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Friday, January 28, 2011

Me and my shadow

Lady is much better. She's my little shadow and would crawl under my skin if she could. I took her drain out on Monday. She was so good and just sat there quietly, looking at me out of the corner of her eye while I pulled out a long plastic sausage. Hopefully, taking her sutures out will be as easy, as her hair has since grown back over her wound. She's lying next to me in my studio, listening to "The Priests", .....yawning....humph!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Poor little Lady

Lady has been following me arround for two days since her op. She has an incredibly high pain threashold in that despite looking like she's just come off the set of 'Saw', she bounced up and down in excitement when she got home.

Awww, poor little Lady!!!
Our little foxy has been walking around with a small cyst for ages. It recently got bigger but was actually again, getting smaller when I took her and her brother Tramp, to the vet the day before yesterday. Tramp's news is not so great. His condition is terminal..he's had Squamous cell carcinomas for a few years now but the condition is just getting worse and he will soon be meeting the other Vallance pet family.
Vets!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hmmmm. I wonder how many vets charge R80 just to SHAVE a little short-haired dog for an op?? (my son has a thick head of hair which takes around 4o minutes to wash and style and they charge him R65!)
The well-built no-neck that stood leaning against a counter while I shlepped my two little dogs in, and who obviously hates his job, hardly touched them....., not even making an attempt to help me restrain them or even get them onto the table for that matter. He never even got close to doing any type of examination on them, and then went on to charge me almost three hundred rand per dog for the privilege of his arrogant company (that's the sum total of I recieved).!!
Hell I get sooo agitated by peoples blatant misuse and abuse of power..the almost fraudulent way in which they conduct their business and themselves.
The initial quote was for R1273.........when I went to fetch was a whopping R3280. I categorically refused to pay that amount...the 'nurse' even arguing that it was not the 'normal' op for a cyst. I wasn't going to budge...and I'm even ashamed to say that I told them that they had just adopted a little foxy!!! Besides the fact that she looked as if she was wearing an interchangeable coat with a darn zipper..she was obviously very dehydrated and in pain.
So does a bill, inexplicably go from R3280 to R2000.......without an explanation.?
Who has been ripped off by this unscrupulous, unprofessional, @#$^$#%$#%$#?
What recourse is there to stop people from behaving this way...not only vets, but alllll 'professionals'?...especially if a government endorses this dodgy behavior with its own equally dodgy behavior?
I will not be taking her back to that evil, kak-handed butcher. I will be removing her drains myself as well as her sutures...and silently hope that he gets vomited on by a large Boer-bull, slips in the piddle of a Chitsu and falls face-first into the 1kg pancake of a Great Dane with Amoebic dysentery.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pumpkin anyone???

This morning, almost the first without rain in a while, I went for a stroll around our vegetable garden to do a pumkin count and generally just to see what all this rain has done.

Oh my word!!!!.....My pumpkin plants are huge!!!

I counted 28 pumpkins, just about ripe enough for picking and umpteen little ones as well as loads of big beautifull yellow blossoms.

I have tried for 13 years to grow a good crop of pumpkin, and this year, finally, we have a bumper crop.

Hmmm...pumpkin pie, pumpkin fritters, baked pumpkin, ............and thats the sum total of what I know. Of course, everyone is going to get a pumpkin too!! I will have to google a few recepes.

As for the rest, loads of Rocket, onions, sweet potato, a few mielies, tomatoes, onions, beans etc...all looking good. Thank you Lord for the rains and this good harvest.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New beginnings

I was sooo excited to find Cosmos in the garden!! Now to find some seeds for the dark pinks and white.

This is what I did today...I went for a walk. in a new teritory

I havent spent much time in the garden at all due to all the rain. Yesterday I discovered these.

Today, I was invited to one of Nor's advanced classes andI loved every minute. She is a good friend and now she's also my 'teacher' which is such a blessing to me. I think initially, she was reluctant for me to join because of it, but both of us just got on and did what we were there for. My artistic lights have begun flickering:o)

The last ink and jik painting I did was 'bleagh'...I ventured out the box a bit today and discovered that I actually could!!
What I did here was really a depiction of life evolving...growth and decay.... and I included some of the things (chosen from an array of items which were scattered all over the floor) which have meaning and presence in mine.

I wonder if anyone will get the gist of what I'm saying??

