Sunday, November 30, 2008

One of a Kind - Three

This is a really interesting artist who you can visit at the Distillery District the next time you are down there buying Eccles cakes. By the way, if you are down there getting Eccles cakes, please get me some too!

I always like to speak to the artists and learn about their process. For some reason, this year all the vibrant colours and wonky constructs were appealing to me. The animals are made first, and then individually glued in place....if you notice, all are facing outward...hopefully. Perhaps this is what drew me unknowingly to the piece. Hope.

All Credits Artist: Wendy Walgate

Wendy's Blog with great commentaries on her work.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

One of a Kind -Two

If money were no object.............
I wonder where you would put this if you did get one? In an effort to find just the right spot, I'm cleaning my house today. See what ART can inspire??!!

Sorrentino Sanche

Friday, November 28, 2008

One of a Kind - One

Today, Irenka and I went to the One of a Kind Show. Our first stop was of course Carmi's Art Cards

We are Carmi groupies and we buy and buy and buy her cards and then can't bear to give them away. I have a box labeled "Carmi's Cards". It gives me the greatest pleasure to just look through the collection. If you've ever received a Carmi card, then you can count yourself as "special".

After our Carmi fix, we did our "routine". We start at aisle "A" and go to the end and then down the next aisle from the top...and so on. It was a pretty amazing show this year. Lots of new talent, and everyone exceptional.

I'll do a daily report on my findings, so that you can be inspired, even if you can't attend the show. Perhaps you'll be inspired enough to go to the show.


This is the work of Kathi Kuti She does the most amazing polymer clay sculpting. We had her full attention at one point and she explained all the intricate details of each of her pieces. We were also delighted to hear that she will be giving a workshop in the spring. The Humpty Dumpty workshop will be in Elora, ON. Two day classes $150.00 kit included where students will learn to sculpt a 3 inch Humpty Dumpty in polymer clay. (No sculpting experience needed.) Check out the link to see this amazing work, and consider a trip to Elora in the spring.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Finds

Recently I went into the LCBO to get a bottle of wine for my neighbour who, each year in the fall, valiantly goes up on our conjoined roofs to check out the condition of the eaves troughs. I think that deserves a little present. I waited until he'd finished the job to give him the wine. His response, by the way, was that he's been doing this task for 25 years and this is the first bottle of wine I've given him. By his calculations he gets 24 more! On this particular visit to the "Government Dairy", what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a new version of the Smirnoff Martini mix!

Holidays here we come!

Everyone is touting the health benefits of pomegranates these days, so what could be more exciting that a pre-mixed concoction like this. It HAS to be good for you. You could probably even rationalize it as a breakfast drink. It is a mixture of vodka, pomegranate juice, and Meyer lemon. The taste is sweet on the palate to start and then the lemon kicks in to keep you wondering.

The latest holiday version of the Food and Drink magazine is worth the trip to the store. Not only are the recipes inspiring, but they are also paired with the wines to serve etc. Copies of this publication are apparently flying off the shelves, so perhaps you should call your "local" before getting too revved up about it.
It will make you want to have a party, or at least attend a party, martini mix in hand.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Muffins

Despite my own warnings not to do so, I am still cutting out recipes from the newspaper. Most of them end up in a file folder in the category of "splendid ideas that may or may never happen". I was about to file yet another load of misguided good intentions when I realized that one of them was banana muffins...I had 4, (well on their way to the freezer) bananas screaming at me from the fruit bowl. On re-reading the recipe, I thought, what could be more simple than this recipe??? No unusual ingredients, just put all of this in a huge measuring cup and "Viola" as our painting group just has to say! (There was a misprint in an American painting book that meant to say "Voila! ...it was printed "Viola!" That one stuck :))


Blinding Brilliance Publishing

Muffin Mania Muffin Mania - just re-released!
Cathy Prange & Joan Pauli
Muffin Mania was one of the first books we carried when we opened the store in 1983 - hand delivered by the authors. It quickly topped our bestseller list where it resided for almost two decades! In the years it was out of print we had streams of calls from people searching for replacements for their tattered and stained originals, or copies for offspring leaving home. We are overjoyed to have the new generation of the Prange/Pauli family bring Muffin Mania to the next generation of bakers! Spiral bound, 71 pp. $16.95.

