March 28/29, 2011

March 28 (or 29 since we have crossed the dateline)

On the 26, I was up at 5 and off to the Halifax airport with my friend, Laurie Gunn.  Laurie and I did allot of traveling together before I married Jim.  Jim is marvelous to travel with as well but this trip he opted out of. Instead he's been visiting his son and grandsons in Texas and today he starts hiking a part of the Appalacian Trail.

Laurie and I arrived in Boston around 9 am and took the tube to the Boston Museum of Fine Art. We had a great day. The five hours that we spent at the gallery were good for my soul. I am always inspired and intimidated by master pieces. I always feel a huge bond with the French Impressionists; partly because I love the strong compositions and their glorious use of colour, as well I feel a kinship with the entire process of finding the inspiration and then the entire process of making it my own.

After several hours of soaking up paintings, Laurie and I saw the photography exhibition and 

then saw the ancient art collection. Boston Museum  has an astonishing collection of Egyptian mummies and saw wonderful old old pots. It is hard for me to be wowed by old pots since being in Greece at Aquitira but definitely I always feel a real kinship with these early artists whose work lives on.

After a full day in Boston we returned to the airport and caught a flight to LA. 

Luckily our very late arrival meant we didn't have to be interested in LA on arrival. It was enough to get a shuttle to our hotel and crawl into bed.

Yesterday we were up and feeling peppy and after a great breakfast we decided to do a full day tour of LA .

So I have now been to Hollywood, the Chinese Theatre, Rodio Drive, and the best spot Venice beach. At 2:30 Laurie and I were dropped off at Universal Studio. Naively I expected to learn about film making. Still we did have a fascinating backlot tour and our trolly was attacked by dinosaurs, an earthquake, a flash flood and a shark. We also witnessed a giant car crash complete with sound and flames.

Back at the amusement park we were less than excited but we still really enjoyed a shrek experience in three d and a Simpson's rollercoaster that actually never left a small room but was done with robotics

We also went on a Simpson's roller coaster ride. The intriguing part was the technology. The roller coaster never actually left the small room but with movement, sound and animation we took a hair raising ride with hug lead balls rolling towards our car and the collapse of the roller coaster trestles that sent us plunging to our deaths which we miraculously survived. 

Our subsequent ride from LA to New Zealand was thankfully uneventful.

We have now arrived in Aukland and are awaiting take-off for Wellington

March 16, 2011

Last year, my daughter Danica was working with international students.Although I knew we couldn’t have anyone live with us for long periods of time, since it would crimp my painting,Jim and I both are happy to help out and have foreign students or teachers stay with us for short periods of time.We were lucky to meet teachers from China and students from Korea, Japan, Italy and Germany.This morning, when I answered the telephone, a little voice, said “Joy, It’s Soo.”Soo is back in Korea now but she was in Canada for a year and half. When she arrived in Canada, she was just eight.We managed to get to know Soo right after her first school year here, when she was without a home to stay in until summer camp started.Our littleSoo arrived to stay for a week or so.I’m still incredulous that education is so important that families would send their young children away for such a length of time.Soo had to be precocious to survive.We had hosted other much older students who because of shyness had a very hard time adjusting to our strange Canadian culture and language.After a year in our school system, Soo spoke wonderful English, she exuded confidence and she delighted in being with us.She trained our dog and us.When my youngest daughter, Yolande, was little I would lay down beside her every night and make up astory for her.Often I would doze off and she would elbow me to keep on talking.When a story was “magic” she would always ask to have it retold but usually I couldn’t remember anything about it.I started making up and telling new stories to Soo every night.She loved them.This morning when Soo called she said it was bedtime in Korea and she called for me to tell her a story.I was touched.I put down my paint brushes and told her to get comfy and told her the story of “Peawee, the very tiny dog“.

March 12, 2011

Today it feels like spring.  Its been raining all day and the snow is dissolving and disappearing.  Tomorrow is day light saving maybe a few weeks earlier than years ago but that still means that winter is licked.


Around our place in rural Nova Scotia, we have a delightful tiny white flower with pale pink stripes that always blooms early May.  Its called a Spring Beauty and I love to find them.


Sprmg UglyemUnfortunately we also have Spring Ugly.  Spring Ugly isnt the fault of the government.  It cant be blamed on a freak of nature nor even really on big corporations.  Spring Ugly is caused by everyday rural Nova Scotians who dont seem to have any problem tossing their Tim Hortons cups, their beer cans or their cigarette packages out of their car windows.  Today because the snow is receding, I found Spring Ugly: six Tim Hortons cups, one beer tin, one cigarette package and one Campbells Tomatoe Soup tin all within a hundred meters of my house!