Sunday, March 29, 2009

What's YOUR New York?

The Professor has to attend a conference in New York City in May. He is trying to convince me to go along. There are a few things I'd like to find, but prior to going, I need all your BEST ideas... Here are a few of my own Must Do's get the picture.

Thanks toWithout Fanfare or Frippery for this

Thanks to NY Shopping for this

Thanks to American Folk Art Museum

Thanks to Robert DiNiro for this

Thanks to Time Out New York for this

Thanks to Martha Stewart for being a sport and sharing her favourite store in the world...Tinsel Trading Company

and thanks to bloggers like Uncommon Grace for this fantastic post.

Thanks to The New York Times Broadway Review

Please leave me YOUR favourite spots to shop, dine, walk, sight see in The Big Apple! I don't have a lead on bead stores yet....anyone????????

Credits: All photos are credited to their respective owners by link to original site.

The Ballet in Paris

Yesterday, the Professor and I went to Paris to see "La Dame aux Camélias" by choreographer John Neumeier, and the Paris Opéra Ballet at the Palais Garnier.

Well, it was almost like being there. We were really at the live feed? (Shot live at the Palais Garnier in High Definition and Full Surround Sound — July/ 2008) at the Empire Theatre, Square One in Mississauga.

In many ways it was better than being in the actual audience in Paris.

1. The price was a little less, although pricey enough for this "event" $20.00 for seniors. Ever since I've signed up for CARP and the Zoomer magazine, I'm getting a feeling of early senior 'entitlement'. When I asked what the senior age was, the twelve year old serving me said 65. I looked disappointed and said...oh well. She didn't ask, and either did child.

2. The time is good 1 p.m. and there is also a 20 minute intermission, because you are following the exact time-line of the performance. Enough time to go to the upper washroom, which is only available to those in this specific theatre.

3. You don't have to dress up as you would if you were in Paris. You can therefore attend looking like a hobo and still feel cultured. This can also be construed as a negative, if you were wishing to see what everyone in Paris was wearing to the ballet.

4. You can eat popcorn and other silly movie junk that would otherwise be totally defendu in Paris. There is a down side to this however. I have never figured out why movie theatres decided to introduce Nacho's to their snack counter. No one and I mean NO ONE can eat Nachos silently. I find this annoying even when watching a movie, but horribly uncouth when in a high priced "event" such as this. The only way you can get through the anger is to realize and keep using your inside voice to tell yourself that there are an infinite number of those crunchy nachos and this too shall be over soon.

5. When you emerge from the theatre, the bad thing is that you are still in Mississauga, and here ends the illusion.

La Dame aux Camélias

Franz Liszt freely admitted that he could not think of Marie Duplessis, the inspiration behind Alexandre Dumas’ Dame aux camélias, without shedding a tear. Giuseppe Verdi gave her the name of Violetta Valéry and made this Traviata, or depraved woman, one of the most endearing and modern heroines in the history of opera. In turn, John Neumeier explores the urban myth and is moved by so much love, despair and solitude. Rarely has a chorographer had such a humanistic vision of his characters and sought out and found so genuine an expression of feelings. The ballet opens with the death of Marguerite Gautier and stretches back into memories of the past: from her meeting with Armand at the Théâtre des Variétés where both witness the tragic fate of Manon Lescaut without heeding its inherent warning, to love, sacrifice, separation and sublime decline.

I was in heaven with this performance. Imagine this romantic, emotional, expressive ballet with two pianos and an orchestra playing Chopin. The advantage of the huge screen is that you can really engage in the faces of the performers. During the final act I was moved to tears it was so lovely.

I plan to attend more of these events through Empire Theatres and applaud them for making this venue possible to the general public.

I see that Opus Arte has the video of the performance that we enjoyed so much, as well as a small video clip on their site. You'll have to have a Blu-Ray machine to make it function...ah technology.

Credits: Opera National De Paris
Photo: Sébastien Mathé
Photos: Opus Arte

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Electronic Reader???

Last week was Dana's birthday and she got a "Kindle". She's always the first one on the block to get the latest and greatest gizmo, and I'm consistently amazed at her techno wizardry. She's been so into her new toy that having a conversation with her is always cut short, because she must get back to her reading. She can do this now, because she is on Spring Break.

You can learn more about this latest and greatest Amazon Kindleand the authors that endorse it. I must say I am still a little skeptical, because I really, really love my books, but I will get a chance to see one 'first hand' when we visit Washington. There is no question that this is a fabulous device for those who travel.

While I was doing my research for this post, I was listening to the creator and authors' testimonials and understand that Kindle also handles Blogs! Well Miss D. you blithely mentioned having subscribed to the news, but I will be expecting you to keep up with the Blog now too......BUSTED! Can you comment directly from the Kindle?

