Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let the Cooking Begin!

The cookies are baked, the lists are done and the gifts are bought and wrapped. Now it's time to get cooking for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We all went out last night to purchase the groceries. We found everything we needed at the, 'No Frills'. We used our PC points to purchase the groceries. This is a nice treat for us a this time of year. We just save up all of our points and use them for the Christmas groceries. As I mentioned before, we found everything we needed, except for the turkey. I wanted a 9kg fresh turkey, not basted or stuffed with butter. Have any of you every read or listened to Stuart Mclean's, "Dave Cooks the Turkey"? Well, we had to go to four different grocery stores until we found the right turkey, Canada, grade A - not grade B. (you have to listen or read, "Dave cooks the turkey", to understand)!

So far, so good. Come home and with the boys help the groceries are all put away in the various locations. I go to bed as I have the early shift. Today, I arrive home from work, change out of my uniform, have a quick bite to eat and enjoy a cup of tea before starting to cook the rouladen for Christmas eve. (rouladen is beef rolls stuffed with onions, bacon, parsley, sometimes pickles, and mustard, rolled and browned and stewed in a paprika cream gravy). I go downstairs to get the cream for the rouladen and discover that a bag was left out of the fridge. It contained a 4L bag of milk, 1L carton of buttermilk and a 1L carton of cream! It was warm. Of course, NOBODY, took responsibility! I searched the internet looking for some site to tell me that it was still good. I mean, it was still sealed! I even called Carolin to get her opinion. We both thought as long as it wasn't curdled or smelled bad it should be ok?????? I know, I know..... I'm not taking the chance, especially over Christmas. I called Hubby who will repurchase the milk and cream on his way home tonight. So now what? I have a list and schedule to adhere to!

So, here I sit, enjoying a cup of tea......

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Little Goth Can Go Along Way In The Mother Daughter Relationship Department

What a wonderful Saturday the little one and I had today!

It is not often we can spend the day together doing errands without me rushing and stressing about work. The next two weeks are mine, as Christmas is just around the corner and I have a million plus one things to do.

Our day started at the hair salon where the little one had her wish come true. She has been asking for a few months now for a black streak at the front of her hair. So Sam, (her hairdresser), obliged and she had two foils done at the front of her hair with a colour called, "blacker than black." He also gave her a wash and trim and just pampered her. I did get not overly positive comments from the older patrons about if I allow her to have black streaks now what will she do next? I kept a Barbara Coloroso in my head. "It's not life threatening, it's not morally threatening, and it will grow out!"

Pooh, to the 'old biddys'. I actually like the black streak and the little one loves it and really that is all that matters. And this is my theory (right or wrong) if I let her experiment while I have a say, hopefully she won't come home at 15 (when my opinion is second to her peers) with many piercings and multicoloured hair, etc. Time will tell.

After we left the hairdresser we headed down to the Lindt Chocolate factory. Wow, was that place packed! I have never seen it so busy. The little one kept telling me that when she becomes a Mom she is defiantly bringing her kids to this store.

Then we headed to Michael's craft super store. Once again she was in heaven. So much paper, paint, crafts, and lots of pretty, glittery, sparkly stuff. And now we are home watching, "White Christmas" and eating cookies for dinner.

I hope your Saturday has been as nice as ours!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Hi all. Well, even though I am ready for Christmas I too am finding myself busy with lists. Grocery lists, cleaning lists, kids to do lists....
It was a good week, I guess. I just can't remember any of it. What did I do this week? I suppose it was nothing out of the ordinary, just work and home and mom taxi. We did receive some good news this week, our younger son was accepted into the Peel Honour Band! We are all very proud and excited for him. He will have a practice once a week and a big concert in the spring.
When I stop to think about it, next year will be busy for the boys. Our older one will be working as a lifeguard and swim instructor and our younger one will have band practice as well as volunteer swim instructor every week. I think their lives will keep us hoping as we have to make sure that school work stays front and centre. Congratulations for the boys, that sounds really exciting.
Hey Sunshine, how many people for the cookie exchange? (Sunshine) I am just working on that today Cathy, I have not had any time to do so earlier so it is now crunch time and I have to get organized. E-mails and phone calls are on my list of things to to today (that day is Monday Dec. 20th). The weekend was busy as it was our 17th Wedding Anniversary. We went to Niagara Falls on Friday and just spend some fun quality family time. I have been watching lots of Christmas movies and just enjoying time with each other. It was a great weekend.

(Carolin) I'm not Sunshine! One more day just one more day. Just have to get through one more day. I am expecting a fairly quiet day tomorrow as the high school students will be gone for the day. I plan to clean the ovens and give everything a good wash down.

The teenager was in the Peel Honour Band when she was in grade nine. Yes, it was alot of driving. Her practises were in Mississauga and the final concert was ... Now that I think about it I didn't go to the final concert. Bad Mommy, I gave my ticket to an old neighbour of ours as she was driving the teenager and her son. Cathy, a heads up from what I remember you are given two tickets and the rest you need to buy. Also the tickets are hard to come by. I remember some of the teenager's music teachers offering to pay money for our tickets but I had already given them to Bibi.

I only got home about 15 minutes ago. What a busy day: work, pick up the teenager after her last exam, go back to school to watch the little one's Christmas Concert, drop kids off at home and run to Chapters to buy a book they had on hold for me. We did squeeze in some nasty old and cold McDonald's for dinner in our running around. (yech!)

Well, it's a week to go. Kids are home. If we don't have time to blog next week, on behalf of we Ladie's, we wish you all the Happiest and Safest Christmas! May God Bless you all!
It's going to be a very busy week. I am making my to-do list and it is so long it won't even fit on one page. Some of the highlights, cookie exchange, grocery shopping, cooking, baking, present shopping, cleaning, waxing, etc. etc.etc.

Have a great last few days before Christmas and remember to enjoy your time leading up to the holidays, no matter how busy things get.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

I think we live in a bubble as all the land surrounding us is snowed in and we only have a light dusting. I remember this happened last year as well. Last winter was the warmest winter in a long while. We had a great summer and everyone predicted a proper winter. I'm still waiting for it. I like snow. (Sunshine) The snow is beautiful but I don't mind if it holds off until the kids are off on Christmas break. (Carolin) I am with you Sunshine, let it snow Christmas eve and then be nice and cleared away after that. We were just discussing the same bubble subject tonight. It seems everywhere around us has had and is getting snow but us. I am sure our time will come.
So it was back to work for me this week. Nothing changed. Why do we always think something should be different when we have been away from work for a while? Is it just me. It's deicing season at work. Here's a hint for anyone thinking of taking a cruise. It's worth the extra expense of traveling in to your departing port city at least one day in advance. It's really worth the added expense of the hotel room and food. I'm just saying. It happens far too often that flights are delayed due to the cold and ice and fog and remember that your flight is not the only one in the sky, or at the airport. I would love to be somewhere tropical right now.

The kids Christmas concert was last night at school. They actually sang Christmas carols and wished everyone a Merry Christmas! WOW! It was a great concert! Just one week left of school before the break. Is everyone ready??? It sounds like a nice evening. The little one has her concert next week. I am not sure which day though.

