Monday, September 17, 2012

Good Morning!

This school year, the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board deemed it necessary to kick my son off the bus. He didn`t do anything bad, they`re simply cutting down on the budget and many kids in the district have been told they are no longer eligible to ride to school. At first i thought this was awful, but i`ve discovered something since i`ve been walking him to and from school that has changed me.

I`ve discovered the joy of , `` Good morning.``

It`s wonderful, really. Our walk is not a terribly long one. It takes us 15 minutes to get to school and then i walk back home, another 15. On a typical morning i pass anywhere from three to ten people. Sometimes the good morning is initiated by the passers by, sometimes by myself. Either way, i find it refreshing and invigorating!

Some people will search out my eyes to make contact and call out to me, others, rushing by on their way to catch a bus or get to work keep their heads down but i counter that with an especially sing-songy, ``Goooood  MORRRNIIIING!!`` and a big cheesy grin and it reflects on their faces! I love it!  I love it when dog walkers say it to me. I love it when older gentlemen say it to me, sporting their straw hats and suspenders. I love it when teenagers try to act cool and avoid me but then smile as they walk away after i`ve sung it to them!

There`s no other time of day that a greeting or acknowledgement means so much. Afternoon ``Hi`s`and evening ``Hello`s`` just aren`t the same as a ``Good morning`` full of hope, promise and cheer. It`s the beginning of the day, after all. A fresh start, a clean slate.... why not make it good!

And why not, indeed!
Take the time tomorrow morning, and every morning to wish someone a good morning. It`ll make them feel good and it`ll make you feel good too!

Good morning, everyone!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Garden by the Numbers


         My garden has twenty-two different types of perennial flowers.

      It also has ten different herbs which i use almost daily.

These include four different types of mint and two different types of basil.

 We have two large maple trees on the front lawn, one Red maple and one Norway maple. There's also one Cedar tree.


There are five different shrubs, some small and just starting and some that have been here for years.

  One bee, in the center of the Cosmos.

 We had a vegetable garden for three years but the soil became depleted and we decided to convert the area into a play area for the kiddies to play in.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Did I Mention I Got Married?!

Did I? No, I didn't. That's not because I forgot or didn't want to, it's just because things have been so damn busy these past couple of months I've not been blogging.

This guy, Matthew David Plews, is my other half. Or a part of me that already is, however you want to say it, he's so familiar to me it's like he's me. Now, by saying that I don't mean that we're just alike because in so many ways we are complete opposites, but our energy is shared. When I think of us I think of the yin/yang symbol with each part distinct but intertwined with the other.


The wedding took place on Saturday, June 9, 2012 on a strange day. The weather was hot/cool/sunny/rainy. But that's us all over. HA HA! The wedding party was comprised of our children, Olivia, Haydn, Kieran and Melia and my granddaughters, Fate and Anja. The officiant was Greg McKibbon. They were beautiful, he was hillarious and a nice wedding it was. My brother Marc and his musical partner, Danny provided the music - Urban Gypsy style as they call it. Our first dance song was "You Mean Everything to Me" originally by Neil Sedaka. That song meant a lot to me as I used to listen to it as a little girl over and over on my parents' record player and dream of dancing to it at my wedding. Hmm.. I guess that wish came true!
As did my wish of finding Matt..... he's a good fit for me. We live a simple life, we garden, cook, watch NASCAR and hockey together and go to Friday night short track races when we can. We don't ask for much and we try our best to give what each other needs. It's a damn good life.  


Monday, August 27, 2012

Red Swiss Chard Pizza

Ok, I just invented this and after the first bite I knew I had to share the recipe. This time of year there is chard all around and I never know what to do with it. I had bought some gluten free pizza dough mix at the bulk store the other day though and thought it might be a good idea to combine these two things... and guess what? It was delicious! Here's the recipe.

This is the gorgeous red chard and onions before cooking!

As I mentioned, I used a gluten free pizza dough mix but you can use whatever you want for the crust; home made pizza dough, purchased raw dough, frozen dough or a pre-made crust, whatever works for you.

Next I finely chopped a bunch of red swiss chard that I got at the grocery store, I guess I ended up with about 6 cups but only used half for this recipe.

I then chopped one red onion and a few cloves of garlic - probably 3 - I don't remember cuz 1- I'm getting old and 2- I just "feel" recipes when I'm inventing them. So, sorry to all you anal retentives out there but tough - wing it!

So, in a frying pan i put some extra virgin olive oil and added the chard, onions, garlic and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and some freshly ground dried red chilis. Do this to your taste, I added quite a bit of the chilis cuz we like things spicy around here. I cooked it all til the leaves were nice and wilted but the stems still had a bit of crunch to them.

Once your pizza crust is ready, depending on whether you had to pre-bake it a bit or not, just throw on some grated Havarti cheese, the chard mixture and then some more Havarti on top. If I had owned some feta I would have used that, but Havarti I had so Havarti it was!

Then I just baked it til it looked done, about 10 minutes.

The taste is spicy yet sweet with a bit of tang from the cheese. I can tell you it went over well at our house.... it was gone in a matter of minutes! Of course Kieran had to dip it in his ever-present Caesar
dipping sauce but he liked it and how often can you say your 8 year old boy loves swiss chard? lol
So yeah, please do try this out.. it's so easy and healthy and TASTY!

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's Not Over Til It's Over

It's billowy triangular shape quivers but slightly in the blue sea's horizontal link to the flaming orange sky.

