Just Jump In

Get your feet wet!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Well, except for getting the blind back up. It's a two-person job, so Hubby and I will do it when he gets home.

Even a few fall and Hallowe'en decorations sneaking in!

I love how the new colour changes how Corwin and Clara's portraits look.

The corner where "Trenchcoat" and "Bamboozled" meet on the basement stairs. Of course, now I want to re-paint the stairwell (same colour) because it looks dinged up in comparison. And the entryway. And the hall . . . .

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

In Progress

I was going to wait until it was done (about to go start my fourth - yes, FOURTH!! - coat), but as jeepchick pointed out in comments, on the C2 site, the colour looks like it's pink (more like a shocking fuschia). I needed to demonstrate that my taste is not quite that wild. Here are the befores, and a couple of in progress shots.

It really isn't that streaky, it's partly the light coming in the window.

Stay tuned for the completed shots. And keep your fingers crossed that the fourth is the last coat (otherwise I will have to go buy more paint, and that will put Canada in a very bad mood indeed!!!)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Because I Don't Have Enough To Do . . .

I have decided to paint the living room on Monday. "Bamboozled" by C2, a deep brownish-red. Before and after photos to come!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Book Meme

As seen at Days Go By.

Total number of books owned: At least 300. Probably more. I can't get rid of any that I like. I am a shameless re-reader!

Last book bought: Eldest by Christopher Paolini. It's the sequel to Eragon, which was awesome. Yes, the movie was horrific (let's not go there), but the book was fabulous.

Last book read: In the middle of Eldest. Recently read Echo Park by Michael Connelly (which was loaned to me by Senate Woman - we share a thing for Harry Bosch. And a few others)

Five Books that Mean a Lot to You (with a bonus sixth): Hmmmm. Hard to choose, there are so many good books...

1. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte. I love this book. Even before my Victorian novel class, this book was one of my favourites. Especially the scene when Cathy comes to the window, searching for Heathcliff.

2. Tam Lin, Pamela Dean. A modern take on the ancient Scottish folk song Tam Lin, set on a university campus in the midwest. Wonderful book, especially the faerie elements.

3. The Magician's Nephew, C.S. Lewis. I read this once a year. It is still my favourite of the Narnia Chronicles, though I love The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, too. I love the different worlds that Polly and Diggory go to, the description of the smells and the feel of the air. And the phenomenal description of Aslan singing Narnia into life.

4.Arabel's Raven, Joan Aiken. Joan Aiken has written several books that I adored as a child, but Arabel's Raven is my favourite. Mortimer the raven saying "Nevermore" all the time - it wasn't until I was much older that I understood her homage to Edgar Allen Poe.

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling. Because all of the books are wonderful, because this was the one that started it all. And because it made me wish magic was real again, something I haven't really wished for since I tried the back of every closet in every house we lived in to see if I could get to Narnia.

6. A Separate Peace, John Knowles. It's such a beautiful, yet heart-wrenching, story about friendship and jealousy. All set in New England. Stunning visual descriptions.

Five Books That You Just Don't Get (with a bonus sixth):

1. Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll. Because, frankly, Lewis Carroll creeps me out. Especially his whole relationship with Alice Liddell.

2. Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift. Yes, I know it is satirical, but I really couldn't get into it. At all. Ugh.

3. Lord of the Flies, William Golding. It's a guy thing. I'm a girl. I remember that I called my essay "Lord of the Fleas".

4. Beowulf. Not technically a book. I just couldn't get into it. I'm hoping that the movie is somewhat more exciting (and you know I usually like the book better!)

5. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Roald Dahl. I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it's one of my favourite books. But I absolutely could not get into this one. I have tried several times, and never finished it.

6. The Tin Flute, Gabrielle Roy. Depressing!!!!! And it wasn't just the translation from French to English - I know several people with the same opinion who read it in French.

Tag: You're "it"!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch . . .

There was a party goin' on. Corwin and Clara celebrated their 7th birthday (early - it's actually Oct 2) with a party at a horseback riding ranch. There was a petting zoo, a hay ride, pony rides, lunch, cupcakes, and presents. They had a fabulous time. And I had very little mess to clean up!

Clara on her pony, Levi.

Corwin riding Molly.

Corwin and friend on the wagon ride.

Some of the horses we saw on the wagon ride through the pasture.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Corwin started ball hockey today. It's a city-run program. At a community Centre. The one near us was all booked up, so he's at a one in a nearby neighbourhood. It's kind of a country neighbourhood. No one told me it was outside. It's chilly today. Brrrrr!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

And Now For The Singing

First lesson of the season with AVT was yesterday. I was a little concerned as I have not practiced all summer. I sing all the time, but really not properly (connected, open, lifting the soft palette, etc). Which may have been a good thing, because I managed to really connect during the warm-up, and extended my upper range by a whole tone. Woo hoo! I think that I may even be getting more relaxed about it all. Shocking, but true. I was the cantor at church on Sept 2, and although Gordon sent me the psalm two weeks prior to the date, I did little more than give it a cursory glance (crazy rhythm? Weird words? Wicked intervals? No, all good). The first time I actually sat down and played it/sang it was . . . the day before. Without a twinge of panic. Huh. I was a bit stressed on the morning of, because I couldn't warm up in the car with Hubby and the kids in there, too. But I didn't even feel queasy before singing (a bit nervous, but not ill). Progress.

