Category Archives: General Babbling

Ah, Iced Tea!

For the long lazy days of summer, when it’s hotter than hades out, what is more refreshing than a tall cool glass of ice tea.  Some of you may say beer, but I don’t drink beer so I don’t know much about it other than I don’t like it… so, let’s talk iced tea.

Did you know that iced tea actually has many benefits?  Yep, it does.  Here’s a few.

  1. It keeps you Hydrated… yeah, I know duh, but did you also know that tea is one of the best sources of hydration, second to water!
  2. It boosts your Antioxidants… tea has about eight to 10 times the polyphenol antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.
  3. It’s better for you than pop… yeah, another duh moment but get this, A 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9 1/2 teaspoons of sugar and 140 calories. Twelve ounces of unsweetened iced tea has 0 teaspoons of sugar and 2 calories.
  4. It may help your Teeth… drinking tea may help prevent tooth loss; tea changes the pH in your mouth, which may prevent cavities.
  5. It provides a source of Manganese… you may be asking yourself, why do I want manganese, well I’ll tell ya.  Manganese promotes healthy wound healing, helps maintain the strength of your bones and supports your metabolism.
  6. It helps your Heart…a comprehensive review study found a nearly 20 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack and a 35 percent reduced risk of stroke among those who drank one to three cups of green tea daily. Those who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 32 percent reduction in the risk of having a heart attack and lower levels of LDL cholesterol.

Pretty good huh, all that from drinking tea, and it’s tasty too!

Now lets get to the brewing of iced tea.  Yeah, I know, how hard can it be to make ice tea?  That’s the beauty of it! It’s not hard at all!!!

You can throw a couple of teabags into a pot, brew it then add more water and ice.  Since I prefer flavoured loose leaf tea I’ll tell ya how I do it.

The Cold Steep Method   This method creates a super smooth, flavourful iced tea with less caffeine.

Use about 1.5x the amount of tea you would per cup of hot tea. So, for 1 cup (8oz) of cold water, use 1.5tsp of tea. Let’s say you’re making a 1L (about 33oz)  jug of iced tea:

  • measure out 6 tsp of tea
  • fill the jug with cold water
  • put the jug in the fridge for 4-10 hours (overnight is easy)
  • strain out the leaves and drink!

My favourite is Bohemian Raspberry Green.  The flavour of the raspberry really comes through with the smooth green tea notes and personally I prefer it unsweetened.  Wanna be all swanky when guests come by and look like you are the perfect housewife, you know that June Cleaver look, add some ice cubes, toss in a few raspberries and a sprig of mint and you guest will be wondering, How does she do it?

The Hot Steep Method  Oh No!  The guests have arrived and I don’t have any iced tea made… not to worry, you can make almost instant iced tea by first making a double strength cup of hot tea. Just make sure you’ve got ice in the freezer.

  • use double the amount of loose tea per cup of water. So, 2 tsp of tea per 8oz cup. Steep as per the tea’s normal steeping guidelines
  • remove the leaves
  • if you want it sweet, add your sweetener while it’s hot so it dissolves
  • pour your double strength hot tea into a cup of ice and enjoy!

Number 2 on my list of favs is Long Island Strawberry Green.  Just opening up the bag gives you the fragrance of fresh strawberries.  Dress this one up with a strawberry cut and put on the edge of the glass with a sprig of mint and your guests will be all “Ooooh, yummy!”

And now for the really fun part…  Adult Iced Tea!  This is one you reserve for special occasions like, hmm, I’m thirsty, or a back yard bbq, or even those really special occasions, like say, an outdoor wedding reception.

Prepare your favourite tea with one of the methods above and simply add the booze of your choice.

  • Blueberry infused vodka with Blueberry Green tea
  • Chambourd Liqueur with a good quality vodka to really bump up the refreshing taste of Bohemian Raspberry tea
  • Moscato with Oasis Mango White tea

Or just add whatever tickles your fancy.  Like bourbon? add bourbon, whiskey? what the h…  you get the idea

Garnish it the way you like and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer refresher.

