Sharing My World 78

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There were no new world sharing questions this week.  Normally this would not be a big deal for me since I am generally clueless about stuff like what day of the week it is at the best of times, and it could be construed as surprising that I even noticed.  But I did.  And consequently I’ve had some remorse about my silence.  I needed my question-answering fix for the week.

So I searched the internet for some random questions that didn’t hurt my brain.  I hope my answers won’t hurt yours too much.

Are you the person now you thought you’d be when you were little?

When I was little I never once imagined myself as anyone’s grandma, that’s for sure.

Now that the grandma thing is happening I realize that all grandmas have a finite number of stories to tell and they just keep on telling them because what the hell else do they have to do?  So if you’ve heard this one before, too bad.  I’m old and I don’t care.

When a teacher asked us to paint a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up, I imagined myself as a brilliant and beautiful blonde singer on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Sadly in real life I had extreme stage fright, a less than stellar singing voice, and what I considered totally the wrong face for blonde hair.  “Brilliant” and  “beautiful” on their own alas turned out to be insufficient traits for this particular ambition.  Plus Ed died before I could get my shit together.

I guess none of it was meant to be.  But the childhood friends who laughed at me when I shared this dream will forever live in my memory as little jerks.  I knew myself it was not realistic, but could you not have humoured me for five minutes?

Have you ever had your heart-broken?  Have you ever broken someone else’s heart?

Heartbreak is such a subjective thing.  Little things break your heart when you’re little, like when your brother pulls the head off your doll and demands money from you for revealing its current whereabouts.  It’s all about loss, and the losses get progressively bigger and more serious as you grow up.  You lose a good friend, you break up with a boyfriend, you have to abandon an unrealistic dream.  But wait, life has way more heartbreaking stuff to throw at you. A lover moves on and leaves you grieving for what might have been, opportunities disappear, a grandparent dies.  Then you lose your parents and a sibling and you wonder what you were so upset about before those things happened.  And then you wonder how much more breaking your heart can actually take.  Or if it will eventually get so hard and calloused that it just rolls with the punches, because you know those hard knocks aren’t going to stop.

If I’ve caused a broken heart I am truly sorry.  But I believe,  because I can’t think of a specific instance off the top of my head of ever doing it deliberately to anyone,  that maybe it hasn’t happened a lot.  Huh. Well, no doubt there’s still time.

When you think of home, what comes to mind?

After W and I first got married we both thought of where we grew up as home.  As in ‘let’s go home for Christmas.’  It took a long time for us to refer to wherever the two of us currently lived together as our REAL home.  Having kids helped with that because it was their home.  Is that weird or normal?  I seem to ask myself that question a lot and rarely know the answer and probably won’t believe yours anyway, so just ignore that bit.

Now I think you just take home with you wherever you go.  It’s a feeling, more than a place. A sense of peace and love and being safe from harm.  It can be as big as a country or as small as a backyard.  And the people who have broken my heart by leaving were simply on their way home.  I need to suck it up and be thankful I got to walk beside them and share so many small parts of their journey.

Name one of your greatest strengths, and one of your greatest weaknesses.

Adaptation is a big strength.  Because everything changes.  Everything!   Might as well get used to it.

Worry is my most crippling weakness, not to mention a royal pain.  Sometimes when something I’ve been fretting about finally happens it’s a colossal relief because then I can just move on and adapt to it.  And yeah, that one is definitely weird.

What did life teach you yesterday?

It taught me that many people who want to cut sugar out of their diets still want to pretend they are eating things that contain sugar.  They post sugarless, wheatless, grain free, gluten-free, dairy free, diabetic friendly recipes for brownies and cookies and cheesecake and bread.  Why don’t you weirdos just stop eating cupcakes and chocolate mousse and bogus donut shaped things that no one in their right mind can be fooled into believing are bagels?  It won’t kill you to cut desserts out of your diet and just eat a completely un-messed with banana or something.

I’m sorry but “bread” made with sixteen eggs and almond flour is not even remotely close to being bread-like.  Do you really need toast that smells like burnt eggs?  I know I can live without it.

I can also live without eating shortbread and butter tarts although I made them both for W because it’s Christmas and I didn’t want him moping around whining about missing them.  Believe me, no one wants that.  I did not attempt to make a pastry-less, raisin and nutless,  no brown sugar, no corn syrup, butter-substitute loaded tart although I’m sure someone in the world has tried it and will be posting the godforsaken recipe on Facebook shortly.  Do not fall for it.  Some things are meant to be coma inducing sugar bombs and we should just accept that and let them be.

