Category Archives: Ponderings

The Lost Art Of Communication – Safety Screens

I actually started this a while back from a different angle.  I may add those parts in as serial installments at some time as I feel this is an ongoing subject that needs some serious pondering.  So, aside from that little introduction, on with the piece.

Communication has become a misnomer in our society anymore.  We are dysfunctional, divided and biased without full information.  The news has been reduced to short feeds on our phones, quarter paragraphs on the websites and sound bites on the television.  We connect, arrange and break up through the safety screen.  This makes it so easy to not have to deal with the messy interaction of emotions, self-reflection, or taking of responsibility for our actions and seeing the possible destruction our actions have caused.

Case in point.  I just had a multi-year relationship end via a 3 paragraph e-mail.  No in person discussion, no voice talk.  Just a simple safe e-mail, where the other party didn’t have to deal with the pain that was caused as a result of their decision.  The reason for it was because I had the audacity to get angry that they had made plans to have friends out on my birthday weekend almost 2 months ago and I only find out the week before my birthday.  Yet, I am in the wrong.  I am abusive because I say it is thoughtless and disrespectful to not speak of this well in advance.  I’m not even worthy of a phone call for this.  Just an e-mail so they can have the last word and walk away from the wreckage without a single look back.It is like I was a file on their computer that had been sitting around for too long and simply swept into the recycle bin during the latest housekeeping.  I wonder how many of us now find ourselves sent out for recycling?

The saddest part of this is that it could have been handled so very differently.  Communicating early on, accepting it could get a bit emotional and messy, but that is part of life.  I believe this had more to do with his inability to find the contract work he needed to make the trips out since he retired.  Something I had even asked him about on occasion and was told that wasn’t the case.  I have known it would come to an end at some point because of his retiring in another state.  So, I wonder how much of this was needing to create a situation rather than admit I was right and he had failed to find the jobs he was so certain he would get.  The truth is, it wouldn’t have made him any less in my eyes, it’s just how things are sometimes.  I would have been hurt.  Maybe angry for a little bit.  But it, at least, would have been something I had both been expecting and could live with.  It would have changed the relationship.  Granted, it would have taken some time to get used to, but when you care for people, you work through things.  You find ways.  You fight for the relationships that have meaning.  They don’t come along very often.  You don’t just sweep them into the trash because you made promises you can’t keep.  Because its easier to throw it in the trash rather than ride out the storm.  So you shatter what could have been reformed a bit with a little patience and real communication.

Were this an isolated incident, it would be one thing.  But it isn’t.  People talk through screens, make plans through them, organize and create their lives through them.  They are the greatest hiding devices in the world.  You can be anyone you want to be, say anything you want to say.  Hell, even the man in the white house shoots out angry tweets at anyone that displeases him that day.  The sad truth is that is how he got there in the first place.  So, it is no wonder that it has become the common way we deal with our lives.  Nor is it any wonder that we don’t understand why things are the way they are.  One of the more ironic things is the fact that he and I used to make comments about other people conducting their lives, breaking up, etc., via their phones or other electronic devices, what cowards they were to not handle such things face to face.  And yet, he also chose the coward’s way out.

We cannot as individuals or as a society build bridges if we remain behind a safety screen.  If we stand in a place where we believe that we can do what we want without taking anyone else’s feelings or expectations into consideration.  Alliances, friendships and all relationships are complicated workings.  They don’t always run the way we want them to.  But, if we step from behind the safety screens, we may find that there was more worth saving than we thought.  And in the interim, it shall be a very sad birthday this year.

SephiPiderWitch
September 9, 2017

 

Camano Island Studio Tour 2017 – Day One

 

 Every good journey should begin with a dinosaur.  Yes, dear readers, dinosaurs do inhabit our island.  Its a little known secret.  Alas, we have droves of carnivorous hummingbirds that strip all the flesh from them and leave their skeletons scattered throughout the island.
 We have the BEST clouds here!
 And even cooler when you strip the color.
 Apologies on the reflections.  I tried many angles and this was the best I could do.

This is one of the Dorseys.  I failed to write down which one to attribute to each painting.  What I know is that this entire family is immensely talented.

 Another one from the Dorsey’s.  I fell in love with the tree in this painting.  He did such a wonderful job on the shadows in it.
 And this one was just lovely!
 Upstairs was the work of Ann Cory.  I fell in love with her eagle.  Alas, I can’t afford it.  
 This one has a bit of a Vincent feel to it, doesn’t it?  I fell in love with it as well.
 This was a tree outside on the next property for Betty Dorotik’s Studio and home.  I couldn’t resist the tire swing!
 One of nature’s contributions.  
 The gate flamingo!
 And my lovely sidekick Margie!
 This is a tree stump Betty has in her garden.  It looks like there is a nest on the top of it.
 Yard and porch art.  How fun!
 And she has her own swing in her garden.  I need to figure out how to do one in mine.  Course, that probably means growing a couple of bigger trees.
 The view from her back porch.
 Back of her house from the garden.  Such a lovely home!
 This is one of her owl paintings that I fell in love with.  Amazing talent!
 Gotta love the ravens and their shinies
 Another one of her pieces that took my breath away.  Such a majestic hawk!
 Margie venturing into her tool shed.
 Sitting right inside the shelf inside the shed.
 Love the handle!
 More of her garden art.  Gorgeous statue.
 The trees are watching you!
 And a watcher from above.
 And this is the work of Susan Cohen Thompson.  Her work has a touch of magic to it.  And I think she has been featured in a number of magical magazines if I am not mistaken.
 Garden art again.  Must be something about artists and their gardens.
 
