Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tune Time - Pop Muzik

This is a 1979 hit song performed by the British band M. It was released in the UK first, peaking at number 2 on May 12, 1979. In August of that same year, it was released in North America, where it eventually climbed all the way to number one in Canada on October 29 and in the U.S. on November 3. It’s an oddball kind of song, but it has a catchy beat.


Today's Trivia – Canada, Eh?

Tomorrow is Canada Day, my country’s birthday, so you know what this week’s useless but interesting information will be all about, eh?


- The name "Canada" comes from the Huron and Iroquois word "Kanata" meaning "village".

- Canada is the second largest country in the world with a land mass of 9,976,140 square kilometers. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

- Canada became The Dominion of Canada on July 1st, 1867. It officially became a country in 1982.

- Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a federal state with a democratic parliament.

- The Parliament of Canada is located in Ottawa, Ontario and it consists of the House of Commons (elected) and the Senate (appointed).

- Members of Parliament are elected approximately every 4 years. Elections may be called early or terms can be as long as 5 years. A vote of non-confidence in the government (where the government no longer has the support of 50 percent of the House) may also force an election. Senators are appointed by the Prime Minister and hold their positions until they are 75.

- Canada is a member of many international organizations including NATO, OSCE, OAS, WTO, WHO, UN, NAFTA and APEC.

- Ottawa, located in Ontario, is the capital of Canada

- Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories.

- The first provinces were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.

- The first prime minister of Canada was Sir John A. Macdonald.

- Canadian national symbols include: Motto: "From sea to sea"; Tree: Maple; Floral emblem: maple leaf; Colours: White and red; Animal: beaver.

- The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is Canada's national police force.

- There are six time zones in Canada: Newfoundland Time Zone, Atlantic Time Zone, Eastern Time, Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, and the Pacific Time Zone.

- Most Canadians live in the southern parts of the country. (Obviously because it's warmer there...)

- Canada's two official languages are English and French.

- There are more than 100 national parks and historic sites in Canada.

- Mountain Ranges include: Torngats, Appalachians, Laurentians, Rocky, Costal, Mackenzie, Mt.St. Elias and the Pelly Mountains.

- At 6050 m above sea level, Mount Logan in the Yukon is Canada's tallest peak.


- Canada has the world's longest coastline. It is 243,792 kilometers (151,485 miles) long.

- There are oceans on three sides of the country: Pacific (west), Atlantic (east) and Arctic (north).

- Nearly one-fourth of all the fresh water in the world is in Canada.

- Canada has one-tenth of the world's forests, and they cover almost half of the country.

- Great Bear Lake is the largest lake in Canada with an area of 31 326 km2.

- The longest river is the Mackenzie River flowing 4241 km through the NWT.

- The main highway system (completed in 1962) is called the Trans-Canada Highway. It is the longest national highway in the world (7,604 kilometers), and extends from St. John's NFLD to Victoria, B.C.

- The flag of Canada has two red bars and a white center - within there being a maple leaf. It was adopted as the National Flag in 1965. (Beforehand, Canada used the Union Jack - the British Flag - for its flag.)

- "O Canada" had served as a de facto national anthem since 1939, officially becoming Canada's national anthem in 1980.

- Canada is one of the largest mining nations in the world, the third largest diamond producing nation in the world and the world's leader in the production of potash and uranium.

- The Canadian dollar is divided into 100 cents (like the American dollar).

- In Canada, $1 and $2 are represented by coins. The $1 coin is called a “loonie”, for the common loon on its reverse, and the $2 coin, carrying a polar bear, is called the “toonie”.

- Toronto is the largest city in Canada.

- 76.6 per cent of Canadians live in cities and towns while 23.4 per cent live in rural areas.

- The average life expectancy of Canadians is 80.7 years.

- All Canadians have free access to a publicly-funded health care system with the exception of dental services.

- Popular sports in Canada include ice hockey, swimming, cross-country and alpine skiing, baseball, tennis, basketball, soccer and golf.

- Lacrosse, a game invented by the native people of Canada, is the country's national summer sport. Hockey is the official winter sport.

- There are no snakes, skunks, deer, raccoons, porcupines or groundhogs in Newfoundland.

- The world's smallest jail is believed to be in Rodney, Ontario, Canada. It is only 24.3 square meters (about 270 square feet). (Just thought I’d throw this in...)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Violet-Blue, Daisy-Shaped Flowers. Oh My...

