Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Photo - Yellowstone and the Dog

Since I brought up the topic of Yellowstone last week I thought I would show you what we saw in the parking lot near Mammoth Hot Springs in northern Yellowstone National Park -

Did you see that sweet little dog there in the trailer behind the motorcycle?  Here's a close-up:

That dog just sat so patiently waiting for its owners to get back from looking at this:

And this:

What a good doggy.  I think Juno could take some lessons from that one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Office-in-a-Closet

Our house is not very big, so when it came time to look around and find a spot for a home office, the only place I could think of was a closet on the stair landing.   So this is where I log my blogging hours - in a closet!

It has worked out well, although it is really small.   I put some little wooden animals along the door frame, that my Grandmother brought back from Zambia when she lived there in the 1970s (I had a very cool Grandmother).

I painted the walls cream and wallpapered the backwall with blue toile.  I happened to have an old office table that was a pefect fit for the closet.  I actually had to take the legs off to get it in, but it works beautifully.

Let's take a tour:

You can see part of my little house tin collection along the back of the desk.  I use some of them for storing cords and things.

This is one of my favourite little house tins that Kate brought back from France. Do you recognize the house - it is Giverny, Monet's house.

Now we move on to the messier side of my desk on the left.  Lets just say I'm a piler not a filer and leave it at that, okay? Okay.

Yep, not too pretty.  Sorry about that.  When I'm sitting down I can't actually see the mess, as the piles are mostly above eye level, which is a relief.  I get to gaze at some of my lovelies on my magnet board instead.

My daughter, Kate, bought me this print from a brocante in France when she visited last summer.  I have yet to get it framed because it is an unusual size, but I'm enjoying it on my magnet board anyway.  Aren't those mademoiselles just so french and so divine.

I also have my calendar that I made using Smilebox (I wrote a post about it here back before anyone was reading my blog).  I look forward to each new month, but at the same time am sad when I turn the page  - very conflicting.

Then on the upper shelf I have some games - what do you think - too many games???  Yeah, I probably do need to get rid of some, but we are a game-loving family and I use games at work to make speech therapy fun.

My younger son, William, made this pencil holder cup for me at nursery school, when he was about 3 years old.

The fish print at the top is a batik card from Indonsia that a friend gave me years ago.  The owl on the bottom was a sketch my older son, Malcolm, did when he was in Grade 9 or 10.

So there you go - my little office.  Now when I blog, you can picture where I am.

I'll let you in on a little secret, though, it usually doesn't look like this.  I tidied and sorted so I could invite you over to visit my little office-in-a-closet.  Just keeping it real!

Linked to the Parade of Homes Linky Party at Poppies at Play
and Where Do You Blog? Party at Centsational Girl

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy 18th Birthday

It's hard to believe, but our sweet daughter, Kate, is 18 years old today.  Here she is when she was 1 year old.

Altogether now - ahhh - isn't she cute.  Fortunately, she was having a good hair day on the day we went to the photographers, because sometimes it was pretty much a wavy mohawk.  

I thought I would share 18 lovely things about Kate:

1.  She has her father's pretty blue eyes
2.  Her hair is long and wavy and a gorgeous light brown with lighter highlights (not blonde, though, we won't use the word blonde as Kate isn't into being blonde)
3.  She has a sweet sprinkling of freckles on her nose
4. She is an amazing canoe-tripper, having gone on many canoe trips with camp, the longest being a 15-day river trip with rapids in Northern Ontario 2 summers ago.
5.  She can speak French.  She amazes and impresses me with her skill in learning the language, working on her accent and vocabulary, and using her French when she goes over to France and to read French novels.
6.  She is very thoughtful and never forgets a birthday or anniversary.  There is always a sweet card she has made and a gift and she manages to organize some kind of family party.
7.  She is an extremely hard-worker.  This girl does her homework and then some and has great marks to show for it.
8.  She is green - as in environmentally conscious.  She may even study Environmental Studies in university.
9. She is a great photographer with a keen eye for composition.
10. Her sweet, casual, boho style looks so chic, yet so relaxed and effortless.
11.  She has excellent taste in friends - there's not one that I don't think is smart, funny, and sweet.
12.  She loves the Beatles, and everything from the 60s and 70s (well maybe not all the facial hair on the guys).
13.  She loves old movies.
14. She is completely obsessed with Lost, Alias, House, Remington Steele, and Harry Potter.  Did I forget any of her obsessions? This is a girl whose obsession had her counting down to some of the Harry Potter books starting with 300 days to go - now that's devotion.
15. She gets along famously with her brothers.  It is a joy to hear them talking together.
16. She is a seeker, thinking about psychology, philosophy, and religion.
17. She has a lovely sarcastic sense of humour.
18. She has amazing collections of sea glass, heart-shaped rocks, Beatles and Harry Potter memorabilia.

There you go, 18 lovely facts about our sweet Kate.  I'll leave you with a photo she took last summer when she was at Mont Saint-Michel, France, looking through stained glass out to one of the little islands in the tidal flats.  It's one of my favourites.

Happy 18th birthday Kate!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Favourite Flower

This is the time of year when my favourite flower blooms.  Some people (that would be you Mom) think they are a bit of a weed because they spread so readily.  But I think the lowly forget-me-not is divine.  It is the perfect shade of blue and compliments all the other spring flowers in the garden.  

They looks amazing with red tuilips:

And with yellow daffodils:

And with purple lamium flowers:

And they even look great on a towel.

And between you and me, they're not very difficult to grow.  What's there not to love!

Linked to Sweet Shot Tuesday at Life with my 3 Boybarians

Monday, April 26, 2010

Juno's Wild Walk

On Sunday, I decided to go for a walk in the forest at the local university.  Juno needed a walk and I wanted to find some trillium flowers to photograph. 

