Sunday, November 27, 2011

Introducing: The newest addition to our family

If you follow me on any social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) you'll know that we've inherited a cat. Murky.

He's come to us from my mother-in-law, who's pretty ill and needs to concentrate on taking care of herself. At first, I thought it would be a short-term fling, but it looks like Murky and I are in for some pretty serious commitment.

We've had our ups and downs. You may know I'm allergic to cats and that my own cat lives with my parents in their farmhouse with their other cat, Harvey. I'd say at some point I've had to acknowledge that he's their cat now. He's happier there.

But what he lacks in the very fact of him being a cat and his catly behavior (shedding, wanting routines, eschewing change, disliking strange smells, including his own litter box, loving food, time on laps, petting, playing string, love from owners in general, and letting you know unequivocally when you're not meeting those needs) he makes up for in cuteness and friendliness.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New York City

I love to travel.

But I didn't go anywhere this summer. I was way too busy. Ya, I know. Busy schmizy. But there it is. I thought my work projects would be done by September. Easy. And Sarah and I had been talking about going on a trip.

Suddenly, there we were, booking the trip on Expedia. (Combining flight and hotel on Expedia got us a better price than the 50%-off flight from Porter AND Hotwire hotels together. Go figure.) We even splashed out and booked the Waldorf Astoria. Totally worth it.

What did we do?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Whine, wine, wine - Part 2

Wine? Aplenty. But still did I whine.

I was just getting over being sick, but still I was tired. My brain stuck in worry-cycle. Whine.

And then, suddenly, the bachelorette party that I'd long been dreaming of actually came to be.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Whine, wine, wine

here's what I think of the power plant and the bridge to the StatesIt all started with a whine.

I was stressed out. I was sick, tired. Needed to get my brain out of the maze it was stuck in. Whine.

The answer was wine. Last Saturday morning, I was online at 8am, looking up B&B's in Niagara region. I found one that'd had a cancellation. I booked it. We packed. We took off with coffee in our travel mugs.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's been a long time coming

click for more photos
It feels like forever since I lived in a normal house.

A house that wasn't storing boxes of hardwood. A house that has a banister around the stairwell. Where I didn't store paint stripper on my landing and nail up my curtains.

This long weekend, my mom and dad again came to help out in the fight against crappy-house-syndrome.

I exaggerate. My house is not crappy. It's wonderful. Despite everything, I am still in love with it. But it is as much, if not more work than a marriage. With problem children.

However, I am very much to blame. I'm the one who wanted to move the closet to the other wall of the bedroom. I'm the one who actually thought it could be done in a long weekend. Who foolishly believed it wouldn't disrupt our lives for longer than two weeks. A month, if you considered the furniture moving, painting and cleaning.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The good: Thanks

Thank You!This is what you do when you can't solve a problem and your worry eats away at you:
  • Stop thinking
  • Remember what you love to do
  • Do it
  • Call someone you like being with; bring them along with you
  • Treat yourself to some coffee toffee ice cream at Ed's Real Scoop
  • Listen to some really great music, the stuff you really like, even if it's kind of embarrassing
  • Sit in your favourite chair (maybe it's the floor or your grass) and think about all the people who love you, help you, support you and do wonderful things for you
  • Go to Flickr and search for "thanks"
  • Post the photo that really captures what you want to say to all those amazing people out there who make life worth living

What, me, worry?

Worry ClosetI know you know.

I'm a worrier. It surrounds me. I'm saturated in it.

Thing is, you don't even know the half of it. Because I don't even talk about it all. I tell you the stuff I feel safe telling you. The rest is private. Yep, even in this day of the open social web, there is still privacy.

But I feel like I have to worry. When I don't feel like I have to worry, naturally I don't worry.

And I really do try to inflict less stress and anxiety on myself. I have mantras:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to achieve the worst-case scenario every time

I believe I may have a talent.

I have the uncanny ability to make a renovation take at least 10X longer than the original plan.

We've been working on the master bedroom. Part of that "small" project was moving the closet. And putting down flooring in the entire upper floor. It was supposed to be about two weeks. Max.

What went wrong?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

You betta Belize it!

Mayan ruins - Actually, in Guatemala"Belize?"

It was a question that a lot of people asked me before I left on my trip. "Why Belize?"

