Friday, October 29, 2010

Wisdom Jar week 8

There seems to be a celebrity/movie theme with this grouping. My favourite has always been the George Burns one at the end.
  1. I have always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I have to be more specific.- Lily Tomlin,
  2. If there is no wind, row." - Latin Proverb
  3. "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." - Milton Berle
  4. "Things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle- Abraham Lincoln
  5. The palest ink is better than the best memory.- Chinese Proverb
  6. The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults. - Peter de Vries
  7. When things go wrong don't go with them.- Elvis Presley
  8. If you spend too much time working on your weaknesses, all you end up with is a lot of strong weaknesses.- Dan Sullivan
  9. The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.- James Crook
  10. When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.- Vietnamese saying
  11. It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.- Mohandas Ghandi
  12. If you let your head get too big it'll break your neck.- Elvis Presley
  13. Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.- Charles Richards
  14. It is the path of least resistance that makes rivers and men crooked.- B.J. Palmer
  15. They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.- Hindu Proverb
  16. Know your limits...but never stop trying to exceed them.- Anonymous
  17. Self-love is the only weight-loss aid that really works in the long run.- Jenny Craig
  18. It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician.- Meryl Streep,
  19. Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer.- Lion from Wizard of Oz
  20. It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. Anonymous
  21. One person working toward a dream is worth 99 people just working. -Lani Kraus,
  22. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.- Aesop,
  23. Stop living life for what's around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street.- Grant L. Miller
  24. Fall seven times. Stand up eight. - Japanese Proverb
  25. We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once.- Nietzsche
  26. Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.- George Burns

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bathroom Renovation

Day 10

Progress has been slow. Not much work has been done that can be seen.  Once the walls were down the electrician visited, the dry wall guy visited, the stair guy visited. Some walls had wiring strung and more fixtures were delivered.

But today the wall to the bathroom was removed as well as the tub and the sink and the lath and plaster was removed from the south wall. There are holes in the walls and the floor but again the mess is minimal.  It makes me wonder if these guys clean up at home as well as they clean up my house.  Probably not.

The bathtub ended up in the hallway because it was too difficult for two men to remove.  A four hundred pound claw foot tub can not be strapped on someones back and taken down the stairs.  I am a little doubtful that it can even fit down the stairs.

I will miss my claw foot tub.  But sacrifices have to be made and I said I will gladly make the sacrifice if when we renovate the basement I get a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Okinawan Lifestyle

I have been reading the Okinawa Program.

I have had the book for a while and have heard about how the Okinawa people are the healthiest in the world and with my vegan month only a few days away, I thought that this book may give me some inspiration and motivation.

The diet is quite interesting.  Most healthy living lifestyles I have read about in the past are all about eliminating foods from the diet.  This seems to embrace all foods, just certain ones need to be in moderation.

Here is the breakdown.

  1. Eat 10 fruit and vegetables daily
  2. Eat 10 whole grain foods daily
  3. Eat 2 calcium foods daily
  4. Eat 3 flavinoid foods daily
  5. Eat 2 omega 3 foods daily
  6. Drink 8 water or tea daily
  7. Eat meat in moderation, only twice weekly
  8. Eat sweets in moderation, only twice weekly

To me the idea of eating 10 whole grain foods seems pretty unlikely.  Just eating 10 fruit and veggies seems very overwhelming at times.

The other aspects of the lifestyle of the Okinawan is Exercise and Stress reduction.

Exercise is simple, walk more and move more.  There are no rigorous fitness programs to follow, just walk more and move more.  Something most of us have seemed to have lost with the age of technology.

Gardening is also a large proponent to the lifestyle.  Which I think is a way of being spiritual beings and one with nature, which in turn lowers stress.  Another detriment to the age of technology, people are moving away from nature and spirituality and stress levels are on the rise.

The whole package is needed to maintain health throughout our lives.  Diet, exercise and spirituality are the keys to long life.  The trouble is finding a balance with all three and fitting that within our hectic lives.  That is always the problem I find, organizing my life to to make health and happiness the priority.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bistro Camino

Bistro Camino

Since eating at home is a bit problematic at the moment we decided to eat out at Bistro Camino.
We have been curious about it since it opened and decided that this past Friday was the day to give it a try.

