Thursday, June 4, 2020

Polyester Primates

Below we have a photo of four zoo animals - two elephants and two polyester primates.

Detroit Zoo 1974
Photo courtesy of Dad

Seriously, that was the first thing my sister brought up - our outfits. 

"I hated that polyester outfit.  At least yours had ventilation at the neck.  Mine was a stifling, half-turtleneck that was so tight around my neck.  No air circulated through the neck or the chest or the back of the shirt itself." 

I'm sure she's right, but that certainly wasn't what I noticed first about this photo.  We had to continue with the wardrobe critique before we could talk about anything else though.

"I hated it when you wore your hair like that.  Those silly ponytail holders with those little balls.  I just didn't like them.  Oh wait, I did like them for one reason and one reason only.  When we would fight I could grab that silly ball and stretch the elastic.  When it hit your head coming back it must have hurt.  You screamed loud enough."

Fighting aside, I quite liked my hair like that.  Look how straight and shiny it is. I certainly thought it looked better than later perms, but I couldn't get my sister to admit to that.  She did agree that her hair was a bit messed up, but only because she must have wiped the perspiration from her brow just prior to the picture being snapped.  Her bad hair is due to extenuating circumstances. My bad hair, in her opinion, is just bad hair.

Eventually we were able to move on to the elephant in the room - the actual elephants.  

"Dad's timing must have been off.  That angle is making it look like my head has just slid out of that elephant's ass.  Maybe that's what's wrong with my hair.  Ewww."

At least she was willing to finally acknowledge there was something wrong with her hair.

We did eventually reminisce about the zoo itself.  The excitement of spotting the Detroit Zoo water tower from the road.  The fun of following the animal footprints stamped on the walkways throughout the park.  The polar bear that would splash onlookers.  Mom's dislike of the reptile exhibit.  The fact that we both remember all the words from this 1982 commerical**.

On viewing that ad again, I realise that, with her concern about her wardrobe, my sister might have more in common with the peacocks than the primates.  Polyester peacock.  Sounds just about right.

(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)
(** Note: The picture quality is quite bad, but the sound is OK.)







Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Fountain of Joy

My pandemic-prompted downtime has helped me to understand how little I need to get by.  As a result, I'm experiencing so much appreciation when something new comes into my life.

I won't elaborate, partly because it's hard to articulate, and partly because I'd rather spend the time hanging out by my fountain.



I can't begin to tell you how much joy it is bringing me.  Thanks to Hubby for this wonderful surprise.  



 


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Rainy Walk

It's rainy here today.  I took a reasonably long walk anyway.  I pretty much had the world to myself.





Monday, June 1, 2020

Marvelous Marvin Monday

Marvin was much more photogenic this week.  My sister had five pictures to choose from.  She selected the one below, because his stretched-out neck reminded her of someone on the executioner's block. She thinks he's begging for mercy.
Please don't behead me. I didn't mean to do ...whatever he did...I'll be good again, I promise. Please!!!!! Remember how cute I am and how much you love me? Remember how you came into the shelter and our eyes met and locked? There was compassion in those eyes. Please have compassion now...it...wasn't that bad...please don't chop off my head!!!


In reality, he's irritated because I woke him from his nap to take a picture.  Besides, my sister should know that I'm too squeamish to decapitate anything.  The worst punishment Marvin ever gets it a strong scolding, or perhaps some forced snuggling. 

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Outing

Hubby and I went for a short drive today.  It was good to get out of the house, particularly when our outing included an unplanned stop at the beach.  


As you can see, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Other than distant birds, this little crab was our only company.


I almost missed it.  If it hadn't moved when I stopped to take the photo below I wouldn't have known it was there.


The crab is actually in the photo.  It's in the lower right corner, and is no bigger than my fingernail.  I can't believe I spotted it.

I also spotted a couple of hearts on the rocky beach, though I'm less surprised that I noticed them.  As we all know now, hearts are everywhere.






Saturday, May 30, 2020

Heartshroom

Today, as I walked along, I photographed several random things.  I snapped some clover flowers and wild daisies.  Drifts of cottonwood fluff caught my attention, as did these abundant mushroom/fungi things.  It wasn't until I got home that I realized I had taken a picture of a heart! Do you see it?


How about now?


Perhaps this will help.


