Monday, May 29, 2006

Where there is good, there is bad...

Funny how things can change at the drop of a hat sometimes. We started off our day yesterday in good spirits. J and I were out super early, working on the garden. I was so excited about our garden and we were enjoying each other's company tremendously. We planted our corn, red pepper, green pepper, asparagus, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber, squash, peas, snow peas...and a few rows of Marigolds just to deter the insects. Everything seemed perfect. It was a gorgeous, HOT, sunny, blue sky day. Chance was running around the property, inspecting and exploring, while we toiled and laboured. Yes, I thought, "Life is good!!"

Then we came in for lunch and I got a phone call from my mom. "Christine, I think you should go to the hospital today. Old John was admitted on Friday and he only has a few days left. He won't be able to make it to your wedding."

My heart sank and I started weeping. Funny how in only 2 yrs of me living on the island, this old man has touched my heart and has become an integral part of my life. I can't imagine my life without him in it. He CAN'T die. He IS COMING to my wedding. He IS NOT going to die!! He's NOT! J, in his silent way, comforted me. He said that God has a plan for us all and we need to learn to understand his ways. Easier said than done. Heck..I've always been an emotional wreck when it comes to death and dying. Which is why I explained to J that I cannot join the fire department or first response team with him. Sure it'd be nice to have a husband and wife team working for the community, but I am really a weakling emotionally. I totally suck because I get weepy so easily. J always says that if you take care of the community, the community will take care of you.

Anyway, it amazes me how I went from completely elated, to very, very down in the dumps. The docs say he's only got a few days left. He was like a grandfather to me....I visited him yesterday, but he didn't even know I was there. He was on morphine and was sleeping. I know all things happen for a reason and that no one can live forever. Despite the fact that I know that, it doesn't make things any easier.
Saturday, May 27, 2006

Vegetarian Rice Crust Pizza Recipe

As I was taking a stroll down memory lane, thinking about all the wonderful vegetarian recipes I've collected during my years of vegetarianism, I remembered a college enviro pot luck party I hosted. There was this really cool French dude named Michel who made homemade soaps and THE MOST AMAZING pizza!!! Get this...he used absolutely no wheat products!! The crust was made of RICE!!

Some of you may recall me mentioning in previous posts that J's nieces have nut allergies and one of them has celiac disease, which means she is allergic to wheat and gluten products. The girls have very serious allergies that they need to carry epi-pens with them at all times. Thank goodness Auntie Christine has never had to use those big ass needles! Yeeeeouch!

Anyway, the rice crust is gluten free and healthy. It is easily workable and with a nice taste. If desired, you can change the filling to a good old fashioned Italian Style filling.

long grain white rice or brown rice, uncooked
water or vegetable broth
egg, beaten
cup grated
mozzarella cheese
Tabasco sauce or red hot sauce
tomato sauce
garlic, finely chopped
dried oregano
dried basil
teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
2 1/2
cups grated
mozzarella cheese, , divided
mushrooms, sliced
medium green pepper, seeded and sliced
medium sweet red pepper, seeded and sliced
medium fresh
tomato, , sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil
6-8 servings

40 minutes 20 mins prep

RICE CRUST-----------------.
Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
In a medium size saucepan, add rice and water or broth.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
Fluff rice with a fork and set aside to cool slightly.
In a mixing bowl, combine cooked rice, beaten egg, mozzarella cheese and Tabasco sauce and mix well.
Press mixture evenly into a lightly greased 12 inch pizza pan, covering bottom and sides.
Bake in preheated 400 F oven for 4 minutes or until set.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly before adding filling.
In a mixing bowl, stir together tomato sauce, garlic, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, oregano, basil, Italian herb seasoning and black pepper.
Spread sauce mixture over the bottom of the rice crust.
Sprinkle over with 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese.
Arrange sliced mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, sliced tomatoes, and sliced red onion in layers.
Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of remaining mozzarella cheese over top.
Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Bake in preheated 400 F oven for 15 minutes or until cheese bubbles.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
You can also use chopped fresh broccoli as another vegetable.
Friday, May 26, 2006

A veggie paradise...

I was looking at some old photos of myself in my 'singlehood'. Pics of me in college with my wormy group --long story...I belonged to a enviro collective in college where we tried to save the world from destruction and peacefully sorted worms for our vermicomposting. Yeah, there's a lot about this crazy girl that you don't know ;) There were pics of me visiting my friend Kelly in Barbados, me working at various summer camps for kids (ask Kelly...I think one of them was actually called HELL!!!), me teaching and living in Japan, me touring Singapore (eating Singapore noodles and slinging back a Singapore sling), me touring Bali....

