A Non-cook makes Curried Beans and Broccoli

I am not a cook. I am allergic to pots and pans. The sight of an oven gives me hives. I have never managed to avoid the torment of cooking, but I like to keep it simple. I like to open a package and throw it in the microwave.

Tonight I had a rare urge to create in the kitchen.

sauteMaybe it was walking in the rain this afternoon or perhaps a craving for getting back to my roots. I grew up eating curried everything. Curried lamb, curried chicken, curried eggs.. my mom’s motto was “if it’s for dinner, it must be curried”.

My problem? I wanted to use the broccoli I bought a few days ago and I am feeling the vegetarian phase rising to the surface.

Mushrooms, onions, peppers fried up, I steamed the broccoli in the same pot. (minimizing the dishes is important)

add tomatoes and beans

Throw in a can of mixed beans, a can of stewed tomatoes and a ton of curry powder. I let the flavours in my concoction blend for a little while.

Time to try it. Very tasty and nice and HOT!       Wow.. I am impressed. A Curry Dinner with no recipe. Mom would be proud. 

dinner is served

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

What a fabulous day! Warm, sunny.. I love this time of year. I took the dog and went to the woods, the perfect place to photograph the early saturation of colour.  The trail was golden, the kind of rich yellow that makes me smile. It was late in the day, so the sun had that perfect glow and set the world on fire.trailyellow

Some vines are already parading their finest red as they climb the tree trunks, reaching for the sun.glowing

redJust as I was heading back,I saw a fox on the trail, unfortunately, the dog saw it too and chased it away before I could capture its beauty, but then I heard the tapping of a woodpecker and managed to capture him.woody

Go ahead, laugh… the jokes on me today.

Last evening was a quiet evening. I enjoy times when I can simply get myself cozy on the loveseat, all alone with a book and a chai tea as company. All the lights were out save for a lamp to read by. I really do enjoy living alone, I felt so content, my feet propped up on the one arm of the seat, my head against the other. After a while, I felt a quiet rumble in my tummy and remembered I had not eaten since lunch.  There was left over pasta in the fridge, so without turning on the kitchen light, I grabbed it and went to get a bowl. Being a procrastinator, the dishes were still in the dishwasher. I knew I should unload it, I had filled it earlier in the day, but this was not the rime. I would leave it till later or tomorrow. I heated the pasta in the microwave, threw on some parmesan cheese and dug in. Simply delicious.

I was nearly finished when I noticed dog hair sticking out from under the bottom of the bowl. “That’s weird” I said to myself “how did that get there?” (I have a dog that drops hair everywhere but still, I was puzzled.)

I am sorry, but It's not my fault.

I am sorry, but it’s not my fault.

Slowly a light flickered in the recesses of my blonde brain. I jumped up and checked the dishwasher. Sure enough… the soap lay undisturbed in the bottom. I had not pushed the button to actually wash the dishes. I realized I had used a dirty dish to eat from. Horror of all horrors… It must have been the dish I had placed on the floor the night before for the dog to lick clean. EWWWW… dog germs all in the bottom and now it was too late; I had already eaten my dinner… from the dogs bowl…

I will pray I don’t get sick and let this be a lesson about procrastination.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Mysterious and magical, sometimes wild and exciting, other times peaceful, the sea is ever-changing.

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I have lived for a time on the Atlantic and grew up on the Pacific. I love the water, I love swimming and fishing and kayaking. I went Scuba diving in the Indian Ocean and played in the Caribean. I remember swimming in a school of jelly-fish as a youngster and scraping my knee on a barnacle.
But what I enjoy most is watching children as they experience the wonder of the sea. I love watching children as they find a sand dollar or a star fish. I enjoy watching them measure the length of a kelp that has washed ashore. I love to watch them in the waves. sand.  StephenCannon and Kaizen 2

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree

On a recent road trip to the Yukon, I was happily hiking along the trail.

Carefree hiking, far away from all the stress of the world.

Carefree hiking on the Chilkoot Trail, far away from all the stress of the world.

I felt so happy and so carefree, I was skipping in sheer delight at being alive.

The trail took me through the forest.

The trail took me through the forest.

