December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve

What the heck does Auld Lang Syne mean? Well, let's see... I know it is a poem by Robert Burns (we share the same birthday!). Trusty Wikipedia says, "The song's name is in Scots, and may be translated literally as 'old long since', or more idiomatically 'long ago', or 'days gone by'."
Here is the song in Scots.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp! And surely I’ll be mine! And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes, and pou’d the gowans fine; But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit, sin’ auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn, frae morning sun till dine; But seas between us braid hae roar’d sin’ auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! And gies a hand o’ thine! And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught, for auld lang syne.
and here is an anglicized version of the lyrics
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup! And surely I’ll buy mine! And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the hills, and pulled the daisies fine; But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine (dinner time); But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give us a hand o’ thine! And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

There you have it!

December 28, 2006

Redemption Song

I finished reading this book yesterday. It was one that I took my time with, savouring each sentence. Chris Salewicz has done an incredible work, weaving together so many bits of Joe into one coherent read. If you are a Joe Strummer fan, get this book. I ordered it from as it is not available in North America until May 2007. Shipping was not outrageous and it arrived very quickly. Some readers have complained that the book reveals too many warts and nasty parts about Joe. I disagree. I like to know the bad stuff about my musical hero. No sugar coating for me. Life is messy and people are contradictory and full of irony. Let's not hide it.

December 22, 2006

Bankrobber- The Clash

The Clash - Career Opportunities

Joe Strummer- Letterman- Johnny Appleseed

In memory of Joe Strummer, who died four years ago today. Boogie with your children in peace and love.

December 21, 2006

Stained Glass Artist Ted Gooden

This print hangs on the wall of my dad's kitchen. When he visited us last Christmas, he purchased it here. As he was leaving to go home, he had this tucked under his arm, safely stowed away in a poster tube. When I went to visit him before his death, I saw this hanging on the kitchen wall. It sure brought back a lot of memories. Both Ted Gooden and Cornelia Hoogland knew my dad. I contacted her today to tell her of his death, and I started thinking about this beautiful art again. So go check out Ted Gooden's website and enjoy! You can find out more about Cornelia Hoogland here.

December 18, 2006

I only shopped for one week on Saturday. Yes, I will be stupid enough to brave the grocery store on the Saturday before Christmas! Here are this week's meals in no particular order. I have had threats from blog readers that they know when to show up my door for a yummy meal. So this week, you will have to take your chances that you'll get something you like! Just kidding!
Chicken Parmigiana on Egg Noodles
Sesame Salmon (that didn't get made the past two weeks!)
Chicken Fajitas
Homemade Pizza
Homemade Turkey Soup & Biscuits
Join in the menu fun here.

December 15, 2006

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Today in 1675, Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer died. I am very fond of his work, and so wanted to share his talents with you. If you click on his name, you can see his other works at Wikipedia. Also, Tracey Chevalier has written a good novel about the painter and the girl in the painting above. She has written other books that look interesting too, although I have not read them yet.

December 14, 2006

$25 Loans that Change Lives allows individuals to make $25 loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance). By doing so, individuals like you and me provide affordable working capital for the poor (money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc.), empowering them to earn their way out of poverty.
It's a new, direct and sustainable way to fight global poverty, and the way I see it, I get a higher return on $25 helping someone build a future that the interest my bank account pays. If you have a minute, please check out the site: If you need more reputable validation than my recommendation, know that they have received great press in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to NPR and Business Week.

December 13, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday

I generate a lot of laundry from my kitchen. I have a home daycare, and each day, for each meal or snack, each child has his own washcloth. That alone might mean 13 washcloths in one day. I also go through two or three dishcloths and tea towels each day. Hand towels, rags from wiping the cupboards and floors... it adds up very quickly. I got so tired of all these dirty cloths each day. I wanted a way to get them out of the kitchen with as little trouble as possible. My brilliant husband came up with this idea... a laundry chute in one of the bottom cupboards! He cut a small hole through the cupboard floor and through the kitchen floor. The actual chute is a garbage bag with the end cut open to form a tube. We duct taped the bag around the hole, et voila! Ugly but very useful laundry chute! The towels and cloths end up in the laundry room and it is very convenient to pick them up and throw them in the washer.
Visit Shannon for more ideas.

