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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas, the New Year & a Retreat from my Favourite Retreat....

Christmas 2010 with my family
Sam, Dustin, Mojo, me, Brodie & Nellie - 1st Christmas in our Hornby Island home

Christmas came and went so fast and now we are once again looking forward to a new year. Another big change is in the wind with Sam retiring about mid year.

I so totally enjoyed being my own person for a lot of 2010. I think I have finally become accustomed to being "just me". I enjoy being a bit of a hermit now as it leaves me time to work on that which inspires me the most - creating art!

We have been so fortunate so far in that our kids have always been home for Christmas. Two years ago Brodie made it all the way from Thailand to arrive back in Sooke at 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Day, after a 65 hour trip. This year Dustin also made it home after an 11 month adventure in Australia arriving home December 16th. So Christmas with Dustin and Brodie was wonderful as usual and I cherish having them around us and always will.

We will be ringing in the New Year at the Hornby Island Community Hall with Marc Atkinson (a world renowned Hornby Island musician) along with his quartet and a couple of special guests. I believe they will be playing a gypsy caravan type style of music. We get to spend New Year's Eve with some of our Hornby friends but then we will be getting together with old friends from Sooke the following week for a nice dinner out at a restaurant.

So, now I move on to our newest location in Victoria for a couple of months. I am sad knowing that I won't have room to paint there and won't have the peace and tranquility that goes along with this island I now call home but I will put to good use my new pastels that Brodie gave me for Christmas and also hope to take a painting lesson or two, and maybe try some other creative endeavour. I will enjoy seeing Sam almost every day for awhile and also I am lucky to have some good friends to walk with and of course my dogs are always happy to keep me company anywhere I go.

So, on we go and I just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful New Year!~ With love, Karen

(P.S. May not get as much chance to post for awhile as we may not have internet right away).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some very rainy days....and Christmas is coming!

Well, it is almost mid-December and I appear to still be at Hornby Island and have survived some pretty wet and miserable days, and a couple of crazy ferry rides to Courtenay. I am gradually meeting more people here and have attended 2 luncheons at the New Horizon's Centre (for 55 and over people.....can't believe that I'm there). These are great lunches that everyone volunteers to help with and you get amazing soup, sandwiches and goodies ~ all for $5.00 plus someone usually does a slide show and a talk. The first one had to do with Hornby summer vacations as a child so there was some pretty interesting history from someone who is over 55 and used to come here starting when she was about 10 years old. The 2nd talk was from the doctor and nurse that practiced here for 24 years and who both still live on the island. It had to do with what it is like living and working as a physician and nurse up in the Northwest Territories which they have been doing for quite a number of years.

Sam and I have had a pretty hectic time in the last few months dealing with our rental house in Sooke and some pretty horrid furnace smells permeating everything we own in that house. We are moving again into a new rental while Sam does his remaining 6 months at work. This time it is a fully furnished executive suite in Victoria only 1 km. from where Sam works. The best part is our dogs are allowed to be there so it looks like I am going to have to leave my cherished home at Hornby Island and spend a couple of months in Victoria with my sweetiepie. It might feel like we're livng in a nice hotel and I'm sure that I will find lots there to keep me busy. Unfortunately I will likely not have room to paint so I'll need to find some other outlets for my creativity. I'm thinking I might see about taking some painting lessons as it's always good to pick up techniques and tips as you go along. I'm sure I will enjoy going out for a few lunches and dinners in restaurants as well. Not much of this at Hornby Island during the winter months.

Sam and I have also attended pub & games night at the New Horizons with some Hornby friends. It was really fun and nice to meet new people once again. We also went to the Christmas Fair last weekend ~ it never ceases to amaze me how artistic and creative people can be at these events.

One last bit of news is that Dustin, my oldest son, will be returning from Australia after almost 11 months so I will be picking him up with my friend Moe at the airport on Thursday and he'll be living with us in Victoria until he can get his life back in order. The best part is that we will all (Sam, me, Dustin, Brodie, Nellie & Mojo) be together for Christmas at Hornby Island this year for the 1st time! I'm very excited about that!

In case I don't post again before Christmas......I would just like to extend my best wishes to all my friends & family for a wonderful Christmas and a most fabulous and Happy New Year! XXX OOO

P.S. I have just completed another painting so that will be up on my Acrylic's page very shortly.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some new paintings.....

Hello everyone,
I have added a few new paintings on my Acrylics page during the last month. I'm on a roll right now and am happy when I complete a painting because then I can start on a new painting and I am always surprised by the final outcome of whatever it is I am painting. They don't always look like how I envisioned them in the beginning. It is kind of like someone else taking over my brush and thoughts and going into another world when I paint. I love it but the fire goes out, the dogs don't get fed when they are supposed to and you never know where I might find paint when all is said and done.....on my front door, back door, window, drift wood windowsill, hair, nose, toes.......mostly my clothes!!! It's all good!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Enjoying the Fall

It's been a very different Fall for me. I am so appreciative of the fact that I don't have to get up so early in the dark and drive that windy wet road to work every morning in traffic for over an hour (I do feel for my husband but luckily he doesn't have too much longer to go). It makes a huge impact on one's mood to know they can hang around outside and enjoy the fresh air every day if they want.

