Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year to all my favourite people! To the ones I hope won't read this: Peter and Petie and Jon. To my daughter, the lovely Martha. To my new-found brother-in-law, Don, and to Cindy his wife. To my blogging friends, Debra and Rebecca, Maxine, Clare, Minx and Confucius, Tom, and Kimmy. To Lee in Germany and Chiefbiscuit in New Zealand. To Skint! And Jan, and Sian. And the lady I know as "Dovegreyreader". And Marie. The rest of the family too, of course...and more new-found family - Nick Anderson in Ohio! Wishing you all a very happy New Year.

Ian Hocking

I'm a great fan of Ian Hocking. If you have any doubts yourself, read this. He's not too happy with the first draft of his new book...

I hope I don't get into trouble for 'lifting' this picture from his's copyright Mimika Cooney... (Cute, huh?)

Saturday, December 30, 2006


I'm sick about the execution of Saddam Hussein. I wouldn't argue that he probably deserved what he got, but 'humanity' in the noblest interpretation of that word doesn't deserve it. How can a humane species justify registering abhorrence of violence with more violence? Life is precious; surely a decent human being dislikes even squishing a bug! And still we accept the killing of another human being because that person hasn't adhered to our rulebook? Lock him away if he's a threat to others but execution? That's barbaric and unnecessary. Saddam's gone now and he's not suffering any more but each of us has been brutalized by this practice which does not belong in a society that wants to call itself 'civilized'.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Marty!

It's Martha's birthday today! Have a good one, Boo!

Christmas Books

Martha finds the most interesting books! Here are three that she brought me this Christmas. "How to be Pope" is pure joy and quite funny if you happen to remember that in the "Who would you choose to be?" game, I chose to be Pope (for the art and music rather than because of deep religious conviction.) "The Clumsiest People in Europe" was written by a Victorian-era lady, rediscovered in a bookstore on Martha's Vineyard and republished. It seems to be quite the narrow-minded travelogue.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Oak Bay's own 'sleeper cell', Jonathan, Martha, and Peter Junior.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wishing you all a wonderful winter season!

Merry Christmas!

I know, I've been a sorry excuse for a blogger this past week. I'm just about ready for Christmas now - finally - and it's only nine-thirty Christmas Eve. I spent most of today trying to prepare as much of tomorrow's dinner as possible. I peeled and cut and mashed and packaged vegetables. We put two tables together to make more room for everyone. I've done so much in advance that tomorrow's meal, God willing, should be easier than an ordinary meal.

Martha's home for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Our next-door neighbour, James, is one of those Down-under types with plenty of testosterone to spare. Today Peter left the house early to accompany James on a possible boat buying trip. (Peter knows boats fairly well.) They'll be away all day, taking a ferry to some distant location. I wouldn't consider getting up so early myself, so I left a note for Pete...I had fun with this one.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Brick Testament

This is an amusing site! The Brick Testament , The Bible in Lego. Do take a minute to follow some of the links. From what I've seen so far it's neither religious nor anti-religious. "The Law" is a good place to start.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The best-laid schemes o' mice an men gang aft agley

I was really doing well with my Christmas preparations.... Then last night I recognized the symptoms of impending doom - vertigo. I suppose I'm a terrible sissy but vertigo is the WORST ailment I've ever suffered. Individually the symptoms are not a problem. Minor head cold, minor stuffiness, minor nausea. But put them all together and in its worst form vertigo is completely debilitating. Last time I had it I couldn't even get to the bathroom without putting my arms around Peter's waist, closing my eyes and playing 'choo-choo train' to get there. You can't read, you can't watch television, you can't so much as move your head without waves of nausea flooding over you. So far I've held the monster at bay. I slept sitting bolt upright last night (not very restful) and I've been taking vitamins, purple grape juice (purportedly a useful anti-viral) and antihistamines. I know that if I put my head down I'm 'done for', so I'll be sleeping in a chair again tonight. Wish me luck!


Changing the subject for a moment, Bodyhack points to a study from Southern Connecticut State University that found psychotics prefer Bush.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

More pictures

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Have I mentioned that I love Christmas?

I haven't posted for a while because I've been busy with Christmas preparations. Maxine kindly checked in to make certain that I was alright. Thank you for giving a hoot, Maxine! Actually, I've been having a lovely time. I love the glitter of the holiday season and it's difficult to control the urge to add glitz to every corner of the house. I hope I'm managing to stay on the respectable side of good taste. I've posted a couple of pictures and I'll add more soon.

I had intended to get started by November 15 this year but delayed until December 1. I began by emptying two kitchen cupboards and the china cabinet and switching the kitchen over to all-Christmas dishes. I've decorated two mantels, put up a Christmas village on the windowsill and a small all-white tree in the dining room. There's another small tree near the front door with novelty items such as a Star Trek ornament - push a button and you hear Leonard Nimoy's voice saying "Shuttlecraft to Enterprise, shuttlecraft to Enterprise...Spock here. Happy holidays, live long and prosper". (That one gets a little tired after a few plays!)

There's another little tree on my grandmother's chest by the front door. It's quite a pretty thing with a woodsy look to it, made of pine cones, walnuts and other 'natural' bits with just a hint of sparkle added.

Our large tree is centred between the living and dining rooms and is directly opposite the front door. I haven't had time to decorate that yet.

I think I should be able to finish the house by tomorrow. I'm about half way through the shopping. The wrapping is no concern because I have a lifetime supply of wrapping paper and ribbon and should I run out of time I also have a collection of well over a hundred ready-made fabric gift bags. I made them a few years ago (a wonderful way to use some of that gorgeous Christmas fabric you see in stores) and the boys in particular are quite taken with them. Open a bag, drop in a gift, tie the bag shut and write the gift tag - very handy when you're in a hurry!