A different kind of Sundae!

IMG_3778

 

This is a Pineapple Upside-down Cake Sundae!!

And it tastes as delicious as its long name – hahaha!

It’s a layering of french vanilla ice cream on the bottom, then some food processor-crumbled, days-old pound cake, topped with a pineapple ‘n sugar ‘n cinnamon sauce, a swirl of whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry on top.  YUM!!

Learned this one in Tuesday’s cooking class, and I definitely wanted to try it! I end up making most of the dishes that we learn in class. The family enjoys them.  😀

*****

I haven’t posted anything about food in quite a while; I figured I was due.  ❤

 

 

Advertisements

Starting to see them more….and more

 

About a week ago I was walking along a main street in downtown Montréal, Québec, with some friends, and as we came to this intersection, my attention was momentarily diverted to this parked car with a cable coming out of its front side slot and connected to the pole just a few feet back on the sidewalk.

Cool!

An electric car? At an electric charger?

I snapped some photos quickly, so I could catch up with my by-now-further-ahead friends, with the idea of researching at my leisure once I got back home.

 

IMG_9413

 

Here is another view of the car….

 

IMG_9414

 

When I described this Chevrolet to my kids, they immediately veered onto talking about the newish Bolt….completely electric car.

Our family is quite excited on the car trends finally moving further into the driving-with-electric technology, as we are keenly interested in people and businesses focusing on renewable energy resources and more sustainable living options.  Moving away from the heavy dependence on oil and onto solutions that encourage treading more lightly on our earth.

Now….as I am pulling these two photos up for this post, I am noticing some differences from the Chevrolet Bolt photos I had seen online.  With more in-depth googling, I have come across the Chevrolet Volt – a hybrid car that still uses gas but also uses electric charging capabilities.  The images of the Volt match the one in my photos.

Fascinating subject!

It’s good to be seeing these types of cars more and more.

And exciting what the future of cars and driving will bring!

 

 

A Revival of Old-style Communications

Isn’t it interesting that in these smartphone and computerized times there are still people around the world who delight and participate in sending letters – and especially postcards! – to friends and family…..AND even to strangers!

Yes!  They do!

I’ve been drawn back into that world of communications quite recently…just by those unexpected happenstance moments.

The first one occurred on my return flight back from my visit to Germany in May of this year.  The woman sitting on the other side of my husband was on her way to visit friends in Montreal.  And somehow she and I just clicked and we got to chatting – in German – about each of our adventures. Ultimately, we realized that one of our common interests involved how much we both enjoy writing and receiving mail…the old-fashioned way.   So, we exchanged our mailing addresses and have since embarked on a fun pen-pal relationship.

A couple of weeks ago I sent her these two postcards, showing some views of the town near where I live…

 

IMG_4660 (2)

 

And then the second memorable time was when I went to the book store in that town to find some postcards to send.  I was chatting with the owner of the store, and as our conversation was coming to a close, he added on something that had just occurred to him on the subject of postcards and how tricky they can be to find these days in view of all the e-mailing and social media that’s going on.

He told me how his wife had found a website that encourages postcard exchanges from all around the world!  She had just recently started and was enjoying it immensely, and he gave me the link in case I was interested in pursuing this old-style mail exchange.

And yeah!  Was I ever interested!

So, I searched out Postcrossing.com, registered, and was on my merry way to engage in postcard exchanges.  The site is well organized in that from all its members, people wishing to send postcards are given randomly drawn names of other members with their addresses and then are required to send a postcard to that person.  There are codes given with each postcard for ease of recording and keeping track of all the mail exchange activity going on.

The site is super friendly and provides interesting information, as well as a forum and help pages.  It gives stats on the distances being covered with these postcards and keeping track of one’s own personal sent and received cards, along with a wall in which to post one’s favourites.

The fun is in requesting a name for sending a postcard – and you don’t know who it will be, but you can read their personal write-ups on the website once you have been given their name.  You get a little idea of who they are.  And once your postcard has been received by that person and registered with the website, then someone else will get your name…..and THEN…..the delightful surprise at one day going to the mailbox and finding a postcard from someone from another country!!

Isn’t that cool !!

In my case, the first person I was given lives in Germany, and he’s a fellow who enjoys sports and collecting stamps, among other things.

So, I picked this postcard from my town, which shows the statue of the gentleman – Dr. James Naismith – who invented basketball.  And I picked out a stamp with a Canadian moose on it for his stamp collection.  He sent me a thank-you message when he received it.

IMG_4723

Once I found out that my postcard had arrived all right at its destination, then I was eagerly awaiting the one that would be coming to me!

And I’m happy to say that when I went to the mailbox yesterday, there among a couple of advertisement flyers was a postcard for me!  Interestingly, it came from a young lady, also living in Germany……but from a different area.

Here is what hers looks like:

 

IMG_7640

 

Cute, isn’t it?

Translated, it means:  “Don’t wait for the storm to pass by….instead learn to dance in the rain.”

So, I went on the Postcrossing website and registered the arrival of her postcard.  And I also sent her a thank-you message.

