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 world...to 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, August 29, 2011

Abundance

This time of year is all about abundance...



all the harvests coming in at once



overwhelming us with fruit, vegetables,



storms,



hurricanes.



Nature doesn't differentiate...



just gives us, all at once, exactly what we ask for...



we just have to know how to deal with it all...



to be thankful...



appreciative...



to take care of each other...



and to prepare for the lean times.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

I love Technology...

I know I have been complaining about my phone lately,



but as of today...

I have been able to:

...send photos to my neighbour who is in BC and tell her about the tree limb
that came down in her garden in last night's storm



...speak to (and see) my daughter in Miami
on IChat, as her husband is about to depart for Spain on an excellent and exciting adventure,

and even listen, on an old fashioned radio
while hubby and I were having dinner,
to Stephen Fry speak about his old friend Steve Jobs:

"Steve Jobs has always understood that, as human beings, our first relationship with anything is an emotional one. ... A device isn't just a sum of its functions; it's something that should make you smile, you should cradle, you should love, you should have an emotional relationship with. If people think that's pretentious, then, in a sense, the success of Apple proves how wrong they are."

I love my phone...I love my MAC...Jobs, and especially, my favourite actor ever, Fry, called it perfectly.  I hope you are well Steve.

Some things just make sense!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another Night of Soup a La Cro!

Ever since reading Cro Magnon's post on Compost Soup 
(his name, not mine), when the vegetable bin is full of odds and ends
of veggies, I find myself creating this wonderfully delicious nutritious concoction.



Unlike Cro...I omit the duck fat and (sometimes) the tomato paste, but pretty much do it just like Cro.

Tonight began with a sauteed mirepoix (after frying three rashers of cut-up bacon), 
to which I added bits of broccoli, asparagus, red and yellow peppers, garlic and pattypan squash.  I let that all cook down for a few minutes and then 
added a litre and a half of chicken stock and one large potato.

I added freshly ground pepper and  made a bouquet garni of sage, oregano, and thyme from my garden and a healthy tablespoon of dried herbs de provence.




My secret ingredient -  (I think it came from Jacques Pepin - can't quite remember) is to add the heel of a wedge of parmesan cheese...you know, when you have grated it within a hair of your knuckles there is always THAT piece left.  I stick them in a plastic bag in my freezer, and when it comes time to make soup, I just pop one in with the mix!



I brought the whole thing to a boil and let it simmer gently for about 20 minutes until all the vegetables were cooked.  Then took my trusty immersion blender and whipped it all to an almost-but-not-quite-smooth golden yellow pot of nectar!
Important not to over cook here.  You can let the flavours develop over night and reheat the next day, but don't cook the whatnot out of these delicate vegetables!



Add to that toasted bavarian rye bread with a thin, thin, thin layer of smooth
peanut butter, a couple of rashers of bacon and thin, thin, thin slices of gala apple, a healthy handful of alfalfa sprouts and topped with another toasted slice of bavarian rye bread with...you guessed it, a thin, thin, thin layer of smooth
peanut butter, and you have a delicious, nutrious, late summer soup-and-sandwich-supper.



And just in case you were wondering...began everything at 6.30-ish, sitting down with glass of wine in hand ready to eat by 7.30-ish.  Slow food = Good food!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Mercury Retrograde



About a week and a half ago,
my cell phone started behaving strangely.



The camera wouldn't work; the notepad wouldn't save anything
and the battery wouldn't hold a charge.



Off I trot to the Bell Store, only to be told that these stand-alone
operations can do absolutely nothing other than sell you a new phone. 
I'm advised to call Bell and 'see what they can do for me".

I come home and duly sit on hold for the required thirty minutes
before following conversation ensues:

Bell:  Ah I see madam that this is an old phone, you have had it for 20 months.
Me:  Well, that's not really a long time now is it?
Bell:  ...and your 36 month contract is only 20 months old, too early for me to be able to really help you out on a new phone.
Me:  So the phone is too old and the contract too young?
Bell:  Exactly Madam...now there is one thing I can do.  Let you have a new phone if you sign up today for a further 36 months and only charge you $15/month for the time left on your old contract, plus a $35 conversion fee, plus taxes.
Me:  (after quick mental math)...that's $320! Can't I just get this phone fixed?
Bell:  Well that madam would cost at least $200 and your phone isn't really worth that
any more.
Me:  So how much does a new phone cost?
Bell:  the new Blackberry La-Di-Dah costs $700+.
Me:  And how long will it be worth that price?  The same length of time
my old phone was?  You want to sell me a 36-month contract on a phone that only holds it's price for 15 months?
Bell:  Exactly Madam!
Me:  Sheesh...bye!

