Thursday, March 31, 2011


I like to keep things in a tidy order. My books are organized on the bookshelf just so, by genre, author and size. I once had to get rid of a book because it was a completely different size and design from the rest in the series. It was eventually replaced and I felt much calmer. My appointment books have been the same for several years (though it is good to change the colour every once in a while) and it has been only two different styles except for 2002 and 2007. It still grates when I look in the drawer and see those mismatched books that didn't work out as well as I thought they might.

I wonder why a large coffee is $1.52 and a medium is $1.33. Could Tim Hortons not have rounded off the prices to make it come to an even $1.50 and $1.35 with tax?

And then there is the gas pump. I always have to have the paid amount end in either a 5 or a 0. I will continually, slowly, jerkily, squeeze that trigger until the number is right. I do this, even though I always pay by credit card and because it is a business expense, I have a credit card dedicated to auto maintenance. All I need to do is add up the totals from my monthly statement. But I like the tidiness of the figures.

So you know that when I was scrolling down through my blog and noticed that I had only written nine posts for the whole month of March - out of 30 days, I only found something to write about nine times? - and that for both January and February I had 10 posts each, that I would have to quickly write another one by the end of today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

at the end of the road

If you drive far enough along the long country roads, at the end you can see the blue line of the lake.

and further up the coast, you can still see a thin blue line of water beyond the icy, snowy shore.
by the second day of intense sunshine, you could see more melting

The beaches are empty at this time of year, most of the sand still under cover

the view at times a bit alien

the dogs, who are banned during the summer can roam free
The streets are quiet in the winter. The tourists and summer visitors have all disappeared. For those who are here, it can be a bit frustrating with so many shops shut for the season or having limited openings.
but signs are getting ready for summer.

The cottage was warm and inviting
the sunsets a calming feature.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Have I mentioned how much I love my Mac?
... and my new very comfortable bed?
It is quite a bit higher than my old mattress. My feet dangle off the edge and don't reach the floor. That is kind of a fun novelty. Is it not strange how I can be so conscious of being higher up? Perhaps a footstool will be necessary especially as poor Abby cannot possibly climb that high. She hasn't had any more bad turns, but I have a neighbour checking in on her while I'm gone.

In the meantime, I show you this beauty

I have three more just like it - two for me, one for the catsitter and one for my friend who owns the cottage.

And it is snowing again.

So, until Tuesday. I will try to do something blogworthy to report. I know I have been leading a dull life of late and haven't had much to say.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

it's winter again

I have plans to go away for the weekend. A friend has a cottage that I have been invited to use and she suggested that I might want to go in the winter for something different. Yes, I would. I jumped at the chance to see Lake Huron at its worst wintry fury. To see lots of white snow along the trails of the Saugeen River. Scheduling and sickness made it difficult to get away earlier so I was resigned to seeing mostly a big, muddy mess. But, with lots of spring birds returning. Maybe a few flowers peeping out of the ground. I dug out my birding and wildflowers books to take with me.

Now it is snowing. A winter/spring storm coming in from Iowa.
Fifteen centimetres. (yeah, don't worry, you from the US, I have no real idea how much that is either)

I was happily resigned to that muddy mess. Really, I was.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


It is spring, it is spring! I almost wanted to skip my way down the street, but I refrained. Afterall, the sun wasn't exactly shining from a blue sky, so it was not a perfect spring day. But it was in the mid teens temperature-wise. And warm enough to drink your drinks outside on a patio. [16C = 61F]

I actually started this post two days ago when it wasn't even officially spring, but now it is and it is getting colder with flurries in the forecast. Such is March.

March can be a cruel month. It can venture back and forth from winter to spring to winter to almost summer. It is mostly dreary and bland and grey with not much in the way of colour, like say a brilliant blue sky with puffy white clouds, or green, green grass. Or even bright yellow daffodils. All that is still to come.

And if you head out to one of the many garden shows that pop up at this time of year, you can certainly dream of spring. (and, if are fortunate enough to have a garden, you can plot and plan...)

So off I went to the Canada Blooms. Many others are called '- Home and Garden' and that would certainly fit for this, the biggest garden show in the country. A teeny part of me has been disappointed over the last couple of years of its 15 year run as it moves more and more into the 'home' than the 'garden'. The marketplace is certainly half the floor space and many of the gardens are corporate sponsored by landscaping and patio stone companies and feature far too much of the outdoor living space rather than an beautifully landscaped flowers and trees. But there were certainly no shortage of benches and loungers and cushioned chairs to sit in. And the sight of all those hundreds of tulips, azaleas, daffodils, the sweet scent of the hyacinths and the endless greenery is so cheering and delightful.

There were floral displays from local flower shops that looked more like art installations and table settings that were so perfect they would look messy once the food was served. The Ikebana is always wonderful to see and I rather like the miniature displays. The mosaic competition was interesting, all seeds and petals and twigs and leaves. But the most fun spot was the natural playground. The little kids had a ball playing in the massive sand pit or climbing the rocks and trees and playing on the all natural jungle gym. There were projects for them to identify leaves and to make seed balls.

The only thing missing were the songbirds. But, yesterday I saw at least four robins and am hearing more singing and happy chirping in the mornings.
Happy Spring, everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

something soft

I know people who think that sleep is a big interruption in their day. That staying in bed is a waste of time. I am not one of them. I love sleeping. I will take any excuse to have a lie down. This is why I do not have a tv in my bedroom.