Carmi even thought this would be a good idea for Napoleon to have had.

The most difficult part for me was remembering what it was actually called. Another one of those things that enter into your psyche that you've never heard of before and all of a sudden, everywhere you go you're hearing about KINDLE!

"Kindle 2"You can read about this latest version and order your own from Amazon! Not sure if the internet connection is available in Canada at this time.

Hat Tip: Dana
Photo Credit:

Friday, March 27, 2009

What are you doing on Earth Hour Day ??

I've always wanted to try this...going to the movie theatre to see the Opera/Ballet in High Definition. Empire Theatres does some very special events.

Click on to read:

Opus Arte: La Dame Aux Camélias (Ballet)

La Dame Aux Camélias (Ballet) - John Neumeier

Paris Opéra Ballet at the Palais Garnier

Playing Nationally:

March 28 at 1:00pm Local Time

Running Time:

2 hours, 32 min (includes 20 min intermission)
One year at Chautuaqua, we heard about the Metropolitan Opera bringing Opera to the masses and I think this is a fabulous idea.

The Screening closest to me is at Square One. Look up your closest Empire Theatre.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sending you flowers

Isn't this a wonderful bouquet??? I'm sending this to all of you. Virtually, that is :) Happy Spring!

Credit: Wild Willy's Ottawa

Constant Comment

Okay, this is a tutorial for those of you who claim to be unable to comment on blogs.

1. After you have read the post and wish to leave a comment, if you hit the Comment button at the bottom of the post, you will see a square box that pops up on the screen. It says "Leave Your Comment". So far, not so difficult.

2. Type your comment in the box, and sign your name. This is for beginners, those of you who have accounts, please disregard.

3. You are then asked to choose an identity. This seems to be the stumbling block for some readers. You do NOT have to have a Google or Blogger Identity. You can click in the Anonymous circle and your response will go through. It is nice to see who "Anonymous" really is, and it's considered good blogging etiquette to leave your name.

4. Should you wish to see what your comment looks like prior to publishing, or to edit it prior to sending, just hit "Preview", and you can then see what your comment will look like.

5. You will be asked to unscramble a verification word. This is to avoid spam and advertising that can clutter up blogs. Just unscramble the word and you will be permitted to publish your comment.

Hopefully this is of some help to those of you who are reticent about leaving a message on the blog. Some of the email comments I get are wonderful and would be enjoyed by all the readers. Don't be shy, give it a go.

[If Devon can do this, anyone can ! :) She's a dancin' FOOL and we LOVE her class, and her comments! :) Wednesday's class, was like a response to the train station dancing post, and had us all about to descend on Clarkson Station to give it a go!]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

She didn't have a chance

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Princess Elizabeth, second daughter of Charles I, at the ages of 3, 5, and 6

When the picture is enlarged notice the details. The same dress! The ultimate in recycling. A few modifications and this wardrobe goes from ages 3 to 6. Seems like all you had to do was change a few jewels in the hair, cleverly drape that diaphanous yellow scarf over your shoulders or jauntily around your arm, a little criss-cross around the neck and you're six!

I mean THIS was a princess! This poor girl really didn't have a chance. No wonder she was so white, they probably kept her in the dark for all those years so she would be unaware of the deficiencies in her wardrobe!

The worst part is those feather duster toys. Boy, it was tough being Royal!

Credit: Roy Miles Fine Paintings, London, England

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Figure this........

The 2009 world figure skating championships in Los Angeles is the definitive countdown for the Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010. More than any other worlds, the one before the Games is where skaters really start to jockey for position.

In the case of Canada, there is a medal prospect in each of the four disciplines, making this team the strongest the nation has seen in years.

Chan aiming for top

Canadian and Four Continents champion Patrick Chan is undoubtedly the one to beat in the men’s event.

After a bit of a disappointment at the Grand Prix Final, Chan has been brilliant in his last two competitions. His ability to express music and skate with a sense of joie de vivre makes his performances compelling and often unforgettable. Chan will be challenged in Los Angeles by France’s Brian Joubert, the 2007 world and three-time European champion.

World figure skating championships Tuesday through Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles:



4 p.m. Compulsory dance CBC Bold

9:30 p.m. Opening ceremony CBC Bold

10 p.m. Pairs short CBC Bold

Midnight Dance, pairs short CBC


Noon, 4:30 p.m. Men's short CBC Bold

10 p.m. Pairs free CBC Bold

Midnight Men's short, pairs free CBC


3:30 p.m. Original dance CBC Bold

8:30 p.m. Men's free skate CBC Bold

Midnight Original dance, men's free CBC


11:30 a.m., 4 p.m. Women's short CBC Bold

9:30 p.m. Free dance CBC Bold

Midnight Women's short, free dance CBC


2 p.m. Highlights CBC

7 p.m. Women's free CBC Bold

All times eastern

Men's singles

When: Short program Wednesday (CBC, noon-4 p.m., 4:30-8:30 p.m. ET); free skate Thursday (CBC, 8:30 pm.-2 a.m. ET).

