25 Days and Pics of the Week 34: Queen’s Hamlet, Bob and James, Snow Cake, Mosaic, Birds of a Feather and Indian Bridal Bouquet

25 days.

That’s what’s left until Christmas Day.

Can you believe that?!

My kids are gearing up. They have started making their Christmas Wish lists, talking about the parties, the food, the holidays. They are eager to practice extra “goodwill” toward others. They are beside themselves waiting for the first really big snowfall. And they are already counting down the days until we head out to pick our perfect family Christmas Tree.

It reminds me of the giddiness of childhood, and I am so grateful for that.  Before I had my kids, I’d kind of lost my holiday season mojo. Somehow, between high school, university, traveling, working…life…somehow, somewhere along the line, slowly but surely, I became a bit of a holiday cynic. Not a full on Grinch mind you. But a cynic. The holiday lights that went up right after Thanksgiving (bear in mind, I live in Canada, so Thanksgiving is in October!), the flashy displays at the chain stores and the sheer commercialism of it all left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Then in the midst of the hitting up all of the obligatory celebrations, in Japan and away from my family on Christmas Day, I met my future husband at a holiday party.

Fast forward to our sweet children being born, and I began to understand again, just why the holidays are such a big deal. It’s because they are FUN. And bring out a lot of joy in people. Especially children. Our bonds and love become stronger and traditions are made and kept. And that makes it all worth it, even if one must navigate 10 pounds of sale flyers stuffed into every newspaper delivered in the month of December.

My daughter has decided this year that she would like to include Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and a plethora of other celebratory decorations and traditions into our own. Kind of explore the lot of  them. My son is on board if it means colouring more stuff and hanging it up :)  And we’re good with that because it all comes down to love and togetherness. To learning we’re really not so different from one another, after all.  Peace and goodwill and all that jazz. (Please, don’t cue the goofy “let’s all get along” music. I’m still not one of those glassy eyed – mushball- pathetic moms).

(OK, yeah, I have kind of  turned into one of those.)

(The horror! The horror!)

(But, darn it, those kids…their big hearts…their sheer and utter goodness, love and light…they just have this other- wordly power! Who could resist it?)

So, I am embracing these next few weeks of holiday hooplah and know that for all of the madness, I will probably enjoy just about every single second of it.

…and there’s nothing wrong with that.

;)

Bring on December!

…and a new POTW.

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PICS OF THE WEEK

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QUEENS HAMLET, BLACK FOREST (GERMANY)

One of my favourite POTW was the little River House (here). I liked it because it was tiny and quaint in a great big world. The Old Mill “Castle” nestled into its surroundings at the Queens Hamlet, Black Forest (Germany) is also quaint in its own very special way. And while the authenticity of this image has been debated, there is certainly no question of its unequivocal charm.

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THERE ONCE WAS A MAN AND A CAT…

There is a sort of mythology that has begun to take shape around street musician, James Bowen and his rescue cat, Bob.

In what has become a well loved book (translated into many languages all over the world), A Street Cat Named Bob recounts how

When James found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.

Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.

Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts.[1]

Impossible to sum things up more touchingly than that, right? Unless, you happen to be lucky enough to have these heartwarming shots of James and Bob traipsing all over the globe…and making friends all along the way.

Around the world in…7 book covers from (l to r) Portugal, Taiwan, UK, USA, Italy, Indonesia & Holland.

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SNOW CAKE

Created by Kate Brown and Yolanda Cerra, Melbourne based, Kiss Me Kate specializes in (you guessed it) cakes, cookies and event planning. Some time back, Z & G featured another shop’s exquisite “Pretty Pink Roses” cake work (in POTW 25.)  And while those gorgeous roses were all about seriously, delicate beauty, this one of a kind snow cake captured my heart because it is whimsical, funny, eye catching, and perfectly simple in a childlike, magical way.

It also reminds this writer of her first attempts on the slopes…and why she’d choose cake to skiing every time.

