Sunday, 30 March 2008

Earth Hour

By now, everyone's heard of Earth Hour, when tens hundreds of thousands of people around the world turned their lights off between 8pm and 9pm on Saturday evening, in an attempt to raise awareness of the world's dwindling energy resources, and the necessity to use energy wisely.

Toronto was one of the particpating cities. Click here to see a special Toronto Star report on the festivities.

More than 10,000 people listened to Nelly Furtado sing her heart out in the semi-darkness at a free outdoor concert in Nathan Phillips Square.

Me? I had been to a Scottish Country Dance workshop all day, dancing from 9am till 4:30pm. My feet were hurting. I didn't want to go anywhere.

I lit the candles and turned the lights out at 8pm. Outside, the houses across the road were dark. The Space Cadet claimed the sofa, and I settled into a comfy chair to enjoy the candlelight and the quiet.
I woke up at midnight.
Earth Hour was history..... and I slept right through it!

Friday, 28 March 2008


"I just have to go in the flower shop for something," he said. So we went in.
"Can I help you, sir?"
"I'll have ... ummm... a red one, a white one, and a pink one of those," and he pointed towards the cooler where the roses were kept.
The flowers were wrapped and tied up with red and white and pink ribbons, and then right there in the flower shop, he gave me the bouquet.

"These are for you. Red for Christmas, pink for Valentine's Day, and white for Easter," he said.



And it's not even my birthday.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to The Space Cadet for making my day perfect!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Same Place Last Year

Last year, I was so excited to see my new daffodil bulbs sprouting on 27 March that I just had to get out there and take a picture. Click to enlarge or you might miss them... they're pretty teeny. The chicken mesh was to discourage the tree rats from making dinner out of the newly planted bulbs. Even the most musclebound and determined tree rat can't move that many bricks.

Oops, a little snowfall on 8 April slowed the growth down a bit, but it soon melted.

By 20 April, the sprouts were a bit bigger and greener, and it was safe to roll up the chicken wire.

By 27 April, I was getting really excited... I could see the flower buds almost ready to pop!

And by 8 May.... all in bloom!

That was last year.
The same garden this year.....

It might be August quite a while before we see any daffodils in 2008.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Baby Boots

I've been knitting......

....... for Callum, bless his cotton socks.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns.
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons,
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns

When I was little, the only day that Hot Cross Buns were available was Good Friday, the Friday before Easter. You had to get to the bakery early to make sure you got there before these traditional buns were all gone, because there wouldn't be any more until next year.

Sliced in half, toasted, spread with a little butter..... a real treat.
Did you enjoy some Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday? I did.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Dead Birch

Crumbling. Dying. A casualty of Nature. Soon to rejoin the earth.

But providing nourishment to other forms of life before it gets completely absorbed by the surrounding forest.
Decay has it's own beauty.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Care and Share

This is just one corner of the local Care and Share Thrift Store.

You can buy just about anything here, at reasonable prices.

About 70 volunteers turn mountains of good quality donations into help for people locally and in war-torn or disaster-stricken countries overseas.

Volunteers recycle used clothing into colourful quilts and blankets. The blankets are sent overseas for disaster relief while the quilts usually are sold at a spring quilt sale.

Each year, between $170,000 to $190,000 is sent to the Mennonite Central Committee, which operates the Care & Share and 16 other thrift stores in Ontario. That’s the net amount earned after rent, hydro and other expenses are paid.

A great place to buy needles and yarn for knitting projects.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

On Official Nana Duty

It's been a busy busy babysitting weekend.
First, I looked after this cute baby...

.... and then I looked after this cute baby.

Somebody sneaked upstairs when I wasn't looking and chewed up the toilet paper.
Somebody stole The Space Cadet's glove and danced round the back yard with it, shaking it violently making sure it was dead.
Somebody raided the bedroom and stole my socks.
Somebody wanted to go pee at 6am and made enough noise to wake the dead.
Callum, did you do all those naughty things? NO?
Hmmmm...... T E S S A !!!!!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

E for Excellent

Xtreme English has included me in her list of blogs that deserve the Big E for Excellent. Wow! I hope she doesn't regret it later.

I'm told that part of the responsibilities of a new awardee is to nominate 10 other blogs as Excellent, and each of them must then select 10 others.

This is a hard one... many more than 10 worthwhile bloggers out there, and they all deserve a read.

OK... let's get cracking...

