Wednesday, May 3, 2023



What is going on in there?!?

Rob and I have been talking about giving the kitchen a face-lift for the past few years. The stars aligned this year when my preferred contractor had the time, and an unexpected financial windfall happened. 

On Sunday, January 8th the contractors came over to take measurements and discuss the plan. I didn't tell Rob this was happening until the day before, as I didn't want him to stress. A date was set in February for them to start and by March 1st we had a shiny new kitchen!

We wanted new flooring, cabinets, counter-top, sink and new paint.We ended up with a few extras and some new friends, who we're going to visit at the end of the month.

All emptied out.

Protect the internet at all costs!

We donated the china cabinet and got rid of the extension on the counter.

It was so empty it echoed.

Demo day!

Demo day!

Demo day!

My make shift kitchen in the basement. 

The kitchen reno was hardest on Rob. The contractors were here at 7am, which means he was getting up earlier, and they left at 2pm. I was at work during 99% of it, only taking a couple afternoons off when I needed to. Merry and Molly, who we were so worried about, handled it all way better then we expected. I think it helped that Rob was home with them, as he doesn't leave for work until 1pm.   

One of the things I really wanted was a designated food prep area, and I got it. 


Another angle.

The teacup on my floating shelf was my Mom's.



Moved the fridge and added a pantry.

After a month at his grandparents, Frankie is back in his spot on top of the fridge.

The hutch is where the computer desk use to be.

All filled up.
Did I mention how much I love my pot drawer?!?

New microwave stand as I didn't want it on the counter or in a cabinet. 

Randy made a pine frame and shelves for this built in area of the wall.

He also made this storage bench seat and I had a cushion made for it.

Then I had him make one for the cats! 

This Kitty Kat clock is still the only thing on the walls.

We still need to find a small dining set and redo the windows and coverings, but we are very happy with how it turned out and how smoothly it went.  

Friday, March 17, 2023

2023 SO FAR


Our backyard Eastern Screech Owl is back for another winter.

Normally I find the time between January and April drags on. By this time we’re all tired of Winter, the cold, and are looking forward to the newness of Spring.

Not this year though, the last few months have flown by. We started planning a kitchen renovation in early January. The work started in February and now here we are in the middle of March, kitchen reno is pretty much complete except for the unpacking and reorganizing of the new cabinets. This blog isn’t about the kitchen though, I think I will do a blog about that separately. This blog is just a bit about what else went on in our lives since the new year started.   

Delicious brunch at Toast on Bloor.

During the first weekend of the new year we did two of my favorite things, brunch and birding. After another delicious brunch at one of our favorite brunch spots, Toast on Bloor, we were off in search of a Red-shouldered Hawk being seen at a park close to home. This was my first real birding out in some time, and it brought back all those fun spring twitchiness feelings of May, when migration is in full swing. We did quite the search for this bird, also ran into a friend, and success! We found the Red-shouldered Hawk. Now, I’m not much a hawk girl, but I was quite smitten with this one, it’s a good looking hawk, and was also a lifer for Rob and I.

Red-shouldered Hawk, a lifer for both of us.

Rob and I are Marvel fans, and we started watching them in timeline order the beginning of January. We hadn’t watched them in this order before, and are catching things being said in different movies that make much more sense now. We work different shifts, so Saturdays are Marvel Movie Night, perfect way to spend a winter evening, and we are almost done as we’ve done some double features as well. We have not yet seen Wakanda Forever, so are looking forward to ending our marathon with that.


Some years we acknowledge Valentines Day, some years we don’t. Poor Rob, I felt bad for him this year. He took the time to order me flowers to be sent to work, and they didn’t arrive. They didn’t arrive the 15th either, and finally showed up on the 16th. He was more upset about it then I was, I was happy he took the time to arrange that. It was only the second time he has sent me flowers at work, which I love, but maybe not on Valentines Day going forward.

Valentine's Day cookies I ordered. 

