Sunday, August 30, 2009

menu planning monday

This week is back to school -- yikes!
You can find other menu plans and recipes at

Monday -- Meatlovers Pizza Bake (a new one, I'll let you know how it goes)
Tuesday -- Sweet and Sour Chicken (see recipe below)
Wednesday -- Lori's Oven Sausage
Thursday -- baseball banquet -- so we'll dine on tube steaks and chips!
Friday -- Oriental Chicken Dinner
Saturday -- Maggie Soup (hamburg and vegetable soup) with fresh bread
Sunday -- birthday party for father-in-law -- I'll take dessert

Sweet and Sour Chicken
1/8 cup salad oil
2 med. onions, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup vinegar
1 3/4 cup ketchup

Saute onion in oil. Bring rest of ingredients to a boil. Put chicken into a baking dish and pour sauce over it. Bake at 350F, uncovered until chicken is done (about 30-40 min. for boneless chicken breasts)

This is Berta. She's a 9 week old lab-cross. Nope, she's not ours. DD and DS were dogsitting for their Auntie today. I was well warned that wee Berta was not house trained, so the cat-lover in me firmly told the kids that Berta could be outside, or in our backroom -- and any messes were their responsibility. Well Berta was in the back room for about 30 seconds, when I decided that the kitchen would be ok -- can't wreck a hardwood floor. Then the wee girl got all cute and quiet while we were having lunch. She cuddled up at DHs feet and melted his heart. I could hardly deny her access to the hallway and playroom, when she had been so good all morning. These pictures were taken about 2 minutes after that decision -- you can see she is perfectly happy on our couch. She's a wily one -- wormed her way into our house and brainwashed me into thinking that was just ok.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

kids growing up

Our kids spent 4 days at Grandma and Grandpa's farm. Had a great time (so did the parents -- it was so quiet and tidy at Shady Hall.) When we went to pick up DD and DS they told us all about G & G's new rooster and hens and how they got to pick eggs, usually 2 or 3, every morning. As we were ready to leave we heard a commotion at the edge of the wheat field. Seems Rusty Rooster was "chasing" Penny Hen and he "caught" her at the edge of the field. Well DD thought it was hilarious. She said "Rusty chases his girls all the time, then he likes to jump on their backs just to annoy them!" When I looked at DS he had an odd grin on his face -- like he KNEW what was going on. He didn't say anything, but I know he knows that I know what he knows. In a quiet time later this week, I tried to ask him about it, but he put his hand up and said "mom, I know what you want to talk about, and I really don't want to have this conversation."
DH and I have always been upfront, if the kids ask those kinds of questions -- honest, but not graphic. On a few occasions DS has asked about a word he heard. Once DH said, "I can tell you son, but it's about sex." I think DS was about 8. His response was, "I don't think I want to know then."
It's not that I don't want him to know. I do wonder about his sources and their accuracy.
The part that has me ruminating on this issue is that it means he's reached a milestone. He is growing up. I remember the days when he got most excited about a "twuck," I am not ready now (nor will I be even in 5 years) for when he is enthused about girls instead.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

unexpected inspiration

Today should have been a difficult day -- in fact it was for a few hours, but it ended with inspiration and blessing.
I had to have a tough conversation with one of my staff members this morning-- potentially, due to bureaucracy and union rules, she could lose her job. She was most gracious about it though I expected nothing less. I agreed to call her by the end of the afternoon with whatever decision had been made (both out of her control and mine.) I prayed hard and thought good thoughts.
My wishes came true and she was allowed to keep her position. Good news.
But the best news -- my soul-filling news -- came from her description of her afternoon. This is paraphrasing what she told me:
She said "K, I called the mother of a girl I used to work with. My mother always said that if you are feeling blue, you should help someone else. Her child is severely handicapped and I just figured there is never enough respite care. I told the mother she should go out and get a coffee, or do something for herself. Then I spent the afternoon with her daughter. I could tell by her smiles and drools that she was really happy. When the mother returned I walked outside, looked at the sky and said 'God whatever happens, happens, because I am blessed."
So this is what I learned from an extraordinary lady -- I learned today to be gracious, even in the face of bad news; I learned to be selfless and compassionate, and I learned to recognize how blessed I am. I also learned to recognize the angels in my life -- the ones that turn bad days into inspirations.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

inbox junk mail

My inbox had 13 new messages -- 4 were from people offering either a penis implant or Viagara. Now I"m not sure how exactly my name got on this list; or who believes a mother of 2 requires Viagara (or a penis for that matter) but I'm resenting the fact that such ideas are in my mailbox. I also notice that I've received nothing offering breast implants. I'm not sure whether to be pleased or insulted, really.

