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Our Garden

On Saturday, Mom, Dad and I went to see The Gardener at Hot Docs. Mom won tickets online from Not Far From the Tree. The documentary was about a rich, eccentric man named Frank Cabot and his Quatre Vents Garden in Quebec. His garden is extremely beautiful and very creative.

We just started gardening as a family last year. We put in a small berry patch and 3 raised beds for Square Foot Gardening.

This year, we have put in some small fruit trees. 

Frank Cabot's goal was to move people with his artistic expression through his garden but our goal with is to fill bellies and warm hearts. 

Lots of our shrubs are in blossom now. but according to a book that we are using, "Growing Urban Orchards" by Susan Poizner, we should remove fruit from the trees for the first two years after planting without allowing them to mature so the trees will have time to establish.

Here are some pictures.  

Blossoms on our Golden Sentinel Columnar Apple Tree

Little buds on our Golden Prolific Nectarine.

Carmine Jewel Cherry Blossom

Me transplanting Foxgloves to attract pollinators

Lingonberry Blossoms

Strawberry Blossoms

Young Wellington Black Currants 

Gooseberry Blossoms

I think these are buds for blossoms on the Black Lace Elderberry

Raspberry Blossoms


Pac Choi in the Square Foot Garden

Young Beets

Thyme and Walking Onions

A Tomato plant warm and safe inside a Kozy Coat

If anyone knows what these are, please let us know....

Here are some pictures of our dog. She loves our garden and she loves to dig holes 

But, our dog loves Mom even more than digging


Violin Recital

It has been a very busy month.
I got my grade for my RCM Grade 8 Piano exam... I got 87%. Not bad but not what I was hoping for.

My violin teacher put on a recital for her students today. I haven't performed on the violin in a long time. I really like accompanying and hiding behind the piano or performing with a group. It is hard for me to be in the spotlight. 

My violin exam is coming up and my teacher thought it would be a good idea for me to play this particular piece in front of people. It is a Romantic piece and I like to play Baroque. I was a bit nervous. I met the accompanist, Christine Kim, today for the first time. But, I have seen her play before... She accompanies Linda Eyman's Celebration Choir and I have seen them in concert. (My Mom is in Linda Eyman's Vocal Mosaic Choir and they put on a joint concert twice a year.)

Here is my piece. I made a couple mistakes in the middle and my posture wasn't the best.
I have a lot to work on before my exam.

It is Adoration by Felix Borowski

I realized at this concert, that the younger kids are probably looking at me and the more advanced students for what they can achieve in the future.

I remember how difficult it all seemed when I started  with the Suzuki method. It wasn't a good fit for me because I already knew how to read music from my piano lessons. Violin does get better if they stick with it. 


My Grade 8 RCM Exam

Today, I had my Royal Conservatory Piano exam.

These are the songs I did:

The exam could have been better.
I had to restart the Bach Invention and I made a couple of mistakes in the Kabalevsky Etude. The other pieces were good.

I did the sight reading was a waltz and I played it too fast, so I made a few mistakes.

The chord progressions were different from how I expected. In class, my teacher would play it once and I identify them all in one go. In this exam it is played once and then a second time, stopping at each chord so I could identify them individually.

After my exam, I went to practice some organ. This week was all about piano even though I felt a little sick on Wednesday.

Here is a short video from my practice today.
You can see me selecting the registrations and then starting the piece.

A special thank you to Elaine for allowing me to practice today.
I loved every second of it!
Thank you!


Bishop Terry Finlay's Funeral

Today was a sad day.
Mom and I went to St. James Cathedral to say farewell to Bishop Terry Finlay.

We knew him as Terry and he was a cool person to sit down and have a cup of tea with.
The first time we went to All Saints Kingsway for service, he was the first person to greet us. He was very friendly and he explained the service to us. Afterwards he invited us to tea and it became a regular part of our week.

One week he sang the song "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho" to me in front of everybody in the Wilkinson Room at ASK.