(Sunshine) I am so ready to be off for two weeks. I do agree with you Cathy, work is always the same although we always expect it to be different. Maybe its because we don't enjoy it like we use to when we didn't have much else to do. Having a job was my life at one point and I enjoyed being at work very much. Now a days, it is a means to an end. It is only a pay cheque and there are so many other things that I would rather be doing then going to work. I am looking forward to spending time with the kids and with all of my family and hopefully catching up with friends. I am also looking forward to being off my feet and resting my knee because it will not heal until I can give it a much needed rest. This week work was hectic. We had some special functions and that predictably means that the manager, well some around there call her "the meanager" is in a horrible mood. She is grumpy and tired and frustrated and picky about every little thing. All I can say is TGIF. Why does she take it so personal. It's just a job let the owner worry, fret and carry on about the events and bottom line. I sure hope my staff don't call me "the meanager".
I think it's so cool that you have a staff!
I have not done a thing for Christmas as of yet. My tree is not up, I have not bought a single gift and I have not done any baking. I am however in the process of addressing my Christmas cards and I hope that my Christmas calendars come together and are ready in time because they are everyone's favourite gift and there is a lot of people waiting for them. I have got a little bit done but still loads to do. I keep telling myself I will do it when I am off. Hey, what about Rice Balls. Do we think we can fit making them in this year? Let me know as I will help this year, too.

Is everyone OK with the 23rd for our annual cookie exchange? I was thinking of having it at my house at about 7:30 in the evening. Please let me know if it works for you girls and then I will send out e-mails to the rest of the girls. The 23 is fine with me. I think I can stop by for a quick hi and bye as I have to work the next morning.

We are still meeting with window companies, I think that this has been the 6th company that has given us a quote so far. We will have to make a decision soon but it won't be easy because everyone is very expensive. For a few hundred dollars it might be worth having your house audited. Then when you get the windows you could qualify for a rebate. If your interested the husband has the info.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) TGIF! Well, not really. This means that my week of staycation is almost over. It's been a good week though. My Christmas shopping is done. My Christmas Cards are written and addressed. I have baked my "frou frou" cookies for our cookie exchange. When is it anyway? For now the cookies are hidden away in the freezer. What the heck is a "frou frou" cookie. Doesn't sound yummy :(. Just wait. It's not a bar will like them! (Sunshine) How does the evening of Thursday December 23rd sound for our cookie exchange? Cathy you are so far a head of me. I am not even close to sending out my Christmas cards yet and I have yet to buy one gift.
(Carolin) It has been a busy week, my Christmas shopping, not done, Christmas cards done but no letter yet. nothing baked, and I am afraid to look in my freezer for what I might find hidden in there.
Last Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent, my mom, aunts, sister and cousins all got together for our annual Christmas Pudding making, (or baking). We all soak our fruit separately. We get together early Sunday morning and mix it all together in a HUGE tub. It's always fun to taste the raw pudding as everyone has an opinion on whether or not it needs a touch of spice, or lime. We always agree that it needs more rum! After the traditional three stirs and a wish we divide the batter into tins and settle in for an all day bake. Every year it tastes great! I am so sorry that I missed the wish and the stir this year but thanks so much for including us over the phone.

This coming Saturday is our annual Family Christmas Party. It's always held on the first Saturday in December. This makes it easy for all to remember. It's a chance for all of the extended family, and we are many, to get together and share before the Christmas rush starts.

Before the rush starts? First Saturday in December is the annual Bethlehem Breakfast at the school the little one goes to. I have been organizing this event for 11 years now. It is done and I am exhausted. Things should be a little calmer now. This past week I catered a diner for 25, cooked 13 turkeys for a seniors dinner, cooked 200 hamburgers yesterday for lunch, organized, set up and cooked breakfast for 225 this morning. Of course doing this while trying to run a business. I am pooped and looking forward to the break. When is your break? Have you heard from Sunshine? Sorry ladies I had actually started blogging this weekend and then the stomach flu hit me and I spent the rest of the weekend in bed. I seem to have had this flu on and off for the last six months or so. I am not sure what is going on but I do feel better today. Also I somehow managed to twist my knee and it was feeling much better until I re injured it during the week. So I was a limping, vomiting, dizzy mess. I want so badly to feel good for a change.

Sorry Cathy, but somehow I manged to delete some of what you have posted. I think I had it on insert and didn't notice until I got to this line.
I am not sure what you were talking about here, please let me know.
versary is the next day so I was hoping that Friday would be good for you. Let me know. (Carolin)The 17th is good with us.

Well, it's now Monday. It was a busy weekend. I guess Sunshine was too busy this weekend so I'll post this now and we will look forward to catching up this Friday.

Hope all is well with everyone!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Well I still have Money to Spend

You may remember my blog earlier this week about my negative experience while trying to buy a Lego Advent Calendar for the little one. When I wrote the blog I linked it to Chapters/Indigo customer service as I thought they should know.

My expectation from Chapters was nothing. I didn't think they would read the blog and if by chance they did I thought I would get a form email apologizing and promising they would look into it.
What actually happened was surprising and has made me a loyal customer. Might even buy a 'I Reward' card that is how impressed I am with the customer service.

As you know Sean Bonnell commented on the blog asking me to email him. Which I did and we corresponded through email. Thursday evening (as I was getting ready to pick the teenager up from work) my blackberry beeped. As a faithful crackberry addict I checked my email. The email was from Mr. Bonnell informing me that the Lego Advent Calendar I was looking for had just arrived at the Chapters store in my area. I decided to let the teenager wait and went to Chapters. True to his word they had the toy waiting for me at the cash desk and was free of charge to me. (WOW!) The manager also came to me and apologized on behalf of the store. She then also gave me a $25.00 gift card to use for a future time. DOUBLE WOW!!

Chapters/Indigo Thank You for your gift. I was not expecting anything and would of been happy with just being able to get the calender for my ten year old. As I think this is our last year of little girl Christmas.

Of course I was late picking up the teenager when I explained where I was she was also impressed (that is a big compliment Chapters). She then promptly went through the bag and confiscated my gift card.

I have one more note to write to customer service.

Dear Mr. Bonnell,

How do I keep my ten year old daughter ten and not wanting to be 16. And what is the best way to deal with her older sister who is planning on Facebook with her friends the big drunk bash she is going to have when she becomes 'legal'. I have been considering letting her get smashed (bad Mommy) cause I thought while she was passed out it would be a prime time to go through her wallet and try and get my gift card back. What do you think?

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping All,


Friday, November 26, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) I figured that I had better write something first before tell the ladies that the post was set up! I am on a "staycation" for the next week. I will be Christmas shopping with my mom. We like to take this week and shop, eat and have a good time. It's nice to not have a schedule. We can come and go as we please and let the rest survive! I am looking forward to catching up on my sleep. Ah, sleep, why do we crave you so? (Carolin) I had already typed stuff but what happens to Sunshine is happening to me. It all disappeared. Have fun shopping and spending time with your mom Cathy. (Sunshine) Cathy that sounds like so much fun. Enjoy the week with your mom. What about your sister? Doesn't she usually join you?

Let's see, what else? Our older son has passed his NLS (lifeguard) and his swim instructor course and he has earned a job with the city! Congratulations older son. I think this is one of the greatest jobs for kids his age. We are very proud of him. Our younger son has been invited to audition for the honour band. His audition is this Saturday at 8:35am. (there goes my sleep in!!!) If he makes it he will have to go to practice once a week starting in the new year. From what I understand the band will perform at a concert in the spring. I think this is the only concert. It will be a good experience for him so keep your fingers crossed. (Carolin) The teenager was in the Honour Band in grade nine. It was a lot of driving to Mississauga. And yes there was one concert in the spring. Congratulations and good luck!

Did any of you read Carolin's post about her experience at the local Chapter's store? There is a response from the regional manager. I'm sure Carolin will update us. I will save it for it's own blog. The item that she is looking or does seem pretty cool.

My brother in law got married last week and it was such a beautiful wedding. There were about 80 guests at the wedding. It was very intimate and heart felt. We all had a really good time and I wish the bride and groom much happiness.

