Sunday, December 30, 2007
So that was the beginning of my love affair with the written word. To this day, I cannot go without being in a book. There are some that are harder to read, some that are hard to get into, and some that are hard to put down. But I rarely find a book I don't like. Take The Kite Runner ... I had a hard time with the main character (who was a child for the majority of the novel), to the point that I didn't like the little bastard ... but I persevered, knowing that I couldn't NOT finish it. I was happy that I finished it, happy with the way things turned out - well with most things. What happened to Sorhab could have been different. Anyway ... I am on to another novel. Actually, since The Kite Runner yesterday morning, I am on to another another novel. Make sense? It will.
I don't know if anyone has read a book by Emily Giffin ... if you haven't, you need to. She's a very interesting writer. I normally do not like first person books, preferring the third person/narrative styles better. But it doesn't matter with her books. I discovered 'the book' - Something Borrowed - Friday when Mum and I were out Christmas Tree shopping. Yes, we were tree shopping AFTER Christmas. I know it sounds redundant ... however, we are now the owners of a beautiful, full Tiffany Fir artificial tree. For next year. Anyway, since we were out, we decided to stop by Chapters (my Mecca) and have a look around. I spied an attractive display of trade paperback books in pink, baby blue, and yellow at the fireplace. I picked the first book of the series up(pink), sat down in one of the spectacularly uncomfortable chairs, started reading the first chapter, and could not put the book down! I finally looked up after the third chapter and realized that I had lost my mother. So, off to the cash I go, purchase my book (like I don't have three at home waiting to be read) and head to look for my wandering parent.
I made myself finish The Kite Runner Saturday morning before picking up Something Borrowed again. So I finished The Kite Runner and them immediately started in on Something Borrowed. I took a break and went to see Sweeney Todd (that's another post), came home, shoveled my driveway, then plunged back into the book. I didn't leave that book until I reached the end ... last night, shortly after midnight. I read this 300+ page book in less than a day .... because it was that good. I laughed, I cried - gawd, did I cry! - and loved every minute of it. So now I am on to the "another another book" - the second book in the series called Something Blue.
I realize this post is long, but I have to give you a brief description of this series. Something Borrowed is about a woman named Rachel who has just turned 30, hates her job, is single and childless, and isn't at all where she thought she would be by the age of 30. She is a people pleaser, allowing others to shine, taking second position - always. Her best friend Darcy is engaged to beautiful Dex. Darcy is the one one lives in the limelight, actually demands the limelight. She is the ultimate "fun girl". Darcy's life has always been charmed; she's beautiful, in a successful job she loves that she never trained for, engaged to a wonderful man, and quite a self-centered, selfish person. The whole story starts when Darcy throws a surprise birthday party for her best friend Rachel, but of course, usurps the spotlight. Inevitably, she ends up loaded and has to be taken home by Dex. Unfortunately, she left her purse at the bar, where Dex returns to fetch it, only to discover Rachel still at the bar. Not wanting to leave her alone, he decides to hang out with Rachel for a while. Can you see where I'm going here? Dex and Rachel, quite drunk, end up back at her apartment and have sex. She sleeps with her best friends fiance! Rachel soon discovers she has very real feelings for Dex ... and it looks like Dex shares them. And that is all I will say about the story ... you have to go read it to find out what happens!
In most stories, I would soooo be on Darcy's side. But ya know what? I was rooting for Rachel the whole time. From the very beginning. Two reasons: obviously, Emily Giffin is that great a writer ... she makes you root for the adulterer/backstabber. LOL. But there's the identifying aspect to it. Plain and simple - I am a Rachel. I totally identify with her character. And it got me to thinking about my friends. Who is who? Who would I class as a Darcy? Who is a Hillary? And a Claire? (Hillary and Claire are other characters in the novels if you hadn't guessed). I've got some of you down ... Nicole is a total Hillary. Anita and Princess are total Darcys. I'm not saying you are self-centered or selfish, but you really are limelight girls. You are the "fun girls", the girls others want to be like or friends with. And Melanie is a cross between Hillary and Claire. I would have to say that Krista is a touch of Rachel, but mainly a Hillary, while Susan is a total Hillary.
So go read the book! And you will see what I am talking about. Tell me I'm wrong! I dare ya! LOL.
P.S. Something Blue that I am now reading is Darcy's story .... kinda having a hard time feeling any kind of empathy for this character ... but I cannot put the book down!
P.S.S. Can you guess what colour the book is?
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sounds corny, I know, BUT I am super excited. Why? Because I went down a size!
Yay for me!
Seriously, I went on this BC pill and I was absolutely sure I was gaining weight and all bloated and stuff .... and I was, in fact, losing weight. How could I possibly know?
Welllll, my sister gave me a winter jacket for Christmas. It was a jacket I had tried on while we are Pennington's shopping for Mum's gift ... and I was dithering because it was a little snug at the hips/ass. But Amanda and Colleen convinced me it was perfect. So, Amanda bought it right then and there and took it home to wrap. Needless to say, I have been worrying that I wouldn't fit it when I finally opened it. But Christmas morning, when I put it on, the jacket fit well, and was actually a little loose!
Then there's the pants that my mother bought me for Christmas. The night before Amanda and I shopped for Mum's Christmas gift at Pennington's, Mum and I shopped for Amanda's at Pennington's. I tried on two pair of MXM jeans in my size. The fit perfectly and I debated which one to buy. So my mother bought both and took them home to wrap and put under the tree. Christmas morning, when I put the black jeans on, I had to take them off ... they were way too big! I kept the blue jeans ... they are a little loose, but I decided to keep them and buy a belt instead. Today I took the black jeans back and exchanged them for a size smaller! They fit perfectly!!!
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally, I am starting to get it under control!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I hate Christmas Day.
Surprised to read that little bit?
I love Christmas, everything about it, the giving and receiving (hey! I'm not selfless .... I like to receive just like anybody else), the decorating, the cooking and baking, the gift wrapping, the card making (not the card addressing, so much), the getting together with friends, Secret Santa, etc...
I love it all, right up to about 4pm Christmas Eve. And then it happens. I can feel it happening - like something permeating my whole body or a veil being slowly lowered over me. It lasts until about noon on Boxing Day. It has absolutely nothing to do with medication ... I should know since I have now spent at least three Christmas' on medication and it still happens.
4pm Christmas Eve is the start of the most hellish hours for me ... I try to be "happy", or at least convince everyone else that I am. But it's hard.
Christmas was my Dad's holiday. Everything about it, right down to the mistletoe and holly. It was a month-long party, basically. We decorated the house inside and out, we cut our own tree and decorated it, he baked up a storm (my father was the domestic one), he always knew when all the Christmas shows were on so we never went a Christmas without seeing all those claymation classics, he filled trays with candy like nutter butters and ribbon candy, he always made sure "Santa" dropped off a gift before mass on Christmas Eve, we visited family and friends as a family unit. And the list goes on.
I do love Christmas, but once Christmas Eve arrives, it all comes home. And I guess home is the problem. Probably because I haven't felt at "home" for a long time. Probably because our family hasn't felt like a family in a long time. There are very few traditions we've hung on to. Mum has all her brothers and sisters to celebrate with ... I have my sister who is more interested in what is best for her and more importantly (to her at least), David. We have no children to celebrate with, no real family, just a group of individuals.
Alright to end this depressing post, let me say this: we used to have Christmas Soup followed by Salt Cod in a White Sauce for Christmas Eve dinner. The soup is and always has been good, but the cod ... I could gag just thinking about it. It was absolute aweful. But you know? I would happily sit through a full plate of that stuff if it meant spending just one more Christmas with him. For all his meanness and abuse (and there was plenty of it), he was the lynchpin, the one who made us a family.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I am so glad that everyone who could make it did make it. It was what we've all been waiting on for a long time.