The Cookbook Store: 416.920.2665 / 1.800.268.6018
850 Yonge Street at Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 2H1



Best Ever Banana Muffins

2 Cups mashed banana (4-5)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

[You can also add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the batter!]

In a large bowl, mash bananas.
Stir in sugar and egg.
Add melted butter.
Stir in baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour to make a thick batter.

Fill each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin about three-quarters full. Bake in a 375F oven for 20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

I DID add the chocolate chips. Why wouldn't you when it's an option ??:) These are so easy you have to want to try the others including "Morning Glory", "Sandy's Seafood Muffins" and even a "Nothing Muffin" to which you can add your choice of flavours.

Where to find locally:
Toronto:
Pantry: 416.364.2495
974 College Street
Toronto, ON
M6H 1A5

Good Egg: 416 593 GOOD
267 Augusta Avenue
Kensington Market
Toronto, Ontario
M5T 2M2


Oakville:
Bookers Book Store: 905.844.5501
172 Lakeshore Rd E
Oakville, ON
L6J 1H6

To Set a Table: 905.338.0275
182 Lakeshore Road East
Oakville, ON
L6J 1H6

Added Touch: 888.238.6824
156 Lakeshore Road East
Oakville, ON

Cards n’ Such: 905.849.0851
511 Maple Grove Drive
Oakville, ON
L6J 6X8


Original story: The Toronto Star Wed., Sept. 3,2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wisdom

When you access this site, make sure you click on all the titles to view the full extent of this project. This is a book by Andrew Zuckerman that you are surely going to want.

WISDOM










Hat tip: Fiona Reid
Photographs:Andrew Zuckerman

In memory of my parents. November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blogs to look at


I will be away from my desk for a few days, so to keep you busy while I'm away, you might like to take a look at these wonderful blogs that I've found recently. The first one will be of special interest to my bookbinding friends. You'll flip when you see the wonderful papers and ideas here:
From Kamloops, BC
Moonbindery


Speaking of dogs, "The House of Edward" will keep you busy reading for many days.
The House of Edward


A couple of weeks ago on Coronation Street, Liam and Maria were out walking around in the Lake District of England and Liam had a fall down a cliff. Not only was the military rescue helicopter called, but they actually use these dogs. This is the exact terrain Liam had his accident in. Hmmmmm perhaps a border collie???
Lake District Mountain Search Dogs and Rescue

For sure a trip to the Lake District in England and a hike near an old inn.

On this one just take a look at her enchanting blog banner. This goldfish bowl is amazing. Goldfish Bowl

Have a good weekend everyone. Stay warm and be well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tuffets and Foot Stools

Another of my impossible ideas is to convert some antique cheese boxes into something more useful... and decorative... and whimsical...



Something like this is pretty fantastical




Now THIS is quite amazing



This looks like just the right sort of center to coddle tired feet



This project has been on my mind for some time and a recently a catalogue from
Mackenzie-Childs was popped into my mailbox by someone who had the delicious occasion to visit a shop full of this whimsical furniture. It makes me want to paint something......So many ideas...so little light of day to accomplish things by.

Photo credit [http://www.jefflindsay.com/photography2.shtml]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back to hammering metal

Sometimes the hardest thing about doing classes is actually getting the pictures from the camera to the computer. Here, at last, is the photo, of the beaded metal heart I made with Nancy Donaldson. It was so much fun learning a million things from Nancy.


I have finally cobbled together just about all of the materials needed to make another one. The fun part will be a trip to the bead store. I plan to do an "expotition" to downtown Toronto some time in the next few weeks.

By total fluke, I came across a blog of great interest and inspiration ...

