Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today's Trivia - Assorted

Make room in your brain for this week’s useless but interesting information...

- Elvis Presley had an unprecedented 151 chart hits. On top of that record, he also had the most top 40 hits totaling 107 classics.

- California Redwood trees can reach a height of 117 metres (385 feet).

- New Zealand eats more ice cream per person than any other country in the world. On average, each person consumes 55.6 pints (26.3 liters). (They sure do like their ice cream!)

- Covering more than 840,000 square miles (2,175,600 sq km), Greenland is the world’s largest island.

- The reticulated python can grow to 27 feet (8.2 m) – the length of an average school bus. (Eek! Wouldn’t want to come face to face with one of these...)

- Steven Spielberg does not drink coffee. (And?)

- The American city that buys the most Kool-Aid is St. Louis, Missouri.

- In 1931, the first paperback was printed by Albatross Publishing in Germany.

- Ukulele means “little jumping flea” in Hawaiian.

- In 1810, Peter Durand invented the tin can for preserving food.

- Gorillas do not know how to swim.

- A housefly can carry germs as far as 24 km (15 miles) from the original source of contamination. (Gross... I hate these things...)

- The YKK on zippers stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, the world’s largest zipper manufacturing company in Japan.

- The side of a hammer is called its cheek.

- The foam on Heineken beer is supposed to last five minutes.

- The Statue of Liberty’s mouth is 3 feet wide.

- According to a 1996 Angus Reid poll, 70% of Canadians believe intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe.

- A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

- The first American astronaut in space was Alan B. Shepard Jr.

- The origins of saying “bless you” after someone sneezes go all the way back to 77 AD. At the time, people thought that your heart stopped after you sneezed and the blessing was a way to get your heart beating again.

- The highest point in France is Mont Blanc, located in the Alps.

- Pineapples are classified as berries.

- There are more than 200 varieties of chili peppers.

- On average, a disposable diaper can hold up to 7 pounds of liquid.

- The US Library of Congress is the largest library in the world.

- The right lung takes in more air than the left lung. (I’d be curious to know why.)

- The average human head weighs about eight pounds.

- The world’s oldest underground train system is the London underground, also known as the ‘Tube’. It opened for business in 1863 and the Metropolitan Line carried passengers between Paddington and Farringdon stations. (I’ve been on the ‘Tube’ many years ago; pretty cool travel system.)

- In October of 2005 Hurricane Wilma surpassed Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 as the most intense Atlantic hurricane ever. Wilma’s wind speeds clocked in at 185 mph (295 kmh).

- China produces 89 million tons of fruit every year. They are the world’s top producer of apples and pears.

- According to, it takes most smokers an average of three or four attempts to quit before succeeding.

That’s it for this week, folks! Hope you learned something new.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Showy Sedums

Like many gardeners, I tend to take certain plants for granted, particularly those that don’t require much care. Like my sedums. They’re easy to grow, can handle drought extremely well and make no demands throughout the spring and summer seasons. Then, come autumn, they grace the garden with their lovely flower buds that remain attractive well into winter. Can you ask for a better plant? If only all my plants were this well behaved.

Below are photos of two of my favourite sedums in bloom. The first three pictures are of my Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’.

The next two photos are of a sedum that my friend Joy gave to me. I’m not sure what type it is; if you know, please share some info with me.

Next spring, I will consider adding more sedums to my garden. I am very pleased with their performance and how easy it is to care for them. My idea of the perfect garden is one that makes very few demands; the less maintenance, the better.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cool And Easy Mousse Pie

Do you have a few minutes to spare? That’s all you need to make this delicious and refreshing pie that is also low in calories. The original recipe can be found here.

Cool And Easy Mousse Pie

What You Need

- 1-1/4 cups Honey Maid Graham Crumbs
- 1/4 cup Non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 1 pkg. (10.1 g) Jell-O No Sugar Added Strawberry Jelly Powder
- Ice cubes
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1-1/4 cups thawed Cool Whip Light Whipped Topping, divided

How To Make It

MIX graham crumbs and margarine; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.

ADD boiling water to jelly powder in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved.

Add enough ice to cold water to measure 1 cup. Add to jelly; stir until slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.

