Archive for the ‘food’ Category
Today was my first day back at work. I have only this week to work and next week off. That had been planned since early January, maybe late December, I can’t remember. It works out well, though.
On Monday, I’ll be putting the obit into the paper for Tuesday. Then I clean house. I’ll be rearranging my room to maximize the amount of space. I don’t have to have both sides open for two people, so I can move the bed over to a couple of pieces of furniture that don’t need to get access to. That’ll give me more room for the dresser and chiffonier. I’ll also be going through Thomas’s stuff, trying to sort what to keep and what to give away. I’ve already decided on a few things.
I was able to change the name on the power bill over the phone today. I’ll have to go in to change the name on our internet access. I also have to call a bank and book an appointment to take Thomas off that account. I already have one for one bank. I shall be making that call tomorrow.
Today was a bit of a clusterfuck in terms of my being able to think. I was having trouble doing some of the basic things, like making sure the front desk was locked up. I’d go back up and find a drawer open, or the med cupboard unlocked. Hopefully, this will be a short term thing. I fed the chinchillas and made sure their corner litter box had bedding in it. I also locked the cage up more thoroughly. One of the residents got one out despite the note to leave them alone unless there’s a staff present.
All in all it was both a long day, a productive day, and a short day. It was stressful, that’s certain, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I did find myself fighting panic a few times, but was able to calm that and get through it.
Our upstairs neighbour made us cookies. Apparently she’d met Thomas at a poetry slam and they’d done some chatting at the front door a few times. Yeah, I was clueless and Thomas didn’t mention it. At least Boy knew who the names on the card were.
I’ve decided to write a poem, an ode to my new yoga pants. I totally love them. I think that my entire life should be lived in those things. Alas, they don’t have pockets and I need pockets for work, for keys, for the cordless phone, more bits and bobs that I might use in the day. Yoga pants are missing those necessary pockets.
I’ve made supper two nights in a row. Last night I made a beef stir fry, using a steak I didn’t eat on Saturday. Tonight was a chicken stir fry. Both were gosh darned good. Speaking of good, I discovered that ripe avocados can be frozen and used at a later date. This means that I won’t waste any more of those delicious fruits because they go beyond nice ripeness into spoiling. I have one of those Foodsaver vacuum sealer things. I’m thinking that perhaps I should buy them en masse when I have money and freeze them when they’re ripe and save them for when I have less money. Make sense? That’s what Boy and I did with meat. We have chicken, pork and beef. All we need to do now is get some fish…cod to be precise. Tomorrow is probably going to be pork chops and sweet potatoes. I’m unsure of what veg we’ll be having, possibly carrots.
I’m trying to decide if I want to get a hair cut before the memorial, or wait until after. I know I’m getting a cut. I can’t tolerate the heat generated by my own body under the sheltering shroud of my hair when it’s longer. So I’ll get it cut so that, come summer, I’ll be able to get a breeze to my scalp. I do like my curls though. I’ll miss them.
I finished the Eeyore cross stitch for the most part. I have to put in the black stitch lines. Then it’s do the letters and get a frame for the piece and give it away to the intended recipient. After that I’ll be starting on my boss’s wedding present. I’m sure both he and his wife will like it…I hope. I know he will, it involves Star Wars.
That’s it for today.
I’m discovering that new technology is a very steep escarpment for me. I enjoy learning new things and that’s the only thing that has kept me from throwing my new tablet across the room sometimes. I’ve gotten so used to Windows that it’s second nature to find my away round. Using a touch pad with a very different platform is, well, very different. First off, no matter how hard the programmers tried, the programs I use on the computer look and function differently from the tablet. Even web sites will look different (some extremely different).
Today I learned that Go Comics looks very different from on the computer. I can’t access my account. This means that all the comics that I have listed in one place are no longer that way. I haven’t checked it yet, but they send me my daily comics to my gmail account. Perhaps it will look right on that. I hope so. I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t look like the web site either except to accommodate smaller mobile devices.
Blogging is pointless unless I’m going to do a quick entry. When one writes longer entries usually a slide bar appears on the side, or with the touch pad, a finger or stylus should move the section of the page down. This didn’t happen when I started doing an entry earlier. I ended up in an area above where I had been working. I knew it hadn’t been deleted because if I did something it would show, but not remain on the area of screen I was working in. I haven’t found any down arrows that would help me get to the end of the entry so I decided to delete it and come to my computer for the entry.
I downloaded and eventually deleted the Android platform version of Firefox. It functioned very poorly compared to their default browser (I think it’s Google Chrome). I don’t have to worry about java functioning properly (as it refused to do in Firefox) and the same goes for Flash. I don’t like flash showing unless I choose it to In Firefox it didn’t show up at all and said that an addon needed to be downloaded. Nertz on that. I’ll live with Flash advertising on the wee beastie. Another thing that screwed up and wouldn’t unscrew was the zoom function. I pressed it once to see what happened and then it wouldn’t unzoom. Colour me unimpressed.
