Monday, August 3, 2015

#MicroBlogMondays: Mom Hair

Hey Humble Readers...

Did you know I shaved my head last winter? Completely bald, in support of one of my best girlfriends, Sira, who was going through chemo treatments. She is, thankfully, in full remission now, and my hair looks more like something someone would actually ask a hairdresser to do for them, rather than just Velcro-like stubble.

I have no regrets about shaving my head, but man oh man I cannot wait for it to grow out. I've been told that short hair suits me and that it's really about time that I cut my hair like most moms do. I, on the other hand, don't like how I look with short hair and am looking forward to when it is long enough to actually do something with. And mostly, I don't like it because when I look in the mirror I don't see myself, I see my bio-mom.

Do you have 'mom-hair'?

This was posted as a part of Mel's #MicroBlogMondays. Click over and check out what others are sharing today.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Night Chit Chat: August Long Weekend Edition

Hey Humble Readers...

If this post actually gets published, I will be greatly surprised, as I am ready to chuck my laptop out the window. Blogging should not be this frustrating. I am unable to post any pics right now, as I can't upload anything from my computer or from Picasa. I don't know if it's just a Blogger glitch or if this is one of the myriad of problems I've encountered since my Windows 10 upgrade. Then after doing battle with trying to load a pic, I go ahead and write two thirds of the post, only to accidentally delete the whole thing. Grrr...

Anywho, I fully intended to share a pic of our dinner tonight. Sliced steak with goat cheese polenta, and a sauce made with sautéed peppers and onions, burst grape tomatoes with a little stock and steak sauce. Yummy! It was a first for the wee-lings, as they've never had polenta before, but they both gobbled it up. Of course, Pippin chose not to eat his steak or the peppers in the sauce. I did, however, question my sanity while I was stirring a steaming pot of polenta in this heat. Oh, and the way that Pippin says polenta is too cute... pwowenta.

Here's what I'm:

Reading - I just finished reading "Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times" by Emma Trevayne. It was a good book, a junior fiction (the same intended audience as Harry Potter) steampunk fantasy. It was mostly a fun read, I just questioned the main character's motivation in the middle of the story. I liked it enough that I'll probably read more in the series, if there are more. Tonight I'm going to be starting a reread of Jurassic Park.

Watching - Nothing in particular at the moment, but I'm planning on watching the Simon Pegg movie "Hector and the Search for Happiness"

Listening to - The fan labouring away attempting to move the humid air around.

Budgeting for - School stuff for Ginny. I'm actually doing not too bad with this so far. I ordered some new school clothes for her from The Children's Place, all of it at least 50% off and free shipping. We got her backpack, pencil case, and lunch bag as a set at a 40% off sale last weekend. All that's really left is the actual school supplies (I'm figuring on about $35-40 for that) and her actual school/bussing fees. I know that bussing is $150 for the year, but I'm not sure what the school will be asking for.

Excited for - The wee-lings will be doing a week of day camp (half-days) in a little over a week. Ginny is doing a camp called Bounce Into Fall, and Pip is doing Dino Tykes. I'm sure they'll have a blast, and I'll get a bunch of time to get some stuff done around the hobbit hole.

Adding to my to do list - Noticed today how terribly dirty my kitchen and living room windows are. Really must clean them.

Grateful For - My Beloved's commitment to making time for the wee-lings, even when he's busy with work and his CGA course stuff. He is in the midst of a very challenging course right now (Taxation), but he still makes time to play and listen to their stories.

Thinking About - The story I was writing earlier today.

Doing This Week - I'm trying to build a new schedule for myself that allows me to get all my should-dos done so that I can allow myself to enjoy the things I want to do. (this topic really needs its own post)

I was so glad when I popped over to Carla's My 1/2 Dozen Daily and saw that she had done a Chit Chat post. I had been thinking about doing one myself, but am just lazy enough to be glad she came up with the questions for this week.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: I Need Some Technical Assistance ASAP

Hey Humble Readers...

I have a few little odds and ends to share today. Thought I'd bring back a blast from the past and do a potpourri post.

We have a new bakery in the Shire and I am thrilled to death! You have to understand, if you looked up bakeries in the phone book or online, the only listings were for a couple of commercial bakeries and grocery store bakeries. Seriously, the first listing is for the Sa.fe.way bakery. For a girl who grew up in a city with a plethora of family owned German and other eastern European bakeries, this was a hard adjustment. The bakery we have now is a chain, but it's one I'm familiar with, and they do really great breads. I can get challah! You have no idea how excited I am about this. I know I could bake my own challah, but my bread baking skills aren't that strong.

