Monday, 25 July 2016

Back to Blogging






Sometimes it is not so easy to get back to the basics.  But, tonight I decided that I miss posting here.  So I am just diving in with no agenda other than getting into the swing of blogging once again.  This is the garden earlier this summer on a cool misty morning.  Things were just starting to sprout and look a lot different today but anyway, it was just one of those lovely moments when all is good in your world and the coffee is almost ready.   I was antsy for the vegs to really get going but being the first year for that plot it was a bit s-l-o-w on the grow.  The last 4 years were spent de-rocking, de-weeding, de-rooting of said weeds, repeat process at least 2 more times, then add compost, topsoil, organic stuff, straw, cover crop, turn, turn, mix & turn,  and then (finally) plant for the first time this spring.  I promised myself I would just chill and plant easy things that basically could grow themselves but I still harboured such high expectations. 

 Okay, the last 2 weeks have seen some major growth with some tomatoes on the vine, some microscopic squashes, actual kale and chard at edible sizes, carrots (tiny & tasty), beets incubating still,  beans miraculously forming, potatoes in the mounds and many peppers of all kinds as well as something that might be an eggplant!   Not bad for homemade dirt, I'd say...not fabulous but an okay first time out. 

 Wow, I feel better coming back to my blog.  




Saturday, 12 March 2016

SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY

Yesterday, March 11th,  one year ago my mother died.
One year ago.
Funny how fast this past year flew by and really it does feel like only 
yesterday.
Every day since,  I have replayed all the events that transpired during the weeks I spent with her during the whole ordeal and then the weeks afterward just plodding through all the details that follow a death.

Mostly I ruminate about what I could have or should have done differently.  Silly, yes, as we all did the best we knew how and every decision and action was fraught with so much emotion.
It brought some of us in the family closer and it caused disintegration of the already tenuous ties with others.
The 'new order'  in the family is now different and in so many ways 'better'.
I guess when your last parent dies there is permission granted to become a full-fledged adult once and for all.
No need anymore for pretense.
So say what you mean and mean what you say but try to do it kindly.
Maybe that is their parting gift to us, their children -- a final letting go for us to figure things out for ourselves.
Well, for me it has been a sad year and a very introspective year as well as a year of shifting priorities and loyalties.
My mother was honest,  sometimes annoyingly so,  but I admire that more now than ever.  She didn't always sugarcoat her assessments and she rarely wavered on an opinion.
Since her death I realize I need to be more like that and also because
 all our stories will end the same way -- one moment, one day,  we will just stop living.

Thanks, Alyce,
                                                   for everything.

 


Sunday, 6 March 2016

PLANTS...so Yum!


Almost any 'traditional'  dish can be made and made deliciously with all vegetables.   A perfect  example is my 'vegetable pot pie'.  I merely made a few adaptations on the classic 'chicken pot pie' recipe that I absolutely loved for years and what you see is the result.   Its beautiful and full of carrots, potatoes, peas, mushrooms,  celery, onion, green beans, sweet potatoe, butternut squash and I think that is it.   Oh and also handfuls of herbs (savorie, thyme, rosemary, sage,  garlic, salt & pepper...really anything works),  and an organic vegetable broth base mixed with a flour rue of sorts to thicken it slightly








I'll leave the crust up to you.  I make my own or sometimes use the frozen 'tasty-flake' ones.
I do not claim this to be 'vegan' but it just might be!
My goal is to try to be completely meat & dairy free which if you know me my biggest challenge is my morning coffee
WITHOUT
CREAM!
I am working on that one and may have found my remedy.
I'll keep you posted on that.

Enjoy the 'pot pie' if you give it a try.
   

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Turns Out I've Been Right About Everything All Along

I started this post a few days ago and came
 up with so many examples to hammer this idea home,  but, then upon further reflection I thought what's the point?      It's only my short list of personal truths so here goes: 


* Your colon is a self-cleaning organ.  It does not need help to perform its function.     If it ever does, then you are probably pretty sick or have a really        lousy diet. 

*Exercise is good for a lot of things but not for losing weight.     
                      The only way  to lose weight is to eat less. Period.
   
