Thursday, August 31, 2006


my mom sent me this picture of my gramma o'sullivan today. all i can say is - she was stunning.

i miss her.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The birthday truck

Scene - dining room table this morning during breakfast. I am eating my granola cereal with my laptop off to the side. Kai is eating his yogurt with granola.

Kai: I can't wait until the birthday truck comes. Is your birthday in April?

Me: [confused] the birthday truck? uh.... yes, it is. [curious] What's a birthday truck?

Kai: A birthday truck is what comes and it brings birthdays. [long pause while he spoons yogurt and granola into his mouth, then continues] and presents! I can't wait for the birthday truck to come!

Me: [deciding that I need to write this down I grab the laptop and open up notepad to record this] what made you think of birthdays?

Kai: I don't know. I think of presents for the birthdays!

Me: [trying to figure out what spawned this discussion] Who's coming on the birthday truck?

Kai: Uncle Paul. [pause] Does Uncle Paul have a birthday truck? I don't know if he does. [Goes back to eating his yogurt as though this conversation was completely normal.]

Incidentally, if you google "birthday truck", the first link is this poem. In google images, the first image is this playmobile truck. Who knew?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Remember the shower curtain I made? I finally figured out how to get our new grommet setter to put holes in it, so it is now finished. I didn't want to use a flash for the photo, but our bathroom has no windows, so the picture isn't very bright. And excuse the faux-wood counter. It's not our first choice for a counter top, but I can't sew a new one of those so we're stuck with it.

A close-up of the fabric I used:

I'm quite happy with it. Keith wonders why we didn't do this years ago. (The yellow shower curtain hadn't matched our bathroom for a while now... not since we lived in Willowdale.)

Oh, and to brighten your day, here's the lovely sunrise I saw this morning on my way to the gym. (I've been going right around sunrise lately, and this morning I finally remembered to bring my camera. It actually got prettier a few minutes later, but by then the backdrop was a parking lot, so it wasn't as good a shot.)

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Do you remember these little Robert Munsch books? We found a whole bunch of my old children's books last year at my parents' place. Sadly, the books were living in a cardboard box in the attic, but we managed to rescue some of my favourites. Much to my delight, some of those books have become Kai's favourites, too. One of the books we rescued was this little tiny edition of Mud Puddle by Mr. Munsch that he obviously signed for me when I was a kid. (I remember he visited my elementary school a couple times, and I just LOVED the way he told stories.) Anyhow, I find it funny that Kai asked me to read this particular book to him today before his afternoon nap, considering what I was doing this morning:

The Muddy Buddy is a 10-K run & bike that you do with a partner. The race is touring 8 cities across the U.S. and today it was in Boulder. For the race, you have one bike between the two partners, and you alternate running and biking each of the 5 legs. Between each leg, either before getting the bike or after dropping it off for your buddy, you have to do an obstacle (climb up a cargo net, slide down a big inflatable slide, walk a balance beam, go over a short cargo net, go over a big 5' high board), and at the very end, you and your partner go through a mud crawl together before crossing the finish line. This is my kind of race! It wasn't actually on the list of activities, but there was also a section of the course about 2 1/2 miles in where you have to wade about 40 metres through a 2 1/2' deep section of the reservoir, which meant that I had to carry the bike at that point. My buddy was Ilana, my other half for the last year and a bit at work (we started on the same day and shared an office for 7 months, so it was natural that we became buddies).

So here are the before pictures (with Ilana's bike decorated with ribbons so that we could find it at the transitions.)

During the dirty part:

And the lovely "after" shots. (I knew I had mud on my teeth, but I was too tired to figure out a good way to get rid of it! Besides... it's what I really looked like.)

And even after a dip in the res to "wash off", thinking that I was pretty much clean, I got back to the car and saw that my entire right ear was still caked in mud. BIG flashbacks of Swamp Romp... I tell ya. I think the organizers of this race recognize that some people are really still kids at heart, and that we all just want to jump in the mud from time to time.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The week in review

Lots going on, lots to show and tell... here's the past week in pictoral form:

Kai watches our landlord Dave mow the grass, too shy to join in with his own weed trimmer.

Happy late-summer sunflowers, fresh from the grocery store.

I know this sort of falls under the category of high school weekend retreat photo-taking, but I just couldn't help taking this when I went into Kai's room on Sunday to wake him up from his nap. I had to use a flash, because it was pretty dark in his room, so although it looks like all the lights were on in his room, it was really very dim. We've never seen him sleeping like this before, and we check on him every night before we go to bed...

The new kitchen, all set up and ready for the chef.

