A delicious memory …

I was six or seven years old and we were up north for the summer. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and I seemed to be alone with my grandmother, who is pictured here, at my parents’ wedding.

She was hanging freshly-washed sheets and clothes on the line and I was “helping” her. When we were done she asked if I was hungry, which I was. Must have been lunch time.

After we brought the empty laundry basket and the bucket of unused clothes pins back into the house, she grabbed a big bowl and we went out into the garden again. She explained how to tell if the tomatoes were ripe and then Continue reading

I’m officially ready to move on …

While talking to a friend last Friday, she said something that sort of freaked me out — not because it icewas shocking or surprising — only because I’d thought the exact same thing myself, a few hours earlier.

Turns out we’ve both decided we’ve had more than enough of summer.

Don’t know about where you live but here, in Toronto, it’s been relentlessly hot . Day after day of humidity so high it Continue reading

The long, hot summer may be over …

“How do I know?” you ask. Well, last Thursday night I went out for dinner. Hadn’t been out all day so Ihot assumed it was as hot as it’s been pretty much all summer. Wrong. When we got to the restaurant and were offered a table on the terrace we both decided it was way too cool.

Before you say anything let me cut you off: Yeah, I know one evening does not the end of summer make. But it was September 1 and we all know what that means.

The leaves will soon start changing colour, the days will get progressively cooler and shorter, pumpkin pie mix will Continue reading

You’re never too old to change your mind …

I’ve always dreaded Fall.  Silly really, especially as it’s probably one of our most beautiful seasons; autumnbut in all honesty I’ve never appreciated it because winter follows, and I certainly couldn’t be called a cold weather enthusiast.

Something’s happened though and, dare I say, autumn is fast becoming my favourite time of year.  I know, perhaps I should lay down and see if it passes.

First off, there’s the colours.  Some of the reds are so intense, so almost neon it’s as if the leaves are on fire.  And all the different shades of yellow and gold and orange and rust and green and even chartreuse, all mixed together willy nilly, as only nature could Continue reading

What I don’t understand …

This past weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada.  It’s known as the May Two-Four and it’s when cottage timewe celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, which is, you guessed it, May 24.  For some reason this year the party happened a week early.  Queen Victoria, in case you don’t know,  was the current Queen’s (Elizabeth II) great, great grandmother.

But for most Canadians Queen Victoria’s birthday is the unofficial, official start of summer.  When hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of cottage owners make the trek to their small and rustic (or large and luxe) slices of heaven, wherever in Ontario they may be, and Continue reading

How’s this for positive thinking?

Considering this has been one of the coldest winters (and snowiest in some parts of the world) in history I can hardly believe tulipsI’m saying this:  I was shocked the other day to read we have to change the clocks again next week, March 8 to be precise.  So soon?

Where’s the winter gone?  Oh, I know there are a lot of you reading this who think I’ve lost my mind.  Especially those who live in Boston and may not see pavement again until June or July.  If you’re lucky.

Let me clarify.  It seems to me it was always later in the season when we did this.  You know, move the clocks ahead.  Spring forward.  Fall back, spring forward?   Continue reading

The scent of summer …

Last Thursday morning when I returned home, from the market, they were mowing our front lawn. Yes, even though I live right in the heart of the city, in an grass clippingsapartment, we’re lucky enough to have lots of green, with both a large front and back garden. No concrete jungle here. We’re surrounded by lots of beautiful old homes, on gorgeous tree-lined streets.

Anyway, I LOVE the smell of freshly mowed grass. Always have, even when I was a child. It’s especially fragrant after it’s rained. No rain the other day.

But the scent was still so intoxicating I just had to stop in the middle of the driveway and inhale several times, breathing it all in, before making my way indoors. If I hadn’t been afraid the gardener would think I was completely out of my mind, I would have scooped up a handful and brought it upstairs with me.

Then I could have sat on my balcony, watching the world go by, sniffing away to my heart’s content.

In that instant I knew summer was well and truly here. Because to me, nothing says “summer” like the scent of just cut grass. Well that’s not quite true. This morning, as I made my way from my bedroom to the kitchen I seemed to walk right into a

Continue reading

Day 285. They’re Off!!!

It’s a long weekend here, in Canada.  The first of the summer season.  Victoria Day.  In honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday.  She was born in 1819 and is the great, great grandmother of Britain’s traffic2current reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth.  A more interesting factoid is, Prince Philip (Queen Elizabeth’s husband) is her great, great grandson.

Which means Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are not just husband and wife.  They are also third cousins.

Not that the purpose of this post is to give you a history lesson.  Or get into the perils of in-breeding.

The truth is, I’m not sure what’s more significant about this, particular, long weekend.  The fact we’re Continue reading

Day 275. What Gives?

Geez!  Something’s in the air.  And it ain’t pretty.  At least it’s how my day went yesterday.  Tell you the truth, I’m not so sure I want to venture outside today.  If it’s rudeanything like yesterday was, I’d just as soon stay home.  By myself.  Alone with my cats.  With the ringer off on my phone.  No email.  No texting.  No nothing.

Locked in the bathroom.

It started off well enough.

Gorgeous sunny day.  Something like the fourth or fifth in a row.  Nice and warm.  Everyone should be happy, for God sake.

Winter’s barely a memory.

The trees are full of pretty, new green leaves.  No bare branches at all.  Flowers are popping up everywhere.   Continue reading

Day 41. Changing Seasons

We’ve had one of the hottest summers I can remember.  Hardly any rain.  Temperatures most days in the mid 30s (mid 90s Farenheit).  And with the humidity it felt more like the mid forties.  Day after day after day.  I am not a fan of cold weather, but even I found the heat almost unbearable.

I was thirsty, more than hungry.  And when I did want food, all I really wanted was fruit.  Berries, of every description alone, or with yoghurt, cereal or tossed in a salad.  Peaches, nectarines and plums that were ripe, juicy and not too sweet.  Grapefruit and orange segments, mixed with lime juice and a drop of honey.  Honey dew, cantaloup and watermelon, enjoyed by themselves or added to other ingredients to become lovely, light and refreshing meals.  Cubes of watermelon, feta, kalamata olives, lime juice and fresh mint, for example.  I was eating it by the bowlful.

And then there were the frozen pink lemonade bars I found at Whole foods, that quickly became an addiction.  Very low in calories, they’re tart, cold and the perfect antidote to blazing hot temperatures.  I couldn’t get enough Continue reading