Saturday, December 29, 2012

Surviving the flu

I guess one would expect the obligatory Christmas cheer post, and fair enough, but unfortunately, along with the presents, Santa left us with one hell of a nasty flu bug. Someone must have ticked him off, it may have been me, and after I left him cookies, too! So, Christmas eve was spent on the couch and Christmas dinner consisted of chicken broth and ginger ale. We were kind of bummed to be sick on Christmas but since we had opened our presents early anyhow, we decided to spend the time watching Disney movies and getting better. I was super thankful that my house was well stocked since there was no way I could get out for groceries. I put most of the goodies away since they held little appeal for our ailing tummies. When I did get out on boxing day, I went at 3 p.m. after all the madness and stuck to a list. I had a very sick little boy with me and the meds only last for so long. I bought; a case of ginger ale, (I swear that stuff will sustain me through anything) facial tissues, jello, applesauce, apple juice, bread for toast (in case we could stomach it) chicken broth, mr. noodles, can soup (chicken noodle) sanitizing wipes and a pharmacy some medicines. And of course, like every time I go to Walmart, no matter what I end up putting in the cart, it never costs less than one hundred dollars. It's weird, actually. Not your typical boxing day deal shopping, no way I had the energy for that!

We hunkered down for another day until I noticed my son started turning into in an old man. He started blaring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Avengers, ignoring me on his way to the bathroom, and shouting at me to, "Speak up!" then acting annoyed when I apparently wasn't loud enough for him. He was deaf as a stone. That's when I knew he had an ear infection for sure. He's had so many, and he felt so rotten, I guess he just didn't complain, but once the doc looked into his ears, he all but jumped back in surprise, confirming what I already knew. Ears as red as tomatoes inside and nothing for it but antibiotics.

So, after three days, my darling little boy has bounced back, while I, still weak as a kitten, must tend to his returning appetite and protest weakly to his skateboarding in the living room. Please, no skateboarding in the house, honey. He's still ignoring me, but now I know he can hear me! Darn you kid and your resiliency!

Oh what the hell, do an Ollie for all I care, Mommy needs a nap.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How sweet it is.

 I just love when I can get the time to make treats with my boy. He is growing up so fast that I know I need to enjoy these moments while I have them.

He is starting to question The Guy in The Red Suit, (Mom, I saw that he had a mustache under his mustache...) and honestly, I'd be worried if he didn't begin to question the conspiracy we adults have all been running by this age, but he still gets that excited sound, (I call it his tea kettle sound, because it's all, eeee!)  when he talks about him and his homeland The North Pole. I guess it all comes down to erring on the side of caution. You have to believe for the magic to work. My son is, thankfully, willing to suspend his belief for the time being, against his better judgement and that pesky opposing evidence to the contrary.

So, for another year, at least, the magic is strong. I wonder how it will be when there is no more pretense of St. Nick. With no siblings to carry on the fib, will we forget all about him, or continue with the grand charade?

As for myself, I don't think I have ever had a Christmas where I didn't leave the cookies out, plus carrots for the reindeer, and I hope I never do have one like that!  I guess a part of me remembers how it felt when there was so much possibility and wonder in the world. When you don't believe in any dreams anymore, it is a very dreary existence after all. We all have our own version of the North Pole in our heads, mine is a very warm and comforting place to go in the depths of winter. I wouldn't give it up for anything.

So, here is to whimsy, fantasy, dreams and imagination. May they always stay strong in the hearts of those I love, not just at Christmas, but every day of the year.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oh Dear. It has been a while hasn't it?

Time for a recap. Well, did I tell you I wrote a book? I did, sort of. Mostly, I compiled it. It is a family history for my Grandma's 90th birthday. I had all my Grandma's sons and daughters fill out questionaires and wrote biographies. My grandma wrote her childhood memories and I put them all into a book with photos. It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. Actually, lots of people said they liked it. I could have picked it apart ten ways from Sunday, but I just published it anyhow.

I used and overall, I was satisfied. You can't tell here, but I made some huge boo-boos and contacted customer support. They were able to grant me the  clemency of a re-print even though the mistakes could have been considered *cough* my fault. I would use the service again, as I was happy with the quality of the book once completed. 

I think my Grandma liked it and that's what matters. It was her present after all.

Hmm, what else has happened? Halloween was fun, Simon dressed as a Skeleton and we carved pumpkins.

