Loving Life in May 2022

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 21 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #71. Come on in for a coffee or tea and let’s chat.

May is almost over and we’ve had a few warm days that felt more like Summer than Spring. The last weekend of May is a good time for me to reflect on my 2022 focus on Health, Home and Leisure to live a healthy and enriched life. Here’s my monthly update.

Health

In May, I continued my indoor exercises (meditation, language lessons, strength training and yoga) and outdoor activities (cycling, walking and playing disc golf). I’ve been cycling more often and longer distance.

I also took many walks to enjoy sunny spring days and May flowers. They make my heart sing and delight me with their beauty, colours, scents, shapes, textures and varieties.

Home

Family: I took the regional GO train to visit my sister. We had a good time together. It was my first time taking public transit since the pandemic started. I traveled during non-peak time and had the clean and comfortable car to myself. Currently, mask is mandatory and hand sanitizer is provided on the GO trains.

Friends: I continued my Tour of Indie Cafés in downtown Toronto. In May, my friends joined me at Boxcar Social at Harbourfront and Café 23 on Queen Street West. Both locations are wonderful for a stroll before or after coffee.

Boxcar Social: Cool interior designs and nice outdoor patio overlooking the skating rink/ pond and Lake Ontario beyond that. Quick service, delicious cappuccino. They use Subtext coffee roasters. In the area where the skating rink usually is during the winter, there’s a huge mural on the ground by artist Amanda McCavour based on her “Spirograph” art, consisting of joyful, colourful, and circular images.

Café 23: Behind the simple exterior is a stylish, Parisian-style café with chandeliers, artworks, books, mirrors, reading/ coffee nooks, and a charming two-level garden patio. Parisian-born owner Vanessa Sansonetti’s background in architecture, eye for design and love for plants influenced her choice of decor. Friendly, quick service, good selection of pastries sourced from local bakeries and delicious cappuccino. They use De Mello and Hale coffee roasters.

Leisure

Photography – I love exploring and photographing Toronto’s neighbourhoods, parks and the waterfront. Nature shows that changes are constant. I experience delightful moments and something new every outing. One example is this Canada geese family with fourteen fuzzy goslings!

Canada geese family
Let’s go for a walk
Canada geese family
Then a swim

Reading – I read six books (five easy and engrossing fiction books and one children’s book in the Dora the Explorer series). Here’s my list by author’s last name:

  1. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  2. The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves
  3. The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
  4. The No-Show by Beth O’Leary
  5. The Layover by Lacie Waldon
  6. Dora’s Camping Trip by Wendy Wax

Writing – I wrote three blogs and hosted three weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkups before today’s post:

  1. Weekday Walk: Exhibition Place
  2. Sakuras and Fleurs de Villes 2022
  3. What Stories Do These Trains Tell?

Overall

May has been an outdoorsy and social month. Most pandemic restrictions have been lifted and the nice weather continues. I’m grateful for all the good things that happened in May. It’s also the month to firm up my summer plans. I’ll probably have less time to blog. I’m looking forward to enjoying June.

How has your May been?

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Loving Life in April 2022

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #67! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

Week 17/ 52

On January 2, 2022, I wrote that this year, I continue to focus my energy on Health, Home, and Leisure to live a healthy and enriched life. The last weekend of April is a good time for me to reflect on how I’ve aligned my actions with my intentions in April. There were a few fun ‘firsts’.

Pasque flowers
First Pasque flowers of 2022

Health

In April, aside from my regular exercises at home, I started a new season of playing disc golf. I’m loving it for two main reasons:

  1. On days when I play disc golf, I get to do three of my favourite activities in one go: Cycling to and from the golf course, walking on the course to play, and playing disc golf. It’s a fantastic three-in-one combo.
  2. I play on weekday mornings. There is no queue, just a beautiful and peaceful golf course, birds, squirrels, geese, lake views and sounds of nature. By noon, I’ve got plenty of fresh air, my nature ‘fix’, and good exercises for my mind and body.
View from Tee 5.
Lovely view from Tee 5

I also did many walks in parks and gardens. Since spring arrival, it’s been delightful to see and photograph emerging blooms every week. I created a slideshow of pretty flowers that carpet the ground beneath trees and shrubs in April. Click on the arrows or swipe to see the slides.