Dogberryhill

This is from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday Afternoon at the Hive

Sunday, Irenka and I went to our favourite shop Bizzy B's
and took part in a bookbinding class with Carolyn Disher.


The book is a chubby little black compilation of "signatures" made from index cards with a sewn binding.


Once the signatures are sewn in place the lacing provides a lattice to weave fabric and fibres through. Strips of fabric are scrunched down to provide the base of colour for the bead embellishment.



It's a tiny little book....some were using theirs for lists of books they have read and books to be read, Christmas gift inventories, favourite quotes etc. etc.


Once everything is tied off and the decorated covers are glued on, beads are threaded and tied to the tail left from the binding.


A handsome grosgrain ribbon finishes off the book and holds it all together with a bow. I decided to photograph this even though I have not finished decorating the covers....it might just end up being a little black book!

Carolyn has consented to doing bookbinding classes of all sorts on the third Sunday of the month. The first class will be January 18, 2009 at noon (doesn't that sound far away??) It will be the Small Leather/Suede Book. It uses leather and suede to weave a cover to the signatures. It is based on a medieval binding that uses no glue or adhesives.

Yet another impossible thing....bookbinding. Try it you'll love it. We had the most wonderful class....by the way...the Seven Dwarfs are: Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy. There were seven of us at this class, you know who you are!! What a laugh.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Swinging by.......

I have been doing a bit of "swinging".......blog swinging, that is. A new term for visiting someone's blog, leaving a message, then perusing a blog that they read, leaving a message..on and on. Swinging through the "blogosphere".

I came upon the game while investigating more of The Hermitage The following link to Snapper and the Griffin is very intriguing to me. A photographer takes a picture...any picture, and the writer then writes a story ...any story about the picture.

Snapper and the Griffin
The idea for this blog came with the photos of Madame Shawshank of Penrith and a Sussex Griffin. She, the Snapper places a photo upon the page. An image of any kind. I, the Griffin then must respond with a tale of somesuch.


Isabel, Sarah and Margaret Coleman (not necessarily in that order)

I often think about the stories behind the pictures in my daily National Gallery of Art calendar. I'll leave a picture of Thomas Sully's "The Coleman Sisters". I am going to write a story about them. Will you? I'd wish for the Griffin to write about them, but I'm afraid I'd turn to stone :) [You will only get this connection if you read "The Wishing Dress" - Snapper and the Griffin]

Sunday, November 16, 2008

STOP using "Myself" incorrectly

Why is no one paying any attention to the egregious error of using "Myself" as the subject of a sentence????????

Are we not teaching grammar in schools anymore? I hear this misuse over and over and over, and I refuse to accept that this is going to become proper usage just because it is being said over and over and over. Am I the only one screaming at t.v. screens and in some cases people I hear in shops etc.....it just sounds ignorant to me.
WRONG: "Myself and the wife ..."
RIGHT: "My wife and I ..."
It is NEVER proper to use myself as the subject of a sentence. The pronoun myself is used primarily in two ways: first, as an intensive pronoun, it emphasizes or "intensives" the meaning of "I" in a statement such as "I myself have been known to commit a grammatical error or two."

The other is as a reflexive pronoun: in the statement "I hurt myself", myself allows the action of the verb (hurt) to "reflect" back upon the subject (I).

Don't use myself, yourself, himself or herself as the subject of a sentence.

Reflexive use reinforces the subject. That means
there must BE a subject. For instance, the sentence "I myself have done the very same thing" is correct. "I" is the subject. The word "myself" reinforces that you are talking about no one else other than the "I" that is the subject. It is also correct to use the reflexive in third person, as in the sentence "The boss herself told me I could do that."
Again, there is a subject that is being reinforced. "The boss" is the
subject. "Told" is the verb. You would have a sentence even if the reflexive word "herself," were removed, i.e. "The boss told me." Adding the word "herself" is for emphasis.

