COVID-19 Chronicles



Watch City of Toronto Daily News Conference.

Smiles : )

Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem.

I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I'm cracking a safe.

I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.

Still haven't decided where to go for Easter ----- The Living Room or The Bedroom

 
PSA: every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
 
Homeschooling is going well. 2 students suspended for fighting and 1 teacher fired for drinking on the job.

I don't think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we'd go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone.

This morning I saw a neighbour talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog..... we laughed a lot.

So, after this quarantine.....will the producers of My 600 Pound Life just find me or do I find them?

Quarantine Day 5: Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.
 
My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee it cleans the toilet.
Day 5 of Homeschooling: One of these little monsters called in a bomb threat.
 
I'm so excited --- it's time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?
 
I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to Puerto Backyarda. I'm getting tired of Los Livingroom.
Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.
 
Day 6 of Homeschooling: My child just said "I hope I don't have the same teacher next year".... I'm offended.
 
Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under.

Note: Thank You Kate Robertson for the Smiles
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Be The Kid

Once in a while we get to rule the streets - family and friends relax on the tracks between sessions at the Beaches Jazz festival on Queen Street East.

Experiencing the world through the eyes of a child


My teen home was filled with Catholic guilt and conditional love. We were kept in line with angry words, long spans of silence and enjoyment withheld, including Christmas presents and time out on weekends with friends.

When my second son was born, tired and cranky, my self-awareness became heightened.

It was time to become a better parent if I wanted a home filled with harmony, cooperation and love.

    It was heartbreaking listening to Patrick O'Sulivan's interview on The Current, wonder why no one ever stepped in when his Dad was beating him in the parking lot after hockey practice.

    In junior school, my entire class received a caning one day. Someone had done something wrong and No one had owned up to some wrong doing so we were all lined up outside and with outstretched arms, each received two lashes each. It stung like hot coals - swollen, broken skin, shamed in front of the school.

    Names like Bones, Chicken legs, Breastless  came at me as a preteen and I learnt that words could sting as much as that cane.

    Petar was excited to start school at 5 years old in Croatia. He quickly learnt that a bad grade in English would mean a beating at home.

    When he ran away from home for three days, nearing starvation, he reluctantly returned.
    The beatings never stopped until he was old enough to stop the hand himself.

    Patricia grew up on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent with her single Mom who would brandish her with an iron comb and take a hammer to her head in rage.

    Andy's parents used corporal punishment as a motivational tool to increase grades, while at school he faced racial slurs and death threats as a minority Chinese Canadian in his neighbourhood.

    Norman became a good runner as a kid. As a fun loving geek growing up in Mississauga, he'd run or ride his bike to school every day.
    Those skills were useful in making a quick getaway from bullies on the football team at the end of school.

    Deng was a young man in Dafur when he was captured and kept in a deep, dusty hole in the ground for days on end with little food, water - no bathroom facilities.

    When Steve was five, it felt natural to use his left hand but whenever he picked up a pencil, he got rapped on the knuckles hard. Over and over this happened. He was told that it was the hand of the devil working.

    Do you have a childhood pain that cuts deep? Scars that fade but never go away.

    In the early spring the Willow trees attracts aphids but a few weeks later, become an elegant shelter for family gatherings at the Lake.


    Beaches Jazz Festival is fun for the whole family - Moka  brings it's blend of calypso, folk, reggae and parang to the streets summer 2015

    Learning the hula hoop with the family, Saturdays at the Evergreen Brickworks

    Inherited from the Pan Am Games, the colour-changing Toronto sign at City Hall is a perfect selfie backdrop
    Union Summer brought Front Street Eats on the street - a few picnic tables and umbrella for shade makes a difference with the Union Station construction


    In the backyard this  summer, the Nasturtiums went wild - easy-to-grow annual with edible leaves and flowers. 

    Bluffer's Park at the Lake.


    Kayaks and Canoes ready to go for a day sail


    There's nothing like being near the water on a hot day - Bluffers Beach.

    Lavendar is a flowering plant in the mint family that smells heavenly, is edible, has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Bring some indoors in the wintertime.