Bali has got to be one of my favorite places in the world. Keep in mind, I went there before all the bombings!! I was at the Sari Club weeks before it blew up!! Bali is filled with lush flora and is rich in history. The temples are breathtaking and the rice fields are stunning.

Bali is also a vegetarian's paradise! A full meal cost me at the time, less than $4 US! Fresh fruit, amazing fruit beverages, spicy noodle or rice dishes...all less than 4 bucks! We also stayed at a wonderful hotel (absolutely gorgeous!!) for about $12 US/night! How ridiculous is THAT???

Anyway, my Bali pics brought back memories of my veggie days. I try not to eat too much meat, (I still sometimes feel ill if I think about what I'm eating) but sadly, I am no longer vegetarian. I'm not vegan and I'm not lacto-ovo, though I wish I could be once again. I was vegan for only a few months, but realized I loved dairy way too much. Lacto-ovo suited me just fine. I was mortified when I discovered that the veggie patties (like Jamaican patties without the meat) were not exactly vegetarian...they were made with beef suet!! Anyway, I had to slowly incorporate meat back into my diet because I was getting very sick after many years of vegetarianism. I know it's sad and it goes against all of my moral beliefs. It's still hard for me to do...but I was on weekly trips to the docs for B12 shots and was anemic and my hair was even falling out in clump-fulls. Oh, and how ironic is it that my husband-to-be operates a cattle farm??? I have a hard time with it because these creatures are so beautiful and I can't help get attached to them.

Well, I wanted to share two of my fave veggie cookbooks. They're both by Mollie Katzen. My fave (and it was my vegetarian bible in college) is The Moosewood Vegetarian Cookbook and the other is The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! There are loads of yummy and moderately easy to prepare meals in both books.

Everyone's having babies!!!!

My friend, Chelsea and her hubby are proud to introduce to the world, their little boy (who has yet to be named). At birth, the little cutie was nearly 8 lbs and had a head full of white-blond hair. I am soooooo excited for the happy couple. What an exciting time this is!

So far, 3 out of my 8 pregnant friends have delivered. We're still waiting on 4 more babies in the next few weeks and one sometime in November!!!!

In other news, J and I had our 'marriage course' the other night. It was pretty laid back and actually fun. A few topics we hadn't thought about were brought up. It was interesting and only reinforced how we feel for each other. We had to fill out a 'quiz' and not show our partner until the end. One of the questions on there was "When would you like to start your family?" and we both wrote "RIGHT AWAY!!!!" LOL.

Three weeks until our wedding. The days are whizzing by! We are excited. Since I've got no baby pics to post, I'll post some of the ones my SIL e-mailed me.
My SIL (my bro's wife) and me.

My maid of honor and me.

The "Elmhurst Girls"!! We were roommates, many moons ago. So nice to be together again. Here's my gorgeous mommy-to-be friend, Dina! Doesn't she look absolutely stunning??

A Tasty Summer Treat...

The other day, I was at our local FreshMart and they were having a sale on strawberries and blueberries. It was 3 for $5, so I just had to buy some sweet, yummy berries since ours won't be ready for a while yet.

J's been working soooo hard and since he had a fire practice and firefighters' meeting, I decided to reward him with a cool, tasty, healthy, sweet treat.

You will need the following:
1 c strawberries, halved or quartered
1 c blueberries
2 c yogourt (I use natural/plain low fat or vanilla, but you can use whatever you want)
1 c granola (I use AllBran cereal instead. It gets a bit mushy or soggy, but it's less fat than granola)
4 tbps almond slivers (I use unsalted sunflower seeds, because J's neices are allergic to nuts, therefore we don't have any in the house)

This recipe makes 4 servings, so you will need 4 parfait dishes. We don't have parfait dishes, so I use good sized tumblers.

1) layer the dish with yougourt
2) add a layer of strawberries
3) add a layer of yogourt
4) add a layer of granola
5) layer some blueberries
6) add a layer of yogourt
7) some more strawberries
8) a dollop of yogourt
9) garnish with a few blueberries and a strawberry
10) sprinkle with almond slivers (or sunflower seeds...)

Absolutely deeeelish...and not bad for you either! :)
Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Did you know....

1) Racoons can stay up a tree for more than 2 days???? My 'city dog turned country', Chance chased a coon up our front tree yesterday. The coon's just a yearling and according to my hubby-to-be, coons can stay up a tree for a few days until they get hungry. I feel sorry for the poor thing. Chance has been diligently standing guard beneath the tree. I wanted to save the coon and return him to the forest, but J insists that they're pests and they do more damage than I think they do. Hmmmm...

