Friday, November 30, 2007
1) Men should not be altos. The alto soloist was a man named Daniel Taylor, and while he sang well, on the lower notes where a woman's voice would have given the song a rich, full sound, his voice faded out because he was singing in his falsetto.
2) There are people out there who are as into Bach as some people are into different rock bands. I had to laugh when I looked down into the ground floor audience (we were in the balcony) and saw one man singing along and completely grooving to the music - a feat made more remarkable by the fact that the entire performance was in German.
3) Something is lost when you can't understand a word of the songs being sung. Translations were provided with the program, but you can't really appreciate the music if you're focusing on the words written on the page.
On the whole, we enjoyed the evening, but I would only give it a 7 out of 10. It was good, but it wasn't remarkable. The whole performance lacked heart, which is unfortunate because the music deserved better.
I wasn't so busy yesterday, though, that I couldn't finish up our Christmas letters! The guys in the print room printed them off for me (and did a great job, I think), and I folded and stuffed them in the cards, all ready to go as soon as I remember to pick up some stamps. I love Christmas!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Then I made some Christmas cookies, a very yummy lemon sugar cookie with lemon glaze. Here's the recipe:
Friday, November 23, 2007
...these adorable Christmas tree ornaments...
...these Christmas decorations (isn't the reindeer cute?)...
...chicken bones, a chocolate-filled cinnamony East Coast Christmas tradition...
...a Christmas amaryllis...
...and finally this beautiful china cup! Mum is a tea drinker like me (or I'm a tea drinker like her?), so she knows how much I love china cups.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
I'm so glad that I've gotten involved in the Friday night gym program. It has given me a little bit of insight into what life it like for these kids. This past Friday we had to cancel because of an incident that took place at the school basketball tournament prior to our program. I don't know the particulars, but it caused the tournament to run a little late. As we were standing there waiting to find out when the game would end, three kids ran in to ask the principal if he could give them a ride to the nearest subway station. They had had something to do with the incident at the tournament, and were afraid of what would happen to them if they had to wait at the bus stop. It turns out that they were right to be afraid. The principal wouldn't give them a ride, and as our kids started arriving they reported that there was a very one-sided fight going on down the street near the bus stop. Since our program is a drop-in, open to anyone, it was decided it would be best to cancel so that it couldn't carry over and affect us. What really got to me was the way the kids just accepted the beating the others were getting as a normal part of life. You step over the line without the ability to back it up and you get 'rubbed'. That's just how it is. No wonder it's so difficult to reach these kids with a message that promotes peace and forgiveness as the best way to handle things - it's a totally foreign concept in their 'respect' dominated world.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The crane to lift the house on to the foundation...
And here comes the house! Or half of it anyway.
Doesn't that look like fun? I'm glad I wasn't the one having to back half a house up that driveway!There it goes!
And there it is! Pretty neat, I think.
Monday, November 12, 2007
So to counteract all this negativity, I want to share 2 things that happened recently which reminded me of what I like about living in Toronto. One of the things that I like is the diversity of people and experiences in this city. I was reminded of this last night when I was invited to supper with some friends, one of whom is from Zimbabwe. She cooked us a traditional meal of oxtail and cornmeal, which has a name that I can't really remember but was very yummy. We ate with our hands - a new, messy and fun experience for me. I've only known this woman for a couple of months, but I have already learned so much from her.
Another thing that I like about living in Toronto is that you never know what you're going to see. This morning on the streetcar on my way to work I saw what I thought was a cyclist going down the sidewalk, which isn't that unusual a sight, but the more I looked at him the more it seemed that something wasn't quite right. As he came closer I realized that he wasn't riding a bike, he was riding a unicycle! And I thought, if I could ride a unicycle I would ride it to work every morning too :-)
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The more I experience of the 9-5 world of office work, the more I'm convinced that it's not a natural way of life. Most people in North America, myself included, spend the majority of their day doing something of no real value, in the sense that their profession exists as either a result of or an outlet for our surplus wealth (dog grooming, anyone?). We send our kids off to be looked after and taught by others, and relegate the elderly and infirm to "old folks' homes." Most of the population, and particularly the urban population, has never produced any of their own food, and has no idea where it actually comes from except in the abstract sense - they know that milk comes from a cow, but they don't know where that cow is. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with being a city-dwelling dog groomer who sends their kids to daycare, has their parents in a home and has never seen a cow. I just can't help thinking that there must be a better way. I don't know what that way would necessarily look like, but I think it would involve a great deal of simplification in our lives. It would be necessary to completely re-examine, on both an individual and a societal level, the values that cause us to spend so much of our time, effort and money on things/services that we don't need, and often don't really want.
Just a thought...
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
This is the good copy of the hat I gave to our friends who are expecting the baby (a girl, as you can tell).
This is my first attempt at creating my own pattern - it looks a little fez-like in the picture, but the top rounds out when it's actually on someone's head.
I think this beret is adorable! I just need to find a 5-7 year old girl who could wear it.
This last hat is not quite finished. There's supposed to be a ribbon going through the little gaps you can see about 2/3 of the way down, but I don't have it yet. I'm thinking a pretty blue would be nice.