Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dec 2014

Celebrating doughnuts and more...

As a part of their pursuit of doughnuts across the country—and to celebrate Kate's recent birthday—she and David partook of some of their favourite circular confections at this doughnuttery in NYC. What? You can't see the doughnuts? Well, that's because this is the small room away from the action, wherein one becomes closeted alone with mirrored walls, disco ball, sparkly lights... and shiny water-bearing accoutrements. Yes. Indeed. This is the WC at Doughnut Plant in the Chelsea Hotel.

Seems to me like a perfect start to holiday lighting!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Nov 2014

Celebrating black cats... and the women they enchant

I decided to start November a day early in order to honour midnight felines and their oh-so-willing femmes fatales: in this case one Samantha cat who adopted Kate a few years ago in NYC, long before Batman... perhaps tho, bringing Kate dreams of Batman, later to be realized in Berkeley... and proving Dirk Gently style, the fundamental interconnectedness of all phenomena in the universe.

Have fun treating and/or tricking tonight.

And for our new month:
Have a great Mo/November and
Be sure to remember
To remember
On the eleventh.
Et al.
His birthday
And pleas
For humanity.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oct 2014

Dennis channeled Gaudi again...

In November 2012, I showed you some Gaudi paving tiles in Barcelona visited and shot by my friend Dennis. Through a regrettable set of circumstances both Dennis and I have lost his original image. The calendar version remains in my archives, of course, but we can now rejoice: Dennis went back to Barcelona and returned with more pix of lots of Gaudi paving tiles. These pink ones took my fancy. Yours?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sep 2014

Throwback September

Today is the first day of school here in Toronto. 

I remember my first day: my mother made this soft Chambray dress in pale blue with a white collar and navy blue bows. She also made a matching dress for my doll Mary Lou. My shoes were polished navy blue when I left home, but when I came home they were covered in caliche dust from the playground.

My hair was permed, I wore my Disney Cinderella watch and I was very excited with my little plaid satchel as it was essential to feeling like a real school girl at last. Inside I carried a quarter for my lunch and in the afternoons I brought my art home for my parents to admire. Inside the satchel's little flap my mum taped an extra quarter in case I lost my daily quarter. I never lost my lunch money, but I gave the extra quarter to friends a few times when they lost theirs.

That was also the time I began dancing lessons, piano lessons and art lessons. My parents determined I should try all three for two years in hopes I would find I preferred one. And I did: dance! I didn't pick up art again until my last year of high school... and by that time I was teaching dancing and dancing professionally while I continued my own lessons.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Aug 2014

August washes in bringing summer’s left-overs.

Where I am, summer’s been only a glimmer of “better-than-winter” this year. Today bodes better, unless the rain returns.

Kate was recently in Ponang in South Korea, where summer was overpoweringly hot and where she found this starfish washed ashore. 

What are my summer left-overs? Open windows. Iced tea on the balcony. 
New streetcar-tracks… for new streetcars due the end of the month. 
Walks in Riverdale Park. Farmers’ market in Withrow Park. Always carrying my umbrella. 
Dough Bakeshop’s ice cream sandwiches made with their own choc chip cookies and chocolate Kiwartha ice cream.

OK… gotta get to Dough right now. It’s a nice walk there and the very-vocal orange tabby that hangs out on the corner just might greet me along my way.

It is still summer, after all. Enjoy

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 2014

Canada Day 2014

Knowing plants do not generally thrive in my care, when Peter gave me this orchid he said (as he has said before), "Enjoy this while it's alive."

Hey guys! That was over a year ago. Named Harvey, he's made it through my move and our cold dark winter hiding behind thermal curtains that helped to keep the freezing winds out. Then, ta-dah!!! New blooms! Way to go Harvey!

Canada's 147th birthday is today. Just check out Facebook. It's all there. Tonight I will watch fireworks from my balcony. In the meantime, I put a little red maple leaf on my Canada Day postmark here, in honour of Don Watt, the man who designed the Canadian flag and whom I called boss... and friend.

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2014

Finally! Bring on Summer!

Susan, whom Kate calls her New York mum, just returned from a magical sojourn in Italy. Last month I challenged her to provide an image for this month's calendar. The result is this day on the Adriatic at Francavilla al Mare, just south of Pescara. It had been raining and the early afternoon when she arrived was just warm enough to head to the beach and hoop for about 1/2 hour.

That's Susan: always prepared to make the most of every moment. Obviously.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 2014

Look at this guy.
I guess he’s seen it all.
People gawking.
     (Sigh.) Happens every day.
They’re surprised that he walled his mate into her nest
And brought her and their brood food for 8 months!
     So? Don’t you look after your family?
No spring yet in Toronto?
     Yup, not surprised.
Rob Ford’s going into rehab?
     Wait! What?
I am trés fortunate to have friends who not only travel to wonderful exotic places, but who also take wonderful images
and show us all. Éric, friend and proofreader extraordinaire who’s kept me covered for lots of years, recently returned from Penang.
There he found this wreathed hornbill hanging out in George Town’s zoo. I invite you to go grab the high resolution
version (see below) and stare into that eye… whole worlds are in there… maybe he’ll teach you to meditate.

Tell me about it… and if you’re inspired, give him a name.

Susan, take note. I’ll be waiting.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Apr 2014

Elliot & Lilly basking in the warm sun!!!

Yes! At last, Spring is trying to assert herself and the Tiff shelf is delighted witness.

Time on by balcony reveals some remaining heaps of snow from cleared areas like the ice rink in the park and still some coating under some of the trees on the west side of the valley. Neighbours are all out walking to and fro without having to heed ice. We are happy people. I'm outta my boots and into real shoes. Can sandals be far behind???

