Thursday, June 28, 2012

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Rebecca Hunter and Jennifer Kinzel.   You two ladies have won yourself a Redneck Wine Glass each.  Please reach out to me via Facebook with your contact information for shipping purposes. 

Thank you to all who entered.  I suspect I'll do something similar again in the future.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ground Bait

I know there is this phenomenon about bucket lists and having one.  I guess I have things I feel are in my bucket list, but I've never really sat down long enough or pondered its existance long enough to actually have a good solid list for the said bucket.  Maybe that's another blog post in the future.

Today I did something I never thought I would do in a million, kajillion years. It is something I wouldn't even consider putting in my bucket list.  Why you ask?  Because I hate running and don't have a care in the world to have bragging rights or to actually do it.  BUT,  today I signed up to run a 5K marathon in September.  What the what what???  I know right???? 

There's a twist though.  A brilliant, beautiful and innovative twist that had me at hello.  It's also an obstacle course!  And there are zombies chasing us!  And we have health flags.  And if we lose all the health flags we can still find health packs hidden in the terrain throughout the course.  And we get a medal whether we live or 'die'.  And my family is doing it with me!  And then there is an Apocalypse party after with 15 bands and food and beer tents and camping.  This is a 5K run I can get on board with.   

So we've signed up to participate from both sides.  We will be zombies (professionally made up and clothed by their trained and talented team) in the morning (stumbler zombies, let's not kid ourselves, I'm not running this course twice!), then we'll break for well... a break and lunch.  Then we'll run the course ourselves in the afternoon.  I'm hoping by being zombies first, we'll get to know the terrain and maybe scope out where the health packs are stashed for when I move too slowly and the zombies take all my health flags.  Then following the day of stumbling and running, we'll all hang out and drink beers, eat and watch bands, then camp out and head home in the a.m. 

My brother, Geoff, sister in law Anita, a couple of their friends, Eric, Gage and a couple of his friends will be joining me so I'm really truly looking forward to this adventure.  It is something I never thought I'd do or frankly never thought I'd want to do.  But now that I've signed up for it, I'm actually looking forward to having some bragging rights.  I'm excited, nervous and a little scared.  I'm just not sure if the nervousness and scaredness is because of the zombies or the actually running...

Check out the website and if you can find the opportunity you should join us!  We are taking over the world one brain at a time as the Ground Bait crew.  Put that name down as the group you want to eat brains with and you'll be paired up with us!  It's gonna be super fun and tasty.  What a great way to spend my birthday weekend this year!

Monday, June 25, 2012

No. 2

Warning:  Somewhat graphic poop post.  Beware.

These are two entirely separate and unprovoked converstions I had with my children.  They occured on different days in entirely different months.  Some how I'm truly blessed.

Gage:  Mom, I took the biggest dump (though I think he used the word shit) at work today.  Like no kidding, the biggest shit I've ever taken in my life.  Like it filled the entire toilet.  I couldn't believe it.  Wasn't sure it would even flush.  It was seriously massive.
Me:  That's lovely Gage.
Gage:  I just thought you'd want to know.
Me:  Yes, thank you.  I totally did.

Roan:  Mom!  I just took the longest poop ever.  And I don't mean the amount of time I was in the bathroom.  It's seriously the biggest poop.  Like as long as ruler. 
Me:  Did you flush the toilet?
Roan:  Not yet, it's for real the longest poop I've ever taken, like this long (and proceeds to hold his hands about a foot apart). 
Me:  Jesus Roan, go flush the damn toilet, I don't want to see it.

Sigh, boys are wonderful.  Boys are truly, truly wonderful.  A real gift!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tuna Tasties!

So for the past month and a half while I've been on this meat free diet, I've been forced to come up with dinner ideas to satiate my hunger.  It has basically been me, perusing Pinterest around 3 p.m. every day to determine what I'll be making for dinner that evening.  For the most part I've been quite lucky in my selections.  A few duds here and there, but mainly amazing dishes.  The following has to be my absolute favourite one to date.  I could eat these just about every single day.  They are so good.  So if you like tuna (and I absolutely do!) then you'll probably dig these.  I don't eat mine on buns, I just eat them on my plate with a salad or side dish.  I've also poured balsamic salad dressing on my plate and dipped them in it too!  I'm a dipper, what can I say. 

