"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Boom shakalaka baby"

Are you enjoying this season's American Idol? Last year I had vowed to anyone who would listen that I would not watch once Simon Cowell was gone. I was certain the 'magic' would be lost with his departure. Instead, the complete opposite has occurred: American Idol is better than ever and a good deal of it's new appeal for me, has to do with Steven Tyler. I had no idea how much I'd love him and his quirky ways. He is quite the character; witty and slightly eccentric, (how many men can wear feather earrings and get away with it :) each episode would not be complete without one of his golden comments. Last night I got to thinking that someone needs to compile all the Tylerisms into a random quote generator as they have done with Charlie Sheen. Here are a few of Steven's (we're on a first name basis now ;) gems from last night's episode:

Boom shakalaka baby.
Have you been watering that suit?
I loved you since the first moment you laid your eyes on me.

And other random quotes from throughout this season:

You define a cool dude in a loose mood.
Don't get too poppy on me.
I love when you go to your ethnic-what-it-is-ness.
Your momma gave you the moxy. Gospel had a baby and named it Jacob Lusk.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Here's what I brewed up in my Cauldron of Awesomeness...! 

That's a Sheenism and I have to admit to finding some of Charlie Sheen's antics of late quite amusing. He had all the major networks talking about him, instead of what they were supposed to be covering: the news. A video of him cooking on YouTube where he referred to a pot as his cauldron of awesomeness was priceless. I immediately filed that one away. Here's a link to the Live the Sheen Dream random quote generator.

Doesn't this look good? I recently had one of the best cups of tea ever (along with a great meal) in a Thai restaurant. It's a ginger tea and and it was so amazing we returned a few days later, just for the tea. When I was going through the till on my way out that second visit I considered asking them for the recipe, but hesitated at the last possible moment. Determined to enjoy it whenever I wanted led me on a search and I've found what I believe is a pretty close second. I like that it has only four simple ingredients, can be made in bulk (or cut in half if you like) and stored in the fridge and reheated or enjoyed cold on a hot day. Plus, it's good for you :)

Thai-Style Ginger Tea...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

The tea was actually a Thai Ginger Drink that is very popular in Asia. While ginger is used in cooking throughout the world, you may be surprised to learn that it has health benefits as well. Many, especially in Asia, consider it to be a cure-all. Health benefits aside, my main interest in using fresh ginger is to make tea. While I haven't been able to create an exact duplicate of the ginger drink, I've come very close and have been serving it, hot or cold, ever since. This is how it's done.

Ginger Tea

8 cups water
1/2 cup peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 lemon or lime thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/2 cup dark honey

Bring water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat.
Add ginger and lemon. Cover pot and let sit for 20 to 40 minutes.
The tea becomes stronger the longer it steeps.
Strain. Stir in honey. Serve hot or cold.
Yield: 8 cups.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Now for something a little more on the cheerier side.
What says spring more than cherry blossoms? This was shot last May in Victoria BC.
So soothing - be sure to have your speakers turned up.

Greetings! Well it appears things are going to get messy and no, I am not referring to our spring thaw, which thankfully is on it's way according to the forecast :o I am speaking to the fact that we are now in the midst of another federal election (slated May 2nd) and everything that goes along with it; the mud-slinging and BS. Yuck! By choice I am woefully uninformed when it comes to anything in the political arena, so I will not wade in any further other than to say how tired I was yesterday and again today to hear the newest round of promises the candidates are spouting forth. Why do we have to wait for an election to get a few cookies (more like crumbs) thrown our way? Speaking of cookies, I have this message for the candidates:

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Someone once told me that we buy so many books 
because we think we are buying the time to read them."

Monday greetings! After yesterday's musings about collecting books, Huffington Post had a slideshow in their Books section which featured responses to a question Penguin Books recently twittered, "So who is up for admitting what books they should have read by now?" I thought it a very interesting question and I really liked the above comment from one reader. So, I have decided to be honest with you about three books I should have read by now but haven't; there are more, but three should suffice!

1. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou is an autobiography I picked up last July at a second-hand store in Nelson BC. At the time I was travelling with my husband and while he attended to his business meeting, I eagerly headed back to our hotel room a) to get out of the blistering heat and b) to start this book. While I completely loved the first few chapters I read that afternoon, I have somehow never managed to get any further, in fact I don't think I've ever cracked the cover since. At one point I had it listed on this blog under the Books I am Reading section. In the meantime, I've easily read over twenty other books. Mystifying.

2. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen was purchased second-hand two years ago because I thought I ought to, seeing as it's always on those lists of books one needs to read before they die. I've tried numerous times to plow through it, but if I'm being perfectly honest I don't see what all the fuss is about and I will likely never finish it. I don't like the writing and I loathe love stories. Scandalous.

3. Cannery Row and The Pearl, John Steinbeck were purchased together new over three years ago after a marathon reading of The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. I loved, loved, loved them and at the time couldn't wait to devour everything he'd ever written...perhaps I'd od'd and didn't realize it! Not surprising.

So there you have it; the books and my excuses reasons!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are you a Bibliomaniac?

I know I spend way too much time on the net reading news stories, interest pieces and of course blogs, but probably half that time is in the comments sections. I love to check out what everyone else is thinking about a subject. There are a lot of nasty people out there...lol, but there are also many well thought-out opinions. That's how I stumbled across the charming video posted below which delves into the obsession of book collecting in Paris; I was reading an article in the National Post entitled 'Confessions of a Book Hoarder' and someone had posted a link to it in the comments section. One thing I came away with was the realization that no matter how popular online readers become, the book in it's purest form is alive and well.

"Haven't you ever bought a book that you want to read, but you haven't?" really resonated with me and I expect everyone who reads. When I returned from Ontario two weeks ago, I had four new books to add to the pile of eleven (my personal best) I'd scoured up on a fall trip. Add that to the ones I continually pick up throughout the year and my bedside table is in danger of collapsing! The fact that ninety-nine percent of these are from second-hand shops changes nothing. Still, I am a very small-fry in the scheme of things as evidenced by the video and the A&E series Hoarders, which I tune into once in a while. I will admit to a morbid fascination with the lives of people in the throes of obsession, but I can only watch so long before I have to change the channel - a new soundtrack would help, the current one is soul-sucking!

I'm curious to hear how many books you currently have waiting in the wings, and do you keep them once they are read?

Saturday, March 26, 2011


The Oxford Dictionary released their latest online edition and OMG, TMI & WAG are among the nearly 1,000 new words, sub-entries and meanings included. I'd have to say that for me, Muffin Top tops the list! 

There are of course two ways to look at this: melodramatically - "OMG, this is the beginning of the end of the english language!" or more realistically - "This is a record of the english language as it is now spoken." Personally, I like the latter and if you can't beat 'em I say, you might as well join 'em lol.

Here is a selection of other new entries of interest:

 dot bomb (noun): an Internet company which has become bankrupt or ceased to operate; a failed or unsuccessful dotcom.
 fabless (adjective): describes a technology company which does not do its own manufacturing.
 singledom (noun): state or condition of being unmarried or single state-run; (adjective) operated or managed by the government of a country.
 tinfoil hat (noun): used especially with allusion to the belief that such a hat protects the wearer from mind control or surveillance.
 ego-surfing (verb): the practice of searching on the Internet for mentions of one’s own name or the name of one’s business, website, etc.
 lossless (adjective): of data compression – without loss of information, allowing compressed data to be recovered perfectly by decompression; relating to or involving such compression.
 yuck factor (noun): a feeling of horror, revulsion, or disgust generated by an idea, action or situation.
 la-la land (noun): can refer either to Los Angeles, or to a state of being out of touch with reality.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  
when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."

