Van Gogh was not considered a “success” by the standards of his day. Nor would he be considered a “success”, were he struggling to paint today, by today’s standards. Nor would he be considered an “artist” by the accepted arts communities of the past, or those in the present, if he were painting today.

Labels, categories, what do they really mean, and how deeply do they affect the choices we make in our lives?

I know they have deeply affected many of the talented people I have known, and do know. I know they have deeply affected me, and my loved ones, sometimes with tragic results.

From my perspective Van Gogh was a success, as were my Granny and Grandpa, and as are many, many other people I have not heard of. That his work was appropriated by the culture at a point after his death, when he was no longer able to participate in society, is not something I consider a positive outcome.

There seems to be a significant negative correlation between my measure of success, and that of the culture in which we live.

We are having a quiet day here at Mist Cottage. Attila has come down with a cold, this is day three. Yesterday he braved the sunshine to attempt to go for a walk at a local park, even though he was feeling under the weather. Unfortunately the walkways were all covered with thick ice. We walked around the parking lot, then drove to a NoFrills grocery store and walked around for about an hour, purchasing shampoo and tomato paste. Today it is snowing, raining, and wet out there. We are staying home where it is warm and dry. The snow plough has been by the house twice already today!

We are (Attila is the we in this instance!) putting together the last of our bookcases, which will go in the bedroom at the foot of my bed. This will add welcome storage space, and also will improve the visual line in the house. I have been puttering around organizing the items to be stored there, and finding places for items that will not be stored there.

Attila’s new jacket arrived by courier this morning. I am very impressed because this morning I received the email saying that it shipped today, that is unexpected same day service, from Dickies. Attila likes their clothing lines, very comfortable and durable. Returning the items is a problem though, when they are purchased online, so we need to go to a store that sells Dickies; then Attila can try things on, and I can order the right size online when they are on sale.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EST Thursday 29 December 2016
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 1.6°C
Dew point: 0.7°C
Humidity: 94%
Wind: SW 23 gust 33 km/h
Visibility: 13 km


“Providence has hidden a charm in difficult undertakings which is appreciated only by those who dare to grapple with them.”
Anne-Sophie Swetchine


  1. Bex, Dickies clothing are great. Until this year we couldn’t afford to purchase their clothing, but fortune has smiled on us so that Attila can have a few items, which is what he got for Christmas.

    Attila says thanks for the good wishes!

  2. Diane, Attila finds it challenging to stay still for very long! He has slowed down though, little projects only, done within a few hours, then time for another rest.

    Good health and best wishes to you for the coming year!

  3. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I think my measure of success tends to run along the line of happiness or contentment. If your life gives you a reasonable amount of happiness then you are a success, IMO.

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