My answer at the time was, "Because my sister was going and I wanted to go on a trip." Honest, but not the full truth. I'd been thinking about going to Belize since learning to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It's not the most sought-after vacation destination. But after this trip, I don't really understand why not.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

There's good news and there's bad news

We decided to sound-proof our master bedroom walls. And move our closet over to that wall to further sound-proof and optimize flow. You've seen the diagrams, right?

So my dad came over to move our electrical outlet so we could have a lamp beside the bed and a light in the closet and all that jazz. And he finished the demolition on the drywall (basically, I had not gotten very far, so he did pretty much all of it). FANTASTIC! YAY DAD! (I smell a lot of Father's Day loot coming...)

And my mom came to help too. She love being productive, so in between helping my dad, she painted the shelf in my bathroom vanity and started painting the back of the front door red and started re-painting where my heating duct had been put in and the wall had been re-drywalled. FANTASTIC! YAY MOM! (We'll forget about the trim-paint situation. It's just another funny memory.)

All happiness!

And then it started getting complicated.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sometimes when you get to a crossroads, you sit there

I know that every life, every relationship, is a journey.

Sometimes it's downhill and straight. It's exhilarating. And easy. You can feel the wind in your hair, catch your breath, take a look around at the scenery. You see exactly where you're going and it's a nice ride.

And sometimes it's uphill. For a long time. And it curves so you're not really sure where you'll end up. But you keep going, because even though it would be easier to go back down the hill, you'd just end up at the bottom of the hill. And maybe you're sure that it's going to open up around the next corner. And, anyway, this is a good trip, all in all, so let's keep going.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Me and my cycle

I started riding my bike this weekend.

I hadn't ridden all winter and my legs were a little rusty at first. So rusty, I wiped out on my way home from a friend's place at 1am. I'm sure the wine didn't help.

But today, we were back in the saddle. Just like old times, in my skirt and boots. Flying past the cars inching across the city. The wind on my cheeks and through my hair.

I didn't have to squish in beside the man in the steetcar who refuses to remove his backpack. In fact, I probably passed them on my two wheels.

Sadly, the moderate spring weather will turn back to angry winter with some snow tonight and my solace in cycling will be short-lived. But soon, very soon, that snow will melt.

And out will come that skirt and fancy-free wheelin'.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Project "Too Much!"

Against my better judgment, we're about to embark on yet another renovation project: the master bedroom.

We moved the bed so that Gordon can get out his side. Now you can't fit on EITHER side of the bed. Super annoying. Plus, the closet is too deep by five inches. I know, I can't believe I said that either. But it does take up five extra inches for something that we can't actually use. (Plus we can hear our neighbours having sex and we'd like to do something about that, so we will while we're renovating. I digress...)

First up is our existing set-up. As you can see, the path around the bed is extra squishy.

Below is what I call Option B.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What makes a good leader?

Question mark by Marco Bellucci
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes for a good leader.

At one point, I even wondered if asking that question meant I was not a good leader - if not knowing indicated deficiency.

Specifically, I've been wondering what I can do to be a better leader. If you ask my team, they will say I'm swell. I know it. But I also know I can be better. I am NOT the best I could be. But I've started wondering if that thought alone -- that understanding that I am not perfect, that others sometimes know more, that acceptance and subsequent humility -- if that is what separates me from being a great leader (and not just a pretty good one).

I wondered if perhaps leaders just don't doubt themselves. And thus, my weakness is not having that confidence.

Just yesterday I voiced this thought for the first time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rediscovering fluff

IMG_5898 by wyliepoon
This week, after some particularly character-building days, I had a realization.

I need something... else.

Not what I expected to realize, for sure.

I have been down. Feeling daunted. I certainly have no end of "things". Home renovations, personal quests, professional projects, social endeavours, plans for better health, financial improvements, relationship enhancement, meetings and appointments, calls and errands. Unread emails remain in my inbox, not for lack of trying to get through them. One exciting initiative launches, only to lead onto another in the wings with imminent deadlines.

So why something else?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My 15 seconds: WebGoddessCathy on the Oscars

WebGoddessCathy in the Toronto StarWith a handle like WebGoddessCathy, you'd think that I'd be, well, embarrassed. OK, not the people who know me and know that it was a domain that an old boyfriend bought me for a birthday present.

