Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to wish you all a very Happy 2012! 2011 went by very quickly and was full of activity, most of which was good! We're having some friends and neighbours over to help us ring in the new year. I've made a gingerbread cake and a raspberry pie. This afternoon, I'll make a black olive tapenade and marinated mushrooms. Brad is also doing his second annual Swedish glög - a heady mulled wine concoction.

Wherever you are in the world, Brad and I wish you a happy and prosperous 2012!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

And now for something a little more uplifting!

Canadian singer Michael Bublé has a good heart! If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, I don't know what will!

Sunday, December 04, 2011


Just saw this on another site and had to repost it here. This poor kid is so genuine and true to himself. It's painful to watch, but I think everyone should. It breaks my heart that kids can be so hurtful to other kids just because they are a bit different than they are. I was very fortunate growing up. I, like everyone else, I think, encountered a couple of bullies, it it was nothing major, and I genuinely enjoyed high school. In any case, check out the vid below. There was a happier ending posted on YouTude, but it has been disabled in the last few hours or so. I do think this kid has found help from his family or outside, but this video serves to reminds us that millions of kids world-wide don't.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Time ... (for Austraila and other parts)

Terrific Marriage Equality ad from Down Under:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Anniversaries, Montréal, birthdays, and the like!

Hey again guys and gals,

So as I told you a few days ago, Brad and I recently went to Montréal to celebrate our 21st anniversary, my 50th birthday (a few days early), and generally have a good time in the big city. Montréal is great and Brad had rented this beautiful apartment in the heart of Old Montréal for the occasion. It truly was spectular. Huge old wooden beams in the ceiling, hardwood floors throughout, a fireplace, and a wood-burning stove, and a completely refinished kitchen, which beautifully combined old and new.

We flew up, and our good friends Paul and Ron drove. I was very pleased that they were able to be there and help us celebrate the milestone. (We had travelled to Boston a few years ago to ring in Paul's 50th!) After settling into our apartment and then going out to buy a few groceries for the next morning, we met up with Paul and Ron and then went for drinks prior to our dinner reservation at Le Local. Wow! What a great spot! This was Paul's pick and he picked up the tab (thanks's again my friend!). I highly recommend this place if you are ever in the city. I had the beet salad and the east coast cod, both of which were extremely tasty and then they brought me a special birthday dessert consisting of truffles, maccarons, and several other delicacies... Then it was on to a night of sin and debauchery at one of Montréal's strip clubs - I mean, you can't go to Mtl. and not visit a strip club - can you? ;-) A good time was had by all and I think that I single-handedly subsidized one guy's semester at university!

The next day was kind of rainy and we took to the underground malls and the Eaton's centre. I ended up buying a new fall jacket and some drawers at Jack and Jones. Brad and I had our own plans that evening, so Paul and Ron met up with a friend of theirs (Rita) for dinner.

On Friday, we walked out to Westmount after a fortifying brunch at a trendy spot on Peel Street. The wind was icy, but we kept warm with chuckles and laughter and soon ended up at Appetite for Books on Victoria Avenue. It's an bookstore devoted entirely to cookbooks! I could spend hours in there and in the end, I purchased Laura Calder's new book Dinner Chez Moi. After a drink or two at the Wellhouse Pub in Westmount, we made our way back to Paul and Ron's hotel where we took a taxi to Milos, a classic Greek seafood restaurant on Avenue du Parc in the Milend district of Montreal. We had another super meal there, and as it was my 50th BD celebration, I allowed the waiter to talk me into a $115 bottle of Greek red wine, which was very tasty and smooth. We switched to a little less pricy wine for the rest of the meal. More peelers and debauchery followed, of course - I mean, when in Montréal, right?!

