Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dealing with a terminally ill spouse (or parent or whomever)

MacLeans Magazine, Dec 2011 Issue, has an article by Julia McKinnell on how to deal with your terminally ill husband called Rage against the dying of the light.  The title is a reference to the Dylan Thomas poem which implores the listener not to give up easily to death.  In the article it is more of a reference to the feelings of the caregiver, who may be struggling under many conflicting emotions. One example McKinnell cites is the wife of a cancer patient. Her husband was a smoker and she may be angry that he 'caused his own cancer'. Did those words ever jump off the page to me!

My husband is a smoker and, thank God, has not been given a cancer diagnosis.  I am already angry that he continues to smoke and continues to smoke near me.  Is this going to be a nicotine murder-suicide?  Yes, I smoked. We both smoked when we were dating, so I can't say I didn't know about it.  I continued to smoke and to want to smoke for many years after people said it was dangerous.  Then I had an epiphany. I am so grateful for the moment when I realized that the tobacco companies KNOW they are killing you, they don't care, and they are coming for your children.  Suddenly I was free. I didn't even WANT to smoke anymore.

Now I need my husband to have his own epiphany.  I don't know what it will take, but I know your prayers will help.  I have asked God to deliver him from his addiction, to give him the courage to let go, and the strength to get through it; and I know that God will do what I have asked.  The prayers are for me: that I will not nag him, that I will love him unconditionally, that I will not be fretful, but simply state when the smoke is preventing me from breathing.  That I will remember to tell him how much I love him and need him.  We're almost at 30 years, and I'd kinda like to see 50 or even 60!

Thank You, God, for such a wonderful, considerate, punctual, funny/punny, romantic husband. <3 <3 <3

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas- presents, overkill, depression, recentering

If you're like me, and sometimes I really pray that you are not!, holidays can be a vicious cycle of emotional turmoil. From intense excitement, to its polar opposite, depression, the holidays dredge up a lot of emotional baggage as well as old Christmas ornaments and dusty fake trees.  

You get out the tree and set everything up, run out to the store and buy all kinds of presents, and then wonder what the heck you've been doing!  Depression sets in. You wonder if anyone will like/need what you bought. (Personally I hate buying stuff just because it's a certain date.)

That's when I start snapping out on my husband.  :(  That's when I have to seriously chill out. I know it's a lot of emotional baggage from my childhood. I know it has nothing (or almost nothing) to do with the actual people involved today, but I have to walk myself through the process of letting it all go. I have to tell myself (out loud!) that it doesn't really matter what I look like or what I bought (comparatively), but that I cared enough to be there and brought a gift.  Obviously, I hope the gift will be relevant, but you can't always get it spot on, so forgive yourself already (says my mindspeak).

Then the cleaning and baking start, and I haven't even started getting any Christmas groceries in the house!  This is a crazy time of year. From now on, I am going to try to enjoy it. If I ever finish those Christmas cards. If you didn't get one, it's cuz they're still on my table...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Washington Post funny

Washington Post NOEL funnies...

In honour of the season, a link to one of the Washington Post contests. Merry Christmas!

Now, who has their Christmas shopping done, who waits til the last minute, and who is completely exasperated by the forced purchasing of gifts just because it's Dec 25??? (or Dec 24 if you're Jewish)

Tra la la la la, I'm off to wrap something.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blogging Ketchup, er.. Catch up!

Everybody's posting, I figured I better get my butt in gear and get something up here as well.

My house is a cloud of dust at the moment.  Husband suggested ( for the 47th time since Thanksgiving -Oct 10th) that we get out the Christmas decorations.  He is a bit like Ernest from the movie. He would do Christmas all year long if you let him.  I was brought up that decorations go up the 24th of December and come down by the 6th of January. No fooling around with extensions and no early birds!  So every  year there is a bit of a cold war because he doesn't know where the stuff is hiding, and I'm not going to bestir myself early.  Around the first week of December I usually cave.  It's worked for thirty years, people - don't knock it.

Before any decorations go up or presents enter the house, there must be a massive purge.  Yes, I watch Hoarders and Consumed, and it terrifies me.  I am the knickknack queen! I am also a paper hoarder.  Part of it is scrapbooking - not the fancy kind neither. I mean saving newspaper articles with my kids' friends and my friends' kids, programs from concerts, and official announcements like obits of my favourite famous people. Sometimes I throw in a whole section of newspaper for posterity.  Ten years later I take it out and read it. Tip of the day: never blow the dust off anything!

In life it is also necessary to purge the things that have been holding us up, holding us down, and holding us back.  This is an excellent time of year to dredge your memory for petty things you've been holding against people and forgive them.  That's right.  They were in the wrong, they hurt your feelings, they're an insensitive cad and don't deserve it.  Guess what? Let it go.  It's only hurting you, and the ones that don't deserve forgiveness need it the most. Ask me how I know that.

Hope all your holiday preparations are wonderful.  Check in on a lonely person and have them over for tea or invite them to your Christmas dinner (or whatever holiday you are celebrating).

I thank you all for reading.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Re-post from Single Dad Laughing: I'm Christian, unless you're gay


Please read this beautiful post with the somewhat misleading title.  Then link over to the responses. Bring tissues, there will be tears. <3  Thank you Dan for this eye-opening post. <3

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas and the Plastic

*limps in off the retail battlefield*  "I think my plastic melted!"  Srsly  my credit card got a major workout this weekend.  Why, oh why, did we wander into Moore's? It's not like Don Cherry was in there! But they had this SALE sign, and I needed to get something nice for my dad for Christmas... somehow he always seems to be about the last person I buy for ... *sigh* .  Okay, here's where I nearly wrote what I bought, then realized who reads this blog O_o   hah!

How was your shopping?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Raw and Amazed! :D

WOW is all I can say.  I started Eating for Energy Thursday. That meant I went from pesca-ovo-lacto vegetarian to vegan RAW.  Except for my downfall, Tostitos Scoops made with corn, I have been raw.

I have not been hungry. After the first day, in fact, I cut the recipes down to 80-75 % because I was STUFFED!  I have been walk/running with the dog for 1/2 hour each morning.  I feel great, I get up without problems (usually, I am a 'snoozer', hitting the snooze button about 3 times).

Best news: this is only Monday and I am down at least 3 pounds.  I did not weigh myself in between (I don't believe in micromanaging weight loss). Loose 3 pounds, no cravings, no hunger? What planet am I on?  I am on the raw planet, and I am so happy.  Really. I have a grin on my face.
When I started this way of eating (I will NOT call it A Diet), I looked in the mirror at my stomach and said, "BYE BYE! You won't be here very much longer! Pack up and git goin' 'cuz yer not welcome here anymore."

