Thursday, October 30, 2014


Materfamilias recently described her outfit as 'polished casual'.   Comments from our blogging community indicate that many can relate to that style description.   I'd be happy to describe my style that way myself.  However I wasn't so sure my look was always polished.

Tonight when I got home and looked around I realized that my decorating style could also be described as casual, but again what is missing is the polished part.

I've been discouraged by my surroundings for the last little while for various reasons.  I've visited friends and neighbours recently and they have lovely homes.   Surfaces are clear except for carefully selected items.  Floors of either hardwood or carpet are clean and in good condition.   There is a spacious feel that is lacking in my living quarters.

The truth is that my surroundings are entirely my own responsibility.  I allow the clutter.  I chose to live in a smaller house that is close to my place of work so that I don't spend hours of my day commuting.  I chose to rent out the upstairs and live in half a house so that I'm not spending all my income on my mortgage.  I select the furnishings and bring the stuff into my house, either new or inherited.   I prioritize my animals over the pristine condition of my home.  I have hobbies such as knitting and I like to have the materials, tools and books in my living space rather than in storage in my basement.

All that said, I think that I need to make more of an effort on some polishing.  That includes some curating and removal of unnecessary furniture and clutter as well as just cleaning and organizing.

At the end of a stressful day at work it can seem overwhelming but I am worthy of a clean comfortable home.  It is not impossible; I can make improvements to my living space.  I just need to get on with it and do it instead of plopping in front of the TV!
Okay so I just did the dishes, I don't really need a pat on the back for that!!  But it's a small start in the right direction.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Garden June 8 2014

The garden is doing well, and so far I'm keeping up with the weeds.  I try to spend a few minutes every day pulling some out.  The rhubarb is up, solomon's seal and daylily are thriving.  Taking up too much space in fact, I'd like to give some away.   For some reason I hate to just pull them out and kill them. 
The twisted poles in front each have a tomato plant, with basil around the edge, chives and rosemary in pots.

Found these little chairs abandoned by a neighbour - perfect with my Ikea table for sitting out with a morning coffee.  I don't like to get too fancy with the patio furniture in case it gets stolen (my yard is accessible from a lane at the back).

On of my geraniums is in bloom.  Not a good rendition of the colour, perhaps I need (want) a better camera.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Spring update

Good news about Rory since my last post - I took him off the medication in January and he recovered his 'joie de vie' within days.  So relieved to have my dog back, running around like a big silly.

Since it's finally warmed up in Toronto I've been doing a bit of an upgrade to the back garden.  I moved the path over to be more aligned with the edges.  It was bothering me that it wasn't parallel.  It still has a gentle curve, but I'm going to say that adds to the charm.   Right now the garden looks at it's best; there are no weeds visible.  It just hasn't gotten away from me yet; I know the seeds and roots are there waiting to overwhelm whatever I'm trying to grow.

Audra seems to approve of the new path location also.  Those are three daffodil flowers in the back of the daylily clump.

Might get to the Evergreen Brickyards garden centre this week and pick up some fancy heirloom tomatoes since I never got around to starting the seeds I saved from last years crop.   I will not be planting potatoes however; complete waste of $6.00 for four last year that produced about a handful of tiny potatoes.  (I should let that go, everyone makes silly purchases once in a while.)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

At the close of a year

I've been busy lately, lots on the go and I have less energy as I get older I think.  Although I was shocked by an article in the Toronto Star recently about the murder of "an elderly woman" who was in her 60's!!!  I think of my mother as 'elderly' and she's 91.  Isn't 60 still middle aged at least?  How old was the individual who wrote the piece?  Probably some unpaid intern in their 20's.

My dog has become elderly in the last month.  The last episode of epileptic seizures took a lot out of him.  Then I started him on daily dose of potassium bromide to control them but the side effects seem to make him weird and unresponsive to commands he used to obey.  Which annoys me, and I don't want to be annoyed at my poor old dog.  Plus his legs have degenerated quickly this last few weeks, which could also be another side effect or a degenerative nerve disease.  Now he almost always falls down when he first tries to get up from the couch or bed, and goes down if he slips on the wood floor.  I got him a rug for the bedroom and living room that helps.  Today he just ate, went outside then went back to bed again.

Sometimes getting old sucks.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


I'm very partial to pottery bowls.  My latest acquisition is a classic shape, and a nice size to be useful for baking.  Very simple glaze which suits it I think.

I had three bowls in my hands at the sale, but when I got to the check out I put two back.  Trying to declutter doesn't work when you keep bringing more new stuff in!  In fact I should select something to donate from the kitchen to make up for this new item.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


This year I'm going to try to stay on top of the garden, not let the weeds run rampant and chaos rule.  

 As part of this plan, a fence has been installed to keep the dog out.  On Saturday I dug up the front half of the back garden and put a path of paving stones down the centre.   I'm going to plant some very simple vegetables in this half, peas on the fence, carrots, lettuce, italian parsley, perhaps some parsnips or beets.  I may buy a couple of tomato plants or green pepper.  Not enough space for cucumber or squash, and I don't really care for squash anyway.  Potatoes perhaps, if I find some seed potatoes when I'm getting plants.  I'm only growing things I might actually eat.

The back half is a random assortment of perennials and bulbs.  One daffodil.  My peony that was from my great grandmother's garden originally.  Beebalm, a couple of types of daylily, some phlox, solomon's seal, a rhubarb, a purple cone flower.  Perhaps a fern if it survived.

The chinese lantern is a pest that has got to go, likewise any goldenrod.  The garden is also infested with bind weed so it looks okay now but I know I've got a big job ahead this year if I want to keep it presentable.
A view of the same area from last fall.  This is what I want to avoid.  I really can do better if I get out there regularly and don't let the weeds get so bad that it's overwhelming.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Black Monday

Today's theme is black, so easy, so timeless, so Monday morning.  Black turtleneck, black pants, black high boots.  The high boots are a necessity in this slushy city weather if I don't want to have to dryclean my pants every time I wear them.

Note the dog's nose from the doorway.  He wanted to be in the shot too!  Or more likely he wanted me to stop messing about and feed him.  Not sure what happened to the colour, I swear I didn't change a thing on the camera and it's gone all yellow.  Oh well, the other shots were all weird or had a dog in front of me, so this will do.
I did accessorize though, very proud of myself.  This pendant is by a Canadian designer named Rafael, given to me by my parents in the 70's.  I always enjoy wearing it.