The next day, we agreed to meet Paul and Ron and our good friend Maurice (who lives in Mtl.) at the Jean Talon Market to sample some of the tasty delights and grab a bite for lunch. After that, Brad went to see one of his nephews who was in hospital in the city after breaking his arm in two places and damaging a couple of teeth in a skateboarding accident. I went back to our cozy apartment to rest and take a nap after our nights of fun and frivolity. That evening, Paul and Ron and Maurice and Lynn came to our place for drinks prior to dinner at close-by Quattro. There we met up with Paul's friend Rita and had, by most accounts, another excellent meal. Afterwards, we all (except Lynn) returned to our apartment for post-dinner drinks. I must say, it was great to meet Rita and to spend time with Maurice and Lynn - all three of whom are lucky enough to live in Montréal.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and we boarded our plane back home the next morning. It was a weekend to remember, for sure, and I know I will do so for a long time to come.

Yesterday evening was the New Brunswick celebration of my 50th. Shaun and Mary and George and Barb and Brad and I went out to our good friends Don and Marlene's for an excellent evening of food and drink. I had often joked about going to Hawai'i to ring in my first half century (Hawai'i 5-0, and all that!), but since that was not in the cards this year, we all wore leis and some wore tropical shirts and grass skirts (thanks George!). The meal was Hawai'ian themed as well starting with pizza and followed by coconut rice, breaded shrimp, and a delectible tilapia and green beans. There was cake, of course, and Mar's apple crisp! YUM! Don even cracked open a bottle of his homemade cherry liquer, which was very yummy and smooth. I am truly blessed to have such good friends and such a great partner! From the gang, my gifts included a nice bottle of red wine, a bottle of Limoncello liqueur, a new food processor!, and David Rocco's new cookbook, Made in Italy! Can't thank you enough, my friends! It was another great evening that I will remember fondly for many years to come!

Today, I made a tofu/chickpea stew to have for lunch and dinners through the week and I'm roasting vegetables and panfrying scallops for dinner tonight. Then a movie and to bed faily early.... Being 50 is starting to catch up with me I think!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Where DOES the time go? Today I turn fifty! Unbelievable! We did a lot of celebration last weekend in Montreal ( including our 21st anniversary) with our good friends Paul and Ron and we connected with other good friends Maurice and Lynn, who both live in that city. I'll do a longer post tomorrow to fill you all in, but right now, Brad has pizza in the oven and we're drinking a bottle of excellent red wine (from 1998) that I bought in Boston a few years ago and saved for this occasion. More later - I promise!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

New York, New York

A nice little video hommage to the best City in the world!

A Year in New York from Andrew Clancy on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


And then it's almost the end of October!! Where does the time go? Sorry for not posting much recently... It's been a very busy fall! Work has been crazy busy - at one point last week I had 25 items on my work list! But, with a little bit of overtime, it all got done.

Brad's hiking buddy Jedi finished the A.T. last month. Brad went over to Maine and hiked to the top of Mount Kathadin with him. After finishing the Trail, Jedi came to Canada and spent about 10 days with us. He's a very nice guy and it was great to finally meet him. All of our good friends got to meet him as well and he was generally a big hit! I pulled out all the stops in the food department (he's vegetarian as well). I made a carrot cake, a gingerbread cake, a chocolate chip-banana-sour cream cake, pad Thai, arribbiata pasta sauce, pesto, gorgonzola scalloped potatoes, a vegetable stew with coconut milk, and more! And we ate out several times as well! From here, Jedi went to Boston to visit his brother for a bit and then flew home to Alabama.

Brad and his sisters took their father to NYC during our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. They rented an apartment in midtown, which unfortunately was broken into while they were out the first night! Brad didn't lose anything, but one of his sisters lost a new laptop and another lost quite a lot of cash and her pastport. They decided to not let it ruin their trip and they otherwise had a terrific time. Brad and his dad and two of his sisters flew in and out of Bangor, Maine, so when they crossed the Canadian border in the car, they took a "don't ask, don't tell" approach with respect to the lost passport. His sister was able to get back into Canada using her driver's licence. Who knew that was possible? The border guard didn't even bat an eye. It's a good thing they hadn't flown from here, as she most certainly would have needed her passport for the airline.

Last weekend, with Paul and Ron, we went to the lovely little coastal town of St. Andrews for the Indulge Festival. It's a weekend packed full of great food and wine. Here's a link

Last night, the usual suspects gathered chez George and Barb to celebrate George's birthday. It was a good evening with lots of laughs and yummy food.

