Thursday, May 31, 2007

Real Women Don't Cook???



I had a conversation with two girlfriends of mine about work, marriage, motherhood, and our roles as women in these three areas. Friend #1 said that she refuses to ever become a slave to her family and will never give up her freedom as an independent woman. Friend #1 is full of life, spontaneous, carefree and eventhough she's in her early 30's, she can still pick up and go whenever she wants and do what she wants since she just picks up work whenever and wherever she needs it. She's a self-procclaimed party girl and scoffs at anything considered even remotely 'domestic'. I love her zest for life and her ability to do whatever she wants because she's not tied to anything. She reminds me of the me I was in my early 20s. I loved that me! I love the me I am today, but the former me was crazy and fun...just like friend #1!

Anyway, an argument almost ensued, since friend #2 became offended. She felt that friend #1 was giving a personal attack on her life choices since she became a wife and mother.

In all fairness, I think we were all a little defensive. Friend #1 said that she couldn't understand how anyone would want to get 'tied down' and have to slave over a husband and family. She boasted about how she never cooks and how much easier it is to get a nice guy to take her out for a meal than to have to cook and wash dishes afterward. Though she enjoys hosting dinner parties, most of the food she serves is store-bought or catered. Friend #2 was still fuming at this point. She thought friend #1 was belittling her decisions and choice of lifestyle. We did find out one common thread through the heated debate though. Both women didn't cook homemade meals. Friend#2 said that she is so busy with running after her babies and trying to keep the house in order, that she doesn't have any time to waste in the kitchen to prepare meals. Most meals are fresh...from a box, bag or can. She swears by frozen meals that just get popped into an oven for 30 mins and she has the pizza delivery on speed-dial.

I totally understand how chaotic, hectic and crazy things get for both my friends. I'm a little like friend#1 and a little like friend#2. I'm not single and I can't just take off whenever I want. I am married, but we don't have kids of our own yet. I do know how exhausting things get with everything that goes on with having a family and people who depend on you. We have international students who live with us and that in itself is very tiring sometimes. Trying to juggle teaching, curriculum planning, maintaining the house, the garden, helping hubby with the wood business and the farm (though, he does the bulk of things)...and having to think of what to cook...that can all get a little crazy sometimes. I totally agree that a woman has no time to be slaving for hours in the kitchen. Hubby's used to homecooked meals and I love cooking. Because I don't have tons of time (I also tutor after supper), I've devised a slew of meal plans and recipes that don't take up a lot of time. I love effortless (yet seemingly painstaking to prepare) meals! To me, that's impressive.

At Baby Bro's girlfriend's parents' house, his girlfriend's mom made a dish called a "Wife Saver". It's a breakfast casserole that is super easy to make and not time consuming at all...hence the name! I'm going to post the recipe so that everyone can enjoy it. Real women CAN cook. All we need is a few tricks up our sleeves to make things easier and quicker. Even the busiest of us can spare a few minutes to make a dish. This said, I always keep a family sized frozen lasagna in the freezer for those nights when I'm too exhausted to cook! ;)

I didn't get a photo of just the Wife Saver, but you can sort of see it in the above photo. It's on the counter in a big dish. Baby Bro's girlfriend is hovering over it.

WIFE SAVER RECIPE (breakfast casserole)

Ingredients:
16 slices white bread crust removed
Canadian bacon sliced thin
Slices of sharp cheddar
6 eggs
salt- pepper
1tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup green pepper
2 tsp Worcesteshire sauce
3 cups milk
dash Tobasco
1/4 lb butter
Crushed Corn Flakes.

Directions:Butter a 9x13 glass baking dish, and line with 8 pieces of bread , add pieces to cover the bottom.Cover bread with bacon, lay cheese on top and cover with more bread to make like a sandwich.In a bowl beat eggs, salt pepper, add everything else except butter and Corn Flakes.Pour over bread, cover and let stand in fridge overnight. In the morning melt butterand pour over top. Cover with cereal. Bake uncovered 1 hour at 350. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ying and Yang???


