Hockeyeur

W has been following the 2020 World Junior Hockey tournament since it began in December, but had a movie playing on tv this afternoon instead of tuning in to the Canada vs Russia gold medal game. I asked him why. He said “I can’t watch it.”

I know the feeling. Too stressful even if the outcome hardly affects you personally.

I was totally prepared to celebrate a silver medal victory, especially since Russia had already trounced Canada 6-0 in their first game. Didn’t look good when they were down 3-0 starting the 3rd period. But Canada came back to win it 4-3. So now we can all scream and yell and hoot and holler and generally freak out about how amazing Canada is at hockey. Which we would still have been with a silver medal, but nobody goes batshit crazy over second place. Congrats to the Russian players anyway. They certainly deserved to be there.

Isn’t hockeyeur a great word? It came up on my predictive text. No idea why my predictive thinks I might suddenly decide to express myself in a different language. English is a big enough challenge. The word means hockey player.

hockeyeur (nom) féminin hockeyeuse

Joueur de hockey sur gazon ou sur glace, un sport qui consiste à faireentrer un palet dans un but avec une crosse.

(Player of hockey on field or ice, game consists of shooting a puck/ball into a net with a stick).  Makes the sport sound rather dull.

Anyway, lovely for Canadians to get some happy news and something to cheer about. There’s been a bit of a drought for that kind of thing lately, knowing crazy things happening in the world will no doubt have global consequences and repercussions. We are all part of the globe.

How do you like cartoon (Bitmoji) me up there? Like I might actually be able to skate fast enough to shoot ice into the atmosphere when coming to an abrupt stop. And not wearing a helmet! And smiling while wearing skates! Quite the fantasy. But cute. Cuteness is a big plus.

 

Fridge Art

You are never too old to adorn your grandma’s fridge with priceless art.

Not sure what’s up with that horse in a dust storm. I didn’t ask.

Whoever Carla is, poor girl needs some serious dental work.

I love the creations done by keeping your pencil on the paper until your main picture is complete.

And Madison doesn’t look like that at all in real life. Unless there’s some secret transformation I’m missing.

This is my new fridge, by the way. Never had a door handle this long before. Lots more area to wipe for sticky finger and hand prints. First time I’ve had a bottom freezer too. So far, big thumbs up.

Another January Day

I know what our next door neighbour did yesterday – pranced around on his front lawn in a t-shirt.  Okay, he wasn’t actually prancing.  More like zipping out to his car for something and then taking his sweet time going back inside because it was relatively sunny and warm here on the first day of the new year.  And by warm I mean around the freezing mark.

Sorry that’s all I’ve got on him.  Just happened to see him briefly from my front window and have no idea how he spent the rest of his day.  Here in the late afternoon we were feasting on an awesome vegetarian lasagna made by my son.  We didn’t have the whole gang because life and work and other priorities take people in different directions.  I’m always happy to see whoever drops in.  Especially when they bring food.

This morning the wind woke me up early and has been blustering away all day, blowing snow off the roof tops and the trees and depositing it in our driveway.  No t-shirts noted anywhere on the block.  Colder weather is forecast for next week.  I wish we could send some of it (minus the wind) to Australia.  Along with a ton of rain.  I fear the devastating disasters in store for all of us if we don’t take the climate crisis seriously.

But I won’t get myself started on that tonight.  I’ll tell you what I’m happy about instead.

– all the Christmas leftovers are gone

– except for some fudge and butter tarts, and W is taking care of those

– all the decorations are boxed up and put away

– except for the outdoor lights, but W is taking care of those too, probably by February at the very latest

– we have had our youngest three grandchildren around sporadically for almost two weeks.  We find them interesting and they find us boring, and that’s how these relationships usually work with the very young and the very old.  I suppose we could try to be less boring.  There’s a thought.

– I love quiet evenings inside where it’s warm, a hot drink before bed, reading until the kindle falls out of my hand and I can’t keep my eyes open.  Simple pleasures.  I’ve already said boring, no reason to repeat it.

This month always seems to go relentlessly on and on until you swear it’s never going to end.  Sort of like a pregnancy in the ninth month.  My doctor told me she’d never heard of a pregnancy that didn’t terminate (how reassuring) and I guess that applies to Januaries as well.