Lettuce lives in South London. Her blog is full of unusual pictures and she writes with a quirky turn of phrase. She notices what others miss. Her idea of a good day out is to visit Art Galleries. And Museums. And she is inspired with what she finds there. I look forward to her posts.

The Ginger Darlings live on the coast of wild Wales. "Three cats of perfect gingerness, elegant, feline, sharp clawed and fine." Eloquent descriptions of their adventures, roaming the hills with their artist companion. I adore ginger cats.

Combe Martin Life is all about the goings-on in the village in England where I grew up. Martin is a bit of a nutter, but he takes fab piccies. Sorry, Martin, but you know it's true!

Pea Soup hails from Melbourne, Australia. She loves fabric and yarn and Australia and her family. But not necessarily in that order. She can teach you to dye wool with food colouring and knows how to knit fruit. Yes, that's what I said... knit fruit. No kidding.

Peter is a newly retired Swede living in Paris. I think he knows more about the history and geography of the streets and boulevards of Paris than anyone. If you are planning a trip to Paris, read his blog first! Peter already has a Big E for Excellent Award, but he definitely deserves another... you just can't have too many! Merci, Peter.

Ming the Merciless knows New York City like the back of his hand... right, Ming? He'll take you to the most interesting shops, ride with you on the subway, cross the Brooklyn Bridge, walk with you in the park, and you'll meet all the neighbourhood dogs. And Ming doesn't cook, so he knows all the best places to eat and drink.

Willow Grace aka Mad blogs in the San Francisco Bay area. She's the creative sort... photography, scrapbooking, stamping, all kinds of arts and crafts. And she sounds like she's lots of fun.

Wiggers World is the brainchild of Tom Wigley, aka Old Wom Tigley. Tom's someone who appreciates Nature and has a innate sense of belonging to the world around him. He and his sidekick friend Peter Parrott roam the countryside around Hyde, Cheshire, and come up with some stunning wildlife photos and stories about the countryside.

that's 9.... one more to go.

Pete at Midway is a young man on Midway Atoll in the Pacific on a 6 month temporary job with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, trying to rid the island of a wild sunflower plant called verbesina. He also counts birds, swims, plays volleyball and takes great seabird pics. Sounds like he's having a blast.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Digging Out the Sidewalk

No further description necessary.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Go South .... or Go Get the Snow Shovel

It's been a wild weekend.
The snow started falling on Friday afternoon and didn't let up until sometime during Saturday night. This picture doesn't do justice to the sight of horizontal white-out snow whipping past the window. One look outside convinced me that I wasn't going anywhere.

As I was stuck indoors all day on Saturday, I felt an irresistible bout of Martha-style Domestic Goddess coming on. This often happens if I can't go out anywhere..... it's the perfect antidote to Cabin Fever.

So I finished knitting this "green" string bag, perfect for those last minute trips to the supermarket. My tiny contribution to the battle against plastic bags and global warming.... but please notice not much is being said about the afore mentioned global warming during our snowier than usual winter. Knitting pattern here. Thank you Lettuce.

And then... I decided that Chelsea Buns were just the ticket on a snowy day, but I cheated a bit by making the dough in the bread machine. I didn't have any raisins, and I certainly wasn't going shopping in a blizzard, so I added currants, dried cranberries and grated apple. Delectable.

The Space Cadet didn't waste much time before getting a product sample.

Sunday morning I could hardly get the back door open, the drifts were so high.

We shovelled our way to the sidewalk, where Mr Nice Nextdoor Neighbour was already out with his snowblower. We have a great arrangement.... MR NNN has the snowblower, and The Space Cadet has the key to Mr NNN's garage!

After digging our way out, we were volunteers at the local Junior 'A' hockey game, taking admission and selling teeshirts and hats.

I didn't stay to watch the game, but I think the home team lost.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Puppy School Graduate

Tessa is six months old and look how big she is! And looking especially fetching with a sexy girly hairdo. (Tessa, not me!)

She's a famous cover girl too.

She has graduated Puppy School with Honours. She knows Sit, Stay, Down, Wait, Give a Paw, Come. She can sit next to a doggy treat and not eat it until given permission. She's heading into the Intermediate Class in a few weeks.

What a clever girl!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Spring Was Just Foolin'!

After Monday's melty puddles, I thought Spring was on the way.... but it seems I was mistaken.

Winter hasn't given up yet. Another six inches of the white stuff overnight. This is getting $#@*&$#@!!! very tiresome. No wonder the main topic of conversation in Canada is the weather. Toronto Star video here.

Monday, 3 March 2008


Finally.... a day above Zero.

Don't get your feet wet.