Add 3/4 cup Cool Whip; stir with whisk until well blended. Pour into crust.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

TOP with remaining Cool Whip just before serving.

(Serving Size = 1 slice (61 g) Calories – 130 Total fat – 8 g)


Monday, September 27, 2010


Not too long ago, I was reading an article about working moms versus stay-at-home moms, the pros and cons of both, how women feel about one or the other, how experts and non-experts alike think this affects children, and on and on. And on. And no matter what the content, the main feeling that I get from reading these types of articles is this: competitiveness.

And I just don’t get it.

I mean, why do women feel the need to defend (quite angrily, I might add) their lifestyle when it comes to raising their children? When you and your partner decide what you think is the best way to raise your children, how does this concern Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So who live down the street? It doesn’t. On the flip side, how is it your business how Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So are raising their children. It isn’t.


Why is there a constant tug of war between stay-at-home moms and working moms? And why do the debates between these two groups resort to some rather ugly mudslinging from both sides? Why, why, why do working moms criticize stay-at-home moms for trading in their ambitions for a broom and dustpan? And why, why, why do stay-at-home moms criticize working moms for choosing their jobs over their kids?

Don’t both sides realize that neither is right or wrong? Good or bad? That ultimately the best choice is whatever works for you and your family? Furthermore, women should try to understand, support and empathize with each other, not become rivals. A mother that works full time is just as loving and dedicated to her children as a stay-at-home mom. And a stay-at-home mom has just as many ambitions and dreams as the working mom. Both have valid reasons for the choices they’ve made regarding the raising of their children. And neither has the right to criticize or degrade the other. Every choice is the right choice – as long as it works for you.

A woman cannot be a good mother is she’s forcing herself to endure a situation that she’s not fond of. For example, a stay-at-home mom that resents being at home and would rather be working isn’t doing her children any favours because while she may be providing her kids with a lot of her time, she won’t be providing them with quality time if she’s short-tempered, depressed or frustrated. Similarly, a working mom who would rather be at home with her children will also experience negative emotions about her own situation, which she’ll inevitably demonstrate at home to her family. In the end, no matter what type of mom you are, if you’re not satisfied with your situation and doing what’s comfortable for you, it’s the children that end up paying the price.

So stop fighting, moms, and respect each other. Make a decision based on what works for you and don’t apologize for it. In addition, don’t criticize another mom’s choices; stay on your side of the fence and mind your own business. Whether you choose to work full time, or whether you decide to be a stay-at-home mom, it’s all good. It’s not how much time you spend with your children; it’s how much quality time you spend with them.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pretty Monarch At The Cemetery

Because of all the butterfly-friendly flowers I’ve added to my garden, I’ve seen more monarchs this summer than I’ve seen in the past ten years. But despite how many have been fluttering around my back yard, not one has sat somewhere long enough for me to snap a photo of it.

But I did get my chance recently, although not in my garden.

Hello butterfly!

These photos were taken during a stroll through the Cataraqui Cemetery.

I couldn’t believe this little critter sat still and let me take a few pictures.

Isn’t it the prettiest little thing?

It might sound a little morbid to some of you (or maybe not), but I enjoy visiting cemeteries. Not sure what the appeal is, but I like walking through them and taking photos. In this case, it really paid off with this gorgeous butterfly.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Silliness

Let’s get right to this week’s silly post...


Q: What is your date of birth?
A: July fifteenth.
Q: What year?
A: Every year.

Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
A: Yes.
Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
A: I forget.
Q: You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you’ve forgotten?

Q: How old is your son, the one living with you.
A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
Q: How long has he lived with you?
A: Forty-five years.

Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?
A: He said, “Where am I, Cathy?”
Q: And why did that upset you?
A: My name is Susan.

Q: And where was the location of the accident?
A: Approximately milepost 499.
Q: And where is milepost 499?
A: Probably between milepost 498 and 500.

Q: Sir, what is your IQ?
A: Well, I can see pretty well, I think.

Q: Did you blow your horn or anything?
A: After the accident?
Q: Before the accident.
A: Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it.

Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the occult?
A: We both do.
Q: Voodoo?
A: We do.
Q: You do?
A: Yes, voodoo.

