Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mona Lisa "speaks" thanks to Japanese scientist - Yahoo! News

Now this really is fascinating! Mona Lisa "speaks" thanks to Japanese scientist - Yahoo! News The scientist in question apparently predicts the sound based on skull measurements and shapes. You can hear Mona and Leonardo at

BBC NEWS Rubber highway to beat congestion

Here's an interesting article: BBC NEWS Science/Nature Rubber highway to beat congestion Quite an innovative idea coming out of England, there is a proposal to lay rubber panels over existing, unused rail lines in order to cut congestion on highways.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Inner Minx

The Inner Minx has an entry for Monday, May 29 "Oops - forgot what day it was!" about a trip to St. Ives with her child, aka "Small Fecker" (love the name!) It's a very pleasant read. Minx is a gifted writer.

Tea Time

"Would you like a cup of tea?" is a phrase heard over and over again in my home. I am part of a long line of tea drinkers and I remember a childhood spent racing home for a 'tea party'. My mother never had to wonder where her children were after school - we were home when it was teatime!

My children came to tea drinking naturally and it's only recently that I've realized how much the ritual has added to our lives. There is a comfortable, relaxed connection made over tea that is stronger than you might expect. It's easy to feel connected to the young child but tea helps maintain that connection when they start to pull away. When we sit down to tea we seem to return to the comfort level of the days when there was nothing hidden, nothing unsayable. Whatever is on our minds actually gets said and the communication is real and non-confrontational.

Tea itself has an understated flavour so small children will easily take to it. You can start out serving them "nanny tea" which is primarily milk with a bit of sugar and perhaps a quarter cup of actual tea. My mother usually had lovely baked treats for us, but on the occasion when she hadn't baked, cinnamon toast triangles were quite acceptable.

I've learned to drop everything when a family member asks "Do you feel like tea?" I've finally learned that teatime is the most important part of my day - the time when I can actually talk with my family. It's a simple pleasure I'd like to recommend to all.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I've got permanent links now, at the side of my blog, thanks to Debra! I'm so grateful for all the help she's given me.

Doc interrupts surgery to donate his blood

Here's an article to warm the cockles of your heart. Doc interrupts surgery to donate his blood

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Fun Link

Petrona: Placeism in the global network

I'm not clever enough to put two links into one entry and I need to mention the helpful lady in England who reached out to offer me advice. She has an essay which is well worth reading - Petrona: Placeism in the global network in which she talks about the need we all have for a sense of place and how blogging helps us create our own unique small communities within the 'worldwide web'.

Dear Debra (I love that girl!) read my earlier entry in which I noted that I didn't have a clue how to put links into my blog. She wrote me a note explaining the process and I think I can actually do it now! So here is my first link, to the most excellent blog of Debra Hamel .

I found Debra's site a few months ago when I came across what was to me an obscure clue in the New York Times Crossword puzzle. I typed the clue in to Google and up popped The Deblog and the answer I needed! I love Debra's site because she links to a number of interesting puzzles and she also produces quantities of book reviews. She's led me to a number of 'must reads'.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Peter Got His Car

I'm told that it's not a sportscar - it's a 'sporty two-seater'. Did I mention he's got two other convertibles? He'll be getting rid of one, just keeping his little collectable Spitfire.

Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C.

My sister Martha gave me a number of lovely birthday presents this year - a beautiful Murano glass candy dish, lavender soap, chocolates, and a season's pass to Butchart Gardens here in Victoria. We visited there today. Such a lovely spot, it was created by the wife of a chap who ran a concrete business and the garden was her attempt to spruce up an ugly quarry. That's Martha pictured below - my big sister.

Thank you to my Fairyblogmothers!

Debra from "The Deblog" and Maxine from "Petrona" have been so very kind and helpful to me in my first faltering attempts at blogging. I'd like to put in links to their blogs right here but I don't know how to do that...yet! Your step-by-step instructions on setting up feeds at Bloglines worked beautifully, Maxine. Thank you. And Debra! Debra actually set up the 'comments' column at the side of this blog for me and also did whatever it took to post my picture. Blessings on both of your heads!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Proud Mumma!

Our son Jonathan is entering his second year at the University of Victoria this fall. He got a letter today inviting him into the Honours English program! The classes are limited to fifteen students so it's quite an honour.

