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Monday, May 29, 2006

He highlighted my hair and we're still married

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A weekend of domestic slavery, that’s what it is.

Yet again, after another action-packed weekend I return to work ragged and exhausted come Monday morning. But alas, the gods were smiling upon us this weekend.

Friday night, my little bro stopped in….along with two of his drunken friends… ended up that we had a little boy sleepover in our basement that night. I wasn’t thrilled, but they didn’t make any noise, nor did they worsen the pre-existing mess….so I let it slide.

Anyway, onto Saturday. This was a bit of a crazy day. I finally got rid of my “houseguests” by plying them with bacon, eggs and coffee (this had the desirable effect of rousting them out of the basement and into the bright sunshine of the main floor of the house). They happily ate and vacated the premises to nurse their aching heads elsewhere. As soon as our guests were gone, we ran off to our local Indian store. I love this store – they had every single thing I was looking for – what a labour saver!!!!!! I managed to find my samosas, chutneys, naan, spices and milk balls. Swweeeee---at.

Saturday afternoon was a curry’makin’ affair…..I made five curries in total. Our dining set actually arrived on time (shocking!) and we managed to get it inside and assembled (and set) before our dinner guests arrived. It was close, but worked out well. Sadly, two of the chairs are scratched on the seat. Very very annoying. This set was purchased for us by hubs’ parents, and it really wasn’t cheap, so it was very annoying to have two brand new chairs be all scuffed up. The company has said they will replace them for us. I always feel a bit bad…but at $200+/chair, it’s just not cool to start out with noticeable scratches.

Dinner only had one small catastrophe. I decided to cook my parsnip fries on the barbecue – I had all of the curries warming up in the oven. I thought 13 minutes would be a good amount of time for me to let them go, and then check on them. Apparently, 13 minutes on the barbecue can cause a wee bit of a carbonizing effect on spicy parsnip fries. Very sad to say they turned into a blackened mess just as the guests arrived. Thankfully, I had purchased TWO bags of parsnips, so I quickly peeled and sliced the next bag, tossed it in an oil/curry paste mixture and handed it off to hubs to throw anew on the bbq. The parsnips being only the latest in a long line of things that I have blackened beyond all recognition on the grill….I definitely don’t think it’s a cooking method that I should ever use. ;)

Dinner was a rousing success. There was so much food, it all turned out well, and I think my dinner guests really really enjoyed it. The only annoying thing was the female dinner guest kept asking me if I had made things from scratch….as I previously mentioned, I went out of character in buying things….so it just felt weird to have to admit that I had purchased these things. Booooo.

Sunday was no less busy. After staying up late to actually clean up the kitchen (this is a first…usually after a dinner party, hubs and I finish up the remaining wine and stumble off to bed), we slept in and then started to work. I am proud to say that I planted my very first outdoor garden. I have yellow Asiatic lilies, many colours of marigolds, and some cool spikey plant where I can’t remember the name. I just hope I don’t kill them all! Hubs spent this time giving the car a good cleaning.

After dinner, I made hubs make good on his promise of helping me highlight my hair….and you know what….it turned out better than I expected. There is one highlight I’m not totally thrilled with, but overall, it was a pretty successful endeavour. :) We used the Revlon Custom Effects kit in Chestnut. Hubs wouldn’t follow the directions and he hated the applicator (and as a result spent much time making little foil rectangles to isolate each dyed strip of hair), but he did a really good job. :) I will take pictures soon and post them.

Anyway, I should run now because I have a pounding headache. Also, my in-laws are stopping by tonight after dinner, so I need to go dust my piano (noticed on Saturday while guests were over that having all the windows open had caused it to be covered in yellow pollen….how embarrassing…..).

Have a good night!

PS – the link is On that site, click “Photos” and then click “Bunny Pictures” – we always have problems with copying and pasting links. Very annoying.

Take care – thanks for reading!

Friday, May 26, 2006

What goes up….must come down….

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‘Twas a sad day in Mudville. I had a crashing and somewhat depressing revelation last night.

I have to clean every day. For the rest of my life.


I say “Mudville” because that is currently what my front yard is….we’ve planted grass, but it remains to be seen if any will actually sprout. I have high hopes for the green weeds and dandelions though. They are flourishing. Now, the night before last, I kindly asked hubs if *he* would take a turn and clean the kitchen…seeing as how I had done a thorough kitchen clean every day for the last week.

