Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Happy Pancake Tuesday!

I had no idea of the origin of Pancake Day so I did a bit of research...this is what I found:

It even references our Newfie tradition of hiding coins, etc. inside the pancakes. That was always a lot of fun when we were kids.

Enjoy your yummy pancake supper (with molasses for me)!

New Church Baby Shower

Since moving to Acton, Jamie and I have been attending a new church in Georgetown. We were both quite nervous (especially Jamie) about starting over. We had always attended KRT in Brampton - a very large church. Georgetown Christian Fellowship is certainly much bigger than the church I grew up in back home but considerably smaller than Brampton.

Much to my delight (and Jamie's chagrin as he seems to prefer to kinda just be the "outsider") the people at this new church are SO friendly and welcoming. I really like it there. Years going to KRT with meeting barely anyone. And just a few weeks at this church and I feel as though I am already making some good friendly acquaintances.

My second Sunday in the church I was invited to a baby shower. I kinda know the girl for whom the baby shower was being held. Her husband attended the Pentecostal school in Deer Lake and I knew his ex-girlfriend. Anyways, I thought this would be a good opportunity to meet some of the ladies from the church. And it was a really good night. The Pastors wife used the baby shower as an opportunity to introduce new people (such as myself) to Becky (the new mom - who is also fairly new to this church). We had a good laugh, ate lots of your typical baby shower food, and I found out that there a couple of the younger ladies who do scrapbooking...and a couple of the 30-something and 40-something ladies who asked if I would teach them how. Any excuse to scrapbook, I'd be more than happy with.

The ladies had asked about Jamie. I told him that we are newlyweds (ahhhh, how nice) and explained that he wasn't really accustomed to regular church attendance before we got together but that he was very supportive of my being involved. They wanted to make sure he was comfortable and said to explain that they wouldn't be pushy, that they weren't interested in being super "religious" but wanted to be friendly and make him feel at home. Jamie's quite shy and nervous about this whole thing so I really wouldn't want him to feel pressured.

So I'm happy. Church has always been a part of my life. As a teenager it seemed less important but now that I'm on my own, I realize how great it really is. I'm convinced the founding fathers of our country would freak out if they now saw how many people hold religion in no significance in their life. And why complain about the various other cultures and religions coming in to "take over" our country if we are not willing to stand up for ours? Why would they care about our churches if we don't? It is so clear especially here in the GTA with the rate at which other religions are growing and building their own places of worship.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not just referring to MY religion as being THE ONE. Although I prefer my church, I also hold great value to christians who support and attend other denominations (be it Catholic, Anglican, Salvation Army, United, Baptists, whatever). We may be different but are so intertwined that it really is just ridiculous to fight over denomination. Some of the old traditions of the church in the past really were quite silly and I am seeing a big change. I remember the days of not being able to wear pants to church, no ear piercings or makeup, no going to dances, etc. It seemed that going to church meant you had to be perfect, that you couldn't have fun, couldn't have friends who were non-christians. But I don't believe these to be "Biblical" things and I am seeing a swaying toward following the Bible rather than just going along with what traditional "old time religion" taught us.

Anyways, enough of that (I wasn't intending to preach...lol) Religion really is such a touchy subject and sometimes full of so much bitterness and confusion for people. Just remember the future of our country and the future of your family and take God into consideration. We really are a blessed people in a blessed country and I would like to see it continue that way.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Baby Logan

Just want to share a couple of pics of Mark and Kayla's new baby boy. Enjoy, he's a cutie!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Polar Hunt

There was an article today in the Toronto Sun that really bothered me.

The article is entitled "Polar Extremes: Majestic King of the North faces fight for survival on two fronts: Big game hunters -- and greenhouse gases melting the polar ice cap"

It talks about sport hunting, specifically the hunt for polar bears. And the price tag for hunters to kill one of these majestic and beautiful creatures in our great white north?: a mere $25,000 - $50,000. And yes, it is legal. And yes, the Inuit people do profit from these sport hunts.

And that leaves me quite torn...
I am upset by the hunter who wants to kill a polar bear for sport.
But yet I have learned of how this helps our Inuit people earn income.

