sugar reduced pumpkin pie, autumn hike and more zombies

this past thanksgiving weekend was way busier than planned. with doug and i celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and a last-minute thanksgiving party with friends, we also had cousins from vancouver visiting (lunch on wednesday after my physical and a peking duck dinner friday night) as well as our traditional thanksgiving feast at my parents’ place on sunday.

doug and i (and chaeli) made the whole wheat bread stuffing, curried butternut squash soup (just a cup for everyone as an appetizer) and my traditional pumpkin pie. the difference this year was that i cut the sugar down to 1/2 of what the recipe called for and used an extra teaspoon of cinnamon. it finally appeased my parents who always complains my pumpkin pie is too sweet.

i was so tired, though, that i wasn’t able to enjoy the bliss of an after-turkey-feast. it took me everything in my power to try and stay awake. on the ride home, i was totally out.

on monday, we went for a hike in the woods. the changing fall colours are now almost over but we managed to still see some lingering splashes of red, orange and yellow. doug has a route on the way back from the little rouge creek, that takes us off the main trail. a good choice because there were so many people hiking that day. all through the year, the rouge trails are not that busy but come thanksgiving weekend, BAM! you have everyone and their dogs out and about!

the small path that separates us from the main one leads to an upper field. it was along this path we were able to let hobbes be leash-free. he bounced and bounded everywhere!

when i came back home, i took a 45 minute nap. so while this past weekend was a lot of fun, it was more tiring than i had anticipated.

still, i managed to get in some walking dead. i’m on season 3, episode 6. i have the biggest soft-spot for daryl.

10th wedding anniversary – with david bowie and ai weiwei

so doug and i finally made it – this past friday, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.

the weekend didn’t go exactly as originally planned. while we had already arranged for chaeli to stay with my parents as we booked massages and manicures at The Old Mill Spa for Saturday, and bought tickets to see David Bowie Is… and According to What? at the AGO, my cousins from vancouver were visiting this past week so Friday night, we had dinner with them and my side of the family. then saturday night, there was a last minute invite for a thanksgiving turkey feast (and food drive) in oakville with friends (including rita, harry and kids who were visiting from the states).

while doug and i never got to do an anniversary dinner, we made most of our daytime spent together.

Art Gallery of Ontario

winding staircase of AGO atrium

first off, David Bowie Is… was well worth the bus, rapid transit and subway ride downtown. neither doug or i have been back to the art gallery since all the work had been done to transform it to the beautiful structure it is now (i speak mostly of the work inside – not sure how i feel about the outside, to be honest).

being a big fan of classic bowie, i had a great time listening to the audio tour (which included a lot of his earlier tunes). but like his music or not, one can’t help but to respect how much influence he’s been for 5 decades as an artist. you learn how much work he put into his career. and how he even fictionalized himself as different characters for different themes and albums.

the design of the exhibit was good except doug and i both noted that there were a few small rooms which became over-crowded very quickly. sometimes, the audio also did not kick in and we had to sort of dance around within an area in order to figure out where the optimal place was to stand in order to trigger the respective audio track. still – these small flaws were not that grand and did not wreck our experience that day.

Ai Weiwei - According to What?

Moon Chest by Ai Weiwei

after the bowie exhibit, we went straight to ai weiwei’s According to What? exhibit.

this exhibit did not disappoint. and thankfully, ada had suggested that i watch the documentary, Never Sorry (on netflix) before seeing the exhibit. i admit that prior to nuit blanche 2013 when we saw his Forever Bycicles, i knew nothing of ai weiwei (aside from his Bird’s Next stadium at the Beijing Olympics).

Ai Weiwei -

Grapes by Ai Weiwei

it was almost emotional as we found our way to the first of two large, grand rooms. the first wall to our left was the list of 5000 plus childrem that died during the massive earthquake in poorly structured ‘tofu’ schools. weiwei was furious at the government’s choice to not release the number of school age children who lost their lives that day, feeling that this was information the people of china had the right to know, thereby starting many of his actions which lead to his house arrest and being detained in china (as well as a hit on the head from the police that caused a serious brain swelling).

