Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dwayne: photo of the week

I really enjoyed talking with Dwayne, a sheep breeder, who has spent the last 69 years of his life devoted to making a good ol' sheep. So I think this deserves photo of the week.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Alabama, Arkansas,
I do love my ma and pa,
But not as much as I do love you.

Holy, Moley, me, oh my,
You're the apple of my eye,
Girl I've never loved one like you.

Man oh man you're my best friend,
I scream it to the nothingness,
That you got everything I need.

Ahh home. Let me come home.
Home is wherever I'm with you.
Ahh home. Let me come home.
Home is where I belong with you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book 8

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

In more ways than one, this book broke my heart. First, because it's true. Second, because I can't imagine living a life the way the author did, and then describing it in such vivid detail without feeling sorry for herself.

The Glass Castle is about Jeannette Walls and her highly dysfunctional family, growing up "without roots" in the United States. Her father Rex, is a functioning alcoholic and her mother--though no doubt a mother who loves her children--is entirely selfish.

The book leads with Jeannette hiding in the cover of a taxi while she watches as her mother sifts through dumpsters in downtown New York. Ashamed, yes, but more than that, this moment leads the reader into how the family came to be so separated, and what exactly it is that holds even the most hopeless of situations in tact.

Jeannette receives severe burns to her body at three-years-old from cooking her own hot dogs. She is her father's favourite and yet he continually disappoints the family with his boozing and gambling, leaving his children at home to starve, eating lard sandwiches.

Jeannette, if no one else, should inspire others with troubled lives, as she and her siblings managed to survive and thrive in the end, though not without memories of their upbringing at bay.

Without giving too much away, this book made me laugh. It also made me want to shake the living life out of the author's parents for being so ridiculous and selfish. Her own mother--while her children were starving-- ate chocolate under her blanket. She refused to get a job as a teacher because the system was a sham, and her father thought everyone belonged to the CIA or the FBI, or the mob.

However, despite the beatings and abandonment, the parents did love their children and did what they could (at times). For instance, one Christmas Jeannette and her siblings were each given stars as gifts. It was what they could offer and in a way it was an act that demonstrated the parents understood the wants of their children, even if it meant imaginary gifts.

"We laughed about all the kids who believed in the Santa Clause myth and got nothing but a bunch of cheap plastic toys. 'Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten,' Dad said, 'you'll still have your stars.'"

A favourite part in the story was when Jeannette and her brother schemed up an attack on the neighbourhood bullies in Welch, who had called Jeannette ugly and made fun of their family for living on a garbage dump. The siblings piled rocks onto an old mattress on the hill and then, as the boys biked by, propelled the rocks down onto them.

This book goes highly recommended by me, but isn't for the faint of heart, as it at times brought me near tears.

"...he said it was interesting. He used the word 'textured'. He said 'smooth' is boring but 'textured' was interesting, and the scar meant that I was stronger than whatever had tried to hurt me."

Sprinkles: Photo of the week

There's a rainbow, it's in my heart.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

what I know

I've always heard 'write what you know'. I think I heard it in a movie, once. But I'm not sure which one. And today I wrote what I knew, and it turned out... amazing. And I may have discovered something that I didn't know was there, but was there all along, waiting to be written about.

So I'm going to write what I know, and see where it gets me. most authors do, and many of them succeed. If I get somewhere, I'll send you a copy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

If somebody's got soul, you've got to make them move.

(Left: Wintersleep lead singer Paul Murphy. Photo cred: me)

Music is something I don't write about much. Great music is something maybe words don't explain well, because it's music, something you listen to. Not something you read. It's something you feel inside.

But going to see live music is a whole other thing entirely and it's felt even deeper. I love it. I went to see Wintersleep the other night, and it started, "I got outta bed today, swear to God couldn't see my face, I got outta bed today, starring at a ghost..." and I looked to the ground and not only was I shaking my leg - even my entire body - to the beat, but so was everyone else.

