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Picturesque Perennials

9 Jun

I find since moving to our home, I’m much more aware of the seasons and how they change.  I don’t know if it’s the responsibility for outdoor maintenance, or just the fact of passing more surburban-esque homes with their expansive tree-lined lots on my way to the bus stop.

Either way, I felt more keenly aware of autumn last year, seeing how the leaves changed their colours, then having to sweep and rake great heaps of them into large paper bags.  It was a bit of a short winter but we were certainly aware of the shovelling.  Then springtime started, early this year, and one of the first signs was our magnolia tree with its gorgeous pink blossoms (which, I found out, fall off almost as soon as they emerge– I had no idea they were so short-lived!)

The magnolia ushered in all the other blossomings which have happened one by one: first the tulips, which are gone now too, and then several other perennials that are poking around our front and backyard.  It’s a far cry from how Spring sprung a couple of years back

It’s our first spring at the house, and we’ve not planted any annuals, so I can’t take any credit for the lovely things that are blooming all around the garden.  But I can take lots of pictures!

Lunch and a Stroll

30 May

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Blue Bin Blues

7 May

Our new recycling bin was delivered today. It’s a large (for the three households/units of our house). What a monster! Dragging the thing up the stairs when it’s empty is hard enough. Nevermind when it’s full of newspapers and glass bottles. Looks like our old bins will still have their use: as intermediaries allowing us to carry recycling down the stairs in decent non-back breaking bundles before transferring everything to the behemoth. Bleh.

Nifty wheels, though.

May flowers confused, arrive early

22 Apr

All of this lovely sun over the past week or so has duped many a bud in the city into blossoming a fortnight early. Since our “garden” consists of an itty bitty pile of soil tossed in a corner and our household consists of one far-from-green thumb and one indoor plant enthusiast, here spring has sprung in a different way.

Late last week, we gained five new leafy, trunky, bulbous, or petal-bearing pals, bringing our total to 15 or thereabouts.

The current inventory of domestic flora is as follows:

  • Tropical Monstrosity (referred to as such for excellent reasons – however surely lovely for a pretend day at the beach, piña coladas not included)
  • Actually rather endearing Umbrella Tree
  • Cute Little Fat House Plant in Funky Vase
  • Bathroom tulips (still shy and tucked away) in sleek silver holder
  • Kitchen tulips
  • Vines/hanging plants (x2)
  • Single white orchid (tall and lovely, behind kitchen sink)
  • Three fuzzy aloe type things
  • Small red and yellow leafy potted plant
  • Other leafy green house plant
  • Thin-leaved excited potted plant
  • Mini rubber plant
  • Mini wannabe Christmas tree (out-of-doors)

*Note: May not be actual scientific names.

With all the sun and all this green (minus the thumbs), it might not be May yet, but it sure feels like it.

Snowmen are so yesterday

15 Feb


The Sharpie: mightier than the sword

28 Dec

The end of 2007 has me in the midst of an off-season “Spring Clean”. Thus far the archaeological dig of six years worth of stuff has uncovered: To-Do lists, receipts, foreign currency, programs, pamphlets, bits of hardware from a long-lost lamp, class notes and handouts, coursepacks and postcards.

In the spirit of revisiting the archives, I thought I would take advantage of my new scanner and share a few shots taken over the past six years. I don’t know yet if I’ll do another installment of thematically grouped photos, but this one at least, brings together pictures of permanent marker scrawls—words of protest for the most part—taken in T.O. and in a few other North American cities.

(And while we’re on the subject, Montreal-based has an amazing collection of photographs of signage, graffiti and much more from cities around the world.)


“Shoot film, not heroin”– Vancouver, B.C., August 2003.


“Feminism is the radical notion that womyn are people”–TTC, Toronto, c. 2001.


“Osez vivre sans…” (Dare to live without…)–Montreal, QC, c. 2001.


“Resist, resist, with your bodies & your fist/Gender rules are not defined/Don’t let this ad pollute your mind”– College & Bathurst, Toronto, c. 2001.


“Don’t let an ad tell you what your body should look like/ This woman’s body is beautiful”– Queen’s Quay & Bathurst, Toronto, c. 2001.


“Defend America: Eat Bush”–Ann Arbor, MI, August 2006. This is the odd one out– it’s not a permanent marker scrawl, and the original message is extended rather than admonished. Still, it’s so great that it could hardly be excluded on those grounds alone…

“Everyone Welcome”/”A Gift to Be Shared”

10 Dec


This sign belongs to a church (actually, a temple) on College Street that I pass by regularly. I really love it—it’s so crafty and collage-y.

Rather different from the more typical sign outside another neighbourhood church a few blocks north-west. As the message changes often, this one has the virtue of creating intrigue for the passerby—What will it say this week?

Here’s what you’d have come across on a stroll along Ossington Avenue yesterday afternoon.