Why I Didn’t Post Last Week

I can’t blame my absence last week on NaNoWriMo.  In fact, I didn’t make 20K, but that’s not that unusual, and I’m fine with that.  It’s just an annual challenge I participate in for fun, and/or out of habit.

No, things really have been crazy.  I was going to say the events weren’t earth-shaking, but actually, they did feel that way—maybe a 4.5 on the Richter scale.  Lots of noise and movement and slight damage to property.

Last Sunday, my car was broken into (through a window) and my phone was stolen while I was out snowshoeing in the Burstall Pass area, so I’ve lost some of the work-in-progress shots of my painting of Mount Cascade.I have, however, done some painting since then, so here’s what it looked like at the end of the session before last.  I’m not sure whether it’s the lighting or the new phone camera that left it looking so washed-out.

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I do have a bit more time on my hands, but I’m just feeling…pretty drained.  Also, on November 21, my family’s dog, a Shih Tzu mix whom we’d had since I was 12, had to be put down.  He had a very long and happy life and while he wasn’t feeling well for the last few weeks, I don’t think he was in much pain, in the strictest sense.  He had been blind since September but for a while he coped quite well.  I still remember how, when we brought him home—seven weeks old and just a tad too big for Dad to hold in one hand—we three kids were so excited to have a puppy that Mom made us take half-hour turns holding and playing with him.  I think she even made a chart to keep track.  Later, he excelled at hide-and-seek, loved chewing his Lambie, and won over at least a couple of people who didn’t think they liked dogs until they met him.

This came at such a busy time I haven’t thought too much about “processing” the whole thing.  I had to share Mom’s tribute on Facebook, feeling like I lacked the creative energy to write one myself.  I haven’t really thought too much about whether there’s any connection between this event and my slow progress in painting.  Mostly, when I’ve been thinking I “should” paint, because it’s been a few days since I did, I chalk up my lack of inclination to fatigue.  Between two jobs, I did put in some eleven-hour days in November.  However, one of them was a short-term contract and the work is now complete, so things have quieted down a bit.

On the other hand, we’ve had quite a blizzard in Calgary over the last few days and the temperature outside remains very low.  It’s pretty chilly in the studio too, meaning I’d really like to get my current projects over with so I can start some smaller paintings: small enough that I don’t need an easel and can work on them at the antique desk beside the fireplace downstairs!

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