Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Organizational habits?

I have just completed my first attempt at a meal menu for the month of November. I was getting so tired of coming home from work and wondering, "what should I make for supper?" This wayI'll only have to answer that question once a month, and I can do it while I'm at work :) It should also help with the grocery situation. I've found in the last little while that our grocery spending has been more than it ought to be, and a lot of the fresh food that I was buying was going bad before I got around to using it. I was shopping with a list, but I rarely had a specific purpose in mind for anything that was on it. Now my list will have a purpose! Here's hoping I stick with it...

You know what's kind of funny? In looking at the menu that I've created for November, I probably won't have to get many groceries - just little stuff here and there. Why did I feel the need to keep getting groceries when I already had so much in the house? Habit, I guess :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Holistic housework

Well, I'm now somewhat caught up on the housework...actually, come to think of it, I'm not really caught up so much as I'm making progress, because the list has grown longer - much longer. We decided to rearrange the apartment on Sunday, and ended up creating a level of chaos that has rarely been seen in these parts. The aftermath is still evident, though it's mainly confined to the sunporch since I cleaned up after work today. The dishes and garbage are being attended to as I type, so that just leaves the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, dusting, vacuuming, and maybe at some point working on my French course.

Why is it that when you let one thing go, it seems so much easier to just let everything else go too? What is it about human nature that makes us such all-or-nothing creatures? Maybe it's just me - my life seems to vary between extremes lately. Or maybe we're just not built to be as compartmentalized as we like to think we are.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sallying into Soap-Making...

It's been another busy weekend - I feel like I'm falling behind, but I'm not sure in what, other than housework. We are currently without any fresh groceries, the laundry is stacked almost as tall as I am, and everything is covered in about half an inch of dust. I'm about a week behind in my French correspondance course, so maybe that's it. This week will have to be devoted to buckling down and getting all of that stuff done, since I spent this weekend milling soap! Soap making is a new thing for me, and I'm loving it.

We're actually using soap from my first attempt now - a cinnamon soap (the brown ones on the right) that smells wonderful and actually leaves your skin feeling a little warmed. I gave away the other kind, which only had a little bit of lemon essential oil added to cover the oily scent that the basic soap had, to some friends who are having a baby, since the basic Castille soap recipe (made with pure olive oil) is extremely gentle and great for sensitive skin.

This weekend I made a batch of ginger soap (on the left), and a batch of peppermint oatmeal soap (on the right). I love the texture that the oatmeal gives the soap. I'm still playing with different molds to see what works best. So far nothing I currently own is ideal, but I haven't tried everything yet.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Walk in the Park

I have just found an online computer game the sheer absurdity of which completely tickles my fancy. It's called A Walk in the Park, and in it you are a pet chihuahua, tethered to the wheelchair of a guitar-playing senior citizen (who plays very well, I might add). The point of the game is to pull your owner through various obstacles, collecting doggie treats and scaring rabbits along the way, until you reach the prize, which appears to be a lime popsicle. Too funny! I highly recommend it if you're in need of a laugh :)

High Hogwarts?

Massey College - a Canadian institution founded to provide a congenial intellectual environment for the exchange of opinions and ideas. Home to the Canadian intellectual elite, including Adrienne Clarkson and Margaret Atwood. And I got to take part in one of their 'high table' dinners last night :) It was a very theatrical and somewhat surreal experience. The picture to the left is of the main gate, where the porter (they have a full-time porter) lets you in and gives you a long black gown which you must wear to dinner or you don't eat. Then you enter the 'quad', which is essentially a courtyard in the middle of the college. This picture doesn't show it, but there are 2 big ponds with fountains, goldfish and lilypads in them - very pretty!

