Friday, November 30, 2007

Just under the wire

I almost missed NaBloPoMo again (and so close to the end of November)! I have a legit excuse though! Our Internet has been down for two days, so I've had to rush over to my parents' house just so I can post! It's almost December and almost my birthday! Soon I won't have to worry about posting every day for NaBloBlahBlah! :) Just kidding! It's been fun. It's been a challenge, but it's been fun!

Well, I'm off to be an angel for Journey to Bethlehem tonight! Those of you on the Island who aren't going to see Journey to Bethlehem tonight can see it tomorrow night! The Snowflake Fair is also tomorrow in Mindemoya. Don't miss it :)
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Throwback Thursday #19

I almost missed NaBloPoMo today! We said goodbye to my student today. I can't believe two and a half months just flew by so quickly! Hubby and I did some Christmas shopping. Yay! We finally get new windows for the house! I got home in time for my library meeting and just have enough time to post for NaBloPoMo.

Middle Bro has always loved Baby Bro so much. I was 11 and Middle Bro was 9 when Baby Bro was born. MB and I used to always fight over who got to feed BB. In the photo below, MB, BB and Dad were sleeping while we snapped this shot. Too cute! Our 3 men!
Like a good brother, MB taught BB how to play hockey. Check out the blue Converse shoes MB is sporting int his pic! I can't believe that my friend's daughter paid $60 for a pair of Converse just last week. I don't remember them being that expensive! We wouldn't have been able to get a pair (and we had quite a few pairs!) if they were that expensive! My parents didn't really buy us name brand anything when we were kids!
This is one of my fave pics of my brothers. I can't believe Baby Bro is graduating from university next year and Middle Bro is married and has an 8 month old son! Where does the time go??? It seems like only yesterday that we took these photos!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Meme for Hubby

He's the sweetest, kindest, most compassionate man I've ever met.
He is fantastic with our nieces and with my students.

He loves our little nephew.

He's super hardworking (and makes amazing maple syrup)!

For a farm boy, he cleans up pretty well!
He even entertains me by going along with all my wacky ideas.

He'll do anything for our family members...including wearing his bunker gear and playing baseball left-handed against the kids (in the middle of WINTER)!

No wonder I love him so much!!!

I borrowed this meme from Karen at A Day in the Life.
It was just too cute to resist. Plus, we're nearing the end of NaBloPoMo and I am running out of things to post!

1. Who is your man?
"J", Hubby, The Hubster, Honey, Daddy (to the felines and the canine)

2. How long have you been together?
Since 2005.

3. How long did you date?
We dated for 13 months and 2 days before we got married. It was a whirlwind romance, but when you've found the right person, you just know it! :)

4. How old is your man?
6 years older than me. That would make him in his 30's still :)

5. Who eats more?
Hubby, of course! He's a farm boy...need you ask more? LOL!

6. Who said "I love you" first?
We said it at the same time.

7. Who is taller?
I'm taller...when I'm standing on a stool!

8. Who sings better?
Me, of course! LOL! That doesn't say much though!

9. Who is smarter?
It's a toss up for this one. Hubby is the most intelligent man I know. He knows a lot about many different things. When it comes to science, agriculture, nature, animals, forestry, silviculture, and things of that nature, Hubby is a genius! When it comes to subjects like English grammar, languages, linguistics, culture, art and literature, Hubby says I beat him hands down.

10. Whose temper is worse?
Uh...That would be mine. My husband doesn't have a bad temper at all. He's got a very cool, calm and collected disposition.

11. Who does the laundry?
It's 98/2...with me doing the laundry 98% of the time.

12. Who takes out the garbage?

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
Hubby does. Does this mean I sleep on the wrong side of the bed? Do you mean right when you are facing the bed or when you are on it?

14. Who pays the bills?
We both do, though Hubby takes care of the bigger bills.

15. Who is better with the computer?
That would be me (even though my PhotoShop skills leave a lot to be desired)!

16. Who mows the lawn?
Hubby and the cows. Hahaha! That's over 200 acres to mow!

17. Who cooks dinner?
I cook all our meals most of the time. Sometimes Hubby will surprise me and make supper. He's the king of the grill.

18. Who drives when you are together?
It depends on whose vehicle we're using. I can't drive Hubby's truck. I still don't know how to drive standard. My vehicle is automatic, so we both drive mine. Most of the time Hubby drives when we're together, especially if we're driving to Toronto or Montreal from the Island. I drive when we're going to parties or running errands. I love driving my vehicle.

