Monthly Archives: May 2011

Duncan and Jillian’s Wedding a la Bill Cunningham

Saturday, we happily celebrated with Jillian and Duncan at their wedding. (You can read about their February stag ‘n’ doe here). Jillian’s Dad, Jeff, is a very close friend; plus, he lives in the unit right under our Condo Casa – remember when we went to his annual Super Bowl party?!).

In terms of writing both a blog post and a wedding recap, I am inspired today by the documentary I saw last weekend about Bill Cunningham. (He’s the photographer for the New York Times columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.).

What better occasion at which to capture high fashion and a festive atmosphere than at a wedding?


First, in honour of “On the Street,” our theme is “Wedding Finery.”

Chic accoutrements were sighted at a May 28th wedding reception at the new Tannery Event Space. Of note: sky-high heels, satin fabrics, florals with pop; and mega-watt smiles of genuine affection on the faces of friends and family.



Fabulous Footwear:

[I am now totally delirious over stilettos. Like I want to run out right this moment tomorrow and purchase a pair. I can’t walk in heels, so no clue as to what I’d do in 6″ towers, but they. look. amazing].


Now, in honour of “Evening Hours…”

May 28th:

from the seating chart

The Tannery Event Centre, Kitchener. This elegant, historic building, featuring a soaring ceiling, exposed brickwork, and  state-of-the-art sound and visual systems, provided the chic backdrop to the evening wedding reception for Duncan W. and Jillian K.

One hundred and twenty guests mingled in the lobby of this recently renovated building before progressing to the main hall for a sumptuous four-course catered dinner.

Miraculously, the rains held off until after dark. The evening was a joyful celebration of true love and the twining of two hearts.

[In my attempt to be a social photographer, I learned a few lessons: 1) it is very hard to capture people who are talking or presenting without their mouths open, eyes, down, and with complimentary facial expressions 2) lighting is tricky to work with when you have a point-and-shoot camera 3) you really have to snap a TON of photos to edit through and find the best ones (I did not do this!) 4) photographing special events is fun! I’d like to do this more often!].

(photos and recap are shared with permission)

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When was the last wedding you attended, and how did you know the newlyweds? I can’t even remember the last wedding I was at before Duncan and Jillian’s!

Can you recommend any fabulous fashion-oriented blogs? Seeing all the glam dresses and heels last eve has awakened my inner fashionista, and also, I’m looking to expand my blog-reading horizons; so please let me know if there’s a style blog out there that you really enjoy!

I Couldn’t Resist

I like a good joke. My definition of “good” is a funny that makes me laugh, no one gets hurt (physically or emotionally), the joke isn’t overplayed, and everyone is still friends in the end.

My Mom is a retired kindergarten teacher. Her students used to be so thoughtful when giving her Christmas and End-of-the-Year presents. It’s the sentiment that counts, and Mom always appreciated each and every acknowledgement from the families.

One year, a little darling sweetly profferred this gift:

a photo frame unlike any other

Yes, that is a Christmas bag, underneath. See, thanks to this…item, mom and I began a back-and-forth running gag: you never knew when you would find this photo tchotchke in your possession. I’d open up a birthday gift…and find my Gift Card inserted into the photo slot. Mom would open up her teatowel drawer…and find the “two hearts” tucked under a dishcloth. There was no rhyme nor reason to our timeframe: three days or three months could go by before  – pop! – there would be that dang photo frame back in your possession.

As you can see, I was the last lucky recipient…and it’s been a while since I regifted.

Mom celebrated her birthday yesterday! “29” once again! 🙂

I had three gifts for her:

#1 (balloon wrap) and #2 (green and white wrap)

#3 wrapped in renoir

[Sidenote: the joke’s on me with that Renoir wrap on Gift #3: I bought it last summer in St Petersburg, Florida at Haslam’s Book Store, knowing that only Mom would appreciate the exorbitant price the artistry. When I opened the package this week….I saw that bosom-y, unclothed women were featured (misleading product! there are no bare-necked females on that coverlet!!!)…ok, maybe I should have gone with the Van Gogh paper!]