Monday, August 24, 2009

menu planning monday

The usual menu plan hosted by

-- kids are visiting Grandma and Grandpa, so I get my favourite August light supper -- Toasted Bacon and Tomato sandwiches with corn-on-the-cob (DH doesn't do veggies so he had bacon on toast...)
Tuesday -- going to pick up kids, supper on the way
Wednesday -- Pulled Pork on a bun with corn on the cob
Thursday -- Chicken and Rice bake (new recipe, I'll let you know how it goes)
Friday -- Grilled pizzas (recipe below)
Saturday -- steak, baked potatoes, roasted veggies
Sunday -- leftovers

Easy Grilled Pizzas
(hint: have all your toppings ready in advance)
Use tortillas for the crust. Spray one side with Pam or spritz with olive oil and place on grill.
Top with pizza sauce (I use the squeeze bottle kind 'cause it's less messy),
pepperoni, ham, bacon, green pepper, shredded mozzarella etc.
I can fit 2 large tortillas on the grill at once. Put the lid down and cook for about 4-5 minutes. You'll know its done when the "crust" is firm and the cheese is melted.

Sometimes I do a carmalized red onion and chicken version. For that sauce I use equal parts bbq sauce and pizza sauce.

naked laundry day?

I like doing laundry. I'd never confess this to my kids, but it is one chore that I like doing. I love the smell of clean laundry, like the warmth of clothes fresh out of the dryer,and I like the melodic rhythm of ironing. Crazy but true.
I also like that my laundry room is truly the only space where anyone rarely ventures to interrupt me, unlike the washroom... My laundry room is in my basement. If anyone comes down while I am working they know they are likely to be asked to sort or carry up a load, so they leave me alone. It's a good space for hiding and for thinking. Sad but true.
My only issue with laundry is that it is never, ever done. It's the only chore I can think of that even while doing it more is being created. While I am scrubbing whites, the ones I am wearing are getting dirty. I advocate for a Naked Laundry Day. Certainly not a PUBLIC naked laundry day, but rather a day where everyone stays home and finishes their laundry while in the buff. If Naked Laundry Day was Tuesdays we could all have No Load Wednesday. I realize this could be a hard sell to anyone who doesn't do laundry (ie DH); who wants to stay home naked while someone else washes clothes -- but there is the naked aspect to consider...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Riches are not from an abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I remember reading parenting advice, once upon a time (likely before I had kids, when there was time to read manuals for advice) that said that parents are often too quick to say "no." I've solved that issue with the terms: "possibly," "perhaps later," "now is not the best time," "remind me tomorrow," "ask your father," "not right now," "give me a few minutes to consider..." etc. When the kids press for a straight answer my reply is usually something to this effect: "I can't tell you yes or no right now. I don't want to lie to you and have you be disappointed. I will give you yes or no when I know what dad has planned/what the weather is/what tomorrow will bring etc."
Truthfully, in my own mind I'm often saying "no way" but DS and DD haven't quite figured that out yet.
When DS was small my standard answer was usually "later." So much so that he became quite confused about timelines. He would often ask "when is later?" Tell me, how do you define that? He got so that he believed a day consisted of morning, afternoon, later, evening, night. But sometimes "later" came before afternoon, or after evening. It was all very confusing for him. The seasons also got muddled up -- spring, summer, later, fall, winter OR summer, fall, later, winter, spring?
I believe the reason for not giving a quick "no" to children is so that parents are more open to children's needs and adventures. I'm not sure though, I'll figure it out later.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I resent the question "so, what did you do today?" because either a) you won't believe the answer, b) if you are a mom you go "well, that was like ___day when..." or c) if you are DH you really don't want to know the all the details, you just think you are making polite conversation.
So here is my answer for what I did yesterday, in case DH reads my blog:
7:15 -- wake up (I hit snooze first, twice because the alarm really went off at 7am)
shower, dress, load of laundry in, breakfast for me, empty dishwasher, wake kids, get them dressed, teeth brushed etc.
8:10 -- drop kids off at babysitters head to meeting for 9am
9-11:15 -- meeting on School Improvement Planning (interesting, but now I've added to my to do list...)
11:20-12:00 -- drive home -- listen to ABBA on the way
12 noon -- pick up kids
then lunch, laundry, house tidy, do books for Bible School treasury, homework...
12:45 -- hair cut for DS, trim for me.
1:15 -- Back home for housework and homework.
3pm -- to public library with kids
3:25pm -- pick up DS's friend to take both to a birthday party in BigTown. Drive is 20 min.
4pm -- DD and I had pedicures booked (a gift from a friend) -- what a treat! -- but it took longer than we had
6pm -- RACE to Tim Horton's for take out sandwiches
6:15 -- back to birthday party to pick up DS. Had to stay 10 min. longer than planned to watch a rocket being launched.... Drive 20 min., ate on the way.
6:40 -- home for quick change, grab hockey equipment then leave for BiggerTown. Drive 25 min.
7:10 -- hockey school
7:30 -- enjoyed walking track around the top of arena (what a brilliant idea, by the way!)-- did only 2 miles 'cause I got side-tracked talking to a friend.
9:10 -- head to Marble Slab for ice cream for DS. Then drive 25 min.
9:45 -- home -- kids to bed, sort laundry, get things ready at launching pad for morning
10:15 -- bed time.

