I’M A CLOUD-WATCHER from waaay back when. My daddy instilled the love of cloud gazing when I was quite young and it has never wavered. There are days I yearn to simply find a comfy spot on the ground—a patch of grass to settle into—and watch them parade across the sky, imagining a line of angels, lions, dinosaurs and such, morphing as they float across the heavens. It always brings memories of my daddy, too. Very fond memories! Watching the clouds and thinking of my daddy—nothing else. Heaven. Mmmm. Yes.

Our skies have been filled with strange and beautiful cloud formations—even sundogs and pillars, which I seldom have an opportunity to see. The skies have been amazing. Simply amazing. Clouds make for exquisite sunsets and sunrises—which I’ve taken full advantage of recently. Another reason to enjoy the rainy weather we’ve had. I’ve found that I’m waking earlier, so I’m able to watch the skies unfold into daylight with or without the decorator clouds help—whether I have camera in hand or not, I’m loving it!

But, the skies are weird too. I don’t remember seeing so many con trails from high-flying jets that checker-board our skies. Contrails that are fatter—and seem to hang around so much longer than I recall. Sometimes, I wonder about them, especially since I happened upon a conspiracy article (didn’t realise it was until I neared the end of my reading—naive little ol’ me … ). The idea was planted, even if I didn’t believe anything they said in the article. Conspiracy or not, I know air traffic has increased and the con trails have changed—just don’t know the why. I only hope they are not interfering with the ecology of our planet. We’ve done enough already and are so slow—or not willing—to rectify our errors (okay … off my soapbox now).

I just want to watch the clouds float by and let my imagination go wild. It helps with my creativity in my work—both Writerly and Painterly. It has definitely helped with my Painterly side … I’ve spent a few days at Open Ground Studios playing with some ideas triggered by all that cloud watching. I’m certainly no Van Gogh—my imagined product is far from what I end up with, but putting my ideas to paper is a wonderful feeling—and knowing I can massage the results in Photoshop gives me hope that I’ll come up with some usable covers for my books. I just need to play more.  Practice makes perfect, eh? I’ll post photos later (in another post)—when I am feeling better about the finished product.

I’ve a few photos to leave with you before I bid you adieu—there have been so many photo ops, and I’ve missed so many of them whilst driving to an appointment … or was in need of my good camera (vs iPhone) to capture the essence. Have fun with the few I’m sharing today (click on them to see the full image). I sincerely hope it doesn’t end up getting me locked out due going over my allotted storage space … yeah, still working on little bits of it (trying to get questions answered—fun, fun …) Please do not reproduce in any fashion without my permission. Thank you.

Clouds at Sunset Clouds Just Before Sunset Yes, More Clouds Sunset Nearly Done Clouds Sundog Variety Is the Spice of Life Good Morning, Clouds Partly Sunny ...? Impending Rain ... Cloudy SkiesMay your Friday, your weekend and the upcoming week be filled with the blessings of joy and accomplishments. Toodles!


The Gathering Clouds . . .

I WASN’T SURE WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT—AGAIN, until I spent most of an entire day in my garden. The tranquility I reaped from puttering around, pruning, watering


Delightful rhododendron bloom, just now peeking out with our late spring


I’ll need to be careful to mow around these lovelies whenever I get around to that task. Love the yellow—a delightful change from the ‘normal’ red-orange blossoms…

and marvelling at nature as it unfolds under my precarious, lackadaisical care was amazing.

I was blessed with the very front edge of a storm front—no rain as yet—just mild temperatures and a gentle breeze slowly pulling in clouds overhead, brushing up against my many wind chimes, allowing them to sing out.
Our area gets some interesting cloud formations. Sometimes the stacked cumulus, that are so magnificent to gaze upon, pepper

Clouds and Trees

The cumulus hug the horizon and “pillows” dot the remainder of the sky.

the sky, but usually it’s the blanket of fog that rolls in like a fluffy quilt being drawn up and over us that dominates.

Tuesday, along the horizon (what I could see through my tree-ringed property) a few of the top-heavy, rain-promising cumulus clung to the hills. Further to

Cloud Watching

One of my favourite pastimes as a child (and even as an adult) is to watch clouds and find shapes in them.
What do you see?

the center of my viewing area, smaller “pillow” clouds (as my dad was fond of calling them as dementia whittled away at his vocabulary) dotted the sky. One patch of the sky had clouds that looked as though an artist had run a paintbrush through it, creating wispy edges on one side. I think, next to the

Wispy Artwork

God’s paintbrush dragged through these clouds to create wispy formations.

Wisps and Pillows

More wispy clouds with a puff here and there dotting the sky

Westward "Window"

Again, from my front porch, the oaks dominate, allowing a bit of blue sky, dotted with clouds and wisps.

towering cumulus (ours are so puny compared to those a friend posts from his Colorado home), these are my favourite. It reminds me that God’s hand is at work … all of the time.

There are other times when the clouds are reminiscent of freshly furrowed fields. The entire sky looks like a field, ready to be planted. Then, there’s always the “intrusion”—or magic—of modern science … the winds aloft playing with contrails of unseen jets and planes overhead, pushing and pulling the line of

Clouds, Contrails and Oaks

Pillow clouds and oaks frame a contrail. I love what the shifting winds aloft do to create interesting drawings in the condensation…

condensation creating undulating, drawings in the sky.