I carry over a dozen flavours of loose tea and some hand tied artisan for any occasion and any tastebud.  Packages are available in 25, 50 or 100gm bags.  Call or message to learn about the different types and flavour profiles, or if you are local just drop in. As an added bonus, when you purchase any 100g bag you’ll receive a 25g bag of your choice FREE!




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Lots going on in November!

Here’s just some stuff that I think may be interesting or useful to both you and me.  There’s a lot going on this month so, lets get started!

First, today, Nov. 5th, is Daylight Savings Time, today is the day to set your clocks back by one hour.  Enjoy that extra hour of sleep!


Then  Lest We Forget.  Remembrance Day is November 11.  Find a local remembrance service in your area to honour and give thanks to those brave men and women who fought four us to keep us safe and free.

This is my Grandpa, Harold Bowen, who served in WW11 from 1940 to the end of the war.  Handsome man isn’t he.  I have his picture and one of him with his 2 nephews in my window display.  Stop by and have a look at it.

This year is a big one for me, at least I think it is.  On December 1st, our 13th wedding anniversary, Brian game me this store as my present.  I’d always wanted a little shop and he did it for me.  I had no idea that I was about to embark on an adventure that I had no idea was coming!  I didn’t have anything to sell or anything!  Brian was prepared.  He had a few items to sell, signage and everything was in place for the Grand Opening!  So anyway, as I was saying on December 1st is our 13th wedding anniversary and as of December 1st this year, is my stores 13th anniversary!  Pretty cool eh?!

And Finally, Christmas will be soon upon us.  As some of you may know, I’ve become well known in town for my Upside Down Christmas Tree.

The first year I did it was quite controversial, some people thought there was some sort of hidden meaning to it.  Nope, it was just a solution to a problem.  When I had it up the right way, it kept falling over because of the wonky floor.  I ended up taking it down early so it wouldn’t fall on anybody.  Now people come in and ask when I is going up.  Unfortunately, after so many years, my poor little tree has become quite threadbare.  This year I’m doing another unconventional Christmas tree.  I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes over this year!  And NO, I’m not giving the secret away… you’ll just have to wait!


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Models Needed

I am in search of someone in the MoFo area who would be willing to model some of the things I have in the store.  Jewelry, Handbags, Shawls etc.  Nothing Glamorous, so you don’t need to look like this.











Or this,








Or even this,








Just someone who would like to have a non paying position.  Or someone who craves the spotlight and and to gain the prestige of being the face of Sherry’s on Main.

Or someone who thinks it would be a lark and just good fun.  You will be on all my the Facebook posts and WordPress Blog Pages and seen all over the world by almost nobody!

Apply to Sherry at Sherry’s on Main.

Oh, and if you think I’m kidding, I’m not!  I had a girl who modelled some things for me but she moved away.  😦








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Thank Goodness For Digital Cameras!

We’ve had a extremely hot summer with little rain.  There have been the odd shower here and there, some of them so light you had run around in it to get wet.  Either that or it was a complete downpour that lasted between 3 and 5 minutes or so.  This last Sunday night I was awakened by thunder and lightning.  I took myself downstairs to look out our French doors that leads to our patio to watch the rain.  Nope, no rain.  So I stepped outside just to watch the lighting.  It was sheet lightning and the way it lit the clouds from behind was quite a sight.  The weekend before Brian and I were at the MoFo Fireworks Festival and, of course, when it got dark they set off fireworks!  Doh, bet ya didn’t see that one coming! 😀  I had my camera and I got some really great shots of them.








Even though I had no idea how to use the fireworks setting I figured I didn’t do too bad.  With this in mind I figured I could do the same thing with lightning.  I grabbed my camera, switched it to the fireworks setting, and started shooting away.  I was up till well after midnight shooting and shooting all the while tracking the lightning as it moved in the sky from  left to right.  Still no rain.  All this time my camera was going chu, chu, chu, chu, chu… well I don’t know how to spell the sound a camera makes, but I’m sure you know what I mean.  With no exaggeration I shot well over 1000 images.