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MOSAIC

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” 

~Stanley Horowitz

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER…I GOT YOU, BABE

They say we’re young and we don’t know
We won’t find out until we grow
  Well I don’t know if all that’s true
‘Cause you got me, and baby I got you
  Babe, I got you babe

I got you to hold my hand
  I got you to understand
  I got you to walk with me
 I got you to talk with me
I got you to kiss goodnight
I got you to hold me tight
I got you, I won’t let go
I got you to love me so

I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe

Excerpts from Sonny & Cher’s

“I Got You, Babe”

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INDIAN BRIDAL BOUQUET

Extravagance, beauty and expectation.

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Summing up this past week’s Daily Shots…

11/23/2012 – “I have always imagined that paradise is a kind of library…”

11/24/2012 – Rest in Peace, Larry Hagman

11/25/2012 – All Pretty Paths Lead to Spain

11/26/2012 – Floor to ceiling, books, books, books!

11/27/2012 – Elakala Waterfalls

11/28/2012 – Today is a brand new day

11/29/2012 – “Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage” (teacup cozy)

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This week’s Oldie But Goodie…

Bee and Flower

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CREDITS

Queen’s Hamlet Old Mill image courtesy of ByDio

James and Bob the Street Cat images courtesy of Bob the Street Cat’s Facebook Page, [1] courtesy of Bob the Streetcat (the book)’s jacket

Snow Cake image courtesy of Kiss Me Kate Cakes, Cookies & Events

Mosaic (Autumn Window) image courtesy of source

Birds of a feather/I Got You, Babe image courtesy of My Amazing Earth

Bridal Bouquet image courtesy of Bridal ‘n’ Bridal

Remembrance and Pics of the Week 31: A New Beginning, Bridges Grown, Creature Cups, Dainty Flower, Magic Carpet and Belle of the Ball(oon)

How goes it, friend?

Here in Canada, Remembrance Day is just around the corner.

The poppies have begun gracing lapels. The TV spots featuring grainy, stirring battle footage, modern day granite memorial walls and stoic, wrinkled veterans are running. The kids are practicing their tribute songs for school and getting ready to recite In Flanders Fields.

I love that poem. Know it by heart, have said it, listened to it, read it, felt it thousands of times. It never gets old or less meaningful, rather, as my kids get older and I watch their lives unfolding, all of the sacrifices that have assured our rights and freedoms become weightier.

For those Canadian veterans or peacekeepers currently serving abroad, thank you. And to those loved and lost, we remember.

Always.

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PICS OF THE WEEK

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A NEW BEGINNING, A BIT OF MAGIC

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”

-J. B. Priestly

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BRIDGES GROWN

Who says a bridge must be built? In the rainforests of Meghalaya (India), the locals have a developed a most unusual and longstanding symbiosis with the majestic Ficus Elastic (rubber tree): they grow bridges, together.

For over 500 years people have used hollowed out tree trunks as root guidance systems, manually steering the vines and roots of the rubber trees across rivers. At the opposite bank, the roots are allowed to take firm root. With some of the larger living bridges taking over fifteen years to complete, they are among the  strongest, most organic means of “human”construction on Earth.  With a complex, and ever strengthening root system, the Meghalaya bridges grow stronger over time, unlike their processed wooden counterparts. Unbelievably, some bridges, well over 100 feet long, easily support fifty people at a time. 

Ancient solution: The 'double decker' living tree root bridge in the village of Nongriat in Meghalaya, India. Locals have been using the bridges for over 500 years

Nature's incredible engineering: Some of the bridges can hold more than 50 people at a time. Some can take ten to fifteen years before they are fully functional

Interwoven: A close up of the solid lattice work that makes the bridges so strong. The natural bridges are much sturdier than a conventional wooden bridge because they are still living so they do not rot

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CREATURE COMFORTS CUPS

Need an extra eye-opener in the morning with your cuppa Joe? Try one of these startling designs by Creature Cups. Lobster, otter, octopus or alligator – take your pick for $14.99 (or $49.99 for the whole marvelous set). No word on how difficult it is to wash under those tentacles :)

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DAINTY FLOWER

“Ah, ’tis but a dainty flower I bring to you”

“Good Night, and Good Luck” (2005, film)

When one visits, Cornwall – A Photographic Journey, there are always visual delights to be had. These particular treats caught my attention; a perfect blend of tiny, delicate beauty and intricate, assured direction.