The Dangerous Book for Boys

"If ever there was a book to make you switch off your television set, "The Dangerous Book for Boys" is it. How many other books will help you thrash someone at conkers, race your own go-cart, and identify the best quotations from Shakespeare? "The Dangerous Book for Boys" gives you facts and figures at your fingertips - swot up on the solar system, learn about famous battles and read inspiring stories of incredible courage and bravery. Teach your old dog new tricks. Make a pinhole camera. Understand the laws of cricket. There's a whole world out there: with this book, anyone can get out and explore it. "The Dangerous Book for Boys" is written with the verve and passion that readers of Conn Iggulden's number one bestselling novels have come to expect. This book, his first non-fiction work, has been written with his brother as a celebration of the long summers of their youth and as a compendium of information so vital to men of all ages. Lavishly designed and fully illustrated in color and black and white throughout, it's set to be a perfect gift for Father's Day and beyond. Chapters in "The Dangerous Book for Boys" include: The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, Conkers, Laws of Football, Dinosaurs, Fishing, Juggling, Timers and Tripwires, Kings and Queens, Famous Battles, Spies, Making Crystals, Insects and Spiders, Astronomy, Girls, The Golden Age of Piracy, Secret Inks, Patron Saints of Britain, Skimming Stones, Dog Tricks, Making a Periscope, Coin Tricks, Marbles, Artillery, The Origin of Words, and The Solar System. "
I think I love this book! I haven't read it yet, but I want to. Then I want to hand it over to a 10 year old video game junkie. I want parents to send their kids outside and not let them in until lunchtime; then send them back out and not let them in until supper; then send them out once more and not let them in until the street lights come on. I want tv, computers, and video games to be illegal for kids under 16. I want kids to have the opportunity to have the kind of childhood I did.

December 12, 2006

It's About Time

Canada Post has finally done it! Introducing the new PERMANENT stamp. (Actually, it was introduced on November 16th. You can see how often I buy stamps.) There is no value printed on the stamp, and it will be accepted as current price no matter when you purchased it! No more buying stupid 1 cent stamps to make up the difference. I am so happy. Buying the 1 cent stamps (which must cost Canada Post a lot of money to print at that face value) every time there was a rate increase made me frustrated! No more! Also, I noticed that you can buy stamps online, and until December 24th, standard shipping is free. So stock up on the new permanent stamps!

December 08, 2006


Last night we had more than 27 inches of snow fall in a few hours. Most everything is shut down today. I have one of five daycare kids, so it is almost like a holiday. He and Adria played out in the snow for a bit. We were lucky to have a teenager come looking for shovelling work, so he shovelled out the driveway. We had started at 5:00am before we knew that everything had shut down, but it was just too much to finish. We are thankful this young man came around when he did. We paid him well for his tremendous effort. At the right of the photo above is our picnic table buried, and you can see the depth of the snow on top of the shed. Good thing that we have lots of groceries in the house. Adria made banana chocolate chip muffins this morning. Mmmmm... I wonder how long it will take for the city to get back to normal?

December 03, 2006

Menu Planning Monday

Sunday 3 - shepherd's pie
Monday 4 - make ahead spinach manicotti
Tuesday 5 - chili, homemade bread
Wednesday 6 - supper at church
Thursday 7 - steak fajitas
Friday 8 - chicken parmigiana
Saturday 9 - sesame salmon, rice & veggies
Sunday 10 - garlic beef enchiladas
Monday 11 - orange pork chops, rice & veggies
Tuesday 12 - spaghetti
Wednesday 13 - sausage & rice casserole
Thursday 14 - crock beef stew, biscuits
Friday 15 - take out pizza!