19. Who pays when you go out?
Usually I'm the one with the household money. Hubby does treat me to special dates sometimes though.

20. Who is the most stubborn?
Hahaha...That would be me.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
Me...Only because Hubby is rarely wrong. It's true.

22. Whose parents do you see the most?
We see both equally. Hubby's mom lives on the farm next to ours and my parents live just around the corner.

23. Who kissed who first?
I believe that would be Hubby.

24. Who asked who out?
We met on a blind date and our follow up date was mutually arranged.

25. Who proposed?
Hubby did...and it was so romantic!!! I think I posted our engagement story on our wedding site.

26. Who is more sensitive?

27. Who has more friends?
I do.

28. Who has more siblings?
We both have two siblings each. I've got two younger brothers and Hubby has two younger sisters.

29. Who wears the pants in the family?
Hahahaha! I think Hubby does, but apparently he (and my students) think I do! LOL! Hmph!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Touchy Topic

I caught a bit of an interview on CTV's The Verdict last night about the proposal of segregated schools. Some parents and educators believe that by having African-Canadian centered schools, the drop out rate among young African-Canadian students would be less. The students would be taught by "black teachers and role models".

Others believe that this approach is nothing but detrimental to students' development and educational success. It's like taking a thousand steps back in time. For decades, people have been fighting for equal rights and have tried to abolish racism. By segregating students, does this help them to become engaged and interested in their studies or does it only exacerbate the existing challenges?

I can see the pros and cons for each argument. True, by having schools that are specifically tailored for the needs of the students, it can be beneficial for learners if they are in an environment that is conducive to their learning styles. If this were the case, then, would we need to segregate all students depending on their differences? We have students from all walks of life, all cultures and creeds, and sexual orientations. Would we need to have schools specifically for each group of students?

Though I understand what supporters of segregated schools are trying to get at, I must say that I feel that by segregating students, we are not doing them any justice in the long run. Canada is composed of people from so many different cultures and religions. That's what makes Canada a beautiful. Wouldn't it be wise to teach students that they need to interact and exist in a world of mixed nationalities and beliefs?

People have fought for so many years to end slavery, get equal rights, the right to vote, end segregation...and now they want segregation? I know the details are not so clear and that the issues on both sides are more complex, but I don't see how in the long run that this will be good for the students.

Anyway, that's my two cents! What do you think about the idea of segregated schools?

Photo borrowed from: McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum
Monday, November 26, 2007

One Hour Photo

A few years ago, I watched One Hour Photo with my brother and his wife. The movie was on TV last night and I just had to watch it again. I was really surprised by Robin Williams' performance in a such a serious role. Prior to this movie, all the roles I had seen Williams play were all funny (ex: Mrs. Doubtfire, Jack, Mork & Mindy). After seeing One Hour Photo, I saw another movie where Williams played a serious/dark character. This movie was Insomnia.

In One Hour Photo, Sy Parrish (Robin Williams) is a long time photo developer at a department store. He is a sad and lonely person and he becomes obsessed with a young family, whose pictures he has been developing for years. He has copies of their family photos and he spies on them. Sy wants what the Yorkin family has. He wants their perfect life.

When Sy gets fired from his job at the store's photo lab, he snaps. He finds out that Mr. Yorkin is having an affair with a co-worker and he becomes enraged that someone who has everything in life could just throw it away. Having discovered that the Yorkins aren't as perfect as they seem, he goes on a mission to expose their imperfections and get revenge. It's a creepy psychological drama/thriller. I was impressed by Robin Williams' ability to portray a character like Sy's. It just goes to show how versatile Williams is as an actor.
Sunday, November 25, 2007


A special shout out goes to RenRen and Sharmander today, as they have just announced their engagement! We were at a party and when I checked our messages, what a wonderful surprise awaited on our machine! Ren and Sharmander are one of our favourite couples in the world. They're both smart, fun, funny, responsible (yet crazy), sweet and just plain wonderful. Sharmander, you've been with our family for quite a few years already, so you're already part of the familia. Thank you for coming into Ren's life and for making him so happy. We love you guys! Congrats again! xo

It's like American Pie

...only a million times raunchier!

I guess that would mean that it's not like American Pie at all.

