Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
No, I take that back about Kickin' it Old Sk00l. I would rather wash 100 floors than endure that again.
Anyway. Moving right along:
All is well in Blether Land. We put up our Christmas decorations, and I had the same epiphany that I had last year but had forgotten. I'm really, really going to cut back on the Christmas baking I'm doing this year. This year I mean it. I plan to just make shortbread cookies, no more than 2 dozen tarts, some Vanillekipferl and gingerbread. That's it. Well, maybe one tiny batch of Florentine triangles. And some rum balls. But no Nanaimo bars, no Peppermint Twists, no Peanut Butter balls, no shortbread. And no chocolates.
I'm of two minds about my less-is-more baking resolution. On the one hand, it's just crazy to make dozens and dozens of treats, then spend a month overindulging, feeling mildly nauseous but still unable to stop. On the other hand, it's a bit Scroogey to not make many cookies. Where's the love? Where's the Christmas cheer? Where's the warmth of the Christmas hearth?
I'm going now, but I want to say one more thing: You know what's the best thing about not homeschooling this year? the Christmas concerts. I get to go to a Christmas concert at church, and one at school, too. I think Christmas concerts are the best thing since sliced bread, I could go to them every night. I get all cozy just thinking about those cute little pudgy cheeked kids up there singing their little hearts out under the bright lights. Ooohhhh.... I can hardly wait.
Here's the plan, Stan:
Monday: Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday: Spaghetti w/meat sauce & Focaccia bread (sadly, no wine tonight, as I have counted the paydays until Christmas and realized that without careful planning, we will be squeaking in the church by January.)
Wednesday: Beef Stir Fry (subject to vegetables in the fridge)
Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas w/ Salsa Verde
Friday: Pizza, burgers or similar quick and chemical-laden food between visits to lovely, wonderful, Ten Thousand Villages. (Last one there is a rotten egg.)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Northern BC: Neighbours looked on while RCMP arrested a blogger only identified by the name Gwen this morning in a small Northern BC community. Details are unclear as yet, but RCMP Sergeant Claude Pelletier issued a brief statement regarding the arrest. "Ms. Gwen had clearly stated her intention to post daily updates on her blog," Sgt. Pelletier said, "but we have reason to believe that she did not do so." Sgt. Pelletier called the situation "disturbing," but he refused to comment on why police involvement did not occur sooner.
As she was dragged, resisting, to a waiting police truck, Gwen was heard by several onlookers to scream out, "I couldn't help it! I couldn't get to a computer!" The alleged criminal was also heard to shout "NaBloPoMo! It's killing me!" but the meaning of these words is unclear.
"I always knew there was something wrong with her," said an unidentified source. "She seemed normal on the outside, but there was always something sinister lurking underneath. I can't really explain it, but I know I'll be sleeping better tonight knowing she's put away."
An investigation is pending.
last updated November 19, 2007 12:22 PST
Friday, November 16, 2007
I love living in a small town.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I'm laughing my head off at the Menu Plan gone awry. I haven't made a single thing I said I would. What I planned is in red; what we ate is in green:
Monday: Falafel & pita (Chicken Soup with biscuits)
Tuesday: Moroccan Beef Stew (Tourtiere)
Wednesday: Curried Chicken and Daal (Linguine with Chicken & Tomato/Basil/Pine Nuts and Focaccia)
Thursday: Beef Burritos (Leftovers and hot dogs)
Friday: En route to a wedding (Who knows? Subject to Poxish demands)
Saturday: Wedding reception fare (ditto)
Sunday: McDonald's (ditto)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Top tier: well, clearly, the top tier is for fancy pantsy decorating doo-dads, as well as for the irritatingly tall White and Black Peppercorns. I should tell you that behind those two gorgeously mammoth sprinkle jars, there are three more (smaller) sprinkle varieties.
Sprinkles, food colouring, peppers, cheap vanilla (for kids' baking), assorted decorating candies, icing tubes, muffin papers, etc.
Third tier: less frequently used, though still essential, cooking and baking spices. I am particularly fond of my tiny jar of Ras El Hanout, which I make myself in very, very small batches. (This makes a diVINE chicken rub, by the by.)
