December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve

What the heck does Auld Lang Syne mean? Well, let's see... I know it is a poem by Robert Burns (we share the same birthday!). Trusty Wikipedia says, "The song's name is in Scots, and may be translated literally as 'old long since', or more idiomatically 'long ago', or 'days gone by'."
Here is the song in Scots.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp! And surely I’ll be mine! And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes, and pou’d the gowans fine; But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit, sin’ auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn, frae morning sun till dine; But seas between us braid hae roar’d sin’ auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! And gies a hand o’ thine! And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught, for auld lang syne.
and here is an anglicized version of the lyrics
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup! And surely I’ll buy mine! And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the hills, and pulled the daisies fine; But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine (dinner time); But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give us a hand o’ thine! And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

There you have it!

December 28, 2006

Redemption Song

I finished reading this book yesterday. It was one that I took my time with, savouring each sentence. Chris Salewicz has done an incredible work, weaving together so many bits of Joe into one coherent read. If you are a Joe Strummer fan, get this book. I ordered it from as it is not available in North America until May 2007. Shipping was not outrageous and it arrived very quickly. Some readers have complained that the book reveals too many warts and nasty parts about Joe. I disagree. I like to know the bad stuff about my musical hero. No sugar coating for me. Life is messy and people are contradictory and full of irony. Let's not hide it.

December 22, 2006

Bankrobber- The Clash

The Clash - Career Opportunities

Joe Strummer- Letterman- Johnny Appleseed

In memory of Joe Strummer, who died four years ago today. Boogie with your children in peace and love.

December 21, 2006

Stained Glass Artist Ted Gooden

This print hangs on the wall of my dad's kitchen. When he visited us last Christmas, he purchased it here. As he was leaving to go home, he had this tucked under his arm, safely stowed away in a poster tube. When I went to visit him before his death, I saw this hanging on the kitchen wall. It sure brought back a lot of memories. Both Ted Gooden and Cornelia Hoogland knew my dad. I contacted her today to tell her of his death, and I started thinking about this beautiful art again. So go check out Ted Gooden's website and enjoy! You can find out more about Cornelia Hoogland here.

December 18, 2006

I only shopped for one week on Saturday. Yes, I will be stupid enough to brave the grocery store on the Saturday before Christmas! Here are this week's meals in no particular order. I have had threats from blog readers that they know when to show up my door for a yummy meal. So this week, you will have to take your chances that you'll get something you like! Just kidding!
Chicken Parmigiana on Egg Noodles
Sesame Salmon (that didn't get made the past two weeks!)
Chicken Fajitas
Homemade Pizza
Homemade Turkey Soup & Biscuits
Join in the menu fun here.

December 15, 2006

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Today in 1675, Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer died. I am very fond of his work, and so wanted to share his talents with you. If you click on his name, you can see his other works at Wikipedia. Also, Tracey Chevalier has written a good novel about the painter and the girl in the painting above. She has written other books that look interesting too, although I have not read them yet.

December 14, 2006

$25 Loans that Change Lives allows individuals to make $25 loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance). By doing so, individuals like you and me provide affordable working capital for the poor (money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc.), empowering them to earn their way out of poverty.
It's a new, direct and sustainable way to fight global poverty, and the way I see it, I get a higher return on $25 helping someone build a future that the interest my bank account pays. If you have a minute, please check out the site: If you need more reputable validation than my recommendation, know that they have received great press in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to NPR and Business Week.

December 13, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

I generate a lot of laundry from my kitchen. I have a home daycare, and each day, for each meal or snack, each child has his own washcloth. That alone might mean 13 washcloths in one day. I also go through two or three dishcloths and tea towels each day. Hand towels, rags from wiping the cupboards and floors... it adds up very quickly. I got so tired of all these dirty cloths each day. I wanted a way to get them out of the kitchen with as little trouble as possible. My brilliant husband came up with this idea... a laundry chute in one of the bottom cupboards! He cut a small hole through the cupboard floor and through the kitchen floor. The actual chute is a garbage bag with the end cut open to form a tube. We duct taped the bag around the hole, et voila! Ugly but very useful laundry chute! The towels and cloths end up in the laundry room and it is very convenient to pick them up and throw them in the washer.
Visit Shannon for more ideas.

