Monthly Archives: July 2009

I like to wander. I like to walk around my neighbourhood (and others) with my camera in hand, with my view tuned to the small details that normally get skipped over in the interest of crossing the street without being hit by a bus, or pondering other complexities of daily life and how to manouevre through them.

It’s kind of meditative, because while my eyes are searching out interesting compositions, odd juxtapositions of colour or texture or other compelling subjects, my brain just sort of follows along for the ride. The usual background chatter fades away as my attention is taken over by just seeing, and that means that there’s mental space for different questions or insights to pop in, spurred by the things I see.

Recently, there were these:
Multicolour Roses
These roses are all on one plant, I assume the different colours indicate the ages of the blossoms. There’s a particular aspect to ikebana which incorporates the way in which the components age, and these roses made me think of that, and the way things age and how we do (and don’t) pay attention to that process.

This is one of my favourite bits of local… graffiti? street art? I don’t know why it’s there, low on an unobtrusive planter at an unassuming minor intersection, but it makes me imagine hundreds of years ago when this city was wilderness, and black bears would have been a respected part of the natural environment. I love that it’s walking away (towards the nearby Christie Pits Park), and that the footprints are on the sidewalk rather than the vertical surface. But I think I love most of all that it’s placed without context or explanation.

Now, I didn’t say my wanderings resulted in brilliant insights, but these days any thoughts that depart from my daily fretting are welcome.

A-Foraging I Go!

I really am a forager. I just can’t help peeking at every pile of belongings (not garbage, mind you) placed on the sidewalk, just beyond ownership of the nearest house. It’s a step below yard sales, but even cheaper (i.e. free!) and you just never know when someone has discarded something that is no longer of any use to them, but fits some little gap in one’s own life just so.

For instance: last spring I found a foot stool in the IKEA Poäng style, just a couple of months after I bought my Poäng chair. It needed a new cushion, but I had foam and fabric so voila! new cushion for “new” foot stool:

Then a few months later someone was tossing out some pieces from an Ivar shelving unit. I was seriously in need of something to hide some boxes of event detritus that were befouling my living room, so with the judicious application of some fabric pieces from my stash, I turning the side pieces into a concealing screen (a little funky, yes, but effective). Comme ça:
Hide it!

With summer once again in full swing (despite the lack of hot summery weather), and a moving frenzy coming up soon, there’s lots of stuff up for grabs again. Yesterday I found this little wooden sled:
Wooden Sled
I know, super cute, right? Now, this may be used to pull around a small child, or groceries in the dead of winter, or it may just end up being something fun to set plants on, but at least it’s not rotting in a landfill.

Today was this plant-watering bulb:
I love those, but would never go out of my way to buy one, having so many more pressing things to spend my scarce income on like, say, rent and food.

Now, it’s not as though I head out purposely to bring home other peoples’ trash (and I’m certainly not going about rooting through anyone’s garbage bins). I mean, I don’t really think of myself as needing more stuff, nor am I trying to deal with the garbage strike by hoarding everyone’s disposed items. It’s just that I can’t help but be curious about what people are getting rid of, and I think I have a pretty good knack for sensing potential in objects that have outlived their usefulness in others’ eyes.

Although apparently any object left on city property (e.g. the sidewalk) becomes city property, so technically I suppose I’m a thief. Though what the city would want with an old Ivar shelving piece I can’t imagine; it’s really meant to apply to people who go around scavenging metal to sell for recycling.

So next time you see the unsold stuff from someone’s yard sale or leftovers from moving day set at the side of the road, have a look! You just might find the very thing you’ve been missing.


Oh my, has it really been this long?
Well then, I’ll get right to it.

It’s been an interesting fortnight, for reasons I won’t get into now, but it’s ended well and I’m moving right along.

The finale was a lovely, thoroughly relaxing long weekend in the country with relatives, cats, gardens, a lake and a good book. Not necessarily in order of anything.

I took pictures of the cats and garden, though the cats were less cooperative about sitting for portraits:
Something in the Onion FamilyRu Thinks TwiceMore Interesting Over There

Though they did spend enough time bothering each other to get a few little sequences:
Down Asparagus Ave.
I'm Sleeeeeeping Here

There was a fabulous thunderstorm on Saturday morning, with an encore in the late afternoon, which filled all my mom’s water buckets & barrels quite handily.
Rain, Rain

And of course afterwards everything had that super-fresh just-washed look, particularly nice with the low sunshine.
Tea, Earl Grey, HotRadiant Rudbeckia

There was some wildlife too. Doing… wildlife things.
Left Behind

So, yeah. That’s about it. I’m knitting more summer socks but don’t have a good picture, and the rest is just life.


And therefore I am being lazy.

Just one picture for today, though it is a goody.


Garden Glory

Today, being July 2nd, is apparently day 2 of the start of earnest summer vacation/holiday/general laziness.

Not for me, of course. Being self-employed, I started weeks ago.

Back in reality-land though, the latest deck blossom report.

The Calendula continue to provide excellent close-up fodder, particularly with a flattering sprinkling of rain droplets:
A few little droplets

Then there’s the tomatillo; I love the way the flowers sort of hang down like a little skirt which on full opening gets curled back around the legs, like a Latin dancer spinning around..
Tomatillo Skirt Up

And my Black Krim tomatoes are a little strange. The first set of blossoms on each plant is this kind of mutant 3-or-more-blossoms-in-one kind of thing; I’m really not sure what sort of tomato those will produce.
BK Mutant Blossom
The “normal” flowers look pretty cool too:
Bk Normality

So there you go. That’s what I found on my deck this afternoon.

Happy summer.

Oh, Canada.

Happy Canada Day!
I’m going to a barbecue; kiss a Mountie if you see one.