Hearts are everywhere, whether you notice them or not.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Walking Around

Went for another long, socially-distant walk with a friend today.  While I won't share any of our conversation, I've included some photos below.

Spotted a couple of decorated rocks.  I'm pretty sure the creators of the "smile" rock caught me taking pictures of it, so they got to smile too.



The Nootka roses were blooming madly, and the bees were madly busy.  The fragrance was amazing.

Thanks S for reminding me of the actual name of these wild roses.

It was so good to connect with my friend even though we couldn't see each other.  And I did discover a benefit of our socially-distant walks - our paces don't have to match.  She was energetic.  I was not.  It didn't matter.  We were able to walk together anyway.   One more reason to smile.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

We Thought We Were All That

Photo courtesy of Dad

Something about this picture led my sister to conclude that she is, and has always been, cool, whereas I lack, and have always lacked, that aura of authentic coolness.  She compared me to Sandy in the movie "Grease".  In her opinion, the transformed Sandy at the end of the movie is merely trying to be cool.  She's fake-cool.  As am I.

I don't pretend to understand how my sister's mind works.

Of course, as soon as my sister brought up "Grease" my mind went off on its own tangent.

My sister, Auntie P and I were all tween-agers when the movie was released.  It obviously captured our imaginations, and we often performed musical numbers from the movie when we got together.  From time to time we even made our parents sit though our performances.  (Proof indeed that our parents love us!)

Photo courtesy of Dad
Auntie P on the left, me on the right, and my sister in the middle.


Rehearsals for these performances usually took place in my grandparents' basement.  Not only was it suitably removed from the rest of the family, it had the added benefit of stage props.

First was a two-level coffee table.  Perfect for performances of Greased Lightin'.  My sister would take the top level as Danny Zuko, while Auntie P and I flanked her on the lower levels.

As Auntie P puts it, "Your sister was lead singer and, of course, we were backup.  She took charge and somehow you and I were never coordinated to her liking."

Yup.

Also in my grandparents' basement was a metal, floor-to-ceiling pole.  In reality,  it was there to support the upper storeys.  To the three of us, it was our dance partner for the slow numbers.   We were all, in turn, hopelessly devoted to that post. 

Scenes from musicals weren't the only things getting re-enacted at my grandparents' place.  On seeing the photo above, Auntie P flashed back to my sister's most-memorable recreation of this Brooke Shields' Calvin Klein ad.

My Denim Journey * Age of Grace
Photo "borrowed' from random website

The three of us had been roller skating. My sister and the boy she was couples-skating with wiped out.  The fall may have stressed her denim, because later that day, when she attempted the pose above, her jeans experienced a complete structural failure.  

Auntie P and I still laugh ourselves to tears over that memory.  My parents, grandparents and possibly other family members gathered in my grandparents' living room. My sister, on the floor, arguing that anyone could pose like Brooke, then throwing her legs over her head to prove her point and RIP!  The ass of her pants explodes. My sister still remembers that her entire right butt cheek came through the hole.  At least, as she says, it happened at Gramma's and not at the roller rink.  

In the words of Auntie P, "The three of us had many years of fun, laughter and tears as we navigated our youth like sisters."

Thanks to my sister and Auntie P for helping me with today's post. I had so much fun reliving these memories with you. 

(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)
  

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Picea Orientalis Aureospicata



Picea Orientalis Aureospicata!  What a magical name.  It's like a spell from the Harry Potter books.  I wave my wand and the whole world sparkles.

Fortunately, no magic was required here.  This tree just seems to grow like that, sparkles and all. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Fangirl Forever

Until Saturday, I had only ever written two fan letters.  Both were school assignments - likely the teachers' way of making letter-writing lessons fun.

The first was to Maureen McCormick, aka Marcia Brady, when I was in about third grade.  That was so long ago that I don't remember much about the experience, but I'm fairly sure I didn't hear back.

The second, written in about grade six when I was much more mature, was sent to my heartthrob Eric of the Bay City Rollers.  The sole remaining memory of that experience is of my bursting into tears when the letter was returned due to insufficient postage.  Apparently our lesson in letter-writing didn't cover the intricacies of international postage. Oh the heart-break of discovering that the love of my life was unaware of my adoration.

In spite of these failures, on Saturday I decided to throw caution to the wind and send out my third-ever fan letter.  Given the wonders of the internet, I didn't even have to worry about postage.



