Monday, December 13, 2010

New House

It's been really too long since I've posted. Well over a month. Anyway, lots has happened. New job, and new house. And you can bet that I'm resolving to be a better blogger in the new year. I really enjoy it actually, it's mostly just a block to a) take photos more regularly, and b) to actually transfer those photos to my computer.

We moved in just over three weeks ago and it's been delightful. Well, mostly. The house is so big compared to our 640 sqft condo. We are definitely short on furniture, but we'll slowly acquire the stuff we need. Why is Toronto craigslist so boring? I see so much more awesome stuff elsewhere... anyway, I'll be keeping my thrifting eye out for furniture, which will be fun, since the last few years have seen us at capacity with no room for new furniture.

One exciting piece in process is a 7 foot long dining table made out of reclaimed Douglas Fir which our friend is building for us. Photos will follow soon.

I will show you a little peek at some progress. The colours in the house are considerably brighter then I would normally choose myself. Especially since the "colours" I would normally choose are grey and white. Ha.

Anyway, here's a before and after of our little front living room. Obviously it's done up a little Christmas-style, but you get the idea.






Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Party Time


Confetti System kills me. I mean seriously. Makes me want to plan many parties and attempt to create such awesome decorations.

Makes me wish that the greatest store Toronto has ever seen hasn't closed. RIP Balloon King. Hmm, I see that they are having a warehouse sale to get rid of the last of their stuff. Hmmm. Perhaps, now that I have a basement, and thus storage, I should stock up on decorations? That may sound like the musings of a crazy person, but I'm serious.

I leave you with these glorious and ridiculous Balloon King decorations that we used instead of table numbers at our wedding.




I should be packing. Or applying for a job. But here I am blogging about party decorations. This probably surprises no one who knows me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, November 1st

This weekend I made these cookies. Damn they were good. Like all cookies, they were best straight out of the oven, warm and gooey and crispy on the edges. I took them to a friend's house and we played the card game Euchre. I love playing games.

I was reading the blog written by the owner of the store Bookhou, and saw these amazing bronze cast whales. Seriously, so beautiful. Whales are so incredible. There is an amazing article written by Charles Siebert about whales here. Siebert has a gift for writing about animals, he has also written a few other pieces for the NYT Magazine about animals, one is about elephants, and the other is about abuse and dogs. He interprets research about animals so well, and demonstrates some very human characteristics of animals without anthropomorphizing. His article about whales brought tears to my eyes.


Anyway, I am keeping on keeping on, what with the packing, the job applications, etc. And thinking a lot about the house and what I want to do when we move in. I am thinking about attempting to construct something like this or this on either side of our fireplace in the living room.




Friday, October 22, 2010

Downer

I'm feeling pretty down today. Don't know why, the sun is shining, the leaves are beautiful, and life is pretty good.
I'm just feeling depressed about my job search: 75 jobs applied for, and counting... I thought grad school would really open up possibilities to me. I feel like I have so much to offer and yet I can't even get an interview to convince anyone of how awesome I am.
I went for a drive to run some errands and thought about how much I miss my family.
Thought about how hard it is maintaing relationships with my many siblings, and mostly how much I wish I could help out, or just be there, especially with some seriously difficult stuff going on. I also miss being there for the normal day-to-day stuff. Sunday dinner, casual hang-outs, Fall walks, etc. Some times living across the country is harder than other times, when it doesn't feel as challenging. Sometimes life just feels hard, even though I know that it is so very much harder for most people in the world. Maybe I just mean that it feels emotionally difficult.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Packing



Wow. We have a lot of stuff. An overwhelming amount of books. What you see here is a fraction of what we have. Started packing today, these are the before photos, but I've barely made a dent.
Hopefully when we move, that hideous gold? brown? chair can be hidden away somewhere (or accidentally left on a curb?) And why are TV's so hideous? Glad that we will be able to have the TV somewhere that isn't our main living space.
Started doing yoga again and have been going regularly (for less than a week, but it's a start). I feel like it will be good to have some kind of physical outlet for the stress that will be the moving and packing process.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Antiquing





Some lovely lady friends and I embarked on a delightful day trip out into the countryside for some antiquing here. The drive was gorgeous. Wish I had taken some photos of the beautiful fall colours.