-   Charles Dickens

Thursday, March 24, 2011

See the glass mug as already broken; and everything else too

Greetings! I had planned to unveil my new coffee mug (which I was, I hasten to add, beyond tickled pink by) sometime in the next few days, but as you can see life (& my butter fingers) beat me to it! It was fun while it lasted though, and I quite enjoyed the look on my husband's face as he sat across the couch from me having his morning coffee. It was exactly as I'd imagined lol. After it fell I was immediately reminded of the Buddhist teaching to see 'stuff' as already broken and I have to agree that this truly helps to put things into perspective:

The essence of this teaching is that all of life is in a constant state of change. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. Every tree begins with a seed and will eventually transform back into the earth. Every rock is formed and every rock will vanish. In our modern world, this means that every car, every machine, every piece of clothing is created and all will wear out and crumble; it's only a matter of when. Our bodies are born and they will die. A glass is created and will eventually break.

There is peace to be found in this teaching. When you expect something to break, you're not surprised or disappointed when it does. Instead of becoming immobilized when something is destroyed, you feel grateful for the time you have had.

Refrigerated Romance: Yes, That's a Royal Wedding Fridge

Just when you thought that royal wedding memorabilia couldn't get wackier, behold, the Will and Kate refrigerator!

The royal fridge and freezer, which is sold by GDHA, a U.K. distributor of GE appliances, features the more casual of the two official engagement pictures taken by photographer Mario Testino. The refrigerator is 5'9", which means you'd almost be looking at life-size versions of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Is this just another company trying to cash in on the royal wedding? Not quite. GE's UK fans actually voted for the design on Facebook, suggesting that royal mania won't, um, cool down anytime soon.
Source: Refrigerated Romance: Yes, That's a Royal Wedding Fridge

For the record, I wasn't searching for royal wedding when I stumbled across this in Time - I was reading an article about another type of 'royalty'; Elizabeth Taylor's recent passing at 79.

Ironically, I saw this (below) in the Star, at some point last week:

Since the announcement of the royal engagement, residents of Ontario have topped the list of Canadians searching for royal wedding news. Burlington comes in at number one and Hamilton at number two when it comes to searching "royal wedding," with Ottawa and Toronto coming in at the number seven and nine spots respectively.

People searching for "royal wedding" in Canada:

1. Burlington
2. Hamilton
3. Vancouver
4. Winnipeg
5. Halifax
6. Edmonton
7. Ottawa
8. Calgary
9. Toronto
10. Montreal

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There are both red and white varieties of quinoa

I really like the 'superfood' quinoa. Besides being loaded with nutrients, it is mild in both taste and texture and very versatile. Also, it's gluten-free. There are thousands of quinoa recipes on the net - everything from salads to curries and stews. My interest was therefore piqued when I stumbled across this interesting article (below) in the NY Times. What a sad catch-22 for the people of Bolivia:

When NASA scientists were searching decades ago for an ideal food for long-term human space missions, they came across an Andean plant called quinoa. With an exceptional balance of amino acids, quinoa, they declared, is virtually unrivaled in the plant or animal kingdom for its life-sustaining nutrients. But while Bolivians have lived off it for centuries, quinoa remained little more than a curiosity outside the Andes for years, found in health food shops and studied by researchers — until recently.
Now demand for quinoa (pronounced KEE-no-ah) is soaring in rich countries, as American and European consumers discover the "lost crop” of the Incas. The surge has helped raise farmers’ incomes here in one of the hemisphere’s poorest countries. But there has been a notable trade-off: Fewer Bolivians can now afford it, hastening their embrace of cheaper, processed foods and raising fears of malnutrition in a country that has long struggled with it.

I wonder if this type of scenario has occurred before in other countries? 

In light of the above article, I now feel slightly insensitive sharing a delicious breakfast that my Mom made when I visited recently - but here it is and it was yummy!

