Thursday, October 30, 2008


{See these in more detail *HERE*}

::Proofreading-Free Zone::

Those of you who have been reading for awhile, {or for a little}, know that I do not pay much attention to spelling or grammar. Words end up missing, misspelled or misplaced. I adore commas. I put them all over the place. I love semi-colons, but have no idea how to correctly apply them. And sometimes I invent a word just because I can't find one in existence that does the job. Good thing I am equally enamoured of photography. Can't misspell a photo, as far as I know. Let this to be an official apology to those who care.
Thanks for reading anyways.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The wind
It cries like my baby boy
My insides respond to the sound
Instincts demand action
Calm the boy
Quiet the sound

The sound is not my baby
My house is quiet
My house is asleep
But the wind is awake
Furiously awake
It competes with no one

It cries and cries and cries
I listen and listen and listen

I am awake

Sleep does not come to a mother who hears her baby boy crying in the wind

Monday, October 27, 2008

::He ain't heavy. He's my father::

So, a few days ago I posted about the *Urban Element* event I was taking my Dad too. {See *HERE*} It turns out that it was AMAZING! It far surpassed my expectations. If I had the time and money I would book an event every few weeks.

Dad and I walked into the small red brick building at 2:50 p.m. and thought we had mistakenly interrupted a private dinner. In front of us was a long, elegant table brimming with appetizers in white square dishes, bubbling champain, and twenty people chatting away as if they already knew one another. We actually left the building again to make sure we hadn't walked in the wrong door. Upon re-entering, the hostess apologized for not seeing us the first time, and took our coats.

Once we were seated, we saw that there were papers at each place setting with maps of the wine regions that would be represented over the next few hours. While we introduced ourselves to the people around us we nibbled on white bean dip and baguette, candied nuts and fresh olives. We soon discovered that the entire west end of the table was composed of seven sisters having a reunion of sorts. Seven! Dad and I were enveloped into their family within minutes. In fact, dad was co-opted as a stand-in for their absent brother.

"Is your brother short?" I had asked them. Pointedly seeking a comparison between my dad and their true brother.
"Nope. He's actually a fairly tall man," sister #6 replied.
"Is he heavy?" My dad persisted, poking fun at his own stocky build.
And then one of the sisters executed the most perfect line, in the most deadpan way:
"He ain't heavy, he's my brother."
{If this little nugget of humour has escaped you, see *HERE*}

Across from us were two women who were getting down to business. One had out an official looking booklet and was scribbling madly as she tasted each wine. It turns out that these two were enrolled in Algonquin's *Sommelier Program.* I was fascinated by the older woman who invariably guessed the identity of each undertone and grape variety correctly. For example; "This one definitely has oak undertones with a hint of blackberry and chocolate," she would surmise. What?! But, sure enough, our guide would quickly follow up, minutes later, with a detailed description of the wine that matched the burgeoning sommelier's. The ladies assured us that it's just a matter of memorization. The wines all fall under certain categories, and once you know one variable the rest tend to fall into place.

In this friendly atmosphere, we were guided by a wonderfully knowledgeable woman who stood at the head of the table and talked us through the regions and qualities of each of the wines. We began with three whites. One of which tasted like vanilla, while the other had citrus/tropical fruit undertones. We were taught how to "trill" our wine to best taste the flavour. This involved swishing the wine in our mouths, bringing it to the front of our tongue, shaping our lips into an 'O' and sucking air "up over top of the wine." It works! The wine suddenly bursts with flavour. It looks ridiculous, but it's another little factoid that will elevate my wine snobbishness to new heights:

We moved on to reds. My favourite. Our first wine offered us an interesting experience. It smelled funky. I think my dad put it best when he suggested it smelled of cheese and cardboard. It turns out this became an impromptu lesson in "corked" wines. *Cork taint* is something I had heard of but never experienced. Now I have, and I would rather not again. Ugh.

Somewhere between tastings we were all given a beautifully pretentious plate of appetizers. Each plate was large and divided into four gently cupped quadrants. The young chef came over from the kitchen to describe the delicacies to us. They had so many adjectives attached to them I have no hope of repeating them. I know that one was a a roasted tomato tartlet that set my Dad to chuckling beside me, {a Friends episode starring John Lovitz, apparently}, while pine nut terrine was unanimously rejected by the seven sisters. Vegetarians? "Nope," confirmed the nearest sister. Hmm. My favourites were the smoked gouda with apple compote and the creamy fish morsel in a tasty sauce. It was fun discovering which wines were best paired with which food.

