Saturday, 31 January 2015

Art Class

After a break of a couple of uninspired weeks, I've taken up my paintbrushes again. This is the view of the entrance to St Johns Harbour from Cape Spear. Part of a bigger photo that I took when I was in Newfoundland last September.

Still lots of work to do on it.
The colours are not right yet and the coastline in the distance should be softer. And the sea is never that delightful blue colour, well, maybe in the Carribbean, but not the North Atlantic. And I want the sky to be stormier, even though it was a lovely sunny day.

The canvas was underpainted in Cad Orange, and some of the orange is bursting through on the actual painting giving it some energy, but it doesn't really show in the photo.

I'll keep painting, and I'll post a pic when it's finished.... but is a painting ever finished? It's so hard to tell, there's always something extra to add. The trick is to know when to stop!

Meanwhile, my friend V and I have signed up for another 8 week landscape painting class, with a different teacher this time. And he has a completely different approach to art from our previous teacher, which is giving me nightmares! I think it will be hard to adapt to his way of thinking, but I'm willing to try. But I've already abandoned what we did in this week's class, and started again.... not a good sign!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Oh Canada!

Everyone knows that Canada's favourite game is ice hockey, and Miss Universe Canada (Chanel Beckenleher) seems to agree!

She has been competing at the Miss Universe Pageant in Florida, and represented her home country, Canada, in this completely whacko stunning "National Costume".

And what a costume! A crown representing the Stanley Cup, hockey stick wings, a maple leaf corset, thigh-high boots laced up with hockey laces, a Marie Antoinette style dress representing goalposts and a net, and even a working electronic scoreboard.

Well, if she's brave enough to wear this outfit, she deserves to score win!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Rainbow Cake

I celebrated a birthday a while ago.... actually it was back in November. We had a small family gathering to mark the occasion. It wasn't a particularly significant number, that comes later this year, and may require some partying.
But my lovely DIL The Equestrienne thought it was significant enough to make me this fantastic Rainbow Cake!

Sunglasses optional while eating it!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Neeps, Tatties and a Broken? Nose.

Neeps and Tatties
On Friday I spent most of the day in the kitchen of the Presbyterian Church preparing Neeps and Tatties for the next day's Robbie Burns supper. You don't need pictures, I've done this many times before. When I arrived, there was already an army of volunteers peeling the Neeps (turnips) and the Tatties (spuds, potatoes) so I set to by chopping green onions. By the time that job was finished, some of the cooked turnips were ready to mash. Just add a large dollop of butter, a couple of beaten eggs, salt and pepper, and bake in the oven with some grated cheese on top... yummy!

Then in the afternoon it was the turn of the Tatties. Add generous dollops of sour cream, butter, cream cheese, chopped green onion, some salt and pepper and some milk, and mash like mad!

Altogether we prepared 18 large turnips and 70 pounds of potatoes. Enough to feed 160 people. Phew!

A Broken? Nose
I think it might be broken but there's nothing I can do about it.
I was looking after TessaDog while YoungerSon and family had a weekend winter adventure. We were playing chase the ball in the snow. I bent down to get the ball, and Tessa jumped up at the same time, and I heard a mighty CRUNCH! Her hard head and my vulnerable nose collided. Lots of blood dripping onto the snow, but I finally managed to staunch the flow with a crumpled kleenex, while desperately trying not to get blood on my new Olympic mitts, and at the same time Tessa jumping up and down trying to get me to throw the ball again.... total chaos! And did I mention that it was -14C at the time? Brrrr.
Now I have a cute nose bump that wasn't there before. Oh well. Thanks for the nose job, Tessa!

Robbie Burns Night
Burns Night is usually celebrated on Rabbie's birthday, 25 January, but ours was a couple of weeks early, as usual. There was the Address to the Haggis, accompanied by a bagpiper, and followed by a toast to Rabbie Burns. There was Scottish Country dancing, singing of Scottish songs, and quoting Burns poetry. And the best dinner you can get for $20.00. Here's mine......

On looking back at previous Burns blog posts (just click on the Burns label at the end of this post), I see I've taken a pic of my dinner every year. Probably because it's always SOOOO GOOOOD!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Best Medicine

As I mentioned a couple of blog posts ago, I've had a ten day dose of the really horrid fluey cough and cold which everyone else in the neighbourhood seems to be suffering from.

But I had some very special medicine to make me feel better.

It worked!