Thai Tuna Burgers
(adapted from Crazy Plates, by Janet & Greta Podleski)

1 cans of tuna drained
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or panko
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tbsp. red chile pepper (use fresh, dry or pickled)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 egg
1 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Flake the tuna apart in a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients.  Mix well. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes (I admit to skipping this step more often than not, but it does help them set up a little firmer).  Form mixture into 6 patties, about 1/2 inch thick.  Cover the bottom of a frying pan with vegetable oil and heat.  When hot, fry the patties for about 4 minutes per side.  The burgers should be cooked all the way through, but do not overcook.  They should be someone crispy on each side.  Serve and enjoy!  It's really that simple!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I've decided to try something new here.  I'm going to do a giveaway of one of my crafts.  Actually there will be two recipients, but one craft idea.  If this is successful, perhaps I'll pick another craft and I'll do this sort of thing again. 

I have no idea who reads my blog or if anyone will even want what I'm going to give away, but I will never know if I don't at least try right?  And who doesn't like free stuff?  There's no catch either.  Yup, for reals.  No hidden fine print or signing up for anything (though how nice it would be if you signed up to follow my blog...just saying).  It's just my way of saying thanks for reading my blog and thanks for tolerating all the craft related blog posts! 

So for this contest I've decided to give away (to two people) one "redneck" wine glass each, as shown in the photo below.  The only way to enter is to leave me a comment following this blog post (don't just 'like' the link on Facebook, that won't count. Leave a comment there or here).  Oh and don't forget to leave me a way to contact you if you are the winner! 

The contest will be open until next Thursday (June 27th) at 12 noon.  At that time two winners will be drawn at random.  I will post the winners on my blog so check back!  Good luck to all those who enter. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Missy Aggravation has an aggravating lack of motivation.

I'm not sure what's happening with me lately, but I'm feeling quite uninspired.  Uninspired to do pretty much anything.  I'm having a hard time getting anything accomplished.  I've got too much on my plate and I'm finding it more irritating than inspiring.  And when I say "I", I guess I mean Eric and I. 

I'm having a hard time wanting to clean my crafts...finish what I started in the new den...get Gage's new bedroom started and built...sort out the pipe issue in the basement so I can start redoing the rec room...redo the rec room...and be diligent with getting my mother's pergola finished so this feeling of guilt will leave us.  Sigh. 
Even typing it out is daunting. 

All I'm feeling is pressure.  It's like when you're SO bored you don't want to do anything to break that boredom.  I'm trying to find a way to motivate myself (and Eric), but I feel so exhausted.  I feel like my days off aren't my days off.  We are trying to cram too much into a 2 day period  and no one is getting satisfied.

I don't even know how to wrap up this blog post!  Blah.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I followed Beyonce's advice...

I put a ring on it.

Wanna see my new ring that I got at a garage sale for ten bucks?  Ya you do (and frankly Eric's tired of me showing him and continuously talking about it).  It's big and it's pretty and it's made out of quartz and it's pink.   There she be!   I hope I never break her. 

Brrr, that's frosty!

Hot damn folks, this girl made homemade strawberry jam this weekend.  I know, I know freezer jam is so much easier than normal jam but you know what?  I have to start somewhere and frankly my grandma's strawberry freezer jam was my absolute favourite.  And since she moved into the senior's home, we don't get it anymore.  So I thought (after seeing different recipes on Pinterest) that I'd make the attempt and see if I could replicate a childhood memory.  And since we are heading into strawberry season and locally grown strawberries are my absolute fave what better time than now? 

So here's the recipe I went with. I was a little worried that it wasn't firming up as much as I'd have liked, but my mom did remind me that freezer jam never really does.  But the consistency is alright so for a first time attempt I'm pretty happy.  It didn't yield as much jam as I would have liked, but since it was a total breeze to make I am going to grab a slab of strawberries this week and make some more this weekend.  I should then have enough stock to take me through the winter.  And I scored a box of mason jars (for a completely separate Pinterest project) a couple of weeks ago at a garage sale for $5 that have now come in even more handy than I was originally anticipating!  Double win. 

