Wine Making With Aretha Franklin

“So,” I’m going through a set of challenging wine-making instructions for a high quality Negroamaro (juice plus skins – a first for me).

I had to edit and translate them into hand-written, clear Binglish (Bob-friendly English) and decided to come to grips with the spelling and pronunciation of the following additive:

kieselsol

The incredibly helpful and generous person I buy my juice from, Joe, has as much fun pronouncing it as I do, but he sure knows how to make wine!

The word “kieselsol” wouldn’t stay in my septuagenarian, but fussy, brain, so I took time to look at it carefully. The first part, keisel, I thought must rhyme with Diesel and it did! The sol part, for a maternal anglo like me, is easy: Saul, like the biblical king.

But, if you want to be absolut richtig and use the handsome German pronunciation, just think Diesel-Soul – as in Aretha Franklin, RIP. I will call kieselsol “Diesel-Soul” from now on. And I will replace some of my cuss words with it.

I may even make it a mantra…
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A Glorious Potted Hibiscus

 

We were given this potted hibiscus in January and put it out on the deck in the spring. I think I fertilized once with soluble 15-30-15 in a fertilizer sprayer.

I decided after listening to an expert on tomatoes who suggested strongly to someone who hadn’t seen any flowers: “Don’t feed them.”

I decided not to feed this plant again and it began to flower prolifically in late August and you can see that the early September photo on the right has at least three more blooms to come. I wonder if this plant wouldn’t have done as well if it had been fed more often. What do you think?

Also we have seen ruby-throated hummingbirds passing through our yards in late August and on September 1. I read that the males leave Ontario in July, the females follow in August and this summers’ babies migrate south to Mexico and Central America in September. How cool is that?

Hose Me Down, Folks!

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Hose Initiation for Hosers

This quick email to my neighbour sent at 7:45 a.m. today:

Before its first use… this new and “improved” hose recommends that it be extended in the sun for several hours as straight as possible with the pressure turned on at the tap. I have done my best. I assumed you wouldn’t mind it extending 6 feet onto your lawn.
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Why? So that it will kink as little as possible.
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Whatever happened to plain old rubber??
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No… I haven’t gone crazy – yet…
The “architect” of this particular hose probably has…
Wish I’d read the fine print…
I’ll put it away at 2 PM.
Cheers,
Bob

Defending a Masterpiece

I have noticed over the years a shrinking of the best classics in English and French on Brampton’s library shelves. This has concerned me because I have slowly come to appreciate some of the truly great books and authors in the history of literature.
The most inspiring source of my literary “dabbling” in the past two decades has been Eleanor Wachtel’s amazing literary interviews on CBC Radio in her Sunday afternoon program, Writers and Company. She is, I think, the best literary interviewer on the Planet.
What took me by surprise in May was the shrinking of of the library’s adult French section. This is because I was looking for Madame Bovary in French, as a result of Wachtel’s interview with Karl Ove Knausgaard, the brilliant Norwegian, who described Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary as his “favourite book of all time.”
I wanted to borrow the original French version. (I thought I would respect the years Flaubert put in to meticulously completing, in 1857, his first and most famous novel that changed literature forever.)
The librarian could not find the adult French section. I located it by accident in June.
She did check on the computer and said Madame Bovary was not in any of the library branches of this city of over half a million people.
And I’m shocked that Wikipedia’s article on Brampton does not even contain the word, “French.”
I, an anglophone of French/English/Irish descent raised in Montreal, with no “axe” to grind, am saddened to see this, and to find that nowhere in any Brampton’s eight libraries did a version of this first modern novel ever written exist in French.
So I requested it in French and waited until May 23 when it was delivered from the library in Acton, Ontario, population 9500, now amalgamated into the Town of Halton Hills.
French is not my first language and I spent the first three weeks getting through Thierry Laget’s brilliant preface, while listing listing the many words I had to look up. Then I noticed that, having been borrowed from another district, it was not renewable. I brought the book back on its due date and was again helped wonderfully by the person who served me. She renewed it on her own initiative for a week.
The Brampton Library has agreed to add more true classics like this to their shelves.
You can purchase the book and support Toronto’s Librairie Mosaïque  here.
This unique, deep, and shining masterpiece should be widely available across Canada and the world.
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I now own the Thierry Laget paperback edition and will treasure it always.

Will Ontarians NOW Get That FPTP Stinks?

Premier Doug Ford (eeewwww….) can destroy what he wants in Ontario for a minimum of four years, and this tragic development is Ontarians’ (and Canadians’) own fault for being among the very few places on Earth that still use a neanderthal, First Past The Post electoral system.

Now I’m going to gargle and brush my teeth….

Last Year’s Burrs – This Year’s Buds

This morning’s light gave us good birding. We welcomed the male R-B Grosbeak for the first time this year. The Cape Mays were around and a female Yellow Warbler in addition to the plentiful Myrtles. Spotted the male Northern Oriole singing to us high in a maple on our way back for breakfast. A nice start to Mother’s Day with my spotter!

This is the peak of the Spring migration. We hope for hummingbirds at our feeder as they move north and maybe, just maybe,  a pair will stay all summer….

Yayoi Kusama – Infinity Mirrors

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Up close with an iPad, composition can be tricky…

Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition, her first in 20 years, was a quick 30 s  (her concept) in half a dozen small rooms that used mirrors and light to create a startling sense of infinity. This is part of one of the external presentations. I didn’t have much time to compose this, but am happy with the result.

I’ve realized in the past few years that, with experience, composition becomes instinctual. A visual seventh  sense that does not require a processing of all the rules.