Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zay it isn’t Zo (head injury in effect - anything goes)

Vell, vhat kann I zay… 
za end is now here und I am zo zad… 
ja, dat is vhat I am…
zo zad.

Okay… head injury aside there is only so much of that that I can handle in one sitting with a bag of ice on my head.
This is my childhood doll, Cheerful Tearful, standing in for me.
I think she's doing a good imitation of Tearful me too!

As I said… I’m sad the end is here. It’s true. 

I’ve had fun with this challenge and I hope you have too - whether as a participant or a spectator.

Those of us in the arena with the beasts know it’s been a tough battle at times - some of those letters were rather difficult and required some ingenuity to work into a post.

I knew this photo from Las Vegas would have a purpose.

Okay… that’s all I got…

But, (remember the Big But bit) I do have this for you… it is a repost, but I told you this would be the case, so it should not come as a surprise.

If you missed this "Z" post in 2011 here’s your chance to catch it now. 

Dare I say... it was without a doubt my most favourite of all my 2011 posts.

Enjoy.




The shadows outside the window moved in a blur; she could make out the countryside yet nothing was clearly defined.

The man sitting next to her was asleep, the steady rhythm of his breath was hypnotic.

She smiled, he was a nice older man en route to his son’s wedding. His wife had passed away several years earlier, he had told her, and he no longer cared for long, lonely car trips. 

Besides, he liked the train. 

They had talked for hours until she could see his eyelids closing, his head had bobbed for a moment and then he was off - presumably to visit his wife in that place one goes to when leaving reality behind; the world of our dreams.

The train stopped, she knew it was time for him to disembark. He smiled and wished her a safe and happy journey.

Through the window, on the platform, she saw a tall, handsome young man embrace him with such devotion and gentleness that she felt her eyes well up. They walked away arm in arm, the younger carrying the luggage. 

Several steps were taken when they stopped - the old man turned and looked up at her window; seeing her he smiled and waved one last time. 

It had been a brief moment, this train ride, but it was now an imbedded memory - she had enjoyed their time together.


THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME ON MY JOURNEY FROM A-Z!

Ich genoss unsere Zeit zusammen.   

Translated:  I enjoyed our time together.   


I wish you a wonderful journey - ever onward, ever forward - always with happy thoughts and joy in your heart.


Did you enjoy our Zeit zusammen (time together)? 


Until... my next journey!


Cheers, Jenny

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for YesterYear


Concussion update - not great; head hurts; I’ve been flat on my back enjoying my ceiling when I’m awake - but mostly I'm sleeping. (woke up just long enough for this)

As I said, back on “X”, I would do a repost…

Here is my “Y” post from yesteryear; back in 2011 to be exact. 

Enjoy.

Also - thank you for the wonderful comments and well wishes out here and behind the scenes - much appreciated!  


☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀


Y is for Yackety Yak - redux


YOU, my dear readers and followers, may be surprised to know that, YES, I can add a video to my blog. (back in 2011 I was still getting a handle on this)

YET...You may have wondered if I would spin a Yarn for You about Yesterday's Yearnings.

Not wishing to disappoint...enjoy this little glimpse into Years gone by...my childhood of YesterYear. (back in 2011 this put a smile on my face... it did the same for me today... hope you get a smile out of it too)



Al - do you remember these little characters?


Hard to believe...I have Yackety Yakked my way through Yet another letter without Yielding to stress. Yeah, right? 

Do you have fond memories of your yesteryears?
Cheers, Jenny

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Extra Extra read all about it...



Wednesday I was attacked by mom’s walker.

Looks innocent enough, doesn't it? 


While getting it out of my trunk it opened up and one of the handles smacked me square on the bridge of my nose.

I saw stars without the help of this telescope

Remember this baby - where are the boys when you need them, eh!

I iced my face for forty minutes.

Tough chick that I am… I sucked it up and carried on. 

I felt good enough, the next day, to do a quick sketch of Bushman's chocolate dog, Gunner, when he was a puppy. So cute... here, take a look.


