Sunday, March 30, 2014

In awe of math

Last night, we powered down the house for Earth Hour...8:30-9:30 p.m. and moved to the basement with only one t.v. on. I convinced The Professor to watch "The Bletchley Circle" on Netflix. It's something I've been aware of, but never watched on PBS. Let's just say, way after midnight, we climbed up to the third floor, having watched the entire first season in the dark! The women not only give credence to girls learning math, but also give Sherlock a run for his money :)

At one point, The Professor, who is terrific at math and history, was spouting off the true history of Bletchley Park to me, interspersed with the most important parts of code breaking in WWII. I'm not sure I ever paid attention to this, but it now fascinates me.

Photo Credit:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's that time again

Enterprising youngsters at the train station! Look what the Professor brought home! Go find your own Girl Guide.....I'm not sharing!

I hope that kid down the street is still in Guides........ She always has the mint variety!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Word for this winter

Use this word in a sentence.

verb: stultify; 3rd person present: stultifies; past tense: stultified; past participle: stultified; gerund or present participle: stultifying

"1. cause to lose enthusiasm and initiative, esp. as a result of a tedious or restrictive routine.
"the mentally stultifying effects of a disadvantaged home"
synonyms: hamper, impede, thwart, frustrate, foil, suppress, smother
"social welfare was stultified by international trade regulations"
bore, make bored, dull, numb, benumb, stupefy."

We have all been stultified this winter. I have been hampered by snow, impeded by ice, thwarted by winds, frustrated with the whole shebang, foiled in attempts to get places, my activities have been suppressed, I feel smothered by heat and blankets indoors, BORED to death, finding it hard to get inspired it's been so dull, makes us all a bit numb and benumbed. It's totally stupefying that this has gone on this long.

It's Friday!
 It's pouring rain. 
 It's Flower Therapy Day!
 Have fish and chips for dinner...Sherlock does:)

Photo Credit:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dreaming of Spring

The reality of winter in Canada this year! Remember how I went out and got flowers last FRIDAY?????


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thank you Evelyn

It all started with a pot of "mini daffs" from my neighbour.

It was the most exciting thing! All week, I had been planning a trip to get spring blooms, but the days were still snowy, cold and grey. "Friday", I said. "For sure on Friday, I will go out and get spring blooms!". Every social media posting was heralding spring with gorgeous flowers.
Thursday evening, the daffs arrived.

Friday came and was sunny and warm (by the latest standards) so I ventured out to the local greenhouse and added to the indoor spring feeling.
Nothing like the scent of Freesia, the ruffles of my favourite Anemone, or the hope of tulips to signal spring.

Never could resist a pussy willow. This was just too lovely to leave behind. We had another bit of snow overnight, and a cloudy iffy day today, but inside all is blooming!

Friday, March 21, 2014


This just in from LA. The title of the text was "4 shots and some chocolate".

This updates the vaccinations. As you can see, "Band Aids" are de rigeur for this process. The chocolate, I'm sure, was a great help. Minutes later there were gymnastics going on in the living room - on a mattress, no ill effects reported. Zoë has blue eyes, so possibly the chocolate has had more of an effect than anyone realized:) This kid kills me. Her little brother was sleeping off the effects of his "shots", a little bit feverish and new teeth. He got Motrin not chocolate.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Nothing has changed. There is NO sun, NO bunnies blythely hopping about, NO small heads of bulbs sprouting, No birdsong.....BUT there is still an opportunity to use your iPhone/Pad friendly gloves! My daughter came up with this unique idea. The finger and thumb have some sort of material in it that allows one to operate the touch sensitive screen of all these devices. I have to say it does come in handy when you need to quickly extricate your phone from your PARKA and respond immediately.

Notice the stunning "FIRST DAY OF SPRING IN CANADA" background.

I remember as a child, growing up in Ottawa, the Nation's Capital, always hoping beyond hope that spring...or at least Easter, would be gentle enough to allow the removal of winter boots and coats for the annual parade of new spring frocks and patent leather shoes. It so very rarely happened. Some things never change in the true north strong and free. Oh Canada.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bug bug bug

The first indication that anything was wrong was a ~buzz~ on the land line. We may be the only people left in the westerm world that actually have a land line, but I'm not giving it up any time soon. Our kids don't have one. Our grandchildren don't know what it is!

