Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Two more work days have passed (14 left!). I’m busy getting things in order before I leave but unfortunately I’m also back to stressing, not about leaving, but about the work still to be done.

Zack and Bubbers
Today’s word of the day is cacophony, which means harsh or discordant sound, dissonance; specifically harshness in the sound of words or phrases. This is a word I used a lot when we had Zack and Bubbers, Blue and Gold Macaws. They were LOUD - harsh is a kind way to describe their voices. It was certainly a cacophony when they were vocalizing.

Zack and Buhbers were pets for a few years before they got their nest box. After they were breeding they only had eyes for each other, especially during breeding season – that’s also when they got really noisy. Despite the loudness, they were a lovely pair of birds with funny, charming personalities. They were also two of the nicest looking B&G's that I’ve seen. We have lots of fond memories of them, both as pets and as breeders. They had several clutches of babies, including a clutch of 3 that went to work with me to be hand fed. At feeding time they were the star attraction of the ladies room (men used to come in to see them too)! It was a sad day when Zack and Bubbers left to go to their new home – I still can’t really talk about it. Unfortunately unforeseen circumstances can sometimes change the course of ones life. 

3 macaw babies

On days like the past two, when I’m stuck in the office and the weather is cold and rainy, it’s hard to find an Idle Pleasure. They seem to be so much more plentiful when I’m at home or at least not in this dreary office. Perhaps I just have to try harder to find pleasure where there is none to be had. Okay – how is this – close your eyes and let the cacophony of the office fade from your consciousness, imagine for a moment that you are in another place. I  think I’ll practice this often for the next month.

I got another set of slipcovers from Sears – but they were horrible so they are going back and I’ve ordered 2 more sets. One of these next sets better be right otherwise I'm not sure what I'll do. I wish they had swatches of the fabrics at their catalogue outlets as that would save a lot of back and forth.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friends Leaving

Cato & Bailey
We have another cloudy day today, this time with no sunny breaks. It’s depressing.

Today’s word of the day is dishevelled – marked by disorder or disarray – it very accurately describes my hair when I get out of bed. Also describes my brain when I’m tired, like today.

We had a lovely visit with Ruth and John. Spike was excited to have friends over – Kabira less so. She’s very insecure and worried about the other dogs – she was staring to come around though. I think she’d need a few days before she’d be totally comfortable. Unfortunately we don’t see them often enough for the visits to carry over for her.

Bella loves any dog that will play with her – and barks in their face to let them know.

Grace, Cato and Bailey were quiet with all the dog commotion. At one point Bailey flew off his perch, right, and I mean right, over Kabira's head – she watched him but made no move to get him – whew. The dogs were really more interested in the food being dropped on the floor than the birds – they are used to Grace. 

Aren't we good dogs!

Carm packing up Bailey for the trip home

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Layers of Clouds

This morning I watched the layers of clouds racing in the sky. There were intermittent flurries with clear patches. The smaller darker clouds were enhanced against the highlight of the larger, lighter snow filled clouds, the darkest clouds were low on the horizon. Sillouted against the sky were small groups of geese, looking anxious to finally get on their way south.
I’m happily awaiting the arrival of Ruth and all the beasts – 2 dogs and 2 parrots. It will be a houseful! Everyone gets along well and its fun for the dogs and Grace to have friends come over. Luckily they are all good dogs so it won’t be frenetic! Carm and John will be along later as they are at Golf-o-Max for a fun afternoon of pseudo-golf.

I’ll have photos of the visit tomorrow.

Dogs sleeping late yesterday afternoon

Friday, November 26, 2010

Not A Frenetic Friday

This morning dawned as a dark and dreary day, not only that, but the trees, roads and everything else outside was covered with ice. This is the 2nd morning of freezing rain this winter – it doesn’t bode well. Mid morning I glanced outside to see the sun sparkling off water and ice. I ran outside with my camera to capture a few images. That was my idle pleasure today – a little interlude outside. It’s a good thing I didn’t hold off as the clouds once again gathered in the sky, obscuring the sun.

photo from the fall

I've seen huge flocks of Canada Geese today - the weather must be warning them that its time to finally head south. They head down in waves starting in October - these must be the last to leave - a sure sign of winter's arrival.