Anyway, back to the story…we gathered yesterday aft so Mom could open her birthday presents.

First up: Gift #1 in the balloon paper:

jane brody's cook book!

mom loves cook books! good choice, right?!

JOKE!!!! I picked up that book at the store for …$1.85!!!

i tucked the receipt inside the cover so mom could see the value of her gift!

[The Jane Brody cookbook IS actually a very good cookbook! I have the same one that I got before 3rd year university; however, it’s copyrighted from 1985 so it’s not exactly *new,* and not exactly Mom’s “style].

mom appreciated the joke. what a good sport!

Next up: Gift #2, wrapped in green and white:

a run for the cure mini tote bag!!!!

isn't that special.

JOKE!!!!! That’s not Mom’s real gift, either!

and again, we enjoy a good laugh

mom with her birthday "blagues," as the french would say...

Time for Mom’s real present (no one likes a joke that overextends its welcome):

red keds!

I thought Mom would enjoy a kicky pair of sneaks for her jaunts around Uptown this summer. Red seemed right for Mom.

a perfect fit (we wear the same size, so i was pretty confident picking out these shoes)

I’m so glad we enjoy a similar sense of humour, Mom! Thanks for being a good sport on your birthday!

official birthday portrait

My day was made when I got to sniff these beautiful blossoms. Joanne‘s parents dropped them off to Mom yesterday!

the scent of lily of the valley is my favourite flower, ever. we had beds of these at my childhood home and at the house we owned before the condo casa

a bounty of lilacs - which also smell so heavenly

So, Mom, now that I have found where I stashed this…

…you just better watch out!

Any gifts that you’ve ever received that have been a little…*not your style?*

Any running gags that you’ve ever participated in?

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So far I have resisted…

this window display caught my eye a few days ago...

…these American Apparel neon nail polishes. They’re $7.50 each…not sure how long I can hold off on treating myself to a flashy hue; just a little pick-me-up for all this dreary rain this month???? I should pick several one up, right??? right??! 🙂


Friday evening was one of my favourite annual outings of the entire year. Mom, Dad and I drove to the nearby town of New Hamburg. Every year on the last weekend in May, New Hamburg plays host to the MCC Relief Sale. Every year, we go on the Friday evening to the “Preview” events.

The weather this year: it was freaking cold! Seriously, I was thisclose to wearing my mitts. I DID wear fleece and my winter-weight jacket.

this is NOT really may 27th, is it?!!

Brrrr…at least we didn’t have rain, but dark clouds were looming!

In the 2010 report, I talk about five of our traditions for this evening event – let’s compare last year to this year…

Tradition #1 – Dad’s Parking Spot

Every year, Erv magically finds a parking spot insanely close to the entrance, given the throngs of people and hordes of vehicles cramming the surrounding fields and grounds.

three feet from the entrance - nice work, dad!

The tradition continues…Dad even had a lot of space with which to work this year! Although Mom did have step out into a mud puddle…

Tradition #2 – Meat ‘n’ Pie

the food lineups were gi-normous this year...

The tradition continues…This year, Dad got his sausage meat and his pie (cherry with ice cream) but no fries…too many people lined up!

Tradition #3 – Mom Buys Apple Butter and Jams

the mennonite jam lady + mom with her bread and butter pickles

The tradition continues…Mom walked away with FIVE jars this year, which may very well be a new record. With this selection…

mom debates her choices...

…can you really blame her?!

Tradition #4 – The Viewing of the Quilts

one of my favourites this year

The tradition continues…wow. The quilts up for auction were once again incredible.

look at the cross stitch and needlepoint - now imagine this multiplied over the size of a bedspread

They had a “Viewer’s Choice” award this year – everyone received one ballot with which to vote. I picked the quilt, above, because I can only imagine the acres of time required to hand stitch each and every flower on that quilt. Remarkable.

one of the more traditional designs...

Many of the quilts would appeal to the little folk. I would bid on…

ballerinas for little e...

...and kittie cats for baby c!

