August 8, 2011

Coffee Shot, Anyone?

I can’t conceive of a morning without a cup of coffee. It needs to be very hot. The first sip tumbles through my entire being, letting me know that the day will turn out to be wonderful after all. The delectable coffee aroma caresses my nostrils, laughing off my doubts that things have the ability to turn out just fine.

I have a few tricks and secrets that are guaranteed to make my cup of coffee an exquisite delight each and every morning. The coffee must be of the best quality. I have to prepare it myself, with my own special magic. Then the delicious fragrance begins to spread throughout the whole apartment. It is essential that the coffee is very strong.

My relationship with brands like Starbucks is discussed here.

Here’s a little update in regards to my life these days. The epic renovation of the staircase is now complete. However, it turns out that it’s a little early to breathe a sigh of relief. We have received a two-page letter form out landlord, detailing all the further improvements, constructions, and renovations that are planned for this building in the nearest future. Among the things on the list there were new elevators and reinforcements for balconies.

Added to this is the fact that the next door neighbours are lacquering their floors. And then there are the downstairs neighbours, for whom every day is an excuse to drink and party.

It might not surprise you that, after living in this apartment for nearly 11 years, we are not actively searching for a new place to live. “Searching” seems like such a soft, peaceful words. The term I probably should have used is “frenzied hunt”. How long it will last, and how it will end, no one really knows. Any positive vibes sent in our direction will be greatly appreciated. I am definitely going to feel them.

And now, here are a couple of views of my beloved High Park, with whom we might have to part once we move. Though we are certainly going to visit as often as we can.


  1. Very lovely photos of your beloved park. Good luck on home hunting. The right place will come to you. The coffee mug photo is my fav. What would we do without coffee!=)

  2. I wish you luck with house hunting, we are trying to sell the UK house and although masses of viewers no buyers!!!! Mortgages are hard to get and the recent stock market problems do not help :-(
    Coffee, if I drink one cup a month it is a lot. I don't dislike it, but it does little for me other than keep me awake at night LOL.
    The photos of the park are beautiful. Happy house hunting Diane

  3. Dear Olga, I loved this post, in particular the cartoon of the two dogs ;-) Like you, I appreciate the ritual of the morning coffee (sounds like your neighbors and the activity in your building make that a MANDATORY ritual!) You probably know this, but if not, I know you will love it. The text is hilarious, but it is funny even if you don't speak French. Enjoy!
    Veronique aka French Girl in Seattle

  4. Beautiful photos, and I love that coffee cup! Good luck finding a new place to live.

  5. Haha - I NEED my coffee too, otherwise I´m just not human. Though I put milk in mine. :-)

    Beautiful garden! :-)

  6. Good luck finding a more suitable place to live. I love the smell of coffee but unfortunately, it makes me feel ill when I drink it. However, I'd love to own the coffee cup in the first photo!

    The photos are fab too!

  7. чудесные фото! Как всегда - ничто не случайно, продуманный ракурс и точные попадания.
    Первая - это так случайно вышло? Или есть в этом постановка? Хотя, неважно. Получилось весело!
    И какой сорт ты предпочитаешь заваривать?

  8. I'm totally with you on the COFFEE thing. OMG.

    Beautiful cone flower pic! (Lovely park.)
    Good luck with the new digs.

    (Love the coffee mug shot.)

  9. Ольга, у вас тоже сложно найти квартиру? Да, какое же утро без кофе?!

  10. I've read your old Post about Starbucks. I think it was written before I "found" your blog. I'll have to read some of your old Post one of these days. It is funny when you get angry, like if you were not capable of getting really really angry after all :-)
    Let's see if this smell from one of my old Posts can make you feel better:

  11. What gorgeous coneflowers! I love tea...but whatever you've got picture up there seems more than good to me. :)

  12. I have the same feelings about your morning cup of coffee, but for the perfect hot cuppa of English Breakfast or Yorkshire. Ahhh. I cannot go one morning (or afternoon for that matter) without one.

