My little buddy

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Did It!

I am now down to 1 can of Coke a day! Yay me!!!!

A lot of people wouldn't see this as an accomplishment, but let me tell you, it is.

I started the year drinking up to 5 cans a day!

By Spring, I had reduced my intake to 2 cans a day. Now I am half that again.

My goal is leave Coke behind completely.

Ok, so now I am off to the bathroom for the 5th time this morning - I've replaced my Coke with water - oye.

Monday, August 01, 2011

New Brunswick Day And New Brunswick Kindness

So how does one celebrate NB Day? Well, if you're me, you go across the border!

Today we went over to Houlton for lunch. My sister recommended a place just outside Houlton, in Linneus called Grammy's Country Inn. She told us the servings are sooo huge that two people can share one plate and still have leftovers.

She was right.

Mum and I went over at lunch time and had the Seafood Platter. We brought half it home. Seriously. That's how big the serving is. They serve the seafood on a platter and the fries on the side - on a dinner plate. It also comes with a roll - which is incredibly delicious! - and about 1 cup of coleslaw. Mum got a slice of coconut cream pie to take out and I got a whoopie pie. The whoopie pie is huge! It's the size of a salad plate and amazingly yummy! I would highly recommend going to this place anytime you are over that way. (And I saw a co-worker and her fam! Small world!)

After that, we picked up a few groceries and headed home. To sit in traffic at the border for 30 mins. Of course, it could have been worse if we hadn't cut in line. Not that we intentionally cut in line. We had to. And then that's when it got kind of crappy.

They had ALL the booths open today and the lineup was halfway back to the US border crossing. Of course, they had the last booth(#5) open for trailers and campers. Did you know if you try to go through that lane the border guards make you get out of it? Yup, they make you shift into lane #4. Didn't know that. Neither did the other 6 cars ahead of me and 4 cars behind me.

So we all had to merge into lane 4, which cheesed some people off. Which I can't blame them for that. I wouldn't be too happy if I were in their shoes. But I certainly wouldn't pull the crap that one driver pulled on me.

There we all are, merging slowly. A border guard came out and directed a 1+1 merge (you know, one lane 4 car, then one merging car) until she got to my car. Which was fine, because by that point everybody got the picture. Except for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo driver who would NOT allow me to merge. When I tried to, he pulled right up tight to the car in front of him, honked at me and edged closer to me to box me out. When the line moved again, I tried to merge again and the Jeep driver got even more aggressive. He almost ran into the car in front of him in his efforts to block me out. At that point, I just let it go. I wasn't going to try again because this guy was an accident waiting to happen.

Of course, because he'd edged so close to me to force me out, when he went by he ended up dragging his passenger side mirror against my driver's side mirror. Now, it's really no big deal with my mirror, because it springs back. But his ended up pushed in towards his car. He stopped, made like he was going to get out but then kept moving. Damn skippy! You get out and we'll have a fight on our hands! And I won't fight fair either, old man!

So then THE. BEST. THING. happens. Two cars up from the Jeep is a guy in a beige Camry. There's still one car in front of him before the booth. He stops his car, gets out, comes back and says "please go ahead of me. I've been watching this guy here boxing you out of the lane this whole time". Of course, I thanked him but declined. And then he says nothing would give him more pleasure than to let us go just to stick it to the Jeep driver. Ok! Thank you! I'm on board with that plan!

Of course, I'm a shit. So what do I do as I creep by the Jeep, who's passenger window is down? I lean out and say "BYE!!!" and smile oh so sweetly. And off we go. On the way down the highway, the Jeep passes us and pretty much cuts me off. Whatever dude! Grow up. The beige Camry passes us and we wave and smile.

And THEN KARMA happened!!!! We're almost to the Freddy/TCH exit at Woodstock and the Jeep is in front of me. There's an RCMP car on the opposite highway ... who suddenly makes a u-turn, gets behind the Jeep, the Jeep pulls over, and the RCMP lights go on! The dude was on his cell phone and got caught! This part just proves that what goes around, comes around; what you put out there will always come back to you; karma baby! Do unto others!

So, how did you spend YOUR NB Day?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Damn You Organic Deodorants!

So I've been trying to go more organic. I willingly put enough chemicals in and on my body so I thought I might try reducing them.

First step was trying an organic deodorant. Benefits? Organic, no aluminum, no parabens, no glycol. I went with the Green Beaver Company Sport 24 - Wild Yam scent. I am sure this works for normal people. But apparently I am not normal. I didn't find it effective 2hrs after application. In addition to that, my pits were itchy and red at times.

