Thursday, November 30, 2006

My mom's so cute

Hubby and I invited my parents over for supper last night and after our meal, we introduced my mom to the incredible world of PlayStation2. LOL! She is now addicted to Karaoke Revolution Party and is a certified mic hog! :) Too cute!

PS. Lele and Bu, you'll be proud to know that I got "Diamond" records for Material Girl, Do You Really Want to Hurt me, Dust in the Wind, Time after Time and "Platinum" for I Love Rock n Roll. Hubby got Platinum for Sweet Caroline and Uptown Girl. Mom, on the other hand....booed off stage :) She's still cute though!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blast from the past!!!!

Inspired by MsMamma's latest post, I decided to pay hommage to the top 100 songs for the year I graduated from high school. The idea is to take the top 100 songs from the year you graduated high school and bold the ones you liked, scratch the ones you hated (thanks, MsMamma for teaching me how to do that html code! LOL)and leave those you feel neutral about. I don't even know who some of these singers are or what the hell song that is. To be honest, I'm a true product of the 80's and the only songs that I really liked in the 90's were rock ballads, tunes from the mullet years, glam rock... *sigh* and we thought we were so cool! Here, my friends, are the tunes from 1993! lol!

1. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
2. Whoomp! (There It Is), Tag Team
3. Can't Help Falling In Love, UB40
4. That's The Way Love Goes, Janet Jackson
5. Freak, Silk
6. Weak, SWV
7. If I Ever Fall In Love, Shai
8. Dreamlover, Mariah Carey
9. Rump Shaker, Wreckx-N-Effect
10. Informer, Snow
11. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang, Dr. Dre
12. In The Still Of The Nite, Boyz II Men
13. Don't Walk Away, Jade
14. Knockin' Da Boots, H-Town
15. Lately, Jodeci
16. Dazzey Dukes, Duice
17. Show Me Love, Robin S.
18. A Whole New World, Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle
19. If, Janet Jackson
20. I'm So Into You, SWV
21. Love Is, Vanessa Willlams and Brian Mcknight
22. Runaway Train, Soul Asylum
23. I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me), Expose
24. Ditty, Paperboy
25. Rhythm Is A Dancer, Snap
26. The River Of Dreams, Billy Joel
27. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), Proclaimers
28. Two Princes, Spin Doctors
29. Right Here (Human Nature)-Downtown, SWV
30. I Have Nothing, Whitney Houston
31. Mr. Wendal, Arrested Development
32. Have I Told You Lately, Rod Stewart
33. Saving Forever For You, Shanice
34. Ordinary World, Duran Duran
35. If I Had No Loot, Tony! Toni! Tone!
36. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), Meat Loaf
37. Slam, Onyx
38. Looking Through Patient Eyes, P.M. Dawn
39. I'm Every Woman, Whitney Houston
40. Baby I'm Yours, Shai
41. Come Undone, Duran Duran
42. I Don't Wanna Fight, Tina Turner
43. I'd Die Without You, P.M. Dawn
44. Whoot, There It Is, 95 South
45. Hip Hop Hooray, Naughty By Nature
46. Another Sad Love Song, Toni Braxton
47. Will You Be There, Michael Jackson
48. Comforter, Shil
49. Good Enough, Bobby Brown
50. What's Up, 4 Non Blondes
51. All That She Wants, Ace Of Base
52. 7, Prince and The New Power Generation
53. Dre Day, Dr. Dre
54. One Last Cry, Brian McKnight
55. Just Kickin' It, Xscape
56. I Get Around, 2Pac
57. Bed Of Roses, Bon Jovi
58. Real Love, Mary J. Blige
59. Here We Go Again!, Portrait
60. Cryin', Aerosmith
61. Cats In The Cradle, Ugly Kid Joe
62. What About Your Friends, TLC
63. I Got A Man, Positive K
64. Hey Mr. D.J., Zhane
65. Insane In The Brain, Cypress Hill
66. Deeper And Deeper, Madonna
67. Rain, Madonna
68. The Right Kind Of Love, Jeremy Jordan
69. Bad Boys, Inner Circle
70. That's What Love Can Do, Boy Krazy
71. Do You Believe In Us, Jon Secada
72. Angel, Jon Secada
73. Forever In Love, Kenny G
74. Again, Janet Jackson
75. Boom! Shake The Room, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince
76. When She Cries, Restless Heart
77. Sweat (A La La La La Long), Inner Circle
78. It Was A Good Day, Ice Cube
79. More And More, Captain Hollywood Project
80. How Do You Talk To An Angel, Heights
81. Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat), Digable Planets
82. What Is Love, Haddaway
83. To Love Somebody, Michael Bolton
84. Give It Up, Turn It Loose, En Vogue
85. Alright, Kris Kross
86. Check Yo Self, Ice Cube
87. Fields Of Gold, Sting
88. Ooh Child, Dino
89. Faithful w/ Go West
90. Reason To Believe, Rod Stewart
91. Break It Down Again, Tears For Fears
92. Nothin' My Love Can't Fix, Joey Lawrence
93. Three Little Pigs, Green Jelly
94. Livin' On The Edge, Aerosmith
95. Hey Jealousy, Gin Blossoms
96. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Sting
97. Anniversary, Tony! Toni! Tone!
98. One Woman, Jade
99. Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Taylor Dayne
100. Two Steps Behind, Def Leppard

Harmony in a Multicultural city???

I don't know why this memory just resurfaced. It was a crisp winter night (years ago, when I still lived in Toronto) and beautiful, delicate white snowflakes swirled about in the evening air. There was a light dusting of snow on the ground, and the city was lit up with holiday decor and people on their way home from their office Christmas parties. I always thought it was funny that we celebrated "Office Christmas Parties", since many companies had employees that did not celebrate Christmas. Anyway, it was just an appreciation night for employees and everyone was able to enjoy a nice dinner and the company of workmates. Toronto was always a gorgeous city at night.

I said goodnight to my co-workers, and hailed a cab. It was late and I didn't want to take the night bus or the subway. I just longed to be in the comfort of my bed and wait for slumber to take me. It wasn't long before a taxi stopped at the curb. Thank goodness I didn't have to wait long. I had on my thick winter coat and my scarf and mitts, but I still wouldn't have wanted to wait long for a taxi.

"Where to?" asked the cabby, and I told him the address.
Generally, I'm a very friendly person and I love engaging in convesation with strangers. I love getting to know about people's lives and their backgrounds. This cabby was friendly and talkative. He was wearing a turban and I forget where he said he was from. I remember him saying he was Sikh though. Very friendly guy. That's what I liked about Toronto- you could meet people from all over the globe in one city. Imagine all the interesting stories and funny ways how people are connected somehow.

"Where are you from?" asked the middle-aged man, as he looked at me from his rearview mirror.
"I'm from here." I replied.
"No, where are you from?" he insisted.
Getting annoyed now, I said, "I'm from Toronto. I was born here. I'm Canadian."
He seemed to be getting edgy now and his pleasant demeanor started turning into something aggressive. "What country are your parents from?" he demanded.
I happily told him, "My dad's Caribbean/Chinese and my mom's Filipina".
"AHA! I thought so! You're Philippine!"
"My mom's filipina."
"Do you have a boyfriend?" Okay, now this is where things were getting uncomfortable.
"Yes, I do." Even if I didn't, I'd have said that I did, because I was getting creeped out.
"Is he black? White?"
OMG, was this guy serious??? "He's actually French-Canadian" I said.
"I thought so. Philippine women are loose. They go with anyone." I was shocked! Excuse me??? He kept going on about filipina women but the words kind of got lost in a muffled sound. I guess I was tuning him out. I told him, "Stop the car. Let me out here." I gave him my money for the fare and ended up taking the night bus to my apartment.