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MAGIC CARPET

“A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way”

~Caroline Gordon

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BELLE OF THE BALL(OON)

Stunning, whimsical and somehow reminiscent of cotton candy, this surreal scene is a joy.  And while we think the cactus pump would certainly “spice the party up”, it’s easy to imagine a glass slipper under all that material. (Love the model’s unusual up-do? You may like the hair art sculpture featured on Z & G Dark, here :))

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Did you miss any Daily Shots last week?

11/02/2012 – Drink good coffee, read good books

11/03/2012 – Feed me, Seymour

11/04/2012 – Key to the Golden Door

11/05/2012 – Rainbow Parasol

11/06/2012 – I still find each day too short…

11/07/2012 – Goth and Hippie Chicks

11/08/2012 – You never fail until you stop trying

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This week’s Oldie But Goodie…

There’s No Place Like Oz! My Love Affair & The Brand New Trailer for Oz The Great and Powerful (Video)

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CREDITS

Poppies image courtesy of source

Black and white soldier at cross image courtesy of rpsc.

New Beginning (Baby Bird) image courtesy of Precious Things

Bridges Grown images courtesy of The Mail Daily

Creature Cups image courtesy of CreatureCups

Dainty Flower images courtesy of Adrian via Cornwall – A Photographic Journey

Magic Carpet (Book Drawing) image via Christine Ellger

Belle of the Ball(oon) image courtesy of Pinterest

Pics of the Week 23: Free Thinking, Books in Tree, Stilted Roses, Ginormous Clothespin, Best Seats in the House and Berry Special Dessert

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If your home is anything like mine, the Fall sports season is in full swing. Between the pros and my family, we’ve got a whole lotta football, baseball, soccer, basketball, karate, track and field and yoga going on. With all that plus school and the day to day, there is nothing better than settling down for some hearty, delicious grub to refuel and relax. I’ve had the pleasure of testing out a couple of knock-your-socks-off recipes over the past couple of weeks. Trust me when I say you are in for a treat with the next two additions to the Recipe Box! Stay tuned :)  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the 23rd POTW. Have a great weekend!

PICS OF THE WEEK

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FREE THINKING

“A believer is a bird in a cage, a freethinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wing”

Robert Green Ingersol

Could there be a better caption for this unbelievable shot?

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BOOKS IN TREE

At first glance, Sebastien Errazuriz’s elegant bookshelf, could easily be mistaken for high art. Its sculptural quality is undeniable and inspired heavily by twisting ivy vines he used as a child to store his toys. Born in Chile, NYC based Errazuriz has been a Chilean Designer of the Year, named one of I.D. magazine’s top emerging designers and “received multiple awards by design competitions, and the international media”[1]. This piece (valued at a whopping $75000) is one of a kind and meticulously hand carved Italian Birch. For more information on the artist and his work, click on the credits, below.

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STILTED ROSES

Blending the delicate beauty of  pale pink buds with the clean, modern lines of brushed aluminum, this eye catching arrangement is anything but your traditional bouquet. Like magic, the vases, a mere 1/2 inch wide and deep, but an impressive 9 1/2 inches high, stay firmly upright. How? Good old fashioned magnets. Each of the five metal vases (available as a set for $40) are crafted with heavy duty magnetic bases, and sold with five square metal plates designed to work through tablecloths and other magnetic surfaces.

Simple. Functional. Elegant.

