Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snowcabulary for the Winter Weary

I was pretty peeved to wake up to discover that Mother Nature was using the snow making machine in Ontario again. My poor tulips were just beginning to peek their heads out of the soil; hide my little lovelies or you will freeze! Even the promise of seven sunny days starting tomorrow couldn't shake my feelings of Snowbegone!

This year's never ending snowstorms has brought forth a succession of 'snow' terms to use that are sure to put a smile on your snowman's face despite this latest blast. Here's a compilation  of snow wordplay for your reading pleasure. The list is derived from a number of sources which don't pay tribute to the originator of each term. Enjoy!

Snowverkill - That pretty much says it all about today's weather. Enough is enough already!
Snowonder - When you look out the window, peer up at the sky and ask yourself, "is it ever going to stop snowing?"
Snowtorious B.I.G. - For fans of 90s Hip Hop or the height of the snowbanks about a month ago.
Snowmad - Two possible definitions here, Snowmad happens you have already shovelled your driveway for the umpteenth time and you have to do it again, or travellers who get stuck due to the bad weather and wander the airports, hotels, train and bus stations until the snow stops.
Snowbegone - Pretty self explanatory. 'Nuff said.

Snowhere - When you have to cancel your plans due to the snow;  you are going snowhere.
Snowmageddon - I would reserve this one for snowstorms that paralysis the city and the mayor calls in the National Guard. Hmmm...what year was that?

Snowpocalyse - Feels like the snow will never end and the end is near!

SnOMG - The feeling you have when you first wake up, look out the window and realize it snowed overnight and the 401 is going to be parking lot again.

Snover-reaction - When the Toronto School Board closes the schools and the snowstorm passes over Toronto.

Snowlicious - For all those winter sports fans.

Snorm - Popular short form for snowstorm. We've said it so many times this year, a short form is absolutely warranted and necessary

Snowralysis - The 400 series highways during a snowstorm.

Snownado - A wind whipping, hair-raising snowstorm.

To add to this list, I've created my own word:

Snow-titis: The pain felt in your hands and back after shovelling your driveway more than once in a single day. Oye!

Until next time...keep shovelling!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The eReader Confrontation

It was my birthday last week and the hubby asked me what I wanted for a birthday present. I always try and pick something that I normally would not buy myself. Once again, the acquisition of an eReader came to mind. I tossed the idea around for a couple of days and mentally made a pros and cons list of printed books vs downloaded books. This dilemma inside my head continued for the entire week right up until the day we ventured to the mall.

We looked around at some of the latest electronics; I was also pondering an IPod to replace my MP3 player. I looked at the newest IPod Nano and quickly determined it was way too small and that reading the teeny, tiny screen was going to be a problem. I also thought the size was perfect for getting lost within the confines of my purse, car or house. I looked at other IPod type devices but had no idea what specifications were most desirable.

The hubby and I continued our search which lead us to a trendy shop that carried purses, luggage and accessories. I walked around, and a designer looking purse and matching wallet caught my eye. If my two sons had been with us, they would have rolled their eyes and asked "how many purses does one person need?!

The hubby didn't seem to question it, he was just happy that there was light at the end of the shopping tunnel for him. After careful examination of the purse and the availability of space for my ever present cell phone, I decided that it was perfect and my husband was happy to pay for it and get out of the mall.

On the way out, we went through Best Buy and stopped to check out something. From the corner of my eye, I spotted a display of eReaders. They looked really nice. I made my way over and inspected each one for size, specifications and visual appeal. Yes, I admit, I was very intrigued. I thought about it for a minute and glanced down at the new purse and wallet in the bag I was carrying. My decision had already been made so the eReader would have to wait for another gift receiving occasion.

Later that weekend, I told my nephew, Nick, about the eReaders and my indecision as to whether to get one. He wanted to know why I wouldn't get one. I thought for a minute and then it all became crystal clear: if I had an eReader, I wouldn't have an excuse to hang out at my local Chapters store and spend some quality time looking through the books. I love new books, the crisp spine and new paper smell...can't beat it!

I am satisfied that I made the right choice for my birthday gift. My new purse and matching wallet look great with the new buccaneer knee high boots I bought last month.

Until next time...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Free Ebooks

Everyone loves a freebie! is offering a selection of  free books to download. All seven free downloadable novels were made into movies for the big screen. Yup...they may old but they are still worth the read.