I am taking guitar lessons and they are going fairly well. The more I learn though, the more I realize I have to learn. I suppose that is progress. I am working on Christmas music right now.  I have started some gift shopping, and I got some great ideas from the bake sale they had at work as to packaging etc. I raided the same Dollarama and got my supplies. I'm ready to go. Just need to bake now, can't wait to start!

Me with my cousins, son, nephew niece and sister on Grandma's Stairs.

Oh, and THIS happened. A one day strike at my work place. That's all I will say about that, for now.

Ciao for now. Bean.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Waffles n' Caramel.

Hello, what's new? Lots of things are new and different. We are in the middle of the school week rush and the weekend wind down. Work is busy, school is busy, LIFE is busy! So we are good. I am taking guitar lessons for the first time in my life and it is exciting and damned hard work. I have to make myself practice which isn't always easy. I have to motivate myself to drill, but if I want to learn it is what I have to do. I am starting with some folk songs from the sixties so I feel a bit hippyish, strumming away in my living room, but it is relaxing. My neighbours probably don't think so, but you should hear what they do. I don't feel a bit bad about my strumming.  We are getting ready for another trip to see the family for my Grandmas' 90th birthday. I am excited because I am fairly sure the whole family will be there. It's pretty difficult to say work or school is more important that your grandma's 90th!

 I completed a book that I have been working on since the spring, with my family's help. We all contributed answers to fifty questions about family history and with photos and biographies together, it made a spectacular book. It was a lot of work and I stressed about doing it just right. I hope she will enjoy it. I am pretty proud of it.

We are looking forward to some long held goals coming to fruition. It is satisfying when you have completed a goal and then you can set new ones.

I made an amazing, enormous apple crisp at work and served it with ice cream and a drizzle of Bonne Maman caramel.  Oh Em Gee. I bought this sauce on a whim and I think I am in love. It was sooooooooo frickin' good. I was sad to have had to leave the remainder of the jar at work, although that was probably a good thing because I may possibly have licked the jar clean if I hadn't. I highly recommend it. Yum.

My latest thing is my waffle maker. (Must. Buy. Caramel!) I bought a really nice waffle maker and got a bottle of maple syrup free with a coupon. I used to only make waffles at Christmas because they were a pain on my tiny waffle iron/sandwich maker. Now, we have had them twice. I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but right now, waffles rock!

Well, off to enjoy the rest of my Saturday. Later, Dudes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Autumn Abundance

Just got back from Smokefest and we had an excellent time, as always. This was the ninth year it has been going but only the sixth for me. We ate, we sang and we were merry! My Aunt had me make these jelly salads, which is something I have always wanted to try but just never gotten around to. They turned out fantastic and tasted pretty good too. The peaches against the red jelly sure makes a nice contrast. It was such a fantastic feast, as it is each year. With everyone contributing, it makes it fun and festive, too.
My uncle is in charge of the fish and he gets help to get it ready for the smoker and the grill. Somehow his fish is the most tender, melt in your mouth salmon I have ever had. There is nothing to compare to it. This year, I brought cherries and peaches, which were late this season and they were at the peak of deliciousness. I put some in a fruit salad and some in the jelly salads.
The rest we just ate.  
I also made a batch of peanut butter squares, which were gobbled up. I changed the recipe a bit, as follows: Most of 1 small jar Skippy crunchy peanut butter (2 cups) 1 bag mini marshmallows, 1 cup rice crispy cereal, melt together and pour in the bottom of a 9x13 pan lined with parchment. Melt a half a big chocolate bar from Walmart (about 8 oz) and spread over your peanut butter layer. Put in freezer until firm. Take out the whole block and cut into squares. OMG. So good, and no bake!
I could write a book about Smokefest, and someday, I probably will.

 For now though, the constant battle for organization. My closets are winning and taking over the house. I canned a bunch of apples and made apple butter. I got a baker's dozen jam jars worth. Not bad for free apples! How do you like them apples? (Sorry, I had to.)

I also have become a Watkins associate # 397322! I am the Watkins man! (woman!) I have a separate blog for that so don't worry, I won't turn this into a Watkins home party, though knowing me, my projects tend to overlap, so you may hear a thing or two about it now and then.

School is back in and I'm running like a chicken with my head cut off. It's good to update the blog though. I'll talk to you soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here we go!

