Sunday, 30 December 2012


I have a new (quite old) mac laptop that I recently bought from my friend. My daughter tells me that I have a mac brain. She saw how I understand the ipad. So, my computer is slowing down and this lovely mac landed on my lap :)

Today, I synced all my photos to it. It is so easy to move them and email them now. I love iphotos.

I learned that AirPort and Airport are two totally different things. This took a while.

I kept tapping on the screen to no avail. Many times.

It beeps in the cutest way when I do something when I keep doing the same thing over and over and still not getting what I want.

I sat so long on a hard kitchen chair playing with my mac that my bum got stiff and sore.....but the view of the backyard and the tea close by was worth it.

I don't understand how it could be so easy to understand this mac compared to the "other" one.

Awwwww, Mac! You are my new best friend.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

It is a magical world

The world is such a magical place if only we had better senses to see it. My daughter has been telling me to watch Touch, a T.V. series starring Kiefer Sutherland. I finally did. I love it! There is a little boy who is autistic but a genius with numbers, the shapes of the universe, and a clear seeing how everything is connected. Okay, so I watch a few episodes of this show and the next day I am looking for a book to read. I have lots. It took a while. I picked The Bone People by Keri Hulme, a book that a friend has loaned to me. I love it! And yes, it's about a little boy who doesn't speak but also appears to be a genius and also is raised by a single dad. I love the synchronicity. It happens more often than we realize. We usually don't notice. But if you look......everything is truly connected. There isn't anything you do that doesn't affect the whole world. Even every breath you take. Now, how magical is that!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

What the heck does the mind know?

We watched the 3rd episode of the 2nd series of Sherlock Holmes. Hmmmmm. It was a head scratcher. I think I know what happened at the end. For me, the episode was about how the mind will try to build upon one thought. The more you build upon one thought, each consecutive thought confirms the validity of the first thought, whether it is true or not. One person is given the thought that someone is the bad guy and she or he finds other thoughts to prove the validity of it. And tells another person. And that person believes it too and tells someone else. And pretty soon everyone believes that the bad guy is a bad guy. It only started with one thought and may have no validity. Who knows? My mind does just the same. Anything can be confirmed. The mind is just doing it's job......making whatever you think to be the actual truth. Therefore, it is very important to choose what to think.The longer I think about some one thing, the less chance I have of knowing what the truth of that one thing is. It solidifies into something that may not be the truth at all. It can be apparent truth just because it has twirled around in my head so long. Spooky, isn't it? Thanks Sherlock!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Spa afternoon

I had a spa afternoon with my Christmas gifts. It was most delicious!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Santa Claus

When I was a little girl I totally believed in Santa Claus (we called him Joulupukki). One year just before Christmas, my parents sat me down and said that they have to talk to me about something. We sat at my little set of table and chairs in the basement. My dad's knees were practically in his chest. He looked like a little big boy. My mom was serious and did all the talking. They told me that they regret to tell me that there is no Santa Claus. They said they were telling me because other kid's were getting more gifts and they didn't want me to think that Santa liked them more. I was so upset. I cried and told them they were wrong. i just couldn't believe it! Then I was mad at them for telling me. I really wanted to believe in Santa Claus. Funny thing is that I always thought I got the best and most gifts of all my friends, if I thought about it at all.

I still like to believe in Santa Claus......whether it is the spirit of giving and sharing, or the eating of milk and cookies.

Friday, 21 December 2012

December 21

Winter Solstice Celebration. We all went to Prince Arthur's Landing tonight to the Lantern Festival. Tiina was our lantern bearer. The last day of darkness for the year and let the light shine forth. Supper and IPA's and eggnog at The Sovereign. Wow! Was it a wonderful evening!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas stars

It has been a cooking day. These are my favourite pastries. Finnish Christmas stars, rich butter pastry with prunes for filling. I am now stumbling to bed with my full belly.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

What to worship continued......

There is no such thing as not worshipping.
Everybody worships.
The only choice we get is WHAT to worship.
"And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship---be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles---is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive."
"If you worship money and things---if they are where you tap real meaning in life---then you will never have enough."
"Never feel you have enough."
"It's the truth."
"Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you."
"Worship power---you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay."
"Worship your intellect, being seen as smart---you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out."
And so on.

These forms of worship are unconscious. David Foster Wallace calls these default settings. We slip into them and they feel real.
To be free of it all, we need to be attentive and aware. We need to put some effort into looking at what we worship. And be free.