The last surprise was a chocolate dessert the defies description, paired with a red sparkling wine. I had no idea sparkling reds existed, but I will be sure to try and find this one again. Mmmmm.

The time flew by. We felt we were leaving a new-found family. But we had a far more precious family awaiting us at home. "Dad, I have a birthday too you know. Feel free to return the favour."

Friday, October 24, 2008

::Wines of Armentina & Chile::

Let's go taste some wine:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

::The Big Picture::

Yesterday was World Animal Day.
I knew because the beautiful website showed me:
*The Big Picture*

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

::Third World Bizaar::

Attending this event has become a tradition for my mom, sister and I. All of us love the colour and warmth of a lot of the goods offered here. Having been to Africa, Kate and I feel particularly at home. Basically, the Third World Bazaar is a traveling market that sets up shop in a barn in Manotick for the month of October. The prices are reasonable, although we've seen them creep upwards as the event grows in popularity. {A lot of the money made is donated by the owners.} And we inevitable get a bit of Christmas shopping done while we're there. I will be ever beholden to this Bazaar for the beautiful mirror I purchased there last year. At $70, I would say it was a steal:

I was also gifted these bowls for Christmas last year, curtesy of my attentive sister, {she saw me admiring them}:

In return, I got her an ornate jewelry box:

Some images of the bazaar:

*Third World Bazaar*
Three weekends in October::Yearly

Monday, October 20, 2008

::Play Hard::

KIDS.... . .WHO PLAY HARD . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

::Blue Amazon Butterfly::

I saw this stunning blue amazon butterfly and was inspired.
So I did what I had to do:
Made Caelah a Halloween costume in it's honour.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

::A fickle and transient thing::

Today several huge pieces of equipment rumbled into the field next door. Now they are crouched near the forests edge, cutting and cutting and cutting. I can hear snaps and cracks ringing out as tree after tree is felled. There grows a mountain of trunks, soon to be stripped and hauled away. And I have been fighting with my emotions all day. Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't cry. Things change. Someday home will be a place where no trees ever get cut down.

When we first drove by the piece of land that would become our home, the trees made me want to stay. While Aidan loves the open fields, I prefer a nestled home; one that is tucked away in the greenery. I think my young heart was set and molded by Laura Ingalls' little house in the woods. Small house; big trees. Shelter. Snow-capped trees. Calls echoing in the woods. I wanted that then and there was no going back.

At the time of our purchase, we were told that the property that scoops around us was a single parcel belonging to the neighbour. Because we knew she was here for the long haul, and already working a sizable field of her own, we felt reassured that the trees around us would stay. But there was always the absentee farmer to the West of us. . . A most curious man, to have carved out such an *oddly shaped field.* While I had never met the man, I felt kindly towards him for having clearly been reluctant to simply clear cut his swath of woods. Instead, he seemed to have gently chiseled away a space for his crops; as though he and his trees had some sort of understanding. There it sits, looking as though the field was an organic extension of the trees, rather than the land scar that so many postage-stamp fields appear to be from the vantage point of an airplane.

A few times a year machinery would appear, a crop would be sown and then harvested, snow would fall. . . It would start again. Good system. I banked on this being a perpetual routine for at least the next decade. Yes, I must admit, I had questioned the feasibility of having to seed and harvest around all of those odd corners. But obviously Mr. farmer has been getting along just fine with his odd little field for quite some time. And so I went and did something I should never have done: I went and foolishly assigned permanence to my home's landscape. In so doing, the panoramic image of home in my mind is being painfully wrenched apart with each tree that is cut.

One year into our life here and we are already being faced the sobering realities of farming and finance. Times are hard. Times are expensive. Trees don't pay nearly as much as wheat, especially if they're just standing there looking pretty. . . Of course this was bound to happen. Mr. farmer will make far more money from his large postage-stamp. But, silly me. I couldn't help but hang a heavy measure of value upon the beauty of a bunch of trees that didn't belong to me. But, hey. Beauty hurts, right? Yeah, beauty hurts all right. It hurts because it is a fickle and transient thing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

::Make a joyful noise::

Classic turkey dinner.
Playing in the falling leaves at the park.
Cheesecake and coffee.
Singing songs of thanksgiving.
Finding joy, love and thankfulness in this day & reminded ourselves to hold onto these things everyday of the year.