I finally figured out how to do the Twitter thing too. I found out that if you look at the entire screen, right to the edge, you can see other things like a place to click and bring up the keyboard to type. That’s somewhat useful when one wants to communicate with other people.
All in all I’m satisfied with the functionality of the tablet. There are some things I’m unsure of, but I know I’ll get things figured out eventually
We didn’t go to the zoo today as we had planned. I didn’t get up until nearly 1 (the zoo closes at 4), Bran got up somewhat later than that and Boy didn’t emerge until after 2. My back was hurting and I just wasn’t feeling up to leaving. Nothing was talked about, we just didn’t go. If you want to see some of the photos I took, click on my Flickr feed on the side and then click on my zoo set…or go to my photo stream. Whichever floats your boat.
Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. I’m eating smokies and avocado. I’m grateful for my family, to have shelter, food and the means to buy some of the fun things.
For those non-Canadians who read my blog, this weekend is Thanksgiving. It’s not the huge thing that it is in the USA, but it constitutes a nice long weekend and a lot of people sacrifice some sort of fowl (and some the tofurkey). This means that the Thursday before the long weekend is Thanksgiving at work. We had two cooks working on tonight’s meal. One was learning the ropes because she’s going to be subbing for the usual cook who’s going on a nice two week holiday. The meal was spectacular. I broke the diet a bit and had some potatoes and dressing with gravy. Otherwise I followed it fairly well. Well, actually all of us broke the diet a bit. Nothing spectacular for any of us and none of us had pie.
I’m glad I didn’t have to work the meal. Today I spent a lot of time running around getting laundry washed, dried, folded, made a bed of a room that was going to be filled today and then put away the extra towels and sheets. The custodian keeps extras of stuff in the back. This means that I can swap out some sheet sets and towel sets. That way I don’t have to be in a huge rush to make sure that everyone gets exactly what they put into the laundry back. I just swap it out and eventually got around to folding their stuff and stored it in the back. I also made a mess of her organization because we needed the table from her space for the pies at supper. That’s what she gets for calling in sicks today. And no, I’m not that repentant even if she does really have pneumonia. Considering how often I’ve done laundry in the past few months I feel somewhat grumpily justified. Maybe I’ll feel more sympathetic tomorrow when I’m not so tired.
Another thing that was an issue was the sewer from the house was plugged up. This is a regular thing that happens especially in old neighbourhoods because of the roots of old trees growing into the house sewer line. The only places we didn’t have an issue with them was when we lived in places that didn’t have trees in the front yard. The thing is that it shouldn’t plug up every year. Supposedly it was reamed out last year. Had it been done properly it shouldn’t have plugged up again this year. This year it was the city workers who came out and reamed out the tree roots. This job should last at least two years until the roots grow in and plug it up again. Of course you know the problem to not being able to flush a toilet or have a shower. Yeah. Boy was the lucky one who got to shower first. I don’t have to go into any details about the aroma that an unflushed toilet can emit. By the time I got home they both had showered and I headed in next. Doing the laundry and all the running around I did at work meant that I was extra special sweaty. If I’d not been able to shower I would have needed to sit on my own for supper.
After supper we headed to Shoppers Drugs for some acne stuff for Boy. He doesn’t have bad acne, but he’s sprouting a crop of white heads that need to be taken care of. The pharmacist recommended a salve and face washing with some gentle soap such as Dove for sensitive skin. We already have that because it was recommended to Bran for his skin.
Oh, another thing I did today was forestall an IBS flare-up. I am quite pleased that I took some ibuprofen (liquid gels) when I felt the first twinges. It would have been a hella difficult day had I not been so prompt.
We got the last of 5 new residents today. He arrived around noon. He was the one I made the bed for. Another resident was hired to clean the room (the one the custodian was supposed to clean). I got the bed made and laundry put away in his room just in time as he arrived about 10 minutes after I came back to the front desk. The new guys, well, three of them, have literacy issues. It’s going to be a challenge making sure that they get the messages they need to get and remember to attend meetings and such. We’ll adapt but still, it creates a lot of work when there are many others to help as well.
I’m full. My hair is soft. I still have my socks on (though I got rid of my pants and am now wearing shorts and got rid of my bra). Life is good.
After a late start Bran and I went out to do some photography and spend some time together. We don’t do that as much as either of us likes and neither of us is quite sure why that is.