In a city as multicultural as Toronto, I'd have thought that people co-existed and respected each other. Was I being naive? I was so infuriated! Stepping into the cab, I just thought he was a nice man. I had no pre-conceived notions about him. The guy didn't even know me- he didn't know that I have a university education and that I am a teacher...and just classified all filipina women with 'going with anyone', being either a nurse, domestic, nanny, or prostitute! That just pissed me off! To me, people are people. Everyone deserves to be treated well and with respect. You can't just say all people of a certain culture are one type of people.

Perhaps the memory of this incident has resurfaced because it's a reminder of how jaded and disillusioned that incident made me. I can see how I started off the taxi ride with excitement and enthusiasm, being in the company of a friendly, talkative man who reminded me of a type of father figure. Gradually, I felt the arrogance and the aggression and my idea of living in a city where everyone treated each other with kindness and respect seemed like a childish idea. When I got off the bus, I thought I should have taken his employee number and complained to the taxi company. That wouldn't have done anything though. Not only do you not insult the person who's giving you money to earn a living, but you also don't insult strangers like that. I tried to think up excuses for his behaviour. He's from a country where women are subservient to their men. He's from a patriarchal society. Nah...there is just no excuse for saying things like that. My parents taught us that all cultures and nationalities ought to be respected. It scares me to think what some people may teach their children if they grow up saying things like that cabby did. I'm not angry about it anymore...just sad for him.

In mourning

Yes, I'm mourning the loss of my beloved crockpot. You see, this wasn't just any slow cooker! Oh, no. It was the mother of all slow cookers! It's a 6.5 Quart Oval Stainless Steel Slow Cooker, ideal for 6-7 people (great for us since I have a large family and love entertaining), with removable Stoneware and
glass lid. This was a wedding present from one of my aunts and it has become my most treasured kitchen appliance. This baby was heaven sent. I'd just get the food ready, chop up some root vegetables and let that baby slow cook and simmer all day long and when we got home from work, Hubby and I would have our meal all ready for us.

Yesterday something dreadful happened. The stoneware cracked. It needs replacement. How does one replace a wedding present without a receipt or proof of purchase? So sad. I need my crockpot! lol
Monday, November 27, 2006

You can learn a lot from a three year old!!!

When I was in university, my friend Fran used to occasionally bring her three year old to class with her. Taylor was a very good kid and didn't disrupt our classes, lectures or labs at all. Fran was a single mom and one of the coolest, hippest mommies I'd ever met. She was in her mid-twenties and I was in my early twenties. Fran was artsy, creative, friendly, musically inclined, and politically aware. Like me, she was vegetarian and involved in the environmental committee at our university.

One day, after our Intermediate Spanish class, Fran needed to talk to our prof, and Taylor needed to use the bathroom. I told Fran I'd take Taylor and meet her at our fave restaurant on campus. Taylor amazed me. She used the sleeve of her sweater to open the bathroom door. I lined the toilet bowl with toilet paper (I know, I'm a freak!) but Taylor didn't even sit on the toilet! She hovered over the seat! Of course, she used the kiddie toilet- you know the small ones that are closer to the ground) Now that I think of it, that was pretty talented for a three year old! I used to have to hover when I used the public toilets in Japan...and if you don't perfect your hovering technique, you could seriously pee all over you feet! LOL! After Taylor was done her business, she again used her sweater over her hand to open turn the taps and to press the button for the hand dryer. WOW! Frannie taught this kid well! That wasn't the only thing that surprised me. When we were at the restaurant, I sat Taylor on one of the stools by the counter and chit chatter with the waiter. The waiter slid over a bowl of nuts and to my surprise, Taylor refused. Then the waiter slid over a bowl of after dinner mints. Taylor refused.

"You don't like nuts or candy?" I asked.
"Mommy said never eat nuts or candy from those bowls because men don't wash their hands all the time after the bathroom."
I was shocked. So that's what she meant by PEE-NUTS! LOL!

Fran is now married and has four kids and a dog. She is a nurse and has studied Naturopathic Medicine, reflexology and Reiki. Taylor is now 11 years old! She's still a smart cookie!!!
Sunday, November 26, 2006


I was in the kitchen washing dishes and the kittens were playing, when one of them runs into the kitchen with something dangling from its mouth. Not thinking, I went over to see what she had. OMG! There was this little dark grey thing flailing its limbs all over the place! I soon realized what was going on, and when I approached George, she started to GROWL! I had no idea kittens could growl! LOL Her sister, Fred was curious too, and came up to see what was happening. As soon as Fred came by, George ran away with the mouse! A little field mouse had somehow gotten into our greenhouse, which the kitchen overlooks. The greenhouse is a large room with glass walls and a sloping glass ceiling. All of my orchids, Buddha Bamboo, and other plants thrive in there. I guess the warmth of the greenhouse had attracted that little field mouse as well. I had left the adjoining door open so I could maximize the heat from the greenhouse (solar heating and alternative energy are things Hubby and I are very interested in). Anyway, a mouse found its way into the greenhouse. Urgh.

"HOLY CRRRRRAP!!! We've got mice up here??!?! One of the kittens got one in the greenhouse!!!" I panicked on the phone to my mother-in-law.

"You live in the country, dear! There's mice everywhere!" She said, laughing.

Oh boy! I guess I'm still a city girl :) Can you imagine my horror when I tried to save the mouse and release it back into the woods?! CRRRRRRUNCH! Our tiny little George had devoured the entire mouse! Ewwww! Traumatic.
Saturday, November 25, 2006

What's for dinner?

Some of you may recall that a few months ago, we tore down the old barn because it was too old and unsafe for Hubby to be driving his tractor in there to store and retrieve bales. We were so busy this summer and fall, so now we had to clean up all the debris before it snows. There was a lot of steel from the roof and wooden beams that needed to be moved.

We had been out for a good portion of the morning, when I realized it was time for Hubby's dinner! (I also learned that farmers eat their main meal in the middle of the day and they call that dinner. The smaller evening meal is called supper) What to cook on limited time??

I whipped up a Spanish fritatta (courtesy of my Tita Josefina), broccoli and corn, and some homemade bread. Of course, Hubby has grown up eating dessert after meals, so I took out some raspberries and rhubarb and made a quick fresh fruit dessert.

For your fritatta, you will need a few potatoes, an onion, some minced garlic, cooking oil, 4 eggs, 1/2 green pepper, 1/2 red pepper (cut into cubes),salt, milk, black pepper, and whatever seasonings or extras you like. Heat a medium sized pan (if you've got one that can be put in an oven, that's even better). Slice potatoes thinly, and cook them in the oil with garlic and chopped or sliced onion. Add peppers and let cook for a bit. In a bowl, wisk eggs and a bit of milk, until frothy. Once potatoes are fully cooked and tender, add egg mixture and season with your salt and pepper. Let cook like an omelette. You can even transfer into the oven if you want. Cut up the fritatta like you would a pie and serve.

There's your quick, easy, and tasty meal in less than 20 mins! You can add meat if you want to, but I never add any.
Friday, November 24, 2006

It's almost that time of the year again...

Is it just me or does it feel like the holiday season is just around the corner? I can't believe how fast time flies! Stores are all putting up their holiday decorations and all the specials are on already. Crazy!

I've already started some of my Christmas baking (I know...I'm crazy). I also needed a bunch of little gifts for people we see every now and then (like the mail delivery lady, the ladies at the post office, friends from church, etc, etc, etc). To save time this year, I've done a little bit of cheating. I've used the help of Kraft Canada Kitchen's useful tips for Holiday treats.

