Monday, November 11
Saturday, November 9
Friday, November 8
We now have four! A set of four vintage chairs! The last one came all the way from Cambridge, Ontario.
The plan was to paint them white. Now I'm not so sure! You should see the gunk I wash off of these bad boys! Perhaps glossy black is better? Even though the moooi is white? The counters are dark.
What do you think? Black or White?
Thursday, November 7
Eat right, sugar is poison, flour is poison, exercise regularly, TV is evil, walk more, detox, juice cleanse, moisturize, floss...
Every once and a while, we need a lost day. You know, it's cold and drizzling outside: not wet enough to pull out the umbrella, but guaranteed to make your mittens soggy. You stay in bed watching TV, or reading, munching on crackers (crackers in bed, ha!), take a nap, leave the clean laundry in piles to put away later...the sky, that never really looked bright, starts to darken and you realize it is past supper time. That's a lost day.
Laziness? Nah...I like to think of it as a mental health retreat. A ritual we partook in before having kids, and one that I think I would benefit from now. My husband still manages the odd lost afternoon, but I rarely take the time to slow down.
Slow down? What the hell am I doing everyday, anyways? Well, I have responsibilities! Money that won't spend itself! Corners of the house cluttered up with life, corners that MUST BE organized. The children need to smell nice, and play nice, and pee in the toilet (Why is it so difficult to aim that thing, anyways?) There are meals to prepare from scratch. The dishes need to be put away. One can not just sit in bed.
I have to admit I am no longer sure what is important in life. Dana's book shook me a bit. Then, Thich Something Hanh's buddist teachings seeped in. This week I read Bliss, by Peter Carey, he mocks the middle class and gave me a few sharp jabs in the ribs with a boney finger. I am now reading non-fiction. History of the dutch empire.
A little lost
I want to learn to meditate - - - isn't that just adding another layer of complexity to the day? ...and smug, a way of trying to be better than you?
I want to find some of the people I've lost. I said it before, there are so many people I let drift out of my life. What would happen if I invited them all over to my house? To sit in my living room. Sounds like I want to live in the past - not exactly. I want them to know that they were very important in my life and I still carry them with me! Of course, I forget so many names...sometimes I only have faces attached to my memories.
I am not feeling particularity creative. I turned thirty six. I lost my wanderlust. I have 15 more books to read to bring my 2013 quota up to 100. I keep getting a cold and/or flu. I would have appreciated knowing that it is possible for children to make it 4.5 years without sleeping through the night. My short term memory fails me over and over - I have notes written on scraps of paper tucked into gfi outlets and taped to the monitor (I write things down when I can find paper that hasn't been scribbled on).
I put the iphone down. Most of the day, it sits abandoned. I no longer panic when I forget where it is.
Change in seasons. Spring is a time for renewal. What is fall? Fall is shopping for Christmas presents, and I hate the mall. I wish I could save everyone from the mall. (I hate supermarkets too). Hate is a strong word. I mean it for the mall, but supermarkets are ok.
My lecture series at U of Toronto started out strong. History, then art history. The last 3-4 topics fizzled. I want to look into the art professor's work. I want to own it (Buddha says we enter this world with nothing, we leave this world with nothing, attachment is the source of suffering)...I only saw the one image he put on his powerpoint slide, demonstrating vemeer's technique, but I like his style. I forget his name.
I am getting a cold again. I don't think I will leave the house this afternoon. The weather is not playing nice, and it's a rare chance to sit around a do nothing.
I can't say that the boys (ages 2 & 4 1/2) are sleeping better at night (they both wake 2-3 times a night, but somehow, they aren't waking each other up!). What I can say is, the move helped simplify the bedtime routine. They are finally learning to fall asleep by themselves without any parental contact (no rocking to sleep, no snuggling to sleep). We stay in the room until they are quiet and settled and tip toe out. Some nights, we are out the door before their eyes are closed, without any protest. Getting there.
There are no toys in the bedroom. All toys can be found in the toy room, or the basement. I love this. It makes it twice as easy to clean up the mess when it is contained. Or, like today, just leave it...so they can pick up exactly where they left off - and add to it!