Hilary awarded me (and Isaac) a POTW... Thanks Hilary!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Wild Kratts Live!

If there are no children between 4 and 8 in your family circle, you probably have never heard of Wild Kratts, but let me tell you, Wild Kratts is Isaac's absolutely definitely most very favourite TV show.

So when I saw that the Wild Kratts Live! show was coming to the nearby theatre, I knew we had to go. I bought the tickets last May and kept them in a safe place till last weekend.

Conservationist brothers Martin and Chris Kratt created their TV show to educate children about the world's creatures and the dangers they face, using elements of zoology, biology and ecology, and combining science education with fun and adventure. The show is introduced by the Kratts themselves, and features a specific animal and it's habitat, and then, with a mighty "What if?" they are transformed into their cartoon alter egos, and the adventure begins.

Callum (6) and Isaac (5) knew they were going to see Wild Kratts, but had no idea that Martin and Chris were actually real people and were going to appear on the stage. Callum, being a cool six-and-three-quarters year old man-about-town, took it all in his stride, but I'll never forget the look of wonder on Isaac's face when his heroes appeared. "I love these guys!" he shouted.

Martin Kratt always wears blue, and Chris wears green. "My favourite colour is blue!" shouted Isaac.

The Kratt brothers can summon up magical properties when they are wearing their special creature power vests, especially when it means saving a wild creature from hunters with evil intentions.
Some refreshment at half-time. A lot of shouting and jumping up and down can build up a thirst.

Lots of audience participation, lots of excitement. I thought they were both going to leap over the balcony railing at one point in the show.

Thanks for a good show, Martin and Chris, you made their day!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Turning the Pages 2014

My annual list of the books I`ve read throughout 2014. Here are my previous reading lists for 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010. I'd recommend all these books, except the ones I didn't finish!

I discovered American authors Billie Letts and Chevy Stevens.... both authors set their novels in America, which usually doesn't appeal to me as it's not part of my growing up.... but I really enjoyed their books.

Canadian authors in RED.... not many this year.

The Honk and Holler Opening Soon - Billie Letts
Heartbreak Hotel - Deborah Moggach
The Buffalo Soldier - Chris Bohjalian
The Illicit Happiness of Other People - Manu Joseph. Did not finish.
Made in the USA - Billie Letts
Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson
Martin Sloane - Michael Redhill
Lies of Silence - Brian Moore
The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope - Rhonda Riley Loved this book!
Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts
The House I Loved - Tatiana de Rosnay
The Weekend Man - Richard B Wright. Boring. Nothing happened.
The Magician's Wife - Brian Moore
The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year - Sue Townsend
Shoot the Moon - Billie Letts
The Headmaster's Wager - Vincent Lam About Cambodia and Vietnam
Secret Daughter - Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Princess Masako, Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne - Ben Hills
The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
The Pink Suit - Nicole Mary Kelby. Did not finish.
Flying Charger - Sara Gruen
Always Watching - Chevy Stevens
The Light Between Oceans - M.L.Stedman Loved this book!
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures - Vincent Lam
Still Missing - Chevy Stevens
The Worst Thing I've Done - Ursula Hegi. Did not finish.
Black Robe - Brian Moore
That Night - Chevy Stevens
The Coral Thief - Rebecca Stott
Always Watching - Chevy Stevens
Never Knowing - Chevy Stevens
Gentlemen and Players - Joanne Harris
The Queen of the Tambourine - Jane Gardam. Weird.
The Cleaner of Chartres - Salley Vickers
Peaches for Monsieur Cure - Joanne Harris
Sleep Pale Sister - Joanne Harris
The Bone Seeker - M.J.McGrath
Dancing Backwards - Salley Vickers
With No One as Witness - Elizabeth George
The Red Queen - Phillipa Gregory
The Stone Boy - Sophie Loubiere
Mister Pip - Lloyd Jones
Strange Affair - Peter Robinson
The Kingmaker's Daughter - Philippa Gregory
The Wreckage - Michael Crummey
Caught - Lisa Moore
Where I Belong - Alan Doyle
Death Comes to Pemberley - P.D.James (A Pride and Prejudice murder mystery story)
The Lifeboat - Charlotte Rogan
Blood and Beauty - Sarah Dunant. Did not finish.
The White Princess - Philippa Gregory
Longbourn - Jo Baker (Upstairs Downstairs style Pride and Prejudice story)

Ready on the bedside table: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.