There were some really great Secret Santa's out there! I know I had one! Mel spoiled me rotten. I am debating where to put my new clock ... my bedroom or the living room. My lovely ornaments will go on my tree soon ... after I've shown them off a bit. All my other goodies are going to be put to good use very, very soon! Specially since I am off until Jan 2nd. I have a little holiday courtesy of my rocking "parents".
The food was wonderful, as usual. I hope everyone enjoyed it. Although, I have to say, the biggest hit for some was not food, but rather a certain bowl ...
If anyone experienced anything negative with Secret Santa, please, please, please, don't give up on it. E-mail me privately about it. I can't promise that I will have a fix for it, but I can certainly try.
And that's it for me! Happy Holidays everyone!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Ok, as most of you know I don't like guacamole. It's the avocado. Not a big fan of the taste, but I really don't like the texture.
So we started with a little fusion cooking ... Szechuan Guacamole. Well, you can imagine how excited I was for that. NOT! It was supposed to be served up with Shrimp Chips, but the Superstore didn't have any so they subbed with "sea vegetable" rice crackers, aka sea weed rice crackers. I am sure some of you are now cringing, thinking this has got to be disgusting. I certainly had my doubts. But I was determined to try some of it.
WELL, I FREAKING LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMG! The guacamole was soooo delicious! The rice crackers were perfect for the dip. I can't believe how great it was! Guess what everybody's having at Lesley's Epi party? LOL!
Next we had Siu Mai which was steamed dumplings .... it was supposed to be duck dumplings, however "they couldn't get" any duck (meaning it was too much $$) so they subbed with pork tenderloin. They were pretty good. Just a note. When they call for Siu Mai wrappers, best to go with them, not wonton wrappers that are twice as thick, take twice as long to cook and are a little chewier. All in all, the dumplings were good. Something I would definitely try. The chef also whipped up a quick dipping sauce which was basically soy sauce, ginger, garlic and rice wine vinegar - very tasty!
The third item we tried was Hoisin-BBQ Pork ... hmmmm ... very good. It took an hour to bake in the oven, very quick, very flavourful. Lisa chose to serve it with plain Jasmine rice (my fave) and a quick veggie stir-fry that was scrumptious.
The last item we tried was the Bok Char Siu Mai ... I like shrimp, but I just didn't like the shrimp filling that was in the mushrooms. Definitely not one I will attempt. It's best left alone.
In the New Year, there will be four classes - Thai, Indian, Chinese, and Entertaining Friends. I am definitely signing up for the Thai and Chinese. I will have to give the other two some thought. I may also look into the classes offered by the dietitian at the Southside store. I guess she is doing great, her classes are always full.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Impossibly Easy Bacon Pie
12 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tsp Fines Herbs
1.Heat oven to 400°F. Grease 9-inch glass pie plate. Saute onion in olive oil in a frying pan until they begin to turn translucent. Add mushrooms and green pepper and saute for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and sauteed vegetables into pie plate.
2.In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients until blended; pour into pie plate.
3.Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
1 single-crust deep-dish pie crust
12 slices bacon
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup minced onion
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups light cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. Place bacon in a large skillet, and fry over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then chop coarsely. Saute onion in bacon grease until slightly translucent. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion into pastry shell.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
4. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F, and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Allow quiche to sit 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
NOTE: To make the bacon step easier, I use kitchen shears and cut the raw bacon into small pieces, then fry in the pan. Save the crumbling-chopping step. Also, you can use a mixture of Swiss and Gruyere cheeses instead of just Swiss.
Double Stuffed French Toast with Peaches and Almonds
8 slices Texas-style bread
3 eggs, whisked
1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup 10% cream
1 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup PC Cranberry Orange Marmalade or Sauce
1 can NN sliced peaches in syrup, drained and slightly dried
1 cup candied almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup peach slices
1/2 cup whipped cream
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and cream. Heat skillet to medium heat. Place a small amount of butter or canola oil in pan (I would use cooking spray). Soak each slice of bread in egg mixture briefly. Cook slices of bread in pan, two at a time, until a bit firm and golden brown. Set cooked slices on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Combine cream cheese and cranberry marmalade in a small mixing bowl.. Spread cheese mix on each slice of French Toast. Place first amount of sliced peaches on cream cheese on 4 slices of the Toast. Top with second slice of Toast, sandwiching everything together. Slice each sandwich in 1/2 and place baking sheet in oven to warm through. To serve, place sandwich on plate and garnish with candied almonds, dried cranberries, second amount of sliced peaches, whipped cream and dust with icing sugar.
NOTE: You can find candied almonds at the Bulk Barn or make them yourself by tossing almonds with honey, sugar or maple syrup and toasting in the oven for 10 minutes. There's no reason why you can't reduce the calorie content by using milk instead of 10% cream in the egg mixture, low-fat or no-fat cream cheese, peaches in fruit juice instead of syrup, and low-fat or non-fat whipped topping instead of whipped cream.
I will post the rest of the recipes for you later this evening after the kids leave. Gotta go get Mr. Man up from his nap right now, just heard him stir.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
As friends, we have called each other out several times on our bullshit. We have our say, frequently feelings are hurt, but we work it out, and we move on. And we're still friends.
I've had it out with several people ... Mel and I don't always see eye to eye, right Mel? We disagree, we butt heads, and then we get over ourselves and whatever issue on which we were disagreeing. Nick and I have been at each others throats .. there have been times we haven't wanted to see each other, couldn't stand to see each other, n'est-ce-pas? Look at Krista and I. We had a big clearing of the air. And we are still friends. Hell, Anita and I had a fight, didn't speak for almost two years, but we are to this day, still friends!
My point? Friends are not perfect. We have fights and arguements and some of us may go away for a while grumbling under our breath. BUT, we remain friends. We do not immediately throw in the towel and give up. At least, I don't. And I certainly hope that is the case for my friends. I think good friends are too hard to come by not to try and work things out.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Anyway, we started with Mimosas ... tasty. MUCH better than the Mint Julep. I think it would have been better had they thrown some vodka in there. Vodka makes everything better. But I guess it wouldn't have been a mimosa, huh?
Then we had the Warm Egg and Bacon Italian Sandwich. This was by far the tastiest item of the night. Amazing! I am going to Epicurize it and make it for the group. Think pesto and bruschetta! Oh, it was good!
Then we had Italian Sausage and Mushroom Strata. Very good. I would definitely try to make this, but I would cut down on the use of cream and butter. It''s possible to make a great tasting Strata without that much fat. The portions were HUGE ... I ate tooooo much. I should have saved half and brought it home to Lukey as a treat.
Then we had the Double Stuffed French Toast with Cream Cheese and Peaches. That was pretty good. Basically, it was a French Toast sandwich. It had a filling of sliced peaches and cream cheese mixed with orange marmalade and cranberry sauce. All topped with candied almonds. It was good. I might make it, but I would definitely tweak it a bit.
The last item we had was Leeks and Russet Potato Gratin. Very rich and very good. I was so full, I could only take a couple of bites. I had to bring the rest of it home to the dog. He enjoyed it! LOL! It was very good. I have never cooked with leeks before, mainly because they can be a pain to work with. After some of the chefs tips Tuesday night, I know I will be trying them.
Anyway, that was my fun and exciting Tuesday night. What did everybody else do?
Monday, December 10, 2007
Tomorrow night, I am off to another Superstore cooking class - Holiday Brunch. There will be mimosas ... can't wait! HAS to be better than the Mint Julep ... aka ... Vicks on the rocks.
Wednesday or Thursday I am going to a movie. I don't care if I go alone. I am going. It's killing me! I really want to see Enchanted or Hitman (love Timothy Olyphant!).