I didn't buy much, just that little wooden Czechoslovakian soldier on the left up there, which caught my eye right when I first walked in and after perusing the rest of the store I had to go back and get it. I should have maybe bought that tube of bricks. My grandparents had those bricks at their house, and when I was growing up we would often play with them, I am sure they belonged to my father and his siblings way back, but it's weird to see stuff at an antique store that was part of your history.

I also bought a hand-coloured engraving of a strange-looking bull. Even though our walls are currently covered in art and we have a back log of more stuff to put up, we'll be moving soon and there'll be fresh walls galore.

The market is in an old mill and is giant, I could spend even more hours in there than we did. We followed up our shopping with cider and fish and chips in a nearby pub. Quite a pleasant day (until hitting terrible traffic upon our return to the city, but I won't dwell on that)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Holidays



L's mum rented an amazing 200 year old house on Lake Erie. The weekend was beautiful, almost warm enough for swimming. We gorged ourselves on the usual Thanksgiving food and played many, MANY rounds of this awesome game. And also many rounds of Euchre and Hearts. Playing games and lounging around is maybe the best time. Good food, good wine, and good people makes for good times. I feel very lucky to have such fun family in-laws to hang around with. My only wish while we were away was that my parents and 15 siblings, and their partners, and my nephews and niece could have also been there and not 3000 miles away. But, then things would have been a little less relaxing, I suppose, gotta look at the bright side.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Home?


We are tentatively, conditionally, owners of this house! Very exciting! We are awaiting a home inspection and then, in November, if all goes well, we will live there. Amazing. Feeling very grown-up.... marriage, and now home ownership! Embarrassingly grown-up.

Am thinking of making this blog less anonymous, ie: actually posting photos that might include myself in them. Just not sure how I feel about being fully "out" online. What do others think about this? I am assuming most people reading this already know me in real life anyway... does it make any difference?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life

L and I have decided to start looking for a bigger place to live. This is exciting, our current abode is jam packed with books and the detritus of two pack rats. I am looking forward to more space, more storage, and perhaps a new neighbourhood to get to know.
This is in the midst of my job search. In a way it is good to have something else to focus on. I have been applying for oodles of jobs (45 in the last few weeks) and have received no responses. It's a little disheartening, especially since I feel that I have so much to offer. It's deflating, after finishing my MA, handing in my thesis, and feeling quite educated and qualified, to find out maybe I am not. I have also heard that some of the jobs I have applied for have received over 1000 resum├ęs.: how can I compete in a job market like that? It's hard not to feel down about this, but I know that things will work out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wedding









It happened two months ago now, but I haven't posted any photos, so here are a few. We had awesome photographers and they captured the day just perfectly.
I don't want to get all sappy here, but it really was an amazing and special day. I loved that most of my family was there to share it, and it just felt really "us"... and not some magazine version of a wedding (although, funnily enough, our wedding is now going to be featured in this magazine).
I wore my mother's dress which was also my grandmother's dress--took a lot of the wedding outfit pressure off knowing I had something meaningful to me and not some thousand dollar strapless, pouffy dress completely unsuited for my 5"2 body. Anyway, yes, it was fabulous and while I never thought getting married was all that important, I am really, really glad we did it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's been a while....



......
Here's why:
I finally finished my thesis! It feels amazing to be done something I have been working towards for the past 2 years. But then I sort of feel like now what? It's sort of anti-climactic.

I have a back-log of photos to post since we got a new camera this summer, but I will start by posting a few photos from my delightful long weekend. L and I and a friend went hiking and there was a cornucopia of different fungi. Very cool, and very fun to spy through the forest. I feel lucky to be able to get out of the city and into the woods like this.





Monday, July 26, 2010

Celebrating


Man, it's been a whirlwind few weeks since I last posted. Well, a month really. In that time we have helped two sets of friends celebrate their weddings and also celebrated our own. We also hosted many members of my family for almost three weeks. It was amazing. And exhausting.
Our wedding was everything I could have hoped. It was so happy, beautiful, memorable, and I barely have words for it now. We are heading to San Francisco tomorrow morning, for a glorious two-week long honeymoon. I am excited. I think it will be nice to have a bit of time to reflect on the past few weeks. It will also be a nice lull before life gets crazy again: finishing my thesis and job-hunting are on the agenda after we get back. Life is full-FULL.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cat love




