Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I want a prettier blog...

I keep seeing these beautiful blogs with beautiful pictures uploaded on them and then people have wonderful things to say on them.

I do not have the brains to do that.
Nor do I have the followers to bother.

Am tempted to copy everything I've written onto a word file and print it off and then stop blogging, with the exception of thedaringkitchen because their stuff is so good. Or maybe I should just stop cramming myself full of things to do.

Or maybe I'll just not do anything of the sort...

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Daring Kitchen Challenge - Nut Butters

The July Challenge is brought to you by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies.

This challenge was super-fun and exciting. I had to borrow a friend's food processor only to discover it didn't work. Oof. But my trusty little one did just fine.

I chose to make the cashew butter, and use it in the shrimp asian noodle salad. This was the end result!

Not bad eh? My only issue was that the shrimp I took out of the freezer had freezer burn and the only thing opened was M and M so I bought pre-cooked shrimp and just added it. So the shrimp was actually a lovely gray colour. Er-lack. But it was tasty!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Plan B

Everyone needs a plan B.

Especially when they're a grown-up. Ick I hate that word.

So I had to sit back and think, 'what if? what if this doesn't work? what can I do to make a contribution?'

Let's be honest here. Rockstar Hubby is indeed a rockstar, but even he can't climb trees for the rest of his life. He needs to focus on the fire department and writing his promotional exam and the gaffer. And he wants to get back into Timbersports. He's worked two jobs for a long time now and with the gaffer starting school full-time in the fall, who am I not to contribute.

So what if the books don't do well?

I know they will. Deep way down deep in my heart, I know they'll do well. It's not something I worry about. I gave it all up to my Maker and He's taking care of all of it. So what's plan B?

Plan B will be yoga instructor.

I've always enjoyed yoga and there are some teachers out there I do not care for as they are not compassionate, nor do they go around the class and re-adjust your pose. Plus, I really don't care for the whole, 'find your own energy' crap. God's giving me plenty of energy on my own, thank you.
So before the book started its roll uphill, I had chosen yoga. So if it all falls down, yoga.

But I prefer to write...

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Daring Kitchen Challenge #2

I hate that this post is late. I don't like being too busy for things.
Ok, so here we go.
This month's challenge was to make pate and bread. This challenge got me very excited because I absolutely adore pate, especially with brie and baguette! Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.
We were given the opportunity to do a couple, and I chose the chicken liver pate. Of course being an inexperienced cook, I did have some issues.
One recurring theme that seems to be prevelant, is that I need a food processor. I have a teeny little dinky one that I bought to make baby food, and it did just fine chopping up beans, peas, spinach, broccoli... but I had to process bacon and bacon and more bacon.

So, first I cooked the chicken livers. It took 4 grocery stores to find them. Farm Boy. Who knew? (Am taking a frustrated moment to say that my pictures are not uploading properly. I apologize in advance for this craziness.)

Then when they started the cooking, the smell was absolutely horrendous and I convinced RockStar Hubby to cook them for me. He did so willingly. Then I tried shoving all the bacons into the food processor and that just made a disaster. So I took them out and then tried chopping them all into fine little bits. Ha! Then I threw everything into the bowl, along with the pureed chicken livers. Then I couldn't find a proper mold for it. So I figured I'd put it into the smaller roasting pan and then put that into the larger roasting pan as it needed to cook in water. Two and a half hours later, it smelled great!

The baguette, I was allowed some free reign so I made my usual baguette with flour, salt, yeast and water. I threw the whole thing in the breadmaker and let it mix it and then instead of letting it rise for just half an hour, as it is supposed to, I let it rise for ten hours. I don't usually plan on letting bread rise for that long, but I always manage to forget about it. But it always turns out light and fluffy so I'm never concerned.

And here's the finished product. At the top of the page of course, because these pictures uploading are not listening to me...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A trip to North Carolina

I find it bizarre that I never blogged about our trip to Paris. Because I figured I wouldn't stop talking about it. But I didn't. But that's for another time.

The gaffer and I are currently sitting in a Starbucks, somewhere 3 hours from Winchester, Virginia. Rockstar hubby is at some non-descript garage about 4 km away, getting the wheelbearing fixed on our car. We were supposed to be in Winchester at 6pm. It is now 5:42 and we still have three hours to drive. What's even more amusing is that the other wheelbearing went on the drive down to North Carolina. This is fun.

