3 December 2012

Real Life

Because coffee still tastes better in a real mug than in waxed cardboard anyday
And one that starts with a hug will always beat the smiley face,
or even the little ♥
Because you can finally feel the rain
without drowning in it...

Because something is lost
from the pen to the screen
ink pressure and darkness
the flow of the dream

Because the weight of the scrawl
paper under skin
breathes visions into life
pulling presence within

29 November 2012

Shahi Korma

Shahi Korma (vegetarian variation)
from: Indian Flavour / Jeeti Gandhi, 2002

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds, pounded
1-inch piece fresh root ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons blanched and chopped almonds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee)
1 1/2 pounds chopped mixed vegetables (such as cauliflower, potatoes, beans and carrots)
2 onions, minced
2 bay leaves*
4 whole cloves*
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (preferably freshly ground)
salt, to taste
1/2 cup cream, mixed with 1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Place the yogurt, cardamom, ginger, garlic, and almonds in a blender and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
In a wide-based pan (preferably cast iron) heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaves, cloves, and vegetables and stir-fry for 10 minutes or until the onions have browned.
Stir in yogurt/almond paste, paprika, cumin, and salt. Continue to cook and stir until all the liquid is evaporated. Stir-fry another minute. Stir in cream and water mixture. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer (stirring to prevent sticking) for 35-40 minutes longer until you have a thick gravy. Add more liquid if too dry.
Remove from heat.

Serve hot, sprinkled with 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala. Include chapati, naan or rice and kachoomber raita. Also goes well with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and a side salad.

17 November 2012

you are beautiful

Miniature Disasters - KT Tunstall

(start at 0:50 to skip the logistics)

Miniature Disasters 

I don't want to be second best 
Don't want to stand in line 
Don't want to fall behind 
Don't want to get caught out 
Don't want to do without 
And the lesson I must learn 
Is that I've got to wait my turn 

Looks like I got to be hot and cold 
I got to be taught and told 
Got to be good as gold 
But perfectly honest 
I think it would be good for me 
Coz it's a hindrance to my health 
I'm a stranger to myself 

Miniature disasters and minor catastrophoes 
Bring me to my knees 
Well I must be my own master 
Or a miniature disaster will be 
It will be the death of me 

I don't have to raise my voice 
Don't have to be underhand 
Just got to understand 
That it's gonna be up and down 
It's gonna be lost and found 
And I can't take to the sky 
Before I like it on the ground 

And i need to be patient 
And i need to be brave 
Need to discover 
How i need to behave 
And I'll find out the answers 
When i know what to ask 
But i speak a different language 
And everybody's speaking too fast 

Miniature disasters and minor catastrophoes 
Bring me to my knees 

Well I must be my own master 
I've got to run a little faster 
I need to know I'll last if a little 
Miniature disaster hits me 
It could be the death of me

(start at 0:50 to skip the logistics)

16 October 2012

Some RAD Lessons

August 25, 2012

Beyond the basics of learning to fish, to cook, to bartend, waitress, light a campfire, split firewood, work a front desk and a pellet stove, I’d like to share just a few of the numerous things my father taught me over the years.

Spend Christmas Eve watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” Whatever stresses you’ve been under will dissappear.

Never give up. Even on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I learned to buy quality. Unless you see something nifty on an infomercial. Then buy quantity.

Dipping crusty bread into good olive oil, parmesan cheese and fresh pepper is heavenly.

I learned it’s ok to cook at your own wedding.

No matter the weather or number of diners, amazing gourmet meals can be served on islands and at campsites.

I learned that cast iron frying pans come in really, really big sizes.

If I asked him to be there, my father would always be counted on for advice on life’s challenges. Not that he ever needed to be asked. 

Ruby Island is a wonderful place for treasure hunts.

I learned that you can tell the same story to the same people a million times and they will still want to hear it if you tell it right. Storytelling is an art and he was a master.

Keep both eyes on the road. You never know when a flaming tire will come rolling down the highway at you.

Fish everywhere and often.

I learned how hard it is to be humble.

Fedoras are cool.

Be creative, tap into your unique gifts to the world. Then be brave enough to act upon your knowledge.

Believe in love and it will find you. If you’re lucky, more than once. My father was a very, very, very, very lucky man.

I learned to always carry a pocketknife. And a flashlight. And pliers. And toliet paper. Always.

Hornepayne, Ontario has the best Baked Alaska ever, especially delicious after a 'controlled landing' (NOT called a crash or emergency landing). 