Here's what's on my list of pressies to give out to our favorite people during the holidays. (Okay, I admit, I simply cannot bring myself to use pre-made mixes or boxed I've substituted them with my own homemade baking, but used the decorating ideas from the Kraft website)

For those of you who don't have too much time to do your baking and are at a loss of neat, easy, economical, personal gift ideas for your kids' teachers or babysitters, your officemates, friends (or whoever!), check these out:

Confetti Chocolate Pretzels
to view recipe, click here

Peppermint Bark
to view recipe, click here

I'm also making Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti , Chocolate Cookie Bark and Hanukkah Sugar Cookies .

Oh deer!

The hunters staying at Hubby's hunt camp are leaving this weekend. I secretly wished they wouldn't have any luck with their hunt this past week. I kind of feel sorry for my uncle, who drove 9 hours from Montreal to land a buck or doe. He saw lots of deer on our property, but wasn't able to get any.

I know the boys at the hunt camp got 5 or 6 deer, but haven't had any more for the past two days. I think the deer have all been spooked with the sound of gun shots. I know we'll see them again once the huners have all gone home. The deer have to come out to eat sometime!!
I know hubby tells me again and again that the deer population needs to be thinned out and that if there are too many, they will bring disease and the wolf and coyote population will increase. I can't help but feel sad though. These creatures are just so beautiful and so graceful. I love watching them graze or bed down in our back field. This is one part of rural living that I don't think I'l ever be able to get used to :(

A visit from my brother

My brother was up for the day and it was great being able to see him (even if it was such a short visit). Lele and Bu are going to be parents in a little over three months. I cannot wait to be an auntie! Hubby and I have twoi nieces (his sister's kids) and we see them quite often, but I can't wait to hold that cute little baby when he/she arrives!

Lele, please forgive my dodgy technological skills (I swear, my computer skills are next to none!) but I've put together a little collage for you and Bu. It's Lele and Bu before the arrival of Baby Lee!

Not only was I able to have supper with my brothe and do some catching up, but we also exchanged Christmas presents (I know, it's a bit early)!! Lele and Bu got us the Karaoke Revolution game for PS2!! lol

Dogs and Cats

For all the pet lovers out there :) E-mailed to me from my friend, Dave.

Excerpts from a Dog's Daily Diary:
8:00 am Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm Lunch! My favorite thing!1:00 pm Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm Wow! Watched TV with my master! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary:
Day 683 of my captivity: My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the floor. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. The audacity! There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage. Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded! The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. The captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe for now....
Thursday, November 23, 2006

Oh no! Another meme! lol :)

3 Thingammajiggers Meme
from Curiosity Killer

1. 3 Things that scare me: Religious fanatics, thought of losing my family, pedophiles (I worry about our little nieces all the time)
2. 3 People who make me laugh: Hubby, PJ, and Ms.Mamma
3. 3 Things I love: My family, my friends, and art
4. 3 Things I hate: racists, arrogance, abrasive people
5. 3 Things I don’t understand: pedophilia, racism, gay bashing (I have quite a few gay friends and it hurts me to hear some of the things they have had to endure because they’re gay)

6. 3 Things on my desk: My computer, fax/telephone and one of our kittens
7. 3 Things I’m doing right now: Blogging, talking to Hubby, organizing documents for the arrival of one of my ESL students (he’s arriving in a few weeks)
8. 3 Things I want to do before I die: Have children, visit Australia and New Zealand, have grandchildren
9. 3 Things I can do: Cook, bake, paint/draw/sketch
10. 3 Things I can’t do: Drive a stick-shift (though Hubby is teaching me), bake like my mother-in-law, speak Chinese
11. 3 Things I think you should listen to: your conscience, your parents, Filipa Giordano’s CD
12. 3 Things you should never listen to: racist remarks, gossip, slander
13. 3 Things I’d like to learn: Drive a stick shift, capoera (I took a few lessons at my gym in Toronto, but man is it ever hard!), quilt or knit
14. 3 Favorite foods: lasagna, anything Thai, sushi
15. 3 Beverages I drink regularly: Oolong tea, green tea, mango juice
16. 3 Shows I watched as a kid: (ONLY 3??) Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life, The Wonder Years
17. 3 People I’m tagging (to do this meme): Jill, Ms.Mamma, Dina

And if you want to play, please do! And let me know! I'll read it!

Happy Turkey Day...

to all my American friends and family :) One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories was the year I celebrated Thanksgiving TWICE! I had Thanksgiving dinner with my family in Canada and then a month later, went to Philadelphia to visit a friend of mine. I was included in his family's celebration. It was amazing to see how similar, yet how different the two holidays are! We both had similar menus of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin and apple pies. In the states they had something we don't have here: BISCUITS!!! Hot, melt in your mouth, biscuits! Yum!

One of my uncles is from Florida and he tells me that Thanksgiving is sometimes even more important than Christmas. He says that Thanksgiving is a time when all the college kids go home to be with family and that it's a really big thing there.

Another thing I noticed when I was in Philly was that almost every house on my friend's street and in his neighborhood had the American flag prominently displayed in front. My friend had the U.S. flag throughout almost all of the rooms in his house too. I sometimes wonder how it must be to feel so unified as a nation and to feel so patriotic. Many Canadians are patriotic too, but in a much different way.

Anyway, Happy turkey day! May you enjoy the company of close family and friends, and copious amounts of good food and good times :)
Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I just realized that I have not cooked supper at all in the past week and a bit (which is odd, because I love cooking). Ever since my aunt and uncle came up to the Island from Montreal, all our suppers have been made for us. We've been spoiled with all the dishes I miss from the city (because we don't have the ingredients for them up here). We've also had a meal at my MIL's house since Hubby's sister was here on the weekend from Barrie. Tonight we're dining with the boys. The hunters are cooking Hubby and me a spaghetti supper. Tomorrow we're off to supper at our friends' house. Hubby and I don't get to go out much, so this is the most socializing we've been able to do in a long time. When you live on a farm, it's hard to get away and visit friends.

I'm going to miss my aunt and uncle when they go back to Montreal on the weekend :(
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

When a Stranger Calls

I don't know about you, but I'm the biggest chicken when it comes to being alone at night. I've always been this way. I try to muster up my courage, but my imagination always gets the better of me. Every little sound just gives me the goosebumps! (Why do you think I own a dog? lol)

Many of us have heard those urban legends about serial killers scaring unsuspecting babysitters at night. I used to babysit when I was a teenager, and these stories just sent my imagination into overdrive!

The movie When A Stranger Calls (2006) is the adaptation of the classic tale. Imagine getting settled in your routine babysitting job and as soon as the kids are in bed, you get some unsettling phone calls from some stranger telling you to "check the children"??? What's even worse is that the phone calls are traced and they're coming from inside the house!!!

Yeah, I admit it, I'm chicken. This stuff is just too creepy for me! lol
Monday, November 20, 2006

My husband thinks I'm funny

Okay, I was caught! I mentioned a few months ago how much I hated reality TV shows and thought they were just plain stupid and a waste of time. Last week, my hubby came home from a meeting and caught me crying (yes, crying!!) as I watched America's Next Top Model. In this particular episode, The Girl Who Breaks Down in an intense acting challenge, Caridee reveals something traumatic about her past. The girl who expresses herself the best in her acting ability lands a role on the TV show, One Tree Hill.

Out of all the models in the running for America's next top model, I'm quite partial to Caridee. There's something about her that I really like. The story she told and her breakdown on stage just sent me reaching for the box of tissues! I know, so sad!

