Life and Pets

Checking in …

Have had a few easy days this week in the business, so I have been crafting. I can’t really say in my blog what I’m trying to craft, as the goal is to make four “things” for four daughters. Perhaps I won’t stop there.

The trick is that I am trying to use what I already have on hand. As with almost any art or artisan pursuit, there is no limit to the amount of money one can spend on supplies. Steampunk projects are no exception, and here’s the stupid thing … I have sold or discarded many items that could have been used in my projects-of-the-day.

I had been feeling quite abashed about collecting a whole whack of “stuff” and then losing interest, time after time. But daughter Susan and friend Fran both said that there needn’t be any shame in that. I think I can forgive myself for not “sticking with” a particular interest forever, but I need to guard against overspending and accumulating.

My late friend Judy said that she was “really bad” for this … and I don’t mind being like Judy. We used to laugh about our follies and peccadillos. So I will carry on, just not get carried away.

I had been doing such a good job of getting rid of beads; I felt like I was simply “sharing”, and it got easier. With the materials for the steampunk crafts, I’m trying to stay organized, and not buy new materials.

It takes more creativity to harvest and use what one already has. Last night, I watched several hours of steampunkery (I’m still not actually saying what the gifts are), but most crafters who post videos are using materials from craft supply retailers, and “faux” materials. The other thing I realized was that there is a huge range of “flavour” of steampunk art, and not everyone’s style appeals to me. Not at all.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I understand: at one time I didn’t know what “steampunk” meant and didn’t know many people who could define the style.

  • a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy featuring advanced machines and other technology based on steam power of the 19th century and taking place in a recognizable historical period or a fantasy world.
  • a subculture inspired by this literary and film subgenre: the fashions and gadgets of steampunk.

You might imagine that there are as many interpretations of this style (WTF is a subgenre anyway?) as there are crafters, artists or even costume makers.


None of this crafting has taken my mind off the wildfires in California. People I love are affected in both the south and the north. President Trump said on the TV today that they would not be in trouble if they had done more “forestry management” with the billions of dollars they had been given.

It seems to me a heartless remark, when there has been loss of life as well as loss of homes. I don’t know about “forestry management” around Malibu, for that matter.

The mass shooting at the bar last week was about 10 miles from Susan’s house and also Shay’s house. I haven’t heard Mr. Trump’s thoughts on that matter, but I’m sure they aren’t along the lines of gun control.







Above: Dexter & Jazzmine



Jeffgutt & Hank

Grizz & Sasha


Cinder with snowflakes


While looking for a photograph of my dad in his Air Force uniform tonight, which I’m not sure I even possess, I rediscovered a typewritten letter from my dear mother written in 1959 to my aunt Carolyn. It is very poignant, knowing all that we know now and remembering our lives after this was typed.

Mom talked of being diagnosed with disseminated lupus erythematosus, and that the doctor had advised her to have help around the home and address no “organizational” tasks. She spoke of having someone to do the laundry (in tubs), and said that she would rather do this work herself as she would be more thorough. Mom also shared that she and Dad were thinking of buying a television and had discussed the financial aspect of that; she felt that having a TV would make the long winters of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan more bearable.

Life got somewhat easier for our parents after that letter was written, and although we were not wealthy, Rae and I did not do without any necessity. After they moved to Calgary, Mom lived a full life in remission from her illness for awhile, and those are memories I cherish. She was such a darling person.


Hope you are all well, or at least coping. I love you for reading this blog.


Laine and Linden having a peaceful moment:




3 thoughts on “Checking in …

  1. Morning Ann,
    I love certain types of steampunk as well. Others just make my eyes go wide with the running commentary in my head basically wondering what they were thinking!
    When spending time in McBride visiting my family I noticed lovely materials everywhere that could be upcycled into art. No need to order online or visit a store!
    Love looking at the photos of happy dogs and cats.
    Kathy McMullin

  2. Mr Trump – well, he’s not well versed on taking care of others, is he? “Nuff” said there.

    Steampunk is… well, whatever you want it to be, so long as it’s complex and looks old. I think. I love the aesthetic, can’t really get into it beyond that.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful world, family and guests!

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