Saturday, March 12, 2011

Long Time, No See

I know I just started this blog in September and am already very behind in my posts.  I'm not even going to try to explain it away but rather say that I'm sorry.  Of course, I only have one follower so far but I'm not going to get anymore sitting on my duff.  So, here's a quick update on what's been going on with me:
  1. On September 19th, my maternal grandfather passed away.  Then, 4 months to the day later, my maternal grandmother passed away.  I miss them very much but I know that they are together again in Heaven, where there's no pain or tears.  They're enjoying the presence of their Father and glorifying Him!
  2. I've finished the second and third units in my correspondence course and sent them in.  I got A's on the first two units and am waiting to get the third unit back.  I'm almost finished the fourth unit, too.  In total, there are six units in the course.
  3. I'm taking a cake decorating course now, too.  I'm in the basics course right now and have three more classes (out of four) to go.  After that, there are two more courses.  I haven't decided if I'm going to take them yet, though.  We'll see how I do at my next class.
  4. A few weeks ago we learned that our oldest cat, Spooky, has the early stages of kidney disease.  He'll now have to be on medication for life but we intend to do our best to keep him as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  5. My hubby is looking for work, preferably in British Columbia's Okanagan or Kootenays.  He's still at his present job but we've been wanting to move back to BC for a long time now so we've started looking.  We want to go where God leads us so we're open to other places in Canada as well but our hearts really are in BC.
So, that's what's been going on in a nutshell.  As for other stuff, we've seen three movies in the past 9 months or so.  I know some people go to the movies all the time but we're just not that into that whole thing anymore.  There aren't very many movies that interest us, not to mention the cost of going to the movies.  However, tonight we had a 2-for-1 coupon so we thought we'd go before it expired.  We saw "Black Swan" starring Natalie Portman, Barbara Hershey, Mila Kunis, etc.  It was very intense and very, very dark but the acting was superb.  The story was gripping and had me tied up in knots until the very end.  Would I recommend this movie to you?  If you don't mind several explicit sex scenes and can handle feeling "down" rather than "up" when you come out of the movie, then go for it.  Otherwise, I don't recommend this movie.

A few weeks ago we saw "The King's Speech", thanks to a colleague of my hubby's who gave us a gift card.  We enjoyed the movie but didn't think it was worthy of 12 Academy Award nominations nor the actual award it received for Best Picture.  It also won awards for Best Director and Best Actor (Colin Firth).  Since I haven't seen the other movies that were nominated, I can't say whether Colin Firth really deserved the award or not.  I will say that when I left the movie, I felt he deserved an award.  I also felt that Geoffrey Rush deserved an award though he didn't win one.  So, if you're one of those few people who haven't seen the movie yet, I would recommend it.  It is a nice story based on the life of King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth.  To me, it's a feel-good movie that had some very moving moments throughout.  It was also interesting for me to see the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth when she was a little girl and to see the type of upbringing members of the royal family have had.

Several months ago, we saw "Mao's Last Dancer".  Oddly enough, it was also based on a true story.  It was about Li Cunxin, a male ballet dancer from China.  I really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it as well.

It's getting late and we have to "spring forward" tonight so it's off to bed for me.  I promise I'll try to keep up-to-date with my posts.  Happy Spring!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I realize that I just started this blog and already I'm a bit behind on my posts.  However, there are two reasons for that.  One is that I've been sick all week and the other is that, because I've been sick, I haven't had anything to tell you about.  So today I thought I'd check in.

As I said, I've been sick all week with a cold.  It's left me with a semi-permanent headache, nasal congestion, and a sore throat.  And I haven't been sleeping well either.  But all week I've been looking forward to this weekend when we were going to go to the Ukrainian Festival.  My husband is of Ukrainian ancestry and so each year when it comes around, we go and have some delicious, authentic Ukrainian food and listen to some great music (in Ukrainian of course).  Last year one of the biggest bands in the Ukraine was there and this year they've brought another one of the biggest bands over to Canada for the festival.  We've heard samples of their music on the internet and we really like them.  Tonight was the only time during the festival that they were performing.  And I couldn't go because I'm still not feeling well! :-(  I'm so disappointed that I missed them and the festival.  I'm also very disappointed because my hubby had to go on his own.  I love spending time with him, especially when we're doing something that we really enjoy, so when it came down to the wire and I decided I should stay home, I felt terrible.  I sure hope he's having a good time, though.  He said he'd bring me home some food if the booths were still open after the band was done.  I have no idea when he'll be home.  To keep myself occupied while he's been out, I've been working on my course.

