Monday, April 30, 2012

Around Every Corner

What a wonderful week I just spent in Washington DC.

The weather, much cooler than usual, but the sights never disappoint. A great time to visit with long time friends and meet new ones. Always such a treat for me to be chauffeured, wined and dined in one of my favourite cities in the world.

In the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life, one rarely has the time or luxury of being able to do a "drive-by" photo shoot of the splendid architecture that is this city. In the next few posts, you can join me on the trip in chronological order. Hope you'll enjoy it enough to visit this fabulous place.



I wonder if this crack appeared after the earthquake?



Keep looking up, there is something on every corner








and some just sit patiently amongst all the hustle and bustle





Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jumping for Joy

Clearly Zoë is jumping for joy. A spot in the local (2 blocks away) pre-school in Venice, California has opened up, so she'll be going to SCHOOL a couple of afternoons a week, starting in the fall!


The Venice Garden
Could it be any cuter???


Photo: Pixelfix

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reminds me

In a phone conversation this morning, I was reminded how the smallest things can be life altering. Take for example the '20 minute solution'. I'm not sure who invented it, but I do know that I learned of it from Dana.

Here's what you do. Blocked by inertia, boredom, simple laziness? Needing to accomplish things, but no inspiration or impetus to do so? Do the 20 minute timer trick.

1. Find a reliable timer.

2. Set the timer to 20 minutes.

3. Do the despicable task until the timer goes off.

4. Be surprised at how much you can accomplish in 20 minutes!

This technique works! It would appear that the idea that you only have to stick at something for 20 minutes is incentive enough to get started.

Of course, Dana, the ultimate "outside the box", "never follows the rules" guru, has "tweaked" the rules, but they are loosely this. You work at the task at hand for the set 20 minutes, then you get to do anything else you'd rather be doing for the next 20 minutes. You can read, nap, watch a bit of t.v....whatever you thought you'd rather be doing than say, cleaning the powder room. Then, you start back to the working 20 minute segment. In an hour, you will have worked more than you rested and you'll be really delighted with the results. This is one of the most effective ways I have ever had of "tricking" myself into the task at hand.


I am always on the lookout for reliable kitchen timers. I have drawers of these and the only one currently working properly is like the one pictured above.

I've spent at least 20 minutes doing this post....off to set the timer!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Basia Bulat

Basia Bulat is a Canadian folk singer-songwriter. She is known for performing with an autoharp.


"Basia Bulat grew up in Etobicoke, Ontario where her mother was a music teacher who taught piano and guitar. She is an honorary member of Ontario's "Polonia" Polish community. She has said the radio at home was permanently tuned to an oldies station. “I don’t think I realised the radio had more than one station til I was 11 or 12,” Basia Bulat says. She attended the University of Western Ontario where she received a degree in English; she also took some classes with Olenka Krakus, also of Polish descent, of the band Olenka and the Autumn Lovers. While a student there, she was coaxed by friends into opening for Julie Doiron and soon gained a local following." Wikipedia


Little one you wanted a sound
You wanted to hold onto another
Soon, before you can tell
You will be swallowed up into
Cause I'm aware we've been waiting here, where we've been for years

You will wander around
Alone in the house we both abandoned
To measure our hopes with our hearts
Hearts with our hands we've taught them language
Yeah, we've been waiting here where we've been for years

I know you'll be back again
But i am alone till then
No one can understand, I've done a foolish thing

And carry a need to remind you of the terrible state I'm in
Till you come home

Little one you wanted a sound
You wanted to hold onto another
Soon, before you can tell
You will be singing aloud and you'll reach for the wall
And I know you'll be back again
But I am alone till then
No one can understand, I've done a foolish thing

And carry a need to remind you of the terrible state I'm in
Till you come home
Till you come home

My favourite song, "I don't mind if it rains" is available on iTunes, and it features great backup vocals as well as the autoharp. This is a live café rendition, but you'll get the gist.

I don't mind if it rains

Olenka and the Autumn Lovers

Friday, April 13, 2012

One of my favourite sights

This is one of my favourite spring sights. Over the fence in the neighbour's yard, the blooming Quince. I've never seen another one of this very colour. It is truly magnificent in all it's prickly-ness. The shrub started from a cutting and is over 30 years old.



This is always the first sign of spring for me. We live in hope!:)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What is all that noise???

For weeks now, the birds around our house have been a bit crazed. It has been a very early spring in these parts and I guess they are all a little frisky at the moment! One day, I heard this strange crashing, thrashing, tapping noise at the side window. This is who it was. Grabbed the camera and got a shot of the noise maker.


