Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

and Meowie  Meowmas from Pavel

Thursday, December 23, 2010

*Newsflash* Christmas has begun!

Let the festivities begin! Tonight on the eve of Christmas eve Santa came early and dropped off a  box of the one and only original Japanese Mandarin oranges!
ahhhh they smell sooo good; i'm eating the peel and all.
Thank you Sun company! Please don't scare me like that again.
Thanks Santa Bob!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Traditions and memories of Christmas’s past;

When i was a kid it was always white because i lived in the highest city in Canada, Kimberley, B.C. This picture has a mere dusting of it and i'm sure more will be drifting down soon.

It was a wonderful time all winter skiing, skating, sleigh riding, snow fort building, making snow angels and probably snowmen too although don’t really remember any remarkable ones.

Best Christmas presents were ski’s and skates. This is my little sister Sandy and our best friend Betty
It was taken at one of the many home garden ice rinks in our neighbourhood.

My biggest Christmas regret was the time i climbed the bookcase and craned my neck and could have broke it to be able to peek into the fruit room and i saw 2 pairs of ski’s waiting there….and then i told my little sister!

The whole family went to the woods to search for and cut the most perfect fir and dad got the final pick which was always exactly the right height after allowing for the star and we decorated it with multi-coloured bubble lights and misc. shiny baubles and beads. Silver tinsel icicles were carefully placed to hang straight and none could be crooked or crimped and they must be all the same length but the use of scissors not allowed.

Original mandarin oranges came all the way from Japan in wooden crates and burlap sacks of mixed nuts arrived that had too many almonds and walnuts and never quite enough Brazil nuts to go around.
See what i mean? and what's with those bits of dried fruit in there? I just want my share of Brazils!
Colourful hard ribbon candy something like this came in a big shiny tin pail from The Hudson Bay

along with the hanging of the mistletoe and the paper mache silver bells lovingly handmade in a Christmas past by Mrs. Dixon.
I wonder what ever happened that suddenly one year Mrs. Dixon was no longer a part of our Christmas.
Maybe that was the year that mom and dad began their journey of converting to the Jehovah’s Witness religion.

But up until then festive new dresses and warm flannel pajamas were purchased for the sisters three but sadly, i don’t remember if mom ever got a new dress too but i'm betting she didn't.
Cards were strung on a string from corner to corner and a huge old Merry Christmas card was hung and all visitors were asked to sign that same card each year.
Christmas carols were sung on the radio and sometimes live accompanied by piano, accordian and harmonicas.
Mom made pickled herring in Oct., fruit cakes in Nov. and shortbread cookies in Dec.

I think fruit cake needs a nice marzipan icing, but that's just me.

There was always plenty to eat and drink. Our house was very merry with all adults jovial and happy as they smoked, drank and told funny stories and dirty jokes while the children kept busy playing games.
The turkey was fresh and at least 25, maybe 30 lbs.although in my mind it was much larger than that.
Vegetables served were mashed potato, Brussels sprouts and rutabagas which must be eaten because children were starving in Korea and as well they kept us humble.

Now Christmas 2010
and for the first time in my life the Original Japanese Mandarin oranges are no longer available and if this is a typical monorail for their transportation i can understand why although i don't know for a fact.

A few boxes arrived in early Dec. and there was no warning that was it!  Not even enough time to take their picture!
In their place we’ll have to settle for itty- bitty, teeny- weeny, pitiful little marble size oranges from China that claim to be sweet like honey but in my taste test are really quite bitter.
Should have put something by them to show the size. Oh, wait, the bees are life size.

Hot dam, i sure do miss those Original Mandarins and it dosn’t seem like Christmas without them.

In Christmas music Elvis still reigns as the king and i'm sure he always will.
Predicted weather gives us a chance of cold but sunny, rain, snow or meatballs.

Cards have been sent and 3 names were deleted from the list because they've passed away.
I made a point of choosing cards this year that said Merry Christmas; enough of the balderdash of seasons greetings, happy winter, happy holidays and Bah Humbug to those who don't celebrate Christmas because suddenly this year i don't care if you don't!  We do!

However, there’s no gingerbread house with a musical train circling it while skaters skated on the mirror, uhh, ice.  Just one tree now, not two!
Danish butter cookies are not a tradition in my home; i’ve boycotted them since the 70’s and nobody here has missed them.
Not going to be any homemade fruit cakes either because i’m too lazy now although i just might make shortbread cookies with a little red marachino cherry on each, butter tarts and/or mincemeat tarts providing i get going and buy some pastry crusts.  I might try something new and that's a cookie recipe from the pioneer woman that uses Nutella. Already have the Nutella so it's almost a done deal.

