Monday, February 28, 2011

Enjoying my Yarn Projects

It is a cold, damp, blustery Monday here so I thought I would share my current knitting project. This is a blanket I am making for myself with hand spun, hand dyed yarn I purchased at 'Unwind', a 'Yummy Yarn Shoppe', on the main street of Newmarket. The yarn in a natural fibre and has a hardy yet cosy texture to it, and of course I fell in love with the colours of the kit. Each colour seems to come from the kitchen, with shades from pumpkin, coffee, kale, and tea. There is a special smell to this yarn as well, which makes me think it might be from the animals the yarn was shorn from, for perhaps from the processes of preparing it. It is not a nasty smell at all, but rather a musky smell, very pleasant.

With the month of March beginning tomorrow, I am anxious to complete the blanket so I can wrap myself into it for warmth and comfort.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Further Introductions

I would like to introduce our Hershey. Hershey became part of our family almost eight years ago. We decided that our other Springer (Rocky) was getting older and slower and needed a friend to give him a little mental and physical challenge and Hershey was the man for the job. We have no idea how old Hersh really is as he was found as a stray and spent about six weeks at the Brockville animal shelter before we found him and sprung him. It was a four hour drive each way to bring him home and he was beyond happy to be free. Leigha kept telling her Dad to drive carefully on the way home because we had "Precious Cargo" in the back with her.

He is an outdoorsy kind of guy, and loves to visit new friends who are cooking on the BBQ, or are making bacon for breakfast. It has been very obvious that he has also missed Bonny this past week but he is coming around. I am so glad that he is happy and healthy and that we will have him for some time still to come.

I have decided that since Hershey and I will be sharing quality time with just the two of us we are going to be doing things that we couldn't do with Bonny. We are going to do day hikes on the trails, day trips to the lake, maybe a few play dates (am I expressing my maternal instincts with a dog instead of a child??? - I have grandchildren, but it is the whole thing about being needed - daily). Anyway, I also think that he will make a great subject for some of my art. I had a prof at YorkU who used his Cairn Terrier (whom he loved) in the creation of much of his work. Michael created large sculptures with found materials, and often these materials were items that the two of them found in their wonderings. Great work and great meaning because it was an archive of the time they spent together.

Who knows what Hershey and I will create.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finding My Groove

It's a holiday Monday here and for the time being the sun IS shining. Doesn't sound very positive, but I will take what I can get. It has been a week since Bonny left us and we are slowly but surely finding our new normal. Carpets have been vacuumed so small tuffs of white fur and little paws prints are gone. Hershey is perking up and is becoming his old self again, and becoming spoiled in the process which is fine by me.

So the plans for this family day are as follows:

Dress code : Pajamas or lounge wear only

Menu: Pancakes for breakfast
Dark chocolate and raspberry cupcakes (watch for photos)
PC mini sliders on the BBQ for dinner

Activities: Drinking coffee and reading newspaper
Drawing and reading blogs
Cupcake baking
Full body contact Scrabble (official Scrabble dictionary ready in the event of any disputes)
belly rubs for Hershey

Sounds like a full day to me. I might need to include a nap should the need arise.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Better late then never

We had our valentines dinner a little late this year. We really weren't interested in food or even chocolate on Monday. I made this yummy roasted veggie quiche for my main squeeze in a heart shaped pie pan that I had and almost forgot about. It has a red glaze and when you get to the bottom is says "love" (YES, I know it is silly but just indulge me here). The little red bits you see on top are red peppers the I cut out with a small heart shaped cookie cutter. I have to say it was fun, and to my surprise it was really delicious. I watched an episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" on the weekend and became inspired. Thanks to Chef Flay, we have also enjoyed pineapple upside down cake recently (I think the Brass Sisters are cute and cool). A shout out to Bobby "I am looking for a key line pie recipe here".

