Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Bridal Tea continued....

Chapter Two
Curiouser and Curiouser

Just as I was about to post about what we ate at the Bridal Tea, the "inside" workers set up such a hue and cry that I was forced to give them the credit they so utterly deserve.

I was reminded by a certain tea-toting kitty that all that silver didn't polish itself you know!

I'm sure it was the same apron clad feline that sparkled up the glasses for the champagne toast.

The leaping frogs became hysterical at how much attention the cat was getting and pointed out that they had an enormous amount to do with outfitting tea cups with flower arrangements.

They had no trouble leaping about and croaking loudly about their fantastic work.

The hedgehogs became terribly indignant that they had not been properly lauded for having tied all the bows, despite having problems with their tiny toes.

One little rabbit, who was still dashing around, wondered if anyone had noticed his stellar contribution of having all the clocks properly stopped at 6. The clocks are always at 6. It's tea time!

The door mouse was just waking up and still pondering her next chess move, while all the commotion swirled around her. I promise that all the help have been properly thanked and made to feel very much appreciated.

Did someone say it's time for tea???

And what did we eat? Perhaps tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Mad Hatter's Bridal Tea

Chapter One
Setting the Scene

The invitation said to follow the white rabbit to the party....little did they know they would actually enter a rabbit hole!

The rabbits themselves were taking their positions.

As rabbits are a bit shy, they did their best to stay still.

There were a few characters trying their best to remain anonymous as well as invisible.

Somehow, pinwheels ended up choosing evergreens as supports.

The flamingos were quite shocked and embarrassed by Gabriel's lack of proper attire and averted their gaze, while the mysterious cat closed his eyes completely!

A few silly flowers decided to bloom amongst the vines.

Monkeys handled the lighting....and the party is just about ready.

But what did we eat?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monkey Business

Charles E. Funk, who wrote:
"One monkey arouses a great deal of amusement. Two or more then double the...amusement. If one were to release a barrelful...of monkeys, we must suppose that their antics would become hilariously comical."
.... is likely correct.

It's true!

It all started with Mary Ann Moss and her on-line classes. There are always references to chimps because Mary Ann teaches children :)

Then her sister, Carol {aka Tall Tales from Kansas}, got into the act, and really stirred things up....literally. My kinda woman is one whose sidebar picture is one of her and a martini!!! There is always something hilariously comical going on over there, don't miss it!

So I dusted off my vintage collection of shakers....

Got myself over to the 'Government Dairy' to stock up on supplies...and have been creating 'Chocolate Monkeys' ever since!

These "vintage" pictures of my provisions are to celebrate the Professor's memories of chocolate banana milk shakes at the Dairy Queen on Richmond Road!
It's funnier than a barrel of monkeys for sure!

Monkey: Georges Seurat

Friday, June 17, 2011

What are you reading for the summer?

Oprah's summer reading list just came out with books that I was unfamiliar with. I love recommendations, so I will look these up. See list at bottom of post.

I just finished the second in the heroine "Flavia de Luce" books. They are totally charming and such a quick and easy read. They would be on my summer list. I will be looking for the third book at the next bookstore outing.

Book Number One

“Bradley’s outstanding third Flavia de Luce mystery set in post-WWII rural England . . . In this marvelous blend of whimsy and mystery, Flavia manages to operate successfully in the adult world of crimes and passions while dodging the childhood pitfalls set by her sisters.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review

Are you influenced by the cover? I love the colours of this series. Enough to make me want to pick them up. I noticed that as I compiled the list of Oprah's picks, not adding the cover left something missing. See what you think. Never judge a book by it's cover...hmmmm. I think I do.

I also enjoyed "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand". My very own aunt has self-published a murder mystery "Missionary Cay". As far as I know, it is a limited run, so if you wish to borrow my copy you'll have to come for a martini!

This is Oprah's list. If anyone has read and enjoyed any of these, please let me know what you think.