On Friday night, we had some friends over for supper, a game of The Da Vinci Code: The Quest for Truth, and a movie. Quite a few people have told me that Knocked Up is a really funny movie and worth renting. I remember seeing the trailers for the movie and thinking that it looked silly but cute. I'm a sucker for romantic comedies. This movie was totally not what I was expecting.

Katherine Heigl plays Alison Scott, a bright and responsible young woman who works for E! Television. She and her sister go out to a bar one night, to celebrate Alison's promotion. She meets Ben (Seth Rogen) at the bar and they both get extremely intoxicated and have a one night stand. The two have very little in common. Alison is a successful TV personality with a rising career and Ben is a chronic pot smoking slacker/party animal. He and his friends plan to launch a website that lists famous actresses and all their nude shots in movies.

Alison discovers she is pregnant and contacts Ben. He says he wants to support her and be there for the baby. Can Ben rise to the challenge and become the man Alison needs him to be?

I won't spoil the ending for those of you who haven't seen this movie yet. I was just a bit shocked at:
A) the number of times the F-word was used in the movie
B) the number of tasteless jokes and stereotypes were in the movie
C) the vulgarity

I'm not a prude, nor to a pretend to be prissy. I have no problems with being open about any topic (when I'm with close friends) and I have to admit that I try not to use coarse language (I'm with my nieces and students a lot and I think it's very inappropriate to swear like a sailor... especially when in front of children). I do say bad words every now and then, but in the past few years I've been really making a conscious effort to refrain from doing so. I just thought that this movie was way over the top. It worries me that so many people I've spoken to have said that this is the funniest movie they have ever seen. The movie was basically just a bunch of toilet humour with some nudity, sex scenes and the inappropriate words for the female anatomy. I appreciate some good slapstick humour, but this was pushing the limits. I loved American Pie. I thought American Pie was hilarious and I howled throughout the entire movie. I laughed so hard all through Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. I even thought The 40-Year Old Virgin was cute.

I think that this movie could have been well done and even successful without all the crass jokes, vulgarity, and negative stereotyping. The storyline itself had the potential for a very good movie. A lot of scenes were unnecessary and the Stephen Hawking imitation was just plain wrong. There were a few moments in the movie that were funny, but for the most part it was very uncomfortable to watch.

I felt badly for my student, who was clearly disturbed by the movie. Culturally, Knocked Up was a surprise for her. Almost everything about this movie was taboo for her. At the end of the movie, all six of us just sat in silence and in total disbelief at what we just saw. We then started laughing because we were in such shock and disbelief.
Saturday, November 24, 2007

Looking for Ideas

I purchased a pre-lit Christmas tree the other week and friends keep asking me why I haven't decorated it. I just have plain white lights and a star on top. That's it. That's all.

I want to make a new Christmas tree ornament for every year Hubby and I are married. Right now, since we've only been married a year and a half, our tree looks very simple.

I was surfing the net for Christmas ornament ideas that Hubby and I can do together. I have no idea if Hubby will actually sit down with me and make ornaments, but it's worth a try! While perusing the Internet, I found this site. Not only does this site have creative tree ornaments, but it also has fun and easy cookie recipes you can try with your kids.

I found some cute ideas, but haven't found "the perfect" ornament idea yet. If any of you make your own ornaments, do you have any ideas you can pass along?
Cheers! xo

All photos and recipes have been borrowed from
Friday, November 23, 2007


It's hard to believe that these guys were...
this tiny five months ago.

Can you tell I've come to a little road block for today's NaBloPoMo? I needed something to post? CK, Annie, J, Cherry, Beachmama, Karen, and anyone else doing NaBloPoMo, are you finding it easy to post every single day? How do you come up with your material? What inspires you?

I don't think it's too difficult to come up with things to write about. It's just the finding time in the day to post that has become a problem. Only seven more days of NaBloPoMo!
Thursday, November 22, 2007

Throwback Thursday #18

The girls at Pinks and Blues always post the most heartwarming Throwback Thursdays. I've been rather delinquent in my TT postings, but hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things soon.

This week's set of photos are of my little cousin, Jey and yours truly. I grew up in a very tight-knit family, where all my cousins were like siblings to me. For the longest time, I was the princess, as I was the only girl in the family. Fast forward to when I turned ten, and a new little princess was born.