Anyway, I have a feeling that the judges' decision in the end with be between Caridee and Melrose. My husband thinks it's funny that I cry even for stupid reality shows and sappy TV commercials. Oh, and you don't want to sit next to me if we're watching a Disney movie! The Lion King and The Little Mermaid...Bambi, Cinderella...oh boy! Whenever someone is hurt or sad (even if they are fictional characters), I end up weeping too! lol

Here we go!!!

After many attempts to attach this photo to my last entry on children's books, finally I was able to upload this (unfortunately in a new post though). Forgive me, but I'm slightly technologically challenged! :)

Anyway, Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree is a story about a tree who loved a little boy and through the years, the tree kept giving the boy everything she had until she had nothing left to give. The parable challenges readers to try not to take loved ones for granted. It's a wonderful story for readers of all ages.

In my garden

I grow seeds of compassion, love, understanding, and hope. I’ve also planted kindness, tenderness, forgiveness, and care. Certain plants like tolerance and respect command a bit more work sometimes. Sometimes my garden gets the occasional weed like anger and frustration. Pests also infiltrate the garden and I try to limit them from ruining all the flowers, vegetables and fruits. These pests are misunderstanding and fear.

It’s sometimes difficult to nourish a garden. Sometimes the weeds and pests try to take over the growth and rob the flowers, fruits and veggies from the nourishment they require. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have what it takes to maintain my garden. Then, I look at my seeds compassion, that have blossomed into something larger than I ever could have imagined. I see my saplings of love and understanding and how they have formed into a loving household, a wonderful marriage, a fantastic group of close friends and phenomenal family.

Then I see the weeds and pests and wonder how to deal with them in order for them not to disrupt the harmony of my garden. Weeds of anger and frustration can sometimes cast a shadow over the garden, blocking it from the sunshine and stunting their growth. When I see weeds like these, a wave of sadness washes over me. Weeds, like other plants, can start out as beautiful creations as well. They can be full of life, and wonderful to look at sometimes. The only problem with these types of plants is that they crave attention and often dominate the garden. I naively let them stay, because they are life too, after all. Then these plants just take over the garden. They grow into those people you don't wish to have around because they sometimes seem bi-polar, or manic depressive, or even just plain unintelligible.

In university, I nourished a weed but the price I paid was horrific. The weed was obsessive, possessive, needy, bi-polar, and despite all the nourishment and attention she received, she ended up sleeping with my boyfriend at the time. I pulled both the weed and my then boyfriend out of the garden and made room for other plants. I sometimes wonder what happened to that weed. I truly cared for her, but I think in some ways, her not being in my garden makes my garden a less complicated one.

There was another fun plant in my garden for a while, and I spent lots of time with it. Truly, I didn't see the thorns...or maybe I chose not to see them. One minute things would be perfect, the next minute this plant would behave in a way that was so scary. It would blow up and get emotional and say the oddest things. As time passed, I began to not like the way this plant made me feel. It brought on more weeds of anger and frustration. I started to take more care of the other plants in my garden, and this particular plant would spring up again. This weed was insecure, hypersensitive, domineering, and agressive. This weed would poke and pry its way through the garden. I used to think it could co-exist with the other plants, but it couldn't. The other plants just shriveled up and bore no fruits nor flowers.

Other gardeners I've spoken to have said that we don't need these kinds of plants in our garden and that I shouldn't always feel like I need to care for all living things. The weeds and pests just block all other living things out. My problem is that I often want to keep the weeds because I see that they too have the potential of beauty and they too are living things, but then I realize that my garden will not flourish with the weeds suffocating all the other plants. Sometimes one has to eliminate certain elements of one’s garden, in order for it to be a healthy one. Now my garden is starting to look good again, and it's not so difficult to maintain.
Sunday, November 19, 2006

show and tell

Mom: Where's that book you wrote and illustrated in college?
Me: Ahhh...I don't know.
Mom: What? I love that book and I want you to give it to me so I can read it to my grandchildren!
Me: You don't have any grandchildren.
Mom: I know, but when I do have some, I want to read them that book! Where is it??
Me: *sigh* I really don't know. Somewhere in a box, maybe?
Mom: Arrrgh. You really should have had it published!

Yes, I did write and illustrate a children's book many moons ago. My college prof told me she wanted me to get it published. I was never confident in my own work and though I loved this creation of mine, I never went for it. I admit, I am a wimp and I cannot take any criticism even if it's constructive. I suck.

Mom wanted my book, so I decided to look for it. Leafing through my book collection in my library upstairs, I came across a few of my most beloved children's books. Though our nieces are now at the age where they are reading short novels, we still indulge in some all time faves.

LOVE YOU FOREVER by Robert Musch is a book I used to read to my little brother when he was a tot. Every time I read the story, it makes me happy and sad at the same time. I realize how 'mortal' my parents are and that one day they will get older and weaker, but the cycle of life continues with the next generation.

THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein is more of a parable of the gift of giving. I tried to upload a pic of the front cover of the book, but I'm having problems getting the pic up on blogger :(

Sooooooooooooo happy!!!

My wonderful aunt and uncle are up from Montreal for the week. This is their fourth visit to the Island this year! They love this place so much that the 9 hr drive from Montreal doesn't seem like much to them. I think we've seen them more since we moved up here than when we lived in Toronto!!

My aunt and uncle came bearing gifts of empanadas, amaryllis bulbs, Swiss and Belgian chocolates, Thai spices and noodles, clothing for Hubby, and all kinds of other goodies. Yes, we are spoiled! Empanadas are my favorite Filipino/Spanish food. It's a stuffed pastry type dish in the shape of a half circle. The pastry is stuffed with meat, potatoes, carrots, onion, but there are many variations and many recipes. You can bake them or fry them. You don't have to put meat in them either, but generally ground beef or chicken is used.

I've introduced Hubby to a myriad of ethnic dishes and empanadas are amongst his favorites! Prior to meeting me, he had never had filipino, Spanish, Caribbean, Indian, or Thai food. He was raised on meat and potatoes, so he's really excited to be able to taste all these exciting new types of food!

My Amaryllis, a beautiful addition to my greenhouse!

Yummy empanadas! I can't believe they brought us two dozen of them! Hubby sure is spoiled!!! He loves spending time with my family (and not just because they feed him)!
Saturday, November 18, 2006

Oh my gosh!!!

Hahaha!!! I think we need to clear up some misunderstandings, as tonight, as I helped serve at the annual Fowl Supper at the hall, several people were very concerned and told me not to "work so hard" as I was "carrying an extra passenger and need to be careful." Stunned, I flashed them a surprised grin and tried to think of the best way to tell them that no, I'm not pregnant. At least not yet...and if I am, that's news to me! Seems that someone had spoken to my mom, who said she is going to be a grandma soon (note: my brother and his wife are expecting their first baby in March) but everyone naturally assumed it was me who was pregnant. News around town is that I am expecting. LOL...oh dear! How quickly news travels in a small town...even if it's not true :) Maybe I'll just play along with it and if they don't see a baby in 9 months, they'll wonder ;p
Thursday, November 16, 2006

Indulge your senses

My friend at Our Manitoulin has introduced me to the wonderful world of Watkins. Forgive me, but I absolutely had to post about this stuff. The products are first rate and very reasonably priced. The following are some of the items I'm adding to my "must have" list:

Every girl needs some really good cinnamon in her pantry! At $6.99 Cdn a tin, how can you possibly go wrong?

Some of you may recall me mentioning that Hubby's and my niece has food allergies. Apparently, she can have the black pepper from Watkins because it's so pure and has no other fillers. Yay, Watkins!! When I cook for Toad and Pook, I can't use regular store bought stuff because all the additives.

I would really, really love to get me some of this Lemon Creme Body butter, but I noticed that it contains nut products. Phooooey!! Hmmm...would it be very bad and irresponsible if I got some and only used it when our nieces aren't around???

