Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Stillwater Spa, Toronto, ON

To celebrate Gord's birthday, we spent the afternoon at the Stillwater Spa (Avenue Road/Bloor W). We'd never been there before.

In the changing areas, there is a hot tub ... I spent some time in there.

There are cabana chaises to relax in with TVs above in each ... or you can read or snooze. For privacy, you can pull the curtain across.

Gord and I met in the tea lounge before our services started. In the tea lounge, you can have tea, coffee, water, cookies and fruit. Because it was Gord's birthday, they also gave us a couple flutes of English elder flower sparkling water.

Our first service was ...

Massage Suite For Two - Your treatment begins with a relaxing soak in the oversized whirlpool by a glowing fireplace. A unique and memorable experience whereby two registered massage therapists provide full body Swedish massages for you and your partner.

Here's Gord in the tub ... we brought a couple piccolos of sparkling wine.

The massage tables ...

A couple of truffles are included ...

Gord is ready for his hour long massage with Michael.

My therapist, Loreen, gave me an excellent massage, spending a lot of time on my feet and head.

Then back to the tea lounge to relax.

Next we got pedicures.

Part of the pedicure involved wrapping our feet in warm paraffin wax for ten minutes. Does Gord look relaxed or what?!

My toes ... ta da! My nails are pink and sparkly ... the polish is called "Shut up and drive!"

Stillwater Spa isn't cheap but it's very nice ... the atmosphere is very relaxing and the staff is friendly and helpful. And for a Wednesday afternoon, it was surprisingly quite busy.

Afterwards, we walked to The Beer Station at Bathurst/Bloor W for supper.

Appetizers were half price 'til 8:00 so we ordered a few each.

Happy birthday, Gord!

It's Gord's birthday! is your one stop for Myspace Graphics

And we have a fun spa afternoon planned!

Who does he share his birthday with?
  • 1971 Ewan McGregor, born in Scottish, actor, Trainspotting
  • 1959 Angus Young, born in Glascow, Scotland, rock guitarist, AC/DC-Highway to Hell
  • 1948 Al Gore, born in Washington D.C., Senator-D-Tennessee, 1985 - 1992, 45th Vice President 1993 - 2000
  • 1948 Rhea Perlman, born in Brooklyn, actress, Zena-Taxi, Carla-Cheers
  • 1946 Al Nichol, born in Winston Salem, North Carolina, rock guitarist and vocalist, Turtles
  • 1946 Gabe Kaplan, born in Brooklyn, New York, comedian/actor, Welcome Back Kotter
  • 1943 Christopher Walken, born in Astoria Queens, actor, Deer Hunter
  • 1935 Herb Alpert, bandleader/trumpeteer, Tijuana Brass, CEO, A&M
  • 1934 Richard Chamberlain, born in Beverly Hills, California, actor, Dr. Kildare
  • 1933 Shirley Jones, born in Smithton, Pennsylvania, actress, Partridge Family
  • 1929 Liz Claiborne, fashion designer
  • 1928 Gordie Howe, born in Floral, Saskatchewan, NHL right wing, Detroit Red Wings

Monday, 29 March 2010

Free Derry

On the way home from Trinity Bellwoods Park, I came across this mural on the side of a building.

I was intrigued because I didn't know what it meant.

I Googled it when I got home and here's an excerpt of what I found:
Free Derry (Irish: SaorDhoire) was a self-declared autonomous nationalist area of Derry, Northern Ireland, between 1969 and 1972. Its name was taken from a sign painted on a gable wall in the Bogside in January 1969 which read, “You are now entering Free Derry". The area, which included the Bogside and Creggan neighbourhoods, was secured by community activists for the first time on 5 January 1969 following an incursion into the Bogside by members of the police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Residents built barricades and carried clubs and similar arms to prevent the RUC from entering. After six days the residents took down the barricades and police patrols resumed, but tensions remained high over the following months.
The Free Derry era is commemorated by the Free Derry wall (see below), the murals of the Bogside Artists and the Museum of Free Derry.

You can read more about it here.

Trinity Bellwoods Park

I conducted a retirement seminar in Pickering this morning and worked from home this afternoon.

It was such a nice afternoon (sunny with just a bit of a chill) so I took KC for a stroll to Trinity Bellwoods Park just before suppertime.

It was a nice way to end the day.

KC loves this park ... there's lots of room for her to run around and so many things to sniff!

There were a few dogs in the pit (the unleashed area).

It's such a nice big park ... you can see the CN Tower off in the distance.

Book ~ "Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have" (2009) Allen Zadoff

From ~ Life used to be so simple for Andrew Zansky - hang with the Model U.N. guys, avoid gym class, and eat and eat and eat. He’s used to not fitting in: into his family, his sports-crazed school or his size 48 pants.

