Bay Streak North

Touques!

Driving into downtown Toronto last Friday. Traffic good, until Gardiner Expressway. Time of day: Friday ’round Noon. Finally got onto Bay Street. Traffic worse. Why? WHY? No. Way. 2012 Olympic Heroes Parade. No way! Mark Tewksbury!

Book titles inspired by cats?

Why Marie, that’s a fine balance.

My cats are bad. I know, “what cats aren’t?” you’re asking. Well, in my defense, our other cat was never bad. Sally and Marie chew things and they sit where they shouldn’t.

After I took this photo of Marie, I got thinking. If Rohinton Mistry and Michael Ondaatje had cats, did they inspire their book titles? Perched on this chair definitely requires A Fine Balance and when she’s sitting boldly on the table, it suddenly becomes The Cat’s Table.

Naughty kitties.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

Deserted, foggy beach in Mazatlan, Mexico.

I took this photo one morning on vacation in Mazatlan, Mexico when it seemed like Soph and I were the only ones on the beach. It looks as if she’s trying to see if there’s anyone to play with nearby, but there wasn’t a soul around. Or, maybe she’s wondering if the fog will lift and be replaced with a hot, sunny day.

What a difference a day makes

Wow, the school year is off to a grand start. OK, I’m being selfish.

It’s actually because I’ve accomplished a bunch of crap that’s been needing to get done. With Soph at school all day, mom gets to play get stuff done:

The grass was a disaster after the drought we had over the summer, mixed with the lack of attention we’d given the lawn. So, it needed to be weeded, raked, seeded. Check.

The garage needed to be swept and the shelves we acquired from friends who moved away were neatly placed along the back wall and stocked with the crud that was collecting on the floor. Done.

The shower floor needed a great big scrub. Yup.

Still on my list of pre winter accomplishments:

A very nice armoire given to us by previously-mentioned friends needs to be refinished or painted. Haven’t decided which (I must first consult Pinterest).

Paint the dining room.

Would like to paint the kitchen/family room.

Get some extra contract writing work. That really belongs at the top of the list.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far

One summer day, Soph said she wanted a kite. It was a fairly windy day, so after a trip to the Dollar Store we promptly went to the park with the new Barbie kite, with its long, streaming tail, for a test flight.

I found it actually relaxing, since I took a couple of turns myself; standing there with the wind billowing the kite up towards the clouds dreamily.

And I thought only my mind made up $%@ like that

This photo has nothing to do with my dreams. Although I hate being chased, thankfully I don’t have dreams where I’m being chased by a thug, monster, dinosaur or perfume sample lady.

It’s funny, the things you find out from people – especially your best friend – after you’ve known each other for, like, ever. Actually, I’ve known my best friend for her son’s entire life and he’s 19 years old. So for him, that’s kinda forever.

We still have conversations that divulge new info about one another. Recently, the topic has been dreams. More specifically, the topics in the dreams. What’s also interesting is finding out you have the same type of dreams.

Who knew that we’d both dream about…

Contact lenses, for example: a couple of weeks ago I had a dream (that I’ve had before) in which my contact lens had suddenly become so big that there’s no way I was going to be able to fit it into my eye.

Bathroom stalls: why are the stall walls so short? You’re there sitting on the John and there’s no privacy from anyone else in the room because the walls only reach up to seat height! This is a particularly stressful dream for me. Hmm, I wonder why.

Confusing school schedules: it’s the morning of the first day of school and I have no idea where my classes are, I don’t have a copy of my schedule and for some reason I can’t get to the office to get some help, like some unseen force is preventing me from physically getting there.

What’s my combo again: I graduated from school a long time ago, but for some reason I still have a lock on my old locker at school and I can’t remember the combination in order to get any of my stuff back.

Curlers: my friend doesn’t have this one, but I have a dream where I’m waiting for the school bus at the end of my (very long) driveway and suddenly I find that I’m still wearing my curlers. Why don’t I just take them out? That would sure solve the problem, minus a hairbrush of course. What is it about our minds that stop us from resolving that one final step of a dream?

What recurring dreams do you have?

Writers write, right?