Now the mechanics of it: Yuri explains VERY simply how to soak and how to sprout, so that you can easily do these methods of food prep.  I started by sprouting quinoa (was i ever excited to find little sprouts coming out!), now I am on red lentils.  If I don't have an item, I try to substitute (no point getting hung up).  I made a fantastic dressing from olive oil, dijon mustard and pomegranate juice for hubby's spinach salad. He approved.  Naturally, not everyone has the same taste, so I like some recipes better than others. I am not crazy fond of cilantro and put a bit too much in the spinach soup recipe, so did not finish that one. Most of my food is fabulous and delicious and colourful.
Yuri's e-book (also available in hard copy for extra $$) provides 12 weeks of recipes, you get daily cheerleader emails from Yuri, and a bunch of extra stuff. I paid $51 Canadian for this and it has already been worth it.
When I am making food for my omnivorous and constantly grazing husband, I tell myself 'that's not what you eat anymore'. I have the same mindset as when I feed the dog. Would you be tempted to eat your dog's kibble and canned meat? Me neither.   I had already stopped eating chocolate, but I even was not fazed by chocolate covered cheesecake.  A-MAZing!

Details: Yuri Elkaim can be found online at his site or on facebook: Yuri Elkaim   (he's the guy in the red shirt)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


boiler at work is OFF, rads are COLD, office is cooler than my fridge, my fingers are pruny and I had to put gloves on (hard to type).   I want to eat more raw foods, but all I want now is SOUP! :'(

Friday, November 11, 2011

Request to fellow soldiers

Promise you'll catch my mother dear
If she falls when  words are spoken
When she sees soldiers she has feared
As the dreadful news is broken.

As she learns we've had our last embrace
Never hear my voice nor yet my laugh
No more to gaze upon my face
Except in aging photograph.

Promise me on her you'll call
And talk of how we worked and played
How we gave our best to all
That if I could, I would have stayed.

Go to the Cenotaph each year
Stand, tall and silent, at her side
Yes, please hold my mother dear
As she mourns and as she cries.

Be to her the child she lost
And let her cover you in love
Her soldier left at such a cost
And waits for trumpets from above

For when is heard that silver sound
Bugling our Saviour's return in light
At last all that was lost is found
And love makes all eyes shine so bright.

~N Fairweather 2011 -11 -11

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No schedule, no progress

Remember I was not Nano-ing because I would be editing? Guess what? :(  No schedule, no progress!  In Nano, there is an intense deadline that must be met or the participant falls almost hopelessly behind.  That's part of the fun and part of the usefulness of Nano- it drives you forward.
My editing has not started and we are officially in Week 2 of Nano! It has been a busy first week of November, but still... not a word edited.  I'm just looking around my desk area, and in fact, the manuscript isn't even down here. It's still up in my room. So I am myself subject to the very advice I gave my college going son: make a schedule and stick to it. Doh! *facepalm*

Now, let's turn to positive things, like completing the dog's walk before the rain started, and drinking a lovely pink smoothie for breakfast. It had soaked raw almonds, 1/2 c rice milk, 1 banana, 1 pear, pieces of 1 clementine, 2 big strawberries, 1 c honeydew melon, 1/4 c wheat bran and 1/4 c raw pecans. I ran it on Grate for a while 'til everything looked mixed, then buzzed it through on Liquefy til it looked smooth.  Picture will be up later today. Very fresh and light, just like its light pink colour promises.

Moral of the day: Even when we 'mess up', God is not mad at us.  He lovingly encourages us to keep at it, not in our own strength, but in His awesome strength and unlimited provision. God hates sin, but ALL sin was paid for at the Cross. Past, present and future! That's why as Believers, we are Ministers of Reconciliation.  Guilt is gone when you trade places with Jesus - and that's what He is willing to do for us! O! Awesome Love! The debt is paid, the feud is over, it's safe to come home! Run home to Father's open arms. He has a plan for your success, the resources to see it happen, and He longs to shower us with blessings. This offer is open to everyone.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to me! @->---

Happy my birthday, everybody! It has been a wonderful year full of growth and learning, which is exactly what I want for this year too. Strangely, I am currently editing a document that deals with continuous learning.

Fortunately for me, I got to delay my university experience until I was somewhat older and more appreciative. This made the experience richer for me - I appreciated getting to know people from other countries, learning with people of all ages, and goofing off with my hubby playing pool. Well, don't shake your heads - that was learning too! I was learning geometry and physics while poking that little ball across the table.
On the down side of a later experience in university, I was married so did not get to enjoy life in residence. I had to grit my teeth to keep from knocking 18 yr old heads together when they complained of their heavy schedule (18-24 hrs/wk). On the up side, my hubby kept my study habits in line, and I never had to wonder if I had a date for Saturday night... a sitter maybe, but not a date :)

This year has been a foray into eating a higher percentage of raw foods, and moving further along the scale from pesca-ovo-lacto vegetarian to vegan.  I'm a long way off yet, but I am finding things out and it's exciting!
Weight is still not under control, but I have been faithfully walking my dog each day.

I am now a newsletter editor for our club. :D Press badge please...
And I  have seen some changes in lives I have been praying for.

So overall, thanks God!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No Nano for Nan

It turns out that I will NOT be nano-ing this year, despite the lead up and hype... sorry fans.

After putting my family through this torture for 3 of the last 4 years, I will spend this year editing at least 1, and possibly all 3, of my previous manuscripts - for which my darlings were forced to suffer through Novembers of no supper, laundry, housework, contact, interaction, well - you get the picture.

If there's no follow-through, then why spend the time in the first place? It's time to get those manuscripts into an actionable state, and get some queries out! After all, I've been learning a lot about the technical parts of writing in the last few years.  I have grown as an author and a person. It's time to light the kindling and get to work!

I will NOT be adding to my pile of unfinished projects. :)  Love to all!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Had a blissful breakfast this a.m.... got out my blender and swirled together some raw macadamias, flax seeds, coconut milk (from a can), a bit of rice milk (to make it blend better), banana, pear, and kale!  I had a lot of fun because I put the kale in last and my blender jug was only at about 2 cups. When the kale hit the blades, everything else jumped! It was a mini giggle for me.

Anyway, it's a good thing I took a picture
 cuz it didn't last long... nom nom nom... 
so thick I ate it with a spoon like a DQ Blizzard.  
Unlike a Blizzard, I felt great after!

And here is Prize #1, from Lisa V at 
Raw for $10/day:

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer
2 Lisa Cole bookmarks, and
4 Lisa Viger prints! YAY!

I also received yesterday by mail, my prize
from Erin at Raw Therapy:
Raw Desserts, by Jenny Cornbleet.

I have been perusing this book and it is now covered in my drool (ick) and my dog's drool (double ick) but we can't wait to try some recipes. (My dog is a hippy, ok? Your granola bar is NOT safe around Argo!)

One more note, on my gardening successes this year.  Due to fear of frost, I brought in all my little grape tomatoes and they are now ripening indoors.  Lots, eh?  Better than the first year when I got 2 little potatoes!  Here, have a tomato and celebrate with me!

Notice my nice glass for my smoothie? Faith Hope Love Charity... :)  Happy breakfast thoughts...

Monday, October 17, 2011

So much to do.. so little time, so little organization...