Two days down, eleventy seven to go.

Looking Back and Going Forward

Sometimes I talk like I’m ancient and on deaths door. When I’m gone, before I die, life is short, time to downsize so my kids aren’t left with this colossal mess….stuff like that.  Pretty sure it’s annoying, and not a particularly healthy state of mind to be in for long stretches of time.  Especially considering I’m seventy, not a hundred and ten.

It no doubt comes from a lifetime of worrying about every possible disastrous outcome to even ordinary situations and scenarios.  Unusual ones just raise my anxiety level further.   I like to be ridiculously prepared for everything.  Not a fan of surprises, even if they’re pleasant.  I truly try to live in the moment, breathe deeply, let things go, calm my mind, count my blessings, be grateful for everything I have.  Most of the time I’m really good at that.

But I’m always working on limiting those doom and gloom moments.  One of the biggest reasons for neglecting my writing so much in the last three years or so – people died.  Every time I felt like sitting down to say some profound thing or other, someone much too young to leave this world did just that.  And I was struck dumb and numb, contemplating my own mortality and how fragile we all are, no matter where we are in our lives.  My wonderful father-in-law died in October.  He was 97.  We had a lovely visit with him a couple of weeks prior, and to me it felt like he was just kind of done with it all. Not sad or unhappy, just tired.  So his passing wasn’t unexpected.  Sad of course and he is missed, but I think he had a good life all in all.  It’s the untimely ones that leave me stunned.  They’re the tragedies.  And OMG you just never know!

See how easy that is?  We could all die tomorrow!

Also I have a lot of time on my hands to read the news.  I don’t recommend it actually.  A huge percentage of it is bad and less than truthful.  Misleading and hateful rhetoric is all the rage.  It’s hard not to get sucked in by it all.  But I’m not a fighter.  Passive aggressive for sure, but not a screamer fixing to bash your brains in.  Love and kindness always win in the end, don’t they?  We’re all doomed to hell if they don’t.

And that’s my pep talk for today!  Hope you found it enlightening.  Not totally surprised if you didn’t.  Be kind either way.

So Where the Hell Have You Been?

There, now you don’t have to ask me that question. I appear to have stopped blogging for over a year (because unfinished unpublished posts in the drafts section don’t count) and boy do I ever have a years worth of excuses!  Want to hear them all?  No, I didn’t think so.

I’ve been right here this whole time, taking a long break from listening to myself, making actual real useful stuff with my hands instead of my head, and resting my brain.

I have made hats and mats and blankets and slippers and shawls.  Dolls and bears and zebras and giraffes.  I’ve made so much stuff it’s getting harder all the time to find anyone willing to take my latest greatest project home with them.  But I’m not finished and will keep going for as long as I’m able and for as long as Michaels has yarn sales.  I had forgotten how much I love to crochet, just like I’ve forgotten for a bit how much I love to write.

The memories that pop up on Facebook for me are getting downright scary.  Nine years ago my two oldest grandkids were nine years old.  Now they’re eighteen;  and the fifteen, fourteen and thirteen year olds are right behind them, with a grandma getting progressively more ancient by the minute.

Time for me to tell more stories while I can still remember things.  Maybe these beautiful young people I’m so happy to have in my life will one day have questions I’m not around to answer.  I mean seriously, look how fast one year, never mind nine years, whizzes right on by.  Maybe I have another nine in me, but you never know.

My grandma started saying “Well, this could be my last Christmas!” when she was in her seventies, and kept it up for almost 30 years.  I’d like to be that lucky.  Plus, the older I get, the greater the possibility of uttering totally bizarre shit that will make my descendants laugh and roll their eyes and wonder if that’s how they’re going to end up.  I like that feeling of power.

 

 

I Have Answers

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Hello again!  There’s a whole new world sharing thing going on, but this isn’t it, and I haven’t gotten around to joining that again yet, but here’s something from sparks from a combustible mind (who is now hosting Share Your World) that has finally lit a fire under my butt and inspired me to blog some nonsense once more.  Good or bad thing, who ever knows the answer to that one, right?  I felt like writing.  So that’s what I did.  I left out most of the “favourite” questions though because I have such a hard time with them.  It’s like choosing your favourite child.  Impossible.  So I don’t even try.

