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Month: July 2016

Pacing One’s Self – Part 1

Pacing One’s Self – Part 1

Since Thursday Mizz J and I have been on a bit of a marathon, musically-speaking.

When not working, doodling in the drywall dust that covers every surface of my home, or obsessively watching Die Antwoord videos (Don’t ask, I can’t explain it. I can’t even figure out what they are rapping about half the time. In fact I understand the English lyrics in equal measure to the  Afrikaans.), I took in a lot of live music Thursday to Sunday.

Thursday night was the long anticipated Paul McCartney show at the First Ontario Centre, in Hamilton.

Hamilton was…er…interesting. Plenty of street people. Even more so than Toronto, it seemed to me.

We got there early and, because it was so stinking hot outside, hung out in Jackson Square Mall beside the event location.

We had to wait for a bit to use the washrooms off of the food court as 3 of the 5 stalls were out of order. Not a good sign. One stall was occupied for a very long time. A mom and her 7 year old daughter were waiting there too, for the occupant – her other daughter, as it turned out. Finally she emerged, looking all of about 12 (Mizz J said she looked 14), and waving around a pregnancy test in progress. I don’t know what the verdict was or how it was received. It was so awkward I avoided any eye contact with the whole scene and thankfully we got our business done and outta there very soon after that.

And then there was Macca, worth every moment of heat, discomfort and being exposed to the seedier, sadder side of life:

Paul McCartney 1 Paul McCartney 2

Sir Paul put on an incredible 3 hour show without a break  – not even to take a sip of water. For a brief moment there I too could see my future self as a 74 year old ball of vegetarian energy but then I remembered who I really was…*cough*carnivore*cough*.

Got back to the Village around 130 am and hit my new bed around 2 am:

True fact: the bedding cost more than the bed. But so pretty and worth every penny.
True fact: the bedding cost more than the bed. But so pretty and worth every penny. More photos of my newly renovated bedroom and closet to come as I finish the room.

I will not lie. Up at 6 am, Friday was a struggle to get through. So much so that I despaired as to how I was going to manage Hillside Festival on Saturday and seeing the Temperance Movement at the Toronto Festival of Beer on Sunday. (And then back to work on Monday). It didn’t help that the temps were in the mid thirties (degrees Celsius) with the humidity making it feel like the forties. And both events were outdoors.

So Mizz J and I did the wise thing. We went to Hillside fairly early and left fairly early too – the heat and humidity were relentless and no amount of shade, breeze or misting could alleviate it – only make it barely tolerable.

Junkanoo at Hillside – they must of been dying in those costumes!
Mizz J in the Misting Tent
Mizz J in the Misting Tent right after we arrived
View of the Main Stage
View of the Main Stage – notice the parched grass
Loved the Inclusivity of Hillside
Loved the Inclusivity of Hillside
Many more folk than this in the water as the day went on.
Many more folk than this in the water as the day went on.
Adorning the Henry Kock Bike Lot
Adornment of the Henry Kock Bike Lot – I once took a gardening course with the late, great Mr. Kock

I really enjoyed the relaxed, inclusive and friendly vibe of Hillside. I kinda felt like I had found my tribe. Mizz J and I took in several workshops as well as overhearing some performances as we wandered around, trying to stick to whatever shade was available. I would go again, but this time take my bathing suit and maybe even camp there for the weekend.

But in the end the heat did us in, so we left a lot earlier than we had planned, to get into some air-conditioned comfort and recover for the next day’s festival in Toronto.

To be continued.

Rock on,

The WB

 

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Poisoned Pen Letter

Poisoned Pen Letter

The note crafted with the poisoned pen.
The note crafted with the poisoned pen.

The most extraordinary thing happened to me this week.

I received a poisoned pen letter regarding my late husband.

It’s not extraordinary that I received communication from someone angry with JD. He must have left wreckage and chaos in his wake throughout his adult life, given his mental health issues. He certainly left enough for me to deal with.

To be frank, what is extraordinary is that I have not gotten more of this kind of stuff.