He loved hearing me play the piano and he always asked me to play the piano or the violin. He also asked me to play organ on the day I was baptized. He loved that I was able to play that day. I am still very thankful for that opportunity.

Our topics of conversation varied widely. We spoke about the big questions of the day, tea, life, twtitter, music... just about anything.

The last conversation we had we spoke about the bishop's rochet as compared to the cassock. He said "rochet" would be a good word to know for crosswords and scrabble.

Both Mom and I will miss him dearly.
Our deepest condolences to A.J., his children, grandchildren, and other family and friends.


Dmitry Masleev at Koerner Hall

Last night, Dad and I saw Dmitry Masleev at Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

He played:

D. Scarlatti 
Sonata in B minor, K. 27
Sonata in F minor, K. 466
Sonata in D minor, K. 1
Sonata in D minor, K. 141

Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major, Opus 81a, "Les Adieux"
Das Lebewohl (Les Adieux): Adagio - Allegro
Abwesenheit (L'Absence): Andante espressivo
Das Wiedersehen (Le Retour): Vivacissimamente

Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Opus 14
Allegro, ma non troppo - Piu mosso - Tempo primo (in D. minor)
Scherzo, Allegro marcato (in A minor)
Andante (in G sharp minor)
Vivace - Moderato - Vivace (in D minor)

Elegie in E flat minor, Op. 3 No. 2 from Morceaux de fantaisie
Prelude in C sharp minor, Op.  No. 2 from Morceaux de fantasie
Etude-Tableau in E flat major, Op. 33 No. 4
Etude-Tableau in B minor, Op. 39 No. 4
Etude-Tableau in D major, Op 39, No. 9


It was a long and very satisfying program... A treat for any piano lover.
It was just Dmitry Masleev and the piano, and he carried us away with his beautiful interpretations of music from the Baroque era to the 20th century.  It is not everyday that I get to see a performer play such a wide range of music solo on the piano.

He won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia in 2015 and since then he has been touring Europe, Asia and now North America. This visit to Toronto marks his Canadian debut. I am sure that audiences everywhere appreciate his talent and we will be seeing a lot more of him.
It will be exciting to see how his career progresses. By the start of the concert, almost every seat was filled at Koerner Hall, so it seems like people are already excited to see such an exceptional pianist.


Bach's Birthday Recital

Today, Mom and I went to Bach's Birthday Recital at Trinity College Chapel.

The music was amazing.

John Tuttle played:
  • Toccata in F Major, BWV 678
  • Sonata No.  in C Minor, BWV 526
  • These are the Holy Ten Commandments, BWV 678
  • Passacaglia in C Minor, BWV 582

There were at least 150 people in attendance, maybe even more. All of the pews and chairs were filled and people were sitting on stairs and standing in the back.

The organ is up in the balcony at the back of the chapel.
It must be be very nice for the organist there because the congregation can't see you.

I took these pictures after the concert.

I wanted to get a picture of the crowd because I was really happy to see such a large group, but a lady told Mom to put away the cell phone/camera. She made it seem like cell phones weren't allowed at all. But, she didn't stop other people from taking pictures with their phones. It made us very uncomfortable and even though it was beautiful music the overall atmosphere wasn't very welcoming. It's never nice when you feel like you're being constantly watched.


Back at the Make Den

Mom and I are back at the Make Den for classes.
Mom is taking the Leather Fundamentals and I am doing Sewing Fundamentals 2.

I worked on a tea cozy.
In this picture I was picking out something... Mistakes happen but the seam ripper is your friend.

Mom was working on a belt.
When I went up to see her she was dying the belt.

The really exciting thing that happened though was Jack finished his dress!
And we all got to see it.
I think almost everyone in the studio went to see the dress.

It's amazing that he made it all on his own.
It looks really complicated.
It is nice and pouffy!
 He must be so proud!

There is a short documentary about Jack on the CBC.
I'm so happy that I got to see Jack's dress.