Monday, 27 September 2010

And off they'll go!

It seems like Mrs MD has increased her reproductive fitness having successfully hatched two broods and her second batch of offspring will soon be off. I am so glad for her and thankful that she provided our offspring with some entertainment.
Mrs MD's second batch of babies.
You can tell by the colour of the leaves that summer left us a while ago.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Mrs MD

You might remember the post about the mourning dove that picked the tree in our front yard to nest this year. She had two chicks and then she was gone. Or so I was told. I was away for a month and couldn't stalk her like I had been doing since she showed up.
Mrs MD with her chicks, they look rather scary
When I returned my neighbour mentioned she was back and calling for her chicks. I knew she was not that stupid. And guess what? She is nesting again!! The best part about it that our toddler is learning to quietly watch her every day and says, "hi biddie." 

I hope "biddie" gets her chicks out of the eggs and is off in good time. It is getting a bit chilly now.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Finally fallen

Anne Frank's tree has finally fallen. It is sad. I remember the many trees that I absolutely loved and had to be cut down because they were 'sick'. I am not so sad about the tree falling, everything has its time. Its sad that it has made news. It is only news because Anne was killed in a concentration camp at age 15. She didn't just die at the camp.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

A garden for all seasons

Not everyone is born a gardener. But I am testimony to the fact that everyone can become one. What with information on just about anything on google, its easy to learn to garden no matter where on the planet you are now. You just need access to the internet and of course the material. Anyways, I wanted flowers early to lighten the misery of early Spring with the snow having disappeared and time left for warm winds to nudge the flora on.

So I planted some daffodils in a bed with a giant hosta. The good things about daffodils is that they do well in sun or shade. So this is what my 'hosta' bed looked like early Spring.
The flowers were a bit of a dissapointment because I thought I had picked lots of different shades and types of daffodils. Apparently not! But you can't help but be pleased and feel all happy when you see these pretty flowers. So simple, so elegant and fragrant too.
After putting on a beautiful show for us they went their way. And in their place I now have giant hostas. I am not sure exactly what this particular hosta is called, but we love it. They are bright green with the most beautiful leaves. You'd never even know the daffodils were there.
Aren't they regal?

Yay for Mrs Mourning Dove!

Why they are called mourning doves beats me. I love these quiet birds. It is always nice to see them in the yard. They are not pesky like the red-winged black birds or the grackle for that matter. Anyways, my neighbour pointed out a nest Mrs MD had built right in front of our house. She was nesting in a really low branch and seemed quite content when I saw her two days ago and took this picture.
Since then I have checked on her everyday to make sure she was there and hadn't abandoned her babies-to-be. Yesterday I was really concerned for her when the weather guys forecast gale force winds and tornadoes. We had also experienced a teeny bit of seismic activity earlier in the day. So naturally, me being me, was super concerned. When heavy rain woke me up at 4:00 am I actually though of her before I thought of my son sleeping in his room.

Well, she seems to be doing fine and sit sitting pretty. Keep your fingers and toes and whatever else crossed for my Mrs MD.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


I love saying it - paella! The first time I cooked it was when we had asked our neighbours over for dinner and I had no clue what to do. My trusty old friend who always pulled off a fabulous dinner suggested paella. She rattled off a recipe, but she gave me no quantity. So I Googled the recipe and improvised as I went on. Improvisation is my problem when it comes to cooking. Anyhow, we ended up with enough paella to feed the neighbourhood. And it didn't taste that good either. Thank God for wine they ate politely and left.

Yesterday I cooked a vegetarian paella from an Australian Women's Weekly cookbook a friend gave me some time ago and it turned out just like in the book!! How often does that happen? Well not too often in my case. And I did not improvise! And it tasted okay.

The best part about the whole paella effort was that my toddler ate it!! Woohoo!
I always intend to take pretty pictures with the food presented beautifully, but screaming toddler + hungry husband = blurry pictures of food in the cooking pots.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Secret daughter

After an entire year of reading peer reviewed journal articles and academic books and what not I was craving, yes craving, a novel. And I read the Shilpi Gowda's Secret Daughter.

