Tag Archives: toronto

Day 13: Wildlife




“Nature.  Sinus pain hurts less with wine.”




“Jackson in our yard!  That’s the Canadian Shield behind him.”




“Nature – walking down my street.  Such a gorgeous day!”


F Words: Part Three & Ivan Coyote, by j


Part three of our weekend happened when we were done with our Saturday morning brunch and found the women folk doing my favourite thing: shopping.

Imagine going to the biggest city in the country and deciding that the first weekend of holiday shopping is a good time to go to Holt Renfrew.

Apparently there was a need for pantyhose.

Surprisingly enough, between the shoulder to shoulder, dog carrying, fancy shoppers I did get to see some stuff that looked half way interesting.


We found Jackson’s first puppy Xmas gift. We may need a larger size.


Then we checked out A’s favourite department: shoes.


$945.00 for a pair of black high heels? Seems reasonable. This is the moment where I remind people that $945 is two months worth of social assistance in our province. Yeah.

Then it was off to mom’s favourite store, William Ashley. I thought that the parents agreed that this weekend they would avoid the china store.


Mom got a killer deal (according to her) on a soup pot. That was after she took a pass on the $600 pot Gramma suggested she buy. Fancy woman!

After all of that shopping, it was clear: time to resume eating and drinking. A great meal was ended by some of this:


Eggnog cheesecake with pumpkin ice cream.

This was followed by more drinking and watching Brad Pitt’s excruciatingly bad interpretation of Achilles.


To top it all off, I then received one of the most exciting emails of my entire life. If you don’t know Ivan Coyote, shame on you. Google that shit.


To which I was like:


And then I got my final fee bill for my MSW.

F Words: Part 2, by j


Does anyone think it was a coincidence that the family arrived in Toronto the same weekend as the Vanier Cup and the Grey Cup?

A smell a conspiracy afoot.

Early on Saturday morning I woke up to find my dad and Papa had already ventured out in the downtown area and my mom to be snoozin’.

And being the creature that I am, I went off to enjoy some alone time in the nation’s biggest city.

I didn’t go far, but I did check out the city’s Nathan Phillips Square early in he morning. Despite the early hour, there were some enjoying the Grey Cup experience.


The square was done up for the festivities. I imagine it would be full during the day. Here’s a big football player.


There was no ice yet- but a gentle reminder that it was coming. After the important game was done with.


And then they had folks getting ready to feed the hungry masses with an authentic Québécois flair.


And then they had some poor Westerner in a Stampeders jacket reporting early in the morning. He was talking about the bet between Calgary and TO mayors. Little did he know…


Dad tried to talk A into taking a ride on the zip line. No dice.


It wasn’t all football in the square.


After that I followed the screams of the overly aggressive parents to the flag football that was being played on the grassy ice rink. It was damn cold.


And then I was alerted to when Mayor Ford kicked off he festivities for the Grey Cup. He got sent to football camps at Notre Dame as a child, don’t you know?

You’d think with all his football relates troubles he’d keep an arms length.

Let it never be said that (ex) Mayor Ford does things half assed.  No, he definitely goes full ass.

F Words: Part One, j


This past weekend was filled with our three favourites: food, family, fun. And if you’re into it: fashion, friends, football, fiery conversation, etc., etc. And there were a few drinks involved. Or more than a few.

And I don’t want to make unsubstantiated claims- but as I was walking to the bus depot to pick up my auntie, I was almost hit by an Escalade driven by one Mr. Rob Ford. Now I’m not saying that’s the reason he was ousted from office today. I’m just saying it’s a coincidence.

Here’s what else we did on our first day (other than cuddle up with M and hang with FFD):


Here the view from one of our two suites, looking over Nathan Phillips Square.


We didn’t spend much time gazing at the skyline as we were busy eating and drinking. Thanks to Gramma for the cheese.


We then made our way down to a pub. We got some fresh air, and got to see the festive light arrangements. Which A noted looked like something less than festive.


