Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The essence of the moment

This was among the Griffith Observatory photos from the little family. It could quite possibly be my favourite photo of all time, until the next one comes along:)
 This is quintessential  Zoë.

 It is just so meaningful to me that I wanted to share it with you. You know I am rarely at a loss for words, but THIS takes my breath away.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Oh Happy Day

It's always so great to get pictures of the grands. I'm not above begging. Today is Jane's birthday, so it's extra special. They finally got to Griffith Observatory and were very excited about this find in LA. Since Mummy studied Gamma-ray Bursts it's quite fitting that Luca seems delighted! Thanks for the pictures Jane, couldn't be better!


Friday, April 26, 2013


The Boy Scouts made me do it.

There is a food drive in the neighbourhood this Sunday. The Boy Scouts are collecting non-perishable foodstuffs. I am happy to donate. There is a disclaimer on the bag provided saying that they are unable to take canned goods with an expired date on it. I double checked my supply.

Oh Oh. This lead to clearing out the cupboard and I have to say that I had some things in there from 2010!!!

Good grief. As I was pouring the contents of half the cupboard into a giant colander and filling up the green bin, I decided to check on the rules about "expired" products. I respect Leslie Beck, the nutritionist, so I would abide by this article.

Next....the baking cupboards. I know there is jello lingering in there. I'm hoping chocolate chips don't expire!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

An older goodie

Since signing on to NETFLIX largely at the instigation of my kids, to watch Kevin Spacey's "House of Cards", I've become obsessed with NETFLIX. We loved House of Cards and eagerly await it's next season. I've been watching all sorts of little films none of note really, but whatever takes my fancy at any given time.

NETFLIX has a way of figuring out, if you watched this movie, you will like this one, and if you bite....on it goes.

The headings are:
Top 10 for Leslie (well, it says Laurence because I used him to procure the account)
Popular on Netflix
Romantic British Dramas Featuring a Strong Female Lead
Feel-good Comedies
Heartfelt Foreign Movies
Cerebral TV Shows
Because you watched Beautiful Lies
Because you watched All Our Desires
Because you watched The Winslow Boy
Because you watched Dean Spanley
Because you watched Queen to Play
New Releases
Recently Added
Popular on Facebook

I've been watching primarily on my iPad. I wanted to have movies to watch on various flights that have little to offer. The only thing is keeping the iPad's battery charged.

I finally caved and watched this one. "Exit Through the Gift Shop". I had heard about it, and thought it wouldn't really be of interest, but it kept coming up as one I would LOVE.....and I did. It's just so quirky you can't stop watching. It will really give me a new outlook on street art in Los Angeles. I love Banksy in Paris, but I had no inkling of the amount of "work" going on in LA. I'll be on the lookout.

My capture of Street Art in LA

Now I'm on a new mission. Let's go find Banksy and MBW!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A little musical interlude

I've been waiting for this album to come out. Edie Brickell is Paul Simon's wife and it was a really good show on Letterman last night. She is so adorable, love her boots and that dress! Totally Excellent! Edie wrote the lyrics too. Great song.

Makes me want to go back to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate!

Road trip anyone???

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lately I've been into bacon

Bacon is a bit like buttermilk. You may only want a little bit, but you always have to buy the whole pound to get a good deal. I have therefore been eating bacon with everything. I'm still working on the buttermilk too!

I first saw this on Dana's Facebook page, and given my recent proclivity for bacon, it made me laugh out loud. This is apparently the original "tweet".

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I should have

I should have gone to the gym.

On Monday, I decided I would not go to the gym. I would spend the time in the garden. I spent three hours and filled 6 garden waste bags. To be honest, it was time. I still had Christmas greenery in the urns out front and the oak leaves in the back just have to be removed. Muscles screaming, as I hobbled back into the house, well pleased and out of leaf bags, I thought....I should have gone to the gym. I would have been done in an hour!

On Tuesday, I decided I would not go to the gym. My muscles were still complaining so I figured I would spend the time baking. I had a litre of buttermilk and the expiry date was getting closer. I made a recipe from Canadian Living...ages old...chocolate chip banana cake.

While I was at it, I whipped up another pan of date squares. Helen's date square recipe. I like it better when Helen makes them. This was in response to several articles I have read recently extolling the virtues of grating frozen butter into mixes that require blending. It was upper body work, not terribly easy, messy, and frustrating.

I should have gone to the gym.

On Wednesday, I decided I would not go to the gym. I would spend the time in the garden, the sun was out yet again, and I had much more work to do with oak leaves before the threatening rain. After a trip to Costco for more leaf bags, I got in a good hour of work before I twisted my ankle, fell on the ground and called it a day.

I should have gone to the gym.

I'm not going to the gym today. I have a dental appointment and my ankle is still angry and swollen.

Just as in these peony buds, hope springs eternal, perhaps I'll go to the gym next week.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Rita MacNeil, known as Cape Breton's first lady of song, died last night from complications of surgery — she was 68.

I am dedicating this post to my family and the Beach family. Years ago, together we took a road trip to the East Coast of Canada. The two families required two cars involving much switching of seats and beds. It was one of the most memorable trips we ever did with young kids. At the time, I was insistent that we see one of the remaining working light houses in Nova Scotia. My own two were of the age where this was just another of Mum's crazy ideas. As we drove to the coast in the failing light, a song came on the radio and to me it was just a bit of magic as so much of our East Coast is connected with fabulous music. To this day, there are still "mocking" comments made from the "backbenchers", but now I'm sure they have remembered.

