Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well, I managed to finish that book...

I finished the Poisonwood Bible! Truly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I actually found that I enjoyed it, once the story got beyond the terrible, preachy father. It was a good story - long, drawn out, can't say I enjoyed all of the threads of the four daughters, but I am glad that I read it. I was a bit worried in the beginning, but the book started rolling once I got about 1/3 of the way through. Okay, saying that, sounds like I was pretty determined to get through the book...

Followed that one up with a glorious, fluffy, escapist read and now I am reading a novel called Fiela's Child which is another good book (Thanks Cher for some good reads over the holidays, just what I needed).

The holidays blitzed by - it is a lot of build up for a few days. Our Christmas was lovely, the kids were spoiled, and it was really neat watching Brandon explore Christmas this year. Some great food, and then some not so great food. I think the dinner I had at my sister in laws has officially turned me off of turkey. Nothing like watching the bird get carved and then noticing that it is raw in the middle... and then eating two hours later and just thinking.. wow, that ham looks really nice!!!! Last big dinner was at my mom's, it went over okay (noisy! which is good, considering my mom's side would only get together between 4 and leave by 7:30 in the past) but my scallop potatoes tasted good, but needed a lot more time in the oven.. nothing like cooking for 16 and trying to judge cooking time...

Since I have discovered a great crock pot stuffing recipe that tastes as good as in the bird... I think a few beer can chickens on the barbie and crock pot stuffing are the way to go. Avoid that turkey hangover, and too many leftovers, and well, half my family can't really eat it anymore so.... hello chicken!

Between Ken and I we were pretty low key for each other this year, although he did spoil me a little more than I spoiled him... except we are going to VEGAS BABY!!!!! we will be there for about 48 hours in a few weeks and we will run and play and go go go!!!!! It was a total surprise (I knew we were going away, just not where) and I think it will be really cool.. PARENTS GONE WILD!! HAHAHHAHAHHAAH.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A different thought

So, I have been contemplating Christmas Cards.

I have usually sent them out, and last year was the first year I had truly missed sending out cards in a long, long time. I felt bad about it too, but it just wasn't happening last year. We didn't get a lot of the cards last year, and some folks are moving to a mass email-letter, and some folks are moving to a donation and an email. It's all good, it is the thought that counts. I think it is important to reach out to people at this time of the year, touch base, see what is up.

I think I will always send out some kind of card, whether it be a picture, or a computer generated card with pictures in it... but I don't think I will do the mass send out like I did this year. In some ways, I half view this year as an experiment, see how many Christmas cards we get and go from there next year. There are some folks you just send them too and don't expect one in return (like your 94 year old gram) but some folks ... well... you start to wonder whether or not those relations who never send you one still need to get one.

I have an address list I keep, and track who I am sending them too, it does help year to year, but I am not sure what I am going to do next year. Do I want to send out a lot of cards and only get a handful? Or, do I send the cards out to the people I really want to and say screw the rest?! Time will tell - I guess what somewhat holds me back from not sending out cards is that I love getting them. I think they brighten up the year, knowing you are remembered. Like my philosophy with the lights, it doesn't matter how sophisticated they are put up - we are bringing light to the darkest time of the year and I can appreciate that.

Just frittering

It has been a strange week. I think I jinxed myself with the last post. Yesterday everything just seemed to head south at times, and fast. Brandon was trying. Connor didn't nap enough at times. I was just cranky pants all over the place. The house felt like it was just chaos. The house felt too small, and like we have too many things, and there are too many things I don't want to get rid of. It feels like I got so far with getting ready for Christmas and then I stalled out.

Today fared a little better. Brandon got his new orthotics, and 4 hours later, and two trips to get new shoes that fit properly over said orthotics, and we are good to go. They seem so much bigger than his last pair.. my baby is already growing too fast and he is only three!!!! I was so grateful for my dad's helping hands I treated him to lunch. I am learning that I am much more of a holistic healer than going for traditional medicine. I think there has to be a balance between both, and that you need to do whatever proactive you can to create the best outcome. Not always easy though. Some days you just need to regroup.