By Esmeralda Santiago
432 pages; Knopf

A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler
256 pages

Untold Story by Monica Ali
Monica Ali
272 pages

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal
Mark Seal
336 pages

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty
432 pages

A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano
Ann Napolitano
336 pages

The Astral by Kate Christensen
Kate Christensen
320 pages

Sister by Rosamund Lipton
Rosamund Lupton
336 pages

Bomboozled by Susan Roy
Susan Roy
176 pages

In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Erik Larson
464 pages

The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson
Jean Thompson
336 pages

Big Machine by Victor LaValle
Victor LaValle
384 pages

Someday This Will Be Funny by Lynne Tillman
Lynne Tillman
160 pages

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
Rebecca Makkai
336 pages

Happy summer reading everyone!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


For some time now, (telling you exactly how long would reveal how truly bad we are), every Tuesday evening, the Professor and I, along with a group of friends have been taking Ballroom Line Dancing Lessons. We don't seem to progress EVER. It's like anything else, unless you practice, you don't get too far. It's hard to imagine finding the room in "The Cottage" to perfect our bombastic moves, and taking it out to the driveway is unrealistic.

Last week, our teacher was involved in a production and wanted to show us her new dance. We all loved the music and decided it might be worth a try. This video is NOT our class, and I have to say that we may will never reach this level of hip movement.

The Professor says this is not a dance that men can do. Notice in the front row...MAN, doing really well, AND he has big feet, which, he has managed to tame!

He says that he'll try really hard to get this dance and do it like the guy, if I manage to get into that little black dress/silver shoe number dancing beside him! :)

Now I have to see the movie...another Love this piece by Cher.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Romaine Brooks

A happy finding, in the afterthoughts of 'Paris At Midnight'.

I was looking up links for "Paris Was a Woman" for more information on Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and came across Romaine Brooks. I have always loved this portrait.

Romaine Brooks, born Beatrice Romaine Goddard (May 1, 1874 – December 7, 1970), was an American painter who worked mostly in Paris and Capri. She specialized in portraiture and used a subdued palette dominated by the color gray. Brooks ignored contemporary artistic trends such as Cubism and Fauvism, drawing instead on the Symbolist and Aesthetic movements of the 19th century, especially the works of James McNeill Whistler. Her subjects ranged from anonymous models to titled aristocrats. She is best known for her images of women in androgynous or masculine dress, including her self-portrait of 1923, which is her most widely reproduced work.

It would seem that "Paris Was a Woman" is on youtube in about 8 parts, so it takes a bit of persistence to get through it all. I put it on my list.

The thing about the Brooks video is that the song "The Weakness in Me" is sung by Joan Armatrading. Now there's a blast from the past!


Credit: Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

She's Back!

This morning's chore was to fertilize the annuals. Just opening the back patio doors allowed a waft of the most heady fragrant scent. The Persian Lilac is in full bloom and has a spectacular show this year. After spending more time than necessary smelling the various blooms, I decided to get at the task of feeding and watering.

Just through the side gate, something startled under the huge pine tree. THE RABBIT! The one that got away with NO CARD in the camera! She/He's back!

She moved off just far enough to still be in camera range, but safe from any untoward advances I might make. Shot from over the arm of the garden bench.

She must realize that all I want is a little picture. It would be nice to get her little white tail, but I don't want her to go that far!

Now she's becoming quite the camera hog! Doesn't seem to mind at all, as I circle the pine tree skirt in my most delicate tiptoe manoeuvrings.

She seems quite used to the paparazzi by now, and graciously poses, just one more shot. Face to face. Keeping eyes on each other.

Quietly away now. Make sure the window well covers are on securely, otherwise there may be little bunnies down the rabbit hole!

I want to find this movie! Perhaps my rabbit has been a movie star?