When suddenly…. around a corner, A cute little brown bear cub, just ten feet from me. I stopped and looked around and there, just off in the woods beside me, the mama grizzly and another cub. I realized the danger and I backed up quietly until I felt safe, then backtracked along the trail to a different trail.

I wanted to take more pictures, but wisdom reigned that afternoon and I thought it better to escape while I could.

I wanted to take more pictures, but wisdom won that afternoon and I thought it better to escape while I could.

This incident did not ruin my carefree enjoyment of the trip. In fact, I rather enjoyed my “close encounter” with Mama grizzly and her twins. I am just glad that there was no need for a newspaper report like this very scary story.

Am I Being Stalked?

I am sure it hunted me down, stalked me, waited for the opportune moment before the strike! Yesterday I was stung by a bee. Not once, but twice. the second sting coming hours after the first.Yellow Jacket

pollon

see the yellow pollen on his backside?

I know I always blame the bee, but it was actually a wasp. While bees are busy gathering pollen from the flowers in the garden, wasps are the predators. They feast on other insects, animals and me. I have heard that they feed insects, flies and even caterpillars to their young. Their bodies are sleeker and more streamlined for hunting for me down and attacking.

Wasps are the ones with the thin waistline, bees are the chubby hairy things. They do sting, but do not target humans.

bee

Is this a bee or a wasp? (I can’t tell) or another kind of bug?

I visited a friend and, as I walked along her path to the front door, a wasp (or bee) jumped on and took a ride on my shoulder. While I innocently sat chatting, the nasty killer stung me on the neck. I swiped at it, it fell to the floor where it met its demise.

Later on in the evening, after sitting on the deck and throwing the ball to the dog, I made a phone call to a friend. I was busy chatting again when I felt something crawling under my shirt. My dear friend must have thought I was being murdered. I threw the phone down and ripped off my shirt screaming “don’t you dare touch me” “get off me” “Help!” then a loud thump as I dropped a book on its head. (Mind you, she was still on the other end of the line when I picked up the phone again.)… hmmm … Some friend, she should have called the police, what if I was being attacked by something larger than a wasp… It’s ok E. I forgive you.

Are bees innocent? Have they got a bad name for no reason?

Are bees innocent? Have they got a bad name for no reason?

Do you think it is possible that the first wasp was able to signal his tribe? is it possible that they have my number and I am being hunted? Stalked by the world of wasps?

“I will get revenge.. You killed my brother.
Me and my brothers will get you!!!” We will hunt you down, you cannot hide from us.”

Can I Have a Little Wisdom with that?

Today I am celebrating a milestone birthday.. This past year has been a year of discovery, of growth and learning. I managed to get through all my earlier years, mysteriously oblivious to many truths. This past year, truth blind-sided me, then sent me on a journey of searching for Lily. I am happy to declare that I am brand new, re-invented, unmasked and ready to embrace this coming year with enthusiasm and joy.heronssunset

 

 

 

 

I celebrated early with friends, both at lunch yesterday, then watching the sunset. Today I am continuing the celebration. My friends and family are wonderful people. My friend and writing coach gave me beautiful roses to celebrate and she picked my favorite colour. Patti, you are the best. ( her blog is t http://giantsamongus.ca/ )

Thank you for the beautiful roses Patti

Thank you for the beautiful roses Patti

Speaking of joy and fun, I wanted to have a birthday laugh this morning as I enjoyed my morning coffee. I discovered that a lot of people (many of them unknown) have had some funny things to say about birthdays and age. These are a few that gave me a giggle

I’m sixty years of age.  That’s 16 Celsius.  ~George Carlin, Brain Droppings, 1997. (And since I live in Canada, I muct be around 16 years old now. Another great advantage to being a Canadian)

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. ~Lucille Ball

It’s sad to grow old, but nice to ripen. – By Brigitte Bardot  

A  birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip.~Author Unknown 

 Men are like wine. Some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.   C. Joad  (I recommend getting rid of the vinegar and sticking to the wine, I know I did)

Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself. – By Tom Wilson

They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body. – By Unknown Author

Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake. – Unknown Author 

O Canada, Why are We so Weird?