Nuts will be cracked with the crappy old hard to use nutcracker because the only one i could find to replace it was $28 + tax and there’s no way Mrs. Scrooge will pay that for a simple nut cracker. Bah humbug again.
I’ll probably buy a jar of pickled herring, lots of misc. sausages, crackers, cheeses, potato chips and dips, chocolate and macadamia nuts

The turkey will be a 20lb. pre-stuffed bird placed in the oven directly from the freezer.They are good!
Our tree these days is a fibre optic job that’s ceiling height but it stands on an end table and in pictures looks like a blah undecorated tree but in reality is quite beautiful and so easy to put up and take down.

Notice the theme here?  Old Scrooge or Old Age?    No....i've become an efficiency expert!

Here's a pretty tree in Sao Paulo, size small/petite to keep in theme with the oranges.

Now i think there’s just one traditional old thing i’ve retained from the past and that’s Mrs. Dixons old paper mache silver bells and they’re hanging already from the dining room light. 

Merry Christmas everybody!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow on the mountains, warm and sunny in Surrey, B.C.

So many beautiful scenes on my way home from White Rock today but so few places to be able to stop and take pictures.  These are from the Mudd Bay flats.
I was dismayed to find the one of Mt. Baker didn't turn out. The red plants are probably blueberries. A pond with ducks is on the other side of the road but there was too much traffic to go for it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


1. I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met.
(guess i shoulda changed this to boyfriend but hey, my husband might read this)

2. OK, so what’s the speed of dark?

3. How do you tell when you are out of invisible ink?

4. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

5. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

6. When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

7. Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

8. Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.

9. I intend to live forever…. so far so good.

10. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

11. Eagles may soar; but weasels don’t suck into jet engines.

12. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

13. My mechanic told me. “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”

14. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

15. If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

16. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

17. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

18. The hardness of the butter is inversely proportional to the softness of the bread.

19. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

20. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

21. The cooler the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.

22. Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.

23. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

24. If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

25. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Brain teasers

No cheating by looking ahead ok.....

Read out loud the text inside the triangle below.

More than likely you said, 'A bird in the bush,'! and...
If this IS what YOU said, then you failed to see
that the word THE is repeated twice!
Sorry, look again.

What do you see above?

The white/yellow background spells out Optical

The blue landscape spells the word Illusion

That's right; its an optical illusion!

So glad you're catching on.....


What do you see here?

The word TEACH reflects as LEARN.


What do you see?

You probably read the word ME in brown, but...
when you look through ME you will see YOU !

Did you need to look again?

Test Your Brain




Count every '
F ' in the following text:




6 -- no joke.
Really, go back and try to find the 6 F's before you scroll down.

The reasoning behind is further down.

The brain cannot process 'OF'.    
Incredible or what? Go back and look again!!
Anyone who counts all 6 'F's' on the first go is a genius.  


Three is normal, four is quite rare.

More Brain Stuff . . from   Cambridge University   

This one is amazing so please read all the way though. 

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.  

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty  uesdnatnrd 
waht I was rdanieg.
The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig  
to a rscheearch atCmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer
 in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are,
the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer 
be in the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it   
wouthit a porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey 
lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling 
 was ipmorantt!
if you can raed tihs psas it on!!  

Monday, November 22, 2010

47 years ago today.....was it really that long ago.......

I remember it well as this was the day i had the second surgery to remove the cancer spreading in my throat. Six months earlier surgeons had operated and thought they had removed all of it.  This time they did get it all and i'd live happily ever after but i didn't know that at the time and needless to say was scared to death; i was 19 years old and i had 3 small children to raise.

And then the news came down from nurses and visitors to the hospital that President John Kennedy had been assassinated this very morning and that sickened and scared me even more.
JFK was my hero and my pastime had been a scrapbook about him which ended soon after he died when i began a new scrapbook; this one on his brother Robert, which also ended abruptly.
I don't make scrapbooks anymore.

But on this day 47 years ago Nov. 22, 1963 i was in shock at the news and then being in recovery from the surgery i wasn't able to see any of it on tv and several weeks had passed by the time i was able to go home.  By then the coverage wasn't being repeated. I often felt i was the only person on earth who hadn't seen the whole thing live or at least fresh. And being as how i was his biggest fan, well, it dosn't even compute how badly i wanted and needed to see it all. I always recall this every year on this date.

I was scared, as scared as those terrifying 6 days previously when everyone in Canada and the U.S. was scared to death; we were on the brink of a nuclear war! Some of that fear was of mistakes or somebody accidentally hitting a red button but mostly it was the threat itself as the message was very clear to all.

