Friday 28 January 2011

Fish Pond Magic

Over 45 years ago when I was a little girl growing up in a one-horse prairie town, fundraisers in the form of Community Hall Teas were regularly held by various church groups and women's auxiliaries. Apart from all the little tables at which tea and dainties were served, there would also typically be a bake sale table, a crafts table, a white elephant table and -- my favourite -- a Fish Pond!

The Fish Pond consisted of a blanket or quilt pinned up high on a wire strung across two supporting poles. For 25 cents, you would be given a little wooden fishing rod with a safety pin at the end of its string. You'd cast the line over the top of the quilt and fish, fish, fish! The lady attending the booth would secretly signal your age group and gender to the lady hidden behind the quilt. She would fasten an appropriate little prize or trinket onto your safety pin. Then there would be a tug on the line, you'd pull it back over the quilt and -- wow! Look at what you caught! It was magic. Pure magic.

These internet photos are of modern-day Fish Ponds, pretty fancy-shmancy compared to the ones I knew, but still homemade! I'm glad to see that even today, kids can get a kick out of such innocent and low-tech fun.

Thursday 27 January 2011

My Fishing Prowess

I have gone fishing only once in my life. Many years ago I had a girlfriend named Big Bad Butch whose parents owned a lakeside cabin at a northern Saskatchewan lake. Every day during fishing season, her retired father would take his little boat out on the lake and fish for pickerel. One morning (at the crack of dawn, I seem to recall) we went with him.

He used little teensy-weensy live frogs for bait. I felt bad for them, of course, but hey -- circle of life, etc. Needless to say, BBB's Dad baited my hook for me. I learned how to cast the line out and jiggle it up and down a bit, like the frog was swimming along in a tantalizing fashion.

Eventually, after a few tries, I felt a tug on my line. Oh Gawd! Oh Gawd! I've got a fish on it! Feeling the fish fighting just about scared me to death. But I managed to reel it in and there it was, on the bottom of the boat, gasping out its last breath, my pickerel. Not a real big pickerel but a legal catch nevertheless.

For dinner that night we ate our catch battered and fried in butter, my little pickerel included. Later I got diarrhea, bad diarrhea. Guilt, I think.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Rush Hour in the Fish Tank

My Rare One took this photo last year at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant, which has a gigantic fish tank in its waiting area. Unlike many such tanks, this restaurant keeps theirs spotlessly clean and well stocked with a variety of happy, healthy fish. We love watching them swim back and forth.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

It's Robbie Burns Day!

In honour of Robbie Burns Day, I present . . . not one of his immortal poems, not one of his beloved songs, not even a photo of a haggis, but instead . . . a video of the condom bagpipe.

Now this is not as disrespectful as you might think because, after all, two of Robbie Burns' greatest passions were bagpipes and screwing. However, if he'd had access to condoms, he would have produced fewer bairns out of wedlock and then half of Scotland would not now be able to claim direct descent from him.

Monday 24 January 2011

Classical Gaga

In November, My Rare One and I went to a local restaurant for some fine dining where the food and decor are quite elegant. Classical music was playing in the background. The composer being featured? Lady Gaga! What the . . . ?

And so I was introduced to the Vitamin String Quartet whose signature style is fun and brilliant classical renditions of pop music. I was so delighted with this version of my beloved Lady Gaga that My Rare One gave me the CD for Christmas!

Here's the VSQ version of Poker Face (no video, audio only). I hope you enjoy it!

What more can I possibly say, except: Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news!

Monday 17 January 2011

I'm so far behind!

So last weekend, we had a big snowstorm and received a ton of snow. That meant I couldn't drive around the city and get my errands done. We spent all our time snow shoveling (me) and snow blowing (My Rare One).

Then I was sick at home with the flu almost all last week. So again, needless to say, nothing got done on my "to do list."

I got a little bit caught up this weekend but nowhere near enough. Plus we got a bunch more snow. *shakes fist at Old Man Winter and collapses, sobbing, into a huge snowbank*

What, I hear you asking, does all this whining mean? Alas, it means that blogging must take a back seat this week to everything else which needs to be done. So I don't expect to post very much until next week.

