Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dining in LA

This is the diner that Mary Ann Moss alerted us to ....waaaay back. We finally made it here yesterday.

It's in a very 'new' part of town for us, and the line was out the door at 10 a.m. on a Friday.

This is only part of the reason it's so popular.

as kitschy as it gets!

If this is what you start off with...The Maple Bacon Donut!

This is how you'd better end! We called her the red velvet donut madonna

See that little head in the very bottom left of the photo? That's my son making sure I'm not being run over by traffic to get this shot! It was an extraordinary meal. Thanks MAM :) Can't believe you're in Venice, Italy, and I'm in Venice, CA!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What a difference a month makes!

Due to a later than expected arrival, we only had a few precious days with Luca when he was born. We knew we'd be coming back at Christmas and we Skype frequently so we're up to date, but there is nothing like holding a new little one.

Luca is a much more serene baby than Zoë was. He eats, sleeps and is now starting into the play sequence. He's alert and can focus for long periods of time on the mobiles and zoo animals prancing the perimeter of his change table and room.

He has an adorable smile when it can be coaxed out of him and a very darling laugh. His eyes have remained blue and we think they will stay that way. I take these pictures with a low light lens and no flash so it's a bit difficult to see...but they are blue!

He is indeed a very sweet boy and we've had a wonderful time seeing how splendidly the little family are getting along and growing. With Uncle Gordon here it's a real treat for our family to have everyone as well. We miss Rach, but thanks to a wonderful bottle of Scotch they brought back from their recent trip, we can toast her and wish for another time en famille.

Today, Papi and Mamère are off to Disneyland with Zoë - one more time - before Zoë turns 3 and has to pay! She has our itinerary all mapped out and we hope to arrive a bit later, and hopefully stay late enough to see those famous fireworks that frame the magic kingdom and the castle.

The rest of the gang are off on a local hike and it promises to be good day with temperatures in the low 60's and a bit overcast. It is cooler than normal but perfect weather for moving around with active toddlers, and there is NO SNOW!!!

This is a good idea after the wonderful Christmas dinner that we were treated to. The first time our kids have hosted the traditional Xmas fare. Christmas-Wife-Saver never tasted so good after a very early morning flight from TO to LA. There is nothing like the special honey hams you get here with the turnip puff and scalloped potatoes and green beans. Jane even made a superlative apple pie! There are no end of cookies and treats...we should do this every year!:)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A little Christmas fun

Doesn't the saying go "The nut doesn't fall far from the tree"? In this case, the proof was in the Christmas pudding.

Zoë is heavily into examining the difference between "good guys" and "bad guys" these days. From story books to Mickey Mouse, there has always been the conflict between good and evil.

Just so happens that Mummy has a mind like a steel trap and can recite just about any musical every produced, word for word. The other day, Zoë decided to play "Annie" and announced that Jane would be "Miss Hannigan". I have a feeling we are in for many more days of "Off Broadway" entertainment here in the shadow of the Hollywood sign :)

Jane does a perfect interpretation of Miss Hannigan, and Zoë has Annie down pat in this scene including the famous "I Love you Miss Hannigan", and ending with jumping on "Miss Hannigan's" foot! I'm sure the director will soon move the production along to another scene:)

When I mentioned the production of Annie that Jane and Lori mounted at Red Pine Camp, Gordon swore he was not in it. Too bad son, here is the living proof. Both girls were heavily into Annie (witness their clothing and the sleeping bag prop), Gordon was in there with a baseball bat because apparently Jonathan had already taken the roll of Sandy the dog.

And on it goes the tradition of the family Christmas stage show. Only made more sweet this year as the next generation is showing such an interest!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas - Ottawa

From our house to yours, wherever you may be and however you celebrate
Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Celebrating a year of Christmas

This is "Miss Winter White" that started it all. She bloomed yesterday, the first day of winter

Last year, Linda, the queen of plants, renewed my houseplant interest by giving me Miss Winter White. I was told to fertilize and pinch back after blooming and BE PATIENT! Lo and behold, it worked!

These plants come in so many variants of reds and pinks as well that I couldn't resist. They are all in bloom just in time for Christmas.

It's exciting to have the windowsills in bloom at this time of year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A little bit of home

Just in case we get nostalgic over Christmas, we can always run down the Pacific Coast Highway to Redondo Beach. You will never guess what they are importing now!


We love diners so I think this find merits a road trip:) You have to be Canadian to understand Poutine, but this certainly looks like a very authentic take on our National concoction.

Monday, December 17, 2012

One Last Game...puzzle tradition

This year's challenge. One Last Game!
by Canadian artist Pauline Paquin.

Click on the image to embiggen. I love this scene.

These 1000 piece Ravensburger puzzles are the perfect quiet thing to do on a winter's evening. Last night with the tree lit and Christmas music playing quietly in the background, I managed to get the edges done! That is usually the Professor's job, but he was early to bed and I just couldn't leave it alone! Now the sorting and the difficult parts begin. I'll hope that he is enticed to do the sky:) we say on the street in a pick-up match

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I know's only rock and roll but I LIKE IT!

How wonderful to be able to attend a Stones concert in the comfort of your own living room, rum and eggnog in hand. This concert was on pay-per-view and while a bit pricey for their normal offerings, it was a bit special. This was the live performance from New Jersey.

The opening of the show had a parade of drummers wearing masks of the Rolling Stone's anniversary gorilla. It was absolutely primal.

