Wednesday, March 31, 2010

if I were...

This has meme been making the rounds and I thought I would have fun too. This is what I would be today...tomorrow maybe other things:) Join in! This picture was taken in the Scottish highlands.

If I were a month, I'd be October..
If I were a day, I’d be Saturday...

If I were a time of day, I’d be 5 a.m...

If I were a font, I’d be Garamond

If I were a sea animal, I’d be a dolphin....

If I were a direction, I’d be east...

If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a beautifully worn antique desk...

If I were a liquid, I'd be red wine...

If I were a gemstone, I'd be an emerald...

If I were a tree, I'd be a tall pine

If I were a tool, I'd be a whisk...

If I were a flower, I'd be bright blue delphinium

If I were an element of weather, I'd be a big puffy cumulous cloud...

If I were a musical instrument, I'd be a well loved fiddle

If I were a colour, I'd be Green

If I were an emotion, I'd be happiness.

If I were a fruit, I'd be a luscious nectarine

If I were a sound, I'd be the pop of a champagne cork

If I were an element, I'd be silver

If I were a car, I'd be a battered Land Rover...

If I were a food, I'd be roasted potatoes and tzatziki

If I were a place, I'd be green forest and flowered meadow on ocean shore

If I were a material, I'd be soft and supple...

If I were a taste, I'd be garlic :)

If I were a scent, I'd be lily of the valley

If I were a body part, I'd be the crook of a neck

If I were a song, I'd be Pick Yourself Up

If I were a bird, I'd be a Swallow

If I were a gift, I'd be everything you ever wanted!

If I were a city, I'd be Paris :)

If I were a door, I'd be mostly open

If I were a pair of shoes, I'd be a pair of black patent pumps

If I were a poem, I'd be...

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

naughty food

This looks so good but it is SO BAD! I snapped it at the ChickenBurger, a drive-in near Halifax that has been hopping for over 50 years! What is cool about this pic is where it is being used at the moment. One of my personal heroes, Jamie Oliver, has it on his Food Revolution page! It is an example of what NOT to eat:) Oh well..... (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.) If you have not seen this new show of his, try to do so, it is a real eye opener. I really enjoyed the first two episodes. Fridays at 9 EST on ABC.

Funnily enough, another picture of mine I came across by accident was used for this year's Philadelphia Flower Show poster:) Such fun to stumble across them, always takes me by surprise, you know, the old double take! I have some of my pics for sale through a few microstock companies and that is where they were purchased. Nice to think of them being busy out there in the world rather than gathering dust on my hard drive:)

Also, there is a spot in my Sensational Snapshot Society e-course up for grabs:) It starts on Friday.....I am so excited:) Pop over here to SuzietheFoodie's blog for a chance to win if you are interested.

Monday, March 29, 2010


This reminds me of Michaelangelo's famous painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
I don't know, just does:) Have a happy Monday!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Adventure

Well it sure was freezing on Saturday but that did not stop us from making the trek to Earlstown for yet another maple adventure! Pancakes galore!

The one room school house never changes. Fiddlers sit up front and entertain the happy crowds who pour in all day.

Oink, oink. I ate like a ....... Food was delicious and the plates were loaded high with homemade everything. Even the sausages are from a local farmer.

Yummy whole wheat tea biscuits could be dipped in maple syrup.

With full bellies we took a stroll up to the general store. Still lots of snow up there in the country. Notice that one of these things is not like the others?

This is Laura, she's eleven years old.

Next stop was Sugar Moon Farm to buy some syrup. Bottles on the window sill are are the sap boils of the season.....the early ones are much paler than the later.

Scott checking on the syrup in the evaporator. The room is warm and steamy with maple sap.

Everything is just right, here comes the hot maple syrup!

It doesn't stop! I had a coffee with whipped cream and maple sugar on top!

Finally, syrup on snow. I couldn't manage that and in fact hardly ate a thing for the rest of the day. No wonder!

Friday, March 26, 2010


It's Friday!
I'm always happy to see Friday but really to me it it is the same as any other day, because I work from home. I tend to work on weekends as well as weekdays. I have a flexible schedule which I am very grateful for. I do miss the camaraderie of a workplace though. Having a coffee break and chatting, catching up on co-workers lives, admiring new haircuts etc... the simple things, human contact. I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy the internet. I love the feeling that I am not alone. I can pop by and visit people's sites for inspiration, conversation and community. I have met some terrific people through my cyber coffee breaks:)

Yesterday was another literary luncheon which was interesting as always, tomorrow is the maple festival at Earlstown and today is one week away from the start of my e-course, the Sensational Snap Society! Join in! We've got an interesting assortment of snappers:)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

parrish blue

I love this picture and I love this shade of blue and this time of night:) I was headed home recently and shot this through the car window. Yes, I was stopped.
It reminds me of one of my favourite artists, Maxwell Parish He used this colour so often it became known as parrish blue. I have a very large book full of his illustrations called The Early Years that I bought at a Boxing Day sale when I was nineteen and it was half price. I was so taken with his art that I had to have it:) I see it is quite valuable now. His work still thrills me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dim Sum

So first let me warn you, there are lots of pictures here! I think they all thought I was nutty taking snaps of everything but I just could not help myself. It was all so interesting to me.