This apparently is who all this fuss is being made over.



This guy is just generally NUTS and sits there saying "Whatever".



Spring has sprung

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pet Adoption

While on a "work avoidance" tangent today, I came across this cute widget. Maukie the virtual cat. He's in the sidebar. If you hover your mouse over him, he will follow, purr, and eventually even meow!


Have fun, because if he's too annoying he may be sent back to Blogger Widgets!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Deconstructing Easter

What I love about weekends is being able to take as long as you want with the newspaper. I get the 'Globe and Mail', on the weekends only. Today, there was a restaurant critique that I thought was particularly amusing.

Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie

This dessert alone would make a trek to this Ursa restaurant worth it. I LOVE this idea. Think about it....all the essential ingredients. Just FUNKY!

All Credits: The Globe and Mail newspaper

Friday, April 6, 2012

One a Penny

My daughter doesn't like raisins, so guess my son will have to eat them :)

Not all hot cross buns are created equally. Some I like, some...not so much. But I do like raisins and I am eating Hot Cross Buns today!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I closed my YouTube Account

All I wanted to do was add a bit of music to my own videos to make them a little more fun.

YouTube won't allow "certain" music to be applied to personal videos. I'm not sure why they can't make a connection so that people who want to add Raffi songs to a pony ride, or Spanish guitar to a seagull looking in a window can purchase a song and everyone wins. Not like this was going viral any minute :)

iTunes sells the songs for .99 cents, seems like a lost venture for YouTube. They do have a monopoly as far as I know. I would totally purchase a song if this was an option. All of the music I have included with my video has been purchased.


Until this nonsense is resolved, I will not use YouTube and I will try to find an alternate way of uploading my home movies with the capability of sending them to my granddaughter. If you know how to do this, let me know!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My latest addiction

Okay, so I'm addicted! It's called "Draw Something".


First saw it on "Instagram" (to which I am also addicted) it's an iPhone thing.

My son got me started. He's a computer game designer and a real artist, so it was a bit daunting getting involved in a digital "Pictionary" game, but what can you do when your kid wants you to play??

Dragged a few good natured friends into the fray and we're sketching until all hours :)

The boy informs me that this wildly popular game has generated enough interest that the app Draw Something was recently sold for 2 Million Dollars!

Hopefully the one my kid is working on will do well enough to earn this much and allow me to draw away while living on the Island of Mustique! ....with the Rolling Stones and others :)

Must go out and get a photo of "the mail" {#Aprilphotoaday} and try and beat 100 games completed on "Draw Something".....no time to make meals:)

Monday, April 2, 2012

The simple rhapsody of the laundry

Oh how I dislike it when guests leave. The rhythm of the house is different. Luckily, the start of this week has us under sunny, clear blue skies. It's almost warm enough to set up the outdoor clothes dryer. Today I will flip the mattress and launder all the bedding. It's spring.

"Amélie Les Crayons"...yes that's her name, always comes to mind when I hang "le linge" outdoors. Like her name, this is a sweet sweet song that rhapsodizes the simple chore of airing linens. Ahhhhhhh.




Le linge de nos mères
sent bon dans les armoires
la lavande et le grand air,
c'est beau juste de les voir...

Le linge de ma mère
est plus blanc plus blanc que blanc
Même quand nous étions enfants,
elle en faisait son affaire.

Et sous nos ventres ronds sera-t-on les filles de nos mères?
Qui menaient tout de front de manière exemplaire...

Dans les maisons de nos mères,
c'est classé irréprochable,
on boit dans de jolis verres,
y'a des bouquets sur les tables...

Dans les jardins de nos mères
y'a des fleurs qui dégoulinent,
y'a des roses, des primevères, du lin et de la glycine

Et sous nos ventres ronds sera-t-on les filles de nos mères?
Qui menaient tout de front de manière exemplaire


Dans les potagers de nos mères,
y'a toujours trop de légumes,
elles nous font des tupperwares
qu'on ramène c'est la coutume.

Dans les mains de nos mères
y'a des lignes et des histoires,
qui pour nous restent un mystère,
même si on voudrait savoir...

Et sous nos ventres ronds sera-t-on les filles de nos mères?
Qui menaient tout de front de manière exemplaire...Et sous nos ventres ronds sera-t-on les filles de nos mères?
Qui menaient tout de front...Je sais pas si...je saurais faire...


Video and Lyrics "Amélie-Les-Crayons"