Thursday, May 31, 2012

For the birds

We have been having to be "quiet" and respectful in our backyard as of late. Lots and lots of nesting and hatching going on this year. Now it would appear we are into the next phase and the flying lessons have begun. Mother and Father Cardinal have been frantic with their only offspring. Baby was elusive, but the family came to say goodbye for another season.

Little Robin Redbreast was being particularly obstreperous and despite admonitions from parents such as "The cat will get you if you stay there!" Baby was determined to take his time in the under garden.

"WhoooHooo...Just made it!"

In honour of all the little birdies that have kept me quiet in the garden, in the in-between time, I worked on my ...all the way from LA... French General pincushion. Made with the English paper piecing method, a lot of hand work and excellent tutoring.

Now that they've all flown, the work begins!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Truly at Home

I love everything about this duo. The way he whistles and they way she wants to ..."someday". They are singing in the bedroom and truly at "home" with each other. This is marvelous!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

2 Year Old Soccer

Who knew you could start so young? Mommy was a soccer star and I guess we're headed for many more weekends at the sidelines! This is a perfect activity for a 2 year old with boundless energy.

And she's off! Look at the size of the ball

Perfect sneakers provided by Uncle Monkey!

Not sure what's going on here, but looks like she's enjoying it!

Photo Credits: Zoë's DADDY!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Royal Visit

The best editorial cartoon in today's Toronto Star. Michael De Adder.

Charles and Camilla are touring Canada as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I have to say the press coverage and interest is minimal compared to William and Kate's visit last year :)

Credit: The Toronto Star and Michael De Adder

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Real Angry Birds

This past weekend, in Canada, we celebrated "The 24th. of May...the Queen's birthday".

It is traditionally the date when one was allowed to take off their long underwear, as well as the biggest gardening weekend of the season.

We had a bit of trouble working in the back yard as there are several nesting families in various locations. When not being dive bombed by black capped chickadees, we were serenaded by youngsters peeping for the next feeding.

Peeking in through the Persian Lilac, can you just see mother Cardinal?

Getting a little closer, you can see her nest. This required quite the contortion and unwisely standing on a bistro chair.

She tolerated a few more ginger positions to get this shot with the big lens.

This however is her MAD face. She told me in no uncertain peeps that I had crossed a line, taken too long in the set up and frankly to BUZZ OFF or I risked her coming out there and blasting me.

If you look really closely (click to embiggen) you can see the red breast on the rosy breasted grosbeak. He was giving me the under the tail view much work, so little time! Despite all the avian protestations we got an enormous amount of work done.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


This is how I would like today to be.

Mary Cassatt "Young Mother Sewing" 1900

Instead I was schlepping around getting plants and readying for the long weekend.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Celebrating Leonard Cohen

It was a really stellar evening at Massey Hall.

Credits: CBC Arts and Entertainment

Monday, May 14, 2012

Busy Weekend

So much to celebrate, so little time. Mother's Day, The Professor's Birthday. What to do what to do. How about trying a Dairy Queen ice cream cake??? I have never had one.

The kids said..."are you going to eat the entire thing yourselves???" Well, of course! They freeze well :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Have a sweet weekend

A few sweets from Kafe Leopold in Georgetown.
David had the Cherry Bomb in honour of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

This is something totally extraordinary. "The Fraisier" Almond cake layered with pistachio mousse and fresh strawberries. Oh My Goodness!

I'm going to look this up on-line and find something similar. This is worth looking into, AND EATING!

Friday, May 11, 2012

There are some advantages

There are some advantages to having to wait a bit at Union Station in Washington DC. These were not to be missed.

Due to the threat of rain, I dared not put a spring in my step on the Georgetown House Tour, but I will smile every time I see these all summer!

If only there was such upscale shopping at Union Station in Toronto.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Who Knew??

In a phone conversation last week about post-travel diets, I was told about a really remarkable breakfast. Baked Oatmeal. Who knew???

I am awaiting the recipe for the rather splendid version related to me, but in the meantime, came up with something that sounds vaguely similar.

From: Mennonite Girls Can Cook...Baked oatmeal with apple and cinnamon.

Ms. O says she uses a type of oatmeal that also contains flax seed and other good-for-you ingredients to boost the wellness factor, but the ease and portability of this is intriguing.

I love the idea of hot oatmeal in the morning, but dread cleaning the sticky pot. This option sounds fabulous.

All Credits: text and photo

Sunday, May 6, 2012

If it's Tuesday, it's Titanic, Tabard and Textiles

This day I decided to take pictures exclusively with my iPhone. After all the miles and miles of walking I was certainly glad not to be lugging my "big" camera.


a “brewmaster’s castle”

Mansions and elegant row houses from the early 1900s remain, many as single family residences. Others serve as museums, bed and breakfasts, embassies or non-profit organizations.

Antique Fire Call Boxes

Spanish Steps

Named for a scion of the prominent Delaware family, Dupont Circle evolved from a hardscrabble “wilderness” to become Washington’s most fashionable address at the close of the 19th-century.

No wonder I was so tired after this tour. My friend David mapped out this fabulous walking tour for us. We enjoyed such good brisk weather and I can tell you that he is in great shape as a resident of DC who has no car!!! I'm tired just reviewing what we did in one day :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Toast to 1812

The best way to start a tour at Hillwood Museum is, jump off a plane in Washington, DC and head straight to lunch. This was one clever luncheon menu to celebrate:

"The Style That Ruled The Empires..Russia, Napoleon and 1812"

An even better way to start a luncheon is with a chilled bottle of Prosecco and a toast to 2012!!

Two hundred years later, and the celebration of reading the recent historical novel by Robert K. Massie "Catherine The Great: Portrait of a Woman" one of the best books ever.

This was the French Menu.

This was the Russian Menu. You may or may not notice that the desserts (Spiced Russian Marscarpone Honey Cake, and Chocolate Napoleon) are not photographed. All I can say is that 3 people were so in rapture that we all had our eyes closed ooohing and aaahing. Much too much fun to be taking pictures...some memories are just like that.