Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Will the snow melt or is it here for good?
I wonder if Ralph will call me to play duplicate bridge tonight?
I sure hope my knee doesn't prevent me from playing hockey.
One date square left - have to save that for Gerry!
How will I get to town tomorrow?
Don't have to cook tonight, enough left over from last night's spicy mac & beef.
There's a town called Mermaid's Cove in Australia, wouldn't it be a magical place to live?
Only one month and 10 days till Christmas...will I have all my gifts made as planned in time?
(I really don't like Christmas time)
The power has been out for an hour and a half and now I have no more Thursday thoughts
A cup of tea would hit the spot right now
Anise tea.
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, goodbye

(Picture credit here)

Monday, November 12, 2012

When life gives you a box of sour mandarin oranges......

Make sweet mandarin orange jam!


At Ian's request, the recipe is:

8 mandarin oranges
1 kg white sugar
2 cups water

Clean outside of mandarins, peel, reserving skin of 4 of them.  Put it all through a food processor, place in large pan, add sugar and water.  Mixture should not be more than 5 cm (2 ") deep in pan. 

Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolved, increase heat slightly, boil gently, uncovered, for 50 - 55 minutes.  Check during last 10 mintues to ensure mixture is not burning at bottom of pan. 

After 50 minutes start testing to see if jam will gel on a cold saucer.  (place saucer in freezer for a few minutes, but remove pot from heat during testing).
When done remove foam from surface, pour into hot sterilized jars.

Process in hot water canner for 5 minutes (I did 10 minutes to compensate for our altitude of over 3000 feet).

Makes 5 of the little skinny jam jars.

This is supposed to be a jam, but because of the peel in it, it seems more like a sweet marmalade to me, but the recipe does say jam.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

One girl's opinion

With what seems like the whole world focused on the US presidential election for the last few weeks,
the topic of American football should fit right in.
Americans.   Love.   Football.   Period.
I get it.  Well, I don't get the love of football, but I do get a country's love of sport.
Canadians love hockey.
We do have some kids football teams in the big city, but we don't have near the emphasis on it that our south of the border friends do.  I mean having a high school stadium?? We're lucky if we have a couple of soccer goalposts in need of paint and a baseball backstop
 and bit of green grass showing on the brown.
And the parents, most of them, of the soccer, rugby and basketball players do turn out to watch a game.  Hockey is a little different, everyone likes to watch a good hockey game and when my son played in the Northern Winter Games in 2006, the arena was standing room only.
Anyhow, this isn't about high school football,
but about a 9-year-old girl playing on her big brother's football team, amongst older kids. 
She's good.
She's fast.
She's tough.
And as much as I agree that women can be involved in any sport
I'm just not sure about this one.
The article said she's 60 pounds and the heaviest kid is 150 pounds. 
That's a hell of a weight difference.
The problem, as I see it
Is not necesarily a girl playing on a guys team
We have girls mixed in the the guys in our house league hockey teams
and even the odd one on the rep teams.
I think that they miss out on the "locker room camaraderie"
But they love to play.
Therein lies the hitch
This little girl evidently loves football.
Nothing wrong with that.
But how far will she be able to go?
Do they have ladies football in the States?
For all I know, they do in which case this is a moot point.
But in a few years, she'll end up with no where to expend her energy and talent.
And that's the shame of it.
Sure, she may get hurt playing with the boys
Any contact sport can hurt people
But 9 and 10 year olds can still be quite similar
when it comes to holding their own and the quicker ones can outrun the heftier ones.
A slight boy would be the same situation as a 60 pound girl
for now.
In a few years, those boys and girls will be growing into teenagers
where will she be then?
She may still be one tough girl
and able to outrun most of the guys
And if she still plays
Good for her.
I am just unsure about this whole issue.
Maybe, if she has leadership qualities, she may want to start
a ladies football league.
Or maybe she'll lose interest
Anyhow, I just wanted to sort this one out through my head and onto (paper)
But I am still as undecided as I was before.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

just a reminder......

Did those of us who needed reminding to remember to not forget remember to change the clocks???   Or did we forget that we were reminded to remember? 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ghosts of Halloweens past

Happy Halloween to all those who still have the kids, or the enthusiasm, to celebrate!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hands across the World