At some point, while spending a lot of time in bed these last few weeks, I finally had to admit that I desperately need a new mattress. I knew this before, but somehow have always been able to ignore it. This mattress has had a good long life and served me well over the past 20 years, but its time is over. I'm sure it has been at least two years since I last flipped it but I don't think that made much difference.

So, yesterday, while out running some errands, I decided if I went to one particular grocery store, I could also check out IKEA and Sears and Sleep Country and get a feel for a new replacement. In I went and explained what I wanted to the friendly, but not aggressive, salesman. He leads me over to the first bed and I give it a try. It is so much higher than my bed, but it is also oh so soft. I notice that sitting on the edge, it digs into the back of my knees. Yes, the friendly, but not aggressive, salesman agrees, the edges are not the best quality.

We wander over to try out another option as I glance surreptitiously at the prices listed at the foot of each mattress we pass and suppress a gulp. I have not actually had to ever buy a bed before. I took my old one from home when I moved out and it was replaced by a futon, then a bed that I stored for my SIL, then another futon which was traded for the one I have now with friends who had acquired a bed with the house they bought. I tell you, flipping those futons was no easy chore.

Bed number two was white with black piping around the edges and medium sized black flowers decorating the top and sides. I wondered how much that would show through the white and cream sheets I have. But it was soft, yet firm, and the edges didn't dig into the back of my knees when sitting on it. And it was on sale. Off he leads me to try one more option, which was even more pillowy softer than the other two. I was beginning to feel like Goldilocks. Bed number three was very soft and bouncy. I liked the bouncy. He leaves me for a moment to 'test drive' and I practice tossing and turning and laying in different positions. The softest, bounciest bed is indeed too soft and I figured I would wake up with a back ache more often than not.

Bed number two it is. I decide quickly that IKEA is not a viable option (besides, it is March Break and the place is packed) and I don't particularly like Sears. Besides I hold much more trust in a store that specializes. And this bed is half price, can be delivered for free with the old mattress taken away to be donated. In less than 20 minutes, I was out of the store with a date set for delivery.

I wandered across the parking lot to the grocery store and picked up what I needed, then decided I craved something sweet and crunchy, yet soft. Maybe chocolatey. I think I spent more time in the cookie aisle trying to decide which ones to buy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday AMuse

He's back. I find this guy intriguing and entertaining. He will intermittently pop up somewhere in Toronto (a grocery store, a shopping centre, the museum, a park) with his ipod and music that only he can hear... and start dancing.
check out more about Phil Villeneuve here

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It has been three weeks. THREE WEEKS. And I am so tired of being sick. Today I feel as if I have turned a corner, but then I have said that before only to feel just as bad (though in a different way) hours later. I have heard from several people who had this strain of flu and we all agree - the worst part is the coughing. It is almost relentless. Even the cat is fed up with it and has managed to pull down a towel off the shower curtain rod and made a cozy little bed for herself in the bathtub. When she is not asleep on the chesterfield. Can't say as I blame her, really. At least she is no longer sleeping on my head, or my chest.

I have managed to continue working at night - the fresh air feels so good - but it was getting embarrassing to have to phone clients back after rescheduling their appointments to say "um, sorry, I'm sick again."

I have more than an adequate supply of kleenex, vitamins, lemons, ginger ale (and even ginger beer), chicken soup, cough drops and bottles of cough syrup (currently Benalyn, Robitussin, and Buckley's). Then there is the Vicks Vaporub which has not done a darn thing for relief. I have a new vaporizer, several new toothbrushes and change my pillowcases every other day. I am fighting this with everything I can think off and yet still this damn thing hangs on.

The bad news is my birthday weekend away has been cancelled.
The good news is I have lost several pounds.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

100th Annual International Women's Day

I first found this on The Fifty Factor's blog and am sharing it here.

btw, still sick.......

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

taste for coffee

I miss my coffee. I don't drink nearly as much as I used to (I even used to manage a coffee shop) and it never really gave me that buzz that most people claim to get. No jolts awake in the morning. No jitters. Though, sometimes, once I started cutting back, I would notice that I would be unable to sleep if I drank my first cup in the afternoon without starting off slowly in the morning. But I always enjoyed it. Even when I drank it out of habit. My early morning start to the day always included a stop at Tim Horton's - only because it is pretty much the only place open at 2am. And my afternoon walk would invariably end up at one of my two favourite cafes nearby. Any shopping outing always included a rest stop and a reviving, steaming, mug of joe. I would be looking out for a place to get my coffee long before I started looking for whatever brought me to the shopping centre in the first place. I have a new favourite coffee place that involves a 12 minute drive into another city. Atmosphere with my coffee is very important.

Generally, the first sign that I might be coming down with something is my lack of taste for coffee. This time, there was no warning - one morning I simply woke up, threw up and things went downhill from there. Twice I bought myself a coffee to savour while sorting out my newspapers and both times, I found it very much lacking. Both times I thought, well, that was a huge waste of $1.52. I'll not do that again. Even if it is "roll up the rim" time at Timmy's. Even if my first cup WON me a 'donut'.

Now, I simply have no taste for it. No desire. In fact, it almost makes me feel sick again, just thinking about a coffee. I feel so lost.

And don't tell me to replace it with tea. I also love tea, but it is a very different drink. They are not interchangeable. I grew up with tea as an after dinner drink and coffee as a separate entity later in the evening. I still think of tea as a drink that accompanies a meal and coffee that is almost a meal in itself. Many, many foods do not go well with coffee, but most will not be burdened by the light, refreshing taste of tea.

Maybe if could stop munching on these Ricola cough drops my taste for coffee (and other foods) would return.