Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On the drivers of pink cars....

This is an extension of an earlier post that has had a few "clicks" lately. I was following someone who was using the letters of the alphabet to create posts using 3 words that begin with that letter. This post was for the letter "X." I have extended the post with a fictional account of the owner.

I may suffer from Xenophobia and don't know it - but I don't think so. I remember the first time I had to transfer money into someone's bank account in South Korea for an order of shell buttons. I transferred an amount that I felt I could just "lose" in the leap to do some importing.  Well, when the buttons didn't arrive, I was a little dismayed.  I e-mailed the person and suggested that I would have to get in touch with the Canadian Trade Commission to track him down and get my buttons!!  The next day a Fedex truck pulled up in front of my house and lo and behold there were my buttons - now it cost me - a Fedex shipment from halfway around the world is not cheap - but it worked out.

I regularly transfer money into a bank account in Nepal for my silk yarns and fibre.  I didn't know the person from Adam, at the time. However, we are now linked on FaceBook!

I am in another one of those situations, however, it is in Canada; but the firm has to do a special order for me and I have to place the order, sight unseen, and hope that it is something that will work out. I just have to decide on the amount of money I am willing to lose in the plunge.

There are few guarantees in life. We can try to hedge our bets and cover off some of the more obvious risks - but in the end it all comes down to a leap without a parachute or safety net - Geronimo!!

I didn't use an "X" yesterday; but I thought a lot about the sign. I realized that in a few weeks an entire nation will decide their future with a collective "X." Scary when you think about it!!

Looking beneath the surface (X-ray) begins by connecting with the surface. I like to think that my camera is my X-ray equipment.  I try to find the meaning of "things" in compositions, in faces, in nature and anything else I may find of interest.

Such as this old pink car that I see regularly at the market. It is driven by a women in her 70's and I am very curious as to why it is pink. It is the same type of car (Checkers) that is used by taxi drivers in NY - theirs are yellow, though, not pink. Also, it's in relatively good condition, given its 30 odd years of service.  There's a story here. A good reporter would tell us!!

 "Now I can imagine, since I have seen her emerge from the car on one occasion, that she was very beautiful at one time. She has retained her slim figure, but the glow of her skin has faded. Her hair has thinned and that once effortless walk, is now more awkward. I she may have been an executive for a cosmetic company, where image is everything. What of her image now, maybe it's just the car - striking in shape and colour, though a little worn.

She still drives and gets out every Saturday morning to the organic market. Maybe the cosmetics she once wore were laced with chemicals and she is now paying the price. I wonder, whom she feeds at home, with this purest of pure bounty. Does she care for an ageing partner, or does she live alone. I wonder too, if she has children or friends.

But, why has she kept the car? Was it a gift? Who gives a beautiful woman a gift of a pink taxi cab? Perhaps there is no money now for a new one. Then again, if everything she ever was, is summed up in that car, why would she ever part with it?"

Have a colourful day!!

National Magic Day

Really I have it from a reliable internet source, that yesterday was National Magic day.  Maybe the main magic of the day was that the storm, although fierce, was controlled and although lives were lost, many were saved. Many people prayed for each other and sent powerful messages of hope through the ether.

We had power outages and trees down. But we managed to find both our candles, partly because we had some of them out for the pumpkins tonight...and our matches. Blessed are they that Bar-B-Que for they shall always have matches!!

Candles, like prayers, have a magic all their own.

Just a short post today. Some people actually have something called wordless Wednesday, where they just post a picture and no comment. Blessed are they that can hold their thoughts and tongues (or keyboards) for a day - this is another kind of magic.  It needs a lot of practice, though and I am not there yet!!

Have a magical day!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Magic Day.....

Today is National Magic Day and my son said that yesterday was National Cat Day. Here's a link to's cat pictures shared by staff.  I found out a little late that October 29 was that important. I always thought that it was just memorable because it commemorated the great stock market crash of 1929. It will now also be remembered for hurricane Sandy's destruction.

And for those who may have forgotten Hurricane Hazel hit Toronto on October 15, 1954.

October is a fearsome month!!!

Zack my kitchen counter cat agrees. I'll post at the end of the day to see what magic has occurred. Actually I have already seen a bit of blue sky.  Should be a good day!!

Have an awesome one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

7 ways to elevate/alleviate a rainy day!!!

Yesterday it rained - all day and today it's still raining and it is forecast to rain until Thursday. Well yesterday I moped around until about 3:00pm because I couldn't get out - I know I could, but I would get wet and I'm a whimp!!

Finally, I decided that I really had to make use of the time indoors and get a few things done!! I decided that I could -

1. Clean out the cutlery drawer.  Mine always looks a little disgusting with bits and pieces just chucked in, to get them out of the way - elastic bands, left-over wine labels from when we used to make wine, 4 or 5 bottle openers, several can openers, that don't really work and lots of toothpicks and skewers - not sure why - but they were there. Oh and did I mention the crumbs - maybe better left unsaid :)

I now feel very pure in the cutlery department!!

2. Clean out the spice cupboard. Finally after 30 years, I decided to throw out baby food jars that I had used to store things like whole nutmegs - I had 1 and a half left. Whole cardamon pods - 3 left. Star Anise - 6. Several ground powders that had lost their labels and their aromas, so I didn't know what they were anymore!! I kept a whole jar of poppy seeds - time to make something with poppy seeds!!

Definitely fresher in the spice department!!!

3. Attempt to tidy another cupboard. Over the years the kids would go shopping every once in while with their dad and the grocery bills would spike!! Apparently we needed a large box of ice cream cones - it's virtually full and still at the back of the cupboard. Several plastic jars full of juice crystals also almost unused. Plus soy peanut butter, Nutella, flavoured coffees, teas etc.....the list goes on, of treats recommended by friends, TV, the internet... that they just had to have and ended up abandoning just a quickly. Now Murphy's Law says that if I throw them out, the kids will want them the next day. This is why they have stayed as long as they have!!

