Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, health and happiness in 2011! I will be spending the evening with my dear sweet client and should be home just in time to bring the new year in with Tom! Cheers!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

At Home

Today is the last day of my holiday. I am enjoying puttering around the house, putting away some Christmas items, a little clean up, munching on leftovers. Yesterday I walked about downtown Stratford and made my one and only Christmas sale purchase.

I could not resist this pretty little garland of snow people which I purchased at Mercantile on Ontario St.  The Scandanavian company En Gry and Sif employ women in Nepal to make these garlands, providing a better life for them and their families. Made from pure New Zealand wool this looks so beautiful strung on our white mantel. Having drizzly weather forcast for the next few days I am hoping that we can attract some fresh snow!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Day

My mom in her new hat and scarf, so nice to see her smile, she has many challenges with MS, this is such a happy moment!

My Dad, a very amazing man at 82, still looks after my mom, a large house, beautiful gardens, the best dad in the world!

the eldest of our grandaughters in conversation with her dad, sporting her new pearls!

grandaughters #2 and 3, waiting patiently for Christmas dinner to be served

Our one and only grandson opening a gift

The youngest getting her nails done by a biggy sis


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

gurgle fish

 The Family Stone, I love that movie and watch it every Chrismas usually with Aaron who will not make it home this year as he is in Tofino BC, working, surfing and trying to save some money.

So after the movie  while feeling sad I headed out in the cold night to walk and perhaps take a few pics. The first of which is Gurgle Fish, taken of the window of Watsons Bazaar. These fish are jugs that gurgle as you pour. Pretty cool. Now I would love one of those but I have an aversion to bringing new things into my home unless absolutely necessary. I have 2 water jugs and do not need another. These are pretty tempting though! 

The Red Tricycle

My parents often talk of the the 6 month General Motors strike that they endured when I was a small child. With the 20.00 strike pay that they received at Christmas that year the spent the entire 20.00 on a red tricycle for me! I like to imagine that that is my red tricylcle in the window of this shop.


This is one of the many fine coffee place here in Stratford. I love this one because it is small and intimate, the coffee and treats are delicious.


Now for a little retro looking glamour. Lots of interesting things in this shop. I did purchase something quite lovely here for my daughter but won't reveal what it is just in case she reads my blog. I don't think that she does though, she is far too busy living in the city with a husband, 4 kids a dog and a cat.

What I like most is window shopping at night when the windows are at their best. I avoid malls like the plague at Christmas, I get overwhelmed with all excess this time of year and try my best to avoid it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Greetings

Tom does not like the cold! On New Years Day 2010 Aaron and I dragged him out for walk by the river, as you can see by his expression he was not too thrilled. He was walking away from me when I called him then I snapped this pic. Perfect for our Christmas card this year! I  had the cards done as postcards just for fun! Merry Christmas , Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Charlie Brown Tree

This year I needed a Charlie Brown tree. After having an artificial tree for about 12 years  a change was in order. Allergies resulted in the artificial tree, but maybe I have outgrown that. So far so good. When Tom and I headed out to look for a real tree we were quite shocked at the prices 40.00 and up! We also needed a stand since our original one has disappeared. I had noticed a sign on the main street of Stratford,  x-mas tree's 5.00 and up. We picked up a retro looking stand at Canadian Tire for 5.00 then set out for the house with the trees. I fell in love with the fisrt tree I saw, a black spruce all spindly and beautiful, after a nice chat with the fellow and handing over a mere 10.00 we had our tree!

just a few snippets from the tree

Monday, December 13, 2010

On a Cold Winters Day

Winter arrived in Stratford just over a week ago with snow but as of today it has turned very cold! Still whenever there is fresh snow I feel the need to get out there if only for a short time. Today I stopped in Upper Queen's Park near The Festival Theatre to capture the essence of the day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy December

Well I have not been blogging lately although I have posted some pics on Flickr as well as a few posts on Facebook. so it is time to record a little about December in Stratford. It is a pretty, snowy month here but not as snowy as London which received more than 90 cm  and Lucan where one of my nieces lives... 177 cm of snow fell in 3 days this week!