Oh oh - today's merriam-webster word of the day - Frenetic (frenzied or frantic) - perfectly describes me when I’m at my most manic. 

I’m rushing (not frenetically!) around the house today getting ready for overnight company tomorrow. We are happy to have Ruth and John, and all their beasts come for a visit – it’s been far too long since the last one. First thing on the agenda – wash the spare room sheets. One would think that would be a simple task – but no. That bedroom became a dumping ground for all the bedding, dog blankets, sewing stuff, etc. that had been in my office. So I just shifted it back to the office! Easy peasy. It’s bad when tidying just means shifting the piles from one temporary spot to another. High up on my list of things to do is to organize a (mouse proof) spot in the basement for all this extra linen.

And to make today an especially nice Friday, my friend Christina came over for tea. One of the things I'm most looking forward to (other than not having to get out of bed at 5am) is having more time for friends.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Be Thankful

This is what it looks like just down the road
Driving home tonight I was struck by the devastation that local developers are doing to our area. A large wooded area, not too far from our house, has been cleared of trees to make way for more houses. It’s an ugly sight with mounds of earth and roots and broken trees – nothing living left. I reminds me of the scenes in Lord of the Rings where Saruman’s orcs are laying waste to the Shire. Progress is so ugly. We are now only about 1 ½ km from the edge of the village and there is still a buffer of farmland around us, but I wonder how long that is going to last. Encroachment will be a good reason to hit the road!

This is what it looks like in the movie

I like today’s word of the day - risible \RIZZ-uh-bul\ - an adjective meaning capable of laughing (that's me); disposed to laugh (me again); arousing or provoking laughter; especially: laughable (me again); and finally associated with, relating to, or used in laughter. Laughter is an important part of my day and I try to get my fix somehow, even if it means resorting to watching a silly tv program. I’m not crazy about being laughable, but if it means that everyone gets a good laugh, then I guess its okay. (I think this blog is risible – you choose the meaning!). I’d love to be really witty but I don’t think fast enough. I wonder if being funny is something you can learn to do or do you have to be born that way?

I ran into an old colleague today – as we walked down the hall he was whingeing on and on about all the meetings he had to go to today – as he spoke, my smile got wider and wider, in fact I almost laughed outloud –I will be OUTTA HERE in 35 days – the whole conversation was risible ;-).

I’d like to share another poem with you. This one comes from bp Magazine, http://www.bphope.ca/. It seems that I have a lot to be thankful for!

Be Thankful
(author unknown)
Be thankful that you don't already have
everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Oh yeah - I changed the background to a touched up photo of our hay field. Does it take too long to load? Do you like it or do you think the old one was better?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

For this new morning with its light

Welcome to Donna, aka Froggi. I followed her adventures when she starting to full-time on the Woman’s RV list several years ago. It’s great to see where she’s at now. I so admire woman that don’t just wither away after a divorce or death. You give me strength, even though I’m still lucky enough to have my spouse alive and well, as I’m not so sure I’d be as strong.

Tonight after work was the first time this winter (there - I said it - winter) my nose got cold when walking to the car to meet Carm…

Instead of an Idle Pleasure today I’d like to share a poem with you (or is reading poetry an idle pleasure?). I subscribe to a site, http://www.inspirationpeak.com/, which periodically sends an email with an inspirational quote, poem or prayer, some I sit and ponder, while others don’t touch me. I liked today’s prayer as it gives thanks for things that I am also thankful for.

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
For tender grass so fresh and sweet,
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

Last night on the “Rick Mercer Report”, http://www.rickmercer.com/, Rick visited a Skid School for Transports. He learned how to control a big transport truck in dangerous conditions. I would love to take this course with our RV! Well, maybe not our camper but one that wouldn’t matter if I wrecked… I’ve driven our previous, slightly smaller camper a few times but haven’t yet driven our current one. It would be great to learn (from a professional – sorry Carm), the proper way to take corners and curves, how to keep control in slippery conditions and what to do in a skid. Hands-on would be best.

On one of the blogs I read, Andy was asking for help naming his new RV. I’ve tried naming ours a few times, (Ivy – Italian Villa; Vow – Villa on wheels), but nothing has really stuck. “Camper” is the word call it (her?), it’s a word that sounds comfortable to me. But somehow a name seems appropriate; it’s such an intimate space, a tiny little home. Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Into the Teens!