I'm happy today because...
1) My student was extremely well behaved.
2) The apple trees were covered with delicate, white, fragrant blossoms.
3) A new batch of students are arriving in July.
4) The kittens are growing and they're healthy and strong.
5) It was so beautiful and breezy out today.
6) My friend, Dina called and she, her hubby, and their baby are coming for a visit in 2 weeks!
7) I made homemade tomato sauce this afternoon.
8) My parents came to visit us this evening.
9) I have a meeting for the library board.
10) This is my first "free" night in a while so I can watch TV!

I'm kinda bummed because...
1) We usually go for a day of excellent behaviour and several days of not listening.
2) Soon the apple blossoms will be gone. Oh, and the tent caterpillars are out now. Grrrr!
3) I kinda got comfortable with just having the one student for now. I know more students = good for hubby and me though. I guess I'd better start pumping myself up and getting energized for a busy summer!
4) Mama cat has started moving the kittens around the house and hiding them. They were no longer in the box in our bedroom. I was in the office and heard crying coming from behind the desk. Sure enough, she had stashed the little ones there. What fun. I can only imagine what the next few weeks are going to be like, since the kittens will be able to walk and run soon!
5) It was also stinkin' hot!!! Soooooooo hot that I had to open all the windows and turn on some of the fans! Grrrrrr! I was hoping I wouldn't have to do that until mid-late June!!
6) I'm just so excited to see Dina and her family. At the same time, I'm sad because we only get to see each other once or twice a year now that I've moved to the Island :(
7) Of course if you make tomato sauce, you're gonna have pasta, right?? We ate spaghetti tonight and I really wanted to eat something light. What can ya do when you live in a house with only men?
8) We didn't have much of a visit. Dad helped me organize my garden in front of the house. He brought me some hostas, day lilies, firecrackers and other plants. In exchange, I gave him some ferns for his garden.
9) My meeting's tomorrow. I thought it was today.
10) We can't find the remote control for our TV. I find it really bizarre and extremely irritating that the remote is lost. How does a remote control get lost?? It doesn't make sense! Grrrrrrr!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

K-town and back


Early Thursday morning, we left the Island for Kingston. I was so sad that I had to leave this behind for a few days:
Pit stop somewhere. I think it may be Gravenhurst, but I'm not sure. My Korean student (P1) and my dad.



I always pass The Big Apple on my way to K-town and Montreal. Rarely do I stop in though. This time, we decided to take a break, do the touristy thing and even buy an apple pie.



Did you know that The Big Apple is only 10,631 Km from Seoul, Korea?


Inside the Big Apple Bakery/Factory, watching the workers make the pies.



Lots and lots of pies!!! You can smell all the yummy goodness as soon as you enter the building.



These things scare me. I'm sure I used to love them as a kid, but I haven't had one in over 20 something years. Seriously! I'm sometimes tempted, but every time I think I want one, I remember that I broke a tooth on one of those babies when I was a kid!!

The Big Apple from the highway.


Finally in K-town. Here's Grumpy Gramps and Kenny. Dad called dibs on holding the baby. No fair.

Can he possibly be any cuter???


Kenny and his Daddy.


Downtown Kingston.

I was craving enchiladas! They may not look very appetizing, but they were gooooooooood.


We ate at Baby Bro's place of employment. If you ever eat there, his work name is Hombre.


Back with Kenny. We can't get enough of the little guy!


Okay, I admit it. I hardly put him down all weekend. Horrible. I know.

Kenny's baptism. Godparents and soon-to-be husband and wife in the background.


LOL! It's like that scene in The Lion King. Don't you think so too?


On our way home from K-town on Sunday, we had lunch at Baby Bro's girlfriend's parents' farm. I've never seen a farm like this before!!!

P1 is so lucky to always be eating such good food!



P1 with Baby Bro and C. C's mom is in the background and you can see a bit more of their gorgeous farm! Funny how Baby Bro and I have partners from rural areas, since we have always lived in the city.

Doesn't their place look like it's out of Home and Garden magazine or something?




After a long drive home, we arrived on the Island around 2 AM! We were exhausted. P1 had school and had to get up for the school bus at 7AM. I also had our Island Singers practice in the evening. I was beat!

