Blog Categories

Blog

Opening Day for Shelah’s Place!

IMG_9690 copy

The new playground is finally open! There were hundreds of excited children, just waiting for us to cut the ribbon and then wow! They ALL ran past us to play! That was the moment I had dreamed about but seeing it in person was even better than I imagined.

IMG_9693 copyThey played on every single new piece of equipment, climbing, spinning, hanging upside down, and all I could hear was the sound of pure joy. This new play area is now the largest fully accessible playground in the city.

IMG_9713 copy

The triple slide seemed to be a big hit with the little ones, especially when they land on the new soft rubber safety surface.

IMG_9836

It was hard to count but it looked like at least 300 kids ran on to play and we had about 1,000 people who came for the opening. It was so much fun, with free snow cones, cupcakes, and face-painting. Here’s a little girl who stopped to thank me for the new playground.

Face Paint copyI simply can’t¬†put into words how rewarding this was for me and¬†the joy that I felt seeing this playground in person. It took a team of people from the city who worked for almost a year to make it happen and my gratitude goes out to every one on the team. I appreciate how many people turned out for the opening on a beautiful, but hot, sunny day. Most importantly, I got the share this day with the person whose idea and vision made this all possible, my London Hometown Hero, Shelah Brook. Welcome to “Shelah’s Place.”

IMG_9816 copy

Playground is Almost Ready

photo 1 copy

Kids in London are counting the days until the new playground is open and it’s¬†almost ready. The colors are just as fun and bright as I imagined. And the number of things to do will be awesome. I love the triple slide!

photo 3 copy

Next, they’ll be installing the rubber safety surfacing and I’m especially happy that this new playground will be handicapped accessible. I can’t wait to see it in person!

Playground in Progress

Photo1

They finally started working on the new playground in my hometown of London, Ontario. This week they are installing the handicapped accessible equipment. Then next week the entire area gets covered with rubber safety surfacing. After that, some last minute work, and then the grand opening in Springbank Park.

This is the park¬†where I used to play growing up. My sister and I¬†couldn’t wait to get¬†on the swings and teeter totter and we loved the little round wading pool. Springbank Park is a beautiful place that sits alongside the Thames River. Yes, both London, Ontario and London, England have a Thames River.

I have only seen pictures of what’s to come¬†and I can’t wait until it’s actually there. The grand opening is coming soon!

First Look at the New Playground

16-0326B

Here’s a rendering of the new playground coming to my hometown of London, Ontario. That’s all rubber safety surfacing and there are so many fun things to do I can’t even list them all. I wanted it to be colorful (if you’ve seen my kitchen and all those spatulas, you know I love color!) and I think the blue, yellow, and red look fantastic.

The work starts next month and the grand opening is planned for June 18th. There is a post on the city website where comments by residents are welcomed. Here’s a link:

http://www.london.ca/residents/Parks/Parks-Projects/Pages/Springbank-Park-Playground-Upgrade.aspx

Does This Look Like Me?

Bert wrote to me saying, “I have a dress pattern by Simplicity. It looks very much like you on the package modeling the dress. Is that you?” Bert was kind enough to send a copy of the pattern (thank you for that!). So…. does this look like me? Me with dark hair? Me circa 1965??

Simplicity PatternI did some modeling in my teens. I even landed a cover! Okay, it was a bar of soap but it was the cover…

select soapSo what do yo think? The soap box was me around the same time. (It should have been an eyeliner product – or an ad for “Hairstyles you can hang clothes on. With a flip like this, who needs a coat rack?”

Back to the pattern. This looks like an easy one to make. I still have some Simplicity and Butterick patterns for dresses I made when I couldn’t afford to buy them. But the cover of Simplicity #5589 – does this look like me?

Making Progress in London

We are well underway with the new playground at Springbank Park. A few months ago, I committed some funding for a brand new accessible playground in my hometown of London, Ontario. The idea was suggested by London local, Shelah Brook, and now she and I are both part of the team working on the development of the new play area.

We just had our second meeting, with me on Skype, and things are moving quickly. In just a few weeks we will have some designs to look at and I can hardly wait for that. The plan is for a grand opening in the spring. I had committed $130,000 in Canadian funds but the exchange rate is so favorable, I added a little more and now our budget is $150,000 CAD.

I’ve never skyped before and I would rather be there in person but I’m glad to be able to participate so there I am on the laptop.

Photo3_1200There are quite a few people on the team and they are the nicest bunch. (but that’s what everyone says about Canadians!) From left to right we have:¬†Shelah Brook (this was her idea), Julie Michaud, Dianna Clarke, (me), Judy Spencer, Michael Dawthorne, and Terri-Sue Wyatt. Andrew Macpherson, the manager of environmental and parks planning, was there too but somebody had to take the picture!

So that’s my progress report. More updates to come…

They Like Me in Tanzania

YouTube_Screenshot

When I started posting¬†my cooking videos on youtube, I had no idea how popular they’d become. I did it just for fun because I love to cook and people always asked for my recipes. I’ve made almost a hundred videos now and they want more! I’ve had over ten million views so far (10,249,165 views as of today) with around 25,000 people a day tuning in. Who knew?

And¬†it’s international. People¬†all over the world are making my recipes… from 197 countries! From Iceland to Brunei to Tanzania, they like my cooking.¬†They write to me in broken English and sometimes in Spanish or Polish or Greek. I love it! And here’s the best part: Some people are using my recipes to earn money to help support their families.

~ Maria in Mexico sells my granola in little bags to earn money.

~ Chin Chin in Thailand sells my whole wheat bread to help support her family.

~ Marcio in Brazil sells my pan pizza and hash browns in his pub.

~ Carmen in Ecuador sells my cinnamon rolls to help provide for her children.

It sure feels good to know my recipes are helping people, not to mention¬†that hundreds of thousands of people have¬†made and enjoyed my recipes at home, wherever they are. What are the most watched videos? My fall-off-the-bone ribs; then¬†pan pizza; followed by my hash browns. Yes…. hash browns. I never saw that coming!

I’d like to thank whoever invented the internet for allowing me to share my love of cooking with the world. Who was that? Was it really Al Gore?

If you’re curious about my youtube videos, click here:

Mothra

IMG_8619

Look what¬†showed up on the outside of my kitchen window this morning. It actually cast a shadow on the counter! It’s six inches long! And beautiful. I had to get close to¬†take¬†this photo and he didn’t move at all. Then the gardener showed up¬†and was using a loud blower close by and still he didn’t move. It looked like it was soft and fuzzy and I wanted to touch it but didn’t.

As pretty as it was, I think if it flew past my face I’d freak out. If it collided with one of my hummingbirds, the bird would lose. I wish I could keep it as a pet. Do you think I could train it to attack a¬†squirrel?

We got the front page!

London Free Press e-edition - The London Free Press - 2 Oct 2015 - Page #1
Shelah (and her handsome husband) made the front page of the London Free Press today! My sister was the first one to tell me, saying it was “above the fold” and that made it even bigger news! I called Shelah and she said neighbors have been coming by to congratulate her and that Gord is taking her out to dinner tonight to celebrate. What a guy! And he works for the police service! As it turns out, both Gord and Shelah are doing something great for the city.

Here is a picture of Gord and Shelah celebrating! They chose to order in and be cozy!!

IMG_3526