I really do try to stay organized and on track... sometimes it just falls off the rails ... in every direction.

I had lists, I have an organizer on my phone, another on my desk, I have calendars to spare... but somehow things get away from me. Does this happen to you?

I nearly missed my meeting tonight, but I remembered 20 minutes before. Good thing it was in this town and not the next one over!
There's a newsletter to go out this month, a project proposal to be uploaded (only get 30 minutes, so all must be prepped ahead of time), recharge son's enthusiasm for college (guess who inherited my unorganization gene?), produce monthly reports, and create an outline for a novel that must be written between Nov 1 and Nov 30. I have to finish crocheting a blanket and a hot-water bottle cover. Oh, and I have a meeting to attend next week. I have to bring baked goods. :(
And my froat huwts.. *cough cough* :P  ad I'm snuffling... *a-choo!*  :(

I have a hard time breaking big jobs into tasks, I guess. So when big projects are looming, it's a little hard for me to find that first thread that needs to be picked up.  Then I get discouraged and start distracting myself with facebook and the like.  Three weeks later, I'm wondering how to finish said project in two days.

It must be noticeable because my brother made a wise crack about facebook today.  I did NOT say anything back. Mature, huh? It took a lot of energy to shut up, I'll tell ya. (Younger brother.)
So that's my point today: I actually did 'if the shoe fits, wear it', and it did, and I am.  So long, facebook!  We're on restricted hours now.

Friday, October 14, 2011

You are what you eat?

Took a road trip yesterday, and ate an entire plate of nachos (complete with cheese baked onto the chips)
I had been thinking of corn chips and salsa so was shocked when this enormous plate arrived.  Today I paid the price for such foolishness (even though supper was a lovely salad and breakfast was fresh fruit). :P  Feel off balance. Plus it's raining. Grrr...  After my fresh fruit breakfast (banana, pear, strawberries and raw pistachios) I had a raw kale salad for lunch with homemade hummus.  The kale had been sitting overnight after I massaged in olive oil and lemon juice (note to self : DO NOT attempt this with papercuts ever again!). It also had garlic and strips of red bell pepper. Yum. No picture- I ate it all. Okay, I shared with mum and dad, but it was gone pretty fast.

Glad to hear of Lisa Viger's interview from Raw on $10/day!  Very exciting :D  I am planning to copy some of her menus and head out to the grocery store right after work!

It's encouraging to hear good news of other like-minded people!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Old Friends

Isn't it refreshing to catch up with a friend you haven't seen in a while?  Technically, I should say 'spoken to' in a while, because I don't think I've ever seen this friend face to face!  We've only communicated by phone and email.  But today he called in on the Skype and we had a lovely chat about ... writing! Hurrah!  More than that, he said I have encouraged him and he will start writing again.  There. My job is done. :D I live to serve.

Old friends remind us of things we have forgotten about ourselves. They encourage (to give courage to) us and comfort us with their support and enthusiasm.  They swat down our negative comments and lift up our cause. They turn it around and examine it to see why it isn't functioning. Then they brush it off, tweak it, and give it back.  With a final loving kick in the backside, they send us merrily on our way, once again ready to take on the world.  What would we do without them?

The best friend anyone could have is the Holy Spirit.  He was sent to us to be an encouragement, to defend us, refresh us, and comfort us when we are lonely and sad. Then He takes us to task, because Jesus came that our joy may be full, so why are we moping?   Jesus said that God has given us everything; ask for what you need in Jesus' name and you will have it.  (Caution: what YOU think you need and what God says you need may be two very different things, and may be why you're not getting what you're asking for.)

Be blessed. <3

Monday, October 3, 2011

October is Outline Month

Surprised? Not if you're a Nano-er!  November is novel writing month, and October is outline month.  That is, if you want full-bodied, exciting characters and some idea of where your plot is supposed to go.  Believe me, I've tried it with and without an outline, and outline wins.  Otherwise your plot meanders in circles or races off into the distance... but without the supporting background, it becomes so thin that it snaps its thread and you're left either reworking the whole thing or starting over.
*SAD FACE* Just the memory is horrifying.
I actually have an idea of a plot already.... ok, what I really have is a Main Character (MC).  Now I have to put her in a 'situation', or a 'crossroads', so the story can have a reference point. In November I am supposed to issue our club newsletter, so I have to have that done in October to free up my time in November for novelling.
Since re-dedicating my life to Jesus, I now like my novels to have a moral, or show a lifestyle not usually seen on TV, movies etc., a possible alternate way of approaching problems to what people automatically fall back on.  Hopefully my novels will be uplifting to the reader.

In case you are not a 'noveller', and would like to know more, the event is National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) and the website is www.nanowrimo.org.
Rules are easy (ok, not easy - simple): write 50,000 words between Nov 1-30. Any subject, any age, any anything! Submit by uploading online.  To do this, you go to the site and create a free account. THERE IS NOTHING TO PURCHASE. It's just for fun. (Although if you complete the challenge, you 'win' a shiny web badge!)  Before November you can do plot outlines, character developments, theme songs, art work, just no actual story.  Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide will be participating and you will get encouraging emails from the Office of Letters & Light.

Got a story? Got an idea? Feel like being all crazy and wild-eyed in November? Let's DO IT! :D

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Crazy stuff

Almost two weeks ago, I got a bbm from a cousin overseas saying that our other cousin, who is 15, was beaten up quite badly.  He was beaten so badly that doctors are keeping him in a coma so his brain injuries can heal.  That means the last two weeks has been a study in how to give your cares to God and let Him take care of them.  At the same time there has been pressure at work over the lack of jobs coming in, and whether I will have to find an alternate source of income/employment.  My brothers who live in town have both suddenly decided to move out west. :(   I am happy for them that they will have income, but I don't look forward to them leaving town.  They both have issues (don't we all), and I am concerned how they will cope away from their family. As I already stated, my son has been trying to be his own personal liquor control board.   My middle daughter is getting married and there are dramas already, which combined with budget pressure is pretty intense.

I have to face facts: I can't do anything about any of the above issues except pray.  My only hope of strength, mercy, healing, and joy is in God.  Because of what Jesus has done at the cross, God is delighted to do everything for us, to be all we need Him to be, to fulfill all our needs.

The last few weeks all I have been able to say is, 'Thank God for God!'   It has been wonderful.  I actually fell asleep smiling last night, knowing that God is in control.  This morning I woke up and discovered that when they brought him out of the coma to check on him, my cousin had moved his toes and looked around for his dad.  They are keeping him in the coma for a while longer, but that is a good sign.   We also got word that we will be awarded a small job. (Cash is cash, I always say.)   I also (while giving all my problems to God) decided to thank God for every little thing I had.  This serves two purposes: It gives credit where credit is due (God is responsible for all the wonderful things in my life like a roof and food and clothing), and it takes my focus off my problems, and places it on the wonderful provision of God.  He hasn't let me down before, why would He start now? (Hint: He wouldn't.)