Consider the sentence "Paula, Tim, and myself went to
the show." Since "Paula, Tim, and myself" comprise the subject, they
must be in nominative case. Myself is NEVER nominative. It can NEVER be a subject. Therefore, the sentence should read, "Paula, Tim, and I went to the show." If the author of the sentence wishes to add emphasis to the "I," then the sentence can read, "Paula, Tim, and I myself went to the show."

Here are some practice exercises. Write C by the sentences that are correct. Rewrite the sentences that have errors.

1. Sam, Tim, and myself are headed camping now.
2. Give the paperwork to myself.
3. She accomplished that work all by herself.
4. They were concerned for theirselves in such an unsafe situation.
5. He just has to fix that hisself.
6. I want him to do the job himself.
7. I myself believe that also.
8. The players themselves are willing to clean the field.
9. She asked herself some probing questions.
10. He gave hisself a good lecture.
11. Sammy gave a copy of that memo to Jim, Tom, and myself.
12. Elizabeth sang quietly to herself.


Answer key:

1. Sam, Tim, and I are headed camping now.
2. Give the paperwork to me.
3. C
4. They were concerned for themselves in such an unsafe situation.
5. He just has to fix that himself.
6. C
7. C
8. C
9. C
10. He gave himself a good lecture.
11. Sammy gave a copy of that memo to Jim, Tom, and me
12. C
If you are reading this blog, I, myself, am likely preaching to the choir, but it is my number one bug at the moment. Here endeth the first lesson. Sheesh!

Myself and Other Reflexive Pronouns
by Elaine Ernst Schneider
January 31, 2001 rev. May 2003
http://www.lessontutor.com/eesReflexive.html

Saturday, November 15, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GORDON LESLIE


30 years ago today. November 15, 1978 - Women's College Hospital
Toronto, Ontario

We Love you Pooch!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm off to the Animal Fair

I'm off to the Winter Fair this afternoon. I haven't done this in many a year. We always used to go on the weekend of our son's birthday. I want to look at the dogs.
I SAID LOOK AT!


Whenever I hear the word "Fair" it reminds me of the "I Went to the Animal Fair" song my Dad used to sing to me, and I to my children. The tradition started as I would sit atop his bent knees in bed and he'd sing and jostle us along until it came to "What became of Monk,Monk,Monk"....at which point his knees flattened and you were dunked, bouncing on the bed. I'm sure they have cleaned up the lyrics since my day of the monkey getting drunk...but this is how I heard it so long ago.
I went to the Animal Fair
The birds and the beasts were there
The big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair

The monkey he got drunk
And fell on the elephant's trunk
The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees
And that was the end of the monk
The monk, the monk, the monk.

This is the tune It's a good one for marching along at The Fair.
I know there won't be any of these exotic animals at the fair I'm going to, but it will be fun LOOKING at the dogs!! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Remember this smiling face....and the necklace she's wearing???


Well you can knock one of the things off of the list that I wanted to learn before breakfast yesterday.

Irene and I drove out to Nancy Donaldson's home for a workshop on metal shaping, pounding and stringing. Nancy is a multi-talented artist.She is also a multi-tasking phenomenon. [Read: Taking a nap is not in this woman's itinerary!] We had been introduced to some of Nancy's creativity at another workshop we attended involving torches and solder. This woman has a way with neat "junk", and I mean THE neatest JUNK, making the most amazing things out of metal stuff that you or I would put in the trash. These found objects can be found on her Etsy site.

Three of us were coached in plying wire into shapes using various empty shot glasses as templates. Pinching, and bending and coaxing cleaned rebar wire (fence wire) into adorable shapes to accept more winding of wire in and around glass and metal beads. It is quite the process.

Nancy has the utmost patience and was an organized and attentive teacher. We all finished our project, although it did take longer than we had expected, but it was a splendid day.

Nancy's blog is called "All Pulped Out".....I can tell you that we were certainly all pulped out by the time we left, but also "pumped up" to keep on beading! Thanks Nancy, let's do it again some time.

