Geeky Godmother

Imagine, Inspire, Invention - Your GG is Here to Help

Once Upon a Time...

My random nattering about all things geek, including family, friends and what I find to be fantastic and fun!

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Frugality Builds Creativity

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I grew up with two parents who came to Canada after WWII with pretty much nothing but the clothes on their backs. Because of this, my mother was incredibly frugal. Not that she didn't like nice things. It's just that she figured out where she could save so that she had the money to spend on what she really wanted. That trait has been passed down to myself and my siblings, and now I'm passing it to my girls.

This morning I finally got tired of staring at the apples shrivelling up on the counter because no one was eating them.

Like these (except I had 4 of them)

I decided to cut them up and use them in.... something. The youngest, aka Gastro Teen, came in and asked what I was doing. I said there was no way I was going to waste the apples so I was cutting them up to use. Right away she says "Is that a Nana thing?". She knew.

She got in the spirit of it. Miranda ran to her room to figure out a recipe to make something for the two of us. She came back with three options. We decided to try and create upside down apple mug cakes!

She found a recipe for mug cakes on Tumblr. Here is the recipe:

4T flour + 4T sugar

add 1 whisked egg

add 3T milk + 3T oil

1T vanilla + other stuff

3 min 1000 - watt

4 min 700 - watt

(this is exactly how she wrote it - I think the "other stuff" was whatever else you wanted to add ie. the apples)

Step 1: put chopped up apple in bottom of cup.

Mix with some cinnamon and brown sugar.

Step 2: In a separate bowl, mix dry ingrdients together.

(we decided to use brown sugar instead of white)

Step 3: Mix in egg and wet ingredients

Step 4: Pour mixture over apples

Bake in microwave for 3 or 4 minutes (depends on microwave watts)

Step 5: Remove from cup and garnish

(Miranda's idea)

Step 6: Drizzle with table cream (my idea)


They were quick, easy, and incredibly delicious and filling.  You could pretty much put any fruit you'd like. Give it a try. Let me know what you create!

All the best, your GG

Kids at OIAF? Yes!

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Every September, the Ottawa International Animation Festival presents the world’s most cutting-edge, quirky and important animation — and transforms Ottawa into the centre of the animation universe. For some strange reason, most people believe that the animation festival is aimed at adults only, but that's absolutely not true.

The Festival loves to have families in attendance and there are an incredible number of events going on for Teens and Kids alike.

For Teens there is everything from Toon Apprentice Day for high school students interested in animation, to getting their volunteer hours by helping out at the Festival!

Kids can attend the Animation Celebration with their whole class! This event offers Ottawa-area elementary school children (ages 8–12) an inside look into the art of animation. As well, this year there are 160 entries in the short film competition and 75 entries in television animation, all specifically aimed at kids.

But the most exciting way kids can get involved is to Join the Kids Jury! Here's how to enter:

Ten animation lovers, ranging from the ages of 8 to 11 years old, will be chosen to judge this year’s competition of short films or TV series made for kids. To be selected for the Jury, local kids are invited to submit one of the following: a paragraph reviewing a National Film Board animated short film, a videotape of a review or an animated film.

On Saturday, September 20, 2014, ten lucky winners and their families will be whisked away to the Festival to watch either short animated films at 11 am or TV series made for children at 1 pm. They will pick their favourite films or TV episode and award prizes on stage to the winning filmmakers later that evening, at 7 pm.

The videos and one-pagers for the OIAF's Kids Jury contest must be submitted by e-mail:, by fax: (613) 232-6315, or by regular mail: Ottawa International Animation Festival, 2 Daly Avenue, Suite 120, Ottawa, K1N 6E2. Entrants MUST include their name, age and an e-mail address or phone number where they can be reached.

The contest deadline is 4:00 p.m. on Friday August 29, 2014. The winners will be announced at the OIAF Media Conference to be held at the beginning of September.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival is great fun for any age. Join in this year and see what you've been missing!

All the best, your GG

Good Food Makes The World Go 'Round

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Wherever I've traveled in the past I have always done one thing - ask the locals where they eat. Not the best place for tourists, but their favourite spots. I have never been disappointed and you meet the most wonderful people. Another favourite thing I love is to visit with locals who are also friends - they show you the best places and make sure you get the best food.

Our friend Karen took us to the most wonderful tea shop in York.

(photo taken by Me)

There is a great quote from Julia Child "People who love to eat are always the best people". Cooking and sharing your favourite local dishes with guests has always been a great way to meet the best people.

A company in the UK has taken this idea and gone one step further. Camille Rumani and her partner, Jean-Michel Petit believe that sharing a meal with a visitor to your town makes for an evening of learning, laughter and new friends. They created VizEat to bring travelers and locals together around the kitchen table.

The premise is incredibly simple. Cook your favourite Canadian meals, meet interesting people from around the world who share your love of food, and - here's a bonus - make a few dollars doing it as well! I love their concept so much I've become a Canadian affiliate to help them find hosts for travelers to our fabulous country. Find out how easy it is to become a Host.

VizEat Values that are the standard for every host and traveler alike.