Cranberry Pecan Shortbread

                                                          Mayan Chocolate Sparkles

Busy baking, shopping, sending parcels to the east and west coasts and here I am stuck in southwestern Ontario! Our son Aaron is in Tofino BC and will not be home for Christmas, we will miss him for sure!

                                                                   P'lovers Stratford

The Green Room Stratford

and for a little glitz
Elizabeth Noel

not that there is any glitz in my life!

Monday, November 08, 2010


Angst, often confused with anxiety, is a transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation. Without the important element of hope, then the emotion is anxiety, not angst. from online Urban Dictionary

For some reason I go through stages of Angst which usually consist of some form of social withdrawl.  I wish to be alone, alone with my thoughts and feelings. Always I have managed to come to terms with these feelings, sometimes in a few moments, some times in weeks, months or even years.

For some reason, recently while driving home from work late at night, I was overcome with a feeling of dread, dooom or what I believe to be angst. Often I can hide these emotions by enclosing myself in retreat mode. If necessary I can usually hide them while in a social situation, I can put on a pretty good act.There are times this is not possible.

Today I am home, full of angst but thankfully I am alone and have no commitments. I spent some time in the kitchen baking a few batches of muffins, at least my house smells good and there is something comforting to eat.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Old Lady

Old Lady
Originally uploaded by Paki Nuttah

I am so in love with Flickr, the photo sight and while sitting by the fire relaxing before bed I decided to look for a photo that my pal Lori would enjoy and this is what I found. I love the clarity the colours and the spirit of independence that is portrayed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This past weekend we visited with my parents north of Port Hope, Ont. I always love spending some time wandering around this property in the country. I arranged the flowers etc in this still life with my moms help.

 I took photos of faded flowers, birdhouses and grasses, all on a dismal drizzly day and loved ever moment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Something Sweet

Today while shopping in our local Zehrs store I was very surprised to find these Vanilla Diva Cupcakes from Dufflet Pastries in Toronto and they were on special for 1.99! I could not resist...they were so beautiful. Tasted quite good as well, although I could not finish all of the frosting. I was happy to see the ingredients were all good, no additives, only a few items which included butter, flour, eggs and vanilla.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Going into the Past

Last night we saw Joan Baez at Centre in the Square in Kitchener. I love that intimate venue! It was a lovely concert, relaxed and cozy. Thisis the music that we listened to while we were dating way back in 1971!

The review:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

emmas blogg

Recently I discovered a blog that I am totally in love with. It is mostly a design blog with lots of fabulous photos, from  around the house, lots of soothing spaces.

The photo I have posted is by Danish photographer Mikkel Adsbol. I love this room, love the tablecloth, love the lighting. I just can't say enough about it. Oh how I would love to sit at this table with a glass of wine or even a cup of herbal tea or a perfect coffee and a pastrty!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

In the Middle of the Night

Still finding myself unable to fall asleep peacefully, I continue to play with paper

Beet Cake Recipe

                        as requested by Susan

1 cup butter or margaine, softened
1 ½ cups packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

2 ½ cups shredded beets.

Put beets in a pot, add 1 1/2 cups water and 2 Tbs butter, saute on medium high for 20 minutes or until water is gone.

In mixing bowl cream ¾ cup butter with brown sugar. Add eggs, mix well. Blend beets and vanilla into creamed mixture. Combine flour, baking powder and soda; add to creamed mixture. Por into greased and floured fluted tube pan. Bake 375 degree 45-55 minutes.


2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs corn syrup or milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup icing sugar

Heat on low while adding icing sugar until desired texture, then spread while warm

I baked only 45 minutes, worked well, I added raisins and would add even more next time and also some nuts. Would also be good with dates. You can replace some beets with carrot if desired. Perhaps some cinnamon would be nice too.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


It is fall and not a good time  of year for me. My mood starts to slip. Oh I know fall is very beautiful and I do love the food. I am such a sunshine, warm weather kind of person that summer always seems to have promise to me. Fall always feels like an ending, not a beginning, so I will try to work on that.