And everyone had a smile, was singing along. It was so gripping. Music is amazing in that it can bring even strangers together. You may not know the person standing next to you in the crowd, but share a song together and not knowing one another makes no difference at all.

(Metric lead singer Emily Haines. She was fabulous. Photo cred: me)

And last night, I saw Metric, and Passion Pit. And Metric's Stadium Love. "No one's getting out without stadium love..." everyone in the crowd watching Emily Haines started jumping up and down, dancing, not caring what anyone else thought, and it was so uniting.

Music unites people. Listen more.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Too hot, too hot!

Growing up in British Columbia, I've never fully experienced the wrath of humidity. That is, until I moved to Ontario.

In the last week, I’ve been introduced to the humidex – a calculated value describing how hot or humid the weather ‘feels.’ The Weather Network has reported that the week of July 5 would be filled with a high humidex. On July 6 the temperature was expected to reach 32 degrees Celsius, but with the humidity it could ‘feel like’ 41 degrees.

On July 7, it was 33 degrees Celsius, but it felt like 44 degrees.

This isn’t the type of temperature increase anyone can get used to. It’s a ‘sit in your scivvies, run the AC until it’s dead, drown yourself in the pool kind’ of heat, and I don’t like it one bit.

Back home, my family complains of the cold. “It’s only 10 degrees,” and “There’s still snow on the mountains.” But currently, I’d sooner sit in a snowfield naked then have to deal with the heat mother nature is spewing down on us. It’s like sitting in a sauna where escape is not an option.

“Too hot” has an entirely different meaning to me now.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

**** Cookie mistake ****

Crack-a-lackin cookies recipe was a bit.. OFF! So I fixed up the correct ingredients. Hopefully no one has tried to bake them yet! See below!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Turtle, tortoise.

Be like a turtle; at ease in your own shell.

The thing about turtles and tortoises is, I don't know much about them. I know they are cute. I know that a few summers ago I fed a snapping turtle a hot dog. I know that out west, we don't see a lot of them. But now, I'm going to know a bit more.

Above you see a tortoise (top) and a common snapping turtle (bottom). I took these photos the other day at a Reptile Zoo presentation. The difference between the two is this: the common snapping turtle is a freshwater turtle found in Canada and the U.S. The tortoise is a desert turtle that lives on land. Turtle has webbed feet, tortoise has club feet. They both have shells (called a carapace) to hide from predators in. But a tortoise will sink and drown in the water while a turtle will swim.

The snapping turtle can live to 30 or 40 years in the wild, and eat fish, frogs, birds and mammals. They are nocturnal - meaning they hide in mud or sand during the day and wait for their prey and during the winter become dormant, again burying themselves beneath muddy pond bottoms for the duration of the winter.

The tortoise can live up to 150 years, although one has been recorded as living longer. A tortoise named Tu'i Malila, who was a present of the Tongan royal family in 1777, remained in the care of that family until 1965. That would mean that Tu;i Malila lived until it was 188 years old. Tortoises like to eat lettuce, worms and insects, among other things.

Book 7

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This book was certainly not what I expected. I started reading it and realized that it was written as if a 15-year-old child was writing it in a journal, and I wasn't so sure I liked it. But it was interesting...

Interesting to see inside the mind of a harmless, confused, boy learning what it is to become a man. Holden isn't your typical adolescent, he has an imagination that won't quit and ideas that are far too erratic, but in his eyes are all the more tangible.

The best part is when he references to The Catcher in the Rye. He says he pictures kids playing in a field of rye, and he is the only other person there. He's standing at the edge of a cliff and he's there to catch kids if they start to fall towards it. He says, "that's the only thing I'd really like to be."

This book was a-ok, not fantastic, but a-ok, and as I usually am with books, I am glad I read it. Because now someone may ask me, "have you read this?" And I'll say, "yes!"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bzzzz... photo of the week.

I bought a basket of flowers in the market last week and the other day, a bee buzzed and got some nectar from the flowers. I just played with this photo a bit, couldn't get the bee in focus, he was just too quick!
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