Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Done With It

Ok, I am done with this year. I had lots of backdating plans to fill up December with posts but I just wanted/want a break. This month has flown by and has been insanely busy. Jason had his birthday at the end of November, then we did a lot of Christmas things early because we took a trip to Edmonton to visit with Mike and Aimee. (In fact we are flying back from Edmonton this evening; Jason, Mom, and I have been here for a week.) So, I will be saying goodbye to 2014 in the Toronto airport and tomorrow morning, I am going to start fresh with Always Standing for 2015.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A New Baby

Aria Lynn 
Born: August 3, 2014

In my usual form, I am very late with my Always Standing congratulations, but on August 3rd, Amanda (SoccarStar, WalkerPal) and her husband, Tim, welcomed a beautiful daughter into their family. Amanda and I have been friends since elementary school; we walked together and were always late. Of course, we were also friends all through High School too. I very much wish she lived closer to Toronto (in fact she did live in the city but I was in Ottawa at the time, and moved away before I got here.) Amanda is amazing and I miss her a lot.

When she was born, Aria Lynn was 'only' 5lbs 13oz, and I like to hear about tiny babies, since 8 and 9lbs now seems to be the norm. (I was 6lbs 11oz, and I don't think I was considered small at all.) I have yet to meet Aria Lynn, however a very pregnant Amanda was at Teri and Greg's wedding on July 26, so I was in the same room as the baby - kinda. Teri and I will make our way to see the new one soon, and of course visit with proud big brother Hudson.

All photos by:
Copywrite 2014

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

An Award

Jason has received an important honour for the work he has been doing over the last 6 months to a year.
Outstanding Technical Achievement Award 
from IBM Canada 
in December 2014 
for contributions to BigSQL 3.0

I don't really know what any of that means, but it is a big deal and I am very proud of him. (It also came with a bit of money and his manager suggested that he spend some of it on me, which I highly support.)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My Dad Rocked

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

At spinning recently I was reminded of my dad when the following song came on:

Raise Your Glass (2010)
by P!nk

I don't know why it always seems to be P!nk songs that remind me but they are really connected to time I spent with Dad recently. The main thing that got my dad active on the internet, in general he could be a bit of a technophobe with some times, was music. He was on Napster and other downloading sites and quickly replaced most of his mixed tapes with CD compilations and most recently iTunes playlists.

He found out that the local library allowed a few downloaded songs a week for free and Dad become very disciplined in researching and getting new music. (He also used mine and Mike's cards to get music for himself - Mike shouldn't have even had a card seeming that he lives in Edmonton.) With the library program, Dad downloaded a lot of P!nk. Thinking about it now, I realize that my dad has always like 'Rock' music and a lot of recent stuff is pop or folk or a softer type of rock. P!nk isn't, her sound is a good throw back to the real rock sound of the 1970s. (I also really enjoy that so many of her songs have really positive messages in the lyrics.)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Two Sleeps Like People

Sometimes Two thinks she is people, and sleeps tucked up under the covers:

But most of the time she remembers that she is a cat and sleeps beside people:

Photos by ME
Taken with Jason's Phone

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Dystopian Capitalist Hellscape

--------- from Buzzfeed

Proof that we live in a dystopian capitalist hellscape.... This is a boat inside another boat for maximum boat:
I want one!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Xmas List 2014

Normally I am way faster than this at getting out Christmas Lists. This year I was waiting until after Jason's birthday. (He doesn't like Christmas stuff being done before his birthday, which I decided to honour this year, but it doesn't really work because it is too rushed to ignore all Christmas things until December.)

Joint (Jason and I)
- Gift Cards: Cineplex, Harveys, Canadian Tire
- Queen Size Blankets
- King Size Sheets
- Wii Remotes
- Camping kettle (place on burner/fire style)
- Bath Towels (big fluffy ones)
- Travel Coffee Mugs
- Large container/bin to store cat food
- Phone charger

- Gift Cards: MEC, EB Games, Chapters, Tim Hortons
- Clothes: Tops (Med), Pants (33:30)
- Interesting boardgames
- Tassimo: Tim Hortons Coffee
- Socks for biking
- Wallet
- Windshield washer fluid
- Coke in glass bottles
- Montreal Steak Spice Rub

Chris (Me!)
- Gift Cards: Cykl, Caryl Baker Visage, Dollerama
- Shirts to wear to work in winter (Med/Lrg)
- Nice cardigans/zip-ups for work (Lrg)
- Tassimo: Tetley Chai Latte
- Tank tops, all colours/styles (Lrg)
- Microwave (not fancy, used is good)
- Allergy Medication
- Jameson Irish Whiskey
- Epson Salts
- Sweat Bands, Ladies, Forehead/hair
- Case for New Phone (ask Jason about the type)
- Toronto Maple Leafs shirt/jersey (Lrg)
- Caramel Corn

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Happy Birthday Mike

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Today is Mike's Birthday, so this picture is exactly 27 years old! (Though, you can't even really see Mike in the bundle and Dad looks terrible. There are much better pictures from my birth; that is what happens with the second child. However, I will acknowledge that he was a much cuter baby so they should have taken more pictures.)

Andrew Micheal held by
George Ralph Sweeton
November 30, 1987

Saturday, 29 November 2014

A Huskey Birthday

Today is Jason's Birthday and I have surprised him with a quick (450km) trip to Gatineau, Quebec. We went dog sledding, with an ATV, and played with Siberian Huskies, including a puppy or two. We have checked into a cute inn, The Wakefield Mill, and are heading to Nordick spa for the evening. The spa (a large outdoor area with hot pools, steam baths, saunas, etc) is open until midnight and has a nice restaurant for dinner. Happy 31st Jason!

A Catuday Cheer Up

------------------- from Tessa (from The Internet)

As I mentioned, it has been a bit of a rough week. To cheer me up on Thursday, Tessa sent me a couple of memes (which she pronounces '' even though I am pretty sure it is 'meem') to cheer me up. I thought I would share this one for Caturday because I totally love it.

