Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Curious About Throat Singing?

The Jerry Cans, a musical group from Nunavut in Canada recently released a new album. Northern Lights is one of the songs, unique since it incorporates the Inuit traditional throat singing.

In this next video Nancy Mike, the Jerry Cans' throat singer, explains to a class of elementary school kids in British Columbia how to throat sing. The kids seem really excited and interested in learning this innovative technique. Maybe it's a good Winter Solstice activity!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Late Fall in King Township

There's snow in the forecast this week but last week there were some outstanding warm sunny late fall days. Nature was in festive mode, self-decorating.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Season's Festive Greetings

It was a fine but cool day in Niagara. Here, at the Romance Estate, formerly owned by artist Trisha Romance, there was an hour and a quarter line-up to enter during the Holiday House Tour sponsored by the local Rotary Club. Yes, the wait was worth it! 

Outdoor dining room

The photos above were all from the Romance Estate.

The next 3 photos are from other places in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a pretty town at any season of the year.

Anybody know what this shrub with the clustered berries is?

Final 4 photos are from our front entrance. Very proud of these two arrangements by our 13-year old granddaughter. The first sits in front of the dining room window, the other on our porch. I probably look at them more often than anyone else :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Growing Organic Corn

Some surprising facts about growing organic corn in this video. This is organic corn destined to feed organically grown animals for our dinner table.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Budweiser Donkey?

Here's a 10-year old Budweiser commercial. It never gets old. And everyone who knows me knows how much I love both Clydesdales and donkeys ;)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Eat Canadian Apples!

Growing apples in Ontario might be more complicated than you thought. Enjoy that Honeycrisp!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Remembrance Day

Last spring we spent some time in Yorkshire and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, although it wasn't nearly long enough. 

We found this poem in York Minster Cathedral last May and thought it deserved to be shared. I only wish we knew what year this young Canadian girl composed it in memory of her uncle.

One place in Yorkshire that was made famous as the town where James Herriot (veterinarian and author, Alf Wight of All Creatures Great and Small fame) lived and practiced is the small market town of Thirsk. Many of these Yorkshire towns are very old and the grey stone buildings make them seem a bit grim, though abundant flowers and gardens help to alleviate the severity.

The people of Thirsk though have taken decorating their town to a higher level. Here's how it started: (taken directly from the Visit Thirsk website:

Pictures are from the yarnbomb for Yorkshire Day, 1st August 2017

Welocme to Yorkshire
It all began at the end of 2015 when a local lady called Sam heard that the Tour de Yorkshire was coming through Thirsk and put a message on Facebook. To keep it brief, within a week word got round and a small group of knitters and crocheters had expanded to over 100 who decided to 'make a few flags' to hang around the town.
Wensleydale cheese
That group became much bigger and the ideas much more imaginative and by the time of the race in April 2016 over 300 people had become involved, knitting and crocheting. On a dark and cold night (3°C at 2 am) a week before the race, the Yarnbombers of Thirsk donned dark clothing, balaclavas, and masks and ‘bombed’ the whole of the town – bollards, blankets round tree trunks, wonderful creations hanging in trees, knitted flags fastened along fences and even every shop had a knitted item relating to their particular trade fastened onto its door handle. The next morning the word got round very quickly and after a short sleep the Yarnbombers walked round the town to see lots and lots of people taking photographs, and chatting and all with big smiles on their faces.
Thirsk Market Place
Since then there’s been no stopping them. They have decorated a carriage on a Grand Central train at Kings Cross Station, London, been on the Welcome to Yorkshire stand at the Great Yorkshire Show and ‘bombed’ an articulated lorry and a tractor. Thirsk Market Place has been decorated several times more, including a celebration of 100 years since the birth of Thirsk based Alf Wight, known throughout the world as James Herriot the author of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ and other stories about his life as a country vet.
Probably their most moving knitting and crocheting work was for Remembrance Sunday in 2016 when many more than 35,000 red poppies were made and stitched onto yards and yards of army camouflage netting which was then draped along the walls of St Mary’s Church, All Saints RC Church and the Methodist Church in Thirsk and St Oswald’s Church in Sowerby. The poppies also hung down like a waterfall on clear netting from the top of St Mary's. Some of these poppies were made by people who had heard of the work of the Thirsk Yarnbombers, but some had no idea even where Thirsk was! The poppies were brought here or posted, many anonymously. Some were crafted on a beach in Normandy and others in Australia and brought back to Thirsk!
This time the decorations are to celebrate Yorkshire Day 2017 and we hope you enjoy them. The group relies on donations and support from local businesses. If you wish to make a donation then please take a leaflet from Thirsk’s information office.
See more of their escapades at

As mentioned above, the townspeople started to drape their town in poppies for Remembrance Day in 2016. Knitters and crocheters from the town, the surrounding area and from countries around the world (who jumped in with enthusiasm once they heard about the project) made more than 35,000 poppies which were then hung from the church and along the route of the annual Remembrance Day Parade. Many also donated yarn or made financial contributions. 

Have a look:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I See You

I See You


Reading this book sent chills up and down my spine in every chapter. I had to keep putting it down and going off to make tea.

Clare Mackintosh’s second novel, I See You, is a psychological thriller that shivered my timbers. The premise for the plot is frighteningly plausible. To reveal that premise would be a spoiler so you will just have to read this book unless, fair warning, you prefer not feel your innards churning.

Bottom line: don’t trust anybody!


1.   Stay alert.
2.   Be careful not to commute to work or anywhere else in a predictable way. Vary your routine.
3.   Be careful of interactions with strangers, even if it seems like they may have just saved your life.
4.   Keep your purse or bag closed and under your scrutiny wherever you might be.
5.   Appreciate your mostly quiet, mostly uneventful life.
6.   Treasure your family members.
7.   Appreciate and treasure your friends.
8.   Make sure you have a good supply of tea bags on hand before starting I See You.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Importance of Eating Whole Grains

An important thing to remember is that whole wheat flour is not the same as whole grain wheat flour and is not nearly as nutritious as we would like to think. Unless the words "whole grain" appear on the ingredient list, the flour is just refined flour, whether white or whole wheat. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

How Do Orchestras Keep it Together?

I love Tom Allen's music videos. Here's another one about how orchestras work.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Liberty Street

Liberty Street

I’ve just made a huge discovery: a Canadian author I’ve never heard of, Dianne Warren. I’m a little ashamed of never having her on my radar, since she’s a GG-award winner for her novel, Cool Water in 2010

I just finished reading her 2015 novel, Liberty Street and I’ve been blown away (again) by how a writer can create an absolutely ordinary character, a person often in a downward spiral through fate or as a result of poor choices, in a part of the world most people are unfamiliar with, rural Saskatchewan, and lift her into literary unforgettableness.

The novel opens with the main character, Frances Moon, in the presence of her long-time partner, suddenly blurting out an admission about something that she has kept under wraps since it happened in her late teens. What ensues is Frances revisiting her life from her earliest memories. The partner is not heard from again and we learn about the life events leading up to the critical point that becomes an admission so many years later.

Warren tells this tale with compassion and gentle humour and she had me totally committed to finding out more about the life and times of Frances Moon. I’m looking forward to reading more of Warren’s work.