Second step was trying a different brand. So I got Tom's of Maine. It's had good reviews so I figured it would be ok. I have to say it lasted longer than 2 hours. And it was good quality. But I still ended up with itchy, red pits at times. What the hell? There has to be something in it that I allergic to.

Third step was ditching the deodorant. Yesterday I went to the store to pick up some AP. Started using it today and I am happy to say that everything seems to be normal. Hallelujah!

And boooo ... cuz now I am back to the aluminum AP. Damn.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

PITN

So, for about 3 weeks, I've had this terrible pain in my neck, like a pinched nerve. It's at the C3, just a little to the right. I could turn my head to the right fairly easily, but to left? No way, very limited mobility. Makes driving interesting when you have to merge with traffic!

Nothing I did helped the pain much. The muscle relaxants did nothing, in fact I think they made it worse. The ibuprofen helped a bit, but I really didn't want to take too much for fear it would irritate my stomach. I tried sleeping on one side more than another or on my back.

Finally, last Thursday, it got worse. Not only did I have the pain in my upper neck, I had developed a spot directly below that under my right shoulder blade. Not only that, when I moved my right arm too much one way or another, it would trigger pain. Then my arm would go numb.

At that point, I'd had enough. I called the chiropractor and made an appointment. Of course, I couldn't get in until the following Monday, but that was fine because relief was in the offing. The pain under my shoulder blade and the numbing in my arm finally did go away over the weekend, but that still left the pain in the neck.

I have now been to the chiropractor once a day for the past 3 days to be adjusted. I'm sore where he's adjusted me - kind of like bruising. But let me tell you, the pain in the neck is a LOT better. And I can actually turn my head to the left without much pain. Another bonus? I can't hear the bones in my neck. Seriously, before the adjustments, when I turned my head side to side, I could hear what I would swear were the bones rubbing together. Yuck. Now I can't.

I cannot say enough good things about my chiropractor. He works wonders. You can ask anyone in my family who has gone to him. Hell, my mother was crippled up the last few months with back and hip pain, which she hasn't had since she retired. After a couple of weeks going to the chiropractor last month, she's as good as new. I would totally recommend him to anyone with chronic neck, back, shoulder, hip, or leg pain. It really works!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Caesar Pizza

I was looking through the new What's Cooking mag and came across the pizza article. One of the suggestions was for a caesar pizza. And that's all it was - caesar salad dressing on a pizza crust with cheese. Umm ... ok? Then I got to thinking, why not add a few toppings that you would find in a caesar? Throw in a little chicken, some bacon bits, and what the hell, some red onion too, and voila! A tasty 6 piece pizza for lunch or cut into "fingers" for a quick appy! I used Renee's Might Caesar because I LOVE that bite of extra garlic in the dressing. It's perfect on the pizza. As for the chicken - you can use the plain Maple Leaf pre-cooked, sliced chicken breasts if you want. I actually had a package of Lillydale Sundried Tomato Turkey Breast Strips to use up so I went with that. Let me just say - good choice! I also used a 12"x15" rectangular baking stone for the pan as I find it crisps up the dough better.

Cheesy Chicken Caesar Pizza


1 tube Pillsbury Pizza Crust

1/2 - 3/4 cup Renee's Mighty Caesar Salad Dressing (to your taste)

1/3 pkg Maple Leaf Bacon Crumbles

1 cup chopped cooked chicken or turkey breast (see above)

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray rectagular 12"x15" baking stone with PAM. Unroll Pillsbury pizza dough out on stone. Roll dough out to edges of stone with a rolling pin. Bake dough for 10 minutes.


2. While dough bakes, prep other ingredients - slice onion, chop chicken, shred cheese, etc..


3. After baking 10 minutes, remove dough from oven. Spread with Renee's Mighty Caesar, leaving approximately 1" of edge uncovered. Sprinkle pizza with chicken and bacon crumbles. Cover with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with red onion slices. Cover with remaining 1 cup shredded mozzarella and Asiago cheeses.


4. Bake pizza for 10 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from over and allow to set for 5 minutes. Cut into 6 squares for lunch or into "fingers" for an appy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Coconut Meringue Brownies


So I made these little gems for work. Well, technically I made them for me because I really wanted to try them but I knew if I made them I would eat the whole pan. Sooo ... I made them to bring in to work so I could have some without pigging out on a whole 9"x13" pan. Plus my peeps at work get to be guinea pigs .... just to make sure the recipe has turned out ok. Lol.


