Wednesday, February 28, 2007

So...How Did You Find Me???


...or did I find you???

I was thinking the other day, that with all the information, sites, and blogs on the internet, how on earth do people find each other? Take for example, my blog. My blog is pretty darn boring. I only ever talk about life on the Island, teaching, married life, friends, things I find funny, funny things I find, funny things I remember, crazy things I do, my family, my pets, books, movies, music, art, gardening, and cooking. It's really, really not that interesting at all.

One person told me that he found me by clicking "Next Blog". Another said she found my when she Googled "Farmers Feed Cities". Looking at my BlogLog, I was laughing when I saw that someone found me while Googling "Canadian Inventions" since I posted something on that a while ago.

It's really funny to see how people's paths cross on the net. ROAR! did a write up on how people are connected by six degrees of separation. I kind of agree with the theory. It's so neat to see how people's lives are intertwined. Mama Doggy Love also wrote a blog entry on how people find her blog.

Initially, I set up this blog as a vehicle for me to connect with friends, family, students and fellow teachers since I moved to Manitoulin Island...which is far away from my former life in Toronto and Montreal. Most of the people who read my blog are friends and family, though I have 'met' some wonderful, charming, witty people through blogging.

So, tell me....how did we 'meet'?
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Meme For All Foodies


If you're a foodie, you'll love this one :)

1. What's your #1 comfort food? My homemade cream of leek and potato soup

2. If you were on a deserted island, what one food would you want to have with you? Oh, man. I really, really don't know. Pad thai maybe?

3. What is/are your signature dishes? (What dishes are you 'known' for?) Hmmm...chicken parmesan, shepherd's pie, spinach/cheese quiche and my various cheesecakes?

4. It's Friday night, you don't know what to cook. You opt for...In the city I'd probably just go to an Indian, Thai, Italian, Greek, Japanese or Lebanese restaurant! Here on the Island, I'd probably have to quickly grab whatever ingredients I have and make something quick like a quiche or a fritatta.

5. What's your biggest weakness when it comes to food? Chocolate...but I only need a little taste and then I'm fine.

6. What food can you absolutely not eat? Japanese nato or eel. I can't/won't eat anything with its head still attached and I won't eat intestines, tongue, brain...blechhhh...I think I'm feeling a little ill.....

7. You need a drink. You grab a....lemonade. LOL! I don't know why that was the first thing that came to my mind. Ummm...if I needed a stronger drink then maybe a bellini or anything with Bailey's Irish Cream.

8. What's the most decadent dish you've had? Our wedding cake. It was a chocolate mousse cake made by the Garden's Gate Restaurant. Very delicious, decadent and gorgeous.

9. What's your favorite type of food? Thai, Japanese, Lebanese, Indian, Italian, Greek...

10. Favorite dish? Pad Thai

11. If your partner could take you to any restaurant you wanted, which one would it be? On the Island, definitely Garden's Gate. Elsewhere? Hmmm...I don't know. Maybe Tiger Lily Cafe on Queen St. in Toronto or Sushi Inn...or even Spring Rolls (though I know many people will disagree with me!). There are also a number of Korean, Japanese, Indian and Mexican restaurants I like in Toronto.

12. Are you a soup or salad person? Depends on my mood. I like them both.

13. Buffet, take-out or sit-down restaurant? Sit-down. I don't like buffets. I get ripped off and don't like the idea of promoting gluttony. Take-out usually means fast food or junk food, which I'm not a fan of.

14. What's the most impressive dinner you've ever made? Chicken parmesan, garlic pasta, spinach/mango salad with my own balsamic vinaigrette, and a strawberry/kiwi/peach cheesecake as the finale.

15. Do you consider yourself a good cook? I think I'm okay :) Actually, I think I'm pretty darn good, but I just didn't want to sound like a snob!

16. Do you know what vichyssoise is? Uhhh...yeah!! I can make a really good one too!

17. Who's your favorite TV cook? I really like Everyday Italian's Giada De Laurentis, the Barefoot Contessa's, Ina Garten.

18. Can you name at least three TV cooking personalities? Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Rachael Ray (I don't like her though..lol).

19. Homemade or homemade from a box? Homemade from scratch, of course!

20. Name 3 or more other foodies you are going to tag. Ms. Mamma, Canine Cologne, Curiosity Killer, Jill, Miss Moneypenny (even if she doesn't have a blog, she's still a foodie), Dina, Northern Mom, Mama Doggy Love...and anyone else who wants to do this silly meme :)

The 'Ol Standard Double Standard


I have no idea why, but as I took a break from getting all this paperwork done for tax season, my mind drifted off to a funny thing that happened to me a while ago. It was something that left an impression on me- otherwise I wouldn't have remembered this certain event. I just never thought of it much until now.

I was out dancing with my girlfriends in Toronto, one night (a few years ago). I don't know why, but girls seem to always need to go to the bathroom in pairs or in groups. I never figured out why we did/do that. Anyway, while in the crowded bathroom, waiting our turn to use the facilities, a woman (who looked to be around my age), came up to me and said, "Has anyone ever told you that you have got the lushest, fullest, most beautiful lips?" To which, I retorted, "Uhh...no, but thanks!"...and that was the end of that and we continued to wait and then returned to the dance floor afterward.

