these days

17 November 2012

these days, it's been getting cold, prompting us to pull down the wool blankets and exchange the cotton sheets for flannel. ever since our mattress warranty claim was settled and we got the brand new oh-so luxurious replacement mattress, we've been spending A LOT of time in bed. we climb in early at night, where we finish our days out together, and i stay in bed as long as possible in the morning after andrew leaves for work, drinking coffee and starting work from beneath the layers of blankets as i snuggle with the animals. i swear that they conspire to keep me there.

these days, i've been doing my work from the dining room table (when i'm not in bed, that is). it's a large, unfinished pine wood space overlooking the kitchen and beside the sliding balcony doors that look out onto the backyard. i draw the curtains to let the light in and i draw them to shut out the dark. the heavy cotton floral curtains given to us from my wonderful mother-in-law. they are like an embodiment of her: traditional with a modern flair, rustic, whimsy, beautiful, spirited. being in their company makes me feel loved, safe, and ever-inspired. 

these days, i have been focusing almost single-mindedly on my dissertation project (almost, because there are of course endless distractions that keep me from absolute devotion to my work and thus from full productivity). i find my mind wandering, dreaming, and thinking about all the things. 

These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to.

(Nico, "These Days")

i spread my projects and desires across the surface of the wood table from which i work, but even as i actively so so - all day, every day, day in & day out - there are always things i never get to. i drink cups of lady grey tea and stage still lives. i play with the cats and take their portraits. i collect books for research and books for pleasure, for moments of rapture and escape, for moments often overlooked or forgotten. i am distracted by my surroundings; in a room of my own.

these days, i muse about having a real digital SLR camera, but for now i make do with my old Nikon point-and-shoot, my iPhone, and the brilliant editing software designed by Visual Supply Co.

portraits of the majestic, stoic, and ever-handsome, Dr. Hunter S. Thomcat. he's been a little displeased that Glasgow has been stealing all the attention here lately. he's also developed some slight attitude problems adjusting to the new kitten (jealous? inconceivable!), so i thought i would give him a prominent spot here. he has been such a central part of our lives over the past six years, he really does deserve it.

the joys of adopting a young kitten: they're ever-so sweet but also full of SO MUCH TROUBLE. introducing, for the first time, Little Miss Virginia Woolf. she's slowly finding her place in the family and even gets to participate in group snuggles in the morning now.

this week i posted about the early morning and my new relationship to it. as difficult as it can be to get out of bed some mornings, the beauty that awaits is always worth it. yesterday morning's frost was truly exquisite, making the whole yard glow with a white frosted mist warmed by the golden sun.

still lives:

1. andrew has been bringing home lots of moose antler sheds from the bush lately, adding to our ever-growing collection. this particular white-tailed deer skull and antlers is one that we brought back from Alberta two years ago. it has been hanging around the past couple weeks waiting for us to hang it on the wall, but i have been enjoying its company.

2. sweet little Herriott Grace cake flags leftover from our wedding + a gorgeous knitted short-sleeve shirt, made in Canada, that i recently thrifted.

3. lady grey tea in one of my favourite vintage teacups and an old teapot from my Nana. perfection.

collected works:

1. good night, day: modern & minimalist knitting patterns, by tara-lynn morrison. first edition.
2. A Pictorial History of Wilderness, poems by Laressa Dickey & published by MIEL.
3. Penguin Books "Great Ideas" edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.
4. The Anatomy of Clay, poems by Gillian Sze.
5. issue no.1 of Sad Girls, a lovely little illustrated zine made by girls who make things and have lots of feelings.
6. A Guide to the Northwest Territory, poems by Josh Wallaert, also from MIEL.

collected works no.2 (on hysteria):

1. Aura Hysterica: Les exercises de la passion (1992), an artist's book by Montreal artist Nicole Jolicoeur.
2. Georges Didi-Huberman's The Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière.
3. The Hysterical Alphabet, text by Terri Kapsalis with drawings by Gina Litherland.
4. Nicole Jolicoeur's Traité de la perfection (1996).


