July 31, 2014

Our evening walk alongside Kempenfelt Bay - could it be better?!

July 28, 2014

Could this wee dog be waiting for me?

July 27, 2014

Friday's Pose at the Barrie Art Club!

July 24, 2014

This morning's laugh!! I wonder if this dog of mine actually plans these laughs - just for me?!

July 22, 2014

It took Josie a long time and a lot of thought as to where she should hide this saved-for-a-rainy-day bone. Now she is guarding it!

July 08, 2014

One part of Barrie's Wonderful Waterfront Parks

The guy making those circles is an Otter - at least I think it is an Otter - it has a flat tail.

July 02, 2014

A very happy Canadian family at the park yesterday - not to mention a very pregnant woman in the splash pool. Barrie sure knows how to celebrate - thousands came to watch the fireworks in the evening.

July 01, 2014

JULY 1/14


June 29, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

I also did this on my ipad in Procreate - It is my favourite umbrella and it was so much fun "painting" it. Click on it to see a bigger version. Happy Canada Day!

June 28, 2014

Josie on my friend Donna's sofa - we were in Collingwood for 5 days and 4 nights. Since we came home Josie isn't talking to me!

Quick sketch at the Barrie Art Club
These drawings were done in my ipad with the Procreate App. Fun!

June 20, 2014

Click on this to have a closer look at the Geese and their Goslings marching back to the pond. Now that the goslings are so big the parents take them for adventure walks! The 2 kids started imitating the way the geese marched and marched them back to the pond. Too funny!

June 14, 2014

Her head is away too big!!

Drawing Debbie at the BAC

Drawing Dave at the BAC

June 12, 2014

This was a cute sight but I'm not sure this mother isn't taking a risk. I wouldn't want my little girls that close to the gander. The kids are feeding the goslings in spite of the signs that say it should not be done. Picky Picky?!

June 09, 2014

More new ducklings!

So nice to see fathers caring for their children! Back in the day they were seldom seen out with their kids alone.

June 02, 2014

Drawing my great granddaughter from a photo

Strange marshmellow clouds over Barrie last night - click for a closer look.

May 30, 2014

Josie gives me my daily laugh - lining them up 2 x 2! What a crazy dog!

May 29, 2014

Now we have 9 little ducklings as well as goslings!

The first time I saw these goslings there were 3 of them - then 11 - then 18 and yesterday there were at least 24 if my count was right.

May 27, 2014

Friday Portrait Session - not happy but thats the way it goes! My only excuse is both poses were short poses! Usually I make the head too small - this time it is way too big ...

May 18, 2014

Baby Ducks in Barrie - May 17/14

 Baby geese in Barrie - the day before yesterday they were 3 and yesterday they were 6. So cute! Makes us feel maybe the world isn't going to hell in a handbasket doesn't it?
Josie and I are too close and away they go!

May 16, 2014


WOW! Until now I have been counting on the World Wide Web to eventually bring Freedom of Speech to the world. Instead I am learning it is more likely to bring us a Police State. Someone, somewhere may well be reading these words - simply because they noticed I typed the world Greenwald into my computer and Greenwald is suspected of being an "enemy of the state" because he is a friend of Snowden the hero leaker. Someday, somewhere a person who types Greenwald into their computer may have someone in uniform arrive on their doorstep one sunny morning? I believe we are on the edge of danger - extreme danger! If you too are only now realizing how extreme the danger is or will be and if you want to do something about it I hope you will take the time to read and listen to the information this site. It takes a while so fill your coffee pot! Then PASS IT ON!

May 15, 2014


May 14, 2014

Josie has added her old soup bones to her palette. She has also changed her eating habits. Instead of eating from her bowl she takes the nuggets and throws them one by one as far as possible. Then she  plays with the nugget tossing it around with her paws. Eventually she eats it and goes back for another. This little dog is nuts!! I imagine she calls the above arrangement "2x2x2"?

May 10, 2014

Pretty bad except for the top one - I thought they looked pretty good until I took pictures of them!!

May 03, 2014

This are 15 minute sketches of me on Newsprint by a woman in our Friday morning Portrait Group at the BAC. Aren't they terrific? We take turns modelling for each other and it was my turn.

