Day 6 & 7

I didn’t last a week. (insert image of me shrugging) Whatever. I make the challenge, and I can bend it or break it however I want. I am long past the point where I can be bothered to feel guilt for failing a self-imposed deadline.

Call it self- care. Call it laziness. Call it coming to grips with how my mind works. It truly doesn’t matter.

Friday was a long and almost difficult day. I bailed on the Wellington Cask Fest because once all was said and done, it seemed too far to go to hang around by myself. Better to come home and be with Keith and the cats.

Today was the pleasant normality of shopping, cooking, canning and baking. It has not escaped me how much I enjoy and am deeply satisfied by the activities that I mocked so thoroughly for so long.

Middle age is finding out just how wrong you were about everything.

yeah, whatever day

july 8


Today was not good from a physical fitness perspective, but pretty damn fine in terms of self care. I call it a yeah, whatever day. I know I should be doing something else, but yeah whatever. My dad would call it being logey.

My GI tract’s reaction to the grocery store sushi kept me up most of the night, and I spent most of the day on the couch alternating between watching Penny Dreadful and napping. I felt better by dinnertime, so we went and joined BrainMc and his wife Stacie for poutine as a last visit before they moved on in their travels. There were a few more steps than 28; I decided to leave the FitBit at home because, yeah, whatever.

And after the poutine, a stop for an ice cream at Ed’s Real Scoop seemed like a brilliant idea. A much better one than grocery store sushi, that’s for damn sure!


Grocery store sushi

Grocery store sushi only sounds like a good idea, until it isn’t.

Honestly, I should know better, but I was at work and could not look at another crappy 5 Guys burger or crappy Tim Horton’s sandwich. The sushi tasted good at the time, but let’s just say that there is not one area of my gastro-intestinal system that is currently happy with my good idea at the time.

The plus side is that I do not feel like my usual late night snacking. There will be NO PROBLEM keeping under my allotted calorie limit today.

Sharp contrast to yesterday when all I really did was snack. Actually, I’m going to use the term graze. It just sounds nicer. Oh, and drank. Brian and Stacie, friends from Atlanta, are in Toronto being tourists so I met up with them in the evening and went through some of the $5 Sunday pint menu at BarHop. I am both sad and happy that I do not live closer to BarHop.

I hit the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square before meeting them to scope out all the lovely creative pieces I cannot afford. There was the usual same-old-same-old (oh, look, another painting of the Great Canadian Shield done in the style of one of the Group of Seven), but there were some truly spectacular artists that piqued my interest.

One is Becca Wallace who does some great photography with old toys (robots!!). I showed Keith some of her work, and we’re going to commission her to shoot some of our old childhood toys in the same fashion.

Another artist I spoke to for a while was Blair McKean who does scorched wood art – think kid’s woodburning kit all grown up.

But the one exhibitor that really fried my noodle were these wire work sculptures by James Paterson. Words fail to express how full of delight they are.

Yes, I know it’s sideways. Believe when I say it will be easier for you to tilt your head for five seconds than it will be for me to remain seated long enough to find and apply a fix. Someday I will learn to rotate my phone 90 degrees.

It’s pretty nifty though, eh?


And before I forget, here’s my tracking for the last two days.


july 6


And today:

July 7


Now I’m off to bed in the hopes that the Imodium and Gravol I’ve taken start working soon. Fucking grocery store sushi.

Too late?

It’s 10:30 pm, and I’ve had a busy, active day according to my FitBit:

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 10.24.55 PM

I have eaten healthy all most of the day according to MyFitnessPal:

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 10.26.01 PM


So I find myself at home at the end of the day, feet up, watching Netflix and sipping one of the delicious beers I brought back from Quebec in March, looking at the extra calories remaining, and thinking

Is it too late in the evening for a bacon sandwich?


It’s a cold, blustery day out there. I walked to the store for some supplies, but was happy to be back inside again. Now it’s all about writing while listening to the cat snore. Every once in a while, the wind rattles the windows on the twenty-first floor and roars through the valley below, stripping the last of the leaves from the trees and sending them spiralling upward.


When I’m not writing or knitting and finishing Battlestar Galactica, I’m catching up on my Feedly updates and trying not to be tempted by things I cannot even begin to afford on what I get on EI.

IMG_1673Like this bottle of Samuel Adams’ Utopias. It’s seems hideously expensive at $115/bottle ($150 in the US), but after reading reviews what goes into making this rich sipping beer – hand selected malts and hops, aging in port and rum barrels for years – I was most curious about it. One of the observers at my beer class brought a spent bottle in to last night’s class, and even thought there was nothing left in it, the rich aromas of of caramel, figs and cherries that swirled from its depths cinched it. I can’t afford it now, but know that it’s on my bucket list in my more solvent future.

Or this, this is finally a thing – a throwable panoramic camera. While it would be super cool to have one, it’s not a bucket list item. Especially at $600.

I still want one though.

My Suzy Homemaker moment for the day:


I made the super simple and elegant Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce. Three ingredients – one 28oz can of good quality tomatoes (San Marzano is suggested, but I couldn’t find them), five tablespoons of butter and one onion, peeled and halved. Combine them and simmer together for 45 minutes to create something that is definitely more than the sum of it’s parts. So. Good.

FUNemployment, week 1

It’s been just over a week since I walked out of the school for the last time, and so far it feels just like any summer break I’ve taken over the last 12 years.

Well, except for the occasional stomach-dropping, headache-inducing moment of utter panic when I remember that I am an unemployed 51-year-old with no formal education and no real clue about what she wants to be when/if she grows up. But then I talk to Keith or call/text/email a friend who will patiently list my many positives for the umpteenth time until I stop hyperventilating and step away from the ledge.

