Fabulous Empress Tiko Toyomi
Well again after surgery!
Wednesday, Jul. 20 - 11:03 PM
Saturday, August 1, 2009, 4:22 AM
Broadway Tunes by a quartet of soloists were terrific yesterday. Mark Dubois, tenor, Donna Bennett, soprano, Robert Longo, baritone, and most of all a new discovery for me, Gabrielle Prata, mezzo-soprano, with a fabulous quality of voice. Brian Finley was accompanist, master of ceremonies and entertainer all rolled in one.
The Barn was the theatre and the day was warm but we enjoyed a breeze now and again as we sat in the interior of the open-air barn with the sides open. Luncheon was rare roast beef at Elmhirst Lodge on the northeast shores of Rice Lake.
When I was a child, Daddy used to drive us to Rice Lake to see the wild rice harvest.The rice harvesters were anyone who could get a boat and go out on the lake all free to bring ashore. Harvesters used to almost beg us to take it free as thy had no containers for their harvest. That was before the day of the ubiquitous plastic bag. Now the waters are pretty clear of wild rice.
The shores include Serpent's Mound on the crest of which I ran nimbly at the age of twelve even then knowing things would change even then. Back then, I was a part of the land and that was my own ritual with the Serpent and its peoples, running back and forth along the prehistoric crest of the serpent pattern on the top of the mound which never did wash away nor erode. The Ancients certainly have preserved their secret and the pottery shards will never tell. The Mound is now a ROM excavation site and roped off from tourists and other curious people.
Once in Toronto again, I alighted from the bus at Castle Frank Station and zoomed down to Dundas and Yonge for the beginning of another Toronto exclusive - Caribbana! I called Carmen's cell but she had left if at home, so, I mosied on homeward after a fullest day out.
Sunday, July 19, 2009, 7:56 PM
Last Saturday, I went to an organic grocer at Avenue Road and Eglinton to get their unique hamburgers which cook up so nicely in the top of the oven plus a few slices of roasted venison.
I walked around the district and tried on sandals and visited a bedding boutique where I shall surely return to stock up on their beautiful milk soap. Other stores include caterers, exclusive clothing stores and jewellers.
I discovered a diningroom, I think, made out of an old movie house and certainly will be returning to check it out for a redhat party location.
The charming neighbourhood had a corner bank open on Saturday with a couple of clerks outside beside the bank serving ice lemonade to encourage opening accounts. It was a far cry from the downtown district where for no reason a bank clerk will turn hostile to prospective customers who even accompany elderly clients to keep to their own bank as a change to that area would do them no good. Maybe it's inverse psychology. Little do they know I suffer well at my own credit union!
On returning to my own home, I felt quite pleased to have been in a part of the city that didn't suffer need. It was a pleasant interlude.
Sunday, July 12, 2009, 9:27 PM
Thursday, I went on a cruise of the Erie Canal and had luncheon there, too. After lunch, some people went into town to a department store and drugstore for US goods while the rest of us went to the Arts & Crafts Gallery. We admired the clock in the first office there which looked steam-run like a calliope. One lady found a bronze toned necklace to set off this season's wardrobe. For her it was a wonderful day.
Luncheon lacked one more salad or one more vegetable for Canadians from Toronto who have to travel home through dinnertime. As one African American woman put it, "it was pared down." She and her family had eaten elsewhere in the town of Lockport.
The boat ride through the three or four locks of the Erie Canal must have been dramatic for those who were on the top deck but the thrill was missing for us who were crammed into the bottom deck as we watched the murky water fill the dirty locks and empty as we went back. The cruise boat was uncomfortably full. Our busdriver tanned as dark as a Black person as there was no awning on the top deck. The best part of the cruise was the pretzel sticks which were tastier than usual.
The drive home was uneventful as we had finished our hamburgers from the Canadian side well before we crossed back over the border and continued home to Toronto. Around 7 o'clock, we arrived at the hotel from where we had departed in the morning.
Monday, July 6, 2009, 11:58 PM
Sunday Carmen and I went down to Harbourfront and walked straight into the groceteria's take-out counter where we stocked up for our picnic lunch on the wharf. We walked through Queen's Quay Terminal and ate lunch on a hillock of Aspen trees listening to a Dulcimer player.
After purchasing a couple of CD's from him, we waited for the 4 o'clock departure of our harbour cruise boat.
The cruise with the great tour escort's knowledge of the skycrapers in the Toronto skyline revealing that no building is allowed to be taller than 72 storeys tall so as to allow migratory birds to use our downtown air space in its flight path southward. This bye-law was passed shortly after one of our prestigious banks finished building its 73-storey tower still the tallest next to the CN Tower. Lately, we discovered the new Trump Tower has run out of money and has to cap its tower at 70 storeys. Now, our CN Tower was the highest structure in the world until the one in Dubai came along. She was quite the tour escort. It would have made a perfect Redhat outing. Alas, my friend can't stand hats!
Before leaving Harbourfront for home, Carmen and I had coffee in an out-door café. During our talk, she revealed she was 100% Philippina in every sense of the word in dealing with their family property on her visit back just a couple of weeks ago. It was interesting to see what kind of feelings bring about her actions and reactions to others. However, strong as usual, all 4'8" of her had her way with everyone back home for a couple of months - the strong sense of family, of belonging and owning and inheriting, the distrust of non-family members of the household and so on.
Such was Sunday afternoon. As the night was young at 10 o'clock, she had to have a look at Dundas Square to see what might be going on before going home for the night. She called around 11 o'clock and told me she went straight home after all. I know Sunday nights are usually quiet in Toronto.
Friday, June 26, 2009, 3:41 AM
When things looked the darkest and all my westend "in" crowd were travelling outward bound to tea rooms in inaccessible smaller communities I couldn't get to for three consecutive months, I, sans chariot, living in central downtown, looked up Events on the RHS website and found I have two parties two weeks in a row down by the lake which is ideal for August - one in the eastend at Bluffers Marina and another in the westend near a Port Credit marina. Both parties require dressy regalia wear and BLING!
Summer is never summer without a boat ride or some nautical activity for me. It is the acme of easy livin' in the summertime when I walk down the docks and wharfs just enjoying their vicissitudes. It's the time of year, I never go without a pedicure for bare feet in sandals. It's the time of year that reminds me of my younger days in Georgian Bay, my island days, nestled amongst the 30,000 Islands in Gitchie Manitou's waters, a paddle or oars in my hands headed for my adventure whether a warm bath in rain-filled rocks at O'Donnell's Point or painting water lilies in a square bay near the beaver dam where "A.Y." (Jackson) had cleaned his oil painting brushes on an age old granite rock and was much rued by a more contemporary National Gallery recognized Newfoundland printmaker who claimed thousands of years of elements were needed to clean off the rock. Such was our own Newfoundlander and printmaker who was Artist in Residence here, there and everywhere in his time including private schools, camps and universities.
Summer was the time the transport boat took me from Parry Sound into camp or I trekked over rough roads to the airlines and took a chance in a cup plane with the pilot who gave me an "inside" tour of "who's who's" gardening in the unclaimed boglands they reached on their own whirlybird with their entire household including servants all engaged in gardening produce to can for the winter months.
Such was summer, lakes, boats and small aircraft with pontoons to me in those days. They will always have a place in my heart because of my memories. In later years, the closer Nishnawbe run marina on Twelve Mile Bay was used and I couldn't go so easily unless I went by aeroplane or privately chartered boat via Parry Sound where neither could be guaranteed available on short notice.
That brings us to another chapter in the life of Fabulous Empress Tiko Toyomi another time!