Jey was the little sister I never had. We all looked out for her (we still do) and are very protective when it comes to her. Here are some pics of my 'baby sister'. She was the cutest little girl. She had the biggest eyes and her hair stood up and made her look like a little porcupine!
I'm in the second photo. Here, we're with Jey's cousins from her dad's side (Jey's mom is my mom's youngest sister). I'm the one in the white outfit with the pink suspenders! Hahaha! Don't ask. I have absolutely no idea why I was wearing suspenders. I know it didn't have to do with making a fashion statement because that's just ugly. Oh, and the hair? I was really upset when my mom said she was going to trim my hair and ended up making a mistake, so she had to chop it off! Argh! I can't tell you how miserable I was.
This next set of photos are from Jey's birthday. I won't tell you where I am in the photos, because I am embarrassed! LOL!
Hawaii Joe and P, playing with Jey. In the photo below this one, I'm holding Jey. What a cutie she was! Check out how dark I was! I was always playing out in the sun with no sunscreen!
My little sis and me in Puerto Galera. We had so much fun! We danced on the beach, partied under the stars and met lots of interesting people. I miss Puerto Galera!
Since Jey and I have always been close, it was only natural for me to have her as one of my bridesmaids at our wedding. I can't believe that was a year and a half ago!
This is one of our most recent photos. This was taken at our cousin, Married Winkel's wedding.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Freaky because it's true!!!

The lovely Ms. Mamma inspired this NaBloPoMo post. The other day, she posted this blog entry and it prompted me to write about some freaky true stories of mine.

When I was a child, one of the houses we lived in was owned by an elderly couple. The husband passed away, so his widow wanted to sell the house to a nice young family. It was a nice house, but I never felt comfortable in that house. There was always this strange feeling...a cold presence, if you will. Strange things would happen in this house. I don't know why, but my mom decided to have a playroom for us (Middle Bro and me, since this was all pre-Baby Bro) in the basement. In the basement?!?! Why on earth would anyone make a playroom for their kids in the basement?? Needless to say, the basement freaked us out and even though ALL of our favourite toys were in the playroom, Middle Bro and I refused to go down there!

Now, there was a door in the basement that led to the side of the garage. Mom would always make sure the door was locked. The only thing was that every time she went downstairs to check the door, it would always be unlocked! Not only was the door unlocked, but it was always opened just slightly. Creepy! Well, Middle Bro and I would always get yelled at and blamed for this, but we can guarantee you that it was not us! We were scared of that basement and wouldn't go down there!

Other weird things happened, like Middle Bro not being able to sleep at night. He'd swear that he saw someone peering into his room from the hallway. One time, he lay in his bed totally scared beyond belief because at the foot of his bed, there sat an old man. The old man would just look at him as he lay there. (Okay, I'm getting goosebumps as I write this!)

One day, we had a BBQ with our neighbours and one of them casually said that it was a shame that the former owner of the house had committed suicide in the master bedroom! Mom freaked out and put the house up for sale. As soon as the "For Sale" sign went up, even weirder things started to happen! The ceiling started leaking and the pipes were dripping. It turns out that the former owner was a plumber when he was alive. CREEPY! Oh, our house number was #13. I don't know how superstitious I am, but I thought that it was kind of funny (not ha ha funny).

Another scary but true story:
When I was teaching in Japan, my classroom was #5. In Asia, the #4 is considered bad luck because the sound of the number when pronounced also means "death". Classroom #4 was not in use because of superstition. Now, to get to my classroom, I had to pass by classroom 4. Every time I passed the door, I'd get these weird, unexplainable chills! I'd just feel really cold all of a sudden.

One day, I went into classroom 4 because I ran out of paper and thought I might find some in there. I noticed in the corner of the room, there was a dish on the floor with salt in it. Later that day, I asked the Japanese teacher and the Japanese staff what that was all about. They said, "Oh. That's to get rid of spirits and ghosts". Ummmm...okay.

I used to work late almost every night. I'd stay until 10 PM to correct homework, get lessons planned, etc. Every night, at almost 10 PM, the photocopy machine would operate by itself!!! I'd check the paper and it was just blank. There would be nothing on it...just white sheets of paper! At 10 PM, I could hear thump, thump, thump, thump, thump! It sounded like little feet running around. It freaked me out so much that I started getting friends to stay with me at the school while I stayed late.

I mentioned this to the other staff and they said, "Oh. That's the ghost of the little boy". "WHAT???"