    Davisville Junior Public School is about to be transformed into a community mid-town hub. Learn more at  midtownhub.ca

    One Rule | Be Kind

    Manifesto of Kindness

    1. Be kind to loved ones: Treat those in your care as you wish to be treated
    2. Be kind to others: Put yourself in their shoes
    3. Be kind to the planet: Plant one tree in your lifetime
    4. Be kind to all living things: Remember reduce, reuse, recycle?
    5. Be kind to Yourself: Put it on your skin if you can put it in your mouth.

    From the exploring kids to the recycling entrepreneur, everyone's belongs at the intersection of Queen and Yonge. 


    Sometimes the best of friends can cut deep with words. What are the North Toronto kids are wearing these days? - the Herschel Supply Company Backpack is a must-have.



    Parenting classes gave me the tools not only to communicate with my kids but to reflect on my own behaviour as a parent, to be in the moment, every day.

    Here what I learnt from Beverly at the Parenting Network:

    • Equal rights, not equal in abilities
    • Keep "No" "Don't" to a minimum. Praise good behaviour. Ignore bad behaviour
    • Use "I" Messages; describe the behaviour, say how it makes you feel, describe the consequences of that behaviour
    • Always offer choices. example: "Time to get cleaned up, do you want a bath or a shower?"
    • Show children your trust, not your anxiety.
    49 Phrases to calm an anxious child


    Learn in your own way: essential parenting classes in Toronto, audio downloads and this book:

    Raising Great Parents: How to be the parent your child needs you to be.


    photos: Summer 2015 Toronto
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    Sitting for too long? My favourite Pilates stretches

    I just can't sit for a very long time. 


    How does humanity make could I make it through the movie premiere of Avengers: Endgame?.

    I know from personal experience with scoliosis,  sitting in one position for too long is no good at your desk, on the train or in your car.

    Movement is definitely key to feeling more energized and confident.

    These simple stretches helped keep my stiff muscles moving during a road trip to New York last winter.


    WARM UPS


    Neck Rolls
    Tip ear to shoulder, then drop chin to chest and roll to the other side. Back and forth. 10 reps.

    Neck Stretch
    Rotate head to one side, drop chin to chest, grab with same side arm at base of skull, pull up to stretch. Hold 10-15 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

    Backward shoulder rolls. 10 reps.

    Ribcage mobilization
    Press ribcage side to side, then front to back sticking chest out and dropping chest back. Add "bowl roll" if you want, keeping the movement in a smooth circle.

    Hip "Bowl Roll"
    Knee Rolls: Feet together, hands on knees. Circle knees.

    Ankle Rolls: One foot at a time, move from tippy toes to balls of feet back and forth.


    STRETCHES

    Hold these stretches 1--15 sec, 2-3 times.

    Thighs

    Pull knee to butt. Point knee to floor.


    Hips
    Press hips/pelvis forward in a deep lunge. Alternate raised feet using a stair or step stool, for example.


    Hamstrings
     With one leg straight, sit tall and lean forward. Press sit-bones back.


    Calf
    Keep back heel on ground.


    Figure 4 Stretch
    Cross ankle over knee. Sit tall and lean forward.


    Backward Bend
    Feet apart. Stand with hands on buttocks. Abs are tight. Press hips forward. Repeat 5-10 times, no hold.


    TORONTO Movement FAVS

    My favourite super-stretchy exercises were shared by  Personal Best Physiotherapy and Pilates.

    If you're close to Birch Cliff, The Pilates Barr offers small group pilates classes during the week.

    Joan Baker will develop a personalized program that fits your health concerns. She combines the benefits of Pilates, Eldoa, Smovey and Pole Walking for a super fun work-out.

    If you find yourself frequently in a jam on Bayview Avenue, there's always a yoga class and the calming voice of Joanne Lowe at the Big Stretch. Some Hatha yoga will keep those muscles moving even with your eyes closed.

    Keep it fluid !


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    My Toronto Includes

    Toronto Album 


    "A happy city is a social city, living close to your natural environment and having good relationships with neighbours is what it's all about"



    Run to your local Toronto Public Library and renew your library card today. 

    Then get online and dig into a treasure trove of books, video, research materials, programs, classes, exhibits including hidden gems like a free subscription to over 6,000 courses in Business, Technology and Creative Skills taught by industry experts at Lynda.com.