Blessing follows thanksgiving. So if thanksgiving follows blessing, then blessing follows thanksgiving.  And if thanksgiving again follows blessing, blessing will again follow thanksgiving! What a great cycle! Let's get on this!  Peace & love!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No Wonder People Elope and other wedding woes

If I actually list all the stupid micro-drama incidents that have happened in the last two weeks, you would cry. You would, because it's ludicrous the kinds of weird things that wind us up. Apparently being a complex individual leaves us wide open for emotional pitfalls etc. Who knew? I got married 29 years ago and had forgotten.

Hopefully I will find a tactful, gentle way to tell my bestest buddy since we were 10 years old that she isn't invited even though she volunteered to do hair and makeup. *sad face*

Hopefully the groom's family will not all stop speaking to each other.

Hopefully any tactless blunders I have made/ continue to make will be forgiven.


Thank God that He forgives us, not because we deserve it, but because of what Jesus has done at the Cross.
*trying to remember that patience is a virtue*

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Boyo is 19 (or LCBO stock rises by 20%)

Boyo decided that to celebrate being 19, he should drink 19 shots... and a lot of beer.  His stomach did not agree.  Silly Boyo is going to try similar stunts this weekend with his cousin.
*commence banging head on desk here [  bang head here ] as folly of youth and inability of parent to influence stupid teenaged decisions becomes obvious*  On top of this, he has just started college, and I am concerned about his work suffering.  Also he has not landed a job yet (Walmart was supposed to effect a transfer. They may or may not have, because last I heard they were offering cashier positions which my son won't take.)

So I ask God to continue to protect him and lead him to wiser decisions (because I can do nothing, and God can move hearts).

My two girls (young ladies now) both navigated this dangerous strait and made it out the other side relatively unscathed.  The older one was nearly waylaid a few years later for different reasons, but we survived that as well.

Rule No 1 in parenting: Keep them alive.
Rule No 2: Don't kill them out of frustration what you hear they have survived in stupidity.
Rule No 3: Remember that OH Yes you were young once.
Rule No 4: They are adults now, so treat them as adults, whether they 'deserve' it or not.
Rule No 5: Love them and their friends.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breathe on me Breath of God

Watching a sail-surfer out on the lake,
and thinking how the breath of Your inspiration
lifts us out of the mundane, out of ourselves
Giving us new perspective
And invigoration

Friday, September 9, 2011

The engagement

Last night, after 6.75 yrs of dating, my middle daughter's boyfriend officially asked her to marry him.

He went and bought the ring, called her father and me while our daughter was still at work, and then we all tensely waited for her to get home.

He made her put the cat down, got down on one knee, and his mother videotaped the whole thing.

My daughter called me after, still shaking from excitement.

Isn't it amazing that after almost 7 years together, it's still hard to believe he has now asked her to marry him?

I was almost as excited as she was (I had one of those face stretching grins), but now I'm starting to think of the practicalities.  When a couple 'lives together', they have different expectations of each other than when they are 'married'.  I worry that the transition may break them.  On the other hand, they always planned to get married before they moved in together.

I hope that they know how to 'fight fair'.  Not throwing old hurts into new fights, not name calling, avoiding the other person's 'hot buttons' whenever possible.  Not waiting to discuss things until the issue is so hot that they can't discuss it rationally.  Realizing when it will never be a rational decision.

It's scary!  It's wonderful.  It's exciting! It's beautiful.

I'm officially going to be related to his relatives. :D

Which brings up another point...  they are mainly Catholic.  The grandmother is refusing to attend the wedding if it's not Catholic.  I am so glad to get her married, but I really don't want a Catholic wedding as it sets them up for raising their kids Catholic.  Mind you, at least they would hear about God.  But not that He is loving, and caring and right there for us... no mediator required!  Just reach out and our heavenly Daddy is waiting to help, hear, hold, heal...

So, we leave it in God's capable hands.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Exercise your brain with poetry and sudoku

Numbers swirling round and round
Lines of numbers up and down

The few that show beg you to find
their missing mates and fill the line

Cubes in cube and side to side
Which one is missing? Hard to decide

Slowly one appears, then two
Puzzle out the tricky clues

Oh, t's a workout for your brain
if it doesn't drive you insane

Those middle numbers are the worst
They won't come clear -makes me feel cursed!

Finally! the answer's clear!
The boxes filled: Give a cheer!

A HA! You thought you had me there,
But I broke you down by determined stare.

Dust the hands, toss down the pen,
Tomorrow it will start again.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why are breakthroughs followed by breakdowns?

The devil knows our weaknesses... and he HATES it when we make progress...
So whenever we have had a particularly good breakthrough, he launches an all-out attack to drag us back into the pit from which we emerged.  He doesn't realise that it's too late... we have peeped over the edge of that pit and seen the wide open spaces, the gleaming sunshine and felt its warmth.
We have learned the truth: that if we make a mistake, Jesus will gladly receive us again if we just admit our error. Jesus knows that we are under attack from a tricksy adversary who has millenia of experience at trapping frail humans.
This came to me as I sat pondering why in the last 3 days I have barely cracked the covers of my Bible (well, bibleS really - I have about 5 in use).  And then it came to me: I have been scaring the devil by making progress! Well, that IS encouraging! Time to praise the Lord for that: HALLELUJAH!  The devil's primary objective is to convince us that God doesn't care; this is in hopes that we will stop praising His Holy Name. But we will not. Because we know that God LOVES us, each one of us. He sent Jesus to pay our debt: to take our sin, our illnesses, our weaknesses, and to die in our place. Then, because only HE is able, Jesus rose again and has promised that we also will rise. Death is defeated!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

RIP Jack Layton :'(

Dear Readers,
It has been a horrific week already for me in Ontario, and I find I am actually too shocked to work properly.
Having spent so many years with Jack Layton on our political skyline, I feel as if the CN Tower has been knocked out of my life!  This vibrant, cheerful, thoughtful, mustachioed, bicycling gent will no longer pop up on my TV screen or monitor with upcoming news... in memorium, but not in person.
It's incredible, given my experience with friends and family who have had cancer, survived cancer, not survived cancer, that I should have been surprised when this second bout of cancer turned out to be highly aggressive and resistant. It has only been about 4 months since Jack stepped aside to focus on his health issues. I was sure that with his bounce-back personality, he would soon be taking back the reins.
But no. There will be no more Jack in our face, in our daily lives. Unless.. we take to heart what he was trying to show us... That our country is worth fighting for, worth trying to change, and that each of us can make a difference, especially when each of our small efforts are joined with those of others. After all, an ocean is only many droplets of water. No drop ever started out thinking it would be part of the ocean. Most of them started as a rain drop on a leaf somewhere or a melting bit of snow. But something happened as that drop of meltwater slid away from its glacier, it stopped identifying with the old way and started a new life as part of a stream, then a river, and finally an ocean.
The best way to change anything is to face the way you mean to go and take a step. Then take another.

