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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recent Discoveries

Well, believe it or not, I tried my very first pomegranate the other day!
I still remember being in grade school and watching kids eat these at recess and wondering 
what they tasted like... flash forward forty + years and I finally made it happen, yes siree, Bob :)

Thank goodness for the internet - I was so intimidated that I needed to watch a YouTube video 
on the proper way to cut into this most mysterious fruit. (ps: very messy, no matter how you slice it.)

Upon further research, I've since found out there are tons of pomegranate recipes out there,
and that they can be enjoyed in salads, desserts, appetizers, sauces, relishes,
drinks (as a garnish) and can be frozen.
Whooo Knew!

If you're a regular reader, you already know I'm a huge fan of all things second-hand;
be it VV (Value Village), Goodwill, antique malls, flea-markets, out-and-out junk stores... 
It's been a while since I've posted any finds; here are a few recent acquisitions :)

Over the course of this past summer & fall, I was able to pick up all the Harry Potter books 
for next to nothing at Goodwill. I'm very close to finishing 'The Order of the Phoenix' 
(fifth in the series of seven). All are in amazing condition.

These sit on a wooden 'lazy-susan', very retro and they go in my house perfectly.
I anticipate using this a lot throughout the Christmas season. 
I have Christmas oranges in them right now, but they'll soon be great for candies and nuts.

I see I need to dust!

Beautiful pottery & my new butter dish :)

I rescued this purse from a 'junk' store in Creston, BC on our trip to Nelson this fall.
It has an extra long strap; the leather is very thick, buttery soft and smells sweet.
One of my very best finds in a long time.

I love showcasing the great stuff you can get at these places and really encourage everyone 
to go once in a while (if you don't already) - who knows what you'll find?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bonjour mes amis, Bonjour!

I am back my little cabbages!

Is there anything more comforting than a warm bowl of soup? We certainly slurp our fair share in this house and my favourites are usually the simplest. Today's recipe features one such soup, along with a superfood: the lentil.

Lentils are a heart healthy food that help to lower our cholesterol and manage blood sugar levels. They're a good source of iron and folate, are low in fat and gluten free. With their high fibre and protein content, lentils can help control appetite. The balance of carbohydrates with proteins makes them the perfect pre-exercise food, providing a slow release of energy to the muscles - great for stamina. What’s more, lentils help build muscle.

Lentil Soup

2 quarts vegetable stock
1/2 pound rinsed lentils (approx. 1.5 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped (I used 1 large clove)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer, and drop in the lentils. 

2. Heat the oil in a skillet, and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the parsley and tomatoes, and cook 8 to 10 minutes more.

3. After the lentils have been cooking for 35 to 40 minutes, add the onion mixture to pot and cover. Let simmer until the lentils are soft, 5 to 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

Overall impressions: This soup has been added to my repertoire. Healthy, simple, quick and inexpensive; it also, to quote my husband (after his second bowl), has "oodles of flavour and body." 

Faites simple [feht sahmpl]: French women know that generally less is more and when you start with quality --- keep it simple. In terms of food, "simple" means less preparation and cooking time required, especially when you use marvelously fresh food. In terms of wardrobe, French women are likely to have only a few prime garments per season, but they are quality pieces that can be handsomely dressed up or down with the use of accessories, making it easier to put yourself together. ~ Mireille Guiliano ~

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happiness is a Warm Blanket

Have you ever noticed the crazy choices that drop down when using google search? 
'Happiness is a serious problem' was one helpful suggestion!  

I watched the Charlie Brown movie 'Happiness is a Warm Blanket' which aired last night - or part of it that is. A third of the way in, I realized something was wrong; the voices weren't (in the immortal words of Clint Eastwood) "making it" for me... A google search revealed that this was the first Peanut's animation project (there are 45 to date!) to use real children's voices. Maybe not a mistake for anyone watching for the first time, but for someone like myself, who grew up with the Peanuts, these voices in no way convey the characters I know and love. Lucy wasn't nearly loud-mouthy enough! Sadly, it was more of a wet blanket and I turned it off at the halfway point.

