Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Best Dinner Out


Feeling nostalgic yet again.  This was dinner a few years ago at a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta called La Palapa (which is just fun to say) with friends on vacation.  The dinner was on a beach, toes in the sand, Margaritas flowing freely, multi Mexican courses, children with the grandparents and sun setting with tiki torches burning around.  A wonderful night.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27th???

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april 2010 snow 003


Yuck.  I must apologise.  This is my fault.  I washed and put away all winter gear yesterday.  Mother Nature is laughing at me. We are not amused.

  Poor tulips. 


Monday, April 26, 2010

Time Warp

I'm sure I just sat down at the computer a few minutes ago. I mean, really. Didn't I just pour myself this cup of coffee... this cold cup of coffee....? OK. I guess it wasn't rally just a few minutes ago. This is what happens when I get online.

First I should check my e-mail. And then I notice that link in someone's message about the thing I was meaning to look at. After checking that (and a few related links), it is time to get down to business. Blog-business. Yay! Someone made a comment on my blog! But wait, have I checked her's out lately? Better do that. And comment. And check out her blogroll for great links to other awesome blogs.... What is that rumbling sound? Oh yes, I'm hungry. Down to the kitchen (which hasn't cleaned itself yet) and I'd better make some coffee. Back to computer land. Gotta make that flyer to raise money out of nowhere. Hmmm.... googling for ideas... Well, that looks interesting... What? An online contest? You can't win if you don't enter, right? Oh yes, the flyer... but I'll grab the coffee first. Hey?! Twenty minutes until I pick up the kids?! Who has been messing with time again?! Gotta run!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We are not amused

Well, dearest husband.... (Or perhaps "dearest" should be in quotes at the moment since I am not feeling entirely enamoured with him)... said a few days ago that he had something he wanted to talk to me about but knew it would make me mad. What conversation has ever gone well after that?!

Anyway, he was concerned that I was drinking too much. ***Deeeeep cleansing breath*** Really??? Where did that come from? Maybe it was the single wine glass in the dishwasher that I used to have ONE glass of vino on a few of the many nights he was out. He said something about a time ages ago when I was concerned that my parents were drinking too frequently and it may have interfered with their health. Right. Well that was before I had children of my own and understood how A glass of wine/beer/double-shot of tequila might make a long days journey into night more pleasant. I am way off my high horse now.

So then DH pours himself a nice glass of white before making dinner tonight and then as an afterthought pours me one as well. I am busy doing the 100 things I do on a typical witching hour before dinner. Then I notice he has opened himself a beer. (I didn't). Then he opens another bottle of wine for dinner. Hmmmmm. Methinks he doth protest too much. ***quietly fuming***

Alas, my anger doesn't seethe long. He make some killer scallops for dinner tonight and bought cheesecake for dessert. All is well again. I am easily soothed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Magical Journeys

I love the way children think.  They believe in so much that it make grown-ups seem to be this silly ones for not having faith.  It makes life so much more fun to think that anything could happen, laws of nature be damned.  Sure it makes for some wakeful nights when dreams seem to close to reality but even those can be further imagined away with “super spray” or magic wands.

A few months ago my husband travelled to Saudi Arabia for business.  He brought back some magical gifts for us all. 

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First there was the lam.  Even the 9 year old couldn’t wait to rub it, wanting all his wishes to be granted.  No genie has shown up yet but that doesn’t seem to phase their imagination.  

Then there were the carpets.  They may look rather ordinary to you and me but actually, they are magic carpets.  Even our cat Molly goes April 2010 022travelling on them (in the kid’s eyes anyway) thanks to this great little book “Molly’s Magic Carpet”.  On any given day they can be soaring through their magical lands , ducking past the moon and steering around mountain tops on the way to adventure.  Eyes shine and giggles erupt as strange things happen on their travels.


With or without the carpets, they regularly visit Owen-land and Laura-land.  These are places where they are in total control.  On the rotten days when the real world isn’t going as planned and mom is making us do our homework, I get told how it is much better in O.L or L.L.   A great diversion when the meltdowns are starting.   I hope this magic never disappears. 

I remember being a child and reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and loving how much of a wonderful escape it all was.  I’d imagine all the places I could go through my closet secret passage.  I’m a little more realistic now  but I still have some imaginative moments.  I am thankful to have the children to help reawaken the this sense of wonder.