Just FYI.

Friday 14 January 2011

Thursday 13 January 2011

More Gingerbread House Chronicles -- Stonehenge

No, My Rare One and I didn't make this one! I swiped this photo from that crazy website called My Food Looks Funny and just HAD to share it with you.

Stonehenge in all its original gingerbready goodness. Isn't it AWESOME?!?

Wednesday 12 January 2011

More Gingerbread House Chronicles -- Nutrition Facts

This is a pretty standard gingerbread house -- but what's that in the corner of the yard? Why, the gingerbread house nutrition label, of course! We found this label on a goofy Hallmark card, thought it was hilarious and so incorporated it into our house design for that year. Here's what the label says:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 5 Bites
Servings Per House: 3550
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 1200
Calories from Fat: 1150
Total Fat: 195 g (%Daily Value: 300%)
Saturated Fat: 40 g (% Daily Value: 200%)
Trans Fat: 120 g (% Daily Value: 600%)
Cholesterol: 1200 mg (% Daily Value: 400%)
Sodium: 4800 mg (% Daily Value: 200%)
Total Carbohydrate: 1650 g (% Daily Value: 550%)
Dietary Fibre: 0 g
Sugar: 8000 g
Protein: 1 g
Vitamin A: 0%
Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 0%
Iron: 0%

Tuesday 11 January 2011

More Gingerbread House Chronicles -- Candy Cane Chalet

I was browsing through My Rare One's photo archives the other night and what did I discover but a couple more photos of past gingerbread houses that we created! Since we're still close enough to the holiday season, I thought screw it, I'll just post them now.

So I present to you today's offering -- the Candy Cane Chalet!

We were going for a nordic look with the upturned candy canes. Hmmm. The primarily green and white colour scheme with just a touch of red strikes me now as a bit too subdued for a gingerbread house. Also, the cracker shutters are too plain. But still, I like this whimsical little cottage!

Monday 10 January 2011

Who would YOU switch for?

So last week I confessed to having a wee hankering for Colin Firth, which of course reveals that I am NOT a Kinsey 6.

But I AM a Kinsey 5.9 so such hankerings ARE extremely rare on my part. However, in the interests of full disclosure, I suppose I should also note that I am NOT a Gold Star Lesbian either.

Let's just say Doofus from the Dauphin Ukrainian Festival and leave it at that, okay? (Alright, click here and here, if you must).

Unfortunately, he did not look like Colin Firth, in his Mr. Darcy persona or otherwise.

But enough of that.

In her comment on my confessional post, Cora of The Postulations of an Iconoclastic Domina suggested today's post topic. And I am admittedly intrigued by wondering what people might say --

So . . . who would YOU be willing to go slip-slidin' away with on the Kinsey scale? Hmmmm? 'Fess up!

Friday 7 January 2011

Happy Ukrainian Christmas!

When you're Ukrainian, you get to celebrate Christmas twice! Once on December 25th according to the current Gregorian calendar and again two weeks later on January 7th under the old Julian calendar. Sweet, eh?

Now, I am not Ukrainian. I don't have even a single drop of Ukrainian blood in my heritage. But I am a major Ukrainian WANNABE! I love Ukrainian culture and food. And I've dated more Ukrainians than you can shake a stick at -- including my Rare One. All four of her grandparents emigrated straight from the Ukraine, making her pedigree 100% Ukrainian-Canadian. SWOON!

Tonight we are going with a multicultural bunch of friends to a charming local Ukrainian restaurant where, once again, we will eat the traditional 12 meat-and-dairy-free dishes which celebrate Ukrainian Christmas. If you're interested in all the details and symbolism of the meal, please check out my last year's posts (found here and here).

Multiculturalism? Psshht! EVERYONE is Ukrainian on Ukrainian Christmas!

Thursday 6 January 2011

Yemaya, Goddess of the New Year

Last night at my drumming and chanting circle we celebrated Yemaya, the Mermaid Goddess sacred to the spiritual traditions of West African and Caribbean people. On New Year's Eve, people in Brazil who honour the Goddess build sand altars on the beach where they leave small gifts for Yemaya along with their wishes and prayers for the upcoming year. The tide washes everything out to the sea -- to the Great Mother, Yemaya. She responds with Her blessings.

At a special point in our Circle, we closed our eyes and each drew a small pewter seashell from a blue bowl half full of water ("Alberta ocean"). Every seashell had a different word engraved on it -- a word representing Yemaya's blessing to us for 2011. My seashell had the word Strength.

We took our seashells home with us after the Circle so they can remind us throughout the year of Yemaya's special gift to us. I put mine in a small pottery dish on my bedside table.

[Portrait of Yemaya by Maria Giulia Alemanno]

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Slow Day

I got nuthin' today. NUTHIN'. So I thought I'd post a couple more pictures of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

You're kind of a wet blanket, HRH. Okay, okay, here's a British movie star hunk for you too. Happy now? Sheesh.

Tuesday 4 January 2011

The King's Speech

We saw a wonderful movie the other day called The King's Speech. It depicts how King George VI's stammering was successfully treated throughout the course of his reign by an unorthodox Australian therapist. Here's the trailer, if you haven't already seen the movie:

I highly recommend this movie and not just because it stars the magnificent actor, Colin Firth. Although I do love Colin Firth in a movie . . . any movie. Of course, no matter what other roles he plays, he'll always be the definitive Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice . . . oh, Mr. Darcy . . . I . . . I grow faint!

Yes, I'd definitely switch for him!

Monday 3 January 2011

Retrospectively Speaking . . .

I saw this idea over at Miss*R's blog Stories from Villa Maria and thought it might be a fun thing to try.

Today's post is a composite of the first line of each month's first blog post from January to December, 2010! The result is a bit of a dog's breakfast, as you will see, but here we go:

Hi everyone!

Despite her posh name, Her Royal Highness has always been a bit of a gypsy cat at heart.

Now, I'm not the biggest sports fan in the world but for the past 2 weeks I have been glued, SIMPLY GLUED, to the TV set watching the 2010 Olympics from Vancouver.

I got back from the hospital yesterday.

Every year around this time, my Rare One waxes poetic and recites (seemingly incessantly) a little verse that she learned during her youth on the Canadian prairies:

Hurray, hurray, the first of May!
Outdoor screwing starts today!

My favourite time of the year is here -- GLBTTQ* Pride Month! *Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Two-Spirit Queer, for those of you who read that and thought of another set of initials -- WTF? -- instead.

We Canadians are a hardworking and industrious people much like our national symbol, the Beaver.

As a blogger, I've been taking it pretty darn easy for the past couple of months: not writing a lot, just swiping LOLcat gags off the interwebz and reposting them here, maybe sticking in a video or two for variety, etc.

The popularity of walking a labyrinth as a spiritual exercise has enjoyed an amazing resurgence over the past 15 years or so in both the Pagan and Christian communities.

is shedding
in the labyrinth!

The Wheel of the Year has turned again.

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah and the lighting of the first candle.

Reading over this composite, I've realized two things: (1) I can sometimes write amazingly run-on sentences and (2) this post makes as much sense as some of the single-topic posts I've written! Oh oh.

Sunday 2 January 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much, everyone, for entering my 200+ Followers Giveaway! All the entries from that post were put in a big bowl and, by random selection, a single name was drawn:

Congratulations, Lois! I know you'll enjoy the Sand Labyrinth. Please leave me your mailing address in a comment on this post. Since I moderate all comments, I won't publish it -- don't worry! And I'll mail the Sand Labyrinth to you asap!

Saturday 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, Her Royal Highness totally overdid it with the catnip last night. She's paying the price this morning, poor girl. I hope none of you are in the same condition.

So today's date is ONE-ONE-ONE-ONE -- how mystical is that, eh? In tarot, ONE is the number of the Magician -- the person who knows how to turn dreams, ideas and potential into action and reality. As a wise person once wrote:


but is achieved by focus, determination and hard work. May this magical year of ONE-ONE-ONE-ONE be a year of fruition and blessings for us all!

[Tomorrow I'll post the winner of the giveaway!]