Monday, January 17, 2011

A new little table

This is the little table I got from Dave. It folds down and I think is really well made by his dad. Can't imagine this on a rubbish dumb! I now have an extra surface to work on:o)

My daughters boyfriend asked me if I would like a draughtsman's table which his dad made a few years ago, which he wanted to turf. It was wonkey and watermarked and really sad-looking, but I said yes.

I spent the day yesterday restoring it: filling holes with wooden toothpicks and 'Ponel' glue, knocking in nails and tightening screws and finally, lightly sanding it and putting on a mahogany wood preserve.

Why??? Because I feel that when someone makes something, they put an energy of 'self' into it....and that 'self ' is often motivated by something positive and good and often, its made in love. Placing things around you, meaningful things, which produce positive energies, create a positive environment and things made in love serve as a constant reminder of that love.

When I was young my dear and precious mom made so many clothes for us, knitted so many jerseys but when you're that age, there's not much you see other than something without a cool shop are not seeing the deeper meaning of anything. Now, whatever I have of my moms, made by her loving hands, is so precious to me.
I told Dave that this table will one day go to his great grand-children. And so it should.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hot dogs and Hubblies

I am not big on hot dogs at all these days but last night I made a pot full of 'willies' and sour kraut for supper.

Brandon was wearing a very appropriate t-shirt
The kitchen in the Vallance home was suddenly filled with energetic young people. Poor Dorelle, (Letitias mom in law) I think was a bit overwhelmed...but what an awesome lady!!!

Brandon, Dean, Armando, Ian, Vanessa, Muffie, waiting for supper. Wonderful young people

They eventually found a spot in the garden with the biggest Hubbly that Ive ever seen!
When I was pregnant with my son, I had a maid who was convinced that, due to the amount of Vienna's I was consuming, I was going to have a boy. Well I'm not sure what her predictions were based on....other than the shape of the food.....but we did have a boy.
I now don't often eat Vienna's as my daughter once found a little yellow chick feather (I used to breed bantams) in her chicken Vienna...which sent me into a state of terminal vomits!!
I had a friendly challenge with a friend, as to who's butcher makes the best Vienna's, and as I always vigorously rise to a challenge, we had a bet.
Last night we had a Vienna competition.
As we were preparing to eat, my daughter arrived with around eight of their friends, so what started off as a quiet little challenged, turned into a big noisy hot dog fest!
I lost the bet but gained the company of a wonderful bunch of young people who, as in the past, filled our home with raucous laughter, jokes, the smell of hubbly ..ok....also broken glasses, stained tables and sticky floors too....but I so love them all and I so love the energy that they exude.
My daughters x boyfriend, a model, is flying off to Italy for a year and came to say goodbye..hugs accompanied with tears, and I was left wondering how the simple acts of acceptance, love and friendship can unconsciously have such a huge impact on anothers life. How important it is to love and share, not only your home and family and blessings, but your heart, with another human soul.

Washing up the next morning.....carnage!!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spirits of theSea

A few days ago, again, while in a sleep state, I saw what I wanted to do with a canvas which I started in Groot Marico on an art retreat. I didn't like it much and I've since been fiddling but still didn't like it much.
The picture that I saw was different to the one I envisioned when looking at it today and I just went with what I saw....but hells teeth!!!!....I was not in my comfort zone.
Noreen said that she's never seen me so 'busy' while doing a painting. I have an office chair with wheels (I pinched it from my husbands office) which I was shooting back and forth in and around in circles all over my studio even before I'd even started!
But yes, this was the result...a story and not a picture. My own!!
I adore the sea and have always wondered at its unseen life. Well today I painted what I think I have always felt...Spirits of the sea...and possibly an extention of myself as being with those spirits. Not a great painting, but as with the last one, I'm just happy with it as it is.
I cannot post the last painting that I did onto my blog as it is due to be thrown into a book over yonder land, but the almost carelessness in which I've compleated both, is uncaracteristic ...and I have never been more excited!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Breasts and blessings

Letitia was so much on my mind today. I felt that she was sitting with me. Watching her slowly die of breast cancer and having a dodgy history myself, challenged me psychologically.

