Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pizza Oven Progress And Other Miscellany

Many of you have been clamouring for an update on Joe's outdoor wood-burning pizza oven.

Progress has been made, people.  Progress has been made.  (At least progress has been made in the wood hoarding department.  We now have more than enough wood for the not-yet-built pizza oven.)

The latest thing to make Joe's heart soar was the fact that the new homeowner across the street was removing almost every tree from his piece of property.  The sound of his chainsaw sent Joe into absolute ecstasy.  He was as giddy as a school boy when the man gave him permission to take as many logs as he wanted.

April 23rd

Joe asked our next door neighbour to transport the logs onto our driveway.  As always, our friend obliged.

May 7th

Joe ordered the frame for his pizza oven from the Forno Bravo Company in California.  It was delivered several weeks ago.

May 15th

I mistakenly thought that the wood splayed all over our dry land log sort driveway would quickly make its way to the shed in our backyard.  Nope.  

May 23rd

May 23rd

Honestly, what would Joe do without his ever helpful friends?  These guys have definitely earned themselves 'free pizza for life'.

May 28th

Granted, there are fewer logs on our driveway than there were a month ago.  But Joe still has quite a ways to go.  Now he needs a log-splitter to deal with the big rounds that are piled up.  And of course many tree trunks remain, patiently waiting to be bucked up, chopped and stacked in the woodshed.

May 30th

Joe has recently assembled the pizza oven frame.  Seeing it sitting in our garage sends me into a state of paralyzing fear.  I keep saying to Joe, "Don't do it yourself!  Don't do it yourself!  Please, for the love of God, hire a professional to build your outdoor pizza oven."  I think my petitions are falling on deaf ears.

May 31st 

May 31st

Now the pizza oven project is officially on hold until the fall.

We leave for Ireland in 5 short weeks and there is not enough time to begin nor finish construction.

But what Joe does have time for is getting the rest of those bloody logs off the driveway...


Late May and early June are my favourite times in the garden.  So many things are bursting into bloom.  Like these beauties:


I hiked the 'Sea To Summit' trail a couple of weeks ago with a friend.  Seven and a half kilometres straight up the side of a mountain.  It only took me 4 hours and 40 minutes!  (Most people do it in half that time.  Or less.)

I had a lot of fun.  I was slow but steady.  And the beer at the top tasted damned delicious.  My legs barely worked by the end of the hike, but were a-okay the next day.  I am looking forward to doing it again.  Wanna join me?

Well, folks, that's all the news that's fit to print.  I hope you have had a good weekend.

And if you know the whereabouts of any free wood...DO NOT TELL JOE!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Our Ladies Of The Ephemera

Through mutual friends, I have recently had the good fortune to meet a very talented artist who has now become my friend.  She paints, she sculpts, she creates beautiful pieces using mixed media.  A few months ago a group of us asked her to teach us the art of collage.  (I did more than ask.  I begged.)

Michelle generously agreed to teach us about mixed media collage.  We set up two dates to work in her studio.  Our job was to pick a theme and bring photos, mementos, magazines and pictures that supported our vision.

The night before each lesson, I grabbed a big bag of mementos of our vacations in Paris and New York City from my bedroom closet.  Metro tickets, museum passes, receipts, maps, postcards, photographs.  You name it, I had it.  I was excited.  I was ready for this!

Then I got to Michelle's studio and stood at her table with a blank canvas in front me.  I had absolutely no idea how to start, which pieces of ephemera to use, what looked good or even what looked bad.

But with lots of editing and lots of moving things around on my canvas and LOTS OF HELP from Michelle (she held my hand every step of the way) I was able to create two collages I was pretty happy with.

Michelle showed me new ways of seeing things.  Different ways of seeing things.  She showed me how to place things in various ways and ask myself, "How about this?  How about that?"

Let me tell you, this process is not easy for me.  It was painstaking.  Each of these collages took me over 5 hours to create.  Seriously?!?  Ten hours to produce these two pieces of art?

"Kudos to you guys!  I believe what I said about courage. For me, it doesn't look like Joan of Arc riding out to save the French with her messages from God and her armour. And it doesn't look like a TED talk that gets 5,000,000 hits. 

For me it just feels like what we did last night.  Just standing in front of a blank canvas and a pile of ephemera with an idea of where we want to go and not knowing quite how that is going to happen. But doing it anyways. Liking squares and rectangles and cutting out something round. Because that's life. It's fun and there are fun people to meet along the way and the inspiration of getting the "light bulb" moments feels pretty good.

I am so happy to be daring greatly with you! To be sharing my studio with such intrepid explorers."
                                                                                Michelle Henderson Topp

Thank you Michelle for welcoming us into your studio with open arms.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  The teaching, the learning, the laughs, the wine.  I can hardly wait for our next lesson!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothering Sunday 2015

I am one lucky lady.  I have been on the receiving end of so much love this Mother's Day weekend.

Actually, it began before Mothers Day.

One of my six year old students organized her classmates to sign this Mother's Day card and surprising me with it on Friday.  Since becoming a teacher 35 years ago, I have never received a Mothers Day card from my students.  I was so touched by this sweet gesture.  I cried.

On Saturday, I was surprised by the arrival of one of Molly's best friends (who had just flown in from Toronto) to give me a beautiful bouquet of flowers on behalf of my faraway eldest child.  I was so touched by this thoughtful gesture.  I cried.

And today I had Mother's Day lunch with these four lovelies at Paige and Harper's apartment.  I was so touched by this generous gesture.  And for once I didn't cry!

Happy Mother's Day to all the hard-working and loving moms out there.  You make the world a better place.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Random Photos From The Archives...

I was going through my photos from the past several weeks and wanted to share a few of them with you...

I am filing this photo under "The Third Time Joe Almost Burned Our House Down."

It was our 29th wedding anniversary on Easter Sunday and these two decided to commemorate the event by playing dress-up.

We hosted my father-in-law's 80th birthday luncheon on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  While we were organizing a group photo, a bald eagle flew overhead.

Joe and I have been going on some new hikes this spring.  The beauty that surrounds us never ceases to thrill me.

One morning Joe was all in a dither because he couldn't find his car keys.  He was going to be late to pick up his carpool members.  As he ran out of the house he shouted, "You'll have to walk to school today!  I am taking your car!"  Look what I found on my way out of the driveway.  His car keys.  In the door of his car.  Left there ALL NIGHT!

Got wood?
Joe continues to use our driveway as a dry land log sort for his yet-to-be-built outdoor pizza oven.

The beauty that is Howe Sound.  There is a reason they call this the 'Shining Valley'.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!