Sunday, November 29, 2009

adopt an olive tree

I really like this idea -- adopt an olive tree in Italy and in the spring you get all the oil harvested from your tree!! So that's 2 litres of spring oil then you get 2 tins of infused oil in the fall. Now at $150, that's some pricey oil but man, I bet it's worth every penny!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

my mina

My Mina. Sometimes referred to as MinaMina or MinaBeena. She was equally fond of them all.

Recently the vet told us we had about a month or two with her before her heart gave out. As it turns out, we only had a few days. She died in my parents' arms this morning on her own time and in her own way.

It was so funny to watch the white fur slowly creep out from where it should be to envelop her whole head over the years.

Doing what she did best and loved the most - sleeping in the sun at someone's feet.

Mina in her younger days looking sweet.

This is the face of pure puppy joy.

In honour of the passing of "one of the greats" here is the story of Mina, the canine matriarch of my family.

In 1997, a friend of the family had a litter of Great Pyrenese cross puppies and my Mom and I went out to her farm to see the litter to maybe pick out one (at home we still had our elderly Bichon Frise). Well, we ended up coming home with two: Willow a precocious puppy with some of the most beautiful markings we'd ever seen, and Mina, this teeny black puppy with a white blaze and one blue eye and one brown eye that was so sweet and demure and wouldn't leave my Mom's side. My mom's mother had recently passed away at that time and we joked that maybe Mina was Jean reincarnated because she was so sweet to my mom.

These pics were taken the day we picked them out.

Willow turned out to be one of the smartest dogs I've ever known and therefore was also the puppy who got into the most trouble. Mina on the other hand, when Willow would inevitably do something wrong, she was the one who would come running to one of us as if proclaiming "Willow's doing something bad!! Not me though! I'm the good one!! I swear!" If Willow escaped from the backyard, we'd find Mina patiently sitting in the yard, ears down and tail wagging, even though she could have easily followed her sister. Mina -- the perpetual "good student." At age 5, Willow got suddenly very sick and passed away and Mina, after grieving her sister for weeks (she stopped eating and looked for Willow relentlessly) ramped up her characteristic sweetness and stayed that way her whole life, becoming the world's best family dog.

Mina and Willow -- never more than a few inches apart at all times.

You know how you can look at some dog's eyes and see the wheels turning in their heads? Or see that they're looking over your shoulder in case there might be a chipmunk? When Mina looked at you, you could literally see hearts flying out her eyes right at you. To say she just fully and completely loved her human family is likely the understatement of the century. And to say Mina was loved only like your standard family pet could very well be the biggest lie. Mina was as much a part of our family for the last 13 years as any of us. She came on many of our family vacations, she routinely made the rounds for sleepovers at my place and my brother's place and was a dog that took her role as loyal pet to a whole other level. She was mostly uninterested in toys, choosing instead to focus her attention on whoever was sharing the room with her - who could pet her, whose chest could she bury her head in, who might let her up on the couch next to them to snuggle, who could she follow up to bed, who could she tempt to join her on the floor for giant floor snuggles -- all things more appealing to her than any toy. She was definitely on sweetness patrol 100% of the time.

With Mina there were a few things guaranteed -- If you let her bury her head in your chest you would get knocked over at some point. If you sat her up on her haunches and put her feet on your shoulders, you were committing yourself to a good 10 minutes of Mina-rib-rubbing. If you were visiting my parents' house and you stuck your fingers through the mailslot in their front door, you would be greeted with a cold doggy nose and licked fingertips every time. That is likely the thing I will miss the most about Mina.

The puppies' favourite way to sleep - sprawled and taking up every inch of space.

For me, it turns out Mina became my cure for loneliness. A number of years ago I attempted a huge life change that ended disastrously and I ended up living back with my parents. On many occasions, in a moment of extreme self-wallowing, I'd look up to see Mina's face peering into my room from the other side of the glass door. I'd never hear her come down the stairs, she'd never bark at the door or scratch-- she'd just sit there, silently waiting for me to notice her and to let her in. About 5 years ago, Marc had to move to another city for work and I was living completely alone, without roommates, for the first time in my life. During that year he was gone, I stole Mina countless times to come and keep me company in my big empty apartment -- she'd cuddle with me on the couch and take up Marc's entire side of the bed, content to stay in bed in the morning until whenever you decided to get up. More recently, quite soon after Bailey passed away, Marc had to go out of town for work and I was still at that stage where the house felt too empty without Bailey and I hated being alone in the house and was having a hard time sleeping without the sound of a dog on the floor next to me. Enter Mina to spend the weekend with me so I wouldn't have to be alone. And it seemed during these times that she knew some extra cuddling was needed as she always just a little bit cuddlier than normal.