The Dangerous Book for Boys

"If ever there was a book to make you switch off your television set, "The Dangerous Book for Boys" is it. How many other books will help you thrash someone at conkers, race your own go-cart, and identify the best quotations from Shakespeare? "The Dangerous Book for Boys" gives you facts and figures at your fingertips - swot up on the solar system, learn about famous battles and read inspiring stories of incredible courage and bravery. Teach your old dog new tricks. Make a pinhole camera. Understand the laws of cricket. There's a whole world out there: with this book, anyone can get out and explore it. "The Dangerous Book for Boys" is written with the verve and passion that readers of Conn Iggulden's number one bestselling novels have come to expect. This book, his first non-fiction work, has been written with his brother as a celebration of the long summers of their youth and as a compendium of information so vital to men of all ages. Lavishly designed and fully illustrated in color and black and white throughout, it's set to be a perfect gift for Father's Day and beyond. Chapters in "The Dangerous Book for Boys" include: The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, Conkers, Laws of Football, Dinosaurs, Fishing, Juggling, Timers and Tripwires, Kings and Queens, Famous Battles, Spies, Making Crystals, Insects and Spiders, Astronomy, Girls, The Golden Age of Piracy, Secret Inks, Patron Saints of Britain, Skimming Stones, Dog Tricks, Making a Periscope, Coin Tricks, Marbles, Artillery, The Origin of Words, and The Solar System. "
I think I love this book! I haven't read it yet, but I want to. Then I want to hand it over to a 10 year old video game junkie. I want parents to send their kids outside and not let them in until lunchtime; then send them back out and not let them in until supper; then send them out once more and not let them in until the street lights come on. I want tv, computers, and video games to be illegal for kids under 16. I want kids to have the opportunity to have the kind of childhood I did.

December 12, 2006

It's About Time

Canada Post has finally done it! Introducing the new PERMANENT stamp. (Actually, it was introduced on November 16th. You can see how often I buy stamps.) There is no value printed on the stamp, and it will be accepted as current price no matter when you purchased it! No more buying stupid 1 cent stamps to make up the difference. I am so happy. Buying the 1 cent stamps (which must cost Canada Post a lot of money to print at that face value) every time there was a rate increase made me frustrated! No more! Also, I noticed that you can buy stamps online, and until December 24th, standard shipping is free. So stock up on the new permanent stamps!

December 08, 2006


Last night we had more than 27 inches of snow fall in a few hours. Most everything is shut down today. I have one of five daycare kids, so it is almost like a holiday. He and Adria played out in the snow for a bit. We were lucky to have a teenager come looking for shovelling work, so he shovelled out the driveway. We had started at 5:00am before we knew that everything had shut down, but it was just too much to finish. We are thankful this young man came around when he did. We paid him well for his tremendous effort. At the right of the photo above is our picnic table buried, and you can see the depth of the snow on top of the shed. Good thing that we have lots of groceries in the house. Adria made banana chocolate chip muffins this morning. Mmmmm... I wonder how long it will take for the city to get back to normal?

December 03, 2006

Menu Planning Monday

Sunday 3 - shepherd's pie
Monday 4 - make ahead spinach manicotti
Tuesday 5 - chili, homemade bread
Wednesday 6 - supper at church
Thursday 7 - steak fajitas
Friday 8 - chicken parmigiana
Saturday 9 - sesame salmon, rice & veggies
Sunday 10 - garlic beef enchiladas
Monday 11 - orange pork chops, rice & veggies
Tuesday 12 - spaghetti
Wednesday 13 - sausage & rice casserole
Thursday 14 - crock beef stew, biscuits
Friday 15 - take out pizza!