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I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve. Even in my imbibing years, the idea of heading out in the freezing cold to celebrate the Day Before Any Other Day just wasn’t my idea of a good time. To me, September has and always will be the start of a new year.

Way better than Auld Lang Syne.

Anyway, with the dawn of 2015 comes the onslaught of gym ads et al. luring we overindulgers away from the gluttony of the holidays and toward our newer, healthier selves. I did that once a couple of years ago, and somehow actually managed to stick with a program for 3 months!


I *might* not be able to do these.

It started with a mattress motivating moment. We had to move our bed for a renovation and I couldn’t even lift the edge of the mattress off the floor. That made me MAD. I decided right then that I needed to change.

For me (and I would hazard a guess, many), finances and accessibility were two important factors in what and where I was going to start building physical activity into my lifestyle.

Some ventures to get fit and healthy are very expensive. The above program was over $100, plus the cost of a few sets of free weights and resistance bands. I saw that as an investment in my health, and when I spread the cost over the three months of the program, it was still cheaper than a gym membership.

My default state is quasi-sloth and cold, so any activity I do needs to happen close to home and out of the elements, or I will think up every excuse not to leave the house and be active. So, home programs are definitely up my alley. Bonus: no one can watch me when I’m exercising in my living room.

Once I finished that program, I thought I was set. I bought a couple of more feasible programs (for only $10 per dvd!) that are only 30 minutes per workout (the 90-day program was between 60-90 minutes per workout, which is NOT feasible for me to keep up forever). I was now going to be fit forever! New behaviours become habits after 21 days (or something like that), right? WRONG. Life can always get in the way. Fast forward a year, and just when I should have been using exercise as an antidote to a huge stress in my life, I let it go.


But I didn’t let the lapse continue. I let that go and started fresh. I didn’t get hung up on what gains I had lost, and instead decided to focus each day on how I felt so much better mentally even though I wasn’t as fit or a strong as I once had been. I’m not big on motivational speakers, but I often think of this gem of Jillian Michaels':

Okay, so here is my point:  never mind that it is January (or whatever month you may be reading this). If you have had that motivating “mattress” moment and want to change your lifestyle to include physical activity, figure out what is financially and logistically feasible for you, and start.

Sew what?

Way back when I was in school, one of my classmates and fellow floormates had a really uncomfortable mattress. These mattresses were likely as old as the building, a former nursing college residence. Fortunately for her, there were some empty rooms down the hall. We suggested she simply swap mattresses with one from another bed. “I can’t do that!” she exclaimed. “I’ll feel bad for my mattress.” This was met with peals of laughter and much mocking; however, I got her. I knew exactly how she felt. I had always been a bit of a pack rat, and couldn’t bring myself to part with much (this means that I still have some pretty sweet bits of story-writing from circa 1989, which perhaps I’ll share later). So, she kept her lumpy mattress, and I held onto my notes from that year at school for a lot longer than I care to admit. You never know: you might need to know the innervations of the brachial plexus some day.

It seems as though I have passed along my sympathy for inanimate objects to my little one. We were going through his t-shirts, pulling out everything that was too small. “No, Mommy! Can we keep the green one (his favourite colour) and my Superhero Squad t-shirt?” I felt his pain. Those poor shirts were about to be abandoned! So, I went to trusty Google and looked up “how to make a t-shirt pillow”. It appeared as though this would be a sewing machine job. Oh, no. I can hold my own with a needle and thread, but I had yet to have used a sewing machine. I put in a call to my mom, and she came to my rescue with a sewing machine tutorial. That Singer of hers is still kicking 36 years after she received it as a wedding gift from her parents:

Should I have asked for harvest gold instead?

Should I have asked for harvest gold instead?

Pillow #1 was the green t-shirt. My mom did most of the work on this one, as you can see:

Mom took Home Ec in school

Mom took Home Ec in school

Pillow #2 I did on my own. I wish I could say that the reason my stitches on the first side look like this:

I, on the other hand, did *not* take Home Ec.

I, on the other hand, did *not* take Home Ec.

…because I had been drinking. Alas, no. I forgot to put the foot down to hold the fabric in place.

So the second side should look a bit better, right?

Seriously? Get it together, woman.

Seriously? Get it together, woman.

Nope. Oh, right, the foot.

In the end, he was quite pleased to see his shirts alive and well (and cuddlier than before!). I was quite pleased to finally get that bag of fibre-fill out of the family room (“Mommy, are you going to make my t-shirt pillows soon?”)

Snuggle time!

Snuggle time!

I think next time I pull out the sewing machine, I’ll practise making straight lines on fabric that doesn’t s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

Baby steps, Kitten, baby steps.

Baby steps, Kitten, baby steps.

The 20-Metre Diet, or, Salad Days

20-metre diet salad aug 31'14

I have romanticized notions of how lovely it would be to be a self-sufficient farmer: enjoying the sunshine and a hard day’s work, then coming inside to enjoy the fruits of my labour. The reality is, I enjoy the sunshine more when I’m not doing any hard work, so my garden has spent most of the summer looking like this:

What weeds? I don't see any weeds.

What weeds? I don’t see any weeds.

Summer was not nearly as hot and sunny as I would have liked, although all the rain meant that I really got off the hook with watering. That played well into my lazy hand, but the subsequent weed bounty did not.

I was super-excited to have purchased what was labeled as cilantro at the farmers’ market this spring. Turns out, it was flat-leaf parsley!

Okay, so no Thai-inspired cooking after big deal...