I am upset at the thought of any animal being killed for sport. The idea is so foreign and ridiculous to me, I simply can't wrap my mind around hunting for "sport", hunting for a prize, a trophy to mount on your wall, to gloat, for bragging rights, for the thrill of shooting something for the glory of the kill. This kind of hunting bears no respect for these animals.

I grew up in a hunting family, in a province where hunting is the "norm". Families depend on the hunt - of moose, caribou, rabbit, ducks, etc. for food. And I can certainly appreciate the need. I have no problem with hunting in this way. I can appreciate the fact that the people in the north hunt polar bears for furs, for the meat, for the bones and teeth, for anything and everything that can be used. The Inuit have hunted polar bears for centuries and I believe they have a right to do so.

But where to draw the line? It's such a fine one. The hunt for sport, though I believe to be wrong, greatly benefits the Native people of Nunavut. While I am upset by the sport hunter I just can't find it in me to be angry at the Inuit man who assists and guides in this hunt for the welfare of his family. Does that make me a hypocrite and completely undermine my argument? Probably...

My conclusion:
Hunt for food, to fill your freezers, to feed your families, to earn a living...yes, I understand.
But to the sport hunters who want to kill just to have a 1600 lb bear in their living room...I just don't get it!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Little Old Lady vs. The Young Punk

Driving home yesterday I witnessed a close call, nearly an accident:

(And who would you believe if faced with the decision of choosing between the story told by the little old lady and the story told by the young punk?)

Driver A minding their own business driving along in the left lane after just having made a nice left hand turn at the stop light up ahead.

Driver B swerving out of the parking lot on the left, across the road and way over the line almost completely cutting off Driver A.

I was stopped at the light and saw all this happen and was just holding my breath and waiting for the collision. Thankfully, no collision occurred.

But I thought of the police officer approaching the scene of this hypothetical accident. Who would he believe had there been no witnesses? Who would he be inclined to side with in the instance of Driver B stretching the truth to their obvious advantage. This police officer would be faced with a case involving completely opposite ends of the societal spectrum:

Driver A: SUV driving, sideways baseball cap, tattooed and pierced, black baggy bomber jacket, possibly new driver, young punk!!

Driver B: Silver sedan driving, permed white hair, stopping in at the local library to read over the top of the glasses perched across her nose, tweed jacket, delicate little old lady.

I'm pretty certain, as I face-up to my prejudices, who I would have believed had I been the police officer in this potential situation.
And that's pretty sad.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Guess what I had?

....Chicken Coop!! uh huh, oh YEAH! he he!

For those of you who know what this is, you understand my excitement. For those of you who do not, let me explain a little:

In picture above you will see a tiny little building separated into three portions, the far left of which was the ONE and ONLY take-out chicken/french fries place in the community I grew up in (at the time when I was home...). Yep, that's right...the one and only place to enjoy anything but mom's cooking. To give you an even crazier idea of the extent of this...the closest McD's? Over an hours drive away!

As for the name..."Chicken Coop" is just a nickname. The actual name of this little place is "The Lighthouse Restaurant". And oh boy, did we enjoy eating there? It was so great on a Saturday night to drive down and wait for ages for a piece of chicken and home fries smothered in thick gravy. So Good! So addictive that when you leave home you simply crave it far above anything else. It's the first place my friends talk about visiting when they hit the rock.

And maybe it's not just the food that brings you back in memory to a place like the Chicken Coop. It might be the waiting and salivating over the aroma of the salt air mixed with greasy fried fish and chicken. It might be sitting in the front of the take-out chatting and watching people come and go...especially the people from the bar across the street who never failed to make fools of themselves in their drunken stupors demanding fast food. Or it might simply be the breathtaking view of the ocean from the front window of the restaurant, a view so taken for granted when you live there, but so sorely missed when you move to a city devoid of nature in such splendor.

So when my brother flew home for a visit last week I knew what I would do. We chatted on MSN on Saturday and I told him to please bring me back a "snack" (that's 2 pcs of chicken with french fries and gravy). He said, "Well, mom and dad have the truck at the business meeting at the church for the rest of the night and it's really stormy." to which I replied, "Well call them and tell them you have an urgent request that requires their immediate attention"....ha ha..."I'll see what I can do, " he said. He understands, you see.

And when I called my brother yesterday morning, he gave me the fantastic news, he had in his carry-on, some frozen chicken and french fries and gravy. Mom had lovingly dumped it all into plastic containers and taped it all shut and froze it for the flight. (Mom always tapes everything with that wide packing tape as though it is bound for an adventure around the world and she never quite expects it will ever reach its destination fully in tact). And even after being nuked, it was still great! I overstuffed myself and couldn't even quite finish it all. (Jamie then enjoyed finishing for me).

And then I couldn't help but call my sister and tell her the wonderful news of my meal. Her reply, "Hey, where's mine? I'm the pregnant one, remember?"

Sorry...better luck next time!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Are you afraid of the dark?

I know this will sound incredibly silly and completely unnatural (with the nocturnal thing and all) but I think my cat may be afraid of the dark. No, seriously! He chases me around everywhere so when I go to the basement to do laundry he follows me there too. And he seems to like it down there, seems to have a desire to remain lying on the cold cement...but as soon as I walk up those stairs and turn off the light, he bolts up the stairs like a "cat out of hell" ...he, he...sorry had to say it. But yeah, I dunno...it's weird. And he always sleeps right outside our door during the night because I'm a really mean mom who won't let him stay in our bedroom.

And I think it could be a case of "like mother, like son" as I realized last night:

Since moving to Acton, it seems we lose power quite often, almost every time we have heavy snow or rain. So, of course, being the big wuss that I am, I secretly freak out on the inside about the fact that we have absolutely NO flashlights in the house with functioning batteries. And last night as the lights were flickering, I knew I still had to go to the basement to get laundry out of the dryer. I cursed the flashlights (all 3 of them) and went to light a candle that I could carry around with me in the event of possible complete power failure. And I go downstairs carrying the flaming candle... and I fold my 2 loads of laundry... and then I attempt to carry the heavy laundry basket full of flammable linens and cottons and wools, etc. in one arm back up the stairs while clumsily carrying the ignition source in the other hand....all of this with feline under foot. Hmmm...fear really has a tendency to make one quite irrational, doesn't it?

And then I went to bed safe and sound with my already snoring heavily (kinda like a power saw) husband and listened to the pouring rain and the beeping smoke detector signifying that the power really did finally go out.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Congratulations to Mark and Kayla Knott on the birth of their new baby boy, born late this morning, weighing in at approx. 8.5 lbs. All of the information I have is kinda 3rd hand so I will fill in the details later. I believe they had chosen the name Logan.

Mark & Kayla, all the best to you both in this new journey of starting a family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My Valentines Gift from Jamie

...bought fresh from the grocery store at 4:30 this afternoon on the way home from work with all of the other last-minute men in the lineup at the checkout...and of course, cause who are we kidding? he got me chocolates too!

I got him chocolates only...a huge toblerone bar (his favourite). He doesn't do so well with receiving flowers...somethin' about being too manly for flowers? "Manly"? I don't get it...oh well...he he :)


Monday, February 13, 2006

I'm at 2 Peas

Tara first introduced me to 2Peas in a bucket.com, a website where she posts her scrapbook layouts, cards, photoshoots, etc.

I have finally decided to become a member and have begun posting my layouts as well. You can check me out at the following web address:


I still have a bunch of layouts to post. And there are always new layouts being created, even though I'm currently stumped, no creative juices flowing whatsoever. Oh well, it'll come back to me I'm sure. I think I'm just feeling overwhelmed at falling behind and I really want to get started on my wedding album soon - and I'm intimidating myself with my own need for perfection with the wedding layouts...he, he :)

It would be an absolute dream come true to actually have one of my pages published one day...how sweet would that be??!!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Day 7 of the Evil Soup Diet (The End)

Well it's day 7...finally! And I have to say that the diet only actually lasted 6 days because today I absolutely and utterly BLEW IT! Today was supposed to be rice and veggies. I did have rice and vegetables but I had lots of other stuff too.

