Lain's Log


February 15/12.

Once again, way behind on blogging, so, FLASHBACK to the week that was, starting with Valentine's Day. Decked out in red (what else?), I headed to the florist to buy roses for my parents-in-law (Jean & Ben  Bornstein), and my sister, Carrie. Also had Valentines to deliver to them, and to Carrie's son, Lee, plus cards for cousins, Kevio, Mar, Sacha & Sienna, and of course, for my husband, Sam and our kids, Kate & Max. We exchanged pretty cards in the evening when I got home from my fairy Godmother travels. Didn't feel like cooking (big surprise there), so I ordered food from The Friendly Greek for everyone. Always a great treat! (Kate & her boyfriend, Damian, went out for a romantic dinner of their own at Focaccia  at 17 Hayden Street in the Bloor/Yonge area).

In the lobby of my parents-in-laws' condo, about to make a special delivery!

I received a really special message in the morning that brought tears to my eyes. You never know what someone will say to touch your heart. Back in the old Global days, I used to buy boxes and cut-out books of those little tiny valentines (the kind we used to get back in school days). I'd put one on the desk of every reporter, producer and all the camera folks & editors. I just always liked doing it. Yesterday, got a message from former Global TV reporter Bill Trbovich. Hope he doesn't mind if I post it here. It made me feel good, (and I guess that's what Valentine's Day is all about Charlie Brown!)

Subject: Happy Valentines Day

I always remember the little Valentine's Day card you would put on my desk each year at Global, and I just wanted you to know, it was one of things I miss about working there. It could be the worst day of the year, everything could be going to hell in a hand basket and there would be your valentines card to put my world back into perspective. Today I was thinking of you and thought I would drop you a line and wish you Happy Valentines Day.

All the best

(What can I tell you, Bill? I'm a sucker for Valentines)!

(And Tinker Bell makes them even cuter)!

Bill now works as Communications Director for IAMAW - the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

When I wrote back to thank Bill, and tell him I never even KNEW how people felt about those Valentines, he responded:

I don't know if you have any idea of what those little valentines meant to us in the office. Whenever I get together with former Globalites and your name comes up, everyone remembers your valentines..they always recall how much it touched them to receive that little note of kindness. We were all consumed with getting the story that day and here in our newsroom, someone took the time to step back and remind us of what is really important...friendship and you reminded us of that every year and I thank you for it. 

Sigh. Bill kinda made my day with this unexpected exchange. I still miss the golden Global glamour days once in a while!

When I got to Carrie's place to drop off the flowers, lo & behold, her boyfriend, Paul Nodwell, had arrived about 60 seconds before me with his own bouquet of roses! Coincidental timing and ideas! (But not really).

Both Paul and I adore Carrie so much and know if anyone deserves roses and special attention, it's HER!!
LOVE you Cayr! Where would I EVER be without you????? A goner. Happy Valentine's Day! - Hey, and Paul! Happy birthday today!!

While at Carrie's apartment, I also got to see the little squirrel between her screen and windowpane. She's built a tiny nest and is preparing to have babies. (hard to spot her in the pic, but she's there!)

Carrie also brought out her Prickles the porcupine puppet to show me how she "communicates" with the mummy-to-be squirrel (who is now named Stella). If you haven't seen Carrie's youtube videos, you don't know what you're missing! Episodes 5 & 6 are hilarious and she just keeps getting better & better with her editing and funny voices. All that Polka Dot Door TV training turned her into a master puppeteer and voice artist, and Stella seems to enjoy the company. (and of course, Carrie's singing voice is legendary in Tafelmusik!)

My favourite line is when Prickles asks, "Do ya like baroque music?"

Episode 6 features a little more of the song by our late Aunt, (children's composer Claire Senior Burke) who wrote the song Black Squirrel, (which Carrie sings a little of, so beautifully, at the very end, accompanying herself on guitar). There's no limit to the girl's talent! She should get a kid's TV show out of this!! TVO, - you listening? Check it out!!

The rest of the past week has been spent doing all kinds of things. Driving here and there (sometimes using GPS), sometimes just on my own, looking at sunsets,

heading to the usual haunts,

like Shoppers Drug Mart, (why is it we always need so much stuff from this place?),

or The Harvest Wagon at Summerhill & Yonge, - GREAT specialty market!

where they have the most beautiful arrangements of fresh fruit,

you could ever imagine!

and plenty of fresh veggies too!

Max came with me this day because I was taking him to see a guy who was selling a bass guitar he wanted to buy. (Max spotted it on Craig's List). On the way there, we passed the Summerhill LCBO fountain. Funny to see it freezing up!

