Wednesday, January 28, 2009

As I go through the weekend papers, scanning articles, readying them for the recycling box, I just found a nearly full page write up on Fuzion in the Life section of the Saturday Star - what a crazy coincidence! According to the paper, the 2007 bottle ranks at 88 and is comparable to a $15 bottle of wine, while the 2008 rated at 87 and closer to a $10 bottle in quality. And it is flying off the shelves in Ontario at roughly 1,000 cases a day!

Another inexpensive wine to tempt your palate in these recessionary times.

Fuzion is medium bodied wine produced from a blend of Shiraz and Malbec grapes it's smooth with good concentration and a long finish. The tasting notes are prunes with spicy sweet vanilla flavour.

Price: $7.45
Type: Red
Varietal: Shiraz | Malbec
Vintage: 2008
Region: Familia Zuccardi; Mendoza, Argentina

Available at the LCBO but grab a couple, it goes fast as its fan base grows!
Christmas came late this year for the kitties. Today I braved the snow storm for two catnip bananas to help them cope with their feelings of confinement (plus one bag of fisherman lozenges, 3 bottles of wine and 1 bottle of cosmo mix - not for me Preppy Pauper, I've learned my lesson!)...and I now have two very happy, very stoned cats.

Now for the post-stone entertainment: Arthur has the munchies and Hamish is licking his bottom frantically.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I have a love affair with Taschen ( they produce the most beautiful and crazily affordable books on art, architecture, design, furniture...the list is endless.

The one that I have currently been on the hunt for is The Polaroid Book: Selections from the Polaroid Collections of Photography by Barbara Hitchcock (contributor) and Steve Crist (editor), $17.00. Yes, you read that correctly $17.00!

Since the recent demise of the manufacturing of polaroid camera in favour of all things digital this is an exceptional book for anyone's collection... if you can find a copy. After a brief history of the polaroid camera and the relationship between the inventor Edwin Land and Ansel Adams and Land's desire to elevate photography to an even higher, more widely accepted art form you are presented with nearly 300 fantastic images.

So yesterday, after meeting with my allergist who took a more forensic approach to my reactions and doesn't believe that I'm reacting to food at all but gave me a prescription for epi-pens just in case, I hooked up with my sister-in-law for dinner. To kill time I stopped by a small book store and on a whim asked clerk about the book and they had ONE COPY left and it was only $15.25! I bought it, walked over to a pub, ordered a pint of Caffrey's and settled down to pour over the images. Having never even held the book in my hands, having only read a review in a magazine, it does not disappoint.

Here are a couple of images to wet the appetite:

I'm off to St. Thomas to visit my mother this afternoon, returning on Sunday. I am not looking forward to it. I'm hoping to convince her that an assessment would be in her best interest and any extra help we can bring in would only improve her quality of life. And also go determine if she should move to a retirement home of sorts.

I am looking forward to seeing my sister, enjoying the smuggled bottle of wine I'm bringing - not taking the chance that St. Thomas has a liquor store with an acceptable selection of bottles to choose from - and the two hour train ride back to Toronto where I can sit back in silence, read my book and yes...order another glass of wine which I will so deserve.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NOOOOOOO!!!!! Rogers just bounced back my submission photo for the washer/dryer contest seven days after I emailed it and six days after the contest closed!

Looks like the pair of unfortunates will continue living in the basement for a couple more years.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nothing screams winter like having to scrape the windows on the inside of the car.

The past couple of days have revolved around the decline of my mother's mental state and the frustration of living over 2 hours away and her new habit of leaving the phone off the hook.

And sadly, I don't think I won the washer and dryer from Breakfast Television. I have no idea who did win the pair but seemingly my fetching picture of the Bobbsey twins in the basement did nothing to stir the ice cold hearts barely beating in the chests of Kevin and Dina.

Now interestingly, my contractor has finally promised to come to the house beginning of February to take care of the last items under the long expired warranty of our renovation...for he seems to think he does have a heart. This brings the timing to about one year since we really started bugging him to come over and he would continually blow us off citing busyness, vacation, baby, baby's health, timing with other jobs, those jobs falling through...or just plain out ignoring us and pretending he never got the emails and/or phone calls. I want to be encouraged that he will honor his commitment this time and I can finally change the name of my voodoo doll to something else, maybe stab a few less toothpicks in it...but how many times do you have to be burned before you stop playing with fire?

Monday, January 12, 2009

I feel emotionally exhausted. I have entered the difficult years I think - and not just the ones involving my beloved brain-changing pre-teen, or my tricky-but-lovable 7 year old who's favourite word is ASS - but that time in your life when you now have to deal with the health issues of your much older parent. The icing on the cake of a life filled with your own personal health issues and a fragile economy where every second friend seems to be losing their job.

And unfortunately I don't have years of closeness and wonderful memories to draw from as comfort while I listen to my Mom's escalating confusion - made worse by her love of bad food and sweets (she's diabetic) and not taking her necessary medication. I liken her situation to that of a schizophrenic who takes their meds regularly, feels better, stops taking their meds because they don't think they need them and then spiral out of control - only for my Mom, her cycle is eating well, taking medication, maintaining reasonably good blood sugar levels and then cheating and then spiraling out of control with elevated sugar levels and terrible confusion.

But I will go visit her as mentioned in my slightly masochistic new years resolution list in a couple of weeks to spend the weekend. Sigh.

Well, enough moaning. My nesting tables came in and are now in my living room and they are perfect! Even Paul loves much as a straight man can love a nesting table set I suppose. Satchel was so excited over the box that they were packaged in that he asked to keep it and promptly dragged it up to his room where I'm positive he sat it in while playing xbox 360 games. Violent bloodied zombie killing games while sitting in a cardboard box. I suggested we watch a movie tonight since both Jakob and Satchel had no homework so he dragged it downstairs. Jakob was so jealous of Satchel's box - but no way would Satchel share, he owned that box - that fortunately I had one outside waiting to be dismantled that Jakey could have. So I dusted off the snow and brought it inside, keeping my fingers crossed that half the neighbourhood cats hadn't claim it for their own by spraying it.

So here are my boys, watching Godzilla, owning their boxes.

And here is my beautiful nesting table.

Friday, January 09, 2009

This truly does not make sense to me and breaks my heart a little bit because I want it:

Besta Burs from Ikea Canada: $429

Besta Burs from Ikea US: $299

But how do you validate that kind of insane price difference - even with the dollar difference. Will have to rethink my misplaced passion.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Breakfast Television ( has a contest ending this Friday - supply a photo of your decrepit old washer/dryer and have the chance to win a beautiful, brand new, front-loading pair!

Mine are beyond disgusting (see below, if you click on the photo you will get an enlarged version to more easily read their pleas), so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Mind you I have won only two things in my entire life: a hairdryer from our local drugstore when I was 12 (the fancy kind with a base, a tube and a bag that fits over your head) and when I was 30 a pair of return flight tickets to Montreal. So 14 years have gone by and NOTHING. Perhaps it's finally my time - seeing as the many lottery tickets just aren't working for me.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


A fantastic deal to share with everyone:

Montalto 2006 Nero d'Avola Cabernet Sauvignon

As stolen from Toronto Life: A clever idea to combine fragrant, high-strung cabernet with the rounder, softer nero d’avola. The result is a bargain red with sweet, savoury cassis, plum aromas, some celery and mint, and a smooth but vibrant palate. Very good fruit persistence.

Price: $9.70
Type: Red
Varietal: Nero d’Avola-Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2006
Region: Sicily

Available at the LCBO for just under $10 - a wine that will not disappoint as it ranks in at 86...but if left to breath for even half an hour tastes like a much more expensive bottle.

Friday, January 02, 2009

First I must wish everyone a very happy new year and that 2009 brings health and happiness and something extra fabulous of course.

My hopes for 2009 include staying healthy with no surgery (preferably ever again) and no drama. A calm year spent getting myself in better shape physically and emotionally. A year where (if possible) I am more present rather than racing through my life. I will attempt yoga and/or pilates (I've done neither but am getting A LOT of encouragement) or perhaps even Wii FIT (once I raise the chandelier which still hangs in the same spot since switching the living/dining rooms around - that would only be dangerous because with my extendo-arms, shiny glass and mirror bits plus pieces of peacock would be everywhere!).

Meanwhile as I type this, my head pounds hard with a near migraine and I think I'm going to throw up - not an auspicious start to the year.

I want to spend more quality time with Paul and the kids, building a stronger and happier family bond.

I want to curb the television or internet surfing (my guilty pleasure) and read more and to travel this year - as a family and separately with Paul. Paul and I definitely need to spend more time alone.

I also hope that my contractor stops blowing us off and comes to the house and spends the one day necessary finishing up the deficiency list so that we never have to think about him again. That our next reno project - the garage will begin in the summer - which will then open up the opportunity to finish our basement and move the children down there...forever.

And finally, try to spend more time with my mother. Probably the most difficult task (and it is a task, she takes a lot of work) of everything that I set out before myself.

I could probably keep adding to my list for the rest of the day but it would be better for all if I moved on and instead wrote about what I adopted and brought home from Pottery Barn yesterday (for 75% off!) and that I did order the nesting tables for the living room from Crate & Barrel.

A side note, Michelle who helped me at C&B told me that they will be raising all their prices - perhaps next month - because the Canadian $ is no longer on par with the US and they feel they are underpricing the product. If there is something you truly love and do not want to live without, it would make sense to pick it up sooner rather than later.

My impression with Pottery Barn was that the sales seemed to be better then in a long time and I assumed it was partly because of the economy and also because for the first time they had Crate & Barrel (in Canada) to compete with. The pieces I picked up were mostly floor models but fantastic deals: such as this set of 2 orange Natalie nesting tables for Satchels room that I have been eyeing for a while: $48 (reg. $200), they do have a few chips on one side of the small table, but he's 12 - the things will be ruined in 2 weeks;

Eton cube in green apple - not a floor model, brand new ($400 for $95) for Satch to rest his bottom while gaming for hours upon hours until I turn it off and make him cry (not a good representation of the colour, in fact it's really not as hideous as it looks in the picture - it's not beautiful but it is for a 12 year old boy's bottom after all);
and finally a beautiful little woven seagrass stool (no picture to be found sadly) which will be moved to the bathroom but for now makes a handy little table to place my coffee while waiting for the nesting tables from Crate & Barrel.

Now off to rummage through my left over Tylenol 3 bottle (there are some perks to surgery) and poor myself another cup of coffee while I ponder my 2009 resolutions.