We moved into this home at the end of June in 2009. That first year, I didn’t really do any gardening aside from adding a few annuals here and there. Rather, my husband and I spent the entire season cleaning up the flower beds around our home that were in total disarray. It was not a fun gardening season.

Last year I spent the entire season running around town buying little perennials to add to the revamped flowers beds. We carved out a few new areas to plant in, I picked up a few rose bushes, and we even planted a couple of trees. It was definitely a much more enjoyable period than the year before it. Nevertheless, because the majority of the plants were still so small and immature, many of them didn’t bloom like they should.

But this year is different. All that tedious work, work, work from the past two years is paying off. Those baby plants have grown; we are being showered with colour from every flower bed. I have snapped more pictures in this month than I’ve done in the entire gardening season last year. And there’ll be a lot more coming along since many of the plants haven’t flowered yet. Obviously, I will share some of these photos with you. Today, I’d like to showcase an adorable, profuse bloomer: Aster alpinus 'Dark Beauty'.

This perennial has vibrant, violet-blue, daisy-shaped flowers,
my favourite type of blooms.

Aster alpinus 'Dark Beauty' is not a long-lived plant, but
it will produce successive generations by self-seeding.

This is an early bloomer. Expect some flowers in late spring or early summer.

Aster alpinus 'Dark Beauty' is drought-tolerant, which is an added bonus.

The care level is very easy. The plant will grow about
8 - 10 inches tall and 8 – 12 inches wide.

The growth rate is medium. Choose a sunny spot for best performance.

The flowers attract butterflies, and the plant is rabbit-resistant,
which I’ve discovered this year is very important.

I have two of these perennials in my garden; neither of them bloomed last year because they were added late in the season, way past their flowering period. So I had no idea what the flowers were going to look like. Well, I was more than pleasantly surprised this spring. I was in awe. If you’d like gorgeous, daisy-like blooms in your garden that are as close to blue as any flowers can ever be, pick up an Aster alpinus 'Dark Beauty'.

Words Of Wisdom


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Domates Me Avga (Tomatoes With Eggs)

My mother used to make this recipe regularly when I was growing up, and I loved it! I didn’t discover until years later that it’s an authentic Greek recipe; I was under the impression for the longest time that it was an omelet recipe that she had literally made up by throwing together tomatoes, eggs and a few other simple ingredients. It turns out that many other people are doing the same thing. It doesn’t really matter; I’d share it with all of you even if it was unique.


Domates Me Avga (Tomatoes With Eggs)

Ingredients:

2 Eggs
2-3 medium tomatoes, washed, chopped, seeds removed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Beat the eggs (like scrambled eggs), and set them aside.

Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium-low heat, add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer until the juice from the tomatoes has evaporated and the tomatoes are soft (this will take anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes, maybe even longer). Stir the tomatoes occasionally to keep them from sticking.

When the tomatoes are ready, add the eggs and stir the contents gently (not like you would for scrambling; just enough to blend) until the eggs are cooked.

Serve with crusty bread and feta cheese. This recipe is delicious hot or cold. You can also spread it between two slices of bread and eat as a sandwich. It’s delicious no matter how you eat it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

100 Summer Delights

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing,
the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."
-- James Dent --

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

Well, it’s here, folks – one of the best seasons of the year. This week’s Monday post is a list of 100 things I love love LOVE about summer.


Gardening!

Fireflies

The smell of impending rain

Hiking trails

Wildflowers by the highway

Summer thunderstorms

Long days, short nights

Farmer's markets

Picnics

Daytrips to the beach

Swimming

Halter tops

Long hikes in the cool, quiet woods

Sandcastles

Ice cream

Backyard parties

Visiting national parks

Vacation, Staycation

Iced coffee

Eating outside

Cicadas singing

Sunny days

Blowing bubbles

Sidewalk chalk

Car wash fundraisers

Road trips

No socks!

Fairs

The sound of crickets

Open windows

Sitting in the shade on a hot day

Raspberries

Blackberries

A cool breeze on a hot day

Flip flops

Popsicles

Fudgsicles

Bicycling

Orioles

Hummingbirds

Ladybugs

Bees

Dragonflies...

Chipmunks

Birds at the feeders

Coconut-scented suntan lotion!

Sandals

BBQs

No snow!

Watermelon!!!