November 22, 2006

How to Build Community

Turn off your tv.
Leave your house.
Know your neighbors.
Look up when you are walking.
Greet people.
Sit on your stoop.
Plant flowers.
Use your library.
Play together.
Buy from local merchants.
Share what you have.
Help a dog.
Take children to the park.
Garden together.
Support neighborhood schools.
Fix it even if you didn't break it.
Have pot lucks.
Honor elders.
Pick up litter.
Read stories aloud.
Dance in the street.
Talk to the mail carrier.
Listen to the birds.
Put up a swing.
Help carry something heavy.
Barter for your goods.
Start a tradition.
Ask a question.
Hire young people for odd jobs.
Organize a block party.
Bake extra and share.
Ask for help when you need it.
Open your shades.
Sing together.
Share your skills.
Take back the night.
Turn up the music.
Turn down the music.
Listen before you react to anger.
Mediate a conflict.
Seek to understand.
Learn from new and uncomfortable angles.
Know that no one is silent, though many are not heard. Work to change this.

I found this while browsing
this website. Please, add your ideas for building community in the comments!

the eyes have it

Go here and look at this person's photos. Make sure you take the time to click on each picture separately, and read the story.

What's that smell?

I was just dusting and vacuuming the family room. I set the duster down on top of a cabinet, and proceeded to vacuum around it. Accidently, I knocked the feather duster down and the vacuum tried to suck it up. Oh, the smell! Burning ostrich feathers! The vacuum started smoking! Oh, now the whole room is stinky! The trials and tribulations of a housekeeper!

November 21, 2006

Wordless Wednesday


The chicken pot pie that I made last night was sooooooo good! It is definitely a keeper! Go put it on your menu for next week! I meant to take a photo of it to add to the recipe. Oh well, next time!

Today is pyjama day at my day care! The kids are so excited to show up in the jammies! We are having breakfast for lunch.

I have an interview on Thursday for a new day care child. Hopefully all goes well. This is to fill a vacancy that I will have in March.

November 19, 2006

Two Week Menu

I planned and shopped for two weeks, as there won't be time for shopping this weekend.
Visit Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie for more menu plan ideas.

Sunday - steak on the grill, onions, mushrooms, spanish rice
Monday - chicken pot pie, corn, mashed potatoes
Tuesday - meatloaf, rice, homemade bread, green beans
Wednesday -supper at church
Thursday - chicken cacciatore on egg noodles
Friday - island beef jerk on rice
Saturday - Grandma's 90th birthday celebration supper
Sunday - spaghetti... that old stand by
Monday - breaded pork chops, rice, veggie
Wednesday - supper at church
Friday - Baja beef and beans on rice

November 16, 2006

Thirteen Things I Said Today

Thirteen Things I Said Today

1. I am so proud of you!
2. No running allowed.
3. You must share the toys.
4. Who wants to paint?
5. It is not your turn yet.
6. Be patient, please.
7. I'm sorry.
8. Who wants another muffin?
9. Please take that toy out of your mouth.
10. Wow, what a great job you've done!
11. Why are you wiping your nose on the ottoman?
12. It's naptime!
13. See you tomorrow!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. 2 cents

2. Incog & Nito

3. Christina

4. amy

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

November 14, 2006

3 of 3 areas done

Go to 5MinutesForMom to see what others are tackling.

November 13, 2006

Menu Plan Monday

Visit Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie for more menu plan ideas.

Monday - ground beef/rice/corn/tomato sauce casserole - making this up as I go to use what I have on hand before I go grocery shopping tonight

Tuesday - crock pot Chicken Santa Fe

Wednesday - supper at church

Thursday - spaghetti - no brainer store bought sauce with ground beef added

Friday - Spicy Orange Pork Chops, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans

Saturday - steak on the grill, mushroom, onions, spanish rice

October 04, 2006

Bugs, anyone?

This is a product you can normally find in my refrigerator. Here is a list of the ingredients...

Skim milk, strawberry, concentrated skim milk, modified starches (corn, tapioca), natural & artificial flavours, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, gelatin, active bacterial cultures, pectin, natural colour (carmine), locust bean gum, potassium sorbate, sucralose 16mg (Splenda®), calcium lactate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3. Made with vitamin A & D fortified skim milk.