Home

Spring inspired me to start my Tour of Indie Cafés of 2022 and invited my family and friends to join me when they’re available. The plan is to visit up to two indie cafés per month, from April to September, in downtown Toronto. We’ll sit outdoors to enjoy the nice weather and a coffee or tea.

My intentions are three-fold:

  1. To enjoy social time with my family and friends
  2. To support small indie cafés and coffee roasters
  3. To refresh my knowledge of the indie café scene

To start out strong, in April, we met at Arvo and Balzac’s. Both are located in the Distillery District, a National Historic Site and a wonderful place to stroll before or after coffee. Both cafés offered friendly and quick service, interesting and unique interior designs, and delicious cappuccinos.

Arvo: Good vibes. Interiors display Become A Legend light art. They primarily use Phil and Sebastian coffee, roasters from Calgary.

Balzac’s: Beautiful building. Grand Parisian style interior with a chandelier and interesting displays. The company was founded in Stratford, Ontario in 1996. They’re proudly Canadian coffee roasters.

Leisure

Birding – Two Canada geese are back to nest in the same spot that they used last spring. I’ve been checking in on them and other bird nests.

Nesting geese
First sighting of nesting geese of 2022

Reading – I read one inspiring biography and five entertaining fiction books. Here’s the list by author’s last name:

  1. The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
  2. Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins
  3. Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Sarah Delany, A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth (biography)
  4. The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  5. Gathering Dark by Candice Fox
  6. Running Wild by K.A. Tucker

Writing – I wrote four blogs and hosted four Weekend Coffee Share linkups before today’s post:

  1. How I Enjoyed March 2022
  2. What’s Blooming at Allan Gardens?
  3. Happy Easter Weekend
  4. Painted Ladies and Buildings

Overall

April has been amazing with a few fun ‘Firsts of 2022′: First disc golf game, first cappuccino at Arvo, first signs of spring, and first time reading Anna Collins’ debut book and the Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years.

I look forward to enjoying May. As always, I’m thankful for my good health, my family, my friends, all good experiences and joyful moments.

How has your April been?

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How I Enjoyed March 2022

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #63! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

Week 13/ 52

On January 2, 2022, I wrote that this year, I continue to focus my energy on Health, Home, and Leisure to live a healthy and enriched life. April 1 is a good time for me to reflect on how well I’ve aligned my actions with my intentions in March.

Waterfront Trail
The Waterfront Trail, March 2022

Health

In March, I continued my wellness routine. Indoor practice includes meditation, language lessons, strength training and yoga. Outdoor fitness includes cycling and walking; both have increased in frequency as the weather improves.

When I cycle or walk on a nature trail, it’s a time for heightened sensory awareness and health booster – the colors around me, the variety of birds, the sounds of birdsong, the views of Lake Ontario, and the sight of new buds on trees in spring along my route.

Home

Family – As we moved into spring, outdoor social events gradually returned. I celebrated two family birthdays with an outing to see five Winter Stations at Woodbine Beach. Spring inspired me to bake before the summer heat arrives. The banana muffins and blueberry muffins turned out yummy and were devoured.

Friends – A lovely evening out to celebrate a longtime friend’s birthday gave us the opportunity to admire three beautiful art installations. A coffee date with another longtime friend included a visit to see six amazing black and white murals.

Community – On March 21, Ontario lifted masking requirements in most indoor settings. Toronto welcomes back major in-person events and festivals this spring and summer. I intend to volunteer at selected events to support my city.

On March 20, I volunteered to help at the Achilles St. Patrick’s Day 5K Race, awarding participants medals at the end of the race. The event successfully raised money towards supporting athletes with physical and mental disabilities and the Red Cross Humanitarian Relief Funds For Ukraine.

Leisure

Bird watching – The common birds in spring have returned in good numbers: American robins, European starlings, red cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, red-breasted nuthatches, to name a few.