And, as always, Mom and I hit the wall before we finished our quilt tour. At a certain point, we can’t absorb and appreciate any more creativity and beauty. So much awesomeness.

Tradition # 5 – Catching Up

The tradition continues…but I have no photographic proof. [I’m not yet at the point, as a blogger, where I feel comfortable asking acquaintances for a photo so I can put them on my blog]. This year, I met:

  • a girl I taught when she was in high school…and she was at the Preview Evening with her 4.5 month old daughter!
  • a girl I went to high school with. I didn’t actually talk to her…but I heard her very loud voice from across the room
  • my parents’ neighbour
  • a favourite couple who are customers from the store
  • and a few more!

As with every other year, this year was a really fun outing. I always walk away feeling so creatively inspired by the quilts. At this time, I’m not sure if my 2011 Goal of starting a knitted contribution for next year will happen or not. Too bad I don’t get inspired by the baked goods to learn how to make pies – haha!

On my Life Bucket List is to purchase one of these amazing quilts, and hang it as wall art in the Condo Casa. I have no idea how I will make this happen, as I don’t anticipate ever going to the Saturday morning Quilt Auction myself [the crowds are enormous and the auction lasts hours, neither of which entice me at all]; maybe I can send Gina some year, in my place?? Pay her in apple fritters (or pay her plane flight, haha!)? Let me know, G!

Are there any fairs/festivals/auctions that you attend annually? The MCC Relief Sale enjoys a huge following, and draws enormous numbers of visitors every year. The best part? All money raised goes to support MCC‘s work around the world.

Happy Sunday and Happy Birthday, Mom! ❤

New Experience #17: Read an Entire Book of the Bible

I feel a little bit bad reporting on today’s New Experience because it’s going to sound negative, overall, and it’s about the Bible. I don’t feel comfortable with that juxtaposition. Speaking unfavourably about a sacred text…am I playing with fire??!

I hope I am not struck down.

Back on April 12th, I mentioned that I was reading the book of Proverbs…and it was not going well. I received helpful and thoughtful suggestions about how to get more out of my Bible reading. To be honest, I didn’t follow any of your ideas. 😦 I continued my slog through all 31 chapters, managing to read a few paragraphs, 1/4 page, once in while a whole chapter (!) per evening before bed. [The situation did not improve once I started reading The Help; hmmm, try to decipher boring Biblical verse, OR dive back into the completely captivating story of Aibileen, Minny, Skeeter et al…yea].

My complaints about Proverbs:

  • the references to loose women, adulteresses, harlots – – > I was just not expecting this. Also, I can tell a man wrote Proverbs – it’s male-centric.
  • ___ but ___ – – > maybe it’s supposed to be poetic, but I got tired of reading this writing style. An example: “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” (Chapter 10, verse 12) [Chapter 6 is written alllllllll in this style]
  • convoluted logic: at times, I read and re-read verses, paragraphs, even just one line trying to find the profundity. Maybe I need to have meditation time in the morning when my brain is fresh?? Example of what flummoxed me: “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to want.” (Chapter 14, verse 23) [????]

Anyway, I’m happy I persevered. I did find some words of wisdom within the pages of Proverbs, but true, outright gems were few and far between.

The problem, too, is that this book of the Bible was not what I expected – I thought I was going to get a whole Biblical book of a-ha’s, words of solace, uplifting passages of inspiration, and that just didn’t happen. I can blame Dad! 🙂 He recommended that I read Proverbs to find comfort. So, I was expecting other than what I found – like a mental bait and switch. I like the Psalms I have read much more.

In order to be positive, here are a few passages I found meaningful, and underlined in pen in my Revised Standard Version:

There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that have shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers.” (Chapter 6 verses 16-19)

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Chapter 15 verse 1)

A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” (Chapter 17, verse 22)

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger and not your own lips.” (Chapter 27, verses 1-2)

Will I read another book of the Bible? Yes. But I need a break. Maybe after The Help. I think I would like to try the book of Psalms next.