But other than those moments, it’s been a fun week. School finished on the Thursday, capped by an evening out on a local patio, drinking with my soon-to-be-former colleagues. There were speeches for the staff departing; mine was given by Andy, my fellow beer-loving punk-rocker. It the longest, sweetest, most eloquent and had the added benefit of making the principal who fired me look like she had just taken a bite of an apple only to find half a worm dangling from the core. There were hugs at the end of the night, and promises to keep in touch in varying degrees of sincerity, which will likely not happen now that the only common ground has been removed.

I left the next morning for my writing retreat, feeling only very slightly hung over. I was on the bike, it was a sunny day and I was heading to a cottage on the shores of Georgian Bay to spend a weekend doing some of the things I like the best. It was a great ride along roads I’d not been on before with a stop at the Meaford waterfront park for one of the best burgers I’ve ever had from a chip truck. I arrived at Chris’s family cottage around 2, settled in, and sat on the beach for a while drinking in a view filled with only sky and water. Everyone else arrived, and the day was filled with laughter and workshops.

My sense of peace and equanimity went to shit sometime after breakfast the next day. My period started and I experienced cramps so painful that I couldn’t sit up for the morning workshop (I blame the Super Moon!), and spent the afternoon in bed cuddled up to a hot water bottle and letting the hormone roller coaster take me for a spin out of control. No writing, just crying. It wasn’t pretty. Bad-ass biker chick cover was completely blown. The day was saved by the kindness of the women around me – I can’t describe just how awesome they all were.

I couldn’t really get completely out from under the shadow of Saturday’s melt-down though. I had been looking forward to the weekend for months, and I felt like I’d blown it, wasted my money by not partaking.  I did get a few things written, but not what I’d wanted.

Sigh. File it under Shit Happens, and move on.

The rest of the week was moderately productive. Keith was working the Toronto Jazz Festival all week, so I spent my afternoons knitting and watching Torchwood on Netflix. I finished a pair of socks in 8 days – a new record that only sounds good if you’re a knitter. Otherwise, it’s just kind of sad.

The Headstones played on Thursday, a private event for the fans (like me) who had backed their new album on As always, it was a great show, but a bit surreal to be back in Lee’s Palace after a decade away. The scene of so many bad decisions  looked both bigger and smaller, vastly different and yet completely the same, proving once again that memory is a tricky thing.

I crossed over to the dark side on Saturday – I bought a Macbook Pro. It’s used and the battery is crap, but it’s got the software I need on it and I can do the programming I need anywhere. I’ve been working on it for three days now. I am still waiting for it to change my life.

Sunday was a lazy day – we went to a friend’s cottage and basically hung out on the deck and chatted about everything and nothing while listening to the wind in the pine trees.

Which brings us to yesterday, Canada Day. We talked about going out and doing something, seeing a movie or going for a walk, but inertia proved stronger than desire. I made strawberry jam for the first time since leaving my parent’s house and Keith made scones and coffee. We feasted on them all day as we watched odd movies like Sushi Girl (think Tarantino wanna-be), and finished them off as we sat at the window and watched fireworks around the city.



week of April 21

Thinking about doing something every day is not the same thing as actually doing that something. So, today I blog.


This collage of photos taken around the Grand Canyon on our honeymoon in December of 2003. I mention this because we finalized most of our plans for our tenth anniversary trip to the same area. Flights booked, car rental is booked, 5 of the 8 hotels are booked. We’ll be landing in Vegas on our anniversary, and traveling to the Grand Canyon South Rim, The View Hotel in Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, a stop at Lone Rock Beach near Page where they filmed the Lake Silencio scenes of Doctor Who, Zion Mountain Ranch, Zion National Park, Yosemite National park (or the parts we can get to in winter), San Jose, Big Sur and the California coast roads down to Santa Maria, over to Death Valley, back to Las Vegas then home.

If you live anywhere near these spots, expect a call closer to December to make arrangements to meet up for dinner!


We are not that big on birthdays anymore, Keith and I, but we will use them as an excuse to go out to a good restaurant and spend a wad on a tasting menu.

This year, we picked Yours Truly from the Food edition of Toronto Life. We saw very quickly why it was their pick for top restaurant of 2012. We went on Monday when the vibe was pretty laid back (I hear it gets nutty on weekends), and had the Carte Blanche tasting menu, which runs 15-20 courses. I have no idea how many courses we had, but there was not a dud in the bunch. I even liked the oyster, and I don’t really like oysters very much. The East End cocktail was so delicious I had another, and it was a joy to watch a good bartender who knows what he’s doing. We decided somewhere between the garlic knots and the risotto that we would not wait until a special occasion to come back, and by the lemon curd with tobacco-infused cherry dessert, we wanted to come back next week.


My brother told me about a month ago that the Stranglers were touring North America. Yes, I thought, let’s go!

Then I started waffling. They kind of dropped off my radar once Hugh Cornwell left the band in 1990, and while the old stuff is still in heavy rotation on my Nostalgia Rears It’s Ugly Head playlist, I haven’t listened to anything from them since then. And then I saw the concert poster. They seem so …old. And if they are that old, then that must mean that I am that old, and how can I maintain my youthful delusions if my youthful heros are so obviously no longer youthful?

Best to remember them as I remember them, I thought.

However, sometime around Tuesday this thought bubbled to the surface: if not now, then when? So I went and bought tickets. Now to find someone to go with me.


The new seat is on the motorcycle, as are the heated handgrips. I’ve ridden to work three times this week, even yesterday when I knew it would be pissing rain for my ride home.

It brings me more joy than I can describe.


It’s been 8 days since I had a molar extracted. Shouldn’t it stop aching sometime soon?