In my work as a "work from home medical transcriptionist"
(although we are now called "health documentation specialists" - more politically correct?")
I work for a transcription company in Australia.
This company has hundreds of transcriptionists all over the world,
separated into groups, or "families" depending on the facility we transcribe for.
My group is called "Powerful Paeds" as we transcribe for a children's hospital.
Anyway, through a wayward comment last week
someone mentioned where they live, someone else mentioned where they live,
and so on and so on.
I thought it would be neat to make a map and post everyone's locations
so I requested everyone to share their locations.
This is how it turned out.
Now, what I would like to do is add my blog friends to it,
maybe with pink strips of paper or something to differentiate y'all from my coworkers.
It's amazing how small the world has become.
I remember when I got my first computer and actually corresponded with someone from another country in a chat room.
It was so exciting
Now, its a way of life
I am reading a book right now where the main character in England writes a letter to someone in Australia, and mentions that by the time it gets there a month will have gone by
and the news will no longer be news, or even truth.
There are an awful lot of things that I think were better
"in the olden days"
But communication is not one of them.
 (picture credits here and here)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

I did not get sick
Hockey went great
We even won
We named our team the "Grey Goose" (don't ask!)
I wasn't stiff the day after but today my legs feel like I was riding a horse
At the beginning of the second period I thought I could easily lay down on the ice
 and die of exhaustion
I had some spectacular falls...thank God for all that padding
(and I don't only mean the gear)
and why can't I stop quickly enough without crashing into the boards anyways?

Looking forward to next time.
The turkey went off without a hitch
and now I have a fridge full of cold turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, carrots and brussel sprouts
Not to mention the apple pie that didn't get touched because everyone wanted the pumpkin pie
 I may have to eat those left overs and work doubly hard next week on the ice!!
(both of these pics are actually from last year, but you get the drift)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

No, no, no, no, no!

I cannot get sick right now
I will not get sick right now
Positive affirmations
My throat has had this nagging feeling
and my ears are begging me to insert a sharp instrument and scratch
I cannot get sick
I am alternating between drinking hot echinecia  echinacea tea with honey
sucking on Vitamin C tablets
and popping Halls
I cannot get sick.
I simply won't allow it.
Body, if at any time you were going to listen to me,
Listen to me now.
Hockey starts tomorrow night
and I need to cook a turkey dinner on Tuesday
I cannot, and will not, get sick!!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Harvest Gold

What images does the term "harvest gold" conjure? 
Most likely something like this:

Or this:
"The family that drinks together stays together??"
What were they thinking?
Anyways, the harvest gold that I have in mind
is much more pleasing to the senses:
Few can resist the Autumn.
This season with changes upon them.
Few can resist,
The picturesqueness...
Of the Autumn.

With the color of the leaves turning bright,
To their delight.
Red and yellow with orange in sight.
From Sunrise until twilight.

Few can resist the Autumn,
Autumn falls.
Few can resist the Autumn,
Autumn calls.
Few can resist the Autumn.
Hoping that Summer stalls.
Few can resist the Autumn.

Winter, Spring, Summer and again the Fall.
Few can resist,
The picturesqueness...
None at all.

modified from a verse by Lawrence S. Pertillar

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Playing with Headers

It only took me an hour and a half to create this header
You like???

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday-My Day

Friday, the day I look forward to all week
It's been a heck of a week
Fraught with emotion, frustration and torn up self worth
Today I can put a closing lock on it.
Today is Friday - My day
Today is my sons' birthdays
Happy Birthday to the both of you
Wish you were here
Tomorrow I'll try to do a tribute post
Today is  Friday - My day
I work for a couple of hours
Just a token appearance really
Tomorrow is my one day off
the day my computer does't get turned on unless necessary
But today is Friday - My day.
Card playing day
First bridge with all the old fogies at the seniors centre
I am not a senior but they let me play with them - the more the merrier
and bridge players seem to be a dying breed
I fell in love with the game and will play with anyone, anywhere, anytime.
If you play bridge, you know,
If you don't, you don't.
Then a few hours on my own in town, walking around and running little errands
That part can get sketchy for me
because today is Friday - My day
Then head over to my friend Fran's
and organise for the night's game
either at her house, or Jackie's house, or Ralph's house or my house
and have an evening of letting go
playing cards and dominoes
With friends like these, I don't need enemies
Because the insults fly good naturedly through the room
The ribbing and teasing
and the laughing till we cry
We can all let loose, let our hair hang down, be totally us.
Everyone should have days like these.....
My days.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Picture if you will.......

It's been a gorgeous September, around 25C every day
warm enough for shorts and even tanktops
Today is Wednesday, half day of work for me
and newspaper day in our small town
So, after work, I take Monty and make the 45 minute walk to the mailbox and the store and back
looking for my e-bay order (still not there...sigh....)
and to pick up the paper along with my weekly bottle of Fresca