I never thought anything of it, other than it was kind of funny that someone would totally, out of the blue say something like that. Then I thought...why is it okay for women to compliment other women and it's not a big deal? If a man compliments another man, it's considered "gay". In many ways, our society is still wrapped up in social norms and mores and by its definitions of what characteristics and behaviours are 'typically' male and female.






Growing up, the men in my life were "manly men". You know..the strong, male authority figure type. In school, there were the jocks, the nerds, the cool kids, the rebels (though I hate the idea of people being lumped into 'groups' or 'types'). Now, I know a lot of males who are metrosexual. They spend a lot of time, money and effort in looking good, wearing nice, expensive, name brands...they even pay special attention to haircare products and colognes. In the past, this would probably have been regarded as a female thing to do, but now a lot of guys I know take pride in their appearance...and they are no less manly or masculine than men who don't take the time to look like they ought to be on a magazine cover.

Hmmm...I think I just went on a tangent. Where was I going with all this? Ohhh...right.
1) Why is it okay for women to compliment other women, and not okay for men to compliment other men?
2)Why is it okay for a woman to say, "WOW! That woman is gorgeous!" and not okay for a man to say that another man is handsome or appealing?
3) If a woman takes pride in her appearance and makes special effort to do her hair, put make-up on, and dress nicely, why is that considered vain?
4) What do you define being a 'manly man'?
Remember, this is not intended for serious debate. I'm just curious.

Hahaha


Okay. I have seriously got to stop YouTube-ing! I found this video and this cute little boy just made me smile. Toooooo cute! Don't you just want one of those now?

The countdown is on. My brother and his wife's baby is due in a week! Will it be a boy or a girl? I participated in their baby pool, but I put my name down for BOTH just to cover all the bases! LOL! I can't stand losing a bet...which is why I don't gamble! ;)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

How To Fold A Shirt The Japanese Way!


Okay. How many of you attempted to do this after viewing the video? Don't lie. I know you tried! LOL!

Winter Fun Day


Today, our township held its Winter Fun Day. The day started off with a pancake breakfast (really affordable at $5/person & young children free) and activities followed. There were lots of outdoor activities, such as:
* tug of war (the men's team hubby was on won and the women's team I was on won)
* blind ATV obstacle course races (hubby and our student didn't fare well. Hubby was blindfolded and our student was giving the directions. LOL!)
*slow pitch baseball- kids vs. the firefighters and first response team
*log sawing competition
*nail driving competition
*GT Racing/tea boiling competition -my 11 yr old niece conned me into being her partner. There were 10 teams and I had to pull her on the GT racer, then turn around at the end of the course, and she had to pull me (good lord!) and then we had to start a fire with sticks and boil snow to make a cup of tea. Our darn matches wouldn't strike!! I think we came in third last. LOL!

The day's festivities ended with a silent auction (great prizes!) and a chili or stew supper, rolls, veggies, drinks and dessert evening at the hall. It was a really nice way of fostering communtiy spirit, and getting families out there, active and spending time with each other. I love this kind of stuff. Hubby and I think it's important to be involved in the community and we both think it's so important to do outdoorsy activities with the kids. Now, if you excuse me, I think I'm going to head to bed early tonight! LOL!
Photos:
1) The GT race/tea boiling contest. I was wearing my big winter coat, a turtleneck and two heavy sweaters and I was still cold...while the kids didn't even seem to notice the cold at all! I must be getting old! LOL!

2) Can you tell my little niece and I were having a difficult time starting our fire? LOL! Our matches broke and each team was only given two matches!

3) Hubby in bunker gear. The firefighters had to play in their gear and only use one hand to bat so the kids could have an advantage :)

4) Our youngest niece batting. The kids always seem to beat the firefighters ;)
Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hey...I Never Said I Was Perfect.


Scene: Hubby reading the newspaper at the dining room table. Wifey blogging in the office.

Hubby: Honey, you're the English expert here. What does the word 'nascent' mean?
Me: Nascent? How do you spell it? Like as in a-s-c-e-n-t?
Hubby: Yes. Only, it has an "n" in front of it.
Me: Are you sure? Maybe it's a type-o. It must be wrong. I've never heard of it before.
Hubby: Yeah. That's what I thought. I just thought you'd know since you're the English Major.
Me: Okay, let me Google it. (Wifey types 'nascent' into the search box)
Me: You've got to be kidding.
Hubby: What?
Me: Pronunciation: 'na-s&nt, 'nA-Function: adjective. Etymology: Latin nascent-, nascens, present participle of nasci to be born -- more at NATION: coming or having recently come into existence (a nascent middle class) (her nascent singing career).
Hubby: Wow.
Me: Yep. Years of tuition and textbook fees, countless English Lit and Linguistics courses...all put to good use. *sigh*

Today, I learned: A) English Majors don't know every single word in the English vocabulary (shhhh...don't tell my students!), B) Wifey is not always right (shhhh...don't tell my husband!), and C) I love Google.

PS. Who the heck uses 'nascent' anyway???
Friday, February 23, 2007

Sometimes you just need a little BOB


Fridays, blue skies, warm sunshine, a full tank of gas, the long, winding, open highway, my pup at my side (sticking his head out the window)...and Bob Marley's voice crooning Jammin' and One Love. Yep. Simple pleasures in life. Sometimes that's all you need to feel happy.
Thursday, February 22, 2007

You've GOT to try this!!!