Only 15 more work days left until winter break.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I've got money to spend

Every where you turn you hear or read that retailers this year are crying poor. Seems people are not spending like they have in other years. Now every 'expert' has an opinion on why we are not spending our hard earned cash. I of course have my 'expert' opinion on why my cash is staying in my wallet.

Listen Up Retailers. We want to spend our money, we have gifts to buy. We have the cash and and we want to give it to you. But after my experience on Sunday it seems to me you don't want my business or my money.

I went to Chapters on Sunday to purchase a Lego Advent Calender I saw in the Chapters flyer. The store was busy with customers, and there was was lots of things to look at. Things like $7.00 cookies, $6.00 jelly beans etc. But I couldn't find the Lego Advent Calender. I asked a sales associate and was told it was in the toy department. I asked her to show me because I had already looked and could not find it. She said "if I didn't see it then they didn't have it". I was a little shocked by this and then said I saw it advertised in the flyer and when would they get it in. She told me that, "that flyer is from corporate" . I asked what that meant and she said "it meant they didn't have it and she didn't know when they would get it". She then turned and walked away.

So you see Chapters I wanted to spend my money, I was ready to spend my money, but it seems to me you don't want my money nor my business.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

Well, I see Cathy has been at it again. She doesn't seem to have much to catch up on. Another blank screen. Does she not know we feed off her ramblings. What am I to chatter about now?
(Sunshine) Carolin you are on a roll today, you keep making me laugh out loud.
So Sunshine how is the wedding organizing coming along? My brother in law's wedding is tomorrow. Little Miss Sunshine is one of the flower girls and Miss Teen Sunshine is going to sing a song for the bride and groom. She also has another job according to the message that we got when we arrived home only the message was cut off and we can't seem to reach anyone so we really don't know what they need her to do that is so special.
I am starting to feel the stress of the next two weeks. I have 15 gingerbread houses to put together, cater a dinner for next Thursday night for 50 and then cater another dinner for a Christmas function at the church affiliated with the school (I work at) that's a more formal dinner and is for 30 people. Organize the gingerbread decorating for next Monday night after school. I have 15 teachers coming to decorate them. Make(what do you mean make)? and distribute 300 plus hamburgers for next Friday, decorate (I didn't know that you are a decorator now too). the gym Friday after school. Go to some Christmas play thing with the family that same night. Then get up at the crack of dawn and make a full breakfast for 300 on the Saturday morning. I am once again losing it! I need to spend the Christmas break practising the word NO! Mind you I will do that while shopping, making cookies, and cooking Christmas dinner for 30 of my closest family. :( (what time should we be there)? Is that the Bethlehem breakfast? Can any of the people you hired help you with any of this? I am starting to get the rushed feeling myself. I looked at the calender and realized that every weekend between now and Christmas is booked up! How does this happen. Also, each event I have to prepare something. It doesn't sound hard when you book all of this stuff, however it does start to snowball and I am already having thoughts of wishing it was already done and over with. These are not the thoughts I wish during the Christmas season. I like Christmas and all of it's frills. I have no problem with giving. I just need to remember to give myself some time or I am no good to anyone. Carolin, what is going on? Why are you taking on so much? Remember that Christmas Break is now 20 working days away. That is what keeps me going during all of the chaos at work. Work seems to be filled with so much drama. I work for a real control type personality and she is very particular and can't say a positive word even if she tries unless of coarse it happens to be about herself. She is very good at giving herself compliment after compliment. She does it so often that she is perfect at it. That's funny!
Enough of my whining, how is the dinner plans coming along Cathy got a date yet? The husband is going to be on steady days for the winter so that gives our house a little more flexibility. I am thinking our best choice would be a Friday night. What is good for you ladies? A Friday evening sounds great I just have to pin down Mr Sunshine who I have not seen for a week now. Maybe I will get a chance to talk to him at the wedding tomorrow. Make sure you share a dance together.

How about the Christmas cookie exchange. Do you ladies want to continue our tradition. Please let me know so that I can arrange it. I'm in! I have already picked my cookie recipe. Well actually, my mom was looking through some of her older cookbooks and found a neat "frou frou" cookie recipe.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review: The Perfect Christmas

"The Perfect Christmas"
by: Debbie Macomber

(Cathy) This book was our third group read. I must admit I was looking forward to it. I have enjoyed Debbie Macomber's books in the past. It is a very quick read. It only took one hour. It only has 232 pages. I have no reason not to recommend this book, however, I didn't find it to be like her other books. It was such a simple book. I think that's the kindest way to describe it. I like reading books which challenge my brain with character development and plot twists and this book had none of that. I found I knew the story from the first page and as much as I wished for a twist it was not to come. Again, there is nothing really wrong with this book, just a quick simple read. Nothing more, nothing less.
(Carolin)Firstly let me say how much of a LOSER I am. I am the one who picked the book. I too have read many Debbie Macomber's books. I always find the same thing, that they are hard to get into then once you get to know the characters you end up enjoying it. I have read many of her Christmas romances. They are light bits of fluff but I think that is the point of them. They are to entertain and make you feel good.
So last week I noticed that Sunshine had already read her book. So I thought to myself I better get cracking and read it. But I was in the middle of another Macomber Christmas book and wanted to finish that first. So that was done on the weekend and then I noticed I didn't have the book after all, it was still at the library! So I started another Macomber Christmas book. I went to the library on Monday and picked up the book but of course I couldn't start to read it cause I had to finish the other book. So last night after getting Cathy's email I went into panic mood and started to read the book.

Only to discover that I had already read it a few weeks ago!!!! What a loser :( (ha, ha, ha! that's funny. It just goes to show that you're working too hard!!!) (Sunshine) I have had a few good laughs this week but this one topped them all!
So what do you want to discuss? It was as Cathy said, a light read, I found it a bit better than some of her other Christmas plots. Really, you are killing me Carolin. I was so bored. Yes, it was all predictable but I think that is what the reader wants. For a Christmas romance we want light candy that makes us feel good. I think Cathy if you want something more serious then read Patrica Cornwell's The Scarpetta Factor It takes place during the holiday season and there is nothing light and fluffy about it.
I initially enjoyed the premise of the book but it was so predictable that I had to hurry up and read it just to find out that there was no twist at the end. It was very light hearted and considering our busy schedules, I guess it's just what the doctor ordered. I don't think that I would recommend it because quite frankly I would say spend your time on a book that has a little more depth. However, because we are reading our books together, it doesn't really matter what the books are because the fun of it is being a part of the book club and discussing it later, good or bad. I can actually picture the girl's faces and start to anticipate their comments when I read the books so that makes it a fun adventure.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Yesterday was Remembrance Day. I can remember being afraid of this day when I was young. In grade school we had to watch this black and white movie about WW1. I remember this one part where this young boy was in a trench and a canon blast killed him. It scared me so much I still get the shivers when I think about it. There is so much emotion around Remembrance Day both sad and joyful. I watch the ceremony every year on television and cry every year when the wreath from the "Mothers" is laid down. I look at the faces of the Veteran's and wonder about the thoughts and memories they experience. It's such a powerful day and I'm glad for it each and every year. Saying thank-you just doesn't seem enough, however, if you ask a Veteran what they want to hear, it's a simple: "thank-you" from the heart. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank-you. I remember as a child just being bored on Remembrance Day. I didn't get it and it seemed a zillion miles away. As an adult I find it much more meaningful. Though this year I was busy cooking during the Remembrance Day Chapel. (Sunshine) Remembrance day is always accompanied with a very somber mood. This year was even more so. When I picked Miss Teen Sunshine up from school on Wednesday, she just didn't seem like herself. I asked what had happened and after some gentle coaxing, she told me about how she found out that morning that one of the students had committed suicide. She burst into tears and said that she had spent some of the day in grief counselling sessions. When she got out of the car to go and get her little sister, I burst into tears and cried for the student and even more so for his mother and how she must be feeling since she found out. My heart and love and prayers go out to this boy and his family and friends. The teenager came Wednesday night and told me about this young man. She was upset and said she new him that they were in the same music class the whole time she was in high school. She said he came across as a happy, popular guy. One of the teachers at my school also new him well and was also in shock. I am heartbroken for his family. I haven't heard any details but the whole thing is just devastating.