Originally I woke around 6:30 or so this morning having to go to the bathroom. I went back to bed figuring I’d be woken about 10:30 by Bran’s alarm so that I could make breakfast. It went off, but I don’t know what time it was. I didn’t want to get up and I wasn’t feeling up to making breakfast. I did eventually get up around 11 or maybe a bit earlier. Bran went back to bed and I sat at my computer, read comics and listened to the Sunday Sock Hop on Magic 98.3 a local radio station. On Sundays they play music from the 50s and 60s from 9 am to 1 pm. It’s a rather pleasant time of some of the best music made.
At round 2:30 or 3 Bran and I headed out to the Forestry Farm but it closed at 4, just before we got there. So off we went to Diefenbaker Park on the East side. It’s near the small pioneer graveyard on St. Henry Avenue. Bran parked the truck and we went in to the bush on the north side of the park. We took photos in the bush. I found a path down to the river bank that had some steps so I went down and sat at the edge of the bush and watched the gulls wading at the water’s edge. There were a bunch of juveniles there as well as a few adults. A few of the juveniles had parents there because they were being rather raucous in their attempts to be fed by the adults. I got some nice photos of them. I wanted to get some photos of the birds flying around but didn’t get many that turned out. It was somewhat frustrating, but Bran says that’s one of the things that takes a lot of practice. So I’ll practice.
After we got home Bran showered (he’s going to TIP) and then we went to Great Buffet of China for supper. I know there are people who won’t eat there insisting that they became ill because of their food. My experience has been different. I do know that I see a lot of their food being replaced often which means it’s nearly always fresh. We can follow our diet there (mostly) and still have a fairly good variety without feeling deprived. My dessert was a nice bunch of spinach salad, cucumbers, tomato and some cole slaw.
Bran and I have plans on becoming members of the Saskatoon Zoo Society. This will not only allow us to have free admission to the park with a yearly membership, it will also support educational programs about conservation all year round. I’m unsure as to whether Boy, as an adult now, would be able to be part of a “family” membership or if he’d have to have a membership on his own. If he does then we’ll pay for his own membership. The issue with that is that he doesn’t come out with Bran and I very often to take photos. I’m unsure he’d make much use of it. I have plans to go out this winter and take photos of the animals there. I wonder if the peacocks will still display through winter. They have many peafowl there and the males are always displaying at each other, even when it’s not time to mate. Their tails are amazing. I want to get there in the spring when the new babies are born.
I rediscovered the photos of the fireworks photos we took back in August. I hope to get a few nice photos processed of them tonight as well as a few of what I took today. I won’t be posting any here. You’ll need to go to Seismic Clicks for that. Or you can click on my Flickr stream on the right.
Which is a nice way of saying that I spent an inordinate amount of time on my ass in an automobile across the dusty, tan prairies.
We left Saskatoon at about 5 am on Wednesday morning. I didn’t get any sleep at all that night. I did wish that I had gotten a nap but I’m pretty sure that it would have been a mistake. I took along my e-book, the notebook computer, some movies and my crossword book. I did try to nap on the way to Calgary but I think I was too wound up and too over-tired to settle in. I think I maxed out with about 20 minutes or so sleep. The same is true for my co-workers. We got to Calgary about 10:30 am or so. We found a Subway for lunch. I had a 6″ roast chicken sandwich. I was disappointed that this store didn’t have spinach as a sandwich ingredient. I had to settle for ice-berg lettuce. I prefer getting more nutritional bang for the boss’s buck, but there was no real option. Then it was off to the hotel and the first part of the AGM. That night we went to Olive Garden for supper. Instead of having pasta (which is the majority of the menu) I had the mixed grill and substituted a vegetable for the potato. They chose broccoli. It was quite good.
The next day was somewhat of a mixed grill itself for the AGM. We heard from the Calgary Police Service’s chief. He talked about working with the halfway houses in Calgary, the mental health initiatives the provincial government had implemented and other partnerships they’d created, in particular with young children coming into contact with the police. The partnerships were created with social services, the police and health care workers targeting children in elementary school who were already becoming a problem and intervening early. So far, according to him, it’s been a success. The premise is that teachers can point to children and tell that a child is likely going to be arrested as a youthful offender or adult in the early years. They see it happening and no one does anything to stop it. They now have a pilot program in one school where it is showing great promise for success. They chose one of the inner city schools however there are more schools asking for this in their school as well. Problem children are fairly universal. They chose the inner city school because of the additional challenges that children living in poverty tend to encounter such as drug/alcohol addictions in their family, the neighbourhood itself, gangs, etc.
The problem child of the AGM was a lunchtime presentation by a therapeutic clown. First not getting a break was problematic. Second, having to work during one’s meal is an issue. Third, it wasn’t a good fit to the work we do. Sure we encounter all kinds of stress at the work place but unlike the a palliative care ward or hospice, or cancer or burn ward, we don’t have systemic, chronic stress. We get circumstantial stress that tends not to be long term and can be easily taken care of with competent supervisors making themselves available for debriefing. The key word is “competent”, but even finding a friend who can listen is helpful. We don’t have to use, what she called, laughing yoga to release stress.