 *The meat industry (factory farming) is a shameful and horrible fact of our modern world ( Let's include the dairy industry in this one) and needs to change -- I am doing what I can for that.
     
*The only reason a well fed, semi-intelligent , person with means,  becomes a hunter is because they enjoy killing animals. 
Please, will just one hunter admit this?

     * Genetics and luck are two things needed  in life to be successful and money and education  do both help a great deal.
    
*Sun protection  is 
the best thing you can do for your skin to keep it looking decent for a few decades.   The concept of 'anti-aging'  is marketing as its worst  (best?).
    
*YOGA is ridiculous.   Sorry but it is.
   
*Most of us are average.  Being  'special'  or 'gifted'  is a modern label applied to every child -- how can this possibly be the case?  And as George Carlin once asked "at what age does a child stop being special?"

   * It really is not possible to achieve 'anything'  you want in life.  
(see above  'genetics, luck, money,education')

*A clean home is a thing of beauty
(speaking of mine not yours and how I feel comfortable living)


*I try to be polite and kind to all living things.

*I prefer being charitable in a personal and private way.

*I do not like to talk about my personal finances.

*Your religious beliefs are your  religious beliefs. 

(and lastly for now)

 
    *When someone stops living, they are just gone, and that is okay.
   
  

 Okay, I may have gone on a bit here but trust me...I left out a lot of things -- stuff about friendships and family and feuds and making amends, as well as the art of cooking....so many post ideas for yet another day.

Cheers. 

 
     
  
     
   
    

 
 

Monday, 8 February 2016

Variations on a Theme or Thoughts & Prayers




Okay here's one that perhaps we can expand upon:   
"It takes an village to make an idiot"  
Why, you may wonder, do I feel the need to expand upon this ?
Not sure.  I just know that I enjoy saying that phrase.
It's funny that's for sure and it does have some truth to it.
It can be a spot-on observation in any number of situations.
It can be combined with the ever popular:
"Don't worry, you'll spin out before you flip"
which is a comforting adieu that many of our departing dinner guests enjoy.
 That would be after an evening of enjoying, yes, you guessed it:
"Fruit wine...what's not to love?"
That being a favorite of  Shitt's Creek fans.

Then the variation that I use repetitively whenever we drive past a certain property off the main hi-way here, that being:
"It takes a village to make a mess"
I continually find it a hilarious observation of the jumble of crap, rvs, campers, pools, containers, pilesof stuff,  other vehicles and lean-to's  that have multiplied on what started out as a fairly decent new house build.
I know, I know...I am so judgmental.  That, my frenemies,  is exactly why I blog. 

"Best Regards"




Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Gidyup...


Our little Cowgirl.
Gone but definitely not forgotten.







Sunday, 27 December 2015

WINTER is Severely Under-Appreciated



A very happy dog.   Its about  -7'C and that is a BIG smile.   

Take note all you winter whiners and complainers...what a beautiful time of the year this is!     Last night the full moon made the snow actually glisten-sparkle-twinkle like a white starry sky.  I guess I wouldn't mind not hearing about how cold it is outside (yah) or about the shoveling (okaaayyy) or especially about wanting/wishing to be elsewhere (snore).
Hey, I left California,  the land of milk and honey and salads and citrus so,
yeah, I get it sort of.  The monotony of perfect weather, day after day, week after week, year after year,  really bugged me.   Don't laugh -- perfect weather fosters a weird lifestyle of sport shopping and consumerism.
The 'its never enough' syndrome.    

 Now I choose this place--to be present, in the here & now,  where the cold beauty of a winter day and night is 'more than enough'.
Stunning.












  
   






Thursday, 10 December 2015

It's My Blog !