O Canada… 146 years old and still the most beautiful country to live in.

The 2nd regional-canada-maplargest country in the world with a population density of just 8.6 people per square mile. (there’s a lot of extra people in my square mile, but that’s ok, most of them are friendly). The average lifespan is just over 81 (women live longer so I am working on staying healthy)

So enough with the boring facts.

Seven weird and wonderful facts about Canada:

  1. Cryptozoologists ( now that is a career choice for all you recent graduates) claim that Canada is the home of several cryptids, including Sasquatch, a giant sloth-like creature known as the beaver-eater, a cannibalistic wildman named Windigo, and a number of lake monsters, such as Ogopogo in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.
  2. If you visit Dawson City, Yukon, you can join the “Sourtoe Cocktail Club” —
    The Toe is in the Yukon Jack

    The Toe is in the Yukon Jack (Photo credit: jimmywayne)

    all you have to do is finish a drink (of anything!) with a real human toe in the bottom. The club’s motto says, “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow — but the lips have gotta touch the toe.”  (keep your shoes on while you are there… who knows where they get all these toes)  Silly me, I did not join the club. I will have to go back… Road-trip anyone?

  3. Watson Lake, which is a gateway to the Yukon for travellers driving north from British Columbia, is home to a forest that has about 72,000 signposts. This allsignpost forest started in 1942 during the building of the Alaska Highway, with a U.S. Army G.I. who posted a sign to his hometown, and the mileage. It became a tradition for travellers. You can hang a sign yourself. (The Yukon has lots of fun stuff to do, when we are on that road-trip, lets take a sign.)
  4. Everyone knows Santa Claus lives in Canada. It’s thanks to thousands of kind Canadians that kids around the world get answers to their letters and emails to Santa each year. Canada Post volunteers have answered more than 1 million letters in 30 languages (including braille). They ask that you don’t include cookies, but do include the postal code: HOH OHO.
  5. Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island is home To an Annual Bathtub Race. It’s a
    They really get the tubs moving.

    They really get the tubs moving.

    crazy competition that started in 1967. The first year close to 200 contestants started on the 36-mile course in converted bathtubs – only 48 finished. (did the rest forget to put in the plug?) This fun event is part of The Nanaimo Marine Festival, which includes a Bathtub Parade. 2013’s race day is July 28.

  6. One of Canada’s most unique Centennial projects in 1967 was the building of
    UFO Landing Pad (thanks to Flicker)

    UFO Landing Pad (thanks to Flicker)

    the world’s first UFO Landing Pad in St. Paul, Alberta. The town provided the land, and local businesses provided building supplies and labour for the raised cement pad. Making things even stranger? Paul Hellyer, then Minister of National Defense, flew in (by helicopter, not spaceship) to officially open it. (how embarrassing) They are still watching and waiting. Did the little green men on Mars get the memo?

  7. The Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba have more snakes in a concentrated area than anywhere else in the world. Tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes gather there every year. On the other hand, there are no snakes on the island of Newfoundland. (on our road-trip we can take some Garter snakes from Manitoba and deliver them. I am sure our kindness will be appreciated by both provinces).

Consider this your official invitation to join me on the road-trip. we will be searching for Cryptids, drinking and hanging signs in the Yukon, looking for aliens, gathering and delivering snakes, racing a bathtub (BYOP – bring your own plug) and most importantly, having a beer with Santa.

Just let me know in the comments if you want to join the road-trip…

It’s life’s illusions I recall

On this difficult day, this particular day in June, I am feeling rather sad, Joni Mitchell songs are running through my head. It seems fitting somehow. Joni, I know how you felt when you wrote these words.

Both Sides Now:  by Joni Mitchell

Photo by Lily Mugford

Photo by Lily Mugford

view from the campsite at Ladies Creek

Photo by Lily Mugford

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds * that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev’ry fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care,                       don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now 
From win and lose and still somehow 
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all
I’ve looked at life from both sides now 
From up and down, and still somehow 
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all.

This line from one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs is my verse for the day.

The Gallery

I gave you all my pretty years 
Then we began to weather.

I pray “the sun will come out tomorrow” so I can sing a new song.