Freezer Strawberry Jam

2 cups of crushed strawberries (locally grown, in-season berries are the tastiest)
4 cups of white sugar
1 package of Pectin
3/4 cup of water

Clean and chop up strawberries, wash thoroughly as no one likes the green leafy stuff in their jam.  Use a hand blender to crush them even further and mix in sugar.  Let stand.  In the meantime,  mix the pectin in the water and bring to a slow boil on medium heat.  Boil for 1 minute.  Mix sauce in with sugared berries and let stand for a minimum of 5 minutes before filling containers.  Leave containers to sit on the counter for 2 hours or so before placing in the fridge or freezer.  Should last in the freezer for 8 - 10 months. 

Green Thumb Girl

Last year at a garage sale, I found a sweet score.  An red, antique toboggan made of wood for a mere ten bucks.  I picked it up with the intent to give it to Eric's brother for his son, but it really wasn't too practical for winter walks.  So I decided I'd keep it and use it for a planter this gardening season. 

I ended up having Eric extend our garden up the side of our front walkway so I'd actually have space to enact this idea.  I also thought the pea shrub Eric's parents got us in memory of my dad would look really nice closer to the walkway rather than tucked away at the far end of the garden.  Of course I was right.  (It's really not too often that I'm not.)  I moved a couple hostas over and planted some annuals.  There's the before picture up top and the after picture (by after I mean, two weeks later). 

Today after breakfast, Eric's mom surprised me with a rose bush she had picked up for me appropriately named the Marilyn Monroe rose.  It's an apricot/peach coloured rose.  I ended up planting it in the spot where we had originally planted the pea shrub last year, under my bay window.  I hope it takes off, it's a beautiful rose and it smells fantastic.  It's unfortunate with all the roses that come through our building at work that none of them smell so sweet.  They have all just been so over bred that they've just out and out lost their sweet smell. 

Et Voila!  This is my garden before I got all the annuals planted (well one side of it anyway).

Not Walking the Walk or Talking the Talk

Last year our family participated in the Relay For Life Cancer Walk in Windsor in honour of my daddio.  It had only been a couple of months since he had passed away so the wounds were still oozing with freshness.  It was an evening of mixed emotions.  Extremely emotional for me to watch the cancer survivors march as an act to "open" the walk but lovely to be surrounded by my dad's (and my) amazing family.  I cannot begin to do them justice for the way they ALL pulled together to support us and each other at, probably, the most difficult time most of us have/had gone through.  It was such a rewarding evening that this year the family was on tap to do it all over again.  This time with a potential lantern release (similar to a balloon release) and a proper tent set up and everything.  Then shit went down.  Waaaayyyy down.  And I've decided I'm not going this year.  And there won't be a next year. 

The point of the walk for me wasn't to raise money for the Cancer Society (though I was quite proud that we raised over $5000.00 in his honour as a family).  Quite the contary as I really don't believe strongly about that particular charity.  It was to acknowledge my dad (first and foremost) and to spend time with his (our) family as a whole unit. 
This year though, there is some huge shit (and that's the only way I can figure out how to properly descibe it) going on within my dad's family.  Mainly between two of his sisters but it seams like even without really trying everyone else is being pulled into it whether it's intended or not.  I'm doing my utmost best to remain neutral on the subject or rather just stay out of it all together and not get involved. I suppose I'm privy to a little bit of what's going on but not the nitty gritty details and that's just fine with me.   I'm not sure I have enough information to actually form an educated opinion on the subject.  Never the less, this situation has put a huge divide through what was once a very close family.  This year the majority of the family will not be present at the walk so I've decided that I'm not going either.  I just won't get out of it what I wanted to get out of it, what I got out of it last year and what I need to get out of it should I go this year. 

I have a pretty clear idea of what my father would say about doing the walk amongst all this crap, so I'd rather just stay home.  I'd rather not listen to people I love talk smack about other people I love.  I'd rather not hear information from either party that would taint my opinion of the other party.  I'd rather not have to fake my way through the night just to play nice should I form a negative opinion.  So I'll stay home and make sure my kid gets to work on time.  I'll help Eric at my mom's house work on the pergola he's building for her.  I'd rather hit up garage sales.  I will work towards the completion of my den.  These things are just more important to me right now.  And the main thing is I'll still keep loving all the people I love, faults and all.  Because sometimes ignorance is bliss.