Sometimes when you work your mind develops a calmness that spurs new thoughts and inspires further creation. It makes what you’re doing worth it and makes you want to do more. Like this sunset I photographed in Mazatlan, Mexico, it looks peaceful on the outside, but is deep and full of movement underneath.

Right this very moment I’m doing something that I realize that I enjoy: writing. “But, you have a blog and you’re a ‘writer’,” you say. Ya, I know but maybe it’s because Boobs is out of the house and he brought Soph along with him; I’m sitting properly at my desk and not on the couch, therefore invoking the ergonomic gods to help me work; I’m playing all the songs I like on iTunes through my very nice sounding speakers while I work; I can take a break every few minutes to check my email, Facebook or Kijiji (which I am also addicted to). And it all seems very easy, seamless, pleasant, even.

Why don’t I do this more often? Well, I would if I had more than one freelance assignment every other month. In fact, since Soph is at school full-time one of my goals is to attract more business (somehow – but in a mainstream, healthy way so get your mind out of the gutter).

Something else that will be a nice change is that I’ll be able to submit my work early, rather than on time. It’s due tomorrow a.m., also inspiring me to accomplish more with my day tomorrow and not just one thing on my to do list. If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, there’s more weeding to be had, dead grass to be raked, grass seed to be purchased, pillars to be sanded and painted, furniture to be refinished. When I have the time (and don’t have the distractions) those are all tasks that I can make a little nicer by bringing my iPod along, taking my time and just keeping my thoughts to myself and not have to discuss/argue/bargain with anyone under the age of 7 while I work. I can just think, do, hum along, and be.

We Be TIFFin’

There is Something In the Air tonight

Every year my friend and I discuss/attempt to get to TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival). We didn’t get there last year, and the year before we didn’t get tickets. BUT, when we did go downtown to mill around for some brushes with shmarminess we saw Ben Mulroney. Big whoop.

A couple of years ago I went with a friend whom I’ve since physically defriended and we saw Colin Firth getting out of his limo and Robin Tunney at the premier of her film.

So I left it a little late but I managed to score 2 tickets for us tonight. Coulda got a ticket (yes, “a”, as in one) to a flick with some celebrities in it but that’s a bit pointless.

We’re going to see Something in the Air. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain, we spot some celebs and have some fun.

Sweet grass gone sour

How I miss thee, freshly laid sod. Where did we go wrong?

Soph’s at school now full-time. (!) I readily armed myself with a list of things to do this week that have been utterly neglected over the summer. Well, only one thing was ignored, and rightfully so: weeding. It was a chore I was dreading but it turned out to be surprisingly pleasant. Did I just say that? I’d say the reason was because Soph’s tucked away at school being kept busy, there was no timeline for me to finish by, and I had my iPod to keep me musically occupied.

Yard work is a cutthroat business. Humans attempt to strangle and remove noxious (obnoxious, really) weeds while they try to stake a claim in your greenery.

Our backyard was a disgusting colony of thistles until about 30 minutes ago, with the few and far between dandelion dotting the prickly landscape. Whatever happened to having a good ol dandelion infestation in your yard? They were so much more agreeable to remove, mostly because they didn’t bite back when you touch them.

The backyard is still disgusting even minus the weeds, because the grass is dead and the roots have rotted. Sure, there’s a bit of a green ring around the perimeter of the lawn, but that doesn’t give me much hope.

My next task is to rake the hell out of the dead grass, seed it and water it and see what happens between now and late fall. Here’s hoping thick, lush sprouts of Kentucky bluegrass and not Canada thistle, prickly lettuce or anything else that is not GRASS.

Botanic-ism

Last week Soph and I tagged along with my sister and her daycare charges to the Royal Botanical Gardens. I’d never been there before (and 16 years ago, way back when I was scouting locations for wedding shots it was booked, and it rained that day so I woulda been foiled all around).

It’s a beautiful spot with lush gardens to wander through, hiking trails and there’s usually a theme of some sort. Soph had been there before during the insects theme. I have a cute shot of her posing beneath a giant spider.

We happened to be there during Zimsculpt, when they were displaying gorgeous stone sculptures of Zimbabwe:

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