LUKEY UPDATE: He is doing much better. Dr. Lewis calls him the miracle baby cuz by medical standards, he shouldn't be alive anymore ... his ticker should have given out. Anyway, she said his lungs are ok, not filled with fluid. His gums and tongue are losing colour now a little more easily ... which a progression of the heart failure. His heart hasn't given out yet though. However, his hips are another story. She said there was a lot of muscle wasting in his hips and legs since last time she saw him .... he has old man legs apparently. Anyway, she doesn't want to up his Deramaxx because it can cause a whole slew of problems. News to my mother because I never told her about them ... I didn't want her to worry about it. So his pain med stays the same, but he is now on Gabapentin. It's a human drug that used to be used for seizures and is now used for chronic pain in people and animals. She says that after a couple of weeks, we may be able to lower his Deramaxx dosage a bit. The gabapentin is much safer, easier on the system, and effective. Amanda went to the appointment with us ... and was useless, of course. I am glad I went because if I hadn't, Lukey would now not be on the Gabapentin. Mum and Amanda were both pretty passive about treatment. Honest to God! Come on! If it's in his best interest, don't you think you should explore the option? They just sat there and moved on to other topics after the vet brought it up. I made sure we went back to the topic and made sure she knew I wanted him on it. Dr. Lewis generally goes with what I want more so than Mum or Amanda, even though she knows Lukey is technically Amanda's.
We also stuck Amanda with the bill for the visit. Hehe. She wasn't impressed. Of course, she still hasn't coughed up the $$ for the last round of pain meds Mum had to pick up because Amanda kept 'forgetting' to pick them up. And get this! She almost got a slap in the face for what she did next. She hands me the receipt, then says just a minute, takes the printout and credit card receipt from me, removes the credit card receipt and hands the printout back to me. She then says - 'I'll just take the credit card receipt, I don't want you to have a copy of my number, just in case you might use it.' What the fucking hell? Her ignorance and rudeness are getting to be unbelievable!
Basically, Lukey is feeling better than last weekend and in a few weeks, may be feeling even better!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I am almost finished the quilt that Amanda and David are paying me to make. It's a Christmas gift for the Evil One ... but Hell, I don't care ... they're paying me!
I am almost finished my quilting project for my Secret Santa .... it's beautiful, if I say so myself. I hand quilted it ... my stitches may not be the most beautiful, but they're nothing to sneeze at either!
I have the Lazy Sausage Rolls and the Mushroom Tarts made and frozen for the Secret Santa party. I baked and chocolate-dipped all my cookies for the Holiday Baking Exchange. It was a smaller turnout than expected ... lots of people missed out ... suckers! More for the rest of us! LOL!
I have been working on a little project for some of my closest friends ... it's actually been quite fun ... they are halfway completed. I am hoping to finish them within the next week or so.
I got a little something for everyone in the Secret Santa exchange ... nothing big, but I have everything all wrapped!
The house is completely decorated. I bought a tree this afternoon and it is up in its stand. Once the tree has relaxed, we will start decorating it.
Anita and company's Christmas gifts have been received! She gave me a jingle Friday to let me know. Today, I shipped all the Aunts their gifts ... all Epicure products. Aren't I mean? It's something they can't get in the States. LOL! I will have to be their dealer. Hehe. I also shipped January birthday gifts to BC for Anita and K.
So, I still have to finish my Christmas shopping. My mother is really the only one left to finish. She's my difficult one every year. I have to get a couple of bird feeders and some feed. I already purchased two great, easy-to-use bird books. And then I had some other ideas and they have now flown the coop. Hopefully they'll come back soon.
And I guess that's it!!!!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
And he's dying.
He's actually Amanda's dog. When she moved out, we told her she had to leave him behind because Sunny would miss him too much. It was like twisting a rubber arm. She didn't have much difficulty leaving him. She rarely spends time with him even now, when she knows his health is getting worse.
Lukey was born with a heart defect and as he got older it just got worse. He's now in congestive heart failure. He's been to see the cardiologist at UPEI and has been on medication for years. In the last couple of years, he has developed a bad hip, which Newfs are prone to. He's on a pain med for that too.
Last weekend marked a turn in Lukey's health. Amanda forgot to pick up his pain meds Friday, as usual. I have a serious problem with this because it's the only responsibility she has - getting his pain meds each month. That's it. And she has to be reminded over and over before she gets her ass in gear. Since we didn't have a new Rx, we had to cut his pills in half to make them last all weekend. By the end of the weekend, he couldn't get out the back door without falling, let alone even trying to get off or on the deck.
Since then, he seems to be going downhill. He doesn't want to go outside. He isn't eating as much. He's throwing up everyday. He's skin and bones. And it's time to start thinking about the next step.
We have an appointment on Monday afternoon to see the vet to see if the heart failure is getting worse. If it is, we are going to have to put him down. I can't sit and watch another dog die right in front me. It was horrible the first time, and I won't do it a second time. My mother says Amanda has to have a say in it, as he is her dog. I say screw her. She can't be bothered to spend fifteen minutes with him, get his meds, or contribute in his care in any way. She forfeit any rights she had long ago.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Christmas is never complete without the best of Bing.
My neighbours' house .... snow packed.
The backyard ... the dogs had a wonderful time in the snow.
One storm and it's almost halfway up the fence.
Miz L wasn't too impressed that she had to stay outside while the snow was being shoveled. I think I will have to get a small shovel for her ... that way if she doesn't want to play by herself in the snow while I am shovelling, I can press her into child labour and have her "help". J stayed at home ... her mother thought it best to stay home rather than risk the roads.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I am way off track though .... I have been running errands, playing Scrabulous with Kim, and general cleaning since everyone left. I hadn't been to my bedroom ... until a few minutes ago. I went to change and get ready for bed and what should I find on my nightstand, but a little something from my Secret Santa. A delicious little something. Actually two delicious little somethings. Two small, heavenly, creamy, tastebud-tingling Toblerones bars. I've inhaled one already. I think I will save the other for tomorrow.
So, thank you my sneaky Secret Santa! It was much appreciated!
P.S. This is sooooo much better than an old pair of socks!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
So, that means I have to commit to some form of activity 4 days a week.
Starting next Monday night, I will be going to Aquacise at the Nasis Pool twice a week - that's Monday and Wednesday or Thursday.
And that brings me to my call: I am looking for at least one person to accompany me to Aquacise classes. You don't have to go to every class, every week. I would just like to have a companion at the classes. Hell, it could be a different person at each class. Doesn't matter to me.
I am looking at the following dates: Monday - 3, 10 & 17. Wednesday - 5 & 19. Thursday 13.
So ... who's going to volunteer?
Anybody? Don't all jump at once.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
All I can say is that I have been on it for 1-1/2 weeks and I'm not happy. Either I have gained weight in that time or I am retaining some major fluids. I am not happy. To the point that I could sit here and cry. I worked to lose weight and now it's all going to go down the drain. I have had more cravings for chips and deep-fried foods in the last week than I did the whole summer. I'm not hungry in the morning, I eat more in the evening. It's aweful!
On top of that, I feel wrong. Something is wrong with my inner girly bits. I'm cramping, I feel gross, and just wrong. I don't know how else to describe it. And anything remotely sexual makes all that feel worse .. to the point that it's almost painful.
I promised to give it three months. But I don't know if I can make it. Only a week and a half and I'm already whining! Oye. I may have to dump the Yasmin and switch to Depo-Provera. That I know I do well with.
Monday, November 26, 2007
But THIS THURSDAY'S EPI IS A REPEAT!!!
The next new episode is December 6th .... So we have to wait another week to find out if poor Seth is going die!!!
Chandra Wilson was on The View today and mentioned it.
She also talked about reading for her part way back when ... and guess what? The producers were looking for a short, white, blond who could play the part nicknamed "The Nazi." She went to the reading with how she thought the character would act. And she got the part!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Last Wednesday, Julie, Jessica's mother, informed me that J wouldn't be back until Monday because Julie's grandmother was quite ill. They were on their way to NS to visit with her. Unfortunately, Julie's grandmother passed away on the weekend, so J hasn't been here ... for a week. Lauren has had undivided attention and she's loving it. She doesn't even ask about Jessica anymore .... easy come, easy go, I guess. Anyway ... Jessica returns tomorrow. I don't know how that's going to go .... when she's been away for longer than a weekend, she seems to have a hard time re-assimilating. But it will be nice to be paid .... seeing as how payday for Julie/Jessica was Monday. But I really didn't want to bring it up .... I'll wait til tomorrow and if she hasn't remembered, then I will remind her Friday.