 BRUSHES!!!!
 I am going to take a chance that I have the artist correct on this as I don’t seem to have a card.  Roger Cocke.  He also belongs to the brushes above.  
 And this piece I would so have loved to have brought home with me.  I fell in love with the colors in the clay.  He explained to me how he does it.  But, I don’t remember.  Probably because I was just smitten wit the face.
 And as we were leaving, Margie pointed out the glasswork on the door next door.  It is some pretty impressive glasswork!
 And that was the end of day one.  We had actually visited quite a few others, but I didn’t have my camera when we were at the Terry’s Corner displays and some of the artists didn’t want their work photographed.
 And since I still can’t figure out how to get SmugMug to work in here, I will just add the link to the gallery for anyone that wants to see all the pictures.
SMUG MUG GALLERY OF CAMANO ISLAND STUDIO TOUR 2017
 

January 2017


Yeah, she’s a little topsy-turvy, but she says it helps the blood flow in her head.  And its also a retaliation for her not being offered copious quantities of treats to be the CoverGirl of the post.
Since I have been very negligent on my blog, I am just going to run a Cliff Note version for January.  I admit that I allowed myself to get sideswiped by politics last year.  And I have come to the conclusion that if you allow yourself to get too caught up in things such as that, you forget to live and laugh and have fun.  By the end of it, I was totally burned out.  The chips will fall where they will in the aftermath.  There will either be traces of green earth or it will all be scorched.  But, I shall take a lesson that I learned a few decades ago.  The greatest revenge you can inflict on a force attempting to control you is to simply live your life.  To not let that force interfere.  To smile, to laugh, to make good art.  Because, if you do that, they ultimately lost.
 

So, the first day of the year, I began it by going on a 1st day hike.  The ranger running the group didn’t want to wait for me to use the restroom, so they all took off without me.  I decided I was fine with that and could make it a picture day and take my own sweet time stopping wherever I wanted to.  And along the trail, I found this wonderful driftwood elephant trying to grab a tree limb.

Note:  If you click on the picture, you will go to the gallery of pictures I took on the hike


I stopped at Fir Island on the way back and was treated to a number of herons playing in the vicinity.  If you go to the gallery (click on photo and it will take you there) you will see a large heron with a great beard.  He was totally indifferent to my presence.  Actually, most of them were someone unbothered by it.  I do believe they are aware that they are on protected lands there.

I saw snow banked along the side of the river driving home one day and figured I had better get some shots before it melted.  Most of our snow is on the mountains and it doesn’t often stick for long when it does come down.  The really cool thing when I got down to the river’s edge was the ice sheets floating down the river and crunching into each other.  My timing was perfect too as the sun was starting to set.  No alterations have been made to the color in the photos.  That is the color being cast by the setting sun.  Took “Golden Hour” to a new level.

Again, clicking on photo will take you to the gallery of photos I took at the river’s edge.


This, is a juvenile red tail hawk.  It was captured before a raptor class I went to.  You can’t really tell what the gender is.  Mature and in a nest with their mate, you can.  The female will be the larger of the two.  During the class, they measured, took vitals and banded the leg of the hawk.  And this was when I learned that their legs are full size at 3 weeks old.  And that is why they can band the leg of a juvenile and not worry about it.  They also said that if you find a band, you should call it in to the local bird watch.   It was an amazing class with a field trip after.

While we were out looking for more birds, they caught this merlin.  They caught it while we were distracted looking for other birds in the fields, so I didn’t get to see how they are catching these birds so easily.  But, look at the feathers on this little one!  Just gorgeous!!!

And isn’t this the cutest face you have ever seen???  And if you click on the pic, you can see all the shots from that day.


We had a wee bit of a cold spell here a couple weeks ago.  Cold enough that it managed to freeze the fountains at the Tulalip Casino.  We don’t get sustained colds around here very often, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get some shots of this.Again, click the image to see the rest of the shots.  )
 
I got distracted by the way the sun was coming through the clouds and took a turn onto one  of the back roads to try and get some pictures of it.  As you can see, it was worth the side trip.

But, there was an additional surprise when I went down the road.  The fields were full of snow geese.  And I was lucky enough that after parking the car, I got to witness them taking flight.  I couldn’t begin to guess how many were there, but it was well in the thousands.Yes, there are more pictures if you want to click on the image.
 

Just a little example of some of Seattle’s graffiti.

I know.  Its a bit glary, but I really liked this painting and had to take a picture of it.

THIS!  This is a jacket I found in a local second hand store.  I am beside myself with glee over adding this to my wardrobe.