Q: Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?
A: Yes.
Q: Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What did she say?
A: What disco am I at?

Q: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?

Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?

Q: Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?

Q: Did he kill you?

Q: How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?

Q: You were there until the time you left, is that true?

Q: How many times have you committed suicide?

Q: She had three children, right?
A: Yes.
Q: How many were boys?
A: None.
Q: Were there any girls?

Q: You say the stairs went down to the basement?
A: Yes.
Q: And these stairs, did they go up also?

Q: Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn’t you?
A: I went to Europe, Sir.
Q: And you took your new wife?

Q: How was your first marriage terminated?
A: By death.
Q: And by whose death was it terminated?

Q: Can you describe the individual?
A: He was about medium height and had a beard.
Q: Was this a male, or a female?

Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
A: Oral.

Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.

Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for breathing?
A: No.
Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
A: No.
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
A: It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.

Enjoy the day!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ferrety Humour

This week’s ferrety post will be a little different from all the previous ones. How, you ask? Well, it’s all about humor – ferrety humour, that is. So kick back and have a fuzzy chuckle...

Basic Rules For Ferrets Who Have A House To Run

1. If you have to poop, the best place to do it is right beside the litter box. Your person will appreciate you not messing it up after they spent so much time getting it clean. If you can't make it there, the next best place is in front of the door.

2. Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get a door open, madly dig at the carpet in front of it. Your person may have put down carpet protector in front of the door. DON'T MESS UP THEIR CARPET PROTECTOR. Dig at the carpet just beside it. When the door opens, do your best imitation of a streak of greased lightning.

3. If a guest seems to be afraid of you, investigate him first. Try to crawl up his pants leg to become better acquainted. If you get stuck, digging will help you wiggle just a little bit further.

4. If a guest remarks on how adorable you are, nip her on the nose to demonstrate that you have a playful side too.

5. Accompany guests to the bathroom; this is the best time to investigate their clothes.

6. If one of your humans is working, sewing, knitting, or writing, and the other one is doing nothing, hang out with the busy one. Get right in the middle of whatever he or she is doing. This is known as "being helpful".

7. If your human is reading a book, be “helpful” by crawling across the pages of the book. Also, stick your head between the pages and see how far they can get with their reading.

8. When supervising cooking, get right behind your human's feet. You cannot be seen, therefore you stand a better chance of being stepped on, picked up, and consoled. If done right, this often results in a treat from the guilty human.

9. It is important to get enough sleep during the day so you are fresh during the optimum play time between 2:00 and 4:00 A.M. preferably on your human's bed so they can join in on the fun.

Remember to begin people training early! Humans are difficult to train, but they can be taught if you start early and are consistent.

Ferret Property Laws

1. If I like it, it's mine.

2. If it's in my mouth, it's mine.

3. If it's in my paw, it's mine.

4. If I saw it first, it's mine.

5. If I can take it from you, it's mine.

6. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.

7. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

8. If you are playing with something and put it down, it automatically becomes mine.

9. If I'm breaking or hiding something, all the pieces are mine.

10. If it's broken, it's yours, when it's fixed, it's mine.

11. If it looks just like mine, it's mine.

12. If I think it's mine, it's mine.

13. If I let you play with it, it's mine.

14. If I can drag it under the couch, it's mine.

15. If it's out of your reach, it's mine.

16. If it's food, it's mine.

17. If I lose interest in's STILL mine!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s ferrety Friday!

Let’s see what the furry tribe thinks...




Kitten (still without a name)

Awww...not you too, kitten...

Hmpf...spoiled brats...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere...

You’d never guess by looking at my garden that the summer season is over because my garden, or rather, my plants, are happily blooming away, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the bitter Canadian-style winter is not too far away. Or maybe they just don’t care.

But hey, I’m not complaining, especially since I’m still enjoying some pretty flowers. Like the ones below:

Not too shabby for this time of year, huh?

If my plants want to produce flowers until the bitter end, I say let them. Because once they die back, it’ll be months before I enjoy any outdoor colour.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Indian Style Barbecue Chicken

This recipe is very easy to prepare, and the result is mmm mmm good. I discovered it in the summer 2010 edition of What’s Cooking Magazine that I receive from Kraft Foods 4 to 5 times a year.

