Monday, June 05, 2023

10 On The 10th: May 2023

I haven't been very timely with my "10 on the 10th" posts lately but I am still taking the pictures so I do want to continuing documenting those days. I am at least posting this one for May before June 10th so I am making some progress :) For May, I did something a little different and took ten photos around May 10th, as this was the week of Rachel's big dance performance and she had dance for five nights in a row.

Her dance rehearsals started on May 9th. We took the LRT to the university where her shows were being held. We always walk to the LRT through the cemetery.

Her first dance to rehearse was ballet. She was a Clock Fairy in the ballet, Coppelia. This purple ballet outfit reminded me of her first ballet performance tutu, which was also purple. You can see a picture of her in it here.

Here we are on May 10th, about to catch the LRT back to the university. This time her rehearsals were for her modern dance.

We have so many geese in our city. These two were just hanging out near the theatre. Geese are really mean and hiss at you so we make sure to always give them their space.

Rachel was too exhausted for me to take pictures of her for the next day (May 11th) so the rest of these pictures were taken on May 12th, the night of her first performance. I was volunteering in the main foyer for the whole show so I had lots of opportunities to take photos.
I captured this one of Rachel and her dance bestie. These girls have been dancing together since they were five. Although they don't go to the same school, they also see each other at the pool in summer. Sydney's mom and I now just sign the girls up for all the same dance classes! Next year they'll have at least eight hours of dance a week together, so hopefully they'll continue to like each other :)

Rachel's modern dance was being a Northern Light. She wasn't able to keep the scarf, which is what made the costume really beautiful, so I was glad I was able to capture some pictures of her with it.

One thing I love about dance is the variety of songs they dance too. Her dance for jazz was Secret Agent Man (yes, this one here!) and the theme was "Flashlights." Rachel and her friends ended up calling themselves Spy Kids. Her costume was really cool because it glittered in the dark, which you can't really see here.

It was a fun, exhausting, slightly crazy week of supporting Rachel as she got to see all her hard work come to fruition and perform on stage. I cried watching her dances because I was just so proud of her. I just really love seeing my kids doing something they love to do, and for Rachel, that is absolutely dance.

Friday, June 02, 2023

Halfway Through May And What I've Read

Well, I was hoping to get this post done a little bit earlier since it's now time for my end of May reading but what with dance, science fair, Ultimate Frisbee, work commitments, and getting sick, it's been an insane few weeks. An Instagram friend referred to May as "May-cember" and, even though our school year doesn't end until the end of June, I definitely agree with her. All the things happened in May, at least around here.

So with all the preamble, let me see if I can remember what I read in the first half of May. And please note, that while the decade I was supposed to be focusing on for the Decades Reading Challenge was the 1940s, a lot of books set in the 1930s still crept into my reading. Let's face it -- I've read a lot of World War II books and those cover the 1940s fairly well.

I didn't know a lot about the Lindbergh kidnapping which happened in the early 1930s. After reading this book, I can't say I feel any great love for the family. I don't know if it was the author's portrayal, or if the family really was that remote, but I wasn't very impressed. I found this book interesting in that it taught me more about a piece of history I didn't know much about, but I don't know if I'd recommend this book, unless you are very interested in the Lindbergh kidnapping.

A random book about horse racing, again in the 1930s, does not sound like a book that I'd be really interested in. However, I actually found this book quite fascinating. I was cheering for Seabiscuit and wanting to race through to see how it all ended. It's bizarre to me that I've found books about random sports in the 1930s (car racing, horse racing) so intriguing. Also, I have a newfound respect for horse jockeys after reading this book.

I had a vague idea of who Hedy Lamarr was -- a film actress from the past -- but I had no idea of her history, or that her main passion was being a scientist. While I didn't find this novel engaging, I did find Hedy's story fascinating. I just felt like maybe it could have been told in a more interesting way. This book made me want to read more about Hedy and her story because I just feel like there's more to learn.