2) Asparagus tastes yummy raw!! Who woulda known?? I certainly didn't! I've always eaten them cooked! I've either steamed, boiled, braised, grilled, sauteed them...but never ate them raw! An old farmer told me to try it and I must say, asparagus does taste yummy raw! They taste kind of like snow peas--a little sweet and really refreshing.

3) Rhubarb isn't that bad!! In the city, I HATED rhubarb. I guess it's because we never really ate much of it...nor did we know how to cook it. J's mom has taught me a bunch of wonderful ways to use rhubarb! Rhubarb and strawberry go very well together.

4) We're getting married in THREE weeks!! Holy crap! Time does fly!

5) If you freeze your paint brushes after using them, the paint doesn't dry and harden. Just take the paint brushes out of the freezer 10 mins before you use them again and they'll thaw out and be as good as new. I've been painting the outside of our house--well, just the trim around all the windows. J's got soooo many windows!! Arrgh!

6) If you put your rubber bands/elastic bands (in a platic baggie with a twist tie) in the freezer, they last longer and don't get brittle. My MIL2B has taught me so many neat little tricks.

7) You can make homemade lip balm by mixing together vegetable shortening (Crisco or whatever you have on hand) and a packet of cherry kool-aid.

8) I still haven't figured out how to get rid of grass stains!! Anyone???
Sunday, May 21, 2006

Another long weekend has come and gone

Why is it that long weekends always seem to fly by so quickly? It's not like we actually have long weekends here with our business, because we never really have 'holidays'. Holidays are actually our busiest days with guests at the inn filtering in and out.

Victoria Day...I've never really thought much about this holiday, except for the fact that we had an extra day off work and a nice extra long weekend. My British friends always thought it was amusing that we celebrate Victoria Day. In Ontario, all my colleagues always called it "May two-four weekend" and I never had a clue what they were talking about because in Quebec no one calls it that. Anyway, "May two-four weekend" has always been something I looked forward to.

This one was an insanely hectic one.
1) My former students (from Mexico, Korea and China) came up to the island for a visit. They arrived at 6AM on Sat. and we did the whole touring the island thing. I brought them to the beach where J and I will get married in a few weeks. With my two little nieces in tow, we had a blast. The water was a beautiful crystal aqua color and the beach was just gorgeous. The students also went hiking at the Cup and Saucer hiking trail and Bridal Veil Falls.

2) J's youngest sister was up on the island to help bring down the barn. What an ordeal. They sure stopped traffic as everyone wanted to see what was going on. The old barn was built in 1940 and was just too old for J to be driving is tractor in. It had to go.

3) BBQ parties and family dinners..

4) LOTS of motel duties. We're fully booked again this weekend. This means lots of cleaning and mountains of laundry.

I had a great long weekend. It was loads of fun. Tomorrow night J and I have our marriage course to attend. I'm curious as to what is involved since we're getting married in a few weeks. What exactly is entailed in these 'courses'?

Quick question...

Does anyone out there know how to remove grass stains from clothing??? I've got an article of clothing that is white and I DESPERATELY need to get that grass stain out...pronto!!

You'd freak too if you found out what item of clothing this is!!! As for why this article of clothing has got a grass stain on it....well, stupid me. I was cutting grass and after I came in, I wanted to try this thing on. I thought my hands were sparkly clean, as I washed them twice before trying the thing on!!

Anyway, I'm a dummy. Can anyone PLEASE tell me how to remove grass stains??? I've checked a few sites on the internet, but want to hear what works best for you.
Thanks a bunch!!! Damnit...I'm such a dumbass! I had a bad feeling before I tried the thing on...kinda like "Maybe now's not a good time to do this." Lesson learned: Always trust your gut instinct. Darn...
Friday, May 19, 2006

Our Special Place

I wanted to do something special for J, so I had our pictures taken at our special place. This is the beach where we'll be saying our "I do's" 28 days from today!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

So long Bos...

Today was a sad day, as I bid farewell to Boswell. No, I didn't have him put down...but still feel very upset. The lady who gave him to us last year came by and said she'd take him for a few days until someone else adopts him.

With him eating the birds we're raising and him running away...and being short tempered with little kids, it really isn't safe to have Bos around. I know it's for the best, but I will miss him. He has so much character and is a sweetie (when he's not in a bad mood). He's just old and cranky and really doesn't like being around little kiddies.