AND….I have requested my next new postcard recipient!  She lives in Moscow, Russia!  How exciting!!

Exchanging postcards in this way is a bit like travelling, isn’t it?

Yes…even with all of our ultra advanced and cool technology, there are still some old-style activities that provide lots of fun like they used to do.

 

 

The Art of Falling

 

I just came across this gem via one of my girlfriend’s posts.

It gave me goosebumps.

I found it impactful and beautifully done.

It has a profound message.

The Facebook page Access Oneness posted this clip with this lead-in comment:

“So, you lose balance and you fall … but, what do you do next? Stop? Or go on? Make art out of falling …”

*****

P.S. Re-watching it…..I just noticed something else. Look at the colouring of the trees from the aerial view.

 

The Guinness Mystery!

Okay, so it isn’t a true mystery in the sense of a whodunit.

But it does involve beer – yay! – and I did have to do a bit of sleuthing.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try a new recipe from my cooking classes.  I had a hunch my lads would enjoy Potato Cheddar Guinness Soup.  There’s just something enticingly tasty about cheese and beer together, right?

The only ingredient I didn’t have was the Guinness beer, and so I stopped by the local beer store to find some.  I used their computer system to search for it, and when the attendant brought me the two over-sized cans, they looked like regular, aluminum beer cans.  Kinda snazzy with black background and gold lettering.

And when I opened up the one can – keeping the other for a future soup-making session – I poured all the contents into the soup…..and oh!  What a wonderful aroma coming from the soup pot!

It was THEN…..as I turned the can back over to its upright position in order to put it off to the side, that I heard a dull clink sound inside the can.  How bizarre!  But I had to stay focused on finishing the soup and then cutting up the fresh baked bread to be served to my family.

Later on while doing the dishes, I again turned my attention to the can with the curious noise.  I turned the can upside down again, then shook it around, then tried peering into the small opening made with the snap opener…..but couldn’t really see the object inside the can that was making the fun little clink tones.

I asked my lads if they knew if this was a normal thing to find in a can of Guinness?  And yes, apparently, there is a tradition of some round bauble thing inside the can.

To make the beer taste better, they said.

Really?

Hmm……interesting!

By now some of you would have said, why don’t you just google it!  That seems to be the catch phrase these days.  I’m old school.  I will try other things first…..and then go, oh yeah, I can google it.

So, I got out my trusty “hand-powered” can opener and cut around the top part of the can to finally discover the bauble surprise inside.

Isn’t it cute?!?!

 

IMG_4362

 

Akin to a ping pong ball in lightness and looks – doesn’t bounce like one, though.  It just lands hard on the floor with a loud “blunk!’

 

IMG_4371 (2)

 

IMG_4380

 

And after that bit of exploration and experimentation, I looked up what google had to say:

(written by Julia Calderone for the Business Insider, Sept. 25, 2015)

“…That little gadget is called a “widget,” and you should be thankful for it. It’s making your beer taste like it was just poured fresh from the tap.

A widget is a hollow, spherical piece of plastic with a tiny hole in it — it looks like a little ping pong ball.

During the canning process, brewers add pressurized nitrogen to the brew, which trickles into the hole along with a little bit of beer. The entire can is then pressurized.

When you open the can, the pressure inside the can drops to equalize with the pressure in the room. Since the pressure inside the widget is still much higher than the pressure in the beer around it, the nitrogenated beer from inside the widget squirts into the beer — providing a burst of tiny bubbles of nitrogen gas that rise to the top of beer, giving it a thick, creamy head you’d get straight from the tap.

Guinness brewers first patented the idea of the widget in 1969….”

 

**********

 

Mystery solved!   😀

 

IMG_4376

 

Go ahead and Try Some!

IMG_3920

 

Isn’t it grand to have friends who share something new they’ve tried and encourage you to take a sample?

Yesterday I had gone to the home of my friend, Susan, in order to do some cleaning work there.  As is her customary “greeting” for me, I found one of her daily inspirational books opened to yesterday’s post, an envelope addressed to me, along with something delectable and new to try…..in this case, Sweet & Sour Tamarind

In the past I have enjoyed eating samosas and dipping them into a classic Indian tamarind sauce.  So, I was curious to see what tamarinds actually look like.

 

IMG_3933

 

The outer shells are of a light, brittle texture and fall apart easily.

Haha!  At first, I mistakenly thought that the outer shell is to be eaten as well.

 

IMG_3943

 

It wasn’t until I was working my way through the bites and pits – that she had forewarned me for – that I realized that the reddish dried and chewy part inside that tan-coloured outer shell is the tamarind and inside that are the blackish pits.

 

IMG_3957

 

I nibbled my way through two of those pods from her box.

I rather enjoyed this new and different taste sensation!

 

IMG_3964

When one door closes….

slowdownfast-feb-23-2017-moi

(photo courtesy of my friend, Mark Welsford, of Fairchild Photography; taken at the Rock Show hosted by Main Street School of Music in Arnprior, Feb. 23rd, 2017; with my ladies band)

 

**********

 

So….as of four days ago ie Monday, I am no longer part of the Werth It band.

