Friday, November 28, 2014

Oh, Interwebs

See more pictures that dog owners will understand at Pleated Jeans.
Welcome to my periodic round-up of things I've found online that make me smile, cry, laugh, think, shout, or drop my jaw. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

This is why I hoard.

The other day, my computer informed me that the hard drive was at 90% capacity. It cautioned that its performance would begin to slow down.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pea Soup

I will never be able to say "pea soup" without hearing the crickets (surely they aren't cockroaches!) from Rescuers Down Under. Despite that, it is one of our favourite recipes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Grammar Ninja: Who's and Whose

Since none of you has sent me a grammar question (one wonders what it is you do all day if it is not pondering grammar), I am compelled, nay, obliged, to come up with a topic of my own choosing. So here's today's discussion: who's versus whose.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A-glamping we did go!

Almost immediately after my return from two weeks in Europe, my husband Steve and I took off for a little retreat together. Earlier in the fall, I had stumbled upon a Groupon deal for "glamping" (a portmanteau word for glamour + camping).

On further investigation, it turned out that this experience was for a stay at les Refuges Perchés, which literally translates to "perched shelter."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Oh, Interwebs!

Wishing a thankful Thanksgiving (next week) to my American family and friends. Here are some pictures of what dinner would look like if it were plated by some famous modern artists.

Welcome to my periodic round-up of things I've found online that make me smile, cry, laugh, think, shout, or drop my jaw. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ding-ding! We have a winner!

I am beyond happy to say that we have found a diet that Kane doesn't just tolerate but is really thriving on.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

French-Canadian Classic: Tourtière du Lac-St-Jean

Tourtière du Lac-St-Jean
Most Canadians are familiar with tourtière* - a meat pie made with ground meat and spices. It's so popular that you can buy it ready-made in grocery stores. This is not that tourtière.

This one is a feast of game meat in big chunks, slow-roasted in a pie crust. It is a recipe big enough to feed a whole extended family, and it takes most of a weekend to prepare and cook.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fun with Corpses!

My sinuses are killing me. Seriously. but I'm about to pass out, so . . .
Well, okay, "bones" is the more accurate word, but "fun with bones" doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Anyway, People had an article about these ancient bones that were removed from catacombs as early as 1578 and chronicled by Paul Koudounaris. Assuming these bones belonged to saints (because, why else would they have been preserved?), the gentle peasants saw fit to adorn and treat these noble skeletons with the respect they deserved.

To modern eyes, this is just ridiculous and a dreadful waste of sapphires, but here they are anyway.

I looked at these grotesqueries and immediately thought of captions for them. So here, for your pleasure, are my takes on these old bones.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oh, Interwebs!

Moss Balls or marimo (Japanese for "ball seaweed") is a species of green algae
that grow into large green balls with a velvety appearance. Found on Amusing Planet
Welcome to my periodic round-up of things I've found online that make me smile, cry, laugh, think, shout, or drop my jaw. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Up Next

Back in May, I highlighted Borderline Personality Disorder and mentioned that a family member struggles with this disorder. What I didn't mention in that post is that Steve and I have decided to become leaders (trainers) for the Family Connections course for people who have a loved one with the disorder.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Murphy's Law strikes again.

I'm still working on the cookbook project, and am making good headway. I've decided not to share every recipe here, especially if the recipe is fairly straightforward. But today's recipe warrants a blog post -- not so much because it's fancy (quite the opposite), but because a full-blown comedy of errors took place in our kitchen this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Traveller in Her Own Land

Captivating skies over highway 407, heading east.
Although I've written about my last full day in Switzerland, I still haven't brought you up to speed on our (relatively) local travels since then. There's something about visiting another country or region that casts a real contrast with what you're used to.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Comfort Food: Irish Stew with Dumplings

Stew is one of those classic "peasant" foods that make me feel like I'm sitting in front of a crackling fire with a wool shawl wrapped around me and a mug full of wine. Ideally, there would be a baby asleep on my lap, and a dog snoring lightly at my feet.

Ah, sigh.

On the day I saw my first fluffily floating flakes of snow in Ottawa this year, I pulled out my biggest pot and started an Irish stew simmering in the kitchen. Then I added dollops of dumplings, and we all sat down to a hearty meal.

Since you couldn't be there with us, I decided to share the recipe here. I've learned a lot of lessons about stew -- all the hard way. I hope this post will save you some scorched pots and leathery meat.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Oh, Interwebs!

This may be the worst accidental panoramic-photo fail I have ever seen. See more on
Welcome to my periodic round-up of things I've found online that make me smile, cry, laugh, think, shout, or drop my jaw. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Challenge Accepted

Front cover of the Sibbald Family Famous Recipes Cookbook
More than two years ago, I decided to turn our hand-written, heavily soiled family recipe book into a proper cookbook with photos and stories and personal notes. Since then, I've encountered corrupted files, obsessive perfectionism, and loss of enthusiasm.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Last Day

Swiss countryside as seen from a moving train.
On our last full day in Switzerland, we spent a lot of time in moving vehicles. We took a train from Nyon to Lucerne (and back) and a ferry around Lake Lucerne. It was foggy and sometimes rainy, and I took a lot of pictures through the windows of moving vehicles.

I really need to stop doing that. Although the human eye can ignore specks, drops, and reflections on windows and adapt for some of the movement and actually see the magical scene, the camera cannot. But it's so hard to resist!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Not at all lost.

This was our welcome to Geneva on the day we went to visit the Geneva home of the United Nations, and it should have been a warning.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Where I'm From

Top: Christine
Middle: Wynn Anne, Patricia
Bottom: Andrew, Stewart, Douglas, Harvey
This was originally posted in December 2011, but I was reminiscing and thought I'd share it again.

I am from chenille bedspreads, from Barbie dolls and banana-seat bicycles.

I am from seven children crammed into a back-split, semi-detached house in suburbia with pear trees growing along the back fence and open space beyond; an open-concept school at one end of the street and horses out to pasture at the other.

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