A quick sketch - seems my right brain was doing okay after the attack!


Then came today. (this would be Friday)

I was out in the garden - edging, mowing, raking and sweeping; I noticed my balance and concentration were off kilter for most of my time out there.

Even Thursday evening I noticed my focus (while writing “W”) was all over the map - to the point where I thought… must lay of the sauce. (poor Ginny felt a little rejected by my refusal to top her up)

During my gardening I took a phone call from my accountant and told him I was feeling a bit “out to lunch” - he thought I should go to the local emergency ward.

I did as he suggested - in light of the tragic death of Natasha Richardson - I figured better safe than sorry.

I hopped a bus to the emergency - about 10 min. from my house. (I had driven Thursday but hadn't felt all that smooth behind the wheel, truth be told)

After a bit of a wait this very appealing doctor, with the best chair-side manners, attended me.

Extensive tests were done and it was determined I had a concussion and needed to deal with it.

Dealing with it means not playing on my computer until all hours of the night thereby resting my eyes and my head. 

Therefore - Y and Z will be repeats from 2011 - besides I like them both and you will too. You will, and if not - fake it! I'll need all the love and support I can get after what I've been through. (talk about milking a dry cow)

Thanks for understanding. 

And… the funny thing is trying to type, even yesterday I noticed, the amount of typos were out of this world. I have pretty good typing skills - but right now every word - yes, every word, is spelled wrong. Sucks!! (okay, that one I spelled right) 

Thank goodness for the backspace button… if only I could backspace to before the attack of the walker!


If you’ve had a concussion tell me how you dealt with it? 

Cheers, Jenny

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Would Work


No, I did not misspell “would”; it is not “wood work”.

This is all about what “would work” if you found yourself stuck in my head.

If that would work for you then read on, and read between the lines… let’s see if you see what I see.

Also, there are no pictures because this one is all on you and your imagination.

See you at the end.

☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀

She repeated the story for the police.

It made no sense to them; how could she not have seen anything, wasn’t she walking in the direction of the “alleged” screams on her way to the restaurant? 

This was the second time they had asked this question.

A disturbing, high-pitched noise had been heard far over on the other side of the block, yet no one had seen anything… accept for her appearing on the sidewalk.

She had made her way over the rail tracks that bisected the long block and onto the sidewalk which lead to the local eatery when she had been spotted by a passerby. She had even smiled at him.

She told the officers that going for dinner was part of her Thursday evening routine - she even smiled when telling them it was the pasta Alfredo she loved, with extra parmesan. 

Finally, she mentioned she was cat sitting for a friend and really needed to be on her way; with no reason to further detain her one of the officers walked her to her vehicle.

Her car was behind the yellow tape - almost parallel to the three bodies; the officer thanked her and apologized for the inconvenience of keeping her so long. 

Should they have more questions would she mind them calling, he queried.

Again, with a soft and compassionate smile she nodded and said she would be happy to answer any more questions they should have, though she wasn’t sure what more she could add.

He let her drive away without a second thought. 

She drove straight home - there was no cat to sit - she berated herself for her sloppiness; it was time for a new set of knives.

Yes, that would work. 

And with that she smiled.



Well, are you wondering what that was all about?


Cheers, Jenny


Footnote
If you are familiar with the Death Wish series you might take a page out of that to give you the gist of this story.

This woman “takes out” more than food; she removes the rubbish off the streets and does it with charm and a sweet smile. She has yet to be caught!  

Being an expert chef, knives are her weapon of choice and has no problem "packing" her set around. 

I could go on and on... but you get the gist now. 

She enjoys deboning a chicken... and does it regularly - sometimes three at a time!  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Visiting Vancouver


Vancouver, British Columbia has been rated the third most liveable city in the world, right behind Vienna, Austria (where my parents are from) and Melbourne, Australia. 