Socks? Yay or Nay?

Well I used to say nay to socks and yay for bare feet, but now I say omg wtf my feet are freezing.  So yay for socks.  Especially the big ugly thermal ones.  They’re the best.

Is there a God?

Yep.  I follow him on Facebook and Twitter.  He’s a lot of fun.

Is a pizza a pizza without cheese on it?

Nope.  It’s just a pathetic attempt at pizza and is not fooling anyone.

Do aliens exist or are we alone in this vast Universe?

We are not alone.  We are being observed by more intelligent life forms.  From a great distance and with much head shaking and eye rolling.

Do you still have your childhood teddy bear?

Sadly, no.  But he was butt ugly so I’m not actually all that sad about his demise.  He had a plastic face for gawd sake.  It got all dented, poor thing.  I think my mom threw him out because he was looking decidedly unloved.

Brussels sprouts, yes or no?

Yes!  Steamed little baby ones with salt and melted butter!  And maybe a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  Yum!  That’s three exclamation points in one answer, so you will know how serious I am about this delightful little vegetable.  I love cabbage too.  I will happily eat your portion too if you ask me nicely.

What’s sexier – a beaming smile or thigh high boots?

If a guy has a beaming smile I just assume he has an over zealous dentist, but also that he’s probably up to no good and hoping to get away with something.  And thigh high boots on a man would be hip waders, right?  Not the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.  Close to the bottom of my list, if I’m honest.

If you were stuck with one view for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I don’t mind the view from my living room windows.  It changes with the seasons.  There is a bit of traffic, a few trees and some weird neighbours in two directions.  The people next door are in and out of their driveway 50 times a day, mostly going on Tim Hortons coffee runs as far as I can tell.  And the people across the street do yard work constantly, weather permitting.  I don’t do either one of those things so they both seem weird to me.  And I rarely leave my house so I’m sure I seem equally weird to them.

Which do you prefer: Spring or Autumn, Winter or Summer?

Autumn over spring because there’s less mud.  Summer over winter because snow is stupid.

What is your favorite thing to do when bored?

I so rarely get bored it’s a rather fascinating thing, because there is nothing exciting whatsoever going on in my life.  My pleasures are simple.  I make things, I read, I play word games to keep my brain functioning on some sort of acceptable level, I binge watch strange things on Netflix, I drink coffee and I clean stuff.  That’s pretty much it.  And I wasn’t even bored telling you all that.  But you were bored reading it, weren’t you?  Ha ha, I knew it.  I don’t care.

What game did you play most when growing up?

We played a lot of card games if we were stuck inside.  Otherwise I remember climbing trees and long walks/runs as far away from the house as possible so we couldn’t hear mom calling to tell us she had chores for us to do.  If my brother was involved (oldest sibling) he made the rules.

You see a police car in your neighborhood, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Domestic violence.  Break and enter.  Crazy loud party somewhere.  Years and years ago a police officer knocked on our door to ask us if we had seen or heard anything unusual on our street.  He was investigating something or other, but I was completely useless, with absolutely nothing to tell him.  I’m still exactly that observant.

If you had any superpower, what would it be?

Ooooh….I’d like to have that Star Wars Jedi mind bending thing where you say something to someone and make them decide to do the opposite of what they originally intended.  There’s probably a shorter name for it.  So I would ask W if he’d like some of my homemade vegetable soup with turnips and zucchini in it, and he’d say gawd, are you kidding? and I’d say ‘you love my vegetable soup and would be so happy to eat a big bowl of it’ and he’d say ‘I love your soup and I’ll have two servings please!’ He’d suddenly be so healthy and never know what hit him.

Sautéed onions, fried onions, onion rings, or raw onions?

Yes, please.  Is there a difference between sautéed and fried?  I guess there is.  I’d likely make up my own method anyway, rather than look it up. It’s how I “cook”.   I like raw red onions in and on many things.  No cooking required.

If you could create your own world, what would it look like?

Hmmm.  Maybe a cozy cottage in an endless summer close to the beach with no bugs after the sun goes down.  And a great foot-long hot dog vendor close by who never closes shop.   I wonder if that would eventually bore me?  Probably not.