Another thing that the AGM did well was separate the management and supervisors and front line workers to allow each to have their own workshop catering to their own issues. The management and supervisors got to have a “bear pit” session with the Western Canada Director of Parole. We got to debrief about other things. Our boss hoped that there’d be more of an exchange of ideas between all the front line staff. However it’s not really how it was presented to us. We were asked our greatest challenges and our greatest rewards. We weren’t asked to exchange ideas of how to work with the people we were tasked to work with. However that doesn’t change the usefulness of the whole session.
Then there was two sessions where you could choose one. We divided up into two groups so that there would be staff from each. I stayed in the one about mental health issues. The last part was useful because that’s where they talked about the symptoms of mental illnesses. However they didn’t give any information about how to deal with someone who’d gone off their meds, only how to recognize that they might have. A large part of the session was about the mental hospital they worked in and how they worked. That part wasn’t so helpful. Apparently the other session was misleading. The title sounded like something that would deal with trauma and vicarious trauma. People who work in the helping professions tend to burn out from vicarious trauma. As it sounds, it’s trauma from hearing about (or sometimes seeing) other people’s trauma. Again, this was a whole lot less about that and more about the trauma of the offenders we work with…not that helpful.
The final session was on Friday morning and it was about working with men and women who are considered long-term, or those who had been sentenced and served 10 or more years. Now this could be a single sentence, as a life sentence (serving a minimum of 10 years but frequently more) or those doing “life on the installment plan” (those who serve shorter sentences but are out in the community for only short periods of time). In this session we had two men who are serving life sentences but have been in the community on parole for many years. They work with a group called “Life Line”. This organization is made up of men and women who are serving life sentences and have been successful in the community for a period of years. They go back into the prisons and help prepare inmates for their eventual release. The project and organization helps lifers to stay out of prison after their release rather than going back because of parole breaches. In Canada, 99% of those who go into prison will be released. The trick is to help those released stay out, become productive citizens and not reoffend or get suspended while on parole. The woman who did the presentation is a professor from BC.
Part of what she talked about the culture shock that offenders experience, especially those who are inside for long sentences. I mean, look at the changes in life from 1990 to now. In that time we’ve gone from computers being only in business offices to having them in our hands with the smart phones. Cell phones are ubiquitous where before they did not even really exist except for the most affluent of us. ATMs didn’t exist and so on. Our lives now are totally different than they were twenty years ago…or even ten years ago.
Another thing she talked about was how men and women coming out of prisons are actually suffering from varying degrees of PTSD. Their lives in prison were not a cake walk. Even the minimum security prisons, as relaxed as they are, are traumatic places to be. She talked about how men and women have seen others killed in front of them, now their lives were threatened or sometimes injured because of being there and the code they were forced to submit to.
Over stimulation tends to be huge issue for men and women coming out after a long time inside. Life inside is fairly monochrome. They get used to the sounds of the prison and those sounds don’t change much, they just get louder or quieter. Prison life is a life of sensory deprivation. Their lives are tightly controlled. They’re told where to go and follow specific paths to get there. Those paths don’t change over the years. If they live in housing units like in minimum security, even if they get to choose what they eat their choices are limited to what CSC provides for them. They might have the choice of two types of cooking oil and two or three different types of vinegar. Go into your grocery store and check out the number of kinds of oil there are. Then the kinds of oil of the same type, like olive oil. Then check out the types of vinegar, then the number of brands of one specific type of vinegar. Coming out is a whole shock to the senses. There are colours (count how many coloured and patterned blouses and shirts you can see on the street) that are not available in prisons. The noises are varied and quite different from prison, traffic noise, music, people talking, sirens, etc. People have had panic attacks from that kind of sudden over-stimulation.
You can tell the way I’ve talked about the last session that I found it most interesting and extremely helpful.
Supper on Thursday night was at Chop. I had the medium prime rib (rare) with asparagus instead of potato. It was extremely tasty. The poor waiter tried to get us to indulge in pre-dinner drinks, wine and after dinner drinks but all we got was pop and I got water (tap water not bottled). We also didn’t get dessert, but then everyone was full and I don’t do dessert.
After supper on Thursday we went shopping in Chinook Centre. I just walked through and got some pepperoni and organic cashews. It was a mall that is pretty much the same as every other indoor mall across the world. The difference to me was that they had an Apple Store. We don’t have one in Saskatoon. The mall had it’s share of poseurs and faux-hawks as well as a frump or two (which let me feel less lonely). I didn’t see a hobby store, but then I didn’t really search for one. My boss wanted to go to Victoria’s Secret to get something impractical for his fiancee. I worked very hard at ignoring that. Another picked up a few books at Chapters.
