Thursday, December 31, 2009

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

Nothing like the bible for nailing drunkeness on the head! No, not me. I did not get drunk, cause...well, why start now?

Anyway - a few months ago I made some home made liqueurs. Creme de Menthe and Vanilla Cordial. So last night I decided to make a grasshopper (I had a bottle of Cacao from Christmas baking) using the Magic Bullet*.

I made it, and took it into the living room to watch some TV show. And then the phone rang. Leaping to my feet (which is not my normal reaction, but it MIGHT have been the "you're an aunt" call). I bolted into the kitchen to get it before I missed it. I didn't miss it, and I'm not an aunt yet.
After that I decided to do the dishes before returning to the relaxing portion of the evening. I know myself too well: once out of the kitchen I might not have returned to the dishes at all. Dishes in the dishwasher, china washed and in a rack counters cleaned I was ready to go back to the aforementioned green goodness. And it was gone.

I now know what happens if Big Puppy has too much to drink. She gets sleepy, walks into things and then looks around with great confusion and shakes her head. Repeat as required. Hmmm. I think I know some people that do that.

Christmas was great, by-the-by, and I'll blog about the cow herding in filmy trousers on Christmas eve event later.

*I have a lot of strange and interesting kitchen gadgets. Some useful, some not so much. I'm going to review them all in the new year, so y'all can decide what your next kitchen gadget purchase should be.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The lining of the cloud, gold...lining to the cloud of having someone run into the back of my car:
through a tale too long to relate, an in with the Rough Riders that will make it simple for Alec to get Maddy's Christmas present signed by many many of the players. Yeah!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Good times, good times.

I love Christmas, yes? What I don't especially love is:
Burning a tray of tarts
Being crashed into by a sled, and slammed into my own car.
Being rear-ended, when I've no time to go get an estimate
Having my skirt fall off...not down, Walmart

On the up side:
I had spare tarts
They were very very sorry, and although I have a bump I didn't actually bleed
Accident minor, and not my fault
No one...ok, no one I knew, there were actually LOTS of someones...seeing me in undies* in the kids section of the store. And I high tailed it out of there before security came to arrest the undressed perv.

*I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing that the undies in question were Mrs. Claus undies; red satin shorts with white fluffy trim. At least the were shorts, and not oh, a thong or something. Thank heavens for small mercies.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How many people does it take?

So we're finally getting a sink in the break room. For the past three months we've had to do our dishes in the bathroom. Very awkward under any circumstance but made worse by the placement of the paper towel machine.

How can that be a problem, you ask?'s like this: we used to have a regular grab-the-towel type machine. It was replaced with a hands free dispenser. One of the anti-swine flu measures the building managers installed. The problem is that they put it so close to the sink that when you're washing dishes, or hands or whatever else you care to wash the thing keeps dispensing towels. So by the time you're done there is a pile of p.t. on the floor. You can make it run a bit less if you perch partly on the counter and lean at an uncomfortable angle. Which, I can say from experience, makes people new to the building look at you strangely when the walk in. Or, as happened to me, it will make them walk in, look at you askance and then back away slowly out the door. I'm not sure why with such a look of alarm, and slowly- I was not doing anything that looked dangerous. It just looked at little....odd.

Anyway, back to the story:
They booked six guys and three days to put a sink in. They're putting it in on the same wall that backs onto the bathroom sink to make the plumbing part easier. I did wonder why it would take so many people, and so much time. Here is what has happened to date:

9:00 am Wednesday. Six guys come in and partially cut a hole in the plaster. Then they all stand and stare at it. After some serious staring they come to my office (I'm the only one on this side of the building) and say they'll be back.

11:00. They return. And finish cutting the whole. Then they go into the back of the building. Turns out the pipes are there. They stay in the back for half and hour and then come and say they're leaving for lunch.

2:00 They stop by to say there is a problem with the water supply. Then they leave again, and don't return the rest of the day.

9:00 am Thursday One guy, not one of the original six, comes to the door to be let in. I let him in and he says "I'm here to hammer something. I won't be long". True to his word his is not long. Loud, grant you, but not long. This is where things still stand. A big hole in the wall and plaster dust on the floor. And a general perfume of glue. Smells like super glue, actually. I really really hope it isn't super glue.

I'm beginning to think that three days wasn't long enough.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Omnes paucis annis prosedae erunt

The above title is for Dr. F. For the rest of you....nothing. I have nothing as accurate as that. So, on to the blog:

Yes, young one winter is upon us
The cold that chills the spine
Is here and all hurry to warmth and comfort
Run, run if you are able at all
To do more than balance on those spikes
But wait! As you come within my compass
Where I patiently wait for my own girl
I see your long uncovered legs
Blue against the snow,
Bare midriff white as wax
And I think mayhap I have it wrong.
Is this not, then, a school?
Is it perhaps a place for high flyers
And you a barque of frailty?

Oh Frabjous Joy!

You missed the happy dance that I just did, so you'll have to do a little one (even if only in your head, I don't want anyone to get into trouble at work) on my behalf instead.

Why all the merriment? Did I win the lottery? No, but then if I did I'd tell y'all in person, money in hand, if that happened. So not that and not a home makeover win either. But this is just as good. Better, even. The Boy is not going to be going to university in Alberta. For almost certain. He's going to try for the same program in the local U. Which is mere minutes from home which is awesome! I had him stay with his dad whilst The Girl had swiney sickness. What an eyeopener, I really missed him and that was just over a week. I ended up going over to drop stuff off as an excuse to see him and get a hug.

Yeah, I know - they have to leave the nest at some point blah blah blah. I'll deal with it when it happens. I'm just happy that it doesn't appear to be on the agenda for next September.

The Girl is in driver training, The Boy is in his last year of high school, so I know time has passed but where did it go? I feel exactly the same as I did when they were four and six. Now if I could work out how to look the same as I did years ago then...well, I wouldn't need a lottery because it would mean that I had access to the (or a?) fountain of youth.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Smoke and Fire

This one is for you, Lindsay. The only thing that the rest of you need to know is that I've had a bit of bad luck vacuum cleaner-wise. Three of the vacuums I've owned have caught on fire mid-use. The Girl says four, but the last one was all smoke and no fire so I don't think that counts.

I used to think that it was all a strange coincidence. I mean I didn't do anything odd with the vacuums, unless not using it often enough is considered odd. And I suspect that people who own them and don't use them as often as they should are so common that there is no oddness in it at all.

I'm beginning to suscribe to the theory (held by the kids and maybe Lindsay) that perhaps it is me. Because I had another appliance fire issue. Not the vacuum this time. Something else. Something that had a fire (flames and all) whilst in use. And that something is so odd, so bizarre and yet so easily explained that I guess maybe I do have a problem with all things electric.

Oh, sorry, did you want to know what appliance? Ok, then: the dishwasher. Yup, and it was on. Water swishing and all. Which I would have thought would be the best place for a fire to be - I mean instant out, yes? No, as it happens. I had to turn the dishwasher off and dump a big bowl of water on it. All is well in the end but IS this the end? I mean...if I can have a fire in the one thing a fire shouldn't be able to thrive what hope is there for me? And if something is going to burn, why can't it just be the house itself? When we're all out and well alibied, of course.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

is or is not that into you

So I was reading an article about the supposedly difficult task of knowing whether or not a guy is into you.

I didn't finish the article, and I would not recommend any one else reading it. Why? Because one of the signs is "what you see in his eyes when he first looks at you". That means you have to be looking at him when he first looks at you. Because the first thing he thinks may be apparent in the first second, but after that it is likely hidden.

Nevertheless, that isn't what made me stop reading the article. The author ( a woman, which should have tipped me off in the first place) insists that you don't wear ANY rings. Any at all. Because men "can't tell which hand a wedding ring belongs on, let alone which finger".

This article should have been titled "how to know if an idiot is interested in you", and it would be something you would read to save yourself from idiots.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia. (Woody Allen)

Here’s the thing: I am a reader. No really, seriously, a reader. Not quite a book a day. During vacation it sometimes works out to a little more than a book a day and during the busy baking times – like Christmas – it works out to much less than a book a day.

I don’t only read books, mind you. Not a lot of magazines mainly British Columbia Magazine and the occasional Harrowsmith Country Life. I also read various blogs and online columns. Some of the blogs belong to friends and such, some to strangers that write in a way that interests me.

One of the odd things about being a compulsive reader (I’m not sure if that is an actual condition, but if it is it certainly applies to me) is that sometimes you read something in a way it wasn’t intended to be read. Say what?

Ok, here’s an example: I read a weekly sex advice column (yeah, I get the irony. Shut up). When I first found the column I went through the archives and read every single column in it. Two years worth of letters. And I did it all over the course of one weekend.

Not surprisingly, I don’t remember many specific questions but I certainly remember the overall impression: we (and I mean ALL of us) are obsessed with “normal”, which is kinda sad given that normal is not a constant, nor is it something that any two people can agree on a definition of. T

he vast majority – and possibly all – of the letters could be boiled down to our fear of not beeing seen as normal. I like this Is that weird? I don’t like that Am I normal? I don’t look like this Is that ok? I do look that. Is that odd? It was quite the eye-opener. I knew, in general, that society likes to conform. Even those who think they are not conforming are nevertheless conforming. The teens that I know that are the most proud of NOT fitting in are almost exact copies of everyone else in the group they have chosen to identify with. I just didn’t know to what extent acceptance – particularly in such a sensitive area as sexuality – mattered. Really mattered. I learned a whole lot of other stuff too but the big lesson was to question myself when I worried about what was normal.

