A Busy Weekend – Art, a Movie, Walking, Shopping, Gardening and Lunch with Friends

….some of my followers have complained that I don’t post enough about my daily endeavours 

Well, truth be told, only one person has complained, so this is for her.

On Friday I treated my husband to dinner. As many of you know K usually cooks most of the meals, not because he has to but simply put, because he enjoys doing it. He wasn’t feeling up to going out so I ordered in. We tried a new Thai restaurant in the neighbourhood and it was excellent. For those of you close enough to check it out, it’s called Nimman Thai Cuisine and it’s located at 2451 Lakeshore Blvd. W. It wasn’t cheap but then many things worthwhile are a little more expensive. The service was pretty fast for a Friday night. They said that it would arrive in just under an hour and the knock on the door came about 40 minutes after the order was placed. I’ve discovered that ordering and paying on-line (including the tip) is painless and very convenient.

Friday night is one of two nights that I like to watch TV. After dinner we watched The Amazing Race together. I haven’t decided who I’d like to see win this season but I definitely have a couple of teams in mind that shouldn’t win. We’ll see.

On Saturday I decided to do a little bit of shopping. First I drove to Curry’s art supply store to buy some more brushes, paint and wooden boards so I could make more textured Gesso art with watercolours. I love the process so much that I want to create more pieces using this technique. Here are the first two pieces that I made earlier in the week.

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I still had some money left on my Marshall’s gift certificate from Christmas so I thought it was high time to treat myself to a couple pieces of clothes for spring. I tried on 10 items and found two tops that I really liked. Bonus!  My next stop was Lowe’s. I picked up two fluorescent bulbs for the kitchen, a gasket to repair the sink and yard waste bags so that I could start cleaning up the yard. I also made a stop at Tartistry (I’ve written about it here) to pick up a couple of tarts to have with tea after dinner. I would have liked to stay longer because they had the jazz band playing again. There were a lot more people there this time. I guess the snow storm really did keep people away the first time we went there.

Saturday evening K made an amazing dinner of proscutto, pesto and mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts, pasta and fresh mixed vegetables. After dinner we went for a walk and we saw these funny faces up in the trees and one of the trees was wrapped in a blanket. I went back today to take some photos because it was getting a bit too dark on our walk.

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After our walk we treated ourselves to tea and tarts and then we watched the movie Big Eyes. The movie is based on the real life of Margaret Keane and her husband Walter Keane. Margaret is the artist who created the infamous ‘Big Eyes’ paintings in the 60s but her husband convinced her to let him take credit for her work because according to him women artists couldn’t make it in the art world.  He was an amazing salesman and promoter but he was also incredibly egotistical. Margaret worked around the clock producing her popular paintings while her husband took all the credit. They became incredibly rich, even though art critics hated the work. The lies and deceit wore on Margaret’s conscience. Eventually she left Walter and with the help of her daughter and friends she confessed the truth and took her husband to court.

I remember the posters of these big eyed children that were so popular in the 60s and 70s. Apparently Walter Keane was the first promoter to turn art into posters for sale. The movie was nominated for numerous awards last season and Amy Adams won the Golden Globe award for best actress.

After the movie I prepared the boards that I purchased earlier in the day with a coat of gesso. Now I just have to decide what it is I want to paint.

Today I started my day with toast made from K’s homemade batch bread that he also made yesterday. Bread is definitely my weakness, especially homemade bread. I’m glad that he froze half of it and gave some away to our daughter, G, today.


After breakfast I started getting ready for my lunch date with six friends from high school. We met at La Veranda Osteria at Royal York and Bloor. For lunch they have a prix fix menu for $15.99 which includes an appetizer and a main dish. None of us had ever been there and we weren’t disappointed. I was so caught up in the conversation that I didn’t take one photo of our reunion and we were there for 2 1/2 hours. As we were leaving we promised that we would get together again in a few months.

When I returned home I put on some gardening clothes and started to clean the yard. There are definitely signs of new growth but the seed heads and dried grasses still dominate the garden. It’ll be a few more weeks before we start to see real change.

After filling in the last yard waste bag I took a walk through the neighbourhood and noticed a lot of activity. People were out and about, enjoying the sun and the mild temperatures. It was also very evident that a lot of spring cleaning had taken place this weekend.

Of course now that the weekend is over all I can think of are the things that didn’t get done. I did get out for one more walk before dinner with the dog but I’m probably still shy about 1000 steps of my goal. Unfortunately it’s too late to do it now because it’s after 11:00 and I need to get to bed. As it is I’m not going to reach my goal of 8 hours of sleep tonight, either. Oh well, c’est la vie!


A Productive Day and a Movie Review

….didn’t finish everything on my to do list but actually did more than I planned to do, including watching a very bad movie

It was a perfect day, yesterday, for working in the garden. I raked the front and the back yard and bagged a lot of yard waste. I know that I said I would report back later in the day but I think I overdid it because I couldn’t keep my eyes open later in the evening. Here’s what I accomplished in one day:photo 2-97

I did actually put some fertilizer down over my bulbs. I think I called it bone meal yesterday but in actual fact it’s chicken poop. It’s suppose to keep the squirrels from digging up the bulbs. As soon as the snow melted away last week I noticed that something started digging in the garden so I had to take action quickly before the hundred bulbs I planted last fall are completely destroyed. photo 5-67 photo 3-80

I also took down the Christmas lights on the Yew in front of the house. As I was doing that I decided that it needed a good trim so I got out the ladder and proceeded to give it a ‘hair cut’. This was not on my to do list.



As you can see from the photos, new growth is just starting to come up from the ground. Now you can see why I’m so envious of all those beautiful photographs of blossoms and  spring flowers that the rest of the world seems to be enjoying. It really has been a long winter.

