November 6, 2007

Life without a TV

I know there are people out there who boast about not having a tv but I'm not one of them. I'm addicted to evening television of the reality sort - Dexter (isn't reality but I love it), Top Chef, Top Design, Project Runway and various programs that fix up and sell homes. Even if I'm not watching, it's there in the background. Last night we had our usual power failure. Averaging about 1 - 2 times a month. There's something seriously wrong here and the power outages have cost our condo thousands of dollars in repair bills. We've sent a letter to Toronto Hydro asking them to reimburse the building. Ha! They must be laughing.
Well, last night my tv was fried when the surge of power was turned back on. I'm going nuts without my staple of entertainment. Who will be eliminated on Dancing with the Stars...? I'm so shallow. I should be reading but who can concentrate. I just ordered a tv online from Future Shop but the website is dithering over something and so I must wait for a phonecall. Boy, do the tvs ever look different these days. Somehow I feel that I've ordered a monitor for the computer. I can't stand the tension of waiting for possibly a week until it's delivered. But, at least I'm finally doing the laundry.

November 4, 2007

Michael DeMeng

I can't believe that a month has slipped by without a post. I think it's been a month, hard to tell.

I took my first workshop in about a year. I'm so grateful to Carmi for bringing Micheal deMeng to Toronto to teach 2 classes. Needless to say, I didn't really finish off any of the projects. But that's alright. Michael is a patient, positive presence in the classroom. Especially to those with little confidence. His critique of all the work at the end of each class was so supportive and we all got to see the creativity of every one in the class. Some of the work was really amazing.

The first class was using polaroid pictures and making them 3 dimentional with the original polaroid photo supplying the frame at the end.

The second day of classes involved an extension of what we had done the day before. It was, in a sense, creating tunnel vision by layering and depicting in the spaces an image. I managed to completely obscure the final image which was quite nice. A daVinci. The layers are held together with screws. I have yet to embellish mine.

October 9, 2007

Starbucks - wait

My friend, Carmi, ( has issues about the wait for orders at Starbucks. It's especially long when the high school kids are done for the day and come for a drink and monopolize all the tables for hours on end. This is my pet peeve. The same thing happens at Tim Hortons. In addition, business types have meetings and even interview for jobs. One Tim Horton's in the west end of the city has banned the high school kids from sitting and it turns out that this move is actually legal. Wish this move was city wide. And Carmi, a caramel macchiato takes the same time as a latte. Wouldn't you know that the highest calorie drink is now my favourite.

October 8, 2007

I'm back!

I cannot believe that it's been over a month since I last posted. I've run into a creative/communicative block. I'd better get it back soon - by next weekend, in fact, since Micheal deMeng is flying up to Toronto to give 2 workshops. I find myself intimidated - his work is so fabulous. Well, we'll see what happens.

Meanwhile all my supplies for the projects I want to do are strewn all over the living/dining room. Much is in plastic bags which Tayoh (one of my cats) licks constantly. She became a bag-licker since 2 years of age. She's now 6 and still licking.

The weather here is unseasonably hot. My building shut off our a/c and turned on the heat on Sept. 24. It's about 82F in the apartment and rising since it is now 30 degreesC outside and the humidex is 39C. ( sorry that my thermeter is in Fahrenheit and thus the inconsistency in jabbering about the weather). My internal thermostat just can't handle this. The leaves on the trees are refusing to change colour and the few maples that have started are sporting rusty burnt leaves. I think it's the lack of rain this summer. Everything is wonky. Including my hair. The humidity always converts my smoothing attempts to a mass of frizz resembling a wad of steel wool. Yuck, I hate it. I have to wait another 2 weeks before going to my hairdresser. I have more products than you can imagine claiming to stop the frizz. I've used them all to no avail. But they smell nice so I use each of them on a rotating basis.