Warmer weather

No coat, hat, gloves, scarf, boots...

The feel of the grass under bare feet

Shorts

Garden centers

Lemonade stands

Sundresses

Corn on the cob!

The shower/bath after a day of gardening

Long, leisurely walks with my hubby

Coneflowers

Chipmunks

Waking up to birds singing

Sand between your toes

Roses

Picnics

Motorcycles

Butterflies

The shade under a tree on a hot day

Cotton candy

Cool cotton sheets

Herbs from your garden

Blowing bubbles

Water balloons

Fireworks

Outdoor concerts

Blueberries

Cantaloupe

Lemonade stands

Garage sales

Walking barefoot

Baby birds

Gazanias

Corn fields

My wedding anniversary

Garden gnomes

Bird baths

Sunflowers

Nectarines

Cherries

Canada day

My children’s birthdays (both summer babies!)

My husband’s birthday

Amusement parks

Ice cream trucks

Trees in bloom

Baby rabbits

Clematis flowers

Hydrangeas in bloom

End of season garden sales!!



What are some of the things you love love LOVE about summer?

Demotivational


Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Gorgeous Flowers Of An Iris

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”
~ William Shakespeare ~

No garden would be complete without the flowers of an iris...




Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Silliness

In lieu of my country’s birthday coming up, today’s silliness revolves around Canada...


Canadian Tourism Website

These questions about Canada were posted on an international tourism website and obviously the answers came from a fellow Canuck.

Q: I have never seen it warm on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? (USA)
A: Depends on how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only six thousand km, take lots of water along.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for a stuffed beaver. (Italy)
A: Let's not touch this one.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Ca-na-da is that big country to your North... Oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Canada? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is... Oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Vancouver and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Canada? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Canada? (UK)
A: You are an American politician, right?

Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA)
A: Only at Thanksgiving.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Canada who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: All Canadian rattle snakes are perfectly harmless, and can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I was in Canada in 1969 on R&R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Surrey, BC. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.


(I don’t believe that the letter below is real, but it is funny enough to be included in this post...)

Canadian Poignant Sense of Humour

A lady Canadian libertarian wrote a lot of letters to the government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

She received the following reply:

National Defence Headquarters
MGen George R. Pearkes Bldg, 15 NT
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa , ON K1A 0K2
Canada

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa .

You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself; we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defence, to be called 'Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers' program, or L.A.R.K. for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to divert one terrorist and place him in your personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint.

It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommend in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his 'attitudinal problem' will help him overcome these character flaws.

Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences.

We understand that you plan to offer counselling and home schooling.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers.

We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group.

He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property.

This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire.

I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of 'respecting his culture and religious beliefs' as described in your letter.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man.

You take good care of Ahmed and remember we'll be watching.

Good luck and God bless you.

Cordially,
Gordon O'Connor


Friday, June 24, 2011

How To Select Quality Plants

On the occasions when I do purchase new plants at the greenhouse – or anywhere else – there are certain steps I take to ensure that I take home healthy and thriving specimens. These steps should be taken by everyone. Selecting quality plants is not as obvious as you might think - especially if you are a beginner. It takes knowledge and experience to easily and effortlessly pick out the ‘cream of the crop’. If anything, you will make mistakes along the way, taking home plants that are not quite up to par. But the more you practice, the easier the selection process will become, guaranteeing you first-rate plants. In the meantime, until you gather all the experience needed, I’d like to offer you some advice from the experience I’ve gathered over the years to help you make the best possible houseplant choices.

I will start by saying that it’s important to do your homework before you even consider heading out to buy a new houseplant. Compiling a list of plants that will happily grow in your home environment under your personal growing style - and learning how to care for them before you take them home - is always step one into growing healthy flora. Examine each plant carefully before purchasing it. Never leave a store without a full inspection, especially to rule out insect infestations. I’ve listed some handy guidelines when it comes to shopping for plants below.


How To Select Quality Plants

- Steer clear of plants with physical damage: broken, ripped, scarred or damaged leaves and stems. If it doesn’t look healthy, it isn’t. Leave it behind.

- Select plants with stems and leaves that are firm and balanced; pass up any wilted or distorted specimens.

- Try to avoid taking home greenery in dried out soil; the plant has been neglected and its health may have been compromised.

- Do not take home a plant growing in saturated soil. If it has been over-watered extensively, it may already have started to develop root rot. The soil should be moderately moist for best results, not flooded.