I was pleased to see about twenty Trumpeter swans by Toronto Outer Harbour. Their black bills distinguish them from other swan species. The bright yellow numbered wing tags mean the re-introduced Trumpeters are from Ontario.

Blogging – I wrote four blogs and hosted four Weekend Coffee Share linkups:

  1. Cycling The Lower Don Trail
  2. Visoleil, moonGARDEN and Dreaming
  3. These B/W Murals Revive History
  4. Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring 2022

Reading – I read seven engaging books; listed below by author’s last name:

  1. Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (family grief)
  2. The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (detective)
  3. The High Road by Terry Fallis (humour)
  4. Operation Angus by Terry Fallis (humour)
  5. Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls (fantasy)
  6. Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (time travel)
  7. Small Bodies of Water by Nina Mingya Powles (memories, essays)

Overall

March was a fulfilling month that ended my first quarter of 2022 on a positive note. Throughout winter 2022, I maintained a good fitness level with regular exercises, stayed connected with my family and friends, contributed what I could to my community, and enjoyed several leisure activities.

I’m grateful for my good health, joyful moments and fun experiences in March. April is off to a beautiful start.

Pink cyclamens with water droplets

How was your March?

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How I Enjoyed February 2022

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #58! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

Week 8/ 52

On January 2, 2022, I wrote that this year, I continue to focus my energy on Health, Home, and Leisure to live a healthy and enriched life. The last weekend of February is a good time for me to reflect on February happenings.

A snow-covered park on February 1, 2022

Health

In February, I continued my wellness routine with small changes. I welcomed more cycling and walking thanks to having less extreme cold days than in January. Winter is Nature’s rest time so I adjusted my yoga practice to do restorative poses and gentle stretches.

The month started off with a beautiful morning. I cycled to Ontario Place to look for a unique feature of winter: Ice formations. I was rewarded with fascinating ice-encased plants, ice-covered boulders, ice pebbles along the shore of Lake Ontario, and flocks of attractive redheads and long-tailed ducks in the marina.

Click on the arrows to see the slides.

How cold was it? It was balmy at 5 Celsius degrees (42F) when I was on this trip. The sun was out, the lake was restless, sending small waves to the shore and splashing water on the boulders.

Some other fun outings included walks in the Toronto Music Garden where I admired nature and colourful artwork amid the winter landscape, and a tour of Toronto’s neighbourhoods to see the three pet murals that I adore.

Home

For a short month, February was full of virtual celebrations with my extended family and friends on Lunar New Year’s Day, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and Family Day holiday. In the kitchen, I used the oven regularly since comfort and warmth are appealing in the winter.

My family and I had a good time at the outdoor Nordic Lights festival. The dazzling light art installations by Canadian and Nordic artists filled up our senses with colours, images, lights, patterns, shapes, sounds, and textures.

Leisure

I balanced my leisure time outdoors with relaxing time indoors, mainly listening to music, blogging, reading and writing. Blogs, books and music take me to faraway places without leaving home.

On the blog, I added the 2022 Weekend Coffee Share badge to my sidebar. I joined Dan at No Facilities blog for a fun bloggers’ conversation. I hosted four Weekend Coffee Share linkups and contributed to a few photography challenges and blog parties.

Blogging – I wrote one blog per week:

  1. January 2022 Reflections
  2. Toronto Music Garden in Winter
  3. Nordic Lights: 6 Dazzling Displays
  4. Which Pet Is Your Favourite?

Reading – I enjoyed six thought-provoking books in February:

  1. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  2. Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri
  3. The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey
  4. Sula by Toni Morrison
  5. Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud
  6. The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Overall

That wraps up my fun and fulfilling February. I’m enjoying life at my pace. I’m thankful for my good health, family, friends, cozy home, and all the good experiences and joyful moments in February.

How has your February been?

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January 2022 Reflections

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #54! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

Week 4/ 52

On January 2, 2022, I wrote that this year, I continue to focus my energy on Health, Home, and Leisure to live a healthy and enriched life. The last weekend of January is a good time for me to reflect on January happenings.