I made two small changes. The recipe called for 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I used 1 cup semi-sweet and 1 cup white chocolate. It also called for walnuts. I'm one of those people who can taste that bitterness or rancid flavour easily so I tend to stay away from walnuts not in a shell. I used pecans instead as a substitute. While more expensive than walnuts, they always taste much better!


Coconut Meringue Brownies


3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 white sugar

3 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup flaked coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 cup packed brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside


2. In a large bowl, cream softened butter, first amount of brown sugar and white sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla; beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix well. Batter will be thick.


3. Spread mixture into greased pan. Sprinkle top evenly with semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans.


4. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add brown sugar to egg whites, 1 tbsp at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Drop spoonfuls of meringue on top of brownie. Carefully spread over the top.


5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool on rack. Cut into bars or squares. Store in fridge until ready to serve. Then enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fruit Salsa w/ Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

This recipe is sooooo easy. Well, it's easy now that I've worked the bugs out the chip recipe.

And healthy!

How can you go wrong?

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
10 - 10" flour tortillas, cut in wedges
PAM
Cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees - no hotter. Layer flour tortilla wedges in a single layer on a non-stick cookie sheet. Spray with PAM. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 8 mins. Most of the chips should be firm by now. It's ok if there's a couple that are soft. Do not bake anymore or you will come back to find smoke billowing out of your oven. Trust me on that point. Repeat until all the wedges are baked.

Fruit Salsa
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 lb strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 pint raspberries
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp fruit preserves, your choice (I used raspberry jam)

Toss the fruit in a large bowl. In a small bowl, heat preserves for 30 secs. Remove and stir. If preserves still seem a little solid, heat for another 20-30 secs. Stir in sugars. Fold preserves mixture into fruit. Allow fruit salsa to sit at least 15 mins before serving. Serve with Cinnamon Tortillas.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sketches 30-34

Sketch 30 - Stuffie Love (with my Midget Moo-Moo)





































Sketch 31 - Window Watcher (again with my Midget Moo)







































Sketch 32 - This Boy Runs to the Beat of His Own Drum (Jacker Cracker)





































Sketch 33 - Besties (with my Gusser-man and Midge)





































Sketch 34 - Paper Shredder (Xan-man)

















Friday, March 04, 2011

Tea Drinker

I have never been much of a tea drinker, much to my Grammy's disappointment. She never gave up on me though. Every time she brewed a pot of tea she would ask me if I wanted a cup. And every time, she got the same answer - no thank you Grammy, I still don't drink tea.

It's not to say I don't like all teas. It's just black tea that I don't enjoy.

I like green teas, white teas, herbal teas. In fact, Epicure makes the best Lemon Mango tea.

Today I tried some tea at work - White Tea Orange Indulgence - it was good when it was hot but as it got cool it wasn't so great. But I powered through and drank most of the cold stuff. Definitely something to drink while hot!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Corn & Tomato Salad

I tried another recipe last night and totally fell in love! Yum, yum, yum!

It was soooo easy, so flavourful and so healthy!

3 large ears of corn, shucked

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place corn in boiling water. Bring pot back to a boil. Cover and turn heat off. Allow corn to cook for 10 mins. Drain hot water off and fill pot with cold water. Replace cold water after 5 mins.

Meanwhile ...... mix the following ingredients in a medium sized bowl:

2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (see cilantro tip at end of recipe)
S&P to taste
2 tbsp lime juice

Once corn is cool enough to touch, remove from water and place on paper towel. Cut corn kernels from cob. Add to bowl and mix with salad ingredients. Allow to sit for 15-30 mins before serving to allow flavours to blend.

This salad can be served cold or hot. If you want to serve it hot, simply reheat in microwave.

Serves 4

Points+ is 3 for a serving.

Cilantro Tip: When you purchase a bunch of cilantro, it's always very sandy and dirty. A quick and easy way to clean it is to run a sink full of water. Place your cilantro in the water and swirl it around a bit. Leave it to sit for 10 mins. When you come back, all the dirt and sand will have settled at the bottom of the sink. Simply remove the cilantro and place on paper towel/dishtowel to drain. Voila! Easy cleaning.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken & Broccoli

I decided to try a new slow cooker recipe yesterday. It was sooo yummy! Of course, all the ingredients were regular fat/calorie ingredients so I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it lower fat. It makes 6 servings.