P.S. She's also a hairdresser.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Impossible Things

These are six things I want to learn.

1. Photoshop skills that pertain to exactly what I want to do.

2. How to print on various types of fabric.

3. Mosaic work from dishes that I want to smash.

4. Jewelery techniques of various kinds.

5. How to make journals from old books.

6. How to do watercolours like Prince Charles.

By the way, these are six impossible things that I thought of in a heartbeat before breakfast. I eat late.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance

"Come with me and I will show you
Why all war should ever cease
Take a walk among the gravestones
And your tears will cry for peace"


The Great War

Poppies stand as a prominent feature of "In Flanders Fields", one of the most frequently quoted English-language poems composed by front-line personnel during the First World War. It was written by John McCrae, a doctor serving in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, and appeared for the first time in Punch magazine on December 8, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

Monday, November 10, 2008

Believe in the Impossible

I was clicking through the fantasy world of blogs this weekend and came upon this quotation. I love it when I re-visit these old charms. Believe in the impossible.
"I can't believe that!" said Alice.

"Can't you?" the queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."

"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Lewis Carroll


There are blogs devoted to this concept. What six impossible things can you think of before breakfast???



Photo [The Victorian Web]

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Evening Out


This is what Joan Baez looks like at age 67. She lives in California with her 96 year old mother...good genes I'd say...and good jeans too! Her new album is out now and since none of the songs are familiar (yet) they are once again of true folksy origin. A few missed chords, words and guitar picks...everyone in the audience could so empathize. The good thing is that her voice has not gone reedy like so many of the performers of her time. She complains that she lacks the vocal power that she once had, but just as the protesting days are forty years behind us now, a softer approach is so welcome. She mentioned that she was finally proud to stand up in the world as an American, she had the entire "old hippies" crowd with her and applauding her political comments. Time for a new generation. We have HOPE.

This is a current interview...in her own words:

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Joan Baez is in a celebratory mood. And rightly so: She's survived 50 years in show business.
Joan Baez says that her new Steve Earle-produced album was meant to sound like a throwback to the folk era.

The legendary singer, who rose to fame during the folk movement of the 1950s and 1960s, is marking the occasion with a new album called "Day After Tomorrow." Produced by Steve Earle (whom Baez likes to call "Mister Gruff"), it's a collection of bluegrass-tinged songs reminiscent of her early repertoire.

"We were looking for songs that feel like now but sound like back then," she said.

Earle penned one of the album's standout tracks, "God Is God," which he describes as "recovery speak." Baez also covers "Scarlet Tide," a song written by Elvis Costello and T Bone Burnett for the 2003 film "Cold Mountain."

At 67, Baez finds her voice may not have the sheer power it did in her 20s, but her political spirit is intact. She passionately expressed her support for Barack Obama during the presidential campaign, the first time the self-described pacifist has taken sides in party politics.

"I haven't heard an orator like that since King," she said. Baez knew the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and famously sang the protest song "We Shall Overcome" to a massive crowd at the Lincoln Memorial during King's 1963 March on Washington.

Baez spoke to CNN about sustaining her voice and finding happiness in her 60s. The following is an edited version of that interview, which was conducted before Tuesday's election.

CNN: What did Steve Earle bring to the table with your new album?

Joan Baez: Oh, everything but the voice. Spirit, some songs. His gruffness to my non-gruffness. He worked fast, really fast, and I like that. And he brought the musicians. I don't know who to choose for musicians. We were a good match.

CNN: Is there a song on the album that speaks to you more than others?

Baez: I guess the ones I go back listening to are "God Is God" and "Rose of Sharon." "Rose of Sharon" sounds exactly like an old folk song. I wouldn't have guessed in a million years that it's contemporary.

CNN: How does it feel to be embarking on a new tour at such a politically charged time?

