Saturday, October 31, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!







I HOPE YOUR DAY IS FILLED WITH TREATS OF EVERY KIND ...
AND THAT YOU ONLY ENCOUNTER SWEET LITTLE TRICK-OR-TREATERS LIKE THIS ONE ...




OR THIS ONE ...


OR EVEN THIS ONE ...
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AND NOT THE HORID BIG SCARY ONES LIKE THIS ONE ...

OR THIS ONE ...

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OR WORSE OR ALL, THIS ONE .....
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PS -- I don't know about the rest of you Moms with older children, but I miss the days of raiding the sacks for Rockets and Mars bars!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

SUNDAY IN TORONTO & FLYING HOME

On Sunday, Evan's parents took us to a delicious brunch at a place called Epicure on Queen Street. I had the New Orleans burger with hot sauce and mango chutney, Amy had a beef and fig sandwich and the rest had various omlets. I must have been too hungry to remember to take pictures, I guess. But everything was so yummy! And they had amazing coffee too.

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Then we all trecked over to the ROM -- Royal Ontario Museum.

This is the ceiling in the old entrance of the ROM. Pretty nice, huh! But I wouldn't wanna clean it!


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What a wonderful place! You could spend days in there looking at all the exhibits.



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I was thrilled to be able to view The Dead Sea Scrolls. Due to the fragility of the fragments, the lighting was very dim and we weren't allowed to take pictures; but here's something from the Net.***


As a Christian, I found it extremely moving to view these. The documents are both biblical and historical and date from 150 BC to 70 CE. One of the fragments I viewed was from the book of Isaiah; and a Jewish couple next to me were reading it as it was written in the original Hebrew. Wow! There is something that happens when we hear God's word in one of the original languages -- the Spirit of God is made manifest. It was awe inspiring!


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We moved from there to the enormous dinosaur exhibit; then on to the insects, birds and the bat cave (which was really cool).





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We finished off the day by relaxing at home with pizza and beer and an old movie that I'd never seen - Midnight Cowboy. Now, I realize that it was ground breaking for it's time; but man! That's one strange movie to view in 2009! Dustin Hoffman was fantastic though.
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We got up at 6 AM the next morning. While we waited for my taxi, Ami and I tried hard (and unsuccessfully) not to cry. The trip was too short! We didn't even have time to get sick of one another or have a stupid fight!! Boo hoo!
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I missed her the moment I got on the airplane and I miss her still. There's like a big hole in my heart!
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Sigh.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

SATURDAY IN TORONTO

I'd like to introduce you to my favorite second daughter and her Amour. She's a delightful little creature with the most beautiful smile and a huge brain and enormous creativity. She's a wonderful cook and she's funny and articulate; and I'm so proud of her and the way she's grown.

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She also has the best boyfriend in the world. I really enjoy spending time with him, especially during "Jeopardy" because it's always a challenge to see which of us will beat the other! (He has a huge brain as well!)

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And I know they love me and were so happy I could visit.

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Why - just look at the surprise and delight on their faces!

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They've just become parents to the cutest and most mischievous little kitten..... one who will eat anything! Oat bars, green salad, noodles, potato chips -- if it's edible, Mary Louise Kinsky will eat it!



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Saturday morning, we went shopping -- unsuccessfully for Evan's shoes but successfully for my .... whatever!! That's just what I like to buy -- whatever!! And I found some!

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We went to a Goodwill where I found a great black sweater and a pink sheer "I Love Jesus" scarf! (Because I do -- love Him, I mean! And pink! And $2! Why, that's just further proof that Jesus loves me too!) Then I forced them to take me to Value Village where I bought a cute crystal Christmas ornament candy dish and a bunch of little items for their apartment. We had a wonderful brunch at Sunrise Grill & Crepe (they also have amazing smoothies.) Evan took the bus to his brother's house, & Amy and I bought a fabulous cake for dessert later -- and checked out another Goodwill!. Evan and his dad picked us up at home later, and we went back to his brother's house for the evening.

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I met most of Evan's family -- brother, sister-in-law, kiddies, Mom & Dad: we ate a delicious vegetarian lasagne (made by Evan's Mom). And after a suitable amount of time passed (during which a lot of satisfied groaning & faux complaining was heard), we had our "afters" -- the Spice cake I mentioned and the very best raspberry custard pie (
imported from Sarnia Ontario!)




We spent the rest of the evening playing Cranium and drinking wine and laughing and laughing and laughing. Here's Evan with his wonderful parents.


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It was a really fun evening!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FRIDAY IN TORONTO - PART 2

Walking through Kensington Market was wonderful -- the smells and sounds and different people everywhere. But suddenly, I was in Chinatown! And I mean totally immersed in Chinatown. There was no gradual transition. BOOM -- You were there!


