Archive | August, 2016

Poetry Remembered

31 Aug

Blog Post #139

Omg!

I just came across one of my very favourite poems from my childhood! I love it because it is whimsical — and so much fun to read out loud! I have fond memories of reading it to my little brother — it always made us giggle and smile. Do you have a favourite poem from the past?

Old Style Telephone

Eletelephony

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

Laura Elizabeth Richards

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

Zen and the Art of Marinara (and Haiku)

30 Aug

Blog Post #138

There’s nothing like a bowl of spaghetti to lift your mood on a grey, drizzly afternoon. And it’s Tuesday, a good enough reason to make a pasta dinner.

I love the simple act of dicing onions, mincing garlic then sautéing them. Doesn’t the fragrant aroma of frying onions and garlic get your mouth watering? Chopping the tomatoes, the parsley and adding them, along with a splash (or two) of wine to the pan is almost like a meditation. The act of cooking is soothing, a relief from the tensions of a hectic day. While the pasta cooks and the marinara sauce simmers — the kitchen is filled with the delicious smells of Italy — I have time to pour myself another glass of wine — the atmosphere is zenlike.

An uncomplicated, straightforward meal — pasta with marinara sauce filling, satisfying, nourishing — a comfort food, made to fill the belly and soothe the soul.

spaghetti

I wanted to post a photo of my dinner — but I was much too hungry to take the time to find my phone and snap a pic. The image of the bowl of spaghetti is from unsplash and I think, will serve as a lovely illustration of my delicious food!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I didn’t forget that it’s Haikuesday! I hope you enjoy this week’s short poem. (Just remember, I am NOT a poet!!)

Marinara sauce
simmering on the stovetop
a watched pot won’t boil

A Citrus Squeezer and a Wire Whisk Make a Unique Blog Post

29 Aug

Blog Post #137

Aaaaargh!!! No one told me how difficult it would be to come up with a blog post EVERY DAY! I’m pretty sure that if I had thought it through even a little, I would NOT have attempted it.

I was racking my brain to come up with an idea for today’s post — but I wasn’t having any luck — my mind was a complete blank! Then, Eureka! I remembered that I had “pinned” many posts and articles titled “45, 5075, 135 Fantastic Blog Post Ideas When You Have Absolutely No Clue What to Write” on my Pinterest board, “Blogosphere”. Surely, one of those will have a great idea for my next post.

30 Unique Blog Post Ideas had quite a few titles that intrigued me. I chose Number 13 — Essential Kitchen Gadgets.

Interesting, no? I liked this idea because it WAS unique. Trust me, I have looked at tons of articles and found that most of the ideas presented are pretty much all the same — but these thirty suggestions were new to me.

I considered the gadgets in my kitchen and found two that I believe are essential (at least they survived the great Purge of my 30-Day Minimalism Game!)

Two of the thingamabobs in my kitchen right now that I love, are my citrus squeezer and my little wire whisk.

Citrus Squeezer and a Wire Whisk

I bought the citrus squeezer at the dollar store — I use it for juicing lemons and limes — it works like a dream. The whisk came from Pampered Chef, I probably paid too much for it (you know, it’s Pampered Chef!) but it was definitely worth it. I use it to whisk white sauces, homemade salad dressing, cornstarch or flour for thickening agents — whatever needs a brisk stir, this little gizmo does the trick!

What are your favourite kitchen gadgets??

Save

The Play’s The Thing

28 Aug

Blog Post #136

For 27 seasons, Bard on the Beach has been presenting Shakespeare plays from June to September, performed in the gorgeous waterfront setting at Vanier Park. This event has become a traditional annual outing for my daughter and me. Every year we look forward to attending at least one of the lavish productions and this year was no exception.

Walking into the tent, for the production of the Merry Wives of Windsor, we were transported to an inn in 1960’s Ontario, complete with a band stand, dance floor, bar tables and stubby beer bottles. The play begins with Open Mic Night and the Mistress Ford and Mistress Page singing in public for the very first time.

Bard on the Beach

The story revolves around Sir John Falstaff’s machinations to seduce both Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page, with the aim of extorting money from them both. Hilarity ensues, when unbeknownst to Falstaff, the women (who are best friends) plot to wreak their revenge.

The play, steeped in the 60’s era decor and ambience was whimsical and funny from start to finish.

The cast was excellent — their musical abilities were as strong as their acting skills. Katey Wright (Mistress Meg Page) and Amber Lewis (Mistress Alice Ford) were perfect as the two best friends who are determined to outwit the disreputable Falstaff.  Ashley Wright’s portrayal of Falstaff was faultless —  funny and laughable — and oozing with an oily charm.

Ben Elliott delivered a comedic act so hilarious — with his exaggerated comic gestures and his fabulously awkward, slanted gait — his portrayal of Slender was one of my favourites in the show.

Dawn Petten’s stole the spotlight whenever she was on the stage. Even though her lines were few, she shone in her characterization of Simple, with funny facial expressions and body movements.

Jennifer Lines was amazing as Mistress Quickly, a quirky, boisterous housemaid with an awesome voice.

The audience loved Andrew Chown as Dr. Gaius, in his charteuse velvet suit and his preposterously comic French accent. One of my favourite scenes was the fencing duel between Dr. Gaius and Pastor Evans (Andrew McNee). Their antics were impeccably executed and elicited uproarious laughter as the two flailed about without landing a blow.

Kudos to the rest of the exceptional cast who played their parts with great aplomb, talent, humor and energy.

