Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Goodbear’s Back!!!!!

January 28, 2011
“Hide-and-seek’s more fun than hide-and-hide.”

Hi everybody,

This is just a quick post to say that Goodbear has returned to the Blogosphere from a hiatus of four months (that’s, like, 16 bloglives).

Goodbear was the second blogger (after Checkers, and besides E.g., who was only humouring me ūüėČ ) to leave a comment on my brand-new-baby blog, on March 6, 2008. What drew her here? Three guesses…tic-tic-tic…time’s up:

Dog barf.

Yep, her dog Cody Bear has gastroparesis, and my Cai started his life with megaesophagus. These are both digestive-tract poblems — Cody’s food wouldn’t leave his stomach, and Cai’s wouldn’t get down his throat. Goodbear and I exchanged notes on our furchildren’s conditions, and have been fast friends ever since.

So if you have a moment, please pop over and welcome her back. Like me, she’s a generalist blogger: her dogs, interesting birds and bugs, hikes in the desert foothills, decent beer, and memorable meals all go into the mix.

But mostly, her dogs. Cody is a Chow mix, and Pickles a Border Collie. Oh, and there’s Spree, the kitty, too. See them here at Cody Bear’s Friends.

Or maybe photography’s more your thing. For photos that really capture the personality — er, dogonality? — of every canine she meets, please visit her photoblog, Dog Daily Photo. We mustn’t let her get away again!

(Wordless Wednesday) How Blockbusters Begin

January 26, 2011

Reflections on a Frightening Film

January 11, 2011

This week, several food-related incidents occurred. One was that we’ve gotten¬†back on the Weight Watchers program, and have agreed to swap¬†k.p.¬†duty every other week.

The second is that I’ve been perusing online seed catalogues,¬†making little charts and studying the backyard while¬†playing fetch with¬†the dogs.

The next is that we’ve signed up for Bible studies at the church we’ve started attending. Eh? Well, yes, this denomination is acutely aware of social justice issues, and one of the possibilities for a several-week study is the danger of according corporations the right to patent food.

Frankly, I had no idea what the topic was about. E.g., though, decided that last night’s supper entertainment would be the American documentary film, Food, Inc. It was a well-balanced film. It stated facts clearly, calmly, and soberly. And it disturbed me greatly.

Disregard for animal welfare was only a side issue in this film; human rights abuse was its main focus. Health issues, environmental harm, employment practices tantamount to human trafficking, and governmental and police collusion with food industry owners — suddenly I don’t feel so hungry.

If you’re Canadian, you have a few weeks yet to see this film on the CBC website in the Passionate Eye series (I’m presuming that the programming is inaccessible to people outside the country). But be warned, it isn’t dinner theatre.

I spent today online again, this time researching container gardening tips and gathering a list of calcium-rich foods. Ones that didn’t start with a cow — or patented soybeans, for that matter.

Lemme know if you’re interested in any of the menu plans I concoct for next week. And don’t worry, I’ll smile again soon.

Growing up is just no fun at all.

A Turn for the Verse

November 15, 2010

“Founded upon a rock” or “cast upon stony soil”?

We took the furchildren for a walk in Rockwood Park the other day. Up a hill from the trail we were on, I noticed a cedar growing on a boulder.

Now if you know anything about cedars, you know they’re crazy cusses. They can live 500 years, clinging to cliff faces. Shriveled. Twisted. Stunted. Looking, except for a fattened base whose rings prove their senescence, no different than they were at the age of 10. To those who know or care, they inspire awe for their tenacity, but also pity or discomfiture for their grotesquerie.

They’ll never be anyone’s Christmas tree. They’re no good for lumber. They aren’t even noticeable next to the tall ones who landed on good ground.

Sometimes — not always, but sometimes — I wish I weren’t a cedar.

Scripture Snippet Sunday, Brought to You by the Garden

May 30, 2010
I’ve studied enough of that amazing library known as the Bible to know that for¬†just about every verse,¬†there’s one diametrically opposed to it. ¬†So I’m not here to preach. These are just a few photos paired with a few words, in hopes of evoking a little beauty, a spot of warmth, a bit of a smile. Enjoy.