The rest of the week, was OK. There is still so much drama at work, and I am so tired of dealing with all of it. I just want to go to work and do my job and not get caught up in anything else. I hope that next week will be much better. Drama, Drama, I had one of my two staff give her notice on Friday. I am going to try to wing it with out her, maybe I will be so busy I will lose a bit more weight!

We priced out the cost of knew widows (How much does a good 'widow' go for these days :/)today and they are ultra expensive. We are going to get a few other quotes, but I really can't see how we can even come close to being able to afford such astronomical prices, yet, the windows are all rotted. I had no idea that my parents must have spent so much money on upkeep of our house when we were young.

My bother in law is getting married next week and tonight is the Jack and Jill party. I have never been to one of those before. I wonder what one does at such a party.

Guess what ladies, I got a call from the Brampton Library on Wednesday regarding our book and I picked it up and finished reading it last night. I am ready to report when you are. You finished it!! I haven't even started it. Are we talking about the book 'the perfect Christmas'? I guess I need to get crackin.

Cathy, I just read about your thumb. How many stitches did it take? I am so sorry to know that you got hurt. I hope that you feel better really really soon.

Ladies, is anyone interested in having our annual Christmas cookie exchange? If you are, then please let me know and I will set up a time and date that hopefully works with everyone's schedule. It would be nice if we could do it the week before Christmas when some of us are off (meaning me!)

35 more working days until Christmas break. Are you counting down like I am???

Louise, I hope that everyone is doing well. Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to your middle child and to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month


Act of Remembrance

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn [sic].
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.

RESPONSE: We will remember them

An excerpt from "For the Fallen"
- Laurence Binyon

Friday, November 5, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) This week did fly by. I started my new shift at work. Well actually, the shift time remains the same, it's the job description that's changed. I'm now working at the customer service counter. I get to serve all sorts of customers in all sorts of moods. Oh joy!!! (Sunshine) Not a bad week, but I was looking forward to having Wednesday off because half of the students were not at school but the day was given to one of the other employees instead. She ended up having a great day off with her husband so it all worked out. I was actually hoping to have it off and go over and help Carolin for the day, Sorry Carolin!!!!!!!

I was speaking with Sunshine this week. She's a busy, busy lady. I wonder if she was successful in finding the girl's dresses. I hope so. All done. It was a little stressful, but very successful. My husband's youngest brother is getting married in two weeks and I was assigned the task to find two matching flower girl dresses and shoes in such a short time. The task is complete. Now my mother in law is altering them. She is so busy with this wedding but she said that she would love to alter them.

Carolin is super busy, pray continually for her and that her business will smooth out soon. My busy-ness is over for now. I did the food for a School conference of just over 400 people. It went well in the sense that I now know I can do it. I was in charge of a snack table (coffee, water, juice, fresh muffins, cookies etc). A private lunch for 70 people and then we were open for business with different hot food specials. The first day was very busy getting everything ready and we got everything done and on time. But, unfortunately we had very little sales. The second day also went well and we had better sales. So it was disappointing that our window sales were not great. But it was encouraging that I was able to coordinate everything and I had all the bases covered. The different food dishes we did sell we got great compliments and now I have a baseline for next year. Great job Carolin, I always knew that you could do it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Louise and I are playing phone tag this week. I hope we hear from her soon and that all is well.
I hope that Louise and her family are doing well.

Hey ladies, I received a call from the library that our next book club book is in. Are we going to read and then review or do you wish to do a weekly breakdown? Carolin chose a great book for us. It's by a proven author, Debbie Macomber. The title is: "The Perfect Christmas." I am looking forward to reading this book. I have already read many of her books and I have enjoyed them all. I have my copy, I forgot that was the book club book. Not to worry, I haven't started to read it. I am in the middle of, "The secret Daughter." Which when I am not falling asleep, I very much enjoy. Hello, where is my copy????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Sunshine) Hey! Where is everybody? I thought that I was extremely late in posting but this page is still empty. The week has been busy as usual. I am feeling much better. I turns out that I had an inflammation on my left side near my colon. I won't bore you with the medical term for what I have. It is what they call a self-limiting condition which in plain English means that it will take care of itself. It will just take some time. I have not spoken to anyone this week and I hope that everyone is doing well. Mr Sunshine is on his way back from Ottawa as I am blogging. Miss Teen Sunshine is at work. This is her second last shift of the season and Little Miss Sunshine is at home with me. The family room renovations have begun so my family room, dining room and part of the hall way are out of commission for now. I thought your family room and dining room were complete. What are you doing to them?Little Miss Sunshine has decided to go trick or treating with a few of her girlfriends and Miss Teen Sunshine is working until dinner time and I am not sure what she is doing next. My sister and possibly my dad (he is not sure yet) will be dropping in. Anyone who wishes to drop in and spend sometime with us or tick or treat with us is welcome to do so just be prepared for a cluttered house and a very simple evening. I hope to see you all on Sunday.
(Carolin) I am glad you are feeling better. We don't celebrate Halloween at the school nor do we do much at home so I have somewhat forgotten about it. The Husband is taking the little one and her friend to our church for a harvest party. I don't think we will be stopping by Sunshine, if it wasn't on a Sunday we would. But I don't want everyone up late as I have a busy week ahead of me.

As I type there are still two men in my house working on our new furnace and AC. Hopefully, it will be done today. The husband is gone for the day (I can't remember where he went but he is gone for the day) As I was on the phone with Cathy another man came to my house. I don't know who he is but of course I let him in and we went straight up to my room! Seems the husband made an appointment for this guy to give us a quote for attic insulation. Whatever!
(Cathy) Hubby thought it was the insulation guy as he and your Husband had already discussed it, lol! I know we are typing this on Saturday instead of Friday. I too had a busy week. Just dealing with the regular schedule. This weekend is my last weekend on this shift. I will enjoy Saturday night because as of next weekend I will have to be at work for six thirty am Sunday morning! The kids cooked a lot this past week. The younger one made a pasta dish (tortellini) with a tapanade sauce with green beans sauteed in lemon pepper and soy sauce. Sounds weird but really yummy! The older one made Thai chicken wraps with a peanut sauce. Deelish! He made the sauce with peanut butter and Catalina salad dressing! Ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chili sauce and lime juice were also added. He rolled them with lettuce, thin rice noodles and julienned carrots, cucumbers and red peppers. I acted as sous chef and while using our mandolin I sliced the end of my thumb almost off! What a lot of blood! It was a stupid move on my part and now I get to stumble around without the use of my right thumb. I have a renewed respect for the thumb. It's amazing the little things that cannot be done without it!

Now as for Halloween, this will be the first time that I will be working. It's a strange feeling. I really like Halloween, I dress up and play spooky music and have a lot of fun with all kids of all ages. Oh well, life goes on.
Have a wonderful weekend. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Review - The Senator's Wife

"The Senator's Wife", by Sue Miller was our second book club book.

We worked our book club differently this time. Carolin found that our library had enough copies for all four of us. We requested the book and had three weeks to read it. We decided to each read the complete book and then discuss it.