Justin Trudeau and Sophie GrĂ©goire-Trudeau pose for Vogue photo shoot (Norman Jean Roy/Vogue) 

The nice thing about having a blog is that I can post about anything I want.  Unlike F-Book which can and does,  de-volve into the 'mundane'  that make up most of our lives, a blog gives one the opportunity to gloat, to compare and contrast, to talk about religion, politics and family feuds (without an onslaught of comments or offended persons).
 I have been paying more attention lately to Canadian politics, as some of you know.
Suddenly things are interesting for a few reasons.
The above picture of 'JT' (from the December Vogue)  is an obvious one but his election also exemplifies a big difference between Canada and the US.
The election process here was swift and there seemed, to me, to be a minimum of mud-slinging, name-calling and out & out untruths being bandied about by candidates...UNLIKE what goes on down south which sometimes seems like
 a gong show combined with a triathlon--
who can be the most ridiculous and who has the most endurance to go the distance.
Yah of course there were some shenanigans here but nothing so outrageous or malicious in nature to cause much trouble. 
You may call me naive here if you please but I call it like I see it and my perspective does have some basis in reality.


Canada is a good place to live and I am so grateful (and lucky) to be here.

                                                               
Yes we do get a little bit of snow, now & then, in our neck of the woods and
there is nothing as beautiful as a fresh snowfall. 





 

 

  




Sunday, 15 November 2015

Wild Thing, I Think I Love You




Occasionally, my camera comes through with a more than decent photo.  This one is the eye of a wild (well sort of) burro taken this past August in South Dakota.
These guys are all so adorable.
Yes, we stopped and we fed them carrots.   It was nice to see everyone doing the same thing.  Just feeding and petting and being kind to animals. 
Lots of smiles and just plain happiness.
Thanks Elleoj for being the best horse whisperer and fellow cheap wine drinker around.  Both Ms. Sartonline and I so enjoyed basking in your hostessness.

We love South Dakota!






And now on to my favorite subject of late our new Prime Minister !!!  Yes those are exclamation marks due to my extreme pleasure and pride.   I even read online (so it must be true) that "Canada is suddenly sexy".
Come on people and take a gander at our new head of state!

Monsieur Justin Trudeau
Speaking to the Star’s editorial board on Friday, Justin Trudeau acknowledged the need for Liberals to develop “really big, strong ideas” for moving the country forward.

Am I right?
So, for my stateside friends and occasional readers,  this is who we get to look at and who now represents Canada (exclamation points !!) to the world...Yay.

Yes, this is the adolescent level to which I have sunk,  but the good part is that I am now 'suddenly' interested in politics.

You go, you sexy Canada!






Monday, 2 November 2015

How to Fracture a Family




Hmmmm.  Yes it has been quite awhile since I've posted anything here and not because I haven't tried.  Let me say that as is always true in life, for all of us,  things got complicated.   Hence the title of this post.  But I am not going there or anywhere near 'there' today.  I'll leave it to your imagination as to the why and the how,  but I will say that things have sorted themselves out in the only way possible since they were going in that direction for most of my life.   Shortly after that last post way back in February I headed down south for what turned out to be the end of life for my mother.  Unexpected on so many levels yet not on one big one -- she was 88 years old.   It is a all too common story I now know -- a fall, a break, a surgery to repair said break, pneumonia, heart attack, kidney failure, hospice, the end.   For any of you that know me, you know that talking about this now in what may sound like a glib and matter of fact way is only because the shock and exhaustion of the whole ordeal is tucked behind me.  We all did what we felt we had to do and each and every family member and friend that participated in the weeks leading up to and during, and after this event has come away with their own version.

I lost my mother which is a terrible thing for anyone but death is a part of life obviously.  The other family members who were lost,  were not lost due to death,  but their loss was orchestrated consciously out of some need that remains a mystery to me and may always remain so.   I am beyond any feelings of anger or sadness at their choice to absent themselves from me,  although it is ultimately,  very sad.   Out of respect for all of them I will remain out of their sphere. 

Death definitely brings out the worst in some,  but  the very best in others.     Never more true for me than now,  so holding a grudge is not going to be part of my repertoire.   A choice we all can make or not.
 
A thousand thanks to those who acted with grace and selflessness and dignity during a difficult and sad time.  You know who you are.   I think the term is 'stepped up to the plate'.   I would not have been able to go it alone. 

                                    ....     life is indeed still good    ...