Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh Dear

Maeve Binchy, passed away July 30, 2012, at 72.

The following excerpt is from the April 2008 issue of, The Oprah Magazine. I will so miss her. I was always waiting for the next Maeve Binchy book.

"I once got a huge expensive flower arrangement from a person I didn't like, who sent it out of pure guilt. It had a hideous bird-of-paradise in the middle and I thought it would never fade and die. I hated it.

Yet the kindness of a friend who will give time and energy, no money involved, will stay with me forever. Like my friend Della, who is a truly great cook. One of her acts of friendship is to invite her less skilled friends to come stay overnight, and then she teaches us to make three knockout meals. She is full of great hints like don't try to cook the starter or the dessert the day of the dinner; these must be cold or prepared a day ahead so you can concentrate on the main dish with a free heart. You can ask her anything, no matter how silly. Like what does it mean when the directions say, "Cook until ready"—surely the most annoying piece of advice ever given. When is it ready? Is my ready your ready? Or what about "reduce by half"? It can't possibly mean throw half the dish away, so what does it mean?

I have another friend who will lend us her 10-year-old son for a morning.

"Show Maeve how to open a computer file and put it in a folder."

"But she must know how to do that by now!" he wails, appalled.

In his world people are born knowing how to do that.

My friend tells him of stories and novels wandering around in cyberspace because I don't know how to tie them down in my computer. Another week she might send this sterling lad to tune in the television or set the answering machine or download from the digital camera. It's a fabulous gift, so much more welcome than that awful flower arrangement.

I know a woman who hates ironing with a passion, while her neighbor regards it as a peaceful, almost therapeutic thing to do. Every Monday at lunchtime they visit one house or the other. Mary irons eight shirts beautifully; Susie takes silver powder and an old toothbrush and cleans the intricate bits of Mary's silver, making it gleam. One hour and a bowl of soup later, they are happy people with a huge sense of achievement.

I have been blessed with friends who do things rather than buy things: friends who will change books at the library, take a bag of your old clothes to a thrift store, bring you cuttings and plant them in a window box, fill the bird feeder in your garden when you can't get out.

What do I do for friends?

Not enough, but I can help them write difficult letters because I know writing should always be shorter rather than longer and clearer rather than more complicated. I make lists of good DVDs to rent so they won't be perplexed at the store. I take great pictures of them at happy times and send them copies, and I show them how to construct a family tree, which they always end up loving.

Never mind money, the gifts of time and skill call into being the richest marketplace in the world."

I have everything she has ever written and will take time this summer to choose one and have a read. She made my heart happy. I shall endeavor to be as practical, generous, and kind with my talents as she wished us all to be.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Projects

The instructions say that this reversible apron can be made in one hour. Well. This assumes you have washed, dried, and pressed the fabric. Then you cut out the pre-printed pieces only to find that they are not "exactly" the same.....who in the world would have the correct colour of thread to match the rick-rack??? After a trip to Fabricland, where ultimately you find more fabric and add to the stash, I can assure you that this little project takes much more than one hour.

It is, however, very rewarding. I'm keeping the sewing machine up on the dining room table. I would like to think that I can get through quite a few on-the-go projects this way.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Mick!

Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger (born 26 July 1943)

Happy Birthday Sir Mick. I can still remember where I was the first time I heard a Rolling Stones song. I understand they plan to tour again soon....I'm there..one more time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oh the Summer Mischief

As usual it all started off totally innocently.

Marcia and I were to meet for a summer catch-up and possibly a little lunch, coffee, whatever. Just prior to setting out for the proposed salad luncheon, I happened to look on-line to see where the "trucks" were today. Marsh had expressed an interest in helping me locate and test all five food trucks that I'd listed. WELL, the rest is the story.

On our newly revised way to find two of the five aforementioned trucks in

No problem that it was the hottest day on record since 1948. A sweltering (with humidex) 45 degrees Celsius otherwise know as 113 degrees Fahrenheit!

Like two keystone cops we hopped into Marsh's car and off we went. The iconic "Marilyn Monroe" buildings in sight, we were almost there.

There they are!!! THE TRUCKS!!!

What to do? Which One???

The Roman meatballs or the brisket sliders??

No need to worry there is a full contingent of security if needed

The Rome'n Chariot people are hard at work

Bet the Professor's trucks don't sell aprons like this!

Somehow Caplansky is telling us to just get in line!

