Thursday, December 20, 2012

x-mas decor

esther brought this lovely ornament home from school last year...
i was amazed at how cute it was, wondered how well it kept, and how many mini marshmallows
 were inside my girl for each one on the ball!

i unpacked it this year, and found it just as cute and intact,
so i decided to make them at home
to count marshmallows 'in' versus 'on'.  the answer, a 2:1 ratio.
all you need:
small foam craft balls
straight pins
spangles and sequins
a bit of ribbon
and lots and lots and lots of marshmallows.

santa's helper

i picked up this little Phentax feller at a bazzar a few years ago...
memories of crocheted barbie skirts and fluffy poodles in my gramma's bathroom made me do it.
esther unpacked him as we started to do our christmas decorating, and said
"this santa is hollow...where is his stuffing?"
i explained that he was used to hide the toilet roll.
"OH!" she piped, and disappeared.
the next trip to in to powder my nose, there he was.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This is the first thing i noticed when i walked into the waiting room intended for the families of surgical patients.  The tacit message; "Welcome, busy your hands, and quiet your mind."
Mum has just entered surgery, and i will certainly have enough time to get started on a nice little woolen toque for her...

Monday, November 19, 2012

my puppies

it is aways nice to be greeted by someone when i return home...

either in the street, or at the door.

what took me so long?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

mini rave

bought $10.00 of glowy bracelets, sticks and doodads, and sent out the invites one day before...
invitations to neighbourhood parents who don't mind the kids being out after dark.
we all met at a local park just at dusk, passed around the glow-stuff
and enjoyed the fun...
crisp cool air, running bodies highlighted by neon green, red and purple,
 the comfortable sounds of adults catching up, and children catching each other.
an hour or so later, the gang wound down and headed home,
but the event made the shorter days seem pretty exciting.
next one?  mini glowsnow-rave.


  a few of the greenbelt trails are excellent for having a closer relationship with chickadees and, not just these two; i mean the feathered kind as well.
we walked a loop of a very promising trail, but didn't meet any winged friends...
until the very last few metres of our return leg.

a great spot to sit, take a break, be peaceful, and enjoy the little birds' company.

Monday, November 12, 2012

more candles, please!

we celebrated my handsome and talented husband's birthday last week quietly,
but with cake!  candles on fire are second in importance only to the birthday cake itself...i figured everyone should have a little bit of both.  the kids decorated the mini cakes with candy and sprinkles,

although it seems david would have also enjoyed that task!
happy birthday, my darling.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

novel reading

a quiet afternoon of reading Captain Underpants books with Capitain No-Underpants.

hitting the trail

we bundled up and headed to the visitor centre at
gatineau park today,
to learn a bit more about our local flora and fauna, and to let off a little steam!

adjacent to the visitor centre is the sugarbush walking trail,
 about 700 metres of mostly gravelled light hiking.

 there is also a short, more rugged detour offering some hands-on experience!
the girl was pleased to be able to find a spot of colour in a land prepared for winter sleep.

and david was bold enough to ask the professional photographer we encountered on the trail
(clearly hired by a cold but happy looking couple to provide engagement-type photos)
to take a quick snap of us; "free, and in the wild".

Friday, September 28, 2012

red dwarf

edgar was so very proud of his most recent drawing of a rocket in space...

and equally delighted to find enough thumbtacks to securely affix it to the wall...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

gravity situation

 david, while playing kick-ball with the kids, sent the ball sailing into a tree.
it stayed there.
so he hurled a hockey stick to chase the ball back down;
it stayed there.
so he sent up another hockey stick to shake things up a bit.
i  mean, c'mon...what are the chances?
he finally got the trio of sports gear back to earth,
with a basketball.

blue whale

edgar succumbs to a compelling autumn deluge...

ahhh.  refreshing.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

jello and honey

 we welcomed these two fuzzies into our home last week,
and man, they have me smitten with small animal love.

edgar named "his" 'jello',


while esther chose the moniker 'honey' over 'cream-cake' for this little beauty.
(she considered 'honey' more masculine, since they are both boars...[seriously, that is the official name for guinea pig boys!])
the whole family is so happy to have some new members;
david constructed the best enclosure ever,
and could only take two bites of his toast yesterday, because he looked down and saw this:

looked too much like jello....