Taco Cat has so many things I love:
- Tacos, one of my favorite meals
- Kittens, this cat is tiny and possibly still a baby
- Black Cat, still my favorite because of Binx
- Palindrome, something that is the same forward as backwards
Basically this is the perfect thing to send me to cheer me up! I have amazing friends.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Year Later

My mom also wrote a blog post today. Her's is much more positive than mine, probably because in general her blog is more positive. She manly talks about the Sailing Award that has been put in place in my Dad's honour. You can read her post HERE. (The link to her blog is always available on the Left Side of Always Standing.)

The First Year

A year ago my father died and the world as I knew it crashed down around me. So many people have said that after 'The First Year' everything gets easier. To a certain extent that is true, last year Christmas was so painful, with every little part of the holiday causing great sadness. This year I just feel heavy - it is strange that having a piece of yourself torn away can leave you with more weight to carry. This numb and heavy feeling has allowed me to try to return to my love of the holiday season, with a bit of a 'fake it until you make it' type attitude I am excited about Christmas again this year and looking forward to the new memories.

Time has healed some of the wound. Part of me is happy that I no longer think about my Dad every single day. This is because living away from my parents for more than a decade meant that I didn't really think about them at a daily frequency. So, to have a day or two here and there where I am not reminded of Dad or of my pain related to his sudden death is a bit of a relief and a return to a more normal state of being.

However, I feel with the passing of time I am losing my memory of him. I can no longer hear his voice in my head. I forget the way he phrased or said things. (Sometime, I can remember a bit of what his laugh sounded like.) I am actually really hoping that Aimee can still imitate him, I found her funny impressions so comforting last December. She helped me hear him again; this is something I have struggled with right from the start.

What I can't seem to forget it the sound of my uncle on the other end of the phone, telling me my dad had died in his sleep overnight. I can hear the exact inflection of his voice and can quote all the words said in the conversation. I can even hear (and to a certain extent picture it all in an out-of-body type fashion) my own reaction to the news. Which I am sure just sounded like raw shock and pain, if raw shock and pain sounds like someone saying/screaming, What?!? What!?! over and over. Just like that, with one morning phone call my dad was gone from my life and as each year passes, I worry that he is slowly going to be gone from my mind.

The feeling of losing my memories of him is making the progress of time more difficult. I have a frantic feeling, a fevered clawing at shards of memories, desperately trying to keep his memory alive and knowing that it will only get harder. So I feel like 'The First Year' has been a year of memories, with subsequent years being less so; and in that way the future looks harder than 'The First Year.'

Why, Hello Sears

So, I just finished writing the story about West Elm as a Sunday Mornin' Coming Down post. (Yes, yes, I am doing some massive back dating at the moment - deal with it. I am trying to catch up, there are a lot of partially done posts in draft form.) Anyway, I don't know how this ad got linked to Always Standing, no where in the post does it mention Sears, the company where Dad "worked in retail for his entire professional life" literally from when he graduated university to his retirement a few years ago.

But, when I turned for a quick review of Always Standing, I just saw the following under my header:
I am feeling a bit better about writing these types of posts but I don't even feel like I was "looking" this time. It was just there, and what's more, it is about the department Dad was a salesmen in for the later part of his career. (He wanted more time with his family so left management to sell major appliances when Mike and I were very young.)

There isn't a consistent sign/symbol of my father but there are definitely reminders surrounding me, which at this point in my grief process tend to bring relief and peace. I love you Dad - I miss you.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Wedding (In A While) Wednesday

Ok, so I don't know when the wedding will be, but Jason's best friend proposed to his girlfriend this past Friday! So, I think that engagement congratulations is an excellent choice for Wedding Wednesday. Rob and Andrea are truly an amazing couple, who also met through eHarmony. They are both such kind, smart, and fun people that the engagement news has been met with enormous amounts of joy. (It was also very exciting to know a bit ahead of time - but keeping that type of happy secret is so hard!)

Best wishes and love to Rob and Andrea!!
Now And Forever
Photo by Andrea

Monday, 24 November 2014

MOday - Jason Woods

-- Movember challenges men to grow mustaches during November, to spark conversation and raise vital funds for men’s health programs. Jason is participating, please visit his MoSpace to view photos of his mustache progress and donate. --

So it is the last Monday in November, if you haven't donated yet please do so. Jason's mustache filled in 'nicely' over the past month (see Left). However, I'm very much looking forward to him shaving it off on Sunday!

I have decided it has moved from 'creepy guy who might be a porn star' to more of a 'father figure' style of mustache. This is especially accurate as I believe that Jason's father used to have a mustache.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

A Bed From West Elm

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

This is more of a post about West Elm than it is about Dad. However, off and on during our interactions with West Elm, Jason and I felt a bit overwhelmed and talking with my father would have helped. Here is the story:

Over a year ago, before Jason moved into Rrunuv Bayit with me, we decided we needed to purchase a bed. In fact, it was a major request of mine, in terms of Jason moving in, that his king-size mattress, a the very minimum, be put onto a bed frame. We decided not get a headboard and bought a bed frame from West Elm.

It took us a long to find a bed; we looked at a lot of places. We had a fairly tight budget but at the same time with a king-size mattress we needed a bed that was high quality. Then there was the small room to think of and the desire for storage. We choose West Elm because they have good quality furniture that is made of solid wood (instead of a composite or worse.)

When we got the pieces of the bed frame back to the apartment to put together, the metal joining element at the top of one of the legs was bent a bit. We decided to just go with it and that leg never quite sat right, Jason tried to rejoin it at the correct angle a couple of times over the past year but it didn't really work. During the summer the leg completely broke off and we had to stack old university textbooks under it to support the bed.

During a visit to West Elm this summer to pick up some plants, Jason mentioned our broken bed at the check-out. It actually happen to be the store manager checking us out and she gave us her card, telling us to email her photos. It took us a while to find the time to take the bed apart enough to get good photos of the broken part, but Jason emailed her a month or two later. We didn't hear back and Jason sent another email about a month after that. The manager replied and asked us to schedule a time to come in and discuss options. She mentioned that the bed frame we had was out of stock and not anticipated to be available in Canada for a while.

When we got to the store a week or so later we were told that they would exchange our bed frame for a new one and that we should go look at the options. However, we really like our current one and were concerned that we wouldn't find an appropriate replacement, especially since it took us so long to find the perfect one the first time. We tried to explain this, and we had brought the broken leg asking just for a replacement piece. The manager took the broken bit to go see if they had anything in the back and in the meantime asked that we browse the bed options.

