Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This picture was drawn by Daniel when he was about six years old.  I saved it and framed it not because I thought he would one day become a great artist (that is clearly not his talent), it was the text that struck me, "I never feel little.  I always feel big."  (spelling corrected)

I have never known a child to be so self assured at such a young age.  He exuded confidence from the time he was very little.   I remember going to a school fair shortly after he had first started school and as we walked around the school participating in activities,  kids from kindergarten to grade eight would call out to him to say hello.  I was astounded.  How did he know that many kids already?

Since he has been in New Zealand I have missed...

  • his pacing the floor while intense sporting events played out on the TV. Watching sports is just not the same without him.
  • his yelling at the refs or players in said sporting events.  Seriously, he would wake me out of a sound sleep sometimes.
  • his brutal honesty.  If I asked his opinion on something he would give it to me straight up even if it might hurt my feelings. 
  • his ever present smile.
  • his goodnatured joking.
  • his high pitched, girly, laugh (he adopted that in Fiji and it hasn't left).
  • his generosity.  If I didn't have an opinion on something he was always willing to give me his.
Happy Birthday Daniel!   I love you.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I am taking a few minutes out of a very busy schedule to write a quick post from the lobby of Penha Longa in Portugal. (hey somebody's got to live this kind of life so why not me?)  I am having an amazing time learning more about Indian culture. and participating in an Indian wedding.

Traveling with Ian almost always provides some entertainment, like here and here.  This trip has been no exception.

Before we arrived at Penha Longa, we stayed at a beautiful hotel on the ocean.   For those of you who don't know, fancy shmancy hotels offer twice a day maid service.  In the evening they come in and turn down the bed, fill the ice bucket, and leave a chocolate on your pillow.  One night while Ian was showering I heard the doorbell ring. I opened the door wide and there stood the maid asking if we needed more towels or anything.  I told her we were fine so she reached for the chocolates to hand to me and I saw her do a double take and then smile.  I took the chocolates from her and turned back toward our room and it was then that I realized the reason for her smirk.  Ian had left a door open to the bathroom (they were french doors, with full length mirrors both sides).  I knew that the door was open but didn't think anyone could see into the bathroom from the door.  It would appear I was wrong.

I'm still laughing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


This past weekend we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving as well as Ava's first birthday.   Here are some of the highlights.

I made Avocado Shakes for the second time in two days.  So very, very, yummy!

I made this little cake for Ava (easy to do but a little time consuming).

Here she is enjoying it.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so summer like and yet we were into the second week of October. Lilah is in just her diaper here.  Maybe there is actually something to this global warming thing.

We had a little glitch over the weekend when we discovered that the sink was clogged just as we were about to do all the dishes from our big Thanksgiving dinner.  Ben figured he could clear it with the plunger so before he did,  I tied a tea towel around a pipe that has been known to leak slightly while being plunged. 

While Ben plunged the one side of the double sink, I held the plug down in the other.  We both felt our feet getting wet at the same time and looked down to see water running out onto the floor.  There was a panicked call for towels....

and a quick race downstairs to see if it was seeping through the floor onto the ceiling below...

...It was.

Long story short
  • the whole drain is broken.
  • we had to dishes in the laundry tub.
  • we are still waiting for a plumber.
  • I own about fifty towels.
  • most were used to clean up the mess.
  • I now know how fat my butt is (I need to lay off the Avocado Shakes).

After all the excitement, we went outside , sat around the fire, watched the moon come up and enjoyed some of these.
All in all, it was a nearly perfect weekend.   We just missed Daniel, Olivia, and Adam.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


When I was about ten years old, I was offered cheesecake for the very first time.

"Cheesecake?... does it have cheese in it?"

"Yes, cream cheese."

"Yuck, no thank you."

I couldn't imagine that a cake made with cheese would taste good so I didn't actually try cheesecake until I was in my early twenties.  Yeah, I was stupid like that.  What was I thinking?  I pretty much missed ten years of not eating cheesecake, the very same ten years that I barely knew what a calorie was and  I certainly didn't need to count them.   You would think that I would have learned my lesson (you would think) but when a friend posted a recipe for Avocado Smoothies on her blog, I pretty much skipped reading it.  I'm not a big fan of avocados (I've only just started eating them in my own homemade guacamole) and the thought of a smoothie made with them... well let's just say it evoked my gag reflex same first reaction to cheesecake.

Yesterday I looked at the ripe avocados sitting on the counter and wondered what I was going to do with them.  It was then that I remembered my revulsion to the thought of a drink made with the fruit (yes it's a fruit), so I looked up the recipe and decided to give it a try.

Was it good?  No it wasn't, it was wicked awesome!   So you have two choices, you can gather up the ingredients and make the most divine, delectable, mouthwatering, smoothie ever or you can turn up your nose and say no thanks.  

Disclaimer:  All healthy ingredients appearing in this recipe are fictitious.  Any resemblance to real healthiness  is purely coincidental.