If you are visiting Vancouver don’t forget to enjoy the outdoors - we have a variety of beautiful scenic spots which I would like to share with your here.

Everything in blue is a link to more information. Click any photo to enlarge.

Enjoy visiting Vancouver…


Looking at the North Shore mountains from Point Grey,
 on the West Side of Vancouver.

Another view from Point Grey over to West Vancouver and Cypress Mountain.

The Five Sails at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Seaplane docks below Vancouver Convention Centre.

A look at Vancouver from Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver.

Close-up  of Vancouver from Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver.
(Mount Baker, in Washington State, can be seen in the background)

Passing under the Lions Gate Bridge - exiting Vancouver by cruise ship.

Sailing at Jericho Beach
A short walk to the left you'll find The Galley Patio and Grill.

And this is the view from The Galley.

Vancouver and local mountains from Seasons In the Park Restaurant,
atop Queen Elizabeth Park.

Main Quarry Garden, Queen Elizabeth Park.

Kayaking in False Creek - Burrard Street Bridge in background.

View of the West End of Vancouver from Vanier Park.
(The link above will take you to a video I shot from Vanier Park - enjoy)

Sunset at Vanier Park, off leash dog beach.

Grouse Mountain, taken from Mountain View Cemetery.

The Lions, taken from Mountain View Cemetery.


I regularly go on walkabouts throughout this world-class city and these photos are just a taste of the beauty and splendour I take in as I play tourist in my own backyard; thank you for joining me today.

I hope you enjoyed visiting Vancouver. 


Do you play tourist in your city and enjoy all it has to offer?


Cheers, Jenny

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Utterly Understandable... back by request.


Yes… there are those that hang on my every word… unimaginable to some, utterly understandable to others… I get you! 

This is for the pretty little girl… in need of entertainment whilst her sister, the one often overlooked, enjoys her bag of jelly beans. 

☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀

Communing with Mother Nature.
No... this was not taken first thing in the morning.
Yes... communing is an all day event.
Me... I'm getting ready to go to a hockey game.

☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀  ☀

The day started, like most, with wee dog needing to commune with Mother Nature whereby wee dog could leave a little token of appreciation for the Master of its Universe.

The very exclusive and highly sought after European coffee machine had been turned on and was heating up as Master was tending to wee dog’s morning ritual.

Master’s means of communicating, with the entire galaxy, had also been activated en route to wee dog’s communion with Mother Nature.

With morning communion now complete and wee dog comfortably curled up, Master, with a perfectly brewed coffee in hand, could now officially start the day.

There were many, some even insurmountable, tasks to be performed by Master to ready the dominion for the arrival of the ‘blessing’ of Master’s Universe - Mini Master.

Mini Master’s arrival was of such importance that all other activities must be suspended and delayed so as to allow time for Master to be completely organized for this truly rare and special occurrence.

There was one concern.

Would Readers of Master’s galactic communication understand that today’s message was shorter then usual due to utterly unintentional universal undulations, caused by the unexpected and ultimately unplanned arrival of Mini Master.

Master was sure it would be utterly understandable!


When you are confronted with the unexpected what do you do? 

Cheers, Jenny


Footnote: this post made its first appearance for the 2011 A-Z Challenge. Some of you will, undoubtedly remember it - how could you possibly not - it is unforgettable! (hahahaha) 
The photo is a new addition though - see, something for everyone!

Truth is I really didn’t think I could top it - sometimes you just have to leave perfection alone! Ah… vanity be my name! 

For those needing a little help with the characters
Wee dog - Lucky, Luce, Lucyfer 
Master - Me… who else!
Mini Master - fruit of my loins, Miss CP, my daughter (aka Vancouver Mermaid)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Take Time


Often, I take time to reflect upon my journey.
Source of inspiration.

look, so very deep
in and out
take time
to feel 
your 
heart
beat

look, so very far
left and right
take time
to find
your
soul

look, so very high
up and around
take time
to seek
your
voice

together they come
all around you
take time
to be 
one

take time 
for you


Do you follow your heart and hear your voice?

