Saturday, January 6, 2018

Ethereal Companion

Sun dogs and moon dogs are beautiful accents to a winter day or night as the rainbow is to a showery Summer day.
Hal Borland, American author, journalist and naturalist (1900-1978) in Sundial of the Seasons

Trekking westward across country on the top level of a doubledecker bus provided a spectacular view of a radiant sun dog. Even the dirty window only added to the magic of the view. Here was my ethereal companion for the journey.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Piecing the Puzzle

You are a piece of the puzzle in someone else's life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill the holes in their lives with pieces of you.

My home is a mess and it's S-I-L's fault. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

With the seasonal festivities having ebbed and a few days off from work, I planned to clean house today; instead, I have spent the day in my pj's engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle that S-I-L picked out for me for Christmas. It's a beautiful Venetian scene that looks so similar to a favourite canal-side trattoria in La Serenissima. In real life and in the puzzle image I love the multiple layers of textures, so I'm hooked and only a minimal amount of housework got done.

Several times over the day I have sworn that the puzzle manufacturer had purposefully left out a piece just to drive me crazy. Yet, with a bit of patience each 'missing' piece has been found and put in its place to help me complete the big picture. I am figuring that there is a moral here that I am to learn. So housework can wait. ;-)

I am pleased to report that after 67 hours and 15 cups of coffee the puzzle is complete. There were no missing pieces -- after a gave the carpet a shake to find the 1000th one to be put in place. I now face the dilemma of what to do with it. I could put it back in the box and create an annual post-Christmas tradition. Time will tell.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Boxing Day Rest

Rest and be thankful.
William Wadsworth

Boxing Day has been a day of rest for which I am thankful. Cat, too, seemed well pleased to be curled up with Mom on the sofa. My return to the ol' homestead this afternoon scored a box full of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, turnip, and brussels sprouts. A veritable feast that might just include a piece of pie or two. ;-)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

It’s sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
It’s not wrapping presents, its being present
and wrapping your arms around the ones you love;
It’s not getting Christmas cards out on time,
It’s sending any card, anytime, at the right time;
It’s not having the biggest and best Christmas light display,
It’s displaying the Christ light that comes from your heart;
It’s not Santa coming down the chimney,
It’s Jesus coming down from heaven,
and giving us the gifts of hope, peace, joy,  love and eternal life.

Family gathered at the old homestead to share the joy of Christmas.

A thick blanket of snow covered my hometown on Christmas eve. While driving was a bit tricky, the snow hushed the sounds of the city and smoothed over all the jagged edges into soft focus.

Earlier the children performed the ancient pageant. A young family and their newborn played the lead roles. As little voices sang Away in the Manager and a family in a forward pew entwined arms, tears glistened my cheek.

It's been a wonderful Christmas. My hope is that all my kind readers feel embraced - now and always - even in solitary times.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Lining things up for Christmas

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.
"Peg" Bracken, American author (1918–2007)

I am thankful to have been granted two lieu days off from work. They have provided time to finish my Christmas shopping, do some last minute baking and get the presents wrapped.

A Nutcracker (or two) under the tree is an annual tradition for a special someone. I admit to being an enabler to this sweet addiction. With a surprise find yesterday and a bit of paint and glue today, I'm quite happy that my little army of dashing soldiers has came together and will be lined up for duty on Christmas morning.

But you have to keep this is a secret until Christmas!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Festive Grapes

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas . . .
but if the white runs out I'll drink the red.

There's a chill in the air and Twenty Valley's winery halls are decked out for the season, providing lots of decorating ideas -- particularly through the lens of a wine glass.

A basket of colourful balls paired well with Angels Gate's Pinot Noir and beef slider.

The first stop of the day had us sitting lantern-side enjoying mini Yorkshire puddings stuffed with roast beef and mashed potatoes and drizzled with gravy at the newly re-named London Born Co. (formerly Aure). We left with a few bottles of its Gamay Noir for future roast beef and Yorkshire dinners so we were off to a good start.

Calamus Estate Winery offered one of the few sweet pairings but
with a twist: they added bacon and chili powder to the basic brownie recipe. I will credit the new taste sensation as 'interesting' with the open acknowledgement that I am a traditionalist when it comes to brownies.

We enjoyed the savoury tart at Mike Weir Estate Winery alongside its chardonnay as we once more quaffed its expansive view of vineyards and the great lake.

Our last stop of the day found us at Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery. We can always count on its chef to create a fabulously tasty treat and he didn't disappoint. The juniper scented venison stew contained a healthy dose of the paired wine, a 2015 Reserve Merlot.

The Three Winos agreed that all the wineries upped their game for the 2017 Wrapped Up in the Valley event. The quality and quantity of the pairings at each and every one of the wineries was first rate. I am already looking forward to the spring event.

In the meantime, "Cheers" to a red and white Christmas!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A votre santé!

Wine can be considered with good reason as the most healthful and hygenic of all beverages.
Louis Pasteur, French microbiologist (1822-1895)

A votre santé! To your health! The Three Winos embarked on the first day of their semi-annual health regime with the first stop advising on corkscrew aerobics via a frig magnet. Works for me.

Greenlane winery's healthy green apple slaw atop a turkey slider paired with a bright chardonnay marked one of our favourite pairings in the Wrapped up in the Valley 2017 event.

Kacaba is a favourite (and frequent) stop in our regime so we are welcomed on a first name basis. We enjoy sampling its as yet unbottled vintages as much as the featured wine.

The gourmet Mac & Cheese with fried prosciutto and onions, garlic butter, cream and parmesan at Di Proprio winery likely caused our cholesterol levels to soar but it nourished the soul.

I'm exhausted by all our exercise today so I will sleep well satiated tonight.

A votre santé!