Bottoms Up: Enjoying wines al fresco

Ah summer! Living shifts to outdoors and the patio, deck and pool beckon. The BBQ is all fired up. The steaks and salmon are grillin’, and almost all is right with the world. The only thing missing is a glass of vino. Not just any wine will do. You’ll want cool, snappy whites and robust, […]

The Main Menu: Lavender – not just a colour

Lavender is a colour, a plant and a fragrance. However, as a cook, it is an enticing ingredient. Its unique fragrance transfers to a delicate but specific flavour in desserts, ices, teas and herb rubs. In fact in the south of France, where lavender grows in abundance, it is an important part of herbes de […]

Curtain falls on great final act

This is the story of Elizabeth: The Girl with the Angelfish Tattoo. Only, it’s not her whole story. I missed the beginning and the middle, and a good chunk of the end for that matter. While some folks wouldn’t see the point of tuning in so late, there are others like me who figure the […]

Partnership Power: None of us is smarter than all of us

Over the past eight months, we have been fortunate to meet some incredibly talented, creative, energetic and active groups in Ward 32. One of the things I love to do is connect people with similar interests so they don’t have to go it alone. Strength in numbers! Here are some of the fantastic groups we […]

How a beagle’s pen pal made a difference

When I was working in the fundraising department at the Toronto Humane Society, a big part of my job was responding to donor mail. My favourite letters were those sent by children. There was one in particular I won’t ever forget, and not just because the envelope was lumpy. The author of that letter became […]

An accolade to awesome Beach porches

One of the very best things about the Beach is all the front porches in our neighbourhood. I fell in love with porches decades ago, playing with my cousins in the rain on their front porch in the tiny Midwestern U.S. town where my dad—and I—were born. I was a suburban Texas kid by that […]

Teach children early about volunteering

The guidance office in any high school will tell you the same thing. In the final months of their final year, some students invariably appear at the door to the guidance office, confusion in their eyes. But it’s not their academics they’re worried about. High school students in Ontario get four whole years to figure […]

A Glimpse into Beach Houses of Worship

From our earliest days it seems that we have been taught to count something. One sheep. Two sheep. Three sheep. Our Sesame Street friends, Bert and Ernie, have coached us well.  Now that I’m into my middle years, my counting patterns have changed somewhat. Two pounds lost last week. Gas prices are up two cents […]

Skype is an easy way to connect

In many ways, as kids become adults, the difference between parents and their middle-aged children is much less pronounced. Both generations can drive, own homes (or at least mortgages), vote and enjoy a glass of wine together. But a noticeable difference arises with technology. “Not you, too,” I heard my mother say at Easter as […]