Canadians: Patrick Chan, Toronto (two-time defending Canadian champion, 2009 Four Continents champion); Vaughn Chipeur, Calgary; Jeremy Ten, Vancouver.

Others to watch: Brian Joubert, France (2008 world silver medallist); Evan Lysacek, U.S. (2009 Four Continents runner-up); Takahiko Kozuka, Japan (2009 Four Continents bronze medallist).

2008 champion: Jeffrey Buttle, Canada, retired.

Women's singles

When: Short program Friday (CBC, 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. ET); free skate Saturday (CBC, 7-11 p.m. ET).

Canadians: Joannie Rochette, Ile-Dupas, Que. (five-time Canadian champion); Cynthia Phaneuf, Contrecoeur, Que.

Canada’s five-time national champion Joannie Rochette has been outstanding this season, continuing to improve and show confidence. She earned the season’s third-highest total score of 188.89, behind Kim and Asada, making her a real podium possibility. A couple of other names to watch are European champion Laura Lepisto of Finland and defending world silver medallist Carolina Kostner of Italy.
Others to watch: Mao Asada of Japan, (2008 world champion, reigning Grand Prix champion); Yu-Na Kim, South Korea (2008 world bronze medallist, 2009 Four Continents winner); Carolina Kostner, Italy (2008 world silver medallist).

2008 champion: Asada.


When: Short program Tuesday (CBC, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. ET); free skate Wednesday (CBC, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. ET).

Canadians: Jessica Dube, Drummondville, Que., and Bryce Davison, Cambridge, Ont. (2008 world bronze medallists, 2009 Canadian champions); Meagan Duhamel, Lively, Ont., and Craig Buntin, Kelowna, B.C.; Mylene Brodeur, Stanbridge Station, Que., and John Mattatall, Wallace, N.S.

Defending world bronze medallists Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison of Canada have had some inconsistencies over the season, but have the advantage of beautiful choreography, elegance and unison, which should help the national champions hold on to a podium spot. The other team to put into the mix is the defending world silver medallists Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang of China, who have the potential to be wonderful, but more often than not fall short due to nerves.

Others to watch: Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, Germany (2008 world champions); Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China (2006 world champions, 2009 Four Continents winners); Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, China (2008 world silver medallists); Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov (2009 European silver medallists).

2008 champions: Savchenko and Szolkowy.

DanceWhen: Compulsory dance Tuesday (CBC, 4-8 p.m. ET); original dance Thursday (CBC, 3:30-8 p.m. ET); free dance Friday (CBC, 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m.).

Canadians: Tessa Virtue, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, Ilderton, Ont. (2008 world silver medallists, 2009 Four Continents silver medallists); Vanessa Crone, Aurora, Ont., and Paul Poirier, Unionville, Ont.

In ice dance, the Canadian champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have the talent to be on the top of the podium, but are struggling to catch up after sitting out most of the season.

Virtue had an ongoing problem with chronic exertional compartment syndrome which required surgery on both shins in the fall and they were not able to get back on to the ice until December. Virtue and Moir’s first competition of the season was the Canadian championships in January where they defended their crown.

Their original dance and free dance are both innovative and extremely difficult. At the ISU Four Continents event in February, Virtue and Moir’s performances didn’t quite have the polish that comes from repetition during the season and they ended up in second place.

Others to watch: Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski, Russia (2009 European champions); Meryl Davis and Charlie White, U.S. (2009 Four Continents winners); Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, Russia (2008 European champions); Kingston, Ont.-born Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, U.S. (2006 Olympic silver medallists).

2008 champions: Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder, France, withdrew following shoulder injury to Delobel. will be streaming the world figure skating championships live beginning March 24. Please check the schedule for details.
I have no idea why CBC is only broadcasting at 12'll have to tape these segments. I guess live feed comes through 3 hours earlier on the coast. I am also unable to find out what in the world CBC Bold is....anyone????

The Canadian Press
CBC Sports

Monday, March 23, 2009

Life's for Sharing...........

I had this wonderful link sent to me by email, and I just had to share it with you.

This is such a fabulous idea, I wish we could have this happen at Union Station in Toronto!