We arrived at this pub: “The Queen and Beaver”. Not, as we learned “The Queen’s Beaver”.

We did more of this:


M ordered some duck pâté, I think. Mind the blurry photo. At this point I started mixing libations.


And I had a bite of dad’s tomato and cheddar toast:


And then I got some mushroom pithivier. Which is fancy French for a puff pastry pie.


M had some smoked fish…noooo.


And I had some more cider. Including this one that I sent back.


And then it was off to drink some more.


And then I took a picture of a cat.


Mish Mash: Summer Edition, by j


Well, hello there.  It has been another self imposed break for myself from blogging (little A it seems has taken a more severe hiatus).

What did you miss?  Not too much.  Just summer.

Some of us have been living it up, enjoying summer to its fullest potential, and others (like me) have been slogging through the southwestern Ontario heat to make the big bucks.

And yet again, we find ourselves at the end of August, looking at the tail end of summer wondering, what in the heck happened to the last two months.  It has been a fairly eventful summer, full of goodbyes/hellos/food/fun/family/work.

This is what you’ve missed from my life:

– Absolutley nothing.  As a student in mid-grad school I was given the opportuntity to work full time (rather than the .5 hour work week I had planned) this summer at the job.  Yea for my tuition bill, not so exciting for my summer.  Working hard 44 hour weeks makes me sleepy.  But that will be the end of my complaining- I have a job, and by Friday, I’ll have my fourth semester’s tuition in hand (Ha-llay-lu!).

Other than than that what have I been up to?

– an awesome weekend in Niagara with my favourite peeps

– an expensive trip to the Toronto Women’s Bookstore (woot!)

– corn shucking

– making killer fresh peach daquiris (any opportunity to get my aunt E drunken is an event that deserves copious amounts of run)

– kid-hanging-out-with-fun (except for the 6 year old who told me he wanted me to leave his house the other day…)

– dreaming about having my own apartment again (sidenote: I am totally appreciative of the gift of free living at my parents’ house…don’t read that as ungrateful…Dad, I’m looking at you)

– helped set up a blog here for a family member who will not be named (as she is not utlizing her wordpress tutorial I gave her).  We want snarky posts!

– book clubbin’ it up (“Best Laid Plans” by Terry Fallis last month…a hit)

– the Australians have descended (or ascended?  as they are on the bottom of the globe?)

– World Prisoner Justice Day in TO (heavy conference, but kind of amazing)

– M has been gone for almost two months!  Seems like yesterday she and FFD were broke down in Wawa.  I’m currently stewing over the fact that I am not leaving for Fort Fab next week with A.  She gets a whole week of vacay in a small northern town where they are mere minutes away from (what I hear) are the best long island ice teas west of Toronto.  Maybe that’s a good thing.  Because I do believes that FFD has only been around me when I have been inebriated.  My goal will be to remain stone cold sober then next time I see him.  The fact that I just wrote that being sober is “a goal” is perhaps a giant red flag that I will ignore.

– did I mention the 44 hour work weeks?

– dreaming of fall.  Yes, and I will not feel bad for it.  A and I had this convo last week.  We will not be silenced, you summer lovers.  We are lovers of fall.  HEAR US!  Don’t try and make us feel badly for loving crisp breezes, sweaters, hot apple cider and closed toe shoes.  We will not wane in our excited anticipation of the next couple of months!  So stop with your cries of “Just enjoy the sunshine, we’ll be in the snow before you know it” and chastizing us for not loving summer enough.  We’ve had just about enough of you.  STOP OPPRESSING US!

– started back at therapy…an expensive, but wonderful choice

Things that have not happened:

– those summer walks (although A and I did get a Saturday night stroll to the SuperStore at 10pm…living it up)

– one final mark from last semester has not popped up yet.  Are we surprised that it’s practicum related?  (Remember they’re kind of a hot mess)

– farmers’ marketing w/ dad, I could not say no to sleeping on Saturday mornings after a year of working at 9am on the weekend.  Although I will say I miss the free breakfast

– Toronto time, seems a waste when my fave Torontonian has left the Big Smoke for big stars up North!