I am so glad we did.  The entire dining experience was phenomenal.  Often times when you dine with children you are treated rather poorly, especially in nicer restaurants.  Now if I were dining with a child that was loud, obnoxious and didn’t eat anything but chicken fingers I could see how some places would be annoyed, but Sam is respectful and loves food.  The attitude toward our family was lovely, to our waitress, Sam was just another customer.  

We all had something different for dinner which showed off the diverse menu.  Sam had crab and cream croquettes and a salad with a divine soy dressing.  I had Duck and Italian sausage and Shawn had the Shrimp Americano.  Both Sam and I had a soup to start which I thought was the best part of the meal and since the entire meal was great the soup was just a bit more over the top.  It was a curry chicken soup with just a hint of sweetness from coconut milk.  The vegetables included with both my dinner and Shawn’s were done to perfection.  There were beets, baby corn, roasted potatoes and a puree of navy bean and a poulenta mash.

Our waitress was very hospitable and answered all questions we had.  There was a moment I noticed at the table behind us where the gentleman had dropped his napkin and she brought him another without him even asking.  That is service.  At one point during the dinner Chef Hiroshi Hattori came out to ask us how everything was.  I noticed he went to every table that evening.

We will definitely be back again and again and bring everyone we know to enjoy the experience as well.

It is very nice to see that a restaurant of this calibre can make in at Danforth and Dawes road.  There is hope for our little neighbourhood.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Birthday Party

There were no new renovations done on the weekend.  I thought I would share a birthday cake I made though.  It is a purple dragon for a sweet little girl named Ceilidh who turned 2 on Saturday.  At the moment she loves dragons and loves the colour purple.  She thought this was the coolest thing ever.

I had a lot of fun making this cake, it is the second dragon I have made this year so the designing of it was quite easy.  Much of the joy has left me when making cakes lately, I'm glad this one brought the passion back.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wisdom Jar Week Seven

I can't believe I am already half way through with the quotes.  I haven't really been slowing down in finding them.  It is truly amazing where you can find inspiration.  Most of the quotes I have been adding have had the theme of change and finding inner peace.  I guess that is what my main focus has been lately.  I think my goal for the remainder of  quotes should be to find quotes and sayings that would be fun for others to read as well.  Funny how I have to be reminded that it's not all about me.
  1. The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B. – James Yorke
  2. The key to change… is to let go of fear. – Roseanne Cash
  3. It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. – Walt Disney
  4. The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. – Winston Churchill
  5. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. – Michael Jordan
  6. An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war. – Charles de Montesquieu
  7. A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. – Henry Ford
  8. There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. – William Barclay
  9. There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. – Annie Dillard
  10. It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change – Charles Darwin
  11. Hire character.  Train skill – Peter Schultz
  12. The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  – St. Augustine
  13. “Don’t limit yourself by telling others what you’re not; tell them what you are.” Colin Wright
  14. “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” Emily Dickinson
  15. “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole world revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
  16. Shut out all of your past except that which will help you weather your tomorrows. - William Osler,
  17. People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing--that's why we recommend it daily. - Zig Ziglar,
  18. It's never too late--in fiction or in life--to revise - Nancy Thayer,
  19. Most barriers to your success are man-made. And most often, you're the man who made them. - Frank Tyger
  20. Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere. - Anonymous
  21. A healthy body is a guest-chamber for the soul; a sick body is a prison. - Francis Bacon
  22. Stand for something or fall for anything. - Anonymous
  23. Do not be afraid to ask dumb questions. They are easier to handle than dumb mistakes.- Unknown
  24. We can't become what we need by remaining what we are.- Max Dupree
  25. To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.- Edmund Burke
  26. A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight.- V. Borge

Bathroom/Hallway Renovation Day Four

Wow what a change.  When Shawn and I stripped the lath and plaster off of the walls in two of the bedrooms upstairs it took what seemed forever.  Our upstairs hallway, ceiling, down the stairs and across the front door was done in a day, and they cleaned up. The room is not that big so there could not have been too many people there but how did they do it so fast.

When Sam saw the bare walls he was a bit frightened, until I reminded him that it looked very rustic, like our friends cottage and that made him more comfortable.

With the bare walls, we could see, how much heat loss we had, with no insulation and the spaces between the boards were huge in some places.  There is a spot on the south wall near the ceiling that looks like a nest had been built, (no wonder we could hear noises coming from that area, they were quite cozy up there).  There is still knob and tube wiring in the walls, not hooked up to anything, but I am happy the electrician is coming today to check it all out.  With the weather being minus three this morning I will also be very happy when the room is insulated.