I got through it pretty quickly considering I have a toddler and a husband. Its a good read, almost a must for anyone contemplating adoption. Gowda does a fantastic job of taking the reader through the emotions of the parents and the adopted child, especially when ethnicities and all the little details that is exclusive to the different ethnic groups. I loved the detail. I felt she rambled in parts, probably because I am familiar with some of what Gowda speaks about. Someone totally unfamiliar with Indian culture might appreciate the detail better.

All in all a good read and am onto my favourite now, thanks to hubby dearest for finding Archer's latest for me.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Catching up to the past

Facebook has been good and bad in terms of revisiting old times. I have got in touch with loads of old school mates. My number of friends has shot up from somewhere around thirty to over one hundred. The trouble is that I would not classify everyone on my list of friends as 'friends'. Some may misunderstand this. Not that I do not like them, but they are not friends. Do you know what I am saying? They are acquaintances, people we meet on the way to some place in life and I believe we are supposed to leave them where we met them. But now we lug them around on Facebook and suddenly we owe them an explanation on every thing from photographs to random status updates (then again why do status updates? I'll save that for another time).

I have got in touch with people I knew from a very long time ago. It is nice that they remember my crazy ways, my likes, dislikes, capabilities etc., but I cannot for the life of me place their names or faces. They seem to know too much to be pretending. And then there are others I simply do not want in my life anymore. But how do you say it? How do you remove people from your list of friends and not upset them, especially those you are likely to see on a regular basis.

I am contemplating deleting my profile, but then again I will miss out on keeping in touch with my dearest friends and sharing stories about children and families with those that I want to. There was a time I could 'hide' and select my friends, but now they are able to 'find' me. I have deleted and blocked people, but its all getting to be a bit much. It seems like too much hassle. Should I stay or should I go? I knew the bloody internet would some day be the bane of my existence.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


It has been a rough couple of weeks. Things were challenging all through April and then just as it was beginning to ease up we had a nasty accident involving my toddler. I finally have that down time I wanted, only I have to clean the house from top to bottom now and get all the laundry done and think of what we will have for dinner and ... the list goes on.

But I am not motivated to do anything. I finally sorted my garden out and did all the work that I do to get it ready for the summer. Hopefully all my plants will do well and put on a show of colour for us. I just had my coffee, and feel really depressed.

I am wondering why? It could be that I find myself so alone, far away from all my dear friends, or it could be that despite all the hard work I keep getting my school work back, full of comments on how the smart ass professors are not able to 'understand' what it is I am saying. Up until now I have not had serious trouble with my writing skills. Now it looks like I can't write, at least according to my professors. I am not sure about anything right now. Let me see if I can get through some cleaning.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Multicultural crap

It's my fourteen month-old's first multicultural day tomorrow! Whatever the hell that may mean. I hate the word 'multicultural', its the politically correct word for racism, at least in my opinion, at least where I currently live.

You see, I have a lousy sense of identity. Born in a beautiful country and forced to leave because of a fucked up civil war (which apparently is over), grew up in a country I learned to like and identify with until fate brought me right back to my country of birth. I was lost and a few years on found myself a place with a few good friends.

But then I was confronted with the whole "what am I going to do with myself...I don't want to be some old housewife dreaming of all the things I could have been, should have done..." So I left, this time to another continent altogether. I hated it at first, and then realised I fit right in. No one cared about the colour of my skin, my first language, religion or any of those things. I was me! I was a nerd, I was crazy, I was that person who called it as I saw it. And people were friends me with me for who I was. BUT, I struggled with the identity issue. I often asked myself who I really was!! As a matter of fact, I still do!

So when they call me from the daycare, when I am trying to get dinner ready after a nasty winter day, with a cranky infant and hungry husband, asking me to bring something or dress my son in something that relates to my tradition or culture, I wanted to ask the supervisor to get lost and hang up. But I didn't. I said I would have conjured up some costume if I had a girl, but seeing as I have a boy, I was not sure what to do. She then said, "oh don't worry love, its just that we told all the parents."