May 01, 2014

How lucky can I get? Josie gifts me with her smelly old soup bones almost every night. This one was on my pillow and she can't understand why I moved it.

April 29, 2014

Time to Wrap this up?

I don't know about you but I think I am getting sick of writing this. I expect you may be getting tired of reading it too. It is simply too damn depressing and it no longer feels necessary although I think it was necessary and I am very glad I have spit it out in this 80th year. 
It WAS an awful childhood which certainly affected the life I have lived for worse rather than for better. It was worse for my brothers and sisters who did not overcome our childhood. There are no pretty endings to this story.
I have survived and survived fairly well - maybe because I spend 13 years talking to a psychiatrist - maybe because I inherited healthier genes - or did I just have better luck along the way? My guess would be that my father's love saved me and gave me the will to survive. I remember him saying "life is sweet Bet" and wondering what he meant. Maybe I stuck around trying to find out what he meant? I don't know why I survived but here I am 80+ years later. Stuttering away.
Much to my surprise writing what I have written seems to have, in fact, put it behind me. It has been really liberating to say out loud what I have said. I believe those who are abused most often feel they did something to deserve that abuse. As a kid on Tower Street I walked on wooden sidewalks and stepped on the cracks as I recited "step on a crack and you break your mother's back". OMG - the guilt!
I expect my brothers and sisters felt their problems were of their own making too. They all lived unhealthy, unhappy lives. Much death and destruction.
There is lots more to be said but it is really all the same story of abuse until I/we got out of the house. I married when I was 17 and pregnant. After my first baby was born I decided I could pretend to be anyone I wanted to be. I tied on my apron and decided my favourite person in the world was Eleanor Roosevelt so I would pretend I had her nature and go from there. I did that for years and maybe I still do it. I am not sure I really know who I am.
The symptoms of the sickness continue in my very fractured family. Watered down neurosis but neurosis never the less. What a shame.  
If you are young and also lived a damaged childhood I hope you will ask for professional help and work hard to help yourself.
If you are old and lonely don't despair. It may not be your fault or anyone's fault. It may be all about the genes we and those we care about inherited. The luck of the draw. Keep putting one foot in front of the other for as long as you can as well as you can.

April 28, 2014


I am scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to remember good things that happened in The Yellow House. There are some but I am sorry to say I can't come up with a single good memory of my mother. She was all about scenes and throwing things and sulking. I lived for my father - I think we all did. Every night he gathered us around his plush green armchair and told us stories. He made them up as he went along. There were 3 mice who decided they wanted to live in the big city so ran away from home and got themselves in all kinds of trouble. There was a nasty witch who did horrible things - so horrible that Bob couldn't stop crying after he went to bed. Dad had to get us all up, gather us around his chair again and kill that nasty witch off! Then Bob was able to sleep without sobbing.
On Sunday mornings Dad would make waffles on an electric waffle maker on the dining room table. As  the kids got older we would often get to fooling around and squabbling. I remember getting sent to the bathroom, to sit on the little chair my father had made for me, because I couldn't stop giggling. He also built me a pine desk for my 10th birthday.
I got Scarlet Fever. Dr Cameron came and took me to the hospital in his car. I had private nurses around the clock which must have cost my father a great deal of money and I am sure my mother would feel they were unnecessary. I loved being in the hospital! I was safe there. My guess is that is why the doctor put me there. However a terrible thing happened. I was in a very large isolation room by myself until one afternoon when they brought an unconscious little boy in and put him in a bed across from me. The doctors and nurses were running back and forth to him far into the evening. He had been riding his toboggan down a hill and been hit by a truck. I wanted to know all about it but my nurse wouldn't  say much. He was such a cute little guy and so still and quiet. I woke up in the morning and he was gone! Of course, he had died during the night but that had never occurred to me. I asked my nurse where he was. "they moved him to another room" … "why?" "you made too much noise so they moved him". What a stupid or cruel woman.
The doctor kept me in hospital long after necessary. I was allowed to wander around at will. My father came and took me to the movies. Bambi and Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet. I don't think I had ever seen a movie before although later we sometimes got to go on Saturday afternoon.
Bob and Mary and Billy also got Scarlet Fever. The department of health put ISOLATION signs on both our front and back door. That must have been a sweet time for them. Not!

