tvordlj: (Default)
Supposed to be my week in detail. Do i hafta? The end of this meme is starting to be a bit desperate. my day in detail, my month in detail, my year in detail, hopes for the next year. Pah. I may have to give up on that. I post enough that people can tell what my month and year have been like and i always post a year end quick review of my goings on this year. This week, I worked, i chatted to Graham, we exchanged gifts while on the webcam, i went to the gym, i ate too many cinnamon candies, i spent Christmas with my family and enjoyed being with everyone! Last night Mom and i visted my auntie J. and caught up with my cousins who were there as well. P. makes jewelery with beach glass and we each got a piece that we picked out of his stash. Lovely silver items! I picked out a ring with green glass/stone. Today Mom and i went to visit another uncle and auntie of mine and had a nice visit as well. We then dropped my stuff off here at home and went to Tim's for a hot drink and a natter and i took her home.

I'm borrowing the car for a few days. Tomorrow i'm planning to go to the gym and then meeting up with my best friend Tracey for a gift exchange in the afternoon. I expect i will have to get a few groceries at some point and probably hit one or two of the shops to investigate the sales.
tvordlj: (Default)
Day 25 of 30... supposed to describe the day in detail. Not going into *that* much detail.
We got up about 10 and made breakfast. Ryan did the bacon and i did the eggs, everyone was on their own for toast :) Waited for my sister and Rick to arrive to start opening and i think we must have opened for 2 hours nearly. Well after all there were 7 of us and we each took a turn opening a gift. All gifts were very well received and appreciated. I got an external hard drive, a slow cooker, some Lush goodness, a Chapters gift card (Mom and i are going together as she had one too!), a lovely "kitchen" angel with a teapot from my best friend, a lovely travel journal, a little book of English country churches, a framed photo of my three lovely nephews/niece.

Dinner was a combined effort. Mom had already done the veg ahead of time, Staci did the dressing for the turkey, Laurie did the gravy, i peeled spuds, Justin made the dessert, a red velvet cake with butter icing. Nom! I'm so full!

We're having a rest now and later on Mom and i will visit my auntie, a traditional visit every year on Christmas night.

As always, a very nice day and behing surrounded by family makes it that much better.

Happy seasonal greetings to everyone reading this, if you celebrate, and if you don't, then i wish you all the best for a really good 2010.
tvordlj: (Christmas Hooked)
Today's is supposed to be any topic. With that in mind, since everyone else is doing it too, i'll join in the year end meme!
Away we go )

I hope everyone has a good holiday season and all the best in 2010.
tvordlj: (Christmas Hooked)
I wasn't sure what to blog for this day of the 30 day blog thing. I'm not really a youtube junkie like some people. There's some good stuff out there, of course. Most of the ones i have saved as favourites are either Coronation Street related (no surprised there) or Achmed the Dead Terrorist. That's a ventriloquist act that's quite funny. The one i'm going to blog today is one of the funniest Corrie scenes i've seen. Be WARNED though, there's a honking big hairy spider in the scene, might be a radio control one or not but if you have any squicky feelings about arachnids, avoid. Alec, who owns the pub, has a health inspector in checking the renovated kitchen and the spider is crawling across the countertop. It had been in a jar on display but had escaped a few days earlier. Alec is trying to hide it from the inspector and ends up having to squash it. Ew. Yes. I know.

SPIDER WARNING )

I had a good workout on Monday at the gym. I seemed to get through the sets a bit easier, doing more reps and/or with heavier weight on some of them. The trainer noticed too. One more session, today, before Christmas and i'm borrowing Mom's car for a few days and will get to the gym with that next week a couple of times. That's the plan anyway. We'll see how it all pans out with other stuff going on and weather conditions. Christmas Eve we only have to work until noon. I don't have a lot of stuff to take to Mom's because i carried over the bigger things the other weekend.

I also made a nice curry the other night though hotter than i expected it to turn out. First time i used the vindaloo curry paste though so i'm sure that's hotter than the biryani that i normally get. It was a pork vindaloo from Jamie Oliver's book and i simmered it a long time to reduce the liquid more. That would have concentrated the spices too. I had the leftovers last night. Yes, on top of the cinnamon candies. No wonder i woke with a sore mouth!

Day 22/30

Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:36 am
tvordlj: (Default)
Day 22 of the blog month is to post a website. Rather than mention the ones that are obvious that either everyone already uses or that i go to regularly (i.e. Corrie sites), i thought i'd dig into my Bookmark file and put a few out there for your perusal.
If you download movies and burn them to cd and like to make cd labels or case covers, CDcovers.cc is good for finding the original cd and label covers to print.
If you're looking for a laugh, Baby's Named a bad bad thing is good for some chuckles.
And some very neat gadgets and gifts at I Want One Of Those.
tvordlj: (Default)
My coworker Norma makes these at Christmas and they are soooo addictive!! Oh man are they good! She puts them in bottles or tins or pretty bags for gifts as well.

Norma's Party Mix
Mix together:
1 Cup oil (vegetable)
1 pkg of powdered Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing or Club House Ranch Dressing
1 tsp dillweed
1 tsp lemon pepper

In a large bowl (I use a large roaster pan) add:

1 1/2 cups each of several different cereals, such as:
cheerios (oaty o's)
chex (puffy rice squares)
shreddies (shredded wheat squares)

1 1/2 cups of each:
sesame sticks
pretzel sticks
pretzel rounds

1/2 can of each: (about a cup or so)
honey roasted peanuts
cashews
mixed nuts

Drizzel oil mixture over nut and cereal mixture, toss well with spoon. Continue drizzling oil mixture until well coated if needed.
Spread over foiled cookie sheets (1 layer thick) (probably should oil them or use parchment paper)
Bake approx. 1 hr. stirring once or twice during cooking. Oven temp - 250 degrees (low gas mark)


(and yes, that's Day 21. I know i did a recipe yesterday and i could have saved that posting for today but i already had this one drafted and waiting :)

Day 20

Dec. 20th, 2009 10:21 am
tvordlj: (Art palette)
Today's topic is a hobby of mine.
Yesterday was all about photography so my other hobby, i guess, is painting. In conjunction with my usual New Year's Resolution to try new things, a few years ago i decided i wanted to learn how to paint. With oils. I tried taking a class but it wasn't overly successful, most of it i still had to figure out myself but i think i did ok. That doesn't mean i still don't think a lot of my paintings are all that good though [livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee has nothing but praise for each and every one and earns a million Good Fiance points for it. I haven't been painting as much lately but I really do want to do some more. I keep saving photos i find that i think will make nice paintings so it's not like i'm suffering for choice. I always paint from a photo for the most part. The one time i didn't, i wasn't all that keen on the result.

I tend to paint landscape type stuff, or scenes, not people. i maintain that if i tried to do people they'd come out looking like Bart Simpson.

No snow yet but it looks grim out there.
tvordlj: (Camera Neon)
In which i must blow my own horn. I do not do that comfortably but i do modestly say that i can take a pretty good photo when i want to. Sometimes it's just sheer luck but i do think about composition and try to capture light sometimes. I've given up the SLR now because carrying it around in my purse while traveling is getting cumbersome and heavy and i have come to enjoy the freedom of digital. No more worrying until the photos come back from being printed if they will all turn out. They always did, bar maybe one or two on each roll that either didn't or i just didn't like how they came out. I suppose eventually i'll splash out and get a digital SLR but again, we still have the problem of it being cumbersome to carry around on a trip. I don't carry a separate camera bag for gear and the large purse is heavy on my neck and shoulders with a camera in it. And sometimes a small tripod. And sometimes a zoom lens. So a point and shoot digital with a good zoom is what i use for now though sometimes i still miss the SLR. Too bad you couldn't convert a film SLR to a digital one by changing the back but i suppose that would cost more than buying new!

Anyway, yes, i've been taking pictures since i first got a polaroid camera when i was about 12 or 13. I'm by no means a technical photographer, never was, i don't usually get into fiddling with completely manual settings though i do miss a manual focus. I would change the aperture or the shutter speed sometimes but never both together, i'd usually let the camera pick the other setting.

Since joining Flickr, the photo website, i've also put my photos up against others in little contests and they have often been judged well. Flickr uses some various criteria to give your photos "interesting" status. This widget below is a link to a page showing the current "interesting" photos in order of appearance. I think it actually will scroll through every photo so you don't have to go through them all, but you might like some of the first 10 or 20 as they're generally the best and my favourites anyway.

tvordj - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

tvordlj: (Christmas Candy Canes)
YummyLet's see...3 pints. 1 tequila shooter. That's enough for me, especially around work people. We had our work Christmas party this afternoon. We had a turkey dinner which was lovely and then coffee/tea and desserts out in an atrium. The desserts were beautiful but i had no room! We had some door prizes and a few games that were fun, especially the "name that Christmas tune". I got 9 right out of 15 but some of them were definitely tricky. They didn't really play enough of the clip for a clue sometimes. Ah well, that was fun anyway. I did get a couple of gift cards. One is a $10 for one of the grocery stores and i got a $25 for the Sears department store! Result!

We all went to a bar after the afternoon. I haven't been out for quite awhile and it was fun but the volume was increasing by leaps and bounds and people were buying drinks three at a time to take advantage of the end of happy hour. I figured it was time to head home. Chilly! Brrrr!!!

Actually, this is the first time i've ever had a tequila shooter. I always reckoned it would be safer to avoid them. Tonight it was offered and i thought, oh what the hell but i definitely limited myself to the one. Wasn't going to get into that trap! I don't drink more than my limit most of the time. I will get feeling good but i won't get drunk and i especially won't get drunk around work people. I just don't like to do that, even if it's an after hours thing like this was.

This by the way, is Day 18 in 30 days 30 posts and it was a "whatever tickles your fancy" day.
tvordlj: (Default)
Yes it's that 30 days 30 posts thing. Today's topic is a piece of art. Below the cut is my favourite piece of art. I think it's my favourite because it was the first *real* piece of art i ever saw in person. I went on a tour when i was in high school in 1977. The tour started in Rome, went to Paris and the Riviera. The Rome stop was only a day, long enough to get a tour around the city and see inside St. Peter's Basilica. We didnt' see the Sistine Chapel because it was being restored at the time. We went into the Basilica and this statue was off to one side. It was behind glass because a couple of years before, a nutter attacked it with a sledgehammer. It had been perfectly restored but was behind bulletproof protection. Even so, i was spellbound. I'd never seen anything carved out of stone that was so beautiful, so luminous and lifelike. It is, of course, Michelanglo's Pieta, created when he was fairly young and the only piece he's ever signed, his name on a sash across her chest. Translated from Latin it says "Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, made it". I thought the statue was so lifelike, the folds of material, the skin and muscle almost real. I bought a small ivory replica of it and still have it. I couldn't take a photo of it then because all i had was a cheap pocket camera and the flash would have reflected off the glass. A friend took a photo with a 35mm but it's blurry from camera shake. When i returned to Rome on a tour all around Italy in 1996, i took this photo myself, from an angle so there would be very little reflection and it turned out really good. I could still stand and look at it for ages.

From Rome, we went to Paris where i saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. The Winged Victory, a headless and armless statue also in the Louvre also fascinated me. Returning to Paris in 2007, we went to the Louvre and i saw them both again. The Mona was actually a little bit bigger than i remembered (though it's not as big as you'd think) and the Victory...ahhh... gorgeous and there wasn't a tour group to keep up with this time. I am just astonished at the kind of realism someone can create out of stone, so real that fabric looks soft and touchable and they can make skin with veins and muscle tone look so real that you think the statue is going to take a breath. There are a lot of paintings i've seen that i really like but it seems like sculpture can often take my breath away.

Read more... )
tvordlj: (Iceman Cometh)
Brrr... it's winter! Bloody cold standing in the north wind waiting for busses this afternoon! Carrying a couple of grocery bags, my poor fingers were icy cold when i got home, even though i had gloves on! The first few brisk days are always a shock to the system and lately we've had a few and then some milder ones so it's hard to get used to the cold. I will, more or less. It's a long winter.

Today's 30 days/30 posts topic is "A song that makes you cry or nearly "
Any song that reminds you of a sad time of your life, or of someone that's not in your life anymore that you miss, that song is going to bring back those feelings. Music can be very powerful in that way. We often associate certain songs with events and people. Couples often have an "our song". One summer that the radio seems to be playing one particular song a lot? That will always bring that summer back to you. Sometimes it's not a personal association. Maybe the song represents an event or person unrelated to you but it makes you remember that event or person.

One song that reminds me of someone and what he stood for is Imagine by John Lennon. I was never a big Beatles fan. I liked their music ok but most of it didn't really move me. But Lennon, though he had his faults, stood for peace and non-violence. Yet he died in a very violent manner and Imagine always makes me sad and emotional because of that reason. When i hear it, it brings a lump to my throat. Nearly 4 years ago, i was driving to my mom's house. I was nearing the turn off and that song came on the radio. It was very hard not to cry while i was driving. It was the day after my father died. So now there's two reasons why that song can make me emotional. Now i have a personal association to it as well.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Day 15 of this 30/30 meme is "fanfic". I don't read it or write it so i really don't have an opinion on it. I shouldn't say i have never read it. There are a couple of books by Daran Little and one or two others about the history of Coronation Street that all takes place before the show actually starts in 1960. There are two novels about some of the older characters when they were young adults during World War II (I.e. Elsie Tanner, a young mom, running after soldiers and the disapproving middle aged Ena Sharples... that sort of thing). Another book is supposed to be a non fictional history of the Street back to the turn of the 20th century when it was built. It takes each house along the street and talks about who lived in it right back to that starting point, making up families, some of whom would be ancestors to the characters in the 60s. So i guess that would be fanfic even if it was written by the show's archivist at the time.

2009 Books

Dec. 14th, 2009 02:27 pm
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Like [livejournal.com profile] lola_is_naughty, i'm on number 29 and i'm sure i'll hit 30 by the end of the year, maybe one or two more depending on how much i read in bed. I have one that i have been reading on and off for most of the year, a non-fiction about a couple from Cape Breton who are sailing all the way to Bermuda in a sailboat that seems to be filled with gremlins. Anyway, that may end up being 30 as i'd like to finish it and get it out of the stack by the bed. I bought a few paperbacks the other day and i still have a couple of history books in the stack too.

Probably here i should jump in with the 30 days/30 posts meme. Today's is a non-fictional book. I quite enjoy history books particularly those set in the Tudor period. Most are pretty good unless it's about a person about whom not much is known. Then it seems to be filled with nonsense, like last year's Jane Rochford was. On the other hand, the biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine was quite a bit better yet there is still not a lot known about her over many of the periods of her life. The author seemed to make better suppositions, assumptions and filled in the blanks with much better educated guesses instead of just regurgitating pap and sticking Eleanor in there. We went to the Henry VIII exhibit at the British Library earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I ordered the catalogue and the new book by Starkey on Henry. The catalogue (a non-fictional "meme" book) has lots of pictures of the exhibit and the corresponding text. It's lovely to leave through and remember seeing the original items. I'm kind of expecting Starkey's book to be much the same as in the catalogue with more filling, and probably similar material to what he put in his Six Wives book.

So i've finished my next book for the 2009 countdown.

29 Beyond Black - Hilary Mantel.
This is the same author as Wolf Hall but it's a very different book. Welcome to the world of the dead and the people that can speak to them. It's about a psychic or "Sensitive" called Alison. She travels around the Greater London area appearing at psychic fairs and shows where she passes on messages from those that have passed. On stage, she is much more a "show" person, and more vague about the messages and the recipients than when she's doing a one on one. She's plagued by a nasty piece of work who is her Spirit Guide and all of his spirit friends, none of whom have a redeeming factor between them. The difference is Alison knew them all when she was a child and they were actually alive.

Alison had a horrific childhood, the daughter of a prostitute and these men were some of her "regulars". They contributed much abuse of all types and between them, and all the spirits that she could see and hear even as a child, her life growing up was a misery. She seems a bit circumspect about it all but the spirits are wearing her down and she never gets a moment's peace.

Enter Colette, a divorced woman who is looking for somewhere to make a new life for herself. She is controlling and emotionless and more of a skeptic than even she will admit. she has no sensitivity to the spirit world and not always a lot of patience for Alison dealing with it. She move in with Alison and acts as her manager, arranging her life and becoming more and more overbearing.

The book is supposed to be funny, or have funny bits but i found it dark and kind of sad. It was different than i usually read, that's for sure and i admit i skimmed bits of it. It wasn't a bad book but perhaps not really my thing. Also, Alison is a large woman and there's a lot of weight-negativity in the book and i find that put me off, too. In the end, Alison is Alison. As she says, she has all these spirits and things to deal with and you need a bit of heft to stand up to it all.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Not going to bang on yet again about my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon.
My favourite book while i was growing up was Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. I had a paperback version for years that got pretty ratty and torn up. Mom and Dad gave me a really nice hardback edition for Christmas one year in my 20s. I still have it. I used to read the book probably every year but i haven't in a long, long time. I don't know what really appealed to me but when i was a young teen first discovering it, i suppose i could identify with the four sisters. I cried over the death of gentle Beth, i sympathised with Jo dealing with her annoying little sister (but loved her anyway!!!!!! right [livejournal.com profile] sammantha? ;) I loved the romanticism of Meg and Amy both finding love. I never really identified with the religious overtones, the "Pilgrim's Progress" comparisons and the like. The whole cast of characters just worked so well and seemed timeless even though it was writting in the mid 1800s. I never enjoyed any of the other books by LMA, mind you. It just wasn't the same. Hmmm. Now i've got it on my mind, i should get it out and reread it once more!
tvordlj: (Default)
Today was a "post whatever takes your fancy" for the 30 days/30 posts meme. I've been watching the last few episodes of Mad Men. It's really very good. The retro look and feel is captured superbly. The acting is top and the stories are mostly really good. Has anyone else been watching?

There is a new updated version of The Prisoner. It's already aired on one of the American stations and will be on ITV in the UK next year. I have seen most of the original series but i'm not really overly familiar with it. I don't know if it is that well known over here. I only saw it after the fact, a few years ago. When i told [livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee about the new series and the fact that an American actor is playing the lead, he was appalled! Ian McKellen is playing Two and apparently is through the whole series so it seems that some things are going to be different as Two was usually a changeable character. I didn't remember that.

This afternoon was ..... interesting. ... My computer shut off and when it came back on, it said there was a driver error or something. Didn't say which driver. Could just be an anomoly. They do do weird things on occasion. About an hour later, all my power in the living room, dining room and kitchen light went out. eek!!! I checked, it wasn't a total power cut, other parts of the apartment had power so i thought, ok, a fuse has blown. I changed it, went to turn the puter back on and then went into the bathroom and when i came back out, all the power in those rooms was out again. WTF? I worried.... is it the computer? I didn't have any fuses left so i called the building maintenance man, who didn't get back to me for nearly 3 hours and i didn't want to turn on the computer in the meantime in case that's what was blowing fuses. Too much plugged in? No more than usual. While i waited, i opened the computer and dusted it all out. It had been awhile. Dusted off the vents in the back as well. They were in pretty clogged shape. Hmmm.... I wonder.... But you wouldn't think that would cause all the other electrical stuff on the circuit to go out, would you? Anyway. Got a new fuse when he came over. I didn't put it in the fuse box as he tested the ones in there and said they were all ok.

All right, big test, turn on the computer. And it works! And everything stayed on! I don't know what was going on. I could understand if the dust was affecting the computer itself and perhaps that was what caused the initial power off of the thing before. However, also, the kitchen light never came back on at all so the fluorescent bulbs must have blown. Maybe the switch was still on when i changed the fuse and the blown bulbs affected the circuit? The light was on the off position this time. I wonder if it was the light fixture so i think i'll get Laurie's fella to put the original one back on for me. Seeing as everything else is working ok at the moment.
tvordlj: (Christmas Candy Canes)
I had a nice day off yesterday. I had a doctor's appointment mid morning. It snowed the night before but rained so it was mostly all gone. And i discovered that there are now two busses that go by the office, one every 15 minutes so i wasn't the last minute getting there which makes me happy. She was happy with my BP and was pleased to hear about the gym. They've got a new office now, so they're not up on the fifth floor. It's a nice office but there's no great view over the harbour anymore. There was a drugstore in the old building but there will be a new drugstore going in next to them in the new complex too which will be convenient. They've needed the new office for a long time. The old one was getting pretty tired and worn looking. it's only a few blocks away on the same road. I won't say convenient because it's a bit out of the way without a car but it's no worse than it was before. There's free parking at this place as well.

I went to the dollar store and loaded up on gift wrap, bows and tags and i bought some fuzzy Christmas socks too. They're so soft and warm! One is red, green and white striped like a candy cane and another is red and white striped, like another kind of candy cane :)

Today, i logged into the network at work and discovered we'd got hit with a virus yesterday. I'm not sure if my machine is infected or not. I didn't think so but one application doesn't seem to be there so i'm not entirely sure. I didn't check all the others but the ones i was using were ok. On top of all that yesterday, apparently there was an evacuation fire drill! Good day to be off!

Another day in the 30 day meme, this time a photo taken of me recently. This was taken in Montreal when we were visiting my cousin B. This is his baby Lyla.
Me and Lyla
tvordlj: (Default)
Today's photo is a picture of me taken 10 years ago or more. I was going to post a pic from my childhood but this one will do. It's maybe just a little less than 10 years ago but not by much. The perm wasn't too bad then but subsequent perms did not do my hair any favours. The other woman is my cousin Pam.
Read more... )
tvordlj: (Camera Neon)
Today's photo is supposed to be a photo i took. There are literally thousands to choose from and believe me it's hard to choose just one.
So i'm picking two.

The first one is a photo i took many years ago, back in the 70s of my dad and his twin brother wearing wigs and acting like it's no big deal. It makes me laugh every time i see it. I've probably posted it before but will again anyway in the spirit of the meme. The other is a more recent photo that i took in the Peak District in the U.K. in May. It was taken either from the car window or we pulled over to the side of the road for a few quick photos in the area. One of my best shots, as it turned out.

Read more... )
tvordlj: (Default)
Today's topic is to post a photo that makes me angry or sad. I don't really take photos that make me angry and i can't think of any i've seen around the net lately that do either. Photos that make me sad are photos of people that have died. But yet, they also make me smile a bit too, remembering them. I guess it's more of a sentimentality-sad. Today's photos are my dad, my good friend Carole, my cousin Eddie. Eddie died this time last year, in fact yesterday was the anniversary of his death. It still makes me sad thinking of him because he was far too young and far too sweet a guy. Carole also died too young, in her 50s but had been ill for several years. I'm just glad she went peacefully in her sleep though it was unexpected at the time. And Dad, of course, again too young. I think of all three of them a lot, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a tear.
photos here )

30/30 Day 7

Dec. 7th, 2009 08:29 am
tvordlj: (Default)
Today's topic is a photo that makes me happy. That's tough. There are loads of photos that make me smile or laugh. There are photos of my favourite things and my favourite people, all of which will make me happy. Instead i'm posting three photos, two are related and bring back happy memories and the other is representative of many photos that person posts here and on her Flickr site and they always brighten my day.

cut to save clutter )

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