February started off with a fun girls’ night-in at my place with my sister and nieces, followed by a wine and cheese party with my neighbours, several coffee dates and movie nights with my friends, and ended with a nice family getaway.
For our February girls’ night in, I prepared a three-course meal. My nieces played a few piano songs. We chatted and played Scrabble after dinner. We all had a lovely time and agreed to have the next get-together in April. I used to host big family parties. Now dinner for eight feels just right and I’m thankful to have a dishwasher!
In between the social gatherings, I completed all my health goals and enjoyed plenty of leisure activities. I keep track of the numbers for my own benefit. Details are below.
I viewed six visually interesting art exhibits:
- IceFest 2020: An exhibit of about 35 amazing ice sculptures, with the theme Awesome 80s. I’ve shared some photos in my previous post and am sharing a few more of the ice sculptures in this post.
- Speculative Characters for Visual Inflection by Mia Cinelli. See Languages section below.
- Building Black: Amorphia by Ekow Nimako. The exhibit comprised of eight West African masks made by over 50,000 black Lego pieces.
- Colin Kaepernick Wants You to Know Your Rights exhibit: An exclusive Canadian debut public art installation, courtesy of Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, featuring freedom fighters representing the organization’s beliefs, from athletes to activists to lawyers, scholars and actors.
- Making of A Legend – Works by D’Wayne Edwards: This exhibit is made up of Edwards’ signature footwear designs for athletic companies such as Nike and Air Jordan and memorabilia.
- Ascension Tech exhibit by Yung Yemi: A multimedia exhibition that explores ancient ancestral teachings and pays homage to African history.
I did my monthly blog and media back-up, wrote four posts, and hosted the 2nd Wellness Weekend link-up of 2020:
- January Wrap-Up
- A Walk Among the Roses
- Hiking to Devil’s Cauldron Waterfall (#WW2020 link-up)
- Do You Love the 80s?
The next Wellness Weekend link-up is on March 15. Optional prompt: Spring Forward. I hope you join in on the fun.
I enjoyed reading six fictional books which took me from the rock and roll scenes in Hollywood, to crime near Chicago, dramatic family life in Afghanistan, brave Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia, to adventures during the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon, and how comics break a couple of young adults’ hearts in Nova Scotia. Love is beautifully woven throughout each story:
- Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
- Wherever She Goes by K.L. Armstrong.
- And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.
- Stand on the Sky by Erin Bow.
- At The Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham.
- Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks.
I completed all my health goals, slept well, and feel great:
- Greeted every new day with a smile.
- Meditated 15 minutes daily, 29 times in February.
- Made 25 walks outdoors, average 8 km (5 miles) each walk.
- Did 12 strength workouts in the gym, one hour each.
- Attended 8 yoga classes, one hour each. Our regular yoga teacher was on vacation for two weeks. We got a substitute teacher and it was refreshing to practice a new combination of yoga poses with her.
- Went swimming 4 times, one hour each.
- Had 4 full rest days.
One of the art exhibits that I viewed was the Speculative Characters for Visual Inflection by Mia Cinelli. I found the characters interesting. From top left of the above photo and clockwise: Exaspericon, Snark marks, Shrug sign, Disinterest mark, Worried quotes, Awkward pause, Disgust mark, Skeptical quotes, Affecticon, Elaticon, and Angry quotes.
I continue to learn French and Spanish daily on Duolingo, 30 minutes each time. In addition, I learned a few new fun words from assorted online articles, such as kakeibo, a Japanese budgeting method, and clafoutis, a French dessert that I’d like to add to my baking repertoire.
February was the month of Oscar awards so my neighbours and I enjoyed watching four good movie picks:
- The Good Liar starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen.
- Ford v Ferrari starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon.
- Parasite starring Kang-ho Song and Sun-kyun Lee.
- Knives Out starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas.
Aside from listening to music from the 80s played by live DJs at the Icefest 2020 event, I attended three jazz and piano concerts with my friends:
- The Tanya Wills Jazz Quartet played an hour of beautiful jazz songs from great musicians such as Miles Davis, Ray Charles, and Edith Piaf.
- Emily Chiang and Megan Chang played an hour of piano for four hands from Beethoven, Schumann and Gabriel Fauré.
- The Bedford Trio: Alessia Disimino (violin), Andrew Ascenzo (cello), and Jialiang Zhu (piano) played an hour of music composed by Beethoven and Frank Bridge.
My family and I took a three-day getaway about an hour west of the city. We stayed in a hotel, ate out, and met up with our friends who live in the area. The weather was cool and sunny, without ice or snow on the ground so we enjoyed walking outdoors. Even though we didn’t go far, the change of routine was great. Relaxation replaced grocery shopping, home cleaning, meal prepping, etc.
So that was my February. I’m grateful for another enriching month. How was yours? I’d love to hear your comments.
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