My MIL actually told me that she and my SIL have used the toilet bowl cleaner from Watkins and they both swear that nuthin' gets their toilet bowls cleaner than this stuff. No lie! (Seriously, these ladies never lie!!!!)

Anyway, take a peek and see what Watkins has got. There's a US catalogue for any American readers out there.

Ode to Road Trippin'

Okay, okay. This isn't really an 'ode' to road trippin' because in order for it to be an ode, it would have to be a "lyric poem with complex stanza forms". Truth be told, I ran out of neat subject titles.

Anyway, inspired by a recent post from the super cool Dylon from Current Thoughts, I decided to write a little sumthin' on one of my fave things to do. You guessed it....Road Trippin'!!! Of course, now that I'm married and live on a farm and run a little business, we don't have time for many road trips. I will, however, revisit some old memories....

Family road trips were always big with my family. Ma and Pa would pack us into the car and we'd drive and drive and drive. We'd go to New York to visit family most of the time. Then there were the many trips to Florida- Cape San Blas, Orlando, Miami, Cocoa Beach...ahhhh, such is the life. I could never tire of the beach and Disney World has got to be one of my fave places on this planet. We also drove to Virginia Beach just to go camping (Cherry Stone National Park is a cool place- if it's still there! That was ages ago).

I always felt guilty for not seeing more of our own country, so we also went on trips to Algonquin Park, Gatineau, and even as far as New Brunswick...just to go camping. Good times.

I outgrew the family road trip thing when I was in high school/college and ended up making some trips of my own (with friends). Some of the more memorable ones are the ones that were so spontaneous and not planned at all!

1) My friends and I had just gotten our drivers' licences and we thought we were the coolest kids on earth. We decided on the spur of the moment to go for a road trip to Ottawa. Four girls, great tunes, road snacks, and less than $50 between all of us, we went to the nation's capital. To do what? No idea. I remember us all singing "I saw the sign" from Ace of Base (omg, I know!) full blast and every single Red Hot Chili Peppers song we knew. I think there was some drinking at an Ottawa pub, but how we got in, I have no clue. We were all underaged. Crazy things you do when you're young.

2) My friend Fran called me up one evening (we lived in Toronto at the time) and she said, "What are you doing?" "Not much, you?" "Nothing. Hey, pack your bags and I'll pick you up in a few minutes!" "WHAT? Where are we going??" "I don't know. Just pack your bags." "Okay." We ended up driving to Montreal late at night, had breakfast at Chez Cora's and then drove back to Toronto. It was an insane thing to do, but the journey together was fun. I miss Fran. She now lives in Newfoundland and has four kids! She was my Lilith Fair and all things cool buddy.

3) My friend Kelly and I used to drive to Vermont and NY for some cross-border shopping. Yeah, bad girls. I'll never forget the time we took her grandfather's old boat of a vehicle and when we went to fill up on gas, we didn't know where the gas thing was!!! Who would have known it would be behind the licence plate!?!?!?!

4) I also did a road trip to visit friends in the US. I went to Kansas, Missouri, and when I got to Philadelphia to see an old teacher friend of mine( from when we taught in Japan), we (along with a bunch of his friends) took a little trip to ATLANTIC CITY!!!! Now that was fun! Did you know that the streets there are all the same names as the streets in the game Monopoly??? (Boardwalk, Park Place...)

5) There was that bittersweet trip a bunch of us took to New Brunswick for a friend's funeral. It was a crazy road trip, but one of the best ones ever. 13 hrs in a car with some of my very fave people, the soundtracks from the movies Reservoir Dogs and Studio 54 , crazy antics, pit stops in the middle of nowheresville, and eventhough we spoke French, it wasn't the same kind of French people spoke near the border of Quebec and New Brunswick. Once we met up with all the others who took the trip to NB for the funeral, we all shared laughs, love, and memories of a very special person.

6. Oh, who amongst my friends would ever forget the time Hailey and I drove to Sandbanks for a camping trip? We got up super excited, ready to go and hit the open road. We got stuck in traffic and being the geniuses we were, ended up going 8 hrs in the wrong direction!!! What was only supposed to be a two and a half hour drive, took us nearly to the United States! I kept saying that I thought we were going the wrong way, but buddy insisted that we weren't. After much arguing and b*tching, we went for hours driving in silence. We both cracked and started laughing our heads off after, swearing never to tell a soul how challenged we were when it came to directions! We ended up at our campsite at 1AM! Luckily, the guys were working late and told us they'd meet us there early the next morning. Thank goodness they didn't arrive before us, because Hailey and I told them that everything was fine and that when they arrived, the beer would be chilling in the cooler and the tent would be set up. Imagine the two of us girls pitching the tent in complete darkness at 1 in the morning? LOL!

Maybe one day I'll post about world travel. I really feel guilty that I've seen more of the world than I have my own country. Maybe one day I'll be able to go on a cross-Canada trip. Maybe.

In the meantime, I'm aching to read The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road, as recommended by Dylon.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

At the movies...

The gorgeous and talented MsMamma tagged me to do this really fun meme on movies. Here goes :)

1. Popcorn or candy? I'm not a fan of either, but when at the movies, I have to say that there's nothing like movie theater popcorn with extra butter. lol!

2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). My Dad always talks about this movie and I'm a Paul Newman and Robert Redford fan. I've just never seen the movie for some reason. Hmmm...

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom? Nothing outstanding comes to mind. I hate to admit, but I haven't seen the Oscars on TV in ages *gasp*

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Anything Charlize Theron wore in the movie Head in the Clouds. She was great as Gilda and the wardrobe was great too!

5. Your favorite film franchise is...Lord of the Rings or the original Star Wars

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them? Charlie Kaufman for sure, because he is a genius. I love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I'd also invite Robin Williams just because he'd be the life of the party. Michel Gondry would be there too, along with Sofia Coppola and Meryl Streep. I love Michel Gondry's artistic view and Sofia Coppola is just so talented. I'd invite Meryl Streep because she's always been one of my favourite actesses. What would I feed them??? I have no idea!!! A buffet of Indian cuisine and lots and lots of wine???

7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?Immediate electrocution in their seat. (Sorry for being so un-creative, MsMamma, but your answer was a good one!)

8. Choose a female bodyguard: Miho (Sin City) or Aeon Flux (Aeon Flux)

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie? The scene in Seven where this pervy guy is forced to kill an exotic dancer/prostitute(?) by wearing this gruesome looking, sharp, phallic contraption and when they 'do it', she gets the sharp object through her stomach. Gross. There's also the scene in Texas Chainsaw Massacre where the creepy guy kills Jessica Biel's boyfriend and puts his face (or the skin off his face) on his. That is creepy!

10. Your favorite genre (excluding comedy and drama) is? I absoultely love foreign films. Amores Perros and House of Flying Daggers are among my faves.

11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power? I'd give more money for independent films and try to get more female producers and directors in there.

12. Bonnie or Clyde?Bonnie because she is the epitome of cool!!!

13: Who are you tagging to answer this survey: Jill, Dina, and Dylon. MsMamma sent this to Curiosity Killer too, so they're both out and I don't think Wiky Lion nor Stephen and Elisabeth would do this :)

Nothing Gold Can Stay

I called my cousin, Jey last night. No real reason. Just because. We are twelve cousins on my mom's side, and Jey and I are the only girls. She's like a little sister to me and I sometimes worry about her.

We had a great chat and she told me she's got a year and a half left of university.
Me: Enjoy your time now while you can, because once you get a full-time job, that's it. It'll be work, bills, work, bills, responsibilities...
Jey: Yeah, I know. I am looking forward to my time in school.
Me: Yeah, I know what you mean. I really miss my university days. They were so much fun. Make the best of your time in university, because those will be the days you remember for life.

