Monday, October 31, 2011


This is the one I'm going to try this year. I used to do very intricate cut-outs, but without kids, I find that The Professor doesn't ooh and ahh quite enough to merit a day of scraping and cutting and repairing with toothpicks.

I've eaten just about all of the little chocolate bars we got for shelling out....I wonder how many goblins will be around to the door this year? The neighbourhood is changing and there are a few new youngsters, but nothing like past years when our kids were out there tearing around with pillow cases! Happy Halloween everyone. I hope to have a picture of my Granddaughter "The Pirate" ....she's dressing up in LA and going to Mummy's work for treats! Oh that they were here. BOO!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Switching Allegiance

It's that time of year again in Canada. Lip smacking fall. The "chapping" begins!

I used to be strictly a Blistex - (original/regular) devotee. This summer, I was drawn to a colourful display of Burt's Bee's products, and knowing that this would make my daughter-in-law terribly proud of me:), I went for the pricier option. There will be NO going back. I LOVE this "tinted" lip balm. It's a little bit of colour and a lot of comfort.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

South Riding

Masterpiece Theater does it again. This time, Winifred Holtby's South Riding", set in a Yorkshire town during the depression has been made into a 3 part series.

It is a fantastic show and I can only imagine that the original book would make for a very good read. Hope this link works so that you can get the flavour of "South Riding".

This piece aired a while ago, but sometimes they bring things back. Part II of Downton Abbey is to continue in January 2012.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

There really is a first time for everything

As seen the other evening in a window at the Eaton Center. Who knew???

Once, The Professor was overheard wondering who in the world would ever pay $400 for a pair of shoes???!!! Ahem. When one has small, narrow feet, and they are the only shoes that fit properly, there are times when "one" is forced to resort to extremes! Normally, people with small, narrow feet shop at Norstrom's Rack in the US and get the $400 shoes for much, much less. At this point in time, I know of one little girl who will be accompanying her Mamère to the nearest Nordy's in LA!

Let's hope they have her size.
Imagine...her first Weitzmans!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The last Rose of summer

This past weekend was the perfect one for putting a bit of the garden to bed. Peonies transplanted, shrubs relocated, trimming and putting away in the shed. I have to say The Professor did most of the grunt work to my splendid ideas :)

The last roses of summer. Fall is in the air and from time to time, heat on in the house. It's time.

Nature's palette. Such an inspiring mix of colour that will carry me through the dark winter days.

Deanna Durbin was born in Canada. This rendition makes me want to watch an old movie on this gloomy afternoon.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I just couldn't decide if this was a girl angel or a boy. I still can't. Not that it matters. It's for sure a guardian angel.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


In the Reggiano dialect "choka" means "make a noise" and "beck" means "beak".
"It was an expression my father used when I was a child. Whenever I asked him if there was anything to eat, rather than tell me there was nothing, he would say "A ghe di chocabeck" - "There's chocabeck".
"For ages I thought these "chocabecks" were really good to eat. I'm still looking forward to having some !!!"
Zucchero 2010

Luckily, there is not much chance that my doctor reads my blog. This is the Chocabeck tour that performed in Toronto last Saturday. The video is from Vienna, this is part of the world tour.

This makes me want to dance and clap and sing and learn Italian. Mostly it makes me smile. The new album is great. I downloaded it from iTunes on the way home. Straight home to bed. It was only a little chair dancing:) Our daughter always wanted to be on a stage performing and having the audience do whatever she instructed. It's not too late Jane!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Figgy Pudding?

Now that the little family are just about settled in their new home in Venice, California, they find that they have a fig tree in the yard. Jane was wondering what to do about all these figs! If she doesn't collect them, the squirrels get in there and make a right mess. I suggested making jam, to which she wrinkled her nose and went on about having to get little glass jars etc. etc.

My all-time personal favourite fig recipe is one from the LCBO festive magazine.