Blueberry-Quinoa Cereal
2/3 cup (160 mL) water
3 tbsp (45 mL) quinoa
2 tbsp (30 mL) quick oats
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) maple syrup, honey or brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) ground flax seeds
2 tbsp (30 mL) blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
Milk, cream or vanilla yogurt (optional)

In small saucepan, combine water and quinoa. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in oats. Cover; cook 5 minutes. 
Stir in maple syrup, honey or sugar, flax and blueberries. 
If desired, top with milk, cream or yogurt.
Makes 1 serving.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Greetings! I wasn't planning on another post today, but I just spent an hour visiting some of my favorite blogs and now I am more depressed than ever. Everyone I visited seems to be in full spring mode - buds appearing, trees in flower - life! My problem is that it's been cloudy, and snowing on and off for days...and we already had two to three feet of snow in our yards. I've seen the sun approximately three times in the past two weeks, and that is no exaggeration. The weather generally does not get me down - I seem to be able to sail right through most winters with hardly a grunt directed towards Mother Nature, but this winter has been an exceptionally long one. I see why retirees up here become 'Snowbirds' I'm seriously thinking it would not be a bad idea if I added some bloggers from Iceland and Norway to my roster. Farewell for now, my rant is over and thanks for visiting Jane's Jewels - aren't you glad you popped by!?
I am pretty excited with reports that filming actually began on Monday on the long-awaited Hobbit movie, ending years of delay due to funding problems, a labour dispute and Peter Jackson's hospitalization earlier this year. You can find an earlier post from 02/13/2011 here about the 'Curse of the Hobbit' and a charming video featuring Bilbo's Hobbit Walking Song. As well, see below for a link to Peter Jackson's facebook page. There's not much on here yet, a few pics, but I expect it could get very interesting as production continues.

Two New Peter Jackson Hobbit Set Pics

by THE HOBBIT on MARCH 21, 2011

Peter Jackson has just created a new Facebook profile and included two new photos from the Hobbit set as well as posting the official Start of Production announcement.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Greetings & Welcome to the latest incarnation of Jane's Jewels! 

I believe this is my 4th revamp (but who's counting!?) and I know myself well enough to state that this will likely not be the last one either... lol I suppose I will put it down to my butterfly mind - a wonderful expression I came across a few weeks ago - which I feel describes my thought process perfectly. Happily flitting about, never landing on one subject for very long. Aside from the new overall look, I've added 'The Word of the Day' and 'Quote of the Day' features. Enjoy what's left of your day and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Springtime is the land awakening.  
The March winds are the morning yawn.

Spring has sprung! Looking at the snow outside my window, I'd never guess that today officially marks the first day of Spring, but it's here nonetheless - and about time I might add. Hope may spring eternal in the human breast, but in the northern hemisphere I suspect we also hope eternal for spring - it's certainly felt like an eternity. This website provides an excellent explanation of the March equinox.  

I guess it'll soon be time for our spring baths... lol!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thunder Speaks

Here is a novel idea for an old tree that needs to come down. This piece entitled Thunder Speaks is in Brantford, Ontario and while I've admired it as we've driven past many a time when visiting; I finally made a point of getting a few pics. This end of Brantford is known as Eagle Place, and the Woodland Cultural Centre is practically a stone's throw down the road. Wonderful detail on her, so please expand for a closer look. I emailed the address on the rock below requesting the history of this piece and received this lovely reply in response:

Ahnii , hello and good day.
The tree was struck as I watched the storm out the front window upstairs in 1999 after returning from an International gathering of first nations peoples in Australia
The top of the tree crashed on the roof and hung there just over my head. 
A broken branch attached to it came within less than 6 inches of coming through the window heart height.
This struck my attention with awe, no fear attached to it what so ever. 
Just strong a feeling of the power of creation.
I went out the following day and became fixated with the tree for an hour or so. 
The face of a beautiful young woman shone through the wood looking to the sky.
After 480 hours working daily from about 7 in the morning till 11 in the evening she came to life.
Her name is how she came to be here, when the "Thunder Speaks",
She asks for good blessings for the people in the same manner.
She was formally unveiled to the public by then Minister of Indian Affairs Jane Stewart. 
Also in attendance were a members of the neighborhood, a member of the provincial New Democratic Party, The New Dean of Wilford Laurea University as well as the News media.

Have been carving and involved steadfast in the arts since I was 8 years old.

If you would like to know more just e-mail.