3 chicken breast halves, cut in small cubes
1 packet of dry Italian salad dressing OR 2 tbsp Epicure Italian Dressing Seasoning(I used Epicure)

Mix these two ingredients together and place in slow cooker on high. Cook for 1 hour.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce that will go over it.

1 pkg frozen broccoli florets, thawed
Cooking spray
1 onion, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I use the package of pre-sliced)

Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add onions and mushrooms. Lightly sprinkle with salt and stir. Cover and cook. Check every few minutes to make sure it isn't burning. Doing it this way will release the mushroom liquid. Once liquid is released, remove cover and continue to cook until liquid is evaporated. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining ingredients:

1 can Campbell's low-fat Cream of Chicken Soup, undiluted
4 oz light plain cream cheese, cut in small cubes
1/2 tub 95% fat-free spreadable cream cheese (Philly makes it ... it's deelish on bagels!)
1/4 cup Chardonnay (I am a big Jackson Triggs fan - great flavour, well priced, and Canadian!)
2 tsp Epicure Chicken Soup Base (aka chicken bouillon)
2-3 tsp Epicure Herb & Garlic (depending on taste)

Cook for 5-10 minutes until the cream cheese is melted and combined. Stir in broccoli.

Top chicken with sauce and stir to combine. Cook on high for two hours.

Serve this over spaghetti or spaghettini.

NOTE: The bouillon and H&G were not part of the original recipe. Because of the low-fat soup, I found it needed a flavour boost. If you don't have Epicure Herb&Garlic Seasoning for Dips you can always omit the 4 oz of light plain cream cheese and use a whole tub of 95% fat-free spreadable Herb & Garlic cream cheese.


By the way, this is 6 Points+ for the sauce. The pasta is extra.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Worst. Morning. EVER!!!!!!

I don't know why I even tried getting out of bed this morning.

I had the world's crappiest sleep thanks to Midget. Mum spent the night at Amanda's - she's in Vegas and needed a house/pet sitter (don't get me started on the hypocrisy of Amanda expecting one of us to be her pet sitter when she won't reciprocate). Anyway, Mum spent the night at Amanda's and Midget stayed home with Gus and I. It was Midget's first night sleeping with us since we moved into the basement. She spent almost 4 hours growling at ... well ... anything ... the sound of the cats in the litter box, the cats playing, shadows, etc ...

Seriously. Could. Have. Killed. Her.

I got up early because I had to go to a meeting on the Southside at 9:30. I knew I would need to snowblow the driveway with the R.D.Pond-ruined snowblower. That's a story in itself, which I will tell one day; suffice it to say that R.D.Pond is the WORST place to take your snowblower for a fall tune-up.

Went outside, got the snowblower started finally. I got most of the driveway snowblowed ... pretty much the only stuff left was where Mum parks which is small, and half of what the city plough put in the driveway. AND THEN THE AUGER STOPPED TURNING!

So now I have a snowblower that will run, but it won't throw snow! Son of a bitch!!!

I finally said screw it. I would finish later and get to my meeting now. Went to the meeting to find out a little bit of disappointing news. Not horrible just status quo kind of thing. Picked up a couple of groceries and went home....

... Where I had to finish clearing the drivway with the scoop. Yay me! Because when I scooped the walkway to the door, I twisted my ankle. Could this day GET any better?

Oh wait! It can!!

I had to go to the dentist's today to have my permanent bridge put in. And guess what? My gum grew down again. So I had to have more anesthetic, which I think I am developing an allergy to, and then the dentist had to retract my gums! The dentist then showed me how to floss my bridge ... all the while my gums were bleeding!

What did I do with the rest of my day?

I parked my fat ass on my couch and watched TV. No intention of tempting fate by leaving the house again today.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

LCOM Contest

Let's Capture Our Memories in New Maryland is having a "Share the Love" contest for February where you can be entered to win a $25 gift certificate!

To see all the deets just follow this link: LCOM.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Sketches 25-29

Still working on 52 Weeks ... 52 Sketches. In fact, of the 52, I have 42 done!

Here are a few more - 25-29:

Sketch 25/Like A Butterfly

















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Sketch 26/Noel



















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Sketch 27 /Little Ghoul



















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Sketch 28/Some Kitty Lovin


















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Sketch 29/Hoooo Loves You?





















Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I Start

So it has been a while since I posted. Well, to this blog, at least.