    Your photos are absolutely beautiful. As always. Happy evening. :)

  13. I understand how you are with the coffee, my husband brings me my cup every morning it is wonderful. I can feel it flowing through my body. I love your park pictures especially the cone flower photo it is lovely.

  14. I like your idea to make the first image. I’d love to scent the aroma and taste the coffee specially brewed with your magic! I’m not a coffee lover so much, but surely a cup of coffee in the morning makes my dizzy head clear. You have a lovely park, I’d never get tired of visiting there any season if I were there. The last image IS the artful nuance for me among all the wonderful photos in this post. Have happy days ahead, Olga.

  15. I don't feel that way about coffee but I do love my Grapefruit juice in the morning. Good luck on your search.

  16. Great photos of your park, the flowers are so lovely and I think that your coffee mug is so cute.
    Good luck with the house hunting dear Olga; if we are fortunate enough to get good neighbours it is a blessing.
    xoxoxo ♡

  17. What a beautiful first picture of High Park! Excellent clarity. Your great pictures are the reason I keep coming back to your blog! And those pink flowers with petals facing down look just like shuttlecocks! Very nice!

    Duncan In Kuantan

  18. Your relationship with coffee is the one I have with tea. The best is Yorkshire Tea, made nice and strong and drunk at breakfast time and tea time. Life just isn't the same without it.

  19. A coffee and such a view in the morning, it's heaven! Dear Olga i' m going to Denemark for two weeks and i kiss you!

  20. Hello Olga,
    I live in coffee country. I love the coffee and its ritual. That mug with coffee dripping down, the cup with cappuccino, hummmm!
    The photos are beautiful as always and the scenery, wonderful!
    A hug around the studio
    Novo! Clique nas palavras acima para ver traduções alternativas. Dispensar

  21. Hi Olga, I am definitely a coffe drinker!! And like you, I do need my coffee every morning. Without it, I am NO person!!! beautiful flowers!!!!!

  22. The doggie cartoon speaks to me! Don't you think the ritual adds to the enjoyment?
    The photos of the park are lovely.

  23. Aucune goutte de café ne doit jamais être perdue!
    Un café est toujours convivial et il rapproche tous les gens, de même langue ou pas.

  24. Hello, Olga.
    What a great mug!! Very unique one! I love it. Also, the wodden table under the blue coffee cups catches my eyes!!!. You have posted very lovely photos of your beloved park! The reflection of the green on the pond is beautiful, and I really like to see the well-mannered coneflowers!
    I am so pleased to share our cultures.
    However, I am not a native English speaker, I am sorry if I could say English sentences properly because of my poor English.
    Have a fabulous day.
    Red rose, Tomoko.

  25. Hi Sandy,
    Thank you for the kind wishes in regards to home-hunting. At the moments, the prospects appear terrifying.

    Hi Diane,
    It's incredible that you react that way to coffee. Although I have one friend who becomes hyperactive even when she sniffs it. Thank you for the well wishes. I in turn wish you success in selling your home.

    Hi French Girl in Seattle,
    Thank you for the YouTube link. It really is awesome. The skinny man reminds me of myself :)

    Hi Al,
    Thank you for the wishes. The chances of success increase with kind wishes :)

    Hi tinajo,
    I put milk only in Americano. Even speaking of coffee makes me crave another cup :)

  26. Hi Spangle,
    As a coffee maniac, I was sure that everyone would be crazy about coffee :)

    Hi Ирен,
    Пристрастия и фавориты всё время меняются. Чем дальше фаворит, и чем труднее его здесь купить, тем больше я его люблю. Сейчас это кубинский кофе и только капучино. Следующий - бразильский, за ним колумбийский. Бренды все какие-то неизвестные и купленные случайно, в странных местах.