It made me think of the words of Robert Frost's poem. Jey and I chatted for a bit longer and then we said our goodbyes. I had the urge to end the conversation with "Stay gold, Jenn", but at risk of sounding like a romantic, literary egghead, I refrained. *sigh* I feel old! LOL

A year ago today

my husband asked me to marry him. To read about our cheesy, sappy, romantic engagement, click on this :)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Hidden Gem...

A few years ago, my friend Tarah and I had the opportunity to see the film Lunch With Charles. I hadn't heard about the film before, since there wasn't much publicity or hype for it. Thankful that this was not a high end, mega-buck Hollywood production, I sunk into the chair of a not so packed movie theatre, and enjoyed the film. We saw it at the Carlton in Toronto, where at the time, we were able to view movies for less than 5 bucks and hardly anyone ever went there because the movies were either ones which had been out in theatres for a few months already or small, low-budget, independent Lunch with Charles. Like Tarah and myself, most people who go to the Carlton are attracted to independent movies and ones which take the path less taken. Don't get me wrong, as I sometimes do enjoy some of the bigger name movies! Boy, was I ever happy that Tarah discovered this film! The cinematography was pretty good, the plot was appealing, and what surprised me most was that Bif Naked was one of the main actors in the film and she did an amazing job in her role as Natasha! I just love a good 'ol Canadian (okay, it's Canadian/Hong Kong) film. The film had all the elements of suspense, adventure, love, excitement, drama...and it's just worth checking out. It's refreshing and just a neat look at the complexity of love and relationships.

Here's a review from The New York Times:

2001-Canada/Hong Kong-Psychological Drama/Marriage Drama
PLOT DESCRIPTION Tong (Sean Lau) is a struggling Hong Kong musician who half-heartedly sells real estate in his spare time. Tong is married, but for the past three years, his wife, April (Theresa Lee), has been living in Canada, where she works as a publicist for a music management firm in Vancouver and waits for her husband to work up the ambition to join her. While April has been faithful to Tong, he's certain temptation lurks around every corner, and in time he finally decides to bite the bullet and head to Vancouver. However, Tong's timing turns out to be a bit off; April and her assistant (Francoise Yip) are working with the owner of an Irish brewery (Tom Scholte) to sign an up-and-coming Celtic rock band to an endorsement and sponsorship deal, and April has headed out on the road to track down the band. Tong loses April's trail while trying to catch up with her, and ends up spending the night at a bed and breakfast operated by a married couple, Matthew (Nicholas Lea) and Natasha (
Bif Naked). When Tong tries to explain his dilemma to his hosts, he discovers that Natasha used to be the lead singer of the rock band April is trying to flag down; as fate would have it, the group's manager soon calls with a firm offer to rejoin the band, and soon all parties are headed for Alberta, where everyone is to take a meeting with a wheeler and dealer named Charles. However, as Tong and Natasha make the long drive to Lake Louise together, he finds his fidelity to April challenged for the first time. Lunch With Charles was the first feature film co-produced by firms from Canada and Hong Kong; it also marked the dramatic debut of pop singer Bif Naked. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Monday, November 13, 2006

some of my favourites...

Just thought I'd share :) There's something so special about these paintings.

The Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton

Lady of Shalot by John William Waterhouse

I fell in love...

when I first saw you. Your sweet baby smell and your soft baby cheeks, just made my heart melt. I wanted to hold you forever and never let you grow up. I wanted to freeze time and lock you in that moment--afraid that you'd grow up and afraid that you'd slip away one day.

You were an angel sent to us and you added so much joy to our lives. Everywhere we went, people commented on how "bright" your eyes were. You always had a way of making people laugh. You were so outgoing, even as a baby. You're still outgoing and friendly!

Being so much older than you, I was your sister, but also your second mom. I brought you everywhere with me, and read you stories before bed. I selfishly recanted the words of Shakespeare, Orwell, Salinger and other great authors, hoping their words would leave an imprint on you as they did me.

From a sweet, chubby-cheaked, drool monster, you turned into a hardworking, intelligent, handsome, friendly, outgoing, fun, funny, loving, thoughtful, caring, talented, respectful young man. I love you so, so very much, little brother. I miss you and can't wait to see you for the holidays.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happiness is…

1) Spending time with Hubby, just the two of us :)
2) Going for walks in the woods and sharing a quiet moment with the deer
3) Listening to my sleeping puppy as he snores
4) Watching the kittens chase each other around the house and playfully attack each other
5) Spending time with my family (especially at Christmas)
6) The wood stove heating the house and a mug of hot chocolate in hand
7) A warm bowl of soup on a cold day
8) Sunshine and fresh air
9) Being with my close friends
10) Quiet moments to just think and appreciate how good life is

I wish…

1) I were just a little bit taller
2) My grandmother lived closer to me
3) My little brother lived closer to me
4) My parents didn’t smoke (I really worry about their health)
5) I had paid more attention as a child to my music lessons in class and actually learned how to really play the piano
6) I could teach myself to play the acoustic guitar
7) I weren’t so self-conscious about showing others my art work
8) I weren’t so shy about letting people read my short stories and the novella I never finished writing
9) I didn’t have verbal diarrhea sometimes
10) Hubby and I had kids of our own right now, but that I could bypass the actual giving birth part. That terrifies me!
11) My grandfathers and my Aunt Zenaida were still alive
12) I didn’t have such horribly uncontrollable hair!!!
13) I were better at math
14) I didn’t have to be so nice all the time
I could be a little tougher and even a bit mean sometimes- you know, to be able to just say things are they are and voice my opinion and not always have to worry about how the other person feels.
15) I wish I didn’t always feel I need to be careful of others’ feelings, or be 'diplomatic' and 'politically correct'...or feel like I always need to be "Switzerland", the peace maker amongst feuding friends.

The Persistence of a Memory

I woke up this morning and the first thing I saw were some light, fragile snowflakes dancing in the wind outside our big window by our bed. I had the odd feeling of 'deja vu'- a feeling I get every now and then. It was a strange feeling of 'I've been here', 'I've experienced this very moment before', 'this all seems so familiar'. I sat up and looked out the window, and to my surprise, the ground was completely white! We must have had a big snowfall last night, because everything is covered in snow.

My mind reeled back to that moment when I woke up and saw the snowflakes dancing in the wind. It brought me back to a time when I was a university student. I woke up, looked out the window and the first snow had fallen. I sat up in bed only to see my dear friend N smiling back at me. He and I had been great friends. We shared a love for literature, the arts, history, and the environment. We were both vegetarian, both active in environmental issues, and both loved to write. We always seemed to have a great time together and he honestly was one of the most special people in my life. He had a shy sense of being, was quirky in an 'artsy' kind of way...he was kind, gentle, soft-spoken, and he was so very handsome in a Clark Kent kind of way. I used to tell him he looked like Superman.

N smiled and asked me what I wanted for breakfast. We decided on heading to 'The Butler's Pantry' for some scrumptious waffles loaded with fresh fruit. It was also a place where artsy people hung out on a Sunday morning. Still half asleep, I wondered how long N had been sitting at his desk while I was sleeping. I'm kind of self-conscious when I sleep. I hate it when people watch me sleep. (Am I drooling? Snoring? Foaming at the mouth? LOL)

"Just writing you a poem", he smiled. "But you can't read it while in my presence." I still have that poem tucked away in one of my boxes of memories. I sometimes go back and revisit my former life as an early 20 something year old.