At the train station in Liverpool , T-Mobile did this great commercial unbeknownst to the daily commuters. They practiced for 8 weeks and late one night at the station. On January 15th, 2009, with hidden cameras and 400 dancers at 11:00 a.m. their plan was put into action.

This is the finished ad

and.........the Public's reaction

How'd they pull this off???

I wish I had thought of this, or better still, I wish I had been there. Priceless.

Hat tip: Gillian Hobson

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The 100 book list

I've been entreated to join Facebook. A while back I joined, but soon found it just too much to keep up with, so dropped it. After several prompts to join friends, Carmi finally pushed me over the edge. She has a way of doing that :)

One of the entries from waaaay back had this interesting list. You are meant to copy the list and put an X beside all the books you've read. If nothing else you can see what you always meant to read but never got around to.

In April 2003 the BBC's Big Read began the search for the nation's best-loved novel, and asked you to nominate your favourite books.

Below are all the results from number 1 to 100!

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen X
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee X
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne X
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell X
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis X
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë X
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë X
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier X
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger X
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame X
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens X
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott X
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres (saw the movie)
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (best movie ever!)
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling X
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy X
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot (movie)
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (I MUST)
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez X
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett X
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens X
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl X
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen (not sure??)
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen X
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery X
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams (Rabbits!)
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald X
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh (Didn't like the movie)
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell X
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens X
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy X
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher X (my first Rosamunde -love her)
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett X
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy X (Only because of Oprah...WHY?)
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth (on my bookshelf..thank you Jilly)
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell X
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden X
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens X
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough X
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding X
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (Only the movie)
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy (On my bookshelf)
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley X (School! )
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel X
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho X
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez X
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

I realize how many of these I've read in school. Each title brought back the memory of where I was when I read the book, and/or who recommended it to me. Some I loved, some I hated and some I just question. Just for fun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ode to Spring via da Bronx

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris.
I wonders where the birdies is.
They say the birds is on the wing.
Ain't that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird. the voice of Groucho Marx

Spring is sprung, da grass is ris.
I wonder where de boidies is?
Some say da boids is on da wing.
But dat’s absoid!
Da wing is on the boid…
Ain’t it?

Credit: Anonymous

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Today, I got into a bit of what I classify as my "adolescent behaviour" mode. In order to thwart my silly thoughts, I was mindlessly clicking through other people's blogs to see what they were posting. I'm always amused by the little games that come up where, according to the test, you can see what flower you are, or what bird you might be. The one that caught my eye was what "WORD" are you? Turns out, I'm "Think". Of course I am, that's what got me into this mood in the first place. Here's the rub. Once you've completed the first "test", you are diverted to the many other tests available and this ultimately ends up with you choosing what cupcake you are!

I was secretly delighted that my word was "Think", but can you imagine how elated I was when all was revealed and I was a chocolate cupcake!!!

I was speaking with a friend who then told me that these "games" are set up to capture your information and spew it out all over the place...what did I "think" they were in aid of? Guess I was just happy being a cupcake, a chocolate cupcake, and wasn't thinking it through at that point :)

I still like the tests, but I'll resist, and I won't link to them either, so that even if you're tempted it won't be my fault that you are a sentient inanimate object, who gets spammed! Isn't that another food product???

This whole exchange did change my mood though. HA HA HA...

Photo Credits: Wikimedia

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Beautiful U R

there are 3 songs to listen to on this official website. Make sure you select #2 Beautiful U R..........

or, you can go here to listen on You Tube.

I can't get this song out of my head. It's not something that I would normally "get into", but this has such a funky, catchy beat. I just love the message too.

Click on the flower [lower right hand corner] to turn the pages....this is a great site and good reading....."promise"!

This is the perfect rhythm for ballroom line dancing Salsa!

1-2-3 kick
1-2-3 side
Change and change and change and change
cross 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 !!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today Everyone is IRISH

Today Everyone is IRISH! I wish you all .......
A Wish for a Friend

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

If you like this, you must go to Celtic Colours some time in Cape Breton, in the fall. This year, October 9-17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend outing

This Saturday, the Professor and I decided to check out the newly renovated Art Gallery of Ontario. We decided on having brunch at "Frank" the latest dining area in the new building.

I had read tepid reviews of both the physical and culinary offerings in this new eating space and I must say I would totally agree. The open-to-the-sidewalk entrance of the eatery makes it a rather exposed area as does the avenue to the washrooms...intersecting one of the major dining areas up top. Luckily, we were seated by the upstairs railing on the side, and had neither the interruption of entering guests, nor the distraction of the constant parade to the washrooms. The interesting china settings are modern Danish and the only other place that they are to be seen is in MOMA in New York. The cutlery and serving vessels are Georg Jensen. The table tops are acrylic in primary colours. Click here to see the menu...ever changing, this is not the exact one we had.