Yup, that’s right – 18 more working days, 37 calendar days. Today I felt a thrill of excitement as I told a few people. There’s so little time left!!!!

Welcome to my new follower “Me and My Dog”. She’s in the planning stages of going full-time in an RV with her little dog. She’s brave to be doing it alone!   Welcome also to Andy. He’s renovating an older class A with the aim to also full-time. Looks like he’s got his work set out for him but he’s got a great sense of humour which will surely help him to get there. And another welcome - this time to Dawn and Denise – who are also getting ready to full-time. The idea of selling everything, having no real commitments and hitting the road is a dream for many. This dream is flitting around the outskirts of my consciousness but hasn’t really crystallized. Check out their blogs in my blog list.

Today’s high is 14C! Its November 23rd - how crazy is that? Today at lunch I went for a short walk down Wellington St. and then back on Sparks St. It felt warm; the sun was just coming out after a day of rain and was highlighting some of the architectural features above street level. I stopped and stood there for a minute or two, taking in the workmanship and noticing how the light struck the surfaces (and I took a couple of photos). So often I just rush down the street and fail to notice my surroundings. I’m trying to practice being more in the moment so that I don’t live so much in my head. After a lifetime of living there it’s hard to make the change.

I had coffee this morning with two co-workers and their spouses. They were off to the first day of a retirement course. Don is already retired – no matter what’s being discussed the mellow demeanour stays. The others seemed slightly anxious and a bit stressed.  I’m somewhere in the middle – the stressed feeling most likely won’t leave until after my last day of work and I suspect the mellowness will be soon to follow.

The merriam-webster.com word of the day is “venerate”. It means to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference; or; to honour (as an icon or a relic) with a ritual act of devotion. "Venerate" implies a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of character, association, or age. After thinking about it all day I decided that this is not a word that I can use in the context of my own life – can you?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I’ve NOT Got it All Covered

My idle pleasure today was enjoying time spent staring at a photo of Presquile on my office wall and day dreaming about our trip there this past summer. It was taken just after a brief rain shower – it had been overcast and raining when suddenly the sun was shining with the brightness and beauty which is only seen after the darkness of a storm. If I concentrate and don’t allow the noise of the office to intrude I can almost recapture the feeling of being there.

Freezing rain then high of 9 –the drive to work during bad weather will be one of the things I will not miss when we are no longer working. I get stressed but try (TRY) not to let it show. However, “Should we be going this fast” is sure to be blurted out at least once as we drive and there are probably indents in the armrest. What pleasure it will be to stay in bed until daybreak (or later), and then watch the weather from the comfort of home.

I spent some time this weekend wondering about what I’m going to DO when I have day after endless day in front of me. I didn’t have much to do this weekend since the only project on the go are the pillow cushions and I don’t have the piping filler to at least start making piping (and I’m not in the right mental state anyway). I don’t have a particular folk-art painting project in mind yet. The house painting was too a big job. I wasn’t exactly bored cause I do have the recipe project, but I wasn’t really engaged either. I felt at loose ends – a feeling that I think I’ll be getting familiar with. I’ve started a list of topics that I may want to write about and I’ll also start a list of things that I could be doing.

What do other people do to fill the time and engage their minds? It’s terrible to be worried about this before I’m even retired!

Tonight we picked up the wing chair slipcovers that I ordered from Sears. I ordered 2 models, both in dreaded beige, but I figured that was less tricky than trying to match yet another green. Well – I was wrong. If only they had been beige, instead of the dark tan that they ended up being. I’ll take them back and try others.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pears and Peppers

Today’s idle pleasure is the pleasure one gets from eating a perfume-y sweet, juicy perfectly ripe pear.   This is always a pleasure, no matter the setting. No other fruit quite compares to the loveliness of a pear. I like them plain, on toasted baguette with a drizzle of honey and lemon, the variations are endless.

Cold again today – high of –3C, burr! At least it was mostly sunny.

