Around the house and city (Toronto Edition)

one of the last posts before i make the switch over to the new site.

can’t wait!


The busy person


i came home to the most beautiful gift basket of goodies yesterday; some delicious smelling candles from mike’s sister-in-law and brother. talk about lovely family!

and today: give a job to a busy person and they’ll get it done. that’s how the saying goes right? usually that’s the case with me – the busier i am, the more efficient i become.

but it’s a whole different story when things get pushed aside and then the day comes when i have to confront them and get down to business. while i was basically “offline” all last week, i came back to a huge pile on my desk (aka my kitchen table) and i have not one clue where i should start.

and if i haven’t said it before, can i say it again: despite not having a 9-5 for the first time in my life, i can’t believe how busy i am with a million different little projects.


so i did what any rational person blogger would do.

i spent the morning tinkering with my new site and then i made an avocado salad (and of course took pictures of it.) k to be fair i did manage to apply for a job and rescue the cat which escaped not once, but two times through the open screen door.

but seriously, things have really gotten away from me and consequently it’s a really sad state of affairs over here – i haven’t even put a garden in yet (!!)… which if you are a long time reader you can imagine it’s just eating me up inside. Remember my garden last year? It was basically my life’s purpose, and essential bragging rights for about three months.

there’s also the laundry list of stuff to do around the house (including the laundry), and about 15 papers of administrative tasks sitting on my real desk in the basement (so i don’t have to look at it everyday, again skirting responsibility!)

so this post is about channelling some motivation and a starting point. i think i’ll make a priorities list. and then a to do list – #1. on that list will be, “see priorities list.”




but on another note – it’s been super nice to be home. yesterday evening when mike got home from work we went on a nice little hike and i could kind of feel myself relaxing a bit. cliff is hilarious – he’ll swim if another dog is with him, but he completely chickens out if he’s by himself. we’ll throw a stick into the water and he’ll stretch as far as he can, leaving his back legs on shore, and then reach as far as he can to grab the stick. if it’s out of reach he starts to whimper. some labrador “retriever”!!

and now… productivity!

back to the city

belleville train station

this morning, i’m headed back to ottawa on the train. it’s been a really long week. i can’t believe only 7 days ago i was running that half marathon… in retrospect it seems like about a month!! my dad’s been doing better – every day he seems to be a little bit more like himself, but it’s the start of a long road. all things considered, it would be unreasonable to expect anything else.

my sister dropped me off at the train station bright and early. can i just take a minute to say she’s the best? seriously this girl does it all: three kids, massive dog, and she’s so, so close to being a midwife – only about a year left of practicum and she’ll be catching babies all on her very own! i’m so very proud of her (in case you couldn’t tell.) i should note that i’m proud of both my sisters, but being around sarah and seeing her daily crazy hectic life for the past week has renewed my appreciation for all that she does over the course of a 24 hour period.

so here i am sitting on a train. it brings back so many memories of a trip i took out to the northern part of quebec (the gaspe region to be specific) when i was 13. it was a with an exchange program called SEVEC and you were paired up with a family in that part of the country that spoke hardly a word of english. the train ride was about 30 hours long and i remember there was this one car that had a clear bubble for the cieling. it was a double decker and in the night i snuck up there and watched the open night sky. i associate so much of that summer trip with the train until this day.

train rides are a funny thing – they have that knack for being romantic. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the older modes of transportation.

when we got to the train station in belleville this morning, we found out a new one had been built to replace the old one (old one pictured above). the little station that had been used for so many  trips to and from home still stands beside the new one – in my memory it’s that place for departures and homecomings, that small little antiquated building with just one room and one ticket window. the overhanging roof that covered you while waiting for the train has that scalloped trim. it’s just a shadow of the past. and because it’s still standing there, the new station looks so huge and modern and unnecessary.

i don’t know why i got all sentimental about a silly old train station!

i’m excited to get home for a few days, see my puppy and mike and catch a bit of a breather before heading home again this weekend.

hope everyone has a great start to the week!

Matters of the heart

The past five days have been such a blur – I’m not even really sure what day of the week it is today. It’s Saturday right?

On Tuesday morning my parents were on their way back from my sister’s house in Toronto when my dad started having chest pain. After a couple transfers between various hospitals, the day ended at one AM in a waiting room at the Peter Munk Cardiac centre at Toronto General Hospital.

Today, my dad’s making a good recovery from a double heart by-pass, but like I said, it’s been a really long week (especially for my dad).

Dad, I know you can’t read this right now but you’re my most loyal and long standing reader, and it’s not the same around here without you. Get well soon and I promise I’ll keep tabs of things while you’re gone.

P.s today the mayor of our small town stopped me on the Main Street to hear about how you were doing. If you ever had a doubt, you should know that you’ve laid down some pretty deep roots ’round these parts.

All my love, from the bottom of my heart,
Emily xoxo

Dog in a car

This past weekend we were on the road (again). And (again) we left Cliff at my parents place (thanks mom and dad I think that’s the last weekend for awhile!!).

Just so you know, cliff is a bit of a terror – in case I hadn’t already made that obvious to you… For example, I now have in my possession one iPhone video-worthy of america’s funniest home videos – of C-dog pushing my 5 year old nephew into a creek. (I’m gonna find a way to upload it because you really just have to see it to believe it). At any rate the point of telling you all of this is to let you know that whilst cliff may not have bedside manners when playing with children, he is an excellent traveller. I guess it’s not too strange for a dog to love the car, but I take my moments of pride where I can get them!