Since I'm all about promoting friends' businesses, I have got to tell you...
You seriously need to try these!!!
My friend has a Toronto based candy company and they specialize in making unique, fun, tasty, cool candies! I have to admit, that I'm not the biggest candy eater (chocolate's a different story though), but I do love Big Sky Brands Inc. candies. I'm not just saying this because my friend's company makes these candies. In fact, I am addicted to these babies!
Last time, I posted something on the company's Warp Green-T Energy mints. The Green-T mints have got to be one of my faves. This time, however, I am going to highly recommend the Jones Soda carbonated candies. If you're familiar with Jones Soda, then you will love, love, love the candies. They come in six great flavours:
Fufu Berry
Orange & Cream
Cream Soda
Green Apple
Berry Lemonade
M.F. Grape.
All the products come in unique, trendy, cool tins. They're neat for storing things in once you're done eating the candy! LOL! Seriously! I put loose change in my tins, just in case I need quarters or dimes. Anyway, you can check out their webpage for store locations near you.
Go ahead...try some! You know you wanna!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Poor, poor pumpkin...


I had a few pumpkins and squash left over from the Fall, so I decided it was about time to use some of them. I had a small pie pumpkin, but decided to cut it in half, empty out the seeds and bake it in the oven and then serve it as a side dish. That's the way I do my butternut squash. It's healthy, easy, and yummy.

Well, Hubby and our homestay student ate up all the roast and carrots, potatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, and bread...but left the poor pumpkin alone :( Okay, they had a bit of it and so did I, but there was a lot left over.

Upset because I hate wasting, this is the conversation we had:

Me: Fine. Whatever is not eaten tonight will be eaten tomorrow.
Student: Awww! Can you make it into something else?
Me: Okay. Good idea. Should I make pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup?
Hubby and Student: (in unison) PIE!!!

Looks like I'm baking pumpkin pie tomorrow.
The lone pumpkin that no one wants to eat.
Will he become a creamy pumpkin soup?

Or a rich pumpkin pie?

Here's the pie filling recipe:

-one pie pumpkin (small)

-one can Eagle brand condensed milk

-2 eggs

-1 tsp cinnamon

-2 tbsp brown sugar

- pinch of salt

I used my hand blender to cream together all the ingredients for the pie filling. Pour filling into pie shell (I have a recipe for a homemade pie crust somewhere on my blog, but since I can't seem to find it, this one is a good recipe too). Bake at 425 F for 15 mins. Reduce temp to 350 F and continue baking for another 35-40 mins.

Bikini Waxing


Contemplating whether or not to set up an appointment with the esthetician or to do it yourself? I remembered this funny e-mail my mom sent me last year. I think I even posted this one before, but it's just too funny that I'm going to post it again : ) After reading this, you're going to want to book that appointment...LOL!  Source unknown.





Image via Google Images

Tell me this has never happened to you!!

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

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair And now...the wax.

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

So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ("Cold wax," yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire. With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my *hoo-hoo* and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (Yes, it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself....RRRRIIIPPP!!!! I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!....OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP!!! Another deep breath and RRIIPP!!

Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I may pass out...must stay conscious...Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe, breathe...OK, back to normal. I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX???Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am touching wax. CRAP! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down. DANG!!!!!!!! I hear the slamming of a cell door. *Hoo-Hoo*?? sealed shut! Butt?? Sealed shut! I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!" What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!! I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right??? WRONG!!!!!!!

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit. Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the tub...in scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax. So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied myself to the porcelain!! God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!! I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter - "So, my butt and who-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!" There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking cheeks or who-ha?" She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!!!! Right !! I should be the joke of someone else's night. While we go through various solutions. I resort to scraping the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better then to have your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!

By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event. My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace.... the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GOD!!!!!!! The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. It's sooo painful, but I really don't care. IT WORKS!! It works!! I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair....THE HAIR IS STILL THERE.......ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!!! So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point. Next week I'm going to try hair color......
Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sicky


I thought I would be able to get through the winter without getting sick. I did pretty well...until Friday. There's a nasty flu/cold bug that's been going around for a few weeks and I managed to catch it. I was in bed all Saturday- every muscle in my body ached, I couldn't breathe due to congestion, and my head felt like someone drove a stake through my head...right between my eyes. *sigh* Well, enough complaining. You're probably thinking, "Hey lady, would you like some cheese with your whine??" LOL!

In order to try to get that yucky stuff out of my system so that I could breathe again, I have been drinking heaps of ginger tea (yuck) and I even tried snacking on some of those spicy snacky foods Canine sent me. I know they're meant to be enjoyed for their flavour, but did you know they also serve as a great decongestant? Spicy!! LOL! A big, fat thank you to Canine, because now my sinuses are clearing up. Man, that mango chili thing has got some bite! Zzzzzzzzzzzing! I think it caught Hubby by surprise, but he likes them. He really loves the lemon chili corn nuts too!