Our area has buried lines. Every time there is major weather, and the ground carries on with freezing and floods etc., those terrible acts of nature, something happens to the wires. Obviously. The ~buzz~ got progressively worse and I could see some activity by 'Bell Telephone' around the access posts dotted throughout the neighbourhood, so figured I wasn't the only one having problems. Surely it would be remedied. Then came the "incoming call" on call-display, with one ring only, and nothing on the other end when the phone was picked up. That became particularly annoying when I wanted the Professor to bring something home for dinner and he couldn't get through. Back cell phone. I don't carry a cell phone around with me. I don't wear belts. I have even fewer pockets. I really only use my cell phone for it's camera and emergencies. I prefer my land line.

Yesterday was a particularly sunny day. I walked to the post-box, nosed in a few shops, and had a very cheery disposition upon my return. All of a sudden "BOOM....BOOM....BOOM"....someone hammering on the front door. When approached cautiously, it was a policeman. He was looking at me with caution as well. Finally, when my brain had the time to register that it was the police mind went wild...something's happened to the Professor, my kids, something happened!!! I exclaimed...WHAT!??? WHAT's Happened??? He looking rather startled said....this is (the street, and number of our house)? YES....WHAT WHAT???? Sorry, Mam', it's just that we've been getting 911 calls from this house and we have to investigate. WHAT!!!!!???? But my phone is not working, and I have not been home this afternoon, how is that possible? Is the phone dialing itself? "Apparently". "Well, we've confirmed there is a work order on the line so we don't have to come in and have a look around, every time, but if it continues we still have to attend the call".

The for example was.....if I was holding someone hostage behind my barely cracked door and THEY, the hostages, were calling 911, the police would want to know that! The Professor wondered if the neighbours were concerned about his safety. I think not, but they might be:)

Very long story short, I got on the horn and demanded that Bell do something about the situation immediately as I considered this a total abuse of police manpower to have to attend to phantom 911 calls. Bell was on the street by the time the Professor drove into the driveway at 6:30 p.m. and by 7:00 p.m. the problem was fixed. Water in the box, shorted lines, and according to the technician this always defaults to a 911 call. Now you know. Such excitement in the hood!

Happily, the line is back up and running, although you may find it busy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Here's the thing

I like celery. I like "a little" celery in things like tuna salad, or egg salad, just about any salad 'thingy' that you make for sandwiches or actual salads. I don't like celery soup. SO....what is one supposed to do with ALL that leftover celery when you buy the economical bunch?? You pay 2.99 for a bunch and 7.99 for the option of Longo's putting the correct amount in a little partitioned plastic box along with a reasonable amount of cauliflower, and cherry tomato. Two people cannot consume an entire cost-effective bunch of celery before it withers, no matter what container you put it in. There is only so much tuna, salmon, or egg salad one can eat with the perfect "smallish" amount of celery. I know my daughter would solve this with a jar of Cheez Whiz. I may have to cave on this one. I'm so beyond Cheez Whiz, but I cannot throw things out either.

Don't get me started on cabbage. I wanted just a "bit" of coleslaw. Hamburger and cabbage lasting three days....I still have more than half a head of cabbage. Dole keeps recalling their packages of salad fixings. You can't freeze cabbage.

HOWEVER, and this is can freeze left-over buttermilk. I love my little Ziplock portion freezer bags and now have little cups full of buttermilk for those wonderful recipes you all sent in. One problem solved. Now if only I can remember that I have frozen buttermilk available. It's all so much for a bear of so little brain.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I have spent the better part of my waking hours this morning sifting through piles of magazines, smallish little recipe books, the flotsam and jetsam that has accumulated in "the cupboard".  It all started with the search for a recipe that I use all the time for over ripe-bananas.   These days, it  seems as though every time I want/need a recipe, I either Google it, or go to a very small recipe box.

I'm not keeping the collection of much sought after "Food and Drink" magazines from the LCBO.  They are such wonderful photographic gems and do give great ideas for holiday table settings, menus, etc., but they too, are now all on-line and the space in "the cupboard" is becoming a pain in the neck. Ditto for many other assorted magazines with festive covers.

:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake    {Canadian Living Everyday - 1983}
350ºF  40-45 mins.