So that's what I did yesterday. And yes, my toes look wonderful!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I have a theory. The female brain (well, my brain specifically) has infinite capacity for new knowledge but limited capacity for remembering "things." Therefore, since I must remember EVERYTHING for EVERYONE else in my house, I sometimes forget things for myself.
What do I need to remember? Case in point, heading out to hockey school this week I have said each night to DS "Do you have your stick, hockey bag, water bottle?" Reply. "Yes." Reality -- Monday night I had to spend $1.75 for a bottle of water for DS.
Every morning of their lives DS and DD have heard me ask "Did you brush your teeth? Wash your face? Comb your hair? Put your dishes in the dishwasher? Etc. Etc. Etc." I have come to realize that if I don't remind, it won't happen. When we go on a trip DH teases me that I am always last in the car -- that is because I have packed everyone's bag, charged cell phones, written out emergency numbers, made reservations, etc. etc. I'm last because everyone else gets to walk out the door empty-minded and empty-handed while I lag behind as pack mule and secretary.
I often think I am an enabler. No one else needs to remember anything, because I do it for them. Then I decide I will not remind "them" of the details! and I merely ask "Do you have what you need?" That is how one week we ended up at Figure Skating without skates, and at a hockey game without helmet, chest protector or jock. You can guess who had to do the running to go back for the missing equipment?
MY life is easier if I am an enabler. That is also why I am last in the car, with messy hair and a full bladder!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I tried the Bacon and Cheeseburger Spaghetti recipe that I noted on Menu Planning Monday. It was not a success. Rarely do I say I don't like something, especially if I've made it myself; I can choke down just about anything (I would do well on Survivor in this regard) but this was just yucky. And I just don't understand it -- it had all the makings of something wonderful but ended up really strong -- too much mustard or something.... DS and DD tried one or two bites and then stopped abruptly. After I had my bite, I immediately pulled out the old peanut butter, jam and bread, no questions asked. I also called DH and told him to stop somewhere for supper on the way home unless he felt like PB and J.
When DD saw me dump the entire casserole she said "but what about all those starving kids in Africa you talk out?" My response "they will thank me this time, I think!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This is a crazy busy week at our house, so our menu reflects tried, true and FAST. I went back to school yesterday to set up for September, DH started hockey school last night and both kids are at Bible School all week -- and I"m still in summertime mode!

