Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ten Things You Will Probably Never Hear Me Say!

Yesterday I saw myself in a full-length mirror. I thought it looked as if I had lost some weight. My clothes seemed to hang on me. So today, when I was at the doctor's office, I asked her to weigh me. How incredible is that? I actually looked into a mirror and then asked to be weighed! I don't know what got into me! All that started me thinking about a list of things I would probably never say. So here they are!!!
Ten Things That You Will Probably Never Hear Me Say!

10. Let's leave all the lights on and waste some electricity.

9. Let's join a gym and get some exercise.

8. Oh goody! Another medical test.

7. No Mimi! You cannot sleep on my bed or eat off the kitchen table!

6. No more chocolate for me thanks. I've had enough.

5. Where's the vacuum cleaner. I feel like vacuuming!

4. What? Cake for breakfast? No way! That can't be good for you!

3. No thanks! I already have enough fabric!

2. Is there a full-length mirror around here somewhere? I think I want to look at myself.

1. Does anyone have a scale handy? I want to see how much I weigh.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Niagara Falls

Great Day! Lots of sunshine! High of 25C. Lots of cool water spray from the falls. Look! We're soaking wet! But it was fun. We stayed late to watch them light up the falls with beautiful coloured lights, from the top of the Skylon Tower! Got home late. Happy, but exhausted!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Delicious Japanese Dinner

Our guests cooked us a traditional Japanese dinner tonight. They found the recipes in a cookbook that I had bought a long time ago. I had never made any of these recipes, because I didn't know where to find all the ingredients. But they went to the St. Lawrence Market this morning and found everything they needed. In the afternoon, we went over to my daughter's place and they cooked up a storm! The menu included Miso soup and Nikujaga, which was a meat and potatoes kind of dish. I was surprised that this would be a traditional meal - it sounded so Canadian, but they assured me that this is something every mother knows how to make. It was delicious! They also cooked up some Tofu Steaks. Very delicious also, especially with the Seven Spice and Soy Sauce. Yummy!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bounty From the Garden!

There are beautiful ripe red tomatoes and a couple of plants which bear huge, golden fruit, which is especially delicious!
We have been eating lots of fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. It has been a bumper year for tomatoes. I think the weather has been just right. We have never had such a high yield on our plants! We eat tomato sandwiches, tomato salads and tomatoes in just about everything else that we eat! Each day brings another bowl full! They are ripening faster than we can eat them. I think I will be making some tomato sauce soon.

Tuberous Begonias

These begonias provided us with beautiful blooms and colour all summer long. I plan to dig them up and store them for next year as soon as we have our first frost. But it is still hot and humid out! And fall seems like a long way off.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Art Exhibition in the Distillery District

It is always interesting to see an art exhibition, but this one was especially good because my daughter knew the artist, Lillan Rosendal. She is on the right and is known for her exquisite watercolour paintings! The show was held down in the Distillery District.

This area had originally been the brewery of the Gooderham and Worts Company. Since 1837 they produced whiskey and beer, making it the largest distillery in the British Empire at that time. Gooderham and Worts closed its doors around 1990, after 170 years of business. The area was later restored and today it is the only pedestrian village within our city. The forty plus buildings house various galleries, artists' studios and workshops, restaurants and boutiques. It is said to be the best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America.

We decided to stay in the District and have dinner at one of the outdoor cafes after the art show closed. This is the first time I had been down to this area and I was pleasantly surprised. The whole place had a very European feeling about it - probably due to the old stone buildings, cobblestone streets and outdoor cafes.

Special events like festivals, art shows and musical performances are held here throughout the summer months. I plan to return next summer and will make note of some of the interesting happenings taking place then.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Amigurumi Menagerie

Cute, aren't they? I made them from the books Keiko sent me. All the instructions are in Japanese, but I have no trouble 'reading' the graphs. These little critters were a lot of fun to make.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Who was Here First?

Canada is a mosaic of peoples. We come from every corner of the world. We speak every language, worship every religion and practice every culture. But what about the people who called this land home long before the first 'white men' came? Our aboriginal peoples. We decided to visit Petroglyphs Provincial Park today. This is a very special park. Here native culture is evident in the form of rock carvings. This site is considered profoundly sacred by Aboriginal people. They use this area to pray, fast and conduct ceremonies. These rocks are thought of as a living body, possessed with spirit. We could actually feel the spirits as we entered the building that has been erected to protect the rock carvings from acid rain and other erosion. We took no photos because the Native peoples have asked that visitors not take photos while at the site since this would weaken the spiritual powers of the rocks. After a visit to the rock site and a short walk to a newly built visitor centre to learn more about about the park, we had a picnic lunch.
On our way to the picnic area, we passed a beaver lodge in a pond beside the road. No beavers were visible at that moment, but we did have other nature sightings. A white-tailed deer walked out in front of our car as we made our way to the picnic grounds. He quickly went back into the forest when he saw us. But soon we came across another young buck, eating the low green vegetation. He was much more friendly and posed for us, so I was able to get a photo of him. Cute, eh?
We also encountered some red squirrels who were not happy that we decided to sit at a picnic table in their 'backyard'. They chattered at us as we ate and one even went so far as to climb to the highest branches of a tall pine tree and throw pine cones at us! Needless to say, we didn't stay long! All in all it was a worthwhile and interesting day. On our way home, we decided to go out to a Japanese restaurant for sushi.
We went to Little Tokyo and ordered the bento boxes. There was way too much food, so we put it into containers and brought it home with us. We will eat sushi for breakfast tomorrow morning! It doesn't get much better than that, folks! From a native spiritual world to a restaurant serving sushi - we came a long way today.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Few Hours at Rouge Beach