The greatest legacy a person can leave is to have taught someone something. Thank you Jack for teaching us so many good things~ not just as an actual classroom teacher, but in the classroom of life. That our country is great, our True North, strong and free. That our people are beautiful and worthwhile. That there is a peaceful way to accomplish things.
Rest in peace, may we meet at last on Resurrection Morning.
Condolences and deepest sympathy to the family and friends, constituents and compatriots of this dear man.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My niche

I think I've finally decided what this blog will feature from now on. I believe it will be the ways God inspires me and helps me grow.  It may involve youtube links. (thank you in advance, youtube)

It will be situational with Scriptures to back it open.

My first comment must be that, although my hubby is not a Christian, God uses him to help me grow and to keep me on track. This is awesome to me, and very comforting, that God would use the person closest to me.

We must be open to hearing what God has to say. At first I was threatened by the fact that my non-believing husband was "critising" me; finally, I realised it was God reaching out to me.  God is blessing me and my hubby and our marriage.

I am believing on Acts 16 for my whole family to be saved.  I can see God working in their hearts.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

trying to determine my niche...

There are so many things that interest me that I find it hard to separate what "I" write about from what I like.  That is to say, when I write about things that interest me, what is "MY" angle? How does my input hold a common thread?

I've noticed that my posts are all over the place, seem to be completely unrelated except for the fact that I wrote them, and go nowhere. :(  Not what a writer wants to have to say about herself.

The new mandate will be to have a commonality in my posts.
Thank you. That is all. :D

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Holidays are almost over...

I've been playing in the sun, the lake, the sand, the garden, etc.. but yesterday I buckled down and got some of my really hard chores done for another year.

Update on the clothesline: Guess who got to climb 17 feet up a ladder with a clothesline in her teeth?

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's a beautiful day so I bought a clothesline

Ever hopeful that it WILL be installed (someone has to shinny up the equivalent of a telephone pole to reach the far-end pulley), and that it will be done in THIS millenium... LOL

Oh, but the smell of sunshine in your laundry is so fresh and lovely!

Confession time: who hangs their clothes by colour? It's not just me, right?  Gotta get that rainbow spread across the line! Cheer up the neighbourhood! The bright sails filling with fresh air and waving hello to everybody in town.

Or do you hang your clothes by owner? by clothing type? other?

Who hangs by choice, and who by necessity? Who would like to hang but doesn't/ can't?

Monday, July 4, 2011

CV, Bio, Resume, Life History,

Have you ever had a day when you thought it might be wise to update your resume?  Which type of resume is useful? Are you skills-based; does a chronological CV work for you; should you display your strengths by your accomplishments?

I'm having one of those days... If just to re-assess where I'm at and where I'm headed... after all, you don't get anywhere if you never leave the driveway.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dylan Thomas

I read Under Milk Wood.  AWESOME!  (I've been to Wales- Awesomer!)

What should I read next?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Half Year!

Can't believe the time is slipping by so fast!

Just spent the week in Toronto, at a 'boutique hotel' called Hotel Victoria.  Rooms small, and view of a brick wall, but amazingly, I had everything I needed.

We had one person who couldn't find our venue, and nearly lost a guy on the way back from an outing, but otherwise, all went well on our conference. WHAT A LOT OF WORK! If you go to a conference, be nice to the hosts, they are working their butts off!

Got a new battery powered trimmer for the lawn which makes for a happy hubby. :)

Still so much to do this year! Must run and get started...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday updates in Smallville

The posties are still picketing downstairs, but seem cheerful.  The weather must be helping - it is a lovely day to stand around outdoors.

Rory McIlroy is wiping the golfing 'floor' at -11 2-day total.

I will be in Toronto next week as we host a conference for our Nigerian friends.

My middlest child had her graduation from college. She is now officially a 'professional'. :D
We are now trying to complete the details for signing in my baby to college.
My baby-est brother has just completed his high school diploma. Hurray!

God is wonderful, life is sweet. Love and hugs to all my friends, including the ones I haven't met yet.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nice weather, more visiting!

Last weekend, we managed to get out to hubby's cousin's farm, Hilltop Haven Equine Rescue, in Little Britain.  It is big, airy, full of animals of almost every description, and full of love and laughter.

I shifted bales of hay, walked through goose poo in my nice sandals before switching to cousin Lainie's crocs, and got licked by Stanley the farm poodle.

This weekend we went the other direction and visited my bestie in Picton.  Apparently every retiree in the world wants to live 'in the county' and the number of homes for sale reflect that. Vinyards are popping up everywhere - it's like a second Niagara-on-the-lake.

Who did you see?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


After a long break, including a short break in the UK, and another short break to recover the threads that were dropped during my absence (fix garden, do housework, catch up laundry - you know the drill!), I am back at my desk once more.  

Except that it was to attend a funeral, our trip to York was wonderful.  We met two of our aunt's grandsons with whom we have been facebook poking, and it was nice to finally see them in person.  We stopped with said aunt and uncle in their 2 bedroom pensioner flat (in a single bed! oo-er!) in Holgate with their lab cross, Candy. She made sure we all got some exercise, if not walking then rubbing her chest.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A new language

I think I will invent a language from those anti spam words that keep popping up on everyone's comment page.  Eloishin, toequish... those are verbs or nouns?

In other news, the ash appears to be settling, we may fly after all. *cautious skippy dance*

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You're flying where??

That's right, boys and girls, I had just booked my irrevocable tickets when KABLOOIE! Grimsvotn decided to pop her cogs, spewing ash across the north of Europe, particularly Manchester airport. Naturally. So we are in a 'wait and see' flight pattern, making arrangements as if all will be well, and wondering what will happen if it isn't. *sigh*

In other news, Hubby had a wonderful weekend, including watching our daughter's bf race at Mosport and watching a Jays game for FREE!, just 7 rows from the net behind the  batter.

Girls can click for girly info. Boys, just don't go there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lunch leads to Insanity

Normally, I would say: Envy me, I get to eat with my parents 4 days a week.
But this week, they're on the Cabbage Soup Diet.  Come onnnnnn, I'm hungry!  Yesterday, I forgot to bring extra food, so it was a very lean day.  Today I remembered to bring some hummus that I'd made with fava beans instead of chick peas, and some Ryvita crackers.  However, in the car at lunch I realised my food was still in the office fridge. Doh!
Lunch was pretty good, a small bowl of tomato-based cabbage soup, 4 melba toast, a tossed salad, fruit for dessert (mango, strawberries, apple slices, and grapes) and I had some brown sugar-blueberry-flax cookies.
Back at the office, it occurs to me at 2.45 that I've got food squirrelled away in the fridge! Score! But by now I am HUNGRY. So I not only get out the hummus and Ryvita's, I grab the apricot jam as well! First I spread the apricot jam on the Ryvita, then a heavy layer of hummus.  It was very tasty.
Don't tell Mum! And especially don't tell Dad! Shhhhhhhhh!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nano in the summer!

Hey Hey Writers!  Nano has heard and responded to your needs... if you find it too daunting to try to write a novel in November, now you can write in the summer instead! Or you can write twice a year! O rapturous day!

www.nanowrimo.org  for details.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I have started my garden and it is four times bigger than last year. Don't get excited.. last year was my first year with vegetables, so my garden was the size of a rectangular laundry basket.  My daughter's bf asked my why did I bother? But I said I wanted to fail small at first... :D  
This year it's about 4'x4' in the north east corner of my back yard.  It gets the best sun there and good water from the drain pipe.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Small Town events

We had a lovely (mostly) ladies luncheon yesterday for CFUW-N.  Our speaker was Carol Off, and her topic was how laughter and tears unite us.  She was well received; we had a great time as we do whenever we get together, and one of our student bursary winners also won a signed copy of Carol's book, Bitter Chocolate
As the new editor of our newsletter, I was running about taking pictures of all the happenings [but I didn't get a press badge. :( ]

There were several municipal councillors in attendance, so as I was leaving, I was able to call a greeting to one of them who had previously spoken to our club.   This morning at our Friday morning managerial coffee meeting at 66 King St East, who should walk in but same said councillor!  I jokingly asked if she was stalking me, but she said, No, we just both hang out in the same great places!

Way to go, Miriam!  [And such a beautiful name.]

Thursday, May 12, 2011

CFUW and Carol Off

Don'tcha love it when you expect a good time at an event, and instead it's amazing?!

We just had our fundraising luncheon for Canadian Federation of University Women, and we had Carol Off from CBC's 'As it happens' for our guest speaker.  She was wonderful... I cried through half of it as she discussed women she had met in war torn places, and their love, generosity, and strength.
[Pause for tissues]  Here I am, tearing up again at how little separates us from women in such situations, and how blessed we are that we don't generally have to deal with the terrors of war.

What we have to deal with are the elements that start war: pride, envy, fear, hate, jealousy.  These need to be carefully monitored and, through education and love, we can stem these feelings that cause conflict.  They must first be stemmed in the home, between spouses and between siblings. In ever increasing outward circles, we must reach out to the hurting in order to prevent the boil-like pain that can erupt into poisonous situations.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Abe Lincoln's poetry - wut?

So, apparently, Abe Lincoln wrote poetry. Who knew?   This poem I like, not because of the Bear Hunt it details, but how the last bit describes man's conceit.

The Bear Hunt

fice - a nervous belligerent little mongrel dog

Thank you to 'Written not with Ink" for sharing this info!

Small Town news

Thank God I live in a town where this is newsworthy:


For the past several weeks, Cobourg police have been receiving complaints about graffiti being spray painted on signs, utility boxes, building and vehicles.
Most of the incidents are occurring in the west end of town. The coloured paints are often spelling the same words, syllables and numbers.  [Those would be called 'tags']
Anyone caught spray painting graffiti would be facing charges of mischief.

:D  What are your small-town moments?

Terrible Shocks

Have you ever had a moment of sudden horrifying shock?  It makes you weak for a bit, as if your internal gyroscope got bounced against the walls instead of staying suspended.
I was reading A Story on facebook, and the names sounded sooo familiar... I started to get queasy.  Their faces jumped out of the photograph and I was transported - back in time and place until I was in their living room long ago, laughing with them and my husband. It was way too late for parents who need to get up with their kids in the morning, and who have to be in class themselves, but life is short, so we lived it.  It was smoky and close, and we were so connected to each other.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grass is growing!

My lawn is starting to look like the savannah; I keep expecting lions (or Michael Caine) to show up. Looks like I'm going to have to follow suit on my speedy neighbour and get the lawn mower out and prepped. Sigh! This means I have to rake out my gardens too! At least I have already purchased the leaf bags.  There are zillions of birch twigs (some not so twiggy!) all over my back lawn from the last wind storm as well.  As I was picking them up (and getting overwhelmed), I thought, "just pick up one at a time  - soon they'll all be gathered!" 
Then it hit me- that is what Jesus must have felt like when He told His disciples, the harvest is great, but the workers are few!
He couldn't stand the thought that even one of us would be left behind, excluded from all the blessings of heaven. There are so many who haven't yet heard (or seen in action) the love of Christ, and the simplicity of following His Way.  I was reading II Corinthians last night and one verse especially stuck with me: II Cor 11:3- 3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=II%20cor%2011:3&version=KJV]
We have complicated things! It truly is simplicity - Lean on Him, give Him all your cares, worries and sorrows; take up His joy, peace and love. What a deal! Go from exclusion to closeness with the Father! He loves us!  Let's dance and sing about it! Like daffodils and birch trees!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A crazy day in Canada

So we voted the exact same guy back in, but this time [just to spice things up], we changed the opposition party to the guy who sides with the bully of the day.
Because a party needs to have a certain number of seats to be 'official', The Green Party was completely blocked out of the Candidates Debate, and this year the news did not even report her tour stops or any news about them! It's pretty bad when you deliver news to the paper and they don't print it.  But try to hide something and WHAMMY! there they are in force.
Perhaps Elizabeth May should start skulking from place to place in a beige trenchcoat and fedora...

Apparently, Mr Harper has plans to legislate whether women can have abortions or whether gay people can get married.  First let me say that I don't support either of those things for myself, which is why I didn't marry a woman, or have an abortion. (I had mental moments where I was considering it - the abortion, that is.)  I believe that love and compassion will stop abortion faster than legislation, which just drives it underground and makes for big messes and loss of life.
I also believe that God loves all of us, and wants us all to have a Father-child relationship with Him.  The Bible lists homosexual acts as sin. It also lists acts of fornication and adultery (with the same punishments). Can you imagine what society would be like today if all who had unmarried sex were ostracized, bullied, and shamed the way gays are treated?  Pretty sick picture.  Pretty sad representation of the love of God.  Christians are called to ambassadors of God and ministers of reconciliation (of sinners to God).  We are supposed to act in true humility, fully aware of how much we have each been forgiven.  Maybe it's just me, but I think we've messed up something awful and need a 'do-over'.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Call Brad Paisley! I found a tick!

How nasty is it to find a tick crawling on you? Erghghghghghg!!!  What do you know about this little critter?
He was about the diameter of a pencil eraser, very flat, and un-killable! I had to send him for a swim in the porcelain pool to get him out of my house.  Fortunately, I caught him before he had a chance to latch on, so I don't think I'm in danger of Lyme disease (although I have a sore throat today - I'm sure that is from being exposed to more smoke than usual). 

I suspect that he got in one of three ways: on my dog, who roams freely in tall grass;  on me! while walking said dog; or on my son who was at a bonfire the other night. The little beasties are known carriers of Lyme disease, which if not treated early, can become extremely debilitating.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brag post: Calorimetry

This wonderful thing (well- the top thing) is called
a Calorimetry (pattern and info on Knitty.com)
The trick was getting the rows to match up (it was made for a solid colour).
Yes there are several errors in this piece as I was just starting back to knitting, but my daughter wanted one, and these colours are brilliant on her. See, Raine? Who loves you?  The Calorimetry is a head wrap.  Each end comes to a point (see right) and is meant to have a button closure.  It is sitting on a matching scarf, with red fringe.