Monday -- western sandwiches (eaten on the run)
Tuesday -- crockpot stew
Wednesday -- bacon and cheeseburger casserole (we didn't get to it last week, so I'll try this new recipe this week)
Thursday -- DD and I are going for a pedicure and then we'll have dinner in the park; DS is at a birthday party and DH will have to fend for himself
Friday -- BBQ burgers with garden salad
Saturday -- our 17th anniversary -- I'll take DH out for dinner

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I have an addiction (well more than one, if you count chocolate). I am addicted to Spider Solitaire and Free Cell games on the computer. I tell myself that they are good "thinking" games which is important to keep the brain stimulated to ward off dementia (DH might suggest I need to play more!). I do my work, answer emails, blog etc. but before I hit "shut down" I have to run through a couple of games of each. Some days it feels like those games are the only thing that is going right (those are the winning days) other days I tell myself my luck will be better tomorrow. I realize what a waste of time this habit is; I realize I have better things to do but I am compelled to try my luck at a good hand once a day. I think I better stay out of Los Vegas...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon and left one unexpended effort which might have saved the world."
~Jane Addams, joint winner of 1931 Nobel Peace Prize

Friday, August 14, 2009

I love my jeep. I can't post a picture 'cause DH would never allow a photo of a dirty vehicle, and mine definitely needs to meet the powerwasher soon. My jeep is a "non-colour" beige. Nothing special, except that I rely on it to help me run my life. It has never let me down (touch wood) and is always ready to roll. Currently there are 2 mismatched Barbie shoes, a granola bar wrapper, Nintento DS game case, dolly blanket and empty water bottle rolling around on the floor of the back seat. Front seat only has empty CD case and pen out of place. In the bull-pen at the back there is everything a busy sports mom needs -- rubber backed blanket for watching ball games in the rain, warm fleece for cold hockey arenas (I'll need that next week), enviro-grocery bags, umbrella (also for ball game rain outs), first aid kit, and baby wipes (for sticky fingers and faces). It tells the story of my days, and helps prepare me for the next one.

Recently I've become sentimental about my mode of transport. DH has been talking about looking for a new vehicle for me. Jeep Jeep is nearing 300 000 km and he says this is her last winter. I know that this is a practical decision, but somehow I've adopted the male trait of seeing some human qualities in my vehicle. I mean my body is a bit rusty and not as firm and shiny as it used to be, and I've got many K on me too. I'd hate to think of being traded just because I'm nearing a number (and I am...)
DH says we've been together over 20 years, think of how many vehicles he's had in that time. Problem is, I don't know if I should take that as a compliment, or warning....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I watched a few minutes of Regis and Kelly this morning while I had my get-up-and-go-tea. Kate from "Jon and Kate Plus 8" was on. Apparently Jon left her in June (I don't watch the show, didn't know) with the EIGHT kids. Yikes! She was talking about the show for the fall and about she is managing the change in her life. I just can't fathom how one could go through this with paparazzi following her everywhere. Kate was saying that the show cameras are one thing because they are respectful and there is some control there, but the paparazzi are entirely different.
Honestly, I wouldn't do well with either. The world does not need to see "R and Lunatic K with Two."
Viewers may take exception with my advice, borne of desperation a couple of weeks ago. DS has decided that the best fun is to tease his sister until she squeals. She squeals alot. ALOT! It's a loud, finger-nails on chalk-board scream/cry/squeal. I've talked to DS, but that has minimal effect. My solution was to go to DD. This was our converstion:
Me: Clearly, screaming and squealing has not been effective in dealing with your brother.
DD: I know.
Me: So you need another solution.
DD: I don't know what to do, he makes me so MAD (voice starting to get that baby-pig squeal again...)
Me: You could try asking him in a NORMAL voice to stop. You could leave the room. You could choose a different activity. You could come to me and ask for help, in a NORMAL voice. If all else fails -- hit him!
(Yep, I suggested hitting him -- 'cause a) I knew she'd never hurt him and b) I would rather she did something to help herself rather than squeal and wait for someone to solve her problems for her -- yes, I realize this won't get me Mother of the Year again this year.)
DD: Hit him? I can hit him?
Me: I'm not giving you permission to hit him whenever you want. You may still be in trouble for hitting, but if that is your very last resort then you need to take action to solve your own problems.

