I took this picture in Westport, California.  Unique is the only word I can use to describe the scene.  This wired mess is shaped like a whale and there seems to be lights hooked up to this wired sculpture.  If you look closely there appears to be a diving board.  What intrigued me to take this picture was the little yellow sign that said “my magical world.”  All in the eye of the beholder!  Westport had unique scenes all through the little town, a town of about 200 people. I loved it!

“The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart”

Maryanne Williamson


The One Time You Don’t Want Your Kids To Be Quiet -Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning!

As we enter the sunny weather and hit the beaches and the pools – a little caution is never regretted..This is a good article full of information I didn’t know. I hope everyone has a happy and safe summer.

Sunny Sleevez


In many child drownings, adults are nearby but have no idea the victim is dying. Here’s what to look for.

Children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. Many of us have learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you know what to look for whenever people enter the water. Usually a child will drown without making a sound. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response—so named by Francesco A. Pie, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or…

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war collage

Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood.  ~Gandhi, Non-violence in Peace and War, 1948

Several years ago while visiting Fort Stevens, Astoria, Oregon – we stumbled upon a mini civil war reenactment.  The big reenactment weekend is in September and you’re lucky if you can find a place to stay that weekend.  It was interesting and the boys loved it,  but the whole war thing just leaves me shaking my head.  At the front of the gift store there is a memorial rose garden; replenished my spirit after all that war talk.



This issue is becoming known worldwide – “Quebec Soccer Federation bans Sikhs from wearing turbans in soccer.”  This ban effectively stops many children and adults from playing soccer in the Province of Quebec.  The Quebec Soccer Federation says that the reason for the ban is a safety issue.  Sikhs are outraged and I don’t blame them, they bloody well should be.  Safety issue, what safety issue?  The safety issue has not really been explained.  Maybe while a player is running the turban will unwrap and fall off the players head temporarily blinding their opponent!  Do you detect sarcasm here?   The whole issue baffles me.  Pauline Marois, Quebec Premier,  has now come out backing the Quebec Soccer Fedration on the turban ban even though the Canadian Soccer Association has come out against the ban.  Pauline says that she supports the QSF ban and doesn’t feel that the QSF should have to answer to any Canadian governing board.  Of course, she is Parti Quebecois and her statement couldn’t be any more separatist in nature.   Sikhs say this goes against their Religious freedom as turbans are part of practicing their faith.  I don’t completely understand the correlation between the turban and the Sikh faith; but it should not be an issue.  The QSF has not given any rational reason as to why they are banning turbans so I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s prejudice based.  I was born in Quebec and what people don’t realize is just how tense that Province can be.  I am not bilingual and I was raised in an English family, living in an English neighbourhood.  Tension between French and English has always been strong evidenced by Referendums, bombs in mailboxes, Separatism and Rene Levesque. A distinct society makes Quebec unique and gives government powers that are not seen elsewhere in Canada.  In 1976 laws were passed (Bill 101) to ensure that French was the official language of Quebec making it unlawful to have English on billboards, in commercial establishments and with this Bill the sign police were established.  If you owned a business and you advertised in English the sign police could administer fines and eventually shut you down if you refused to comply.  I knew of a business that had signs saying “welcome” in all languages, not just French or English and the sign police made the owner take all the signs down except for the bienvenue sign of course.  English education was restricted to  children who were already being schooled in English as well as their siblings.     The writing was on the wall, if you were English there was no future for you in Quebec.  My Step Father got a job transfer out West and my parents moved us out of Quebec.  My mother was born and brought up in Quebec and loved the Province but she loved her children more and wanted us raised in a Province where we had a future.  Once while flying home from back east I had the pleasure of sitting beside a French Canadian.  We had a conversation about the English and French in Quebec and he said to me flat out that he was a manager in the hotel industry in Montreal and when they received resumes of people with English names the resumes were thrown into the waste basket.    So back to the turban ban, is it any wonder that this is happening in Quebec?  I think the Sikhs are erroneous in their assumption that this is about their Religious beliefs; it’s more likely that when one wears a turban they just don’t look French.  Maybe if they wrote bienvenue on their turbaned head the turbans would be welcomed.  All Canadian’s message to the QSF and Parti Quebecois’ Pauline Marois should be – keep your politics out of children’s play and let them play their beloved sport!

Butter Chicken

butter chicken

This recipe is really good – I’ve always made this recipe with chicken breast cut into pieces.

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 white onion, chopped

2 tablespoons of butter

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent.
Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf.
Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in half-and-half and yogurt.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillt over medium heat.
Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Reduce heat and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne.
Stir in about 1/3 of the sauce and simmer until liquid has reduced and chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Pour the rest of the sauce into the chicken.
Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce.
Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

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Finally, the last few days we’ve had deck weather.  Weather so beautiful, we can sit in our outdoor room that I created.  Love our front deck and while thrifting this past January, I found the perfect four piece furniture set to make the outside space a true paradise.  We sit out there with our morning coffee, our afternoon tea and  sip our after dinner drinks watching the boys play roller hockey well into the evening with the added touch of the glowing candle lighting from the lanterns.  Summer – I can hardly wait until the boys finish their Spring hockey so I can really have lazy weekends on the front deck.. No don’t say it, I know you’re thinking it, by the time I can laze around it will be raining – bad thought – go away.  Below is a collage of our front room – everything you see I thrifted – from the plaques on the wall – $2.50 each at Salvation Army, picture frame – 10 cents at Salvation Army.  Tray and white planter  on coffee table – $3.00 at Salvation Army.  Green couch, chairs and coffee table(beautiful wicker set) – $480.00 at Bibles for Missions, outside lanterns – $2.50 a piece on sale at winners(not thrifted but a thrifted price), unique round plant stand – $5.00 – garage sale, everything you see on the unique round plant stand – garage sale – all $1.00 – $2.00.  Picture behind the couch(looking for the right hook to hang it up)$5.00 – Value Village, Curtains( 5 panels – covers whole deck) Cheap material shower curtains(won’t rot in the rain) $9.00 per panel – used seven panels to make the curtains just under $65.00.  All in all, I spent just over $570.00 and the biggest expense was $480.00 for the outdoor furniture.  Living on the cheap and loving it.  Double click on the picture below for a better view.