"Behold, thou art fair, my beloved..." -- Song of Solomon 1:16

"In my father's house are many mansions..." -- John 14:2

"Prepare the way of the Lord...in the wilderness..." -- Isaiah 40:3

"And he dreamed, and beheld a ladder set up on the earth, and the top
of it reached to heaven... -- Genesis 28:12

"Supposing him to be the gardener..." -- John 20:15

"Oh, that I had wings like a dove!" -- Psalm 55:6

Turtle Channels Sanskrit

February 22, 2009

Well, no. Fact is, we have only 26 letters to transcribe every word in any language ever written — Sanskrit, for example, has a much more sensible¬†53 — so the probability of finding a word to match a combination of English vowels and consonants is pret-ty high. Besides, I thought it was Hebrew.

Lemme explain. I awoke from a dream this morning, in which I was discussing Judaism with a Jewish woman about my age. We were in her rec room. I was sitting on the rust-coloured shag carpeting beside a coffee-table-sized memorial, on which sat a cylindrical, pewter urn with the letters CHAYAM inscribed around the top. I tried to remember such a word from my Biblical Hebrew course, but couldn’t come up with one.

On awaking, I decided the word was meant to be “chaim”, which means “life”. You may recall Tevye and his neighbour with their wine glasses, toasting each other with the words, “L’chaim! To life!” in Fiddler On the Roof.

But I decided to google the letters I’d seen anyway, since I so rarely manage to read anything in dreams. Is there a Hebrew word transcribed this way?

Nope; but there’s a Sanskrit one. According to Vedabase¬†,

chńĀyńĀm means: shelter; darkness; shade.

aŇĄghri-chńĀyńĀm means: the shade of His feet.

In some ways, chaim and chńĀyńĀm are in opposition: life, celebration, darkness, shade. But in both terms there is peace, gratitude, acknowledgment of the Most High. And Turtle, always one for wordplay, thinks that’s kinda nifty.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden hankering for Kosher butter chicken.

Two for Tuesday

December 9, 2008

Umm… why yes, I am making this up as I go along. Why do you ask?

Feeling a bit under the weather today. You know, singing snatches of Lionel Richie tunes, talking to my door keys, leaning against the stairwell wall halfway through lacing my boots, and all of this without alcohol.

So I thought I would make a list of 22 twos.

  1. Two beverages E.g. brought home tonight to make me feel better: orange juice and super-vitamin-C mixed fruit juice.
  2. Two unusual things I did today: washed the floors and vacuumed the couch.
  3. Two ingredients in tonight’s supper: black beans and cheddar cheese.
  4. Two films I watched for the first time this weekend: Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  5. Two books I’ve read recently: The Shipping News (a novel) and Rose: My Life in Service (a memoir) .
  6. Two states I’ve camped in: Maine and Vermont.
  7. Two¬†tallish things I’ve climbed: Mount Mansfield (Vermont, USA) and Roy’s Peak (Wanaka, NZ).
  8. Two tallish things I haven’t climbed: Croagh Patrick, Ireland (too foggy that day) and the CN Tower, Toronto (my knees would never forgive me) .
  9. Two countries I would revisit in a heartbeat: New Zealand and Ireland.
  10. Two instruments I know how to play: the French horn and the recorder.
  11. My two favourite subjects in school: Music and English.
  12. Two male actors I enjoy: Patrick Stewart and Johnny Depp.
  13. Two female actors I enjoy: Dame Maggie Smith and Cate Blanchett.
  14. Two films I can watch again and again: Moonstruck and The Lord of the Rings.
  15. Two pieces I would love to hear together¬†in a remix: Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
  16. Two Canadian concerts I’ve attended: Gordon Lightfoot (in 1970-something) and the Toronto Consort (many times; they play medieval and renaissance music) .
  17. Two playwrights whose works I’ve seen in Stratford (Ontario) : GB Shaw and Shakespeare.
  18. Two tabletop games I enjoy: Scrabble and Cribbage.
  19. Two artists I like: Monet and Whistler.
  20. Two poets I like: Robert Burns and John Keats.
  21. Two short story writers I like: Margaret Lawrence and Edgar Allen Poe.
  22. Two places I like to take the dogs: High Park and Cherry Beach.

Yippee! Done.