Recently I read many years worth of archived blog entries written by someone I don’t even know. It was interesting in a sad sort of way to watch the marriage of the writer slowly fall apart. I’m assuming the blogger didn’t include every detail but such a life-change couldn’t help but be hinted at over the course of years. Despite the occasional hints, I finished the whole thing wondering how and why it all happened. Early entries spoke of such love and compatability and then there were suddenly hints of anger and resentment. I thought that perhaps as a non-player I’d be able to see some sort of ultimate truth about the whole situation. Turns out that there is no ultimate truth, at least not in a story half-told. Perhaps if the other half blogged the reason behind the sea change would become clear. And perhaps not. Maybe this all comes back to me and my own marriage break down. However many years later it is, I still find myself looking for the “why” of it all. And the truth - ultimate or not - is that I don't really need to know why.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dear Lyn

Yeah, I could just email her but I've been sadly remiss on the blogfront, so I'm blogging it:

Dear Lyn;
We need, you and I (and possibly The Girl) to go to my little hometown in Quebec. Why? Do they have a Christmas celebration there that we'd enjoy? As a matter of fact they have....twelve.

Yes, you read that right my fellow Christmasaholic, twelve. They do something called the Twelve Days of Christmas. Twelve days of different things, different interesting Christmassy things. And not all in a row, spread out a bit so some of them are in NOVEMBER. I think this could be worth running away from home/university for oui?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hair today

Hair tomorrow. In the end the cut didn't happen. The salon had the wrong date so they had no time for me when I showed up. And by the time my post-poned date came up, I had to choose between a retreat for The Girl and a hair cut for me. Chose The Girl. So I'll either have to wait, or just shave my head myself. Depends on how the weekend goes, I guess.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Parental Blindness?

I have nothing against Halloween. And I have nothing - or nothing specific, at any rate - against girls in their mid-teens. Yes, the giggling/texting/talking/eye rolling can make my crazy but still, they're just kids. I also have nothing against dressing up as a naughty nurse. I haven't - yet! - but I have no strong feelings against it. What happens in know the drill.

You know what I do object to? All three of those things in one place. As happened on Halloween this year. A 14/15 year old friend of The Girl went trick or treating as a naughty nurse. Her words, not mine or The Girl. And it wasn't some innocent "I'm a nurse" costume that turned out a little too risque. Because on the ride to the farm (I was taking her and The Girl out to visit some horses) she was quite vocal about how much her friend's fathers liked the outfit. Me, I was just creeped out.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Adieu Rapunzel

The time has come. The monkey on my back has got to go. In more straightforward terms, the cost (in detangler and frustration) of hair long enough to TUCK INTO MY JEANS is now equal to the cost of maintaining a short haircut. So on Friday....snip. The length will go to Wigs for Kids and then hopefully I'll emerge as close to a butterfly as this particular caterpillar can hope to be.

Monday, November 02, 2009

My kids have got my number

I had, for a brief bit this weekend, (Saturday night until late Sunday) three dogs instead of two. Why? Because my kids have me worked out.

They know that I'll hug if asked, always, and quite often when not asked. They know that if they ask me to make a favourite meal/salad/cookie/dessert for them I will. They know that if they have a friend that needs cheering up and they want to take them cookies that I'll bake some. They know that if someone/something needs rescuing, I'll ride in on a white horse. Or something like that.

Which would explain the extra dog. The Boy went to a party on halloween, way out in the east end. I drove him there (of course I did - let him go to a party where I haven't met the parents? Without making sure that the parents really are home? Not going to happen) and then went home to hand out candy.

The kids at the party - 17 & 18 year olds - went out to some of the neighbours, after all the little kids had been around. They were joined by a small puking lost dog. The dog went with them from house to house. No one at any of the houses they went to had seen the dog before. They took it back to the party house, where it continued to puke. And there was a cat in the house and the mom didn't know what to do with a dog. So...The Boy called me. Which is how we had - temporarily - a brindle pug. Sweet little thing he was, too. Once he stopped being sick that is.

No collar, but he had a tattoo. We signed up on the lost/found site that is a link from the Regina Humane society. No listing of it up, but there were several "ran out the door on halloween" notices up, even that early. The voice mail on the RHS phone says their hours are nine to five on Sunday but in the end they weren't open until noon. We finally got the name and number of the dog owner, but no one was in when we called. Out looking for the dog, maybe? Anyway - he was returned to his rightful owner, evenetually. And both the kids and the dogs we have were sad to see him go. I myself thought about trading him for the two we own but that would involve heart-breaking ande dog stealing so in the end I'm back where I started: two dogs, two kids, lots of love.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maybe I'm skinny, mean and non-cuddly.

I read someone's mini-autobiography recently. Someone I knew personally that is, not some writer or politician or famous person I've never met. Someone who's life I knew. Or at least that's what I thought.

Because when I finished reading I realized....this thing sounds like a completely different person. Which made me start thinking - if everyone we knew wrote a biography leaving out family names and such, how many could we put names to? How many of them would we read and think "I haven't a clue who this person is. Not anyone I know, that's for sure".

That in turn made me wonder if I am actually a completely different person than I think I am. Maybe the way I see myself is totally non-recognizable to everyone else. Scary.

So if I ever write a mini-biography I'm putting in the multiple vacuum fire incidents. Just so people know for sure that it's about me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yes, even I

Yes, there are time when even I am speechless. I don't mean those times (those many many sad times) when I'm reduced to incoherent speach, I mean when there is a long silence in the conversation because I am just too gobsmacked to speak. Moments like the one I just had on the phone.

The conversation is about something I'm catering. They want a variety of breakfasty things. I'm ok with that, I know what they mean by breakfasty. They would like them to be related to a specific theme they have going. That too is fine - expecially as the theme is something I have a lot of access to, recipe-wise. I even found one recipe with a title that is almost identical to the title of the theme. I collected a number of recipes/ideas, things that fit the theme and also things that didn't require spoons or forks or plates. Also didn't include anything really messy or crumbly. Once I had several different things to choose from, I started making the ones that I'd never made before. Just to make sure they were worth serving.

Anyway, I tell the woman who is placing the order that one cake in particular is going to be particularly perfect for the theme. To which she says "yeah, ok...but will it taste good at all?"

Silence. For a good twenty seconds. Count that out, it's actually a long time. And in all that time all I could think of to say was "well, yes". I'm worried that the "duh" that I was keeping quietly in my head was audible in the tone of my voice.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life is...well, it's a see-saw

So here's how things have shaken lately:

Last Thursday: Grocery Budget Tanked

Saturday: Friendly Angels emptied a freezer in my direction.

October 19th: I have to move to the down town office. No wait, I can stay where I am. No, not any longer, I am moving, in November, nope, make that Monday the 26th of October.

This Morning: Ok, we dont' know what to do with you. So we're going to wait for your supervisor to come back so you can stay where you are. For now.

Today, noon School call. "There's been a bit of an accident"

Today, two PM No stitches, lots of antibiotics and the souvenir of a large shard of wood, botttom 2 1/2 to 3 inches bloodied. Great story to tell friends, viewing of said souvenir included at no extra charge.

Today, 3:30 Message to call Saskenergy. No problem, equalized payments. Thank heaven they're not calling to collect on an unpaid bill.

Today, 3:40 Saskenergy says it's time to balance out what I paid for with what was actually used. So I owe a schwack of cash.

Today, right now: I'm going out for supper. Sans enfants. And I don't even have to drive.

Yes, the ride will go down again. But I'll worry about whatever it is when it happens, and not a minute sooner.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Don't like Cabbage soup, can't do Atkins Bacon happy.

So - if I channel hurt and anger and unassuaged libido into exercise, I figure I can lose fifty pounds before Christmas. I may still have moments of unhappiness, but they'd be moments of skinny unhappiness. Actually, if I lost fifty pounds they'd be moments of skeletal unhappiness. I still think it bears looking into, though.

This would be a good time to find something that works - I've had so many orders for fudge that nearly every night the whole house smells of chocolate. Makes resisting treats well nigh impossible.

I had a flash of inspiration on the fudge front this week. The Butter Pecan is now brilliant, instead of just wonderful. I think this may be the earliest I've ever had Christmas baking orders. Why one customer wants 10 pounds of chocolate fudge is somewhat mystifying, but orders is orders, and the more I have the more $ for Christmas. Hooray for the start of what a co-worker refers to as the eating season. Spring, summer, autumn and eating. Works for me!

The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not a real food

We're having a pot luck at work today. I made puff pastry last night (I needed some quiet contemplation time) and baked it up this morning. Normally I enjoy pot lucks. Who knows what people will bring to share?

Well, I know what one woman brought because she was putting it all together when I was upstairs making tea. She'd made meatballs the night before, which makes sense. Do what you can the day before. But when she was making the sauce, all I saw (before I blanked out in shock) was her putting hot water into a mainly empty cheese whiz jar, shaking it around and pouring it over the meatballs. Now perhaps, if I'd burned out tastebuds with a hot curry, this could be ok. It might even be ok if a) there were lots of other ingredients, which there may be or b) I didn't see the whole water+ whiz bit. But I saw what I saw. And there is no going back.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yes, that's right, you are an idiot

I was in an elevator at a different office last week. The ususal elevator small talk being inevitable I decided to do my best to just a successfull small talker. Normally I either a) say something that makes no sense at all or b) say nothing, and just look akward and uncomfortable. So I did my best. Too bad I can't say the same for the other person:

OP: Pretty cold this morning. And snow - can't believe there's snow!
Me: I knew it was coming but now that it's here I don't know what to do about raking the leaves.
OP: Well, you should have raked earlier. Procrastion can catch up to you!
Me: The problem is that the leaves haven't fallen. Most of them are still green. So if it keeps snowing, we'll have leaves on a deep layer of snow.
OP: You still should have done them. Don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today.
Me: Silent. But giving my best raised-eyebrow look of incredulity.
OP: Gears running in his head. "Oh. Yeah".

Thursday, October 08, 2009

But I Prefer the Whole Story

There is, or used to be, a website along the lines of "overheard in the office" or "overheard in the street". Because the truth is, hearing one bit of a conversation is occasionally sureal. Sufficiently sureal that sometimes it is hard to figure out what the conversation could possibly be about that would make sense of the one bit you overheard.