Anyway, at least I still have Chance :)
Monday, May 15, 2006

the boob tube

I don't really watch much TV at all (even if I do have over 800 channels with satellite TV), but when I do, I like to make sure it's worth my time. If I do have time to watch TV, I enjoy HDTV --just love learning how to beautify my home and garden! Very educational! I also like the Life Network- lotsa inspiring stories. I get weepy when I watch the Baby Story or Wedding Story. I love What Not To Wear!! Once in a while, I also try to watch some shows on the Food Channel. I love learning new recipes and tricks to being a good hostess and to feeding my man some healthy and yummy meals. I rarely get to watch these shows, but when I do, I just love 'em.

Though during the week I don't watch TV much, I'd have to say that one of my guilty pleasures is watching my shows on Sunday nights. John hates Sunday nights. Sundays are the only nights when I have to watch my shows. Poor guy! I have to watch Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. I can't help it! I'm hooked.

I'm determined to get John into DHW and GA. Hey, I've already got some of the firefighters hooked on DHW!! Can you picture these big, strong men hanging out together on Sunday nights for "Desperate Housewives Night"??? LOL Classic!!

PS. J's got a weakness...He's addicted to CSI (more so just the original CSI and not Miami or NY). However, J's more inclined to picking out weaknesses and improbabilities of various scenarios. His knowledge of these things amazes me. Guess he must have picked up a thing or two whilst working on the fire department and the first response team!! Nonetheless, he enjoys CSI for it's element of surprise and twisty endings.
Sunday, May 14, 2006

I feel pretty damn fugly right now!!!

I know today is not a day to be's mother's day. However, I can't help but feeling so peeved right now. Someone (all names witheld) had the nerve to invite people (whom we don't really know) to J's and my wedding!!! It's OUR friggen wedding and we wanted a very small and intimate wedding with only very close family and friends!!! Who gives this person the right to invite whomever this person pleases!?!?!?!?! I mean, crap, J and I don't even KNOW these people this person invited. That's not even the point! The point is that it is OUR wedding!!!

This said person has criticized someone else for having the nerve to invite people to someone else's wedding a few years ago...yet this person is doing the exact same thing and it's okay. Go figure!!

If J and I wanted a big friggen wedding then we would have had a big friggen wedding! But we didn't! We wanted to share our special day with loved ones and people special to us....not with strangers! Maybe I'm more pissed about the fact that I feel I'm not in control of MY friggen special day. Maybe it's not that big a deal. Maybe I'm just anal and am spazzing out for nothing. But if we wanted to invite a whack load of people we don't know too well then we would have. J and I are certainly well connected enough. He's got firefighter friends from different townships, business acquaintances...and I've got friends and acquaintances from the hospitality industry and wouldn't be hard to have a big ass wedding...but that's not what we wanted!! I am so upset, I feel my blood pressure rising!

I know...relax....breathe...everything will be okayyyy. I'm stll mad though! LOL and I hate being mad because I can get pretty damn fugly when I'm mad!!! Not just ugly...I get uuuuuuuuh-glay!! I mean, started out as a wonderful day and now I'm just plain 'ol ticked off!

Absolutely SICK!!!

I've always had a soft spot for animals and am very anti animal cruelty. I was horrified to discover this morning that the old man who lives in town had an unfortunate experience with his dog recently. Hershey is the sweetest little dog ever. She's so friendly and so happy and everyone just loves her.

Well...apparently not everyone. Our old friend leaves his dog untied, as he's of the old mentality that farm dogs should not be tied and that it's cruel to do so. Hershey wanders into the township on a daily basis, plays with all the kids (everyone knows Hershey), and just has a jolly good time. A few days ago, someone, obviously against untied dogs, took a hook and smacked Hershey in the back of the head because she was wandering about town. The hook went through the back of her head and to her eye. The poor thing has survived the blow, but may lose her eye. She also has a gaping wide hole in her neck, but the vet said she may be ok. Man, that just pisses me off. If someone has a problem and doesn't want to have dogs running around town, just talk to the dog owner...don't injure, harm or inflict pain on the animal. I mean, c'mon! This is some old man's companion!!!

If the dog were wild, rabid, had mange or something, or if it were causing problems then do what you have to do to save your life. I do know for a fact that this was not the case. I'm very good friends with the old fella who owns Hershey and I have babysat Hershey while he was in the hospital. She is the sweetest, most docile, gentle dog ever. This whole thing just makes me so angry!!

Now, isn't that ABSOLUTELY disgusting? How could ANY human being with a heart ever do something like that to an animal? Sick, sick, sick! I'm absolutely enrgaged!
This being said, I do believe that pets should be tied up if they are not supervised. If you've got hundreds of acres and the dog remains on your property and doesn't wander, then sure. We let Chance loose on the property if J or I are around. Otherwise, he's tied up but on a long leash. We've screwed stakes into the ground and ran a clothesline-like wire through so he can run around, yet still be on leash.