The reason I don’t talk about Wednesday night is because after supper at Olive Garden we (my roomie and I) went back to our hotel room and pretty much immediately went to sleep. There’s not a whole lot to write about with that. Oh, the room. It was fairly comfortable. We had two double beds covered with white duvets. Needless to say I pulled most of the duvet over to the other side of my bed because a sheet was sufficient for my needs. Our room backed on to the elevators so we had some ambient noise from them. Also, our window faced the first floor roof. Work was being done on the roof so there was noise from there in the morning as well. I don’t know if you’ve stayed in a hotel recently, but many are trying to cut costs by not laundering everything daily unless at the specific request of the client. So the beds were made but the sheets weren’t changed. As well, any towels that weren’t thrown into the tub were to be left alone. Sadly the maid took all our towels (including the ones hanging) and didn’t leave any behind. I had to call for more towels from front desk.
The lunch we were served during Thursday’s not relaxed-work-through-lunch-with-a-clown was also a bit of a failure. It was a chicken breast (nicely cooked btw) and butter herb pasta and a starter salad. Not really vegetarian friendly and not friendly to anyone who might have celiacs or wheat allergy. Also the salad, though very tasty and made me happy, had walnuts on them. Not happy making to anyone with a nut allergy. We had not choice of the meal. A choice would have been nice. My choice would have been to eat elsewhere and get a break.
We left Calgary shortly after 1 pm and got back to Saskatoon around 8 pm. Bran picked me up at work.
That was my trip to Calgary. I don’t miss the place. Traffic is stupid, drivers are rude and it takes forever to get anywhere at all. I’m happy to be at home.
I don’t know what was different from the two entries I made before. The only thing was that I divided it in half. Nothing was changed except for a little bit of editing to make it more current and it published. Yet together it wouldn’t publish. Weird.
The soup was delicious. I could have added a bit more curry to it, but then the taste of the squash would have been overpowered. I was also going to put in sliced red pepper, but I forgot. It would have made a nice addition. Perhaps when I put my lunch together tomorrow I’ll slice up some pepper and plonk it in and it can reheat with the soup for my supper tomorrow. For those of you who eat legumes, some chick peas or lentils would go well. Rice would also be good with the soup.
Today it got to 30 C outside. I didn’t go out and I’m quite content with that whole concept.
This morning’s breakfast was awesome! I was really hungry and trying to think what I could make that would be tasty and filling. Having cereal taken off my list of things I can eat makes having a quick breakfast difficult. So I decided to make something on the fly, so to speak. I peeled and cubed a small sweet potato. I put it in a bowl with a little water and some butter, covered it up with a microwave lid thing and zapped it for 5 minutes. While that was being nuked I sauteed some mushrooms while I brewed up a cup of coffee. After the sweet potato was done cooking I smashed it up with a fork and plopped it out on a plate. I layered the mushrooms on the sweet potato and covered the whole thing up while I lightly scrambled some eggs in brown butter. Lightly scrambling is easy. I prefer to not break the yolks until the eggs are partly cooked, then I break the yolk and mix them around a little. When the eggs are just set enough to flip them over (first I quarter the circle of egg) and then after about 10 seconds I put them on the mushrooms and sweet potato. On top of all that I dumped a nice generous amount of Pace Chunky Salsa, in this case, medium heat. It was extremely delicious. Next time I make it I’ll change one thing. The mushrooms will be on the side rather than under the eggs. They made making sure that I get sweet potato with each bit of egg hard because the mushrooms were more firm and made the soft potato squish out from underneath.
I don’t have a lot planned today other than to fold the laundry that was done earlier in the week, ironing a few tops for my trip to Calgary this week and beginning to get organized to go. I’ll also do some dishes, I think. Maybe. Maybe after a nap. I wasn’t really ready to be awake when I woke, I was hungry.
I went through my email for Wicked Witch Jewelry and I downloaded some free patterns and bought a couple of others. It made me itch to get back to making stuff again. I have to tidy a place that I can work exclusively on the stuff. I have a little movie player, I have ear phones/buds. I’ll have Bran help me get the desk in the dining room cleared off and get the stuff out from under (if we can) so that I can actually sit at the desk. I just talked to Bran and he’s agreed. But it’s not going to be this week. I just don’t have the time nor the energy this week and then I’m away for three days. I think I’ll close my Etsy shop. I never got sales there anyway. I’ll have to figure out something else. Maybe I’ll just make jewelry like mad all year long and just sell at the Sundog Handcraft Faire next December. The nice thing about the Sundog is that people don’t expect to pay extremely low prices for stuff. When I did the link up for the entry I also checked around it. You have to be a member of the Sundog Arts Society, but that costs only $10 a year. Then I’d have to apply to be an exhibitor and they do a jury selection of people who can exhibit. Hey, it can’t hurt to try, right? I have two months coming up where I’ll be doing not a whole lot but recovering.