Since I was having probs sleeping (because I couldn't breathe), I tried to get this baby blanket finished for my mom. She wanted to crochet a baby blanket for my brother's baby (due in two weeks), but her hands are giving her problems. She taught me how to crochet in the car, on the way to Montreal for my SIL's baby shower. I hope I get that blanket done. I've got two weeks to go. Think I'll finish in time???
Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy One Year Blogaversary To Me


Today marks my one year of blogging. Hard to believe it's been only a year since I started. Click here to see my very first blog entry! I have to thank (or punish) Jill for my new addiction :)

Total posts to date: 341
Total profile views to date: 1,094
Keeping in touch with friends, old and new: cannot be quantified :)
Thursday, February 15, 2007

Scary Story


I was reading one of Canine's posts the other day and couldn't fall asleep because it seriously gave me the chills. I've got goosebumps as I type this blog entry. Her post was about ghost orbs.
I haven't ever seen any ghost orbs in my short thirty-something years on this planet, but I have seen (or experienced) a lot of strange things.

When I was a child (only a few years old), my grandfather passed away. My parents never told me about it, because my brother and I were very young when he died. Not too long after my granddad died, my mom was giving me a bath. When she was drying me off and dressing me, I was smiling and pointing to the corner of the room, saying, "Look, Ma! Grandpa is smiling at us!" as I waved to 'someone' in the room that my mom couldn't see. She was so freaked out and thought I was a creepy child.

Since then, I had premonition dreams. This was heightened when I was in my early stages of adolescence. I once dreamt that my school was on fire. The next day, school was cancelled due to a small electrical fire in the basement. (I had nothing to do with it, if that's what you're thinking!)
I used to be able to tell people what they were thinking. If I gave someone three objects, animals, numbers or colors and asked them to choose one and not tell me, I'd almost always be able to tell them which one they were thinking of. Everyone used to say I should think of numbers for my parents to play in the lottery! Sorry kids. My powers are only used for good! LOL!

Our old house in Montreal was house #13. I know!!! Scary! My Dad got it because the price was really good. There was a reason for that! Anyway, weird things happened in that house. My brother and I were scared of the basement and never went down there. My mom used to do laundry downstairs and when she'd come up, she'd close and lock the door. She said she always felt a weird, cool breeze circling above her head. She only freaked about it once and refused to stay home alone after that. Anyway, she'd always lock that door but when she returned to get the laundry, the door would be unlocked and open. Not open wide...just slightly ajar. She got mad at us kids and told us not to play jokes. Honestly, it wasn't us! We were afraid of the basement.

Years went by, and one day we were having a BBQ party with our neighbours and one of them said, "It's a shame that the former owner of your house killed himself in the master bedroom." Whaaaaaat??? The very next day, my mom put the house up for sale. To make things even creepier, the minute the house went up for sale, the pipes started leaking, the ceiling started dripping...and guess what? The former owner was a plumber when he was alive!!

We moved to a lovely new neighbourhood after that. My younger brother and I used to come home after school and my baby brother would be at my grandparents' in the next city. My parents would pick him up after work and come home where we were waiting, diligently doing our homework. One afternoon, I came home from school and I distinctly heard my baby brother crying. I knew it couldn't possibly be true because he was in the next city. I kept hearing him cry. It was kind of freaky! Moments later, my grandmother called, frantic and telling me to call my mom's work and that my baby brother had run into something and sliced his forehead open. WEIRD!

Strange things happened all the time, and it was sort of normal for me. At first, it was really creepy, but after some old man from Trinidad told me not to be afraid of the unknown and to embrace this 'gift', I stopped being scared.

The premonition dreams were less frequent as I got older. I used to always worry that I was an open receptacle for the paranormal and that really, really scared me. My grandmother had premonition dreams and a heightened sixth sense. My mom had it. I had it. I suppose it is something that was passed down from generation to generation.

After graduating from college, I moved to Toronto. I hadn't heard from one of my friends in ages, but I had a dream that she and her boyfriend were getting married. Everything in the dream was so vivid. I could see the wedding dress, the flowers, the cake, and even the guests. Sure enough, I got a phone call from T. We chit chatted for a while, and I told her about my dream. She was silent. Then she said, "OMG! That's exactly why I called you!". The scarier part?? When I went to T& D's wedding, everything was exactly how I saw it in my dream.

Before I bore you guys to tears, I'll tell you one last story. When I was teaching in Japan, I'd sometimes pull strange hours for the place I worked at. I'd stay late to finish up paperwork and prep lessons. Every night at around 10 PM, the photocopier would just go by itself. It was weird. I'd also hear the pitter patter of footsteps running upstairs. It got to the point where I was always so scared, I had to ask friends to come meet me and stay with me until I finished my paperwork. In Asia, the number 4 means death. No one used classroom #4. I was in classroom #5 and every time I passed that room, I always got the chills. One day, I ran out of paper, so I went into the room no one ever went in. In the corner of the room, there was a little dish with salt in it. I promptly left and asked the Japanese teacher why there was salt. "It's to get rid of the bad spirits." She said it as though it was nothing. She told me about this ghost of a little boy who resides in the school. Holy smokes! Chills ran down my spine. No one told me that! I'm sure they didn't say anything because all the foreign teachers would freak and maybe even quit.