(Cathy) Firstly, I have to admit I enjoyed reading this book better than our first book. I prefer to just read the book rather than chop it into sections. It was an easy read. Good for the beach which is how Carolin found out about it. She did a search on her blackberry for good books to read on a vacation and this was one of them. This is probably where we should summarize the book but I'm no good at keeping it short so I'll let one of the other ladies have that pleasure.
(Carolin) This book was an easy, no think book. I have read allot of light fluff beach books and enjoyed some. This one I think was a book that was trying to be serious but didn't make it. Also the more I read the book the less I liked the main character. I totally agree. The main character had many bad qualities. She was selfish. About three chapters into the book she committed what I consider a crime and after that I found I didn't like her at all! This book centered around a young married couple settling into their first home in a nice neighbourhood. They befriend their neighbour who happens to be a retired senator's wife. The story centres on the young wife in the present and flashes back to the history of the senator's wife. It could have been a great story of friendship and growth; instead it was a story of betrayal.

A wonderful librarian once told me give a book 50 pages and after the 50 you still are not enjoying it then don't bother with it anymore there are too many great books out to waste your time on the not so great ones. We are not in school anymore where we have to read boring books (Catcher in the Rye, or remember The old man and the Sea. Oh how I hated that book) so don't waste your time on 'oh hum' books. "The Senator's Wife", is an 'Oh Hum' book. But that's just my opinion.

(Sunshine) I agree with Cathy and Carolin. Don't waste your time with this one. I really didn't like it at all. It could have been so much better and I really don't understand why the writer chose to take this book in the direction that she did. It could have been so much better. It was filled with broken hearts and broken promises and a dream that was just that, a dream, never to be a reality.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) I had a great week! My girlfriend, Carol, came to Toronto last week Friday to run in the Toronto Good Life Marathon. She went home yesterday. Carol ran a PB, (personal best) in the marathon. It's amazing to think people can train and psych themselves to run for five hours nonstop. I have so much respect for them. My cousin Chris, was scheduled to run the half marathon, however, he has a foot injury and could not make it. Get well soon, Chris! I learned so much about running marathons this past week. After picking Carol up from the airport we went to the Expo held at the Direct Energy Centre on the EX grounds to pick up her race kit. They had booths set up selling running clothes and energy foods and drinks (yuck!) and books. What's wrong with drinks? They are protein drinks and taste like cardboard or they are so thick and sweet, yuck! Carol kept blogging while she was here so to get the most info and to see pictures please click on the link and read her posts for the past week: Carol and I went to high school together when I was living in Calgary. We have continued to keep in touch over the years. We had such good times in high school and we both love to cook. Actually, this past week I think we spent most of it in grocery stores and the kitchen. I miss her and hope it won't be as many years until we see each other again. (Sunshine) I enjoyed meeting Carol very much and I also have so much admiration for what these runners can accomplish. I have finally finished our book and am ready to talk whenever you girls are ready. This week, well not so much fun for me. I have been in such pain the last few days. Why didn't you call? I sure hope it's starting to feel a little better. I finally got my period on Thursday but my pain in what I think may be my ovaries started on Wednesday, early morning and has not subsided as of yet. I can only function by taking Tylenol every four hours. I finally called the doctor on my way home from work today and the receptionist said if the pain worsens or stays the same go to Emerg. If it subsides, call on Monday and they will squeeze me in for an appointment. She suspects an ovarian cyst. So do the girls at work. I don't really know much about any of that but I have been looking it up since it was mentioned. I know too much information but this is our blog after all and nothing is off limits. (Carolin) The Teenager had a ovarian cyst two summers ago and there was not much that could be done till it burst. From what I understand it is a pimple on your ovary. It is very painful from what I have been told. Hopefully, it burst soon for you Sunshine. I am so glad Carol was able to beat her personal best. Way to go Carol! For me just another week cooking, cooking, cooking. The little one and I did some errands last night and then we stopped at Marble Slab Creamery for some ice cream I had the eggnog ice cream and the little one had chocolate swiss. Yes, they were very good and you were given a generous serving but.... You knew there was going to be a but, didn't you? $14.50 for two ice creams! I think that's a little crazy, so yes it was good but worth $15.00, No, I don't think so. Can't say I will be a regular customer, it's just a little to steep for me.
I have company coming over soon so I must be off. Have a great weekend everyone.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Can we talk about the book yet???

(Carolin) You can talk about anything you want Cathy. I have finished The Senator's Wife and thought it was OK. I liked the older neighbour wife but not so much the younger neighbour wife.

Sunshine have you read the book yet?(Sunshine) Sorry ladies I am in the process of reading the book. I am not quite half way yet but let's talk about it anyway. So far I agree with Carolin, I like Delia.

What a week, I had three hundred extra people to day as the school hosted a World Concerns Conference. I have two women I have hired, one works three days a week and the other two days a week. But for this week they both were in everyday as we prepped for today's conference. My mom has also been here all week helping get things done that I just don't seem to have time to do. She has been organizing the storage room, cupboards etc. It has been a busy but good week business wise. Congrats on being an employer. Busy is good but I know that it is a lot of work and that you must be very tired. Christmas vacation is around the corner (don't freak out Cathy). I have looked at the calandar a few times judging the time till Christmas vacation.

Its been a busy week around here too. Nothing unusual just the usual hustle and bustle. I did post last week and saved but when I looked at the blog later, my comments were not there. This has happened to me a few times in the past and I don't know why. Sorry for the mishap. Thanksgiving weekend was busy. We spent a day with each side of the family. Lots of people, lots of food and lots of work but it was a lot of fun. This short week feels like such a long week. Thursday dragged on forever and ever at work. The nights are too short and the work day is too long. I suppose it doesn't help that it is getting darker outside so much earlier lately. Cathy I am looking forward to seeing you all on Friday night. It will be nice to catch up. Thanks for having us over. I hope that the weather will be nice for Halloween as it is comming up fast. Are you girls planning on comming over? Miss Teen Sunshine may be working that evening but Little Miss Sunshine is raring to go. You are all invited over for some dinner and of course to trick or treat with us if you like. Feel free to drop in whenever you like. It was very noticable yesterday morning just how dark it is now, we left only 10 minutes earlier then normal but it felt like the middle of the night.

I am going to bed now. Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Slipping through the cracks

The little one was so excited today after school, she was hugging me and her dad with a big smile on her face! She said we had to keep September's spelling words list. Why you ask? For the first time in all her years of school (and she is now in the beginning of grade 5), she finally passed a (yes, I am saying first) spelling test!

Her happy little face almost brought tears to my eyes, even now typing about it I want to cry. She has been in the school system for 7 years and very rarely sees a test that isn't covered in red Xs. It scares me to think just what this is doing to her self esteem and her sense of self worth. Does she believe me when I tell her she is smart, and creative, wonderful or does she already think "well of course Mom would say that she has too"?

The husband and I meet with her teacher, resource teacher and department head for the elementary division this past Monday after school. We discussed the concerns they had about her. Which only frustrates me more as this is not new, I have been saying the same thing over and over and over till I am blue in the face! We had a educational assessment done back when she was in grade one. Which in my opinion was a waste of $1500.00 as all it said was exactly what I told the psychologist but just with bigger words. We were able to get some parts of her education modified but not everything and she has continued struggling.

So, here we go again, another assessment has been scheduled for this coming November at a cost to us of $1800.00. The husband will be taking her and he will be strongly suggesting that the psychologist in his testing consider recommending that she be exempt from French for the rest of her school life. I have been asking for her to be exempt since she was in grade three but all we got was a brick wall. The little one struggles with English and has very limited short term memory. French is a major frustration with her as the teacher has not been very accommodating and the little one can't remember anything said to her.

When I called for an appointment for the assessment I was told they were booking in January. I told them my husband would be layed off in the middle of November and can we be put on a waiting list in case of cancellations. The intake person sighed and then put me on hold. When she came back she said two days were available in November and we could have them. I said yes we will take it and said something along the lines of this being a God thing. She didn't get it and kept telling me how lucky we were. Well, whatever, I know God opened those days for the little one and it had nothing to do with luck. Please pray we get the recommendations we are looking for to best help the little one.

By the way the reason the little one passed her spelling test was as the rest of the class wrote out 25 words, the little one's test was 6 words!! Our hope is if she passes a few weeks of tests then maybe this will help her self confidence and the teacher can add more words till we reach the little one's memory limit.

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) TGIF!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to one and all! It promises to be a beautiful weekend, weather wise. I think I can only remember one Thanksgiving where the weather was grey. It always seems to be a perfect, blue sunny sky with warm temperatures. I wonder is this is our Indian Summer for this year? I hope not!

This week seemed to go on forever. This week was, "the teenagers try our patience" week. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. They are just doing what nature tells them to do at this age ...... rebel! We, as parents know NOTHING! I remember being this age myself, but it doesn't matter. There is no wisdom for dealing with teenage rebellion other than to practice patience. That's what my mom keeps telling us. They are good boys and our issues are nothing to do with drugs, sex, or crime. They are just becoming independent, young men. Isn't this what we as parents strive for? Only, we want them to achieve this OUR way! Hah! What are we thinking???

Besides patience, the next best advice we get is compromise. Our older one compromises easier than our younger one. The younger one is stubborn. As stubbornness runs on both sides of our family, he comes by this trait naturally.

We know nature will take it's course and we can close our bedroom door at night after pulling out our hair and laugh! They both have great friends and do very well in school. So, all in all, not a bad thing. As long as we keep life in perspective and realize we could be dealing with a LOT worse we are ok.

(Carolin) Ha, Ha, Ha, Yes I am laughing cause the only other option is to Kill them! I would type more but I am just too tired. But just so you all know I am now an employer, yes I have employees (more then one).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apricot Oat Crunchies

Anonymous left a comment on one of our posts saying she was googling Apricot Crunch Cookies and our blog came up in her search. COOL! I don't know if this is the recipe you are looking for but these are a very, very good cookie. The first time I made them I was teaching 'the teenager' how to bake and we didn't have cornflakes cereal. We substituted a couple of muffits (like shredded wheat cereal). She got rave reviews about the cookies.

Hope this is what you are looking for and enjoy!

Apricot Oat Crunchies

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup margarine, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
2/3 cup coconut
2/3 cup wheat germ
2 cups cornflakes cereal
heat oven 350F, grease cookie sheets. In large bowl, beat brown sugar & margarine till light and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs blend well. Stir in rest of ingredients except cereal. Mix well. Stir in cereal. Bake for 8-10 minutes until light golden brown.

Happy Baking, Carolin

Friday, October 1, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Well, how was my week? I was sick again with yet another cold. Or maybe it was the same cold from a month ago come back to haunt me. I did bid my new shift at work. It starts the first week of November. I will be working all am's five days a week. I need to stock up on sleep before the shift starts! (Carolin) I too, have a scratchy throat. Just started today :(.(Sunshine) I guess we can all join hands as we are all a part of the "I FEEL CRAPPY CLUB".

I have started and am about a third of the way through the book we have picked for our ladie's book club, "The Senator's Wife", by Sue Miller. So far I am enjoying this book better than our last pick. (see our label book club on our side bar). I have read Sue Miller's books before and I find them an easy read. What I am not enjoying is the constant reference to sex. I just got a call from the library this evening telling me that my book has finally arrived. I will pick it up tomorrow but your comment makes me look forward to reading the book.

What else have I done? I did bring in some pots of herbs and placed them under my lights in my potting room. I made a butternut squash soup with homemade chicken stock for dinner with homemade bread for dinner. Yummy! Friday night is pizza night. I make the pizza dough in my bread machine. It comes out perfect each and every time. I swear our kids could eat pizza every day! I hope the ladies had good weeks! Sounds nice, I too made a carrot leek soup for Fridays lunch, it is a favourite with some of the kids. I call it, "Harvest soup", because some kids won't even try because it says carrots and they don't know what leeks are! I also have made pizzas, 4 - 7 each and every day. I used to make pizza dough in my bread machine and yes it always turned out great. I use premade doughs for work. Nice and easy and the kids like it, if there was ever any left over pizza I might even try one. Well you all know how much I love pizza but everytime that I have attempted to make the dough in the bread machine, its one big flop. The texture is good but I don't like the taste so I always end up buying store bought dough. Maybe I'll call one of you girls for your recipe and give it another go.

I have had a good week, just very busy and I am tired. I have had a good problem with work. I am too busy for me and I think I am loosing money because I can't get everything done everyday that needs to be done. I don't think I can afford to hire full time help. So my compromise has been to look for someone for three days a week for 3 - 4 hours a day. And also be available for catered events and day long conferences. I have a friend from my small group who has been looking for work for awhile now. I asked her if she would be willing to help me out until she finds work in her field. Thankfully, she agreed. She is coming in tomorrow for some training and to get familiar with the operation. So I guess this means I am an employer! This is all freaking me out!!!!! Congratulations on being at the stage where you need more help. Your business is growing and that means that you are successful at what you are doing. I am sure that it is all very scary but you are a winner and you will always succeed at what ever you do.

For myself, it has been a busy week and I have been very tired. I am fighting a cold and a general feeling of unwell and I almost forgot that we were blogging today even though Caroline and I just talked about it only 12 short hours ago. I seemed to be able to get so much more done in one day but now a days the fatigue is really getting to me. I have my family over for my dad's 76th birthday on Saturday and then next week is Thanks Giving and I have a house full of people, both sides of the family will be over. I am tired just thinking about all of the work. I enjoy hosting, but it helps when I feel well and have more energy. It would be so nice to be invited over more often. My younger sister did tell me how much she loves when we were discussing my doing both events. It will be great!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Movie Review The Answer Man

Last night the husband was at work, the teenager out with friends and the little one was content playing in the basement. I had nothing to do (WOW) so I got comfy with a blanket, snacks and an ice tea and watched a movie I got from the library. I borrow all kinds of movies from the library, some are not bad, a few are good but most are boring. The good thing is since they come from the library I get them for a week and they are free, as long as I remember to return them on time.

So I started watching a movie called, "The Answer Man." Firstly, let me say I have never heard of it, and all along I thought it stared Lauren Graham ( and I thought it was Alan Alda . Whom I really like but thought it was odd he would be in a romantic comedy as he is much older then Lauren Graham. But who am I to judge and keep it mind it is a film festival movie. I start watching the movie and notice Jeff Daniels and Dumber) is in it. I am about a third into the movie when I realize that it is Jeff Daniels on the cover of the DVD case and not Alan Alda. Oh well, I am enjoying the movie anyway.

It is a typical romantic comedy (not so much comedy) boy meets girl. I am a sucker for a good RC (romantic comedy) and this one is good. The characters are believable and not perfect. Both have their quirks and the supporting cast are all likable and believable. The story takes place in Philadelphia and is about a chiropractor (Lauren Graham) who has recently moved to the city and set up a new practice. Jeff Daniel's character is an eccentric writer who throws his back out and needs her help. The dialogue is witty and smart, the supporting cast are funny and enjoyable and Jeff Daniels is outstanding and though I have always liked his acting I think this movie he really out does himself.

