Friday, July 15, 2016

Toronto Graffiti: The human behind the wall - is available on Kindle!

We have super exciting news!


Toronto Graffiti: The human behind the wall
 is now available on Kindle! (Yay!)

For those who were too far from Canada to order a heavy (yet gorgeous) printed copy of the book, here is your chance to download it and check out the incredible graffiti artist interviews, graffiti art, opinion pieces and more!


It is available as a Kindle download in 14 countries!

Finally!








For those who want a physical, printed copy, click one of the links below:
Shipping to Canada - Buy on Amazon.ca here. 




Check out our website for detailed information about the book, as well as a sneak peak of the inside gems.




Friday, April 04, 2014

Martial arts in Markham: Chung's Arts Academy

Finding a truly outstanding martial arts school can be tough. There are so many and newbies normally don't even know what to look for in a good school environment, let alone instructor. For those who live in the Markham area, allow me to HIGHLY recommend Chung's Arts Academy.

The instructor is top notch, which is reflected in his students. They CARE about each other both inside and outside of the dojo. Calvin Chung teaches by example and inspires his students to be the very best they can be.. .not just as martial artists, as human beings also.

This is an important distinction, especially as martial arts training is designed to help us overcome or at the very least learn to control our egos and emotions, widen our perspective, tolerance and compassion, and increase our problem solving skills, amongst many, many other things.

I have trained for about 30 years and have had the opportunity to see first hand what the difference between an inspirational instructor who positively challenges his/her students to actively go after their dreams and succeed in ALL departments of life, vs. those who are only out to make money or have stopped caring is.

Growing up in a positive environment where (gasp!) you are held ACCOUNTABLE for every thing you say, do and even think, regardless of age (even the five year olds!) is the type of "training" and foundation any parent would be happy to be able to offer their kids outside of the home.

Giving people, especially children, a sense of responsibility and holding them accountable to their actions will help them become better decision  makers, aid them in developing depth of vision, have greater appreciation for others and the things they have, as well as instill greater confidence in themselves. That is the kind of foundation I want to see in the next generation... in all generations in fact.

There are several martial arts schools and instructors outside of Markham who do an excellent job as well, so you should be able to find a high value instructor in your neighbourhood. When looking for a quality school, make sure you find a quality instructor first. And knowing how to dazzle with trophies and spinning hook kicks is not going to cut it.

So, for those in Markham, DO check out Calvin Chung's school for kids and adults' martial arts/kung fu training.


http://www.chungsmartialartsacademy.com/main.shtml

Monday, May 13, 2013

New martial arts book by Rupert Juta - a must read!




I am very lucky to have crossed paths with a truly lovely Taoist man by the name of Rupert Juta. He truly embodies the Tao in every sense of the word. Constantly studying, refining, seeing what works, doing what works, going with the flow, effortlessly adjusting as necessary etc.

Debbie and I have been lucky enough to have had the honour of his company and expertise on our journey of research for our businesses. He has been an inspirational mentor, guide... and also an expert instructor! And let me tell you, this man knows how to pack a WALLUP of a punch! Holy moly! lol.

Rupert trained us privately for a while and continued to help us on various personal endeavors. He has been a wonderful mentor, friend and inspiration.
I am very pleased to announce his latest book, Tao-Shukokairyu: Odyssee, in which both Debbie and I have been pleasantly surprised to find some of our training photos in there along with Ruperts`!

It is an excellent book with many genuine pearls of wisdom well worth having on anyone`s shelves. Even non-martial artists can benefit from this collection of thoughts, reflections and straight up practical advice.

Check it out for yourselves.

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia


Poh Lin`s time in Fredericton is quickly coming to a close... for now. lol.
Thus, we decided it was high time to visit out lovely neighbouring province, Nova Scotia. We also wanted to do P.E.I but it rained the rest of the week so that was out.

Did a day in Halifax, then over to awe inspiring and soulful Peggy`s Cove.
Poh Lin ate her first Beaver Tail. Yum.
We then decided to get in some action and went to see Iron Man 3. Hehee.
All in all a wonderful drive.


Debbie and Poh Lin

Poh Lin overlooking the valley of boulders to the Atlantic ocean.


YF perched on top of a boat watching `things.`

The famous lighthouse in the background fog.