That was years ago and I went to Japan to teach shortly after that. We kept in touch through e-mail and letters, but that shortly ended. I haven't been able to contact him since and I sometimes wonder what he is up to and where life has brought him. He used to be a guy with all these visions of a Utopian world, though he was realistic at the same time (if that doesn't sound too contradictory). There was so much I admired in him. There are so many people that come in and out of my life, and some I don't care much that we've lost touch, and others, I wish we still remained in contact. Of course, this is a chapter of my life that I cherish. I sometimes miss my youth, my university days, my naive view of the world, my unjaded view of life and people, and most of all, my freedom from responsibility. Ahhh, how nice it was to be young...

Then I look at my sleeping husband, so sweet and adorable sleeping under the warm fleece covers. I am a lucky girl to have such a wonderful life :)

PS. Let us not forget all the soldiers and veterans on this Remembrance Day.
PPS. Happy birthday, Jonathan (JP)!
Friday, November 10, 2006

Congrats, Lisa and Jerry!!!

The happy couple welcomed their first child to the world on October 30th, 2006. Welcome, Baby Ryan!!!
Thursday, November 09, 2006

Still working out the kinks!!!

My friends, Jill and Dina introduced me to a neat new site called Shelfari. You can view the books I've read or am reading there. It's kind of a neat way to share with friends who also enjoy reading. I'm still working on adding books to my shelf, but it's taking a while to get them all on there. I've read hundreds and hundreds of books over the years. I majored in English Lit in university, so some of the books were required reading, while others were for sheer enjoyment or general curiosity. Please be patient, as I add books to my shelf :)

***NEW LINK!!!***
Introducing....Current News! The host of this site is a very talented and creative genius. I have had the pleasure of seeing (and purchasing) some of his artistic work while perusing the farmers' markets and other venues of the sort. If you love jewelry and chainmail too, then you will want to check out his stuff. I know those who love anything made on Manitoulin will definitely want to see (and buy!!) his jewelry.
PS.I don't know if he has pics of his jewelry posted or if there's any way you can purchase any online...but his blog is very interesting!

Asian eyes

I have a love-hate relationship with my...eyes! Friends always tell me how lucky I am to have "Asian" eyes and that they're "exotic" and "pretty", but to be honest, having Asian eyes is a pain in the butt! I don't go to beauty salons when I have to get made-up for weddings or other important functions, because the few times that I've been to salons for a make-up session, that I've been they don't seem to know how to play up on this particular feature. (and I'm talkin' salons in the city, not on the Island) Luckily, for my wedding, I had my talented and gorgeous little cousin, JEY do my make-up. Jey told me to use three shades of neutral, earthy tones. A light shade like cream, a slightly darker shade and a brownish shade.
*Start by applying the base, and then the lighter, shimmery shade just beneath the brow, but cover the entire eye-lid area. Hard to describe, because many Asian girls don't have that crease or fold that shows so much.
*Apply the second shade, making sure the shade closest to the eyelashes is the darkest shade.
*with the darkest shade, start on the outside corner of the eye, and with short strokes, make a side-ways V formation going inwards. It emphasises the eyes and makes them look bigger.
*a dark brown eyeliner also adds definition. Make sure to stay close to the line where the eyelashes are.
*finish with a good mascara
THANK YOU, JEY!!! (Isn't this girl gorgeous??? Check out her site!)

Other tips for Asian women:
Eyeliner: Asian eyes need definition. Use your eyeliner to extend your eye by drawing it out past the outer eye corner in a "cat eye" look. If you have very small eyes, line only the top. If you have large eyes, you can line both the top and the bottom. Try smudging the eyeliner and you might be surprised how great it looks on you. Good colors to use are charcoal, gray and purples, turquoise and pastel colors.
Eyeshadow: This is the second most important of Asian makeup tips. Asian women look great in smokey color eyeshadows. What color and how you apply it depend on the amount of fold you have above the eyelid.
Fold: You can use more dramatic colors like dark purples/violets, dark turquoise and navy blue. Always be sure to wear a highlighter under your brow bone, and blend these colors up into the highlighter.
No Fold: If you have a small amount or no fold, you may not even want to mess with eyeshadow. Applying too much or the wrong color can make your naturally pretty eyes look hideous. However, if you do want to apply eyeshadow stick to sheer, neutral colors. Use light pinks, light browns or neutral tans, browns and gray. Always be sure to use eyliner.

Our boys are girls!!!

Yes, you read correctly! Our boys are indeed girls. Oh, what shock it was to learn that our cute little boys were indeed not boys at all! I was at a luncheon and one of the ladies came up to me and said:

M: Hi dear! I hear you got the kittens from the ranch up the road!
Me: Yes, and they are absolutely adorable little boys! So active and so...
M: Oh, dear. I am afraid you are mistaken. They're not boys. They're girls!
Me: Oh, no they aren't. W (the lady who owns the riding stables) told me that they are brothers.
M: You better check again when you get home, dear! (laughing)

I get home and tell Hubby the news, and he flips the kittens over to identify their sex, and sure enough, we've got two little girls! I really thought they were boys! Not that it matters or anything. They're just as cute and just as sweet. That takes care of the worrying about them spraying and leaving their scent all over the house. Now the only thing I'm worried about is when these two little kittens go into heat!!! Soooo not looking forward to that!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Gorgeous day- feels like Spring. Blue skies, mild weather...perfect for helping Hubby with his workload. I'm pleased to say, I planted my bulbs for next Spring. I hope my Asiatic Lilies and my Dutch Irises turn out nicely! After splitting 2 cords of wood and piling an extra one, I retired to the homestead to do an insane amount of baking!

I have no idea what has gotten into me. I've been asked to bake a few more cakes, pies, squares, tarts, etc for the Fall supper and again for the Seniors' dinner. Apparently, the secret is out and people now know I can actually cook. Darn. So, I get in today and made batches and batches of chocolate chip cookie dough. I usually make heaps of the stuff and then roll them out into plastic wrap and freeze them. That way, whenever cookies are needed for a function, I take 'em out of the freezer, and into the oven they go. Presto change-o...cookies in less than 10 mins!

I find that lately, I have been doing this for a lot of my cooking. I make huge batches of food (not only cookie dough!!) and then freeze the rest for later. It really cuts down on a lot of the prep time. I love it! Meals are ready in minutes!

Hubby was laughing when he saw how full our freezer was with meals already made. He jokingly asked, "What? Are you nesting?" LOL

Oh, since we're on the topic of feeding loved ones, here's a recipe a friend gave me when I commented on how delicious her spinach dip was! It's a guaranteed party pleaser!

Prep: 10 min Total: 30 min

300 g (1 pkg) frozen spinach, chopped, thawed and drained
1 c. Miracle Whip Calorie Wise dressing
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chopped roasted red peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix spinach, dressing, cheese and garlic until blended well. Spoon into pie plate or quiche dish. Bake 20 mins or until heated through. Sprinkle red peppers. Serve with whatever veggies or crackers you prefer. I like whole wheat or vegetable thins.

Enjoy :)
Monday, November 06, 2006

My husband left me...

Newly married, and I find myself single again. Well, at least for the next few weeks! I'm what my mother-in-law calls a "grass widow". It's this time of the year when many of the men up here get together and leave their wives to go hunting. Bow season started already, but next weekend is when rifle season opens. I am so not looking forward to this!

Last year, because the deer population was so healthy (meaning, we had A LOT of deer on the Island), the MNR increased the number of tags each hunter was allowed to have. I think last year, each hunter was allowed three deer.

This really saddens me. I have always been a nature lover and deer are among my favourite animals to watch, sketch and admire. Every morning, I love watching the deer graze in the fields and valley behind our house. We have about a dozen that bed down behind our house. They're gorgeous animals.