Deep down, who are you really?

Well if all this didn’t give you at least a couple of clues and an ill- informed opinion, I don’t know what to say.

I’m pretty ordinary as humans go.  I guess deep down I’m my mothers daughter, least likely person to ever want to break your heart.  My mother did not laugh at my goal to become a famous singer, she simply told me the picture I drew was nice.

It’s not that hard to be kind. We should probably all try it more often.  And if you’re one of those people trying to make the things we eat healthy, I’m sorry I was snarky, and good for you.  My mom tried to make pie shells once with whole wheat flour.  They were disgusting, but we all knew her heart was in the right place.

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Sharing My World 77

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Share Your World – December 4, 2017

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

I half-assed hate all of them.  Vacuuming (and sweeping and washing and polishing) floors is brutally hard on my back.  And even when it isn’t I will complain that it is.  Cleaning bathrooms is puke inducing.  Laundry is just an annoying pain in the ass.  I guess it’s ass day here at Breathing Space headquarters.  Sorry.

Okay, if I absolutely hate it, it’s probably something I never do, like washing walls or cleaning blinds.  It’s insane to ever do something you absolutely hate doing.  Nothing insane about me!  My daughter dusts my blinds.  It’s just one of the many reasons why I love her.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

Right after I retired and really, ever since to some degree.  Except I’ve calmed down a tad lately and no longer wake up every morning screaming in my brain OMFG I DONT HAVE TO GO TO WORK TODAY OR TOMORROW OR ANY OTHER DAY EVER UNTIL I DIE!  And not even after that, as far as I know.  I guess going to work was a chore of which I was less than fond.  Not that my job was horrible, it’s just that being the boss of my own time is infinitely better.  I certainly roll my eyes a lot less.

I have passionately pursued my art and redecorating and decluttering since retiring.  Along with sleeping in.  That is a popular one.  Now I believe I’m in a transition phase, although I have no clear vision of where I’m transitioning to.  Hopefully it’s not permanent couch potato status.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years?

Zero.  We are stuck in a house bound rut.  I just counted on my fingers sixteen different places I’ve lived, but don’t quote me on that because my math skills are less than stellar.  Our next move, should we choose to get off our asses and make one, will be to something smaller with no stairs and minimal yard work.  Preferably self-cleaning.  My mother-in-law, in her nineties, still lives in the two-story, laundry-in-the-basement home W grew up in.  I don’t know whether I should call that amazing or just down-right dangerously nuts.  Well actually I do know, but I try to be polite and mind my own business most of the time.

I hope we both are smart enough to know when it’s time to down size and simplify and give up doing things like cleaning out eaves troughs and trimming trees and driving vehicles and operating machinery and going up and down stairs and cooking eight course gourmet meals.  (Already ditched that last one, if it’s possible to ditch something you’ve never actually done before in your life).

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I love that my grandchildren are growing up and heading ever closer to adulthood and even though every one of them faces difficulties and issues and growing pains, it’s okay.  Because I’m not the one who has to deal with it.  Haha.  Yeah.  That IS a selfish bad grandma attitude despite the fact that of course I’m here if I’m ever asked for help or advice, but I’m also perfectly happy to stay out of it.  Our parents had confidence in us to deal with our kids without interference and I have the same confidence in mine.  So the inspiration for that little rant came from a weekend visit and conversations with my son and with my daughter-in-law.  Yes, kids, we talk about you when you’re not around, but you are in good hands.  Just don’t be assholes.

I’m running out of ways to incorporate the ass word in this revealing share, so I see no point in going on.  Plus I’ve taken the “sitting still” thing to its maximum limit for today.  Oh, who am I kidding.  There is no agreed upon limit for that.

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Weird Things

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(from Facebook, not sure who to credit, but somebody deserves a lot of it)

I don’t remember where this list came from, but “weird things about me” is a prompt I found hard to resist.  Is that weird?

I suppose the real weird part is having it sit in my drafts folder for six months.  So “hard to resist” may not mean what I think it means.  Anyway, here you go.  Feel free to copy and paste the questions so we can compare weirdness.
1.  Do you like blue cheese?