It’s now late afternoon, 5:20 roughly. I am now making supper. I’m making a yummy squash soup. So far I’ve sauteed 2 sliced onions, one carrot sliced on the bias, and about 1 Tbsp garlic in bacon fat (you can use vegetable oil) and added Mrs. Dash as a seasoning. Then I added the two medium to large squash and two litres of chicken stock. I also added a nice Tbsp of curry paste. I might add more, I haven’t decided. I’ll let that all cook together for a while and then see if the wand blender works (remember it stopped when I was trying to make mayonnaise the second time). Then I’ll add a can of chopped tomatoes (I like pieces of tomato in the soup rather than whizzing up the seeds because they’re bitterish) and some shrimp. I’ll cook the shrimp and then add coconut milk. I wouldn’t mind having spinach, but we don’t have any. The nice thing with spinach is that it will cook with the heat of the soup in each bowl rather than adding it to the soup and having it turn all nasty.
Laundry is all folded and put away. Yay! Bran has been puttering in the living room so it’s getting tidier.
There. Hopefully the publish button will work and I won’t get that error.
Of the week that is. The problem with this week is that there is a pile of month end to do. I have to go in on Sunday to work on my own month end. Then on Tuesday evening I’ll finish up my stuff by finishing the stats and printing out the reports. I’m going to be about 4 or 5 hour working on Sunday. Yeah. I’m thrilled.
Today was supposed to be a fairly relaxed day with me doing reports and another co-worker (one of the weekend workers) getting to know the weekday routine. Thing is, she’s only worked nights alone. She trained during the day, but that was a while ago. So I had to teach her the phones again, how to page, how to log correctly, and so on. Since she’d worked only nights she didn’t have to do meal counts so I had to show her that. And it never failed, the minute we got into something she needed to learn, the damned phone would ring. It was enough to make me want to scream a couple of times. Happily she’s had her day of learning and tomorrow she has to do the shift on her own with minimal help from me. I was only able to get 5 reports done today and I have 8 more to finish tomorrow. She’s ready whether she likes it or not.
After work Bran and I went to the bank and paid a bill. Then it was off to Costco to pick up something to eat since he’d been doing our taxes (yes, I know they’re late) and didn’t think of anything and I was at work and didn’t think of anything this morning before I left for work. We picked up some Mahimahi burgers. The ingredients are the fish, canola oil and spices. We also got some cod filets, asparagus and mushrooms. I cooked some of the burgers to night for supper. I cut up some tomatoes we got from a friend (garden fresh) to have with the asparagus, fish and mushrooms. As the burgers were cooking I found they smelled profoundly fishy. That’s not my favourite aroma. So when I prepped my burgers I used some of my delicious mayo (and it is yummy) and put the tomato on top. Sadly I could only eat one. Bran thought they weren’t cooked at high enough a temperature because they didn’t brown. Oh well. Boy liked them and ate my second burger while I finished up my asparagus and mushrooms. I’m a bit disappointed, but not terribly surprised. Considering how fishy they smelled when cooking it’s not a total shock that they tasted fishy. Bran prefers salmon burgers.
When I got home I found the second book of Questionable Content. I’m looking forward to reading it as I’m nearly done the first book. I ordered the one Dominic Deegan I don’t have, Battle for Barthis yesterday so it’s on the way here now. For some reason I’m having problems reading the books we have that are after Storm of the Souls. It must be because I’ve been doing that with all the comics I’ve ordered…had the complete sets of publications and read them in order. It’ll be here in a few more days…probably sometime next week while I’m in Calgary for the AGM.
While Bran and I were at Costco we got something else, something that means a great deal to me. We got the complete collection, 18 DVDs in all, of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. Yes, I now have a complete set of the cartoon that helped me survive my pregnancy with Boy. When I came home from my job, an extremely stressful job as a constituency assistant, my brain would be total mush when I got home. Bran would sit me in front of the tv, turn on Rocky and Bullwinkle and I would stare at the television and try to figure out the machinations of Boris and Natasha, attempt to understand the witty repartee of the fractured fairy tales and comprehend the acuity of Dudley Doright and Nell. Yeah, I was pretty fucked up from that job. Bran would bring me something he hoped I’d find appetizing and wouldn’t vomit up after eating. The guys at work find it enormously amusing that I watch Scooby Doo. Wait until they get a load of this new collection.