August 29, 2007

Dog days updated

I went for my workout this afternoon with my trainer and asked him if he knew the meaning of 'the dog days of summer'. Instantly he rattled of a complicated meaning. Here's the gist:

"Well, the dog star is actually Sirius which is the brightest star in the night sky and it does rise and set with the Sun at some times during the year - when it does this it is said to be in conjunction with the Sun.
Since Sirius is the brightest star that we can see in the sky, it might be thought reasonable to guess that it adds some heat to the Earth when it is in the sky, although that amount is now known to be insignificant.
The name "dog star" came from the ancient Egyptians who called Sirius the dog star after their god Osirus, whose head in pictograms resembled that of a dog. In Egypt, and in ancient Rome, Sirius was in conjunction with the Sun in the summer (ie. it was up in the sky at the same time as the Sun) and ancient Egyptians and Romans argued that it was responsible for the summer heat by adding its heat to the heat from the Sun.
The called the period of time from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction "the dog days of summer" because it coincidentally fell at the time of year when it was very hot.
The exact time of conjunction changes with the precession of the equinoxes so that now the conjunction of Sirius with the Sun is a little earlier in the northern summer than it was during Roman times, and as time passes it will move out of the summer season altogether (note: the conjunction is in the southern winter (both now and in Roman times), so ancient civilizations in the southern hemisphere could not have come up with this myth). "
August 2002, Jagadheep D. Pandian (more by Jagadheep D. Pandian), Karen Masters (more by Karen Masters)

I've read some gruesome stories about brown dogs being sacrificed to the dog star. Downright evil. If you have a brown dog, hide him until mid September.

Dog days of summer

So here I sit in the air conditioned comfort of my home and watch the temperature rising on the Google sidebar. So far it's up to 30 and it's not even 2:00 pm. It's actually been a good summer - very little rain and very little humidity. Nonetheless my hair continues to frizz despite low humidity readings. Either the meteorologists are all lying or I've undergone yet another signal of change of life.

Time has rushed forward. How does that happen... The older you get the faster the days turn over. And what are "the dog days of summer"? Are dogs tired from the heat? Do they start to shed their coats as the days get shorter? What for? That shedding business doesn't seem to make sense since they should actually grow a thicker coat to cope with the cold weather.
What about cat owners. Do they have days worth commenting on? The cat days of summer ? Now mine have certainly started shedding. After scooting around with my Dustbuster sucking up the thousand clumps of fur scattered all over the floor, within 5 minutes I have even more of them rolling around. They seem to shed at the beginning of every season. This doesn't seem fair to me who is still holding out for an honorary doctorate in vacuuming. If the girls do a good job licking, I then have to clean up the barf. There's no winning.

August 16, 2007

Computer Illiterate?

I've decided to open a shop on Etsy to feature and sell some of the art projects I've been working on. Ask me how many hours I spent just trying to put up a banner. Thousands, I'm sure. Even with coaching I failed. I have about 3 photo software programs to use and each of them had the required information missing. What the hell do they want? So I finally downloaded Photo Elements 5 and managed to find a language that Etsy likes and so it's been uploaded. I don't even like it but it's a start. This morning I started puttin a few things up and I've made spelling mistakes and missed crucial boxes. This I started at 10:00 and it's now after 1:00. Must go for my walk before I gain another 10 lbs from sitting in front of the computer. Not sure if I'll be able to make a link but I'll try.

August 7, 2007

Where have all the birds gone?

There have been no visitations to the bird seed cup in a week now. Are they sick of the menu? Have I killed them off by changing their diet? Have they been threatened by their flockmates? I'm deeply distressed by there absence.

On a brighter note, I had today the most delightful coffee meeting with Colette. She's such a darling and so easy to talk to. You can tell that she is sensitive and has a wonderful way of expressing herself in the written word. Go see her blog (linked in the sidebar). She has given me invaluable advice on how to set up an Etsy shop and I will let you know when I'm in the groove. Does any one know what Etsy stands for?

July 18, 2007

New Computer

Well, I received my new computer Monday afternoon. I spent the equivalent of 1 days worth of hours trying to set up my email programme. I called Rogers for help - they did help me configure 2 programs but I still couldn't mail out. Next I called Dell thinking that they would know what was going on having sold me the computer. They only deal in hardware at this point and they told me to call Rogers. By now I'm in tears - what a baby. So I phoned Rogers again and now my email is working better than ever. I guess it depends on which technician you get. I'm also trying to figure out this Vista business. The layout is different. So is accessing other drives or folders. And then there's the constant nagging windows asking if I really want to do something or asking for my name and password. Is this carrying security too far?