Baez: I've never seen this country this politically charged. I realized something this morning. I was watching Obama on TV and I thought, "I really love this guy." I love what he's capable of, I love that he's genuine. He's a statesman, and he's brilliant. People say do you think he can change America? He already has. ...

And I know most of the things he'll have to do I would battle him to the death. He's going to be commander in chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force, and I'm a pacifist [laughs].

CNN: So you would almost prefer that he didn't run for president, that his talents could be applied in other ways?

Baez: Yeah. I've thought that, yeah. Part of me wishes very strongly that Obama would be outside the system and his hands would be less tied.

CNN: In the '50s and '60s, you lived and breathed the causes you rallied behind. When you look at young musicians today, do you feel they're attaching themselves to charities or causes because it's hip, rather than meaningful?

Baez: I think it's probably a combination of things. I think people are afraid of risk so they'll [only] go so far. But I don't think people have felt the urgency that we felt in the '60s. But it's there. The urgency is there. There's a need for community, but we don't feel it.

CNN: Why is that?

Baez: That we don't feel it? Because we live more and more separately. Kids are walking down the street plugged in [to personal electronics]. The only place there's community really is in the ghetto, where they need each other and they know it. We need each other, and we don't know it.

CNN: You look back at all the causes you've rallied behind, and there have been so many. ...

Baez: It makes me dizzy.

CNN: [Do] you feel emotionally wrung out?

Baez: No. It's the opposite. What happens is it starts generating energy for myself.

There's some part of me that's wiped out. I feel that sometimes.

CNN: Do you find you have to work harder to keep your voice in shape?

Baez: Oh God, yeah. It was very humiliating to find out that I was like everybody else in the world and that I had to get coaching. And now it's a real issue. I have to do [vocal exercises] every day, especially on tour. It's pretty exhausting.

CNN: Would you say that life in your 60s is easier than life in your 20s and 30s?

Baez: Oh God, yes. ... I was a highly neurotic kid, not particularly happy, which probably accounts for all those beautiful songs, those beautiful sad ballads. I found my home there.

And as the years went by and as the therapy went on I was holding together. And then at around 50, I decided to fall apart and find the pieces and put them back where they should've been. And I did. And I did what I thought was impossible, which was really drag the stuff up, look at it, go through all that and then each time I did that ... it became a daily thing with the therapist ... to find out something huge. Go through the terror, go through all of it and then by the end of the week something had changed a little bit. This went on for a number of years.

So I am now in a stage nothing like where I was before then. There's no stage fright now. Just the joy of singing.

CNN: You're happy being single, aren't you?

Baez: Yeah. After all I've been through, I don't want to risk [pats her heart]. I mean I feel so extraordinary, so much better. And you know if something walked into my life that feels right ... the question is, am I ready to see it or not? I'm sure it's wandered by me a few times. But at some point maybe I'll be ready to see that in which case it would be a good thing. ...

[In] Buddhism there's no real happiness without the struggle. But the struggle has to defeat you in a way [before] you get to be like the Dalai Lama. You know those monks all giggle? All the time! They've got it figured out. Because things are what they are on Earth, and you be as good as you can, and you die, it's the next life. So what's the big f****** deal?

By Shanon Cook
CNN

Bowling


Last night we had an outing with our old friends..."The Hort" group. Hort is short for Horticultural...that was when we were into all things garden.

Previous to gardening, we sat, as a group, on the side of soccer fields hither and yon, just about every weekend of our girl's young lives watching our daughters run around. We were Soccer Moms...and Dads. We traveled with the various teams and could always find a little side shopping to alleviate either the heat or general boredom of waiting around for games. One evening, late into our sideline careers, the Moms all left en masse to attend a local garden club meeting, and the rest is history. We became known as "The Horts", we traveled in our "Hortmobile" and have years of memories to recount and regale us. The girls were grown now, and we were on to our own pursuits.