As a pet owner, I feel that my dog's safety is important. I wouldn't want him running into the highway or getting cornered by a pack of wolves...or shot by a farmer who is upest that he's on the loose. Personally, I'd prefer dogs who live in the city or township to be on leash. I hate driving up the highway and having dogs running in packs or trying to bite my tires as I drive by. It surprises me that some pet owners do let their dogs loose like that. Aren't they worried that their pet will get hit by a car one day??

Anyway, even if Hershey was roaming, I still think it is a horrible thing to cause injury like that to an animal. Who is the animal now? I believe whoever did that is far more barbaric than Hershey could ever be.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

A Happy Mamma's Day to all the very special mommies and moms-to-be out there! Wishing you all the very best and hope you're spoiled rotten today :)

To my mom and grandmother, I luv ya sooooooooooo much!!
Saturday, May 13, 2006

the old dog

Just a cute pic of Boswell. He may be 5 times smaller than Chance, but he sure knows how to tell everyone who's boss! He's a real show stopper and loves the limelight. How could anyone want to put this little guy down...even if he is a monster sometimes!!
Friday, May 12, 2006


You HAVE TO read this!! LOL This was e-mailed to me by my darling mother. I laughed so hard I nearly peed in my pants!!!

Tell me this has never happened to you!! LOL Enjoy!

Ultimate Waxing
Wax is not your friend!
CAUTION: Be prepared to laugh out loud

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair And now...the wax.
My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, play wit h the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet."
So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom. It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. YA THINK!?!)

So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ("Cold wax," yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.
With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my *hoo-hoo* and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (Yes, it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself....RRRRIIIPPP!!!! I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!....OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!
Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP!!! Another deep breath and RRIIPP!! Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I may pass out...must stay conscious...Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe, breathe...OK, back to normal. I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX???

Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am touching wax. CRAP! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down.

DANG!!!!!!!! I hear the slamming of a cell door. *Hoo-Hoo*?? sealed shut! Butt?? Sealed shut! I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!" What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!! I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right??? WRONG!!!!!!! I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipmen t - I sit.

Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax. So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied myself to the porcelain!! God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!! I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter -

"So, my butt and who-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!" There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking cheeks or who-ha?" She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!!!! Right !! I should be the joke of someone else's night. While we go through various solutions. I resort to scraping the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better then to have your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!! By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event.

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace.... the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GOD!!!!!!! The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. It's sooo painful, but I really don't care. IT WORKS!! It works!! I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair....THE HAIR IS STILL THERE.......ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!!! So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point. Next week I'm going to try hair color......

Random pics

Here are some pics: The J McNaughton and Family Barn

J and me
Nala heading up to the master bedroom

Deer grazing as we eat our breakfast (there's no more snow though! This was from two months ago) It's not really a good photo, but if you look closely, you'll see six deer out there. This is the view from the kitchen window.


I always knew I had a very sensitive nose and an even more sensitive stomach. Friends used to laugh because it was as if I could puke on command. Well, not really. I'm just very sensitive when it comes to smells. It's a little embarrassing.

I LOVE Chinatown, but for some reason, my tummy cannot handle the odors. WHAT IS that smell anyway??

Then there was the time many moons ago when I visited Miyajima Island in Hiroshima, Japan with a British friend of mine. We were walking around saw this Japanese guy selling deer skin....only he had the carcasses of the deer hanging from hooks. "Don't look now, but..." my friend started to alert me, but it was too late. BLEHHHHHHHHH...I puked right there and then. I just cannot control my pukey self.

I've come up with a list of Smells I love & Smells I hate:
Smells I love:
1) that milky new baby smell
2) roses
3) brewed coffee
4) homemade bread baking in the oven
5) freshly cut grass
6) laundry right off the clothesline (yeppers, I don't use the dryer in the summer. Saves energy/hydro. I only do this at J's and my house because at the inn we have way too much laundry to do and we have to use the dryer)
7) hubby
8) pear glace body lotion from victoria's secret
9) lit candles (unscented though- some candle fragrances give me wicked headaches)
10) vanilla

Smells I can't stand:
1) coffee breath
2) cigarettes, cigarette smoke, cigarette breath...
3) B.O.
4) puppy breath (sorry, Chance. I love you, but your breath smells like butt)
5) kitty breath (even worse than dog breath! Nala's breath always smells like fish even if we never feed her fish!)
6) litter boxes and cat poopy
7) the dump (yep, we have to bring all our separated garbage to the garbage dump ourselves)
8) decomposing organic matter (I have a little bin for my compost inside the house that needs to be brought outside but I sometimes forget it's there and when I do remember and open the lid, the smell makes me want to hurl.
9) liquid manure (you heard correctly. Some of the farmers here spread liquid manure on the fieldsto fertilize the soil. Works like magic, but depending on which direction the wind blows, the stuffsmells like...well, you don't want to know what it smells like! LOL)
10) the smell of meat cooking--just reminds me too much of burning flesh. I know...I'm a weirdo.