This time, the object of my admiration was Stephanie Kay.  I've mentioned Stephanie's cookbook "Red's 5-Ingredient Meals" a few times here on the blog. This has become one of my most-used cookbooks.  Stephanie also regularly shares recipes, tips and, most importantly, lunch ideas on Instagram.  I was pretty sure that she had said somewhere that she welcomed questions from readers, so I decided to reach out to her with my question.
Here in BC we are looking at going back to work in the near future. I usually bring my own lunch, and I rely my staff room's fridge, toaster over, and microwave. I'm predicting that those things won't be available when I get back. (The staff room is just too small for more than one person at a time under current restrictions.) Any ideas for packed lunches that don't require refrigeration or re-heating? I'm already feeling stumped.
Given my past experience with fan letters, I honestly didn't expect a response. I thought that Steph (notice how it's "Steph" now?) might share some ideas in a blog or an Instagram post if she felt enough readers were in a similar situation. So, imagine my giddy surprise when this landed in my inbox Monday morning.
Hi Laurie, 

Thanks for reaching out, I hope that all is well with you!

Depending on how long it would need to be without refrigeration, you could probably get away with simply eating any hot dish or leftovers cold, especially if it’s a vegetarian dish with beans, lentils or grains. They would easily withstand several hours without refrigeration.

Alternatively, I have a few no-cook or no-refrigerate lunch ideas on my website. You can find them at the links below:

I hope that helps!

Talk soon,
Steph 
This seriously made my day.  Steph's suggestions are just what I needed to get me back into meal-planning mode, and her kindness and generosity have ensured that I'll always be a grateful fan. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Marvelous Marvin Monday

Photo courtesy of Hubby

Marvin wasn't particularly photogenic last week, so I had to send some of Hubby's older photos for my sister to choose from.

She selected this one because of Marvin's regal attitude.  There he is at the top of Cat Mountain looking down at his subjects.

He's the king of the castle, and we're the dirty rascals, or, as my sister says, the shitheads.  

Somehow, I don't remember swearing in that nursery rhyme.  

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Please Stand By


Experiencing non-technical difficulties.  Words is hard.  Please stand by.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Anna Karenina

This photo is in no way related to today's post.  I just thought the camera's interpretation of the colour was cool.

Yesterday I admitted I haven't read Anna Karenina.  Today I was shamed into challenged to read it.  I really need to be more careful about what I share here!

Among other things, I was told that Anna Karenina "has a quick interesting story and capsule of Russian history. It will be a perfect build up for "War and Peace"...and then they dramatized it with Granchester's vicar as Prince Bolkonski - thrilling!"

I'm afraid to admit I have no idea what that last bit means, and I certainly won't have time to look into it.  I've discovered that Anna Karenina is "a complex novel in eight parts, with more than a dozen major characters, it is spread over more than 800 pages (depending on the translation and publisher), typically contained in two volumes."*

I'm already in over my head and I haven't even started reading.

*from Wikipedia


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Lazy



“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”

― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Borrowing a quote from a book I've never read because I'm too lazy to write anything myself.  The picture is mine though.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Marvelous Marvin Monday

Marvin was not particularly photogenic this week.  Only three pictures were sent to my sister, and of those, only one made the grade.


My sister chose this one because she thinks Marvin was trying to hunt a dust-bunny, so he squeezed himself into the basket to hide. He thought that, since the basket had an open top, he would be able to get out fast. He snuggled himself deep down into the basket and waited until the dust-bunny got just close enough to pounce.
1...
2... 
3...
NO!!! 
*EYES WIDE OPEN!!!* 
I'M STUCK IN THE BASKET!!!

It worries me that, even though she has never been to our house, my sister is somehow aware of our dust-bunny infestation.  

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Friday, May 15, 2020

Colour Coordinated


When I was out watering the garden this morning I noticed how colour coordinated everything was, right down to my shoes.  Cool!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Tribble


I seem to have misplaced the photo I wanted to share today, so I'm sharing this picture of a stray Tribble instead.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Surrender

So, it's the kind of day where I surrender to the fact that none of the things that need to be done are going to get done, so I Google "iPhone photography tricks", and I start playing with some of the suggestions,  but that doesn't seem like quite enough, so I start messing with the edit features on my phone, and things just keep getting weirder until I get this:






Monday, May 11, 2020

Marvelous Marvin Monday

I sent my sister four pictures of Marvin and asked her to choose one for today.  She chose two.  And she changed the title of this series.  I'm beginning to wonder who is in charge here - me or her.  Who am I kidding?  There was never any question. Marvin is in charge.  


