Thursday, February 28, 2013

On the Rack...

February can be so uninspiring …all manner of winter weather brings with it a yearning for something new and different! The routine of grocery-shopping can feel ho-hum as well…then comes the standing in line. For some reason unknown to me, our eyes seem drawn to glossy magazine covers where promises of Spring colours and delectable menus entice.

Home reno ideas are entertaining, with all of the “what ifs…” – even when temperatures plummet the daydreams are hot with anticipation. Online opportunities to upload your own pictures and see what a new palette looks like can be a fun pastime.

Some retailers make donations of light fixtures, tiles and flooring or paint and window hardware to such places as the local ReStore, Goodwill or Value Village outlets. Weekend newspapers feature decorating how-to tips and pull-out sections of ideas. The February 16th issue of the Toronto Star Life Section included their article entitled The Italian job - in Edinburgh…stating “The Hotel Missoni fully explores the use of colour that the fashion house is famous for”…

Hop on down to your local paint store and tickle your senses with possibilities. When choosing colours, buy large size samples – the tiny free colour chips are too small to give you the right impression. I’m getting painters’ itch too – kitchen beware!

Whether your inspiration comes from the newsstand or the fashion perks, your jumpstart on Spring might coincidentally come from what’s on the rack.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

String Games...

Most of us remember childhood string games such as Cat’s Cradle, corking, finger knitting, simple macramé, etc.. Learning to tie knots was always intriguing – and memorable….Everyone can probably bring to mind both a reef knot vs. a “granny” knot, not easily undone.

It has struck me today that one string game that is never-ending, sometimes frustrating, and isn’t actually a game at all; let’s call it “heart strings”. Valentine’s Day has passed, resulting sometimes in tears on the pillow, wilting flowers (or none at all), and may include plenty of reality checks and soul-searching!

Nearly every day in city newspapers, television newscasts and social media sites  appear tidbits about “who the new squeeze is” for celebrities…and closer to home, whispers of innuendo about others who we may know personally surface. Maybe the only hint is a wistful look in someone’s eye and glimpsing a dreamy half-smile. In the bleak mid-Winter, some people think the grass is greener on the other side of marriage.

Trying to rekindle a flame that’s become low requires mutual intention, attention and patience. Being thorough in one’s analysis of the whole picture takes courage and fair-minded consideration. Unless there has been an incident or repeats thereof simply too catastrophic to overlook, maybe just a little puff of air from the bellows will coax some tendrils of smoke.

Distant stares to far-away mountain peaks aren’t the same as actually scaling the heights – every move requires preparation, resolution and following through. Even if the grass does appear greener, yearning adults should not balance on the middle rung of the ladder – either move up or move down.

Realities tangled and stomachs tied tight?  Consider all the what-ifs, get some counselling, step back and re-think plunging into the unknown. Hopefully, when at the precipice, the rope will not unravel or break.  If you’ve “tied the knot” and are still legally bound it’s essential to appreciate that some string games are not trivial.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Snow on the roof, fire in the hearth….

Local newspapers are galore this week with red and white splashy ads featuring Valentine’s Day menu specials. A delectable assortment of dinner choices fit for a king/queen, prince or princess! Florists’ coolers are crammed with baby’s breath, asparagus fern and all manner of flowers – cello-wrapped with red and white ribbons for eyelash-fluttering soon-to-swoon recipients.

My husband’s young grandson has visited the jeweller with a ring in mind for his lucky lady – it will be all shiny and sparkly like their excitement! Hopeful hearts are all a-twitter; lingerie stores stayed open late for last-minute shoppers with a gleam in their eye; and plenty of manicures and pedicures buffed to perfection.

For the “not-so-frantic” whose relationships are still sweet but not gaga, there’s still lots to celebrate. Fishnet hosiery doesn’t wear well with arctic-performance boots and snow pants when we’re walking the dog; nor do miniskirts when the temperatures are plenty-minus and there’s a lake-effect snowstorm aimed straight at Muskoka!

Tonight, after a gala supper at A&W with a decadent order of onion rings on the side,
Hubby and I are celebrating on our screened in porch, in our snowmobile suits and boots, with a bottle of bubbly and a candle! It’s always fun to be innovative and change routines up even just a little bit. Then down to the recroom to share the annual viewing of a now-grainy VHS movie of our wedding. Predictable yes, but part of the celebration.
I just read all the mushy stuff in the Toronto Star's lovey-dovey section; the main takeaway today is that if we've got love cherish what we have. If loving memories are held close instead, savor them again. For long-time wearers, the rose coloured glasses may have blurred– but on a wintery night the flame still glows.

Snow on the roof, fire in the hearth.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Techno-challenges and the Canadian Penny..

Several months ago I replaced a small television in the living room with a large, flat screen. Next step was to replace the cable box with a High Definition one!

Then purchase component cables for the DVD, to say nothing of separate audio cables which were not included. I’m still not sure if they are essential.

Being in the baby-boomer age group, I have quite a collection of VCR tapes which are still enjoyed. Especially my wedding video – and with Valentines coming up I decided to double check and make sure everything works. You guessed it – remotes, instructions, menu choices, selecting video vs DVD…No picture. I went online to the manufacturer and printed out a diagram of the connections how-to.
Still no go.

Presuming that perhaps the VCR machine was not working period, I bought a new combo DVD/VCR. Same results. However, I did learn that the red, blue and green component cables are for DVD only – a clue!!! So now, if I’ve got it figured right – when using the VCR, unplug the DVD component cables, plug in the old-fashioned red, white and yellow cables, select Video and the results should be rewarding. Except I haven’t tried it yet.

Like the way of the proverbial dodo bird and other phased-out items no longer useful, maybe I’ll have to source out more help.

Tonight may not be a celebration at all, conversely, a commemoration of both my apparent inept grasp of techno-challenges and the last day of the Canadian penny.