West Elm has a few bed frames; and the one we had originally chosen and currently have was the more sturdy and expensive one. The options available at the moment in Canada are either too flimsy with thin legs or too low, eliminating our much needed storage space or in a style Jason and I aren't very keen on. However, the manager had said we could consider the beds as well but even the cheapest bed costs considerably more than the bed frames. We liked two styles and determined that one of them would be a better choice for us (of the two, the first is three times the cost of our bed frame and the one we ultimately decided was best is around twice the price of our bed.)

We had questions about the offered exchange, since we couldn't afford the price difference and were not interested in any of the frames currently available. When we were told it would be a straight exchanged we replied that it felt "overwhelmingly generous." I has been a really amazing example of excellent customer service. The whole thing just feels like something I would like to share with my Dad. He worked in retail for his entire professional life and really appreciated when companies worked hard to maintain customer satisfaction.

Jason and I are excited about getting a new bed, that won't be supported by text books. We will have it in a few weeks. (I will post pictures.)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Caturday And Card Games

---------- found online

Not Around

The pain over my dad's death still comes, and like before it is strange and unpredictable. I have cried at things that range from hearing a song to seeing apple sauce, the sharp reminder that he is gone will stab like a wound and hurt in a way words can describe. Then sometimes those same things, invoking the same memories, make me smile and happy to think about his life and the great times we had. Grief is a confusing thing.

I still feel very much that he is 'missing' and I haven't adjusted to this new role he plays as my late father (a term that is very problematic, I may rant about that at a later time.) I look for so called 'signs' to feel that he is around in some way but they don't really seem to present themselves to me. I don't even think that much of it, but the first photo I took of the picture I posted this past Sunday showed up with a glare over my dad's face. The basic coincidence of using Jason's phone that he has on automatic flash (compared to mine which I keep the flash turned off), my dad being in the top centre of the picture and the photo being under glass. However, it made me stop for a second.

Driving home this evening from dropping off Tessa, an ambulance drove past us. This is a very regular occurrence in Toronto, but for some reason it made me completely breakdown. (Jason was driving, I was in the passenger seat with tears streaming down my cheeks.) Then right before I started sobbing I looked up as we passed a store called George's Deli, a place I had never noticed before on a street that I travel up and down very frequently. I still cried for most of the way home, but noticing that made me pause for a moment and wonder.

So much of this post or this line of thinking just seems like reaching for straws, and I am almost embarrassed to share it on Always Standing. But I am looking, I am looking for him, I am looking so hard. Because I miss him so much.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wait Bit Longer, Again

So I am asking you again to wait a bit longer for a wedding post, this time for T and G's. The good news is that I do have the photos on my computer so I should be able to put something together for next week - Wedding Wednesdays are still going strong!

Monday, 17 November 2014

MOday - Tom Selleck

-- Movember challenges men to grow mustaches during November, to spark conversation and raise vital funds for men’s health programs. Jason is participating, please visit his MoSpace to view photos of his mustache progress and donate. --

There is no question that he has one of the most well known mustaches of all time. So I will leave you with only this:
Nothing else needs to be said.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Other Picture Up

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

In the spring I posted one of my favourite pictures of Dad and mentioned that it is in a frame with one of my mom and hangs in my room. Well, this is the only other photo I have up right now that has my dad in it:

It sits on a shelf near my desk in a red Carleton University branded frame (I cut the frame out of this picture). It was taken on the day of my graduation, at the portrait studio on campus. My Aunt Laura (left) and my mom are also in it. It is a bit cheesy, and the frame is really quite cheesy, but I like it a lot.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Less Helpful With Cheap Paper

When Two has helped me wrap a gift in the past it wasn't an issue. Well, there may have been some little tooth marks in the paper but not a big deal. So, while visiting The Cottage today, I was wrapping some Christmas presents to send with my Mom to Ottawa for my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. This year I am using some red cartoon reindeer gift wrap from the dollar store and it is SO thin. It was a bit of an issue when Rasta decided to sit on it:
"If I don't look at you, than I can ignore you yelling at me.
Totally harshin' my mellow, bro."
Photo by me taken with Jason's phone
(Yes, Rasta speaks a bit like a surfer-dude. Kristen and I determined this over the summer. Lives at the beach, is male, oscillates between insanely hyper and passed out, kinda dumb, and in general looks weird.) Anyway, he sat on my wrapping paper, and it ripped due to it's general cheapness. He was not a helpful kitten.

He was also not helpful when trying to get a cute photo of him, as you can see he turns away from the camera. What was funny is while I am trying to get a good picture Mom is saying, "Come on Rasta, if you are cute enough you might get to be on Caturday." He is so adorable even the back of his head is good enough to post.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Elf Names

Apparently, if I was a Christmas Elf (from Facebook), my name would be:
Glitzy Snow-Bum

Also, according to the Elvish Name Generator online, if I was an elf from Middle-Earth my name would be Idril Carnesîr.

Add a comment to let me know yours!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Chili Recipe

I got the basics of this from an old Curves cookbook.

Super Easy and Healthy Chili

- Ground Beef (normal size package, Lean or Extra Lean)
Fry beef in pan until brown. Put beef in large pot. (You don't even need the beef, the vegetarian version is just what is below without the beef.)

 In the large pot add:
- A can of Crushed Tomatoes
- A can of  Diced Tomatoes
- 3 cans of Beans:
I like to do 2 cans of Kidney Beans and 1 can of Black Beans. I always empty the beans into a strainer first and rinse the goo/liquid off them before adding it to the pot. I don't know if you have to do this, but I read that it helps make the chili less 'gassy' and I think the goo stuff is gross anyway.

Add chili powder to taste.
I go light on this because Jason just adds Franks Red Hot Sauce if wants to make it more spicy. I have also discovered that chili powder is different so you need to learn with the brand you use how much you like. Switching brands really messed me up and I ended up with chili that was way spicier then I like. (When it turns out too spicy: I add corn to sweeten it, or make it larger to stretch out the batch by adding more tomatoes and/or beans, or add lots of cheese and/or sour cream when eating it.)

You can put in any cut veggies you want (onion, garlic, peppers, celery, etc.) this is not even necessary if you are feeling lazy. Sometimes I just make it with the beans and cans of tomatoes.