But, still, it can seem a bit self-important.

So when The Toronto Star published me as AKA WebGoddessCathy, I had to gulp. It was in an article, part of a series on the Oscar nominations. Interviews with real people, in their own words. And since I was talking about The Social Network, the handle fit.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Old houses aren't for the faint of heart... or those who have lives

It all started with the damn duct you see here poking innocently out of the wall.

Well, that, and a contractor who didn't really LOOK.

As our contractor turned a three-week bathroom project into an over-six-month project, he also managed to tile OVER the hole in the wall for the duct. After I pointed it out to him (he hadn't noticed) he "fixed" it but breaking a new hole in the wall and placing the vent over it. He also told me that the duct was blocked down about five feet by what felt like insulation. He told me that he had looked UP from the basement to see what the blockage was and whether he could pull it out. He said he couldn't reach the blockage from the basement.

What I didn't know was:

Sunday, February 06, 2011

If you're not a smart man, you may need to read this

Smart men know women.

Too bad these smart men are usually either taken or playa's. So I'm sure you're very nice if you're reading this. It means you can admit you have a thing or two to learn. Probably about women.

Here's the thing: Valentine's Day is coming. FickleFeline reminded me of this and she inspired me with her post on her favourite things. Thing is, her favourites aren't mine.

So that's lesson #1: All women are not the same.

This is what my weekend looked like


Type. Click. Drag. Drop. Click. Type. Type. Click.

Oh! And then? There was that time when I almost lost it and threw my computer across the room. Instead, I groaned and yelled something ridiculous and put my computer to the side and walked out the door.

Yep, I went for a walk. To get away from my computer. Because I really was going to hurt it. And that wouldn't help anyone, really. I walked for hours. I bought groceries. I went into antique shops. Just browsing! (But I did see an awesome mirror at GUFF's.) I bought a decaf Americano and a chocolate-peanut-butter-bar at Te Aro. Dreamy! And I thought about the strange balls of snow falling from the sky.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Are you feeling like screaming too?

Holga Scream.
Originally uploaded by ollycoffey
I know. I said I was going to be OK with less.

And then I gave myself more. And I'm OK with not doing everything.

What I'm not OK with is everything not being done. The door still off my bathroom vanity. Still with no hinge to fix it. No completed website for my friend. Just more questions. No finished gap-filled basement cracks. No financial plans laid at my feet. No floor washed.

Did focus on ONE thing. Got it mostly done and sent for review. All else? Like that blog blitz? Nopers.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Project Home Repair, Part II

Home Repair
Originally uploaded by Kristin Brenemen
I think I lost my mind yesterday. It started with a simple can of Gap Filler and a couple of hours to use up before dinner was ready.

I started looking at the gaps that I'd need to fill. In my house, I mean. With the furnace on, I put my hand over light sockets and outlets. By door mouldings and windows. Yep, yep; yep, yep. All of 'em needed some work.

And then I went to the basement.

I knew, from my government Energy Audit, that there were some problems down there. But I had to find them first. I'll tell you: basements -- especially ones from the 1840s -- have a lot of nooks and crannies. A lot of dust and cobwebs. A lot of dark spaces where you don't really want to stick an unprotected hand.

But I did it anyway.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow falls in Toronto

Originally uploaded by Leila__
"Snowflakes are falling. I'll catch them in my hand."

There's something about a really good snowfall. I think it's the quiet. It feels so magical. I feel the power and wonder of nature. I feel calm.

Today I pulled on my big ol' snow boots, mitts, hat, scarf, coat and ventured out to shovel the worst of it off my sidewalk and doorstep. It felt so good to be outside, I walked to the grocery store. Groceries on an unhurried day is a favourite of mine also.

I managed to remember a few items at the Home Depot so I can finish a few small projects around the house. Just thinking about completing a project, fills me with the excitement of Christmas as a kid.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


A Fakeaway!I am creative.

I often think and say that I'm not. But reflecting on my past few days, I'd say I like being creative.

I spent the day today researching WordPress (I currently use Blogger for my blog and wow, is WordPress better!) for a friend. I spent half the day before that doing the same. Not just researching it, but learning. And then using this self-education to create something.

I was at it for hours. By the time I looked up and realized that I was hungry, I was shocked that the sun was already down.