1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine
1 1/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/4 Cups mashed Banana
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
3/4 Cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Note:  To sour milk:  Place 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice in a measuring cup and add milk to measure 3/4 Cup.  Let sit a few minutes

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, bananas and vanilla.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into a well greased 9X13 pan.  Bake at 350ºF for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

After a long sort out, I have made a decision to seriously decrease the clutter in this valuable kitchen real estate. If you want magazines or cookbooks, speak now, or find them at the nearest book sale in the spring! The original recipe was in the very small recipe box where it has always been for 30 some years. ~ Oh dear.~

Apparently, according to my picture files, and prior to using labels, I have also previously done a post on this very recipe:) Good Grief. I'm having a great deal of difficulty lately remembering just about anything. Now, as my Dad would always say..."PUDDLER!...get crackin'". Off to bake.

P.S. This will leave me with a serious overage of buttermilk. All ideas welcome for the rest of the litre. Help - Please!!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Three years later

The Professor and I had a wonderful time at Massey Hall last night. After three years, Zucchero returned to Toronto, on his 'Americana Tour'. The audience is almost entirely Italian, with a distinct European flair for arriving late, drinks in hand, and dancing in the aisles. It's a bit like being in the center of a huge Italian wedding. We don't understand a word of what is being said, but with music as soulful and gut wrenching as this, you need only just be there in the smallish intimate theatre. It's an energetic and knowledgeable crowd - very easy to be swept up and assimilated into. This event always makes me want to move to Florence, learn Italian and drink wine! Great show, and by the looks of it, coming to a city near you soon. GO! You'll love it. Ciao Ciao!!!!

A quote from an online site says it best:
"In summer 2012 Zucchero recorded in Havana ‘La sesión cubana’, an album that features collaborations from some of Cuba’s most important musicians. The album, anticipated by the first worldwide single “Guantanamera (Guajira)”, is produced by Zucchero and Don Was, and mixed by Michael Brauer. ‘La sesión cubana’ combines seven brand new songs with six newly arranged Zucchero hits (“Baila”, “Un Kilo”, “Così Celeste”, “Cuba Libre”, ”Everybody’s got to learn sometime” and “L’Urlo”). The new recordings consist of the first single “Guantanamera (Guajira)”, adapted by Zucchero into Italian, original compositions “Love is all around” and “Sabor a ti”, and covers “Never is a moment”, “Nena”, “Pana” and “Ave Maria no morro”. “Nena” and “Pana” are in Spanish, the second one in duet with the brilliant artist Bebe, and “Ave Maria no morro”, sang in Portuguese, is a duet with one of the most prestigious singers of contemporary Brazilian music, Djavan."

"Zucchero describes his new album in his own words: My music, as everybody knows, comes from blues, from soul, from gospel. This project is a trip from New Orleans to Cuba via Mexicali. Latin, Cuban, tex-mex sounds and rhythms melt together dancing. “Hasta l’asta siempre”."


Check out the concert dates and venues here ZUCCHERO

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Off the beaten track

Not everyone wants to see a museum of old signs, but I DO!!! Apparently, so did many, many others. You must take a tour of the facility and sign up on the hour. Most of the people on the tour wanted to hear the history of the old neon signage and it's provenance, but there were a few rebels at the end of the line that were there to take photos. Our "group" had the most fun, I think, and shouted "we're coming"..."carry on"...."go ahead!".....the guides don't particularly like it, but we persisted. The Professor was in the attentive group and got all the history, so if you ever need to know.....:)

Tons of fabulous signs from a bygone era. Hope the preservation society manage to save all the rest.

This is not located in a particularly "swish" part of town and it's not advisable to walk...guess this duck says it all! Not sure if he wants In or Out!

Another odd thing to do in Vegas!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

No need to go so far?

Of course, there is NO substitute for the real Paris, but there is something every bit as exciting in the property on the strip.

I can guarantee it won't be as chilly either!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Always incredible

The Bellagio Hotel always manages to have THE most incredible displays in it's interior botanical garden. This time it's the celebration of the
Year of the Horse.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Bit of fun on the way home

The view from our 53rd. floor hotel

This is where we want to go

This is who we went to see. I cannot emphasize enough how great this show is. We've seen plenty of shows, but THIS one takes the cake! You don't even have to like Celine Dion to be enthralled with the production. If you get a chance, see it, you'll love it.