This affection was not one-sided though -- Mina should've thanked her lucky stars everyday she ended up with our family, especially considering many of her littermates ended up as sled dogs up in James Bay. Mina never went without any and all creature comforts. She slept on the bed, cuddled on the couch, had seats removed from the van so that she could have more room and be more comfortable, was covered in blankets at the first sign of chilly feet, got carpet pads on the hardwood stairs when they started to get too slippery for her old feet, got walked to the lake for a swim almost every day of her life, ate many a tablescrap, special trips were made to the store to get the kinds of biscuits she liked and we drove 15 minutes out of town to buy her the best dog food we could, on long car trips she travelled atop a mini-mattress of folded up quilts and pillows and most recently, all 80 pounds of her were carried up and down the stairs by my parents when she became too weak to do it herself.

Mina was the doggy matriarch of our family in every way - making sure we were all where we needed to be and that we were all happy, playing the role of a big furry pillow to all 4 of my nieces as they grew up around her.

Mina, forever tolerable of babies stepping on her toes and grabbing her head.

She played the role of ultra-cool older sister to Sadie's annoying kid sister routine (and despite being generally wary of Sadie's puppy exuberance still managed to teach her some things along the way - like how to take her food, kernel by kernel, out into the living room to eat it and how peeing in the lake is always better than peeing on the grass). And with Bailey, well watching the two of them together was not unlike watching an old married couple - sighing whenever one of them got to the sunspot first, shoving for the best spot at the food dish, gathering together to take their combined pharmacy of vitamins and medications and basically grumbling if one of them got too close to the other one and yet at the same time, they seemed to have this "old dog" bond that either one never had with any other dog. Hopefully they are together now, complaining about their collective aches and pains.

This is how Sadie spent most of her time around Mina. Just WAITING for any sign that maybe, just maybe, Mina wanted to play with her...

She was even one of my "doggy bridesmaids" at our wedding.

It was hard to look prettier than Mina that day.

I think we were all a little better taken care of and a lot more loved because we were lucky enough to pick Mina out of that litter that sunny day.

To say she will be missed doesn't seem like enough. It is more like our family will be forever missing one of its own.

So Mina, hope you find that trouble-making sister of yours up wherever you are, find your old-man boyfriend Bailey and our first puppy Taffy and you all just sit tight until we join you. Sadie will try and take care of the family for you...

Mina doing what she always did and probably is still doing, watching over us all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

dew drop necklace

Hello beautiful flowery Dew Drop delicate necklace.........

mixed tape cord holder

Now here's a gadget I can get behind. The Mixed Tape Cord Holder!! I am FOREVER untangling my earphone cords from whatever they may have wrapped themselves around in my purse. This allows you to leave out the amount of cord you want and wraps the rest safely inside the holder. And it's only $6!

Yes please!


This is Mina, the canine matriarch of our family. The vet has given her about a month before her heart gives out on her.

Maybe this will instead become one of those amazing stories where a dog lives forever?

Friday, November 20, 2009

olympic cozy

Normally I'm not down with any sort of Olympic gear but this year I gotta say -- I'm 100% on board with their super lamb's wool sweater. It's so Canadiana chic!!! I want it in a size too big for me so I can get all cozy and bundled in it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

musical math

Jack White - the man who pretty much owns this last decade of music PLUS Wanda Jackson - the woman who's proclaimed to be the first lady of Rockabilly EQUALS a musical project I'm dying to hear.