Monday, 17 December 2012

What to worship

You get to choose how you see life. You get to choose how you feel inside by the thoughts you keep. Throw away the thoughts that don't serve you. Better yet, don't even allow them into your awareness. As you get a whiff of a thought that isn't how you want to see the world - drop it and fast! I don't mean to put your head in the sand either. Definitely not.

If you have really learned how to think - how to use your own mind rather than have your mind use you - then you know that you have options.

David Foster Wallace who delivered a speech "This is Water" (now in book form) said, that is, if you've learned how to think, "It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars - compassion, love, the subsurface unity of all things."

You get to decide how you are going to see things. Wallace says that this is what education is about......"you get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.......

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Bare Boughs

In Winter the bare boughs that seem to sleep
Work covertly, preparing for their Spring.

Jalil al-Dim Rumi (1207-73), Persia

When it is dark enough you can see the stars.

Charles A. Beard (1874-1948), USA

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Almond shortbread (gluten free)

1 1/3 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp lemon or orange zest
blanched almonds

Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together rice flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

In another bowl beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in yolks, and vanilla, and zest. Fold in the flour mixture until blended.

Shape into little balls 3/4 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Press each ball flat with the tines of a fork. Press an almond into the center of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes and cool on rack.

These held together really well. But careful on the nutmeg, vanilla, and zest......I used less and I still found the spices overpowering.

This recipe is from the most recent Yoga Journal. It's a recipe by Rebecca Wood.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas has begun

I put my tree up today. And I baked Karjalanpiirakoita with friend and neighbour, Arundel. They are wonderful fresh and with good old cheddar and a yum yum pickle.

Phoebe and Don playing with homemade dijerridoos.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

12 days of Christmas

"On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me........."

Give your family and friends the 12 days of Christmas gift with your own flavour (and theirs).
Start today and every day for the next 12 days give someone in your life a wee little gift. Just in time for Christmas.
Perhaps you could phone a relative or a parent or a child for 12 consecutive days.....something you don't usually do. Or bring your true love coffee in bed every morning (or lemon juice in warm water). Or bring home a little gift every day. Or write each day in a journal something that you appreciate about them and give it to them on Christmas. Use your imagination!

"Find a way to give, and then give more"
Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Uncaused joy

If I am not in joy......not feeling joyful, then I am resisting something. To trust the moment and not wish to add anything to it or to take anything away from it - is what is required. Then joy feels uncaused. It just appears. I have spent so much of my life trying to improve myself and to improve or fix situations. It's time to stop. It's time to allow. It's time to let go of wanting things my way. I'm on my way to joy in every moment!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Time for a fire

The woodstove is on. I love this time of the winter with clean snow and soup in the pot. I get to put on layers of clothes and take hot saunas and drink hot toddies. My cheeks are mostly rosy. In a few months I will be absolutely fed up with it and waiting for warm days but now it feels good to curl up inside. I think I am a northern chick!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The eye

Exercises for the eyes and for better eye sight.

I found these exercises on a tape recording by Deepak Chopra.

Any sensory input changes the body's chemistry in less than 1/100 of a second. How you see and what you see instantly influences the systems of the body.

The following exercises improve vision, sense of colour perception, improve memory and creativity, and allows you to experience and access different states of consciousness.

These should be done without glasses or contacts.

1) Look at the sun with closed eyes for 15 seconds. This stimulates the rods and cones of the retina. If you have a cloudy day use full spectrum light (they have all wave-lengths of the sun).

2) Gently massage the eyeballs and look again at the sun with eyes closed for 15 seconds. You may experience different colours (which are generated from your body since eyes are closed). Hold the colours in your awareness for 30 to 60 seconds or longer. You may see only one colour or many.
This exercise stimulates the cones of the eyes for greater colour perception. Colours in your life become much more alive as sensory perception is richer.

3) This 3 part exercise is for the lens of the eye. As we age, the lens becomes less flexible and our eyesight deteriorates and we may develop cataracts. This exercise helps to improve vision and even correct vision.

a) focusing near and far: look at your hand or finger about 15 centimetres away from your nose and then look at something farther away. Go back and forth, look near and look far, for about 30 seconds.

b) distant reading: pin a sheet of written material on the wall. Stand as far as possible for comfortable reading. And everyday move a little farther and farther away to read your sheet.

c) close reading: use the same sheet of paper and go as close as you can comfortably read it. Every day go closer and closer.

4) Fixed positions of the eyes. This strengthens the extra-ocular muscles of the eyes, strengthens memory, learning ability, and increases attention span.
a) look up and left
b) look up and right
c) look down and left
d) look down and right
e) look horizontal left
f) look horizontal right
g) look up
h) look down

All these are held for 15 seconds each.
Do not move the head. Only the eyes.