    Hi Rick,
    Now you know how interesting it was for me to read about your trip to Columbia, and about your coffee adventures :)

    Hi patatinka,
    У нас тут место в Хай парке непростое. Ренталов мало. Шанс найти что-либо подходящее невелик. А, вообще, квартира в Торонто не проблема. Всё зависит от стиля жизни и толщины кошелька. Хай Парк затягивает. У нас уже втора пара, купившая жильё в другом районе, вернулась обратно в рентал. Но сейчас я настроена твёрдо искать что-то в другом месте. Они собираются три здания новых строить рядом с нами!!!!

    Hi Pet,
    I have read your old post. What can I say? You guys in Europe take coffee for granted :) I know how to get angry. However, in the words of a classical Russian author, "God forbid you get to witness a Russian riot; pointless and ruthless."

    Hi Lydia,
    I don't have a passionate affair with tea. With tea, I have a tender and affectionate romance.

  27. Hi Sophia,
    All teas are good for me too. You should see my collection :)

    Hi lilylovekin,
    Hey sister - coffee makes us feel alive. Or resurrects us from the dead :)

    Hi stardust,
    I'm so pleased that you like my photos. Thank you for picking your favourite among them. I have never been present at a Japanese tea ceremony. It's a dream for me :)

    Hi Randy,
    Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice with a cube of ice - mmmm!

    Hi Dianne,
    Good neighbours are a blessing. I never realized that until we had to deal with these party animals.

  28. Oh Olga! I feel sorry for you. To have neighbours withn reach, and they have no respect for the other tenants in the building. I would go absolutely insane living in close proximity with the human race! I do not envy you, on finding a new nest! I wish you all the best! And I daresay, I hope you find your perfect garden to set down your roots.

    I too enjoy a good cup of 'cowboy' coffee!

  29. Hi Duncan,
    It's a big compliment for me. Photography is my outlet, and I am very shy about the quality of my photos. Special thanks :)

    Hi Sarah,
    Tea for a Russian person is the same thing as vodka during the cold time of the year :)

    Hi orfeenix,
    I wish you a great trip to Denmark. Pull the mermaid's tail for me :)

    Hi Antonio,
    How well you've put it - it's a ritual. Drinking coffee is not just like chugging any beverage. I envy you; you live in a country where you can probably try a new coffee every day.

    Hi Colores,
    Hooray! One more coffee maniac to share my passion with :)

  30. Hi DearHelenHartman,
    Rituals are very important in our lives. Especially the ones we create for ourselves and our loved ones. I think they bring a particle of the extraordinary into your every day.

    Hi Richard,
    Quelle belle définition pour boire du café:)

    Hi Tomoko,
    My point of view is that the most important thing is communication, and not maintaining a standard style of speech. I greatly appreciate that we can find common ground through the English language. It's not my native language either :)

  31. Hi Olga... First one is really funny. I love this one... Congratulations!!!

  32. Good vibes coming your way.

    Hyde Park is beautiful - amazing how lush it all is after this exceptionally dry summer. (Oh wait - is that rain I hear?) Coneflowers are among my absolute favourites. Right up there with the daisies.

  33. Hello Olga,
    Very recognizable. I also love coffee in the morning too. Funny mug you have!!
    And what a lovely pictures of these wonderful flowers.
    Well done and don't forget your coffee, otherwise they get cold.

    Greetings, Marco

  34. High Park looks like a wonderful, tranquil place...I would love to spend time there!
    I am a tea-in-the-morning person and seldom drink coffee, but I do love the smell of it and that first photo made me smile :-)

  35. Sending happy home hunting vibes your way so that hopefully you will find somewhere as beautiful as High Park to live near.

  36. For me, no sugar, please ... I am going to enjoy your photos:)
    Greetings from Bejar. Salamanca. Spain

  37. Oh I really needed to see your beautiful photos today, England is temporarily in a bad place. Thank you. x

  38. Полностью разделяю любовь к кофе. Для меня замены нет. Одного аромата достаточно, чтобы избавиться от хандры.