Spike asleep beside me in the office
Banking day today. How did we ever live without Internet banking? How much time was wasted standing in line at the bank? How much time was spent entering individual transactions into Quicken by hand? Today I connected to the bank and in a flash all the credit card transactions were downloaded. I spent a few more minutes to verify the categories and voila – finished. Now I can check the numbers against our budget and see where we stand. I spent some time this fall creating what I hope is a realistic post retirement budget. I wanted agreed-upon allocations so that Carm doesn’t freak out when I want to buy a new pair of socks…  Having a tool like Quicken makes this management a breeze.

Today’s recipe is a Red pepper garlic soup. I’d never made it before, but since I had some red peppers that needed using up I searched my recipe books for something. It turned out great despite using too many hot pepper flakes.  I don’t normally make soups but Carm loves them so I’ll try make them more often. At work I often go out for lunch, weekends I rarely have anything – but then I’m starving at 5pm – I’ll have to dye my hair to qualify for the blue-hair specials!

What routine will we settle into in retirement? Eating lunch is probably a good idea. A regular routine is really important for keeping off the bipolar roller coaster – I’d better make sure it’s a healthy one! 

I scoured the same book for recipes that will work for camping.  I found 12! Entering them into BigOven will keep me occupied for a while!

Here's some of the recipes (over 1/2 way done!):
   Red Pepper and Feta Spread
   Jalapeno-Cheese Corn Bread
   Lentil and Pancetta Antipasto
   Penne with Roasted Eggplant and Wild Mushrooms
   Faheem's Beef and Tomato Curry
   Indian-style Sauteed Potatoes
   Louisiana Pecan Rice
   Spanish Green Beans


Today was Spike’s turn to be ganged up on

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Vanilla Day

Today’s word of the day at merriam-webster.com is Vanilla. It has two main meanings, ordinary, which today was, and of course it’s also a noun for a flavoring.  The smell of vanilla evokes feelings of comfort for me. My favourite perfume is vanilla – I love smelling like a warm cookie!  I’ll have to make something vanilla this weekend – maybe my Mom’s Golden Glow cake. Or maybe I’ll try something new – it’s a good excuse to drag out some recipe books.

The weather today was a real mixed bag – sometimes overcast and other times bright sun. Its cold though, only -3C. I think it’s our first full day below freezing

The idle pleasure today is not idle at all (although there were plenty of idle ones as well). It’s the pleasure you get from admiring a job completed. These are perhaps the most satisfying pleasures of all. Today I finished off the kitchen curtains – they look great and really finish off the look of the kitchen. Not a meaningful accomplishment, but pleasurable all the same.

I started work on the throw cushions today. Got one done and decided that’s enough for now. I did a terrible job and know its because I’m a bit manic – I mean really – who doesn’t take the time to pin! I’ve still got enough good sense to know to wait to do the rest. The one I screwed up had my favourite fabric, one that I can never get again (it was an Ebay find a few years ago). If I wait till January I’ll be more likely combine fabric in interesting ways and also to add finishing details like piping. 

The recipe for today is one I made up: steamed green beans sautéed with a bit of bacon and garlic and tossed with some pasta and goat cheese. Yummy, easy and a good serving of vegetables! We buy the green beans from Costco so they are already washed and just get cooked in the bag. It couldn’t be easier.

Took the dogs out this afternoon while the sun was still shining – it was cold but the sun was nice. As usual Bella and Spike harassed Kabira. She’s so patient and just stands there while Bella barks at her and Spike chews her ear.
Finally she made an escape and lead the pack through the hayfield gate… at top speed… its scary to watch as they just miss the post…

... and run all the way up to the front door, where they continue their harassment!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The weather today was cloudy, cold and windy – high of only 3C. Friday’s forecast has changed from sunny and not too cold, to cloudy with flurries – YUCK!  Winter seems like it’s just around the corner. I hope the snow holds off until Christmas time.  I was hoping for Friday’s sun to get me motivated to wash the walls in the front hall in preparation for painting. Thoughts of snow-birding have taken over my daydreams. Wouldn't it be wonderful to pack up the family into the camper and head south for the winter. 

Todays idle pleasure – signing my resignation.