The funny thing is the only room not touched yet is the bathroom, the original room we had planned on renovating.  The hallway and now stairs just blossomed from that point.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bathroom/Hallway Renovation Day Three

All of the ugly trim has been removed from the doorways and the banister and railing has been removed.  All walls and doors to be replaced have been marked with an X, which means all wall and doors on the second floor bathroom and hallway have been marked.  A few more holes have been placed in the walls to investigate what is behind and my guess to see the extent of the work that they have to do.  We also found out that we may be replacing the stairs as well with this project, which all depends on the amount of plumbing work that is needed in the bathroom.  If there is room in the budget we will have the entire 2nd floor completed.  Yeah!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bathroom Reno Day Two

Day two completed.

The only thing done today was the delivery of the garbage bin.  The first delivered didn’t fit in the driveway between the houses so the second arrived and fits quite nicely.

The bin is from Bin There Dump That (, which I personally think is one of the smartest names for a garbage disposal system ever.  I always try to encourage clever people or organizations, cleverness and intelligence is important to develop and support.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day One Bathroom/Hallway Renovation

Day one is completed.

  • photos were taken
  • panneling was removed from one section of the hallway to reveal an extremely hidious wallpaper below.  I swear every wallpaper designer from the seventies had to be on serious drugs to come up with those colour combinations.
  • a hole was put into the wall to see exactly what was behind the wallpaper and yes it was lath and plaster
Mystery #1 why is there a 2 inch buildout in the wall next to the staircase.  No one knows yet, we'll have to see when the entire wall comes down.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bathroom Renovations Begins Today

The bathroom renovations started today, Monday, October 18th.  It will be interesting to see how each day and the weeks progress.  I want to take photos of the work each day and how this renovation will be effecting the rest of the house.  All of the appliances have been unplugged and covered, except the fridge and the freezer.  My house is a sea of clear plastic tarps.  

The cat is going away for a vacation to Bubbies and it will be fun to try to get her into the carrying case.  We also have a list of cat do’s and don’ts for bubbie.  I really don’t think she knows what she is getting herself into.
  1. don’t pat her unless she wants you to
  2. never pick her up
  3. only feed her once a day
  4. fresh water once a day
  5. she is very standoffish, don’t take it personal
  6. don’t be surprised if you wake to find her in bed with you
  7. her purr is very loud, and no there is not way to muffle it
  8. if you pat her too long she will bite you
  9. yes she goes psychotic every now and again, just stand back and watch, it is usually good for a few minutes of entertainment.
  10. if you shut the bathroom door on her she will meow incessantly until it is opened again.

I am so curious to see how these next two weeks will unfold.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wisdom Jar

Since I missed last week's post, (I really hate when my job gets in the way of my fun) I am posting 2 batches this week.
  1. The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears - Proverb
  2. Thoughts are like arrows: once released, they strike their mark. Guard them well or one day you may be your own victim - Proverb
  3. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself Proverb
  4. It is easy to be brave from a distance proverb
  5. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.  Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.  Walk beside me; that we may be as one
  6. It's not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin
  7. The best antique is an old friend. - Anonymous
  8. What vegetable can you not take on a boat?  Leeks
  9. what do you get when two peas fight? Black eyed peas
  10. Why were the strawberries so upset? Because they were in a jam
  11. Knock Knock Who's there? Tank! Tank who? Your welcome!
  12. bumper stickers My karma ran over your dogma.
  13. bumper stickers Today's subliminal message is: ( )
  14. You can’t keep blaming yourself.  Just blame yourself once, and move on. Homer Simpson
  15. Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel. homer simpson
  16. Stewie: What the deuce?!
  17. Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. YODA
  18. Who's the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him? OBI-WAN KENOBI
  19. "Aaaaaaargh!" - Chewbacca, "A New Hope"
  20. "I have a bad feeling about this." - Luke, Han, Leia, C3PO, and others.
  21. Darth Vader: I have you now!
  22. Make Ice cream not war
  23. "Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save." Will Smith
  24. "Time is an illusion, lunchtime, doubly so." -Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  25. Show me a man who cannot be bothered to do little things and I’ll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things Lawrence D. Bell
  26. It takes twenty years to become an overnight success. - Eddie Cantor
  27. Let the spirit out - Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one's bodily self. bruce lee
  28. Obey the principles without being bound by them Bruce Lee
  29. It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. Bruce Lee
  30. As you think, so shall you become. Bruce Lee
  31. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” bruce lee
  32. “Showing off is the fool's idea of glory.” bruce lee
  33. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” bruce lee
  34. "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."” bruce lee
  35. “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” bruce lee
  36. “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” bruce lee
  37. “Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.” bruce lee
  38. “"To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person."” bruce lee
  39. “Boards don’t hit back.” bruce lee
  40. “It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it bruce lee
  41. Out of chaos, find simplicity, From discord, find harmony.” bruce lee
  42. The mind is like a fertile garden in which anything that is planted, flowers or weeds, will grow.” bruce lee
  43. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity bruce lee
  44. Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear -Albert Camus
  45. You can't steal second base with your foot on first proverb
  46. Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm Anonymous
  47. ‘Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.’ ~Walter Hagen
  48. We can't become what we need by remaining what we are. - Max Dupree
  49. Sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, all must be tasted. - Chinese proverb
  50. Here is a simple but powerful rule – always give people more than what they expect to get. – Nelson Boswell
  51. Try and fail, but don’t fail to try. – Stephen Kaggwa
  52. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. – Steve Jobs