Absolutely cannot get past the appearance and smell to put it in my mouth.  So I guess that means no.

2. Coke or Pepsi?

Not sure (in a blind taste test)  if I’d be able to tell the difference.  I think I prefer Pepsi but I’ve been buying Coke Zero.  A lot of things in my life are confusing like that.

3. Do you own a gun?

Nope.  Although there’s still a couple of shot guns in the house from W’s trap shooting days, complete with permits.  They are locked away, separate from ammunition.  We are good law-abiding Canadians who will have to fend off intruders with kitchen knives and random blunt objects.  I don’t really have a clear plan.

4. What flavor Kool-aid?

Never touch the stuff.  Raspberry Crystal Lite is pretty good.  I prefer making my own lemon water with Truvia.

5. What do you think of hot dogs?

I think it’s bizarre that white bread with mystery meat and a pile of condiments can taste so good.

6. Favorite tv show?
7. Favorite movie?

I refuse to answer questions containing the word “favourite” especially when it’s spelled incorrectly.

8. What do you drink in the morning?

Water to swallow daily meds and coffee to improve my disposition.

9. Can you do a push-up?

Not likely.

10. Favorite jewelry?
11. Favorite hobby?

Leave me alone.

13. Do you wear glasses?

Yes, when I’m driving.  Otherwise I squint a lot at things in the distance and may appear to be rude and stuck up when I don’t recognize your face at twenty paces and ignore you.

14. Favorite cartoon character?

Cartoons are stupid.

15. Three things you did today?

Went to our accountants office to sign some papers.  Ate a McDonalds breakfast.  Whipped off an email to my baby sister to wish her a happy birthday and let her know her card will be late because I’m a procrastinating moron.  That last part she knows already so I didn’t have to actually point it out.

16. Three drinks you drink regularly?

Coffee. Times three.  And LOTS of water if that counts.

17. Current worries?

Why is life so expensive?  That’s about it.

18. Current hates?

Politics.

19. Favorite place to be?

Home.  Drinking coffee.

20. How did you ring in the new year?

Blissfully unconscious.  Probably snoring.

21. Where would you like to go?

Back to Ontario.

22. Favorite color?

Red. COLOUR.  I know, I’m being anal.

23. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?

No clue.  But the slipperiness might be weird.

24. Can you whistle?

Very badly.  One barely audible note.

25. Where are you now?

On the couch in my living room. From here I can observe the approach of intruders, assuming they choose to gain access through the front door.

26. Would you be a pirate?

Probably not a very good one.  Not a fan of ships and oceans.  Or looting or swords.

27. Favorite food?

Not blue cheese.

28. What’s in your pockets?

Air and lint.

29. Last thing that made you laugh?

The news.  It also sometimes makes me cry.  And the picture at the top of this post. OMG the look on that cats face.

30. Favorite animal?

Stop it.  Okay, it’s that cat.

31. What’s your most recent injury?

I have a huge bruise on my left leg at the knee.  Must have bumped in to something.  Can’t give you any more details than that.

32. How many tv’s in your house?

One.

33. Worst pain ever?

Crushed disc in my lower back pushing on a nerve.  I spent about eight months on muscle relaxants and pain killers before surgery to remove it.  That’s how long it took to get a proper diagnosis.

34. Do you like to dance?

Not. At. All.  Because AWKWARD.

35. Are your parents still alive?

No.  I miss them.

36. Do you enjoy camping?

No.  Camping is even more stupid than cartoons.

Happy Thursday!  If it’s your birthday today the card from me is gonna be late, sorry!

This all ended up considerably less weird than I expected.  I’ll try to do better next time.

Because Blueberries

IMG_3111It will always be a mystery to me why I have such an abundance of misplaced confidence in myself when it comes to any kind of food preparation.  Such optimism!  I wonder if this is how gamblers feel.  Play and play and play until finally you hit a jackpot and the amount of money you blew getting to that point is a forgotten and tiresome little detail.

I’m not going to dwell on food wastage because regret is stupid, right?  I admit I’ve had my share of culinary disappointments.  The experience is what’s important.  I’m just going to go with that.

Reasons why I decided to make this:

  1. I have liked a lot of recipe pages on Facebook so my news feed includes quite an annoying number of pictures of things people have cooked or baked or fed to their dogs, who really knows the truth behind these things, and looking at them always makes me hungry.
  2. Blueberries are good for you.
  3. I am really tired of eggs for breakfast.
  4. This recipe looked like an easy one in which to make healthier ingredient substitutions so that a diabetic person could eat some practically guilt free.