Saturday was Christmas lights day. I had to get those lights up, come hell or high water. Well ... I went to Crappy Tire and picked up some of the stuff I needed .... like new clips for the house lights and two strands of green 100-light minilights. While there, got a call from Amanda about going to Pennington's for Mum's gift (a new coat- like she doesn't already have a dozen), so off we went. I got home three hours later and finally got started on the lights. Of course, my search for the green minilights was futile, so I knew that would have to wait til Sunday. I got all set up to do the house lights and guess what? The clips didn't work on the new eavestroughing we just had installed a month ago! I had to go back to Crappy Tire and get a different kind. I got the lights up, plug them in and some of the lights in the left cedar aren't working. I check and guess what? A squirrel has chewed the cord! So I have to go to Crappy Tire AGAIN to get a new cord and some replacement bulbs. I get back, switch the lights from the chewed cord to the new cord and all is good with that. HOWEVER, the clear replacement bulbs I picked up were twinklers! AARGGGHHHH!!! Fuck it! It can wait til Sunday.
Saturday night was all about trying to find the green minilights. Not a strand in Fredericton. But by the holy old Jesus, there's plenty of blue ones!!!! I finally made the decision to switch to LED for the green.
Sunday, I hit the Home Hardware - honestly, why I don't go there first is beyond me - and they had the best deal on green LED minilights. Got the 200 lights I wanted plus the clear replacement lights and all is good with the world. Or so you would think!!!! I replaced all the burnt out lights. I put up the red,green, and clear minilights on the lilac bushes. And isn't HALF OF ONE STRAND OF CLEAR MINILIGHTS BURNT OUT!?!?!?! It was fine the day before!!!! I thought I was going to have a stroke! I now understand why my father was always an ass when he did it. So, off to Crappy Tire I go for a new strand of clear minilights - I KNEW they had those. Finally, by supper time, I had the lights finished.
Of course, by this time, my throat has started to hurt. Lauren had a cold Friday morning and I thought I had done a good job being a germ-o-phobe, but I guess it didn't work. Monday morning I woke feeling like crap ... and the day didn't get much better. After Lauren left, I curled up on the couch in sweat pants, a shirt, a sweater, my coat, and a blanket. I was frozen! Wicked high fever. Finally started to warm up with all that clothing and the Advil cocktail I had.
Tuesday dawned much the same as Monday .... but I knew I had to be mobile for the evening so Lauren and I had a very low key day. She's such a sweetie pie. Here's an aside ... I have come to the conclusion in the last few months that I don't want to have kids anymore .... I have wanted kids since I was about 14 ... now, not so much. If I could be guaranteed that I would have one exactly like Lauren, I would risk having a kid. She's such a good egg! Anyway, back to her being a sweetie pie. She knew I wasn't feeling well ... at one point I was huddled under a blanket. She came over, crawled under the blanket and curled up against me and tried to make me feel better. Isn't she a doll!?!?! Tuesday night, my mother, sister and I went to see Ron James at the playhouse. This man cracks me up! I'm not going to get into his comedy .... you can check him out on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ron+james Any of these video clips are classic from him. Specially Tim Hortons.
That brings us to today. I'm feeling a lot better. Other than the three dozen mini-daggers jabbing my lungs between my shoulder blades when I cough. After having a nightmare about them last night, I finally opened my marked assignments from my English course ... Assign#1-92% and Assign#2-93%. I rock! My Christmas shopping is going great. I have Anita and her brood all bought for ... I just have to wrap it all up and mail it next week. Yay me! Sarah K is almost done. Thank you Avalon Spa! My sister is almost done. My mother is always a huge question mark. Oye. (I'm thinking a whole birdwatching theme.) My grandmother is done. My aunt Joan is still an "I'm not sure about that." My aunts from the US are all done (giving them Epi stuff .. hehe). My Secret Santa is almost done. My close girlfriends are almost done.
And that's the last week in a really ginormous nutshell.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
First of all, let me start with that day in particular. The "snow day". There's nothing that ticks me off more than idiot drivers. And days like that ... well, basically it's SNOW + Frederictonians = MORONIC DRIVERS.
I'm not saying that being is cautious is moronic .... but Fredericton drivers take it to new heights every time it snows. It's almost as if they've completely forgotten that we get the white stuff for the better part of 8 months! Oye!
Anyway, my appointment wasn't until 9 AM, so I left with the kids at 8:30. That's thirty minutes to get to the Regent Street Clinic ... plenty of time, right? Nope ... I walked into the Doctor's office at 9:10. And Bendy had arrived only a few mintues before me, so everything was running late.
Even so, it didn't take too long to get in ... and I have to say, the kids were absolute gems ... they behaved themselves and did as they were told to do without arguing or even "turning deaf", as Lauren is wont to do lately.
Secondly, you have to realize that being willing to try another birth control pill is a big deal for me. The last time I was on one, nobody could live with me. Hell! I couldn't live with me! I was a SUPER BITCH! Not your every day, garden variety bitch. No, I was from the seventh circle of Hell. It was aweful.
When I got in there, I told her I was willing to try another BC pill again, that a friend was on Yasmin, she was doing well with it, that I had been doing more research on PCOS lately, blah, blah, blah. She wrote the Rx out there and then.
I told her that I was worried about the fact that I hadn't had a period in more than five years and she just gave me this look. You know that "teacher looking at a misbehaving child" look. Honest to God! So she tells me that I need to have a period every three months (Duh!) and asks me what will happen if I don't? I feel like a chastised child at this point and say - the lining will thicken and I will most likely develop endometrial cancer. Which can totally happen in five years. Lucky me!
I then asked her to order blood work. I told her I would like a full workup so I will have a baseline after I've been on the Yasmin for a while. She hops right on that too. She wrote out the instructions for the BCI on Brookside and that was that! GET THIS!!!! She says to me that she wants to check my blood sugars, that I might benefit from metformin. WHAT THE FREAKING HELL!!!!!! The thought to slap her silly actually ran through my head for a brief second. Why this turnaround? Could be because I had mentioned that I had been doing research .... and I haven't been to Avalon for waxing for three weeks, so I am starting to look like a catepillar-eyebrowed Tom Selleck.
So, I brought up the ultrasound. I have no problems with ultrasound. Obviously. Hehe. But I wasn't keen on asking for the vaginal one ... specially since I've now spent a day with the ultrasound techs. But if it must be done, then so be it. Well ... she assured me that it wouldn't do any better than an abdominal (Great!) ... and that I didn't need one right now. Don't really agree with her about not having any kind of ultrasound, but I will bide my time. I'll ask her again after my blood work results come back and I see her about them.
And that's it ... I went to BCI today for my blood work. Had to fast 12 hours .. let me tell you, when you've gotten used to eating breakfast every morning, it's aweful hard to go without. I'm loving the BCI. I have absolutly NO POBLEM with paying $11 for it. It's quick (15 minutes from the time Lauren and I walked in and then out of the clinic) and I don't have to wait two months for an appointment, like I would at the hospital.
I pick up the Yasmin today ... we'll see what the next couple of months yield. I'll be disgustingly honest ... I'm kind of worried about having a period. It has been five years. I'm scared of what's up there ... and how it's going to be when it comes out. I'm almost tempted to ask for a D&C and just start fresh, so to speak. But I know if I asked Bendy, she'd probably look at me like I had grown five heads and they were all speaking in tongues.
Anyway ... it's probably more than you wanted to know, but there ya have it!
Friday, November 09, 2007
I have been working on a paper for my English course. The assignment was to pick ANY topic and write a research paper on it. So, I picked PCOS. I knew the basics - the symptoms and treatment. At least, what I was told by my doctor. Treatment to my doctor was birth control or nothing. After all the research I have done, I now know that there are so many options out there.