Monday, June 13, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

Apparently while I was away we had a tremendous amount of rain. My garden, which over the years is becoming increasingly shady, is very wet and very slow. On Saturday, I took pictures of buds. I also took a picture of a rabbit, but then realized there was NO CARD in the while I was able to recapture the blooms, the bunny had hopped off. Card back in camera, this is the before, and a day later!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Off to Paris

We're off to Paris this evening. Well, we're off to see Woody Allen's version of Paris. Apparently Owen Wilson plays Woody better than Woody plays Woody, which, in some respects may not be too difficult :)

I'm sure we'll see bits of Paris that we haven't had the time to get to. I love this sort of armchair travel, but it does give one ideas!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Driving along in the car with Sirius Radio on...this blast from the past. One of those soulful songs that you can really belt out when you are all by yourself on a sunny day, just cruising along.

I know this is an odd video, created to dedicate to someone, but it was the best sound on YouTube. At best, it can be called seasonal. The official video was a bit weird too. Just turn your speakers up...and sing along, best if you close your eyes when singing "YOU"....but not if you're driving. Bonnie Raitt.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This year's ice cream truck song

The ice cream truck is playing a new song this year.

Frank Mills' "Music Box Dancer" was one of Jane's favourite songs when she was about 3 years old. Recently, we have been practicing action songs with little Zoë. She excels at "Skinamarinkydinkydinkskinamarinkydo...I Love YOU!!", and can do a very good version of "Sur le Pont D'Avignon" complete with a bilingual curtsey and bow.

I was very amused to see this version of the Music Box Dancer, performed by The Wiggles. Fortunately, we haven't gotten into Wiggles yet, but I imagine this would be exactly how Zoë would interpret this dance. There are portions where you just can't control yourself and have to become a maniacal dancer, turning, turning, turning, and sudden explosive jumping -- all part of the interpretation at this age. Clapping after the performance is de rigeur. That's often the best part!

I shall have to get Jane to practice this with Zoë for our next Skype session! I'm sure a video will follow :) I'll even buy those wings!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Cardinal Rule

The Cardinal rule around our house these days is, use the back door if at all possible. A pair of wonderful, but undoubtedly a bit dumb, Cardinal parents have nested in the lush (for now) climbing hydrangea attached to the downspout above our mailbox. This causes all sorts of excitement and frenzy with normal daily activities, such as leaving the house, collecting the mail and/or any other movement in the courtyard.

Papa Cardinal...otherwise known as "Wolsey", as I couldn't think of any other Cardinals when we first came eye to eye.

Mama Cardinal, who by default had to be "Richelieu", the only other Cardinal I remember...which surprises me because I think that was grade 8!

This is the sequence. Fly to the trees. Screech out the morning diatribe. Fly to the roof of the garage as the "eminent" warning.

If things are looking dangerous, ruffle your feathers and make eye contact on the fence! You could also remind the homeowners to dust the cobwebs off the railings when the "kids" arrive.

This is a warning. I'm feet on the ground and my next move is into the foyer! Close the door and go out the back!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The hairdo

It may have all started with this guy...who knows???

The growing out the bangs conundrum has been with us for as long as anyone can remember.

Now that grandparents can readily be in touch with distant family, there are just some days that you see a little something that takes you back.

Skype shots are not top quality, but they do capture the moment!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Time for window shopping

In the old part of Barcelona, it's fun to wander through the maze of tight alleys. Some of the windows are right at kid eye-level. This may portend a particular favourite of mine...JEWELS!

Then again, how clever to have a Spanish smurf game at kid-level!

I think I should find out about this shop.

I wonder if they speak English. Wait a minute...I don't even speak English yet!

Anybody?? Is it siesta time?? Just wanting to check a price here!! I see they have a SCRABBLE game too! Mamère would love that. Anybody????

Oh my goodness!!! Can you believe the prices in this place!???

So here's the good news. Even if you can't afford what is IN the window, you can admire what is reflected in the window.

The bigger girls are looking at the windows higher up! Time for tea!

Well, this group may be smiling on La Rambla, but I'm twirling my hair after a very busy day of running up and down the streets of Barcelona!

This group has promised to come back in 9 years, when I will be ten. They say by then I should appreciate the finer points of touring and fine dining. Looks good from where I'm sitting!