ALTHOUGH…you know what I really would like to do: have the Bible in front of me, close my eyes, flip it open, and read the passage I find. That method speaks to my Kiki-sense of happenstance and coincidence? I think not” way of seeing the world. Yes. That is what I am going to try.

Have you ever read the entire Bible? Is it a life goal? My friend Julie has read the whole Bible! I’d love to know how long that took her!

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Here is the type of passage that fits more with how I see the world, and from where I draw inspiration:



(a guide for Global Leadership)

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Right, Mom? [Mom is a retired kindergarten teacher!]

or *even better*…

lululemon inspiration

Right, Dorry?! 🙂

Enjoy your Saturday!

Babysitting for Ruby Watchco

Wednesday night saw the culmination of all my May Outing of the Month coupon redemptions. What a fantastic month it’s been!

Mom’s birthday is this Sunday. As a special treat, The Brother and SIL Ana arranged to take Mom and Dad to Ruby Watchco for dinner on Wednesday eve. Ever since celebrity chef, Lynn Crawford, opened her Leslieville restaurant, Mom has been eager to dine there. What better occasion to visit than for a birthday celebration?

Weeks ago, we had pre-determined that Wednesday eve would be a Babysitting, Part II for Outing of the Month, so everything worked out perfectly for B and me to provide babysitting for the evening.

Mom, Dad, B and I drove to Toronto mid-aft (when traffic is best). We arrived early enough to meet The Brother for a coffee!

i enjoyed a very tall decaf americano! (note the wooden table - one for my home, please and thank you)

The Brother kindly prepped dinner…

the top chef at work...

…while shenanigans ensued in the living room (shh!)

grammy and grampy are such good sports!

clear the decks!

A group photo pre-departure:

enjoy your evening!

Dad received strict instructions to take photos at the restaurant. For the blog. Yea, yea, capture the moments for the family archives, but I want to show the dining experience on the blog!

wednesday eve's four-course menu (ruby watchco features one set menu per evening; dishes are served family style to your table)

it's an open kitchen design...

love that brickwork; a ruby watchco co-owner is designer cherie stinson, who has appeared on hgtv's "restaurant makeover"

"an unforgettable evening," declared the beautiful birthday maman

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

aunti was soooo excited with her library find - a NEW WIGGLES CD!!! hot off the press, 2011!

It was a hit!


and dancin'...

and bouncin'...


and stylin’…

and jazzin...

We four had a blast.

As did they four:

that sign inspired the naming of the restaurant

To be honest, Ruby Watchco has received mixed reviews in the media (Joanne Kates’ review in the Globe, TO Life magazine review, for example – BUT, note that these reviews are from 2010); my family was very very pleased with their experience.

What a wonderful evening, all around, for all parties! Ruby Watchco, you’re a hit in this family’s books!

Are you influenced, at all, by media reviews of dining hot spots? How do you choose a location for special celebrations? I pay more mind to personal opinions expressed by people I know rather than rely on media reviews. You never know if there’s a hidden agenda when a professional reviewer is involved!

She’s Just Not That Into Me

After work on Tuesday, VFBF Joanne and I met up at Coffee Culture. Wow – three visits in three months. When we decide to renew our friendship, we mean business. As always, our time together was unequivocally delightful. I Joanne!

hey sister, soul sister...

Speaking of girlfriends, I have…this friend. Let’s call her Amy.* Amy came to me the other day with a dilemma. She wants to break up with her gal pal…Hilary.* Amy and Hilary have been seeing each other socially for about six months. All was great at the beginning of their friendship: they chatted non-stop on their outings, they discovered many common interests, all was fine and dandy.

According to Amy, things began to sour after the third or fourth *date.” Amy totally got the vibe that Hilary was on edge; she didn’t really seem to be enjoying their gallery outing that eve. Then the length of time between their get-togethers started to lengthen.

A month or so ago, Amy decided to stop contacting Hilary. It was just too obvious that Hilary was seeing their friendship as an obligation, not as a joy. Their last face-to-face social, a wine-tasting event, was the last straw – Amy could totally tell that Hilary was not happy being out. She was negative, snippy, and patronizing. Amy came home feeling perturbed, but also fed up. She’s decided to decline any future invitations from Hilary, should any be issued (Amy believes that Hilary will not be proposing any more *dates,* though).