Things to look forward to:

– starting my second internship next week!  Wahoo!  Eight months to go before I am a gen-u-ine MSW!

– fall, obvs.

– starting classes

– seeing my MSW peeps!  Living 1.5 hours away from school has its advantages, but a disadvantage?  Missing my people and our pub.

– high school bestie moving back to Ontario!  12 years is long enough, I command Newfoundland to return my beloved vegetarian!

– Oktoberfest…with bestie back in Ontario, I believe it is a sign that she is moving to the K-W area.

– my own home again.  currently salivating over the idea.  Sorry, dad.  This time around you will be invited more.  And I will make you meat dinners.  Despite the cost of animal protein.

Things that I am currently obsessed with:

– a food blog, “Joy the Baker”.  This only makes me dream of my own kitchen.  Although that’s ridiculous, as I live in a home with the nicest and most beautiful kitchen I’ve ever (and probably will ever) have.  But it’s not mine.


Tomato cobbler with blue cheese biscuits.  This needs to happen.

– Teagan and Sara.  Obvs.

– cider, I’ve decided that Alexander Keith’s is my new fave, sorry Strongbow

– Michele Landsberg’s new book “Writing the Revolution”.  Slogging through, but ultimately fascinating.  In my dreams I imagine that Michele and Stephen Lewis are my family.

– Top Chef.  Sorry dad, that’s where all that bandwidth went this month.  But seriously, I’m obsessed.  Taking a break from the watching.

– My friends.  Currently smashing as much time as I can with all those lovelies before school starts.  Started today off by a lovely visit with this little one and her mama.

–  Adoption. Kind of liking that thought.  For now.

– when her new album will be dropped.  Can’t. Stand. Anticipation.

– we (and by “we” I mean “me”) bought “The Hunger Games” during the late night SuperStore run.  A-mazing.

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Big City, Small Budget (by, m)


This is a post that has the potential to become a weekly (if not hourly) chronicle of my life lately: how I’m surviving in the most expensive city in the world on half my usual income.

I was walking down  Bloor Street the other day, and realized that something ironic is happening. Sonic Boom, one of the few surviving music stores, recently moved out of its old location near Bathurst and Bloor and moved into the lower level of Honest Ed’s. This is great because it’s fun to support Honest Ed’s (since it’s a part of Toronto’s history), by paying rent to them and increasing traffic in the building (not that the Mirvish empire is suffering, by any means, but I digress…).  So then, since Sonic Boom left a huge piece of real estate empty  just down the street from Honest Ed’s, everyone in the neighbourhood knew something big was about to move in.

Well guess what? Dollarama is moving into the Annex!  And here’s the irony (if I’m clear on what” irony” means, since I’m still confused by the Alanis song): Dollarama is going to be Honest Ed’s biggest competition! Yikes, Sonic Boom, bad move.

So, now I feel torn: I’ve been shopping at Honest Ed’s a LOT since the summer…but the $6 can opener I bought there is already rusted and broken. Maybe shopping local is for rich people, and it’s time I replaced that pricey can opener with one from mega corporation Dollarama, as it may only cost me $2.  Besides, I have been a Dollarama patron for longer than I’ve lived in the big city. I’ve often taken little A there, and everytime I tell her that she can choose ONE THING, and I will buy it for her (because I am a good big sister).

And as a teacher, well…today’s finds speak for themselves:

Cute timers for "time outs"!

Bilingual books for $1.25 each? ARE YOU SERIOUS DOLLARAMA?!

Dollarama: 1

Honest Ed’s: 0

P.S.: [first world problem] I bought a bag of dried chickpeas, because it seemed like there was more in the bag than in the can, and they were cheaper. Do I have to rehydrate them if I’m going to add them to a sauce, or no?