Monday morning I brought my camera to the store to upload them to my computer in quiet anticipation of what I would find…  This was it…


Ya know it takes quit a bit of time to delete almost 1000 photos… Then suddenly, what’s that?  Did I actually manage to capture something?!  I think maybe I did… Here it is!!!DSCN0982

Well, maybe not.  😦  That’s just a picture of the neighbours house.  But if you squint quite right and stick your tongue out to the right side of your mouth, you may just be fooled like I was initially.  Oh well, keep deleting.

Then, ya know what? I actually managed to shoot something!  After over 1000 shots, did I mention that it was over 1000 shots.  What? What could it be?!   OMG, I got the perfect photo of sheet lightning behind the clouds!  Really, I did!  Don’t know how, but here it is!



I know it just looks like a daylight picture, but I’m not pulling your leg!  This is a genuine shot of sheet lightning lighting up the sky and clouds!  And that’s exactly how bright it made the night!  😀

So I guess the lesson of this story is… I should really get out the instructions for my camera and figure out how to use it, I may manage to get more than one shot next time.   Keep your fingers crossed for me.  Oh, and thank goodness for digital cameras!




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Victoria Day Weekend in TO

Warning:  This is a VERY long monologue post about our long weekend.  Come along on our journey… if you dare 😀

Brian, the Mr., and I have a life much like everybody else’s, we work.  Literally day and night.  Me, here at the store during the day 10 – 5 (weekends are reserved for soap and candle making), Brian has the night shift from 7 – 7.   I get up as he is getting home, I get home, we eat and he heads out.  Well, late friday for the Victoria Day weekend, or May 24 if you prefer, he decided that we need a long weekend too.  So rather than heading north like everyone else, we headed to Toronto!

We arrived late Saturday morning.  Since we were going to be staying at a friends over the weekend and he was out doing his thing for the day we had lots of time to just wander around.  First thing we did was take a stroll through the Eaton Centre.  We stopped at the fountain to watch the water shoot into the air.  We watched as the pool slowly filled up to overflowing, then it drained, then we waited for the woosh of water hurtling itself into the air… What we saw was NOTHING  😦   Apparently it doesn’t do that anymore.  Boo, that was the whole fun of watching the fountain, the anticipation waiting for the great gush of water, a geiser if you will, rising not once, not twice, but three times into the air at heights of, I believe, over 80 feet! Anyway, we toddled on to brows some shops.

Even when I’m not here in the store, my head is, so I’m always looking for inspiration for displays and such, so it was fun to see how the “big boys” do it.  There was a store that sold handmade soaps etc. in the mall so of course I had to check that out!  I have never been in this particular brand of store, I’d only ever seen their website.  They have a fantastic concept and they have some unique ways of displaying their wares, but I just didn’t like the smell.  Maybe it was just a certain fragrance that I’m not partial to or a combination that just wasn’t right for my nose but I unfortunately I couldn’t stay very long.  And, I read their ingredient lists.  All this time I had this image that they were the be all and end all of luxury bath items. 😦  Anyway off to continue our stroll.

On the trip from MoFo to TO the zipper on my “good going out on the town purse” broke, and since I haven’t had a new purse in years, I decided to buy a new one.  I know, I know, I SELL purses, but you know the story about the shoemaker… well just think of me that way 😀  I knock around town with this really old bag that I call the “Black Hole of Calcutta”.   Generally anything that goes in it never sees the light of day again.  I’m serious!!!  Somehow I had managed to lose my garden shears in there!  I couldn’t find them for about 3 months, I ALWAYS put them back in the same place so I honestly have no idea how or why they were in my purse!  So we stopped in one bag shop.  Nope nothing in there that I liked, so we went across the mall and there was another shop with bags and luggage, took a poke around and some of the bags were already on sale with another 25% off on top of that!!!  SWEET!!  Tada!!  Mama’s got a brand new bag!!  😀

My new purse!