I do know, as hubby explained to me, that the deer population needs to be thinned out a bit because when they get to be too many, they bring disease (like mange) and with that, they bring more predators like wolves to the area. It's still a very sad thing for me to see though.

Hubby doesn't hunt (thank goodness!) but he does have a hunt camp on our property, where a dozen or so guys come and stay for hunting season. Lately, Hubby has been hanging out with the boys, as they prepare for hunting season. The hunt camp is a "manly man" place. I wouldn't go near it if you paid me to. It has all the necessities for these men to live 'comfortably' for a few weeks. They have a wood stove, hydro, 2 BBQ grills, bunk beds, 2 fridges (the kinds stores have for pop- you know, with the glass doors). The men surprisingly cook a good meal for themselves. They had 'beer butt chicken', where they put a half full can of beer up the chicken's *ahem* cavity and BBQ it. Surprisingly, the chicken is really moist and the meat just melts in your mouth. The guys also bring up lobster tails, giant tiger shrimps, and a whack load of good food.

Eventhough Hubby doesn't hunt, I'll be single for the next few weeks. He has been clearing up the area where the hunt camp is, adding crushed gravel to our laneway so the guys don't get stuck...and he's been hanging out with the fellas. He gets paid a pretty penny for renting out the place. It's good money for a week or so of the bonus stuff we get in gifts, so I guess it's not so bad. I just told them that I do not want to see Bambi's carcass anywhere. It better be out of sight. :( So sad, but I realize they eat the meat and use all the parts so nothing's wasted...but still...I find myself whispering to the deer every morning, "Run! Run far, far away!!!" :(
Sunday, November 05, 2006

More fun stuff

First name? Christine

Were you named after anyone? This is going to sound silly, but I was supposed to be named "Christian" if I was a boy (for "Christ") but I turned out to be a girl. If I were born on Christmas, my parents joked that I'd be named "Christmas". My maiden name, or its Chinese character translates to "Tree" in English. Imagine being named Christmas Tree??? OMG.

When did you last cry? The other day when I heard a song on the radio that just moved me so much. I think it was Edwin McCain's "I'll Be"

Do you like your handwriting? Most days I really like my handwriting.

What is your favorite lunchmeat? I don't eat lunch meat

If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I think I would be friends with me. I know I have some bad qualities, but I think the good ones are more than the bad.

Do you have a journal? I sometimes keep a journal. I used to keep one and write in it all the time, but since Jill introduced me to blogging, I haven't kept a journal much.

Do you still have your tonsils? Yes.

Would you bungee jump? I tried once, but when I got all hooked up and ready to go, I looked down and changed my mind LOL. I crawled down and when I got unhooked, I received a "chicken" card. Ah well!

What is your favorite cereal? Hot oatmeal with sultana raisins, a bit of flax seed oil and just a touch of brown sugar.

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Sometimes, but most of the time I'm too lazy and just slip them on.

Do you think you’re strong? Physically, I am now. I help my hubby around the farm and with our firewood business. I have to lift 60 lbs of body wood for customers sometimes. Emotionally, no. I'm weak emotionally and I know it.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? sometimes chocolate and sometimes strawberry. Boring, eh?

Shoe size? depends on the shoe, but usually either a 5 or a 6 (I know, I have tiny feet)

Red or pink? I used to not like red and pink, but now I kind of like both.

What is your least favorite thing about yourself? I sometimes don't think before I talk.

Who do you miss the most? My maternal grandfather. He passed away when I was teaching in Japan and I wasn't allowed to leave my job because I had just started it. He was a very important person in my life. I also miss my paternal grandfather, but he died when I was 4, so I don't really remember too much of him.

What color pants, shirt and shoes are you wearing? LOL. Cream colored tank top and white lacey boy short-type undies. Yep, I know, it's 9AM and I'm still in my sleepwear! It's Sunday...I'm allowed to lounge around for a bit, aren't I? :)

Do you want everyone to send this back to you? Yes

Last thing you ate? oatmeal and a bowl of fruit (cantaloupe, strawberries, and red and green grapes).

What are you listening to right now? Our kittens going nuts-o. They're chasing each other around the house, jumping over furniture and trying to climb the walls (seriously-there's one hanging on the curtains right now)!

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Blue. Indigo blue. So calming and peaceful.

Favorite smell? Freshly baked bread...right out of the oven!

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My mom.

The first thing you notice about people you are attracted to? Weird, but I notice eyebrows first! Then eyes, followed by lips.

Do you like the person you stole this from? Well, of course I do. Would I read her blog if I didn't? (I even copied her answer here!)

Favorite drink? Vanilla flavored soy milk.

Favorite sport? To watch: hockey (duh, I'm Canadian, eh) but I only like to watch if the Habs are playing. I'm a Montreal girl. I also like watching women's figure skating and men's beach volleyball (hot, sweaty, topless men on the beach...c'mon, who wouldn't wanna see that?) To play: tennis, squash, raquetball, softball...

Eye color? brown

Hat size? No idea!

Do you wear contacts? I'd love to, but I'm scared of putting stuff near my eyeballs! It freaks me out! You know how long it took me to be able to put on mascara???

Favorite food? hmm...chicken parmesan or lasagna are my comfort foods. I also like anything Indian, Japanese, Greek, Thai, or Caribbean. LOL

Scary movies or happy endings? Happy.

Summer or winter? BOTH!

Hugs or kisses? both

Favorite dessert? Tiramisu, but I haven't had it in YEARS!!!

Who is most likely to respond? Ms. Mamma or Curiosity Killer if they have time.

Least likely to respond? Stephen and Elisabeth, because I don't think they like doing these things :)

What books are you reading? a bunch of books on the Amish. Oh, and a bunch of books about the zoo, since 'going to the zoo' was our theme for the kids' story time at the library.

What’s on your mouse pad? no mouse pad. I have one of those 'no need for a mouse pad' mouse thingy. It's cool.

What did you watch last night on TV? Sadly, I was exhausted and crashed right after supper. The very last thing I saw on TV was Grey's Anatomy on Thursday night though.

Favorite sounds? My puppy sleeping. My dog sort of snores a bit. It's so cute.

Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles

The furthest you’ve been from home? Japan, the Philippines, Bali, Singapore...

What is your special talent? I'm very creative, artistic, oh and I can speak 4 languages.

Where were you born? Toronto...well, actually Scarborough.

Who sent this to you? both Jill and Dina surprisingly said I'd be the first to respond to this. How right were they!?! LOL *sigh* Am I that predictable???
Saturday, November 04, 2006

flu shot...yay or nay?

Does anyone reading this get the flu shot? I have a confession. I have NEVER gotten the flu shot...ever. I know I probably should have, seeing that all the students I'm in contact with probably carry germs and icky stuff. I don't know. I just never bothered ever getting it. I didn't feel it really necessary and I haven't had the flu in over three years.

My SIL called me from the hospital (where she works), and said she booked us all for our flu shots. How sweet is she? :) She reminded me that if I'm to care for her kids or be in contact with my Dad, I'd better get the shot. People who have illnesses or weakened immune systems aren't supposed to be in contact with people who can make them sick.

I suppose this is true, but I always thought that one needs to be exposed to all sorts of germs and colds and stuff in order to build their immune system. I'm the type of person who won't even take Tylenol if I have a headache! I try not to take anything unless I absolutely need to. Anyway, back to the topic of immunizations...I do realize certain immunizations are necessary, but if we don't subject ourselves to germs and common colds and the occasional flu, won't our immune systems be weaker? What do you think? Anyone???

PS. Perhaps one of the reasons I'm so resistant when it comes to getting the flu shot is because I just hate needles!!! LOL

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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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