I used to read it, but I found that it wasn't fun when I didn't get to find out what on earth prompted someone to say that.

The worst scenario as far as I'm concerned, is when I overhear something and know that however curious I may be, it really isn't the done thing to intrude on the conversation. Which sucks, because I hate not knowing.

What promted this little post? Out for lunch with office people, at a buffet. Walking back to the table, I heard this line: "...been living in a facticious apartment". a factitious address, ok, that makes sense. But how can you live in a facticious apartment, given that the word is defined as
created, taken, or assumed for the sake of concealment; not genuine; false: fictitious names.
of, pertaining to, or consisting of fiction; imaginatively produced or set forth; created by the imagination: a fictitious hero.

I suppose that if someone took an apartment in order to conceal something then the first definition works. Sort of. Still seems like an odd thing to say though.

Does this apartment not exist in the real world? Does this person have an invisible apartment as opposed to an invisible friend? I don't know. And I never will, because I didn't go and ask them. Because if I did, then they would be back at their office, talking or blogging about the crazy women at the restaurant. So I left them alone and ate my non-fictitious plate of food.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

But she's an honest saborteur

There is a borrowed book on my coffee table: Why Mr. Right can't find you. Or something to that effect. There are also three cookbooks, two fantasy novels, three mysteries and a sci-fi anthology. So you can see where my priorties are - baking and reading.

Mr. Right? Eh, maybe. Depends on when you ask me. If I've been out as the third wheel for the fifth time in a row then yes, I'd be wondering where he was. If I've been busy with two kids, two dogs, two jobs, a crumbling house, mountains of laundry and no dryer and trying to find a minute or two to work on writing, well, not so much.

Anyway, The Girl saw the book. And wanted to know if I was dating someone. Because if I started dating someone, she'd sabotage it. I was a bit surprised (because she is old enough to have her own life) and asked her why. Why wouldn't she want me to be seeing someone?

"Because I like things how they are. I like it that you do everything. If you were dating it wouldn't be all about me".

For the record, I do not do everything. I don't even do a lot of things. And I do go out and do things on my own, so my life is NOT all about my children. I'm putting that in so that I don't get any lectures about getting a life of my own. However, I suppose that I am more around than a parent who dates. That's a guess, though. Haven't dated for ages.

To be fair to The Girl, if it came down to it she wouldn't really sabotage anything. And to be even more fair - I think most people would like it if things were all about them.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Classism, 1940's Style

Here I am reading insanity files, and this is the line I come across:
"They belong to that class of people who make themselves a nuisance everywhere".

The interesting thing (after you get over the dismay of someone writing that about actual people) is that it is totally unclear what he means. Is it that they're poor? Or that they're foreign? Is this anti-catholic sentiment, of which I've found plenty? Perhaps they were just not sufficiently obsequious to suit him. From the tone of the rest of the report, I'm opting for the last as being the most likely.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What weddings can teach us

A friend got married this last weekend. And I learned a number of things from the wedding:

Making a tiered wedding cake could kill you. But it isn't a certainty. Because I survived and overall it went well. The Girl has pictures, I'll get something posted when she is over today's orthodontist visit.

Short grandparents don't necessarily make for short grandchildren

Fondant should not be eaten. SERIOUSLY. Ick. But it sure looks purty.

Les filles Hingston are as pretty as I've been telling you all this time.

Even the warm-huggy ambience of a wedding doesn't mean you won't want to smack someone for being irritating.

A small church basement filled with people - and no A/C - when the outside temp. is + 30 is no place to spend a great amount of time.

Everyone but me can keep their head down and their eyes closed when weird stuff happens. I know this because I looked around in shock/confusion at one point and everyone else was bowed and closed, praying. Bad me.

Family is as important as I have always believed it to be. It's just nice to see it confirmed in other people's familes. And even better? Being included as a part of someone else's large family. I even got to sit in the family pew! May not sound like much to you, but it meant a great deal to me.

It is possible for a middle of the road chubby middle aged white woman (moi) to look nice, given the right dress choice. And I had three on loan to choose from, all of which were very swish! I've decided to never go dress shopping without Mayb. Because the dresses were all hers. Clearly she has some serious shopping skills.

You can't learn to walk about in really high heels without some practice. Especially after a summer of mainly barefeet and flat sandals.

Romance isn't dead.

It isn't always the bride that makes people cry. I had it all together until the groom made the sweetest kindest gesture. And then the tears came. Drat.

I need someone else to get engaged, so I can get caught up in someone else's love life.

I need some romance in my own life.

Winning the lottery isn't likely to be the solution to the current life crisis.

Ok, so I didn't learn those last three at the wedding. But they're important, so I tossed them in.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to make sure you stay home all the time.

There is a way to make sure you never go anywhere special. Buy something -say an outfit, a dress matching undies or what-have-you - and then NEVER WEAR it/them, becuase in your head you're thinking "no, I won't wear that, I'll save it for something special".

If you do that, as sure as the sun will melt your wax wings if you fly too close, you'll end up never wearing said garments. I should know, as I have many things I haven't work yet, all waiting for that special person/event/tabloid scandal. Perhaps next year I'll work on wearing everything I have at least once. Maybe. But not until next year, because 2009 still has 3.5 months left for something really really wonderful to happen that would require a special outfit.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Even Worse than Cart and Horse

I can't say that I'm surprised, but it is still bizarre enough to blog:

We have a huge project going on at the moment. And this morning, in what was referred to as "a bit of a problem" something came up that is actually akin to mailing away all your winter coats BEFORE the new ones have arrived, and the date is December 1st.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Right events, wrong order. Stupid News.

I'm pretty sure....just using basic logic...that when there are two people, both dead, one by suicide and one by murder that it should always be "murder-suicide". Because...if you killed yourself first, well, murder would be kinda hard, don't you think?

Well, a lot of stuff

What else can one say when asked what one listens to musically? I mean, I just finished listening to music from Bleach and now I'm listening to K-K-K- Katy (which ,yes, in my head sounds like my name), and next is Old Piano Roll Blues and then D'yer Maker. So...a lot of stuff. A lot different stuff.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Hooray for Christmas!

Put Christmas music on my ipod. Ok, there is at least one song that is there year round but now most of my Christmas music is there. I know only LMH will understand that, but I'm ok with that. I figure if at least one person gets it, I'm happy.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Baking. Seriously baking

The grandparents are in town, so the kids are with their dad. Which means, of course, that I had a long weekend to myself. Guess what I did?

If you guessed headache, you're partly right. If you guessed went out and had fun you'd be totally wrong. If you guessed housework, studying and baking you'd be right on the money.

The current baking issue is a) studying the math and chemistry of baking, not just recipes. Also working on technique and b) making a totally mind blowing best-in-the-province deli rye bread. Which is going to happen, but having started the process on Saturday, it will be next week before rye loaf mark I is ready to try. At which point I'll be testing, and probably looking for testers.

I did get the most a crust on a banneton raised country loaf, though. Too bad I was impatient and didn't let it rise long enough. I started a new batch which I should be able to work on tonight. If it works, I'll ask The Girl to take a picture to show you. The loaves from last night were beautiful. And I could have eaten just the crust for supper and been happy.

Naturally, I did all of this baking of bread when what I should have been working out proportions for the wedding cake. But if MayB can procrastinate, so can I.

Brains make for Beauty

I used to wonder at the fact that my crushes (on the famous, that is) don't seem to have any physical characteristics in common. And then a friend said that they have brains in common, and I realized she was right. Stupid and pretty doesn't work for me*. Smart, witty, articulate, well read - all these things count. Beyond that either there is chemistry or their isn't.

My latest crush? Well, I accidentally watched the first episode of the new season of Top Chef. And a few minutes in I had my fave all picked out. And yeah, I have a crush. Why not? He can cook and I'm assuming he is smart. Not guessing, assuming.

Guessing would be thinking "hmmm. He says 'you' not 'youse'. And he enunciates. Maybe he's smart"

Assuming is....well, he gave up a full scholarship to MIT to cook. So yeah, I'm crushed.

Oh, the contestant? Here.

*Except once. Getting over it guy was lovely. But dumb as a bag of hammers. Nevertheless, that's what I needed at the time.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Giant Green Post

The post is giant (not that I'm saying size matters, this is more of a warning) and it's about the garden. I had meant to post bit by bit but in the crazy business of life that just didn't happen. So here you go, the summer of the garden:

When I am playing a new board game, particularly if the game is German and complicated and whoever is teaching it to everyone (naming no one here!) needs 45 minutes to get us all through the rule book, I don’t play to win. I don’t even plan to do well, although I don’t complain if I do. What I do do, so to speak, is play to learn. I figure I can wade through one game, and then when it hits the table the next time around I’ll know the game. And then I’ll play it with the hopes of doing well. Or at the least well-ish!

I decided – yesterday – that I’m going to have to think of the garden plot that way. Not that I haven’t been successful, it’s just that there are a lot of things I intend to do differently next year. Stuff that I didn’t think about until the garden was well underway. So, in chronological order here is what’s been going on:

March, 2008 I contacted the Community Garden people about getting a plot. They were polite – inasmuch as they saved their huge guffaws until I’d hung up – and let me know that I was MONTHS too late for the 2008 gardening season. Did I want to be put on a waiting list for 2009? Yes, yes I did. See? I can plan ahead!

Early January, 2009 I get an email…they have an available plot for me! Every year there are some people who don’t return, and I guess there would be those that move or die or what have you. Some people have had their plots forever, it seems. I know two couples, both of whom at the more-than-twenty-years point. The only changes one couple has done is to divide their large part in half, once the kids had moved out. There is only so much produce one couple can eat! The email wanted to know if I wanted a full plot (20’x50’) or a half (20’x25’). I opted for the latter.