Look who was waiting for me to return though! Sweet!

Kenny's big day





Perfection


Sweet smelling skin,
Soft baby cheeks,
Cute little smiles
Accompanied by precious cooing sounds,
Big, bright eyes,
Inquisitive stares,
Little murmurs of contentment,
Warmth,
Funny sleepy sounds,
Tiny hands that grip so tightly,
The smallest feet that kick so strongly,
The look of trust and comfort in those twinkling eyes...

It's amazing to see how much love one can feel for a precious little baby.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pinks & Blues and Safari Animals


By now you must have guessed how much I love, love, love promoting sites and small businesses for my friends and family.

Friends

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll also know how much I love the gals at Pinks & Blues. Not only are they brilliant, dynamic, friendly, super cool, wonderful ladies, but they also have all the neatest things for moms, dads, kids, grandparents, and pets :)

The Pinks and Blues gals currently have a contest on, so don't miss out! This time, they're giving away a Dooney and Burke handbag and they're also tossing in a bottle of Dream Angels Heavenly Eau de Parfum by Victoria's Secret.

Go on and enter the contest :) What a cute way to usher in the Summer!! (Men, you can enter the contest too! What a great way to win even more brownie points with your wife/girlfriend/significant other!!)

Family

Now for another plug for my familia!!! My sista-in-law's sista painted one of these babies for our little nephew's baptism gift. Her kids' paintings are really taking off right now! Her animal paintings are super hot...especially in the Ottawa region! This is not the first time I've talked about Melanie's paintings. I mentioned her baby farm animal line of paintings last time. This time she's got a new line out and it's her safari series! What a great way to add a splash of colour to a nursery, kid's bedroom or play room! Get your Melanie Bailey Creation today!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Brief Hiatus


I am currently in K-town for my little nephew's baptism. I will be back on Sunday with photos and newsworthy (or not so newsworthy) notes. Until then, I hope you're all well and having a great weekend!
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You might think I'm crazy


...but this has got to be one of the best presents I have ever received!!!

My mother-in-law was teaching me how to make applesauce last year and she had this amazing fruit press. She does her tomato juice through there and other fruits that she needs to get pressed through a strainer. When I saw hers, I wanted one too! I searched high and low and went from store to store. No luck. No store seemed to carry the fruit presses anymore! The classic stainless steel strainer with handle and stand, plus pestle to press the fruit through make it sooooooo much easier than having to use a whole lot of 'elbow grease' when making sauces or purees. I do have a blender, handproccesser, and a kitchen ulitlity pantry filled with contraptions that would puree food, but nothing beats the old fruit press! I even went on eBay to try to find one, and I found several for really inexpensive prices, but for some reason, all the vendors were located in the United States! Grrrrrrr! Doesn't anyone in Canada want to give away a fruit press???

My mother-in-law calls it a fruit press, but on the internet you can find them under "Vintage Canning Colander/Strainer with Wood Pestle and Stand". I just had to have one of my own!

I ended up purchasing just the strainer which I found at Home Outfitters. It was ridiculously expensive ($30+) and it didn't come with the pestle or stand. It was just a strainer. Grrr! Not exactly what I wanted, but it would have to do. Oh, and of course, they don't sell the pestle alone. That just wouldn't make sense because that would be too convenient for consumers. They had mortars and pestles, but no pestles large enough for the strainer. I wasn't 100% pleased, but what could I do? I'd just have to settle with what I had.

Last week, Hubby went to an auction and came back with some goodies. The PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE was none other than...

I am soooooooooo excited! I think it's really neat how he had to go to an auction to find this little treasure for me. I bet Hubby is glad that it doesn't take much to make me happy! LOL!