Even as i watch it turn into a mere glint of silver i can't make myself believe that ship has sailed.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Delicious Dinner Tonight!

 This was our delicious dinner tonight! I had bought some Chinese broccoli at Minh's last week and so far had only had some myself for lunch one day. But tonight I thought I'd create something that I knew Kieran and Matt would love. I had the image of how I wanted it to look in my head and the taste I wanted it to have so away I went! The best part (to me anyway) was dunking the tofu chunks into some nice, hot Sriracha chili sauce! God,I'm addicted, I know....

Anyway, here's the recipe:

* Cut up a block of gluten free tofu into nice size chunks (what would fit nicely between some chop sticks is how I measure it.)

* Marinate the tofu in some Tamari or just gluten free soy sauce if you can find it. You can do this for 5 minutes or 5 hours.

* Heat 1"of canola oil in a deep pan and quickly fry the tofu pieces till a bit crispy. (Some times i coat it with corn starch and sometimes not, it's not much different.)
Take it out and set it aside.

* In a wok, or other deep pan, put 2 Tbsp. canola oil, 2 sliced green chilis, some crushed ginger ( 1good tsp.) and 2 cloves of minced garlic.... once it starts to smell good, (about 15 seconds) add the Chinese broccoli. This needs to cook for a good 15 mins as it's very crunchy stuff! Add some water, about a cup, and let it simmer for a while. I added some more tamari and a bit of sesame oil at this point.

* In the mean time I had put some nice pad thai rice noodles in to soak.

* When the broccoli is cooked, re - add the tofu and briefly stir together. Set aside.

* Drain the noodles and stir them around in the sauce that's left in the wok from the veggies and tofu. Place noodles on a big serving dish, top with the veggie mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds! 

VOILA! Heaven on  a plate! Don't forget the hot sauce if you like to dip your tofu!

Friday, June 3, 2011

An Intro...

When I was younger, I wanted to be many things. Since I've grown up, I've become many things, but few of them are what I thought I would be. 

For instance, I thought for sure I'd be a child psychologist. Well, I'm not. At least  not professionally. But I do have 3 children, each with their own brilliant personalities and each with their own struggles and triumphs. 

Kieran, my Sonshine!

My youngest suffers from severe anxiety and at 7 years old, he's taught me so much about patience, love, advocation and determination. 

My eldest is a girl, and has shown me that it doesn't matter what I think, it's gonna be wrong. LOL But again, it's nothing that a little patience and love can't handle. I learned from her that times change, attitudes change and that I have to change along with them. 

My middle child is a young man with the strongest personality you've ever come across. He knows who he is and he doesn't hesitate to show the world that person. He's taught me acceptance and he's taught me that I have to be strong in order to keep a balance between himself and me. 

So, no, I'm not a child psychologist, but I know there's a piece or two of advice that I could impart to one!

I also thought I'd be a professional photographer. Well, that didn't happen either. However, I do have a passion for photography that gets me through my days. There are sooooo many beautiful things in life that I feel I have to capture on "film" to share with the world. Images that move me, excite me. And I will endeavour to share them with you here from time to time. 

Veggie Pad Thai with Samosas

I never thought I'd be a cook as a young person. I mean, I loved to watch my parents and grandmother cook delicious and soul enriching meals, but I thought it was just work. I never realised then how much joy I'd get out of it as an adult. I am so grateful to all of them for showing me how much love actually went into those dishes. As I grew, I began to talk to them as they cooked and really realised that it was the details they paid attention to and the reasons they cooked they foods they cooked that made them so delicious. Most of the foods I grew up on were very simple, Eastern European and Scandinavian dishes. Peasant food, if you will. But God, could they make you feel good! The next big food oriented thing that happened to me was very odd indeed. There was a vegetarian restaurant in town run by a guy we called "Hippie Michael" and on Monday nights he'd have the Hare Krishna's come from Toronto to cook and share a big feast with who ever would come and offer a small donation for the food. One night I got called into the kitchen to help make chapati and it was that night that sparked my love for Indian cooking! And the rest is history.... my true love and main source of creativity is cooking.

Which leads me to my next "almost never was." As a child I prayed because I was told to. I was dutiful in my bedtime prayers but never made any real connection. It was the Krishna's that (although I didn't quite align myself with them) showed me that there was a whole other world out there for spirituality. I don't align myself with any religion still now, but I draw my faith from a mixture of Hinduism, Zen Buddhism, Christianity, and the Ba'hai faith. I feel good , I'm happy, I'm the kindest person I believe I can be and that's good. My journey has been long and it continues but I do believe that it's the best way to be , as opposed to being complacent, inflexible and judgemental.

Gardening. Ahhhh, gardening. "Gross!" is what I would have called it as a child. I hated getting dirty. But now, I... well, I put up with it! LOL  Gardening is just another way of nurturing. It's rewarding to work hard at making sure these beautiful living things grow and yes, thrive. And it just plain makes me happy. The smells, the colours... Ahhhh gardening. 

That's Me!
And finally, writing. I was sure I would become a world famous poet. But when in grade 13 my favourite English teacher offered to send Mr. Leonard Cohen a poem I had written about him and I chickened out.... I figured that maybe I didn't have what it took to be rejected. So, I still write, and obviously will continue since I just started up a blog, but I'm not looking for publication neccessarily. Just to share what I know and what I've learned in the hopes that someone else will be able to relate and gain some joy from my words.

So yeah, that's me. All the things I never thought I'd be. And all the things I'd hoped I'd be.