The new bedroom curtains. They do make me happy... :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Weekend bliss

We had a very busy weekend. I think. It's a bit of a blur now, but I remember feeling very satisfied. There were many little projects, both new and old, and many were completed. I thrive on completion. When I consider this aspect about myself, I find myself thinking back to the "high D" personality type that always emerged when I took the DISC personality tests back in my high school and undergrad years. I'm certainly not sentimental about that time, but wow... the flashbacks of the horrid yellow carpeting in our old Jr. High room are really vivid. My "D" personality suggests that although organization isn't one of my strong points, the satisfaction of finishing a task is a strong motivator for me.

So, I thrive on completion, and because I don't get to do domestic things and little tasks around the house on a daily basis, I love that aspect of the weekend. While other parents were happily packing up their children and taking them to the beach to enjoy one of the last weekends of the summer, we spent the weekend doing all those little things around the house that have been patiently waiting for our attention, which couldn't make me happier. But first, there were some
yard sales to discover. Some of the plunder:

Some artwork.

Not-so-vintage plates (from Restoration Hardware, reportedly) with a vintage cheese label theme. I couldn't resist them...

This firetruck tent got the best reaction from the kid: a big wide-eyed gasp. He eventually crawled inside and "drove" it around the driveway.Some other toy finds: a kitchen, a weed trimmer, a wheelbarrow and a variety of FP Little People toys. Oh the joy!

On to the Projects, in addition to cleaning the aforementioned toys.


1. Obtained some new screws and reattached the hinged top of the blanket box at the end of Kai's bed. I'm happy to report that we're no longer putting our child in danger every time he crawls on and off his bed.

2. Sewed curtains for our bedroom, to replace the not-so-chic and not-so-adjustable bedsheet that has been providing us with a little sunlight-relief since June. They're hung now on our brand new curtain rod, and looking very lovely, if I don't say so myself.

3. Hung up the garage saled artwork and mirrors from the last two weeks in our bedroom, the stairwell, the spare room and the downstairs hallway.

4. Finished installing the new shelves in my craft closet. How exciting is this? I find it funny that I'm not the only one who decided it was necessary to organize my quilting supplies over the last week or so.

5. Keith rearranged the linen et al. closet to make room for our 12 jars of peaches, and the 10 or so that I will hopefully finish up tonight. (Did I mention that I'm going to can more peaches? Well I am. The price is just too good to pass up... and they're just so tasty!)

WIP (Works-in-progress):

1. Sewed a new shower curtain for our bathroom to replace the lovely-but-not-at-all-matching yellow curtain that has been in our lives since I moved into our apartment on Ancona Street. It's not quite finished yet because our grommet setter turned out to be in less than ideal shape. Perhaps a new one will be purchased today and it will get finished tonight...

2. Purchased some lovely cedar planks to make some shelving for the craft area (scrapbooking and card-making) of our bedroom - I'm going to attempt to organize that zone so that it's easier to sit down and be productive. Keith spray-painted the brackets so that rather than bright white, they're now a funky shade of brown. (Is that really possible? Can brown be funky?)

3. Keith removed some glass from an old window frame that I found at a yard sale a few weeks ago. I purchased some sheet metal to replace the glass... I still need to do some tin-punch art on them, and cut them to size before we look for a place to hang it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More happy things...

First, from this past weekend's garage sales: a new skateboard - we have a very happy kid, although we're going to need some elbow and knee pads now. Some of you might wonder how he knows about skateboards - for starters, we have a pretty awesome skatepark in town, and we've been there during a competition and have seen some good tricks... and there are at least two T-shirts on the current rotation that feature skateboards, not to mention one that has been retired to the "too-small pile".

For me, a new (old?) washstand... although I'm not really sure that's what this is called. Internet nerd as I am, I googled "washstand" and "wash stand" (in Images) and most of the pictures of stands sans built-in-sinks (ie. traditional ones) were the kind with a towel rack at the back, not on the sides. So does anyone know what to call this?

Also - 16 1-quart mason jars. I'm going to can peaches for the first time outside of my mother's home. I'll let you know how that goes later. The box of peaches we bought on Sunday is still ripening in the garage... Maybe tomorrow.

I've been getting inspired lately. Angie has a bunch of links on her website that I've been frequenting lately (and links within), and some of them have inspired this:

And this:

And the purchase of these:

Pillow number one is pictured above... I just finished number two this evening. Number three needs the binding blind-stitched... if the peaches aren't ripe tomorrow, maybe that'll happen then. I'm really excited about my new fabric - I don't know what made me purchase all the pink, but I'm suddenly feeling that I need to make a pink pillow for someone. Anyone want a pink pillow? I can add other colours, too.

I love my new mat. It's probably one of the wonkiest things I've ever made, so much so that I had to explain to Keith that you're not supposed to get down on the floor to analyze it. Anyhow, it makes doing dishes just that much more bearable, and it's fun to look at, too. The last good-sized piece of my favourite fabric is in the mat - it's also the binding for the pillow. I've still got a couple little scraps, and I'm pretty sure that they'll make it into something someday.

On one other completely unrelated front (why stop with the non sequiturs now?), we've got exciting news. HE GETS IT: