"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

I know I said "blog like no one is reading" but it's nice to know these people are

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celebrating Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Spring or Any Excuse for a Party

I'm hosting a little get together tomorrow night and I think I have come up with the perfect party food. Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches or if I want to be really fancy I could call them Paninis and do an Italian theme. Either way it is my kind of party. Starts anytime after six o'clock and everyone will be out the door by nine at the latest. Friday is Jazz Mania in our town and it is like a Pub Crawl for grown ups. I wrote about it here last year and it one of the highlights of living where we do because it is the first spring event when we can all shed our winter coats (hopefully) and get out to see people who have been in hibernation all winter and listen to some great music.

But back to my pre-party. Since the evening does go on for quite a while and does involve lots of beverages including the kind you put in a plastic cup called "travellers" in these here parts and to which the local constabulary turns a blind eye, I thought that we really needed something substantial to eat before we all set off. But with 26 or more people coming I didn't want to do dinner. Et voila, the gourmet grilled cheeses. So I am off to our local cheese shop to stock up on lots of ooey gooey dairy products to hold the multitude of fillings I am thinking of using like proscuitto, sun dried tomatoes, pear, apple, basil, rare roast beef, Montreal smoked meat, and smoked salmon. And every kind of bread our local bakery bakes from multigrain to marble rye to raisin. I might even have to do a retro white Wonder Bread and Kraft Cheese slices with ketchup for dipping for fun. The possiblitites are endless and making me hungry so I had better get going but, if you have any great suggestions, please let me know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back to life. Back to reality

"It's hard to come home from a holiday," Number One Son said last night and it wasn't just that we had gotten up at 4am to get to the airport in time to make our flight. It was very hard and here is just of taste of why ...

I promise more pictures and words are to come once I get through the mounds of laundry.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Warts and All

I know that I should be writing something cheery on this beautiful spring morning but as many of you know blogging is often a good way to get things off your chest so today I have christened a new label for my posts. Here goes the first "Warts and All" post of blog like no one is reading.

Yesterday was one of those that started okay but then spiralled downward out of control through no one's fault but my own. Every word that came out of my mouth was mean, every thought was negative. My children could do no right and everything I did was wrong and it was completely and utterly my fault. I shouldn't have let something my son told me upset me so much, he was merely repeating what a parent had said to their child about another one of mine. Something that was so ridiculous and untrue that I wanted to run over and scream horrible things from the sidewalk outside their house. I was tired and truth be told I had had two glasses of wine and if nothing else that always brings my emotions simmering just below to the surface and where a little thing can make me erupt like a volcano. Unfortunately it was the anger that came bubbling up and it threatened to engulf my children and even my Other Half who was hundreds of miles away.

I can't imagine what I would do if someone really threatened one of my children - this time it was just blaming one for something that had happened over five months ago which I thought had been dealt with and forgotten. But my real problem was that instead of picking up the phone and calling to ask for an explanation, instead I let it fester and when the boys started doing their usual thing - goofing around at bedtime, not brushing their teeth, I lost it - again for the third or forth time.

This isn't my way of saying I'm sorry to the boys, I did that when I tucked them in last night and while I still haven't figured out how I am going to deal with the other family, I know I have to get a handle on my anger and who it is directed at so that the volcano can remain dormant.

Watch your thoughts;
they become words.
Watch your words;
they become actions.
Watch your actions;
they become habits.
Watch your habits;
they become character.
Watch your character;
it becomes your destiny.
— Lao-Tze

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's a small world after all ...

Sorry, I know you'll have that song stuck in your head all day but it really is a small world in RL. A friend who lives nearby started training for his new job recently and has been posting lots of updates on facebook about working in the fast food industry. He is a regional manager for a company which runs a bunch of different chains and so as part of the training he has been behind the counter, manning the fryer and flipping burgers.

Yesterday as I was madly trying to clean the house and get caught up on everything before we head south next week my Other Half called en route to deliver some boats in upstate NY. He was almost at the border when he realized he had forgotten his passport. Thank you 9/11 for making a passport mandatory when entering the USA. In the good old days we would just hop in the car with our driver's licenses or even once with just a university student card (must remember to post about road trips someday) and off we'd go to Burlington, Vermont on a Ben & Jerry's run. But those innocent days are no more. He had driven five hours only to have to turn back while I got in the car with his passport to meet him somewhere in the middle. I suggested that he could just put the boat in the St Lawrence River and row it across to the New York side but he didn't find that very helpful.

So we met along the side of the highway on the outskirts of the city and after I had handed over the documents, he had filled up with caffeine, off we went in opposite directions. But there is just something about spending six hours in the car that makes me crave fast food so I turned off into a Harvey's restaurant and went in to get something greasy and lo and behold who was behind the counter, hairnet and all? My friend. It took him a moment to recognize me and luckily it wasn't too busy so after I had stopped laughing and threatening to take a photo to post immediately on facebook we got caught up and off I went with a particularly tasty burger to get me through the ride home.

So that's my small world story told in a typically round about fashion. Have a great weekend and don't forget to join Midday Escapes for the -

Friday Follow

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Remember to ...

I bought this bracelet from suetables a month or so ago and had "breathe" stamped on the disc to remind me when I am about to blow my stack to do just that. It doesn't always work but I wear the bracelet every day in the hopes that I don't completely lose it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

You know you live in a small town when ...