The wool in the centre, bordered by the purple, is all one variegated wool.  Nice Eh?

Wiiiiiiiiiindy day

The gusts of wind are extraordinary - twice I nearly got blown into the road while walking to the bank. Once I was in the bank, I was surprised how tense my abdominal muscles were from trying to keep me upright! With my banking finished, I debated about taking the quick way home behind the bank (it was lunch time and I had tummy rumbles) or going over to the Bargain Shop.  Shopping won and I ventured across the road and into the shop. After a few minutes (I didn't need much), I got up to the cash.  There was a huge crunching noise, like metal crates being dragged over concrete.  The sales clerk announced (as the power went out) that the hydro lines had just come down... behind the bank! =:o   You know... the bank I nearly walked behind! YIKES!

See how a good bargain can save your life?  By the way, got a cute summer one-sie with cap for Sunday's baby shower :D  Score!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The problem with running around like a chicken with its head cut off is that then you wouldn't be making any noise...

Can you picture it? Head - sitting by itself on the ground screaming whilst body runs around on its own - arms flailing?  Or is body flailing with one arm and carrying the screaming head with the other arm?  It doesn't quite pan out when you try to pin down the details.

ALERT: Topic Change            (What does  a Lert look like? Has anybody seen one?)

We have been frantic at work and for the second week in a row I'm going to have to cancel my non-essential dentist appointment.  I need a night guard because apparently I grind my teeth. Who knew? I mean, it's not like there's the least bit of frustration in my life is it? *shrug*  It is aggravating that I will likely have to pay for an appointment I can't make.  Do you think I can hit the boss (Mum) up for it?

Did you notice? I typed this whole thing without commas (it nearly killed me), just to see what it looks like. Whaddya think?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Caution: Random Cat is Random

First, I want to voice my complaint at the exclusion of one of our national party leaders from the political leaders debate. Disgusting! Who's afraid of Elizabeth May?  Come on, now - let the Green girl in! How is it possible that we have one candidate in the debate who is only running in one province, and we don't have the national candidate with representatives in every province (probably every riding).

Second, I think I put too much garlic in my smoothie yesterday, and it hurt my tummy. But I also ate it with a whole banana, so maybe the straight up banana did it. :P  In any case, I had to take a Diovol.

People have been confusing their days this week. Is it happening to you, too?  My son thought it was a different day and was half an hour late for work. My dad rolled in this morning and thought it was Friday. Which is awesome, cuz we go out for morning coffee break on Fridays.  That is where we ran into the local candidate for the Green Party, and hence my comment above. Doncha love small towns, where you can just run into your candidate while having tea?

It's a stellar day today.  My older brother and my baby sister have both just arrived in town for two weeks, so the whole clan is here! Whoop! All 5 of us! Warn the cops and hide your car keys... oops .. no, that was my old line.  I'm much better now, honest. Seriously, I'm very laid back now and mostly well-behaved.

For those of you who started your seedlings, I hope you brought them in tonight - it's ch-ch-chilly out there!
I enjoyed the sunshine though.. it actually felt warm on my face.. ahhhhh!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More about green stuff

Well, that could be anything, couldn't it?  In this case, however, it is a vegetable matter. (ha ha!)

Breakfast today was another green smoothie and the last of my carrot nut 'cake'. That way I got vitamins, minerals, carbs, proteins, and fibre all in one. It actually kept me going til lunch, and I usually start to fade an hour too soon. See recipe below.

On another note, it has been seven years today that my darling Mother-in-law passed away.  We lived in England for 5 years, and I always tend to use that as my unit of comparison for time-based things. I cannot believe that MIL has been gone 2 years longer than we lived in UK~!  And in August it will be 4 years since my niece passed (4 years April for my sis's late bf), and 5 years since my FIL passed.  YES it was a long couple of years.  Never underestimate the amount of time it will take you to recover from such a loss.  I don't say 'get over' cuz I don't think you can 'get over' losing someone that important.  [see more below]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's here, it's here! It's REALLY here!

Yes! Spring is here.  I know it is, cuz I was digging some sod off the area I want for expanding my garden and there they were- worms! Beautiful, wiggly worms aerating my soil for me. I quickly poked them back under the earth before the beady eyed robins spotted them. Don't want to lose my soil workers to the long beaks!

On another note, if you are ever feeling down, watch this video and it will cheer you right up! It's called "Robin in the Rain", and it's sung by Raffi.  We always sing along and ham up the air trumpet, etc.  Don't forget your jazz hands!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Visiting Friends

I had a great weekend - spent Sunday with friends playing Euchre.  Yes, girls against boys. Yes, girls got euchred. :(  Oh, well. We were out of practice and we won some.

So we're laughin' and jokin', and the competitive streak is flaring up in some of us, and there I was... having a great time except for the swirling cigarette smoke.  At one point, I delayed the next game until the room had a chance to clear.  At what point is it just no longer funny that I can't/ don't want to breathe their smoke? I know I went to visit her, but I didn't realise it would turn into a 4 hour euchre marathon.  I was already being a pain in the butt by not drinking coffee or tea (caffeine) and because I'm vegetarian.  They were being kind - the window was open. You have to understand that my hubs is a smoker and he smoked all the way down there and all the way back. (No escape!)   And I used to smoke, so I know it's tough when one person doesn't smoke, and you want to have one. And now I know what a total, insensitive, complete, jerk I really was to each and every person around me.

I apologize.  I am seriously not going to be visiting my friend very much though. Cuz I can't breathe. *cough* And my sinuses are now wrecked for another week.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weatherhead... is worse in Spring

All this turbulent weather is playing my head up something awful! Blargh! It starts with a bruise like pain up my neck and behind my right ear and then it all goes south on me...  yesterday was like that.  By nightfall, we'd had the rain, the temperature had risen and the medicine had fixed my headache.
Today is a MUCH better day, still overcast with a tendency to drizzle.  There are plenty of different birds around these days, all hootin' and hollerin' and chasing each other around. Canadian birds are a wondrous mix of size, shape, colour, and attitude.  We have the tiniest little birds that would fit in your pocket, up to the big block bullies, our crows.  I watched a very interesting documentary about crows. Did you know they mourn communally when one of their members is killed/dies?  We have blue jays, cardinals, robins, sparrows and chickadees. There are woodpeckers, or they could be flickers, and tons of others.  In fact, I am blessed to live near Presqu'ile Park where there is an annual bird-spotting to see just how many varieties they can count each year. I haven't even touched on our water birds yet! And don't forgot our little jewels, the hummingbirds.  I haven't seen one yet, but I think they come in Summer.  We only just started Spring, so I'll enjoy the ones that are here now.

Orange Cran Juice!