It gets even stranger. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 4 PM, I taught these two brothers. They were 7 and 9 years old. These boys were always on time and you could hear them running up the stairs to the school. They were rowdy! However, on this particular Tuesday, the boys were late. I waited for them in the receiving area in front of the school manager's office. While I waited, I chatted with the manager, Japanese teacher and another English teacher. Suddenly, one of the brothers ran into the school. We saw him run in and we heard the door open and close. He ran into the bathroom.

He was in there for a while. After a few minutes, I knocked on the bathroom door. "Daisuke! Kouji! Time for your lesson". No answer. Okay, perhaps he had some "business" to attend to. I gave him a few more minutes. "Daisuke! Kouji! Are you okay?" Still no answer. I was getting rather impatient, so I sent one of the male teachers in to check on the boy(s). There was no one in the bathroom! The lights were all shut and no one was in there! How could that be? We all saw a boy run into the school and into the bathroom!

Moments later, the boys showed up. They were detained at school for some reason. It was the weirdest experience ever. Students and staff at that school have said that the school was haunted, but the little ghost boy is supposedly friendly.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Precious

I'd like to think that I'm not a materialistic person. I don't think I'm they type of person who tries to "keep up with the Joneses". However, if my house were ever on fire, apart from trying to save our beloved babies (the felines and our canine), I'd try to save some of my photographs and books. I know this may sound silly, but those are the only things I would really want to save. My photographs carry with them so many memories of my childhood. My books are also a large part of who I am.

I've gotten attached to the works of Shakespeare, Dickinson, The Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Dickens, Orwell, Chekhov and other greats. I know books are material, but they are so much more than just that to me. As a child, I'd lose myself in literature. I love movies, but I have always preferred books to movies.

It amazes me how literature can move you, open your mind, and just take you away to another time and place. Literature can draw out emotions. One minute you're laughing and the next you're crying. You experience feelings through the journeys of the characters. If you've ever seen the movie The NeverEnding Story, you'll know what I mean.

Another reason my books are important to me is...When Baby Bro was a baby, I used to read to him every night. When he was in kindergarten, instead of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, I read him Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Orwell's Animal Farm.

Unfortunately, as Baby Bro got older, his love for books disappeared. He was more interested in playing video games, watching movies, playing with his friends, playing sports, and he just became a lazy reader. He preferred it if I read the books to him rather than him actually doing the reading.

Baby Bro was fourteen when I went to Japan to teach English for two years. Before I left, I told him to read S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. That Christmas, while I was slightly bummed out because I was so far away from my family and loved ones, I received a package from my Mom and Baby Bro. Mom sent me bits and pieces of home. She sent everything from Tim Horton's hot chocolate to Colgate toothpaste. She also sent me some extra business suits and pantyhose, since Japanese girls are all a size XXXXXXSmall! In Canada, my size 5 shoe was considered small, but in Japan, my feet were huge! I won't even tell you what a nightmare it was to try to find tops that accommodated "the girls"!

Anyway, the present that touched me the most was this copy of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Baby Bro read it and in the book, he inscribed:
In case you can't read Baby Bro's handwriting, the text reads:
Dear (Sis),
You told me about this book before you left for Japan. It has the poem "natures first green is gold" I really like this book. I think it was one of the only books that I really tried to understand. Well I miss you and I love you. I wish you a merry christmas and a happy NEW year.

(Baby Bro)

It was the most touching note ever (even with the grammar mistakes and all). In fact, I cried and cried when I read it. I wasn't homesick and I loved my life in Japan, but this letter made me miss Baby Bro so much. I was fiercely proud that he actually sat down and read the book and that he got something out of it. He told me that he figured out the meaning behind Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Now, as an ESL teacher, I assign The Outsiders to my ESL students. My student from South Korea just finished reading the book the other week. After completing comprehension questions and giving a written summary, she watched the movie. She fell in love with the story and with the characters. She learned a lot about social issues, courage, friendship and trying to belong. I think she was amazed by how many "rising stars" were in the movie. Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, and a very young looking Tom Cruise were in the film. It was Hubby who noted that Diane Lane played the role of Cherry Valance.
Monday, November 19, 2007

Sooooooooo GOOD!!!!

You've got to try this!!!
While at the Christmas Market and MSS Shopping Spree, I searched for ideas for what to get family members who have it all.