    View from The Globe and Mail Centre, 351 King St E. 16th floor.

    What's On






    An explosion of colour and translucent light that was the exhibition at the ROM by, an American glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly #CHIHULYTO 

    Neighbourhood Finds



    " F
    ewer things, exquisitely executed, are better than many things ordinarily executed"


    Bill Mockler




    Bicycle
    Around town, a no-logo canvas carry-all hauls groceries, bread and everyday necessities such as a clip-on LED bike light.  A membership to Mountain Equipment Co-op gets you the goods that gets you outside and on your bike for a few more days before winter finally hits and you have to give up the bike till early spring.



    Paper, pencils, utility bags, exquisite purses
    On my usual visit to this Yorkville stationery shop, I'm picking up FABER CASTELL 2B grip, three-sided pencils.



    Pens, office accessories and organizers are packed in with italian and eco-friendly laptop bags that may cost as much as 3,990.00. Laywines is tucked in at 24 Bellair Street, opposite Uncle Otis and the newly renovated Sassrafraz Restaurant.

    Of course moleskin is there alongside other brands you won't find anywhere else in town.



    Built to last
    Uncomplicated, impeccable tailoring, unexpected colours in leather, contemporary and weather-aware fabrics. There are no risks here at M0851. Only buttery soft leather, sophisticated basics and the best utility bags to last a lifetime.

    Shop Local: Tea towels handcrafted in Canada by Jenna Rose and 100% Canadian organic beeswax candles from Gammy's


    The One Of A Kind Show is on twice a year in Toronto and this smaller spring show in April makes it easy to get up close to the 450 artisans showing handmade items including bodycare, ceramics, furniture, textiles and fashion.


    Glass by Toronto artist E. J. Davey

    Zit Designs from Montreal uses recycled rubber to create really useful items like this card holder. Buy one for each family member to keep items like health card, library card, doctor's appointment card all in one place.
    Lawrence Tucker of Ottawa scouts for special pieces of wood and turns them into magnificent, functional items like these pens.
    Another top pick this year are the Original Pheylonian Survival Candles of 100% pure capping beeswaxmostly virgin beeswax freshly produced by the bees each year when they are gathering nectar, that last for 80-100 hours. If you burn candles, make sure they're beeswax which produce negative ions, cleansing the air of dust, odours, toxins, pollen, mold, dust mite feces, chemtrail residues and viruses.



    Everyday Summer style. Left:  Boss by Hugo Boss suit at Harry Rosen, White Shirt by justwhiteshirts.com, shoes Blundstone at Australian Boot Company on Yonge. Right: Reversible Jacket with pewter skull buttons online at Betabrand, shorts Club Monaco, long sleeve tee Banana Republic Bloor West, sandals Birkenstock at Circle Shoes.



    Splendid Gifts

    A little salt does the body good and a real treat for Women only at Body Blitz Spa.

    Reflexology dates back 5,000 years and are few things more pleasurable than a soothing, energizing foot massage at Bakerwood Massage Clinic.



    A breakfast for Mother's Day - Peter prepares Oatmeal with cream, brown sugar and walnuts; Montreal-style all dressed bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onion slices and capers.

    Let's Eat


    Super summer salad
    Crunchy Spinach Salad at the Pickle Barrel Yonge and Eglinton is a bunch of baby spinach leaves topped mandarins, red onions, almonds, crunchy rice noodles and other stuff is a filling meal on a hot night just before a movie at SilverCity. 

    Rooftop Patio
    The patio at the Queen Mother Café on Queen Street West, not visible from the street, you must venture underground to get back up to the backyard patio, more like Aunt Marge's than the Queen but you can't beat the Pad Thai noodles after 20 years in the city.



    JulesBistro is a cozy, unpretentious restaurant that serves the ultimate Toronto lunch at the east side of Spadina between Queen and Richmond.

    Frank Restaurant at the AGO is a relaxed and delightful date for lunch and an afternoon gallery browse. Ten percent off meals is just one of the perks of an Art Gallery of Ontario membership. Named in honour of the gallery's restoration architect, Frank Gehry.