Hot Bunny Radio Playlist for November 19th

CKLU 96.7 FM

* denotes Canadian talent
italics denotes a new release

Our friend Dennis lost his sweet mom suddenly this past weekend. This is a show similar to the one I did when I lost my gramma. Sometimes sad music helps....
  • Johnny Cash -- Give My Love to Rose -- American IV: The Man Comes Around
  • Willie Nelson -- Can I Sleep in Your Arms? -- Red Headed Stranger
  • The Weakerthans -- Left and Leaving -- Left and Leaving *
  • Van Morrison -- Crazy Love -- Moondance
  • Rilo Kiley -- A Man/Then Me/Then Jim -- More Adventurous
  • Natalie Merchant -- Beloved Wife -- Live in Concert
  • Oh Susanna -- I'll Keep it With Mine -- Oh Susanna *
  • Neko Case -- South Tacoma Way -- Furnace Room Lullaby
  • Lucinda Williams -- Reason To Cry -- Essence
  • Leona Naess -- Ballerina -- Leona Naess
  • Neutral Milk Hotel -- April 8th -- On Avery Island
  • Joel Plaskett -- Unconditional Love -- Down at the Khyber *
  • She and Him -- Sentimental Heart -- Volume One
  • Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova -- Falling Slowly -- Once OSR
  • Jeff Buckley -- Last Goodbye -- Grace
  • Blur -- No Distance Left to Run -- 13
  • The Jayhawks -- Take Me With You When You Go -- Hollywood Town Hall
  • Hayden -- I Should've Been Watching You -- Skyscraper National Park *
  • Gillian Welch -- I Had A Real Good Mother and Father -- Soul Journey
  • Emmylou Harris -- All My Tears -- Wrecking Ball
  • Bright Eyes -- We are Nowhere and it's Now -- I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
  • Ben Harper -- Waiting on an Angel -- Welcome to the Cruel World
  • Cat Power -- Sea of Love -- The Covers Record
  • Elliott Smith -- Twilight -- From a Basement on the Hill
  • Ryan Adams -- Cry on Demand -- Demolition
  • Kate Maki -- Strangest Dream -- Confusion Unlimited *
  • Feist -- Lonely, Lonely -- Let It Die *
  • The Wooden Sky -- Angels -- If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone *
  • Bon Iver -- Re: Stacks -- For Emma, Forever Ago

  • All songs about Hurtin' and Healin' tonight;
  • Best parts of lonely indeed. Why is it so nice to relish in loneliness sometimes?
  • Van Morrison -- breaking and healing your heart all at the same time;
  • A song about a couple married longer than most people have been alive = super sad;
  • One of my favourite Bob Dylan covers courtesy of Oh Susanna;
  • Thanks to Neko Case for writing one of my all-time favourite ultra-sad songs. Sometimes I think it's entirely about me;
  • I think a boy made me practically wear out my copy of Essence. Stupid boys...
  • When Leona Naess sings the "please come back to me" line I'm incapable of not getting misty eyed....
  • Man have you ever looked at the lyrics for "April 8th" -- it's frigging crazy sad!!!!!!
  • "I hope you're with someone who makes you feel safe in your sleep." Ultimate sad break-up lyric. Swoon!
  • Remember in Juno when they play Sea of Love?? Such a sweet/super sad scene. Yup, I cried...
  • If I was Mandy Moore, I'd make Ryan Adams sing me "Cry on Demand" every single day or else DIVORCE!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Glad to see People magazine took my advice this year.


I love the idea of photobooths and camera rooms at weddings and will always wish I had one at mine. Anyway, here's a great one I saw over at The Flashdance today. Obviously given my current obsession with vintage oil paintings I think their camera room is fantastic but the wedding photos these guys have now are the tops.

Of course, I bet having Ron Howard show up to your wedding helps up the cool factor too...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

in case you're sad...'s impossible to be sad while admiring this photo of a baby porcupine.

*photo courtesy of the amazing Sharon Montrose*

bathtub envy

Check out this bathtub set-up!! I love LOVE the way they've incorporated the bathtub fixtures into the bottom shelf of the mirror system. A perfect little shelf to place your wine, your book and even a wee little bowl of snacks if, like me, you like to watch movies from your bathtub.

new york by memory

This is insane. Autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire sketched the entire New York City skyline FROM MEMORY after taking one 20 minute helicopter ride to take it all in. Every single building in that drawing is not only correct but also completely to scale!! Apparently he's got drawings of Madrid, London, Rome and a pile of others.

Man, I could barely tell you the layout of the New York apartment we rented....