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pi Day 2014


1. Write a Pi-Ku:
That's haiku with a difference: First line has 3 syllables, second line has 1, and the third line has 4. Still my fave example from NPR:

So Southern
Can’t say Pi right.
2. Measure a can of 3 tennis balls. Measure across the top, then the height... then around.
3. Order in pizza... add a salad with everything sliced into circles... and sing Happy Birthday to Albert.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mar 2014

March arrives... like some sort of a semi-tame lion.

Well, tame compared to Feb's exit of whiteouts, walls of snow and windchills of -38°. Saturday before this snow I opened my thermal drapes and went out to stand on my balcony to celebrate a few hours of barely freezing temps. The sun was bright and I stood looking at my sights and listening to thunks of the kids playing hockey in the rink. Then a bit after midnight, I returned during this light snowfall to share another night skyline with you. No more thunking, but you can see the rink in the lower left corner... and the weather app is predicting more -30° windchills for Sunday night.

Of course the rest of you all across north America are having your own freezing tribulations... guaranteeing us all stories of the winter of '14. They will be dramatic stories even if we didn't have to walk 5 miles to school every day.

It's hard to believe that in just one week from today we will have to stop wasting our daylight again. Don't forget to spring forward.

And keep warm, eh?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb 2014: Beware, it's long!

Yes, it's the Year of the Horse.
Just the word, 


As a girl I was a great fan of
Roy Rogers and his ever-present Trigger.

Oh, how crushed was I when I overhead
Aunt Mary saying to Aunt Florence,
"I don't know what she sees in that Roy Rogers.
"His eyes are too small and he's
"Not handsome at all."
So I didn't talk to her about him any more.
But I did still talk about Trigger!
After all horses were the
Main reason I liked cowboys.

As an adult I learned that my mother
Never liked cowboy movies,
But when I was little…
And my father travelled...
She took me every week
To see Roy and Trigger.

And Dale and Buttermilk.
And Gene and Champion.
And Hop-A-Long and Silver.
She even named her little
Willys Jeep car Nellie Belle
In honour of my enjoyment
Of these western forays.

Driving with my parents
We would seek white horses.
I learned to lick my thumb and
Place its wet spot on the palm
Of my other hand, then make
A fist and slap it quickly and loudly
Onto that same wet spot.
It was called "stamping white horses."
Do you know of this game?
There was no score kept…
Just spotting and stamping.

Once visiting my grandparents'
Little gas-station-cum-general-store
In Van Alstyne, Texas, I fell in love
With a clock in a horseshoe
Next to which stood a golden Trigger.
It was some kind of painted cast metal.
I don't know if the Horse Clock was
One of the items for sale or a vague
Attempt at décor, but I was totally smitten.
And my grandparents, in the
Great tradition of all grandparents,
Gave. It. To. Me.
Again, the adult me knows
How this Horse Clock
Must have offended my mother's taste.
But I looooved it with all my heart.
Whenever we moved (which was often)
This same mother ensured
My Horse Clock took pride of position
Next to my bed where I could easily touch it
From my pillow.
Yes, I did learn to tell time
With the Horse Clock.

Other horses came over time.
On our frequent trips to Matamoros
And Nueva Laredo my mother
Helped me find the photographer
In the zocolo who always had a
Wooden Horse for posing upon.
My childhood scrapbook is spattered
With these images showing me
As I grew. There are even a few
From my late teen years
In happy counterpoint.
My blind almost Godmother, Sammie,
Even prevailed upon my mother
One time to help her climb aboard
One such steed so she could
Send me her picture like mine of yore.

During fourth and sixth grades
We lived in tiny Bartonville, Texas,
And there pastured an aging
And gentle Sadie for a neighbour.
Sadie let me lead her to our fence
So I could climb from fence to her back
And explore our vast four acres
I fed her carrot sticks that she
Delicately bit as I held them
And sugar cubes that she
Lipped from my open palm.
My mother, the city girl, later
Confessed her fears at the time.
I'm glad I didn't know.

When I was preggers with Peter
His dad and I visited friends
Who lived on a very remote ranch
In the mountains of northern Mexico.
One day, we rode our horses
For so many hours
Our hosts sent out cowboy
Search parties to find us
And ensure my baby's safety.
Later Peter and I rode horses
On bridle path at Lake Louise.
He remembers the horses' names

Of course, Little Peter and Little Kate
Each had their own horse on springs.
I painted them white, because,
Like my mother, the aesthetic
Has always been more important to me
Than the commercial.
Peter called his horse "Wrong"
And Kate called her's "Mine."
They know why.

What's that other little horse
On the calendar?
The one in the middle?
I discovered it while looking
For something else
And kept it because
It's sweet.

Have a very happy
Year of the Wood Horse,
My friends.


In China it's known as a time for victories, unexpected adventure and surprising romance! The horse is associated with fire and therefore always ready to race on… during the year of horse, we must be careful not to let that fire consume the wood. The lesson this year is to run, but to plan and to pace ourselves, to ensure we reach our ultimate goals.

In western astrology, Mercury is about to go retrograde again from Feb 5th to 27th. Back up everything. Double-check all your documents. Try to avoid entering into any new contract, but if you must, be prepared for delays. If you have an on-going contract negotiation, revisit areas you thought were settled… they might have come unstuck.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Jan 2014

So much since last we talked...

The ice storm.
The ice storm.
    Boxing Day.
The ice storm.
    David's big run in Phoenix...
    106 miles in 48 hours.
Aftermath of the ice storm.
    New Year's Eve.
Happy that the ice storm
didn't leave me in the cold and dark.
    New Year's Day.
Cold. Snow.
Snow storm.
    Quiet weekend.
Another snow storm due.
    Happy Birthday to Peter.

In the meantime
these little critters
seek a place to hunker.

Lot's to learn from them.

Thank you Marje for the pic.