My MIL was here taking care of the wee-lings while my Beloved and I were in Big-City-to-the-South. I love her, and I appreciate that she's willing to come and stay here, to give us the chance to get away. But, Humble Readers, she cleaned my pantry while she was here. And reorganized it. I'm equally embarrassed and irritated. I can't find anything. She also reorganized my pots & pans cupboard, and cleaned our laundry closet (we have a little room for our stackable washer/dryer). How do I tell her that while I appreciate her taking care of the wee-lings, I would rather she not clean? I know I'm not the greatest housekeeper in the world, but we don't live in filth.

I've updated the menu widget over there on the right. I'm also planning on sharing a few recipes in the next little while. I've been gung-ho on pasta salads this summer and I have a great recipe I can't wait to share with you all.

I'm not terribly happy with Windows 10. I have had to troubleshoot a number of problems, and there's one big one (to me) that I can't seem to get to work right. Since the upgrade, I haven't been able to do the two-finger scroll with my touchpad. It's very frustrating. If any of you are comfortable with uninstalling and reinstalling drivers (what the oh-so-helpful techs from Microsoft suggest as a fix), could you let me know? I need some guidance. (GAH! MY BLOGGER SETTINGS ARE ALL SCREWED UP TOO! I CAN'T REMEMBER HOW TO GET IT TO FIX THE FORMATTING. HELP!!!)

It's been pretty hot the last few days. We seem to be in this pattern of three or four days of rain and cooler temps, followed by three or four days of normal to high temps with high humidity. I think our region is the only part of the province that isn't in a serious drought situation.

The next federal election hasn't officially been called yet (possibly announced tomorrow?), and I'm already sick of all the attack ads. The thing is, I'm really feeling that I'm going to have to pay very close attention to the debates and all the stuff that the party leaders are talking about this time around. That sounds bad, that I'm an uneducated voter, but I have generally voted for the same party for most of my adult life, not because I agreed with all of their platform, but because they seemed like the lesser of three evils. I'm not convinced that another party could do better than the current ruling party, but I'm not enthralled with Stephen Harper. Me = Confused.

It's a long weekend here north of the 49th. In most provinces anyway. While I'm glad for the extra day off for my Beloved, this weekend always seems like a bit of a throw away long weekend. We never really plan anything, and it's usually stupid hot, so all we do is live in front of the fan and try not to sweat on each other.

That's about it for tonight. I'm off to go make supper. Hope you all are having a great weekend. What are you up to?

Update: I think I got the formatting issue sorted. My compose screen doesn't look the same as it used to, but at least the finished product looks better.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Food, Glorious Food

Howdy Humble Readers,

(This post was meant to post on Wednesday night, but Blogger was being persnickety)

My Beloved and I had a great little trip to the Big-City-to-the-South. 

We really didn't do much.  The only things I had planned, other than my Beloved's mock interview (which was moderately helpful), was where we were going to stay and where we were going to eat.  And knowing my hobbit-ish nature, you have to know that the food was a big part of this little trip.  Please forgive me as I rhapsodise about the wonders we experienced over the last couple of days. 

When we do any travelling, even just down the highway, I have a rule about eating out.  We WILL NOT eat anywhere we could eat at home.  I will not go to a Timmies, or a chain restaurant (unless it's a chain we don't have in the Shire, but even that's a last resort).  I prefer to find locally owned and operated places. 

My Beloved trying to eat the
enormous Booker's Burger
A big help in this regard has been the Food Network Canada show "You Gotta Eat Here" (same format as 'Diners, Drive-ins & Dives' with Guy Fieri).  Over the last few years, we have discovered, with their assistance, some amazing restaurants.  This trip was no exception. 

After my Beloved's interview, we spent some time window shopping in the downtown core before we headed to Booker's BBQ Grill & Crabshack.  From the outside, it's not much.  In fact, I've driven right past it countless time when coming into the downtown area.  It's across the street from what appears to be a very seedy hotel but we are taught to not judge a book by it's cover, right?  Oh my, it was yummy food! 

My burnt ends & fries
with bbq mayo dipping sauce
My Beloved had the Booker's Burger... a burger with smoked brisket, smoked pulled pork, and crispy onion straws... with the yam fries.  It was huge, I wish I would have gotten a picture of it when arrived at the table.  He was moaning and groaning in happiness as he chowed down.  I had the appetizer order of burnt ends (brisket) and a side of fries.  I have to say, the burnt ends were little chunks of smoky, saucy heaven.  We both agreed we'd have to come back some Sunday for their all-you-can eat ribs and crab. 