His version of clean and mine apparently suffer from a lack of communication. A clean kitchen does not mean filling up the dishwasher and starting it. I will admit there were a few extra dishes that wouldn’t fit, but it would have been nice to see washed pans, and wiped counters (the extra dishes could have just been piled). Anyway, I arrived home yesterday to pure kitchen chaos. Which is exactly what you want to encounter when you’re trying to throw together a yummy dinner. Sticky, gooey pans with the remains of the previous day’s dinner delicacies.

So, I set myself to work. I put together some yummy spinach/ricotta cannelloni. I’ve made this before where you don’t precook the noodles and I have to say, despite the PITA stuffing of limp noodles, it’s much better if you precook them. Very easy – set a big pot on to boil. Meanwhile, take a tub of light ricotta, mix with a beaten egg. Add 1 c. grated p.s. mozzarella, ¼ c. grated parmesan, 1 t Italian seasoning, ¼ t. nutmeg, salt, pepper, and thawed/drained chopped spinach from a 10oz package. Mix ‘em up. Meanwhile, throw the noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes. When they come out, stuff them (it’s a pain – I use a little fork and it stilltakes a while). Put them in a greased 9x13, pour a can of pasta sauce over them, grate a little more cheese, and bake for 40 minutes at 350F. Easy as pie. Actually, pie’s a bitch. This is easier.

We’re having friends over for dinner tomorrow night, and this is going to be a bit of an adventure. See…the thing is, our dining room set has been well-loved. :D And, we are supposed to get our super-duper awesome custom new maple set at 5PM tomorrow. Our guests arrive at 7:30PM. Now, this leaves me with the unenviable task of a) hoping the set arrives on time, and b) figuring out where the heck to put the old set until the next day, when someone will take it off our hands. So here’s to hoping the dinner party works out and isn’t on the floor.

I’m cheating a bit this time….I’ve discovered that when I make everything from scratch, it tends to both freak out and intimidate people who don’t cook as often as I do. Since the lady of the couple we’ve invited has barely met us (she was our friend’s date to our wedding), I don’t want to scare her off (we NEVER get invited for dinner anywhere), so I will cheat.

Here is our vegetarian Indian feast menu:

- roasted parsnip fries with curry yogourt dip (home-made)
- samosas with tamarind sauce and coriander mint chutney (bought…yay for living near all the Indian grocery stores…)

- spinach salad with tamarind dressing and pappadum croutons (home-made)

- my famous yummy veggie curry (potato, chickpea and peas in a tomatoey yummy sauce)
- eggplant curry (homemade)
- egg curry (TBD…not sure if I need it) (homemade)
- spinach and paneer curry (homemade)
- red lentil dal (homemade)
- basmati rice
- naan (bought!)
- raita (homemade)

- milk balls (bought)
- chai tea

What are your thoughts on the egg curry (yes, I mean curried eggs…very tasty!)? Is it needed? I’m thinking we’ll have leftovers for a LONG time. Yay!

Anyway, lets hope we don’t go cross cultural by eating Indian food off the floor….though I’m sure it would still be just as tasty.

I haven’t had time yet to highlight my hair, though I will post pics when I DO finally do it. :)

And by popular request, here is a link to my album of bunny pictures:
Bunny Pics!

I will update later this weekend on the status of my yard, my table, the dinner party and my hopefully-not-fried hair. :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Neighbourly Love...

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It’s been such a crazy week at work that I haven’t had much of a chance to write anything! Yikes!

Tons of updates.

First, I am the absolute QUEEN of cleaning. Okay…that could be a slight exaggeration (to which my as-of-yet unpacked suitcase will attest)…but I actually had a really productive weekend. I spent Friday evening loafing around (truly, a favourite activity of mine). So come Saturday, my house was still disastrous. And of course my mom was coming….at like 10PM.

10:30AM….I get a phone call….it’s my mom, and she’s decided to swing by BEFORE the party they were going to….at 2:30PM. So my timeline is all of a sudden moved waaaaaaaaaaaaay up. I spend the better part of the morning and early afternoon in super clean mode.

In a nutshell, I did the following:
- changed linens in the guestroom, dusted it, swept and set out towels
- shop-vacced the rabbits (they LOVE that….), and vacuumed the basement living room floor and stairs….whisked away cobwebs in the process
- cleaned the guest bathroom – scrubbed off the NASTY scum, washed mirrors, sink, toilet and swept/washed floor
- full-on kitchen clean – dishes, counters, stove, cupboard, sweep/wash floors
- living room/dining room clean – dusting (puke), wiped the couch, swept and washed the floors.
- Main bathroom – washed out tub, counter, toilet, sink, mirror and floor.