Clearly you have to have a party to serve as many as this makes and I'm not sure they know that many people at this point. Zoë will probably like them, but she's not such a big eater yet.

On the jam front, nothing could be easier than this one...Spicy Fig Orange Microwave Jam

It should be a comfort to know that Californians seem to know a thing or two about FIGS! California Fig Advisory Board"

If you have way too many figs, you should put them all in an attractive little basket and put them at the gate with a "Please help yourself to fresh figs" sign. It's all about living in a community now. I'm going to out my rocket scientist daughter and tell everyone that she purchased Martha Stewart outdoor patio furniture, so there is yet hope of her becoming 'somewhat' domesticated:) The figs in a basket is a very "Martha" thing to do. GO JANE!

One for our side!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Do you know about Siri?

I want Siri in my phone! This will be my next acquisition I think. I still have to find out how it performs in Canada, but if indeed I can use it while traveling....I'm there!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Popcorn Update

Remember Lucky Elephant popcorn with the prize inside? It was all pink sugar coated and as I recall cost 5 cents a box.

Well, if you loved that crazy pink popcorn, try this stuff! Warning!!! This product may be hazardous to your health. You just can't stop eating it! It's more than 5 cents and there is no prize, but if you like salty/sweet...this one's for you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Willow Manor Ball 2011

Can it really be October 12 already!????

A very important date.

The Annual Willow Manor Cyber Ball.

As I was in such a whirl, I decided to ask Zucchero, (Zucchero is the Italian word for sugar) who just happened to be in town (he is performing later this week at Massey Hall), to be my date. This bluesy Italian was definitely sweet enough to accede to my imploring, and even offered to bring his band and perform at the ball!

Dance, dance morena (brunette)
Under this full moon
Under the moonlight
Under the moonlight

One of the other girls was in a real pout that I got to "Z" first.

A bit of a frenzy as to what to wear, but pulled this little number out of the closet and figured it would do for the 'Under the Moonlight' theme going on.

I just hope I can squash myself into my sweet beau's rare and expensive Lancia Aurelia Spider. Must remember to wrap my brunette locks with a swath of silk for the ride. I do not want to arrive rumpled.

Upon our arrival, I shall ask the bartender to make us a classic Italian Cocktail. We will have driven for hours and been held up at the border with the endless checking of passports and identities. My word.

1 oz. white peach puree (if you can’t find peach puree, substitute peach schnapps)
3 oz. chilled Prosecco
1 dash of maraschino cherry juice (for color)

Pour the puree into a chilled champagne glass and top up with the Prosecco. Stir until mixed and add a dash of the maraschino liqueur until the drink takes on a pinkish hue. Serve.

I'll try and locate a few fellow countrymen and women for my guest, but I do hope that Marcello Mastroianni and his date Anita Ekberg don't jump in the fountain again and come out dripping all over the dance floor.

I've heard a rumour that there were comments being made at the buffet. It will be a major effort keeping Giada De Laurentiis and Nigella from slinging caviar at each other!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

I'm normally a Tim Horton's coffee drinker, but for a while now, my sensibilities could only handle herbal tea.

Yesterday when I read Carol's blog about Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I just had to have one. It's more like pumpkin pie in a cup. Luckily, our new Longo's has a "Bucks" in it, so I didn't even have to search too far.

What a nice way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

I'll be using my Pumpkin Spice k-cups coffee in my Keurig and making my own seasonal drinks. I only go to Starbucks for the festive specials...much like Swiss Chalet:)

Friday, October 7, 2011


I love LLBean.

Now I love them even more. They ship to Canada and things arrive promptly at the door! So great when you can shop by catalog. This is the most wonderful shirt. It is lined with that 'minky' fleece that the RL blanket was made of. Perfect for a fall day like today.
I'll go for a little walk this afternoon and test it out. The sun is shining and it's a perfect day to start a little getting out and about the neighborhood. Slowly but surely.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Folk Remedies

Everyone has their home grown remedies for colds and flu. One of our family favourites (Thanks Auntie Helen) is slathering Rawleigh's ointment all over things. The folklore in Helen's family was that her mother once used it to heal the injured wing of a little bird. Makes sense then that it can also be used on chapped lips!