Thank God for President Kennedy keeping his cool and handling it the way he did; he wasn't my hero for nothing.........

Home > Library > History, Politics & Society > Military History Companion

Cuban missile crisis (1962). In May 1960, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev promised military assistance to the beleaguered Castro regime in Cuba. Two years later, he saw that the USSR's relations with Cuba also represented a unique opportunity to offset the threat posed to Moscow by US nuclear missiles based in Turkey. In addition to aircraft, air defence systems, armoured vehicles, and troops, Khrushchev offered a selection of nuclear-armed medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles. Castro accepted the offer and within months the USA and the USSR were on the verge of all-out nuclear war. On 14 October 1962, following indications of increased military activity on Cuba and a growing Soviet presence, an American U-2 aircraft photographed missile sites in western Cuba. Subsequent intelligence indicated that the missiles—SS-4 and SS-5, both with 1 megaton warheads—had the ability to reach almost the entire continental USA, including every Strategic Air Command base. On 22 October 1962, after intense debate in the Executive Committee (ExComm) of the National Security Council, during which the possibilities of aerial bombardment or invasion of Cuba were discussed, US Pres John Kennedy announced a maritime blockade to prevent further shipments of missiles and military equipment. Kennedy also demanded that Khrushchev dismantle and remove all missiles from Cuba. For six terrifying days, the two superpowers considered their options until on 28 October Khrushchev agreed to Kennedy's demands. In return, the USA agreed never to invade Cuba and (secretly) to remove its missiles from Turkey.
— John P. Campbell
Read more:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pavel and the paparazzi

What part of i want to be left alone don't you understand
Hiding from the paparazzi
Hiding out in Paris
Going in disguise; dam paparazzi!
Is she gone yet?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On the 11th day of the 11th month....we remember

On Remembrance Day i encourage everyone to take the time to remember those who have fallen in the service of our country, as well as those who continue to serve Canada with courage and compassion.


Long before the Great War, the red poppy had become a symbol of death, renewal and life. The seeds of the flower can remain dormant in the earth for years, but will blossom spectacularly when the soil is churned. Beginning in late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders became the scene of stupendous disturbances. Red Poppys soon appeared.

In 1915, at a Canadian dressing station north of Ypres on the Essex Farm, an exhausted physician named Lt. Col. John McCrae would take in the view of the poppy strewn Salient and experience a moment of artistic inspiration. The veteran of the South African War was able to distill in a single vision the vitality of the red poppy symbol, his respect for the sacrifice made by his patients and dead comrades, and his intense feeling of obligation to them. McCrae would capture all of this in the most famous single poem of the First World War, In Flanders Fields.

John McCrae
The doctor's work achieved immediate universal popularity which was subsequently reinforced by his own death in 1918 from pneumonia and meningitis. He was buried in a military cemetery near Calais on the English Channel, thus becoming one with those of whom he wrote in his famous poem. Probably by the time of his internment, John McCrae's verse had forever bound the image of the Red Poppy to the memory of the Great War. The poppy was eventually adopted by the British and Canadian Legions as the symbol of remembrance of World War One and a means of raising funds for disabled veterans. An American war volunteer, Moina Michael, helped establish the symbol in the US where the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion also embraced the Red Poppy tradition.

All people must stand together and fight for freedom and peace, regardless of nationality, race or creed.  We must honor and remember those who gave their all for it lest we forget.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wheres Willy now?

Looks like he's heading home, getting close to Quebec again......

This is the first report of my $20.'s journey since it left my hands back in Aug. when i set it free at a lottery ticket kiosk in the local mall.
Its been travelling at a rate of 13kms per day for 82 days and now is just 508 kms from where it was first registered.

Maybe Willy was homesick.....maybe he'll start on a journey back to B.C......who knows.......maybe i'll find him again if i ever win anything again.........maybe his original owner will find him again.....
wouldn't that be a hoot!

I'm glad to hear he's well and moving along.  I'll keep ya posted.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All i never knew about a stick of butter

I got a new oven so of course i wanted to try it out and bake something.  I googled to find the newest and most modern cake and cookie recipes but just about all of them called for an ingredient i've never seen before and that is a stick of butter.

So.....whats a stick of butter?  i mean i know the butter part but how much is it, in lbs. cups or tsp.or TBS.
I guess photoshopping one won't tell me much but i tried to imagine one 
How about an old Burt Reynolds movie called Stick?
No?  Me neither!
How about carrot and celery sticks

or hairsticks, stickpins, glo sticks, glue sticks chapsticks

and i even saw a wiping stick..... 
Yes, there is such a thing! but didn't think you'd want to see it

And a very funny old Fed ex commercial of a guy tying a stick to a Pterodactyls leg which wouldn't stay in this post. It went last night after everything else was so messed up and had to be re-done. Look for it under this post and sorry if you got notified of a blank post.