It's amazing how a few hours of nature's solitude has the ability to rejuvenate us. We spend the morning at Rouge Beach. There were only a few people there, even though the weather was hot and sunny. It was very quiet and peaceful on the beach. We all welcomed the silence to re-energize ourselves. A group of sailboats floated on the lake in front of us. The only sounds were those of the waves, washing up onto the sand. Occasionally a gull would screech, as gulls often do to tell each other the latest news. A gaggle of geese flew low over the water. They glided in on air currents and made a few short goose sounds before landing a short distance away. Happy children's voices could be heard from the water's edge as they tried to outrun the waves. Some regal swans swam amongst the reeds in the wetlands and a tall, white heron flew to within a few feet of us to feed on the tiny fish along the water's edge. Fishermen were everywhere, trying to catch that one big salmon or trout of the summer! The only sound that brought us back to reality was that of the occasional train as it raced across the rails high above us - off to Oshawa, Kingston or Montreal! We could only imagine! Everything was peaceful and soon we were all dozing in the shade of a few huge willow trees. After a couple of hours of relaxation we were rested, energized and ready to take on the world! But we were also hungry! So it was off to McDonald's for lunch. Nature at our doorstep and fast food only minutes away. Wow! Canada - what a country!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Conversation With Mimi

Me - "Hi Mimi."

Mimi - "Meow! (Yawn!) You woke me up!"

Me - "I know. I know. I just wanted to tell you that I had a CAT scan done yesterday at the hospital."

Mimi - "A CAT scan? What is that? I'm a cat. I could have done it for you!"

Me - "It's not what you think it is, Mimi. But thanks for offering. It stands for Computed Axial Tomography - CAT or CT. With this test, hopefully the doctors will be able to find out what is wrong with my back and why me leg hurts so much."

Mimi - "Doctors, Shmoctors! Why do you waste your time with them? You would be better off licking whatever hurts. That's what I do and it works! What can a doctor do that is better than that? The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."

Me - "Oh, Mimi! That's very Voltaire of you!"

Mimi - "Who?"

Me - "Voltaire - He was a French writer and philosopher in the early 1700's. He was very smart and witty! You just quoted him!"

Mimi - "Meow! I did? Oh! Smart and witty? A philosopher? Well I guess two great minds think alike! Now can I get back to my favourite spot in the solarium? You are cutting into my nap time, you know."

Me - "Okay, my sweet kitten. Nice talking to you. Happy dreams!"

Monday, August 06, 2007

Two Flowers Among Many!

We took a drive downtown today to check out the location of the ELS school and other tourist sites. It was nice and quiet downtown because today is a holiday - Simcoe Day. No traffic and very few pedestrians. We ended up at Allen Gardens. The flowers there were magnificent!

Sunday, August 05, 2007


We took our Japanese daughters to ribfest today. It was sort of embarrassing - kind of like a big redneck party - no place to park - lots of food - lots of beer - loud country music - people dancing and singing in the aisles - games - rides - too many people and too many baby strollers. What more could anyone ask for? Oh, well. At least I didn't have to cook tonight!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Off to Camp!

The girls boarded the bus for Bark Lake this morning. We said our teary goodbyes and they were off! What a great bunch of girls they were! I thoroughly enjoyed having them stay with us. My daughter did too. I know they will enjoy the rest of their visit to Canada and maybe they will come back sometime in the future. Like the two girls we picked up at the airport this afternoon. I will blog about that later. Right now there is too much to do.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


We made sushi last night! Wow, was it ever good! We started our dinner with various Japanese soups. My daughter made vegetables in tempura batter, kind of like appetizers. Delicious! Then the girls made sushi. I don't think that the Japanese make sushi at home very often. They buy it ready-made on hot days so as not to have to cook and heat up the house. But my daughter went to the fish market in the afternoon and bought some very nice fresh, sushi-quality shrimp, salmon and tuna. Everyone had a go at filling the nori with rice and putting vegetables and fish on top and then rolling it in a mat to make a nice tight roll. Even our guest joined in the help. I was elected to cut the rolls into even, serving-sized pieces. (I wondered if that was because I am the butcher's wife and know how to use a knife! Just kidding, folks. We made green tea in the new Japanese-style teapot we had bought the day before and drank it in little Japanese teacups, throughout the meal. My favourite sushi is sashimi. I ate a whole plateful by myself!
After dinner we relaxed with a gigantic plate of cut-up fruit and enjoyed a movie. That little guy in the middle is my nephew. He loved being the centre of attention! We all agreed that it was another fantastic evening! We have one more evening to go before the girls go off to camp! But that is another story. I will write about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Horse Stable

We went to visit my cousin's horses last night. They live on a farm, just north of Toronto. Flame is only three years old. Isn't she cute?
The girls had a chance to brush Nip, who stood quietly and let them. Usually she doesn't like to be brushed, but last night she couldn't get enough. She didn't want the girls to stop!
Then my cousin took Flame out into the yard, and rode her around, while the girls watched. Flame is just being trained to accept a rider. She has only had a saddle on her back a few times. The girls' visit made her very excited and she did not really want to be ridden. But she cooperated. We left the farm just as the sun was beginning to set. The few hours spent outdoors, with some beautiful horses, was a real treat!