Anyway, one afternoon, I had a class where I taught these two brothers. They were the biggest brats ever. You could hear them coming from a mile away. They were cute though...if you like rabid dogs :) They were always on time, but this particular day, they were late. Time kept ticking and I kept looking at the clock in the lounge. Finally, I saw and heard the door fly open and one of the brothers ran into the bathroom. The school manager and another teacher saw and heard the boy and we saw and heard him go into the bathroom. Minutes passed and the boys were still in the bathroom. I knocked. "Daisuke! Koji! It's time for your English lesson!" No answer. A few minutes later, "Daisuke! Koji! Time to get out! You need to start your lesson!". Still nothing. Finally, I got the male teacher to go into the men's bathroom. There was no one in there. The lights were off and the bathroom was empty!!!! The boys finally showed up. They were held back at school for misbehaving. The other teacher, the manager and I were dumbfounded though, since we all saw and heard the boy come in and go into the bathroom.

Have you got a freaky story? Got any weird and unexplainable experiences to share?

Somebody loves me...


LOL! Just kidding :)
Anyway, today I received a pleasant surprise in the mail. A care package arrived from the one and only, wonderful, charming, super cool, and drop dead gorgeous, Canine. I was admiring these really cool trays and Canine took the liberty of getting them for me :) Yay! Thanks, Canine! Oh, and thanks for the lovely card and all the snack food items and filipino ingredients! Now I can try my hand at some of the recipes on your food blog! :) I'm sooooooooo happy!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Love Day!


I promised myself I wouldn't write a sappy, overly saccharine Valentine's Day (or as my cute Swiss students say, "Walentine's Day") post. I'm sort of on the fence here. Part of me would love to revel in the romantic candle lit dinner, roses, chocolates and pink and red hearts all over the place. The other part wants to just boycot the whole day because I don't feel like there should be one single day of the year where your partner should show you how much they care. What a commercial occasion this is! I hate to think of how much chocolate companies, flower shops, Hallmark cards, and Victoria's Secret (okay, LaSenza if you're in Canada) are raking in today. Well...if I want to be positive, then one good thing comes out of this. I suppose it's good for the economy and those who like to be showered with material things :) I'm just kidding. I'm not really this jaded.

I love Valentine's Day. Hubby's really, really sweet and thoughtful...and romantic. I won't go into that though, since I promised not to be excessively sentimental today.

I leave you with a joke that my mom e-mailed to me today:

"A Woman's Definitions Of Everyday Words"

ARGUMENT (ar*gyou*ment)n.
A discussion that occurs when you're right, but he just hasn't realized it yet.

AIRHEAD (er*hed)n.
What a woman intentionally becomes when pulled over by a policeman.

BAR-BE-QUE (bar*bi*q)n.
You bought the groceries, washed the lettuce, chopped the tomatoes, diced the onions, marinated the meat and cleaned everything up, but, HE, "made the dinner."

BLONDE JOKES (blond joks)n.
Jokes that are short so men can understand them.

CANTALOUPE (kant*e*lope)n.
Gotta get married in a church.

CLOTHES DRYER (kloze dri*yer)n.
An appliance designed to eat socks.

DIET SODA (dy*it so*da)n.
A drink you buy at a convenience store to go with a half pound bag of peanut M&Ms.

ETERNITY (e*ter*ni*tee)n.
The last two minutes of a football game.

EXERCISE (ex*er*siz)v.
To walk up and down a mall, occasionally resting to make a purchase.

GROCERY LIST (grow*ser*ee list)n.
What you spend half an hour writing, then forget to take with you to the store.

HAIR DRESSER (hare dres*er)n.
Someone who is able to create a style you will never be able to duplicate again. See "Magician."

HARDWARE STORE (hard*war stor)n.
Similar to a black hole in space - if he goes in, he isn't coming out anytime soon.

CHILDBIRTH (child*brth)n.
You get to go through 36 hours of contractions; he gets to hold your hand and say "focus,... breath...push..."

LIPSTICK (lip*stik)n.
On your lips, coloring to enhance the beauty of your mouth. On his collar, coloring only a tramp would wear...!

PARK (park)v./n.
Before children, a verb meaning, "to go somewhere and neck." After children, a noun meaning a place with a swing set and slide.

PATIENCE (pa*shens)n.
The most important ingredient for dating, marriage and children. See also "Tranquilizers."

WATERPROOF MASCARA (wah*tr*pruf mas*kar*ah)n.
Comes off if you cry, shower, or swim, but will not come off if you try to remove it.

VALENTINE'S DAY (val*en*tinez dae)n.
A day when you have dreams of a candlelight dinner, diamonds, and romance, but consider yourself lucky to get a card.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nuf Said


Since I'm notorious for altering the lyrics to popular songs (seriously! I love changing the words to songs and making up my own. It really makes my little nieces laugh so hard, they look like they won't be able to breathe ever again!), here's a parody on James Blunt's "You're Beautiful". Hilarious! I still think James is endearing though :)

PS. Thanks, Diesel for posting about Mr. Blunt in the first place :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

How well do you think you know me?