February Awesome brother-in-law flies me out to BC. I find it much easier to think about gardening, as they have FLOWERS. That are BLOOMING. In FEBRUARY. Lucky buggers. Decide not to bring plants back with me. I’ve done than before, one time taking a whole flat of herbs as a carry-on. I figured that they’d die before I got them home and if by some chance that didn’t happen, I’d have to keep seedlings living for MONTHS before I could plant them in the garden. Good call, as we had to walk outside from the plane to the airport in screaming wind, with a temp at minus thirty something.

April Having decided what to plant – potatoes, carrots, peas, strawberries, tomatoes, corn and peppers – I get an email reminding people that there are no perennials allowed in the garden plots. So, out go the strawberry plans.

Late April The gardens are roto-tilled every fall. If you want it done in the spring as well, you have to hire someone to do it or do it yourself. I decide to pass on the tilling. Bad call, or at least not a great call. The soil where we ended up planting carrots was really dense, heavy with lots of clay. I should have gone the extra step. Lesson learned for next year!

May Cold. And snowy. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll be able to use the traditional date of the May long weekend for planting. As it turns out no…it was much to cold. I did buy seed potatoes, though. And learned another lesson. Don’t worry about what the bin says, read the label. The store I went to had an enormous bin of Yukon Gold seed potatoes. So I grabbed one, and added it to the card of seeds. When we got home I put them all out on newspaper to sprout, just like the instructions said. After we’d done all of that the girl said “you do know that these aren’t Yukon Gold, right?” No, I didn’t know. Turns out that the bag I’d grabbed from the Yukon bin was a bag of Red Pontiacs. Ah well, I’ll be more careful next time.

Mid-May Time to plant. To start with we had:
Seed Potatoes, sort of sprouted
Seeds for: carrots, peas (the mange-tout kind) cucumber, pumpkins (two types, regular and a heritage orange and black)and corn.

Plants: tomatoes, red yellow and green peppers (here’s a question: I thought red and yellow sweet peppers were just green peppers, ripened. Is that not the case?), hot banana peppers and four different types of melon: Mini Sweet Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Early dew and Lambkin. I have no idea what the last one is, but it look healthy, so we bought it.

When we had everything planted it became apparent that I didn’t really understand how big 25’x20’ really is. We had a rectangle of space with nothing planted. So The Girl and I went out and bought a set of six Spanish onions, went back and planted them and considered the whole thing a job well done.

June Still cold. And when the temp. went down to +3 a few nights in a row we went to see what damage the garden had sustained. All of the peppers were sad and dead looking, and more than half of the tomatoes had definitely given up the ghost. Happily for us, a good and kind friend (yeah Allison!) had extra tomato plants, so we replanted. And got a few new peppers as well. The rest we just left, lesson learned.

Mid June Where is everything? The peas and corn have sprouted, but no potatoes, no carrots, no pumpkins no cucumbers. I thought for sure the potatoes would be up, but no.

End of June The girl is leaving for a month in BC (oooh, envy) and at least the cucumbers and about half of the potatoes are poking about the ground. The peas, too, are up. And considering that we just planted them willy-nilly in the ground and then shoved tomato cages over them they’re looking ok. Not more than four inches tall, but they’re there!

Early July Well, once those potatoes started coming up, they almost all came up with great enthusiasm. 39 for 40 potato hills have lovely green plants thriving on them. The corn looks excellent, the peas are thriving and the pumpkins are up. And in the wrong spot! Turns out that believing that I’d remember where the blank rectangle was about as stupid as it sounds. What was I thinking? So the pumpkin vines started growing in and amongst the onions. Right beside the empty space. It kills me everytime I see them.

Third Week of July I get a cold and miss a whole week of gardening. The weeds are crazy and everything that we planted is doing well. Even the almost-dead peppers have come back to life, somewhat. I take a coffee break to race over in the morning and water…the days are hot, and we haven’t had rain. In the few minutes I’m there, The Girl (who returned from BC at twelve am and went to Kenosee at nine am the same time) appears. Giant hugs and excitement all round. Turns out that the family that she went to a cottage with were driving her home and wanted to see the garden, since it was on the way. She realized someone was in the garden, and then realized it was me. Joyous reunion, many hugs and kisses. What can I say, we’re a huggy family! She is thrilled with how wonderful everything but the carrots look, and wants to pick stuff RIGHT AWAY. I explain that we’re not there yet, but that before I head to BC for a while, we’ll get some potatoes for supper. Mainly because if I tell The Boy don’t pick any potatoes whilst I’m gone he won’t, but if I tell The Girl the same thing she’ll come up with some very convoluted explanation as to why the fate of the world hung on the need to pick one plant. And that she knew I would understand. So I figured that if she got to eat something before I left, then perhaps she leave the rest be until I got back.

Last Week of July There are bald patches with the carrots and the cukes. We used seed tape for both, and in the cucumber spot I found nibbled bits of seed tape to explain the blank patches. I’m assuming the same thing happened to the carrots, although I continue to water the blank spots just in case. I never did find eat tape so perhaps some seeds were just slow. For no reason that we can figure out, the 40th potato plant peeks its leaves above ground. What was it doing whilst its mates flourished?

First Week of August Just about to go to BC for a while, so I get everything weeded and watered. The house and puppies are being watched after by The Boy, so The Girl is responsible for the garden. We pick some potatoes, and steam them with herbs from the garden (I have an extensive herb garden at the house, totally unrelated to the plot), eat them with butter and pink salt. Heaven on a fork. Even if they are Pontiac Reds!

End of August The scraggly little banana pepper plants are producing like mad, as are the peas. The pepper plants produce peppers as long as the plants are tall. Turns out they’re sweet, so The Boy is a bit sad, but still, we end up with more than twenty six inch peppers from four sad looking little pepper plants. Sadly, the green peppers don’t seem to be doing as well. And the tomatoes…lots of them, but no colour yet. And the cukes, which were a mass of flowers when I left were a mass of flowers when I returned. Will be ever get actual cukes from them?

Early September We’ve eaten potatoes, carrots, pea, onions and peppers from the garden. The melons…suffice it to say that I have AWESOME melons (ha!). There are at least six that are almost ready to eat, and if the 30 degree weather we’ve had so far continues, we’ll do just fine by the melon crop. The pumpkins are finally more than just flowers, and there are a few minute cucumbers amongst all the cucumber vines and leaves, so they may be ok too. This weather is what we should have had – but didn’t – in August. Better late than never!
So there, that’s the garden story. Overall I’m thrilled that I decided to get a spot of a plot in the community gardens. Next year I’ll till in the spring, write down what got planted where, add some sand to the carrot spot and read labels carefully before buying.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Better Yet

You know what would be nice? If people, when they see you reading during a break at work, just left you alone. I mean seriously, how hard is it to work out that you're involved in something and chat isn't what you're there for?

Better yet...I should develop enough of a backbone to say "I'm on a break and just really want to read. You can ask me about work stuff during work time. Sorry".

You'll get fails, not passes if you cook without glassses

So, I realized this morning as I was unloading/loading the dishwasher (putting it off until the morning seemed like a good plan last night, but seen in the light of day it was a bad plan) that I had no lunch makings as such for the kids. This whole back to school before the Labour Day weekend messes everything up, so I am not as prepared as I will be once I get back in the school lunch habit.

I also realized that while I did have cold cereal as a breakfast offering (because they're not babies, they can get their own breakfast) I also had blueberries that I needed to eat and/or freeze before they got mouldy and needed to be tossed.

I solved the two problems by making blueberry muffins from a recipe and winging some baked mac 'n cheese. The mac and cheese turned out fine; cheesy, creamy a bit of spice and a cruncy panko topping. Thr crunch likely won't survive being microwaved as school, but it will still be tasty.

The muffins, however....apparently any bite that had a blueberry or a chunk of white chocoalte was fine., bar the slightly soapy aftertaste. Any bite missing on fruit/chocolate was bland. And this all happened because my glasses were at work.

I checked the recipe when I got here (I brought it with me) and as it happens I read baking soda when it was baking powder and I was a third of a cup short on the sweetener. 2/3 cups sugar looks a lot like 1/3 cup sugar when you need glasses and you don't have them. And although I read barking soda and was pretty quick to realize it was baking, not barking I could have saved us all the soapy aftertaste if I'd read powder instead of soda. Ah well, lesson learned. And the muffins will be eaten, and I only used half of the blueberries. The rest got frozen, so I'll be able to redeem myself, blueberrily speaking.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Because they have a black market value.

This is from the end of my vacation...but I don't want to forget it, so I'm posting. First, a reminder:
Remeber the post about the penguin? Because you need to read it to understand this.

I went on my vacation with two half packed suitcases. One had the few clothes* I was taking, and lots of space and the other had smoked meat things as a thank you to my sizzler and her hubby (Because nothing says "thanks for having me and spoiling me rotten" like freezer packs of bbq, brisket and smoked porc) and more space.

Naturally, on my return both cases were stuffed full. And I still left things behind! I bought tea (duh), clothes, shoes (including my first and only pair of Italian dress shoes), kitchen stuff (duh again) and lingerie (yeah, you could have made this list out yourselves and been pretty much right on target). I also got to bring the penguin home! Almost didn't, and here's why:

We got to the airport and it turns out that one suitcase was overweight and one was underweight. So the check-in person said I could repack them. So I did, and decided that the penguin would just have to stay with dad until some other trip. I took it out and gave it to him. One of the check-in people said I could take it as a carry-on. I didn't think that would work. I already had two carry-on items, my knapsack of cookbooks** and a bag with two boxes of giant Pocky***. Not to mention the fact that the penguin would look like a bomb when the bags got x-rayed.

She went and got a bag and I ended up putting the Pocky and the penguin together. And off I went through security. And yes, the penguin caused some giggles when it went through the scanner. Don't know what they thought it was, but clearly it didn't appear bomb-like because no one asked me about it.

When I got on the plane I decided the penguin could go in the overhead bin, and the knapsack under the seat. I had my book, glasses and wallet in the knapsack, and knew I'd need them. The penguin not so much. It proved to me far more difficult getting the penguin into the overhead bin than I thought it would. I mean it's metal, there is no give. And it's not flat at all, totally the wrong shape for an airplane's overhead bin. I suceeded, but it wasn't easy.