My beautiful but late flowers.


We hadn’t been to my Cousin’s Andi’s since Christmas time, so Family Day weekend was the perfect time to get together. As always, Andi prepared a delicious feast. Seafood this time around as we missed doing that in the Fall. The boys aren't as big of seafood fans as us, but she always makes sure they have a delicious meal as well. I brought dessert, as per normal. The lemon meringue pie I order from House of Good, in our neighborhood is their favorite.

Family Day Feast!


Our backyard Eastern Screech Owl, AKA “Little Al” has been around regularly again this winter. We had a scare with him a couple months ago, when Rob found a dead one not far from us on the road and we didn’t see him for a couple weeks during the warmer temperatures. But much to our relief it wasn’t him, and he returned with the next cold snap and snow. Still feel bad for the one he did find, most likely a car strike. We still have our fingers and toes crossed for a mate and babies.

Little Al hanging out in our Cedars.

We also rediscovered another brunch spot of ours, Starving Artist. We hadn’t been there in three years, and had forgotten how good it was. We’ve been back a couple times since.

My brunch at The Starving Artist.


We also introduced some friends to another new to us restaurant, Azarias. Like us, they don’t mind doing an early dinner, or as I call it, “Senior Supper”. Was nice to get out with friends to enjoy a delicious meal and I can get my oyster fix. This Bloor West gem has quickly become our go to dinner spot. Wonderful staff, and truly mouth watering food. We’ve already planned another dinner there when our friends are back from their trip.

Azarias, a Bloor West gem.


Every year I try to make a snow angel as a nod to my inner child. I just joke I need help getting up now! Saturday March 4 I made one after a snow fall, and I had a feathery friend watch me as you can see here.    


And to end my catch up blog post, a sure sign of Spring…our resident chipmunk, Boop, woke up this week!       

Spring is close!


Saturday, December 31, 2022



My birding highlight of 2022, I found a Boreal Owl in Toronto.
January - The new year didn't get off to great start. Rob came down with Covid on the 2nd, and me a day later. Thankfully we were able to recover together at home. Care packages from friends and family were left on the porch and much appreciated.  January 17th was the first day I had any real energy and took advantage of it by getting out to play in the snow!
Never too old to make snow angels.

I love a good snow day, when I'm home to enjoy it.
 February - While out for a Sunday nature walk with Rob, and with the help of some noisy Chickadees, I found what I thought was a Saw-whet Owl. I was quite excited and happy about that, as I had never found a Saw-whet Owl on my own before. After Rob posted on social media about it, he started getting messages about my Saw-whet Owl possibly being a Boreal Owl. WHAT!?! Thankfully the owl stayed put over night, and we were able to go back and get another look, and photo of our lifer Boreal Owl! It was nice to look at it, knowing what it was. He wasn't as deep in the bush as he was the the day before. I spend less than a minute looking at an owl when we find them, as I'm more concerned about not flushing them than anything else. I was grateful for the second and much better look. 