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GINORMOUS CLOTHESPIN

Created by Middle East Technical University art professor, Mehmet Ali Uysal, this unusual piece was created for the Festival of the Five Seasons in the Parc de Hauster, just outside of  Liège, Belgium. The festival brings together, “artists, landscape gardeners and botanists…making [it] a place of art and experimentation.”[2]

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BEST SEATS IN THE HOUSE

In 1913 on the rooftop of Shibe Park (Philadelphia), fans enjoyed a game. The ballpark was the pride and joy of the state when it was opened in April 1909. As baseball’s very first “steel-and-concrete” stadium it’s been said that, “it looked like a ballpark. It smelled like a ballpark. It had a feeling and a heartbeat, a personality that was all baseball.”[3] Sadly, after a string a misfortunes (including a five alarm blaze) the stadium fell into massive disrepair. It became home to hoards of squatters, trash and debris.  “Small trees took root and the manicured emerald turf became unruly knee-high stalks”. [4]. In 1975, the park was ordered razed. The final demolition of Shibe Park took place on July 13, 1976. What was once the gold standard of stadiums and housed thousands of enthusiastic fans, disappeared completely. A church has since been built on the old Shibe site.

File:Shibe Park Fans.jpg

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BERRY SPECIAL DESSERT

This little one’s going to be busy for a looooong time :)

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A Recap of This Week’s Daily Shots…

09/07/2012 – Be kind and be truthful and your life will be fruitful

09/08/2012 – When the heart opens…Sublime lotus

09/09/2012 – Books are a uniquely portable magic

09/10/2012 – Upcycled Tired Gussied Up

09/11/2012 – Lady Liberty Brought to Tears, We will never forget

09/12/2012 – Love, Dream, Hope

09/13/2012 – I must have flowers, always, and always…Macro Shot of Daisy

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This week’s “Oldie But Goodie”

Pics of the Week 4: First Swim, Not Just A Bike, Reflection, Jiffy Grass and Make Your Own Ending

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Ship with clouds image courtesy of White Eagle via Pixadus

Metamorphosis Bookshelf image courtesy of the artist, Sebastian Errazuriz.

Magnetic Vases image courtesy of DCI via Amazon

Ginormous Clothespin sculpture image courtesy of the artist, Mehmet Ali Uysal via LikeCool.com.   [2] courtesy of The Belgian Tourist Office.

Shibe Stadium, Rooftop Revelers image and quotes [3], [4] courtesy of Wikipedia

Turtle and Strawberry image courtesy of My Yoga Online

BOOK NOOKS #3: Mystery Mini Nook

Who’s up for some nookie?

Book-Nookie, I mean.

I was planning on doling out a new Art UN post today. Had my spotlight aimed and ready on a truly unique studio that takes funky to a whole new level. But then my eyes rested on this intimate space. My bookish-endorphins fist pumped and the lineup changed.

Change is good, right?

This charming, mini-nook is not only a far cry from the more luxurious previously featured nooks (see Book Nooks #1 and #2), but it’s something of a mystery (hence the naming of the post). I don’t know exactly where it’s located (if you do, please pass along the details) What I am sure of, is that it’s just the sort of humpday “escape-for-a-moment-of-quiet-joy-and-whimsy” image that tends to remedy the mid-week chug..chug…chug….chug…..chug slowing of the motor that is starving for a quick dose of happy-place.

This charming nook has all the makings of a perfect bibliophile’s-hideaway: books: check. Bed (with a darn cute pillow): check. Beautiful (tasseled!) throw: check. Writing desk: check. Quirky paper(?) tree wall art: check. Rustic with some modern metal flare: check. Tasteful homage to “Local Authors”: check. Awesome mood lighting, strangely reminiscent of fireflies: check! The place is a dream.

The “Local Authors Shelves” sign gave me pause; could this be a clever, quaint enclave in a bookstore? If so, who wouldn’t be tempted to risk getting hauled off by authorities for a moment of reader’s bliss in such a cozy cave?

What do you think of this very special Book Nook?

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Book with heart pages image, source unknown.

Image of Mystery Mini Nook image courtesy of 4outof7

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IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE OTHER ZEN & GENKI OFFERINGS:

Pics of the Week 21: Peacock and Tango, Up, Up and Away 2 Ways, Fred’s Bus, Happy Blue Milk Frog and Master Spirit

Immersion in Joy (or With Thanks for the Rejuvenation, Pablo Picasso)

New Series: BOOK NOOKS! Post #1: Nigella Lawson’s Private Library

Pics of the Week 22: Proud ‘n’ Pretty, Light Reading, Nice Butt, White Desert, Peekaboo and Pencil Tree

Hi-Dee-Ho, Happy Hearts!