Yummy applesauce!!!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Birth


This morning we awoke to something really exciting! The alarm went off and I was about to get out of bed to make breakfast for our homestay student. I had one cat on my right side and another on the left. When the cats heard P1 go to the kitchen, one of them ran to the kitchen --a daily ritual, since that means it's time to get fed! The other cat did not scamper as usual. She stayed in bed, but was pushing against my leg. She was really forceful and persistent. I sat up and saw that she was delivering her kittens on our bed!!! I just saw this tiny little kitten coming out of tiny little George (practically on my leg!) and gasped, "Honey!!! She's having kittens...on our bed!!" Hubby jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to fetch the box with old blankets that I set up in the laundry room for George's delivery. We didn't think she was going to have her first litter so soon! I was really surprised that she had her kittens in our room, since I would have thought she'd prefer somewhere quiet and secluded...not with us around!

The babies are soooooooo tiny! They look like little rats! George started delivery around 7 AM, with the first kitten being born at 7:08. I missed the birth of the second kitten, but the third was born around 10 AM. The three are all so different! Baby #1 is a charcoal/slate colour with a bit of white around the eyes. I may call him Squeaky because minutes after he was born, he started making the cutest little squeaking sounds! Baby #2 looks like a mini George. He's the spitting image of his mama! I was thinking of naming him LG (Little George). Baby#3 is mainly dark with bits of George's colouring. I jokingly told Hubby I'm calling him/her Slurpy because he/she's a hungry little kitten and makes a lot of slurping sounds! I haven't gotten a close enough look yet to determine the sex of the third kitten and I am going to wait a few days before I handle them. I'd like George to bond with them first.


I'll be heading to K-town for my little nephew's baptism this weekend, but I am having a difficult time tearing myself away from the kittens! LOL!

Little George is so exhausted after delivering her first litter of kittens. She only had three, which is perfect because someone we know wants two of the kittens for her ranch and we wanted to keep one. Now the only difficult decision is which one to keep? They're all so cute!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday at the Beach


Yesterday, we decided to have some 'family time' and go to the beach. My favourite beach on the island has white sand, turquoise water and an incredible view. Yesterday, Hubby introduced me to a different spot. This beach was a bit rocky, but as Hubby says, it's perfect for taking the doggy. We don't have to worry about him bringing in too much sand and messing up the vehicle. He can just shake off and hop into the truck. Check out how pretty the water is! Sooooooo clear!!!

Chance is a water baby. He just loves swimming. You'd be surprised, since he doesn't look like the type of pup that would enjoy trips to the beach. Here are some pics of our afternoon at the beach!Here's our attempt at a family photo. Of course, I'm the only one taking it seriously (as usual)! Hubby's making funny faces at the camera and Chance is being squirmy because he'd rather be playing with rocks!! Will we ever get a nice photo of all of us looking normal?? Notice the plastic baggies in my pocket? LOL! A responsible doggy mama always has plastic bags in one pocket and doggy biscuits in the other! ;)
My student, P1 looking in awe as Hubby wins the stone skipping contest. 5 skips on that throw! Chance is making that "Awww...Do we have to go home now???" face. Bye bye, beach! See you soon!

Lastly, a pic for Lotus. Back on the farm with the bovine babies. See the spotted calf? Cute, eh?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sucker


I mentioned that yesterday, Mom and I went to get our hair cut and styled. I am thoroughly pleased with our new looks, but I have learned one new thing about myself. If you open up a dictionary and look for the word 'sucker', you will find a photograph of....

Yes, that's right. I am a big sucker. (Sorry...I'll have to post a pic of the new haircut at a later date. Hubby went to an auction and took the camera with him) After the hairdresser did a marvelous job (which I will probably never ever be able to reproduce myself), she and the owner of the salon suggested I purchase one of the products they carry. "To help maintain the look and keep my hair looking healthy and full of life!". Okay. I don't know why I end up saying yes purchasing crazy expensive haircare products. I said that my hair is fine and I'd like some advice on how to make it look like it has more volume. I'd prefer a natural, non-chemical and environmentally friendly way to do this. I figured perhaps someone would tell me to take some cloves of garlic, peel them and rub them on my scalp? Or maybe take a ripe avocado, mash it and apply it to my head?? I don't know! Anything...something natural and healthy and good for the body and the earth! Instead, I got offered this: I know the product works, since I've bought shampoo and conditioner by Nioxin before.
I think from now on, I'll stick to my regular hairstylist. She does a fabulous job too! The only reason we ventured so far from home yesterday was to give ourselves a treat. Needless to say, I'll be staying with my regular stylist from now on.