Keep the pot simmering, stir it sometimes.
If there are veggies then it is best to cook it until they are soft. If not you just heat it and then cook as long as you like. Longer you cook, the better it tastes.

Monday, 10 November 2014

MOday - Alex Trebek

-- Movember challenges men to grow mustaches during November, to spark conversation and raise vital funds for men’s health programs. Jason is participating, please visit his MoSpace to view photos of his mustache progress and donate. --

When Jeopardy started its 31st season in mid-September of this year, something amazing happened; Alex Terbek's mustache came back! In fact this was such a big deal that the show created a social media campaign about it and there was an article in the Globe and Mail. In my mind, Alex has always had a mustache, and that mustache has always been epic. But it seems that he shaved it off in 2001 and hasn't had one for the last 13 years. I guess when watching Jeopardy I was just superimposing a mustache on his face? Well, now I don't have to do that anymore.
The mustache is back!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Party Dad In A Party Hat

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

My dad collected a lot of things. I remember our back room in Paris (which was both a mud-room and laundry-room) had his hat collection around the top of the walls. A whole row of strange hats. I don't know where they all went but they got taken down some point when I was a teenager. My favorite was always this cool white safari-style one. The picture on the left is from a party in Liberty Village that I found out about through the BIA. (Working there didn't really mean a lot of perks, in fact because we were connected to The City we weren't allowed to accept any perks anyways. However, I did get to hear about all the cool events that were going on in the area.) Danielle took this picture; my parents, myself, and lots of my friends ended up going to the aforementioned party. It was at a local bar, which I think was celebrating hiring a new chef - appetizers were passed around. Corona was there and Dad got this hat after chatting up the 'Corona Girls'. Makers Mark was also there and I tried it for the first time - it is now my preferred bourbon.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

No Cat Today

As I mentioned, I was planning to go up to Ottawa this weekend but instead I am home sick. I took Two to Teri's on Wednesday so that she could look after her while we were away. Now that I am staying home, I am sad that Two isn't around to keep me company while I lie in bed with this awful cold/flu thing.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Home Sick As An Adult

When I was younger and stayed home sick from school my family had two main rules:
- You had to stay in bed. No watching TV, reading, going on the computer, etc.
- If you stayed home from school, than you couldn't go to anything in the evening. Even if there was an extracurricular event, like dance class, piano, Girl Guides, sports, etc.
Other people spoke about The Price is Right, but I had to stay in bed and be bored. It was almost always better to go to school.

This past week I have been sick - I am still sick. I used three Personal Days to stay home in bed and try to get better. As an adult. I would be 'allowed' to watch TV but I don't want to. I feel too awful and my headache is too strong. There also isn't anything stopping me from doing all the
'fun things' that I had planned, but unfortunately I don't feel up to it. I had to cancel my trip to Ottawa this weekend, and I had been looking forward to going for over a month now.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Waiting For Photos

I got to see all the photos from Teri and Greg's wedding tonight. I think she said there was over 1000. However, it is more like 500 and then each has a copy in colour and another in black and white. I don't know if Teri is going to be putting them up on Facebook, beyond the one or two she has used for her profile picture. Greg is weird about photos. I think that Ter is coming over early next week, and I will have to ask her to bring the hard drive so that I can take them. Then I will be able to do a big wedding recap post for these guys:
Teri and Greg
Wedding: July 26, 2014
Copyright 2014

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My Robot Friend

The vending machine at work has a name above the coin slot - Electronic Retailer. Upon seeing it, it actually made me a little sad, this machine was taking customers and revenue away from actual retailers. The name Vending Machine is much less upsetting. (On a semiotic level, the adjective, 'electronic,' in the first one is describing a noun normally associated, to some extent, with a person. However, in the second, 'vending' is just qualifying the type of machine.)

It made me think, because around the corner from the Vending Machine is a little cafe that I think actually sells chips and chocolate bars. The cafe is a small offshoot operation of a larger independently owned establishments down the street. I also bet that the chocolate bars there are less than the $1.50 they are in the machine. I will have to check it out.

The last building I worked in must have supplemented the items in their vending machines, or arranged to make little to no profit on them because everything was much cheaper. In fact, that building is a half-block away and I could return to buy my treats back there again if I wanted to. If I am willing to leave the building to save money, then there are lots of shops around that sell the same things. Or, I could stop buying this stuff all together, which would be better financially, health-wise, and would prevent these moral 'robots replacing people' issues.

Monday, 3 November 2014

MOday - Jack Layton

-- Movember challenges men to grow mustaches during November, to spark conversation and raise vital funds for men’s health programs. Jason is participating, please visit his MoSpace to view photos of his mustache progress and donate. --

I am very happy that November is Movember, as it takes the focus away from what might be a difficult month for me. I thought I would do an Important Mustaches post each Monday (MOday) on Always Standing to encourage people to participate and donate.

I have always loved Jack Layton (RIP) and when I think of wonderful mustaches he is at the top of my list:

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Pissed Off Dad

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

I love hearing stories about my dad, and seeing his picture in other people's places, and learning about how he may still play some type of role in the lives around me. I was very touched when Amy reached out to tell me the story about Ethan.

On our way to NYC, Jason and I stayed with my grandparents in Fort Erie; so as to be able to catch an early flight out of Buffalo. A few years ago they sold their house there and downsized into a rental apartment. I hadn't seen the apartment yet (it is huge) and was pleasantly surprised to see that they had a large picture of Dad up on a shelf:
I don't know who took it, or when it is from, but Mom has the same one up at The Cottage too. The smaller picture is actually of my grandparents, it is a nice shot; I like it a lot. I don't think there were any pictures of grandchildren up. (Including Mike and I, Granny and Pa have 7 grandkids, and soon a great-grandchild.) It is very special that they choose to have a photo of my dad as they don't tend to decorate with pictures of family.  

However, I think this photo of Dad is hilarious, he is just glaring down at the camera. This is definitely what he looked like when he was pissed off. However, anger with him was intense but often short lived and I feel it was fairly infrequent. (He did like to rant passionately about things, but it didn't usually come across angrily.) It is just such a rare picture of him, showing a rare emotion. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

TB - Caturday

Instead of a Throw Back Thursday, I thought I would do a bit of a cat themed TB today.

