Tuesday, 5 May 2009

better late than never, right?!

i apologise, in advance, for the long post

yesterday was one of those days where i relished the art of just kicking back and doing nothing. well, i did do some laundry in the morning and i did make two large pots of soup in the late afternoon...one was corned beef and vegetable, the other was cabbage and bacon. the corned beef and vegetable soup has been a family favourite for many years, however, i've been making mostly vegetable soups for myself since i stopped eating meat five years ago. yesterday, i thought i'd try this cabbage soup recipe that i found over on bumblevee's cooking blog and it was absolutely delicious!!! thanks, bumblevee!! i used vegetarian bacon, omitted the sausage altogether and used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. i also chose to add the optional choices of corn and milk. i'm having it again for dinner tonight with some fresh bread and i can hardly wait....YUMMY!!! soups are just perfect right now with our cooler weather making an entrance....winter is only weeks away.

today, i started teaching class again after a six month break. prior to that, i had been teaching for five years but, in the latter years, had reached a point where i did not look forward to the weekly art lessons at all. i'd had three students at different times who really made teaching difficult with their negative attitudes. they wanted instant results with no effort and made negative comments continuously when i tried to teach them even the simplest of techniques and skills. i truly wondered why on earth they would even be in an art class if they had no interest in actually learning anything. as time went on, instead of looking forward to teaching classes, i was stressing over them and dreading their arrival each week. i guess a stronger person would have coped better but i just don't deal well with negativity in my life and i found it suffocating. i finally made the decision to stop teaching altogether as i felt like i'd lost all confidence as a teacher.

that said, i must admit that i thoroughly enjoyed teaching barbara again today. the six month break must have been just what i needed to release all the emotional 'baggage' from dealing with those negative-minded students. barbara was thrilled to be back too even though it is a temporary arrangement. i will continue to teach until barb finishes her current project though i think she is secretly hoping i will just continue on teaching regardless......time will tell, i guess. barbara has been a loyal and eager student over the past five years and, today, it reminded me of old times. barbara was my first student for two years before i ventured into teaching other classes and workshops. she also witnessed a lot of the negativity i had to deal with in classes and i was very appreciative that she was there for me. i am already looking forward to next week's class.


i was talking to michelle earlier this afternoon and, at that stage, I still had not done my mantra monday card. i was debating whether or not to just leave it for this week but a part of me didn't like that idea. i thought about how, lately, i've been feeling on a high despite battling flu and the usual daily dramas. i truly am enjoying just being. so i quickly painted this card up to reflect that feeling. my heart soars in the joy of being. i used one of my 'soul coaching' canvas pieces for inspiration which you can see in the right column of this blog.
acrylics on 5"x3½" CANSON acrylic paper
© serena lewis
click on any image to enlarge


i found this little guy peeking out from inside a leaf which he appears to have made his home

worth clicking to enlarge this one as you will see the reflective light in his eyes

once a month, cody enjoys (yeah, right!) salon treatment in our laundry room. here are pics of him at various stages of his pampering...though he would probably prefer to call it torture. he truly hates his bath-time and, when he sees the preparations under way, he cowers down hoping he's invisible to us. bless his little heart.

after the shampoo and conditioning


PLEASE....tell me it's over!!!

the treat at the end makes it all worthwhile

cody is super fast when it comes to food.....hehehe

sharing his ordeal with the neighbour's dog

....and that about catches me up for this week

love, light and peace


  1. LOL! COdy is so adorable and looks fabulous after the "ordeal"! :)

    I love the colors and simple but fabulous details in your mantra cards! :)

    As for teaching, It has been a challenge for me to not allow the negative ninnies overtake the amazingly positive students. The negative suck in so much energy, they almost erase the sun. I have learned to shift my focus and block them out with negative screen. I am working on doing the same with the adults. :)

  2. as always I love to see your mantra card! Its like owning my own set, only I actually read yours! That negativity is awful, I am glad you have found another way to enjoy teaching. I am the same , but with hectic people( "crazy makers"). I cant stand to be around them, but cant seem to block them out, so I relate to you. Hope you have a lovely week.

  3. I enjoyed the whole post, but I can't say I really loved the spider pic. LOL!
    Cody is adorable and looks so fluffy and cuddly after his bath.
    And finally thanks for the link to Vee's recipe site. I had it but lost it somehow and that cabbage soup sounds wonderful!

  4. I love your art and the dog photos. If they could only talk right? :)

  5. Love the card. As always you do such beautiful work. He he.. your little cody is so cute. I bet he said whew! at the end of his bath and grooming lol!

  6. Congrats on teaching again...sometimes a good break is needed! Love the affirmation card...always inspiring! That spider photo is a bit freaky to me, so I will not be enlarging it...thankfully you posted those adorable pics of you dog!

  7. hey, glad you tried the soup! I toss in all sorts of things and leave all sorts of things out when I make a soup. Yesterday I used leftover sprout water (because it is loaded with nutrients and I refuse to throw it out!) ..some leftover bits of chicken...a tiny bit of leftover vegetarian chili got tossed in too.... and then I heated it up with a red pepper..wooooo ...it was great.... on our hottest day so far..hahhaha...