A couple of years ago, when I was working at Pennington's, I was told by a customer that her doctor put her on metformin, a drug that treats diabetes and insulin resistance. Well, one of the symptoms of PCOS is insulin resistance. Why the hell wasn't I on it? Excessive insulin increases testosterone production, which cause lovely symptoms like hirsutism (excessive hair growth - in all the wrong places!) and acne. Metformin has been PROVEN to help all of those symptoms and a few more!!! But quite literally, when I approached my doctor, she told that metformin would do absolutely nothing for me.
I've since found a plethora of drugs like metformin, spironolactone that not only treat all those crappy symptoms of PCOS, but actually increase fertility! They can get ovulation started again, without the threat of multiple births, which is the case with Clomid and gonadotropin shots.
The one thing that is curently scaring the crap out of me is the lack of periods. Yes, not having a period is good. As long as you aren't producing endometrial lining every month. If you're on the pill, you don't produce the lining and all is good. However, if you are producing endometrium and you aren't shedding it every month ... it leads to thickening of the lining. Which ultimately leads to endometrial cancer.
So, for five fucking years, I have not had a period. The lining is just thickening, increasing my chances for cancer. Just typing it out makes me want to go beat the shit out of Dr. Tingley right now. Because of my ignorance and her do-nothing attitude, my health has gotten out of control.
Well, as of 9AM Tuesday, that's going to change. I am going to make it clear to her that she needs to be more on the ball or refer me to someone who is. I am no longer a frightened teen or young twenty-something, trying to insist that something is wrong. I am 33 years old and I am taking control of my health. God help that bitch. She's going to need it.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I take her diaper off and Lauren says: I have a boo-boooooo!
Me: Where do you have a boo-boo?
Lauren: On my girly bits!
No word of a freakin lie! LOL! Even now, it makes me chuckle.
So I wonder who taught her that colourful phrase?
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Well, that would be ME!
Friday night was the "big night" - makeup at Avalon, then dinner at Jives. The makeup was great ... lots of tips that I know will help. I just let 'my girl' do whatever she wanted. I was fine with that. I don't have enough makeup knowledge to pick out colours without help. I think she did a great job. Poor Jen got stuck with me again. One of these times, seh will get to go with the "cool people." LOL! I spent WAY to much on makeup ... I am going to have to use it religiously now. And on to the restaurant we go, afterward. For a HUGE surprise! I was VERY surprised ... I never once suspected. Thank you all sooo much! I have to say that I was kind of in shock most of the time. It really hit me when I got home and talked to Anita on the phone. You are all such good friends and you made my birthday wonderful. Not only that ... you all made that day(Nov 2nd), a day that is normally very sad, a lot brighter. And I still can't believe you guys got me a Cuttlebug!! I'm looking right at it now, I still can't wrap my head around the idea! And the cake ... you know I love that cake ... your Mom rocks, Nick! Thank you soooo much!
Now Saturday, I had reserved for research on a paper I am doing. Well, I have didn't get to the library .. but I did get a lot done just by e-Research. Which is great, because early in the afternoon, I got a call from my friend Sue Peters out of the blue, about going to see a movie. We went to the late matinee ... to see Rendition. It was a powerful movie; slow-going in a few spots, but well worth the 2+ hours. Afterwards, I went to my sister's for dinner(homemade Chinese), then came home. Where I prepared for a power outage. Cuz I knew it was going to happen. The power went out three times, but came back on within a minute. The fourth time, we weren't so lucky. It was gone; it came back on at 4 in the morning. Nothing wakes you up faster than all the bells and whistles your appliances make when the power returns ... or it could have been the bedside light shinning directly into my eyes.
I was up at 6:30AM ... (thank goodness for the time change) ... and off Mum and I went. To Augusta. To shop at the Christmas Tree Shop. Yes, we drove 4 hours each way just to shop at the Christmas Tree Shop. Got lots of great stuff! A few things for my Secret Santa. Lots of serving dishes for Christmas, as well as paper plates, cups and napkins for the party. We were there for an hour total. We have that store down to a science! Then we got back on the road and stopped in Bangor for lunch at the Olive Garden and a little shopping at the Mall. Olive Garden ... I had the Stuffed Chicken Florentine. OMG! It was magnificent! I would sooo get it again. Highly, highly recommend it. Got to go shopping at Lane Bryant again ... woohoo! Bought some cute little hipster panties and a couple of shirts ... I could have done so much damage in there if I had the $$$. The border coming back was insane! Two lanes, 20-30 cars long each! And they were stopping as many people as possible. Word to the wise ... be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes at the border when you come back.
Oh, oh ... while we were at Rendition, they had a preview for Enchanted ... I can't WAIT for this movie ... it looks too funny ... and of course, it has McDreamy in it. Yummy!
And I guess that's it!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Let me just say - the food was fantastic. Well, most of it. We sampled the following menu: Creole Catfish with Hushpuppies, Buttermilk-Herb Fried Chicken with Southern Biscuits, and Southern Comfort Pecan Pie. Well, the chef used sole since catfish wasn't available - the fishmonger told the community coordinator that she couldn't get any; which, apparently, was a lie. Someone in the class said he bought a ton of it on Saturday. Anyway ... I am not normally a fan of sole, but this dish was terrific! In fact, that is what I am making for supper tomorrow night. The hushpuppies were deelish! Unfortunately, there's a fair bit of fat in them since they are deep-fried. I really want that cornmeal side dish, so I plan on making them as a cornbread to go with my Creole fish, thereby cutting out almost 75% of the fat. Anyway, I digress.
The chicken was amazing! But once again, it was deep-fried. I am going to try and adapt it to baking instead of frying. The biscuits were a bust!!! He put too much baking soda in it! They were completely inedible. I was soooo looking forward to them too. I LOVE biscuits ... I have yet to find a recipe for home baking that is just right. The Southern Comfort Pecan Pie was scrumptious .... it actually had Southern Comfort in it ... with a nut crust. Oh! the fat ... but it's so worth it!
Tonight's class was "Street Foods of Thailand" ... and it was amazing!!! So ...... when are you all coming over for a Thai meal? I want to make everything, except the Noodle Salad. The regular chef, Lisa, was cooking ... needless to say, we were out on time. We started with Green Curried Mussels. It was so easy, but intensely flavoured. Then we moved on to the Gingered Honey Chili Chicken Wings with Thai Seafood Noodle Salad. The wings were dee-lish! The only thing I would do differently is to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of wings - less fat, more meat. The salad was so-so. I definitely wouldn't try to make it. I would be more tempted to try to recreate the stir-fried noodles she whipped up at the last minute to go with the Chicken Skewers with Peanut Satay Sauce. The peanut sauce was made with actual roasted peanuts. That was different for me, as all the recipes I have tried or read before have all used peanut butter(smooth or crunchy). The marinade on the chicken was amazing - and low-fat.
I'm thinking Green Curried Mussels, Chicken Skewers with Peanut Satay Sauce, Red Curry Coconut Vegetables, Thai Egg Rolls, and some Jasmine Rice.
So, when are you all coming over for Thai?
Monday, October 29, 2007
When I went down to get Lauren up from her nap, I put her on the change table to put her socks and shoes back on. She looked out the door, smiling, and said "there's a nice, old man." Ummm..what? I asked her where the nice, old man was and she told me he was by the toys. I look out and of course, see nothing. I asked her if he was big and she said yes. I asked her if he had black hair and she said yes. I know rationally that she was probably just saying yes. But a part of me believes that she saw it.
I completely lost it.
I know that because just a short time before I had just read Eggs post about her mother and I was thinking about my own father, that I was in frame of mind to believe, to think that the nice, old man was my father.
I don't know. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. But I would like to believe that he was watching over me because I was thinking about him and when he died, and yes there were some tears.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I won't recount the whole weekend at Scrap Camp, but I will make a few observations.