Overflow spices, Herbes de Provence, dip mixes, alum powder, mace, etc.
Second tier: my favourite shelf holds baking essentials. Sometimes I climb up on the counter, stick my nose into the second tier, and just inhale. Aaaaaaaahhhhhh. Smells like Christmas, baking, my mom, and happiness, all rolled into one lovely moment of time.
Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, Poudre Douce, nutmeg grater, vanilla, cardamom, star anise, etc.
First tier: cooking essentials. It's impossible to overstate how much I like the Vij's Masala that my husband bought for me some time ago. This shelf also holds the crushed-chili shaker (at the far right) that I bought after Ames' visit last May. We were having spaghetti, and she said, in a very pretentious manner, "What, don't you have crushed chilis? Well." It was the well that did it, and I slunk away to SaveOn to purchase the pictured shaker.
Oregano, basil, bay leaves, savory, curries, turmeric, sage, thyme, etc.
Now, if I can only refrain from scrabbling through the cupboard in an unbecomingly frenzied manner, I shall be calm and capable and uncluttered for Christmas baking. Horrah!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Didn't make falafel yesterday. Have a sick child, so opted instead for Chicken Soup and biscuits. As everyone knows, chicken soup is a marvelous cure for colds, although I suspect something more virulent than a cold is going on. In fact, I suspect chicken pox is about to make a guest appearance in our home. Time shall tell!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Right, so this is my first foray into the frightening underworld of Menu Plans. I've been so impressed by Jenny's consistency in MPM, and since I secretly want to be like her, I'm going to give it a whirl. Banner downloaded from I'm An Organizing Junkie? Check. Hunger pangs? Check. Crock pot working? Check. Seems I'm good to go.
Monday: (crikey, that's today!): Falafel with the works: homemade pita, tzatziki, rice and a boggling assortment of vegetables
Tuesday: Moroccan Beef Stew with Golden Couscous
Wednesday: Curried Chicken and Daal
Thursday: Beef Burritos
Friday: Auf Wiedersehen! Ve are goink to a vedding in anuzzer taun.
Saturday: Wedding reception fare
Sunday: Very likely, McDonald's on the drive home (great Playland between there and here), followed by some Bifidus tablets
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Did yard work today. Late, isn't it? you ask. Yeah, well, better late than never. We cracked the whip but good today, disregarding all childish cries, whines and protests, and have completely winterized the yard. BTW, Shan, I scooped a bunch of composted soil all over those two beds you planted this spring.
Off to read in bed. Am completely exhausted, and rather annoyed that I broke a nail untying the trampoline net. I generally have v. short nails, but I had been trying to have a lovely manicure to match my new dress. Dang.
Good night, all.
edit: I had posted this, to satisfy NaBloPoMo requirements, and later pulled it due to Extreme Inanity. Believe it or not, three people have asked where this post went. It just goes to show... there's nought so queer as folks.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I've been putting this off, as I prefer to keep my thoughts to myself. Telling the world about my new sparkly dress is one thing; baring my soul is quite another. But in the interest of resembling a human being, rather than a chunk of wood, I'll overcome my qualms. Here we go, folks, hot off the press:
I can feel so unsexy for someone so beautiful
So unloved for someone so fine
I can feel so boring for someone so interesting
So ignorant for someone of sound mind
If Gwen could see all the lives she touched, she would be amazed. A deeply private woman, Gwen kept people at a distance, despite her longing for friendship. She didn't have many close friends, but those who were allowed to glimpse the genuine Gwen were close indeed. She knew that she underestimated the influence she had on people, but she struggled to understand what they saw in her. "I hate it that people think we've got it together," she'd say to her husband. "If they only knew how screwed up we are!" But she always laughed when she said this, and rolled her eyes, and shook her head ruefully.
Gwen loved to laugh.
She wanted to think for herself. She continuously challenged her own beliefs, in a desperate attempt to avoid mindless conformity. She called herself a Christian, but was religious only in her avoidance of cheesy, mainstream Christianity. Oh, she was aware that her shunning of the norm drew criticism, but she told me once, “I don’t care. I won't agree just for the sake of agreeing. The unexamined life is not worth living.”
