Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The truth is out there....

I stumbled across this in my journeys through the netherworld. This is great, too bad that it was rejected... maybe in this day of the campaign for real beauty there is more of a welcoming market for messages like this, this is just a tad more realistic.

Spiked Stew

The joys of multitasking as a not so new mom. I was making a stew yesterday, and I normally like to add a dark beer to the mix because of how it brings out the flavours in the beef (read I just like having a good beer in my stew)... so in the pot went a few handfuls of barley, some spices, some bouillon, the beef, and then I reached in the fridge, grabbed a bottle, popped the top and poured happily away. Being good, I didn't even take a swig before I added the beer to the stew.

I chopped my onions, and just before I added them to the pot, I took a closer look at the empty bottle on the counter. *AHEM* I had grabbed a bottle of J0e Stiffs, the spiked root beer. I would love to have the look on my face captured on film, but I stood there like an idiot for a moment, then tasted the stew. Hmmm. Nice, just a sweet hint, of, is that, root beer and beef? Yah. No. So, out came the beef, and whatever else I could salvage (the bay leaves, since I no longer scrunch them up and leave them whole) , and out went the sloshing sweet mix and spike down the drain. The second coming was much closer to my liking - a not so bad beer from a local company added to my own blend of bits and pieces for stews.

Other than that, my dad and I have been out for a few walks this week. We went on a grand adventure under the Port Mann bridge today - and got caught in the snow! Of course, my dad being him was out in a golf shirt and my only nod at winter was the brown toque I had on. I was glad for the brain wave I had to actually grab the rain shield for the stroller so Brandon was snug as a bug. Granted the snow didn't stick around that long, and nothing that a blast of heat can't cure. Didn't turn either of us off a side excursion for ice cream though :]

Got to spend a good chunk of time in the dentist's chair tonight too. Finally getting that crown done on the root canal from last year. The temporary one held until now - which is great because I had run out of room on our plans last year after that terrible run when I was 4 months pregnant. Of course, being me and my teeth, once the tooth was exposed, it was discovered that the filling on the tooth beside it had cracked. So, while I was frozen, may as well get that fixed too!! It is ironic, although I will have as many fillings and as much work done on my teeth as before, slowly and surely all of my old silver fillings are being replaced by porcelain. I am no longer a metal mouth... well, perhaps the transformation will never be complete because I do have a few gold crowns kicking around....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oodles of Books (a meme)

Graciously absconded with from Nej

*Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read.
*Italicize the ones you want to read.
*leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
*If you are reading this, tag you're it.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible (not the whole thing)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) - I tried, couldn't get through it
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) - I tried here too, didn't go it for me
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dirt under my nails

This week was supposed to be nothing but non stop rain! It has been a wonderful surprise that most days the sun has come out, and I have either taken Brandon out for a walk, or, like today, I got out in the garden and was able to get my hands dirty!!

Ok, so perhaps I was somewhat motivated by fear. My dad is something to behold with pruning tools, and he was out lurking in the yard this morning. Once Brandon went down for his afternoon nap, I went outside to suss out what was what. Well, I had to laugh when my dad pointed to the hydrangea bush that he cut back - aside from a few sticks coming out of the ground, I really didn't see the bush anymore. My dad gets a little enthusiastic when he starts to prune, and his sights were set on the apple tree. I gave him a hand, or shall I say, supervised the trimming of the tree. I am happy to say that the tree has not been butchered, and the long straggly branches that needed a trim have been taken care of. It feels good to get out in the yard (to even have a yard to go in to) and pull up the dead plants, move away the broken pottery, and breath in the spring air. I got to garden to the sound of my cats meowing from behind the screen door! A fine way to spend an hour or two. Much better to outside than inside on a day like today!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A rant about a children's book

Apparently this book is about sharing.

I think that is a load of pahooie.

