Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Weekend Recap

 On Friday we welcomed Dave back home after his week golfing in Scotland.  He brought home a few goodies for us, including a new golf towel from St. Andrews for me.  Not only did I want the souvenir, my old golf towel had been eaten by a mouse over the winter!

On Saturday I took my mom to the airport, it was great having her here last week, especially to help with getting the kids to and from school and making meals since Dave was away and I had a busy work week.

Because of the rain, Q's ball hockey game was cancelled so we found ourselves with no plans.  We ended up heading downtown to a phone repair shop to fix E's cracked phone.  It was a bit of an adventure to start out with some subway troubles, but soon we were on our way.  We picked up the streetcar from Bathurst Station which meant we got to buy the Jamaican patties from there. Everyone says that Bathurst Station has the best ones, and now I know why! They are freshly made at the subway station and they are legit.  

Enjoying them on the streetcar.

The phone repair place was at Bathurst and Richmond. He needed two hours to fix it so we meandered about.  I liked this view of the new condos with the old church and houses. 

Then we walked through graffiti alley.  E had just been here on a class field trip so he shared a bit of about what he learned since they had visited with a tour guide.

When we visited graffiti alley last year we saw the artist working on this piece, nice to see it completed. 

Then we made it our ultimate destination, The Well, a multi-use development. There is still a bit of construction happening and many things not opened yet, but this is definitely going to be a fun place, lots of shops, lots of places to eat and hang out.  
This was at the gift shop for Arcadia Earth, which is an exhibit that we did not visit.

Dave and I got salads from Mandy's and the boys got pizza.  Since these are pretty much the only places that are open to get food, both were very busy, but we persevered and really enjoyed our meals.  This is the inside of Mandy's.  

It was raining a bit as got ready to walk back to the phone repair shop.  Q wanted a photo with this metal guy.

Fun little park on the way back, the boys walked the labyrinth but had to avoid the play structures.

After we got the phone we took the streetcar and subway back home, and then settled in to watch the Leafs game, but I won't need to say much about that game..

It was a warmer drier morning.  We were out of milk so I decided to walk up to get some from the gas station but also treat us to coffee and muffins from Tim Horton's. 

We went to church.

And then it did end up raining for a bit, but when it cleared up we biked to the ball field for some practice. 

Spring is getting here!

Monday, April 29, 2024

Books Lately

 I haven't reported on the books I've read for sometime so these are from February to April, and it's not many.  

The Palace Papers by Tina Brown

As a Canadian, I am also a proud monarchist, meaning I want the King to be our Head of State and to remain in the Commonwealth.  I also love all of the gossip about the lives of the Royals, even though I know much of it is ill-spirited. I remember picking this up a few weeks ago because I thought it would be fun to read, and I was right.  I really enjoyed hearing the history of the Royals, going back a number of years, and then onto more modern times with the marriage of Charles and Camila, and then the marriage of Meghan and Harry.  
I felt like I knew a number of details from what was portrayed in The Crown, but this gave even more details and background, which I enjoyed.  I can only assume that it is accurate and it helps to explain a lot of the motivations behind a lot of what has gone on.  One thing that is clear is that the writer is clearly pro-Charles, Camila, William, and Catherine.  She is anti-Harry and Meghan, Andrew and Sarah.
I read this before the whole "Where is Kate Middleton" drama of March, and I would have been interested to hear a bit more behind the scenes stuff on William and Kate, and the rumours, to see what to really make of these more current events. 

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.

This will be my favourite book of the year, I'm calling it now.   This book is about two friends who design video games, and their lives from young kids to middle age.  The book mostly follows along in order, but we do get to hear the backstory along the way. 
I don't know much about the world of video games, I know about the few that the kids play, and I like Mario Kart, but this book opened my eyes to the industry and the type of work going into it.  I found it so interesting and made me appreciate my kids' interests. But not only that, the writing is so moving. I loved how the two main characters related to each other, and how other characters were woven into their lives.  
Because of the video game aspect, it had some fantasy type feel to it, so it felt a bit like Cloud Cuckoo Land, but not really.  It somehow also reminded me of Demon Copperhead, but not really.  I think it's just because I loved all of these books so while I was reading this one, I was having the same feelings. 

The Jetsetters byAmanda Eyre Ward.

I know this was a popular book, and was from Reese's Book Club, but I found it pretty disappointing.  The story is about an older woman, widowed and living in the Southern US.  Her best friend has just died so she needs an adventure, and she's also trying to reconnect with her three children.  Through a series of events they end up on a European cruise.  Hijinks ensue.  
I felt like it was sloppy and lazy writing, and there were times when the plot made leaps that just didn't make sense.  I was also personally offended by one line in the book.  One of the daughters was described as letting herself go and (horrors!) her thighs rubbed together now.  Now I have never had a thigh gap and it wasn't until my mid-twenties when I even knew that people had thigh gaps or aspired to them.  I suppose I'm lucky because it was never a thing that was talked about in my family or circle of friends.  But I really hate that this is the message that is out there for so many people and then reinforced in this silly little book.  So since that comment was made at the very beginning, I had already sort of written this off,  but I don't think I was wrong. 
The only thing good about this book is hearing about the various ports of call they visited on the cruise ship.  