So sayeth Boy on our way to Costco to pick up watermelons. As we were waiting to turn off the highway onto Marquis Drive there were two semi trailers loaded with military vehicles. The second one was hauling two armoured personnel carriers, the first was carrying something else, but we never did quite figure out what it was. It wasn’t an APC, it was a tank (no cannon, no tracks). We didn’t get close enough to get a good look at it. One unmistakable thing was that it was military issue.
Today was rather low key with me doing only a couple of building checks, no fills and most of the weekly reports. I should have them totally done by mid morning tomorrow. I’ll be taking some reading with me. I started rereading Dominic Deegan last night. I got through the first book and have 5 or 6 more to read to be caught up. Today I got book one of Questionable Content so I’ll be reading that as soon as I get through Dominic Deegan. I do so love my comics. I love the puns that Mookie uses with his characters (all of them) and I want a Death From Above t-shirt some day. The one that says “Don’t kick the Leviathan” is also pretty neat. But the Death From Above is so much a cat.
No one was prepared to make supper and neither Boy nor Bran did any dishes so we went out to supper. I cheated on the diet again. I’ll behave myself tomorrow. I was pouty and would have whined had I thought of it.
That’s about it. I”m tired and will be leaving the reading of blogs to tomorrow after I’m done folding all of today’s laundry.
Yeah, I lead a fascinating life, right?
He’s always talking about how becoming a woman would be a promotion, “Glad you FINALLY listened to your wife.:) One of the best blogs you have done! Really enjoyed reading it. You have a new calling, you know. Writing. Love you!” on a bit of spam today.
Today was Sunday. I know, huge news.
I got a call at 6:30 am today asking if I could work the 8 am to 8 pm shift. It would have meant 12 more hours on my time in lieu, but we had plans that I wasn’t willing to give up. We were going to dim sum! We went to our usual place, Genesis. They still do the cart thing instead of ordering from a menu (on Sunday only though, during the week you order from a menu, but you can still get dim sum during the week). It’s a hugely popular place and meal to take in on Sundays. Normally there is a line-up out of the door waiting for the reserved eaters (they only reserve for 11 am) to finish and leave. Today there weren’t as many. A couple of kids had their birthdays there with family. That was good to see. It was delicious but I’m sure not used to the carbs that were with the meal. Even the small amount on dumplings was enough to affect me. I had to have a nap after we got home. We also didn’t do our usual ordering for left-overs, well. except for possibly the Chinese broccoli dish but that came late and became leftovers by default.
After lunch we headed over to Canadian Tire and picked up a new toilet seat. The one that’s still on it now broke. We don’t have much luck with toilet seats. This is the second one we’ve had actually break – the seat part, not the mounts or screws. The first one was before Boy was born. Both Bran and I had some sort of stomach thing that kept us tied to the toilet, broken seat and all, for a couple of days before we were well enough to go out and get a new one. All the other seats had the mounting pieces break (that’s a joy) or the bolts will shear. It’s not like we do toilet gymnastics either. We just always seem to get the shit end of the stick (so to speak) of toilet seats. Hopefully this one will last longer. You know, I don’t remember Mom and Dad replacing toilet seats like we did and they raised 3 kids in that house (my oldest brother went into university the year we moved into it and therefore doesn’t count for the raised number).
After we picked that out we dropped Boy, the toilet seat and the meagre leftovers off at home and headed to The Cutting Edge for a knife that would be large enough to cut through a watermelon without having to turn it (the melon, not the knife). Bran picked out one for around $160 that should work nicely on that and on anything else that’s large and needs cutting/slicing. According to him cutting up the watermelon after we got home was like sex, or orgasmic, or something like that. They not only carry kitchen knives and such, but also Katana swords, reproduction swords, bamboo and wooden swords, hunting knives, ceremonial knives and a plethora of other kinds of cutting blades. The joy today though was a really nice 10 inch butcher knife. It’s Japanese made and should last a good long time. I nixed the $300 knife. It was nice, but that much money should buy a sword, not a knife for the kitchen. Besides, it’s not like we’re professional cooks who need that kind of quality in a knife.
When we got home Boy told me that I got a call from work. I thought it was my supervisor wanting me to come in and complete the shift. It wasn’t that though. She couldn’t find her keys. She normally puts them in a locking drawer at front desk. They weren’t there. She searched the entire front desk area and couldn’t find them. She checked her office. Not there. She had her beau check her coat at home. Not there. The only other solution was that someone had taken them. She hoped that it was staff. I told her that I didn’t have them. I had no reason to have them.
