Friday, December 03, 2010

a story

the compelling tale of a sleepy sheep, spun by the masterful narrator, uncle richard.
(miss you three!)

caramel corn

i saw some recipes in parents canada magazine this month:
in a pinch for time and bakesale goods, i gave this confection a try...

after a quick kijiji search, i tracked down a (brand new...five bucks!!!)  hot air corn popper...
(expressly for this purpose... as far as i'm concerned,
stove top oil poppin' is the only way to go for savoury snacking.)
the effort did not disappoint.

classic caramel corn: 
common sense:do not drink and confect!!!

1/3 C popping corn
(about 8 C air popped corn)
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C corn syrup
2 T butter 
(worked fine with no-dairy margarine)
1 t vanilla
1/4 t baking soda

preheat oven to 250 degrees
lightly oil a big bowl, and pop the corn into it.
combine the syrup, sugar and fat in a heavy, medium sized sauce pan,
(don't allow the paucity of contents lull you into thinking you can use a smaller one...
the mixture really bubbles up at the last step!)
bring to a boil, and cook without stirring for 3 or 4 minutes.
(do carefully encourage the contents by swirling the pot now and then, though.)
the longer the cooking, the more caramelliness.
remove from heat, stir in the soda and vanilla.
this is the foamy bit.
be careful.  
quickly pour this elixir over the corn, tossing with metal tongs until evenly coated.
spread onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper
and bake at 250 for 30 minutes.
tape your mouth shut...c'mon, it's for tomorrow!!!!
break up into yummy chunks.
bag 'em.
and one of the best parts?  
the washing up is as simple as 
plopping everything in a warm sudsy sink, 
then enjoying a glass of something.
rinse, repeat.

seeing things

hey, is that a fuzzy blue elephant?
the girl directed that this drawing was never to be erased.
so, just in case, i'll store it here.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

birthday boy

lovely edgar.

three candles on the cake tonight...that fact,

plus a peg-legged pirate,

 a knights' helmet, a rocket ship and a hockey shirt all add up to 
"i a big boy now".
and what a boy!
happy birthday, pooch.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


it was a quiet sunday afternoon...
the boy re-charging for more mischief with a nap, and esther playing peacefully.
this means that i too was puttering, enjoying the quietude.
now, i am used to overhearing the girl's narratives and operettas as she 
manipulates her little characters...
polly pockets, little people, paper know.
very sweet and entertaining little dramas.
but today's episode was even more enchanting then usual;
 at some point of  the play, she opened the the cutlery drawer to audition cast members.

i wandered into the kitchen for tea, and found a whole new family there, 
sporting fancy duds and 'dos.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


ready, set....

GO! GO! GO!!!!


grapes in the cheeks.
natures' own halloween costume.

wooly bear season

these fuzzy fellows never fail to delight small fingers!
we really took this one off course...
found on a sidewalk blocks away, it was giggled all the way home.

it is hoped that it found a suitable place to live in our back yard;
 a quick google revealed that these little furries are isabella tiger moth caterpillars...
wouldn't it be so fun and educational to see
the transformation from cocoon to moth in the spring?
we could investigate life cycles, biodiversity, etc., etc...
but truthfully, we just want more tickley caterpillars, and you need the moths for that.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

or bea's knees?

esther and i craftily conspired today...
baby bea has turned two, and what toddler doesn't need a take-along pillow?
(note the little loop of green ribbon to tote it by)
i had talked to esther about the idea, and she was eager to contribute.
she drew the flower/letter design, oversaw and encouraged every moment of sewing, and was personally in charge of stuffing.  
she even sat on the project thoughtfully as the stuffing got stuffier, just to make sure it was fluffy enough for bea's bum.  
when the pillow was all puffy and cosy, esther asked 
"can we make one of these for me one day, mum?"

Saturday, October 02, 2010

il fait beau

camp radio was invited to play at the
so we came along for the fun.
obviously, there was some fine beer to be had,
but unlike most beer themed festivals of similar style,
this one had a petting (feeding) zoo, as well as a barnload of even more fun for the kiddies.

the  girl had done this sort of thing before, 
and enjoyed the snack-fest in a cautious and respectful manner,

while edgar could barely contain his glee. 

and, while oblivious to the meaning of the yellow sign,
 i'm certain he would have happily surrendered his fingertips, just to be a part of it all.

so, this kinderfest had colouring and facepainting,

a  charming jumbo tarp covered in enticing blobs of home-made playdough,

a clown show and pumpkin painting (yes, esther's is all pink,)

and a great place to leap around.
oh, yes, the other rock show was great, as well!

garden salad

esther often likes to help out in the kitchen by creating her own recipes.
 so this morning, at breakfast-time,
the girl, inspired by her new recipe for salad dressing, 
(a mixture of water, sumac, cumin and chile powder)
carefully chose greens from the backyard.

 the combination of colours and textures was quite convincing, at that...

it was gorgeous!
 she chose the perfect combination of 
chives, rue, boston ivy, mint, plantain, 
lily-of-the-valley leaves, parsley, berries and various weeds...
 the final concoction being both tempting and possibly toxic.
it was brought inside, dressed, tossed, admired, then 
returned to the garden to feed the slugs and squirrels.
it seems they know to pick out the foul bits.
bon appetit, critters!