If you really need to, you can sleep anywhere.

I learned that even if you’ve been to Shanghai, Guatemala, Rome or New Zealand, the best sunset is right off his dock on Pelican Lake.

I learned that even after he was gone that he found a way to let us know he was okay. 

I learned which words carry the most power.  “I love you”, “Goodbye” and “I miss you”.

Michelle Aura Davidson
for Richard Allen Davidson 1942 - 2012 

7 October 2012


hard not to be swayed
by the many whispered ways
cold hard cash seems to say

"I'll make things easy you see
so you too can be worry free
Refilling the want-what-you/they-want-now
make it up as you go" and not think about how

We/they'll return again to the poisons
that weave our cocoon, bubbled into our choices
that don't buy love or time or people back from the dead
all the money in the world wont buy peace in your/that head

And it's no small wonder we/they're broken
so few to show them
stealing innocence from youth
Leaves you wandering, few
who can teach them/us to garden, fill in the hollow
to candlelight down the path for others to follow

hear/speak the quiet whisper, "I wanna peek at your soul
where it goes
in the throes
What it has, what it needs
when the wind will blow the seeds
which grow from that, from us, home."

The Scientist - Coldplay

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorryYou don't know how lovely you areI had to find you, tell you I need youTell you I set you apart

Tell me your secrets and ask me your questionsOh, let's go back to the startRunning in circles, coming up tailsHeads on a science apart

Nobody said it was easyIt's such a shame for us to partNobody said it was easyNo one ever said it would be this hardOh, take me back to the start

I was just guessing at numbers and figuresPulling the puzzles apartQuestions of science, science and progressDo not speak as loud as my heart

But tell me you love me, come back and haunt meOh and I rush to the startRunning in circles, chasing our tailsComing back as we are

Nobody said it was easyOh, it's such a shame for us to partNobody said it was easyNo one ever said it would be so hardI'm going back to the start

Oh ooh, ooh ooh ooh oohAh ooh, ooh ooh ooh oohOh ooh, ooh ooh ooh ooh

February 2009

14 July 2012

Kings and Queens

Nov 2011

Things that are made last literally forever
get tossed tomorrow, cheap and useless
Like how some people get treated, and feel
Because Plastic and "perfect"
Is too much to bear
These things others have created
Pile up in perpetual guilt filled feed back
loops of consumption, instant gratification
That comes with playing
Kings and Queens
On our thrones on bones
 of the earth
medieval gluttony in every house
Instead of one castle on every other hill
And making BobbleHeads and Kinder Surprises
Our crowns that outlast our childrens, children's, children etc

I had to Fall to see. And Fail.
And stand again anyways. Rebuild one shame at a time
Through pride in my gifts from Creator,
That something that truly lasts forever,  a legacy
To speak my truth like no one else can
To brave rejection, cold loneliness
Until my soul speaks. And I listen
To reach out to someone who still can't
Get up out of the Plastic to see
Lives we rule

Things don't have to be white to be pure
I don't have to know for sure
That dreams can go a-flying
True Kings and Queens are built by trying

3 July 2012


Working on the stitching
to sew through skin without

Although it cuts me to the bone
I will not turn to

I'LL stand stoic & weave
memories into blankets of

If I pull through each pain
to survive each small

Maybe I wont be engulfed the dayi won't see you

13 June 2012

Motherly advice

My father hadn't been feeling well for many months but chalked it up to stress since he just opened a new restaurant. He started drastically losing weight and finally decided to check into a hospital on May 24 to determine what exactly was going on.

On May 25 the word came back to his family of the diagnosis. We were pre-warned that it was going to be bad. Pancreatic cancer, late or end stage, and not operable. My father is not telling us what his expected life expectancy is but from a quick Internet search it is easy to see that he may not have long. I am not saying that to be pessimistic, but realistic. I hope and pray every day he will surprise us and live for many years.

1970 Tisdale, Saskatchewan
He opted for a clinical trial and has had the first round of chemotherapy. He is exhausted, very nauseous, and I believe, becoming depressed. The same man who a month ago was flying to and from Thunder Bay, launching a restaurant, preparing for the opening of his fishing lodge and planning his next adventure overseas is now stuck, sitting, helpless, unable to stay awake and frustrated by his body telling him his time is coming.

Since the diagnosis, well-meaning friends and relatives have been offering advice and words intended to comfort me. Some of the words do help, although I find that I feel the most helped when the person simply lets me do the talking. Remembering this I have been talking to my children about the possibility of their beloved grandfather (the only one they really have in their lives) not being able to see them again.