The flight was direct, in the sense that I didn't have to change planes in Calgary. There was a stop in Calgary though. And as we were late leaving BC, we were late arriving in Calagary. The flight person asked everyone that didn't have a connecting flight to stay seated, so that the people who did could make their flights. Naturally, no one listened,and the aisle filled with people desparate to get off the plane so she had to say it again.

The connnecting flight people left, and then the people who were stopping in Calgary left. Which leave a dozen or more still on the plane. There was only a fifteen minute break, so no sense in leaving the plane. Or so I thought.

Turns out they wanted us off, so they could clean the plane. And we were supposed to take our belongings with us. And here's how the conversation went:

Flight Attendant: Please take your belongings, and leave the plane while we give it a quick clean prior to continuing on the flight.
Me: We have to get off? For fifteen minutes?
F.A.: Yes, we need to clean up.
Me: ok...and we have to take our stuff, then?
F.A.: Yes please, everthing.
ME: Everything? Even the overhead bin? You need to clean the overhead bin?
F.A. (with the other passengers listening, and not looking overly happy). Yes, everything that you brought on board has to be removed.
Me: took me forever to fit the penguin in there. And it almost didn't come on the flight at all, because it's a bit akward. Seriously, you want me to take the penguin out, and then try to get it back in ten minutes later? It would be easier to leave it.

This, of course, made perfect sense to me. I knew what I was talking about. I'm guessing, though, from the look on the faces - all of the faces - that everyone else thought I was talking about an actual penguin. I had to show it to EVERYONE then, at their insistance. I think they were disappointed at not capturing a penguin-smuggler.

The weird thing is that the spilled bits of airplane snacks that were on the floor by me seat - they were not mine, there were there when we boarded in BC - were still there when we got back on. So I guess "clean the plane" is code for something else. Like "find the escaped snake and get it off the plane".

* Not only just a few, but totally the wrong type. The week before I left I'd been watching the weather reports. BC was setting heat records all week long. So I brought nothing warm. Not a single long sleeved shirt, even. Good thing I was going somewhere with clothes I could borrow because they didn't set any heat records while I was there. Nice weather, just not screamingly hot is all.

** I put a cookbook in a suitcase once, and it got lost. The cookbooks I took out were two binders. One with all the family recipes and one with the business cookie recipes. I wasn't going to risk losing either of them. So I kept them with me.

***The boy eat these Japanese snacks known as Pocky. They're not very big, maybe three inches. I found a box of Giant Pocky, and they were about a foot long. So I bought him two boxes (he was thrilled), and then realized that if I put them in a suitcase they'd be nothing but Pocky crumbs when I got home. So I kept them with me. Me, the penguin, the Pocky and the sacred cookbooks. And we all made it home, safe and more or less sound.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I am going to postpone - or possibly cancel - blogging about my vacation. Not sure why. I don't feel like blogging about anything, actually. Who knows - perhaps tomorrow I'll wake up and be all excited about blogging. Maybe.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Vacation, day one, and a bit of the night before:

So, the flight for day one of vacation left at 5:25 AM. Which is early, but it means that I have a full day of vacation when I get there. Leaving at noon makes it seem like your whole day is spent traveling. This way, arrival in BC was 8:00.

The night before…ok, I wasn’t as great at getting ready as I could have been. But I was better than usual! I thought The Girl would be pleased with how early I started getting ready. Early to me, at any rate. Not early at all according to her: I was in the bath at nine PM (nothing done at that point) when she knocked on the door and said “I would be packed TEN TIMES OVER this close to leaving. Why aren’t you PACKING?”

So when I got out of the tub I brought two suitcases upstairs. Progress, yes? But really, it was only ten. I had HOURS to get ready. I did try to sleep, for a bit. And the trying worked, since I slept about an hour. And I didn’t go to bed until I’d packed one suitcase. Of course, that meant when I got up (at two, with a departure time of 3:30ish) I still had stuff to do. And the boy never did go to sleep. I drove us out to the airport, and then we switched and after a giant hug (unprompted!) he drove home to sleep and I went to get checked in. I really just needed to get my baggage checked, because I had already done the online check-in that most airlines offer. It makes the whole check-in process much quicker. Always take that option!

No problem with the check in – I’d remembered this time to take my foldy knife thingy out before I went to the airport. Forgot to wear the right underwear, though. Still can’t figure out if the security person who asked if I was wearing an underwire bra – I beeped going through, and the wand thing beeped when he went over the girls – wanted to know because that is part of his job, or if he just wanted to know. Because when I said yes, all he said was fine, you’re good to go. But really, if I’d had a weapon, I would have said yes to that question anyway. I mean, what kind of criminal says “no, it’s a shive” when asked what may be setting the metal detector off? Anyway, barefoot and not really late at all I made it through. And I’m glad that I didn’t get there really early. There was no line to speak of at security and I didn’t have any money on me for tea or anything. So I spent my time making up stories about the other passengers waiting to board the plane.

Quiet and sleepless flight to Calgary, and quiet and sleepless flight to Victoria. Not much to see from the plane due to cloud cover, but there was a LOT of smoke cover as well over BC’s interior. Those poor people – the smoke went on and on and on.

Ma chere sister and her beloved hubby picked me up at the airport. I realized that it was this first time that anyone other than dad had met me at that airport. It was odd not seeing him but he was golfing in a tournament and I was going to be seeing him at the end of my vacation. And a change is as good as a rest, yes?

Breakfast in Victoria at Swans, and that was the beginning of people treating me to things. Seriously, I was spoiled beyond belief this trip. Ok, every trip. I get spoiled every trip. Princess for ten days, really. It was awesome.

Of course not

There was no happy dryer dance. There was, however, a "bumble bee up my pants repeatedly stinging" bossa nova, a "tap vs. knuckles vs. vise grip” quick step and a “head injury, blood and lump included” hip hop.

I can’t bring myself to go into details. Suffice it to say that I have a new washer that works, and a dryer that would work, except…there is a problem with the wiring. No power from the outlet= no working dryer.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Dryer Dance

I know, I'm supposed to be blogging about the vacation. But first things first:
Today, at seven PM, the appliance round about begins:

7:00 Mover guy comes to the house and takes away three dead appliances. Two dryers and a washer. There is a dead stove down there too, but that will have to bedealt with some other day. There is also a fridge that works, but I may someday have a need for a beer fridge. 'Cept I don't drink beer. Hmmm. May have to get rid of fridge too.

Mover guy also takes a washing machine that does work. He gets it for free, I don't pay to have it removed and I get a better deal on the cost of the moving.

7:30 I'm guessing here, because I don't know how long it takes to get appliances out of a basement, but when it is done, I head off to the house of the woman that is selling me a new washer and dryer. I pay her and then go back home to clear out a space for the new stuff.

8:15 New dryer arrives, and I will have hopefully figured out how to break off the mighty putty that is holding the old hose onto the taps. Because I'm gonna need those taps!

8:30 I will be frustrated as the news stuff has been delivered and I will be struggling with the duct for the dryer. And no doubt bleeding from whatever stupid thing I've done to get the old hoses off the tap for the washer.

9:00 (a) Filthy but happy, I have a shower and rejoice in the fact that once again I can do laundry in my own home.

9:00 (b) Filthy, angry and in tears I give up and decide to spend Saturday afternoon making things right.

Really hoping for (a). Really quite desperately hoping for (a)!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Delayed Reporting

I intended, truly I did, to blog during my vacation. This plan was thwarted by a Mac and a stubborn PC. The Mac was an exercise in frustration and the PC just plain hated me. So I didn't get to a computer until I was at dad's.

The upshot of all of this is that I will tell about the trip, but in retrospect not as-it-happens. And at the moment I'm not even sure when the retrospective is going to begin. This week at some point. Maybe.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Vacation in 20 hours

I leave tomorrow for my much anticipated vacation. My longest-since-maternity-leave break. And given that my babies are 17 and almost 15, it's about time, yes?

I'm not really ready, though. Not at all, actually. No packing done. Because I haven't done any laundry. Which sounds stupid, given that I just had a four day weekend. The problem was not the time, the problem was lack of facilities. I am washer/dryer less. The plan was to have the new washer/dryer in place yesterday afternoon. I was not happy when appliances died, but I ended up with a really good deal. And I was very excited at the thought of a dryer that didn't leave rust spots on anything left in the dryer for more than ten minutes after the cycle ended. I was not surprised when the thing gave up the ghost altogether.

You'd think I would be in a panic to buy new stuff, given the lack of funds that I seem to find myself permanently in. Whoever...I had an extremely lucky serendipitous moment. I ended up arranging to buy a new washer/dryer set. $400.00 for the set, $150.00 to haul four appliances out of my basement and move two new ones in. See? I told you sometimes the weird stuff that happens to me is good stuff!

I had the mover guy set up to do all the moving on Monday. And then I got a call from my washer/dryer seller. She had the flu, and was not allowed to fly home from Edmonton in time for the move.

Right off the bat I’d like to say that I am TOTALLY fine with this. If I were to get on the plane tomorrow only to find that I am seated next to a feverish puking person I would be extremely angry at the airline for allowing said sickie to fly. So I have no problem with the delay, it will just have to be done when I get back.

This, however, means no way to do laundry before I go, and The Boy – who is house/puppy sitting- will have to wash his uniform at his dad’s house. Maybe this will prompt him to buy a second shirt. Maybe I’ll buy him one myself. Maybe not! Because of course, the Friday before I leave I:

Took The Girl to the orthodontist
Took myself to the optometrist
Had the oil changed in the car
Got the money for the washer/dryer
Got the money for the mover
Picked up the stuff from Prairie Dog BBQ to put into the thank you package

All of which, of course, required payment of some sort. And my next pay day isn’t until the 7th. Why I would want to start out my holiday with next to no money is beyond me. It just sort of worked out that way. And I still have to fill the car with gas (because I told The Boy that I would) and give him the money for house sitting. I don’t really need to pay him, but since I won’t be around to feed him, and given that he is WAY cheaper than having the puppies go to a kennel for a long stay I figured some food money would not be amiss.