Just a short while ago, we had Poh Chin come to visit us as well.
It was great to have her. We enjoyed strolling through the `magic woods` to where the trees talk to you if you listen, saw many lovely spring flowers making their way up from their winter slumber towards the sunlight, and took time to just hang out, plot, scheme and laugh while we worked away on a myriad of things.

GIN Dream Weekend in Dallas, Texas!


Dream Weekend in Texas with GIN:

Our time in Texas was lovely and heartfelt.
We met a lot of positive, inspiring people and made lots of excellent connections as well as new friends.

On a basic level, GIN is an organization with great folks who share excellent resources in all aspects of life including health, finance, education and lots of personal growth opportunities. It was really good to be surrounding by so many high vibing people who were genuinely interested in those around them AND want to see them succeed and do well in whatever areas they are striving to improve upon.

Refreshing.

During some downtime, we checked out the local area. Lots of gorgeous cacti! I absolutely love cacti. I decided to take a closer look here... and take a bite out of Texas! lol.



Check out their sister health site here with excellent info.

Here is a list of some good reading material:

  • Ask and It is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desire, Esther and Jerry Hicks
  • Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
  • The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz
  • The Magic of Believing, Claude M. Bristol
  • The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons, Napoleon Hill
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
  • The Go Getter, Peter B. Kyne
  • The New Psycho-Cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz
  • It Works: The little red book, RHJ
  • Acres of Diamonds, Russell H. Conwell
  • As a Man Thinketh, James Allen
  • See You At The Top, Zig Ziglar
  • Autobiographies/biographies of interesting, inspiring people 

A few weeks after the conference, members received the monthly newsletter in which we happened to be as well. Nice.

     

Fabulous interview with Paula Gonzalez!


La Bomba documentary!

Dear friends, check out this wonderful video documentary about my VERY talented, passionate and amazing friend, Paula Gonzalez. She even generously talks about the Toronto Graffiti book! It`s showcasing on Rogers T.V in March and can be viewed on the YouTube link below. Very, very cool - check it out!


The incredible Aurora Flute by Kim Gravelle!


My lovely friend, Kim Gravelle, has been working tirelessly on inventing... yes... inventing... a new instrument she is calling the Aurora Flute. It is truly a masterpiece and testament to her knowledge and understanding of tones, sound and possibilities when using one's entire body to play. 

Check out a snippet along with some of the other "traditional" instruments she plays. It is soothing, meditative and simply wonderful.  You can also view her website at: http://kimgravelle.ca/.




We were lucky enough to have her visit us along with her husband Eric for a week of music, relaxation, long delicious conversations, food and walks in the woods. Ahhhh.... fabulous.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Beautiful Marie-Line and her family visit!

My dear friend Marie-Line, whom I met in Paris two years ago came to Canada with her family for a visit. I was SO excited to reconnect with her again and meet the rest of her family. Her wonderful husband Jean-Francois and two beautiful, radiant children, Jayden and May-Lee came, along with her Aunt Kathleen from New York, as well as her lovely niece who was visiting from France.

We decided to coordinate a meeting in Montreal. We spent the day hanging out at the Biodome, catching up, making new friends and promising to plan another get together soon. Of course I would be very pleased to have them visit me here in the East Coast... but it's "only fair" that I now visit them in St. Martin.  I'm already looking forward to it.


Beautiful and radiant Marie-Line and me.
She is someone who possesses a truly kind and compassionate heart.

Jayden and his cousin playing in the Biodome.
People could pretend to walk on water here... it was neat to see.

Enjoying the backdrop of the "East Coast" with puffins and sea gulls.

Jayden and Marie-Line exploring and enjoying.

Family from New York, France and St. Martin all together in Canada.
How awesome is that?


Turbulance training, supergirl, and the need for love sanctuaries

After nine months of non-stop travel I am back in lovely New Brunswick and enjoying creating a happy sanctuary of love and highly vibrating spaces, as well as getting back to a healthy routine of exercise that will help my back feel great again. This is composed of turbulence training, yoga, skipping and boxing. The boxing is more for Debbie however, as she enjoys getting her angst out in that way. Even her mom helped out while she was visiting! I just love the pictures and laughed myself half to death at the scene of her mom in pink slippers and night dress doing her best to hold on to the heavy weight bag. lol.

Debbie has successfully purchased her first home and it is within walking distance of beautiful trails, woods and various nature spots.

We've converted the basement apartment into a fully functional kitchen for many yummy baked goods to share, the main room is a healing centre with massage/acupuncture/tx table, meeting area, sitting with your tea area and a mini boutique store area as well. There is also a large guest room that is being used on a frequent basis. lol. We have many friends and family who enjoy visiting...