Am I predictable? Full of surprises? Click here to find out for yourself :)
http://www.quizyourfriends.com/quizpage.php?quizname=070211232234-287935&

seriousness


I've been feeling like my posts have been of really trivial things lately. Sometimes seriousness bores people (everyone loves light, happy blogs!), but every now and then, I think it's necessary to address certain issues. This morning (and I don't know why these thoughts came into my mind), I was thinking about:



- all those shanty towns I've seen in my travels abroad. I think about seeing little kids playing in dirty water puddles, as their mothers wash their family's clothing in the same water. To me, it seemed so sad, as we whizzed by in our air-conditioned vehicle with our driver while the kids played happily in the dirty water. It just made me so sad and depressed.

- all the kids that beg (but some work) for money, when as a kid I never even thought about money. We played outside with our friends until nightfall. Working was for adults.

- the baskets with clothes, books, toys, toothbrushes and goodies to be sent to kids in Third World Countries. I was excited about giving the gift of happiness to kids who were less fortunate, when someone told me that she disagreed with the whole idea, since if one kid gets something and other kids in their family didn't, it would cause problems for the kids. My burning question would be, "Do we give these things to the kids to make them happy and to know that people care about them? Or do we not give anything because we may be disrupting their life as they know it? Is what I think is helping actually interfering?"

I don't know why I'm feeling so ho-hum blah and glum today. I just feel awful knowing that there are people out there who don't have as much as others do...and those who do have more, often take for granted each day that they are so fortunate. Kinda makes me want to give everything I own away and volunteer for Oxfam or something. If only I were that selfless :(
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Paranoid???


Perhaps...but only slightly (I hope)!

Now that Hubby and I have a teenager living with us for several months, we've gone from being childless to having a teenager!! P1 is attending the local high school. I'm his English teacher and Hubby and I are his guardians.

Being from a foreign country, his first week at the local high school was a big week for P1. I know he must have been all nerves, but I think I was probably more anxious and nervous for him. I worried about the reception he'd have at the school, seeing that there are no other visible minorities here on the Island. I worried that he wouldn't adapt. I worried that he wouldn't make friends. I worried that he wouldn't find his classes. I worried that the language barrier would be too difficult for him. I worried that the cultural differences would be too great.

Sure, I understand his pronunciation, but would everyone else understand? I've been teaching him ESL (English as a second language) for a long time now. Anyway, I just worried. His first week at school was a success. He made a lot of friends on the bus and in his classes. He didn't sit alone at lunch and he wasn't a loner. He understands the most part of his classes. He's already been invited to a few parties. Fine. A big sigh of relief on this end.

Now, here's where I'm concerned. I know P1 is a good kid and I know he wouldn't do anything 'bad' intentionally. However, he came home from school and told me that the high school kids all drink and smoke. Okay. That's normal. I was in high school and nothing's changed. Kids will be kids. Then he tells me that some of the kids smoke pot! I shouldn't have been surprised, because I'm from the city and this stuff is commonplace there too. For some reason, I kind of got all panicky because he's not my child and he's under my care. I have to make sure that he's safe at all times and I have to make sure he doesn't get into trouble. *sigh*

Do you think I worry too much for nothing? Or is it normal to worry about teenagers like this? Before you answer my question, let me just tell you:

a) When P1 told me about being invited to a party next weekend, I said, "Okay, but I need to meet the kid before you hang out with him. I need his phone number, address...and I need to drop you off and pick you up."

b) I made Hubby follow P1's school bus on the first day of school. I made him go from the bus stop in front of our house, all the way to the high school. Don't worry, none of the other kids knew about it. I didn't want him to be teased.

c) I had the talk about peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, etc with the poor kid...I don't know how many times. He understands, but I still worry...

*sigh* My mother-in-law was right. It would be much easier to start off a family with infants, so you can grow with them. Having a teenager in the house is a big jump for a newly married couple! I suppose it's good practice though. P1 will be staying with us until July, when the school semester ends.
Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nostalgia


I don't know why, but for some reason, I've been feeling a little nostalgic and have been getting snippets and flashbacks of cherished moments.

Do you remember...

Drive-in theaters: I remember being taken to drive-ins by my parents for a treat. They'd pack my brother and my cousins in the car (we'd all smush in the backseat). It was so much fun...and dirt cheap! They'd always play a double feature and we kids would never be able to stay awake for the second movie! My cousins would spend most of the time going to the concession stand. I remember seeing Cave Man, The Man with One Red Shoe, Superman, Tootsie, ET, and The Neverending Story. There's just something so nostalgic about the drive-in movie theaters.




McDonald's birthday parties: As a kid, we'd always have our birthday parties at McD's. The balloons, the party favours, the playground, the loot bags and that horribly sweet and artificial tasting birthday cake....

Since I'm not a fan of McD's, I don't think I'd ever take my kids and their friends to McD's for their b-day, but it was definitely part of my childhood memories.
Vinyls: The first record I ever bought was Cyndi Lauper's "She's so Unusual". I kept my record player and vinyls, but don't know where they are now. I think the last record I ever bought was Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet". Soon after, cassette tapes became popular...then CDs, then MP3s...now iPods...

TV shows: M.A.S.H, Silver Spoons, The Facts of Life, Webster, Growing Pains, Three's Company, Punky Brewster, The Cosby Show, Saved By The Bell, Fat Albert, Knight Rider, the Transformers, She-Ra Princess of Power, G.I. Joe, Jem, Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Smurfs, Alf, Mr. Belvedere, WWF (Wrestling...Gosh, I was in love with Hulk Hogan! OMG! LOL!)...