What magic is in your life?  Do you have any fond memories of your younger years where your imagination took you?

Friday, April 16, 2010

To Zhu or not to Zhu?

Our sheltered lives are being invaded by commercialism yet again. Now I know that I am completely immune to all the possible commercial gadgets out there (except when they are really necessary... like an iPod nano or some scrapbooking tools ... but I digress). It is now taempting our daughter.

Laura is surrounded by Zhu Zhu pets at school. Anyone who is anyone in grade 1 has one of these critters. Admittedly they are cute and furry and make very little mess. However they are a) becoming a status thing and a big part of recess culture and b) the tip of the iceberg as there are all sorts of add-ons to go with the little furry hamsters and c) unavailable within a 20 km radius of here. *sigh*

What am I to do? Is this one of those things I should say no to and point out all the stuff in her room? She's shy at the best of times so maybe these will help her have something to say and do with some friends? Do I get her to chip in her allowance for one? Do I get her a real hamster and make her take that to school instead. Ummm... scratch that.

There really is only one answer. My SuperMom title is on the line here. I must go online shopping. And while I'm at it, I think I need to get a Magic Bullet.... and how about a few books too.... and I can fill up the order with other things so I don't have to pay shipping.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Honest Scrap Award Thingy

Oh happy day! They like me! They really like me.... or at least someone knows I exist.  Which is nice for a little blog newby. Two friends passed on this award to me this week!  A big thanks to Lynn at turtlehead for giving me the Honest Scrap Award, taking the time to read my posts and being so nice and supportive when she comments.  Also a big thanks to Anna at Life Is Good … At The Beach.  She’s a great person to know in the real world as well as in blog-land.  I am always inspired by her creativity and warm personality.  Cheers ladies!

The Honest Scrap Award Rules say that I must:

1. Brag about the award.
2. Include the name of the blogger who gave you the award and link back to that blogger.
3. Choose a selection of blogs that you find brilliant in honest content.
4. Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with this award.
5. List at least ten honest things about yourself.

So here it goes. I'm going with 10 "I believe" things so you can get a peek into my quirky foundation of being.

1. I believe the "I Believe" song was a little too overplayed during the 2010 Olympics on our Canadian networks. Don't get me wrong. It is a catchy tune with a lovely heart-warming, sappy message. I hummed it way too much but after a while the dread started to wear in. Like when you have pizza for the 5th day in a row - great at first but a big turnoff by the end. Even the school was piping it into the halls in the mornings to inspire the kids, so they hummed it all day too. Overload.

2. I believe that there is such a thing as Karma.  From this I mean that you become a better person by being better to others.  Often this reaps reward in others helping you out or simply feeling better about you day.  I am a person of faith (Christian) but most of my spiritual beliefs are based on leading a real life of kindness and love.  Sounds a little flakey but it works for me. 

3. I believe that success is when you live up to your own dreams and potential, not what society deems successful.  It took a while to understand this.  From time to time I feel inadequate being a SAHM and not using my degree for the betterment of the world.  But I am thrilled to have this wonderful window of time to help my kids live up to their potential and all that.  I am lucky to be able to afford to do so.  Now I am embracing the SAHM challenge, …most days.

4.  I believe all talents have value.  I have come to appreciate the smaller things so much more lately.  My son has Asperger’s Syndrome which is frustrating at times but also totally joyful.  His talents are atypical.  His memory can be amazing and he loves music.  He is so passionate at times I think he might burst from excitement.  These are talents that may or may not have practical applications but I know are important. 

5. I believe the sum is often better than the parts.  Like peanut butter and chocolate.  Triple yum!  Although pure chocolate does have it’s place at the pinnacle of decadence….  OK, sometimes the sum is great than it’s parts.  I think I will have to go to the kitchen and experiment with this hypothesis now….

6. I believe in the power of family.  I am part of an immediate family and an extended family that loves me for who I am.  I know they are people I can depend on.  We are not perfect and that is part of our charm.  We have been through much laughter and tears, joy and frustration but we are always together, unconditionally.

7. I believe in the power of friendship.  Friends play such an important part in our lives.  Whether they touch us daily, we only get to see them on occasion or even if we have only met online, they help complete us.  One of the things I like about getting older is that I am making new friends all the time.  I moved to Ottawa about a year and a half ago now and have already met some remarkable people who I am proud to call my friends.  The women I met when my children were babies are woven deep into my soul now and I am so lucky to have grown with them through those times.  Heck, I am even reconnecting with long lost friends on Facebook.  Everlasting. 