Today was the day. My official resignation has been tendered – the documents signed and the letter sent out. Finally. Despite HR.  I’ve been afraid to get excited or even think about it very much just in case it doesn’t happen, but now I think I can start believing.  Does it seem more real today than yesterday? Perhaps. But it still seems a bit surreal, in some ways even more so than before.  Only 42 calendar days to go now (which also means that Christmas is even closer - gotta get cracking!).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Goodbye Velvety Soft Nose

6 weeks of work left (21 working days)

Idle Pleasure #3 - Stroking a pony’s velvety soft nose.  I don’t think there is anything softer. Put your cheek right against her nose and breathe in the sweet pony smell – Bliss – the cares of the world just disappear.  I miss that.

Weather today was cold and rainy which is a change from the several days of sun that we’ve had. Better than snow! On this day in 2002 we had 15 cm of snow fall.


We said good-bye to our last horse today – figuratively speaking anyway – Britt left our property 5 years ago.  Today we signed the papers and transferred the ownership to TROtt, the therapeutic riding centre in Ottawa that she’s been residing at. She’s always been my fall-back in case I decide to get back into horses but I now know it’s just not realistic. There are too many reasons, both health and lifestyle for it ever to happen. It’s a big step to take, a door to close.

Having horses, especially Norwegian Fjord horses, was a life long dream that I thought I’d never be able to realize. I kept it in my sights and planned and hoped and I was lucky enough to live it. How blessed am I to both have a dream and live it as well? How many people don’t even have the joy of having a dream? Sometimes its what keeps you going.

We started with 1 crazy Norwegian Fjord horse who taught me a lot, and also sent me to the emergency room! From Frey we moved on to Dora, an older, “been there – done that” Fjord mare – perfect for getting my confidence back. 

In 1999 we decided to breed her to Felix, a local stallion. He’s a fantastic, evaluated stallion that we thought would be a perfect match with Dora. It was and the outcome was Uvaer, a stunning example of the breed born in April 2000. When that first foal was born into my lap I was hooked. What a magical experience to be there for the first breath of life! It was such fun watching him discover the world. There was no question – we were going to become breeders.

Dora and Uvaer

We purchased our next mare, Viktoria, that May, and Britt a bit later in the summer, 4 more mares were purchased over the next few years. Britt was almost 2 when we got her, still growing into her body – gawky and silly but totally laid back, nothing fazed her or got her upset. She was very much a people horse, we bonded right away. I learned to long-line using her, I was the first person on her back, she had a lovely foal (Birgitta), and then I got sick. We found a temporary place for her at TROtt – just until I got better. And here we are now – she’s the last to go. All the others found homes with the last one leaving the property 2 years ago – but I still had Britt in reserve.  Till now.  Goodbye sweet pony.

First ride on Britt

Britt with her foal Birgitta

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chasing My Tail

24 working days till retirement. As it gets closer it seems more surreal - what is life going to be like without doing the "going to work" routine everyday? The other day when he was in the shower, Carm said "I wonder if I'll shave everyday?". It seems like a silly question - after all who really cares - but it struck me as representative of all the questions I have about our future.

Entry #1 for the Pursuit of Idle Pleasures - Chasing your tail!  I love watching Spike when he sometimes - chases his tail - it’s the quintessential just being silly cause you can! His eyes just shine with happiness and excitement for being alive. When I jump around dancing to the music its that same sort of feeling - I'm SILLY, I'm ALIVE! Its not such an Idle pleasure, but its not producing anything of use so it counts for me.

The not so idle pleasures in the last week have been painting. From pink to green the transformation in the living room and kitchen is complete. What a difference. I wondered how long it would take me to get used to the green - after all the pink has been there for 16 years and I liked it - but as soon as it was done I LOVED it :-)  It’s a nice fresh look, crisp against the white trim and cupboards. It feels like sitting under a lightly shaded tree on a sunny summer day - exactly what I was hoping for! We used "Silver Leaf" (a mid sage/moss green) on the walls, with Sea Cliff (blue) on the bit below the window seat as well as a wall in the front hall. Who comes up with those names? The two look great together and really bring all the new fabrics together (now to get sewing).

Next on the painting list - the front hall. The blue looks HORRIBLE against the pink - just the motivation we need to move on with the project. Its colour is still a toss-up - the same green as the living room, or a coordinating light blue.