Check out these Always Standing links:

First Mention of Binx: Early In The Morning? 

First Post About Two (she wasn't named yet): Kitten Test Drive

First Mention of Two: Introducing You To Two

Thursday, 30 October 2014

I'm A Grown Up?

------ from Tumbler, sent to me by Jeska

I keep thinking, "Oh man, I'm so immature. How am I allowed to be an adult?"

Then I spend time with teenagers.

And it's like, "Wow, okay, yeah. I am an adult. I am so adult. Look at me adulting all over the place here."

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A Week To Reflect

A week ago today I was shocked and scared by the news from Ottawa. A man had shot a soldier standing guard at National War Memorial and proceeded to enter parliament (where he was killed by the Sergeant-at-Arms). For much of the day, downtown Ottawa was on lock-down with police looking for a possible second suspect. These events have be weighing heavily on my mind and I figured it was time to write down my thoughts.

The Soldier
The young man shot at the Memorial died. The news was heart breaking. Every death of a soldier is tragic, every one of the thousands of Canadian soldiers who have died in our nation's 150 year history is devastating. This death captivated the nation and photographs of him still appear in the news. He reminds me of my brother in his early military days - young, similar skin tone, shaved bald head, deep 5 o'clock shadow, and the same big smile.

My Brother
As my brother prepares to take a more covert role in the Canadian Military, he becomes more secretive. At one level he has changed his name on social media and on another he sometimes leaves for extended periods of time and is unable to tell us where he is/will be. I wanted to be assured of his safety last Wednesday as images of police and military rushing around Ottawa dominated the news. Aimee assured me that they were both home safe, in Edmonton. I then proceeded to have the following text conversation with Mike:

Me: Why are you in such a scary profession?!
Mike: I would be bored doing other stuff. I wish I was at the hill right now.

Ottawa Friends
I felt an overwhelming need to reach out to my friends in Ottawa to check that they were okay and to tell them how important they are to me. I tried to reach, via text and email, Steph, Dave, Anna, Jenn, Erin AH, Heather, and Marc. News that some were in lock down was worrisome and delayed responses more so. I love them all so much and am relieved that everyone is well.

My University City
I lived in Ottawa from 2003 to 2010 and I love the city. What shook me up first and foremost was my connection to the area. Talking to my mom on the phone, my voice caught when I said, "But it is Ottawa, I lived there." I am connected to many cities but while horrific events like these should never happen anywhere, my impression of Brantford or Toronto or lots of other Canadian cities is a bit different. Ottawa, like my experience growing up in Paris, represents peace and perfection. This felt like a gross violation of the place itself.

I can not get over how important of a role Hockey played in the aftermath and even during the event itself. The Toronto Maple Leafs were in the capital to play the Senators and I heard some some news outlets that they had heard gun shots from their hotel. (I suspect they were staying The Chateau Laurier which would have been right in the middle of it all.) At about mid-afternoon the NHL announced that the game that evening was cancelled. There were tons of tweets about it, almost as though that announcement really solidified what was happening and the gravity of it. It takes a lot to cancel a hockey game. That evening the hockey game played in Pittsburgh between two American teams, Penguins and Flyers, sang the Canadian national anthem in support. The following morning on the bus, I overheard a gruff construction worker say to his friend that the gesture was beautiful, "it brought a tear to my eye." Then a few days later, Hockey Night In Canada on Saturday opened with a beautiful joint ceremony joining three rinks across the country giving solemn tribute. I found the entire event especially well done and very appropriate. I even appreciated Don Cherry's discussion on the matter.

Our Values
I want our country to learn from this incident and respect what it means. I have spent many conversations lately discussing the idea and claim of terrorism, my thoughts on which I will share in a different post. However, I don't want this event to change us to the point that we loose our values as a nation. Justin Trudeau gave a speech on the evening of the attack and I feel that it is a solid expression of my thoughts. You can read the transcript on the Maclean's website. Here are some of my favorite parts.

Criminals cannot and will not dictate to us how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves or how we treat each other. They cannot and will not dictate our values. And they do not get to decide how we use our shared public spaces.

To our friends and fellow citizens in the Muslim community, Canadians know acts such as these committed in the name of Islam are an aberration of your faith. Continued mutual cooperation and respect will help prevent the influence of distorted ideological propaganda posing as religion. We will walk forward together, not apart.

In the days that follow, there will be questions, anger and perhaps confusion. This is natural, but we cannot let it get the better of us. Losing ourselves to fear and speculation is the intention of those who commit these heinous acts.

My Solace In The Instant
Being far away with confustion surrounding the situation, I found comfort from two things last Wednesday:

By Alex Goldman

and the often reference quote by Mr. Rogers:
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, 
my mother would say to me, 
"Look for the helpers. 
You will always find people who are helping.” 
-- Fred Rogers

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Terrifying Morning

How is this happening here, in Canada? It was a shock to hear the news from Ottawa. There is nothing to even put in this post except that I am anxious for everything to calm down and am so thankful that may friends and family are safe from this senseless act of terrorism. I pray for peace.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Ryan Saves The Day

I should actually say that ERin saved the day. After telling her I was having a "Meh day," over email since she lives in Edmonton, she tried to cheer me up.

"Do you need me to send you a collage of Ryan Reynolds abs?? I can do that. I don’t even have to make it, I have one on hand that I can just send to you."

It worked. I felt better. Thanks ERin (and Ryan)!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

And I Found Dad's Name

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

I mentioned earlier this week that Teri found my name on a Coke bottle, well I found my dad's. Stopped into a Shoppers to grab something to take to the movies and saw this:
So I bought it and took it to the movie.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

A Cat's Tale

Thank you to my Aunty Laura for sending me this:

An old wise cat saw a young kitten chasing its tail and asked."Little kitten, why so you chase your tail so?"

The kitten replied, "I know that the best thing for a cat is to rest and be content. I have heard that happiness is in my tail; therefor, I am chasing it. When I catch it I shall have happiness, rest, and be content."

Said the older cat, "Oh, little kitten, I too, have paid attention to the problems of the world. And  I, too, have judged that happiness is in my tail. But I have noticed that whenever I chase after it, it runs away; but when I go about my business, it just seems to come after me wherever I go."