I read this book back in 1999 or 2000 and remember absolutely loving it. We read this for Blog Friends Book Club this month and, I have to be honest, this time it was a slog. I have learned a lot more about the world, and anti-racism, since the first time I read this book, and that coloured my perceptions around it greatly. I know many people still love this book but I just am not one of them any more. I feel a little but like this book is like To Kill A Mockingbird where it was good for its time, but our world has outgrown it.

I had heard so much hype about this book but really knew nothing about it. It finally came in off my hold list and I devoured it. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, it was absolutely worth the wait. If you haven't read this book, what are you waiting for? I want to read this book every year and be delighted by it over and over again.

So that was my reading for the first half of May. I feel like I didn't get as much read what with everything else going on and the fact that The Poisonwood Bible was a slog this time around and took me so long to read.

I hope to wrap up the rest of my May reading next week so come back then because I have, what I think are, some very interesting books to share.


Thursday, June 01, 2023

What's Up Wednesday (On A Thursday): May 2023

Well, if you read my "I Spy" post from Tuesday, you will know that I was complaining big time about my allergies. I wrote that on Monday night and I was feeling pretty miserable. It turns out I was dealing with a little more than allergies, however, as it turned into a slightly larger illness. It's Wednesday evening as I write this, and I'm celebrating the fact that I've been awake for two hours now (yes, that's a record) and I'm starting to feel hungry again. I don't know what I got hit with but it wasn't fun. And it also delayed me writing this post, which is why I'm posting it on a Thursday.

As always on the last Wednesday (or first Thursday!) of the month, I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me Too for their What's Up Wednesday post.

image from here
What we're eating this week... This isn't so much a "what we're eating" as it is a "what I've been drinking." For some reason this month, I am all about lime. I 'm still loving our ice maker, and I put about a tablespoon of lime juice in my glass, fill it with ice, and then add water. I also love adding Coke and making a homemade Lime Coke. So yes, I'm all about the lime, and ice, over here.
Additionally, Dave has made some really amazing stir fries this month and we've been eating them about once a week. He puts in tofu, garlic, ginger, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, and onions. They're sooooo good.

And I attempted to make dandelion shortbread this month. They were pretty good, but a lot of work. I used the recipe found here. Instead of rolling them out, and cutting them with cookie cutters, I rolled them into 1" balls and flattened them with a glass. Also, they only took about 15 minutes to bake, instead of the 25 mentioned in the recipe. I will maybe make them once each spring, but we shall see.

What I'm reminiscing about... As you will read below, we went to a Toronto FC soccer game this past weekend. Dave was going to get nachos for Sam and his friends when he recognized someone sitting a few rows down from us. It was our friend, Jeremy, whom we met in Edmonton. Jeremy and his wife, Hannah, were in the same prenatal group as us, and our first kids (Sam, and their daughter, Stella) were born just a week apart. We were so shocked to see him!!!
Jeremy was in Toronto for a conference and had just decided to get a ticket for the game that day. So I've been reminiscing about our times together in Edmonton, when we were parents of newborns.
Sam, Stella, and another friend from our prenatal class, when the kids were about 1
Stella, Sam, and the younger sisters, when we visited their family in February 2019

What I'm loving... We stayed overnight in Toronto a few weekends ago, and for some reason, Sam had really been wanting to go to IKEA. So we made a stop and got a bunch of new bedding. I told Dave it could be an early 15th anniversary present for us! I am loving it!!!
We also all got new pillows at IKEA. Rachel wanted to update her room (get rid of some of the pink) so we let her pick out new bedding and a new rug for her room as an early birthday present. I am loving how she makes her bed and is really caring for her space these days.

What we've been up to... An Instagram friend referred to May as "May-cember" implying that May holds a lot of the craziness which December does. And for this year, in our case, that was definitely true.