So it's been about a week and half since I broke the "mother code" with my advice for physical aggression, but DD, bless her heart, has not hit DS. Though I believe in a couple of instances I would have if I were in her place. My house is a little quieter... at least it doesn't sound like I have an injured piggy anymore.

Come to think of it, maybe I should be filming DS and DD, then I could play back their behaviour over and over and over and let them enjoy the sounds of "just playing around!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I attended a funeral with my dad yesterday. It was for a friend of the family who had long been battling Parkinson's Disease. On the ride home I listened as my dad talked about his own funeral plans and shared his thoughts on the rituals of death in general. It got me thinking...

First, the eulogy at the funeral we attended was wonderful, just the right amount of humour, mixed with thought-filled remembrances that would mean something to everyone in attendance. I was thinking that it is too bad that we wait until a person has passed on to list their attributes, accomplishments and value to us. Wouldn't it be wonderful if, say, on your 30th, 60th, 75th birthdays if your family and friends could put an announcement in the paper just to say -- "hey I love this person, and this is why she is great and I'm glad she's in my life."

Secondly -- I spent some time reading obituaries this week and noticed that some are very long and detailed, and some are short, one or two paragraphs. The nosy-parker in me wanted more information on the short-obit folks. While the long versions usually give family connections they also reveal community involvements, awards, professional information and accomplishments. I think that the short-obits are that way because there aren't accolades for a life well-lived. Good people who just choose to do the right thing and take care of others don't necessarily win awards or receive certificates. Wouldn't it be wonderful to make a point of thanking those around us who do good for good's sake; who are good neighbours and friends that we know we can count on. I don't do it enough; rarely, if I'm honest. Busy lives mean taking small measures for granted. My friend's passing has reminded me that it's time to stop, look around, notice and give thanks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

menu planning monday

My usual menu plan as organized by -- posted a bit late as the storm yesterday messed up our hydro and my internet connection.
Monday -- Chicken Suisse (we didn't have it last week so I've put it on tonight's menu)
Tuesday -- Crockpot stew (no oven, busy day)
Wednesday -- Sour sausage (see recipe below), baked potatoes, cucumber salad
Thursday -- Bacon and Cheeseburger Spaghetti (this is a new one, I'll let you know if it's worth passing along), garlic bread, spinach salad
Friday -- ham steaks, bbq scalloped potatoes, corn on the cob (I hope!)
Saturday -- someone is taking me out for pizza?
Sunday -- leftovers or campfire pie irons, spiders and s'mores!

Sour Sausage (my mother-in-law's recipe for a sweet and sour sausage gravy)
your favourite sausage (we like farmer's or honey garlic)
1 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 small onion, finely chopped
cornstarch or flour

Fry sausage until brown. Remove sausages and keep warm. Drain off grease and add water. Add vinegar, brown sugar and onion. Let this boil slowly for 10-15 minutes, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Thicken gravy with cornstarch or flour.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Voices in my head

I have voices in my head. I can admit that because every mother on the planet hears the same ones.
I heard the voices loud and clear this week at the dentists office. While DD was getting her check up one voice was saying "the dentist has been looking in there a long time. You should have made her brush more often. You know sometimes she just wets her toothbrush. If she has a mouthful of cavities it will be your fault." This is voice that makes us want to do the right thing. This voice is the voice of guilt.
The other voice was saying "well, if she's got cavities it will be her own fault. You told her every morning and every night to brush. If she didn't do what she was told it was her own fault. Maybe now she'll know you were right." This is the voice that needs to be right. Some days it is just as loud as the guilty voice but it is a lot bitchier.
I hadn't really thought about these voices until this week. They have been around for 10 years, 8 months so I am used to them. Neither voice is good on its own -- moms already carry much guilt about everything, and I certainly don't need to be bitchier. But I think maybe both voices balanced out lead to sanity. The do-right voice leads us to make better choices and the be-right voice helps us to see that children need to make their own choices and live with consequences.
So I am ok with these voices. It is the voice that interrupts and says "Me want chocolate" that I struggle with!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I don't do spontaneous. I am a planner. I need time to process and think. I make no apologies for not EVER being a last minute fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda girl.
So imagine my panic when DH appeared home on Wednesday afternoon and said "can we (meaning me) be ready to take the kids to Niagara Falls/Marineland in about 1/2 an hour. And I'd like to surprise them!"
Yikes! My packing lists, my carefully co ordinated outfits, my multiple shoes, my household chores, my suitcase(s).... But I said "sure, just keep them busy, and you stay out of my way..." Well we were packed and on the road and kept up the surprise until we reached the Falls themselves. I tried really hard to keep my shoulders from tensing to my ears and my voice from squeaking like a too-wound watch.