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hmm, I tried to comment but it looks like it disappeared...

    Pets make life so much better! I thought I remembered reading somewhere that you have a smaller place (maybe not)? If so, how is that with having a big dog? I'm starting to foster dogs for a local rescue this week (and hoping to adopt one too!) but our place is small (475 sq. feet) and in the middle of the city. But we are big dog people!

    I think we're kindred souls. I too have been enjoying collecting new books (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Walden this weekend) and sipping coffee from my grandmothers old tea cups while being surrounded by my favourite found nature items including antlers hehe!

    1. hi Kerry, i turned comment moderation on because of rude and offensive comments that I have been getting (such as the one above, which is now deleted), so that I can review all comments before they are published. so don't worry, your comments are still there i just need to approve them before they appear!

      yes, we live in a small space, which is definitely a challenge at times when it comes to pets. cats are easy, but a large dog is a different story! our situation, however, is a little unique. Andrew works long hours in the bush in all seasons, where he encounters all kinds of wildlife and is alone for a big part of the day, so our major impetus to get a dog (in addition to having wanted one for years!) was as a companion for him at work. but we also live in a small, open concept apartment, so we needed a breed that could relax inside after being outside. we also live in a space with a HUGE backyard and in a neighbourhood with nearby wooded areas where we can take him off leash. so even on the days when Glasgow stays at home with me, he as a pretty good dog life. we find that mental stimulation makes a huge difference if we are keeping him inside for any period of time. so i guess in our case, having Glasgow burn lots of energy outside keeps him happy and at ease inside. he adapted to our small apartment really well from the beginning, which i think might be the Saint Bernard in him.

      but to be honest, we waited A LONG time until we were ready and in the right place to get a dog (both in our lives and in terms of where we were living - our city lives were never quite appropriate for the kind of dog we wanted). we also thoroughly researched what kind of breeds would be best for us. i know it can be difficult when you are getting a dog from a shelter, but mixes can also give you some of the best qualities of different breeds, like in Glasgow's case! i think with the right breed, size, and energy/activity level, you can do ok in an apartment or a small space. i think fostering is a brilliant idea, because then you can get a true feel for what you want, and what is best for both you and the animal without a long term commitment. the joy they can bring your lives truly is amazing (Glasgow stayed home today, so i am writing this as i am looking down at him lying on the floor beside me, patiently waiting for me to take him on his "walk walk").

      surroundings and all the little things make all the difference, don't they? i collect more books than i have time to read, but even having them there waiting for me is inspiring and somehow comforting....

      Walden is a good classic and will always have special meaning to me. we recently rescued an emaciated, young black male cat on the side of the highway in Ottawa. he was SO sick and was basically on death's door, so we took him home to care for him and get him veterinary attention (he was malnourished, dehydrated, probably full of parasites, had a broken femur and a broken tail). we named him Walden because he tried to make a life by himself in the woods, away from society, but miserably failed! we kept him for a week and slowly nursed him back to health and got him used to human contact before bringing him back to Ottawa in the care of a local rescue organization. he was such a sweetie and we became so emotionally attached to him that we were going to "foster to adopt" him, but he ended up testing positive for FIV and we didn't want to risk taking him in the house with Hunter. luckily, he found a lovely foster family that has taken such great care of him and he is doing extremely well. they fell in love with him and decided to adopt him into their family. it couldn't have turned out better, but i hope they keep his name! it is full of so much meaning.

      sorry for such a long story! thank you so much for your frequent visits and comments. i really appreciate it and like the idea of kindred souls :)

    2. Aw thanks for the wonderful comment back! Yeah, I've waited for what feels like forever on the dog issue as well and now I finally feel like the time has come! We should be getting our foster dog this week sometime :) I love your story about Walden too!


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