What’s new and inspiring in your world?

In my Z & G cyber nook, there has been a whole lotta cool information, anecdotes, life tips, art and (of course!) photos presenting themselves in a huge variety of ways. So much fun to see!

And, even more fun to share :)

Here are just a few of the best this week.

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PICS OF THE WEEK

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PRETTY PROUD PEACOCK

Remember the very first installment of my ART UN Series? It featured a gorgeous paper peacock created by The Makerie, and it’s still one of my favourite pieces (I’ll be posting the 2nd installment of said series within the next week or so :)) Or the stunning “Peacock & Tango” shot from the last Pics of the Week? Both beauties to be sure…but this guy is the real deal! I’m not sure where this shot was taken, but I do know that this most regal peacock has every reason to puff out those chest feathers – he is spectacular!

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A BIT OF LIGHT READING

Lucy Norman designed this geometrically fascinating chandelier as an entry for Inhabitat’s Bright Ideas Competition. Cognizant of the millions of books that are printed, read and then thrown away, Norman’s beautiful and functional fixture uses the folded pages of would-be wasted books to create a uniquely beautiful spectacle. According to Inhabitat’s Bright Ideas site, “…though many [unwanted books are donated to] charit[ies]…[the majority go] unsold…[T]he charities have to pay for the books to be sent to a landfill. For example, 10,000 books a week from one charity will go to waste. There is currently no infrastructure set up to recycle …books because the paper is low grade and the glue on the spine must be removed” [1] Upcycling these unwanted resources into a creative item for the home or office brings the issue of paper waste to the forefront while lessening the environmental impact of discarded books. (For more info, pictures or to vote for Lucy’s Design, click on the credits, below.)

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JEAN-ETICALLY MODIFIED

“Mom-Jeans” never looked so good! Created by Tom Ballinger, this shapely display of denim and wildly sprouting greenery puts a positive spin on the old cat-call, “Nice butt!”

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WHITE DESERT

Earth’s highest desert, the Skardu, in Pakistan’s Hingol National Park is only 190 km from Karachi, but seems otherworldly in many areas, including this one, covered by drift sand dunes and vibrant, golden leaved trees.

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PEEKABOO!

‘Nuff said, I think :)

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“ORGANIC” COLOUR

“Above all keep your colours fresh!”

Edouard Manet (1832 – 83)

Though this installation of mammoth sized pencil crayons sprouting boldly from a tree has yet to come to be (this is a model), artist and designer Dave Rittinger’s vision certainly has colourful potential. His proposal for the public art piece would take strategically placed trees to new artistic heights. No word on how the trees feel about the idea :P

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Did you miss any of the Daily Shots this week? Here’s your recap!

08/31/2012 – One day can change everything

09/01/2012 – Love is Like a Butterfly…

09/02/2012 – Whatcha Need

09/03/2012 – The Good Co-Worker

09/04/2012 – Tortoise and the Hare…Smart Wins!

09/05/2012 – Portrait of Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy

09/06/2012 – Gorgeous Seabird With Fish

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This week’s “Oldie but Goodie”

Ripples and Colour in Water

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CREDITS

Proud peacock image courtesy of 1,000,000 Photos

A Bit of Light Reading, [1] image and quote courtesy of Inhabitat

Jean-etically Modified image courtesy of Garden Stew

White desert image courtesy of source and Wildlife Pakistan

Parting Hair image courtesy of an email from Anne Sture Tucker. She did not know the original photo source.

Pencil Tree image courtesy of the artist, David Rittinger

The Sweetest Day: Maple Sugar Bush Hike at The Jack Smythe Field Centre (with photo album)

March Break has long come and gone, and now that we’ve had a while to get back into our groove and sift through the photos of the kids’ annual Spring reprieve, it’s official: The sweetest day was our Maple Sugar Bush Hike at the Jack Smythe Field Centre. Yep, we hit up the tried and true traditional, Canadian sugar shack and it was grand!