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Now, Nova Scotia (especially Halifax) has many different nationalities of people. But Chinatown was amazing! I found myself surrounded by Chinese people, speaking only Chinese; shops with signs ONLY in Chinese -- for blocks and blocks and blocks! WOW! It was like being in another country!


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Sadly, it was pouring rain by this time. So, I only took this picture of the entrance to Chinatown; then I hid under my umbrella for the rest of the time, only occasionally looking up because it was really raining hard.



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I think by this time we were on Queen Street. We were pretty damp. So, we visited a few nice little stores with new merchandise. I bought a couple of Christmas presents (Shhh! No peeking!) We visited LD2's Amour at work; and as the rain let up a little we walked yet some more.

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We stopped at LD2's favorite Vintage Store. And just as we were walking in, guess who was walking out? Why there he is --- it's Evan Biddell, winner of last year's Project Runway Canada. (He was my choice of winner as well!) I didn't speak to him; I was either too tired, too wet or too awestruck -- or a combination of all!

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It was time for another break by then. And perfect timing and location! LD2 took me for my birthday gift. And what a wonderful birthday gift it was!

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We went to Nadege Patisserie! Toronto Life did a write-up about this shop and has this to say about it: "Nadege Nourian makes ... macaroons that melt in the mouth ... in flavors like cappuccino, blackberry-chocolate and wasabi-grapefruit."

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Oh my goodness!

You cannot in any way compare them to what we in North America call macaroons. They are nothing like these creations. What can I say that can describe how exquisite it was? Let me try .....

This was the late but oh-so-great "Marie Antoinette" --

a pyramid of maple cream mousse with miniature macaroons on the side.

And this lovely is the "Adiction" ...

layers of dark chocolate and pomegranate cream mousse encased in a cylinder of white chocolate. Yes people -- that leopard print looking outside is edible chocolate!

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It was bliss! We shared!

And this is what we took home with us:


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Macaroons in cappuccino, pomegranate, pumpkin, peach, dark chocolate and pina colada!
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We waddled down Queen Street, stopping only for bread and fresh vegetables. We waddled all the way home; where we collapsed for about half an hour before LD2 began making Thai hot and sour lemon grass soup for dinner. I assisted with chopping and making appreciative comments and sounds! What a divine scent in that little kitchen!
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When LD2's Amour came home, we fed him and tried to ply him with beautiful French macaroons. But he doesn't care for sweets!! Ahh, too bad. That meant that there were so many more for me to eat!
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Hmmmmm!
I think I like this prospective son-in-law ..... A LOT!

FRIDAY IN TORONTO

I'm back after a wonderful, whirl-wind trip to Toronto. But I'm still catching up on my rest. (We walked and walked and walked and walked ....).

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On Day 1, I met my LD2 (Lovely Daughter #2) at The Cherry Bomb in Roncesvalles -- she had to work for an hour that morning and I had to take the streetcar all by myself and then find the cafe. I did it, brave warrior princess that I am! We had coffee and croissants and set out to capture elusive bargains!

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Roncesvalles is the Polish neighborhood of Toronto. The avenue itself is perhaps 16 blocks long?? and there were oodles of little cafes and pastry shops and vintage stores -- not so many thrift stores! But it was such fun to go into some of them and look around. I did buy an amazing pair of dark red leather boots (picture yet missing). (I need to polish, shine and protect them -- then they will appear in their as-yet unseen glory for all of you to ohh and ahh over! )

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At the top of Roncesvalles (on College St??), we took the streetcar to Kensington Market. I'd wanted to visit this end of town ever since the late 60's/early 70's when the Canadian TV program "King of Kensington" used to air. I had dreams of finding fresh Italian cannoli just like the star of the show, Larry King (Al Waxman) used to eat.
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It had begun to rain by this time. I didn't find cannoli, but here's what I did see -- lots of street markets and vintage shops:
The Chocolate Addict was a disappointment for a die-hard fan like me; they lie people!!!
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LD2 saw lots of things she liked. My philosophy is that if I wore the original, I ain't wearing it again! I pointed out this pristine-condition, hot pink wool cape to my daughter; and her response was:

"Hmmm. Perfect for ritual virgin sacrifice!"

And on second glance (and after meeting the owner), I think I agree!

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This same overpriced shop had a wool blanket I asked about. But the owner was so rude, I kept my money where it was and I didn't buy it! We left!!

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We walked and walked some more, in and out of shops. We passed this along the way, and I thought it was a very clever and green use of junk! As a gardener, I was very pleased!

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In between all the walking and window shopping, we had lunch at this place.

