Archive for February, 2011

Moving on.

I didn’t expect things to turn out like this, but they did.


On February 16th, I reached the 365th day of my journey.  And on February 17th, we brought home our new car.

You might be saying: “Yay, a new car!”

You might even be thinking: “It’s about time!”

But I know that some of you are wondering: “… what about Stella?”

Oh, Stella.  Stella the Tercel.  The amazing and mighty and never-say-die Stella.


It was with a heavy heart that we had to let her go.

And I haven’t been the same ever since.


OK, it’s only been a few days.  But still.


I want to sum it up.  Make it pretty.  Tie it nice with a bow, throw a few cherries on top, hope that it helps.

But I can’t.


How can I?  How does one sum up a journey that spanned 14 years and traveled 192,997 km (or 120,623 miles)?

I’m sure there’s a way.

I just don’t know it yet.


It is somewhat ironic (and more than a little heart-breaking) to realize that I’d just spent the last year documenting my final 365 days with Stella.

I had no idea that this was coming.


For a long time, the husband and I both were so sure that Stella would be around forever.  We had great plans for her.

We’d move to California, where Tercels of all ages roam free, belying their age.  For Tercels, twenty is the new ten.

We dreamed of having her restored, making her brand-new again.  Back to “off the line” condition, as Husbo would say.  I’d imagine her as she must’ve looked once.  Gleaming and full of promise.  Blue metallic paint, glinting like a diamond in the sun.

We toyed with the idea of turning her into a convertible.  Or even adding A/C.  We’d heard stories of pristine Tercels in California being driven by famous people.  And I believed.

But dreams of California are still off in the distance.  Close enough enough to see.  Nowhere near arms’ reach.


This winter was especially brutal for Stella.  For the first time ever, we had to push her out of the snow.  Her once-little rust spots bubbled threats.  The cracks in her windshield.  Telling taller tales.


I do like our new car.  It smells nice and has power locks.  Which means I no longer have to measure my worth as a wife by how fast I can reach across to unlock my husband’s door.  With Stella, I even used to go the extra mile and pop open the door, just a little.

The last time I did that was the last time we sat in Stella.  The husband said he missed it already.


It’s hard for me to imagine what life will be like without Stella.  At the moment, it just feels a little empty.




Wow, it is finally day 365 of 365.

Here’s how the last 7 blew right on by.


It started with getting organized.  I don’t know why we did this but we somehow planned to squeeze in a family dinner, a renovation and a birthday get-together, all in just a few days’ time.  It’s true: we’re crazy.



At our home, we have an “open-door” policy.  Visitors are always welcome.  Not many people do the impromptu visit, except for Nonno.  He comes over a lot.  (Which we love, by the way.)

On this particular Thursday, he needed some help with his dinner prep so he enlisted the husbo’s services in making fettine.  Thin slices of veal, breaded, then fried.  I’d show you the pictures but they make me salivate and I’m really hungry right now so I won’t.



Speaking of impromptu visits, our good friend Tony came by.  He was doing the rounds and apparently we were the third and last stop of his neighbourhood tour.  We (the husband) had just finished making dinner and here was the seafood soup.



With round two of our renovations starting on Monday, Saturday was our only day to get our act together.  Luckily, after just a few hours, the plans were in place.  I didn’t know how we’d survive in reality but we lived through it once already so I figured we’d be okay.



On Sunday, we hosted an early “Family Day” family dinner.  The husband treated us all to homemade wonton soup, where he took these:

and this:

and, together, turned them into these:

They ended up a wee bit overcooked so I don’t have a photo of that, but here’s one of my niece with Jeans.



Renovations, Round Two.  Thankfully, we didn’t have to do much this time except say “Sure, that looks good.”  Luckily I can do that pretty well.

Oh and it was also Valentine’s Day!  I told my husband, all I want is the floor to be finished.  He made sure that happened and still managed to bring me flowers.  What a nice guy.



It feels like it was all a dream but our contractors finished the job in two days.  TWO DAYS!!!!  I still can’t believe it!

When I made up my wish list, I had to prioritize.  I knew which jobs were most important and which jobs I’d begrudgingly do myself.  I feared that after a year of ignoring our grout-less tile floors, I’d end up on my knees, finishing the damn thing and cursing my supreme procrastination and denial skills combined.

By some miracle, every large and little item on my list was done and in less than half the time we’d expected.  I thought to myself: On Monday, our lives will be turned upside down. But here I am, Wednesday, thinking: What just happened??

We scored the above pendant lamp at a thrift shop, maybe 6 or 7 months ago, maybe even a year ago.  I envisioned it in a corner of our living room, bringing a warm ambiance to all those Leafs games we watch.  Like a lot of other things, I thought it’d go from the “I’d like this to happen” list to the “you wish this would happen” one.  I almost got rid of it because unfinished projects make me feel like a loser.

Anyway, we brought it out, dusted it off and hung it like so, just in time for our family dinner.  And already I love it.

But if you look closely, you’ll see a straight line on the right of that photo.  Yes, that’s a piece of trim.  On a finished frame.  From our living room into our dining room.  Yes, you’re right: THAT is what this used to be.

So, in short, now I feel like a winner.



Melting from the inside.


Not sure what to call this but I like it.


An itty-bitty artsy vignette at the home of my uber-talented friend, Danette Relic.

Monochromatic skies.


A scene from a long winter.


A journey completed.


Taking this and making it into this:

And like any proud mother, I couldn’t have been happier.

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