These days, our schedules are vastly different. The girls are grown and gone from home and the soccer fields. "The Horts" try to keep in touch as often as we can. With the exception of one couple, last night was a "pub" night, which we always call these evenings, despite there being no pub involved this time. We had dinner and then off to the local bowling alley. Everything was pretty normal until 9:30 p.m. when the lights dimmed, the music ramped, the disco ball started to rotate and everyone wearing white was "glowing" in the dark. I had just had a conversation with my son about glow-in-the-dark bowling, thinking it sort of a strange concept. At first we were a little alarmed, hoping, that at our advanced ages, we would be able to see, but gradually, I think everyone did a bit better. At least our mistakes were a little less obvious! Great exercise, if you haven't done this in awhile, give it a try. In the following video you will see most of the bloopers committed in good fun on our lanes.

Bowling Bloopers

Photo Credit [iaff27.org/content/view/412/]

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dogs at the White House?

The Obama's are getting a dog. It was a promise that the little girls could have a dog if and when they moved to the White House. I wonder what kind of dog they'll choose??

We were thinking about getting a dog too. Ever since being in Hawaii, I have fallen in love with long-haired miniature Dachshunds. I was trying to convince The Professor that this would be the perfect dog for us, you know, small dog - big attitude. The opportunity came up a couple of weeks ago to "test drive" the breed, when friends relented and left their two little imps with us for the weekend. They were worried that if we didn't like their dogs, we'd never get one. They had no need to be nervous. We had such a fun, if not active weekend.

This is Mr. Myles. He is a "blond" bombshell. He's a young guy, full of vim and vigour, eats only to sustain his retrieving habit, and has two speeds.....On and Off.

He's a total riot, and very, very smart. He loves his squeaky toys. Both dogs were given new toys for the weekend - guaranteed to squeak. I'll be speaking to their owners about this cruel and unusual idea. I have never seen such persistence by an animal to make a toy work, as that of Myles' efforts. The game is that you throw his toy, he fetches it back to your general vicinity and you throw it again. This goes on until you tire of the game, as Myles NEVER tires of throw and fetch. The story is told that one of Myles' human "sister's" was in a reclining chair, tanning, and ran out of patience with the game, so she taught Myles to nudge the toy with his nose right to her dangling-off-the-chair hand by saying "Closer Myles!". I wish I had a video of the Professor's amusement at this dog trick! I'd show it in one of his lectures for sure. Myles doesn't give up until the toy is virtually in your lap, if that's what it takes for you to throw, yet again.


Photographing animals is very difficult. If you don't want the flash on, you must hold the camera perfectly steady and the subject must also stay very still. By now, you realize this is next to impossible for Myles. The reason I know that I'm not a terrible photographer is this:

Myles' older sister Daisy. Also with a ball, but in her preferred state of activity - Off. The animal photographer's dream. Look at that pose!

The photo credits are mine. I was prone on the ceramic kitchen floor trying my hardest to soothe Myles into a portrait. Of course he was curious as to what I was doing, lying with Daisy, so he ran off to get something to fetch. Tennis balls are his other favourite past-time. Oh yes, Myles the blur....in so many ways. I hope the Obama's think of getting a pair. Then I could offer to dog-sit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New "Ina"



Happily, Ina's new cookbook is out now. There was an opportunity in Washington to meet her and have her sign her latest edition, but for one thing, you had the buy the book at the cooking shop, and for another, this happened the week after I left the city.

Luckily, for Jilly and I, Costco has a brand new stack of them. I know, I know, I was not going to buy any more books, and specifically cook books, but I'm addicted to Ina and her recipes. When I flipped open the book it landed on the brownie pudding.....sold.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE AMERICANS!



Wouldn't it have been wonderful if she had lived to see him become President.

Photo: [Getty Images]

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Illustrious Birthdays

Today is Irenka's birthday. Some of you may call her Irene, but I think Irenka is much more romantic, so to me, she's Irenka. Happy Birthday my sweet friend. It would seem that Irenka is in some illustrious company sharing a birthday with no less than Marie Antoinette

Irenka is my buddy in most of the crimes I commit in the name of "art". In our first life, we started painting together and over many years have amassed enough wood to build a house. Then we branched out into scrapbooking and just about any other pursuit involving paper. We've made books. We attend "inspirational" events, and have even sewn curtains in our underwear (I'll leave that one up to your most vivid imaginings!)

