lately

I’ve gone from one weekend to the next without a word or photo left here. So, a little about my “lately” seems a good idea!

Last week was spent ushering all manner of sickness out of this house and firmly closing the door behind it. Fingers crossed and tinctures taken. It was also filled with all the usual sorts of working out of systems (and jitters!) that beginning a new job, in a brand new kitchen usually entails. In keeping with any cooking work I’ve ever done, the repetitive dreams (the pervasive ones that have me menu-planning, chopping and trouble-shooting all night long) kicked in straight away. Which is to say I was tired from work and tired from dreaming!

In between sorting out and adapting to things in the work kitchen, once I arrived home I managed to harness the last traces of daylight to finish my drafting table re-do. Such sweet relief to have it done and a great stress-buster. It didn’t occur to me (like it would any blogger who’s all over the DIY tutorials) to grab the camera and snap a before photo, ’til the sanding was nearly done. The table surface was marked and buckled by an extensive liquid spill, so I muscled on the sander for quite a while to eliminate the marks and faint eau de mildew. The slap-dash blue paint was remedied with cure-all white, and I’m quite pleased with the spiffy, refreshed hardware, and new finish!

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This past weekend brought with it a visit to my gorgeous (and so very talented!) Number One and her partner in Toronto. And a chance to spend the night in their down-to-earth-comfy new house before going to Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). A peek at the living and dining rooms gives you a sense of the comfort that everyone feels the instant the front door opens. It’s fair to say that when I sink into the bed in their guest room, I’m in danger of becoming that annoying mother guest who just doesn’t want to leave . . .

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The Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit was so very sumptuous and moving. It was utterly breathtaking to view, in person, the paintings and photographs I’ve spent untold hours pouring over in books and on screens for years. What a dynamic, fiery, fearless, tender and exquisitely beautiful woman and artist she was. The photos and paintings live in my mind’s eye now, and for that I’m very grateful. Understandably, cameras weren’t permitted in the exhibit, but they were welcome in an area where an ofrenda (altar) was created in tribute to Frida and Diego, just as the dead are honoured in Mexico on the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Over the course of the exhibit, people were invited to contribute offerings such as paper flowers, notes and photos, leaving “pieces of their hearts and minds” behind. It was as resplendent as Frida herself.

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