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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Call me irresponsible.....

What does it say about you when your most visited sites are Google, IMDB, Kobo, OCTranspo and shoeme.ca?

Everyone has their own reasons for visiting Google; mine are myriad.

IMDB is there because while I love old movies, new TV and streaming programs, I can never match up a person's name, face and vehicle.  And by that I mean artistic vehicle.  And by that  I don't mean a 1964 Camaro.

My reasons for visiting Kobo are similar to my reasons for actually visiting the Wine Rack store.  I am more restrained at the Wine Rack.

OCTranspo is in the list because I hate to be late to anything, and transit schedules, glitches and failures are there to help me, if I'm not in the mood to drive.

And Shoeme.ca? 



I only visit the site where these live once a week or so...I think I should be lauded for my resistance.
A fish called wander heel



Friday, 12 September 2014

Eureka!

Today I was walking along the hallway, starting to worry because my vision seemed to be failing.  This was coming on the news that my hearing is diminished in both ears.

Then I realized I was walking with my reading glasses on.  Still having trouble with the ears though.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Observations at the Market

not my photo, but typical of today
  • people in Ottawa are ambivalent about their sartorial response to the days after Labour Day.  Half of the people downtown and on the bus were dressed for November and the other half for mid-July.  It made for a pleasant diversion.
  • there is a frightening increase in stories of people being abused, being big-time abused, by police.   I don't want to generalize but if I were living in the US right now, I would be uneasy.   But I never fail to see people being cared for in some way by the police or paramedics when I'm downtown, particularly in the market area and that, together with the strong presence of the emergency services in all the Pride activities, buoys me up. 
  •  Our downtown market is in the midst of change.  There is a new, very fancy, very expensive shoe store and a new café that specializes in things like salted caramel chocolate milkshakes, where you buy the chocolate you want to use and tell the server what you want done with it...spread on crepes, mixed into your ice cream or melted into hot chocolate.  Don't tell me that a new shoe store and a chocolate café isn't a siren song directed at me.
  • Our street entertainers, always a delight and a drain on the money at my disposal, continue to be more and more diverse---I saw a young woman singing opera in a dress that barely covered her generous bosom, another woman in Japanese kimono playing an instrument I have only ever read about, a young man who tears around a closed  intersection on the inside of a huge bamboo-looking hoop, a couple of men of my age with acoustic guitars and pony tails to endear them to me while they sang songs from the 70s and a chalk artist whose work seemed to open up the sidewalk to a whole Hobbit village.  I could have stayed all day.
And the wonderful thing is that I could walk to the market.  I did bus back, but why else have a transit pass?



Sunday, 7 September 2014

Paperish Delights

Oh goodness!  I'm starting to get catalogues stacked in my mail box---it must be coming up on Christmas.  Signals which is published by Public Television is probably my favourite, but I get a bunch more, which I always honour with a thorough read but from which I seldom buy anything.  They are however loyal to me even though I'm not really egging them on.
I'm not sure why but I'm attracted to Mr and Mrs Nevermore
The other day, while I was doing the washing, I was strangely driven to pick up all the new catalogues and circle things I would buy if money were no object.  Actually, space would have to be no object too, as one can only have so many tea dresses and leather and lace hightop bridal boots (Victorian Trading Company) or gazing ball stakes and a set of 7 seedpod birds from Zimbabwe (Signals).  Even though I have only two empty spaces in my shoe-hanger, the Hearthside Slippers, the Comfort Mocs and the ink-black Mary Janes from LL Bean would be nice.  I could do with the amazing Avocado Tool and the Storybook White Cotton Petticoat Nightgown from The Added Touch.


But the most appealing of all, were I rich and space-blessed, would be a decadent thrill. Can you imagine curling up in the corner of this with a book, a glass of wine and a box of chocolates? Even though I claim to be not fond of brown furniture, and decandence and I are strangers, I'd give in.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Mouths of babes, parts of crones

Robyn:  "You have very knobbly hands, Mina"
Me:  "the better to knobble you with my dear...." (rubbing my knuckles on her head)
Robyn:  (not amused)  "Mina!...."

Time passes.  I go for the mail and am delighted to find a small parcel from my cousin Joan.  She has an Etsy site, and makes jewellery, so you can imagine the bonding involved.  I had ordered a wrap bracelet which looked gorgeous at the site but even more lovely in the little box, so I decided to take a shot of how well the new bracelet mingled with my bangles, of which I have few left.  Who knew silver would buckle after 30 years of wear?


Everyone:  "You have very knobbly hands!!!"


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Last Sunday was Capital City Pride Parade day in Ottawa.  I love Pride parades---they are joyful, they are over-the-top, they are inclusive and representative, and in Ottawa, mostly extremely well-received. What's not to like?  I'll tell you. 


  • Walking in the Pride Parade with a camera you always hold in such a way that your finger takes up one-third of the screen. 
  •  Not finding any pictures to prove you were there.



What I can prove is that my daughter Emily, and her daughter Robyn, were there, in a float some of the time, but mostly dancing, singing, swinging rainbow ribbons over their heads, offering PFLAG stickers to people in the crowd and generally making me glow with pride.  At Pride. 

Monday was a bureaucratic bore.

Tuesday, Dave and I decided to give ourselves a treat:  we packed up the Miata, put on sunscreen, motored the top down and headed out for an overnight stay.  Somewhere.  Dave always chooses a route that is not quick but is always panoramic.  We drove down to the St Lawrence, and followed the roads that took us closest to the river, heading towards Kingston, but not determined to end there.


We stopped in Gananoque after a truly beautiful drive looking at the Thousand Islands and choosing which houses and estates we would like to own,and found ourselves at a charming place that turned out to have rooms and a great reputation for fine dining.  Pulling in at this place and realizing how photogenic it was made both of us discover that our camera/phone batteries were down, and we didn't have a portable charger, so we decided that this would be an experience like in the old days when you might not even own a camera. As it turns out, like in the old days, we could refer to brochures (and websites).