We decided to drive over to visit Auntie Ray and bring her two loaves of Ace White Sandwich Bread (her fave) from the bakery next door to Harvest Wagon. They're almost always sold out, so grabbed the two loaves while we had the chance, plus some grape jelly so she could enjoy it on toast the next morning.

On the drive to Auntie Ray's condo, along Bloor Street, Max & I saw this anti-fur rally right outside Holt Renfrew.

(I'm pretty sure the folks running the store weren't thrilled with this kind of publicity right outside their front door!)

When we reached Auntie Ray's condo, she wasn't home! We looked everywhere and figured she must have gone out. She wasn't in the wellness centre, and lunch hour was long over. But on the way through the lobby, we suddenly spotted her!

She was completely alone in the dining room and yelled out to us, "I OWN the joint!" 92 and still as feisty and funny as ever! Max and I joined her in the "private dining room" where she was enjoying a bowl of pudding for dessert.

She invited us to join her and the staffers there didn't seem to mind one bit, being at her beck and call. (since she owns the joint and all!)

After a visit downstairs, we went up to her condo,

which is ever-stunning! Don't think I've EVER seen a senior's condo that looks like this!! Fab.

Every day, she arranges her pillows and stuffed animals in a different way on the bed!

Max took out his new red bass to show Auntie Ray. The guy he bought it from told Max it was custom built by his brother back in 1981. Shades of deja vu for Auntie Ray who lived through her son Kevan's love of the guitar, which began at the same age Max is now (17).

Kevio's passion led to Rough Trade!  Wonder what Max's devotion to music will spin into?? Can't wait to find out. He's very talented. Auntie Ray made me cry by telling Max and I she wants us to know, before it's too late, just how very much her family means to her and how much she loves us. In a world without my Mum and Uncle Ev, hearing her say things like that just chokes me up. (that's young Uncle Ev in the black & white photo right next to Ray). She's sitting in the chair HE always used to be in when we'd visit them. She finds it comforting to sit there now.

Another day this past week, Kate & Damian decided to whip up their own dinner, a pasta dish using a recipe from a friend of theirs.

Basically, the ingredients included pasta, tomatos, garlic and parmesan cheese.

Since I gave up garlic many years ago, (it doesn't like me - stays around WAY too long), the pungent scent permeated the whole house. When Sam and Max got home, it was, "Like WOW man! What the HELL is THAT?" Not a familiar "fragrance" around here. The verdict though, (according to Kate & Damian)? The pasta dish - a HIT!

Meanwhile, Max avoided the garlic scene altogether and got ready for a school dance he was attending with his gorgeous girlfriend, Robyn. LOVE the blue tie! (will have to get Max to give me a pic of him with Robyn at the dance. He says her dress matched the tie!)

Still another day, Carrie came to my house. We were both dressed to work. For months, we've been trying to find some time to try and clean out my office (a MAMMOTH TASK!)
Don't believe me?

Take a look!
It's stuffed to the gills with decades worth of entertainment files, letters, books, magazines, projects, and

(as the Grinch would say) - "packages, boxes and bags, and all that NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE"!

So packed, you can't even walk in the room! The office is also filled with belongings from our late Mum's place. When the house closing date suddenly got moved up by two months last summer, we had to get a lot of things OUTTA there in a big hurry and they ended up in my place, Carrie's apartment and both of our garages. Carrie, being the master organizer (another of her phenomenal talents), went to town, giving me orders on how to start cleaning it up, what to pitch, and on and on. (I know, I'm a candidate for that hoarding TV series).

Just like Mighty Mouse - HERE SHE COMES TO SAVE THE DAY!!!!

I'm not complaining in the least. I NEED ruthlessness to pull off this insane undertaking! It will require a number of more visits, but within 4 hours, we had accomplished quite a bit.

May not look like much, but at least we can see a bit of floor space! I'll be battling the piles of paperwork in front of us next, and Carrie promises to come back to "supervise" again soon!
(praise the Lord!)

As for my garage, doesn't look bad here. Carrie is riding Sacha's old childhood bike, while I'm on the one I used to ride as a teenager. Yep, still have them. Not sure we've ever grown up! Thanks for everything Cayr! (now, you know why I say she deserves Valentine's Day flowers - among a million other things I wish I could give her!) Best sister on the planet - or the universe?

Behind that mysterious centre wooden wall, welcome to The Twilight Zone! In a galaxy hidden far away, (seen, at the moment, only in our imaginations), awaits a lifetime's worth of bizarre and unexplainable things that belonged to our dearly departed Mum. Soon, we'll unravel those mysteries - one weird item at a time.
Cue our theme song.

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