Then I had the nap I was so desperately needing. I don’t remember what time we (yes, Bran joined me) went to sleep at, but we were woken by Boy wanting to know how much of the leftovers he can have (except for the broccoli which he doesn’t like much). Bran and I sorted out a load of laundry so that I will have clothes to wear tomorrow and he got ready to go to poetry (which is where he is now). He just texted me to let me know that he forgot a notebook. He usually has a little one in his purse for inspiration. I’ve even gotten to write down an inspiration as we were driving to Costco. He didn’t want to forget the words. I like to come in handy once in a while.
It was as Bran started to sort laundry when I heard a decided thunk when a pair of my shorts hit the bottom of the basket. Shorts shouldn’t thunk. They should make very little noise. I check the pockets and there was the set of keys that were lost. Sometime last week she handed me her keys and I pocketed them. I must not have been at front desk when she did this because otherwise they’d end up in the drawer. I phoned her right away. She was extremely relieved to hear that they were safe. I still don’t remember being handed the keys but there they were, so that’s what must have happened. She was waiting on one call from a staff who worked this weekend before she went into full panic mode. Now she could relax and they’ll be put back in the drawer tomorrow morning when I get to work.
Well, I finished both the Devil’s Panties and Wapsi Square books. I sent a message to Paul Taylor (author/artist) of Wapsi Square to find out when a new book comes out and it turns out, October! Yeah, I’m happy. Oh, he did an original art piece today/yesterday of something he was sure he saw somewhere but no one else could remember. It’s of Indiana Jones carrying Lara Croft on his shoulder, running away from something while she shoots back at whatever/whoever it is. It’s very funny and well done (like I would expect otherwise from him, right). You can bid for it on eBay if you want. He’s also a top rated seller, if that plays into your thoughts. I’d bid but it’s still got 4 days left and I’d get outbid anyway.
I tried to make mayo last night but it was an abysmal failure because it wouldn’t emulsify and didn’t thicken. I put it in the fridge thinking it would make a nice salad dressing as it was. Tonight I figured I’d try again, this time following the recipe’s directions to add the oil slowly so that it would be emulsified thoroughly and thicken up. Well, this time it did. Then I had the absolutely brilliant idea of working in last night’s failure. That way it wouldn’t get wasted. That worked beautifully. The colour leaves something to be desired, something like snot but a little more vibrant but that’s from the oils. I used olive oil and avocado oil. Olive oil, virgin olive oil, has a nice light greenish tinge to it. Avocado oil is most decidedly green. The recipe calls for coconut oil but to save Bran the concern about coconut oil (and to save his cardiologist having a coronary) I changed that to the avocado oil. So the recipe is two egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (I had only coarse Dijon so I used that), 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of each of the oils. You mixed the yolks, mustard and juice together and gradually add the oil while mixing/processing/blending to fully emulsify the oil and allow the mixture to thicken. I tried using a wand mixer but it died and wouldn’t work shortly into my attempt to make the recipe. Then I used a mini-processor I have, but it doesn’t have a top hole to add ingredients. I dumped what I had mixed up into a mixing bowl and used a plain old electric hand mixer. It took a while but the mayo is done. It has a nice thickness and lovely texture. It tastes pretty good too though there’s a bitter edge that comes from something and I’m not sure what. It doesn’t make it unappealing, just surprising.
That’s about it. I’m still not hungry, though I am feeling like a snack. I should also prepare myself some lunch for tomorrow. It looks like chicken salad with the new mayo. No, I’ll do the prep tomorrow morning. This way things stay fresher.
This happened right as I was looking for tags for my entry. I told Boy to go check the laundry and he squealed. It’s not normal to hear him hit as high a pitch as he did so I asked him what was up. He said, “There’s a big fucking spider in the middle of the living room floor.” I had to laugh and I informed him that he squealed like a girl. Regardless, it is his phobia and it was one of the larger varieties we get way up North. So I went and got a plastic container put it over the spider. This enabled my phobic scion to leave the room and check on the laundry. I then found a nice large piece of cardboard (thanks to not putting away a set of school photos of Boy from when he was in grade 7) and slipped it under the container and removed the errant arachnid to the great outdoors where it can live a long life, or get eaten. I knew that Boy had an aversion to spiders dating back to when his Oma (grandmother) was alive.
She instilled a fear of crawly things in him and I worked hard at deprogramming that. In fact, it helped me with my own phobia of moths so that I can tolerate all but the largest of them. What I did was to pick up every crawly thing we found and show it to Boy close up, so he could see what they looked like and how harmless they were. Then he would hold it and feel how it tickled his hand and then it would be put down to live it’s life. We did that with everything from caterpillars and canker worms (itty, bitty inchworms that en masse will eat a tree bare of leaves in days) to ants, small spiders, moths and other creatures of the six legged variety. The words, “Isn’t it neat?” were common back then. However, it appears that the spider fear remained. And remembering the squeal now still makes me smile.