Sounds pretty good? I am happy to see that there is no artificial colour, only natural colour, but what the heck is carmine? Let's see...
carmine. Mmmm... ground red beetles in my yogurt! Yummy! Let's see what else in my food stores contains carmine. After an extensive search of food labels, I cannot find another product that says carmine. Although, there are many that say "natural colour". Carmine is most definitely natural colour. I believe that food companies should have to list what the natural colour is. Now, don't get me wrong. I would rather be eating bugs than artificial colourants, but as some folks are allergic to carmine, they need to have the food labels tell them precisely what they are eating.

On that same note, many candy labels will list confectioner's glaze as an ingredient. You know the stuff that makes Skittles shiny? Well, do some research on that product, and you will find
lac. Mmmm... more bugs in my food! Well, not bugs actually... but bug products. Kind of like honey I guess!

October 02, 2006

Joe Sorren

Here is a link to a very interesting artist. Joe Sorren
Check out the prints you can buy. I love the one called Glimmer. And Luna, and the one with the kids and the bugs! I'll take one of each!
Awesome stuff!

September 26, 2006

Kid Friendly Tuna Noodle

I have some very picky day care kids. If it isn't a grilled cheese sandwich or a hot dog, they do not want to eat it. Today I tried the following recipe for tuna noodle casserole, told everyone that it was a special macaroni and cheese treat and left the room. They devoured it! They asked for seconds! The pickiest eater said he couldn't get enough of it! Victory!

1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup miracle whip
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Mix the above ingredients together. Add...
1 tbsp minced onion (I used dried onion)
1 can tuna drained
1 cup frozen peas (I used canned)
8oz wise egg noodles cooked (I used macaroni noodles)

Pour it into baking dish and bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
I added grated cheese and buttered fine bread crumbs to the top.

September 17, 2006

Jordan is married!

My brother Jordan got married on Friday. Here is a photo of him and his new wife Lauren, and then his three sisters... from left to right... Jenna, me, and Shelley.
It was a nice wedding. Smallish, well done. The food was great. They have been together for seven years... since high school. I am really happy for them, and can't wait for nieces and nephews! I don't know if they are thinking of kids yet or not... I guess it would be wise for Lauren to finish her master's degree first.

August 27, 2006

Summer Holiday

Cory and I are off work this week. It is so wonderful not to be rushing and feeling like we have to do a certain thing because we have to go to work tomorrow! I love it!
We don't have many plans. Tomorrow we are taking Adria and a friend to Canada's Wonderland. We will just drop them off and then go and find things to do ourselves. They will have a cell phone so we can stay in touch. We also think we will make the trip to Cory's grandma's house sometime this week. It has been a while since we have been there. And those are all the plans we have made. We have thought about painting one wall in living room... maybe... if we feel like it. I think the worst part of being a grown up is not having the entire summer off. I knew I should have been a teacher!

August 11, 2006

Two Front Teeth

This morning, one of the day care kids was coming up to the front door with her mom, and she tripped (over her flip flops I think) and bashed her mouth on the step. Lo and behold, she knocked her two front teeth out! Her mom whisked her off to the dentist. There is nothing to do but wait for her adult teeth to grow in, and that will be about three years or so! Can you imagine!? I am glad that the girl was in the care of her mother at the moment, and not in my care. I feel so sorry for her. She was amazingly brave! Seriously, I am amazed how calm she was. I was proud of her!

August 03, 2006

The hot weather seems to have let up a little bit. Still too hot for me, but better than the last three days! Is it Friday yet? Oh, not yet... tomorrow! I am looking forward to this long weekend. We are having a birthday party for Aniela... her first birthday. We have some yummy things planned for the bbq, and I hoping it is not hot. For side dishes, I am planning things that don't require any last minute cooking. Lots of salads.

Adria is off babysitting today. She has been earning lots of money this summer! Well, my brain must have turned to mush, as I can think of nothing exciting to say. Just chugging along here.