I then started to unpack, but my mom arrived and that’s where it stopped.

We also got 4 cubic yard of rocks delivered on our driveway – 2 c.y. of gravel to make a patio to move our shed to, and 2 c.y. of river rocks to replace our trodden, sad, sorry side lawn. Poor hubs got to spend HIS weekend making our driveway passable (more on that later).

SO, after all this cleaning, and my mom’s quick drop-in, we head off to hubby’s sister’s house. They were away on their ‘wedding-moon’ in Mexico, due back at Midnight. So, we had a few surprises in store….
1) Our wedding gift to them was a patio set (Home Depot, the Key Biscayne set – it’s a great buy, nice quality and a good size). So hubs cleaned up their back yard, and set it up.
2) Hubs is a talented photographer, so he set up a photo collage of the best wedding pictures he took and mounted it in a really nice frame – we picked up the frame and the printed photos and he spend some time doing this.
3) Whilst he was busy doing all that….I cleaned his sister’s house. (Why stop when you’re on a roll?). Made me wish we had a smaller house! Their place was in a bit worse shape, but took SO much less time to clean (perhaps only because of super-clean mode) that it seemed like almost nothing! Wasn’t sure if the newlyweds would a) be happy to come home to a clean house, b) be weirded out that I cleaned their stuff, or c) be insulted that I thought their house needed cleaning. I’m hoping a)…..
4) My mom dropped off a gift for hubs’ sis and her new hubby – a gift basket filled with tasty snacks and some champagne. We set this up too.

When we picked the happy couple up at the airport, you could tell they were pretty tired, but hubs and I were pretty excited about all the surprises….so we helped them carry in their bags, and they noticed everything right away. :) Always rewarding to see hard work pay off!!!!!!!! I think they appreciated everything. It was fun to plan the surprise….(for the record, we had to go to their house everyday to feed their pet bunnies, so it’s not like they didn’t know we would be in their house….).

I have a fun neighbour story for you.

As mentioned previously, we had rocks delivered at the bottom of our driveway. This is a shared driveway, so now, in order to back out of our carport, we had to back onto the neighbour’s half of the driveway (either that or back on the front lawn….tacky). Our neighbour, whom I’ve long suspected of passive-aggressive anti-us tactics, decided that she should park halfway down her side of the driveway. Are you getting this picture…..the picture of our car, completely blocked into our carport, unless we back over the front lawn????????? (Which we actually had to do).

I noticed this witchy tendency of our neighbour months ago. Without fail, she parks in her carport. We often have people over, and they usually park right at the bottom of the driveway – this makes it possible to back somewhat diagonally out of the carport, onto the neighbour’s half of the driveway, and then out onto the road (and not have to move cars all the time). Well, the only time our wench neighbour (shall we call her WN?) does not park in her carport is, coincidentally, when we have someone over. It’s a pain, hubs would deny it, but I could tell….whatever though…you just move the other car and it’s not the end of the world.

But um…rocks? They DON’T MOVE. Not until you’ve made about a billion wheelbarrow trips in the slippery, sliding mud. So yeah…WN decided to block our car in. Out over the front lawn we went. Nice.

Hubs returned home later (I was out) and apparently he and WN exchanged words. Now, I totally understand property respect, but come ON. Is it really hurting her to have us back out over her driveway for 5 seconds. Grrrrrrrrrrr….you’d think we were asking for the moon. Anyway, hubs moved ALL the rocks that day and solved our problem.

Am I wrong in thinking this would be a nice neighbourly courtesy? That if you share a driveway that it would not be unreasonable to briefly pass over the other half? For god sakes…hubs shovels her driveway, shovels the roof (shared), he’s the one who was up on the roof in freezing rain chipping troughs in the ice to stop the leaking, I brought WN COOKIES. GAH.


Monday….was a day I’d rather forget, because I spent it outside in the cold, yanking crappy bits of weeds and dandelions all freaking day. Yuck. But my house was pretty clean. My bro came by for dinner that night (and stayed the night…I swear…B&B). He also put my cute GAP linen dress in the dryer. I think it might be RIP to that dress for me. Linen and the dryer don’t mix so well….unless my rib cage physically shrinks, I don’t think I could ever be small enough to fit in it now. :( Very sad. Men and laundry don’t mix.

Tonight, my dad is coming for dinner…and my brother has invited himself to stay yet again. Little do they know tofu and bok choy are on the menu…hehe. :) We’re having a dinner party on Saturday night….the theme of the night is vegetarian Indian, so that will be fun to plan and consume. Yum!