- Sarah and Melanie are crazy. 'Nuff said.
- Hotel showers suck, specially when most of the hot water has been used.
- Phat Photography WAS NOT at Scrap Camp.
- No one should leave a camera unattended at Scrap Camp.
- Tracy Spencer's LOs look even better in person.
- Tracy Spencer rocks ... I wish she was my Secret Santa. (No offense to my SS)
- Unfortunately, no matter how old and mature we become, most women act like high school girls when in large groups.
- Needing sleep sucks!
- Susan knows how to make a crop memorable! Hell, she knows how to make any event memorable, eh Mel?
- I didn't get any pictures of any of us as a group ... most of my pictures were TS layouts.
- I finally did a LO that I have been planning and thinking of for more than a year. It was very personal and very satisfying to finally have it done.
- Whisky Sours actually taste good. So do Blowjobs.
- Putting one carrot and some chicken flakes in broth does not make it chicken vegetable soup ... it's still broth!
- I LOVE MME RUBONS!
This week has been decorating, decorating, and yet more decorating. I didn't realize how much Halloween stuff I had until I pulled out all 8 boxes. Two of which are large moving boxes. And that doesn't include the items that aren't boxed, like the tombstones and large lighted sculptures. I keep thinking about the party and wondering if the kids will have enough to do ... basically there are no crafts and only one activity. Might be a quick party!
Last week, I had to place an order over the phone for my mother's boyfriend. He wanted a silencer for his four-wheeler .... the company he was ordering from was in Arkansas. So shipping was $30.00. Pretty good, huh? Unfortunately, I neglected to ask who the shipper was ... cuz had I known it was UPS, I would have arranged for it to be USPS. For those of you who don't know, UPS doesn't have courier service here ... at least, not the brown truck variety. They contract out to Sameday. Welll, the Sameday guy showed up this afternoon with the parcel ... and on it was the acronym C.O.D. Ummm... wtf? Oh yeah .... forgot ... the reason NEVER to ship over the border with UPS is the brokerage. Yup, $63 of brokerage and duty and taxes. USPS/Canada Post don't charge such exhorbitant brokerage fees. Needless to say, I didn't accept it. It's now at the warehouse until I pay and pick it up. The reason? If I accepted it and my mother's boyfriend decided he didn't want it, we'd be screwed for shipping and brokerage. This way, we can always send it back and get a full refund. Of course, I can always wait til next week when my sister goes back to work and she can do some "adjustments". We'll see.
Shows ... did anybody watch "House" this week? Holy crap, I was cracking up! I may have to watch it again just for laughs.
Friday, October 19, 2007
The minutes are just ticking by ...
All of scrapbooking supplies are packed. My suitcase is packed. Everything is sitting beside the door. Well, everything but the booze ... it's chilling in the fridge.
Tick tock, tick tock!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Here's the synopsis: Businessman Ripley Holden attempts to open a casino in Laughlin, Nev. despite like a lack of financing and the murder of his ex-business partner(that would my cutie).
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I read an article this afternoon about the female brain and I HAD to share some of the highlights. If I were more ambitious, I would take the time to type it all out for you, but since it's 5 pages long, I say to hell with that! If you want to read it, let me know and I will bring it to the crop this weekend. It really is quite interesting; and amusing.
Thanks to MRIs, we are now able to better discern differences between the female and male brains. They are helping to explain why men and women react differently to the same stimuli.
**All excerpts are from "The Female Brain Unplugged" by Julie Buen-Chown**
1) As we all know, spatial awareness is different for men and women. But why? Men are better at spatial tasks like reading maps and using directions, while women navigate using landmarks. So while we may not be as good as men when it comes to spatial awareness, we are much better at visual memory, verbal skills and fine-motor coordination.
"So a guy might notice he parked near the mall's west entrance, but a woman will
remember it was the entrance with the pink shirt display."
Basically: We all get to the same place, what does it matter how we do it?2) Sex and the 20-second Hug ... well, in women a 20-second hug(the standard hug) floods the female brain with oxytocin (the bonding hormone) so it creates a sense of connection. In men, the 20-second hug also floods the brain with oxytocin, but it triggers the hypothalamus, the sex hub (which is twice as large in men).
3) Men can't read faces ... women can. Men can read three moods: anger, threat or extreme crying. That's it. More subtle expressions are lost on them, because of their poor testosterone-driven brains. Women, however, are adept at reading facial expressions. In fact, girls begin at the ripe, old age of three months old!
4) Multi-tasking ... we all know that women can and men can't. Men, using specialized regions of one or the other side of the brain, can only concentrate on one task, while women use both sides and are able to take on more than one task. It's a blessing and a curse for women. Multi-tasking is actually a factor in women's inability to have an orgasm. Seriously. Apparently, women have to work to turn off their preoccupied amygdalas before they can begin to enjoy sex. Which is why women are 3 to 10 times less likely to reach orgasm than men. Simple bastards.
"Just as women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion while
men have a small country road, men have O'Hare International Airport as a hub
for processing thoughts of sex, whereas women have the airfield that lands small
and private planes."
And last but not least ...
5) Gossipping is not necessarily gossipping - it's background info, understanding other women. Because women have more neurons than men (11 at last count), it increases our empathy.
"Our daily talk-fests with female friends do something positive for us, too;
we feel enjoyment, because when we communicate, the brain releases dopamine (the feel-good hormone) and oxytocin (better known as the bonding hormone). 'We're
not talking about a small amount of pleasure," says Brizendine. "Our hormonal
response [to the talk-fest] is the biggest, fattest neurological reward you can
get outside an orgasm.' "
And this last one was the reason I had to share this article with all of you. I posted earlier today about my Blah mood and the pressure I was feeling. Then, this afternoon, I had an e-mail that went around to some of my girlfriends - RE: Alberta Pole Dancer - and the subsequent cyber talk-fest made a HUGE impact on my mood. I feel better; happier.
So I guess the lesson to take away - no matter what we gossip, I mean talk about, it's good for us and we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves for it. Oh, and my friends rock! Thank you!
I feel so BLAH!!
I am feeling soooo pressured. There's stuff going on that I can't talk about. Until that's all worked out, I will feel stressed. Hopefully by Friday, it will have worked out. I'm trying to study ... and let me tell you, the course layout sucks - crappy NBCC. Thank goodness for the internet.
Usually by now, I have the yard and house decorated for Halloween. Guess what? Not one thing up so far. I debated long and hard about having a party ... and I am. For those of you who haven't recieved an invite ... I do have one for you ... I just haven't gotten it to you. Surprise, surprise.
I am having a difficult time coming up with a haunt for the basement. I think I am going to do something other than a maze ... I just need to find the following: a blacklight(blacklight fluorescent tube lights preferrably), some Mike Myers masks, "Scream" masks, and a twisted "The Ring" mask, clear plastic sheeting, and a few other things and I will have it. Oye. My brain hurts now.
Now I have to think up a crafty thing to do. I'm just going to let the kids run wild in the basement after the "haunt" rather than think up an activity.
Then there's the crop. I still haven't packed for the crop ... not only that, I haven't gotten my pictures developed. Particularly the one layout I really want to work on. It's something I have thought about for a long time. I finally have the picture ready (I have to go pick it up) but I still don't have the transparency aspect ready. And I'm stressing out big time about that.
I SO need a valium.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
1 pkg refrigerated Pillsbury pizza crust
8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated (2 cups)
1 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
1 tbps VE Pesto Herbs
2/3 cups mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, pressed
3 plum or small tomatoes, sliced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough on a baking stone (or greased cookie sheet). Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on dough. In a small bowl, mix mayo, Pesto herbs, garlic, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Arrange tomatoes over dough and cheese. Scoop mayo mixture over tomatoes and spread evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cool 5 minutes and cut into squares.
