Monday, June 28, 2010

In the interest of G20-escapism, we headed to the cottage this weekend, despite a sociopathic weather forecast.  No rain or clouds or teenage-temperatures could keep us in the city during (what would turn out to be) a chaotic and unruly mess.  And right at our front door!  We arrived back downtown this morning to find every business at the major intersection where we live boarded up after a 2000-strong crowd went bananas and smashed it up.  Now, I'm all for expressing one's civil liberties, participating in peaceful protest, etc. but needless vandalism is outrageous.  How the hell do these people expect me to get my Americano if Starbucks has no windows?!


Although dreary, the cottage was relaxing and quiet.  Just us two, we ate a couple nice meals and got some chores done around the house.  I've been busy and without the cottage for a couple of weeks, so hadn't yet seen our new railings --

The old ones were a) ugly and b) extremely unsafe for children and drunks, so they had to go!  For a mere $5000 (ugh!) we had custom glass railings installed, which make the entire deck a giant playpen for the kids, without infringing on the beautiful views. 

I was surprised to discover just how dramatically the new railings changed the overall aesthetic of our house.  A friend described the shift as "less Muskoka, more California", and I must agree.  When the morning fog rolls over the lake it feels like you're in northern California, the evergreen trees and rocky coast changing their tune a little, reading decidedly west coast.

And I like it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lately I've enjoyed a big spike in readership here on my blog.  Lots of new return-lurkers and commenters, and my Site Meter is starting to smoke a bit from the traffic.  Of course, this makes me very happy and thank you so much for your generous and thoughtful responses, blogroll-adds, and mentions.  It really has been inspiring.  

So I thought it might be a good time to re-introduce myself, for those just arriving at the party.  Along the side column, there are filters with which you can divide-and-conquer my blog, if you so desire.  And below are the categories that cover the real meat, the essential posts to figuring me out.  

The Ones I Love (a collection of posts about my family and friends, my nearest and dearest.)
My Housing Project (photos of our apartment.)
Cottage Life (photos and tales of life in the Muskokas.)
The Delicious (fooooood.)

Please feel free to comment on entries new and old, and I'll definitely reply.  Bloggers live for comments, so get in there and let me know you're reading.  

(Above: A walk down header-lane.  And please note that I changed the format of my blog recently, so old entries will look ugly, with tiny photos.  Forgive this assault on your aesthetics.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sag Harbor Dreams

We got these lamps at an antique shop in small-town-Ontario last weekend.  $25 for the pair!  They're  big (probably 14 inches at their widest) and tall too.  They appear hand-sculpted, an imperfect pair, with the greatest thick sheen over their bright cobalt glaze.  I can't wait to strap on the shade below (white with a jute detail) from Pottery Barn ($40, on sale!) I think they'll lend the perfect Hamptons-meets-Muskoka mood to our bunkie.  And the finials!  I can't decide, but love them both.  The rope-detail seems more elegant and classy, while the birds-on-a-branch are whimsical and fun.  (Remember my monkey finials?  Still love them.)

What do you think?

Monday, June 21, 2010

  A Strong Recommendation

I haven't made mention of Modern Family (outside of gratuitous Tweets) on the blog, but thought it might be time.  I don't even know what to say, really, that won't just sound like maniacal, over-the-top praise, but really. If you didn't watch season one, set your TiVo and catch it in repeats over the summer.  It's easily in the same league as 30 Rock and Arrested Development.  But with a more heart.  Get on board, people.  

(The Uncles, Elise, and Billy relaxing near the pond at their house.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh, Father

Two recent Dad-stories.

Last weekend Jeff and I sat on my parents' deck, eating BBQ, chit-chatting about nothing-in-particular.  Seemingly out of nowhere, my Dad asked, "Am I the same Dad as when you were a kid?  Do I look the same?"

"No," I said.  "You don't.  You're softer.  Nicer.  Less drunk.  Less mean.  Your hair is greyer and you're just less intense.  I mean, but, yeah, you sort of look the same.  Older, obviously. But I just like you more now."  He laughed a little, taking it in, accepting the retro-critique.

Today, on the phone, we got to reminiscing about our weekend camping trips.  He recalled my sister and I singing at the top of our lungs in our tent-trailer, not a care in the world about who might hear us, surrounded there in the woods by dozens of other families.  He remembered saying to my Mom, "I wish they would keep it down!"  And today, anxious to go back, he recanted "It was silly.  I wish I had just let you sing your hearts out."

And that's good enough for me.  It sort of obliterates history and replaces it with something softer, something nicer.  It's so easy to love him nowadays, the older I get, the more I come to realize.

(My Dad, 1960.  A pretty queer picture, if you ask me.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

So, I've been obsessing over pools lately.  We grew up with one in our backyard, and used it a lot until we became insolent teenagers who preferred hiding out in the cool basement watching TV to splashing about outside.  A case of you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, I suppose.  While our condo building has a pool, it's just not the same as an outdoor pool, and one that isn't shared with 1000 other people.

Myles (over at myleshenryblogrecently curated a slew of gorgeous images of pools.   I commented that I had a draft in the hopper showcasing the same and said I couldn't post it now that he had.  I mean, that would look hacky and lame, no?

But he threw down the gauntlet: a battle of the pool posts.   Challenge accepted, Myles.

(Images from various places on the www.  None are my own.  I claim no ownership.)