Emma's enjoying her blanket though :) She only recently discovered the arm of the couch affords her a relaxing view of the neighborhood and now spends many hours throughout the day surveying from her perch! Unfortunately, this also means our neighbors get an earful every time they step out their doors... I don't care so much about her throaty growls, but when she launches into a full-blown attack, I've started to reprimand by isolating her in another room for a while. After only a few times, it seems to be working. If you have any other suggestions, please share.

I'm pretty pleased with myself today. I finally organized all my tried and true recipes into photo albums! This has been a project I've been meaning to do for a few years now. Yes, it took a number of hours, but it was well worth the effort. As I asked one friend, "Why do we procrastinate jobs that actually make our lives easier once they are completed?" I don't think we'll ever figure that one out. All other recipes in the 'to try out' category are now in a manilla envelope, to be transfered over, if and when they are deemed album worthy. 

I'm also happy to announce that "Monday's With Mirielle" returns on Monday! If it seems like ages - that's because it has been: a ridiculous five months in fact. Till then, au revoir and enjoy your weekend :)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Excuses begone!

Wednesday's word of wisdom is that it's never too late. I wasn't planning to post today, but after stumbling upon the following story this morning in my 'travels', I couldn't wait to share it with you.

Captain James Arrudra Henry only learned to read and write two years ago, now he's written his first book "In A Fisherman's Language." More amazing than that... he's 98!  Here's the link to a short bio.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Breakfasts of Champions

Aragorn: Gentlemen! We do not stop 'til nightfall.
Pippin: But what about breakfast?
Aragorn: You've already had it.
Pippin: We've had one, yes. But what about second breakfast?
[Aragorn stares at him, then walks off.]
Merry: Don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
Pippin: What about elevensies? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? 
He knows about them, doesn't he?
Merry: I wouldn't count on it.

Icelandic breakfast

Lol, nothing like a little hobbit humour to start the day! I trust you are staying warm in your part of the world. As I type this post it's a balmy -16C here. We're supposed to be moving into + temperatures by end of the week though, so fingers crossed. It sure would be nice if the snow melted and things warmed up at least until Christmas.

We've all heard the adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and with our mornings now darker and colder, it's even more crucial - maybe Hobbits have the right idea after-all :) I recently stumbled across a very interesting look at 50 of the best breakfasts from around the world. I used to make oatmeal every morning for years, with fresh fruit and yogurt on top, but the past number of months, it's been Texas Scrambles, as I call them; turkey sausage, veggies (onion/red pepper/zucchini) and scrambled eggs with a dash of Montreal Steak seasoning - yummy!

Do you eat breakfast everyday? If your answer is Yes, what do you usually have? 

Poland - looks positively delightful!




Japan (tofu)


The rest of the delicious slideshow is here :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Purrrfect Home and the Cutest Owl, Ever!

Hi Everyone - Yes, more kitties for you lol!

Cat's and their owners would love this home, but as we all know:
only dogs have owners...
cats have staff!

Lastly, here's a short video of the cutest owl EVER!
Is it just me, or do owls and cats share a lot of similarities?

Hmmm.... :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my very first birthday today!!!
(Mommy & Daddy almost forgot my big day... imagine that?)
I plan to celebrate in exactly the same way I celebrate each and every day:
playing, jumping, running, demanding attention and treats!
I will be lying down for the next little while though, because my tummy is already very full
of the treats Mommy had to give me to get one decent birthday picture ...
hehe, that's one trick I taught Mommy!

And so it begins...

Frosty Friday Greetings!

No, the above is not a pic from last winter - try yesterday afternoon... in like a lion, as they say. It snowed all day and was still at it when I headed to bed. I actually wore a down parka with hood up and big boots to the grocery store - a wee bit overdressed perhaps, but I'm certainly not ready for winter and am really feeling the cold. My gargoyle Hemlock's wondering why I haven't brought him in yet - once the snow stops and the wind dies down, he'll be rescued :) Today's post is a bit of this 'n that, mostly about books; in this weather about all I really want to do is curl up under a blanket and read...