By the time I get home I've built up a sweat
Down the sunny dirt road and up the driveway
(note to self:  If  I ever move, make sure the driveway slopes down from the road
so that when I walk, I can return downhill)
Anyways, thought I'd sit at the table outside in the shade and read the paper and drink my Fresca
Now, this canvas backed chair is probably into its 3rd or 4th season
the last left of a set of four
and I knew better.
Really, I did.
But, the more sturdier chairs were scattered at various spots in the yard
And I was too hot to go and drag one over.
Last year, my son sat in one of these and fell through,
then did the same thing again the next day.
it was quite funny when it happened to him
But I was a victim of "It won't happen to me" syndrome.
I was onto the 3rd page of the paper
heard that canvas rip
and down into the chair I went
With a mighty "Oh shit"
Mighty enough for my Gerry to look out the window
"I'm gonna need help!" I called
What do you want me to do?" he asks
Which is not as inappropriate as it sounds,
as my husband had an "oh shit" of his own 5 weeks ago
And has had his leg bound up in a bright blue cast since then
In fact, we are a family of  "oh shits"
because my son is also sporting a bright blue cast,
but on his arm.
So, out he hobbles on his crutches
Thank god he's not into cameras because truth be told
had the situation been reversed the first thing I would have grabbed was my camera
"Just tip me sideways......gently"
Onto my side I thunked
I was wedged in there so tight that even as I lay on my side
It was not as easy to slide out as I thought
Particularly since I was laughing through the pain
And Monty thought it was the most interesting game to play
And Gerry stood there shaking his head
I did get out
brushed myself off
gathered my paper, the mail, and what remained of the Fresca and my dignity
and went inside to finish off safely on the couch.
The question remained though
That Gerry posed to me...
"What would you have done if I'd have been at work?"
I did have my cell phone in my pocket
Though that would be one heck of an embarrassing 911 call!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

On Autumn

photo credit here

Let's face one wants summer to end.  Ever.
The beginning of fall gets a bum rap at this time of year.
But once we've resigned ourselves to the fact that
the cool nights
the dewy grass
the foggy mornings
really are here, and that it was not just a blip in summer's radar screen
fall really is a magnificent time of year.
As I read in a magazine yesterday,
it's when the new year starts for many of us,
more so than on January 1.
The summer hiatus has come to an end.
Labour day long weeked marks the beginning
Back to school shopping is complete
Tuesday morning the school busses will rumble out of their garages. 
Summer whites and sandals are beginning to be packed up
Jeans and jackets are appearing
People wearing shorts suddenly begin to look a little out of place.
This year marks the first year since we moved here and I began my adult life in 1989
that we have no kids going to school
First my husband's two daughters
Then our own two sons
All have graduated now
No more early morning wake up calls,
Lunches to make in the hopes that they don't end up in the garbage
or worse, left in the backpack for the week
and homework struggles....I will NOT miss those!
We have one tree in our yard that always seems a little ahead of schedule
the first to show buds in the spring
and the first to yellow in the fall
the first to bare its branches in preparation for the snow.
The hummingbird feeder hangs deserted
Time to give it a wash and put it away
somewhere where I will be able to find it next spring.
Time to put away the sunscreen and mosquito spray
air out the hockey gear, get those skates sharpened and ready to go
Hopefully I can play again this year
That depends on a few things
The wood stove wakes up from its summer hibernation
the floor fans are put away.
Bare feet and toenail polish
are no longer the order of the day
and we can skip the leg shaves if we want.
Tan lines are beginning to fade.
Fall is beautiful here
I imagine it is in most places
And I am ready to embrace it
And give credit where credit is due.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lesson for the Week

What did I learn this week?

Amongst other things, I learned that if you are going to patch up a hole in the drywall, and you need to cut it square, therefore making it bigger and closer to ground level, make sure you know where your cat is BEFORE you seal up the hole with new drywall.

Come to think of it, it doesn't really matter where the hole is, even if it's near the ceiling.

That night, we are just getting into bed
and hear the cat scratching
Had heard it earlier but thought she was scratching at the bathroom door while hubby was having a shower
So we call "Kezia...Kezia... here kitty, where are you?




Get into bed and the scratching starts again.
Sounds like its from under the floors
Oh oh....when's the last time you saw her?
A few hours ago.
Before or after you patched up that hole?

Out of bed, with the flashlight, crawl under the mobile, first one side, then the other
am just a wee bit concerned about mice and spiders and other things that go bump in the night
as I call her again.

Kezia....Kezia...are you there??

I hear calling from up above
"She's in Trevor's room"

Seems that when I shut his door on the mess inside,
Kezia was in there, sleeping on the bed, or in the closet, or wherever cats go when they disappear for a few hours.

Probably chuckling to her little cat self as she hears us looking for her
 and figures, with that cattitude that all cats share,
which is why we love them so,
 "Let them come to me, I'm not getting up from this comfy cozy spot!"