And the back view of it.

A present.  Its a tortilla warmer.  Isn’t it awesome??

New  Watercolor Brush.  Don’t know what it will do yet.  Will play with it this weekend.

And this is a horseradish sauce guaranteed to clear your sinuses, make your eyes water and possibly give you coughing fits.  Yumm!

And it  is the year of the rooster, so the post wouldn’t be complete without an impressive cock.


And her little Princess Cassie Flooferpants says it is time to go for now.  She says she will need at least 4 treats, no, 6 treats for waiting for me to finish.

 

 

 

Just Add Peeps!

View 1

Well, I finally got one of my projects off my list for the year.  I finished my fire pit!!!  And no, that is not a compost fence inside it.  Its a steel cage thing my old next door neighbor gave me to keep yard cutting together for burning.  Its a mini towering inferno!20160708_165233

View 2

There is a very interesting rock that i Place in the lower left that has a hollow out section.  Not sure what I will use it for.  Maybe a waiting room for the Peeps just before being sacrificed.20160708_165220

View 3

I'm thinking I need to add a rebar stand with a cross bar for hanging a cauldron pot over the fire.

20160708_165211

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, Finishing the Craft Studio.  Then digging up the garden areas.  Woot!

 

 

Studio

Studio 1

My studio is starting to come together nicely.  Art desk faces out the front of the house so I can watch the birds and furry critter in the yard.  Studio 6 June 2016

Studio 2

The area is being populated by many of my plush critter population.  I figure they will provide inspiring smiles.  And the stereo is hooked up so I can rock out while making art.  And if neighbors on walks are paying attention, possibly entertainment.  *grin*
Studio 7 June 2016

Looking out my Artroom Window

The teepee outside the window is one of the suet feeders.  Will probably remain empty for a while now as it is getting warmer and it will just make a drippy mess which I am sure the critters will enjoy, but will go through an entire suet cake in a day.Studio 4 June 2016
A
nd a few of the paintings that are in process.

Studio 5 June 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full moon!  Alas, all I had was the little camera to get a picture of it.  It was lovely though!

Full Moon June 22 - 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
And I just began on converting one of the sheds into a craft studio.  Yayyy!!!  More on that when its a bit more together.

 

 

 

 

 

Presents?

2452ee44736c5de8658ef36485f7cd30And then there are those days when you look across the room and see this small beige fuzzy thing by your sliding door that looks like it has a tail.  And there in her little warm bed is  Little Misssy Princess Floofster Cassie SassyPants resting her chin on the side wall and giving you that bored look.  And as you slowly approach it, she sits up and watches you closely.  Gently, you tap it with your foot.  This brings on that tilted head, Dafuq you doing mom look from her.  Still unsure, you go and get a couple of paper towels and pick it up for inspection.   This causes the little Floofster to cock her head in the other direction, then reach out her paw with a “Want me to help your with that?” look.  There really are times when one thinks they do these things deliberately to mess with their humans.  Seems I forgot to finish this paragraph.  After carefully examining the fuzzy object, it appears that my companion has decided to take up felting sculpting and produce a baby mouse shaped hairball.  Maybe she just wants her work to be displayed in the house with her mommy’s.April In The Garden 2016 Lo Res051

And on another note.  I filled the bird feeder in the back yard with the lower half having just the wild bird seed, then topped it with the black sunflower seeds.  Just cuz it looked a bit cool.  They actually figured out how to pick  at the seeds so they could get to the sunflower seed and had them wiped out with only a tiny dent in the regular seed.  Another thing that surprised me was discovering the goldfinches also had a preference to the sunflower seeds.  Damn things are bigger than their beaks!  I am guessing I need to go get some more proper sugar for the hummingbird feeder this weekend, as they keep buzzing my window.  They will actually hover in front of it as if they are saying, “Hey!  Fill out damn feeder as well.”  I would, but I forgot to buy their sugar the last time I went shopping.

The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend, so I think I will go work on my fire pit, since no one wants to fly up to help me with it.  I’ll take the camera with me and see if I can get some good pictures of some of my feathered friends.

Sephi PiderWitch
06/21/2016

 

Because – Art and Starry Night!

Sometimes it seems there is just too much hate and ugliness in the world.  Though there are many experts that continue to assert that in spite of what we see in the news, we are, in reality, becoming a more peaceful species.  Maybe it is because we so love a good horror story, a scare that gets our adrenaline pumping and springs us into action.  It does sell papers and jumps the ratings on TV stations.

One cannot ignore the bad news stories.  The horrors of what religious fanaticism and the hatred it breeds can reduce some humans to do.  For, if we don’t pay attention to such things, we have no hope to find answers to change such things.

But, we must also call to mind the beauty of what we can be.  The greatness we can achieve.  It is the beauty and the art that allows us to rise above the tragedy.  And though we cannot always “Make Great Art” as Neil Gaiman says, sometimes it is enough to just appreciate the act of another doing so.
Found this clip this morning on a feed.

Sephi PiderWitch
June 15, 2016SPW Logo