Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Monday, November 29, 2010


A gentle reminder just before the holidays.
Seatbelts do save lives.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Psychology of Eating...

Every time I think of canceling my subscription
to the Sunday New York Times,
(it is an expensive indulgence to have it delivered here in Canada!)
I receive an issue that has so much interesting reading I just can't bring myself to give it up.

And speaking of giving up...the article this week I loved:

Why the war on obesity isn't just about curbing our appetites.

She summarizes the American way of "Eating too much,
indiscriminately, anywhere, at any time, in response to any and all stimuli, is as central to our freewheeling spirit, mavericky way of being as car cupholders and drive-throughs."

Warner continues..."You can't change specific eating behavior without addressing that way of life - without changing our culture of food.  You need to present healthful eating as a new, desirable, freely chosen expression of the American way."

Apparently, during the Second World War, food-rationing programmes recognized this political-cultural-emotional triumvirate.  It taught the American people to eat differently (i.e. less meat in particular as it was needed for the soldiers) by employing two nutritional and one psychological.

The Food and Nutrition Board fought on the nutritional front, while the Committee on Food Habits, lead by Margaret Mead, plus the National Research Council took care of the problem of changing food habits.  

Essentially, they presented the idea that eating the way the government wanted you to, healthfully and for the good of the nation at large, was a way of displaying patriotism and supporting the war effort.

As usual, no one learned from history and the success of this two-pronged effort was disbanded after the war.  The Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services continue to issue edicts on ratios of fat to carbs, etc., but without any regard to how people feel about eating and food.

According to David Kessler, the former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, when America tackled smoking, " was a shift in cultural attitudes not laws or regulations, that led Americans to quit smoking.  In the space of a generation cigarettes stopped being portrayed as sexy and cool and started to be seen as a terribly disgusting, addictive product."

The task at hand, Warner proposes is to somehow make "...field greens and strawberries

as comforting, satisfying and heartwarmingly American as apple pie..."


And should you give in to the indulgence of this newspaper this week...check out the 
article on traveling to Venice in the winter in the Travel Section...makes me want to jump on a plane right now!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I received this from a friend to day
"This was on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle,
it is a true story about a female humpback whale who had
become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was
weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to
struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope
wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her
mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands
(outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for
help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined
that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and
untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and
eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in
what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and
every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently
around as she was thanking them. Some said it was the most
incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the
rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole
time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you
love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who
will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.
And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.
I pass this on to you, my friends, in the same spirit."

Friday, November 26, 2010


So now what do you do with all that leftover turkey!

Here's V's suggestion:

Victoria's Leftover Turkey Shepherds Pie 

In the bottom of a casserole dish place thin turkey slices and stuffing then pour gravy over. 
On top add corn , then left over mashed potatoes, then left over mashed yams.

And mine?

We make sliced turkey and onion sandwiches.

It has to be buttered white bread, 

and you have to sprinkle salt on the turkey slices.

Not very healthy...but delicious!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

All Things Bright and Beautiful...

All creatures great

 and small,

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord, God made them all.

My daughter and son-in-law are celebrating their first Thanksgiving 
in their new homeland today in the best possible way...
hosting lunch for 15!  
The most heart-warming part of it all,
likely only one or two around the table will have been born in the US.

A true celebration of the welcoming spirit of the New World.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kindle from Amazon


or maybe there is room in our lives for both?

What do you think?

Monday, November 22, 2010


...and gift-giving.

I've managed to get myself in a right muddle over this...

...especially this time of year, when it's about a baby born into poverty.

Who gave away everything he had.

The whole business of Christmas presents just won't sit right with me.

My family and friends must be sick and tired of me going on about this...

but I can't seem to get it straight in my heart.

Then today, I did something I rarely do...I watched Oprah.

I had some ironing to do, so I flicked on the telly and there

she was, giving away hordes of stuff, and the audience was going berserk.

Apparently this was day two of doing this, and her audience, filled with people who do good things all year round, had no idea that this was going to happen.

And, at the end of this over-the-top outpouring of stuff, she said something and I heard.