- Choose specimens that display lush, full development, good colour and evident, vigorous new growth.

- Smell the soil. It should have that rich, earthy scent not a rotten one.

- Inspect the soil carefully for worms, centipedes, millipedes and any other soil-dwelling pests.

- Check for any signs of disease and poor health. Don’t buy plants with yellow, discolored, pale, brown, faded, mottled, withered or mushy foliage. Making sympathy purchases is not practical. Stressed out houseplants may or may not recover. Why take a chance?

- Ensure that there are no signs of roots dangling out of the drainage holes at the base of the pot. Roots should not be growing out of the bottom. If there are a lot of roots exposed, don’t make a purchase, make another selection. If you notice very little root exposure, the plant may still be salvageable.

- Check the top of the pot for roots growing on the surface. Just like the previous suggestion on roots growing out of the bottom of the pot, don’t buy a plant with too many exposed roots growing on top of the soil either.

- Choose flowering plants that are not in full bloom. Plants with numerous, unopened buds will last longer than plants in full bloom that will fade quickly. An opened flower has already been exhausted whereas one that is still closed has yet to be enjoyed. This rule does not apply to all flowering plants so take the time to learn about the plants you want to buy. For example: The flowers of an Anthurium last for several months so you can purchase this particular plant in full bloom.

- Inspect plants thoroughly for pest and insect infestations. Check the leaf axils, up and down stems, underneath the leaves, in bud clusters and every examinable nook and cranny. While inspecting, watch for sticky secretions or fine webbing – telltale signs of infestation. Never buy a bug-ridden plant convinced you’ll nurse it back to health. Infestations can be difficult to eradicate and they can spread rapidly into a major problem – into your other plants.

- Although not always possible, try to pick plants that are labeled properly, which will explain how to care for them. At the very least, ask the staff on hand for helpful advice and information; they are usually happy to oblige. Make sure you also inquire about the correct name of your plant.


When choosing a houseplant, remember these three words:

Performance – Are these signs of new growth?
Appearance – Does it look good overall?
Health – Are there any signs of disease or infestation?


Where Can I Get Me Some Of That Healthy Flora?

Now that you’re equipped with handy tips and tricks on choosing healthy houseplants, there is one more thing to consider: where to shop for plants.

These days, there are houseplants available for purchase far and wide – greenhouses, florists, home improvement centers, supermarkets, convenience stores and so on. There is no shortage of ‘plant-selling’ retail stores. But even though you can make a purchase almost anywhere, you can’t make a quality purchase everywhere. Your local supermarket might stack houseplants regularly near the fresh produce but I can assure you that the plants being sold there are not as meticulously cared for as the plants taken care of by personnel that specialize in that area. Professional florists and greenhouse staff – just to name a couple - are far more knowledgeable in plant care than a clerk in a supermarket.

My personal recommendation is to try and purchase plants from reputable stores where they are taken care of properly. This is extremely important when you are a beginner; the last thing on earth you need when you’re just starting out is unhealthy greenery that will discourage you from growing plants if they expire rapidly after you’ve taken them home. A garden center, nursery or florist usually has healthier plants and better selection than a local department store. The well-informed staff in specialized retail stores is able to provide you with all the information required for your plants to thrive under your care. The prices may be higher at these places but don’t forget that ‘you get what you pay for’.

Not all ‘specialty’ shops are made equal so make sure you inspect a potential place carefully before you hand over your money. Sadly, I’ve visited greenhouses that were shameful, offering some of the most neglected plants I’ve ever seen. So snoop around wherever you’re considering shopping, ask questions and examine the area before you buy anything.

Some questions you can consider:

- Does the staff sound knowledgeable?
- Do they answer your questions effortlessly?
- Is the nursery/greenhouse clean?
- Are there cuttings, leaves or particles of soil on the floor?
- Are the display racks visually pleasing or disorganized?
- Is the selection of plants impressive or mediocre?
- Have you spotted insect-ridden specimens?
- Are there bugs flying around the plants?

Take a good look around for signs of expertise - healthy greenery. If the plants in the store are in good shape, the one you walk out with will be too. A well-maintained greenhouse section of a retail store will leave you feeling confident that any living flora you buy from there will last a long, long time – longer than just the ride home.