Français : « Une érablière » par Allan Edson, ...

"Sugar Shack" by Allan Edson (1872)

“Sugar shacking” is a well worn Canadian tradition, but I’ve only ever been during the winter months. I wasn’t sure what to expect as we drove up and down the huge hills to get there. The weather had been wonky for a few weeks (huge ups and downs in temperature) which left all of Spring’s new greenery and flowers in my area frostbitten, dead, half bloomed, or just plain pathetic looking (some of you may recall my Magnolia lament ;)).  I worried that the maple bush would be brown and withered, that the promised “friendly chickadees” would be holed up in their nests, and the kids woefully disappointed with the whole thing. I didn’t want their first maple sugar bush experience to stink – they’re half Canadian for goodness sake!

As you’ll see, however, Mother Nature pulled out all the stops and gave us a truly splendid day. I put up a teaser a while back promising this post would include “a sugar shack, mammoth teepee and some funkaliciously weird mossy rocks”.  Well, read on! Funkalicious – and delicious! – are right around the corner…

(Just a few of my favourite shots below, followed by the full slideshow/thumbnails with lots of additional pics!  Captions on my photos should tell the story :))

Arriving!

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No idea what kind of trees these are but the buds were remarkable

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Bud on tree

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Ava, Ben and Daddy entering the trail

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Spring was beginning to paint the place with some new life and colour...trees were beginning to green-up again

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Looking into the wood

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Tree that had recently been felled

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Mock up "person" with two cans for hands. The cans held bird seed that the kids could put in their hands and raise up in hopes of a chickadee landing, in palm, to eat. (I thought the scarf was a nice touch) We saw many chickadees, but none seemed hungry.

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Our first encounter with trees that had been tapped and were set up with buckets to catch the sap. It takes 40(!) of these buckets full of sap to make 1 small, glass bottle of maple syrup!

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Clear drop of sap about to fall into the collection bucket

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Finally, we made it to the back of the Sugar Shack! (Yes, that really is moss on the roof)

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Syrup is released through the tap and into a cheesecloth-type bag lined bucket. The cheesecloth removed any leftover impurities (or tree "stuff") from the syrup.

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After the presentation on how maple syrup is made, we were given popsicle sticks to dip into the fresh maple syrup....DELICIOUS! (Unfortunately, we were all too busy tasting to get a good shot of our "oh yummy!" expressions. With the exception of some syrup in the hair, all parties were impressed with the flavour :)

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The most funky moss rock we saw. At least 3 different kids of moss (completely different texture and shape!) all growing in different directions on the same rock. Each one of them even felt unique!

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The teepee is actually much larger than it would have been when the Aboriginal people lived in them (my husband, pictured, is just over 6"2 to give you an idea of it's size). It's been made this big so that visitors to Jack Smythe can enter and see a demonstration inside

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Looking down: More moss, foliage and leaves...at my feet.

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Looking up...trees and light

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Moss growing up tree trunk

The full slideshow is here:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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To enlarge any thumbnail, click on image

All that sweet, mapley goodness got us in the mood for waffles and pancakes! Fortunately, I was able to find an absolutely wonderful recipe for egg free pancakes that my kids could eat (See my Eggless, Vegan Pancakes post).  As you can imagine, we all ate, breathed and oozed maple for many days after!

Coming home from Jack Smythe, we stopped into Montana’s Cookhouse for my favourite veggie burger…but that’s a story to be saved for another day :)

In the meantime, if you ever have the opportunity to visit the Jack Smythe Field Centre, I’d highly recommend it! It’s located at 14592 Winston Churchill Blvd., Terra Cotta, Ontario  N0B 1H0. Telephone number (905) 877-7771. Rates were $5 per adult and $4 per child 12 years and under.

Which of the pictures did you enjoy best? What did you do on your March/Spring Break? And (most importantly) does anyone know what the heck kind of tree that was with those huge, gorgeous, red buds??

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The Magnolias That Didn’t Make It :( ….and the Champagne That Made it Better :)

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Oh, Mama Earth, you’re a cruel one at times!