Ma & Pa

Well, now that y'all know that my husband and I are a pair of latter-day Ma and Pa Kettles... Does anyone remember Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride as "Ma and Pa Kettle"? I loved those movies when I was young. (They were old movies even then, shown on television in the 1950's and 60's). The series started when Ma and Pa were introduced as supporting characters in the movie "The Egg & I". They were a loveable pair of rustics, living in squalor with a family of happy, scruffy children. I loved how Ma cleared the table, sweeping everything onto the floor with one arm! She served as my model for housekeeping!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wasted Days

For the last two days my husband has been dragging me to car dealerships. I suppose we do need a new car. We're currently driving a 1989 Dodge Caravan that I would be ashamed to be seen in if I had any pride at all. But I don't. Our car is running just fine and that's good enough for me. I'm not sure why Peter suddenly decided it's time to abandon our ever-reliable little minivan. Oh, he had a sore back and decided that maybe it was caused by inadequate support in the car seat.

We started off looking at the new Grand Caravan 'Stow-n-go'. I'm an excellent shopping companion because the body language salesmen get from me is "not interested". That's because I really am disinterested. Anyway, the Grand Caravans are fine. It's quite nifty the way the seats can be stowed below the floorboard in order to create cargo space.

From the Grand Caravan we moved to something a little 'sportier' - a Mercedes convertible. The seats are perfect for Peter's back, but we'll have to keep our current minivan so that I'll still have space for the caseloads I buy at Costco. Interesting sequence of events...

That's alright. If he wants a sportscar he can have a sportscar. We're not 'wealthy' but we live such a quiet, simple life that we really can have whatever we want. The trick to having everything you want is to not want much. Personally, I'm happy as a clam. All I want is plenty of quilting fabric, books, and arts and craft supplies. Peter got such a deal when he found me!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I've enjoyed seeing the pictures that other bloggers post, so I think it's only fair to give you a clue what I look like. Sadly, I'm not very photogenic - never have been - so I can't slip in an old picture! With limited options, I chose this fuzzy shot. There is something I like about this picture though...the painting in the background has an interesting story and even though the subject (Romulus and Remus at the gates of Rome) wouldn't normally be my choice, this picture means quite a lot to us. My husband's grandfather was a professional photographer and his grandmother a painter and photograph colorist. The painting is a joint effort of Margaret and Gus Maves. I think Margaret probably painted most of it (it's actually not quite complete) and Gus served as the model for all the male figures in the painting. Somewhere in this house, in a trunk I haven't looked through, are nude photographic studies of the old fellow. You can understand why I haven't looked through all those trunks - I don't really want to find naked pictures of Peter's grandfather! He was obviously a fine figure of a man though. Anyway, interestingly enough, the naked fellow holding a shield who's visible on the right side of my head is an absolute dead-ringer for my younger son, Jonathan (also a fine figure of a man!)

Monday, May 22, 2006

It's been unusually poor weather in Victoria for this time of the year. Still, there are some redeeming features. This is the view from our back patio.

Which Would You Choose?

My husband and I argued this question today: If you could magically go back to age twenty and either be irresistible to the opposite sex or have ten million dollars, which would you choose? He thinks it would be pretty good to experience being a 'babe magnet'. Personally, I'm jaded enough to think that that's pretty insignificant compared to a fawning bank manager! In my opinion, all you need is to find one person who can hack you because it doesn't matter how great you are at twenty -- once you're out of the breeding pool money and character are all that count!

Cookin' With Gas!

Never mind! I figured out how to get back here and sign in all by myself! Today is my birthday and I'm looking at this blog as a birthday gift - unintentional though it may be - from Debra (the Deblog) and her daughter Rebecca (Rebecca Files). I can't think of a nicer way to start another year of my life, trying something new and creative. I think this is a wonderful gift. Debra's extended my horizons and certainly added interest to my life. Thanks, Debra!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

You know, I'm afraid to sign out of here because I'll never find my way back! If anyone should happen to actually read this, would you mind posting a comment to tell me how to sign back in? Now, is my blog aptly titled, or what?

If I knew what I was doing, I could be dangerous!

Sunday night and I'm watching tv...a commercial comes on, so I think I'll just quickly boot up the computer and check if anything's happening on my favourite blog (The Deblog)....Debra has posted that her daughter has just started a blog and Deblog readers should take a look. So, I clicked on the link and attempted to add a little comment to Rebecca's first post. I don't know how I got here!! Does this mean I've got a blog of my own!!?