Monday, October 31, 2011

A New Layout

Well now....what do you think?
Recently I was given a sample copy of "My Memories Suites" to play with and to consider blogging about.  Today was the first time I sat down and tried it out and now I have a new header.   You guys all know what a techno-challenged booby I am.  You MUST be impressed that I did this all by myself!!!!
 Over the next two weeks, I will give my readers the opportunity to be interactive and vote for the header they like best, but first I have to figure out how to make a voting thingy.  Also, I have to figure out  how to do a give-away, as Lovely Liz at My Memories Suites wants you to have a copy too.  Any help in this department will be greatly appreciated.
Once again, I'm asking you to stay tuned for more fun and adventure.

ps...  another reminder to click the link and vote...for a top Canadian Blog

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday in my City

One can hardly believe it's not raining today! 
The sun actually came out. 
It has been raining almost non-stop since Thanksgiving, so this really is a red letter day.

While the grown kids went scouting for pumpkins and then demolished my kitchen scooping and carving them, Papa Buz and I took Grand #3 out in his Tiger costume to trick or treat the neighbours.  He and his Mummy are visiting just for the weekend, leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow.  One takes advantage of these special times whenever the chance comes along.

Are you ready for the gouls and gobblins tomorrow?  I hope they come in droves so there's no chocolate temptations left over here.

ps.  Don't forget to vote on the side 25 Canadian Bloggers

Friday, October 28, 2011

Men Are From Mars

In the vein of "Men Are From Mars", I suggest Old Men are from the Outer Moons of Jupiter, and Crazy Old Men are from the Dark Side of Pluto.  (Before we go any further, my readers should be advisesd this post paints with a wide brush and makes sweeping generalities.  Some women and many men my take exception.  Proceed with caution.)

It must be a genetic trait that makes pre-verbal little boys able to mimic the sound of cars and trucks with no prior instruction.  They seem born with this amazing capability.  As they grow to teenage years, boys become totally fascinated with anything that moves on wheels.  By the time they've reached 30, they spot and identify any vehicle at a three block distance, naming:  make, model and year.  Most of them can also automatically tell you the engine size, horsepower, torque and velocity-to-second ration.  They can not imagine life without cars.

Most women, on the other hand, view cars as a necessary conveyance to get one from point A to point B.  They like the colours red, blue and silver.  They appreciate a radio that actually works, air conditioning and seat heaters.  End of story.

There you have it: 
the blue brain that loves cars for car's sake and
the pink brain that goes for fashion colours and amenities.

Old men move further out into space when it comes to cars.  (Consider the Lunar Rover.)  Men will drive anything, anywhere, and enjoy it for the sheer thrill of it all.  Mr. Outer Moon of Jupiter, an unlit cigar clamped between his gritted teeth is seen peeling down Easy Street in My Town, on his electric scooter at the blazing speed of a brisk walk.  Cars lined up behind him in steaming agonies of frustration are held hostage.  He owns the road.  It seems anything with a motor and wheels will suffice as stand-in to feed the car and driving fixation.  This is a common occurance and an often recognized scenario.

I humbly put it out there, that one NEVER sees women on scooters on ANY road.  They stick to the sidewalks, making their way from point A to point B, in a lady-like fashion as always.

When considering Crazy Old Men, I must truthfully say that I have only once witnessed this phenomena.  Once was enough. 

Leaving Starbucks and making my way towards a busy intersection, I came upon Mr. Dark Side of Pluto on his scooter.  He was (choose one):
-delerious with the joy of driving
-drunk with the power of mobilization
-asleep at the switch
-all of the above.

His scooter meandered across the road from side to side.  He sped up and slowed down for mysterious reasons known only to him.  Things looked dangerously unpredictable.  When he pulled over to the far right, I thought he was letting me pass...but no.  He veered left at speed, then sharply right, then left, then....   I was getting ready to watch him do spinning circles of wheelies, right there in the middle of the road.

Traffic ground to a halt in all directions.  And so did Mr. Pluto.

After a beat or two, I crept passed him on the right.  He was sitting quietly, mining boogers from his left nostril.  Right there in the middle of the road.   The motor of his scooter purred quietly at rest, no doubt bringing fond memories of Mr. Pluto's first convertable many, many years ago.