It just being quiet now helps. Frittering away on the computer, finishing up a few cards, sending out bits and pieces of mail. It is amazing how some days you totally own your corner of the world, and some days it feels like everything is scattered around you and you have it all, you just don't really know where it all is. I am sorry if I am not making sense - it isn't that the last days have been terrible, they have just been trying. I think that collectively we have cabin fever and need to get out. I thought we could get out and feed some ducks today, but when you are out for the 4 best hours of the day, it doesn't happen. I think I may create some kind of adventure for tomorrow..

On another note, just finished the book Midwives by CBojalian and I really enjoyed it. I am not sure what I expected, but this wasn't it. I actually finished it up in three days, which seems impressive after how long I struggled with WH! It was a quick read, not exactly profound, but a page turner nonetheless. I would not recommend reading this if you are pregnant right now... it does deal with a home birth that goes awry. I am now moving on to the Poisonwood Bible.I am a little leery about this one because a dear friend said it was like watching paint dry and she really didn't like it, but I am curious... I went back to this old post and have since then knocked off 4 more books off of the list and PB will make it 5...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On the path to being somewhat organized

After the chaos of the last few Christmas' ... this year is starting to feel almost tranquil!

Damn, it is tempting to list off what I have done so far!! I just finished WH. It was a good book, in a way, and I am sure that you could publish theses on it in either psychology or English. What a sad, melancholy, strange book. Yea, interesting, lots of symbolism, lots to dwell upon and reflect on what means what, and what exactly are shadows of the author herself. Reminds me of my old Eng Lit days, reading books and searching for hidden meanings so I could pontificate upon and sound like I actually knew what I was talking about.

Out tree is up, we ended up picking up the first one we looked at. I still made Ken and the boys wait while I looked at a few others, just to be sure, but we have a magical tree and it was pretty reasonably priced too. The great snow of late 2009 didn't happen. Things were looking pretty white about 7pm last night, but things rapidly turned to rain by 9pm. Although the white stuff is nice on weekends, I am glad that we have not seen a repeat of last year. There are limits to how much snow we need down here on the coast.

It's strange, it feels like I have a few moments today. The last few weeks have been busy - amazing how much preparation goes in to celebrating the holidays! It's also felt satisfying to get to all the bits and pieces in the weeks before instead of the hours and days before things are to be together. It's nice not being in a panic, there is something to be said about being organized. Yet another difference that evolves when you have two kids... you have to be more organized, and take advantage of the quiet times. I just seem to be better able to pull everything together now than I was 3 years ago.

Friday, December 11, 2009

feels like being back in school

I am currently reading Wuthering Heights. I am not sure what I expected, but it isn't quite what the reality is turning out to be.

Although I was an English Lit major (honestly, at the end of the day I value my Humanities degree way more than my English degree), I found some of the classics a trial to read. Which is ironic, because I love to read. Whether or not they are classics, some books are a slog to get through.

I have had WH on my shelf for years. Hell, probably close to a decade. For some reason that escapes me (more in the sense that I have had the chance to read, usually before bed) I have been reading voraciously the last few months. So, I have gotten through many of the unread books that have been waiting for such a time on my shelf.

I really struggled through the first 100 pages, and I am surprised at how bleak this novel is. I guess I had one set of perceptions of what I had an inkling WH would be like (more Jane Austen'ish I suppose) but it isn't really panning out to be what I expected. The story is moving along, and I am interested, but I am also a little perplexed. It is a strange read, and it certainly isn't a fast read, where I can't wait to read what action is going to unfold on the next page. I don't know how I will feel about it once I have turned the last page, but even the characters don't seem to have a lot going for them - the narrators seem to the most kind, where many of the protagonists are just antagonistic and not really nice people to know. I guess my sympathies for the lead characters has not really been aroused to this point.

The jury is out.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Baking

My last post got me thinking, that and my current streak of domesticity...

What do you do for Christmas baking? I will reveal the selfish part of this, I am looking for some new ideas. The Chocolate Crinkles are new for me, and yes, will be added to my repertoire. A twist on those is to add peppermint instead of vanilla and you have a whole new, fabulous cookie.

I usually do some shortbread, butter and mincemeat tarts, some sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, haystacks... but I think it is good to branch out, add a few new tricks to the old recipe bag. Any suggestions? Definitely open to them!

Life repeats itself with slight twists

It's funny looking back in to your own personal history of posts and seeing where you were at a year ago, two years ago, etc.