We left on Friday morning to go to Gaithersburg, Maryland after a 9 hour drive which actually took 13 1/2 hours to discover the wheelbearing was broken. But there was a Ford dealership two minutes away so rockstar hubby planned to go first thing in the morning. We stayed at the Marriott and I'm sorry to say that at 10pm, one does not want to go into their room to discover it smells like marijuana. So then we changed rooms and got to bed at 11pm. The next day we were on the road by 10:30am (after 300$! and as I write this? the non-descript garage is fixing it for 60$.) and arrived at North Topsail, North Carolina at 7pm. And it was perfect. We immediately threw on our bathing suits and ran down to the ocean. Perfect. Perfect salty smells, perfectly disgusting salty taste and a sunset in the sky. We then spent 6 full days alternating between the ocean and the pool. It was fabulous. The boys went to see the North Carolina battleship and took a million pictures while I hit the mall. I bought a pair of skinny jean capris (not too bad) and a cute pair of sandals. And then they went to see Shrek 4 while I bought a pair of sandals and a pair of Spetty Top-siders (both plaid and never noticed) and got some writing done.

Not much else to say. I burnt my bum? We're on our way to Niagara Falls to the Great Wolf Lodge for a few days and to see our lovely wine friend Andrew who owns a lovely winery. Home by Wednesday I think.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gardening Time

I had planted all my tomatoes, petunias, delphiniums, lupins, portulaca, asters etc before Paris. After Paris, they all died, with the exception of the lupins and two tomatoes.

Naturally I had to go buy more.

I hate garden centers. They always make me want more. Some women go crazy for shoes, purses, um, lipsticks... actually I'm not totally sure what women go crazy for besides shoes. I wouldn't know, I don't go crazy for shoes. I mean sure, I see shoes that are pretty but I'd never wear them. I'm very picky when it comes to shoes. And then I see the shoes I have in my closet and it's like .. ok, you have no taste.
Oh yes, garden centers. It took a lot not to buy a ten dollar peony. I already have three in my garden. I've already purchased two japanese maples because they were twenty dollars each. And two rose bushes. And two flats of pink impatiens. And a flat of red geraniums and a flat of pink. And white. And today I bought lobelia.
Because I'm trying that integrated gardening thing. And it's actually starting to work. But it's been so freakin' hot (30-40C every single day) that I don't last long. I'm always busy in the morning and you know my backyard in a freakin' sauna. It had to be 50C back there today. I thought I would die just planting and weeding. But I'm starting to make little foot paths because I'm tired of rockstar hubby saying, "Can I step here?" and then I have to look and either roll my eyes and say 'yes of course' or start yelling at him to watch where he's going. So I'm lining my little dirt footpaths with dark blue and fuschia lobelia. I'd upload a pic but I'm too tired and I feel like watching the Office even though I've seen every episode known to man.

And I should probably do some writing...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Daring Kitchen Challenge

So recently I stumbled across a neat website, called The Daring Kitchen. And for some reason, the link thing isn't working. Here's the website... http://www.thedaringkitchen.com

And when you sign up to become a member you get to do a kitchen challenge (whether baking or cooking) each month. Every person then gets to do a post on it. So this one is mine.

The challenge for May was 'Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas'. I have no idea if I'm supposed to post the recipe or not, but you can go to their website to find it yourself.

So here's a picture of the outcome.

How it went:

First of all, I needed tomatillos. Tomatillos do not grow up here until late summer and I tried growing my own last summer but the frost killed them. I was told by Farm Boy that I had to wait another month. So I substituted yellow tomatoes. Because they looked good and had that nice squishy feel to them. The recipe also asked for Andile Chiles. I have no idea what those are, nor could I find them. So I bought jalapeno. That was mistake number one. I did manage to get rockstar hubby to burn and blister them on the bbq alongside the chicken (I bought thighs instead of breast because they were on sale and I'm on a budget). I also bought 'Food for Life's' corn tortillas, instead of making my own. I cooked the sauce, (it took two servings of the cornstarch to thicken) and then popped it in the oven. I could not find the oven temperature on the recipe for the life of me, so I figured it must be 350F. Mistake number two. I found it later when I reserched the recipe from Fine Cooking and found it was supposed to be 450F, but my oven is hot so I put it at 400F.
Results: it smelled good. Taste? Not so much. I found it bland with jalapenos. I think maybe the tomatillos would have tasted better as well as whatever those chiles were. Bummer. It sure looked good. Guess I'm not a genius in the kitchen after all....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

not much to say

except we leave for Paris in 6 days....


Saturday, April 24, 2010

You know when you're happy?