She chose this one because Marvin looks cute and vulnerable.  He looks so serene before...


... starting one of those dreams where you're falling.  His right eye is slowly opening due to the startling feeling of STOMACH DUMP... you know, that feeling you get from plummeting through the air. His right lip looks like he's starting to smile, but he's actually sliding down the window making it seem more like he's falling...

Who knows?  Perhaps Marvin is dreaming about falling.  Or flying.  Or, more likely, about his next meal.

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Saturday, May 9, 2020

All Day Dinner

Today's dinner prep started well before noon.  There was sauce and salad to prep.  There were potatoes to smoke.  There were ribs to rub.  We basically hung around the house all day and worked on making dinner.  It's not like there's anywhere to go, so we made the very best of it.

There was coffee on the deck.  


There was reading on the sofa.


There were martinis


All followed by a meal of slow-smoked ribs.


And smoked potato salad.

Never had smoked potato salad before?  I hadn't either, but OMG it's so good!

And now I must run before my homemade fugde-pop melts.

I know the recipe (link above) is for ombré popsicles, but that seemed like way too much effort. They're delicious without all that work.


(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)







Friday, May 8, 2020

Rock-em Sock-em Hearts


Rock Heart

Sock Heart

Ok, you may have to squint and stretch you imagination a bit, but they are definitely heart-like.  Or at least they appeared to be when I took the pictures.  They look somewhat less-so on the screen.  I may have been a bit too far out of my mind head when I spotted these.





Thursday, May 7, 2020

Summer of '69


Photo courtesy of Dad
That's me on the left and my sister on the right

Somehow I don't think this is what Bryan Adams had in mind.

I don't imagine it's what my parents had in mind either.

I'm not sure why my parents continued to take us on family vacations.  You'd think they would have learned their lesson on the Algonquin trip.  Yet they persevered.  

On this trip we camped our way around Lake Huron. I'm surprised my parents didn't turn back before we were out of Southwestern Ontario.  Look at us!  

My sister thinks I look like I'm trying to make fart sounds.  Somehow I doubt it.  Fart sounds were more her thing.  She has no idea what prompted her expression.  Neither of us look very happy.

My sister did notice that her shorts were unusually long, which then led us to notice that mine were unusually short.  Perhaps Mom had put us in the wrong outfits. And it looks like our shoes could be on the wrong feet. That might explain our displeasure - wardrobe malfunctions.

We also noticed the band-aid on my knee.  Then we noticed something on her knee too.  I think it's calamine lotion.  She thinks it's two band-aids, because if she's going to have boo boo it's going to be twice as bad as mine.  Sibling rivalry never ends. 

Either way, boo boos and bug bites couldn't have helped our mood.

Once again we had to turn to Mom for her insight.  She thinks our expressions could have been due to a combination of things.  It had been a long day in the car.  The photo would have been taken around the time Dad was setting up the tent - always a stressful event.  The water behind us was too cold for swimming.  That would have been a huge disappointment for both of us.  Mom also remembers that neither my sister nor I liked the bathroom at this campsite. I'm not surprised that I didn't like it.  I never liked campground bathrooms.  Too many spiders.  

My sister seems to think that she has an aura of cool in this photo that I am lacking.  I think that is hard to determine our coolness factors from this photo, though I know there are pictures out there that support her claim to superior coolness.  They might even show up here.  In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy this adorable snapshot.  It makes me laugh every time I see it.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Savasanahhhhh


Help!  I've savasana-ed and I don't want to get up!

That was me this morning after completing yogaSheron's newest YouTube offering.  It's a 13 minute guided relaxation which I tried for the first time after this class from Yoga Download.  Sheron's savasana was exactly what I needed to release the last few knots in my neck and upper back. 

Though I did the session as part of a larger practice, I can see using it on its own as a beautiful way to ease tension.  It would be a wonderful gateway to a restorative nap.   

Sheron now has 4 videos on her YouTube channel, and, as I wrote this, our local recreation centre posted another of her classes.  I know what I'll be doing tomorrow morning!