I want to point out another new piece of new art ...it's one of the four we bought from Kijiji (along with the oil paintings). This one is a collage. I put it on top of the IKEA expedit shelves. You see it there, on the right? The seller had listed it for $35, but ended up throwing it in free to sweeten the deal. Let me take a close up...
If you have any advice about siblings sharing a room, please share!
Monday, October 28
Product of Colombia
This is a beautiful but strange tasting fruit. Sour, bitter and savoury...with a zingy aftertaste (that lasts forever). I won't buy these again...
Persimmons, on the other hand, I am crazy about! They have started to show up in the grocery stores. I have 14 of them ripening on my kitchen window sill. Yum!
Sunday, October 27
Friday, October 25
Someone Somewhere by Dana Mills
I used to work with Dana, he was one of our editors. My last few days on the job, more pregnant than anyone has ever been before, were spent spent sitting side by side in a windowless office, staring at the computer screen, more specifically, at highlighted sections of text, making suggestions and revisions and getting sentences into shape for publishing. Of all the editors, I loved working with Dana because he always got it right!
Now, you know what I am going to say here: In his book of short stories, Dana gets it right!!
His characters are rough, with a sweetness...
There are sentences in the book that jump off the page and slap me across the face...
There are moments that tug on my heart...
Vulnerability...many of his scenes feel fleeting, fragile, vulnerable...
I am not an english major, I could never write up a review that did these stories justice. I like to read, and this is exactly what I want to be reading. I compare him to Miriam Toews (one of my favorite authors) and, don't scoff, but even Salinger (Salinger's nine stories is one of my favorite books of all time, I might read it again, next! I am currently reading Allegiant and it blows chunks).
Someone Somewhere is a wonderful collection of stories. I wish I could place a copy of this book into your hands. Of course, I also want to see Dana's career explode, Oprah book club styles! If you take a chance and buy a copy, on impulse, please let me know what you think! Send me an email, because I want to thank you and chat about it with you!!!
someone somewhere is being printed by a small publishing house in Canada, Gaspereau Press. It costs about $36, including shipping.
Update: Nov 7
HEY! IT'S ON AMAZON (US site)! Here is the link
Last time I checked it was $18 and change...it is now sold out...but maybe you will get lucky!
Tuesday, October 22
Gap roped me in this fall. You might say that I'm now loyal to the brand.
There was a time when I wouldn't walk into the store. I found that, generally, the fit was wide, and the arms and body too short. When I tried on this leather coat*, I expected the arms to hit me above my wrist bone. But the fit was perfect and the leather so soft! Now I need to figure out how to pull it off!!
Tell me, do I have to treat it with all-weather spray? Is it like suede booties - you can only wear it outside on bright fall days with zero chance of rain? Today I tossed it on with my black leather over the knee boots, but I am wondering how much black leather is too much black leather?**
ps. not sponsored or anything...
*I bought the jacket on sale a month ago for a bit less than $200.
**didn't end up wearing this because it's frickin' freezing outside today
My GAP favorites:
http://www.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=604125023 (I have it in navy and white, I love the grey white combo too)
Want to try (40% off today and tomorrow):
Sunday, October 20
Yesterday, we bought four pieces of art from a collector who we found via Kijiji. I hung two of the oil paintings in the dining room.
I love them!
I love the energy they add to the room!
We went to the collector's home to view all of the items for sale. This couple is always buying art, and they occasionally sell off a few things to fund their addiction. Their house was brimming with beautiful paintings and other collectables. We were given the full tour as the collector shared his stories. I have to admit I was influenced! He said two things that I will carry with me now, always:
The first was, 'we buy art for the art, we aren't concerned with the frame'. They don't even consider if the frame matches the decor, they only look at the art. He scoffed at people who frame a $25 piece of paper in a $400 frame and worry over the frame decision for hours.
The second was: 'don't look at the name, look at the art. Buy for the artist's skill and if you like the work.' It's easy to get caught up in whether the work will be valuable, and what the artist's credentials are.
He provided word documents that summarize what he knows of each of the four works, ie. where he bought them, the artists biographies, and his own description of the piece.
A very happy kijiji experience!