Seinfeld and Mr.Peterman are real…I know! It’s true!

I just came across the J.Peterman catalogue on-line last night and went about reading almost all of it.  Who reads a catalogue?  Everyone that reads J.Peterman!  Who remembers the recurring role of Mr.Peterman on Seinfeld as Elaine’s boss? This will refresh things for you…

The J.Peterman catalogue offers clothing and accessories for inspired travelling.  It reads like a Hemingway novel and you are drawn in to the fictional world of the characters presented in the catalogue.  It is brilliant!  This is what I have picked out for Pat.

Heirloom.

Heirloom Gladstone Bag

Try looking in the attic first.
You don’t have one? Then it’s time maybe to go to the secret barn. Somewhere there is one.

And it’s filled with everything.

Look…there under that huge pile of saddles and hats…it seems to be the hood of a car. Oh no. It’s the Packard. It’s the 12-cylinder Packard convertible somebody (Emily?) once drove across the country. The doors are locked.

…but inside the car seems to be stuffed with old clocks, framed oil paintings, a leopard skin, books, boots, brass fishing reels, stamp albums…

You can’t take it all in. At the other end of the barn you notice a marble table, a beautiful slim-wheeled two-seat carriage, a stack of a dozen carved chairs, a leather trunk…it’s all too much at once…

You trip on something. What is it? A leather suitcase of some kind. You lift it by its handles. It has old European hotel stickers on it. You grab it and practically run…you’ll come back to the barn some other time…

In broad daylight you examine it. A beautiful, mellow old leather Gladstone. (That’s what they used to call them.) Rather defiantly and ruggedly old-fashioned looking. Strong enough to go down the Nile, across the Alps, through the Canal, over the oceans, but still small enough to carry aboard a plane. A thing like this would cost a fortune these days…

This is what I have picked out.

Man Seeking Woman.

1940s Cord DressBetween the ages of 25 and older.

Attractive, confident, stylish. Has known at least one positive male role model. Must like French cooking, Etta James, Broadway, movies made between 1937-66, disturbing literature, spirited horses. Ability to pack light. Open to impromptu world travel.

Willing to be seen in this. Often.

1940s Cord Dress (No. 2856). Shawl collar, three-quarter length sleeves with turned down back cuffs. Ultraplush 21-wale cotton corduroy. Large self-fabric belt with buttons down the front. Made for snappy dialogue and romantic innuendo. What you wear when you have all the best lines.

1940s Cord Dress

Work, parties, dinner, dancing, slow fade.

The items cost as much as a flight to Paris, but a girl can dream.  Have fun reading the catalogue at J.Peterman.com!

Imagine the possibilities

We have all heard the phrase “Dance like no-one is watching”.  Any of you out there that have seen me dance know that I take this to heart!  Not that I purposefully set out to be a somewhat discombobulated dance fiend, it just turned out that way.  My friends husband said that I am the only person he knows that the top half doesn’t seem to know what the bottom half is doing…should I be offended, or sign up for adult Irish Dancing, or better yet “clogging”! ?

I thought about all the other areas of life that we should heed this same advice, but substitute dancing for fashion, home decorating, art, architecture, cooking, ….etc.  How much more creative and inventive would we be if we explored our own inspirations, all the time?  I catch myself sometimes with a moment of judgement when I am about to wear/paint/sew… something a little unexpected.  The best feeling is when I do it anyway because it feels right. 

The next time you find yourself second guessing your own ability to create or are insecure as to how much of your true self to show to the world, stop!  Shake it off, dance it off if need be, but go ahead and pull out those aspects of yourself that want to be seen and heard.  The most inspiring people we come across don’t apologize for being themselves.

It is ART in its highest form, it is authentic and it is personified.

Just so that you know; I write like no one is reading.  Ha!  …and some days, that’s true!

let ’em roll baby roll, shake your booty ya ya

watch?v=EYg285lSb4Y&feature=related

An odd segue, but stay with me;)  Just warning you, this post is about good advice and great music:)

Animals are  just like people:  if you have the right ones around you, they add so much value  to our lives.

Did that sound lame?  o’k then..,..Winston Churchill said it this way, so it has to be better right?

There is something about the outside of a horse, that is good for the inside of a man”.

I am feeling frisky(was that my outside voice?)…felt like something fun to match the horses playfulness today!