I am very pleased to have both a gorgeous happy green room again and a lovely dedicated library for wonderful books to share.

Crutches? Perhaps, but a lovely, natural environment helps me feel really good. Plus, I like to be creative and make things "my own" as well as help others` find pleasing ways to express themselves too.

Here are some of the highlights from my first week back:


Snail time: the thing I love about the East Coast is the pace of life... slow and relaxed...
just right for down times in between crazy travel schedules.

Debbie likes her ladybug and it likes her.

Dear reader, you must view this in larger format and enjoy the explanations. Ha!
Debbie`s mom helping her `get it out!`

Part of my daily training routine; skipping like a boxer.
And let me just say... it`s not as easy as it looks. Took me about a solid week
to finally get the different variations down, learn to not get my rope tangled, not to mention
the cardiovascular improvements needed to keep going for 30 minutes.

I love this SuperGirl shirt and CAPE combo!
I got one for Debbie and another one for my friend Denise.
They both needed one for different reasons.
I found this at Geek Sheek here in town. What a great shop.
Check it out if you`re in Fredericton.

Debbie enjoying her `costume.`
She even wore it to school... of course all the guys
thought she was the coolest thing ever.
(Not that they didn`t already think that though... lol)

More fun superhero buttons!

Putting on the first coat of paint.
This turned out to be a very rich and happy green by the time I finished painting.
I`m completely pleased with my little green room radiating love and healing vibes.

...tools of the trade...

Looks like grass growing doesn`t it?

I've written mantras up around all the doors embedding further positive light focused energy in to the house.



My poor, poor computer. He is on his last legs... after my MacBook was stolen, I had just enough money
to purchase this little guy. Unfortunately he simply does not have enough "juice" to handle the enormous
amounts of processing I put him through. I have about an hour max of work before he shuts down. I
then have to put him in the fridge to cool off. No, I'm not kidding. We now have a space in the fridge
for my computer to cool off in between work loads.

One of the trails I go through in my morning walks. Lovely isn't it?



Monday, November 19, 2012

FREX 2012

FREX is New Brunswick`s answer to The CNE in Toronto.

It`s great. 

My friend John got us tickets to enjoy it in all it`s glory. lol.  Greesy food, crazy music, nauseating rides, petting zoo, interesting pavillions and happy people of all ages having FUN. There is nothing like `the Ex` - or.. in this case, `the FREX` to wrap up a wonderful summer in the most amusing place I`ve ever been to.

In one of the pavillions, we met a rep. from a company who specializes in geothermal heating for homes and buildings. Very exciting! Lots of energy efficient engineering firms out this way. Good to know for when I start purchasing property and building my retreat centre.

There was a wonderful CHAINSAW carving artist called Monty MacMillion who is incredible. You would not believe he carved all his creations with a chainsaw as many of his pieces are so detailed. He takes special orders so if you are interested, check out his site: http://www.outofalog.com/

Here are a few of the highlights from the day:


I smell cotton candy!

A typical site... the monster vehicles that house all materials and people at the fair.

I love these rides!

Some of the happy animals in the petting zoo area.

Exhibition goers having a blast "whacking moles."

Monty MacMillon`s icnredible chainsaw work - http://www.outofalog.com/




The winning veggies at the farmer's table.

More happy cows enjoying a rest before further admiring.
Sundown at FREX... a happy day.


...till next time... keep having FUN and don't eat too much cotton candy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Toronto, spring 2012


Check out this fun little video Attila and I concocted. I haven't laughed THAT hard in ages!
Dude... we even got the 'ol cardboard out along with the music! Yeah!

Cheers to another crazy, whirlwind Toronto visit!
What can I say... the more things change, the more they stay the same too. 

Worked A LOT!

Holy moly! As in... 12 - 14 hours a day seven days a week! Hence, I had to extend my stay from the original two weeks to six! Definitely longer than I had intended. Again, thank you to my wonderful mom who let me stay at her place. 

I was working on two amazing projects;
1. A booklet for the medical establishment about preparing for a colonoscopy
2. A website for Pam Palmater to aid in her campaign to run for National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.


Prayer flags in the West End.
I got to see some friends while mixing art, culture and comedy in with those get togethers. Also took care of "business"... as in, I saw all the medical personel I see in Toronto specifically. My dentist nearly gave me a heart attack when I got the bill though. Ouch!