You may remember me mentioning that I'm enrolled in an interior decorating course through distance education.  For the past few days I've been diligently working on my homework so that I can finally send it in to get graded.  I had done most of the exercises awhile ago but had been putting off the rest of them because of fear.  You see, the remainder of the exercises involved the use of watercolor paints.  While I'm good at crafts, I've never been good at art (painting, drawing, etc.) and the last time I used paints was in elementary school.  So, I've been terrified of having to use the paints.  And why do I have to use the paints?  Because as an interior decorator, you need to understand what really goes into the making of colors.  For instance, when you look at a color, does the color you're looking at have more of one color in it than another color and does the making of that color involve using black, white, or gray?  It's much harder than you might think to arrive at the exact color you're trying to replicate.  Blue-violet is not necessarily equal parts of blue and violet.  It may have more blue in it than violet and may have gray in it rather than white.  Explanations aside, I think I'm going to need to buy more paints before I finish the entire course as I think I wasted quite a bit of them trying to mix my colors.  But I finished the exercises and can now send the first unit in for grading!  Wish me luck!

Now that I've checked in, I think I'll sign off.  I'll write more when I have something to write.  Until then, have a good cup of coffee over a visit with a good friend.  I sure do miss you, KM!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Lovely Afternoon

This afternoon we went to the Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale which was located at Riverdale Farm.  Cabbagetown is a neighborhood in Toronto with a vibrant arts community.  The weather was wonderful and we enjoyed strolling through the park looking at the various items offered by so many talented artisans.  Of course, not everything was to our taste but I'm always amazed at how wonderfully creative people are.  We picked up a gift for some friends who are expecting their first baby in September.

While we were at the sale, we decided to check out Riverdale Farm itself.  It was really neat there.  We were able to see the animals out in their various paddocks as well as go into some of the farm buildings.  We saw horses, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and roosters, a turkey, and some geese.  Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera so I couldn't take pictures of the charming grounds.  We plan on going back to the farm another day this fall so I'll take my camera then.

It's great to get out and do things on the weekends even if it's just for a couple of hours.  How do you spend your free time on the weekends?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cats Will Be Cats

Our younger cat, Casper, loves to go outside.  He often disappears for hours in the evenings.  One of his favorite things to do outside is hunt.  Not only does he enjoy hunting but he enjoys bringing home his conquests.  He's brought home many mice and a couple of birds in the past.  Today, however, I woke up to find not one but two mice on the living room floor.  My husband and I are animal lovers and as much as we love our little boy, we hate it when he brings his conquests home.  The worst part is that a lot of times they are still alive but badly injured and the only humane thing for us to do is to kill the poor creature to end its suffering.  Unless my husband isn't home, it's always his job as I get too emotional doing it.  We know that hunting is part of a cat's nature but it's so hard for us to see another animal injured or killed.

Do you have any pets?  Do they do anything that really bothers you or grosses you out?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Celebrity Sightings

The past two Saturdays we've gone to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto.  For the readers outside of Canada, it's the equivalent of a county fair and is the largest of its kind in Canada.  Every year they have celebrities from the Food Network, HGTV, and more.

This year, the highlight of the CNE for me was seeing Canadian celebrity chef Michael Smith.  I absolutely love him!  He's such a genuine, down-to-earth kind of guy and I learn so much from his most recent show, "Chef at Home", where he cooks without a recipe.  His presentation was the Art & Science of Chocolate Chip Cookies.  He showed us how to make them and gave us lots of great tips along the way, not to mention some great stories.  The link for his chocolate chip cookie recipe for your baking (and eating) pleasure is under the Links section of my blog.  And if you're interested, his latest cookbook is called "The Best of Chef at Home". You can get it at Amazon and in many bookstores. The direct link to his book at Amazon's Canadian site is also under the Links section.

Another celebrity we saw was Duke Robillard.  He was one of the founding members of the blues group Roomful of Blues.  We really enjoyed his performance, even if it did rain on us a bit.  We also saw Paul James and his band.  He's a Canadian blues musician.

Who else was there this year?  Professional pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Colin and Justin from "Colin & Justin's Home Heist" on HGTV, Peter Fallico from "Home to Stay" on HGTV, Anna Olson of the Food Network's "Fresh with Anna Olson", cookbook author and eating well expert Rose Reisman, celebrity chef Lynn Crawford, and entertainers Charlie Winston, Gloria Gaynor & The Drifters, Amy Sky, Bobby Vinton, Ashley MacIsaac, Jimmy Rankin, Kim Mitchell, and Debbie Reynolds.  Although we didn't see any of these people, I thought some of you might be interested in who was there.

We always have fun at the CNE.  It's one of the highlights of the year for me where we can relax, be together, eat different foods, play games on the midway, and take in some great entertainment at a fraction of the cost.

What have you been up to this summer?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Joining the Blogosphere

I've decided to join the blogosphere.  I'm not sure what all will be on the blog yet but it will focus on everyday life as it happens to me, as well as some of my many interests such as crafting, cooking, music, and more.  So, if you'd like to follow along, I'd love to have you!  And if you have suggestions on how to make my blog better or topics of interest to you, the reader, please let me know.  Thanks for stopping by!