What has me puzzled is WHY NOW? JD has been gone for almost 3 years. What has triggered someone to put (poisoned) pen to paper and snail-mail me this anonymous note after all this time?

The writer’s intent is also to upset me, I believe.

Sorry dear writer, you will have to do better than this meagre offering.

Instead of being upset, I find myself quite intrigued to know more.

I feel like the plucky protagonist in my very own mystery story. How cool is that?

I hope I can inspire the writer to reach out to me again. We really should talk.

Rock on,

The WB

 

 

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Jumpin’ June

Jumpin’ June

I had a feeling that June was gonna be a bit crazy and it did not disappoint.

First there was the wedding of the son of a good friend, which was delightful and took place on one of those perfect June days that make it such a popular month for nuptials.

Then there was prepping for renovations AND for leaving for Edmonton for my Convocation:

Accepting MBA degrees for both myself and JD.
Accepting MBA degrees for both myself and JD.

It was emotionally draining, to say the least. But I was glad I did so that JD got his recognition. He received a spontaneous standing ovation and many eyes were filled with tears. The dean broke down several times while reading the short biography I prepared about JD. Afterwards so many strangers approached me to say how touched and inspired they were, and to offer me a hug.

After the ceremony, with JD's hood draped over my arm.
After the ceremony, with JD’s hood draped over my arm.

Meanwhile, back at Chez Badass floors were being sanded down and refinished! I came back home on a Sunday evening to my planned interior  and exterior renovations in full swing.

There was nothing to do but put up with the disruption and hit the trails. Almost every night that week I was at the Dundas Conservation Area for the annual 4 Day-Evening Walk (a Dutch tradition brought home to Canada):

Walkers ahead of me got their Dutch on, wearing orange for the Dutch royal family (House of Orange).
Walkers ahead of me got their Dutch on, wearing orange (official colour of the walk)  for the Dutch royal family (House of Orange).

Four 5 km walks earned me my Year 5 participation medal.

Renovation work continued, both inside and out.

Painting the trim around the building
Painting the trim around the building.
New entrance doors and exterior lighting.
New entrance doors, just installed…and new exterior lighting (LED).

Another escape from all the dust and debris and flaking paint, onto the Speed River:

Kayak parking only...hehehe.
Kayak parking only…hehehe.
Back to Black Bridge
Back to Black Bridge
Breakfast on the water. A grain-free Morning Glory muffin.
Breakfast on the water. A grain-free Morning Glory muffin.
Wish Floyd came with a cup holder.
Wish Floyd came with a cup holder. Don’t possess a thigh gap really – more of a tea gap 😉

When indoors, I have been working away at the Badass Budget and have set up another automatic savings account (Emergency Bucks) as a result, and in addition to my pre-existing Travel Bucks account. Lest I fritter away all my discretionary cash on stuff like these lovely Fluevogs:

Is this truly the last pair of shoes I will buy in 2016?
Is this truly the last pair of shoes I will buy in 2016? Check back with me after my upcoming trip to the Netherlands.

And I have placed myself on a shoe moratorium for the remainder of 2016, after having to find new homes for my clothing and shoes during the apartment renovation. I’m not approaching Imelda Marcos territory with respect to shoe collecting but damn…I realized I do have many pairs….and many pairs I cannot or will not wear any longer. So I did a bit of purging in June also.

So badass yet so practical.
So badass yet so practical. Yes, those are skulls on the buckle.

And finally, on the last day of June, my dining room dreams came true as I took delivery of the table I had custom-made, from reclaimed threshing mill floor planks (hemlock):

Dining room furniture: check!
Renovate room and acquire dining room furniture: check!

A bit of mixed feelings on this one, as this room was last in regular use as my mom’s bedroom. But I know she would be very happy that I have a table again at last, for everyone to sit down at.

Party ready for my Canada Day baby's birthday on the 1st.
Party ready for my Canada Day baby’s birthday on the 1st.

Hope everyone had a lovely June and has an exciting July on deck!

Rock on,

The WB

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