Today, I went for my annual mammogram. I have had cysts in my breasts at least for the past 9 years. Last year this time, I was chomping at the bit as they found 'clusters' which needed a biopsy. That proceedure was by a long shot, one of the worst experiences I've ever had (pertaining to my own heath that is ...not even childbirth was as traumatic).
The biopsy included being slung on an elevated table with a strategically placed hole in it, having the offending charlie dangled through the hole then having it squished to the size of a crumpet. A rediculously thick needle was shot into the site three times to get the specimen...fortunately removing most of the cluster and a little ribbon shaped marker was then injected into the site to 'mark the spot'.
Well, today I sit here feeling so, so gratefull and humbled at the Lords mercy and blessings in my life. I got the all clear so dont have to repeat the nerve-racking proceedures of last year.
It takes experiences like this...really horrible, scary experiences, for us to realise whats important and what is not. We are increadibly vulnerable as humans. Wealth and good fortune often blinds us to what the essence of happiness is...and its not mearly wealth and good fortune...its sharing it all....and your heart, your soul, your life with others not only to enrich theirs but your own.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Galaries and inspiration

A HUGE sculpture by Angus Taylor...UN..BE...LIEVABLE!
A well known piece by Penny Siopis. I loved this~~~

These two were taken at the Origins museum and JAG..the Origins of the San
and an exhibition of Hugh Tracy's work and travels

Noreen and I decided to do a few galaries today and we 'gallaried' all over the place. I've come back inspired and rearing to go...try something fact to extend on what I've been doing for the last month.

I find it really difficult to scratch and look inside but I've decided that this is the year that I do exactly that. My soul sister is comming home and she's the one person who I trust enough to embark on this journey with ...a true, deep and real human being who has braved the murky waters of soul-searches.

We went with a friend of hers, a feisty, very energetic, 70 something year old member of the acheology society, (my other love...archeology/anthropology) we went to 'Origins' at Wits for an exhibit of Hugh Tracey, pioneer in discovery and appreciation of African rythm, and music...who traversed the African continent in a cultural search,who shook the hand of a black man which was not done in the 1950's. Then it was on to JAG, a somewhat unkept galary with awesome art (people are too afraid to travel into 'town' to see the exhibitions, which is such a is in quite a dodgy area), then the Everard Reed galary...was awesome....classy, fantastic (pricey...OVERPRICED) art, then to see the sculptures of William Boshoff and Angus Taylor at the SPEKE galary then to the Circa Galary where we saw the most phenomenal sculptures in rock and bronze and best of sawn wood...a huge figure of a man, done by Angus Taylor, which absolutley drew my breath away, and humbled me at this phenomenal piece of art. Around 7 hours worth of galaries today...another bad day in Africa

The art of fishing

Dullstroom with Rob and Liam

There had been a huge rainstorm the night before. At 7:00 the following morning, there were fields of little diamonds everywhere. So very beautiful.

By 11 am the diamonds were still there.
How many people get to walk in fields of diamonds and flowers. Can there be anything more beautiful and precious in the world?

Five days ago, I finished a painting which challenged me to the core. I am a classic artist, a fine artist and yet, saying this, I am also just another artist with a soul full of stories and a need express them.
On looking up aesthetics...aesthetics in art, beauty, Chinees aesthetics, Indian aesthetics, I came across a quotation by Tolstoy, which explained the reasoning behind art, the purpose and motivation...for any art.
"Art is a human activity consisting of this, that one man conciously, by means of certain external signs, hands onto others, feelings he has lived through, so that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them". (The use of the word 'infecting' is an interesting choice of words.)
Thus, the value of art is one with empathy.
I now understand why I have not been comfortable/'able' to venture out as an 'expressive' contemporary artist...I am afraid of the subconcious, 'infecting' others with the desease of something horrible that might be hiding there.
We went to Dullstroom with Letitias family for a few days. Anton has not managed to process his loss, and Jenna still does not understand. Megs, well, she will have many heart-sore days to face.
We havent gone fly fishing for a while, and this time was so different to the last.
For me it was a time to quieten my soul, to breath and hear myself breath, to listen to nothing.
Like everything we do, it had nothing to do with the catch, but simply the sence of 'being able'...we catch fish in our lives, throughout our lives, and then what.?? We dont value the fish, only the experience of the catch,to be able to say...'I can catch a fish', or 'I caught a fish' , but I wonder, how much value does that little fish have. Once eaten, its served its purpose and then its forgotten....but not the experience, or the fact that we were 'able'
No, I didnt catch a fish this time, and niether did Rob...our darling son did and was soooo chuffed, as was I for him.
I caught three crabs, a rediculous tan, a cold and possibly trench-foot from four days of wet feet...but I happily caught up on a bit of family time too.