I spent the last hour or so thinking and Hubby and I decided our son will go and celebrate his citizenship. I don't want to hyphenate his citizenship. I want him to have a sense of belonging, develop a sense of identity and know true patriotism. I hope to learn from him. So tomorrow he will take with him his country flag. Go Canada Go!

Say again?

I was on my way home and as I walked into the subway station I heard an announcement saying something about all services having resumed. I thought to myself that perhaps having a two hour discussion after class had perhaps been to my advantage when I heard, "...if you have not heard this announcement please call ..."

I was not sure how one could call if they never heard the announcement? You wouldn't know that you have not heard it, if you've never heard it!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Flower update

Two days after I brought some tulips home they didn't look so happy. Every one of them seemed to be heading south (the only direction I can point to with confidence, well may be not).

So I had to get the clippers out and I straightened them out a bit. I clipped the stems and tried arranging them to look up a bit. But then they looked worse.

I left them until that night and fixed them up again. This time I cut the stems and removed most of the leaves and changed the vase as well.

And then I decided to move the vase to another I thought would do the flowers justice.

But I was not happy, so I put it back on the dining table...and today they look ready to say good-bye. It sounds like I have way too much time on my hands, nothing could be farther from the truth, but these flowers have really helped in terms of reducing stress levels. Every time I looked at them I thought of the form, colours and how pretty they are, I didn't think of the pile of pathetic papers I have to mark or the papers I have read or the floors that need cleaning. I am going out to get more flowers today. Before that I might actually do some of the work that does need to be done. This blog thing is working for me too.

I don't know who reads this. But if you are reading this and there are no flowers where you live, get some, even if it is just one stem. They have more power than all the great things in life.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Its 2010!!

I know we are well into the new year, but the last couple of weeks I have sort of been living in the past. I have stalked all my old friends on Facebook, listened to music from the nineties and thought of what might have been if I had done one thing over another.

Anyways...I just got home and was making myself a cup of coffee when I heard Des'ree on the radio. That song takes me to the mid nineties. So I was going about my business getting my coffee, thinking of dinner when it hit me that we are way past the mid-two thousand(?). We are into the second decade of the new millennium??!! And I had to Google the word to make sure I was saying the right thing.

2010 was supposed to be when robots ruled the world and we were flying around in space cars. But instead we are still walking, driving crappy cars and making our own coffee...where is my robot?!!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

The sure cure

Its been a long winter...autumn arrived early, the trees lost their leaves without their usual show of colours. Things are different with a baby around, we don't get out as much as we used to, just because bundling up the little guy seems a sin.

I got to thinking about how I could make this bearable for myself, I mean the long miserable winter with no significant snowfall for excitement and being confined indoors so much of the!! They always perk me up. But trying so hard to be the good housewife means I often knock it off the shopping list as a luxury. But nah uh! I realise they get my spirits up better than any darned spirit out there. So after a considerable amount of time spent over which bunch I picked up these beautiful yellow tulips.

I love how the simplest things in life are the ones that make you smile...from the bottom of your heart.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


There is much in life that can take you back in time...a smell of some sort, like a specific perfume. I know one brand of perfume that reminds me of my mother when I was around seven years old.

Music does the same, doesn't it? I was cleaning my desk (happens every once in a blue moon, or when things get totally out of control) and wanted to take myself to some place less complicated and I got good old you tube to take me back in time, to my first real job. My best friend and I would listen to Breakfast at Tiffany's when it played on the radio, we would be at work ridiculously early, and often we didn't work, but listened to music and I am not sure what else we did?! I don't know if she really liked it, but I loved it, for no apparent reason. Listening to it now just took me away from the complications life brings with time, it took me to a time of hope and dreams...oh to be young and dreaming of great things, things I know now I will never do.