8.  I believe going back to nature can be one of the most centering things you can do.  There is a peace that comes over me when I get to an empty beach or hike among the trees.  I breathe deeper.  I smile more.  I live in the moment, enjoying the beauty of it all.  I feel honoured to live in Canada where nature is so abundant and getting out into it can be as short as  trip to the back garden.  I need to do this more often.

9. I believe in unconditional love.  There is much to say on this topic which I will get into sometime in the future.  Deep love may end in deep grief but the pain is nothing in comparison to the value of that love.  What hasn’t killed me has made me stronger and I am thankful.

10. I believe in gratitude.  I think this is one of the most important lessons we can teach our children – to be thankful.  We are SO lucky to be here in Canada, living the life that we do.  It is easy to take it for granted.  Children live much in the present and think it is the end of the world if they don’t have the latest zhu zhu pet or Webkiz.  But we have food, shelter, friends and family who love us, health and education and so much more.  There are also the daily things to be grateful for.  Having someone share an umbrella in a downpour or being in a class that embraces diversity.  It is a perspective that leads to a happy life.

There you go.  Quite the long spiel but if you got to the bottom of it, you get the unofficial patience award.  I hope you “get” me a little better from these honest beliefs. 

There are lots of bloggers who are so worthy of the Honest Scrap Award.  Here are a few who I enjoy and would love to see what they honestly come up with if they are up to the challenge:

Allison at Bibliomama – a great writer and the one who inspired me to blog in the first place.

Mary Lynn at Riding in a Handbasket –a lovely blogger and she is nice enough to be a follower to my little blog.

My friend at Spirited Blessings – a remarkable mom and person who I wish lived closer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Checking One Off My Bucket List

Yep, I'm taking the leap. Well, not really a "leap" - that would be insane. But I am going up, up and away. I've got two tickets for a champagne hot air balloon ride over our beautiful nation's capital to be used this summer.

For some reason, the thought of taking a hot air balloon ride has always been fascinating to me. I love the idea of seeing the world from a different perspective, being in that big blue sky and silently gliding over the little ant-people below. Of course I'm a little afraid of heights but it is more the falling thing that is an issue for me. These balloons are very safe (don't tell me otherwise) and there will be a competent pilot there to blame if it all goes wrong.

The opportunity arose on the weekend while I volunteered for a Children At Risk dance event. This organization has been wonderful for our family and I was happy to give back. There was a silent auction and the hot air balloon ride thing was calling my name. Much better than the Princess Diana doll or the Molson's beer fridge items really.

So, here I go! I'll pick some nice day, grab my husband (who previously said he would never do such a thing but is now on the fence about it) or my sister (who is up for anything, anytime) and go for it. I'll post the pics if I make it back alive.

Is there anything on your bucket list that you would like to fulfill this year? Have you done anything in the past that is bucket list-ish? How'd that go? I'd love to hear.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sunshine kid

My kids make me laugh about 100 times a day. Most of the time it is laughing with them rather than at them. Sometimes I do things to make them laugh, just so that I can get a laugh myself. The things I do for amusement. Anyway...

Right now I am smiling at how excited my son was this morning.

O: Mom, that was great.

Me: Really?

O: No wait, better than great. It was excellent.

Me: (absently) Oh, good.

O: No, actually it was better than excellent. It was awesome!

Me: (nothing actually - he was too busy bouncing to slip in any comment.)

O: No wait! It was SPECTACULAR!

We were talking about waffles.

Now how can a cold and blustery morning be any competition to the sunshine that boy emits?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I had a nightmare last night.   I woke up feeling dreadfully sad and angry and it took me a while to recognize why I felt so off.  I needed the reassuring cuddle of my spouse, feeling like a child needing comfort.  I am still bugged by the nasty dream, though I am a  grown-up and know what’s real and what my sub-conscious has conjured up.  Yet I feel like I should have some kind of control of my dream state. 

Dreamland has been a very pleasant place for me lately.  I rarely have nightmares, thankfully.  I sleep well and and when I recall my dreams, they tend to amuse me.  I look forward to drifting off and finding my alter-ego in one adventure or another.  Seeing the silly mixed up world I create in my sleep can even make me laugh out loud under the warmth of my comforter.  Sometimes it seems I have the pleasure of continuing on my dream-ventures to other chapters, much like I am creating a book or programme.  No cable fees for these episodes.