This morning, I made a very tasty soup, the recipe for which I give you below:

Curried Peanut and Tomato Soup (from Gourmet Magazine, February 06)

1 medium onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 & 3/4 cups vegetable brooth
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Cook onion, salt and pepper in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat., stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add curry powder and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and brooth and simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Add hot water and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Blend in batches in a blender and return to saucepan. Stir in chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Here's where not to stay on the A.T.! Brad an Jedi spent the night at this dive someplace in Pennsylvania. Water from the shower in the room above them leaked down into their tub! Yikes!

The summit of Kathadin! Congratulations Jedi!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

You took the words right out of my mouth...

Long time, I Know... More soon..

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labour Day!

Hey everyone! Hope you are enjoying the Labour Day holiday if you have it off! Both Brad and I do and it's nice to have a long weekend, though I did have to work for about an hour and a half this morning to finish up a job that I have been working on. It's not so bad when you work at home, though - just turn the computer on, connect, do what has to be done, and then shut down.

We've gotten a fair amount of things done around the house this weekend. For one, we move a cord of wood that was dumped into our driveway into the garage. Thank God this year, we decided to get only one cord (we ordered 2 last year). It all just fit into the garage, adding to the wood that we still have left over from last year. I actually went for a swim yesterday as well. I really have to get back into swimming and biking on a REGULAR basis!

My sister from Saudi and her husband are in NYC this week. They fly back to Halifax later this week (hopefully hurricane Katia won't disrupt their travel plans!), and then back to Saudi Arabia on the weekend.

As we speak (so to speak), I'm making a batch of tomato chutney, which is the very definition of savoury, and Brad is making peach preserves. Don't know what we'll have for supper, but we'll figure something out.

Here's the very easy recipe for Spicy Tomato Chutney, which is from the September 1997 issue of Gourmet magazine. It's great in a sandwich or used as a condiment at the table, like a pickle.

Spicy Tomato Chutney:

1 lb. vine-ripened tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds (the yellow ones)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions)

Chop tomato and bell pepper. In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil with sugar, salt, mustard seeds, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, red pepper and green onions. Simmer mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently toward end cof cooking), about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until thickened and reduced to about one and a half cups. Cool chutney completely. Enjoy!

I'll leave you with a few more pics from Brad's hike...

Half-way point!

Brad's constant companion, Jedi. He's coming to visit us after he finishes the Trail later this month. I can't wait to meet him and feed him some good food!

A pastoral scene.

Holy crap, that's a long ways down!

Clouds and mountains.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Catch up!

Hey guys! Sorry for my looooog absence from the blogosphere! Summer happened, I guess! In short - very short - my sister who's living in Saudia Arabia came for about 10 days in July and we had a great time together. She got up every morning an went to Curves religiously! And I must say that, unlike me, she has lost quite a bit of weight.

The last month or so of Brad's hike for me was easier and harder at the same time, if that is possible. I knew it would be just a matter of weeks until we were back together (in Ontario), but I was also a bit apprenhesive about his return to civilization. I knew it would be difficult for him to get off the Trail and be thrust back into my arms and the arms of his family at his neice's wedding in Niagara Falls. In any case, everything worked out (as I knew it would). He met he at Hamilton airport on August 5 (full beard in tow), and over the course of the next week, we gradually reconnected with each other and with other friends and family.

We had a great week in Ontario actually. The wedding and reception went well, we met up with old friends (Javier and Terry) in Toronto, where they treated us to a great dinner at Marinella in TO's Little Italy. Do drop by if you are ever in the neighbourhood. Very tasty and authentic Italian food.

We spent the next day wandering around Toronto and taking in the sights. It was a hot and sunny 30 degrees Celcius. We ended up at a resto/bar (Milestone, I think) close to Dundas Square, where we had a couple of drinks and cooled our heels in the hot afternoon sun. We had another great meal at an Italian trattoria in Yorkville (Dimmi), and then went to a film (Another Earth, I think the name was - a good flick), and then returned to our harbour-front hotel for the evening.
Next day, we headed north to the family cottage of our good friends Shaun and Mary. To say that it poured on the way would be an understatement! I don't think I have ever seen it rain so hard in my life! I was actually scared that we would drive into a tornado! (What!? Stranger things have happend!) No matter, on we pushed, and we eventually drove out of the rain and connected with Shaun and Mary, who led us into the winding road to their cottage. We spent 3 great days there and then returned to Niagara Falls, where we spent 2 nights with Brad's sister and brother-in-law.