Well the cupboard is tidier - maybe not quite as purged as I would have liked - but definitely better!!

4. Carve pumpkins. Of course you have to hollow out the pumpkins first. Then you have to clean up the mess afterwards. It's certainly easier to do outside; but not in the rain and I know that you can only do this on rainy days around Hallowe'en. OK I watched my son carve this one!!

5. Find homes for several, OK many, homeless objects that sleep in the halls all night and all day for that matter. Such as 2 Targus backpacks bought when I first bought the kids laptops to take on holidays with us. (Both the kids and the laptops) They needed to be strong because the computers weighted a ton. A jogging (read walking) belt from the Running Room with places for plastic water bottles. Sadly there was no place for a small camera, so it sits by the door waiting to get another pocket on it to house my Canon Powershot. Overnight bag from the Woodstock festival show. Really they need to invent self-emptying bags and cases - just sayin' :)  This is just the first landing. I will not even attempt the second landing unless there's a hurricane !!

6. Go with a friend for coffee and a pastry. Just getting out helps even if you do get a little wet.

7. Make rainy day food - soup, stew, pot roast.....I made a pot roast for tomorrow!!

Just a few more wet ones before the sun shines!!! I need to work on some "dry" humour to get through it?

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Zest, Zealous & Zephyr

Maybe one of my focusing words yesterday also should have been "Zen," then I would have accepted the day for what it was and found something positive in it. Well in spite of the cold and the grey, I was able to get out to pick up something very zesty for lunch at one of my favourite restaurants - "Jules." They do wonderful French pastries, quiches, baguette sandwiches and more.  I always get their lentil salad.  It's delicious.

In fact I shouldn't complain at all. If I am bored with Jules, I can always get a wonderful baguette with Brie, avocado and tomato at Thobor's which is about 5 doors down the street.  In fact, in very short walking distance I have about 5 cafes that do take out or eat in lunches, rain or shine. Dieting is difficult!!

I have been zealously working on new products, a new website and getting orders out. - Lots to do.

As part of work on a new product, I have to re-photograph some of my lace scarves done in Zephyr. Zephyr is the god of the west wind in Greek Mythology. I have mistakenly suggested in other posts that Zephyr was god of the south wind. Either way (the wind blows) it is a warm gentle wind that lends its name to a beautiful lace weight yarn in a wonderful spectrum of colours.

Above is Stream Scarf in Aegean Blue. This was a fun blogging exercise.  I'm sure that I'll continue to focus on concepts daily and maybe even post a few. There are so many words I'd like to use.  Here is one I didn't - "Zeitgeist"  and here is a website that looks interesting - Zeitgeist - Canada.

Have a great day.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Yang, Yin and Yen

"Yang" was one of my focusing words yesterday.  In Chinese philosophy it is the active principle of the universe, characterized as heaven, male, light and penetrating. Well the weather yesterday may have been all that and more. The high yesterday was about 25C and for late October it was amazing!! I did a 2 mile walk to the bank and back, just to savour the day!!

My other focusing word was "Yin." Also from Chinese philosophy, it is the passive principle of the universe, characterized as earth, female, dark and absorbing. My actual work place is a little like this. It is lower level space with no windows, it involves knitting - strongly female and although it isn't dark, it can be a little uninspiring and definitely very absorbing.

Although the Earth has many positive features.  It has angst.  I think that I like "Yang" better!! In truth I guess we spend our lives trying to balance the Yin and the Yang. As we struggle for heaven or enlightenment, we are pulled back by our earth bound limitations.

My "Yen" yesterday was a bagel with cream cheese from What-A-Bagel next door to my bank. Sigh, I guess,  I'll never reach "Yang" heaven when I am so consumed by "Yin's" earthly delights.... and the sour cream was "laced" with dill!!

Today ends my alphabet focusing. I have enjoyed this blog challenge. I am openly soliciting words for focusing.  I'd like to continue. So far I have chosen the words. If others suggest them, it's a chance to move out of my comfort zone.  Please post - any word starting with any letter or start again with "A"!!

Today is a "Z" day.  I plan to focus on "Zest," "Zeal" and "Zephyr."

Have a zealous day!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Xenophobia and Pink Cars 2

I may suffer from Xenophobia and don't know it - but I don't think so. I remember the first time I had to transfer money into someone's bank account in South Korea for an order of shell buttons. I transferred an amount that I felt I could just "lose" in the leap to do some importing.  Well, when the buttons didn't arrive, I was a little dismayed.  I e-mailed the person and suggested that I would have to get in touch with the Canadian Trade Commission to track him down and get my buttons!!  The next day a Fedex truck pulled up in front of my house and lo and behold there were my buttons - now it cost me - a Fedex shipment from halfway around the world is not cheap - but it worked out.

I regularly transfer money into a bank account in Nepal for my silk yarns and fibre.  I didn't know the person from Adam, at the time. However, we are now linked on FaceBook!

I am in another one of those situations, however, it is in Canada; but the firm has to do a special order for me and I have to place the order, sight unseen, and hope that it is something that will work out. I just have to decide on the amount of money I am willing to lose in the plunge.

There are few guarantees in life. We can try to hedge our bets and cover off some of the more obvious risks - but in the end it all comes down to a leap without a parachute or safety net - Geronimo!!

I didn't use an "X" yesterday; but I thought a lot about the sign. I realized that in a few weeks an entire nation will decide their future with a collective "X." Scary when you think about it!!

Looking beneath the surface (X-ray) begins by connecting with the surface. I like to think that my camera is my X-ray equipment.  I try to find the meaning of "things" in compositions, in faces, in nature and anything else I may find of interest.