This is tripe!

Steamed Barbeque pork buns and some other kind.

Pot stickers and Broccoli with beef

Chicken feet or 'Phoenix Talons" as a friend corrected me:)

There was tons of food and it kept getting replenished as dishes disappeared. All was served on a big lazy susan affair in the middle of the table. You spin it to get what you want:)

Sweet egg custard tarts

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tale of Two Kitties

Available on eBay..
I had fun with the book titles......
A Tale of Two Kitties, Dogs Are Our Pals, The Art of Purring, Find Your Inner Cat :)


Yesterday I was invited to a special ceremony at my dear friend Xue's grave. Her family was celebrating Ancestors Day, also called the Qingming festival. Since Xue passed away five years ago, her two brothers and their young families have arrived in Canada to join her mother.

Qingming has a tradition stretching back more than 2,500 years. It is an opportunity for family to remember and honor their ancestors at gravesite. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, incense, accessories, to the ancestors.
Xue's family filled the 3 wee cups with water ( because there are 3 buried there) and then after some prayers, her brother poured each of cups on the ground and then the bottle was emptied. The two cans on either side were burning incense and good luck papers.

When all was finished, they passed around the honey cake and we all had a bit.

It was the first time I've witnessed this. Grateful to be a part of it. Later we went to have dim sum and I will show you the food in my next post.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First day of Spring!

Hurrah, it is here! Today is a perfect Spring day. We have been having the most wonderful streak of early springlike weather and for that I am grateful. I am planning a long walk to soak it in!

I've fallen into a rut with my " losing weight" program:( I'm still getting about 1 hr of exercise every day but my eating has drifted back into "noshing after supper" mode and I HAVE to get it under control! I have been floating up and down the same 2 pounds for a month now. Today is a good day to fire up the willpower and get going again! (My daughter's birthday lunch did not help....too much dessert...mmmm)

I'm also in a waffly artistic mode. A few days ago it was painting. Yesterday I wanted to be a portrait photographer and was researching and surfing, the day before I was thinking about writing and illustrating a children's book or maybe penning a young adult best seller. Today I want to film documentaries.......... at lunch yesterday we were throwing around the idea of opening a tearoom:) When am I going to grow up and become what I am supposed to be? I could do all of those things. I just need time:)

I think it is time to focus. Perhaps I have Spring fever?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today is my daughter's 20th birthday.:) Where did the time go?????
This is an early painting. H was ten years old when I did this.
She is meeting me for lunch today between classes, taking a friend to get her wisdom teeth out, a shift at work and then partying downtown! Busy day for the birthday girl.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Medium double double?

Nope, medium double milk only. It's that time of year again...... Here in Canada people everywhere are rolling up the rim to win:) Tim Horton's is a plentiful chain of coffee/doughnut shops across the country and every year they run this promotion. In fact it is such a popular promotion that MacDonald's is offering free coffee this year during the duration. It is one of the few times of year I buy coffee. Did I win?

Don't forget to check out my Sensational Snap Society! Only two weeks left for registration:)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Yum... This was really,really good! Everyone liked it and it is so easy to make! Thanks to my pal Karen who posted it over on her blog, I get to share it with you. (unfortunately her blog is private) I was breezing through my Google reader the other day and it was nearly lunch time, I was feeling hungry and did not have anything in mind. I came across Karen's recipe and immediately hopped up, dashed into the kitchen and started making it with several trips back and forth to check on ingredients etc:) According to Karen, it is Keith Urban's recipe:) Karen is renovating an old farmhouse in Connecticut.
Impossible Quiche, crustless yet has a crust:)
(My comments are in italics, Karen's are in brackets)

4 large eggs ( I used six eggs to make it fluffier) ( so did I)
2 cup(s) whole milk ( I used skim)
3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoon(s) butter, softened
3 slice(s) cooked bacon, crumbled - (I used five slices) (I used diced black forest ham slices)***
1 small (4- to 6-ounce) onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup(s) grated mild Cheddar Swiss cheese
1/2 cup(s) unprocessed bran (I used Raisin bran flakes minus the raisins and mashed them fine) ( I used Kashi lean cereal crushed)
1 teaspoon(s) dried basil
1 teaspoon(s) salt
1 teaspoon(s) pepper

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 9 1/2-inch deep-dish glass or ceramic pie plate.
2. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, milk, flour, and butter 1 minute or until well blended.
3. Add bacon, onion, Cheddar, bran, basil, salt, and black pepper. Beat 1 minute longer or until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate.
4. Bake 45min to 1 hour or until eggs are set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. t puffs up from the outer edge to the inside. Let cool on wire rack 15 minutes before serving.