The spiral staircase is totally magnificent. It looks rather harmless, but does extend beyond the first glass ceiling and is a five story climb. The good news is that if you make it to the top there is a modern art display and another very small coffee bar should you require sustenance. There is also an elevator if you wish to whisk back down.

One cannot adequately describe, nor can pictures adequately capture the true essence of this structure. It feels so solid. The wood absorbs a lot of noise. It is majestic and magnificent and truly worth a stroll.

One of the advantages to having a membership is that you can check your coat, walk in, take in a small exhibit and not feel as though you have to take a nap half-way through your visit. We really enjoyed the current "William Holman Hunt", Sin-and-Salvation exhibition. If you enjoy Pre-Raphaelite art, this is a small but wonderful installation. Now until May 10, 2009.

British painter William Holman Hunt (1827–1910) founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with his friends John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1848.

The group challenged the artistic, political, social and religious values of the time. Taking subjects from history, literature and modern life, Hunt addressed gender relations, the crisis of faith and problems in the Middle East – difficult issues which have resonance for us today. The exhibition brings together more than 60 works, including Hunt's most famous paintings, The Awakening Conscience, The Light of the World and Isabella and the Pot of Basil. Also on view are costumes from the artist's studio, works on paper and historical documents.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, in association with Manchester Art Gallery.

I'd say this is a MUST SEE attraction in Toronto. If you are looking for something to do in the March Break or have visitors coming to town, it makes for a wonderful outing. There truly is something for everyone. We will definitely do this again.

Credits: AGO

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Roll Up on line

You know it's almost spring in Canada when the annual Tim Horton's ritual of "RRRoll Up the Rim to Win" is in full play. This year, as last year, our group is finding that the prizes seem to be few and very far between. We've tested all the theories. We've switched to the large cups as they were seemingly yielding more winners. So far, since the contest began, in our group of five or six daily coffee attendees, we have won but a scant 2 or 3 prizes. This seems a little fishy to us.

I mean COME ON! When you whip through the drive-thru by yourself, you figure oh well, the donut, cookie, coffee, car or laptop probably went to the guy behind me, but when there are 6 of you around the table and no one wins even a crumb....we think that's weird. Where are all the prizes??? Do you think they've cut back? Have YOU won anything?

Yesterday the conversation turned to the eco waste of the cups and lids. The cups are biodegradable, but Tim's is not recycling them, this we can change. The plastic lids are the problem. We've now decided that since we have our coffee IN the Tim's we'll ask for no lid. It's a policy to put the lids on, but if people ask for china mugs (which Margaret, bless her little cotton socks always does) they don't put a lid on the flippin' mug, so we're going to start a lids in-house! That should cut down some...well it's a start.

On my way out the door yesterday, I purchased the stainless steel travel mug, which I will place beside the stainless steel water bottle in my gym bag that goes with me every day without fail to my workout class. This I can do. It will be my dedicated drinking vessel at Tim's. I'll wash it and repack it, and make that a habit. It's like anything else. I can do this, if I commit.

Now you say....BUT what about the GAME? Did you know that you can play on line? Oh yes. It even says that on the paper cup!!! Just sign in and you can play each day. It's almost as much fun to see the coffee cup pop up and when you click on it, it's marked as registered for that day. The prize is free coffee for a year, and you can even see who the winners are. This is taking things a bit "techy", but hey, I'm on this computer every day, and as I say....I can do this, I just have to remember to click each day.

Play along. We can do this. Wonder what the odds are? Saving the world one cup at a time.

Photo Credit:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Connecting Again

Ever heard of Apartment Therapy ? Dana and I were discussing what we were currently reading and she interjected this little gem. Anyone who can live happily and decorate a 250 sq. ft. home, is our kind of guy! This is pitched towards renters, but anyone with a small home will find it intriguing.

"Saving the World One Room at a Time"

This book review from Rental Decorating Digest sums up the philosophy.
Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan takes us on an "eight step" journey to help us understand ourselves, so we can secure a healthier, more personalized living space. Regardless of the size apartment we inhabit ( his is only 250 sqft) he states there is always a way to make it feel like "home". I really appreciated reading about the realistic living situations of apartment dwellers and his simple effective suggestions on how to make any space work for you.

The information in this book is not only useful for those living in apartments, but is also recommend to anyone who is living in a rental. His focus is not on describing styles, but on how to make a space work by allowing the reader to determine what type of environment would most nurture their needs.