    С домом-посылаю все положительные вайбы , какие только возможно. Это трудное дело, но не сдавайтесь. Верьте что ВАШ дом пойдет вам на встречу, и вы найдете то что вы хотите, и очень часто такое случается, когда меньше всего этого ожидаешь.

  39. WONDERFUL images !!!

    Have a super week, Olga.

  40. I know what you mean about the coffee. I'm not a coffee girl myself but I can't start my day without a good cup of tea. It's the ritual more than the tea itself.

    Sending you lots of happy househunting vibes x x

  41. The park is so beautiful and calm - you must seek solace there. It is very sad when one comes to a point at which one feels almost driven from one's home.
    I send you waves of peace so that you do not panic. I send hope, too, that whatever the outcome, all will end for the better.
    And, I am going to be sharing my daughter's 'furniture finds' ... soon.

  42. Oh ... and the coffee does have to be special and exactly right for the start of a day to go well.
    Sorry! I forgot to add that to my comment.

  43. It sounds as though your morning coffee is richly deserved, Olga. I hope you find a place to live that's as serene and graceful as your photographs.

  44. Olga your peace and quiet are so very important I am not surprised you are looking for a new place to live. How can poor Denis sleep with all that noise! I am sending you my prayers for a new home that suits your whole family. Meanwhile I can see you are finding peace and serenity in your beloved park :)

  45. wow!Olga so wonderful coffee! did you know how can I make it? too pitty, we are so far! And your park exellent!thak you for the photoes, we have a walk with you, in the flowers!!!Fantastic! bravo! kisses.Good luck with your house.

  46. I'm a coffee addict too !
    Those garden's pictures are marvelous...
    Greetings from France,


  47. I think I would literally go insane without coffee. Just think of that gentle park whenever you are stressed!

  48. I will have to look at my morning cup of coffee a bit different. It would be a shame to lose that view. Ah yes, renovations...

  49. I find myself looking forward to the morning coffee not just for the caffeine, but for the ritual of it. For the smell and the grounds and the warmth of my Hello Kitty mug when I first pour the stuff.
    Starbucks fact: the reason their coffee tastes so "strong" is actually that they burn their beans when they roast them. And the reason they burn their beans? To get uniform flavor - so that no matter what Starbucks you go to, the Costa Rica has the exact same charbroiled flavor as every other Starbucks.
    What did the poor beans ever do to them?

  50. The first image is so funny!:) A cup of hot coffee has become part of my morning routine too :) I honestly hope you find a wonderful and peaceful place to live very soon.
    What beautiful pictures of the park!

  51. Oh, I do love me some coffee! That first photo is hilarious. My day is not complete without coffee at the beginning and wine at the end!

  52. Hi Misty Meadows,
    To tell you the truth, the neighbours downstairs are one of the biggest motivating factors in our search for a new home. At the same time, we also have wonderful neighbours that we have been friends with for many years.

    Hi Mario Pereda,
    Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your compliment.

    Hi Liz,
    In Toronto, people take High Park for granted. They forget that it allows them to commune with nature right in the middle of the city. Sometimes even wild nature - we have spotted a coyote there!

    Hi Marco,
    Forget my coffee? Never! :) I'm more likely to forget my phone and my house keys.

    Hi Nat,
    Tea is also frequently present in our house :) I have a large collection of teas - especially green ones.

  53. Hi Lindy,
    Thank you for the good vibes. I feel it and appreciate it all the way :)

    Hi Laura.M,
    Sometimes, no sugar for me too. Sometimes with sugar and milk. But always hot. Thank you for visiting.

    Hi Happy Frog and I,
    I feel worried about what is happening in Britain. These things never pass without a trace. They affect the lives of the people, making them feel less secure. Nonetheless, I'm glad that my photo can offer you some encouragement.

    Hi kopeechki,
    Спасибочки большое! Подозревала, конечно, что это дело непростое,найти подходящий дом, но не думала, что настолько. Столько всего нового для себя за последний месяц открыла из этой области.
    Кофе - и тогда жизнь становится реальной!
    Всё время хочу спросить, в каком штате вы живёте, если не секрет?