Been busy. Sometimes I feel like I am not accomplishing much - rarely have anything tangible to show for my efforts, but I am actually busy.

I started paying on my trip .... to NYC! This will only be my first trip to the Big Apple. And since it will be new territory, this bus trip will be perfect to get the lay of the land, find out where I want to go when I go back, etc ... Yay!

I started a new endeavor this past week and I will find out Wednesday if it has paid off. The smallest indication will make me happy.

I started watching Heavy. OMG! LOVE it! It is sooooo amazing! So uplifting and inspiring. If you pick up a new show for the winter, please-please-please try this one!

I started a new quilt. This one is for my sister for her birthday. I love the colours. I hope she does too. After her birthday, I will post a pic.

I started walking Gus. I had to. My poor Gooser is becoming a chunky monkey. He enjoyed every single minute we were out. Of course he was exhausted when we got back.

And finally ....

I start my new shift next Tuesday. I work this Saturday and Sunday my 3pm to 2am shift, have Monday off to start getting used to being up at 7:30AM!!!! Yes, folks, I am going to an early am shift! Polar opposite! That's going to take a while to get used to. But should be very interesting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mommy Was Right

So, as many know, I had a little trouble several months ago with one of my root canal teeth - cracked straight up the middle all the way under the gum - and it had to be pulled. Well, according to Dr. B. Whom I will never go to again after this procedure is done.

Anyway, got a temporary bridge on in the summer. One thing after another delayed having the permanent bridge put in. One of them being a root canal that I KNOW was a result of Dr.B's work. After that root canal, the other tooth in the bridge work started being a problem. Had to have that done. Made sure to have Dr. S do my root canals cuz I trust him.

Anyway, I went to the dentists Tuesday for the permanent bridge. Had to be Dr. B that did the work, blah,blah, blah. Long story short - I didn't get my bridge!

Why? Because it's been too long. Damn thing wouldn't fit!

My appointment was scheduled for noon, so I was planning to get up 10:30 anyway. But the dentist's receptionist called and asked me to come in an hour early. Glad I did because the one hour procedure turned into two hours.

The dentist took the temp bridge off, put the permanent fillings in (bye-bye another $200 - fuckers!), and then proceeded to try to get the permanent bridge to fit on .... for more than hour. Because I had root canals I didn't need a local to freeze the area. Until he started trying to get the permanent bridge on. 4 needles later! The gum around the front tooth in the bridge had grown down so much that he had to cut the gum away and push it up. Yay! Fun! Even after that and all the filing and and pushing and tapping, he still couldn't make the permanent fit correctly.

Which meant the permanent bridge has gone back to the dental lab along with a new mold of my mouth to be re-tooled. And the temp bridge has been put back on for the next two weeks.

I got home yesterday and wanted to curl up and cry. I was so angry! Not only that, the local had really kicked in and started to kick my butt. I always end up sleepy and depressed and sick. My face was sore. My gums were sore. It was aweful. It was worse than a root canal, believe it or not. But I was determined to go to work because with vacations and scheduling, I knew that we would be short staffed if I called in. So into work I went.

My manager wanted me to go home. He even talked to Nick about it and they both tried to convince me to go home. But I stayed. The word stubborn was used often. It wasn't until 8pm that I started to feel better - probably took that long for the local to get out of my system.

Anyway, it's good to know that if I need to take the time off I can. And I just may when it's time to get that damn permanent bridge in if I feel just as badly then as I did yesterday.

Finally, why was my mommy right? Well, when I first got that tooth pulled and had the choice to get an implant, a bridge, or a partial denture, she voted for the partial because it was cheaper. Apparently she was right, because this whole bridge thing is not as cheap and painless as the effing dentist said it would be.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pay It Forward 2011

So this little gem went around FB this past week:

Pay It Forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade to the first 5
people who leave a comment. They must in turn post this and send something they
made to the first 5 people who comment on their status. The rules: it must be
handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011. (What a
great way to start 2011.)

So I had 5 people comment on my status. And I know 4 out of the 5 will give it their best shot. The fifth? Don't know if she even turned around and posted it on her status. I certainly hope she did.

Anyway, what to do? Well, I guess it will have to be something quilted. Not sure what to do or where to start. I have ideas for everyone of my 5. I just have to transfer those ideas to fabric. Or find the appropriate fabric.

I guess I am off to scour the online fabric stores! If all else fails, I will have to force myself to make a trip to Calais.