Dec 16


It can’t be. I haven’t finished shopping, and Christmas is around the corner. I’ve hardly started it. My son Nathaniel keeps bugging me, asking what I want. Then again, he isn’t sure what he wants. Whereas Rosanne has already shopped for both of us. And everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Christmas season, despite the shopping. Why is it others never tie themselves up in knots when buying gifts? I’m a mess. Choosing what a friend or family member might like is, for me, hit or mostly miss.

I’m also all thumbs when it comes to wrapping them while a good friend, Ron Stannett, the cinematographer, is all fingers. He could take any present no matter how difficult to wrap turn it into a work of art.

Author’s comment: Getting family or friends the right present is truly something else. Don’t get me wrong, I love this season. It’s a good time to connect with family or friends. If we’re lucky enough to have them. Some people aren’t that fortunate. That’s the sad bit.

Posted on December 16th, 2018 by Clarke
Dec 9


Do you ever visit another city and find something you wish you had at home? I’m thinking more of stores you’ve visited which really caught your imagination.

There’s one we’ve seen for years while heading home up the multi-lanes of highway 400. We never thought of pulling off, driving one block east and visiting Nella Food Equipment. A friend casually mentioned it was a good place to have your knives sharpened. Knives sharpened? I didn’t know such places still existed.

How many times have you wanted to have your kitchen knives sharpened? Ours were so dull they’d hardly cut whatever their individual use was. Bread. Veggies. Sawing through a slightly undercooked roast. Peeling potatoes.

One Saturday morning we stopped by Nella’s to find enough inside to equip a restaurant kitchen no matter what size. Stainless steel all over the place. Coffee machines, juicers, slicers, dicers. Built-in fridges. Custom coolers. Wood butcher blocks…

There was no question Rosanne and I were intimidated with the enormity of what we saw. And us, standing there holding eight knives we had wrapped in newspaper. A woman approached us, smiling. “I’m sure you have knives to be sharpened,” she said. “Come with me.”

That was our introduction to Nella Food Equipment. We handed our knives over including a bone handled, ageless carving knife. A serrated edged bread knife and a two paring knives, among several others.

Author’s comment: They were ready 10 minutes later, snug in two parcels of solid paper. Three dollars a pop. Each razor-sharp. We dropped by Nella’s last week, as we do each autumn. It’s one of those blessings in disguise.

Posted on December 9th, 2018 by Clarke