Thanks to Tammy for helping me to pick out the paints and fabric - I can't wait for you to see it.

During her visit in late October Tammy helped me to test the colour

In all that activity we did take a few minutes to remember our soldiers on Rememberance Day. How lucky we are to have had so many selfless souls looking out for our freedom. In Flanders Fields…  We were lucky enough to have the F18s (? someone correct me if I have the wrong planes) fly over our house. They always bring tears to my eyes - I think because I spent some of my formative years at an airforce base and they are a reminder of something - I'm not sure what. Or maybe everyone feels that way when they see and hear the planes overhead?

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Primer for Phase 2

White - nice clean, fresh white. That's what the livingroom and kitchen are now, primed and ready for phase 2. The transition colour between the pink that is and the green to come. Sort of like me - I'm in transition from the working life to the free life - I've mentally left the job, just waiting for the physical leaving! The change to our house has become a reflection of the new beginning in my own life. From pink to white. And then to green.

storm before the calm!

I've been thinking about starting the sewing. I'm not sure how I will match up the fabrics for the cushions yet but they do need to be mixed. Rectangles with 3 stripes of fabric, maybe some with 2 triangles.  Mom, Tammy, and Carole helped me pick out the first bunch of fabric. Then I remembered another one I had purchased few years ago - it was a perfect match and really blends them all. Then I found out I didn't have enough fabric to do the kitchen windows - back to the fabric store and found another perfect fabric. Its blue checks with a green/gold thread running through - I love it and it looks great with it all. I bought enough to do some chair cushions and use it in bits and pieces. Then I dragged out an old slipcover that I hoped to use on the loveseat. Wouldn't you know it, another perfect match! It seems the universe wants us to be green ;-)

Its been good having the house decoration as a distraction from the sadness of RV season over (oh how I miss heading out for a few days) as well as the excitement of upcoming retirement. There's only 27 working days left! I can hardly bear to think about it - it seems so long (as in how will I drag myself through another stupid day) but is so SOON! Its really best not to think about it.

We've already put our names in for a spot at the Titanium Rally at the end of May and are thinking about the one in Sault St. Marie in August, September I'd like to camp at Rouge River campground in Toronto so we can take in the zoo. Sometime in there we have to fit a few weeks at Presquille (aka heaven) and of course there's Jennifer's wedding. Carms got plans for us to rebuild the back deck, and there's some landscaping to do. Its already shaping up to be a "busy" (ha!) summer.  Next year I'd really like to plan a trip in the RV out to BC with a couple of weeks spent camping in southern Alberta or Saskatchewan.

What I'm cooking:
I plan on going through my recipe books this winter and compiling a bunch of recipes to use camping. I'll try them out and see if they are good and if so, enter them into my BigOven software (purchased from the internet). Then I'll have a good "recipe book" to take along on camping trips. I also plan to cook at least one other new recipe every week or better still more often. I'll aim for mostly low fat, vegetable rich recipes that will help us to shed our extra pounds.

I saw a recipe on the food channel that sounded interesting "Anna Olson's Flatbread with fresh coriander". It was okay (Carm liked it) but somewhat heavy, turns out my baking powder was no good so I'll have to try the recipe again - it should be better. And I'll try it with Anise seed for a different flavour. I think garlic and calamata olives would be good too. This is a recipe that I can do while camping as the bread can be cooked over the grill.

What I'm reading:
 "The Perfection of the Morning" by Sharon Butala.

I read it in 1995 and really enjoyed it then. I'm enjoying it this time as well but there are parts that don't sit as comfortably - that seem strange and somewhat alien. She talks a lot about being a woman which is something I've never really thought about. Is my essense so much different from a man's? I don't have a lot of close woman friends so perhaps I'd experience this more if I were around woman more?  I'll have to give this some thought. I do love how she talks about the prairie and live in Nature. I too feel a connection to Nature when I'm in the prairie. I live in Eastern Ontario and rarely get out to southern Alberta or Saskatchewan. I miss it sometimes like I'm missing a piece of myself. When I leave from there its like a part of me is being ripped out. I feel such a connection to the land there. I get glimmers of it here but never the same gut wrenching, soul encompassing connection.

Beautiful sunset and rainbow - a perfect Idle Pleasure!