And God is just pouring out blessing after blessing? And then after awhile you get the bad stuff too, but you don't really notice because you're just so grateful for the blessings that your throat constricts and your eyes well up and all you can do is look heavenward and praise God for His awesomeness and beg for more blessings?

It's been like that.

Don't get me wrong, there have been issues. The Christmas lights are still up, making us redneck neighbours I think (but it's only 9 more months until we can turn them on again!), the house is a disaster. No spring cleaning done here. I still have clothes to go through, a basement to clean out, a vanity that has yet to be installed even though we bought it two years ago, a garden to tend, a book to write, a garage door to install, a patio to install, the fence will have to wait another year as the tax man came a knockin'.


It was a bright and sunny day
and though I was content
I knew the dreadful day was coming
in a thick white envelope was coming
the tax man was a coming
with a statement to shatter us all.

That was my little diddy ode a la Tennyson. I think it was Tennyson. I'm sure B will correct me if I'm wrong.

But how could I not be happy? Paris in 11 days. The book is going well. It's sunny and beautiful. I have a robin living in my backyard.

All is well.
For now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

at the garden center

upon leaving the cash, the gaffer and i noticed a picasso-ish statue of a naked woman, her arms missing and her breasts lopsided.

gaffer: did you see that statue?

me: i did

gaffer: she had ... (mimes breasts sticking out with hands)

me: a chest

gaffer: yah. but it was gross!

me: (trying not to laugh) no it wasn't

gaffer: yes it was gross.

me: it's a statue honey. a picasso themed statue. it's art. you don't have to like it, but some people do.

gaffer: (shaking head) not my cup of tea.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I have a confession...

Ok, first of all? I realize it's super beautiful out (whoever heard of 20C the first day of April?) but the ladies can put their clothes back on. Ick. Skin everywhere.

Anyway, my confession is I used to have a thing for 'mods'. Now back then that's what they were called. Mods, goth...etc. Now I think they're called Emo but they don't dress the same. It was the jeans (not supertight thank you) rolled up to make room for the 18 holed Docs, the white ripped t-shirt, tattoos (around the arm were my favourite)and skull stuff.

I had a friend once. Let's call him... hm..I need a good goth name because he himself had a good goth name. Ah...let's refer to him as 'K'.

I met K at a bar I was working at near the University. Now I had dropped out because I was seriously failing and I needed the income. So I bought myself a motorcycle (Yamaha Secca 650 1984 thank you very much) and worked nights at a bar. Well, K came in one night, Tuesday night I believe because Tuesday nights are cheap quarts nights (large bottle of beer for 2$ - yes I'm dating myself). He always ordered Canadian. Ick. I preferred 50 but that's besides the point. And he had very straight, very long blonde hair. It was gorgeous. He said he used Timotei. Remember that stuff? Anyway, I thought he was so hot.
Turned out he was a drug addict and couldn't be bothered to chase me so I never did anything. But he did dedicate a song to me. He didn't actually write it or sing it, Pearl Jam did, but it's something that when I hear it, it makes me think of him.
Anyway, I'm writing today and I just saw a mini-version of K. Except he had black hair with dyed red ends. I had to remind myself that's the old me.

I prefer my rockstar Hubby with the honkin' muscle-y arms and firm belly. Um...I have to go now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

this week

Rockstar hubby's grandma died. She was going to be 96 two days later. On the way to the funeral:

gaffer: how did great Nanny die?
me: she was asleep and then she died.
g: but how did she die?
me: in her sleep.
g: no, how did it happen?
me: well, she fell asleep and God sent an angel and he took her hand and said, 'It's time to go Thelma. Time to go home.' and she said, 'ok' and they went up to heaven.
g: that Jesus! He's too miracle-ey for me! I love that guy! He's the best!

so it was a good wake and a good funeral. it's easy to forget how wonderful RSH's cousins are. i wish i saw them more. it was definitely an emotional funeral even though she was terribly old. she was wonderful and funny and very much loved by all her children, grand-children and great-grandchildren.

what was the most disappointing though, was that very few of 'our' friends actually made an effort to come to the wake, or the funeral, or to even acknowledge their sympathies. but a couple did, and it surprised me because i didn't expect that from them.

so that begs the question: were those people who came brought up properly or are we being shown who our true friends are? not bitter, just wondering about it all.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Still Warm in March...

Not that I'm complaining. I've been raking up old dead leaves and leftover stems from coreopsis gone by and I've already filled a yard waste bag. And I've only done one garden bed! It is so wonderful to see the purple and yellow crocuses (crocii?) waving at me from the lawn. I'm making Rockstar Hubby wait until they're dead before digging up the sod to make a new garden.