Okay, so no Thai-inspired cooking after all…no big deal…

But thanks to the fact that I have poor spatial sense, I planted an enormous number of cherry tomato plants. Also, I was late getting pickling cucumbers at the market (SOLD OUT!), so I have two English cucumber plants that have been generously producing yummy cukes. The garden is actually on my neighbour’s lawn, and he very kindly shares it with me. He has planted some sweet onions that are quite tasty.

As it turns out, this lazy, non-romantic “farmer” was able to produce a fantastic “20-Metre Diet” salad thanks to a quick search on google for cherry tomato-cucumber salads. The great thing is, I actually got to use some of that parsley that I have been giving the stink-eye all summer.

20-metre diet salad aug 31'14

So many cherry tomatoes, so many cankers.

So there you have it, a romantic salad, created solely from produce straight from my garden: cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sweet onion, and yes, flat-leaf parsley. Now that’s what I call salad days.

A conscious recoupling

Oh no not you again doormat Aug 29'14

Nice to see you, too.

“They say that absence makes the heart grow fungus.”-Barenaked Ladies

Hello, again. It’s been a while. Really I just couldn’t be bothered to blog for the last couple of years. And now, I feel like doing it again. So there you have it.

Gavin & Elliott Aug 22'14

Even without standing on the pillar, they have grown a lot in the last three years!

In fact, it has been so long that I couldn’t remember my password to get into it to add anything new. I can’t believe how the boys have grown. I can’t believe that I used to get up and run. Now I basically run twice a year to get a couple of cool shirts and to say that I can run a 5K. How’s that for materialism and vanity?

On Tuesday, Marshall and I were in Toronto to see a Second City show. I kept seeing funny t-shirts and signs and taking pictures of them. The very first one I saw was surely created specifically for me:

Note that the apology comes after eating

Note that the apology comes after eating


My favourite sign was this one:

The question is: Who is the Most Annoying Crane?

The question is: Who is the Most Annoying Crane?


Which of course reminded me of my favourite line from Frasier:

Poppity, pop-pop-pop!

Poppity, pop-pop-pop!

It’s fun to write again. And fiddling with code to insert photos and GIFs makes me feel like I’m a super-smart computer programmer.

Until next time,


The New Adventures of Old House

Wow, it’s really been a while since I’ve written. It’s no secret that I’m not into blog writing for the advertising and product endorsement money! Or for showcasing my fabulous photography skills (although, I’m sorry BB, but I’ve seen the pictures my mom can take on her iCompetitor phone and your picture quality isn’t nearly as great in comparison).

So first things first-

Moving on

Our townhouse sold! This happened way back before Christmas. Which was a relief, because we became homeowners again at pretty much the exact same time. Goodbye, suburbia, hello small-town.

Moving in

And now, I proudly introduce our newest addition: Blondie!

The first time I saw her in sunlight

Each time we had seen the house before it was ours, it was dark and raining. This was the first time we took the kids to see the house on a sunny Saturday. It was so exciting. And before I forget, I have to give my dear friend Sarah her due for naming our house Blondie. It was just fitting because not only is the house a blonde brick beauty, I had already named my little gold car Goldie.

Here is what Blondie looks like in the summer sun:

That Blondie has a porch that goes on for miles…

There is so much I love about our house, and I will write about these things from time to time, as time permits. I’d like to do some before-and-after posts of different rooms in the house because I’m a total house-voyeur myself:I love to look at other peoples’ before-and-after reveals, especially in old houses like ours. Would you believe she’s a day over 100? (Also on my to-do list: find out Blondie’s history and exact age)

Thanks for stopping by. And if you’re ever passing through Lindsay, the kettle’s always on (seriously!) and there’s a spot just for you on the front porch.



Santa Shuffle

Vinda and I ran a 5K Santa Shuffle race on Saturday together.

He was right chuffed that he was able to join the cross country team this fall, the only extracurricular extended to Grade 3s other than choir. He really enjoyed it, but they never ran more than 2km, so this was a big feat for him. Plus he found a gigantic crustacean traipsing around under the ice in the park before the race:

Grandpa says this is an invasive species of crayfish, but Vinda just thinks it’s awesome!

All in all, a perfect day, I’d say.

Still running in December (!),


On the move

It’s official, so now I can finally speak publicly about what’s been consuming my brain (no, not zombies) for weeks: we’re moving!

In terms of the house we’re moving into, I’m over the moon. It’s a big old blonde-brick beauty from which I can walk to everything I need in under 10 minutes (a dream of mine).

Now, the challenge is our current house. Within one short week, we had a meeting with a home stager, removed about 80% of our belongings, scrubbed it clean, had photos taken for mls, got the house posted on mls, and are now about to have our 6th and 7th showings tonight. No offers yet. <sigh> While I recognize that it’s only been on the market since Saturday, every day has felt like an eternity as we wait for the phone to ring with requests for showings, and then wait for calls with offers (which are yet to materialize!). I think perhaps what’s made this more stressful is that we’ve had to live in our house but make it look like we’re not living there. No small feat with two young kids at home. Two bathrooms are off-limits barring any potty emergencies. I thought folding the end of the toilet paper into a cute little triangle like at the hotel was fun at first, but now it’s just annoying. And wiping the water off the taps and drying out the kitchen sink every time I use it to prevent water spots is like my very own version of water torture.


So, I’ll just keep daydreaming of my new digs to keep me sane. An offer will come. The sale will happen. And then I’ll have The Big Move to write about!

Until then, I’ll remain picking dark fuzz off the light carpet,