Friday, April 30, 2010

We're Off to see..........the tulips

We're off to see the Wizard I'm wearing my red shoes, so it always makes me think of this song. Have a good weekend. I'll say hi to the Governor General for you and tell her I wish her to stay.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Today is Jane's day

My beautiful girls. Happy Birthday to Maman Jane Alexandra, seen here with Zoë Jane.

Notice how Jane is engaged with the camera and Zoë almost has that cyclamen in her little fingers!

Mamère is happy to see the sun hat on! This was an outing to the Keukenhof gardens in Holland. Zoë's first trip outside of Belgium. The world travel begins!

By all accounts it was a great day to celebrate Mummy and Daddy's birthdays in April. Zoë says "Do we get cake??"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Can't put it down

One Sunday, reading a book review in the New York Times, I came across

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

I mentioned to the Professor that it looked like a book he might be interested in. He rarely reads novels, but this one was of great interest because the author is also a science writer, blogger, and the subject close to his work. He had ordered it already and brought it home from his office for me to read.

I could not put this down. Who knew that Rebecca Skloot could basically, write a report on one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time, and make it read like a novel.

Whilst looking for the cover photo in Amazon, I see that they have an "Omniveracious Podcast" with Rebecca speaking about the book. It was somewhat comforting to me that the interviewer commented that it was not an easy book to summarize. I will leave the links so that you can listen for yourselves. There is just so much to recommend this book. I think this should be mandatory reading.

Omnivoracious Podcast "HeLa"

If you do listen to the podcasts, I think you should start with the third interview...Part 2 The Family. The interviews are actually more informative after you have read the book.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

In this kind of mood

I don't believe

less is more.

I believe that

more is more.

I believe that

less is less, fat

fat, thin thin

and enough

is enough

Too logical???

I saw this little sentiment written in calligraphy and framed on a desk over at
The Neo Lifestyle These are my sentiments exactly these days!

Illustration: Mary Engelbreit

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Duck song

This is a song for Zoë when she goes for a walk to "The Ducks"!

I love the little baby voice in this rendition.

I'm not sure that I ever understood that the ducks had to come home due to a thunder storm, but living in Belgium, this may be entirely applicable. When the baby says "Duck" at the end of the song, I melt. Isn't children's music wonderful!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Playing Dress Up

Zoë's Grandma Tarabokia is visiting this month and has been kind enough to forward a few photos of our Granddaughter's progress. When you only have a little bit of hair left you can always try a bow!

Zoë is going to be a hat girl like her Maman!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


On our walk this morning, the local middle school children were scouring the surrounding woods with plastic bags picking up, what ostensibly was their own garbage. The city official overlooking the project was kind enough to give our walking group some latex gloves to use while on our tour, much farther afield. It was indeed a beautiful morning to celebrate the EARTH and this day, we took a bit more time to observe and pick up debris along our path.

Erin Mills is now slightly cleaner along the walking paths that we are so lucky to be able to enjoy. When we reached the tunnel by the local high school, the "smoking boys" were out and watched in silence as three women stooped to pick up their butts, cigarette boxes, juice tins etc. etc. They said nothing. Neither did we. Let's hope this was a "setting an example" moment.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Down the window well

This time of year there always seems to be a lot of nature abounding in the backyard. Tonight the Professor roused me outside to see our latest event. A baby bunny had fallen into the window well, and was scratching at the window to alert someone to it's predicament.

After a blog photo op, a lot of head scratching, garage searching for butterfly nets or the like, and then a quick decision to open the window from the inside and coax the "wabbit" into a paper bag {by now outfitted with string on the handles}, said fluff ball was out and deposited in the garden.

Lippity lop, lippity lop
Here comes a bunny hippity hop
With ears so tall and tail so small
Lippity, lippity lop
He sits up straight and wriggles his nose
At every sound he hears
Then scampers away as fast as he can
And suddenly disappears
Oh , Lippety lop, lippety lop
Here comes a bunny hippity hop
With ears so tall and tail so small
Lippity, lippity lop.

Monday, April 19, 2010

From the Memory box

While I was rummaging around looking for lace trims and rick rack for my apron project, I came across the box labeled "Smocking". It's contents brought back a rush of memories.

When Jane was very little I took an "Old English Smocking" course at Quilts and Other Comforts, which was located on Avenue Road, not far from where we lived at the time. Now that Zoë is here, my interest is renewed and I am looking into taking a refresher course in this wonderful needle art.

The picture is of my Dad who made this little table. We were home from Switzerland for Jane's first birthday. Zoë will be here around the time of her first birthday, and we still have the little wooden table, as well as the footstool I made. I hope I can get my sewing skills up to par to complete the dress. At the rate she is progressing these days, I'm sure Zoë will be climbing just like her mother!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Two new finds

The apron from the re-purposed Professor's shirt is finished. Ever since my nieces got me hepped up about making aprons I've been delving into "Apronology" and lusting after various designs. This one seemed like a great idea as almost all of the essentials were right here. Fabricland had a sale on trims, so it became an even more attractive project. The dining room table has been given over to sewing bits and bobs and it really is true that if you leave your machine up and see it there, you work along happily a little bit each day. Strange, that never seems to work when I leave the vacuum cleaner in plain sight :)

You may be wondering about the bizarre photo image. While waiting for birds yesterday I was playing with the settings on my Lumix purse camera and found a pinhole application. I rarely use any of the special settings, but I will do so now. I'd say this post is killing two birds with one stone, but the chickadees are a little sensitive at the moment.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Striking a pose

I recently moved an acorn birdhouse that I painted some time ago, to the back garden where I could observe any occupants that might take up residence. Today was the day!

