Monday, January 26, 2015

Catching Up With the Rents

This last weekend I was sans Henry but there was no shortage of family to fill up the space.

My parents arrived at the apartment on Thursday, and before an hour had passed, my neighbour came knocking on the door to let me know how annoying it is to live next door to a four year old superhero/pirate.  Especially on weekends.  OK well noted.  But before we dialled it back...

Yes...that is Grandpa Dan.

We had a good time catching up over dinner, brunch, coffee and Sunday lunch. 

Saturday night we crossed town to break naan with Mark, Tim and Vicki. 


A friend lovingly prepped fabulous dinner.  Just b/c.

Luther enjoys being the Cat In the Bag.

Mamma's lil' helper.

Did Henry really beat Grandpa Dan?

Make a silly face...

There be poetry in them laundromat chairs.

Surprise for Henry:  Luther wrote him a letter.
Henry wrote him back a Thank You card.

The coming week holds a final dinner with the 'rents before they head out of town, followed by an actual evening at the theatre, a return to choir and then a concert while Henry is babysat by Unky Tim and Aunti V.  Play dates, birthday party invites...the works are lined up for the coming weeks...

Stay tuned...don't touch that dial...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

OK, Lengthen, Stretch and Hold It...

This has been a transitional week.

The same day that the house closed, keys handed over and cheque received from the lawyer, I went to my first bikram yoga class.

There is a studio in the Beach, about a 5 minute walk.  You don't need to bring much and you don't wear much either.   It's hot yoga and the temperature is 40 C.  The towel that covers the mat is invariably soaked by the end of the 90 minutes.  

It is an opportunity to turn off the brain.  Stop the frantic pace.  And to stretch and strengthen all parts of the body.  

Those crampy pre-arthritic hands?  Stretched.

That tight strained lower back?  Stretched.

Core muscles?  Tightened.

Spine?  Stretched top, middle, bottom, backwards and forwards.

Breath?  All the old stale breath is exhaled.  New space is made for fresh air.

It's a powerful practise and there's a reason why the room is always full.

I find the act of stretching releases buried emotions.  Allows difficult or complex thoughts and feelings to surface.  That only by turning off the noise and opening up the body will these thoughts or feelings be released.  

Difficult work, but necessary for growth.

On a lighter note, Henry & I now have ice skates!  I took Henry out to the rink in the park behind the apartment.  He stayed up, holding onto me for about 10 minutes, and I think will be happy to do it again.

The rest in pictures:

Rocking horse racing.

Henry made breakfast for his friends while I made his.

Horses eat oats.  Pandas eat leaves.

Um, Henry.  No animals on the table please.

Luther didn't mind that Henry tucked him in with Mr. Pickles.

Chocolate date loaf - another of Lynne's - nice crust on top.

Maple Leaf Gardens
Team TR

Wonderful discovery in park on the way to get coffee.

Amazing coffee shop.
Merchants of Green Coffee.

Friday night decompression.

New markers

Henry did well, clicking and clacking.

Only fell over walking through the snow.
(a helmet will be purchased imminently)

Cashing in on Christmas money

Visit to cheese shop for supplies...

...for Saturday night fondue!  A little burned...but yum.

Sunday morning bike ride as the temperature jumps up.


This week my parents arrive from Sweden, via Florida.  So a new element to balance, but there is now some space and flexibility.  I look forward to whatever this week has to offer, and you can be sure I will continue to lengthen, stretch and breathe.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Sparkling View

As the cards, calendars and wrappings of 2014 are put into recycling, champagne is really the only way to welcome this new year and new life.

The shift started with my good friend Susannah coming up from D.C.   She helped me to take about $500 worth of paint to the dump, donate 2 van loads of "stuff" to charity, paint bunk beds and most importantly, to relax!  We ate out, walked and even did the laundromat routine together.  

More importantly, we watched the movie Pitch Perfect, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

What to do with leftover sour cream from the latkes?
Make a coffee cake from Lynne's recipe box!

After Susannah bid Toronto adieu, I had to prepare for my hot new year's date with Ms. Hagen who had flown in from Vancouver via Switzerland just to be with me.  So we caught up and prognosticated on 2015 over a bottle of bubbly.  Perfect start to the year.

Then on New Year's Day Henry came back to me for a few more days. He loves his Luther and is now in the habit of saying "Luther, I just love your pretty head." when he comes home.  I'm not sure where he got that from!

More healthy cooking gone unappreciated by Henry.

Henry in his "car".  He packed his animals and toys behind the futon
and is in the driver's seat ready to run me "the bad guy" over.
On 2 January we drove down to Grand Island to spend a couple of days and a night with my brother and Henry's cousins Emily (5) and Peter (2).

Emily was keen to take Henry to the "ball" and to have him dance like prince charming.  So she dressed up in a sparkling tutu and somehow managed to get Henry to dress like a pumpkin.  Then they danced to some music, all the while Henry asking where the "ball" is, were they going to play basketball or soccer?

Before school and work resumed after the holidays, Henry & I took some walks, baked some treats and just relaxed.

Then after Henry went back to his dad's for a couple of days, I finally finished painting the last coat on the bunk beds, and Henry was so pleased upon his return that he started sleeping in his own room again, instead of in the big bed with me.

I've now got two slow cookers and am systematically trying out all the recipes I can.  This is my first pot roast.  Served with mashed potatoes and salad, it was, in Henry's words "great" until he asked where the meat came from.

Elisabeth:  This is cow.

Henry:  Then no.

Elisabeth:  Ok, you don't have to eat meat.  That is your choice.  But you understand that lions eat zebras and cats eat mice.  It's part of the food chain that animals eat other animals.  That is why we eat cows.  

Henry:  But I like mice, I don't want cats to eat them.

Elisabeth:  Well look, so long as you eat eggs and beans, you will be fine.  You can still be strong without meat if you eat eggs and beans.

Henry:  Ok.

I then showed him a vegetarian cook book to collect ideas as to what he might find palatable.  Noodles, stir fry, risotto....basically vegetables with either rice or noodles.  Maybe a quiche or pot pie.    

So the slow-cookers may not get quite the workout I was hoping for.  Stay tuned...

And after a full week back at work and in the new routine, which seems on the whole to be going very well, I was able to enjoy another bottle of bubbly, brought direct from France.  Another hot date with a female friend.

And that catches things up more or less.  This coming week the house closes and that will be a big relief.  Otherwise, life clicks on and I am feeling lighter and freer than maybe ever.  I feel like I can finally settle in with myself and my home, the way one would at the end of a very long journey.

Winter morning walk.