But not anymore. Andrew just met April, the new girl at school and the instant love of his life! He wants to find a way to win her over but how? When O. Douglas, the heartthrob quarterback and high school legend, saves him from getting beaten up by the school bully, Andrew sees his chance to get in with the football squad.

Is it possible to reinvent yourself in the middle of high school? Andrew is willing to try. But he’s going to have to make some changes. Fast.

How far should you go to be the person you really want to be? Andrew is about to find out.

I don't read a lot of books that are directed at teens ... I stumbled across this one.

It's written honestly and isn't filled with ooey-gooey wholesomeness. It's full of humour and I didn't find myself bored with it at any point.

Had I read it when I was in my mid-teens, I would have enjoyed it ... as I did indeed enjoy it now.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

How far I've come

I got a Nikon F601 in the mid 1990s and loved it and used it a lot. This was before the days of digital.

At the time, it cost almost $1,000. I also bought a zoom lens and some filters for it.

I bought my first digital camera in the fall of 2002 and loved it! Alas, I never used the Nikon again. And I'm on my fourth digital camera (I love my current Canon!).

I found my Nikon when I was cleaning my closet yesterday. What first struck me was its weight. My current digital camera is 10.6 grams ... the Nikon is 4.6 pounds.

I noticed that there is film still in it and I was on picture six. What are those six pictures from the fall of 2002?

I should go "old school" and finish the roll of film, shouldn't I? I must say that I do miss the more extreme zoom lens.

You never know when you'll need a punch bowl!

When I my first husband and I split up in 1996, I moved into the first apartment I'd ever had on my own.

I threw a housewarming party and had a bunch of people over (including the first husband!).

I'd never thrown a housewarming party before and thought it would be fun to have punch ... so I bought a punch bowl and glasses. The punch was a big hit!

Fourteen years later I still have them ... in the original box. It's on the shelf in one of the closets.

I only used it that once.

Despite the fact we don't have a lot of closet space, I've never had the opportunity to use it again yet I hang onto it because you never know when I'll need it.

What's something you hang onto just in case you'll need it?

Spring cleaning - day 2

It's funny ... when Gord goes out of town for a weekend, I become a cleaning fiend (I'm soooo not usually).

I don't know why I don't do it when Gord is around so I can demand he do it ask him to help.

Yesterday I cleaned out my closet.

Today I vacuumed, mopped, dusted, did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, etc. And I don't mean doing enough to get by ... I actually moved furniture to get at hard to get at spots. And I dusted the top shelf of a cabinet that no one is tall enough to see! Then I hauled a big bag of garbage and a bunch of recycling to the garage area.

While I cleaned, I listened to ...

A couple Hank Williams III favs of Darlene:

Airbourne, a fav of Angie:

And Willie Nelson, just because (I haven't really listened to his stuff before but discovered how much I really like him):

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Big Tobacco & the Pickers

Darlene, Angie and I made plans to see Big Tobacco & the Pickers, a six piece country band that play "hurting essential country ballads and old time honky tonkin', hard drinkin' classics". They were playing at the Dakota Tavern.

We met at Darlene's (she lives in my 'hood). Here's her 21 year old kitty, Rover.

We had supper at Squirrely's on Queen Street W. I had curried chicken and rice.

Here we are ... me, Angie and Darlene.

After we ate, we walked to Dakota's.

The band started about 10:30. They were really good, playing old country songs by the likes of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, etc. plus original tunes. I'd check 'em out again.

The place was jammed! We got there just before the rush and got a table.

Spring cleaning

I cleaned out my closet this afternoon ... it needed it!

I took everything out and dumped it on the bed.

Morgan and Byron helped me at first ... but then got exhausted and settled in to sleep supervise.

KC wisely stayed out of the way and snoozed in the hallway on her pillow.

It was quite an accomplishment!

I have a garbage bag full of clothes that are too big and/or I'm tired of that I'll donate. And I seem to have a lot more room. Yay!

Stanley Park

KC and I took a walk this morning to Stanley Park, which is in our 'hood.

Stanley Park is split by King Street W. We went to the south side first which, depending on the time of year, is an unleashed dog park.

There were a few dogs out playing. Here's looking SE ...

And NE ...

Lots of room for dogs to run around and play! KC doesn't play with other dogs but there were lots of strange smells for her to sniff.

Then we crossed King Street W to the north side of the park.

I think she likes this side better because there are lots more trees and hills.

Friday, 26 March 2010

What I miss every morning ...

After dropping Gord off at the airport, I was struck by how beautiful the sunrise was on my way home.

This is coming off the 427 and heading east along the QEW ...

Heading east along the QEW ...

I stopped just west of Sunnyside to take this picture ...


I'm usually just getting up about 7am so miss the sunrises.