I didn’t fill the freezer for him this time. I did, though, buy him four litres of milk, two of juice, a bag of bagels and a jumbo box of cereal. I am assuming that he’ll do some eating at his dad’s, and some at work (for instance this week he works Tues-Friday over the supper hour) and other than that he can work it out on his own.

We did get some of the pre-holiday chores done last night: poop scooped and mowed the lawns, moved the new bbq into the back, got the old one ready for the junk yard, moved the wood for the fire pit from the driveway to the back of the house, leveled off a path from the side door of the house to the driveway for the appliance moving guy and raked up broken branches from the last wind storm. Some house work too, but my theory is that The Boy won’t care – much less notice – if the house isn’t perfect. Not that it ever could be, but it could be better than it is. And I may yet do more cleaning. I’m leaving for the airport at 3:30, and if I can’t sleep I might as well clean. I am baking/cooking before I leave too, additions to the Thank-You box ‘ o treats.

In an attempt to make the early morning check-in easier, I went to do the online booking this morning. You can do that 24 hours in advance, and it means you can go in the short line at the airport. Naturally, that didn’t go smoothly. I couldn’t get on because my last name kept coming back as invalid. By the time I found a way to get my booking number (the insurance file), I had already been trying to call their “help”* line for forty-five frustrating minutes. Turns out my last name was fine (duh – I do know how to spell my own last name), but the booking number was wrong. I managed to be fairly wound up not to mention irate but I’ve since calmed down….somewhat.

The problem was that I couldn’t get to my reference number from the email they sent unless I had…the reference number. Thank heavens that the insurance form had a side note that included the flight booking number.

I put help in quotation marks on purpose. The line was VERY unhelpful. The recorded voice said that due to the number of people trying to book flights, the line was busy. Please call again. No number to call if you were NOT calling to book a flight, and no being put on hold with “your call will be answered as soon as a customer service representative becomes available”. Just call back. Which I did, over and over again. Not helpful, not in the least.

That is my day so far. In the end I’ve decided not to worry about laundry, thanks to the insurance form I have checked in and have my boarding pass and given that I started ridiculously early and will be skipping lunch (three people away sick, so I am working over the lunch hour) I can leave quite early. Hooray!

Vacation Blogging

I am going to make an attempt to blog every day of my impending vacation. With the exception of Friday-Saturday because I don't have a lap top and I don't know if I'll have access to a computer in Vancouver.

I may even blog today's events. Because despite the hour, there are vacation related events already!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

If, or I am going to?

My homepage occasionally starts my day with an ad. Not usually a problem, as I frequently don't even notice what it is. Today, however, my day started with this in bold type staring me in the face:

If you die TODAY, life insurance could be your family's Prince Charming.

Kinda sounds like....they think it would be best all around for the family if I DID die today. Or are they trying to tell me that I am going to die today? And seriously - they wouldn't get any actual money until they're 18. So it would be living with their dad all the time, waiting to be old enough to inherit. And given how things are going at the moment I don't think my family would be all that thrilled. So forget it insurance ad, I am NOT going to die today. Not on purpose, anyway.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.

When you’ve got energy you have to sublimate, temptations best left alone (murder, sex, arson, yodeling, bank robbery) there are things you’d think would work that just don’t. And because I’ve tried them out and know they don’t work I’m willing to let you know what they are so that you can try something else. Something more helpful.

Housework: this is the worst one. It gives you time to think about how to get rid of the body.

Gardening: ok, this is better, but can be dangerous depending on what’s tempting you. If it’s canoodling then hanging around fit shirtless men – or short shorts wearing women should that be your preference! – is not a good plan.

House Repairs: doesn’t work at all – just reminds you of how much easier it would be if the whole thing just burned to the ground.

Biking/Gym/Walking/Biking: similar problem to gardening.

Making Butter: No, that’s not a euphemism for something you’re trying to avoid. I mean actual butter, from actual cream. Doesn’t take long enough and while the result is yummy it can also lead to a boycott of anything but homemade butter. And that just increases your workload, so take my word for it and don’t even try.

Baking/Cooking: this one isn’t too bad. But it might explain the size that I am, so be careful with this one.

Canning/Preserving: This comes the closest. As a matter of fact, if you have boxes and boxes of fruit to can and/or jam, by the time you’re done you’re way too tired to do anything. But getting boxes and boxes of fruit is expensive and it means….

Shopping: Terrible, just terrible. I hate shopping, so the only thing that makes it moderately enjoyable is having fistfuls of money. Which I never seem to have. Which leads to the contemplation of robbing a bank which puts me back at square one.

I’ve been as helpful as possible. In return all I ask is to let me know if you find something that works. Please.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Mother was a Circus Clown

For those of you who firmly believe that I never have even a moment of co-ordination, this is for you:

I was biking to church on Sunday. In a skirt and top, on a really lovely day. However...not far from home a spider that had been hiding somewhere decided to climb up over my hand. Which elicited a scream from me. And I didn't fall off the bike.

And because it was clearly out to kill me, I started flailing my arms in a panic, hoping to kill it first. And I didn't fall off the bike.

Said flailing arms hit the basket - which had baking, a raincoat and my only pair of glasses - which promptly popped off its hook. With one arm still flailing I managed to catch the basket before it hit the ground, and get it hooked on a handle. And I didn't fall off the bike.

The spider was either killed or disappeared on its own, I had my basket with all of its contents intact, and a shred of a shred of dignity and through the whole thing I didn't fall of the bike.

See? I'm not always a klutz. At least that's how I'm looking at the whole thing.

Sadly, that one shred of dignity melted away when we first went to stand during the service and I realized that the lining to the skirt (totally necessary, given the thin material of the skirt and the screaming fuschia of the underwear) was more or less around my waist. I tried surreptitiously pulling it into place but in the end had to scuttle past the couple holding hands, trying without an unsurprising lack of success to pull the hem of my top down far enough to hide the wardrobe malfunction. Still, it was a nice day and I enjoyed the ride home. No spiders, and I arrived home with all articles of clothing where they were supposed to be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No, I didn't

You know how when you google something, or seach on a website sometimes (particularly if you type too quickly and spell things incorrectly) you get the "did you mean" message?

I was searching for "Cooking with Mint", and got this:
"Did you mean 'Booking with mintey'?"

I don't even know what booking with mintey would be so no, I didn't.

Millions of Peaches. Or Parcels.

I have caught the bug of online ordering. Not that I do a lot, but every now and then there is something, some ingredient or some pan or tool, that I can’t find locally that I end up ordering online. I always have whatever I’ve ordered sent to the office instead of the house, so there is no waiting around for a convenient time to take the delivery notice to the post office to pick up my package.

So far I’ve ordered vanilla pulp (twice!), a cookie cutter, a set of cookie stamps, some edible silver pearl dust for an upcoming wedding cake and some books.

After years of getting the same out-of-print book from the library every summer (yes, I’ve copied some of it but it isn’t the same), I’ve decided it was high time to buy a used copy for myself.

The book in question is a cookbook – what, me, a cookbook? I bet you’re totally surprised – called Canadian Country Preserves by Blanche Pownall-Garett. It is the book I get my recipe for spiced peaches*. A recipe that has the highest PIA factor of anything I do, including puff pastry and such. It takes DAYS. And I’m making some this summer. Just for me and those I love – it would be impossible to sell, the price I’d have to charge to cover the effort would make it un-sellable.

I really enjoy the book because she not only does she have recipes and pictures for the usual things like crab apples and peaches, but there is a host of things that grow wild that one never sees in stores. I’ll be in BC in August this year, so my hope is that the book arrives before I leave (I’m gone in three weeks). Then I can take it with me and look for island hidden treasures.

Since I was ordering one book anyway, I went ahead and got another book of scented poetry. I’d wax on about that too but I don’t know any other poetry readers. I know they’re out there, I just don’t know any.

*Spiced Peaches are an eight day task, but one ends up with sweet/sharp slippery cool peaches that are the BESTEST accompaniment to Curry. Or any other Indian food for that matter. One tends to question one’s sanity during the making, but during the eating it all becomes clear. You suffer during the making to enjoy the result. I haven’t made it in ten years, but this is the summer. No excuses!

What you see depends on what you want

I sometimes mis-read ads, generally because I've mixed up a letter or two, or because my brain read one word or phrase incorrectly.

Today, though, I read the subject line in a piece of spam correctly and yet got it completely wrong. Why? Because I'm not an older man, I'm an under-rested middle aged woman.

The subject line was "You too can spend more time in bed!"

And my instant thought was 'AWESOME. There is a way to spend more time sleeping, less time working, doing laundry, walking dogs, cleaning the house, cooking, driving, repairing things, working a second job blah blah blah. Oh. They're selling Viagra. Ok. I get it. Oops".

Monday, July 13, 2009

Shopping unzipped.

Why, when you're at a doctor's office going over an x-ray (where you had to get undressed and into that paper outfit thingy) would said doctor not mention that your dressed is still unzipped on the side?


And if you're wondering why I wouldn't notice, had a slip lining thingy, so there was no breeze or anything And it was a new Sunday-go-to-meeting dress that I wasn't familiar with. Didn't even realize it had a zipper until I took it off in the little x-ray booth thingy. Urgh.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You know it's bad when

So I haven't been blogging for a bit. I've been sick AGAIN. But now I've had a bazillion tests. Not to find out what is wrong (although that was what the doctor wants to know) but to find out why, (given my vastly improved diet, exercise routine and sleeping habits) I am STILL catching every cold that comes along. Pneumonia once, colds forever - is it possible that having pneumonia killed my immune system?