Friday, August 17, 2012

nature vs. nurture

the cottage provided so much adventure for the cousins on our past visit!

there were atv rides, wild chipmunks to be caught (or not),

scavenger adventure hunts to scrounge through,
tree forts to bang away at 'til dusk,
not to mention snake-handling
(and frog handling, toad handling, bug poking, bloodsucker avoiding, and fishing).

so grandma and i hostessed a dress-up tea, complete with pickle and cheeze whiz roll-ups,
checkerboard finger sandwiches, and creampuffs.

the little savages all cleaned up very nicely, had great manners,
and chipped neither teeth nor teacups.

but it might have been more of a girl thing.


our family attended the puppets up! festival in almonte last weekend.
the town hosts international puppet acts for one weekend each summer.
the whole main drag  is a carnival of street performances and kiosks,
while the shows themselves are housed in tents, businesses and even the town hall.
talented puppetmakers have created twin selves for many of the towns' prominent citizens,
and these folks are showcased each of the days in a grand parade.

we arrived just in time to witness this parade.

while there were an amazing assortment of stilt walkers,
crazy costumes and people parading around carrying their mini-dopplegangers,

 through the din of it all rode this peaceful gentleman,
who protected his small likeness like a calm and confidant big brother.
he didn't even animate his small companion, but somehow, for me, he stole the show.


Playtime screeched to a halt just after the postal delivery today...
The juniors' subscriptions have arrived!

bread head

we nipped over to the local bakery to pick up a "little something"
to bring to our friend mike's 40th birthday pot-luck,
and couldn't help but notice that they had this item up for grabs.
not an improvement over the original, but darn handsome, no?
and tasty, too.


Thursday, August 09, 2012


we took a spontaneous trip to kingston to visit my parents,
where there are parks with SWINGS!  they are the girl's favourtite
playground entertainment, and although she has long since figured out how to "swing" herself,
she still far prefers being pushed around.
A happy grandpa snapped this shot!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


edgar would NOT go for a bath last night,
so through his tantrum tears, i gently informed him
that we could just wash up his face, hands, and feet with a cloth.
continuing, i said, "i'll start with your face." 
when he blearily asked why, i replied,
"so we don't get foot germs all over your face!"
concerned, he responded, quite seriously,
"but you'll get my boogers all over my feet?!?"

the word 'boogers'=no more tears.

little ducks

grandma did it again this year...
3D ducky cake, sent down from the north in a cooler via bus-parcel.
it impressed, and was delicious:
the children all wanted more duck.

post cake, they needed to relax and digest on the hammock with
their gummy skewers.
happy number seven, my girl!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Joy jar

We have started an outdoor-fun-and-activities jar...
(which was a fun indoor activity!)
So far we have drawn...
'go to pool'
'walk to chinatown'
'splash pad'.
More fun to come...and with ideas being added every day, it's going to be a short summer!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

missing lynx?

now, at first, there was some debate between the girl and the parents, about T-ball.
would it be fun?  scary?  boring?  
eventually we figured it required a test-drive, 

 look who really settled in!
she enjoyed the coaches meetings, 
the warm-up games of "what time is it, mr. wolf?"
and the post game snack.

she paid attention in the outfield (usually!)

and even won a medal!
(they all did, but that's what made it so special.)