My children are 20, 17 and 13 years old respectively.  Last night I blurted out to "prepare for the worst, but hope for the best". And then I listened. And cried. And listened some more.

When I hung up the phone though, I wondered how I could follow my own advice. How do you "prepare" for the death of your father? Should I write, scream, cry, rail at the fates, what? There really isn't anyway to prepare yourself other than to feel it and try not to let it overwhelm you.

Me and my father have always had a rocky relationship. Neither one of us likes to be told what we should do, even from someone with the best intentions. My father wasn't always present in mine or my children's lives and I used to carry resentment that my sisters and brother's families had him to themselves mostly. I used to come to town with my kids for a visit and he would be there for a big family gathering one day and then flying out of town the next for a business trip. We very rarely had any one-on-one time with him; handfuls of those moments over the years would not add up to much. But those times were still precious and my children are better off.

2010 Cruise
Because that's who he is. I love him and have learned to accept him for that over the past couple of years. I've let go of my resentment. I just remember how I felt when someone told me that I was crazy to quit my cushy government job and go back to school or that I should have stayed married to a seemingly good man instead of divorcing him. No one really knows what happens behind closed doors. No one really knows what one can live with or what one is capable of doing.

Except for you.

I've made mistakes, I've thrown alot of baggage away and I've learned that, like my father, I can't live my life for my children, my parents, my siblings or anyone. I live it for me and I love my father for living his life for himself. He has created a legacy in the businesses he's built and they will live on long after he's gone. I know he always wanted me to be more of a part of them but I learned from the master. I follow my footsteps to where I need to be. I hope my children do too ♥

10 June 2012

walking through leaving
watch the wind breezing
earth caresses of breathing
through hair, into skin
flying past and within
memories; messages that last
sway slow enough to grasp
let close to your heart
whisper "it's there that you start"

May 20, 2012

2 May 2012

Mushroom Stroganoff, two versions

Mushroom Stroganoff

This is a vegan take on beef strog. It is easy to make, tastes delicious and is quite versatile.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
half a yellow pepper, diced
250g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp mixed spice
400ml tin of coconut milk

Gently fry the onion, garlic and yellow pepper in the olive oil for a couple of mins until starting to soften.
Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up and cook until starting to brown.
Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well, season to taste and reduce the heat so that it bubbles gently for 20 to 30 mins, stirring occasionally. (The sauce should reduce and thicken to a lovely creamy consistency.)
That's it!

This is lovely with a mix of white and brown mushrooms too. Serve with boiled rice, salad tossed in vinaigrette and garlic bread (made with vegan marg or olive oil). Yum!
(from: http://www.veganvillage.co.uk/recipes/stroganoff.htm)

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff 

This is a fast, easy recipe that can be made for a weeknight dinner.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried tarragon (it's even better with fresh tarragon to taste if you have it)
1 tablespoon paprika, sweet
1 cup vegetable broth (I use low or no salt)
2 tablespoons tahini (I often substitute raw unhulled sesame seeds and blend with the broth)

In a non-stick skillet, water sauté the onion and garlic briefly, then add the sliced mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms are soft.
Add lemon juice, tarragon, and paprika and mix well.  Warm the broth briefly in the microwave if it's cold, then blend with the tahini in a blender.  If you have a high speed blender like a Vita-mix you can easily substitute 4 TBSP raw sesame seeds and blend with the broth, then add to the skillet with the mushrooms.
Mix together well and bring to a low simmer to blend the flavors.

Makes approx. 4 servings.  Serve with noodles, over a baked potato, on toast, or on steamed greens.  
(from: http://blog.susanscooking.com/2009/10/13/vegan-mushroom-stroganoff.aspx)

4 April 2012

CBC's Nature of Things: Smarty Plants

Smarty Plants: Uncovering the secret world of plant behaviour, March 22, 2012.
Link to full epidsode (45m)

A fascinating look at the secret world of plants by CBC's The Nature of Things

Is it possible that plants are smarter than we think?
They are among the world’s oldest and most successful organisms and represent some of the strangest and longest living life forms on the planet. Stunningly diverse, plants have served us in many critical ways, from providing food, shelter and clothing to life-saving medicine. And yet we know very little about them.

A luscious exploration of the natural world, Smarty Plants effortlessly integrates pioneering science with a light hearted look at how plants behave, revealing a world where plants are as busy, responsive and complex as we are.