And, of course, the glorious magic of sunset (or sunrise, if you manage to be up in time)—the splendiferous colours that paint the sky. I am looking forward to that this evening … as long as the clouds don’t completely obscure the sun as it sets.
Thursday (as I write this) there’s been a tease of rain. Not even enough to wet the cement patio completely. One can only hope it is merely a taste of what is to come—more rain—which would be a good thing for our rain-starved state. It won’t be nearly enough to satisfy our water needs—far from it, but we will gratefully accept every drop the clouds decided to give us.  Even if the skies yield no more, the overcast will keep things cool, allowing what moisture the ground presently holds to stay … at least for a bit longer.
May the “skies” in your life hold treasures for you to hold close, whether filled with rain or sun, clouds or crystal clear and blue … find the magic and let your imagination soar, to lift you up and through your days ahead.

Word Weaver

WRITER, STORYTELLER, WORDSMITH…those are only a few words one could use to describe someone that is obsessed with putting words to paper — or in this day and age, to electronic paper…

But I have another word:  word weaving, which I like immensely because (at least for me) it describes me perfectly when I do storytelling with children.  It’s an interactive form of storytelling, where, most of the time,  I have a very basic storyline in mind.  I glean names, descriptive words, sounds and animal characters from my young audience, then the magic of a new story begins.  I take those words and ideas, creating threads and weave them through the warp of an invisible loom, producing a visibly textured story, with the children providing sound effects, such as screaming in fear, growling, running, laughing — whatever the story requires.  They love it — especially if we are in a library, where they’ve been taught to “use your inside (whispering) voices, please”.  Loud talking, let alone screaming, is “verboten!” (except, I let the librarian know ahead of time & receive permission for boisterous participation).  Always, I  feed off of their enthusiasm, wanting to draw the story out, but am usually limited to about twenty or thirty minutes from start to finish because of time constraints in the school schedule.

We are all sad that it’s over, but their imaginations have been given a magical jump start.  Now, they see that they can create their very own stories.  Of course, it certainly helps to have thousands of stories crammed into your brain from years and years of reading and experiencing life.  But they can use what reading and life experiences they’ve crammed into their short lives and create something amazing, too.

That’s my lesson for these brilliantly pliable, open young minds.  As Dr. Seuss said, “Oh, the places you’ll go!  …And the magical things you can do…”   I’m just there to open the doors for them to go through.


Creating Imagination…

FROM THE OUTSIDE, I MUST LOOK HILARIOUS yesterday.  Still in my pjs and robe at 2pm, wearing a toasty warm Santas hat (it is almost Christmas) as my head bobs in and out of view. I am, after all, sitting very near the window on my aeRobic Rider, that ancient style of exercise equipment that is like a rowing machine and…well, not sure what else, but instead of maintaining a horizontal forward and back, it moves me up & forward, then down and back.  It’s funky. But, it gets the job done, exercising arms, back, legs, hips and waist.  And get a the heart rate up too boot.

But still, for someone outside, it must look pretty peculiar.  Especially with the red hat.

It’s cold in the house. My single paned windows just don’t hold the heat in, so the poor heater keeps cranking it out, only to be sucked away before I can enjoy it. So, I decided that I’d work the ‘internal heater’ a bit via some good old fashioned exercise.  It worked, sort of. It’s still cold in here and my body won’t allow exercising long enough to warm me for more that a few minutes.  And I keep finding myself returning to my writing (well, blogging–I’m still in ‘procrastination’ mode for my novel) — the stillness of sitting in front of the computer chills me even more.

For me, the positioning of the equipment was important. Yes everyone can see the foolishness, but more importantly, I can see out to my beautiful, naturally landscaped front yard. No, I don’t mean weeds. Well, yes, there are those. But what dominates the landscape are graceful, gnarly oak trees that have been here since before we moved in some 40 years ago — the landscape peppered with a few much younger ones also.  The bed of rich brown decomposing leaves, against their craggy brown-to-almost-black and mottled with greyish, striated trunks, and capped by their green foliage is quite picturesque.  Behind that, I can see a small hillside and ledge, made of a natural stone outcropping, then my neighbours manicured garden (I only see small glimpses of this). Off to one side, peeking through the branches, I can see wee bits of another neighbour’s home, painted an aesthetically pleasing green.

The beauty triggers my imagination. I am renewed just by sitting and staring out at it.  I am invigorated by this exercising to my visual ‘music’ that reaches out beyond my view to both sides, and it leaves me to imagine what lies beyond.   And what plantings I could paint the landscape with to improve the view.  And then, my imagination dances with ideas for my blog novel…

Oh, I love my imagination. If only I could harness it.  Fully.  Dominate it.  Completely.  Be the master.  Forever.  It’s like a wild horse, prancing just beyond my reach, daring me.  Taunting me to try. I’ll never catch it, tame it, train it completely.  Not in this life time, at lease.

All I can do is dance with it and see what happens.