July 28, 2006

sidewalk chalk

Julian Beever is an absolutely amazing artist. Go and check out his work! My mind is boggled by his gift!

This work is one of my favourites.

July 26, 2006

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Go and get this book now and read it!
It is one of the best books I have read!
Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!

July 20, 2006

Look what Cory did!

Cory took this photo of the daycare kids. He didn't tell them to look scowly or to pose or anything. This is just how they looked at that moment. He only took one photo and this is what came out! As soon as he saw it, it reminded him of an album cover, and so he made up a name for them. I think this is hilarious! It sure kept me laughing yesterday! The daycare parents think it is priceless!

July 14, 2006

Friday Babbling

Cory had more surgery last Friday. The infection we thought was gone came back with a vengeance. So they cut him open again but couldn't find anything. It is beyond my scope how there can be a loadful of gunk one day, and then no trace of it the next. He is back at the hospital right now to get the stitches out. Hopefully, this is the end of the road for that dang infection!

It is hot here. Thank you Lord for air conditioning.

I am really looking forward to the weekend. I hope we don't do much. I just feel like hanging out at home. In the air conditioning. We are going to bbq ribs tomorrow. Yum. I guess we need to go out grocery shopping tomorrow. Stupid grocery shopping. If we had online grocery ordering with delivery, I would most definitely pay the extra for it!

My dog T-Bone is a stalker. He literally stalks our other dog Bailey as a cat would stalk a mouse. It is hilarious to watch him. Where did he learn that? I have never seen a dog do that before.

Is it five o'clock yet? Nope, it is only 11:00am. Six more hours until the weekend, but two of those will be filled by nap time. Woo hoo for children's nap time! Two hours of silence!

I am really enjoying my current book, A Passage to India. Very good. Go get it out of the library and have a go at it!

July 11, 2006

my first football match

Sunday, I watched a football (soccer) match for the first time. World Cup final, Italy vs. France. I thought it was pretty good. As someone who knows nothing about this game, I thought that many of the injuries were exaggerated. I said to myself more than once, "What a bunch of whingers!" I imagine there is a reason behind these dramatics. Maybe some day I will get it! I would like to know what provoked Zidane to headbutt Materazzi. It seems such a sad way to end his career. I would probably be up for watching another match at some point. My dad and brother will be proud!

July 04, 2006

Clash Wish List


Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz
A Riot of Our Own by Johnny Green & Garry Barker
Clash City Showdown by Chris Knowles
Joe Strummer and the Legend of the Clash by Kris Needs
Last Gang in Town by Marcus Grey
Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Politics of Joe Strummer by Antonio D’Ambrosia
Passion is a Fashion: The Real Story of the Clash by Pat Gilbert
The Clash: Return of the Last Gang in Town by Marcus Grey
The Clash by Paul DuNoyer
The Clash by Bob Gruen
The Clash: New Visual Documentary by James Wells
Vision of a Homeland by Anthony Davie
Made in the UK by Jeanette Beckman
Joe Strummer with the 101’ers & The Clash 1974 – 1976 by Tony Fletcher,David L. Ulin, Keith Topping
The Clash: Before and After by Pennie Smith
The Clash: Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg by Alan Parker


From Here to Eternity - The Clash
Earthquake Weather – Joe Strummer & the Latino Rockabilly War
Permanent Record Soundtrack – Joe Stummer
Sandinista! – The Clash
The Clash (UK release)


The Clash: Up Close and Personal
Hootenanny (
Viva Joe Strummer
Let’s Rock Again – Dick Rude
The Clash: Westway to the World 2000
The Essential Clash 2003
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains
King of Comedy
Candy Mountain
I Hired A Contract Killer
Question d’Honneur
Doctor Chance
End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (last Joe interview)
Punk In England

June 30, 2006

Melissa's Reading List

While making Adria's reading list, I kept finding books that I would love to read or reread, so I thought why not make a list of my own. It'll keep me from wandering the library wondering what to read next.