Friday, 17 October 2014

Closing It Up

Turning on/off alarm systems is nothing new to me. We had them at both Subways (Paris and Ottawa), Taco Bell, Second Cup, and many other places that I worked when I was younger. However, since I have moved into non-food-service type jobs, they have diminished - or my need to use them has. Government offices in Ottawa have Commissionaires, other office buildings have large security systems run automatically or by management companies, etc.

Well, tonight I closed down the Forrec office. We have about 120 employees but by 9:00pm on a Friday I was the last one working. There are some basic closing down tasks, lights, checking doors, and then setting the security system. It brought me back to my early food service days.

I could have easily stayed past 9:00pm too! I was enjoying what I was working on and definitely felt like there was more I would have liked to get done. However, my work week is 37.5 to 44 hours long and going over 44 requires approval, so I kicked myself out to avoid that. The adjustment to salary has been strange, closing down an office was even stranger.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Jenn & Jon's Wedding

So, this post has been a long, and I mean long, time coming; I wanted to add photos and I am glad I did, because Steph (and Dave's) photography was an amazing part of the event. When Jenn and Jon sat down to plan their low-key wedding, having photos was an important part for Jenn - as a couple they don't have many pictures, it is a perfect time to capture a beautiful time in a relationship, wedding photos also mean photos of friends and family, and the reasons go on. I think calling and booking Steph was one of the first planning steps Jenn and Jon made. The wedding was on July 14, 2014...

This is my
and loving

I am not great with dates, but I think JennD and I met in early 2008 at an evening Mass Communications course at Carleton. (It was the same course that I first met Erin AH in.) Jenn met Jon very shortly after meeting me, so I feel like I have been there through the highs and lows; to see them reach this amazing point in their relationship is very exciting. Their future is looking so bright and joyful.

The weekend of her wedding, Jason and I drove up to Ottawa on the Friday evening and stayed with Steph and Dave (pretty much a given for a visit to Ottawa - I have my own room there, which is tulip picture free.) Early Saturday morning I had to be at Jenn's place to help her get ready - I was so honoured to have been asked! I dropped Jason off at the park that was the site for the wedding, since I had volunteered him to help set up. Before going to Jenn's, I picked up her flowers. The bouquet was beautiful, I choked up at the shop when I saw it. (I choked up a lot throughout the day, and was quite emotional - she look so beautiful and it was such a special event.) I got to her house just as the stylist was putting last minute touches on her hair. After make-up and some last minute wedding logistics, I helped her into her dress and tied the back (Left), which took way longer than the 5 minutes we had scheduled to do so.

I drove Jenn to the Ornamental Gardens, where her and Jon were doing a 'first look.' Normally this is a very private event (and it still was) but I stayed around a bit to hang out with the happy couple. The way a 'first look' works, is that before the wedding (or in Jenn and Jon's case, before their party; they got legally married at Ottawa City Hall earlier in the week) the bride and groom meet up to see each other - often this event is captured by the photographer, and sometimes they are the only other person there. The first time I have ever heard of it was for Steph and Dave's wedding; the photo I chose to post on Always Standing to announce their marriage was from their first look. I am a huge believer of this concept, it is a much better idea to have the first look and do a majority of the photos earlier in the day before the event starts.

Anyway, Jon waited for Jenn (Right) at the bottom of these beautiful stairs, and she walked up and tapped him on the shoulder. It was magic. I had to hurry back to the park though, so as to be there when the couple arrived, and also I had to get changed.

All morning I had been wearing sweatpants so as to be comfortable when helping the bride, who at one point ask, "I'm not judging, and it is casual, but is this what you are wearing to my wedding?" I finished doing my hair, changed into my dress, and did my make-up in the park's washroom, all of which took about 10 minutes. I hung out with Jason, Erin AH, her boyfriend, and some awesome co-workers from Justice. Soon, the couple arrived, walking across the grass towards us (Left) while the crowd blew bubbles. There was some more photos with guests and then the food started. Jenn and Jon really wanted to serve a great meal and so much of the lunch they had prepared themselves; salads, barbecue, treats, etc. It was such a fun summer afternoon, spent with great friends.

All of my love and best wishes
to the happy couple,
Jenn and Jon!

Copyright 2014

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Teri Found Me!!

In July, Coca-Cola launched it's Share a Coke campaign in Canada. Basically they changed the labels on 27 million bottles each of which features one of Canada's 290 most popular names (of people in their teens, 20's, and 30's). The Globe and Mail ran an article about it back at the start of summer. I don't think I noticed the names on the bottles until August or so, but since then I have been looking for my name - it is never there! When we went to Wonderland together this year, Jeska suggested that it was probably only the top 100 names and that Christine wasn't on the list anymore. Jeska finds her's (Jessica) all the time.

Well, when Jason and I went to go pick up Two in Oakville yesterday, Teri had a bottle with my name on it! (She very kindly looked after Two while we were away.) It is the 4th month of these bottles and I now have one. Then I decided to look it up and it turns out Teri wasn't printed, but you can make a digital one:
I think it is such a brilliant campaign. The thing with Coke is that if you want one, you are going to go buy one but they have now found a way to get you to buy one without even wanting it, buying one for someone else! In Teri's case, she wanted one and went to buy it, saw my name and bought an extra one. Genius marketing! I bought one for Noah when I found his and seriously have been looking for my name for months.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Today, I am thankful...
- that my brother called me to wish me Happy Thanksgiving. (Though he had no idea we had gone to New York.)
- for spinning.
- to have a boyfriend who is fun, kind, and great to travel with.
- for amazing friends all across the country (and at times, globe.)
- to have landed an amazing job that I love everyday, which is busy, challenging, and inspiring.
- that Toronto is so beautiful in the Fall.
- for my newly formed sugar/caffeine addiction that wakes me up in the mornings.

- to everyone that visits this site and reads Always Standing, letting me practice my writing and feel like I am connecting to others with my musings.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

NYC Romance - III

One major tourist activity in NYC that I had never done was go to the top of the Empire State Building. (Jerrica and I did Top of the Rock.) So, seeing that it is such an iconic thing, Jason and I decided to add it to this trip. It was beautiful from the top, but to get there was intense. There was line up after line up, actually multiple rooms of them. It wasn't a stand still, which was nice, just a long slow shuffle that killed my back and feet. It was loud and crowded at the top. Nic and Drew got engaged up there, but they went much later at night and had the place almost to themselves.
Empire State Selfie!
Jason and I - Viewfinder and a view.