Such as this old pink car that I see regularly at the market. It is driven by a women in her 70's and I am very curious as to why it is pink. It is the same type of car (Checkers) that is used by taxi drivers in NY - theirs are yellow, though, not pink. Also, it's in relatively good condition, given its 30 odd years of service.  There's a story here. A good reporter would tell us!!

Today is a "Y" day. How about "yang," "yin," and "yen."

Have a fantastic day!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


"W's" are interesting characters. They look like 2 "V's" merged. Does that mean that they are twice as emphatic as "V's"? The Latin alphabet had no "W's." So I guess in a sense they are hybrids. However, classical Latin, not church Latin, pronounced all the "V's" as "W's" - as in Weni, Widi, Wicti, which is actually spelled, Veni, Vidi, Victi - I came, I saw and I might have conquered had it not been for the confusion!! "W" may be one of the most mis-understood letters in the alphabet!!

My "W" words for focusing yesterday were wisdom, wish and wonderful.  In the business department things had been a little slow so I was wishing that sales would pick up. You know what they say, "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it."  Well I was literally "run off my feet, yesterday."  Thank you everyone for a very busy day - it was wonderful!!

Now "wisdom" I believe comes with age and maturity. I know that some children are just born "wise" and some adults never mature. Then again there is that old saying - "Fools rush in where wisemen fear to tread." I think that if we were all very wise - nothing new would be created, nothing ventured, nothing gained and no one would be there to "Just do it!!"

A little wisdom might help us along the way; but too much might prevent us from setting out at all. The picture is my youngest, possibly contemplating the next step. We need more people who are not afraid to leap!!

Today is an "X" day.  X may not begin many words but it is a great communicator. I think that I will focus on "Xenophobia" - fear of the unknown, "X" and all its related communication, as in that which is forbidden, discovered, agreed to, excluded..... and "X-ray" as in seeing beneath the surface. Should be a fun day.

Have a wish filled day!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Marvelous Monday

Monday itself might have been the "victorious" in my focusing exercise. It was a glorious day 18 degrees C, sunny, full of Fall colours.  I just soaked it up.

It was a vivacious "in your face" kind of day and I didn't mind at all!!

My daughter called too with her "victory." She has a placement in Toronto for her teaching practicum until Christmas. It is at the only all girl's high school in the Toronto public board.  I had no idea that there was such a thing. I think that it must fall under the heading "alternate" school. Anyway, it's right up her alley, given that she took her last year of HS at an alternative school - City School.

Go figure, I spent my 5 years of HS trekking from my home in Etobicoke to my all's girls HS half way across the city!!  I vowed that my kids wouldn't have to do that so we bought a house half a block from one of the most popular HS's in the city. The kids could virtually roll out of bed and roll into their first class. It sort of worked for the eldest. My daughter left in her last year to trek half way across the city to an alternate school and we ended up sending the youngest to a private school that was a fair drive away and I drove!

Life is a journey. You can't make it any easier on someone, if they want to experience all the ups and down themselves.  It is a vital part of the 'hike."

I was hoping to post more focusing words from the blog that I'm following - but maybe he has taken a break.

So today is a "W" day. How about "Wisdom," "Wish," and "Wonderful." I may have to really work at this, because it's raining again today.

Have a wonderful day!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunny Sunday

Today made up for yesterday.  It was a beautiful sunny day, almost warm, with a breeze. People were in shirt sleeves or light jackets. There was no need to bundle up.  It was an unfettered day.

We were not constrained by time either. We didn't have to be here or there by this hour or that so we could just go out and explore. I had read about a ravine trail that we hadn't walked before and we had no idea how long it would take us but we decided to set out anyway. In effect we ended up walking south from the Brickworks to Riverdale Farm, through several ravines and back again. It took us about two hours, but it was fun!! Here is what we saw -

Wedding pictures being taken. It was a little tricky skirting around this bride's train. But it was her day, so the endless gaggle of back backers, bikes, dogs and kids tiptoed past - an interesting diversion.

Dogs in Hallowe'en costumes.  Here is one dressed like a devil. This seems to be the latest trend - maybe just an urban "thing" - very unique anyway.

This is a bridge over the Rosedale Valley Rd. where we emerged from one path to connect with another. Deep in the forested trails, you can forget about the traffic.

Finally the gates to the Necropolis cemetery next to Riverdale Farm. I often feel like a tourist in Toronto. From quirky urbane trends to unfettered country walks - it's a very unique city.

Today is a "V" day. How about "vivacious," "victorious," and "vital." All of this on a Monday - hope I'm up for it!!

Have a vivacious day!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Soggy Saturday

Rain is tangible. Very wet leotards clinging to sodden thighs is tangible.  I feel as though I am about to write a Gothic novella or something; but then I realized that I used the word "leotard." Nobody uses that word anymore, unless you're a member of the National Ballet and even then maybe not.

So yesterday's tangible was rain. Actually it was only the merest drizzle when we started out for our walk and we decided that we could be in Scotland, where this type of day happens almost daily and that we should just get over it and keep walking. We didn't take umbrellas because I broke our last $3.00 umbrella on Wednesday when it wouldn't open. I really hate umbrellas anyway, even when they do work.  They take up a hand and you still get fairly wet, if you're walking for an hour or so anyway.

Well no sooner had we made our resolve to walk in spite of the weather, when it poured. I gave up -   came home, changed - whimped out again!!

So now what?  Earlier in the day I had re-acquainted myself with housework. It wasn't really a chore because I was using it as an escape from working on my new Wordpress site and given yesterday's WP experience, I was pulling out all the stops - anything was worth doing, if it took time away from WP.

I even went to Ikea - on a Saturday!!!  My excuse was to buy fitted sheets, on their own not part of a package - 2 sheets - 2 pillow cases.  Well, I found a few, but even Ikea has started "bundling" their linens - all the more to sell you!! Actually, Ikea was in full buying mode - tantamount to feeding frenzies in the animal kingdom. As maddening as it was, it was also a little sad.  I realized that for most of these people, this was their weekend entertainment. Then I realized that mine was housework, walking in the rain and/or Wordpress.