Or, should it be…shake your booty! watch?v=pOr7TMuk461&feature=related

Gotta get me some bell bottoms pants…

know this

IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD

we are the village.  the kid at the video store, gas pump or track meet; are our children.  offer them what they need…smile, money or encouragement.

Meditation on self

If the whole world praises him, he is not elated.

If the whole world condemns him, he is not beaten.

In a word, praise and blame cannot change his conduct.

Such a man possess true virtue.

As for myself, I am still among those who are influenced by the opinions of others, like the wind moves the waves.  Chuang-tzu

true confessions

I am just going to throw this out there for anyone brave enough to follow….or ….as Captain Kirk says:”To boldly go where no man has gone before”.

I have a habit, probably a compulsive behaviour if I was to be truthful; and as you all know I am nothing if not truthful:)

I like to clean public bathrooms after I have been in it!  O’k not the whole bathroom!  I don’t clean toilets, but I do clean up around the sink.  Is it part Buddhist belief?  Leave each space you enter better than it was before(practicing humility)…

Or is it simply that I don’t want the people after me to think that I made the mess?…in which case I am not very spiritual, only insightful.

Please tell me and all the other cyber space readers if you have an odd compulsion….we’re all waiting to feel obsessively/compulsively normal together!

 

Dogs and babies do that to you

Dogs and babies…once your friend gets one, you want one too!  We have always admired golden retrievers for their beauty, brains and temperament, but the amount of hair and grooming led us to buy a yellow lab about 7 years ago.

This is Callaghan, Cally for short.  He is a beautiful dog and has made the transition from town dog to country dog very nicely!  He is waiting to go for a ride in Pats John Deere Gator…it’s a guy thing, believe me:)  Cally and Pat do trails together, fish and as you can see, ride together on the property.  Personally, I think that Pat just likes the fact that Cally doesn’t tell him how to drive, unlike me….oops!

I came upon this pretty female golden earlier today, and was completely taken.  She was so gentle, quiet and elegant as she walked…the opposite of my man Cally.  He can hit a coffee cup or wine glass 3 feet away from the table, track mud and debris proudly into the house all the while leaving a trail of drool cascading from his sizable Louis Armstrong jowls.  Unapologetic he is as he trots into my presence full of burrs and wet fur.  Katie quietly and patiently waits for you to notice her…and her cuddly.

I know, I know!!!  It is not fair to Cally for me to compare him to any other dog, anymore than it would be for me to compare our daughter Emily to any other child.  I have never done that to her, so why was I pining for a lovely girly dog?…Was I in a Freudian way making a sad and mis-guided attempt at replacing some femininity in our home, since we are empty nesters now?

No.  I just think that I like dogs.  Having your child move on and out, is what they are suppose to do…if we have done our job well.  It could just be this simple: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Roger Caras, American Wildlife Photographer.

 

Breakfast of champions for aristocracy everywhere…even here!

When we moved into Summerhill, one room had me stymied.  The previous owners used this room as a sitting room, but honestly how many more places do I need to sit or lay down?…o’k reclining is one of my favorite activities and I do try to make it look cerebral by having very smart books and dictionaries laying about;)….but I decided that this room would be a breakfast room.  How so very proper!  How utterly charming and perhaps aristocratic at the same time.  Since no one is handing out “lord” and “lady” titles these days, I must remain satisfied in my humble post as “the little misses”.

I am happy to report that the breakfast room is usually a favorite of any that come to visit.  Admittedly, it is very pretty, but I think that our guests just enjoy the fact that there is food always available and they don’t have to ask to get it.



I love how this room greets us in the morning.  It overlooks a terraced garden, pond and it looks east.  The morning sun is always uplifting, which is great, because I need some encouragement to get out of bed!

The room is all about making sure that we start our day in the right frame of mind.  Breakfast was always something that we rushed through, but I really wanted to make it easy to make good choices.  I always have on hand fresh fruit, some cereal in antique canisters, euro-style bread for the toaster, and of course our coffee maker and espresso machine.!  The side-board is a stainless steel bakers table with a maple top ( an awesome hand-me-down from my brothers business, Coffeeco) and the table and chairs are Saarinen(I didn’t know who that was until I bought them…I just buy what I like-I am really not up on the who’s who!)   I found them at my favorite flea market.  I like the fact that they are tulip chairs and my cotton panels are tulip as well.  This whole room makes me smile every time I enter.

