Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Never Say Never

I’m writing from Florida, where it has been raining off and on since we arrived. That has not dampened our spirits since it is warm and anything above 0 C or 32 F feels warm to us. We got out of Muskoka just after the first staying snow. It is unheard of for the river not to freeze in late December. As we left the snow for the rain, a thin skim of ice was forming where the river runs slowest. With this brief respite, I believe winter of 2006-7 will be my shortest ever!! The rain here has been soft and summerish and I don’t mind it.

I once said I'd visited Florida once and I'd never visit Florida again. Never say never. Perhaps my first trip was coloured by the necessity to keep up with the energy the girls generated when they were ten and thirteen!!

Highlights so far:

1. tuna sesame salad (raw tuna on a bed of really fresh greens)…amazing
2. a display of about 500 miniature paintings at a gallery and a long conversation with Thomas Farrell, a loquacious Brit who is reputedly the foremost watercolour miniaturist in the world…wow
3. seeing an ancient documentary on sponge harvesting in Tarpon Springs…not only informative but nostalgically reminiscent of documentaries we used to see as 35 mm. movies in Elementary School way back in the middle of the twentieth century

Lowlights so far:
1. Checking in and immediately out of our first hotel (mould, dirty blankets and carpet). Buyer beware, those picturs on the internet may be generic and may not represent what you are actually booking.
2. Leaving all my American money in Canada
3. Checking in to a second hotel and needing to change rooms the second night because of spiders, holes in curtains, lack of closet doors and no internet access…(all this for $100.00 CAN)

The best thing is that almost everyone I see is older than me, and the worst thing is that almost everyone is older than me. I see my future in every approaching face!!

The score, then, is even so far…and all the little troubles of home seem far away. I thank God for these days and breathe blessings on this somewhat transient place: its elderly citizens, its gated communities, its giant billboards advertizing the specialties of litigation lawyers, its excellent restaurants, its alligators, pellicans, storks, palm trees, waterways and greens.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Psychological Profiling by Dessert Selection

I haven't been feeling terribly profound lately. This test was supposedly developed by psychiatrists but sounds more like something a group of psychologists would come up with late at night at a convention in Atlantic City.

I picked Lemon Meringue Pie and think that the description fits quite well, but those of you who know me best may have other opinions about that. Take this test and see if you think the appropriate description fits YOU.


Don't cheat on this one, go with the first dessert you choose!!!

If all of the desserts listed below were sitting in front of you, which would you choose (sorry, you can only pick one!) Trust me....this is very accurate. Pick your dessert, and then look to see what psychiatrists think about you.

Here are your choices:

1. Angel Food Cake
2. Brownies
3. Lemon Meringue
4. Vanilla Cake With Chocolate Icing
5. Strawberry Short Cake
6. Chocolate on Chocolate
7. Ice Cream
8. Carrot Cake

No, you can't change your mind once you scroll down, so think carefully what your choice will be.

OK - Now that you've made your choice this is what the research says about you... SCROLL DOWN---No Cheating
1. ANGEL FOOD CAKE -- Sweet, loving, cuddly. You love all warm and fuzzy items. A little nutty at times. Sometimes you need an ice cream cone at the end of the day. Others perceive you as being childlike and immature at times.
2. BROWNIES -- You are adventurous, love new ideas, and are a champion of underdogs and a slayer of dragons. When tempers flare up you whip out your saber. You are always the oddball with a unique sense of humor and direction. You tend to be very loyal.
3. LEMON MERINGUE -- Smooth, sexy, & articulate with your hands, you are an excellent after-dinner speaker and a good teacher. But don't try to walk and chew gum at the same time. A bit of a diva at times, but you have many friends.
4. VANILLA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING --Fun-loving, sassy, humorous, not very grounded in life; very indecisive and lack motivation. Everyone enjoys being around you, but you are a practical joker. Others should be cautious in making you mad. However, you are a friend for life.
5. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE -- Romantic, warm, loving. You care about other people, can be counted on in a pinch and expect the same in return. Intuitively keen. Can be very emotional.
6. CHOCOLATE ON CHOCOLATE -- Sexy; always ready to give and receive. Very creative, adventurous, ambitious, and passionate. You can appear to have a cold exterior but are warm on the inside. Not afraid to take chances. Will not settle for anything average in life. Love to laugh.
7. ICE CREAM -- You like sports, whether it be baseball, football, basketball, or soccer. If you could, you would like to participate, but you enjoy watching sports. You don't like to give up the remote control. You tend to be self-centered and high maintenance.
8. CARROT CAKE -- You are a very fun loving person, who likes to laugh. You are fun to be with. People like to hang out with you. You are a very warm hearted person and a little quirky at times. You have many loyal friends.

Okay. Tell me what type you are in the comments below or email me at Email your friends and get them to take the test. I want to hear from the invisible ones, too. And it would be interesting to know how accurate you think the descriptions are of YOU. Those psychologists or psychiatrists could not possibly have normed this test. I wonder how that would be done?


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

From Norway with Love

We have had no snow in Muskoka this Christmas. This is very rare. Our first Muskoka Christmas, it was -40 degrees. I can't remember if this was Fahrenheit or Celsius, but at that temperature, the difference is so slight as to be irrelevant. The oil in our car froze. The air stung our cheeks red and snatched at breath turning it instantly to ice on thick scarves and parka hoods. All was deep winter blue by day and star pricked silky black by night.

According to weather experts, in the last forty years in Canada, thirty-eight have been warmer than usual and only two colder. This lends some startling statistical support to the general sense we all have that winters are not what they used to be.

This morning I gasped with delight at these pictures from Norway taken by a friend of a friend, Ruth Elizabeth, a woman of spirit and creativity. They caused me to praise God for Beauty and to be a bit wistful about old Muskoka winters. The titles are mine, the phrase 'The Blue Hour' belongs to Ruth Elizabeth.

The Blue Hour


Moon in the Morning
I feel poetry rising.