So, Amy wanted my advice on how to break up with Hilary. That’s a tough one, eh? I suggested she just come up with excuses, say she’s busy etc etc – but that’s because I am a confrontation-avoider. I guess I would just hope that Hilary stops asking after a few negative responses.

How would you deal with this situation? Have you ever been in Amy’s shoes? I don’t think the answer is for Amy to say outright, “I don’t wish to see you any more, Hilary. You just aren’t fun and you make me feel tense.” But I’m wondering if there are other options…

*names have been changed to protect the identities of the persons involved.

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May Grocery Challenge- The End is Near!

My goal of looking for sales/coupons/deals continues. Just to share two “yeSSS!” moments…

$0.75 savings on a product i would buy anyway!

Before May: I purchased individual containers of cottage cheese.

The Month of May: I switched to bigger containers, and just dollop out the same amount as the individual sizes. I save $ and save extra packaging from the recycling bin!

I think I’ll be utilizing more of these coupons!

almond milk - my favourite!

Healthy Foods and More has Almond Breeze on sale from $2.89 to $1.99! While skids last. I’ll def be back for more. Stash much?!

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Recommended Reads from The Globe and Mail:

From culinary catastrophe to taste sensation [this was the headline in the newspaper; the online title is “University revolutionizes Winnipeg’s food scene”] – – > Gina, this article is for you!

The O Effect: How Oprah Conquered the World [I want to talk more about Oprah at another time]

The missing girls of India [online title: “With greater education and wealth come greater risks for India’s unborn females” – and to think we are in 2011…]

Americans open wallets, Canadians tighten belts [perfect timing with the May Grocery Challenge]

Kiki is a Copycat

I first saw this list of questions on both Averie and Gabriela‘s blogs (and to give credit where credit is due, they linked the list back to blogger Chelsey). My initial reaction? I thought, “there’s no way I would give my answers/participate in a survey of this nature – some of these questions are just plain outrageous!”

But, I do enjoy questionnaire-answering.  So, what the hay, life’s too short to sweat the small stuff. And only a few questions are mildly embarrassing. I’ll just channel my inner Bridesmaid, throw caution to the wind, and show no shame…here goes nothing!

1. a) What is your best friend’s mom’s name? [this is the question as is appears on Chelsey’s blog] (Can you believe I had to ask BFF Debbie for the answer??!) :0 Anyway, Debbie’s mom is Elizabeth (Elsbeth with her German heritage).

b) What is your mom’s best friend’s name? [this is the question as it appears on Averie and Gabriela’s blogs] Well, I’ll go with mom’s oldest friendship, dating back to her childhood. And that answer is Becky. And they’re still friends today!

2. Where is the weirdest place you have a mole? I’m pretty mole-free. I have a small one on the front of my right shoulder. That’s not very weird.

3. Who was the hottest teacher you ever had? First year University, M Jean-Phillipe Beaulieu (do I have that name right, Julie?!) was one of our French Lit profs. Our entire class, 100% female, was ♥ in love ♥.

4. Have you ever made out in a movie theatre? To be honest, no! I guess I’m too practical – why would I not watch a movie I have paid for? You can make out on the couch at home, later!

5. What body part do you wash first? Hair. If it’s not a hair-washing day, face.

6. Do you hover over the toilet in public washrooms? Nope, I sit. Unless, I’ve dashed into the mens’ at Starbucks. Then I hover for sure. Or if I see any yellow, any seat, any washroom.

7. What’s the strangest talent you have? How long do you want to walk or run? 33, 48, 62 minutes? Give me your time, and I will walk/run you back to our starting point within one minute of the pre-determined time. Without fail.

8. Do you have an innie or an outie? Innie.

9. Do you parallel park or drive around the block? I only need to parallel park at The Brother and SIL Ana’s. I’ll first scour the street for a lonngggg spot to pull into, and only parallel park if I absolutely need to. It won’t be pretty.