NYC Romance - II

After visiting the museum, we went for a walk around Central Park. It was nice and sunny, best weather of the trip. We spent some time sitting on a big rock (sore feet) as well as wandering around. The sun began to set and we watched the light change across the many buildings around the park - so beautiful.

Central Park Selfie!
Jason and I - One of the many Central Park bridges

Jason's NYC Museum - II

As I mentioned before, Jason and I didn't get a chance to visit the space and earth part of the American Museum of Natural History. We went back to see it this morning. The museum is quite expensive, in contrast to Washington and London, where they are all free. However, to quote an internal website, "NYC Area Museums Offer Complimentary Admission to IBM Employees - A number of local area museums, currently receiving IBM philanthropic support, offer complimentary general admission to employees, In some cases, immediate family members and guests are also included." For the American Museum of Natural History, Jason could bring up to 5 guests. We looked for mention of IBM's donations inside the museum and it appears they are only at the 'Friend' level, but they treat their friends well! The best part, especially yesterday, was that we got to skip the massive line and go to the Membership Desk instead.

Space Selfie!
Jason and I - Rose Center for Earth and Space

NYC Doesn't Remind Me Of GRS

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

I know that my parents have visited New York City, I believe with R and E before kids. With the new trailer, my parents had planned to do some big trips around the USA - so they may have been thinking about visiting NYC again. However, personally, this does not feel like a place my dad would visit. It has none of the elements that I think of when I consider the places Dad liked to travel.

It is not relaxing
Both my parents recognized the difference between travel and vacation. They saw the value in both. New York City is not exactly a calm and relaxing place. I am sure that people are able to turn a trip here into something very serene, but that would involve a more pampered experience and the cost would be astronomical.

It is not all inclusive
When looking to relax, my parents usually went down to a resort in Cuba. With the cost paid upfront Dad would have been able to relax even further since the consideration of everything's price would be removed.

The culture is not that foreign
Maybe it was about value for your travel dollar, the desire to experience something new, or a love of Europe; but if Dad was going to do a big vacation he wasn't going to pop down to a place that is a short plane ride away. My parents traveled to so many places in Europe, as far east as Turkey. They even took us as young children for a month-long trip to England. NYC is interesting and different from Toronto, but not hugely so. I don't know why Dad liked to experience cultures with more significant differences, especially as I think they often made him nervous.

There is no driving
If my parents were going to 'stay local' and discover new parts of North America, there needed to be some driving. Even when they went to stay for a long chunk of time in Texas, they drove down. My dad loved road trips. With NYC, you might drive here but then you park for the duration of your stay. This is not a city to drive in.

In general, this isn't really a city for my dad, which explains why I can't remember him ever visiting New York during my lifetime. I must have a slightly different view of travel than above - since this is my third time here.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

NYC Romance - I

Took a late-night stroll over The Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge itself is not lit up so it isn't as nice as during the day. However, it is much quieter and the view of the skyline is beautiful.

Brooklyn Bridge Selfie!
Jason and I - A Quiet Midnight Walk

Jason's NYC Museum - I

Jason wanted to visit the American Museum of Natural History, and I had never been, so it seemed like a perfect choice visit for our first time together in NYC. I love to learn and was very happy to be in such an amazing place. Although I do have some small misgivings about it, I have to agree with Jason when he stated that he was very impressed with place. He also wanted to see so many of the different halls, for a change it was me that ran out of steam first. We plan to go back tomorrow to see the Rose Center for Earth and Space section.

Dinosaur Selfie!
Jason and I - American Museum of Natural History

Friday, 10 October 2014

My NYC Site

I love The High Line. It is a really interesting example of revitalization, community building, and re-purposing. It ties history to nature and has completely changed the neighbourhood it runs through (which is good and bad.) Teri and I got a High Line walking tour when we visited NYC in the summer of 2012. The final section of it was finished this year and opened last month.

High Line Selfie!
Jason and I - The 'New' Part Of The Park

Thursday, 9 October 2014

First NYC Activity

JFK to Airtrain to MTA (NYC Subway) to Penn Station to Schwartz Travel Services (place that stores luggage) to Hell's Kitchen neighbourhood to THE DAILY SHOW!! We are a bit more awake now.

Daily Show Taping Selfie!
Jason and I - Waiting In Line

On Our Way To NYC

It might be too early for Jetblue. Actually, catching any plane before 8:30am is pretty rough...

Airplane Selfie!
Jason And I - Buffalo To JFK

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wait A Bit Longer

One more week of delay before I finish writing about J and J's wedding but it is because I think that it is important to have some corresponding photos and it is make the post take longer. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Got No Flo

There was a very very very slim chance that work might send me to Florida at the end of November for the largest tradeshow in our industry. However, the official list came out today and I am not going. The main thing that the official list getting finalize means, is that I get to start working on the huge task of scheduling flights, cars, accommodation, meetings, and other events for all the people going, over 20 people. It is going to be a really exciting, I love organizing that type of thing.

In fact, I recently made a spreadsheet on Google Docs to help organize Teri, K, and other friends get together more regularly. It is beautiful, colour coordinated, organized by date with key details. Greg said that it proved anything could be put into a spreadsheet - even friendship. This is high praise because Greg, along with Steph, is one of the most talented Excel users that I know.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Your Monday Morning Puppy

Kristen's parents got a puppy last week, so on our way home from The Cottage we stopped by to visit. Jessie is a 2.2lbs mixed breed of Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise, known as a Schichon. Cutest thing ever!
The Shih Tzu Smile
Jason Loves Shih Tzus
Taken by Kristen

Tiny Puppy
Jessie Rests With Kristen
Taken by Noah

Belly Rub!
So Tiny!!
Taken by Noah

Sunday, 5 October 2014

At The Gravesite

A List About Dad

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Foods That Remind Me Of My Father:
- boiled hot dogs
- Taco Bell soft tacos
- red licorice
- Chapmen's ice cream from a box
- cream of wheat porridge
- homemade apple sauce
- french toast
- mashed potatoes
- chicken wings at a bar
- cantaloupe
- jube jubes

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Turning Caturday Into Punday

-------- found online

What does the lion say to his friends before they go out hunting for food?
'Let us prey.'

