IMG_0003July 23, 2017

“23” happens to be my lucky number so today seems to be as good a day as any to start…

After closing C C on Whyte I had LOTS of time to think, reflect and daydream about how I can best spend my time.  Since I believe that time is our most valuable commodity, it was important not to waste it.  I have traveled, cleaned, organized, planned, renovated, gardened and tried to learn how to cook (and enjoy it).  Not everything held the same passion.  Cleaning and organizing for sure did not inspire me to go too far down that road!  The others though have been good companions.

Travelling is always a good thing … Paris ALWAYS and a gained familiarity with London has made that city a new favourite.  Driving to and from La Jolla, California these past two springtimes has had challenges because of unpredictable weather, difficult driving conditions and limited options for hotel accommodations while on the road (we travel with our dog) but being there is wonderful.  Walking on one of the most beautiful beaches, the La Jolla Shores, every morning is rejuvenating after months of cold and snow.  Watching the birds, the surfers, the dolphins and seals, and becoming a “beach regular” working off the wine and dessert from the night before is the added bonus.

I’ve had two bathrooms renovated.  We live in an older home so space dictates what is possible or not.  It was a little risky but we had the work done while we were in La Jolla.  Mostly the finished projects are what was envisioned and have enhanced our daily routines.  Adding a shower in my bathroom meant borrowing space from my closet.  That resulted in a serious purge and reorganization of my now much smaller “cupboard” to house my clothes.  Caring for a home is ongoing and as I look around a seed of an idea for the next project is always in the making.

Gardening provides the body and soul with an abundance of wellness. During the snowy months is the time to plan out your spaces and decide what plants and colour schemes you want for the upcoming season. When the first garden centre emails and catalogues start arriving the dreaming really switches to overdrive. The first summer after my store closed, the front garden underwent a total transformation. The sod was removed and a small formal garden (inspired by Highclere Castle) took shape. The garden is always going through a new life cycle and must be cared for and encouraged to grow just like all those other special beings in your life. If you want it to succeed you have to set it up for success…meaning the right light, soil, moisture, nourishment, and climate.  Achieving that success requires enormous patience because at the end of the day Nature really is the one in charge.

Cooking is the real challenge for me … I’m not really a “foodie”.  I have a very limited palate and I don’t have a great sense of taste which contributes to my limited success in the kitchen. Technically I’m OK.  I can follow a recipe but that natural instinct that really good cooks just have has eluded me.  I’m not giving up though because entertaining friends and family is the best way to let them know how much you care. I am confident at the meal planning and creating the atmosphere (the table, the flowers, the music, the lighting etc.) and I’m bound and determined to become more competent at the actual cooking part!

One of my greatest joys has been building my backyard greenhouse, “Maison des Fleurs”. The winter after the store closed I started collecting reclaimed windows and over the following summer, we had the greenhouse built around those windows. Since I did not have building plans (the space came to life on the spot),  I did not get a permit from the city and later lived to regret it.  That is a story for another day.   However, we all rallied and got back to work and created the most wonderful little space. This summer the gas fireplace gets installed and next spring it will be a fully functioning greenhouse.

This is a quote found on Pinterest that I really believe in: “It’s up to you to see the beauty in everyday things” (unknown).   I hope to share that “beauty” with you.