Weight has been yoyo....from a low of 131.5 since Mexico, to a high of 135.0 yesterday. Today was 133.5. Very sad starting point, but from there I shall go....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Me vs. the binge....

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I read an interesting theory a couple of days ago that really struck a cord with me. Maybe I’m the only person in the world who hadn’t thought about things this way before, but it was definitely something worth noting.

Any of you who have been longer-term readers (esp. of my previous blog) can probably note that I regularly have issues with overeating. Sometimes I binge, and I just can’t get why I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. (but…no worries, purging is not something I’ve ever done or plan to do!!!!!!!!)

The theory I read is that alcoholics can QUIT drinking. Smokers can QUIT smoking. Overeaters can’t quit eating. And that is the crux. I’m not saying it’s easy for the aforementioned addicts to rid themselves of their vices….merely that at least it is possible to rid oneself completely of the temptation. It’s pretty hard for a former alcoholic to drink in moderation. And while smoking in moderation is just as vile as chain smoking, you don’t see that happening much either. Those are all-or-nothing habits.

But with eating, you HAVE to continue eating. And worst of all, you don’t see people urging former alcoholics to have a drink, or former smokers to take a puff. But for overeaters….it’s always “oh, one slice won’t hurt” or “why bother dieting! Dig in!.” These statements can be extremely frustrating when you really are trying to be good.

And something I’ve discovered about myself is that I have real issues with moderation. Some people can eat one chocolate, or one slice of pizza. Or three fries. But I’m just not one of them. Instead of one chocolate, I eat a layer. I eat a whole pizza. And I definitely eat all my fries (seriously….what is WITH the people who can just eat a couple and then let the rest get cold….a huge part of me wants to shout “nooooooooooooooooo! Let MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee have them.”)

Anyway, not sure if that helped anyone, but at least it’s something worth noting. As I’ve written previously, it’s a microcosmic case of broken window theory. If I don’t eat any pizza, I’m fine. I actually love salad, fruit, yogourt, fish, etc. They are favourites. But as soon as the barrier is breached….all inhibitions go out the window and the entire pie is stuffed down my gullet. Yum. Same thing – if I just don’t have any dessert, I’m fine. But if it’s there, I can’t limit myself to just a bite. I admire those who can, but I CAN’T. I just have to eat it all. So very very sad.

Umm…did I mention that I am perhaps spurred on by my unplanned consumption of 600 empty calories on my way home from work???? I made the mistake of buying two healthy snacks at the grocery store.

PC Rice Crisps. Very dangerous. I bought the Japanese Wasabi and Honey. Picture just the right touch of pungent, acidic heat (like a really good Dijon) tempered with the sweet delicacy of honey. Yum. My burning mouth ate the whole bag on the way home.
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They also come in a Tamari flavour, which I also managed to inhale half of. It’s also tasty, but not nearly so spicy as the wasabi. LOVE the wasabi. :)

Hopefully my taste for spice is quenched by tonight’s dinner – panfried red snapper with homemade fresh salsa (the kind with loads of jalopeno and fresh coriander) and basmati rice. Might make a watercress salad too. Might not.

However, one thing I really do have to do is a solid tidy. My mom is coming on Saturday afternoon, so the house has to be mom-ready (which sucks, because it’s somewhat of a disaster right now). Also, somehow in the week that we were gone, my father (or perhaps my brother?) managed to completely coat the shower in nasty-ass soap scum that *I* now get the joy of muscling away. I hate soap scum. How the heck did they get it to form so fast? Must be a new record.

The other issue I have is my dining room table (ooo! Excitement – our new dining table is ready and will be delivered in the next couple weeks….I am already salivating in anticipation of its solid maple beauty….swee-at). My current dining room table is located just opposite the front door. Consequently, it seems to find itself the most unfortunate recipient of constant barrages of mail, flyers and general crap. It seems to take about three minutes of us being home for it to be covered in crap. I’m trying to figure out a way around this with our new table. I really wouldn’t want to cover up all that nice wood with commercial marketing garbage. Any ideas?

Oh….and I really need to unpack tonight….

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"O" for three....

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Zero out of three for me yesterday.

Didn't do any laundry.
Didn't unpack any clothes.
Ate like a big pig.

On the up side, I made a tasty dinner tonight! Chicken saltimbocca (pounded chicken breast with proscuitto on one side, seasoned with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, in a vermouth glaze) with watercress, tomato and basil salad. :) Yum!

I'm currently contemplating cleaning. But haven't gotten any further than the contemplation aspect.