Last December our lives were chaos. It was a Fall of mixed blessings, and the best thing to come from everything was our little guy named Connor and ultimately Brandon turning a few corners and moving forward in his life and gaining much, much more mobility. This year has not been about as much change - yes, we have welcomed another child, but I think as a family we have had some more time to just get used to life as we know it, now. I am not sure if that makes sense, but during my first maternity leave, so much happened - this time around, things are happening at a different pace, we are not first time parents, and I can speak for myself, I am enjoying the journey a little more.

I am not altogether sure what this week will bring. I feel the urge to make some lists and figure out what needs to get done in the next few weeks. We don't have a lot of things on the go, we aren't terribly booked up, and it is kind of nice to feel like we can just allow the coming weeks to unravel as they will.

The weather this week is supposed to be outstanding. My goal will be to get out and enjoy it - although I think that will mean a lot of layers for all of us. I can hear the gusting wind and there is a real bite in the air.

Amazing though, you post pretty much every day for a month, achieve your goal, and then drop off of the wagon. Us humans are so goal oriented, it is funny.

I discovered another evil cookie recipe.

Chocolate Crinkles. Totally addictive.


  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. I like to use a number 50 size scoop. Coat each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just because

Me and My boy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

so many little bits

Funny after posting just about every day for a month, you start to get in to a habit, or on a roll.

Few things happening in the sporting world. I will leave the big one alone, the price of fame - where does privacy even start? Does the public need explanations? Sad commentary about public consumption and public lives.

Ah yes, but the really interesting stuff for me has always been in hockey. Ovie being himself, and then that poor guy with the cut leg (some place I never went mentally when I played, scary stuff when skates come up). The really bizarre incident was the slash that happened in a Panthers game a few nights ago. After not getting his man, Panther Ballard takes a wicked slap at the net and nails his goalie, Vokoun. Not only does he not check to see on his goalie, whom is bellowing out in pain and flopping around on the ice, but he takes another whack with his stick and succeeds in breaking it on the goal post. W T F ?? I think this is a play that should be reviewed by the league. Scuttlebut indicates that because they were on the same team, nothing happens. I think that it is BS. That swinging stick was vicious, and Ballard did not even stop to check in on the guy whom obviously went down as a result of said swing. A move that was not classy, made him look like a complete ass, and well, when a player acts that subconsciouslessly, and doesn't think, oh yeah, they should be suspended by the team. Behaviour like that should not be condoned by no action, even if was team mate on team mate. It was a vicious slash.

Canucks won tonight - which was nice. I still think the starting Olympic job isn't going to Bobby Lou though..

Hmm, what else? I should be sleeping. I am tired, my eyes hurt, but sleep isn't coming. ARGH!

So, I think I will order my Christmas pictures. Why not?!

I took the boys to the Reifel Bird Refuge today... What an awesome experience. There are no, and I mean no anorexic ducks here. They are all fat. Verrrra healthy ducks and geese. Verra friendly ducks at that. I was hoping to see some snow geese, but we could only see them on the shoreline from a distance. But hear them we could - especially when the flock would take flight and move around, the cacophony of sound could be heard from miles away. It was enchanting. A beautiful fall day - I should have gotten an earlier start to our day, but alas, kids happened so we spent an hour in rush hour traffic coming home. I do not miss that.

We did see sandhill cranes, lots of mallards, coots, widegons, black-crowned night herons, chickadees, and swallows, and I do not know the names of the other birds we saw. A great place to go walking, some blinds to hide in, some towers to see from. I packed some food and some seed, and we made a real day of it. Brandon got tired and I had to carry, coerce him to continue a few times. Connor was pretty good too for a bumpy ride in the stroller. We have Nej's stroller from her first born and let me tell you, that stroller takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. 11 years old and the stroller is still a kick ass piece of kid machinery - I have taken it everywhere and Brandon can even perch himself off the back and hold on while I push! What is amazing about being a mom, is what you learn to do because you have to. Like pushing a stroller, feeding a kid a bottle, and holding the other as they try to feed the ducks, while trying to take some pictures.

After two weeks and 20 cm of rain, it is amazing what a beautiful place it is we live in when things dry out. Tomorrow I may haul out the Christmas lights, or dream up somewhere else to go and enjoy the sun in.