Through the Kitchen Window

By the time you read this, tax season will be over in Canada (30th April). But it's been a killer season for me. Which is both good and bad.

I keep a small free lance bookkeeping business, but I also hold down a full time job (that started out as part time, but grew). During the day, I am Accounting and Retail Coordinator for a Pet Discovery Centre here in the heart of Toronto's Harbour front. Check us out online at But, if you ever find yourself in our fair city, check us out in real time too. It's a great place to work, and an awesome place to spend some quality time with your pooch and learn more. And we have the very first dog friendly cafe right here in the same building!!!

When I'm not at the Centre, I have a few small business clients that I help to keep their fiscals financially responsible and at this time of year (personal income tax time) I have a good number of private citizens and other small businesses who count on me to navigate the hallways of Revenue Canada for them, hoping to come out of it financially ahead of the game. It's what I love to do, so, while it may sound dry to you, it's a whole lot of fun to me. But it can also be exhausting.

Which brings me to the subject of this, my last column for a while.

At this already normally extremely busy time of year, I'm finding myself in the midst of several other changes as well. The house is going to be sold. The decision has been made, amicably I will say, for my partner and I to go our separate ways. And I've decided that, for a little while at least, I'm going to get out of the home ownership game and find a nice little apartment where my puppy and I can retreat, regroup and re-emerge. Did I forget to mention I have a 13yo Pomeranian / American Eskimo cross I rescued just before New Year's last year?

And before I do all that, I'm heading to my first-in-a-long-time-too-long-to-remember vacation to a warmer clime. With a couple of girlfriends. As soon as the tax deadline is past. We're not sure where just yet. All we know is that the requirements are: sun, sand, beach loungers, umbrellas and cabana boys to run to the bar at a moment's notice. Oh yeah, and a pile of books within a lazy arm's reach.

Once home, I'll be heading full tilt into organizing a party for the following weekend when we'll be celebrating Vincent's (he's my number three child) graduation into the ranks of "rocket scientists". He's finished his undergrad work as an Aerospace Engineer. Graduating, as we've come to expect from him, at the top of his class, and preparing to head off for post grad studies at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Aerospace Studies.

Once that's done, we'll start to attack the list handed to us by the stager, to get the house ready to "sell well". An interesting procedure and one I'm looking forward to. Lots of learning to be had there!

So, this is my farewell for a while. Ronda has kindly, as always, agreed to my taking some time away from writing and we both look forward to when life slows down again. I promise I'll be back!!!

Since I'm in sunny beach mode, I did a bit of research. I've put the contenders below and my week in the sun will be heavily weighted towards coming up with the BEST of the umbrella drinks. Perhaps you can join me in my research? There's a chair waiting on the beach for you too!!!


  • 1 part tequila
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 part fresh lime juice

Prepare the margarita glass by dipping the rim of the glass in lime juice, and then in salt. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, and strain into the glass. FOR FROZEN MARGARITAS: Combine drink ingredients in a blender with crushed ice, blend until smooth, and pour into the glass.

Bahama Mama

  • 1/2 ounce rum
  • 1/2 ounce coconut-flavored rum
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine syrup
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Blend regular rum, coconut rum, grenadine, orange juice, pineapple juice and crushed ice until the texture is like a slush.

Pineapple Mist

  • 2 ounces of Light Rum
  • 3 ounces of Pineapple Juice

Mix rum and juice together in a blender with ice and serve in a cocktail glass garnished with a cherry.

Tequila Sunrise

  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 4 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 oz Grenadine

Mix orange juice and tequila and pour over ice in a highball glass. Add Grenadine by tipping the glass and pouring it down the side of the glass. The Grenadine should go to the bottom and then rise slowly through the drink.

Day at the Beach

  • 1 ounce of Coconut Rum
  • 1/2 ounce of Amaretto
  • 4 ounces of unsweetened Orange Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Grenadine

Shake rum, amaretto, and orange juice with ice. Pour into a highball glass over ice. Top with grenadine. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a strawberry

Waving at you from my pool side lounger . . . TTFN!!!