But, I have an amusing story from work....

You know those people who are completely freaked out about germs (i.e., the kind that keep the paper towel in their hand to use it to open the bathroom door....not making fun of you, just pointing that kind of person out). So yeah. There I was in the washroom today, and this freakish little woman who works on an adjacent team dashes her fingers under the water for about three seconds. But then she makes a big show of making sure the paper towel comes between her precious fingers and any potentially contaminated surface.

At least she's keeping her germies to herself...hahahahaha. Anyway, I thought that was funny.

And just cuz the gap dress generated so much comment, here is a pic of it in action. Or inaction. ;) I love hammocks.

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So now I suppose I should wash it and try to remove all the self-tanner marks...grrrr....

Have a good night! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Back in town...

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So I’m a bad blogger. A very bad blogger.

While you, my lovely readers, were checking my blog, to no avail.

I was gone. Sunning myself in the lovely Mayan Riviera. Sorry guys. ;)

And ‘twas a lovely welcome back to work I received yesterday. First, I made the mistake of having a cup of coffee before bed Sunday night (after, of course, leaving all the dishes on the counter….I came back from vacation only to find that ANTS had moved in in the meantime. Icky. I bleached the little bastards…heehee). So I didn’t sleep Sunday night. It took until 2:30 in the morning to fall asleep, and then I kept waking up. Of course, once it was time to actually get up, I reset my alarm three times and hence went to work with wet hair.

Once I got to work, I managed to do a full-on wipe-out in the front lobby of our building. Nice. The very nice commissionaire (like a security guard, but usually older and friendlier, at least in my building) asked me over and over again if I was okay. I said I was, as a hobbled over to the elevator (for those of you who read my elevator rant…that’s how much my ankle was throbbing). So yeah…hopped into the elevator, took it up two floors and hobbled to my office. Fantastic start to the day. Truly graceful.

So I’m at my desk like two minutes, and my phone rings. It’s the commissionaire wanting to know if I really was okay, and if I needed him to call a doctor, or if I needed a witness for future physio therapy/workplace compensation….ummm…yeah. Holy embarrassing. For the record, my ankle was fine within about an hour. Not even a twinge today.

Anyway…moving on. I go to put my lunch into our brand new fridge (coincidentally, I’m the only one on our three person team who bring a lunch….it’s my own private fridge) only discover that my graceful swan-like dive, has in fact, dislodged the lid on my chicken/corn chowder. Crappy. So now I have smoky chicken chowder yogourt and pears. :( I hate Tupperware. I cleaned the stuff up and sat at my desk. All was well.

Except (this may be TMI), because I hadn’t done laundry since I got back, I was wearing a rather uncomfortable thong. So in adjusting it (yay for private offices), I managed to pop the hook of my pants (hello, diet jumpstart).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the first 15 minutes back at work after vacation. Also…it was pouring rain after a week in sunny, beautiful Mexico. Very sad.

Thankfully, it was not a prophetic entrance. ;) The rest of the day was pretty good.

Can’t say the same for my house. Or…shall I say…B&B.

While we were away, my father was “bunnysitting” our two rabbits…this works out great – he’s a bit of a homeless nomad (long story) and my bunnies are MUCH less destructive if they see people for more than 3 minutes a day. Well, my brother also decided to stop in while we were away, and was in fact at my house when we arrived home (so much for our…heehee…plans). Now…I’m not certain someone slept in my bed…but….the decorative pillows were in a different configuration when I got home. So I have my suspicions. Anyway, they are out for now (though my mom is coming for a night this week…seriously, it’s a B&B. I don’t mind though ;) ).

Of course, my house, as per usual, is disastrous. I think I got it that way in a record 24 hours after returning from Mexico. Incidentally, my suitcase, which I swore up and down I would unpack right away, is still sitting, mostly packed, on my bedroom floor. Maybe I’ll get to that tonight….

The other thing is that since returning, I have been STARVING. I probably ate like 6000 calories a day down south….and now dropping down to a more civil 1800 is almost killing me. I want food. I want it NOW and I want it ALL. I’m workin’ on it though.

Dinner plan for tonight – pork medallions in apple cider with mashed sweet potatoes (that have allspice and blue cheese in them…should be good!). I’ll also add some baby carrots and celery sticks to up the veggie and munchiness factor.

Cleaning plan….umm….meh. I should unpack, start some laundry, and clean the kitchen. That would be a good start.

I will leave you with a pictures…yours truly in Mexico, enjoying some tequila….

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