In more somber moment, Jagger acknowledge the sadness of the recent heartbreaking news from Connecticut and dedicated the next song.
"I just wanted to take a minute and send our love and condolences to those who lost their loved ones yesterday," he said.

Lady Gaga is a female Mick Jagger. They did a rendition of Gimme Shelter that was over the top greatness.

(Kevin Mazur, WireImage)

With a little help from their friends...Lady Gaga, John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr., The Black Keys, Mick Taylor and Bruce Springsteen, it was a great evening.

Setlist From the Prudential Center in New Jersey:
"Get Off of My Cloud"
"The Last Time"
"It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)"
"Paint It Black"
"Gimme Shelter" [with Lady Gaga]
"Wild Horses"
"Going Down" [John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr.]
"Dead Flowers"
"Who Do You Love" [The Black Keys]
"Doom and Gloom"
"One More Shot"
"Miss You"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Before They Make Me Run"
"Midnight Rambler" [Mick Taylor]
"Start Me Up"
"Tumbling Dice" [Bruce Springsteen]
"Brown Sugar"
"Sympathy for the Devil"
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

Read more

Credits: Daily Mail UK
Daily Mail

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Canadian Christmas Tradition

During the 12 days of Christmas in Newfoundland, the men and women of small fishing outposts throw pillow cases over their heads, disguise their bodies behind scraps of old clothing and go from house to house playing music, singing songs and drinking your rum. The mummer need only reveal themselves to the host if their identity is correctly guessed.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas knitting

Let the reindeer games begin! The latest stocking for the latest member of the clan is finished.

The little sweater and the scarf are extras. I went to a fabulous yarn shop in Santa Monica and started these quick knits....thanks to Carol who rhapsodized about walking on the beach in California in the winter. I'm sure I would never find this cotton yarn here. As it was, I didn't get the exact same coloured yarn, but it's still very "earthy" and something my Jane will wear.

While I was in the shop, I came across a quick and easy little baby sweater to whip up as well. Turns out while attending to a two year old, one doesn't whip up much, other than a frenzy when she "helpfully" brings you your knitting off the needles. No matter, Luca will love his sweater on the beach when his Mummy sports the scarf.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


If you have never taken an on-line class with Mary Ann Moss, now is your time to jump in. She is visiting Venice and doing one of her amazing travel journals. I can't wait. She is the BEST teacher, probably IN THE WORLD and even if you don't want a travel journal, if you like book making this is the class for you!

Last time I was in Venice it was sinking, and it always reminds me of this song which is also one of my all-time favourite melodies.

This will be the best trip you can imagine. So, if you want to travel to Venice in your armchair, jump into MAM's pocket and enjoy the ride. I guarantee you, you will not be disappointed.  Her sister Carol always manages to come up with some pretty fancy drinks to go along with the theme....this will make the season very merry and bright :)

See/click on the Ticket to Venice badge on my sidebar for further information on this fabulous class!

Once again I am totally indebted to Ms. Martha Brown for introducing me to Ms. Mary Ann Moss, way back when.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Purple and Gold

Thanks for the reminder Helen! I now have my 2013 calendar and have duly marked the date! I have notified Karen and Sue.....Sharon G. are you coming?

Nepean High School 90th Anniversary Celebration
Public Event · By Nepean High School
May 9, 2013 at 5:00pm until May 12, 2013 at 2:00pm


It is set for May 2013, the Friday night will be a "Nepean's Got Talent" pub night, Saturday will bring a golf tournament, activities at the school all day followed by a big dinner dance at the school. Nepean will be hosting a alumni Mother's day brunch at the school on the Sunday. More details to follow.

Rick Mellor
Co-chair of the 90th

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One month old....

December 1st. has come and gone and now the crunch is on! Today, Luca is one month old! Working like an elf to get his stocking done in time to return to LA.

The big reveal should be ready by tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving USA

Happy Thanksgiving to family and friends south of the border. We'll raise a glass to you tonight and hope that you have lots to be thankful for.

My little barrow of herbs continues to bloom despite falling temps and forecast flurries. The Rosemary makes me wish for lamb chops.

The nest is empty. Everyone has flown the coop. Time to rake up the leaves and put the garden to bed once and for all.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Double the Fun

We decided to take the GO train downtown yesterday as there were one million people estimated to attend the annual Santa Claus Parade. The Professor takes the train every day so he knows the drill and he has a pass.

It was a cool but clear and sunny day. The perfect day for a parade, and a ballet, and a Raptor's game and a football game being played in Montreal, but devotees dressed in Argo Blue were also a pretty enthusiastic bunch headed for the bars. I got the last seat and the Professor stood. He's good like that.

This young man captured my attention while we waited in one of the shelters track-side. He was oblivious to everything but his art and his music. I loved watching him shade with his stabillo pencils.

Alice in Wonderland. This was my main event. Second time around it was even more perfect.

The ballet talk was wonderful and interpreted some of the fun to come. Love the hat.

Lots of people attend the pre performance talk. The space is on the stairway in the Sony Centre. It is full of light and windows. The parade is also starting!

Just before the call to theatre bells, the first of the parade passed. What a perfect vantage point to see it all.

At the interval, the parade progressed and the cast came out to sign programs. The frog footmen are a favourite.

"When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick."

Santa waved to us all as we were just about on the same level!

I hope this happens some day when Zoë is old enough to attend the ballet. There always seems to be a ballet performance when there's a parade. The next one is St. Patrick's Day!