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn Photos

While at my parents place over the weekend I took a few photos of their backyard.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Cookies

So much for posting this on Monday. I have a sick boy at home and that takes precedent over pretty much everything else in my life.  Ear infections are never fun.

For Thanksgiving we went to visit my family and I took with me a tray of cookies.  Here is a sampling:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jump Rope

In my continual search to find ways of getting myself into shape, and not the pear shape I am currently in.  I have heard quite a bit about the benefits of jumping rope.  Unfortunately for me this is a seasonal outdoor activity, due to the fact that I live in Canada and the huge accumulations of snow in the winter.  Also, it is not possible to jump in the house, mostly because I don’t trust my floors enough to jump on them for any prolonged period of time, I really don’t want to end up in the basement.  Jumping jacks are a second in fitness to skipping, but I like the coordination required for skipping because you need to use your brain at the same time.

From here is a list of benefits of jump rope:

FreeStyle Jump Roping is minute-for-minute the single most comprehensive and beneficial exercise a person can do. It’s a sport that can be done as an individual or in groups and can easily be incorporated into anyone’s lifestyle. Best of all— Jumping Rope is fun and entertaining.

Jumping rope can burn up to 1000 calories per hour, making it one of the most efficient workouts possible. It tones muscles in the entire body, developing long, lean muscles in all major muscle groups, both upper and lower. Jumping rope optimizes cardiovascular conditioning and maximizes athletic skills combining agility, coordination, timing, endurance.

RopeSport’s innovative training techniques and constant emphasis on “go at your own pace” allows people of different fitness levels and athletic abilities to enjoy the learning process and achieve their own level of success in an environment where they are relaxed and comfortable. Whether people want to simply swing the jump rope from side to side or they want to do double jumps on one leg, they are free to learn.

Due to the variety of jumps and movements that are taught, even at the beginning level, FreeStyle Jump Roping is fun. It encourages creativity and spontaneity, and gives people flexibility in their workouts.

Compared to many other popular fitness products flooding the market, Jumping rope is very inexpensive, making it accessible to everyone. (See Products for prices and product descriptions.)

All you need is a 3’ x 4’ area to jump rope. A living room, backyard, office, or gym are all ideal places to jump rope. Just throw a jump rope in a suitcase, briefcase, backpack, or purse, and you have the “greatest portable workout in existence.” Jumping rope is the perfect exercise for travelers.

There has never been a generic exercise that has gained widespread acceptance among children, but FreeStyle Jump Roping is changing that. FreeStyle Jump Roping is "MTV with a jump rope" and children absolutely love it! With recent studies concluding that children in the United States are far too sedentary, FreeStyle Jump Roping is making a major contribution toward fixing this problem. Not just for the gifted or athletic child, FreeStyle Jump Roping can be learned by all, helping them to increase self-esteem and fitness levels. It’s a great activity that the whole family can do together and get fit!

These are all of the benefits that make sense to me when it comes to finding a good fitness routine.