I've always been told that "beggars can't be choosers". I hate that expression. Anyway, my mother has been hinting severely on taking her out to the most posh (actually, I think grammar rules would dictate that the adjective would have to be "poshest" but "most posh" sounds better) restaurant on the island for Mother's Day. Last year I brought her there, as she really loves dining at the Royal Michael's Bay Golf and Country Club . I brought her and my dad, and since I was paying, they just happened to invite one of our motel guests to tag along.

Anyhooo, this year it's going to be a busy Mother's Day weekend since the barn has to come down. Yes, you read correctly: We're takin down the barn. The J. McNaughton & Family barn was erected circa 1940. The woodwork is about to give way and with J driving in there with his tractor to carry out bales of hay, we can't have that happening. It's just not safe. It's a pity because the barn is gorgeous. When you see it, you think nostalgia, rustic farmland, country living, the days when people worked and lived off of the land.... Anyway, it's coming down this weekend.

This is the conversation I had with my mom:

Mom: Are you taking me to Royal Michael's Bay again this year?
Me: No. This year we're really busy with the barn coming down.
Mom: Oh, but I really love Royal Michael's Bay!
Me: Well, at least we're giving you a nice mother's day present :)
Mom: Hmph! I don't want a present!!! I want to go out to Royal Michael's Bay!"
Me: uhhh...gee, thanks.

End of conversation. Knowing me, I may give in and take her to RMB.

A Full House

This week in review:
*Wonderful Surprise His and Her shower for J and me organized by my wonderful SIL2B.
*Famous again- I'm in the local newspaper TWICE this week! 1x for the shower and the 2nd x for the unveiling of the project I'd been working on for 7 months with 3 other committee members.
*Painted the bathroom at J's house. It's no longer's now 'frost' and looks A LOT cleaner and bigger. Call me boring, but I like sticking to classic white and cream shades when it comes to wall paint.
*It's a full house at the motel this week. It's the opening of fishing season so the same families that stay with us every year are back. 5 families come with their kids so this year it's 10 adults and 15 kids!!! Most of them are toddlers and infants with 3 kids around 10 yrs old. Sooooooooo much fun! Oh, and sooooooooo much hot chocolate to make and muffins (or as 2 yr old Cody calls them, "puppins") to bake!!


Dreams...just the mind's garbage can? Premonition? The mind acting out things that are happening in your actual life? Are dreams symbolic? How do you decipher them?

A few weeks ago, I was having trouble sleeping. Tossing and turning, I finally managed to give in to slumber. Now this part I'm not sure if it was a dream, though it must have been because I can't imagine something like this happening in real life...

I lay in bed and J was sound asleep. I opened my eyes and looked at the ceiling and hovering above me, there was an angel. A soft, dim glow of white light- I couldn't see her face, but I could feel her presence. She said very softly, "You are now blessed with child." Crazy, eh???? So what is one to make of a dream like that? What does that mean???? Pregnant with thought? Pregnant with potential? I have no idea.
Monday, May 08, 2006

Honeymoon Hot Spots!!

J and I are still thinking about our honeymoon destination. We're getting married in June, but unfortunately, we run our own businesses so we can't get away until the off-season in Oct. or Nov. We're really crazy busy on the island in the summer months. We're thinking Caribbean cruise or something like that. I've been to 11 countries (all over Asia, Indonesia, the Caribbean and North America) but have never been on a full-on cruise. John's only travelled around Canada and the U.S. so he said a cruise would be nice.

Got any ideas or advice on great honeymoon places??? Where did you go on yours? Is Oct/Nov typhoon season??


What a big surprise! I had a conversation last week with John’s middle sister. It went something like this:

Lori: What are you doing next weekend?
Me: Not sure yet. Why?
Lori: John’s (her husband’s name is also John) accident was a year ago so I was thinking of throwing a little get-together to thank members of the community for being so good to us and for helping us out.
Me: Oh, that’s sweet!
Lori: Yeah, so Sunday at 2 o’clock.
Me: Okay, for sure. That sounds good.
Lori: Okay then!
Me: See ya then!