New Mexican Bean Dip
8oz Fat-free Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Low-fat or Fat-free Sour Cream
14oz Low-fat Refried Beans
2tbsp. VE Chili Spice, divided
1 1/2 tbsp VE Pueblo Bean Dip Mix
1 tbsp. Each VE 3 Onion Dip Mix & VE Cheese, Chives & Bacon Dip Mix
1 1/2cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese & Monterey Jack
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, beans, 1 tbsp VE Chili Spice, and the dip mixes. Spread in casserole dish. Toss cheeses with remaining 1 tbsp VE Chili Spice. Sprinkle cheeses over bean mixture. May be chilled (or frozen) at this point until needed. Bake uncovered in 350 oven for about 20 min until hot (or microwave for 2 min.). Great with tortilla crisps.
Chocolate Banana Cake
2 cups flour
1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup mashed, ripe bananas
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tsp VE Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat togehter butter, sugar and eggs. Add bananas, sour cream and VE Vanilla Extract. Beat again until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture to banana mixture, beating after each addition. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes. Sprinkle top with 2 tbsp brown sugar. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 16 pieces and store in an airtight container.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
This is the write up for the class: Great Charm and Hospitality! The foods of the great south are brought to life with our chef. Start with a fresh Mint Julep. Culinary Education Includes: Searching for fresh fish secrets. Cooking with Herbs, Frying without Making Food greasy. Recipes include: Kettle Fried Hushpuppies - Sweet & tender corn fritters served with Creole catfish, Buttermilk Herb-fried Chicken with Biscuits and Gravy, Southern Comfort Pecan Pie.
The other class I have signed up for is Street Food Festival Thailand on the 30th. Menu: Thai Chicken Skewers with Spicy Peanut Satay Sauce, Thai Seafood Noodle Salad, Gingered Honey Chili Chicken Wings, and Thai Green Curried Mussels with Lemongrass and Basil. If this class is good, I may have to make a huge Thai dinner and invite a few people over.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Things just didn't seem to be working out, planning-wise, so I told her I would call her back. I called my sister to see if she would like to go, fully expecting her to tell me flat out no. But she didn't. She was up for it. I called Nick back and told her - Not a problem! You guys go. My sister and I are going, by way of Houlton. Have a great time, maybe we'll see yas!
Well, the two hour wait that everyone was so worried about at Houlton turned out to be 25 minutes. It took the border guard about 1 minute to enter our IDs and off we went. We hit the Wal-mart first ... the three Halloween items I wanted weren't even there ... great. However, I did get some great loot bag items for Halloween, as well as some Luminaries and, best of all, liquid candles! They're like little bunsen burners for Jack'O'Lanterns! I alsomanaged to pick up two Christmas gifts for my sister. For myself, I got cream cheese. Lots and lots of fat-free cream cheese. Yay!
Then we went to Bath & Body Works to do a little SS shopping. OMG! I totally fell in love with their Japanese Cherry Blossom items. Beautiful! Anyway, I didn't get anything for myself because that wasn't the purpose of going there. But I may have to make a trip over again to get some. I keep smelling my hand(I tired the lotion) - it smells sooooo good. We also hit the Fashion Bug ... where I got my first pair of cargo pants - in camo green! Yay for me! The trip to the FB was totally for me ... I have wanted a pair of cargo pants for ages, but I can never find any in my size. Well, since I have lost a few pounds, I managed to finally do it! I also got the cutest pink-mauve top. Afterwards, we went to Taco Bell for lunch and then we hit the road home.
All in all, I would say Manda and I had a good day. Which is nice, because when we spend a lot of time together it frequently ends badly.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
On to Hotchner, or rather, his wife Haley (Meredith Monroe, Dawson's Creek). There are certain jobs out there that aren't just "jobs", like profiling for any government agency or SWAT, DEA, etc ... These jobs are what make up a person because it takes a special kind of person to do them. An individual knows that fact when in a relationship with someone who does one of these "jobs". So that being said, I am glad they are ditching the wife ... she has become an increasingly less sympathetic character.
Did anybody watch Private Practice?!?! That was a great episode! The switched babies storyline made me bawl, it was so heartbreaking! Also, when Pete told Addy she needed him to kiss her again, I was sure the neighbours could hear me laughing. It cracked me up. That line made the whole show.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
So, as many of you know, my mother's 60th birthday party is tonight. Her actual birthday is October 3rd, but we are having the party tonight. Originally we had intended to throw it October 6th. However my mum's sister, Katherine and her hubby, Danny are here on vacation from Victoria until October 4th, so Amanda and I decided to have the party this weekend so they could be here for it. We thought we were being thoughtful. We thought we were being nice.
Then there's the other thing. The surprise! Some of you know what it is. My dad's sisters are coming up from Dover, NH for the party. They left this morning and will arrive shortly. Mum doesn't have a clue! They wanted it to be a surprise, so we went with it. She's going to be shocked! Specially since Mary M (the aunt Nick, Kris, Tori and I stayed with in August) is coming. She hasn't been here since my father's funeral oh, 19 years ago. But it was mum's 60th birthday and they wanted to do it ... even though they will have to turn around and drive home tomorrow. We still don't know when they are leaving tomorrow ... we're hoping later in the day so we can visit with them. Again, we thought we were being thoughtful and nice.
But we were wrong. At least from Katherine's point of view.
You see, three days ago Mum informs me that she has to drive my grandmother and Katherine and Danny down from North Tay for the party ... it was Mum's week up with my Grammy, so she was up there anyway. That's not the bad part. The bad part was when I realized that she would have to drive them back to North Tay after the party. Well, that put a crimp in our plan for her to spend part of the day with the in-laws. So I enlisted my Aunt Mary G's help (the other Aunt Mary - my mum's sister). I asked her to have Grammy, Katherine and Danny stay the night at her house Saturday night after the party so Mum wouldn't have to drive them back. So off Mary goes and convinces them to stay the night. Great! Mission accomplished!
THEN two days ago, my mother informs me that she and her boyfriend Ted B(who isn't coming to the party - asshole - but that's another matter), Katherine and Danny all plan on going to Millville for a crib tournament Sunday morning. And they're leaving bright and early so they can have breakfast in Millville before the tournament. Hmmm ... wooooooondeeeeeerful! I told Mum she shouldn't have done that, that I had plans for her that day. I didn't want to tell her the reason and spoil the surprise! Anyway, we haven't said anything to her. It's still a surprise.
But here comes the part where Amanda and I were NOT being thoughtful and nice. Mum came home to get ready for the party here at the house this afternoon. My Aunt Joan is going to drive everybody down from North Tay this evening. The plan is for Mum to drive Grammy, Katherine and Danny back, while Joanie drives Ted W (Mum's brother) back. But Joanie is prepared to take everybody back if Mum decides to stay in town tonight. Thank you, thank you Joanie! She's a lifesaver. I called Katherine this afternoon to give her the heads up about tomorrow, so she won't be left in the lurch at the very last minute. That the sisters are coming up today and it's a surprise. That Mum may decide to stay home tomorrow morning instead of going to crib so she can spend some time with the sisters before they leave.
And that's when she lights into me. And I seriously didn't know what to say to her. I was floored at her unbelievable selfishness and bitchiness. Seriously, her tone was nasty.
~Well, it would have been more appropriate and thoughtful if you and your sister had seen fit to tell your mother about the sisters coming up a few days ago. I sit there thinking: Excuse me? THAT WOULD HAVE RUINED THE SURPRISE, DIPSHIT!
~Well, someone's going to end up being disappointed because your mother wants to go to the crib tournament. She's going to be upset that she is expected to miss it. So I say - well, we'll see what happens. She may decide to go anyway. But she may also decide to stay in town to spend a few hours with the sisters tomorrow, since she rarely sees them. It's up to Mum, it's her decision.
~Ted B's going to be upset because he'll be down a partner. What's he going to do? I'm thining: Find another?! You can't walk two feet without tripping over a crib lover in the Stanley area.