It all started this morning at church. An older couple introduced themselves to Jamie and I and after chatting for a bit they invited us to their house for lunch. And we went, we probably could have come up with some excuse not to go but nothing came to us in the moment, we stumbled over ourselves, "well it's up to you honey"..."oh no, really, it's up to you"...so we said yes. And it really was a great lunch with very nice people but it started off the ruination of rice day. We did have rice and salad (excellent!) but there was chicken and rye bread also (of which I sampled both).

For dinner, I had leftover salmon and strawberries...neither of which are on the agenda for today. AND, to top it all off, I bought brownies and ate some!!! EEEEKK!!

But overall I feel satisfied with what I've accomplished over the week. I must say that it was much easier at work with my diet buddy, Mike, to talk to AND the girls keeping me in line ensuring my success. As the weekend approached I knew it would be difficult to resist the temptations of being at home all day with all the food choices my cupboards would provide.

Total weight loss for the week as of this moment: 8 lbs.

It was 8 lbs yesterday too so I'm certain if I had followed along today I could have made the 10 lb mark that the diet promises.

This week I embark on the continuation of healthier eating. Weight watchers point counting...here I come!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Day 6 of the Evil Soup Diet

Today has been a bit of a better day now that I'm allowed to have meat AND veggies. I woke up late and had leftover chicken breast with salad for lunch. For dinner I had salmon and a salad (caesar this time, probably not allowed this dressing but oh well).

But today, despite it being an easier day, I've cheated....had a couple of chocolate chip cookies and a piece of Jamie's garlic bread.

And still, according to my scales, I have lost 8 lbs. I am so excited about that!

Tomorrow could be another rough day...brown rice and veggies, and that's it!

I'm off now to watch movies at Jen's and Chris's.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Day 5 of the Evil Soup Diet

...is meat and tomatoes day. Meat and tomatoes. But what to have for breakfast? Meat and tomatoes aren't breakfast foods. Well, maybe they are but not in my world. So in an effort to find an alternative I searched this diet online. One variety of the diet said that it was okay to have a cup of bran or other fibrous cereal after day 4. So bran it was that I had for breakfast this morning. And Jennifer suggested that I have bacon, so I had some of that too with my green tea.

I found it really hard to get down my beef and tomatoes at lunch. I think I was still feeling really full from the bran and bacon.

And the diet says to eat a lot of tomatoes - I admit that lunchtime is the only time today that I had ANY. That's the first thing I cheated with today. And, I admit for dinner I ate some of Jamie's french fries (I KNOW!!! I'M SORRY!!) with my skinless chicken breast.

This is so hard! I have to make up by keeping busy and eating really well tomorrow with the meat and veggies. Again, I'm going to have the breakfast dilemma but at least I can have a salad for lunch which I'm really excited about. Salad has really been the one thing I've enjoyed during this week.

Saturday -- yup, that's going to be a hard day -- I really have to keep occupied -- clean, clean, scrapbook, scrapbook, and more scrapbook! I hope my scrappers block is over!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Day 4 of the Evil Soup Diet

I'm feeling pretty good today. Last night for supper I decided to eat a can of the PC Beef Vegetable soup (contained naturally, no MSGs) and felt so much better. It still has the green beans and carrots and onions, it did have a little bit of beef (which I did eat because I felt good about protein on volleyball day), and potatoes (I did NOT eat the potatoes since it's one of the forbidden foods other than on day 2)

Today is Banana & Skim milk day. Or, as another website put it, Banana smoothie day - that makes it sounds a little better I guess. For me, I'd just rather drink the milk although I'm really not a fan of white milk, I always put chocolate syrup in mine...he he! And bananas, I really like. So far so good. I have another can of soup for lunch and again, feel good about it. I'm not feel stressed and horrified over eating THE horrid evil soup. I figure any vegetable soup is good, better than quitting!

According to my scales this morning, I am down 6 lbs. I don't see a big difference or anything but I'm happy for the kick start.

Speaking of kick-starts, I've been searching the internet and finally found a website that actually does describe this diet as exactly that - a kickstart - to continued healthy eating. AND, very helpful indeed, it lists the type of low-GI foods you should include in "Step 2"
This website also reminds us again that this is not a diet to be prolonged or continued on a regular basis. It suggests a maximum of doing this diet only 3 times within a 6-month period. That's one week every 2 months.