Well we criss crossed our way through the mall then out onto Young Street, the longest street in the world.  Wow, has it ever changed!  I remember spending countless hours in the arcades with Brian.  Yes, yes that was many, many moons ago since I’ve worked in Toronto and even more since I lived there, but still, have I gotten THAT old!?!  Now there are tones of places to eat, side by side by side and a Brick store…. a BRICK store on Young Street of all places!  I was completely lost on a street that I used to frequent.  Thank goodness Brian has a great sense of direction because I was all turned around, I couldn’t even find the Pickle Barrel while almost standing on top of it!  The only place I recognized was the Zanzibar Tavern and if you don’t know the Zanzy then you probably don’t want to know, so that’s all I’ll say about that! 😀

Now I have very, very bad knees, and for me this was a LOT of walking so Brian hailed us a cab and we went down to Queen Street since our friend Garth doesn’t live too far away from there.  We toddled along Queen for a bit, then since time was getting on and we were getting a bit dry we stopped in at the Friar for a drink.  You may think that we live in the stone age, but neither Brian or I have a cell phone.  We were supposed to give Garth a call before heading over to his place to be sure he was home.  Well seems there is no such thing as a pay phone on the streets anymore so I asked our waiter where we might be able to find one.  He told us there weren’t any but kindly let us use the house phone to make our call.  Our timing was bang on because apparently Garth had just gotten home about 5 minutes earlier 🙂  So now it’s off to Garth’s apartment for a comfy sit down and chin wag.

Now Garth is an aficionado of beer and he had just returned home from a beer fest in the States.  While he was there I very sweetly asked him to bring me home something nice.  He did!!  This is what he got for me that is not available in Canada.  Cool eh!

Yum :D

Yum 😀


Pretty cool, huh?

He also had a little gift for Brian.

Brian's new old sygmoidoscope :P

Bet ya can’t guess what this is

You may not recognize what it is right off but as soon as Brian opened the box he knew.  Yes, dear readers, it is a Sigmoidoscope!  Garth’s father was a physician and this was one of his instruments.  Years ago Brian was helping Garth clean out a shed and they came across this packed away.  Brian had commented on how cool it was and Garth had remembered.  You are probably thinking that that is kind of a strange gift to give someone, but trust me, not to us.  Brian is a Registered Nurse and I have some medical background in my past too so it is absolutely PERFECT and it will take pride of place with Brian’s hearse collection… don’t ask, we are strange folks 😀

Garth made us a lovely spaghetti dinner and we spent the evening sprawled out on his couches and watched the ball game and listened to people shooting off fireworks.

Sunday morning came and Brian and I got up, had coffee and figured out what to do.  We decided on going to the Distillery District and, as luck would have it, there was Artfest at the Distillery going on.  They had just about everything happening.  We listened to some musicians, watch a glass blower, saw a $110 pepper mill (no, it wasn’t made of gold either, just wood), and all kinds of things.  These are a few of the pictures we took as we walked around of some of the original brewing stuff, trucks, kegs etc.

DSCN3690 DSCN3691 DSCN3693 DSCN3696 DSCN3701 DSCN3704 DSCN3705 DSCN3706

As we walked past one booth there was a woman wearing a coat and tunic that both Brian and I commented that it looked really nice.  We stopped back later and had another look and talk with her.  It was made of boiled wool in a waterfall style.  No buttons or pockets and because it was made of boiled wool it had just raw edges so there was nothing to take away from its simple elegance.  I tried one on and LOVED it and Brian said it looked good on me too.  Unfortunately I just couldn’t afford it 😦  And, stupid me, I didn’t even think to get the woman’s card or anything but Brian did read that she’s from Loretto so I’m in the process of trying to track her down 🙂  No I’m not a cyber stalker, I just really, really liked the coat!  We went to The Beer Hall at the Mill Street Brew Pub and had a glass of their very own Root Beer that they brew on site.  It was really tasty and they gave us a little plate of mini muffins to nibble on too.  😀   After we left there we went back towards Garth’s place and stopped at a pub called The Ballroom a place where you can eat, drink and bowl!  We didn’t bowl, but we did eat and drink and watch the start of the ball game on one of there many tv’s.