From the stunning heights of Utah’s Great Basin Desert to the rainforests of Canada’s west coast, Smarty Plants follows lead scientist and ecologist JC Cahill as he treks the green world and discovers that plants are a lot more like animals than we ever imagined. The world he reveals is one where plants eavesdrop on each other, talk to their enemies, call in insect allies to fight those enemies, recognize their relatives and nurture their young. 

Sure, we’ve counted and classified plants. We’ve even unlocked the secrets of their photosynthesizing powers. But overall, it’s been far more interesting to study the animal world because animals move and demonstrate behavior, if not outright intelligence. Plants, on the other hand, just sit there.

Don’t they?

Not according to Cahill, who has been studying plants for more than two decades.

“Twenty years ago just uttering the words behavior and plants in the same sentence would have resulted in scientific excommunication!” Cahill insists. “And that’s because for a long time, I think, we were hung up on the fact that plants are sessile, they don’t move, or at least we don’t see them move. And because of who we are, I think we’ve always equated behavior, even intelligence, with movement.”

Fungal network (CBC/Merit Motion Pictures)
Exploding the myth of a passive plant world, this film uncovers the real “secret world” of plants and reveals a landscape pulsing with sex, movement, communication, and social interaction. This is a world where plants talk, forage, wage war and protect their kin; a world where plants behave a lot like us.

Featuring global locations, spectacular time-lapse photography and CGI, and new scientific discoveries, Smarty Plants uncovers a hidden world exposed through the work of Cahill and a team of globetrotting scientists. These experts include: Ian Baldwin (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology); Consuelo De Moraes (Penn State); Mark Mescher (Penn State); Susan Dudley (McMaster University); Ray Callaway (University of Montana); Suzanne Simard (University of British Columbia).

Produced by Merit Motion Pictures and directed by Erna Buffie in association with the CBC Science and Natural History Documentary Unit.

24 January 2012


Black Bean Burritos 
via: vegetarian.about.com

This is a quick and easy basic recipe for a vegetarian and vegan bean burrito. Toss in some extra toppings such as non-dairy sour cream, homemade guacamole, salsa, black olives, or whatever you have on hand.


2 cups leftover pre-cooked rice
juice from 2 limes
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 15 ounce can black beans
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp hot sauce, or to taste
4-6 flour tortillas


In a large bowl, toss together the fresh cilantro with the rice and drizzle with lime juice. Heat in the microwave on on the stove just until hot.
In a separate large skillet, sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil for 2 - 3 minutes, or until onion is soft.

Reduce heat to medium low and add black beans and remaining ingredients (except flour tortillas). Stir to combine, and allow to cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Spoon rice and beans onto flour tortillas, and add any additional toppings you want, such as vegan cheese, salsa, avocado slices, black olives or non-dairy sour cream. Wrap your bean and rice burritos and serve hot.

Spicy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito
(via: vegweb.com)

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

    1 large sweet potato
    1/4 cup chili powder
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon cumin
    Dash cayenne
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1/4 cup diced red onion
    1 cup cooked black beans
    1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
    1/2 cup cooked brown rice
    1/4 cup frozen corn kernels  
    3/4 cup tomato sauce
    1/4 cup canned diced green chilies
    3 cups roughly chopped kale
    6 corn tortillas
    1/4 cup diced tomato
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


1) Wash sweet potato and peel, if desired. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add sweet potato, cut in large chunks, and boil until tender, about 30 minutes. When easily pierced with a fork, it's done.

2) Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, and oregano.

3) Saute the red onion on medium-low heat in a small amount of water until soft and slightly translucent, roughly 5 to 10 minutes. Add half of the mixed spices, black beans, bell pepper, rice, corn, tomato sauce and green chilies. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Lastly, stir in the kale and heat until bright green and just wilted. Remove from heat.

4) When sweet potato is cooked, mash until smooth with the remaining half of spice mixture. Heat corn tortillas between two damp paper towels in microwave for 30 seconds.

5) Spread mashed sweet potato down the center of each tortilla. Top with the black bean and veggie mix. Roll and serve topped with diced tomato and fresh parsley.

Source of recipe: I'm big on sweet potatoes- loaded with health benefits, they're versatile and satisfying. This recipe, born from leftovers, is an easy and fresh way to combine healthy ingredients.

Makes: 6 burritos, Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 35 minutes


I've broke it again, that feeling of when
we were friends, and then more
and you wanted to soar on the vibe
but really inside saw the end

was in sight, try all your might
to be sure that I'm not the one
I'm still on the run, I don't want to be us
not ready for trust, can't bear the pain

of breaking it again.