It's that time when trips to the beach seem like the norm and the sun seems to shine every day and this little grasshopper thinks that summer will never end. I have been back to work for a few weeks now, after my glorious Vancouver Island holiday/Anniversary surprise getaway, but it still feels like play time to me. I have managed to squeeze in a trip to the outdoor pool and the bowling alley, which were promises made and kept for summer outings. I had a long list of outings but when it came down to it, we were either too busy, or too tired from all the other fun stuff we have been doing! We have managed to get the most out of the summer and I think it's wonderful. I did get my school supplies organized and bought a few clothes, so even if I do nothing else, I think I can manage the first day of school. One day at a time right? Chalk one point for only having one kid to worry about!

Sea life at Ucluelet Aquarium


I am also working on a project for my Grandma's birthday and finally I feel like it may actually come to fruition, now that some key pieces of information have come my way. It will be a furious push at the end to get it done the way I want it, but I think I have it under control. I sure hope it comes out as well as I expect it to. Smokefest is just around the corner, I am super excited for it. I just love when my family gets together and this party has become the social event of the year! With so much to look forward to, it's hard to stay in the every day and get the basics done, like laundry and dishes. I just want to sweep it all it the dumpster and buy new dishes and clothes. That's not very frugal, is it?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy Trails!

Strawberry in my Aunt's garden
Grandma after her dip in the Shuswap August 2012. I sure hope I look as good in a bathing suit at her age!
We heard a bear going down this trail and saw his leavings!
We had a little adventure this long weekend in the Shuswap.
My aunt and Grandma along with my little cousin came from the North to visit my aunt at her cabin. We brought our tent and stayed two fun nights. The lake was absolutely to die for. On the second night we all went for a night swim just before bed. That was wise thinking because temperatures were in the high thirties. We also had a water gun fight and numerous trips to the beach due to the heat. Suppers were potluck affair with everyone contributing whatever they had. We had some nice salads, wraps and beans.

 My aunties and I were in charge of about 12 lbs. of moose meat which we formed into meat loaves and meat balls (mooseballs, hee) and patties. We had more food than we needed but I'm sure it all got divvied up. My other Aunty drove in from Kamloops for the afternoon and we all had a game of string golf. Sunday we all had a game of bocci which was good fun, before a last trip to the beach for a picnic and an ice cream cone for the road.

What a fun time with my three aunts and my Grandma.
Million dollar view.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Summer Breakfast Frozen Cheesecake

 Oh yes, cheesecake for breakfast!
 It's the only way to go. I'm writing this one down because it's a keeper.
In a rectangular Ziploc plastic container mix up a cup of graham cracker crumbs with a 1/4 sugar and add 1/4 cup melted butter. Press to form crust. In a bowl mix 2 cups cream cheese with 1 cup vanilla yogurt and 1/4 cup icing sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla until smooth. Pour over crust. Place frozen berries evenly all over the top, then puree some (or just mash with a fork and a bit more sugar) pour evenly over all. All measurements are approximate because I never measure things like this. Freeze over night. Eat it for breakfast! YUM!
This turned out like an ice cream cake, so delicious. I let the big block thaw a bit, popped it out, cut it into squares and returned it to the container and put it back in the freezer. Let individual servings thaw a bit on the plate before digging in. This way, no worries about leftovers going bad, they are safely stored in the plastic container until the next cheesecake craving strikes!

I did not feel like baking, turning on the oven and I did not have any gelatin/jello to make this a fridge cake. This solution worked out great. I think this is my new go-to cheesecake method for the summer and the yogurt gives it a nice tang. It is also slightly healthier than adding whipping cream to cheesecake. Not much, but a bit.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Ever had peanut butter and banana sandwiches for dinner? Well, I have. That and trail mix were our dinner tonight because it is too darn hot to even make toast.

We sure had a wonderful three weeks of holiday time. At the end of our Vancouver Island getaway, I was whisked away for a surprise two night stay at the . It was heavenly. We had the romance suite and it was, well, romantic. While I admired the ocean view, my wonderful husband, (in anticipation of our fifth wedding anniversary on July 28th) , whipped out the matching diamond solitaire to my wedding band. Did I cry? You bet your ass I did. I have never in my life been so surprised and spoiled. Talk about a grand gesture!
I have scads more photos so you may see a post or two more like this one...stay tuned.
Catch ya later, Bean.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Vancouver Island Getaway in photos.

Fun guy...

 Gnarled roots...

 Dunsmuir's ghost...
The Noodle Box...
 The mist descends on The Pacific...
 Early bird gets the fish...
 Lift a rock, see a crab...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day, eh?