If you’re searching for something unusual or less common than what your local shops have to offer, you may want to consider ordering plants via the internet or through catalogs with snail mail. Because you can’t physically inspect mail order plants or examine the greenhouses they are grown in, I would suggest ordering from companies that have been referred to you by someone you know. You can also gather references from online gardening and houseplant forums. There are a lot of members on these websites that are always more than happy to provide you with suitable mail order nurseries. These same members will also enlighten you about which companies to avoid.

If you do decide to have plants shipped to you, make purchases from companies that offer money-back guarantees or reasonable exchanges. Ordering plants through the mail can be risky - they can get damaged in transit – but a reputable company will stand behind the quality of their plants and replace any damaged, dry, diseased, infested or poor quality shipments. Ultimately, a company prefers to have satisfied customers who will continue to order more products as well as refer them to others.

If you are an experienced grower, you’ll tend to take more risks, make sympathy purchases from local shops and buy plants anywhere you can find them. By doing so, you go home with some incredible deals sometimes. And that’s fine when you are an experienced grower. If you are not, please remember to choose your houseplants carefully and leave behind anything that you are doubtful about. You want to bring home healthy greenery that you can enjoy for many years.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tune Time – Forever and For Always

This is one of my favourite songs from Canadian country pop singer-songwriter, Shania Twain. It debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart the week of April 12, 2003 at number 60, spent 26 weeks on the chart and climbed to a peak position of number four on September 6, 2003, where it remained for one week.


Today's Trivia – Advertising Slogans (Part 1)

Some advertising slogans are (or were) so well-known that as soon as you hear them, you know immediately what company or organization they belong to. Below is a list of some familiar slogans. How many do you recognize? How many do you remember? How many do you find yourself sometimes repeating?

(Note: I have accumulated a lengthy list, so I’ve decided to feature them in four separate posts. Also, you will notice that they’re pretty much in alphabetical order. This is because I ran them through Excel to eliminate duplicates. Not that you really care; I just thought I’d mention it.)

So.

Let’s get started...


“1,000 songs in your pocket” (Apple iPod)

“57 varieties” (H. J. Heinz Company)

“7-Up. The difference is clear” (Seven-Up)

“A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine” (Florida Citrus Commission)

“A diamond is forever” (De Beers Consolidated Mines)

“A glass and a half in every half pound” (Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate)

“A little dab'll do ya” (Brylcream)

“A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play” (Mars Bar)

“A Milky Way today. At work, rest and play!” (Milky Way)

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste” (United Negro College Fund)

“A totally orgasmic experience” (Clairol Herbal Essences)

“A-1 makes hamburgers taste like steak burgers” (A-1 Steak Sauce)

“Ace Hardware Stores is the place for the helpful hardware man” (Ace Hardware Stores)

“Acquire, manage and listen” (Apple Computer)

“After Dark” (Tia Maria)

“All the news that's fit to print” (New York Times)

“All the taste, 1/3 of the calories” (Pepsi Max)

“All you add is love” (Ralston Purina)

“Always Coca Cola” (Coca Cola)

“Always low prices. Always.” (Wal-Mart)

“America's freedom fabric” (Visa)

“An army of one” (United States Army)

“Aren't you glad you use Dial soap? Don't you wish everybody did?” (Dial Soap)

“Ask For More” (Pepsi)

“At sixty miles an hour the loudest noise in the new Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock” (Rolls Royce)

“Award yourself the CDM” (Cadbury's dairy Milk Chocolate)

“Be all that you can be” (United States Army)

“Be the best” (British Army)

“Beanz Meanz Heinz” (Heinz Baked Beans)

“Because life's complicated enough” (Abbey National)

"Because you’re worth it" (L'Oreal)

“Before you make up your mind, open it” (Irish Independent Newspaper)

“Betcha can't eat just one” (Lay's Potato Chips)
“Better things for better living through chemistry” (Du Pont)

“Between love and madness lies Obsession” (Calvin Klein)

“Bloody Volvo driver” (Volvo)

“Born in fire, blown by mouth and cut by hand with heart” (Waterford Glass)

“Born to perform” (Jaguar)

“Break out of the ordinary” (Butterfinger)

“Break through” (Cadillac)

“Breakfast of champions” (Wheaties)

“Bring out the Hellman's Mayonnaise and bring out the best” (Hellman's Mayonnaise)

“Burger King - the home of the whooper” (Burger King)