The first week of Spring, I was giddy with anticipation.  The buds on our Magnolia tree were getting fatter and fuzzier by the minute!  High hopes for a full on, bloomin’ bonanza within days!

I posted photos of my budding branches in the inaugural Pics of the Week and yapped away about my would-be magnolias to my gardening groups.

But alas!

(Back of hand to forehead and heavy *sigh*)

Just as they began to pop into their gorgeous glory, the fickle Canadian weather swooped and threw the temperature way down below freezing.

(Heart wrenching, frantic violins!)

So now, it is with deep regret that I inform you that the magnolia blossoms, mere days old, and only half opened, did not make it. :(

Frostbitten, browning petals litter my lawn now, and what is still on that poor little tree is terribly saggy, spent and well beyond saving.

That said, I did manage to snap the following pictures the day before the cold laid the smackdown.

It warmed up again, today, but we’re expecting it to get frigid again (I’ve heard rumors of one last snow…ACK!!)  We’ll have to watch and wait to see how our darling tree fares this Spring.

On the flipside, while Mother Nature taketh away, guess what?  Bingo! You’ve got it, my friend, she gives too!

As I lamented my almost-bloomed magnolias and abject ruthlessness of Canada’s freakish weather, I got a heckuva deal!  A full case of sweet, sweet champagne!

…Well, Champagne mangos, actually ;).

Also known as Ataulfo Mangos, I wrote about these golden goodies (here) and they are deeeeelish.  I got the whole case of 18 for what worked out to about $0.50 per mango (over half off of what they normally cost! SCORE!)

I see a plethora of  juices, smoothies, desserts and chutneys in my future!

And maybe, just maybe, a beautiful, blooming magnolia tree too.

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All images by Moi, Zen and Genki, with the exception of Crying Baby (via Babyworld)

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IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Rivers Run Dry…And Create Stunning “Trees” (Photos by Adrianne Franco)


Pics of the Week: Magnolia Buds, Eggplant Shoes, Regrowth, Sea of Stars… and the Force

Hey there fellow bliss chasers!

This is the first post in what will be an ongoing series, tellingly dubbed “Pics of the Week”.

Spotlight! Applause! Happiness and anticipation!

The series will run, every Friday. Nothing too fancy shmancy about it…it’ll be all about what magic’s in the frame (or, as is often the case with me, outside of the box :P)  The quality of the shot may not be as important as what is in it, or the sheer visual may be why it’s on this virtual reel.

Be it through context, subject matter, humor, beauty or eccentricity, I’m aiming to shoot some she-zam!  into your eye-orbs and give you some good ol’ fashioned, heart, soul or brain candy to enjoy.

Shall we begin?

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MAGNOLIA BUDS

Shot in my front yard, our magnolia tree on the 1st day of Spring.It may look barren…but see those tiny white flecks on every single branch?

…each of those hundreds of bitty puffs of light are fuzzy, growing buds.

Magic waiting to happen!

EGGPLANT SHOES

You thought your jack-o-lantern carving was special?

REGROW-REUSE-RECYCLE

Regrowing store bought celery, green onions and leeks.

Waste nothing.

Beautiful.

“SEA OF STARS”

“Pinpricks of light on the shore seem to mirror stars above in…on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives…”  This glowing (bioluminescence) “in the waves is the product of tiny marine life-forms called phytoplankton. Various species of phytoplankton are known to bioluminesce, and their lights can be seen in oceans all around the world, [says] marine biologist and bioluminescence expert Woodland Hastings of Harvard University.” (1)

THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THAT ONE

My youngest, in his new Star Wars helmet “spying on the enemy”


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Credits

Magnolia buds, Moi, Anne Elizabeth @ Zen & Genki

Eggplant Shoes, The Business Insider

Regrow-Reuse-Recyle, thanks to my friend Lease for sharing & inspiring

Sea of Stars (1) Original story by Ker Than @ National Geographic with image by Doug Perrine, Alamy

The Force is Strong in That One, Moi, Anne Elizabeth @ Zen & Genki

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