Today, one of our most renowned Canadian artists passed away. As I played this youtube prior to posting, I remembered that trip so well, and the impact of going down in the mines. I hope my kids do too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Why the chicken?

The rooster pictured in the newly reconstructed banner resides at the Mountain Thunder Coffee plantation in Kona, Hawaii. People wonder why I'm so heavily into poultry at the moment. Just going through my latest Hawaii photos and there appear to be a plethora of chickens etc. on the Big Island. They each have their own story.

On our most recent trip, our intrepid driver, nephew Mark insisted that we find this particular brand of Hawaiian coffee. There is lots of coffee in Hawaii, but this must be the best as it is $55.00 a pound. If you would like to come over and enjoy a freshly brewed pot, you had best hurry up. We savour this luxury on Sundays while seated and consciously being aware of the aroma and taste. We risked life and limb not once but twice on various mountainous, winding, perilous roads (not to mention Canadian customs) to get our pound. I was always on the white-knuckled cliff-side of the car :)

Thanks Mark, we never would have done the drive ourselves and really appreciate this excellent Sunday decadence.

credit: mountainthunder.com

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring Cleaning

It all started with the ceiling fan upstairs which had a significant amount of dust on its little rotors. One thing leads to another and I'm reinventing my blog. Too much time indoors with rain and sleet and wind....this may or may not have been a splendid idea. We'll see. I'm completely changing my blog, so there will be interruptions from time to time. Please excuse the mess.

Photo Credit:consigningmen.blogspot.com

Friday, April 12, 2013

Not sure I could still stand up this long!

Let's see...starting in LA - Yay! Toronto, Chicago, Philly, so very many opportunities!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What to do

Thanks once again to Ina, here's what to do if you have these ingredients on hand. I NEVER would have thought of this combination, but we oohed and aahed over this one last night.

I happened to have bacon, leftover (already cooked) salmon, and avocado (because once again I succumbed to 3/$5.00). I did not have Ciabatta bread and I forgot the arugula part, but it was still a reviewable success.

Cooked the bacon and then heated the salmon in the renderings (thanks Dana:) Made the guacamole with a little salsa added in for the kick. I just toasted my thin sandwich bread and in the excitement, forgot about the arugula. I only had iceberg anyway, as I'm shying away from the fancy lettuces until they assure me they know how to properly clean them.

This is the original recipe, but I can tell you that it adapts well. Enjoy!

Credits: Foodnetwork.com Ina Garten salmon and guacamole sandwiches

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More than just tennis

Way back in the day, I learned this nifty trick of slicing tennis balls and ramming them onto chair legs to minimalize the scraping sound on the floor.  It is said that this is routinely done in schools.

My painting studio had a similar look to it.

The tennis ball on the chair leg design did not sit well with our little visitor Myles, who frequently tried to attack and remove this decorator look. It was totally unfair to leave a puppy gnawing on a chair leg, ergo...open a new can of tennis balls. You can see the anticipatory look on his face with the tennis ball in the background just waiting to be launched - yet again.

Yesterday, my LLBean winter jacket needed a spring cleaning {little did I know we are likely to have snow by Friday}, and it called for a tennis ball in the dryer as part of the down fluffing treatment.

This is what a tennis ball is really for. 

Milos Raonic sends Canada to historic Davis Cup semifinals

Canadian fires 35 aces to defeat Italian Andreas Seppi in Vancouver

Canada's Milos Raonic celebrates an historic Davis Cup quarter-final win against Italy's Andreas Seppi Sunday in Vancouver. The victory places the Canadians in their first-ever semifinal round. 

 Canada's Milos Raonic celebrates an historic Davis Cup quarter-final win against Italy's Andreas Seppi Sunday in Vancouver. The victory places the Canadians in their first-ever semifinal round. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

I think by this reaction, Milos is really ticked about the other uses for tennis balls!

Credits: Canadian Press

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Another reason

Another reason to visit New York and spend time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"King Lear", Act 1, Scene I {detail} Cordelia's Farewell (1898)

Edwin Austin Abbey

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

Truly Canadian

Our very own astronaut Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies Music from space. Thanks for sharing this link Helen. It is truly out of this world.

This should really appeal to our daughter who is an astrophysicist
and a fan of Barenaked Ladies :)

Hat Tip: Helen Beach

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It just happened

Yesterday, I was downtown helping Helen babysit her beautiful grandson Milo.

Milo is now 9 months old. When he gets fussy, we all parade around and the two grannies sing whatever song comes to mind. For some unusual reason, we tend to come up with 'golden oldies' to which Helen capably does the harmony.

My dad always sang about the two old ladies locked in the lavatory, but I couldn't recall anything other than the chorus. It seemed like a good tune at the time as we were amusing Milo at the edge of the bathtub. (Don't ask)

Since Helen had her laptop with her, not in the bathroom, but later downstairs, we decided to Google our latest ditty, and came up with this version. Milo was totally amused and luckily can't understand most of it.

He did, however, clap to the refrain. Don't tell his parents. That sort of disclosure will come soon enough when he can talk.

Photo Credit: http://softhunder.blogspot.ca/2010/03/interesting-lessons-love-life.html

Monday, April 1, 2013

Little Woodland Friends

I have been wanting to make these little creatures since this edition of Mollie Makes came out. Seemed like a pleasant thing to do over the weekend.

You can actually download the templates from the Mollie Makes website. How cool is that?! I like to have the magazine in hand, but there you go.

These are my version. Hand stitched. I love working with felt. Give it a try. Meanwhile, I'm off to buy more felt...need better colours.