*** You could probably add broccoli, red pepper, asparagus etc. instead of the ham**

Monday, March 15, 2010

walking weather

Looking out towards Spain! Those tiny black specks out there are rocks with some seals on them! We have had such great sunny weather, I took a walk around Point Pleasant Park on Friday. I used to go there all the time but then Hurricane Juan hit and devastated the forest. I found it very difficult to visit for a long, long time. It is still barren, but the forest is regenerating and flourishing with new growth. Everything is still in hibernation mode at the moment. Who knows, we may yet get another snowstorm!

Can you see me waving to you? Duh, who can resist a shot like that with a camera in hand:)
This stray cat was relaxing in the warmth on top of somebody's carport but never once took his eyes off me:) I don't know how those animals survive winter. The weather can be so harsh. Ok, I'd best get to work, enough distraction for the morning.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Middle of March means.....

The maple season has begun here in Nova Scotia! Here is a list of the festivals this year. I ALWAYS try to make it to the Earltown Maple Festival. They hold it in their one room school house and we are fabulously entertained with fiddlers and other musicians:)

This year it is on March 27th. It starts at 10 and goes until 6. Best to get there early so you don't have to wait in line too long. It is about an hour and a half drive from Halifax. Earltown is a tiny wee community with a funky general store. I always pop inside and pick up something, even if it is just a small bag of chips.

With full bellies, we then head over to Sugar Moon Farm for some maple syrup on the snow and a hike along the tap line up into the sugar bush! Here is a link to their sap journal for this year. If you miss the Earltown festival you can visit SugarMoon any weekend for pancakes and maple fun.

Ok, so who's in??

Friday, March 12, 2010

staying organized

It's Friday! How did that happen? It has been a busy week and lots of things on the go:)

There's a great site I pop into every now and the called the Unclutterer , dedicated to making your life more organized. Good for people like me who are constantly surrounded by clutter of my own making and always in the midst of making it go away! This is a list of ten things that Sherri Kruger compiled for a guest post over there. Good list I think, worth saving. That's why it is posted here:)
  1. Reset your home each evening. This doesn’t have to take long, but it’s really effective. Spend 5 or 10 minutes on a quick run-through of your home. Straighten books and knickknacks, return dishes to the kitchen, and hang up jackets. Don’t strive for perfection, this is just a quick pick up.
  2. Never leave a room empty handed. Look around you. Are there things that don’t belong? When you leave the room, for whatever reason, be sure to grab a glass and return it to the kitchen, or whatever the case may be.
  3. When you’re done with something, put it away. Right away. Clutter arises when we take something out, use it for awhile and neglect to return it to its proper home. Remember the Unclutterer’s gospel, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
  4. Hit the laundry basket. Every time. It may seem easier to simply let your clothes fall where they may, but this only creates clutter. Take 30 seconds to hang up your clothes or put them in the laundry basket. Erin recommends getting ready for bed an hour before you plan so you’re not exhausted when handling your clothes.
  5. Take out the garbage. Perhaps garbage day occurs only once a week, but emptying the garbage nightly, even if not entirely full, is a great habit start. Over-flowing bins are not attractive.
  6. Vacuum or sweep everyday. Ensure everything is up off the floor. Essentially, you’re doing a nightly reset during the day making it even easier to keep on top of clutter.
  7. Clear out your e-mail inbox. Hundreds of e-mail messages in your inbox can be incredibly overwhelming. Take time at the end of each day to clear out your inbox. When you come back in the morning, it’ll be a lot less daunting.
  8. Cut out the non-essentials. Re-evaluate the necessity of your involvement in groups, clubs, committees or boards. Limit yourself to participating in things that are important to you and make you happy.
  9. Do just one thing each day. Pick a drawer, closet, or shelf that’s driving you nuts. Focus on doing one little thing to move yourself closer to the clutter free state you’re Seeking. Ask yourself: Is this really important? Can I get this again relatively easily?
  10. One thing out everyday. Walk through your home with a critical eye. Look for one thing you don’t need, use, or want. Keep a couple of boxes by the garage or front door for temporary storage.
Good things here, some that apply to me and others that don't (or I am resistant to them) I should probably make my own list using this as a jump off point. Do you have any daily rituals that keep you on task and your life running smoothly and calmly.

Ooh and thanks to those of you signing up for the Sensational Snap Society! It is going to be fun. I am so looking forward to it:)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunflower Tabby

available on eBay:)

shared passion

Selma Hortense Burke ( 1900-1995) is one of the few African-American women sculptors who achieved a high level of national recognition during her lifetime.

I've recently come across some photos from the Smithsonian Peter A. Juley & Son Collection. The collection comprises the work of 11,000 American artists and the portraits of almost 5,000, some of which are on Flickr. I thought I would share a few. You can click on the pictures for more info. I am fascinated with old photos.

Brenda Putnam, American sculptor, 1890-1975

Aline H. Rhonie, 1909-1963 She learned mural painting from Diego Rivera and painted the large aviation themed fresco mural in Hangar F at Roosevelt Field.