Time to get a life!!!

We managed to salvage the end of the day by reading recipes for pot roast (I know - this is a redemption?) which we will make today and cooking up a mess of pasta with fresh clams, which we ate with relish (enthusiasm - not the pickle kind) last night!! And...and... wait for it, I installed the WPEC (Wordpress ecommerce) plugin on my WP template.

A terrific end to a fair to middling day!!  Today is a "U" day. I would like to channel - can I say that? "Unique," "Urbane," "Unfettered."

Above is my equivalent of (tantamount to) a bed of roses - sheets of maple leaves - "unbundled" - free for the asking.  I almost hate to rake them.

Have an Über day - with or without the umlaut !!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

On sanity, sanctity and salience...

Sanctity was one of my focusing words yesterday. Maybe I should have chosen sanity too. I have started to build a website in wordpress. I know that building a blog in WP is easy and that's where it ends!! A website is quite a different matter!!

There was nothing holy about it and by the end of the day with the air completely "blue," I conceded my sanity. But I am back again today, to do the same thing!!

1. First Go-Daddy installed WP on the wrong url. It was a live url and it needed to be either in a subdirectory or on a dormant url. I called again. Fortunately Go-Daddy doesn't use a call centre and uses young (I have to believe handsome) men to "walk" you through "stuff." Well I was told in English  I could understand that I needed to uninstall WP and re-install it on another url. The total time wasted was 1.5 hours - Alas!!

The salient comment, though, from this conversation was, "We'll have to install it on a url you are not using. Do you have a spare url?" Like tires, I have to believe that there are lots of people out there with an extra url or two just hanging around waiting for a rainy day or something. Well, yes, I did have an extra url - I was a little worried because I had just relinquished rights to about 6 or 7 urls to save some money, since I realized that I wasn't ever going to use them  - maybe a little too hasty.

2. I was told that there were "tons" of templates out there and I just had to pick one.  Well I didn't find many free ones and I am determined to work through this from the bare bones.  Ask me again tonight, if I feel the same way :)

3. I chose a template, filled in some blanks, added some pictures and was close to thinking that life was good when I decided to do some "tweaking." You know change the font, centre a heading, align some pictures. I clicked on the heading "style manager" or something like that and was handed a blank box. Apparently, I have to enter the required HTML script to make these changes. And this is just the first page!!

Souciant means concerned, caring, worried about "things." I know that when I fret over problems, my brain feels like an engine chugging up some impossible incline. I understand that this is a good thing. I am starting to "syke" myself up for the day - some engines are flashier than others :)

Today is a "T" day and I think that I will focus on "Terrific," "Tangible," and "Tantamount."

Have a terrific day!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

From here to eternity....

......and back again. The "radical" in yesterday may have been a dinner conversation with our 19-year- old.  It started like this.

Nick (19-year-old), "Serge (a friend) said that there were more moves in Chess than there were electrons on Earth."
Parents, "Really (in unison)."

Nick, "Also did you know that if you took all the chickens on earth and linked them end to end (could be tricky) they would stretch from here to the moon and back again twice."
Parents, "Hmmmm (maybe not quite in unison) and maybe another 'really'."

Nick, (He now had a captive audience.) "And if there were another Earth beyond our galaxy and they had powerful telescopes focused on us, they would now just be seeing dinosaurs and cavemen."
Parents, "This I (we) can believe."

Believe it or not this spawned a long conversation on the popularity of Buffalo chicken wings and restaurants in Toronto in the '60s that served chicken wings and were considered a little radical then.

Radical relativity!!

"Revved" - I have decided to take back my websites - one at a time and use Wordpress as my ecommerce program. I had to be "ready" to make that decision and my frustration with web masters in general finally drove me to it!!

Bring on the learning curves - I'm sure they don't say this in the movies :)

The universe has eyes - get dressed in the dark :)

Today is an "S" day - How about - salient, souciant, and sanctity.....mutter, mutter...and chicken little worried that the sky was falling - glad it was a person and not a chicken that they dropped from almost outer space.

Have a spectacular day!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quantum leaps...

Maybe not so.  I have another blog and website which sits on a back burner, because I have plans for it later.  Well the webmaster that created and hosts the site has never got it right.  Last night I exploded!! The same problems were there again with pdf downloads from the site.  If I could have taken a quantum leap to his office, which is not that far away,  I would have.  I am planning a trip there today. Quantum leaps are sometimes just putting in an amazing amount of effort to get some tiny "thing" done that really should have just fallen into place, but hasn't.

Please post if you have some examples of your own!! urrghh!!

Now, yesterday, I was really focusing on "quantum" and maybe I should have chosen "quest" instead of "query,"  because I didn't ask a lot of questions. Perhaps my mind was asking questions, though,  in my subconscious, because this morning, as I was cruising through postings in my blog challenge group, I came across a post that showed you how to create an e-book and I suddenly realized that I had three books that I started before the internet - was there ever a time? - and maybe I should look at getting them into a format and putting them up somewhere.  They are part of a series entitled "Plant A Story Garden." These books are also part of the reason my garden is so chaotic because I planted just about every plant that was included in the booklets.

Above is Rose of Sharon from "The Biblical Garden."

My third focusing word, Quality, is something that is very elusive and varies with the person. It drove Phaedrus mad in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I failed to see quality in my web master's work yesterday. I think that the quest for quality is on-going.  It happens daily and it never ends.  We have glimpses from time to time of its presence, a good movie, a great product, a job well done.  Well, my glimpse yesterday was a great curry for dinner with quality mango chutney. Quality measured daily in small things may help us counter the general lack of quality out there.