I did find some amazing items on the weekend. I bought lots of stocking stuffers, handmade by the amazing Dylon Whyte (or "The Chainmail God", according to Ms.Mamma).

I also picked up this as part of a present for one of the people on my list. I ended up picking one up for myself because it was just soooooo good! It's Watkins' Lemon Cream Shea Butter. Can I tell you how delicious this stuff smells??? It smells soooooo yummy! You'd swear it was almost edible! It's very creamy and non-greasy. It moisturizes my skin and I've got really dry skin (especially my hands) in the winter. Imagine having perfectly soft and silky skin and smelling like lemon meringue pie? Tell me that's not awesome!
Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yet Another Addiction!

The Da Vinci Code Board Game: The Quest For Truth
If you've read the book or have seen the movie, some of you may either love The Da Vinci Code or hate it. There doesn't seem to be any in between when it comes to The Da Vinci Code.
I was telling my student how games like Scrabble are really good for improving her English skills. We were out Christmas shopping last week, and my student saw the Da Vinci Code board game. Not knowing what it was about or what the level of difficulty was, she bought it. It looked interesting enough!

I am a board game addict. I love games, challenges, and competition. Scrabble, Monopoly, Balderdash, Cranium, Trivial Pursuit...You name it, I love playing it. I'm such a geek that way.

We tried it out a few nights ago, and were really confused. It's not the easiest game to play, but it sure is challenging. The object of the game is to solve the mysteries. The mysteries are hidden everywhere, but the answers are in plain view...If you know how to crack the codes, decipher symbols, answer math and history questions, etc.

The good thing about this game is that you "don't need to be an art or history buff to decode these mysteries". You travel around the board and collect clues and info to identify the Mystery Question (20 spaces on your game card). At the end of the game, not only do you have to try to solve the mystery question, but you also have to answer five questions.

I am addicted to this game because you really need to "keep your eyes wide open, your wits about you and your secrets to yourself". Even our two little nieces are hooked now...and they're only 10 and 12 years old! They love the challenge and the problem solving. The reading and questions are really good for them too. I also love that they are getting introduced to the works of Da Vinci, Poussin, Degas and other great artists!!!
Saturday, November 17, 2007


Whoever said there is nothing to do on the Island is sorely mistaken! In the summer, it's "busy season" with all the tourists visiting the Island. In the winter, we've got so many teas and bazaars, fundraisers, luncheons, and community events. It's almost impossible to be anything but busy! I was told years ago, that I would never survive living on the Island and that winters were very long and harsh up here.

Personally, I think boredom is just a state of mind and it's up to the individual to make their own fun and entertainment. I'm never bored here and I am always busy! In fact, my life is busier here than it was in the city. It's a different busy though. Now, I'm busy doing things that I love to do and not things that I have to do out of obligation. As for the cold...Well, I spent twenty three years living in Montreal, and the winters there were much colder and harsher than they are here!

Coasting along the winding highway with the crisp air and blue sky just made me smile. My student grinned as we belted out some Simon and Garfunkel songs. Zipping around the bend past Big Lake, with the sunshine and the shimmery flecks of gold reflecting on the waves just always brings such a natural high. It's days like today that remind you how amazing and wonderful life is!

Today, my student and I met up with a friend (whom I will refer to as Awesome Girl). We went to a Christmas bazaar and to the farmers' market. We got some wonderful little presents for friends and family, and I picked up a Christmas tree for our home. It's made with real cedar and it isn't too big. It was just too pretty to pass up. I'm not normally an impulse buyer, so I wonder what Hubby will say when he sees my purchase. My mission for the day was to get some of our family Christmas shopping done. So far, I've got my mother-in-law, one of Hubby's sisters, Hubby and one of our nieces taken care of. I've also got presents for my cousins, aunts and uncles. Since I have a very large family, I am making a good portion of our gifts this year. I hope everyone loves cookies! LOL!

