Delight + Dismay

Monday Morning Catch-Up

Delight: A beautiful sunny morning. I saw a hummingbird at our feeder at 7am.
Dismay: I’m missing the swallows. Used to be, morning and evening, I’d see a dozen swallows swooping and diving, cleaning our yard of pesky mosquitoes. So far this month I’ve seen two tree swallows and, twice now, a lone barn swallow.
Some people regard barn swallows as pests. “Dirty little birds, dropping mud here and there. Wish I didn’t have to clean up their mess.” Never considering how swallows clean up our air, devouring thousands of mosquitoes and other bugs every single day.

Delight: All kinds of birds come to my watering/bathing dishes all day long.
Dismay: Can they ever splash, especially the robins! Dishes need refilling several times a day. I don’t mind, actually; the show is worth the effort.

Delight: I’m finally getting another blog post written!
Dismay: I’ve lots I’d like to write – and posts I’d like to follow – but I’m having a hard time disciplining myself to get at it.

Delight: Last week I finished different painting projects and varnished half a dozen. They’re ready to go now.
Dismay: This new hobby takes time and money. On Friday I left another generous sum at Michael’s for more paint and canvas.

Delight: Someone encouraged me to sell them and even suggested a selling price!
Dismay: Perhaps no one will buy them? I’m not a pro, you know.

The same someone reminded me that we have other artistic sorts here who sell stuff and they aren’t PROFESSIONALS, either. Sign makers, candle makers, soap makers, bakers — we all do the best we can and it’s up to buyers if they want what we offer. So I’m encouraged to try.

Delight: Last week I studied online about the art of “paint pouring,” the different methods used, etc. And then I gave it a try!
Dismay: For the first picture I used some old Mod Podge I had sitting around as a pouring medium. Not so smart. The picture’s fine, colour-wise, but the texture is like someone sprinkled sand on the canvas.

Delight: On Friday’s trip to the city, I bought some proper pouring medium and a few more canvases. Mixed up some paint, several colours separately in cups, and gave it a try. Actually, I mixed up too much paint, so did a second picture.
Dismay: The second picture being an afterthought, I hurriedly mixed up more paint and it wasn’t mixed as carefully as the first cups. So the result had a few lumps.

Delight: Hey, the pictures were okay. The second one, on a 9″ x 11″ canvas, came out looking like six pink flowers spaced out nicely in a beige and turquoise flowerbed. This would have been a perfect illustration of Friday’s RDP prompt: Not a pair. 🙂
Dismay: One important instruction about pour art: When you leave your pictures stand overnight to harden, be sure the surface they’re on is level. Otherwise the picture may shift; paint may flow off the canvas one way or the other and you may see a much different picture in the morning. I could say I spent $25 Friday night to discover that the desk in my sewing room isn’t quite level. My “flowerbed” now looks like a dipsy tulip. Artists, beware!

Delight: I’m not giving up anyway. 🙂 I’m so enthused about my new artistic hobby!
Dismay: Much as I’d like to – I can’t spend all day painting. 😉

Delight: My operation was a great success and I’m pretty much back to normal in my activities.
Dismay ?: It’s time to catch up on all the housework and pull weeds in the flowerbeds.

Delight: Though the spring was drought-dry and dust was flying, farmers seeded their crops in hope. Now some badly needed rains have come to replenish our land. The seed is germinating and we’re all hopeful again.
Dismay: June is half gone already!

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: SEED

Lamp-lit Haiku

I have an anthology of haiku on my bedside table for when I need something relaxing to help me fall asleep. Often, though, some snatch of phrase inspires me and I grab my pencil. So here are a couple of my written-by-lamplight verses:

boys on bikes
chugging up a hill
ironman dreams

beach towels
scattered along the sand
islands in the sun

his work boots
sport flowers on the step
soft slipper days

Inspiring Verse

I wonder if this verse was Mr Guest’s answer to Rudyard Kipling’s famous verse, IF? Read IF here.

DUTY

by Edgar Guest

To do your little bit of toil,
to play life’s game with head erect;
to stoop to nothing that would soil
your honor or your self-respect;
to win what gold and fame you can,
but first of all to be a man.

To know the bitter and the sweet,
the sunshine and the days of rain;
to meet both victory and defeat,
nor boast too loudly nor complain;
to face whatever fates befall
and be a man throughout it all.

To seek success in honest strife
but not to value it so much
that, winning it, you go through life
stained by dishonor’s scarlet touch.
What goal or dream you choose, pursue,
but be a man whatever you do!

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

Just A Cat

As I wrote in my rambling post this morning, our dear little Tuffy is no longer with us, having been hit by a passing vehicle last night. Here’s another poet who lost a loved pet.

JUST A CAT
by James Allen

You’ve gone, old pal! No more I’ll hear
your deep contented purr,
nor will my fingers stoke again
your sleek and cosy fur.
No more my feet will stumble o’er
your friendly arching back–
that little trick you played so well
when begging for a snack.

Those trustful eyes so deep and wise
nor more shall gaze in mine;
no more I’ll watch your graceful tread
so lordly and benign.
No more upon the window sill
you’ll sit beside my chair,
to read with me the Daily Star
and show your wisdom rare.

I found a wisp of fur today
where once you laid your head;
‘twas near the spot you loved so well–
the bottom of my bed.
I miss you, little pal of mine,
and heavy is my heart,
for in a life of noise and strife
you played a kindly part.

Methinks I hear the cynics say,
“Aw, shucks, he’s just a cat!”
They do not know, these heedless ones,
a pet is just like that:
perhaps a horse you love to ride,
a dog or maybe two;
there’s something in that bond that makes
a richer man of you.

And so a thought I’d like to plant
amid the selfish din:
a love of pets and helpless things
would make the world akin.
To “Timo” then, I pen my ode
and hope – if I may dare –
that in the Happy Hunting Grounds
he’ll find good hunting there.

This is from an old clipping saved by Bob’s Mom. Other notes on the clipping speaks of Canada as “the Dominion of” so it does back a ways. Maybe even a long-lost relative of mine. 🙂

Keep Swimming

Today’s Word of the Day Challenge is GLOOMY.
I wasn’t going to post anything for this but a few minutes ago I happened upon this old poem, so I’ll post it as a response and encouragement to all.

THE OPTIMISTIC FROG

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl,
One was an optimistic soul;
But the other took the gloomy view,
“We shall drown,” he cried, without more ado.
So with a last despairing cry,
He flung up his legs and said, “Good-bye.”
Quoth the other frog with a merry grim,
“I can’t get out, but I won’t give in.
I’ll just swim round till my strength is spent,
Then will I die the more content.”
Bravely he swam till it would seem
His struggles began to churn the cream.
On the top of the butter at last he stopped,
And out of the bowl he gaily hopped.
What of the moral? ‘Tis easily found:
If you can’t hop out, keep swimming around.

🙂

This poem has been posted often through the years. some bloggers have given it a title — I will do so, too, but don’t quote me. 🙂 I’ve seen it listed as “Author Unknown” but two posts ascribe it to Walter Knight, from Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, which was published by Eerdmans in 1956

Not sure if he wrote the poem or simply compiled the book, as I’ve seen this verse ascribed to T.C. Hamlet as well. In any case, it’s still possible to get copies of Knight’s original book, and reprints have been done through the years.

Frog image by Josch13 at Pixabay