To finish look between your eyebrows at the third eye center to open up to heightened intuition. Intuition = heightened sense of awareness. The eye exercises increases intuition.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Cinderella Pumpkin

I bought a Rouge Vif d'Etampes a.k.a. a Cinderella pumpkin, of French heritage, at the market today from the squash queen. It is huge and gorgeous and apparently red inside. I am going to feed my family this wonderful voluptuous thing during the Christmas holidays. Yum! The squash queen says you can roast the whole pumpkin and then freeze it in the portions you want to cook with.

I love the market on a Saturday crowded......coffees in most hands, meeting friends, hugs and interesting pumpkins.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Less and more

I really like the Christmas season. Today, I've pulled out the Christmas decorations. I bought a real tree yesterday which is still leaning on the deck. This year most of my gift ideas came together easily, just the way I like it. I keep everything pretty simple and do shopping early.

I have been so busy today that I have no new ideas and no new thoughts. It's funny how I can think all day about something while I am doing things and yet nothing new comes of it. And the days I don't think as much and usually am not as busy, then all kinds of inspirations flow in. So - I guess I need to do less, think less, and create more.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Life of pi

Life of Pi, the movie, was really good! I loved the book and I loved the movie. The scenes of the ocean are great in 3D. I was mystified with the book, a little less mystified with the movie, but still mystified. It's like taking and English literature course and knowing I'm missing some major point of the book. And maybe it's okay not to have everything figured out.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

New cookbook - Spiced chickpeas & fresh vegetable salad

My daughter had this new cookbook and made dinner for me from it. Yum! I went and bought it today. I love the flavours in the book though some ingredients might be difficult to find. I am used to substituting. I bought a red onion for the recipe and then forgot to put it in. :)

Spiced chickpeas and fresh vegetable salad

1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked (with 1 tsp baking soda) and cooked and drained
2 small cucumbers
2 large tomatoes
a handful of radishes
1 red pepper
1 small red onion
handful cilantro leaves
handful parsley leaves
6 tbsp olive oil
grated zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tbsp juice
1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp fine sugar
1 tsp ground cardamon
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper

Chop cucumber, tomato, radish, onion pepper, cilantro and parsley and toss in a bowl.

In a jar, mix 5 tbsp of the olive oil, the lemon juice, zest, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and mix well to form a dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.

Mix together the cardamon, allspice, cumin and 1/4 tsp salt on a plate. Toss the cooked and well-drained chickpeas in the spice mixture to coat. Heat remaining olive oil in a pan over medium heat and lightly fry the chickpeas for 2 to 3 minutes, gently shaking the pan so they cook evenly and don't stick. Serve beside the salad on a plate.

You can drizzle some Greek yogurt on top to make the salad creamy.

Monday, 3 December 2012


Traveling by plane is very discombobulating. I feel like I am buzzing all over. I spent 10 hours getting home yesterday.

I practiced being absolutely still and silent for 5 seconds. Strange how that seems like a long time. The past disappears. Actually I disappear. It is so peaceful and spacious.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

In transit

I am trying to leave beautiful Montreal. I have been at the airport for hours. There is a "server" down in Toronto so all Porter flights are grounded. I wish I was in the city instead of here. Oh well, here I am.

Minna's home below, far right, cute!
I had a bit of lunch and a latte, it came in a bowl and was really fun to drink with 2 hands.

Best Sign

This is the best washroom sign I've ever seen. In where else but Montreal!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The old port of Montreal

I walked all over the old part of Montreal today. I love the old buildings, the doorways and the little windows and the cobblestone streets that look like alleys. The old town square was all decked out in Xmas trees. I window shopped (rapidly because it was a frigid day) looking at beautiful québécois art. Cafes and restaurants were getting ready with white tablecloths and wine glasses for the evening crowd.

I went to Notre Dame Cathedral and meditated there (and warmed up). The spaciousness was just amazing. It's the empty space I like most about churches and cathedrals. We sure put a lot of effort and beauty into buildings in the past. There was so much to look at and admire and be amazed at. It was such a change walking back with the stark square black and grey clean lined buildings with plain windows and glass doors. It was easy to walk by. But I've always liked the old parts of the world with it's essence of life lived.

Whiski dude and I went for a coffee at Pourquoi Pas Cafe on rue Amherst. The fellow behind the counter remembered us from the last few days and chucked Whiski under the chin and said hiya Whiski. And the little pooch falls asleep at the bar every time.