This is who you see at the drive through

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Loverly Long Weekend

Wow, someone up there must really like us. We had the most gorgeous four day long weekend in forever. Friday the temperatures soared into the high 20's, Celsius, of course (that's in the 80's for you guys on the other side of the thermometer) and we went skiing for the last time. It was perfect, the snow held until lunch when we were all ready to quit for a beer on the beach, I mean deck. We didn't play golf but the boys did swim in our neighbours unheated pool.

Friday night our friends from the city came up and we ate fresh trout from a local hatchery with roasted vegetables, lentil salad and warm potato salad. I love having this family up because Jamie is a trained chef and every time he is in my kitchen I learn something new. We barbecued the fish with fennel and lemons, tossed the lentils with golden beets and added the roasted potatoes to arugula. Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the food because he plated it beautifully as well.

Saturday morning we got up to another glorious day, the kids were outside in their pj's and we ate the left over trout in a fish hash with poached eggs on the deck in the sun. Number One Son played his last game of hockey for the season in the All Star Game, he was one of the top six goalies in his division and then we packed up to head down to my Mum's for an Easter sleepover. Unfortunately the Easter Bunny did not take in to account the heat in the car as it sat in the arena parking lot and the chocolate hockey puck, soccer and footballs looked more like bunny droppings when she put them in the boys baskets that night. But they didn't seem to mind. And even my mother who has opted out of most holidays since her children grew up got into the spirit, buying goodies for everyone. She thoughtfully checked the label on each package for "May contain nuts" so that my Other Half would be safe. But she neglected to read the actual ingredients, missing "peanut butter" as a major one. Luckily my oh-so-cautious Other Half re-reads everything that anyone (including myself) buys. Mum was a little embarassed and her grandsons will never let her forget it.

Easter morning the boys stayed in their beds eating their melted sporting equipment until 7am and then the hunt began. The Easter Bunny hides jelly beans and chocolate eggs all over the house and my mother's house is perfect with lots of nooks and crannies. It took them almost 20 minutes to hunt and that must be a record. Ususally it's over in 5 minutes. After another delicious meal of Eggs Benedict we headed outside for the hunt all over the property. My sister has hidden plastic eggs with more candies in them everywhere on Mum's 25 acres. That one took a little longer. Then we flew kites, blew bubbles and enjoyed the warm sun.

The last leg of our Easter tour took us to my in-laws where despite not having any counters in her recently remodelled kitchen my MIL put on a wonderful turkey dinner and the boys had a great time with their teenaged cousins, playing in the stream, skateboarding and playing rugby.

Not being a terribly religious family we didn't go to church so no thoughtful sermon to report on but I did hear a funny joke which if you are a hockey parent you will appreciate.

Three blondes found themselves at the Pearly Gates where St Peter greeted them and said, "I will let you in if you can tell me the meaning of Easter."
The first blonde, an American said, "Sure, Easter is a big feast when we give thanks, eat turkey and watch football."

"Nooooo," St Peter said and sent her elsewhere.

The second, a Brit said, "Easter is when we celebrate Christ's birth and exchange gifts."

"Nooooo," St Peter said and sent her away.

The third blonde, a Canadian said, "Easter is when we remember that Jesus was crucified on the cross and died for our sins and was buried in a tomb."

"Very good" said St. Peter. And the blonde continued. "Now every year they roll away the boulder and if Jesus comes out and sees his shadow we have six more weeks of hockey."

P.S. Question? I just had to re-type that entire joke. How can I just copy and past into a post?

Friday, April 2, 2010

I don't have a Bucket List

Friday Follow

I was ahead of the game when I wrote this post last night but I really like Friday Following so I will combine the two and hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend.

Or a life list or any other kind of list on which I intend to check things off like swimming on the Great Barrier Reef or bungee jumping off the Lion's Gate Bridge or appearing on a reality TV show. No, those things just don't do it for me and sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with me. Everyone these days seems to be setting goals to run a half marathon or write a novel or learn to dance the tango. Me? I hate running and while I love writing I can't fathom writing enough for a novel and I can't follow anyone while dancing. I never dreamed I'd be riding again until my husband and children surprised me with a horse for Christmas but I have no intention of going on the show jumping circuit. I don't want to swim across Georgian Bay or go on a solo canoe trip. I don't want to go back to school and get my Master's or learn to play the guitar. I don't want to meet any movie stars or backpack across Australia. I don't aspire to make a Baked Alaska or be in the Guiness Book of World Records for anything.

But as I approach my 44th birthday later this month I did come up with a list of the few pretty cool things, if I do say so myself, that I have done - so far.

  • I have lived in three countries

  • I have driven a vintage Jaguar convertible with the top down

  • I have made love on the beach

  • I had a French Canadian boyfriend

  • I have seen the Northern Lights

  • I spent two nights in the woods alone

  • I married my high school sweetheart

  • I went topless on the beach in the south of France

  • I have skied in the Alps

  • I have eaten snails, alligator, venison and muskox

  • I know how to make a fire, clean a fish and paddle a canoe

  • I taught my then boyfriend, now husband how to drive a stick shift

  • I might be able to add sking and golfing on the same day today, I'll let you know

So, all in all, that's not a bad list and I guess the thing about me is I am not very good at planning things long term so I will never set five year goals or even make big plans for my 50th birthday but I am usually game for anything when it comes along. Call me spontaneous or maybe just lazy but I do believe that life is what happens when you are busy making plans.

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