Now we're back. I worked last week. (Like a dog.) Brad starts back to work tomorrow. Let me just say that it will be very painful for him!

Here's a few random pics from the A.T. and from our trip to Ontario. I promise I will post more pics and fill in the details later this week! Stay tuned!

Clouds over the Appalachian Trail

Brad and Jeremy (aka Jedi) near the end of Brad's hike - dig the beard, eh!

The view onto the lake from Shaun and Mary's cottage

Mary driving the boat on a Bahama Momma booze cruise!

Dinner is served at the cottage!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Monsoon Day!

Too cute not to post! More later on the goings on!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Random Stuff

Hey all! Just a quick post to keep you updated... Not a whole lot going on in this neck of the woods. It's been a week since Brad left again to get back to his hike and, of course, I am missing him. He's reconnected with his trail buddy, Jedi, and they are blazing through the woods lickey-split! They did 27 miles yesterday! In the rain! Yesh. Better him than me, I say.

I got up early this morning - shortly after 6:00 a.m. - and went to the weekly farmers' market. Got 2 quarts of fresh local strawberries, 4 bunches of basil (yuo know what that's for!), a half pound of Italian parmesan, beet greens, and organic lettuce.

I then came back and checked my lotto tickets (no luck, unfortunately, tho I did win $250 on Thursday!). Then I walked Jasper in the rain and came home and had breakfast. After that, I picked my new numbers, got groceries, and bought dog food for Jasper. Today, too, I actually went for a swim at lunchtime and could tell that it had been too long since I had been there - way out of shape! Something I hope to change this month - Sis, if you are reading this, bring your walking shoes!

This afternoon, I cleaned the house a bit and made a strawberry/rhubarb pie. To me there is no sweeter smell of summer than strawberries and rhubarb macerating in the bowl before I put them into the the pie crust. And I am torn as to which pie I like the best - raspberry or strawberry/rhubarb... Regardless, the pie came out great and perhaps my sister can be the judge when she arrives here next week! If there is any left, that is!

Till next time here are a few more random pics that Brad took of his hike on the Appalachian Trail:

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The A.T.!

Hey guys! So finally a quick post about Brad's visit home and some pics from his travels on the Appalachian Trail! It's hard to believe that it was a week ago yesterday that I picked him up at the airport. His flight was right on time, and we were soon on our way back home. I have to admit that it was really strange to see him after all the time that had elapsed since he'd left. Of course, his beard and hair had grown and he had definitely lost weight and put on muscle (whereas I have gained a few extra pounds during his absence!), but just his being away for so long made us both a little nervous and apprehensive and there was definitely a little "let's get reacquainted" stuff going on. Certainly to be expected, I think, especially since he was doing something so vastly different from his regular life - and I had been here slaving away at work, looking after Jasper and the house, and doing the things that I normally do.

In any case, it really didn't take us all that long to reconnect. I poured him a glass of good wine and listened to his stories as I cooked supper - pasta putanessca with parmesan/basil oil/tomato powder toasts and raspberry pie for dessert! I think he was happy. (I also made him some garlic-free pesto, which we enjoyed as part of a potluck at Don and Marlene's place on Friday night along with freshly caught trout from their pond!). So we talked and ate and drank and had a great evening together.

I worked the next two days while Brad slept in and ate (and ate and ate). He went out to his dad's for dinner one night and then we also had a get together at Shaun and Mary's with George and Barb and Don in attendance. Great pizza, guys! As always! I took a bit of leftover raspbery pie for dessert and then we were off to yet another social gathering, this time with a few neighbours. I had made another raspberry pie for that affair.

The next day, we went out to Don and Mar's and had a great afternoon and dinner with them at their lovely countryside retreat. We were tempted to stay the night - and polish off a few more bottles from their cellar - but duty called and we had a lot to get done the next day before Brad left yet again.