The wait is exciting, lots of chattering about the food truck phenomenon amongst eager foodies. There is a swift breeze blowing otherwise we'd be blistering in the noonday shimmering heat.

Marsh is shimmering in the line along with suits and briefcases. Doesn't she look especially pleased??

Decision time, which thing on the menu do we choose? Share???

The folks over at Rome are clambering excitedly about their choices.

This needs no explanation, except that we decided it would be a cool weather option.

Why you have to arrive early at trucks...they can run out of cheese curds reducing the poutine to fries with meat gravy. There is a collective groan when the chalk swipes across the board, but no one bolts to the meatball line

We have the cutest servers...that will be two sliders, one order of fries with gravy and two diet cokes please!

Find a shady step to sit on to devour our picnic and high five to a job well done.

We are making up a list of rules for the trucks. Number one rule has to be that there is NO COMMENT on the dietary content of truck meals.
Today, however, we shall eat SALAD!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Flash Mob

The smiles, the impromptu conducting opportunity, the joy, the reaction of the baby at the end. Peace.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

No. I don't want to go for a walk

You can go for a walk by yourself, I told you I'm not going.

I'm still not going and I'm not looking at you no matter how sweetly you talk.

Okay, I'm looking, but I'm still not going anywhere!

The only reason I'm on the grass is because you pulled me here.

Oh for heaven's sake it looks so silly being pulled down the street, I'll go but I'll take my sweet time sniffing and I'm still not happy about this.

Picking up speed, looking good.

Oh no I just realized I'm walking. Halt.

I'm coming back, let's go back.

Now I can see that I'm on the home stretch.

Are you happy now!? Is this what this is all about??? Sheesh.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Sprinkles

The birds are loving my new fancy dancy sprinkler. For two reasons I had to grab these pictures through the patio door window. One was to save my camera from getting wet and the other was not to frighten the Mourning Dove away.

Ahhhh...get under those wings now. Perfect.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Food Truck Envy

Perhaps the only reason that I ever envy The Professor's work location is for his luncheon options. Frequently he and his lunch buddy "go to the trucks" along St. George near the campus at noon. It's a difficult decision as to which one to choose from.

Recently there was an article in the Globe and Mail newspaper about Five Fantastic Toronto food trucks. I'm thinking this should be a summer quest. Find all these trucks and sample their excellent offerings. The following blurbs caught my attention.

Shrimp tacos: two corn tortillas stuffed with fat, sweet and juicy shrimp in ultralight batter, topped with gently spicy tomato and cilantro salsa.

The truck is named "Thunderin' Thelma" after Mr. Caplansky's grandmother. Brisket sandwich on an oniony challah bun.

Poutine, made from hand-cut, skin-on fries, topped with pulled pork, pulled smoked chicken and brisket.

Beef and veal meatballs. Fat, juicy, and beautifully seasoned with cheese, fresh herbs and garlic. Served with long-simmered marinara sauce and a parsley, herb and olive oil emulsion that tastes like the greatest mayo ever.

No review on this one, but one could always start with dessert first!

Who's in???

If you want to get an update on where the trucks are on any given day, you can sign in for email, twitter, Facebook alerts...torontofoodtrucks.ca It's sort of like chasing tornadoes :)

Head's Up for Today, Tuesday July 10, 2012

Per Se Mobile — Queen and Jarvis, 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. **First Downtown Service**
Blue Donkey Streatery — Front and Bay, 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Curbside Bliss Cupcakes — Appletree Farmer's Market, Mt. Pleasant & Davisville Park, 3:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.

(I may be forced to drive to Mt. Pleasant and Davisville Park later today!)

All Credits: Chris Nuttall-Smith, The Globe and Mail

Monday, July 9, 2012

Missing Wimbeldon

Sad that Wimbeldon is over for another year. This rather impressionistic piece by
George Bellows (American 1882-1925) "Tennis At Newport" shows how it all should be.
The joy of another perfect summer day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer

Myles is here for his annual summer visit. He gets special attention and his owners leave him with plenty of "Squeaky" toys. He guts and de-squeaks them in a matter of minutes. He doesn't even pretend to be guilty. It's his job.

He's very proud of his work. The black cat lasted about 2 minutes and the larger pink "animal"? has taken a bit longer. I keep ramming the stuffing and squeaker back into it, so he's a bit baffled. It's hard work.
He needs lots of naps.