10. Which shoe do you put on first? The right.

11. Have you ever been cow-tipping or snipe-hunting? No. But cow-tipping was a big joke in high school. I have no idea what snipe-hunting even is.

12. If you had to choose never to wash your bed sheets again or not wash your bath towel ever again, which one would you rather not wash? The bed sheets. I hate damp, mildew-y towels. And in the shower I can always wash away the bedsheet grossies.

13. What was your childhood nickname? The Brother dubbed me “Biffy” as a teen because I had a tendency from time to time to be a wee bit of an air-head.

14. When is the last time you played the air guitar? I never have. But I bet I could do a mean Guns n Roses riff.

15. Have you ever bitten your toenails? No. I’d have to be able to reach them for that. Flexibility is not a family trait.

16. How do you eat your cookie? I break off bite size pieces and eat those. I don’t actually bite the cookie. Unless it’s biscotti.

17. When working out at the gym, do you wear a belt? No. You don’t need a belt for cardio. Plus, I am not a belt person, speaking fashionably.

18. Name something you do when you’re alone that you wouldn’t do in front of others. I can’t say fart, burp or pick my nose because I have done these in public when with others.

19. How often do you clean out your ears? Whenever I think of it. Probably should be more often.

20. Do you scrunch or fold your toilet paper? Scrunch.

21. Do you have any strange phobias? I never take a shortcut (through a parking lot, around a corner). Take shortcuts while running/on a walk, you’ll take shortcuts in life, is my motto.

22. [there is no #22. So I’ll make one up. No shortcuts in questionnaires]. Favourite type of pickle? Dill but not garlic.

23. Do you freak out when you feel a sneeze coming on when you’re driving? I avoid a freak out by gripping the steering wheel very hard and making sure I am aimed straight ahead. So far, so good.

Well, wasn’t that delightful!

So, of course, I invite you to pick a question, any question, and provide your answer! Or else make up your own TMI-type Q and share away!

Wayback Playback: Pop, Ka-Pow!

I don’t care if summer doesn’t *officially* arrive ’til June 21st…to my mind, this Victoria Day weekend kicked off our summer months! I always find that the time between this weekend and Labour Day weekend will absolutely fly.

Back when we were kids, Victoria Day was solely known to me as “Firecracker Day.” I’d be sooooo excited all day long, and couldn’t wait for the evening to arrive. Over the years, we enjoyed two types of celebrations, and both involved our dear friends/neighbours, the M’s. (VFBF Joanne and I have reconnected and over the last two months have enjoyed two lovely visits, shared on the blog here and here).

Since we had the day off school, The Brother and I would play outside, all day long, weather permitting. I don’t remember too many rained-out Victoria Days. It was always the day after Vic Day that it poured rain – the accepted theory was that all the “toxins” from all the fireworks made it rain (hey, this was the 70s, allow a little leniency in scientific theory, ok).

I’d grow more and more excited for the evening festivities as the day went on!

When we were younger, here’s how we’d celebrate: the M’s would come over to our house, and we’d all gather in the backyard. Us kids would get to write with sparklers. These freaked me out, frankly, as this picture attests:

firecracker day 1975; the expression on my face belies my true feelings about sparklers!

I did love the smell of sparklers, though!

At dusk, the Dads would convene over at our sandbox with the box of store-bought fireworks:


(again, bear in mind this was the 70s; safety rules were non-existent loosey goosey in that long-ago era). The Moms and Joanne, Wanda, The Brother and I would sit around the picnic table (a safe distance away), and the Dads would set off the firecrackers. Some would quite amaze us kids, some would be duds.

Then we’d all eat Tim Horton’s donuts in the dark. And laugh a lot.

As we got a bit older, the tradition changed. We still met up with the M’s, but the families would head over to Centennial Stadium, early eve. There, they held a Victoria Day Fireworks “Spectacular.” As the day’s light faded, there would be drum and bugle corps performances, and some two-bit local *rock group* would perform (it was terribly exciting the year they did Van Halen cover tunes).