I also did about four loads of laundry, vacuumed the main floor of the house, dusted in the living room and I did take out some of the garden furniture.photo 1-93 I didn’t want to push it because I was afraid I was going jinx this beautiful weather we’re having. As it is the weatherman has forecast snow for this Tuesday and I also put away the snow shovels. Well, I actually left one out just in case.

I also cleaned the oven, wrote one post (started this one) and took a few photographs.

I didn’t get to the bird cage and I didn’t put away my winter clothes and take out the summer clothes. I think the latter project is a little premature anyway, seeing that we’re in for a few more days if not weeks of cool weather.

Later in the afternoon my husband and I decided to treat ourselves and go and see a movie at the theatre. Usually I check reviews before deciding on a movie but for some reason I didn’t do that this time. Big mistake.

We went to see, Noah. It had some very good actors in it (Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson) and it was directed by the same director who did the Black Swan. How could we go wrong?

It was bad. This interpretation of the biblical story of Noah is so out there that it was barely recognizable. The only things that made it recognizable were the ark and the animals pairs (all computer animated by the way). It was a disaster movie with rock creatures called the Watchers. For a better review of this movie go to my favourite movie blog and see what Movie Joltz has to say. I usually go here before I decide on a movie. After watching Noah, my husband’s comment was, “Well, that’s three hours I’ll never get back.”

From Zero to Hero – Days 9 and 10

Friday’s Assignment:  Follow five more blogs and/or topics.

Saturday’s Assignment:  Add and customize two widgets. For this task, you’ll add two widgets: one that adds a text-based feature, and one that adds something image-based.

On Friday I did search out some more blogs and I searched the topic From Zero to Hero. I came across some interesting new blogs and left a few comments along the way. As a result I’ve had some new visitors to my blog. When I first started blogging I routinely went to the Reader section and checked out at least ten new blogs a day. At one point it was suggested to me by a random blogger that to increase your readership all you have to do is click on the like button without even reading the post. I soon discovered that when people don’t actually go into your site and just click the like button it doesn’t register as a ‘view’. I couldn’t understand how I could have  10 likes and only 3 views on the same post. I have since made it a personal policy to only click like button after I have opened the post and actually read it.

Today I added a gallery widget to my already full sidebar. I love taking macro shots with my camera so I made a photo gallery of some of my favourite subjects, insects and flowers. I also updated my Milestones widget. I decided to make the topic this challenge, From Zero to Hero and my two goals for the month of January.

Day 10 – Task for the day

Other than cleaning the kitchen yesterday which is and should be a normal daily task, I decided to devote my time to spending an evening with my husband. No computers or extra cleaning tasks. After a nice meal we enjoyed a movie together, something I haven’t done with him in awhile. We decided to watch Rainmaker. It’s an older movie but we hadn’t seen it before which is surprising because my husband is a huge John Grisham fan. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a very entertaining legal drama, infused with just the right amount of humour from Danny DeVito’s character, plenty of well thought-out characters, brought to life by talented actors and interesting subplots. The reviews that I read were mostly positive. They weren’t outstanding but overall satisfactory.

Today we took turns chopping up the ice on the porch, stairs, walkway and sidewalk. It was considerably warmer today, well above freezing but the rain and warmer temperatures actually made the ice slicker and more dangerous. Once again we didn’t go for a walk in the neighbourhood. We did, however, drive over to the Junction and did a little bit of shopping for dinner. When we got home it was my turn to chop and clear some ice. K’s hands are pretty sore from the constant pounding of the spade onto the ice. He didn’t notice it at first until he went out a second time to do some more clearing. I will probably feel it in the morning.

Tonight I chose to clean one of the counters in my kitchen which had become quite cluttered and to organize the lower corner unit where I store a lot of food containers and vases.

I’ve boxed a number of bottles and old Tupperware containers that I don’t use any more. I’ll be making another trip to the thrift store tomorrow to drop them off.

I’m already into day 11 but the assignment won’t show up for awhile. Time to go to bed. See you in the morning.



My Two Cents

….on The Great Gatsby…..the movie

Last Friday, the ladies from my book club and I attended the screening of the latest version of The Great Gatsby. I have to tell you that when I read the book in high school I couldn’t relate to the novel and I didn’t like it. After reading it a second time for our book club, I did discover that I liked it a little bit more but I still couldn’t get my head around the excesses of the era. The lists of meaningless names, the extravagant lifestyle, the excessive drinking and the hordes of uninvited selfish party goers confused me and left me cold.

That said and after hearing some negative reviews I didn’t have high hopes for the movie.  In the first half hour, which highlighted the outrageous parties at Gatsby’s house and where we were introduced to the main characters, I thought my worst fears were coming to fruition. I had heard that the background music didn’t fit with the 1920s era and sure enough during the party scenes our senses were assaulted with hip hop music. I don’t know if the director did this to appeal to a younger crowd but it didn’t work for me and I like hip hop.

Not everything was bad about this movie, In fact I enjoyed most of it. Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Maguire, tells us the story through his written journal entries after he is encouraged by his doctor to write down his experiences of that fateful summer when he lived next door to Gatsby. We see how a naive young man is sucked into the lifestyle of high society, ambition and excessive alcohol consumption while remaining loyal to Gatsby and in the end being Gatsby’s only friend.

I also enjoyed the performances of Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan who played Daisy. Luhrmann’s Gatsby becomes increasingly more real as the characters become more developed in the last half of the movie. This is definitely not the Gatsby we studied in our high school English class. It is rare when I like a movie better than  the book. I gave the book a 3 out of 5.

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5