As I was raking, lovely thoughts came to mind. My favourite being:

'If my cellulite is an explanation for all the lovely chocolate and red wine I've enjoyed, then I enjoy the reminders...'

Happy cellulite everyone!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring is in the air

I'm sure everyone is going to be blogging about it. I have to tell you though it doesn't smell like spring. There isn't that lingering fresh earth mixed with old dog poop in the air. But the snow is melting and the ground is dry and there are teeny tiny buds popping up in the ground. I think they're crocuses in the backyard.

I'm really, really excited about it. I have so many new plans for this year. I've decided to eschew square foot gardening and instead till up the ground. I have a large section that they all sit in, about 12 x 15' which I can probably squeeze to 20 x 20 when rockstar hubby isn't looking. I've been picking up books on potagers and I have grandiose ideas of planting vegetables within my flower beds. I also have a basswood twiglet in the ground, waiting to grow. Of course RSH will have to do the grunt work, but I don't think it'll be that bad. I know he's itching to play with a rototiller, so we'll just remove the boxes, till up the ground and plan. I've already started my geraniums (for the front window boxes and yes I know I've always complained about them in the past, but I just can't get past the bright redness of them that you can see a mile away) to be planted with some cut ivy that is growing wildly in the bedroom. Wave petunias, portulaca, two different kinds of asters, delphiniums and lupins... I'm still waiting for seeds from Vesey's and I might overdo it but I don't really care. I'm so excited to fill the gardens with beauty and now that the gaffer is 5 1/2 (good golly, when did that happen?) I can watch him less. We also have a new fence being put in and our patio! I can't wait to be walking on stones instead of gravel! And with the new fence, we are going to extend it down alongside the house to the very front so that we have an entire area dedicated to shade. It's in-between two houses and faces North, so it never gets any sun, but it makes for lovely coolness to sit in and sip green tea lemonade.
And strawberry season is coming. Oh the jams I want to try. Actually, I'm lying. I'd rather drink strawberry lemonade. If only it came sugar free! And no, I'm not doing aspartame or splenda or stevia. The stuff is vile. Even though I hanker diet coke sometimes.
But how am I supposed to get all that done? I have to write another book within 6 months. We're leaving for Paris in May, then North Carolina in June. I think housekeeping will get worse. But maybe I'll start doing my laundry at the laundry mat so I can get it all done at once and then do paperwork while I wait. Hm...hm...But then no clean clothes on the line...

I really need to move somewhere where there is gardening all year round.

Friday, January 29, 2010


My dad's doing better.
He looks better.
He might be going home today...

that would be good for him...

And I've been sleeping like a log. How nice...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I haven't written lately for a good reason.
I'm afraid to.

My dad is in the hospital.
He has been for 8 days now.
And we're not really getting any answers.
Well, I'm not.

He went in last Sunday, I'm told, because he had the shakes really badly.
What I have been told is that he has type two diabetes. Normal for his age.
That he has an enlarged prostate. Normal for his age.
He has an abscess on his prostate. Normal for his age.
He's blind in one eye. I guess from the diabetes.
He has a staph infection in his foot. From not treating it properly I guess.
He can't close his left hand...

That's all I know.
He's had so many catscans and mri's and eye exams.
Why don't they have any answers?
Why is he still in the hospital?
I understand he's on major antibiotics because of everything but...

When I went into the hospital to see him, I didn't recognize him in the bed. I argued with RSH that it wasn't him. But it was. His hair was so white and his body so frail.
And I'm ok. Really.
I've asked God not to take him until he's saved.
But that's not something I can really talk to my dad about.

Is there something they just aren't telling me?
I wish I would know.
I know it doesn't seem serious, and it's not when you look at the facts.
But he looks so old.
And so tired.
And I know it's his fault for not taking care of himself. For never going to a doctor. I mean, what do you expect?

And I trust God. I trust God so much.

But that doesn't stop the constant nag, the flitting thoughts that cover over everything I do or say.
It doesn't stop me waking up in 12:44 with a knot in my stomach, wondering what's wrong with him.
It doesn't stop me wondering if he's scared.

Dad's aren't supposed to be scared.

I know people have dads that are sick all over the world. I know that some people have lost their dads due to accidents, sickness or old age. I know people have gone through so much worse than me, have hurt more than me, have gone through hell and back.

But this is MY dad.