This tool has workable "how-to" content mixed with illustrations to easily walk you through each activity during the eight step process. It also offers a maintenance program to keep you on track with this new lifestyle. This is a well composed interior design/lifestyle enhancement resource that I feel could be invaluable to anyone who struggles with understanding how to make an apartment feel like home.
2 thumbs up from me!

Seems like this time of year has people renewing and thinking of fresh starts no matter what space we occupy.

It's another of those strange occurrences where I'd never heard of "Apartment Therapy" and now all of a sudden, many of the blogs I have linked to are citing from these articles. It's a huge phenomenon.

If you are like Dana and I, you are in the mood to purge and pitch and make more space. While we don't live in apartments, we do have small houses and everything applies.

Credit:,Apartment Therapy

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Television that Inspires

In an effort to stay awake in the evening while watching t.v. I've decided to take up doing something creative with my hands. I need too much light to do most projects while reclining, and so, knitting or crocheting came to mind. I had a hankering to make a traditional granny square blanket with the black borders. I'm not sure where I saw this new/old idea first, maybe Martha sparked my interest? but lately, a lot of women are making them with very alluring colours.

There are so many blogs that I flip through and it's now going to take some sort of file management to keep my inspirations completely organized. One of my favourite pastimes is lounging in my pajamas, at the computer, at any hour of the day... linking from one amazing site to another. The problem is that I can never remember where I saw that perfect picture etc.

I was ferreting through the internet looking for free patterns and colour ideas for my latest brainwave, and came across several great creations that I did save.

FiddLeSticks is the cutest of the posts I found. I just love Phoebe the little daschund ....that's what sold me on getting down to work!

If you want to get addicted like I am to linking, linking, linking...then go Here for a bit of inspiration. The name "Moonstitches" should be enough. For a new take and total eye candy.......This one is amazing

Doesn't this just make you want to crochet a Dancing with the Stars, Amazing Race, American Idol blankie????????

If not, then perhaps this will be your inspiration. pictureInto the Fray

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Five years ago today we lost a really great friend. She was our garden guru and leader in all things plant material.

This was an untimely loss and Doreen is so very much missed in our lives. The older we get, the more we realize that this was way too soon.

My daughter and Doreen's son attended Christopher Robin Nursery School together. In later years, we would hook up again at the Credit Valley Horticultural Society....a rather fancy name for "garden club". The soccer Mum's left the field one night en masse and defected to the skating arena where the monthly meetings were held. It was here that we did another of those re connections and soon our "group" became know as simply "The Horts". We even christened our vans "The Hort-mobile" and off we'd go searching out the latest and greatest accoutrements for our fledgling gardens.

Doreen was always the one to bring the snacks, deftly stored under her never knew when we'd need to be sustained. She had a wicked sense of humour. On one of our outings to Ohio...oh yes, we went quite a ways....Marcia, the driver had to pull the van over as Doreen had us so hysterical with her explanation of the song RESPECT by our girl Aretha. She was telling us that she could never figure the song out...what was being said??? Marcia couldn't contain herself and said..."What in the hell did you think she was saying??? It's pretty straight forward..she's spelling respect!!" Doreen then explained that she was hard of hearing and lyrics got her confused as a teenager. She also thought that Creedence was talking about the bathroom on the right...when they said "bad moon rising".....

To this day, we retell this story regularly and laugh till we cry. Doreen would be so pleased. Our stories are the history that we share, and in doing so we keep her close. Tonight we will raise our glasses to our girl Doreen. This is her song, and we know she's singing along our hearts.

I have my own hearing impaired ditty.....Whenever I hear this one, I sing..Doreena, Dorenna.....Corina...Corina...If you wish to listen....Corina

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Making Connections

Okay, I'm so excited I may not even be able to get through this post.

Today I was surfing through my daily blogs and saw that Sharon had put up the post that I think Marissa had started, but I was curious to find out 100 things about Sharon. While I'm scrolling down, it says that Sharon went to high school in Ottawa...Nepean High School. Guess where I went to high school!!!!!! So I immediately get in touch with Sharon and we have just gotten off the phone after discussing, school, neighbourhoods, Golden Palace egg rolls :) (notice we focused in on the food :)) Sharon has a very dim recollection of high school days, but since she was in the honour society this is not unusual. Sharon was at school to learn, while I was a cheerleader :)

Click on the pictures to enlarge. There's Sharon (bottom right photo) in Grade 11 at Nepean High School in Ottawa.

That same year, I was in Grade 12, one year ahead. Bottom row, left. What cuties we are!! We haven't changed a bit:) No wonder I "knew" of her.