I am amazed at how much emotion comes out of this land of night visions.  How can it have the power to set my mood for hours to come?  Do they really have meaning or a purpose in helping us sort out our conscious lives?  If so, what the heck I am supposed to take from recurring dreams about being in school and taking tests? 

Regardless, I know I have a great life here in my real world.  Now if I could only tap into some winning lottery numbers in my sleeping hours.   Dream on.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Egging

Does the Easter bunny do the egg hunt for the kids or for my amusement. I'm not sure who gets more pleasure out of it. The weather was a record breaking sunny and warm all weekend. Gorgeous.

I don't know what was stranger: that my kids insisted on fairness between them, helping each other find eggs and splitting the spoils evenly after the hunt; or that they both only wanted to eat one egg a day over the next month instead of having a chocolate pig-out. Never mind. I will just have to accept them, quirks and all.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Unlikely Discovery

There are times I am SO glad my kids are not into collecting wild critters. This would be one of them. We were having a seemingly nice Easter visit with my sister's family at the farm when one of my lovely nephews found this:

Yep, a lovely little waking-up-from-hibernation garter snake. I consider myself good and woodsy at times but I draw the line at snakes. My sister is equally enamored with the slithery beasts but is doing her best to be brave and excited for her little guy's discovery. Meanwhile her husband is off quietly building a terrarium. I think a sisterly trip to the spa is in order.

Hopefully our Easter egg hunt tomorrow will turn up nothing but chocolaty treats. Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lessons from March 2010

Strocel has a great tradition of reflecting on the past month and gaining some insight into her life from it all.  I think this is great.  I’m going to adopt it too and become brilliant in no time.  Do feel free to add your own March observations so I can learn from you too, or at least crack a smile.  So here’s what I learned in March 2010.

1. To be more proactive instead of reactive to things.  In March, we started some new diet changes to benefit our health.  I’d rather not get sick in the first place than empty the drugstore looking for remedies to stomach aches and flu. 

2. Keeping a step ahead of the laundry monster and layering up the bed is a great plan.  Especially when stomach bugs always visit in the night and I am too bleary eyed to riffle through my linen closet looking for sheets.  Laundry does not age well.  If you run a load while bleary eyed, you just end up thinking it was all a bad dream rather than a terrible hangover.

3. My husband is more than a couch ornament around here.  When he was away for a couple of weeks, tons of things did not get done.  He doesn’t complain, just quietly sets order back into the joint when he returns.  One of the million things I love about him.  (Note to self: take husband off E-Bay and keep him for a while.)

4.  I learned how much I appreciate an early spring.  Sure I’m still waiting for Mother Nature’s other shoe to drop but I am loving every day of this warm blessing, wearing shorts and sipping a Corona.  Ahhhh…

5.  Blogging is good for the soul.  I am new at this and already feel like writing about the big and small stuff is waking up parts of my brain that have been dormant for way too long.

Not too bad a month, I must say.  I am looking forward to the new discoveries for April. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great Adventures into the GFCF World

Seriously. The reason bread is made from wheat in the first place is because it works.  This rice-bread stuff is not going to fool me one bit.  Let alone my dear son Owen, who can be finicky at the best of times.

We are launching into the wild and crazy world of a Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet for Owen.  This has been long thought out and I am in no illusion that it will cure his autism but there are other health issues we are hoping this will help.  We are working with a naturopath and with any luck, all of our health and well-being will be improved, if it doesn’t kill us first. 

Yesterday I attempted to make my own rice bread in the bread maker from a mix.  I am trying not to be put off by the note on the package that the dough will look a little like toothpaste and that it looks a little gray.  I mean, really.  What normal food is supposed to be gray in colour anyway?! To my great surprise, it DSC02599smelled, well, like bread baking.  Awesome! … Then I looked.  There is a brick in my bread maker.  Yum.  Slicing reveals an undercooked, bland and dense bread-like product.  Well, it’s not dry, and it’s a start.  It is also definitely not edible.  Owen gets wheat bread for breakfast this morning and I go back to the drawing board.   What shall my experiment be today?

I’m willing to try anything once and am open to suggestion.  If you have any great links or recipes, do send them!