Thursday, June 30, 2011

She Moves On

(some of you smarty pants will recognize the title as a Paul Simon reference)

As I type this, I am soaking up the sunshine on my back patio! Yep, that's patio. It's a gorgeous day filled with sunny skies, the birds are chirping, the neighbour's dog is barking (yikes, hope that is not a constant) and I am enjoying my new address.

Life has been a little crazy lately to actually post to my blog, but today I'm taking a time out from unpacking, organizing and cleaning to sit out on the patio and actually enjoy my new home! So far, I'm loving it!

I officially moved in on Saturday with my "crew" of family and friends arriving on the scene about 9am. (I might take a moment here to comment that when people help you move, they definitely love you. It's a lot of hard work and I so appreciate the people that helped out!) Anyway, things were pretty smooth sailing until we tried to get the couch into the basement. That was not going to happen. It's ok though...I want to get a new couch anyway, so this will push me to start looking (measuring tape in hand)

Despite the misty morning, we finished up around 2pm and I was left with mountains of boxes to sort through and decide where everything was going to go. Well, I'm still sorting but definitely making progress.

As my apartment at the nunnery emptied out, it looked so sad, bare and hollow. I know I'm a bit of a sentimental but I had a lot of good memories from my time there. As with every major change, as a new chapter begins, we must close the book on another. Today I made one final trip to get my mail and do a sweep through all the cupboards. As I closed the door for a final time I was definitely feeling a little nostalgic.

However, my mood has not been overly melancholy! My first night at my new house already felt like home. Things are starting to take shape and I even cooked in my kitchen last night! I now have a dishwasher which is a great addition to my life :) My neighbours are all super nice and I think it's going to be a great little spot for me.

I had my first guests on Tuesday night. My friends Sarah, Amanda and Mallory came over to hang out on the patio. Unfortunately it got a little chilly after about an hour so we headed to the basement but it was nice to play host. Already looking forward to my first par-tay in August. Not sure I want to call it a "house warming" as I don't want people to feel like they need to bring a gift. I will need to give this some thought.

OK...that is enough about my transition into my new house. I'm going to go and enjoy the sunshine.

PS no photos yet as things are still a mess!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebrating the Man I Call Dad

The month of June always brings my dad's birthday followed by Father's Day. So, naturally it's a time to reflect on one of the most important men in my life.

My dad is many things: a farmer, a butcher, a carpenter. He's a jack-of-all-trades, therefore he can do pretty much anything that needs to be done. (at least in my eyes!) He's quiet and shy but can speak his mind. He dropped out of school at a young age to help out his aging father on the farm...but can do mental math like no one I know.

As a kid I can remember riding in his pick-up listening to an orange 8 track cassette of Johnny Cash. (still a favourite) Helping on the farm was just part of the deal, so spending time with Dad usually meant picking up rocks (with thrilling rides in the front end loader), hoeing milk weed, handing him tools or just catching a ride to the mill when it was time to pick up or drop off. One of my most memorable chores was waxing the combine. Yes...I waxed a combine!!

As a farmer, Dad was an early-riser and expected you to be too. Many Saturday mornings I woke to the sound of the constant clink of his spoon in his coffee cup - not so much to stir his morning java but to ensure the household was rising from their slumber. Occasionally he'd really out-do himself and ring the doorbell, which would ring in every room in the house. (thanks to our 80's state-of-the-art intercom system!)

My dad has gone through a lot of personal challenges in his years. He had lost both parents by the time he was 40 and three siblings by his mid-fifties. He has endured the ups and downs of depending on the land to make a living and survived raising four kids. (including three girls!) Although we don't always agree on every issue, he is my dad and has made me who I am today.

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of walking the aisles of Home Depot with Dad as we shopped for things for my new house. I was a little surprised at the great nostalgic feeling I had as I pushed the cart and listened to him explain where we needed to go next. Perhaps part of me remembered those trips to the hardware store or "Websters" in Wyoming as a kid and perhaps part of me realized how much has changed in those years.

So, this June I wanted to pay tribute to my dad...John David Mills.
Love you dad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lunching with Murr

Lunching With The Bag Lady

For quite some time, I have heard people talking about a little place called The Bag Lady, here in London. It is a very small but funky restaurant that I often pass on morning walks. Urban Spoon recommends it and it's popped up on Twitter as well. I decided it was time to check out this Bag Lady.

However, I think I chose a rather humorous time to check out The Bag Lady. My friend Murray and I had plans for lunch and catching up. I thought TBL would be a good place to go...and it was. It was just hilarious to see the juxtuposition of Murray there.

Picture, if you will, a burly man with "beefy forearms" (as Nick Paparella likes to say) picking me up in a rather large pick-up truck. We had to park on the street as the parking lot was a little small for Murr's truck. We walked in and I had to chuckle. Besides being small, the place was stacked with retro chotchkies. Not being one to make a fuss, Murray took it all in stride and walked up to the counter to order his sandwich.

I must admit, the food was great and the atmosphere was fun however, Murray was the only testosterone in the room. We both had to laugh when 8 ladies wearing purple and red hats pulled up seats in the table next to us. No doubt they belonged to the Red Hat Society.

Later that day, I texted Murray to say thanks for being such a great sport. He wrote back to say that the food was great and it would be a good spot for the next Teamsters' meeting :)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Rewarding Experience

In a previous post, I wrote about winning an award from IABC and London Life. Well, last week my friend Amanda and I attended the Virtuoso Awards. What a fun night!

When I saw that the ticket said "cocktail attire" I had planned on wearing a new dress I had purchased on a recent excursion to Great Lakes Crossing with Kim. However, the day of the event, the temperature dropped and I was reluctant to wear a sleeveless number. I tried on a few other options but just wasn't happy with them. I texted Amanda to complain about this and she suggested using a scarf/shawl. Great idea! I was all set.

I picked Amanda up and we headed for Museum London. It was a very funky atmosphere with being at an art gallery, swanky hors d'oeuvres, chill music and lots of people! We made our way around the room and saw a few familiar faces from Fanshawe. When it was time for the awards presentation, I was one of the first ones on stage. One of the instructors from Fanshawe presented the award and she was very excited for me. I got some nice hardware as well as a cheque for $500 ...sweet!

Here are a few pics from the evening...