I also liked the scenery of Philadelphia and the soundtrack was enjoyable. I found the simple piano soundtrack enhanced the feeling of the movie and wasn't overpowering at anytime.

I would rate The Answer Man 4 1/2 out of 5.

Because this is a 2009 Sundance film festival movie I don't know if the neighbourhood movie rental would have it. But our local library does and it's free to borrow.

I did a quick Wikipedia search and read what it had to say. Of course the review from critics were negative. But over the years I have realized that if the critics don't like it then I will and vice versa.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Hi all, I thought I had better get something on the blog before I get chewed out by Carolin, lol! I am wondering what we are going to do about our latest book club book. We have all gone to the library, but, only two of us have our books. Mine is due back next Sunday. Maybe I should just read it and after we have all read it we can blog our thoughts on the book. Hey ladies, what do you think about that? (Carolin) I have started reading my book, I'm not waiting for Sunshine (Sunshine , how rude, I believe that you meant to say that you are waiting for Sunshine) as her book is pending. And I don't know what is going on with Louise's. Did she put the book on hold? I have read a few books by the same author before, what I remember is they were easy reads. Cathy, check on the Library website and see if there is a hold on it and if not then renew it. Will do. I remember we requested the book for Louise at the same time we all requested it. I think we did it under your library card and just requested the large print. Sorry girls, my book is still missing in action.

What is new this week? Does something have to be new? Oh, I know... it's shift bid time again at work. Every six months we go through a stress inducing shift bid for work. Every six months we all complain that the shifts are the worst ones yet! We bid in seniority order and then once again juggle our lives to try to make it work. The shift I have now is pretty good and yet it's not even offered for this winter bid! I really have no idea what I'll end up with. I bid on Monday at 1pm. I'll let you know next week what my life and the life of those I love will look like. Hey Carol, just to let you know the new shift will not start until November, 02nd. Good luck Cathy!!!!!

Ladies, how was your week? I have had a good week; even had an extra day off. Work is going well. I am very busy (too busy) and I need to hire some help but finding it a bit frustrating. The husband has been coming each day to help but I think he finds it a little stressful. I will have a very busy day tomorrow as I have my normal Friday crowd and a luncheon for 47 people at the same time. I have to be super organized tomorrow. Wow, good luck. It will be a piece of cake for you. (Dessert pun intended!) I am so happy that business is booming. I wonder where Sunshine is? She must be busy! Sorry ladies, it has been a busy week and I crashed for a while as I have not slept much in the last few days. I had a very sad funeral to attend. My cousin's husband died suddenly. He was only 43 years old and has left behind, a wife and three young kids. It was such a sad few days. He was healthy, as far as anyone knew. He had a physical just a week and a half ago and everything was normal. Last Sunday morning, he woke up and was feeling fine, then he went to watch tv and when they went to join him, he had already passed away. We had heard that is was a massive coronary but I don't really know for sure. His family is besides themselves! They are in shock and their grief is so painful to witness. I pray that they will find their way and see the light. My cousin was so brave. She has so much to worry about with making sure that the kids are going to be ok. Life is too short and can change at the blink of an eye.

Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Unexpected Day Off!

The little one and I arrived at school this morning at 7:30 AM (our usual time) only to find the principal and three VP's standing outside the school on their cell phones. I looked at the little one and said, "something is up and it doesn't look good". Sure enough it seems the school had no hydro due to the big thunderstorm we had last night. We had a storm? Guess I slept through it! The staff were in the midst of calling teachers, and student's homes to tell them school has been cancelled for the day. I had my blackberry with me (when do I not have my blackberry with me?) and quickly posted it on FB and then sent emails, texts and phone calls to all the staff, and students I have numbers for. I was also given a list to call, I think I woke up a few parents.

After the initial rush I remembered I was expecting a delivery from my food supplier today. Fortunately, he arrived at 8:00 AM and was kind enough to drive to my house (thank goodness I live close to the school) and we unloaded my order and put it in our home freezer. I then went back to school and unloaded the highly perishable food from the fridges (milk, cheese, meat, eggs) and brought all that home to put in our fridge. I heard after the 1997,9,8 Quebec Ice Storm that as long as you don't open your freezer, everything is good for up to 24 hours. I though it best to leave the freezer closed.

I got home, put all away and then made some phone calls. I was fortunate enough to get the little one in to see our Doctor for a refill of her Epi Pen prescription and then off to let her have a little pampering at the hair dressers. She very much needed her hair trimmed.

The teenager sent me a text asking me to pick up a few things for her and in my rush I locked my keys in the car. I called the husband but of course he didn't answer his phone, he NEVER does. He actually doesn't deserve a cell phone, but we will save that rant for another blog. The hairdresser offered to call CAA for me, but I figured by the time they came the little one and I could walked home. So that is just what we did, we walked home and laughed all the way. We stopped to examine a beetle, took some pictures on my phone of the changing colour leaves. Sang a song, told some jokes and had a good old time.

Over all it was a great day. Yes, I made no money today, but on the positive side nothing was lost food wise. I was fortunate enough to get personal stuff done that I had been putting off for some time now and had a few laughs at it.

I even talked to Sunshine today and understand she had the day off as well. What a blessing for the two of us!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Real Canada

I finished reading a novel last night titled, "Two of a Kind by Mina Ford." The cover of the book said it was funny (not), poignant (not really sure just what that means) and unforgettable (well, I hope it's forgettable).

The book is about two sisters (twins) who have drifted apart over the years. One lives in England and the other lives in Toronto. What caught my attention when looking for a book was the fact that one lived in Toronto. Wow, a book about my city, cool! Also, of course the book was marked down to $2.50. A book about my favourite city and it's cheap, can't go wrong there, can you?

I have never written a book but I have read thousands so I know a little about books. If a woman read this book (let's face it, it's a chicklit book, no guy is going to read it) she would get the impression that Canadians (Torontonians) love their coffee and donuts. That is true we are passionate about Tim Horten's for a great real cup of Joe with a maple glazed donut. But as far as I know nobody in Toronto or even Canada would ever buy a 'caramel macchiato' from Tim Horten's. Can you imagine someone waiting the 20 minutes in line to get to the counter and ask for a Caramel Macchiato, the cashier would look at them like they have two heads, Mr. John Deer wearing cap guy behind would scoff in scorn and the rest of us would look at you like you were some kinda freak. If you want good straight up coffee cheap, go to Tim Hortens. You want anything crazy go elsewere.

Later in the book they all head up to cottage country for a week. The sister from England loves it up in Muskoka. Of course who wouldn't, it is beautiful up there. But what she really enjoys is lying on the beach and watching the breeze rustle the leaves of the palm trees. That's right folks, palm trees. Either fictional characters from England can't tell a pine tree from a palm tree or this writer got a little mixed up and thought it got warmer the further you went north instead of south.

Now back in Toronto in the middle of July she talks about the heat and humidity but has one sister tell the other to make sure she brings a coat as the temperature plummets at night and it gets very cold. So all of you who complain that you can't sleep cause of the heat at night are just a bunch of fakers cause didn't you know it is flannel pj's at night in the middle of the summer!

Would I recommend this book? Well, if you have nothing to read and are not so into fiction that holds a little bit of facts - go for it but don't you dare get ripped off like me and pay $2.50 for it. Way too expensive, wait until you find it at a rummage sale for .25 a soft cover. Then go for it.

So, that book is done now it is time to start reading, "The Senators Wife," by Sue Miller. This is our latest book club read. So bloggers if anyone wants to join us head over to your local library and get a copy.

I know Cathy you have your copy, I have mine, Sunshine's is pending, I haven't heard from Louise so not sure if she has her copy yet.

