Sunday, 7 October 2018

“What’s the point of getting up in the morning unless you’re gonna have an adventure?" - Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer playing Madagascar

And if you love long highway drives,
You've gotta love Thunderbird by Hans Zimmer,
From the movie Thelma and Louise!

Painting HIS backyard

So much to be grateful for, at Thanksgiving.
No matter who we are, or what we have,
There are always people going thru worse stuff than us.
Thinking of them ...

Poured a glass of red wine,
Stepped outside,
And started painting HIS backyard

The leaves are turning yellow, orange, red ...
And every colour in between,
And they are beginning to fall.
As they come to the end of their brief lives ...

Started this painting in September ...

And just finished it now

24"x 36" oil painting on canvas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Who buys computers these days? Build your own instead

Six years ago my son and i decided to build a computer,
 rather than buy one off-the-shelf.
It was time well spent together!

Now he's built his own gaming machine,
all by himself!

Need help building your own computer?
Ask us

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Spider on a web

If you want to learn acrobatics, ask this spider

Or if you want to learn weaving ...

This side view of the spider web looks like the strings of a harp

This loonie-sized spider,
resembles a crab!
(The largest spiders I've seen, 
are the tarantulas,
In our home in Africa)

What a beautiful spider web,
3 feet in diameter

I once saw a spider eating it's own web!

Monday, 10 September 2018


"This life was given to me as a gift from God, and I have no right to take it" 
- John Koshy 
10 Sept 2018

Saturday, 8 September 2018

"As the seconds of our lives are ticking away, you have to realize that life needs to be an adventure" - Hans Zimmer

These movies would never be the same without the music of Hans Zimmer


(Vocals by Czarina Russell)

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor performed by Amy Turk on harp

What an amazing performance!
This is a piece of organ music, probably composed in 1704 
played on the harp.

Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor 
performed by Amy Turk on the harp

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Saving a Grasshopper

Saved a grasshopper ...

And then ...
... the cicadas started their chorus!

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Listening to Rimsky-Korsakov and painting Hummingbird in the Night

 God has spoken to me to reassure me more than once,
through the rare appearance of Hummingbirds.
So Hummingbird sightings, 
are very treasured moments!
I saw this juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
two years ago, 
and as recently as yesterday!!

Mixing gold, yellow, emerald green and black

This is Flight of the Bumblebee written by
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
(composed 1899-1900)
and an amazing violin performance by Katica Illényi 

16"x 20" oil painting on Russian birch panel

Thursday, 30 August 2018

One thing you'll never regret as a parent, is teaching and encouraging your children to cook!

For example, this basil fried rice,
with yellow chicken curry

Or these pork dumplings, 
and a sauce to go with it

Or this steak!
With vegetables

No idea what it's called, 
But this baked dish with mainly Italian ingredients,
and some Ontario wine, 
is so tasty!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

A good friend is someone who brings home a large live lobster ...

... And then we get started on cooking it

This is the largest lobster I've cooked!
The cutting board and my large knife look so little 

What you need ...

Chop onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies. 
Fry the onions till they are light brown, then add the garlic, 
ginger, green chillies and fry a few minutes. 
Add Kashmiri chilly powder, clove powder, 
cinnamon powder, coriander powder, 
when the mixture begins to stick to the pan, 
add a finely chopped tomato, 
and a little vinegar to prevent sticking to the pan.
Add the lobster which must be cut at the joints. 
For large pieces crack the shell so that the spices penetrate in for flavour. 

Mix very well to prevent sticking to the pan, 
turn off the heat, keep shut 
and allow to cook for about the time it takes to set up the table, 
and have a sip of Gewürztraminer

Sharing is loving!

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Barbecuing a whole chicken

Made a marinade with Kashmiri chilli powder, 
ground dried red chillies,
Soy sauce, half a fresh lime,
freshly ground garlic and ginger,
a little salt,
a flat teaspoon of sugar.
The secret is to cut the chicken this way ...

make slits in the chicken, 

and marinate well under the skin
(I've started using gloves these days,
imagine after all these years of not using them)

Cover and keep the chicken for 48 hours in the refrigerator to marinate well

The chicken can be spread out on the grill because of the way I've cut it,
And it will cook well on the inside on low flame

a Polish friend had given us a small bottle of Żubrówka Biala 
which they brought back from Poland. 
I added some Canadian ginger ale, 
squeezed some fresh lime and made a drink 
(this is not part of the recipe)

While I was focused on the chicken,   
A wasp flew into my drink.  I quickly rescued it and let it go!

Back to the chicken

Basting the chicken

 few minutes later,
 a second wasp flew into my Zubrowka Biala!

No doubt, this is a tasty cocktail

I rescued the second wasp ... 
And I must say, 
the Polish drink tasted good, after two Canadian wasps!

To wrap up the BBQ chicken story ...
You could add fresh onions 
(Anna hates it when I eat raw onions)

Have a good week, friends!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Monday, 20 August 2018

Be Still and Know that I am GOD

Be Still and Know that I am GOD

The contents of this post are counter-cultural, but the circumstances are true, and they reflect my personal experience.
For the past few months I’ve been unemployed. Although I’ve made many job applications, met lots of people and attended several interviews, nothing has materialized in terms of getting work. I accepted an opportunity several months ago only to realise that they were looking for a quick buck. I got zero support from that company, and all they really wanted was new business, overnight. My mistake accepting their offer. That gig lasted forty-five days.

All the other Canadian companies I worked for were acquired by the Americans, resulting in my unemployment and instability in the Canadian workplace. I don’t like the way Americans invade, divide and conquer, although many Canadians accept this so called ‘business’ attitude as a normal way of life. I see it as nothing but capitalism and greed.
There are times when I get very frustrated looking for work – companies offering minimum wages and others preferring to hire inexperienced people. So, a few weeks ago I gave up searching for work.
Also, although I contributed into the Canadian system for fourteen years, I am not eligible to get any support from the government of Canada, because I was self-employed for a brief while.
So, in a nutshell, nobody cares.
But all through this time, I’ve had one consolation.

GOD’s Amazing Grace and Sustenance!

Imagine being unemployed, with zero income, for three months, and me trying to listen to and obey an unseen GOD, when I have bills to pay and a family to feed.

Truth is, society is broken – professionals have proved this to me themselves, that they are incapable – yet like a fool I keep trusting them, and going to them for help.
For example, I am connected to at least a hundred recruiters on social media websites like LinkedIn. Yet, not one of them has been successful in helping me find work. I realise that social networks are nothing but a waste of time and money, unless you can interact with people and get something done after an online interaction.
I have been interviewed by people who know that I have more experience and skills than they do. 
Do you think they will ever hire someone more skilled and experienced than them? ☺
If you want to know how broken leadership can really get in the workplace or elsewhere, just look south of our border, and start from the very top!

The Good News is that, through all these months, GOD has provided me with sustenance.
And HE has shown me more than once that I need to stop trying.
HE’s saying “Be Still and Know That I am GOD” - Psalm 46:10

HE’s telling me to focus on HIM, and not on me or those around me.
HE’s asking me to depend on HIM, and not on me or anyone else.
In other words, HE’s saying, Stop Striving (I know this is counter-cultural)

So here I am still unemployed, doing just that, surrounded by HIS grace and provision, in HIS backyard!

To summarize, there’s a story of a fisherman and a rich businessman that’s been translated across cultures and languages with several adaptations. Hope you will gather some wisdom and be enlightened by its meaning. Written by Heinrich Theodor Böll, it’s an Anecdote concerning the Lowering of Productivity

A smartly-dressed enterprising tourist is taking photographs when he notices a shabbily dressed local fisherman taking a nap in his fishing boat. The tourist is disappointed with the fisherman's apparently lazy attitude towards his work, so he approaches the fisherman and asks him why he is lying around instead of catching fish. The fisherman explains that he went fishing in the morning, and the small catch would be sufficient for the next two days.
The tourist tells him that if he goes out to catch fish multiple times a day, he would be able to buy a motor in less than a year, a second boat in less than two years, and so on. The tourist further explains that one day, the fisherman could even build a small cold storage plant, later a pickling factory, fly around in a helicopter, build a fish restaurant, and export lobster directly to Paris without a middleman.
The nonchalant fisherman asks, "Then what?"
The tourist enthusiastically continues, "Then, without a care in the world, you could sit here in the harbor, doze in the sun, and look at the glorious sea."
"But I'm already doing that", says the fisherman.
The enlightened tourist walks away pensively, with no trace of pity for the fisherman, only a little envy.

Thursday, 16 August 2018


For its beautiful song, 
its looks, 
its friendliness, 
and its peaceful behaviour, 
this Black-capped chickadee 

just won 
the 'Bird of the Backyard' award

Here are all the other contestants