(By the way, I should mention that Amanda and I haven't told Ted B about the sisters coming. At first, it was because he would use it as an excuse not to come to the party. But I guess we were giving him too much credit. We thought he would be a little more considerate since it's Mum's birthday party and actually come. But we were wrong. Now we haven't told him because if we tell him why he may need to find another partner, he will call Mum and bitch and ruin the surprise. The man may be in his eighties, but he acts like a spoiled rotten child of 12.)
~Well, your mother is driving Ted, Danny and I to Millville. This really puts us on the spot. If she doesn't go, we won't have a drive. I think to myself: Well, why don't you borrow someone's car for the day? But I tell her that it isn't written in stone that Mum won't be going, but be prepared just in case!
~Well, we're really looking forward to crib tomorrow. Because tomorrow is Millville we didn't go to crib in Cross Creek today. I'm thinking: That's your own damn fault, not mine! What do you expect me to do? Turn back time so you can go the tournament today in CC? But I say nothing because if I do, I will be spewing hateful words at her for her selfishness.
And on and on she goes. I simply bit my tongue (seriously it's almost bitten off - I may end up being mute) and listen to her bitch. Then I say - well, I just wanted to bring you up to speed so you will know that plans may change tomorrow and you might want to make arrangements now. Bye! And I hung up.
You might ask why Amanda and I didn't tell Katherine and Danny about the sisters coming up days ago. The reason is simple. They are both alcoholics. And when Katherine is home, around Grammy, she drinks more. And says even more. She would have given up the secret in a heartbeat. I never meant this to ruin any of their plans for their vacation. That wasn't the intention.
BUT GOD DAMN IT! This is my mother's 60th birthday party! Suck it up bitch!
I haven't told Mary G about my conversation with Katherine or she might take a strip off Katherine. She and Katherine frequently butt heads and she wouldn't hesitate to tell Kahterine what a bitch she's being. Also I am extremely grateful to Mary G for being willing to have Katherine and Danny stay the night tonight despite the aforementioned headbutting. Why did she agree to do such a selfless thing? Oh yeah! BECAUSE IT'S MY MOTHER's 60TH BIRTHDAY PARTY!
I told my sister that I probably wouldn't drink much. She says - oh I have lots of coolers. I told her that's not the problem! Katherine will be loaded and will probably be flapping at the gums. If I drink, I may be tempted to tell her off. At least if I'm sober, I will have the presence of mind to drag her to the bathroom before kicking her ass and telling her off.
I just have one question: What the fuck is wrong with family!?!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Law & Order: SVU - was very good. Cynthia Nixon (Sex In The City) guest starred ... a few twists to the story made it interesting, where normally I find DID stories boring, overdone.
NCIS - was great, as usual. I actually shed a tear when my fave character died ... I kept telling myself that he couldn't be dead, it was all a mistake .... when I finally accepted it, I had to cry. Tony's my favourite character because A) he's a hottie and B) he compares everything to movies; a real movie buff.(Where the hell is this guy in real life? He's my dream man!) Oh, and it turns out he wasn't dead ... it was a case of mistaken identity.
House - Poor House is lost without his team. What will he do? Get another to torture, I guess. But not to worry, Foreman, Chase and Cameron should be back at some point since they are still in the credits and are still on the show website. I was worried last night ... I really don't want Chase to go ... he's such a cutie! (which is odd since I generally don't find blond men very attractive).
Cane - Did anybody watch it? The first thing Hector Elizondo says is "Give me a mojito, please." I got a chuckle out of that. Made me think of the Princess. Anyway, the show was good. The eye candy is amazing. The music is great. Very Cuban.
DWTS - Still haven't watched it ... waiting to tape the Results show, then I will watch the whole 4 hours. YES, 4 HOURS. Give me a break! They don't need that much time.
Criminal Minds - What the hell?!?!?! They cannot end the epi that way!!!! And it's truuuuueeee! It's not a mistake! He's gone!!! What are they going to do without his wisdom? Arrgghhh! You can't come back from suicide! How could they ever write him back in?
CSI:NY - They changed the theme song! Well, it's still The Who's 'Baba O'Reilly', but it's remixed! Love it! So much more upbeat and contemporary. The plot was tried and true, but I always enjoy watching Gary Sinise.
Back To You - Was hilarious again! I laughed that can't-stop-even-if-you-wanted-to laugh, that constant giggle that will end up making your cheeks hurt. It's not just the writing, but the way Kelsey Grammar delivers a line.
Bionic Woman - I was so intent on watching Private Practice that I missed taping the first ten minutes. However, what I did see was good. I wasn't impressed that they changed casting on two characters though - I guess bland is better. They really overuse the "bionic sound", but other than that, it has definite potential. Word of warning to those who haven't watched it yet ... it's much "darker" than the 70's version. I guess it's a sign of the times, right?
Private Practice - I liked it. It's not Grey's, ok? So many people keep saying it's just not as good, or they're disappointed. But people, it's not Grey's! You can't expect the show to be the same ... otherwise they would have just made Grey's two hours long. It's different, it's its own flavour. And I like it. I think once this cast has worked together for a while, we will see a definite improvement. At the end, when Cooper and Violet were talking to Violet's patient ... that was Shonda. You can see it, you can hear it. And that's what this show needs more of.
Dirty Sexy Money - Didn't end up watching it ... I am going to wait until Sunday, when it airs on CTV.
Life - Hadn't initially intended to watch it. However ... the premise is interesting - a cop imprisoned for a crime he didn't committ, then released and back on the police force again. Each week is a different case, all the while he works on solving his own. I felt I needed to watch it in case it became the biggest new show and I had missed it. I gotta say ... it moves pretty slow. At one point, I sat there thinking - this is the stupidest show I have ever seen! - but the main character is so fucking weird! it makes it interesting. He's a cross between Rain Man and Mickey O'Neil in Snatch(Brad Pitt's character). I just don't know about this show.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Cold Case - didn't end up watching it ... I've slowly been drifting away since as I find the lead actress more than mildly annoying. It's mainly her hair - weird I know - but I wish she'd dump the 90's version of a mullet - it's aweful!
Shark - Awesome as usual ... they've introduced a new recurring villain - a Russian mob boss - played by Arnold Vosloo (Imhotep from The Mummy). Love him! Should make for an interesting season.
CSI:Miami - Same old same old ... but the cutie DEA agent is a regular now! Yummy! And Horatio has a son. But we all knew that from the ads ... definitely a recurring theme for future epis.
Chuck - it's a new Dramedy on NBC ... and FUNNY! I was pleasantly surprised ... I decided to watch it at the last minute after I saw Zachary Levi(Chuck) on The View yesterday and he was hilarious. There's an encore presentation on Saturday at 10pm, I believe.
Prison Break - watched the first half then flipped back to it on ads while watching:
The Big Bang Theory - Holy Crap! Funny! Two nerds sharing an apartment become friends with the beautiful girl across the hall. I thought I was socially retarded?!
Two and a Half Men - Hilarious, as usual! The casting director who put Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer together was brilliant. These two make me pee-my-pants-laugh.
Journeyman- I wasn't really sure what to expect ... but I was surprised to find that I enjoyed it. I don't know if I will be a faithful watcher or not ... depends what the next few epis bring, I guess. The show is actually a lot like Sandra Bullock's Premonition.
K-ville - last night's epi was a definite improvement over last week. The assisstant DA from last year's Law & Order is now a cast member ... and she's as annoying as ever. But Cole Hauser more than makes up for that.
Dancing With The Stars - haven't watched it yet ... Monday night was all the women, Tuesday will be all the men. I will wait and watch both epis tomorrow while the kidlets nap.
Heroes - didn't watch it last night .... there were four shows on at 10 and I only have two VCRs ... I had to make an executive decision - what to ditch for now ... I picked Heroes since there's an encore presentation on Saturday night!
So that's it .... thank goodness for Canadian channels that air some of these shows at earlier times ... makes everything more do-able.
Tonight's schedule includes Cane, Law & Order: SVU, House, NCIS, and DWTS.