When it comes to cars, men are from outer space.  Women come from the mall.

ps.  don't forget to click the link on the side bar and vote today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

On safari in Amboseli, Kenya.  I could have spent all day everyday of our trip taking pictures of the zebra.

Funny that only the background got converted to B&W as the animals already were that way :)
Hop on over to "Like Christmas Every Day" to play along in B & W.

I love zebras.
What's your favourite animal to photograph or play with?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Red, Red Wine

It's funny how a story can begin, springing up from something totally unrelated to what you want to say....  Grand #1 recently told Grand#2 to "showandtell" me about his latest artistic creation from preschool.  In Kindergarten, her participation in this exercise holds all the allure of being STAR FOR A DAY.  I think my blog may have evolved into an exercise in "Show-and-Tell".  I get to show photos and tell a story.  You get to stop, look and listen.  We all get to play.

So this story begins as I prepared to decant 18 litres of Organic Olive Oil, direct from the orchards of Greece.  I knew the perfect place to resource my need for bottles and corks.  Wine Kitz.  I got the bottles, I got the corks AND I got sold a do-it-yourself red wine kit.  Not really what I had in mind when I started out there, but maybe on some subliminal level....

On that first day, all I had to do was pour a little packet of yeast into a bucket of concentrated grape juice and walk away.  That is all that is required by provincial and federal regulations to say that I am making my very own wine.  The lovely people in the shop did all the rest.  I watched as oak chips and pre-measured water were stirred in and my little demi-john of wine got put on a rack to rest for about five weeks.

Today was the day the wine was ready for the next steps of the process.  Gail met me at the door when I arrived for our appointment and she put me right to work.  

Meet Gail:

First, we washed the new bottles in a super-quick, high temp bottle washing machine.

Then we built a Christmas Tree of drying bottles...drip dry...

Gail got to do the fun, bottle-filling part of the job...

...while I worked the "corker".  One bottle at a time was secured in a little glass house and the corks were rammed into place under heavy-duty pressure.

Next came shrink wrapping the necks of the bottles.  I got to choose from a wide selection of coloured and patterned wraps.  

Put the bottle into the heat zone, count to three, and remove.  Presto.  Chango.

The very last step was applying labels to the bottles.  Again, I had a choice of a ready-made or ones I designed myself.  I think the dark bottles, together with a fully black wrap and a black and white label are aesthetically pleasing, don't you?

In under 30 minutes, I was in and out of the shop.  My 30 bottles of Australian Shiraz, at a cost of $3.90 a bottle, are now resting in the wine cellar for a month.  

All my lucky readers are invited to the taste testing in late November.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Golfing Hazards

The rain began speckling my sunglasses. Good. This Duffer could call it a day.  Enough of the Bingo Bango Bongo Mulligans, right?   WRONG. Another nine holes. Another hour and 45 minutes to go. There was just enough time to grab a hot chocolate, sweetened by an obliging bar tender, and a small bag of white cheddar popcorn. My saliva glands are juicing at the memory.

Whoops! The powder-blue designer golf shirt Sis had leant me was now sporting several chocolaty splashes. She was not amused.  As the golfer of the family headed off for another nine humiliations, I retired to the ladies room to repair the damages. Stripped to the waist, slurping alcoholic chocolate milk and scarfing down crunchies, I never noticed that a major portion, over half of my upper left molar, had somehow broken off and been summarily swallowed.  Did this come under the heading of "loose impediments" or "moveable obstructions"?  It was definitely over-par in my book.

I didn't notice the loss until my inquisitive tongue probed the hole, until my gasp let in a rush of cold air, and until the nerve in the dark recesses of my mouth woke up. Then I noticed.

Talk about a Handicap--on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, across the continent from home, I would be hard-pressed to find a dentist. It went like this, cell phone to cell phone across the golf course:

Sis:   Hello?

Me:   Three things:
I don't know where you are,
I don't know where I am,
I just lost a tooth and I need a dentist right now!

Sis:   I'll call you back. I'm next in the tee box.
Sis is ever about moving briskly along the course, never to be accused of holding people back as she masters her picture-perfect swing.