And I guess at 12:48 I can finally acknowledge that I'm scared.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


me: What did you make there, bud?

gaffer: it's a robot that turns into a gun.

me: oh, that's neat.

gaffer: His name is Alcohol.

me: What?!

gaffer: It's because his dad used to drink a lot and he made a lot of bad choices...

ah, the pride.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tree is almost down

But it seems to take 4 days to get it all down. Too lazy I think.

Gaffer's first day back at school. Two conversations I had to record for prosperity.

Gaffer: Hey Haley, want to see the gun show?

Haley: Teacher! Gaffer is talking about guns!

Gaffer: No, the gun SHOW! See? (kisses biceps)

Later on during drama...

Teacher: Ok everyone, let's pretend we're eating Christmas dinner! Ok, now we're all tired because we ate so much!

Gaffer: I'm actually not tired. I ate everything in moderation.

Teacher 2: Did he just say 'moderation'?

Teacher 1: Yes, yes he did.

Ah, the pride!

New ideas spinning around head:

-party ideas for book launch
-where to go for vacation this June. Rent a cottage/condo in Florida? Anywhere hot and near ocean?
-debating buying land and building new house in two years.

The idea of moving doesn't even faze me. I'm so used to it. I mean, the longest I've stayed in a house since I was 18, which would be awhile ago, is 4 years. And that was only one house. The rest of them have meant moving yearly or monthly. But RockStar Hubby is thinking about land. And a home. With a rink. And a pool. And acreage. Should probably fix this one up to par first...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Yes, it's that time of year where everyone blogs about their resolutions, what they'd like to change, blah blah.
Well, I'm doing one too.

I don't really have any resolutions, because I always mess them up. I think I'll call them goals.

1- I want to get down to 135lbs. As of two days ago, it would be 15 pounds to lose. But given it was that time of the month, I may have gained a few. Let me go check right now. Oof. Nope, 150. Too much Christmas junk I think. I begged rockstar hubby to buy me some 10lb weights (yes, I may be a tad over, but I've got the guns already baby. If I wanted to push it, I would have asked for 25 pounders. I'm just saying...bragging) and I have a ball in the basement. No excuses. And for the first time ever, I'm going to write down everything I eat. And cut back on lattes. No really, I know you laugh, but I was up to two a day. So comforting in this cold weather. But RSH has discovered Teaopia and it's amazing! It sounds ridiculous to have a shop just focused on tea, but it has 100 different teas, all loose leaf and I'm happy to tell you that my earl gray that I normally throw 2 tbsp of sugar in, tastes AMAZING without the sugar! So creamy and sweet. I think it's because there aren't any checmicals...regardless, 15 pounds. By April 15th.
2- I want better quiet times with God. So I've set up my library and will be brewing my teaopia and coming in here to attack it with passion. And possibly blog about it now that I have a new notebook upstairs. To write my new book with. Um..
3- Venture out the house more. I've become a bit of a homebody, which means I haven't really been interacting with people, making new friends. Email is way too convenient. So I'm going to try and have coffee with someone new, once a month. At least.
4- Start another book. I have no idea what's going to happen with this one, but it's not even coming out until Christmas. I have eleven months to go. That's 335 days-ish. So do I start the prequel or something entirely different? No idea, but I must write daily.
5- Have an amazing time in Atlanta. I'm so nervous because I don't know what to expect, and being a control-freak that makes me a little crazy, but I'm going to pray for patience and guidance and just have a great time. We're rebuilding homes of people who need God and who need help. I kind of hope I'm cooking again because I love cooking, but we'll see.
6- Have an amazing time in Paris. I'm nervous about that too. So far away. For a week. In a new culture. All alone with RSH. Well, at least he's a grown up. He'll take care of me.
7- Grow up a little. Not too much though. I mean...I'm timid. Wait that doesn't sound right, stop laughing. I want the 'balls' to say 'no' to telemarketers, to say 'no' to things I don't really want to do and to tell friends when they hurt my feelings or do something awful like neglect my birthday or that I even exist. Why do I have friends like that? See #3. And before you get all weird on me, I'm not having a pity party. I just want to be more brave. I hate confrontations and I hate telling me that they've hurt me. This year, I will. Maybe.
8- Drink more tea.
9- Get RSH to read a book. The man will not read. He reads the bible and for that, I'm grateful. He's read my books, all two of them. But I want him to like reading. I broke out the last Harry Potter to bribe him. It's not working. Yet.
10- Try a new recipe a week. Read my cooking magazines and leave the fashion ones alone. For now.
11- Because I need something for the gaffer: teach him flowers this year. Don't ask.

Ok, I have to go because I need to drink my tea and do my quiet time before The Office marathon starts.
Happy New Year