What do you do to nourish your soul?

Cheers, Jenny


Re the artwork - the other day, while sitting in the Lost and Found I was reflecting upon my life’s journey. I came upon a wonderful blog featuring some amazing photos - truly stunning. I was inspired to do a quick sketch of this boat - it spoke to me. I listened.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Stop Saving


Not to be taken to mean Start Spending… no, no!

What I mean is stop saving all the “good” stuff for company.

Ever notice how some (not all - because I don’t) people have stuff they put out only when company comes over, or when they have house guests.

Like towels…

I use my good towels. My house guests have to cope with drying themselves off with the same great towels I use. Nothing special here for my guests.

The one exception is the little wicker basket on the back of the toilet which has attractive facecloths rolled up expressly for use by company after using the toilet. 


For first time company I share this bit of info when showing them around my house.

I find it strange, and annoying, when I see NO used guest towels after company leaves and I go into my bathroom. I know they’ve been in there - hard not to when they say, “excuse me while I use the bathroom” - egads - where have they wiped their hands! 

Not on MY personal towel I hope - geez, why do I even bother!

Okay… enough about towels.

How about dishes and stemware - do you have “good” company only stuff? Not me!

I use all the good stuff for me - thereby eliminating the need for storage to hold the “good” stuff. 

You realize that means when company comes over the "good" stuff is already at my fingertips - I don't have to go dig it out of storage. Besides... my house isn't big enough to have second sets of anything.

My dishes are beautiful and so is my stemware - and I use them everyday - have done so for as long as I can remember. 

Who are we saving all this “good” stuff for anyway? This always bemuses me - who are we waiting for - ah… The Queen, perhaps?!

Now that I’m in tight with those sweet ladies in General Enquiries, and my letter has been posted, maybe I need to give this all a second thought.

Thinking… thinking… thinking… thinking…

Nope… after more than a second thought (I counted four) I have decided my stuff is already fit for a Queen - and I’m happy using it! (yes, yes, I answer to Queen Chainy too)   

Do you have good stuff just for guests? 

If so, why?  (really… I want to know)

Cheers, Jenny

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Royal Request

In light of yesterday’s post I thought I’d let you know how things turned out with my royal request.

Last night I called Buckingham Palace and spoke with The Queen.

Okay, I’m fibbing… I spoke with a sweet lady, in General Enquiries, who could easily have been The Queen - you never really know, do you - that accent can be tricky.

Here's how it all went down... 

I found this website called The official website of The British Monarchy and there was a Contact Us button. Really, I kid you not - it was that easy. 

Well, okay, maybe not that easy, I did have to press the Contact Us button.

Then, I found myself at a very interesting page: the Contact a member of the Royal Family page; first on the list was The Queen. Just like that!

Now, they do not accept emails; one must phone or write. 

So, late–really, really late–last night, I phoned. I hope I didn't sound tired - like right, I was way too excited... I was calling the Palace... who could possibly be tired. I'm tired now mind you.

I explained to the sweet lady, in General Enquiries–where they want to know what the general reason for your enquiry is–that I wished to obtain a photo of The Queen in casual attire as I wanted to draw a portrait of her. She, the sweet lady that sounded like The Queen, listened attentively and with confidence redirected my call. 

"Where?" you ask -  to another equally sweet lady (I think they have to pass a sweetness test to work at The Palace) in Royal Archives - not exactly the area I was looking for - but a start... or end to what could have been a sweet thing. 

I was informed that she, sweet lady number two, did not know who, at the Palace, would handle personal photos, as they were, after all, personal; she then, very sweetly, suggested I try CameraPress.com and RoyalImages.co.uk to see if they would have what I was looking for. 

Based on my quick perusal of their respective websites the photos are all of official engagements and not what I would like as a reference photo for my drawing.

She, still sweet and still number two, further suggested I could write The Queen a note and request the desired photo of her; so… I’m penning a note as we speak! 