The evening began in the common room, shown to the left, where we were served our choice of beverage and then mingled with the other Masseyites. There were several distinguished guests there, including the British High Commissioner, the Swedish ambassador, and a Nobel-laureate, though I didn't actually meet any of them. Imagine about 60-70 people crammed in this room, all dressed in long black robes, trying to carry on a conversation. After a little while, the St. Catherine's bell rang and the Master (yes, that's how the head guy is actually addressed) made a little speech, then ushered the honoured guests into a little antechamber while the rest of us made our way up to the stairs pictured on the right into Ondaatje Hall, which is their dining room, shown below. Once everyone was in the hall and standing behind their respective chairs, the guests who were sitting at the head table proceeded into the room, and someone (I don't know who) read a Latin grace, following which we all got to sit down.
Things then proceeded pretty much like any other formal-ish dinner that I've ever been to. The appetizer was a lovely soup, which must have been some kind of squash or pumpkin affair. This was followed by a long speech from the Master, introducing all of the people at the head table and listing their accomplishments. The Main course was lamb, and dessert was some sort of custard-filled cake - all very, very good. Afterward, the St. Catherine's bell was rung again, and everyone stood behind their chairs as another Latin grace was read and the head table retired to the library for port and snuff (I'm not making this up). The rest of us went back to the common room for port, coffee, tea and truffles. Maybe it's because Halloween is almost here, but the whole experience felt very Hogwartian.
(Sidenote: I didn't actually take these pictures, as you have probably already figured out. They're part of the promotional material presented on the official website.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Novelty and Needles...

So I imagine that once the novelty of having a blog wears off I'll be posting a little less often, but for now it's still new and fun - although it's a little weird too. I have just today received confirmation that other people (or at least another person) read this blog. I know that this is ostensibly the point, but it is a fact that still requires a bit of adjusting. For me, anyway.

Today was allergy shot day, which is always a joy and thrill. I go in once a week and am injected with a serum of allergens that is gradually increasing in concentration and amount, the idea being that I will hopefully become immune to them. I don't really mind, since it means I get to leave work a little early every Monday - always a good thing - and it usually only takes an extra 15 minutes, since the doctor's office is on my way home. Today, though, it took forever! Some poor child was getting her shots and was very definitely, and volubly, unhappy about it, so the shot lady was occupied for quite a while trying to settle her down enough to get the job done. The little girl, who looked to be about 5, was quite cute as she came out into the waiting room afterwards, still trying to stop crying and very politely reassuring the shot lady that she still liked her, even though it had hurt very much.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

'Beary' Cute Hat...

Isn't this just the cutest hat ever? A couple from our home church are having a baby next month, and the shower was today. I was so busy this weekend that I didn't get a chance to get the yarn that I wanted to make this with, but I made this tonight with some leftovers to test the pattern and I think it's absolutely adorable! I'll have to get the yarn this week and make the good one.
The shower was a lot of fun. We've recently started attending a new church called the Meeting House, which meets in a movie theatre on Sunday and then in small groups, called home churches, during the week. The group we meet with is great - very friendly and genuine. Well, TC needs the computer so that's it for now!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Busy, busy, busy!

I find it rather funny that I've spent a significant amount of time over the past 2 years thinking that I had too little to do and wishing that I was more involved in things, and in the last 2 months life has become so busy that I find myself wishing I had more time to relax :) Yay for being fickle!

I'll be heading out in a few minutes to help at the gym program, which is essentially a Friday night drop-in for 'kids' in the community. They play basketball, and there's a little devotional part way through the night. I call them 'kids', but some of them are older than I am and have been coming since they were actually kids. I'll try to post some pictures once TC gets home with the camera. I just started helping out, though TC has for the past couple of years. It turns out that the company I work for will donate $$ to the program, but only if I'm actually there participating, so to make the gym night eligible I've started keeping time for one of the courts.

TC is currently in Washington, his second of eight trips that he'll be making. Here are a couple of pics from his last trip, back in September:

Hopefully I'll be able to go with him one of these times.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Getting Started...

Well, I've given in and started a blog! Not, I reassure myself, out of a belief that the whole world is interested in my little life, but because I spend a large part of my day sitting in front of a computer with nothing to do and keeping a blog looks like fun.

That's about it for my first post - I need to spend some time formatting this thing!