So...what to do now?


Of course!



Phone V!

Me:  Sis...Having real problems with my phone...started going crazy just a few days ago.
V.:  Mercury retrograde...plays havoc with electronics...just hang on for a couple of weeks, it will probably sort itself out.

So this morning, I woke up, and lo and behold:
camera is working...
notepad is saving...
battery is holding a charge.

Sister 1 -  Bell 0



p.s. V. tells me we aren't quite out the woods with Mercury.
It continues to retrograde until August 26
and then you have to give it a week to sort itself out and start moving
forward again.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

just a little rant!

Yesterday, I was invited to play in a golf tournament.
A thank you from a supplier to all of their customers.
A very generous gift...and much appreciated by people who can
actually PLAY GOLF!



My partner, before we had even got to the first tee
was telling me that she had
played golf, three or four times about twenty years ago,
and that she he had never taken a lesson in her life.



She came with an ancient, borrowed set of men's clubs that she had never swung before. I knew we were in deep trouble when she pointed to the first tee box
and asked me:  "what's that for?"  I've never seen anyone swing at the ball
and miss it completely, so many times, and...then think it perfectly okay to 'just have another go."



Now, not to single the poor woman out too much, I'm sure
of the 144 'players' on the course (and I use the term player loosely),
she was not alone in her lack of ability.

Please don't misunderstand, she was a lovely woman,
interesting, intelligent, and I would love to sit and have coffee with her.

But, tell me,
...would you play hockey if you have never laced on a pair of skates?


...would you enter a swim meet if you haven't progressed beyond using water-wings?


...would you enter a double tennis match if all you had ever done was watch
the Williams sisters on TV?


So why, on earth, would anyone enter a golf tournament if you don't play?

It's so unfair to those of us there to play the game.

I spent all day answering her inane questions: 
"which club should I use now?" (truly, it didn't make any difference which one she used, she couldn't swing any of them).
"what's a driver?
"how many strokes have I had so far?" (how high can you count?)

Then there was keeping her 'stuff' together, so she didn't leave it all over the golf course; keeping her quiet when others were swinging;
trying to keep her safe from flying balls and flailing irons (including her own).
It was like baby-sitting a small child.



...and I was really looking forward to playing yesterday!
(rant over)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011



Spiralling Love


I'm sitting here writing this post in absolute awe of
the beauty of this Universe.

Right here at 303 Little House, right here on my front porch,
two beautiful leopard slugs hung in a spiralling love knot,
twirling slowly around and around right in front of me.

I know these gentle creatures eat my flowers, not caring
to save one bloom but nibble their way through every
flower bud, and my hostas look like Edward Scissor Hands
has been running through my garden with wild abandon.



But I just feel so privileged to have witnessed such beauty this morning.

After they finished I thought about picking them up and taking them
across the street to the park, but there is something comforting
about knowing these two are now returning to their home (my home)
under the front steps to have their young.

I guess I'll be out at night with a flashlight and a bucket again soon,
and a new location for a new generation will be coming soon.

Take a look at the beauty of nature here ...


Monday, August 15, 2011


Trish at Peony Princess is looking for a new front door colour, me...
I'm looking for a new hair colour.



After spending a few months in Paris in 2009,



I came home and the first thing I did was to change my hair colour from
California blonde to Parisian brown.



I lasted about 2months and then started making the
long road back to blonde.
My poor hair!

So now I'm back to blonde...but I'm also back to not liking it again!
What to do!

So I'm thinking I might try something in between...

perhaps this ...



or this . . .



or this . . .



I know no-one can help me decide, so if my hair doesn't break off
and fall off my head from all the chemical abuse...
I'll be back with the final decision next month!

love from Victoria

I think it's just summer...

So many blogging friends have been talking about

Bloggers' Block.



I really think it's just
how the flow of summer slows us all down.



Makes us take stock in the 
thickness of time,  the sludge of life, the slow of movement...

not to worry...Sister Autumn is sitting in the wings



ready to wake us up!


move us toward the quiet of Winter



and the Sleep of the Deep.



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