Sunday, July 30, 2017


I'm not a collector. Honest. I don't have a shelf full of figurines, or a box of buttons and I definitely don't have dolls or clowns stashed in a special room.

But I've noticed I seem to be amassing quite a large variety of two specific things in my cupboard: Olive oil and honey. I thought I'd put them all together for a family photo:


In the Oil section I have: a basic olive oil, a habanero, lemon, garlic and a Tuscan oil that is great for making salad dressing.  In the honey section there's mountain, clover and wild flower that I picked up in Vancouver and Lavender from the local lavender farm. 

Maybe it's that pretty golden colour that attracts me, but mostly I think it's the practicalness of these products.

I use honey for sweetening my green tea or on a fresh piece of bread lightly toasted. I always have a batch of homemade granola in the fridge made with honey and maple syrup.

Yogurt and fruit with granola and drizzled with honey is a staple for me!

The variety of oils are always being used in cooking. I usually use a lemon oil for salmon but lately I've been into this habanero oil which adds a beautiful hot spiciness to the fish!

Just squeeze fresh lemon on top of that and you've got the best of both worlds!

And let's face it - these products border on miraculous. Honey never spoils, it has tremendous medicinal benefits including regulating blood sugar, and healing attributes. Even the way it's created is incredible!

Olive oil is a powerful antioxidant that can fight inflammation and the fact that heart disease is rare around the Mediterranean Sea leads many to believe their large use of Olive Oil plays a part in this. It also has anti-bacterial properties. What more could we ask for!

Bottom line, I guess if I'm going to start collecting, I think honey and oil are good candidates. 

Someone pass the Corn Flakes and a spoonful of honey!

Sunday, July 23, 2017


For the past couple years they have been chewing up downtown replacing old pipes and fixing whatever else has been lying under there. 

It makes for a messy commute to work! I can still bike through but it's kinda like going through an obstacle course and driving is out of the question. 

Sometimes, life is like that. You are cruising along when out of the blue your path ahead is blocked, even downright dangerous. You need to find either a way through it or take an alternate route. 

These roadblocks happen to everyone: illness, death, letting something (or someone) go, letting something (or someone) in, failures and consequences from our own mistakes. 

Being a music lover, I love the encouragement and the honesty in Psalms. When the road ahead is looking dicey I can echo King David's heartfelt request: 

"You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, lead me and guide me!" Psalm 31:3. 

I figure He has a better view than I do of what lies ahead.

Really in a jam? David penned this in Psalm 18: 

"I called to Yahweh in my anguish, I cried for help to my God; from his Temple He heard my voice, my cry came to His ears." I can picture God turning His head and looking down at His child who is in peril. "Then the earth quaked and rocked, the mountains foundations shuddered, they quaked at his blazing anger." Look out...Daddy is coming and He's not happy! "He reached down from on high, snatched me up, pulled me from the watery depths, rescued me from my mighty foe, from my enemies who were stronger than I." 

It's encouraging to read this an know there is a force way more powerful then I, ready to come to my aid. 

But sometimes the road blocks don't seem to dissolve, the path gets darker and rougher and there is nobody coming to help. 

Almost all Psalms end on a positive and hopeful note, that God will come through. But Psalm 88 is honest enough to point out we don't always feel that way:

But, for my part, I cry to you Yahweh, every morning my prayer comes before you; why, Yahweh, do you rebuff me, turn your face away from me?  vs 13 & 14.

He ends his lament: You have deprived me of friends and companions, and all that I know is the dark.

They didn't have to put this song in there, they could have left it out. But scripture is brutally honest about the human experience.

If you are presently looking at a roadblock or the path ahead is unclear, I understand. King David understands. God understands. I pray you find your way through. 

Much Love!

Sunday, July 16, 2017


We are sailing through the summer time pretty quickly around here.

In Canada, summer always seems to be in a hurry, not wanting to impose on the other seasons. So here's how I'm savouring her little visit.

I ride my bike. For some reason, it guarantees making the time seem longer. This morning I rode along the waterfront savouring the warm breeze on my face and the hot sun on my back. 

Watch a Fireworks Display! The sense of community is palpable as we all sit oohing and aahing up at the dazzling flashes and explosions overhead.
I go camping. 

My family obligingly go with me and put up with this yearly obsession of mine.

The market is bursting with fruits and vegetables, not to mention a feast for all your senses.

Berries in season, cucumbers, snap peas, lettuce. Everything tastes better fresh. 

