Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The morning after

In case you are in withdrawal from Dancing With The Stars ~ here's one for you. I also know there are plenty of you who are not on Facebook so this is for you too ~ not to be missed!!

This is such a HUGE body of work just fantastic.

This is one of the songs that Susy and Elliot's son Evan and his band The Moonwalks perform. Well, they don't exactly do the choreography, but the song is great:)

Hat Tip: Thanks to Tasha Shaw-Verbic for the post today on Facebook.
This version appears to be slightly different and just as amazing.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Getting a little closer

Every week we have been trying to gain the confidence of our three year old grandson Luca. Since moving to Canada four months ago, he has gone from 0-60 in terms of his communication and independence. He's truly a "daddy's boy", but now that he may be in love with his pre-school teacher Miss Jenn, there has been a noticeable shift in his allegiance :) Little by little we have inveigled our way into his routine and last week, he didn't look back when we picked him up from gymnastics and headed off to the zoo.

The zoo in November is wonderful on many levels. There was virtually no one there. Actually, we even wondered where the animals were. Most things are closed down, but the lack of crowds and bustle make it a perfect place to visit if you like the animals that can weather the climes here in southern Ontario. The penguins and the polar bears have no problem being outside. We were prepared with scarves and hats and mitts, so we sauntered along and did a lot of talking and gazing at the wonderful expanse that is the zoo. Luca had a wonderful time and he and Papi are as thick as thieves now. Mamère was very disappointed that the battery on her big camera wasn't functioning properly that day, but she did have here trusty iPhone. That's why the photos are a little sketchy, but you get the idea. The little train that takes people around the perimeter of the zoo was closed. All but two of the restaurants were closed. The big gift shop was closed. Only the hardiest of animals were outside and even then, they were sleeping in the sun or otherwise looking the other way....we saw a lot of "bear butts!".... It was still a WONDERFUL day, almost like having the zoo all to oneself. We have a membership so despite the trek to get there, it affords about 8,000 steps of healthy outdoors. We were not out of the parking lot before Luca was asleep. We drifted home into the sunset with Rachmaninoff playing on the radio. I had tears in my eyes at the beauty of it all.

Next week. The airplane museum in Hamilton. Got to get things done before the snow flies!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Run Run as fast as you can.....

If you are very, very lucky, one day you might be invited to the Gingerbread Cottage.
When you arrive, the Gingerbread Lady has probably made you your very own apron for making Gingerbread boys and girls.

There will likely be bowls of really yummy Gingerbread all ready to roll out with wooden rolling pins

....and a whole bunch of Gingerbread people excitedly dancing around on the counters, waiting to be chosen!

BEST of ALL, the Gingerbread Lady is there....totally decked out in guessed it...Gingerbread jewels!

Grab a buddy to start the process of rolling and utilizing the most space to get the most cookies....and learn from an expert

Even if you are rarely seen in a kitchen or baking anything, you too can learn the subtle art of Ginger-People. Trust me, if this one can do it, ANYONE can!!! There must have been some magic in that apron she put on!

If you happen to be a three year old with VERY fine motor control, you can spend literally the entire time decorating your cookies! Miss Bowie did just that. See those few little sprinkles on her smiling lips???

There is a very old story that goes along with all of this fancy baking. If you are very, very good, after all the baking is finished, the Gingerbread Lady might also read you the story and sing a little song.

I'm not sure if this Gingerbread Lady is magic or not, but she sure is wonderfully generous with her time and her talent and full of fun. She makes the Gingerbread Man come to life for sure and we all know that he was delectably tasty!

With many thanks and much love to Ma Soeur for an enchanting afternoon. As my Grandson so eloquently said as we were departing..."Can we come again next week???

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Another important date

Gordon Lightfoot has done his duty to historic events in this country. Forty years ago this week, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank to the bottom of Lake Superior, carrying 29 men to their deaths on Nov. 10, 1975.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Back in the country. The trip home from Ottawa included a slight diversion through Lanark. We spent a lovely afternoon with cousin Alta and dined in style at Wheeler's Pancake House. I love hearing the stories and getting caught up with family who continue the tradition of small town living ...the place of my ancestors. Up the road, my mother's birthplace Balderson, ON. Arguably some of the best cheddar in the world!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

An important date in Canadian history

The Last Spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was the ceremonial final spike driven into the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) at Craigellachie, British Columbia at 9:22 am on November 7, 1885.

Friday, November 6, 2015

It's all about da shoes

It's all about which shoes have to wear to pull off the outfit. N'est pas?

I was told by Bonnie to go and get these immediately. Skechers GO walk. That was because I was moaning about footwear and walking and how I really DO need to walk, but these were actually recommended and despite a fairly narrow foot, with high arches and crazy heel spurs they work! I LOVE THEM.

