Why are we eating parsley and spinach?

Yellow flower pot with green parsley sprouting.
Parsley sprouting in a yellow flower pot.

I’ve learned from movies, and television shows that canaries often died in the mines in days of old. The reason for this is if the canary died, it was too dangerous for humans to enter – poor little canaries.
I have a love for both indoor and outdoor plants all year long. My husband lovingly calls my window ledges crowded with plants my forests!
A few years ago we rescued two adorable cockatiels the owner had named Rocky and BooBoo. We have become very attached to them, so it is no wonder I became concerned when recently the birds started munching away on my plants.
I looked up which plants were safe and which were poisonous. I expelled many from the reach of these two little plant vandals out to our house in the country. Of course, I don’t mind them eating their fresh salad!
As spring has almost sprung, it has become time to start the edible forests that will be transplanted outdoors when the weather permits. It is fascinating to watch the tiny seeds sprout into micro-plants that will, in a short time produce delicious veggies for our table.
My curiosity of safe-for-cockatiels plants inspired me to look up all we have planted so far. Imagine my surprise to learn that parsley can be deadly for our birds! Deadly?
This information made me hand the tiny treacherous shoots to my husband, who took them to our house in Amherstburg where they will be banished until they can be brought outdoors for transplant.
I’m not a scientist but I ponder on the fact that the gas in mines can snuff out the lives of birds, yet humans have no concern about eating parsley.
Some of my research online has led me to other pages that say spinach is also deadly as like in parsley there is a thing called oxalic acid. When birds ingest too much, it can be fatal.
I’m not taking any chances; these two veggies have got to go!

© Zora Zebic 2019

My disco ball

Red, blue and mirrored 1970's disco ball hanging without the spinning mechanism.
The disco ball from my days of disco-dancing at the Olympia Disco in Windsor, Ontario during 1978-1980.

This is a photo of the original disco ball that hung in the bar I danced at during 1978 – 1980! How I acquired this treasure is a great story.

Approximately 8 years ago I was able to rent the long-closed Olympia Disco bar for our Street Help Homeless Centre of Windsor. Charlie, who would later sell the property to us was amazed to learn my history with the bar he and his wife had operated.

I’d told Charlie how I had been a young single mom, who didn’t drink much at all, but I’d loved to disco dance. I’d fallen in love with the beautiful disco ball that graced the dancefloor of his establishment.

I’d briefly dated Tom Coklow, one of his DJ’s, who sadly is not with us anymore. I also would meet and marry a young man, an aspiring rock and roll drummer, who frequented his place. That was a marriage that would last a short ten years.

Charlie enjoyed my memories of happiness dancing under that disco ball, and he was inspired to gift it to me!

For 5 years the treasured mirrored ball sat, gathering dust until my husband, Barry Furlonger and our friend Dan Druer hung it in our industrial-style loft apartment. (We do still have our little house in Amherstburg, but it is too difficult for us to travel the 45-minute drive back and forth each day. Also, it just doesn’t feel safe to drive at night nowadays.)

We haven’t installed the spinning mechanism, but we will soon. Once we do that installation and put up the lights to shine upon it as it rotates I will update this post with a video of the disco ball in full glory.

How precious is it to acquire a much-remembered and cherished piece of memory? It is wondrous!

© Zora Zebic 2019

What’s in that jar?

As we sort through donations at Street Help Homeless Centre of Windsor, we occasionally marvel over some items. One of the donations boxes contained a glass jar with some type of strange dried fruit.

Petrified Citrus
Petrified citrus, whole and broken showing petrified sections and amber resin.

On closer examination two of our volunteer cooks, Caron and Jolene determined the fruit was petrified oranges! The fruit clearly resembles orange sections.

Citrus amber found in petrified fruit.
A small piece of petrified citrus juice resembling tree amber.

Someone had treasured these oddities enough to place them in a glass jar to further preserve them, and I’m glad they did! Today was all the more enjoyable for all of us.

White and chrome mid-century stool
Whimsical mid-century stool

I would be remiss to not showcase this sweet mid-century stool that also came in as a donation. It provided a fantastic background for the photos of the petrified fruit. It holds a place in my office subbing as an extra chair or small table space.

Thanks to the donors who gave us these gifts.

© Zora Zebic 2019

From execration to rejuvenation

grey and white feathers and down
Feathers and down on a grey background. © Zora Zebic 2019

I do not suffer from execration, well not much! Here in town, there is a fellow; I shall not call a man for he does not fit the image the word ‘man’ brings to mind! I shall return his unwanted memory to the livery stable I imagined for him, as I am off to enjoy the rejuvenation of the shower!

I will lather, exfoliate and condition myself wholly until achieving the goal of hair and skin as mellow as a new-born babe! My wardrobe will provide freshly laundered outerwear, dress, leggings and personal intimates that will bundle me from this white, white winter day! I’ll walk to work watching intently for the mysterious creatures, protected by their down and feathers!

© Zora Zebic 2019

My first children’s story!

How a nickel saved a village

Excited children filled our school auditorium seats.
Teachers and parents stood along the walls, a buzzing sound of whispering voices reminded me of bees.
I didn’t know if the parents were fidgeting more than the children.
Would our village be saved? Today we’d find out.
Mr. Barnaby, the man with big whiskers, sat in the centre chair on the stage and watched closely as Miss Thomas and Mister Winters counted dollar bills and coins on a large crafting table.
Mr. Barnaby, hearing of the devastation of our village’s economy, had come to our school with an offer.
If the children of our school could raise $1,000, Mr. Barnaby would not only match the donation, but he would donate the rest of the money to build a new factory!
Working parents would mean poverty and hopelessness would be things of the past.
“Well,” I thought, “Fat chance that will happen.” I’d fought with mother before leaving for school. How could mom be so selfish not to give me her bus fare money? She could walk to work, I’d told her.
Mom had said, “It is too far for me to walk. All I have is this nickel to donate.”
I sat with the coin held tightly in my fist. There was no way I would drop it into the collection box. The kids bullied me already, how horrible would it be to hear their giggles of scorn.
A hush filled the room as Miss Thomas stood and walked toward the microphone.
“Ahem,” she cleared her throat, and in a sad voice said, “I am sorry to announce we have not met our goal. The total count is Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine Dollars and Ninety-Five Cents.
“No, no, no!” I hollered as I raced toward the stage. “I didn’t put in my donation.”
Proudly I handed Miss Thomas the hot and sweaty five-cent coin.
Mr. Barnaby stood and walked over to my teacher and me.
“Young man,” He said, “Your gift has tipped the scales. How great a gift it is!”
In awe, I held tight to Mr. Barnaby’s hand as everyone cheered.
The rest of the day was the best day I’d ever had. Every face that looked at me wore a big smile.
I made lots of new friends, but I was anxious for the school bell to ring.
I could hardly wait to go home to tell mom how her nickel had saved the village.

© Zora Zebic 2018