For the record, orange juice mixed with cranberry juice is delicious, refreshing, and really pretty in a special glass!  Make sure both are the unsweetened, nothing added variety.  :D

Pineapple 'green smoothie'

Did you know you can easily grow a pineapple? Just DON'T CUT the top off... watch this video, it's easy and encouraging.  Some things to have before you start:  A largish pot, potting soil, some stones for the bottom.
How to grow a pineapple

Now for the part about my delicious breakfast.  Pineapples were cheap again, and fresh pineapple is soooo delicious, that I had to have some for my sunny breakfast.  It came out a pale green, but tasted most like the pineapple.  Measures are approximate. It made about 2-3 cups of smoothie, or about 2 days worth for me. Recipe below.  By the way, basmati rice and bulgur both take 15 minutes to cook, and both are 1 part to 2 parts water. So they are a natural blend, and this will give the lovely taste of basmati while adding fibre and other nutrients of bulgur.

I also made a carrot/date 'cake'.  This is a raw recipe that I lifted off another blog called Gone Raw. I had made some carrot juice and was left with skads of carrot pulp.  I found that the dates did NOT do well in the blender, it kept sounding like a pit was bouncing off the blades (I do not have a food processor).  I forged ahead anyway by chopping the now sloppy (I had been soaking them for 10 minutes) dates into little pieces. This actually makes a great entree, as it has lots of nuts in it for protein and chewing. It's sweet and tasty. It did not set well. Recipe and credit below.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Silly expressions

Is a hackneyed phrase something we say in a cab?
Does anyone know that a hackney was a kind of carriage?

Silly things we say and we don't know where they came from (which often leads to their mutilation and misquotation).
"Money is the root of all evil" , for instance, is an incomplete quote.  It should be: the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.  Money can be used for many things, but greed or lust for it is what drives people to behave immorally.

Got any others?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Morning blend

I don't know what you prefer for breakfast, but lately (not everyday, but oftener than not) I've been making 'green' smoothies. Since I get very exuberant, I tend to make enough for two days which has the benefit of only involving half the cleanup.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life is so twisty-turny

Isn't life funny? I took a present to my friend today (the present was a very late office warming gift) and it turned out to match a Christmas gift someone else had given her! nice!
I randomly read the Canada Jobbank website and saw jobs applicable to two different friends, to whom I passed the information. double nice!
We drove to O.town last Sunday and by chance only Hubby's youngest sister was there, so we spent the whole afternoon with her. triple nice, as that is a rare treat.
Minutes after I got terrible news about someone else's health, my brother arrived with his son, so I got multiple hugs. Quadruple nice.
Now don't try to tell me that God isn't looking after all my needs, and my friend's needs too. <3
I just love it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sunny Rainbow Salad

Yummy Rainbow salad: romaine and red leaf lettuce, fresh dill, Engl cucumber, alfalfa sprouts
Whole wheat and regular rotinis, al dente
baked squash with nutmeg
a few bits of mozzarella
olive oil, oregano

This is an especially bright and sunny salad with multiple colours, textures, and flavours.
Spring is coming!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

That's not vulgar - it's sweet potato and bulgur!

This is my first post about food, and I don't have any pics (cuz I wuz hungry!). The first item is one of those simple combinations that you could go for years without ever hearing about. Suddenly, it crosses your radar, and you think "WOW! Why didn't I think of that sooner?"  It could be something in an article or that someone else mentions, or you could put it together by accident (or when you are desperate).

A Squee Moment

I got an email notification from the gas company this morning as my husband drove me to work. Lovely, I thought, there goes another packet of cash!  But lo, and behold, when I accessed my online account, they actually owe me a dollar! :D :D LOL!  

We recently renegotiated our mortgage, and in all the fuss of figuring out the new numbers and new dates, I paid my gas bill early. So I have a credit balance and do not need to pay.

In our house, this is defined as a Squee moment.  Like when you wear something after a long time and find money in the pocket, or go to the grocery store to buy something expensive and it's half price (like my slow cooker from Walmart that was only 15$ - my hubs says this doesn't count cuz I wasn't planning to buy a slow cooker that day, but I passed the ones marked with the wrong price of 27$ and didn't buy it even though I needed one.  I DID however plan to buy the 30$ coffee maker when I found it for 14$, so nyah nyah, Hubster!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

News Flash

I'm a great Auntie again! Woohoo!  Little Jack was born early (VERY early) this morning in Sarnia.  This one has lots of black hair just like my first baby.

I need some crochet patterns for sweaters and hats!  I already completed one little project in the toy category.
There should be a pattern library or something. Oh, wait... would that be the intarwebs??? :D lol.

Gotta go, just wanted to let y'all know! <3

Friday, March 25, 2011

Eating - Necessity and Habits

Although it is necessary to eat, it is not necessary to eat well.  What I mean is, you can survive on some pretty rubbish food and not drop dead (well, not immediately anyway).  Eventually, the salt and the fat and the sugar will kill you.  It will be slow, painful and involve lots of medicine.   If you like eating 15 pills for breakfast, don't bother to keep reading.

However, if you want health and vigour and long life, some choices should be made.  Remember, the idea is to make small, consistent, PERMANENT changes to improve your life and your health.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Il faut practiquer si on veut apprendre une langue

Aujourd'hui, moi et mon frere ont essaye de parler francais pendant notre dejeuner.

(gak- lack of accents on my keyboard!)  He has recommended some great resources and now I am itching to get started ... again. hehehe

Monday, March 21, 2011


I have managed a successful toilet transplant.  It only took a few hours, some advice from Mr Crazy, and a little sweat.

We have been bucket flushing for almost six months, so this is a major step forward. My kids were embarrassed and fed up (although somewhat more muscular from lifting the bucket), and people stopped visiting.

Now, how long will it take to get the old toilet off the back deck? (Yes, it is in full sight of the road; why?)

I also managed to install some new smoke detectors, and changed my kitchen light bulbs back to the old fashioned kind. Apparently, those twirly CFLs are bad for people with Diabetes, which Mr Crazy has.

Sign of the times...

Is it a bad sign when I have to calm my stock broker?  Really.  I told him, "you just have to tell people to grow a spine and leave their money where it is for now".   I'm not sure why he laughed so loudly.

The melting snow that had piled up by the back wall of my house gained entry again this year.  After mopping the floor (6 buckets later), I went outside and in true curling style, I swept the meltwater away from the house wall.  I can see that this summer there will be a project to re-elevate the patio bricks that have sunk a little bit. 

That project will be vying for attention with the project to repair the wooden frames of my lower windows, and the aluminum siding that desperately needs painting, a deck to paint, a barbeque to prep, and the gardening work.  Inside there are also painting jobs, a toilet repair, a shower repair, a shower re-caulk, a wallpaper strippery in the kitchen, and a closet repair. Wowzers.  I can hardly find time to do basic housework, when am I going to do this extra stuff?

Did I mention that my dad is talking about signing me up for a Masters programme?  *le sigh* 

(cross-posted from LJ Mar 17)