Today will be better!!!  It's a roaring' R day. Radical, Revved and Ready!!  Bring on Thursday - I know they only say this in the movies :)

Have a fabulous day!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kalon is a word...?

Here are some of the focusing words from the blog that I have been following:

J - Jovial, Jacked, Justice
K - Kinetic, Kind, Kalon
L - Light, Laughter, Loving
M & N - do not have a post as yet - or I can't find it.
O - Oneness, Ovation, Orbital

I understand that the term "Jacked" means being pushed to the breaking point.  I guess I need to try a little harder - maybe not so much of the Opulence and more of the Penance :) Kalon also is not in my dictionary, but there are references to it on-line.  It's from the Greek concept of perfection or harmony - everything in its place.  I need to try harder at that one too.

I may be moving in the right direction, though, because I was productive -
Yesterday was a very productive day. Julia was in to help and we got a lot of orders out!!

I kept promises -
I made soup last night and went for routine blood tests that I have been putting off. The truth is they can never find a vein and it always makes me feel as though I'm some sort of alien from a bloodless planet.

And I found potential in a picture I had taken a few months ago and posted it in my photography group. The challenge was windows.  On second thought maybe I am from another planet :) I even turned it into a video hmmmm.

Today is a "Q" day.  The challenge may very well be finding "Q" words to focus on.  At first I thought that "Quixotic" sounded interesting until I realized that it meant "rash"or "impractical." I don't need to focus on the quixotic, it happens to be second nature.  I need to focus on something to counter it.  Perhaps, I should choose "Quantum" - probably the same thing only it sounds calculated :) "Quality" and "Query."

Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October's occult...

Samhain cometh - Oct 31/Nov1. Samhain is the last of the four significant days that mark the changing of the seasons in Celtic Mythology. It marks the end of the lighter half of the year and the beginning of the darker. It is considered a time of great communication with the "otherworld" - the world of the spirits (fairies etc) and the world of the souls who have passed on. I have written about Samhain and the sacred wells of Ireland before. Samhain is also a time of divination and purification.

I have to believe that this is a very creative time of the year for many.

Actually "occult," "October" and "otherworld" were not my 3 focusing words for yesterday.  I really wasn't in a mood to invoke the spirits, just yet. Instead, I chose - opportunity, optimism and opulence - hmmmm. Well I did have an opportunity to have leftovers on a Monday night - who doesn't :) - I also had an opportunity to join a Canadian Fibre Artist's group on Facebook and if you would like the link, just let me know - it seems to have been started by a group in BC and there are a few Alpaca Farms listed, in addition to designers and teachers.

I am optimistic that the world will continue to improve in spite of the incredible turmoil in politics every where. Change is in the "air."

Opulence, was just wishful thinking.  I figured that if I focused on it long enough, I'd get some sort of reward - I'm still waiting!!

Maybe my opulence will just have to be the beautiful colours that this Fall has displayed!!  This is the Maple tree in my chaotic backyard.

My next three focusing words are productive, promise and potential.

Hope you had an opulent day!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Nature, Nurture & Nothing!!

We went out yesterday to buy bulbs to nurture our garden - we probably should apply manure too; but we needed to replenish the bulbs that have disappeared over the years and buying packages of pretty pictures with the promise of Spring is so much more enjoyable than buying a bag of sheep dung.  We'll fertilize in March.

This is what happens when you nurture a garden too much - you get, well, lots of garden - maybe too much for an inner city lot - but then, we nurturers are a compulsive bunch. And if it isn't gardens, it's animals or children.  This house has both a front and back garden - just as chaotic, three cats and three children - all equally "mad." And if I had had my way I would have had more (children, animals and garden) - but fortunately, I ran out of money :) - so the nurturing excess now just goes to the garden - bulbs are cheap compared to the cost of nurturing the other two - err 6!!

Now you might understand my choice of "nothing" as my third focusing word.  There are times when I just have to "de-clutter."

The theme in the crossword puzzle last night was a quotation by Horace. Cerebral activity can be pretty spare, if you keep it simple.

So here are  few a quotations from Horace.  I googled them trying to find a quotation that would fit the puzzle.

Here's one I like - a little Zen
"Cease to inquire what the future has in store, and take as a gift whatever the day brings forth."

This is the quotation that fit the crossword puzzle:
"Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment."

and the quotation for my garden puzzle was:

"You may drive out nature with a pitchfork, yet she'll be constantly running back."

Today is an "O" word so how about - Opportunity, Optimism and Opulence - October is also an "O" word.

Have an awesome day!! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mumbrella and other "M" words....

I need to do a bit of catching up again. "Life" has a way of putting roadblocks into writing and other pastimes. Saturday I had a booth at the Woodstock Fleece Festival, so I travelled down on Friday and set up.  Friday my focusing words were Laugh, Live, Love. Well you can certainly feel "alive" hefting bales of yarn, toting display stands and generally trying to remember if everything has been packed - forgot the step ladder and one scarf - not bad.

Julia helped me tremendously by taking down half my yarn in her car and arranging for me to be included in a dinner invitation with friends of hers, who live in Woodstock. This was a lovely evening.  Julia's friends had just come back from Greece, so we could hear all about their trip, talk about travel, have a few glasses of wine and lots of helpings of roast beef.  This was a lot of fun under the "laughs" category.

Now under "Love," well, I just love seeing old friends at shows - making new friends - and generally having an enterprising day.  I also got to watch 2 episodes of CSI late Friday night in my hotel room.  Love may very well be having the "controller" all to yourself for a few hours!!

For Saturday, I guess my focusing words should have been "Money" - how crass,  "Muscle" - definitely needed some and if I could find a way to mutate umbrella into an "M" word, I would.  How about "Mumbrella", because we were certainly muttering to ourselves at the end of the show when we had to drag things out to the car in the bitter cold and driving rain!!