I eat outside, as much as I can! Today we went with friends to TerraCello Winery in the County for oven roasted pizza. You can sit outside surrounded by grape vines and feel like you are smack in the middle of Italy. 

Take some time to smell the flowers.

Or, go hog wild and smell a whole field: in this case, Lavender! 

And of course, Ice Cream or Gelato is a summer savouring necessity.

This sour cherry gelato from Nice Ice Baby was starting to drip so I had to give it a few licks....tastes like summer to me.

Canadian summers: short and sweet, shy and fickle. Here's to making the most of them!

Sunday, July 9, 2017


One of the first times we ever went to the Waterfront Festival in Belleville, my daughter was barely a week old, strapped to my chest in a Snuggly (that's what they called'em back then). Yesterday, we took her for her 29th birthday.

It's Tradition! 

We've watched the festival expand and contract, go from big name bands and bellyflop contests to a more placid family affair. We enjoy the celebration, the connections with our community and the food.

Well, mostly for the food....just like the rest of you...admit it.

Sharing is the name of the game so we always get a little bit of this and that and we all dig in.

Perogies are a favourite all round!

Might as well pick up an apple crepe while you're there.

LOVE the Momos, with the sauce - feeling hot, Hot, HOT

The Mexican booth from Chilangos is a fairly new addition but was an instant hit. Abraham, one of the owners is friend of ours. You would be pressed to find a harder working man in Belleville.

We rolled ourselves away from the food area and checked out the other points of interest. Glanmore Museum had set up a booth full of artifacts and pics of local history. Loved this one:

You can get your upholstery done and utilize the Undertaker all in one stop shop! Seems Multi-tasking is not a new phenomenon.

I love hot sauces, but perhaps this guy didn't know when to quit. Duly noted.

Another hard worker, this guy with the Lemonade stand will whip you up a citrusy bevy in seconds. 

Of course there is lots music, dancing and games for the kids too. 

We are past the Carnival stage at the moment but it's always fun to wander through and listen to the raucous noise of barkers and squeals and machinery.
Here's a fun fact: I worked with a Carnival when I was 17 (in the ticket booth). A short lived career but I'm proud to say I was a Carnie once!

If you have never been to Belleville's Waterfront Festival, save room for it next year in your busy calendar and make it a Tradition! There is always something for everyone to do and there's great food.

Portuguese Chicken.....mmmmmm.

Monday, July 3, 2017


As of 4 days ago, our ballerina Lauren graduated from High School and the Professional Ballet school. She has lived with us the past 3 years. 
And she is the last of the red hot ballerinas

For the past 12 years, we have had young dancers attending the Quinte Ballet school billet with us. 

Bottom line, I've raised a LOT of teenagers.  But it's time to stop washing leotards and body suits and hunker down to the Empty Nest we should have had about 6 years ago. 

So this Blog is in honour of all our extra kids we raised alongside of our own. I don't have pics of them all, but most of them.

First up was Elise 

She was in the same grade as our daughter and eased us into billeting. Elise was bright and beautiful and is now working at Air Canada!
Next came Shannon

The quintessential ballerina in every way, she married an Aussie and worked with a professional Ballet Company in Australia until quite recently. 

We decided to double up for a while and had Natayu and Victoria at the same time.

These two were always in fits of giggles together and both are still in the dance world. Victoria does a lot of teaching and Natayu runs the gamut from Circus work to contemporary. Around this time we had Ben as well but I don't have pic of him, he only stayed with us a short time. 
Then came Kelly!

With a school average running at about 98% (and that was not good enough for Kelly), this girl was absolutely brilliant. She moved on to study Chemical Engineering which she no doubt aced. 

Then came Rachel

On our recent trip out to B.C. to visit Adrian and Carolyn, we were able to have dinner with Rachel who was just finishing up her degree in Nursing!
Here's Nami!

Straight from Japan and unable to speak hardly a word of English, Nami was sweet and hardworking but our conversations were not much more than two or three word simple sentences!  After graduation, Nami headed back to Japan to study, believe it or not, English. She's pretty darn good at it now!

And lastly, there was Lauren

This one's a real fire cracker so all I can say is look out she comes! I expect to see her on the big screen in no time.

So that's it kids. I've loved all the energy and youth and passion for your dancing that you have all brought. But I'm hoping to see some grand babies soon. 

Who knows. Maybe one of them will be dance crazy and I will have to eat my words about the last of the Red Hot Ballerinas!