the T took the worst of it now and then,

but esther didn't let it douse her cheeky enthusiasm.
the season was just too short.
 we are now looking forward to the same debate next spring...
 over softball!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Olive branch

the shrubby russian olives in our neighbourhood are infusing the air
with their enchanting perfume now...
i have even adapted my route to work in order to accomodate my nose.
when i was a teenager, one of these trees lived beside the driveway of our rural home.
i loved the smell of june;
 the dwindling days of schoolbus tang, the scent of sunny lawn, tilled earth and rain,
and another arresting, yet transient fragrance which would greet me on my walk up the long lane.
being more accustomed to the "lilac" concept...big showy blooms and heavy bouquet,
 years went by before i finally identified that scrappy looking, crooked tree bearing insignificant flowers
as the origin of mysterious scent.  

now june smells of hot pavement, splashpad water, playground sand,
and the scent of trapped sunshine in the line-dried towels i wrap the children in.
i'm thankful the russian olive is here too, whispering summer is just starting,
and the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bake sale Banana loaf

Bake sale time again, and my offerings this year are of the loaf variety.
I do love to slink around the web, searching for yummy ideas, but
my favourite go-to quick breads and muffin recipes are usually from 
Company's Coming Mostly Muffins edition.
Thought i would test drive the banana loaf on some ladies 
at the office before offering it at the bake table.
The result?  Rave reviews, and recipe requests.
So here it is, with thanks to jean pare for authoring such a great collection of 
easy to follow, foolproof and delicious recipes.

Basic banana loaf
Sift into bowl #1:
2C all purpose flour
(i'm sure some whole wheat would be great, too)
1t baking soda
1/2 t salt
(i also added 1/2 C rolled oats)

In bowl #2 cream:
1/2 C softened butter or margerine
1C granulated sugar
Then add 2 eggs.

Beat well, then add:
1 1/2 C mashed ripe banana
1T lemon juice
1t vanilla extract.

Empty contents of bowl #2 into bowl #1, 
fold together until just moistened.

Spread into a greased loaf pan, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes.
(check with a toothpick to be certain!)
Let it rest in the loaf pan for 10 minutes or so before removing to a wire rack to cool.

Next on my list?
The Chocolate Chip Brownie Loaf!

Where is my...?

Looking for something?
You may find it on a flat surface at our house today.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

concentrated effort

edgar has been eagerly demanding to try out any sharp kitchen tool,
so i finally broke down and enlisted his help with the zucchini salad tonight.
(i figure the vegetable peeler is likely the safest choice at this stage.)
at least he seems to be paying very careful attention!

Friday, June 08, 2012


overheard at t-ball last night:
coach: "ok, who's number one!?"
eager team in unison: "we are!!!"
coach: "no, i mean literally; which one of you is number 1?"

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Broccoli + lentil sprout salad

1 c chopped broccoli
2 c lentil sprouts
5 chopped sundried tomatoes
2 chopped scallions
10 chiffonade of basil leaves
10 chiffonade of lemon balm leaves
(or 1 t lemon zest)
1/2 c toasted sunflower seeds
Toss with:
3 T balsamic vinegar
3 T olive oil
A grind of each

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Window garden

The rich and hearty lentil, transformed into a fresh salady veg.
The flavour is green and a little peppery, the color is bright and clean.
I used the small brown lentils, but the larger ones are tasty too!
Soak 1/2c of lentils overnight in a large jar, the mouth of which is  covered by a few layers of cheesecloth and secured with a broccoli elastic.
Drain and rinse, then leave on a quiet windowsill.
Rinse and drain those cuties daily until they are as grown as you might like them.
(this could be as soon as two days!)
They will hold in the fridge in a covered container,
 all ready to perk-up to a green salad or coleslaw, top a sandwich or enliven a stir-fry.

Of course many beans respond well to this treatment...
I may run short of sill space.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Peony please me, oh yeah...

By all means, stop and smell the roses,
but don't ignore the pleasures of the lovely peony.
If you know where one lives, race over, 
bury your face in her, and let the world walk by for a few breaths.
Perhaps a little personal, but she won't mind.