All in all it was a good show and a lot of fun in spite of the weather.  My only regret is that I didn't get out to the barn to photograph the animals!! However Wannietta Prescod said that I could use her picture.  This just sums up the day - a lot of fun, good friends and don't forget the "fleece."

Today is an "N" day so how about "Nature," "Nuture," and "Nothing" in the Zen sense of decluttering one's life and mind to be ready for some amazing enlightenment.  Hope that also means losing a few physical pounds too!!

Have an enlightened day!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Karma, Kismet and Kitsch

I know that these are all "K" words for my "K" focusing day and these are all "K" words with a hard sounding "K,"  as opposed to a silent "K," like "Knit." Business advisers will tell you that you should use a word with the hard "K" sound when naming your business.  I guess that I should have read that information before I chose the name "Infiknit." It has the "K" but it is silent - Kodak has two "K"'s - both click!!

Maybe the "K" appeal has something to do with the "click" sound.  I know a lot of people who waste time playing computer games because of that satisfying "click" sound. Perhaps it sounds like a connection,  a completion, a busyness - things are happening!!

Well kinetic things happened in my "K" day. Three stores that I hadn't heard from in a very long time contacted me and two of the three placed orders.  I just love keeping in touch! There was lots of activity getting ready for Woodstock tomorrow and I moved foreword  in other things that I am working on.

I actually completed the cryptic crossword puzzle in The Globe yesterday!  I do the cryptic every evening but rarely get "every" word. I finished my book - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This is good because often, if I put a book down, I rarely pick it up again.  There is a lot of energy out there, milling around and I was able to tap into a little of it yesterday.

And now for the kitsch.

Perhaps a little unfair, as a motorcycle is really not cheap or tacky - but it is fun.  Nothing says freedom like a motorcycle.  It's the wild west - almost a lawless state of doing whatever you please, going wherever you like and wearing as many tattoos as your body will hold and then some :) "The hog" is almost the embodiment of the energy out there. You just have to ride away into the ether!

Today is an "L" day - Laugh, Live, Love.

Have a kinetic day!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jay - ded

Well, even though I focused at lot yesterday, I didn't manage to go very far - as in a journey - one of my "J" words. However, I did book a hotel room for Friday night in Woodstock ON, because I have to be at the show for 8:30 Saturday morning all set up.  I would have had to leave Toronto at 3:00am to do this in one day - better to set up on Friday and stay over.

Joy was my next "J" word and yes I was able to infuse a lot of joy into my leftover turkey dinner last night. I think that I could eat turkey 'til the cows came home - maybe not the best idea :)

My last "J" word was "jive" - as in having things come together and yesterday was a bit piecemeal.  There were no Eureka moments where things "came together." I probably just should have tidied up - this usually puts things back in place and the office at least looks "together." Maybe this will happen on a "K" day.

The picture is of bicycle racks at the Brickworks - just waiting for a lap on my journey.

Today I have chosen - Karma, Kismet and Kitsch!  Katch you later :)

Have a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ingenious brainstorming...

I met with a group of designers yesterday.  We are in the planning stages for "something" in the future that needed a name. Brainstorming is always a very creative exercise; however, we had a number of rules we had to follow. The title had to incorporate the crafts of knitting, machine knitting and crochet - so words, such as "knit" and "purl" were ruled out at the start because they didn't apply to crochet. Also we couldn't use something already in use - This last one was a real challenge because just about every combination of anything has been used on Ravelry!!

We did, with much ingenuity, come up with something very inventive - more to come on that, later.

Also yesterday I had a discussion with someone about "yarn bombing." Apparently there is somewhat of a backlash against it. The non-knitting public has taken offence, it seems, to the abuse of things like trees, monuments and architecture by "yarnies" wanting to deface them. I personally enjoy seeing yarn bombing when it is done well. I must admit that I was a little embarrassed by some scraps of knitting wrapped around a few poles near OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) when my son was a student there.

I say, if you are going to do a yarn bombing don't just use a grenade, use a torpedo!!

Today is a "J" day.  So my focusing words are journey, joy, and jive.

Here also is a catch up from the blog that I have been following. E- Elegant, Elastic & Encouraging, F- Fun, Flirty & Fantabulous, G- Goofy, Gregarius & Galvanizing, H- Hopeful, Holistic & Healing, I- infinite, Innovative & Ingenious!!

Have an amazing day.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Yesterday was a holiday and that in itself is a hollowed time - a time to reflect on the meaning of the day. The fact that the holiday was Thanksgiving made it that much more special.

I spent a good deal of time yesterday mentally giving thanks for everything I have been given. Even in the city the vistas were lovely.

I went for a walk in a ravine rather grandly known as the Vale of Avoca and it was a bit like being in nature's cathedral.

A fitting place to meditate.

I sent thoughts and prayers for those not as fortunate, with a hope that their dreams would come true one day too. I made believe that these prayers were heard. And that all the leaves that floated down were actually promises in answer to my requests.

Lofty (haute) thoughts on a holiday (holy day) from a hallowed place.  Today is an "I" day.  So I have chosen Imagine, Ingenuity, and Interest.

Have an imaginative day!!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Who rained on my G-Day..?

Today we had planned an outing on the Bruce Trail. However, we were undecided as to which access point to take - Limehouse or Mono Mills. Finally, we opted for Limehouse because it was a bit closer and headed off. No sooner had we arrived when the heavens opened and it poured.

At this point things weren't looking very grand or very gorgeous - 2 of my 3 focusing words for the day. We decided to forego our picnic lunch and take a gamble that a restaurant in Rockwood was still operating and open today - Eureka!!  It was.  It is actually a lovely spot in an old stone house right on Hwy #7. It used to be called Le Vieux Auberge - but it is now called - "Heaven on Seven." It was a better out pouring of the heavens than rain!!  The food was very good, the beer was local, but the best "thing" about this spot was that it had an old jukebox which played vintage 45's from the 60's and you didn't even have to put in money.  This was indeed a "Grand" find!!

