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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

If only I had known...

posted today some wonderful information
about Halloween in Ireland, including a delicious-looking recipe for 
Bairín Breac  (Halloween Brack)...sort of like a fruited-bread.

He mentions that October 31 is the time

"  the faeries are moving from their summer to their winter quarters. "

I wish I had known this before.

This is a halloween notion that I can latch onto...

Faeries nestling into their winter quarters





and even the keening banshee.

So tomorrow, I will bake a Bairin Breac, and read from
John O'Donohue's Anam Cara and this will be the way I celebrate this holy-day.

For the first time ever, with sincerity in my heart, I wish everyone
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


...what's your definition?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Life Tips

Everything your mother didn't teach you...maybe...

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster. 

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold. 

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking. 

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up. 

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a minty frosting. 

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic, and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic. 

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. 

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. 

Easy Deviled Eggs: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up. 

Expanding Frosting: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving. 

Newspaper weeds away: Plant your plants in the ground, work the nutrients in your soil. Then wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch, and forget about weeds.

No More Mosquitoes: Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away. 

To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it. 

Flexible vacuum: To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings. 

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip to eliminate static cling. It works; you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks. 

De-fog your windshield: Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser. 

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair. 

Goodbye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. flies are drawn to the cup and gone forever.

Wash your dryer filter: dryer sheets cause a film over filter that will burn out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. The best way to keep your dryer working for a long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take the filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush at least every six months.

Editor totally absolves herself from validating any of the above.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Fun!

 This weekend, our eldest daughter, her man and his four-year-old daughter

came for the weekend.  So on a gloriously sunny autumn afternoon,
Rudy and I decided a trip to Howell's Pumpkin Farm  was necessary.

There were skeletons in a pick-up-truck...

rows and rows of carved pumpkins...

photo ops at every turn...


singing frogs...

a hay-barn to play in...



a bucking cow train ride...

a giant pumpkin pillow...


and Jacob sheep.

All great fun, but a little exhausting for a four-year-old.

So, Rudy decided when they got home while Lindsay, Dan and I prepared dinner, it was time for a cuddle on the couch
and a few instructional lessons on golf and football!

Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Good Lord, people are stupid!

Toronto Public Health has closed the Avenue Rd. and Lawrence location of upscale grocery store Pusateri’s due to poor sanitation and pest infestation.
Pusateri’s general manager John Mastroianni, however, said the store was closed for “general maintenance.”

“It’s not rodents,” Mastroianni said, repeatedly insisting that the issue was equipment related and “general maintenance.”
The inspection arose as a result of a public complaint, she said adding the pest infestation included rats as well as cockroaches.

“It was evident there was poor sanitary conditions and infestation of both rats and cockroaches,” she said.
A statement from Pusateri’s said staff hoped to have the store up and running again within a couple of days. In the meantime, their two other stores are still open for business.
“We regret that this situation has occurred and we want to ensure our loyal customers and friends that we are diligently working on rectifying this situation. We will continue to provide the high quality products and service that we are known for,” said Ida Pusateri, vice-president of Pusateri's Fine Foods.
The statement said a small portion of the storage area and walk-in coolers as well as "hard-to-reach and obscure locations" seem to have been infested by pests, which may have been missed as a result of human error during our ongoing routine maintenance.
Meanwhile, staff inside the store Thursday afternoon could be seen cleaning and scrubbing shelves, before returning the gourmet cookies and biscotti to their places.
Mastroianni said the store receives food shipments from hundreds of suppliers from all over the world and pest control is carried out regularly.  Mastrioanni said there was no issue with the store's food safety, and exterminators were going to work around the clock until the store is reinspected and reopened.  "We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers," he said.  Mastroianni said it was the first time a Pusateri's has been closed due to pests.
“I'm surprised,” said Rod, who would not give his last name and was planning to shop at Pusateri’s for the first time on Thursday afternoon. “It doesn't quite fit the image, does it?”

Sam, a regular Pusateri's customer, said he is going to think twice about shopping at the Avenue Rd. and Lawrence location.  
"It would be the last place I would expect this at," he said. "I'm shocked."

Good grief people...we share this planet with all manner of creatures.   Do you really believe that you can keep Mother Nature at bay all the time?  
How stupid.
Now...I am not one for insects and rodents crawling all over my food, but I do accept that they are going to be somewhere in the vicinity of me.
Let's not get overly precious here!
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