Thursday, January 08, 2015

Hair like Casey, Nose like Finnegan

Everyone is talking about the cold this week and I will admit, we've had to change some things around at home since the temperature dropped.

The biggest pain in the butt for me, I'm finding, is my hair. Seriously, if I wanted it to be straight, I could never make it happen with a flat iron or blow dryer for the life of me. This week though, with this cold, dry air, it's straight as a poker and sticking out all over the place. So much fun to look like Casey from Mr Dress-up. Cold skin and straight hair, not a great combination. Any advice you can offer on how to get my hair under control would be appreciated!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Coldest Night of the Year

Was outside with the dogs a little earlier this evening.  The line, "now the sun is lurking just behind the Scarborough horizon..." was going through my head while I was encouraging them to stay out and do what needed to be done.  All the time, I just wanted to run back into the house.

Once I was back inside, warm and toasty, the line kept floating around in my head.  I found this, not an original video but the sound is good.

Stay warm folks, snuggle with the ones you love, and remember, spring is just around the corner!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Non-binding Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Is your 2015 off to a good start?  Our 2015 is starting out much better than our 2014 did.  Getting a call on December 30, 2013 telling us that Mark's colon cancer had metastasized to his liver was not the best news in the world.  We're both still a little grumpy and phlemy from our colds but we can't complain.  2014 sucked in a big way in our house and I'm not sad to see it go.

Over the past few days, I've had some time to reflect upon my goals for 2015.  I don't like thinking about resolutions because they are very rarely ever kept, goals though, I can work on.

My short (and subject to change) list of goals for 2015:

  1. Stay kind.  I started working on this a while ago and it's not easy.  I have made an effort to be less snarky online, in particular on twitter.  As a result, I'm not tweeting as much as I used to but I think that's okay.  Another thing I've been doing in "real life" is trying to cut some slack to the assholes I run into every day.  I have a better understanding, after Mark's illness/surgeries, of how you never, ever, know what kind of crap folks are walking around with.  We could all do more of this.
  2. Connect.  Over the past year, between surgery and chemo, we really cut ourselves off from people and activities we enjoy.  Our focus had to be on Mark healing and getting through his treatments.  It kept us at home, cut off a bit from folks.  Phone calls and emails are okay but I want to see the beautiful faces of my friends and family, hang out a bit and laugh a lot.
  3. Move.  I want to get outside and move my body more.  Be more active.  Walking around the hallways of hospitals and clinics is not the same as long walks outside and visits to the park with the dogs. 
As I look over these goals, I realize that they are a direct reaction to what happened to us over the past couple of years.  The time has flown by and we've gotten through it somehow.  Physically, Mark's better but I think that emotionally, we need to recharge our batteries.  Now is as good a time as any to do this.

Do you have any goals/resolutions for 2015?  I'd love to hear about them if you do.

Friday, December 26, 2014

12 tissue boxes of Christmas


Mark made tzimmes with a potato kugel topping. Note how my plate had nothing but fresh veggies on it! #Christmas #dinner #family #mealOn the eve of Christmas Eve, I got sick.  I am still sick.  I have the bug that will not quit.  I am stuffed up, tired, sore, head achey and generally miserable.  I think Mark may be coming down with it too.  It's like a gift that keeps on giving.
I woke up on Tuesday morning, feeling spectacularly crappy and basically spent the day, in a fog, on the sofa with the dogs, hiding under a blanket while sipping tea and eating oranges.  Now, that would not be a bad way to spend the day if it weren't for the fact that I felt like hammered crap.

Wednesday morning arrived and I needed to do just a little bit more baking.  I had actually baked a couple of batches of cookies on Monday and needed to get at least one more thing made before Christmas arrived.  Every year, I make Skor Toffee Bit cookies for my dad.  I had forgotten to get the bits with my shopping on Sunday so Mark bravely faced the grocery store for me on Monday and picked them up for me.  There was no way I was not making these cookies for dad!!

While the cookies turned out okay, I realize now that I should have never done them.  In my fuzzy state, I ended up adding double the sugar to the recipe.  Luckily I realized my mistake and was able to double everything else (except the Skor bits, I ended up using a package of butterscotch chipits in addition to the bits) and save the batch.  By the time I got them done, every square inch of counter space and my dining room table were covered with cooling cookies.  I realized I was done and the baking had to stop.

Christmas day was nice.  We saw my family and had a lovely meal but I would have enjoyed it more if I had been able to breathe a bit more.  My brother and his partner were here from Ottawa and it was great to see them.  My mum is getting over the same bug I have so we were a great pair!!

Boxing day has been quiet for us.  Being sick is NEVER fun but being sick over the holidays is particularly yucky but at least we're not expected to be anywhere anytime soon. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

getting to goodies

Before & after, Hershey pretzel hug treats. These are always popular! #yummy #Christmas #bakingBetter later than never, I'm finally getting started with some holiday baking.  I've been off work for over a week now but just haven't gotten the gumption up to get started.

Today, I made some Hershey pretzel treats.  Now, you're supposed to make these with kisses but I now only use hugs.  I found that the kisses just never melted for me, properly.  Maybe Canadian kisses have too much wax in them, I don't know.  When I use hugs (or Candy Cane kisses - any of the white chocolate kisses), they turn out fabulously.  I have even had good luck the last 5 years or so to get square pretzels at the Bulk Barn.  These are easy to do (I imagine it would be fun to do them with kids) and they are always a huge hit on a cookie plate.  The biggest part of the job is always peeling the hugs but this year it didn't take too long.  I'm  hoping that having these finished will get me in the mood for real, serious cooking baking.  We'll see.

In previous years, I did a lot of holiday baking.  Two years ago, we were getting ready to move so I didn't do much.  In 2013, between the big ice storm and my getting really good and sick with the flu, I did even less than I had the previous year.

I have a list of things I'd like to accomplish in the kitchen before the big day arrives but I'm planning to not beat myself up if I don't hit everything on the list.  My goal for this holiday season is to relax and enjoy it.  If I can get to everything I want to do, great, if I don't.  It's not the end of the world and the only person who'll know about what didn't happen will be me!