Dinner almost made us forget how wonderful our day had already been.  This photo was not of our dinner, but it shows the artistry that we enjoyed that evening and the next morning in this lovely garden. 



Two ferry rides on and off Howe Island, and there we were in Kingston.  I made that sound just like I didn't sit there rigidly and barely breathing both times we crossed the water.  I had to stop myself from asking Dave if he would try to save my e-reader if the ferry sank.

Kingston is always a joy for me, because there are so many wonderful places to lunch, and because there are a high percentage of stores downtown that sell flowy clothes and Indian, Thai
and Mexican jewellery.  So with a bag of clothes and a bag of bracelets, we sat outdoors on a bench, eating a tuna sandwich on artisan bread (Dave) and the thickest ever pain au chocolat (moi) while sharing a just-made lemonade from le restaurant Pan Chancho, which I hold in high esteem.

Life is good.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Be afraid...be very afraid

Can you imagine how easy it would be for a giraffe to sit in a rocking chair?  a baby to spell its own name?  a shooting star to play baseball?


That's how easy it is for me to work on a budget---and that's just the part where you make the spending choices, not where you actually achieve synchronicity between choices and resources.

I've been reading budgeting tips and calculating, and researching appropriate percentages and calculating, and screaming and calculating and I can't get it right. 

There was a time when our budget was easy.  Dave and I lived with my brother and we put our names on the receipts for things we'd agreed to share and got to use the rest of the money, if there was any, for improving our lifestyle.   It was an up and down  existence but very simple.

Generally though, as we matured, Dave worked on the budget, shared it with us all and sweetly reminded us of the consequences if we overspent.  Some of us always did, and I am obviously using the royal "we".  

It really got messed up if I got vacation pay or a union boost because I had already spent that money several times over by the time it actually hit my bank account, and then there was our incompatibility about the wonder of credit.....only I thought it was wonderful, and worth the high interest rate.  We chugged along though, mostly because I only thought of budgets and money responsibility twice a year---just before Christmas and just after, and because David is the most forgiving and generous of men. 

We're now at a place where we really have to live on our pensions though, so it's start from scratch.  And because I am the person who seems to spend the most outside of what we consider our necessities, it seemed like a good idea for me to work on the budget and get to undestand our new realities.

I'll have to stop buying books, but we've got a great library system. I'll have to choose between cosmetics and skin care and I know where that takes me.  We'll have to actually look at the price of groceries and I might have to cut back on my wine intake.  Maybe I can grow my hair, get involved in a shoe exchange, learn to make soap and candles or remember how I used to make clothes.  

Or maybe we'll give up the condo and just rotate amongst the kids. We promise to buy the beer.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Where I am Monday

I am back from the cottage we rented.  We are all back from the cottage we rented, one of us relieved.
Whew!!!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

E--y and W------ul

Dave and I have been married now for 35 (not, as I recently told a bunch of my family, 39) years.

As a rule, we're either collectively or singly busy on our anniversary, and celebrate it on another day.  It works fine for us. This year though, we were both free, our car was available and we decided to have breakfast out and see what happened after that.

Sleeping in, and getting congratulatory calls from our kids, made us change our plan to having brunch, and we got in the car, put down the top and headed into town where we planned to brunch at the Sheraton, where we had had many a Sunday mid-morning celebration over the years.  We could have walked there, but because we had plans for the day, we drove and ran into the most horrendous traffic jam we'd hit in years, because of the memorialization of the start of the First World War which was being held at the national Cenotaph.  We twisted and turned our way through it and finally had almost arrived at the hotel, when we got stopped, siren and flashing blue lights, for turning left at an intersection where only cyclists are allowed to turn left.  

"Oh well," we said to each other, "this was a righteous call and we'll have to pay for it."  Little did we know.  We couldn't find our ownership papers or our insurance papers and Dave uncharacteristically fumbled being charming to the man in blue. Amazingly, what we had to pay was only half an hour of our special-to-be-day, even with the lack in charisma---and we got off with 3 different warnings.  Did you know you can't tear up a plasticized warning?  Did you guess that the Sheraton no longer serves brunch?  Did you see the horrendous rain storm we encountered on our drive in the countryside, in which we went about 40 miles out of our way by mistake?  Did you know that almost none of the stores in touristy Almonte were open on the holiday?


Almonte Inn and Kitchen view
You'd think all that might have ruined our day, but we found a wonderful bookshop open and just by luck wandered into the store that carries the Chalk Paint I've been wanting to buy for months. Then just as we should have been running out of luck and heading for home, I saw a road sign advertising an open patio at the Almonte Inn and Kitchen, where we sat overlooking the river, just beyond the garden and the green green grass and we listened to birds, tried unsuccessfully but hilariously to identify local trees, had sweet corn and ribs we saw done on the bbq, and I had lots of wine.

35 great years, topped off with a day both edgy and wonderful.
Still crazy, and happy, after all those years.
 

Friday, 1 August 2014

What do these things have in common ?


  • fill the kettle
  • place coffee in the plastic cone on top of my cup
  • combine washed berries with yoghurt and grab a quick taste
  • pour boiling water through the cone
  • make the bed
  • start up the laptop
  • refrain from Facebook
  • collect my book/magazine from the side of the bed
  • turn my black coffee into a double, double
  • finish the yoghurt and berries
  • sit down in the living room with my coffee and book/magazine
  • look up, puzzled


These are all things I do while Dave is putting on his runners in the front hall.  I dearly and deeply love this man, and his qualities are myriad and amazing, but the man has no relationship with time. Should it matter?