Garth’s apartment overlooks the AGO and there is a little park that we could watch people play with their dogs from the balcony.  With it being Victoria Day weekend people were firing off fireworks.  Well, as I was out on the balcony I heard some guys yelling at each other, so me being naturally kind of nosey curious and being 19 floors up, I thought I’d just take a peek to see what all the hubub was about.  There were two groups of guys just yelling and huffing and puffing at each other then they just turned and walked away.  Then suddenly there is this big bang and a ball of blue fire that one group had fired off at the other group.  The part that really shocked me is nothing came of it.  Both groups just casually walked away from each other, no shouts or anything… the guys who were fired upon didn’t even run away!!  Oh well, I guess that’s Toronto.

The noises from the fireworks continued on until finally it got dark enough that we could actually see them.  Way across the city we were able to watch the fireworks from about 5 different places along the skyline and somebody down in the park set off a few that we were able to watch a little closer.  They were pretty but they just don’t have the oooh aaah factor when you are looking down on them but they were still nice to see.

Anyway Garth made us some Lillian Lasagna for dinner.  Lillian is Garth’s mom, and her lasagna is like no other lasagna you’ve ever had.  Next time you make it try this… instead of using ground beef substitute it for pepperoni… Sooooo Goood!!  Tired out and with a full belly, we hit the sack.

Monday was another walking tour of the city.  First we hit China Town.  Wandered along the street and Brian said that finally I’ve found a place that suits my calling… Asked him what he meant and he said it’s the only place that people walk slower than me!!!  LOL,  The Nerve!!   We saw a sign for breast enhancing massage and Brian wondered if they were hiring!!  We saw all kinds of stuff that was hanging in the windows, some of it we recognized as chickens or ducks, but some of it I have no idea what they were!  There were these florescent orange things with a large balloony part with these smaller tentacle type things hanging down… I don’t think I’d wanna put that in my mouth!!!  Ewe!!!  But hey, each to their own.  We went to one of the Chinese malls and browsed in a pet store and Brian bought me an air plant 😀  DSCN3713

We continued our walk over to the Kensington Market.  We stopped for a bite to eat at a place called Tempelton’s (I think) where even before you order the waiter brings you a big bottle of nice cold water and glasses.  It was very much appreciated as it was a very warm sunny day.  As we were enjoying our meal on the patio, Brian was once again mistaken for Alan Rickman!!!  Yes folks, it’s not the first time this has happened when we have been out!  Hehehehe, when the guy said “Hey, are you Alan Rickman?”  Brian just put his finger to his lips and said “Shhh”, the guy went away happy figuring he saw a star I guess. 😀  Maybe Brian should work on his British accent, ya know, just to enhance the effect.

Neither Brian or I see the resemblance, do you?

Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman


Not Alan Rickman

We finished up there and headed off again, finally making our way to Queen Street again where we took a break to rest my knees at the Horseshoe Tavern.  Cummon, when you are on Queen you’ve just gotta stop at the Shoe 😀  Since time was winding down we had to get back to pack up and go out with Garth for a good bye drink and dinner at the Town Cryer before heading home.  Now, I don’t drink beer but I’ve always wondered what Cider tasted like.  I didn’t want to order a glass only to find out it was yucky and not drink it.  Garth asked the waiter if he would give me a couple of samples to try and he did!  They were both nice but the one I decided to have with dinner was called Liefmans Fruitesse.  Turns out this really tasty fruity drink is a beer after all!  Brian and I are going to see if we can get it ordered in at our LCBO in MoFo (they really don’t have much of a selection) to enjoy on our patio during the hopefully hot summer to come.  We finished dinner, thanked Garth for putting us up, putting up with us hugged and were on our way home.