Ai Weiwei -

Straight by Ai Weiwei

another emotional project was the 150 tonnes steel rebar rods he collected from many of the schools that were destroyed by the earthquake.  a tremendous amount of work went into straightening each one back to it’s original form then put together, laid out across a vast space of the floor.

standing infront of it, and as i walked around this huge display, i can only describe it as this eerie and haunting representation of the children and teachers who lost their lives that day. the jagged distruption that went down the middle, for me, symbolized the failure of these structures (and therefore, the government) to protect the citizan’s safety. i think weiwei was trying to show his broken country through this piece.

Ai Weiwei -

Colored Vases (front) and Dropped (back) by Ai Weiwei

view complete photo set of the According to What? exhibit.

coral mani and the continuation of twilight saga

another girl’s day with the start of brunch at our usual, local diner followed by a mother-daughter manicure session. i have now bought my own manicure tools – the place we go to is pretty good at sterlizing everything in front of you but it gave me more comfort to have my own set of tools.

chaeli picked blue (as she always does though each time, she picks different shades, sometimes sparkly, sometimes not…) and i picked this beautiful, bright coral colour. something i’ve eyes on other women’s nails. as it fits the warmer months, i figured i should get it now as we’re still being blessed with temperature in the low 20’s during the day. and lots of sunshine.

doug and i have an appointment at a spa for our 10th wedding anniversary coming up in a couple of weekends which includes 1 hr massages followed by a lavendar manicure for me and a men’s manicure for him. the massages will be covered by our employee benefits but the manicures will be a treat.

i just couldn’t wait, though, and decided to settle for a basic manicure at a regular no-frills nail spa to tie me over.

and i’ve needed the pampering.

we’re about to watch the third twilight movie, eclipse. chaeli’s says she’s all about team jacob (becuase he’s cuter).

oh god help us…

9th wedding anniversary

i didn’t get doug anything for our anniversary. nothing new, really. we normally just make sure we celebrate. my parents babysit on a weekend we can make just ours and we either stay in and cook, go out for dinner or, on a rare occassion, go for a mini-vacation. these past couple of years have just been day trips with nice hikes or visits with the wineries.

anyway – i’m also not big on cards. but this year, i really felt a need to give my husband a heartful letter. we’re not together today but he’s always carried in my heart wherever i go:

dear doug,

happy 9th wedding anniversary!

it’s crazy to know that it’s already been 9 years with just another year to go for our 10th.

i didn’t get you anything – not even a card. so all i can do for the moment is be very honest with you with my feelings…

i’m so happy to know that i’ve found some one like you in my life. you make me laugh and you know cool things that i would never know and in fact, didn’t know before meeting you. like when our city had that gang-issue earlier this summer, and they went on about gun control. and how you taught me that was pretty much bs because of what our gun laws are already like (i.e. you explained exactly what it was involved to legally own a gun and how tougher did they expect it to get?) or your plethora of advanced first aid knowledge. and even though it sometimes bugs me to watch a tv drama show (like rescue me or chicago fire which we watched together last night) when you say things like, “that’s so not real” or “yeah, that would never happen” i still like watching those kinds of shows with you because in the end, i learn a lot. and it gives me pleasure to see you so wrapped up in something that is the passion of your life.

i’m so sorry that i’m not able to give you a life where it is free of the darkness that comes with my mental suffering. i wish it just wasn’t so. it is definitely not fair to you and i really do hope whatever it is that i have does not get worse.

i still envision the two of us, as an old couple (hopefully not fighting as much as my parents) going for walks and holding hands – no matter how old we are.

love, shy.

yoga me

it’s been a really hard couple of weeks for me. i’m actually taking a couple of sick days (well, at least today – i will play tomorrow by ear) due to a panic attack.

doug really wanted me to take the day off. too bad he had to work – it is our wedding anniversary today. but that’s ok – even if this week didn’t pan out as badly as it did, we would have had to postpone our anniversary celebration until next month.

i’m tired. physically, but even more so, emotionally. still, i’ve managed to do some mild yoga. i find the breathing really helps to calm me down. so i decided to post about some of my favourite yoga positions – they are the easier ones but they calm me the most.

read more from my post, yoga me.