Friday, October 31, 2008

Songs of my childhood

I've listened to this at least 5 times already today...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

26 Things you didn't know about me until you read this...

For anyone just tuning in, I don't normally subject you to this sort of post, but I'm feeling a little creatively challenged today :)

1. What color is your toothbrush? Green and white - it's from my wonderful dentist. I seriously have the most amazing dentist in the world.

2. Name one person that made you smile today? My co-worker N. I was being visited at my workstation by Creepy Guy, who likes to drop by occasionally, and she came by with a question, letting me gracefully evict Creepy Guy. That made me smile.

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Starting my work day by visiting all the people I supervise.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Looking for extra carpeting in the dungeon in the basement where we store all our excess office furniture.

5. What is your favorite candy? Anything containing chocolate.

6. What is the last thing you said aloud? "Where on earth is that coming from?" - I'll let you imagine the story behind that one...

7. What is the longest you have gone without sleeping? Back in my university days, up to 40 hours. Dang all nighters!

8. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? Yes, I did! I got my bonus at work this week, and rewarded myself with new shoes, a pair of pants, a cute brown corduroy skirt, 2 tops, a necklace and 2 pairs of earrings. I know it sounds like a lot, but I only go shopping twice a year, so it has to last :)

9. The last sporting event you watched? It think it was a Raptors game a couple of years ago.

10. Ever go camping? Not really - I've done some pseudo-camping, but I don't think it really counts.

11. Do you take vitamins daily? I try, but some days (like today) I forget.

12. Do you go to church every Sunday? Usually.

13. Do you have a tan? No, nor will I ever. I burn or freckle.

14. What are you doing tomorrow? Work, and then we'll be helping out at the gym program.

15. Where is your dad? He could be anywhere in Atlantic Canada - he travels a lot for his job.

16. Look to your left, what do you see? A filing cabinet, a tower fan and seven audit bags (a ginormous briefcase on wheels).

17. What do you think of when you hear 'Australia'? Kangaroos, sunshine and blonde people.

18. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? Since we currently don't own a car, the drive thru is not an option right now.

19. Who's the last person you talked to on the phone? A lady in our accounts payable department.

20. Any plans today? Working, and then we're having some friends over for dinner. Their daughter, who is not yet 2 years old, just received an ebook from her grandparents and they want TC's advice about what books to download for her. How do you know what books a 2-year old will like when she's old enough to read? TC's answer: stick to the classics!

21. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? Contractors who don't show up when they say they will. Plus side: I have time to create a post like this :)

22. Do you have a maid service clean your house? Yup - the Thelmanator comes in once a month and saves my sanity. Bless her heart.

23. Do you use the word 'hello' daily? Now that I think about it, I don't think I do. At least not verbally. I usually say 'hi' or something equally witty and clever ;)

24. What colour is your car? Transparent.

25. Last meal? A cup of tea and some sunflower seeds.

26. Have you ever slept until 1pm? Not since I was a camp counselor. I'd come home on the weekends and basically sleep, eat and do laundry until it was time to head back.

There you have it, folks! More than you ever needed to know, I'm sure :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A little etiquette, if you please...

[Edited at the request of TC, who doesn't want to offend on the extremely off chance that one of his colleagues might read this post. If you haven't already read it and for some reason really want to know what it said - sorry! Leave a comment and I'll try to fill you in through some other means.]

Monday, October 27, 2008

Still here...

Hey folks! I am still alive and kicking, despite the lack of activity here :) Life, combined with illness, has redirected a lot of my blogging energies. As well as my housekeeping energies. We are currently experiencing a severe shortage in the grocery department, and a severe overabundance of laundry. Thankfully, our cleaning lady comes today, so the apartment will at least be clean when I get home.

We spent the weekend at a retreat for the elders of our church (I still find it wierd to think of myself as an 'elder' - it evokes images of old men in suits, which I most definitely am not!), which was a lot of fun and very uplifting. And cold. Very, very cold. Extremely cold! But we survived, and it turns out that extreme cold is an effective stimulus of interpersonal bonding - it was either bond or freeze...

I was very thankful to return to my grocery-less, laundry-laden, warm apartment :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I'm sick. I hate being sick. I especially hate being sick when I don't have time to be sick. I stayed home yesterday, but had to work from there, because we're too busy for me to completely shut down for any length of time. So I spent the day vacillating between feeling guilty for missing work and feeling miserable while working. I had to be physically present at work today, so I'm currently trying to get things done with sinuses that feel like they're going to explode any moment, crossing things off my list so that I can go home and start feeling guilty for not being at work again.

Damn protestant work ethic.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apple-y goodness!

Moonlight on the Saint John River

I'm back! And it was a wonderful trip :) Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family on Saturday (with veggies that were all grown in my dad's garden - yum!), visiting with old friends at church on Sunday (one of whom is expecting - yay!), seeing for myself that my grammy is okay, having a good visit with all my grandparents, spending time playing games and being silly with my mum and dad, going for a long drive with my brother, eating way too many sweets - life really doesn't get much better than that!

And I even remembered to take the camera :) Which is why I'm able to share my dad's homemade applesauce recipe with you... Here goes...

Start with a whole bunch of apples - preferrably a kind that doesn't winter well or retain its shape when cooked (I think these are Gravensteins).

Then you get to peel them all, and slice them up into a large pot, filling it to the rim (that's my dad doing the slicing - I was the designated peeler).