Indian Style Barbecue Chicken

Prep time: 10 min
Total time: 2 hr 34 min
Makes 4 servings, 1 chicken breast (117 g) each

What You Need:

- 1/2 cup Bull's-Eye Bold Original Barbecue Sauce (I use any type of BBQ sauce)
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Garam masala
- 1 tsp. Ground cumin
- 4 small bone-in chicken breasts (1-1/2 lb./675 g), skin removed (I use any type of chicken)

How To Make It:

1. Mix all ingredients except chicken.

2. Reserve 1/4 cup; pour remaining over chicken in shallow dish. Turn chicken over to evenly coat both sides of each piece. Refrigerate 2 hours to marinate.

3. Heat barbecue to medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.

4. Place chicken on barbecue grate. Grill 24 min. or until done (170°F), turning after 12 min. and brushing with reserved sauce the last few minutes

(I forgot to take a photo of the chicken after it was cooked, so you only get to see it marinating. I’ll snap one next time I make this recipe and add it to this post.)

Monday, September 20, 2010


So I finally joined Facebook even though I took my sweet time doing it. My reasons for joining this oh so popular social networking website that boasts about 500 million active users are pretty standard.

1) I wanted to track down some old friends that I haven’t seen since my school years, primarily high school; friends that I’d been very fond of at the time. And with all this social networking all around us, I figured it would be a great way to do just that. And it is; I’ve hooked up with friends in my old city and with friends who now live in different countries.

2) I wanted to stay in touch with friends and loved ones from my hometown that I am no longer able to see as often as I use to since I moved away. Facebook allows me to view photos of some of these individuals and their loved ones, and I can be up to date on what’s going on with them. Like their children’s graduations, engagements, etc. And I’m able to share my own news and pictures.

3) I wanted to be informed of special events like a high school reunion, which, incidentally, happened some time in June in my old city. And if my best friend hadn’t been a member on Facebook and learned about it from other members, neither of us would have known it was being planned. In the end I wasn’t able to attend, but still. I was aware of the event and I had the option to go.

So these are the primary reasons I finally joined.

But for all those people that were curious about why I was so reluctant to become a member of this larger-than-life social network, here’s why:

1) I don’t want to become addicted to my computer. As much as I appreciate having my system, the last thing on earth I need is to be glued to it for a few hours a day going from one internet site to another. There are other things I’d rather be doing.

2) There are times (many times) I want to be left alone. I don’t want – or need - to be constantly connected. It astonishes me how some people cannot stop socializing from the world even for a second. If they’re not on their computer, they’re on their cell phone. If they’re not on their cell phone, they’re on their iPod. Texting, blogging, hanging out in chat rooms, communicating through Facebook, going from website to website, MSN, talking on the phone in the supermarket, at the restaurant, while strolling down the street, blah, blah, blah, all day long; not a moment of peace or solitude to be found. ACK! That type of lifestyle would push me over the edge. I like (and need) to disconnect completely. In fact, there are many hours of the day when I don’t want to be reached at all. I shut down everything and no one can find me. Peace and quiet.

3) I’m not very good at keeping up with these things. Sure I start off all enthusiastic and eager to be a part of something new, but eventually I get bored - or too busy or too lazy – and I stop visiting the site, and/or simply forget about it. I have a lot of different interests that I already can’t seem to find enough time for, and I always discover new ones that I have to squeeze into my day. So, yeah, I’m not always good at keeping up with these things.

The bottom line is that I did finally join this social network, and I have hooked up with friends, some of which I haven’t seen or spoken to in years. And that’s kind of nice. So far I have an invitation to Greece from a friend that I’ve known since we were 12, and another invitation to Albany, Georgia from a friend that I’ve also known that long but haven’t seen since we finished high school. Greece is too far and too expensive to even consider, so I don’t see that happening any time soon. Or any time for that matter. But a trip down south may be possible - eventually. That would be fun.

So, have any of you joined Facebook?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Orchid-Type Flowers

Why didn’t you guys tell me that Tricyrtis plants make orchid-type flowers? Had I known, I would have grown these perennials years ago.