I was given a copy of Jamie Oliver's American Road Trip for my B-day and need to look at it again. I have been trying to eat a little more healthy (post holiday gorge - you know how it is) and put it aside for awhile. I am also looking for a few really tasty vegetarian recipes that are not all tofu and turnip (not that I don't like tofu and turnip .. but really now). I will have to mooch the cookbook I gave to my son for Christmas. May I should just head out and get my own copy. Now, THAT is a better plan.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Getting Ready for Spring

A couple of weeks ago I was in Walmart (not a regular occurrence in itself) and there, on a self, were these rubber boots. I haven't had rubber boots in decades (literally) when they were green or black and very ugly. I saw these and my heart sang. You can't see but they have sparkelly silver stars, are covered in pink glitter, and have a hot pink stripe around the sole. They may not be luscious but they certainly are sexy (can rubber boots be sexy???). We are having a mid winter thaw the next couple of days providing me the perfect opportunity to a don my new girly footwear and head to the streets as an little practice for when spring finally arrives. With the snow melting in the back yard, these little babies will also be perfect for doing a little back yard tidying up (all you doggie parents know what I mean). I might even go in search of a puddle or two and do a little puddling hopping. I hope Hershey doesn't mind waiting for me as a splash about.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Bon Bon

That's what her nick name because well she was just so sweet. We had to let her go last night. It was a very hard thing to do but I knew it was the right time and I couldn't let her suffer anymore. She was able to drift off at home, surrounded by her family, on her doggie bed in her favourite spot. She and I shared toast and peanut butter in the afternoon. She got all the love she could handle but she gave me a look that told me she knew it was time to go.

Once I am in an easier place, I will share stories of her quirkiness and joy.

This letting go business is much harder than I thought it would be, even though I know it had to be done.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bringing Visual Warmth into my Home

While is France and Italy I noticed the flower markets. They were everywhere. They even had flower stalls on the sidewalks in the same manner that we have street food vendors, selling hot dogs and fresh cut fries (did you notice the difference in caloric intake between the various types of stalls??). Europeans purchase flowers as a staple for their homes, in the same manner that they purchase fine cheese, fresh bread, good wine and the best seasonal produce. Here, we dash into a grocery store to buy bread, milk, and a BBQ chicken to taken home with a bag of salad. Well, I have decided to start with small changes and I will be bring flowers into my home. Each week I will have different blooms of different colours and fragrances and tropical greenery to enjoy. I need to be careful with the bread and cheese, or I will need a new wardrobe to go with this new lifestyle.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On being distorted

This image is a very good portrait of how I am felling at the moment. Blurred, bloated, warped, there is a sense of being muddled. I feel a need to write, which is new to me, so I am going to pursue this need, though oddly, I don't know what I am going to say. Those of you who know me, know that it is a rare day that I don't have something to say on any number of subjects.

OH, I have just had the thought of writing on being blurred and muddled.

Just to clarify my mind I have looked into my trusty dictionary for direction. Just as I thought, being blurred is being out of focus yet being muddled has two meanings. Firstly, yes it does mean being confused (me???) but, it can also mean to mix ingredients (you have heard of muddling ingredients in making cocktails???). Maybe I am not confused or blurred, MAYBE I am just mixing many idea and thoughts together, blending and combining them into something new. Once this new product has had a chance to settle, mature, develop and and bloom into something truly outstanding (and I mean Really OUTSTANDING), then, and only then, will I have something even greater than what I started with.

I like this idea. I think is has real potential as THE explanation of all things in my head at the moment. Yes indeed, this had got to explain everything that needs to be explained right now.

Isn't it grand that I have been able to solve one (just one) of the great mysteries in my life. Now we just have to wait and see where this great new product will take me.

Onward and beyond.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why am I drinking Herbal Tea?????

This is a espresso I had in Pradua, Italy. It was PERFECT. So was the location, the room, the company and the language spoken to order it. Alright, I'll admit it, the day was perfect (and it got better) but I do remember the coffee. Lately I have been cutting back on my caffeine intake due to sleeping problems. If only my sleep could be as perfect as that coffee. Thanks to Galen Weston and his buddies at President's Choice I have been drinking more of their herbal teas. They are naturally caffeine free you know. They are supposed me make me calm, peaceful, soothed, relaxed, less irritable, settle my belly, slow down the aging process, prevent and cure headaches, increase libido, reduce allergies and ease menstrual cramps. I am embracing the warm flavour of these bevies and imagining each to be a rich creamy latte (or cappuccino) with a little almond cookie on the side. I need to work on my imagination a bit more, but I think you understand.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An Introduction

I would like to introduce my 'D' Bonny. Bonny is an English Springer Spaniel and she is 15 years old. She became part of our family 6 years ago as a foster dog (she was only to stay for a few days until we, with the assistance of English Springer Rescue, were to find her new forever home). When I went to collect her at the shelter she looked at me and I looked at her and her little face made my heart melt and well that was that she WAS at her forever home. That is how I know just how much my husband loves me ... he as allergies to dog and yet we have two.