Awesome Girl and my student are off to go curling. We thought it would be an amazing experience for my student, since she will never get the chance to experience this in Korea! I would have gone with them, but Hubby and I have to leave soon so we can serve at the Annual Fowl Supper tonight. I just love these community events! What fun!
Friday, November 16, 2007

Another Cool Thing from Pinks and Blues

The lovely ladies at Pinks and Blues have very informative posts. These girls are resourceful, helpful, funny and they do their research for all your cool, trendy, hip family needs. From work, love, marriage, children, friendship, to anything else you may want to know about...These girls have it! They also have the cutest Throwback Thursdays, the funniest posts, and the most amazing contests. If you post this button on your sidebar, you will be entered in the contest for their Dooney & Burke giveaway.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feel the love

Scene: Enter C with a big box from the post office. C sets the box on the dining room table. She excitedly opens the box to reveal a colourful assortment of Japanese snacks and Filipino spices/mixes, as well as a card, soap and a CD.
Hubby: So where is this one from?
C: From Canine in _________! OMG! She's awesome! Look at all this cool stuff! Look at all the Pocky! Men's Pocky, Strawberry Pocky...almost EVERY kind of Pocky conceivable! I'm in Pocky heaven!!!
Hello Panda chocolate-filled cookies. "New Sports Printing"
Oh, and notice the Collon in the background? Gotta love it!
Kasugai's Gummy has the taste of orange juice and comes in an attractive small bag.
I don't know where the name "Black Black" came from.
Everybody needs to have a Crunky Walking Bar!!! Do you think crunky is a little bit like "crunchy"??? Do we eat these chocolate bars when we go walking or do these bars actually walk?

Thursdays are usually inspired by Sharon, Audrey and Jane's Throwback Thursdays. This week, I decided to give a big shout out to a few people. I'll post my next Throwback Thursday next week.

Canine, THANK YOU for all the wonderful things you sent us. Opening that box made me feel like I was back in Japan! A lot of my favourite Japanese snacks were in there! I felt like a kid at Christmas! Can I tell you how thrilled I was??? Some of the items in the box filled me with memories of my life teaching and living in Japan. Some of the items just made me laugh. You know how much I love Engrish!!!

Canine, you have the coolest taste in music, food, movies...and you are a true pop culture
aficionado! One last thing I must say about Canine is that she's got some mad packing skillzzz! If you need to send a care package to anywhere in the world, you need to get Canine to pack it for you. I was shocked to see how on earth she got all those things in that one box! Impressed? Yes!

Uncivil, THANKS for sending my that adorable poster collection of bulldog love. What a surprise! The one that says "Scholar" is too cute! Thank you for the really thoughtful post and for saying that I'm your favourite Canadian blogger and "the sweetest blogger on the Internet"!
You are too kind! That post is just as touching as this one from Ms.Mamma!

Seriously, you guys are the best!!! Now I feel like a loser for sending you guys SOAP!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I'm not really a dessert or sweets person, but I do enjoy cooking, baking, and experimenting with new recipes. I just love creating things. There's a certain sense of accomplishment when one is able to take on a challenge and create something of their very own. This is one of the reasons I enjoy cooking for loved ones. I also really, really enjoy feeding people...especially those who are way skinnier than I am!

On special occasions, I like to make my famous cheesecakes. There's nothing that makes me feel better than watching people savour every last morsel of my rich and decadent concoctions. I know, I am horrible.

With the holidays fast approaching, I have been experimenting with new recipes. I'm ready for tons of baking next month! Aside from the holiday cookies, I want to try a few new things. Since I'm in the country now, and fudge seems to be popular here, I have decided to try my hand at making it.

Heck, I will never eat the stuff. Just thinking of fudge gives me a toothache! Some people really
like it, so I'm going to try to make it. A few days ago, my student and I conducted some kitchen experiments and this is what we got: Ooey, gooey, rich, decadent, totally saccharine globs of heart attack in a pan. I was really disappointed and realized that making fudge is truly an art. Our first attempt left a lot to be desired. The fudge really wasn't solid at all. It was very soft, even after hours of being chilled and left to set.

I couldn't believe it! The recipe said it was a "Never Fail Fudge" recipe and I failed! If you are wondering why it looks so weird, everyone had to spoon the fudge out of the pan because it was too soft to cut. *sigh*

Perhaps it's a sign and someone is telling me not to feed my loved ones sugar-laden desserts.