White birch trees and a clear blue sky on January 4, 2022
White birch trees and a clear blue sky on January 4, 2022

Health

In January, I consistently completed my wellness routine: Some outdoors (cycling, walking) and some indoors (practicing meditation, language lessons, strength training, and yoga). Taking care of my health every day is second nature to me. What I’m mindful about is to keep my exercises fresh by making small changes to them at least monthly.

On extreme cold or snow days, I use a new-to-me dance cardio workout at home as a substitute for cycling outdoors. The workout with upbeat music is fun. It keeps my brain and body engaged, improves my coordination, boosts my mood, and is good for overall toning.

On normal winter days, I continue exploring my corner of the world, enjoying Lake Ontario, cycling or walking on recreational trails, and visiting Toronto’s parks and neighbourhoods. The trails are quiet on weekdays in winter, allowing me to savour the beauty of the season.

Ice and snow in Toronto Harbour on January 25, 2022
Ice and snow in Toronto Harbour on January 25, 2022

Home

The new year started on a bright note. I finished my first community food drive on January 4 with 350 food items collected and delivered to a fire hall. It was rewarding to see the donations lifted and placed in a big Daily Bread truck to go to the food bank.

I had four virtual happy birthday celebrations with my family and a dear friend. We’re geographically dispersed so virtual gatherings work. I also took friendly walks with a senior neighbour.

I worked on purging, recycling and improving my physical and digital space. As a result, my home is more organized and I regain some space. I feel satisfied with the progress I’ve made in January.

Leisure

Similar to my Health activities, I take a balanced approach to leisure: Some outdoors and some indoors. In January, my outdoor time included exploring beautiful nature, discovering amazing park murals, watching birds, and listening to bird sounds along the shore of Lake Ontario.

My indoor leisure time was spent on listening to music, reading articles, books and blogs, writing blog posts, hosting the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link-ups, and sharing my stories, photos and comments with my blogging community.

Blogs I wrote:

Books I read: Listed by author’s last name; asterisk indicates new-to-me authors.

  1. The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis *
  2. The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
  3. A Separation by Katie Kitamura *
  4. Heart Berries A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot *
  5. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill *
  6. Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto *
  7. We the Animals by Justin Torres *
  8. Navigate Your Stars by Jesmyn Ward, illustrations by Gina Triplett *

Overall

January has been a calm and fulfilling month for me. I’m thankful for my good health, my cozy home, and all the good experiences and joyful moments in January.

How has your January been?

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Good Books Beautiful Lights

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #50! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

Weekend Coffee Share Holiday Schedule

As posted last week:

  • December 24: No link-up
  • December 31: No link-up
  • January 7: Weekend Coffee Share resumes with link-up #51

Week 50/ 52 of 2021

1. Mild Weather

It’s been a good week with a few sunny days and above seasonal temperatures every day. Last Saturday and this Thursday the daytime high temperatures reached 16C (61F). I enjoyed cycling and walking, including one walk with my neighbour.

A beautiful morning
A beautiful morning

The sun sets around 4:40 p.m. here at this time of the year. The mild and sunny weather also brought fiery sunsets when I took my evening walks.

A gorgeous sunset.
A gorgeous sunset

2. Good Books

I enjoyed reading six fiction books this past month. I use the Toronto Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge categories to read widely and discover new books, authors, and genres. You can see the full list of books I’ve read and the categories I’ve met so far this year on my Books in 2021 page at the top of my blog.

My recent reads by author’s last name include:

  1. Gone by Midnight – Candice Fox
  2. Hostage – Clare Mackintosh
  3. The Road Trip – Beth O’Leary
  4. Address Unknown – Kathrine Kressmann Taylor
  5. The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams
  6. Much Ado About You – Samantha Young

Four of the above six authors were new to me: Mackintosh, Taylor, Williams and Young. While I enjoyed reading all six novels, my admiration goes to Address Unknown. The book, written in the form of a series of letters (known as epistolary style), is impactful and thought-provoking.

So far this year, Address Unknown (64 pages) is the shortest book and Barack Obama’s memoir A Promised Land (751 pages) is the longest book that I’ve read. They’re both illuminating reads.