After lunch we needed some exercise, so we decided on a whim to go to the science center.  It was a fun little jaunt, and I'm definitely looking forward to taking the wee-lings there when they are a bit older.  Later we checked into our hotel and both had a bit of a rest as we had been up extra early. 

The last time we were in Big-City-to-the-South for a getaway, two years ago, we went to Big T's BBQ & Smokehouse, and I fell in love.  I had been daydreaming about their dusty rib ends and deep fried pickles ever since.  I knew that even though we had just had BBQ for lunch there was no way I was going to miss a chance to go to Big T's. 
The dusty rib ends are hiding under the ribs.

I had the two-meat plate... a half-rack of St. Louis ribs, dusty rib ends, mashed taters, and fried green tomatoes.  A heart-attack on a plate, to be sure, but oh so good.  I especially enjoyed the tomatoes, crunchy and tart.  My Beloved had the smoked meatloaf with dirty rice and potato salad, and he dared to say that it was better than my meatloaf... lol.  Then I had a bite, and I whole-heartedly agreed.  As good as Booker's was, I have to confess that Big T's is my favourite. 

That is the biggest slice of meatloaf
I've ever seen!
The last of our food adventures came this morning, at a tiny little breakfast and lunch place called OEB.  The last time we were in Big-City-to-the-South, I had wanted to visit but they were closed.  I'm so glad I put it on our list for this trip.  Their eggs come from their own flock of free run chickens.  Their potatoes are all cooked in duck fat.  Yes, I said duck fat.  And they are AMAZING!  Seriously, if I lived any closer, I would have to eat there once a week.  At least.  And I would die in about 6 months. 
My Beloved had the Croque Madame.  Thick cut sourdough rye toast topped with rosemary ham, roasted tomatoes, some of the amazing potatoes, mozzarella, summer truffles, and brown butter hollandaise.  On top of all that, as if it needed more, were two eggs. They were supposed to be sunny side up, but my Beloved and I share a strong dislike for runny yolks, and the staff at OEB were more than happy to accommodate. 

My Beloved's Croque Madam

I had one of their 'box'd breakfasts'.  Imagine poutine... that wonderfully heart-stopping Canadian combination of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy.  Now, picture that done for breakfast, served up in a Chinese food take out box.  A healthy helping of those crispy-duck-fat-fried-potatoes, topped with cheese curd from Quebec, brown butter hollandaise sauce, crowned with poached eggs (I had scrambled... again, runny yolks make me shiver), micro greens, and I chose the lox and capers.  Oh good gravy, IT WAS THE BEST BREAKFAST I'VE EVER HAD!  I couldn't finish it.  I gave it my best shot, but I was defeated.  Oh, and while my Beloved was paying, they brought him a coffee in a to go cup.  I thought that was a great touch.  All in all, OEB was well worth the 2+ years wait, and we most certainly will go back the next time we are in the Big-City-to-the-South. 

My box'd A-Lott A-Lox
I'm not going to step on the scale for a few days after all that crazy food we ate.  But it was fun, and we have a couple of new go-to places for when we head south. 

The rest of our time away was filled with a lot of time hanging out in our hotel, and a bunch of time window shopping.  We did make a couple of purchases... Ginny's backpack/lunch kit for school, a couple of little treats for the wee-lings, and some 'fancy' tea (David's Tea, Forever Nuts)  for me.  We were going to stop at an antique mall that I've been wanting to check out for a while, but we were both wiped after all that food and walking, so we headed home a bit early.  It was a great chance for us to reconnect, hang out, and just be a couple. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: Micro-Vacay

Hey Humble Readers...

For the first time in two years, my Beloved and I are heading out for a little getaway.  He has a mock interview, through the CPA program to help improve his interview skills, in the Big-City-to-the-South tomorrow morning.  We'll get to spend the rest of the day, and most of the day Wednesday, just being together without the wee-lings. 

I'm excited to get away, to do some window shopping, and to eat at my favourite restaurant in the Big-City.  Heck, even getting to stay in a hotel is a treat.  We are both leaving our computers and tablets at home, and are going to focus on just being 'us' for a couple of days. 

It's money we probably shouldn't spend, but I see nothing but good coming from a chance to recharge and reconnect. 

This was posted as a part of Mel's #MicroblogMondays.  Click here to learn more, to connect with other microbloggers, and to join in.