I wanted to introduce you to Bonny because at 15 she is a Senior senior dog and she has some health issues. When she is good she is excellent but when she is unwell, her Mom (me) worries. Bonny has recently been having seizures every few days. I don't believe that she is in any pain when they occur but I do know that they cause her a great deal of stress. When they occur I take to her doggies bed and hold, pet and talk to her until the worst has past. There is really nothing that can be done and I don't want her to suffer the diagnostic tests when what she needs is love. As you can see, the time will be coming sooner, rather than later, for me to let go of something else, very important to me, Bonny.

Letting go will be another reoccurring theme of 2011. Where Bonny is concerned, it is especially hard because it is not just for my self that I need to make these decisions but also for someone (yes, she is a someone) who adores me. Not easy to do. In the meantime, I will be share happy Bonny stories. At the moment she is power napping at my feet; something that she does so well.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Finally, I have awesome crepes

Third time is the charm. I have no idea how they taste but they look fantastic.

My crepes were Krap

I have to admit they did smell go though. Didn't look like much unfortunately. Pam has suggested that I check out some You-tube videos and Kris has suggested a batter at room temperature and a well seasoned crepe pan. Thank you both for your help. Hopefully with your help and my copy of The French Chef Cookbook (thank you Julia Child) my next effort will have greater success.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Embracing Lusciousness - Phase 1 Food

These are tomatoes from my garden last summer. It is difficult to find this kind of freshness at this time of year on a day after we had 20 cm of snow dumped on us yesterday. I have decided that if I can't find this type of freshness I will will pursue different culinary delights for my kitchen. I have recently acquired to new additions to my arsenal; a crepe pan, and, a souffle dish. Let us pretend we are in France. If that is not luscious, then I ask you, what is???

This lovely French gentleman was the server in a cafe in Paris when Meika and I were there. It was May, raining and Paris; in other words ... perfect. So this evening for dinner I will make savoury crepes with a crisp green salad and a midi baguette. I will keep you posted on how this progress.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My word for the year

I follower blogger from around the world who write on a variety of topic. I enjoy foodie blogs, sustainability, health fitness, and of course art art art. In December and January, many bloggers wrote about their words for 2011. Words for 2011??? I am a little slow but I caught on. Many wrote that their word were beauty, serenity, joy. It took me some time but I have finally decided what my word for this year will be:


I have decided to embrace this word in all the I say and do. My 30 y/o Webster's dictionary defines 'Lusciousness'

Having a delicious taste or smell, excessively sweet, having a sensual appeal, richly luxurious or appealing to the senses.

I like this word. I am going to embrace it in my art, my food (I can see it being more healthy) my environment and in my body (I am going to embrace the lusciousness of my body). Oh yes indeed, having a word of the year, lusciousness, is going to be a good thing.

Lusciousness Lusciousness Lusciousness

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Greetings and Salutations

It has been said, of me no less, that I write well. I have never considered myself a writer but rather a visual artist and one does lend itself to the other now that I think about it. As I have been having some mid life issues (all hormonal if you know what i am saying) I thought that in additional to the exercise, journalling, yoga, and meditation I would ALSO try a written outlet as a means of getting this out there. Letting go, as I have been told t do, is not a simple exercise especially if you have held on so tightly for so very very long.

So here is my first entry into this outlet. For today I am just saying "hello", and thank you for taking a moment to read what is on y mind.

My youngest son is coming home from a six month adventure of living in Vancouver. While I know that he enjoyed it very much (living under a staircase in a loft with six others), I will admit that I have missed him (he did remember to call on my birthday and on Christmas but other than that .....). Today and tomorrow I get to be Mom again. All my material instincts are coming out full bore. As he has already found a new place to live and will not be living at home I am gathering all those basics supplies, that as Mom, I am sure he will need. I am also baking (banana bread and cookies) and freezing a few dinners to get him started. After being a full time Mom for so long I had no idea how much I missed being needed on a regular basis. OH OH OH hold on..... here is my first letting go....... I am letting go of being needed ALL the time and embracing of being needed SOME of the time. This means there is more time for me, MY ART, my home and of course more quality time with my husband. That will be after I have finished my baking.