3. Dazzling Lights

After sunset, elaborate light displays and beautiful holiday decorations in downtown Toronto make December feel festive and different from all other months in the year. I have zero holiday shopping to do so my evening walks are pure leisure.

Brookfield Place Allen Lambert Galleria
Dazzling lights in Allen Lambert Galleria
Moose family
Sparkling deer and stars
Trees with white lights
Trees with white lights
Tree at Commerce Court
Tree and ornaments shine under ceiling lights
Blue light tunnels
Glittering light tunnels as part of #CavalcadeOfLights
Lit-up picture frame
A whimsical picture frame and over 100 lit trees glimmer
Light strings
Shimmering light strings
Happy holidays

Happy Holidays

I’d like to thank the Weekend Coffee Share blogging community for your active participation. Whether you posted once, or every week, I appreciate your effort. Together we’ve made the weekly link-up a success. Total 50 link-ups in 2021.

I’d also like to thank my regular blog readers and fellow bloggers for your ongoing support. Your comments enrich my day and make my blogging journey fun. I greatly appreciate our blogging connections.

I look forward to enjoying the holidays and ringing in 2022 with gratitude and optimism.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season!

Linked up with #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC27, #SundayStills, #WhatsOnYourBookshelf.

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Recent Reads and Fall Colours

Black Gum tree in autumn.

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #42! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a mild week with daytime high temperatures ranged from 14C to 21C (57F-70F). The weather was ideal for long bike rides and long walks so I did that most mornings. Nature gives me a new stunning landscape every day.

It was also a fun and leisure week. I cycled to several parks and beaches. I met a friend in High Park for a nice 5K hike and coffee catch-up. I walked another 5K with my neighbour to visit a beautiful garden. I saw new public art exhibits and finished my book of the week.

Recent Reads

Speaking of books, I’m pleased to contribute to the #WhatsOnYourBookShelf challenge, co-hosted by four lovely bloggers Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie.

I use the Toronto Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge categories to read widely and discover new books, authors, and genres. You can see the full list of books I’ve read and the categories I’ve met so far this year on my Books in 2021 page at the top of my blog.

My recent reads by author’s last name include:

  1. Beartown – Fredrik Backman
  2. The Dark Lake – Sarah Bailey
  3. The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
  4. Lost – Michael Robotham
  5. The Miseducation of Evie Epworth – Matson Taylor
  6. Second First Impressions – Sally Thorne

Sarah Bailey, Matt Haig, and Matson Taylor were new to me authors. I enjoyed all six novels, especially The Midnight Library and The Miseducation of Evie Epworth. Second First Impressions was a light and fun romance comedy fiction. The other three novels were good although I felt that they were a bit long for the story lines.

Fall Colours

October is a beautiful month here with the vivid Fall colours. I feel fortunate to see them every year. This year the warm weather has delayed the leaves changing colours. The late summer flowers are still looking good while the yellow, orange and red start to show.

Here are some photos of Fall colours. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Oak leaves in autumn.
Leaves started to change colours.
Potted mums and pumpkins on haystacks.
Burgundy potted mums and pumpkins on haystacks are common signs of Fall.
Maple trees changing colours.
Two maple trees with pops of Fall colours greeted me on this path.
Dahlias.
These bright dahlias last well into Fall.
Queen Elizabeth rose.
Roses are still doing well in the gardens, like this gorgeous ‘Queen Elizabeth’ rose.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Linking to #Colour2021: Orange, #FOTD, #LifeThisWeek, #SundayStills: Pink.

How was your week? What’s on your bookshelf?

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Recent Reads and Golden Finds

Sunflower and bees.

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #37! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of mostly sunny days with thunders, lightning and rain on Tuesday night. Daytime high temperatures ranged from 22C to 27C (72F to 81F) although cooler in the morning and evening. The parks are still full of green trees and beautiful flowers like the flowers I feature in this post.

It was also the week before Canada’s Federal Election. Election day is on September 20. I went to cast my vote first thing in the morning on one of the advance poll days. There was no line-up. It felt good to get this important action item done.

One of my neighbours called and asked me to go for a walk with her. At 80+ years of age and living alone, B is active and sharp as a tack. She talked, I listened and we did a 3.2 km (2 miles) walk. She’d like to walk with me again next week.

