Do any of you keep a journal? I have a journal that bangs around in my purse. My intension is to sit down every morning, in the calm after the storm, and write down my to-do list for the day. Sometimes the list flows into thoughts;...

My first thought was SHRED IT. But then I changed my mind. Last week I shared my secret to getting through snow and sick days: cuddle up and purge anything within arms reach of the sofa. It's deeply satisfying, both getting rid of stuff, but also...

So far 2017 has been a collection of sick days and snow days. Sometimes the two collide. And as I've said before, on these days the to-do list goes out the window. Or it gets thrown in the garbage, along with all the other stuff I...

Do you remember the scene from Sound of Music when the Reverend Mother says to Maria, When God Closes a Door He Opens a Window?  I think about that all the time. It doesn’t mean the Swiss Alps will be right there waiting for you, just outside the...

I love it when I get a note saying, "hey I had forgotten that my mom used to dry oranges for our Christmas tree, thanks for reminding me," or, "I made turnip stamps when I was little. I have a CSA box full of them,...

What to do with all those turnips? Some of you, far far away, are experiencing summer right now. Gardens are full. Queen Anne's Lace is self seeding. Over here on the East Coast of Canada, however, winter is in full swing. The ilex berries have blown...

Last week I introduced my ('I've never baked before') father as a bread maker. Guess what? He has also added poached eggs to his repertoire. And he can make them for a crowd, 'up to five at a time'. My Dad says he was inspired by Julia...

There is a portal for everyone into the kitchen. Mine was procrastination. Before a school assignment, exam, or academic project of any kind, I'd bake. Brownies. Cake. Cookies. Chocolate chip muffins. Anything that required my attention from the start, middle to delicious end. Then I'd work. For...

Alright, joke's over. That's what I say this time every year. I am not a dieter. I eat in moderation. Most of the time. But there are two points of the year where the scales tip too far in one direction and I've had it with myself:...

What does Christmas smell like to you? I was twenty-one when I spent my first Christmas away from my family. I remember sitting cross-legged on a grey fluffy carpet, beside a small potted tree decorated for Christmas. Classical music played softly from a Hi-Fi. A cup...

When you look at snow, what do you see? I see slabs of homemade marshmallows covered with a dusting of icing sugar. I see meringue. Sometimes it's a smooth pavlova, other times it's broken shards, the kind you can pick at without anyone noticing. I see boiled icing,...

There's a little bookstore, tucked away on Lamb's Conduit Street in London. It's called Persephone Books, and all the book jackets are grey. But inside each cover, on the 'endpapers', is a colourful work of art. A surprise. Persephone Books publishes previously out of print titles, written...

Sara MacCulloch's palette is full of greens and yellows, with a touch of blue and shades of pink. Sara MacCulloch paints landscapes. I stopped in to visit her a few weeks ago on an unseasonably warm, late fall afternoon. She had just hung her clothes on the line. We had a...

My father loves trees. Now, in retirement, he and my mother have a home on a river, and are surrounded by them. But they are never just trees. They are tamaracks. They are fir and cedars. They are pines, spruce, black spruce and maple. They’re oak, elm and...

  I lean over and notice a new scent on my arm - olive oil, extra virgin. It was supposed to be straight-up olive oil, which isn't so fragrant. But, extra virgin is all I had. I also catch a hint of frankincense in there, maybe almond oil, and some mint...