So while I was at it, I also listened to That thing you do, I got to listening to this at a different time in my life. My friends would be dismayed to learn I can still listen to it over and over again. It also brings back fond memories of people that introduced me to a whole different me!

What I think really makes these songs special is not just the music, but the people I associate them with.

These are my happy songs. I am so glad I have them!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

What was that again...Haiti...what?

So what did I say about Haiti being forgotten...a pile of snow in Washington DC and Haiti was off the radar, gone! Now we just have to wait for the next insane humanitarian to kidnap a bunch of kids before we see it in the headlines again.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Haiti - The New Cold Front

Headlines are screaming of the aftermath of an earthquake in Haiti! I heard this morning that a natural disaster has now turned into a humanitarian crisis, that is always true. But what pisses me off about this situation is that Haiti has always been a 'humanitarian crisis'. All this attention is transient and superficial.

Where was the media when US clinical trials tested contraceptives on the women in Haiti? Where have they been in all these years of exploitation that has left an entire nation destitute? Now they want to send aid because of the devastation caused by the earthquake. There is something so very wrong with all of this. It makes me angry.

The people in Haiti have needed help for a long time, and now the 'world' will intervene, help them find the bodies, bury the dead, feed the folks on the street and all until they next cold front hits our cities. Haiti will be forgotten again, until another earthquake or tsunami.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

My Narnia

It has been cold, so cold that no amount of layers could keep it out. It was so cold that the heating in the house seemed ineffective some days. I was starting to wonder if we would have The Day After Tomorrow kind of situation. I would of course be among to first to die.

It was because of this that when I felt the cool breeze while waiting for my train I drifted off. It was a cool breeze, almost like a summer breeze (it was just the train, but it got me thinking)...what if the platform started to disappear like it did in Prince Caspian and I was transported to a Narnia of my own?

I wondered what it would be like...not Narnia, but another life...would I be married, would I have children, would I be trudging through ice and snow to get to and from work, would I be bungee jumping, rock climbing, riding horses or filming fabulous documentaries in the Galapagos islands? Would I be sunbathing on a sunny beach some place? Would I have the same people I share my life with now in this other life? Or would there be other people? What would they be like?...

It would be nice to live that other life and come back and carry on this life with memories from the other. I might appreciate what I have more...or not!

The train arrived and I got on and got back to reading...the effect of neo-liberalism on the welfare state...

When I got out of the station the cold wind hit me...reality!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Little lady works

I realised today that I don't have to be pregnant the rest of my life to have people hold doors or find a seat in a crowded cafeteria. You just have to be a little lady, walk like one and don't open your mouth (if you are as loud and annoying as I am), just smile.

I wore my new coat, very lady like coat - beige with belts to make the waist look smaller with a very elegant hood. I have always been sceptical about lady like coats for the longest time and have stuck to my trusty ski jacket, often looking like an angry, messy teenager ready to shove anyone who got in my way. Winter weather gives me no reason to smile. But this little jacket proved me wrong today. It was -21 with the windchill and it passed the test! I am very impressed and it did not cost a hundred dollars either. Need I say I am very pleased.

Well anyways, wearing this coat made me feel like a lady. Or maybe pretend like one would be a more honest thing to say. I opened doors very gently (all the while smiling to myself, wondering why I was doing that) and took teeny tiny steps while walking (the slush all over the place meant I had to do that and it worked to my advantage). Everywhere I went people smiled and held the door for me and let me get to the sugar and milk at the coffee shop and one young man even let me have his seat at the cafeteria.

There is one other thing, it could also be my new hat. At just $7 it was bargain and unlike my maroon moose hat (which was wonderfully warm and loyal until I donated it to some lost and found somewhere in this God forsaken city...meaning, I have no idea where I dropped it) is also very stylish. It is worth paying attention to what you look like I suppose.

On the flip side, people may just have been nice because it is the first day back and almost everyone I ran into may be trying hard to keep their resolutions to be half decent to people around them.

All in all, it was a good day. I am giving credit to my new coat and here's to a fabulous new year to everyone.