She said:

   "It's not about the stuff, it's about the possibility that when you least expect it, something good can happen."

...and now, strange as it may seem...I get it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rick Mercer

I want this man's job!

Friday, November 19, 2010

'What a gift it is to have women who are honest, straight-forward,
physically healthy and over the age of seventy in our lives,
they give us hope, courage and guidance for our path ahead.'

After my post on our bookclub, Chania over at Razmataz, commented that when she had been looking for a bookclub to join and finally found one, she wasn't allowed in because they had this ridiculous stipulation of only wanting women members under the age of 35! I am proud to say that our bookclub has two women in it who are over the age of 80. They are vibrant, intelligent and all of the above, but most of all they inspire us with their wisdom.

Katherine Govier: In Praise of Older Women

You do hear, in publishing circles, the occasional complaint that the audience is “graying”. Yep, it is. It is also loyal, intelligent, informed, crazy about Canada, opinionated, and not going anywhere. These women have years of reading ahead of them. They will not be switching their allegiance to video games or social media. They will read, and discuss what they read, as long as they have eyes in their head.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Hand Made?  Heart Made?..the same thing, I think.

My hands are tools I use in daily life.
Bearing scars of wounds that occur 
As I do the things I love.
Not beautiful or elegant in the classic sense,
But graciously expressing my heart's content.

I have this piece of art that speaks to my heart.

Created by the hands and heart of the artist, Erin Boniferro.

For me this piece speaks of strength and vulnerability,

courage and tenderness,

brutality and delicacy...

all the wonderful contrasts that go to make up a human being.

Here you can see the gold thread that forms the outline of the lion's head,

and here the delicate pink silk ribbon tied into its mane.

This piece of art brings me unending joy.

Erin presently runs her own shop-front art centre in Vancouver.
She teaches classes and sells art supplies and books.

She created this centre by hand from her heart too...(with lots of help from other hands).

Here's a video from her blog.
If you live in Vancouver, or happen to visit, stop by.

She's a lovely woman, my eldest daughter's best friend growing up.
She also happens to be my best friend's daughter.

Collage Collage - Shop, Look + Learn from Pike on Vimeo.

This is my submission this week to

I've just returned from an evening with my book club.
We are a group of eleven diversified women, who have been
meeting for once a month for over twelve years.
This evening was hosted by one member who invited us
all to enjoy the evening at one of the most elegant hotels
here in town.

We were a smaller group tonight, that being
seven of us, the remaining four off travelling
somewhere warm and delicious.
We sat around the table sipping wine dining on sumptuous appetizers.

Each sharing their view on the latest novel just read.
We have actually progressed to the point where
it isn't important whether we like the book or not,
what is important is sharing a point of view.
We all see thing differently and sometimes the same.
We talk, and laugh and have learnt the importance
of listening too.

Our book this month was 'Breath' by Tim Winton.
'On the untamed, lonely coast of Western Australia, two
thrill-seeking adolescent boys, Pikelet and Loonie, fall under
the thrall of Sando, a veteran big-wave surfer. The grown man
initiates the boys into a spartan regimen of risk and challenge that
pushes all three to the edges of courage, endurance and sanity.
Infused with Tim Winton's lyrical genius, Breath is a story
about the wildness of youth - and about learning to live with
its passing.'

Here we all are enjoying our time together in Tofino

I feel privileged to be part of this group, and look
forward to the next twelve years of
reading together.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

thought for the day

Even after all this time
The Sun
Never says to the Earth
You owe me

What happens
With a love like that
It lights up the whole world.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Before the rains came...

I took a stroll today, before the rains came...

...winter roses...


boats being put away for the winter...

gnarly trees and whispy grasses...

holly berries showing their colours...

It's absolutely chucking it down outside now.

I'm going to climb the wooden hill, open the window in the bedroom and tumble into our wonderful,
cosy bed with a cup of tea and my book.  Brilliant Husband will be up in due course to nestle in beside me. 

Life is incredible beautiful.

Sweet dreams everyone.

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