Tomorrow I finally get to eat BEEF! I'll have leftover roast beef for lunch and grilled steaks for dinner. Should be yummy!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Day 3 of the Evil Soup Diet

I have decided that I HATE this soup. Last night I managed to get it down for supper...but barely! I immediately thought that I might throw up in distaste but instead called Christa for some emotional support.

Suggestions to make this diet possible for me to continue:
- Make a new batch of soup, the way I would normally make soup minus the potatoes
- Eat any soup. I.e. A Campbells variety of veg soup which still shouldn't have too many calories.
- Hold my nose and just swallow the soup I've made already

So far today I am doing good with the fruit I've been snacking on all morning (Grapes, canteloupe, apple), for lunch I will have salad again...but tonight for dinner I think I will try a can of soup. Volleyball tonight so I don't have time to make a whole new batch even if I decide that I want to.

I just don't want to quit...but I don't want to end up being malnourished either. The soup is supposed to be what fills you up whenever you're hungry. I'm feeling hungry because I can't stomach the soup. Any suggestions to keep me on this thing for the next 4 days?

And to add insult to injury, I have complete scrappers block. Thought I would be able to finish some layouts this week, tried to get a page done last night...but NOTHING! I have my pics ready but I can't even make it to the next step of choosing co-ordinating papers. Not a single idea is coming to my head when I sit down at my scrapping desk. I'm usually a pretty creative person, gotta figure out a way to get those juices flowing. In the meantime I guess I'll be scraplifting.

And can someone please tell me how I can scan 12 x 12 layouts? I have no idea since the scanner is too small to fit the full page size...is there a specific program where you can piece the 2 sides of the layout together? I'm a complete idiot about this but would love to learn so I can perhaps open an account with 2peas and start posting my layouts. Please tell me...???

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Day 2 of the Evil Soup Diet

Today is veggie day and I'm doing OKAY. I had carrots and cucumbers for breakfast and snack with green tea. I had salad for lunch with balsamic vinegar and just a smidge of olive oil (don't think the olive oil is permitted but oh well), I enjoy salad. But I still can't get the soup down very well. Mike R brought me his version of the soup since he's doing the diet as well but I still don't like it very much. Don't know what it is --can't pinpoint anything in particular besides the fact that I just really struggle with cooked veggies.

Tonight for supper, I am looking forward to having a large baked potato with butter. This is the only day that potato is permitted and I never thought I would ever be so excited about it! And of course I need to have the soup too. No soup and the diet won't work I guess so I gotta force a bowl of it down.

As of this morning, if my scales are accurate, I lost 2 pounds.

Tonight I plan to do some scrapbooking, hoping to keep myself busy so I can stop thinking of all the things I CAN'T eat. I had a headache last night and a little bit today. Nothing serious but I think it might be the sugar/carb withdrawals.

Tomorrow should be a better day - I HOPE - since I'm allowed to have fruit again.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Day 1 of the Evil Soup Diet

As some of you know, I've decided to do this crazy soup diet that I saw on a blogger website. It's kinda like a "fast" to clean your body of impurities. I really think I need the kickstart to get back on track with some weight loss.

Today is soup and fruit day -
The fruit I can handle. I'm really a fruit lover.

The soup, on the other hand, is vegetable soup. I love soup but I really hate vegetables. Normally my soup consists of a meat base (beef or chicken) with potatoes and carrots and turnip. This soup has tomatoes and green beans and celery and peppers and millions of carrots. And supposedly, the more soup you eat, the better this diet will work. This is going to be a problem...but I'm not giving up. I will do this! Tonight I will puree my soup for supper so I don't have to eat those chunks of legumes.

Check in tomorrow for "Day 2 of the Evil Soup Diet" when Myrna turns into the bitchiest girl you ever did meet due to sugar withdrawal and the fact that day 2 is an "all veggie day". Some a little prayer for me will ya?

Baby Shower

Tracey's baby shower was a great success...big thanks to everyone who came out and to everyone who sent along gifts!