The other things to consider here are that I really am uncomfortable with 401 driving, with large crowds and with not having a PLAN! No room booked? "No worries" says DH we'll find something. Something? Something (voice shrill and sqeaky!) 'cause I am not doing motel-with-someone-else's-hair-in-the-sink -- you already know about my camping issues...

The vacation was wonderful. We got a great room at a Best Western. The kids were thrilled with the surprise. I really enjoyed the whales at Marineland and Magic Mountain roller coaster. We had a great day as a family today.

I'd like to be able to say I conquered my fears and am much more flexible-see-how-it-goes after this experience. But this is not a novel -- I am still the planner, will still be uncomfortable in 4 lanes of traffic and large crowds. But once again I have reminded myself that I can do anything...(well, almost anything -- no way could I do Roach Motel!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's always a little celebration (little party in my head) when I find something my whole family likes to eat. I've been warned to not try to "sneak" more than one new recipe in a week. We are a family of habits and pickiness. I really don't like to cook, and what I like to cook is either not very healthy (ie desserts!) or my fam won't like it. New recipes are a treat for me.
I organized my collection of "to try" recipes last week. I got a binder and filled it with page protectors, the pocket kind. Then I labelled each pocket with a recipe category -- beef, crockpot, chicken, pork, pasta, breakfast, salads, soups, cookies, cakes, pastry, squares (notice the heavy emphasis on desserts....) Whenever I cut out a recipe I think might go over, I place it in the appropriate pocket. Then once a week I go through the binder to find the recipe worthy of this week's "new try."
Last night's new try was Italian Pot Roast on the BBQ. It was originally intended for the crockpot, but you know I don't always like to follow instructions. It's from Simple and Delicious magazine May/June 2009.

Italian Pot Roast
1 boneless beef chuck (3-4 lbs) -- I used a 2 1/2 lb frozen short rib roast, cause that's what was handy in the freezer
1 can diced tomatoes
3/4 chopped onion
3/4 cup beef broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or minced garlic)
1/4 tsp pepper

BBQ instructions -- I put the roast in a tinfoil baking pan, added the tomatoes, onion, beef broth and spices. Then I put a second tinfoil baking pan (same size) over top for a lid. Wrap the whole thing in tinfoil to help seal in the steam. Roast on low heat for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (I kept 2 burners on low and turned the other one off.) The temp gauge stayed about 300F.

When roast is done remove meat. I strained out the juices from the tomatoes (knew that tomato chunks wouldn't go over with the fam). Then put the juices in a saucepan with cornstarch to make gravy.

Crockpot instructions are the same except it suggests cutting the roast in half and cooking on low for 5 - 5 1/2 hours. (If I was doing it from frozen I'd do 8-10 hours.) If you don't have a picky family you could include the tomatoes in the gravy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Menu Planning Monday -- hosted this week by The Happy Housewife

Monday -- italian pot roast on the BBQ (new recipe, I'll let you know if it becomes a favourite), with herb and garlic roast potatoes, spinach salad
Tuesday -- chili with home made fries
Wednesday -- Chicken Suisse with vegetable fried rice*
Thursday -- hot roast beef sandwiches, cucumber salad, mashed potatoes
Friday -- chili dogs
Saturday -- bbq sausage and potatoes