Thanks to Joanna for this great story.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hot Bunny Radio Playlist for November 12th

CKLU 96.7 FM

* denotes Canadian talent
italics denotes a new release

  • The Beau Brummels -- Laugh Laugh -- It Seems So Funny To Me B-day Comp
  • Johnny Thunders -- The Wizard -- So Alone
  • Arctic Monkeys -- Red Right Hand -- Crying Lightning
  • Pixies -- Down to the Wall -- Bossanova
  • Phantom Planet -- Jabberjaw -- Phantom Planet
  • Magneta Lane -- House of Mirrors -- Gambling With God *
  • Julie Doiron -- Swan Pond -- Woke Myself Up *
  • Whiskeytown -- Mirror, Mirror -- Pneumonia
  • Big Star -- You Get What You Deserve -- #1 Record/Radio City Remastered
  • Ohbijou -- Black Ice -- Beacons *
  • The Replacements -- Like A Rolling Pin -- Nothing For All
  • Frank Black & the Catholics -- I'll Be Blue -- Dog in the Sand
  • Rosie Flores & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts -- Halfway Home -- Girl of the Century
  • Shout Out Out Out Out -- Chicken Soup for the Fuck You -- Not Saying/ Just Saying *
  • The Black Keys -- I Got Mine -- Attack and Release
  • Cub -- Your Bed -- Come Out, Come Out *
  • The Clash -- Garageland -- The Clash
  • The Raccoon Wedding -- Adelaide -- Gather Gather Bones, Rattle Rattle Truth
  • Lou Reed -- Endless Cycle -- New York
  • The Wooden Sky -- River Song One -- If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone *
  • Blur -- Charmless Man -- The Great Escape
  • Ron Sexsmith -- Disappearing Act -- Cobblestone Runway
  • Sarah Harmer -- Weakened State -- You Were Here *
  • Elliot Smith -- Sweet Adeline -- XO
  • Devendra Banhart -- Goin Back -- What Will We Be
  • Thurston Moore -- Frozen GTR -- Trees Outside the Academy
  • Death Cab for Cutie -- Meet Me on the Equinoxe -- New Moon OSR

  • Hmmm....unsure what direction to go this week;
  • When in doubt, Laugh Laugh with the Beau Brummels!!
  • When I put out my record I would like the PIne Valley Cosmonauts to be my band please. Tara & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts.
  • Cub makes me so happy and yet sad that there will never be another...
  • River Song One -- one more brilliant thing off of this record. Wooden Sky should bless babies they're so good.....
  • I love Brit Pop.
  • Nope, still bored by Ron Sexsmith.....thought I'd test it but the boredom still seems to be hangin' around;

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

post secret

Here are some of my favourite Post Secrets today:

I felt this way about the dogs of ex'es. You miss their dog more than you miss them.

This one cracks me up because it could have been sent in by me.

welcome home

In honour of Remberance Day, here are some weep-worthy videos of soldiers returning home to the dogs they left behind. A sure way to a dog lovers heart. Mental Floss has the original post with a bunch of these canine reunion videos. You can be sure I watched every single one of them.

And just cuz it's ultra sweet, a video of soldiers surprising their kids at school. Beyond weep-worthy...

Thanks to Jane for the heads up to this great post

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

wooden sky

And a couple great clips of my new favourite band this last month or so. Their new record is, as Roberta Flack would say, killing me softly. It's just the saddest/bestest....

my body's a zombie for you

Here's a great clip of my favourite song at the moment. And I suppose, also some Ryan Gosling eye candy...

weekend round-up

A whole weekend of glorious warm summer-like weather you say?? Well what's a gal to do???? Go outside of course!!!!! We soaked up every moment of sunshiney warmness as we could handle. Saturday we headed out for what turned out to be a 7km hike at the conservation area with pal Drew and wee Dakota (one of Sadie's many dog BFF's). Needless to say the dogs ran like maniacs and we hiked our legs off. Got home for a quick freshening up and headed over to help our other pal Richard get set up into his fantastic new house -- that is not only fantastic BUT a mere block from our house! I see many late night stumble homes in our future to be sure. After he stuffed us full of pizza I rolled myself home and fell into the bathtub. The plan was to go out later but obviously you can imagine how that night ended for me. I hear from Marc though that the night out was fun.

Sunday out again for more warm weather soaking in only this time we opted for chores instead of lovely bush time. Raking leaves -- normally my second least favourite yard chore to do (second only to shoveling snow -- whose idea was it to live at the "T" mark of two streets???), was actually not that bad. Warm weather really does fix everything.

Post yard work we headed down to the Laughing Buddha for their first forray into a weekly Sunday Gospel Bluegrass brunch. Marco being the resident banjo guy is, of course, in on the action and it was a great way to spend a Sunday. Doubtful if he'll head down there every single Sunday but it's nice to know that it's there should you fancy a nice ease into your day. Lots of foot stompin' and "Hallelujah -ing" to be sure.....