The Penelopiad
The Robber Bride done August 2, 2006
Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice
Mansfield Park
Go Tell It on the Mountain
The Good Earth
Death Comes for the Archbishop
The Awakening
The Last of the Mohicans
The Red Badge of Courage
Bleak House
Great Expectations
An American Tragedy
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Three Musketeers
Invisible Man
The Sound and the Fury
Madame Bovary
Howard's End
A Passage to India done July 18, 2006
Lord of the Flies
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
The Scarlet Letter done July 21, 2006
The House of the Seven Gables
The Blithedale Romance
The Marble Faun
The Torrents of Spring
The Sun Also Rises
A Farewell to Arms
To Have and Have Not
For Whom the Bells Tolls
Across the River and into the Trees
The Old Man and the Sea
Adeventures of a Young Man
Islands in the Stream
The Garden of Eden
Les Miserables done Aug. 14, 2006
Hunchback of Notre Dame
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Brave New World
The Portrait of a Lady
A Separate Piece
To Kill a Mockingbird
Main Street
Of Human Bondage
Gone with the Wind
Cry, the Beloved Country
The Jungle
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn doneJuly 24, 2006
East of Eden
Of Mice and Men
The Master of Ballantrae
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Vanity Fair
The Invisible Man
The Island of Doctor Moreau
The Time Machine
Ethan Frome done July 4, 2006
The House of Mirth
The Age of Innocence
The Picture of Dorian Gray

June 28, 2006

Adria's summer reading list

I came up with Adria's reading list a few days ago. I got some of the books from Joan Carris's site, and others, just remembering books I have enjoyed over the years. She is excited about it! I don't expect her to read them all in ten weeks, but she might surprise me!

  • The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  • Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
  • Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Avonlea - L. M. Montgomery
  • Anne of the Island - L. M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Windy Poplars
  • Anne's House of Dreams
  • Anne of Ingleside
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  • The Cider House Rules - John Irving
  • The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgkins Burnett
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Watership Down - Richard Adams
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  • Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
  • Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller
  • The Black Stallion - Walter Farley
  • Run, Boy, Run - Uri Orlev
  • Diary of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
  • All Creatures Great and Small - James Herriot

June 24, 2006

Cory's Crystal Anniversary Gift

Here is what I gave Cory for our fifteenth anniversary. It is a bush bar with crystal ion fog lights! Remember I told you about my anniversary gift and that the tradition is to give something crystal? So we managed to retain the tradition on both sides, while giving non-traditional gifts!

June 20, 2006

Where I Am From

I am from dusty poetry books,
from The Hobbit and pick-up-sticks.
I am from cedar shakes, nudes in the bathroom,
from willow trees and supper in the sun porch.
I am from stewed rhubarb, and the strawberry patch in June.
I am from euchre games and harvest moon boot dances, stacks of 78's,
and Rudolph flying through the night sky.
I am from rattle snakes on the Bruce Trail,
and questions answered with a question.
From used book stores and train stations and bird watchers.
I am from Boiler Beach and bagpipes,
rabbit paprikash, raspberry jello and caesar salad.
From a meat stealing grandpa, Aunt Ada's main course dessert,
and matching polyester dresses.
I am from treks through the cemetery, squished pennies,
and stone wall building.
I am from biting chipmunks, blue dragonflies,
flying hamsters and yellow Fiats.
I am from auctions, butcher blocks and Tuesday chip nights.
I am from love.
I am from the hands of my Creator.

June 15, 2006

A Trip to the Library

Yesterday I had the brilliant idea to take the day care kids to the library! By the time the last child arrived, it was 10:30am, and it took us another twenty minutes to get out the door. Off we go, two in the stroller with the three bigger ones walking. The walk there wasn't so bad, but the walkers were tired by the time we arrived. We stopped in the shade and had a drink before we went in. Inside, the kids were great. They each picked two books to take back to my house, and I picked some for them too. Then we read a story. We stopped at the family washroom for a pee break and then headed out to the playground. It was noon by this time, and we had a long walk home. So I told them we would walk for a bit and stop at another playground for a break. Whew! It was 1:00pm by the time we got home and we all were tuckered out. We had a quick lunch and then off to bed. One girl had an earache all through naptime and afterwards, she seemed really sick, and I was worried that I had given her heat stroke or something. But all the kids had hats and sunscreen, and we had plenty of water. All the other kids were acting fine. When this girl's parents came in the door she just had a meltdown, so I worried all night about her. This morning , however, she is back to normal! I will not be taking the kids to the library for a long time again. It is just too far. And I think getting on the bus with five kids and a double stoller would be just waaaaaay to hard! So we will stick with trips to our closest park for now, and I'll continue to head to the library myself for our story time books.