And to all who asked how my eyes are doing and what the specialists told me after my most recent crop of tests: they are a bit stressed (get off the computer already woman!) but actually doing very, very well. OMG that is a huge relief! Huge. So yes, thank you to all who have asked and continued to send your good vibes over the last couple of years. Very, very much appreciated.

Denise took me for birthday dinner and a fabulous Bixi bike ride through the city. The Bixi bike concept is just awesome! Thanks for setting me up to enjoy it with you Denise! And thanks for the very thoughtful and interesting activities you planned for us. I very much enjoyed hearing you squeel with laughter and delight. Your eyes actually watered! I almost couldn't believe it. Oh we are SO going back! lol.





Denise and me at Pride.
This was just a few hours after her 5k run.
The two of us then went on to enjoy several hours of delicious fun.

Denise with her bike by the Bixi bike stand near Kensington Market. It was great, we were able to scoot around town using Bixi to get from one place to the next. Sweet.
Denise is also one of the wonderful writers of BlogTO. She writes for the Events section and is really good. She writes witty, straighforward commentaries with great photos that make you feel like you were there. Denise, you are a woman of many talents; writer, glass blower, artist, globe trotter, and you still have a `day job.` Nice.


Shireen, I just adore your Boston story. Thank you for all the yummy beeswax and yarn. Tito, thank you for gifting me (without even knowing it!) with the most beautiful hand made bead I've ever seen... made by YOU. You guys are both super talented. I miss you already. Spending time unwinding at your place is always such a treasure...most appreciated. I feel totally myself and relaxed and can just BE when I'm there.... I can just "be tired" if I need or have a bath or chill in any manner... ah so nice.  Relaxing in the ways it was when you and I hung out in "Star" - our favourite tree in Flemingdon Park.

Rob! I loved every minute of our motorcycle adventure! Yeah! Hanging in your backyard and just catching up over lunch. T'was very relaxing to just hang out and walk along the boardwalk by the beaches with you, then go and see one of my favourite dogs, Bart. Man that dog loves you. lol. But I can see why, you are very good to and with him.  I'm already looking forward to our next riding adventure. The new Harley just ROCKS, what an incredibly smooth ride.  Though I must admit, I do have a sweet spot for "our" favourite yellow Indian. God I love that bike. What a shame she can't be fixed. Sigh. Ah, but that's always the way with first loves hey? I still remember my first Macbook and Canon professional camera... ah memories... lol,
I also want to say how thrilled I am about that Tiger skin! It's gorgeous and you and your dad know it is going to someone who will truly appreciate it, and take good care of it as well as use it. Now DO try to stay out of trouble will ya?!  No more "cardinal sins" please! lol.

Judy! It was awesome to catch up and see your beautiful smiling face. I love how we "talk photography shop" and come up with new ideas to try. Funny how we both brought our cameras and then firmly planted ourselves down for a good chat over lemonade instead. Ha! Well, it was needed... we were both pretty zonked as I recall. lol. Yay for more Paris! I bet the city just can't get enough of you my friend. I am already looking forward to hearing about more amazing and delicious adventures from you.

Senay, I swear you look more beautiful each time I see you! The news of such amazing success in your business was incredibly inspiring and I am absolutely THRILLED for you my friend. You deserve it. It is just the beginning. I can't wait to see how it continues to grow under your astute guidance.

Beautiful Senay and I spend several hours catching up, scheming and being quite devilish. `Twas wonderful! She has worked hard to create a fantastic and successful branding business and I`m thrilled to see her doing so well. Yay Senay!


Mike! I can't believe you up and flew over to Israel! Good for you! I'm glad we had time to catch up... learning French, riding a sexy bike to and from work, stylish red shoes... my, my... what's next.. a searsucker suit with gelled back hair? I'll have to do something equally stylish and get another floor length ball gown for the next Helikon ball we attend. lol. Seriously though, I love the apartment, you were more vibrant and full of life than I've seen you in a while. It was really good to see that in you. You're back! Yeah! And I think you know where we are going the next time I'm in town right? You, me and Denise... lol.

Marcin! I am eagerly anticipating the next installment of "your life!" I'm really glad to see you doing well and excited about new possibilities. There is nothing more juicy than new possibilities. Really good seeing you and I look forward to hearing more about the big "secret." I have a really good feeling about it.