On Saturday, Brad mailed off the last of his food drops to the U.S., took out his suitcase of good clothes (for the wedding next month) to his dad's (who is driving to Ontario), and packed his stuff once again to head back to the A.T. We had an early supper of baked salmon, beet greens, potatoes, olives, and tomatoes on the deck (with more raspberry pie for dessert!) before I drove him to the bus stop where he caught a bus to Moncton. He was flying out of there the next morning at 6:00 a.m., so that was the easiest option. He texted me later that the guy at the bus ticket office asked him if he wanted the adult or senior's rate! (That grey beard has to go!!) :) Once in Moncton, he went out to a movie and then walked to the airport! I couldn't believe it when he told me that, but I guess that's what he's been doing for the last month and half! He's actually walked farther than it is from here to Ottawa! And many more miles to go!

That said, it's a month from today that we attend his neice's wedding and then spend a week of vacation together in Ontario. We're going to visit Shaun and Mary at their cottage north of Toronto and hopefully have time to visit a few other friends along the way!

In other news, my sister from Saudi Arabia is coming back home on Saturday, so she will be spending some time here in the next few weeks. Will eb good to see her and we'll finally get around to sorthing through mom's stuff, which I brough back here in Apirl.

Phew, my hands are tired from typing... Here's some pics:

Day one - Arrival in Georgia!

Brad's home for the past 2 months!

A dude (Water Boy) he's been hiking with for a few weeks - they sometimes charge into a town and gobble down food - and man, is THAT a LOT of food!

Water Boy, Jedi, Chef, and ... I'm not sure... (Everyone takes on a Trail Name, which I think I have mentioned before)

Sometimes they play in streams!

Then it's back to the Trail

Chef and Jedi, Brad's most constant fellow hiker. Apparently they often get asked if they are father and son!

Sunday, July 03, 2011


This too, doesn't have a whole lot to do with current events - just a tune I like. But I must say that I defnitely got a bounce out of Brad's visit and can still feel his Halo. Again, more on that later. For now, I'll just let the tunes speak for themselves

Twin Peaks

One of my fave tunes by Julie Cruise. Theme song from Twin Peaks.

Will post more about Brad's visit soon - and no- this song has nothing to do with that... We had a great time together, albeit too short. Nevertheless, I'll meet him in Ontario in early August.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Congratulations New York!

Yesterday, New York joined the ranks of other progressive jurisdictions and legalized same-sex marriage! Congratulations!!

In other news, it is yet another cold (10 C) rainy Saturday here in Eastern Canada. This is really turning into the summer that wasn't. A couple of nice days here and there, followed by cool, rainy or overcast days. I'm actually going to turn the heat on in a few minutes! Enough already!

Brad gets back on Tuesday (YAY!), and it looks like he'll be bringing the warm weather with him - at least for a day - it's supposed to be 29 C and SUNNY on Tuesday! (YAY again!). It will be great to see him and to reconnect (oh yeah!) for a brief 4 days. He heads back to the Trail on July 2nd. After that, I'll meet him in Ontario on August 5 for his neice's wedding, following which we're taking a week of vacation together visiting other friends in Ontario before heading home and BOTH of us going back to work.

On the menu for next week? (Well the stuff I can tell you about anyway!): Lemon squares, raspberry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, pasta putanesca, garlic-free pesto (!), and all kinds of other yummy things...

Nice - it's thundering now and the rain is coming down in sheets... I'm signing off, turning up the heat, and having a nap! After which, I really have to clean the house!

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's Unnatural!

Interesting segment from CNN today. Kyra Phillips interviews former NY Giants dude about same sex marriage, which is being hotly debated in New York State at present. Props to Phillips for calling him out on several points! Of course, same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for over 6 years and in other countries for longer than that. Somehow, I don't see the mayhem on the streets or in society in general that David Tyree is pointing to.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Stay Cool!

Is it hot where you be? If so, you gotta stay cool. But be careful out there!