I mean, look at the flower on my Tricyrtis ‘Empress’:

Let’s move in a little closer:

Isn’t it just amazing? I mean w-o-w! W-o-w... W-O-W!

I gotta get me some more of these next year.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photos Of Bailey

Hubby and I stopped in for a few minutes at the pet shop near our home when we went out for a walk a couple of nights ago. It’s the store where we got Bailey, so it holds a bit of a sentimental feeling for me. Of course, while we were there, I had to check and see if any baby ferrets were available. There were two tiny little fuzzies curled up in little balls fast asleep. Now, technically, I know that Bailey was that small when we brought him home last year. Still, it’s hard to believe looking at him now; he’s so much bigger and furrier.

When we got back home, I tracked down the first photos of Bailey that I’ve posted below.

Yup, he really was that small. And oh so cute. Not that he isn’t cute anymore. He is. But he’s no longer sporting that sweet baby look that young animals seem to all have.

Sigh. Why do baby animals have to grow so quickly?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Today's Trivia - Assorted

Make a space in your brain for this week’s list of useless but interesting trivia!

- The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time television were Fred and Wilma Flintstone. (I don’t remember this, but it’s possible.)

- Coca-Cola was originally green.

- The Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters.

- Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better.

- City with the most Rolls Royce's per capita: Hong Kong.

- State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska.

- Percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28%.

- Percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%.

- Cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400. (I would think it’s more than this, no?)

- Average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000.

- Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

- The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

- The youngest pope was 11 years old.

- First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

- Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Clubs - Alexander the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

- If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

- 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

- Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

- The phrase 'rule of thumb' is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb. (Oh my...)

- The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the 'General Purpose' vehicle, G.P.

- The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

- In just one year, each and every American on average consumes enough wood and paper to construct a tree 100 feet tall and 16 inches in diameter.

- Over three million Americans stutter. Stuttering is gender related and affects three to four times as many males as females.

- The maximum speed that raindrops can fall at is around 18mph. The precise speed depends on their size.

- Because of thermal expansion the Eiffel Tower is 15cm taller in summer than in winter.

- The human head contains 22 bones. (Wonder if the term ‘bonehead’ is a result of this. Maybe not :))

- A bolt of lightning contains enough energy to toast 160,000 pieces of bread. Unfortunately, the bolt only takes 1/10,000 of a second - so turning the bread over might prove difficult!

- The tomato is the world's most popular fruit.

- Worldwide, 20,000 brands of beer are brewed in 180 styles, from ales, lagers, pilsner and stouts to bitters, cream ales and iced beers.

- The largest flower in the world is Rafflesia arnoldi. Surprisingly, it is a a parasitic plant that grows only in Sumatra, Indonesia. The genus Rafflesia was named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the great explorer. Its petals can reach a foot and half long, if you were to touch one the leaves are 1 inch thick. See picture

- In 1313, King Edward II stated that, 'You are forbidden from dying in parliament.'

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Coolest Find Of The Summer

Well, I have to say that summer is ending in the most amazing way for me. First, I had the most wonderful and fulfilling gardening season, which I’d been anticipating for over 10 years – that’s how long I’d been away from any outdoor garden activity. Not only did I finally get back to one of my favourite hobbies, but I gardened until I could garden no more. I literally spent hours and hours outdoors each week playing in the dirt while soaking up the fresh air. Or as fresh as we can get these days.

So anyway, all that to say that it’s been a great season. And not only did it start off with a bang with all the cool plant purchases beginning way back in April, but it ends with a bang with the coolest find of the summer. This one:

Isn’t she adorable? This little girl came home with us this past Saturday from Pet Smart, which is a satellite adoption center for our local Humane Society. Interestingly enough, September 10 – 12 was PetSmart’s National Adoption Weekend. We didn’t know it at the time, but baby cat got a chance at a loving home, which is what the weekend was all about. So it’s all good.

We haven’t named her yet, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know. Nacho, who is not as thrilled about baby cat as the rest of us, has come up with some ‘interesting’ names but this is a family-friendly blog, so I can’t share them with you. I’ll leave it at that.