Tayoh went to the vet yesterday to have that tooth (see below) examined. She has a condition only seen in cats and is untreatable. It's called FORL - feline odontoclastic resorptive lesion. Whatever. As long as she's not in pain. Otherwise her teeth are perfect - not one bit of plaque which is unusual in that breed. The night before, she couldn't open her eye and was diagnose to have an infection which required a shot of antibiotic. And since we were there and she's coughed 3 times since her last visit 6 weeks ago, she had her shot of cortisone (for asthma). She seemed a bit terrorized for having 2 injections but her vet is so wonderful. This is just like having a kid (I'm guessing) and also loved the same way.

July 12, 2007

Where's the tooth fairy

So, last night as I'm on my hands and knees plucking up the day's clumps of cat hair, paper shards and random beads what do I find? A tiny tooth. Must be a cat tooth since all of mine are still intact. At first I thought it must be Amber since she's older and has gum disease. And I managed to peek inside her mouth for verification. No evidence of a recently missing tooth. That leaves Tayoh. Somehow I managed to open her mouth and found that her lower left fang had been replaced by a healed over gum. I felt so terrible that I hadn't noticed any clues and wondered if she was in terrible pain. It looks like the root was left behind. I must phone the vet to see if this warrants a shot of antibiotic. My poor little Tayoh. Not so fierce as she pretends to be...

June 7, 2007

Birds of a feather

Well, now that it's early summer, I had a hankering to bring some birds to my balcony. Since most of the birds around here are finches (even the main drag up the street is called Finch), I picked up finch seed. The very finest recommended by breeders - only fresh ingredients. So I proceded to pour some seeds in shallow plastic containers. Originally I had thought of china cups but then it occurred to me that if they blew off the 20th floor, someone below could sustain a concussion or worse.

Immediately upon placing the containers on the outer ledge of the balcony 2 little birds came to dine and chatter up a storm. I don't know if it's the same two birds who keep on visiting several times a day. After all, they all look the same. But my 2 cats are now actively viewing the wildlife show instead of sleeping 20 hours a day. A few minutes ago I heard Amber squak which she usually does when annoyed with Tayoh. I went to investigate and what do I find but the 2 of them on the balcony. They managed to slide the screen door open by themselves. What next. Now I have to keep the glass door closed unless I'm in the room with them.
But I do love to hear the chatter the little birds make announcing their arrival. I sneak to the window to watch them enjoying the feast. I'm sure there must be some condo rule against bird feeders but my makeshift buffet doesn't really constitute a feeder. So I'm delighted while the cats are tortured. Such is life...

May 21, 2007

Is it fall or spring?

As a true Canadian I am always obsessed with the weather. Of course it's important to know what to wear before leaving the house. Yesterday started off cloudy but soon the sun emerged in all its glory whereupon one was lured into thinking a light sweater would suffice. Not so! A strong northerly wind kept gusting and I know that if it was wintertime, the meteorologists would be talking windchill factor. But it was great for the blossoms. I think the cold preserves them.

I went to Edwards Gardens with my parents to wander about and taking in the various plantings of trees and flowers and attempting to learn what species we were drawn too by reading the little signs shoved into the soil. There was never a sign for the ones we truly were drawn to. Bah! How frustrating. Lilac trees were bursting forth in residential areas but there were no such trees at the gardens. What a disappointment.

Two weeks ago when at the gardens, we saw a Canada goose nesting in the fork of a huge tree well beyond the reach of human hand. Yesterday this goose was strutting with her 4 chicks by the stream. One parent led the way, four chicks in the middle ( all fuzzy with their baby coats) and the other parent at the back. They are so protective of their little ones which is a good thing since the human parents let their little hellions run wild, screaming and throwing stones at the geese. What ever happened to good behaviour....