The original recipe is here.  I will also mention that I am more often than not sucked in by the claim “best ever”.

Here are the things I changed (yep, without testing the original):

  1. I used frozen blueberries.
  2. Truvia instead of sugar.
  3. All purpose gluten free flour with 1/4 tsp xanthum gum.
  4. Butter flavoured margarine instead of real butter.  Because if it flops, what a waste of butter.

It was in the oven at least 45 minutes to get to the bubbling stage, likely because the blueberries started out so cold.

The filling was a little watery, probably real sugar would have thickened it up more.  Maybe a little bit of cornstarch mixed in with the orange juice would help.  The orange juice gave the berries a wonderful tart taste.  I wonder how lemon juice would work?  And maybe some lemon zest in the batter?  This is why I end up never making the same thing twice.  The cobbler topping was slightly dry, but still good.  A possible remedy for that problem of course would be the ice cream the recipe so helpfully suggests.  But I don’t have any, and come on, it’s already a stretch to call this breakfast.

Artistic bonus – that pretty round swirly pattern on the edges of the pan, I assume from exploding fruit.

I’m going to call this a success.   It satisfied my craving for something sweet and got rid of a partial bag of frozen blueberries that were giving me a headache trying to decide how long they’d been in the freezer.  I guess you could say I don’t have extremely high standards.

And that’s probably a good thing. Happy Friday!

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Oh Canada

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So this happened….

I don’t know, is there anything more Canadian than two RCMP officers dressed in red serge mounted on magnificent black horses in a Starbucks drive through? Well yeah, they maybe should have picked a Tim Hortons, but still. Lots of weird stuff happening during our country’s 150th birthday year.  This was in June (click on pic for link).

The only reason I know about it is because I looked it up on Monday morning after I was walking through my living room on my way to somewhere else and heard the clippity clop of big horse feet, and thought that’s pretty weird shit for this or any random little residential street.  So I looked out my front window as two mounted police went by my house.

This is the kind of thing that makes you wonder if you’re hallucinating, insane, deluded, dreaming, or all of the above.  I could so easily have missed it.  There was no time to grab my phone to take a picture because although they were going at a very leisurely pace, they were there and then they were gone in the time it took for me to pick my jaw up off the floor.

The only thing I could find online was this coffee run picture from a month ago.  I guess they may very well be doing these patrols intermittently all summer around here.  And I would have been oblivious to this news if it hadn’t walked by my front yard.

So, here’s a list of things I have seen this summer although I don’t live in a rural setting or by a pond or in a forest:

  1. A big black and white cat.
  2. Many dogs on leashes walking their humans
  3. A coyote
  4. A pair of mallard ducks checking out the neighbors driveway mud puddle
  5. Two jack rabbits. Or could be more, they all look alike.
  6. The resident squirrel and the encroaching squirrels he chatters at and chases away
  7. Many big black crows
  8. Lots of gorgeous magpies
  9. A few bluejays
  10. HORSES for the love of God.

So what’s next, elephants and UFOs?  I’ll keep you posted.

Hey, speaking of posted, I read in the local paper that postal workers want to bring back door to door mail delivery here.  Maybe not-so-disgruntled mail carriers will be the next thing I see from my very own front door.  Not holding my breath for that one though.

For the Love of Flat Bread

Funny what counts as inspiration and makes me want to blog all of a sudden.  This is mostly for my recipe-sending sister, to let her know I take her seriously when she makes a recommendation even if it takes me forever and three days to try it out for myself.

It’s coconut flour flat bread!  I followed the recipe!  Except for the part at the end where my one act of rebellion was to cut it into shapes instead of rounds.  Rounds give you too many left over pieces you just want to throw out.  This was less wasteful and more interesting.  The two pieces sort of shaped like Manitoba were just happy accidents.

It smells great when it’s baking and tastes really good with garlic and herb cream cheese.  And yeah, that was breakfast.

Here’s how easy it is.  Maybe you know what a big fan of easy I am.

Ingredients

½ cup coconut flour

2 (two) 15 ml Tablespoons + 2 (two) 5 ml teaspoons xantham gum

¼ cup melted coconut oil

1 cup boiling water

optional: 1 tsp spice of your choice (I used Italian)

Directions

Preheat oven to 355 F
Whisk dry ingredients together

Add water & oil. Mix with fork until no lumps and dough comes together.

