Friday, December 11, 2015

Every day is a magical adventure

One of the first things I did after moving into the condo was to put Unikitty (from The Lego Movie) into a kitchen cupboard, so that every time I go to get a plate or a mug I'm greeted by her smiley face:

All these months later, I still smile back.  And then I close the door on her again which you'd think she'd find insulting but No, there she is, still smiling the next time I'm making tea and reaching for something to pour it into.  Possibly because she's made of Lego and only has feelings inside my head.

Still, I think it's important to build happy little surprises into your day to day life, because who knows when you might need one?

I haven't needed one this week, even though I haven't had a minute to post anything here.  Seriously - ALL WEEK?  How is it that I didn't get any time in four business days to sit down and write us all a Hug??

Well, at least I'm here now.

Today was definitely not a day I needed nice surprises even though I did have to go the dentist.  Norm told me several times what a wonderful job I'm doing keeping my teeth clean so that was pleasant. I'm sure his suggestion that I get a Sonicare electric toothbrush was in no way meant to imply that he really thinks I need help keeping my teeth clean but is just too polite to say so (even though Norm is incredibly polite and kind.)  And when my dentist did come in to check for cavities, he found none, which is what you always want to have happen at the dentist's.

Ironically, before going to that appointment, I stopped at the chocolate shop and spent nearly $200.  That is even more bewildering than the fact that a Friday post is my first of the week.  How can a person who's given up chocolate drop $200 on chocolate?  How many people am I giving chocolate to over the next couple of weeks, anyway?  And how much yarn would that get me?  Best not to think about it.  Better to be relieved knowing that errand is complete, and that my knitting arms didn't fall off carrying it all home.

Another thing I did this week instead of scattering Hug messages was to spend nearly three hours in the icy cold of our house.  We don't have windows yet and even though the weather has been, thankfully, mild - Ray and Al are delighted to have the chance to finish so much work outside while that's the case - the inside was where I needed to be.  It is actually colder inside than out, which is also true at the cottage in spring.  This always amazes me.  Next time I have to be at the house I am totally bringing long underwear and mittens, but this time I found myself writing up notes with stumpy frozen fingers, while standing on stumpy cold legs. 

Still, it felt good to be there.  It's starting to seem like our house again after a period of being an unfamiliar hybrid.  One way I can tell is that even though we have added a floor and redistributed the rooms, every room is revealing itself to be... still really small.  Andy and I have been puzzling over the kitchen for ages trying to fit in seating and effective workspace while creating the illusion of an English country cottage.  Andy is a very, very patient man.  I think I should bring him a scarf if he has to meet me there again.  And maybe one of those hats with ear flaps.

It looks like my comfy old sofa will tuck into the window niche in the master bedroom which is a relief, since it's not going to fit in the living room and it's too familiar to give up.  And in bonus Yay, we will need to buy new furniture for pretty much everyplace else!  Normally this would be devastating since any house, never mind ours, goes way over budget... but it's exciting to think of shopping for a new dining room table and a kitchen table and a living room setup.  In fact, just the other day I saw some alluring sofas that looked super compact but long enough to stretch out on (who else here likes to knit while mostly lying down and watching a movie, and maybe even nodding off a little while your fingers keep working the needles?)  Now I know I can go back and measure them for consideration.

What is really awesome at the house though is how Ray and Al have it set up.  They keep finding random bits of furniture and for a while there while the water was still hooked up, we had a salvaged, fully functional laundry sink in the front hall.  They have comfy office waiting room chairs for their breaks, and a couple of rescued tables for spreading out their drawings and tools.  And let's not forget my favourite:  leftover lengths of joists set horizontally and nailed to the framing to serve as shelving for odds and ends.  This time I saw that they'd screwed an old coffee can to the exterior wall of the living room to hold all their pencils and the cute steam engine pencil sharpener they found in the wall at another job downtown.  They are making it practical and cosy in the house, just like when we lived there.

One more observation: while I was upstairs, I looked up at the light tubes that will bring daylight through the attic and into the main upstairs bathroom, and I saw puffy white clouds in a blue, blue sky.  I have a feeling I'm going to spend a lot of time standing in that bathroom, looking at puffy white clouds in a blue, blue sky.  It is really peaceful to do that even when you're freezing.  Can you imagine how awesome it will be when you're cosy warm inside your cute house?

Last weekend feels like years ago but I did finish my Christmas pin for the concert, and afterward I made another jangly one for Lannie:

The concert was FANTASTIC.  Every year the boys' choir school here - the one affiliated with the cathedral, not the private choir school whose name I forget - does two weekend concerts at Massey Hall and for the last few years we have gleefully gone to both.  It's great to do that because once you've heard all the different songs and decided which ones you love most, you get to go hear them again the next day and lock them into your memory.  Plus, the performances are incredible.  To give you an idea of the caliber of these kids, here is a clip of some ten and eleven year olds doing a Gordon Lightfoot cover from a TV spot the week before the concert...

... and there are some other videos on YouTube from the concert if you want more. 

This weekend I have to make two more pins, and I am so looking forward to more armchair time to do it in.  I've taken loads of pictures for a how-to, and hopefully I can post about that next week while there's still time for you to make some little presents if you're so inclined.  I am going to two more choral concerts in the next week or two and am so happy to have a holly pin to wear to them. 

Isn't it ironic that my dad - who was a choirboy at the cathedral himself in the years before the school opened, and who grew up to be such a great singer everybody in town wanted him for their family's weddings and funerals - tried unsuccessfully till he died to get me to like choral music, and now I can't get enough?

Well, life is full of that kind of surprise I guess.

Today I came home to find that the lobby of our building had been transformed into an incredibly fragrant holiday wonderland:

And that was a welcome surprise too.  Even better was turning the corner to get the elevator and finding this little bonus tableau:

So many magical moments.  Hope you've had a few this week and have a few more until I can pop back in again!


Su said...

I love choral music but it has to be without instuments, it's all about the voice for me. Have you heard anything written by Hildegard von Bingen? A truly amazing woman who lived in the 12th century.

Laurinda said...

I love the pin, with the jingle bells for berries! I have a friend who likes to sew little table rugs like that. It always amazes me, because I dislike hand sewing. I'm not good at it, & like my first love, crochet, it makes my hands hurt. All of my amigurumi have wonky embroidered faces, hahaha
That's fun news about your furniture, but holy smokes that's a lot of money on chocolate for other people!
Update us when you can, we'll still be here 😊

Mary Keenan said...

Totally checking up on Hildegard von Bingen Su - haven't heard her work! I agree, I love the pure vocal of choral music, though of course it's often presented with piano or even brass instruments, especially at this time of year, and sometimes I love that too :^) It's the John Rutter arrangements that make me happiest though!

Laurinda, I am terrible at hand sewing too!! It doesn't make my hands hurt but I always feel like I have to pull out the wonky stitches so it takes forever to finish anything. Oddly though I find blanket stitch incredibly restful and look for opportunities to do more of it.

It really is a lot of money to spend on chocolate, isn't it. I'm not even sure what I bought at this point, but I do dimly recall making a decision a few years back not to stint on chocolate purchases in case of getting close to the day and still not finding the perfect thing for a hostess gift or a go-with gift. A box of really good chocolates is such a great standby!