From the set design, to the costumes, choreography, and music, to the writing, direction and fabulous performances, this production of the Merry Wives of Windsor was superb, highly entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Watch the trailer:

Save

Save

Save

Save

#101 Days of Happiness

27 Aug

Blog Post #135

I’m having a lot of fun taking photos for this “101 Days of Happiness” project  — trying to catch that moment that reflects an instance of joy or pleasure. I’m enjoying thinking about happiness and the simple everyday ocurrences that bring delight.

These photos represent eight of the moments where I encountered joy in the past few days. I’ve discovered that happiness is all around me, I only have to take the time to notice.

8 Days of Happiness

 

Writer’s Block

26 Aug

Blog Post #134

WRITER’S BLOCK

hand-laptop-notebook-technology-medium

Aaarghhhhhhh! Blerg!

See you tomorrow!

 

Good Night, Sleep Tight!

24 Aug

Blog Post #133

I am exhausted! My eyes are heavy and grainy, my brain a little fuzzier than normal. I am positive that I have been typing in my sleep — I am sitting on the sofa, my laptop open to this page. I gave a start and looked at the screen. This is what I saw: “Star Trek bjaisks afwet  rhèklafjoe htkaklcaoahetlab sleralawei”… The funny thing was — I wasn’t thinking about Star Trek in the least!

Definitely time to log off, and crawl into my warm, comfy, cozy bed. Ahhh yes, I am headed for slumber.

I leave you with this:

Good night, y’all!

 

Three Videos to Help You Write Haiku

23 Aug

Blog Post #132

Happy Haikuesday!

When I sat down to compose this post, I wondered what more I could write or discover about haiku. I mean, how much is there to say about this form of Japanese poetry, without researching in detail about the history of this art. While I find a little background interesting, I’m not a history buff, and I’d rather leave the past for historians to write.

I thought that I would write about Haikuesday — find out where the challenge started, who organized it, is there a website — you know, tidbits of information.

So I did a search…and found a lot of stuff about haiku! Not so much about Haikuesday, but a LOT about haiku. Did you know that there are many, many Youtube videos about haiku — from how to write haiku, to a short film, Haiku in Brooklyn?

Below, are three Youtube videos that I found. I hope you find something that intrigues you.

My haiku for this week is shared at the end of the list.

School’s In

How to Write a Haiku  illustrates the basic requirements of writing the Japanese short poem.

 

Watch You’ve Been Writing Haiku Wrong also teaches how to compose haiku, but with more details and explanati

 

Haiku Battle

The American animated television series, Avatar – The Last Airbender, that aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008, combined the styles of anime and American cartoons, and won awards such as the Annie Awards, the Genesis Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award to name a few.

In this clip from the show’s episode, Book Two: Earth, Tales of Ba Sing Se, an epic haiku battle is waged.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The forest’s dark depths
hold woodland creatures fleeing
the full moon’s cold light

A Little More Kindness

22 Aug

Blog Post #131

Did you know that performing acts of kindness not only makes other feel good, but helps you feel good as well? Studies have shown that people who volunteer or are otherwise engaged in doing “good”, live longer, are healthier and feel happier.

Need a few tips on ramping up your random acts of kindness? Try these five RAOKs — one or more of them might just be your favourite thing to do!

bouquet

Buy a bouquet of flowers and give them to the receptionist at your office or other office that you visit. A receptionist deals with all kinds of stresses during the day — your gift might just make his/her day.

Got some spare time? Why not volunteer at a seniors’ home or community recreation centre — an opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life and a boost of “feel good” for you.

sleeping girl

Offer to babysit for a neighbour or someone you know who has small children. A night out for dinner and a movie is always fun, and would certainly be a welcome kindness for harried parents.

Finished that paperback you bought last week at the bookstore? Leave it somewhere in a public place with a note to enjoy the read, tucked inside.

Bake a batch of healthy cookies and take them to your children’s school for the teachers and staff to enjoy.

groucho

Bonus Tip: Be kind to yourself — remind yourself that you are AWESOME!

Save

Olympic Gold

21 Aug

Blog Post #130

The 2016 Olympics have come to a close. As I have previously mentioned, I am not a big fan of the Olympic Games — and I did not watch any sports coverage of the two weeks in Rio.

empty seats

But, hey, I read the news, and I did hear stories about the Olympics in Rio that illustrated that true sportsmanship does still exist in the world of competitive sports. I’m just going to ignore the reports of the scandals that occurred — and focus on the positive news, the stories that exemplify the ethos of the games.

Everyone has heard about runners, American Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealander, Nikki Hamblin and their upsetting collision. The two athletes helped and encouraged each other to finish the qualifying heat of the women’s 5000 metres. Because of their display of true Olympic spirit, the officials awarded each of them a place in the finals.

 

Great Britain’s Andy Murray won gold at the Olympics Men’s Single tennis match. Murray, a self-proclaimed feminist gave the best response to a question by a BBC reporter about his feelings upon becoming the first person ever to win two Olympic Gold tennis medals. Wait, what about Venus and Serena Williams?

 

Remember, Yusra Mardini? She is the 18 year old Syrian refugee that was offered a spot on the first ever Olympian Refugee Team — the 18 year old who saved more than a dozen people by pushing a dinghy full of people fleeing Syria via Turkey by sea to Greece. Yusra won her heat in the qualifying race and while she didn’t win a medal, her spirit and determination has carried her a long way. She will have another chance for an Olympic medal when she swims in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Save

Save

%d bloggers like this: