Category Archives: Uncategorized


My ‘aunt’ Sondra just gave me a jar of her homemade mustard, a smooth, hot and sweet family recipe that was once sold commercially under the label Chalif Mustard.

It is begging to be spread on the sourdough bread I just pulled out of the oven.

And I am going to be begging Sondra for the recipe!


friday favourite – podcasts

Two podcasts I am currently listening to are my friday favourites-

Crimetown:  Every season, we’ll investigate the culture of crime in a different American city. First up: Providence, Rhode Island, where organized crime and corruption infected every aspect of public life. This is a story of alliances and betrayals, of heists and stings, of crooked cops and honest mobsters—a story where it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. 

Missing Richard Simmons:  On February 15, 2014, fitness guru Richard Simmons disappeared. He stopped teaching his regular exercise class at Slimmons, cut off his closest friends, and removed himself from the public eye after decades as one of the most accessible celebrities in the world. Nobody has heard from him – and no one knows why he left. Filmmaker Dan Taberski was a Simmons regular and a friend of Richard’s. Missing Richard Simmons is Dan’s search for Richard – and the deeper he digs, the stranger it gets.

Listen to them and let us know what you think!


stuff we love…to really dislike

Last week, I “chatted” with people for five nights in a row at my internet provider to try and make adjustments to my plan to cover I’m-a-new-netflix binger. Yes, I finally got netflix. And yes, there are still some of us who don’t have unlimited internet plans in Canada.


Signing in to a “live chat” became my nightly ritual. I even did a scribbled sketch about it on day 3 of the chatty week as I sat waiting…because I thought three days and three calls was getting ridiculous.

By Friday night (day 5), I finally dialed in to chat to a live person. Funny thing. He told me that all the other information I’d received – on the four previous nights from Hi my name’s Stella, Mitch, Michael and more – was incorrect. I smell a training opportunity.

I don’t know if I should trust the live voice. But I’m back online with nothing to love about the growing trend of live chats to get information. I’ve also heard (maybe I’m the last to know) that they are most likely staffed by bots anyhow. Customer service fail.




soup swap update

My fellow furloughed co-workers and I met last week for a soup swap. Between the four of us we had three delicious soups, a loaf of bread, and a salad; but not many leftovers!

Carole made a NYTimes recipe: Mushroom-Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices. It had a delicious almost smoky taste and great texture due to coarsely pureeing the mushrooms. I am definitely making this one.

Alison brought a Curried Lentil Soup with chutney butter. She used two types of green lentils and the juice of 2 lemons for a tangy curried lentil soup. The interesting addition was a dollop of chutney butter on top!

I made Red Lentil and Pumpkin soup. You can find the recipe in our Dec 7th, 2016 post.

The swap was a great way to taste some new soups. If the plan is to have some to take home, you really need to double the recipe since by the time we all tasted the soups, there really wasn’t much left to take home! We’ll get it right next time!


pumpkin and red lentil soup

I was in a cafe last week and ordered the soup of the day — pumpkin and red lentil. I was cold and hungry, the soup was warm and filling. A perfect match!


I found a recipe online for this soup, it even used a can of pumpkin which is so easy and I had one sitting around for the pumpkin pie I never made!

Here’s the recipe:

Saute 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic and 1 T grated ginger in 1 T olive oil until onions are soft and translucent. Add 1-15oz can of pumpkin puree, 1 cup dry red lentils, 6 cups of vegetable broth and 1 T curry powder.

Bring to a boil then turn the heat down, put a lid on the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed.


getting organized

My husband bought me a pen for my recent birthday. Well, he didn’t buy me a pen, he said pick a pen that you would like. He understands that a pen is a very personal purchase. If you read that sentence and went huh? then you might want to stop reading right now! If on the other hand you said to yourself, oh yea, I get it! then read on!

I go through phases with pens. I had a Waterman fountain pen way back and though it was beautiful to look at and write with, it just wasn’t practical for everyday use. I have been a fan of LAMY pens for years, I own several colours of the safari pen and have given it as a gift many times.Lamy_safari_red_216_Ballpoint_pen_140mm_print_eng.png

As for my birthday pen, I ordered the LAMY Studio from Levenger and am eagerly awaiting its arrival!

But the title of this blog post is getting organized, not pens! I love pens because I still love to write with one on real paper. A regular reader of our blog asked us what we use to stay organized which prompted this blog about pens, paper and organization.

My sister, my mother and I have all owned a filofax  datebook for years. I know because I buy us all the refills every fall and hand deliver them at Thanksgiving. My mom carries hers around with her. I keep mine open on my desk and use it faithfully to keep track of appointments. And my sister schleps her back and forth to work everyday. I use my phone to record an appointment when I am out but as soon as I get home, I record it in my filofax.

And then there is Moleskin. They have an amazing assortment of notebooks. I use a 5″ x 8″ for travel and keep key details about a trip in it and carry the notebook in my carry-on. I have a tiny one I keep in the car with information about when I changed the oil or when I replaced the brakes. And I have one I carry in my handbag with any number of things I don’t want to forget…a book to look for at the library, a song I heard that would be good for my spin class, the phone number for the vet…I know I could probably keep all these things on my phone but I like writing things down. And I love the flow of a new pen on a fresh sheet of paper.

Do you organize by paper or digital?