This book is about a rainbow fish that has shiny scales that make him/her both unique and beautiful. This fish was all about themselves, and didn't have any friends. Obviously said fish needs to learn how to place nice in the ol' sand box and not alienate their peers. Since this fish wouldn't share the shiny scales, this was the reason given why they were shunned in their animal kingdom. The rainbow fish then seeks advice on how to make friends, and is told to "give away your shining scales. You won't be as beautiful, but you will have friends."

W T F ??? is it just me or is this a really twisted way to teach children how to share?? Oh - take the one thing that makes you unique and give it away because people will only like you if you give them something. Don't stand out! Blend in! People only like you when you give them something! The rainbow fish becomes the happiest fish in the sea once they have given away all but one of their shining scales. Once again -hello, let us count the ways that this is just wrong.

This book rubs me the wrong way. It rubbed my DH the wrong way too. Talked to a friend whom also has young'uns, and she felt the same way. Apparently this is an award winning book - maybe for the illustrations because it is a beautiful book, but the message is whacked. I don't like throwing out books, but I will be paying this one forward. Perhaps someone else won't find it as offensive but I think this is sending out contradictory messages to say the least.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Sometimes it is easier being flip, or funny, or sarcastic, or ironic, or dancing around the mulberry bush than it is to be vulnerable.

The last few weeks have been all over the board. Brandon's sleep patterns for a while there went right out the window, which meant that I was pretty over tired, and therefore everything feels that much more personal (even when it isn't). It doesn't help when I have a night where I can't sleep, and I can't seem to shut my mind off and ideas keep rolling around, clanking together and making such an awful noise that when I try to distract myself by concentrating on just breathing, it really doesn't work all that long. And it seems like another hour has slipped by. This pattern seems to happen either right after Brandon falls asleep, or on the night that I have designated as the "early to bed and catch up" night...

This is one of the reasons I love to read, especially at night before bed. It turns my brain off. It distracts me. At a certain point I get tired, turn off the light, and voila - asleep I am. I have always had a hard time falling asleep - back when I/we used to go out partying, or when I used to drink more (after hockey, etc)- I would have the best sleeps. A couple of beers and I was good to .... sleep. When you aren't the type that falls asleep when your head hits the pillow it sure is nice when it does work out that way. Not what you were expecting me to say, eh? Well, don't believe everything you hear!

Its been a quiet night at home, and I can't say that there is much on tv that holds my interest. I am also out of new books to read so I am rereading an old archaeology text book about burial mounds in the Orkney Islands (actually quite fascinating). I don't always think to throw in a CD either to fill in the quiet spaces, although I love music. The last few weeks have felt like a bumpy ride, some good, some whatever. A few days I was worrying myself stupid about Brandon, and then the worry seemed to pass over night when he went back to his own state of what looks like normal. Got our stereo in for warranty work, which means no surround sound movie experiences for a while. It could be up to 65 DAYS!!!!!! to find out if they can fix it (if not at that point it gets replaced, woo woo)... Introducing solid foods has its moments, and the weather has improved enough that I am getting out again. I also haven't been feeling all that social in the last few days either, like I am hunkered down, dealing with housework, and at the same time suffering from a bit of cabin fever too.

New era ice...

See, playing hockey isn't nearly as easy as it looks. Not only is it the fastest game out there.. but there are all these other variables to take in to consideration!!!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

insight on Valentines

Now, from my humble POV, WTF?! is right!

V-day is over a week away and the morning news channels are already playing it to death. Talk about incredible social pressure to be in some kind of relationship, to do something special for that person not because you want to but because someone else tells you that you are supposed to. Bunch of BS if you ask me. Not that I don't like getting flowers (I do and love the unexpected tulips I have), or chocolate anytime, or getting some extra loving from my man - but it's so much better when it is when you least expect it, or after you have had a trying day, or just because - since it means your loved one reflected on things, and acted on them because they wanted to. I resent that florists (etc) ramp up the prices of flowers to astronomical rates (and get them who the hell pays 4 times the price for something that they could get a week later on a fire sale????), just like NYE is ridiculous to go out on costwise. It's one day folks, and what does it truly mean? Who needs to be told that on this one day you appreciated your LOs. I remember back in the days before Ken thinking V-day sucked the hind-you-know-what because that was the day you noticed everyone else seemed to be hooked up but you, and therefore you were a social pariah. I always rejected (still do) that line of thinking and figured V-day could be a day to just enjoy the other relationships I had or to let it be water off my back because you shouldn't need to be told to be romantic with your partner, it should just happen. Ok, already I can hear the "yeah buts", we all need our nudges here and there to be thoughtful to our partners.. but you know what I am saying?!