    But, that's me. My neighbour thinks I'm nuts because on some 90 degree days I am baking muffins. Who cares. It's already hot what difference does it make?

    okay... listen ... just quit being so generous with your time, talents, and, darn it, with your life. It isn't worth it to torture yourself and it isn't healthy. Pick and choose your students. If they become negative in spite of your screening process... get rid of them. I'm serious. Just one toxic person in a class can be hell. Take them aside and tell them or just say it right out loud and get it over with... what's the worst that can happen? That is my new question to myself when I get worried about what somebody might think about something... ..although it is old as the hills....my 80 year old Dad used to say it. Okay... this is wayyy too long...but, I'm just sayin'...... your health and enjoyment come first, especially when you are offering a special service. Why should you make yourself miserable doing something you love and that should be such fun? The other eager students will thank you too...okay..nuff... I'm done nagging you .... hahahhahah ....

  8. Isn't Vee creative- even with food! I keep forgetting that as we enjoy spring, you are approaching winter. Soup is so satifying in chilly weather.

    Congrats on jumping back into teaching. But I am with you- I don't deal well with negative people- just want to smack them. When you get an unpleasant student, can you refund their money and ask them to leave?

    Love your mantra painting! But then I always love your painting:)

    What kind of spider is that? Great photo of it in that leaf. Love the design of the web.

    Cody looks so fluffy and darling after his spa treatment! Emmy hates baths and hides when she knows she is getting one, but Isabella loves her's. She often tries to get in tub when I am running water for my own bath.

  9. So, what is the temperature range there in the winter?

  10. oh poor Cody ;p looks good though :)

    I'm with vee. call any negative people in your class on their negativity. some might not realize what they are doing, others know exactly what they are doing but you need to tell any of them it will not be tolerated and they can leave. not worth spending your time teaching people like that

  11. Cody is just so sweet! Molly doesn't enjoy her once a month spa day so much either and looks very embarassed when she get's a bow on her collar at the end of it all. I'm sure she'd enjoy a treat much more!

    That's great that you're teaching again...wish we lived closer and I could take lessons from you!

    I'm so glad you're feeling happy Serena! What a great feeling it is to be happy "just because"!

  12. I love the mantra card!

    That spider gave me the shivers. YUK! I know you love them though and when I find one I can never kill them now. I have to release it gently outside because I have a picture of you in my head telling me not to harm it, lol

    Cody is so cute and super fast getting that treat off of Aaron.

    Love Shell xx

  13. Love your beautiful Monday mantra card!
    A very interesting catch of that guy and his leave/home!

    Absolutely adore last picture od Cody , it is precious!

    I hope that new students will bring you joy!

  14. Cody is so cute and probably so spoiled, ha! Like all cute doggies should be. I sure wish I lived close and could take a class from you. I would love it!

    As always, love your art!

    I really enjoyed reading you...

  15. Your pup is adorable!
    I love the color in your mantra card! So rich and vibrant!

  16. I loved reading your long post - never apologize!

    I haven't been around, so it was nice to read all this and catch up on you and your dog-torturing techniques. My favorite pic is the last - I can just hear him "you'll never believe what just happened to me...."

  17. Love the mantra card as alwys it is perfect. Cody is so cute and fluffy after his bath, does it rip around the house like my dog does afterward?

  18. Hi Mum,

    I love your blog post, even the pictures of Cody, especially when I was there watching it all being done! I love your Mantra card as well, it is so good! The soup looked nice in the pot, but as you said, I probably wouldn't like it.

    Keep up the good work!

    Love Brad!

  19. Thank you all for your wonderful and encouraging comments.

    Vee, I too, like to play around with recipes....your chicken/chili/red pepper throw-together sounded delicious! People think I'm crazy because I still have to have my hot tea in the dead heat of our summer. lol

    Linda, I'm not 100% sure on what type of spider it is but I'm leaning towards a young Huntsman spider. I wish Cody was like Bella with his baths as it would certainly make it a lot easier.

    Chocoholic, where I live in Queensland, our usual Winter temperature range would probably be a low of 6º to 9ºCelsius up to around 17º to 20ºCelsius...maybe higher on some days. So, really, not a winter at all by Canadian terms. I've always likened our winters to a Wyoming Fall.

    Kate, that's so sweet of you to say.

    Shell....LOL, I'm glad to hear you are doing the right thing by our eight-legged friends.

    Kerry, after his bath, Cody is gets all excited and seeks me out for some pampering and then he gets his treat.

    Thanks, Brad ~ :)

  20. oh, look at your sweet doggie! what a cutie!

    and you know what-my opinion is not be down on yourself for needing a break or thinking you should be 'stronger'. I think EVERYONE gets drained by negativity and the ones that stick with it aren't stronger, they ofter are the most run down.

    I am glad you took the time you needed so that you can be back and feel GOOD About it.

  21. Cody is so cute! I love that spider photo! Fabulous find!!!

  22. Your puppy is the CUTEST!!!!
    Your mantra cards are GORGEOUS!!!

    Just wanted to stop by and say HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!!!!!

  23. Nothing like the smell of soup on the stove and bread in the oven for me when the colder weather comes a calling--yumm!

    Teaching such negative people is a true challenge. You are smart to know when to take a break and refuel. Just remember, dear lady--it's their problem and not a relection on you. Can't please some people. And some people simply do not listen, either. You should just pick and choose your students--like Barbara--and have joyful classes. You deserve that! Which is why I loved your mantra card! It is the most wonderful feeling to be just filled with joy for no specific reason!! :):)

    Your spider--well, I can appreciate them at a distance and outside--hehe! But they are creepy to me--especially the larger ones. Anything crawling on me--yikes!

    Cody is soooo cute! Dogs feel so good after a bath, don't they? I like seeing the pictures of your little Cody. :)

    Happy Mother's Day, Serena!! :):):)
    Always, Rita


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