“Calgon take me away” (Calgon)

“Camels soothe your t-zone” (Camel cigarettes)

“Can't get enough of that Sugar Crisp” (Sugar Crisp)

“Castrol liquid engineering” (Castrol Motor Oil)

“Celebrate the Moments of Your Life” (General Foods International Coffees)

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness” (Pears' Soap)

“Coffee at its best” (Nescafe Gold Blend)

“Coke is it” (Coca Cola)

“Come alive! You're in the Pepsi generation.” (Pepsi Cola)

“Come to Marlboro country” (Marlboro Cigarettes)

“Come to where the flavor is” (Marlboro Cigarettes)

“Connecting People” (Nokia)

“Consider IT Done” (Syntel)

“Covers The Earth” (Sherwin Williams Paint)

“CTV. Canadian Television” (CTV)

“Designed for living. Engineered to last.” (Ford)

“Diamonds are Forever.” (DeBeers)

“Do you eat the red ones last?” (Smarties)

“Do you have the bunny inside?” (Energizer Max)

“Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo” (Rolo)

“Do you...Yahoo!?” (Yahoo)

“Does she or doesn't she? ...Only her hairdresser knows for sure” (Clairol hair colour)

“Doing what we do best” (American Airlines)

“Don't be vague. Ask for Haig.” (Haig Scotch Whisky)

“Don't dream it. Drive it!” (Jaguar)

“Don't just book it. Thomas Cook it.” (Thomas Cook)

“Don't leave home without it” (American Express)

“Don't treat your puppy like a dog.” (Ralston Purina)

“Double your pleasure. Double your fun.” (Doublemint gum)

“Drivers wanted” (Volkswagen)

“Easy as Dell” (Dell)

“e-business solutions” (IBM)

“Ello, Tosh, Got a Toshiba?” (Toshiba)

“Empowering the Internet Generation” (Cisco)

“Every kiss begins with Kay” (Kay Jewelers)

“Every Pepsi refreshes the world” (Pepsi Cola)

“Everything is easier on a Mac” (Apple Computer)

“Eye it - Try it - Buy it!” (Chevrolet)

“Fair and balanced” (FOX News)

“Fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more” (Geico)

“Fill it to the rim with Brim decaffinated coffee” (Brim decaffinated coffee)

“Finger lickin' good” (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

“Fly the American way” (American Airlines)

“Fly the friendly skies” (United Airlines)

“Game on. And on. And on.” (Apple iPod Touch)

“Get N or get out” (Nintendo 64)

“Get out there” (Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines)

“Gillette – the best a man can get” (Gillette)

“Give a hoot, don't pollute” (United States Forest Service)


And finally, below is a Smarties candy commercial that ran in the 80s. It’s a Canadian version, so I ask if any of my Canuck readers remember it. It’s about whether or not you eat the red Smarties last...



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What’s Blooming On?

“God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done.”
~ Author Unknown ~

This post was supposed to go up early this morning, but blogger wouldn’t allow me to upload photos. I have no idea why.

Anyhow.

Our forecast states that we’re due for a few rainy days, which is okay with me. I’ve been hanging around the garden every chance I get, and because of that, I’ve fallen behind on so many things that need to get done. With the rain arriving, I have no excuse but to tackle some of those jobs.

In the meantime, today’s post includes another set of photos from around my garden. It seems these days that there are flowers springing up all over the place. I can hardly keep up with what’s blooming where. Not that I’m complaining, of course. I do love it, and I hope it continues throughout the summer.

I hope you all had a great day. Perhaps you enjoyed some sunshine.


I am in love with columbines. This one is the lovely Aquilegia alpina.




Another columbine. This one's Aquilegia 'Mellow Yellow'.




And still another columbine. This is Aquilegia vulgaris 'Black Barlow'.




A cute little plant with pretty blooms and gorgeous foliage. This is the Lamiastrum galeobdolon 'Hermanns Pride. It comes with the bee. Really. [grin]




You can't go wrong with Polemonium boreale ‘Heavenly Habit’





Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Red Bells' may be a small plant, but it makes a big impact in the garden with its flowers.




The Rhododendron 'Roseum Elegans' is simply stunning.




Tiny but gorgeous blooms from the Sedum kamtschaticum 'Variegatum.'




Teeny tiny flowers from Viola sororia 'Freckles'.



Weigela 'French Lace' has decided to put on a show of lovely blooms.