Fiona, Heny, Bowie and Avery! Thank you for the most amazing outdoor paradise inspired dinner ever! I loved catching up with you guys and let me just say.. kung fu movie night is SO ON! The non PG version... so make sure the children are IN BED! Ha haa. Next time I'm here... you know what we're watching right...? That's right... Super Ninjas! Yeah! And of course, a few of our other classic favourites. It was amazing to see the kids. They are talking! I mean, really truly talking with a far more versatile vocabulary than I had expected. Well done amazing parents! Well done. Sadly, I left the drawing Bowie made for me... but then, there's another good reason for me to visit again and soon. Already looking forward to it.

My niece Bowie and nephiew Hendrix-Avery are enjoying the enthralling adventures of "Snail." Was great hanging out with my "other Toronto family" - thanks to Fi and Heny who created such a fantasy rich backyard oasis for us to enjoy together!  And of course, you made me food that you KNEW would bring down my defences... I think I told you a few "too many secrets" my dear friends. Ha! Oh yes, "Kung Fu Night" is SO on when I return!

The life and times of Mr. Snail.


Nora - it was great catching up. Glad things are working out and in no time at all you will be "communing with nature" in all the wonderful ways you most want. But first, Debbie and I have (yes, already!) devised an incredible new lifestyle plan for you. Oh boy, just WAIT until you see the training/rejuvenation schedule we have planned for you! lol. Training begins the second you pull into the driveway. Beware!! Awww.. don't worry, it'll be a blast and you will feel like a million bucks by the end of it.  Make sure to book at least three solid weeks with us at "mini Avatara." Oh... I have such delicious fun planned for you! lol.

Mo and Yuriko... it was wonderful catching up. Cameron is incredibly adorable, especially when he does his "squinty eye/puckered mouth" expression of intense pleasure. Ha! The restaurant looks amazing and I am sending good business vibes your way constantly. Thank you for taking me to try (and size up) that French patisserie. Definitely gave me some good ideas to try.

Mohammad, Yuriko and Cameron at Trinity Bellwoods next to their wonderful restaurant, The Parkette. If you haven't been, you must go! Go NOW! It's really, really good!


Chantel, Otti and Ethan, thank you for having Anyu and me over, and for making me special veggie burgers! They were delish! Ethan is seriously getting cuter every day. I don't know how he does it, nor do I know how you guys can stand to not poke him or squeeze his cheeks every five minutes. It was really good to see you all. Congrats on graduating and with top marks and honours Chantel! Yay!! The new truck looks amazing as does the house. Glad we had a chance to meet up not once, but TWICE this time around. I feel very lucky.


My cute little nephiew Ethan, with Chantel and Otti hanging out. Ethan is such a happy, bubbly toddler. Very curious and independant. He looks just like Chantel but has Otti's eyes.

Anyu with her first grandchild, Ethan. Aww... grandmother love... there's nothing like it.


My uncle Pityu from Sweden was visiting with his girlfriend Erika. It was good to see him and meet her. They are here for three months visiting her kids and grandchildren. My uncle has quite the sense of humour... you can`t be `sleeping` with him around! Ha!

My uncle Pityu and his girlfriend Erika were visiting from Sweden. My grandparents were over as well for the awesome lunch gathering my mom prepared. Lots of stories, food, laughter and good catching up was had by all.


Effie, it was amazing to see you my awesome gemini compadre! You look SENSATIONAL! That muay thai has seriously lifted your spirits to the point of you simply radiating qi through your eyes, your pores and your smile. You couldn't stop smiling! It was so SO good to see that. Alene and Thomas.. wow... have they ever grown! I feel so honoured that Thomas was so comfortable with me. I LOVED that he kept giggling and smiling when we played. THE best feeling ever! Yeah! I hope to see Senan and more of Alene too the next time.

Rockstar EFFIE! I love how you have your entire work out routine posted on your walls right above the kids' A B C flash cards.. and a punching bag on the post next to it! You GO! A great use of the space... half of it for the kids to play in and the other half for you "to play in." Most excellent. I'm a bit jealous. lol.


Jennie, I simply cannot believe the new condo and your "new life" as your daughters will be attending the Island school. Wow... talk about a change. How wonderful though... takes no longer than most people's bus ride to school. But instead of a bus you take a ferry. Very cool! Thank you to your mom for creating such an incredible meal. She is great! You and Jason have created a wonderful life though patience, planning and hard work. I'm glad to see you guys reaching the goals you've set out for yourselves. It was really good to catch up and I look forward to seeing you again. Hopefully Jason and Katherine will be there too.