We waited out the rain listening to The Beatles, The Everly Brothers and The Beech Boys. The clouds were still heavy after the rain had stopped; but we took another gamble and headed back to Limehouse. The rain held off long enough for us to get a decent walk along the trails - over rocks, down through deep crevices and passed quaint stone bridges.  The views were gorgeous - literally.

Here is another from one of the gorges.

Serendipity was with us.  We ended up having an amazing day and topped it off with a birthday party for our eldest - he turned 30 today.  I still can't believe it!!

Tomorrow is an H-Day.  How about hallowed, haute and holy.  As in holy holidays, Batman.

Hope you have an amazing day.

The "F" words...

Yesterday was Saturday and to me that means "Fun."  Even though there are chores to do, there is not the same pressure that there is on weekdays. I think that I will choose for my other two "focusing" words - Fabulous and Fantastic. I know that these are probably synonyms and that means that I have to come up with an event  or - I hesitate to say, thought - that's "out of this world." Hmmmm  maybe.

The "Fun" actually started early. Robyn Gallimore posted an amazing French (another F word) cat or is that Chat video on Facebook (yet another F word).  It is fabulous.  Here it is.

This has to be the classiest cat video around.  I have been watching a few and nothing comes close to this one!!

Now for the fabulous and fantastic.  As I was tidying up yesterday, I came across a magazine that my husband had saved because there was an article in it about retiring early on next to nothing in some exotic country. This was a must read, so I dropped everything and read about how two people could live for less than $2,000.00 a month in any one of or all of these countries - Ecuador, Uraguay, Costa Rica, Belize, (rural) Italy and P.E.I. - wait a minute that's a province. I know that there are cheaper places to live in the world, but these places were chosen because they were among the top 10 countries with excellent health care insurance plans and facilities.

The magazine is Moneysense.  There was just a snippet on-line for this article; but there are quite a few others in other issues that are similar. It was a fantasy read that qualifies for "fantastic."  So I must have been focusing without really trying.

Finally I had mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to see "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" because Judy Dench is in it - so is Maggie Smith. Well my husband offered to find the film on one of our cable channels,  give up watching the baseball game and even watch the film with me - boy, do I owe!!

Well, for those who haven't seen the film it's about a group of people who randomly come together because their finances have been compromised and they all have to live cheaply somewhere in the world. For them that somewhere is a tumble down hotel in Jaipur India.  I highly recommend the film!! This is my fabulous for the day.  I also walked through Mud Creek ravine - a fantastic escape in the city!!

Sumac from one of my ravine walks - exotic places in Toronto!!

Today is  "G" day and my focusing words will be Gorgeous, Grand and Gamble.  The last one's a bit risky, but then I am trying to move out of my comfort zone - just a little.

Have a Grand Day

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Catching up...

I didn't post yesterday because I woke up at 2:00am and didn't get back to sleep, so the day was spent trying to keep awake!!! The previous day was a D-Day - well not in the historical sense - but I did get a lot of 'things' done.  Usually when a shipment comes in, I manage to get a lot of orders out the same day and I have this wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

In addition to "do", my other "D" words for the day were dare and drama.  Nothing daringly dramatic happened except that I went out after dinner to one of the movie theatres on Mt Pleasant to take a picture of its marquis - I know - get a life - but they had a very interesting double bill and I loved the combination of titles
 Moonrise Kingdom
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I thought I must tell my travel agent to book me a trip.  Well when I got to the theatre they were changing the marquis and Moonrise Kingdom was gone.  I had not seized the day and popped down earlier to capture what I thought was a little escapism.  Really I think that I will watch both movies. The former has Bill Murray in it - he's a favourite - and the latter, Judy Dench - what's not to love.

A D-Day executed.  And from the blog I am following - Direct, Decisive, Delightful. I can identify with that. Now onto an "E" day.

So yesterday I should have focused on "E" words and in hindsight, I think that I would have chosen Energy, Enlightenment and Entertaining. Well all I focused on yesterday was energy, I was trying desperately to stay awake on a few hours of sleep and I wasn't succeeding very well.  I also knew that when I got home I had to clean the house and make dinner for 6 people because we were having guests!!

Well, when I finally decided that I'd had enough of work, at work, I left to start the housework.  You can imagine my surprise when I got home to a clean house and dinner half made.  My husband had left work early, shopped for dinner, got the youngest to vacuum while he cleaned the bathroom and with time left over, he had started dinner.  I was dispatched to bed for an hour or so before the guests arrived and we all managed to have a very entertaining evening.

I course I am now deeply indebted to my "better half."  There are times when literally, I couldn't function without him. Next post - "F" words :)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Calming, Charismatic and Concise...

Again from the blog I am following.  His posting was so concise, I wasn't sure how he managed the Charisma.  However, I did wish you a Charismatic day at the end of my last post and I hadn't even read his blog yet - so there is obviously some energy being transmitted. The calming - well by the time the energy comes from Washington State to Toronto, it's pretty calm.

Now my three - Clever, I used up leftovers tonight, so I was able to save the stew that my husband had made, for Thursday night, because he's out on a charity walk tonight and will eat there. It's not brilliant; but it's better than some of my other "clever" ideas - like freezing chicken in a marinade, so that it would marinate when it thawed - this did not work - don't try it!!

Left overs!!

Caring - I often get caught up in my own world and I have to work hard at remembering that my world is made enjoyable because of all the people in it and therefore, I owe them something!!  I have finished a card - just a little thank you note that has instructions for a simple lace pattern as part of the card. I intend to send these out.  I owe a lot of people - a lot!!

Clean - I had help today so Julia and I cleaned out a lot of interesting "stuff" which I wasn't using but would be very useful for others - like buttons, and cedar shapes.  Sadly, I still have the dolls - they are just waiting for a good home!!