Yes… I will write The Queen and ask if she, perchance, has a photo tossing about of herself sporting that elusive "I'm done with the crown for today" look that I might use as my reference photo.

I want to draw “a glimpse at the real woman beneath the crown jewels”. (I am borrowing said phrase from Linda Grimes, who left it in her comment yesterday - thanks, Linda)

Another Linda I wish to thank is not a blogger, but an off-blog personal friend. She called to enquire about another matter after which we discussed my “Q” post.

Sharing my frustrations with not being able to find more photos of Her Majesty in casual attire Linda piped up–like the woman in the know that she is–that I should google “Queen at Balmoral” - well… what can I say except, “Bingo.” 

Here's what I found following Linda's suggestion... 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7


Doesn't The Queen have a beautiful smile - she genuinely seems to be enjoying herself in these candid shots. I have taken the liberty of cropping them as I would only be doing a head shot when I draw her.

Which is your favourite? 

What do you think, should I use one of these and just do it?  

Or wait… and see if another option presents itself?

Anyway… one can have a little fun, right! Life’s just too short not to go for it. 

I want to thank all of you for cheering me on with this project, and a special thanks to Martin, for the retweet - every little bit helps.
____________________________

Also, since we are on "R" I want to give a shout out to Ruth at Ruth's Yummy Stuff. (aka Ruth's Recipes)  If you haven't been by her place you really are missing some great recipes. 

I recommend taking a look at her Blog Archive where all the titles of her posts (and recipes) will be right at your fingertips. Tell her Jenny sent you!

I've been dabbling with wanting some wheat and gluten free dishes and Ruth has been busy helping me out. To which I say, "Thanks, Ruth - you rock!" 

___________________________

And to my fellow A-Zers - how're you all doing? Hang in we're on the home stretch! No quitting now... we've come too far! Right Al! Eh, Bushman... you good? (sure you are - you're rocking this gig) And Dani... stay strong!  


Cheers, Jenny

Re source information: all these photos were found by googling: “queen at balmoral”, “queen at sandringham”, “queen with her horses”, “queen with her dogs”. These photos have been copied and pasted so many times the original information is hard to find. My apologies to the original photographers - should you see your photos here, please advise and I will be happy to link them to you.  Jenny Pearson

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quite a Quandary

I need your help…

Last November I drew a portrait of a lovely young woman, from Ireland… she was going through a difficult time when her friend Matthew asked me to draw a portrait of her for her birthday.

I loved every pencil stroke that went into my finished piece; I rediscovered a passion I had long forgotten.

As the months have passed and my drawing continues I am looking for another subject.

Well… that’s not quite right - I have a subject in mind, but lack a photo that “speaks” to me.

I wish to draw a portrait of The Queen of England, Elizabeth ll.

Now, there are millions upon millions of pictures of this famous face - all with crowns, jewels and all the pomp and pageantry that accompanies being royal.

What I want to draw is The Queen in casual mode; the photo taken when she is not on duty, not on display; where she is The Woman behind her Queen persona; out having fun with family and friends.

Alas, these photos are hard to come by - hence I am in quite a quandary.

Yes, I have googled “queen elizabeth ll casual” and found this photo…


I like it, but I would love to see more of The Queen’s face.

Further, this photo is very small, only 82 KB, so I am unable to enlarge it beyond the size here which makes getting details very hard; not that I can’t improvise - I did with the photo of the young woman which was very soft in details.

I am bold enough to phone Buckingham Palace and ask what I should do in a case like this. I may very well be calling as this post gets published to see if they might oblige me with such a photo. (if I don't ask I'll never know)

However, it never hurts to ask YOU, my dear readers, if you might have in your possession a photo of The Woman behind The Queen… without crown, without diamonds and without duty dictating her expression. 

I would like it to be a recent photo, taken within the last few years.

If such a photo exists, and you are willing to share it, I would love to see it.


Do you have such a photo, or know of anyone that does?

Cheers, Jenny