Now the one thing, THE ONE THING, I wanted to bring home with me was some Baklava (insert drool here).  Usually, there are shawarma shops all over where I’ll pop in, get two of each variety and bring them home to slice off little bits and savour.  The one shop that Garth told us about was closed on the monday when we went by (we couldn’t find it earlier) and the second one had moved or something, so no baklava for me… yes, I am very pouty about it too.  😦

While we are away, our good friend Jeff, takes over the role of “Critter Sitter”.  He comes into the house to make sure the cat, Cleopatra, bunny, Of No Particular Name, and birds, Coco, Moe and the Babies, are fed, watered and entertained.  We always try to find a little gift to bring back for him to say thank you for the great job he does.  Well, this whole time wandering through town, we kept an eye out but didn’t find anything that was appropriate.  Luckily as we were on our way back to Garth’s place to pack up, we passed a place that sold the most beautiful Geodes, Fossils and stones.  What caught my attention was this large Dinosaur Skull in the window with a  sign saying “For The Person Who Has Everything” so of course we had to stop in.  Now Jeff has a lot of stuff, but I don’t think he has everything so we didn’t get him the skull, but we did get something dinosaur related.  We got him some Coprolite!



So when I saw Jeff on Tuesday when he gave me back the keys to the house I said to him “Sorry buddy, we looked and looked for something for you but this time we got you (I said a different word here) pooh”.  He just shrugged his shoulders and said “oh well”… nothing much upsets Jeff.  I said “no really, come here, we got you pooh!”  and handed him his little gift wrapped in white tissue.  Well, he grinned and laughed and knew what it was right away and thought it was a pretty cool gift!  FYI, for those of you who aren’t aware, Coprolite is fossilized Dinosaur Pooh.

Anyway, we got back home worn out but happy to have been away doing something completely different for a change.

Thanks for coming along on our trip.  I hope you were able to enjoy it vicariously through my writing 😀


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Happiness :D

YES!  I think this might just be it!  SPRING!!!  It is Sunday May 11, Mothers Day at 11:38 am and I am just plane Happy!  I woke this morning to beautifull bright sunshine streaming in my bedroom window at about 6:30ish.  High time to get out of the looong winter funk I’ve been in.  I didn’t do much of anything except complain about the snow and cold.  😛  So this morning it was up, outa bed and have a shower to start the day off right.  🙂 

After watching the Spanish Grand Prix F1 race, yes I am a rabid F1 race fan, I came out on the deck to enjoy the morning. 

For Easter Brian got me a solar powered bird bath fountain.  So I turned it on, swept off the deck and set up the patio table.  Now I sit here armed with my coffee & kobo sharing my happy morning with you.  🙂

Yesterday, before heading off to the store, I watched a couple of tiny brown birds checking out the housing options in our back yard neighbourhood.  Well it seems as though they have chosen their new abode.  It is such a delight to be able to sit here and watch these little creatures pick just the perfect size twig and tuck them in just the right spot.  I’ll have to get out my bird books to try and identify them.  Sorry I can’t post pictures of them because like I said I’m using my kobo but they are tiny little brown birds that kina look like a nuthatch.  If you know what they are let me know. 

We also get a kick out of watching the squirrels scamper around the yard.  Ther are both black and gray ones but this year we have, what I have dubbed, the “Frankensquirrel”.  The front half of his body is short haired black while the back half is long haired gray.  It’s as though two different squirrels have been sliced appart and put back together.  😛  probably just shedding his winter coat but he sure looks funny.  🙂

Now before I go back to my bird watching I just want to remind you that if you haven’t already done it, it is time to put out the hummingbird feeders.  Clean & rince them well then fill them with a sugar solution.  Don’t waiste your money on those red “nectar” powders, they are both expensive and the red dye is deadly to the hummers.  Simply boil 4 parts water and add 1 part sugar, let it cool and fill your feeders.  Store any extra in the fridge to use next time.  Everybody is safe and happy. 
Well that’s it for today, I need another coffee and typing with one finger is harder than it looks!  Have a glorious day.  🙂


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2013 in review

I thought this was pretty cool, and its all thanks to you, my readers, so I thought I’d pass it on 🙂

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,300 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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