Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marcel has mellowed

It used to be that the moment Marcel heard the shrieks, squeals, or pitter-patter of children he would hide or jump out the window.

But this high-intensity, twelve-day, sleep-over with the little fella and the little miss doesn't seem to be disrupting his ability to lounge.

In fact, he likes to be where they are. He likes to see what they are doing.

He even slept with my-girl-T the other night. I know it's been a long time since she and I lived together but he remembers her.

He knows she loves him, and he loves her too. It's all helping - thanks for helping kitten.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

sad day for Swanee

Please count the babies in the photo.

There is one missing.

Earlier in the day, I noticed that Swanees big wing feathers looked like someone had taken thinning shears to them.

I didn't understand why until the whole family came for a visit later in the day.

Well, almost the whole family; a little white one is missing.

The fine fellow thinks perhaps a mink came looking for a meal and Swanee fought him off.

They have worked very hard for these babies, and they are the only ones we've seen all summer. Please Swanee, keep the rest safe.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

the kids are alright

My-girl-T and her little darlings arrived yesterday around 1 pm and when I got home I felt like I had opened the door on another universe - one in which I have children. And for the next week and a half I do! A sweet-darling, girly 4 year old and her daring, flirty 2 year old brother.

I have been instantly struck with the need to buy tiny adorable outfits, ok well maybe just tiny adorable dresses and perhaps, I don't know, tiny adorable cowboy boots ...

But whoooo, there was not a lot of sleep last night, lots of running around and stealing of my keys and trying to find my keys. Then the little fella fell out of bed in the wee hours of the morning. Thank goodness it's very low to the floor so no damage there, but we're going to have to get out the blow-up mattress for him.

And my-girl-T is in rough shape. She doesn't look it, but she's feeling it. She's almost a year into this ordeal and her divorce has come through right on what would have been her 5th anniversary. She's sad, and she's tired and she's a single mom now.

But I'm so glad she's here, and here with them even if we don't get a lot of sleep for the next 10 days. We're gonna laugh, and we're gonna cry and we're gonna do what we do for each other.

We tell each other the truth - the good and the bad. And we do it with love and we do it with very bossy advice and we do it with the clear message that we will be there come what may. And we get involved. I want her to move back here. This trip, we're gonna figure out how to make that happen.

Have I mentioned how much I love smoke trees?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

cat's in the bag

I think the bag is pretty smart looking for a cat-carrier.

Marcel is unimpressed. Actually he hates it.

But he's got some runny eyes so I had to take him to the vet. Marcel is not much of a meow-er, but there was lots of loud meowing and even some growling from inside this here bag.

Sorry my little muffin, but this is what you get for never having to wear a leash when you want to go outside. I don't think it's such a bad trade-off given that you are the healthiest cat ever (even if you do weigh 17 lbs).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crowded House

I love Crowded House! I've loved them for so long and never seen them live. I didn't realize that I've loved them so long that everyone (including me) got old. Went to see them last week with Anne (in the middle) and Siobhan (on the left).

Seriously, the first two albums came out when I was still in high school. But I think it's the music from that time in my life that is tattooed on my brain.

I know all the words to "Don't Dream It's Over", "Something So Strong", and "Better Be Home Soon" and really just about anything from Crowded House, Temple of Low Men and Woodface.

So it was a small bummer that they played a lot of songs from their new record which didn't even hit stores until the day after they played here.

Siobhan was kind enough to lend me all of her CDs when I told her I didn't own anything except Neil Finn's solo album, since I threw out all my tapes a few years ago. Which reminds me I need to replace all my Tears for Fears too!

But the show was great! The band was in fine form with lots of banter about the G20 - they like to know what's going on where they're playing and they have been to Toronto, many, many times.

Mark Hart played the lap steel standing up! I love that thing!

And Neil decided that they would pay the fine and play past the 11 pm curfew just to get in a few more songs.

Ending the night with the entire theatre on their feet singing Better Be Home Soon was spine-tingly awesomeness!

(all photos by Paul Mitchell or Sharon Fischer-Mitchell - Siobhan's friends)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

time for a summer cleaning

So I have a dear, dear friend coming to visit for almost two weeks with her two year-old and her four year-old kidlettes. She will be visiting sans husband because she is now a divorced lady as a result of some horrifying revelations about his true character that if I shared would make you all cry and then get really angry.

I am just so thankful that she is keeping it together and that the kids are happier than they have ever been. And I'm looking forward to getting a chance to really get to know her little ones. I haven't even met her little boy yet, but I'm sure we're all going to have lots of fun and my-girl-T and I will probably get very little sleep. But it will be so good to connect on the everyday things since she lives so far away now and it's been more than 10 years since we were roommies.

That's what happens when I visit my NYC bestie and her now very large, little ones. I try to spend as much time with them as I can and then the grown-ups get to visit after lights out and we barely sleep. I always need a vacation when I get home.

I took a look around the house last night and it seems I have kinda let things go a bit since I did my spring cleaning. And then it occurred to me that I need to do some toddler-proofing!

I don't even know where to begin but a friend suggested I walk around my house on my knees to figure out what might be casualty-inducing for them or the stuff.

Oh, boy - I'm going to encourage lots of outdoor play time, you know, like on the Island ...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

strengths & weaknesses

Seems that I can generally take a decent photo of monsier Marcel ...

and cute birdies on the island ...

and of course flowers ...

but my best attempts at capturing fireworks netted only this:

and this:

I guess by their very nature they are so fleeting that they are hard to capture. On the other hand I did manage to drag my ancient, broken, and over 100 lb TV out my front door, down the steps and to the curb for garbage day so that I can have half my living room back. Seems my workouts really have been working!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

little Italy becomes little Spain for a day

There was this little thing called the World Cup going on in South Africa over the past few weeks and when Spain won their quarter finals game things got very loud in my neighbourhood.

I love living sandwiched in between Little Italy and Chinatown, since I'm still just learning how to cook. The few blocks in between these two areas contain some pizza, some sushi, some middle-eastern food, and directly across from one another, two latin bars: Plaza Flamingo - a dinner theatre place with live flamenco dancers, and El Rancho - a salsa club where I first learned to salsa dance.

On Sunday, this one block turned into ground zero for Spain fans - and then they won and my street became a parking lot for all the people dancing and singing and honking.

It was nice the see the love happening in the streets again. And the police going back to just hanging out in their summer outfits ...

making the even the Holland fans feel safe to join in the revelry. Crazy, non?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

not ugly ducklings

Remember the photos of the little-tiny handfulls of cygnets I showed you last month? Well here's how Swanee's five little babies are growing.

They are still very, very cute, but growing so quickly!

They all do this very funny thing where they float around with one foot out of the water and it makes them look a bit lop-sided. Sometimes they even swim with only one little webbed tootsie.

The fine fellow thinks it's because their feet get cold. Maybe they need some socks?

It's kinda hard to believe that this little sweetie will eventually look like this.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

we're having a heat wave

sing it with me now ... a tropical heat wave ...

and I love it, but this is what it does to my hair ...

I've got lots of lovely photos from my weekend on the island but I'm having a crazy busy week so it's taking me a while to get them organized.

I'll be back with more baby swans and flowers soon! In the meantime, here's the fine fellow making friends with the teenage blackbird that's been too afraid to eat out of his hand until now.

He is a sweet and patient man.
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