Sherri - I love your stories and competitions with Bubba! Truly, you SHOULD take up writing. I laugh out loud at your candid life observations... because they're both true and insightful. A rare gift you have my friend. It was super good to see you and have an idea lots of good things are coming your way. I look forward to that archery competition with you... and I plan on starting lessons in the fall so yeah... you're going to have to "bring it my friend". (Kidding! lol) Actually, my name "Yvette" means "one who walks with the bow" or "the master archer" - so I guess I had better bone up on my shooting skills... and learn French hey? lol.

Jutka, Janos - jaj de jo volt titteket lattni! Janos, alig hiszem hogy nem cigarettazol! Jezus maria! Kesz csoda! Ez nagyszeru! Jutka, jol nezzel ki mint mindig... foleg jo volt szemelyesen beszelni veled es remelem hogy jol erzed magad Izrael-ben. Kivancsi leszek a fenykepekre! A fulbevalo meg tenyleg nagyon tetszik es tudom hogy surun fogom hordani. Koszonom szepen! Mindig gondoltok ram.

Anyu meg Jutka


Avi, it was great to see you! I am very excited about the new direction and how well things are going. The condo looks great, you are vibrant and your class reading material is genuinely really interesting and varied. A pleasant surprise from most other curricula. Yay! You definitely chose the right school with which to continue with your studies. I look forward to seeing how the future unfolds.
Fabulous Avi at his condo with homemade dinner for me. I can't tell you how much I both enjoy and appreciate it when someone close to me makes the effort to cook me food, or tea, or run me a bath, read to me or do something loving. It was so nice to sit, enjoy some yummy food made with love, music in the background, Rumi and Hafiz poetry and lots of good catching up. It's so good to see you doing well and moving and shaking in the ways that make you thrive.

Carla and I worked diligently on her medical book. We've been at it since January. I am finally wrapping up the first complete draft! Yaaaayyy! Very excited to have the honour of being the ghost writer for this project. I've been learning loads and of course, having the opportunity to spend more time with my lovely friend is the always the highlight of our meetings.

Book matters were taken up and clarified. It was SO good to see my fabulous friends and catch up. I wish we had more time to connect.

Attila and I even ran into my old NKS collegue and friend, Shri Keth and his youngest son Maneesh in the parking lot one day. It was wonderful to see Shri. I haven`t seen him since the funeral of Geetesh, his older son about three years ago. That was beyond tragic... so difficult to take in. I can`t even imagine what he and his family have gone through. Attila and I went to the funeral. It was absolutely packed; it seemed like Toronto`s entire martial arts and Guyanese community were there. People spilled out into the parking lot and the streets there were so many. And not surprising because Shri and his family have been such a wonderful staple in those (and other) communities, serving, teaching, spreading light and joy. So it hit all of us the sudden, unexpected and incredibly sad news of Geetesh`s passing. I was very pleased to hear Shri is still teaching and not only that, but focusing on yoga, inspiring people and putting lots of good vibes out.  I am absolutely honoured to now be working on creating a website for Shri on this new journey.

Sadly, my uncle`s mom died right before I flew in to the city. My first day in Toronto we all went to the funeral at the Hungarian Church. (St. Erzsebet). My aunt Sally and cousin Jonathan gave beautiful and heartfelt speeches. It was good to see everyone, but sad that it had to be at a funeral. To my happy surprise my other aunt (my uncle`s first wife) was at the funeral too. I wanted to go and say hello and chat with her after the service but she was nowhere in site. My brother Attila and I waited around a bit, then went outside to chat with some more of the family while waiting for her. But somehow we missed one another. Too bad because I really wanted to say hello. I haven`t seen her since I was about ten. Unfortunately we couldn`t wait much longer as we had family from Sweden coming over for lunch that day, so we said our goodbyes.

My uncle Nagybacsi, cousin Anthony and Attila.


The following week we visited them for lunch. It was really good to spend some time catching up. My uncle made yummy straweberry soup, then a traditional main course. He even fired up the bbq and made Attila steak. My aunt Sally ordered healthy Chinese for the two of us. She is from Shanghai so the two of us get on like a house on fire as we have very similar tastes. lol. I did a little photo shoot of her and Anthony, my youngest cousin - her first child with my uncle. Anthony is indeed very cute. You can see the features of both parents in him. He also has an easygoing temperament. Yes, it was really good to see them all and I wish we had more opportunities to get together.