Me:   No, no, don't hang up. I need a dentist!

Wandering from green to green, dodging bogeys, I stopped a group of strangers. "What hole is this?" The look I received back spoke, "Run! She's totally mad and foaming at the mouth!!"

Five days later, a temporary filling was expertly deployed, to the end that I can wait while my dentist travels leisurely around France and I abstain from popcorn and golfing.

Does your favourite or least favourite sport include hazards to your health and well-being?

(A very small disclaimer: Sis may not totally agree with how she has been portrayed here and may launch legal action. Claim no knowledge of this post.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's Wednesday A G A I N

Autumn in Southern Ontario. The leaves are into the changing/falling routine and the clocks will be "falling back" in the next week for Daylight Savings Time.  Am I the only one feeling the frosty hint of winter coming on????

Black and White Wednesday is here again.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


If Bliss is considered perfect happiness or great joy, I would offer that Bissdom would be 
The Land of Bliss.  
I'm so blissed out, I'm on overload.

Blissdom Canada 2011 is a Writing/Business Conference/Social Media Event.
*  3 days
*  350 women glued to smart phones, Ipads and laptops

*  Fantastic food in un-ending supply

*  Marvellous mentors
*  Articulate, popular presenters

*  Cool, swag-giving sponsors

A N D under the heading of Spa treatments:
*  Manicures
*  Facials
*  Hair coifs
*  Make-up artistry
*  Wardrobe consultations

Together with:
*  Techno Babble that actually taught me tons of new skills and led me down new pathways of learning
*  New opportunities to grow and learn tons more
*  Virtual Overload needing major debriefing
*  Sleep deprivation due to time zone changes, late nights and early mornings.

Last night's Costume Party was the icing on the cake.  Now I can go home, catch up on my beauty sleep, detox and diet off the five pounds of "Blissdom Bunting" around my middle.

Here's CocktailDeeva doing her impersonation of Slash from Gun's and Roses.  Only Dee could so totally pull this off.  She represents Tag Vodka everywhere she goes and in what she writes.  The conference gave a lot of attention to working with Brands and Dee was the most flamboyant example of how it works when it works well.

Look at Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block
singing Karaoke with the crowd!  People were beside themselves with glee.
Thank you CBC for sending some extra love our way!
(Check the links to get a glimpse of me on my knees in gold spangles during the video.)

Last, but not least, here's a shout out to my FUNtastic Daughter-in-Law, Mixtress Sami Joe, who invited me to attend this conference.  Now that you've seen the fun part, is it any wonder tickets sold out last February in just under one hour?

Goodbye Toronto.

Thank you Blissdom Canada for introducing me to new friends and a whole new world of opportunity.
I just love out-of-town-conventions?  Don't you?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In the spirit of Black and White Wednesday....

I'm going to Blissdom 2011!!
A Writing and Business Conference/Social.

Looking forward to meeting some faces to go with some names.  Besides a cousin-in-law and my daughter-in-law (the instigator of this family adventure), I don't think I know anyone else who will be attending.  The speakers and presenters all sound fabulous, knowledgable and passionate relating to their areas of expertise and I know I will come away having learned a ton.  Hopefully, inspiration will abound along with the gala atmosphere over the three days of the the event.

Packing requires some thought...cocktail party, costume party, dressy dinners....I love to dress up.  Pictures will follow.

In the mean time, the window man is coming to fix a broken upstairs double pane, the weed man is here to whack the super tall weeds on the bank down to the lake and the oven repair man is expected shortly to make his  fourth visit.  For an oven less than one year old, this one is getting a lot of attention.

The question of the day:
Can ladies of a certain age wear leggings and tall boots????  
Feedback please.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Over the Hills and Far Away

Tomorrow I leave on a quick trip out west to visit family and celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. The weekend starts early for me this week. I'll be up before dawn and away to the land of "out west". Only nine days left before I then get to experience Blissdom in Toronto, Ontario. You won't be hearing much from me for the next while, but I'll still be around, dropping in for a peek here and there. Be good (as Hubby says) and Play safe (as my daughter always tells me). Happy Thanksgiving. Rejoice, and again I say, Rejoice. Give thanks in all things.