For more hairdressing woes, check out Dina's latest post :) Thanks, D! You inspired me to write this post!
Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Ramblings


* Spent the day with mom for a long overdue "mother-daughter outing". We had lunch, went shopping, got our hair cut and styled. It was a good time. We live 5 mins away from each other, but because we're both so busy, we can go for weeks without seeing each other. We communicate via e-mail and the occasional phone call. Weird, eh?

* George looks like she's about to explode. That kitty's belly is getting so big, I anticipate babies any day now. The only trouble is that she's been eye-balling my bedroom closet a lot lately and I have a sneaky suspicion that she may be contemplating giving birth there! I keep closing my closet and blocking it with the laundry basket, but George somehow finds ways to open the darn thing! I hope she doesn't give birth when I am away next week!!! I want to be there. I've never seen kittens being born before.

* I don't know why, but all I've had on my mind these days has been mango!!! In fact, I just bought a crate of mangoes today. I know...not local, but all I've been wanting to eat is mangoes!! Sorry Annie! I know you think mangoes smell/taste like armpit! LOL! ;)
* I am usually a very frugal and smart shopper, but today I bought way more than I really needed. Mehhhhh...you gotta splurge sometimes, right? Got myself 3 new dresses and love them all! I've got 2 weddings and a baptism to go to. I needed the new dresses!
My mom saw this outfit on the rack and I refused to even look at it. It looked like only a 12 year old could fit in it! After much harrassing, I succumbed and I hate to say this, but mom was right! The outfit looked great on. I'd have to wear a wrap or a cover of some sort and I need to shorten and hem the pants just a week bit.
I got this dress in a chocolate brown. Mom argued with me about the colour, but and said I dress like the "Crypt Keeper"! She loves bright purples and pinks, whereas I am more subdued.
I thought this dress was cute. I tried it on and fell in love with it. Again, I'll have to wear something to cover up a bit, but it's not revealing at all and it's very, very comfortable! My mom will be the first person to tell me if something looks hideous (oh, and she's so honest about things!). She said it looked pretty.
* I was going to let Chance in the house, but he scared a skunk last night and got 'misted'...not sprayed. There's a little hint of skunk smell, but it's not really potent. It's potent enough for me to not want to let him inside the house though! At least he's doing his job and patrolling the premises. He's so cute! Jimmy, I'm still working on getting that pic for you!!

* I was thinking of a certain person today and of course, the day she calls, I end up being out all day! Grrr! Coincidence? Telepathy? Who knows...but it was cool that she called when I thought of her! Not cool that I wasn't there to talk to her though! LOL
PS. Hubby, if you're reading this...ALL of the items I purchased today were on sale! :) See, I'm still a frugal shopper...sort of! LOL!

Expectations and Disappointment


Didn't We Almost Have It All?

Did any of you watch Grey's Anatomy last night? I was certainly surprised by what transpired during the show. Seriously. I think I sat there with my mouth gaping open the entire time! I don't know how I feel about the whole George and Izzy thing. Earlier in the season, I had wanted George and Izzy to get together because he loved her and they were best friends. Then George and Callie get married. You all know how I feel about infidelity and cheating on one's partner. I felt badly for Callie.

Then there's Meredith and McDreamy. Is it really over for them? Will they ever be able to rectify things? What about Burke and Cristina? I seriously thought they were finally going to get married. Many people have a little anxiety minutes before getting married. Cristina looked as though she was finally ready to get married. It was Burke who surprised me. Before the show, I was all pumped and excited to see what was going to happen to the interns at Seattle Grace. I was really hopeful. After the show, I was bummed! It seemed like none of the characters in the show got what they wanted or expected.
This post isn't just about Grey's Anatomy. It's about expectations and disappointment. What could have been and what actually became. Haven't you had something happen in your life where you have wondered what would have happened if you chose to take the route you didn't? You know...that fork in the road, only you chose to go right instead of left. Do tell! Inquiring minds want to know ;)

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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!

Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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