Punch or pie? (which kind?)

I really can’t have either one.  Too much sugar.  A glass of water with lemon and a thin crust veggie pizza pie.  With a thousand pounds of cheese on top.  You can’t give up everything.

What is one holiday treat that improves your mood every time?

Frankly, all holiday treats piss me off supremely because they’re full of sugar and fat and carbs and toxic waste.  I made that last one up to help me say no thanks to them all.

What is one word that you love?

Goodnight!  It means I can go to bed and read.

King Kong vs Godzilla…who wins?

Who cares?  Do they even know what they’re fighting about?  Bet they don’t.

What cancelled (or finished) TV show would you most like to see again?

Offspring.  It’s the first one that popped into my head.  So many wonderfully dysfunctional characters!  I was so sad when it ended.

You landed on Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island…what do you wish for?

I have no idea what that is.  I would probably wish to get off of it.

Does free mean free?

Not really.  There’s always conditions.

Favorite colour?

Red.  In that world I created above, the cottage and the hot dog stand would both be red.  Also the sunsets would be red.  The water can stay blue.  We don’t want to have too much of a good thing.

Ugly sweaters…yea or nay?

Yes!  They’re hilarious!  Everybody should have at least two.  You know, for when one is in the wash.  And one of them should of course be red.

What is your favorite time period?

I knew this was too good to be true and there would eventually be a question to stump me.  I like early morning periods of time drinking coffee.  I am enjoying the retirement time period of my life.  I like late nights reading into the wee hours.  I liked the sixties but I don’t want to relive them.  Bell bottoms, for one reason.  The present is quite nice.  I don’t remember the 1800’s if I was there in another life so I can’t really pass judgement.  Lunch time is always a good time period, especially if you have vegetable soup.

And then of course there is the time that finally comes to wrap things up.  Yay!  It’s probably your new favourite!  Thank you for perusing my thoughtful answers to these burning questions.  And now it’s your turn if you’re so inclined.

Breakfast Soup

It is perfectly fine to have soup for breakfast.  I am the (self-appointed) soup queen and I know these things.  Here is a picture of my butternut squash soup all ready to be pressure cooked.

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Here’s the list of ingredients:

One small chopped yellow onion, minced garlic, fresh minced ginger sautéed in olive oil;  one butternut squash, 2 carrots, 2 apples, 2 little old shrivelled up turnips you need to get rid of (optional), cinnamon, vegetable seasoning, about 4 cups vegetable broth, salt and pepper.

The reason I have listed these first is because usually you can tell from the ingredients whether you have a chance in hell of liking the results, and there is nothing more annoying than scrolling down a page chock full of photos of every conceivable step in the process until finally there’s a bar at the bottom that says click here to go directly to recipe.  Wow.  Too late, I hate you.

I know what a potato looks like before and after it’s peeled and chopped.  There is really no reason for you to chronicle its demise, thanks anyway.  The way to stay sane while researching a recipe is to click the link, copy the URL and then open up your Paprika ap.  There you download, save and create.  Poof, done.  Minimum amounts of grief and cursing.

My Instant Pot category on Paprika is growing daily with recipes I want to try.  There’s a lot of prep work involved and usually a big mess of peelings and seeds and cups and bowls before getting to the Instant part.  Some degree of kitchen chaos is normal for me no matter what I’m making, but with the Instant Pot,  how fast things cook and how tasty everything turns out is SO worth it.  Normally I would never attempt to prepare soup for breakfast but the instant pot makes it possible.  Also a touch of eccentricity helps.  Why does breakfast have to be all eggy and boring, hey?  Ever asked yourself that?  Me neither until just now.

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Voilà, the end result after 9 minutes on manual, normal pressure release for 25 minutes because I was doing something else and forgot about it (10 or 15 minutes is probably fine), quick pressure release and then everything smushed up with an immersion  blender.  I did some swirly things on the top so you can see how lovely and thick it is, and added some freshly ground pepper.  Because people are always adding stuff to the top of soup and that’s all I’ve got.  I suppose I could dig out some parsley, but come on, parsley for breakfast?  I don’t think so.  It’s important to draw the line somewhere.

I’m not a big fan of squash but this is delicious.

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.