Now comes the yummy smelling part! Add a bit of water (for his 20L stock pot full of apples Dad added about 5 cups) and cook uncovered on med-high heat, stirring frequently as the apples soften. You won't need to do any mashing, as the apples should almost melt as they cook. You don't want them to boil, but they will simmer and sometimes splatter, so watch out!

Once it has simmered down into the delightful consistency that apple sauce should be, it's time to add the sugar and spice. For this batch, Dad added 2 1/2 cups of sugar, but feel free to decrease that by up to 1 cup if you don't like your sauce to be too sweet. Then he sprinkled in about 2-3 Tbsp of nutmeg (I'm guessing here - according to him it's a 'pinch' of this and a 'dash' of that), and 3-4 Tbsp of Barbour's Mixed Spice. The mixed spice will form into little balls, so you'll have to watch for them and smoosh them flat with your spoon against the side of the pot as you stir.

Pour the apples into the reusable jars of your choice and voila! Your very own homemade applesauce! (Side note: If you're going to use plastic jars, like the peanut butter jars we used, be sure to let your applesauce cool sufficiently so that they won't melt.) You'll need to freeze it, since it's not a sterilized process, but you can thaw a bottle whenever you feel like having some fresh applesauce.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey folks! I'm going off the radar for a little while, so I wanted to wish you all a "Happy Thanksgiving!" beforehand. I'm leaving on a jet plane first thing tomorrow morning to visit sunny Saint John and spend the weekend with my parents. It's also my grandparents' 60th anniversary this weekend, which probably means a family shindig of some sort. 60 years - can you imagine? My grandmother just had double bypass surgery a couple of weeks ago, so I'm incredibly thankful that I'm able to go home this weekend to see her.

What about all of you? What's something that you're thankful for?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Requiem for a Mouse

I think mice are rather nice;
Their tails are long, their faces small;
They haven't any chins at all.
Their ears are pink, their teeth are white,
They run about the house at night;
They nibble things they shouldn't touch,
and, no one seems to like them much,
but, I think mice are rather nice.
~Rose Fyleman

This is a poem that runs deep in my psyche, mainly because it's one of the two poems that my dad knows by heart, and he would always recite it whenever the topic of mice came up. (The other is a poem he wrote in grade one and goes like this: "I had a little doll. I stuck it in the wall. That's all." Pure literary genius!) I've always liked the poem, and I sincerely agree that mice are rather nice. Which is probably why I've felt so conflicted about trapping the one that had decided to become our new roomie.

I first spotted him on Saturday, scampering across the dining room floor - so cute, with the little ears and feet just a-going. But the reality of it is that they poop everywhere and get into our food and garbage, so he had to go. We considered buying one of those live traps, so we could release him back into the "wild" - but then we realized that there is no "wild" in Toronto. Anywhere we left him, he would simply make his way into someone else's home. So we got a trap that promised to kill him instantly so there would be no suffering, and last night I heard it go off.

The poor little guy! All he wanted was a warm place to sleep and food to eat, and all he got was killed and flushed down the toilet.

It's a cruel world.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oh where, oh where has my posting time gone...

Hey folks - sorry about the derth of posts. Life isn't leaving me a whole lot of time for it at the moment. Work is the busiest it's ever been, and the MIL is visiting for a while, which can be both fun and frustrating.

On a brighter note, TC won some soap from SherrieG in honour of her blogiversary the other day, and on Friday we received four lovely bars in the mail:

A bar of delicious pumpkin pie soap, which I'm seriously have to keep myself from covering in whip cream and devouring.

One of peppermint poppyseed - TC likes soap that exfoliates (or as he calls it "scratchy soap") - and the poppyseeds are great for that.

One bar of oatmeal, milk & honey soap - doesn't that sound decadent and good for you all at once?

And finally a bar of coffee soap, which is great for using in the kitchen since the coffee tends to absorb nasty odours like onion.

I can't wait to start using them - thanks SherrieG!

(I haven't had time to dig out my camera, so these photos are all from Sherrie's etsy shop, where you can buy your very own Birch Bark Soap - which I highly recommend you go do right now!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thoughts on selfishness

I think I'm being selfish. I don't know - maybe I'm not. I know that I'm frustrated. We moved here to Toronto so that TC could continue his studies, and because of that our lives are basically structured around his school schedule. That's the way it has to be, and most of the time I'm okay with it. I knew what I was signing up for when I married him, and I'm so proud of him and all that he's been able to do.

There are times, though, when it gets to me. When I feel like if I have to make one more sacrifice or set aside one more thing that I'd like to do so that he can pursue some aspect of his school life, I'm going to explode. And it's not that TC is overly demanding or insensitive to this imbalance - he's not, and he does try to make sure I have room for a life too. It's just that when I repeatedly end up holding the bag because he's overcommitted himself, doing things on my own that we were supposed to do together, or having to give up something to fill in for him in another area because something has come up and my activity was less urgent, I start feeling angry and resentful. Taken for granted.

And I know I shouldn't feel that way, because I know that I'm not taken for granted. I also know that sometimes these things just can't be helped - life comes at you fast and furious and all of a sudden you realize that you need to be in three places at once. I'm glad that I'm able to be here to help him when that happens.

Is it selfish to wish that sometimes our life was structured around me instead, though?