And nothing else is really worth mentioning -- only things involving absurdly warm temperatures and being outside.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hot Bunny Radio Playlist for November 5th


* denotes Canadian talent
italics denotes a new release

  • Dead Man's Bones -- Paper Ships -- Dead Man's Bones
  • Raccoon Wedding -- Basement or the Attic -- Gather Gather Bones Rattle Rattle Truth
  • M Ward -- One Hundred Million Years -- Hold Time
  • Jenny Lewis -- Acid Tongue -- Acid Tongue
  • Tegan & Sara -- Arrow -- Sainthood *
  • The Be Good Tanyas -- In Spite of all the Damage -- Chinatown *
  • Barbara Pittman -- I Need a Man -- Quivers Down the Backbone Birthday comp.
  • The Hidden Cameras -- He Falls To Me -- Origin:Orphan *
  • The Beach Boys -- Hang On To Your Ego -- Pet Sounds
  • Flight of the Conchords -- Too Many Dicks (on the Dance Floor) -- I Told You I Was Freaky
  • Beck -- Lost Cause -- Sea Change
  • Belle & Sebastian -- The Model -- Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant
  • Belly -- Judas My Heart -- King
  • Spiral Beach -- Devour -- The Only Really Thing *
  • My Morning Jacket -- Golden -- It Still Moves
  • Islands -- Switched On -- Vapours
  • The New Pornographers -- All the Old Showstoppers -- Challengers *
  • Amelia Curran -- The Company Store -- Hunter, Hunter *
  • Peter, Bjorn and John -- Let's Call It Off -- Writer's Block
  • Dragonette -- Pick Up The Phone -- Fixin To Thrill
  • Pretty Girls Make Graves -- The Nocturnal House -- Elan Vital
  • Cuff The Duke -- The Words You Ignore -- Way Down Here *
  • The Riff Randells -- Heartbreaker -- The Riff Randells *
  • The Wheat Pool -- I'm Not Here -- Hauntario *
  • Ryan Adams -- Desire -- Demolition
  • Ox -- Unknown Legend -- Burnout *
  • Sam Cooke -- For Sentimental Reasons -- The Best of Sam Cooke
  • The Swell Season -- In These Arms -- Strict Joy
  • Au Revoir Simone -- Take Me As I Am -- Still Night, Still Light
  • Grizzly Bear with Victoria Legrand -- Slow Life -- New Moon OSR

  • Pretty big soft spot being carved out in my heart for this Dead Man's Bones record;
  • The Raccoon Wedding -- new band for me, am very intrigued and toes are tapping;
  • Jenny Lewis for my friend Jody who just realized how good this record is....
  • Don't you kinda wish the Hidden Cameras were the friends you had that always played music at your parties?
  • I can't recall why the phrase "too many dicks on the dancefloor" has become something we say in the office more often than you'd think....
  • Man, Sea Change is a record that brings back some memories for me...
  • Oh "The Model," one of the great B&S songs......
  • BELLY!! I friggin still love them!!
  • I miss The Riff Randells -- such a fun little EP;
  • I had to play the Ryan Adams cuz I was just the other day chatting with a friend about the whole Josh/Donna lovestory on The West Wing and that song is PERFECTLY used for it;
  • How can Swell Season write songs that are so incredibly sweet and yet still make me cry??
  • Also, how is it possible that a movie like New Moon can have such a kick-ass soundtrack?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

foxtrot flats

Well hello there prettiest flats I've seen this week......

fair and square

The Fair and Square dress. Black tights and the perfect shoe? I'd wear this everywhere, fair and square.

pastoral portraits

Modcloth is selling these great 11x14 animal prints printed on birch veneer. I feel as though I must have them all...


So I played the demo version of Machinarium today and for someone who's gaming interests are pretty limited -- I was in awe of the artistry of this game!! Created by Amanita Design and Czech designer Jakub Dvorsky, this game is adorable (our robot hero is trying to stop an attack and save his even more adorable robot ladyfriend) and stunning to watch. AND it's my favourite kind of game which is the point-and-click adventure kind.

I'll be buying the full version of this game for sure. Which must stand for something considering I've only caved and paid for one $0.99 game on my iPhone. I guess my laptop's been working hard lately, it deserves a game as pretty as this.