And finally, did I mention that I'm trying out zinnias this year? Well, I am. I'm curious about them, so I picked up a few. So far, so good...



That's all for now, folks. Have a lovely evening.

Words Of Wisdom


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pork Stroganoff

This is one of my daughter’s favourite recipes. It’s been awhile since I made it, and every now and then when she remembers it, she asks when I’m going to make it. I feel kind of guilty for taking so long to prepare this meal again, but with so many recipes that I’m eager to try, it’s understandable that this has been put aside. I’ll get to it eventually, but in the meantime, maybe you’d like to try it.

Pork Stroganoff

Ingredients:

12 ounces lean pork tenderloin
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ounce all purpose flour (3 tbsp)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 ¾ cups fresh chicken or vegetable stock
4 ½ ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
½ tsp ground nutmeg
4 tbsp low-fat unsweetened yogurt, plus extra to serve (you can also use sour cream)
salt and pepper
white rice, freshly boiled, to serve
ground nutmeg, to garnish

Pick up a lean cut of meat; trim away excess fat
Preparation:

1 – Trim away any excess fat and silver skin from the pork, then cut the meat into slices ½ inch thick.

2 – Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the pork, onion and garlic for 4 – 5 minutes until lightly browned.

3 – Stir in the flour and tomato paste, pour in the stock, and stir to mix thoroughly.

4 – Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, seasoning and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the pork is tender and cooked through.

5 – Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the yogurt.

6 – Serve the pork and sauce on a bed of rice with an extra spoonful of yogurt, and garnish with a dusting of ground nutmeg.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sports Fans Behaving Badly

I’m not a big sports fan. In fact, I’m not a sports fan, at all. And I usually don’t know what’s going on with any given game. Except for hockey. And even then, my knowledge of the goings-on of this sport is negligible. My minimal awareness of it is not because I watch it on TV. Or attend any games. Or hang out at sports bars. It’s because it’s Canada’s national pastime, and boasts a huge following, so it’s all over the news; you simply can’t get away from it. And because of that, sooner or later, somewhere along my perpetual journeys in search of interesting but useless trivia, and latest events locally and around the world, I bump into hockey news. And most of the time, it’s about which team won, which team lost, which teams are playing. All boring for me, so I don’t even get past the headline.

But last week, I not only got past the headline, I even searched for further news after learning that a violent and unruly crowd overturned cars, set fires, got into fistfights and looted stores throughout downtown Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final 4-0 to the Boston Bruins.

You heard right. Mobs of people rampaged through the city, for hours after the game ended, and behaved like a bunch of baboons. Over. A. Game. The rioters clashed with police in several locations throughout the downtown core. They threw bottles and garbage at the officers, and the officers responded by firing tear gas and pepper spray at them. It sounds like it was a holy mess.

A car overturned and set aflame on the street during the riot
From Wikipedia
The Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson, is quoted as saying:

"It's absolutely disgraceful and shameful and by no means represents the city of Vancouver. We've had a great run in the playoffs here, great celebrations, and what's happened tonight is despicable."

Yes, despicable. And totally unacceptable. It’s an embarrassment to a beautiful city and province, and an embarrassment to the country. I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone can react this way over a game. A game. A. GAME. These baboons are not rioting because of poor working or living conditions, government oppression, conflicts between races or religions, or something that is actually relevant; something that might justify rebellion. No, they’re rioting because a team lost at a sporting event. They’re rioting over a game. A game. Let that sink in for a bit to fully grasp how lame it is.

The sad thing is that some of these goons are likely proud of their behaviour. They’ll be watching videos of the riots, and reading articles about them, and cheering, slapping each other on the back, and high-fiving one another, proud of themselves. “Cool, man, cool”

Not cool. At all.

Just shameful.

Here is a video of the riots:



Link to a news article: ‘Criminals and anarchists difficult to stop:’ Vancouver police chief

And come to think of it, baboons wouldn’t even behave this badly, so I apologize to the poor animals for comparing them to these imbeciles.

Demotivational


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day...

…to all the loving dads that are still with us, and to those who have passed on, including my own father.

1961: My father showing off his first child, my brother

I miss you, Dad. I hope you are resting in peace.

Aster alpinus ‘Dark Beauty’

“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright ~

One of the loveliest flower displays in my garden comes from Aster alpinus ‘Dark Beauty’.