Oh, and if you didn't think I was wacky already, here's a photo my student took of me the other night. I could lie and tell you that I was using the kittens for warmth because we live in the North and it is really cold here. Truth be told, it's not even cold yet and my student caught me off guard as I was walking around the house with the kittens in my sweater. Hey! I just wanted to see what it felt like to carry a baby bump! I was also curious to see how I might look pregnant.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Sadly, it's true. I am an addict. Ever since Thanksgiving, my student and I have been hardcore working out. There are a few gyms on the Island, but we're so busy that I don't have time to commute to and from the gym. I have been doing Slim in 6 and Turbo Jam on and off for the past few years. They're excellent workouts, but I needed something new. I had received Yoga Booty Ballet and Hip Hop Abs with my Turbo Jam order, but never even thought of opening them. Here are some promotional photos of Yoga Booty Ballet and Hip Hop Abs. It's not as easy as it looks, people!

For some reason, I had the urge to see what it was all about. I think I was turned off because I am by no means a ballet dancer. I'm not graceful enough and I am in serious lack of poise. My mother enrolled me in jazz ballet when I was a kid. I took one lesson and then decided it wasn't for me. I'm not a girlie girl by any means. I'm also not very coordinated. I've got two left feet and can't seem to follow steps. I took a Hip Hop class when I lived in Toronto a few years ago. I swear, I looked like a chicken on crack. I'm embarrassed to say that I just don't have any sense of coordination.

I do love music and I do love dancing though. I love dancing to music where I can "feel" the music and follow the rhythm. That's why I used to love going to clubs that play reggae, calypso, soca, etc. Just let your body go with the flow!

There, in its original plastic wrap, lay my Yoga Booty Ballet/Hip Hop Abs DVD. It was time to check this baby out. We popped in the DVD and oh my goodness! It was like instant love! I wanted more and more and more! The workout was hard, but so much fun! I am officially addicted! I ask myself if I'm addicted to the workout or if I'm addicted to the feeling I get after the workout.

Oh, I don't have to worry about looking like a chicken on crack
with all of the fancy footwork and gyrating body parts, because I'm in my own house! I keep my student and my husband entertained. That's for sure!
Monday, November 12, 2007

"O" is for...

Orchids and origami, of course! What else where you thinking of?

My aunt and uncle in Montreal are the most amazing gardeners I have ever encountered. Their garden is magical! Visitors often feel as though they are in a tropical haven with all the lush foliage that surround them. My aunt and uncle even have a secret garden within their huge garden (which is divided by pagodas and climbing plants) and a beautiful fish pond with the biggest koi I have ever seen!

I love plants and flowers as well, so my uncle brings me some of his special prizes whenever he visits us on the Island. His last gift to me was this spectacular chocolate orchid! Yes, people! This orchid makes the house smell like a mixture of sweet vanilla and chocolate! I absolutely
love, love, love this orchid! Its flowers are plentiful and every time I walk by them and get a whiff of that yummy chocolate scent, I just have to soak it all in! Can you tell that I'm a chocolate lover? The tiny white and chocolate flowers just cascade beautifully for all to admire. The orchid also goes by the names Sharry Baby or Chocolate Oncidium.

Mine was given to me as a present, but if you want one, you can get one here.

Oh, and if you were thinking about creative and crafty things to do with your kids (and if you don't mind the challenge), how about trying some origami? In Japanese, the word ori basically means "to fold" and the word kami means paper.

A month ago, I taught an origami workshop here on the Island. I've always been fascinated by the art of paper folding. I could never seem to get my brain wrapped around all the exact and precise folds. It was way too "math related" for me. I know, that sounds like such a horrible thing to say. I just wasn't good at math. This was all symmetry and numbers to me.

When I taught English in Japan, one of my high school students taught me how to fold a paper
crane. The students from this high school class also told me the sad story of Sadako Sasaki.
She was a little girl who was diagnosed with leukemia due to being exposed to radiation from the Atomic Bomb. Her goal was to fold a thousand cranes before she died, but she was only able to fold 644. Her friends completed the remaining cranes and they were buried with her.

There is a statue in Peace Park of Sadako holding a golden crane. I visited Peace Park several
times while I was in Japan, since I taught in a city on the outskirts of Hiroshima City.

Another reason I am interested in origami is because I just love Japanese paper! The myriad of
colours, patterns, textures...Just gorgeous!
If you are looking for a fun and creative way to spend time with your kids, how about a quick lesson in origami? There are different levels of difficulty. Some things are very simple and easy enough for a kindergarten student, while others are very complex, as we (my Korean student, a friend of mine and I) found out the other day!

My recommendations:
Origami Club
Tammy Yee's Origami Page

Oh, my goodness! I must end this post before I reveal the true geek that I really am! ;)

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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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