Friday, April 26, 2024

Friday Favourites


Happy Friday!
I borrowed these photos from my mom who went to see the cherry blossoms in High Park while she was here this week.  I didn't have time to go this year and they will be off-peak bloom by the weekend.  They are so pretty!

Cute Q!

We went out for dinner at our favourite local spot - Queen Margherita Pizza.

It's playoff hockey time! Go Leafs! Hoping for a win on Saturday.

Dave is wrapping up his week of golf in Scotland. They had a nice blue sky day on Wednesday. 

Tim Hortons sometimes get a bad wrap, but more often than not it provides exactly what I'm looking for.  On Thursday I brought a lentil salad for my lunch, but I wanted something else to go with it.  The savoury pinwheel fit the bill.  (And then I also got a coffee and a donut!).

E kicked off his baseball season with a clinic on Thursday evening. He looked good out there!

Last week I posted about my favourite Canadian TV shows and at the top of the list was Mr. Dressup.  This week I finally watched the Mr. Dressup documentary on Prime.  It was so nice to see the old footage of the show and hear from other Canadians who loved it as much as I did.  You'll want to grab a few Kleenex if you watch.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Monthly Musings


1. Favourite thing about spring?
The warm weather, flowering trees, and birdsong.

2. What are your spring traditions?
We usually go to see the cherry blossoms in High Park (although we didn't get to go this year), we get the bikes out and ready for the season, and I sort through our clothes to change seasons. 

3. Favourite spring outfits?
 Usually I can stop wearing nylons with my dresses/skirts about now.  I may be able to lose the jacket, and wear sneakers more often instead of boots.

4. Favourite springtime meal?
We start BBQing more in the spring, so burgers is one of the things I like best. 

5. Spring rain...love or loathe?
I love it. Especially this year, we had a very dry winter and the more rain right now, the better. 

6. Favourite spring flower?

7. Do you get seasonal allergies? Best remedies please!
I don't get seasonal allergies but when I am feeling a bit stuffy/congested, I take antihistamines. 

8. Favourite springtime beverage?
Rose. I drink white wine all year long, but the rose comes back out in the spring. 

9. Do you change your home decor for spring?
No.  We have some Easter decorations but it's been put away now.  Nothing else changes in the house with respect to decor. 

10. Lemon meringue pie or strawberry shortcake?
If I have to choose, I would pick strawberry shortcake.  But to me, cherry pie says spring. 

Linking up with Patty and Holly.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Jerk Chicken, Beans and Rice, Coleslaw
Monday - Chicken Fingers, Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli
Tuesday - Hamburgers
Wednesday - Out
Thursday - Quiche and Salad
Friday and Saturday - not sure yet

What I'm reminiscing about...
When we went to the Blue Jays game last week, I was reminiscing about previous times we did the Jr. Jays base running.  The first time that we did it with E, he needed me to run the bases with him, which was fun for me since they don't usually let the parents run around.  Then Q and E got to do it together a few years ago.  

What I'm loving...
The episodes of Jam Session on the Ringer Dish podcast.  Amanda Dobbins and Juliet Litman just talk about current pop culture events, and since they are similar in age to me, so I tend to agree with a lot of what they are saying.  This week they of course were talking about Taylor Swift's new album; they thought it was mediocre, which is pretty much what I thought. They also mentioned Victoria Beckham's 50th birthday party which is also something I was very excited about this week.

What we've been up to...
Getting ready for baseball season.  Dave is the head coach for Q's team and I am now the manager for E's team.  

What I'm working on...
We are continuing to put our house back together after our major renovation.  We got some desk chairs, and Dave built some shelves in Q's room for Lego display.  We want to buy a sideboard for the dining room and we want to hang some pictures.

What I'm excited about...
Golf season.  I decided not to go join the ladies' league I played in last year but I'm still hoping to get out a few times.  E got some new golf clubs and he has already played a few rounds.  And we won't mention Dave who is currently golfing in Scotland! 

What I'm watching/reading...
Dave and I are watching The Gentlemen on Netflix.  All of us are watching Amazing Race, and of course playoff hockey. 

I am still slogging through the Outlive by Peter Attia. I know it's popular but I'm having a hard time reading it, it's a bit too textbook-y to me but I'll stick with it for now.

What I'm listening to...
Some recently listened to songs - You're So Vain by Carly Simon (eclipse reference), exile by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver (my favourite T. Swift song), Both Sides Now from the movie CODA, I Dreamed a Dream by Susan Boyle (I never tire of this one), Augusta the Masters Theme, Deep Depression by Lyriq Luchiano (Shazamed from someone playing it on the streetcar).

What I'm wearing...
Hopefully wearing shorts soon.  I have a couple of Zella shorts but I am looking at a few from Aritzia and lululemon. 

What I'm doing this weekend...
The only thing on the calendar is Q's ball hockey game on Saturday morning but it may be raining that day so we'll see if it happens or not.  

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Tball and Baseball starting up for the boys, Mother's Day, Victoria Day long weekend, our anniversary, and some golf.

What else is new...
I've been on a good streak of working out everyday in April.  I didn't really start out with a goal on this but after the first few days I realized it was something I could achieve.  Soon I'll be able to start riding my bike to work so I won't be able to keep the streak up for much longer, but I'm happy with what I've done for now. 

Linking up with Shay.