We had fun playing tacky shower games. I tried desperately to come up with something different that we hadn't already played at the last 2 showers. So with the clothespin game (the one where you usually can't cross your legs or say "baby"). Well, we tried something a little different and you weren't allowed to say the guest of honours name, "Tracey". This made for a very fun afternoon since most people want to chat with Tracey and end up saying her name across the room to get her attention. "Hey You" just didn't seem to cut it. And of course, Aunt Val won this game. She always does! he he :)

And we also played the game where you have to guess the baby food inside the unlabelled jars. Funny! Some of them are so hard! And I did a new game that I hadn't seen before where I placed a bunch of various "baby items" (I.e. socks, diaper shirt, infant cereal, plug-in covers, bottle) inside brown paper bags and guests had to figure out the items by feeling the outside of the bag only. And then we ended up having a bunch of people who were tied for first place with 7 out of 8 items correct. Our tie-breaker was this - I brought Tracey into the kitchen and whoever could remember the most items she was wearing (clothes and jewellry) would win. Cousin Michelle won this AND the baby food if I'm not mistaken. She really knows her baby shower games!

I'm posting a couple of pics of the gift opening. Tracey got the one big item that she really needed, a tandum (double) stroller because Isabella is still too little to walk around on her own. Otherwise, guests really gave awesome stuff. Tracey said she really needed diapers and wipes, of course, and lots of diaper shirts and sleepers. She already has a lot of the other baby stuff from her first two. She did very well! Thanks again!


Tracey's baby shower was on the weekend and I have a pretty funny story about my busy little niece, Isabella.

We were all in the living room occupied with games and food and opening gifts. Isabella was kinda just wandering around and playing, going up and down the stairs to the family room, etc. (She even fell down the stairs once...ooops!) My cousin-in-law, Vicki, was sitting closest to her and kinda kept looking out for her, chasing her around a little bit to make sure she didn't get into too much trouble, etc.

And then we noticed that we hadn't seen or heard Isabella for a little while, Tracey asked, "Where's Isabella?" (She really couldn't go too far but ya just gotta make sure). Vicki went to check on her and then we hear Vicki bursting into laughter. Isabella had found Cavelle's cigarettes and was taking them one by one and cracking them in half! OMG, we were all laughing so hard, especially at Cavelle, "Oh My! Those were my last pack too!" Devestatingly hilarious! Ya just gotta know Cavelle...she's the funniest.

We took a few pics of the incident...and I just noticed that the cigs were on top of a newspaper from a few days ago. The headline says "WHO DID THIS?" ha ha! How appropriate is that title??!!

I'm just glad this ended up being a funny story...on the other side of the spectrum, it could have just as easily been a very scary and dangerous situation with the lighter inside the pack. An old friend from highschool was seriously burned as a child in a similar incident. So if you're not accustomed to having small children around please make sure to have a conscience about putting those smokes WAY UP HIGH when they come to visit.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

More than Words

In the spirit of upcoming Valentines Day, I would like to share a cute little story about my hubby. He's definitely a "more than words" kinda guy. Yes, he tells me he loves me all the time (we women LOVE to hear those words, don't we?), but he's also really great at the cuddly make-ya-feel great kinda stuff too. He will surprise me by vacuuming, make me dinner if I'm gone for the day and he's at home, he greets me with hugs and a kiss and a "how was your day?". But yesterday when he came home from work he was in a rotten mood. He had gotten into a bit of a scrap with his boss (his boss is also a good friend of his). I had just gone to the drugstore and bought my very first Materna vitamins and was very anxious to tell him about my latest purchase and our first step toward becoming potential parents. Much to my disappointment, he just kinda shrugged and gave me a weak smile, barely a response at all. So I just put my vitamins on a spot on the counter so I would remember them every day and I left him alone, I was getting ready for volleyball anyways and he is entitled to the occasional grumpy mood. Lord knows he puts up with enough from me. And then this morning when I came downstairs I went to the kitchen to prepare my breakfast and lunch for work and there on the counter, next to my vitamins, he had placed his own men-formula vitamins (he hasn't taken them in ages!). And it really made me smile. I know it's just something little but this simple and loving show of support, our vitamins together on the counter, just really seemed to say so much more about us. A quiet gesture that spoke to me about his appreciation of this next step in our lives. I just hope through all else that's sure to come our way that I will never be blind to seeing these "little things" because they really do mean everything.