My aunt Sally, cousin Anthony and uncle Nagybacsi.


Rhonda, I was very sorry to hear about Oreo's passing away, and am glad you were able to find such a wonderful place for him. It was very kind of you to offer me your apartment and I very much appreciated it. Your new outlook and positive energy definitely rubbed off on me! I am excited for both of us my friend and look forward to hearing how things unfold on your end now that your position on certain things has changed. Yay for positive growth and change!

Some very interesting offers, projects and propositions came my way... hmmmm... lol. Some of which I definitely can't write about here! Ha! Anyhow, it's nice to know people have faith in me to take on, carry out and execute some pretty crazy ideas. lol.

Gosh, there were so many things that happened, got done, were started, wrapped up or otherwise taken care of while in Toronto. It was non-stop action! I slept around 4 hours per night because I was up and working by 5am and still awake and working around 1am.

A big thank you to my mom who once again let me crash at her place. Koszonom Anyu! You are always the greatest.

Attila, thank you for taking me to the movies every now and then to get me away from the crazy work schedule. Yay! It was really good to catch up and scheme big life plots with you. Also, I had a blast laughing HYSTERICALLY at our finger breakdancing video! I nearly peed myself laughing!  Man that was good... let's get to those "other" videos we talked about as well.

Thank you to my other awesome brother Otti and sister-in law to be Chantel, who had me over twice for a wonderful lunch catch up and to see my nephiew, Ethan, even though they probably wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed and sleep!

Thank you to my dad who picked me up, drove me to all my favourite Asian markets and got me durian to try to fatten me up. He also made all kinds of snacks and goodies to feed me. Food came with the inevitable metaphysics conversation which is always fun. It was really nice to see him and spend some time `talking shop.`

My dad and I enjoying some live jazz one afternoon.

My dad and I visiting my grandparents' new place.


My grandparents sold their home in the country and moved to Toronto! Can you believe it?! Wow! What a change! We all pitched in to help them move their "stuff" - then my mom and I went in and organized everything in the new apartment so all they had to do was show up. It is very nice to have them close by actually, which makes it easier to spend more time with them.
My grandparents and me at their new place.
*Ahem* VERY near my mom's place! lol.

Attila and Katimama on her balcony. It may seem that my grandmother is short, but really, everyone seems short standing next to Attila.


I got to spend some time with my favourite Scottish friends, Anne and Bill. Never a dull moment with those two. You have to be at your top game what with all the jokes, puns, expositions and truly wonderful stories. All with a Scottish accent, of course. It simply won't do to have Scottish friends without the accent, don't 'cha know?! lol

Of course no Toronto visit is complete without seeing my fabulous Girl Guide ladies! I had a great time catching up (though too brief) with Marika, Michelle, Mary, Chris and of course, Penny, my old manager. These women rock! They are absolutely wonderful to work with and if I have an opportunity to work with them on some future project, I`d do it in a heartbeat. Professional, loving, talented, motivated and great conversationalists with big hearts. I miss them all.

Marika, Mary and Chris at GGC.

Michelle and Penny at GGC.


I'm sure I've forgotten a lot... but it was literally a non-stop marathon for six intense weeks... barely breathing, treading water and trying to stay on top of everything.

Mission accomplished.
Just barely though.

Woo weeeee! lol

Some of the festivals and fun Toronto "to do and see" items I managed to check out with friends or family:

Toronto Jazz Festival
Pride
Toronto Harbourfront festivals
Music Festival in the Garden
China Town frolic
Kensington delights
Lawrence Market and artisan markets
Art in the Park and more

It was good to see you all, Anyu, really nice to spend so much more time with you this time around.

Sadly, I was not able to see everyone I had wanted to, but hope to next time around. Maybe even have you guys visit ME next time? Now wouldn't that be nice?

Forests, soothing water, baths, foot soaks, master cleanse, great reading, walks in nature, yoga, quiet time on the deck and backyard, bike rides (especially during thunderstorms - they`re THE BEST! In fact, nearly anything in thunderstorms is just awesome!) and wholesome, yummy food await you. I even promise not to make you eat kichadee every day.... maybe. Ha!  We can even drive next door to P.E.I or Nova Scotia if that tickles your fancy. So come and visit me already!


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