Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BEAUTIFUL SAINTE-ANNE ...

We woke up today with a perfect summer sunny day so Ulysse and I decided to go hunting for rocks and seaglass in Vermont's Lake Champlain isles.

We love driving there, the road is pretty and quiet, and before you reach the lake you go through a wonderfully peaceful and beautiful wildlife sanctuary.

Our favorite of all the isles is Isle LaMotte. There you can find the perfect mixture of pure countrystyle Vermont mixed with family-cottage by the lake atmosphere. You can find a nice assortment of seaglass on the shore and if you forget about where you are on the map, you could think you are one the ocean.

And, above all, Ste-Anne is there waiting for you ...

Isn't she beautiful, in her gold-leaf attire, in the light of late-afternoon?

She stands still, facing the water, all year-round. People come to pray in the outdoor chapel erected there, go to mass on Sunday or, like me, simply marvel at the beauty of Anne and at the turmoil a simple statue can create in one's heart ...

We had a splendid afternoon, mother and son together, finding a nice piece of red seaglass (I mean, lakeglass), big perfectly shaped granite rocks, a bleached bird skull and a old rusty piece of farming tool. We dove off the long deck and swam in the calm water before the sun went down.

And just before returning to the car to drive back home, we stood side by side, near Samuel de Champlain and a Mowak in a canoe statue, wondering how it must have felt for the natives to see, a long time ago, these big sailboats arrive with strangers who would change their future forever ...

Monday, July 27, 2009

TALE OF A FAIRY'S TAIL ...

Look what I did this morning !

Snip ! Snip !

I went from middle-of-the-back long waivy hairstyle to Mia Michael's boyish-style haircut !

I have done that at least three times in my life, going from very long to very short in a minute !

When I met my husband Francois years ago, he commented to a friend about my long crazy hairdo and how much he liked it. He invited me to go out for diner the same day and when I showed up at the restaurant, I had gone to the barbershop to get my hair cut short à-la-française !!! I had won his heart anyways so he had no choice to love me maneless ...

There is no greater feeling than getting rid of a big bunch of heavy hair !

I feel like a new person !

My hairdresser had absolutely no hesitation in going for this serious snip but when she did it, everyone in the beauty salon went

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh ! ! !

I feel great and totally recharged !

Look out everyone !

The new LuLu is here !

Sunday, July 26, 2009

LUIGI L'AMOROSO ...

The day before, driving back from town with Ulysse, we were talking about the fact that we hadn't found a new kitten lately and that we were just about due now. You see, the number of animals in our house changes with the years.

One day, there will be a lost dog without a collar and medal seated and waiting by the mail box on the road. Another day, we will find 3, no 4, no 5, no 6, no 7 ! kittens on the border of a nearby field. One night, it will be a tiny newborn wet raccoon found in a ditch during a thunder storm ...

We have the space in our house and our hearts for homeless animals so when they are placed on our path by their guardian angel, it is just normal that our home becomes theirs.

Thank God we live in Quebec and not somewhere in Africa or Australia or Asia, our house would be filled with giraffes, monkeys and kangourous !!!

I am absolutely fearless of animals, big or small, and have kept the curiousity I had when I was a kid about any living creatures. I am curious and admirative of their life styles and habits and patterns and cleverness.

Daily, I will stop what I am doing to marvel at a night-butterfly sphinx, I will hold a garden snake to feel its body around my fingers, I will step out of my car to chase a porcupine away from the middle of the road.

I am thrilled by daily gifts I find in the nature, be it an empty and perfectly turned land snail shell, a bright tomato-red Scarlet Tanager feather found in the grass or a tiny perfectly cleaned and white garden mouse skull.

All that to say that I went grocery shopping in town last week on Friday afternoon. When I came back to my car, I noticed something moving between the rows of vehicles in the parking lot.

A kitten, running playfully from one car to another!

Yikes, right between two heavy-traffic streets!

On the weekend!

As I got near it, it ran and crossed the street! No!

It got lucky enough to make it to the other side. Ahhhhh!

No!

It decided to cross the street again and barely made it when someone beeped at it and another car's breaks screeched!

I felt so bad thinking that an hour later at the most, this tiny creature would just be another road kill ...

So, I walked back to the store, got a little can of food and a bag of goodies, walked back to my car, prepared a little snack on the ground and patiently called the kitty. It was hot and humid but I waited patiently.

Sure enough, about 20 minutes later I spotted him again, trying to lick water in a tiny dirty puddle. He slowed down and came to me purring like a sewing machine and just sat on my knees and stayed there. Boy, he sure knew the tricks!

I took him home and half a hour later he was having the fun of his life chasing the chicken in the coop and eating the fresh grass in the garden.

His name is Luigi L'Amoroso and he sure is a Don Juan. He charmed everyone in the household instantly and was sleeping beside Pacco, one of our dogs, the first night.

So now, the count is 3 dogs, 5 cats, 1 rooster, 8 chicken, one turtle and of course, one hermit crab, Senor Bernardo, but I will have to tell you about him another time, he has had quite an adventure too ...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I AM JUMPING ...

... with JOY !

I am so BERRY, BERRY happy to be back after being so quiet on my blog for more than a month!

Life just got too busy and I decided that I needed to be away from my hypnotizing laptop if I wanted to survive. You know how it is, you sit down at your computer to read your mail for 5 minutes and wake up 2 hrs later, having been trapped in the pleasures of blogland.

My BIG illustration assignement is completed, every single of the 213 small or large artwork has been approved by the publisher. There will be another scholar book to illustrate later on but right now

I AM FREE !

Free to paint, to draw, to garden, to photograph, to do nothing, to read, to explore, to invent, to create, to bla bla with friends on my blog !

NO obligations here ! No need to constantly check my watch ticking or the days on the calendar disappear. The stress is all gone now, the work is done and the client is VERY happy!

Oh but don't get me wrong ! You know me by now ... Summer has not been all work and no fun. I have cheated plenty of times ... to go fishing, swimming, hiking, cultivating, planting, goofing around, playing, jam-making, decorating ...

I will tell you more about it in the days to come ...

Just wanted to tell you all how much I have missed blogging and that I am so excited to be back to real life with still half of summer vacations ahead of us !

I must now return to important tasks that can not wait like picking the berries that are ripening in the garden all at the same time and saying hello to my favorite frog, Monsieur Prince Charmant.

Ah ! .......... Vive les vacances!