Anyway - back at work. I worked a half day on Wednesday, and that's been it for me for this week. And how did I know it was bad on Wednesday? I was in a meeting, a teleconference. I wasn't coughing - nor was anyone else - but at one point someone on the other end of the phone asked "is there something wrong with the line? We're getting a weird noise". Turns out the weird noise was me. Just breathing. Breathing that came out in whistles and rails. Hooray for liquid lungs.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Come let us have some tea, and continue to talk about happy things"

People-ok, not many, but enough -keep telling me I need to get out there and meet someone. I’m fine with the getting out bit. I don’t want to end up as the crazy lady with all the teapots* and puppies, so I started a new plan last October:
If I’m invited to something and it is free, I have to go. If I’m invited and it doesn’t cost much I either go, or come up with a really good reason to decline. If it costs a lot, but I really want to go and the only reason I’m not is because I’m single then I go, and have fun because I’m somewhere doing something I really want to do.

That takes care of the going out bit. Meeting someone? Not so much. God’s going to have to plunk someone down right in front of me, and just to be sure I don’t walk past said fellow it would help if he was plunked down wearing a giant red ribbon. There is, of course, the possibility that the going-out part will lead to the meeting part. But given the places I seem to end up going to, that seems unlikely.

Take last night for instance. I was invited out to a craft class. Despite being totally non-crafty, I said yes. It’s a good thing the girl doesn’t read the blog, she’d be falling off her chair laughing at the thought of me taking a craft class. I am not glue-gun gifted. As it turned out, I was one in a class of twenty or so crafty, overweight, middle-aged white women - except I wasn’t crafty. I fit the rest of the profile, though! There was one thin woman in the group, and one young (say twenties or so) woman. And the only colour in the room came from the craft projects. Skin-wise we ran the gamut of colour from pasty white to pasty white with a sun burn.

I did have a decent time though and, most importantly, it saved me from my planned evening of housework. And if such a class comes up again, I know the girl would love it so I may end up going again.

*I collect teapots, somewhat unintentionally. How does that happen? Here’s an example:
Christmas 2007 I made the comment that it was odd that I didn’t have a Christmas teapot, given the number of teapots I DO have. In January, a co-worker dropped off a poinsettia teapot from the Monet collection. Then at some point in the summer, I saw the Water Lilyfrom the same collection. Both of these teapots are at work.

Last summer I bought a different co-worker some tea. It was a blend that we had both enjoyed but hadn’t been able to find. The next thing I know, there is a new teapot on my desk as a thank you. Two weeks ago, I came into work on a Monday to find a teapot on my desk with a note saying “this teapot called your name, so I got it for you. Happy Monday!”

Lastly, at a silent auction my girl ended up getting me a tea pot set. A lovely little boxed teapot with four wee cups. And somewhere in their Mayb gave me this lovely tea box. So now I have five teapots on a shelf at work, along with the tea box. Everyone that sees them assumes I’m purposely collecting teapots. Not that they’re completely off the mark – I do buy teapots myself sometimes – but I never started out to purposely collect them!

The title? Chaim Potok.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


That saying “what goes around comes around” doesn’t always happen. For instance, I was a typical – perhaps even worse than typical – veggie-hating child. I was ok with raw veggies, just didn’t like them cooked. Except corn, of course. Not liking creamed corn is like not liking puppies. If you meet someone who hates corn AND puppies, run. Run for your very life.

Sometimes Karma does catch up to one, though. When my girl was six, we got new neighbours. She took it upon herself to meet them. A feat she accomplished by marching over, walking into their house and announcing a) her presence and b) her intention of becoming best friends with them. And guess what? That line of chatter hasn’t stopped, not in the nine intervening years.

Not with them moving away to various locations. Not with anything. If she could phone the dad up – he lives in the Ukraine now – she would. And talk his ear off. Mayb bears the brunt of it, as she is the only one that hasn’t moved far away. Did they move to escape the chatter? Could be, could be.

So this spring we got new neighbours. New neighbours with small children. Three of them, and a fourth on the way. The little girl is five. Here is an actual conversation (it counts as conversation even if I only say one thing, right?) we had one day when I was leaving to pick the boy up from work:

Small Chatterbox:
Hi! What’s your name again?
Did you tell me your name before?
Do you remember my name?
Where are you going?

To pick A. up from work

Small Chatterbox:
Where does he work?
What’s his name again?
Why does he have to work?
Do you always have to get him?
Are you coming back?
Is he coming with you?
What’s your name again?
My name’s XXXX
Does he come outside?
Does he like to play?
Is he old?
Where’s that girl you had? (good question!)
What’s she doing?
Aren’t you taking her?
Does she get to stay alone?
When are you coming back?
Do you have a dad? (to be fair, I think she meant do the kids, but who knows)
I have brothers.
I’m five
How old are your kids?
How old are you?
Ok. Bye!!!
She then skips off, not one of her questions answered. Not because I wouldn’t answer, but because she didn’t even pause to take a breath between them all.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Buttery Tears

I don't know what y'all do when you're close to crying and really don't want to, but I bake. Pastry, generally. Something time consuming and fiddly, and completely distracting.

So tonight I made puff pastry. Roll, chill. Fold, roll, chill. Repeat. Until you have the required layers of cold butter and pastry. The problem with this method is that you end up with pastry. Oodles of buttery yummy pastry. Or, in this case, three dozen hazelnut Palmiers.

Don't get me wrong, I'd happily eat them all. But that would serve no purpose, now, would it? So I wrapped up three containers and delivered pastry hither and thither. Which may be weird, but at least I'm not as big as a bus. Yet.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Merci, Mental_Floss

I've been trying for years to explain my preference for across-the-pond humour over south-of-the-border humour. Not to mention my preference for spelling, grammar, world view, nudity and gun laws. Back to the point! Thanks to a bit from Mental_floss, I have the perfect line. The two shows they refer to are A Man about the House and Three's Company, by the by:

Despite the basic similarities between the two shows, the British version relied more on crisp writing and witty dialog than the slapstick and “jiggle” used to attract the American audience.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Row upon row of chairs, and this is the row I get.

Dear Woman Sitting Next to me in this long row of chairs;

There are things people shouldn’t assume. Not all squealing teenagers at a Hannah Montana concert will be girls. Crazy + Cat Lady don’t always go together. Very few people who ask "how are you?" actually want to know how you are. A man’s shoe size means nothing, or clowns would be more popular. Using a blackberry doesn’t mean the text is too small for someone sitting beside you to read. Please pay particular attention to that last one, ok?

You know what else? Don’t assume that I didn’t recognize a) your name, b) the name of your lover, c) the name of your lover’s wife and d) the name of your husband.

You’re right if you’re assuming that I wouldn’t stoop to blackmail. You’d be making a bad assumption if you think that most people would be above it. I don’t think the gentleman on the other side of you would stoop to it either, but the possibility of his having a heart attack reading the salacious details of your messages is, on the other hand, moderately high.

I get that sometimes meetings like this are boring. I myself understand wanting to nip out for a quickie – take note, striped blue tie guy in the back row – but seriously, in the men’s room? During a conference? Do you WANT to be caught?

Speaking of being caught…your insistence to online lover that your teenage son can’t possibly know what you’re doing is seriously misguided. Do you recall being a teenager? I mean, I have a teenager too, but I think even in his most self-involved moments he would notice late night arrivals/early morning departures. When this coincides with your Mr.’s out of town trips the chances that he knows go up to oh, say, 100%. For all you know, he may have his OWN late night arrivals/early morning departures going on. And if he does he either thinks you don’t know or has justly decided that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

So…put the Blackberry away and start paying attention to the speaker. Or keep your thoughts in your head and off your easy-to-read blackberry. Thanks.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Shift your Gift

I generally like to mosey along when I'm at the office. I work hard, but I don't think I need to run to lunch, or jog to the bathroom or race to the other branch when the need me. However...

I DON'T like standing behind people who have stopped to think about what they're going to do next and have decided to have the conversation about that decision whilst they're standing in the doorway. The doorway I need to get to. Most people, when they see you waiting to get through move aside. Some politely, some with a hint of embarassment ( I do that) and some with a snort of irritation, as though their need to stand in the doorway outweighs your need to pass through it.

This afternoon, though, the two ladies in front of me weren't most people. They didn't move out of the way at all. Yes, they saw me, they just didn't move. So I said - quite politely - "pardon me" and went to move forward. At which point they stopped their discussion and one woman said "yes?" as though she was sitting at the front desk at a hotel waiting to check me in. Clearly, the only reason I would interrupt this important discussion was to ask them something. Something burningly important. Fine - you want a question, I'll give you a question.

"would you mind moving from the doorway that you're blocking? Great. Thanks".

I could have added where in the building they could find a woman's bathroom but decided against it. That's one door you don't want blocked in time of need. And her snooty "yes?" made me decide that she could use having to wander around looking for relief somewhere.

Of course I did.

I decided to take a tea break today, despite the work I need to have finished by the end of the day. I wanted to read a bit more of the current book. The current book that is with me, of course. Because I have one at home that I'm also partway through, and one in the car that is almost done. Anyway, as is my wont, I took the elevator so I could read on the way upstairs. And was joined by a guy, also going to the third floor. I know he was, because I asked. One always asks, if you're standing in front of the buttons, just in case the person wants a different floor.

The doors close, and I continue to read. And then I wonder if this is rude. I also found myself wondering if it was STILL raining outside. Day three of constant rain. So I took my glasses off and closed my book. Looked at the guy, who said "dismal day out there, isn't it?". And because I'm brilliant, I said this bit of insanity:

"I was just checking out your shoulders".

What I MEANT to say was "I was just wondering if your shoulders looked rained on, or if we were lucky enough to have the sun come out for a bit". Naturally, as soon as I said the first part, I realized how it sounded and froze, making it all that much worse. It took me until just before the doors opened to say "looking to see if you looked rained on. Not that I mind the rain. I like the rain. And it's great for farmers. The rain".

Yup, that's me at my eloquent best.