That's why, despite my misgivings of the pattern, I also got these.....bonus they were all on sale!!

The next pair I totally blame on "Carol from Kansas". That's what I call her. This is how she rolls

If "Carol from Kansas" recommends something, you can be sure it's triple rated. If Carol could also convince her sisters Dottie and MaryAnn that these shoes were fabulous, you can be sure that they are. I have looked high and low to find the 'Pegasus 32'....they have to be 32. I did find one pair but they were orange. I had to think about that despite it being Halloween. I found a light blue pair in Ottawa and a PINK...just like Carol's on line. When I find a pair of shoes that I am so enthusiastic about, I try to get at least two pair because YOU KNOW they are going to change the model next year and I want 32!!! They work. You'll love walking anywhere and there are air vents in them as today's 100 kilometer winds proved.

This next pair I will blame on Marcia. Not directly as she wasn't with me at the time, but we both got the same black loafers a while back and mine are done. These are the replacement for loafer-ish shoes for every day comfort walking. Ecco and very very comfortable. I know Marsh will want them when she sees mine.

This last pair was the reason I went shoe shopping in the first place. What do you wear when you know it might be rainy it could be cold, you need a dressy flat because in all likelihood you will be standing for hours - on concrete. These ARA flats did the trick.

So there you go. My advice on footwear to get you through all situations. Many thanks to my friends who advise me on such critical issues and make my life a whole lot easier.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Alta's Fairy Garden

On our way back from Ottawa, we stopped by our cousin's home in Lanark, Ontario. Alta has recently sold her house and moved into a wonderful residence which frees her up to do some amazing trips and activities. This is one of the cutest things, and I really want to do this with Zoë and Luca.

This little "Fairy Garden" is such a delight. You need a low wide dish, planting soil and lots and lots of little succulents, pebbles and fairy pieces.

I love the little log pieces for pathways and the plant material is delicious!

Perched on a windowsill this piece sparkles in the sunlight and keeps the fairies amused for hours! Thanks Alta for a wonderful afternoon.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The most exciting thing in Ottawa

The reason for our recent trip to Ottawa was an invitation to an opening at the National Gallery of Canada.

 Larry's cousin Sharon, and her husband Dennis Lanigan were in Ottawa for the opening of "Beauty's Awakening: Drawings by the Pre-Raphaelites and Their Contemporaties from the Lanigan Collection."   Its title has been borrowed from an 1899 play in which a knight seeks to find and awaken “the Spirit of all things beautiful.”

Dennis T. Lanigan is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Saskatoon. In other words, if your face gets kicked in by a horse Dennis is the man to see. He also has a healthy obsession with Pre-Raphaelite Victorian artwork. After four decades of hunting and acquiring more than 400 works of art, including sculpture, stained glass and decorative objects, the family has very generously donated part of this private collection to the National Gallery of Canada. The National Gallery is presenting 124 drawings representing 57 artists. Dennis also has a magnificent collection of William Morris ties.

This article in Fine Art Connoisseur describes this wonderful exhibit much more eloquently than I ever could and it's a fascinating read.

We had a wonderful private tour of the exhibit and were fascinated by Dennis' stories of not only the artists, but also of his tales of acquisition of several pieces. His passion is infectious and in many cases I think I would have to agree with him that his drawings are as exciting, if not more so, than the painting which followed these preliminary studies. I have shown the drawings and followed them up with pictures of the paintings in which they appear.

Frederick Sandys (1829–1904), “King Pelles’s Daughter Bearing the Vessel of the Sanc Graal,” 1861, pen and black ink on paper, 12 5/8 x 9 1/4 in. Promised gift to the National Gallery of Canada from the Lanigan Collection

Edward Burne-Jones, “Study for the Slave in ‘The Wheel of Fortune’,” ca.1875-1883, Black chalk on paper, 11 3/4 x 6 1/4 in. Promised gift to the National Gallery of Canada from the Lanigan Collection

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), “Study of the Figure of Love for ‘Dante’s Dream at the Time of the Death of Beatrice’,” 1874, red, gray, and brown chalk on paper, 23 1/4 x 16 3/4 in. Donated in 2015 to the National Gallery of Canada from the Lanigan Collection

If you happen to be in Ottawa anytime soon, The National Gallery of Canada is a wonderful place to visit and I assure you, you will want to start drawing/sketching something right away. If you happen to miss the exhibit here in Canada, it will travel next to Leighton House Museum in London, England.

Cymon and Iphigenia. Frederic Lord Leighton, P. R. A. (1830-1896). 1884. Oil on canvas