Thankfully, the drywall did not need to be opened up again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's in a name?

my protector
my special boy
silly dog
my dog
my lad
big boy

my best friend

"The average dog has one request to all humankind. Love me."
Helen Exley

Saturday, August 11, 2012

on 1st cars and Jean Chretien

Some of us have a facial anomoly that only appears in photos caught at the right moment.
With me, there are some pictures where I look like I have a lazy eye,
Ever since I was fairly small
Even though in reality I don't

This used to be our prime minister, Jean Chretien.
Just for background history
He had a stroke that affected half his face.
Why am I telling you this?

This is my son when he was maybe 10 or so
It's the first time we noticed it,
but it has come up again in various images
His "Jean Chretien Grin"

Even one of his grad pictures shows it

I have posted pictures of him on here before,
and normally his face is balanced the way it should be

This post was originally supposed to be about a difficult teenager
and how in even this sullen, usually miserable kid
Sometimes that joyous, face-lighting smile that we know is in there somewhere
comes out like a flash of sun from behind the thunderclouds
There, and gone again.

He finally got his first car...
A 2002 Dodge Neon
Nice-looking car.

Well, when he came driving home
The light was shining in his face
He left again right away
Practicing learning how to drive a standard

(Oh the memories of that!!!
I still remember stopped at a stop sign on a steep hill
with a car behind me...I bet there's still rubber on that road!)

So I grabbed my camera and hoped for an instant replay.
I thought I got it.

But when I opened up the picture on my computer
There was Jean Chretien looking back at me, through Trevor's eyes.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Senses

smelling freshly cut grass
hearing hammers pounding in the neighbours' yards
and crickets clicking their wings
tasting the coolness of strawberry bananas smoothies, cherries and watermelon
feeling the cool ground under my barefeet
seeing the vividness of the blue sky above the green trees


what do your senses sense?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Luxury on top of the world

Contrary to what seems to be popular belief
accoording to the comment converstaion on my last post
I have not been on a two-week holiday
Neither from my computer nor from my home
Just from the blog

However, we did just have a three-day holiday
In a luxury suite
Up on SilverStar Mountain

This is the fourth year in a row we've been there
The guys do their biking
and I play tourist
This picture is from last year

This is as good as it got this year

When you go every year, you tend to not want to take the same pictures over and over

I, however, conquered my fear and managed to ride the bike lift to the top of the mountain

Absolutely stunning!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just a thought for the day

This was sent to me once by my grandmother in Holland.

Flowers of love to everybody for the coming week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Miss me but let me go

An elderly friend of mine died last week.
Yet another casualty of the nasty cancer.

Two months ago she said that she was going to the oncologist
I said I hope it's not going to be bad news
She said "At my age, what's bad news?"
She was 84.

She considered it good news that she was going to go fast
And was not afraid, but almost, as the minister said,
Looking at it with anticipation of the glory beyond.

To have such faith must be so comforting.

He shared a story
A few weeks ago, her husband had trapped a squirrel that was threatening to be a nuisance
Together they brought it to the woods in the park behind our town
The squirrel was running around in frantic circles in his cage
And when they opened the door,
He bounded off across the woods and away, free again, as he was meant to be.

She said to her husband,
That's what I'll be doing in a few weeks,
bounding along free as that squirrel.
When you see squirrels, think of me.

Love me, miss me, but let me be free.

She was and is an inspiration to us all and the world is a better place because of her.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Come take a walk with me and my dog

This is "The Butte"
The left over plug of an ancient volcano
and the namesake of my town
This picture was taken at Christmas time, with a distinct lack of snow
and yet, we ended up with more snow this year than we've had in years

Anyhow, the picture is just to lay the groundwork and give some perspective

Most days I take my dog for a walk, sometimes through the bush, sometimes on the paths along the road.  Today was a bush day to the old cemetary ,a favourite place to sit and reflect.

I usually stop there because after that it's mostly uphill
Today I decided to keep going and after much huffing and puffing, found myself at the end of the path and the beginning of the rock climb up the Butte

I must add, this is not a place I thought I'd ever make it to again

It's one heck of a steep climb,
the kind where you take five or six steps, then have to stop and turn around to catch your breath.

My cousin Dagmar (who seems to have temporarily disappeared from the blogosphere)
could tell you a great story about being on this path with a bear below her and the rock above,
and having to climb up and stay on top until she figured the bear was gone.
And how if her dad ever found out, he'd never let her come to Canada again!

I didn't climb up the rock itself because Monty would not be impressed about being left behind.

Anyhow, we made it safely up and down
On the way back home Monty remembered a spot where he once caught a mouse a few years ago
every time we pass it he checks it out, to make sure there's no more there.

Over a fence

While Monty trustingly
waited for me to lift the bottom so he could crawl underneath

Along the path to the marker where we turn off along our own property

25 steps back to retrieve the leash that fell out of my pocket along the way

Along the home stretch

And break through the bush to the back of our home

Thanks for your company!!

PS....these were all taken with my cellphone....the wonder of it all!