April 27, 2014


I became the cleaning lady who got all the dirty jobs. I hung the washing on the line on freezing cold days - then took the spooky stiff frozen clothes off the line, rolled them up to keep them damp until I ironed them the next day. I cleaned the silver and the windows. If something was spilled I cleaned it up and I changed Billy's wet sheets.   The only thing she couldn't make me do were the dishes. I still had what we called my "sore hands" and they were in bandages most of the time. I'm not sure if it was exema, a reaction to the sulfur treatment or simply a psychological reaction to my pain and confusion. She would say "what a great excuse they are for you!" but never say it in front of my father. Therefore my confusion. She treated me fairly decently in front of my father and I wasn't old enough to realize she had no choice and didn't really think well of me. My father took care of my hands and she wouldn't dare have me put the bandages in the dishwater because he would know it. My father was a quiet man but he was the boss.
Before bedtime my father would take me to my room and we would do my hands. I think Dr Cameron had advised this because when the adult me asked why "you took care of my hands and why did they keep me in hospital because of my hands?" he said "because your mother wasn't taking care of you". Those were the days when doctors made house calls and took your tonsils out on the kitchen table. He knew what was going on in that horrible yellow house. My hands were soaked in a basin of warm water to loosen the places the puss had stuck to them, then they were soaked and dried and he gently rebandaged them. While we did this my father taught me how to add and subtract and later to multiply. I still think of him when I multiply figures. Think of him and thank him. Anything good that came the way of us kids came from my father.
 The hands broke out periodically until I got married and left home. One summer when I left my husband and lived under her roof my sore hands returned full force. When I got out from under that roof they cleared up immediately.
In a sense it is understandable that my mother went mad. Giving her the benefit of the doubt and the benefit of decent genes it must have been very difficult for this spoiled private school rather cultured very Catholic young woman who would have 5 unwanted children by the time she was 34 years old. Yes, she was pregnant again with Janet. You will be glad to know Janet would be her last child and also the only one she seemed to actually like. That may have been because I was old enough to change the diapers, bath and play with Janet who was 12 years younger than me. She was a joy.

April 26, 2014


Portraits from yesterday's BAC group. OMG I love doing these and they ARE getting better! I was late and had less than an hour for Debbie and less than half an hour for Arlene.

April 25, 2014


Oh damn! I lost this whole entry last night. This is the second time this has happened. I take my iPhone to bed and one finger type my thoughts into Notes. In the morning I refine (haha) my words in my BigMac and send them off to you. Twice now my Notes have simply disappeared and I am unable to find them again.
It is 5 AM and I trying again. This time I am sending my words in an email to myself rather than counting on Notes to save them for me.

It was on Tower Street that my mother came to actively hate and single me out. It is the first time I remember my father coming home from work around the same time every late afternoon. He had a new safe job at the Lakeshore. He often had candies in his lunch pail for us kids. He paid a lot of attention to us and to me in particular. I was always my father’s favourite which didn't make my mother happy. When I was older I would ask him not to talk to me because "it makes mom mad and she gets mean to me".
As I said earlier she was going over the edge. Knowing what I know now I believe she was beginning to have psychotic episodes. Billy was also on her hate list. I suppose he was about 2 and he wet the bed. She called him "that dirty little boy" and I was "that little tramp" She was still calling me "that little tramp" when I was in my thirties. In fact when I was in my fifties and seeing a psychiatrist I called my sister to ask her if I had  imagined her title for me when I was a kid. “She STILL calls you a little tramp Betty!!”
In any case when I was 10 or so she did something so unspeakable l I am not even going to tell you what it was. Ever. Don't ask me. I knew it was wrong and I knew I was supposed to keep my mouth shut about it. I didn't. My father came home from work and asked "so what did you girls do today [she had kept me home from school - I was an accomplice] and I told.  Knowing full well what I was doing but unable to see the consequences. I still see his head swivel as he told her to go to their room.  I swear she hated me with a vengeance from that day forward. I swear she said to herself "I will make her pay, I will ruin this little brats life!". She succeeded in good part. Adults can do that to their children.