So we are merely into the second week of June and I can already update my summer time list.  Hopefully I can keep this pace going and get almost everything accomplished this sunny season. 

1.  Go camping
2.  Go to a concert
3.  Continue to eat less meat in my diet
4.  Spend enough time out in the sun for all my freckles to emerge
5.  Start redecorating Gage's old room so it transforms into a den
6.  Start building Gage's new room
7.  Continue crafting
8.  Find 10 new recipients of my crafts that I haven't given anything to  (4)
9.  Craft something and keep it for myself
10.  Garage Sailing
11.  Weed, trim and plant flowers in my garden
12.  Re-upholster a couch
13.  Take lots of pictures
14.  Go dancing with my ladies
15.  Make an effort to spend time with old friends
16.  Drink beers on a patio
17.  Finish my 'girlies' tattoo
18.  Roadtrip
19.  Buy fruits and veggies from a roadside stand
20.  Find and make new recipes
21.  Re-shingle my roof
22.  Have a bonfire
23.  Go for a hike
24.  Take evening walks in the neighbourhood and look through people's windows
25.  Spend time with family
26.  Play Scrabble like on an actual board, not the computer
27.  Play Cribbage
28.  Bring people flowers
29.  Spend an afternoon paying it forward
30.  Go to an amusement park.
31.  Finish Gage's new room so we can start the new rec room
32.  Sleep outside one night on the trampoline (douse self in bug repellant first though)
33.  Fire a gun
34.  Make homemade jam
35.  Do a photo shoot
36.  Go to the zoo
37.  Take Roan to a matinee
38.  Go to Lilydale for a night
39.  Finish the new den
40.  Go to the beach

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mushy and Complex

I learned at a seminar on the brain recently (besides how difficult it is to listen to a speaker with a speech impediment for 3 hours and stay focused) that the brain is divided into two halves.  Actually I knew that already.  It was also reiterated to me that the left half helps us deal with the organized aspects of our thoughts, the numbers, the letters, basically the OCD part of our lives and the right side is the artistic and playful side. 

What I wasn't aware of was that for 90 minute intervals one half of the brain is more dominant and in use while the other half 'rests'.  Since the brain is always working, even when we're sleeping, this is a way the body has adapted to allow it to have a break.  Which is why some times it's easy to focus on reports and tedious stuff but at other times I can't get my head around them or feign any interest in them at all.  Same goes for crafting. 

I also learned how you can tell which half of the brain is dominant at any given moment.  Take your right finger and plug your right nostril (on the OUTSIDE! Do not put your finger in your nose.).  Inhale through your nose.  Then do the same thing (after releasing your right nostril) to the left nostril.  You will notice that one side is stuffed up and the other side is clear for breathing.  **This trick won't work if you have a cold.  The side that is stuffed up is the side of the brain that is currently dominant.  Don't worry they switch up on average every 90 minutes.  So if you're having a hard time concentrating on a project perhaps it's because you're in the wrong half of your brain and you need to sit it out for the rest of the 90 minutes before tackling it again.  I wonder how far that theory will take you in the real world, but it sure explains why I want to blog because I have free time, but I really can't come up with anything to blog about.  Though now that I've just finished this one, I notice that my right brain has moved into the dominant position!  Figures.  It's weird too, because not 6 months ago did I just realize that one of my nostrils was always stuffed up and I was quite perturbed about that.  Now I understand.  And once I understand, my tolerance rises.

Brilliant Bob

He's not perfect.  I'm not either, and the two of us will never be perfect.  But if he can make me laugh at least once, causes me to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, I'll hold onto him and give him the most I can.  He isn't going to quote poetry, he's not thinking about me at every moment, but he will give me a part of him the he knows I could break.  I will try not to hurt him, and I won't try to change him, and I won't expect more than he can give.  I won't analyze.  I will smile when he makes me happy, yell when he makes me mad and miss him when he's not here.  I will love hard when there is love to be had.  Because perfect guys do not exist, but there's always one guy that is perfect for me. 

- Bob Marley