    Hi Harry,
    Thank you. A super week will be mine :)

  54. Hi Sarah Elizabeth,
    This is absolutely right - all these drinks have a ritual component. Tea and coffee rule the world :)

    Hi aguja,
    Thank you for the encouragement. For me, it is very valuable. I will think of your words in a difficult moment. For some reason, I suspected that you are a coffee person.

    Hi mise,
    The two adjectives that you used - serene and graceful - are exactly the ones I hope to encounter in my next home. Thank you for your comment.

    Hi Dolly,
    Denis is very dissatisfied with the current state of affairs. He looks on me with blame in his eyes, as if this is all my fault :)

    Hi Φανή Παπαγεωργίου, Ζωγράφος,
    I remember what amazing coffee there is in Greece. Indeed, it is regrettable that we live so far apart from each other.

  55. Hi Pierre,
    How I dream of French coffee! You're lucky that you get to enjoy it.

    Hi hila,
    I think we ought to put together a club of coffee lovers. I heard the depth of a real coffee maniac in your words :)

    Hi R. Jacob,
    For all coffee addicts, the important thing to remember is to try and contain themselves :)

    Hi Brigid,
    Starbucks has successfully pretended to be consumer-oriented for all these years. In reality, the quality of the coffee there is horrible. How cute that you have a Hello Kitty mug :)

    Hi Marisa,
    I know that you are very busy. I especially appreciate that you've found time to leave a comment. Don't drink too much coffee :)

  56. Hi Talli,
    In the summertime, my favourite is rose wine. As far as coffee, my favourite at the moment is Brazilian coffee.

  57. Муж раньше работал в Дейтон/толидо/ клибленд. Сеичас в Неваде (Рино).

    Я не знаю насколько Канада отличается от штатов в покупке домов, но последние нацать лет, мы этим только и занимались. Этой весной потратили месяца 4 на поиск дома, каждый день просматривали списки на интернете через риалтора, потом ездили смотреть. Каждый раз едешь с надеждой, что это "твой", и уходишь разочарованным. Мы хотели брать один, уже все документы были оформлены, остался последний шаг, когда я говорю мужу:"пошли вверх по улице пройдемся". а там был дом с надписью for sale. Мы зашли и поняли, что большего искать не будем. Ему нужен капитальный ремонт, но у него в 2 раза больше земли (всегда можно достроить дом, но нельзя достроить землю)))), и цена была почти на 60 тыс дешевле.

    одно , что я поняла от мужа, и за последние 20 лет он купил и перепродал кучу домов, это всегда искать меньший дом в лучшем раёне, чем большой в среднем. Хорошие школы важны( даже если не вам то в будущем), хорошо если есть вид на город, открытое место, и конечно же , будучи китайцем, он строго соблюдает принципы feng shui. He will not buy home with bad feng shui, no matter how good the price.

    А вы новый дом ищите или resale?

  58. Спасибо огромное за ответ. Я, можно сказать, немного успокоилась после его прочтения.
    У нас совсем нет опыта поисков домов. Мы только начали буквально два месяца назад этим серьёзно заниматься. Нашли агента и каждый день проверяем по карте наличие домов.
    Но у нас во всех отношениях важно место в которое мы переедем. Для меня это должно быть Торонто. Некоторые галереи работают только с художниками проживающими в городе. За то время, что мы ищем дом, мне очень понравилось один район. Вот там каждый день и проверяем обстановку. Но район не дешёвый и старый. Так что новых домов там вообще нет. Последний дом в нашей ценовой категории был отнят банком за долги. Как то я не решаюсь его покупать. Пока придётся ждать.
    Вне пределов Торонто можно купить довольно приличный лот и дом.
    Я Очень буду признательна, если хоть чуть-чуть дадите определение каков должен быть дом по feng shui. Хотя бы,самую малость.