Irenka doesn't drive, so I pull into her driveway and she just climbs into the front seat and trusts me. That is a true friend. We have been known to end up in some pretty interesting places. She takes me to Polish haunts that you have to "know about" for the most delicious food......she orders in Polish. I love to hear her speak. She is a true inspiration of grit, spirit, and the love of humankind. I will make sure that we stop by and have a bowl of ruby coloured Borscht to mark her new year.

Recently, when my Mother died, she gave me a wonderful gift. She purchased a star in my Mum's name. That's the sort of thing Irenka does. Quietly, she just comes up with the extraordinary. My daughter has a PhD in Astronomy/Physics and the Professor has always been a star gazer, so they, of course, are delighted to plot and locate this latest phenomenon.


The picture is a bit dark, but if you click on it and then locate "The bulls-eye" (two circles) near "Columba" a small constellation, is the demarcation of the Star named for Mum (Jean Rodger).

The coordinates should you want them :) I'm laughing, but The Professor found this....good luck :)
RA 5hrs. 32.64 minutes
DEC -32degrees 0.78 minutes

I have many reasons to look to the sky at night now. Thanks Irenka. I will always think of you too when I gaze skyward.

In one of the stars
I shall be living
In one of them
I shall be laughing
And so it will be
as if all the stars
were laughing
when you look
at the sky at night

~The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Where does the time go?

Since we are "Falling" back tonight, we will get an extra hour of sleep in this dark season, and an extra hour to get things done. But really, where does the time go?

I have so much to do, and never enough time. I was thinking about people that I know who accomplish so much. I never seem to get there.

This all came to mind as I was pulling apart cupboards to find my "quiltin" supplies. I unearthed a life-time of things that I do. In the fabric realm, I'm currently working on a counted cross-stitch for a new baby. That sits next to a few other items still in "production". I did find the quilt bits along with several other quilt 'ideas', all neatly stashed in a box, but all, still in bits. Then there is the needlepoint...Elizabeth Bradley.

Gillian and I had the idea to make a carpet out of the seasons of the year bordered in bell pulls...I have finished "Summer" and "Spring" is still in bits.

I have several tea cosy's in production. One is a striped knitted one that will have small pearls attached, one is a Jolly Red needlepoint..

I love it, it needs to be sewn now...more fabric required, another, a felted pattern is still in the bag with all the gubbins needed, still in many bits.

I have a collection of antique fabrics, in particular hankies. I was going to make a "hanky banky"...baby quilt at one time....

I was speaking with Ma Tante down East yesterday and she has gotten in all her rug hooking supplies for the winter. I have a bag full of rug hooking supplies.Rittermere-Hurst-Field
Speaking of bags, there is a really neat pattern I got at the sewing convention last year that has yet to make it to the surface.

I did make an attempt to start back to painting, and pulled out the timely
Betty Caithness Pumpkin. It is on a card table in the basement, surrounded by the boxes of textiles ripped from their behind-the-doors shelves in a frenzy to find something else.

My studio room is, at a glance, a disaster. I have beading, welding, scrapbooking, cardmaking, watercolour, and advent supplies piled high on the table tops, and I won't mention what is on the floor.

This doesn't even begin to cover all the areas that I dabble in. I also have this compulsion to see everything around me in order to remember that I have it.

When I see all that I have around me, I get overstimulated, and I can't do anything. Remember that stack of books on the stairs?.........Perhaps I could start reading, then again, there is the garden outside and all the fall clean-up to get at this weekend........


[The photo of the pumpkin is from: home-and-garden.webshots.com]
I did complete one, gave it away and now I'm going to do another. When? I'm not sure. Where does the time go???????