May 3, 2007


What lovely weather we're having. Good thing since the power keeps going off in this area. I think that too many condos have been built and are overloading one of the grids. And I see that construction is about to start on a 30-story building directly across from me. This will mean an additional strain on the power system and no sunlight to my balcony. I'm not particularly distressed by the lack of sunlight since I face west and the sun makes the apartment far too hot. I'm going to experiment with growing hostas since they are shade-loving. I also have a trough to plant with alpine ground covers. I have let the hundred pound wonder sit unplanted for the past 2-3 years and I'm just hoping that my new plants take off. I have a black thumb when it comes to plants as well as sewing.
I've made 2 fabric boxes since my last post and each one has it's own problems. I've yet to figure out what it is that I'm doing wrong. I keep trying different kinds of batting and different measurements. Oh well, here's a peak.

April 20, 2007

Is it really here?

I dare say that spring has sprung. Maybe. I really don't trust the first perfect day as spring having already arrived. Usually it's just a sneak preview of what's to come with another cold blast yet to follow. But who knows with this global warming business.

My attempt at another fabric box went awry. My measurements seemed to be off... the sides weren't long enough. So I'm trying another one but I've really lost my enthusiasm.

Since the weather is so lovely I've been taking long walks and happened to stop by a Pet Value store en route. I picked up the most expensive cat food you can buy (I'm almost ashamed) but nothing is too good for the girls. It's freeze dried and can be given to either dogs or cats. It's ideal for camping says the label. Who goes camping, I'd like to know. Unfortunately they only had the chicken/turkey flavour and lamb is preferred in this household. Tayoh will eat anything with gusto. Amber is on strike. Phooey. I'm not going to start to prepare 2 different meals! Or am I...... Did I mention that Amber has given herself a lovely bikini line from constant licking shown as the white flash on her belly in the photo above.

April 12, 2007

Back from Hibernation

Well, it's been a long time since I last posted. And I've been doing nothing. Not even going for long walks since it's been too cold or too windy or too wet. Very wet today but the snow that was predicted didn't make it to the city. Yay!!

I'm trying to get back to doing some arty stuff and thought I would start with a fabric box. I made one last fall in a class with Keely Barham but have no distinct directions. I seem to need a lot of detailed instructions since my brain just will not move from conceptual to realization. And, once again, I've confirmed my inability to sew a straight line on the machine. How can that be? Maybe I can't cut a straight line. Maybe that's the reason. This is last year's box from the front view. It's quilted and sewn by hand except for the framework pieces which are machine stitched. I see that my pictures are not adequately cropped. Geesh! I must make a note of this for the future.

I shall post the current project only if it is a success. Otherwise it's garbage material.

March 12, 2007

What kind of flower are you?

After taking this quiz, I find that I am an echinacea.

I am an

What Flower
Are You?

"You are a health conscious person, both your health and the health of others. You know all about the health benefits and dangers of the world around you."

Hmmm. I really seem to know more about illness... but I do like the flower.

February 13, 2007

Westminster Dog Show

It's that time again when the Westminster Kennel Club holds its annual event at Madison Square Gardens in New York. I watched the first day last night on TV and tonight is the final night with the crowning of Best in Show. Now, what's with the cut on the poodles? I hate it, it's so tacky. And why do the poodles always win best in their group- 2 of them won last night. And Martha Stewart got a front row seat to watch the Chow Chow and French Bull Dog compete. If I was to get a dog, it would probably be a Papillon or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Toys R Us.

February 11, 2007
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?
Is this an unlucky number?

February 10, 2007

The Joker known as the Sun

the sun is just blazing. as if it were spring-like outside instead of minus a billion with the wind chill. for the past 2 weeks i have tried to walk just over a mile to the nearest mall. Starbucks beckoned to me and the wind was at my back. i also hoped that i could make a dent in the 15 lbs i've packed on since the end of the summer by increasing my exercise level. no such luck. i also tried the 'idiot's diet handbook' but maybe i'm too smart because this also made no impact. perhaps i should somehow accept this new look?
it's just 5:00 pm and the sun is streaming into the apartment through my westward facing windows. the cats are sun bathing. i'm wrapped in woolen sweaters and sipping a coffee laced with Starbuck's hot chocolate. i think this has just ruined the taste of the coffee instead of giving me a mocha effect. did i say that i also can't cook...?

February 9, 2007