Whoa!! I am on to D words.  "Ds" are important for words like determination, diligence, drama, and didgeridoo :) Actually the last one has 3 "D's" how did I manage that? And it is a musical instrument - but you knew that.

So maybe I will pick - "do" and skip the didgeri - because I have a lot to get done and "dare" because I am still challenging myself - just a little and "drama" - I'm not saying musical theatre - but maybe I can grab a little street theatre with my camera. Now you know why there are these people standing on street corners looking as though they are doing nothing - They are really just waiting for the show to begin.

Have a Divine day!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Benevolent, Bold, Brilliant

These were the words chosen by the author of a blog that I am following, for his focus yesterday. He probably owns a Thesaurus. Yes, I know I do too - several in fact - and I know that Google offers word searches for synonyms and antonyms.  I guess I was in a hurray and came up with better, best and brave. Well, they are direct.

Yesterday wasn't a great day.  I had too many distractions to actually focus on anything - I think that this is the point of the exercise - to focus and ignore or deal with these distractions.  Well I have 24 more days to get better!!

The only significant "thing" that I can remember from yesterday was that, I ate my own meat loaf.  I would call that "brave." I did get my blog written - "better" and as part of yesterday's recovery, I have decided that the "best" is yet to come.

Now I just have to come up with three qualities to focus on today that start with "C." How about Clever, Caring and Clean - I'm de-cluttering at work so that last one is a given - but maybe I could push myself to find a new home for two cloth dolls that I was given - now that would be a challenge!! Oops another "C" word.

I'll keep you posted!!

Have a charismatic day!!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

"Good, better, best...

Never let it rest. 'Til the good is better and the better, best."  I remember learning this in high school; but I have probably forgotten it, more times than I've remembered it.  I like the Nike one - "Just do it." - But this probably puts you at the "good" level and then you have to refine what you have done through "better,  best."

Then there is the question - how many things can you apply this ethic to at once?  Right now I am working on evening meals and trying to come up with a few more interesting dishes to "spice" up the routine - my son shamed me into this.  I did post his comment in an earlier blog. Well, now the vacuuming didn't get done.

I know that there are overachievers out there that can do both and much more, I guess this is why I am in this challenge, and I am complaining, and I am only at the letter "B."

OK life coaches will say that you have to set priorities and celebrate what you have actually achieved to keep you going. So yesterday my priority was getting a Pigeon video done - I know I have always had problems selecting what is important from what is "fun" and too often, I have decided that having fun is the most important thing to do right then, rather than having the discipline to choose what ought to be done. Hmmmm - something to work on.

Here is a celebration of what I have done.

Now to apply this level of perfection to a few other aspects of my life. My "B" words are Better, Best and Brave - as in do something everyday that scares you!!

Have a Beautiful day!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Activate is an "A" word.

OK I got a bit more done today than I might have, because I needed to post to a challenge.  Let's face it how many of us would do a "proper" dinner, if we didn't have people to feed.  So, I needed to contribute to a community and I completed a voice-over video, which I have been meaning to do for a few months now.

It's one of those "things' that could easily drift and never get done; but I did want to put this video up on YouTube and I couldn't find anyone to do the voice over.  I could have done music - but this one needed commentary.

So here it is.  BTW I am prepared to e-mail this to anyone who would like to put their own commentary on it.  I guess I could call it "Who put the "pig" in pigeon?"

All comments welcome. This is a work in progress.  Be warned I have 3 cats and I have heard that cat videos are more popular than pigeon videos.  I can't imagine why :)

The other "A' words suggested were from Elaine on this blog - Thank-you Elaine - Accepting and Adaptable and from the original site - Authentic, Appreciative and Ambitious.  WOW that'a a lot of "A" words

Have an Amazing day!!

PS Tomorrow is a "B" day and I have a swan video - they are prettier than pigeons, but maybe not as interesting.

An "A" word...

I am going to follow - for awhile anyway - this A-Z blog on focusing for "improvement."  I am sure that it will be for self improvement because I have been focusing on various flaws in the house - cracks in walls, chipped paint, mould etc. and these things have not improved, by the mere act of focusing on them.  I think that it might take a little more of something else to mend them :)

But I have heard that you can improve your image, soul, persona.... by just thinking or focusing on the positives.  This sounds easier than a lot of physical exercise, dieting, reading or anything other than eating and sleeping!!...oh yes and thinking!!!

I know that there is a book out there entitled "Think and Grow Rich."  I haven't read it yet - maybe that's my problem.  Anyway, the A-Z challenge asks you to focus on a quality (or three) one day at a time.  I think that I'll stick with one. Three would appeal to my ADD side; but then I know that nothing would be focused.

Now to find a quality or attribute that starts with A.  Attitude is good. Focus on a positive attitude over a negative one.  Of course - gone is the dry humour that often gets me through the day. Activate is another "A" word.  I could activate an idea (or two) that has/have been rolling around in my brain for awhile. Agitate - shake things up a bit, get up, get moving, clean out some clutter.

Well I think that if I just get moving, that will help.  Please post if you have any other "A" words.  This could be fun!!

Have an AWESOME day.

Nuit Blanche III

Here are a few more photos from Nuit Blanche 2012.  I think that it could also be called Nuit Rouge or Nuit Bleu.  It's the lights on all night that make it.

Above is Toronto's old city hall.  Below is a display in one of the windows of the AGO.  I think that it speaks to my theme of a journey. It's a little like a "trunk show" :)  This gave me an idea, though.  If the Art Gallery can mount a display of old suitcases, I should be able to do something with all this "stuff" that I have collected over the years.  I'll have to think about it.

One for Nuit Rouge.

and one for OCAD

And the end of the evening taken from the car.  Adieu again until next year, hopefully.

Have a red letter day!!