The photos are blurry due to the wind that was winging the branches and determined birdie practically in circles.

Luckily, this little nester was bent on succeeding, so I managed to run for the camera and get a few shots off through the kitchen window.

It was so adorable. To think that this bird found this look-alike amazing! Made to measure.

Can't wait to see what happens next!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who I am

The Professor has been doing a lot of genealogy these past few years and I'm never very interested until he pulls out something I like about my ancestry. We recently got watching Who Do You Think You Are and really love hearing about the family histories of the celebrities. is the link that The Prof. thinks is the best. After a discussion about Vimy Ridge, he came up with, and posted this latest account of one of my relatives who was in the first world war. With permission, I've changed a bit of the text to refer to my own ancestor, my grandfather's cousin.

Lance Corporal Robert Alexander Hood (1895 - 1917)

Robert Alexander Hood (a cousin of my paternal grandfather) was born in 1895 in a small village north-west of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He went to France in 1916 when he was only 21 years old. Robert fought with the 73rd Battalion and he was killed in action at Vimy Ridge, April 12, in 1917.

Canadians "celebrate" the battle of Vimy Ridge as a great Canadian victory. It was part of the larger Battle of Arras, which in turn was a diversionary attack in support of the larger Nivelle Offensive carried out by the French Army. About 3,600 young Canadian men were killed during the four day battle and 7,000 more were wounded. This is just a small fraction of the casualties on both sides during World War I.

We need to be very careful not to glorify war while remembering all those young men and women who died in a war that never should have been fought. We will eventually go to Arras and visit the large memorial erected by the Canadian government. The deaths of soldiers like Robert Alexander Hood should never have happened.

I just found a picture of Robert. I actually may have a photo in a grouping of old photos that no one in the family recongnize at this point, but in ferreting out a few details, we may have come across a resource at the Wellington County Museum.

James, Robert Alexander, Mary Ann and James Robinson Hood 1911

Robert Alexander Hood in military uniform

I'm posting this today, because "Who Do You Think You Are" is on tonight. It's a great show, and sure to get you wondering where you came from. We're off to the Wellington County Museum, photos in hand this weekend!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

EB's surprise

Once again Canada Post delayed a very important date!

Dana spent Easter with us and her partner, now forever know as, "Judy from Virginia", sent us a BIG surprise, which due to the aforementioned Canada Post, arrived but yesterday.

There are some good and bad advantages to this delay. The outrage at mail delivery in this country is something I should pursue more actively, but not having to share the proceeds sort of takes the sting out of the tardiness :)

The "EB" even decorated the outside of the delivery box.

I have a suspicion that Canada Post employees kept this happy container behind just to cheer themselves up. Not many parcels are so beautifully adorned on the outside. If they'd taken 5 minutes to admire the price it took to send this box priority post, they'd realize that someone might just complain about their work ethic!

"Auntie Judy" is one of those people who remember that you "need" old jewelry boxes to make vintage memory boxes, as once seen in a Stampington Issue.

I'm usually pretty clever about things like this, but even I would not have thought of the perfect fit of these chocolates in this box of gold!!! Talk about re-purposing!

You may be thinking, as I did upon first inspection, that this was a really neat Easter surprise....but wait..............

Here is a sneak peak of a SECOND jewel box. Even the lining is fabulous

This is a two tier box with THE MOST GENEROUS collection of bunnies and Lindt truffles that you can imagine!

Well, someone had to take the first taste test! Only one space empty, and that was only for the duration of the photo op.

These bunnies are on the run as the sun sets. I think they know what's coming.

I'm so sorry (well, as sorry as I get about sharing chocolate) that Dana wasn't here to receive the parcel.

It's such an exciting thing to have the doorbell ring and have the Canada Post driver yell "LESLIE JANE!!!" [That's what she does because we share a certain zany sense of humour and she's here often]. It always makes me smile to get something in the mail. In this regard, I should be better about sending things to others.

Many thanks to 'Auntie Judy' from Virginia for sending this extra special parcel. I will try very hard to do justice to both the contents and the containers! Quite a project I'd say.

All photos are done with my iPhone, various camera types, films, apps...Lennie made me do it!


When we were "Skyping" this morning, Jane and Zoë were in the middle of making this video.

Hot off the press.

3 months old and Mama has just had to return to work. I think Belgium needs to review it's maternity leave benefits! Little girl is now going through the "lose your hair" part of babyhood. That's when you bring out the hats, or pretend that you really are a Mohawk Indian Princess.

All thanks to Jane and Zoë who are enjoying the weekend together. After holding the fort all week, Daddy gets to go to work and RELAX!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Current Book

This is a really good book that Dana recommended to me and I now recommend to you. I hate when I finish a really good read and then have nothing that I'm crazy about. I'm trying "The Women" and realizing what a wag Frank Lloyd Wright was...any recommendations out there??

I actually got this book as an audio book while I was in Belgium and I have been "listening" to it on my iPhone. I have to say that I love the accents of all the various southern women. I do hope this becomes a movie.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Look what we found for our Easter basket....

We've been waiting for the latest installment of Zoë pictures. What fun! Here's our little Easter Bunny all the way from Belgium.

The cutest of Easter smiles.

Waving an Easter Goodbye!

Happy Easter Everyone!