Be well in  good ways 

Gary James (The bear)

Friday, March 18, 2011


Saturday's full moon will be a supermoon. A supermoon is a new or full moon that happens to coincide with a close approach of the moon to the earth. Saturday's full moon will be the closest it has been to Earth in 18 years, according to Spaceweather.com.
The distance between the Earth and the moon during the event will be about 221,567 miles, as compared to the average distance of 238,000 miles, according to Space.com.
That may not seem like much of a difference (and compared to the distance it's not), but the diameter of the moon is only 2,159 miles. That means the moon will be over 7.5 diameters closer to Earth than average.

Nasa  also has an interesting write-up on their website.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fleamarket Fun

I love a fleamarket. You'll rarely, if ever, find me 'browsing' in a retail store, but I can spend many happy hours completely engrossed by the odd bits and miscellaneous collections you'll find in a 'secondhand-antique-fleamarket' establishment :)  These images were taken recently in Brantford Ontario. We visited 3 that were very large and then a number of smaller ones.

When I saw this I thought it would be perfect for today

Nut-meat chopper

I love amber :)

I thought this was very odd - perhaps they are
characters from a children's storybook...

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling...

Top 'O the Mornin' to Ya
Happy St. Paddy's Day!

This is the most ridiculous video, but it is also very sweet and funny. 

For some unknown reason this song always makes me want to cry...
Perhaps in a past life my one true love sailed away as I watched from atop a rocky crag; the bitter wind whipping through my castle window, tossing silken locks about my tear-stained face?

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.

May the rain fall softly upon your fields. And the sun shine warm upon your face.

Top of the mornin' to ya.....(and the rest of the day to 'me self!)

May there always be work for you to do.

May your purse always hold a coin or two.

May the sun always shine on your windowpane.

May the hand of a friend always be near you.

May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today's Jewel

Today's Jewel:

Chickens are slow in coming from unlaid eggs.
Old Farmer's 2011 Almanac 03/10/11~

While I love the Farmer's Almanac and religiously purchase one each new year (in fact this year I purchased both the Old Farmer's Almanac and the Harrowsmith's Canadian Almanac) - it often amounts to nothing more than a collection of the oddest bits of useless information, which I eagerly share here!

I did find this Thought for the Day very edifying though. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac: 

'People are slowing down, increasing social contacts, and feeling less pressure to buy, buy, buy. Finding 'the satisfaction of enough' is a lasting road to less stress and greater happiness'.

This is indeed a good trend, should it prove true.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Klepto Kitty

I caught the entertaining story below about a kleptomaniac cat when one of his owners was interviewed on David Letterman last week and then stumbled across it today on AOL News under their 'Weird' section:

A kleptomaniac cat has given back his stolen loot in a reverse neighborhood garage sale.

The owners of Dusty, a Siamese cat, displayed hundreds of items on tables in front of their Northern California home with hopes that the owners would claim their goods, ABC7-TV reported.

Neighbors were invited to browse through the belongings and take what was theirs. And all the while, Dusty monitored the event as if he were making a mental note of which possessions were retrieved.

"He just sat there and was watching this whole thing from under one of the bushes," owner Jean Chu told AOL News. "He's just a total character."

The items included balls, towels, car wash mitts, gloves, shirts, bathing suits and other miscellaneous clothing. Chu estimates that Dusty -- who has been dubbed "Klepto Kitty" -- has stolen more than 500 items over the years.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Life is Like a Jigsaw Puzzle

I came across this cute write-up today in a Daytripping magazine and thought I'd share my favorite six points. Daytrippers are free in just about every community throughout Southern Ontario (I happen to be visiting here for the next week) and outline the best antique shops, artisans, craft shows, museums, events etc. worth taking in. While here, I am antiquing and hope to have interesting finds and pics to share once I return.

Everything I Needed To Know About Life 
I Learned From A Jigsaw Puzzle

1. Don't force a fit. If something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.

2. When things aren't going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.

3. Be sure to look at the big picture. Getting hung up on the little pieces only leads to frustration.

4. Perseverance pays off. Every important puzzle went together bit by bit, piece by piece.

5. When one spot stops working, move to another. But be sure to come back later.

6. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.