We both choose a salad. (I start out eating healthily but get more decadent as the day goes by! You'll see!!) You had your choice of greens and 6 toppings; my choices were spinach and argula with chickpeas, black olives, carrots, cucumbers, pea pods and these great seasoned croutons that were almost like eating meat! It was topped with seeds, parmesan cheese and a Thai dressing. So yummy!!

Here are some of their wonderful soups -- Sweet potato, Tomato basil, veg chilli.

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Stay tuned for Part 2 of Day 1 and a continuation of my fantastic fun and food adventure in Toronto!

Friday, October 23, 2009

MOM! WOULD YOU BRING UP ........

When visiting your 22 year old daughter, she may ask you to bring up some very important items which she left home in your downstairs closet. Necessary items such as:

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  • an assortment of her favorite LP's (including your Simon & Garfunkle, Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin)

  • the warm, wooly mittens you gave her a few years ago (because winter is acomin!)






  • Her two favorite "little old lady hats", as she calls them. (And yes, she has worn them a number of times. She and her friends - both male and female - would have dinner parties where people were to dress up; the girls loved sporting long cotton gloves with their full-skirted dresses or beatnik-style leotards, and the guys wore various hideous sports coats from the '50s & 60's with their jeans. Very cute!)

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She also requested her buckwheat pillow and some LaHave Bakery bread.


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But Mom also comes bearing unasked-for gifts; necessary Nova Scotia items such as:



  • a bottle of Lunenburg County Winery peach wine (for dinner with the possible in-laws!!)

  • a bottle of Grand Pre Winery Castel (for sitting around with the youngsters)

  • a bottle of blueberry juice (must build-up their imune systems which are sometimes frayed because of wild 20 yr old life-styles)

  • a bottle of maple syrup (too expensive for a poor starving artistic couple to purchase)

  • Halloween candies (because every home should have some at this time of year)

  • Mom's home-made bread and butter pickles (because every home should have some at this time of year)

  • Mom's home-made crabapple jelly (because every home should have some at this time of year)

Is there an echo in here??



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And what did Mama pack for herself?


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Well, along with her comfortable walking shoes; a scarf, gloves & hat; and those nice new-to-me stretch jeans (all with little Polish coffee shops and Italian pastry shops in mind), she packed this necessity:


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(all with little Polish coffee shops and Italian pastry shops in mind)


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I better do a lot of walking!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

LITTLE VISIT

Where I am right now:





Where I will be later tonight:



Who I am going to see:

Darling Daughter #2

(I told you if you didn't smile nice it would come back to haunt you!)


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How I'm feeling about this:





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See you bloggies next week! I should have lot of pictures and great tales to tell.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I WON!!

Last month, I won a giveaway hosted by Robin at Miscellaneous Thoughts http://weareflyingnow.blogspot.com/.
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Friday morning just before dashing out the door, a parcel arrived. I had to wait until that evening before I could open it. But look what I found! The most beautiful packaging!

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And I certainly wasn't disappointed when I looked in the bag. Three beautiful items from "Vintage and Vogue".

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I wish I could get a photo that would do justice to this absolutely beautiful magnet. It's French stamps behind this lovely crystal. I just love it! ***

Then there was a lovely purse hanger. (I didn't have one of these, so I'm looking forward to putting it to use by going shopping and/or eating out!)

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And lastly, this beautiful bookmark! I have another "dress" bookmark as well. But they're so pretty; so I prefer to hang them and enjoy them that way!

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Thank you Robin! I feel very fortunate!

Monday, October 19, 2009

GOODNIGHT LITTLE GARDEN!!

Sunday was a lovely crisp day -- not a lot of sun but not too cold either. So, I spent the afternoon putting the lawn furniture and ornaments in the shed and taking up some of my solar lights. (Do you bring in your solar lights or leave them out year round?) Then I walked around and tucked in my little garden.
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"Goodnight dear friend! What lovely times we've had together! How much I appreciate you. Sleep well; grow strong!"

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Look at how bare my little garden looks! Not really sad, but certainly ready for it's 5 month rest. I had lovely thoughts of the past spring and summer spent planning and purchasing and planting and watering and weeding and enjoying! (I must admit that some of those thoughts made me tired!)


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I too am ready for my 5 month gardening rest. It's time to turn my thoughts to other things and let my body get involved in less physically challenging activities.
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But look at these little fighters, still producing in spite of the cold temperatures this week:


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I'm thinking about pine boughs in the planter boxes and putting out Christmas lights before the frigid weather comes, and these little guys are still hanging on to the wee bit of warmth that the October sun brings. How amazingly resiliant they are!

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And you know what really excites me? The (as yet) slow and quiet anticipation of what will come next spring! It's going to be soooo beautiful!
***** orth next spring!
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Oh that we could all grasp this same concept -- that the little seeds that are dormant in our own lives are just waiting for the right season so they can spring forth with new, vigorous life.
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Blessings on you all, my friends!