Friday, May 29, 2009

No title. My mind is a blank.

I may notice spelling/grammar/pronunciation mistakes, but I don't often point them out to the offender. Mainly because the one person I know who does it all the time is rude and irritating and nowhere near as clever as she thinks she is. Sometimes, though, I don't point it out because the mistake is just too entertaining to correct.

For instance, in pre-natal classes, the teacher kept talking about how men need to develop bondage skills. One night she actually said this: "dads-to-be might even think about going into the woods for a male bondage experience. You'd be surprised at what you might learn". Yes indeed, I bet they might! We were the only ones to find this funny, everyone else was so young and so earnest at the whole becoming parents adventure that they just nodded as though their lives depended on doing every thing she said. Or maybe they thought it was the correct use of the word, who's to say?

Today I decided not to correct the woman in the coffee room who was telling one and all (as if we wanted to know) about the surgery she is getting done to get help with her "vicarious veins" problem.

Wow. Absolutely you should get help if your veins are vicarious.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coconut Mark II

Once again I am at work and all I really want to do is eat cake. I am still working on creating a coconut cake to add to the brochure. Fortunately, there is an office birthday today, so I was able to experiment and have some guinea pigs available to eat the thing. They're pretty good about testing, even on a birthday. I think that they're happy that there is cake, regardless of whether or not it works out.

I am anxious not because I'm hungry, or because I want cake*, but because a lot of this cake is new. I used one of my new cake rings, so I finally got to try the filling-the-same-depth-as-cake-layers plan and the filling...well, I may have a hit.

I have been working on the various parts of the cake since last week. Reduced coconut milk for the cake part, simmered with vanilla bean pod. Did that last Friday and put it in the fridge.

Ganache, made with white chocolate and coconut cream instead of the usual whipping cream. Did that yesterday afternoon.

Cake layers, made with reduced milk. They baked whilst we ate supper.

Filling. Oh, the filling. Here's where I went out on a limb. But I think it worked, if the boy's response to it was anything to go by. He doesn't often swoon over sweet things, but he swooned last night. I gave him some of the filling with three fresh raspberries folded in. He said it was the best thing I've ever done. So I said thanks. He looked at me and said "no, seriously mom I'm not being polite this is like, great".

Given that I made the cheese for the filling on the weekend -something I'd never done before - and then made the filling last night by beating the cheese with various things that occurred to me as I watched the kitchen aid do its thing, having a hit seemed unlikely. When I mentioned to the boy that perhaps, as he liked it, I should write down what I put in and how I made it before I forgot what I had done he said "go write it down. Right now. And try not to forget between here and the kitchen". Hmph. Am I that forgetful? Oh yes, that's right, I am.

*Of course I want to eat cake. Duh. It's just not the driving force here.

Long fuse

You know what is interesting about rarely getting mad with one's children? When you do actually get mad, they're astounded. And they TOTALLY listen and straighten things out.

I phoned the school yesterday and asked them to have the boy given a message in his last class. He was to come to the office when the class was over and that his mother would be waiting for him. And that he should meet her and return to class with her.

Oooh, I wish I could have heard what he was saying in his head. Because the look on his face when he got to the office was "s**t, oh S**t, I am so f*****g busted. Oh S**t". It was great. Not that I smiled, or anything because that would ruin in all. Dead silent the whole walk back to class.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Microsecond memory

I ordered something online today. A couple of things, actually. I wanted more vanilla and I decided to check the sale section. And found the most awesome thing to help with creating the wedding cake for Mayb. (that originally came out weeding cake, which I'm pretty sure is NOT what they're looking for).

I was so very excited but then, of course, the big question was do I tell her or not? I had to go and see her at lunch today, so I contemplated the question on the drive over. On the one hand, I really like surprises. On the other, I suck at keeping things secret, if the secret is my own. Tell me your secret and I can keep it locked up forever if you want. My secret? Every minute not telling is hard. Waiting for Christmas kills me, as I always want to tell people what I got for them before the 25th. Somtimes even before the snow flies.

I decided as I pulled up in front of her house that I'd tell her. And then rendered the whole debate useless by forgetting it altogether. Between the sidewalk and the front door, people. I forgot the entire thing in that brief partial moment in time. So either I'm losing my mind, or she has some weird cloud of forgetfulness floating over the front walkway.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No magic at all

So we finally got to try a bit of the cake. And it was....cake-ish. Not so terrible I'd throw it at passing strangers, but not good enough to spend one day baking let alone the marathon that it was*. So this week will be a new coconut cake attempt. A totally different angle of approach. No recipe, just improv on the spot. I suppose it could be worse than the multi-day cake, but only if I burn it or use salt instead of sugar.

*Big puppy liked it. But then I'm pretty sure even a bad cake is better than gimp and lightbulbs, yes?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And so they should

I was at a party last weekend, and there was a teenage girl there. Two, actually, counting my girl. The other girl was wearing a t-shirt that said "Vampires prefer brunettes". She was blonde.

So...was she clever enough to be ironic -which sees unlikely givern her age - or was she just being blonde, or just being a teenager? I mean, even my girl at fourteen thought it was hilarious (she didn't say anything until we'd left, and I hadn't said anything to her about it). So which do you think it is?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Belly Dancing the night away

I was going to have a mother daughter night on Mother’s day eve (the night when kids play tricks on…no wait, that’s a different night), but the girl was away on a choir trip. The boy – because he is the bestest kid ever – stepped up to the plate and went to a dance recital with me.

He was quite gracious about it too, and during the intermission met some kids from his school, so that was quite good.

The show itself was very interesting. The most interesting bit to me was the size of most of the people. Well, not their size but their ok-ness with it. I mean, I would fit in with the majority of the women their, and NO ONE sees me that undressed. Not even me. I rarely look in a mirror and the few times that I do it is because for some reason I’ve decided to wear make-up and want to make sure I’m putting everything in the right place. But look at myself anywhere else? No way.

But here are these women of all different shapes and sizes who are TOTALLY comfortable with their bodies. How can this be? Is it that dancing is not about how perfect you look, and that it idealizes womanhood, not magazine style woman-shape? There was one dancer whom I was certain was a friend’s dad, except I know for a fact he is in the Ukraine at the moment. And there she was, happy and dancing and proud. I was 98 percent impressed with all of them, and 2 percent freaked out by the masses of jiggling flesh.

You know what else was impressive? There was one group that had a girl (yes girl, maybe 16 years old) who was really very good. I pointed her out to my son – not that he needed me to point out the partially clad sixteen year old, it was because she was a good example of what an accomplished dancer could do (most of the women were amateurs). His response? “Yeah, she’s good but creepily anorexic. Freaks me out to look at her. The one on this end is easier to watch”.

So…he doesn’t believe that all women should be a size zero? Glory be.

But I want to eat it NOW

The problem with making a cake that will take four days from to finish is don't get to eat said cake for days on end. And it won't be ready on a work day, which means I'll have to find somewhere else to take it to save my little family from eating it all ourselves.

Why, you wonder, would I make a cake that I was worried I'd have to eat? There is a totally logical reason: I am working on a new cake to add to the menu. This may take any number of tries - although the flavour for the wedding cake layer three was ahit on the first out of four ideas I had, so one never knows.

Anyway...there are three of us in the family. There may be any number of large cakes made until I'm happy. Three people + six cakes= two whole cakes each. And whislt one of us is as thin as a rake, the other two are shrinking, albeit slowly. Throw some cakes into that and the shrinking would turn to expanding in a hurry.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Read what you just wrote, idiot.

I've signed up for various cooking webzines and so forth. So I quite often get emails about new recipes, or cooking articles and usually the Subject line is pretty clear as to what the recipes are for: New Dishes for Spring, 15 Top Uses for Asparagus (I could come up with 20, none of which would involve actually eating it) or perhaps "Early Spring Salad Recipes".

Clearly, however, not everyone reads over their subject line (let alone the actual articals or recipes which are frequently poorly written). I arrived at work this morning to 67 emails, and mid-way through I was somewhat surprised to see an email whose subject was "New Ideas for Breasts".

And here I thought the old ideas were good enough.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Business 101

So one of the reasons my baking business has not paid me enough money to quit the regular job is that I hate the business part of business. I just like to cook, that's it.

The problem is that people want an idea of what I make. And how much it would cost to buy. It doesn't really go over terribly well when the answer is "well, I don't know...what do you want?" accompanied by "well, I guess I should charge...something".

Business is picking up, though, so I have finally made a brochure. Woohoo! So now I can just shove a flyer in the hands of whoever is asking and walk quickly away. Which is also not good for business. Ah well, at least it is a step forward!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

As those who read this on a regular basis know, given the things she eats the bigger dog in the house should be dead.

On Monday I did the spring cleaning back yard rake. Not a pleasant task, of course, but it is a fascinating one. Fascinating in the sense of realizing as you scoop the broad variety of things the dogs eat. And yes, you can usually tell which pile came from which dog.

We were not bad over the winter keeping up with the scooping but there is always a disgusting mess in the spring. This, of course, is mainly because no one wants to go outside in a howling blizzard in the dark of night trying to figure out where the dogs pooped just so they can scoop it up.

So, spring comes – maybe not as quickly as we’d like, given that there was snow yesterday and there is more predicted for tonight – and you have to clean things up. And get a lesson in the things puppies eat which in the case of big puppy would be food and non-food items.

Some of the things were expected: string from a roast, a plastic tray from who knows what kind of meat, eggs (or maybe just the shells), crayons and various other non-food items.

The plastic gimp was a little unexpected; we haven’t had any around the house for ages so I am not sure where she got that. The big surprise, though (a surprise in two ways: why she ate it and that it survived) was a light bulb from the Christmas tree. Intact. So she ate it for whatever reason (in her mind just about anything may be food, so she always tries, just in case it is food. This makes giving her medicine easy-peasy. As long as you throw the pill at her, she assumes it is food and swallows), and it managed to get digested…and expelled…without breaking. Amazing.