The seven selections are:

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster,
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Red Alert by Peter George
Shoeless Joe by W.P.Kinsella
The Graduate by Charles Webb
Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy

Also, fifteen Harlequin Romance titles can be downloaded for free.

The site also offers a free download of Copia Desktop Reader or an app for IPod, Windows & Phone, or Copia Touch App.

I wasn't able to find out how long these free downloadable classics will be available so if any of these books have piqued your interest, it is advisable that you don't delay. 

Here is the link:


Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Penguin Classics

My painting instructor, Shannon, and other students in her class, share a great love of reading in addition to our interest in learning to paint. Shannon was excited to show us her new collection of classic literature by Penguin Books. As readers of my blog may remember, my goal in 2010 was to read all the great literary classics and although the year has passed, I am still on my quest to read them all.

The newest classics collection of great literary reads such as Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray and many others have been reprinted with hardcover cloth bound covers designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

I was thrilled when I saw Shannon's growing collection of these cloth bound books; somehow the new covers make the books even more fitting of their title as 'classics'. I plucked one of Shannon's bookshelf but didn't open it because I didn't want to break the spine. Shannon urged me to flip through it, but I declined- she should have the honour of breaking the spine when she reads the book.

According to the Penguin website, "Penguin Classics presents seven more beautiful hardcover editions of the world's favorite books. Featuring gorgeous patterns stamped on linen cases, colored endpapers, and ribbon markers, these are rich and sumptuous volumes that continue what will be one of the most coveted sets of books ever produced."

The books are truly beautiful and any booklover would be proud to display these classics on their bookshelf or give them as gifts to the booklover on your birthday or Christmas list.

 Not all the classic literature titles are available at the moment but new ones are being produced. Selected titles are available online through Chapters Bookstore, Amazon Books, and directly from Penguin Books.

Shannon advised that it is easier to track down some of the titles with the ISBN number and suggested the following site for the ISBN numbers:

CB Smith

If you are interested in obtaining some of these cloth bound classic books, visit the following websites for more information.

Penguin Books (USA)

Amazon (US)

Amazon (Canada)

Chapters Bookstores (Canada)
(Search by ISBN number)

Thanks to Shannon for sharing her great book find.
Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mid-Winter Getaway to My Happy Place

I am back after taking a wee hiatus to spend some time warming up in sunny Florida. The weather was simply spectacular with full sun and temps in the low 80s. With the hubby and two teenage boys in tow, we headed south to regroup and rejuvenate from this never-ending winter.

Our first excursion was to St. Cloud where we embarked on an Ecosafari. It was a two hour ride in a covered wagon through a nature preserve. En route, we saw lots of alligators (big mama and her babies), native Floridian birds, deer, turtles and lots of small wildlife. Unfortunately, the infamous Florida panther that roams the preserve was a no show but it was still enjoyable. The place also offers two other options to explore the 1500 miles of wilderness: horseback or via zipline. The boys are planning on doing the zipline excursion next time we are back in the area.

Our next major outing was to Clearwater Beach, almost two hours away.  The day was misty and overcast so we decided to nix the suntanning and take a leisurely walk along the shore. I was surprised at how fine and white the sand is in Clearwater. In Cocoa Beach, on the  Atlanta side, the sand is dark and coarse. We walked along collecting more shells to add to my collection and proceeded to walk the wooden pier that spans across a couple hundred feet of the ocean from the shore. As we got to the end, much to our delight, a pair of dolphins jumped out of the water! With cameras ready to aim and shoot, we waited for the perfect shot. Although the dolphins did reappear numerous times, it was pretty much impossible to catch them mid-flight with a regular digital camera. The images of seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural surroundings will be one that will stay with me for a long time.

The last highlight of our trip was the launch of the Discovery shuttle. Although the shuttle was launched from Cape Canaveral, it could be seen from where we were in Kissimmee however, it was somewhat overcast and I couldn't get a glimpse of it through the clouds. The hubby and firstborn son had gone to the market to pick up some groceries and reported that they saw it whilst they were loading the groceries in the car. Lucky them!

Although we haven't been back home for a full week yet, I am wishing I was back in Clearwater Beach watching the dolphins jump out of the water.

Until next time...think spring!