When it was dark, the fireworks display began. This only lasted about 10-15 minutes, but we ooh-ed and aah-ed our little hearts out over the exploding colours. The loud ka-booms, ker-fizzles and crescendo-ing bangs impressed us, very much. We felt very important because we were up so late, and were very happy to be out at this social event with our favourite friends.


Good. Times. Great. Memories.

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How do we know it’s been a wet May?

as seen in the Uptown outdoor square in my 'hood

I’m going to keep a close eye on this sign, and hopefully they’ll announce shortly when the market will start up for this year. Last year, on Thursdays between 4-8 p.m. the vendors were set up. It didn’t suit my schedule last year to get over very often; this year, I’m excited to see what they will have for sale. Last year, about 6-8 vendors participated, selling veggies, honey, crafts. I hope they have even more variety and increased participation this year!

When does summer *officially* begin in your mind? Environment Canada has forecasted a hot, dry summer for us; I sure hope they are right!

Fireworks: any memories? Nowadays, I can see fireworks on Canada Day at Columbia Lake; the perfect viewing spot is our condo rooftop!

Movie at an Unusual Time

I have very specific movie preferences:

  • I do not like going to late shows. A late show is anything that starts after 7:30 p.m.
  • I do not like matinées. Watching a movie at mid-day when it’s light out is just wrong.
  • I do not eat or drink during a film. This is a kickback to how we were movie-raised as kids. Our family just never did the popcorn + pop or candy thing. I can’t imagine trying to listen over the crunch-crunch-slurp distraction in my head.
  • I do not go to movies that are longer than 120 minutes (2 hours) unless they are Oscar-nominated masterpieces. A director needs to be able to relate his/her story in a reasonable amount of time – for my bottom and attention span, that is less than two hours.
  • I ♥ love ♥ documentaries. As long as they are about people, in some way. Animals….not so much (I did see March of the Penguins).

Yesterday at the Princess, they were showing Bill Cunningham New York at 4:45 pm. If you didn’t just click the link < – -, I’ll generously provide you with the synopsis, as given on the Princess website:

Bill Cunningham New York

USA-France 2010, 84 minutes. Directed by Richard Press.

Bill Cunningham is a fashion photographer, but unlike most in his profession, he rarely spends a day in a photo studio. Cunningham’s work has been a long-time fixture in The New York Times; in his “Evening Hours” column, he presents pictures he’s snapped of the wealthy and influential and what they’re wearing to social events, while “On the Street” documents bold and individual looks worn by everyday people on the sidewalks of New York City. Cunningham captures the glamorous lives of others and has been hailed as one of the most important men in New York fashion, yet he prefers to live a simple life — he rides a bicycle around town, makes his home in a modest apartment, has his film processed at a corner store, and keeps his personal life to himself. Filmmaker Richard Press offers a look into the life and art of this influential and enigmatic figure in the documentary Bill Cunningham New York, which follows him as he works and tries to reveal what makes this unique artist tick. Bill Cunningham New York was an official selection at the 2010 Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival.

I seriously wanted to see this movie…was it playing at any other time, on another day? Eesh – only late showings later this week…

Hmmmm…never been to a late afternoon movie showing…how do I feel about this? This could work! I can finish my store shift, accomplish To Do’s, enjoy the film, and have a bit of an evening left…let’s do it!


As you know from my “40 Reads” project of last year, The Globe and Mail is my favourite daily newspaper. But The New York Times…ah, The New York Times is in a class by itself when it comes to its Sunday edition. And of all the 400 sections, the ultimate in indulgent reading is the Style section.

It’s all about people, culture, fashion, quirky trends, and I revel in it. Pure bliss on newsprint.

Anyhoo, back to the movie…

the sun came out! just in time to go sit in the dark theatre!

This film is delightful. It’s an intimate portrayal of an eccentric yet sweet personality.


If you have an interest in:

  • photography
  • fashion
  • New York City
  • people
  • bicycles

then this movie is for you. What a wonderful late afternoon outing. I could get used to this!

Any “movie watching rules” that you have concocted for yourself? I’ll add that I also sit in the middle of the theatre, not the front, not at the back (exception made for New Experience #4!).