When you are exploring their website take note - every photo of food is a meal someone has actually prepared for visitors. Every photo of someone with, or without, company is a real person and a VizEat Host. Truly authentic food and authentic people.

Host Magali's wine and cheese

Join in all the fun and start planning your meals!

All the best, your GG

Geek Hero This Week - Amelia Rose Earhart

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (2)

The parents of this week's Geek Hero must have been huge fans of Amelia Mary Earhart as they named their daughter Amelia Rose Earhart, and they have no traceable lineage.

The iconic Amelia Earhart

But what these two fine ladies do have in common is their love of flying. And although the original Amelia disappeared in 1937 while trying to circumvent the globe, modern Amelia came forward to take up her quest. She has recreated, and symbolically completed, her namesake's famous flight around the world. Her website The Amelia Project tells the whole story.

Amelia Rose Earhart

(photo from Wikipedia, by WPPilot)

Even though that is an amazing achievement on its own, Miss Earhart is also this week's Hero for having created the Fly with Amelia Foundation which gives scholarships to girls who want to learn to fly, and fosters aviation and aerospace educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Her namesake would be incredibly proud!

All the best, your GG

The Barrow

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

If author Mark Smylie set out to write an epic magical, sensual, bloody adventure - then he's done a fine job indeed.

The Barrow is the story of  a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians who discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard. They think they've struck it rich, but their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.


The main character Stjepan Black-Heart is a suspected murderer and renegade royal cartographer. I love that he is a rebel and a map maker - really different combination, but perfect for this story.  Another character I really like is Erim. She is a young woman masquerading as a man. She is not a young woman who likes men and is disguised as a man to be close to them. Not even close! She likes the ladies, and she's good at what the guys do - swordplay and fighting. Since women aren't allowed to do that, she makes herself a young "apprentice" to Stjepan. The other thing I like is that they are buddies. No romance between the main guy and gal whatsoever. Perfect.

Next interesting character is Gilgwyr. He's a brothel owner extraordinaire. No joke. He loves his job very much.... very .... much. There are a number of other interesting characters along for the ride of their lives - an exiled sorcerer, a mercenary and troublemaker, a noble brought low by scandal and his sister, the cause of the scandal.

The story is incredibly detailed and quick moving. The characters are most definitely not black and white, and even the grey areas shift without notice. There are surprises aplenty and some seriously graphic encounters, both of the sensual nature and the bloody!

One thing I didn't expect until I received this book was how huge it is. The Barrow is 587 pages, not including maps (yes, multiple) and glossary. By today's standard of storytelling this is long. It could have ended up being very long winded and empty, with lots of repetition, and nothing worth having me turn the next page, but the author was right to make it so long. There is no way that he could have written this to be so wonderous and epic otherwise. If he had cut parts out, it just wouldn't have worked so well.

If you're looking for a good old fashioned adventure with lots of spice and gore and doom... then this is perfect for you.

You can get your own copy from

All the best, your GG

Geek Hero This Week - Roddy McDowall

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

When I was growing up my favourite weekend activity was to hunker down in front of the television on Saturday afternoon to watch Mad Theater - two horror and/or science fiction movies played back to back. I was growing up during the time of very trippy and absolutely fabulous movies and television - it was the late 60s and...really all of the 1970s.

One of my favourite actors of that period is Roddy McDowall.

Young and adorable Roddy McDowall

Although I love watching him in just about anything, from his roles as a very young boy ie. How Green Was My Valley (1941) to Cleopatra (1963) and many many more, it is all the weird and wonderful horror and scifi movies and television shows he's in that I love the best, including...

Batman (1966) as The Bookworm

It! (1967)

Planet of The Apes ( 1968 ) as Cornelius

The Legend of Hell House (1973)

The Fantastic Journey (1977) It was all about his black leather jacket...

Fright Night (1985) as Peter Vincent

He can be found in so much more, like Night Gallery, Journey To The Unknown, Buck Rogers in The 25th Century, Escape From The Planet of The Apes, Conquest of The Planet of The Apes, Battle for The Planet of the Apes, even the 1974 Planet of The Apes television series, The Cat From Outerspace, Wonder Woman.... this could get very long so I think I'll stop here. Remember, these are only the horror and science fiction films and television shows he appeared in. Head over to his IMDB page to see his extensive filmography.

But he was not just a prolific actor, he was also a talented photographer who published a number of books and had his photos appear in many magazines. He had a passion for film preservation, and also had a library of over 1000 books on Hollywood and Broadway history. He was well loved by everyone who knew him, and even after his death in 1998 he is still celebrated and well spoken of by those who knew him.

I'm feeling the need for a Roddy McDowall marathon right now. What should I start with?

All the best, your GG

Festival and Food

Posted on July 8, 2014 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I have two new exciting partnerships taking shape right this very moment.

The Festival part is with the Ottawa International Animation Festival. I will be covering their event... and there might even be a giveaway for my lovely readers!

Their logo this year - Free Your Mind

The Food part is with Vizeat. We will be working together to bring Canadian homes and visitors to our fabulous country together to share a meal and experience different cultures!

More on both very soon.

All the best, your GG