The rest of the week went well. I cycled most mornings, saw herons at a conservation area, took several walks, played disc golf twice, completed my mind and body exercises, chatted with my family and friends, and did house chores, reading and writing.

Recent Reads

I’m pleased to contribute to the #WhatsOnYourBookShelf challenge, co-hosted by four lovely bloggers Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie.

I use the Toronto Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge categories to read widely and discover new books, authors, and genres. You can see the full list of books I’ve read and the categories I’ve met so far this year on my Books in 2021 page at the top of my blog.

My recent reads by author’s last name include:

  1. The Outlander – Gil Adamson
  2. Lock & Key – Sarah Dessen
  3. The Giver of Stars – Jojo Moyes
  4. Lily and the Octopus – Steven Rowley
  5. Peace by Chocolate – Jon Tattrie (non-fiction)
  6. The One We Fell In Love With – Paige Toon

I was pleased to discover Jon Tattrie and Paige Toon who were new to me. If I were to rate this batch of books, on a 5-star scale, I’d give 5 stars to Peace By Chocolate, 4.5 stars to The Giver of Stars and 4 stars to the other books. I linked the book titles to GoodReads.

While both The Giver of Stars and Peace by Chocolate are excellent stories of human resilience, compassion, kindness, love, family, friendship and community, I give an extra 0.5 point to Peace By Chocolate because it’s a true story of a family of Syrian refugees who settled in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The book is an easy read at about 200 pages. Does chocolate play a role in the story? Yes, Peace by Chocolate ships worldwide (this is not an affiliated link).

Golden Finds

Inspired by Cee’s Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC#14) and Terri’s Sunday Stills Colour Challenge – Harvest Gold or Citrine, I took photos of a few golden bronze art objects and flowers that are in the gardens.

Mural by unknown artist.
Mural by unknown artist.
Marlin sculpture by Andrew Posa, 1987.
Marlin sculpture by Andrew Posa, 1987.
U.V. Ceti by Andrew Posa.
U.V. Ceti sculpture by Andrew Posa, “Dedicated to Edward Isaac Richmond, architect, 1908-1982. A kind man who shared his love of beauty.”
'Cherokee Sunset' Back-eyed Susan flowers.
Black-eyed Susan flowers.
Citrine Coreopsis flower.
Marigolds.
Marigolds.
An Autumn Beauty sunflower.
An ‘Autumn Beauty’ Sunflower is a showy mixture of colours including golden yellow, bronze, brown, and burgundy.

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So how did your week go? What’s on your bookshelf?

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Laneway Art and Recent Reads

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #33! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate, or cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of sunny, warm and humid days. I had fun cycling, walking, kayaking, canoeing, and playing disc golf. Today I’m sharing wonderful art in a laneway, my recent reads, and a friendly reminder.

Laneway Art

I cycled to Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood then walked a quiet Euclid-Palmerston laneway. This laneway is a vast display of seventy five colourful garage doors painted by an amazing array of Toronto’s mural and street artists.

In 2018 and 2019, Jieun June Kim and Erika James (also known as KJ Bit Collective) partnered with the city’s StreetARToronto program to transform this community laneway into a giant canvas of graffiti and mural art. KJ Bit organized seventy five artists to paint garages in two live-paint jams. The initiatives were well supported by local residents who now enjoy their revitalized laneway.

Jieu June Kim art
208P – Painted doors by Jieu June Kim

I’m sharing twenty two images of the painted garage doors in today’s post, and the remaining garage door images in future posts. I’ve noted the street number, artist’s name and year based on my look-up.

Remember to click on any image in the gallery to see it in full view and use the arrow to move to the next image. Sharing for #ThursdayDoors, #PPAC10, Monday Murals and #LifeThisWeek.

Which door(s) in the gallery do you like?

Recent Reads

I’m pleased to contribute to the first #WhatsOnYourBookShelf challenge, co-hosted by four lovely bloggers Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie.

I use the Toronto Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge categories to read widely and discover new books, authors, and genres. You can see the full list of books I’ve read and the categories I’ve met so far this year on my Books in 2021 page at the top of my blog.