While we were trying to put pieces together about our student days, Sharon kept saying she had an uneventful tenure at Nepean, but did remember certain teachers who made serious impressions on our lives. She also dropped that she had convened one of the annual school concerts...let me tell you that was no mean feat!!! Our concerts were renowned and one of the most anticipated events of the school year. She could only remember something about Chicky Snipper being the choreographer, and straw hats. Sharon may be in one of these chorus lines...she'll have to tell us which beauty she is.

I just love that this is such a small world. One day, many years ago now, I walked into what is now Bizzy B's and Sharon was there speaking with the then owner, Phillip. I knew there was something about her that seemed familiar. Over the years, I've always had an uncanny feeling about "knowing" Sharon. In her post today, all was revealed. It's been over 40 years since we walked the same halls and I'm overjoyed that we made this connection today. She is still the same, sweet, brilliant, unassuming girl to me! Great legs too!

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Spice

Piri-piri, péri-péri or peli-peli is the name used in Mozambique and Angola to describe the African bird's-eye chili. The variations in spelling derive from the various pronunciations of the word in parts of Africa, although "piri-piri" is the correct spelling in Portuguese.

In Mozambican cuisine, piri-piri is often used in preparing sauces and marinades for roast and grilled dishes, especially chicken and various fish. Piri-piri is widely used in a vast number of dishes of Portuguese cuisine.

Nando's, the Portuguese-themed chicken restaurant, originated in South Africa from Portuguese who left Mozambique after the independence in 1975. The chain uses piri-piri in many of its dishes, and helped popularize them worldwide. The company, however, prefers the common South African spelling péri péri on its menus and branded sauces.

A couple of weeks ago, the Professor and I tried Nando's, in Mississauga (cute interactive site, drag your mouse over the picture, and watch out for sharks in the dog's water dish!). It is indeed a very distinctive taste. It's a fun little place to try, but I still prefer my "Honey Garlic" chicken wings at the pub in Streetsville. Just to let you know that if you are up for a new taste, this is likely one you've never tried! There are different degrees of hot....the not-even-on-the-scale hot was fine for us.

I just got back from Longo's and see that they carry the Nando's Piri Piri sauce where I was looking for horseradish. It's not something I'd rush back to taste, but I'm always happy when I've at least tried. SssssppppIIIICeyyyy!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

River Cruising

By now you know about my daily radio station 96.3 FM. The other day, there was an advertisement for Cruise Holidays of Clarkson
This always piques my interest as Clarkson is an area near to us and so there must be something trustworthy about this business that is local and advertises on a classical radio station. They are always taking the on-air personalities on the most amazing sounding tours...all involving classical music.

This particular day, they were touting a 14 day river cruise. Provence to Spain

Fly to Paris for 3 nights with added bonus tickets to the opera. Take a train from Paris to Lyon where you board for a 7 night river cruise through Provence, ending up in Barcelona for 2 nights. Isn't that the BEST?????? I was so excited. Plus it gave me the chance to say "Vicky Christina Barcelona" one more time.

Upon further investigation, this too can be yours for about $7,000.00+ per person. Awwwwwhhhhhh shucks.

Does bring this ditty to mind though. A good old song that I heard a lot when I was little. I'll just dream on..........."Crusin' Down the River"............ on a Sunday Afternoon.

Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon
With one you love, the sun above, waiting for the moon
The old accordian playing a sentimental tune
Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon

The birds above all sing of love, a gentle sweet refrain
The winds around all make a sound like softly falling rain
Just two of us together, we'll plan a honeymoon
Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon

Lyrics by Eily Beadell and Nell Tollerton.

Credit: Cruise Holidays of Clarkson

Saturday, March 7, 2009

With Thanks!

When it came time for my one year "blogiversary" I wanted to send out thank you notes to those who made a comment. This is why I needed a pile of "Carmi Thank You Cards"

I put out the cry of help to Miss Carmi and she said to just leave it in her hands, she had an idea.

When the "idea" arrived all neatly packaged in a stationery box, I was skipping around the house, because, instead of sending along the cards I thought she might come up with, she made a very special little card with one of her latest edition magnets!

Now that the mail has arrived I can explain that the credit is all Carmi's for this latest of her creations. I was thrilled with the outcome and her use of my blog banner.

Thanks a million Carmi, I'm sure everyone will so enjoy their little token of appreciation.

Turns out, the Thanks is all mine :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring is on it's way

It is supposed to be 16 degrees C. here 62 degrees F. I took the falling snow off the blog and usher in a hope for spring with these fresh songs. Let the rain come and wash away all this dirty snow....notice how the days are lighter longer........

A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here

Emily Dickenson

Rilo Kiley "Silver Lining"

This four-person indie rock band began in 1998. Rilo Kiley includes lead singer Jenny Lewis who also plays acoustic guitar with Blake Sennett, bassist Pierre de Reeder and drummer Jason Boesel.