Vegetable Fried Rice
Cook as much rice as your family usually eats (if I'm in a hurry I use Minute rice) according to package directions.
As rice cooks julienne or finely chop a handful of favourite vegetables (I use carrots, celery and/or peas)
Stir fry veggies in a little olive oil for a minute or 2 in a big frying pan. Add the rice and stir together.
Push rice and vegetable mixture to one side of the pan. Scramble an egg on the other side. When egg is cooked mix it all together. Add a dash of ginger and and 2-3 tablespoons of soya sauce.
DH claims I have ADHD. I am kind of an expert on the issue, and I don't think so. BUT, I can maybe see where he gets that diagnosis, and I am working on tackling my focus issues. I believe I am not alone.
How many times have you worked at straightening up the house and on the way to somewhere, say with a load of laundry, you notice something out of place. So you move that about, head back for the laundry and get side-tracked by some other duty. I have, on occasion, been very, very busy all day, and at the end of it discovered that it really looks like I got nothing done. Flylady refers to this syndrome as being SHE (side-tracked home executive.) Imagine if aliens were spying on my house -- they would see me busy as a bee but they'd never be able to figure out what my original task/goal was.
I used to pride myself on often doing 2 things at once-- eat breakfast and make the grocery list; answer email and balance cheque book; fold laundry and talk on the phone etc. I thought I was being productive. I think not so much productive as side-tracked and probably less effective (my apologies to those who were on the phone while I focused on a load of whites!)
Solution? I am concentrating on only doing one thing at a time. If I'm loading the dishwasher then I don't wipe down the counter until the dishwasher is loaded. If I'm gathering laundry then I just make a note to come back to the bathroom when the load is in. I've been at my One-thing-at-a-time for about 2 weeks and I really have no idea if anyone else in the house has noticed (or the aliens for that matter) but I have noticed a difference. Less hurried, less stressed, more accomplished off the to-do list and faster.
Yeah me...although I've heard that Ritalin can be a wonder drug....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I am declaring WAR. And not environmentally-friendly, globally responsible war. I mean globally-damaging, chemical-warfare! I have ants in my garden. They built their hill under my coral bells -- killed the plant. Now they have also moved to my lavender bush. There are hundreds, possible thousands as far down as my shovel will dig. They are killing my garden; I am waiting for home invasion. I have tried the environmentally friendly methods. One internet site suggested icing sugar and baking soda. The ants just walked over it. Then we've had so much rain my white killing powder washed away. Another site suggested boiling water. Yep, it kills the ants it touches -- boils the little bastards and drowns the rest in the top inch of the hill. The queen and her warriors just move the eggs deeper. Human urine is suggested and DS is keen to contribute, but that's a bit gross and as far as I can tell has a rather uncertain success rate.
So, yesterday I went to Home Hardware and bought 3 cans of the Raid home invasion foam. It's the kind advertised on TV that you insert the nozzle down the ant hill and it foams throughout the tunnels. I emptied one entire can on the hill that was where my coral bells used to be. I used TWO cans on the hill growing under my lavender. 2 cans!! That is how deep the tunnels were.
Today I counted only 1 ant. I figured he must have been away yesterday and missed the massacre 'cause there was no other action on either hill.
I won't declare the war over for a day or 2 'cause they could just be underground plotting revenge. You'll know I've surrendered if you see DS out peeing on my lavender bush!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I don't get it. Camping, that is. Most of my friends disappear to a campground of some sort for a few days or weekends each summer. It's not that I'm anti-camping, I just truly fail to see the attraction.
We'll start with tenting. Can't see the fun in sleeping on the ground (or air mattress) in a mosquito (bear?) filled bush, peeing in a hole/latrine/public washroom, cooking my own food and fending off blackflies (bears?). I don't get it.
Even RV or trailer-type camping is beyond my comprehension (though certainly more within my realm of possibility than a tent). Still have to cook my own food, still have to clean up after everyone, still mosquitos (bears?). I don't get it. If I need a holiday it better not be spent living in the same conditions as someone struggling in a third world country (only they don't have to consider bears!)
So I don't camp. I do, however, long for a 5-star with a spa 'cause my holiday DOES include a massage and pedicure!