a while!  But I am still alive.  Betcha missed my scribbly messy little drawings didn'tcha?

New Years Eve was a while ago now, but I drew these cartoons at the time, so here's a recap:
Mom and Dad came over a few days after Christmas and stayed until New Years Day.  I was really happy to have them there, especially for NYE, because Ben was working graveyards.

We decided not to go to any parties.  Instead, we stayed in and watched five straight hours of Little Dorrit.
I don't know how I stayed awake.  Ma and Pop had taken liberal naps throughout the day but I no longer CAN (totally bitter) because my kids no longer nap.

The next day I decided I should take down the Christmas tree.  My heart was not ready, but I did it anyways because that what my Mom always did.

But it was too soon.

It's hard for me to let Christmas go.  Luckily I didn't have the option of wallowing.  Instead I grabbed a pile of books and allowed both chubbies to scramble onto my lap and enjoyed their complete contentment at the attention I was giving them.

If I go through a day and the house is clean and I've been super productive, but hardly spent any time with my children, it feels like a failed day.   I feel great and really proud of myself if I've taken the time to spend quality time with my kids and helped them feel happy and loved.  This is something I am continuously learning.