The black one is so mean and nasty usually, he often attacks the white one who is so lovely she responds by licking and grooming him. I came home from errands today to see them sweetly sharing the cat bed.
Many wedding preparations happening. I don't want to make this blog into a wedding blog, but seriously, there are just so many little things to get done. It's fine though. Things are under control. I picked up my wedding dress (which was my mother's, and grandmother's) from the cleaners today and it took my breath away. It looks beautiful, brighter, less musty smelling and they got many of the little stains out, the ones that remain are just there and that's life and nobody better say anything to me about them.
This is not a bad time right now, not at all. Things are happening and will be happening for a while, it's a busy summer. And then I have to get a job, yikes!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Busy times




Very busy these days. Not to get to girly and wedding-y, but with less than three weeks until the big day there is lots to do. These photos were taken at city hall, from when I went to go get our marriage license. Crazy. Our home is in the bottom photo. City Hall is a super cool, futuristic looking building, the kind of 1960's view of the future. It was designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell and I love it. I had never had a chance to go inside, so it was kind of a delight to have some business to take care of in there.

I haven't got much writing work done lately but I am not feeling too bad about that. I knew this was going to happen, and really, I think I am mostly done anyway. Just need to write a conclusion and that will be better done after feedback from my supervisor.

Life is pretty good these days. Busy, but there is an end in sight and that end will be an awesome party. Very excited.
We've decided to go to San Francisco a few weeks after the wedding. We are going for two weeks and also want to hit up a beachy town too so any suggestions are much appreciated.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Stuff

I felt compelled to update this mostly unread by anyone blog. Life has been busy in good ways: an awesome week-long visit from my mum who helped me with wedding preparations and attended my bridal shower, we had a super nice time. With all my many siblings it was probably the first time since I was three years old that I didn't have to share her with anyone. It was awesome. In addition to the wedding work, we spa-ed, we beached, we ate out, we shopped, we sampled many wines, and strolled around the city.
In the meantime, our car was written off because of the incident with the deer. We bought a new one this weekend, what a weird thing that is, dealing with used car salesmen.
No photos, I really need to get a new camera, my point and shoot is crap and the rechargeable batteries die within hours of being charged.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Islanding



This past Friday night (date night!) L and I decided spontaneously to go to Toronto Island for a picnic. I packed a quick dinner and we rode our bikes down to the ferry terminal. After the short boat ride we rode our bikes around the island, stopping for a quick swim, and had a delightful picnic. We also rode our bikes on the paths that surround the houses on the island. The houses there are so magical, no roads, just a path, and cats everywhere. The houses are sweet little cottages, so beautiful. I would love to live there, although I am sure the winters would get dreary, and bringing groceries home would be a huge job. I bet, however, that the pluses outweigh the minuses.

It was such lovely evening and we talked of making it a summer Friday date night ritual. It's easy to forget how putting a little effort in to do something can be so rewarding. Geez, because I am working at home writing, I could go for days without leaving the house.... yikes.

I've been getting a lot of use out of my newly fixed-up $15 bike. I love it, and it's very fast. And it was fun to ride around the island without the threat of cars.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cottage






Went to a friend's cottage this weekend. It was lovely, lovely. See the photos above. I am trying to focus on the positive, because the negative was pretty negative.
I was driving up on Friday night along the dark, dark highway, and I hit a deer with the car. Luckily, no one was hurt (except of course the deer), and luckily the car wasn't damaged too badly. Nonetheless, it was extremely traumatizing. I have a brother who was injured, and, well, brain damaged after being hit by a car, so needless to say, the first thing I thought of when I felt that dull thud of the deer, was my brother. Very sad. So while I feel bad about the deer, I am thankful that no person was hurt.

It's weird to think that things like this can just happen. It shakes you up to realize how very little control you have in the universe. And that a deer can jump out of the woods in a split second, and that your car can be coming across that path in that moment. It was truly an accident: something that I could not have prevented or anticipated. I think I responded as best I could (swerving, braking, etc.), but that is the most you can hope for in these situations.

Anyway, I tried to stop playing the accident over and over in my brain, and the cottage really was great. Lovely spring weather (I even attempted to swim but it was a little too cold for that). We canoed, and lounged, and played cards. And I love the aesthetic of cottages. So many random, charming knick-knacks and cool old furniture.