She felt very smug when quoting Socrates.
Throughout her entire life, Gwen unsuccessfully waged a war against fat-back. She loved twinkle lights, Christmas trees and the ocean. She craved travel. Nachos, pickles and hummus each played a vital role in her life. She liked stand-up comedy and funny movies. She loved dinner parties and good wine. She liked nearly every genre of classical music, and understood more of it than she admitted. She loved to cook and bake. She kept a box of Kleenex in the car. She danced while doing housework, and turned the music up very loudly indeed.
Gwen was complicated. Impulsive. Extravagant. Reserved. Expressive. Highly contradictory. Of all things, she hated negativity and pessimism. She loved herself, and was perplexed at her own insecurities. Half of her longed to be accepted, and the other half thought, “Who cares what they think?”
She felt deeply loved by God, and valued.
As Gwen grew older, she became kinder, softer, gentler, more empathetic. She was slow to judge others. “There but for the grace of God go I,” she’d say. She learned not to expect perfection from others, and liked herself the better for it.
She often wished she hadn’t been such a prim prig when her grandparents were alive.
She prayed the same prayer every single day, like a mantra: “Whom have I in heaven but you? and earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Ooh! Am very, very pleased. Bought this cute little sparkly number yesterday, complete with new black pashmina, shoes, necklace, and genuine imitation diamond earrings. Had been under the weather for quite some time, and felt a desperate need for some comfort, not to mention something to wear to a wedding in two weeks.
The problem with buying cute little sparkly numbers is that I tend to like them in the store. I like them when I get them home. My husband likes them when I model them
for him. But then when I go to wear them in public, I can't stop fidgeting with them. I'm constantly whispering to my husband, in a very annoying fashion, "Is this skirt too short? Can you see my fat bits hanging out? Is this cut too low? Look, can we just run home so I can change?"
Fortunately, if I become shy in my cute little sparkly number, I can simply wrap the pashmina around myself several times, so that I look like a big black burrito with nice new shoes and genuine imitation diamond earrings.
One problem with living in a small town is this: there is a severely limited number of party dresses available. Yesterday I saw the most fantastic dress downtown, but when the saleslady, seeing the avaricious gleam in my eye, said, "Would you like to try this one on?" I had to say, regretfully, "No, one of my best friends already has that, and we'll be at the same parties all winter." So, basically, a girl is limited to whatever is available in her size and whatever she hasn't seen her friends in yet.
Anyway. Now I'm babbling.
USF: don't even think about drawing parallels between this inane post and my eulogy. It's coming, I tell you!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
by the washing machine generation*, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
Our washing machine broke on Sunday. All was well: it was happily gurgling and churning up a load of towels, when I had to come along and stick my big nose into its business. I decided that "heavy" was a more accurate description of the load, so I turned the dial to "heavy," and.... er.... nothing else happened. It quit; it threw in the towel; it bit the dust; it gave up the ghost. So yesterday morning I phoned up the locally owned appliance repair place. They told me, sure, sure, they'd love to come fix it. How's Thursday?
Thursday? It broke on Sunday. What do I do with the fifty-odd litres of brownish water that's in there right now? How do I finish washing these icky sheets and towels?
I had three thoughts:
- A little part of me hoped it was beyond repair. Then I'd have a chance at convincing Mr Gwen to get a front-loading washer, which would be so, so kind to the environment.
- I felt ever so sorry for all those frontier-type women who had to wash everything by hand.
- I was afraid of what the repair guy would find behind my washer when he pulled it out. Just how many mice turds are back there, anyway?
He calmly went downstairs and flicked a switch on the breaker panel. Both the washer and the dishwasher suddenly turned on.
I feel three things:
- Very, very silly
- Highly, highly embarrassed
- So, so glad that it was my husband who went to the breaker panel, and not the repair guy
* see "Richard Scarry's Going Places," giving attention to A Castle In Denmark
Monday, November 5, 2007
R.I.P. Meme is on its way, I've jotted down all the least offensive things about me, and will begin to express them lyrically very soon. Promise.