Knead with your hands until well mixed.

Roll out dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper

Cut into rounds with cookie cutter or oiled drinking glass

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper & fill with cut outs like cookies

Bake for 20 min until golden brown
Next time I might add some salt, and flip them over in the last five minutes so both sides get a bit crispy.  And of course experiment with the spices.

I’ve been so incredibly antisocial for such a long time this summer, if that’s what it takes for an introvert to recharge, I should be at about 120 percent by now.  I admit I sometimes talk to myself out loud lately.  You know, just to see if my voice still works.  This morning I had a staring contest with a jack rabbit until I asked him wtf he wanted and he took off.  The other day I watched the squirrel on our fence taunting three squawking crows.  Perhaps you are getting an inkling of why I haven’t been rushing to my iPad to record these and other extraordinary events for posterity.

And it’s been so hot.  When I shop I go early in the morning, get the mail from the day before, half close the blinds to the direct sunlight and read my kindle with a fan blowing in my face.  Play some computer games, check out the idiotic crap going on in the world, see if there’s weather watches or warnings.  Get quite excited for myself and my grass if it rains.  Wasn’t so thrilled with the latest tornado watch, didn’t like the black sky and hung out in the basement for a bit one evening.

Other than that and having family here for the Canada Day weekend and talking to and texting W sporadically, there is nothing to say.  So I have been saying nothing.  And doing next to that.

I am alive and eating flat bread.  Life is good.

Sharing My World 71

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Share Your World – May 15, 2017

How many languages do you speak?

Regrettably, only one.  Although if I truly did regret it, nothing is stopping me from learning to speak another one.  For this to happen I imagine it’s best to have someone fluent in the new language with whom to converse.  Because this person would be able to helpfully correct my pronunciation and grammar after laughing at it.  Thankfully I don’t know anyone like that.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?

I am reading an e-book called “Weightless” by Kandi Steiner.  It’s about eighteen year old Natalie who gets dumped by her boyfriend, decides to hit the gym, and then falls for her personal trainer.  Everybody has issues.  Her friends, her mother, her step dad, her ex and his nasty new girlfriend, her hot trainer and his nasty clients….and she is sorry high school is done and debating what to do next.  And I just want to say “Run, Natalie, run!”  The book was a Kindle daily deal.  Totally worth the money.

I am watching “New Blood”, a BBC detective type series on Netflix.  Season one, episode four, case two, part one.  Not sure why I remember all that and even more confused as to why I feel the need to share it.  Episodes one two and three were case one, parts one two and three.  Maybe I’m just proud of my attention to unimportant details.  I like the main characters and how they end up working together and solving the shit out of stuff.

I am listening to the rain pour down and feeling all smug that I put off starting my walk because of all those menacing dark clouds and thus didn’t get caught in the downpour.

I ate a toasted scrambled egg sandwich on dark European rye bread with ketchup on the side for brunch.  Wow, I am a total detail freak today.

What was the last photo you took with your phone?

There it is at the top of this post.  A piece of cracked sidewalk and some scrubby spring grass.  I was putting my phone back in to my pocket and somehow managed to capture this brilliant moment in time on my walk through one of the alley walk-ways between houses in my neighbourhood yesterday. I hope no one tries to steal this incredible image without my permission.

What is your favorite time of day?

Early morning.  Because coffee.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for a lovely quiet weekend on my own doing pretty much nothing out of the ordinary….even though Sunday was Mothers Day and Saturday was my birthday.  My daughter, son, daughter-in-law and oldest granddaughter sent me texts.  THEY ALL KNOW ME SO WELL!  I don’t like a lot of fuss and I love that they get that.  W sent a text on Sunday night saying sorry he missed my birthday and Happy Mother’s Day and here’s what’s going on with ME….

Is it weird that I’m ok with all of this?  Probably.  Oh well, whatever, weird is good too, right?  I love them all and I am loved and nothing else really matters after that.

Okay, the sun is out!  Time to drag myself away from the IPad and onto the cracked streets and walkways and bike paths of my soaking wet world!  Then I can get back to crime season episode part whatever the hell is going on case solving.  Don’t ever say my priorities are screwed up.  They are, but you don’t need to say it.

 

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