Our first look at the Boreal Owl. 
March - Finally made it to the first Canadian location of Carlo's Bakery in Port Credit! I was super excited to go there, Buddy the Cake Boss is a happy Las Vegas reminder for me, as his restaurant was the first restaurant Rob and I ate at on our trip in 2018. There is now a second bakery location within walking distance of my work. I have yet to decide if this is a good thing or bad thing.
Carlo's Bakery, Port Credit, Ontario
April - Easter was celebrated in April this year, along with Merry & Molly's 7th birthday. Turning 7 officially makes them senior kitties, but you wouldn't know it the way they act. They're still our big babies. 
Merry & Molly, from kittens to seniors at 7.
 May - May is all about the birds and the return of the summer migrants. We had a week of vacation to bird locally, check out some new spots, and an overnight trip to the Port Rowan area. Our main highlights were on our Port Rowan trip where a tip from another birder had us jetting off to see a lifer wayward Black-necked Stilt on someones front lawn, and best spotting was a Golden-winged Warbler at the Long Point Provincial Park.  
Black-necked Stilt and a Golden Winged Warbler.
June - This was the most difficult month of the year. Dad's ashes joined Mom's on June 21st. My older brother Jeff and my oldest niece, Ashlee, flew from Alberta to join me in Nova Scotia for this difficult day. I hadn't seen them in four years, so this was a huge comfort to me. We were surrounded by friends and family, some who we hadn't seen in decades. It was so nice to see and spend even a little bit of time with everyone. I know Dad would of loved that. 
Dad's ashes joined Mom's on June 21, 2022. 
July - The highlight of July was finally getting to celebrate my Cousin's birthday, along with my own, together. Our birthdays are three days apart in June, but because I was sick the weekend we were suppose to celebrate, it got postponed. This marked the 10th time we had celebrated together, we enjoyed the usual lobster dinner and cake for dessert. She gifted me with a lovely and thoughtful scrap book about our meeting, discovering we were actually related years later, and of course our birthday celebrations over the years. 
Birthday dinner and cake. 
A very cherished gift.
August - We don't venture far during the summer months, preferring to enjoy our weekends in the backyard. I did however take in two pretty big concerts this August, The Stadium Tour featuring Joan Jett, Poison, Motley Crue, and my favorite band of all time, Def Leppard. Later in the month I was able to see the Scorpions, Rock Believer Tour, as a friend had an extra ticket. It sometimes amazes me that I am still going to concerts of bands whose posters use to wallpaper my teenage bedroom wall.   

Summer backyard shots.

Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, no zoom required, I was that close. 

September - We had a week off in September to celebrate Rob's birthday, and met up with some friends for a long overdue Raptor Encounter at Mountsberg Conservation Area. We spent a couple nights at Port Severn Lodge over Rob's birthday, and ended our vacation with a day trip to The Donkey Sanctuary with childhood/school friends.    
Fun at Mountsberg, and at lunch afterwards with friends. 

Rob's birthday at Port Severn Lodge.
October - The weather in October was seasonable warm, and we took advantage of it by getting out for numerous nature walks. We were on vacation the week of Halloween and enjoyed day trips and walks. Halloween was more normal this year despite the rainy weather and Jello Shooters were once more made for the neighbors who wanted them. 
Some sightings on our October walks.

Happy Halloween!

Jello Shooters, because the adults deserve a treat too!

November -  I added a couple extra days onto my October/November vacation to go away with my girlfriend, Pat. We hadn't been away together since Oct. 2019, so it was long overdue. We treated ourselves to a two night indulgent spa package at Ste. Anne's Spa. Later in the month Rob and I were off for another week to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We planned a trip to Algonquin Park, as we hadn't been there in about five years, and spent two nights at the Couples Resort in Whitney. 
Ste Anne's Spa, a most relaxing and indulgent getaway.

The Pine Marten alluded us for years, but we FINALLY saw one on our 10th anniversary! 

Always thrilled to see Gray Jays in Algonquin Park. 
December - Things were pretty much back to normal this year, with an in person Xmas lunch at work which was enjoyable.  On December 17th we joined my Cousin Andi, and her husband, Dave for our annual Xmas get together which includes a delicious dinner, dessert and gift exchange. Started my Xmas break with brunch and Espresso Martinis at Toast on Bloor before Rob had to leave for work. Xmas Eve was just the two of us, no nature walk this year as it was much too cold. We opened some gifts Xmas Eve, and some Xmas morning before going to Rob's parents for dinner. Boxing Day and the 27th were spent at home watching movies and being lazy. Merry and Molly LOVE Boxing Day! New Years Eve is always spent at home, but at least it's not going to be so bitterly cold, so we should be able to get a couple nature walks in before 2023 is upon us. Wishing you all a wonderful 2023!  

Espresso Martini, what Santa left us, and the kitties enjoying Boxing Day!

Yummy goodies enjoyed over the holidays.