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Legacy of Brendan Burke

Hey all. I caught a GREAT episode of The Fifth Estate last night. It's a documentary-style news program produced by CBC. It was on the short life of Brendan Burke (son of Toronto Maple Leafs President and General Manager). Brendan was killed in a car accident at the age of 21. He was very involved in hockey and he was gay. The show originaly aired last November and it is exceedingly well done. I urge all of you to watch it. You can access the full episode here.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

This and that

Hey all. Just a quick update to keep you posted, as it were. All goes well here on the home front. It will soon be a month now that I have been a bachelor! Brad left on his hiking trip on May 9. I've hired a company to look after the lawnmowing. We have a large backyard and I simply wasn't up to the task of mowing it all with our punny reel mower! The company is run by the son of a colleague - they just started up - and I wanted to throw a little business his way. After working all day, walking Jasper, and doing all the other chores around the house, I decided I just didn't have the time or the energy to look after the grass.

I met the usual gang for drinks after work last night and then had dinner with good friends Paul and Ron. It's always good to spend time with them and we had a good meal and a great catch up. Tonight, I'm also going over to friends for dinner - no rest for the wicked!

I gave Jasper a good long walk this morning (though nothing like the ones he gets with Brad!), and then rolled some coin to take to the bank in exchange for coloured paper. I rolled up $50 worth in dimes in practically no time. I have a HUGE amount of coins laying arouhd the house in various containers. The dime one was overflowing, so I tackled it first. I probably still have another $30 in the jar unrolled. Next comes nickles and then pennies - and more pennies, and more pennies! I probably have over $100 just in pennies. I also took a couple of posters to a local framing shop to have framed. That's another thing I've been meaning to do for a while now. Then I went to buy my luck lotto tickets and have a hair cut, something else I've needed for a while! Tomorrow, it's time to tie up my raspberries in my backyard patch. I may have to call on the assistance of a knowledgeable neighbour to accomplish that task properly! ;-)

Brad phones every 2 or 3 days and texts in between. He's been having a great time and has hooked up with two or three other hikers, so they are sort of hiking as a group now. His weather has been better than here, but he, too, has had some cool rainy days. One night last weekend they spent in a lodge and went tubing down a river the next day. (You can't hike all the time, apparently!) He finally has a Trail Name (everyone hiking the Appalachian Trail takes on a "trail name".) He had one before he left, but it didn't stick. He is now known as Chef-boy-r-dee! Which I think is because the other hikers are jealous of the meals that he makes with his own dehydrated food - he dehydrated stuff for months in preparation for the trip - took some with him, and I am mailing the rest at designated drop sites. I've really started to miss him, especially on Sunday nights when we always have baked salmon and usually baked potato and other vegetables followed by dessert. Most times, we watch a movie or something else we'd taped the previous week.

In any case, he'll soon be back for his 4-night furlough (he gets back on June 28), so till then, I guess I will just lie back and think of England! (Or something!)

Below is the current desktop background on our computer (I change the backgrounds religiously when I flip a page on the calendar). It was taken in 2004 at a cottage we rented on Prince Edward Island. That was Samson's last vacation with us. He died a few weeks after we returned. He's the golden retriver with the wite face. And Kaiser, too, we lost at the end of last August. So I'm missing all my boys at present! But Jasper and I wil keep the home fires burning and look forward to June 28!

Be well, my friends!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Whadda guy!

I've been a big fan of British rugger Ben Cohen for quite a while now. Here's why!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's over!!!

Well, if Camping is right, there are just 20 minutes left on Earth for us Belivers! Ah well, I guess Camping was wrong, nonetheless, this is a good clip from Last Night, a superb Canadian film:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bad Blogger!

Hey guys and gals,

Yes, I have been a very bad and derelict blogger. It's been, of course, in part due to mom's death, and also to all the activity going on around here in preparation for Brad's departure for the Appalachian Trail. He got away yesterday very early in the morning and is now somewhere in Georgia on day 2 of his hike! I tracked his flights on the computer and he called a couple of times yesterday to confirm that he had arrived safely and was on his way. Hopefully he'll call (or text!) a few times a week to keep be abreast of his progress. I put an exclaimation mark after text, as I have never sent (or receved) a text message in my life! He gave me a crash course (with notes) before he left and I am now responsible for his Canadian cell phone as he uses his American cell on his hike.