On the way back home we had some extra passengers and extra cargo (about 12 Rubbermaid containers full of baby supplies) which we were transporting from one family member to another. We all managed to squeeze in to a borrowed dodge caravan that basically rides like a space craft.
Long car rides, road trips with friends and dogs will always hold a special place in my heart ❤


family portrait


i’ve heard people cite a statistic wherein if you get a dog, within two years there’s a huge possibility you’ll have a baby. apparently the frequency within which this happens is extremely high.

my concern is, what if mike holds the baby like this? ^^^

baby steps.

also, if you’re wondering about the bale of hay; it was on my front porch all winter long (since my fall “display”). I moved it to the back yard a few weeks ago when Clifford started digging holes in my garden. i’m not sure but i’m fairly positive he ate a tulip bulb and then threw it up.





not just any visitor


my mom came for a little visit this week and while she was here she treated me to some three year-old aged cheddar. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to receive a gift of cheese.

we spent may day ambling about town, walking through the streets of the byward market. even though i’m not working right now, it felt like a mini vacation from life (read: I needed that).

it was just such a nice visit. it’s nice to have your mom around.

she got a new phone – ^^^ basically went from original flip phone to most sophisticated on the market. it’s a bit of a technology disaster.

i love eating, and i think i got this from my mom. we both love salty delicious food… and wine. (always paired with wine.) i consider myself lucky to have grown up in a house where there was no scale and no talk of dieting or restriction from food. it’s probably why i have a healthy relationship with food today: if hungry eat, if not hungry don’t eat. if you want a treat have it, and there’s no need for 15 because i’m not deprived. i just know so many girls my age who still haven’t sorted this out and i’m grateful to not constantly be fixated on this aspect of myself.


plus. what else is there if not a good meal shared with family? ^^^

in fact i’m doubly grateful for my love of food because it’s the way mike and i spend time together. like some couples bike? we eat. he makes it usually and then i consume. like those delicious tapas above. mike’s creation… not mine.

choose your own adventure

the renovations continued over the weekend and i’d say that we pretty much have the place back in order. i’ve never been one to pay someone to do work that we can do ourselves (which is unfortunate because i really hate painting…) but, we got it done! officially one year in this place and the walls have all been completely transformed from their previous (and heinous) colour scheme!! Which up until recently included a beige “smear” – i didn’t realize how bad it was until we had it all covered up in fresh, fresh white.

ahhhh. (<< that there’s a fresh breath of air.)

there were also a few birthdays to celebrate (why does everyone keep getting older?!) which kept us busy and full of yummy food.

we got into some pretty heavy conversation on saturday night with family about what it means to be happy and fulfilled in your life and career. is it possible to really love your job? does anyone really? and what do you do with yourself when you are unhappy but you don’t know how to make the changes? this was all floating around amidst the ice cream cake and hockey game. i think we came to the some sort of consensus that personal happiness is more important then money or stature, but if you can somehow find a way to combine the two, you’ve won the lottery.

i know over the past year i’ve been struggling with how to figure out to spend the next 20 years of my life, and it seems like i’m not alone. if i can offer up any advice (since i’ve been doing nothing but deliberation on the topic) it would be to say that life goes on. it might seem impossible to make BIG changes to your status quo, but whatever you decide, things aren’t going to come to a hault around you. things can always be repaired or put back together and ultimately, you need to make decisions from your gut that are best for you. those are the sorts of choices that will make you happiest. not that i’m a guru. it’s just what i’ve gathered having muddled about the topic myself. i think it’s true what they say: life’s a journey.

And in between all of this? we squeezed a few naps where we could fit them, and walks in the most glorious of all the weathers: SPRING! Yes. i’d say it’s finally HERE!!! you know something? i used to hate to have my feet touch grass, but i changed my mind.

the sun was so hot on sunday that cliff didn’t know what to do with his tongue… which makes sense after all because  he’s only ever known snow and cold in his six months of life in this tundra we call Ottawa. He was so hot  it was hanging about a foot out of his mouth.

i feel blessed just as i am. there are so many good things in life that i really couldn’t ask for more. except maybe adventure. i love a good choose your own adventure 😉

Shower the bride

Last weekend:






mother of the bride’s cup from her wedding day! ^^


took forever to unfold ^^




ice cream cake with praline caramel topping. groaannn. ^^


pussy willows mean spring is officially HERE!!






peanuts! ^^




DSC_0215it actually hailed outside but colour and pussy willows helped a bit 🙂

Great Dane + Lab puppy = love

We’re off for another road trip this weekend! Mike turned 30 this year – which means so do all of his closest friends for the most part. This weekend is 30th birthday number 4 of the year – we’re headed to Toronto for a Raptors game (aren’t they like not even in the running for the playoffs? I dunno I don’t do basketball…) and many yummy foods.

When we were away over Easter, Cliff boy got to meet my family’s great dane, Patrick. He’s the most lovely big dog you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting (no really) and Cliff just couldn’t get enough of running under his legs and hanging off his jowls. Poor Patrick had to run and hide.

My sister told me that on one of the nights, Cliff was barking his face off in the crate in my parents kitchen downstairs, and Patrick who was asleep upstairs in my sister’s room, heard the commotion, got up from his bed, went downstairs and sprung Cliff free from his cage!! The both returned to the bedroom together. Too funny. Jail break buddies.

Because you can’t bring brat puppies to Basketball games, Cliff is spending another few nights tormenting – I mean, visiting my family.

Thank-you family! We owe you BIG TIME, LONG TIME>

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