I do love the food of fall, the markets, the changing leaves etc.

 Yesterday I took my good friend Lori out to lunch at Rain Tree Cafe in Waterloo. It was fun, she had never been there, it was a mystery lunch and she really liked it. Lori just celebrated her 50th birthday on Saturday then did a 10k run on Sunday! 

We stopped at a market on the way home, such abundance!

Today I played in my kitchen, baked a beet cake, made a great pasta dish with fresh fennel and a lovely sheeps milk cheese called Pecorino Toscano which I had purchased here in Stratford at Monforte Dairy. It was all so delicious, relaxing and fun to make. I was just in that kind of mood.

The Pasta Dish

The Beet Cake

the beet that I used from our local slow food market, a candy cane beet weighing at least a pound!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seeking Peace ... Chronicles of the Worst Buddha in the World

Recently I heard Mary Pipher being interviewed on CBC.

What stood out in my mind during the interview were her comments on insomnia, her problem being the same as mine, taking forever to fall asleep with a racing mind. She woke her husband one night to ask him what he had been thinking about as he drifted off, he stated pie, one of his favourite foods. He asked her what she was thinking about and she told him the holocaust! That says it all. I needed her book!

Once I started the book I felt that she was speaking to me, I just so got it.

She writes about being a worrier, that she longed for tranquility, that she rushed through life as though she was late for an appt, ruminates about the past and the future while skipping over the present moment. Me me me .She talks about being a seeker, Buddha who was a seeker and his teaching of ”Stop seeking.  Be here now.”

Talks of her crisis, being quiet and polite and how only those closest to her would anything was wrong.

The middle of the book is mostly about her childhood difficulties, this is not my experience at all. I had a very happy childhood but do experienced similar anxieties.

From the book:

“For years I have been living under the tyranny of “shoulds” Most of my shoulds were my own choices, but I was living as it they were orders.”

“If we are lucky, occasionally we experience a sparkling moment when we break out of our trance of self and are fully present. Sometimes these lead to epiphanies, which present us with “”aha” moments of new understanding. Our thoughts may simply be isn't this wonderful? Or isn't life amazingly rich and complicated?”

Near the end Mary states that she is aware of having only a finite number of Thanksgivings, full moons, and spring flowers left. The realization makes her sad but also makes her notice. She now says she does not squander much time or let moments of beauty pass her by.

This is not a how to book but it certainly helps to reflect on what is important in life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

early evening in the garden

finally my morning glories are blooming, love this one and am thinking perhaps a watercolour may be in the future

my garden friend

Monday, September 20, 2010

Drank-automaat voor likeur / Liquor machine on the Leiziger Messe

Drank-automaat voor likeur / Liquor machine on the Leiziger Messe
Originally uploaded by Nationaal Archief

I came across this great photo on Flickr! Who would have thought that you could purchase drinks on the street in Germany in 1931.

I know I am spending too much time on Flickr but I just cannot stop, I am totally addicted and so inspired.

Vrouw met hoed en lange regenjas / Woman wearing a hat and a long raincoat

Vrouw met hoed en lange regenjas / Woman wearing a hat and a long rain coat
Originally uploaded by Nationaal Archief

I love so much about this photo. The black and white is just gorgeous, love the pose, the trench coat, hat and even the cigarette!

Monday, September 06, 2010

end of summer

a few snippets from our summer vacation, something to cheer me up as the end of summer always makes me sad...

a good book

heading to the beach to take in the sunset

Tom in his funny pants

Steve takes some pics

Maddie and Isaac

Shelley our daughter's very good friend

Linsy and Jay

my brother Danny

Maddie on Danny's Seadoo


Mallory, Linsy, Tracey, Jenny and I

I wonder what it would be like to live in a world that was always June...L.M. Montgomery