Sunday (yesterday) my mom was fussing and asking me to empty her memory card on her camera and upload all the pictures onto her computer so she could take pictures at Lori’s get-together. I didn’t think anything of it.

We get to the Oswald farm and there are TONS of cars parked out back. I still didn’t think anything of it, as I knew this was a community thank you thingy for John Oswald. Well…there were so many people there, all hugging me and everything. My mom was taking photos of me with everyone and it was driving me nuts, as I hate having photos taken of me. I went to the living room to talk to some other people and there were balloons and flowers and lots of food. My friend Rita said, “Do you have any idea why you’re here?” “Uhh…yeah. It’s John Oswald’s thank you get-together.” Rita pointed to a banner which hung above my head and it read: “BRIDAL SHOWER!!”

I had no clue! I was in shock because Lori and everyone else had held this under my nose for the longest time and the entire time, I was under the impression that the party was for Lori’s husband. Of course, my fiance was late. He was working hard on the field. The guys on the fire department almost went over to his place to get him. He also had no idea.

Lori gave me a copy of the invitation she had sent out in the mail a few weeks ago. It read: “You are invited to a HIS and HER Bridal Shower”. How sweet is that?? I cannot believe I fell for my future SIL’s story!! We were laughing because I honestly thought it was a thank you to the community party.

We were showered with lots of wonderful gifts and the people who were there were people in the community who we are very close to. Seeing all the people in the room made me feel so good and so blessed. John (my John) always tells me, “If you take care of the community the community will take care of you.” He is so right.

A big thank you to everyone who was there and to my wonderful future SIL and MIL for organizing the event. Thanks also to my future nieces who helped their mum with all the shower stuff. I’m so lucky to be part of such a great family.
Saturday, May 06, 2006

Wedding Cake Fun

Choosing our wedding cake was a very difficult task for us. We wanted a cake that would blow our guests away and one that they'd remember for a long time. So often, I've attended weddings where hardly anyone ate the cake. I figure if we're paying a lot of money on a cake, people had better be eating it, damnit!! lol

I realize that the wedding cake isn't the most important part of the wedding and that it's the actual day and the promise that the couple makes to each other...but hey, if we're going to be doing this one time in our entire lives, it had better be one amazing cake!!!

The other week, we got together with the owner of the famous Garden's Gate Restaurant (featured in various travel magazines) and she went over some ideas with us. I brought in photos and recipes that I wanted to run by her and she did the same. J was along for the ride, but said, "Whatever you want. This is your day. You're the bride." I corrected him and said it was "our" day though :)

I'll show you some wonderful cake pics, but you'll have to wait until the wedding to find out which gorgeous and delicious cake we chose!!! I can't wait!! 41 days to go!

a cool summer salad

...and low in fat too!!

My mum-in-law-2b made this awesome salad with ingredients I would never have thought to put together!! It's nice and light, tasty, filling, and good for you!

Ingredients for your Pineapple-Green Grape Cottage Cheese salad:

1/2 a container of cottage cheese* 1/2 c. seedless green grapes; halved* 1 can bite sized pineapple; drained (save and use juice for something else--waste not want not!) * 2 tbsp sunflower seeds*

Blend all ingredients together. This is a very yummy salad. You can sweeten the mixture with sugar replacement such as Splenda. I personally don't add any sweetener or sugar because I don't feel the recipe needs it. If you do use sweetener, just make sure it doesn't contain asparthame.

*Did you know...*
Cottage cheese is protein rich, a good source of calcium, and can be enjoyed by anyone anytime of the day; it’s an excellent component of a healthy diet. There are so many ways to enjoy Cottage Cheese right from the container as a quick snack, or at breakfast or lunch on top of fruit, a bagel or salad. I sound like a cottage cheese advocate, or what? :p

just a cute picture

Chance being cute

Betcha didn't know how horrible a guard dog Chance is! He never lets us know when there are people on the property!! J said that someone came to get their order of fire wood and Chance just let them!! No barking, no growling...nothing!! Hmmm....a little too friendly, I suppose!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Gotta luv it!!!

OMG...Got to the motel (we've got motel guests, as tourist season has started already) and there was a present sitting on the table for J and me. It was a wedding pressie from some returning guests of ours. They come 2x a year every year and have become friends of ours. Regardless, I was still shocked. It was soooo thoughtful and soooooooooo unecessary!! They're a sweet elderly couple and the wife keeps in touch every month by writing my mom and me letters. Very sweet. They had us open the pressie and to our surprise, it was a gorgeous crystal bowl!!! Holy smokes...totally unnecessary! They said that they just wanted to give us something to remember them by, as I've "always been so nice and so good to them whenever they stay at the motel". Wow...