Did Juno enjoy the beautiful bridge?

Did she enjoy the magnolia trees?

Did she enjoy the glimpses of the Principal's residence?

In a word - NO!!!  Juno was trying to get back to the car, and growling at unseen villians, and tugging at the leash, and finally twisted herself out of her leash and took off through the forest.  So that meant I had to run after her through the forest.  When I finally caught her and stopped to catch my breath I took this photo of my little darling, back on her leash mind you, but still straining and pulling and looking worried.

I had finally found a small patch of trilliums and snapped this one photo, just before Juno made her getaway.

I found a few more trilliums later on our walk, but they really aren't fully out yet.

Juno was still worried and only slightly repentent on the way home.

What do you think?  Does she look sorry that she made me run through the forest after her on our walk?  Hmmm, I'm not so sure.  She definitely was glad to get home though, but then again, so was I.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My 6th Photo

Kerry, from A Tranquil Townhouse, invited me with a "sticky-beak please" (whatever that is - sounds rather alarming if you ask me) to play the bloggy game that is making the rounds.  You are to show your 6th photo.  So here it is:

This photo brings back lovely memories.  It was taken in February 2009 in Niagara-on-the-Lake when we went there for my "significant" birthday.  You can see photos of the absolutely amazing ice on Niagara Falls in an earlier post I did here.  We were having lunch in the Prince of Wales Hotel, a quaint hotel dating from 1864.  The dining room was closed as it was noon, so we ate in the old library, which had dark panelled walls, bookshelves filled with books and a cozy fire in the fireplace.  The photo is looking from our table out the window and down the main street of Niagara-on-the-lake.  If you got rid of the stop sign, the scene would be unchanged from the Victorian period.

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.
Now I'm to pass this on to seven other bloggers so they too can look into their files and show us their 6th photo and tell us its story.   So here goes:

Kat at Low Tide High Style
Elizabeth at Blue Clear Sky

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Photos - The Colours of Yellowstone

Last week's photo of the cows in Nebraska was not really to my husband's taste, although it obviously resonated with some of you.  When he saw it, he said "What's up with the cows? Why did you choose some cows when you could have chosen one of your beautiful photos from Yellowstone"  So today's photos are for you, dear husband (and anyone else who isn't excited by backlit cows).  

On our way to British Columbia last summer we drove via Yellowstone Park.  I hadn't been to Yellowstone since I was a young teenager so it was fantastic to see it again.  I couldn't get over the colours in the geothermal pools of water and took tons of photos.  The colours are from the chemicals and from algae that can live in extremely hot conditions.

 Truly amazing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Taxes and My New Jeans

See these:

They might soon be mine!  All because I finished these:


It should have all gone smoothly, given that I used QuickTax and it has 'quick' in the title.  Between you and me, it was more tax and less quick.  I didn't really look so much like this:

as like this:

and sometimes even like this (especially the skirt and heels part - that's really what I look like when I do taxes):

It was complicated and annoying, but I perservered and eventually this happened (man am I in better shape than I thought - check out those muscles):

and there was celebration in the end zone (funny how Southern Ontario suburbia has been transformed into Buenes Aires and I'm cute and young and hip):

This year I struck a deal with hubby that if I did the taxes my little old self, I could get a new pair of jeans with the money I saved.  Wahoo!!! In the past we have used an accountant to do our taxes because for years I was self-employed and the taxes were very complicated.  This is no longer true, so I thought we should do them ourselves.   All I can say is I'm glad the taxes are done.  Now thinking about jeans - that's much more interesting! 

I read on Little Green Notebook that she loves these Always Skinny Mid-Rise Jeans from the Gap and finds them very flattering.  When I hear about a pair of jeans that are flattering on someone over 30, I sit up and take notice (actually I have no idea about how old Jenny is but she was talking about post-partum bodies and that's good enough for me).  I thought I should give them a try.  Anyone else have some jean suggestions for me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wedding Inspiration: 10 Colours that Coordinate with Red

My future daughter-in-law, Christie, recently mentioned they are considering red as one of the wedding colours.  I think that is an excellent choice as it suits them both and it has always been my son, Malcolm's, favourite colour.  I suggested we (well, actually, that would be me) have a look at what other colours would go with red.  Having just done a post on paint colours that go with red accents, this was right up my alley.

1. You can certainly stick with tone-on-tone and have red flowers with a red bridesmaid dress,
Photo from RP Scissors

2.  or keep it simple and have a red bridesmaid dress with white flowers.

  Photo from Elizabeth Anne Designs

3. Blue/turquoise/teal/aqua all look lovely with red.  It is likely easier to have the bridesmaid dress be in the blue shade and have the red in flowers and accents as there aren't many blue flowers.

 photo from The  Knot

 Photo from The Knot

4.  Gray (or even black) bridesmaid dresses with red flowers would look classic.

 Photo from Manolo for the Brides

5. Red looks pretty with pink.  Here it is shown with a red bridesmaid dress and a pink and red bouquet.

photo from My Wedding Place

6. Red also looks amazing with yellow,

Photo from Pegeen
7. or with orange,
Photo from Getty Images

8. or red, yellow, and orange together,
Photo from Flower Arrangement Advisor

9. or red with purple,

photo from Citrine Designs

10. or you can go completely wild and have all these colours thrown together.

Photo from The Knot

photo from The Knot via Schellea

Photo from Style Me Pretty

Which one do you prefer?  I'll let you know what Christie's vote is after she has seen my stunning visuals (haha).

UPDATE: Christie has cast her vote - drumroll please - she likes number 8!  What a purty choice.