Monday, September 13, 2010

lemon aides

  we held an spontaneous yard sale this past weekend.
this event was spurred on by the weeks' attempt to re-negotiate our overall storage space, only to discover there was no space left...time to claim some on the curb. 

 this rather exhausting task was sweetened, however, 
by the tangy addition of esther and the gang serving up some fine refreshment!
 lemons fresh-squeezed, glasses wobbled full, 
and pips finger picked out of each glass by enthusiastic proprietors,
who clamored for customers like carnival hawkers.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


and yet, to look at him sleeping, 
one would never imagine the escapades he is dreaming up for the coming day...

puddle ducks (+ bugs+froggies)

the perfect day to sport the new autumn attire!

more of an alley than a runway, but they do look great. 
(and did track down a small puddle at least!)
thanks, ron and marg, for the lively 'creature' comforts!
it was the girl's first day of senior kindergarten also, and she took to it with great enthusiasm!
lined up with her friends, and didn't look back.
well, she is five!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

9 1/2 hours

broken toed.  
last night, on my way to the fridge,  i zigged, and my toe zagged...
directly into the edge of a cupboard.
i do wish i had taken the "before" picture...
(the one where my baby toe looked like it was peeking over it's own shoulder)
 but this is the end result of almost 10 hours at the ER.  thank you, dr. choi!  
it took him and his med student a few sturdy yanks to reduce the fracture, 
but heck, that's what local anesthetic is for!
and everything is kind of funny at 3 o'clock in the morning.
4 to 6 weeks of "buddy taping" and i should be good as new.
i promise myself a decent pedicure as a reward!

Monday, August 30, 2010

combo number 2 please.

cottage cousins

both esther and edgar really enjoyed the cottage this year...
a long trip up and back, certainly,
but the filling was pretty delicious.

houseboat rides,

tea parties,

ATV motocross,



and cosy breaks with the cousins.

chalk it up!

edgar has found his medium,

but what is the message?

floyd stringer hembruff

i offer this photo in memory of a great man, 
thank you, poppa.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

fun? yow!

another youtube view for you...
scrambled pancakes.

to-do list

wondering what to do on the next rainy day?  
look this site up.

paper dolls, printable pages, games... a wealth of fun generation for the entire family.
personally, i'm looking forward to the colour-in russian stacking dolls here.
good thing i have little kids!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


well now.  
edgar would call it a muppin, and nana would call it a cupcake...regardless, it is a  baked goods recipe that is worth the trouble of a little extra choppin' and toppin'.  

strawberry rhubarb muffins
combine in one bowl:
1 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

combine in another bowl:
1 C  chopped strawberries
1 C chopped rhubarb
1 large egg
 1/4 C cooking oil
1 C soured goat milk
(or any milk, even soy...just add a tsp lemon juice)

dump wet ingredients into dry, stir until just moistened throughout. 

fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full, 
top with a mixture of 
cinnamon (1/2 t) 
and brown sugar (1/3 C)
bake at 375 degrees F 
for about 20 minutes.
cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing and devouring for tea-time.

(thank you to 'company's coming' homestyle-y cookbook tycoon, jean pare, 
for the  'mostly muffins' edition) 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

birds of a feather

the girl & mme robin, on esther's last day of JK.
this remarkable woman shepherded both an a.m. and p.m. gaggle of kiddies through the demands of JK with boundless enthusiasm and sensitivity.  
she shared the opaque world of junior kindergarten with each and every eager parent, 
 and more than once brought me to tears of pride and wonder.
thank you, robin.
i have my fingers crossed for edgar in 2011...


i spied this pattern while looking for a summer crochet project:
now, to choose the colour...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


the whole hand old

drenched in glorious sunshine, 
i clapped myself on the back for cheekily ignoring the weather report for esther's 
birthday party-in-the-park day.
then, when the last item was unpacked from the car, a fine mist started to fall.
within 15 minutes, mist thickened to a good ploppy rain,
 which persisted until it was decided to move the gang to this overhang at the park fieldhouse.
we dried out by the fire of five candles, 
and shored up energy reserves with chunks of cake.
then, game on.  
bug hunting,
butterfly prowling,

bubble blowing,

paparazzi chasing,

then through the full circle back into the mist.

happy fifth birthday, my lovely.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

june bugs

in the last month, the traffic barrier outside our home has become a unique little ecosystem.  

the concrete planters serve as playground, garden and zoo, and it isn't unusual on a sunny afternoon to see a congregation of the neighbourhood littles taking full advantage of those benefits.

the linden trees in front have blossomed also;  pale green, rather insignificant flowers, but what a perfume!
attending the blooms are exciting new insects to investigate...

and edgar took quite a shine to this deceased subject.

it is now respectfully stored in a small blue jewellry box, like the treasure it is.