Granted, I will do something for Ken - but it will be personal, simple, probably something I made myself to celebrate what we do have, or I will see it is an excuse to make heart shaped cookies and a nice meal. It is fun just to celebrate those days with a little red, or Rabbie Burns day with Haggis and Celtic music, or St. Paddy's day with the green and a Guinness *granted, since when do I need a reason to quaff a Guinness???? when it all works out.

Bottom line, you should want to do something, not feel you have to.

To be totally flip (what a surprise) I guess I always get a kick out of the idea that V-Day is for us ladies and that there is some date in March that is known as Steak and BJ day for the guys. Now that seems fair.



Italian dilettare, to delight


Singular - dilettante (Plural - dilettantes or dilettanti)

1. A person who enjoys the arts.
2. An amateur, someone who dabbles in a field out of casual interest rather than as a profession or serious interest.
3. A person with a broad but superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge. (Sometimes derogatory.)

I think that I shall appropriate this wonderful noun as an adjective to describe myself, perhaps in conjunction with the concept of a modern Renaissance Woman who equally embraces a hockey stick in one hand, and a book in the other...enrstwhile trying to keep all other interests and concerns loftily up in the air with a modicum of success.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Fits and Starts

I am going for another round in Brandon's room to tame the spread of Ken and I's things in to the space that will be his. I am getting a little better at letting go of more things, and have almost got his furniture arranged in a Karen pleasing way.

Yes. I have a thing about moving furniture. Furniture is on the move until I feel that it has reached it's own perfect zen state. My own feng-shui at work, so to speak. Just like for some strange reason I sleep better with my head in the northern direction. Who knows. I know when I am a little odd.

Introduction of sweet potatoes has been a roaring success! Who knew that apples and naners would go over like lead farts and sweet taters would be a hit?! I am turning in to a regular do it yourself mom (no surprise) and have been preparing my own baby foods so far. Not so difficult yet, and I am aiming to introduce a new food every 3-5 days and hopefully avoid major allergies.

Brandon's naps are all over the board. I am also somewhat of a watchful hawk to make sure he gets enough sleep. That said, it seems like his bedtime is almost as obnoxious as mine. Defintely open to suggestions on how to get him to sleep earlier!!! Yes, I know that means we have to get up earlier, and today I am trying that. We got up about 8, which is entirely reasonable. Now lets see if he will go to bed for the night and be asleep by 10pm tonight. Or is this just wishful thinking?

He is nattering away and has crawled backwards away from his playmat and is making eyes at our DVD collection. Speaking of which, the home stereo system decided to up and go kaput last night. Finally having that extended warranty has paid off!!!!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Seriously wrong.

I must admit I laughed really hard at this one when I watched it.

However, this is wrong. Who the hell bathes their cat? Do these people possess a deathwish? In very few cases could I understand even giving my cat a bath, but in the 7 odd years of cohabiting with our present 4 legged feline friends, there have been no situations that have warranted the bathing of said cats.

WTF?! This is sheer torture. Look at that poor guy!! Cats tend themselves. That ain't our job. Dogs, well, they are a little different, but even so, this brainfart is something else. Scary thing is that there is a market for this kind of thing!!!

But, going back to my original comment, it is funny as hell. As Ken would say "It's like a cat exercise room - maybe it will get the little bastard to stop clawing the furniture".

Enuff Said.