He bought the phone last month when we were in NYC with Don and Marlene and Shaun and Mary. We have a great 5 nights in The City and have vowed to return next Easter! The weather was so-so, cool for the first couple of days, then hot, and then rainy one night, but all and all, we had a terrific time. How can you not on the best city on Earth? It was good to get away and have a change of pace after mom's funeral and the attendant emotional and lifestyle changes.

Sunday was a bit difficult, being my first Mother's Day without one. Plus, it was Brad's last night here until the end of June, when he is coming home for a 4-night furlough. I continue to work at home and it has indeed turned into a permanent arrangement. They've given my window office at the office to someone else! YAY! She's welcome to it!

So for now, it's just me and Jasper minding the fort. I look forward to some quite time alone and to socializing with friends and neighbours as the weather (hopefully) get warmer. I put hopefully in brackets because today it's rainy and barely 5 degrees C. I actually lit a fire in the fireplace and am glad I did!

I'll end this post by saying that I still miss mom a lot and that I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her... This, I suppose, will pass in time. But I still feel her presence very close by. The orchid she had Brad buy me for my last birthday is blooming once again and the daffodils my brother gave her when she was in the hospital several years ago are blossuming in the back yard, where Brad planted them after a number of years of languishing in our basement. I'll post some pics of mom in the days ahead as well. I meant to do so on Sunday, but never got around to it. Stuff, eh. Today will mark the one month anniversary that I last saw her alive.

Be well my friends.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

End of an Era

My mother entered immortality sometime during last night. She was 90 and a strong, forthright, and upstanding woman to the very end. She will be forever missed.

"The Last Rose Of Summer"

'Tis the last rose of summer left blooming alone
All her lovely companions are faded and gone
No flower of her kindred, no rosebud is nigh
To reflect back her blushes or give sigh for sigh

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one, to pine on the stem
Since the lovelies are sleeping, go sleep thou with them
Thus kindly I scatter thy leaves o'er the bed
Where thy mates of the garden lie scentless and dead

So soon may I follow when friendships decay
And from love's shining circle the gems drop away
When true hearts lie withered and fond ones are flown
Oh who would inhabit this bleak world alone?
Oh who would inhabit this bleak world alone?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I confess

Sweet new tune from Canada's favourite songstress:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Key West and Miami

Hey guys! Hope you are all having a good weekend! After days and days of rain, the sun has finally poked through the clouds and it's quite mild - like +10 C. The snow is melting, but there is still a lot of it left to go! I have some windows open for the first time in a long time and I bought some tulips, so it's starting to feel a smidgeon like spring!

My sister and brother-in-law fly back to KSA (Saudi Arabia) today. They've been in Canada for a few weeks and it was good to see my sister. My bro-in-law was only in Ontario and I didn't get to see him. Today was supposed to be the "day of rage" in KSA, but it didn't amount to much. Hopefully, things will remain stable there.

Am going down to see mom tomorrow and get her stocked back up on her favourites. She was been basically pretty good lately with just her usualy complaints of arthritis.

Here's some more pics of Key West and Miami. We're still wishing we were back there. The other day Brad was pinning for the beach to run on rather than icy, slushy sidewalks! Oh, I just about forgot! We definitely could have gone back for another week or so had I had one more number in the lotto the other night! I was one number away from winning $35,000! As it turned out, I ended up with $700, so I'm not really complaining, but the 35 grand would have been much nicer!

One of the hosts on our Sunset Cruise in Key West. I don't think she had one ounce of body fat!

Our captain, Mike I think his name was. He didn't have a lot of body fat either!

Some of the wine on offer

Rigging the sails

The sun is setting

Ever farther

A place we stopped for lunch on our drive back to Miami - On Isla Morada, I think

Ahhh... South Beach.. and the boyz!

Probably the best beach I have been on to date. Beautiful water, great for swimming (and taking in the sights!)

The large white tents in the backgound is where the SoBe Food and Wine Festival was held. We went on Sunday and had a blast!

The rest are pretty much self-explanatory... Unfortunately for our straight male friends, the day that all the curvy gals were on the beach, we forgot our camera! Sorry guys!