So, the pieces I am working on. Still On Mighty Pens from Haydn's The Creation, which we started at the end of the year last year. And AVT suggested that I look at something from Handel's Messiah for the Christmas performance, but that not everyone will be doing Messiah because there are not enough arias to go around. We glanced at another couple of potentials before trying out Mozart's Alleluia. We were going to do that, until I mentioned the Puccini. She asked which one, and we tried it out. This is the piece I mentioned last year and she said "one day, but not until you open your mouth more, or you'll hurt yourself". Well, guess who's working on Un Bel Di from Madama Butterfly? Yes, it's dramatic, and I thought that I didn't like dramatic, or Italian, because of Il Mio Bel Foco. And then I realized that what I really didn't like was Il Mio Bel Foco! Time to release my inner diva. Watch out, world!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Life's To Do List

Life's TO DO List
BOLD means yes, I have done this
** means I want to do this

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins**
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid**
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09.Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped**
11. Visited Paris**
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights (a bit when they were visible) **
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa**
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg**
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper (more than I'd like to count!!!)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon**
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight (well, his under the table . . . )
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (practising to be in horrow movies - ha!!)
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen an eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run (thanks to fumbling outfielders)
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (almost every day)
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 10 provinces or all 50 states**
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales (Boston whale watching)
45. Stolen a sign (blinking construction sign)
46. Backpacked in Europe** (well, not backpacking now - maybe more like small luxury inns, lol)
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing**
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving**
51. Visited Ireland**
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow*******************
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke (kind of)**
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China**
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class**
71. Played D&D for 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie (does a German commercial count?)
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days (um, have we met??? that'll never happen)
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (Flamenco dancer)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice**
80. Gotten a tattoo**
81. Rafted the Snake Dead River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand**
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship**
94. Spoken more than one language fluently**
95. Performed in aisles at Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (still raising . . . )
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country**
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge** (driven it several times, though)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart (I am genuinely sorry. It was unintentional)
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari**
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (I think I was very sick)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states**
124. Visited all 7 continents** (well, not so much Antarctica)
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed**
132. Petted a cockroach (with the bottom of my shoe!!!!! Eeeeew!)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad (but the Odyssey was better)
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Sunday, September 09, 2007

OMG!!!!!!! Happy, Happy Post!!!!!

I just got asked to join the advanced flute choir. The one that is always full. And has been for years. And is basically by invitation only. I just got an e-mail that they have an opening and "we immediately thought of you". Holy shit!!! I'd better get practising again.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Weekend Update

So we survived the first week of school. Clara is very happy with her teacher, Mrs J, who is new to the school. She is in class with some of the friends she likes to play with, and also meets up with her best friend at lunch recess. Her funniest moment of the week: "Our class is in a whole other hall this year. I got lost when I went to the bathroom, and I turned the wrong way coming back and I walked into a grade three class. Mom, it was so embarrassing!". This was on Tuesday, and on Wednesday she was happy to report that she didn't get lost at all.

Corwin also likes his teacher, the very pretty Ms S. Although he is disappointed that he isn't in the 2/3 split class "because they're in the portable! That would be so cool!!!" (ummm, yeah - for the first five minutes. But it's hot in there when it's hot out, damp when it's rainy, and really sucks in a big way when you have to go to the bathroom/gym/library when it's raining/snowing/cold). Biggest bonus: a direct quote from the very first day "Mom, we did math and it was so easy!" He is still a bit sad that Connor isn't in his class, and that Campbell moved (a ten minute drive away, but he now goes to a different school), but overall it was a great first week for him, too.

Thursday marked the return to choir. My bathroom reno went over very well (I don't even remember if I blogged about it, but I stripped wallpaper, washed with TSP, plastered, sanded, and painted three coats of Racy Red in the women's choir loo. Also a new sink/vanity, new mirror, new toilet, and new light fixture - I'll post a picture). We are going to be singing some pretty challenging stuff, and doing two Christmas concerts this year. I still hate being a second soprano (I really don't like singing harmony), but maybe one day . . . .

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

And They're Off!

The big yellow bus picked them up and headed down the road to learning. School starts today, and it was definitely a morning of mixed emotions. Relief that we made it through the summer relatively unscathed by injury, illness, or insanity. Excitement on the part of the kids, particularly Clara, who has a teacher new to the school. Apprehension mixed with excitement from Corwin, who is (as usual) worried that grade 2 will be too hard, that he won't do well, that his teacher won't be nice, etc. (all this even though he got the teacher he really hoped for!!). And a little bit of sadness that summer is well and truly over.

Here's to a spectacular September and a fabulous fall!