    The breakfast of champions consists of multi-grain pancakes with Canadian maple syrup, two over-easy eggs, peameal bacon, cranberry juice. The takeout sandwich version may substitute a Montreal-style Bagel House bagel instead of pancakes.


    Fresh Produce just around the corner at Mt Pleasant and Davisville - Ken Cho Food Market supplies the Mt. Pleasant and Davisville neighbourhood and it's many restaurants on the block for over 20 years. Dress up your table with fine linens from Jacaranda Tree, pick up a fresh baguette at Jules Bakery and lunch is ready.







    Green Space

    The Kay Gardiner Beltline Trail runs from west of Allen Road and south just west of the Don Valley is a great city escape for cyclists and walkers.

    BRICKWORKS
    Evergreen community naturalization programs is a collective effort that includes people from all walks of life in the revitalization of their schools, community and in making cities our more livable. Spread the green.

    Take a video tour or just get there on Saturday for the Farmers' market. The Evergreen Foundation is our blazing star forging ahead to raise $55 million to transform this heritage site into a sustainable urban green space.

    As part of the Don River watershed and City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, this urban oasis helps to protect wildlife and habitat.

    A splendid hike through The Central Ravines and Beltline is part of the urban forest pathway leading to the Evergreen Brickworks conservation area where Saturday morning is buzzing with a Farmers Market and family activities.



    Trees make our city livableOne of the most valuable resources in our city are our 10.2 million trees.





    Allen Gardens is set in one of Toronto’s oldest parks and transports you into a warm, humid horticultural feast of six themed greenhouses featuring a mature forest of Palms, Succulents, Bamboo, Orchids, Hibiscus and Bromeliads.



    Allen Garden is a botanical oasis offering welcome sanctuary among beautiful plants from around the world often finding some privacy from unwelcome stares under the centre piece historic, cast-iron and glass domed “Palm House”, built in 1910.



    Early morning at Rosehill Reservoir: a glorious park to enjoy at 75 Rosehill Ave. just two blocks south east of St. Clair Ave. and Yonge St.



    City Hall's  best kept secret: The Podium Green Garden is an expanse of underused public garden at the pod level at City Hall which may not be visible from the street but a sweet space to get away from the crowds at Queen St. and Bay.


    Just go for a walk!. My friends travel all over the world only to discover that Toronto is a natural wonder with 600 km of trails and more than 1,600 parks like this one, midtown in the Village of Yorkville.


    Garden West
    Going out of town in search of something Victorian then an afternoon at the Royal Botanical Gardens on the border of Burlington and Hamilton, is divine.  If you take the your bike on the go train, you get off at Aldershot and it's probably a less than 15 minute ride down to the lake at your at the Gardens. Visit the tea room in the gardens for lunch.


    A new bride joins her wedding party for a ferry ride to Ward's Island and Wedding Reception.



    photo: Cole kicks it @ NTSC North Toronto Soccer Club

    Wildflower Farms is a favourite website about native plants and you can buy stock too!.


    Star Gazing
    If you love looking up at the stars, the David Dunlap Observatory offers public viewing nights held most Saturday nights throughout the summer months and early fall. The DDO is an educational facility located in Richmond Hill, Ontario and is operated by The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

    Ontario Walks celebrates the joys of walking.


    GreenShift Supplies cups and other products made from sugarcane, corn or natural paper fibres with special certified, biodegradable coatings.

    Becoming a Toronto Environmental Volunteer. Twenty hours of training and a certificate, 40 hours of community work (or more), a diploma, a T-shirt and hat, ... ah, and free entrance to different shows such as the Green Living Show and Canada Blooms.



    Bluffers Park is 14 kilometres of waterfront, public, open, day-use park with long sandy beach, picnic areas, swimming, scenic trails, volleyball court, launching facilities for recreational boaters, as well as private yacht clubs with the backdrop of the majestic Cathedral Bluffs rising more than 90 metres above Lake Ontario.













    We love the TTC

    On New Year's Eve you can ride the TTC for FREE. Party and hang with your friends - no one needs to drive, including the über driver Toronto Transit Commission.


    Toronto City Bicycling Map



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