The active ingredients in Rawleigh's ointment:

*Camphor - Is a ketone. Externally it acts as a rubefacient (increases blood circulation) and mild analgesic and acts in liniments as a counter irritant in fibrositis, neuralgia.
* Oil of Eucalyptus - Essential Oil used as a carminative.
* Menthol - Chiefly used to relieve symptoms of bronchitis and sinusitis. It dilates the blood vessels causing a sensation of coldness followed by an analgesic effect. It relieves itching.
* Lanolin - An emollient cream which penetrates the skin.
* Paraffin Wax
* Ceresin Wax

Made me think of this song which you will be well aware of if you ever attended camp or Woodroffe Public School.

(Tune: Battle Hymn)

John Brown's baby had a cold upon his chest,
John Brown's baby had a cold upon his chest,
John Brown's baby had a cold upon his chest,
And they rubbed it with camphorated oil.

John Brown's ---- had a cold upon his chest,
John Brown's ---- had a cold upon his chest,
John Brown's ---- had a cold upon his chest,
And they rubbed it with camphorated oil.

John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his chest,
John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his chest,
John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his chest,
And they rubbed it with camphorated oil.

John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
And they rubbed it with camphorated oil.

John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
And they ------ it with camphorated oil.

John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
John Brown's ---- had a ---- upon his -----,
And they ------ it with ----------- ---.

Motions: (not done on verse 1 (do it when words are omitted (which are the hyphens))
baby - rock baby in arms
cold - sneeze
chest - slap chest
rubbed - rub chest
camphorated oil - hold nose and make a face

This will be my next "action" song for Zoë who is well up to the task after many rounds of Skinamarink!
When I stop coughing!

I can see that you're trying it :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A few Treats

Since it is verboten to drink alcohol and liquor while on massive doses of antibiotic, it is essential to find another anxiety reducing outlet.

May I suggest

See's Gourmet Lollypops are ghastly expensive, but when compared to the price of a martini these days, you have to put things in perspective.

As soon as I am well enough, all the Lollypops will be gone...(they are rather a mouthful), I will be sure to be making Carol's latest concoction.

Until then, the wonderful Vanilla, Butterscotch, Chocolate and Caffé Latté, flavours, individually wrapped in foil, will soothe my raspy throat as well as my soul.

I have only ever had See's candies (chocolates) while in San Fransisco, but I understand that the company was formed in Los Angeles! I guess this means that when I go to visit my granddaughter and her family, there will be an abundance of See's Lollypops around.

I found mine at the local Chapter's Bookstore checkout:)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reflections from the Couch

If you plan to spend anytime curled up or lounging full length this winter, you may want to investigate this blanket. It's called Micro"MINK"....I was trying to figure out what sort of softness it felt's furry. It's not the sort of acrylic that attaches itself to the rough part on your just glides. It's minky and slinky and light, and very comforting if you need to feel just a little softer somedays.
The one I got is actually a twin size. It's Ralph Lauren. It works. To feel specially pampered when you're just so low is a bit of luxury.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Trying for normal

I decided to start this week off "acting" more normally. When one is very ill and moving only from the couch to bed, it would seem that at some point, this boring cycle needs to be broken.

From one's vantage point on the living room couch, it's quite amazing how many ideas an active mind can conjure for an unwilling body. Needless to say, I've been watching way too much t.v., but one item in particular seemed like a great idea. As it definitely falls under the "gadget" category, I even had a thought that The Professor would like it well enough to use it.

Canadian Tire was touting the "The Shark" steam pocket mop.

The house is gleaming. The Professor went back to the ivy covered halls to pontificate and I to my bed for a nap. Benjamin Moore has an ad on currently to completely remodel your house with just a quick coat of paint.....hmmmm....