(*Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Green Heart


Morning Coffee Sessions with Firefly Creative Writing continue.  Yesterday, Chris had us start by listing things we had noticed over the weekend. We were encouraged to remember tastes, smells and sounds.  By the time we were finished we had something for each of the senses.

My list was quite short.

This surprised me, because my weekend was full, all things considered.

There was pizza and beer with Hubby followed by a Zoom meeting with friends on Friday night.

On Saturday there was a trip over the river and through the town to pick up an order from the local bookstore.

On Sunday there was a long drive through the countryside and along the ocean.

Yet where were the sounds? The smells? The tastes? The colours? The faces? The light?

It made me see how distracted I am.  And it made me realize how important it is to get out of my head from time to time.  

Photographing hearts helps.   It allows me pay more attention to the world around me.  

I will admit that my attention is imperfect.  Often I walk right by a heart before I register that it is a heart.  I wonder what people think when they see me backtracking to take pictures like the one above.    

Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Something About Marvin 15

My sister's Marvin pick for this week:


Her caption:
DON'T PULL BACK THE TOWEL!  I was hiding here waiting to attack your ankles.
She's on the right track.  He was waiting to attack his GO CAT Fur Fun toy.  It's his new favourite toy.  I'm not sure what it's made of.  Note that the description says "fur fun" not "fun fur".  What ever it is, it feels real.  And rabbit-y.  Given how Marvin reacts to real bunnies, I'm not surprised that he's so intent on his toy.  

If this isn't enough Marvin for you, you can follow him on Instagram.  He's @marvinmeowmeow.  

Note:  I don't get anything for the links above.  They're there for your information.  Hope you find them useful.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Pre-Dawn Poem

Should you be online this morning,
I thought you'd like to know,
Though I look presentable up top,
There's pink penguin pyjama pants below.


Yup.  I've become one of those people.  You know, the ones who get half-dressed for Zoom meetings.

And I was only presentable if athleisure wear counts as "presentable".  

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Little Things




Snapped these wee creatures on my walk yesterday.  I felt I was in good company.







Friday, May 1, 2020

Throwback Blursday*

Keeping track of time has become a challenge, though yesterday I did know what day it was. It was Thursday.  I just forgot that meant Throwback Thursday, even though I have been doing throwback posts with my sister every Thursday since mid-February.

You remember mid-February, don't you?  Way back in the olden days?

I don't.  Forgetfulness seems to be a theme this week.  

Photo courtesy of Dad

I don't remember anything about his photo.  My sister doesn't remember much about it either.  This led to some rather animated discussion. We finally had to call in Mom to referee.  Just like in the olden days.

With Mom's help we were able to determine that this was my sister's sixth birthday party, not her fifth.  She was in grade one, not kindergarten. We were at McDonald's, not Ponderosa.  McDonald's had a ship, not a train.  

VTG MCDONALDS MCDONALD LAND HUGE PIRATE SHIP CAPTAIN CROOK SETMAKERS 1970'S SEATING! FOR SALE-INQUIRE ROZEKCRAIG@GMAIL.COM FOR DETAILS
Photo from internet, though our McDonald's had a ship just like this.

We all agreed that I look pissed off.  I probably was.  I am one year and 51 weeks older than my sister. In spite of being the first born, I always got the second birthday party - one week after my sister's.  I was not happy about it.

When talking to Mom about the photo, she pointed out that we were lucky that she didn't combine our celebrations.  Back-to-back birthday parties must have been a nightmare for her.  My adult self appreciates all her hard work.  I doubt my almost-8-year-old self would have bought her logic.  The face above is the face of a child who is a week away from having her birthday party.  I don't want to think about my reaction to a shared party, and I doubt my sister's smile would have been quite so bright if I was unwrapping gifts beside her.   

And I think we can all agree that the less said about olden-days polyester style the better. Though I will say that's a lot of retro plaid!  And my sister wants to call attention to her cute pixie cut.  I won't tell you what she said about my hair.  If you've been reading here I'm sure you can guess what her reaction was.  

* I have tried to find the source of the "Blursday the fortyteenth of Maprilay" meme, but haven't had any luck. (Nor, to be honest, have I tried all that hard.)  I'm sending appreciative vibes to the creator of such silliness.  Thanks for the smile!