Yeah, i know about other kinds of sticks like
Living in the sticks.....don't do it! 
Lacrosse goalie stick
hockey sticks
woman with her hockey stick
                         Daniel Sedin with his hockey stick
candlesticks, incense sticks
swizzle sticks
marijuana is sometimes called a stick
yowsers this disorder is making me crazy. What sticks did i miss? Which ones are twice?
 and a Chapman stick is a musical instrument.
And then there's joy sticks, stick-it notes, a British band,a baton stick and a stick of gum but they’re not in the recipe i chose which quite proudly boasts “Who says you need a pound of butter for cupcakes? This recipe makes a doz. cupcakes and uses just one stick!”
My first thought on that was “if there’s only one does that mean it’s unimportant and can be left out without causing a recipe failure”?
As far as i knew it could be anything from say, one lb. of butter (that would be one very fat stick and probably called a pound cake) but I think it has to be skinnier and twiggier to be considered a stick.

A stick with walking stick insect on it

                 A different walking stick -            
Am i the first person to inquire of a stick?
 Heres a stick a guy had to use to fight off a cougar
 The blue and white stick is a pen
  and here's a stick family
a comic book character named Stick
                                                                                                                   a pool stick

A dog with his stick

                       Led Zeppelin album cover Stick
Some youtube people are saying that eating butter is bad while others say it'll improve your arithmetic and maybe it'll improve spelling too.  I'll try it and see.
I’m guessing all the recipes i found were created by American cooks who probably buy their butter already formed into sticks and therefore understand the term.  That’s great, but it doesn’t tell me how much to use, we who purchase our butter in one lb.                                  
blocks. If all the other ingredients are in measurements of cups or tsp. and TBS. why go and complicate the butter?
Imagine a recipe calling for a large brick of butter, 1 kg.+ 5 cubes of sugar, a lb. + 8 tsps. of flour, 5/8th of a litre of milk 1/12 of a ladle of cinnamon, an ounce of salt……probably not many bakers would tackle such a recipe and whatever it would make would likely turn out awful!
ok, seriously i know that 1 cup of butter would be half a lb. It’s easy to chop a 1 lb.brick of butter in half cuz there’s a line on the half way mark!  Half a cup would obviously be one of those halves cut in half (also marked) and so it’s not even necessary to melt it and messy-up a measuring cup.  But where does the stick come in on this? Mine look like mini blocks and mini block isn’t in the recipe.
So to make a very long story even longer because i’ve never seen a stick of butter in my life
i had to re google for  “what is a stick of butter”
i found butter eating contests, mostly challenges that people take for anything from $2.00 to $100. to eat X amount of butter in a very short time. There’s youtube videos of throwing up said butter in fun locales such as home parties, limo’s and on keyboards. There’s people drinking huge quantities of beer and eating a lot of butter, a guy inhaling a gal of milk and eating a lot of butter, people  slurping down 5000 calorie milkshakes which evolved into lots and lots of vomiting videos which then went totally off the subject of what is a stick of butter.
I got back on track by reading “how much is a knob of butter?”
Answer: Some butter.  More than a dash.  More than a pinch.
Less than 3 TBS.  More than 1 TBS.
In other words i'd say it’s about 2 TBS. or however much you want it to be.
Now, i ask you where’d all the recipes go for knobs of butter?
Also found out how “to dot” something with butter and this butter stick which would be great for
corn on the cob.  I’d love to find one of these
and it would be great for toast too i think. Or maybe not as hubby already leaves behind way too many crumbs and he’d have a butter stick all messy in no time flat.
Well, it took some time but i finally found out:
1 stick of butter = arrghhh omg! this post has been so stressful i’ve already forgotten!
Then i noticed the chosen cupcake recipe had already divied out the one stick proudly mentioned into
3 TBS. of butter for the batter and 5 TBS. of butter for the frosting for a grand total of 8 TBS. What the heck!  But at least now i’ve a clue how much a stick consists of but i’m sure not about to use my measuring spoon to find out by filling it with butter 3 times, then 5 times digging it out from a block, brick or tub or whatever to know i’ve got the correct quantity cuz that’s not only time consuming but messy, goofy and just plain wrong.
And then to top it off the recipe says to use UN salted butter and then later on it says add a tsp. of salt!
What a crazy world; i don’t want any part of these new fangled complicated cupcakes new oven or not.