My recent reads in July and August by author’s last name include:

  1. The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes
  2. Love At First – Kate Clayborn
  3. Dreamland – Sarah Dessen
  4. The Anthropocene Reviewed – John Green
  5. The Good Sister – Sally Hepworth
  6. Life’s Too Short – Abby Jimenez
  7. The Editor – Steven Rowley
  8. From My Mother’s Back – Njoki Wane

Five of the eight authors were new to me. I was pleased to discover them. I linked the book title to the author’s web site or GoodReads. If I were to rate this batch of books, on a 5-star scale, I’d give 4.5 stars to The Good Sister and The Anthropocene Reviewed. The other six books got 4 stars.

What’s on your bookshelf?

Friendly Reminder

I’m delighted to be hosting the Sunday Stills photography challenge on August 22 while host Terri is on blogging break. The theme is ‘In The Garden‘. I look forward to seeing all your entries for this week’s Sunday Stills photography challenge.

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Coffee Share #2 | Words and Photos

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share 2021

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #2! Please come on in and help yourself with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station. I can hardly wait to share my news and photos with you.

1. Awesome Coffee Share Party #1

  • By closing time on Sunday, 25 bloggers from 5 continents have participated. Countries include Canada, Australia, Iceland, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States. Isn’t that amazing?
  • About 50% of the participants joined the Weekend Coffee Share link up for the first time. This is a great opportunity for all participants to make new blogging connections. Thank you, everyone, for coming.
  • I added the InLinkz link to make it easier for participants to see all the links in one place. At any time that the InLinkz link doesn’t work, plan B is to use the Comments section.

I read all participants’ blogs and appreciate what you’re sharing in words and photos. Either via InLinkz or Comments, I read what you have to say.

Overall, Weekend Coffee Share party #1 exceeded my expectations. I hope you also had a positive experience. If so, please spread the word. My InLinkz link can accommodate up to 50 participants.

2. A Promised Land

My library let me skip the line to borrow A Promised Land, Barack Obama’s latest book and presidential memoirs. The e-book version shows 1177 pages on my iPad. Normal loans allow 21 days before the book is due. The Skip the Line loans are for 7 days only. I set a target to read close to 200 pages each day for six days, and used the 7th day to review selected chapters.

The timing of this book loan is perfect. Given the recent US presidential election and the upcoming inauguration, the book content is more relevant to me now than any other time. It’s interesting to read history and watch live US presidential events that are going to be part of history.

At 1177 pages, there are thousands of words, and yes, there are 81 photos at the end.

3. Thursday Doors

Speaking of photos, I went through the digital images on my phone to delete those I don’t want to keep and to free up the memory space for new photos. From this exercise, I chose four photos for the Thursday Doors photo challenge. Here’s my entry this week.

Kwagu’t ceremonial house in Victoria, BC, Canada.

This Kwagu’t ceremonial house is part of the hereditary cultural property of Chief David Knox of Tsaxis (Fort Rupert). Go up the few steps in front of the house, and if you zoom in, you see the door handle in the centre.

Front entrance of Roy Henry Vickers Gallery in Tofino, BC, Canada.
Doors to enter Roy Henry Vickers Gallery in Tofino, BC, Canada.

Two black doors framed with painted cedar planks mark the entrance to Roy Henry Vickers Gallery in Tofino. If you haven’t heard of this Canadian artist, I encourage you to visit his web site for his biography and amazing art. I do not earn any commission for mentioning the artist’s name or his web site.

Beautiful wood carvings at the doors inside Roy Henry Vickers Gallery.
Beautiful wood carvings at the doors inside Roy Henry Vickers Gallery.
Art displays inside Roy Henry Vickers Gallery.
Art displays on the walls and on the door framed by two big wood carvings in the gallery.

The rest of my week went well. Your turn:

  1. How did your week go?
  2. Are you looking forward to joining the Weekend Coffee Share blog party?
  3. What do you think of the above doors?

I’d love to hear your comments.

Linking with #lifethisweek, #senisal, #weeklysmile.

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