 Happy Canada Day! We spent the day in the park and happened to see two school friends and played happily with them for a couple hours. I saw lots of acquaintances and the music was fabulous. This photo is from last year. This year, I left all things electronic at home and just enjoyed the day. We are gearing up for summer fun and so things may slow down around here quite a bit, but that doesn't mean I don't still love you all. I will still pop in here and there to let you know what I am up to. Presently I am freshening up my highlights and rubbing my sore feet. We did a lot of walking!
 I baked some sandwich rolls a while back which worked out very well. they were half whole wheat, half AP flour. I was able to freeze them and pull them out as needed for sub sandwiches. I know I posted recently about the deer that roam around outside but I couldn't resist this little guy. He was cavorting alone out there while I was eating some dim sum, and I managed to zoom my lens just in time to catch him. Even at this young age, he knows enough to keep a natural barrier between him and whomever might happen along. These glimpses in the open were short, and I took a zillion pictures before I got a few decent ones.

Isn't he precious?

Well, I hope you all have a great summer. I may be back tomorrow, then again, it could be weeks. Who knows? I am not on a schedule. Woo-hoo!

Monday, June 25, 2012


 We went camping at Beaver Lake Resort for three nights and it was thundershowers for two of them! We managed to stay relatively dry and had a great time. Here, the boys are on the pedal boat. I swear boys were made for camping, they don't care what the weather is. Me, I better have hot drinks and chocolate and lots of yummy treats or I may start to complain. It's not like we were roughing it or anything but let's just say by Sunday morning, after two nights of rain, I was more than glad to get the heck outta there! Camping always makes me grateful for my warm home. We had company with us and it was a great chance for our son to practice his French as my husband's brother and girlfriend do not speak English. It was a true immersion!
We all managed to communicate just fine. I am sorry to have to report that over the weekend, our beloved fish, Vermillion, who is pictured above, departed this earth. He will be remembered fondly. So, it is back to work and school for the final week and then summer vacation begins for real. Here's hoping the weather improves. My thoughts are with those in the nearby community of Sicamous, who have experienced severe flooding and are on evacuation alert. So scary! I hope that no one is hurt. On a happier note, I noted that the forecast looks warm and sunny for the water slide party, but I made alternate plans, just in case!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bumped his head on the end of the bed...

It has been raining cats and dogs lately. I have always loved that expression, it evokes such whimsical imagery! I have had many inspirations lately but sadly, due to a mundane thing called a job, lack the time to fulfill  my creative ideas. So, I'm going to write them down so that I don't forget them. Thanks for bearing with a Creative To Do post.
1. Cut pattern and material for new spring dress. (amazing fabric score at VV boutique!)
2. Load photos onto portable drive for 90th bday project
3.Write Laurel's bio
4. Figure out Blurb program
5. Learn to make beadie buddies and other loot bag goodies
6. Learn the square stitch for plastic lace (already mastered the circle stitich, thankyouverymuch)
7. Possibly copy the bag design I saw for sale for $19.99. I think I can beat that!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I hate to burst your bubble...

Forgive the borrowed image of a bubble print, but this is a very fun activity to do : Bubble prints! I did some at  work with the practicum students and the day program participants and it was a grand success. We used: four Dixie cups, 4 straws, dish soap, 4 different colors of non toxic, acrylic paint and 4 disposable trays that one might buy for roasting or oven liners Oh, and paper.

Place about 1/2 inch paint in each cup. pour in the same amount of dish soap and then add water to make double the amount of liquid total. Place cup on tray, put straw in cup. Blow bubbles! When the tray is full of bubbles, gently place a piece of paper on the tray and lay flat without touching the bottom (though that does produce another interesting effect, in my opinion). Let dry then layer with another color print. Fun! Beautiful! (Do this outside.) I can't wait to have time to do this at home.
We also went to a craft fair, Creative Chaos which is a huge event in our town and one that I can tend to get carried away at. I've blogged about it nearly every year. This year, we stuck to looking, not so much spending, and my son had a $10 budget, which he stuck to. One purchase we could not resist was the work of a little boy, sitting next to his father in a booth. This boy, who looked to be about 5 years old, had a box full of colorful balls and was bouncing one up and down on a rubber band on his finger. They were yo yo balloons! How entrepreneurial! It was the most adorable thing and of course, my boy was as enchanted as I was and spent his last $3 on the spot. The construction is easy and I will probably make more for fun. I even found some instructions here. So, the simple wonder of things has kept me inspired and I thought I would share them with you. Cheers.