When I talk about these things with my youngest brother, who is now 21, he has noooooooo idea what I'm talking about when I mean the good 'ol days. Kids were kids and we played outside until dark. We didn't spend most of our time in front of the computer or playing video games. In some ways, I think my little brother is lucky because he knows so much more about technology and he's matured quite quickly and has all the tools for a wonderful future. At the same time, I think he's missed out on a carefree, innocent childhood...when kids were kids...*sigh*


What do YOU remember about YOUR childhood?

Insomnia


For the past few nights (or more like mornings), I've been waking up at 2:30 and then I'd look at the clock and it's 3:30, then 4:30, then 5:30 and 6:30...and then my day begins. I'd really like to be sleeping at 2:30!! I'm in bed by 10:30 or 11 each night.

I don't know why I can't sleep. Nothing's bothering me. My life is great. I've got a wonderful husband, a job that I love and that provides me with all the flexibility I could ever want, a warm and cozy home, a wonderful family, the most amazing friends I could ever dream of having. My life is full. Why can't I sleep??? I don't know what's going on, but I really, really hope I can get a good night's sleep soon. What do you do when you can't fall asleep at night???
Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Walk Down Memory Lane


Got a picture of your house
And you're standing by the door
It's black and white and faded
And it's looking pretty worn...

Can you name this tune?? You can click here for the rest of the lyrics. If you guessed Heaven by Warrant, you're absolutely correct. This song brings back memories and makes me think of my high school days.

Whenever I hear glam rock tunes or songs from the mullet years, it brings me back to happy days and high school years...and being a teenager, having no real responsibilities. The smell of spring, the movies and pool halls with friends, the mall after school on Fridays, the puppy love and first crushes, the school dances, the "what am I going to wear to school tomorrow?"...these are what I sometimes look back on with fondness. It was the years where video killed the radio star and tight jeans and big hair were in. I'd spend hours listening to Warrant, Cinderella, Tesla, White Snake, Poison, Guns 'N Roses, The Cure, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Slaughter, Mr. Big, Skid Row, Motley Crue, and other bands that were popular then.

If you remember these bands, try this music trivia quiz :)

Can I tell you that I was in luuuuuuv with Jani Lane?? *sigh* Those were the days! LOL!

Some of my fave tunes from my high school days:
Warrant: I Saw Red, Heaven, Sometimes She Cries
Mr. Big: Just Take My Heart, To Be With You
Skid Row: I Remember You, 18 and Life
Mehhhh...I'm too lazy to blog, so I'll post more tunes at a later date :)

PS. Happy, happy birthday, Ms.Mamma!!! Hope your day was a good'un, you awesome chiquita, you!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ohhhh...Don't you dare laugh!!!


I was getting my daily dose of CuriosityKiller's blog thoughts, and came across this video. Sure, it may look really funny and that the bride is totally psycho, but I tell ya...this actually does happen in real life. Maybe not the extent to which this bride went, but it does happen.

There are so many emotions one feels when getting married. Every girl wants her wedding to be perfect. I am such a fuss free person, that J and I even considered eloping to avoid all the craziness. Of course, that wasn't an option, coming from such a large family like the one I have...and being the first girl to get married. I like to think that I was pretty cool, calm and collected. The only time I felt a little aggitated was the night before the wedding. Everyone kept telling me what to do, how to do things...suddenly, everyone was an expert at weddings and getting married. I know that everyone had the best intentions, but I hissed and snapped and got edgy with a few people. It's a very emotional time. My cousin even called me Bridezilla...I swear, I wasn't that bad though! In the end, it was a perfect wedding and everything turned out well.

Note to self: Don't sweat the small stuff! Now, stop reading and enjoy the video! LOL!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Love Hurts


I love, love, love spicy food! The spicier the better! However, recently I have discovered that I'm not as invincible as I once thought I was! Our Korean students wanted a Korean meal, so we had a soup similar to Japanese miso soup, two meat dishes with gochujang- the hot pepper sauce, rice, lettuce, and lots of Korean side dishes (two types of kimchi, sliced jalapeno peppers, etc). Hubby and the boys were eating those peppers straight...just popped them in their mouths. I had one! One!! Oh, and that just about did me in! I was sweating, I had tears streaming from my eyes, and my nose was running! I simply cannot do this to myself any longer. The only problem is that everything tastes sooooooo good!!

Dad always said to be careful of spicy food. It burns you twice (if you know what I mean).
These are not my photos. I nabbed them off of Google Images :( Our meal did look a lot similar to the pics though!
Sunday, February 04, 2007

Too cute!!!


Curiosity Killer wrote this in one of her last blog entries:

"I’m so into blogging now and lately been catching up with gossips and stuff. So I’ve been blogstalking fellow bloggers.Blogstalk #1: Chrissy - because she’s Chrissy, sweet, enthusiastic, poetic ESL teacher Chrissy who’s happily married and living on beautiful Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada. She’s the one who got me hooked on blogging, your honor! I plead Not-Guilty. We’re friends in real life – I went to her wedding and everything. As a wonderful blogger, she’s always updating her blog, so it’s always a great read. She’s like, my best blog friend ever!"