It's a little late now, but I recently found out that November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) a task urging authors (or would-be authors) of all backgrounds to pen 50,000 words (an approximate 175 page novel) before November 30th. The project started in July 1999 with just 21 participants, but by the 2010 event, over 200,000 people took part. Although first originating in the San Francisco Bay area, I picked up a notice in a local coffee shop here, followed the link, and found out there are support groups (both online and actual meetings) pretty much right across Canada for this event. Seeing as we're already over halfway through the month, it looks like I will just have to procrastinate starting my best-seller for yet another year, lol.

Speaking of books, I came across an amusing slideshow on the Huffington Post entitled 
"Offbeat Holiday Books" 

I guess these are for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list: the child who has everything! 

When was the last time you visited your public library?
I'll admit, it's been a few years since I've darkened the doors of mine.
The Huffington Post has an ongoing series regarding the death of the library -
very interesting. It's an American piece, but I fear it's safe to say Canada's libraries
will inevitably suffer the same fate. Kind of sad really.
As a child I adored the library and when old enough, I would take the bus by myself on Saturday mornings to snoop through the well-loved books on it's dusty shelves.
I especially loved it when I was old enough to be allowed upstairs into the adult library!

That's all for today, I hope you enjoy a relaxing weekend
and leave you with this Carlsburg ad I stumbled across the other day - too funny!

Cheers :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hi Everyone, I Need Your Votes!

Hello, Jane!

Congratulations! Your photo 0001225055 posted to the Jones Soda Gallery


has been given a "Staff Pick" badge. That means we really like your photo
and are passing it on to the judges who make the final label selections.
Thank you for participating and we look forward to seeing more photos from
you at the Jones Soda Gallery.

The Jones Soda Gallery Crew

A big thanks to everyone who votes :)

Now Our Money Really IS Plastic!

Our new $100 dollar bills arrived yesterday. They're comprised of a polymer, developed specifically for the currency. By March 2012, a $50 bill will enter circulation followed by $20, $10 and $5 by the end of 2013. There are no plans to bring back the brown $2 bills.
The environmental impact of these new bills is noteworthy, as they are recyclable and 2.5 times more durable than their cotton and paper counterparts.

A Canadian focus group was commissioned to look at the bill and reported some amusing findings here. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we see what we want to see...!

A very interesting look at the numerous security devices imbedded in the new bills.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What If Kitties Ruled the World?

Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, 
Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow

Why are cats so amusing?

More here :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy 66th Birthday Neil!

You'll always be one of the best!

Heart of Gold - Calgary 2008

California - 1969

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

 Lol, aren't these hilarious!!

I ran across these in my travels and have vowed to knit them by end of this winter.

I'm not much of a knitter (it's been many years and only headbands and scarves), 
but I recently picked up a Knitting For Dummies book so stay tuned... 
I will post pics once they are completed!

 (Here's the pattern :)

 In other Middle-Earth news, stills from the upcoming Hobbit movie 
can be viewed here.

As well, here's the latest behind-the-scenes production video.
I didn't realize this was being shot in 3-D.

CAN'T wait!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Full Beaver Moon - Tonight!


Wherever possible, the words 'beaver' and 'moon' should not be used in the same sentence... hehe. Growing up I had a little brown dog named Beaver... you can believe me when I tell you that I've heard them all! However, tonight's full moon is indeed known as the Full Beaver Moon.

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.

In recent history, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. This moon is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

Interestingly there is a controversy currently swirling in Canada. Conservative member, Nicole Eaton, recently suggested we replace our busy, buck-toothed national symbol with the polar bear. I don't know about you, but I'm proud of our "dentally defective rat" (her words, not mine) and suggest she find more important issues to sink her teeth into!