Gabriella Cilmi "Sweet About Me"

Ingrid Michaelson "The Way I Am"

This is a really cute video on YouTube. I love the children's reaction.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


The 10 Pound Pledge has been met by our leader and one of our participants!
You've done a great job, and are to be congratulated.

I'm stuck on -8.2 (and I'm counting the .2) pounds. This is very good I know, but after eight weeks, you just wish it was all over. It's so much easier, and so much more fun putting weight on, than it is taking it off. I've been a bit slower this week due to a sore ankle, AND, I've been eating like a "normal" person, which in my case means I either don't lose or at worst I gain. It simply amazes me how little you can ingest in order to lose. While listening to my always-on-radio-station today, the "Zoomer" report by Libby Znaimer told it like it is. Somehow a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine seems like the law to me.

The Latest Zoomer Reports: 09/03/04
All Diets Equal

Atkins? South Beach? Or how about the Flat Belly Diet? If you’re planning to shed some pounds, you can stop fussing over which diet works best, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health randomly assigned 800 overweight people to four different diets with varying ratios of fat, carbohydrates and protein, then measured their weight loss at six months and two years.

Guess what? All the diets produced the same amount of weight loss. They were all based on cutting 750 calories from each dieter’s daily caloric needs, in addition to 90 minutes a week of exercise. No matter which regimen they chose, dieters who completed their programmes lost an average of 13 pounds in six months and kept off 9 pounds after 2 years.

The researchers say the key is picking a diet you like enough to stick to. But there’s no need to measure carbs or fats or protein. To see results, all you have to count are calories.

If there is magic to be had, it’s in motivation. The study found that rather than the ratios of fats to proteins, it was other factors, most notably counselling sessions, that affected dieting success. People who attended sessions lost more weight than those who didn’t, he says.

And so, the Challenge goes on. If you've been looking at the chubby little girl in the sidebar, you can see that it's been on -0 for a bit. It's all about motivation apparently. I'm usually motivated towards chocolate, so it sounds like I'm going to have to take on "counselling sessions", in order to keep off 9 pounds after 2 years. TWO YEARS!!! That's such a sad thing. Why can't we just eat what we want and be the size we wish to be? It's always such a fight.

On a more optimistic note, I have managed to find a new exercise outlet that has given me a bit of a change and a spring in my step. It's my own personal version of Zumba for Zoomers. Devon's 10 a.m. (my time) class on Wednesdays is now my new favourite class. The time of day is fabulous, the music is fabulous (today it was good old surfing tunes...the kind you have to sing along to), the instruction is fabulous, and I'm very happy about this. Thanks Dev. This might be part of the answer.

Wednesday evenings will still find us in our dance class and at the pub afterward eating honey garlic chicken wings.....some things are non-negotiable. I have a diet coke instead of a beer :)

By the way..."Zoomers" are Baby Boomers reincarnated by the Znaimers.

Libby Znaimer
The Zoomer Report 96.3 FM

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Another Publication

Is it my imagination or has Stampington taken over the world of magazines?? How can any one publisher put out so many titles?? Obviously they sell, or they wouldn't be able to keep on dreaming up titles.

The other day I saw that they are coming out with a new magazine April 1st. Marie Antoinette. For some perverse reason I get all excited about new magazines, but I started to think about the sheer number of different titles by this company. It's really quite mind boggling. The sad thing is, I think I have about half the list! They are pricey, but tempting and now with the eruption of the blogging world, there is always someone you know in print. What's a multi-faceted girl to do?????
Build more bookshelves.

Stampington & Company Magazines

Somerset Studio
Artful Blogging
Altered Couture
Belle Armoire Jewelry
Stampers' Sampler
Belle Armoire Art to Wear
Somerset Memories
Art Doll Quarterly
Take Ten
Somerset Life
Where Women Create

Life Images
Art Journaling
Somerset in Love
Digital Studio
Artists' Cafe
Sew Somerset
Holidays and Celebrations
Beyond Paper Dolls
Haute Handbags
Catch Up Issue
Material Visions
Transparent Art
Artist Trading Cards
True Colors
Art Doll Chronicles
Return to Asia
The Pin Issue
Holiday Extra

And NOW Marie Antoinette!!!

The next one I'm going to investigate is Apprentice

Go on over to Angela Cartwright's blog to see her contribution to this latest title. The instructions in this one might justify the price. Perhaps this offsets the cost of taking classes.

I'm sure there are some that I've missed, I just quickly reviewed the list of publications. If you haven't seen these, take a look next time you are in a classy stamp shop "Bizzy B's" or Chapters. They all get published at different times, but don't worry, the website has a CALENDAR of publications.

Credit: Somerset Publications