LOL! Thanks, Curiosity! You just made my day :) I had a super rough day yesterday- long story. I won't get into it now because it'll just put me in a crappy mood. Anyway, CuriosityKiller has inspired me to share the love. Here you go....in no particular order!

I blogstalk:

1. Jill- she's the one who got me hooked on blogging. I blame her for my new found addiction! :) We're friends in real life. I met her through my pal, Dina. Jill's a super cool, really informed, well read, all around wonderful person. She knows a lot about a lot of things and she's got the cutest little girl ever!

2. Dina and 3. Danielle- Dina is one of my really good friends in real life. Danielle is also my friend outside the blog world :) Dina, Danielle and I were roomies in Toronto, and Dina and I even taught at the same ESL school in Toronto. Both of these wonderful gals have recently had baby boys. I love checking out their blogs so I can keep up-to-date on all their latest happenings. Their little cuties are growing so fast!!

4. Curiosity Killer- she's a good gal pal of mine in real life. I check her blog out every day. Her blog entries are just so delicious and funny. I love this gal! She's ultra sweet and has a great sense of humour. (You're like my best blog friend too! LOL! Now, doesn't that sound "Valley girl" enough for ya? LOL)

5. MsMamma- I love, love, love this lady! She's the funkiest, coolest, most talented mamma ever. She is a gifted photographer and a prolific writer. Her little Snowflake is absolutely scrumptious too!

6. Stephen and Elisabeth in England- these guys are the funniest, most exciting, adventurous ever. I love this couple! Stephen and I were friends in c.e.g.e.p. and university in Montreal. Elisabeth is his lovely wife.

7. Dylon-I check out his site daily because he's always got neat things on there. Dylon is one of the most interesting (and fun) people I've met on the Island.

8. Our Manitoulin-M's got all the news and latest ongoings on the Island. This is where I go when I need to know something about the Island. He is a really great guy and I love his blog.

9. Canine Cologne- my daily 'must visit' blog. This gal's so hilarious and intelligent. She's a rockin' mom and comes up with the most interesting blog topics. I also love her food blog!!!

10. Northern Mom- She's sweet, she's kind, and she's from the North. I guess that makes us 'neighbours'! LOL! I enjoy seeing what's new with her. We haven't met, but I've been in her neck of the woods a dozen times this month! LOL!

I also check these blogs out regularly:
Judy's Journal (found via Our Manitoulin)
A Shark's Life (he found me by clicking "next blog" LOL)
A Nichols Worth of News (found via Jill)
Mr. Fab's Pointless Drivel (found via Curiosity)
Officially a Mom (found via Jill)
Crunchy with Style (found via Ms.Mamma)
Mama-c-ta (via Jill)
Thursday, February 01, 2007

Where I'm from (meme)


This is beautiful...from CuriosityKiller.
There’s this poem generating around the blogsphere originally stemmed from Fragments from Floyd.
You might be surprised what you find as you rummage around in those dusty old trunks–your personality, your family history and traits, and the places you’ve called home–as you complete the poem with your own memories and facts. Let me know if you do one… it may take some time, but I would love to read your versions, as a way to know you better. Photo of the beach at Carter Bay, Manitoulin Island, on the day of our wedding rehearsal (June 16, 2006)

Here’s Where I’m From:

I am from vanilla bean, candles, and hot chocolate; from Fruits and Passion, Bailey's Irish Cream and cashmere. I'm from foreign films, jazz, and love...and of walks on the beach at sunset.

I am from the warm, country, cozy, wood cottage-style, smoke billowing from the fireplace, surrounded by acres and acres of green fields and turquoise water with white sand beaches.

I am from the maple, orchid, woodsy fragrance, the juniper, rose, freshly crisp air...trying to reach and touch the sun and taste the first drops of morning dew.

I am from Christmas dinners, carols, waiting until midnight for Santa to arrive, and boisterous, often resulting in someone getting upset family gatherings...from Rufina, my grandmother and only daughter of the General and Boss Lady.

I am from the generous and loving, the welcoming and conversations that are devoid of social filters.
From little girls should be seen and never heard, and eat everything on your plate- there are children in the world who are dying of starvation.


I am from severely Roman Catholic, church-going, choir singing, don't eat meat on Fridays during lent, and education is your ticket to success, from don't show your emotions so easily, to crying is only for the weak.

I’m from Scarborough, Chinese dim sum Sundays, Caribbean chicken roti and calypso music, huge Filipino family gatherings where everyone is your 'aunt or uncle', Canadian white-anglo and franco neighborhood where the only other Asians are your brother and cousins, spring rolls and pancit noodles.

From the beloved grandfather who passed away way too early in his life without giving me the chance to say goodbye, the darkness despair of a certain incident, and the sad passing of an aunt who loved too much and lost her fight against cancer.

I am from shoe boxes of random memoirs and tattered, yellowing, old photo albums which hold all of my most treasured moments, childhood laughter and nostalgia, all tucked away for posterity to find.


Please do play… here is the format to do your own Where I’m From:
I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.
I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).
I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)
I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).
I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).
From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).
I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.
I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).
From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).
I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

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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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