Friday, 3 October 2014

Get In That Parade

One of the things I have been meaning to look up about John Tory, a current Mayoral candidate in Toronto, is his views on our LGBT community. Thankfully, Vote Compass, which I mentioned yesterday, helped answer my questions:
(Note: The Ford mentioned above is actually Doug Ford, another Toronto Mayoral Candidate and the brother of our current Mayor Rob Ford.)

It is a known fact that during his time as Mayor, Rob Ford did not attend the annual Pride Parade - it always occurred on the same weekend that he traditionally took his family to the cottage. Of course, I think it would be better if he did a bit of schedule rearranging to attend at least once during the four years, but on a basic level I don't disagree with his choice. Family is important. We should not ask our politicians to sacrifice their entire home life to be in the public service. So, in the same vain, if his family tradition was to spend the weekend of Nuit Blanche away, I would not begrudge him missing this key cultural event every year.

However, when a politician does miss an important Toronto event (festival, demonstration, parade, council meeting, opening, concert, etc.) they need to really make up for it in that community. Their choice should be made apologetically, with compromise regarding an alternate way they can support before they leave and/or when they return. It became more and more evident that Rob Ford's absence during the Pride Parade connected to his complete lack of respect for the Toronto LGBT community and some degree of homophobia. Completely unacceptable for any Torontonian, even more so in our Mayor!

So, I am happy to see that John Tory (and Olivia Chow) believe it is very important for the mayor to march in the Pride Parade. And, as you can see above, I only somewhat agree with that statement. If they had a long standing prior family commitment I would forgive them. But I would require that they showed their support strongly and loudly in other ways: attend as many other Pride Week events as possible, meet often with LGBT groups to see how City Hall can better serve them, MC a drag show, the ideas are endless. Bottom line: You can miss it but you still need to support it.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Thank You Vote Compass

They are helping me again! I like Vote Compass slightly better than iSideWith in terms of technological tools that assist in assessing a person's political views. Luckily, Vote Compass has created a tool for the Toronto Mayoral Election coming up on October 27. Here is what it said for me:
I knew that I was more fiscally conservative than Olivia Chow, and come to think about it, I am not that surprised that I am slightly more socially conservative as well. However, it is nice to see that I am sitting between her and John Tory. I am currently weighing these two candidates to see how I should vote at the end of the month.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

J&J Wedding Recap Next Week

I want to write a quick recap, from my perspective, of the two amazing weddings this summer. However, it feels like a lot of pressure. I want to write these posts so well - I keep postponing them. It is more important to just get my thoughts and impressions down, and stop worrying about doing a good job. I promise to start next week with these guys:

Jenn and Jon
Wedding: July 12, 2014
Copyright 2014

Monday, 29 September 2014

I'm Just Gonna Shake

I returned from Niagara Falls with the following:

- A bib-like sunburn
- Cramps in my leg
- A video of my rapping up on Facebook
- Great Christmas presents from 2 Wineries
- Alcohol soaked bra
- Unexplained bruises
- Taylor Swift stuck it my head
- Great pictures!
Tiff, Tessa, Me, and Kristen

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Where I Get It From - Niagara Edition

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

I spent the weekend at Niagara with friends and it reminded me a lot of times spent there as a kid. So, I thought I might add in a subcategory to my Sunday Mornin' Coming Down posts - Where I Get It From. I am going to try to outline which parts of my self I get from which parent. Here are the things that I was thinking about during my little weekend away:

Love of Buffets: My Dad
Not Wanting To Spend Money: My Dad
Reading Every Plaque Possible: My Mom
Dancing All Night: Both Parents
Confidence to Get Up and Sing Karaoke: Probably My Dad
Tone Deaf Singing: My Mom
Absolutely No Desire To Gamble: Both Parents
Dislike of Wine: My Dad
Eagerness to See and Try Anything/Everything: Both Parents
Love of Driving Along/Around Tourist Areas: My Dad

Side note, I have no idea where I get my love of maps, but I really am obsessed with them. I can work from a phone with GPS but I would really prefer to have a nice paper map.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Almost 4am On A Friday Night

Seriously, is Niagara Falls like a little Canadian Las Vegas? Good times and too many drinks all around. Everything here has changed SO MUCH from when I was younger and came here to bike along The Parkway with my family. Having a lot of fun and we only checked in 6 hours ago. Looking forward to continuing to have an amazing weekend with Tessa, Tiff, and Kristen!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Gullible Too

"I know I'm gullible because a lot of people tell me that and I have no reason not to believe them."

---- from "Dice." New Girl . Matt Fusfeld and Alex Cuthbertson. 2014. TV Show.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Book List Challenge

-------- from Facebook, tagged by Anna and Heather C

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes and do not think hard. They do not have to be the 'right' books or great works of literature, just ones that have stuck with you.

- If on a Winter's Night A Traveler (Italo Calvino)
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Barbara Robinson)
- The Princess Bride (William Goldman)
- Moranthology (Caitlin Moran)
- Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett)
- The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
- Franklin In The Dark (Paulette Bourgeois)
- The Portrait Of A Lady (Henry James)
- Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think (D. Greenberger and C. A. Padesky)
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (William Shakespeare) Plays: Comedy and Tragedy

- Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
- Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)

Note: I wrote down all the titles first, and then looked them up to add links, fix spelling, and include the authors.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Trophy Sneak Peek

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Last week I mentioned that a sailing award has been created at our local yacht club in memory of my dad - The George Sweeton Memorial Award - For Outstanding Crew Member

My mom commissioned the top of the trophy for this award to be made by a friend of my father's who does soapstone carving. He finished it last week:

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Not Really Vintage Rasta

So last week I posted a photo of Two that was 2 years old, and the week before a picture of my dad and I that was almost 30 years old. This Caturday, I offer you some  photos of Rasta that are only about 9 months old - but he has grown so much! That is the sad thing about kittens, they don't stay kittens for long.
Stretched Across Granny's Knee
Photo by Mum

Curled Up On Pa's Lap
Photo by Mum

He was soooo tiny, and so cute. Though his paws are still super creepy.