June 11, 2006

more menu

big dogs and cucumber salad

chicken, baked beans, cauliflower

steak, rice, three-bean salad

slow cooker stuffed peppers


pork chops, rice, greek salad

steak, carrot salad, couscous

June 09, 2006

Auntie Gail

Today is my auntie Gail's birthday. I haven't seen her in a long time. I need to make the effort! I have such great memories of trips to her house when I was a kid. It was a really fun place to visit. And Uncle Barry is one of the funniest people I know. They are an awesome couple! Their son Brad, and his wife Anita, live only about an hour away from me, and now he has two boys, and we really don't see them often enough either. I really miss that connection. I guess, as a kid, our parents make the arrangements. And as a grown-up now, I still feel a bit like the kid when it comes to calling or inviting. Does that make sense? Anyway, Auntie Gail, I miss you and Barry. Happy Birthday!

June 08, 2006

No Bake Cherry Cheesecake

1 pkg cream cheese (250gr), softened

1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

9 inch graham pie crust

19 0z can cherry pie filling

In large bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Add Eagle Brand and blend. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into crust and chill 3 hours or until set. You can use a ready-made crust or make or your own. Instructions would be on the box of graham crumbs. I cut the slices and then top with the cherries, rather than topping the whole pie. Delicious and easy!

June 06, 2006

MP3 player

Did I tell you what Cory gave me for our anniversary? Well, here it is! An MP3 player! The traditional gift for the 15th anniversary is something crystal, and since I am not exactly a traditionalist, the crystal part is the LCD screen on the player! I love this little machine! I have 440 songs loaded on it at the moment. I usually just put it on play all and random so I never know what song I will be surprised with. I can also listen by album or song or artist. Pretty cool stuff! I can also hook it up to the stereo in the kitchen. Dishes get done so much more joyfully when there is good music playing!

This Week's menu

Here is our menu for the week. I try to have this figured out before we go shopping so that I know what to buy. I keep it posted on the fridge all week, so that I don't forget about something in the back of the fridge. Adria takes care of her own breakfast and lunch, so I don't have to worry about that... well, I have to make sure I buy her stuff to make her lunch with... but I don't have to make it!

Cory's breakfast: coffee, cereal, bagel with cream cheese
kids' breakfast: not needed this week
Cory's lunch: ham and havarti sandwich, banana, yogurt
kids' lunch: lasagna
kids' snack: granola bars
supper: garden salad and sausage on a bun

Cory's breakfast: coffe, cereal, bagel with cream cheese
kids' breakfast: not needed this week
Cory's lunch: chunky beef soup, banana, yogurt
kids' lunch: pb or cheese sandwich, granola bar (picnic at park), water
kids' snack: apples, water
supper: tomato basil chicken with rice and green beans

Cory's breakfast: coffee, cereal, bagel with cream cheese
kids' breakfast: not needed this week
Cory's lunch: chicken sandwich (from supper last night)
kids' lunch: pizza, milk
kids' snack: muffins, water
supper:woo hoo supper at my mom's!