    Оля, мне очень нравится Лилиан ТУ, у нее много книг и своя вэбсайт ЕЕ стоит почитать, особенно landscape feng shui, it will be in the bottom left corner, or just search her website .

  60. in "schools" look for Landscape feng shui there will be a lot of articles, please go through them. Pay attention to what is wrong with the house that you cannot change.
    i'll ask my husband for more info from his chinese books and let you know later on, Ok?

  61. я могу рассказать как мы ищем дома...
    это осложняет процесс покупки, но потом все идет как по маслу.
    1. мы просчитали наш куа номер, и я и муж-мы восточные люди, сын-западный. Лилиан ту говорит как его надо просчитать. От этого будет зависить в каком направлении должен быть дом. наши все сидят на север, и смотрят на юг.
    2. потом я иду на гугл мэп и если топография не подходит, то даже не едем его смотреть.
    3. Главное, чтобы не было дороги, упирающейся в дом, как т-джанкшн. от дома ,что мы отказались, 4! дороги стыковались прямо перед домом, и участок был треугольный( квадрат или прямоугольник-предпочитается), т.е каждый вечер фары машин на 4х дорогаях будут светить в окна.
    4. в ноябре 2009 мы купили дом от банка, это был foreclosure and bank-owned и банк пытался избавиться от него. мы оформили всю покупку за 2 недели. с short sale муж не связывается, слишком долго все тянется и нет гарантии, что сделка пройдет.
    с чисто китайской позиции , муж никогда не купит дом с цифрой "4" на последнем месте в номере дома.в ихнем языке 4 звучит как смерть, поэтому китайцы отворачиваются от таких домов.
    5. раз дома старые, в штатах надо смотреть , если дом построен до 1978 г в нем может быть lead and asbestos . если там сделали ремонт, то мы требуем официальной справки , что lead and asbestos были удалены профессионалами, иначе если делать самим, т.е. вам нанимать спецов, то можно смело добавить 20-25 тыс к цене дома. Удаление lead and asbestos дорогое удовольствие , но необходимое.
    5. хороший риалтор-очень важно, потому что в деловых денежных бумагах такое как title insurance and closing cost can be negotiated!! you can make seller to pay all of it if they really desperate.
    6 смотрите сколько надо вложить денег в дом после покупки, и на забудьте, что на каждую работу нужен permit , а значит дополнительные расходы.

  62. забыла еще.. где моя голова сегодня!

    когда выберете свой дом, детальная инспекция важно необходима! в американских формах автоматом сотит кто платит за какую инспекцию, опять таки все зависит от продовца, если им надо продать дом они идут на уступки и соглашаются платить за ваши инспекции, но даже если нет, то надо потратить несколько сотен на хорошего инспектора. лучше узнать, что не так с домом до оплаты. плюс некоторые ремонты можно попросить сделать до покупки, если вы не поставили галочку в контракте, что вы покупаете дом "эз из"

  63. Hi kopeechki,
    Спасибочки большое. С огромным интересом всё прочитала.
    У нас агент проверенный старый лис. Засовывает нос абсолютно во всё и всё комментирует. Мы уже по его виду понимаем, стоит ли нам трепыхаться или нет. Хотя, конечно, хорошие дома уходят в один момент. Пока мы соображали, один уже сбежал от нас. Но, значит, он был не наш - так мы себя успокаиваем:)
    Я фен-шуйные дела хотела бы побольше узнать. Я всё это связываю с пониманием всего, что влияет на человека. Может быть в магию цифр я не особо верю, но вот наличие дорог, расположение комнат,окон, дверей. Я думаю, что всё это не простые вещи. Поэтому, если будет время и желание, то,плиз, напишите то, что муж суммирует. И спасибо за ссылки!

  64. What a lovely park. I can see why you wouldn't want to leave.

    I've now joined your blog - it's so full of interesting stuff and lovely images.