We kicked off the month with Rachel's dance studio's spring performance. Rachel was in three dances over two shows and Dave and I did some volunteering as well.


The next week, Sam played in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament through his school...


...and Rachel and two of her friends did a Science Fair project on "little known animals." I loved the fun fact about the quokka -- they throw their babies at their predators to escape!!! I don't know why this makes me laugh so much!!!


Then we went to Toronto for an overnight to visit some friends and to take in a Jays' game.

The following week, I had a huge work event which took up two evenings, and Rachel needed three cavities filled at the dentist.


And this past weekend, we (very belatedly) celebrated Sam's birthday at a Toronto FC soccer game with two of his friends. They also stayed overnight and we cooked up a big bacon and waffles breakfast for them the next morning.

And in between all that, I'm just trying to be outside as much as possible, living my best outdoors life!

What I'm dreading... Dave has a week long work trip at the end of June. He's gone over the last day of school, the kids' first days of summer vacation (while I still have to work), and our 15th anniversary. I am dreading having to manage that last week of school busy-ness without Dave's help. We've asked a few people to help with the kids since I still have to work, and have two work evening events to attend, but I'm still dreading it.
What I'm working on... Well, I bought about 90 annuals, and I got a few of them planted on Saturday. But I've been working on keeping the other ones alive in our heat wave, until I can get them planted... Hopefully this weekend, I'll be able to finish getting them all in the ground or in planters. And, much to Dave's chagrin, I think I even need to buy a few more plants to round things out! Hahaha!!!
Left: what I started with; Right: what I still have left to plant
A couple of the planters I've put together already.

What I'm excited about... I'm excited to be feeling better soon, I hope! Other than that, I'm just enjoying living life and gearing up for a full June. And Sam and I have a fun mother-son evening planned in a few weeks which I'm looking forward to!
Oh, and I'm excited about some good job news, which, unfortunately, I can't share just yet :)
What I'm watching/reading... I've been watching a lot of Toronto sports teams playing live -- the Blue Jays and Toronto FC. And I was watching Rachel at all her dance rehearsals (and once in the actual show) earlier this month. Other than that, I really haven't watched much of anything. I'm looking forward to watching Sam on the soccer fields, once I feel well enough to go.

As for reading, I read a few books set in the 1940s around the Japanese interment camps so I've been learning more about that history this month.

What I'm listening to... They played this song at the Toronto FC game on Saturday and it's been going through my head. "For the boys, on the field, For the boooooyyysss, on the field..."
What I'm wearing... I haven't been wearing much that's exciting -- shorts, t-shirts, skirts, pajamas. I find this is always the hardest question for me to answer as my clothes don't change all that much from year to year.

What I'm doing this weekend... I really hope I'm feeling better because I have two birthdays to celebrate! If I'm feeling better, I'm going out for dinner with some women friends on Friday to celebrate a friend's birthday, and we're going to Toronto on Sunday to celebrate our friends' son's 2nd birthday. And I'll be trying to get some more of those annuals planted. If I'm not feeling better, I'll be spending the weekend on the couch. Boo.
What I'm looking forward to next month... Honestly, I am still just so grateful for every normal month and activity we get to enjoy. Covid shut down two years of our April through June (2020 and 2021), and I just want to savour every month we get to live our regular lives again. June is bringing two graduations for our family this year, and there's Rachel's birthday in there as well.
I'm also excited because our rose bush is going to bloom again this year. It appears to be on an "every other year" blooming schedule and it's loaded with buds. On the left is our rose bush in June 2021 and on the right is it last night, full of buds about to pop!

What I bought on Amazon... More in keeping with our normal habits, we didn't buy anything on Amazon this month. As I've said before, it's more of a rare thing for us to make Amazon purchases.

What else is new... I think that's it. Once I've recuperated from this nasty bug, I'll be excited to get back to the joy of living life again :)

Thanks for reading my belated post today. I'm looking forward to catching up with all of you once I'm feeling better.