Also benchers, I can't find my black fall coat. Have I left it at one of your houses?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Carolin) Well, Well, Well, looks like our Cathy is busy again being back at work. Let's see what is there to Catch Up on. The second week at work is going well. I am very busy, and am looking into hiring a person to help out. I have been blessed with numerous catering jobs on top of the daily cafeteria. I received an email from a women's church group (not the church I attend) asking me to quote for a dinner of 30. I was reading over the specs. and they are having a guest speaker come from the States with her entourage. There is a long list of food requirements, including the number of salad dressings! Well, reading it my first thought is, "will, they ask for all green M & M's to be removed?" (Sunshine) I am so curious to know why they don't want the green M&M.s. (Cathy) You are kidding about the green M&M's..... aren't you??? Yes I am kidding about the M & M's but they do require a dark green leafy salad with a minimum of four dressing and two must be fat free.

My school has a Pd day today so I am off which worked out really well because Little Miss Sunshine's school has a Pd day as well. So today we are hanging out and cleaning and going out for lunch and relaxing. Mr Sunshine comes home tonight, finally! He has been gone now for almost 10 days and it has been hard without him because we all really miss him. Fall is in the air and the leaves are changing colours and I absolutely love it. This is my favourite time of year. Mine Too! Miss Teen Sunshine is working this weekend and it is hard for her to get in all the homework and work all weekend, so it is really teaching her how to budget her time and how hard it is earn some money of her own.

First week back to work, nothing changed. I wonder why we always think things will be somewhat different after a time away? They never are, are they? I did see kids about today and wondered if there was a PD day. Now with both boys in High School, PD days are a thing of the past. Their school does late start Wednesdays. Classes start at 10am instead of 8:30am. The time before class is the PD time for the staff. No one seems to like the late start. I think if all had a vote they would have picked early out Fridays, instead! So if I undrestand they have no PD days. Do they still have early release days. I remember the teenager having many of them in highschool.

I just found out today that the husband of one of my friends at work has died, too young. The funeral is on Monday and I will attend. I was googling about why funerals are so important and I found this easy to read link: Check it out as it makes a lot of sense.

I seem to be offering my condolences to good friends far too often these days. May God Bless you all and keep you in peace. Amen. Thats cause you are getting OLD!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Carolin) Once again Cathy sends out the email that "Catch up Fridays" is set up and ready to go. I log in and I see a blank screen, nothing, nada. So what the heck am I supposed to talk about? I sent you an e-mail to warn you it would be a blank screen. I've been busy, lol! Yes, it has been one busy week as I am sure it has been for everyone with school age children. I am in my new kitchen at school and it is fabulous. Big, shinny, new and lots of light. I am slowly getting into a rhythm and working out the kinks. The students seem to be handling the new healthy food law changes pretty well. But of course, I can see it in my bottom line, I need to come up with some creative new ways to generate the income.

(Sunshine) I am so tired. It has been a very busy week and getting back into the swing of things will take some getting used to. My body did not receive the memo about early mornings and running around for my four and a half hour shift and let's not even mention all that has to be done after work. Mr Sunshine is away for the next week and a half and Miss Teen Sunshine starts her job tomorrow. Lots of driving around and lots of other things to do and only one parent is available to do it. I am ready for the challenge, but first I need some sleep. Nighty night everyone and sleep tight.

(Cathy) It was a busy week. I am still on vacation and am due back to work this coming Monday. The kids are settled in at school. It doesn't take long to get back into the routine, does it? The younger one is in his first year at high school and came home on the first day complaining that he already had two pages of math homework. Oh well, we warned him! Hubby started his new job this week and other than the commute (40 minutes as compared to 7 minutes in Sarnia) all is going well. We are all glad to have him back home!
It looks like we ladies are starting another book for our book club. I forget the title. I'm thinking it is called, "The senator's wife". I will let you know. We are waiting to get the books. Hopefully, next week.
Finally, I did post earlier on this week about the death of my girlfriend's father in Calgary. She and all of her family are in our hearts and prayers. God bless.

Have a great weekend and Cathy, thanks so much for keeping us all on track!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Follow Me, I'm Canadian - September 08th/2010


Tuesday, September 7, 2010The Great Canadian Link Exchange (Sept 8th)
Welcome to Follow Me, I'm Canadian
The Great Canadian Link Exchange
September 8th , 2010

HOSTED BY: Tanya of Little Village Naturals and Kat of Kat's Confessions creators of Canadian Moms - An online community for Canadian Moms and We Are Canadian - An online community for creative Canadians.

WHEN: Every Wednesday

WHAT LINKS: Blogs, Websites, Facebook "Like" Pages, Twitter, Shops, Stores, and/or MySpace.

1. Follow only those that you would like to. Please Do Not leave comments asking for others to follow you back. Let that be the choice of the individual you followed.
2. Please indicate what the link is associated with. (example: Kat's Confessions -Blog, Kat's Confessions - Twitter, etc.) Please do not add any extra comments to these posts.
3.You may leave the links for all of your sites, and profiles.
4.Please follow these rules, or unfortunately we will have to delete your post.

1. Add your link to the Linky Tool. Don't forget to tell us what the link is for.
2. Follow those you would like to follow. (Don't forget the Follow Me, I'm Canadian blog!) :)
3. If you would like to post about the hop feel free to grab a button for your post or sidebar. You may also copy and paste this post for your blog and grab the code for the list of links.
4. Have a fantastic time meeting fellow Canadians!
We are very excited that you have joined us today and look forward to seeing you Wednesdays for Follow Me, I'm Canadian!

Thanks for joining in on the fun,
Tanya and Kat

PLEASE NOTE: It has been brought to our attention that some participants are asking others to follow them back, and in our guidelines it asks that participants do NOT leave messages for those they follow asking them to follow them back. Please leave that choice up to those who look through the links, and decide who they would like to follow. We want this to be a place where people can find new, and interesting Canadian content as they choose. Leaving comments on others blog posts that have nothing to do with our site, asking to be followed back isn't what this site is about. Please be courteous of that. If you haven't read the guidelines before posting your links, please do so.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beginnings and Ends

My girlfriend, Carol, who lives in Calgary called me last night to let me know that her dad had passed on. Yesterday was his birthday.

Today is a day of firsts for many families. Carol, our love and prayers are with you and your family.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The First Day

What a busy time of year, as Cathy has said in an earlier blog September is really the start of the new year. School starts up again, I am back to work etc....

Today the teenager was sitting at the kitchen table in her pajama pants and a hand knit sweater she has had since she was 8 years old and yes it still fits her. Anyway, she was talking about her plans for the rest of the day and what she would be doing tomorrow. It is a big day for our family as the teenager goes off to university tomorrow. Even though she will still live at home it is a whole new ball game for all of us. This past week she has said to me numerous times that she has changed her mind and wants to go back to high school, she is scared, nervous, petrified etc. Today when she was talking about there being a Starbucks on campus she looked so happy and bubbly and excited. She reminded me of when she was little and Christmas was just around the corner. I wanted to take the moment of her looking so young, happy, and full of excitement for the future and bottle it so when life gets in the way I could open up the bottle and pour some of that wonderfulness on her and she will be like she is today.

So though I will be back at work in my brand new commercial kitchen, and the little one will start her first day of being in grade five. The husband will be at work, I know his and my mind will be thinking of the teenager and praying her day goes well and looking at the time, counting down the hours till we can see her and hear all about the first day of university.


P.S. maybe I should come up with a new name for the teenager. The teenager sounds too high school I need something more grown up. Well, before I get ahead of myself let's see what the first week brings us.