At any rate, the walks through the newly discovered trails have been fascinating with the huge array of mushrooms pushing their ways through the peat moss and displaying their intriguing shapes, sizes, colours, and patterns.

Halloween is such a community event on a small island and a great way to meet your neighbours and others around the island. There were lots of events going on and all the kids were dressed to the nines, so to speak.
I've not enjoyed Novembers too much in the past due to the signs of a long cold damp winter on its way however I seem to be having an excellent start to this November. I've actually enjoyed the wind, rain and power outages as well as extremely sunny weather which I've taken advantage of to spread my seaweed into the gardens and dig 180 bulbs into the ground. And, I have been able to partake in the over 55 club luncheon with a very interesting talk. This is a great way to get out and socialize and it happens once a week!

Anyways, on we go. We'll see if I'm still this happy after another month. All signs appear to be postive!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New pages coming to you....

Hi everyone,

I just added a couple of new pages that are "in the works". I have many more paintings to add so please keep checking back. Hope you like these and if not.....TOO BAD!!! (Just kidding).

I am planning to start selling some of these, so if you see something you like, please don't hesitate to ask questions. I also appreciate any feedback or comments you would like to give me. You can use the "comments" section below or contact me at

Yours truly... Karen

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rainy day and still life completed

Seeing as it has been raining most of the day, thought I better complete this still life before the fruit got really bad. I'm on a roll (maybe)....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Evolution of a retiree

As the seasons change, so do our lives......

It has been a whirlwind of activity since I retired. I have been spending the majority of my time at Hornby Island however I have also been to Vernon to spend my Mom's 83rd birthday with her, my sister and my brother's family who live there. I have been to Sooke a couple of times, to a wedding in Ladysmith, and an RV adventure to Port Renfrew. We have had quite a few visitors to Hornby, some spending as long as a week, and others just for the day.

When there is no company and I am not doing the touristy things or going to the beach, I have been spending a fair amount of time working in the yard doing clean-up, getting a few trees felled, gardening and walking. These past few months have been exactly what I have needed for quite some time and for the most part, I am feeling refreshed and alive again.
So, next on my agenda.........Well, I have started to paint again (finally) and have had one lesson from an amazing artist here on Hornby. I normally paint with watercolours but am looking for a new challenge so am now taking up acrylic painting.

This is the picture of my still life which was started at my recent lesson.

This is a heron painted in watercolours.

This is my latest painting of this particular heron but with acrylics and a totally different background (both backgrounds are from my imagination).

I am currently in the process of doing another still life with a mango, lemon and lime, two of which are starting to turn bad, and then onto a landscape scene.
This is the fruit in progress......

My intention is to eventually have a page with all my paintings, some old and some new that will evolve over time. Till then, C├ęst la vie!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Living in paradise!

There are no words to describe how I feel compared to how I felt 6 weeks ago.

My total years of working were 35 and that's not including my part-time jobs while in school. In the last 20 years I worked in the health care industry as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of a fairly big complex care facility. I knew that I needed to quit while my health was still fairly intact as it was getting worse in the last couple of years with extra stress due to increased workload because of health care cutbacks and the expectation that everyone should work at 110% (like that really possible). I was damaging my health and decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and retire at only 55 years young.

I am elated.... I feel free now! I almost feel as giddy as when I got out of high school and my life felt like it was just beginning with so many unknowns coming my way. What I am doing now is mostly for me, us (family) ...sounds a little selfish but as I recover from the insanity of constant pressure and expectations, I relish walking, gardening, talking, listening, tasting, cooking, smelling, reading........every bird that chirps enthralls me and my senses; every branch that sways in the wind, gives me a sense of how wonderful and beautiful nature is. Anyways, you get the picture.
As an aside, I am sooooooo happy Katt is now bloggin - check her out at ; I'm really looking forward to her novels big time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Turtle & eggs

Just got back from Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias area. Beautiful beaches and soooooooo relaxing in the 30 degree sunshine. The best part - the turtle that laid her eggs on the beach! 48 eggs from one little turtle.

They had to relocate the eggs as too many people in the area that she laid them. Was quite the experience for us!

Oh....and this is me surfing with the boogie board.............bwahahahhaahaaa

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New follower...."cool"

I see I have a new follower. Welcome Kathy!
Have to do a bit of reading on what you can do with this blog stuff cause I see other people's blogs and they're pretty cool.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

This is me.....I'm free now!

So my life is really starting to change and it's about time. I've been wanting and trying to have fun and sometimes it works but usually I've just been too busy, stressed, tired....You know the routine.
My new goal - fun! Wherever that may take me, that's where I'll be.