Yeah…..bummer, eh?

Some changes in life seem to take a long time, and others can happen real fast.

All in a matter of a conversation, even.

It’s a parting on good terms, as the three of us had a fun time with all of our practices and a couple of performances. At the beginning it seemed as if we all shared a same vision and goals for our band, but over time it became clearer that things were getting somewhat askew.

As with every band experience I learned more about music – new songs, which are of a diverse mix, and I shall miss not playing them. And the dynamics of yet another group of people seeking to share their love of music.

Today as I was doing some more thinking about the change of events, I started focusing on more positives.

a) we might bump into each other again and have an opportunity to jam to songs

b) the ladies band I am in is still going strong, and now that our most recent Rock Show performance is behind us, we are looking to working on some new songs, That’s always an exciting time!

c) I was in conversation with a musician friend I haven’t seen in quite a while, and one of the things we discussed was getting together at her place and she and I just jamming out. I found out that she also plays the piano, in addition to bass! And we both sing, so that will be something fun to look forward to…. 🙂

d) things that I had to pass on or decline, because they conflicted with the band practices, I can now attend again…..like the monthly blues jams. Even though I willingly passed on those, I did feel a tiny twinge of regret last month, when I had to miss my drumming buddy, Andy’s inaugural time at being house drummer for the blues jam…..something he has been dreaming of doing for a long time. So, I know how much it meant to him. From what I heard, he did a marvellous job of it! 😀

e) and finally, more regular sessions with my newest drumming coach/teacher, Derek DeBeer (whom I was introduced to by Peter Fredette at the last League of Rock showcase night in December). I could only juggle two sessions so far, and both times we had a blast! We did kitwork in those sessions, but he also teaches hand drumming – he’s originally from South Africa – and I hope to also attend one of his monthly drumming circles, where I’m sure there will be plenty of African style rhythms to explore and learn…..and in a larger group, too!

So…..all that to say…..all is well. And life goes on.

 

Have you heard of a brinicle?

Wow!  It is freaky cool!    😀

I just discovered this video clip the other day.  The actual scientific footage was filmed in 2012.   It’s the first time I’ve heard of a brinicle.  So interesting to see how it is created and formed and what effect it has on its immediate surroundings in the ocean.  All part of scientific studies done in Antarctica.

Our earth is a never-ending source of new discoveries!

Check it out below….

 

 

In addition, this BBC article provides some extra details.  Click here for the article.

 

 

A Taste of….Wrongful Conviction!

As I have mentioned on a few previous posts, in addition to writing and blogging and other jobs, I also am busily involved with music, having experienced being in bands and performing live as well. (And I started eight years ago, when I took up drumming lessons)

Here in the Ottawa area is an organized opportunity – called the League of Rock – for aspiring musicians to take part for 10-week sessions in being put together in bands, learning 3-5 songs, having weekly rehearsals, getting coached from mostly local professional musicians, getting to perform live, as well as going into a recording studio to experience the process of recording one song.

I have taken part in four sessions – started in the fall session 2015 and finished with this last fall session – and it’s been an amazing experience!  I have met so many keen and talented musicians and had a LOT of fun.  There are a lot of friendships made, and also a sense of family created amongst the participants.

Truly memorable moments.

Here is the video that my band finally received from the photographer about our part of the finale live performance, where all five of the bands in this fall session showed the appreciative audience what they’d been working on.

*****

Videographer – Christopher Paine

My Beloved “Born Free”

Here is a montage of photos from a youtube channel I just found, when I went searching for links to go with my beloved “Born Free” song.
I say beloved, because from the first time I heard the song and saw the movie, it made its home in my heart.

Something about Elsa, the lioness, and her caring human friends touched me deeply.

Every time….and I mean EVERY time I hear that song, I get all choked up inside. It’s a good choked up. My eyes water. I have no idea why, but it gets to me.

I suppose because it’s a song that speaks of freedom, which is the joy and true being of every creature on earth – human and animal – and to be born free and to live free is so important.
Thank you, Spotify algorithms for sharing the song again with me…..Matt Monro sings it.  I forever associate the song with his voice, too.

I love Elsa’s story.
I have had a soft spot for the large cats, since I was a young girl.
Panthers, tigers, leopards…..and especially lions.
The movie “Born Free” came out in 1966, so I was 6.
It made a lasting impression on me.

Even when watching the movie again years later, that child-like love resurfaced.

It’ll also explain why I felt compelled to get all THREE books at one point in my teen years. The two movies were based on the books (Born Free, Living Free, Forever Free) – written by Joy Adamson, describing the adventures she and her husband, George, experienced, when they lived in Kenya. Among their adventures was when they rescued orphaned Elsa, raised her and successfully (with some challenges, of course) returned her to the wild.
And Elsa managed to be part of a lion pride again and have her own cubs.

But mostly I fell in love with Elsa. Her wild and gentle spirit.

Here’s the song…..perhaps you’ve heard it before?

 

NOTE:  There are photos in this montage excerpted from Joy Adamson’s books and from the movie, “Born Free.”