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Happy Firecracker Day, dear Canucks!


Nothing Heavy

Good Morning, friends!

‘Tis the Sunday morning of a long weekend…is there any better feeling than knowing you still have tomorrow off? While it would be lovely to be relaxing on a dock at the cottage like Odette, or vacationing in Aruba with Averie, I’m just hanging around Waterloo this weekend…that’s ok, too. There is that holiday-mode vibe on the streets and in the air…everyone is chill!

Let’s just have a little visit this morning, shall we, and catch up a bit…

Groupon Update:

Yesterday, I worked at the store as is my usual for a Saturday. People could start redeeming their Groupons on Tuesday of this past week, and there has been increased traffic into the store ever since. There’s a blend of people totally new to the store and dedicated regulars for the Groupon users. While some shoppers are using their Groupon towards a specific big-item purchase (ex: shoes), others are playing my Price is Right game of “how close can I get to just going over $50 in product?” (To use the Groupon, your total bill must be $50 before taxes, minimum). So we’ve seen lots of random Powerbars tossed in at the last minute to reach that $50!

Knitting Update:

I’ve almost finished Ball #3 of yarn for the lacy baby blanket (one of my May goals was to knit up this third ball by the end of the month):

only one shade of variegation left on this ball, so that tells me the end of it is near!

After analyzing the size of the blanket…

it will widen and smooth a bit after being blocked

…I’ve decided it needs one more ball in order to make it the size I had envisioned. That will leave me with two balls of this colourway – not enough to really do anything with. So I’m going to buy two more of the same brand and type (it’s the Noro “Sekku,” fellow knitters), but in a different variegated colour theme, and make ANOTHER blanket, alternating two rows of each colourway. That’s what I’m seeing in my mind, anyway. I can either get the extra yarn at my favourite yarn store in Toronto, or wait til Mom and I go to the Knitter’s Fair in September. We shall see.

I’ve been playing around with the yarn left over from A’s sweater + the rainbow yarn from Finland….without much luck. I’ve now knit TWO toddler sweaters, both of which I’ve rippppped right out upon finishing. I wasn’t happy with the final looks. No photos as who wants to show off crappy knitting? It’d be like posting burnt pancakes or an inedible casserole – no thanks!

i'm going to stash the leftover cream yarn from A's sweater + the finland yarn for now...and wait for inspiration to strike again!

But I have a NEW project to tackle: a cardigan for Mom. A few years back (July 2005, to be exact), I made mom a buttercup yellow cardigan. It got ruined in washing (very unusual as Mom is Queen of Laundry Know-How) and Mom has lamented the loss of this sweater ever since.

felted and matted - not a great look; resembles closely "something the cat dragged in," as the saying goes

We got to talking the other day, and the timing is perfect for me to knit up a replacement. I found my pattern…

so glad i record details!

I had forgotten it’s called “Marnie!” (My Mom’s name). Mom got the yarn, I’ll do the knitting, and a new sweater shall be the outcome.

four rows completed! this shade is "natural mix" and is patons classic wool

Goal: finish this cardigan by the end of June. Should be do-able as I made specific notes the first time around, so I know exactly how many rows, patterns etc to knit to get Mom’s size.


It’s out with the old…

mitts + hats + neckwarmer + balaclava...the winter gear...

And in with the flipflops!

this mesh bag houses the flipflop collection over the winter...

Cold weather protection be gone!

away you all go til next winter!

emergency supplies will be kept on top, just in case

banished from sight!

How much more fun to see summer wear than heavy winter garb.

now THAT is fun to look at!

Considering I was still wearing mitts on Tuesday, though, I really have been needing to keep the winter stuff in plain view.

And with that, I’m off to enjoy my day: socializing work at the store, and a movie – I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.

What will you do with your day off tomorrow, Canadian friends? Any plans for Memorial Day Long Weekend, next weekend, U.S. friends? I am working a few hours tomorrow (yup, the store is open on the holiday (?) but otherwise plan to avoid the rain relax!