Monday update

Happy Monday!

I hope you had - or are continuing to have - a lovely weekend.

We went to my favourite outdoor antiques market at Christie Conservation.

One could be shuffled off this mortal coil Debo Style in this wicker casket. 

I picked up a little painting for the kitchen here or in Nova Scotia.

It's not a significant piece. It was painted by an amateur in 1959. But I love the soft colours and attempts to capture texture and light. And at the price asked, it was a steal. 

I also picked up an Agatha bracelet. Agatha is one of my favourite places to grab cute things in France and I was happy to pick up a cute scotty dog charm bracelet for a song.

This weekend, we placed our first big order of furniture for the Coastal Cottage. I've not managed a design project this far away before so we shall see how it goes. It seems straightforward but I've lived long enough to know that there are almost always some hiccups.

This is the inspiration, from Ikea.

White slipcovered sofas and chairs, blue accents, white walls, natural wood. I want calm and oceany. We want to make sure it's writer-friendly so we got a little desk to fit under a dormer window. I can't wait to see it all put together.

I've been eating for Canada and need to find a new workout regime. I miss my step classes, but between vertigo and an unhealed eye, am staying away for now. I might join a new/old yoga studio. My old instructor from the city is back in Ontario but is located an hour and a half away. Still, it may be worth the drive. She remains one of the calmest people I've ever met. Even when her house burned down she was chill. I could use some of that! 

I returned to church this weekend for the first time in a long time. I have a complicated history with this church, but it was time. The music and the message were very strong and I'll be back for the next three weeks of this particular sermon series. The teaching pastor referenced Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which I always like. Perhaps, I'll be back for good. 

I hope you have a lovely week. 


Serena and Decorating and Brunch, Oh My!

Happy end of May! For my Canadian readers, I hope you had a lovely Victoria Day weekend. It was a bit rainy here but still nice to have the extra day. For the Americans, I hope you are gearing up for a lovely Memorial Day weekend. And happy bank holiday to the Brits! For everyone else, you need a May long weekend! 

The eye thing is sort of stalled as we are in a holding pattern while I continue to administer the steroids. I'm sort of resigned to the new normal but am optimistic that some improvement is on the horizon. 

Miss Serena is doing much better. Her fur has now grown back. I think we have to suspend her therapy work indefinitely. The vet told me about some anecdotal cases as well as a study of therapy dogs picking up bacteria and given how old Miss Thing is now, I just can't take the chance of more illness. We've been on an ear infection/skin infection/pneumonia roundabout since the fall. Thankfully, her sassy attitude remains intact!

It's pouring buckets today but we've had a run of fabulous weather and I've been taking advantage of that. On the Mother's Day weekend, we spent some time arranging a funeral for an elderly relative who was finally freed from a decade-long battle with acute dementia and visiting the cemetery, but we also managed to have a nice trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake and the White Rock Ostrich Farm. If you ever have the opportunity to speak with Deborah, the owner of White Rock, do. She's a delight.

I've been dining out al fresco, as I catch up with everyone before they all disappear for the summer.

The lake has looked very oceany lately. It's so very pretty.

It's making me excited for the summer. We've picked out paint colours for the summer place. Next, we have to get furniture. We'll be Ikea-ing and Wayfairing major pieces, I suspect, since we need to be somewhat set up before we arrive. And then we shall be buying things locally once we get there. 

We are likely going to rent it out for a few weeks as, realistically, we need to be back and forth given work and kid commitments. So I'm planning on lots of slipcovers and easy care pieces a la Something's Gotta Give (albeit with a less spendy price tag!) 

I'm using some tumbled crytals for colour inspiration as well as a Sanderson fabric sample and some beachy magazines. I'll be using a cream colour for the walls so that the ocean view pops. 

Well, that's what's up in this neck of the woods. I've been busy reading over some of my favourite blogs to catch up on what is going on with everyone else. The news has been so grim these days and it's lovely to focus on the positive. 

Take care, lovelies,


Mine eyes have seen the glory

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Serena and I have some super good news.

Sweet Home Oklahoma has been renewed!! There will be eight more episodes of Tubbers in July. Someone is putting on her party hat to C E L E B R A T E.

Loved the season finale. The ladies are ridiculous but have great hearts. They've all gone through a lot of crappy stuff in their lives and keep smiling. And just when you think it's all lighthearted fun, they slip in some real words of wisdom.

And you know what else it good news? It's finally sunny outside. We've had at least 1000 days of rain but look at that blue sky!

And the really good news is that I can see it!

The left eye is still blurry but it's getting better, I think. Glory be! I'm not certain it will be as clear as I'd hoped it might be prior to the surgery. But it's certainly better than it was and I still have several more days on the steroids to promote healing. The key question ahead of me is: if, when healed, the eye is still not where I want it, do I venture in for a retouch? At this point, the answer is a decided No. Once bitten, twice shy and - as I well know - there are always risks with surgery. Certainly, to proceed I'd need to know what would happen differently this time that did not happen initially. I have a few months to decide since - at that point - a retouch is still easy since the eye is not completely healed.

I'm able to drive again and do most things. Reading is still a struggle and my eyes tire quickly. But given how things looked (or didn't look!) last week, I'll take it!

Boy, oh boy do two weeks away from TV, computer, phone, driving, social outings, reading, exercise etc. ever give you time to think -- particularly when you think you might never see properly again. I realized that pretty much all of my de-stressing methods require sight. For the first couple of nights post surgery, even hot baths were discouraged. People, it was not good! I had a steady diet of calming audio books on loop to keep semi-sane.

I need to find ways to take the base level of stress out of my life so I have more bandwidth going forward. While I was convalescing, I "watched" the documentary, Happy, which is playing on Netflix right now. It's really, really good and was an excellent reminder of the happiness research out there (I interviewed some happiness experts for a piece I wrote for Today's Parent in 2009 (an updated version is online.) In the documentary, they interview Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, who identified the concept of Flow: the idea that people are happiest when engaged in pleasurable work (his book is Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.) I realized that I need to build more flow into my life: more writing blocks, more collaborative activity, more taking concepts from idea to execution. Happiness is like a muscle. You have to use it so it does not wear out. I've spent the last few weeks stressing about my vision and trying to make a french bulldog eat her pills (I caught her spitting them into a closet!) so there is some room for rebuilding happiness levels right now...

I also "watched" PBS's Secrets of Chatsworth on Netflix because every now and then I like to be reminded how I'm related to Debo and Kick Kennedy et al. Highly recommend. It's part of a series and I plan to watch all the others.

Well, that's it for now. I'm trying not to go bananas on computer time since I'm meant to take things easy. I hope things are sunny in your neck of the woods and that you are able to see and enjoy it.


Christmas Traditions: The Nutcracker Ballet

Every year, I take my daughter to see the Nutcracker. (I took my youngest son once, but he loudly complained that there was too much dancing...