Yep. Life is perfect. The first sailing of the year (for the ChiCheemaun Ferry)was today. The boat is the lifeline that connects the island to the mainland from the southern port of entry. In the north, there's the swing bridge, which is open year-round and is the only other way on and off the island. The ferry is a thoroughfare for travellers who wish to go south towards Toronto or the U.S.

Without the Chicheemaun, the island would be at a loss. Tourists just love the Chicheemaun too.

My mum-in-law-to-be, my youngest niece and I went to the ferry terminal to see the arrival of the first ship of the year (it's a tradition for them). I must say that the feeling was pretty neat. It signifies the start of a new season and the sound of ferry traffic on the highway is a welcome one. Soon Europeans, Americans, and Canadians from all over the country will be paying the Island a visit. It's a really exciting feeling. The island will be bustling with activity for the next few months, until next off-season arrives.

Last night, we attended the official opening of the season for the Royal Michael's Bay restaurant. The appetizers were delicious and the meal was superb (as usual). Sweet potato & apple soup, salad with duck confit, sirloin steak with a vegetable medley and for dessert we had a very smoothe creme brule. It was an enjoyable evening. J and I mingled with various council members, motel and resort owners, business owners, the owner of the newspaper and distinguished members of the community. I love this life!! Great company and fantastic food. What a wonderful combination.

Cool new finds at the garden center! I just purchased some herbs for my garden. My cool new buys are: Greek Oregano, Lemon Thyme and Parsley. Can't wait! The asparagus is starting to poke out and the raspberry canes are cleaned (thanks to my mum-in-law-2B). I'm gonna have a rockin' garden this year!!
Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ahhhh...what a wonderful life

Got up super early as today was our official unveiling of our project for the Manitoulin Tourism Association. The reeve (yeah, he's sort of like the mayor of our township--trust me, I had no idea what a reeve was either before I moved up to rural Ontario!) was there, along with council members, members of the community and the media. Our committee worked tirelessly on this project since October of 2005 and now we're finally done!

The unveiling was a success and a report with photos will be in next week's newspaper.

Tonight J and I are going to the grand opening of yet another wonderful season at the Royal Michael's Bay Golf and Country Club. It's by invitation only-I just know the right people to rub shoulders with ;p I love the restaurant. It's really the classiest place to dine on the island. Island socialites dine there, as well as tourists, as many people who live on the island will not dine there because they think it's too expensive and too 'upper class'. I think the food is wonderful and the scenery/atmosphere is phenomenal. It's definitely worth a visit if you're up on the island. Anyhow, my fiance has never dined there, so he's looking forward to it. Hey, and we're dining for free! Opening night...I know the manager...we run a motel and we give each other business in the summer season...This is a very good publicity move on Royal Michael's behalf!
Monday, May 01, 2006

Cool new product!!!

I've been debating over the past few weeks on whether or not I should try to mask my tattoo on my wedding day (it's a small-ish sun I designed myself and it's located on my right shoulder). Sure, my tattoo is a part of who I am, and it is very special to me, but there will be a lot of older people at the wedding (lotsa seniors!!) and I also don't know what kind of effect my tattoo will have on the 'look' of my wedding dress. Should I be traditional for just one day and cover it up??

My sister-in-law, Lele (aka Elisha) has been great in helping me find a way to mask my tattoo. She told me about this amazing product called Cover FX. Cover FX offers maximum coverage, is natural looking, waterproof and is a concealer/foundation all in one. It's good for people with sensitive skin (like me!), it's got vitamin E and SPF 30, and is not tested on animals. It's good for all-day-wear, and doesn't I won't have to worry about messing up my wedding dress!! (Thanks, Lele!)

Size :: 12 g / 0.42 ozPrice :: Can/US - $37.00

Is it just me or what???

I don't know about you guys, but I've been receiving an increased amount of 'junk mail' in my inbox these days. It seems like the past week or so I've been getting more and more junk from people I don't know.

I've even got my filter on as high as possible, and still get the annoying e-mail messages! They're more crafty now though. Instead of "Increase your penis size" or "viagra offer", the subject headings are more along the lines of "Re: your message" or "Re: your account".

Aside from having the filter set on max and sending all mail from unknown sources to the "bulk" or "junk" folders, what can one do to get rid of these annoying e-mail messages?

I've even got an e-mail address that J and I are using just for wedding stuff and only friends and family have it. Guess what? Those damn spammers have even mailed us at that address!!! WTF?

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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