“Breakfast is a notoriously difficult meal to serve with a flourish”. Clement Freud.

 I sure do try.  People, take care of yourselves; inside/out!

Fresh food fast, summer lovin’

If you are up for it, here is a little fun video to get you in the mood;)

It is not hard to create inspiring and delicious meals.  Until recently the art of cookery was passed down through generations by hands-on work, verbal instruction and sometimes, though rarely, written.  Exact recipes is a new phenomenon considering human history.  In my food posts, I am honouring that humble tradition of rote.  Learning through repetition and simplicity. This is a weekend dinner with friends.  Peaches from Niagara…blueberries…corn…tomatoes…onions…smoked ham roast, greens and apple pie from local Mennonites… Becomes glazed ham, caramelized onions, grilled peaches with blue cheese, all on a bed of greens; slow roasted new potatoes, and boiled corn.

Voila a humble and delicious feast!

Here is my no- recipe/recipe!

GLAZED HAM: oven set at 325.  Ham glazed with maple syrup, dijon mustard, and orange juice…. for about 2 hours, or until thermometer reads 165…tent with foil to let juices relax within the roast…if you cut too soon, the juice will immediately run from roast

CARAMELIZED ONIONS:easy!  slice up two medium onions(or whatever you have), with heat on med/high, throw a little olive oil in fry pan,  add onions, let the onions start to colour, then stir regularly to brown evenly…turn stove down to med. heat and slowly let onions come to colour and you will notice they will be rich and somewhat glazed looking…this is the natural sugars of the onions being released..caramelizing is a slow process(about 20 min.) where as frying is very fast at a high heat…caramelizing gives a softer texture and milder flavour, frying is crispier and more intense.

GRILLED PEACHES: wash and cut peaches in half.  To remove pit simply twist the peach halves in opposite direction and it will release…be sure to cut length-wise.  Lightly cover flesh with olive oil and place on hot grill.  When peaches scored nicely,(about 8-10 min) on 450 grill, remove and place on platter.  Crumble blue cheese on top..this will melt nicely!

CORN: I like to boil for 4 min., then turn off heat, let sit in boiled water until last minute and ready to serve. (the peaches and corn are ready at the same time!)

ROASTED NEW POTATOES: Simple, simple, simple!  Wash, cut in quarters or leave whole if baby new, toss with olive oil and fresh sea salt(helps to crisp the skin:), in oven for final hour as ham cooks.  If you have some fresh herbs like parsley, rosemary, thyme or chives, by all means throw some in! Food sustains us in so many ways:  it is art, it is a spiritual connection to our land and those that grow our food, and it is a way to honour our bodies and family.  Cooking is  best when shared with those you love:) 

A GOOD SMILE TO LEAVE YOU WITH:

SEX IS GOOD, BUT NOT AS GOOD AS FRESH, SWEET CORN.”  GARRISON KEILLOR….

o’k I love corn, but either he gets corn that I haven’t come across yet, or his sex-life is a bit weak;)

How about….”ONE OF THE VERY NICEST THINGS ABOUT LIFE IS THE WAY WE MUST STOP WHATEVER IT IS WE ARE DOING AND DEVOTE OUR ATTENTION TO EATING” Luciano Pavarotti….

Much better….until next time!

Tornado

Sunday afternoon a storm blew through our town of Goderich.  When I saw the clouds coming our way, it felt ominous and threatening.  I took this picture just before the high winds, rain, and hail hit.  It was as if a switch was flipped.  From dark to scary.

I immediately went down stairs and called out to Patrick that I thought a tornado was coming our way (I get a bit skittish with storms these days)…my dearest, turned on the computer to see if I was right!  As I nervously waited in the basement, Patrick called down...”Your right, it is a tornado, it hit Goderich and is coming our way”!

O’k, I am thinking that he might want to join me, but seconds later the path and intensity changed and veered off to the next side road.  Our neighbours new barn was crushed then carried across the road.

Our town sustained major damage.

I have lived through devastation in the form of a propane explosion, the property damage was one thing, and the internal wreckage another.

“There are two big forces at work, external and internal.  We have very little control over external forces such as tornados, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain.  What really matters is the internal force.  How do I respond to those disasters?  Over that I have complete control?” (Leo.F Buscalglia, American Spiritual Guide)

Be safe and as Ellen Degeneres says “Be kind to one another”.