Cory's breakfast: coffee, cereal, bagel with cream cheese
Cory's breakfast: not needed this week
Cory's lunch: salmon sandwich
kids' lunch: grilled cheese sandwiches, milk
kids' snack: granola bars, water
supper: spicy orange pork chops, garden salad, homemade bread, mixed veggies, cherry cheesecake
(birthday celebration dinner)

Cory's breakfast: not needed today
kids' breakfast: not needed this week
Cory's lunch: not needed today
kids' lunch: pancakes, milk
kids' snack: muffins, water
supper: spaghetti, garden salad, garlic bread

May 31, 2006

Robertson Davies

Robertson Davies is my favourite writer. I'll not pretend to be a fountain of knowledge about him and his works. I haven't read anything but his novels. I would strongly encourage you to start with the Deptford Trilogy. Go ahead... you have been looking for something new to read anyway, right?

Robertson Davies

The Salterton Trilogy
The first novels Davies wrote. They're not usually considered his best work, but still well worth reading.

Tempest-Tost, 1951
Leaven of Malice, 1954
A Mixture of Frailties, 1958

The Deptford Trilogy
Perhaps Davies' finest works, and the best introduction to his fiction.

Fifth Business, 1970
The Manticore, 1972
World of Wonders, 1975

The Cornish Trilogy
The Rebel Angels, 1981
What's Bred In The Bone, 1985
The Lyre of Orpheus, 1988

The Toronto Books
This series would have become another trilogy, but was interrupted by Davies' death just as he was beginning to plan the third novel.

Murther and Walking Spirits, 1991.
The Cunning Man, 1995.

May 23, 2006

I thought this was a good photo of Adria. Why, when I was a girl, we didn't have grad photos in eighth grade! Next month is the ceremony with the dresses and the suits and all the hullabaloo.

May 21, 2006

Early. Stinky. Fun. Lazy.

Try as I may, I cannot sleep in. On a work day, I open my eyeballs and creep downstairs somewhere between 5:00am and 6:00am. Every Friday night and Saturday night, I chant to myself, "I will not get up at six. I will not get up at six. I will not get up at six." Yet, every Saturday morning and Sunday morning, no matter how I try, I get up early. I just can't lay there any longer. What is wrong with me? So yesterday, I made it to 6:14am, and today, oh joy, 6:39am. That is quite late in my world.

This morning, as I padded into the kitchen, my nostrils were assaulted with stinky garbage smell. Ew. I guess I didn't keep on top of my domestic duties yesterday. I was too busy having fun! So after I took the dogs out to pee, I took care of the garbage and Lysol-ed every molecule of air in our home. I think it is safe to breathe through your nose now.

Fun! Yesterday, Cory and I went downtown and browsed around two record shops we had not been in before. At the first one, I could have spent two hundred dollars. Seriously. They had a lot of old stuff that you don't usually find in suburban stores. So neat! Cory found his one David Bowie album that he didn't have, so he was happy with that eight dollar vinyl purchase. I found a collector's edition of MoJo magazine on the Clash, so you can be sure I scooped that up! Woo Hoo! The second store was so cool, but a little intimidating... as though you didn't belong there if you didn't know everything there is to know about music. We didn't buy anything there. The dude behind the counter didn't even look at us. But it was a good store otherwise.

Today, we are being lazy. Not dressed yet. We had a yummy breakfast and now Cory dear is watching a race that he recorded last night. Adria is reading. I am computering. I am going to cook a turkey today. I love having a turkey dinner for absolutely no reason. There is nothing better than turkey sandwiches for three days afterward too! I better find out how many hours it will take to cook the bird.

May 18, 2006

How to Grow a Pineapple at Home

  • Growing Pineapples

  • I thought this was interesting! It would make a fun project (in patience) with children.

    Back in the Day

    Here we are almost fifteen years ago. Adria was about six months old. I love this photo!

    May 14, 2006

    Mmmmmm... steak

    Yesterday, we had my mom, dad, little sister, big sister, her husband and two children over for a bbq. We had steak, potatoes with sour cream and chives, salad, homemade bread, and a yummy strawberry dessert. This is starting to be a Mothers' Day tradition it seems. In 2001, we had lived in this house six months, and they all came over for Mothers' Day supper and to work in our gardens. (Empty back yard + those two who love gardening = them coming to do the work) It was great. Now with the new shed, the gardens have to be changed a bit. No one volunteered yesterday though!