August 30, 2011


I know it's probably a good thing to be described as "full of spunk", but it always kinda grosses me out to hear it.

August 24, 2011

J’ai trente-huit ans.

I believe that with every birthday, we should all take a mo’ and list all of the significant things that have happened to us (or within us) since the last birthday. If we’re not learning, growing and gaining some wisdom from our experiences, then, really, why are we bothering?

In my 38th year:

I became stronger – physically, emotionally and mentally.

I missed my dad an awful lot.
I still cry from time-to-time (like right now), but I think I’ve done a pretty good job of holding it together. Or, maybe I haven’t really started dealing with his loss. I think this will require further exploration, but in the meantime, I will keep watching for Blue Jays.

I found a job that I love.
I spend my days surrounded by people that are kind and creative and clever, and every Monday morning, I can’t wait to see them all again. Well, most of them.

I climbed a mountain.
I took a trip to Vancouver in July to surprise the mascot and figured that since I was there and had an afternoon to kill, I might as well do the Grouse Grind. To make sure that I didn’t throw in the towel halfway up, I sent the Mascot and my mother up in the tram and told them I’d meet them at the top. An hour and change later, I popped out at the top of the trail and had something to cross off my bucket list.

I loved, almost lost, and loved some more.

I had the privilege of spending another year with the mascot, who suddenly became this confident, articulate, witty, TALL kid right before my eyes. I am so proud of him (and I can’t help but take a tiny bit of credit for his coolness. I mean, someone has to, right?)

I did a 30-day photo challenge that definitely lived up to its name. Sunsets on demand? Yeah, right.

I watched the election AND the Oscars in their entirety for the first time in my life. I may have things confused, but I think James Franco is our new Prime Minister.

I had my hair cut twice and my nails done once.
I definitely need to up the princess-factor next year.

I came to terms with turning 39.

August 23, 2011

Waters at the Walker

I have always wanted to visit the Walker Art Center and, as luck would have it, our first night in Minneapolis also turned out to be a “free Thursday”. It wasn’t until after we had decided to go, however, that I discovered that John Waters’ “Absentee Landlord” was showing at the Centre.

In a word: Squee!!

I am a huge fan of Waters' films, so getting a chance to see a show that he curated was a huge treat. I had big expectations, and the show exceeded every one. There was everything from pop-art to video art to full-room installations to Waters’ own motion-activated squirting-flower picture (Hardy-Har, 2006). It was fascinating, funny, irreverent and surprising. Just like John Waters himself.

We stayed at Walker for about 2 hours which was *just* enough time to see pretty much everything. If we had more time, though, I would’ve lingered longer at the amazing Baby Marx exhibit and wandered through the entire sculpture garden (home of the "Spoonbridge", above). As it was, I had to limit my time gazing at the Mark Rothko painting and was forced to make some very quick decisions in the gift shop (which explains how I ended up with a bag of "John Waters approved" plastic cockroaches). Oh, well…I suppose that gives us all the more reason to return.

August 12, 2011


I have always loved poppies, but the poppies grown by my fella's father are extra-special. Just ask this little guy:

Every time I have visited R's family farm in Saskatchewan, I am greeted by a riot of brilliantly coloured poppies in the garden behind the house. There are hundreds and hundreds of them in seemingly perpetual motion; even the slightest breeze seems to make them flutter and sway.

Legend has it that the current crop are descendants of poppies that were grown at R's childhood home in Winnipeg. When his parents moved out to the farm, they brought the seeds with them and scattered them in the garden. Every year since, the "Millikin Road Poppies" have bloomed and flourished in their adopted home.

The real magic to me, though, lies in their nonchalance. Once they have finished blooming, and just the stems and seed-pods remain, they are unceremoniously mown down and forgotten about. That is, until the following spring when they return to bask in the hot prairie sunshine and dance in the wind.

August 8, 2011

Welcome to The Dollhouse

One of the things that I look forward to most every summer is visiting my fella's parents' farm in Saskatchewan and getting there via sleepy ol' Highway 2. The scenery is pretty typical for the prairies - wide open spaces, big sky and the occasional roadside attraction.

My favourite attraction (besides the Souris Subway) is the life-sized "dollhouse" which sits just off the highway, right before the Saskatchewan border. Oddly, although we've driven past it about a dozen times, we've only stopped once to take pictures. That much-anticipated (and long-awaited occasion) was just over a week ago...

I was so surprised (literally - blink and you'll miss it!) when my fella pulled over to give me a closer look. The house is cute from the highway, but the real magic is seen from the back side. It's a shame to think that most people will drive right by, many not noticing it there at all.

According to the artist, Heather Bennett, the house will remain standing for as long as it is safe. If you happen to find yourself travelling along Highway 2 in the near future, be sure to stop at the Souris Subway for a sandwich and then keep your eyes peeled for the Dollhouse. It really is a little unexpected roadside delight.